The incandescent lamp illuminated the enclosed meeting room bright as a day. Under its strikingly bright light, an emergency meeting was being held.
A dozen of the most influential people in Hedong City watched the huge screen in front of them with serious faces. The screen showed the entrance of the base, where several hundreds of soldiers formed a wall holding riot shields and barely keeping the order of the chaos currently ensuing there.
The Quartz clock on the wall ticked. As the seconds passed, the atmosphere in the meeting room got tense.
Some people were already sweating.
“How many people are already in the underground base?” a middle-aged man chairing the meeting finally asked in a low voice after several minutes.
“Thirty five thousand soldiers, plus various technicians, scientific researchers, base investors and relatives of these people. The approximate total is 180,000 people. There’s another 20,000 plus soldiers who are rushing over from the outskirts of the city after completing their duties. Based on the base’s capacity, we can still take in about 100,000 people,” a skinny middle-aged man said softly, lifting his head after scribbling something inside his notebook.
“Can’t we make more space?”
“It’s not that easy. According to our calculations, 300,000 is already our maximum capacity. Maybe if we clear out some unnecessary inventory warehouses, we might be able to fit another 150,000.”
“We’re out of time. According to the intel from the 8th battalion, mutated beasts from the outskirts are already pouring into Hedong City. They’ll be here soon enough. Our explosives are not enough to defend the base for more than a few hours. Unless we use nuclears and wipe out everything in the woods!” a military man with Lieutenant General pinned to his shoulder said grimly.
The discussion got heated after his words.
The chairman looked alarmed as he unconsciously tapped the table with his index finger.
If nuclear weapons were detonated, not only could reformation after the war speed up significantly, but they would also be able to clear any additional issues that might crop up and ensure the survival of Hedong City’s large population. They could even return to the land without having to move into the underground base first.
Global nuclear weapons restrictions were barely enforced at times like these, and detonation of nuclear weapons was getting more and more common. According to the satellite indication, countries around the world had detonated near to a hundred atomic bombs within just half a year’s time. Among them were the USA with 12 bombs, Russia with 21 bombs, France with 6 bombs, the UK with 8 bombs, India with 15 bombs, Pakistan with 6 bombs, Israel with 3 bombs, Japan with 2 bombs, Germany with 1 bomb, and China with 11 bombs.
Although an atomic bomb detonation was no longer a controversy, it still stressed him to have to detonate one in his own city.
This was not just any missile after all, nor was it a smaller scale atomic bomb like the one detonated in Hiroshima. It was a weapon of massive destruction, and any slight deviation of the guided missile would cost several millions of innocent lives. Even this high-defense underground base would be destroyed.
The tense atmosphere in the meeting room thickened. Some people were already breaking out in cold sweat.
“Then let’s vote!”
“What are you doing?” Wang Shishi exclaimed, glaring at a perverted-looking man behind her.
“Little girl, I only came into slight contact with you. Look at how crowded it is here, I can’t help it. You can touch me back if you want,” the man teased, showing his yellow teeth.
Wang Shishi was rendered speechless by the man’s shameless talk.
“What’s wrong?” Luo Yuan squeezed over and asked as he heard the commotion.
“He… he touched my butt!” Wang Shishi huffed as she pointed at the man. Recognizing her savior, she clung tightly onto Luo Yuan’s arm.
Luo Yuan looked at the perverse man, who was still smiling and smirking, and instantly knew he was a twisted scoundrel. He wanted to teach the bastard a lesson, but he looked at the timid expression on Wang Shishi’s face and changed his mind, “You should stand up for yourself. If you can’t, then you might as well pretend nothing happened.”
Huang Jiahui had not noticed what had just happened, so she turned her head to ask, “What’s going on?”
“Shishi got bullied. Don’t get involved, though. Let her solve it herself,” Luo Yuan stopped her.
“Oh, now you want to teach me a lesson? Aren’t you being too overbearing? It’s so crowded here! Who hasn’t gotten squeezed or had their feet stepped on? Be reasonable, you guys!” the man smiled smugly as he hollered. He had seen that there were a lot of people around.
Those who were watching did not know what had actually happened and clapped along merrily. “Yeah, it’s too crowded here! Some touching is unavoidable, just endure it. I also had my butt touched a few times!”
“You cow, only the blind would want to touch you. Or was it your gay friend, now?
These people didn’t have a bad intention, they were just watching for the sake of fun.
Seeing that the crowd was on his side, the man got even cockier. His eyes never left Wang Shishi’s chest, which angered the girl to no end.
Luo Yuan shook his head, “Forget it, he’s right. You can’t blame anyone about this happening here. Let’s go!”
The spectators suddenly looked at him in disdain. It was one thing to tell someone up to stand up for themselves, but it was another to be cowardly. The fight might not have been serious, but cowering was not a manly thing to do.
“Brother Luo, I understand what you mean. I’m not going to be bullied by some motherf*cker,” Wang Shishi said loudly.
“Motherf*cker?” Luo Yuan was shocked.
Before he could react, Wang Shishi had already charged over with a loud cry and stomped on the man. Despite the fact that a woman’s physique was naturally weaker than a man’s, Wang Shishi was much stronger than the average man. Her strength had reached 11 points after consuming mutated meat for so long. Thanks to that unexpected element, the scrawny man was kicked down in an instant.
“You b*tch, you dared touch my butt!” Wang Shishi continued scolding him as she kicked him.
“Try touching me again!” A kick landed brutally on his crotch, and the man curled up in pain as he cried out.
Wang Shishi squatted down and grabbed the man’s hair, loud slaps resounding in the air as she said loudly, “Still want to touch me? Feels great to touch me, doesn’t it? Touch me, motherf*cker! Come on, touch me…”
Luo Yuan was dumbfounded. He felt like he was meeting Wang Shishi for the first time. Was this even the same person?
In fact, Wang Shishi had never been a timid girl. Her first day in kindergarten, she had scratched a boy’s face for snatching her toys; she was the third sister among what their junior high used to call the ‘eight sisters’, the one who blocked people in the toilets, scaring both girls and boys away. It was when Luo Yuan had taken her under his wing that she’d started to put up the girly act, afraid that she would make a bad impression on him. She had kept faking it till they all had believed it.
In the end, the man was begging in tears, snot running down his face.
Huang Jiahui finally pulled her up, “Shishi, stop. He’s learned his lesson.”
“Motherf…” Wang Shishi forced the rest of the word down her throat as she finally came back to her senses. Stealing a glance at Luo Yuan, she asked Huang Jiahui, “Sister Huang, I… did I go overboard?”
“This kind of pervert needs to be taught a lesson he can remember. See if he dares do it again!” Huang Jiahui then added, “But I’d rather if you didn’t cuss!”
“I couldn’t help it,” Wang Shishi laughed dryly as she stole glances at Luo Yuan, secretly relieved that he did not look upset.
The man seemed to have learned his lesson as he got up and disappeared in the crowd without saying a word. The crowd realized there was nothing worth watching anymore and dispersed.
The four of them continued squeezing to the front, more people crowding as they got closer to the construction site.
Looking at the sea of people, Luo Yuan got worried. If some sort of riot were to happen, it would be sure to cause lots of deaths. He subconsciously looked at the sky. Large birds were circling around under the moonlight.
As Luo Yuan turned his eyes away, he suddenly realized that the birds were anxious. Their flight pattern was irregular and they emitted strange noises. The same strange growls came from the mutated beasts in the distance.
These growls sounded anxious and irritated, as if the birds were sensing a grave danger.
Unconsciously, he turned his eyes towards the north. A star was producing a weak light in the faraway sky. He quickly realized that this was not just any star. The light got brighter as his left eyelid twitched, goosebumps rising on his skin. His heart thumped hard.
He stared at the star that kept getting brighter and brighter. His body was frozen like a statue.
Luo Yuan came back to his senses after a while, and quickly pulled Wang Shishi and Huang Jiahui to him, saying in a low voice, “Come with me at once!