The next day at the canteen, Luo Yuan and Chen Xinjie sat across each other in absolute silence. They had not seen each other for quite some time; she seemed to have lost weight. He could see pain plastered across her face, the cheerfulness was no longer there.
“I’m so sorry…” Luo Yuan broke the silence after a while.
He did not know that her mother had passed away a few days ago. It was too sudden, and he was lost for words. If he had visited her earlier and treated her mother, this would not have happened!
“You don’t have to feel sorry, I knew this was coming; it was destined!” Chen Xinjie said softly, as she looked away. Her eyes were red.
There was a pin-drop silence between them again!
It was lunch hour, where many people were walking in and out of the City Hall’s canteen. Most of the seats were taken but the seats near them were empty. Nobody dared to come close.
Sensing judgmental eyes looking at them, Luo Yuan asked, “Will you work at my secretariat? I will assign Cheng Guanghui to be in charge of something more practical.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Mayor. I’m doing good right now!” Chen Xinjie bit her lips and said with her head hanging low, “You already know that I was here for what I was assigned to do by the superior. So now, there’s no need anymore.”
“But everything has passed, we should move on…” Luo Yuan said more seriously.
“Mayor, I’m done eating, I’m making a move!” Chen Xinjie immediately took her leave and adjourned.
Looking at her running away from him, Luo Yuan, with his jaw hanging open, let out a sigh. Their relationship was never normal. It was like a white cloth stained with dirt, they could never turn back time and erase what they had done.
Luo Yuan returned to his office. After reading more than ten documents, he had nothing to do. Now that Hope City was back on track, there was nothing much to be done by him. As the heating system was completed and the expansion of the vegetable supply, more factories were running and lives were better.
Although it was nothing as compared to before, people did not have to live in hunger. The biggest credit was the nuclear fusion furnace from the Glassian’s spacecraft. It provided endless energy which allowed mankind to survive in the cold.
There was more than one nuclear fusion furnace in Hope City now. For safety purposes and to prevent any emergency situations, Luo Yuan dismantled one of the nuclear fusion furnaces from a spacecraft that was floating in space for energy backup. Even if one of the nuclear fusion furnaces went wrong, it would not affect the lives of the people.
Luo Yuan tapped on the table repeatedly while thinking. Soon, he picked up the internal phone and called his secretary Cheng Guanghui.
“Get the institute director to see me!”
He hung up right away.
Now that the majority of the researchers had been sent on the spacecraft, the biological institute was the only laboratory that remained on earth.
This would mean that many genuine researchers were in the institute. Besides a couple of authoritative ones, most of them were lab technicians who were newly hired as talent reserves, as well as operating the assembly line of the human clones.
The population was too low. Reproduction was difficult ever since the apocalypse, where pregnancy rates dropped drastically. To depend on natural reproduction to recover the population in the Reconstruction Area before the disaster would take up to 1,000 years while recovering the population of mankind before the apocalypse would take a few thousand years to 10,000 years.
While things would be much easier with cloning, it was also the only way for mankind to recover their population rapidly.
Unfortunately, regardless if it was Hope City or the spacecraft that people would eventually migrate to, the capacity for mankind was limited. It would not take a long time for the population of mankind to maintain at a maximum of ten million unless there was a planet capable of sustaining life, or a certain technology to modify a planet.
Unfortunately, the possibility of the first alternative was low, while the latter needed time.
Soon, with the help of his secretary, the institute director walked into his office.
He was a short and skinny old man who was almost 60 years old. He came right after he received the call – without so much as a chance to change his clothes.
The news about Luo Yuan defeating the aliens was still playing on speakers. He was now a legend in the peoples’ eyes, where he was highly respected. Although this senior researcher had seen all kinds of leaders, encountering Luo Yuan had made him nervous and rather startled, “Ma… Mayor, you asked for me?”
“Sit!” Luo Yuan said while nodding in acknowledgment.
He closed the door carefully and sat on the couch anxiously. It was his first time meeting the legendary mayor. While thinking of the research progress, he could not sit still.
“How’s the research on human cloning techniques going?” Luo Yuan asked.
“We need more time. There were some issues with the amniotic formula; we need more experiments.” Realizing that the mayor was asking what was already in his mind, there was sweat dripping down his forehead.
The clone factory in Hope City was not successful. Since the disaster, there was a chasm on the technique. There was no breakthrough to simulate the amniotic fluid in the womb, which caused the clone factory to stop operations.
Human cloning usually involved issues such as morality and ethics. Even during the apocalypse, human cloning remained a secret. There were only a couple of such laboratories in New Capital City and before that, many of the biological researchers had not heard of it. It was a completely new topic for them where everything had started from square one.
Luo Yuan frowned while he listened. Although he had many cloning experiments himself, he never engaged the most basic amniotic fluid technique. At that moment, nobody cared how the cultivation fluid was made.
However, he was not in a rush. After all, the biological technique in Hope City was not much different with New Capital City. Moreover, with the advanced genetic technology from the Glassian’s spacecraft, he believed that would be easily solved as soon as people figured out the technique used by the Glassians.
“Can we clone plants in the lab?” Luo Yuan asked.
“Plants cloning?” The director was shocked, and he replied immediately, “Mayor, as compared to human cloning, plant cloning would be much easier. Sexless breeding would be even simpler, as, with our technology, there shouldn’t be a problem.”
“That’s great, let’s prepare the related technical reserves. I will drop by again to take a look after a while.” Luo Yuan nodded and said.
The director was confused. Although he did not know what Luo Yuan had in mind, he agreed anyway as his priority was to complete the political mission. He then left right away, the office was quiet again.
That was a plan to produce intelligence.
As compared to the low efficiency of cloning, Luo Yuan hoped to directly synthesize useful ingredients in the Wisdom Heart into materials such as high molecular substances and protein for industrial production. However, with the available technology in Hope City, that was not possible. Perhaps he would need technology from the Glassians to make it work.