Global Evolution - Chapter 100
Chapter 100: Barren for a Hundred Years
Translator: Editor: DarkGem
’’So you are eight years older than me.’’ Chang beamed at the hooknosed woman. ’’You have such a bright personality! If some other girls broke their arms, they would probably be sad for quite a long time... You recovered from it sooner than I thought you would.’’
’’Well, I grew up in the military, so my personality is quite similar to my guy friends from there. I still remember I used to beat up a lot of the boys in the military compound of where I grew up. I was actually a tyrant of a girl.’’ Zhizhi spoke, smoothing out her hair with her only hand. ’’You said that I'm your enemy, which I don't agree to at all. I just happened to work under the regiment that happened to collude with Zhuo. You see, I'm just doing my work. I'm not loyal to Zhuo but the regiment, we shouldn't even be enemies in the first place. Chang, is it fun to put so much effort in watching over me?’’
’’I just can't trust you fully since we haven't known each other for long enough, I hope you can understand,’’ Chang answered honestly.
’’Whatever, I can't return to the military, either. Anyways, did you hear about the rumor on the streets? It says that the military is planning to spray Agent Orange over the whole city,’’ Zhishi said. ’’I think it's another of Zhuo's ideas. If they use Agent Orange, which is a strong herbicide and defoliant, it will destroy most of the plants above ground. It is something that was used during the Vietnam War by the U.S army as well.’’
’’Agent Orange? U.S army?’’ Chang asked with puzzlement, frowning.
’’Right, Agent Orange. The significant contaminant of it is the dioxin TCDD. TCDD is also the most toxic in the dioxin family, and is very effective in devastating leaves. But I doubt he is going to use the original formula of Agent Orange. Most likely he'll reduce its concentration and add something else into it. Therefore, it'll only devastate some specific plants instead of all of them.’’
’’Why would he do that?’’ Jing asked from where she sat on the side.
’’He wants to change the living environment in which humans reside. And that's why he's been a left wing the whole time;he wants to manipulate the nature. The plants in the city are so full of vitality and strength that they damage power supply facilities and other infrastures.’’ Zhizhi articulated her speech. ’’I also read about Qing Shui's Food Web Theory and know what kind of role plants are playing in the nature. Even though they are both predators and producers nowadays, but their most important role still lies in producing. Although they're relatively safe to EMs like you, to ordinary humans, they are still harmful.
’’If the majority of plants are removed, that means a great amount of producers will be eliminated. And hence, the bugs and small animals that live and lurk in urban plants will lose their source of food. The balance will be broken, and these residents will either go extinct or flee to the jungle, granting human an ideal place for living. I think that is what Zhuo is trying to achieve.’’
’’It sounds like good news,’’ Dr. Huang noted with a slow nod. ’’But I don't think this plan is as perfect as it sounds like.’’
’’You're right. TCDD is extremely toxic to plants, as well as humans.’’ Zhizhi then explained as if she was reciting from a textbook, ’’In the Vietnam War, the U.S army, who was exposed to and had contact with Agent Orange, suffered from a list of chronic diseases. Their offspring also had high rates of congenital defects. And I was only speaking about U.S veterans, not even touching on Vietnamese who had a longer exposure to Agent Orange.
’’In fact, if you go to the zone where they executed the operation 'Ranch Hand', there are still tons of deformed and fester-skinned children.’’
’’Has the military approved this proposal? Did they consider the aftereffects?’’ Chang was stunned by Zhuo's insane plan. ’’And the Crystal Pea he made for the public... Is he trying to exterminate the whole city?’’
’’Perhaps the military thinks that sacrifices are necessary in order to save more people.’’ Zhizhi sneered. ’’Or they don't care about human lives at all, reconstructing the infrastructure is more important to them. No matter which, the military has already released the information to the public. We can't do anything but watch and listen.’’
’’You're right. Well.. For now, whatever you told me might just be idle fears, and as you said, we can't do anything about it.’’ Chang held the small bowl with Crystal Pea in front of his face. He said, ’’Just like the Crystal Pea, we only have a vague idea about its possible harmful effects. As to what the Agent Orange might really do, we have nothing to stop it.’’
Once he finished his words, he walked into the crowd at the food distribution station, holding the bowl to try and exchange the Pea for something else.
In the morning of the second day.
Zhizhi was sleeping soundly when Chang came to wake her up. He took Jing in his arms and left with Zhizhi, leaving Dr. Huang alone in the room. They had two goals today: first, they were going to retake his worm box, and second, they were going to check out if the rumor was true.
The trio walked out of the community. In less than ten minutes on the street, they found a line of soldiers carrying sprayers on their backs and spraying the liquid from the containers onto the plants on the ground.
Chang kindly asked Jing and Zhizhi to stay still, and then he went up to the soldiers at a quick pace. Although he was still a pursued target of the military, his current face wasn't known to any military personnel except for Zhizhi. Even if his parents met him now, he doubted they would recognize him with all the bandages.
He walked up to the soldiers openly, inquiring, ’’Excuse me, what are you doing..?’’
Chang wasn't given a chance to finish his question when the soldiers got frightened by his bandage-wrapped face. ’’Stay where you are! Are you infected or something with your head wrapped like that?’’
’’We aren't discriminating against you but you know everything is dangerous nowadays. We don't want to get infected by chance. So just stay where you are and ask your question from over there.’’
’’Sure.’’ Chang stopped, nodding.
He had been treated like this for a few days already and learned not to care about what other people thought. Chang stood two meters away from the soldiers. ’’What are you spraying? Defoliant?’’
’’Yes, it was an order. We're spraying this in the city so that they won't grow back again for a hundred years.’’
’’A hundred years?’’ Chang was greatly astonished.
’’According to Chief Zhao's instructions, he said that he urgently needed to transform Zhengzhou. Chief Zhao also said that the new defoliant we are using is harmful to the plants but will only minimally affect humans. The field that we spray the solution on today will be barren for a hundred years. Except for the fields that are cultivated for the Crystal Pea, they all need to be sprayed so that the apocalyptic city will be transformed soon. Didn't you hear about it before?’’
’’Not at all, I didn't go out in the last two days so I had no idea of what was going on.’’
’’Alright, now that you know it, go away. We don't have time to talk to you, we're still working.’’
’’Thank you for letting me know, good day.’’ Chang bowed and left.
When he returned to Jing and Zhizhi with a smile, he relayed the information that he'd heard from the soldiers. He sighed. ’’Barren for a hundred years, what a tough and vicious guy he is!’’
’’Only the fittest will survive the natural selection, he really thinks of himself as the creator.’’
’’Nevermind... We are too powerless to change anything, they can do whatever they want because at the end of the day we'll all die.’’ Zhizhi heaved a sigh, walked by herself to the front. ’’We don't have time thinking about their evil plans for now. Our mission today is to retrieve the worm box from that teenage girl.’’
Chang's mind was brought back by her words, and he held Jing's hand while following Zhizhi.
Their destination was a kindergarten. Its first character was purple, and the rest were concealed by lush vines. However, knowing the name wouldn't help them in this mission, thus, they took no notice of the doorplate and jumped over the closed gate.
’’Our target is here...’’ Zhizhi said after taking a deep breath in the middle of the courtyard. ’’There are sixteen more people in here besides the girl that we're looking for. Twelve teens and four adults.’’
’’You can even smell how old they are?’’ Chang stared at Zhizhi in stunned disbelief.
’’People of different ages smell differently, so do men and women. The adults are all male,’’ Zhizhi calmly explained.
’’What a nose!’’ Chang gave her a thumbs up and prowled to the front of a classroom.
The classroom was modified into a residence. Five beds were horizontally aligned at the center of the room. The student desks and chairs were jumbled against the wall, while beds were pushed side by side in a long row. On this long bed, thirteen teen girls were lying either in black pantyhoses or naked. One man was snuggled up with one of them, snoring, while the other three were humping with their own partners, enjoying the last bit of ecstasy in the apocalypse.
Chang kicked open the door with great force, crashing into this smutty yet sensual scene.
’’You've really found a way to enjoy your lives.’’ Chang squinted with his only eye. From his place at the door, he shouted back at his companion, ’’Jing! Don't come in here!’’
’’Who are you?’’ Those men let go of their girls when they saw Chang break in. They were vigilant, standing up nude to face him.
As they stood up, Chang realized something unusual. One of them seemed exceptionally strong and tal. He was so muscular that he looked like a mutated vigorous hound, while his height reached almost two meters.
’’There is also an EM in the city...’’ Chang turned his head to face the outside of the classroom and asked, ’’What's their index?’’