Stagnant Water of Apocalypse - Chapter 29
7 days left until the zombie apocalypse begins. To my surprise, no one contacted nor came to my home throughout the time. I was not complaining though. However, it also raised a question about the capability of the government in my mind.
Just how hard is it to find someone or something in this small country? Even Kwon managed to find where I was simply through tracking my IP. I was certain that if the information agency belonging to the country put their mind on it, they would be able to find out what kind of underwear am I wearing today. Of course, I didn’t want them to find out, but still… “Why are they still so quiet?”
I turned on the TV and left it on while showering. But there wasn’t much to watch. News about high-ranking foreigners as well as foreigner correspondents visiting Korea was no longer fresh news. What I’m most curious about is what they intend to do next.
As I sat idly and watched the TV, a discussion on the current affairs started.
“Why is this program aired in the morning?” It was a rule of thumb for such a heavyweight program to only air at night. However, it seems like the media decided to ignore the rule this time because the matter was so serious.
At that time, Dingo came out of the bathroom, yawned and put his head on my leg.
-This case is judged to be very serious. The government’s judgment is also delayed. In our program, we will discuss what we should do if all of this is true. Let’s focus here and move on to the discussion. I shall present the stage to you, sir panelists.
As soon as the presenter finished speaking, one particular panelist made a bombshell declaration.
―There is nothing to say. We must enact the Martial Law immediately!
―Wait a minute, you can’t just mention the Martial Law so early like that…
The first panelist shrugged his wide shoulder as the other panelist tried to object.
―Are you seriously still saying that? As soon as the monsters we thought only appeared in fantasy appeared on Earth, it’s all over. We too, will eventually become zombies. But will the people just accept it like that? Even at this moment, many protests were happening all over the place. It is certain that it will only become worse in the future. If we don’t do anything about it, soon it will spiral into an uncontrollable chaos. That’s why we need to enact the Martial law.
―The enactment of the Martial Law is not a simple matter to decide… It will put an enormous burden on the government, especially in the personnel and economy section. The Parliament won’t allow it.
―Sigh, the world is about to end, so what does it have to do with the government and the Parliament? In a few weeks or months, there will be zombies roaming around our city. If we don’t do anything it will be hard for the survivors.
To be exact, it’s a week later sir…
The Panelists kept debating back and forth in a tense manner. The wide shoulder panelist who seemed to have a good grasp of what would happen kept insisting on one thing. In short, he’s saying that since we’re already screwed anyway, let’s enact the Martial Law and greet the end like a proper human being.
-I want to raise a point about the corrosive disease here. It is a very terrifying phenomenon which will destroy all kinds of metal. If this disease spreads on the day of the zombie apocalypse, the effect will be devastating. Is there anyone who can explain what happens to the metals that get exposed to the corrosive disease?
-Isn’t it a little bit difficult to explain things that are scientifically impossible to happen?
– Well, After all, it came from a game, so it’s not wrong to say that those things came from fantasy.
When the two panelists, who have a contrasting view with the wide-shoulder guy, started to dismiss his claim, he sighed and shook his head.
-Weren’t the appearances of superpowers something that’s supposed to come out of a fantasy? Just yesterday, a world-famous awakened visited Korea and admitted that he had a perfectly working superpower, right? By now, there’s as many as 100 people who had been admitted to the government task force, and there were more people who wanted to join. And what about the goblins? Are you saying that those ugly creatures were propaganda made by the government?
– No, no. But… just because A turns out to be true, it doesn’t mean that B and C will also come true, right?
-The superpower is A, the goblin is B, and, coincidentally, the Silver Dragon meteorite, which was on its way to Earth as we speak, is C. Are you gonna keep that attitude until all factors from A to Z turns out to be true? I bet even after zombies appeared in front of you, you’ll still say there’s a 5% chance that a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t happen.
The wide-shoulder panelist scoffed as he hurled a sarcastic remark. The two other panelist’s expressions become sour and they start to cough. Then, the moderator finally intervened.
-Gentleman, let’s calm down a bit. Today’s topic was how we should act if all of this was proven to be true… but I think we need to look at it from a slightly different point of view. Mr. Lee Hyun-soo, what is the reason behind your first statement , about how we need to enact the Martial Law as soon as possible?
The broad shoulder panelist, whose name turned out to be Lee Hyun-soo, chugged down the water from the mug in front of him and slammed it back to the table.
-The Martial Law needs to be enacted for an orderly end. Invasion of zombies, corrosive disease, and monsters. When all these unrealistic factors are mixed together, our civilization will surely end.
When he paused for a moment, the other two panelists coughed. It was mentioned earlier, but it’s clear as day that they still wouldn’t admit that a zombie apocalypse is bound to happen, even if they were to see a real zombie in front of them.
Then, Lee Hyun-soo continued.
-However, even though our civilization will end, there will of course be survivors left. The number itself wouldn’t be much, but it was our job to leave a legacy for them to live on. Metal couldn’t be used because of the corrosive disease, so it would be better to seal it tightly with something like plastic.
―So… you’re saying that all we can do is to leave a legacy for future generations? Who lives in an apocalyptic world?
-Yes. I don’t know when the corrosive disease will end, but it won’t last forever, as there is a limited amount of metals in the world, the disease will surely be gone once they devoured every single metal exposed. All we have to do is create an unexposed storage that could last for several years, that can be opened once the corrosive disease ceases to exist. Also, there are also other reasons…
– And what are those other reasons?
-If the corrosive disease becomes a reality, our society will completely collapse. I presume that everyone knows that all buildings that are constructed with reinforced concrete and metal will collapse, right?
-Actually, that sounds a lot like nonsense… it is impossible for a disease to have such a strong permeability.
Then, a panelist that wears glasses, who had been quiet up until now, opened his mouth.
But the wide-shoulder panelists immediately refuted his statement.
-Why do you only think of direct contact? We don’t know what the identity of the disease was. What if it’s some kind of radioactive disease, not an ordinary disease we are aware of? What if it has a strong permeability because it’s form is that of a radiation particle?
The glasses panelist immediately went silent. Rather than being silenced by logic, it was more like he had no base to refute back because the identity of the disease is indeed still unknown.
I browsed the background story of Survival Life with my laptop.
“There are spots or dots on the metal.” When I was playing the game, I brushed it off as I deemed it unimportant. But looking at it now, it was indeed strange. All the buildings had collapsed and the vehicles were severely discolored.
“Is it really because of a radiation particle?” When I read the background story, only the word ‘disease’ was mentioned. There was no indication of how it worked. And if the disease is indeed in the form of radiation particles…
Then, no matter what humanity does, If we didn’t create an unexposed storage a few kilometers underground, it will be difficult to avoid the corrosive disease.
-That’s why! We need to at least create an orderly end. We don’t know exactly when the end will be coming, but America will definitely find out. We must invoke the Martial Law to shut down nuclear power plants across the country and purify dangerous chemicals. We also need to turn off the city gas.
-You seem to have gone too far. Do you know how much damage it will do?
-What about it? We’re all going to die anyway, why are we still thinking about the damage?
-If the end didn’t come, who would be responsible for the damage then?
-Haaaaaahh….. even though I’ve explained it in such a detailed manner, in the end, it’s still like this. It’s frustrating… Really frustrating…
-At least, the government should only enact the Martial Law after securing several more superhuman recruits and the developer team of Survival Life.
-It was reported that they were still looking for them at the moment…
-It would’ve been too late once they’re done!
“Hmm…” There’s no answer really. The views of each panelist were so dissenting. It’s unlikely that they would be able to find a middle ground.
By the way, an orderly end, huh? Surely, the Martial Law would be able to achieve that. The question is, whether the current government had the courage to do so.
“I think I need to let some zombies run around.” In two days, the Russian fishing boat event will happen. At that time, as long as I didn’t kill all the zombies, the world would witness the appearance of the very first zombies.
And for the meteor… “There is NASA and KARI” It was said that the meteor shattered into fragments near Jupiter, which makes tracking it extremely difficult. However, the article I read before also stated that a large group of meteorites can be seen slowly approaching Earth. (Note: KARI is short for Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the equivalent of NASA in South Korea)
“Can’t we intercept it with something like a missile?”
If the Earth Defense Force is the U.S. military… There’s a high chance they would succeed. They’re American after all.
“Well, it’s good if it never happened.” I carefully hugged the sleeping Dingo and headed to the forest. Outside the cave, several pieces of equipment, including a mini fork crane, a chainsaw and many others were lined up neatly. I was only able to move the mini fork crane to the forest after opening the portal in an empty parking lot at dawn when everybody was fast asleep. I also had acquired the license and all the necessary knowledge to operate it. But one problem still remains. The fuel usage of the mini fork crane was pretty huge.
“It eats one jerry can a day.” I sighed. I decided to overlook it as it did a magnificent job by reducing my workload on digging the moat. As I sat on the seat and carefully moved the lever to lift the soil, I instantly felt ecstatic. This is how it should be! Being able to shovel a lot of dirt at once was the epitome of an advanced civilization.
However, as a trade-off, the whole forest became extremely noisy. Monsters in the vicinity of the shelter came every once in a while and bared their teeth towards me. I was prepared for it when I decided to expand my area of operation, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly nervous as they kept doing that. I knew they couldn’t attack easily because of the barbed wire fence, but an accident was bound to happen sooner or later.
Fortunately, every now and then, I just needed to shoot some arrows towards them, and they would quickly run away without looking back.
Come. I’ll smash you all!
“It’s strange.” I looked blankly at one particular spot after comparing the inventory ledger with the stockpile. I seem to be missing a single pack of jelly.
I’m not particularly fond of jellies. But I still decided to keep 100 jellies just in case I got bored of all the foods I stored here and wanted something new. I know I haven’t touched it yet.
“Dingo, did you eat it?”
The guy jolted up, startled and shook his head.
By the way, when I looked closely at the empty space, I could see a single dried grape. How did it get here?
“Did whoever took the jelly leave it as an exchange?” If so, how? The cave was protected by CCTV with movement sensors. Even if it’s an animal the size of a mouse, it was impossible for the sensor to miss it. It means, the size of the thief was even smaller than that.
I quickly went to the laptop and checked the CCTV footage from last night. It was too long, so I skipped it minute by minute, but no matter how long I watched the footage, I didn’t find anything odd.
“The devil is singing…” To prevent it from happening again, I must catch this thief. Who knows what it will steal in the future? The creature had indeed left a grape behind for the exchange. But I haven’t agreed to it!
“It means that it is likely it will return to steal some jelly again” I installed one more CCTV inside. Unless the creature had a stealth ability, it would surely get caught in the footage.
I put Dingo next to me and continued building the moat with the fork crane. Digging alone was a fun activity to pass time, but sometimes, it was creepy. Afterall, monsters over the barbed wire fence were staring daggers at me. The goblins in particular, would drool with their teeth exposed. It looks both disgusting and scary at the same time. So each time they did that, I stopped the construction for a bit and fired some arrows to chase them away.
“Dangerous…” Goblins are monsters that can dig traps. They know how to modify their surroundings to their advantage. So, if someone falls into their trap, it’s the end. And at night, some kobolds even snooped around.
“I’ll hit you first before you can hit me.”
It seems that there would be no answer if I only focus on defending. I worked on the moat and waited for the right time to come.
July 14th in the morning.
As usual, the first thing I did after waking up was to head into the cave and check to see if anything had changed. And today, something had changed.
“Look at these guys?” Another jelly had disappeared. And in its place, a single grape was placed.
Do these guys like the sweet potato flavoured jelly that much?
“What the hell are you doing…” When I looked at the CCTV, I couldn’t help but be amazed. I mean, how can’t I? In the footage, several insects were shown carrying a pack of jelly.
“Are those black scarabs?” For an insect, black scarabs were quite big. Their size was about the size of a plum. There’s a horn that looks like a pincer on its head. its forelimbs were also quite long.
Are scarabs supposed to be an insect that can work well as a team?
Just looking at the footage made me feel like they had some intelligence.
“What nonsense.” I scoffed as a scarab that has quite a nice horn puts a grape in the place of the jelly pack they took. It seems like they felt that they weren’t stealing but exchanging.
“But I never allowed it.” Looking at it, they were carrying the jelly through the crack in the door. I’m not angry at the fact that they stole one of my jellies. After all, I’m not really a big fan of jellies. What makes me angry is the fact that they left a single friggin normal grape as an exchange. It’s not even a shadow grape, but a single normal grape that you can find anywhere! I simply couldn’t forgive them.
I quickly browse through the MeTube and learn how to make a trap for insects. The trap I made would activate as soon as a jelly was removed. A sturdy plastic case would keep them in there with no problems.
I tried to activate the trap several times. Every time I pulled out one of the jellies, the plastic case hit my hand from above. “This is good enough.”
Just imagining the scarabs trapped in the plastic case made me happy. I won’t kill them, but I would make them give up on stealing my jellies. After finishing the trap, I continued to dig the moat all day before returning to Earth with Dingo in the evening.
“A protest, huh?” Gwanghwamun and some places in Seoul were full of people. They were voicing their discontent about how passive the government was regarding the situation.
“How many days left until the apocalypse? Is it 6 days?” I wonder how those people would react if they found out that the zombie apocalypse would break out in less than a week. Maybe, the wide-shoulder panelist from yesterday was right, enacting the Martial Law is the answer. Shutting down nuclear power plants, shutting down chemical plants, etc. would be great for the survivors.
Whatever impetus the President needed to make such a decision would come out tomorrow. And by then, humanity will realize that the zombie apocalypse is not just nonsense which was made up by irresponsible people on the internet.
I went through the backstory of the Russian fishing boat again and simulated the action in my head. I hope I will get lots of guns and ammunition from this event.
“There should be several more people other than me who know about this event…” Because it’s such a famous event.
That day, if I meet someone I know, how should I respond?
It’s unlikely, but if Rabbit Pwincess asks for help, can I ignore him?
“I don’t know…”
I laid myself down on the floor. I would usually fall asleep right away once I laid my back on the floor, but today, I couldn’t do so as my heart was stormy. Then, Dingo suddenly crawled into my arms.
What a cute guy… But isn’t it a little hot to cuddle like this?
From tomorrow onwards, let’s stay together in our cave and stay away from here.
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