Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Lucas
The sense of joy slowly dispersed following the conclusion of the New Year party, but a fostered sense of faith and conviction had lingered within the people long after the last light of the party was switched off.
Scratching his head, Yao Yuan mumbled, "Hmm, this is troublesome. We burned through so much of our food stockpile, huh?"
"But Major, if you look at it from another perspective, the fact that we are running low on resources is a good phenomenon," offered Barbie, who stood beside him.
Yao Yuan looked curiously at his secretary. "How so? We might be facing a situation where people will have to starve. How is that a good phenomenon?"
In her tight skirt and figure-hugging black suit, Barbie was a gorgeous beauty with her pair of chilling blue eyes and olive skin.
She smiled. "With all due respect, Major, you’ve got to open your eyes to other possibilities. History has shown repeatedly that paucity of resources doesn’t necessarily lead to collapse. With the necessary programs in place, it could even inspire progress in production and economy. Some people work well under pressure."
After some rumination, Yao Yuan replied, "So you believe that releasing information on this shortage and the fact that the government is actively building an external cabin to counteract this problem will inspire a resurgence of faith in the people? Because it shows that the government cares about the public enough to share its crisis with them, and also that it’s capable of resolving those issues?"
"Yes, I do believe so. Major, you have been viewing the government and its public as two separate and opposite entities. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, because a line does need to be drawn within the two, but it serves us no good to completely alienate the public in the government’s decisions. By involving the people, it’ll foster a feeling of loyalty and responsibility…" Barbie offered with a sweet smile.
Finally, Yao Yuan concurred, "Yes, I can see the point of your argument. If it doesn’t involve something crucial like military regimes and governmental restructuring, we should be inviting the public to join in the conversation…. Barbie, if you find me with such lapses in judgments again, please kindly remind me to correct my erroneous ways."
Barbie chuckled coquettishly. "Wouldn’t that be inappropriate, Major?"
That was the reason why Yao Yuan was initially reluctant to hire Barbie. He knew rumors would start flying around the Hope. The fact that his own Black Star Unit members started looking at him slyly had proven him right. Thus, faced with Barbie’s slightly flirtatious remarks, Yao Yuan could only smile awkwardly in return.
A few days later, when the news of food shortage broke, it was as how Barbie expected; no one began pointing fingers. Many even approached Yao Yuan to volunteer for more shifts.
Things were right on track…
The projects resumed after the New Year party. The crews continued upgrading the Hope’s energy circuits.
The first level that underwent the upgrade was the sixth level biomes. It was the most difficult level to upgrade because it housed many plants and animals. The energy couldn’t be completely shut down, for it would harm these creatures, and there was no other empty space available to temporarily move the plants and animals to. Therefore, the upgrade had to be carried out section by section. It was incredibly time-consuming, and the upgrade of the biomes alone took up the bulk of the stipulated schedule.
Thankfully, the upgrade went without a hitch. After that, they moved on to upgrade the circuits around the three nuclear reactors. To facilitate that, they had to shut down all energy that was connected throughout the Hope. The only exception was the biomes. In other word, if the Hope was to come into contact with any form of danger then, it would be doomed.
Due to that reason, Yao Yuan ordered a team comprising of a newly built shuttle and their remaining shuttle to patrol around The Hope during that vulnerable period. The shuttles were upgraded to have at least minimal combat capability so that they could provide firepower in case it was needed.
This upgrade took either to ten days. They had to be extra cautious because this modification corresponded to the Hope’s stability and functionalities during warp.
The crew worked tirelessly to finish this important circuit upgrade. Finally, the upgrade was completed, and what followed were upgrades of other miscellaneous electrical parts, which would take about another half a month.
With the completion of the main energy circuit’s upgrade, the Hope’s central mainframe, alongside its rudimentary surveillance system, came back online. With its radar in place, at least now the Hope would know of and could prepare for impending danger, and with that, many breathed a sigh of relief.
The day after that, the Hope’s scanning and detection system had been restored to its full capacity. Two technicians started their day going through the routine checks. They chatted jokingly about their days until one of them froze silently before a printer. After retrieving the printed report with a shaking hand, he yelled, "Quick! Send this report to the Academy, which is now stationed at the underground base!"
The report featured wildly fluctuating graphs. It was a report that documented the sun’s radiation level, electromagnetic waves, and photon levels, and it revealed a startling truth…
The newborn sun of the system was undergoing an unknown but immense change!
A catastrophic change!
And quite possibly an explosive change…
"No! It can’t be an explosion! After a sun is formed, it is already fairly stable. The only time it would be unstable would be when it reaches its final stage, where its inner cloud of hydrogen becomes transmuted into helium and reacts with other elements to form compounds. We would see a fluctuation in its star body then! Of course, before then, if a high velocity asteroid with a heightened photon level flew into the sun, it would create a disaster on a catastrophic scale, but there is nothing in our system thus far that suggests that would happen in this solar system!"
Within just 30 minutes, all the relevant scientists gathered in the second level field when news of the report reached the underground base. They were joined by the Black Star Unit and all other known Homo Evolutis, and this included their newest addition, Xi Kong.
The person on stage now was the famed astrophysicist, Alan Watts. After reviewing the data, he was debunking the theory of galactic explosion espoused by a physicist that spoke before him.
He said solemnly, "As everyone here knows, this is a new solar system we’ve found ourselves in. The star is brand new, filled with various unknown hydrogen composites. It is too young to cause any explosive reactions. Of course, we can’t rule out periodic fluctuations of a new sun, but those fluctuations occur every few hundred million years; is it even possible for the star to have aged so much within the time we’ve been here?"
While listening to Alan’s explanation, Yao Yuan was reviewing the reports that were handed to him. Reports on the sun then and reports on it ten days ago seemed to correspond to two entirely different cosmic entities! The differences between the data were so obvious that it was not lost on a non-scientist like Yao Yuan.
While pressing the voice button on his chest, Yao Yuan interrupted, "Sorry, Professor Alan, as the person responsible for the last survivors of humanity, I don’t need a class on astronomy at the moment. I just have two questions that I need answered…
"What exactly is happening to this star, and how is it going to affect our situation?!"
Alan nodded firmly before addressing the crowd. "Within the half an hour of receiving this report, the astrophysics committee has had an emergency meeting. The most possible hypothesis we’ve come up with is that the star is beginning its transformation from a protostar to a main sequence star.
"Since this is the first time we are witnessing this transformation in person, I can’t guarantee what will happen. The best I could provide is based off of simulations done by the National Observatory…
"The star will undergo a limited expansion before exploding in a wave of radiation and electromagnetic currents. Whether or not that will affect us directly…
"...I have to say, the answer is most likely. During this transformation, the star’s seismic changes will increase the overall activity of the asteroids in the system, because formation of a main sequence star would incite a quicker development of planets to complete the solar system…"
Right then, everyone felt a tremor shake the room. The force toppled several people off their feet. After that, lights on the walls and ceiling started blinking before going off completely, and cracks started forming on the cave walls…
Was it an earthquake?
Or hints of something else…
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