Volume 1 – Chapter 1: Out of the Cages
In Area 91’s shrine-type base, time seemed to have slowed to a stop. Everyone in the base had seemingly frozen stiff in various poses and remained where they were.
At the same time that the base warped into the space-time teleportation, an orange-yellow light instantly washed over the people’s bodies, as well as the machines in the base. From most of the bodies, twisted human-shaped illusions appeared, as if their souls were pulled out by the forceful attraction of some outside force. These illusions gradually dispersed in the air.
Aside from the orange light, there were also countless orange fragments that solidified out of thin air, as well as an extremely small quantity of orange multifaceted-crystals. The sizes of these fragments ranged from small to big, but they all aimlessly flew around in the air. As they collide against objects, these shards shattered into a powder form and dispersed like smoke. The orange powder slowly assimilated into the soul-dissipated bodies in the room as they made contact.
Aside from the majority of soul-dissipated humans, there were also a small few who did not experience the soul separation event. What happened to them was even more strange. The bodies of these people slowly faded until their skin, muscles, and bones became crystal-clear, and finally became no more than wire-frame figures made up solely of thin black lines.
These wire-frame figures did not stop there, as those black lines began to slowly collapse on themselves. The figures ultimately transformed into tiny black dots. Immediately afterwards, these black dots regained their wire-frame state. Organs began to grow out of the frames accompanied by bones, muscles, blood, and flesh. Finally, they once more became their original appearance.
When Area 91 finally returned to its original state, those soul-dissipated bodies fell one after another, whereas the electronics scanned by the orange light exploded into puffs of flames. In the next instant, large and small explosions sounded throughout the entire Area 91 base.
At this moment in Qin Lun’s cell, the components of a steam-inhibition suit also began to smoke and spark.
“Bang!” As the steam suit’s right arm part fell onto the floor, a pale white arm slowly lifted. The slender fingers grabbed hold of the steam suit and began to pull it off piece by piece, since the suit had long since lost its magnetism.
Very quickly, a calm-looking young shook loose of the steam inhibition suit and appeared in the jail cell.
Qin Lun glanced at the corpses around the room and quickly concentrated his sight on the “Death Notice” that Lin Feng had set aside. His thin brows slightly pricked and he walked forward to pick up his own “Death Notice.”
The black “Death Notice” was a thin tablet computer that contained the prisoner’s information. When a prisoner was to be given a death sentence by the Federation Supreme Court, the prison officers would bring these paperboard-like tablets to read out the sentence at the prisoner’s cell. This was why prisoners eventually gave it the name “Death Notice.” It meant that whenever this kind of tablet computer appeared, the prisoner was basically on the reaper’s list.
The reason why Qin Lun had noticed the Death Notice was because of the strange marvel that he had just seen.
During the space-time teleportation, when the majority of the base personnel had been frozen to a stop, when even their thoughts had been paused, there was an even smaller number of people who had been conscious for a while. Qin Lun was one of them. When his body was broken down by the orange light, his soul conscious had surprisingly become clearer as he watched everything that was happening in the cell.
The human body’s stillness, the decomposition and recombination of his own body…
The steam inhibition suit and the cell barrier’s exploding sparks…
A piece of orange multifaceted crystal colliding with the Death Notice and the subsequent assimilation with the tablet computer…
In actuality, a majority of the orange shards in the space-time teleportation were parts of the Universe Code fragments of this world. The very few orange multifaceted crystals were basically some of the more complete Code fragments.
The world in which the Area 91 base appeared was unable to accept the biological setting of Earthen humans. Aside from a few special souls, the majority of the Earthen humans’ souls had been dissipated, with the remaining bodies becoming “non-living objects”.
In the split second when Qin Lun had touched the “Death Notice”, it had mysteriously transformed into a stream of murky black light and assimilated into Qin Lun’s palm.
Surprised by the sudden occurrence, Qin Lun splayed open his hand and saw that a small oval-shaped pattern appeared in the hollow of the palm. Most of the pattern was colored in black, while orange spots dotted the pitch black oval, making the pattern look like a strange egg.
Interesting! A strange light flashed past Qin Lun’s eyes as he looked down onto his palm. Standing up to stretch out his limbs, he looked towards the several corpses in the room. Aside from him, there was also Lin Feng, Lin Feng’s two guards, as well as the two Federation soldiers guarding the door.
Qin Lun bent down and felt for one of the guards’ pulse, but found that the body was already cold and pulseless. However, when he examined Lin Feng, this aristocratic young master was actually still breathing, and his pulses were quite steady as well.
Qin Lun tilted his head then flipped Lin Feng over onto his back. Reaching into the young master’s jacket pocket, Qin Lun pulled out that half-scissor-shaped dagger. After putting his thumb into the ring on the end, he kept the dagger tightly gripped in his hand.
After retrieving the razor blade, Qin Lun did not immediately leave the jail cell. An indiscernible smile appeared on his face as he pressed the black dagger’s blade onto Lin Feng’s cheek, and began to softly slide it back and forth on his face.
This aristocratic young master’s eyelids trembled as large drops sweat rolled down his forehead. As he could feel Qin Lun putting in more force, he could no longer play dead anymore. Thus, he could only helplessly open his eyes.
“You… Are you Qin Lun right now, or… are you Joey Foster?” Lin Feng finally managed to stammer out a question.
“Since you’re awake, why don’t you follow me out and see what’s going on outside? It seems like something strange has happened in the prison.” Qin Lun did not answer Lin Feng’s question; instead, he showed Lin Feng a gentle smile.
That smile gave off a gentle and comforting feeling, which left Lin Feng dumbstruck. This was the famous serial killer nicknamed “The Dissector”?
After scaring awake Lin Feng, Qin Lun did not pay any attention to the young master again. Standing up, he walked to the corpses of the Federation soldiers and picked up their particle-ray rifles.
“Pata, pata!” The particle-ray rifle emitted several empty sounds. Clearly, these modern weapons did not fit within this world’s physical Universe Code, so they’d lost their weapon functionality.
Qin Lun didn’t really mind. Although he was still temporarily in the dark, he had seen these rifles explode with unusual sparks during the space-time teleportation process. He was purely testing whether or not his hypothesis was true.
Pushing aside the two corpses blocking the entrance, Qin Lun stabbed the black dagger’s blade into the cracks in the slightly warped cell door and pushed open the door after a bit of difficulty.
The cell doors in the Area 91 Base all utilized magnetic locks. Under normal circûmstances, the doors were definitely not something a human could forcefully open, due to the fact that the locks’ magnetism was about one hundred thousand Newtons in force. Now that the magnetism has disappeared, there was no way the door could trap an adult behind it with merely its weight.
Qin Lun walked relaxedly out of the cell and, for the first time ever, clearly saw the situation in the surrounding area.
This prison sector took up a large area with its oval-shaped duplex. In the center was the sector’s atrium, which was surrounded on all sides with three floors of prison cells. Each floor had about 40 or so cells. The sector that he was in right now was on the top floor. The hallway before his cell was surrounded by protective fences and was about 3 meters wide.
“Ah!” Suddenly, Qin Lun heard a frightened screech from his side.
Turning his head, his clear eyes looked with curiosity at a human standing on the right walkway. This person was dressed in the prison’s uniform, so he must be another surviving prisoner. It was just that he appeared dainty and delicate, and was shorter than the medium height Qin Lun by half a head.
This prisoner had a slender figure and a pretty countenance. His face looked tender and soft like that of a woman. The shirt of his prison uniform was pulled up a little and tied into a knot over his chest, giving him something like a navel-exposing attire. His tight, small-sized prison pants in conjunction with another prison uniform hanging around his waist, gave him what looked like a miniskirt and tights combination.
Seeing Qin Lun turning to look at him, this strangely dressed prisoner let out a terrified cry and turned to run, only to crash onto the walkway with a stagger. However, it looked like he had been scared by Qin Lun quite a bit. After falling down, he didn’t even bother standing back up. Instead, he pushed with his feet and started to back away with his butt sliding along the ground.
“They even kept a ladyboy in here!” Lin Feng cautiously stuck his head out behind the cell door and reminded Qin Lun, “Looks like he recognized you!”
Ladyboy? Qin Lun’s eyes sparkled faintly. He had heard some of the other prisoners use this word in Handan Prison, and it sounded like a kind of fantastic creature. It seemed like there were analysis and introductions of these things in the books of social psychology, cognitive psychology, and other psychology branches that he’d read in the past.
As Qin Lun walked towards the fallen ladyboy, his action made that prisoner become increasingly uneasy to the point of nearly fainting. However, after taking only a few steps, Qin Lun stopped and looked behind the ladyboy instead.
In the hallway behind the ladyboy, a tall and sturdy prisoner walked out of his cell. This prisoner was half-naked on top, his face grave and stern, while a cloak of short beard adorned the man’s chin. There was a distinct depression on his right brow bone, which gave his stalwart looking countenance a hint of viciousness. The muscles of his exposed upper body were very developed, with a perfect triangular figure emerging from his musculature. Finally, his back was adorned with a tattoo of a black-winged angel kneeling on one knee.
“Disciple Hanson!” Lin Feng cried out softly in surprise. He nervously crept closer to Qin Lun, as if this could give him a greater sense of security. Without even waiting for Qin Lun to ask, Lin Feng quickly gave him a short introduction.
Hanson was born out of the African District, but he was of white descent. His parents were medical volunteers of Africa’s Red Cross and had both died in an explosion incident. At that time, Hanson was snatched away by an African mercenary militia. Ever since his eighth birthday, he had become a mercenary child soldier.
Hanson was a child mercenary for 10 years and was nurtured by the fighting around him into a cold-blooded killing machine. When this mercenary division was wiped from existence, Hanson returned to the North America District. Using the skills he had acquired as a child soldier, he quickly became a professional hit man. Reportedly, he called himself Satan’s Disciple. In the process of capturing him, the Federation sacrificed a total of 20 special forces elites.
Another serial killer? Qin Lun looked back and forth with his eyes, then suddenly walked forward to grab hold of the railing. Looking down onto the two floors and atrium below him, he noticed that there were moving shadows below as ten or so prisoners appeared. Qin Lun’s eyes lit up, as a shy smile expected of a youngster in an unfamiliar social gathering, appeared on his face.