Volume 1 – Chapter 6: Shattered Starry Sky
“Hey hey, this fat Russian pig is at least 240 pounds, his one person equals two people. It’s enough for those zombies to share!”
Two prisoners came out from the group across from Qin Lun, carefully observing him as they stepped forward to move Chekhov’s dead body. With each of them pulling a leg, they dragged him to and threw him around the turning corner of the base lounge and corridor. There were already numerous zombies over there, all of them crowding around over the Federation Soldiers’ bodies.
After adding in Chekhov, the four corpses blocked the entrance of the seven-meter wide corridor, while the zombies obstructed the outer part. Seeing the corridor entrance so densely packed with several hundred zombies, the prisoners no longer wasted any time and automatically divided into two groups, using all their efforts to push open the iron gate of the base exit.
Besides the seriously injured, and the unable to exert any strength Qin Lin, even Lin Feng and Xiao Lian joined the groups pushing the gate. They were working hard for their survival.
“Zi!” The iron gate’s latch and winch produced an ear-piercing metallic screech. The heavy iron gate was finally slowly pushed open, sliding to the side.
“We pushed it open! We pushed it open!” The prisoners excitedly shouted, their cheers filled with the joy of escaping mortal danger.
“This… this place… where is this place?” But after they took a clear look outside the iron gate, the smile that they just had on their faces went stiff one after another. Their eyes betrayed a shock that could not be suppressed.
The outside of the base’s iron gate wasn’t the originally exuberant forest of the Daxing’anling mountain range. For as far as the eye could see, dotted with strangely formed rock cliffs that looked like weird monsters, was a barren Gobi Desert.
The Earth that was entering the New Century, thanks to the development of science and technology, had no such scenery beside a few primitive forests and the North and South Poles. The olden days of deserts and wastelands had all undergone environmental renovation so that they could contain a higher population. Something like the Gobi Desert-like wasteland in front of their eyes could only be seen in historical photos.
However, this was still not the part that created the most amazement. The most baffling thing was that about a kilometer away from them; this entire piece of continent had a fault. In front of the continental fault was the vast and boundless starry sky of the universe. Within the quiet and deep starry sky hung many shining and extinguished stars.
However, when they took a more careful look, these stars were apparently not huge celestial bodies, but rather many continents of varying sizes suspended in midair. Each of their surfaces were shrouded in a spherical orange-yellow colored light cover.
The distant and remote continents suspended in the air were indistinct like fireflies. The closest continent was like the tray of a mill; the mountains, plains and rivers were clearly distinguished.
Moreover, their base exit was unexpectedly in midair, at least more than 30 meters away from the ground. It was evident that the underground construct of Area 91’s base has risen to the Gobi desert’s surface, suspending the original floor that held the corridor of the exit in mid-air.
No wonder those people who died would turn into zombies! No wonder the Federation Soldiers particle rifles failed! No wonder all the modernization instruments on the base couldn’t be used! It actually turned out that this place simply wasn’t Earth. Even the scientific laws were different from Earth!
The death row prisoners quickly realized that the Gobi Desert their Area 91 had landed in was also a continent suspended in midair. Their small group of people had already associated that spherical object above Area 91 as a space-time domain, and that their current situation was bound to have something to do with space-time teleportation. They just didn’t know where the entire base had been transported to.
“This isn’t Earth, where the hell are we!?” One of the prisoners who returned to his senses cried out involuntarily in alarm.
“Those four corpses are about to be eaten clean by those zombies, the safe passage to the exit is also blocked up, what are we going to do?”
“Climb down! Only if we climb down do we have a chance to survive!”
The death row prisoners quickly realized that they could not stay around watching helplessly and wait for death. A few impatient prisoners immediately clambered onto the outer wall of the base exit and started to climb down.
What was fortunate was that the underground construct of the base was apparently piled on top of the Gobi desert’s surrounding rock and soil, forming the precipitous slope of a small hill that allowed them to have footholds to climb down.
Lin Feng grabbed an iron frame on the “hillside” to find a path, Xiao Lian supported Qin Lun who had injured both of his legs and followed behind him. Since the hill had formed using the underground construct of Area 91 as its core, the rocky soil attached to this “small hill” wasn’t really formed naturally, and a lot of places were very loose.
A height of over 30 meters, saying it’s high, was also not high. But once your feet stepped on empty air, and fell from the steep slope, then it was absolutely nine deaths but still alive. They didn’t want to just escape from the zombies’ ferocious jaws only to fall to death on this desolated Gobi Desert.
Without the threat of the zombies, the alliances between the small groups within the prisoners had completely dissolved. Including Qin Lun’s group of three, the survivors numbered a total of twelve people.
The twelve people were composed of “The Dissector” Qin Lun, “Disciple” Hanson, “Shepherd” Hill, “Fireworks” Rand and “Clown” Grant. Each of these five special grade killers to the core formed a small group of two to three people.
It wasn’t that the death row prisoners were unwilling to unite in the face of this new world, but that it was really difficult for them to have mutual trust in each other. Five of the killers all more or less had psychological problems, and their way of thinking was very hard to guess. They simply couldn’t be regarded as normal people. Granted, even the other prisoners who had no choice but to cling onto them didn’t want to be too near them.
After twenty minutes, with the help of Xiao Lian, Qin Lun finally reached the ground. Stepping on the sandy ground of the Gobi Desert, a warm feeling rose from the soles of their feet. As far as the eye could see, were reddish-brown rock cliffs. Besides the sound of the wind occasionally whistling by rock cliffs, the entire Gobi desert was deathly still, with not even a hint of life.
Although there wasn’t a sun overhead, an orange-yellow colored light hung in the air of the continent, emanating an intense light and heat, and shining brightly enough to make them dizzy and drowsy. Qin Lun’s three people group found a large rock below the base facing against the wind, and sat there to rest for a bit.
“Can we still go back?” Xiao Lian hugged her knees and bowed her head, her shoulders shaking from her sobs.
Lin Feng remained silent, his face blank as he looked upwards. He seemed extremely depressed. From the mouth of some prisoners, he was able to confirm one piece of bad news. His father was already dead. The prisoners at the control hall of the base, had seen a zombie wearing a General’s uniform. The only person in the base wearing a general’s uniform was his father.
Qin Lun gently closed his eyes, greedily breathing in the warm and dry fresh air. Speaking from his perspective, as long as he could obtain freedom, there weren’t any differences between Earth and this world. The only concern in his heart was his younger sister whom he has separated from when they were young.
Ever since that event happened, he hadn’t gotten any news on his younger sister for over ten years. Perhaps having his sister away from him, assuming the responsibility of two people’s happiness, was the best choice. As for him who was carrying the responsibility of stripping the lives of a dozen people, no matter the truth of that event, he had already started on the road of a killer’s fate. He could never go back.
From within his wild and fanciful thoughts, he opened his right hand and stared at the black oval, egg-like pattern on his palm. From the time he killed Chekhov, and obtained that cool air later, the oval shape pattern was always moving about in a lively manner. The source of that cool air seemed to be the oval pattern, sort of like blood, cycling in a systematic way throughout his body.
Each cycle would weaken this cool air, and now it couldn’t be observed anymore. However, each time the air weakened, his fatigue and pain would also disappear a bit, as if a new power was bubbling forward within his body. Even the injuries on his calves seem to have rapidly improved. It seems as if this cool air is greatly beneficial to him, slowly improving his constitution.
Qin Lun curiously stretched out the thumb of his left hand and rubbed the oval pattern, wanting to feel that regular rhythmic pulse. But his eyes promptly widened, and his heart pounded. A simple back tablet computer suddenly appeared within the abyss of his consciousness. Even the design of its information storage was exactly the same as the “Death Notice”.
Along with the reappearance of the “Death Notice”, the oval pattern on his right palm changed again; it unexpectedly turned into a small human head skeleton. Moreover, in the cavity of the skeletons two eyes, two points of scarlet fire were gradually brightening them up.
“You guys look! What’s that over there?” Just when Qin Lun was about to try and investigate the functions of the “Death Notice”, the distant cries of a prisoner reached his ears.
Qin Lun’s concentration scattered, and the “Death Notice” also quietly vanished from the abyss of his mind. Shaking his head a bit, he stood up and gazed into the distance.
In the Gobi Desert more than ten kilometers away from the base, suddenly appeared a black line. In merely a few short minutes, the black line has become a dust dragon formed of sandy soil, coming nearer and nearer.
“It’s an aboriginal organism from this world!” Disciple Hanson’s faced changed and shouted toward the prisoners.
With his accomplishments of being a soldier for hire, he has already recognized that this was not a natural phenomenon but rather was caused by numerous objects advancing at extremely high speeds. For example, something along the lines of horses, vehicles or things like that.
The originally scattered prisoners quickly ran towards the central location. At such a time, regardless of whether they were willing or not, they must all unite to confront their unknown fate.
After the prisoners were all assembled together, the dust dragon opposite of them also seemed to have discovered their existence and arced around, making a beeline right for them.
“Is this… a motorcycle?” Waiting until the dust dragon came closer, the prisoners distractedly discovered that it was a motorcade made up of dozens of vehicle types and immediately went up into an uproar.
There were all kinds of vehicles, with no discernable uniformity in style. Some were similar to the Earth’s old century two-wheeled motorcycles, but there was also the technologically advanced single-wheeled motorcycle. There were also some caterpillar tracks type vehicles, and at the very end of the motorcade were even giant multilayered vans in the shape of spiders.
Since they even have vehicles, then they must be intelligent life? The prisoners gathered together once more, the vigilance in their heart raised to the peak.
“Zi!” A four-wheeled vehicle emerged from within the motorcade and parked in front of the prisoners. From the motorcycle, a human-shaped organism jumped down, arrogantly walking toward them.
His whole body was hidden by a hooded cloak, and a thick pair of motorcycle sunglasses nearly obscured half his face. The mouth of a huge firearm peeped out from behind his back, and two bandoliers crossed over his chest, hanging from each shoulder. Swinging his hands, each step was three swings, his whole body exuding the feeling of “I am who?” lordly aura.
But, but… Why… Does his chin only reach everyone’s kneecaps!?
Looking at this domineering pocket-size motorcycle flying big-shot, all the prisoners had the comedy-like feeling of not knowing whether to laugh or cry.