Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 93
If someone were to look down from the sky, they would see that the entire Shenghai Port and its surrounding district were in a half-melted state. The electrical poles fell in all directions, crashing down on multiple roofs. Buildings had either collapsed or were leaning dangerously… yet those things were merely the backdrop of the composition. The thing which caught their attention the most was the streets, which were strewn with wreckages of boats of all sizes, and that fishy, pungent stench, which lunged at them. This twisted masterpiece, created by the apocalypse, overwhelmed all of their five senses.
A considerably intact fishing vessel had crashed right in the middle of a residential estate and bulldozed a row of shops. The hull of a tour yacht jutted out from a damaged car while the other half of the yacht laid on the ground, overturned. Lin Sanjiu could not help feeling disconcerted as she walked beneath the hull of a large steel ocean liner with her companions by her side.
"What… do you think happened?" Lin Sanjiu asked. It was almost impossible for them to make out the original form of the streets.
Feeling emotional, Hu Changzai reached to push his spectacles out of habit but missed. He forgot that after he had developed the physical enhancement passive ability, he had already thrown away his spectacles. "The rising temperature must have melted all the glaciers, causing the sea level to rise rapidly, and the ocean came through this area. Look at that ocean liner, it should be at least a few thousand tons. The waves must have brought it over from the open sea…"
"How strong must the waves be for such a massive ocean liner to be washed ashore?" Hai Tianqing ask incredulously, "How is it possible that such a large wave didn’t reach the city?"
"Looking at the destruction, you shouldn’t call it a wave, it should have been a tsunami…" Hu Changzai seemed to have forgotten the Beret Men with guns standing behind them as he slowed down his footsteps and carefully observed his surroundings. He took a breath before he continued, "Despite its magnitude, it would eventually die down. On top of that, the high temperature must have quickly evaporated most of the water."
That was a logical speculation, and it also explained the lack of survivors nearby. When Lin Sanjiu walked past a dead, unidentified, human-sized fish, her nostrils were assailed by the nauseating, unique stench of dried, rotten flesh. "I hope the customs warehouse isn’t totally destroyed," she commented dispiritedly as she moved away from the carcass.
Everyone inhaled sharply as they frowned and kept quiet.
All along, the Beret Men showed no reaction to the devastation brought about by the apocalypse. However, when they heard about the possibility that the customs warehouse could be destroyed, one of them suddenly spoke. From his voice, it was the man who had killed Zhu Mei: "It would be terrible if it was destroyed/Food is important/Move quickly/All of you."
He did not look worried at all albeit his words. His red lips were still curled, and he was displaying a happy and polite smile. His eyes were still as lifeless, but they were curved in an amicable manner.
[Do they need to eat?] When such a thought suddenly surfaced in Lin Sanjiu’s mind, she was surprised by herself. [Of course, humans need to eat.]
"Look at them, do you think they are alive? Do you think they are humans?" she turned and whispered to Hu Changzai, not quite knowing why she felt that way.
"What do you mean?" Hu Changzai hesitated for a moment and pulled his gaze away from the ocean liner’s wreckage. "Their movements are quite weird, but how could they not be humans?"
"Doesn’t a normal living person need to eat, drink, and rest? Shouldn’t they be tired after walking for such a long time?" Lin Sanjiu refuted, "Shouldn’t a normal living person have movable joints—"
She couldn’t finish her sentence because of the Beret Man who was directly in front. He violently turned his head 180° and stared at her.
Meanwhile, he continued walking with his body facing forward.
"Were you talking about me just now."
The faces of the three humans and one rabbit instantly turned pale.
"No, no… It’s nothing. We were discussing the customs warehouse," Lin Sanjiu stammered after she took quite some time to control her fear.
"Oh," that Beret Man replied before he swung his head back to its normal position. His neck showed no evidence that he had just rotated his head 180°, and he did not break his neck with that freakish maneuver. "That’s right/Move quickly."
"His sense of hearing isn’t that good," B.Rabbit’s voice rang out in her ear — his judgment was based on a comparison with the other Posthumans.
Even so, they did not dare to say anything carelessly. Lin Sanjiu calmed her nerves as she walked quickly with the rest in silence as the Beret Men surrounded them. Without any road signs leading the way, they continued forward with only their instinctive sense of direction, and after taking many wrong turns, they finally reached the port of customs when the sun was shining brightly above them. Or perhaps, the more accurate term to use was the remnants of the port of customs.
The customs checkpoint had totally disappeared as it was very close to the wharf. Due to the tsunami, the roofs of the multiple rows of warehouses had also been smashed beyond recognition. From afar, it was just one giant big mess. The usually neatly stacked shipping containers were scattered everywhere, adding to the disorder. Some of them were damaged, but most were still intact. This gave Lin Sanjiu and her companions a glimmer of hope.
As they continued walking, no one could utter a word. There was little trace of that once busy port.
Even the ocean had disappeared.
Perhaps, the ocean remained, somewhere far beyond their peripheral view; however, right now as they looked past the wharf, they could only see a shallow layer of muddy seawater over a vast exposed land of sand, shimmering under the sun. The deep seabed, which had remained hidden underwater for millions of years, now revealed itself blatantly, just like a man lying at Death’s door accepting his unavoidable fate, as the sun slowly sucked away its moisture. There was no longer the smell of fresh ocean breeze. Instead, the air was filled with the nauseating stench coming from the countless rotting carcass of dead sea creatures which littered the continental shelf as they soaked in a fishy brine.
After a while, she touched her face and realized that her tears just fell. Despite living in a post-apocalyptic metropolis, Lin Sanjiu struggled on, trying her best to survive. Yet, as she looked at this place where the ocean once was, a wave of sorrow welled up in her. She simply couldn’t control the urge to cry.
[With Nature defeated, perhaps there really isn’t a second chance for humans.]
"I think we should look for supplies," Hai Tianqing’s baritone voice broke the silence.
His words reminded everyone about their primary purpose of coming here. They all looked at the Beret Man leading them. Still tiptoeing, his eyes were facing the large dried-up ocean. "The four of you should spread out and search for food and water then gather them here/Don’t try to escape/You’ll all be escorted," the leading Beret Man smiled and said.
"It’s so suffocating to hear him speak," B.Rabbit grumbled to himself once Beret Man gave his instructions. Right after that, tottering footsteps sounded behind B.Rabbit as two Beret Man followed him closely like a shadow.
The companions looked at each other before splitting up to check out the warehouses and the shipping containers; not forgetting to bring their unwanted lackeys. Lin Sanjiu walked toward the red shipping container which was nearest to her. Hearing the footsteps of the Beret Man following her, she turned and asked, "What is your name?"
With a smile still plastered on his face, he pointed his gun barrel at her without replying.
"Why are you all wearing the same clothes? Are you all from the same organization?" Lin Sanjiu said trying to sound casual.
The Beret Man did not reply. He continued following her, tiptoeing.
No matter how useless it seemed, Lin Sanjiu continued asking him many non-invasive questions as if trying to hold a normal everyday conversation. However, he did not say a single word, leaving her at her wit’s end. While she continued her monologue, they reached the shipping container. From its size, it was about 20 to 30 tons and was completely overturned. It was askew and on top of some rubble. The unsightly remains of a human arm jutted out from the rubble; it had decomposed to a point where one had to use their imagination to even recognize what it was.
Luckily, the shipping container was not buried in the rubble, so all they had to do was to pry open its doors to find out its contents. Lin Sanjiu did not want to draw out her mouthpart weapon in front of the Beret Man so she turned to him and said, "The lock is too heavy, I can’t open this. Can you blast open the door with your gun?"
The Beret Man gave her a murmur of assent and raised his arm. He directed his gun barrel at the shipping container. Then, without a sound or any bullet, a blast of air struck the door and created an oval hole. The fearsome blast of air should have been invisible, yet the magnitude of its power gave Lin Sanjiu the illusion that she could see it with her bare eyes.
The doors of the shipping container groaned as they were pulled open. Lin Sanjiu felt slightly excited when she saw the stack of wooden crates inside. While she silently prayed that the crates were not filled with useless crap like computer components, she broke the bindings securing the crates. The large crates at the top slid down and crashed on the floor, nearby hitting the Beret Man below.
"I’m sorry. I didn’t expect that." Lin Sanjiu smiled at him without looking apologetic.
The Beret Man did not respond — his smile seemed to be painted on his face. His lips did not even move the slightest bit despite barely escaping getting crushed. Lin Sanjiu chose one of the crates and mustered her strength. She punched one side of the crate, and the wooden surface broke into pieces. She pulled away the bits of wood and reached inside the crate, feeling hopeful. Then, she pulled out few smaller boxes. "Are this… toys?" Lin Sanjiu tore through a few more layers of packaging before she touched something. "These are toy figurines from Disney’s Frozen?"
The imported toys in their genuine packaging were clearly very well-made. The materials used for the toy’s skin, its clothes, and its hair were all meticulously chosen. The quality of the dolls was comparable to that of Mattel’s Barbie dolls. Sadly, no matter how beautiful they were, they were useless. Lin Sanjiu sighed and felt as if her stomach was as disappointed as she was.
Unexpectedly, the Beret Man suddenly moved. He turned to look at the dolls in the crate and shouted out to the others in the distance, "I need three people here/Don’t let anyone near these crates."
If his voice could express emotions, Lin Sanjiu guessed that it would be one of excitement and urgency. When she thought of this, she secretly brushed her hand over the boxes in the crate when the Beret Man turned his head away. A few boxes disappeared from the crate.
She stored three boxes containing a 60cm Elsa each into cards and kept the cards in her body.
[Why would they attach such importance to a crate of toys?] For now, she didn’t know the answer to that question but being proactive never hurt anyone.
After that, the Beret Men chased Lin Sanjiu away from the crates, treating her like a goat. As she had not completed her task, she continued opening other shipping containers, trying to look for edible supplies.
Unfortunately, she wasn’t very lucky. After opening three containers, there was still no food in sight, and she even nearly hurt herself. The last container she opened was actually filled with imported cars. Due to the angle of the container, she was nearly crushed by the few cars which rolled out when she opened the door.
"That was some quick karmic retribution!" Lin Sanjiu mumbled as she stretched her aching back. Just as she decided to continue walking, she heard B.Rabbit shouting excitedly: "Coffee! I’ve found coffee!"