Chapter 82 – Call and Ship
The voice in the channel continued: “Repeat: 58.8911, -120.7298, repeat: 58.8911, -120.7298, please respond when you receive the coordinates!”
“Zziiiii— shashaaa—please respond when you receive the coordinates!”
The correspondent, drenched in sweat, and shouted loudly: “We hear you! We can hear you!!!”
However, the opposite side continued to repeat: “This is the Empire, please respond!”
No matter how the correspondent yelled or answered, there was no response from the opposite side. Perhaps the signal was disturbed, perhaps something went wrong, or perhaps the restlessness of the abyss caused the magnetic field to be chaotic again… They did not establish a “communication”, but “received” the information from the Empire.
The correspondent’s hands were shaking: “Don’t, don’t hang up, please don’t hang up…! I, I, I can hear you! I can hear you!”
The tone of the opposite side remained unchanged, repeating: “Last broadcast coordinates: 58.8911, -120.7298, any survivor can go to this coordinate—Ziiiii—The Empire is with you! This is correspondent 0293—shaaa—The first call is about to end, the coordinates have been broadcast, and the next call time is: February 15, 244.”
“The first call is over, the first call is over.”
The channel returned to dead silence. The correspondent suddenly looked up at the calendar: February 1st.
The Empire hadn’t given up, and the next call was half a month later.
He almost lost all of his strength and collapsed on his chair. After a long time, he picked up the communicator: “This is correspondent no.9 of the Echo project, requesting to connect to the headquarters.”
The next day, Shi Yuan went to the research center early in the morning.
As soon as he arrived at Professor Guan’s office, he noticed a different atmosphere. The corridor was empty, the white-clothed researchers who usually walked around were gone, and even Professor Guan was missing.
He sat in the office for a long time and took care of his tail, but he didn’t see anyone.
He was very confused.
After waiting like this until almost noon, the office door was pushed open with a “bang!”. Professor Guan was in good spirits and was radiant. He rushed over with quick steps, grabbed Shi Yuan’s shoulder, and shook him hard: “Shi Yuan!”
Shi Yuan: ?!
He got dizzy from being shaken so hard by Professor Guan, his hands were like iron pliers, and he couldn’t break free no matter what.
When Professor Guan calmed down, the tips of Shi Yuan’s tail curled up, and he asked weakly, “Professor, what happened…”
Professor Guan: “Echo!”
Shi Yuan: “Huh?”
“The ‘Echo’ project!” Professor Guan’s eyes were frighteningly bright, and there was something burning. “We have received a message from the Empire!”
Five minutes later, Shi Yuan finally figured out what happened.
Late last night, in the special channel of “Echo”, they received a message from the Empire and got a coordinate. Although the communication was one-way, the Empire did not hear the voice of the Alliance, but this was already a miracle.
It was a miracle that filled people’s eyes with tears.
They were not an isolated island, and the one stone they threw at the world desperately eventually made a ripple.
“The correspondent has been trying to call the Empire, but has not received a response. It may be that there is still a problem with the communication – this may be why we haven’t received a response for so long,” Professor Guan rubbed his hands excitedly, “But it’s okay, now, the Empire has discovered this channel. The next call will be half a month later, and we will try to contact them at that time.”
Shi Yuan was also surprised: “Can it be done?”
“I don’t study this aspect, I really don’t understand. Professor Luo is in charge of communication,” Professor Guan was full of smiles, “Professor Luo said that the biggest problem now is that we don’t know what went wrong. As long as we figure out the problem, it can always be solved.”
There was another sound of footsteps, this time it was the sound of military boots.
Shi Yuan was too familiar with these footsteps, and when he turned his head to look, Lu Tinghan was standing at the door.
Shi Yuan: “Wow!”
He flew over, and Lu Tinghan opened his arms skillfully and firmly hugged him.
Professor Guan: “……”
—Every time he saw these two sticking together, Professor Guan’s expression was always subtle.
Today was no exception.
Although his expression had changed from “Damn, General Lu, you are actually sleeping with the abyss” to a painful heartbroken cry like “my own good grandson has been bent”.
Professor Guan coughed a few times: “Get down to business, get down to business! Don’t show love in my sacred office!”
Shi Yuan hugged his human, and selectively didn’t hear him. Lu Tinghan’s expression remained unchanged, he also continued to hug Shi Yuan, and said, “Professor, the coordinates have been confirmed.”
Professor Guan paused: “Where is it?”
“It is basically certain that the coordinate is the capital of the Empire – Elton,” Lu Tinghan said, “Judging from the records, Elton has the largest underground structure in the world. It is quite far away from us and the situation is unknown, so when choosing a city for ‘Deep Dive’, it was not considered. However, if there are still people living in Elton, it is another story. At least it can ensure that its underground structure is still quite intact, and there are survivors who can provide information and respond.”
“Yes, yes,” Professor Guan couldn’t help rubbing his hands again, “That’s great. Is there any new news from Professor Luo?”
Lu Tinghan: “Not yet. He called everyone who could come and was troubleshooting the problem.” He stroked Shi Yuan’s head, “Even if we prepare for the worst: we can’t establish communication for a short time, at least the Empire knows that there are survivors.”
The Alliance’s “Echo” project had developed a channel that was resistant to abyss interference.
And the Empire found the channel and started broadcasting – it certainly wasn’t created out of thin air, so they must have understood that somewhere in the world, someone was calling them.
There was nothing better than this.
The entire research center and communication center were busy. Everyone was trotting around the floors and buildings with information. Everyone was so excited that their smiles couldn’t be erased.
Three days later, the Alliance released the recording.
The city was boiling, the streets and alleys were screaming and cheering, people hugged each other and wept.
This news was better than the best tonic in the world. Shi Yuan had never seen such a vibrant city for a long time. The guests at the distribution office no longer complained about the shabby meals, and each one tasted more delicious.
Lu Tinghan became even busier.
It was not the kind of busy focusing on command and not going home, but the kind of busy studying materials. He would often spend time in the study as soon as he got home. The adjutant brought thick books, and on the terminal were countless papers, records, and studies, all about the Empire.
Lu Tinghan had never been in personal contact with the Empire. Even if he had been taught history in the military academy, even if he could tell Shi Yuan about the wars between the Alliance and the Empire, and the various characteristics of the Empire… For a commander, this was still not enough.
It was an era that was too far away and too strange, and there was still a lot to learn.
Lu Tinghan stayed in the study, and Shi Yuan also went to accompany him.
The room was brightly lit, and the two sat side by side. Lu Tinghan studied the information of the Empire, and Shi Yuan continued to read Cheng Youwen’s script “Unattainable”. The room was very quiet, except for the sound of pages being turned.
Shi Yuan couldn’t be as attentive as Lu Tinghan. After reading the script for a while and reading other books for a while, he began to take care of his tail, and then poked his head over to Lu Tinghan’s side.
Lu Tinghan rubbed his head extremely skillfully while reading the information every time, and heard the sound of purring from him.
Shi Yuan became dizzy after looking at the information for a while, and then returned to play with his tail. Sometimes he’d fall asleep while playing, lying on the table, or pillowed on Lu Tinghan’s shoulder, purring.
After falling asleep for a while, Lu Tinghan would always pick him up, put him on the bed, and cover him with a quilt.
And when Lu Tinghan finished his work and got into bed lightly, Shi Yuan would always roll into his arms accurately.
But this also had a consequence. For example, the adjutant was horrified to find that for a few days, the always energetic and tireless General Lu, who after getting seriously injured recovered quickly—
Seemed to, seemed to, seemed to have a stiff neck.
The weight of the abyss was unbearable on the shoulders.
After half a month, on February 15th, countless people stood in front of the communication equipment, waiting for the Empire’s second call.
At 15:30 that day, the sound of electric current came from the channel.
“Ziiiiiiii—Empire—ssshaaa—broadcasting the coordinates: 58.8911, -120.7298, any survivor can go to this coordinate.”
“Shaaaa—please respond when you hear this, please respond when you hear this!”
Small cheers exploded in the communication center.
The correspondents of the Alliance almost shouted in the channel, but, the other side still couldn’t hear them.
The other party repeated: “Broadcast the coordinates again—shaaaa—If anyone hears this channel, please respond!”
For a while, people were happy and anxious.
Professor Luo paced around the room, muttering, “What the hell went wrong? Is it interference, is there something wrong with the base station, or is there a problem with the receiving equipment on the Empire side…” Fine beads of sweat condensed on the tip of his nose.
Lu Tinghan was also on the scene and told Professor Luo: “Calm down, the Empire will not give up the call easily. We have the coordinates,”
“Well, I understand,” Professor Luo calmed down a little, and leaned on the table, “I will continue to study this.” He looked at Lu Tinghan, “General Lu, what we need most is still time, it’s always time.”
Lu Tinghan nodded and said, “Do your best.”
The sound of the electric current was still there: “…Any survivor can go to this coordinate—shaaaa—this is correspondent 0293, the second call is about to end, the next call time is: March 1, 244.”
“Ziiiiii—the second call is over, the second call is over.”
It was another half a month later.
This was probably the fixed call frequency of the Empire.
The communication was over, and people left one after another.
Before leaving, Lu Tinghan stopped Professor Guan and said, “Professor, you can’t let go of the simulation of wavelength.”
Professor Guan was taken aback: “I wasn’t planning to, but why?”
Lu Tinghan’s eyes were heavy: “We still have to make all plans. Even if Elton is safe now, the Empire was forced to this point, the situation must not be good, I am afraid it is similar to ours. We cannot completely pin our hopes on others. If we can simulate the wavelength of the abyss and cooperate with Elton’s underground structure, it is a double insurance.”
Professor Guan looked at him.
Lu Tinghan: “In other words, we still need to continue the ‘Deep Dive’ plan.”
Professor Guan glanced at the empty room and whispered: “… General Lu, like I have said, I can almost assert that it is impossible for us to simulate Shi Yuan’s infection wavelength. Time is not something we can control.”
“No, it’s not about simulating Shi Yuan’s wavelength,” Lu Tinghan said, “It’s about going to the bottom of other abysses.”
Professor Guan was stunned.
He said: “You and I both understand that this is a fantasy. We have tried too many times.”
“There is another way,” Lu Tinghan said, “Few people mention it, but Professor Yu Qingmei mentioned it in her thesis.”
Professor Guan was stunned for a while: “I know, I know what you are thinking. To be honest, I also thought about it… Then I dismissed the idea, without a test flight and protection, it is very likely that they will not be able to return. That would really be su*cide.”
Lu Tinghan’s face sank: “’Overlook’ has failed, and that spaceship is useless. Instead of letting it collect dust, it would be better to let it be put to its last bit of use. After getting in touch with the Empire, I think it’s worth a try.”
The next night, Shi Yuan saw Lu Tinghan as soon as he got off work at the research center.
Shi Yuan: “Wow! Why are you here?”
Lu Tinghan said, “I want to take you somewhere.”
Shi Yuan got in the car with him and arrived at the Second Military Region.
There was a huge warehouse in the center of the Second Military Region, full of guns, ammunition, and various military supplies. They got to the underground of the warehouse, a large extremely wide space, and behind the huge isolation door…
…was a frigate.
Wu Zhengqing once told Shi Yuan that after the test flight of the first frigate, he and Chief Engineer Tan improved the design and supervised the Aerospace Center to build three frigates.
One had been damaged, and the other took the probe to carry out the “Overlook” plan and went to the Gemini galaxy to find a habitable planet, while the last one, named “Seeker One”, had remained in the main city, waiting to carry fertilized eggs and seeds.
After many years, the Aerospace Center and those engineers were gone. “Seeker One” still had a beautiful silver-white color. The fuselage was huge and sophisticated. At first glance, it looked like an eagle or a sword, every inch of curve was perfect.
Energy core, thrusters, sensors, hyperdrive components…
It was the masterpiece of the Alliance, a gathering point of peak technology, and an old dream.
The frigate was much more beautiful and spectacular than Shi Yuan had imagined.
Shi Yuan looked at it curiously for a long time, and asked Lu Tinghan, “Why do you want to show me this?”
Lu Tinghan did not answer directly.
He said: “When considering the ‘Overlook’ plan, researchers and engineers had a lot of discussions. For example, if a habitable planet is located, how can we get the frigate to reach space safely.”
He continued: “In the age of peace, it is easy for a frigate to leave this planet. But we have to consider the abyss and the impact of the infection swarm on the ship, no one wants to run into monsters when taking off. Therefore, this frigate has been equipped with many parts.”
Some parts could be seen outside the ship.
Lu Tinghan pointed to Shi Yuan.
Shi Yuan saw pollution monitors, purifiers, point defenses against infected creatures, and barrier generators. Inside the ship, there were also the latest combat computers, missiles, all kinds of air-to-air weapons… it could be described as armed to the teeth with the highest specifications.
Lu Tinghan said: “The Alliance has spent decades studying and improving. These components have affected the performance of the frigate to a certain extent, but it is worth it.”
Shi Yuan: “I see.”
Lu Tinghan looked up at the huge ship: “In the beginning, we really just wanted it to reach space. However, it may have a new effect.”
Shi Yuan: ?
He bent his tail.
Lu Tinghan looked at him, as if there was a flame burning in his eyes.
He said: “We should be fortunate that we have never given up ‘Echo’ and ‘Overlook’ for so many years. The research of countless scientists and the data provided by countless soldiers with their lives were not in vain. In the end, in the dark, they all paved the way for ‘Deep Dive’.”
Lu Tinghan smiled: “Shi Yuan, maybe we can go to the bottom of the abyss on a ship.”
“It’s not going to space, it’s not flying up to ‘Overlook’, but ‘Deep Diving’. It can’t get rid of gravity, and it can’t see the stars, but maybe it can see tomorrow.”