Before Luo Xun and the others went to the hospital with the baby for a checkout, they received some information the morning of February 5.
The first was about cleaning up snow in base. Active teams needed to go out for tasks and scavenging to prepare for the next season. Within the year, a unified household inspection would be carried out and all residents had to registered in the census. Everyone was also encouraged to repair broken buildings, rescue people from the rubble and so on.
The second message was sent to various teams who had registered ability users. There would be a second test to replace the original identification card and so on.
The next step was sending a separate message to captains related to the mandatory missions and materials for each month. It specified the material to be handed over and the details of needed tasks.
The group gathered together to take notes and look at the contents of the message. They discussed and concluded that “Now the important task in February that needs to be done as soon as possible…” Luo Xun pointed at one of them. “Our team’s task is to clean up snow, the designated range is not big but we need to pick up the mission at the hall.”
He pointed and slightly frowned. “This matter is probably going to be done quickly this month…registering teams and ability users.” He turned to Yan Fei and Zhang Yi, “What do you think?”
Yan Fei did not open his mouth but Zhang Yi raised a brow while sneering. “Statistics about team compositions, number and type of ability users, plus the entry…I think captain should be worrying about house registration instead of whether we will be targeted.”
Luo Xun’s brow furrowed as he looked at the message – household census.
“To do this, they will have to wait until the snow is completely cleared, all users registered and ruins are dealt with.” Yan Fei reassured. “Don’t forget that they also want to expand the base so they will be busy for a while. But within three or four months I am afraid they will not be able to help themselves. We need to find a way to cover up the crops at home.”
If the base really checked door-to-door, people would not agree even if the home was carefully checked. So if one day it actually occurred, it meant that the people who gave the orders had taken control of the military forces on base. Even if they had ability users, power level would be of no use.
Luo Xun took a deep breath, his eyes flashed with an inexplicable feeling as he walked around the room. “We go to the mission hall tomorrow, handing over materials/points/cores is not cost effective. Our task is not hard and will only take two days to finish. After I’ll take the baby to the hospital for a check-up. If there is nothing wrong, we’ll make a trip out of base this month.”
Li Tie’s eyes lit up. “Captain, you mean…”
Luo Xun nodded, he was not ready to leave so early, but the situation on base made him very worried. Everything was becoming different from his memory, whether it was the overall picture or small changes.
He did not know exactly they would face but it was clear – if they continued like this, before the zombies break through into base they would be killed from infighting. This may be scarier than facing a horde of zombies.
At the very least, a zombie simply bit people and ate their flesh. But if people on base find their supplies, they would not only lose their lives but also everything they collected before the end. Everything they had worked so hard to earn, the crops they had grown would be taken.
Luo Xun did not know if he could find a way to help them through this, but it was useless to stay at home. At least if they went now, they could use their sled car over the snow! If others wanted to go out without a special car, it was impossible without the right equipment.
As for the potential zombies outside base…Luo Xun’s heart sunk. He looked at Zhang Yi – as a wind user he might find a way to explore the area or at least a scout.
After discussing everyone’s part towards the situation, the team adjourned the meeting and went back home.
Back at home, Luo Xun examined the crops as usual. He seemed a little sullen. “There are too many non-mutant crops in the house…”
The reason why they were so sensitive to the phrase “home check” was not only because they had a lot of crops. If others saw this, they would exclaim that the mutation rate was too low!
They knew that although the military also used mushrooms to absorb the virus from the air which reduced the probability of mutation, there was not enough. Those normal vegetables were specially supplied to the base leaders and so on. Ordinary people on base could only buy mutated vegetables.
What could they do, who let others mutant yields be so high? With the base as it was, they must increase production as a priority. As for taste…why shouldn’t their food taste good?
Growing vegetables at home was not something only Luo Xun’s home did. They heard that teams were in contact with other parties as well. But since there was not a lot of space or light, the harvest was not rich and most were mutant species.
Seeing Luo Xun’s abundant, well equipped home with a large variety of non-mutant crops…it would be weird if no one had their eyes on it! Even if the base did not see anything, who knew if the census people would have loose lips? What would happen if they spread rumors?
Seeing the gloomy Luo Xun, Yan Fei walked over and patted him on the shoulder. “There will always be a way. With the base being so stubborn, there will certainly be many uncooperative teams. They have to at least straighten out a number of issues to conduct a census, who knows what will happen until then?”
Luo Xun took a deep breath and nodded. He walked up to the second floor and checked the crops that hung from the shelves before arriving at the balcony.
Some of the mutant plants had bloomed equally strange flowers, most of which Luo Xun had never seen before. He had seen some species before, but nothing as extravagant as fruits variants.
Luo Xun crouched and frowned at a row of small flower pots, the mutant strawberries had blossomed. It was clearly a variant but it had a brown shell. Even more strange was there were gray specks that resembled the seeds.
These brown things were round, the largest around the size of a ping pong ball. This thing clearly had a hard shell but the seeds grew on the outside! What the hell was inside?!
“What the hell is this thing?” Luo Xun put on a rubber glove and poked the fruit.
“Want to open one and take a look?” Yan Fei was not sure, it looked like a hemp fruit from before the end…of course it did not look tasty at all. “How long would it take to cook?”
Luo Xun grabbed a fruit before squeezing. “I think it’s about fully grown, the fruits haven’t really grown but the seeds have turned grayish.” He picked another with white seeds to compare.
The two men returned to the first floor with the bizarre fruit and emptied a table. They were prepared for anything – for example if cutting the fruit spewed poison gas, the two men decided to handle everything on the balcony with the exhaust fan running.
The dog was kept inside the living room and stayed near the baby. The two men put on masks, gloves and goggles. Yan Fei carefully made a knife and cut open the fruit with grey seeds…
“This…what is this?!” Luo Xun stared in shock at the cut brown fruit.
Yan Fei was frowning as he put down the knife before sharing surprised looks with Luo Xun.