Chapter 35: Is This Really a Utopia?
Translator: Pluto Editor: Tehrn
Lin Sanjiu watched Sister Li and Luther walking through the large doors of the factory as she remained in her truck. The door of her truck was locked, and she had winded up the windows. A few men and women were chatting beside her truck and seemed to be at ease as if they did not have to struggle to survive every day. They even reminded her of how things were before the apocalypse. Many of them even nodded and smiled at her when she gazed at them.
A young mother pushing a stroller walked past her truck. The chubby one-year-old in the stroller even pointed at Lin Sanjiu making incomprehensible babbles.
Even though she prudently got Luther to investigate the actual situation of the place, she found her shoulders relaxing when she saw the sight of the child.
“Is it okay that he followed Sister Li all by himself?” Marcie asked somewhat worriedly over the walkie-talkie. Out of the three of them, Luther was the most suitable person. If something really happened, he could quickly return if he created a distraction with his shapeshifting ability. But before Lin Sanjiu could respond, Luther already answered Marcie, laughing into his walkie-talkie, “Don’t worry. The people are okay.”
Sister Li spoke indistinctly beside him.
Lin Sanjiu gave a sigh of relief, even though she was mainly worried about the supplies in their vehicles. She believed that people could pursue many lofty ideals, but to provide shelter for any random stragglers without seeking reciprocation… how could this be possible? Even without considering their hidden agendas, did “Oasis” even have the resources to do so?
No matter how she thought about it, she felt that they would demand everyone to hand over their possessions before distributing the shared resources evenly. This was only logical. If she oversaw Oasis, she would also do so.
“Xiao Jiu, Marcie. Their compound is huge… I think they even linked up this area to the factory district beside the mountain. Oh… what’s this? Why are they queuing up?” Luther voice suddenly sounded quite surprised.
“This is our canteen,” Sister Li leaned towards the walkie-talkie as if she hoped that the other two people could also hear her. “Every day at 6am in the morning and 9 pm at night, we will share a meal in the canteen. It is almost time now. These are the people who haven’t had their breakfast.”
Before Lin Sanjiu could react, a flurry of noise came from Luther’s side, and he commented in amazement, “Xiao Jiu, their breakfast consists of millet congee, roasted corn, and a plate of preserved vegetable. The servings are pretty large…”
“You should see our dinner. We make sure that everyone has a serving of vegetable, meat, and rice!”
“How is this possible? With such high temperatures, how can you obtain the vegetables and meat we had in the past? Furthermore, how much water must you use to cook so much rice!?” Luther questioned, finding it difficult to believe what she had said. His words also reflected the thoughts of both Lin Sanjiu’s and Marcie’s.
“Didn’t you see our roasted corn? Don’t worry. We can eat as much vegetables and meat as we want. And you don’t have to worry about water. Since all of you haven’t officially joined us, according to our rules, I can’t tell you too much. Once you become a member of Oasis, you will naturally find out.”
After that shock, Lin Sanjiu’s curiosity was piqued but she did believe that Sister Li was telling the truth.
She could tell by observing the people outside her vehicle. Each of them was full of energy, had moist-looking skin, and their lips and nails were a healthy pink… Even though Lin Sanjiu and her group had enough food and water, they only ate processed food which did not have much nutritional value. Their meals only served to satisfy their hunger and provide them with the calories they needed. Compared to the people in Oasis, they did look emaciated.
Just as she gazed blankly at the Oasis members, Luther spoke over the walkie-talkie, the signal was intermittent, “Sister Li… this is my walkie-talkie’s maximum functional distance. I have to discuss… first.”
From what he had said, he should be coming back soon. Lin Sanjiu watched the entrance of the factory, and sure enough, Luther ran out happily after a while. Sister Li and an unknown man followed behind him. The small group of people approached their fleet of vehicles. Luther knocked on her truck door, and Lin Sanjiu winded down her window.
“It is simply unbelievable!” Luther’s buckteeth shined brightly under the morning sun. “It’s awesome! There is a photovoltaic system here, so they even have electricity! They covered the top floors with reflective sheets, and they even built a large heat insulated shaded greenhouse, it instantly cools you down when you walk inside!”
Lin Sanjiu nodded her head looking at the two people behind him.
“Let me make some introductions.” Sister Li pointed to the muscular man with an average height. “This is our leader. When he heard that new people had arrived, he was very concerned, so he came over to assess the situation.”
“Hi, I am Chen Jinfeng. I am one of the top-level executives in Oasis’s Council of Eight.” The man who had been identified as their leader smiled, somewhat boastfully, then he continued, “It is great that we can meet our fellow survivors.”
“Nice to meet you…” once again, Lin Sanjiu did not know what to say. The whole atmosphere in Oasis was too different from the environment she had gotten used to over the past one month, so she felt strangely out of place. “Wait, I’ll just get Marcie to come over. We can talk more after I get off my truck.”
When Marcie heard her, she alighted from the bus and locked it before jogging over. Her bed of fluffy red hair looked exceptionally dazzling under the sun, and Chen Jinfeng was stunned when he saw her. He smiled and said, “Oh, I didn’t expect to see a friend from overseas! Of course, the ways of the world today, everyone is a compatriot!” After that, he extended his hand and shook Marcie’s hand. Lin Sanjiu also got down from her truck and stood beside Marcie.
“Alright, I will give you a brief introduction.” Lin Jinfeng gestured confidently, “The reason why Oasis could save the lives of these 1800 people is all thanks to Professor Bai who detected that something was wrong. Do you still remember the heat wave that lasted over a hundred days? Professor Bai had been researching about crop growth for a long time and now gained tremendous success in his research. Currently, the growth cycle of the crops we have here at Oasis have been shortened to 30 days using his technology, and they are even heat-resistant!”
Noticing the shocked faces the three of them have, Sister Li added, “Luther have seen the roasted corn on today’s menu, that is one of the crops that we have here.”
“But… how is this possible? Besides, daytime temperatures can even melt plastic!” Marcie covered her mouth as she gasped in amazement. No matter how they put it, it all sound too incredulous.
“We built a temperature controlled greenhouse specifically for growing crops.” Chen Jinfeng laughed. When he saw their expressions, he said tactfully, “Since you have been out there roaming, it is normal that you might not be able to suddenly understand how effective a collective community is. What Luther saw was just the tip of the iceberg, here at Oasis, we can do so much more!”
As he continued, he became emotional, “I know that the whole human race is in a terrible situation right now. But just look at our history. From the great flood, the bubonic plague, the Spanish flu… they were all disasters that nearly wiped mankind, but we still survived! It is the same this time! Even in our predicament, we will find hope and a way out! We will save our fellow humans… What we do here is all for the next generation. Thousands of years later, our descendants will all exclaim that Oasis is the spark of mankind!”
His eyes shone brightly as he spoke with passion. His skin flushed slightly due to his excitement. They could all see that Chen Jinfeng truly believed in Oasis and the future of mankind. Compared to his righteous, uplifting message, Lin Sanjiu felt rather ashamed about what she was going to say. “Well… I want to ask you something… If we join you, what do you plan to do with… our possessions?” Sister Bai immediately eyed her.
Chen Jinfeng laughed. “It is a good thing that young people like you have your apprehensions, it means that you thought through this carefully. You don’t have to worry about that. We have enough resources in Oasis to sustain our population. We will not forcefully take anybody’s possessions. You can keep what you have, contribute to the community, or use it to trade with others… In short, what’s yours is still yours.”
When he said that, Lin Sanjiu was really surprised. With a population of 1800, there must be people with their own belongings and supplies. However, everything seemed so peaceful as if they never had any disputes.
Marcie asked Chen Jinfeng another question which he also patiently answered. Another heartening thing to know was that the Oasis’s members only have some compulsory daily duties to fulfill. They could use the rest of their time however they liked and had quite a lot of freedom.
When they were on this topic, Sister Li gave an embarrassed smile, “Those group of young people enjoys waiting for passersby at the road… They blasted that loud music because they wanted to welcome all of you and because they just want to have fun. There are no disgusting creatures nearby because we have eradicated them from this area.”
Luther and Marcie exchanged glances, then they both looked at Lin Sanjiu.
“Xiao Jiu, what do you think about this? Should we join Oasis?” Marcie whispered, “Both of us don’t really mind.”
Lin Sanjiu bit her lip and did not reply as she inwardly groused over the fact that she could not activate her Keen Sense at this very moment. While she ruminated over it, she remembered the words that Li Zhijun left them, “Go to a crowded place to find for a consular officer.”
[Is the population of 1800 large enough?]
“Can we quit? If we want to stop being an Oasis member?” she decided to go all out, playing the role of the bad guy and asking all the offensive questions.
As expected, Sister Li pursed her lips. Chen Jinfeng who appeared more open-minded laughed and replied, “That would be rather foolish, but we respect each other’s freedom here in Oasis. You can leave whenever you want.”
“Since you put it that way…” Lin Sanjiu looked at both her companions hesitantly, “we will join temporarily.”
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