That same night, Yan Fei cooly watched several directors arguing about a project in the conference room. When he turned to look out the window he saw a flash of green light and sucked in a breath.
“Finish this tomorrow.” An unknown feeling rose in his heart, Yan Fei felt something ominous, a sense of danger and anticipation.
Change was coming, the prelude to a cataclysm. He was not clear if the omen was good or bad. A change for the better or a descent into an abyss of depression and helplessness.
The sunlight shined without mercy with no choice but to wake up. Luo Xun blinked a few times then threw himself out of bed to stare outside. Apocalypse! Doomsday! The end of the world had arrived!
In his past life, Luo Xun had not witnessed the very start but some of his companions had mentioned it while fleeing. He still remembered his self blame,
“If I had known that the apocalypse was coming, I would have prepared in advance! Instead I was living complacently in a bubble. I thought it was a trick of light when green flashed across the computer screen but then the machine shut down. Many became zombies and went after each other.”
Now he saw it with his own eyes. First Luo Xun checked his hands, normal with small wounds and rough skin from days of labour. Then he closed his eyes and meditated – no feeling at all. He picked up a heavily modified, spiked baseball bat. He is still just an ordinary person. Luo Xun stuck close to the walls, fully alert and grasping the bat.
He headed to the patio, opened the sliding door and peeked inside. Some of the crops had transformed. From the thirty-three seedlings dispersed across four shelves, six had turned maroon exuding a gray atmosphere, definitely contaminated. The maroon plant was now inedible and highly toxic with a possibility of turning into a zombie if consumed.
Luo Xun used rubber gloves to pluck the contaminated plants and threw them into a pot in the corner to be burned. Other than the contaminated plants, four looked strange; two golden yellow, one bright red and one silver gray.
Luo Xun removed these plants and transferred them to a separate shelf. Mutated plants may not bear fruit or become more productive. Usually the mutation created a completely different plant species.
No problems on the second floor. After checking each room, Luo Xun grabbed his homemade mace and slowly descended the stairs.
*Bark! Bark!* Luo Xun froze, looked down then felt relief.
The three shrimp had all turned belly up, there had not been enough oxygen inside the buckets. One of the four fish had become a zombie. The fish had been placed in the corners of a box. Two had suffocated and the zombie fish had the eaten the last, only leaving bones.
The puppy barked and growled at the box. Luo Xun strode forward and smashed the zombie fish with the bat, with that all the aquatic creatures had died.
“You’re fine.” Luo Xun smiled and petted the dog. He did not feel sad about the fish, the puppy was the greatest gain.
“I’ll feed you again later. Wait a while.” He spoke in a gentle tone. The puppy tilted her head curiously.
All eight quail stayed normal inside their containers. No losses! The same applied to the worms, no change but they protested when Luo Xun dug them out.
“Such stubborn vitality…” Luo Xun put them back with a sigh.
Finally he inspected the balcony. One of the apple seedlings was contaminated and one of the orange seedlings had mutated. Though three pepper plants and one star anise seedling were also sacrificed, Luo Xun felt very satisfied with the results. He burned the dead fish and contaminated plants on the terrace before checking the nursery.
Sadly, most of the nursery mushrooms had mutated. Luo Xun needed to get rid of these bright red poisonous mushrooms as soon as possible. Fortunately he had known that mushrooms were suitable from his past experience.
Luo Xun used a telescope to scope out the situation from the terrace. The puppy had been released from her cage and currently acted like a spoiled child at his feet and biting his trousers. He did not want to change the dog’s name from ‘Puppy’, it was cute and sweet. Most importantly the name was easy to remember.
“It seems that the situation outside is not good.” Luo Xun murmured.
Because the apocalypse started overnight, the majority of people mutated at home. Through the telescope he saw many inhabitants in homes had become zombies. Pressing against the windows wearing pajamas, unable to come out since the door was closed.
A relatively small number of zombies were wandering the streets listlessly in search of food. Luo Xun decided to go out and collect supplies while the number of zombies outside remained low!
No one can have too many resources, especially since Luo Xun had a relatively secure storage space. Due to money issues, he had far from enough solar panels and other energy sources. Food, even expired had been the most circulated good during the apocalypse.
Looking at the world with a new perspective, any cautious person in society would take action, especially during doomsday. Luo Xun had replaced his peephole with an electronic version, one would not be able to tell from the outside.
It had numerous functions: LCD screen with night vision, 24 hour surveillance, help tips, recording, SMS prompt, remote control and home computer connection. Luo Xun focused on the night vision and 24 hour surveillance functions, so he could clearly see any people in the corridor even at night. Unfortunately he would not be able to use the SMS feature for a while.
Luo Xun stood behind the door and replayed last night’s recording. He was relieved – there were no wandering zombies on the 16th floor. Luo Xun was the only inhabitant at the moment on the particular floor. Apartment 1602 had owners but the two other homes were not complete since the peephole had not been installed.
The 15th floor had been built but there was no one living there. The 14th floor was still under construction and renovation. In general, occupancy rate at the end of year was low, most people have not moved in and furnished. For Luo Xun, his new home was more secure than his old building; less people in the building meant fewer potential zombies.
Luo Xun equipped his mace, a backpack, helmet, an arrow and homemade crossbow. Before leaving he ordered Puppy to watch the house.
Puppy was too young at the moment, but even if she was fully grown Luo Xun would still be reluctant to bring her. She could bite a zombie but then would mutate or turn into a zombie.
The electricity had not been cut in the corridor, a lamp half-flickered on when the door closed. One of the bulbs had burned out three days ago. The developers were cheapskates and bought cheap but non-durable light bulbs.
The elevator was still useable so Luo Xun stealthily loosened the switch cover. Really, there are two elevators but before the grand opening only one was useable.
*Ding* The elevator door slid open, Luo Xun grabbed his mace and walked in. The sound of the elevator attracted growling sounds. Luo Xun guessed that some of the construction workers on the 14th floor had become zombies which could only gather at the locked door.
In the small space hearing *ping, ping* without seeing the source of sound as well as low growling, people would inevitably feel depression and fear.