Yao Yuan announced as he inaugurated the Hope’s third New Year Party. It was televised all over the ship. His voice could be heard in every corner of the Hope.
"We’ve been through so much pain and grief, but at the same time, we’ve held our heads high because we know our families and friends would want us to keep going strong.
"In this past year, the Hope has welcomed more than 8,000 new babies. And in this year too, we have truly experienced what it means to live in space. Yes, it is official. We’re officially stepping into our 4th industrial revolution! We can now proudly call ourselves a space civilization!
"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to those affected by my decision two months ago to upgrade the Hope’s reactors. There were migrations carried out all over the residential areas of the second floor. Representing the government, I apologize and thank you for your cooperation.
"The upgrade’s aim was to improve the existing reactor to become a controllable polymerized reactor. This new reactor is safer, and it exudes less pollution and radiation. Most importantly, by using hydrogen isotopes to create nuclear fission, its output is more than 10 times its previous version! The plan is to upgrade the remaining 2 reactors so that our warp limit of several hundred times can be increased to tens of thousands more times!
"Furthermore, the element hydrogen is the most common thing in space, so we won’t have to worry about running out like how it was with the radioactive ores. As long as the Hope is not seriously damaged, I promise you that the Hope can theoretically maintain a limitless amount of space-warps!"
Here, Yao Yuan paused to let the news sink in. "Other than that, the 4th revolution will also usher in many other improvements. For example, the Academy is working on the computers taken from the junkyard. It was found that they employ electromagnetic hardware. If we can replicate the technology, our computer science field will greatly improve as well. I can already see a few 20 something youngsters in the crowd grinning. Yes, introduction of supermagnetized CPUs and hardware will probably make virtual companions a reality. Of course, this is a rudimentary improvement, so there’s still a long way to go before we humans can exist as virtual presences."
Yao Yuan’s jab helped lighten the mood greatly. He continued, "Jokes aside, more technologies inspired by the 4th revolution will be continuously revealed in the next 6 months. First would be the upgrade of the Hope’s power supply. The nuclear reactor will be changed into a hydrogen polymerized reactor. Following that will be an enhancement on the central mainframe. Supermagnetized chips and processors will be swapped in to replace the outdated parts so its computing power will see a 50 to 100 times increase. With that increase, the Hope can afford to support an additional 2 levels, a basement level underneath level 1, and a level 7 above the biomes, increasing the total height of the Hope to about 500 meters tall!
"Of course, it’ll take at least 1 and a half years to complete a project of this scale. Last but certainly not least, the genetic mesomeric resonator will be available in all main hospitals after the New Year. Just like how it was reported on the news, this device will help increase our life expectancy to about 200 years, and with future technological improvements, this number can only go up!"
At this point, even Yao Yuan could barely contain his excitement. "So, on this date that marks our third year in space, let us rejoice!
"The future is looking brighter and brighter for us humans!"
Even though the event was held on the fifth floor, after he finished, Yao Yuan could hear loud cheers coming from the levels below him. Even the soldiers stationed on the fifth floor couldn’t keep themselves from cheering out loud. There was nothing more exciting than personally testing new technology. Mankind had worked tirelessly and sacrificed much to reach this stage, so the pride underlying the joyous cheers couldn’t be missed. It was finally time to reap the rewards!
Barbie met him at the bottom of the stage. She smiled and said, "Major, I never knew you were such a good public speaker. You should give more speeches; I’m sure it’ll help motivate the public and improve the government’s approval ratings."
Yao Yuan smiled kindly. "My speaking skill has nothing to do with it; the news itself is incredibly exciting. The new technologies introduced in the past year almost rivals the total advancement made throughout mankind’s own scientific history. Even though many of the technologies are still in the experimental stages and haven’t seen public use, the news about the resonator alone would work wonders in hyping the crowd. They’re not cheering on my speaking skill but the wonderful results earned by the Hope as a collective."
Barbie smiled brightly in return. She didn’t add much but walked silently beside Yao Yuan. Then she took out her notebook. "We have 20 minutes until the meeting to construct a new space combat jet… But if you don’t mind me being frank, why are you working on New Years? Major, you deserve a good rest; I’m sure this meeting can be pushed off until after the New Year celebration."
"Let’s call it an end-of-year review. After all, the New Year only begins tomorrow, doesn’t it? Starting tomorrow, the Hope will have a week-long holiday even though there are still many things waiting to be done. Off the top of my head, there’s the reactors upgrade, which requires us to stop the crystal reactors to channel all of the ship’s energy to conduct the upgrade. Other than that, the Hope’s propulsion system, surveillance radar, and computer system all require necessary updates. The work that needs to be done on the Hope alone will take 1 to 2 years to complete, and we both know these are just tip of the iceberg.
Yao Yuan paused to think before adding, "And we haven’t even stopped to consider the other facets of the 4th revolution. For example, the engineering robots Bo Li’s group is working on. Using a supermagnetized CPU, these mechanical wonders are slated to greatly decrease our reliance on human workforce and drastically increase the production rate for all the projects. Barbie, you have to understand that unlike pre-historic revolutions, modern day revolutions are facetious. It is called a revolution because it revolutionizes every aspects of the culture it changes!
"If we hadn’t stumbled into this junkyard, we humans would have to work for another 200 years before we could reach our current stage. Furthermore, let’s not forget we are now merely toeing the technologies the 4th revolution could bring. There’s still a long way to go before we can reach the height of this industrial revolution. That’s why every single second is important and shouldn’t be wasted."
Yao Yuan stopped to stare at Barbie because he suddenly noticed that something had changed about his secretary… He looked at her up and down before asking, "Your skin seems smoother… Have you used the resonator?"
Barbie’s face turned as red as a robin’s breast and she coughed lightly. "Major, if I remember correctly, getting teased is not in my job description… Fine, I knew I wouldn’t be able to convince you to rest anyway. You always have so many arguments to throw around… By the way, do you have any plans for New Year?"
Yao Yuan was so busy planning for the Hope that he forgot to plan his own holiday. After a long consideration, he confessed, "The week-long holiday? I guess I did forget to schedule anything. But I’m sure something will come up, or I can use the downtime to catch up on my reading. There are many translated alien books sitting on my shelves…"
Barbie knew Yao Yuan was going to start rattling off book titles, so she waved her hands to cut him off early, adding, "In any case, I’m sure you can free one of the days up. I would like to invite you to join me at a ball."
Before Yao Yuan rejected her, she added, "It’s more like a gathering for all the government workers. So, as the leader of the government, I’m sure many will hold you responsible if you decide to miss out on such an important function. I know you’ve given out H-coin bonuses for the New Year, but this is a good opportunity to mingle with and feel out other important authority figures. So, what do you think?"
After weighing the options, Yao Yuan finally said, "I suppose one night of socialization won’t hurt."
"Then it’s a deal…" Barbie spread into a smile. The woman wasn’t old to begin with, but after using the resonator, a youthful glow seemed to radiate from within Barbie. Any man would consider her a catch.
After that, Yao Yuan continued to the meeting. When he arrived, the room was already seated with scientists, engineers, and persons of interest from the Barracks, like the Black Star Unit, Ren Tao, and Xiao Niao. Yao Yuan walked to the podium and began, "Let’s cut to the chase. The aim of this meeting is to discuss the new space combat jet. I’ve seen the blueprint submitted by Prof. Bo Li. This new jet is designed with the technologies of the 4th revolution in mind and is 1/5 the size of the current shuttle. Its maximum acceleration could reach 340 kilometers per second and it's armed with Gaussian automatic guns and mini cannons, an electromagnetic shield, and a miniature hydrogen-based engine…
"Using the year as its name, it’ll be called Space Combat Jet Prototype 003. We’re gathered here today to discuss whether we should start building it now or wait a few years for our technology to be stabilized before we start the project. Now, I’ll pass the floor over to Prof. Bo Li."