Fang Zhao silently watched Kevin Lin for two seconds, then brushed away the camera Kevin Lin had pushed over. "No need."
Following that, Fang Zhao continued using the bottle of medicine and helped apply it to the wounds of the injured.
The situation they had encountered today had happened practically every day during the Period of Destruction—suddenly suffering an attack and feeling that their lives were threatened.
Back then, it had simply been a normal occurrence, and nobody had known what would happen to them in the next moment. But now, for people used to a peaceful life in the New Era, this sort of attack was just like judgment day, and they had to bear an enormous mental pressure.
Actually, according to Period of Destruction customs, Fang Zhao had written a will shortly after he had been reborn, and it was saved to his personal terminal, but he had made amendments every once in a while as his assets had changed. If he suddenly met with an unexpected accident and lost his life, once he was determined as deceased, the will saved in his personal terminal would automatically be made public.
However, given the situation at hand, it was not actually so bad. According to Fang Zhao's own judgment, it was not like there was totally no chance of living. At least now they were taking refuge in the underground shelter. Listening to the sound of activity, it did not seem like there were a lot of attackers.
But for Kevin Lin, it was totally different. This was the first time he had personally experienced this sort of situation. Although he had encountered some dangerous situations before, the stress he felt this time round was incomparable. During the explosion, he had even thought that he would really kick the bucket this time.
However, as a reporter, Kevin Lin knew how to weigh the pros and cons. After considering, he became determined. Although he did not know whether they could safely survive through this crisis, this was also an opportunity. Since they were stuck in this predicament, he had to grasp this chance tightly. He needed to record the true events of this situation, just like those outstanding older generations of First Frontline that had reported on the real events at battlefields. However, unlike them, he was not "utterly fearless." His mental state was somewhere around the level of "extremely scared but without any choice."
If he did not survive, perhaps all that he filmed could let him become a famous person in reporting circles. His portrait would also be revered, and his recorded videos could become real excerpts for educational videos.
And if he could safely survive this crisis, he would... prosper!
Although it was not formally stipulated, in the circles, there were those that reported on entertainment programs and those that reported on war situations; the latter was generally regarded better! Even political news reporters could not compete against the gold mine that was battlefield reporting! But many professional war journalists never revealed their faces. No normal reporter would be willing to experience a real warzone, where it was easy to lose one's life. But when they encountered one, no reporter was willing to let such a chance slip by.
Taking deep breaths, Kevin Lin tried his best to allay the fear in his heart. With a wobbly hand, he once again controlled the camera and continued to record. "I can still hear many loud and soft sounds. There is shooting going on above. We suffered a total of three bombardments. The previous two were shielded by the defense system, but the third one was unable to be completely blocked off, and we suffered some injuries..."
Kevin Lin had originally wanted to film Fang Zhao first, but when he scanned the room, he realized that Fang Zhao was the only one who could be considered "completely unharmed." Not wishing to make himself seem weak, Kevin Lin controlled the camera and turned and filmed Fan Lin and the other scientists. With some skill, he only filmed the back of Fang Zhao.
Although this was the first time he had filmed under these sorts of circumstances, as a reporter with many years of work experience, Kevin Lin was really skilled at controlling the images captured by the camera. The images captured could embellish the atmosphere and show the disorder within the shelter as well as the dreadful state of the wounded. He was not overly concerned with detail and form, just using the images to show the situation. His words were only supplementary. Simple words that would make the scene captured by the camera easier to understand.
"I am guessing that there is a high possibility the aggressors are terrorists, and they have probably been planning this scheme for some time..."
When his brain started working, Kevin Lin's thought processes were much clearer, unlike the start when he had been totally shell shocked.
Kevin Lin analyzed this matter, from the signal being cut off, to them losing all contact with the base, all the way to this current situation.
Fang Zhao listened to Kevin Lin's analysis of the aggressor's identity as he helped tend to the wounded.
Having been reborn for so long, Fang Zhao had not experienced any wars. Life in New Era cities were very tranquil. Even the incident with Su Hou in Muzhou could still have been considered rather peaceful. After all, the entire world had been unified, and every continent had cooperated with each other. But in unseen places, there were still disputes. There were internal struggles within the alliance hierarchy, but outside, it was not so harmonious. It just did not affect the lives of normal people.
Fang Zhao did not feel that it was strange. During the Period of Destruction, everyone had united to face the enemy, but after the Founding Era, benefits had been distributed unevenly. When rapacious people were not controlled properly, there would be lots of internal strife. Yanzhou was the best example.
All those years ago, when great general Wu Yan of the Founding Era had passed away, the Wu family's internal wars had caused Yanzhou to undergo a wide-scale change of leadership. For a long period after that, the Wu family had had a rather awkward position. Even though they had since flourished, they were unable to go back to being the absolute political authority.
As for these extreme terrorists, Fang Zhao had heard a few people mention them before. Before he had enlisted, when Great-Grandfather and Great-Grandmother Fang had talked about their experiences, they had also mentioned these people who were at odds with the alliance.
Great-Grandfather Fang's assessment had been this: "Those people are lunatics. Regardless of what they say, it's all excuses. Everything they do is just to satisfy their own desires."
There were many groups that the alliance of governments was unable to control. Actually, there were such groups in every period, regardless of whether it was in the New Era or the Old era, but not every group endangered society. Only those that caused a high degree of harm were classified as terrorists.
At this moment, planet Baiji base.
Shanta was in a furious state. He had just raged angrily at his subordinates in the command post. Now, he had calmed down a little, but he had a fiery look in his eyes that made a few military reporters swallow the questions they wished to asked about the situation at hand.
Shanta did not even care about those few reporters. He slammed the door to the command post, preventing others from seeing or hearing anything inside.
Forty minutes ago, the base's communications network had been crippled, which had caught Shanta unprepared.
"How many times have I emphasized the need to be cautious and alert when upgrading the communications network—they just can't f*cking remember! So what if they are engineers from the Academy of Science HQ? They are careless and complacent; everyone holds them in such high regard that they forget their own worth!" Shanta's suppressed rage returned once more.
Another high-ranking base officer said, "Nevertheless, they are still capable. This time, though, they did not do a proper job, and they allowed people to find a loophole. This time, it is clear that somebody had this well planned out for a long time, possibly even before the discovery of Baiji ore. They even have an understanding of our military deployments. This wasn't an impromptu decision."
When Shanta thought about what had happened in these 40 minutes, he could not contain his anger. "Those engineers deserve to be scolded! If they had been more prudent, would this sort of situation have occurred? Even if the communications network were crippled, it wouldn't result in such a big problem, and they would be able to restore it. But now? Forty minutes! You don't need me to tell you what can happen in 40 minutes!"
The room quieted down in an instant. Everyone in the room was an experienced hand. The base had no way of knowing or controlling what was happening elsewhere on planet Baiji. In these 40 minutes, nobody knew how many losses they would incur.
Now, they could only communicate within the base's range via the internal comms network.
Shanta slammed the table. "Who do you think it is this time?"
The people within the room all had the same answer. "Who else but 'T'?" The "T" organization was the abbreviation given to the extremist group known as "Tomorrow's Empire."
A new communication came in and Shanta hurriedly answered.
"The teams dispatched to nearby outposts for scouting have returned. Nothing is out of the ordinary."
"Men from the mining area reporting, the mines were attacked, but the situation has been controlled. Seven terrorists shot dead and 31 conscripts injured. At the moment, there are no casualties."
This information let those in the command post breathe a little more easily.
Shanta had personally seen to the defensive deployments of the mining area. Shanta had also constantly reminded the team guarding the mines not to let anything suspicious slip by. Now it seemed like that had been effective.
These few pieces of good news were hard to come by, but Shanta still felt uneasy. Picking up his comms device, he contacted the engineers who were restoring the communications network. "Is it done?"
Just three words, yet each word carried a fearsome intent.
The tone of the engineer replying was somewhat timid as he stiffly replied, "Not yet."
"Twenty minutes. If it is not restored in 20 minutes, the whole lot of you can scram back to wherever you came crawling out from!" Without waiting for a reply from the engineers, Shanta ended the communication. He would wait for an hour at most. Forty minutes had already passed, and after they waited for another 20 minutes, if the communication network were not restored, he would execute another plan.
The engineers that faced the wrath of Shanta were red in the face, but they had no choice but to bear with it. They had painstakingly managed to grab a spot to come over and upgrade planet Baiji's communications network, yet problems had arisen shortly after they had arrived. Indeed, it had been their negligence that had resulted in the chance to be attacked. If the communications were not restored within 20 minutes and they were chased back by Shanta, they would have no face to continue staying with the Academy of Sciences HQ. Most importantly, being forced to return would be considered a black mark in their profession, and there might be no more chances for promotion in the future.
Luckily, under heavy pressure, they were finally able to restore the network in the 19th minute. Although it was still unstable, at least they had salvaged some face. In another 15 minutes at most, it would definitely be completely stable.
At practically the same moment the communications network was restored, Shanta received information from every outpost. Other outposts were fine, but outposts 8, 23, 61, 85, and 97 had suffered attacks.
The communications network had not been completely restored and the signal was still unstable. Shanta wanted to contact these five outposts, but the connection kept breaking. At least he was able to get a rough report of the situations at those outposts.
Fortunately, every outpost's defensive systems had been upgraded after the discovery of Baiji ore, or they would surely have lost all contact with those five outposts, or perhaps those outposts would have been obliterated off the face of planet Baiji.
This also let Shanta confirm the fact that this attack had been planned for quite some time. It seemed that planet Baiji had been targeted even before the discovery of Baiji ore, and now these people had initiated an attack because they were worried that Baiji's forces stationed on the planet in the future would be even greater and so it would not be as favorable to attack when their defenses were tighter. Not wishing to miss the chance to attack, they had hurriedly gone ahead with this surprise attack.
Suddenly remembering something, Shanta violently turned his head and asked the others in the command post. "Which outpost did Fan Lin transfer Fang Zhao to?"
Shanta's assistant brought up Fang Zhao's military service files. At the column for his military position "active duty" were the words "Outpost 23."
Silence befell the room and the atmosphere became grave.
Fan Lin, a veteran professor at the Academy of Science HQ who had brought along large projects and was a famous person from Muzhou.
The eight scientists under Fan Lin were all his research elites. If anything had really happened to them, Fan Lin's laboratory would have been destroyed all at once.
And there was still Fang Zhao and Kevin Lin, who were part of Project Starlight and garnered a lot of viewership. The matter could not be covered up if something had happened to them, not to mention that they had been doing a live broadcast before the signal had been lost.
Fang Zhao, Baiji ore's discoverer, could be considered the person who had changed the fortunes of planet Baiji. Shanta was also grateful to him, especially his ears. If something had really happened to Fang Zhao this time, it would be really unfortunate.
"Fang Zhao's vocation transfer was never publicized. Even when they were broadcasting, no information was revealed that Fang Zhao was at Outpost 23," someone said.
"Fan Lin's decision to come over here was made before the discovery of Baiji ore, so they would not have been the target."
A colonel spoke up. "These T people only wanted to create a diversion and attack. The base defenses are too strong. They would be asking for trouble if they attacked the base. Rather then sounding us out and attracting our attention, they were simply better off picking outposts to attack. As for why Outpost 23 was selected, all I can say is that Fan Lin and Fang Zhao are unlucky."
Shanta also did not waste any more time and immediately dispatched men to provide backup for the five outposts that were under attack.
Online, people a long way from the fighting could not know the present situation on planet Baiji. All they had now were complaints.
"People from Frontline First, stop playing dead!"
"Where is the live broadcast? Why hasn't it been fixed yet!?"
"Complaint, we want to make a complaint!!"
At the start, many other media firms had taken this opportunity to attack First Frontline, especially companies that had similar natures as First Frontline. Previously, they had only been able to covet the overflowing popularity First Frontline got from Project Starlight, but then they'd had an opportunity to call them out.
Other than these people, there were others that had seized the opportunity to defame Fang Zhao. After all, Fang Zhao had risen too quickly and had hindered the paths of quite a few people.
As for those entertainment magazines, at the moment, they were beyond excited. These magazines loved to take advantage of the situation and dish out dirt. Anyway, if they joined in with the abuse, they would not get caught and could still use this opportunity to attract site traffic. Perhaps if the tempo was raised, there would be people who would give them money to shut up. How could they face themselves if this chance to line their own pockets was missed?
Therefore, in the short half an hour where the live broadcast was offline, the internet was filled with curses and abuse, but as time went by and the broadcast wasn't restored, First Frontline continued to play dead and did not give an official reply. Also, quick-witted people realized that the original criticism from popular and mainstream media outlets was slowly dying down. The ones still making a fuss were those fools still blinded by benefits.
A certain Huangzhou news company's social platform operations department received instructions from the top to delete the article denouncing First Frontline that they had posted on social platforms.
An operations staff was puzzled. "Why is it being deleted? Many people are sharing it. All this counts as traffic, and traffic means money!"
Another person made a guess. "Could it be someone threw money for it to be deleted?"
"Whatever the reason, since the top asked us to delete it, then we just have to do so."
Yanzhou, Silver Wing tower.
After Duan Qianji received a call from her husband Hong Lou, she instructed the public relations department to temporarily not issue any statements.
As before, there were sill lots of people who were spurred on to abuse Fang Zhao online. Whether they were purely picking a quarrel or they were really filled with grievances, after scolding, they still arrogantly copied what others said. "Silver Wing, come out and clean the floor 1 !" After all, doing this was not against the law.
Silver Wing 50th floor, virtual projects department.
Zu Wen and a few other technical stuff were using dummy accounts online to refute others.
Pang Pusong was suspicious. "It's almost been an hour already, and the company's public relations department doesn't seem to be responding."
"First Frontline has yet to give an explanation as well."
"Not just them. Did you all realize that all the news medias that attacked First Frontline have deleted their remarks?" Jinro mentioned.
"It's true. Not only were the posts deleted, they are all maintaining silence. Even those Yanzhou-based ones that are always at odds with us have shut up! Does that mean that the company and First Frontline have done something about it?" Zu Wen asked.
"No." Jinro's voice became deeper. "I have a feeling that something may have happened."
Silver Wing did not have the patience to make all its rivals maintain silence all at once. Unless a certain situation had occured that could make so many large media firms in both Yanzhou and abroad keep their silence and not dare to post anything.
Zu Wen was prepared to investigate when he heard the sound of a push notification. Opening it, his eyeballs nearly popped out of his sockets.
"F*ck me! Terrorist attack?!"
Jinro opened the link. It was Huangzhou's military news channel that was broadcasting the news right now.
"...Planet Baiji has suffered a terrorist attack. The communications network is currently crippled and there are no means of contact..."
This news was like a large-scale frost magic spell being cast on the war of words online, as everyone stopped in their tracks.
A foreign planet's base suffering a terrorist attack was not considered news. This sort of situation occured once or twice every year, especially for remote planets with inadequate equipment. The poorer the conditions of a place, the easier it was to be targeted.
But also because these incidents were so far removed, it would remain a talking point for a short time before passing. It was a matter that did not concern oneself, and only those people about to enlist for military service paid attention to them. Following that, they would try their best to be assigned to places as far away as possible. As for people who did not follow political news, they simply did not know about terrorist attacks.
But this time around, planet Baiji was highly trending, and there were too many people paying attention to it. Even though it was seperated by the internet, everyone felt as if this had incident had happened right in front of their eyes, so much so that many people were shocked senseless by the news.
"Looking at the time, it was when the live broadcast was interrupted!"
"Are they really not acting?"
Five minutes later.
A piece of information appeared online. On it was a picture, a screenshot of planet Baiji's publicity video, but on it was an extra large "T."
In no time, every large media outlet reported on this matter and explained the meaning of that picture: terrorist group "Tomorrow's Empire," aka the "T" organization, had claimed responsibility for the attack on planet Baiji.
Yanbei city retirement facility. Great-Grandfather Fang was watering the plants when he saw the news. His hands trembled and the watering can fell to the ground.
Great-Grandmother Fang hurriedly picked up her communications device and contacted former comrades, hoping to get news on the latest developments on planet Baiji.
The two elders' faces were extremely pale. They were full of regret right now. They should not have agreed with Fang Zhao's decision to undergo military service on planet Baiji. Although Great-Grandfather Fang always said that the younger generations should head to more arduous places for military service, there were times when he would close an eye, meaning that he actually doted on his descendants. When Fang Zhao had made his decision then, the two elders had been delighted, but at the same time, they had worried that Fang Zhao would meet with some problematic situations.
The discovery of Baiji ore had let Great-Grandfather Fang feel very proud in the retirement facility for a period. Never had he expected that after being proud for a few days, this sort of incident would occur.
"Little Zhao is the discoverer of Baiji ore and is also a celebrity. They probably assigned many people to protect him. He should be fine. Mmhm, definitely fine," Great-Grandfather Fang muttered. He did not know whether he was reassuring his wife or convincing himself. After that, he rushed to pick up the communications device and continued to contact people to help him get information.
Over at planet Baiji, Kevin Lin received a notification of a successful transmission and a wave of ecstasy swept across him.
Successful transmission signified that the communications network had been restored and meant that the base surely knew what was happening here and would dispatch people over to provide assistance. Even if the base was too occupied with the situation, at least over here he could send his report back and make a call to people he was close to!
However, when he saw the transmitting status, he felt as if he had been doused with ice-cold water.
He had recorded so many videos, but only the first one had been successfully transmitted, and he did not know how long it had taken for it to be transmitted successfully. The second video was stuck at 19%, and progress was slow. Live broadcasting was even more out of the question. They could not contact the base either for some unknown reason.
"Is the signal underground too weak?" Kevin Lin asked. "Professor Fan, have you managed to get in touch?"
Fan Lin shook his head. He felt that he had let down Fang Zhao and Kevin Lin. After all, he had pulled some tricks to transfer Fang Zhao over. Who could have known that this sort of situation would happen.
Fan Lin sighed. "Fang Zhao, this time it's my fault. I should not have transferred you two over."
He paused for a moment, but Fang Zhao did not reply. Fan Lin looked over and saw that Fang Zhao, who had been tending to the wounded, had stood up at that moment and was looking at the door of the underground shelter.
The shelter suddenly became slightly brighter.
The "rabbit" inside the water tank was now glowing even more brightly than before. It's original soft-looking fur had straightened out and swelled up, and each strand had its own bright spot. It looked very beautiful, but Fan Lin had a sort of dangerous feeling—whoever touched it at this moment would be very unlucky.
Many animals could sense danger much better than humans. The people in the underground right now were not idiots, and because of this, they all tensed up.
"What is ou-ou-outside?" Kevin Lin's previous excitement had totally vanished, and when it quieted down, he listened carefully to all the sounds of activity outside and could hear an indistinct and strange howl that made the hairs on his body stand up.
Fang Zhao did not reply, instead walking over to the doorway and pressing a button on the wall beside it. A screen appeared displaying the scene outside this underground shelter. Because it hadn't been used in a long time or maintained, the equipment was rather old, and the image twitched from time to time.
There were no lights outside. The surveillance camera was in night vision mode so the colors were not very distinct, but it could still be considered rather clear as it transmitted the situation behind the door.
A slender four-limbed beast walked past the underground shelter's door. It had hook-like claws and was covered with lumpy fur. As for the portions that were exposed skin, ripped muscles were bulging. Its face appeared malevolent, and some form of liquid dripped from its canines, perhaps its saliva or blood.
One look at this abomination and it one would know that this was not a native wild animal of Baiji.
The sound of something breaking rang out suddenly in the quiet underground shelter, shocking everyone.
Everyone looked at the source of the sound, but they only saw that the metal piece Fang Zhao held in his hand, which had been removed from one of the wounded, had been forcibly snapped.
Fang Zhao's back was facing them. His normally gentle and calm eyes had an ominous glint at the moment, like a sharpened knife.
It appeared that Fang Zhao was standing there calmly, but at the moment, a raging fire had started burning inside him.
Those beasts from the Period of Destruction were no longer considered a big threat to the people of the New Era, so much so that some rich folks had voiced out about wanting to keep a Period of Destruction beast as a pet, though it was against the law. Experiments regarding Period of Destruction beasts had stringent regulations and needed to be declared and go through many rounds of investigation and auditing. If anyone were caught breaking these laws, the punishment was death.
There were some who did these illegal experiments for the sake of money, such as hoarding specimens and bones of beasts from the Period of Destruction, and there some who had other motives, such as using these beasts as biological weapons.
There surely wouldn't be just one inside the outpost. The aggressors had intentionally let these beasts out to attack the people of the outpost.
People in the new era might only just be disgusted with this sort of actions by the terrorist, but what Fang Zhao felt was fury!
Struggling through almost 100 years of war and chaos and having suffered so many sacrifices, was it to watch you let these things loose?
A bunch of absolutely disgraceful things!A chinese internet slang meaning to deal with the aftermath of their people's action