Era of Disaster

Chapter 45

Chapter 45: Useful Genes


Hong Qi Hua stood up and nodded to everyone after seeing the condition that Bai Yi was in.

“There are 121 research facilities in New Zealand along with more than 100,000 experimental monsters, this is the information that Martin gave us. Although the monsters only escaped from the Northern Hamilton Research Facility and the other research facility nearby so far, none of us can be sure if the experiments from other research facilities will escape. Or rather, I’m sure that they will definitely escape, it’s just a matter of when.”

“However, the experimental monsters are just one of the reasons. Although they are powerful, there are only around 100,000 of them. The real danger is the entire ecosphere of New Zealand. Now we are still within human civilization and not much time has passed, so we don’t see any big changes. However, in those remote places where man’s footprints are rare, I’m afraid that those animals in the wild have already started their cruel process of natural selection. Those that are strong will live while the weak become food.” Hong Qi Hua said, and suddenly opened her mouth and bit down hard.

Hong Qi Hua’s teeth bit down with a ‘kacha!’, causing the few girls who were listening intently to jump in fright. Hong Qi Hua didn’t jump straight into the topic of what genes to fuse, but explained the situation they were in first, increasing the worry in everybody’s hearts by another level.

“Qi Hua, don’t frighten us on purpose!” Sara patted her chest in fright.

“I’m not frightening you guys. Fundamentally, we aren’t different from those experimental monsters, and our situation may be even more cruel. If you want to survive, then you have to rely on your own efforts.” Hong Qi Hua said with increasing heaviness after smiling for a moment.

“Over these past few days, I have classified various genes into rough categories. They aren’t classified based on species like we normally do, but in another way – powerful physical strength, faster speed, precise vision, great regenerative capabilities, mobility and flight, poison immunity, aquatic adaptation and special abilities…” Hong Qi Hua said and wrote on the blackboard with a piece of chalk.

“There’s roughly 2.5 million different types of living things in the biosphere that are known to us. Out of the 2.5 million, there’s 2 million animals, 340 thousand plants and 37 thousand microorganisms. The first to be eliminated are the microorganisms. They’ve always existed in all areas of the world. If it were possible to fuse with their genes, we would’ve already fused with them long ago.” Hong Qi Hua said while drawing the categories out on the blackboard, helping the rest to understand her better.

“After that, although there’s still a few million living things, we can eliminate those that we can’t see normally. Based on our situation now, it’s not possible for us to find them. Out of those remaining, it’s best to pick some animals or insects that have special abilities.” Hong Qi Hua stood on the rostrum and spoke with assurance and composure.

Everybody was captivated by Hong Qi Hua.

The Hong Qi Hua before had always worn big wide-rimmed spectacles, which almost covered half her face and seemed very old-fashioned. Moreover, she wasn’t outstanding in school either and that made people overlook her easily. Now, however, after she took off her spectacles, not only did she reveal her beautiful face but her individual disposition was also slowly being displayed. This made people feel very unfamiliar and yet… very captivated.

“As for what genes to fuse with, I have already obtained more detailed information from Martin. I classified them simply, so if you have any opinions feel free to voice them.” There wasn’t an electronic screen, but at least there was a blackboard, so it was already considered more convenient. Everyone sat quietly in their seats, and there was only the sound of Hong Qi Hua’s chalk writing on the blackboard.

Very quickly, Hong Qi Hua wrote down a few categories on the board and turned around to face everybody. At this time, everyone else was also looking at what Hong Qi Hua had written on the board. Her words were very graceful, although they couldn’t be considered works of calligraphy, they were still quite pleasing to the eye. However, what people paid attention to now weren’t her words but their contents.

1. Strong Physical Strength – Basic physical strength, this is easy to understand.

Ant: Ants are very small, but relative to their body size no other organism in the biosphere can compare to the ant in terms of physical strength. Moreover, it is very easy to obtain their genes.

Of course, this is only in theory. If the body size were the same, then ants would have unbeatable strength, but nobody knows what would happen after gene fusion. Hence, the animals that are known for great strength in the natural world can also be considered.

Elephant and Whale: Both have enormous bodies and powerful strength, so they could be considered to be among the strongest animals on Earth.

2. Faster Speed – There are two aspects of this: ground speed and flying speed. After Hong Qi Hua and Bai Yi discussed this with each other, they concluded that agility was key on ground, as pure speed wasn’t enough to deal with various kinds of dangers. For this kind of agility, there were a few choices.

Flea: Agile reaction, able to jump within 0.7 – 1.2 milliseconds of meeting danger.

Hummingbird: In flight, it only requires 8 milliseconds to contract its muscles.

Leopard: Leopards are known for their running speed, but they aren’t too suitable. The reason a leopard can move so quickly is closely tied to its body shape.

3. Formidable Five Senses – What we commonly refer to as sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste

  • First is sight. A human’s vision is very average, and the ability to perceive fast moving objects is very weak. Hence, vision is an extremely important aspect to upgrade ourselves in. Normally, animals with compound eyes such as flies have very good dynamic vision. Of course, it isn’t just about dynamic vision but also about night vision.

Dragonfly and Butterfly: In general, insects all have decent dynamic vision, so of course we don’t have to choose a disgusting one like flies.

Owl and Cat: Of course, other animals also have night vision, but considering the ease of obtaining genes, these two animals are more commonly seen.

Bald Eagle: This bird can watch its prey from thousands of meters in the sky, and swoop down for the kill. It has very outstanding long-distance vision.

  • After that is hearing. Hearing can complement the deficiencies of sight in many situations.

Bat: Echolocation is a very useful ability, but bats have this ability because their vision is close to non-existent. Nobody knows if you will go blind after fusing with a bat’s genes, so it’s best not to choose a bat.

Cat and Dog: Both have decent hearing and can be used to detect danger earlier.

  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Taste

In comparison, the last three senses aren’t too useful when faced with danger. Moreover, the five senses of most animals are generally stronger than humans, so there is no need to give examples.

4. Powerful Regenerative Capabilities – Many animals have regenerative capabilities, but most of them are simple and primitive animals, so there is no need to expect too much. Moreover, there is no such thing as high-speed regeneration like you see in novels or mangas.

Lizard: We are all familiar with how a lizard can regrow its tail after losing it.

Zebrafish: Zebrafish can regrow their fins, scales, spines and even part of their hearts.

Sea Cucumber: You can grow a new sea cucumber from a cut off piece of flesh of a sea cucumber. However, this ability seems to be more like cloning.

Spider: Spiders can regrow their missing legs.

In truth, from what we can see from Woolf and Sharpei’s recovery rates these past few days, activated cells themselves have decent regenerative capabilities. Of course, this is assuming that there is sufficient food and energy.

5. Flight – Flight can let us avoid many instances of dangerous situations. Outstanding flight ability can let people rapidly escape from danger.

Peregrine Falcon: The bird with the fastest speed; it can reach up to 180km per hour.

Bald Eagle: This animal can stalk its prey from thousands of meters in the sky, then dive down for the kill. It can not only fly, but its long-distance vision is extremely strong as well.

Fly: We mention flies because of their nimbleness as well as their dynamic vision. Overall, although we find them disgusting and want to avoid them, they have some abilities that are much better than those of humans.

However, these animals may not be suitable because their speed is highly related to their body shape. If humans fused with their genes, we can’t be sure that we can display the same level of flying ability.

6. Poison Immunity – There’s no absolute choice for this, as many lifeforms have a certain level of poison immunity but it’s normally only for certain poisons. For example, the kingsnake is immune to the poison of the rattlesnake and pit viper, and prey on them for food.

7. Aquatic Adaptation – All aquatic animals seem to be ok, but combined with the above conditions, aesthetic fishes are apparently not suitable. Other aquatic creatures like the octopus, however, are actually good choices.

8. Special ability – This includes things such as spider silk, venom from venomous snakes, and a mayfly’s ability to traverse water surfaces.

Hong Qi Hua finally finished writing and everyone fell into a daze after they finished reading. Can humans really gain these special abilities from gene fusion?

“Of course, this is only in theory. In reality, gene fusion can’t possibly be classified into these simple categories. I’ve already asked Martin about this. After so much research, other than the search for the ephemeral longevity, they were also researching the rules and conditions behind gene fusion. Actually, using strong genes for gene fusion isn’t some extraordinary or out of the box idea. It has already been experimented on in the laboratory.” Hong Qi Hua said.

“Then what were the results?” Everybody asked with deep concern.

“The results weren’t as good as we had hoped.” Hong Qi Hua went silent.

“Why?” Everyone was really puzzled. Hong Qi Hua just painted a picture of them gaining great powers in their minds, but in a blink of an eye, she suddenly said that the results weren’t good?

“Let me explain.” Martin stood up and everyone immediately looked at him. Out of everybody here, Martin had the most experience with the experimental monsters and gene fusion. Even though Martin was only a side researcher, he was still more knowledgeable than the rest of them who didn’t know anything.

“If we divide the experimental subjects in the research facility based on their physical power, we can roughly split them into four levels.”

Four levels!