Epoch of Twilight

Chapter 499

Chapter 499 - The New Childbirth Technique

In just a blink of an eye, it was September.

At 10 o'clock at night, Cui Wenchuan was on his way back from the adult night classes. He was tired and went back to his cramped house.

The engineering company he had been working for previously had shut down after the last project was completed. Most of the employees were laid off while he was reassigned to another job since he was a mid-level leader previously. He was assigned to a commodities firm where he was appointed as the production supervisor.

The salary was relatively lower than the engineering company. However, he would at the very least, still retain a stable income unlike the previous job he had, where he would be unemployed most of the time.

After working for less than a month, he realized that the factory was built by the government with the intention of reducing the unemployment rate. They did their best not to use any machines if the job was doable by hand. There were less than 50 machines in a factory that had more than 1,000 employees and even with only 50 machines, less than half of them were operational.

After working there for a short period of time, he felt an emptiness within him, feeling like his work there was meaningless and a waste of time.

He felt like there was no hope. Perhaps one day, with enough hard work and qualifications, he could become a top executive. However, being a factory manager was useless since the factory did not even use the latest technology. It was a factory that went through the same routine every single day with production going according to schedule. It was not even worth mentioning in today's society.

To the best of his knowledge, even the factory's manager living area was the same size as his.

He did try visiting some of the more advanced factories in his free time. Looking at the engineers discussing the design plans in a spacious, fully automated factory, he felt a sliver of envy growing within him.

He was a young man, passionate about his job, not wanting to spend his entire life doing such menial things and live in such cramped conditions where he was at the lowest class of society that lived on nine square meters. For the sake of his family and his future, he had to fight for it.

"You've just come back from night school? I've made you some supper." His wife stopped mopping the floor and asked as she saw him come home.

"It's okay, you don't have to make me supper. Why're you still awake?" Cui Wenchuan put down the bag with the textbook in it and asked. He then hugged his beautiful wife and kissed her passionately.

She was his second wife and he got to know her from a blind date organized by an organization. They were not even married for a year and were still in the honeymoon phase.

"Stop fooling around. Ning Ning is still awake!"

"Has she finished her homework?" Cui Weichuan immediately released his hand as he heard of his daughter.

"I heard that this year's textbooks are slightly tougher. I'm worried that she might have to put in more effort." His wife nodded her head and spoke of her worries.

  

Cui Wenchuan could understand this better. The school was changing the textbooks used every year and they got thicker as the years passed. Initially, primary students only had to learn basic mathematics and simple words but nowadays, they even had to study the ninth grade syllabus and that was the easiest part. For secondary students, they even had to study what used to be the university-level syllabus.

Human intelligence was improving every year and the initial teaching plans could no longer satisfy the needs of the society.

Unlucky students aside, he did find it tough since he started attending night classes recently despite being a former university student. Without the aid of the miniature artificial intelligence system that he wore around his eyes that helped him in calculation and analysis, he would be unable to keep up with the rate at which knowledge was being shoved into him.

However, only high school students were allowed to buy the device. Since his daughted was only a primary student, she had to prepare herself for the future by strengthening her foundations.

"Should we register her for remedial classes?" Cui Weichuan said after some thought.

"It's a good idea! Let's see what she thinks about this." His wife said in agreement. Although she was not her daughter by blood, she still treated her like she was her own. Fortunately, she was a good daughter and did nothing to make her stepmother feel like an outsider.

She was a pitiful child. Her mother died since she was young and she followed her father, rushing around after the onset of the apocalypse. She almost died in an earthquake and suffered a great deal. Perhaps, this was why she was wiser than others her age.

After a few moments, Cui Weichuan knocked on her daughter's bedroom door and asked, "Have you done your homework?"

"I have a little more to go. Don't worry about me."

"Alright, get some rest early." Cui Weichuan said, feeling pity for her in his heart. She was so young and yet she has to bear the brunt of having such heavy loads of homework. He recalled the time when he was her age - he was still playing.

...

After helping his wife mop the floor, he returned to their bedroom. Both of them lay in bed, speaking softly.

"What do you think about having a baby?" His wife asked.

"Better not think about it. I've heard that the success rate for test-tube babies is not that high. If the implantation fails, it would hurt your body!" Cui Weichuan sighed and said. They have tried it before. However, the fetus stopped growing just after three months, causing a miscarriage.

"It's different this time. They are using a new technology now. The success rate is close to 100%. Don't you read the news?" His wife asked.

Cui Weichuan worked in the morning and studied at night. He was so busy and had no time to read the news. Surprised, he said, "Wow, technology is advancing so fast? Let's go have a look at it.!"

He was not so stressed about having another child since the government was encouraging the citizens to have more kids. They would be given incentives on top of three years maternity leave if they had children. In addition to the free education the children would get, having more children would not add any burden to the parents.

When they did, they may actually afford to buy a bigger house!

"I've heard that the technology used today is quite advanced. When a zygote is produced, the doctors will modify the genes so the defective genes can be eliminated. The baby to be will be more intelligent, look better and be stronger. How about taking a leave tomorrow?" The wife asked in excitement.

Nobody would refuse such a baby, especially his wife, who was so keen to have children.

However, Cui Weichuan was a close-minded conservative. He doubted the new technology since it has yet to receive certification to ensure it was safe. Furthermore, it would directly affect his child but looking at his excited wife, he said, "I'll inform the factory manager tomorrow. I should be able to request a leave,"

The next morning, the both of them went to the hospital which was located just two floors above them.

Though the hospital was usually not so crowded, there were quite a number of people there today. Cui Weichuan noticed that most of them were married couples. He later realized that they were here to check out the new technology as well.

While they were queuing up, Cui Weichuan saw many of them frowning as they came out from the consultation room, looking indecisive. He had doubts but he did not dwell on them. After they stood in the queue for almost two hours, it was finally their turn.

"Are you saying that our newborn baby might not look like the parents or might even have genetic disorders?" Listening to the doctor's explanation, his wife instantly felt a cold chill, like she was splashed with a bucket of cold water as she asked in shock.

The doctor answered the client calmly, "It's because the new technology involves gene modification and there may be major changes. For example, if the parents didn't look too good, the newborn child would look way better after gene modification. Of course, I understand that this may be cause for concern. However, the government has been promoting this new technology and each family who goes through this will be given a significant amount of incentives. Even if the parents didn't plan on raising the child after the procedure, they can send the child to an adoption center. It's a win-win situation!"

The better the incentives, the more Cui Weichuan felt like something was up. Could it still be their child if identifying its parents was a problem? He tugged at his wife and noticed that she seemed indecisive.

...

Without a doubt, this technology is probably the outcome of the Human Genome Optimization Programme that the government implemented a year ago.

It had redefined the standard of human genetics, eliminating the effects of the antidote virus on childbirth. The introduction of this technology is the first step to bring forward a species of genetically superior humans. Humans in the future would no longer inherit diseases or have any flaws.

They would not only be strong, intelligent and good-looking, they would also have a longer lifespan.

The new generation of humans would have an average attribute of 13 to 14 points which included their Intellligence. They would live an average of 300 years and at the same time, human reproduction would return to normal, only being possible through natural, sexual, reproduction.

In fact, there were more than one proposal to redefine the genetic standard for human beings that was submitted to Luo Yuan and some of them had radical changes in them. The one they adopted was perhaps the most conservative one but the new generation of humans would not differ too much from how humans should be and will not have a mysterious ability to evolve. Aside from a weak version of self-healing that allowed them to live longer, there were no other major changes. This was why it was known as an optimization plan.

After the human genetic standard was proposed, Luo Yuan considered all of them carefully. Eventually, he chose the most conservative one. The best advantage of this plan was that it did not affect the reproduction cycle of the new generation of humans and this alone was sufficient reason to abandon all the other plans.

Cloning technology could only serve as a temporary measure as the technology meant that the human population would depend solely on clones and not natural reproduction methods. It could be done but it would be unpractical.

The key to development of a civilization was survival. The development of human civilization would not always go smoothly and there would be ups and downs. If technology did not advance at such a pace, death would probably be awaiting them.