Arc One - Beauty and the Cataclysm
Chapter 1 Wasteland
Zhou Qingfeng’s current predicament was related to a movie. He finally got a holiday which he can use to rest at home. He chose a mega blockbuster movie titled “Wasteland” from his computer, preparing to spend a relaxing afternoon watching it. The movie’s genre was sci-fi, and it took place in New York, USA in the year 2030.
The plot of the movie was simply mind-blowing. One day, the U.S. government, military, police, and renowned businessmen suddenly disappeared. All electricity and fuel supplies experienced a cutoff across the country; water and food were scarce; social morals were lost; mobsters and criminals ran rampant; and society was in a chaotic and anarchic state.
Zhou Qingfeng was shocked when he first saw the setting of the movie. He felt distressed as he watched valuable goods being discarded deliberately and all the pretty ladies who were alone and helpless.
I’ll have enough supplies for the rest of my life even if I pick up only a few of those. And with those ladies, searching for my life-partner will not be necessary.
It was centered on an ordinary three-person family who survived the cataclysm while facing various difficulties after New York became the capital of sin. Moreover, they persisted for three months and waited for the reform of the government.
The three-person family was regarded as heroes by the entire nation because of their outstanding performance during the chaotic period. Their future henceforth became bright and promising. The male protagonist even decided to involve himself in politics, and was eventually elected as the president of the United States.
Oh…. So the government comes back? How meaningless is that!
This was a movie that promoted the American culture and their system of values. It emphasized the elements of romance, justice, family and affection, as well as personal heroism.
The male protagonist saved the society with his extraordinary ability. He punished the evil and successfully rendered the American dream, becoming an individual who strived to change his destiny. The movie pointed out that even ordinary people can make outstanding contributions while it exaggerated the cocky attitudes of the Americans.
Well, the movie was good up to this point. However, the most vexing thing happened after the happy ending, when the subtitles said, “What if the government did not recover?” The movie then continued as the male protagonist’s three-person family persisted for three months; yet nothing changed after that.
The male protagonist did his best to protect his family, even when all the hardships and challenges left him scarred. The female protagonist never gave up on comforting her family despite encountering a tough life. Their daughter also showed bravery and resourcefulness as she helped her parents deal with all kinds of crises.
However, the survivors did not see any hope as winter arrived. They faced increasing difficulties while collecting their resources. The vicious violence in the society intensified, the ugliness of human nature was magnified, and the conscience of an individual became insignificant and laughable.
The most unacceptable part of the movie happened as it reached its downturn, when the global nuclear arsenal was suddenly activated. All nuclear missiles were launched, and they landed on every major city around the globe in merely ten minutes.
The nuclear bombs were inadequate, as they were followed by the release of biochemical weaponry. More than ninety percent of the world’s population died in the resulting catastrophe.
Even then, it apparently was insufficient as the entire biosphere began to experience heteromorphism due to the effects of the biochemical weapons. Morphed plants and animals were beginning to become extremely aggressive, making it more difficult for human beings to rebuild their civilization.
The three-person family who escaped out of New York was enduring a tough life. The male protagonist was shot to death when he entered a small town trying to loot some food, whereas the female protagonist was abducted as a slave in her efforts to protect her daughter. The movie ended with a scene showing the poor little girl standing alone and crying in the wilderness.
What the f*ck, this movie is so bad! Zhou Qingfeng felt sick at heart as he saw the poor little girl burst into tears.
Zhou Qingfeng thought that both the ladies in the film were very beautiful. As a mother and a wife, the female protagonist was mature and sexy. On the other hand, as a daughter, the supporting actress was young and beautiful. He originally planned to wank after watching the happy ending, but the final ending ended up traumatizing him.
What the f*ck! What about the pre-mentioned romance and justice? What about the ‘happily ever after’? The reality just suddenly turned cruel? Who’s the director? You better show your face…. I promise I won’t kill you!
For once, Zhou Qingfeng did not close the media player after he finished watching the movie. He patiently waited for the rolling credits, eager to find out the name of the bastard who made this trash.
He found out that the producer, director, screenwriter, and even clothing and props crews were all under one name—GOD!
Who the f*ck is GOD? How dare he use such a name? Zhou Qingfeng was unconvinced as he searched the Internet, trying to find out who the hell God was. Baidu, however, clearly showed him that GOD literally means God.
What the hell, are you kidding me?! If the director is God, then I’m the Jade Emperor.
Zhou Qingfeng continued searching for the movie titled “Wasteland”, but he found nothing about it. There was no information on the production company nor the starring actor. The movie had no producer, no publisher, no reviews; there was nothing at all.
Wow…. So I’m encountering some paranormal activity? Wait a minute…. Where did I get this film?
Zhou Qingfeng recalled that he muddle-headedly opened a website and unintentionally clicked on the movie. Although the three-person family was living in poverty, they were grateful about it. The movie gave him a very warm feeling, so he decided to spend five hours on the movie.
Five hours! Never have I heard of a movie so long. Zhou Qingfeng was disgruntled; he began watching the movie after his lunch and it only ended at nightfall! He opened the review section, then bluntly expressed his opinion of the movie on it.
“What trash, this rotten movie is simply an anti-social phenomenon! I wanted to watch some happy ending, not explore how mankind suffered during judgment day.”
He clicked on the submit button as he posted his review. However, as Zhou Qingfeng was about to close the page, the review section refreshed. A message appeared, stating, “You think this movie is trash? This is reality.”
Reality? Do you think I’m a fool?
The user’s ID was “GOD”. Zhou Qingfeng, exasperated, replied, “So you really do think you’re a God? You’re only a director. The purpose of filming a movie is supposed to be entertaining the public and earning money at the same time. Who will buy a ticket to watch such rubbish ending? This is simply unacceptable; no one will ever like it.”
God replied instantly, “I don’t care if anyone actually likes this movie, let alone if I make money. This is just a game for me.”
F*ck me.... The cocky attitude really does pass on from generation to generation! It has been many years since I last involved myself in the cocky group, and now there are already people who have surpassed me. He was self-proclaiming himself as God, and bluffing like the movie was an actual, real-life story.
“The world will be in chaos without the government? What a joke! The government was formed by a group of people. Even if the government really disbands, there will always be someone to take over the job. If I’m in ‘Wasteland’, I’ll definitely be ten thousand times better than the male protagonist in governing the country.”
Zhou Qingfeng said this confidently, as he listed out all the mistakes committed by the male protagonist in the film. He then provided his own solutions if he replaced the protagonist in the film. Having said his piece, he suddenly thought that this kind of scenario proposition was quite fun!
GOD went silent for a moment before he replied, “You really think that you can live better in the world of ‘Wasteland’? What if I can send you there? Are you willing to accept the challenge?”
“Uh…. No way.” Zhou Qingfeng thought to himself, I’ll only be going to that doomed land if I’m out of my mind! I’ll have nothing to eat, nothing to drink, and encounter creatures crawling all across the land. There’s no way I’ll willingly go to a world where humans would kill each other for a slice of bread. Being a keyboard warrior and being practical are two completely different things.
“Your life isn't much better though. Look at you…. No savings after working for so many years, and no girlfriend after blind dating so many times. You even got scolded two days ago because of a slight mistake, even when your superior was the one who should have been blamed.
“You have no house, no car, no savings, no friends. What else do you have? Don’t you think you’re living a hopeless life?”
F*ck me…. Zhou Qingfeng was not happy with what GOD had just said. He blanked for a long time before he replied nervously on the comments section, “Who are you? How do you know my business?”
GOD, however, refused to answer his question as he continued, “Now, I shall grant you an opportunity to relive your life. I will let you travel to another world wherein you have to strive for yourself. You will transmigrate back to three days before the disaster, and for every ten days you spend in ‘Wasteland’, I will let you spruce-up three days in the actual world, as well as allow you to take some spoils of war as your reward.
“I will even give you some transmigrating benefits. If you can persist for three months before the judgment day, you will win the bet. I will then allow you to freely transmigrate through the spacetime. Press the enter key whenever you are ready.”
After he finished reading GOD’s reply, Zhou Qingfeng was stunned. His mind came up with various ridiculous thoughts as finally he questioned himself, If I have the opportunity to relive my life, will I be able to bestir myself? Should I go and rescue the mother and daughter?
I don’t care, there’s no harm in pressing the enter key anyway.