Chapter 6: The Food Chain
The body was gnawed to the point of being unrecognizable; the policeman’s face was completely gone. There was a large hole in his torso and his organs were all missing.
Looking at this nauseating scene, Chang tried his best to not to vomit as he picked up the pistol by the side of the corpse.
Like most students, this was the first time that Chang had ever touched a pistol. Luckily, it wasn’t too complicated, so he only fumbled over the pistol for a minute or two before figuring out how to release the safety and use the magazine. He then fired the gun once—he wanted to make sure that he know how to fire before running into danger.
After the shot, Chang checked the clip and found out that there was only two bullets left.
Pistols used by the police were different from those used by military personnel. Service pistols were generally less powerful and had smaller ammunition capacity. Those pistols only carried six to seven bullets, and after that battle between the policeman and the stray dogs in addition to Chang’s test shot, two bullets were all he had now.
Rummaging again through the humanoid body, Chang didn’t harvest anything new.
However, he didn’t expect much since many Chinese law reinforcers weren’t allowed to carry guns. Chang was lucky enough to obtain a firearm from this dead man.
Although this service pistol couldn’t really cope with the unpredictable and dangerous situations in this new would, Chang took the pistol as precaution. Even if he had a submachine gun, it wouldn’t help him that much considering his poor firearm skills and the miserable circumstances.
He roughly wiped off the blood on the pistol and locked the safety, then he put the pistol into his pocket and covered the smell of blood with the fragrance. Chang then went back to the school.
The instincts of social animal stated that they liked to gather together in perilous situations that they couldn’t overcome by themselves.
Chang was no exception. After wandering about for 15 minutes, he finally reached the school gates.
At the school there was a soccer field.
It was crowded with a lot of people—most of them were middle aged men and women; they were probably parents that rushed here after the red fog began.
Xingzhi was a small boarding school only for students who planned to repeat high school, so there weren’t many students and almost all of them were locals. The crowd almost filled the entire campus.
Though the visibility was only about three meters, from the rustling and voices in the air, the crowd was very dense.
Chang even saw some old people in the crowd—they might’ve been some students’ grandparents.
Holding a glimmer of hope, he squished into the crowd and tried find those two familiar figures. But after all the time he spent searching, he didn’t see any sign of his parents.
Arriving back to his classroom, he found that it was still rowdy here.
“Hey Glasses.” In the classroom, Chang found one of his roommates, “Have you seen my mom?”
“What does your mother look like?” It had just been a few days in school, so Chang and Glasses were barely acquaintances. He hadn’t had a chance to meet Chang’s mother.
“Oh well, never mind.” Chang irritatedly stomped his feet, and then an itching pain came from his ankle wound. “Did anyone come to find me while I left?”
“Nope.” Glasses shook his head, “In the past hour, almost all the students’ parents flooded over here. Some teachers tried using the broadcast system to organize the parents to meet their kids, but somehow the broadcast malfunctioned, so the teachers couldn’t even finish the announcement.”
“It might’ve been destroyed by those bugs… the world is in chaos now.” Chang sighed when he thought of the dangers he encountered on his way home and to school.
“Should we store some food?” Glasses read a lot of apocalyptic fictions, so he knew that food was always a scarce resource during the apocalypse.
“We definitely need food, but they won’t last long.” While Chang was talking, he turned to look outside the window, “It seems like food is sufficient. I saw a lot of plants growing outside on my way back, and most of them are edible.”
“Things might’ve changed.” As Chang and Glasses were discussing, the “good student” Tao joined their conversation. he stared at the red fog, “Although these plants look the same as they were before the red fog, they’re growing much faster. How long has it been since the red fog first began? Less than 2 hours! Who knows whether these plants are going to mutate tomorrow or the day after, not to mention we have no idea how long the red fog is going to last. It’s never too early to prepare food.”
“You have a point,” Chang nodded unconsciously.
Although the situation was unpredictable, Chang hadn’t planned for the future yet, as his mind was occupied by other things. The safety of his family always came first in times of danger. Though they were overprotective and constantly nagging him, at this moment, all he could think of was his parents.
The apocalypse was never one person’s matter.
“What do we do now?” Glasses turned to Tao and said, “Where are your parents?”
“My parents work in Beijing; they can’t come.” Tao shook his head and glanced at Glasses’ parent who were standing behind Glasses the whole time.
“The only thing we can do now is wait.” Pangzi squeezed over. A middle-aged women who was even chubbier than him had been with Pangzi the whole time; she was probably his mother.
“We don’t know when and whether or not the fog is going to dissipate.” Tao was still looking at the fog as he asked, “Chang, how was it out there?”
“It’s very dangerous ……” Chang summarized his trip in a few sentences, “almost all the plants and animals I met had incredible mutations, and they continue to evolve at a steady pace.”
“We saw the same when we came.” Glasses’ father interrupted, “I guess we have to wait for the army to rescue us.”
“Will the army even come?” Chang looked at his three roommates as he asked this question, and the responses he got were three pairs of eyes filled with uncertainty.
In every apocalypse film or novel, the army had never been helpful in saving civilians. At the end of the day, whoever wanted to survive would have to rely on themselves.
Moreover, visibility in this red fog was less than three meters, so the utility of firearms and tanks would be minimized—since targets could barely be identified by the human eye, sitting in a tank would make the vision even less clear. The red fog basically masked any scoping abilities of weapons.
As for aircrafts? Was it even possible to take off in an aircraft in the fog?
That wasn’t even the worst part of this disaster; the most distressing thing was the unpredictability. No one would be able to anticipate how the world was going to change and who the enemy was.
None of these creatures had existed on Earth prior to this fog, and Earth was still the same as before. However, all living creatures were undergoing rapid evolvement and it seemed like they were trying to challenge humans—the predators who had been at the top of the food chain for more than 50000 years.
What the human race needed to do was defend their dominance. However, what Chang thought he needed to do was to survive.
“We might as well just go and occupy a convenience store.” Just as Chang frowned and pondered his next step, Tao suddenly whispered, “There should be enough food reserves, and it’s easier for us to guard a small shop. It’s too rowdy in school now, and sooner or later something will go wrong.”
“Mom, what do you think of this idea?” After listening to Tao, Pangzi turned and asked his mother.
“I still feel like going home,” His mother said in disagreement.
“We agreed to go to the convenience store.” Glasses’ father asserted before his son tried to say something, “It’ll be chaotic if there are too many people, but we won’t be capable to defend ourselves either if there aren’t enough of us.”
“We agree,” Glasses and his mother nodded.
“We also want to go with you!” seeing that most people agreed to this decision, Pangzi’s mother hastily shouted.
“Chang, how about you?” Pangzi and the others turned to Chang.
“I will wait for my parents.” Chang said calmly with his eyes closed.