GOR Chapter 494 Shutdown
Chen Xiaolian’s first thought: This is not a system prompt!
The reason for that… firstly, this was Zero City.
Zero City was completely blocked from the main system. No prompt from the main system could find its way inside.
Secondly was naturally the strange symbols that made up the prefix ‘????’.
Chen Xiaolian’s heartbeat began accelerating.
After a moment’s hesitation, he made up his mind and chose: Yes.
[????: Connection request accepted: Initial scanning of module… … scan complete. Compatibility value: 99.86 %. Rate of compatibility: [Perfect]. Authority granted.]
Chen Xiaolian was seated on the bed and his eyes shone in the darkness.
[????: Safe mode turned on! Automatic shielding turned on! Automatic concealment turned on! Scanning environment, clearing hidden dangers… … clearing process completed. Present degree of safety: 100 %. Entering connect mode].
[????: Acceptance of authority complete. System access granted.
[????: Access mode: Autonomous.
[????: Unlocking in progress…]
At the same time, within the room in charge of monitoring Zero City’s main control system that was within the Board of Patriarchs’ building, several of the on-duty members from Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild and Angel Corps were staring with dumbfounded expressions. They stared at what was on the virtual screens projected before them.
All the images of Zero City on the surveillance screens had disappeared. All of them, including the images of the public areas, had gone dark.
Everything related to Zero City’s real-time detection system had failed.
The staff members who were seated on the surveillance positions quavered as they reported the state of the area that they were in charge of.
The doors to the room were opened and a middle-aged man in Angel Corps uniform burst inside like a gust of wind. His neckline buttons were left unbuttoned and his hair was a mess. Clearly, he had been woken up in the middle of the night.
“Just what has happened?”
The middle-aged man was clearly a high-ranking member of the Angel Corps. There was anxiousness and fury in his tone as he continued, “Who can tell me what just happened? Report! I need a report of the current situation! Every one of you, give me a report!”
After a few seconds of silence, someone began to speak up.
“Lookout no 1, the real-time surveillance for all the public areas in Zero City is down.”
“Lookout no 3, Sea of Love’s control system is closed, wind speed zero, hydraulics zero… … the system has closed the circulation pump for the Sea of Love.”
“Lookout no 6, the main program for Zero City’s ecological cycle system has entered sleep mode.”
“Lookout no 9, safety system has been forcibly turned on, level of safety raised to the max, all temporary passageway have been forced to close down…”
“Lookout no 2, each resident guild’s resource pocket space has been sealed… … time until they reopen is not known.”
“Lookout no 11, industrial energy supply cut off. All energy reactors shut down. All workshop equipment switched to manual operations… … the Hell!”
“Lookout no 8…”
“Lookout no 7…”
“Lookout no 13…”
One by one, they reported with absent-minded, panicky, anxious or fearful tones.
The reports rang out one after another within the room and the reports from
After the reports ended, everyone’s hearts had sunk deep down.
The middle-aged man from the Angel Corps looked terribly pale and his face was deathly grey.
His throat felt parched and his mouth bitter. He found it laborious to even speak up. Finally, he managed to utter out a sentence.
“In other words… … Zero City’s system… … stopped working?”
His eyes were filled with killing intent as he swept his gaze across the room. No one there could endure his gaze and fear was etched on every one of his or her face.
It was impossible for them not to panic.
This was Zero City. This was where every one of them lived.
It was a place that had given them hope, a place to live and gather resources. Zero City!
And now… … Zero City’s system had shut down.
There was deathly silence in the room.
After a full 10 seconds, a slightly terrified and hesitant voice spoke up…
“That… sir, it is not a complete shutdown. The external defensive program has automatically turned on. Additionally, the safety setting is set to the highest level.”
“… … …” The middle-aged man looked at the source of the voice. It was a member of Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild. He licked his dry lips and said in a hoarse voice, “You mean to say… … Zero City’s system is…”
“It is closing itself up.” The Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild member’s face was ugly to behold. “It… … it appeared to have awoken. Then, it seized all control from us, stopped all internal activities and raised the external security setting to the highest level. It…”
The middle-aged man took a deep breath. “Just like a city. Everything within the city is shut down and the gates are closed up. Is that what you are trying to say?”
All activity was stopped, but the defensive system and the security settings were raised to the max?
None of them could understand what was going on.
Zero City was always a self-aware program. It had never done something like this before. It had always allowed the control of Zero City to rest in the hands of the Board of Patriarchs, the resident guilds and the Angel Corps.
Tonight however, Zero City had suddenly… … seized back control over the entire city.
“In other words, we, the resident guilds of Zero City, as of now… … we are no different from those outsiders who came to visit Zero City during its opening days? We no longer have any control over Zero City?”
“… … that is one way of putting it.”
At that moment, the doors to the room were pushed open once again.
The burly Angel Wu, who was in uniform and sporting a murderous face, strode in. Beside him, three men in Angel Corps uniform walked in.
Angel Wu’s arrival gave everyone’s morale a boost. The middle-aged man quickly rushed forward and greeted him, “Sir, the situation…”
“Wait a moment,” Angel Wu spoke in a thick and vigorous voice. His hair was dishevelled and he appeared like a lion that would lash out at any moment. “Mr Bluesea will be arriving soon. Wait for him to arrive before you give your report.”
Less than half a minute later after Angel Wu’s arrival, Bluesea arrived. Tagging along beside him was Guan Shan alone. Bluesea entered the room and there was a tangled look on his face. He exchanged glances with Angel Wu and the two of them saw something within each other’s eyes that they had not seen in a long time.
It was a hint of panic.
Even when faced with the Blood Verdict, Bluesea had not shown such panic in his eyes.
Even back when he had to engage in a decisive duel of life and death with an expert from Thorned Flower Guild, such a look of panic had never appeared in Angel Wu’s eyes.
“Report!” Angel Wu took a deep breath.
A few minutes later, after the two of them were done listening to the report; they exchanged glances and saw disbelief in each other’s faces.
“… … something that has never happened before?” Bluesea asked Angel Wu.
Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild was, after all, the newcomer among the seven resident guilds of Zero City.
The expression on Angel Wu’s face was extremely ugly to behold. “No… … from what I know of Zero City’s history, this has never happened before.”
Bluesea was silent for a moment. Then, he asked, “Has everyone been informed?”
Although he was not being specific, everyone understood that Blusea was talking about the Guild Leaders of the other resident guilds and the pillar figures from the Board of Patriarchs.
“Already, already informed.” One of Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild’s member quickly replied in an anxious tone. “However, due to the shutdown of Zero City’s system, normal means of contacting them have been closed. We can only use other methods to contact them. At present, we have notified four guilds and their Guild Leaders are rushing here. However…”
“The Guild Leader of the Knights of Darkness Guild is in their guild’s resource pocket. Now that Zero City has stopped internal operations, he is now sealed in the resource pocket and cannot get out.” The Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild member’s voice was quavering. “Additionally, the members from Rodriar Guild reported that their Guild Leader is not in Zero City. He had gone out to deal with some matters outside. Now that Zero City’s external passageways have been closed… … we have lost contact with him.”
Angel Wu slammed his fist on a table and a deep indentation formed from the impact. This burly middle-aged man was like an enraged lion and he paced around the room for a few steps. “All passageways have been cut off? In other words, we are now locked inside Zero City? We cannot move in or out anymore?”
“… … yes, Sir Angel Wu. Even the emergency passageway has been cut off.”
Bluesea’s eyes flickered and he abruptly said, “Can I interpret this situation as… … Zero City is like a computer that has entered… … safe mode?”
Everyone in the room was stunned. One of the more courageous one answered tentatively, “Yes, sir… … this analogy of yours is quite appropriate. It is indeed similar to a computer going into safe mode.”
“What about the assessment? I want a current assessment, the best case and worst case scenario.” Angel Wu gave a harrumph.
Everyone in the room turned pale. However, a man in glasses quickly stood up. This person who was clearly a member of the ‘technical department’, took a deep breath and said, “Best case scenario… … this shutdown will end with an automatic restoration of activities and everything will return to normal. However, during this shutdown period, Zero City would undoubtedly face losses. The suspension of activities of the workshops, industrial units, equipment and production lines would cause the respective guilds losses. At present, we do not have the data on it.”
“Give me the worst case scenario!” Bluesea interrupted the man.
“The worst case scenario…” Cold sweat oozed out from the bespectacled technical member’s forehead. “As you both know, Zero City’s main control system is omnipresent and we rely heavily on it. Nearly 80 per cent of the equipment within Zero City is connected to the main control system. Control over them depends on the main control system’s computing capabilities. Only a small number of machinery is operated manually. Those machinery are not affected by this shutdown. However, our energy source comes from Zero City’s main control system. Thus…
“As of now, all the automatic systems in Zero City have been shut down. In fact… … even many of our guests in the hotels have been shut inside their rooms, unable to leave and enter. With the exception of those who are still walking around in the night, I estimate that at least 80 per cent of the people in Zero City are now locked inside their own rooms.”
“Meaning that as of now, Zero City has transformed into a huge prison where every room has become a prison cell?” There was a tone of disbelief in Bluesea’s voice.
“… … that is quite true. However, from what I know, the headquarters of the resident guilds are mostly manual in this regard. They would not be affected, thus…”
“Thus, we are not in a completely hopeless situation.” Bluesea sighed. “If not, should a riot break out in the streets, the combat forces of our resident guilds could only sit in their respective guild’s headquarters.”
The tech specialist adjusted his glasses slightly. He wore Angel Corps uniform, indicating that he was not Bluesea’s subordinate. Thus, in face of Bluesea’s questions, he did not feel as nervous. He took a deep breath and said, “Sir, that is actually not the worst case scenario. The worst case scenario… … is far worse!”
“… … go on.”
The bespectacled man’s tone was one of loss as he spoke, “All of us here, all the energy we use, all of them are supplied by Zero City’s main control system. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the sunlight, all of them are provided by the ecological cycle system. This system has always relied on the energy provided by Zero City’s main control system for its operations. That includes everything. The industrial units, equipment and production lines for every resident guild rely on the energy provided by Zero City’s main control system for their operations. Even the lights on the streets, the power supply for the bars coffee machine, all of them come from Zero City’s main control system!
“Naturally, we did build some equipment to provide backup energy, but…”
“But what?” Angel Wu asked with a heavy tone, sensing the despairing tone in his subordinate’s voice.
The bespectacled man’s body flinched and he hastily continued, “But as I said earlier, we are too reliant and placed too much faith in Zero City’s main control system! It had never disappointed us. It had never stopped. It had never had any issues! Thus, we have never put too much effort into the preparation of equipment for backup energy. Because the energy supplied by Zero City’s main control system appeared unlimited…”
“Thus, we got careless in our preparation of backup energy.” Angel Wu scoffed.
“… yes.” The bespectacled man’s voice grew hoarse.
“We possess the most advanced technology and skills that are hundreds of years beyond what the outside world could grasp! We have the ability to miniaturize nuclear reactors… … and you are telling me that we do not have backup power?”
“It is not that we do not have it, we do.” The bespectacled man smiled bitterly. “However, the amount prepared is not as big as what you would expect.”
His voice started to tremble.
“The equipment for backup power… the amount it could supply is very limited. We only have four sets of backup power equipment. The amount of energy it can supply is not enough for everyday operations. If we force it to operate at that capacity, all the backup power equipment would only last for a maximum of 48 hours… … maybe even less. After that, we would be suffering power shortages.”
The man’s voice grew aggravated as he continued, “You may not have realized this issue, but… … Zero City’s everyday operations are not limited to the water and electricity that we use. They are not limited to the operations of the beautiful Sea of Love, the lights in our room nor even the industrial units… most of the power supply is spent on spatial technology!
“I am referring to ‘Zero City’s resources’ allocated to each resident guilds, the resource pockets that every resident guild possesses. The mines and various others. All of them are opened up by Zero City. They are the equivalent of the space created by small instance dungeons in the game world. However, these pocket spaces are created by Zero City. They are the equivalent of a minor, isolated world created using spatial technology! In order to maintain those minor worlds and allow us to access and mine the resources… the cost of maintaining those pocket spaces is enormous!
“Back then, the power needed to maintain them were all supplied by Zero City and there was no need for us to worry… … well, there was no point in worrying to begin with. The power required was simply too huge. There was simply no way we could find a power source to maintain its operations.
“Now however, Zero City has shut down. It has stopped all power supplying operations, so…”
“So, all the resource pockets belonging to the resident guilds, the benefits we received from Zero City, the mining worlds and the others will all…”
“Those small pocket spaces and minor worlds would end up like small instance dungeons. After losing their source of power, they would all collapse and disappear!” The bespectacled man shook his head. “Our backup energy equipment can only last for 48 hours or less.”
Bluesea and Angel Wu exchanged glances. Angel Wu whispered, “The Guild Leader of the Knights of Darkness Guild is inside his guild’s pocket space!”
“… … …” Bluesea’s face twitched. “If the pocket space collapses, the people inside…”
After forwarding those words to the bespectacled man, they saw him go pale and he remained silent, unable to answer.
However, everyone understood what the answer was.
Everyone inside the room sucked in a breath of cold air.
The fall of a leading figure!
This would certainly be a huge loss for Zero City.
“Sirs, I was not finished.” The bespectacled man spoke up again.
This time, when the others looked at him, they sported looks of… … despair.
“What other bad news is there, give it to us all at once.” Angel Wu shook his head.
“The ecological system cycle.” Beads of cold sweat trickled down the man’s forehead. “The air we breathe, the water we drink, the sunlight we receive, the day and night sky within Zero City… … they are all provided by the ecological system.”
“You are not going to tell me we only have one ecological system, are you?” Bluesea frowned. “Although Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild is a new resident guild, I for one, do not believe that the previous Board of Patriarchs did not think of getting spare ecological systems. Why would they not do something so simple?”
“There is a backup ecological system.” The bespectacled man felt his mouth going dry. “The one we are using right now is the backup ecological system.”
“… … backup? We are now using a backup?” Bluesea stared with widened eyes.
Guan Shan, who was beside him, quickly added, “Yes, sir. The one we are using right now is a backup. Back when our guild took over a few days ago, this had been written down in the memorandum.”
“So, what of the original one?” Bluesea asked.
“… … damaged. It is currently undergoing repairs.” After saying that, the bespectacled man hesitated and did not know how to continue.
“Just continue! Do not worry!” Bluesea shouted.
The man sighed. “Because… … the matter of repairing the ecological system had actually been submitted to the Board of Patriarchs a long time ago. However… … not long ago, the Board of Patriarchs’ schedule were too full, so the approval for the repairs kept getting postponed. It was only approved and the system sent for repairs a few days back. That is why we are now using the backup ecological system while the regular one is now under repair.”
Although those words were vague, everyone there understood.
The Board of Patriarchs schedule being full some time ago and the approval constantly getting postponed…
Everyone had quickly understood.
What was the Board of Patriarchs busy with some time ago?
They were busy trying to seize Blade Mountain Flame Sea Guild’s allocation status.
There was a fight within the Board of Patriarchs, leading to serious delays in the daily review and approval of important issues.
However, Bluesea knew that talking about it now was pointless. He simply asked, “Keep going. Right now, we only have one set of ecological system. What is the problem?”
“This ecological system was stopped by Zero City,” the bespectacled man said shakily.
“Stopped?” Bluesea knitted his brows. “Can’t we manually start it up?”
“No. After it was stopped by Zero City, it was also locked away completely. The energy consumption for this ecological system is very big. That is why it needs to be connected directly to Zero City’s main control system. Additionally, the computing capabilities required are also immense. The real-time calculation for oxygen content, temperature, increase and decrease in consumption according to the number of population or on-going production etc is why the system needs to be connected to Zero City’s main control system. But now… … Zero City has shut down and it was locked down as well!” The bespectacled man tone was one of utter despair. “Normally, if the ecological system is locked, we can manually start up the backup ecological system to maintain ourselves. However, right now…”
“Right now, we only have one that is non-functional.” Bluesea waved his hand. “I understand what you said. Now… … tell us the outcome!”
“The outcome is… … with the ecological system locked down, we no longer have it.” The bespectacled man smiled bitterly and continued, “Zero City is a space. Everything inside this space, the sun, day and night, all of them were created by the ecological system. Now that it has stopped working, everything outside will be dark, without any light. Additionally… … our oxygen and fresh water… … all of them…”
This time, everyone’s faces sank.
The fresh water issue was not that bad. Every Awakened had a habit of preparing a large reserve of food and water in their storage equipment. Thus, food and water would not be an issue for some time.
However, there was nothing they could do about oxygen.
No one would store oxygen tanks in their storage equipment for no good reason.
“I need the specific numbers.” Angel Wu’s solemn voice rang out, suppressing the uproar breaking out through the room.
“… … …” The bespectacled man picked up a device that resembled a small calculator. After inserting some numbers into it, he said, “At present, we have enough oxygen content in our air. Additionally, although the ecological system has lost its power supply, it would take some time for the system to stop working. It is still operating right now, albeit slowly. However, according to the rate of consumption right now, in about nine hours, the system would stop producing oxygen completely. Then, around 16 hours from now, low oxygen areas would begin appearing.
“24 hours, that is the maximum. By that time, we will begin suffocating!”
The bespectacled man then added.
“Additionally, right now, every one of us cannot leave Zero City! We will all die inside this city.”
Angel Wu said in a hushed tone, “Can’t we produce oxygen? Create new equipment for that?”
“We can, we possess this technology.” The bespectacled man then said something else that made them fell into despair. “However, our industrial units and production lines are out of power. All of them have stopped operating. We can create miniature equipment to produce oxygen for one or two people…
“However, in order to supply enough oxygen for all of Zero City, that is only possible with the workshops.”
Bluesea did not say anything. He moved to the control panel and inserted a few commands.
Soon, a countdown appeared on the screen.
“23 hours 59 minutes 59 seconds.”
The time on the screen continued ticking down.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” Bluesea shouted aloud. “This may be the only amount of time we have! Now, I want all of you to wrack your brains and think! Any opinions, any methods, any ideas, I want you to squeeze them out! That is, if you do not want to die here!”