Chapter 2: I Found A Piece Of Metal Scrap
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
3 days later.
The majority of the items that Chen Jin purchased had arrived and were placed on a big pile on the ground. “Today, I can go over there to explore”.
He had prodded the portal in the bathroom for a good few days. During that time, he never played a single game, and never watched even one anime episode. The character of a homebody had vanished in an instant. If it was not because of safety considerations, he would have already gone to the new world.
Now that the equipment was basically all there, the first thing to do was to put on the most important hazmat suit, giving him the ability to protect against radiation. This outfit was a little heavy, rather awkward, and came with a very ugly filter mask that looked like a pig’s snout. But it was impossible not to wear this. The spherical crater behind the portal made him think of nuclear explosions, which in turn was associated with nuclear radiation. Nuclear radiation was too scary; it caused people to suffer from various cancers. When too much radiation has accumulated inside the body, death is a 100% certainty!
Besides protecting himself from radiation, he also had to consider if the air on the other side contained any toxins and if there were any fatal organisms and viruses. Anyway, it was not a big mistake to be cautious and prudent. Being careless would lead him to a “GG.” That was the conclusion that Chen Jin came to after many years of playing RPG games.
After putting on the Hazmat suit and the filter mask, Chen Jin first put a few things into the portal. Hanging them on a hook, he squeezed it into the other world. For example, the bivy, tent, the big backpack filled with snacks and mineral water, and the tools placed inside two other small backpacks, were all stuffed into the portal in one shot.
Then, he lowered down a length of safety rope measuring about 5 metres. One end of the safety rope was attached to a trestle in the bedroom. The trestle was stuck between the upper areas of the two walls in the bathroom. The stability factor was very high. The other end of the safety rope stretched through the portal and hung suspended from a height of about 3 meters from the ground. It was not very high, but he would definitely injure his leg in a fall if he jumped down directly. He must use the support of the rope to descend smoothly. However, Chen Jin also lowered a chair down into the portal, reducing the distance from the ground.
He had also bought a 3 meters collapsible A-frame metal ladder online, but it was yet to be delivered. For now he could only make use of the safety rope.
Dragging the safety rope in both hands, with a slight tremble in his body, he stepped onto the toilet bowl and put his legs through, followed by his bottom and waist, sinking into the portal. A change finally occurred in the centre of gravity, a rush of power from the other world came pulling, causing his body to tumble helplessly into the portal until he disappeared from the bathroom
The other world.
It was still the same old scenery of a sand-covered sky. Stepping steadily onto the red-painted chair, Chen Jin’s entire body was in this world for the first time. He took out some measuring instruments from his small backpack and conducted a series of surveys on his physical environment. “A gravity count of 9.81; basically the same as Earth’s. The nuclear radiation strength has a daily measurement of 15.6 micro Sievert, which is 10 times the natural background radiation of Earth. Damn, this world really is a world after a great nuclear war!”
But, this radiation strength was not considered very high; it would not cause too great a damage to the human body. It would be harmful only if the body received a dose totalling over 100 milli Sievert (mSv) in a short period of time. And 100 milli Sievert equalled 100,000 micro Sievert; which was the radiation of this world increased by 17.5 times. Only then would it cause some damage to Chen Jin.
So, he could totally take off his hazmat suit. However, for the purpose of security, he reconsidered and did not take it off. The radiation of this area was within safety limits, but what about other places? What if other places had a strong radiation source? He would die.
“Oxygen makes up 19% of the air; this is in the lower end of the normal standard…Carbon dioxide is 0.12%, which is 3 times that of Earth. The greenhouse effect is at a critical level! Level of microorganisms in the air is sparse, with a matching 15% humidity. This is a highly dry and arid climate.”
After conducting various data tests, Chen Jin came to a conclusion: One is able to survive. Although there were a few numbers that were bad, under normal circumstances, humans could survive in this world. A situation where one would suddenly die with a loud bang would not happen. Of course, before he can be truly considered safe here, Chen Jin still had to confirm that the surrounding areas were safe as well: no large animals, corpses, humanoid robots, and/ or other unknown threats.
He had brought a baseball bat and a Swiss Army knife with him. The physique of a homebody is unsurprisingly weak. If he met with a strange and powerful animal, his first response would be to run; hurry and run! Other things did not matter, his own puny life was the top priority!
Surveying his surroundings, Chen Jin planned to explore the periphery. “The entire surface of the crater has been melted into glass; there is nothing here. Let’s see what I can find by exploring the periphery…..”
A problem appeared in front of him. The crater was a bit on the large side and he was in the centre of it. If he wanted to walk out of the crater to the peripheral location, he would need to walk for at least 4 to 5 kilometers. That was not a short distance. Using a normal walking speed, it would take about an hour.
It was so far away, should he go?
Chen Jin thought of his Windrunner electric scooter that he spent a whopping 5,000 dollars on. It had a maximum speed of 75 kilometers per hour and could travel for 120 kilometers. “Should I bring over the Windrunner?”
He raised his head and took a look at the safety rope dangling over his head from the portal. “Forget it, I’ll bring the Windrunner over tomorrow” Putting on a lighter small backpack and holding onto the metal walking staff, he set forth with some clumsiness in this desolate, dim, and yellow-tinted world. The journey of 5 kilometers took him a full hour to complete. In addition, he had to climb up slopes which made him pant with exertion. But it was within his tolerable limits, barely.
At the periphery, he climbed out of some uneven round pits. Standing on the surrounding area of the circular and empty pits, Chen Jin halted and looked back; taking in as much of the huge crater as he could through his eyes. “This is the result of an explosion from at least 5,000,000 tons of nuclear bombs, or its equivalent!”
Turning back again, he looked at the surroundings around the pits. Looking at the scenery in front of him, Chen Jin still wanted to use this word to describe it: desolate. Other than the mass of rock-covered desert and the sand-dotted sky, there was no trace of existence of any animals or plants. What his ears could only hear was the whoosh of the wind. It was stronger here than at the crater’s bottom. Sometimes it blew so strongly that he could hardly stand.
Chen Jin decided to move forward and explore a small distance, with no intention of going too far, and see if he could find something rewarding. He lowered his head and looked at the ground.
From his black and white vision through the wind-proof filter goggles he saw rocks; big and small rocks; it was all rocks. He could barely see anything other than rocks. The scene, he felt, was utterly drab.
After walking forward for about 1 kilometer, Chen Jin decided to turn back as he thought he would not find anything valuable. Lifting his wrist and looking at the time on his waterproof watch, he saw that it would be night in 2 hours. He would have to hurry back.
Suddenly, from the corner of his eyes, Chen Jin caught a glint of light from a metallic source. “What is that?” He walked towards the glimmering light. After walking for about 15 meters, he found a piece of metal scrap in the center of a pile of rocks. The material of the scrap metal seemed to be made of some type of steel component.
Chen Jin used all his strength to rub and pinch it a couple of times to no effect. The scrap metal had a very irregular shape; ripple-like curves and the appearance of an amoeba. Almost as if it suffered a violent hit. Taking out the radiation measuring device, he measured the radiation level of the scrap metal and found out that the numbers had no change. There was no radioactive remnant.
Thus, Chen Jin kept the scrap metal in the side pocket of his backpack. Turning around, he went back to the bottom of the crater. Just before night descended, he took off his awkward and heavy protective suit. After folding it, he threw it into the the wind-and-rainproof tent and put it together with the other items; building a makeshift little camping ground.
Lastly, after putting on his regular clothing, he grabbed the safety rope with both hands. Using the movable sports buckle tied around his waist, he got back to his room with only a little effort.