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Chapter 89: Parasite
The five-year mission was a standard to measure a squadron’s overall strength and state of development. It could bring a squadron to the top and turn them into the limelight of the entire GAL, and it could turn a squadron into the world’s object of ridicule as well. This was also the second time Shawton would be performing his five-year mission after he became the Sixth B Squadron’s commander. His previous mission’s performance was neither good nor bad either. It did not make him famous or notorious, but at the least it proved his ability as the commander of the Sixth B Squadron.
A five-year mission was a very difficult task to accomplish, this much was certain. They might be met with unprecedented crisis, and no one, not even the commander or the lieutenant commander could guarantee that they would survive a five-year mission intact and unharmed.
To lose one portion of men and temper the other portion, was the Hunter regiment’s way to continuously temper and grow themselves. The Hunters were used to dancing on the edge of life and death all year round, and it was exactly because they had gotten used to such an exciting and adventurous life that they felt neither nervous nor panic when they heard that there would be a dangerous mission, but near intolerable excitement instead. The veteran Hunters were especially so.
After acquiring Dias’ affirmation, Cary and the others cheered. They weren’t able to get much experience during the last five-year mission, and they didn’t get much of a kick just following their seniors’ lead either. This time, they must absolutely enjoy the five-year mission to the fullest! When Cary and the others thought up to this point, they began to work faster as well.
Cillin joined them in their work, while Tang Qiuqiu and the gray cat crouched at Cillin’s left and right side to watch the processing of the spoils.
Seeing that the gray cat was so engrossed at the sight that it did not even blink, Tang Qiuqiu asked, “Wheeze, are you interested in this?”
“Call me Whebeze!” The gray cat was very dissatisfied.
“But Wheeze sounds cordial.”
Cordial? The gray cat immediately felt elated and did not fuss over Tang Qiuqiu’s way of addressing it any longer. However, it did not mention that it owed Cillin money; it was just too embarrassing to admit that it was a debt slave or something.
After they were finished processing the polar bears, the group returned to their temporary base, tidied things up and flew back to their starship parked at the space station on their aircrafts.
The gray cat walked here and there around the starship with a straight tail as if it was patrolling its own territory. Dough followed behind the gray cat eagerly, excited that it had finally met another kind like his own that was not a human on the starship. If it got into trouble in the future, at the least it would have someone to share its fate with.
Although the five-year mission had not started yet, the people aboard the starship did not turn idle. They had to examine their food supply, energy supply, weapons and equipment, and inspect the starship itself carefully to see if there were any aged parts that needed to be changed. Since they’re gunning for a big one, then they must not allow any slip-ups to occur. The devil is in the details after all.
Cillin and the team members responsible for engineering on the starship inspected the ship together. The engineering person-in-charge, Enji, was also an Octopus human. The difference between him and Ba Dao lay in their physique, where Ba Dao was robust and Enji was thin. Although an Octopus human’s incredible height was evident, in terms of actual weight, Enji might not even compare to Cillin. There were plenty of people like Enji. They belonged under the support division, and they would not fight at the frontlines of combat. Of course, a technician who could work long in a Hunter’s regiment could not be a common person, and at the least they would not be lacking in the courage department. If there was a need, they could pick up a gun and rush to the battlefield all the same.
While servicing, Enji and Cillin exchanged insights with each other. Enji very much admired the young Cillin. Although Cillin was young, he had genuine ability and knowledge, and he was able to identify the critical areas of certain machines’ structure with a single glance. Moreover, Cillin was able to accept opinions and suggestions with modesty, which was a very admirable trait for someone his age.
All six of Enji’s arms worked non-stop; holding tools, parts and apparatuses with each hand. Cillin was making records at the side.
“Alright, we’re done with the servicing of this area. Let’s rest for a bit before we move to the next area.”
Enji accepted the water Cillin passed over to him and drank two full gulps. After a short breath, he looked at Cillin’s log.
“Very good, this is a very professional log.” Enji did not save his praises as he opened a chair and sat down, putting the tools one by one back into the toolbox.
“Big brother Enji, what’s that?” Cillin pointed at a small reddish brown crystalline block inside Enji’s toolbox and asked.
“Oh, this.” Enji smiled and picked up the small block before passing it over to Cillin, “Look at it carefully and see if you can guess what it is.”
Cillin accepted the small crystalline block. The entire block was only half a thumb’s size.
“Resin?” Cillin could differentiate the item’s main composition, and at the same time he also noticed that there was an organism trapped inside it. Its length was less than a centimeter, and its body was semicircular in shape. It had a pair of ambulatory legs and many chelipeds. It looked rather sinister, “I’ve never seen such an organism.”
“There are all sorts of life in the universe, and it is natural that you haven’t seen this before.” Enji smiled and said, “Can you guess how I got it?”
Cillin shook his head. Although there were plenty of organisms which living environment could be deduced from their physique alone, there were even more that was beyond his imagination. Cillin’s instinct told him that this organism trapped inside the resin was no simple thing.
Enji chuckled gently and took back the small reddish brown block. As his fingers rubbed across the object’s surface, he sighed, “This is a parasite!”
“A parasite?!” Cillin knew what Enji said was not the kind of parasite that lives inside a human’s body, but the kind that lives on starships and vehicles that could traverse through the universe.
“Yep. This is something that we give special attention to every time we service the ship. We have to inspect from time to time during long flights, and if a parasite was discovered, then we must either eliminate them in time or face endless troubles. They may be tiny, but this wee bit alone can potentially destroy an entire starship. They can endure cosmic rays and vacuum environment as they clamped themselves tightly onto an aircraft. Moreover, most of the substances they secrete can erode an aircraft too. Although it isn’t visible at first, if the erosion continues for too long and isn’t found out in time, then it will be too late. Do you know what happens when a hole suddenly appears on a starship in flight, and it isn’t fixed in time?”
Cillin shivered subconsciously. Scary.
“That’s not all. They may damage certain critical areas of the starship as well. Be it the weapons system, the energy delivery tubes, or some interface ports, they are all potential parasite habitats. There are all kinds of parasites in the universe, and they all have a preferred environment of their own. Some parasites love places with high amounts of energy, and some love places with a lot of oxygen. In summary, what we need to do is to inspect the whole ship periodically to prevent any potential concerns.”
Enji tossed the small block in his hand to the air before catching it again, “Every time we perform an inspection, we will prepare an embed fluid so we can embed these tiny parasites in them. They look just like amber, and they can also be sold for a high price to researchers or hobbyists during the aftermath of a mission. There are plenty of people who likes to collect cosmos parasites, and to a certain extent, these cosmos parasites are something that can only be found serendipitously. It is during the last five-year mission that I got this parasite; sold one and kept this other one to myself as a souvenir. If you’re interested, I’ll call you to have a look if I find and clean up any parasites in the future.”
“That’s great. Thank you very much, big brother Enji!”
“There’s no need to be so courteous, kid! Come, let’s go service the next area.”
After Cillin was done servicing the ship with Enji, Cillin got ready to return to the lounge and lay down for a bit. But before he managed to take a few steps, he abruptly heard Cary’s roar.
“Cillin, look at your cat’s handiwork!”
Chapter 89 Meme: