Ge Xiu shouted hoarsely, opening his eyes suddenly.
In front of him was a cold, white ceiling, the metal surface reflecting harsh light.
He lay on the ground dripping with cold sweat, his chest heaving violently with his breathing, and it took him a long time to finally realize where he was.
With his arms on the ground, Ge Xiu slowly straightened up, leaning his soaked with sweat back against the metal wall.
He raised his hand to his forehead, the electronic shackles gleaming with blue light on his wrists.
The long, black eyelashes drooped slightly, covering up all the information hidden at the bottom of his eyes.
Just then, an electronic beep sound came from above.
Immediately afterwards, the warden’s emotionless voice came from the loudspeaker: “At the end of your punishment world, there happened to be a large scale power outage emergency in the direction of the institute.”
Ge Xiu put down the hand on his forehead.
His eyelashes moved slightly, and he slowly raised his eyes. There was no excess emotions in his dark and translucent eyes, only the deep and icy darkness.
He looked at the monitor that was running 24 hours a day, and his eyes seemed to be able to penetrate right through the thick layer of metal and endless wiring.
The warden’s voice didn’t stop:
“How much memory before being arrested do you recall?
Ge Xiu had already recovered from the momentary loss of control just now.
The corners of his lips rose a faint arc, and he asked slowly:
“Are you wondering how much I know about Pandora Project?
An ear piercing electric sound came from the loudspeaker.
Immediately afterwards, all sounds stopped, and the opposite side fell into complete silence and disappeared.
The smile on the corner of Ge Xiu’s lips deepened.
It seems that he guessed correctly.
He leaned the back of his head lightly against the wall and closed his eyes carelessly, as if he was not affected at all, and closed his eyes to rest quietly.
Time passed minute by minute.
Suddenly, a clattering sound resounded in the single-person closed cell, the lights above his head suddenly went out, and the spare lamps around them came on, illuminating the narrow space in a bleak white.
Ge Xiu calmly opened his eyes and looked up at the location of the surveillance camera.
He could feel that the camera was off.
Immediately afterwards, a shallow outline was slowly appeared on the metal wall of the prison, and then, a rectangular one-way window appeared in front of him—this was a wall made of a special material, specially designed for the interrogation of prisoners. You could only see what the interrogator wanted to show, while the prisoner had nowhere to hide and would be completely revealed in the eyes of the other party.
Inside the window, the silhouette of a man emerged.
The presiding judge’s voice was clearly transmitted to Ge Xiu’s ears, without being anyhow distorted by the effect of the amplifier, but actually transmitted straight into the room:
“How much do you know about Pandora Plan?”
His voice was cold and unfathomable, hardly revealing any obvious information.
—but that little was enough.
Ge Xiu sat leisurely on the ground, leaning his back against the corner of the wall, narrowed his eyes at the window, and said calmly:
“Hmm… the camera has been turned off, it seems that you want to have a conversation that would not be recorded, why? Did you find something unexpected?”
“Also, I noticed that you turned off the internal power supply of the prison instead of directly cutting off the camera.” He chuckled for unknown reason: “Tsk.”
Ge Xiu looked at the window in front of him with interest, and continued:
“Are you being too cautious? Or are you worried that you are also under the surveillance of others?”
The presiding judge felt a little startled.
He didn’t expect that the other party could infer so many things just from his small actions, and in just a few words, he successfully grasped the dominance in the conversation.
So skilled and precise.
However, despite feeling frustrated, the presiding judge had to admit that the other was right.
Especially the part about unexpected discoveries.
Since he had doubts about the case of Ge Xiu, he has launched a comprehensive and detailed investigation of all charges against Ge Xiu, and the results of the investigation have shocked him.
In the official records, Ge Xiu was an instigator, rebel, robber and murderer who planned the bombings against several planets, was the mastermind behind many mass massacres, was guilty of inexcusable and bloody debts Tired villain.
Each crime was clear and specific, documented and substantiated.
But every time he tried to search further, the clues would always be broken in some places. Although the witnesses and survivors had detailed personal information and true, not faked social security numbers, none of them could be contacted. The physical evidence was classified as top secret, and even he could not get his hands on it.
Every reason that made it impossible to find was reasonable.
But there were too many coincidences.
The presiding judge wasn’t ready to arbitrarily assume that Ge Xiu was innocent because of the vague evidence, but the coincidences were enough to make him suspicious.
More so…because the ubiquitous Secret Bureau appeared in this case.
They have always been elusive like ghosts, rarely appearing in the public eye. Only when something threatened national security, they would appear.
In addition, he got back information from the robot that entered the research institute and sent back the last picture.
All these things added up forming a huge mystery, which made the presiding judge upset and made him resort to meeting the only central figure he could reach to try to peek into the truth that was hidden in layers of mist.
He did not directly answer Ge Xiu’s question, but repeated in a louder voice:
“How much do you know about Pandora Plan?”
Ge Xiu shook his head and sighed: “One thing for another, Your Excellency the judge. I believe you understand the principle of equivalent exchange, don’t you?”
The other side fell silent.
“What do you want?”
Ge Xiu showed a smile: “Just an exchange of information — why did you suddenly decide to negotiate terms with me, a criminal? What happened?”
Under the dim light, the young man’s calm face seemed to be become even more incredibly superior, his beauty being like a tempting and dangerous abyss, so that the presiding judge could not help but shake his head slightly.
He calmed down and watched the prisoner in front of him more and more vigilantly, examining the pros and cons of his proposition.
The air fell silent, as if time had been frozen.
The presiding judge slowly took a deep breath and seemed to finally make up his mind. He stood up and walked towards the window. A transparent area slowly emerged in the metal window in front of him.
The next second, a paper photo was pasted on it.
In this era of widespread electronic assortment, it was really rare.
Ge Xiu narrowed his eyes, stood up subconsciously, and walked slowly towards the wall.
That blurry photo gradually became clearer as the distance got shorter.
The presiding judge’s voice sounded again:
“This is a picture from the laboratory responsible for running the Pandora project.”
Ge Xiu stared at the photo in a daze.
It appeared to have been send from a great distance where the signal was not strong, and the picture was very blurry, but still enough for the viewer to make out the information it contained.
In the huge light blue water capsule, a naked man floated quietly. He was tall, well-proportioned, with clear perfect features, like a sculpture created by the hand of God. The white bubbles slowly floated upwards from his side, and the long black hair was floating like a torn flag, blocking his face.
Countless thin pipes extended from his body like a huge spider web.
He slept in the blue nutrient solution, his posture silent and calm.
The presiding judge’s voice came again: “Who is this person? What does he have to do with Pandora Plan?”
As if started into awakening, Ge Xiu suddenly retracted his gaze from the photo.
He was a little out of his mind.
A few seconds later, Ge Xiu raised his eyes again, his face regained his usual composure, and he said: “I really don’t have the slightest memory before getting arrested, and the first image that stayed in my mind was that barren star. I was standing beside the crashed ship, dozens of your guard ships were hovering in the air and pointed at me with searchlights.”
The presiding judge’s voice contained a faintly suppressed anger:
“So you want to tell me, you don’t know anything?”
Ge Xiu’s eyes fell on the photo close to the glass again, and his expression was dazed for a moment.
He suddenly asked,
“In the real world, is there mental power?”
This question was really mindless, for no reason at all.
The presiding judge was stunned for a moment, but finally decided to answer this innocuous-sounding question that wasn’t considered a secret: “Of course.”
“What’s my mental strength?”
Neither high nor low, an ordinary, unremarkable level.
Ge Xiu nodded.
He raised his eyes to look at the presiding judge’s blurred figure behind the window, and said slowly:
“If you want to continue the investigation, consider the research of mental power.”
The presiding judge’s voice was extremely puzzled: “Mental power? How is that possible? The Pandora Project is a large-scale national security project, what does it have to do with mental power research?”
Ge Xiu stopped answering.
He turned and walked back to where he came from, sat down cross-legged, and returned to his previous position.
The black hair that fell in front of him blocked his closed eyes, and the shadow covered his face, making him seem like a statue that couldn’t speak nor move, sitting quietly in a corner of the prison.
In the research institute.
The director stared at the data displayed on the light screen in front of him, his face dark and stormy.
Pandora’s volatility dropped to a new all-time low.
This situation was really not optimistic.
If this tendency continues to develop, in at most five years, the Pandora Project will be forced to stop.
And no one wanted to see this.
One of the researchers came up and handed a new report to the director: “The prisoner pain value from the last virtual world has come out.”
The director glanced at it hurriedly and the expression on his face became even more gloomy.
As the number of worlds increased, the other seemed to be even faster adapting to the cruel environment they set and impose, and the reports that come back are less optimistic and less optimistic each time, and because the other party’s threshold for physical torture has increased, if this trend continued… The director could imagine that after the end of the next world, the reported pain value could even be an unprecedented 0.
This was the only human that could 99.97% match with Pandora.
If he couldn’t generate a large fluctuation value in the virtual world, then Pandora’s activity will only gradually decrease.
At this moment, the researcher standing beside the director observed his expression, and then said carefully:
“Director… I have an idea.”
“Speak.” The director threw away the report irritably.
The researcher paused and continued: “Since the prisoner is extremely resistant to physical torture and external high-pressure environments, then… why don’t we try mental pressure?”
The director became interested: “What do you mean?”
“I have studied the values of the first two worlds, it seemed that the prisoner was continuously tormented by a bad mental state, and the pain value caused by this torture was the only slowly rising value. So, I think it is possible that the mental aspect will be able to achieve a different effect?”
The director nodded thoughtfully: “Indeed.”
“But…” The researcher hesitated, and continued with some frustration: “But the prisoner’s ability to deal with changes in the environment is really strong, we gave him the set destiny trajectory, he has not followed the progress at least once, every time he deviates in the middle, and the deviation is outrageous every time, so that the plan we made for him in the later stage become completely useless. After the virtual world is created, we have no way to intervene, so we have to pull him out in advance…”
This happens almost every time.
This prisoner was born with unwillingness to follow the route set by others. Every time he made unexpected actions, his fate trajectory would deviate from the main line — this feature of him really gave creators of virtual worlds many headaches.
The director narrowed his eyes slightly:
“Then this time, we will force him to follow the route.”
He raised his head: “Set an electric shock function.”
Ge Xiu opened his eyes.
Although he was prepared for anything, he was still stunned for a second when he saw where he was.
It was a noisy public place, with loud and harsh on ears music oscillating around his body, and in the distance there were countless silhouettes of men and women twisting with the music, appearing crazy and disorderly in the dim and flickering lights.
The glass table in front of him was filled with a variety of drinks, all of which were placed in transparent wine glasses, reflecting colourful lights,
the strong alcohol smell rushed towards his face, making Ge Xiu a little dizzy.
At this moment, a hand touched his thigh and slowly meandered upwards:
“Why won’t you drink?”
A thick and rough voice came to his ears through the roaring music, filled with deep malice.
The author has something to say:
Ge Xiu: You are finished.
Old Gong: You are finished.
Author: Indeed, you are absolutely finished.
Bamboo has something to say:
Thank you Somebody for another kofi!
when i first finished reading Born to Be Rebellious I made a fanart of how I imagined ML: (this was a year ago so it’s a little old art)