Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 692 - Sharing Intelligence
Chapter 692: Sharing Intelligence
Upon sensing the change in Zhang Qubing’s gaze and recalling that October Xue had said that he was a fanatical believer of the Salvation Army, Hong Guangming put the stack of notes in his pocket and muttered, “I worked so hard my entire life. Wasn’t it just to let my descendants lead a better life?”
He then waved his hand. “Alright, I’ll go in and get your pass done.”
He waved his non-mechanical right hand.
Upon seeing Hong Guangming limp back to the Ubei Administrative Committee building, Jiang Baimian turned her head to glance at Shang Jianyao.
Shang Jianyao’s expression was solemn as if he were a little jaded and disappointed.
“Let’s go. Weren’t you mentally prepared?” Jiang Baimian urged him.
Shang Jianyao sighed. “You don’t understand.”
Upon seeing Jiang Baimian narrow her eyes slightly, he quickly added, “Reality is reality, but ideals are ideals. When differences between the two appear, one will inevitably be affected emotionally. For example, Little Red…”
“Stop!” Jiang Baimian and Long Yuehong shouted at the same time, interrupting Shang Jianyao’s magical analogy.
Ding Ling didn’t really understand their interactions; she only watched quietly without interjecting.
The Old Task Force quickly returned to Hong Guangming’s office.
As Hong Guangming lowered his head to write the pass, he said, “Surrender all your negotiables. I’ll check them.”
“These need to be checked too?” Jiang Baimian was puzzled.
Hong Guangming was rather tolerant of polite and good-looking women. “It’s a routine inspection. I’m mainly afraid of you bringing in a large number of fake negotiables into our borders.”
Ding Ling added, “Our negotiables are all made from pressurized plastic. Ordinary people can’t forge them at all. They have neither a source for the raw materials nor the corresponding machines. However, large factions like First City can do it. Therefore, one of the responsibilities of the border settlements, the various Entry Offices, and security checkpoints is to intercept fake negotiables.”
I see… In the Old World, any small factory or even a family workshop can create those small plastic cards. Yes, this was the convenience brought about by the highly mature industrial system back then. In the current Ashlands, just obtaining oil is a difficult task… Jiang Baimian suddenly sighed.
This was the difference between the New and Old Eras.
Ding Ling then said to Hong Guangming, “Grandpa Hong, I was the one who exchanged all the negotiables that they have with them yesterday.”
“Then, there’s no problem.” Hong Guangming’s steel arm flicked out a key, opened the mechanical lock of the drawer below, and took out the official seal and sealing wax.
He embossed the pass with a large red seal.
After Jiang Baimian received the pass, she realized that there were indeed two more sentences besides the usual content: “This pass isn’t applicable for smart bots.
“When the corresponding four people enter settlements, they are prohibited from bringing heavy weapons, high-tech equipment, or crates.”
“Thank you, Director Hong.” Jiang Baimian finally thanked him sincerely.
Although there were many restrictions, the Old Task Force’s subsequent journey would be much easier with such a pass. It would be especially convenient to replenish their supplies, allowing them to head straight to Icefield without any worries.
After leaving the Ubei Administrative Committee, the Old Task Force drove the jeep and followed Ding Ling’s green mountain car to the Ashlands Hotel at the edge of the city.
Although it was called a hotel, it was actually modified from an Old World warehouse. It occupied a large area, and parking was very convenient. However, it was only three stories tall.
“This is specially for foreigners like you.” After Ding Ling helped the Old Task Force check in, she followed them to one of the rooms and said with a smile, “You have no right to stay elsewhere—not even with a pass.”
They have two separate systems for foreign and domestic… Jiang Baimian nodded in thought. “Sorry to trouble you for the past two days. How many negotiables did you give Director Hong previously? We’ll compensate you.”
“There’s no need.” Ding Ling shook her head and smiled. “Those were profits I earned from you previously. Besides, I can have some of it reimbursed later.”
Long Yuehong and the others immediately found the latter half of the sentence familiar.
Ding Ling looked around, took the initiative to close the door, and said seriously, “You previously said that you stole some intelligence from First City. Which aspect is it regarding? Is it possible to sell it to us?”
She originally didn’t believe it, but after seeing the three military exoskeletons and two sets of bionic artificial intelligence armor, she felt that October Xue’s team might really not be bragging.
As expected of a team with a bounty worth more than 100,000 Oray!
Jiang Baimian and the team members looked at each other and smiled at Ding Ling. “There’s actually no need to hide that information. The people in question even requested us to publicize it widely. Here’s the thing—we tried to make contact with Oray’s descendants in First City. You know Oray, right? First City’s consul, who also was emperor for a period of time.”
“It’s in our textbooks.” Ding Ling nodded and said solemnly, “Continue.”
Jiang Baimian made a terse grunt. “Oray still has two descendants. One is his granddaughter, Avia, and the other is his grandson, Marcus. These two people wield some of the secrets Oray left behind. They are closely protected by First City, which is also a form of surveillance.
“There’s no need to elaborate on the exact process. In short, we spent a Herculean effort before we finally came into contact with these two Oray descendants and obtained the corresponding intelligence from them. This includes a secret laboratory in Wasteland Ruin 13. Oray hid his guess regarding the cause of the Old World’s destruction and his understanding of the New World, as well as the information on how to deal with Mechanical Paradise’s Source Brain. The intelligence also includes Avia having a mysterious phone that Oray had once used. It can be used to dial a string of random codes to connect to an unknown and terrifying existence. We also got the secret laboratory’s password: Messiah…
“We later infiltrated Wasteland Ruin 13 and found the secret laboratory. We relied on the passcode to open the door, but there was nothing inside. All the information Oray left behind was gone.
“All of this originated from a brand new artificial intelligence, Future, that he created in his later years. It can control electromagnetism and the computers within the laboratory through a New World node. It had long moved away the information Oray left behind and turned the laboratory into a trap…”
Jiang Baimian knew what she could and couldn’t say. She mainly wanted to publicize what Oray had left behind.
Upon hearing this, Ding Ling was stunned. This was her mental journey: Why do they want to publicize that piece of information?
It’s related to First City’s former emperor… That piece of information is indeed relatively important.
This team is really strong. They can bypass First City’s tight protection and make contact with key personnel.
Although I don’t really understand, it sounds pretty impressive.
Wait, what is she talking about? What’s this about a New World node or artificial intelligence that controls electromagnetism…
Toward the end, Ding Ling became even more confused. She felt like the other party was speaking in a language she understood.
After Jiang Baimian finished speaking, she subconsciously gulped and said, “I-I’ll report this matter. If—if it’s really valuable, we might compensate you with some supplies or negotiables.”
After expressing her friendly attitude, Ding Ling composed herself and asked, “How’s the secret laboratory now?”
Although she didn’t know what had happened back then as if she were listening to Greek, her experience told her that the secret laboratory was one of the key points. She didn’t need to understand the terms and just needed to grasp the key points.
Jiang Baimian hesitated for a moment and said, “It was destroyed.”
The honest Shang Jianyao quickly added, “Don’t misunderstand. We didn’t destroy it; it was to escape the predicament set up by Future. We had no choice but to trigger the laboratory’s self-destruct mechanism.”
This sounds even more terrifying… Ding Ling nodded. “I understand. I’ll report this matter before the end of the work day. There should be an outcome tomorrow.”
With that said, she waved her hand. “See you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow!” Shang Jianyao was always so enthusiastic.
Ding Ling thought for a moment and reminded him, “Don’t be in a rush to do everything yourself if you encounter any situation, especially when using those equipment. Just report it to the Ubei Public Security Council. There’s a phone in the hotel room with the corresponding number written on it.”
“No problem,” Jiang Baimian agreed sincerely.
In any case, the Old Task Force’s strongest wasn’t the equipment or Genava, but Shang Jianyao—who could secretly influence people.
After sending Ding Ling off, Jiang Baimian didn’t ask what they were having for dinner because it was still early. Instead, she walked to the window and looked out to observe her surroundings.
Although the building was only three stories tall, the surrounding buildings generally weren’t tall, so the view was relatively good.
As the few of them observed, Bai Chen acutely noticed that camouflage-green armored vehicles and tanks had driven past on a distant road. Along with them were armed soldiers in black uniforms.
The atmosphere seemed a little tense.