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Chapter 34 Bugs

Novel:The Three-Bodyauthor:Cinxin Liu pubdate:2019-02-14 15:09

Chapter 34 Bugs
By the time Shi Qiang entered the door of Ding Yi's home, Wang Miao and Ding Yi were already very drunk.
'The two were excited to see Shi Qiang. Wang stood up and hugged the newcomer's shoulders. "Ah, Da Shi, Officer Shi.. ."
Ding, who couldn't even stand straight, found a glass and put it on the pool table. He poured some liquor into it, and said, "Your out-of-the-box thinking was not helpful. Whether we look at those messages or not, the result four hundred years from now will be the same."
Da Shi sat down in front of the pool table, glancing at the two with a crafty gaze. "Is it really like you say? Everything's over?"
"Of course. It 's all over," Ding said.
"You can't use the accelerators and can't study the structure of matter. That means it's all over?" Da Shi asked.
"Um .. . what do you think?"
"Technology is still making progress. Academician Wang and his people just created the nanomaterial—"
"Imagine an ancient kingdom, if you will. Their technology is advancing. They can invent better swords, knives, spears, et cetera. Maybe they can even invent auto-repeating crossbows that can shoot many arrows like a machine gun—"
Da Shi nodded, understanding. "But if they don't know that matter is made from molecules and atoms, they will never create missiles and satellites. They re limited by their level of science."
Ding patted Da Shi on the shoulder. "I always knew that our Officer Shi was smart. It's just that you—"
Wang took over. "The study of the deep structure of matter is the foundation of the foundations of all other sciences. If there's no progress here, everything else—I'll put it your way—is bullshit."
Ding pointed at Wang. "Academician Wang will be busy for the rest of his life, and continue to improve our swords and knives and spears. What the fuck am I going to do? Who the hell knows?" He threw an empty bottle onto the table and picked up a billiard ball to smash it.
"This is a good thing!" Wang lifted his glass. "We will be able to live out the rest of our lives one way or another. After this, decadence and depravity can be justified! "We're bugs! Bugs that are about to go extinct! Haha ..."
"Exactly!" Ding also lifted his glass. "They think so little of us that they don't even bother to disguise their plans for us, telling the Adventists everything. It's like how you don't need to hide the bottle of bug spray from the little critters. Let's toast the bugs! I never thought the end of the world would feel so good. Long live bugs! Long live sophons! Long live the end of the world!"
Da Shi shook his head and drained the glass. He shook his head again. "Bunch of pussies."
"What do you want?" Ding stared at Da Shi drunkenly. "You think you can cheer us up?"
Da Shi stood up. "Let's go."
"To find something to cheer you up."
"Whatever, buddy. Sit back down. Drink."
Da Shi took the two by their arms and dragged them up. "Let's go. Bring the liquor if you have to."
Downstairs, the three got into Da Shi's car. As the car started, Wang asked in slurred speech where they were going. Da Shi said, "My hometown. Not too far."
The car left the city and sped west along the Beijing-Shijiazhuang Highway. It exited the highway as soon as they were inside Hebei Province. Da Shi stopped the car and dragged his two passengers out.
As soon as Ding and Wang got out of the car, the bright afternoon sun made them squint. The wheat fields of the North China Plain spread out before them.
"What did you bring us here for?" Wang asked.
"To look at bugs." Da Shi lit one of the cigars Colonel Stanton had given him and pointed at the wheat fields with it.
Wang and Ding now noticed that the fields were covered by a layer of locusts. Every wheat stalk had a few crawling over it. On the ground, more locusts wriggled, like some thick liquid.
"They're plagued by locusts here?" Wang brushed away some locusts from a small area near the edge of the field and sat down.
"Like the dust storms, they started ten years ago. But this year is the worst."
"So what? Nothing matters now, Da Shi." Ding spoke, his voice still drunk.
"I just want to ask the two of you one question: Is the technological gap between humans and Trisolarans greater than the one between locusts and humans?"
The question hit the two scientists like a bucket of cold water. As they stared at the clumps of locusts before them, their expressions grew solemn. They got Shi Qiang's point.
Look at them, the bugs. Humans have used everything in their power to extinguish them: every kind of poison, aerial sprays, introducing and cultivating their natural predators, searching for and destroying their eggs, using genetic modification to sterilize them, burning with fire, drowning with water. Every family has bug spray, every desk has a fly-swatter under it... this long war has been going on for the entire history of human civilization. But the outcome is still in doubt. The bugs have not been eliminated. They still proudly live between the heavens and the earth, and their numbers have not diminished from the time before the appearance of the humans.
The Trisolarans who deemed the humans bugs seemed to have forgotten one fact: The bugs have never been truly defeated.
A small black cloud covered the sun and cast a moving shadow against the ground. This was not a common cloud, but a swarm of locusts that had just arrived. As the swarm landed in the fields nearby, the three men stood in the middle of a living shower, feeling the dignity of life on Earth. Ding Yi and Wang Miao poured the two bottles of wine they had with them on the ground beneath their feet, a toast for the bugs.
"Da Shi, thank you." Wang held out his hand.
"I thank you as well." Ding gripped Da Shi's other hand.
"Let's get back," Wang said. "There's so much to do."
Chapter 34 Vocabulary Note
decadence - immoral behavior
depravity - evil behavior
critter - a creature, especially an animal
locust - an insect that flies in a very large group, eating and destroying crops
swatter - a flat meshed flexible piece of plastic attached to a long handle, used to kill insects, especially flies


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