Chapter 1099 – Interfering with Reality, Latent Crisis
The inspectors of the three Universal Civilizations had huge backers and vast resources at their disposal. It was not difficult to uncover a low-level scavenger.
The process was quite smooth. It could be summarized as: identity record match, whereabouts position, storming the area, and asking them to line up with their hands on the wall.
This series of operations was smoothly carried out, as though they had done it hundreds of times.
In the small spaceship of the scavengers, Harrison and his party squatted on the wall and shivered. The brilliant Federation of Light insignias on the soldiers’ uniforms dispelled any desire to resist.
For people at the bottom of the Galactic Society, even a small pawn of the three Universal Civilizations was not someone they could afford to offend. Without the backing of any organization, those that dared to offend people from the three Universal Civilizations were akin to people who would turn the lights on in the latrine to look at sh*t.
“You… What are you guys trying to do? We, we are law-abiding citizens,” the shortie stammered.
The Federation of Light Inspector moved a chair, sitting in front of this group. He leaned forward, releasing an aura of oppression as he coldly said, “You don’t know what sort of crimes you’ve committed?”
What crime have we committed?
Everyone had a confused expression, squeezing their brain juices dry to try and remember what they had done in their daily lives.
The shortie suddenly shivered violently before blurting out, “I… I surrender!”
“Oh?” The inspector turned to look at him, narrowing his eyes as he said, “Say it then. What is your crime?”
“I… I anonymously hacked the paid server of an adult entertainment channel yesterday, downloading thousands of pornos… ahem, you know, those kinds of films. I’m guilty! I confess!” The shortie spat everything out.
The captain suddenly exclaimed, “No wonder you stayed in your room the whole day yesterday…”
As he spoke, he suddenly stopped. Everyone realized that the shortie was still wearing his clothes from the day before, and with a wrinkle of their noses, they shifted a few paces away from him.
The inspector’s facial expression was hard as steel, but if one looked closely, they could see the corners of his mouth twitching fiercely.
Be serious, I’m interrogating you!
“Are you trying to provoke me? Do you think I’m joking with you‽”
Glaring at him, the inspector drew his gun, pressing it against the head of the shortie. However, he paused suddenly and withdrew the muzzle a distance away from the guy’s head. He did not dare stick it to the skin of the shortie for fear of contaminating his firearm.
“Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t…” The shortie was so scared that he urinated on the spot, his entire body trembling.
Harrison was also frightened and immediately said, “Sir Inspector, we’re law abiding. We don’t pillage and kill; we only excavate ownerless ruins. We do not know what crimes we’ve committed.”
“Humph!” The inspector also did not intend to make their lives difficult. He withdrew his weapon, projecting an image of the triangular device. He solemnly said, “Not long ago, you guys dug out this artifact from an unknown civilization and put it up for auction. But it was stolen by the galactic pirates, and when they opened it up, it triggered a cosmic energy fluctuation. I’m here for this.”
Harrison’s heart almost stopped.
See, we got into trouble!
My intuition was right. This object isn’t simple, even bringing me so much trouble after it was sold!
However, he was not upset but instead felt a sense of excitement from his bones. A strong curiosity surged within him, and he could not help but ask, “What was inside?”
“It’s still unclear, and the specific fluctuations are still being thoroughly investigated.”
At this moment, the captain could not help but ask, “Wait a minute, we sold that thing, and it wasn’t us who opened it, so what crime have we committed?”
“That’s right. We’re innocent!”
“You can’t frame good people for nothing!”
The crowd immediately screamed, displaying upright indignation.
“Shut up!” the Inspector coldly barked. “The items that you dug up from the ruins carry a strong risk. Because of you guys, new disasters are likely to occur in the universe. Let’s not talk about anything else. Just the crime of endangering public safety is enough to put you in prison!”
Hearing this, everyone immediately shrank back, and they collectively lowered their heads, attentively counting the number of ants on the floor… although there was no chance of ants appearing in the spaceship.
The inspector coldly snorted. “However, if you guys are willing to assist us in our work, we can ignore your unintentional mistakes. We are going to investigate the site of the ruins now, and we need you to lead the way and show us your flight log. Are there any objections?”
“No, no, no, none at all. It is our honor to help the Federation of Light! I’m the machinery expert of this spaceship. You just need to give the command if you need something from me. There’s no need to treat me like a person at all!”
Seeing that the situation was not as serious as expected, the shortie breathed a sigh of relief before hurriedly using the skills he had honed over the years to bootlick the inspector.
“This…” The captain was a little hesitant. “Is this going to leave us with a criminal record?”
The inspector seemed to take it lightly. “That’s for sure, but it doesn’t matter. As long as you turn in whatever you’ve dug up in the future to the civilization, there will be no problem.”
Give it to the nation? Are we going to turn into an archaeological team‽
Too much, this is simply threatening us with our weaknesses. You want us to compromise? Dream on! We absolutely will not accept such a treatment!
… Unless the Federation of Light is paying us wages.
After reaching a physical consensus, the team led the way, quickly bringing the inspector to the barren planet where they first found the triangular device, and found the initial coordinates.
Harrison pointed at the image on the screen as he explained, “This is the place. There used to be a ruin here that resembled something like a military base, but the moment we left, it collapsed. This is a recording of when we burrowed in…”
The Federation of Light inspector nodded and ordered his subordinates to descend, taking out the probes to scan the area. His expression changed slightly.
He did not expect that the results of the investigation would show that there were no abnormalities present within the rock formations. There was only mud and dirt.
This made no sense, as even if the ruins were to collapse and be buried, there should be traces. However, in the pictures of these advanced detection instruments, there were no traces in the rocks below.
The inspector frowned. “Are you sure it’s here?”
“That’s here alright. You’ve also seen the flight logs. We stopped right here.” Harrison showed an expression of surprise as well.
Such a mystical scenario hooked his curiosity once again. He was unable to understand how the ruins could just disappear into thin air.
Could it be that this whole thing was a dream? But the safe they unearthed was well and truly present.
Just as he was thinking about it, the inspector from the Federation of Light seemed to have thought of something. His expression changed as he muttered to himself, “Such a phenomenon, could it be… that it’s the high-dimensional information state interfering with reality itself?”
Harrison was just about to ask something, but he saw the inspector push aside everyone, running to report to his superior.
Seeing the other party’s grave expression, Harrison had a hunch that the severity of this problem was beyond his own imagination.
Within the base of the Holy Accord Organization, Law and Fay were summoned, and once again, they arrived in the dark palace to meet up with Oathkeeper.
“All of you are here.”
In midair, the figure of Oathkeeper materialized, and he lowered his head to indifferently speak, his tone laced with coldness.
There was a strong mental fluctuation within his tone, which caused Law and Fay to begin to feel anxious.
Both of them had known Oathkeeper for a long time, so they understood his behavior. Such an action meant that he was truly angered, which had not happened in a long time.
They could not help but exchange glances, communicating with their eyes.
Law (Puzzled Look): “The leader’s mood doesn’t seem too good.”
Fay (Blinking): “Maybe he failed in the negotiations with Black Star.”
Law (Frowning): “That wouldn’t make him so angered. There should be another reason.”
Fay (Curious Look): “Then what is it?”
Law (Rolling eyes): “Do you think I can explain such a complicated thing using just glances?”
Fay (Blinking Innocently): “That makes sense.”
Both of them conversed in an instant before lowering their heads to greet Oathkeeper. “Leader, for what matter have you summoned us?”
“Black Star has inside information on us!” Oathkeeper furiously replied.
“What‽” Both of them paled.
Could it be that because of their ambush previously, Black Star had managed to uncover some clues, which lead to a leakage of their organizational intelligence?
If that was the case, then the both of them were sinners!
Did the leader specifically call us over to punish us? That’s right. It’s most likely that!
Having assumed their leader’s attitude, both of them were in a panic and did not dare hesitate, immediately lowering their heads to plead. “It’s our fault. We’ve committed a great sin by causing our organization’s information to leak out. Please punish us!”
Glancing at the two, Oathkeeper relaxed his tone.
“Don’t be mistaken. Your actions do not have anything to do with this matter. Black Star has long known of our organization’s existence.”
Hearing this, the two of them could not help but exchange a glance in shock.
If it’s not us that revealed the intel, then who was it? It was definitely our first time in contact with Black Star. Could it be that some others had also come into contact with him in the past?
At this moment, the frosty voice of Oathkeeper answered their question.
“Stop guessing. Our organization has a traitor!”
“That’s impossible!” Law shook in fright, exclaiming with an incredulous expression. “Those who leak intelligence will definitely suffer backlash from the Soul Flames. Who would survive that‽”
The Soul Flame was another Primal Esper Ability Entity. As its name suggested, this ability was related toward one’s soul and spirit, and currently, Oathkeeper was its host.
Its Esper Ability meant that it was an expert that toyed with the soul aspect of people, making it one of the Super High Risk Esper Abilities. One of its abilities allowed it to prohibit its target from revealing specific information, and Oathkeeper had utilized this ability to prevent anyone in the Holy Accord from leaking its secrets. If a member wished to forcibly divulge information, even if they could endure the backlash, Oathkeeper would still be notified. This was how the Holy Accord had kept its secrecy for so long.
He used his own pinnacle Beyond Grade A strength to spur the Esper Ability of the Soul Flame, so the effect exerted was terrifying. Even Law and Fay, two Beyond Grade As, would not be able to bypass its surveillance and would also suffer backlash if they leaked any information.
Thus, both of them believed that no one could betray their organization.
“Whether you believe it or not, the fact is in front of our eyes. Black Star identified me the moment he saw me, and I was still foolishly believing that no one else knew about the existence of our Holy Accord. This matter must be investigated carefully!”
Oathkeeper’s tone was steely as he shouted.
“There should be someone who has come out with a special method to bypass the surveillance and backlash caused by the Soul Flame. They passed on intelligence to the outside world. The person’s rank is not low either, at least an officer within the organization. For now, I still do not know if they are a core member.”
Both Law and Fay’s expressions turned grim. This matter was related to the survival of their organization and could not be taken lightly.
“Leader, what would you have us do?”
“Both of you are my confidantes, and I believe you in principle. However, everything depends on evidence, so I need to scan your memories. Are you willing?”
Law and Fay were suddenly placed in a difficult situation. While they were not betrayers, any Super would naturally repel others from invading their own mind deep within themselves.
However, they were aware of the increasingly unstable mental fluctuations around them. Thus, both of them swallowed hard, and in order to show that they had a clear conscience, they agreed with difficulty.
The next moment, Oathkeeper raised his hand slightly, and two streaks of flames the color of the starry sky landed on them.
Both of them noticed a unique mental fluctuation entering their brains. Looking at each other, they gritted their teeth before actively letting go of their mental barriers, allowing Oathkeeper to easily penetrate their minds.
Their memories were quickly flipped through by him. The scenes from small to large flashed in front of them. They gritted their teeth, ignoring the tingling sensation of the mental probe as it scanned through their minds.
After a long while, the mental probes were finally recalled back to Oathkeeper who seemed satisfied.
“Very good, the two of you did not let down my expectations.” Oathkeeper nodded before continuing solemnly. “I’ll leave the task of weeding out the traitor to you guys. I allow you full access to thoroughly investigate all the organization officers and report any suspicious personnel to me. I’ll personally scan their memories. Before we can uncover the traitor, we’ll temporarily stop all activities and go into hiding.”
Both of them remained silent, nodding to signify acceptance as they suffered through the throbbing pain that was a side effect from the mental probes. They could not help but sigh.
It seems like the leader is truly enraged this time. If even us confidantes are treated this way, there’s no need to talk about the other officers…
Both of them could foresee that this operation would definitely create a lot of havoc within the organization.
The explosion of cosmic energy could not escape the monitoring buoys that were set by the advanced civilizations. These monitoring buoys were used by each advanced civilization to monitor the situation within their jurisdictions, and they were pervasive.
It was just that the qualifications for setting up monitoring buoys were generally reserved for civilizations, and civil organizations were rarely allowed.
Within the Ancient Star Desert, the branch of the Black Star Army did not have much influence, and it naturally did not have the right to set any up. Han Xiao was also far away and could not immediately discover the cosmic energy fluctuations.
The advanced civilizations reacted quickly to investigate the source and impact of the phenomenon but found next to nothing. They did not know what sort of changes this energy surge would create.
Right at this moment, within the quantum network that was invisible to the naked eye, the information packets released from the triangular device were spreading rapidly within the Ancient Star Desert’s domain.
This sort of information packet had incredible camouflage abilities, able to bypass most artificial intelligence firewalls and infect one quantum network node after another. It spread like a virus, but for the time being, it did not show any abnormal reaction, simply lurking beneath the surface.
Only a small number of artificial intelligences, such as the master artificial intelligences from the advanced civilizations, were able to detect and stop it. However, as soon as it was discovered, the information packet would immediately activate a self-destruction program, shattering and deleting its own data, at the same time marking the firewall that it could not break through so other information packets would not take the same risk. It was as though there was a program within that commanded it to avoid those that were overly strong.
As the scope of infection expanded, the efficiency of transmission also increased proportionally. Within the quantum network, transmission was not affected by distance, so without anyone knowing, massive numbers of quantum network nodes in the Ancient Star Desert domain were infected.
At some point, an information packet was transmitted to another quantum node, but this time, it ran into the strongest artificial intelligence firewall it had ever encountered. The moment it entered the peripheral surroundings of the node, it was scanned, and the information packet immediately blew itself up.
However, a surging data stream gushed out from this node to envelop the information packet. When it had self-destructed about sixty-five percent of itself, the remaining fragmented information was forcibly intercepted.
The next moment, the data streams converged into a human shape.
Manison’s Virtual Soul gazed at the remains of the information packet floating in front of him with a curious expression.
Eh, a never-before-seen data structure… what’s this thing, attempting to infiltrate my sub-base?