I Have A Super USB Drive - Chapter 611: Element 126 Synthesis
Chapter 611: Element 126 Synthesis
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Outside the elevator, Chen Chen sniffed a hint of sulfur in the air.
Turning into a frown, he looked at the elevator that had not arrived yet. It seemed to be where this strange scent came from.
The display on the elevator call button showed that it had arrived at the current floor. Once the elevator doors slid open on both sides, Chen Chen was greeted by the sight of Shaw scrambling wildly and screaming at the top of his lungs while the two Black Knights held him firmly by his arm.
Meanwhile, the familiar scent of sulfur struck Chen Chen.
Chen Chen was no stranger to a scene like this since most people who had entered the subspace exhibited similar symptoms as well. Without wasting a single moment, he immediately summoned the black slate in his hand and evoked its powers!
Now that Chen Chen was more familiar with the workings of the subspace, he had the black slate thoroughly sweep through Shaw’s body right away. In one smooth motion, he had wiped away all of the subspace energy from Shaw.
However, moments before he wiped out the final trace of subspace energy within Shaw, he had a change of heart. He proceeded to leave a tiny trace of subspace energy intact.
Chen Chen retracted the black slate. By this point, Shaw had stopped screaming and had passed out.
“I left a tiny trace of subspace presence inside him.”
Chen Chen remarked, “The subspace is more dangerous than I expected. Unless the afflicted victims can purge their inner demons effectively, the remains of subspace’s presence will still follow them even after leaving the subspace itself.”
“Speaking of which...”
Chen Chen asked, “What’s the story behind his inner demons?”
“Earlier inside the elevator, I heard him crying out the name ‘Tina’. I believe it’s the name of his late wife.”
“It looks like he still hasn’t forgiven himself for murdering his wife.”
Chen Chen deduced. “The remaining subspace energy in his body won’t be enough to kill him. It can help build up his resistance to the subspace over time. Nancy, take him back to Earth and arrange some therapist appointments for him.”
“Understood, I’ll take him back to Earth after he wakes up.”
Chen Chen nodded contently and took a lap around the Spire 2 to survey the site. After approximately an hour, Shaw woke up.
“Where... Where am I?”
Shaw could still feel his head spinning. He sat up from the bed and surveyed his surroundings cautiously.
Thankfully, there were no signs of his dead wife around him. It was just the usual darkness.
“You fainted earlier, Mr. Shaw.”
Before Shaw could further recollect himself, the door to the ward was pushed open and someone stepped inside. Shaw’s vision was immediately swarmed by a dazzling ray like he was staring at the sun itself. He immediately turned the other way so he would not be blinded by it. “You...? Aren’t you the leader of Blackwatch?”
“Just call me Chen Chen.”
Chen Chen approached Shaw’s bed. “How do you feel? Is there still a lingering sulfuric smell?”
“You, you know about that too?”
Shaw was startled and was reminded of the sulfuric smell. He took a quick sniff and commented, “I don’t smell it anymore...”
“Chances are it was just the lingering subspace energy in your body.”
Chen Chen remarked, “They told me that you saw your late wife moments before you passed out. Let me assure you that it wasn’t your late wife. It’s just an illusion conjured by the subspace energy. I’ve removed a large portion of the subspace energy in your body. Only a negligible amount remains inside you now.”
Shaw did not know how to respond to this. He sat there like a mute and waited for Chen Chen to continue.
“I know what you’re thinking.”
Chen Chen smiled gently. “You’re wondering why I didn’t remove all of the subspace from your body, is that it? Well, I figured you might be returning to the subspace in the near future, so it might be wise to leave some subspace remains in your body to help you build natural resistance. This may make a significant difference in your future ventures.”
“I still have to return to that cursed place?”
Shaw froze a moment, then he quickly realized Chen Chen’s intentions. “I think I get the point of the experiment now. The reason you put us into the spaceship and shipped us into the spaceship is to see if there’s any one of us who can see those things in the subspace not observable to the regular person. You figured you could find a suitable navigator this way, right?”
“That’s not all of it, but you more or less have the right idea.”
Chen Chen replied. Then, two Black Knights entered the room and helped Shaw off the bed and took him to the teleportation room with Chen Chen.
Shortly after that, Chen Chen and Shaw arrived at the Watchman teleporter.
“We’ll be returning to Earth now.”
While clumps of water-like substance began to materialize around them, Chen Chen suddenly informed, “Mr. Winfred, I’ve decided to grant you the freedom as promised. From now on, you’re no longer a Delta-level experiment subject of Blackwatch. But since you know about the company’s extremely confidential secrets, I’d like to extend an offer to you and hire you as the Blackwatch’s subspace navigation consultant with a complementing annual salary of three million U.S. dollars. You’ll receive favorable treatment in our company. I hope you’ll accept this offer.”
“Do I have a choice?”
Shaw asked with a bitter smile. His question sounded more like a statement.
“If you accept these terms, I’ll also arrange an operation for you.”
Chen Chen enticed the candidate further. “I’m sure you’re aware that Blackwatch has developed functional bionic prosthetics a long time ago. If you accept my terms, an operation can be performed immediately and your eyeballs can be replaced with the bionic eyes designed by Blackwatch. This way, you can live a normal life again. The bionic eyes can be removed temporarily when entering the subspace and allow you to regain astral sight so you can help us navigate the dimension. It’s a best of both worlds solution.”
“You can do that?”
Shaw’s breathing quickened. He had to admit that the suggestion of regaining his sight was very tempting, perhaps even more alluring than regaining freedom since he would be able to see the world naturally again.
“I’ll join the company!”
At last, Shaw made a decision.
Chen Chen did not provide an audible response. He gave Shaw a gentle shove and pushed him into the mystical current.
In an instant, Shaw’s figure was enveloped by the current and vanished!
After that, Chen Chen stepped inside as well and they returned to Earth.
Chen Chen was feeling rather amiable. Acquiring a psionicist that can help him navigate the subspace efficiently was a major step in the right direction. Shaw would be extremely vital to subspace research. To a certain extent, Shaw’s value even exceeded that of a billion-dollar asset like the Alpha-level psionicist, John the Guardian.
Upon returning to Earth, the first thing on his to-do list was to inform Little X to scour everywhere for psionicists with psionic abilities similar to Shaw’s. Unfortunately, after scrounging the entirety of the registered psionicists database, not a single psionicist with abilities similar to astral sight was identified.
It would appear that such an ability was extremely scarce. Therefore, Chen Chen decided that a suitable approach would be to extract Shaw’s DNA to see if it was possible to recreate this ability artificially.
With that, a new psionic research project was launched in the Spire Experimental Base, a research project with the goal of deciphering Shaw’s DNA code.
The following days were quiet and peaceful. Blacklight Biotechnology and the Earth Federation were engaging in secret competitions with each other both in commercial and colonial sectors. However, both sides exercised restraint and none of their dealings had surfaced to the public as of yet.
The two parties continued to maintain an amicable relationship in the military and aerospace sectors, at least it would seem that way on the surface. On the whole, human civilization was in a happy and harmonious state and civilization was making gradual progress in the right direction.
Three months later, Chen Chen received a piece of delightful news. After more than a decade of work, element 126 had been successfully synthesized by the high energy physics department.
The successful synthesis of element 126 was in many parts credited to the collaborative work of hundreds of scientists, but it also would not have been possible without the ultra-large particle accelerator built under the Erongo Plains located in Namibia. The construction of this gargantuan accelerator started in September 2035 and cost no less than 300 million U.S. dollars. It took four years to complete.
This particle accelerator rivaled even the Large Hadron Collider. It was buried a hundred meters underground below the Erongo Plains and stretched upward of 100 kilometers. It was easily the largest variant of such creation in the history of human physics and was already deemed a historical piece the moment it was constructed. It was up to four times more efficient than Europe’s Large Hadron Collider. The implementation of modern technology such as superconducting technology and several other key technologies meant that it completely outclassed the Large Hardon Collider both in terms of precision and overall output.
Furthermore, the total construction cost and upkeep cost was more affordable than that of the Large Hadron Collider.
This monumental creation was greatly coveted by the Earth Federation. Ever since its emergence, Chen Chen had been receiving persistent requests from scientists all over the world to contribute the machine to the world so that a collaborative effort could be made to study the Higgs boson. Unfortunately, Chen Chen would not entertain their requests and instead leveraged the machine to recruit all of the best high-energy physicists all over the world.
By the time Chen Chen arrived at the high energy physics department, the scientists and physicists were already celebrating. The atmosphere made the laboratory seem more like a carnival than anything else.
“Not bad at all.”
Chen Chen’s appearance was probably the only thing in the world at that moment that could quell the collective exhilaration of these members. They greeted and regarded Chen Chen with respect upon his arrival. Then, the professor who headed the entire operation, a gray-haired elderly man, stepped forward.
Chen Chen regarded the professor with a polite smile. He held a deep respect for every single member in this laboratory. For individuals such as these, subjects like nationalities and social class were irrelevant. Their qualifications gave them the most proclaimed respect wherever they went, as long as the hosts were aware of the value of their knowledge.
On the contrary, it was the scientists themselves who decided where they wanted to ship their talents. They heavily favored having a supreme research environment, which was why the Central Continent always had a hard time attracting these savants.
This man Chen Chen assigned as the leader was Professor Otmar Babel. He was the best professor at Munich University. There was not a single soul in the scientific world that was not familiar with the name. Chen Chen’s offer for his employment not only included access to the greatest particle accelerator in the world, but also special access to great technologies such as the anti-aging reversal treatment and many more.
The combination of all these elusive offers supplied by Blacklight Biotechnology managed to sway the great scientist to discard his home country and join Chen Chen’s faction.
“Sir Chen Chen.”
Professor Otmar shook Chen Chen’s hands the way only close friends would. Then, he led Chen Chen to a large isolation chamber. He gestured at the glass shielding the isolation chamber. “At long last, we’ve synthesized element 126.”
Chen Chen approached the glass. It was a ZF6 grade heavy lead protective glass, which was used to resist extreme ionizing radiation. He looked inside the chamber and observed the seemingly regular contents inside – a lump of metal shaped like a block of iron.
The surface of the block of iron was irregular and had odd bumps sticking out its corners. It seemed to resemble a poorly formed iron ingot. The general rule was that elements on the periodic table after lead had radioactive qualities and this element 126 was no exception. This was why radiation obstructing protective glass was required to contain it.
“After all these years and the vast amount of funds poured into research, we’ve finally synthesized this magical element.”
Professor Otmar’s voice was colored with many emotions while he beheld the element inside the chamber. “A general observation is that elements in the later end of the periodic table tend to have a shorter half-life (TN: a radioactivity measurement referring to the interval of time required for one-half of the atomic nuclei of a radioactive sample to decay). It’s no exception for element 126 as well. To synthesize element 126, we had to synthesize element 125 first and to do so, we had to first synthesize element 124, and so on... It proved to be a rather daunting task when the half-life reaches as low as mere nano-second intervals.”
“And yet, you succeeded.”
Chen Chen remarked, not holding back his fascination and praises, “Isn’t element 126 supposed to be a stabilized element? Why is it radioactive?”
“Before we had succeeded in synthesizing it, that’s what I assumed as well.”
Professor Otmar replied, “According to the island of stability theory, the stability of the nucleus should see a relative increase until the number of nuclei in an element reaches a certain yet-to-be-determined threshold. With that said, I’m sure you also notice the specific use of the term ‘relative’ in this situation.”
Chen Chen nodded and expressed thoughtfully, “In other words, element 126 is a superheavy element in a relative state with a longer half-life.”
“Something along those lines.”
Professor Otmar agreed. “The specifics will still require a bit more research. With that said, I’d still like to extend my thanks to you, Sir Chen Chen.”
Professor Otmar proclaimed, “Synthesizing element 126 marks another major milestone in human history. Back in 2006, the world could barely synthesize any elements passing element 118. Synthesizing heavier elements required a greatly improved particle accelerator, which was simply not achievable at the time, not until Blacklight Biotechnology stepped in and made a difference.”
“You flatter me, Professor Otmar.”
Chen Chen received the professor’s appreciation warmly. “None of this would’ve been possible without the right person to utilize the tools and that’s where you come in. At the end of the day, a large part of this must be attributed to the combined effort of yourself and all the scientists and physicists we have here.”
Professor Otmar glowed upon hearing this. Since Chen Chen would put it this way, it implied that he did not intend to reap the glory for himself and instead would dedicate a large portion of the credit to the professor and the research team.
“Sir Chen Chen...”
Professor Otmar choked up slightly. His beard was still unkempt from all the late-night labor in the laboratory. He bowed. “Thank you for your graciousness. You’ve done us as much service as you’ve done for the entirety of mankind. Your name will be etched in the history books for your contributions!”
Chen Chen smiled.
After many more gestures of profuse gratitude to Chen Chen, Professor Otmar finally left with the research team. Chen Chen remained by the chamber and looked at the hosts of scientists departing the laboratory as a profound smile surfaced on his lips.
“Sir Godfather, I believe he’s suggesting that you’ll go down as one of the greats like Newton and Isaac!”
Little X remarked candidly through the earpiece.
“Etched in history books, he says?”
Chen Chen chuckled lightly and proceeded to correct the statement. “I want more than just having my names etched in history books, my very being will... Triumph over what we know as history!”
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