Chapter 2: Sol One, Last Human in the Universe
Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Tomcat observed for a long time before finally making a very prudent conclusion: the Earth had vanished.
Not only had the Earth vanished, but even the Moon had gone.
The third natural satellite that revolved around the Sun at a speed of 29.8 kilometers per second, with a radius of 6,378.137 kilometers and a circumference of 40,075.7 kilometers had vaporized, leaving nothing behind.
This was why they couldn’t establish any communications.
Although Tang Yue didn’t know exactly what had happened, he had successfully escaped this apocalyptic disaster by being on Mars, making him the last human in this world.
Tang Yue sat on a crate, looking at the ground beneath him, in a daze; his mind was a complete blank.
He had been sitting there, in that same state, for a very long time.
He even ignored Tomcat as it twisted lasciviously in front of him.
In the past few decades, all astronauts in human history had been wanderers who had left home. No matter how far they went, there would be a day that they would eventually return home to Earth.
However, Tang Yue was no longer a wanderer.
He was now a vagrant who no longer had a home to return to.
He was just twenty-six this year, and he had suffered the loss of his home planet.
According to the original plan, Tang Yue would finish wrapping up the scientific work in the next two sols before returning to the Mars United Space Station. He would then board the last Orion shuttle back to Earth.
This was a plan specifically designed for him by the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Behind this plan, there were hundreds of people watching Tang Yue’s every move, and thousands of people working to ensure his safety while burning copious amounts of American dollars every minute. It was solely to bring back a lump of flesh, weighing 65 kilograms, from an alien planet 55 million kilometers away. The loss of even half a kilogram would have been considered a mission failure.
And when Tang Yue was on Mars, he was worth more than his body weighed in gold. He was worth billions.
Now that those people had vanished, Tang Yue had no home to return to.
“Is Earth really gone?”
“It’s really gone,” Tomcat replied, “although I’ve no idea what happened either, I have used all observation apparatuses available on the space station. From all angles, the Earth has vanished, without leaving even a speck behind.”
Tang Yue fell silent for a prolonged period as he didn’t say another word.
Tomcat continued twisting lasciviously in front of him.
If Tang Yue was akin to a kite that had drifted beyond 50 million kilometers, then the moment that he learned that Earth had vanished, it meant that the kite string that connected him to Earth had been severed. He had been embroiled in an unpredictable game of fate by the solar storm that had wreaked havoc.
In an instant, he felt he had lost everything substantial as the faint winds and light of dawn directly penetrated his body and soul.
“Is Earth really gone?” Tang Yue muttered.
“It’s really gone,” Tomcat continued replying, “although I’ve no idea what happened either, I have used all observation apparatuses on the space station. From all angles, the Earth has vanished, leaving not a speck behind.”
Tang Yue looked up at it and whispered, “Why did you repeat the answer?”
Tomcat returned with a question. “Then, why did you repeat the question?”
Tang Yue hugged his head with his hands, his fingers lodging deep to the roots of his hair. His eyes had somewhat glazed over.
That’s right. Why did I repeat the same question?
Tomcat stopped its twisting and sighed. It raised its claw and placed it on Tang Yue’s shoulder.
“That’s because, in essence, we are the same.”
Tang Yue looked up; his gaze, a blank.
Our essence? What’s our essence?
Gravely and earnestly Tomcat replied, “A repeater, of course.”
Tang Yue didn’t know where he would ultimately go. In this Universe spanning 93 billion light-years; in the Milky Way galaxy spanning 120,000 light-years; in the Solar System spanning an average of 82 Astronomical Units (AU); and on a planet spanning 6,794 kilometers, a 1.75-meter-tall human was just too minute. A certain potent power of redoubtable proportions had pushed him towards a completely unfamiliar area into the distance.
“I know you’re very upset.”—Tomcat came over amid its whirring mechanical sounds as it consoled Tang Yue—”Earth has vanished. You are the last human being, and I’m the last robot. You can tell me anything. Although Earth isn’t around anymore, I’m still here.”
Tomcat hugged Tang Yue as it patted him gently on the back with its claws.
“Don’t keep it in. It’s better to let it out.”
After a long while, Tang Yue repeatedly recalled that instant.
As the last earthling in this universe, upon learning that Earth had vanished, what was the first thought that came to his mind?
Tang Yue originally imagined it to be a despairing exclamation: “Holy sh*t, I’m doomed,” or “Dammit, how is this possible?” or “I’ve no home to go back too!”
Or, he could have been a calm, rational person.
“This isn’t scientific. It’s impossible for the Earth to vanish.” or “The observational data must have made a wrong conclusion. It’s impossible for the Earth to vanish.” or even, “My eyes must have made a mistake. It’s impossible for the Earth to vanish.”
Or perhaps he had consoled himself.
“I must be dreaming.” or “Tomcat must be dreaming.” or “The telescopes must be dreaming.”
But reality proved that Tang Yue had underestimated himself.
Tang Yue was surprisingly calm, so calm that it was abnormal. A terrifying thought had crept up from between his legs as it gradually swelled. Finally, it had occupied his entire brain, chasing away all his grief and horrified astonishment.
Back then, the only thought on his mind was:
I’m still a virgin.
” Tang Yue? Mr. Tang Yue, do you copy? ”
A clear voice suddenly broke the silence.
Tang Yue had already entered into a state of withdrawal, one that would have continued indefinitely. He was suddenly awoken by that voice as he fell into a daze for one second. Hadn’t Earth exploded? Why would someone be calling me?
He got up on his feet and discovered that someone was speaking on the video call.
Tang Yue was overjoyed.
A young woman appeared on the computer screen. Dressed in blue work attire, she had a slender and petite body. The area around her collar revealed a fair neck, and her black short hair was fluttering about in the microgravity environment she was in. In the background, there were US and EU flags plastered across the white walls. This was clearly the Mars United Space Station.
“Mai Dong?” Tang Yue was astonished.
The woman breathed a sigh of relief when she saw his face.
“Mr. Tang Yue, something terrible has happened. I’ve lost all communications with ground control. I can’t contact the Commander nor the rest either! All communications have been severed! I attempted to track the Orion shuttle where the Commander and the rest are but discovered… discovered that…”
“Earth is gone, right?” Tang Yue helped finish her sentence.
The lady nodded as her eyes widened, they were filled with horror and puzzlement. Her long eyelashes quivered as they were stained with a faint amount of tears. Clearly, she had just cried in her anxiety.
“Calm down. Calm down. Miss Mai Dong, please calm down now.”
Tang Yue attempted to console this lady.
She was the second remaining human in the Universe.
“Don’t panic. First, let us slowly analyze our current situation. Can you understand me?” —Tang Yue gave systematic guidance— “If you understand, nod your head.”
The woman was in utter stupefaction as she obediently nodded.