Plane Supermarket Plane 2: Luoyang Base C16
“What are we having for today?” A little child, whose legs couldn’t yet reach the table, clung to the edge of it. His tiny legs dangled in the air as he eagerly opened his mouth, taking a small gulp of saliva. In a sweet, childish voice, he asked, “Is there any meat?”
A grown-up came out from the kitchen, carrying a plate of food, and replied with a smile, “Yes, there’s meat, and there’s also rice soup.”
The little one perked up with excitement, exclaiming, “Meat! Meat!”
“You’ll have to wait for Mom to come back before we can eat.” The man placed the dishes on the table, and there was no need to worry about the food getting cold in this weather.
Glancing at the clock on the living room wall, as expected, when the hour and minute hands aligned at twelve, signaling it was noon, a knocking sound echoed from outside the door.
The man quickly swung open the door and asked in surprise, “Did you forget your keys?”
The woman at the doorstep, carrying a collection of bags, grinned at him and replied, “My parents didn’t rush to buy these, they brought them over for me.”
Their children were still very young, and the woman had to work, while the man took on part-time jobs and looked after the kids, leaving them with no time for shopping sprees.
Both parents, although not very old, were in decent health, so they volunteered to go to the supermarket. Now, there wasn’t a single corn cake left in the house.
In their place, the rice bucket was brimming with plump grains of rice, the box contained cured meat and sausages, and the shelves were stocked with fruits and vegetables.
The spice rack and various condiments also filled the cabinets to the brim.
The elderly folks at home often said that these days felt like a return to the time before the zombie outbreak.
The woman didn’t know what the world was like before the zombie outbreak, but these days were indeed the best she had experienced from childhood to adulthood. While her work was tiring, she returned home to the aroma of delicious meals.
Even though the children could be mischievous at times, most of the time, they were well-behaved. Although her husband’s cooking wasn’t particularly tasty, it was never so awful that she needed to re-cook the meal.
What’s more, having a warm meal waiting at home, what more could she ask for? Before, they would all sit together and nibble on corn cakes as a family.
“What’s for lunch today?” The woman handed the bag to her husband, cradled her child in her arms, and affectionately kissed the child’s forehead with a smile.
The child exclaimed loudly, “Braised spare ribs! And there are potatoes too!”
The woman glanced at her husband and asked, “Did you go to the supermarket this morning?”
Her husband rubbed the back of his head and replied, “I waited in line last night.”
Going in the morning might be too late, and we might not get anything until the evening.
Although the supermarket had been open for a month, not as many people were lining up around the clock like before. There were still more shoppers during the daytime than in the evening.
The woman said, “Let’s not go in the evening. It gets too dark, and there are no street lights nearby. Even in a safe area, we still need to be careful.”
“I got it, I got it. Let’s eat first,” the man said.
The base mostly lacked electricity, except during holidays, when only the factories had power.
That’s why fresh meat couldn’t be stored in this weather. If bought the night before, it would spoil by today.
So, they had to buy it on the same day from the supermarket.
“There’s also some drinks inside,” the man said as he lifted the bag, discovering a large bottle of orange juice within.
The woman smiled, saying, “Isn’t this something my dad knew you liked?”
The man’s eyes slightly reddened, and after a brief pause, he said, “Let’s eat, let’s eat. In the afternoon, I’ll go see if I can find some work.”
The woman waved her hand and said, “No need to rush. Jobs are hard to come by these days. If you can’t find one, you can stay home and take care of the children. With the supermarket now, my income alone is enough to support the family.”
Currently, the factory still paid them with corn cakes, even though the exchange rate at the supermarket had dropped from fifty to thirty-eight. When you compared two and a half corn cakes to one kilogram of rice, rice practically cost nothing.
She could not only support her own little family but even her parents together.
The man whispered, “But we still need to be cautious. What if the supermarket suddenly closes one day? We should take advantage of the fact that the supermarket is still open, earn more corn cakes, and exchange them for food.”
“By the way,” the man said as he picked up a bowl. “I saw someone using corn flour from the supermarket to make corn cakes and then exchanging them at the supermarket.”
The woman paused her hand-washing, curiously asking, “Did he manage to exchange them?”
The man nodded, “But he said the exchange rate is different from the base’s corn cakes.”
“The corn cakes he made can only be exchanged for nineteen, which is only half of the base’s corn cakes,” he explained.
The woman was a little confused, “So, is he making a profit from this opportunity or not? I remember the corn flourl at the supermarket is quite expensive.”
The man replied, “I think he’s making a profit. Considering the cost, one corn cake can earn him more than half.”
“Well, then you should give it a try too,” the woman suggested. “Since the supermarket hasn’t said no and has accepted his corn cakes, we should be able to do the same.”
“Besides, you’re earning money to exchange for a house at the supermarket, so making corn cakes might just be perfect,” she added.
The more the woman thought about it, the more she realized it was a good idea and a good business opportunity. “While others haven’t caught on yet, and there aren’t many people doing it, you can earn more.”
“Just think about it, before, the base’s corn cakes were worth fifty, and now they’re only worth thirty-eight. If more people start making corn cakes to profit from the price difference, it might drop from nineteen to ten in the future, and the profit margin will shrink even further,” she pointed out.
The woman said, “Even though it’s just a one-time profit, it’s hard to find part-time work now, and we have children at home, so you can’t go out for part-time jobs.”
“No matter how I think about it, I feel like this business can work,” she concluded.
“I’ll give it a try. In the afternoon, I’ll go wait in line and buy some more cornmeal,” the man said, a smile on his face.
When the children were younger, they couldn’t be away from adults, and he didn’t mind staying at home.
But now that the children had grown, they needed less of his attention, and most of the day, they were sleeping.
Now that the children didn’t require someone by their side all the time, and especially since no one knew when the supermarket might close, it made sense to stock up on goods while they could. When the supermarket closed, there would be nowhere left to turn.
It wasn’t just this household preparing to buy corn cakes to profit from the price difference.
For the Luoyang Base, which lacked job opportunities, having a chance to earn a profit like this, no one wanted to miss out.
“General, do you really think this thing is useful?” The soldier crouched in front of the reinforced glass cover, squinting as he observed the photon cannon concealed beneath.
The photon cannon didn’t look particularly impressive. It wasn’t large, and despite its flashy appearance, people often felt that the more flashy something looked, the less useful it was. No matter how you looked at it, it didn’t seem like something worth millions.
The soldier whispered, “Do you think the supermarket owner might be scamming us? This thing looks like a toy.”
Up to now, the photon cannon hadn’t been tested. It didn’t require ammunition. It only needed sunlight for charging. A single charge could take a month, but it could only be used once, and after use, it needed to be recharged.
Currently, the photon cannon’s energy wasn’t at full capacity because it needed sunlight and they were concerned about it being stolen. So, they had it encased in reinforced glass.
Although the anti-theft capability of reinforced glass was just so-so, it was better than nothing, and it still required four soldiers to guard it in shifts.
Yang Guoqin drew on his cigarette. Ever since he could buy cigarettes, it seemed like he was making up for all the ones he missed in the past. Smoke always surrounded him, causing many people to walk around him when they saw him.
“I’m just taking a gamble,” Yang Guoqin sighed, “If it doesn’t work out, I’ll see if I can get a refund.”
The soldier blinked, “You can get a refund?”
Yang Guoqin replied, “It’s not a bank. They can’t say they’re not responsible once it’s off the shelf.”
“Not to mention those guns,” Yang Guoqin whispered, “They’re all old models that were stockpiled in the past. They won’t be suitable for the battlefield. We need new ones.”
The soldier furrowed his brow, “How can they be unusable?! We’re short of ammunition!”
Yang Guoqin explained, “How long can a single gun serve? What we lack are bullets and medicine, not guns.”
Guns can last a long time and can be repaired if there’s an issue, but ammunition is expendable and used up after a single shot.
So, every base had a stockpile of guns but lacked a stockpile of bullets and medicine.
“I still find it a bit unreliable,” the soldier hesitated, “After all, those guns are useful, and if this thing turns out to be useless, we’d be at a huge loss.”
“Besides, the supermarket can’t run away,” Yang Guoqin remarked.
The soldier countered, “You’re taking it lightly. The appearance of that supermarket is suspicious, and there’s bound to be a hidden move. Perhaps they’re truly people from the future. If they press a button, the supermarket could pop out of existence like a spaceship. What can we do then?”
Yang Guoqin smiled, “It’s even better if they’re from the future. Think about it, if they’re time travelers and gave us the photon cannon to trick us, why wouldn’t they ask for precious metals instead? Why would they take these outdated guns we have here? Are they trying to scam others and themselves?”
The soldier thought for a moment and realized that the logic made sense, but he still sighed and said, “I can’t help but feel uneasy.”
Yang Guoqin ignored him and continued, “I wonder when the next wave of zombies will arrive.”
He wanted to see the power of the photon cannon but was also afraid that the zombie horde might come too quickly, not allowing enough time for the photon cannon to charge up.
“But the base has been like a paradise lately!” The soldier got excited. “Every household can have white rice and even meat to eat. The food in the cafeteria has also improved. I had tomato and scrambled eggs for lunch today, and I haven’t had eggs in a long time.”
Although the farm still raised chickens, they were mainly broilers that would be slaughtered for meat later.
There weren’t many mother hens, and the production of chicken eggs was even lower. Unfertilized eggs were usually given as benefits to farm workers.
Jobs at the farm were hard to come by, and countless people racked their brains to get in, all for the sake of eggs.
Even working for free was acceptable.
Yang Guoqin thought for a moment and asked the soldier seriously, “Do you think we can cooperate with the supermarket?”
The soldier seemed bewildered, “Cooperate with what? To raise chickens?”
Yang Guoqin nodded, “In Luoyang Base, we have nothing. We depend on the rear supply for all our resources. We can’t rely solely on the supermarket. If the supermarket closes one day, we still have to survive. Buying isn’t safe. We need to produce for ourselves.”
“We can’t produce ammunition, but can’t we engage in farming?”
“We have open land behind the base, after all.”
“Let’s raise animals with high production rates, like chickens and ducks, and keep fewer pigs since they take longer to grow,” Yang Guoqin suggested. “When the time comes, even if they leave, the base will have enough jobs and production.”
“At least we won’t have to go back to the days of just eating corn cakes.”
“I’ve had my fill of those days!” he added.
“Regardless of what the rear might say later, during my tenure, I have a responsibility to ensure the people in the base can have a good life.”
“Let’s go talk to the supermarket owner about it.”
(6/7) Now I want to read some apocalyptic novels
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