Chapter 1 - Ding Dong! November 15, 2017 - Earth is online.
When the library opened at 9am, there were already seven or eight people waiting at the door, all elderly people with grey hair. It is a Monday, unlike the weekend, when many parents bring their children to the city library to read books. The only people who will come to the library on a working day are usually retired elderly people.
Outside the library is a world of toil and bustle, inside the library is silent, the swish of a book turning softly.
At ten o'clock, the number of people coming to the library gradually increased.
Tang Mo sits in front of the computer and helps punch in the books one by one, his left hand typing in the book numbers on the keyboard and his right hand clicking on the mouse to confirm. When he's done, he looks up: "It's been almost a month since you borrowed the last book, haven't you finished it yet?"
The person in front of her was a middle-aged woman dressed plainly, she smiled and shook her head, "No, my son is a slow reader. Does it matter if you don't return the books for a month?"
Tang Mo: "One month is free, after that there is a 10-cent loan fee per day." After a pause, he adds, "If the book is lost, you have to pay the original price, which is 82 yuan for this book."
The woman's face changed: "So expensive,...... well, I'll go home today and let that brat hurry up and read the book." After saying that, he turned around and left.
Tang Mo watched the woman stride away, her handsome face expressionless as she took the next man's library card and swiped it for him.
"Didn't finish reading it? I think I lost the book." A clear, female voice rang out.
Tang Mo swiped his card as he said, "Probably."
There was a hint of disdain in the woman's voice: "The library card is fifty dollars a piece and the book is 82 dollars. I don't think she'll be coming back to our place."
"I also think it's not going to come back." Director Wang, who was in charge of reception, came over and tapped Tang Mo on the shoulder, "Little Tang, go and see what that godly man is doing again. I just saw him go into the corner, it's a dead end for surveillance, don't let anything happen."
Tang Mo nods lightly and heads for the corner.
Suzhou City Library is located in the city centre and has three floors, the third of which is mostly devoted to humanities and history. Tang Mo walked from the desk to the south-east corner, through more than thirty shelves, and searched again before finding the talisman.
The wind howled outside the window, rattling it, but the sun shone through it, warming it. The godfather sits cross-legged on the floor by the window, five or six books lying in a haphazard fashion beside him, not even reading one himself, his hands in his hair, his already dishevelled hair rubbed in even worse ways.
Tang Mo's lips pursed in resignation as she walked up to pick up the books, " Mr. Chen, we have tables and chairs in the library, you can read over there."
"Read the book ...... Read the book ...... What to read ......"
Tang Mo glanced at the brick book he had just picked up: "The Vanishing Secrets of the Mayan Civilization?"
The magus suddenly looked up, staring with bloodshot eyes, and said with a look of horror, "You know the secret of the disappearance of the Mayan civilisation?"
Tang Mo curled his lips lightly, "I don't know, you know?"
"I know, of course I know." The godly man came to his feet at once, climbed to his feet and said, "They have offended the Manifestation of God; the Gugulu Khan they believe in is a false god, not a Manifestation of God at all. They have offended God, and that is why they are all dead. God is one, eternal, and to offend God is to die!"
Tang Mo has heard these words countless times and doesn't even take them to heart. The library was open to the community and had seen too many oddballs. This godly man was odd enough, but he was not mentally ill, he was only a fanatical religious person and could not be turned away.
Tang Mo said casually and perfunctorily, "And where is the real God?"
The cleric's expression suddenly froze.
Tang Mo smiled, clutching the pile of books with the intention of turning around and walking away.
He had asked this question many times. He started to come to the library a year ago, and he was always talking about the library, and he had to divine the lucky position of the day when he found a seat. But once the staff asked him the question "Who is God?" he would shut up and leave the library like a wilted cabbage.
Tang Mo turned away with his book in his arms and just as he turned his head, he heard a low, mysterious voice ring out behind him, "There's God."
Tang Mo's footsteps stop abruptly.
He turned to look.
The godly man stood by the window, pointed to the huge black tower hovering over the city not far away and gave a very godly smile, "God is almost here."
Tang Mo: "......"
It's good that you're happy.
The bus that Tang Mo takes home from work every day goes through the city centre and he sits in the window listening to a song with his headphones on. Just as a song was finishing, the sound of two female high school students discussing on the bus entered his ears.
"The black tower! I'll take a picture."
"You're still auctioning it? What's so great about this thing to shoot, no one even wants to see it now."
"Just take a picture and post it to your friends with the title The black tower day trip."
"I'm sure no one will like it. Eh, that guy sitting at the window is so handsome, you might as well film him, there'll be lots of likes, maybe he'll even become a netizen, just call ...... bus boy! You should take a picture."
The next song came on and Tang Mo raised his right hand to shield his face without moving, turning his head to look out of the window, not bothering with the two girls. His eyes lift slightly to the huge black tower hovering above Suzhou.
Between the tall buildings of the city, a huge black tower stands high in the sky. The tower is in the shape of a quadrangular cone, similar to the Egyptian pyramids, but instead of gold, it is black. Its base spans the entire city centre of Suzhou, almost covering the city beneath it. The cold moonlight shines through the black tower and shines unobstructed on the ground.
Six months ago, this tower suddenly appeared in the centre of Suzhou. Tang Mo had just started working at the library and was in a hurry to get out in the morning without watching the news.
The bus is gone and you can't even get a taxi.
Tang Mo was still a bit awake and confused when he looked up and saw the huge black tower.
All the sleepiness disappears in this moment.
Tang Mo almost thinks it's 2012 and the world is about to end.
What's with all the big stuff!
I didn't see it last night at the end of the day, so how did it suddenly appear there?
At first Tang Mo wondered if this was some kind of national construction. In those days the internet often boasted that the country's infrastructure was so awesome that it could build an overpass in one night, making foreigners' eyes red with envy. It wasn't until he managed to get a taxi to the city centre and stood in the crowded area that he looked up: the tower was completely suspended in mid-air!
Fully suspended! At least 100 metres off the ground!
How is it possible for human beings to make airy buildings?
A large LED screen in the city centre was broadcasting the news: "At 8am Beijing time, 1,021 black towers appeared in the skies over our major cities and oceans. At the same time, The black tower was reported to be appearing all over the world. There is no need to panic, as the state has set up a department to investigate The black tower incident. We have invited Professor Luo from the Department of Physics at Beijing University to explain to us about The black tower incident, connect with Professor Luo now at ......"
World! World! The end! Day!
Everyone panicked. Tang Mo was unable to go to work for two days and numerous people drove off to the countryside, as far away from The black tower as possible. However, the state managed to keep society running well and after three days Tang Mo was told to go back to work and after another week, many people came back when they saw that The black tower had not moved.
Today, six months later, the black towers have become something of a tourist attraction.
A few months ago, men in white research uniforms came down to The black tower every day, bringing in large instruments and checking things out. Now they only come once every three days, and the shops around The black tower are back in operation.
Tang Mo holds his chin in one hand and looks calmly at The black tower. The bus turned a corner and left The black tower behind, out of sight.
After a casual dinner in the evening, Tang Mo turned on his computer and logged on to QQ, and a chat box popped up.
[Victor: Sorry, I've been busy lately, so I may not have time to play together].
Tang Mo looked at the chat log. He had sent a message last week and only replied today, so it looked like he was really busy.
[Grind Sugar: It's okay, we'll play together later when we have time].
After sending the message Tang Mo opened the bridge software, but this time Viktor was online and got a quick reply.
[Victor: Want a game? Just a little time.]
[Grind Sugar: Good [smiley face]]
Tang Mo invites Viktor into the room and soon the game begins.
Tang Mo has been playing bridge for five years. When he was a freshman, his roommate was obsessed with bridge, saying that it was a game that tested his IQ and that it was very classy, so he dragged Tang Mo into the game. However, within a month, the roommate went on to other things, while Tang Mo continued to play bridge quietly for five years.
Midway through the game, Tang Mo spotted an opportunity to make a deal. His eyes flashed, and before he could play his hand, Viktor suddenly played the king of clubs. Tang Mo was stunned. Viktor had killed his chance to make a deal with this card.
Viktor misses the mark?
Tang Mo met Viktor about a year ago on the internet and they worked well together, with Viktor being a better player than Tang Mo. But Viktor has been very busy in the last six months and he hasn't even played in the last two months, so it's not impossible that he's lost touch.
Tang Mo took another look at the number of piers on both sides of the table and suddenly realised, "He wants a grand slam?"
A faint smile curls the corners of his mouth as Tang Mo calmly plays a card.
Half an hour later, the game was over and Tang Mo opened QQ.
[Grind Sugar: GJ, still as good as ever].
[Grind Sugar: [smiley face]]
Viktor didn't answer for a long time, so Tang Mo guessed he was busy again, so he didn't talk again and started a separate game of bridge. When he came back, he saw a message from Viktor: [I remember you once said that there was a The black tower right next to where you work?
[Mill Candy: Well, about two hundred meters away, what's wrong?]
[Victor: Been there less lately, might be some problems].
When I saw this sentence, Tang Mo suddenly remembered the look on the godman's face this morning when he pointed at The black tower with a nervous look and said with conviction that "God is coming soon". Viktor and the Godman ......
Tang Mo couldn't help but laugh out loud, and after half a day of laughing, she sent a message back: [I didn't expect you to be a member of "The black tower dangerous pie"? But I work near there, so I might not be able to go there as much.
Viktor didn't push it, and after a few more words, he suddenly said he had something to do and the two of them said goodbye and went offline.
The next day, when the godly man didn't come to work, Director Wang was surprised and said to Tang Mo, "The godly man didn't come today? I see that he punched his time card more often than I did.
Tang Mo: "Maybe there's something going on at home."
Director Wang waved his hand: "Hey, what do you care? It's better if he doesn't come, or else we'll have to find someone to keep an eye on him. Little Tang Little Zhao, you guys work hard today and find some time to sort out the G books."
Organising books is a daily task for the librarian, a position that is not as easy as people might think. Little Zhao had to go on a blind date in the evening, and when the young girl looked at Tang Mo with bewilderment, Tang Mo said, "You go back first, I'll come alone.
Little Zhao said gratefully, "Thanks Tang Mo, next time I'll do extra work for you."
Tang Mo nods gently, saying nothing.
After working late until 10pm, Tang Mo leaves the library and gets on the last bus.
There were very few people on the last bus, except for the driver, Tang Mo and a middle-aged man. Tang Mo's mobile phone was out of battery and he was staring out of the window with his chin propped up in boredom.
Many of the malls in the city centre are closed at this time of the year, and the streets are empty on a cold November night, with the moonlight pouring in. Tang Mo looks at the colourful neon signs as the bus turns a corner and the large The black tower suddenly comes into view.
After six months of looking at the tower, Tang Mo, like many others, was no longer interested in it and just looked on indifferently.
Suddenly, he saw a small worm, or maybe it was a small bird, it was too far away to really see clearly. In the moonlight, the little black thing fluttered and flew through the air towards the huge black tower. Tang Mo watched indifferently as the little thing flew next to The black tower and foolishly continued to fly forward, diving headlong into The black tower.
Then, seemingly hitting something, he suddenly fell towards the ground.
Tang Mo just watched as the bus turned the corner again and The black tower disappeared behind him.
As the bus blared the name of the next stop, Tang Mo propped his left hand against the window, bored with the idea of what he was going to eat this evening. Suddenly, his eyes widen and he turns his head quickly, pressing his whole body against the window to get another look at The black tower. The black tower was impossible to see behind the bus, which was already far away.
Tang Mo's heart was pounding so fast that it was about to jump out of his throat. After a long time, he settled down.
"...... should be looking at it wrong? The black tower is an illusion caused by optical pollution, there is no entity."
This is the prevailing social narrative, which many people do not believe, but at least The black tower does not have any physical presence, it can only be seen, not touched at all.
Tang Mo closed his eyes and tried to forget the scene he had just witnessed. But the scene kept replaying in his mind and he couldn't forget it until he went to bed at night, causing him to have insomnia until he fell asleep in the middle of the night.
The next day I woke up at 7.30am. Tang Mo rushed to get up and brush his teeth to catch the 8am bus. He dressed quickly and grabbed his backpack, but just as his hand touched the doorknob, the sound of smooth music suddenly started to play.
"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells ......"
Tang Mo turned his head in dismay, not finding the source of the sound in the room, but the song 'Jingle Bells' kept on playing. There were no lyrics, but everyone knew what song it was.
Tang Mo Listening carefully to the sound, it was impossible to find where it was coming from; it seemed to be coming from all directions.
The next moment Tang Mo's body froze and he ran to the window with unprecedented speed, looking far away from the black tower in the centre of Suzhou. The tower glows with colourful light, changing in time with the tune of the children's song. When the last note fell, the coloured light disappeared and everything fell silent into darkness once more.
A childlike voice rang out, with a high, shrill, ringing tone unique to children.
"Ding Dong! Earth went live on November 15, 2017."