I walked back and forth gathering vegetable and plant scraps and tossing them in a bowl. It wasn’t enough food for the voracious naked mole rats, but food was scarce even for humans nowadays, so there was nothing I could do.
I walked through the Department of Health, which still bore the damage from before, and entered the wrecked nursery. The roof of the building was entirely gone, exposing everything to the elements, but at least most of the walls were intact. Part of the network of glass tubes that had been their nest were broken, making them too dangerous to use, so the 35 naked mole rats were now living underground like they would in the wild. The walls extended deep underground so there was no risk of them escaping.
I dumped the scraps into the feeding area. The worker rats, sensing the vibration, began to emerge The last to come was the queen, Salami, and her male mates. The worker rats scattered in the presence of her giant, sausage-shaped body as she staked her claim to the food.
When I found out that these mole rats had survived despite the destruction, I felt a strange sense of disappointment. Of course, the mole rats were innocent. We couldn’t kill them, and letting them go might harm the environment. So we decided to keep taking care of them.
Still, they were depressing creatures. They were ugly, incestuous, and coprophagic. It was hard to develop any sort of sympathy for them. Even before all this, I had wondered why we had taken such an ugly creature and modified it with cantus into something with an intelligence equal to humans.
After feeding them, I went back to the Department of Health. Although the building was badly damaged, it hadn’t been burned, so most of the books were still intact. I’d have to pick out the more important ones to be moved into a new building in the next few days.
Under the new council, the Exospecies Division no longer operated under the Department of Health but reported directly to the Ethics Committee. I was slated to be a member of the Ethics Committee as well as the first head of the Exospecies Division. My first job was to convince the Ethics Committee to revoke its decision to exterminate all the queerats in Kanto. No matter how you looked at it, it was pointless to punish all the loyal colonies along with the treasonous ones. And at the very least, I needed to keep the promise I made to Kiroumaru that I would save his queen.