282 More than a Statistic

    Gu Jun's team waited inside a shop after requesting to use their landline. 10 minutes later, the police arrived at the scene. They were followed by the cavalcade from Phecda. Gu Jun's team and the public members they had interacted with were all ferried away in a quarantine vehicle. The reason Phecda members could arrive so soon was because they had a division at this city, and it was quite a large one. They had exited at Eastern State. Gu Jun had no idea how this was connected but he knew this was no coincidence. This at least proved that Eastern State had a close connection with Dreamlands. However, with regards to the channel that they had just used, based on the Zoogs' observation, no other creatures had used it before it collapsed.

    Eastern State was spared from the Bloody Lungs Disease but it had suffered through both Malformed Banyan Tree Disease and Nightmare Illness. The silver lining was they had an efficient and mature protocol when it came to the handling of suspicious characters. All 16 members of the Problematic Team and their personal items were transported to the quarantine base for inspection and after everything was cleared, they would wait for the headquarters to assign the next arrangement.

    On the way to the quarantine base, Gu Jun, as the leader, was given a chance to have a private call with the leaders at the headquarters. The return of all 16 members was a pleasant surprise for the headquarters. This was because based on the dreamers' report, things with the wounded were not looking that optimistic, none of them believed Ma Feng could be saved. Other than that, Gu Jun's facial recovery was yet another good news. Yao Sinian said cryptically, "Ah Jun, your face has returned at the perfect timing."

    "Why?" Gu Jun was confused, it did not sound like Commander Yao was joking. He soon understood why. The Problematic Team entered the Dreamlands on the night of August 3rd; three hours later, on the early morning of the 4th, they dealt with the thousand-eyed worm. After the supernatural energy of the new strain was demolished, its transmission power was greatly decreased. The researchers confirmed that its smallest size had reverted to over 0.3 mm, meaning it could be filtered by N95 masks; Its transmission speed through air as well as its time of survival in water slowed down greatly. Because of that, the epidemic was curbed. There was no need for national lockdown, only quarantines at specific districts within San Hai City and heavy monitoring on the traffic and public transports within the country were ordered.

    Government workers were sent into areas, which were practically abandoned, and they had been trying their best to control the epidemic for the past few days. The workload for every unit was heavy but it was especially so for medical workers who headed the frontline.

    The good news was the spread of the epidemic globally had slowed down and illotycin regained slight effectiveness. The replication of Drug No. 1 was not 100 percent complete, the first batch of the pills was 2 milligrams lighter than the original but its clinical effect on voluntary patients showed positive results. The bad news though... Due to the overwhelming destructive power of the bacteria among the first batch patients, and a lack of medical support back then, the accumulated fatality number was high. Yao Sinian and Elder Tong did not provide an actual number but their tone was heavy. Then they changed the subject to marine warfare. Currently the salvage process of the ghost ships and bodies of the Deep Ones were still ongoing. The only confirmation was the Seagull was not among the destroyed ships. Also, a global investigation had been carried out on Afterlife Cult, R'yleh Cult as well as the suspicious Rodgers' Order.

    The various countries decided to wipe off these evil organizations at one go but international cooperation was always difficult. America, Russian, Britain... every global power had their own benefits to protect. However, those in the know understood that it was China's Phecda who led the frontline facing this latest legionella pneumonia epidemic. In the aftermath of such a scarring global epidemic, the governments could not keep it a secret anymore. But, for now, they only revealed to the public that this was a mutation of the legionella pneumophilia strain.

    "Over the past year, there have been multiple changes over the globe. This latest epidemic has brought everything once covered up to the surface." Yao Sinian gave a long sigh. "We have insider information that countries like America might reveal the existence of supernatural forces to its citizens as well as their counteractive measures. Based on the situation, Ah Jun, you might need to represent Phecda to walk into the public eye."

    Gu Jun understood it immediately. Once America made the announcement, the other countries had to follow and that was how his face became that much more important. Commander Yao made it sound so simple, but Gu Jun knew it would be much more complicated than that since it involved international politics. 'Am I a hero?' Gu Jun thought. 'Perhaps, but this time I am not the only hero.' He was reminded of those eyes and faces...

    "How is the disease control expert from San Hai City, He Feng doing?" Gu Jun asked, he had been worried about this. Yao Sinian went silent and it was Elder Tong who answered, "He Feng passed away on the 4th but his wife and daughter survive, they are recovering."

    "Okay..." Gu Jun sank into silence. Doctor He was a hero too, he had done everything he could for his country and his family. Gu Jun asked about the other staff at Jiang Xin Hospital. Elder Tong revealed that the disease control team had all died on their post and most of the hospital staff spent their last days at the hospital.

    "Elder Tong, just give me the actual fatality number." Gu Jun said, "I can handle it." But when he heard that scary number, he was silent for a long time...

    After the call was over, Gu Jun relayed the latest news and the fatality number to his teammates. They had the right to know. Once they heard the number, the joy from their mission success dissipated immediately. Globally, the bacteria had claimed more than 2,000,000 lives. In 1917, Russian camp fever caused around 3,000,000 deaths; from 1918 to 1919, the Spanish Flu infected more than 10 billion people all over the world and caused 2,000,000,0 to 4,000,000,0 deaths. In comparison, the fatality number of the legionella pneumonia might be small but remember that the number was accumulated from less than a month and not years.

    The team arrived at the quarantine base in a pall of heaviness. After a series of inspection and review, they were sent to individual rooms. Gu Jun tried to read and meditate but he could not shake his mind off the atrocious number and the people that it represented. He Feng, Shen Haoxuan, Huang Lin, they were all heroes in their own way... His mood only lifted a little when he received a guest that night.

    "I'm here to check the authenticity of our new stock." Wu Siyu started to study him once she entered the room wearing an airtight protective suit.

    "Understood." Gu Jun nodded as he sat up in the chair. "Scan me!"

    "Hmm, hmm..." Wu Siyu walked around him. She glanced at his hands, sniffed his hair, poked his face. "Yup, that's the taste! It's the real deal alright."

    Gu Jun couldn't help but chuckle. "Dirty-minded Yu," He sighed. "Many people died but I'm glad that you are still alive."

    "Hmm..." Wu Siyu nodded heavily, "I'm not going to die so soon so you better stay awhile to keep me entertained."


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