411 The Soil in the Stomach

    With a dull thud, the fresh body that died 2 hours ago was placed on the autopsy table. Chui Jianbiao, male, 46, former headmaster of Mo Bei's Gao Ji High School. Inside the Mo Bei Division's autopsy room, Wang Ruoxiang, Cai Zixuan and autopsy experts like Zhang Ruiyuan wore heavy protective gear. Ancient Seal stones and cameras were arranged in the room like usual. They studied the body on the table, another victim claimed by supernatural forces. The body had its limbs and torso intact. The stomach showed signs of obvious swelling. But the head that 'exploded' could not be salvaged. What was left of it was the torn skin around the edges of the neck. The group canvased the school and discovered that the victim's entire head, including the skull, had dissolved into a light-yellow liquid and they contained an enormous amount of unknown parasite.

    Based on the statements taken from the staff and students, at the time, Headmaster Chui's entire head turned transparent before it exploded. How did that happen? What was the supernatural influence behind it? There would be clues inside the head but the head was no longer in existence, they could only turn to the rest of the body for investigation.

    Gao Ji High School was already placed on lockdown and the area around the school was cordoned off. Everyone at the school was led to the quarantine base outside the city for inspection and protection. Temporarily, there were no distress signs from any of the students or teachers. However, it was still too early to tell if there was aerated pathogen released from Headmaster Chui's self-implosion.

    This tragedy added stress to the already disastrous situation at Mo Bei but could the two events be linked? More workloads fell on Phecda.

    Inside the autopsy room, their first mission was to dissect the victim's torso, intestines and then stomach since the main infection method used by parasitic organisms was through ingestion. The X-ray imaging showed a large of foreign object inside the body's stomach and that should be the main reason behind the dead body's swollen stomach.

    Zhang Ruiyuan used the scalpel to slice open the lateral abdominal wall and peritoneum. Instantly they were assaulted by the gas that emitted from the peritoneal cavity. The group noticed that the peritoneal cavity was also filled with the light-yellow liquid mixed with the parasites. They all frowned, this was absolutely unnatural. Cai Zixuan sighed softly. He believed the whole body was infected. This was because they could see with naked eye, the abnormal blood vessels under the victim's skin. Something seemed to move within them. This was not good news.

    Due to the time constraint, after the peritoneal organs were removed, they moved towards the stomach tissue near the colon. From cardia to pylorus, and extending down to the duodenum, everything was swollen. Even though the stomach was the biggest organ in the human digestive system, the stomach of this victim was inordinately bloated. Zhang Ruiyuan used the autopsy scissors to carefully snip open the stomach. They did not see any common food like digested rice or vegetables. In fact, the system consisted of zero undigested food.

    Instead, Headmaster Chui's stomach was filled with brown substance mixed with stomach acid. It was quite easy to identify.

    "It's soil." Zhang Ruiyuan mumbled as he peeled back the stomach lining with the tweezers. "It's all soil in there."

    The human stomach did not have the ability to digest soil. If one took a very small amount of it, the body would release them with other faecal matter. The intestines might even be able to absorb the calcium from the soil. But prolonged ingestion or a sudden gluttonous consumption would clog the digestive system. The indigestible material would be collected inside the stomach, causing abdominal and stomach problems. Therefore, even those with allotriophagia or those who had such culture knew better to ingest so much soil at one time.

    Wang Ruoxiang and Cai Zixuan shared a look. This had to be the working of supernatural forces. But this led to another question. Did Headmaster Chui start this weird diet because he was infected by the parasite or did the parasitic infection cause him to start eating dirt?


    "Ingestion of soil?" At the command central, when Elder Tong and Yao Sinian saw the update in the autopsy room, they were surprised but not shocked. "Take those soil samples and compare them to the soil taken from the Arbor Day activity. See if it comes from there." Elder Tong ordered.

    Everything was shrouded in mystery but there were still some clues. However, these clues only made them even more worried. The investigators managed to reconstruct Headmaster Chui's dying words from the staff and students. It was not a 100 percent replication but by comparing notes from about 1000 people, it was a close enough approximation.

    It could no longer be confirmed what Headmaster Chui's state of mind was at the time, but at least Headmaster Chui looked sentient and his words were not slurred. It did not appear like he was hallucinating but more like he was charmed or brain-washed.

    "A few days ago, yes, just a few days ago, something changed. An opportunity landed on me," based on that statement, they derived that this change to Headmaster Chui started within these few days. Phecda's focus narrowed down to Arbor Day when they failed to reach the other teachers who participated in the same Arbor Day activity as Headmaster Chui. The alarm increased further when the same happened with the students and the staff from the Forestry Department. Everyone present for the event, all 300 plus of them could not be reached. According to their parents, some of the students went out for a party yesterday night and could not be contacted since.

    Before Headmaster Chui appeared at school to demand for the gathering, students like Lee Yuhan and Wang Jia Er, all posted the same status online. "I witnessed God, I am his incarnation in the human world." Headmaster Chui was said to proclaim the same thing before he self-destructed.

    Combine that with the soil found during the autopsy, Phecda confirmed the issue originated from the Arbor Day activity. Something happened that day which infected all these people. However, this illness was different from any other sickness they had faced in the past. The sickness was still in its latency. None of the patients reached out for help. They would not even appear sick to others. Within the past few days, who knew how many people would have come into contact with these parasitic carriers already.

    The Forestry Department did not take any action on that piece of desert because no agent reported anything about it. Through in-depth investigation, Captain Luo, who led the group on that day, was last heard telling his friend on the phone, "I'll have to go. A student appeared to have dug up some locust eggs."

    However, no mention of this incident was brought up to the Forestry Department and his friend did not ask for follow up. This was because the discovery of locust egg at Mo Bei during this season was common.

    Phecda though immediately latched onto the problem. This was the main issue, the locust eggs...

    "Soil ingestion? Could the parasite have come from the soil that contains these 'locust eggs'?" Elder Tong made the connection easily. A group of investigators as well as the One were sent out to the piece of land. Elder Tong's instinct told him that things were not that simple. This incident might be much more serious than the radiation.

    Yao Sinian seemed to age overnight. Hundred of human lives were at stake but the more important problem was... where the hell had they gone?

    The command central used Mo Bei City's surveillance system to track and identify these missing individuals but none was found. It was as if they had all disappeared. If every single one of them was as sick as Headmaster Chui... It would mean that hundreds of living biological weapons carrying parasitic pathogens were on the loose and they could explode at any moment.
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