426 50 Grams

    After the meeting, the medical team and the command central decided on a clinical experiment. 10 patients would be chosen to be given normal soil to see if it would lessen the addiction effect. They would also observe the change to the patient's mind and body. Temporarily they were not going to touch the abnormal soil with the parasitic eggs.

    The 10 patients were soon selected, there were 5 teachers and 5 students, 5 males and 5 females. Their age ranged from 17 to 45. They all volunteered. The patients suffered from the same conditions. Their mental state was close to delirium. The psychologists' intervention proved ineffective. They simply demanded for soil. Once the clinical experiment was brought up, they fought to be a part of it.

    The 10 patients were escorted into isolated quarantine sickrooms. Cameras would take down the whole process. Inside the room was also the electrocardiogram, stomach pump, cleansing stone and other devices. The head discipline teacher, Wang Jinbo was one of the volunteers.

    Everyone had nothing bad to say about the head discipline teacher. Mr. Wang was currently 40 plus. He was strict but that was because he cared about the students. He distanced himself from office politics and since he became the head discipline teacher, the school's performance improved. The man was partly responsible for the rising reputation of Mo Bei Gao Ji High School. Normally Mr. Wang would be dressed in a casual suit and his hair would be properly set. He had that old professor vibe to him. Whenever the students saw him, they would show him great respect even though they'd also gossip about the amount of hair gel he would have gone through in a month.

    But now, after 30 hours of torment, Mr. Wang lost so much worse for wear. His hair was rumpled and two heavy eye bags sat on his face. There was a strange and suppressed desire in his eyes. He was like a relapsed addict who was dragged back to rehab.

    "What is going on, what is going on..." Wang Jinbo sat by the bed and mumbled. He'd pull on his hair and scratch his throat. He felt like he had not eaten anything for 10 days already. His stomach was rumbling. He desperately needed to eat but he would only put one thing into his mouth. Before entering this room, Wang Jinbo was arranged to do some physical inspection and now the nurse connected the electrocardiogram to his body. The cameras recorded everything.

    At that moment, the door opened. Several medical workers in heavy suits walked in. Their tag identified them as doctors and nurses. They pushed along a stainless-steel cart. The cart contained syringes, drugs and a covered plate.

    "Ah..." Wang Jinbo could smell the barely discernible scent of soil in the air. It required everything he had to not jump up from the bed to grab at the plate.

    Si Kouxian and Wang Ruoxiang were part of the team. They were there for clinical observation. Not only the data collected from the devices, they wanted to observe the psychological changes in the patients in person.

    "Mr. Wang." Si Kouxian addressed the patient, "We've brought you 50 grams of soil." 50 grams is about the weight of one egg. Ingesting 50 grams of soil would not be fatal, although it might cause indigestion, diarrhea or so on. However, those with a strong stomach might not be affected at all. In any case, this was a safe amount. The soil was transferred from the south, it was not dug up from around Mo Bei. They had been examined. The soil contained no parasite, virus or bacteria. The soil provided was worked and clean loose soil.

    "50 grams?!" Wang Jinbo gasped in disappointment. He instantly became more agitated. How much was 50 grams? One mouthful or two?

    "Yes, 50 grams. This is just for us to observe the changes." Si Kouxian said. With the patient's condition, allowing them a free buffet would cause clogging in their intestinal tracts.

    "Okay... where is it?" Wang Jinbo demanded. He saw the nurse pull back the plate cover and a patch of brown soil sat on the plate. Once the nurse pushed the cart over, Wang Jinbo reached hungrily for the soil and shoved it into his mouth. His cheeks were stuffed immediately. He masticated madly before he wolfed down the whole soil. Gluttony and greed were plain in his action. Wang Jinbo did not lose his rationality, he was quite ashamed and pained by how he was acting. However, he was too weak to control his urge...

    At the same time, the doctors kept their eyes close on Wang Jinbo. The result of this clinical experiment was very important. If the patients could get some mental satisfaction and some relief from these with no bad influence to their bodies, then this could be a valid cure. The small bit of soil could be used to accompany other normal food and that would ensure the patient's nutrition needs. Daily ingestion of 50 grams of soil was not too bad on the human body. There was precedent in the world where someone had survived on such an amount for 10 years and their bodies were perfectly fine.

    If this could be settled, Phecda could turn their focus to epidemic control, to prevent more people from falling under the influence of Locust Sickness.

    "Urgh, urgh..." Wang Jinbo issued a strange swallowing sound. He licked his fingers that had grabbed the soil clean. Then he even grabbed the plate which had carried the soil and licked that clean. Wang Ruoxiang watched the electrocardiogram. The patient's blood pressure and heart rate were rising. Even though the cleansing stone and opaline stone showed no response, Wang Ruoxiang saw... an increased fanaticism in Mr. Wang's eyes...

    "Is there more? Please, give me more!" Wang Jinbo's middle-aged face flushed. The desire in his eyes did not dissipate. "This is not enough, it is really not enough... And the taste is not right, even though I have not had the real thing before but it tastes different from what I expected..." The patients were not informed of the origin of the soul. They would assume the soil sample came from Mo Bei. At that moment, the doctors shared a look. The patients appeared to be able to differentiate the soil variants even though they had not tasted the actual abnormal soil before. The question was, would normal soil be effective? Could it alleviate the patient's symptoms?

    "Mr. Wang, we will only provide 50 grams per day." Si Kouxian explained, "Do you feel like eating something else? We can get them for you."

    "No..." Wang Jinbo's face reddened before it blanched. Suddenly cold sweat broke out on his forehead and he gripped his stomach. "Ergh, the ache..."

    Seeing as the patient's heart rate rose to 145 times per minute, Si Kouxian ordered, "Prepare for gastric lavage now!" The team moved into action. The doctors' heart sank despite already being prepared for this. It was why the stomach pump was moved into the room. Even apomorphine was prepared for emetics. Even though the drug would take effect 5 minutes after injection, it had too many side effects. It would cause mental disturbances, in serious cases, it might lead to loss of consciousness so it would only be used in extreme situations.

    However, before the nurse even had the chance to connect the lavage tube, Wang Jinbo suddenly bent over and vomited into the wastebasket next to the bed. The stench instantly filled up the room. The ingested soil mixed with stomach acid and fresh blood splattered into the basket.
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