429 The Hypothesis of Parasitic Gene

    After the gastroscopy, Zhou Kewen was gripped by great nausea but he did not vomit anything. His situation was not optimistic but he was not briefed about it by the medical team. Wang Ruoxiang simply gave him an anti-inflammatory drug to help with the abdominal pain. However, once the scope was removed, the young man started to plead for more soil again. The trio retreated out from the quarantine room. Not long after that, the second experiment participant, Sun Chuiting reported the same problem. They too performed gastroscopy on Sun Chuiting and found the half-translucent locust worm inside her body too. The discovery was consistent in all the six patients who participated in the experiment. There was no difference whether they had consumed normal dirt, vomited blood, were sedated or not.

    Interacting with these patients, even through the protective gear, the chance of the trio being infected greatly increased. A moment of terror flashed temporarily across Wang Ruoxiang's mind but she quickly moved her focus away from it. If she was infected, then she'd work faster while she was still in control of her senses. She summarized the thoughts she had from Headmaster Chui's autopsy and initiated a 3 party meeting with the medical team and the headquarters. Before entering the conference room, she had to go through a series of inspections, including being shot by an Ancient Seal. Due to her history, such measures had to be taken.

    Only a small member joined the meeting. From the medical team, it was Si Kouxian; from the command centre, it was Yao Sinian. After hearing the news, their faces were drawn. There were about 1000 patients who had not consumed the abnormal soil but with a mouthful of the abnormal soil, they could easily turn into a walking locust incubator. The experiment proved that their allotriophagy could not be entertained as it was equalled to rearing the parasites in their bodies. According to Wang Ruoxiang's prediction, the patients would perish from enormous pain. Lobotomy or nervous impairment surgery could help them avoid death... but for a medical practitioner, this was not an easy choice to make.

    Wang Ruoxiang had several ideas of her own. "Does Headmaster Chui have the same pathology as Teacher Wang and Zhou Kewen?" Wang Ruoxiang posed. Normally for parasitic illnesses, the pathology was the same, unless Headmaster Chui was the first host and the students and teachers were the second hosts but that did not appear to be the case. There were three stages of parasites found inside Headmaster Chui's body, the young worm, adolescent worm and adult worm.

    The young worm was found in both Headmaster Chui and Zhou Kewen's body but in the latter's case, the young worms basically formed themselves from the young man's bodily tissue. Theoretically speaking, the progress of the worm growing from youth to maturity should be the same. "But what if that is not the case?" Wang Ruoxiang asked seriously, "They already showed some differences in their pathology. Headmaster Chui exploded after 4 days but his stomach was still mostly intact, there was no sign of tissue damage or repair; but in just 4 hours, the stomach lining in Zhou Kewen and Sun Chuiting's body had almost worn off. This is a big difference.

    "The other difference is in terms of their mental state. Even before his self-destruction, Headmaster Chui was rational and even passionate; but Zhou Kewen and the rest were in great pain and madness. A female locust can produce 100 worms each time, I'm thinking, is it possible that patients like Headmaster Chui and Lee Yuhan are like the female locust equivalent? A unique form of carrier? And the second batch of victims are the locust eggs?" Wang Ruoxiang stated. This was her medical analysis combined with her spiritual prediction.

    Under normal circumstances, after one was infected by a parasite, there were some specifics that one could observe. The carrier referred to those who did not showcase prominent clinical symptoms but had the ability to transmit the pathogen. Parasites rarely cause acute infection illnesses. Normally, they would slowly progress into deeper infection due to a lack of treatment. Examples included the formation of ascaris ova granuloma and hepatic fibrosis due to schistosome. The speed, and infection range like Zhou Kewen's batch was definitely abnormal.

    There was another possibility called lavra migrans. This refers to the situation where the young are unable to grow into adults due to incompatibility with the host but they could survive and even move inside the host's body causing partial or full body mutation. Since there was no trace of adolescent or adult worms inside Zhou Kewen's body, this could be a possibility; Even though they were both humans, the second batch might be incompatible for the locust so it led to these different acute symptoms.

    "If the 300 plus patients who are currently missing suffer from acute symptoms like Zhou Kewen, they should have gone to the hospital, right? But there is no such record. They act more like carriers. But for Teacher Wang and Zhou Kewen, you can notice their abnormality with a glance."

    "So you believe this second batch of patients are not contagious?" Si Kouxian asked.

    "I don't know, I just feel that they are different." Wang Ruoxiang admitted, "But in terms of transmission method, I do have some speculations." Water-borne transmission, food-borne transmission, air-borne transmission, earth-born transmission, human body direct transmission, these were common transmission methods for parasites. For now they could not exclude the possibility of the second batch of victims inhaling the air with the locust egg at the field. But that seemed unlikely. Everyone at the field, no matter the distance, was infected. But the school guards, canteen workers also heard Headmaster Chui's speech, they simply did not witness the self-explosion. They were not present at the field. Until now, they showed no trace of infection. Therefore, the medical team narrowed the transmission requirement down to having witnessed Headmaster Chui's self-explosion.

    Wang Ruoxiang now had witnessed the mutation of the patient's stomach lining and the gastroscope had recorded the image. Would she be infected? What was the transmission method? Mental influence? Where did the pathogen reside after they entered the human body? They were not physically visible and unlike the Mutated Scale Disease, it was not a nervous system mutation that was caused by ritualistic power. In this case, the whole human body was infected and the infection was contagious. In earlier animal experiments, lab rats were given abnormal soil with locust eggs and parasites harvested from Headmaster Chui's body. They did not show any symptoms. The egg and parasites were ejected out of their bodies with other effluence. It was the same with other lab animals. This was a parasite that only impacted human beings.

    "Our current hypothesis is that the new batch of patients are mentally impacted and thus caused metabolic mutation because they have witnessed the explosion." Wang Ruoxiang stressed, "And that explained why only the students and teachers at the field are infected, but how can we be sure that in that moment of self-implosion, all 1006 students and teachers saw it with their own eyes? That did not match the result from the Investigation Department."

    Si Kouxian and Yao Sinian knew what she was getting at. Even though everyone said how scary that scene was, after more detailed questioning, quite a number of people did not see the explosion for themselves. Some were too far behind to see anything and others were simply not paying attention to the headmaster. However, all of them were infected. That brought into question the hypothesis of the transmission method being the requirement to witness Headmaster Chui's self-explosion.

    "But what if there is an actual range? But the range is just large enough to cover all 1006 people at the field." Wang Ruoxiang continued, "No matter they were listening to Headmaster Chui's speech, no matter they saw the explosion, no matter their emotions at the time, as long as they were within this range, they would be infected."

    As the two listened, they realized this was similar to a different problem they were dealing with...

    "What if the transmission method was through radiation?" Wang Ruoxiang postulated. "A physical radiation occurred the moment Headmaster Chui's head exploded. The energy expended in a particle or electromagnetic wave until it dissipated. The whole process covered the entire range of the field. Once the human body within this range was exposed to this radiation, they would undergo genetic mutation similar to how one would suffer from exposure to nuclear radiation. However, the mutation here involves a fixed transfiguration of the DNA strand, causing the human body to turn into a big locust egg. With sufficient nutrient, they would start to mutate into locust incubators."

    Her hypothesis, as shocking as it was, was a great epiphany. It was not ingestion, airborne, saliva, interaction, dark corruption, mental influence... but radiation. That was why Ancient Seal had no use. This was on a biological level, it involved genetics. If that was the case... the strength of one's determination would not have mattered, this was not a problem of the mind but of the gene. This kind of unique illness, where the pathogen infiltrated the human genes through radiation was something Phecda, no, the whole humanity had not faced before. Even if this was not an abnormal disease, in terms of genetic illnesses, human medicine was incredibly lacking.

    "I have another hypothesis." Wang Ruoxiang said after a long sigh. What she said frightened everyone who heard her. "What if that slice of wasteland is itself a mutated area? It can give off this unique strain of radiation and that was why everyone who participated in the Arbor Day activity was infected."

    Since Headmaster Chui's explosion, in the past 40 hours, there were plenty of Phecda members including the One who had entered that wasteland. Even though they all wore anti-radioactive gear and did not stay for long... Peacock did express the wish to try the abnormal locusts before.
Previous Index Next