#103 – Rebellion
“It isn’t impossible that a super life might have absorbed nutrients from the underground of the whole Kaifeng. It’s intelligent and capable enough to even plunder human brains as its source of growing intelligence. Its strength exceeded 5000 if I were to convert it into a number. And that is merely my conservative estimation.” Qing Shui’s expression changed when he talked about the first time he had met Willow. “The correct estimation should be about 6000, and it’s still growing.”
“Then what about Yessie?” Zhuo was affected by Qing Shui, his courageous spirit was chilled by his words.
“We shouldn’t be worrying about Yessie. Because there were soldiers who returned to report, it means that this super life isn’t as strong as it was described.” Qing Shui beamed. “There are differences between super lives. They are like humans, some of them are just more competent than the others.”
“Then what is its number if you were to quantify Yessie’s lethality?”
“It won’t exceed five hundred. Let me tell you how this works, for every digit an organism climbs up, the power grows exponentially. For example, although each of your special force’s soldiers is about thirty, it can effortlessly kill three hundred humans. Therefore, Yessie isn’t comparable to the Willow I met,” Qing Shui explained. “Yessie isn’t intelligent, and it’s bulky. I suspect that it isn’t too muscular but flabby. Its skin won’t be too enhanced. I’d be surprised if its skin is stronger than your gene-altered soldiers’ scales. It’s beatable with mortars and artilleries.”
“Then, I will collect information about Yessie.” Zhuo’s eyes were sparkling with insanity. “Qing Shui, what do you think my soldiers will become when I transfer Yessie’s gene in them?”
“They will be invincible,” Qing Shui said with the corners of his mouth sliding upwards.
“I thought so as well.” Zhuo shed his mania as he walked out of the lab. “I’ll gather my team, and you get the antibiotic ready.”
“I got it.” Qing Shui’s still tone squeezed through the closing gap of the door.
Zhuo was always a man of action, and he didn’t tolerate any sloppiness.
In the same afternoon that Zhuo had made up his mind to slaughter the Yessie, three companies of soldiers were gathered and then dispatched with a considerable amount of mortars and artilleries, as well as additional one hundred gene-altered soldiers. The army advanced toward the Yellow River to confront Yessie.
On the same day, there was a series of homicides occurring at midnight. The remaining higher ups were either assassinated, poisoned with neurotoxin, or ended up as lab rats for the hypermutable bacteria.
The storm was brief. It all happened in a blink of an eye, and no riot was caused.
On the second day at noon, a cohort of soldiers besieged Chang’s safe house.
The siege was rather peculiar, as if those who encircled them already knew their abilities. The company formed a circle from far away, and the size of the circle rapidly reduced, leaving Chang and Zhizhi no time to react. They were like turtles in a jar when faced with such a strategy.
Surrendering himself in the courtyard, Chang raised his hands as he was faced with more than fifty automatic machine guns.
“I didn’t know that I was worth that much to you, Zhuo. You have us now,” Chang shouted out.
“It isn’t Zhuo, it’s me.”
A shade of white surfaced from the camouflage uniforms. It caught Chang’s eyes immediately.
“Mr. Li?” The white lab coat raised Chang’s mood from hell to heaven. “Why are you here?”
“I have a plan, and now I need your vision, Jing’s perception, and this lady’s…” Qing Shui tilted his head so that he could stare into Zhizhi’s eyes. “And I need this lady’s olfactive ability.”
“And the reason behind all these arrangements?” Chang‘s heart started thumping.
“It’s time. It’s time to settle what is between me and Zhuo.” Qing Shui raised his head, looking at the sky. “I’ve been waiting for so long. I just finished reconstructing the power center of Zhengzhou and managed to take control of the situation with my alliance. The last thing that we need to be worried about is Zhuo himself.
“He led a few companies to the Yellow River. As long as we make sure he won’t return to Zhengzhou, the city will never be his.” As Qing Shui spoke, he gestured with two fingers to ask a man with delicate and pale skin to step away from the soldiers. “Let me introduce you, he is the expert in deductive reasoning from Group Beta, and he specializes in weapon manufacturing. It was all his work that we were able to find you today.”
“Nice to meet you.” The fine man was attentive to Qing Shui and Chang’s conversation. He was courteous and friendly, extending his hand to Chang.
“Pleasure to meet you as well.” Chang held his warm hand but his heart palpitated. If this man had helped Zhuo instead of Qing Shui, they would have been captured long time ago.
“Zhuo was dictatorial in the research institute for quite a long time already. He took possession of our funding and resources to support his own group, leaving less than one fifth of the allowance for the other four groups. I was irritated by the way he did things since day one. It was my pleasure to be able to help Qing Shui,” explained the fine man who seemed to read Chang’s fear. He eased the situation by stepping back. “I’m merely a pathfinder, don’t worry about me. Qing Shui has waited long to reunite with you.”
The fine man stood behind Qing Shui, keeping his head low to show his humbleness.
“Well then, we don’t have time to catch up with your adventures for now. Let’s talk about them afterward. I’ve gathered a rapid deployment force to locate where Zhuo is now,” Qing Shui said softly, explaining the situation to Chang. “Zhuo left to the Yellow River for the Yessie, which I told him that it was a super life in the river that evolved. The Yessie in the Yellow River isn’t as weak as I told him and should be able to slaughter half of his special forces. But the companies would be unaffected as they use ranged weapons.
“I have plans on dealing with those soldiers, but what we need to be more careful of are the one hundred gene-altered soldiers.”
The number gave Chang headache.
He had paid his price for fighting with the gene-altered soldiers.
Now weaponless, he couldn’t beat even one. And among those one hundred gene-altered soldiers, there would certainly appear one that would manage, under the disguise of the red fog, to break through the ranks and behead their commander. The chances of killing all of them before that could happen were zero.
“I know what you’re thinking about, but I have my own little tricks.” The companies of soldiers separated, opening a pathway, and then rejoined again after sending out a troop armed with altered weapons. “They were trained to fight against Zhuo’s special force, and thanks to Group Beta, the newly manufactured weapons have improved accuracy and precision, thus able to hit high speed targets.”
“It’s impossible! Impossible even if you enhanced all aspect of their weapons!” Chang scanned the young faces in the troop. “What are their numbers?”
“In average, they are eights.” Pointing at the gigantic weapon in their hands, Qing Shui said, “A repeater with a large caliber, it can tear steel like a piece of cloth.”
“I trust your weapons, but they are just too fast to catch up with. I only had a brief battle with the gene-altered soldiers, but their speed was formidable. Now you’re telling me, you’ll attempt to eliminate the gene-altered soldiers with this troop. Qing Shui, I don’t understand what you’re thinking, they aren’t even as fast as me! And their poor vision…” Chang spoke in manner that the words were like bullets shooting from his mouth in quick succession. “What about missiles or nuclear weapons? With them we could make sure they won’t come back.”
“It isn’t as simple as what you’re talking.” Qing Shui heaved a sigh. “How many people do you think that have the power of launching a nuclear weapon? And do you think we have a nuclear weapon in Zhengzhou?
“Without proper radar system, missiles aren’t that effective since they’ll miss the targets. I do have automatic machine guns and quite a large amount of mortars and artilleries brought, but with these conventional firearms, we can’t pin down their companies. The reality is cruel.” Qing Shui paused, then continued speaking, “The possibility of causing death to him is zero when he is with his special force.
“My goal today is to exterminate his presence, and to assure that, I’ll be witness to his death.” Qing Shui squinted his eyes as words slipped from his lips. “Zhengzhou will never be peaceful while he’s still alive. Holding the gene-altered soldiers as his trump card, Zhuo would hang my head over the billboard at the entrance of Zhengzhou if I was ever caught betraying him.
“Therefore, I myself will be the bait in this battle. I know him well enough that I’m hundred percent sure that he’ll be raging to get my head after finding out I’ve turned my back on him.”
“Then, what did you prepare for this battle?” Chang asked one last question.
“The bacteria bomb.” The calmness in Qing Shui’s eyes was tinted with a touch of madness. “It was made from my secret ingredient – the hypermutable bacteria. Once it detonates over that area, the infection will kill off all the human soldiers.
“The gene-altered soldiers may resist the infection but their physical strength will be dwarfed. When the time arrives, my elite troop will come in handy.”
“Bacteria bomb?” Chang was startled, his pupils dilated. “That is a weapon of mass destruction that uses biochemicals!”
“I don’t care about what I use today. This is the one time that I would ever throw bacteria bombs. Zhuo will become more rabid and greedy if I don’t take him out for the fellow scientists.” Qing Shui grabbed Chang’s shoulder. “Offer me you help, please! If I have your vision and Jing’s perception, Zhuo won’t be able to kill me!”
“I…” Chang’s fingers clutched the gripping hand, locking his eyes on the familiar yet strange face. He was dulled by Qing Shui’s zeal, able only to nod. “I’ll try.”
“Thank you, Chang. Really.” Qing Shui’s smile was full of pure happiness. He turned around and pinched Jing’s cheek, then left to lead the companies without speaking another word.
The impression of ocean was what Chang had of Qing Shui in his mind, a torrential flow disguised by a pure, unblemished surface.
“Jing, you’re right.” As that shade of white disappeared in the red fog, Chang lifted up Jing in his arms, following after the soldiers. “Mr. Li has changed.”
“What changed?” Zhizhi gazed in the direction that Qing Shui had left in. She asked, “What was he like before?
“Whatever, I have a feeling that this person is much more terrifying than Zhuo,” Zhizhi voiced her thoughts aloud, cold sweat forming on her forehead. It was as if Qing Shui’s presence alone put a tremendous pressure on her mind.