Chapter 6.2 - Intruder
Li Gaolei’s hand immediately trembled. This was an extremely rare occurrence for someone like him who was usually cool-headed. However, Lawston did not noticed this and pointed at the screen before saying, “I don’t know whether this is good news or not, but if the intruder cell cannot find food within a minute, it will die. This could in part explain why they possess speed almost a hundred times greater than other cells, as they needed large amounts of energy. Moreover, the intruder cells would never slaughter their own kind.”
“Immediately analyze their genes.”
Lawston shook his head, and another tap was made on the keyboard, bringing up another image. What appeared were scattered and smashed gene fragments, so it was practically impossible to piece them back together into a comprehensible genetic sequence.
Lawston pointed towards the image and said, “Look, this is the intruder’s genome. It cannot even be considered a gene, but rather short strands of DNA that don’t hold any significance! There can only be a single explanation. At the intruder cells’ moment of death, they completely destroy their own genome. Look, these intruder cells completely look like they already have the intelligence to make choices by themselves!”
“How is the sample? Can a live intruder cell’s genome be formed?” Li Gaolei’s tone was serious.
Lawston once again shook his head and said, “The sample no longer has any live intruder cells. You’ve seen for yourself how this cell will never leave much time for either other cells or itself. The short image we saw just now was the last intruder cell I found. As soon as I moved it into the petri dish filtered with standard genes, its vitality was immediately restored and it began to devour. This process continued until all of the creatures inside the petri dish were killed, taking a total of…”
The doctor looked at the time on the monitor and spoke a number that made Li Gaolei broke out in cold sweat again: two minutes and eleven seconds.
If Li Gaolei stood on the top floor of the branch building and looked as far as he could, he would be comparable a cell and the scope of his vision would be the petri dish.
“If this thing enters an organism, would there be an incubation period? Would it change again?” Li Gaolei asked in an overcast tone.
“Currently, it doesn’t seem like it will. Such a vicious cell does not need an incubation period. However, that might not be the case after they change. The actions of a single cell might be completely different after it forms a complete organ,” Lawston replied. He continuously wiped the sweat that appeared on his face, seemingly still having some lingering fears. “Fortunately, I was careful enough when I received your original sample and proceeded based on experimental regulations, so none of it got on my hands.”
He suddenly noticed that Li Gaolei’s expression was extremely unpleasant. His mouth suddenly widened and gasped. He stammeringly said, “You… there’s no way that you…”
“Damn it! I made contact with that stuff!” Li Gaolei spat out the overcast words that were pent up in his chest.
Lawston immediately backed up a few steps, and a cabinet of glassware was suddenly smashed apart. The medicinal cabinet released a groan, and a bottle of strong acid on top of it swayed a bit. It suddenly fell, dropping straight for the doctor’s head. If this strong acid that was 1000cc landed on his head, the safety of his head definitely could not be guaranteed.
Li Gaolei walked forward and steadily grabbed the bottle of strong acid. His muscular arm was only a few centimeters from the doctor’s head. When the doctor raised his head, his bloodshot eyes behind his thick glasses immediately opened wide! However, the amount of fear he felt towards the strong acid was far less than the fear he felt from looking at Li Gaolei’s arm.
Li Gaolei laughed bitterly. He picked up a syringe from the tray nearby and pierced it into his own arm’s blood vessel. He sucked out a tube of blood and then carefully placed it into the vacuum test tube. He extracted a total of three tubes of blood. His left palm then shot out a wave of blue flames, immediately turning the syringe infected with his blood into ashes. Only a needle that was burnt black remained.
“Help me examine it, see if I… If I have been infected by that strange thing.”
The doctor pressed his body against the medicinal cabinet, not willing to get even the slightest bit closer to Li Gaolei. He simply nodded in a stupefied manner.
Li Gaolei thought for a moment and then instructed, “Delete all of the backup data of the image and only leave one set for me. Do not mention this to anyone, including the upper echelon of the company. Those in the division cannot know about it either, especially General Li. She absolutely cannot know about this! If someone finds out, regardless of whether you were the one to leak it, Pei Li will die.”
Lawston immediately trembled, and only now did he wake up from his state of fear. Pei Li was his only daughter, and this year, she was seven.
During the next three days, Li Gaolei silently sat in his own office. His hands continuously propped up his jaw as he gazed into the dusky sky. He didn’t speak a single sentence for the rest of the day. When his subordinates came in to do their daily report required by the company, Li Gaolei simply listened quietly before indicating for them to leave with a wave of his hand.
Li Gaolei passed the entire night in his office like this. He did not eat anything and only drank two cups of water.
Early morning the fourth day, smoke and pollution surged outside Pendulum City. Li’s troops had returned. Li Gaolei finally changed his frozen posture and stood up. He raised his hand and reached over to the telephone. As soon as he pressed a few buttons, he hesitated for a moment. However, his hand was on the telephone the whole time.
The phone suddenly rang. Li Gaolei’s hand became stiff momentarily. Only when it rang several times did he press the answering button. Lawston’s voice sounded from the phone. “It’s me! Is there anyone there?”
“I’m listening.” Li Gaolei replied. His voice was coarse and hard on the ears. After sitting there for several days in a row, his throat had long become stiff. Fortunately, the doctor still recognized his voice and said, “It’s good that you are there! The blood sample tests have been completed. I’ve used every single method, and all of them showed that there were no traces of the intruder cell in the three blood samples. Thank goodness!”
Li Gaolei suddenly felt his body’s energy leave his body. He couldn’t even stand straight and sat down on the chair next to his desk. The phone immediately transmitted the doctor’s somewhat nervous voice. “Hello! Hello? Are you okay? Hello, give me a reply…”
Li Gaolei composed himself and said, “I’m fine. Wait for me there. I will take a look at the test results now.” He hung up the phone without waiting for the doctor’s reply.
An hour later, Li Gaolei walked out from the sixteenth floor laboratory. His hair was a bit messy, and his eyes were a bit sunken. His messy beard seemed to be a bit longer than it usually was. If it was the olden era, should a tall, downcast, cool-looking male like him enter the show business, he might have quite the prospects.
Almost as a way of expressing his body’s terrible condition, Li Gaolei’s stomach suddenly growled. Only now did he realize that the was hungry, moreover not an ordinary type of hunger. Abnormal amount of sweat broke out over his body. Li Gaolei suddenly recalled that he did not eat for the past few days, so he decided to eat a good meal in the lower dining hall. After thinking for a moment, he still decided to use the phone in the corner. “This is Li Gaolei. Where is General Li right now?”
He was connected to the central operator, and the crew inside naturally recognized Li Gaolei’s voice. An immediate reply came. “General Li is currently practicing in the underground firing range.”
Li Gaolei felt a wave of anxiety for some reason. However, he walked towards the elevator and rode it all the way down to the underground second floor weapon shooting range. He pushed through the shooting range’s soundproof gates, and the stinging smell of gunpowder immediately assailed his senses. The earsplitting gunsounds echoed loud and clear throughout this place, producing an indescribable type of coarse and roughness. Li Gaolei was proficient in most of the firearms of the olden era, but he couldn’t recognize what kind of gun this noise came from.
Two shooting range staff members were currently discussing quietly behind the counter. “Hey, what kind of person can use that kind of thing?”
“I don’t know. Probably only some king or a mutated individual could use that thing!”