Plague Doctor - Chapter 395
Stars dangled in the night sky above Le Ning City. It looked no different from the night sky back at Phecda World. The wind blew from the summit and Gu Jun was feeling a bit chilly. The headlights cut through the mountain fog but it did nothing to sear away the unspeakable eeriness. If the worlds coincide, where would be the starting point? The mountains or the sea? He turned around and helped Yu Chi set up the space. This piece of land was not open to the public yet because the roads and banisters were not yet ready. Cars were not supposed to reach this point but they removed the roadblock to gain access. The place was quiet. The camping ground was on the other side of the mountain.
They stuck several poles into the ground and tied them with ropes to make something akin to a clothesline. But instead of laundry, they hung paintings. None of the paintings were printed, they were all hand drawn. Based on Yu Chi’s previous experiments, hand drawn paintings proved more receptive to the mysterious signal. The paintings flickered in the wind. The mountain was turned into a primitive gallery.
“Captain Gu, it’s all on us now…” Yu Chi set up a digital camera on a tripod. He started it to record everything that would happen. Gu Jun went to check the camera screen. REC, 00:01:23.50, it was working fine. Yu Chi then switched on the old-fashioned radio. White noise filtered through, it mixed with the rustling leaves, howling winds and buzzing insects. Gu Jun did not stay affixed to a single pole but moved around, taking in each picture. If something went awry, they would stop the transmission immediately or at least that was the plan. The hardest thing about this mission was they could not request for reinforcement and they were barely reliable agents themselves due to their PTSD background. This mission was highly risky but they had no other choice. It was not a coincidence for them to meet, something must come of this.
“Captain Yu, let us begin.”
“Okay… Okay…” The two of them stood in the area cordoned off by the paintings. They quieted down to listen to the white noise and watch the swaying paintings. There were watercolors, oil paintings, pencil sketches… Gu Jun and Yu Chi did not form a mental bond because they were not familiar enough with each other and the way they corresponded to the symbol was completely different. But would the duo’s close proximity increase the signal’s strength?
Gu Jun’s eyes travelled among the paintings, there were scenery, animals and portraits… White noise, stars, camera and trees… After 10 minutes, suddenly there came a barely discernible sense of anomaly. About the same time, Yu Chi claimed with excitement, “It’s coming, I think I feel something…”
With that, Gu Jun confirmed that he was not just imagining things. He looked around and realized the paintings appeared to come alive and the stars shone brighter in the sky. The space around them was changing. The headache slowly returned but it was not so intense that he could not suffer it. ‘If this is necessary, then come get me…’
The white noise from the radio suddenly stopped. Before the two could do anything, they heard an even male voice coming out from the radio, “If you can hear us, this signal… We are… innocent…”
A load shifted off Gu Jun’s heart. Finally they got the signal. He noticed there was a new phrase this time, ‘this signal’!
“Ah…” Yu Chi groaned in passion, his bushy beard shuddered. He almost lunged at the radio. They were successful, the signal was really amplified.
“Please do not tell anyone else about this signal… signal weaken… When you hear this, your world… dimension… Help… us… This symbol, can enable you…” As the signal clarified, Gu Jun’s heart rose and fell. What would happen to ‘your world’? Would the different dimensions collide like they suspected?
“We need to respond, we need to reply somehow…” Yu Chi mumbled feverishly, “Captain Gu, there has to be a channel for the signal to get transmitted here so we should be able to use the channel to transmit a response back. Is the symbol the channel? We should try to control it, control it…” Gu Jun knew they were running out of time and this was a rare opportunity that they must not waste. He resisted the pain and opened his eyes wide. He saw an embedded split cross among all the surrounding paintings. Light, there was light. But at the same time, they noticed something new. Faded yellow trails circulated between the four ends of the cross, like they were trying to connect them. Was this because of Gu Jun and Yu Chi’s union or was it due to something else?
Gu Jun also felt something else awakening in his mind, it was the chaos which remained of the broken system…
A familiar sense of suction rose but he tried his best to fight against it. He planted his feet into the ground. It was still too early to transmigrate. Furthermore, there was no telling which world he might transmigrate to, it might be a brand-new world… So before he could get a better understanding of this system, Gu Jun figured he better stay put.
“Captain Gu, we have to try to respond!” Yu Chi said hurriedly. “That will naturally expose to them our identity and location. There is inherent risk in that but we are also led by the symbols to this juncture. This proves that we have not lost our minds. Currently, we need help so it is worth a try. Be careful but I still say we should attempt to make contact with the signal transmitter…”
Gu Jun took a deep breath before he nodded. He knew the signal did not come from the witch, the feeling was completely different. Furthermore, the anomalous feeling that overcame him was different from dark corruption. On top of that, it had aided Gu Jun greatly after he digested its power so Gu Jun also believed in the friendliness of the source. Of course, this did not preclude the possibility that this whole thing was a trap…
In that moment, they turned towards a random direction and shouted at the darkness and the stars. “We have heard you! Can you receive that? We have heard you!”
The radio flickered between the white voice and the man’s voice. This instability caused an audio distortion. The machine seemed to spark and died before it came back online. It stuttered. The voice turned hoarse, strange and blurry. The wind picked up and the paintings almost flew off their hinges.
Suddenly, both Gu Jun and Yu Chi heard the voice say, “Hello… yes, we can hear you…”