Plague Doctor - Chapter 396
A distorted voice came out from the radio. It was of indeterminate gender, it might not even be human but at least Gu Jun and Yu Chi heard it clearly this time. Gu Jun was relatively calm while Yu Chi’s face was red from excitement. His voice shook. “Who are you, where are you! What should we do now?”
But the voice from the radio came intermittently. Some words were clear but most were distorted beyond comprehension. It sounded like it came from deep underground or space. “We… Space… Fragment… World… Go… Find… Time… Space…” The sentence was too chopped up to make any sense of it. The wind blew relentlessly and the shadows of the tree appeared to multiply. Gu Jun’s headache intensified. He knew time was running out. The strength of the signal was weakening and he could not hold on much longer. He asked urgently, “Are you humans too? Humans from another world?”
A strange voice uttered from the radio. “Are… humans…”
“Are you the Yith?” Gu Jun asked, “Are you the Yith?” Even though he had no idea who the Yith were.
“What are we to do?!” Yu Chi repeated his question anxiously. He thought that was more important. “Tell us!”
“…Accept… Find… More…” With a click, the radio died. No more sound came out of it. All the split crosses disappeared. The light faded away. Gu Jun doubled over from cerebral pain, it was as if a synapses snapped in his brain. He pressed his hands against his head and slowly crumbled to the ground. Beside him, Yu Chi did not fare any better. After a paroxysm of screaming, he collapsed to the ground, gasping for air. Both of them knew that the connection was lost. Gu Jun shivered as the night breeze soaked through his cold sweat. He took a long time before he gave out a long sigh. He went over to check on Yu Chi. He asked, “How are you, Captain Yu? What’s your thoughts?”
“Even though the signal was widely broadcasted but we got an instant response, it was as if there is always someone posted at the transmission source…” Yu Chi was still catching his breath. His face colored with anxiety and regret. “They were waiting for a reply so once we did, they answered us immediately…”
Gu Jun concurred with a nod. “Do you think they’re humans like us?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t really considered that…” Yu Chi climbed up and he frowned deeply, “Space, fragment, world, what do they mean? What could they represent? Fragments, are they trying to say the worlds are fragments of a complete Earth? But what are we supposed to do with that…”
“Captain Yu, accept.” Gu Jun reminded him. He believed that verb was the most important message in the reply.
“But accept what?” Yu Chi questioned.
“Maybe our mental power?” Gu Jun suggested, “I was having a horrible headache earlier but now I feel much better. The more I accept the symbol, meaning the more I use it, the lighter my symptoms. Medically speaking, that is a form of acceptance treatment.”
“You mean? Right, of course…” Yu Chi scratched his head. “Yes, I think you’re right. People think I’m going crazy but actually I’m not…”
“Accept the power.” Gu Jun thought. “But then what? Find more people like us and gather them together?”
“Yes, maybe, maybe…” Even though they did feel better mentally, it was also true that they were approaching a dangerous state of exhaustion. The mad would not think they were mad. Yu Chi was showing state of madness and that worried Gu Jun as a doctor.
“Captain Yu, patience is key and that is instrumental in medicine. Even the best medicine has to be taken at accepted dosage, taking a whole bottle at one go will only lead to death and overdose. We should take a breath to recover before attempting this again. Perhaps we can look for a better location.”
“Yes.” Yu Chi nodded. “At least, our attempt tonight proves that different locales can influence the strength of the signal. Perhaps we might encounter a more suitable place in the future. This mountain still has other campers and that might have intervened with the reception. Furthermore, perhaps we can get better paintings… There is space to improve…”
Gu Jun stood up. He swayed before he steadied himself. He then walked towards the tripod. The camera had been recording since they started. He wondered if it caught anything worth reviewing…
Gu Jun pressed the stop button. He then played the recording. Yu Chi walked over to join him. The camera could record both audio and visual. The recording started with the sound of bugs.
The duo in the recording said,
“Captain Yu, let us begin.”
Then came the static. Gu Jun did not fast forward, in fact, he’d slowed down and checked every frame closely. When he reached the 12th minute mark, Yu Chi in the recording could be heard saying, “It’s coming.” Gu Jun’s expression dulled in the recording. They heard the signal at that moment but in the recording, there was only white noise. The camera was placed right next to the radio so the chance of ruined recording was minimal. There was the stutter in the transmission but there was no male voice. In the recording, none of the painting showed the symbol, and they did not light up either. Everything was normal inside the recording. The only thing not normal were the two actors. They were seen getting worked up over nothing and then proceeded to shout at nothing. White noise, there was nothing but white noise.
“Captain Gu, we’re not crazy…” Yu Chi said hoarsely, “I know we’re not crazy… We really heard something… The voice and we saw the crosses earlier…”
Gu Jun watched the recording silently as chilblain rose on his skin. He rewound the recording and froze at one of the frames. Just around the time Gu Jun asked, “Are you the Yith”, both Gu Jun and Yu Chi’s shadow appeared to come alive. The shadows took on a life of their own and rearranged themselves into a strange shape…
“I believe we are not crazy, this here is proof.” He sharpened his eyes. “Captain Yu, don’t you think that looks like a door?”
Yu Chu studied their shadows and he noticed their shadows had morphed into rectangles. It gave the impression that they were each standing before a door.
“Yes, they do look like doors…” Yu Chi mumbled confusedly. “Accept, accept the invitation to go through the door? But the door to where?”