To The Rescue
When Luo Yuan was 1,500 meters underground. He could not be sure if the spirits were close by or 30 meters away from him. It was impossible to get the accurate coordinates to where Luo Yuan had to estimate them himself. He got out of the Space-Time bubble and suddenly a four-meter wide burrow appeared.
As it was deep in the ground and near the Earth’s core, the nuclear winter did not affect the environment underground. The temperature here was about 40 degree Celsius which was similar to the temperature before the disaster happened. Perhaps it was the reason the clones had been staying here.
Luo Yuan sensed their direction and started to dig further underground. The structure here was made of sedimentary rocks and they were as thin as the pages in a book. With Luo Yuan’s strength, he did not have to do much to dig through the rocks. He was confused as there were trails of seashells and aquatic plants along the way. He then realized that he was in the buried Taklamakan Desert, where the reconstruction area was before. A hundred million years ago, it was an ocean.
After digging a few meters deeper, Luo Yuan noticed that the rocks nearby had been hacked by man. He was relieved as that meant the clones were not too far away.
He dug even faster. About 10 meters into the digging, there was a loud thud and dust was everywhere. Besides the irritating dust, there was a stench that smelled like a dead body. He got worried. He then squeezed himself into the 1.2-meter tall cave.
To enter the cave, he had to squat down but he had expected that as it was underground. It was air-tight. It was impossible for someone to move the rocks out which meant the normal digging would not work.
To open up a space like that, the only way was to compress the rocks around it and every inch of space required massive amounts of effort and time to manipulate.
The cave was long and curved and it could only fit one person. The surface was only three square meters wide. That did not bother Luo Yuan. What he saw shocked him! There were 13 clones lying on the ground. The children looked like they were two-year-olds, and the eldest one was about five years old.
There were eight of them who had lost their senses and they were all smaller in size.
Luo Yuan regretted the experiment he did. Their dead bodies were complete but their skin was slightly rotten with a horrible stench.
It was obvious that those that died did not have fusion bodies. Under the circumstances of no air and food, they could not live for long. Perhaps they died within half a day of finding the cave. What made Luo Yuan curious was how the strong and the weak escaped together to this place, but that question could wait.
He then looked at the clones that were still alive. They were in no better shape as they were so skinny, they looked like breathing skeletons. They laid together in a corner and seemed to be asleep. Even their heartbeats could barely be sensed. If not for Luo Yuan’s ability to sense spirits, he would have thought they were all dead.
It was four months since the disaster happened. Not having food and water for such a long time, they were on the verge of death.
In reality, food was of least importance. The most important thing was the lack of water. Without water, cold fusion could not occur. There was no water in the cave and as the wall of the cave was overly compressed, there was a highly absorbent layer that surrounded it which made the air extra dry.
Luo Yuan used his Will to look at the conditions of their bodies. They were in a very bad state. Their cells had all dried up as water was drained from the cells which made mitochondrial fusion impossible. Their blood had almost solidified and countless red blood cells were clumped up and most of them were dead. The water and nutrients in their bodies were even lower than that in their cells. Their bodies were eating themselves. If the condition persisted and their organs consumed, death would be instant.
“Fortunately, we still have time!” Luo Yuan thought. He was both worried and grateful. Without hesitation, he used his space-time bubble and brought all the survivors up to the surface. The dead bodies remained in the cave where nobody would ever find them. There was no grave better than being 1,500 meters underground.
The ice storm was still going on out there. Luo Yuan knew that they could not stay in the cold as their bodies were weak. He did not stay any longer and went straight to Hope City.
Back at Luo Yuan’s villa, a group of people surrounded the mummified-looking children. They were both curious and horrified.
“Mayor Luo, these children have been starved for a long time. Their consciousness has shut down and many of their organs have stopped functioning. The only way is to inject nutrients into their cells and slowly nurse them back to a health. But, their chances of survival are… slim.” Ye Qiuyu put down her stethoscope and said with her pale face.
The children’s condition was beyond her understanding. They were not breathing, their hearts were not beating, they were cold and stiff. If Luo Yuan did not insist that they were still alive, she would have scolded him for wasting her time.
“Don’t worry about all those things, hydrate them with water first.” Luo Yuan frowned and said.
Ye Qiuyu was stunned. She attempted to say no. As a professional doctor, she was sure that they would not be able to swallow. If they were to give them water, the water would go straight into their trachea and drown their lungs. But as Luo Yuan was adamant, she went ahead to get them water.
It was not her place to say anything, she could only obey whatever he said.
“Luo Yuan, where did you find all these children?” Huang Jiahui could not help but ask.
“Not far away from New Capital City!” Luo Yuan shouted.
“Are there still survivors out there?” Zhao Yali said curiously as he joined the conversation.
“I am not sure, perhaps there are!” Luo Yuan shook his head and said.
The only survivors would be the powerful evolved humans who had the knowledge to live in the wilderness. But they were either living under the icy layer and hardly out on the surface or they were far away from reconstruction area. It was not easy to find them. Even if it was easy, Luo Yuan did not want to look for them. Under such cruel circumstances, people would lose their humanity and would be no different than animals. It might bring harm to them if he was to bring them back to Hope City.
“These children are unique. They are my clones. We have some sort of connection or else I couldn’t have found them,” he admitted.
Luo Yuan told them the truth as he had nothing to hide and it could not be a secret for long. If he did not explain now, he might have a bigger problem when they woke up and started calling him ‘father’.
They looked at each other in shock and disbelief as Luo Yuan had never mentioned it before. Ye Qiuyu who had just fetched water for the children almost dropped the cups when she heard what Luo Yuan said.
Human cloning was beyond being accepted by ordinary people. Unless one had reached a certain level, they would not even know it existed.
“It’s nothing new, the technique of cloning has been around for a long time. Looking at the birth rate right now, without clones, mankind would have perished much sooner than later. That’s the reason why I spent so much time in the lab earlier.” Luo Yuan explained further as the people looked at him incredulously.
Then, Ye Qiuyu used specific medical techniques to open up one of the clones’ mouth. She was not soft and weak as she had experienced working in war torn regions before. Under such condition, it was ridiculous to be soft as she had to treat up to 100 people during the war. Also, she had consumed an energy crystal nucleus yesterday, it gave her the strength of a man.
However, no matter how hard she tried, she could not open the kid’s mouth.
Ye Qiuyu was embarrassed. She turned to tell Luo Yuan,”Mayor… Mayor Luo, I can’t open their mouths!”
Looking at her being so disappointed, Luo Yuan smiled and walked over to her,”Let me do it!”
He took over the tools and walked to one of the clones. Without using much strength, he managed to open the clone’s mouth and he turned to Ye Qiuyu,”Pass me the water?”
Ye Qiuyu passed him the water immediately. Before Luo Yuan fed the clone, she mustered her courage and asked,”Mayor… Mayor Luo, as a doctor, I need to remind you that people in a comatose state wouldn’t be able to eat and all the fluids would go straight into their trachea.”
Luo Yuan paused and looked at her,”Thanks for reminding me. But to them, that shouldn’t be a problem.”
That was true. These clones did not have to breathe. As soon as water entered their bodies, it would be absorbed immediately by the cells. Even their skin was absorbing the water in the air. Luo Yuan had noticed this earlier.
As compared to when they were underground, their skin color had already improved since they entered Hope City. It was not as dull and wrinkled as before.
Luo Yuan fed the water from the cup into one the clone’s mouth. It seemed simple but was done roughly. Everyone who looked on was worried.
“Bring me more water!” Luo Yuan turned around and said.
Huang Jiahui and the rest went to fetch water immediately. Luo Yuan then gave each of the clones 500 millimeters of water. Looking at their bloated stomachs that could not take any more water, he stopped.
Just when he put down the cup, a stunning transformation happened to the first clone that had consumed the water.
First, its pale, gray body faded and its body temperature rose. From a temperature that was near negative, it returned to regular body temperature.
It was just the beginning.
Their skin became rosy and warm, there was heat coming out of them. The mutated human touched them out of curiosity but she retracted her hand and hid behind Luo Yuan.
“Are they okay?” Zhao Yali asked, concerned as to what was happening.
Luo Yuan touched their bodies, it was around 80-degrees Celsius. It was a deadly temperature for ordinary people but to people with fusion bodies, it was normal.
As soon as they began intense exercises, the heat their body gave off could start a fire.
“Don’t worry, they are fine. They have been dehydrated for too long and their mitochondria have lost its balance. They will be back to normal after some time.”
Soon, the second, third… and the fifth clone went through the same intense transformation.
Within five minutes, the first clone that went through the transformation was now glowing and rosy. His heart started beating and soon, he breathed normally. It was almost nothing to him as he did not really require those to live. A few minutes later, the clone’s eyes twitched. Next, a pair of bright eyes opened.
He sat up and the first person he looked at was Luo Yuan.
“You are… our father!”