Chapter 69: Cleansing Parasite (2in1)
When he saw the picture of the creature on the first page of the file, Gu Jun frowned. It was not the kind of monster he was expecting. It was not a humanoid creature in the picture but something that was more akin to a giant worm. The name ‘subterrain giant worm' was labelled under the picture. This kind of worm could grow up to ten meters long in its adulthood, with both its height and width reaching half a meter. It was quite literally a giant worm. It had the same habits as a normal worm. It spent most of its life underground, only surfacing with surprising speed to lunge at its prey, like human beings, to feed. The file did not provide much history or the habitat of the subterrain giant worm. Instead, it focused on the surgical procedure required when dealing with victims of the giant worm. Scanning through the provided surgical examples, Gu Jun felt a chill run down his spine, turning his stomach.
Other than causing serious external injury, the giant worm would embed many miniscule parasitic young worms in its prey's wounds. The young worms would grow rapidly inside the wounds, forming balls of sacs in the scarred tissue. If they were not properly cleaned, they would continue to procreate, causing the victim to finally die from internal organ malfunctions. In one of the pictures, there was one with a pathological autopsy. It showed a full sac wiggling with worm-sized parasites. They appeared to be eating the body from inside out. Those with tropophobia would definitely drop the files, screaming, at this point. Even for Gu Jun, he had no stomach to look through the files again.
But for the attending doctors, well, time was of the essence. They had to clean out the parasites in the victims' wounds before they had the chance to spread and then conduct the normal bandage procedure on the injury. The main focus was to make sure that the wound was one hundred percent clean. Not a single worm could be left because if there was even one strangler, it would only continue to fester back into hundreds and thousands again.
"Phew." Lee Hwalong put the files down and rubbed his arms with both hands, his skin filled with goosebumps. Gu Jun understood why the members from Action Department would be so injured even with their equipment; it must have been hell what they had to go through.
This also explained why he had seen the wounded members lying in specialized beds, covered in glass tubes; it was sterile isolation. For the victim, it was to keep them from being infected by other illnesses, and it served to prevent others from being infected by the parasite. The lamellar monster, the subterrain giant worm, as well as the zombie, Deep One, dhole mentioned in the abyssal missions… One could not help but wonder how many types of ‘abnormal creatures' there were in this world, and the definition that Phecda had regarding ‘abnormal creature' was that they did not belong in any of the seven main taxonomic ranks.
The taxonomic ranks were a biological categorization that appeared to be the category used by the system as well, so the Jinmenken would not be considered an abnormal creature, but the subterrain giant worm definitely was.
"Main surgeon, how much surgical experience do we have dealing with this parasite?" Gu Jun's question was on the surface a concern about the imminent surgery, but it was also a leading question. If the department had much experience dealing with this, it meant that the subterrain giant worm was not really a rare abnormal creature.
"Not much." Surgeon Zhu's face was dark. "I have studied it only on paper, and this will be my first time dealing with it in person, but I have plenty of experience in the removal of parasites. I suggest we look at the video footage first. It was just sent over by the headquarters."
Zeng Yizhu was dealing with this for the first time as well. This was not the situation that Gu Jun was hoping to hear because this meant that abnormal energy had come back into activity most recently.
In any case, everyone gathered before the screen and studied the surgical videos that were sent over. The mood was definitely not optimistic; the surgery was going to be very difficult.
A young parasite was hard to spot, and when they had not formed into a sac, they were nothing but mere speck that could barely be caught by the naked eye. They could not be washed away by water pressure. They had to be sought out under the microscope and then cut out manually. If the wound was on the limbs and the condition was dangerous, then amputation was suggested. Due to this consideration, the superior had assigned their unit a victim whose injuries was on his upper right arm. If they were successful, the man could keep his right arm. If not, then the arm would be amputated. Of the fifty-six victims, they were only assigned one, so they only needed to focus on this one surgery.
This was an emergency operation, so there was no time to waste. After they finished watching videos, Surgeon Zhu decided to adopt the plan of amputation should the arm fail to be preserved. Then, they went to change and disinfect before they headed to the surgical room. To prevent infection to the wounds, they would be using a sterile surgical room this time. It came with equipment like microscopes and screens.
When the four walked into the room, like usual, the anesthesiologist was already seated behind the machine, and the nurses were all ready. Their victim was already lying on the surgical slab. He was given full body anesthetic, and he was as silent as the dead. This was arguably the only thing that was better than dealing with the victim of the Malformed Banyan Disease. The large and burly man had no color on his face. From the top of his right arm to his palm, there was no visible flesh, at least not any that was considered human flesh. It was as if the arm had been yanked right off with a tug from the giant worm's maw. While the victim was sent to them, the military doctor had only done some simple stitching to stop the bleed. Now, they needed to undo all that to inspect the parasitic situation inside the tissue.
Once the surgery started, Surgeon Zhu was already sweating. The circulating nurse came to wipe away the sweat again and again. Zeng Yizhu looked as ready as he could be while Lee Hwalong was shaking slightly from nervousness. Gu Jun felt the pressure on him as well. Actually, during this time, thanks to the system function of ‘surgical job list', his surgical skill had improved tremendously, but even so, faced with this challenge of removing the microscopic parasites and sacs, he was overwhelmed by the difficulty of it all. And seeing the layer upon layer of sacs attached to the man's tissue… his S value lowered again. This surgery tested their patience and technical skill; it also tested their stamina and focus.
This surgery started at 10:32 am, and it only ended at 10:45 pm. While they cut, sliced, and cleaned, they had to stitch up the wounds at the same time. After almost thirteen hours, they finally completed the surgery. The patient's vitals returned to normal, and they saved his right hand.
"It's done. We're done." Surgeon Zhu gave a sigh of relief and found a bench to sit. Zeng Yizhu, who was the eldest in their unit, relaxed and almost collapsed to the ground. Over the past thirteen hours, the four doctors had been standing by the surgical table. They did not rest for even a minute; at most, they only reached out to stretch.
"Ah…" Lee Hwalong moaned audibly as he sat down on the bench. Gu Jun was so tired that his legs were numb. It was not that he was weak; anyone would be physically drained after standing and working for more than ten hours straight. He found his own stool and sat down. He scanned the surgical job list in his mind, and the results of this surgery were successful. His personal contribution was twenty-three percent and ranked second. They rested for a while inside the surgical room and then streamed out into the corridor. A nurse came over with a few bottles of cold cola. The four peeled off their masks. They took one each and gulped the bottle down like it was ambrosia. Nothing was more rewarding than a bottle of cold cola after a harsh surgery, and not the can-type, only the bottle type could suffice.
"Ah Jun was a great help during this operation!" Surgeon Zhu raised his bottle in praise. "A round of applause for the man."
The rest clapped with smiles. Indeed, this time, Gu Jun had done more work than even the first assistant. Gu Jun raised his own bottle in return. The work of the past thirteen hours was worth it because of the result.
Then, another nurse came over to report. "Surgeon Zhu, there are people from the investigation department here. They have been waiting at the front lobby for hours. They're here for Ah Jun."
Gu Jun was startled when he heard that, but then again, he was mentally prepared for this as well. One could say that he had been waiting for this day to arrive.
"What?" Surgeon Zhu and the rest were confused. They hurried to the front lobby and saw a unit of three from the investigation department sitting on the waiting bench, two men and one woman. They were all dressed in the black uniforms of the investigation unit. Once they saw them walk over, the three stood up, and their gazes were fixed on Gu Jun. The leading man with a strong jaw walked forward to say, "Nice to meet all of you. Doctor Gu, hello. I am Wang Ke, the leader of the subunit from the Abnormal Energy Investigation Group. I need you to follow us."
"What is this? What's going on?" Zhu Ruiwen was dissatisfied. "Gu Jun is my second assistant! We have just finished operation that took over ten hours, and it is almost midnight. No matter the urgency of the situation, you have to at least let the man eat and sleep first!"
"Are you guys trying to kill him?" Zeng Jizhu added.
"Doctors, you know that the work of our investigation is of absolute confidentiality," Wang Ke said severely. "I am sorry that I cannot go into more details, but I assure you, Doctor Gu can rest perfectly well in the car."
"It's fine, Surgeon Zhu. Zeng Yizhu, it's fine!" Gu Jun calmed his colleagues down. He was appreciative of their concern, but he wanted to know more. "Everyone is just doing their job. Captain Wang, I will go with you, but can you give me some time to change and bathe first?"
"Of course." Wang Ke nodded. Then, they tailed Gu Jun to the bathroom and changing room. They stuck to his side like Gu Jun was some kind of criminal. Then, the whole Medical Department stood there and saw Gu Jun being led away by the three from the Investigation Department.
Zhu Ruiwen immediately took out his phone to call Leader Qiu to ask for more information, but the latter sounded equally defeated on the phone. "This is all because of… sigh. In any case, the Investigation Department is now suspecting something ridiculous. Just let them go through with it. I'm sure they'll be back with the young man in two days."
What was going on? Zhu Ruiwen knew that he should not press further, so he did not, but he was really feeling the grief. After all, they had just finished a twelve-hour operation; they had just saved a man's life! And Gu Jun was escorted away just like that, like he was some kind of criminal!
Be it Zeng Yizhu, Lee Hwalong, or the nurses, they were indignant at this. After all, they knew Gu Jun. They would not believe it if they were told that the young man had done something bad.