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Mar 18, 2013

Eclipse Hunter Extra 2

Translator: Wryn
Proofreaders: Catchkatch, Arc, Wryn

“Theodore!”

Someone tapped Theodore Avery on the shoulder. “Want to grab a drink after work?”

Theodore turned and saw his lab mate behind him. Although cultivating good relationships was important for a research student--for the purposes of getting someone to monitor experiments if you had a date, churning out lab reports when stuck, and getting backup when the professor was out to get you, etc--he regretfully had to decline.

“Sorry, I need to rush home after the experiment is done.”

Another lab mate elbowed the person who had extended the invitation, hissing under his breath, “Idiot! Theodore needs to take care of his kid brother at home!”

”Oh! In that case we’ll head off first.” The man was puzzled, but replied apologetically after several hints from his friend.

Theodore nodded and watched them leave, catching snippets of conversation. “Theodore needs to care for his brother? How old is his brother?”

”I heard that he’s only ten and has serious health issues.”

”What about his parents?”

”Are you stupid? Don’t you know that Theodore came from an orphanage?”

”I see…”

Theodore smiled bitterly. He raised his head to look at the clock. Time had slipped by without him realising and it was already six in the evening. Although he wanted to continue working on his experiment, the thought of the ten-year-old at home made him stop. He packed up his things, locked up the laboratory, and left.

On the way home, he randomly picked a takeaway stall and bought two meal boxes.

His house wasn’t far from the laboratory, but because of rush hour traffic, it was seven by the time he arrived home.

As he opened the front door, a moving object flung itself at him, giving him quite a shock.

Theodore gazed at the child in his arms, who was squeezing him for all he was worth. He dared not struggle for fear of hurting this fragile youth. “Let me go. The food will get cold,” he said haplessly.

The child dropped his arms. “Jiefu[i], welcome back...” he greeted meekly.

”Yes, I’m back.”[ii]

The greeting made Theodore slightly annoyed. There’s probably nobody as stupid as me.

During his rare free time outside of experiments, he had finally managed to get a girlfriend. But just after they became engaged his fiancée dumped him for someone else. However, that was not all she did. She dumped her little brother on him and disappeared without a trace…It was preposterous!

Theodore even suspected that his fiancée had approached him and agreed to the engagement just so she could ultimately abandon her brother with him. She knew that he was specialising in artificial organ transplants.

This child was born weak. Not only did he have a congenital heart disease, his immune system was also shot. Excluding minor issues, half his body was as good as useless.

Despite his urge to involve social services, Theodore knew that if this child was not given specialist medical attention he would depart from this world within a year. He was acutely aware of the fact that the social services orphanage did not garner the services of a medical specialist.

After all, he had lived there.

Knowing that sending the child to the orphanage was equivalent to a death sentence, Theodore dragged his feet, and before he knew it a year had passed since his fiancée had left them.

Yet the child was still alive. Theodore was a little proud of his accomplishment.

However, he was still unhealthy.

”Ridiculous. Even if I have the skills, I do not have the money.”

Theodore glanced at the child from the corner of his eye. Not only skill was required to make this child healthy, but also time and money. Even if the three prerequisites were met, there was a significant probability that his body would not be able to endure a series of operations.

”Jiefu, I’m very hungry…” The child salivated at the aroma of the food.

”En.” Theodore nodded and gently reminded, “Go take your medicine first.”

The child nodded obediently and ran to the kitchen. He removed his personal pill box and began popping open bottle after bottle of pills, placing them on his palm one by one.

He sang as he gathered them. “Remember! The pills taken before each meal are in the white bottle. The pill taken before dinner once a day is in the black bottle. Take five in total before dinner. Don’t count it wrong!”

Theodore shrugged off his jacket and set down his briefcase as he listened to the child sing. That was the method he had painstakingly created to teach the child which pills to take.

He could only have dinner with the child, so he had to train him to take his pills by himself.

After the child downed the pills, they sat down for dinner together. Even though it was just two take-away dinners, the child was munching away at his food happily and bugging Theodore to let him watch cartoons.

Although it was bad to watch television while eating, he caved under the child’s pleading. He put on a cartoon and wound up enjoying it himself. Cartoons these days were violent but entertaining. Brilliant! But unsuitable for young children.

Though Theodore knew that it was wrong when he saw the child roaring, “Charge! Kill all the baddies”, “Rescue the girl” and the like, he only shrugged nonchalantly. He was a doctor, not an educator.

As for the child’s future character development… if he could survive until the future, it would be a miraculous blessing.

********************

The neighbours rang Theodore. The boy had fainted and had been hospitalised.

Theodore rushed to the hospital. The presiding doctor locked eyes with him, conveying his unspeakable dilemma. He did not know how to break the news about the child’s condition.

”If he doesn’t have the operation within six months, he’s going to die. You don’t have to say anything. I know.” Theodore said wearily, “I’m a doctor, too.”

The doctor gave him an apologetic look. “Even if he underwent the operation, I’m afraid...”

… He might only last a few more months. He knew. He knew all of it, because he was a doctor.

********************

Returning to the laboratory, Theodore told his professor and friend, “I’m deferring my studies.”

”Why?” His professor and friend thought incredulously. Theodore had the best results in the laboratory.

He lapsed into silence before replying. “I need money. I need to start working now.”

”Work?” His friend was puzzled. “Don’t you like research more?”

”I need money! I need it within six months!” Theodore persisted.

”That’s impossible!” His friend exclaimed. “You have to start with an internship. You won’t make any money within six months.”

Theodore was aware of his capabilities. “My technical skills are ten times better than those real doctors!” he growled.

Seeing him agitated, his friend feebly replied. “Although your skills are superb, the hospital doesn’t care about that. You will still have to start off as an intern.”

Theodore was heartbroken. How could he make it in time?

It was impossible, so he chose an alternate path. He went underground and became an unlicensed doctor. A doctor obsessed with money.

With the recommendations of his professor and friend, he operated on and saved a number of patients with extremely low chances of survival. His reputation began to build; a reputation that was unmentionable and kept tightly under wraps.

With such a reputation money flowed easily, because everyone was afraid of death. To avoid death, people were willing to fork out extravagant amounts of money.

Theodore saved a sizable fortune rapidly. He bought the child better medicine and laboriously devised ways to provide extra nourishment. The boy’s fragile state would not survive an operation otherwise.

In six months, he secretly performed at least fifty operations, amassing a small lump sum. He could just scrape enough to buy the artificial organs the child required, but not the best models available.

But the child could wait no longer. Any longer and he would not have the strength to survive the operation. Theodore could only pray that his flawless techniques and the child’s determination would pull them through.

Three days later, it was almost time for the operation. Theodore bought a table full of the child’s favourite food.

”If I get better, will Jiejie come back?” The child asked wide eyed.

Theodore busied himself over a stack of X ray films and replied off-handedly, “I don’t think so.”

”Oh” The child ate silently at the table decked out with food, disappointment leeching out of his eyes.

********************

”Dr Avery…His pulse rate has decreased.”

”Get me a shot of adrenaline!”

Theodore panicked. Why? The operation was flawless up to this stage!

Beeeeep---------

The nurse yelled, “He’s gone into cardiac arrest!”

Theodore was obviously aware of that. In shock, he yelled, “Ready for CPR!”

He grabbed the defibrillator paddles, shocking the child again and again. He fussed internally. If this continues, you’ll get scorch marks on your chest, aren’t you going to wake up? Do you want your chest to be charred?

The nurse muttered to herself, “We can’t go on…The boy’s heart is weak, after receiving so many shocks…”

“The operation failed.”

“The child passed away, poor thing.”

They continued the resuscitation efforts for an hour, two hours. Everyone knew that the child was dead.

Except for the doctor.

”Doctor..."

In the end, the nurses no longer knew how to proceed. The cardiac monitor had flat-lined a very, very long time ago.

Finally, Theodore ripped his mask off. Clutching the body of the child, he bellowed, “Why? The procedure was flawless. There wasn’t a single mistake! Get up! I spent so much time and money, I abandoned my studies, I gave up my licence…Why did you still die? Bastard!”

”Bastard!”

Theodore howled as he tore out of the operating theatre.

********************

The child turned to ash. Theodore did not return to the laboratory but continued practicing as an unlicensed doctor, amassing an unsightly amount of money. He bought the best artificial organs only to burn them at the grave. Perhaps this way the child would have a healthy body in heaven.

Perhaps if I could’ve afforded these back then, you wouldn’t have died.

Theodore silently threw the exorbitant artificial organs into the flames, one after another.

The best artificial organs were purchased and then cremated. He sought to perfect his skills, better procedural alternatives, aiming for a zero percent mortality rate. Only then could he ensure that the child would not die in his heart.

********************

Entering this dream laboratory with a bottomless fund, Theodore realised that he had forsaken his humanity. A covert laboratory with a limitless budget plunging straight into human experimentation… he knew that this was a place where humans were not regarded as human.

However, he still stepped into the shadows of the institution. Only in a place like this could he hone his skills further and develop better treatment methods.

But he was stunned when he saw that the subject of the trial... was a child.

He looked several years younger than his own child! Was he seven or eight?

The boy with the unique silver hair lay shackled on the operating table. He cried, screamed and whimpered in pain, “No! Dar is hurting! Gege. Gege!”

No one took notice of him.

Theodore’s feet carried him over to the operating table. He placed his hand soothingly on the child’s forehead and smiled, “Hello. Are you called Dar?”

The child sniffed and looked at him through bleary eyes.

”I’m Theodore. I am Dar’s doctor.”

The child did not seem to understand what a doctor was. He sobbed, “Gege, I want Gege……”

Theodore felt a stab of pain in his chest. His child was always calling out for his sister. Even after he was ruthlessly abandoned, he still insisted on wanting his sister back.

”Does Dar have a brother? Do you like Gege very much?”

The child nodded resolutely.

”Then you have to be a good boy. Dar is sick, that’s why you can’t see Gege. Dar has to bear with the pain, then you can meet Gege after you get better.”

The child nodded determinedly and answered, “Ok. Dar will be good. Dar wants to see Gege.”

The child stopped crying. It was more effective than any analgesia or sedative. The others in the laboratory were in awe of him.

But he was in greater awe and admiration of the child whose determination to see his brother trumped all else.

********************

Yet another operation.

The difference was, the previous operation was to save a child, and this was to kill one. Post-operatively, the child would be dead. Only a cyborg would remain.

Theodore was once again studying X ray films. The procedure of implanting the microchip played in his head in an endless loop, obliterating all other thoughts. He did not want to think about his original intentions for entering this laboratory and what he was about to do…Knowing that his actions had travelled down a completely alien path from his intentions would drive him insane.

The child gazed wide-eyed with anticipation before entering the operating theatre, “Doctor, after I get better, can I see Gege?”

Theodore froze. This question was so similar to another in the past…

His consciousness drifted back to the child in the past and he replied off-handedly, “En. You can see Gege after you get better.”

The child’s eyes shone with hope.

Theodore understood then, the best doctors, the best medical equipment and an inordinate amount of money could not compare to a lie.

Back then, the child did not die because of inferior products or a flawed operation. The real murderer of that child was the truth.

His sister was not coming back.

The truth being the truth was not the correct answer.

Had his truth killed his child? Theodore’s chest throbbed with heartache. His eyes reddened and brimmed with unbidden tears. He hastened away, seeking to calm himself before proceeding as planned.

Dar was going to die in the end anyway. I absolutely won’t love him!

Theodore stopped in his tracks. The insertion of the microchip was a perilous procedure, but perhaps this child would not die. He had pulled through so many life threatening experiments before, yet his eyes were still shining! He does not want to die!

However, the employer wanted Dar’s emotions destroyed.

Theodore slumped against the wall and slid onto the ground. He buried his head between his knees and mumbled to himself, “Dar, you’re about to die, can I not love you? Forgive me for not loving you, ok?”

”Doctor? Shall we begin the operation?” a nurse approached timidly.

Hearing that, Theodore rearranged his face and got his emotions under control. He stood up and returned to the operating theatre.

The child delightedly chattered when he saw the doctor, “Doctor, after Dar returns to Gege’s side, you must come visit Dar ok? You will definitely like Gege.”

After…This child wants an 'after'. He wants a future!

He wants to live!

Dar was different from his child. He won’t die, he will definitely pull through this operation. He will survive the operation!

Tears streamed down Theodore’s face. He brusquely wiped them away with disgust, bellowing, “Damn it! My eyes hurt… terminate the operation! I have an experimental idea to discuss with the other doctors.”

Theodore walked out of the operating theatre, his lips upturned in a faint smile, “Dar, you have to live on. I will make you live on.”

You must live. Or I won’t love you anymore.


*********** Eclipse Hunter Extra 2 END ************


[i]姊夫 (Jiefu): Husband of elder sister i.e. brother-in-law
[ii] The exchange “你回來了”(literally: You’re back.) followed by “我回來了”(I’m back) is a greeting upon returning home, similar to the Japanese “tadaima” and okaeri”.

17 comments:

  1. oh god. I now love Theodore more... I cried so much T_T POOR THEODORE!

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  2. ah...wow...this explains so much more...I like Theodore so much more now! Thank you for the extra chapter!

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  3. Aww.... Avery is still a rat, but... Awww

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  4. oh god... I'm fighting tears and I NEVER cry.
    I want to strangle the kid's sister.

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  5. THAT #$%^&*( LITTLE $%^&*( SHE HAS NO RIGHT TO BE CALLED A SISTER.
    OH GOSH.
    I NEED A TISSUE Q AQ

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  6. Wahh! Papa Avery is just the best brother EVER. I just love him so much more!

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  7. I KNOW IT...papa avery is good guy...
    very touching (sob..sob..)

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  8. So touching...though he should have given the artificial organs to orphans instead of burning them... Grief makes you not think.

    While the boy's sister was bad for leaving him, leaving him was the best chance he would survive. I think she is less a jerk for leaving the boy and more a jerk for using Avery and not visiting.

    Note: The sentence after "The others in the laboratory were in awe of him." has been left untranslated.

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    Replies
    1. The sentence below the that is pretty much the translation. Maybe they just forgot to remove it....

      Delete
  9. Ugh stupid ninja chopping onion. I'm sweating through my eyes T_T

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  10. Wow this makes me love Avery. Poor guy, he really does love Dar! Didn't Dar comment that he knew Avery was lying, but loved him for it? Thanks for translating this, guys. :)

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  11. Theodore, you make me cry too much T_T

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  12. I love Avery's character even more now!

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