Chapter 3: Humanity
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
I took a deep breath. In a trance, I looked at the light blue metal wall in front of me.
I had a freeze-frame reading terminal on my leg, ugly wrinkles on the sheets, and soiled paper towels in the basket beside my bed.
I’m in my room with Dr. Watson’s consciousness in my head. This feeling… Maybe it’s the so-called awakening from a dream. You have to wake up completely to decide that what you just saw is not real.
I knew how to operate the connecting machine, I even learned how to repair it, and at the same time, I saw other things about Dr. Watson – the parts that I’ve always been curious about.
Clearing away other thoughts and focusing on what I want, I can find it in his mind. If so, it’s not surprising that I’ll see things other than machines because I really wanted to see those too.
“You know how to use it?” Watson asked me in his head.
“Suddenly accepting something that doesn’t belong to you, it’s hard to adapt, right? It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.”
He didn’t seem to know what I saw. I asked, “If I relax, can you read my mind?”
“No,” he replied, “you are the subject consciousness, you are highly integrated with your body, you are not only an electronic pulse existing in the brain. But I am the object consciousness and passive. You can understand it as though I’ve become a bunch of your tedious memories. You don’t remember them very much. You can extract them from me if you like. As your subordinate, as your temporary memory, I can’t control you.”
“It’s said that I can’t fall asleep when we are connected, or you will be in danger. It seems that this is also related to this truth?”
“Indeed. Sleep helps you organize your memory, and your brain will do it automatically, out of your control. If you fall asleep, I’ll probably be cleaned up, or fused with you, or engulfed and drowned.”
I offered to try again. He asked me if I hadn’t figured out how to do it, and I told him honestly, no, I’d like to see something else. I wanted to see the past, I wanted to see him when he was free.
In retrospect, as a nurse, I always got along very well with patients. Children would see me as a brother and father, while old people would regard me as a son. They trusted me, relied on me, and liked me. Dr. Watson also liked me very much, and I can be sure of that because he was willing to accept any offer I made and to satisfy any request I had.
Soon after, the medical staff called me back to the isolation room. They’ve removed Dr. Watson’s physical danger and brought his consciousness back from me.
I started the communication head ring, and I felt that Watson’s mood contained a kind of depression, which was not sad, but something between shame and worry. As I helped the medical staff sort out the used instruments, I began to think about it. Watson allowed me to see anything, but he didn’t know what I saw. He was worried, he was shy, and he was afraid to ask me.
After the others left, I cleaned Watson and adjusted the angle of his bedding. He still did not say anything, and I did not take the initiative to speak.
And then I started humming. It was a Scottish ballad that people in Watson’s day must have heard of.
‘Dark is the color of my lover’s hair, and his lips are like roses,’
‘I love that charming face and those elegant hands everywhere he is.’
“I’ve heard of that!” Finally, I felt him saying, “It seems that there are different versions. It’s just that I didn’t remember the lyrics.”
I sat by the bed and stroked his hair: “Yes. The song has been covered countless times in different versions. Can you sing, too?”
He didn’t answer. I guess he couldn’t. He was silent for a moment and asked me, “Did you see what you wanted to see?”
I nodded. “I saw a lot.”
A little panic flashed in those blue eyes, which made me feel that what I was looking at was not his haggard body, but his once healthy and lovely appearance. Of course, I also saw death, I saw incomprehensible morality, unprecedented knowledge. To me, these things are too big to be ignored, but are far less dazzling than Watson’s soul.
“I can’t repeat what I saw,” I said, “but to be honest, I saw a lot because I wanted to know you better. Would you be angry?”
“Well, because even if you agreed, it’s a glimpse of your life…”
“No, I’m not asking why I’m angry… And, I’m not angry. I mean… Why do you want to get to know me? If you want those things in my head, I can teach you how to find them more efficiently. But, with all due respect, Mr. Jones, your life doesn’t seem to need that. You’re like me… a prisoner.”
I shook my head. “I don’t want those, of course. I want to know you, not your knowledge.”
“But memory can’t be completely divided,” he said. “When you look at the green on a tree, you have to see the branches and leaves.”
“I just saw the knowledge, I didn’t look at it.” I held his fingers lightly as if I could still see their slender and powerful appearance in the past. “I am looking at you, whether you have those knowledge or not. Dr. Watson, I can’t define what I want, just as I can’t describe how much I like you.”
I bent down and kissed his fingers. He was silent and deliberately used his mind to not respond.
Maybe I scared him, but I don’t regret saying it. Anyway, there is no future between us. No matter when we pour out our love, the ending will be the same.
A few months later, I saw General Will again. During the break, I was called to the restaurant, and General Will brought me coffee himself and said he wanted to talk to me. After coming here to serve, they have made countless psychological assessments on me, either overtly or covertly, but the general should not be in charge of this personally. When I first came here, I often saw him, and then he rarely appeared.
He said he wanted to talk to me about Dr. Watson. Of course, we had no other topics to talk about except Watson.
“You can see that he trusts you,” the general said. “Once we took him to deal with… He took the initiative to mention you in some matters.”
“What did he say?”
“He wants us to reduce your sentence.” The general stirred the coffee without expression, “He also said that if one day you leave here, he hopes we don’t erase your memory.”
“Would you really do that?”
When I talk to people of this status, it’s usually them who find topics, I only respond. So once General Will stopped speaking, I didn’t know what to say. The general ate the soft cookies in his hand and took a sip of coffee before he went on, “Mr. Jones, you look nervous. I don’t mean to blame you.” What he said next surprised me even more, “I’m very happy to see Dr. Watson care about you and trust you. When talking to his consciousness, each of us can clearly feel that he is much more comfortable than before.”
I asked, “If he doesn’t feel well… Will it cause any trouble? For example, would he resist cooperation?” In my impression, no matter how he was treated, Dr. Watson never resisted. Of course, he couldn’t resist.
“Not really.” He talked to me voluntarily
“Do you really care about his quality of life?”
“Well, that’s how you feel about working with people, rather than torturing prisoners of war in a concentration camp. To be honest, we just have to make use of Dr. Watson. Personally, I don’t hate him. At most, I think he’s a little scary. I’d like to make him comfortable.”
I think it’s like finding a permanent maintenance engineer for electronic equipment. It’s not hard to understand.
General Will raised his eyes from the bottomless coffee cup and looked straight at me, “Mr. Jones, it’s good that you can make Watson like you. But you’d better not do more than your duty to him.”
This sentence made my heart tense. I pretended to be calm and replied, “I know that I was stupid in the past, and I won’t do anything ridiculous.”
“Oh?” He raised his eyebrows. “So you can control yourself and not put too much emotion into the patient?”
“Not exactly. I admit I care a lot about Dr. Watson, but I won’t do anything ridiculous for him… Like attacking you or something. I’m in a normal state of mind.”
The general snorted coldly. I didn’t know whether it was a mockery or something. He said, “You totally misunderstood what I mean. I’m not worried about your resistance, I just sincerely remind you not to like him too much.” Before I could ask, he continued, “Mr. Jones, do you think Dr. Watson is charming? The more you communicate with him, the more you should feel that he is an inhuman criminal who has robbed countless lives. According to natural law, after you have a thorough understanding of the thoughts of such people, you should shudder. On the contrary, you like him more and more, even if you know exactly what he did.”
Yes, I know very well. Even better than most of the staff here. They just read all kinds of events from the files, but I, over the past few months, I’ve seen Watson’s life almost in first person. He volunteered to let me in, and I gladly went. His growth and confusion, happiness, and confusion, I have tasted it carefully.
Every time we connect consciousness, he doesn’t ask me what I’ve seen, and I don’t use words to confirm what I’ve seen. Because intuition tells me that it would cause him pain.
Now the only thing I could not touch at all was the 24 hours period of his disappearance in 2018, I didn’t see any details on that. There’s no doubt that there’s a big secret to this experience, and it changed him completely. Maybe it’s some amazing conspiracy, maybe it’s alien kidnapping, no one knows what happened to him.
And I saw the inhumane experiment and the massacre in 2021. Watson didn’t think he was killing people with genetic weapons, he said it was a mission. He planned to arrange some people to make great strides in evolution, to push forward the species which had not changed a lot for tens of thousands of years, and to break the invisible barrier of evolution and civilization.
Then he admitted that he was wrong. He said that he had judged the wrong time, leading these people to sacrifice in vain. He said he would continue to observe and study and strive to guide mankind forward in a more mature way. That’s what he said at the trial. They also asked him a lot of questions, but he did not answer them exactly.
It was really scary. Reason told me: this person’s thoughts are really terrible. But as General Will said, my sensibility betrayed morality and common sense, and I loved him without hesitation.
With that in mind, I began to pay attention to General Will. He always frowned a little, and he seemed to smile only when he talked about Dr. Watson. I’m sure it’s a smile. General Will is the standard, serious, tough guy, and his eyes glow with enthusiasm only when the corners of his mouth are slightly raised.
I suddenly realized that these people were spending more time with Watson than I did, and they probably knew how I felt. General Will loves Watson, just like me. That’s why he brought people like me here.
“I don’t understand.” After coffee, I said, “General, I don’t understand what you’re saying to me.”
“No intention,” the general said. “When I took over Watson, the last person in charge told me the same thing. Every old employee here would tell this to a new employee.”
“Why? Has this, er, affinity with Dr. Watson ever brought disaster?”
General Will shook his head, “Not at the moment. But it’s terrible. People can clearly recognize what kind of person he is, but still can’t help but like him. That’s terrible in itself, don’t you think?”
I was speechless. Such is the case.
The break was coming to an end. Before leaving, General Will told me again, “In short, within the scope of your own ability…. Try not to like him too much.”
That night, I made another connection with Dr. Watson. I took him out of the isolation room. With my eyes, he could see the virtual landscapes in the window screen and taste the fruit-flavored effervescent tablets. I tried to draw him with a pen and paper, and he gave a comment directly in my mind.
Once again, I entered his consciousness, greedily accepting every detail, even if it was just something that flashed across the edges of my vision.
It felt like kissing him, like touching every inch of his skin with my fingertips, from the inside to the outside, just like fusing my body with him, diving into his unknown depths and digging every secret shiver out of him.
It wasn’t long before Christmas, and I had a bold idea: take Watson out.
Of course, I’m putting him in my head and taking him out. Even if it’s only a few hours, or even a few minutes, I know he’ll be happy. He’ll smile like he’s back in his twenties.
In fact, I haven’t seen him smile. When I look at his memories, I’m in his own perspective. He doesn’t have the habit of looking at the mirror to practice laughing. But I can imagine what it will be like. I can distinguish his proper expression from the fluctuation of his emotions.
Dr. Watson usually assists researchers in the morning and goes to bed early in the evening. On Christmas Eve, I’ll have a few hours off, and I’ll be taken to the nearest city with earplugs and eye patches. At the end of the holiday, I will go to the designated place to meet with the staff and be taken back to the base. Before that, I’m going to make a mental connection with Dr. Watson, bring his consciousness here, and make his body look like he’s asleep.
Maybe I’ll be found out in the end, but I don’t care.
The day before Christmas Eve, I sat on a low stool with my head against Watson’s pillow and the tip of my nose close to his dry, medicated hair. I asked him, “Tomorrow, we’ll continue to do the connection, and you and I will spend Christmas Eve together, OK?” He agreed. Not only did he agree, he was very excited and looked forward to that moment even more than I did.
I took his hand, went to sleep with him, sang in his ear, and he hummed with me in his mind.
My love knows this love. I love every meadow he passes by,
If there is no trace of him in the world, my life will be silent for a moment.
I will climb up the mountain, mourn and cry, and I won’t even sleep,
Only a few words are written to you, and I will be tortured a million times until I die.