Chapter 4: Christmas Eve
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Are you ready to spend Christmas Eve with me?”
On the evening of Christmas Eve, I adjusted the instrument for connection and prepared to close the head ring. Watson was lying there, staring at me askew, and I felt him say, “Can’t wait.”
Before that, I had read and retrieved many things from him, and he personally instructed me how to use them flexibly. Now I know most of the instruments here better than any other staff member, and I know how to cheat those people.
Things went well. I hugged Watson into my brain and disguised his body as if he was asleep. General Will promised that my holiday was coming. I changed my uniform, received a body search, put on an eye mask and earplugs, followed the staff on the conveyor belt, made many turns, and passed many doors. It was just like when I arrived.
I was crammed into the car, and they told me that the journey would be no more than half an hour and that the timing would start when I got off the bus. In the process, I couldn’t talk to Watson, so I began to design my trip in silence. Although I was going to a strange city, Christmas is always similar. I can bring some money, all of which are subsidies from my previous work, but they don’t allow me to carry any electronic terminals, which may lead me to be a headless fly in the city. But it doesn’t matter. I don’t need a wonderful show, it’s enough to bring Watson out with me. He’s the most precious thing in my body.
I was put in an alley next to the back door of a restaurant. The bracelet showed a countdown to remind me how short my Christmas holiday is. I immediately went around to the front, went into the restaurant and asked for a special set meal. Actually, I’m not very hungry, but I want Watson to have a taste of ordinary food. The nutritious food he usually eats has no taste at all.
At dinner, he asked, “What are we going to do after this?”
“Go to a movie,” I whispered, “and walk around and listen to the church chants.”
It was a date.
I’ve never dated anyone. I used to be with patients on holidays, when their relatives needed to go out and relax, so the more festivals I had, the less I could rest. It was all voluntary and I liked to take care of them.
I’m still with patients today, but Dr. Watson’s not just a patient. I had shown my admiration for him, and he accepted by acquiescence. He can’t hug me like ordinary people, and he won’t say that we are lovers. He is trapped in a dry and weak body, and his personality is quite reserved.
I finished a one-person meal, bought a movie ticket, and spent a holiday for two. Because I didn’t know what films were good recently, I randomly selected one. Movies are not my favorite pastimes, but Watson should like them. I am familiar with his thinking and memory, so I can be sure of this.
Watson was very involved when he watched the film, there were no holographic films in his time, so it seemed like a great surprise to him. Instead of focusing on the film, I skilfully dived into Watson’s mind to explore his consciousness again. Today I’m looking at his past Christmases. If he was a big building, I’d have gone through most of the rooms.
I didn’t get up from my seat until Watson reminded me in my head that the movie was over. Out of the cinema, there were snowflakes floating outside, which had accumulated a thin layer on the sidewalk.
“It’s a little cold. Are you ok?” I asked.
Watson was too happy to answer me. If we could compare his mood fluctuation to color and objects, it would be like a December night sky full of flowers.
We walked in the snow, from the busiest street to the residential garden, and then saw the church lights in the distance. I took a look at the bracelet, and less than an hour was left of the holiday. Normally presents are opened after midnight, but I may not be able to spend midnight outside with Watson.
I sighed and took him on to the church. There was a melodious carol song in the air, which was from his time. Opening the door and shaking off the snowflakes, I walked in with a light pace and found a seat at the back.
Watson suddenly said to me, “You know, there are gods in this world.”
“Are you a religious man?” I asked in a low voice.
In his mind, his image seemed to shake his head, “Not that. God is an objective being. He guides me to become me
After reading a lot of his thoughts, I immediately realized that he was not talking about religion, but about the unknown experience. I’ve learned to follow his train of thought, with just a hint, I can deduce the implied meaning.
Dr. Watson didn’t go on. The 24 hours of his disappearance were rooms in the building that I had not been able to reach yet.
Time was running out on the bracelet. All of a sudden, I had an idea. Watson knew most of the facilities in the base, he even invented many of the things. So does he have a way to shield me from the bracelet? Maybe he can keep those people from finding us for a while!
I don’t want to run away, I have Watson in my head, so I can’t sleep. I’ll return eventually and take him back to the prison. But now I hope to take a risk, even if I can stay outside for a few more minutes. It’s my first date, and it’s the best. I’m going to spend Christmas Eve with the person I love until Christmas comes.
When I made up my mind, instead of asking Watson, I went straight into him. It wasn’t long before I found the answer in his mind, and now I can handle this bracelet easily.
I took him out of the church and found an all-night Carnival club near the neighborhood. Watson has never been to such an occasion, and I never used to swim or drink at night. Today will be the first time. I’m not trying to taste it, it’s because there’s usually a personal terminal that I need to borrow to use it against the bracelet.
When I found the rental terminal and started trying, Watson finally understood what I was going to do. He tried to persuade me to give up, but I insisted on going on. He couldn’t stop me. He just kept talking in my head.
“It’s a stupid idea,” he said. “Mr. Jones, I can’t understand why you have to delay your return to base. It doesn’t make sense. Is there any difference between earlier or later? Even if the tracking function of the bracelet is blocked, they will find you quickly. We’ll always have to go back. You may face punishment! Are you doing this for Christmas? Memorial Day is just a formality, it has no effect except spiritual sustenance! Is it worth it?”
I said, “Because it’s Christmas with you, so it’s worth it!” People nearby may notice that I’m talking to myself, but they won’t care, they’ll just treat me as a delirious junkie.
“Mr. Jones, I don’t care about festivals. You don’t have to do it for me.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “Maybe they will punish me, but you can plead for me, and it will certainly help.”
“General Will is in charge, isn’t he?”
“He likes you very much.” Speaking of the general, there was no hostility in my heart. On the contrary, I had a feeling of mutual recognition with him, “Don’t you know? He likes you very much, but he can’t treat you like I do. He wanted you to be more comfortable, so he brought me here. As long as you still need me, he will not be too strict with me.”
Watson was a little confused, “Do you mean like?”
“I love you. Do you love me, Dr. Watson? “
When I asked him suddenly, his emotions began to turn. I could read it, I knew there was wavering and shyness in it. After a while, he said, “I think yes. Because I love you, I don’t want you to do stupid things.”
“It’s not stupid.” I did the work I was doing, as skillful as Watson himself. Now that the tracking function of the bracelet is blocked, the staff on the base will see that I am here without any more movement.
I said, “It’s one of the joys of being human to spend Christmas Eve with someone you love.”
I stood up, wrapped up, walked through the crowd and left the club, intending to return to the church before midnight mass. I’m not particularly religious. I just like the sound of the bells at this time of year. Whenever I bathed in it, it seemed that I could really receive forgiveness and happiness.
The snow was falling and Watson was silent inside me. I read a trace of indifference from his consciousness, but I didn’t know how to explain it, so I asked directly. He said, “Mr. Jones, do you always take good care of me because you pity the fact that I’ve lost the joy of being a human being?”
“Of course not, I’m really… Watson, I love you.”
“You love every patient like this, no matter what age, disease, gender. You love them so much, I thought you would understand me, but it doesn’t seem like that.”
“Dr. Watson, I admit I like those people too, but you are different.”
“That’s not what I mean. Mr. Jones, I’m not good at using words to explain my heart. Instead of trying to explain it, you’d better read it yourself.”
I read with my heart. Originally I thought what he wanted to say was: you are like this to anyone, I’m no different, you just pity me. But no, he didn’t mean that.
Over the past few months, I’ve seen countless faces in Watson’s mind.
Colleagues, friends, researchers, judges, police officers, lawyers, medical staff, children, relatives, teachers, bank staff, street beggars, people in a hurry. They were close, or their faces were clear and fuzzy. I have seen this before. I opened Watson’s doors one by one and counted all kinds of memories and knowledge like sorting out his personal treasures. But at that time, I didn’t seriously perceive the connection between his emotions and these objective things.
It’s not hard to do it consciously. Now that I read them for the first time, I was almost overwhelmed by the torrent of emotions.
What I felt is this huge, heavy, immeasurable and ardent love.
He loved everything.
It’s not just someone, some group of people or some kind of people, but everything.
“I’ve made a mistake, in 2021, I let go of their evolutionary power prematurely, and the humans were not ready. This has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths. I repent for it, but I will never give up. Then I learned about your resume and that you love those who need your help, no matter who they are. Although you can’t be exactly the same as me, it’s also close to my mood, so you may understand my thoughts.”
Clear words came from Watson’s mind, considerately explaining everything I felt.
“I am willing to establish any cooperation with any organization to pass on the gifts. Your interests are my happiness. Of course, Mr. Jones, you are really special. In a sense, the existence of people like you is one of the reasons why I love you so much. I don’t care about the worldly happiness of being a human being, because I carry the mission they have given me. This is my greatest happiness and highest glory. “
I looked at the church from a distance, and a few searchlights set off its simplicity and solemnity and made the snow golden. Before, I had a stomach to express my loving words, but now they have become fragments, and fell with the snow.
“They… Who are they?” I asked softly.
Before that, I had all kinds of conjectures. The truths in those conjectures were more and more exaggerated, but now I have rejected them one by one. Not enough, each explanation was not enough to turn this average young man into what Watson is now.
All of a sudden, my bracelet began to beep, and a few seconds later, an electric current ran through my body.
I fell in the snow.
I had never heard of it before, and I panicked and began to search for answers in Watson’s mind. Finally, I learned that it was designed to prevent the prisoners from escaping. When I left the allowed range of activities or did not return after the deadline, the bracelet would be responsible for subduing me.
Physical pain is not terrible. What scares me most is that my consciousness begins to dim: I can’t sleep. I can’t go into a coma! The first time I connected Watson’s consciousness, he told me, ‘Sleep helps people organize their memories, and the brain does this automatically, it’s out of your control. If you fall asleep, I’ll probably be cleaned up, or I’ll be engulfed by you.’
The staff thought Watson was sleeping in that dry body and didn’t know he was with me. If I faint, he will become a real corpse!
I struggled to support myself, stumbled close to the building, and walked slowly against the walls. Then I realized what a terrible mistake I had made. I yelled, told them to stop and tell them Watson was here. Now the streets were empty, I don’t know if there was anyone nearby. How far is it from the specified return point? I couldn’t remember the exact location.
The high tide of Christmas Eve was coming, and the midnight mass of the church was coming to an end.
Another shock. I cried and fell down again, and tears welled up.
The church bells rang at midnight. I crawled in the snow, my muscles paralyzed by the electric current and the cold.
“Mr. Jones,” I heard Watson’s voice, “they’re coming.”
The sound of neat footsteps came from the snow, and they were ready to escort me back to the base or throw me back to prison. I may never see Watson again. Even if I didn’t get any punishment, I wouldn’t see him.
“Mr. Jones, my consciousness is beginning to blur,” Watson said. “I like to connect with you because it’s like being hugged. I would also like you to extract any information from me, because I trust you. However, there are some things I have deliberately hidden and have not let you set foot in. Now I feel like I’m going to lose control of my consciousness. Mr. Jones, I’ll let you see more. You’ll see them… They are…”
The footsteps were closer and closer, even though I was sleepy, I could still feel it. A few seconds later, someone lifted up my body, I wanted to open my mouth to speak, but I couldn’t even lift my eyelids, I couldn’t even move a finger.
Then I saw them and heard them.
The first time I made a spark on flint or wood, I saw them.
We sit around the campfire, mixing the colored ore with animal blood, grinding out the colored liquid, and painting them on the stone wall.
They are not aliens, not alien nations among the stars. They have been walking in the world since before we existed. I can’t describe them because they are not like any known thing at all. Humans cannot describe things beyond their common sense.
Every time we change, we have them behind us; every time we surpass our past cognition, we are guided by them. They never talk to us, but they always dominate everything. They look down on us from the sky and gaze at us from the abyss.
The threads in their hands can pass through our past and our future, just like looking down a long road from the sky. They can flash back and forth at will, but we can only move forward.
I saw them.
In 2018, they chose me.