The passionate kiss ended but the setting for the kiss was out of their control. Xia Lei suddenly couldn’t care less anymore and pushed her onto the floor of the woods. He would taste a woman and throw away the hat of virginity. Annina seemed to be tempting him to do so; she bit Xia Lei’s ear and said, “Take me.”
Her voice was seductive but it made Xia Lei come to his senses. He caught Annina’s hand undoing his belt and said, “Annina, we should check Josef’s condition.”
Annina blanked out for a bit, then let go of Xia Lei. The repeated intimacy and excitement from shooting and killing put her emotions in overdrive. She wanted Xia Lei, and very urgently so Xia Lei’s words were like a splash of cold water in her face. That’s right - Josef was a friend who’d grown up with her. He’d been shot by gang members and his condition was unknown; how could she be having fun with Xia Lei right now?
“I’m sorry…” Annina said in shame, “I lost control. Let’s go. Let’s see if Josef’s all right.” She picked up the gun she had thrown to the ground and started walking towards Josef’s house.
They went past Navas’ corpse lying on the ground like a dog carcass on their way to Josef’s house. Annina gave Navas’ thigh a savage kick and said, “This is for Josef!” She kicked him again, “This is for me!”
Xia Lei patted her on the shoulder, “Come on, he’s already dead.”
Annina nodded and followed Xia Lei out of the woods.
The lights in Josef’s house were on and it illuminated a group of people standing in front of it. Quite a few men in the group were holding hunting guns. They were the residents of the town and they’d come to help but were too afraid to enter the murky woods to fight the gang members.
“Hands in the air! Don’t move!” An old man shouted when he spotted Annina and Xia Lei. He lifted his gun and took aim at them.
A few other residents also raised their hunting guns and the air grew tense.
Annina raised her voice, “It’s me, Annina! The gang members are dead!”
“It’s Annina’s voice!” said someone.
“She said the gang members are dead? What’s going on?” said someone unbelievingly.
The town folk started buzzing.
Xia Lei and Annina walked over and saw Josef. He lay on the ground with two bullets in his back. One bullet had gone into his lungs and the other in his waist. The wounds were bleeding and wetting the ground beneath him but he was still breathing faintly and alive.
Bloodied bandages lay on the grass next to Josef - it looked like someone had tried to patch him up and not done a very good job.
“Are you all right, Josef?” asked Annina in concern.
There was no response from Josef. His eyes were shut and his breathing laboured.
At that moment, a woman walked out of Josef’s house with an emergency first-aid kit in her hands.
“Does anyone know first-aid?” she asked.
The people around her all shook their heads.
The woman frowned and said, “I’ve called the police and told them of this situation. Why haven’t they and the ambulance come yet?”
An elderly man holding a gun replied, “It won’t be that quick. My wife fell and broke her leg in the bathroom and I called the ambulance but they only arrived over half an hour later. It’s a good thing that it’s just a broken bone - if she had wounds like Josef’s she’d be long dead.”
“What do we do?” said the woman anxiously, “Josef’s wounds are still bleeding. He won’t be able to hang on till the ambulance arrives.”
The group were anxious but this called for professional knowledge and skills and worrying about it was no help at all.
Xia Lei spoke up, “Let me try.”
The woman gave Xia Lei an odd look. “You? Who are you? Are you a doctor?”
“Frau Luana, his name’s *Lukas and he’s my friend. He’s very capable. Let him try,” said Annina.
“Is he a doctor?” asked the woman named Luana.
“He’s…” Annina couldn’t answer; she did not know whether Xia Lei could do emergency first aid.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m a mechanic,” said Xia Lei.
“Eh? Mechanic?” Luana made an exaggerated expression. “Josef is not a machine. He needs a doctor, not a mechanic.”
“Yeah, how can a mechanic do a doctor’s job? Especially a yellow-skinned punk,” said someone.
“He doesn’t look like a doctor either. What if he ‘fixes’ Josef to death? Who’s going to take responsibility for that? Him?” said someone doubtfully.
The group talked amongst themselves and no one was willing to believe Xia Lei except Annina.
“Josef’s wound is still bleeding. How much time do you all need to discuss? Josef will die of blood loss before you reach a consensus. He may have a chance if I try. Just think about that before you decide,” said Xia Lei.
The residents and Xia Lei both knew that this was a big risk. He had never treated anyone’s illness before and had never really applied himself to medicine. He only decided to do this not because he wanted to be a hero but because Josef was very important to his mission.
Based on the information he had, Josef had not yet completed the research and building of the intelligent lathe but he was close to finishing. If Josef died at this point then who was going to complete the intelligent lathe?
Luana looked at the dying Josef and made her decision. She handed the first-aid kit to Xia Lei. “Give it a try but be very careful. If you can’t go anything to make it better then wait for the ambulance. We shall pray for Josef.”
Xia Lei nodded and went to Josef’s side. He opened the first-aid kit, took out the scissors and carefully cut away the blood-soaked shirt on Josef’s body. The bullet wounds on Josef’s back were exposed and both wounds were oozing blood, making it impossible to see how deep the wounds were.
Josef’s wounds were serious. Xia Lei’s brows wrinkled.
With wounds as serious as these, the most the paramedics could do when the ambulance arrived was to hook Josef up to an oxygen mask and rush him to the hospital for treatment. Josef would have to survive the time taken to get him to the hospital in order to get treatment. Xia Lei could tell that Josef would die on the way to the hospital or even earlier than that.
“He can’t do anything after all,” said an old man, “I think he doesn’t even know what to do.”
“Josef will die in his hands. Tell him to stop. I can’t trust him,” said someone.
Annina was pissed. “Can you keep quiet? Would the doctor in the hospital allow you to make such noise if Josef were there?”
The group of people shut their mouths in shame. They might have been less doubtful if Xia Lei had been a German and even their voiced doubts more politely. This was not racism but there might have been a bit of bias because of the country he was from.
“Let us pray for Josef. May the Lord bless him,” said Luana.
The group of people started praying and Xia Lei got his quiet. As they prayed, his left eye twitched and his vision cut into Josef’s lung area like a surgeon’s knife. He looked past the blood and saw torn flesh, broken blood vessels and a small pit in the lung area. The bullet was embedded in his lung cavity.
Xia Lei then used his X-ray vision on the wound in Josef’s waist. Josef was lucky. The bullet had stopped just short of his kidney. One centimetre more and it would have penetrated it. He would have died long ago if that bullet had hit his kidney.
‘Josef’s possibly fatal wound is in his lung area. If I can find a way to get the bullet out and stem the blood loss he should be in better condition and make it to the hospital to receive treatment’ thought Xia Lei. He looked in the first-aid kit.
The first-aid kit contained bandages, disinfectant, styptic powder**, tweezers and everyday medicine like amoxicillin. There were no scalpels, anaesthetic, or anything needed for a surgery.
Under normal circumstances, a doctor would first get an X-ray of Josef’s body to determine the location of the bullet before commencing surgery. However, Xia Lei was able to see the situation inside Josef’s body with his eye, and even more clearly than a machine - what he lacked were just the surgical tools and appropriate drugs.
A bold plan begun to form in Xia Lei’s mind after some thought. He picked up the tweezers and reached carefully into the wound.
Xia Lei kept his gaze focused as tweezers inched into Josef’s wound. He did not dare relax. It seemed like a reckless thing to do but it was actually the safest and least intrusive thing to do because he could see the wound clearly. He could also avoid giving Josef any additional wounds with the power of his left eye.
“He’s actually using tweezers to…” An elderly man was so shocked by Xia Lei’s actions that his jaw dropped.
“Stop him! Are you kidding me? Using tweezers to dig in Josef’s body?” someone said angrily.
Annina was shocked too.
At that moment, Xia Lei lifted the hand holding the tweezers - he had removed a warped bullet from Josef’s wound.
Xia Lei tossed the bullet aside and reached into Josef’s wound with the tweezers again. He did not dig deep this time and just used the tweezers to clamp the blood vessel which had been damaged by the bullet. The wound stopped oozing blood after he clamped the blood vessel.
Everyone stared at Xia Lei in dumb shock. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
“I’ve stopped the bleeding so he should be able to hold on till the ambulance gets here. The other wound is not fatal. We should wait for a doctor to have it treated,” said Xia Lei.
Annina looked at Xia Lei, her mind a blank.
No one doubted Xia Lei now. Their eyes were full of respect.
The sound of sirens rang in the distance and the sound grew louder as the ambulance drew closer.
Xia Lei let out a quiet sigh of relief. ‘I need to study some medicine when I get back to China. I’ll surely encounter some situation where I’ll need it since I’m working for Bureau 101 and it’s better to have an additional skill.’
*Changed to Lukas. The author wrote ‘Xia Lei’.
**styptic powder - This is a real item but not standard in a first-aid kit.Previous Chapter Next Chapter