Candy from Strangers

Doctor Hideo Nakamura never had any idea about the things that the service would make him do when he signed on. The starving kids stayed away from them at first. But, that would change in time. As the war ravaged the Manchurian countryside, food shortages had hit the Chinese peasants. Livestock became ill, crops withered, and sicknesses were spreading. Nakamura had a few ideas on why, but generally did his best to focus on the task at hand.

It was the second month into a famine when some of the first children approached him. An emaciated Chinese boy, no older than ten, clothed in rags cautiously approached the Doctor. "Are you hungry?" Nakamura forced a smile and asked in the small amount of Mandarin he knew.

"Please, sir," the boy replied.

"I have a whole bag of candy and sweets," Doctor Nakamura opened the sack to reveal the contents to the boy. "Why not bring your friends? I have more than enough for everyone!"

With that, the boy called several of his rail-thin peers over, and they began to take large quantities of the sweets offered to them. A few of the adults would try to pull them away, but the kids would always return when the parents were not around. This continued for two whole weeks, until the Doctor and his fellows were recalled back to the base at Pingfang.

After a few weeks, Doctor Hideo Nakamura lead a return expedition to the village. As he approached, he noticed that a few of the buildings and fields were more overgrown. Several sobs could be heard from inside the other structures. He and two guards entered the nearest occupied hovel, and saw a grieving family gathering around a somewhat familiar person: the first boy to take the candy. Looking at the floor, he could see the boy had been vomiting. The kid was also coughing quite a bit. He looked up at the Doctor with weak, pitiful eyes.

"Take him back with us," he ordered his soldiers in Japanese. The two guards used their bayonets and rifle butts to force their way through the family, and one hefted the kid over his shoulder. The boy was too weak and sick to protest. He was loaded onto a truck waiting outside with several other sick kids from the village. The villagers seemed too weak and tired to resist. That would be the way things would be if certain things continued. He ensured his gasmask and protective suit was on as he locked the back doors of the truck.

When they got back to Unit 731's headquarters, they vivisected the boys to see if they had any notable signs of infection. As predicted, the anthrax in the candy they had handed out had gotten them sick. Doctor Hideo Nakamura wrote up a report for his superior, Doctor Shiro Ishii, and deemed that anthrax was an effective tool for biowarfare testing on additional subjects. The biological attacks on crops and livestock should be continued, as well as other methods. One of those other means would be spreading anthrax.

He never knew that he would be doing this when he signed up. But, it was all for the true master race, the Empire of Japan. The Chinese were just logs waiting to be cleared. Doctor Nakamura was glad to do his part to help. He was no fighter, but he and Unit 731 did whatever they could to help the war effort and the Emperor. In time, he came to love his job. The countless children he had helped infect and later vivisect all were part of that. After all, they had taken candy from strangers.