Disclaimers, etc. in part one.
The med lab doors whooshed open and Jean looked up from Rogue's
medical readings to see Scott standing at the entrance.
"Hey, honey. Lunch time," he said with a cheering smile.
After the first day of basically living in the med lab, Scott had
decided to bring home down to her instead of forcing her to leave.
He'd set up two cots in her office and brought all their meals down
here. He knew how she'd worry if she couldn't be close to her
patients, so he didn't even attempt to come between her and them.
"What's on the menu?" Jean asked summoning a table from the med lab
wall and pushing up two chairs.
"Deli sandwiches," Scott replied, "with the chef's compliments."
"Who's the chef today?" Jean asked casually as she settled into her
"Remy, but don't worry. I watched him closely and there are no Cajun
spices in that sandwich."
"What would I do without you?" Jean asked with a little smile.
Jean nodded in agreement. "Probably."
"So," Scott began, "anything interesting happen this morning?"
"Rogue woke up."
"You're kidding!" Scott said, his excitement shining through. "Is
Jean shook her head sadly. "She doesn't remember us, Scott. She
can't remember anything... Well, except Logan's name. That's a good
sign, but other than that. Nothing."
"What about... physically?" Scott asked, hesitantly.
"She's weak. She got upset after she found out how much she couldn't
remember, but no matter how much she tried, she couldn't even sit
up. It'll take some therapy before we know how well she'll recover."
Scott nodded thoughtfully, and after a few minutes, Jean
added, "Logan's dying."
Scott let out a long sigh. "Jean, I know that as a patient of yours,
you're worried about him, but he's the cause of everything that's
"That's not true, Scott. He was being controlled. The professor
said so himself."
"He let himself be captured. If he hadn't left here in the first
place, none of this would've happened."
"You don't know that," Jean countered, then allowing her defensive
anger slip away, she said, "I've tried everything, and he's still
going to die. I've felt so helpless. Of course, now that Hank...
Oh, hey, Charles finally found another doctor for the school!"
"Now that is good news. Maybe you'll be able to leave the med lab
"Maybe. He's about my age, but he's got more credentials than a
business card can hold. I've read some of his articles in JAMA and
they're genius. He's looking at Logan's chart in my office right
now, and I think he just might be able to save him. In fact, with
him as a doctor here, we probably don't need me anymore."
"Hey now," Scott protested, reaching over to cup her cheek, "you're a
damn fine doctor. You said yourself that with all these
inexperienced, powerful teenagers and a team of vigilante mutants,
there's enough work to keep five doctors busy."
"Jean?" a deep voice called from behind them.
"Hank," Jean said, standing up and waving a hand towards
Scott. "This is my husband, Scott Summers. Scott, this is Dr. Henry
Hank reached out a hand and shook Scott's vigorously. "Hank, please."
"What have you found?" Jean asked eagerly.
"You are correct. It is a very difficult case. I believe, though,
that we have no other option but surgical debridement."
"But that will cause damage to the otherwise healthy tissue we'd have
to cut through to get to the dead cells."
"The wounds are too large and numerous for his healing factor to
cleanse. The patient is already afflicted with necrosis and
infection. I suggest that we remove the festering tissue and infuse
his system with epinephrine, serotonin, and other natural stimulants
to help his healing factor during the surgery."
"It might help, but he could die on the table."
"Without surgery, he will surely succumb to his wounds."
Scott interrupted, "What are you two talking about?"
Jean explained. "We're going to operate on Logan, Scott. The
muscle, tendons, and vessels closest to his metal skeleton were
burned during the electrocution. We need to remove the dead tissue
so that his body can heal. Right now, poisons are filling his system
and starting to kill healthy cells."
"I propose we begin immediately."
"Yes, uh..." Jean looked around the med lab. "Scott, could you watch
Rogue? Both of us are needed in this. I know you have class, but..."
"Of course," Scott answered. "I'll cancel the classes."
Jean smiled gratefully and gave him a peck on the cheek. "Thanks,
honey. If she has any problems, you page me on the intercom, ok?"
Scott nodded and watched silently as Jean and Hank moved Logan into
the operating room. Once they were gone, he settled back down to
finish his lunch, watching Rogue's monitors carefully for any changes.
Jean looked at the ravaged body before them and asked the obvious
question. "Where do we begin?"
"According to the MRIs, the most severe damage is to the hands and
feet, most likely because of the small bone to tissue ratio in those
areas, but I propose we focus first on the torso, neck, and head. If
necessary, we can amputate the extremities, but the survival of the
patient depends on our success in the main trunk of the body."
Jean nodded in agreement. She hoped it wouldn't come to amputation,
but Logan's hands and feet were starting to blacken, and she was
worried they might not be salvageable. He was such a vital man. How
would he handle losing one or all of his limbs?
She shook her head, forcing that train of thought out so she could
focus on the task at hand. This morning, she was sure Logan didn't
have a chance for survival. Now, there was hope. She would focus
all her attention on saving his life, and worry about any possible
Deciding to begin with the chest area, they positioned Logan on his
back and prepared the surgical field, draping blue sheets over his
body and sterilizing the incision point. Then, they started the drug
treatment they hoped would aid his healing factor flowing through his
central line. Finally, they scrubbed up and Hank picked up a scalpel
to make the first incision.
Jean waited breathless as he positioned the blade over Logan's
vulnerable, bruised skin. She was surprised when he pulled back and
turned the blade, offering her the handle.
"I'm sorry, Jean. This is, of course, your medical facility. You
should lead the operation."
Jean held up her hands in protest. "Hey, I only work here. You're
the expert, remember? Don't worry about ego, Hank. Let's just save
Hank's eyes smiled at her and he turned back to the patient, drawing
a steady, deep Y-incision across Logan's chest and belly. It
reminded Jean of the Y-incision used in autopsies to give access to
all the internal organs. Hank asked for retractors, and as soon as
the skin was parted, Jean's nose was assaulted by the fetid stench of
rotting flesh. The black ooze of days old blood and yellowish puss
flooded the incision.
"Suction." Hank ordered, and Jean drew the hose along the length of
the surgical area, sucking up the foul smelling substance. Hank
retracted the incision to give him access to as much of the dead
tissue as possible. There was no way to crack Logan's chest, given
the adamantium coating his ribs, so Hank cut holes into the chest
cavity through the ribs instead, asking Jean to suction out the loose
"Jean, my hands are too small. Can yours fit?" Hank asked,
indicating the tiny space between ribs.
Jean could get her fingers in, but not her whole hand. In any case,
she couldn't see what she was doing with her hand blocking the hole.
They decided instead to use the endoscopy equipment and a laser
scalpel to debride the necrotic muscle, trying to keep Logan's heart
and lungs relatively intact.
After several hours, they were finally able to move on to the skull
and face, which took about the same amount of time to clean as the
chest, shoulders, and neck combined. Even before they were done,
they realized they didn't have a sufficient blood supply.
Logan's hair had begun falling out two days ago and now there were
only a few patches here and there on his head. The main arteries and
veins that fed the blood hungry skull cap and face had been badly
Jean suggested they leave the clean wounds opened while they started
on Logan's legs, hoping they would find a vein or artery that was
still viable for a graft. It was his only chance for survival now.
Jean was busy suctioning the larger pockets of diseased muscle when
Hank found a possible graft. He pulled back the sterile towel
covering Logan's open head incision to check the necessary length of
the graft again, when he exclaimed, "Oh my stars and garters!"
See part nine.