Look for story information in part 1.
Jean lunged at Hannibal Lecter from her chair behind the desk.
- What? she almost screamed and grabbed his shoulders brutally
without thinking. Some papers lying on the table gently fell to the
floor because of the sudden draft.
- I have found the error, he replied calmly as he broke free from
her spasmodic grip. If you'd calm down and listen to what I have to
say, we might make this work.
Jean realized what she was doing, and was suddenly terribly ashamed
of her behaviour. He backed one step and raised her hands.
- I apologize, she said quickly. I... I don't know what came over
me. I'm sorry. But... have you really found something? she then
asked, partly curious, partly doubtful.
- Yes, sit down, doctor Lecter replied without looking at Jean,
gesturing at her to sit down. He searched amongst the huge amount of
papers after that which made him see the error in her research.
Jean pulled out a chair and sat down opposite him.
- I'm listening, she said excitedly. Tell me.
Doctor Lecter shaped his mouth to an "o" as he slowly turned the
papers and regarded them with his intense, piercing look. Finally he
turned to face Jean.
- The molecule structure is the mistake, he informed her.
Jean scowled. - No, impossible. That can't be it. It can't be the
formula, I have...
- This drug, Hannibal interrupted, is a racemic mixture of
Jean nodded. - Yes, why?
Hannibal picked up a paper with the active molecule's structural
- This is the error, he said simply. Look here, Jean.
He put the paper on the table before her, and held his finger over
the sketch of the molecule.
- This is the active enantiomer, right? he asked.
- Yes, of course.
- Very well. But then there is this one. Its optical isomer.
With a light hand - and only a few motions - he drew a quick, but
yet a very clear sketch of the molecule, although its mirror image.
It was the D-form of the molecule, the one that was inefficient
against Rogue's power, but instead made her ill.
- This molecule is chiral, doctor Lecter continued. Do you realize
now, Jean? This enantiomer is the one you should manufacture -
without its optical isomer. Without the D-form. It makes her ill. She
only needs the L-form. You shouldn't produce this drug as a racemic
Jean took the paper where he'd drawn the sketch of the unwanted
molecule, and studied it for a few minutes, silently. She tried to
understand what he had said, and simultaneously realize how he could
have figured it out so quickly. But she could not deny that his
conclusion made sense.
Of course! How could she have missed such an obvious thing?
Yes, she was a good doctor, and a decent biochemist, but she was
not always very sharp-sighted.
She decided that it was more normal *not* to have seen it for five
months than to see it in just a couple of hours, as Hannibal Lecter
How did he do it?
- Do you realize, Jean? doctor Lecter asked again and pulled her
back to reality.
She nodded and looked at him across the table. Yes, surely she
realized *that*, but she still didn't realize how he could have seen
it so quickly.
- You have to do a biocatalysis, said the doctor. So only the L-
- Will you help me make the drug? Jean asked spontaneously.
Slowly Hannibal leaned back in his chair. The look in his maroon
eyes gleamed. Then, after being serious for so long, he suddenly gave
a short and ironic laughter.
- You're kidding, right?
- No, doctor Lecter.
- Listen to me, miss Grey. I cannot help you anymore, even if I
would want to. I have to leave tomorrow night. Professor Xavier only
gave me three days. I am sorry. But you know what to do, right? You
don't need me anymore.
- You'd be of great assistance, Jean persisted. I'm doing this for
Rogue. She is only nineteen! You can help her get a chance of a
somewhat normal life. Don't you want that, Hannibal? Didn't you say
you wanted to help her?
- Sure I would like to help her, but I won't be staying for very
- I'll speak to Charles, Jean suddenly said. I'm sure he'll give
you a reprieve, if only you promise to help me. Please doctor
Lecter... Hannibal... It will be so much easier with your help. And
we can pay you. I am sure Charles...
Hannibal silenced her by holding up his right hand, which he used
to draw the excellent sketch of the molecule's mirror image.
- No, I do not need money. I have plenty of money.
- Please, then. What do you want?
- Nothing. You cannot give me what I want. But... well, I promise
to try helping you with this, but it means I have to stay here
Jean rose at once. She looked serious, excited and resolute at
once. - I'll talk to Charles, she said.
- Yes, you talk to Charles.
Lecter got up too. When he and Jean were facing each other he could
see that she was more than half a head taller than he was. He judged
her to be close to six feet.
She is a beautiful woman, and strong, but if I were her, I would
not walk around in high heels, he thought.
Jean took off her lab-coat and left it in the med-lab. Then she
followed doctor Lecter up to ground level.
It would be nice to see the sky again, after almost a whole day