2951FIC: The Price of Love 9/?
- Jun 2, 2001For disclaimers, etc., see part one.
I'd set Logan's monitors to beep my pager if there was any change in
his condition. I had hoped that the poison's affects would be similar
to strychnine, wherein the real danger to the patient comes from
asphyxia. With the tracheotomy, I thought Logan would stabilize.
Unfortunately, the poison he'd been exposed to was more complex than
it would initially appear. I wasn't out of his room ten minutes
before my pager started vibrating.
As soon as I entered the room, I could see the problem displayed on
his heart monitor. He was throwing a run of PVCs. In a healthy
person, an occasional Premature Ventricular Contraction is nothing to
worry about. However, with a patient as sick as Logan, running
several PVCs in a row is dangerous. It could push him into an
unstable heart rhythm.
I administered lidocaine, IV push, and thankfully, his heart returned
to a more regular rhythm. However, since I had no idea what had
caused the symptom in the first place, it could happen again. I
needed to research the poison and see if I could figure out how to
I returned to the main lab, passing Charles on the way but not
sparing a moment to speak to him. He seemed to be more occupied by
his conversation with the woman who'd caused this situation anyway.
As I walked down the hall, I could hear Scott trying to convince
Rogue to get into bed. In spite of her weakened condition, she was
almost spitting in anger.
"Take me back to Logan! Now, dammit!"
"No," Scott firmly answered.
"Rogue, he's stabilized," I said as I entered the room.
"Jean," Rogue said, turning to me. "I gotta be with him. Please."
I really didn't have time for this, but she was so upset, and she was
still my patient. I would just have to make time. "He's still
critical. He can't have any visitors.
"I could just hold his hand and talk to him," she reasoned. "It
might help if he knows someone's there."
"The poison's made him extremely sensitive to external stimulation,
Rogue. Do you remember how painful light and noise were to you?"
Rogue looked down and then gave a small nod.
"Right now, the best thing you can do for him is to let him rest and
to get some rest yourself."
Rogue calmed down, considering my suggestion. Finally, she
said, "Ok, but only if you wake me up if something happens."
I turned to Scott and he nodded, helping Rogue into bed so I could
take the discarded blood samples I'd collected from both Logan and
Rogue to the back lab for analysis.
I was only minutes into my work when Charles knocked on the door.
"Jean, I just remembered. Our previous physician did some research
into finding a cure for Venom's blood. The notes should still be on
"Dr. MacTaggert? I could just call her..."
"No," he interrupted, "the doctor before her. His name was Dr. Henry
"Oh," I said, then added, "I don't believe I'm familiar with him. Do
you have his phone number so I could..."
"He died," Charles said, and I could see the pain that the statement
brought him. "An accident with Venom."
I expected him to elaborate, but he just sat back in his chair again
with a weary sigh. He had such a forlorn expression on his face, and
I could tell this Henry must have been very important to him, but to
Logan, time was of the essence.
"Do you know how far he got in his research? Are there any of her
blood samples still frozen?"
"Venom never let us sample her blood. She was too afraid of
accidents. Henry was working from the hospital records and tissue
samples of the victims we could identify. He had some theories, but
in the first practical opportunity to test them, he was the patient.
His files should still be located on the mainframe."
"I'll take a look. Thanks, Charles."
Speaking of Venom, I really should check on her condition before I
took off all of my biohazard gear. She'd been injured enough to
cause some sort of blood loss, and she might need treatment. I
pulled back on the face shield I'd discarded in my work and walked
back towards the quarantine rooms.
"Venom, I'm Dr. Jean Grey."
She looked up at me and from her black eyes and the dried blood on
her clothes, I could guess that her nose had been broken. She was
also protectively clutching her right hand in her left and I
suspected an additional injury there. She didn't say anything,
"I'd like to treat your injuries if..."
"No!" she answered quickly.
"You're hurt. If I could just examine..."
She was jumpy and nervous and I'd already seen with Logan and Rogue
just how well she could defend herself. I still had no idea why she
had attacked them or how she had gotten into the mansion. If I
pressed her, Logan might end up without a doctor.
"Ok. I'll stay away for now, but that looks like it hurts. Could I
at least get you some Ibuprofen?" It should help with the pain and
reduce any swelling she was experiencing.
She nodded and added, "But stay away."
I got her one dose and some water in a plastic cup and opened the
door to her room. If it was possible, she seemed to push back even
further into the corner. I set down the medicine just inside the
door and left, returning to the lab to see if I could find this Dr.
There were actually hundreds of pages of raw data both on the
computer and in the filing cabinets I hadn't cleared out on my
arrival, including a partial DNA breakout of the poison. This Henry
guy obviously had not counted on anyone needing his notes but him.
They had random comments and half-sentences scrawled all over the
pages in the hurried, chicken-scratch writing that doctors are so
famous for. Scott accuses me of the same horrid penmanship, but at
least I can read it.
It was taking me hours to go through it all, and most of it was
undecipherable without a point of reference, but a few scribbles
caught my attention. On a photocopy of Steven Ramirez's medical
chart, Henry had circled, "multiple organ failure." Then he'd
written out to the side, "lungs, kidneys, liver, heart... Cause?
Would dialysis help? Drugs to flush poison?"
Good questions, Henry. I wish you had the answers.
It would take weeks to extract the poison's DNA from the blood
samples and code it completely. Logan didn't have that long, so I
chose to rely on Henry's partial mapping and hope for the best.
I started running computer models projecting from the DNA which drugs
might counteract the poison. While the computer was compiling the
data, I ran scans of both Logan's and Rogue's blood samples. The
results were confusing and unreliable. It would seem that Logan's
transference of his powers to Rogue meant that both samples were
already abnormal. It was difficult to determine which abnormalities
were the result of Logan's natural healing abilities and which were
the result of those abilities reacting to the poison.
Even as I tried to concentrate and formulate solutions, my research
kept being interrupted since I had to keep checking on Logan's
condition. Why can't this school have lab technicians, nurses, and a
team of doctors? Even with my telekinesis, I am only one person and
can only do a few things at a time. I've asked Charles for
additional staff on more than one occasion, but he just puts me off,
saying physicians who can be trusted with all our secrets are hard to
Logan's condition continued to deteriorate, and I wasn't finding
answers quickly enough to stop it. After the first hour, Logan's
foley output had decreased dramatically. His kidneys were shutting
down. The liver and kidneys are the means by which the human body
clears out toxins. If they aren't functioning, toxins build up in
the body and kill the patient.
A little past two in the morning, I left my analysis to take yet
another blood sample from Logan. His blood workup was constantly
changing as a result of his most recent touching of Rogue. I had
hoped that at least some of his healing abilities would kick in, but
they appeared to either be dormant or permanently lost to Rogue's
Each time I walk into the quiet, dimly lit room, I am struck by the
incongruous image of Logan, who had always been so full of life and
energy, relying on machines for all his life functions. I try to be
quiet while I take the samples so as not to harm him further. That
is, if he's still conscious of the outside world. He'd fallen into a
deep coma shortly after I'd transferred him to this room and besides
a minor twitching in his left hand, he was completely unresponsive.
Even though I didn't dare use my voice, I still tried to contact him
~Logan, can you hear me?~
~Logan, if you can hear me, give me a sign. Open your eyes, move
your mouth, send me an emotion.~
Nothing. It was so frustrating. I wanted some sort of sign.
~Logan, if you can hear me, lay completely still except twitch your
*I don't think that counts,* a deep, familiar voice broadcast to my
~Charles.~ I turned around and saw the professor sitting in the
*How is Logan? Have you made any progress?*
~He's worse, no progress, and, frankly, it's pissing me off.
Charles, do you remember when I told you that I love medical
~Well screw that. I want to know exactly how to treat this right
now. I'll enjoy my mysteries later when someone's life isn't on the
*I understand.~ He paused for a moment and then sent, ~I saw in the
main room that you'd finally convinced Rogue to sleep. How is she
~Fine. Last I checked, she's recovering completely. Logan's healing
ability must have counteracted the poi...~
Oh hell. I'd been going about this all wrong! My thoughts raced
faster than I could hold onto them. I'd been focusing on developing
an antitoxin from scratch when I had the perfect, proven serum just
waiting for me out in the main lab. Rogue's blood. Logan's healing
factor had to have cleared the poison out of her system. There
should still be some traces of the cure in her system. That is, if I
hadn't waited too long.