FIC: The Price of Love 6/?
- The Price of Love 6/?
For disclaimers, etc., see part one.
Author's Note: Finally, we're into the medical drama part of your
standard Khaki fic. My favorite. :-) Technical information from
the USDA Strychnine Pesticide Fact Sheet.
"Jeanie?" Logan's voice, filled with desperation and near panic drew
me away from my preparations as he and Rogue entered the lab. At a
quick glance, neither of them seemed symptomatic, but that could
I'd donned level two biohazard gear thanks to Scott's warning and was
ready to treat them. It was basically the standard surgical attire
except for a long-sleeved plastic jumpsuit to cover my scrubs and a
face shield to protect my skin from any poison remaining.
"Over there," I said pointing at the privacy screens I'd set up in a
corner of the room. "Take everything off, get any remaining blood
off your skin, and put on the hospital gowns."
They obeyed without one clever quip or comment, and that more than
anything underscored how seriously they were taking their predicament.
When they emerged, I pointed them to the beds I'd summoned from the
floor. I had blood kits waiting by each bed. I needed to take
samples from both of them to get some sort of idea of the type of
poison I was facing. Logan refused to lay down on his bed. Instead,
he helped Rogue onto her bed and stayed by her side, touching her
shoulder where the thin fabric of the gown protected him.
"Logan, I need to examine both of you,"
"Her first, Red," he responded, his voice brooking no arguments.
"Ok, she's first, but you're next, Logan," I answered, my own voice
just as strong.
I drew Rogue's blood without any problems, but a few minutes later,
when I was drawing a sample from Logan as he sat next to her bed, she
started to shift uncomfortably.
"The lights," she mumbled, clumsily pulling her arm up to try and
cover her eyes. Her movements were jerky and uncoordinated.
Logan immediately stood up, ignoring the fact that I still had a
needle in his vein. I quickly extracted it so he wouldn't injure
himself and turned my attention to Rogue as well.
"Marie," Logan asked. "What's wrong? What about the lights?"
"Too bright," she whined, her voice rising in pain.
I psychically adjusted the light level while Logan settled a hand
comfortingly on her shoulder. She flinched away from his touch,
wincing like she'd been burned. She was starting to sweat, a fine
sheen developing on her face.
"Rogue, what is it?" I asked. "Can you tell me what your symptoms
"Everything hurts. Don't talk. Don't touch," she gasped out through
Her heart monitor started beeping more rapidly and then her whole
body stiffened, every muscle tightening.
"Jean, do something!" Logan demanded, his voice frantic with worry.
Rogue arched up off the bed and started convulsing so violently that
I worried she might fall off.
"Hold her down," I ordered Logan as I ran to the supply room for soft
I'd only used them once, when a young mutant boy had come into my
care. Mark was a telepath who'd spent the better part of three years
in an insane asylum before coming to the mansion. He'd been
manipulated by the voices in his head to hurt himself and the
restraints were the only way to protect him from harm until the
professor could reach him. Just the thought of what he'd had to
endure made me shudder to this day.
Since it'd been years since I'd used them, it took me over a minute
to find the restraints. When I came rushing back into the room, I
was greeted by a horrifying image. Rogue was lying quiet on the
medical table and Logan was slumped over her, his bare hand still
touching her forehead.
I screamed something unintelligible as I used my power to throw him
off of her. I couldn't let him touch her for one more second. Logan
collapsed to the floor bonelessly, seemingly lifeless. I never
should have left him alone with her.
As I levitated his body up to the table I'd prepared for him, Scott
burst into the Med Lab with a small, thin woman in tow.
"Jean, she's the one who..." he started to say, then he stopped when
he saw Logan and Rogue, both unconscious and unmoving.
"Put her in the quarantine room," I said, not even looking up from
I summoned E.K.G. pads from the nearby heart monitor and quickly
hooked him up. His heart was beating rapidly, almost twice the
normal rhythm, but he wasn't breathing. I mentally floated an
intubation tray over to his bed and quickly tubed him, starting the
Once he was temporarily stabilized, I checked on Rogue. Her heart
had slowed down to a normal rhythm and she was breathing normally.
From everything I could tell, she was unconscious, but otherwise
Scott returned from the quarantine rooms in the back of the lab just
as Logan started seizing. His body stiffened and his claws shot out,
then he started arching and straightening, slamming forcefully into
"Scott, those restraints," I shouted, cocking my head in the
direction of the leather bindings I'd abandoned on the floor. I was
using my body and my telekinesis to hold Logan down and it was barely
working. I couldn't keep him still for long. We attached the
leather chest strap first, cinching it down on his chest when he'd
straightened out during the seizure. With Logan's chest held down
and his body taut, it was easier to get the other straps into place.
It was only after we'd gotten his body securely fastened that I
realized Logan was in danger of something far worse than just falling
off a table. His jaw was clenched shut so tightly that he'd clamped
off the ventilator tubing. He wasn't getting any air.
"Dammit!" I shouted, trying to pry his jaw open with my hands and my
TK. It didn't work. The brain can only last four to six minutes
without oxygen before irreparable damage occurs. Logan'd been
seizing for about two minutes, and I had no idea when he'd stop.
Diazepam! I could administer it intravenously to stop the seizures.
Leaving Scott by Logan's side, I hurried to the drug locker and flung
it open. Grabbing an I.V. kit, saline bag, and a bottle of diazepam,
I went back to my patient.
The seizure was affecting every muscle in his body. Even the muscles
in his face were twisted up in a tight smile. His eyes were wide
open, almost bulging, and the pupils were so dilated that I could
barely detect the hazel color. I couldn't tell if he was awake or
unconscious, but I hoped he couldn't feel what was happening to him.
I immediately found a vein in his straining arm and set up the drip,
administering a little more than would be called for in a human
patient, but not too much. Rogue had absorbed his powers, so he was
temporarily weakened, but there was no way to tell how much of his
abilities she had permanently acquired.
The seizures stopped as quickly as they'd begun, Logan's body
collapsing into complete relaxation. His jaw was still locked
closed, but there was enough space to maneuver the tubing out of his
I pulled over a tracheotomy tray and set it next to his bed. When I
placed my gloved left hand on his neck to tighten the skin for my
scalpel cut, the muscles in his neck jumped. He was tied down well
enough to allow for the minor surgery, however, despite how difficult
his flexing muscles made the procedure. Finally, almost five minutes
after the start of his seizure, I had established a more secure
airway for him.
Still, it was only a temporary solution. I had no idea what kind of
poison he had in his system or how to treat him. Blood studies would
take time that he might not have. With his metallic skeleton, I
couldn't risk him going into cardiac arrest. I might not be able to
bring him back.
Scott had been there the entire time, watching as I worked on Logan,
but I'd been too busy to acknowledge his offers of help until
now. "Scott, get on my computer, the medical database, and look up
these symptoms for a poison."
I waited while Scott got a pen and notepad. "Sensitivity to light,
sound, and touch. Tonic and clonic seizures. Pupils dilated. Eyes
wide open. Got it?"
"Got it," he replied.
Even with the seizure medication, Logan was twitching. It seemed to
correspond to the sound of my voice, but I couldn't be sure. The
heart monitors and his ventilator were also making a lot of noise in
the room and the twitching didn't stop completely when I'd stopped
While Scott searched my comprehensive database, I changed gloves and
walked back to the quarantine rooms to find the mutant who had
started all this. Why she had attacked Logan and Rogue and how she
had gotten on the mansion grounds in the first place were questions
foremost in my mind, but I pushed them aside. My patient couldn't
wait for me to satisfy my curiosity.
"How do you treat it?" I asked without preamble.
She looked up from her crouched position on the floor in the back
corner. Her face was so pale and sharply lined, she looked almost
like a cadaver, like a warning of the death she brought to others.
She didn't ask me what I was talking about, she just answered, "You
don't. They die."
I wasn't about to accept that death sentence. "There has to be a
"No one's ever figured it out," she said, her raspy voice slightly
tinged with regret. "They die too fast."
I couldn't believe that. How could this woman kill without trying
everything in her power to find a cure for the next time an accident
"Jean?" Scott's voice called to me from the main room. "I think I
I left our pitiful captive behind to see if Scott's search for
answers was more productive than mine.
"Venom tell you anything?" Scott asked as he surrendered the computer
chair to me.
"Venom? That's her name?" I asked, settling into the chair. When I
saw what was up on the screen, I forgot any curiosity I had about our
mysterious intruder. "Strychnine?"
"Yes," Scott answered. "It has the same symptoms."
I examined the information. "It takes much larger doses to produce
these reactions with skin contact and the activation time is 15 to 30
minutes. So, it's looks like we have a fast acting strychnine
derivative on our hands."
Treatment. I scrolled down the page only to find that there was no
treatment medication for dermal exposure. All the medications had to
do with oral exposure to the poison. As I scanned paragraphs of
suggesting gastric lavage and ipecac, I found a piece of information
that I could actually use.
"In poisoning by strychnine," the article began, "the patient must be
kept absolutely quiet, no noises should be permitted, nor should even
a draught of air be permitted to strike the body."
Of course, Rogue had been so sensitive to touch and light before the
seizures began. Logan is still twitching despite the I.V.
anticonvulsants. Maybe if I got him into a quiet room...
"Scott, I need your help," I said, rising from the computer station
and going back to the supply room for a stretcher.
"Ok," he said, following me as I gathered the things I needed.
Scott and I released Logan from the soft restraints. Even though he
was still jerking a little, there was no danger of him falling
anymore. I TK'd Logan onto the stretcher and spent a few moments
detaching him from the fixed machines and transferred him to the
portable heart monitor and ventilator. I pushed the stretcher while
Scott rolled the ventilator behind us.
I had just gotten Logan hooked up to the more permanent equipment in
his new room and had switched the readouts to silent alarm when I
heard Rogue's blood-chilling scream from the main room of the Med