Part 2: Chapter 11
She had expected to run from the room either screaming or puking, but was surprised at her control as she watched the autopsy take place before her eyes. Or maybe it was somehow Remy’s doing – he looked drawn and strained, leaning against the wall – she wondered if he were exerting a calming sense over the room, at his own expense, of course. Either way, she remained in the room even for the grossest part, the examination of the stomach contents, though she could admit she hid what she hoped was a ladylike gag against her wrist.
When Red was stitched back up, leaving the standard Y incision as a glaring reminder that he hadn’t just died peacefully, Dr. Hodstetter explained his findings in brief, though he had been chatting about various medical terminology at length during the process. He said, “Basically, our boy here suffered an allergic reaction to what he injected into himself. The injection sites at his wrist and elbow show he was a pretty regular user and it eventually was in a large enough dose to cause anaphylactic shock, evident by the swelling in his throat and the petechial hemorrhages in his eyes. Furthermore, we see plenty of evidence that this exposure was going on for quite some time, due to the scarred over scratches and the newly formed rash pustules on his neck, head, upper back and arms.”
“Can you tell us for certain what it was that he reacted to?” Remy asked.
“Once the tox screens come back, I’ll send them to you,” he replied, and then added, “Though I know we both already know what it was. This is becoming a real epidemic says a colleague of mine in Chicago. Makes you wonder why people who are smart enough to sell this stuff aren’t also smart enough to realize it’s too dangerous to do so.”
“It all depends on why they want to sell, Doc,” Remy answered, knowing that someone like Red, or his entire clan, for that matter, could not have understood the process necessary to extract or manufacture MGH. Meaning they got it from a person who was one of two things: too eager for his own good and assumed the best of what MGH could do, or selling something dangerous very much on purpose.
After thanking the good doctor for his time and intuition and leaving the morgue, the three were very much in their own worlds, but Kurt held a bit tighter to Remy this time as he teleported them all back to Westchester. Remy said to them, “Why don’t you call it a day? Just go home and don’t worry about writing a report on any of this. I’ll take care of it.” He was smart enough to know it wasn’t just the autopsy that had silenced the two of them, but something much more complex.
Kurt was born incredibly different from the standard human being and Anna Marie’s abilities manifested out of something cruel and were not yet in her grasp, control wise. MGH was said to be many things, the most hopeful thought it was a way to fix all that ails a mutant. Remy heard that line all the time in the tunnels and in the MCs. And there was no changing anyone’s mind if it was what they wanted to hear. Remy just hoped that Kurt and Anna Marie had heard what they needed to today, and not what they wanted to.
Anna Marie had barely heard Remy dismiss them for the day, but somehow she made it to her car. Remy’s empathetic calm could no longer protect her, could no longer keep her in a pleasant state of grace, without feeling. And so, the images of Red’s body flashed gruesomely in her mind. The worst of it was the rash, red raw wounds that were a constant reminder to the now dead man that the MGH wasn’t working the way he had planned it to. The reminder that he was at the mercy and the limits of his body, and nothing could change that.
She looked at her hands, clutching tightly at the steering wheel. They were pale and slim and had their own reminders of what her limits were. Her nails were painted as usual, but that did little to hide the fact that the skin around each nail was picked and chewed at. As if she were trying to remove the rash of what was.
In frustration she released her hands from the wheel and balled them into fists, pounding just once on the wheel. Then, because no one was around, because no one could see, she covered her face in her hands and began to cry. A little less Steel and a bit more Magnolia, she almost heard her mother say, followed by, “When you’re done, don’t forget to fix your makeup.”