The MCRT, Morlocks, MGH and Murder

Part 2: Chapter 17

Jean found a few articles of Hank’s that would help her get a new perspective on secondary mutations, and one from another Hank, Dr. Pym, related to one of her other projects; biochemical signals that are released during puberty that might serve as biomarkers to detect mutant ability development.

It was Emma though, amidst the jazzy serenade of Huey Lewis and the News’ 100 Years From Now, that found the first of many helpful articles relating to MGH. It was written by Dr. Moira MacTaggert and was entitled, Utilizing MGH as a Module for Normalization in Mutant Abilities that are Psychologically Overwhelming. “Listen to this,” Emma said and read aloud the title. “Dr. MacTaggert wrote it.”

Dr. Moira MacTaggert was a renowned geneticist, and like Hank McCoy, had a keen interest in the mutant genome. She also happened to be the ex-wife of Charles Xavier and the mother of his two children – whom partly because of their mutation and mostly because Charles had not been able to give them what they needed, never saw him. MacTaggert no longer held it against her ex-husband, though they had divorced because of that, and also because Charles’ mind had always been centered on his dreams of equality and little else, but she had made it her mission to do what she could for the two boys, who were now adults and yet, not able to take care of themselves.

All of that knowledge both psychics knew, in fact, Emma had even met them once when she was but a lowly PhD student. It was something she would never forget, to see that such strong abilities had all but gone to waste due to their emotional states. It made it even worse, perhaps, that Emma knew Charles was a good man, and with his X-Men, a good ‘father figure’. Apparently, when it was his own flesh and blood, he didn’t quite know what to do.

Jean knew considerably less about David Xavier and Kevin MacTaggert, but she didn’t want to know any more than she already did either. She asked Emma, “What does it say?”

Emma skimmed the paper quickly and read some of the highlights. “Subjects A and B – I presume the subjects are David and Kevin – were administered 2.5cc into four locations; behind both ears and also subcutaneously into opposite sides of the abdominal area. It looks like the MGH was a 206 amino acid type, and was taken from both boys and saved, it says here, a source before subjects developed their abilities – now that’s pre-planning.”

Emma glanced up at Jean, and continued, “It looks like Moira had figured out they were going to be mutants before they were. Perhaps Charles told her?”

“Either that, or when both boys were born, they stored their placentas and cord blood. That would certainly have enough biological data to be helpful for Moira later. And though the storage of these things is much more popular now than it was back then, we know Charles and Moira are both progressive.”

Emma continued reading, “The subjects were administered the MGH in the morning and at night, and this, coupled with an alternative therapy showed that Subject B – Kevin probably – was able to show a 12.5% increase in control over his abilities.”

Jean asked, “What other therapy?” Emma could hear the skepticism in her voice.

“This relates to an earlier paper, where Moira went over the therapy at length. I remember studying it.”

Neither woman was going to get into the clichéd physician v. psychologist debate; whether or not medicine alone or medicine with therapy was the answer. Mostly because Emma was solidly for the latter, and Jean wavered between both points, depending on the statistics on the therapy used.

Emma explained the therapy as she remembered it. “It is a series of questions and demands, specifically designed depending on the mutant in question. The proctor of the exam asks the subject to perform a certain task, and each task is graded on how complete the task is done. Control, in this case, relates to doing only what is asked – no more, no less.

“So, if we look at Kevin’s exams, each one was fifty questions in length and, according to this, exactly the same, Kevin went from not completing the exam to at least attempting each question.”

Jean remained skeptical, but said nothing. She couldn’t help but think of the kid, though, his own mother making him go through hoops, as if he were a lab rat and not a child. Yes, she very much respected the woman, and of course, Moira was doing the best for her sons with almost no help from anyone else. In fact, Moira was one of the pioneers in mutant genetics. And yet, there was still a funny taste in her mouth when she thought of it.


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