The MCRT, Morlocks, MGH and Murder

Part 2: Chapter 21

Emma didn’t know what was worse, the thought that the pieces of evidence she was now examining was part of someone who had died or that Jean didn’t warn her before she sat down to see them. She wouldn’t look at the death scene pictures, she would flat out refuse. But maybe she could stomach looking at little squares of pale pink-gray and red rash-covered skin for just awhile longer. Oh God, she was going to vomit, she just knew it

If Jean was even the least bit satisfied as Emma tried to control herself, she didn’t show it. “As you can see, the red pustules are due to an allergic reaction. In fact, this reaction was so severe it caused his death.”

“And this relates to MGH how?” Emma asked, turning away from the skin samples and on to a poster explaining in detail the process of apoptosis.

“These are skin samples from a mutant that died due to an allergic reaction to MGH.” If it sounded ominous, good. They would need ominous if they ever expected to get mutants to think before subjecting themselves to the unpredictable effects of MGH.

“What else do you have on this mutant?” Emma asked her. She, as always, was more interested in a psychological perspective. Was this mutant unhappy with his mutant powers? What kind of mutant was he? To what community did he belong, if any?

“I don’t have anything else except more samples from the autopsy,” Jean replied. Emma wrinkled her nose, thinking it was yet another dead end, quite literally, and Jean added, “But Remy has plenty.”

They placed the call; it would be about an hour yet before he returned from the city, and an hour more before he would be ready because he said he had something to finish. They didn’t care, though, how long it would take him, because this could very well be the break they had been waiting for.

When Remy came, he did not come alone. Logan followed him in, hitching up his pants and straightening the flannel shirt he wore as if he was uncomfortable in the research center. He was. But that didn’t matter to the two doctors, either, so long as Remy had what they needed.

Jean hadn’t seen Remy since they had collaborated on Sammy Luc Paré’s scales, despite the fact that they lived next door to one another. If that didn’t tell either of them they needed to slow things down, though, nothing would. But at his cough, she realized that perhaps she should make a point of seeing him – professionally, especially if her homeopathic best friend’s remedies weren’t doing the trick. She said simply, “You sound terrible.”

Remy rolled his eyes; he was plain sick and tired of hearing that. Of course he realized that himself without everybody telling him so; he lived with himself. But, there wasn’t much he could do about it. Besides, he felt as if he were on the other end of it, whatever it had been, except for being always so goddamned tired. Well, and the cough, and the sinus headache…he responded sarcastically, because he was as stubborn as he was annoyed, “Thanks, Jeannie. What are you – my mother?”

Logan snorted a laugh and said, “She could be. You wouldn’t know her if you tripped over her.” It was true; Remy had never seen his mother, not in a photograph, as an unknown person in the street or even in a courtroom. She had simply vanished the day he was born, as far as he was concerned.

Jean took offense to that, for a very different reason than Remy had; after all, she was younger than Remy by nearly three months. “Unless his fertilized egg was waiting for me in my mother’s womb, there is no way.”

“Wouldn’t put it past my dad. Two birds with one stone,” Remy said with a shrug, not wanting the discussion of his parents to go any further. “Now what did you need on Red?”

“Actually,” Emma said, feeling as if she were stepping in before the empaths left in a huff of pouty emotions, “We’re going to need a lot more than info on ‘Red’.” She said his name as if she thought it was more of a nickname.

The four of them – apparently, Logan had nothing better to do – spent the rest of the day going through files pertaining to the Morlock communities in Mutant District 1. They had compiled a list of thirty seven cases where a death had occurred somewhat suspiciously, that may indicate the possibility of death-by-MGH and another sixteen of complaints that seemed more venereal disease when they were listed but now would need a second look. And that was only looking at rashes, and unexplained discoloration of skin.

“This is ridiculous,” Emma stated, not for the first time. “At least half the problem is people don’t know what they’re looking for.”

Remy took that to mean him since these were, by and large, his reports they were sifting through. “If you’d like to take a trip through the tunnels, be my guest,” he said irritably. “Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.”

“Don’t get your panties in a wad, Cajun,” Logan said, and Remy just knew Logan found the line hilarious, “What Em’s saying, I think, is that the people who take the drug don’t know when they’ve had enough.”

Emma did not confirm whether or not that was what she had meant, and instead, said, “How quickly can we revisit these cases? Particularly the ones that resulted in death.”

“A lot of the bodies have been cremated and given a pauper’s funeral,” Remy said, “So we wouldn’t have a second look at their bodies.”

“The families can be revisited, see if they remember drug use,” Emma said, not willing to give up on this anytime soon.

Remy looked at her as if she had grown a second head. “Some of these cases are six years old. Why would I make anyone rehash the death of their loved one?”

Emma rolled her eyes, “Progress, handsome.”

“Then why don’t you call them?” Remy said bitterly. “I’m sure if you explained to them that their loved one’s death is beneficial to your cause they’ll understand.”

No one knew better than Jean how Remy was feeling at the moment. The worst part of his job, by far, was dealing with the death of the mutants in the communities he visited. What Emma was asking, though it was routine, was still like a stab to the heart. Thirty seven deaths revisited because it was ‘progress’.

And so, with his feelings in mind, Jean said, “I think this is a good start. I can get access of the medical files for all of the deceased and we’ll go from there. There might be enough there to build a case without bothering the families or communities.”

Emma said, “Get as many as you can by tomorrow afternoon. We’ll reconvene then and see where we need to go from there.”

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