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Chaos Theory

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Chaos Theory

Abby vaccinates Carter as he watches -- through closed trauma-room doors -- Adam and his parents, Robin and Craig, being moved elsewhere. Susan picks up the phone and intercoms that Adam’s going upstairs for “respiratory isolation,” or something, which basically means they needed to clear the trauma area so that Carter and Abby can tryst at half-past Naughty Time. “Why do we have to stay in this petri dish?” grumbles Abby. Susan shrugs. “‘Prolonged exposure,’ whatever that means,” she sighs. Um, I’m no doctor, but I’ll take a whack at it: They were exposed. For prolonged periods. Did I pass? Woo! What’s more, they’re stuck there for two weeks, because the virus isn’t pure monkeypox, but rather a mutation, so they have to be completely out of the woods before they can breathe the sweet air of freedom. Abby’s reaction to this is nine-fold: no, no, no, no, no, and no, with a side helping of no, no, and no. Faced with being cooped up with Abby, Carter’s expression is a lot more like, “Yes, yes, yes,” because Carter’s been eager to continue filling the void, but this time, he’s going to use his penis. Susan swears nothing else is up that they’re not admitting, and that they’re just being extra cautious, since it’s a deadly disease and all. Carter turns and slowly walks to the doors between him and Adam. He faces Craig through the glass. “I’m sorry,” Craig says, hanging his head in genuine sorrow – but oddly, not abject “my daughter just died” grief. Carter files that in his “fat lot of good that does now” folder and snorts, “Me too.”

Stan coughs. It’s not pleasant. Dr. Jing-Mei “Deb” Chen complains about it, because she’s annoying. She and Dr. Greg “Absolute” Pratt bitch that he should knock off that coughing – which is obviously so very voluntary – lest he hork up a lung. “Too late,” Stan says, showing off his bloodied palm and then slapping Chen with it. She promptly drops through the floor, and…oh, forget it. She and Pratt actually rush to his aid once they realize he’s potentially very sick; Chen asks if Stan’s been tested for TB. “DUI, PCP and HIV, but never TB,” he croaks merrily. Chen passes him a tissue and seems rather put-out that the sick homeless man had the nerve to go and get even sicker. She acts like he did it on purpose, like it’s a spare spite lung he carries with him and can voluntarily cough up just to wad Chen’s panties. Stan confirms some recent weight loss, so a panicked Chen runs to the phone to call for a TB test. In an empty hospital. Pratt makes her hang it up because he’s Mr. Easy Way Out, and if there’s a slim chance Stan might not have TB, he’s going to seize it and run so that he’s not double-quarantined. Rather, Pratt wants to get a sample of the spite lung and take it to the lab to test it himself on the down-low. “We’re not supposed to leave,” Chen headmistresses. “We’re not contagious unless we get a rash!” Pratt yells. “ACKTHWQPP,” Stan horks. “NO!” Chen shouts.

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