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Get Carter

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Get Carter

Kem's taken to badgering Neela next, apparently as quizzical as Carter believes, but also oblivious to the fact that it's an emergency room and a teaching hospital, so if she's going to harangue the staff, she should probably have paid some tuition. Right now, she's wondering why all these patients crowding triage haven't gone to their primary care physicians. Neela answers that it's a three-month wait at the clinic. Kem shakes her head, all disapproving. Kem? They're not there for routine physicals. It's an EMERGENCY room. It's where people go when they need EMERGENCY medicine. If I've got an axe sticking out of my head or a cough that threatens to eject my lungs onto my very comfortable and clean couch, then I'm fucked if I'm going to wait for my doctor to check his pager during his kid's little league game. I'm going to the ER. Kem overhears Neela struggling to communicate with a French-speaking woman who's brought in her two kids and has a hacking cough. Kem wanders over with a warm smile and addresses the woman in perfect French. "She's from Haiti," says Kem. Neela smiles at her. Neela is gracious. Kem listens to the cough, and worry clouds her face. "I think it's pertussis," she tells Neela, who's startled. Carter shows up long enough to confirm that they've gotten the odd whooping cough case before, so it's not out of the realm. Carter guides her away and asks how Luka's lecture is gong. "Interesting! Luka's an excellent teacher," she over-praises. "I should get back, but I think Neela needs a translator." Carter instead sends her up to talk to Dr. Ferina up in the infectious-diseases ward. Neela agrees to escort her upstairs, because apparently poor Kem, Kem, Kem of the Jungle can't be expected to both press a lift button and follow signs to her destination. She's lucky she can get around without a swinging vine. "Check out that woman," Kem calls to Carter as she disappears with Neela.

Amy, the domestic-violence victim, is wheeled in with her son Rudy. "Almost shot Gallant's head off," one of the medics says. Gallant is oddly fine with it. I'd be a shaking mess. We can add that to the long list of reasons why I'm neither a doctor nor a law-enforcement professional.

In the elevator, Neela and Kem share a quiet and slightly awkward fishes-out-of-water conversation. Kem gives a noncommittal "It's nice," when asked what she thinks of Chicago, and Neela shares that she's been in America for seven years, and Chicago for the past three. "I still feel like I'm getting settled," she admits. "It's quite pleasant, for a big city. It's not quite London, though." Kem agrees, "Or Paris." No shit. I love Chicago, but that's a bit like saying pizza isn't quite steak. They agree that the people are friendly, and Kem giggles that they're all larger than she figured they'd be. Apparently she hasn't paid attention to anyone besides Frank. Neela grins that Americans are rather fond of their huge portions, and Kem marvels at the woman she saw drinking a bucket of coffee. "Actually, that's quite common," Neela says. And...scene. Whatever.

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