Or she could die on the table. It could knock it out, or kill her. Todd swore the fatality rate was low and she countered that the success rate was hardly better. She pulled out her trump card and smiled, knowing he'd lose the argument this time: "Tell him how it works."
Todd didn't know, of course, that playing the Paul card was her best escape plan, so he explained in earnest.
"Well, it works by stimulating the growth of two different kinds of white blood cells. So a patient would come into the ICU, where we would monitor them and give them the drug intravenously for several days. It's very toxic. There are a lot of side effects..."
Cathy spoke up, without stirring from her chair, shoes on Todd's desk. Pictures of Julie missing, from their usual places. Not missing: Gone. A significant change, but one he accepted weeks ago.
"Burning scabs all over my body. Constantly throwing up. Fluid on the lungs. My veins could shut down. And did I mention I could die on the table?"
Paul stared at Dr. Mauer, desperate for help, but he just shrugged: "I gave her a brochure." She ran with it. She was Cathy Jamison.
"I don't want to get sicker trying to get better, and then just end up dying anyway. That's what I was trying to say about Marlene: There was something kind of beautiful about the way she just... Left."
Confronted with enormity, knowing there was no escape, Marlene took her enemy on. But Paul couldn't, cannot, be expected to understand that one. There is no dignity in death, not when you can hope against death in all its indignities. To give up interleukin, he meant to say, is to pull the trigger on yourself. "She shot herself in the fuckin' head!"
Cathy had already admitted there were avenues of escape; it didn't look to her like suicide yet. But she wouldn't budge. She'd chosen torture too many times already, by not choosing.
Cathy and Todd looked at each other, over the table, and he felt the temperature shift. Team Amanda Montgomery knew what Cathy was capable of doing and what she wasn't doing; they'd had this fight a million times already. If it could have been won, Todd would have supported Paul. But he knew better and so the temperature changed. And without knowing quite why, Paul nodded, capitulated, backed down. Six months. Two seasons, then Boston.