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Chapter 28 ends in cross-fire action in a pharmacy. It begins with strained agitation in Jack's fifth floor office in the Medical Examiners building. Jack can make no progress on the case work he is supposed to be finishing. On an impulse, Jack remembers his earlier meeting with Kathy McBane, a member of the Infection Control Committee. When he phones her, she says she would be happy to talk with him--and to keep their meeting strictly secret--and that he might come directly over to her office on the first floor in the administrative department, suggesting that Jack would be safe from seeing Kelley or Zimmerman since they were meeting with AmeriCare officials.
Jack leaves immediately and takes a taxi to Manhattan General. Slam jumps into action and follows in a second taxi. BJ follows both in a third taxi.
Together Jack and Kathy call staff who worked on the floor during the evening shift when Kevin Carpenter displayed initial symptoms of influenza. They discover that the registered nurse, Kim Spenser, who had contact with Carpenter, had suddenly been struck with violent flu symptoms as had the LPN, George Haselton. After recommending rimantadine to her, Jack and Kathy check with the lab and find one lab tech also has sudden and violent flu symptoms as does Gloria Hernandez, the worker in central hospital supply who filled the orders for that floor though having done so without patient contact. That makes four hospital staff sick: three had direct contact with the patient and one, Gloria from central supply, had no contact.
Kathy apprises her boss, Dr. Zimmerman of this development and is told that no action can be taken without confirmation of the illness because AmeriCare would not approve of it from a public relations perspective. Jack also received the printout of patient supplies that Gladys promised him. Plus Kathy promised him a follow-up of a supply printout for a random patient to act as a control for supply analysis.
Jack impulsively decides to visit Gloria Hernandez from central supply, who indeed phoned in being too ill to work, and so stops at a nearby, very large, drugstore and pharmacy to get a prescription of rimantadine for himself as protection against his visit with Gloria.
When Jack goes into the drugstore, BJ sees the perfect opportunity as Slam and Jack will be in close proximity and he can target them both. When BJ attacks, having somewhat lost the element of surprise, Jack throws himself onto the display shelf in front of him, while Slam slams himself to the floor to fire back. People run screaming. Jack makes his way to the employees entrance and finds his way out. At the end of the alley he enters, he sees the staff and the white-coated pharmacist at the far end fleeing for their lives. Slam is still inside facing off with BJ.
BJ liked the idea of a drugstore from the moment he saw Jack enter. He knew it would be close quarters ... [and] there was a subway entrance right out the door. ... [He] started glancing down the aisles, looking for either Jack or Slam ....
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