Then there was no more time for words.|
Both medics lost themselves in the care
of their victims
and soon, Mike was
tuned out altogether.
"Oh, Jeremy..." Mike fretted. Then, on a
Boot came running, instantly.
Pulling a lead from his pants pocket, Mike
it to his collar and he turned his
bandaged eyes towards the burning building.
"Boot...." he said,
taking a tight grip on the
leash.. "Seek. Find him. He's in the fire.."
Boot dashed forward,
pulling Mike effortlessly
Stoker counted on the dust and smoke from
the fire and
the cover of night to conceal his
entry into the building fire.
His gamble worked. No one
saw him go inside.
"Boot!" he coughed. "Find him.. Upstairs.."
Loud crackles from the burning
their self destruction's rumble guided Mike
on where not to step. He relied on the
Boot's leash on his arm to point out
the safest way.
Mike slowly became aware
of an intense
almost surrealistic bright orange glow.
::The fire. I can see it!:: Stoker began
off his eye wraps as Boot led him deeper into
the open garage and to the stairwell. He
to his left suddenly and immediately turned away.
Mike covered his nose. He knew the
a charred body when he encountered one.
"oh, please, no.." he sighed.
was still pulling him strongly onwards.
::Maybe that corpse back there, was the arsonist.::
spirits raised. "I am in so much trouble.."
The last of the bandages fell away
bright stabbing orange light pierced deep into
his retinas, making his barely healed eyes,
"This light..My G*d. It's bright enough for me
to see by!"
Soon, he was wiping
away the tears as perfectly
clear, fire illuminated vision returned."Boot, double
time.." he ordered.
His shoe hit the first stair.
By some miracle, the front wall's collapse|
hadn't crushed the stairwell and its bulk had
out a great deal of the fire in
that area. Mike followed Boot into the
blackness at the top, where
in his tracks. Bright sparklets of light
lanced into his field of vision. ::Deprivation.
I still don't have my night vision back. I'm gonna
have to go back or risk getting trapped up here.::
But Boot's leash went tell-taley slack and
Mike heard Boot begin to bark frantically
just ahead of him.
Stoker reached out and his hand struck
the hard metal coils of a gutted
A small boy's moan greeted him.
no time and he gathered up the
boy into his arms and then slid him head first
over a shoulder.
Then Mike said, "Boot. Out. Go
outside. Go..go.. go.."
Stoker's fear lessened when the bright
of the main fire granted him sight once more.
Near the outer door, Mike was met by an
team of county firefighters. "Hey.. just what
the h*ll do you think you're doing??" one of
shouted through his airmask.
"Take him.. Sorry. I'm with 51's. I heard
for help." he lied. "I'm Mike Stoker."
"Yeah, I know who you are.." said the bigger
Mike let the firemen take Jeremy and used the same|
route he had taken before with Boot to return
the fireline. As he walked away from the fire,
Mike was amazed to find that his watery
didn't entirely disappear. In fact, as the
chill air cooled him, it got better.
clear sight he saw, was Chet,
sweating over the chem panel on the engine.
And then he saw the
Smiling, Stoker reached down and petted
Boot's sooty back in sheer joy. "Good
good dog.... What a way to work.. Good
As Mike suspected, no one else knew
what he had
done. The two men from 127 who had dropped
off Jeremy near the squad, had been, luckily,
mutually decided to hustle back to their fire detail
instead of reporting Stoker to anyone.
Mike released Boot from his lead and whispered.
"Go to Cap, boy.. Move it.."
the valiant dog rejoin Hank at full tilt.
Then he knelt down quietly by Johnny, who was
on Victoria, who was just coming to.
"Relax, Vic." Mike soothed. "Your bump doesn't
That made Gage glance up from the BP he
was taking on her. Johnny did a double take
when he saw that Mike was bandage-less..
"Mike!" he said happily. "You can see.."
Then Gage's face flickered between watchfulness
over Vic's changing status and curiosity over
"Hang- hang on there. I'll be right with
"No rush.. I feel fine."|
"No flashes or..spots ..or anything
"Ok. Good... All right....." Gage forced himself
staring at the relieved tears flowing
unabashed down Mike's face. "Listen, Mike.. uh,
of curiosity to see how the boy's doing.
Could you go over there and just .. you know
him for me? It's bugging me 'cause Roy
hasn't said much about him yet."
Stoker patted Johnny
on the shoulder, "Gladly."
As Mike crossed the short distance
to where Ben and Roy and Jeremy
he dried his cheeks on a sleeve.
Then he couldn't resist.
"Nice guage work, Chet....
Looks .....like your psi
Mike ambled nonchalantly on past him. Kelly
just about did arabian handsprings at the sight
of Mike walking, free of Boot, eagle eyeing
everything around him.
"WahhhHHhooooo Stoker.. All rightt!!!! Man, this
is great.. Your eyes
are-- Wait a minute, why
am I cheering? I'm gonna get demoted now.."
"You can live with it.."
"Just as long as you can, pal.." Kelly fired back.
"I'm beginning to fall in love with this job,
I may test out with ya in the fall. May the best
man win.... WahhhhHHHhhoooo." he howled
This time half a dozen firefighters rubber necked
in their direction and Mike only
crazy signs with a finger circling his ear and then
a hooking thumb at Kelly,
when Chet wasn't looking.
Mercifully, Chet never caught on to why the
other men were laughing.
Mike Stoker entered the place where the triage
lights had been set up above Roy and his victims.
He approached his coworker, keen on surprising
him with his Lazarus back from the blind
when something about DeSoto's body
english stopped him.
He set a hand on Roy's shoulder. "Roy,
Roy looked up and reacted pretty much as
Johnny had about his eyes.
never saw it.
His eyes were locked on Jeremy's face.
The boy was pink, breathing
well under an 02 mask,
and his skin was mercifully whole.
But two hideous sockets existed
the boy's eyes had once been. They
had completely boiled away from the heat
of the burning
DeSoto heard Stoker's gasp of horror.
"Mike, he's not in any pain. I've given him a
pain med. But, I'm afraid he'll never s--"
and DeSoto's voice broke. " see.. again.."
his hands and the spent MS syringe
resting there without being aware of it.
Roy slowly shook his head without meeting
Stoker's face filled with salty wetness
he bent low over his favorite project kid's
drugged form, and cried until the ambulance
Old Ben, seated on the squad's bumper in
a cannula and blanket, set a bandaged
hand on Mike's
shoulder in wordless
It was another perfect sunny summer day at
the McGregor ballpark and Mike Stoker and
Victoria and Susan Jordan and Maxilliam
and Old Ben
were at their usual places around
Jeremy Conners was sitting on Mike Stoker's
lap getting a verbal play by play of the game,
directly from his favorite coach.
Jeremy said, sucking on his
popsicle and scratching an itch under his eye
"Are you sure the guys aren't missing Boot
at all? I mean he makes a swell guide dog
stuff, but Boot's a fireman just like d--"
his voice trailed away.
"Yeah, he is
a pretty good one. " Mike studied
Jeremy's hanging head. "It's ok. It's all right to
be sad about
your father and what happened to
that old firehouse. But that's the funny thing
Life always changes. And there's
nothing in the world we can do about it...
Jeremy's face cracked a smile and he lifted a hand
full of slender sticks. "...except throw popsicles
sticks at it.. Yyeeahhhhhhhh!" and the red haired
boy crowed at the top of his lungs, hurtling
wooden missiles down on the players below.
He started to laugh when Tiny and Cruz,
near the bleachers, complained
verbally about the rain of litter landing on
to themselves, the project kids made it
a point not to grumble too much.
Mike and Victoria,
on either side of the happy
little boy, smiled broadly at Jeremy, muttering in
what they could throw next.
And behind his back, the two adults timidly
Not missing a beat, Victoria spoke up.
"Don't fret about the guys missing Boot, Jer.
Because Boot's a free spirit. He wouldn't've stayed
at 51's for long anyway. He always gravitates
who need him the most Mike tells me. And you
certainly fit his bill young man.."
giggled when she tickled his nose.
She went on with a small smile.
"Nah, I think Boot the
found a home.."
"You know what, guys?" Jeremy asked,
angling his head
"What..?" Both Mike Stoker and Victoria asked
"I think I'm finally home,
Season One, Episode Four- Within Sight
We hope you liked WITHIN SIGHT and enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed producing it for you. Please
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