"Your wreck bud get out ok?" Chet asked.|
"Johnson? Yeah, he went out with Carrie."
big curly haired fireman met Johnny's
eyes. "DeSoto's fine Gage. Just blacked out
for a while.
His kid's still stable.
Bleeding's stopped so I loosened that tourniquet
completely before I went
looking for you."
"Smart thinking." Johnny took in a breath of
oxygen off the mask from the
had retrieved. "Now, where does everybody
remember Marco being when the hill
down on top of us?"
Kelly's ears strained in the darkness around the
dim circle of muddy light
the meager flashlight offered
from its cracked lens. "Shh.shhh.. I think I hear
Wet slurping sounds from the "roof" glopped onto
the silent seats around them. The white covered
bodies could no longer be seen.
"Chet, you're hearing things.."
"Gage just ..pipe down
a minute. You probably
still got mud in your ears.. Listen.. What I heard
came from behind you,
from where the big
rip in the side of the bus was.."
All four firemen froze, studying the dripping
globs of ooze raining down onto them
and the hideously sagging ceiling, that was inexorably
down onto them by millimeters from the
wet tonnage of the hillside on top of it.
mud on the floor suddenly moved in a rippling
liquid way and a man's foot poked out of it, heel turned
In horror, Roy realized the flat section he had
been staring at was actually a partially
submersed fireman's back.
"Marco!! He's on his stomach over there. Get to him.
Get to him!"
he shouted. "Looks like he's pinned under
Gage and Detello and Chet splashed through
icy mud on their hands and knees and
they both felt up Lopez's body to his head. Detello grabbed
mask from the spare O2 Chet had found and pushed it into
the muck until he had it around Marco's
face and then he
pressed it hard around Lopez's struggling nose and mouth.
Detello firmly held
the back of Marco's head too, to get
around the man's unthinking panic while he willed Marco
just blow out the mud in the mask for some
much needed breathing room.
Gage and Chet found
the heavy section of "roof" pinning
Marco's head and shoulders under the now foot deep layer
muck in the bus. It was another bus seat.
"Did ya get it to him? Is he getting air?"
Detello, as he and Chet fought to raise the metal
off of Lopez. The thing wouldn't move.
I think so.. I can feel him grabbing onto my arm.."
Detello grunted. "We gotta hurry. This mask won't
the mud for long.. Water from the rain might still get in.
And he'll drown." Marco's head
was still completely
buried in mud and this, Detello tried to claw away,
while he shouted. "Easy
man. Relax.. I got ya.. Marco.
I got ya."
Suddenly, Marco stopped kicking
hands and his limbs settled back
down into the slime. But Detello still felt his back
the small breaths the man was
buying from the hastily placed O2 mask.
He saw Johnny's shocked
look when Lopez went limp.
"He's ok. He's ok.." Detello said. "He IS breathing. I
can still feel
him doing it. Just hurry and get that
thing off of him."
Chet and Gage rushed to get a piece of seat frame|
to use as a lever bar.
In a minute, the
heavy debris was off. Gage and
Chet grabbed Marco by the hair and hauled his
lolling head up
into the air. They lifted and
supported him into a sitting position against Gage's
chest for lack
of better room.
Kelly wiped away the mud from Marco's nose and mouth.
Lopez was barely recognizable.
"Hey. Lopez.. You with us man..? Come on.. say
Lopez stayed silent, limp as
a rag doll soaked in
"Oh man. He's really out.." Kelly groaned.
mouth clear?" Johnny asked.
Detello hastily looked with the
flashlight. "Yeah.. He doing anything?"
Gage shook his head when he didn't feel Marco's
stomach move at all in his bearhug.
Wish this mask were a ventilator."
Detello said hastily wiping the muck out of the flimsy
oxygen mask in his hands with
his shirt tail.
"Yeah? Well what ya had probably saved his
Detello. That was fast thinking.." Roy said from
where he lay propped on an elbow. He
Chris's head on his arm and a hand on
the boy's neck pulse.
Kelly started to grasp Marco's
and chin for a mouth to mouth seal, when
Johnny said."Hang on a minute. Hang on a minute,
Just hold off, we still got a minute or two to assess him.
He just may be partially obstructed
with mud here. He's
not even cyanotic yet. Just let me check his airway first.
Don't want you
to aspirate anything into his lungs in your
eagerness to right things." And he firmly gave Marco
couple of abdominal thrusts in a modified heimlich
Brown muck flooded out
of Marco's mouth after the
fourth one and the nearly suffocated man
began to bubble actively
and right afterwards,
his arms and legs stirred in new half consciousness.
"Tip him over tip
him over!" Kelly said, hanging
onto Marco's head as he vomitted frothy sand and water
out his nose
and mouth. They placed him prone over
an upturned seat to drain out his breathing
soon, Detello returned the tattered
but flowing oxygen mask to the violently coughing man
he started inhaling in air more than he was spitting
up water. He held it in place, until Lopez had
of mind to manage holding it himself.
"That's it.. Welcome back to the land of
Gage said. "Just keep sucking on that O2 a bit."
It was a full two minutes
before Lopez sat up on his own.
Lopez gasped. "Oh, man. Thought I was drowning. Then
I felt someone
push an O2 mask over my face. I ate
a lot of mud but at least, I found something to breathe.
my nose is broke though." Marco said, gingerly feeling
where his nostrils were bleeding around the
under them. "Somebody had my face in a vice grip."
"Sorry. That was me.." Detello
said sheepishly. "The seat
wasn't playing fair in your mud wrestling match.
That mask was a home
play advantage I couldn't resist.
Had to do something drastic to even the odds." he said,
to his feet to search for a crevasse leading to the
outside or even for one of their lost walkie
"Yeah? Well keep doing it. Maybe we'll all get out of here
in one piece. *cough*."
Marco rubbed the grit out of his eyes
even as Johnny got a pulse off his other wrist.
Gage. Leave me alone. Everyone else
ok? *choke* Oh no, I see Chris's out."
"I think he's sleeping."
Roy said. "Though I'd feel better
if he had an IV or two running into him."
"Oh, you mean you're
looking for this?" Detello said,
wandering back to the others with a very familiar mud
shape. Through the slime, they could
just make out the yellow letters "I V" on the still intact
"Detello.." Roy said plainatively. "You're simply a miracle
worker, you know that?"
"Yeah.. I know." He said a touch embarrassed. |
"Had to chew phone books to get my cap
me taking my promotion to engineer last year.
Had to move on,.. cause the guys on the squad shifts
were beginning to call me Angel.. Picture a guy my
size with a radio nick like that.." he complained.
all the missing man details then for sure if word of that
spread around and I'd use up
all my great karma
bailing them all outta their rough spots."
"Yeah?, well, you definitely
still got that halo in my book."
Lopez muttered, rolling his eyes. Gage firmly
shoved the shattered
O2 mask back onto Lopez's face.
"Make it in thought only man. In thought only. If I hear
here calling me Angel behind my back,
I'm putting your man Lopez here right back into
versus seat wrestling match, is that clear?"
There was no trace of humor in Detello's voice
he glared at Chet, Johnny, and Roy.
"As crystal man.." Chet swallowed nervously.
" and he cleared his throat like a pinned
frog. "You should seriously consider going
for a captain's
post next, you sure got that glare
"I've been practicing.." Detello muttered noisily
slamming seats aside in the areas of the bus
not holding dead children and carefully piling others
in the areas he remembered being occupied.
"I'm going for that test next year I'll have you know."
"Captain Angel.. Got a nice ring to it.."Kelly whispered.
"Chet.." Marco complained. "Exnay
on the Oopitsday.."
he said from the corner of his mouth as
Johnny checked out his bleeding nose
with a penlight.
Gage grinned but kept out of the banter. He knew
his buddies were acting what
every FD man called "nuts
in a handbasket", to forget the horror in the scene
around them. Gage
fully knew how fleeting such a
false comfort could be. But he was no one to deny
them the attempt.
"Ohhhh. Marco.. You worry too much.
He can't hear me, He's over there.." Chet grinned
Detello said silky smooth from the darkness.
"I sure can Kelly. Better listen to
Lopez over there."
Both the men from 51 moused down.
Detello went on,
angling his head.
"And I can hear those bulldozers buzzing
around outside. Looks like both our
caps are shedding
bricks over us being incommunicado."
And he placed hands like Atlas on the ceiling
and gave it
a shove. Chet almost swore he saw the ceiling rise a few
centimeters. His mouth flopped
open. "He's moving mountains
man.. " he jabbed Marco's ribs with a slimy elbow. Lopez
when that elbow caught him on a bruise from
Gage's earlier heimlich thrusts.
Chet with another stare, this time one
of brainstorming regard. "Say, you're not
hurt, Kelly. Why
don't ya haul off that lazy rear of yours
and help me birdeye one of the HT's. DeSoto won't be
to start his boy's IVs without permission from Rampart
and I know I'm starting to crave my four o'clock
something fierce right about now."
"You got it big guy.."
"Detello will do.."
From : "Cory Anda" <email@example.com>
Subject : And Into the
Date :Sat, 11 Jan 2003 09:58:13 +0000
Chet quieted down and he patted
Marco on the shoulder
as he crawled by Lopez as the shivering man slowly
gained his equilibrium
Gage half glanced at him in the dimness of the flashlight
Kelly had handed him. "Marco...
You need to be checked
out? That seat hurt you anywhere?"
"I'm fine, Johnny. Worry about Chris
ok? Not much
you can do for me anyway without the gear." and
replied with a wry weary look. "Well find
something to wrap up in, you're getting hypothermic.
keep that O2 mask on while we look for the talkies."
Marco nodded, leaning back on a pile of metal
behind them both and closed his eyes. He didn't even
feel Detello cover him with an overcoat.
Johnny watched Marco drift with one eye, but the other
was on Roy and Chris. "How's he doing?"
he asked his
"Chris's out. Vitals are good though." Roy coughed,
raising out of
the mud and leaning on his elbows, being
careful not to disturb his son's position on his chest
"Don't think it's much more than stress
taking hold. But I'll feel a lot better when we both
our legs untangled from this debris here."
DeSoto felt the cold mud crawling higher alongside
his body where he lay and he was glad his own body
heat was keeping Chris somewhat warm.
bent immediately to recheck where their legs
were trapped. "Doesn't look too bad. Nothing the
Detello stood after taking a quick pulse quality check
on the sleeping Marco.
"That's IF.. we ever get one.."
"Pessimism from the "Angel" himself?" Kelly chuckled
"More like a reality check..." and Detello once again
tried his giant
strength on the sagging "ceiling" of
the buried school bus. This time, the metal above
actually gave way under his shoulder lift.
"I take that back. Those boys with the excavation crew
work fast. Most of the hill is already off of us.."
Kelly got to his feet and began to shout
pound on the ceiling and yelling. "Hey!! We're in
here. Six meters from the back hatch! Hey!!"
In Roy's arms, Chris flinched and startled awake
with a sharp moan.. "Dad??!"
Chris. You're fine. We're just raising a
ruckus so the others outside know where
to slice into
to get us out.. How do you feel?"
Chris blinked a few times and winced when he
tried to test his legs. "My knee feels real big.
Tight. And I'm a little sick to my stomach."
Click the Resuscitator to go to Page Five :)