Cap grabbed him by the elbow as he passed by his chair.|
"Hold on a minute there Kelly. Didn't you
see what time it is?
Visiting hours are over. Now let's do the dishes before---"
##Station 36. Engine 10. Stations, 51, 112. Foam truck 127.
Stations 8 and 99. LAX reports an airliner in
distress en route to Los Angeles from San Diego.
Angeles Headquarters reports a Condition Orange
is now in effect.##
"Let's go!" Hank said,
hustling his men. "We'll get where
they want us on the move.."
Roy shivered a deep chill and
he and Brice's eyes met in
a glance. "A crash is imminent..."
"Yeah, but where are they projecting
one?" Brice asked
as he handed Roy his helmet before sliding into the squad's
that's anybody's guess.." DeSoto said flipping
on the squad's lights and siren so they cut urgently
the night as they headed down the boulevard towards the
direction of the LAX.
Boot uncharacteristically jumped inside
the engine as Chet was coming aboard her.
the Ward in motion before Kelly could shoo
him off. "All right ya crazy mutt, you're along for the
But in you'll stay!" Chet admonished the dog from
where he sat, gripping the station mascot's
chin as they
both bounced as the engine turned streetward.
Silently, the station main doors
rolled shut in the darkness
as both emergency vehicles sped away.
From : Cassidy Meyers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Friday, December 19, 2003 6:58 AM
Subject : Wing and a Prayer
The fire chief
in his speeding car, called the red phone
in the main LAX air traffic control tower over his closed
frequency CB radio. "Ground Crew Three, this is L.A.
County. What do you have? We're en route and
in a full radius surrounding the airport."
Another fire department captain, manning
panel next to the air traffic controllers handling the inbound
"A Boeing 747, is suffering hydraulic malfunction
in its right wing elevators. The flight crew reported
only partial control
of their aircraft. Two minutes ago, the controllers received an
cabin decompression warning and so far, they've
only had a quick spotty transmission back from the
the number of souls on board. 135. Apparent damage has made
all further communication
with the cockpit impossible, the tower
says they're receiving, but the pilots are not answering
"Sounds like they've got their hands full just flying. Where are they?"
nine miles out at about 2600 feet and closing on a final
approach vector,....oops a change, now turning
.....070 degrees NW."
he replied from what he saw on the screen.
Captain Robert Osby replied to
McConnikee. "They're losing altitude
more than they're maintaining a level." he said, parroting what
his tower aide was telling him in his other ear.
"Ok.. worst case scenario applies.." Chief
assume they won't make the airport. Give me impact locations.
I have seven stations out."
Osby rubbed his lined face and studied the radar, watching
his aide pointed. "Batallion, tower says the Torrence
neighborhood. East of the 101 expressway."
"10-4. That's where we'll be.." McConnikee said. "Keep me
posted. Good luck with your crews if they
manage to land."
McConnikee relayed his new information to L.A. dispatch
and one by one, the
responding stations rolling diverted
to waiting positions surrounding the affluent suburb. The
himself placed his unit on an exit ramp in sight of the
airport and the main bowl of the city of Torrence.
afterwards, black and white police cars roared up his exit
ramp to help open traffic for
Station Ten, following just
The chief tipped his white hat when the engineer
his airhorn twice in a salute as he rushed by in a flurry
of red lights.
picked up his main mic. "Station Ten. Position
yourselves east of Dwight, along Nile Street. Park
You're gonna be spotters until she's down."
##Engine 10, 10-4. ##
## Squad 10
A heavy feeling gripped McConnikee's gut when silence
finally fell a minute
later when all units reported they were
set in place and position. He committed their locations
and identities to memory. "It'll be a cold day in h*ll before
we're through here."
The chief scanned the night sky now emergency cleared of traffic |
for the out of control incoming
airliner. A wavering, unsteady
point of light from a lone aircraft's transponder and alarmingly
cabin lights caught the chief's attention to his left and
he held his breath when his radio crackled.
##We've a visual on 182. Looks like they're nose down.##
came Osby's tense report. "1600 , .....1550..."
"I see them. They're above Torrence proper over the restaurant
district. They've cleared the freeway."
kicking his car into gear as he sped onto a main avenue,
following the flight
path he could see. Then he lost
his line of sight just as he heard the roar of over compensating
brakes through the open window. Several buildings were in
the way of the smoky exhaust trail he could
see spinning groundwards.
The noise of jet engines in desperate compensation began to
the structures McConnikee could see. "May G*d have
mercy on their souls." he whispered softly as
the plane sank lower
At the intersection of 38th Street and El Cajon Boulevard where
Stoker had the engine idling in
wait. Chet Kelly climbed
out and carried Boot from the back cab to Cap's side of the window.
"Guess who came along for the ride..? Hiya, Cap." Kelly said,
waving one of Boots paws through the
window pane at Hank.
"Hey hey..Wonder why he did that?" Cap said, opening the door of
Ward and stepping out to scrub Boot behind the ears.
"That's a good dog but you aren't winning any
brownie points for
coming with us. Yess.." he crooned, forgetting for the moment
to come. His face lit up with the flashes of red from
the engine's lights and with a short faint smile.
Hank looked up as Brice and DeSoto joined them to lean
against the Ward. They still had their
"Have you heard how long, Cap?" Roy asked quietly.
Cap's expression fell into business
and he said. "Kelly, put
Boot back inside and buckle him and yourself up. Could be
Chief said he'll broadcast once he has a better
idea of where they'll end up. He has a channel open
to the tower."
Roy rubbed his arms in the night chill and glanced around at the horizon.
the distance lay familiar outlines of buildings he knew well, with their
lights glowing brightly in
the darkness amid the blue fire of the street
lamps. "I hope at least someone manages to make it."
said quietly to the warming wind rising from the engine's chassis.
From : patti keiper <email@example.com>
Sent : Friday,
December 19, 2003 11:17 PM
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] And Then There Was One...
Brackett and Dixie McCall were
in the nurses lounge watching a bit of the Tonight
Show on their
late night break when the EBS radio
down the hall in the base station went off in a rare
dissident whistle tone and repeated
in a series of triple bleeps bone chillingly.
Both of them
slammed down their coffee mugs
and cigarettes and ran to overhear the official
forth from the speaker above
the main reception desk and so did a crowd of
emergency room staff
a few seconds later.
Noisy babble from people demanding to know what
was happening made the
dampened and muted. ## ...advises a confirmed
Condition Orange. Nature of emergency
is an LAX
inbound flight Boeing 747 with 135 passengers.... ##
"Shhh.. I have to hear.."
Brackett snapped at
the milling throng of medical people around him.
"Folks.. Just pipe down..
Dixie was a firm directive with an even louder voice
of authority. "This is a Condition
Orange Alert and it's
real and that's all you staffers need to know.
Everybody scatter to your
assigned positions and duties.
Pronto. " Dixie's face waxed pleading and reluctant. "And
keep those families and patients here in the ER happy.
I don't want there to be more trouble than
we already have
going on right now."
Joe Early, Mike Morton quieted into what qualified as
listening while those nurses, interns and residents in lesser
departments started scrambling
for extra supplies, and set about
preparing the still open treatment rooms for double duty.
student nurses began summoning more staff in on
emergency recall from off duty by telephone.
Morton and Early leaned in once more into
the EBS address speaker. ##....evidence of cabin
Potential heavy casualties on the ground
are expected. Flight 182 has overshot all sparsely populated
regions and has been spotted losing altitude over a municipality
classed as a residential zone.
All fire and military emergency response
stations have been activated....Repeat...This is a Condition
Rampart General was kicked into overdrive and ready for
anything in the
space of just short minutes. Dr. Brackett
was equally as coolly efficient."What's our current capacity?"
Joe rubbed his hand in deep thought. "Admissions
says we're at 91% occupancy. UCLA Harbor is
at 95%, L.A.City Hospital is sitting at 97% And Bayside
General's the worst of all. They're topped
and redirecting all ambulance run traumas and major
medicals to other emergency
Dr. Brackett frowned. "Hmmm, Guess we're on our own
for the majority of any
potential mass casualty admissions.
Rampart's at 91%?"
"Uh huh.." McCall nodded.
Mike's chin wrinkled firmly. "That leaves ......50 beds |
open for us. How many surgical wards do we
available?" Morton asked.
Dixie's answer was swift. "Seven. Room Fourteen's just
up on a bronchoscopy patient
left over from 51's warehouse fire from this afternoon.
arrived in recovery."
"Get that team ready to receive, too." Kel ordered.
"Joe, Mike, those
rooms have priority. If those airliner
passengers are given opportunities of making it off that
with a pulse, I wanna make sure that ours
have at least one chance each of surviving the ordeal."
"Right." said Morton, Joe and Dixie. They darted in
three directions to implement the changes.
"Oh, and Dix..." said Brackett.
"Let's keep all new arrivals from the crash
out of the pediatric ward. They've dealt with
enough noise for one night.."
played across Dixie's classic features.
"Are you referring to a certain young dashing paramedic
his equally rivetting four foot two child accomplice?"
Brackett's face contorted. "Yes..! It's
they're mostly by themselves in that part of the wing
because of all the new construction.
There's not many
around them tonight to suffer the consequences of being
within earshot! Dix,
send someone to quiet them down, huh?
Send a candy striper, an orderly,...the pizza man! Or anyone..
for that matter. Just get me some peace and quiet at that nurses
station..! Dr. Mendelson from
neurology says he heard the entire
why did the chicken cross the road one upmanship contest wafting
down through the elevator shaft without even trying hard."
"Sure. I'll have the new LPN, Cheryl
Adams, pay them
a goodwill visit.." the head nurse winked, remarking
mildly. Then her expression
"Her fifth one so far.." she purred.
"What?!" Kel said, already buried
in the disaster protocol
manual from the drug cabinet. His explicative was distracted
hearted but still icy with anger.
"Just kidding..." Dixie said in humor, and she headed
off for the elevators to direct supply carts and newly
arriving off scheduled staffers to where they
would be most
"I was joking..." Dixie trickled, smoothing out
the wrinkles on
Brackett's reply was just a long suffering growl. "Go..."
"I'm gone.." she sighed in a breath.
Controlled chaos filled all three doctors' senses
waited for the fire department paramedic
base station in the glass cubicle to light up in sudden
A deep chest rending roar bent the palm
trees over Station
51's crew's heads as 182's smoking fuselage of street lit
red and silver shot
by at 360 knots barely 200 feet above
The entire aircraft was inverted upside down.
"Holy mother of..." Marco gasped.
A wave of explosive concussion slammed the waiting
firemen against the engine and made them fall
to the ground
in a protective duck and cover, while the ground shifted
and shook in a outgoing
wave of reaction.
Before the ugly yellow and lava colored fireball nimbus had
faded, Cap knew
where the jet had impacted. The one
building outline flared impossibly bright by raw plasma
been unmistakably familiar to him. "Rampart!!"
"What?!" gasped Chet Kelly for the stunned others.
"Shush a minute and let me talk. "
Captain Stanley silenced him.."Do we have any injuries
us?" he said sharply.
"Uhhh,..n-no." said Lopez for all of them while they brushed
and freshly shorn palm fronds from their backs, legs
"Then on your feet, gang. Now!..We
haven't a moment to
lose. To answer your question., *cough* Yes, they went down
at Rampart!" Hank
sobbed, barely in control.
"Are you sure?" Brice said, rising and running for
the squad two
steps behind Roy. "That explosion
could have gone up anywhere. There's dozens
of office buildings
in that direct--"
"I know that silhouette better than my own station's, Brice!
I'm more than
sure! Now get the lead out and just go!" Hank
shouted, sprinting for the Ward La France's side door.
Once around the rig to make sure she's intact! Then
put the pedal to the metal, pal.
Avoid the main drags.
Gawkers are bound to snarl those big time. The night life
crowd's in full
swing. Get us there side streets! My guess
is that kind of route's gonna put us two and a half miles
"I'll get us there in four mics, Cap."
"Make it three.."
Johnny Gage felt the rumble before he heard it. He had
slipped into just a pair of jeans to feel
more at home
when the hairs began to rise on the back of his neck.
"What th--?" His face turned
unbidden toward the
venetian blinds in the window and a patch of fire orange
Megan stirred in her half sleep. "What's the matter, Mr.
Gage? Is it 'nother quake like the one we
got last week?"
In slow motion, Johnny's hand parted the curtains.
The outline of a disintegrating
flaming jet was
cartwheeling vertically towards them as if in
a horrific nightmare, crushing cars
parking lot into smaller exploding gasoline
stains as it came.
"Oh Sh*t! !!
..Megan...! Get down!"
Johnny Gage had time enough to snatch the little
girl and her IV bag
with him into a crouch behind a bed when
all the glass windows on that side of Rampart imploded
in a rain of ballistic metallic debris and raw fire.
From : Roxy Dee <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Friday, February 6, 2004 11:25 PM
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] Aftermath~~
Captain Stanley licked his lips nervously as Stoker
sped the Ward around increasingly damaged
of earth. He saw no other red lights yet in the
area. ::Looks like I'll be the highest ranking official
in the area
for at least a little while. So I'd better have at it.::
From behind him, Cap
heard Marco breathe a sigh of relief.
"Looks like the hospital's still intact. Only the windows are
knocked out. Their power's still on."
"Yeah, but is it from the main towers or their backup generators?"
asked Hank over the roar of the sirens.
"Does it matter?" Chet retorted, straightening his helmet
the engine wove its way closer to the forty foot wall of fire
hiding the airliner's impact crater."We'll
be able to see what
we're doing man.."
Cap snatched up his microphone and broadcast wide band.
## L.A. Station 51 is at scene, approaching from the south. Our
aircraft has impacted nose down in
the parking lot and seems
to have effected part of the adjacent neighborhood of ....Dwight
and Nile. We're seeing multiple jet fuel and magnesium
based debris fires and a dozen automobile
ignition points in a two
block radius. As yet, we have no evidence of survivors from the
Beginning initial search for ground victims and laying down
immediate water source reconnaissance.
I repeat, fire is not
evident inside Rampart Hospital. Noting window damage only. ##
spigotted the radio mic and heard Chief McConnike
start his plan of attack using his reported information.
coughed on the stench of kerosene and smelled citrus trees from
the nearby yards baking in
the fire. But he was relieved to hear
his superior begin the stream of relief and rescue to the disaster
zone nightmare of scent and sight and noise that was assaulting
Stoker to lay in regular air blasts from the engine's
siren apparatus to encourage survivors and
notify other companies
as to his station's position despite the choking columns of smoke
their lights in the lurid nighttime darkness.
Chief McConnike's voice was still clear and calm,
by the rising fumes that marked the place where passengers from
the plane had perished,
when it came over the speakers seconds
later. ##All companies approach line of sight encircling the
in a full 360 degree radius. Use the black areas away from fires' glow
smoke to find safe places to set up your command posts. Foam
Units 127, 36, 118, 95 and 106 move
into the main crash site by Station
51. They're near ground zero and blasting their air horn to mark
location. Begin your covering support and knock down any burning
automobiles first to make
a path for the second wave rescue teams.
I'm hereby ordering 51 and Station 8 to sweep first line
in for any casualties
originating from the ground. Recovery teams, keep from disturbing any
fatalities as much as possible. Mark and cover the remains only.
Companies moving in from the
perimeter, make no attempt to use water
on the magnesium blaze surrounding the Boeing's shell. It'll
have no effect.
Secondary stand by rescue squads and ambulance teams, coordinate with law
authorities to keep all non essential civilians out of the
immediate area. This includes all the
press types and military personnel
who aren't fire departmentally trained."
"Inner response teams: Prevent absolutely everyone from trying to |
leave the hospital proper. They'll
all be much safer inside the structure
than outside because of the large quantity of ignited jet
amid all of these still potentially explodable cars sandwiched around
the south side
of the building. ##
Echoes of radio hails and acknowledgements bounced off
the city light and
fire reflected white hulk of Rampart eerily. From where
he stood, McConnikee could see patient faces
numbly peering down at
him from the shattered ruin of all the windows. Soon, white and blue
others came to take those shocked eyes away in evacuation to
safer areas across the opposite corridors.
::This is H*ll on Earth folks,
I know. But not for long. Just hang tough and soon you'll see the
Angels fight back for its own..::he thought fervently. ::All 406 of us.::
counting the flashers of all the engines laid out in a ring
Chet Kelly startled when unexpected vertical movement
amid expected carnage caught his jumpy eye.
shock quickly turned to anger when that motion spelled
out spectator over possible victim.
Fury exploded from
his lips as he adjusted the hose path he and Mike Stoker
were using off the
neighborhood corner hydrant at their
assigned row of torn houses given to them to search through.
"Already they're starting! Man.. I just hate that.
What kind of sicko does it take for someone
to go out looting in a place like this ?" Kelly spat,
kicking up dust around his boots.
ones who think they can get away with
it." Stoker's quiet reply came back, equally sharp
moved their fanning spray over some
"Yeah? Well not while I'm on the job, they're
Hit 'em Stoker.. " Chet challenged. "Feel free.."
Mike jerked and shouted. When his
commands to leave
immediately were ignored by the looting crowd, he let loose with
knifesteam of icy water at all their full hands and turned
backs, scattering their ill gotten booty
across the debris field. He
made sure that they couldn't retrieve anything again by
protesting black clothed forms rolling away into
the darkness under the naked force of his hose.
A shout rose
up as one male cry marked the audible but unseen location of
a bruising impact.
"Oooo.. Easy Mike... What if you hurt them doing that?"
"What if they hurt victims'
relatives even more by taking the
deceased's wedding rings and other stuff?" Stoker countered,
letting up his barrage on those he could reach.
"Oh. Good point. Go ahead and nail it home, buddy.
For them." he
said, sweeping a glove over the sad remains of the plane
passengers lying twisted
and bare all around them.
Hank Stanley's sharp retort came rapidly..
##Engine 51, I said no
water near the airliner!##
crackled Chet and Stoker's HT's.
Chet peeled off a soggy glove and
thumbed the talk
button. "Sorry HT 51, just...we were just, well, cleaning up.."
up what? We were told to disturb as little as possible."
"Cleaning up pond scum, Cap, the vilest
##Oh....## came a chastened reply when Hank finally got
the message.## That's different.
Keep it up then, but don't
fry your keesters in the process in a magnesium flare.##
##Good men. Eerrr.. How's it coming?##
Chet fought his way over yet another pile of shattered
wood and metal smoulders which he shouldered out of his way.
"Think we found one that's a death on
the ground. Cap, under
a blown in door inside the house designated B west of the main
##How can you tell?##
"Looked like a senior who'd been burned fatally, she's still
a phone receiver."
There came a noise of pain from the other end of the HT|
that was quickly stifled. ##Mark her location
down on your notes
and search on you two. Keep reporting the ground and plane
DOA's like you are
and wave on recovery personnel for live ones.
Squad 51's handling the fuselage vicinity on the remote
anyone aboard survived the impact.##
"Yes sir. Marking...House B as ground victim number
now on the move at... Dwight and...Victory Lane.."
## Ok, I've got your current
position noted. ......HT 51?## came a
"Go." Stoker said tightly as he watched
Chet cover the woman
in the house even as he glared at the soaked retreating looters.
sending Vince and a full support team your way to flush
out any more of those rats. Save your water
for the spot fires
when you can.##
"We'll be glad to have them. Looks like we found some more
with full sacks just ahead." He grinned when a telltale, unmistakable
collection of noises drifted
his way on the bitter smelling night wind.
"Sounds like the lot of them are getting sick behind the
smouldering palm tree stumps by House D down the road on
your side. Serves them right
for even coming in here."
##10-4. Watch for the police from the north, Kelly. ##
a hawk." he coughed quietly.
##And keep your everloving rears safe, you two.
Shots have been
heard on your side of the debris field,
west of the air liner's impact crater.##
Mike interjected into his plastic covered
walkie talkie, dragging the laden hose further along towards
the sound of stunned looters.
##Wish I was, pal.##
"Understood." Kelly added firmly.
##HT 51 out.##
Mike Stoker and Chet Kelly could almost hear their
Cap's nod over the closing
Roy tried not to look at the fourth floor
of Rampart where
he could hear shards of glass hanging from their frames
tinkling like windchimes
amid the fire thermals from the
parking lot. ::Johnny.. I wish I'd catch your face sneaking a peek
down here from your room. But, knowing you, you got your hands
full with protecting little Megan right
Roy's boot was about to take another step forward around a
seat cushion when Craig Brice's
touch on his back stopped him.
He pointed to Roy's left with his torchlight into the darkness.
A motionless man in the wreckage, still wearing a plane oxygen mask,
presented himself as more or
less the sole intact shape amid the separated
parts that lay strewn about from most of the other dead
Roy began using his hook to throw aside debris between him and
the man when Brice's
grip tightened on his air bottle, pulling him back.
"DeSoto. A moment." he heard in his ear.
Still wearing hope's blinders, DeSoto gasped.
"What? He might be one who's made it. We have no time
here." he shouted behind his mask. He blinked when a swirl
of fuel smoke ruffled his hair.
Roy could see Brice swallowing deeply behind his air mask.
"Look farther down below his waist.
That car's front is lying across
his lower half and ...and...the hood's level to our thighs and the
You can see that plainly from here. He's been crushed badly.
I'm sorry. He doesn't look
it color wise, but he's ..he's ..undeniably
Roy checked once again using Brice's analyzing flashlight as|
a guide, and saw that Craig's observation
was the correct one,
illuminating fully dialated and blood cloudy pupils. Life had indeed
for the man almost instantly when gravity and inertia had brought
the car tumbling down onto his
::J*sus. Just how many fatality presentations am I gonna see
tonight that they
don't teach you from a textbook?:: Roy's mind
interjected mercilessly. "How about giving me one that
can turn around here." he mumbled at Craig in muted thanks for
saving him some useless exertion.
"Working on it. Praying for it, too." came Brice's reply. "Give me
time. I always find a live
one. You know that."
"Just don't fail me partner. I need a lift right about now."
Kelly moved forward into House C, a neighbor of the phoning victim,
and jolted his body and nerves
yet again when an 8X10
photo suddenly drifted down from the air, hitting him on the helmet.
Chet caught the bit of paper and turned its soggy
gloss into his torchlight.
It was a picture
of four stewardesses that could only have come
from the ill fated airliner. Each of them wore pink
polyester mini skirts with matching gogo boots and gay, brightly
colored navy type hats
amid stylish curls.
Kelly gasped and froze in horror, until Stoker felt the drag
of the hose
behind him fall slack when Chet let go of his end
of the charged line.
"Find something?" Mike
asked quietly, knocking his
annoying hanging mask yet again away from his knees.
"No. Let's just get to the next house."
he said shoving the photo into a crack almost violently,
Chet knew right then that he had been stabbed in the heart.
Those frozen smiling
two dimensional faces plunged deep inside
his protective mental veneer and he shivered involuntarily
as his world suddenly swam at this confrontation of his one weakness
as a firefighter. :: No!
No more reminders like that, please. :: he
whispered to the stars above the smoke like a litany.
all be faceless... Please. I don't want to recognize anything about these
lying around me. It'll be easier. Please.. No faces.. N-no f--::
It was Kelly's turn to bump
into Stoker at their next
turn bending into a collapsed garage still filled with
a shiny silver
"Got someone.." Stoker said gruffly. "Go look while I snuff out this
Chet worked his way around aircraft metal and roofing beams
until he could peer inside the car
through a windshield smashed
inwards from the outside. Kelly saw pink and orange cloth on
a torso. "Plane..." he said, backing hastily away.
"You sure? That was awfully fast."
Stoker. Yes, I'm sure. I saw a photo back there in
the rubble of the last house of the plane's flight
And they were dressed like... like..." his voice strangled into
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