It was an hour later, a shower reddened doubled |
scrubbed set of paramedics met Dixie at her desk
in the ER each carrying a small bundle wrapped in
abdominal dressings. They paused as they all
the reason why all three were wearing surgical garb.
Then Dixie said, "What are those?
"she asked cautiously.
"If they're fossilized skulls. I don't wanna see them."
"These are just our badges and name
tags, Dix. It's gonna take a whole lotta turpentine
these up. Cap's stood the whole station down
for the rest of the afternoon, while we...detar ourselves
and the vehicles."
Roy sighed. "Well, there's a bit of a miracle working here.
gonna see the mess we made of them."
Johnny rolled his eyes in dread. "Oh, but you better believe
he'll eventually find out about it through the department
grapevine. Then there will be H*ll to pay
Dixie smiled craftily from her paperwork she was filling out
to add a new set of
stethoscopes, BP cuffs and laryngoscopes
for the squad's vitals kit to go along with the airways
IV's they had used. "Sort of like the H*ll I have to
pay for trashing the quarantine treatment room
hospital inspection day?"
Johnny's face fell in instant sympathy. "Oh, tell me
"It was today.." Dixie parroted in weariness as
she massaged her forehead.
"Ooo," Johnny sucked through his teeth. "Well,
next time the bunch of us falls into the LaBrea
Tar Pits, I'll be sure to ask Brackett to reroute
us to Mercy General instead of Rampart."
all heart.." Dixie said, without looking
up. She made a face of disgust when she found
one of her fingernails. "I hate to think
what's rotted in this stuff." she said, hastily wiping
ooze away from her nail, not caring if her finger
nail polish came away with it.
"I think there was a museum display
in there above us that said the pits contained
animals.. all from the Ice Age.."
"Terrific.. and all I want is a can of java
from the Modern
one.." she grumbled.
Johnny and Roy began to smile when they saw
Vince, come to watch the very
tooth's skull, arrive from down the hall with
a laden brown paper bag in one arm.
glanced at each other in satisfaction and didn't
say anything as the husky dark skinned officer
harrumphed in his throat to get Dixie's attention
from her paperwork.
When she looked up, she
noticed the bag in
front of her. "What's this?"
"Kelly Brackett asked me to pick this up for
the main ER desk. Said something about needing
it to control a possible caffeine withdrawal outbreak
among the hospital staffers here.." he said straight
Dixie's hands shot out and she
ripped away the
paper.. "Coffee?!! Ohmyg*d.. I'll be right back.."
and Dixie danced away from the
heading for the coffee lounge. "I--I.. thank you..
uh, thank Kel.. Uh.. oh, Vince?
Don't go..Stay right
there and I'll come back with mugs enough
for all of you..!"
almost shouldered another staffer onto
his butt when he kiddingly tried to take the
can from her grasp as he walked
Roy and Johnny walked into the station washroom|
where Chet was picking his wet curly hair carefully
into shape while looking in the big mirror.
Gage made a show of walking up to him and sniffing.
"Hmm. Hey Chet, is that Ode de Swamp I'm smelling?
It's very becoming.. "
"Very funny, Gage..
Can't say that you and your
smirking partner here smell any better..We had to
scrub out the engine
cab almost as much as
you guys did the squad's. Cap's already tee'd
that it's gonna take two hours
for the three of
us to get new turnout gear and helmets sent
to us from headquarters." he broke
off when Johnny
pulled out a small slate colored object from his
uniform pocket. "What's that?"
"A fossilized Dire Wolf tooth. The museum project
head coordinator was so grateful we rescued
best scientist from Pit 91, that he sent a box
of fossils to the station just now for us to
"Oh, then you won't mind sharing.." and Kelly
snatched for the
Gage whipped it away before Chet's grab got
there. "Ah, ah ah.. Go get your own.. This
for my tribal prayer sack. My aunt always used
to say a token earned doing a heroic deed is
very powerful medicine...." then he blinked.
"Better hurry.. Marco was shovelling up the rest
the wolf teeth when I left the kitchen."
"What?! Why didn't ya tell me sooner, pal?
a lot.." and Chet Kelly ran out of the
Roy chuckled and leaned over to shut off the
water Chet had left running in the sink.
"You're cruel, you know that Johnny." he
could have told him that ALL
the fossils were the more common Dire Wolf
but where's the fun for us in that?
This way we got to watch him rabbit outta here."
he said with
a sideways grin. "It'll dry his hair
a little faster."
Roy rolled his eyes. "Come on, Junior.
point out the skulls and parts you think my kids
will like the best."
Pally. I know good totems when I
see them. Maybe now, our luck with the crazy
day we've been suffering
will change for the better."
From: "Fran" TaleaOne@yahoo.com and a little
Subject : Three Dogs and a Cat..
Date : May 16th, 2003 20:29:07 CST
Cap had picked
up three wolves teeth just
to look at them in horrified fascination.
"You guys are nuts , you know
I wouldn't want a million years old piece
of dental tissue anywhere near me."
on, Cap. These are rare glimpses
into history, man. They aren't bones. They're
that bone left behind..Anybody
who's anybody knows that." Kelly said, eyeballing
two of the longest
fossil fangs he could find out of
the museum box. "These will go great with my
The chicks'll really dig em.."
Lopez just rolled his eyes.
Stoker didn't even look up from
page of his newspaper.
The two of them left Cap to squirm on
Hank said. "I know these aren't real. They just
have to look real. And for
my squeamishness isn't coming from me.
It's my wife rubbing off."
it on the wife. Sure.. We all know
your hidden phobias.. Inspection days..
that are unexplained.."
Cap didn't dignify Kelly's jab with a comment.
just tossed the wolves teeth back into
the middle of the table and he got up
to wash his hands
thoroughly with soap.
"Don't you think you're going a little bit
over board with the fossil
Kelly said, relentlessly pursuing Cap.
Hank deflected masterfully. "An hour ago
you were eating fossils according to Johnny
and Roy. And I can't imagine all that ancient
very good." he said scrubbing
his fingers with some steel wool.
"You got that right." Kelly
said. "I think I'll
be smelling that tar stuff in my moustache
for at least a week. But getting
the subject. These beauties you're passing up
don't stink.." he said, gesturing to the
the gang had lined up by size on the table top.
Mike Stoker sensed a change in the
the station. He immediately pegged it when
his glance towards the couch showed that Henry
wasn't snoring there. "Hey fellas..Did anyone see
Henry come back from outside yet?"
Gage and Roy DeSoto came into the
kitchen to see the guys rubbernecking around
and searching for
Henry. "What's up? Somebody
drop one of those things?" he asked pointing to
the ancient fossil
"We lost a dog part all right. Henry.." Lopez said.
"Oh, yeah?" Johnny said
going for the coffee pot.
Roy leaned against the counter, sipping the cup
his partner handed
him without saying anything.
Cap wandered over to the kitchen window and
cracked a blind. "He's
still out there. Same as he
was when we got that last call. He's a statue,
still waiting for
Roy rubbed his chin. "I wonder what he's up to?"
"Oh, about a foot and a half.."
Johnny made a face at Chet FOR Roy.
"Kelly's too rich for me with all that
analysis and one liners. I'm gonna go take a shower.
I can still smell tar in my hair.
" Roy said
and he left for the locker room.
"Make it quick.. It's almost dinner time. You know
what happens then. " Marco groaned.
"Shhh, You'll jinx us.." Stoker hissed.
"Gee Stoker. Haven't you noticed? We've been|
jinxed with the mother of all crazy days. How
things get any worse?" Kelly said.
Hank just rubbed his face, knowing that Murphy's
about to strike again.
Five minutes later over sautee-ing mushrooms and
steak, the tones went
The gang gulped down their coffee, snatched a roll
or two and jogged for the squad and
the address came over the speakers.
Johnny nearly choked on his when the house
street number were announced. "Cap... I don't believe
this. That's Roy's house.."
Hank said. "You've got to kidding.. I thought
Joanne and the kids were at her mother's."
are.." Johnny said, scrambling and slipping on
the floor in his haste to take the driver's seat of
Johnny's eyes shot to the locker room doorway where
he knew Roy would be dashing through,
"What should we do?"
"Don't tell him.." Cap said as he slammed his
door shut as he belted in.
"But he's gonna know when he sees I'm
"Then I suggest you break it to
him gently.. Let's move.." Hank said as
he watched Roy run in front
of the engine and
squad heading for the driver's door. Roy
skidded to a halt when he saw Johnny
He didn't understand the look on Gage's face
as he piled into the passenger seat.
his mouth when Johnny said. "I'll explain it on
the way. Just get in the squad.."
garage door began to open in front of
them as Johnny peeled rubber out onto the
street. He was
silent as he headed left onto
Roy asked. "Johnny? What's going on?" trying
sound unworried and casual.
Gage didn't answer and pretended to be
concentrating on the road
in front of them.
Roy's hand snaked out and snatched the piece
of paper he knew would be in
with the address of the call they were responding
to. Gage tried to snatch it back
and the squad almost
swerved out of the lane and slowed to the point
of making Mike hit the brakes
a bit to avoid
plowing into the squad's rear bumper.
Cap's voice burst over the private band,
to truck. ##Front and center up there. Sharpen
up. Minds on the job, guys.## he snapped.
Gage picked up the squad mic and apologetically
replied, "Sorry, Stoker." and he hung it up again.
Roy's face was just radiating out of his shock when
he realized that their call was to his own
"A fire?! I don't get it? Nobody's home.."
"We'll know everything once we get there,
Just stay calm." Johnny said, completely not
that state himself.
"I think I should
be asking that same question
of you. " Roy said agitatedly about Johnny's
driving. "I shoulda known
something like this
was up the second I saw your butt in the driver's
"Lash at me
all you like.. I don't care. This isn't
gonna be fun. For any of us." Johnny whined.
the corner that led to the side street
that crossed Roy's street and soon, they all
saw the problem.
The gang bailed out of the engine and rescue
squad and Cap began to issue hose
and Stoker took the engine
down the road to peel hose off the hose bed
while Marco took a length
to wrap around a
hydrant to secure it for the pull.
"I don't believe it..That's a brand new
"Was at any rate." Chet remarked drolly as he
began to release the
hydrant valve with his
wrench to screw on a hose connector.
Roy's mouth was still hanging open
at the sight
of his own house on fire when his eyes fell on
the sight of a utilities van parked
and open a couple
of houses down the street. "Oh, no.. Don't tell me..
The water company's here
for a burst pipe."
A rippling curse erupted out of Chet when he
finally got the hydrant cap
off the hydrant and
only its metal ping hit the pavement without
the sound of gushing water. "Dry
"What?!" said Johnny, Roy and Cap in triplicate.
"Look at this and tell me it's impossible.." Chet
Cap sighed in long
suffering and got on his HT
to the engine. "Stoker. Loop her back around.
We gotta use the engine
tanks. No water in the
hydrants. Looks like the local utilities has them shut off.
I'm also calling
for immediate back up. Johnny, go
in there with Lopez and start ventilating the
"What? You're gonna start ripping out my ceilings?
Cap, the fire's not that bad yet.." Roy complained.
"New roofing paper and shingles huh? Best kind
of tinder.." Cap said. He returned to the engine
cab and told L.A. exactly what they had and
to turn off the power and the gas service
side of the street.
Roy turned his eyes back onto the sight of his
house burning. "Oh, man..
When I find out
how this got started.."
Vince Howard pulled up in the squad car and|
dragged out an errant nine year old boy that
DeSoto hissed. "Butch, don't tell me. A tennis
ball can launcher and lighter fluid.."
that?" Cap asked.
"A thing the kids are doing nowdays. Homemade
rockets which shoot tennis
balls off from their
cans like a cannon ball in a cannon." Roy said
aiming a glare at the defiant
Vince nodded his head. "It's all over his clothes
and the dispatcher said
that it was this little guy
who called it in. Probably because he thought
it would get him off
Roy sighed. "But how are we gonna get off easy?
Meanwhile, my roof's burning through
to the rest
of the house."
"Take it easy, Roy. The other tanker station's only
from here." Hank reassured his more
than agitated paramedic.
"No.." DeSoto said, thinking of
as he panicked.
"Yes.." Cap and Johnny reassured him. As yet,
Marco and Johnny
hadn't moved from the street.
They were too worried about Roy.
"Wait!" Roy said, trying to
come up with a
solution to their burning roof with no water
"What?" Cap and Johnny
and Vince asked.
"There's a pond next door. Can we rig a
water pump to it to extend the gallons
Roy asked Cap.
"I don't know. Stoker knows what the engine can
or can't do that
"How about a helicopter water drop?" Johnny asked
"In the city?!" Cap
and Roy both exclaimed
"I'm trying to help us out here!" Johnny said
defiance, removing his helmet and running fingers
through his hair.
Roy said. "I know that..
I'm trying, too, but I'm freaking
out so bad I can't think straight."
"Why did you think Cap
had me drive?" Gage said.
"Hey, Gage. You insisted on driving. "Cap interjected.
where the blame really is." he said with
a half grin, the first since the crazy call went out.
Just then, a part of the roof caved in, dragging all
of their attentions back to the urgent matter
"Cap..." Roy whined.
Cap lifted his HT. "Station 51 to Station 127. What's
your ETA? Our fire may be burning through to the second
"Oh, no.. The
second story? That's all our bedrooms.
All those toys! All those antiques we had in the attic!
Roy said, running fingers through his thinning
"Don't worry, Roy.." Lopez said, jogging
another hose stretched out to run to Truck 127 when
she got there. "That's what homeowner's
"I don't wanna have to sue the fire department for
negligence to cover
all this.." Roy panicked again.
"You can sue the fire department?" Kelly asked.
"Yes." Stoker said.
"What?!" said all of them.
is still burning here.." Roy said.
"We know that.."
"Well, let's get cracking.." DeSoto
Roy started to go towards the house
to begin the ventilating it when Cap stopped
"You're sitting this one out. You're in no
shape to handle any of this.."
"What do you mean
I'm not in any shape to
handle this?" DeSoto said, pulling free of
Cap's grip on his jacket. "It's
"Exactly.." Cap said. "Stay here.. Tell Truck 127
what's going on when they get
here. Let's go
you three. Looks like no SCBA's are needed yet."
and he and Johnny and Marco dashed
house to see what they could do with fire hooks
and axes to slow the progress of the
roof fire to keep it from getting into the walls.
Cap trusted Johnny to know the rooms
where the stairwell was to the upper floor.
He and Marco followed Gage, taking the stairs
at a time to where the smoke was
billowing through the ceiling. It had not
yet broken through from
the attic to the
A thick curtain of smoke hung near the floor|
however and it brought a thought to Johnny's
"Oh, no. Cap. What kinda pets does
Roy's kids have?"
"A cat. I think." Cap said.
"Yeah." Marco replied.
"I don't know cats very well. What would
they do in a
fire?" Johnny asked.
"They'd hide.." Cap said. "Ours hides during
real thick. Roy's kids'll be real upset
if we let this roof fire kill em with smoke."
with a pained expression.
"What do you expect me to do?" Cap said.
"The house comes first."
"Cap, I can look for him.." Marco said.
"You and Johnny can stay in here and
see what you can
pull down to slow
the fire up there.."
"Sounds like a plan. Keep a lifeline on
"What's his name?" Marco shouted over
the noise Johnny was making as he pulled down
part of the ceiling that felt hot and ready to catch
"What's who's name?" Cap asked.
"Calico, like the horse from the kid books?"
Marco set off through the knee deep smoke
with his fire hook. "I'll tug if I need ya.." said
shouting behind him as he hurried
down the hall. He left Johnny and
Cap where they were and he
set off to the first
room at the end of the long passageway.
It was a girl's room. Marco
felt the door there
carefully before he opened it. He also swept a
foot through the thick smoke
hanging on the floor
searching for a litter box to give him a hint
where the cat might favor as
a hiding place.
He didn't feel the door was anything other than
room temp so Marco opened it.
boy. You in here?"
Lopez rushed into the room, tipping over
the kid's desk
and desk chair, and the kid's bed,
looking for the cat. "Calico?"
He stumbled over a Barbie's
Playset. He kicked it aside. He ripped the curtains
down to make more evening
sunlight cast into
the room. "Hey..Gato. It's time to leave.."
On a thought, Marco deemed it
safe enough to open
wide the bedroom window where he was to provide
a way out should Roy's kid's
cat be still in the little
girl's room he had found.
Marco turned around and went for a second
Roy's master bedroom. Lopez couldn't help but smile
when his attempt to flip the bed in his
that the piece of furniture he held was actually a
water bed. ::Joanne's wish
no doubt.:: He only blinked
once when he ripped the sheets and pillows off of it
Calico, when a silky fire engine red teddy
drifted down from off his gloves.
in ultimate embarrassment and he
stuttered. "C-Calico. Come on, kitty.. Get out here.
Lopez again cracked a window open safely and
The last room on the right side was
room. Marco again felt the door frame for heat
and opened it carefully, hugging the wall.
He entered and immediately heard a rustling
that couldn't be explained by anything else
than a burrowing cat. "Where are you?"
Lopez said moving towards the sound.
The sound stopped
and the smoke rose higher
up Marco's legs. It wasn't yet hot enough for
the smoke to rise to the
Marco got on his HT. "HT 51 to Engine 51." he
hailed, knowing that Cap would answer
down the hall.
"Found him. He's in the third room on the right.
boy's room. Somewhere.."
##Johnny'll be right there. He's following your
saw Gage appear almost instantly since
the paramedic knew the layout of Roy's house
"Where is he? This smoke's getting
kinda thick by this carpetting."
"Over here somewhere.
Thought I heard some
Both Gage and Lopez dug around the murky
layer of smoke
hanging above the floor and
they tossed aside.. a base ball bat, a jumping
ball, a tinker toy tower,
and a toy fire engine
that blasted its airhorn in their faces when it
took to the air.
and Marco smirked at that one, then
turned to the business at hand. "Calico?"
swept the floor beneath where the
pile of kid's toys had been and hit a body.
"Found him." Gage
said, lifting up the limp
Marco and Johnny looked up at a knocking
on their window.
It was a man from Truck 127
on a ladder leading up to them.
"And there's Calico's ticket outta
Lopez said, cradling the unconscious cat
in his arms.
Johnny opened the bedroom
handed Calico out to the masked fireman
on the ladder.
"You two, ok in there?
I saw the flying
toys. Thought you might need a hand."
said the man from County.
"We're fine. Take this cat. He belongs to|
one of our firefighter's kids."
Johnny handed out the limp Calico to
the ladder man and briefly saw him
his airmask over Calico's face before
the billowing blue curtains shut.
Gage and Lopez reversed
and got out of the house, knowing that
Cap was now coordinating what Engine 51
and Truck 127 could do with their two water
supplies to combat the roof fire.
Cap decided things
looked good. The fire
had stayed in the attic.
Down on the street, Roy saw a familiar station
wagon drive up. "Joanne! " he shouted and
he left the curbside to soften the blow
for her and
the kids of seeing their house
smoking and receiving two firehoses worth
of water into the attic
Joanne and Roy's kids met in a tight knot
of hugs as they caught up on events and soon
his daughter piped up. "Daddy, did Calico get
Roy honestly didn't know. And he kicked
for not thinking of him sooner.
Right then, a ladder man from Truck 127 walked
and said, "I believe he belongs to you, little
miss.." he said with a grin.
daughter sobbed and she
gathered up the smoky, now awake cat into
her arms and started crying.
Roy's paternal and paramedic instincts both
kicked in. "There. Looks like he's all right.
don't you let daddy check him out.
Looks like Uncle Johnny's already got some
02 and a plastic
sheet already set out
for him.." Roy said to his relieved family
to calm them down even more.
He helped his daughter carry Calico over
to the squad for his smoke inhalation
nodded with satisfaction as he
watched Johnny examine and give
Calico some 02 to help him recover
faster from his near suffocation.
He tapped Roy on the shoulder.
still looks bad.." Roy grinned
about the house.
Cap grinned, too. "The fire's completely
We're just moving in some ppv's to
clear out the smoke in there. The stuff never
at all so there's very light smoke
damage. And only the attic rafters and the roof
burned. We were
lucky this time.."
"Yeah. I guess so. I had those attic timbers
treated last fall with fire
"Good thing.." Cap nodded. "Take your
time here. I called us out with Station 127
the cleanup's complete. And I made sure
those hose guys are keeping the water damage to
"Appreciate it, Cap."
"No problem.. Do you need a place for you,
the kids to stay tonight? I've
heard Johnny's place is a little too small."
"Nah, I think I'll
take em to a hotel.
A Howard Johnson's with a swimming pool.
We might as well turn this whole thing
a mini vacation."
"Sounds like a plan." Cap said. "Your cat ok?"
just ventilating him a bit
before Joanne takes him to the vet's for a
Sorry this crazy day had to turn out
like this, but if your roof had to catch fire, this
best outcome. I'll be right back for your
scene info on what you know of this Butch
kid and his
fondness for incendiaries."
Roy's face fell into annoyance and anger for
only two seconds before
the sight of his
daughter and Chris hugging Calico wiped
All the guys, including Roy had just cleaned|
up in the bathrooms when Chet noticed something
in the air behind him while he teased his
curly hair into shape with his pick. It was a white
of all things.
"What th-?" he exclaimed. "Hey guys, get in here.
Either we got another pigeon
in the roof top
ventilation fan or somebody here's suddenly moulting
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