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 The Promise
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Page Five

".. I'm right and you know it."
Morton said cooly, his less than
stellar bedside manner showing.

"No , I'm right!" Johnny insisted.
"This is a xerox, Dr. Morton. And
I just didn't press my pen down
hard enough. It's there. I can
see the ink furrows plainly."

Kel Brackett finally decided to
get into the fray. "Maybe this isn't a case
of who was right you two? Joanne's fine.
The baby's fine. So why are
you both squabbling over the details?
You both did a fantastic job both in
the field and in the treatment room
yesterday." Kel insisted, grumbling
stonily. But his comment fell on two
sets of deaf ears.

Johnny and Morton were still
glaring at each other like two
caged lions.

Kel smiled as he walked away
from the base station, shaking his
head ruefully. He would let his two favorite
ex-student proteges, work it out for

"I did an absolutely spectacular fetal
stabilization out there. And you know
it. You make me feel as if I'm being
incompetent or something here."

"Maybe I am.." Morton said, not
at Johnny, but inwardly, to himself.

"Why?" Johnny asked sharply, taking
that comment's meaning entirely the
wrong way.

"I don't know." Morton shrugged,
still thinking to himself and only half

Johnny was still fuming and defensive.
"Then why don't you just haul me
off to court and we'll square this
whole issue away once and for all.."

"Huh? Oh, that. I don't have the money
right now to pursue any charges
against you, Gage."

"Now Morton, Look..." Johnny said
very hushed, fearing the worst.

"And I wouldn't do such a petty thing
anyway because it wouldn't be justified
in the slightest to even attempt it."

Johnny's head immediately lifted.

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"I'm not blaming you for my sister's death,
Fireman Gage.  But I AM still a little jumpy
when it comes to handling rescue calls involving
any teen aged girls who are near the age Angie
was. Something me and the counselors haven't
been able to figure out yet. That's why I got
a little tight with you earlier, about how
you assessed the baby, over the biocom."

"You mean.."

Morton held up silencing fingers, just
as the hospital receptionist summoned
his name over the intercom pager
and gave a where-to-report-next location.

Mike refocused on a tense paramedic
face. "That's right, Gage. I never went
to a courthouse to file a lawsuit.
That would've been stupid. I finally
summoned up enough courage to read
Angie's final autopsy report.
She never had a chance at
surviving that accident, Johnny.
There was nothing humanly possible
that you could've done. Excuse me,
I have a lot of work to do right now.
Can we talk about all this later?"

Mutely, Johnny nodded.

Half a second later, Dr. Morton wandered
down the hall to the nurses' station phone
to answer his page.

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From : "Cassidy Meyers" <>  
Subject :The Final Post.. (No pun intended) Heh...:)  
Date : Thu, 02 Oct 2003 12:20:17 +0400  
Johnny Gage rushed out of the hospital
rest room, searching for his bored,
wandering partner. "There you are!
Roy! I did something really stupid."

"What? Did you get dressed again
without a spare set of shoelaces handy?"
Roy smirked. "Don't tell me, you broke
yet another pair." Roy said sipping
his coffee by the entry way doors
leading out to the ambulance ramp.

"No, you gotta listen. I wrote a letter
to headquarters and I mailed it without
even thinking straight."

Roy tipped his head in a sinking suspicion,
but out loud he asked. "What kind of letter?"

"The kind no one ever wants to write.."

"You didn't."

"Yes, I did."

"Why didn't you tell me you did something
so stupid."

"Thought I just told ya, pal."

Roy grimaced, and looked at his watch.
"Oh, Johnny..." he whined. "Which mail

"The one by home.."

"Uh, oh.."

"Uh, oh what?"

"The postal truck picks up all
deliveries in your neighborhood
at eight o'clock."

"What time is it now? Maybe I got
time to drive down there and--"

"Can you drive faster than a hundred
miles an hour?" DeSoto squinted as
he noted what time it read on his wrist

"Oh, no.."

"Oh, yes. We got twenty minutes to
intercept that letter." Roy's face fell.
"Why'd ya do it partner? I thought we
were friends."

"Roy, would you cut that out. I didn't
mean it."

"Oh really. Tell that to headquarters when
they open up the envelope." Somberly,
he stuck out his hand. "It's been nice
knowing ya. By noon, I'm afraid
you're out of a job. You know how
McConnike feels about quitters."

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Johnny Gage suddenly snapped his
fingers in the midst of a great idea.

"Roy, I think I figured a way outta this.
Bear with me." And he snatched the HT
out of his partner's hand.


Roy sat in the seat of the squad with
his driver's door open, looking like
the proverbial speak no evil monkey.

All the medical gear from the stow
was conveniently arranged around
the mail box in a neat ring. Johnny
even had out the jaws of life.

It had been bad enough roaring down
the freeway with lights and siren on for
no good reason at all. Luckily, they had
never run into another called out station
while they were doing it.

Johnny tried to look nonchalant
as E 51 pulled up with the rest of
the gang Code Three. "What's
the problem, Gage? " Hank said
stepping out of the cab before
the Ward was even curbside.
"Sam was a little light on details for
this one. All we got was 'Unknown
Type Rescue" with your squad call
sign as the originator.."

"Uhhh.." Roy stuttered.

"Roy, Just shush.. I'll explain it.."
Johnny said and he bravely stepped
forward to provide some
protection for his partner.

"Well, uh,," Johnny cleared his
throat nervously. "You see, Cap, it's
like this.  I sorta kinda wrote a stupid
letter this morning before I came to
work. One that I kinda regret.."

Hank Stanley caught on immediately
and dropped his head with an irritated
grimace that soon, rapidly, became a snarl
as comprehension dawned.
"Don't say anything more, Gage.
Oh my word...L*rd all mighty in Heaven..!"

He set his hands on his hips and
counted to ten..

"Cap,.. I.."

Hank held up a hand while the
gang gathered around him from
the engine's cab for orders. Then they
noticed Hank silencing Gage with his
trademark scathing nonverbal captain's

Slowly, his face turned a bright scarlet.
Hank took in a deep breath and ...then
he let loose.."We just wasted tax payers'
gasoline dollars to come all the way out
here to high tech rescue a stupid
resignation letter?!" Hank boomed.

"Uh..." Johnny peeped. "Cap, the
postman's gonna be here any second."
he insisted lamely.

"I don't believe this! Of all your crazy
lame brained schemes.. this one
certainly takes the cake, Gage."

"Yeah, but isn't it noble?" Chet piped
up, sudden admiration's stars in
his eyes at Johnny's cack handed
way of getting out of a rough spot.

Cap's face just turned a darker
shade of red.

"Breathe, Cap." Marco insisted
from somewhere out of range.

DeSoto and Gage just glared
at Lopez..

"We're saving my partner's
career here." Roy dropped into the
boiling silence between them all.

"Say,,," said Chet, scenting an opportunity
to get even in the years long Gage/Kelly
one upmanship game. "Cap,..just think of
how many favors you can glean off him
for this."

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Hank's glower faded away into a calculating
speculation. "Ahh. That's right. I get to pull
some serious rank AND discipline here.
Let's see, well, latrine duty for sixty days,
kitchen chow and dish detail until Christmas.."
he said ticking off two fingers on his glove.

"Until Christmas?!" Gage sputtered, then
immediately hushed up sheepishly.

"That's exactly right. Protest further and
I'll double it.."

Gage was a mouse. A mute one.

Then they all heard responding sirens
from an approaching police car.

"Uh oh,'' Cap trickled.
"Quick! Pretend like your arm's stuck, Chet."
Johnny shouted out to the back of
the engine.

"Do what the man says Kelly and
be quick about it.." Hank re-enforced.

"What, Cap?" Chet said as he
huffed over with the equipment they

"You heard me.." Cap hissed as
the squad car squealed to a halt
angled a forty five to the engine to
deflect traffic away from it.

"Hurry up, Chet. We gotta make
this look good." Marco quipped.

"We're going to be destroying
government property here, Kelly." Cap
clarified, looking around self consciously
at the curious passersby drawn in by
the sight of the flashy engine and squad
in front of the bank.

"We need an excuse." Stoker said
when Kelly still didn't yet catch on.
"Bury an arm now, Chet. "

"And moan a little.. cause here comes
Vince to guard the loose mail that'll
result from our steel splitting
surgery.." Roy grinned.

"Oh,,,geez.." and the lightbulb finally
clicked on.. "Right, Gage.. " Chet stuck his
arm into the box ."Ohh,, I don't feel so

John smacked Kelly subtly on the arm
for overreacting a little too much.
"Hi Vince..." he greeted brightly.

"What's the problem here, boys..?"

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"Chet's stuck. Thought we had a puppy
fallen down a mail box, Vince. Only dork
head over here couldn't wait for the key."

"Is that a fact?"  Vince leaned over
and planted an ear against the post
box and listened. "I don't hear anything."

"The little bugger got away..." Chet
protested admirably. "He WAS here.
Look.." and he pointed down to a
convenient pile of doggy doo doo
steaming on a curb near where they
were standing. "He crawled right up
my arm like a cat getting out. He even
clawed my face.. See?" And he
pointed to a lac he got from a shooting
cinder the night before.

"Hmm. Ok, boys.. I'll authorize
a sawing.." Vince finally agreed.
"Just... try to keep the public's mail
intact while you're doing it, all right?"

The K-12 flower petalled the mail box in
less than twenty seconds under Stoker's
extraordinary extrication skills.

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Gage subtly kicked the letter he recognized
as his into the sewer sunk into the street.

::Problem solved..:: he grinned in final relief.
::This nightmare, is over..::

                       FIN   :)

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We hope you've enjoyed The Promise as much as we've enjoyed producing it for you. Please click the burning building down below to read the END CREDITS to this eighth ETL Emergency! episode.
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 The Promise
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