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      Page Nine

Through the brush, Chet called out
again as Marco and he struggled to get
nearer the area where they saw the little
girl's remains."Roy.. we need to know
what you know." Kelly said over the
roar of water. "There are parents
somewhere out there looking for this little
girl. If you know something we don't, y--"

They heard DeSoto sob a heart rending
incomprehensible outburst, quickly
followed by sudden violent retching.  Kelly
and Lopez heard the thud of something with
weight, fall onto the dry reeds above the river,
seconds later.

Kelly and Lopez turned from the water,
not understanding for a moment. They both
were shocked when they jogged back the way
they had come to see Roy curled up into a ball on
the ground. He was on his side, getting sick and
trying to hide the fact that his stomach
battle had been lost in what seemed to Chet,
a pitiful way.

"Roy, pull yourself together man. It's ok.
We'll just get her in a few when you're better
and we'll just get the h*ll out of here.."
Kelly said.

Lopez said. "I don't think this is just a grossing
out, Chet. I mean, this is ROY. He never lets things
like this bother him. Something's really not right

"You deal with it. I gotta let Cap know what's going on."
Chet said defensively. His face was a mixture of
worry, disgust and frustration. Kelly went to find
some high ground to report to the engine crew.

Marco went to Roy's side and pulled him away
from the soiling ground.  He helped Roy kneel upright
and Lopez held him while he continued to empty
his stomach. His heaves were so violent, that
his chin strap loosened and DeSoto's helmet
flopped forward over his eyes.

Marco took off Roy's helmet and threw
it some distance up the hill in frustration and anger
over the second unexpected horror delivered
to them yet again in as many days.
He waited until Roy was through gagging, then
he said. "Come on, Roy. Let's move away. We're
too near the edge."

Kelly pulled out his HT. "Cap. We've got a Code F.
It's a  ...  it's a ...kid from the bus rescue. Roy
recognized her right away."

##Would you 10-9 that, Kelly. A Code F from
yesterday?## Cap queried.

"That's affirmative, Cap. And she's retrievable."

There was a long silence. ##All right. Listen.
This is first. Our hiker informant's a diabetic and
the stress of his calling us out here has set off a
metabolic crisis. Have Roy come up here.##

"Ah, Cap. That won't be possible."

##Kelly? What's the hold up?##

"Just get down here, Cap. On the double."
Kelly said and he flicked the walkie talkie's
speaker off, his face fighting powerful emotions.

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Marco had gotten Roy's collar loose.
He saw that DeSoto was no longer getting ill
in the place Marco had guided him to away
from the river's wall. But things were far from
improving. Roy lay, pale and in denial, on
his side, sobbing uncontrollably.

Lopez patted his shattered coworker on the shoulder.
"It's ok. Just take it easy.We'll take it from
here. Your nausea passing?"  

He got only a moaning half cry for a reply.

Lopez moved Roy's head to his knees to keep
the sharp grassy brambles from cutting his face.
"I know it. Just let it pass. You don't have to do
anything right now."

Cap and Stoker came skidding through the
undergrowth fully loaded with ropes, a metal
grappling hook, and a small folded body bag
between them.

They halted in shock at the sight of Roy, curled
fetal, going to pieces.

Kelly and Marco didn't have to explain anything
to them at all when Hank saw the little girl they
had seen. His own face twisted in pain.  

Cap crouched by Roy and added his own
comforting hand to DeSoto's shoulder. "Easy, pal.
You don't have to do this at all. We'll handle it.
Marco, stay with him for a moment. "
And he rose back onto his feet.
Cap swallowed. He motioned to Mike.
"Stoker, get her down from there."  
His eyes never left the dead child's
place in the partially submerged tree. "We're not
losing her again." and he handed off all his gear
to the engineer. "Kelly, go back up the hill and
help Johnny any way you can. You're taking
over for Roy."

"R- Right.." and Chet bounded up the hill.  "Roy, you
get yourself ok.. You hear me.." he said as he disappeared.
Chet stumbled once but then got to the highway a few
seconds later.

After a notification to L.A. for a morgue team and the
D.A.'s office, Cap shooed Marco off to help Stoker
recover the tiny pitiful body.

Hank closed his eyes and made sure Roy didn't see
their awkward retrieval using the hook either, by
screening out DeSoto's sight of it with his captain's

It could have been ten minutes or ten years later
to Stanley when it was finally done.

The morning sun was a little bit higher in the brilliant
sky, a few minutes later. Hank began to speak
quietly to his heart wounded friend, sharing a like
story of when his own shell had finally cracked
under strain in honor of a dead child's memory.
It did little to lessen Roy's grief. He still shook,
gasping like a fish, no longer able to voice sounds.
Cap sighed compassionately and softly, he whispered.
"Roy. We're all here for ya. It's ok. Just let it out."
and he drew his senior crewman up into a hug.

Stanley let him cry for a long time.

Privately, Cap let down a shadow of his past grief .
He allowed tears of his own to fill his chocolate eyes.
Silently, unchecked, they fell onto his jacket, rolled off its
hem, and into the L.A. river below.

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Gage looked up impatiently as Chet knelt
where the hiker now lay. He was irritatedly
biting the IV Dex bag covering off on the
solution he had been ordered to give the
downed hiker. "Here. Get this set up."
he said thrusting the IV into Chet's hands.
"Where'd you all go to? Took forever getting
him to settle down. Fortunately, he's deep
into diabetic crisis now and no longer seizing."

Kelly was quiet.

Johnny didn't even think to guess the reason why. He
asked. "Where's Roy? We gotta get this man
NPA intubated yesterday."And he began to take
another hasty BP on their victim.

"He's not coming." Chet said, stringing the IV tubing
and stabbing its port valve lance into the bag he
had set between his knees.

"What do ya mean he's not coming?" Gage snapped.
"We've got a major medical here. He oughta know
any body we find's last priority." Johnny said, pulling
the stethoscope out of his ears.

Chet held Johnny's hand that was holding the IV
needle still for a moment, to get his full attention.
"Johnny, Roy cracked. Cap's down there now
deciding whether or not to stretcher him outta

"What?! Chet, you must be talking crazy..."

"Wish I was, Johnny boy. I hope to g*d I was.
Anything,.. but the bad scene I just witnessed
down there."

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Gage fought mentally with himself, warring over
his care of the hiker and his own desire to whip
out his HT to demand of Cap how Roy was doing.
He attempted to console himself with trying to peer
over the side of the steep grassy embankment.
The next words out of his mouth were barely
audible..  "Is he awake?"

"What, ....this guy?" Chet asked, looking down,
beginning to do a pain stimulus check.

Gage gripped his hand and stopped him.
"No, I'm talking about Roy.."

"Oh. Yeah, he is. But he lost his breakfast,.. and
maybe last night's dinner, too. Johnny, he's
not even standing."

"Gonna get shocky." Gage mumbled to himself,
suddenly redirected.


"No, our victim here. Chet, pay attention."
Gage said angrily. "This next step's gonna be
tricky. Now lube this NPA down with the K-Jelly.
I've already measured this to be the right size
airway. And get that positive pressure handy.
His lack of glucose is gonna knock out his
respirations something fierce."

"Gage I don't know about this.." Chet said.
"Maybe you'd better call in another sq-"

Johnny grabbed Chet by his jacket lapels
and snatched him close until he was only
inches away from his face.
"You wanted to know if I thought you were
medic material? Medic trainees follow orders
INSTANTLY from their senior trainers and they
never EVER second guess a medical order.
I ordered you to prepare that NPA tube.
Even told you how to do it. So do it! Now!"
and he let his overcoat go.

"Geez, all right already. I'm just as worried
about Roy as you are. No need to beat me up
over it.  You'll have ta tell me more on what to do
here though. Been rocky ever since I've been
ordered to take over to help ya in Roy's

Gage glared at him and arrowed his spent IV
needle into free flight, not caring that the
bloody thing whistled by only a centimeter
from Chet's ear as it clattered home into
the drug box's waste needle catch bin.
"You've got thirty seconds.. I'm not repeating

"Ah,, Ok..  ok.. which side..?" Chet said,
positioning the end of the soft nasopharyngeal
airway near the hiker's nasal passages.

"Try the left side nare first. Don't force it."

Chet nimbly got it into place, doing all the right
moves and techniques, sending the airway down
flat, along the palate as it should have been done.

Johnny smiled, handing Chet the positive pressure
mask. "See, you HAVE been watching us.
You'll still have to keep his head back for a clear
airway and be prepared to yank it out if he vomits."

"That much I remember Gage. What now?"
Chet said. "He's breathing fine." he said, letting
the man pull his own oxygen off the mask.

"What's his rate?" Gage said, adjusting the D5W
flow into the man's veins.

"Ten, and slowing."

"You know to ventilate him if he slips
below eight a minute?"


"What's his color?" he said, drawing a blood
vial for a glucose check, for Rampart.

Chet peeled away the man's oddly sunburned lips
until he saw his gums. "Pink. Look Johnny.
I could go back down there now and see how Roy's
doing for ya you know. You are in charge of me
up here.."

It was tempting but Johnny knew his responsibilities.
"Nice try. But we're gonna have to trust the
other guys' judgement on that. Roy's probably just
reacting now because he didn't react yesterday.
It's most likely no big deal."

"You didn't see him, Gage.." Chet said in the tiniest
of voices. It was full of fear.

Johnny looked up, his attention full and frightened.

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Cap heard a voice call out. It was Stoker's.
"Ready to move, Cap."

It must have been some minutes later, for when
Hank blinked, he saw the black body bag nestled
in a scoop stokes that Marco had retrieved from
the engine. The bundle was already tied and rope
tethered for a hill climb back up to the roadway.

Roy, was now some feet away, dry eyed,
sitting and hugging his knees to his chest,
with his back to the body, staring out at the
brightly sunlit flowing river bed below.

"Stoker, you and Lopez go on ahead. Have Johnny
go on alone in the ambulance with the hiker if you
have to and tell Chet to take in the squad. Roy's
coming with us." Hank told Mike. "But, you're giving
us two, a minute or so alone. Get me only if Johnny
needs another rescue squad to finish the transport,
and when you're done picking up after yourselves.
Tell the detectives whatever they need to know.
I'm out of service for a bit. Understood?"

"Right, Cap." and the dry crackle of the grass
told Stanley that the grisly trip up had begun.
Soon, even that soft rustling faded away.

The ambulance came, then went, with
the squad behind it. Soon, even those sounds fell
into the distance too.  Not long after, the mortuary
wagon and an unmarked detective car
pulled up, to take away the child's body and to learn
the information necessary for the bus investigation
from Marco and Stoker.

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