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        Green Pen Of Johnny's
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        Page  Nine

Right then, Gage twisted his head out from under
the demand valve being used on him by an Engine
8 man, and spat out his oral airway, groaning.

Roy immediately bent down close to his face.
"Johnny.. you're both safe on the ground. You gotta
tell me. How much atropine did you use on yourself?
Your rhythm's racing and we want to know why."

"Megan fir--" Johnny croaked, getting testy with
the firefighter hovering above him when he
tried to replace the oyxgen over his face.
He swatted it away. "Megan first.."

"She's stable and breathing. No airway
problems. Talk to me about it now, Johnny.."
Roy said no nonsense.

"Ok, ok, ok.. Point Five. Once. Had to.
*cough*  I had a..*gasp* sh*tload of edema..."

"I heard the rales. You got em on both sides."

Gage moaned. "Oh nooo" he gushed in disgust.
".. that means aspirant pneumonia in my future for sure..
That means two weeks more time set for me in the hospital,
Roy." he said in a high, complaining whine.

"I know.. just let the man ventilate you some more.
Morgan. Switch to an ambu and help him on the in's.
15 liters." he ordered.  Then he smiled mischieviously
as he moved over to recheck Megan's progress under
her vents with a stethoscope. "Brice thinks your using that
med saved your life, Johnny. Way to go, junior. "

Johnny shifted his weight on the uncomfortable mesh of
the stokes and tried to grin.

The smile suddenly wiped from Roy's face. "Johnny,
keep still, you're in un-specific V-tach. Brackett's on
his way here now to personally check you out himself.
It may be a chemical reaction from the smoke with
your blood and your atropine shot because you've no
splenic backup volume to counteract it."

Gage eyeballed the defib paddles in between
his feet and shuddered. ::V-tachs can be tricky.
And I've never coded. That's in Roy's history. Not
mine.:: Johnny forced his brain to think quieter,
calmer thoughts. "Is a blood transfusion in the
works for me, too?" he whispered.

Roy's lips reclaimed his mirth. "No, probably just
a course of sodium nitrate to burn the CN out of
your system."

"Wish Boot were here. He'd make me feel a
whole lot better about all this."

"He IS here. In the squad parked nearby."

Roy gave a nod to the nervous worried rookie
from Truck 226 still hanging around. He tossed
him the squad keys. "Here, 226. Why don't
you go let him out for my partner here."

"Right.." said the curly kid eagerly. He took
off so fast to do the task that his mask detached
from the air bottle and thunked into the dust.

Boot scrambled over, retrieved the mask
for the rookie, passed it off, and then promptly
returned to Johnny's stokes, laying his weary
head on his bare stomach with a wavering sigh
of relief.

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"Ok, Roy, quit biting your lip. I'm shutting up right now."
Johnny sighed. "Pump away, Morgan. " he said when he
saw that the Station Eight firefighter had finished setting up
the new oyxgen equipment for him. "I'm all yours.." and he
submitted to his assisted lung expansion treatment under
the bag valve mask with loosely closed eyes.

DeSoto saw Gage relax into a post atropine stupor.
"That's right, sleep and you'll wake up on a nice comfortable
bed later tonight. I promise."

A snore peeled out from under the ventilation mask.


Turning heads alerted Roy to Brackett's vectoring approach.
He whistled loudly so that Craig would hear him.

Brice slunk back like a combat soldier under fire
to rise up at Megan's side in an immediate act of never
having left as Kel wheeled his gear and chair next to them.

"Status?" he barked at Roy and Brice.

Both rattled off sets of vitals and treatment times
and the new finding of atropine use prior to
rescuing, in Johnny.

"Hmm, I'll have to have a talk with him about that
later.." Kel said, resetting the paddles on Johnny's
blood flaked chest to see how his heart was doing.
"Working for now. But we're not moving him until
most of these PVC's go away."

Roy volunteered information. "He's got receding rales
on both sides, doc." he emphasized pointedly. "Those rales
used to be loud ones. You know with that level of
edema, untreated, he would've been a dead man half an
hour ago.." he said brandishing the second unused
atropine packet that he had pulled out of Johnny's jeans

"Maybe I won't be talking to him later about that."
Brackett suddenly amended, pulling back Johnny's
eye lids to see the extent of his smoke inhalation
sleepies under a penlight.

Roy nodded with satisfaction.

Brackett and Roy both turned their attentions to the
little girl.

Kel nodded to the fireman ventilating her on the demand
valve and set his wheeling O2 apparatus next to him.
"Switch to an ambu, like Gage's. It'll be easier on her
alveoli if they've been burned by the smoke. Here's a
peds BVM and mask. Is she still pulling easily?" he
asked the man at her head.

"Yeah, doc. She hasn't been sick. I'm
not smelling anything. Her voluntary rate's about 30
and only a touch shallow. I've been bumping her up
to 36, while keeping everything I do light."

"Good. That'll drive out the cyanide a little faster
and clear that fluid from her bronchial passages.
Most of that is probably from the I.V. Johnny wasn't
able to turn back down again before he passed out
on that wall up there."

Roy nodded and absently lifted a sweat loosened
EKG pad on Megan's side long enough to dry her skin
with her cut away patient gown before replacing it back
down more firmly. "I checked for infiltration on that I.V.
site, doc. There's none."

"Well, seems even half dead, our Johnny's a star paramedic.
His rappelling didn't even jostle Megan's I.V. out of that vein?"
he asked again while he tried to awaken Megan with
a sternal rub.

Roy laughed. "Not at all."

Brackett afforded the sleeping Johnny a grudging look
of respect that he would never have given Gage while he
was awake, just for Roy and Brice's benefit. "Roy, get that head wrap
off Megan. I wanna see how responsive her pupillary reaction
is on that oxygen."

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Megan's face slowly scrunched up into pain after Dr.
Brackett gave her the epinephrine Roy handed
him that he had prepared on his earlier orders. He tried
another rub on her breast bone and got an arm jerk.
He deftly pulled out Megan's airway and the Engine Eight
man got a working suction tube ready in case Brackett
needed it .The fireman set his BVM in between his knees
for a moment when the girl started talking softly.

"...Mr. Gage?"... Megan coughed.

"Easy, hon. He's ok. And so are you..." Brackett

Boot noticed the change in the child and immediately
padded over to lick her face in encouragement.

Megan's sooty face broke out into a terrific smile.
"Who's this?" she wondered.

"That's Boot. " Brice offered. "Mr. Gage's firehouse's
mascot. He's the one who made sure we got
there to rescue you two off the fourth floor."

"Good boy..." she said, reaching up shakily to pet his
coat. "Good boy.." she coughed again, liquidly and that
made Kel order the girl's assisted O2 to be continued.

Right then, the station 51 gang jogged up to sneak in
a visit on their coworker like Brice had done with
his partner, the Animal.

Megan's face burst into a wide smile at the sight of
Chet Kelly. "Oh, you're Johnny's friend! Hi! *gasp*
Don't worry. He's ok.. I took care of him real good.
I gave him the shot and he got better fast."

"You did what, hon?" Kel Brackett blinked.

Megan's face fell away in sudden worry.
"That was ok, wasn't it? He was making funny
noises and his lips were turning purple. I just
had to do what Mr. Gage asked me to do."

Dr. Brackett, Brice and Roy's faces all beamed.
But Chet was the one who spoke. "So,.. we've
a real hero in our midst." and he crouched down
beside the little girl.  He uptook one of her damp
hands after shoving his helmet a little higher onto
his head to loosen its chin strap enough to take
it off in tribute to the child. "Anyone who saves my
friend is definitely a friend of mine. Nice to meet
you little lady.."

"I've jokes to tell you, mister. Mr. Gage said to memorize
them for you."

"Jokes? I collect jokes. All kinds. But I think we oughta
do that later until after you're all better. Ok?" Kelly
suggested. "These folks here look kind of busy right

"Sure, mister." and Megan closed her eyes. "We can color
later, too, with green pens cause they're Johnny's favorite."
she added before drifting off again under the oyxgen mask.

"Geesh," Marco remarked. "Gage is sure good with
all the chicks. Even the little ones." he chuckled.
"She's absolutely tickled with Johnny. A real friend
for life.."

The gang chuckled.

Cap gestured and said. "Ok, break time's over.
Move it out. We've got a water curtain team to exchange
with. Roy, you and Brice can stay put. The prelim
search's over scene wide and our smoke control
is working well enough just as we are for right now."

"Find anyone from the airplane alive?"

Hank's face softened in sadness. "Fraid not.
But there's good news. Only seven on the ground
were killed. And then just these few dozen in here
who got hurt."

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"Thanks for the update, Cap..."

Hank started to herd his men away but Roy
stopped him.."Uh,, how's Battalion 14 handling
the Station Ten thing?"

"He's not, emotionally. But the chiefs decided
right away that his hands were too full at the time
to realize that unit's missing status as a possible casualty.
Nothing official will be reprimanding him, except for
perhaps, his own conscience. Besides, no harm's
done. No one except Bellingham was anywhere
near that truck when the jet crashed. And HIS lumps,
Stoker tells me, are from a looting mugger."
And he turned to leave.

Marco took charge of their mascot as they left.
"Come, Boot. Good boy. Thanks for finding
Johnny and that little girl for us. Come, on.. quit
dragging your feet. They're all right. Are ya hungry?
Thought so. Let's go get some chow and a long

Lopez didn't even have to tug on Boot's collar to
get him to follow him.

Before Station 51's gang was out of sight,
Dr. Brackett had Johnny's heart rhythm stabilized
from the assortment of drugs in his bag.

Megan and Gage were moved inside by Station Eight's
crew while Roy, Brice and Dr. Brackett remained outside
to treat those still awaiting care in the cafeteria.

Slowly, the rising column of acrid smoke and flames
from the impact crater in the parking lot lessened
enough to stop threatening them all and those watching
from inside the broken windows of Rampart.

The sun was almost set when Station 51 was cleared
of the disaster area for some well deserved rest and
recuperation. They, as one of the original responders,
weren't assigned to body recovery detail at any time
that night, much to Chet Kelly's relief.


Soon, it was four days later, and the stationhouse
was pretty much back into its regular routine of responses.

Operations at the crash site and in that neighborhood
continued without their having to become involved
in them any further.

Then,..a commotion came from the vehicle bay..


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From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Friday, March 26, 2004 8:49 AM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Above and Beyond..

....that got all the gang's attention. It was Johnny's voice,
accented by a lighter, happy treble one. Chet bounced
to his feet, abandoning his burger and he said,  
"Come on, you guys! I've waited days to meet Megan
Miller officially, so let's get the lead out.."

Kelly scurried out of the kitchen so fast that his shoes
screeched on the floor, leaving behind long, trailing black
skid marks.

Marco hissed through his teeth. "Aww, Chet! Look at
what you're doing to my floor! Cap,.. make him clean it

"I will, I will, pal." he gestured with two hands diplomatically.
"Just, let's go greet our little guest and find out why Gage's
not still flat on his back at Rampart."

Lopez moped verbally but plodded after his calm, contented
captain dutifully.

Brice matched Hank in cool as he, too ambled into the garage.

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Megan was with Johnny Gage over by the side door, and with
her was a white shaggy mop of a dog whom Boot immediately
started barking suspiciously at from the kitchen doorway.

The white dog howled once that made Boot twist his head in
puzzlement until the newcomer sank his chest onto the concrete
in an invitation to play. Boot was won over and in a flash, the two
canines were scrabbling happily, playing tag under the vehicles,
in a chase, all the while leaving chicken scratch black marks all over
Marco's nice and shiny, washed concrete.  

"Cappp!" Lopez groaned in long suffering.

Hank's charming smile for the little girl fell into one of irritation.
"Lopez, just what am I supposed to do here? Lasso them with
a rappelling line?"

"It's a start.." Marco said, flailing his arms, trying to round up
the happy dogs as best he could. "Come on, guys. Help me out
here. They'll shred my wax job!"

He was ignored.

Craig Brice squatted down in front of Megan and offered her
a handshake. "Hello, Miss Miller. Are you well?" he said
over Marco's howls and the dogs loud gleeful barking.

"Oh, yes sir. Daddy came and got me out of the hospital yesterday
and Mr. Gage was released on his own.. recom,.. recop.." she broke
off, looking to Johnny for some grammar aid.

"That's reconnaissance, half pint."

"No kidding.." Cap said, his eyes asking volumes.

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Roy crossed his elbows, smiling just the same, but not
understanding Gage's glib comment either. All he
knew what that Johnny was still suffering pneumonia
and hiding it badly.

Johnny saw their questioning looks and elaborated.
"Oh, it's gonna be the latest thing Dixie says.
Home healing. You see, Dr. Morton asked for some volunteers
for patients to go home a little early to recover. You only
gotta do a phone check once a day to a doctor so he can
see, hear how you're doing. Heh. Anyways, Dix says that I'll
just get better faster because I'm in more familiar surroundings.."

Craig's eyebrows rose. "In that bachelor heap of yours?"

"Brice..." Johnny hissed warningly with a smile to hide his
insulted reaction. "It's a new program starting up in
the hospital.."

"You're a liar, Mr. Gage." Megan said evenly from where
she was sitting on the engine bumper and telling Chet all her
jokes. "We were kicked out. For being noisy."

The gang laughed.

"Thanks, Megs. " he said sarcastically, like only one friend
could say to another. "But I was kinda trying to..."

"..not tell the truth. I know. But that's soooo wrong." she
said sweetly.

"Yes,.. uh, ..yeah. I guess it is.." he stammered.

Chet suddenly let out a peel of mirth. Slowly, he
circled Gage like a sargeant conducting an inspection,
eyeing up the changes he was seeing in Johnny's
manner. "Man, she's really got you, Gage, you know
that?  Are you jumping through hoops to try to become
a decent human being for the first time in your life?"

"No.. I was just... just.." Johnny blushed.

"Keeping your friend happy, I know. I saw it. All of
us did." he said as he cracked a toothy smile.
"Right guys?"

Murmurs of agreement bubbled around the bay
like a brook over pebbles.

Chet's eyes fell lower, eyeing up something new
in Johnny's plaid shirt's pocket. "And what's this,
might I ask?" And quickly, he snatched up a green
pen that was only one of several sticking out of it.

Roy said, "Hey, that's the pen that Boot found at
Rampart. I can tell by the tooth marks."

Cap and Marco and Stoker and Kelly were clueless,
so Brice filled them in. "Johnny threw that down from
where he and Megan were trapped the day of the
crash so Boot would go get help."

Megan piped up from  a three way tug of war
she was in with the two dogs, and a rope scrap.
"Yeah,.. I'm slowly teaching Muffin here how to do
the same thing. "

"Muffin?" Chet eyes goggled at the large white
sheepdog bullpenning around the garage.

Megan didn't hear him, but continued her conversation.
"Those pens are Mr. Gage's lucky rabbit's feet now.
He promised me that he would keep them with him
for always so he wouldn't ever forget me."

Johnny's face blushed even redder.

Kelly dove in like a shark. "Aww, how sweet of
you, Gage. Didn't know you had it in you."

"Yeah, charming." Cap grinned warmly.

Brice nodded a tiny bit, still all professional.

Roy and Marco just rubbed their lips thoughtfully,
saying nothing.

Gage cleared his throat under the uncomfortable
scrutiny. "Listen, Cap.. I got your phone call.. you
know, about..." and he jerked his head over his
back a couple of times in a particular direction.

"What's the matter, Gage? Sudden palsy?" Chet
quipped. "Hey, Roy. I think you'd better check him
out. He might be having a relapse of lung poisoning."

The gang rippled in giggles.

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"Very funny, Chet. Now, Cap.." Gage insisted more
urgently, adding fingers to his jerking head. "Remember?"

Slowly, Hank realized that Johnny meant Megan.
It dawned. "Oh, oh oh..." he said, "That's right.  My phone
call. " and he cleared his throat knowingly. "I'll be right
back." he said, smiling amicably, and he hurried off to
his office for a moment.

"Great, Cap.. just...uh,  great.." Gage mumbled.

"What's that all about, Gage?" Marco asked.

"Shhh.. or she'll catch on.."

Megan heard Johnny and just winked at the
other guys when Gage wasn't looking.

"You know, Johnny. I think she's already caught on.
Megan's sure is one bright cookie." Chet guessed.
"I learned that the other day."

Roy just went into another direction to fetch a certain
box from the mop closet that they touched only seldom
and he set it down at their feet.

"Hey, that's.." Marco interjected.

"Shhh." Gage silenced him with a hand over his mouth.

Captain Stanley returned, wearing his captain's hat
and gestured for everyone else to don their dress hats
in kind and to form a line standing at attention.
In his hands was a blue velvet hinged box with
gold embossing. "Would you join us for a moment, Miss
Miller?" he asked the child after they all retrieved their
proper sized hats from the box on the ground.

Megan looked up from her game. "Oh,.. certainly.." she
said, tossing the ropy shred away from her so the dogs
chased after it, instead of her. "What's going on?"

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"Do you see this, young lady?" Hank said grandly and opened
the box. "This is a gold cluster, the fireman's medal of valor.
It's the highest honor that we can bestow on anyone showing
courage above and beyond the call of duty. And the Los Angeles
County Fire Department would like you to have it."

Megan's breath sucked in and her eyes teared up.
"For me?"

"For you." Hank said softly. "You saved the life of my
paramedic the other day, remember doing that?"

"Just because I gave Mr. Gage that yucky shot?"

"Yeah, it was a yucky shot." Gage said. "Hurt like
hel-- uh heck.. But I'm grateful.. Truly I am. And..this."
he pointed to the medal and box in Megan's hand.
"Is the only way I can show it good enough to you
that's still allowable by the fire department."

"Oh, Mr. Gage..." Megan sobbed. "I don't know what
to say.." she said, fighting back tears. "I've never won
anything so valuable in my life before."

"That wasn't won, little miss." said Brice, "That was
earned... Congratulations.." and he bent low to shake
the little girl's hand. One by one, all the gang took
and shook her palm, too, sweeping off their hats in
respect as she made her way down the line.

"Oh,.. just wait until I show Daddy!" and she rushed
off to the back lot yard where the little girl's father was
waiting for her in an idling Grand Torino.

Muffin took off after his mistress in a cloud of white

"Megan, wait!" Gage called out after her. "Don't
you want to stay for some cookies and milk?" he
asked shouting.

The girl was oblivious.

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"Megan?!" Immediately, Johnny bent over into
a spasm of left over chest coughing that didn't ease
until the gang helped him into the kitchen with Stoker
and Marco helping arm sling support him into Cap's
black leather recliner.

Marco hastily handed him a glass of water.
"Here, Gage. This might help."

"Oh, thanks, Marco.." and Gage drank it down
in one gulp.

Brice asked Roy. "DeSoto. Should I go grab
a BP cuff or a stethoscope so we can listen to
his chest? That sounds like deterioration."

"I can get oxygen.." Stoker volunteered.

"Yeah, you go do that.." Cap insisted. "And
grab the biophone, too."

Roy shook his head and dismissed the question with
a short flurry of fingers. "Guys, guys.. He's fine.."

"He is?" Marco asked in amazement. "He still
sounds like death warmed over to me. And them."

Chet wasn't buying Johnny's sick act in the least
being firmly in Roy's camp, too. "Come, on. Johnny.
Quit faking it. I don't think Megan's coming back so
you can give up this broken wing act. I think, for
her, it's a case of baubles over buddies, pally."

"Who's faking it? I'm a sick man here. Come on,
Chet. As-pir-ant  pneu-mon-ia. I know you can say it
out loud and I know you know what it is. It sucks,
big time." and he pitched over in another paroxym
of huge wet coughing that made even Roy begin to
doubt his first assessment, as Johnny's face began
to redden up.

Brice's frown began deepening, too.

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...Until Johnny suddenly got better and straightened
up with a mischievious grin. "Got at least some of you
that time. Thanks for the chair, Cap. It's real comfortable.."
he said, folding relaxed arms up and lacing fingers behind
his wavy haired head. "Now I really feel like I'm back home

He barely ducked in time to avoid the sheer rain of kitchen
towels and newspapers that came flying into his face.



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