Season One, Episode Four.. |
Debut Launch : 16 February 2003
Main Characters Page
From : "desertducks "<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject :[EmergencyTheaterLive] Back Home
Date : Sun, 19 Jan 2003 07:45:11 -0000
The engine crew made it back to the station by nine o'clock that
night. "Might as well ruin one
more person's evening." Captain
Stanley mumbled, mostly to himself, as he crossed the threshold
his office. He left his door open - it felt wrong to close himself
off from the rest of his
crew. He dropped into the chair, but shoved
it back from the desk, leaned his head against the cool
and shut his eyes.
It sounded like Chet was finally running out of steam. The
noises coming from the locker room had diminished to a less jarring
level. Marco had
gone to the kitchen first to start some fresh
coffee. Now they wait.
No - he still had to
call in for a replacement engineer.
"Is Mike Stoker here?"
The young voice startled
Captain Stanley. He scrubbed his hands over
his face before focusing on the boy standing in his
doorway. It was
late for a kid to be out roaming the neighborhood alone. He said the
he could. "He's not here right now. I'm Captain Stanley,
is there something I can do for you?"
His heart was pounding all the way here just to talk to Mike. What
was he going to say
to the captain? "I think..." Not another sound
would squeak out. ::Great, I'm already shaking,
figures my voice would
crack too.:: He started again. "I think I know who started that fire."
From : "Cassidy Meyers" <killashandraRey@hotmail.com>
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive]
Date : Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:29:52 +0400
Captain Stanley saw the color on the
pale and saw how worked up he really was.
"Here, son, have a seat before your knees
rubber and they drop you flat. Relax, I won't bite."
he said, rising. He guided the boy to the
chair across from the desk and
half heartedly peered into the bay in an
attempt to locate whoever
it was who
let the child into the station in the first
place. He suspected it had been Marco.
::Just like Lopez to subtly channel things
concerning touchy run subjects my way.::
name kid? Kinda feel like I'm
at a disadvantage since I don't know yours."
Conners." he said quietly.
"Would you care to share just how you
know my fire station's engineer?"
"Mr. Stoker's my coach in the Second
Chance Little Leagues. We've been hanging
Been doing so all summer."
::Oh, :: thought Hank. ::That would explain it.
Mike's doing that
Big Brother program with
the juvies through the city's foster care program.
This young fella must
be one of his latest personal
"He said I could come here if I had anything
my mind that was bothering me. And this is."
he fidgetted. His scowling eyes never left Cap's.
Cap saw that Jeremy was an unusual child. He
wasn't rubbernecking his surroundings like any
other boy his age would. It was as if he already
knew what a fire station was all about.
eyebrows rose but he put his analytical
observations to the background for a while.
"Ok, you came
here to see my man Stoker for
a reason concerning which fire? My men and I
have seen three today."
He cocked his head
and gestured to the milk carton he had
set near his incident report earlier
to settle his
roiling stomach. "This is still cold. Thirsty?"
Jeremy shook his head despite
dry mouth. He purposely stopped fidgetting.
The red headed boy felt the station
eyes bore into his own with an intense scrutiny.
"Before you make a move on me, I get
night all the time from the Home so don't even
think about calling the fuzz. I know every
"Fair enough. Let me let you in on a little known
fact about firehouses.
In this office I'm not
the station's captain anymore. I'm just Hank.
Anything you say is confidential
leave this office unless it deals with someone's
safety, property or life and limb."
Stanley said. "So,
what's eating you? Must be important if it bugged
you enough to walk all the
way here for what
I suspect was about a mile or so."
The boy's face fell open in surprise.
"Cause that's how far it is to the nearest
past the Arco refinery
surrounding us. And, the logo on your jersey was
a dead giveway." Cap spread
his arms wide
in a 'Well, what is it?' gesture.
Jeremy crossed his arms in front of his
baseball sweatshirt and pursed his lips.
He glanced away from Hank for the first time
arrived. "I gotta think about this
Cap sighed wearily and grabbed his glass
now warmish 2% and downed it.
"Make it fast. I'm expecting my men on the
rescue squad back with
some answers I
need any second now. After that, I'm gonna be
too busy for off hours visitors.
So make up your
mind pronto. Who started what fire?"
Jeremy countered. "Why isn't Mike Stoker
That engine's filthy. He'd be the first one at
it with a rag to clean it off.."
was Cap's face that betrayed him this time
and he went from tough act to vulnerable in a pico.
I gotta break it somehow since you say
Mike's your friend, Jeremy. Our last fire injured him
the roof caved in and trapped him apart from
his hose team. In trying to get out, a steam pipe he
didn't see burst in front of him and burned his
eyes through his air mask pretty bad. Caught his
and lungs too."
Jeremy held really still. "That's the fire I'm talking
about then if the roof
came down. Is..is..Mike going
to be blind?" he asked in a very small voice.
Cap toyed with his empty glass thoughtfully and hid|
his emotion. "I don't know yet about that. I'm
just glad he's still here. It took us a while to get him
going again. That other answer, I'm going
from my two paramedics the moment they get back
to base. "
"They were the ones
who got him out?"
"Yeah. Because another man of mine couldn't
do it on his own."
That was..Kelly, Max said." Jeremy mumbled,
Cap's eyes narrowed when he heard
tidbit. "You know Chet Kelly?"
"He comes to our games with Coach every other
weekend to try and sell hotdogs to the folks
who come to watch us play. He doesn't know
I know him. What a weirdo."
Cap threw his jaw to the side in half irritation
and no humor.
"Ok, so you were at the last
fire call or heard about it, if you knew that Chet
didn't do so well
saving the hour tonight because
he freaked out a little. So it should be real easy
now to tell
me who torched that abandoned
building then, wouldn't it?"
"Not gonna BE easy."
not? You're here. And I won't say who
told me who. Witness/FireCaptain confidentiality,
"Cause I may die for it, that's why. Listen high
and mighty man, forget I ever came.." and
Conners shot up from the chair and
darted out the office door.
"Jeremy! Hey! Wait!!"
ran after the boy but the child was faster.
Jeremy slammed on the garage door release
and he logrolled on through the narrow
space that was opening before Hank could grab
pair of blue Adidas sneakers to stop
Cap was left standing in the driveway surrounded
by cricket calls and summer moonlight when the
shed doors finally snicked fully open. There was
sign of the boy, only the sight and sounds of traffic
on the boulevard winking in and out
under the blue streetlights. Cap set his hands
on his hips in utter frustration and leaned on
the flag pole to hide his emotions as they
rose to the surface yet again. ::Mike Stoker
A rising soft night wind made the flags on the
chains over him ring on the steel
Cap jumped, looking up. It hit home that Mike
might not be there anytime soon to man
flag pole each day as he usually did. Slowly,
Cap took down the state and department
into his arms and tied off the chain.
He alarmed himself when he found his hands
flags into neat perfect memorial
triangles. ::He's not dead yet stupid. And there's
no way in
h*ll this eye thing is going to make Mike
retire if he does by some miracle, recover.::
defiance, Cap rolled the silky flags into a ball
and sank down with them in his lap with the pole
at his back. He was quite alone when he
Chet Kelly sat down at the kitchen table with
the engine's small first aid kit and he cracked
Lopez set down a coffee mug in front of Kelly
with a thunk. He opened his mouth.
"Not another word, Lopez." Chet warned,
wincing as he examined the bloody knuckles
he had on
both hands. Kelly fought with kerlix
and tape for long moments until he said. "J*sus
I give up. Just what
kind of fireman am I turning into? I can't even
bandage my own knuckles
Lopez pulled up a chair next to Kelly and took|
over the task. "Let me do that. Oo, Chet, these
going to be sore. Whydidya have to go
at the punching bag so hard? No one's blaming
you about what
happened tonight. It was an
accident. Old buildings fall down when they're
on fire. It's a fact
Chet grimaced. "Ahh!. Go easy on that
mecurachrome. It's stinging! Tell me something
Marco. Is it a fact of life that I panicked in there?
It's not like me to lose my head in a crisis,
and he shuddered. "I just...didn't like the mess
that pipe made of Mike's face."
"You did all the right things Chet. You kept
him breathing until we got him outta there. And
and Roy got the perfect EOA in fast
enough. Your hesitating those few moments
won't amount to anything..
It was chaos in
that room you guys were in. I know, I was
"How can you know that
for a fact Lopez?
We couldn't even look at Mike's eyes to
see if they were responsive--" and Kelly's
voice cracked. Marco didn't say anything
and he put his hand on Chet's shoulder in
he got up to go find Cap.
"Here, drink this.. It'll make you feel better."
He said shoving his
untouched coffee mug in
front of Chet.
"No thanks.. Not by a long shot. I'll puke."
said the same thing.." Marco mumbled
numbly, as he went out the kitchen door.
"I'm gonna go see
if Gage or DeSoto called
Cap yet from Rampart."
Chet sat morosely in his chair and slowly
his bandaged hands and nodded silently.
Marco saw that the boy he had let in was
already and that Cap's office was vacant.
The yawning bay doors were open to
air and Marco could just barely make out
Cap's silhouette in the drive under the station's
spot light by the flag pole.
Marco was heading in that direction when the squad
its horn in greeting. Roy waved,
turning on its reds in order to make the backup
through the busy traffic,
to park her.
Cap rose to his feet when he saw Roy and Johnny
and he wiped his face quickly before either
they or Marco, noticed.
Johnny called out. "Hey
Cap, such service."
he said gesturing to the open doors, he grinned.
"Cut the small talk Gage.
How is he?"
Johnny and Roy both saw how deeply worried
Hank was and how quiet Marco seemed,
watching him. The false humor Johnny had tried to
simulate fell away instantly..
the squad in the drive and leaned
an elbow in the window. The wash of the spinning
reds in the
darkness cast harsh lines on his face
as he said...
From: Katherine Bird <kathbird01@y...>
Date: Fri Jan 31,
2003 7:49 pm
Subject: The Spare Boots
"He's alive. He's still breathing ok. They took
up to ICU for a full evaluation." Roy said slowly.
"And his blood gases are still good considering
the burns he took into his trachea. Amazingly, his chest
is clear, Cap. Maybe the airmask helped a
some of that steam from the pipe, out of his lungs.
I kinda figured that when the
EOA went in slicker
than--" Gage said.
"And what about his eyes? Did uh, Brackett
anything about his eyes?" Cap asked
a little too quickly, betraying his worry. Then he
"I was told that roof coming down
was no coincidence.."
Gage and DeSoto were taken aback
how vulnerable Hank's voice sounded. And
by the expression on Marco's face standing in
bay entrance, haunted and
worn. "Cap.." Johnny asked. "Wh- what's going
on? You know something
we don't?" he
said, getting out of the squad. He tossed
his helmet into the seat and vaulted over
the hood in a butt skid to get to his side faster.
Roy stayed where he was, hands on the steering
wheel, engine idling, in the drive. He switched
off the reds when Marco waved the outside
a little higher so everyone could
see in the darkness and DeSoto,too, took off his
Lopez joined Johnny, Roy and Cap's group around
the squad when he over heard Cap's
of fact comment.
The warm night wind lifted the slack chain on the empty
and the soft sound itself cut right through
Hank and he looked up at it unconsciously.
"Roy, just finish backing it in there.
Us gawking out here like this looks bad. I'll wait until
get back out here. " Hank watched as DeSoto
parked the squad. Then he shouted.
and center!" yelled into the open garage.
Running footsteps told him he had been heard.
jogged out of the kitchen, holding a dish
towel over his hands and around the metal
and mug he had been drying.
All five firemen stood in a circle by the empty
flag pole, tense
and worried while Captain Stanley
waited for the auto close shed doors to be fully
the vehicles. That rumble faded away,
leaving behind cricketsong when Cap finally
began to speak.
"We had a witness tonight.."
"A witness?" Gage said.
"Oh, so that's who he was..." Lopez said.
"Who was who?" Chet asked.
"Cap, how'd you find anybody so fast?"
"That's what I'd
like to know.." Gage said.
Cap held up his hands. "Wait a minute. Wait a
minute. Just hold
up here.. I'm getting to that.
Everybody, just hush.. and that's an order.."
The crickets reigned
Cap sighed and lowered his head, planting
his hands on his hips. "I have it on a
source that our derelict warehouse fire was
actually a case of malicious arson.."
raised his chin when his men started
to talk all at once again so he raised his
voice that much
louder. "Just wait a sec.
If I get any louder, the whole world'll
hear." Cap said, eyeing a convertible
curious college kids driving by, rubbernecking
at the sight of the usually invisible firemen
standing in the drive.
Gage noticed the car too, with startlement, and
he quieted. He
didn't even look up when one of
the more attractive students waved a flirting
hand at him. "Hey
Johnny..." she purred.
Her innocent catcall as they passed the station
seemed vile to Cap and
very soon, they were
gone. ::What a time for one of Gage's conquests
to make an appearance.:: Cap
His office seemed suddenly a more tempting
sanctuary. He felt his mouth move. "My
source knows the party who did
it and you're not going to like it."
"What, Cap? Was the fire
"No, a group of minors started it."
Chet, Marco and Gage's
up in discomfort at the news and they all hid
"Just how young, Cap?"
Chet asked, wincing
when Johnny grabbed the coffee pot and mug out
of Kelly's hands looking for
a steaming drink.
"Nine or ten years old.. from what I was told. Two
kids, at least, for sure."
Gage said, "Wonderful. Just wait until Mike
wakes up and we tell him a bunch of kids KO'd
He then addressed Chet's earlier
irregular reaction. "What's wrong with you...?"
Click Engine Dials to go to Page Two :)