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Page Two

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From: Jeff Seltun <>
Date: Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:45 pm
Subject: Under Torch Light~~

Roy DeSoto sucked in his breath at the sight of what truly was
an eyeful of ancient Victorian decor. "Wow, I feel like Artemis
Gordon or James T. West from that sci-fi-wild-west TV show, Johnny.
I think we've just been transported into the past a few hundred years
or so."

The poodle trainer laughed richly. "But you'll be entirely comfortable.
Come to the unhitched blue train car in between the lion cage and the
carousel for any bathing. We've rigged up hot showers there from a ring.
We all get to eat after the show's over and the animals are taken care of.
Just head for the red tent next to the big one." she smiled, handing the
wagon's key over to Roy on its bow tied lavender ribbon.

"Will do, ma'am. Thanks!" said Johnny, watching her sequined sparkled
form departing down the vardo's yellow steps. When Roy had the door
snugly closed against the night's chill, he launched himself into the air
and back landed on the drapes and canopy bed, bouncing happily.
"Ahhhh." he sighed, sinking into the richly embroidered pillows. "Now this
is what you call truly escaping from it all for a while. I mean, just how much
further away from modern Carson City, California can we get, than this?"

Roy grinned in spite of himself as he examined the filled white porcelain
wash basin and pitcher set on one lace covered wagon dresser. "We can't.
I'm liking this assignment of yours even more now, Johnny."

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"Me, too. It just keeps on getting better and better." he said, eyeing
the steady flow of attractive female circus performers through the wagon's
stained glassed window as they ran over the grass from the train in a
last minute dash towards their acts to come. He flung his face away from
the etched panes when a loud snort of steam suddenly jetted against the
glass. It was Fritz, the gypsy horse, getting curious about his new vardo
residents."Or maybe not. I sure hope that circus horse minds his manners
and doesn't decide to wake us up in the middle of the night just because
he's looking for someone to play with."

"You can always picket his tether out of reach.." Roy suggested.

"Nah, then he'd only start whinnying, thinking that he's lonely or something.
The way that girl has him now is good enough. I'll just...close the curtains
on him later when we finally do get to try for some sleep. Maybe he'll get
the message.."

Roy glanced down under a brightly polished wooden stool. "And
there's our fire department duffle bags. Already stowed."

"Nice. Good innkeepers here. But do you think they have somebody
available to do our laundry?"

"There's always hoping. Come on. We've checked out our digs,
partner. Let's go drive the rescue squad into the tent so we'll be ready
for when they are." DeSoto suggested.

Johnny began to squirm nervously once more. "Aw, Roy. Do we have
to head back there so soon?"

Roy eyed Gage in amusement. "Come on, Mr. Cold Feet. I'll let you
feed Fritz a sugar cube or two while I check out the medical and
extrication gear. There's some in the sugar bowl." he said, pointing.

Gage snatched a few up into his shirt pocket and was immediately
out the door and at the horse's side, fully bent on forgetting his stage
nerves as he stroked and petted his brown and white splotched neck.

DeSoto got busy making sure that all was ready.


Johnny had resumed pacing back and forth just out of sight of the show
lights, actively.  He was so twitchy, that he already had his fire helmet on
his head to guard against it falling off for when the time to respond actually

Roy stood nearby, peering through a convenient peek hole in the side
of the curtain. "Huh. That can't be it.."

Gage immediately scuffled in the dirt, shouldering him aside eagerly as he
took Roy's place to spy on the show. "What isn't? What are you seeing?"

"An impalement."


"Relax, Johnny. It's just a magician's illusion act with a bit more flair."

Johnny made a face when he finally saw what Roy had been looking at.
He made a noise of disgust. "Eeeyuckkk! You're right. A two foot skewer
through the stomach's not what you call your everyday kind of accident."
he chuckled finally.

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DeSoto tapped him on the arm. "Let me keep that eye out. You can go
back to wearing a groove down into the dirt."

"Very funny. " Gage said stepping back as a troupe of hobo clowns ambled
past them for the show ring. A few of them even waved at Johnny and Roy
with few hat tips angled towards them in silent greeting. "Break a leg." he
said, remembering just in time what to say.

One of the clowns, holding a gigantic rolled up newspaper under an arm,
waved at him. "Hiya, mac." he said. "'Fraid it's not going to be that.
See you in a few minutes.." he winked. Then he was gone.

Gage started gesticulating wildly at Roy.
"Hey, Roy.. Did you hear what that clown in the white hat said?!  He said.."

"I heard. You're worries are over, Johnny. Now we know who to start watching
here." Roy grinned, crossing his arms over his elbows. For good measure, he
walked back to the squad and started it up into a propped open doors idle.
"He must have seen how pale you're getting thinking about it too much."

"Me? Getting pale?" Johnny quipped, "That'll never happen. I'm the wrong
nationality. I never look like I can even suffer from that kind of thing." he
laughed, finally grinning.

Roy was glad to see him getting back to normal. He turned back to monitoring
the clown troupe's act from his peek hole. Then his mouth flopped open at
a chorus of female screams coming from the audience. "Holy cow! Johnny,
let's hit it." he said, running for the squad in measured steps as he put his helmet

"What? What's going on?" Johnny said, rushing back to the truck with him.
"Is this it?"

"Yep. No doubt about it. You're gonna haveta see this in order to believe it, pal.
Just get in. Then get ready to start grabbing everything we've got." DeSoto said
with an excited smile, flipping on their lights and sirens. "They certainly pulled out
all the stops for us with this one." he chuckled.

The two paramedics pulled forward and shot through the main tent's show entrance
in a cloud of dust.

Johnny couldn't believe what he was looking at. He got out of the squad and
positioned himself on the running board in a crouch to jump out of the cab
the moment Roy got there.

Their particular hobo clown was burning..

He was fully on fire, where he sat in his chair. It looked like his oversized
newspaper was to blame for it. For there was nothing left of his sportspage
except a huge charred hole where the igniter solution had started from.

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"Holy cow..." Gage gaped. "I know that ain't real. He's not yelling. But what an
effect. Jeez. Took me by surprise."

"The audience, too. Now you see why this is definitely it." DeSoto said,
screeching to a halt right in the middle of the circus arena about ten feet away
from the fire protected blazing performer.

"And how. Let's go." Johnny said snatching his door open. Both firemen
grabbed their jackets and gloves and threw them on. Simultaneously, Roy
grabbed a fire extinguisher from a side compartment while Johnny got out
and unfolded a fire tarp.

Shouting to move the other worry acting, fake panicking clowns away from
their "victim", the two tackled the clown right out of his chair in a smothering
bundle of carbon dioxide fog and retardant canvas. They got him quickly
face down into the dirt while they smothered the sputtering flames burning
away the clown actor's costume from the fire safety suit. Roy and Johnny
made a big show of smacking out escaping flames with their hands and soon,
other clowns play acted rescue around them to reassure the audience that
this was all part of the performance. A few of them even got out plastic shovels
and starting fake shovelling dirt onto their fellow fallen. One even started dog
paddling sand over backwards onto the clown through his bent knees.

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Gage leaned down, trying not to grin, towards their clown's ear. "Ok, it's out.
What's wrong with ya now?"

"Your choice. Anything you decide, I guess. Boss told me to just go along with
whatever." said the clown, keeping his eyes closed. "I got makeup under my
rip away fire suit that looks like burns if you'd like."

Roy patted some hands up near the clown's head to hide what he
was actually doing. "Ok, know about first aid, right?"

"Yeah.. A little." said the clown guardedly, still not moving.

"Pretend you've quit breathing..." DeSoto said to him.

The clown nervously peeked open one slimy eyeball. "What?!"

"Shh.. We won't hurt ya. We'll pull the pressure valve off our resuscitator
bag so it'll just look like it's working over your face. Ready?" Gage asked,
pretending like he was pulling off the fire tarp to begin to roll the clown
over for an airway check.

"Just keep my red hearts underwear on..." hissed the tensed up clown.

Johnny felt very gleeful that the tables were finally turned and that somebody
else was going to be nervous for a while instead of him. "We will. If they
do come off, you'll be under a soaked saline sheet. Won't be see through, I

The clown reclosed his cracked open eye. "You gonna do CPR, too?"

"Whaa?-Uh, you want us to?" DeSoto asked, getting the clown the rest of the
way over onto his back.

Gage looked up at his near smirking partner.
"The crowd'll love it, Roy. Let's try it. Mister, when we get to fake shocking you,
I'll tap your side with my shoe's toe. Just remember to jerk upwards like in all
those doctor TV shows you've seen. But only when I press down with the
paddles, ok? That'll look real."

"With the juice off, right?" asked the hobo clown fearfully.

"Completely off." DeSoto said, bending his head down over the clown's
nose and mouth while Gage busied himself getting the clown's blackened
rags and black spray painted foil fire suit peeled open from over his chest.
"We can control that easily. There's a charge button we won't push on
the defibrillator."

"Ok, I'm all yours. When you're ready to go live, hand signal that clown
with the yellow wig on. He'll toggle on the microphones in the ring and
everyone'll hear anything you say during the rest of things." hissed their
burned clown.

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Roy nodded slightly and reached for the clown's neck in a fake pulse check.
Not surprisingly, he found a very fast one. "Relax. We're both good, too." he
stage whispered. Then he gave the sound clown the cue to go sound live.
Roy pulled off his helmet to test to see if he could hear the noise through
the audience loud speakers, purposely throwing it off in a hurry so that
it landed in the dirt with a loud clatter. He could, so DeSoto began their
paramedic act. "Johnny, he's not breathing. No pulse."

"Here's the ambu bag resuscitator. I'll go grab the oxygen, the rest of the
gear, and the biophone." Gage said, handing Roy a bag that he had
snapped the one way valve off of. Johnny pulled out his HT and turned it on,
knowing that it was already set to the same frequency as the circus's P.A.
system. "Squad 51 to L.A., we've a pulseless non-breather at our location.
Respond one ambulance to the main tent, center ring a.s.a.p. We've a severe
burn victim."

Gage almost grinned again when he heard the ring master rustling papers over
the speaker system as he searched for his scripted lines. ##10-4, Squad 51.
The ambulance's ETA is being reported...They're five minutes out.## The M.C.
said into his microphone.

"10-4, L.A." Gage spoke again into his handy talkie. "We'll be contacting
Rampart Hospital shortly via biophone telemetry as soon as our victim's being
circulatory supported."

##L.A. copies, Squad 51.## came the ring master's reply.

Gage flung open the squad gear doors and grabbed out the defibrillator
and the oxygen resuscitator as well as the marked dummy drug box
filled with needle-less saline syringes that was sitting next to the real

When Johnny got back to his partner's side, he saw that Roy had already
begun a cycle of fake compressions over the man's chest and was
counting them off audibly. "...twelve, thirteen, fourteen...fifteen.. Ok.."

Gage scrambled over to the clown's head and gave him a couple of
breaths using the green transparent breathing bag and mask after he had
hooked it up to the oxygen tank. Then he reached into the drug box and
pulled out an oral airway the proper size and a fake second one that had
had its tongue channel tube cut off part way down the shaft.

He made a show examining the real oropharyngeal airway in a spot light
before he sneakily tucked it away into his belt for the fake held in his other
hand. Johnny exaggeratedly established it in between their actor clown's teeth.
"Initial airway's in, Roy. I've got good chest rise and I'm getting a pulse with
your CPR compressions." he said, putting a palm on the man's chest around
Roy's hands as he gave a squeeze on the bag. The clown dutifully matched
a huge rising breath with Johnny's bagging and vocal cue.

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DeSoto nodded from where he was working. "Charge the defib then, Johnny.
We've profused him long enough."

Gage handed over the paddles and turned on the power so that the
datascope's lights turned on and it made a very satisfying power up whine.
Then he didn't hit the charge button, but faked a strong touch to a plate near it,
instead. "Paddles are hundred, two hundred... Is he in
ventricular fibrillation?"

DeSoto spoke up."I've got the conductive gel, Johnny..." he said, holding out
the lubricant tube. "Putting some on." DeSoto squeezed out a couple of gobs
and rubbed the paddles together before placing them on the clown's burn
makeup'd skin. "Checking for a shockable rhythm..." he said as Johnny delivered
another breath by bypassed ambu.  "Yep. Confirmed:  He's in V-Fib...Here..." he
said handing out the electrodes' grips to Gage. He took over reading out what
would have been a stacked buildup in the paddles' plates."...three hundred
watts... Four!"

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Johnny shouted out his warning after he had the paddles set into place.
"Clear!....I'm shockinnggg....."  Then he nudged the clown with his knee.""

The hobo jolted up perfectly when Johnny pressed his hands down.

Gage and Roy both looked at the screen of the defibrillator after Gage
had replaced his grips for a manual read. "Nothing!" said Gage. "I'll contact
the hospital for an esophageal airway and permission for cardiac drugs."
he said casting the paddles aside, back into the case.

"I'll keep up his CPR, Johnny." DeSoto said, starting in on another shallow
and feigned set of compressions.

Gage kept up his end of things by using his chest to squeeze the bag
flat against his knees while he used his hands to hold the ambu's mask
over the clown's face. He spoke urgently into the phone's receiver, chin perched
on his shoulder. He was quite surprised when he heard his own voice echoing
through the sound system. ::My aren't they thorough gaffers.:: he thought
of the sound guys lurking in the background behind the audience. ::I'll just bet
they can hear me all the way out to the circus train on the tracks outside. ::
"Rampart Hospital? This is Squad 51. How do you read?"

##I read you loud, Squad 51.## said the ring master in a little dialogue slip-up.

Roy, Johnny and the clown all fought to keep their faces in serious, or dead,

Gage piped up. "Uh,,*cough* Rampart, we've a male victim aged approximately
fifty years. Victim of self immolation. Second and third degree burns are evident
over ten percent of his body. He is currently pulseless and non-breathing
undergoing oxygenating CPR. We report a no-recapture on our initial shock."
Johnny finished talking and started sweating when he began to wonder whether
or not the fire department's script had been written for a cardiac arrest situation.
But he needn't have worried. The circus ringmaster was a true pro.

##10-4, Paramedic Squad 51. Establish an esophageal airway and administer
two amps sodium bicarb into an I.V. of normal saline wide open. Then deliver
one milligram of one to ten thousand concentration of epinephrine I.V. push.
Ahh,.. then zap him again.## came the disembodied biophone voice over the
circus speakers.

Johnny parroted back his orders, hiding a grin. ::Say, he's pretty good. He
sounds just like Dr. Br--::

Roy broke off his thoughts. "Johnny, he's vomited. Grab the suction!"
he shouted as he rolled the "dead" man over onto his left side.

Automatically, Gage did and together they "removed" the oral and suctioned
the clown's mouth out for real by using the wet inside of his cheeks to create
some very dramatic sound effects.

Soon, after another set of CPR, the medications' delivery into a hanging I.V.
bag held by the yellow haired clown, and the insertion of a cut off prop EOA,
the two paramedics finally called out scripted good news with their second
defibrillator shock.

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Johnny finally let the smile he had been hiding during their whole act, out.
"Roy, he's back. We've got a ....ventricular rate of thirty.." Gage made up as
he used the paddles again for a quick peek. "And...I've got a pulse at the neck,
but he's not waking up." he said so their actor wouldn't unrealistically with
his fake EOA in.

"Ok.  Still unconscious. He's breathing on his own, Johnny. I'll patch him in on the
electrocardiogram monitor so we can send his EKG information to the hospital."
Roy said, switching out Johnny's prop ambu for a real flowing oxygen mask.
::Heh. This won't hurt our friend here.:: Roy mused.::And it might begin to cool
him down some internally before we start irrigating his "burns". The O2 bottle's
been night chilled. Man, that must have been real hot inside that fire suit sitting
under all those flames like he was.:: he decided.  He could see their actor relax
visibly under the free lung air conditioning he was being offered. "Johnny, his
breathing rate's shallow, shocky, at twenty, but adequate."

"Ok. I'll take his blood pressure. Can you get a set of breath sounds via
stethoscope? The doctor's gonna wanna know if he burned himself inside any."
Gage asked, still enjoying their whole emergency scenario actively. Roy could
see the happy body english on his partner easily enough.

"Checking.." said Roy, bending over the clown's chest with his drum. "He's
clear. He didn't aspirate anything into his lungs when he got sick earlier." he
said. "Nor is he showing signs of fire induced pulmonary edema. There's no
fluid building up in his chest at all." he explained to the audience.

"Blood pressure's stabilizing, Roy." said Gage. "He's up to ninety over sixty two."

Johnny shared some dialogue with "Rampart" on their patient's regained pulse
status and they began his burn care using covering sheets and liter bottles of
saline solution poured along all areas where the clown's body makeup showed

Soon, they got their transport orders from the ring master.

A sound of a siren approached the circus tent and Roy and Johnny looked up
automatically. Johnny spoke into the biophone. "Rampart, ambulance's here.
Our E.T.A. is eight minutes to your burn ward. Our victim's vitals signs are stable.
We've extubated the airway, Rampart, and he's beginning to show signs of
waking up."

##10-4.## said the phone. ##Give an update on a new set of vital signs during
transit. And use five milligrams morphine, given intravenously, as needed for

The siren grew louder and all eyes turned to the front tent entrance.  The hobo
clown's troupe appeared a few seconds later and the silent, respectful circus
audience suddenly burst out into open, bubbling laughter.

Gage and Roy,.. and at last, the "burned" hobo clown with some feigned
weakness, also looked over there...

Johnny's self satisfied mirth faded into a growing glower that he barely
managed to hide in time from the audience. It appeared almost right
away when he saw what was coming quickly towards them.


"Aww, Roy.. We were upstaged in the worst way! Now I don't know how all
those people tonight are EVER gonna start taking fire paramedics seriously."
Gage said, thumping his fist onto a nightstand next to the bed inside their
gypsy wagon. "Those clowns completely ruined everything for us."

"Oh, I don't think they did anything wrong, Johnny. I think you're just
overreacting again." said Roy, almost half asleep on the cushy bed next to
Johnny's butt. "I thought it was simply masterful to do what they did when they
did it to show all the kids that none of what happened was actually real. After
all, spontaneous combustion's not exactly what I call good childhood fairy tale

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"Oh... Yeah.. It's not... Ok, I agree with ya there. The circus had a right to lighten
things up a little. Including making a clown go up into eventually fake proven
smoke. But enough is enough of a joke...." he agonized again at the memory.
"...without us getting it rubbed in like that. They didn't have to do that bit at ALL."
Gage grumbled.

"I rather liked it." DeSoto said, chuckling where he lay eyeing up the heavily
varnished and curtain draped ceiling. "I thought everything they did afterwards
was super funny. Including our hobo friend's shinanigans. He's very good at
sight gag."

Gage glared the question. "In whose opinion?"

Roy cracked a smile. "What? Didn't you like the circus's ambulance, Johnny?"

Johnny shot to his feet and leaned a hand on the window so he could see
out into the thunderstorm that was fast approaching the circus grounds.
"No. Not a clown car where thirty clowns run out of it and try to put your
patient inside of it by using a stretcher with no bottom in it..." Gage complained.

Outside the wagon, getting rain wet and loving it, was Fritz. To Johnny's dismay,
the gypsy horse started laughing almost as loudly as Roy did.

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Click blinking circus lights to change musictrack.

From: "Patti" <>
Date: Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:42 pm
Subject: -AMA-

It was intermission, the prepping stretch of time the circus took in
between the floor and animal acts in the rings and the aerial ones.

Station 51's gang had made good on their threat to make an appearance
at Roy and Johnny's departmental gig.

"Say,..she's a looker." said Chet, leaning back on a picnic table that
was one of many rainbow hued ones placed practically inside the red
food tent where the show's chefs ran a gem of a chow line.

The firemen were surprised that the employee tent offered an extremely
varied multi-ethnic menu, everything from grilling steaks to vegan
rice dishes from the far east. "Johnny, you're missing out." said Kelly
tipping his head back as he peered at something up in the rafters.

"Whaa- huh?" Gage said, looking up from his heavily laden plate he
had perched on his lap. He cast his head about but didn't see anything
past a plethora of colorfully dressed circus performers.

"Zenith twelve o'clock.." Hank offered helpfully, sucking some barbeque
sauce off his fingers.

Gage looked up and noticed an elegant aerialist suspended over their heads.
"Oh, that's Sonya Skye. Everyone tells me that she's world famous for working
the ribbons."

"Working with what?" asked Stoker, reaching past Cap for a mustard bottle.

"The ribbons, you know, spinning stunts on ropes. Only she doesn't use those.
Just chiffon ribbons." Johnny grinned in appreciation.

"Careful, Johnny. You might burn your steak. I think you're overheating a little."
Marco warned teasingly as they all watched the girl work through a practice routine
of ballet moves and flips and strength moves on the two long lengths of red cloth
upon which she hung.

Gage didn't even hear him. "And she's not married. But the strongman says she
does have a boyfriend. He's a trapeze artist on the swings and a wire acrobat."

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Image of bbq.jpg
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Hank studied her thoughtfully. "She's not using a safety line up there."

Roy chuckled. "I don't think she needs to, Cap. Haven't you noticed that we're
the only ones unconsciously flinching whenever she does a hands free air flip?"

"She may be good. But still, you have to keep planning for the completely
unexpected." Hank shrugged. "High angle anything always needs
safety gear.  If there's one thing I've learned in our line of work it's
that nobody ever gets perfect at any skill no matter how much they've
practiced.There's always, at the very least, a fatigue factor that keeps
getting in the way."

"Yeah, that goes along hand in hand with some pig headedness at being impatient
for getting things worked out real fast to begin with." DeSoto agreed, jerking a
teasing thumb at Johnny as an example of who was already well known for
possessing that kind of trait.

"Spoken like true firefighters, both of ya." Kelly mumbled, working through
a plate full of spaghetti as if he had spent a week starving to death. "No, I think
Johnny's got the right idea for once, guys. Let's just sit back and enjoy the
scenery." he sighed, thoroughly enjoying the several suspended gymnastics
groups surrounding them.

Cap chuckled. "So,.. what'd'ya get?" he asked his two paramedics.

Roy looked down from the girl aerialist. Then he finally realized that he was being
addressed. "Oh. Uh.. For our first mock medical? We got a comical version of
a human torch act."

"A what?" Marco laughed.

"It's a long story. I was a great fan of it although I can't say that Johnny
was feeling too happy about it afterwards." Roy grinned.

"You saved the guy, right? I thought McConnikee wrote your scripts to
include a save no matter what the medical scenario." Chet wondered.

"Oh, yeah. We saved the guy from burning and suffocating to death,
but Johnny feels that the responding BLS support services left much
to be desired."

"What happened?"

"Clowns happened." DeSoto smirked.

The rest of the guys blinked at him uncomprehendingly.

Roy rubbed his face with a napkin. "Uh, I guess Johnny'll have to explain that
one himself later on when he's done oggling and eating. He tells it better."

"So you're having fun AND getting paid. That's great news. I was worried."
said Cap.

"Do we ever not have fun on our jobs?" Stoker quipped.

The rest of the gang chuckled.

"How are your prop supplies holding up. Do you want me to call McConnikee
and order more?" Cap said, tapping his HT.

"Nah, we're good." Gage said, finally paying attention to the conversation.
"So far we just used some CPR stuff and an oxygen mask."

"Where's the squad? Did you get it under shelter before all this rain hit?"

"Yep. It's parked behind the horses over there. We figured they wouldn't tug or
spit on it like some of the other animals might."

"Tug?" Chet frowned. "You mean they're hiding a gorilla or two around here

"No, Chet. They aren't." Gage said, leaning in on Chet. "Think elephant trunks.."
he said, pantomiming one in front of his face.

Roy giggled. "Yeah.. Poor Johnny's become the expert on just how annoying
those can be. He's sure tangled with enough of them during the last couple of

"What's the matter, Gage? Are you bored?" Hank said, seeing Gage's
dazed expression.

"Far from. Just--....."

"...overstimulated...." broke in Marco.

Gage shot him a nasty look and didn't offer up a reaction.

"So, any real life emergencies cropping up?" Hank asked, rubbing his hands

"Nope. None. Well, none if you don't call a twisted ankle an actual emergency
needing special attention." Johnny sighed.

Roy agreed, nodding blandly. "That was Rubber Man. He caught himself
between a box car door and the jam getting out of the train."

"What did you do for him?" Cap asked, wondering about whether or not they
had to have contacted the real hospital for permission to treat the performer.

"Ice and elevation." DeSoto told him. "Johnny and I both think he won't
be needing a doctor as badly as some of us would've in the same situation,

"..since he's so naturally double jointed anyway.." Chet interrupted.

"Yep. He'll heal REAL fast." Gage agreed.

"So how's the horse trailer?" Marco teased. "We all saw it driving in here."

"It's not a horse trailer, it's a genuine authentic Romanian vardo, a gypsy
wagon normally used way back when for folk of the royal blood." Gage
smugly shared with them. "We're housed like kings, believe it or not.
We're completely comfortable. Everything's absolutely plush in there."

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"Really? I never would have figured." Mike Stoker said, scratching his chin.
Then his eyes tracked a commotion on the other side of the tent. "Uh, oh.
Something's up.."

"Yeah,, she is.." said Chet, dreamily of the ribbon working Sonya, far
over their heads.

Cap and the others sat up a little straighter and started paying
attention when a babble, filled with stress, started rising.

"Oh, my g*d. Yuri's choking! Somebody help him!" cried the suspended
Sonya, who could see everything happening down below her. The lithe
young performer started sliding down the red chiffon bolts, impatiently
shoving past her spin handler/spotter as she reached the floor.
"Yuri!! I'm coming!"

Roy and Johnny and the others shot to their feet and started running
towards the heart of the growing crowd.

True to the shouts of panic, a man was down, collapsed and unmoving.
He was dressed in the apricot spandex of a trapeze artist.

"The ribbon girl's boyfriend." Chet guessed correctly. "I'll go
get the ringmaster."

Hank immediately began issuing orders. "Stoker, go pull up the squad.
The rest of you, control this crowd. They're interfering."

Marco immediately got on that, along with Stanley. "Folks, just step back.
The paramedics are here and we can't help this man if you're all
bending down over him like this. Step back!" said Lopez loudly.

One panicking lady, a bearded one, sniffled. "He's got to be choking. I saw
him take a bite and then he just keeled right over on top of his plate."

"Let me through! Yuri! Are you all right?" asked Sonya, finally getting
her tiny blond haired self, over to them.

Cap grabbed Sonya's shoulders when she showed no signs of
staying away. "Now, miss. That's what we're trying to find
out right now. Please calm down. Your panic's worrying everyone."

Sonya's eyes darted about and finally, she fell silent.

Cap could see that Roy and Johnny already had Yuri on his back
with his chin tipped up. "The gear's coming. I told Mike to bring it all."

"Ok, Cap." Gage said, as he and Roy bent low over the unconscious man.
"He's got a pulse."

DeSoto added more. "He's moving air ok here. And his throat and mouth are
clear. Johnny, he's getting diaphoretic."

"He's not choking?" fretted the bearded lady standing next to Marco."Then
what's his problem? I thought for sure that--"

"Ma'am.." said Marco, taking her arm. "Ma'am.. Roy and Johnny are gonna
figure that out real soon here, ok? But you're gonna have to calm down and
let them work on it. Why don't you have a seat?" he suggested, pulling over
a nearby picnic table bench.

Hank crouched by Roy and began shoving benches, loose straw... and other
people away from their patient. "Everybody, please. Help's already here.
There's nothing to see that you need to know about right away. Please.
Respect this couple's privacy by turning your backs to us. I'm sure that
you wouldn't want people gaping down at you if you were in his place
right now..."

Stanley's deep commanding tone had an effect and soon, folks moved
away and the sounds of normal dining began again.

The white leotarded Sonya was the only one who remained, seated
by Yuri's side, holding his hand. The firemen let her stay. "Yuri.. I'm here."
she sobbed.

Roy turned to her as Johnny got up to meet Stoker and the squad for
their emergency gear. "Sonya, do you know any of Yuri's medical history?
Does he have any prior condition that might explain why he passed out
like this?"

Sonya's large eyes started tearing up. "No.. no.. uh. Yuri and I keep
ourselves in good shape. We have to, or we wouldn't be able to work."
she said in a thick, soft soprano, full of Romanian accent. "He eats
good. Exercises for hours every day..." she wrung her hands nervously
in her lap. "I..." she broke off. "He never faints. That much I know." she
finally said with a strangely guarded expression.

Her evasiveness wasn't lost on Johnny. "Sonya, it's important that you tell
us anything you know so we'll know exactly how to treat him."

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"I know nothing important. Please, you have to believe me.." Sonya said,
suddenly looking up as Chet returned with the circus ringmaster. She
nervously stood and lowered her head, refusing to meet her boss's eyes.
"Just take care of him."

The ringmaster was swift to aid the firefighters. "I've instructed the sound
crew to restore your radio frequencies to normal.  Do you need me to do
anything else?" The red coated ring master stopped in his tracks when he
saw who was on the ground. "Sonya?  That's Yuri.."

"Yes. It is.." the girl said defensively. "But he will go on without breaching his
contract. He is just tired, sir. I promise." she whispered.

The ringmaster's face softened, not at all hard or businesslike. "He will perform
only if these men say that he still can, Miss Skye. You know the employee rules
as well as I do. I won't have him risking himself unnecessarily on the high wires."

"We know." said Sonya, still not looking up. "I'll come to your varda with his news
as soon as I learn it." she promised.

The ringmaster nodded and got out of the way of Stoker delivering the oxygen
apparatus as he departed the dining tent.

Roy looked up at Johnny a minute later.  Yuri lay covered in a fire coat with
his feet propped up on a trauma box. "Pressure's real low. Eighty palpated."

Johnny peeled back an eyelid around the oxygen mask they had going
on the young man. "Dilated." He drew out a penlight and used it. "Reactive."
Then he moved the mask aside and sniffed Yuri's breath."No ketones.
Respirations are 22 and shallow."

"Does he need a nasopharyngeal airway?" DeSoto asked Gage.

"No. He's not down that deep." Gage answered. "He reacts to pain. See?"
And Johnny demonstrated by firmly pinching one of the man's achilles tendons
behind his heel. Yuri caught his breath, even through his lax, pale expression
did not change.

Roy nodded. "I'll contact Rampart." Then he smiled. "Thank goodness this
tent's only made of cloth. Our reception should still be good."

"Cap." said Johnny. "We'll need an ambulance for him. This is something more
than just a faint."

"No.." said Sonya, cutting in fearfully. "No ambulance! He will not want that."

Hank took the girl by the shoulders. "Sonya, the choice isn't in either of yours
or Yuri's hands now.  The state of California recognizes any unconscious victim
as giving implied consent for all emergency rendered care."

"We don't have insurance.." Sonya said quickly.

"Doesn't matter." said DeSoto. "Rampart Hospital takes in all patients, regardless."

"Please.. We can't go! We'll lose our place in the line up..."

Cap finally had enough and led the distraught aerialist away. "Let's go
get you something to drink. You look thirsty. It'll be a few minutes before Mayfair
arrives. Once they're here, then we can worry some more. Isn't Yuri's health the
most important thing to be considering right now?" Hank asked her.

Sonya finally relented and stopped pushing away from the firm hand Cap
had on her shoulder. She nodded and reluctantly went with him.

Roy and Johnny worked quickly. Stoker had opened an I.V. of D5W with 5% Dextrose
at their request and had its line strung and already tube-bled free of air bubbles.  

DeSoto spoke quietly to Dr. Early. "Rampart, he's definitely an unknown unconscious.
There are no indications of previous trauma or signs of chemical dependent use.
But.. uh...the medical history from his girlfriend is.. uh.. cloudy at best."

##10-4, 51. Considering his age, vital signs and his otherwise good overall
physical conditioning, go ahead and treat for hypoglycemia. Even if he might prove
to be later ketoacidotic, a little more sugar added to his system, won't injure him.
If he does need that food boost to regain consciousness, then it's all good.##
said Joe over the biophone. ##Establish an I.V., 250 ml D5W 5% Dextrose. Run it
in for five minutes. If there's no reaction, give him a single dose of glucagon IM.##

"10-4, Rampart. 250 ml D5W 5% Dex wide followed by 1 milligram Glucagon if
no change is noted."

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