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        Pump         Peculiarities
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Page Two

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From: "Cassidy Meyers" <>
Subject: The Life Broken..
Date: Tue, 01 May 2007 01:42:47

Station 51 was the first at the scene.

Stanley got on his HT to wide broadcast. ##Squad 51, block off the
bridge on the north side perpendicular to the road. We'll cover the south.
I'll notify additional PD to reroute all traffic.##

##10-4, Cap.## replied Gage through the frequency.

Roy DeSoto parked quickly, straddling the double yellow no passing line,
obstructing two lanes. The Ward, did the rest on the opposite side of the
concrete river bridge.

Hank Stanley leaped out of the engine cab and was met by a CHiPs police
officer who left the open door of his highway cruiser."He's down there hanging
on one of the foot pilings." said the officer.

"Is he injured?" Hank asked.

"Not that I can tell. His friends said he climbed down on a dare. He hasn't spoken
yet to me but I think he's only petrified by the speed of the moving water." the
cop reported. "He's gripping the edge pretty tight."

The rest of the gang instantly moved for ropes, high angle gear, and gloves
from the trucks.

"All right. We'll take it from here." said Stanley, unhappily eyeing the pedestrian
spectators and other gawkers that had already gathered on the causeway to watch.

The policeman nodded and jogged off to chase away the last of the cars
jammed up on the bridge that had been gliding slowly by out of curiosity.

Hank waited the half minute it took his men to get fitted into safety equipment.
"Just the one." he told them. "Skip the spinal precautions. He's not hurt."

Roy let out the breath he was holding. "Cap, we'll eyeball what we're gonna
need." said DeSoto as he and Johnny made for the high railing overlooking
the river along the sidewalk.

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"Make it fast." Stanley said, looking at his watch. "Marco. Go be an upstream
lookout. Grab yourself a radio and switch to Tach 2. I'll get us an open mutual
aid frequency there through L.A. in a minute. Chet. Go lay out  three lifelines
thirty yards apart on our side of the riverbank for when the downstream safety
crews get here. Coordinate with Truck 85 when they arrive and get three men
each on a line. Make sure their end man is securely belted in and held at the
ready. Stoker, keep an eye on him." he said, pointing down at the boy in the
river below.  

"Cap?" asked Johnny, not needing to elaborate, asking the question.

Hank let out the pursed breath he was holding. "Okay. Get down there to him
after tying yourself off the engine. I also want one of you to keep watching the
water upstream for signs of beginning flood. Set your watches for noon exactly.
I estimate that we'll have only five minutes or so afterwards to get him out of
there once the release begins. Mike, keep talking to him. I'll be right with you."

They scattered to do their assigned tasks swiftly.

Cap pulled out his HT antennae again and started broadcasting their situation.
"Engine 51, L.A. Confirmed one male juvenile on a bridge foot at the McKennet
Point overpass. Water velocity is ten to fifteen, still pre-release at normal height.
We need a swift water response of five engines, USAR One, an air squad, and a
Battalion to coordinate and set up an Incident Command Post on the north side
of the river closest to the victim. Also I'm requesting Tach 2 priority for all further
company communications. This rescue will be shore based."

##L.A, Engine 51. Tach 2 is yours. Relaying your message to all agencies.
USAR reports an E.T.A. of ten minutes. Battalion Seven in three.##

::Not fast enough. Not fast enough for us at all.:: Cap thought, looking at his watch
again nervously. ::Why didn't I push for getting outfitted with proper water gear
a little harder last year?:: he chided himself derisively. ::We're not ready. We've
got nothing completely safe to work with.::  "10-4, L.A. " Hank looked down with
worry at the small boy in the black shirt still clinging to the cement diverter. He
could hear Stoker giving encouragement to the boy using a hand held megaphone.
The engineer's voice was full of strain and anxiety that he was keeping barely
hidden despite all his years of experience. ::Kid calls are the worst.:: Hank agreed.
Stanley took up his position on the very middle of the bridge, and he began a wait.


"In a minute, two firemen will be right with you. We're coming down right now.
What's your name, son?" asked Stoker, aiming his speaker down.

The trembling boy didn't look up or answer.

Stoker balled his gloved fists on the railing in frustration. "It's okay. I know
you're scared. Keep hanging on just like your doing. Can you get your
other leg over the other side of that barrier? Straddle it, like you're
riding a horse. Your balance'll be better then. Can you do that for me?"

The child didn't respond one bit. His fingers remained gripping white in color
and locked down deep into the moss growing all around him. One shoe was
already dragging in the water as the boy's muscles grew more fatigued and
Stoker could see he was beginning to have difficulty keeping it lifted out of
the river long enough to ease its constant drag on the rest of his body.

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Roy and Gage moved quietly as they laid their turnouts on the rail to prevent rope
rub. Johnny was the one decided to dangle himself above the boy while Roy got
set to lower him further on a half hitch using the Ward's bumper as a winch.
Both remained vocally quiet so they wouldn't startle the boy.

Stoker's watch went off and everybody flinched as the noon hour begain sounding.
Mike began to breathe faster. ::Not now. Oh, why now? He's still trapped.::  
The engineer's mouth went dry and his eyes flickered far upstream to the visible
mountain and the aqueduct threading down it. His heart began to pound as an
unwelcome surge of adrenalin suddenly gripped him.

The cascade, had begun. In the distance, a roar was growing steadily as cubic
tons of water entered the newly channeled river as it was released from the higher

Cap shot into action. "Everybody! I want a solution. Right now!" he said to all of
his men through his walkie talkie right as Truck 85 arrived to assist them and
bailed out all its personnel.

Stoker could only hear the pulse racing in his ears as the morning's stress built
to a head. He dropped the megaphone to his side and his eyes slammed shut
as he began to think frantically. He gripped his shirt front reflexively as his
heart pounded in his chest.

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Long seconds dragged like nails in the air as everybody froze at the order.

Then Stoker shouted.
"Cap, I think I got it!" he said, trying to ignore the din of his heart's fast beating.

##Go.## Hank encouraged quickly.

Stoker improvised, gasping softly, his emotions jumbling chaotically.
"Uh,... rig ,,,rig..a hose on a rope.. Through it, like a leader. It's light. It'll float..
Use it as a catch. You and I can drape it in the water around the boy in a "U".
When he's washed out, he'll snag on it for sure at the waist. It'll buy us more
time for Johnny to get to him." he panted, legs trembling.

Hank nodded, casting his head heavenwards in instant gratitude. "DeSoto. You
got one minute left. Then get ready to haul Gage out of there pronto!" he shouted.
"We've figured out a fast rigged backup. Don't risk yourselves past that any later."
he hollered.

Both paramedics nodded from where they were, Johnny still dangling
suspended, with Roy, spotting him.

Cap ran for the Ward and so did Mike in a desperate dash to enable the
quickly improvised plan.

Johnny could see the beginnings of new agitation in the boy as the child
started to realize his new impending peril. The last thing the paramedic wanted
was for him to start panicking. "Don't turn around to look or you'll fall. I'm right
above ya! Just don't move! I'm almost grabbing you." Gage gasped, keeping
his eyes on a deceptively beautiful twinkle a half mile down the horizon. It was
the wall of arriving water. It had already found the river's flatter bed and was
speeding smoothly towards them at thirty five miles an hour.

A sucking sound snaked and echoed around them. The air temperature
dropped several degrees as moisture billowed out ahead of the flood.

Hank and Stoker worked hard to thread a rope through one of the short black
accordian feeder hoses that was always fastened to the driver's side of the
LaFrance. Then, when they were done, they dragged the whole apparatus
across the road to the edge in their arms.

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"Gage! Heads up! Watch him!" Hank hollered.
Their warning completed, they flipped the rigging over the side of the bridge
like an arching jump rope, on the downstream side, where the boy was.
It smacked the water with a splash and they tied it off their rope ends to either
side of Roy snugly.

Breathing hard, Mike and Cap leaned their hands on their knees in relief
while the others took over. But still wanting to see the situation, they pulled
themselves up on the railing and looked down, exhausted.

Johnny swung the last three feet towards the boy just as the crest of
rapid water hit. It swept violently into both of them.  The child screamed but
the floating hose section caught him neatly at the waist, bending him in half.
He was only under the water by himself for a couple of seconds until Johnny
grabbed a hold of his pants top and hauled him up into his arms.

Seeing the rescue connect, Chet and Marco and a team from 85's hauled
in on Gage's life belt guiding rope that Roy had thrown to them, pulling him
neatly to the concrete slope of the river bank below the bridge.

Spitting out silty water, Johnny shoved the boy in front of him. "Grab that
rope and climb out!" he shouted over the din of the rapids.  The boy did so, his
paralysis long broken by the shock of cold water. A kick to his butt sent him
sprawling into waiting firefighter arms and a warm blanket. Then Johnny was
dragged out by his rope on his stomach to the dry cement. Firefighters helped
him to his slippery feet and all of them retreated just in time, escaping the rising
water as the replenishment flood quickly peaked in the channel where they
had been.

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Gasping in exhaustion, Johnny grabbed the boy. "You okay?" he yelled over
the din of the raging river.

The boy nodded and began crying as he reached out to grip Gage around
the neck in a fierce and still frightened hug. He didn't let go.

Smiling, Johnny picked him up and carried him back onto the bridge.

Stoker was still squatting against the bridge railing wall with his jacket flung off at
his feet when Roy and Johnny began a vitals set on the boy from Truck 85's bumper.
"How's he doing?" Mike asked, still trying to catch his breath from where he and Cap
were resting.

"Not a single scratch." grinned Roy, setting a BP cuff around the boy's arm.

"Good." said Stoker, burying his head onto his knees where he puffed. "I'm
glad. Just......good." he stammered, still coming down from his fight or flight
jitters. "It worked! It really worked." he said, still not smiling.

"I'm proud of you, Mike. That was the slickest rescue idea I've ever seen thought
up on the fly." said Hank, patting his shoulder. "We'll submit that one a.s.a.p. to
the chief when he gets here. Maybe with that in place, no more kids'll end up in a
fatal sudden swim today."

Only then, did Mike allow himself to smile. The moment was bitter and sweet.

The captain of Station 85 saw their victim resolution and he cancelled all
responding units over the airwaves.

An olive skinned girl burst through the cheering crowd and shouted. "Anton?
Just what kind of trouble did you get into now? Mom's gonna kill ya."

"Ma'am, is this your little brother?" said Gage to the adult aged woman.

"Yeah. Is he okay?"

"Yep. He's a little water logged but only on the outside thankfully. You might want to
tell him about the new flash flood schedule and about how he can't play down in the
riverbed any more like he's used to doing." Roy shared, putting away their medical

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"Oh, believe me. I will." she said fiercely, taking him by the ear. "Can I take him
home now?"

"Sure. But first, I'd talk to that police officer over there. I'm afraid your little
brother's got some serious explaining to do about why the whole Los Angeles
County Fire Department had to be called out here for him today."

"Don't worry. Those gums are gonna flap or my belt's gonna start to fly!
Come on, Anton. Let's go pay your dues. You're gonna take anything they
dish out to you, like a man." she scolded the boy.

Sullenly, the still dripping Anton followed his angry sister over to the CHiP
lieutenant who was waiting by his squad car with an open notebook.

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All of their HTs went off in a triple hailing beep. It was L.A. ##Station 51. L.A.
Air reports that a drag race was going on in the bed just below his current position
over Griffith Park. The flood threatened to overtake the two vehicles. They got out
of danger but the pilot reports one of the automobiles has suffered a high speed
rollover in a dry hillside channel. He's reporting one ejected who isn't the driver.##

"Let's go." said Hank. "L.A., inform our B.C. We're on the way. KMG 365." he
acknowledged. Then he pocketed his HT. "Chet, leave those lines. We've got
plenty more to cover ourselves."  Kelly abandoned the rope coils he had been
rewrapping on the ground. Cap shaded his eyes under his helmet and squinted
up into the sky. "He's right over the middle of the park." he said about the fire
department helicopter. "He's landing in McGregor's Square?"

"I know the place." said Mike snatching up his coat again, not caring that his
uniform shirt was wide open and untucked while he tried to cool himself down
inside of his sweat drenched T-shirt. "We're four minutes away."

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Engine 51 and Squad 51 roared up the dry side river channel parallel to a rainwash
overflow draining trench a few minutes later and what met their eyes, was
horrifying as the stench of blood curled in the wind and flowed into their open

The landed helicopter pilot standing on the overlook slab above them was
pointing urgently down, right at them. Then he gave a wave when he saw
them get out of the vehicles in the proper spot.

"Oh, my G*d." said Cap, stepping out of his door. He got on the dash mic
immediately. "Engine 51. L.A. We've victims times five at our location. Trauma
is apparent with heavy vehicular damage. Send another helicopter response, urban
rescue and three paramedic units A.S.A.P. to the wash channel immediately
below McGregor's Overlook."

##10-4, Engine 51.## Multiple tones floated out as aid was called in en mass.

Cap and Stoker ran to the car first while Johnny and Roy emptied out all their
medical gear onto the ground and rapidly put on extrication gloves behind them.

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Hank and Mike skidded to a halt as an awake female staggered out of the car
and began pointing to a high school aged, alcohol reeking, male driver emerging
from the wreckage. Both were without a single major injury.

"It's all his fault!" screamed the hispanic girl. "You killed them you useless son
of a---" she sobbed, pointing at him, grief stricken, with a finger. "Why did you
have to drive so fast? We were already safe." she sobbed violently, wilting to
her knees onto the hot ground.

Cap and Mike immediately went for the young male teen thrust through the windshield
on the hood while Chet and Marco began checking another bloody male and female
lying motionless near and under the car. Stoker pulled off a glove and felt for a carotid
on the first teenager. "Cap, he's ...he's long dead. I think he bled out through his neck."
he said, his pulse racing in horror.

"Both of these victims are gone, too." said Kelly, kicking away beer cans and the
glass of a shattered wine bottle away from his shoes. "They've ALL been drinking."
he said angrily.

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A gasp from a new quarter stunned them as Roy DeSoto, hurrying with the drug
and I.V. boxes, froze in place.  His mouth gaped open and he immediately
dropped them, paling. A wordless choke issued from his lips, his eyes never leaving
the white face of the blond haired fatality lying on his back and throat mangled on the

Johnny Gage grabbed his arm. "Roy, what's wrong? What happened?" he asked

DeSoto spoke, completely numb.

"What?!" Gage exclaimed. He rivetted on the young man's face and then
he knew like his partner did, beyond any shred of a doubt. The Code F lying
broken in front of them, was Roy's son.

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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Wed May 2, 2007 6:14 am
Subject: Tight Focus..

DeSoto ran over to Chris and grabbed at his motionless
stomach, trying to act. To think...

Roy's face contorted into a rictus of shock and grief and he
immediately vomited. Johnny hung onto him. "Roy,.. don't
look at him... Don't...look!" he cried in a whisper, pulling Roy's
helmet off to free up his face. He quickly turned his partner's
head, breaking his eye contact with Chris's body as he emptied
his stomach into the riverbed's shallows.

Hank left Stoker by the car and took DeSoto by the shoulders,
forcing him to turn bodily around once he was through getting ill.
He supported his fireman, starting to lead him protectively away
from the sight and smell of death and sun cooking beer. Stanley
gave a soft order to the rest of the gang, still locked and frozen
behind him. "C-..Cover them up. All of them right now." he hissed
with pain. "But first, you've got to....move him off snip that
battery before.."

"Yeah. We'll get it, Cap." Lopez said with a dry mouth, trembling.

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"Gage." said Stanley. "Look after those other two, best you can. I'm..."

"Cap, just get Roy well away from here." Johnny said, his face setting into
a grim, going on guts expression. "He shouldn't have to see..." and he
choked off, getting angry even as the tears began filling his eyes.

"We're on it, Cap. Go with him." said Chet, interrupting, insisting firmly.

Hank nodded. ::He'll be able to work.:: Stanley thought about Gage.
"Come on, Roy. Come with me. Let's go right now... We're gonna
walk someplace else." he spoke quietly into his ear.

Huge, almost silent, wracking sobs erupted into horrified cries of
emotional agony a few seconds later as hard concrete reality worked its
way inside DeSoto's mind mercilessly. He had become the father who
was hopelessly lost and he was no longer in charge of anything.

Stanley hugged Roy tightly around his shoulders and he said, "I know it. Keep
walking this way.." he said, voice breaking, as tears streamed down his own
face. "We're gonna wash your hands off."

DeSoto's eyes were locked onto the sight of his son's blood on his fingers.

Cap covered them with a gripping glove, hiding them. "This way. The reel line's
over here."

He guided Roy to the view obstructing bulk of the engine.

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Gage went to the two teenagers sitting on the ground. He talked after fiercely
wiping his streaming nose. A noise of pain escaped him as he fought
down his own reaction. But then he said, "Are you guys hurt.... anywhere?"

They were silent, upright, and didn't answer. Gage knelt and then he quickly
pat down swept across them with his hands, looking for wounds and he briefly
checked their eyes using the sunlight. "How much have you had to drink?"

"Two beers.." they both mumbled.

Johnny got mad. "Not very likely.." he hissed to himself. "All right. Can you
both stand? We're getting away from the car in case it catches."

"They're gonna burn up in a fire?!" sobbed the girl, becoming suddenly
animated in her drunken state. Gage prevented her from getting to her feet so she
couldn't run over to her dead friends. The alcohol on her breath issued forth,
heavily sour and fetid.

Gage turned his head, trying not to make a face of disgust.

From the corner of his eye, Johnny could see Stoker and Kelly gathering up Chris's
body's limbs to set him onto the ground so they could open the car's torn hood to end
any sparking risks from its power source.  A yellow tarp covered his head now
but a limp arm slipped free of it unknowingly to dangle down limply. Johnny could see
several fingers had been broken. They were still bleeding.  He sucked in a careful
breath. "" he said quietly. "There's too much water around down by them.
They're soaked. And Chris,.. is being moved off the car." he said graphically. The
simple ugly truth did its work and the girl stopped her hysterics.

Both the murdering driver, and she, began answering all of his medical questions.

Not long after that, the police arrived.


All Stoker could think about was how big Roy's son had grown since he had
seen the last photograph Roy had offered him in the station's locker room. "I never
got to meet him, Chet."  He grunted a bit at his heaviness as they carried Chris
over to the concrete slope of the river. "I had no idea he was in high school now."

"I think I knew." Kelly said tightly, his face twisted in pain. "Roy mentioned he was
teasing Chris about not passing his driver's permit test. And about how he did it
anyway last spring."

Stoker's heart pounded in his chest louder and louder as his surroundings got
more and more unreal to his perceptions. ::No one should have to live through
this. It's not fair.::  he thought. "Oh, G*d this is hard." he gasped, stricken, to

"All right, I'm setting him down." warned Kelly, as he pivotted to lower Chris's
head and upper body gently onto the massive stone slab wall. "We should find
out for him, Stoker. So he doesn't have to wait and hear it from the coroner."

Mike staggered, panting as he released his burden. "Do it. Check him." he
sobbed. "It's the only thing left we can do." he cried softly, re-covering the body's
broken legs. He dodged a sudden stream of dark blood that ran out from under
the stained tarp unconsciously before it could touch his knees and that made
his odd growing nausea rise even higher.

Kelly exposed Chris's chalky bluish white face and tipped up his chin,
opening his mouth. Reluctantly, bending near, with tears flowing, he
slowly sniffed. Then he shook his head eagerly."He's clear. Not a bit of
it." he sniffled tearfully. "The stuff's only on his clothes. From all the spilling
in the crash.." He tried to smile.

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"He was the designated driver?" Stoker read Chet's face, feeling a chest
tightness for the first time where he toe crouched, hunched over on his hands.

"Yeah, maybe. Only it was...far too late." Chet whispered. "We should tell
Roy, Mike. Just as soon as we can. I don't want Roy to think any longer that
Chris died while on some stupid *ss drinking binge."

The world spun, and dizziness clamped down. Stoker had time enough to
lift his head. "Chet. Something's..wrong with me.. I can'"

Mike Stoker lost consciousness then and fell. He tumbled down the concrete
river slope bonelessly to land in the skin deep water flowing, golden sand at
the bottom.


Stoker awoke to the sound of loud beeping. It was an EKG monitor sounding
out an alarm, reading acute cardiac distress.

"Mike.. Can you hear me?" he heard a familiar voice ask urgently. "Come on,
open your eyes if you can."

Mike gasped under a demand valve pressed over his face, and did it.
He startled when pure oxygen sucked into his lungs easily. The first thing
he saw was the tall trunk of a palm tree lying right next to his cheek
and the lofty green crown of it sticking into the sky. Panicking, he tried to sit
up, to end the smothering feeling he was fighting. He was eased upright and
held against someone's lap and hands. Stoker reached out desperately,
choking, still trying to draw in a full breath.

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"What is it?" Kelly asked a worried, hovering Gage about the engineer.

Johnny listened to Stoker's lungs and heart closely with a stethoscope,
pressing his lips together. "I don't know yet. Just keep offering him
ventilations if he still needs them."

To Mike, there were only swimming shadows of blue on blue. And black.
He did not seem to be able to recognize his crewmates. Chet steadied
Stoker's head, speaking soft encouragements as he helped him oxygenate.

Cap leaned in closer where he stood over them. "Is this... Is Mike having
an M.I.?"

"It's too soon to tell, Cap." Gage's voice quavered. "I'm calling Rampart.."
Johnny said, snatching for the biophone. "His pulse rate's off the scale."

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From :  Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Sent :  Wednesday, May 2, 2007 11:36 AM
Subject :  The Limbo Effect..

"Rampart, this is HT 51. How do you read?" Johnny hailed.

Hank winced at the omission of the squad's title.

Gage looked up as he impatiently waited for a doctor to come
onto the line. The tears that were falling down his face, one by one,
wouldn't stop. "Where's Roy?" he asked, clearing his throat.

"Vince's with him." Hank answered immediately. "He's not
letting him out of his sight or allowing him to get into view of us.
What do you want us to do for Mike next?"

"Keep him warm. See if he can do a Valsalva maneuver. If that doesn't
work, start massaging a carotid artery. I already checked his neck. He doesn't
have any bruits. Rub one only on a single side while watching the monitor. If
he goes brady,.. uh,..... let me know." Gage gasped, thinking hard through his
scrambling emotions. "And check him for head or spinal injuries. I know he
didn't fall far, but it looked like he rolled fast."

The gang got to work.

"He's breathing fine, Johnny. Normally." Kelly shared as he loosened
Stoker's belt buckle by reaching down over him. Mike was sweaty, shivering,
and his skin was hot in spite of his color being so pale.

Gage nodded, almost breaking his green pen's point on his paramedic notepad
around the vital signs notations he didn't remember scribbling down. There was
a bloody fingerprint on the paper....He closed his eyes, trying to get a hold of

##Squad 51, this is Rampart.## Dr. Brackett replied with puzzlement to
Gage's unusual identification declaration. ##I'm reading you loud and clear.##

"Rampart, we've a Code I--" Gage's voice broke and he stopped talking for long
tortured seconds.  Stanley set a hand on his arm and squeezed it in comfort
without looking at him.

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##Johnny, I didn't hear all of that. You broke up. Repeat your transmission.##
Kel asked firmly, thinking faulty airwaves were to blame.

Gage swallowed dryly, got a hold of his wits, and then he turned totally paramedic.
"Doc, we've a Code I, recovering from a sinkable episode and falling log
roll of about fifteen feet. He's exhibiting supraventricular tachycardia of undetermined
origin. On lead II, he's showing a rate of 180, skin's hot, non-flushed and very
diaphoretic. He's somewhat stuperous and partially non-reactive to verbal commands.
BP is 150 over 90, respirations were irregular initially, but now at twenty, deep
and regular on one hundred percent O2. We're attempting Valsalva and carotid
massage. Request permission for an I.V. and a dose of standby Adenocard."

##Go ahead with that injection I.V. push with a 500 cc bag of Normal Saline if
his cardiac rate doesn't slow down with those vagal maneuvers in two minutes.
Send me a strip, A.S.A.P. Then wire him for a twelve lead. I want to see what's
happening more clearly, 51. Is he showing any signs of obvious injury that might
be related to his recent fall?##

"Negative, Rampart." Gage reported when he got head shakes from Marco, Cap
and Chet. "But,...he's...under some unusual stress currently." he said. ::We all are.::
came his thought, unbidden. ::Killer stress.:: "And he's had a lot of caffeine today
in the form of coffee. Ok, I'm sending you a strip."

##Ok, 51. Watch for any rhythm degeneration into V-Fib. It might come with this kind of
arrythmia.## Kel said after studying the feed into his base station. ##I'm suspecting
these findings are mostly paroxysmal. Is he experiencing any chest pain?##

"Negative, Rampart. Just some tightness." Johnny said when Marco shook his head.
"Also, his chest sounds are clear, without any signs of pulmonary edema."

##Okay, we'll hold off using nitroglycerin, MS and baby aspirin for now until we've
tried just about everything else.## Dr. Brackett mapped out.

Chet looked up from Mike. "Johnny, he bore down twice for me, while holding
his breath, but I don't think it's helping." Kelly said, still rubbing the left side of
Stoker's neck with carefully pressed in knuckles.

##I see that, too.## said Kel, looking at the places where only subtle changes occurred
while Mike tightened the muscles of his abdomen. ##Rate's staying the same.
Ok, let's cease carotid massage. Johnny, go ahead and push that adenosine rapidly,
followed by a 10ml saline flush into the port. If that doesn't work, we'll try a ß-blocker.##

"10-4, doc."  Then he startled when something swept by on the monitor. He
shouted. "Dr. Brackett, I think I just saw a Delta wave." And Gage went even chalkier.

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Brackett became a steady presence, realizing that something else was very amiss apart
from a firefighter being down with palpitations. He spoke no nonsense, making sure he
got through to Johnny in the most effective way possible. ##That doesn't effect our
plans one iota. His treatment's still the same. Just get yourselves more ready to
handle any possible adverse outcomes. Carry out my orders to the letter, Johnny,
and right now. He needs chemical or electrically paced conversion immediately.##

Gage leaned down and took Stoker by the sides of his face where he lay puffing
under the positive pressure mask. "Mike, I'm going to be giving you some medication
and it's gonna make you feel kinda lousy for about a minute. It's not too fun. You might
feel short of breath because your pressure's gonna drop. Ready?"  Then Johnny looked
up significantly to the others. 'He might code.' he mouthed silently to them.

Stoker nodded and allowed Chet to lay him flat onto the concrete.
He didn't see Kelly drag an ambu bag a little closer to his knees.

"Ok, here goes.." Gage said, starting the rapid injection. "This has an ultrashort half-life.
Whatever it's gonna do or not do, will be over fast, Mike. Hold still while I deliver this."
Johnny told him quietly. "Watch the sky or something."

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Stoker regarded the regal date palm swaying above him in the middle of the ring of
faces surrounding his own for long seconds. Then he slowly closed his eyes.

Mike felt the world drift away as an odd, flushing sensation began to sweep through his
still twitching muscles. He tried to scream at the phantom pain but then he blacked out

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