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         Page Three

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"The baby's fine. Not a scratch. The two men with me have minor
injuries. One has a broken arm, and only cuts and abrasions on both."

"How about yourselves, guys..." Gage said as he directed the woman's
stokes up through the hole using the guide ropes. "Don't leave anything

"We were both unconscious for a bit. Me? Deeper than him." Marco said.
"You already know about ...the leg. I've got a slight headache. I can't
seem to make...sense of certain things."

"You mean, as in recent memory?"

"Yeah. Uh,...where exactly are we? On Supolveda?"

"No. We're at the harbor. Keep your head up. This O2's for you." said Johnny,
cracking open a second tank. "I'll take your blood pressure in a second. You're
getting a little hypovolemic because of some blood loss from your leg. I know
you're not as seriously head knocked as you think you are." Johnny said.
"Put this mask on and lay quiet. I'm gonna go see how Mike's baby's doing.
I'll be right back." Gage said as he rechecked the dressings over Marco's leg.
As he thought, hemorrhaging had begun again in that wound in earnest. He
quelled it with a blood stopper dressing without disturbing the shard and tied it off.

"Ouch.. Easy with that!" sighed Marco, placing his dusty head on a concrete
lump until he was comfortable. The hissing sound of the oxygen over his nose and
mouth only made him sleepier. ::Maybe I'm just relieved the other guys are ok.
I hope I'm not really shocky at all.:: he wished. Then his awareness faded, and it
scared him to no end when he realized that he couldn't fight it off. He blacked out.

"Marco?" Johnny asked.

Lopez didn't reply.

Johnny scrambled near once more and angled Marco's head back along
a rubbled boulder after he was sure the firemen was still breathing well
enough to manage by himself. "Brice, throw down a Ringer's! Marco's
just gone out on me due to a partial impalement through his lower right

"Two bags coming right up." Craig anticipated.

Inwardly, Johnny both grinned and frowned at Brice's d*mn*ble but always
incredible paramedic's foresight. ::And I'll probably need 2000 cc's, too,
to revive him.::

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After fluid stabilizing Marco, Gage slowly worked to get
through the small, cramped space to gather the rest of his medical
surveys on the others.

One of the men with Stoker, sighed. "You mean, that wasn't an earthquake?
I never heard anything quite that loud before. What was it?"

Mike answered him, blinking grit out of his eyes. He had long ago taken
his helmet off to use it like an umbrella over the whimpering baby cradled
in his arms. "That roar was the whole building crumbling down after the tank
reservoir on the dock exploded."

"That d*mn*d Oil Company. I told them that tank was leaking. It's been stinking
every morning when the breeze blows inland from the sea. Everybody in
the office's been smelling it for two weeks straight."

"Wait a minute. It was doing what?!" Gage asked him as he crawled a
little closer to all four of them. "Why didn't you call the gas utilities?"

"We did. Numerous times. Not our fault that nobody did anything about it.
If anything, the fault's entirely on your heads now. Don't you fire department
types regularly inspect oil wells for problems every month? Too bad so many
people had to die today before--" the man broke off, completely shaken.

Gage filed away that observation as food for thought along with the man's
personal information from his Driver's License.

Johnny only delayed the baby's rescue by a minute or so. Long enough for
him and Stoker to carefully place her onto a papoose board for the trip up
and out of the debris field. "Infant's stable!" he shouted at Craig.
"Stoker, are you uninjured enough to help me with Marco? He's next. Pop in
his OPA for me, would you? I thought he'd've reawakened by now." he
said, turning up Lopez's second drip chamber to wide open as he
immobilized the first injured man's lower arm with his other hand.

Johnny watched Lopez accept the airway without flinching. But Gage
noted that Marco's face was still warm and only a tiny bit pale. Gage did a
deep pain check and was rewarded with a grimace as Stoker bent close
to tend him.

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Mike sighed and he turned his head when Gage's radio began chattering at him.
"It's in, Johnny. The crew's sending the stokes down again in half a minute.
They have to check on a potential recollapse warning siren that's just gone off."

"Brice!" Gage shouted.

##Hang on down there. We're checking with the IC.## came Brice's calm
voice over the HT Johnny had out on a rock. Seconds later, Craig was
back on the frequency. ##False alarm. It was just dust settling. What'll come
down, already has, according to all the engineers we've got out here. You're free
to resume..## he reported to Johnny.

"We're on our way! Ok, Stoker, while we wait for the basket stretcher, help
me put a pair of splints on this arm and Marco's leg. And before you
ask, Roy, Chet and Cap are doing just great. All three are at Rampart. And that's
where we're going, too. I made sure of those arrangements way ahead of time."
Johnny told the dirty, worried engineer.

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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:18 pm
Subject: Blood is Thicker Than...

Mike Stoker finally allowed himself to relax way
inside, where all of his tension had wound the tightest.
::It'll be a long healing period for all of us physically.:: he
thought to himself as he watched Marco be loaded onto a gurney
in a prep to be moved to a waiting helicopter. He himself, had
declined the offer to fly in a bird, using his right of choice to take
an ambulance into the hospital. "See all the victims here? Now
even though I'm not a paramedic, I know there's someone who needs
it more than I do." he told Johnny from his gurney as he was blanketed
and triaged.

Gage grinned. "That's the sound of a true fire station engineer's
heart talking, Brice. Ain't it a wonderful thing?" he chuckled.

Craig nodded in agreement, pushing his debris dusty glasses
up a little further up his nose. "Marco's coming to. Those two I.V.'s
are finally working." he said where he crouched over the bundled
firefighter. Brice took the short airway out of Marco's mouth just
as the waking fireman started protesting it physically.

"About time things worked. Knowing Marco, he just wanted to take
his usual afternoon nap time anyway despite being buried under
ten storeys of collapsed building." Johnny looked around them quickly.
"Where's the woman?" he asked.

"She was flown out three ago. See it there?" Brice said, tossing
a careless bloodied glove westwards into the sun.

Gage caught the sight of the tail end of the chopper as it crested
the last hill as it disappeared over the horizon. When he concentrated,
he could just make out the air distorted thwap of retreating rotors over
the noisy, chaotic sound of heavy machinery still digging in search.
"Got ya. So, how many do they think are still out there?" he asked
about trapped victims.

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Brice's face fell. "Not many. Dogs have reacted to only two
more places past your crew's hole on the whole site. I'm afraid the
rest are....probably dead." he said quietly. But he immediately
bolstered up his confidence again. "That child one of the city guys
pulled out of the debris field's still alive. He was breathing on his
own when he left. Got a chance to see him when the firefighter carrying
him fast walked on by for the green zone."

"That's good to hear." said Gage. "That's.. that's really great. Come on,
let's get these two into a pair of warm beds at Rampart. Dixie'll probably
wanna baby them to death like she did Roy, Cap and Chet when
they got there."

"...sounds nice.." Lopez whispered in a phlegmy wheeze. "Me first.."
he grunted in pain.

"Shush and let your epinephrine start working in peace without your
jawing about things aggravating it." Gage chided him no nonsense.

Marco ignored Johnny, his sense of self righteousness becoming
fully intact as rapidly as his returning consciousness did. "I don't
remember all the details. Was I happy about being found?" he
coughed, pulling off his oxygen mask. "What happened to me
again after you got to us?"

"Same thing that always happens when you open a vein or two and let it
go too long. Your body decided to go on strike for a little bit. You'll
be fine now."  Brice told him, taking another blood pressure. "Your EKG's
showing that you're back to near normal."

"Hate to bust your bubble. But I don't feel anywhere near normal..."

"That's just your bruises talking. Trust Craig Brice on that one, Lopez.
He's a brilliant paramedic." Johnny laughed.

"Says who?" said Bellingham, walking up to the others to collect Marco's
red tagged evac orders. "I don't see no Floyd Nightgale here. Do you?
I'd know it if I ever found myself working with a Mr. Perfect Partner type."

"You gotta stand back a little to see the halo. You must be getting blinded
for being so close." Gage told him.

The others smiled, including Brice, who did his with a strong dose of
simple modesty.

Bob waved over two firemen to take Lopez away to the evac takeoff pad.
"Well, the fire's out, at least around here. It'll be the rest of the day yet
before those tankers are doused properly. They're still having trouble
with tanker number twelve. Keeps re-igniting itself due to internal heat."

"No longer our problem..And never will be again." Johnny said empathetically
as he gathered up the last of all their medical gear. "Come on, let's get out of
here. I'm getting really tired of the scenery around these parts. It's becoming
too depressing for me. Fast."  he said, thinking about repercussions that would
soon come Cap's way.

No one denied him that observation.


Hank Stanley pulled up his car across the street from Station 51. He couldn't
find it within himself to park boldly in the backyard's lot like he would have
done if circumstances weren't so disturbingly different.

It was mid-evening, and the station was deserted. ::They've rearranged the
FD response grid in our service area to work around our absent shift. They
don't have enough people to fill all our shoes while we're still gone like
this on medical leave.:: Stanley empathized.  

He hadn't wanted to come. Not really. Not when every familiar piece of
equipment, smell, and object in the firehouse would remind him of working.
::And that's a job that might no longer be mine come the end of the week.::
Hank thought miserably. ::I'm just torturing myself. Maybe I should just
turn around and go home.::

But Stanley turned his key in the lock anyway and let himself in.

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It was already beginning to smell unused inside the office. He could barely
make out the scent of firesmoke left over from B and C's shifts from when
they punched out and left the station at the crack of dawn.

The sun was just setting...  It was usually Cap's favorite part of the day.
For it made the rec room and his office glow with warm, profuse daylight that
always offered to soothe any pair of tired eyes, worn from a fire call or bad child
medical. Sighing, Hank lowered himself down into his chair, kicked off his
sneakers and folded his tired feet on top of the neatly plastic tarp covered desk.

::It's been two weeks. And I still don't know what to do. I haven't even gotten
the letter talking about the disciplinary action that they're going to pitch against
me yet. I know that needs to be disclosed first to me and my union
rep before any official hearing's scheduled.:: Cap thought, biting his lip. He was
not relaxed, and it caused his healing, still itching staples to ache over his
tense stomach muscles. ::But I still hate the whole idea of this Skelly hearing
thing. I mean, I haven't so much as gotten a single parking ticket since I first
became certified with the fire department eighteen years ago. Leaving me in
a lurch like this isn't fair at all. I wanna know a decision now. Before it drives
me completely nuts!:: Hank fidgetted.

His restlessness drove him to his feet. He strode for the door and ran
right into a cloud of freshly percolating coffee steam, drifting in from
the kitchen. He dashed for the rec room carelessly, partially fearing
who and what he'd find once he got there.

All five of his firefighters were standing around the kitchen table, not yet
seated in their chairs, as they passed around a coffee pot.

It seemed that they had been waiting for him.

They all set down their coffee cups when he entered and slowly, as one, they
all saluted him formally, in a respectful line as if they were wearing dress hats in
full uniform during a surprise inspection instead of loose fitting t-shirts and
blue jeans fresh off the streets.

It all but broke Cap's heart when he realized that he could still spot the signs of
injury in his men: Roy's Frankenstein's monster like stitches still in a ring around
his neck from his emergency cervical dissection, Chet's shoulder sling, the crutches
Marco was leaning on so he could stand on his sore leg... But most of all, it was Stoker's
still blood darkened black eye that cut through him the most, for it marred the mild
engineer's usually shy handsome smile. He fought tears when he saw their unswerving
unspoken tribute and noted that they didn't break formation one inch nor their right
handed salutes one millimeter, until he returned it quickly.

That released everybody out of a suffocating silence of uncertainty. Gage beat
out all the others to be the first one to pull out a chair for their still stiff, and
sore, captain.

Johnny said just three words as they waited for any kind of verbal reaction from
him with frozen nervousness. "...welcome back, Cap.." he said with a small
tentative, ambivalent smile.

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That released a Hoover Dam of emotions in Hank. "Oh, my word. I thought you all
would absolutely begin to hate me after what I did to you." he gasped, eyes powder
dry with shock and relief as the breath slowly returned to his body.

The gang bubbled forward with a gush of reassurances and
shoulder pats and hand shakes.

"No way, Cap." shouted Chet.
"Amigos siempre.." said Lopez.
"Whatever gave you that idea?" asked Roy.

"What's to hate? You're a likeable kind of guy. Even more so than
me, Cap." Stoker insisted.
"And that's the truth.." Gage punctuated, setting an amply filled cup of coffee down
before Hank, complete with the bowl of sugar and the carton of vanilla cream that
they all knew he liked. "So there.. I'm afraid, you're still stuck with us.." he chuckled
with a lopsided grin, gesturing in exasperated relief. "Drink up. There's plenty
where that came from. We couldn't just keep hanging around home either..heh."

"What are y-- what are you all doing here?" Cap asked, still not drinking. But
he held onto the warm cup as if his comfort depended on it like a lifeline.

"This came today. We sorta kinda saw the chief come out to deliver it."
said Chet uncomfortably, pulling out and sliding over an unopened
Headquarters stamped envelope from a rear jeans pocket. "We all hid
so he wouldn't see us. We...." he broke off but then finished his thought.
"...didn't want ya to get into any more trouble just because we let
ourselves into a station that's officially stood down for a shift."

"Can't get into any more trouble than I already am." admitted Cap.
"Give it here. I.....think I already have a pretty good idea what this is all about."
he said reluctantly. Hank sat down into his chair and he was amazed that
he couldn't seem to find the ability to make his fingers move long enough
to open it.

"Come on, Cap. Go on ahead. We're all with ya." said Kelly, firmly.

"Yeah,.." echoed Marco. "We're all in this together. So out with it.."

"And how. Go on,...Rip away..." said Stoker.

Trembling, Cap opened the letter...

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From: Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <>
Date: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:55 pm
Subject: The Coup De Grace..

Cap didn't look up as he forced his eyes to move
over the crisp, neatly creased and letterheaded page.

"This letter is official notification in a matter of discipline,
SPB Case number 312-6 being filed against Henry A. Stanley,
Rank of Fire Department Captain, NO. 97-06, City of Carson,
LACoFD Station 51. You are summarily summoned to appear
before an official arbitrator and the LACoFD Operations Commander
of the state of California on Monday,...August 12th,..0830 hundred

Cap swallowed hard, trying to keep his voice even as he read on.

"You have been found to have committed a violation of Article 34 of the
Los Angeles County Fire Procedures Manual, sections 171.105
and 171.106. It has been ruled that you, the grievant, issued
an Improper Fire Command Direction in a clearcut Protocol Code
Violation, which resulted in the unnecessary direct endangerment of four
of five firefighter personnel who were reporting to duty under your
command on Wednesday, July 18th, 1976. The time in which
the infraction occurred was at 10:02 hours while your station was on scene
at an oceanic pier fire incident located at 1700 Industrial Boulevard.
Evidence of your violation has been inarguably demonstrated on officially
recorded LACoFD fire radio transmissions that were also overheard by the
Battalion Incident Commander on co-current active duty on the same date.

"A severe reprimand action has been authorized to be rendered against
you consisting of...." Cap broke off, his eyes filling. "Oh, is this really
happening to me?" he whispered through dry lips as sudden hot tears
blinded him. Hank crumpled up the letter weakily in two limp hands and
sat back down, hard.

The gang was stunned into silence. Roy's mouth opened in grave concern.
"Hank, are you ok? It- whatever it is, it can't be that bad. I mean, we all went
into Headquarters and filed official statements saying that we all agreed
with your decision telling us to go in after those kids. Those must have
had a positive impact,.. didn't they?" he asked timidly, scared.

Cap didn't look at him.

Gage immediately got mad. "Cap, now what did they decide against you?"

"You can tell us, man. Whatever they wanna do to you, we can fight it."
said Chet firmly. "I'm sure our union reps can help us out that way. We've
already found a steward to oversee you from the Carson City Area Firefighters
Local 522 I.A.F.F., AFL-CIO."

Hank finally spoke. "Oh, and who's the best one for that? Can't be any of
you guys. You all were the victims of my supposed wrongful action."

"He's the best, Cap. Trust us on this one." said Marco.

"Yeah, we brought him here today just to see you." said Stoker.

"You what?!" bellowed Cap, quickly wiping his eyes on a paper napkin
that someone had pushed in front of him. "Don't you think that's jumping
the gun just a little bit? This arbitrary hearing's only to present counter
evidence to lessen any punishment, if possible. It's not a trial that takes
material witnesses like some criminal court case."

"No, but the Arbitrator may listen to character ones." said Craig Brice as
he walked through the vehicle bay doors. "Captain Stanley.." he greeted
formally with a small bob of his head. "If you'll permit me, I'd like to attend
your Skelly hearing in that function. I am, after all, a neutral party. I am not
one of your direct crew members."

Cap hesitated.

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"Come on, Cap. He's also got total recall of the entire Procedures Manual
and Union rules. He's the perfect choice to mediate for you." Gage insisted.

Hank looked up tentatively, vulnerable. "W-what exactly does a steward do
at a Skelly hearing? I- I wouldn't know since I've never had one myself, nor
have any of my men under any of my commands throughout my entire career.."
he said, still in an odd sort of shock.

Brice smiled, and calmly soothed everyone with his quiet, methodic voice.
"First of all, I need to know what they wish to do as your disciplinary action."

Cap looked up with numb eyes. "They want to fire me."

The room erupted in complete and utter denial. The gang exploded into
noisy empathetic complaints, pleading sympathy or anger on Cap's behalf,
until Brice held up his hands for silence.

"Captain Stanley, that charge is most grievous, but we do have many
recourses we can follow to challenge the action the Board wants to take
against you. In Skelly, the California Supreme Court set forth certain notice
requirements that a public employer must fulfill to satisfy an employee's
pre-removal procedural due process rights. At a minimum, these pre-removal
safeguards must include notice of the proposed action, the reasons therefore,
which is contained in that letter you're holding." he gestured.  
"In addition, a copy of the charges and materials upon which the
action is based must be provided to you. You also have the right to respond,
either orally or in writing, to the authority initially imposing this discipline."

"I do?" Cap asked quietly, still getting a hold of himself. He was gripping
the edge of the table so tightly, that it was creaking.

Brice nodded. "Pursuant to Skelly, the Board enacted Rule 52.3, which
provides in pertinent part: (a) Prior to any adverse action. the appointing
power shall give the employee written notice of the proposed action.  This
notice shall be given to the employee at least five working days prior to the
effective date of the proposed action.  The notice shall include:
(1) the reasons for such action, (2) a copy of the charges for adverse action,
(3) a copy of all materials upon which the action is based, (4) notice of the
employee's right to be represented in proceedings under this section, and
(5) notice of the employee's right to respond...

Brice took in a deep breath. "That being, so far in your case, it looks like
Headquarters is in protocol violation itself here." he explained suddenly.

"They are?" asked Gage incredulously.

"How so? That letter sounds like it's in very tight order.." said Marco.

Again the room filled with noise as everyone fought to be heard over
each other, expressing their opinions and very great concern.

Brice put a finger to his lips to quiet them, and still smiling, he reclined his
head. "There's no tape." he said simply, holding up the torn open empty
envelope. To emphasis his point, he turned it upside down and shook
it as if to look for the incriminating reel that wasn't there to fall out of it.

Gage began to laugh, darkly amused.

And slowly, Cap began to grin, right along with him.


Fifteen minutes later, the firemen had laid out their plan of attack.

Craig Brice filled them in as to the nitty gritty details. "The purpose of the
Skelly hearing is to determine only if there are 'reasonable grounds to
believe that the charges against the appellant are true and support the
proposed action.' In contrast, an appellant's right to discovery is broader.
It includes  'the right to inspect any documents in the possession of, or under
the control of, the appointing power which are relevant to the adverse action.'
Now,..." he sighed. "Many FD bureaucratic managers and supervisors do not
understand Skelly rights, and they therefore often violate the rules. This can
provide grounds for winning a grievance, because further arbitrators take
Skelly rights VERY seriously.

"Now we already know, that THEY know, that management must have sufficient
evidence by the time of the Skelly hearing to support the proposed discipline.
But they may NOT know that employees, or their representatives, are entitled to
the same access to the relevant documents as outlined by Code SPP 270.11 (b)
in the fire department manual.  Although they may try to doctor up a case against
the employee after the Skelly hearing, this would still be considered a violation
of the employee's Skelly rights. It looks like the employee, Captain Stanley, has not
been given a lawful chance to review the quote/unquote d*mn*ng evidence material.
And probably won't be, before the disciplinary hearing's final action's administered."

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute.." said Gage. "You mean, since Cap hasn't heard
the radio tape yet, that all we have to do is wait these five days out and
everything'll turn out just fine?" he asked incredulously.

"Essentially,... yes. On Monday, file a grievance under the SPP or A&PS
sections I've pointed out, and then at the second grievance meeting, just say
that the employee should have the termination letter removed from his file
because there was no properly supplied Skelly meeting documentary material
supplied the grievant at the onset. Of course, you should make all other relevant
arguments as well..." Brice concluded, adjusting his glasses. "Such as, 'We're
not pressing charges.'.. etc. etc.." he smiled blandly.

Chet got into that big time.. "Yeah, and how about..Go take a hike, too!"

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"Brice, you're a genius!" exclaimed Cap, grabbing Craig's hand and pumping
it up and down vigorously.

"I guess." said Craig modestly. "Usually, everybody tells me that I'm a braggart."

"No, it's true..You are a RAVING genius!" Hank said. "Ok, uh.... so tell me, if- if- if
I still keep you as my steward, what is your function, and wh- what's mine?" he
asked, nervously sipping from his steaming coffee cup.

The mug was shaking so bad, that Marco and the others had
to help him drink the mouthful he wanted, until Cap waved them away in irritation.

"This is what I, while working as a steward, usually do..." shared Brice. "One of the
jobs a steward has, is to keep management from intimidating employees."

"They actually do that?!" Hank asked in horror.

Brice sadly nodded his head yes. "This is especially important in the case of
closed-door meetings where supervisors try to force employes to admit that they
did something wrong to prove a point and to prove that their punishment
decision was the right one."

"Ok.. ok.." said Cap eagerly.

Brice went on. "Your right to have a union rep present in such meetings was
established by the Supreme Court in the Weingarten case. The Court ruled that
a worker is entitled to have a union rep present when a supervisor asks for
information which could be used as a basis for discipline. This is another thing
that the Board who sent you this letter, did not do."

The gang chuckled again, finally more sure in their relieved feelings about
the whole situation.

Craig held up a finger in warning. "But management has no obligation to tell
workers their rights, so employees may not know to ask for union representation
before or during the interview. A steward can put such a request in writing, and
direct the employee to keep a copy to back up any counter-evidence."

Hank nodded, paying close attention, his eyes finally dry.

"Now my role as a steward to you..." he went on. "Watch what you
say at the meeting because it really may be, and very often is, used against you
if any shred of defensiveness materializes. Keep your answers to their questions
short and avoid volunteering any information. If you don't know an answer, say
so and don't speculate. Most importantly, stay calm and reasonable.
You aren't fired yet." Brice snorted, getting into his counseling with a little

The others murmured encouragements.

Brice looked Cap in the eye. "Be reassuring. The union is there to help.  Also,
call management today and casually asked what the meeting is about.
Don't assume you know what their agenda is despite this letter. Take good notes
of what is said and by whom. Good notes of management's early positions can
save your case neatly, especially with a mistake happening in your favor THIS big."
he said, lofting Cap's wrinkled letter. "It'll be my job to not let the supervisors harass,
abuse, or intimidate you. I'll do this by saying things like. "Don't interrupt, he's trying
to answer your question," or, "I'm afraid we can't continue with the meeting if you're
going to shout." or, "Let's take a break and re-convene when you've decided what it
is that you need to know," etc. As your steward, I'll have a lot of control over the
atmosphere of this meeting. Don't worry. If we're surprised by another turn in
bad news or if you feel like you're beginning to become unglued, just nod, and I'll
say, "We're going to step out and caucus for about ten minutes. We'll be right back."
This'll give us a chance to regroup and to discuss a new tactic to win the hearing, ok?"

"Thanks Brice. I owe you one." said Stanley, truly grateful.

"No you don't. What you did to try and save those kids was the right thing
to do. And I always defend anyone who's willing to do that any day of the week.
Now,..we'll allow enough time so that we can meet privately first beforehand and
still be punctual. Don't be surprised if management is late or keeps you waiting.
They often do this deliberately to remind you who's in charge. Ignore it.
It's an old trick." Craig told him.

"Of all the low down, underhanded..." Hank growled to himself.

"Patience, Cap." Roy reminded him. "We've always known that all the chiefs have
many tricks up their sleeves. I don't have to remind you of the ones Chief McConnike
pulls on you all the time for burning his hat once as a probie."

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"No, you don't." Hank said, relaxing.

Brice continued. "Cap, introduce yourself, too, and shake hands with everybody
in the room. You need to know their names for your notes, and it establishes
you as their equal. Be polite, at least initially. If the situation warrants, you can
express anger or disgust, but always remain professional. I like to be friendly
with the enemy, so I'm warning you in advance so you won't think that I'm
changing sides. It'll be a sweeter victory when we deliver the coup de grace if
they've been buttered up a little.." he grinned broadly, rubbing his hands.
"Now as for the rest of you guys... Show up, dressed impeccably. And leave
all your bandages and crutches at home. "


It was Monday, and Mike Stoker was the first of the injured firemen to
be called by Brice to the stand to serve as an optional
character witness at Hank's Skelly hearing.

Stoker's black eye was well concealed under solid flesh toned
stage makeup to the point of invisibility, a skill Dixie had plied generously.

Smiling, the shy engineer began to speak.."Fire comradeship runs very,
very deep in our station. My in Hank Stanley has never been shaken,
not even once, for as long as I've known him as my captain..."


Episode Thirty Five, Season Five
Captain's Prerogative
Emergency Theater Live

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We hope you've enjoyed
Captain's Prerogative
as much as we've enjoyed producing it for you. Please click on the banner or station to view this thirty fifth's episode's End Credits. :)
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