Gage shouted."Get stokes and backboards!"
The gang rushed forward, wetting
down the pier as they hurried to reach the
blast victims' sides.
Roy dropped onto his knees
next to the first who wasn't moving. He lifted the
cracked face shield and startled. "Ahh.." A six
inch spike had penetrated the
special plastic and was embedded sickeningly in between the man's bulging
eyes. They stared up sightlessly. "This officer's dead." he said as his probing
the lack of a pulse in his bloody neck. He saw gray matter beginning
to drip out of his nose. "He's
past attempting." he told the others. "Leave him."
DeSoto turned to the screaming man to whom
Johnny was speaking.
Johnny was quickly exposing areas showing blood.
"Easy, easy. Just lie
still. You've got punctures all over the place up
and down both of your arms and legs and you're bleeding
badly from your
thigh. Don't move. We're gonna stop it and your pain as soon as we can."
M-Marve?!" The second man kept trying to reach for the feet of
DeSoto grabbed the
older officer's shoulders when he saw Marco begin
to apply a femoral artery pressure hold. "Hey. Listen
to me. I'm sorry.
But Marve didn't make it. He's gone."
The wounded cop's face fell into lines
of grief, shock. "...no. Not Marve.."
he gasped, finally accepting what his eyes were telling him.
Then he grimaced
as the agony of his wounds bore down in sharp focus when the adrenaline he
been experiencing, starting wearing off.
Roy held his head as Chet prepared flowing oxygen.
"Where else do
you hurt? How's your head? Chest?"
"Just my legs and arms.." the man sobbed,
sweating. "Oh, G*d. Why did we
come?" he cried.
His detective boss was thunderstruck. Kneeling
carefully in the sharp debris,
he took his police officer's bloody hand without moving it. "Because
to, Steve. Lives were at stake. Did you think Marve doubted, even for once
you and he weren't absolutely the best men for the job?! We'll
get that b*st*rd who did this. And
he'll pay. Mark my words, Steve. He'll
Hank sighed when he saw Stoker pull a
sheet over the dead man.
"L.A. Engine 51. Cancel the second squad. We've one alive, one Code F
the scene. Please respond the county examiner."
##Engine 51. Baywatch is responding to secure
your landing zone on
the beach three hundred feet south of the pier. E.T.A of Copter Two is
"10-4, L.A." Stanley replied. "We'll use stokes and bring him down there
a lifeguard truck."
Steve tried to talk, but pain made it impossible and he cried out as numbness
swept down his left leg. He lifted his head and saw that the paramedics were
clamping off part of
its circulation with hemostats, probing a gaping wound
cratering around an embedded nail stuck in
at an angle near his groin.
"How ba-- bad is it?" he finally managed.
Roy looked up. "You
won't lose the leg. The main artery's only nicked and
this nail's no longer a danger. It's in a bone.
Lie back and keep still. Our ride
to the hospital's on the way."
Johnny Gage stayed on his
feet to avoid red hot pieces of steaming metal.
##Rampart, this is Squad 51. How do you read?## he
hailed over the loud
noise of Stoker's hose as he snuffed out the last of the fire sputtering on
planks around them.
It was Joe Early who answered the biophone.
From : Patti or Jeff or Cassidy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent : Wednesday, July 11, 2007 2:16 PM
Subject : Aftermath..
##Go ahead, 51. I
read you loud and clear.## replied Early.
Johnny nodded at Roy to tell him that their broadcast
was being received in spite of them being on the busy coastline.
"Rampart, we've a conscious male
in his early thirties. Victim of
a close quarters pipe bomb. A second victim is a Code F from the
same range due to ejecta. There are signs of primary and secondary
blast injury. Outwardly, multiple
superficial and penetrating wounds
are evident about the arms and legs only. He is wearing protective
Kevlar ballistics gear that was effective over all vital areas. We are
controlling an active
left upper thigh arterial hemorrhage with
clamps. Stand by for vital signs..."
by, 51.## said Joe.
The silver haired doctor frowned as he wrote down his notes
from the rescue call. Thinking a
bit, he picked up the black phone
on the wall. "Hello, this is Dr. Early. Send down a full trauma
to Emergency. I want an X-ray team, a respiratory specialist, and
two surgeons. We've a blast
victim coming in with a severe
vascular injury. That's right. Just the one... Thanks." and he hung
up the receiver.
Grabbing a cup of coffee just outside the glass door of the base station,
Joe waited for the red light to turn back on with a channel return from
Roy gestured at Lopez. "Keep up that pressure point at the femoral.
Watch yourself. There's nail
Marco nodded, pressing his gloves down as he leaned in with most of
over the area without disturbing the impaled metal.
Gage looked up as the gang ran oxygen and
a long board over to them
from the engine. Johnny shouted. "Guys, go ahead and get him on
flow! Set it top aperature. He's still breathing okay. But wait on the
spine board. We've got to
get the rest of this gear off first. Be careful
around this." he said, pointing to the still oozing
thigh wound that he and
Roy had exposed with scissors through pants material. Two used
clamps stuck out of the wound, throbbing with each
pulsebeat around the hidden leg artery that they
were only partially
constricting. "Marco, is that starting to stop yet?" he asked.
not lifting up his gloved hands over the pressure point in
the man's groin. "A clot's forming. But
it's still bleeding a bit."
Gage leaned over the jagged gash. "Good enough. We don't want
cut off total circulation. Keep at it. If you get tired, switch off with Chet."
Kelly smiled as he fussed with the policeman's protective helmet|
and face shield as he figured out
how to pull it off. "Easy, Steve. I got some
relief for ya." he said, holding up an oxygen mask.
"Just try and slow your
breathing down a little. That might be part of why you're feeling so dizzy."
said, seeing the man's eyes spinning around. He had to firmly hold Steve's
face in between
his knees long enough to finish applying the hissing oxygen
"My.. my ears are ringing...
badly.." Steve coughed, still gasping.
Roy got out his penlight and began a thorough head to
"Steve, your eardrums are okay. That vertigo could be after effects of
noise from the explosion working on you. Do you hurt anywhere else
besides your arms and legs?" he
said, checking his pupils, mouth, ears and
nostrils for occult blood.
burn...burning.." he said, bringing up an abraded hand.
As he spoke, a trickle of pink fluid ran out
of his nose.
DeSoto wiped the fluid away with a 4 X 4, and handed a new one to Chet
to use. "I know. The explosion's shaken up everything hollow inside
of you. That's why I'm checking
you out. How's your neck and back? Can you
move your feet and hands okay?" he said, checking the
red stain on the gauze
square for signs of the yellowing edge of cerebral spinal fluid. There were
Steve cleared his throat, sounding hoarse. "They're fine." he said shakily.
"All right. We're gonna get the rest of this stuff off." DeSoto said, patting
thick armor over Steve's chest. "But don't do any work. Let us do it for
you." he told him, nodding
to the other officers that it was okay to help get
him out of the blast gear. "After that, I gotta
cut your uniform off to see
where else you've been hurt."
"Oh." said Steve. He closed his eyes
as he started to shake in reaction.
"I'm..I'm so cold."
"We'll fix that. How's your pain on
a scale of one to ten?" Johnny asked.
"F-Four or five." bubbled Steve, grimacing.
you need something for it?" Gage said as he placed the steel
drum of a stethoscope onto Steve's bare
chest. He listened over all areas,
tipping his head down to drown out the sounds of the fire hose.
"Not ..that bad. Maybe....later." he answered, his face growing blank with
shock. "How's Marve?"
Then he remembered. "Oh...G*d..." he said, tears
falling slowly. Steve blinked, muzzy. "Chief, what
are we doing in the parking
The paramedics exchanged looks at the new sign of missing
His boss knelt around fine, splattered blood. "Steve, we're all here
with ya. So's
Mac, Newmy, Scott. We're not going anywhere. And I'm
personally going with ya in the chopper."
Roy looked up at the detective. "Tell me about this kind of bomb. We
need to know the power of the
energy it may have released.
He may be hurt internally as well."
The detective's face became
more lined as he watched his man get
covered up with a thick wool blanket. "Fireman, this was an L.E.
deflagration rather than detonation and the release of energy was relatively
we read it went off at under 40 kilopascal or 6 psi. That was a subsonic
explosion lacking the overpressurization
blast wave that characterizes H.E.s,
like dynamite, TNT or C4 gel. It had practically no punch."
DeSoto nodded, remembering his days serving in Viet Nam. "So nowhere
near the threshold of inflicting
deep cardiac or intestinal blast injury?"
"Most likely not. It lost a lot of force, just sending
out those shrapnel fragments."
"Okay, thanks. That info helps." Roy told him. |
Gage thought of more. "What about the propellant?
Will it burn these wounds?"
"No. It's gun powder. And it's already cold." replied Cap, who was
by, getting their stokes straps ready. "Recognize that smell?"
"All I can smell
is blood, Cap." Johnny said quietly as he started swabbing off
a clear place on Steve's arm for an
Roy looked up from taking a blood pressure.
"Chet could you set him up on an EKG?
Turn it to audible so we can hear it."
"Okay." answered Kelly. "A two lead?"
We need the whole picture." said Roy. "Skip the limb leads.
They won't stick." Roy picked up the biophone.
"Rampart, Squad 51."
He accepted Johnny's care notes quickly.
##Go ahead.## said Joe.
"Doc, this is what we've got. Blood pressure's 86 over 54. Respirations
are still labored at twenty
two. Chest is wheezy in all fields. He's exhibiting
temporary bouts of amnesia about recent events
concerning the incident.
On the left, he has a hemotympanum without perforation and bilateral tinnitus.
Pupils are equal and reactive. EKG is showing.." he paused while Kelly turned
the monitor so
he could see it. "...mild bradycardia with that hypotension.
Bleeding from the leg is now minimal."
Roy reported. "Pulse is 42. Skin cool
and wet. He's on O2 being actively treated for shock. Also,
he's got some
tinged fluid coming from both nostrils that's negative for CNS involvement."
clarified. "Sending you a strip, Lead XII."
Early read the EKG rhythm swiftly. Then he fingered
the talk button.
##After starting two large bore I.V.'s of Ringer's Lactate in both arms, and
he's negative for neck or spinal injuries, raise his head, 51. Assume the
patient's wheezing is associated
with a blast injury involving pulmonary
Joe's voice became very serious with the
next orders, making Roy's eyes
widen in surprise. ##Listen carefully. A thoracic PBI produces a unique
cardiovascular response, observed nowhere else in medicine, Roy, that
might cause an arrest in
this victim in the absence of any demonstratable
physical injury to the chest.The immediate cardiovascular
response to pulmonary
blast injury is this decrease in heart rate, stroke volume, and strength. The
normal reflexive increase in systemic vascular resistance isn't occurring. That's
why his blood
pressure's falling inexplicably. Be super-aggressive with those I.V.s.
Bag him without an ET if he
stops breathing. He should recover a good BP again
and regain any consciousness loss, within 15 minutes.
Use 1 mg. epinephrine
I.V. push only if he goes apneic.##
DeSoto looked up quickly. "Two of
L.R. Push it. Faster than wide." he told Johnny.
"Chet prep an ambu."
Gage knelt on the I.V.
bag he already had going and passed off the second to
an eager policeman. "Squeeze that. Hard. As
fast as it'll drip." he told him.
Roy was still receiving his orders.
##Look for quaternary
injuries, including thermal burns, scattered petechiae,
and confluent hemorrhages over all areas above
gas containing organs.
Suction away hemoptysis as needed and watch for newly developing chest
Monitor his neurological status. Primary blast waves cause concussions
without a direct blow to the
head. That might explain his inability to stay focused
on events. Splint his left leg and pelvis and
transport by air a.s.a.p. Keep me
posted on any further downgrade and we'll manage it together, step
said Joe. ##Contact me every five minutes en route with new vitals.##
Aggressive fluid and respiratory support. Load and go. Squad
As Roy hung up the phone,
Steve's eyes fluttered shut. "Johnny..."
"Steve?" asked the detective in alarm.
"Guys...!" he pointed urgently.
Gage pulled the blanket down and set both hands on the wounded |
police officer's stomach. "He's breathing.
But it's shallow. Chet, help
him a little on the ins. Don't overdo it. He's developed lung bruising."
he said as he re-covered their patient.
"Pulse's still slowing." Kelly said, taking a quick carotid
to make sure it
was still being felt despite the visual and audio on the monitor.
at him. "It's gonna happen. Keep a look out for PEA on
the quick view. If he slips into it and loses
that beat, yell. Do you
remember how that arrythmia presents before it takes effect?"
nodded, keeping up his slow, steady assistance bagging on the
unconscious man. "Yeah, you showed
me several different kinds on
paper strips last month."
"I did? Okay." Roy rubbed his sweaty
forehead in hurried concentration.
"That was smart thinking." Roy hurried as he began to pack up their
"Cap, Mike. Carry him head end higher once we get him in the stokes.
We'll splint that bad
leg once we're in the air."
"Want an O.P. in?" Kelly asked them, reaching a couple of fingers
his turnout jacket for the pack of oral airways he always kept there.
"No, the doc says
he's waking up in a few. Says this is just a temporary
reaction." DeSoto told him. He regarded their
patient with a close eye.
"He does seem to be managing well enough with just that head tilt.
does he feel?"
"Easy in-s. No problems." Chet said, as he watched the man's chest rises
with the placement of his fingers over the mask of the bag valve
resuscitator. He repositioned them
lightly to stop a sudden face leak.
"Kelly.." DeSoto said, dissatisfied. "..do you want the detective
you? Looks like you might need two people there."
"All right, I can use him." agreed
Kelly quickly. "He's shivering a bit."
"I'm here. Right here." said the worried chief. "Just like
he said, taking over Chet's finger-cupped mask hold.
"Yep." said Chet. "Use two
fingers to lift up his jaw as you
do that. It works better. Grab the mask like you guys hold a shot
in a double grip." he shared, as he began to use both hands to
squeeze the breathing bag.
"Yeah.. yeah.." said the cop when he felt an easier flow of oxygen |
begin to move through Steve's
wider opened windpipe. "I got it."
Cap spoke, telling the rest of the worried, still armored policemen
step back as he and the rest of the gang lifted Steve off the wet pier
planks and into the
wire basket. "Thanks, fellas, we've got him from
here. He's going to Rampart Emergency. Marco, replace
with a couple of sandbags, then help us carry him to the pier's entryway.
Is he and
the gear all in and strapped down? Okay, guys, let's move him
Joe Early abandoned the bomb squad man into the hands of
his surgeons. He soon returned to the
front desk by Dixie's stool. He
smiled when he saw Roy and Johnny reassembling their spent
tank with fresh parts as they kneeled nearby. They were
also recoiling the wires on the EKG monitor
back into reassessible
potability inside of its defibrillator case. "Hey, Roy, Johnny, Chet. Nice
job on our patient."
"He's gonna make it?" Gage asked in an incredulous tone.
doubt your acting physician's direct prognosis?" he chuckled.
"Of course he's gonna make it. That
explosion was an L.E. Those
only kill with the debris it manages to fling out."
"That's a relief.
It was pretty touch and go for a while there once
we were airborne." said DeSoto. "For a few seconds,
and I thought we had actually lost his pulse."
"That was just his further slowing
bradycardia. Bound to skip a beat or
two at the height of its effect. He didn't lose color at all,
did he?" Early
challenged in good humor.
"No. That's what finally clued us off that he wasn't
shockable." Roy smiled.
"That and the heartbeat Johnny heard apically."
"Glad you weren't fooled
into attempting compressions. Our man's got
enough healing to do without adding cracked ribs to the
"So what's the next step for him? Past that surgery to repatch his leg artery?"
Joe shrugged. "A couple of chest x-rays for sure, eventually. Blast lung
a characteristic “butterfly” pattern on films. His next risks are
systemic air embolism, and free
radical–associated injuries such as thrombosis,
lipoxygenation, and disseminated intravascular coagulation."
"Fat balls, air bubbles and clots in his tissues and circulatory system?" Gage
he gave out a long sigh of sympathy.
"Yes. Those are secondary complications. He may even develop
a result of his direct lung injury, which has turned out to be something called
embolism, a form of pulmonary barotrauma. The air and fat emboli
that have broken free into his lungs,
might later occlude blood vessels
in the brain or spinal cord."
"Sounds nasty." said Kelly.
"It's like he got the bends from a firecracker."
"Apt analogy. Things can get bad. But I have
every confidence that he won't
reach a stroke or paralysis endstage. We got his pressure back up
enough and you guys did an absolutely terrific job by not jostling him
flight." Early told them, pleased.
Roy accepted the compliment gracefully, as did the others.
But he was still
worried. "What about his intestines? I didn't hear active peristalsis."
held up his hand to reassure him. "Abdominal injuries from explosions
may be occult, showing up only
days later. Serial examinations are often required.
But in his case, that air by the sea was a very
poor conductor of blast-wave
energy. It was too thick to push very far. In fact, any close quarters
changes he might have experienced colon wise had to work through all that tough
armor first. His blood work's coming back good, all things considering. I think
they're just in spasm
for now, because he's still cold. It won't be long before he
reawakens in Recovery under heated blankets,
and when he does, they'll most
likely follow suit."
Gage relaxed. "I really thought he was
goner, doc. He's my first bombing victim."
"I hope you'll never see another case." said Joe. "They
are the most complexly injured
patient that any paramedic ever encounters."
Roy agreed, regarding
his partner with a look of deep thought and a little sorrow.
"I hated seeing that outside of a war
zone.." he broke off, "Incendiaries are a
horrific way to maim and destroy people."
Gage set his hand on DeSoto's shoulder, remembering his war vet status only|
belatedly. He didn't
look at Roy's face, offering him a bit of privacy for the
emotions that were still twisting on his
features. He changed the subject by
asking Joe another question. "How's Dr. Morton doing? Is he any
Joe looked up from his coffee cup and replied...
From : patti keiper <email@example.com>
Sent : Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:01 PM
: A Little Sugar and Cream Never Hurt Anybody..
"Well, I don't know the latest, since I've
been filling in for Kel
and Dixie down here, all night. But I can tell you that--"
on soft foods, wiggling all of his fingers and
toes, and asking for visitors.." said a happy, husky
approaching from down the hall.
"Dixie!" said Roy, Chet, Johnny and Joe joyfully.
Gage gave her a hug. "Boy, am I relieved. So he's over his
"Yep." she said, accepting
"Any further complications?" asked Roy.
"Nope." she replied, returning Roy's
"Who's Dr. Morton?" asked Chet.
Gage burst out laughing. "Chet, you mean to tell
me that you can't
remember the man who got you started on the great crash diet
craze?" He let
Dixie go, and offered her a cup of coffee.
Chet shook his head.
Johnny tried again.
"Remember when you tried to starve our whole shift half to death? |
It was about the same week Cap
almost got electrocuted on that wire."
Chet shook his head a second time.
Gage got real
bugged, thinking Chet was up to some funny business.
"Are you kidding me about this?" he asked suspiciously.
Kelly shook his head once more, exactly like the first two.
"Okay, I believe ya." said Johnny,
putting both hands into his pockets.
Roy sighed, rubbing his chin, still studying Chet who saundered
to the drinking fountain to wet his whistle. "All those figs he ate back then,
wiped out his memory or something, eh, Johnny?"
"No, maybe WE did, after we glommed onto him for
inflicting that diet
of his on us." Johnny scoffed, good naturedly. But then he snapped
getting an idea. "Say, Roy? Let's see if he remembers
Mike after his memory's jogged a little, shall
we? Dix? Is Morton still
in the same room?"
"No, he's been moved to the general floor and
out of ICU. He's in
309 East." McCall replied.
They started off for the elevators.
"Wait a minute. You guys don't have a 'get well fast' card, gift, or
offer Morton yet. Why go right now? He'll be better rested
tomorrow." she reasoned.
backwards into Dixie's ear. "Yeah, but tomorrow Chet
won't be here to see him. Get my point?"
"No." she answered truthfully, looking blank.
Johnny humored her, indicating to Chet and Roy that
he was heading
for the souvenir shop. "We'll think of something. You're welcome to
"Nope. For today, I'm his nurses' supervisor. He doesn't get to see
me again unless
he's dying a second time and I'm pushing in his
crash cart." she quipped. "Once was bad enough."
Roy scratched his head. "This is a little unrelated but...How come
doctors can treat other doctors,
and nurses other doctors, but
paramedics can't treat their own family members?"
a face. "Personal involvement?"
Joe laughed. "Ah, I believe the key word is intimate personal
McCall chuckled. "Well, that doesn't wash. Kel and I were involved
I broke my ankle six years ago."
Gage grinned. "Yeah, but he wasn't the one who reset your bone.
Dr. Rivers did that. Kel only came in there to gloat."
Dixie frowned. "Don't remind me. I
hated every minute of being a
patient in my own department."
Roy looked at her. "Think of
it from Dr. Morton's perspective. He's
got it worse. He's going to be a patient in his own hospital
for at least
week or more."
Dixie grew thoughtful. "Hmm. Maybe I can rub that in a little."
Joe smacked her arm. "Don't you dare. He's still a sick man."
McCall compromised. "Okay. I
won't. I'll wait until he's filling out
the discharge papers that only I'll be bringing him."
Roy smirked. "You're evil."
"No, just playful." she corrected evenly. "Gotta make up for all the
gruffness he's dished out on my nurses today one way or another.
They aren't standing up to him one
iota. I've been watching."
Joe sighed. "That's because he's a doctor." he teased in a whisper.
Dixie held up a finger. "No, it's because he's Dr. Morton. There's a |
difference." she explained
carefully. " 'Bedside Brusk', that's what
they call his personality."
"Can't say that's not
true.." Joe admitted honestly. "But he's still a
h*ll of a good resident and I'm glad I work with
"Uh, huh. You work WITH him. Not under him." McCall clarified.
"He's a whole different
man if you're living in our shoes." she said
about herself and the other nurses on her staff.
Joe smiled, realizing he was treading in increasingly hot water. He
glanced at Roy and Johnny. "Keep
it short. He's still tired most likely."
Gage started giggling. "We will. See you later. Come
on, Chet. Start
breaking out your wallet. I wanna pool our money together to buy
Mike a gift.
Ah, ah, ah.. Before you open your mouth, don't worry.." he
added, fending off Chet's not yet formed
complaint. "We'll both pay
you back before the shift's over, okay?"
"Okay, but I still don't
know this Morton guy." Kelly said.
"Oh, you will." said Johnny. "Boy, will you!" he laughed.
Roy agreed. "In a couple of seconds."
A quiet knock at the door alerted Dr. Morton to open his eyes.
He tried to clear his throat when
he remembered yet again
that the drain tube was still threading out of his back around
He decided not to move again.
But the well aimed pillow had silenced the EKG monitor that
been bleeping over his bed. Mike had been sweaty
and panting after that little goal was accomplished,
but he was
VERY proud of himself for the silence that he had won.
Until now. He began to
grumble but then stopped himself
when the knock repeated even softer than before.
he replied reflexively, finally recognizing that the
raps were friendly and not at all medically
efficient like those
of the nurses caring for him.
"Dr. Morton?" asked Roy through the crack
in the door.
"Are you awake?"
Mike sat up in his bed, grimacing a little. "Yeah. Come in. All
three of you." he gasped around his nasal cannula.
"Dr. Morton, how are you feeling?" Gage began when|
they had entered.
"Fellas, please, call
me Mike." he smiled. "I'm a patient now."
"Okay." Johnny smiled warmly, still being quiet. It
very well when a brown paper bag behind his bag rustled loudly
from where he had it
"Is that Chester Kelly?" Morton trickled, squinting a little.
"Yeah. Uh,.. hi."
said Kelly, truly acting like he didn't know Morton.
"Don't you remember me? I turned you into
bonafide health nut by accident." Mike said to him.
"Really? Well, isn't that kind of
like what a doctor is supposed
to do for his patient?" Chet asked, guessing what their
Johnny smacked Kelly on the arm. "Chet, you weren't his patient.
He was your advisor,
at the station. You two discussed nothing but
food for an entire hour in the bunkroom according to
"Doesn't ring a bell. But I'm really glad to meet you now. Man,
the other day, I thought
you were a goner." he said, leaning over
the bed as he held out his hand.
Morton grinned, taking
the offered handshake into his own."Sorry to
disappoint you then, Chester B. Guess these two paramedic
boys are just too d*mned efficient to play the sudden death game
very often, huh?"
confided in him. "Yeah, they don't like getting halos on their
patients. So,...You got all your toes
and fingers back."
"I sure did. No paralysis whatsoever. See?" he said wiggling them
the blankets. "But seriously, fellas. It's my turn to say that
I'm grateful I'm still alive." he told
them. "Roy, Johnny. I heard
what you guys did for me this morning when I stopped breathing."
Gage shrugged, crossing his arms respectfully. "We didn't do
much. We just... took over for the machine
for a while until your
seizure was knocked out."
"I would have died." Mike said significantly.
"Sure the code blue
team would have eventually brought me around. But not easily
if my heart had
gone out as well. And all that CPR you prevented
could have redamaged my spinal fracture site. Then
"I don't know." said Roy, not willing to brag, even as he smiled.
probably wouldn't be a doctor any more. All that motion would
have severed my spinal cord, Kel said.
He just saw my X-rays a
couple of minutes ago." Mike shared. "So, please, accept my
from the bottom of my heart. Literally."
Roy and Johnny were struck speechless, very touched.
"No problem, Mike." Chet said for the both of them. Then he
reached back and snagged the bag
Johnny still held out of sight.
"Hey, did you see what we brought ya?" Kelly asked. "You're
restricted to just clears are you?"
"Nah, I'm up to soft food already."
"Good, 'cause you're
gonna love what we brought ya." Chet said,
dumping out the contents onto Mike's bed covers.
lit up eyes, then fell into a look of confusion when he saw what
his gift items were. "Three eggs,
a can of evaporated milk, a salt
shaker, a jar of strawberry preserves and a half pound of sugar?"
"Oh, and don't forget these." Johnny said eagerly, handing over
a wooden spoon and a porcelain
mixing bowl that Roy had been
"What are these, boys? Are you sure you brought the right
"Sure we did." said Johnny eagerly. "Haven't you ever heard of
ice cream before?"
Morton rubbed a scab on his nose left over from the sea chafing
he had suffered.
"Yeah. But I don't see any ice here, do you?"
For a few seconds, Roy, Johnny and Chet's faces fell into ones|
of deep dismay but then, just as quick
they dropped all pretense,
letting Dr. Morton off the hook. "Got ya. Of course we didn't forget
chilly stuff. How could we? That wouldn't have been very smart."
Morton looked at them expectantly,
lacing his fingers together.
"So,..where it is?"
Gage snapped his fingers. "Gimme your pillow
case." he ordered,
"I beg your pardon?" Morton sputtered.
Roy repeated, looking highly amused.
Shrugging, Mike lifted up his head and started to grab the
bundle under his head.
"No, not that one. Hand us the one you're not using." Chet said
with duh, written all over his voice.
Mike sighed and did so. "This is crazy, absolutely nuts."
"Not really. It's called..." said Chet expansively. "Science.." he
finished mysteriously. He went
on in a voice sounding like an
absent minded professor. "As liquid evaporates, it gets cold.
effect, familiar to anyone who has been wet, happens
because it takes energy to turn a liquid into
a gas, and that
energy comes from heat drawn out of the liquid. How that
interaction works is
one of the most complicated subjects in
science, but what’s important, is that it can be used to
make.... homemade ice cream."
"I don't get it." Morton gestured, crossing his arms together
around his shoulder cast as best as he could, in puzzlement.
"Oh, you will. You will." said
Gage. "Shh, I think Chet's on a
roll here." he whispered, sotto voce'.
Chet went on as if
their little exchange had never taken place.
"Now, you can’t just let cream evaporate and expect
to get ice cream.
No... Water in the open air won’t freeze from evaporation alone. But
pressurized liquid carbon dioxide, draws so much energy
out of it, that about a third ends up frozen
solid." he concluded.
"That’s dry ice." added Roy, waggling his eyebrows like Groucho|
Morton started to giggle
around his pain meds in spite of himself.
"Just where do you get a tank of liquid CO2? From fire
of course. Like any of us firemen." Kelly droned on, completely
oblivious to the
fact that he had Morton in stitches, a kind you couldn't
snip when all the healing was done.
and Johnny got into the presentation. Jogging quickly over
to the other side of the room, they snatched
open the fire extinguisher
case with a flourish.
Morton's eyes got real big. "No.. You're not
going to use that to--"
"Shhh. Do you want your EKG to speed up any faster? Having a nurse
in here right now to check up on that'll only spoil our party." Johnny
insisted, pushing Mike back
down onto the bed.
Chet opened his eyes. They were twinkling. "Discharge a 10-pound
extinguisher full blast into a pillowcase for about 10 seconds,
and you’ll have several pounds of
finely powdered dry ice."
He demonstrated that step most enthusiastically, until he had some.
"Don’t play with it though. Dry ice can give you frostbite in a few seconds."
added Roy, still
doing his Marx impersonation with an invisible cigar.
Morton was turning red, fighting himself
to keep laughter inside so
he wouldn't trigger his cardiac monitor alarms.
Gage took over.
"Then it’s a simple matter of pouring it into a bowl of
ice-cream ingredients and stirring until
frozen." He did so, splashing
everything together into the bowl that he began whipping up.
"Add the dry ice slowly to avoid the hard-as-rock syndrome..." said |
Chet, doing so.
wah la.. Instant strawberry ice cream." said Roy, in his normal voice
they all said at the same time.
Morton chortled, and accepted the plastic spoon that Johnny dug
of his untouched green jello. "So is it edible?" he asked, making a face.
"Why not?" he returned, leaning on the frost discharged
extinguisher with his chin. "These were originally
invented to be used in
restaurant kitchens. CO2 fire extinguishers are still filled only with food-grade
Mike wiped the tears out of his eyes and tasted a small sliver of the stuff.
he said as the pink creamy lump melted on his tongue. "So
tell me, carbon dioxide is what makes soda
"Right." they replied.
He tipped his ace. "This ice cream actually came
"What?!" the guys exclaimed. They just had to dig their fingers
into the bowl
to taste it themselves.
"Not bad." said Morton, with his mouth full. "But don’t plan on seeing
Crunch in the ice-cream case any time soon. It makes your teeth pop."
he concluded. "And I
wouldn't recommend eating any of the lumps either."
"Why not?" Gage wanted to know.
they're pure dry ice. Get me a glass of water. I think I froze
my spoon to the roof of my mouth. Ow.."
"What?!" Johnny sputtered.
"Easy, doc. Don't close your mouth!" Roy panicked.
I call for another doctor? Oh, no! Man chokes to death
in his own hospital r--" Kelly quailed.
"Quiet, Chet, and go get us some hot water. That'll work better."
snapped Johnny, as he held Mike's
jaws open so he could
continue to breathe.
"Guyth?...Guyths? Really, I'm thine. Juth gith
me a bith, and we'll keet
on eating. I'm acthually quite hungee." Mike mouthed around the spoon.
"You are?" Johnny paused, his fingers still inside Morton's mouth.
"Yeth." said Mike. He exhaled
a big breath and his tongue
released the stick of the spoon. "Ahhh. It's come off. Skip that lavage,
Chet. I'm free!" said Morton aloud. "Grab yourselves a couple
of those plastic puke basins, boys,
and I'll divee this delicious glop
up, fair and square." he beamed, finally forgetting his pain for
time since his near fatal plane crash accident.
Behind him, Chet smiled. ::Goal
accomplished. Man! Doc, patients
don't need morphine all the time.:: he thought. ::Don't they always
say that laughter's the best medicine of all? I rest my case and
Episode Forty Six, The Long Hours
Emergency Theater Live
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