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 The Other Side
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Page Three

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From: patti keiper <>
and 'Erin James' <
Date: Thu Feb 7, 2008 3:56 am
Subject: ~~Perserverence Wins The Race~~

Dixie McCall finally reached the point of actually declining
coffee. Almost losing Sharon Walters had been stimulus
enough for her. ::That and handling the finer points of
teenaged-patient-to-doctor sensitivities.:: she mused.

She was back at her desk, mulling over the one
chart she had left to update. Sharon's.

Bored, she leafed through it and noticed a followup note from
Joe that hadn't been added. ::Now that's not like him. He usually
hangs over the lab boys until he rules out ALL the fatal stuff
when it comes to heart bugs. Now where's that report?:: she
wondered, still searching.

Thinking it was lost, she asked the nurses going about their
rounds about it. They didn't know anything. So Dixie
decided to intrude on Kel's sacrosanct freetime solely on the
basis that any delay could possibly mean a life threatening
oversight for Sharon. And as Walter's primary care physician,
McCall was very certain that Brackett would want to know
about it.

So she picked up the telephone and dialed in to Kel's
pager number.

Then she waited while the system connected to his unit.


Somewhere in the hospital, the younger maintenance
man got on his radio. "Dave to Scotty. Got your ears on?"

##Yeah, I'm on the second floor. Anything?##

"Not yet. Floors eight through three are all clear.
No red point trigger alarms firing. Water pressure's
good. Oxygen psi's normal in all rooms so far, and
even the new data computer is up and running, intact."
Dave reported, rubbing his sweaty chin that was
damp from his exertions from tramping down all the
stairwells containing their fire panels.

##Good deal. Let's meet down on the ground level.
That's where all our volatiles are stored...##

"And the live bugs.... Man, if they ever got out...."
Dave shivered.

##God forbid.## sighed Scotty over the channel.
##Okay, I'm heading down. Meet you in one?##

"At the main hallway intersection. 10-4."

The older maintenance man laughed. ##What are
you doing? Do you think you're a CHiPper or something?
Use plain language. Hate to break it to ya, but we aren't in
the heroic line of business at all there, good buddy.##

"Look who's talking? Is that C.B. radio chatter I'm hearing?"


Dave felt a surge of playfulness. "You're closer than me.
Wanna race?"

##You're on! Go!## came Scotty's instant reply.

The game was pure fun for both men, until they
shot around mutual opposite corners and came nose to
nose up against a lowered emergency bulkhead flashing
red lights.

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Station 51 wasn't really glad to be finally all back in quarters,
for their accursed lull of no runs had set in once again after
the early action of yesterday.

Recharged after one of Stoker's famous breakfasts,
Johnny was getting antsy. "Hey, Pally."

Roy looked over at his recharged best friend and groaned
inwardly. He said, "Yeah, Junior?"

"Ya think..."

Roy cut his friend off, "...we can do a supply run?"

"Yeah." Gage grinned after Roy had completed his sentence.

"Sure, Johnny." DeSoto said, indicating the way ahead of him
from the kitchen.

Cap grinned, "Feeling a little housebound are we, pal?"

Johnny blushed, "Sorry, Cap."

Mike chuckled, "Don't be. After the morning we had
yesterday, it's hard to just put the brakes on it."

Hank grinned, "Stay available, you two. Tell the
hospital crew we said hi."

Roy chuckled, "We will."

Roy and Johnny left the day room and then the station.


Minutes later,  they pulled into Rampart.

Johnny commented as they climbed out of the squad.
"I wonder what Rampart's been doing with another quiet
day on their hands."

Roy said, "That's if they even calmed down after what we
dropped off for them."

Johnny chuckled, "True. And it seems like that baby earthquake
didn't charge up the mix either. There's nobody here." he

"Good, and you know what that means..." Roy began as a

"No line in the cafeteria..." Gage crowed.

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"Don't tell me that you're hungry again. You just ate.." Roy

"I'm a growing boy..." Johnny grinned, burping loudly.

"Okay. Okay. I give in. Get your second breakfast so I can
get a little peace and quiet." DeSoto said grumpily.

"Deal. Let's go in the main visitor entrance, that way's faster."
Johnny suggested.

"If you insist." DeSoto said, giving in.

The boys walked into an unfrazzled main lobby.
As they hit the cross in the hallway, they overheard
two nurses say, "Hey, have you heard about Sharon Walters?"

This perked the guys' ears up. One of the nurses said, "Yeah,
sounds like she's gonna be in a world of hurt for a while."

Concerned and curious, Johnny spoke up, "Uh, ladies what room is
Sharon in?"

"Think we're gonna give that away to you, Romeo? Buzz off. She's
a sick girl." one of them replied.

Roy sighed hugely. "Please, for me? I'll keep him on a leash."

Appeased, the second one answered, "Okay, I trust you. You have
cute eyes.  Um,... 302, Mr. Dreamy." she said after checking the
number she had inked onto her palm.

Roy said, "Thanks. Thanks a lot. Listen, uh,  when you see Dixie,
could you let her know that Squad 51 is up visiting Sharon and
if she needs any help at all with her, to let us know?"

"Okay. See you later, Pool Eyes.." she crooned.

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Miffed, Gage was offended as he watched Roy wave shyly back.
"How do you do that? You're a married man for Pete's sake."

Roy shrugged. "Natural charisma?" he offered.

After they had eaten their second breakfast, Roy and
Johnny decided to walk it off. On their way to the
steps, they noticed the elevators were out of
order. Roy said,"I guess the quakes turned the
elevators off."

Johnny commented, "Looks that way." The
two of them made their way up the steps.

Johnny shrugged as the duo jogged the stairs. Johnny thought
:: Nice to get some exercise after that lull::

Johnny hiccuped loudly as they climbed up to
the third floor.

Roy looked over, "You okay, partner?"

"Yeah, maybe I shouldn't have had that
second breakfast after all."

Roy smirked, "Ah, looks like the
growing boy has hit a limit."

Johnny smirked, "Never mind me, Pally.
We have a nurse to go cheer up."

Roy and Johnny made it to their floor in a minute.

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Roy opened the door and held it, "After
you, Romeo."

"Would you just shut up." Gage warned.

Roy just smirked again.

It was really quiet as the guys made their way to
Sharon's room and disappeared inside without a
single other staff person seeing or preventing
them from entering.


Sharon looked up when she heard the door
open. She was surprised to see Johnny and
Roy, but quickly recognized them as having
made a special trip just for her. They didn't smell
like firesmoke or freeway exhaust.

"Johnny, Roy, what are you doing here?"

Johnny's lopsided grin appeared as he said,
"Well we heard you were a bit under the weather
so we figured we'd come visit you."

Sharon blushed, "Th-thannk you."

Roy smiled, "You're welcome."

Johnny turned back to business mode. "Have
they told you anything yet?"

Sharon bowed her head, "They said I have
rheumatic fever... Oh,'s not contagious,
but it almost cost me my career before I
ever really got started." Sharon said and
she grinned openly with affection as she
recalled what the other nurses and doctors
she worked with had done for her. And then
she started weeping again.

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Roy and Johnny looked at each other and
silently nodded. The duo wrapped Sharon
up in a hug, and Roy said calmly, "I'm glad
you guys got that whole thing figured out.
How are you feeling?"

Sharon struggled between sobs, "They
can't cure me,... ever, and I won't be
feeling good for weeks and weeks yet."

Johnny said, "Hey now, they can treat ya.
Trust me. From being a multiple time
visitor to Hotel Rampart, I know you'll
have nothing but the best folks working on

Sharon started to relax as the guys' words
sank in. Feeling her relax, Roy and Johnny
both let go of her.

Sharon leaned back against her
pillows, "Thanks, guys. I needed that."

Roy said, "You're welcome."

Johnny added, "Anytime you need to be
reminded, we'll be happy to show you." Gage
said eagerly.

Roy smacked him on the arm for excessive

Johnny didn't even look at him. "Well, maybe
just a little." he amended, enduring the sting.

Sharon cracked a half smile, "Okay."

But then she sobered up again, frowning sadly.

Concerned Roy asked, "What is it, Sharon?"

Sharon said, "I was going to show Dixie,
Doctor Brackett, and anybody else who was
interested, something I did in one of my
nursing classes. But now I don't think I'll
get a chance to before they get too old
to remember things."

Johnny's ears perked up, "Oh yeah?
What'll take too long for a nurse
and doctor to forget?"

"No, silly. Them. From my behavioral
class. I was able to train some rats to follow
commands. I thought that they might be
helpful if we ever had another lock out."

Then she looked up. "Shhh! Someone's coming.
Hide! I'm not supposed to have any visitors.."
she cried.

"OhmyG*d! The hot room!" Scotty quailed, his mouth fallen
open in shock.

"It's leaking." peeped Dave. Mutely his hand came up and he
pointed. " ...and somebody's caught in the airlock..."

Dave started to flee, but Scotty grabbed him by the arm, and
hauled him back with a panicky wheeze. "We're safe! And they're
safe! They've got their own clean air supply, man. We gotta
go talk to them in order to find out what the problem is.
Let's go!"

Lurching and frightened out of their minds, the two Rampart
engineers approached the glass of the mantrap and began
to peer inside. Gasping, the window fogged up on their
end until Scotty had the presence of mind to wipe it away
with a hasty sleeve.  He began shouting, even as Dave ran
to get them both HEPA Class One respirators to wear.
"Are you all right? Are you all right? One, two...and the intern."
he counted fast, shouting over the roar of the klaxon sounding
in their ears, to get a head count.

Dave thrust a biofilter mask over to Scotty and then he
put his own on in just seconds. Breathing hard, he got on his radio.

Scotty saw an okay sign but then, just as fast, there was a pantomimed
disagreement inside the sealed chamber. Tom, the lab tech, was
gesturing a cut throat motion across his neck and lifting up a very
insistent single index finger.

"What? What?!" Scotty shouted. "I don't understand.."

Behind him, Dave began to sound out their alarm. "HVAC to
Hospital Op. Break break break! Biocontainment leak 1East
ground level! Three trapped. Send immediate---"

Scotty grabbed his arm, pushing down the radio urgently.
"Dave, something wrong in there. What are they saying?!"

Distracted, Dave looked up, also seeing the commotion.
"Ohmyg*d. Somebody's missing."

Scotty waited for the radio to switch over to Emergency Band
before broadcasting more information. "Who? Everybody's
accounted for.. Tom, Chang, Lei.."

Dave's face looked full and frightened. "But what if they had a visitor?
Somebody didn't make it into the airlock with the others!"

Scotty planted his nose back against the separating glass.
"Who?! Who is it?" he shouted, overpronouncing his words.

Though mute, the other lab technicians understood. Hastily
they scrawled a single name on a pad of paper from one of
their pockets.

'Joe Early.' it said.

Dave understood. "One of the doctors from Emergency. A
cardiac surgeon. He works with Kel Brackett."

Scotty turned back to the others and started nodding.
"Okay. okay.. Is he alive?"

The radio dangling between the two maintenance workers
began to sing. ##Ops to HVAC, confirm Emergency Situation
Priority One. Internal Response Team has been activated.
How many casualties?##

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Scotty ignored the transmission, locking onto the technicians
eyes as their faces fell suddenly as they wrote a new note
and pushed it against the window.

'Not moving now. Exposed heavily before airway protection was
self placed.' came back the written reply.

Dixie double checked the number she had dialed to
Kel's brand new pager. It was the correct one.
::Maybe I should contact--:: she started to think to herself.

Right then, a nurse walked quickly up to her desk with a
heads up.

"What is it, Betty?" asked Dixie.

"HVAC's doing a property wide sweep because of that
minor ground shake. Just thought you should know." she

"Okay, thanks, Betty. I'll let the others know as soon
as I finish this page of mine. I sure hope the system
isn't down. Our telephones are fine. Have you had a chance
to play with these new fangled things yet?" she said.

"'Fraid not." she replied apologetically as she walked away.  

Dixie shrugged and decided to solve her problem the old
fashioned way. With a little footwork. ::I'll just track him down.
It's not like this report's that urgent or anything.:: she figured.

"Now where was Kel last seen?" she murmured, scratching her

"Sharon's room..." floated back a reply. Dixie looked up.
It was Doctor Morton, arriving to claim the coffee that a certain
head nurse, wasn't drinking.

Dixie grinned. "Thanks."

Mike nonchalantly walked up to the fire department scanner
and tapped its readout. "Anything cooking?"

"Not yet." McCall replied. "Seems dead quiet this morning, too,
doesn't it?"

"Unfortunately... But you wanna know something? I'd give anything
for a little action in the fire department."

"Get out of my skull. A few hours ago, I was thinking the same thing."
Dixie scoffed. "Mind the store. I gotta speak with Kel for a minute
about this.." she said, lofting up Sharon's metal clipboard.

Morton didn't stop her, realizing that he, too, wanted the tightest
and best care for their youngest star pupil. He sat down on the
stool Dixie vacated. "Sure thing." he told her.

Dixie padded to the nearest stairwell and made tracks for
Room 302.

Knocking softly, she entered.

Sharon was sleeping soundly, undisturbed by the commotion
of the breakfast dietary technicians slowly making their rounds.

Glancing up at the status dry marker board, Dixie hunted for
Kel's latest notes and vital signs entry. It wasn't there for
the current hour.  Frowning, McCall wrote down what information
there was, and then she left as silently as she came.

::Huh. That's weird. I wonder where he is?:: McCall puzzled.
::He was due back on duty a half an hour ago.::

Casting her head around, she caught a passing thought.
"Did you oversleep I wonder?" she said out loud.

Smiling, she snuck up to Morton's dorm room, and knocked loudly.
There was no reply. Dixie made a face. "He moved.." she complained
to herself. "That's not fair. How am I gonna find him now?" she said,
giving the door another smack with Sharon's chart for good measure.

Dixie thought for a second, ::If I was Kel, where would I go?::
Then it dawned on her ::The next quiet place I could find::
"And that means.." she planned out loud. "...that a pager whistle
prompt, will likely scare the h*ll out of him. I think it's time I
buzzed his shorts to within an inch of his life."

Dixie moved to the nearest house phone next to Sharon's room
and made the special priority request.

She began to get very worried when no one ran up with news
that he had popped out of nowhere looking like something the
cat dragged in.

Snatching up the phone once more, Dixie upgraded to the emergency
measure, explaining the situation to the hospital operator on duty.
"He's not answering. Something may be wrong. Maybe another
patient's down perhaps."

##No problem, Miss McCall. I'll set it to continuous audible.##

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"That'll work. I'll send out some people to hunt for it on different
floors. Thanks a bunch." she said. Then she fled down the hall,
casting an ear out for the telltale answer-me-now hail wail of a
well hidden pager. ::And its wearer.:: she thought triumphantly.

But then her sudden worry began to grow in leaps and bounds.
::Why can't I find you, Kel. You're beginning to scare me.::


Dave the boiler man broke out of his stunned paralysis. He shot
the radio up to his mouth. "Three safe. One contaminated and
unconscious. Status unknown."

Suddenly, Scotty staggered against his arm, coughing, and
swaying dizzily.

Dave grabbed him, and lifted him up. "Scotty? Are you o--"
Something cloying and unscented clogged his throat, stealing the
air from his lungs. Dave, too, started to choke, suddenly breathless.

Scotty paled, and began moving as fast as he could for the stairs.
"Gas... Let's get out of here!" he gurgled, clutching at his throat.

Whatever it was, went right through the HEPA filters with ease.

The two maintenance men shot into the stairwell, helping each other,
until they got up to the second floor. Together, they emerged into the heart
of the Emergency Center and there they both fell onto their hands and
knees, and then finally onto their faces, onto the floor.


On Sharon's floor, Dixie began to panic. No one had seen
Kel since he last left Sharon's medical emergency. ::When I
shoed him out the second time so she could finally get some
sleep....Huh. I know. I'll try the lab. He might be checking up
on Joe's cardiac followup on Sharon.::


Doctor Morton was startled out of his thoughts when he heard a loud thud.
He was stunned to see Dave and Scotty laying flat down on the ground.
Suddenly, all of the training he had ever had, kicked in. Morton barked,
"I need some help here. NOW!! I need two gurneys!"

Four orderlies jumped out of their skin and sprinted over with two
wheeled beds. Carefully, Dave and Scotty were loaded onto the stretchers.
The movement jarred Dave back to life, enough to croak out, "Leak-
hot-room. One down, three safe." Dave sank into darkness.

Outwardly, Morton stayed calm on the outside. On the inside, he was
galvanized. Morton barked, "Okay, put these men in Two.
And get some vitals on both."

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Morton followed the orderlies into the treatment room. He grabbed
the phone and immediately called the hospital dispatcher, "Look, this
is Doctor Morton in Treatment Two. Call a hospital wide Code Orange.
Get all available hands to seal off the critical wards and ICU. Those not
doing that, are to report to Emergency, stat! I have two men reporting
a bio outbreak in the lab on 1East."

The dispatcher quickly said, ##Right away, Doctor Morton.##

Morton hung up the phone and turned to the orderlies. "Look, I don't know
how long it's just going to be me, so you two have been drafted. Take a good
look at these victims and note their status. If anything changes in the
slightest, one of you is to come get me, STAT! Understood?" he ordered,
after checking to be sure that both were breathing easily.

Both orderlies nodded affirmative as they replied, "Yes, Doctor Morton."

"Good. Now get some oxygen going. High flow." Morton quickly got and
wrote down a set of basic vitals that he was finding on them with marker
onto their pillow cases with time stamps. "I'll be back. Remember what I said.
This is a full triage situation. They're both category red."

Without waiting for a reply, Morton stormed out of the treatment room
and headed to the front desk and the myriads of communications
equipment. Snapping orders, he sent two nurses to attend
the hapless maintenance men. "Assume we're all contaminated
and initiate full quarantine, including yourselves. Under no circumstances,
is anybody to leave this hospital. Is that clear?!"

Everyone nodded.  When they had scattered, Morton quailed inwardly.
::Where the h*ll are Joe, Kel, and Dixie?::
With that thought, Morton bolted from the corridor back to the desk
and was glad to see a group of new available doctors descending on
the emergency department. He waved them all over. "All right, listen up!"
The doctors quieted down quickly. "Look, I'm not sure exactly what we
have happening, but I know it's going to be all hands on deck. Now does
any of you have enough experience in trauma or working with quarantined
patients to feel comfortable procedure wise?"

Two of the doctors from neurology spoke up, "We have. It has
been quite a while, but we're set."

"All right, the two of you go scrub up and head for Treatment Two.
A pair of our mechanics are down, they collapsed on the
floor from that stairwell. One of them came to and said something
about the hot room and a leak with one missing, three safe, and then
he went out again on me. The first, hasn't moved." Morton updated.

The doctors took off.

Overhead, Morton heard the operator begin to announce the cause
of the probable emergency in staff speak. ##Dr. Orange, to the Hotlab,
1East. Dr. Orange, to the Hotlab, 1East.##


"She's gone. You can come out now.." Walters whispered.

"Okay. Whew, that was close." said Johnny.

"Now where were we?" asked Roy.

Sharon blinked innocently, looking very cute.
"We were talking about my rats?"

"Oh, yeah, that's right." said DeSoto. "Thanks."

Roy and Johnny were genuinely interested in
Sharon's bioanimal experiments. Especially ones
that could have rats happily retrieving lost items.

Johnny said, "Hey, that sounds like a great

"Yeah, and they work really hard, too. I use
a dog whistle to cue them towards what
I want them to pick up. They're especially good
at fetching keys."

"Handy." Roy smirked.

Sharon bowed her head, "But now I'll never be
able to show anybody. By the time I get out of
here, my furry friends'll all be geriatic patients
down in the lab."

Roy said, "Don't say that. Say, Johnny,
isn't the faster recovery time on a flare of
rheumatic fever as short as--"

Just then a loud page rang out over the
hospital intercom. ##Dr. Orange to the
hotlab 1East. Dr. Orange to the
hotlab 1East.##

Roy and Johnny spoke at the
same time, "Oh sh*t." and Gage immediately
covered his mouth. "Sorry, Sharon."

"I'm a big girl. I'm over eighteen."
Sharon said, "Go. Be safe."

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Roy called over his shoulder,
"Always..." as the guys bolted out
of the room. "Can't help it." Gage echoed.

They left 302 in a hurry.

Johnny asked, "Got the elevator

"Yes." said Roy, walking swiftly behind
him as they both pulled their helmets
back on.

Johnny grabbed the HT. "L.A.,
Squad 51."

##Squad 51.## was Sam's reply.

"L.A. , we are responding to a
Code Orange at Rampart General.
Unknown if other apparatus is
needed at this time. Show Squad 51
10-6 until further notice. We will advise
as soon as we know anything new."

##10-4, 51. Your time out is 11:07.##

Johnny jammed their H.T. into his pocket as
Roy started the elevator on emergency override
using his universal key.


Dr. Morton startled at the banging of hasty feet coming from the
stairwell directly behind him. Gasping, Dixie burst through
the exit and ran up to his side. "Mike! Kel's in trouble..*cough*
I activated the active wail on his pager, and I think I can hear it
down there near that breached lab's level. There's no response
from him."

"Kel's missing? So's Joe, I think. He's been just as invisible
for showing up for this thing." Mike took a head count.

There were soon a dozen other doctors available.

"All right, I'm going to split all of you up into four teams of three. Start a search
for Dr. Early and Dr. Brackett as safely as you can. Don't go into any dangerous
situation until we know what else might be a major risk factor for us. I'll
stay down here to coordinate rescue efforts. Each team? Take
a handheld radio from the paramedic base station. We'll stay on
channel 3. Got it?"

Twelve voices echoed, "Yes, sir."

Morton broke the group up. "I'll be Base. Now..." Morton pointed to
the first group. "You're Alpha team." Morton pointed to the second
team, "Bravo." To the third he said, "Charlie." To the last
team, "Delta. Understood?"

The voices echoed again, "Yes sir."

"Alpha team take Stairwell East. Bravo take West.
Charlie North. Delta you have South. Report
in as soon as you figure out which stairway's the closest to that
pager that Dixie says is sounding off. Kel's wearing it and we
may not have much time to pinpoint a better location before its
battery wears down. Under no circumstances are you to enter
the first level, until you hear from me. Whoever does down
there will be in fully contained biosuits. We have just two
commissioned to us from the CDC."

Twelve heads nodded and then each doctor took off. With his multi
channel radio at the ready, Morton changed his frequency
to monitor the third channel.

Anxious to stay ahead of things, he organized the remaining nursing
and support staff to prep everything he could, assuming a full biological
outbreak using the greatest limitations of the strongest bug Rampart's
researchers were keeping alive in the hotlab.

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Mentally, five minutes after that, he ran down a checklist in his head
and was thankful when he realized he had done everything possible
and then some.

He remained focused on the radio, writing everything down that
he heard, on a legal pad from the base station. Things were going
smoothly, until he heard some chilling traffic. "Base, this is
team leader Delta."

Morton quickly cued the radio, "Go, Delta."

"Base we have found the telltale is louder on South.
But there's a problem. There's signs of outgassing present
in every stairwell leading to level one. We've active frosting, sir."

Morton felt his stomach drop. "Delta, are you saying you're seeing
some chemical involvement on top of all this?"

"10-4, Base."

"Oh, Kel.." Dixie whispered. "Not you, too, Joe." she sobbed,
catching her breath. "They both might be dead."

"Now we don't know that yet, Dix." Morton flared. Then he
softened. "It's too soon."

Morton re-cued the radio, "All teams report to the ER, Stat.
Pull out. Evidence of chemical spill. Repeat all hands to Base STAT!"
Morton waited for all of the team leaders to acknowledge
before he reopened his mic.  "Call the fire department."

One of the nurses hissed. "But you've declared a full quarantine."

"I know that! They can still tell us what to do, can't they?" Morton
glared at her, almost losing control.

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"We sure can." said Johnny Gage, emerging from an elevator
that he and Roy had keyed to function to the second floor.
"Hiya, doc.." said Johnny to Morton. "We heard the call. I take it
that Orange isn't your favorite color.."

"No, it's not. Take over.." said Mike.

"What do we got?" DeSoto said, assuming command.

"Joe and Kel, trapped within a biocontainment breach
and under an unknown chemical leak. Both on level
one, unlocated." Morton said quickly as he could.

Gage got on his H.T. to L.A. "Squad 51, L.A., we're
under a full quarantine. Keep our response alarm
companies outside until further notice. We'll advise
the whole situation as soon as we can."

##Squad 51. Message received. Standing by. ## Lanier

Roy nodded and said, "We'll need some maps of that level.
As detailed as you can."

"And a gas sniffer. We'll throw one down a stairwell and haul it
up again to see what we got." Johnny added.

"You'll get them. Come on, Dix. Let's go see how those
lab boys are faring. Maybe they can tell us something
new." Mike said.

McCall grinned in relief and followed lightly in Morton's footsteps.

Soon, Roy and Johnny located the emergency store room holding
Rampart's self contained firefighting breathing apparatus
and they donned them in prep while they gathered more
information on the exact risks they would be running.

Johnny got a hold of a rope and tied it off around a gas
sniffer. He tossed it down the stairwell the Delta team
of doctors said was nearest Kel and waited for the
device to read the air down there. Then he pulled it
back and up, but far enough away for safety without being
dangerous while he read the data on its screen from where
he stood in full scba.  "Hey Roy? I'm getting just
CAS No.: 10024-97-2."

##That's it?## DeSoto shouted back over his HT.


"What's that?" asked Nurse Betty, from across the
safety zone they had set up.

"Hippy crack.." Morton said, returning back over to
the head of the probing operation. "Nitrous Oxide,
Nurse Evans. Laughing gas."

"That's not too dangerous in itself, is it?" Dixie wondered,
joining them.

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"No, it's not." said Morton, grinning. "I'll just bet our
little earthquake damaged an anesthesia machine conduit
or two. The main surgical store's down there." Mike turned
to the firefighter paramedics. "Dave and Scotty are awake
now and they're saying only the room that Joe's in is

Roy began to smile even bigger. "And you know something
else, doc?"

"No, what?"

"Dr. Early's never gonna get sick from that lab." Roy told him.

"He's not?" Mike asked in surprise. "Care to explain that little

"Because of the protective bacteriostatic layer of N20 that's
still surrounding him. In effect, Joe's being constantly sterilized
while he's lying there. He's in effect, totally safe from all germs."
Gage elaborated. "And if that gas's only coming from a small
tank, both of them are only being anesthetized. Neither one
of them can die from this stuff unless they were right under
the leak itself."

Dixie sighed in utter relief and leaned her full weight against
the wall.  "It stops bacteria from growing?"

Roy nodded, hurrying as he tied off a safety rope around
his waist and put on his respirator face plate." Only a trace
will do it. Let's go, Johnny. Doc, I suggest you get a couple
of stretchers and longboards ready, cause we're gonna need

"Hang on. Joe's locked in." Dixie spoke up.

"What?" DeSoto blinked.

"The only ones who can open that inner door are the ones
stuck in the mantrap. They have all the passes needed to
uncode that magnetically sealed door pinned to their jackets."
Mike shared.

"Well how are we gonna get to him then?" Betty asked.

Johnny piped up almost happily, remembering something.
"Ah, doc? I think we just may have the answer to that, but
I think you're gonna have a hard time believing that
this is even possible."

"Oh yeah? Try me.." Morton challenged, getting impatient.

"Got a dog whistle handy?" he smirked.


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Joe Early smirked and starting laughing out loud.
"You mean they just slid the thing using their mouths
under the door into the airlock?" from his hospital

"Yep. Easy as pie." Dixie said straight faced.

Roy chuckled. "And you'll never guess who was
the ultimate mastermind of that particular rescue

"All right, I'll bite." said Kel Brackett from the next bed. "Who?"

"Sharon Walters.." said Johnny Gage proudly as all
four of them fed celebration cake to all of the rats
milling around on Joe's eating table.

Brackett's serious demeanor finally cracked,
"Well, I'll be. I guess I really have been underestimating
her all along, haven't I?"

The others, were kind enough not to reply.

Dixie stroked the head of one particularly friendly
rodent, actively. "Hey, there. Bet you never thought that
one day, one of my nursing students would prove to be
a heroine, now did ya?"

In reply, the snowy white, sleekly beautiful creature, chirped
softly up at her, and then she blinked both of her intelligent


Episode 50, The Other Side
Emergency Theater Live

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