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   The Fire Within
   Movie One
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               Page Thirteen

*Attention*- The following casualties are all mock exercise images.

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Subject: Channel Open... Eyes Closed...
From:  patti k (
Sent:  Fri 10/30/09 1:22 AM

"All stations, this is net control, W6A1." said
Martelli on the airport's general ground operations
channel from the fire station. "Are there any AOC or AOFs
on frequency? If so, lay on your traffic.."

A static pileup met his ears in a confused tangle of replies.

    ##N4DL8## ...
   ##This is WB6W Mobile.. SPAP.##  

"Break, Echo Xray.." Greg Hicks called out for the airport
dispatch department. "We need those hams at Simplex frequency
135.3. Hams at 135.3. Bear with me all, I'm stacked real deep. Okay,
go ahead,  KXGJE--N4DL8-- WB6W Mobile--  In that order.
I'm wearing my cans." Hick said, putting on a set of sensitive
headphones.  "Echo Xray, you any injuries? Give locations.
We have acquisition of signal."

##W6A1, Echo Xray. We're still assessing our status. Please stand by.##

A sudden whine of feedback interrupted.
    ##Break! Break! Break! W6A1-- HTCharlie 7 from A-side Fuel Deck.
Emergency! I've a lady with a broken neck. ## screamed a panicked male
airport employee.

"HTC7.. W6A1-- You're sure?" asked Martelli, surprised that there were injuries
that far away from the burning terminal.

The frightened man practically squealed.
##Man, I'm so sure! She ain't sleeping for fun with her head layin' flat on her
shoulder like this! A chunk of falling airplane nailed her good right through our
main warehouse door!##

Greg Hicks nodded, thinking fast and calmly. "Okay, we'll take action.
There's nobody over there yet to our knowledge."

##Don't we know it!## shouted the employee.

Al winced, sympathetic. "Sorry it's taking the world to find ya. How many with
you are injured?"

##Man, just her!##

"I got it. I got it. Just stay calm, all right? Keep her very still.  Have someone
find a light source and aim it outside at all of us so we can zero in."

##Okay. Understand it. ## he replied back, this time at something
far less than a shout. He got off the frequency.

Martelli sighed in stress. "This is gonna take forever, figuring out everybody's
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"That's the only die we have, Al.  We'll sort em out one at a time." Greg
said to ease Al's frustration. "Try sweeping the west end of the airport's
channels, 1-7. Tap into everything. Surveillance, the fuelers, the three tarmack teams,
especially security..  They're bound to know something fast about seeing people who're
hurt. Don't worry about organizing anything. That's not our job. Just write down all
possible location leads with their corresponding number of injuries. It's the ICs'
responsibility to delegate any right responses to what we tell them." Hicks
reasoned, opening up his own panel to the rest of the airport ham frequencies

"I know that. I know that.." Martelli sighed deeply. "All right. Okay. Geesh, what
a mess out there." he said as people continued to crowd into the ham receiver.
Al finally got himself even keeled as he continued to gather information.
"Any other reports of damage at 6 eye-eye-U?" he began. "Go ahead,
KXGJE. All other stations, please stand by."

He soon learned a horrifying story.  Simultaneously, Greg heard a second one.

##KXGJE--W6A1-  In the Hotel Restaurant.. A dozen trapped. ##

"On fire?" Al asked.

##Yes. ## replied the house manager. ##I don't know how many dead.
Too many to count.## she said hoarsely.

"Get out of there. Everybody alive who can be moved or carried. It's not safe."

##The emergency exits are all blocked from the outside. I--##

"Get out through your basement level severe weather shelter. Go north
through the security checkpoint and into the subterranean parking garage.
That's away from all the damage. Then get outside to the main boulevard.
Help's stationed there. I'll have another fire crew party meet up with you by
tracking back along your escape route." Martelli told her.


"Go. Forget about any assets. The smoke is only going to get worse."
Al told her, ferociously scribbling down the manager's situation onto a

Al's mic line clicked dead.

Greg bit his lip at his own ham station. "N4DL8, What's your damage?"
he asked the Security Supervisor.

## We've heavy damage to the concrete foundation all along ticketing
and Gates A1 through A4. Baggage Claim is gone and I see at least two
buses burning by what's left of the car rental place.##

"All your personnel accounted for?"

##No way in h*ll.##

"How about civilians?"

##Son, you've got the IQ of a salad bar if you think I can even begin to
answer that!## barked the coughing, older officer on the channel.
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"I meant how many alive or salvagable? On anybody." Hicks clarified

## Nine. Everybody else that I can see around me, is dead. Including
Theresa Ryder.##

That fact stunned the firefighters. The airport manager's office was
located in the most interior location of the airport. At its heart. If the damage had
penetrated that far with a force enough to kill, they needed to know what kind it
had been and what dangers still remained as soon as possible.

  @@@##Repeater Time Out.  Wait. Repeater Time Out. Cancel.. ###@@@
   came a mechanical voice of a machine over the channel.

"Oh, geez. No! Now I KNOW the FCC got that we've declared a state
of emergency.." Martelli boomed, incredulous, angry. "Who's fumbling the
ball over there?" he said as their ham radios suddenly went weak as they
were kicked off the network.

Greg was completely calm in the storm. He raised a handy talkie to his lips.
"Chief, can you take the timer off for us? We're still running barefoot. Probably
because we're having trouble getting the APU started."

##IC-1 to W6A1. Which one?## asked Joe Rorchek through their channel.

"The power unit in the fire station's Room 3." Hicks replied, letting go of
his talk button with a bleep as he read the correct sign. Then he pressed the
mic again, in a sudden thought. "You know what? We can bypass that. Where's
the drop for the antennae? What we have now's barely warming the clouds." Greg
explained. "We're stacking up badly into non-reception."

##It's just inside the door on your left as you look into the station from the
runway. Big yellow spray painted---##

"Found it. Thanks, Chief. Two definite casualties at Fuel A. One female injury and
one male green tag. He's emotional probably, and shocked as well." Greg
said, leaning over to plug in the jack from the spool of cable that he had been
playing out behind him.

##We see their light. Heading over.## replied Joe. ##Keep dispatching us
to new places like you're doing. You know more about what's happening
globally than we do victim wise because you've got direct ham radio contact
with the airport employees.##

"Right, Chief.." Greg said. "So far we've leads on two major incidences. One
at the Restaurant and the other in the Baggage Claim/Car Rental wing. Both
are on fire."

##How many victims?##

"A dozen at the first. Nine at the second. I pointed the whole food place
underground and out the ramp to the avenue."

##That's the best plan. Holbrook 2 is receiving word. Baggage/Car Rental?##

"Two occupied buses burning. Missing security personnel. Heavy fatalities.
Unknown if related to smoke and fire or structural collapse. The concrete
foundation in ticketing's been compromised."

##Oh, not good. A main fuel line runs under there to the tank farm.##

"...which is right behind the medical center." Hicks finished.

Al hit a button to queue up all his ham callers to his board in the order received.
"Chief, should we evacuate triage?" he spoke into his talkie.

##Not  yet. It was given the all clear by our firefighters. Going to trust
their instincts.## said Joe. ##All right. I'm on continuous reception to
your HTs. Give me solid facts when you get them. And only solid facts.
Hang in tough, boys. We're doing all we can and more than ample help is
already here. ##
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Then next to him, Martelli minced his lips, looking fretful. Then he groped
for his HT and toggled out. " IC-1, uh.. Is Sophie there, helping?"

##She's a rock star.##

"10-4." Martelli hastily parked his HT, embarrassed for even asking. "Of course
she's fine. She's a fire dog." He sagged into his chair as he straightened
out a few curls with a broad sweep of relieved fingers through his hair.

Greg just stared at him. "You had any doubt?"

"Yeah, she's never seen any hurt people before." Martelli told him.
"Only mockups."

"Trust her instincts. They're as good as ours." Greg reassured him. "Why
do you think Dalmatians are always adopted by fire stations?"

Al took offense. "Because they're visible."

"Let's hope so tonight." Hicks  said eyeing up the worsening snow storm
swirling about their observation window. "There are plenty of people who
need saving."

@@##Repeater timer off..##@@ came the mechanical voice again and once more,
their two boards sprang into a mix of encouraging and horrifying life.

This time, Martelli's faith didn't waver. "Finally." he said, slamming his
fist down onto the table top with eager enthusiasm. "Now we can get some real
work done." he told Greg. He flipped a few dials. "Looks like we've just been
given the top most priority air time of the whole county."

Hicks got right back into the saddle. "N4DL8-- W6A1. Receive me?
Further report on your situation if you can."

An agony of seconds followed.

"He will." said Al, with a glint of hope in his eye. "I know him. He's a stubborn
old fart."
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Subject: Broken Shells..
From:  patti k (
Sent:  Fri 11/06/09 1:00 AM

Roy and Johnny split off from the others, aiming for their chosen goal.
"IC-2, HT 51- DeSoto and Gage. We're heading for the control tower."
Gage radioed out.

##10-4, 51-A.## replied Hank. ##Bring plenty of air with you. Call for
assistance if there's excessively large fire before you enter.## Cap ordered.
##Closest team is two hundred fifty yards west of your location. They're with
me. Note an exterior attack is in progress at the tower's base.##

Gage shrugged, hefting up a heavy rope coil bundle over his medical
pack and air bottle. "Sounds like we're well cushioned already." Johnny
sighed in relief as they rounded a corner into smoky darkness after
double checking the seals on his scba mask.

"Pick a route.. Stairs or elevator?" Roy asked him, sweeping his flashlight
before him.

"Elevator shaft. Less work to climb up that than any explosion crippled
steel landings." Johnny decided.

Roy nodded.

A large expanse of perfectly groomed carpeting glowed under their flashlight
beams as they penetrated the pitch black main terminal even deeper. Only
the soaked flecks of active sprinkler doused embers lit their path.

DeSoto lifted his HT. "Cap, sprinklers are on east end main terminal."

##Good news.##

"Where the h*ll is everybody?" Gage wondered, his breaths coming
in fast exertion as he hurried along. "The exit's right behind us."

DeSoto shook his masked, helmeted head. "Maybe they couldn't get out."

"Oh, don't say that." Johnny whispered.
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Hank and his large mobile rescue team entered the restaurant with
their stokes stretchers and fire hoses.  Body after body lay in
stillness before them in air that was incredibly hot. "Where's the fire?"
he asked his men.

One of them replied. "Got to be in the walls. Can't be below us. It's
all solid concrete foundation here according to the maps."

Cap nodded in agreement.
"Okay you two, check and then turn off any utilities. You pair, sweep for
live fire. The rest of us'll stop and check all these people for survivors."
Hank yelled through his mask. "Whatever you do, watch your backs!"

He felt his people start to work. Reaching up, Cap turned on the sprinkler
system in the area by knocking off a sprinkler head with his jacket axe from
a table as a precaution and a fast cool down measure for their victims.

The only sound they heard was from the gently falling water cascading down
around them from all the released shower heads.

Cap knelt by the nearest casualty. It was a little girl, seemingly untouched
by harm. But she had no pulse when he felt for one with an ungloved hand.
Hank left behind a black triage tag and moved on to the next victim.

Person after person in the whole area was checked carefully for signs of life.
All thirty six of them were very dead. Right where they laid sprawled, in awkward piles.
No one was burned in the slightest. Hank was grim. "Let's move on into the kitchen.
Out here must have been all toxic atmosphere."

He bent down and checked a jacket indicator filter. The yellow disk, was stained
red. "It's carbon monoxide. Maybe we can find somebody hiding in one of the food
coolers in a pocket of good air." he suggested through his air mask, breathing hard.
He lifted his HT to his faceplate. "IC-2 to all crews in airport west. We're reading
massive CO levels. Use extreme caution. Let's go."

But their search was fruitless. They left wax crayon victim statuses and times
whereever they went on doors and on walls for the later teams coming in behind
them after tagging the dead. No one anywhere, was found alive.

A few minutes later, they hit an exterior wall dimly lit by the fire of two burning
planes outside through windows that were paralleling their new route along the orange
concourse. Hank saw some movement in a man huddled by a window. He was wearing
airport tarmack gray and his face was pressed desperately against a hole in the
glass of a cracked window near the floor. "Over here!" Hank yelled. "Somebody
bring a resuscitator!" He shouted on radio. He threw a flashing beacon onto the
floor near him as a visible marker in the wet, raining darkness.

A fireman obeyed and clattered in with an apparatus. Carefully, Cap rolled the man
over and began actively ventilating him on pure oxygen using the positive pressure
valve to boost his feeble breathing. That fireman stayed behind to assist, while the
others continued on with their search and rescue efforts.

"He's barely conscious.." Hank told the fireman. "But I think he was in good enough air
down here for the most part." Cap read the man's name tag and access badge.
"He's a fuel manager. Here, take over. I want to see if I can wake him long enough
to get some solid info out of him before we turn him over to the bug out crews."
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The firefighter complied, manually forcing in only enough oxygen to make the man's
chest just begin to rise, to prevent any harm.

Hank rubbed a few knuckles into the man's chest that he had just bared. "Hey, Chad.
Can you hear me? Open your eyes.." he shouted.

The older manager startled awake, and then he jerked when he felt the end of
a machine delivered cool breath as it was fed into his lungs. "Whaa?" He
started coughing, and then he tried to push the resuscitator off his nose and mouth.

"Easy there. It's okay. This is just oxygen. Can you hold this mask to your face?"
Cap asked him, covering the man's panicked fingers that had grabbed
the demand valve with his own. "Just suck this in, you'll be able to breathe better

Panic, confusion and fright all marched across the manager's dirty face.
Finally, he spoke as his strength returned and his breathing sped up.
"You're firefighters."

"Yes." Cap smiled through his faceplate.

"What happened?" Chad mumbled around the mask.

"A Concorde crashed in the airfield. Part of it hit the terminal."

The man sat up quicky, coughing. "I remember!" he said,
keeping the oxygen mask the other firefighter had handed to him close
to his face. "I was running to check the refinery line!"

"What can you tell me about those docked planes out there? Are they occupied?"
Cap asked him, holding the manager's shoulders steady.

"The middle one. The one that's not on fire yet. I sent my prep crew in there!" he

"We'll go get them out right now. Calm down." Cap said, gesturing for a nearby
firefighter to call in that finding to the outer fire engine crews. "You may be hurt

"No, I don't think I am."

"Okay. Do any of your planes have critical cargo on board?" Hank pressed.

"Uh,..." Chad sweated. " They're all scheduled just routine maintenance.
Food, fuel, oxygen.. Just the usual deal." he said numbly, getting sleepy with
shock and from the poisoned air. "Oh, why do I feel sick?"

"Rest easy.  More help is on the way." Cap told him, lying him back onto
the floor. He whistled sharply through his scba for an arriving stretcher crew to
hurry on over to get the manager out. "Conscious. Smoke inhalation. No spinal
precautions needed! Watch yourselves and him closely. This whole place
is chock full of CO."

"Yes, sir! We heard the alert." they replied, swiftly accomplishing a mask
exchange on the manager for their own portable oxygen supply.

Cap rose to his feet to return to the head of the search party with his
resuscitator apparatus carrying arff assistant behind him. He raised his radio
to his lips and gave a report update to Joe Rorchek and the paramedics
still working themselves inside from the other end of the airport.
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Chet Kelly was teamed up with Hallie Green. They moved down a fork
that Roy and Johnny said would lead to the rental car and taxi stand
commons area.

They both tensed behind their charged fire hose as they dragged
it along in their wake.

Green sucked in a worried breath of air from her bottle and mask.
"Why aren't we seeing anybody? Your captain said he saw lots of
people through the windows."

Chet turned and grinned at her as he put out a small fire on
the carpeting just ahead of them. "I'm a raging optimist. I think the
the majority managed to get themselves out in time. See that fire door?
It's hanging wide open."

"Let's hope so." said the blond bunned firefighter, gripping her triage
bag a little tighter.

She swept her flashlight around to the front of her, and stumbled on
a sudden rise. It was the carpetted floor, rising up into the air at
a forty five degree angle. "Oh, sh*t." she cursed. "Look at all this damage
ahead." she sighed in disbelief. "We can't go in any further without a full
urban firecrew to make sure things safe for us."

Kelly nodded in agreement and used his HT. "HT 51 to IC-2. We're
just approaching the west wing car rental taxi stand. We're seeing three
major successive uplifted heaves in the concrete foundation
along the green concourse. Structural damage is extensive. Request
an Urban to preceed us."

##HT 51-B, I concur. Back off and try another area that's less dangerous
for now until they move in to your location.##
Hank replied.

"10-4." said Kelly in reply.

Hallie backtracked them to the corridor where she thought they had all split
up to do their site sweeps. "Whoa.. we're lost.." she said to him.

Chet looked up from his GPS. "No, we're not. A way out's just over
there." he said, pointing around the dark silhouette of the security arch.  
Then he did a double take in shock, his eyes attracted to the pitch black
area just to the side of it. "Oh, my G*d, Hallie, is that the nose of a plane?"

She stopped in her boots and shifted her red helmet a little higher up onto
her head. "Yeah, isn't this about where the middle one is?" she said. "Let's
go check it out." she said, still stunned at seeing part of an airliner
crashed through a wall at the very center of an interior passenger boarding
terminal.  "I'm not seeing any clear danger yet. So far so good.
And where there isn't any fire..."

"...we might be able to find some people." Chet finished. He pointed
up to the ceiling. "Crack out a sprinkler head. Let's drown any further
chance of a fire out here. Looks like the initial explosion's long since over."

"Cracking heads." she saluted, through her steamed up faceplate.

"No, let's just go find some." Chet joked to ease their stress.

Hallie raised their fire hose and tightened its stream into a fine point.
She easily destroyed a few trigger valves before turning it off again.

The reassuring sound of spraying water activating all around them
worked to calm the worst of their fears as they continued to scout on ahead.
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Johnny felt the metal elevator doors in the basement of the control tower
carefully. "No fire here."

"No, but that brick wall's cracked." said Roy. "And that could mean
gas leaks, electrical fires..."

"I hate knowing so much." Gage grumbled, checking the amount of
air he still had left in his air bottle by reading the regulator dial.
"I'm at forty five. You?"

"About the same."

Together, they forced open the doors with a pair of magnetic grippers.
Soon, they were looking up the smoky shaft toward the control tower's
observation deck. They slowly began the five story climb using an intact
maintenance ladder. And they repeatedly kept shouting the air controllers'
names, the whole way up to the top, lighting their route carefully with a
pair of helmet lamps.

"There's no answer." Johnny coughed, through his air mask. "It is hot?" he
asked of the final doors they had yet to open.

Roy pulled off a glove and felt the metal. "No."

"Okay.." Gage sighed.

Gasping, DeSoto and Gage utilized the magnetic gripper handles one more
time, above the quiescent and unused elevator car. Fresh cold air poured in.
"The air's safe in there." said Gage, pulling off his mask.
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The half and half level floor that met their first glance, was dripping blood into
the elevator shaft. Johnny quickly found a pair of shoes tightly pressed against
the wall to his right after they climbed out.  "He's under a lot of debris.." Johnny
said. Then he looked up around his helmet."Looks like part of the ceiling came
down on top of--"

"Gene's dead.." came a nearly inaudible moan from very nearby. The second
air traffic controller was seated haphazardly in a chair, facing the wide windows,
holding a hand held light up high in the air. DeSoto saw that he was flashing
colors of red and green over and over again into the snowing sky at as many
different orientation points as he could reach.

Roy rushed over to him. "Are you hurt? My partner's going to see about your
friend,.... Mike." he said, reading the young air traffic controller's name tag.

"I'm telling you. He's dead." Mike whispered into Roy's ear when the paramedic
bent down to hear him speak.

DeSoto blinked, glancing around at the extent of damage evident
in the room surrounding them. "He's still mostly buried back there. Did you
dig around a little? Enough to check for a pulse?"

The dazed man just shook his head.

Roy knelt by the man's side, taking off his faceplate. "Then how do you know
that for sure? My partner and I, we can--"
"I know that Mister Fireman, because the rest of my boss, is over here."
he said numbly, his eyes filling with tears, pointing down to a stained bit of
floor near his feet.

Looking down, Roy saw only half a victim.

DeSoto quickly covered the remains with a pack tarp. Then he swiftly wheeled
the still seated Porter away from the sight to the other side of the round aerial
room, that still wasn't damaged.  "Johnny, the other one's Code F."

Gage looked up from the debris pile he was still digging through near
the shoes. "Why? What gives you that idea? I think I almost uncovered a
femoral---" Then he broke off when he saw where Roy was pointing. "Oh."

A muffled explosion met their ears, making both firefighters duck.

"And it looks like the roof's on fire." DeSoto added, shaking a piece
of burning paper from around his wrist.

Mike Porter mumbled more. "There a twenty five gallon propane tank
up there." he said dully, still gripping the signalling light gun. He pointed
it aimlessly at Roy.

"Where?" Gage demanded, squinting in the circles of green and red
that flashed in his eyes from Roy's jacket.

"Right above the elevator shaft." Porter replied quietly.
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"Then we're somewhat shielded, even if it blows up." Johnny figured out.
"There's got to be a hut up there for the cable pulleys between us and
tops of these windows."

"Yeah.." Roy agreed, lifting his radio. "HT 51-A to IC-2. One alive in the tower.
New fire on the roof with a propane risk. A 25'ver. Our free air's uncontaminated."

##An Addison's on the way up your flank. Hang tight.## Cap promised.

Leaning down, DeSoto took the light out of the air controller's hand as the
man wilted in fresh grief. "Oh, Gene..Why did this have to happen on our

Johnny joined Roy at his side, where he knelt by Porter, to begin a care
assessment. "How's that scrape on your head? Do you have a headache?"

Porter instantly snapped in anger. "What do you think? I just saw my
best friend die right in front of me." he gasped. Then he looked
horrified. "Oh, no.. where's the gun? I can't stop warning people away,
I'm the only one up here who can--  There may be another crash, another
crisis plane like that Concorde.. Oh, no. All those people." he sobbed.

"Here, I'll do it." DeSoto offered. "You just rest a while and let my partner
check you over for other injuries, okay? It's this button here, right?"

Porter quickly got a grip on himself after a few full breaths of air.
"Yeah, just keep sweeping that in wide arches, all around the circle of
our observation deck. They'll see us then." he said urgently. "Don't

"What am I saying with it?" Roy asked, squinting at its brillance.

" 'Caution. Extreme Caution. Stay away.' It's naval signalling." Porter replied
tightly anxious.

"Oh. Okay." said DeSoto, letting the man guide his arm around in
demonstration. "I got it. Just stay seated."

Johnny pulled off his work gloves for medical ones. "Now about this
headache. Did you black out?"

"No, I get migraines when I get under stress. Got any coffee?"

Johnny didn't even blink. "Fresh out. How about an I.V.? Got some
good ones here."

"No. Absolutely not. I hate needles." Porter shuddered. He began
to hold his still painful head. "Gah, I can't concentrate on this
radar. By law, I can't leave until somebody relieves me."

"You're kidding." Roy gaped.

"Nope. Wish I was. Don't want to get sued."

"We're on fire!" Gage expressed pointedly.

"So? Does that ever stop you from trying to save people?"
Porter returned fire. "Cause a whole bunch more.. will die... if
I don't keep warning other planes away from us, using this board."
he explained, enraged. Then he folded up in utter agony as his
blood pressure did a number inside of his skull.

Gage leaned down to his level. "If you let me stick you, I can give
you a pain killer.." he dangled.

"No drugs. I won't be able to think straight."

"You think you're thinking straight now?" Johnny countered. "I'd say
you're pretty rattled, a twelve on a scale one to ten." Gage said tersely.
"Now in about five minutes, a whole group of firefighters are going
to appear right in front of your nose in a bucket to haul your *ss out
of here."

"No they're not. I know my rights. I'm conscious, I'm cognizant, and
you can't touch me if I don't want you to, treatment wise." Porter
glared back softly. "The law says I can refuse you."

"Well, I--  Okay, enjoy that pain. We're not leaving either." Gage said,
crossing his arms over his jacketted chest. "But you will soon, because
that shock's gonna start getting the best of you. And when you finally
black out, that same law says we can do anything with you afterwards
that we need to do, in order to save your life."


"Fine!" Johnny spat back, getting genuinely angry.

Roy DeSoto just kept on flashing the light gun into the clouds as silence
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Mike Porter busied himself with trying to rewire an emergency radio
to a battery, so that it could function.

After burning his fingers for the third time on a soldering iron,
Porter finally had enough. "Ow,.. can you make this headache end without
konking me out?"

"Of course, we're paramedics, aren't we?" Gage said, throwing up
his hands.

"Okay, do it. And I- I-- I don't wanna watch when-- when.. when you
finally stick me. I might faint."

"Good." Johnny glared evilly.

"But I don't faint. I can't faint." Porter reasoned.

"You won't faint.." countered Roy evenly as he looked back from his
light signalling foray. "Johnny's real good. Half the time I don't even
feel the needle when he has to start an I.V. on me when I'm hurt."

"Really?" Porter moused.

"Yeah." DeSoto said genuinely.

Mike eyed him skeptically. "Okay." he said guardedly. "Have it your way.
Do your stuff." he said, holding out a trembling arm.

"Finally." Gage said, smacking his hands together. "What'll it be? D5W?
That way you'll get at least the sugar part of your missing sugar and coffee cup."

"Oh, a funny from a firefighter." Mike patronized tiredly. "I've
had enough of you guys' sense of humor to last me a lifetime. Just
ask G--" he broke off, miserable once more.

A few minutes later, Porter was pain controlled with a little meperidine.
Everybody was coping. The paramedics had their critically needed
lifeline in, and a cranky patient still had what he thought was his independence.
::Just peachy.:: Gage thought sarcastically.

At least, they weren't arguing anymore when the ham radio burst into life on
the debris smashed, half battery-rigged control console.  ##Sherman Point  
to ISLIP, can we assist?  We can cover your incoming rogue New York
approaches and any evac chopper departures you need to launch. On 118.0.
We are able as backup CT.##  

Porter swallowed his pain nervously. "Rogues?! Oh, I knew somebody
else was still out there past Concorde."

"Wait a minute, Porter. Who are those people?" Roy asked, lowering
the flashing light gun he was aiming out all the windows.

"*cough* Keep signalling, no matter what you do. Don't stop!"
Mike begged Roy, as he began shivering in every pore. "T-The snow curtain's still
obscuring the ground. Those pilots can't see what's going on here. But
they can see our light gun.. We're above the fog a-a-and all that smoke
and f--" Mike suddenly blinked hard. He had lost track of what he had just
been saying. His voice fell away, slurred. "Ohhhh.."

Gage narrowed his eyes appraisingly. "Mike, are you hurt worse than
you've let on?"

Porter grabbed for a microphone nearby, and missed as another sudden
wave of lurid grogginess overcame him.

Roy set down the signaller. "Mr. Porter? What's going on? Can you
talk to us?" DeSoto was surprised the air controller didn't get upset at him
again for interrupting the light gun's urgent flashing.

The new transmission group continued to hail from the ham radio channel.
## ISLIP, can you respond? We've been enabled.##

"Roy, ribs." Gage said as he grabbed Mike's I.V. arm to steady him.
"There's a small cut or something I missed before on his side here. It's
oozing fresh blood through his shirt."
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Porter gasped when his awareness suddenly returned. He
got angry, swiping Johnny's seeking gloves away. "I'm fine. W-We
have to keep working. Don't touch me!"

Johnny spread his arms wide, in a gesture that was non-threatening.
"Okay.. okay. All right. I'll leave ya alone. Well, how about this then?
Are those folks talking at us right now authorized to handle all your air

Porter coughed weakly without answering as he voluntarily
sagged even more against his console from his chair. He held
up a couple of wait gesturing fingers that turned into a tight fist.

Roy got urgent. "Mike, where else are you in pain exactly? We found
a small laceration on your chest. Is it there?"

##ISLIP, our channel is wide open. Acknowledge.##

Roy noticed bright pink froth beginning to run from Porter's tensed up

DeSoto startled. "Johnny, he's lung compromised."

Gage took charge quickly. "Oh, bad. Real bad. Mike, that wound of yours
is probably sucking air. I'm gonna have to seal it off fast." Johnny warned.
"And it's going to hurt when I do that."

"" Porter said, trying to push Johnny away.

"Mike, this kind of thing can be bad enough to kill you."


Johnny got firm. "I've gotta treat you whether you like it or not, even before
you black out." Gage insisted, trying not to hurt Porter by deflecting his
weaker shoves.

" promised.."

"Mike, you're in shock.." Roy tried reason.

"I.... can't....  Don't try to make me abandon it."
Mike gasped, panting desperately.

"Mike, do you really want to die doing your job?" Gage insisted.

Roy lowered his head.  "Listen to him, Mike. We're not lying. Tell me
something. Has a firefighter ever lied to you before? Ever?"

Porter grunted, gasping in pain. Then he shook his head slowly
and stopped fighting Gage enough to let him probe around his torso
a little closer. "No, but they're d*mned devious sometimes." Mike said,
trying to grin.

"Only doing jokes, man. Only then." Johnny chuckled seriously.
Gage pursed his lips tightly as he finished cutting away Mike's soot
blackened shirt with a pocket knife as he looked for other telltale
blood stains. There were none. "Roy, it's just there."

"Not much loss at all." DeSoto said, retaking Porter's pulse. "But he's
getting real thready here."

Gage didn't lose focus on other matters. "Mike, now tell me everything.
Who exactly is that caller we haven't answered yet?"

##ISLIP Tower, do you copy our signal?##

Porter paled seconds later as Johnny applied strong hand pressure
against the tender place on his ribcage. "T-They're a tiny communications
hub near the FAA beacon  Clera. *gasp* They do have a small ....radar.
Bless their everlovin'--"

"Then you've no more reason to risk yourself by staying here. We're
moving you out now. Johnny, let's get him ready." ordered Roy.

"No way. I--"

Johnny yelled.
"Mike, don't be stupid! You're seriously injured. You're going to let these
people know you're about to leave your post. Right now! Roy? They said CT
earlier. I'll just bet that means duties as in control tower." Gage growled.

"No bet." DeSoto agreed.

Mike flared, pushing out red spittle. "They can't do that! I'm the one who--"
Confusion bloomed across Porter's face as he suddenly struggled just to

DeSoto began measuring a short airway alongside Mike's face from his lip
angle to an ear as he held the man's head still.

Porter flinched feebly.  "What's that?"

Roy replied. "Nothing important for the moment." he said stonily, palming it
into a glove. "Feeling like you're going to black out?"

Gage supported DeSoto's hardball, even while he supported Mike's neck.
He was still covering the sucking chest wound with his other hand.
"It's not pretty, is it?" Johnny asked his stubborn patient.

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Porter tried to focus on his two rescuers. And failed. He gave in, closing his eyes.
"Okay.. Uhh. I lied. Yes, they can help out." he said, licking heavily blue lips. "I'll
talk to them first. Then I'll do... whatever you want..." he gasped. "I feel bloody

Mike Porter grimaced weakily as he nodded for DeSoto to toggle the talk switch
on the mic that lay resting just out of reach of his questing fingers. He struggled
to stay upright in the chair and was startled to find himself leaning on Gage's
supporting arm more and more.

Roy committed the control. **Beep** Open radio met their ears.
"Okay, you're on, Mike." DeSoto said.

Mike spoke, shocked that his voice was just a gasp. "Frank, you take the n-net.
I'm hurt. Take the net before I--" His trembling hands began to flip over switches
and levers. One by one, his control board panel lights changed from green to
amber.  " dragged out of here by a pair of smart*ss firefighters.." he rasped.

##Roger, accepting net control to Sherman.... Transferred in three, two, one

Porter dropped as if poleaxed and the two paramedics caught him as he rag dolled
out of the control chair. Without wasting time, DeSoto and Johnny laid him flat on
the floor. DeSoto slipped in the oropharyngeal airway while Johnny drew out a
needle decompression set from his med pack. "He's suffocating, Roy."

"Yeah... It's gotta be a tension pneumo." Roy agreed, drawing out
a stethoscope from inside of his jacket to listen. "He's not gurgling in the slightest
and he's hyperpercussive. We've got to reduce this right now. Or he's not gonna
have enough lung space for the trip down, even manually ventilated." Roy said,
lifting the drum away from Porter's sooty chest. "Still not feeling any rib fractures
around that hole."

"I wonder what punctured him, Roy." Gage said, sealing off the
tiny wound with an occlusive dressing.

"Doesn't matter. We'll spineboard him anyway. Let the doctor
worry about that little mystery later." Roy said, working fast to package
Porter's hanging I.V. to a place under the controller's shoulder. "Do you
feel comfortable staying under all of that.." DeSoto asked, pointing
towards the still groaning, sleet dripping ceiling."..just to play medical

"Nope. Let's get out of here." Gage said, standing after rechecking
the petroleum bandage he had placed over the ragged tear in
Mike's chest. "You do the honors." he said, passing the paper sheathed
long chest needle and valve over to Roy. "I'm gonna go call THIS number."
he announced, moving quickly on his feet. "Two birds with one stone."

Johnny spoke into his HT loudly. "Heads up below the tower!!
Falling glass!" Then he whirled, grabbing a console chair by its wheels
and back. With one move, he threw the heavy piece of furniture into
the still pristine window in front of them, shattering it into a million
tinkling silver fragments that glinted as they sprayed out
into a ring of shards under the orangish red firelight.

The night suddenly invaded the tower room with bone chilling wind
and even thicker snow.

"Him first into the bucket.. Then I'm going in last, after you." Johnny said firmly.
Gage parked his butt onto the edge of the dropoff and whistled as he waved in
contact with a nearby ladder aerial bucket apparatus that was slowly lengthening
towards them from behind a huge blossom of cooling fire foam.

"Who says? We'll flip for it." DeSoto shrugged, keeping a few fingers
on Porter's rapid carotid.
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"Roy, that injury you've been hiding makes you my patient."

"It's minor." Roy grinned. "Just a burn. I'm not degloved." he said,
shifting his weight around as he swabbed a place down on Porter's
sweat slicked chest with betadine.

"Tough. It's still circumfrential. I saw how that flame nailed you.
We're going in that order." Johnny said, not smiling. "The grip in your
hand's gotta be way off."

"PFffffffft." went the internal press of air from Mike's chest cavity
out through the needle that Roy had quickly stabbed beneath taut
gristle and skin. "Who says?" DeSoto grinned grimly.
"I'm right on the mark."

Beneath Roy's stabilizing hands Mike began to gasp harder through
his unconsciousness as his serious air hunger finally began to resolve
away into a more normal breathing pattern.

"That's it. His lungs are expanded again." Roy said as he jerked
the evacuation needle out. "Turning up his I.V. to wide open
to counteract a pressure drop."

"I'll get the oxygen from the guys out there." Johnny said, reaching
through the yawning hole he had created. A new screaming gust howled
around them both powerfully, fueling the ceiling fire.

But then the flames above them went out as the roof around the propane tank
was smothered in soupy retardant from the rescue bucket's stream. "You guys all
right in there?" asked Rags Harris, manning the nozzle's full open aperature.
"We saw the emergency toss out."

"Yeah, we just needed to ventilate this guy a little before we bailed."
Roy told him. "Window smashing was the fastest solution."

"The two air controllers were still up here?" Then he started counting bodies.
"Where's Skidwell?" the burly firefighter asked.

Gage fixed his eyes onto the ground, where hustling teams of silver suited
firefighters were milling about their scene. "He didn't make it." Johnny said,
with a shake of his helmeted head.

Harris seemed to freeze as cold as the ice falling in wet piles around him.
"Ah,, Gene.." Rags said with a groan of anguish. "He was a good
guy." his face crumpled in immediate grief. "He lived for ya, man. You know?"
he sobbed suddenly, shocked. "The best friend you ever had. What the
h*ll happened?"

"We found him in back with a piece of the roof on top of him." DeSoto said.
"It..... must have been quick." Roy added softly. "Got some O2?"

Harris tightened his jaw and shoved in the clanking tank of oxygen
that was already fitted with a face mask and thumb trigger. He became
hard as steel in voice and body as he began to force himself to cope.
"Here. Ready for the long board yet?"

"Yeah.. we're set." Gage said, reaching for the offered equipment.
"Radio out to Triage. Red tag. A resolved tension pneumo. No fractures.
No gag reflex."

"You got it." Rags said, all business.
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   The Fire Within
   Movie One
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