Ken just studied Joey's face and harrumphed skeptically, |
staring at him. "Thanks for that seal of
"Don't mention it. Now let's get going yesterday, okay?
There's a hurt guy
down there." Joey said, drumming both
palms on the curving glass windshield in front of his window
"We're gone!" crowed Ken, and he flipped Bluebird Five over
into a sharp descent
to slice under the prevailing winds.
"WahhhWHHHOoooo!" said Joey, feeling his stomach leap
his throat as they shot down into the right valley.
When they had levelled off, the boy looked
his grip on the windshield. "How far now?"
Ken waggled his head, thinking as he flew.
"Oh, we're about three miles away from the rescue site.
All we have to do is follow these cliffs
in a line that leads
straight to them. The river's coming up just ahead around
A sharp strike of something heavy on the windshield on
Joey's side spidered it with an impact crater
the size of
a grapefruit. The boy flinched.
Ken ducked, too, at the noise and jerked the flight
sharply to the right. "Wind debris! Hang on!"
He lurched Bluebird Five away from the
face, dipping quickly towards an open space to gain some
distance away from the
But more rocks bounced off of the helicopter's roof in loud
reverberations in a cloud
"What th--" Baxter blurted, ducking again. Thinking fast,
he tried to gain altitude
to get higher than the cliffs as he continued
to angle away.
"What's hitting us?" Joey gasped.
"Rocks! We must have run into a dust devil! We're getting out of--"
*Thud!* came a strong
hit above. With a jolt, the rotor
assembly over their heads protested in a loud shriek of metal
the sound of the chopper's engine began to miss. A small
piece of a flight blade tip floated away
in a puff of dust and clay
from pulverized stone, like a tossed ruler.
"Oh, crud." said Ken.
"I was afraid of that happening!"
Bluebird Five groaned and slipped into an uncompensated slow spin
as Ken fought to control her. "We're going down now! Joey, help me look
for a landing place!
Ughh!" he grunted, fighting the control stick's
"Ken?!" Joey panicked. "I
can't see anything! My window's all--"
They both screamed when Joey's window blew out, sucking
papers and every loose object aboard, including the boy's forgotten
your face! Cover your--" Baxter shouted, throwing up his arms.
Bluebird Five struck sudden pine tops and lurched to a halt, snagged |
on swishing, snapping breaking
boughs of pitch pungent wood. Its tail sagged
downwards as the nose of the rescue craft clung to
a tree. Baxter flicked
all power off, ceasing ignition and rpms. "Good enough for me! These are
soft! Hold on, kid! We're gonna slide backwards here. Whatever you do,
don't tense up!" he shouted
Joey screamed again as the helicopter went vertical, plunging
cushioned by pine boughs and splintering trunks
in nauseating stop-and-starting falls. They were
cradled sickeningly for
long moments, then dropped when pine limbs broke under their sudden
Both pilot and boy clung to their seats' arms as they fell, staring up
at the crystal clear blue
sky whirling above them. A last brown tongue
of the departing dust devil spat down sand in buffy curly
Q's into their
Then Bluebird Five disappeared from view into the belly of the forest.
"So..." Stanley grunted as he pegged a look at Gage, who was now
suffering a case of healthy shivering
inside of his three ski jackets,
a hat, and multi layered pants. "Muscles back I gather?" he asked.
"Yep." Johnny replied, carefully returning to their waterfall rescued victim.
that turned around." Then Cap looked up at the sky
once again and glanced at his watch. "That's odd."
"What is?" Gage asked, crouching by Marco who was wrapping
insulating layers around their patient.
Everything that could be
splinted, had been.
"Just how far away are we from Park Headquarters
"Uh, about seventeen miles I'd guess." Johnny replied, taking
a pulse on the injured
"That's about right." said Lopez.
"Then what's the hold up on the rescue chopper
coming to scout us
out? It should have already blasted in over our heads five minutes ago."
His scowl now matching Cap's, Johnny toggled the radio. "Tag 70 to
Do you have a new E.T.A. on our chopper?"
There was a startled squawk from the handheld. ##We've
a non-comm. Investigating the situation. We are rerouting 240 Robert Air
after her patient
drop off, to your location.##
"10-4." Gage shrugged. "Tag 70 out." Then he studied Cap's suddenly
lined face. "I've got a real bad feeling, Cap."
"Yeah." Hank said, rubbing his lips thoughtfully.
"Me, too. Can't see any
chopper being tardy for anything."
"How many are on board?" Johnny wondered.|
"Two, if I remembered the radio chatter that came from
dispatch earlier right."
"Ah, man.. It just gets better and better." Gage groused. "Well at least,
he's holding his own." he said, throwing his head down at their patient. "Pulse's
slowing, but still
steady." he reported.
"Brain swelling?" Marco asked.
"Yeah. Let's hope not too fast before
our mannitol gets here."
Roy, Thib and Chet helped Morgan Wainwright unload their patient from
the bubble stokes access
on 240-Robert Air. They were met by Joanne
Almstedt, Terri Blake and Paul Carnes who intercepted
them in the parking
lot with two other nurses.
"How's he doing?" Nurse Terri Blake asked,
peering at the kayaker's
face from the stokes they had placed onto a wheeled gurney.
conscious. Still no signs of blunt injuries." said Roy.
"We'll take over from here." said Joanne.
"I'd like you to get back to the
second victim, if you'd care to, as fast as possible."
Carnes, the park ranger captain, said more. "Your friend's reporting
multiple trauma on him."
"Be glad to." DeSoto told them, handing the lady doctor his notes on Victim One.
a second Res-Q-Air Terri handed him from a supply
basket underneath the gurney. "It's charged.." she
"Thanks." Thib said to her. Together, he, Roy and Chet ran fast to where
keeping her chopper running hot and got back on board.
A quick slamming of hatches and doors and
they were off again, rotating
swiftly on tail blades, rising high into the late morning mist.
Morgan turned in her seat once the three had redonned their radio helmets.
"I've got a situation.
Our other rescue helicopter just dropped off the radar."
"Did they crash?" Chet Kelly asked.
"Or they were forced down due to mechanic error." Morgan hoped.
Dwayne began a hail on hand held
band to Bluebird Five.
He looked up a minute later.
"This isn't like Ken at all. He hasn't
radioed out yet." Thib worried,
eyeing up his live but silent radio. "He's a good pilot."
of the best." Morgan agreed, nervous, as she flew back to
the waterfall valley.
Roy tried to
calm them. "We'll see what we can do once we get there."
Subject: Up and Down..
From: patti k (email@example.com)
Sent: Sat 4/04/09 3:58 AM
Cap reported his new developments, knowing that the ranger station
fully expected to be kept up to date on all events at his rescue site.
He eyed up Johnny still
trying to hide active shivering underneath
his layers where he crouched over the back and head injured
##Tag 70, Appalachia Central....## Hank radioed in.
"Go." replied Park Ranger
RN Terri Blake on hand held, directly from
the active treatment area where the first kayaker was
being cared for
by a whole hospital team. She watched Dr. Almstedt feverishly
check and recheck
a centrally laid I.V. line and rewarming lavage tube
she had just surgically placed in her anesthetized
Captain Paul Carnes was trying not to watch, shielding his eyes, as
he listened in
to Terri's audio.
Blake glared at him. "You're a paramedic for Pete's sake.." she
"So? We don't do any of...of that..out in the field." Paul said, cringing
in the willies.
of it as just a hot water tube." she shrugged as Stanley began
reporting again through her handy talkie
"But it's going into his..his-.."
"...innards. Yes, I know. He needs rewarming.
Bad. If it really bugs
you that much, go pull a curtain between us."
Carnes resolutely ignored
the suggestion and curled an ear down
with a finger in a strong hint for her to listen up to their
##....and my man got a little too cold. His coordination's still a little off.##
"Have you wrapped him up, too?" Terri asked.
##Yeah. But he's being mule headed and climbed
off the sun rock
we parked him onto to warm up. Still arguing about it.##
"Can't force him
to comply with care if he wants to work. I know how
stubborn paramedics can get." she said, rolling
her eyes at Paul.
Next to her, Carnes smacked her in the shoulder. Hard.|
"Ow..." Terri told him, keeping her finger
off the talk button. She
smacked him back.
From the patient cubicle, Joanne glanced up from
her fast stabilization.
"Kids..." Almstedt warned.
"Sorry." Terri and Paul both said aloud.
Blake thumbed the radio.
"Tag 70. Keep an eye on him. Watch for signs of afterdrop. That
mouth will end pretty fast if his core temp falls any more.
I'll let the incoming rescue team know."
##Thanks. I think I'll go sit on him.## Hank growled in frustration.
"That works. Keep us
posted." Terri chuckled.
**(Portions of the 240 Robert characters' dialogue and the action
following is taken from the
240 Robert TV series pilot, Apology.
First Aired August 28, 1979 Writer : John Furia Jr. with Story
Trap drove to the blaze Thib had spray painted earlier and shot out of
the rescue jeep, just as 240 Robert Air sailed in to land close by in a
rushed over to the waterfall ravine's clifftop and peered over the edge.
He saw three hunter types
over a horizontal body that was splinted up the
"Hey! Are you all right?!" Trap shouted
down to the California firefighters
monitoring their patient.
"Yeah!" Cap shouted.
many below?!" Applegate yelled even louder as Morgan kicked the
helicopter into high standby mode
on full. He only half noticed Thib, Chet
and Roy piling out of the chopper. He saw them begin to
run for the rescue
"Tw--" Hank began, cupping his hands over his mouth.
interrupted Cap's answer sharply. "One! Probable skull and lower
C7. Broken left ribs, no holes.
Fractured.. r-right ankle. Low temp.." his
voice said, echoing up the seventy foot cliff that separated
Trap frowned, studying Gage's face thoughtfully. ::He's lying to me about
he thought. ::Sounds like his voice's slurred.:: Applegate waved
down to them and ran back to the
Back at the rescue jeep, Thib made fast preparations.|
"Okay, Morgan. Could you get my med pack
for me?" Dwayne asked
as he pulled over his climbing gear bag and hastily got into its harness
ties and climbing hitches.
"Sure." she said, running to a side door. She let Chet dig through
rescue jeep for more blankets to toss down to his friends. She helped him
pile them into
Then Kelly took off for the cliffs, fast. DeSoto lingered behind to get news.
reported to Thib. "The paramedic's down on the ledge, not yet hurting
too badly from the cold. Appalachia
says these men pulled the kayaker off
the river bottom. They've reported in that he can move but
since they got him out..... There's no one else."
"Good." Dwayne nodded, still
hurrying through his climbing gear and
communications equipment self checks. He pulled on a red helmet.
"How about giving them both a quick check after you get down there to
see for sure what we
got here?" Applegate suggested.
Thib bobbled his head in full agreement.
"Boy, I tell ya. This wind is going to be a problem." Trap declared, watching |
the pines around them
swish violently around them. He thumbed Dwayne
on the shoulder encouragingly and moved off a little
ways away from the
noise of the helicopter to report their arrival.
Thib accepted Morgan's
help with sliding on an orange paramedic pack
onto his back over the climbing harnesses he had tied
on with carbiners
and a dead man's stop. Then he took up a two hundred foot coil of climbing
and ran over to the cliff top's actively wind blown and dusty edge.
He squinted through the flying
sand once they got there.
Roy joined him, too, partially covering his eyes to protect them. "How
doing now?" he asked about Johnny as he set up some oxygen for the
kayaker that Morgan
had handed to him. He strung out a mask and tested
the valve for flow.
"Trap says he's cold,
and probably denying it." Thib replied.
"Yeah, it'd be just like him to do that." Kelly told them.
"Cap put his foot
down a few moments ago. They're wrapping Gage up now with the blankets
threw down to them."
"Here, I'll put this in your pack." DeSoto said, placing the small oxygen
cylinder into a side pocket of Dwayne's gear. "It's all set up."
"Thanks." Thibideaux arched
an arm out widely in a gesture and the others
backed off to give him room.
"Hey! I'm gonna throw a rope. Then I'll come right down to you!" Dwayne |
told Marco, Gage and Hank
at the bottom.
"Okay.." Hank said, watching them. Gage was nearby, panting on a rock,
accepting a seat Marco insisted he take.
"On rappel!" Thib shouted to Morgan.
she said, keeping a glove on the guide line that they had tied off to
the rescue jeep's power winch
Another sheriff's paramedic rescue jeep pulled up next to 240 Robert 2
and two men
got out, one, in a park ranger's outfit. They hurried over to the
others' sides to help them man
the rappel lines and provide more radio
coverage for the rescue effort.
Thib stepped over
the edge and began a slide down, bouncing
off the cliff with his feet, the rope humming through his
as he descended.
Dwayne was almost to the bottom when there was a commotion by the rock.
Marco shouted as Johnny suddenly noodled off the boulder, down to his
Hank yelled. "Grab him!" But he didn't leave the kayaker's head where he |
was listening to the man's
erratic breathing, a new change.
Thib thumbed the radio mic that was hooked onto his shoulder
epaulet. "Whoa, whoa, topside! Our second man's in trouble. Hold on while
I get a
status!" He leaped to the bottom of the gorge and unhooked himself
from the line, hurrying over
"Lopez, I need you over here." Stanley said gently. "This guy's getting dyspneic."
Dwayne nodded at Marco. "I got him. Just go." he said, reaching for
Gage's shoulders."Okay, I'm
gonna set you down." he told Gage. He didn't
resist Johnny's limp slump onto his stomach, as he helped
him ease to the
ground. Then he looked up at Lopez. "I'll be right over there with you guys.
Marco left reluctantly.
Thib bent close over Johnny's back. "Hey, can you hear
me?" He saw
that Gage had fainted, lightly. His skin was very cold.
##Thib, this is Ted Cassidy,
do you need assistance?## barked his radio.
Thib tipped up Johnny's forehead, where he was lying
face down, to open
##We see your man down.## C.B Harris added from above.
##Do you need another team?## Ted Cassidy asked again at the
Thib glanced up
and signalled a wait gesture.
Gage startled then and shook himself awake, sucking in air painfully
he began to shiver again, powerfully. He mumbled..."..hey, isn't that--?.."
glad for the return to consciousness.
"The Sierra guys? Yeah, they flew out from Yosemite last week
to train with
us and work with our helicopter. Sort of like the training you guys are
with the ARFF crew at the airport." Dwayne told him amicably
as he set a layer of wool over Johnny's
head using one of jeep's blankets.
"How are you doing? What hurts?" he asked.
"N-Nothing. Nothing... I just took too long of a s-swim..." Gage shook, his teeth |
"Curl up. We'll get you steaming before you know it."
Thib patted his back companionably as he brushed
some hair away from
a few scratches that the river ice had left behind. He responded on radio
his impatient partners at the top. "Trap, he's fine. He's got multiple
cuts and abrasions. He's gonna
be okay. But I wanna winch him up."
Trap transmitted. ##Okay, C.B.'s set on the winch. Ted and
I are coming down
to assist you below.##
Dwayne left Gage in a ball of blankets and hurried
over to the kayaker's side.
Ranger Ted Cassidy and Deputy Trap Applegate, laden with another medical
pack, reached the bottom of their ropes a minute later.
Cassidy went to help belt in Johnny
for a winch walk up the cliff.
"Down cable!" hollered Morgan from above.
Ted confirmed, getting ready to receive the metal tether from
a rescue jeep moved near the edge.
He kept Johnny talking. "So, what are you
guys doing in winter wonderland? Gage, I thought you hated
the snow." he said,
nestling up under Johnny's arm and shoulder to raise him to his feet once Gage
nodded that he was ready to go.
"No b-bears here.." Gage joked, smiling tiredly as he winced in
Marco fled the kayaker as soon as Thib and Trap took his place and he returned
fuss over Gage's layers. "Johnny?"
"I got a little lightheaded, Marco. That's all." Gage reassured
Lopez, trying to
keep his eyes focused. "Everything's cool."
"No, just you are." Marco frowned.
"Your hands are pure ice."
"The climb'll invigorate me." he grinned. "Really. I'm not that bad.
he wiggled all of his fingers. "I just moved some cold blood where I shouldn't
yet, too soon."
Cassidy groped for Johnny's carotid. "Your pulse's slow, but still regular.
for you, your acidosis is minor." he said, letting him go, chiding.
"I knew I wasn't gonna crash.
I'm a paramedic. I can tell!" Johnny complained.
"Now that, Marco, my friend, is a sign that Gage's
warming up fast. Nobody
frozen can argue up a storm like this. He's safe to ambulate." Ted joked.
Lopez scoffed happily, relieved.
Johnny sobered as he remembered more of where he was. "How's
guy d-doing?" he asked of the kayaker as he watched Ted belt him onto his
Cassidy glanced over his shoulder. "I don't know. They're still taking a close
at him over there."
Cap helped the sheriff paramedics put a C-collar around the
kayaker's neck. "He doesn't seem
as cold as the first victim."
"Probably because he wasn't wet that long." Trap replied.
neither was Johnny. Why was he effected so much?" Hank asked.
"He never got time to get used to
the winter weather. This guy did."
"That doesn't explain me."
Thib shrugged when he finally
noticed that Hank's hair was dripping
river water. "You're bigger in size. You've got more body mass
Thib placed a hasty oropharyngeal airway into the kayaker's mouth
he was sure he had suctioned out the new blood Cap and Marco
had been draining. "Trap, he's in bad
shape. We've got to get him out
"What else have you found?" Trap asked Dwayne.
"Looks like a broken back for sure. Lots of contusions, bruises. |
Dehydrated. He might be on the
verge of checkin' out."
"Coma?" Applegate asked.
"Want to start an I.V.?"
"Yep. Lactated Ringers and D5W." Thib replied.
"Right." said Trap. Then he lifted his radio.
##Nearby..## Morgan responded instantly, alert.
"We're gonna need a litter and
a backboard. The winds are wild.
Think you can bring it in?" Applegate asked her.
Where do you want me to put it?## asked Wainwright.
Meanwhile, outside Morgan's chopper, Ranger Harris radioed
down to his guest work partner. ##Ted,
I'll be back in five, I'm going
to help Morgan drop a litter.##
Ted replied back. "10-4."
he said, steadying himself and Gage
against the cliff face at the bottom. "We'll be ready to ascend
after that. We're just waiting for Gage here to find his land legs."
"Don't rush me.." Johnny
chuckled, laughing at his own clumsiness.
"I'm still working on it. Geez."
Morgan. "Anywhere we can reach it."
Thib glanced up at Cap. "Put that I.V.
under his shoulder to keep
it under pressure. Keep it warm." Thib said to him.
Applegate fitted the oxygen mask over their patient's face quickly.
C.B. left the winch in Chet's capable hands and jumped on board
240 Robert Air. Harris left his
passenger flight door swinging open
so he could dangle a rope down free hand that was attached to
light-weighted orange stokes stretcher that he had pulled out of the
chopper's bed bubble
He anchored his feet firmly to the chopper's side runner rung
as Morgan took off
with him and the stretcher.
Once they were over the cliff, he began to feed down the litter,
by roped foot.
Then a sharp gust of wind nearly jerked his arms out of their shoulder
as it swept the litter sideways violently. "Ah!!" C.B. cried out.
"Better back off! I can't hold it!!"
Panicking, Morgan locked down on the flight stick.
From: patti k (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed 4/08/09 5:54 AM
Subject: Seat Of The Pants..
In the hospital reception area, Sarah Collins
She rounded on Paul Carnes and Terri Blake at the main
desk where they were listening
in to 240 Robert Air's rescue
rangers at work at a base station. "Why? Why wasn't I told right
that my grandson was in trouble?" The silver haired woman
refused to be placated, refused a chair
and handed out coffee from
the nurses. She stayed highly distraught.
"Mrs. Collins, we just
found out ourselves. Now getting all worked
up about everything even before we know anything concrete
Captain Carnes began.
"I... don't....care.. about me, I only care about my dead boy's
she sobbed hysterically.
That rocked Terri Blake and Paul deeply and for a few seconds,
rangers fell silent.
"Just what are you people doing about finding my Joey?!" Mrs. Collins
yelled loudly, in fear.
Guiding Sarah by the elbow, Terri and Paul led her into the base station's
secondary room where another radio was broadcasting 240 Robert's rescue
site band, out of the public's
"We've sent out every available ranger team and our third 240 Robert ground
on a search by cruiser and horseback. We'll find Bluebird Five.
And fast. This park isn't very big."
"But the trees are." Collins countered, quietly intense. Her old, long blond|
hair tangled in her
face. "How can you see anything out there? I should know,
I've been hiking those trails for years."
she said, finally softening in her fright.
"Please! I want to do something."
"Then help us search. Go with Terri.." he suggested with
a sweep of his hand.
eagerly. "Can you ride a mule?"
"Of course, I live on a ranch." said Sarah.
go.." Terri told her, rising from the table she had been leaning on.
The two women dashed out of the
Paul Carnes sighed wearily, rubbing his face. Then he turned back to the
and turned up the sound.
**(Portions of the 240 Robert characters' dialogue and the action
following is taken from the
240 Robert TV series pilot, Apology.
First Aired August 28, 1979 Writer : John Furia Jr. with Story
C.B. finally let go of the rope, letting the litter drop and skid down
rest of the cliff face. It clattered awkwardly to the others below.
Trap saw the sudden
dump and he signalled Marco to come with him
to release the lifting tether cable clasp from the stretcher/backboard
Lopez jerked the cable once so the top end coiled up and smacked
the belly of
the chopper to signal to Morgan that the load was free.
Gratefully, Morgan let the biting wind
push her back up into the sky.
Harris looked over at her and smiled wearily as he shut his door
locked it. She gave him a thumbs up as she went back to land next
to the rescue jeeps to conserve
fuel by dropping off C.B.
Applegate laid the litter next to their victim and they all got to
Two minutes later, their radios crackled and they felt the vibration
of chopper blades
in their lungs.
Trap looked up and saw Morgan experimentally executing a tight figure |
eight above them.
to pull him out?## Morgan asked cheerfully, still buoyed
by her success with the litter delivery.
Trap rolled his eyes in disbelief at the others. Then he toggled his
talk button. "You can't
come in, Morgan. The winds are wicked and
##It's only a problem doing down.
Going up will be a snap.##
"There are phone wires." Trap told her.
got them spotted.## Morgan countered.
Applegate tried ignoring her as the kayaker was checked
rechecked for long board placement and tied down. Soon, their
patient was strapped and wrapped
snugly into the litter.
The motor buzz in their sinuses grew stronger over the howl of the
Applegate shot a sudden look up to see 240 Robert Air sinking
slowly towards them, bobbing erratically
in a gale.
Nearby, a pine bough snapped off by wind and helicopter forces,
was sucked up nearly
into her props.
Applegate winced. "It looks too dangerous. Pull up!" Trap warned her.
dangerous for me? Or any pilot?##
"Any pilot, Morgan!" Trap growled.
There wasn't even
the slightest hesitation in the next person to person
transmission. ##I'll get down to forty feet
but I won't be able to hover long.##
came the red headed pilot's instant reply.
Thib saw his partner finally give in to the inevitable when he let|
the radio mic dangle around his
wrist by its cord. He almost smiled at Morgan
winning her side of the battle in favor of a fast exit
for their victim.
Dwayne watched as Cap, Marco and Trap lifted the wounded man to carry him
to the one column of clear air space that Stanley had spotted earlier
through the trees.
sudden sparkle caught his eyes, making him blink.
It was a piece of painted metal lying on the stones.
Dwayne hefted it up,
double checking.::Dang. This is a med alert tag!:: he thought in
surprise. Then he read its printing.
"Hey! he's epileptic.." Thib said, showing the others what
they had almost
missed seeing. Then he weighed the complications and settled
in his head. "I'm riding with him."
Applegate almost went apoplectic and his face colored. He was thoroughly|
unhappy. "What happens if
he has a seizure in the air, and starts thrashing
"That's why I'm going. I'll pull
out his airway. He might choke to death."
Dwayne calmly told him.
"Right. And throw you to
the ground, hundreds of feet down. I tell you,
the wind is a bear.." Trap argued.
Coming in's a trick. Going up is a piece of cake." Thib grinned
easily, refastening the strap of his
red helmet. "Just like she said."
Cap expressed his agreement silently by placing both hands onto
his hips derisively. They all looked at Applegate expectantly.
Trap shut up. Then he pursed his
lips and bit down a little pride. "Morgan,
Thibideaux's gonna have to ride with him. Together they'll
be about three
hundred fifty pounds."
A satisfied silence gelled on the radios.
and collectively then, the team got back to work. Moments later, the
lifting cable ball that Morgan
was laboring to lower far enough to the ground,
finally reached them and thunked rock to steel, onto
the ground. They
hastened to attach it to the occupied litter.
Just as swiftly, Thib hooked
in his safety's carabiner clasp to the lifting cable's
cradle ring and braced himself, splayed on
all fours, hands and knees, on top
of the litter.
Trap gave Morgan a thumbs up over his head.
The load jerked into the air and immediately started spinning from potential energy
"Easy!" Marco shouted, using Gage's radio that he had tuned to 240 air's pilot
channel. "He's torquing!"
On the stretcher, Thib kept his eyes on the kayaker's slack face, watching|
for signs of vomitting
due to the likely skull fracture. He tried ignored the
whirling landscape around him.
Air's engine groaned in strain, gaining painfully slow inches
in altitude. Wainwright tried to end
the line's dangerous spin, with a bob.
Then suddenly, nearby.
Crack!! Psssffftt!!.. A split,
worn telephone pole fell over in a wind gust and
overstressed its tension wire to the breaking point,
its fibers parting in
high pitched squeals and metal scream, unravelling.
Then the ruptured
pole wire zinged like elastic through the air, whipping up
in a violent snap, straight up.
loose end snagged and wrapped, looping around the chopper cable
and snaring it sickeningly in a tight,
Cap and Lopez gasped in horror, startling, running forward.
shot his hand mic to his mouth. "Morgan, hold!" he gasped.
"Hold, Morgan. Mayday! Mayday! A phone
wire's caught on the litter ring.."
Trap hollered. "Hold hover. Repeat! Hold hover!"
Up on the cliff top,
Roy saw the danger, too. "No!" Thinking fast, he
grabbed a rope coil from the ground and tossed
it over the cliff away from
the chopper's path. Then he moved. "I'm going down to free it.." he said,
tying off the end in a fast hitch to one of the rescue jeep's bumpers.
"I'll cover ya." said C.B.,
grabbing a jacket to protect DeSoto's descent
line from rock rubs. He jammed it under Roy's rope,
then he took up
the excess to act as anchor controller.
Skillfully, DeSoto negotiated the cliff
and down to a ledge that was only
feet away from where Thib, the litter and the ensnared telephone
tangled in the overgrowth.
Gage saw that Roy had disappeared over the edge and he tried
up. But Ted restrained him where he had Johnny seated in a blower
heated jeep, sucking
on the Res-Q-Air for fast warmth. "No you don't.
You're out for the count." he told Gage. "Sit!"
he ordered, returning the
blanket around Johnny firmly. "You listened to your partner." he complained.
"Why not me?"
"We're out of it." Cassidy warned Johnny, pinning his elbow
so he could
grab another analyzing blood pressure reading using a stethoscope.
"Let the others
be. Don't distract them!"
"Ted, I can't jus--"|
"Do I have to sedate you?" Cassidy insisted. Johnny moused down, but
all of his trembling was from cold blood. ::Roy, if you get fouled up,
I'm gonna--:: He jerked in
"Don't you even think about it." Ted said, lifting his head at an arrythmic bleep
from Johnny's EKG monitor.
Sighing, in difficulty, Gage finally closed his eyes and was still
so he could
concentrate on slowing his breathing under the hot oxygen's mask.
the problem. "I'll go watch for you, pal." he said from
the truck's driver's seat, where he had been
holding Johnny's precautionary
I.V. setup, getting it ready for Ted to use.
Chet hung the insulated bag on the truck mirror and took off for the cliff
to be a pair of eager eyes.
Ted eyeballed Gage. "90 over 76. So how long were you in the water?"
Johnny blinked, uncertain, groggy. "Uh,....Don't r-remember."
"Never mind. I'll settle for
just your temperature." Cassidy said, chuckling,
placing a tympanic reader probe into Johnny's ear.
"95.6°F, hero boy. You
just earned yourself a free flight into the E.R."
"For your I.V. Right or left?"
"Left, I think.. uh.. Roy told
me once. B-Better veins."
"Okay.. One D5W. Straight up.. no ice." Ted said, biting off the wrapper.
"Oh, aren't you a funny man."
Out in the wind, trapped, both the chopper, and the litter, jerked.
Thib overbalanced and barely
snatched a grip on the edge of the stretcher
with both hands. As a result, his radio fell out of his
fingers... and into freefall....
SMASH! It shattered musically, a nimbus of ruined parts as it
itself on the sharp rocks.
Trap leaped to a higher rock, gripping his own mic powerfully.
"Thibideaux has lost his radio! Hold your hover as tight
as you can.. I'll direct you! Do you hear
me? I'll direct your ascent!"
he yelled at Morgan, far above.
##Agh! I can't see the litter,
Trap. Will act to your instructions...##
Morgan gasped, fighting for flight control and stability.
"Ease down. Just a little. Give him some slack.." Trap transmitted.
Wainwright let go of the
power button on the joystick, gingerly..
Applegate held his breath.
Then he saw the loop they
all wanted, begin to sag into the wind.
"Hold, hold it right there!"
Morgan froze her hand
"Hold on..... Looking good!" Trap said, as the swayed phone line
was swept right
into Roy's reaching hands, on his ledge.
Unseen by the others, and blind to anything below him,
Thib decided to
stand up, unhooking his safety snaffle, in an attempt to flip the phone wire
the litter's ring.
A second later, a wind gust picked Roy bodily up by his wire gripping
in an air sweeping arc that lifted both feet off the ground.
That sudden shift of angle and weight
totally knocked Thib off his
precarious perch as the chopper cable swung out from its vertical.
Dwayne tumbled head first off the litter, two hundred feet above the
A lucky hand
grabbed its smooth plastic edge, arresting his fall
by only a few fingertips. He grabbed on tight
with the other hand desperately,
clenching his teeth hard with the tremendous effort to save himself.
::What the h*ll was that?:: he wondered, about the odd lurch that had
toppled him. There Thib
dangled, helpless.. muscles straining as his legs
Roy froze in place, suddenly realizing
what had happened. He shouted
a warning to the others in the ravine. "Loose man!"
ducked, squinting at his target almost lost up in the trees.
Then he saw it, too. "Thib's off the
litter! He's hanging on!" yelled Trap
Then he saw DeSoto make a frantic cut with
a suddenly produced knife
blade to the wire he had pinned under his armpit.
::Yeah. Yeah..:: Applegate thought. ::That'll work.:: |
The wire strands energetically unravelled,
like frayed and broken
yarn, pinging whines, all the way up the loop.
Then the phone line
parted and fell away harmlessly from the chopper's
240 Robert Air was free.
Applegate practically ate his radio. "And clear! Hit it, Morgan.
Get them both outta there!"
Like a graceful bird in the sun, Wainright gave herself completely
to the prevailing updraft, and
gained healthy height, carrying her
two living burdens up with her. All the way to the top.
litter and helicopter disappeared out of sight.
Trap sagged against a boulder, in stark relief.
"You did it, Morgan.
You did it." he transmitted. ::Saved them both.:: he sighed mentally.
the cliff ledge, Roy DeSoto gave him two thumbs up, in victory.
Then, he rested a few seconds
bent over his knees, panting hard.
Soon, Roy refolded up his pocket knife and put it away to begin
long climb back up the cliff face.
Click the blowing leaves |
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