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 Integrity Game
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The Story Unfolds...

Season One, Episode Five..  


Link to the Main Emergency Characters Page

Debut Launch: 16  March 2003

From:  "Linda Taggatz" <>
Date:  Fri Feb 14, 2003  4:41 pm
Subject:  A possible start for Ep 5.  

Kel  was going on  vacation. Not just any vacation.
For the first time in years he was going on a family
vacation with both parents. He and his dad  were
starting to resolve their differences. They both felt
that going to Martha's Vineyard like they did when
Kel was a kid would help.

Joe had volunteered to take them to the airport.
They had reserved a rental car to use during their
stay. Of course Kel wanted to explore Boston, he
hadn't been there in a long time. His mom & dad
agreed to that. They knew that this vacation was
important to all of them.

Unfortunately a huge snowstorm hit that area hard.
The airport in Boston had been closed, no flights in or out.

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From : "patti keiper" <>  
Subject :  No Sure Bet..   PG-13.  
Date : Wed, 05 Mar 2003 12:44:23 +0000  

Dr. Brackett sat in the hospital cafeteria patio
across from his father, Brent, and his mother
Anna Rose at a white whicker table fully
under the bright noon day California sun.

Both men were in a foul mood as they
chewed without tasting, the tuna sandwiches
on their lunch plates. They wore matching
scowls on their faces.

"Anna, you find something amusing about
all this? Our vacation plans are ruined and
here you are...making a spectacle of yourself."
Brent told her firmly.

Anne Rose broke out into spontaneous laughter
covering her mouth with the hand not holding
the plane tickets. "I'm sorry." she gasped.
"It's just you two are reacting in exactly the
same way right now. It's not the end of the
world. Just the end of our current gameplan.
We don't have to go to Martha's Vineyard
to spend time as a family. No. We can do that
right here at home where no snowstorm can
possibly interfere."

Kel looked up sitting straighter, as he
shoved the last bite of his sandwich into
his mouth. "Easier said than done. Those
tickets cost a fortune, mom. What do you
expect us to do about it now?"

"This.." her warm brown eyes beamed
from the frame of auburn hair around her
face. And she promptly tore their three
unused flight vouchers in half firmly with
a flourish.

Brent and Kel both stood up from their chairs
in dismay.

"Anna Rose, why in G*d's name did you do that?!"  

"Mom! What the h*ll?!!"

They both cried in outburst at the same moment.

Both father and son eyed each other up when
they both realized that had struck exactly the
same pose of ire with hands spread indignant
over the table top, leaning in to Anna in anger.

That only made Mrs. Brackett laugh all the harder
to the point of wheezing soundlessly and her
light airy voice died away as she lost her ability
to breathe.

Kel and Brent frowned, and again, father and son
took like actions of grabbing up their glasses
of water to hand to Anna to drink to gain
a quicker recovery from her mirth.

Soon, Anna wiped away her amused streaming
tears and accepted one of the waters being offered
to her. "Oh, that felt good." she chuckled, dabbing her
eyes on a napkin delicately while she sipped the ice
water. "Getting rid of those tickets meant getting rid
of unpleasant distractions.  Now, think of it this way."
she said patting their rough hands. "We now have
a squeaky clean slate to work with now in regards to
our family vacation. And do sit down. People are
beginning to stare, doctors..." she grinned.

Kel and Brent glanced around and did see a few
subtle glances their way. They buttoned their
dinner jackets over their ties self consciously.

The older Brackett cleared his throat.
"Don't make it a habit, pet." Brent said, regaining
his chair and he honestly started to half smile.
"If you want to throw money away to make a
point next time, I'll have a pond built in the back
yard and I'll hand you the sack of coins myself."

"Amen to that.." Kel said empathetically and
downed his water glass in a salute to the
suggestion. He then began to gather up the
two lunch trays that were empty.

Anna Rose's eyes twinkled. "Your father's such
a kidder, Kel. Don't listen to him."

"Have I ever?" Dr. Brackett quipped.

Brent nearly spit out the rest of his sandwich
he had started eating again as he pegged an
intense stare at his only son. "Yes. You have."
he said, covering his mouth with his napkin.
"When I called you last week about this family
vacation plan of ours... You actually listened
to what your mother and I had to say and
then you actually said, it. " he grinned.

"As if I could have refused. I'd have been disowned.."

"There is that.." Brent said.

Anna Rose slapped her husband on the arm
to behave himself.

"So, what do we do now that mom's made
sure that any ticket refunding's impossible?"
Kel asked.

Brent shrugged. "Don't know. Ask your mother."
he said, mopping up some mayonnaise with
the last crust remaining of his food.

Kel raised questioning eyebrows.

It was Anna Rose's turn to lean over the table
to catch their ears in confidence. "We find
a third party to make the decision for us."

"And who would that be?" Kel grumbled.
Personal privacy was still a big thing with
the younger Dr. Brackett.


Dixie McCall backed up against the base
station glass door, clutching an armful
of patient charts against her chest defensively.
"Ohh noo... Anna Rose. This isn't fair.." she hissed
in a whisper at Mrs. Brackett.  Subconsciously, Dix
glanced inside the clear glass base station where
Kel had dragged his father in to overhear an incoming
rescue call he was handling. "I can't take on
an important decision like that. It's taken years
for me to get those two to even begin to listen
to each other.."

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"And it shows. " she said empathetically.
"Now who better to make the next call
than a close co-working friend. H*ll. You
and Kel dated once. We all trust you."

"That's dirty pool and you know it,
Mrs. Brackett." Dix said straight faced
but unoffended.

"Who else can we turn to? Mike Morton's
never even had lunch with us. And Joe,
..." she sighed. "Joe Early's too nice
to even try to get involved in the Brackett
father/son feud reclamation project."

"Nice sentiment there. I think I'll follow
Joe's angle, too." And Dixie tried to
make her escape.

Anna Rose got in her way innocently
by taking the charts from the head ER
nurse's grasp, "Here, let me file these for
you, dear. I know where they go.."

And Dixie was forced to stay while
Mrs. Brackett  slowly set the patient charts
in their metal holder on Dix's desk, one by
one, alphabetically. McCall plastered a forced
polite smile on her face as Anna Rose rambled

"So, what's a great part of town?
Long Beach? Heard Crystal Pier's
simply lovely this time of year."

"I wouldn't know. I never get out."
Dixie mumbled. She again tried
to ooze away from the desk. But
Anna Rose reached for another chart
slyly and she had to freeze in place
or drop the rest of her stack.

Anna Rose said, "Neither do we.
That's the problem." she said frankly. "Ok,
this one goes under... S.. for Smith.."she
said, myopically eyeing the chart's proper
slot. "We're not asking you for stock investing
advice, just one teeny tiny vacationing spot
idea for us to go to. Just pick anywhere,
Dixie. Top of your head. Whatever you say
won't be locked in stone by any measure, I
assure you. We're just...getting a fresh start
here." she said, filing another metal chart into
its housing.

Dixie sighed and fought like mad not
to tap her foot on the tiles in nervousness.
::Oh, boy. Fates, I demand you get me out
of this one. If I choose anywhere that doesn't
turn out for the Bracketts, I'll have to live with
the consequences of my actions for the next
ten years working with the two doctors
locked into yet another feud.:: she bemoaned

Right then, the red light on the call station
over her head began to flash.. Miss McCall's
face erupted in an eager glee of reprieve.
"Hold that thought, Anna Rose. I have to answer
that. It's a second run coming in.." And she
shoved the charts right back at Mrs. Brackett
who barely caught them as Dix fled into
the base station's sound isolation room and
slammed the door.

Dixie's hand darted onto the talk button
on the second intercom, just barely beating
out Kel's subtly reaching one. "Unit calling in
please repeat.." she stated quickly, taking over
the run from him hastily.

Kel said. "You didn't have to come in just to
answer that." he said, looking up from
the EKG strip he was looking at.

"I sure did.." Dixie gasped. She felt Brent
Brackett come stand by her to hear how a
registered nurse answered a rescue call.

Dixie's caller came into voice. "Rampart,
this is Engine 51. We're on scene at
the Santa Anita Racetrack. There's been a
multiple race horse pileup on the final turn of
a stakes race with injuries.  Squad 51's en route
on the track right now with the grounds
crew leading the way. Please stand by."
came Captain Stanley's voice over the
murmuring roar of a crowd of other people on
the frequency. Their horrified dismay was very
apparent in the background. To Dix, it sounded
like a bad accident.

"Standing by, 51." Dixie said. "Kel, do you
need Joe on yours?" she asked.

Dr. Brackett looked up from his chart.
"Hmm? No, this is just a simple case of syncope.
It's a scorcher out there today. We're bound to get
a few heat related injuries into the ER this afternoon."
Dr. Brackett said. "This cardiac strip's precautionary
only." Then he leaned down and finished his call.
"Squad Ten. Start an IV Normal Saline and run
it in at the rate of 30-40 drops a minute. Continue
to monitor her vital signs and transport as soon
as possible..  Now that she's awake, you can
D/C the O2 at your discretion."

##10-4, Rampart. Squad Ten out. Our ETA is
ten minutes.##

"10-4, Squad 10." Kel ended the transmission.

Brent Brackett motioned Kel over while Dixie
began filling out the run sheet for 51. She moved
the yellow medical status magnet for their station
from base bound to on rescue call.
"Looks like this might be a bad one, son.." Brent
told Kel. "It's at the race track."

Kel sighed and his face twitched in sympathy.
"Another jockey tangle up?"

Dixie looked up from her writing. "Yes, sounds
like it. 51's still getting out to that part of the track."

"Stick around Dix, we may have more than we
can handle here very quickly. And call Joe in here."

"Right." Dix said handing off the run chart to
Dr. Brackett. "Excuse me, Brent." and she reached
over and grabbed the paging phone over the
recording monitor above the intercom. " Operator.
Please page Dr. Early to the base station, stat......
Yes, thank you." and she hung up.

Silence stretched in the tiny room and Brent felt
his palms beginning to sweat in anticipation even
as Dix and Kel calmly marked notes on their
respective charts. Finally, Brent licked his lips. "Is it
always this hard waiting around to hear back on
a rescue in progress ?"

"Yes.." Dix and Kel said simultaneously.

"I'm glad I'm a psychiatrist. No rescue calls to speak
of.." he mumbled to himself.

Overhearing, Dix and Kel smiled at him.


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Squinting into the bright sun to the south, Cap could
just make out the dust trail of the squad as it followed
the grounds crew truck along the track's outer rail
to where the chaos was happening. He could see several
horses sprawled awkwardly on the ground, some
still moving.  But the one smaller human body hanging on
the rail and the several more in the dirt, were alarmingly still.

He could see at least four racehorses careening wildly
around the track without their riders with parade
outrider ponies and their unhurt, tossed jockeys,
hard up on recapturing them from their mindless dash
away from the accident side of the track.

Hank hung the biophone receiver over his shoulder
and he slapped Chet Kelly on the arm of his overcoat.
"Chet, get a couple of hoses strung onto the apron here.
Straight through the hydrant. Maybe we can do
something for those poor horses out there.  Only one
seems to have broken a leg. The others that are down
could still be alive and only lightly heat stroked. But don't
go out there until those loose racers are caught, all right?
It's too risky for us to have our hoses running where
the others, in their panic, might trip over them."

"Right, Cap." And Kelly jogged down through
the tunnel to the utility driveway where Stoker
was still idling the big engine to tell him Cap's

Hank turned to Marco at his side. "Marco. Roy
and John may need help communicating with their
victims out there. If any of those jockeys are
even half out, their english speaking abilities will go
out the window if you know what I mean."

"Understood, Cap. I'm on it." And Marco went
with another crew pickup truck, riding on the
back. They maneuvered slowly down track
to avoid upsetting the free runners, moving
along the outer rail to the scene of mayhem.

By the time Chet and Stoker had returned with
the strung hoses and had charged them, the
uneffected racers and their jockeys had all heeded
the red lit hooter on the tote board and had vacated
completely off the track to the backside stables or
the test barn.  Cap could see the remaining loose
thoroughbreds were firmly back in reining hands.

##Ladies and Gentlemen. Please hold all tickets.##
said the track announcer. ##Officials are dealing with
the situation on the track's far turn. Race Five is delayed
until further notice. All pool, trifecta, and daily double
betting is now frozen at all teller windows. Please
stand by for the results of the steward's inquiry.##

Hank frowned. ::How cold is that? There are possibly
dead horses and people out there and all the track
officials are worried about is keeping the gamblers
happy?.. No wonder I hate the track..:: he thought.
::Don't get what Roy sees in playing the horses at

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Chet and Stoker stepped out onto the track
when the tote board light stopped flashing its loose
horse warning. Together they began dragging out
the hoses to where they could see Roy and John
and Marco moving from fallen rider to fallen rider.
"Coming through..." Chet said angrily, as blue
grounds crew backs just concentrating on
tractoring the starting gate into position for the
next race, got in their way.

The track horse ambulance team was already
leading away a limping foreleg shattered filly to the
attending vet awaiting there with a syringe. Kelly
felt sick to his stomach. "They're gonna put her down?"
he shouted at Stoker over the noise of the tractors.

"Yeah, there's nothing they can do after a
horse's leg has been broken." Mike replied. "I've
seen this before." he said lugging the heavy
hose to the nearest downed horse.

Gage looked up from the nearly unconscious
jockey he was assessing. "Stoker. Not
that one. He's the one who caused this
pileup. He burst a lung vessel and was dead
even before he hit the ground. See the bright
blood flowing out of his nostrils there? Go cool
down that colt still twitching over by the rail.
Hose down just his head. Be sure to loosen
that saddle strap and take his bridle out from
between his teeth if you can while you're doing it.
He may come around from the heat in time.. All
the trainers will be out here in a sec to take over
the horse care for ya.. Do whatever they ask of
you." Then Johnny bent to work over his patient.

"But what about these other jockeys?" Chet asked.

Johnny met Chet's eyes heavily.
"Roy and Marco and I have everything taken
care of on our end. There's only these two victims.
The other jockeys were killed along with
their horses. We found that most have hangman's
fractures from their falls and that guy's been trampled
to death." he gestured with his head behind him.

Kelly saw a lone tiny male jockey lying face
down in the dirt not too far away. The back of his
chest bore the unmistakable crushed flat look of a
fatality. He almost looked like a shattered marionette to Chet.

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Stoker looked up, too, in shock when he saw
Roy only dealing with the american woman jockey
still draped over the inner rail.  DeSoto was
getting the grounds crew men to carefully hold
her neck still while he placed her into a cervical
collar while he continued talking quietly with her.

"UGghhhHHH." she moaned. "How's Little
Bit? H-- How's my filly? She got away from me
after Charismatic went down. *cough*."

"Shh, try not to move, miss. You may have
a serious back injury." Roy told her.
"Now we're going to immobilize you and slide you
onto this long board here. Then we'll get you on
some oxygen so you can breathe a little better,
all right?"

Behind Roy, the sealed horse ambulance
shifted with a thud on its tires as a heavy
weight inside of it fell to the floor.

The woman didn't say anything more and
she started weeping uncontrollably, ignoring
the men who were easing her off the railing
inch by inch. "They euthanized her didn't they..?
They killed my Little Bit..Oh, nooooOOOoo."

"I'm sorry, ma'am. From what I could see
her leg was fractured too badly to splint."
Roy said quietly. "At least she's been released
from her agony."

"nnnooo." The jockey sobbed once more and let
go her hold on consciousness as she was strapped
onto the long board and immobilized.

The woman rider was placed on the ground
and Roy hastily placed an O2 mask over her
face and started to take a BP on her good arm
after making sure she could breathe well enough
on her back without the help of an oral airway.

He looked up at the grounds crew men who
had helped him. "Stick around. There's no
way the Mayfair's gonna be able to come
out here like we did. This dirt's too deep.We're
gonna have to hand carry these people outta
here once we get them treated." he told them.

The Santa Anita workers nodded.

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 Integrity Game
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