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Cap looked up, waving on Stoker and Marco, Chet and
a man from ten's. "Take two inch and a halfs! Get
where Roy and Detello are searching!"

Johnny Gage came running up and Cap seemed
surprised. Johnny shrugged. "Squad Ten took him in.
I'm no longer needed. Where do you want me?"

"Go with them!" Stanley gestured, pointing out
the hoses writhing on the wet pavement from
his men's hose teams.

Johnny fled, fastening on his air mask.
He knew what was going on and held his radio
near his ear. Soon, he heard the staticky tones
of a call button being pressed in a series of three
tones. "They're all right." he gasped, slapping
Chet's back as he and the others got a powerful
covering fan into the building to begin to combat
the inferno. "They just ran a three on the radio."

Chet gave him a thumbs up and together, the
group stormed the building. The smoke was
thick and the fire belched out of cracks
in the neat brown marble floor. The firemen played
water onto these fissures and steam rose, obscuring
their view. Slowly, they advanced northwards.

Detello hauled Roy to his feet and pulled off the
asbestos blanket he had thrown over on top of
them. The paint on the lockers around them were
melted and dripping. "Let's go, irishman." Detello
grinned toothily at him. "We won't be needed this
anymore." he said and he tossed down the smoking
ruin of the blanket which had saved them from
the worst of the explosion. "I'm feeling like that's
the worst of it."

Roy shook his hand and turned where he stood.
They resumed their room by room search.
Then Roy halted Detello by tapping him on the back.
"It's really hot in here. If it was hot, and I was a child,
where would I go in a fire?"

Detello and Roy both exclaimed. "The restrooms."

They doubled back to the third grade class room
and the stairwell, which was now fully involved.
They met Chet and Marco and took a welcome
spray onto their jackets before pressing on with
a "We're ok." hand signal.

There was door barely concealed underneath the
Detello pointed to it. "Hit this! Hit this!"
Marco and Chet snuffed out the tendrils of
flame beginning to threaten that entryway
and it died with a hiss.

Roy kicked in the door. It was a faculty bathroom.
"Hey.. Anybody in here?"

Detello never got into the room when the
ceiling came down, separating them. The flaming
stairwell soon followed, and it trapped Roy away
from Chet and Marco and Detello.

The three on the outside frantically began to hose
down the surging fire blocking the door.
"Roy! You ok in there?!"

Roy had flattened himself against the smooth
tile wall and he felt hot moisture on his face.
"That's not from the hose.." he mumbled.
and his gloves sank into a dark section of
the room. The showers! One of them
was on. He dragged out a flashlight
and scrambled on his hands and knees
towards the sound of the running water.

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There he found the little girl, lying motionless
beneath its stream.

He grabbed her by the shoulders and picked
her up into his arms and carried her back
into the main part of the bathroom where
the daylight from the skylight let him see
the child he held.

He pulled off his helmet and mask and
crouched down against the wall with her,
checking. "Come on, honey. Just take a
breath.."  She didn't.  

Roy began mouth to mouth. He couldn't
tell if she had a pulse because she was
twisted up so badly in the sweater soaked
from the shower. Roy fumbled until he
found one.  He laid her down on a sink,
onto her back, for a moment while he
worked to keep her going.

In between another set of breaths, Roy
got up and grabbed a steel waste can
and used it to smash out the tiny thick,
textured bathroom window leading to the
outside. Shouts of attention from the firecrews
manned there reassured him that someone
now knew he was trapped right there,
with a victim.

He returned to the child, taking her into his
arms and stretched her out onto the glass
sharded floor. He alternatingly took breaths
off his own mask to give to her using his
own lungpower to keep the ammonia tainted air
out of her system. He pulled out his radio.
"Kelly, Lopez. Hurry it up! Now would be a
good time!"

Images flashed through Roy's mind of the bus
crash. The wet and the dark. It felt very much
like where he was now. And the tiny living
weight of the girl he fought to save was so
like the feel of the girl from the storm drain
as the water tore her away from his grasp.
Roy began to cry, shouting. "Come on..
Cindy. Come back. It's ok.. I got you.." he

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He again, breathed for the tiny girl from
his air supply. He kept burning shards from
landing on her clothes and he curled about
her, using the wet on the floor to put
out the small blazes burning around them.

Then, there was a gasp, small, choking.

Cindy began to cough, then to cry..

Roy held her close. "It's ok. I'm a fireman.
We're going to get you out of here.
Keep breathing from this mask ok?" he
told her. "I'll be right back.."

The frightened girl nodded.

Roy's relief was palpable. He
rose from the floor and went to the doorway
where he saw Chet and Marco's hose water
extinguishing the fire. Soon, there was nothing
but sooty insulation and wood beams between
them. Detello kicked these away.

"Found her?" he asked, pulling off his mask.

"Yeah.. She's ok.." Roy said, staggering against
the wall.

Detello's eyebrows went up. "Smart idea
using the showers to keep the fire off."

"It was her idea.." Roy grinned.

Detello lifted both the air bottle and the girl
from the ground and saw Cindy looking up
and coughing at him in confusion and fright.

Then he looked at Roy.
"I believe you have a rescue to complete."
he said, grinning through the ash on his face.

Gently, he set the tiny girl into Roy's arms
for him to guard. Then he stormed back
out through the blackened doorway out
to Kelly and Marco. "Chet, Lopez! Give
us some cover. We're coming out!!"

And soon, they did.

Roy felt the sunlight on his face and the world
narrowed down to just him and his tiny victim,
still warm, alive and full of life in his arms.

He started laughing as Detello roared his
displeasure at the crowds standing between
him and where the squad's equipment was
parked. Just like that, Roy's nightmare,
was over.. "Come on, Cindy. Let's get you
checked out. My name's Roy DeSoto and
I'm a paramedic with the L. A. County
Fire Department. You're gonna be just fine..."

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Gage met them with fresh O2 and
a live biophone and together, Roy and
his partner made sure that one tiny life,
stayed saved.

Roy thought. ::Maybe this is the feeling
Detello keeps banking on. This, certainty,..
that everything that's meant to be, will
always turn out for the better. I'm no
angel, but right now, I certainly feel like
I'm in heaven...::

                            FIN       :)

Season One, Episode Three- JUXTAPOSITION  

We hope you liked Juxtaposition and enjoyed it as much
as we enjoyed producing it for you. Please see below to
go to Juxtaposition's END CREDITS :)  

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