Captain Stanley continued. "Your cousin didn't|
go from some fluke fever, Marco. He was ill
something..." he sighed heavily.
"..with something no one's ever seen before.."
"And now I got it? And the rest of
Cap just nodded. "It's a very real possibility
we've all been exposed. The docs
here from Atlanta are working on the problem,
even now, right
here in the station.."
he said, trying to smile. "Shouldn't be too
long before they pull a couch
or two out
of the housefire."
"I'm going to die?" Marco asked.
Brice immediately replied.
"No. It hasn't
been confirmed what illness you have.
So far, you've just a fever, and some
in your chest and a skin rash. Nothing
we can't handle.."
Marco blinked. "Craig? But you're
for eight. Your station's here?"
"Yes, Captain Stone is right outside, running
operations, with Cap here." he said.
"Couldn't resist the call to dig out a couple
of fire engines
from their own garage, know
what I mean? Had to save Cap here some
Stanley hefted his HT to encourage
Marco that it was true.
Lopez didn't say anything, and he
at the ceiling, the nightmare still not yet
Roy spoke up. "We're
doing everything we
can here, Marco. We're just under a temporary
quarantine until we get some
we've turned it into a regular campout.." he
grinned. "Look, soup stove and everything."
It faded when Marco's eyes filled and he began
to sob softly.
Roy went on. "I know things
sound bad. And
Cap and I know how you feel. It feels like everything
all around you has..kinda
been turned upside down
and it's not a pretty picture to be waking up to.
But know that we're in
this together, Marco.
A firecrew never abandons one of their own."
"You got that right.." Cap
"There's two very very good doctors here,
a Steven Taylor and a Jamie MacPherson.
Dr. Brackett's been telling us that they are
simply the best of the best in their field.
be surprised if they...wrapped up
things here in just a couple of days.."
"But what about my
family in Mexico? Are
they still safe?" Lopez asked, angrily wiping
"Yes. Bernardo's mother is ill but holding her|
own. But there are seven down there with
symptoms as Bernardo's.."
Roy replied. Then he looked down, fussing
with an IV that didn't need
"So why didn't you bail out when you could
everyone?" Marco said,
his frustration and
anger building and he pegged them all
with a viscious glare.
Calm down.." Cap said.
But Lopez wouldn't listen. "I tried to! Only
I wasn't running for the
kids when the bricks
started falling down all around me.. I just
ran for the door.. Yes, that's
what I did.."
he sobbed. "Some hero, huh.?"
Stanley sharply told him. "Lopez. Stop. Getting
into self pity isn't going to solve--"
"Don't you see, Cap?.. I ran! I'm sure you
real puzzled why I was in the kitchen
instead of the garage with them." he cried,
his eyes blinded
by frightened tears. "And I
wish to G*d I could be running away from
all this right now..." he
Bernardo!... Oh, Mama!... I'm sorry.. I'm so..
sorry...Lo ciento por su dolor y
and he started to cry in heaving choking
sobs of grief and shock.
him, and held him tightly as
Marco finally gave in completely to his
terror and fear. "Lopez. It's
all right. We're
here. And we won't be leaving you pal.
Not by a long shot.."
"I want to
die.. I want to die.. Oh, Bernardo...."
Marco's sobs died away.
At his silence, Chet moved
"He's out again?" Kelly asked with alarm,
swallowing.. He helped Cap lower him
back down again onto the longboard.
Roy looked at the EKG and took a pulse.
"No. Just sleeping.
"What was wrong with him? I mean, I- I've never
seen Marco act that way, Roy.."
met Chet's eyes. "Its nothing. He's a little
raw partly because of the fever, and the
and most likely, from some inner feelings
he's been suppressing ever since his cousin's
Not the first time someone's buried family
and then not reacted to it until weeks later..
be better emotionally after a good nap."
Johnny piped up. "Yeah, Chet. He's a human
so give him some slack.."
"I am. I am.. It was just a little frightening seeing
him come unraveled
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