Image of joedixbrackettbysquad.jpg Image of emergencylogo.gif Image of joedixbrackettbysquad.jpg

Image of anibeatingheartxray.gif
A Fish Out   Of Water
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    Page Two

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Soon, the medication started working and Carly relaxed
out of her active seizuring and she immediately began to
sigh occasionally around Vince's gentle mask placed breaths.
Her chest started to move with a regular rhythm that everyone
could see.

"She's finally breathing." Gage said, placing a hand on the child's
stomach. " We'll get by with an oral just fine.." and he reached
over to the oxygen case for a short oral. He placed it deftly over
Carly's tongue and traded out Vince's ventilator valve for a
simple plastic non-rebreather mask. "Thanks Vince. You're
as handy as always."

"Anytime.." and the cop stepped back to begin filling out
his report and taking an account from Julie Hanson.
"Ladies, if I could just get a few words from you before she
goes to the hospital..."

Soon, the tiny white blond girl was bundled warmly, dried of
all moisture, and strapped onto a long board inside of a cervical
collar to keep her safely secured for the trip across town
to the ER.

On the way out the door, following the ambulance attendants,
Johnny leaned into Lisa curiously. "Did I hear you correctly
that all your students are headed out to Malibu beach
tomorrow to attend some kind of lifeguard program for kids..?"

"Yes, that's right.." said Lisa. "Little Carly was so looking forward
to bringing her mother to the beach."

"Carly's got a good chance of going along. She's had no serious
complications today that a good night's sleep won't cure. Everything
we did was just supportive, uh..." and Johnny held out his free hand
out around all his packaged up medical gear.

"Oh,, Lisa.. Lisa Gibbons." and she returned his handshake.

"Nice to meet you Ms. Gibbons." he smiled graciously,
"Perhaps my partner and I will see you out there.
You see, our whole station's been assigned to help out
that program with teaching CPR to all the kids coming in
for a week...Well, that's along with attending a firefighter
convention at the convention center in town in the

"Julie and myself won't be going..." blinked Lisa, wise to
his flirting already. "There are lifeguard teachers at Baywatch
who will be substituting for us and serving as parental
guardians while our school kids are there."

"Oh, I see.. Well, I'll be sure Roy, uh, that's my partner
and me, my name's Johnny Gage, will keep a really close
eye on Carly while she's attending all the activities."

"Thank you." said Lisa politely. "We and Mrs. Davison
would really appreciate the extra paramedic eye
watching over her."

"It'll be no problem at all." smiled Gage toothily, still
locked and lost in Lisa's brown liquidy gaze. He didn't
care if they were still red from stress.

Roy whistled, loudly. Johnny looked up. "Let's
go, Dudley Do Right. The horse can't wait for ya." DeSoto
said, already most of the way across the school's expanse of
sunny lawn, following the attendants swiftly. They were towing
Carly's gurney to the street.

Johnny startled, and dropped his helmet, which Lisa
stooped down and promptly returned to him. Then Gage
dropped his green pen from the notebook he stuck
between his teeth in order to retrieve his navy jacket
from on top of the drug box. "I'll be right behind ya
in the squad, Roy. I know the way, remember?!"

But the ambulance had already loaded up and
was moving away silently with only its lights flashing.

When Johnny Gage turned around to thank Lisa for
his helmet and pen, she had gone to go comfort a now
visibly sobbing Julie, sitting frozen in a desk chair.
Scooping up a business card from the occupational school's
entryway, Johnny said, "Don't worry. I'll call both of ya with
progress reports on how much fun Carly's having. We both
promise to... Ok?"

Both tired, numb women finally offered a pair of slight grins.

Johnny left the school at a fast run, hurrying to stow his
equipment fast enough to catch up to Roy's rig without
speeding drastically.

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Vince gave him a wave as he returned to his own squad car.
On the passenger's seat of the car, was the same convention
flyer that Station 51's men had received along with their orders
from Headquarters to go do community service and get in a bit
of career shadowing with a sister service at the lifeguard network
hub. Howard's assignment on the beach, was going to be a little
different. He was assigned to learn how Malibu actually polices a
ten mile long stretch of soft powdery sand and pounding tidal surf
zones that regularly saw the feet of over half a million people
each day of the Caifornian summer.
::Maybe there'll be even more folks showing up because of
all this heat we've been having lately. A little swimming time to
cool off while I'm there's definitely in the cards. But it'll sure be
weird trading my uniform pants out for a pair of bermuda shorts::
Vince thought ruefully.

Vince Howard's night shift was just over, so he made
his way home eventually after grocery shopping
to pack a very full suitcase for the upcoming convention
event called Trading Stations.


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From :  Roxy Dee <>
Sent :  Thursday, February 10, 2005 6:47 AM
Subject :  Beach Shennanigans~~
On the beach, things were heating up.

It was the longest embrace Craig had ever seen. Craig Pomeroy
smirked. "Three minutes! That's got to be a record or something.
Hey, Eddie.. Maybe this year, we can hold a kissing contest at
the big picn--" He broke off.

They were ignoring him.

He tried again. "Guys, don't you come up for air at all?
Shauni?? Hey--"  ::Yep. Deaf as doornails. ::
Craig looked skyward. Then he got a devil of an idea.
He thought of a particularly nasty lifeguard captain who was
notorious for firing rookies on the spot for the slightest infraction.
He gasped. "Uh oh. Thorpe alert. Thorpe alert."

The results were spectacular. The two entwinees sputtered
and flew apart rearranging various items of intense concern
such as loose hair strands and clothing. "Where?!
Wh--??" Eddie blurted.

A towel cracked inches away from his face. Its master, Craig, beamed.
"Sorry guys. I just played a mean dirty trick on you BOTH. Aren't
you lucky that ol' Thorpe is on vacation for a whole month!!"

Eddie's face looked rather pale from his initial shock but then he
began to grin dangerously. The couple collapsed in limp relief into
each other's arms. "Would you mind not doing that?! You know,
this joking thing might turn into something you may not like buddy,
ol' possibly-ex-partner-of-mine."

Craig was candid. "Yeah? Right. No horseplay on deck now. Listen,
I'm serious." (He wasn't) Guys... it's pretty hard watching the water
alone, no offense Shauni, but when you're around, Eddie's
useless to me."

"I am not!" Eddie protested.

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Craig grinned evilly. "Prove it." He tossed over a pair of binoculars
to Eddie, who barely saved his face from eating eight inches of
black metal and glass.

Then he glanced up at the ocean. He immediately frowned. He
tossed a second pair to Shauni as well. "But I'm not on duty..."
she stated.

"You are now. There's the start of a rip out there. Let HQ know
about it."

"Right." Shauni said and jogged up the sky blue ramp into the
tower and picked up a phone receiver just inside the frame doorway.

Sid, the switchboard operator answered. "Baywatch, HQ."

Shauni was brief. "Rip at 34. We need backup surveillance.
Swimmers are clear."

In the nerve center of the watch station, Sid affirmed his latest
call. "Righto, Shauni. I'm on it." He hung up, writing the info
down on a piece of paper. He swiveled in his chair at the sound
of approaching footsteps behind him. He greeted Mitch.
"Boss, we've got a potential hot spot."


"Tower 34."

"Who's manning it today?"

"Craig and Eddie."

Mitch thought hard, "Ok, no biggie, ah... keep me posted. I
wanna know the minute something does down, " Mitch
started away, then he turned back, "OOo, no pun intended."

Sid smothered a laugh, "Of course."

Mitch left neatly.

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Sid turned back to his switch board, quietly giggling to himself.
"I hear ya."
--  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --

Craig hefted a red neon rescue can onto a shoulder, "I'm going
on patrol. Eddie, check with the other towers, see if they've got
heavy water developing, too. Shauni, get the flag up."

The two nodded and watched Craig jog down the ramp and begin
a scouting run along the water's edge, keeping his eye on the muddier
water of the abnormal current he had spotted and its relation to where
the sea bathers were. So far, things  were normal.

According to his wife, Craig was the only transplanted Manhattan
lawyer whose closet was half filled with power suits and half with
ragged beach wear. He had to admit, even the maid scoffed at
umpteen paris of sandy toe thongs lying alongside three hundred
dollar eelskin shoes.

Craig combed some fingers through his salt powered, light brown
hair as he ran. So far, he was lucky. As well as he could tell, the
bay was still behaving herself and was cooperating with her usual
fair day swells. There were no surprises, .......yet.

He returned to his thoughts.

Craig couldn't give up lifeuarding for the life of him. He took the
gentle jabs dished out by fellow colleagues at his law firm in food
humor, He chuckled at some of them" The surfer who never grew
up, Hey sea bum! Ya do any heavy breathing to a gorgeous babe

Pomeroy made no excuses. He loved the work. It was in his blood.

He had come a long way.

 Mitch Buchannon and he had been old college roommates back
in the early seventies. Back then, the two were avid surferheads desiring
nothing but a rad wave and an occasional one night stand. Together,
they had the dubious honor of throwing the best beach parties around.
Craig laughed to himself as he remembered all of the swimming races
he and Mitch used to hold to see which one of them was the stronger.
It seemed only natural for both of them to wind up as lifeguards with
the county. The job suited their spontaneous egos.

They were one of the best lifeguard teams for many years.

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Beach bathers, especially junior high aged ones, came to know them
as the "Dynamic Neon Dudes". It must have looked funny seeing a
tall, brawny Mitch next to a tall, but lithe Craig, running down the
beach in tandem with matching black shades and red neon trunks.
many female eyes were turned and it wasn't long before one particular
black-haired girl carried Craig's heart away to the altar. It was Gina
who took him to New york to finish his PhD in law.

But the lure of the ocean remained and he soon returned.... to
his beach. His sand.
It felt good under his feet.

Craig's eye followed the curl of the rip current flowing against
the incoming surf.  All of the swimmers were safely away from it,
a good six hundred yards distant from the dark trough of out
going muddy surge. He'd make sure that no one ventured into it...

He signalled the tower by waving his hand and gesturing with
his life buoy by drawing a line straight above his head and down
again three times.

Shauni saw him through her binoculars and signalled back, raising
the red and yellow flag to half mast on its pole. One by one, the
bathers heeded the cautionary and moved away from the rip. They
moved north of the flag to where safety remained.

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Craig relaxed a little and let them stay in the water.

--  -- --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --
Cory Davison drove her motorized wheelchair along the ocean
view walkway.The ocean gave her the tranquility that was so absent
now from her life. Cory found herself watching the snorkling instructors
and their students learning the art of diving way out among the waves.
She brushed an errant red strand of hair away from her eyes as tears
threatened suddenly.

No, Cory Davison, ex-dolphin instructor for the Point Loma Naval
Cetacean Institute, would never know the joys of swimming again.
Thanks to a stupid accident, her legs were dead.  Oh, it really wasn't
the fault of the institute that an orca was turned loose by an animal
rights activist into the tank she and her dolphins were training within.
No, security had been as tight as it had always been that day.

Cory shivered against the memory.

She had reacted reflexively, without thinking, and she had put
herself between the confused semi wild whale and her dolphin
charges.  The powerful wake left by the whale's flukes as it veered
off sucked Cory into an open running filter grate and her back was
broken in two pieces. Full restitution had followed naturally and the
settlement had been a big one....

So now, Cory had her life back.

She was without the freedom to pursue her life's ambition. Eight
years of cetacean research had gone to waste. 'What a shame..'
her colleagues had said in the hospital when they thought she
was too sedated to hear them. "What a shame..." Cory the
current quadraplegic echoed out loud. Quickly, she blinked
away the sea and turned up the radio she had on a special mount
by her head. It was the news of the hour and the weather report
was next,  "...This just in. The Naval Institute is missing a dolphin
this afternoon from their highly classified testing facility. Charles
Isaac, co-leader of the Greenpeace movement, was caught releasing
the animal to the open sea while chanting animal rights slogans. The
County Court House is expected to hear the case on Thursday. The
amount set for bail is not yet known.... Moving on to the weather..."

Cory caught her breath, "Koko?  Gone?"

She began racing her chair down the boulevard to the stony point of
land reaching far out into the water. Once there, Cory began searching
the breakers eagerly for any sign of dolphin.    But only a wild pod
of them were schooling fish beyond the reef in their usual fashion.

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She took out a slender chrome whistle of high tech design on a
matching chain from around her neck thoughtfully.

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It was one o'clock in the afternoon. At 327 South Seventh Street,
sunlight poured through a tiny flat's bay window that over looked
the ocean. Its beams washed over therapy equipment against one
wall and then onto a light walnut table.

There, a sun-warmed walnut frame glinted in the sun revealing a
portrait of a slender girl in a wheelchair and a medal of valor from
the Navy draped on a ribbon across its edge. Next to it was
a picture of a smiling twelve year old little girl, Carly.

This was Cory Davison's home. A place where her sharp realities
could be escaped, if only for a little while, through the creation of
pastel drawings. Hundreds of chalk dolphins etched on paper
swam in a river of pages over the tan bedspread.

The papers were weighed down by a small crate of wood which lay
on a pillow. An address label on its nearby lid read, "Attn. El Cajon
Museum of Cultural History, 327 North Seventh Street, La Jolla, CA."

A rich treasure trove of artifacts lay within the box, glowing under
the light, only partially packed in shipping sawdust.

No one was home.

Suddenly, a shadow marred the harmony of sunbeams inside the
small cabana. A figure was standing at the window.

Black gloved hands tested the window latch and found it unlocked.
White lamay curtains billowed in the wind, concealing the figure
as it stepped inside the room. Paper dolphins flew everywhere
and into the intruder's face as the crate was lifted into black
clothed arms.

The robber grunted and nearly dropped the precious find in surprise.
The eyes did not see a heavy object fall onto the bed from the crate
before a drawing tumbled in the seawind from the open window and
covered where the artifact fell. There was no time to waste. The
crook had what was sought by so many.

The dark figure left the way it came.

A last breeze from the closing window cleared the bed of sketches,
revealing an object of beauty which sent the sunlight sparkling into
all corners of the room.

It was a foot high sculpture of a dolphin leaping within a curling wave
and the light it cast so brilliantly from the sunlight, graced the bed
richly. The ancient statue was made of the purest gold.

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From :  Cassidy Meyers <>
Sent :  Thursday, February 10, 2005 12:13 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Foggy foggy dew and lifeguards, too.

Johnny Gage hefted up his knapsack and blinked into the
misty morning. He was toes deep in ocean sand and feeling
more disoriented with every passing second.  A loud
rawkious noise assaulted him and he ducked as a pair of
bold seagulls dive bombed his head, looking for handouts.

"Ahh! Go away...!" he snapped at them, flailing his arms
over his head in irritation.

"Can't go away, we're supposed to show up here at
Baywatch Headquarters to greet all the kids as they come in."
Roy's figure appeared out of the murk and he calmly drew out
a portable airhorn from his pocket and kicked it off, frightening
away the birds.

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A treble screech of surprise made Johnny look down to
about waist level towards the noise. "Chris DeSoto? What
are you doing here?"

The boy just smirked and watched his father peer about into
the fog making sure the birds were gone for good. "Heh.
Dad figured the camp children would be intimidated by
seeing men firemen teaching em something and too awe struck
hero worshipping the life guards to concentrate enough to learn
anything, so that's where I come in. I'm gonna show those guys
all the CPR steps and help teach it along with dad."

Gage rubbed a sleeper out of his eye. "Huh, might work. Roy,
you'd better hit that airhorn again to get someone's attention up
there through all this fog. Cause my knocking hasn't been doing
anything yet so far. Besides, my heart's pounding so fast from
that air attack that I can't move my arms yet."

"You're kidding.." laughed Chris. "I love seagulls. They never
take any crud from anybody. And they sound neat, too. Their
calls can put me to sleep at night."

"I can't see seagulls as calming unless it's at a distance." Johnny
admitted, ruffling Chris's hair.

"I love the brassy noises gulls make. Nothing but positive memories.
Not many sounds give ya that kind of effect." Roy countered.


"Maybe this'll wake you up more, too, while it's being our doorbell.
You've never been much of a morning person." Roy let loose
another wail from the horn, making sure it wasn't in a set of three
blasts that would cause an emergency to be declared by the watch

Finally, the lifeguard station garage door opened.
"Roy DeSoto and Johnny Gage?" a beaming Jill Riley greeted

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"And son." said Chris DeSoto, taking the lifeguard's hand warmly.
"Yep. We're your first aid teachers for today."

"Great. Captain Stanley told me to expect you. The rest of your
station crew's already inside with us having breakfast. Come on in.
Don't worry about being late. The fog's delayed the student busses
arriving from the Hotel until mid morning. We've plenty of time to
work out a teaching itinerary."

Gage shook the woman's hand. "Glad to meet you, Jill. Tell me,
is there a Carly Davison on your list of kids for our CPR class

Riley checked her lifeguard slate. "I believe she is. Do you know

Roy smiled. "In a matter of speaking. We took care of her
yesterday in school on a run and we've promised her teachers
that we would keep an eye on her."

"That'll be all of us watching then. We got the heads up on
her seizure disorder and we'll have a beach truck nearby in
case anything happens to her again." the tall blonde ponytailed
lifeguard sighed.

"Let's go. I didn't know where to put the CPR manikin so I left
it in our rover." Johnny said.

"That's ok. I'll send down one of the rookie guards to collect
it after we eat."

Shivering in the early morning chill, Johnny began to anticipate
putting on a lifeguard jacket over his fire uniform. "Man, is it
always this foggy at six am? This stuff's thicker than pea soup."

Jill Riley laughed, showing them the way upstairs to the main
Headquarters area in front of all the spot windows. "Only on
days that are gonna turn out to be real scorchers. It's called
a land/sea breeze. It'll burn off by eight thirty or so. Don't worry.
We'll still be able to hold class on the beach as we planned."

"Good deal. Come on, Chris. I'll bet they have your Wheaties already
on the table." Roy said, shoving his son forward ahead of them
on the gray blue painted wooden stairs.

In the main rec room, all the lifeguards not on towers were
there along with the rest of Station 51's gang. Chet greeted
Roy, Johnny and Chris by saying....

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From:  "chameleonkate01" <chameleonkate@h...>
Date:  Sat Feb 12, 2005  3:36 pm
Subject:  Breakfast Banter
"Well, well, well. Look who finally decided to put in an appearance.
I think I'm gonna haveta talk to the dispatcher here and see
about hardwiring your hotel room's phone into L.A. so you guy'll
start receiving our usual station wake up morning check. Say,
Chris, did you throw those pillows I told you to try to get these two
sleeping beauties out of bed?" Kelly grinned.

Gage and DeSoto, stuck in the presence of strangers, had
to be politely civil and curb their first instinctive sarcastic replies.

Chris DeSoto smiled toothily. "Yeah, sure did. Took three
pillows to get "Uncle" Gage up. Thanks for the suggestion."

"Anytime. Keep those good ideas coming, Chet. I know how the
vacation syndrome works, first ya can't slow yourself down, and
then you can't get moving again, for days..." said the dark haired

Johnny cleared his throat loudly in embarrassment to atone for
he and his partner being late. "Must've been all that good sea
air druggin' us into a stupor. Our lungs didn't know what to make
of the absence of all the usual city smog.." he grinned.

Baywatch Captain Thorpe, sitting to Hank Stanley's right, wiped
his mouth free of scrambled egg and pushed his empty plate aside.
"It's quite all right, young man. I saw the kind of business your
firehouse pulled in the last twenty four hours. The two of you went
on more rescues in a day, than my whole lifeguard tower crew force
did in three days. You were bound to crash hard and that, is something
that's entirely excusable."

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"Thanks, Mr. Thorpe. At least somebody understands the workload Roy
and I have been handling." Gage said, smiling  and throwing eye
daggers at Kelly.

Hank nodded. "17 runs in 20 hours. That's definitely a station record..."

"For what, Cap? What about our fire engine's record day?" asked Chet.
"In 1970, we did a 25-er that year; when we got all those brush fires
in the hills. While Roy and Johnny were messing around with that baby
goat call, we put in at least a dozen hot spot appearances."

Stanley afforded Chet a no nonsense, don't cross me glance, highly
tempered."....for any shift's paramedic squad, Kelly. You didn't let me finish
my sentence. Please clam up and eat. Our guest hosts are going to be
splitting us into our teaching and tower shadowing assignments before the
sun clears the horizon. Eleven's when all the kids come in for guard camp."

Chet bobbed his head in cooperation, giving up on needling his two
favorite targets.

Jill Riley changed the subject, but she was grinning. She fully understood
what ribbing meant. "We've some clock radios handy gentlemen, if
you think the Tropical Paradise Syndrome'll KO young Mr. DeSoto here,

"Those'll work.." said Gage quickly, glomming on to a solution to a serious
problem. "Thanks, Miss Riley."

Roy shoved a milk carton near and opened it for his son, before
he winced and caught himself in the act for being too parent-y.
"Chris's all green lights. He pulls CPR sets even cleaner than we do."

"Ain't that the truth. Mike Stoker here's the one who drilled him."
Johnny said through his food full mouth.

Mike Stoker cracked a few knuckles in unabashed pride, staying

Lt. Mitch Buchannon walked into the room holding a sheaf of papers
from his office desk. "It's all set people. Oh, hiya guys. Looks like our
two guest paramedics finally got here. Hobie. Go eat." he said.

Chris's eyes got real big at the sight of another boy his age, wearing
a junior lifeguard's outfit. "Wow, is that you, Hobie Buchannon? I saw you
in the newspaper a couple of months ago for saving that little girl who
fell off the pier..." he said with big eyes. "I don't know how you did that.
I would've completely chickened out jumping off from so high a place."

"The secret's keeping your feet together and folding your arms around
yourself when you hit." said Hobie, instantly bonding with Chris DeSoto.
"Here, let me tell you some other pointers.." and the two boys fell into
animated conversation much to the amusement of all the adults.

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Chet split a gut and kept on chewing.

"It'll sure be nice having some medics around this week without having to
wait for an ambulance on all our surf victim calls." said a rookie girl.

Captain Thorpe held up his hand. "Now, now now. Station 51 is here
to learn from us and us from them in a kind of....cultural exchange while
they're here for their firefighter's convention. They aren't here to pull
a full working shift."

"No, but we'll help out whenever possible. We have to by law anyway,
We're still in Los Angeles County." Roy said matter of factly.

"Ok, but only for the serious ones right in and around HQ. I won't
have you fellas overextending yourselves unnecessarily." Don said.

"Spoken like a true captain.." said Stanley. "A man after my own
heart. Glad to make your acquaintance, Don.." Hank said, offering
Thorpe his hand. "I think we'll keep all our people in sharp enough
order easily enough without them playing too much in the sand."

"So we will, Hank. I've already sent for someone who'll be able to
spy on them to keep tabs on how they're getting along with the
kids. He's teaming up with your own service area's Officer
Vince Howard. A Sergeant Garner Ellerbe. A good man and a very solid
dependable sort of beach cop. They'll be cruising around on all terrain
bikes every day while all the children are here." Don teased. "My
lifeguards'll have their hands full enough just watching the public ones."

"Where is Vince now?" asked Hank.

"Getting fitted into his beach uniform downstairs. I heard his voice
asking Garner about what colored socks'll go best with Bermuda
navy shorts." Don said. "I've already given him a radio set to the
same frequency as the towers and to our camp staff's active channel.
Also, after you and your men, and...little Chris DeSoto, here, get fitted
into your lifeguard jackets,..Sid Malone, our dispatcher on
the switchboard'll hand out one to each of you."

"Looking forward to it.." Cap smiled, speaking for his hungrily eating


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From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Saturday, February 12, 2005 4:58 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] The Mirage..

It was noon, exactly.

Trevor Cole, the private club's Australian lifeguard,
was having an excellent day. He was looking for the day's
perfect ten.

He scanned his water and saw her.... a gorgeous blonde
almost lost in the foamy breakers. He smiled and waved at her.
She waved back, all teeth and golden tresses.

Trevor cat called.

Jill, still stuck in the tower next to him, rolled her eyes with a look
of long suffering. Totally avoiding a glance at Jill, Trevor checked
the angle of the sun and noticed it was lunch time. He signalled
his replacement, a zitfaced eighteen year old named, Matt Brody.
"Yo, Matt! Front and center." he drawled in his Aussie accent.

The knobbed kneed kid grabbed his sunglasses and started
jogging in macho style over to his partner and promptly tripped
over his huge feet. He scrambled upright and managed to make
it to Trevor without losing too much face, "Shift change?" he
drooled eagerly.  

Trevor shook his head ruefully. Whoever hired this dolt for
lifeguarding surely had little in the brains department. Trevor
figured he'd better tread lightly, though, for the kid might turn
out to be the club owner's son for all he knew. At any rate, he
couldn't resist a barb or two, "Stop sticking your chest out, kid,
or you'll wind up cracking a few ribs."

"Oh,... ah, " Matt articulated, "I remembered my binoculars
today, Trev."

Trevor smiled blandly, "Good. Every good lifeguard ought to
have 'em, don't you think?"

"Heh, heh, heh." I know, buddy boy. That's why I brought

The Australian decided not to press the issue, "Fine."
The blonde barbie was still giving him the eye so Trevor
decided to pay his bathing beauty a personal call. He tossed
his head seaward, "Hey Matt. Ain't she a looker?"

The freckled teen looked and saw no one in the water except
Mrs. Fishmeyer. "Her?" he laughed, "You must have a thing for
grandmotherly types."

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Trevor glanced out again and saw his perfect ten still smiling
at him from the seafoam."Matt. Quit kidding with me, all right?
Tell me you see a young, blonde woman out there by the reef buoy."

Matt searched again. "No, man." he frowned. "You must have
been in the sun too long or something. How about going in for a
swim to cool yourself off?"

Trevor, still seeing his dream girl, nodded confusedly, "Yeah,
right. I I-I think I'll do just that."

He jumped down out of his chair, letting Brody take his place and
he waded out into the water in front of them. He swan dived into
the waves marveling at how well the woman was holding her own
in the large, white breakers out there. She was both head and
shoulders out of the water, beckoning to him with both arms.
Trevor shook his head. "Oh, well." he thought. "She's a mystery,
but I'll soon find out."

He swam powerfully out to sea. "Hey,..what are you doing way
out here?!" he shouted. She didn't reply but wavered tantilizingly
close, flashing him a winning smile. Trevor tried again with an
even bigger smile. "What's your name, doll?"

Trevor was very near her when she laughed and ducked beneath
a wave. "Hey!" he cried. He waited expectantly for dainty hands
to pull at his trunks. A minute past. But still, he felt no fingering
caresses. Trevor grinned like a cheshire cat, "So, it's hide and
seek, eh? Two can play that game."

He dove under for a peek and saw a figure swimming masterfully
over the coral shoals far beneath him. He caught a glimpse of
shimmering green, and a......tail?!

Trevor shot upwards. Now he really WAS confused. It was far too
shallow for tuna to be around. And just where did the girl disappear
to?  Then he heard silvery laughter behind him. Whirling, he saw a
mass of hair and an incredible smile beneath the water.

Her beautiful face was framed by the noon day glare from the
surface and his eyes watered heavily as he tried to look past it. He
squinted, and suddenly, she was gone. "What th--?"

Then a huge whirlpool sucked him away.

He had forgotten about the rip current! Its strength was terrible
and Trevor was helpless within it.

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At tower 34, Shauni McLane had just finished changing into her red
lifeguard suit. She was starting for the door when the phone on
the inside door frame started ringing. "I'll get it Eddie!" Shauni
shouted, and answered it, "Tower 34, McLane here."

A voice babbled into her ear.

"A WHAT was sighted by Crystal Pier?!" she exclaimed. The voice
reiterated details."Ok, I'll let him know. Oh, one more thing. I got
shanghai'ed into duty because of the alert, would you put me active?
Thanks."  She hung up the line.

Outside, Eddie Kramer was in a director's chair keeping tabs on the
bathers and noting where his partner was patrolling the shoreline.
He saw that Craig Pomeroy was still jogging slowly south in a very routine
sweep. So far, everybody was playing it safe by not going into the
rough water. Still, Eddie could remember past alerts where one or
two people, who thought they were being macho, ended up getting
stuck within a rip. Maybe this time, things would be different.
Heartened, Eddie relaxed his vigil a notch.

Shauni came out to lean on the rail near him, "Hey Eddie. You're
not going to believe this! HQ just called with a very weird story."

"Oh yeah? Try me. There's not much going on out here." he said.
He took a swig from his water bottle and set it down next to a
chair leg.

Shauni took that as an invitation and sat down in the chair beside him.
"Apparently, HQ saw a Coast Guard clipper out in front of Crystal
Pier chasing something in the water. At first, they thought the boat
was going after some hot shot jet skier. A closer look revealed
that they were actually trying to capture a dolphin with
a noose! Imagine that!! Chasing an animal with a rope and five
hundred horses of screaming boat engine. How cruel can
anyone get?"

"Imagine that..." Eddie said as he fell into a paroxysm of chuckles.
Shauni cocked a confused eyebrow, "Eddie, I didn't get the joke here."
Eddie elaborated. "Oh, ha, ha (Choke).. It's Flipper.. Making a run
for it. Maybe he got tired of all of those slimy sardines his trainers
were feeding him."

For Shauni's small size, she slugged him a good one. "Eddie, the
poor thing must've been terrified having those men roaring down
after it like that... I hope it got away."

Her fiance' was slowly recovering, "What would the Coast Guard
want with a dolphin?"

Shauni speculated, "Maybe it was coming too close to the
leisure craft lanes and they were afraid of it colliding with a

"That's pretty far fetched wouldn't you say?" he commented.

Shauni's face soured, "Oh, and I suppose you can think up a
better reason..."

"No, I probably can't. Wait a minute. I know why headquarters
was watching them so closely so far out of jurisdiction.."

"All right. I'll bite. Why?"

Eddie began to laugh helplessly again. His smile was infectious.

Shauni grinned. "Spill it funny boy.."

"Well," Eddie howled, "A dolphin taking out a cruiser would certainly
give us a little business to take care of, now wouldn't it?"

Shauni surprised him by saying nothing. "Finishing the story..."
she continued distantly, retrieving something off of the floor,
"..the watchman also said she gave them quite a run for their

"Now "it" is a "she"? Why can't Flipper be a "he"?"

Shauni only looked at him.

Eddie humored her, "Ok, ok, What was Flipper doing during
the big chase?"

"Oh,..." she said, seemingly only half interested, "She
was seen weaving in and out of the pier pilings getting
everybody thoroughly..." She flung something at him.

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A flood of water from Eddie's own bottle cascaded down his
front. Eddie jumped to his feet, "Aggghhhh ! I guess I
deserved that."

"You sure did. It's a shame that was WARM water." Shauni
burbled, "The bottle I wore this morning was slightly colder."

Blinded, Eddie coughed and groped for a towel, "And here
I thought I was getting it for the crack about the dolphin..."

"I never forget a slight, dearest.." Shuani waved the towel
just out of reach, "Looking for something?"

Eddie groaned and stopped groping around. He wiped his
streaming face on an arm, "Ha. I can't stop laughing.." he
said sarcastically, "Can I sit down now, Pool eyes? Thanks.."
He sat.

Nearby, Shauni was laughing so hard, she couldn't breathe.

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He couldn't breathe. Trevor tried to reach the surface of
the water, and failed. Darkness swept him away.....

On shore, Matt was laughing with a few of Trevor's flockers
when he looked up, sighting for his partner. Trevor was nowhere
to be seen. Matt stood up in the chair, scanning with his
binoculars to the rip. He saw a flailing leg break the surface
once and sink again. "Jill!!!"

The tall woman shifted away from her water irritably,
"What now?" she snapped.

"It's Trevor! He's in the rip!!"

Jill glassed the area and saw Trevor's hand reaching feebly
into the air. His head wasn't visible. ::Oh, sh*t. And I got
one of the firestation's medics here to babysit through this.::

She shot an urgent glance at Roy DeSoto sitting in a chair next
to her and said. "Trouble."

"What?" asked Roy.

"It's our local beach pest who thinks he's a lifeguard. Rip's got him.
Go ahead and kick the phone, Roy. Take it off the hook. It'll alert
Sid at HQ to our location." she said rising and peeling off her

"Got it. I'll get the gear set up from the responding beach
truck once it arrives. Anything else?" Roy said calmly, reaching
for his radio.

"Not yet.." stressed Jill, as she glassed the curling rip
intently to get an accurate placement of Trevor's location
as he was pulled out to sea.

Matt Brody, stumbly with panic, started for the water.

"No, Matt! You don't have a can. Call in the details on your radio!" She
grabbed a rescue can from its hook on the roof corner of her tower
and hit the breakers, porpoising powerfully out to the dark tongue of
ripping water. The huge waves made it difficult for her to
keep sight of Trevor's location, "Hold on!! I'm coming, Trevor!"

From the beach, Craig saw Jill go in from the corner of his
eye. He unraveled his lifeline and slipped the elastic band
over his shoulder. He spotted her target victim.

"Trevor." he said through clenched teeth, "If this is a joke,
you owe me two plane tickets for Gina and me, for an entire
Las Vegas weekend."

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Eddie and Shauni were now aware of what was happening in the
Yacht Club's waters and called Sid for the rescue boat and a
beach unit. They began watching all other areas for other trapped
people. There were none. The two guards sighed in relief. They
divided their attention between the oblivious crowds and Jill
and Craig's run, being thoroughly stuck with staying put at
their post.

"Come on, hurry..." Shauni urged. She couldn't even see where
Trevor's body was hitting the top anymore. The siren from the
beach truck grew from the north. She could see Mitch coming
fast and Roy DeSoto, running down Jill's tower ramp, to meet him.


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Jill Riley treaded water at the last place she saw Trevor Cole go
down. The currents were very strong and they were pulling
her farther and farther out and away from the safety of the beach

She let them, knowing the launch would pick them all up beyond
the coral reefs. Jill took a deep breath and dove deep, hoping to
catch a glimpse of pink skin or striped shorts.

She saw nothing.  Jill resurfaced.

Craig was stationing nearby looking further out along the rip
streaming out past them. "Jill! Do you see him anywhere?"

She shook her head, "No, Where did he go? Chr*st, " she looked
at her watch. "'s been four minutes already."

Craig cursed, knowing that they were now well within the brain
damage window time frame and he urgently looked out towards
the kelp reef again.  He saw the launch already scanning its outer
edge beyond the rough water where the rip's energy was dying.
"The boat's covering the rip outlet. Standard search pattern.

And he dove deep to the left.

Jill searched to the right.  A long half minute passed and they
both saw nothing but murky brown blue. They resurfaced,
gathered sustaining lungfuls before trying again. And again.

Jill said, "Corkscrew. Up rip. From the bottom. We've got to risk
it before we get too tired to try!"

"Ok.." Craig said. He knew the added risk she referred to was
one he willingly gave on many rescue attempts. "Let's do it. I'm
with you.." He gave the corkscrew sign to the launch so that they
would plan for the lifeguards' safety as well with scuba geared
backup if something should go wrong. He got his thumbs up
from Newman in affirmation.

Jill and Craig began their dangerous free dive to the base of the
rip's belly. Arching their sweeps in ever widening circles, they
past each other from opposite directions thirty feet below the  
surface and each spiraled upwards in a column back towards
the sunlight glimmering far above, letting the rip's force sweep
them along its submerged tongue. Long seconds later, the sinking
cap of current flattening his hair finally eased. They were almost
at the terminal outlet!  Trevor most likely was already cast out of
it ahead of them near the rocky seafloor.

Craig's lungs burned as the silence of the cold water around him
turned the blood in his head into a shrill ringing in his ears from
oxygen debt. He would have to come up for air soon. The pain
in his chest was almost ruling him when a blessedly darker
shape crossed his eyes.

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Jill's arm struck Trevor's limp body about the same time Craig's
did. They each grabbed a pale purple arm and bore the Australian
hastily to the surface.  The long trip up seemed to take an eternity and
each moment that passed was a living hell for both the senior
lifeguards as they ascended as fast as they could go. Was Cole
dead? They saw no sign of motion in Trevor's limbs at all through
the murk.

The loud seawind's whine and the blinding white noon day sun
immediately greeted Pomeroy as he broke the top. He shook
stinging salt out of his eyes and he hyperventilated desperately
to end his own frantic air hunger demand. Then he willed strength
to drag Trevor up next to himself. Jill,  just moments later, pulled
both their red rescue cans close for their buoyant, supporting help.

His trembling hands fouled on something cool and heavy
around Trevor's neck as he rolled the man's unconscious face
out of the water. "What th-?" Craig blurted out in surprise. A
strange, intricate pearl and kelp necklace adorned his throat,
not the fishing net or other sort of similar debris he had been
expecting. ::This thing doesn't float at all.:: "Somebody had to
have put this here." he coughed. "Might explain why he couldn't
get out of the rip on his own or lift his head out."

Jill was nonplussed, "Forget it for now. Is he breathing?" she
said, pulling the odd glimmering jewelry away from the front
of Trevor's neck and chest. They were heavy. The gold filagree
chain they were woven into, was too well made for either of
them to break or even lift free from their victim. Gasping with
effort, she helped Craig tip Trevor's head back over one of
their rescue floats so that they would get the clear airway they

Craig listened carefully by Trevor's mouth and was surprised that
he didn't see any of the deep blue of suffocation on his lips.
Seconds later, comforting breath's mist warmed his cheek and
below, he felt good movement in Trevor's chest from the tight
bearhug he had around him. "Yeah. He's... uh... he seems to
be fine. He's just out, that's all. Weird.. He's not even aspirated.
There's no water in his mouth." he said, looking up at Jill
with utter surprise. "I don't get it. He was under for five minutes!
He shouldn't be breathing,.. But he is.." He laughed in sheer

"Are you sure?"Jill asked. "It's pretty wavy out here. Maybe the
bumpy water's tricking you." and she stared hard at Trevor's
mouth and chest trying to see what Craig could feel. She didn't
trust the pulse she felt under her fingers to be one that wasn't
in danger of fading away.

"See for yourself. He's not even cyanotic." Craig shrugged and
he waved unnecessarily for the launch's pickup approach.  Jill
did another kind of check and covered Trevor's mouth with hers
while sealing off his nose with a pinch. Almost immediately she
felt a resistance to a test puff of air she blew into his lungs. An
exhalation from a breath already healthily drawn met her own
going in, with a conflicting rush of pressure. Jill released Trevor's
face and looked up, wide eyed in disbelief.

Image of craigjilltrevor.jpg Image of mattjumpboat.jpg

Trevor WAS breathing easily, in no distress at all.

Craig smiled and trilled the twilight zone theme spookily. "And
the spectre of death shall have no power over any man
who has no fear of the briny deep."

Jill set her mouth in a firm line, "Oh, ha ha.. " she said dryly, "Let's
get Aquaman here ashore. If air exchange isn't his problem, this
cold water sure will be soon enough."

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Mitch and Matt and Roy met the launch as it ground to a halt on the beach.
Mitch hardly looked at Trevor as he grabbed him under the arms,
"We've got the resuscitation equipment laid out by the truck. If
we hurry, we can--"

"You won't need it. " Craig drawled.

Mitch hesitated., shifting his grip as they carried Trevor over to a
backboard waiting on the sand. Craig sounded more...bored than
anything else. "What?" Mitch blinked.

"He's breathing regularly like clockwork, Mitch. Only he's out like
a light."

The four of them eased Trevor onto his back and centered him on the
long board. Mitch put an 0/2 mask over his face and secured an
airway. He felt for a carotid pulse in Trevor's clammy neck even
as Roy DeSoto started setting up a portable suction unit near
his easy reach.  

It was there. Mitch looked up, his face full of question marks.
"I've got a pulse?"

"We can't understand it, either." Jill commented.

Roy DeSoto, checking out Trevor's pupils for signs of hypoxia,
sighed. "Maybe he was getting to the top longer than you expected."

Matt hovered close, "How is he? I'm the one who spotted him.
I got Jill a-and.."

Mitch couldn't believe what his eyes were telling him. Here was a man
who had been caught underwater for over four minutes. And he was
still breathing... He shook his head, "I don't know.. I...he's...breathing
just ...fine," he didn't meet Jill and Craig's triumphant conspiracy of smirks.
"We'll have to wait until the rest of the paramedic gear gets here to be sure
he's out of danger."

Roy DeSoto saw Trevor was deeply unconscious but in good shape otherwise.
He wasn't dyspneic even slightly and there was a new unnatural bright shade
of red rising into his face and chest. :: Acute sunburn?:: he wondered.
::I wonder if he heat stroked out there.::

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Mitch cleared his throat, meeting his lifeguards' eyes in all serious business.
The anger rose up only then, "Just what the h*ll was he doing in the water?!
Matt said that there was no one in the area who was in trouble!"

Jill and Craig fought to keep straight faces.

Craig spoke up, combing some fingers through his hair, "Beats the
h*ll out of me.. Maybe there WAS someone else going down out there. I
don't know. I sent the launch back out on another sweep just to make

Matt had noticed the strange necklace around Trevor's neck. He pulled
it free and held it up and his mouth flopped open, "Will ya look at these?!
They must be worth a fortune!" He pointed to an ornately marbled pearl
that was the central piece, "Wow! This is a black pearl. Look at the size
of it!"

The pearl hardly fit into his hand.

"That bauble isn't our concern right now." Mitch told him, "Trevor is. Now
put that thing in the truck for safe keeping and go get a thermal blanket,
will ya?"

Matt blinked, "Oh, yeah, ..uh, right."  He went.

Mitch's walkie talkie crackled. It was the launch boat,
##Tower 34, this is Rescue One.##

"Go ahead, Rescue." the lieutenant replied.

##Yeah, this is Kip here. Ahh, ...We've circled the perimeter of the rip,
and...there' sign of another victim.## The voice sounded sad and

Mitch reassured him, "Kip, tell the guys that there was a good chance
that this one was an error, that the club guard may have been ill, ok?"

Kip was heartened, ##Will do. Returning to base.##

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Mitch wrapped up the run, "HQ, our man's ashore. Water sweep's clear.
Recall all responding lifeguard units to base. Tower 34 out."

Craig crossed his arms together, "So there goes that theory. If anyone had
been in trouble, the patrol would've found them by now." He frowned,
"Matt, what did Trevor see out there?"

The teen had finished laying a foil blanket over his partner's still form,
"A perfect ten." he answered.

"Hmm?" Mitch queried.

Matt clarified, " 'A gorgeous blonde.' " he said. "I didn't see anyone
except Mrs. Fishmeyer. And all of us know that Mrs. Fishmeyer is
far from being blonde, or a perfect ten."

The men laughed. Jill kicked Matt in the butt, "Cute, Matt, Th-that's
real cute." she said sarcastically.

Matt went on, ignoring Jill, " I figure he got a little too much sun. He
was acting a little funny."

"He ALWAYS acts a little funny." the rest said as one. Everyone
exchanged surprised looks at their mutual outbursts echoed out
of everyone else.

Mitch shrugged off the jinxed moment, "Well how do you explain
that strange necklace?"

No one had an easy answer.

Roy nodded for Mitch to move his body out of the way while
he listened closely to Trevor's ribcage for breath sounds with
a stethoscope from the O2 bag. "He's still clear. So far so--"

Under Mitch's hands, Trevor began coughing and struggling wildly.
The 0/2 mask went flying. It took all of them to hold him down.

"Hey, hey. Hey." Craig yelled, "Just take it easy. You're out and
on the beach."

"NO!" Trevor screamed, "You don't understand! SHE'S out there.
Y-You've got to get her out of there!! *gasp*"

"Stop fighting us a second, Cole." Jill shouted firmly.

Trevor quieted, rolling over onto his side to spit out some salt.
"..oh.." he moaned.

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A Fish Out   Of Water
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