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The earthquake died away.

It was immediately followed with the tones
for a four alarm fire emergency through
the HT lines.

Captain Stanley was on his feet and
running for the shattered garage door, hanging
onto his IV before anyone could intercept
him. He pelted outside, but got instantly
winded before he even got halfway down the
driveway so he skidded to a halt, hanging onto
the battered LaFrance's driver mirror and waited
as Captain Stone rendevous'ed with him at a
dead run. "How bad is it? I heard the alarm
tones go off." Hank asked.
Then he sucked in his breath when LA
identified the address of the new alarm call
through his radio.

"Yep. It's Arco, the refinery across the street.
A pipe line has been ruptured. There's no
telling when a side fire will set it off. I've
got my men and half the assignments
here not dealing with casualties, responding."
Stone informed him.

Cap's eyes shot across the triage tent strewn
boulevard and he squinted into the mid afternoon

All seemed normal over there. Until he saw
a curl of steam rising from a natural gas spire
where it shouldn't have been. "Oh, man." he
groaned, sitting on the runner board of his
battered engine. "If only I had a functional
crew, I'd get my men in there.."

Stone grinned cockeyed. "Sit back and enjoy
the show. And don't even think about leaving
the driveway. I told Peters to slap handcuffs on
you the moment your feet touch the road."
he joked.

"Oh really.." Hank said, grinning back. "Well,
don't think I'll be going anywhere anytime soon.
I've got four mother hens hovering over me
constantly. Oh look, there's the worst one
coming now.."

Brice appeared in the doorway, at a run,
making sure that Cap hadn't done anything
stupid like dash off with a responding engine
company. He stood next to Stone
and wiggled gimme fingers at Cap to give
him his IV arm. "Let me D/C that, Cap.."

Hank didn't understand at first what Brice
meant until Stone pointed down to the IV
bag and tubing still in Hank's grip. "oh.. sorry,
Brice. Just a little distracted here.
There's a hotspot at Arco across the street."

"I know. We all heard it on HT frequencies."
Craig pulled out Hank's IV cath and bandaged
the site. "If you're gonna be in public view. Look
the part, Cap.." and he tossed Cap his overcoat
and helmet. "Leave my sight, and I'll come after
you.." he said.

"Scout's honor.." Hank said, rubbing the itchy
ache where the IV had been. "My head's fine
for your reference."

"Yeah? It may feel fine for the moment.
Just wait until your shot wears off." Craig
said seriously.

Cap's face fell at that prediction
and it remained while the two captains
watched a worried Brice jog back into the sadly
crumpled station 51.

"So that's your story.. What about your man

"It's bad, Ben. It's some kind of bleeding fever
called the Marburg Retrovirus. Overheard the
CDC docs clutching at straws and ordering
their team in Mexico to secure female
bats of all things. Seems they might have a
natural serum to this thing in their mother's

"Air Force in on that?"

"I suppose so." Cap said.

"I'll keep an eye out for a convoy conveying
them here.. Anything else you need?"

From seemingly right beside their feet, Brice's
voice boomed out. "A + whole blood!
Remember, Captain Stone? Step on it..!"

Stone and Stanley both looked around in
amazement that they were hearing Craig's
voice outside when they looked down and
saw an HT on the engine's runner behind
them, set to two way intercom.

Hank grumbled. "That !.." and he stifled
his explicative. "...mother hen..." he said
between clenched teeth., more softly.

"Tenacious isn't he?" Stone grinned.
"When he monitors a patient, he doesn't
mess around. The guys call him the Tick
for a reason. I'll keep you posted Hank..
And Brice.. I've got techs on the way with
your blood bags.. They'll be there with you
paramedics in five..!"
he said, running across the street and to
the scene of the Arco Refinery call.

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Mike Stoker appeared in full gear at the
doorway. "Cap.. Can I go?"

"D*mn straight you're going..Make
yourself useful. And keep me up on
a detailed report and I do mean detailed.
Get in there.." he ordered, and snatched up
Brice's spying HT. "Here.." he said to Mike
changing its mode back to normal setting.

Stoker grabbed it and took off running after Stone
and joined the stream of firefighters and
firetrucks, entering the refinery's grounds.

Cap was left behind in the bright sunlight,
wearing a groove in the driveway in front
of his quake dusty engine and squad, as he
began to pace with worry.

Birds' sweet oblivious songs mingled
with the wailing sirens in his ears and
both sounded vile to Hank.
"Oh, mother of G*d. What next?"

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From : "Cassidy Meyers" <>  
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] On a Clear Day..  
Date : Mon, 11 Nov 2002 08:52:59 +0400  

Acknowledgements to the Modena Intergate
Emergency! Equipment Manifest Website for
the fireman's courier battalion chief car photo.

Mike Stoker arrived, and put on his full
SCBA gear as he made his way over to
the white helmeted batallion chief directing
men where he wanted them. He said,
"Stoker, Station 51, Engineer." the moment
he was in the man's earshot. He was slightly
surprised to see the man was Chief MacConike.

The chief looked at Mike and saw his company
HT. "Take your unit to the west end. Looks
like the pipe rupture is underground, luckily
not under a storage tank. An earthquake
fissure's responsible for the leak indirectly."
The chief wasn't wearing an air bottle, but one
was set near him so he could suck a
breath or two from its mask lying on
the hood of his truck when he needed to.

Mike Stoker took off his mask when a clearing
wind blew the mirage like fumes wafting around
them away.. "Sir,.. I'm the only one available
from 51. The quake took out our station house."

The wizened Batallion chief's eyes narrowed
in instant sympathy. "What are you doing
here, son? We've got more than enough
man power to handle this.."

Mike grabbed the chief's arm. "Please,
MacConike, don't send me back. Hank
Stanley's one of those Code I under triage
watch. He sent me here to keep him up
on things. It would mean a lot to him and
the other guys if I stayed."

The chief took in a long breath and sighed.
"All right. Let me think. Find a place for you, huh?
I know. Station Eight. They're down one man.
He's been sent to the airport to collect an
animal or something for a bunch of
microbiologists in the area working on a
bio-yellow alert situation."

Mike told him more about that. "That's for
us, sir. The animals are bats with a cure for
one of my crewmates."

"Oh? Hadn't heard much about any situation
over on that side of the street..except for
someone's HT joke about the fuss that Hank
was raising about losing vehicles in the quake.
Hookraider's got charge over that side of the
block." MacConike said. "Everyone ok over
there son?"

Mike's face went even stonier as he hid his fear
for Marco. "For the moment.."

MacConike missed nothing. He knew the
battle waging inside Stoker better than
he cared to admit.  Finally, he looked
up and met Mike's eyes.
"All right. I usually don't let lone crew
work a scene but if it's for Hank, I'll allow
anything. Gotta show him no hard feelings
for that hat stunt he did as a probie."


"Never mind, son. Get at it.. Round off
Captain Stone's crew and head on in.."

"Right.." and Mike put on his SCBA mask
again and used his HT to find where Captain
Stone's crew was stationed around the leak.
"Thank you, Chief.." he waved to the older
man.  He got a heartfelt sendoff salute in

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