Image of roywithoutboy.jpg Image of emergencylogo.gif Image of roywithoutboy.jpg

Image of ani_explodebig.gif
Image of ani_explodebig.gif

      Page Four

"Your wreck bud get out ok?" Chet asked.

"Johnson? Yeah, he went out with Carrie."
Then the big curly haired fireman met Johnny's
eyes. "DeSoto's fine Gage. Just blacked out
for a while. His kid's still stable.
Bleeding's stopped so I loosened that tourniquet
completely before I went looking for you."

"Smart thinking." Johnny took in a breath of
oxygen off the mask from the tank Chet
had retrieved. "Now, where does everybody
remember Marco being when the hill
fell down on top of us?"

Kelly's ears strained in the darkness around the
dim circle of muddy light the meager flashlight offered
from its cracked lens. "Shh.shhh.. I think I hear

Wet slurping sounds from the "roof" glopped onto
the silent seats around them. The white covered
children's bodies could no longer be seen.

"Chet, you're hearing things.."

"Gage just ..pipe down a minute. You probably
still got mud in your ears.. Listen.. What I heard
came from behind you, from where the big
rip in the side of the bus was.."

All four firemen froze, studying the dripping
globs of ooze raining down onto them
and the hideously sagging ceiling, that was inexorably
crushing down onto them by millimeters from the
wet tonnage of the hillside on top of it.

The deep mud on the floor suddenly moved in a rippling
liquid way and a man's foot poked out of it, heel turned up.

In horror, Roy realized the flat section he had
been staring at was actually a partially
submersed fireman's back.
"Marco!! He's on his stomach over there. Get to him.
Get to him!" he shouted. "Looks like he's pinned under
the mud!"

Gage and Detello and Chet splashed through the
icy mud on their hands and knees and
they both felt up Lopez's body to his head. Detello grabbed the
mask from the spare O2 Chet had found and pushed it into
the muck until he had it around Marco's face and then he
pressed it hard around Lopez's struggling nose and mouth.

Detello firmly held the back of Marco's head too, to get
around the man's unthinking panic while he willed Marco
to just blow out the mud in the mask for some
much needed breathing room.

Gage and Chet found the heavy section of "roof" pinning
Marco's head and shoulders under the now foot deep layer
of muck in the bus. It was another bus seat.
"Did ya get it to him? Is he getting air?"
Johnny asked Detello, as he and Chet fought to raise the metal
off of Lopez. The thing wouldn't move.

"Yeah, I think so.. I can feel him grabbing onto my arm.."
Detello grunted. "We gotta hurry. This mask won't hold off
the mud for long.. Water from the rain might still get in.
And he'll drown." Marco's head was still completely
buried in mud and this, Detello tried to claw away,
while he shouted. "Easy man. Relax.. I got ya.. Marco.
I got ya."

Suddenly, Marco stopped kicking
underneath their hands and his limbs settled back
down into the slime. But Detello still felt his back
move with the small breaths the man was
buying from the hastily placed O2 mask.
He saw Johnny's shocked look when Lopez went limp.
"He's ok. He's ok.." Detello said. "He IS breathing. I
can still feel him doing it. Just hurry and get that
thing off of him."

Image of stokerroygetbarsoff.jpg Image of marcocloseserious.jpg

Chet and Gage rushed to get a piece of seat frame
to use as a lever bar.

In a minute, the heavy debris was off.  Gage and
Chet grabbed Marco by the hair and hauled his
lolling head up into the air. They lifted and
supported him into a sitting position against Gage's
chest for lack of better room.

Kelly wiped away the mud from Marco's nose and mouth.
Lopez was barely recognizable.
"Hey. Lopez.. You with us man..?  Come on.. say

Lopez stayed silent, limp as a rag doll soaked in
chocolate sauce.

"Oh man. He's really out.." Kelly groaned.

"His mouth clear?" Johnny asked.

Detello hastily looked with the
flashlight. "Yeah.. He doing anything?"

Gage shook his head when he didn't feel Marco's
stomach move at all in his bearhug.

"D*mn! Wish this mask were a ventilator."
Detello said hastily wiping the muck out of the flimsy
but cracked oxygen mask in his hands with
his shirt tail.  

"Yeah? Well what ya had probably saved his life
Detello. That was fast thinking.." Roy said from
where he lay propped on an elbow. He
had Chris's head on his arm and a hand on
the boy's neck pulse.

Kelly started to grasp Marco's nose
and chin for a mouth to mouth seal, when
Johnny said."Hang on a minute. Hang on a minute, Chet.
Just hold off, we still got a minute or two to assess him.
He just may be partially obstructed with mud here. He's
not even cyanotic yet.  Just let me check his airway first.
Don't want you to aspirate anything into his lungs in your
eagerness to right things." And he firmly gave Marco a
couple of abdominal thrusts in a modified heimlich

Brown muck flooded out of Marco's mouth after the
fourth one and the nearly suffocated man
began to bubble actively and right afterwards,
his arms and legs stirred in new half consciousness.

"Tip him over tip him over!" Kelly said, hanging
onto Marco's head as he vomitted frothy sand and water
out his nose and mouth. They placed him prone over
an upturned seat to drain out his breathing
passages and soon, Detello returned the tattered
but flowing oxygen mask to the violently coughing man
when he started inhaling in air more than he was spitting
up water. He held it in place, until Lopez had the presence
of mind to manage holding it himself.

"That's it.. Welcome back to the land of the living..Marco."
Gage said. "Just keep sucking on that O2 a bit."

It was a full two minutes before Lopez sat up on his own.
Lopez gasped. "Oh, man. Thought I was drowning. Then
I felt someone push an O2 mask over my face. I ate
a lot of mud but at least, I found something to breathe.
Think my nose is broke though." Marco said, gingerly feeling
where his nostrils were bleeding around the muddy trails
under them. "Somebody had my face in a vice grip."

"Sorry. That was me.." Detello said sheepishly. "The seat
wasn't playing fair in your mud wrestling match.
That mask was a home play advantage I couldn't resist.
Had to do something drastic to even the odds." he said,
getting to his feet to search for a crevasse leading to the
outside or even for one of their lost walkie talkies.

"Yeah? Well keep doing it. Maybe we'll all get out of here
in one piece. *cough*." Marco rubbed the grit out of his eyes
even as Johnny got a pulse off his other wrist.
"I'm fine Gage. Leave me alone. Everyone else
ok?  *choke* Oh no, I see Chris's out."

"I think he's sleeping." Roy said. "Though I'd feel better
if he had an IV or two running into him."

"Oh, you mean you're looking for this?" Detello said,
wandering back to the others with a very familiar mud
coated rectangular shape. Through the slime, they could
just make out the yellow letters "I V" on the still intact
gear box.

"Detello.." Roy said plainatively. "You're simply a miracle
worker, you know that?"

Image of e-gearboxes.jpg Image of crewhaulvictimout.jpg

"Yeah.. I know." He said a touch embarrassed.
"Had to chew phone books to get my cap
to accept me taking my promotion to engineer last year.
Had to move on,.. cause the guys on the squad shifts
were beginning to call me Angel.. Picture a guy my
size with a radio nick like that.." he complained. "I'd get
all the missing man details then for sure if word of that
spread around and I'd use up all my great karma
bailing them all outta their rough spots."

"Yeah?, well, you definitely still got that halo in my book."
Lopez muttered, rolling his eyes. Gage firmly
shoved the shattered O2 mask back onto Lopez's face.

"Make it in thought only man. In thought only. If I hear
anyone here calling me Angel behind my back,
I'm putting your man Lopez here right back into
that man versus seat wrestling match, is that clear?"
There was no trace of humor in Detello's voice
as he glared at Chet, Johnny, and Roy.

"As crystal man.." Chet swallowed nervously.
"You know, " and he cleared his throat like a pinned
frog. "You should seriously consider going
for a captain's post next, you sure got that glare

"I've been practicing.." Detello muttered noisily
slamming seats aside in the areas of the bus
not holding dead children and carefully piling others
in the areas he remembered being occupied.
"I'm going for that test next year I'll have you know."

"Captain Angel.. Got a nice ring to it.."Kelly whispered.

"Chet.." Marco complained. "Exnay on the Oopitsday.."
he said from the corner of his mouth  as
Johnny checked out his bleeding nose with a penlight.

Gage grinned but kept out of the banter. He knew
his buddies were acting what every FD man called "nuts
in a handbasket", to forget the horror in the scene
around them. Gage fully knew how fleeting such a
false comfort could be. But he was no one to deny
them the attempt.

"Ohhhh. Marco.. You worry too much.
He can't hear me, He's over there.." Chet grinned
toothily confident.

Detello said silky smooth from the darkness.
"I sure can Kelly. Better listen to mud wrestler
Lopez over there."  

Both the men from 51 moused down.

Detello went on, angling his head.
"And I can hear those bulldozers buzzing
around outside. Looks like both our caps are shedding
bricks over us being incommunicado."
And he placed hands like Atlas on the ceiling and gave it
a shove. Chet almost swore he saw the ceiling rise a few
centimeters. His mouth flopped open. "He's moving mountains
man.. " he jabbed Marco's ribs with a slimy elbow. Lopez
grimaced when that elbow caught him on a bruise from
Gage's earlier heimlich thrusts.

Detello pegged Chet with another stare, this time one
of brainstorming regard. "Say, you're not
hurt, Kelly. Why don't ya haul off that lazy rear of yours
and help me birdeye one of the HT's. DeSoto won't be
able to start his boy's IVs without permission from Rampart
and I know I'm starting to crave my four o'clock cappucino
something fierce right about now."

"You got it big guy.."

"Detello will do.."

Image of marcocaregive.jpg Image of marcoroy.jpg

From : "Cory Anda" <>  
Subject : And Into the Daylight...  
Date :Sat, 11 Jan 2003 09:58:13 +0000  

Chet quieted down and he patted Marco on the shoulder
as he crawled by Lopez as the shivering man slowly
gained his equilibrium back.

Gage half glanced at him in the dimness of the flashlight
Kelly had handed him. "Marco... You need to be checked
out? That seat hurt you anywhere?"

"I'm fine, Johnny. Worry about Chris ok? Not much
you can do for me anyway without the gear." and
Marco coughed.

"Yeah?" Gage replied with a wry weary look. "Well find
something to wrap up in, you're getting hypothermic.
And keep that O2 mask on while we look for the talkies."

Marco nodded, leaning back on a pile of metal supports
behind them both and closed his eyes. He didn't even
feel Detello cover him with an overcoat.

Johnny watched Marco drift with one eye, but the other
was on Roy and Chris. "How's he doing?" he asked his

"Chris's out. Vitals are good though." Roy coughed,
raising out of the mud and leaning on his elbows, being
careful not to disturb his son's position on his chest
much. "Don't think it's much more than stress
taking hold.  But I'll feel a lot better when we both
get our legs untangled from this debris here."

DeSoto felt the cold mud crawling higher alongside
his body where he lay and he was glad his own body
heat was keeping Chris somewhat warm.

Kelly bent immediately to recheck where their legs
were trapped. "Doesn't look too bad. Nothing the
K-12 can't handle."

Detello stood after taking a quick pulse quality check
on the sleeping Marco. "That's IF.. we ever get one.."

"Pessimism from the "Angel" himself?" Kelly chuckled
to raise everyone's spirits.

"More like a reality check..." and Detello once again
tried his giant strength on the sagging "ceiling" of
the buried school bus. This time, the metal above
his head actually gave way under his shoulder lift.
"I take that back. Those boys with the excavation crew
work fast. Most of the hill is already off of us.."

Kelly got to his feet and began to shout and
pound on the ceiling and yelling. "Hey!! We're in
here. Six meters from the back hatch! Hey!!"

In Roy's arms, Chris flinched and startled awake
with a sharp moan.. "Dad??!"

"It's ok, Chris. You're fine. We're just raising a
ruckus so the others outside know where
to slice into to get us out.. How do you feel?"
DeSoto asked.

Chris blinked a few times and winced when he
tried to test his legs. "My knee feels real big.
Tight. And I'm a little sick to my stomach."

Image of chetserious.jpg
Image of roywithoutboy.jpg

 Click the Resuscitator to go to Page Five :)

Image of roywithoutboy.jpg
Image of oxygendemandvalve.jpg

Image of roywithoutboy.jpg

Image of ani_explodebig.gif
Image of ani_explodebig.gif

<BGSOUND src="stonefishlagoon-eccojr-claireturner.mp3" LOOP=INFINITE>