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  Crazy Days
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        Page Five

It was an hour later, a shower reddened doubled
scrubbed set of paramedics met Dixie at her desk
in the ER each carrying a small bundle wrapped in
abdominal dressings. They paused as they all considered
the reason why all three were wearing surgical garb.
Then Dixie said, "What are those? "she asked cautiously.
"If they're fossilized skulls. I don't wanna see them."

Gage laughed. "These are just our badges and name
tags, Dix. It's gonna take a whole lotta turpentine
to clean these up. Cap's stood the whole station down
for the rest of the afternoon, while we...detar ourselves
and the vehicles."

Roy sighed. "Well, there's a bit of a miracle working here.
Charlie's not gonna see the mess we made of them."

Johnny rolled his eyes in dread. "Oh, but you better believe
he'll eventually find out about it through the department
grapevine. Then there will be H*ll to pay for sure.."

Dixie smiled craftily from her paperwork she was filling out
to add a new set of stethoscopes, BP cuffs and laryngoscopes
for the squad's vitals kit to go along with the airways
and IV's they had used. "Sort of like the H*ll I have to
pay for trashing the quarantine treatment room on a
hospital inspection day?"

Johnny's face fell in instant sympathy. "Oh, tell me
that wasn't today.."

"It was today.." Dixie parroted in weariness as
she massaged her forehead.

"Ooo," Johnny sucked through his teeth. "Well,
next time the bunch of us falls into the LaBrea
Tar Pits, I'll be sure to ask Brackett to reroute
us to Mercy General instead of Rampart."

"You're all heart.." Dixie said, without looking
up. She made a face of disgust when she found
tar, under one of her fingernails. "I hate to think
what's rotted in this stuff." she said, hastily wiping
the ooze away from her nail, not caring if her finger
nail polish came away with it.

Roy answered. "I think there was a museum display
in there above us that said the pits contained
millions of animals.. all from the Ice Age.."

"Terrific.. and all I want is a can of java
from the Modern one.." she grumbled.

Johnny and Roy began to smile when they saw
Vince, come to watch the very valuable sabre
tooth's skull, arrive from down the hall with
a laden brown paper bag in one arm. They
glanced at each other in satisfaction and didn't
say anything as the husky dark skinned officer
harrumphed in his throat to get Dixie's attention
from her paperwork.

When she looked up, she noticed the bag in
front of her. "What's this?"

"Kelly Brackett asked me to pick this up for
the main ER desk. Said something about needing
it to control a possible caffeine withdrawal outbreak
among the hospital staffers here.." he said straight

Dixie's hands shot out and she ripped away the
paper.. "Coffee?!! Ohmyg*d.. I'll be right back.."
and Dixie danced away from the desk eagerly
heading for the coffee lounge. "I--I.. thank you..
uh, thank Kel.. Uh.. oh,  Vince? Don't go..Stay right
there and I'll come back with mugs enough
for all of you..!"

McCall almost shouldered another staffer onto
his butt when he kiddingly tried to take the
rare covetted can from her grasp as he walked

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Roy and Johnny walked into the station washroom
where Chet was picking his wet curly hair carefully
into shape while looking in the big mirror.

Gage made a show of walking up to him and sniffing.
"Hmm. Hey Chet, is that Ode de Swamp I'm smelling?
It's very becoming.. "

"Very funny, Gage.. Can't say that you and your
smirking partner here smell any better..We had to
scrub out the engine cab almost as much as
you guys did the squad's. Cap's already tee'd
that it's gonna take two hours for the three of
us to get new turnout gear and helmets sent
to us from headquarters." he broke off when Johnny
pulled out a small slate colored object from his
uniform pocket. "What's that?"

"A fossilized Dire Wolf tooth. The museum project
head coordinator was so grateful we rescued his
best scientist from Pit 91, that he sent a box
of fossils to the station just now for us to divide
amongst ourselves."

"Oh, then you won't mind sharing.." and Kelly
snatched for the fang.

Gage whipped it away before Chet's grab got
there. "Ah, ah ah.. Go get your own.. This is
for my tribal prayer sack. My aunt always used
to say a token earned doing a heroic deed is
very powerful medicine...." then he blinked.
"Better hurry.. Marco was shovelling up the rest
of the wolf teeth when I left the kitchen."

"What?! Why didn't ya tell me sooner, pal?
Thanks a lot.." and Chet Kelly ran out of the

Roy chuckled and leaned over to shut off the
water Chet had left running in the sink.
"You're cruel, you know that Johnny." he
grinned. "You could have told him that ALL
the fossils were the more common Dire Wolf

"Yeah, but where's the fun for us in that?
This way we got to watch him rabbit outta here."
he said with a sideways grin. "It'll dry his hair
a little faster."

Roy rolled his eyes. "Come on, Junior. You can
point out the skulls and parts you think my kids
will like the best."

"All right, Pally. I know good totems when I
see them. Maybe now, our luck with the crazy
day we've been suffering will change for the better."

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From: "Fran" and a little bird.
Subject : Three Dogs and a Cat..
Date :  May 16th, 2003 20:29:07 CST

Cap had picked up three wolves teeth just
to look at them in horrified fascination.
"You guys are nuts , you know that?
I wouldn't want a million years old piece
of dental tissue anywhere near me."

"Come on, Cap. These are rare glimpses
into history, man. They aren't bones. They're
mineral deposits that bone left behind..Anybody
who's anybody knows that." Kelly said, eyeballing
two of the longest fossil fangs he could find out of
the museum box. "These will go great with my
shark's teeth. The chicks'll really dig em.."

Lopez just rolled his eyes.

Stoker didn't even look up from the sports
page of his newspaper.

The two of them left Cap to squirm on
Kelly's questionably deep analysis.

Hank said. "I know these aren't real. They just
have to look real. And for your reference,
my squeamishness isn't coming from me.
It's my wife rubbing off."

"Blame it on the wife. Sure.. We all know
your hidden phobias.. Inspection days..
Doctors...Sore hands that are unexplained.."
Chet remarked.

Cap didn't dignify Kelly's jab with a comment.
He just tossed the wolves teeth back into
the middle of the table and he got up
to wash his hands thoroughly with soap.

"Don't you think you're going a little bit
over board with the fossil phobia..?"
Kelly said, relentlessly pursuing Cap.

Hank deflected masterfully. "An hour ago
you were eating fossils according to Johnny
and Roy. And I can't imagine all that ancient
goo tasted very good." he said scrubbing
his fingers with some steel wool.

"You got that right." Kelly said. "I think I'll
be smelling that tar stuff in my moustache
for at least a week. But getting back onto
the subject. These beauties you're passing up
don't stink.." he said, gesturing to the fossils
the gang had lined up by size on the table top.

Mike Stoker sensed a change in the feel of
the station. He immediately pegged it when
his glance towards the couch showed that Henry
wasn't snoring there. "Hey fellas..Did anyone see
Henry come back from outside yet?"

Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto came into the
kitchen to see the guys rubbernecking around
and searching for Henry. "What's up? Somebody
drop one of those things?" he asked pointing to
the ancient fossil teeth.

"We lost a dog part all right. Henry.." Lopez said.

"Oh, yeah?" Johnny said going for the coffee pot.

Roy leaned against the counter, sipping the cup
his partner handed him without saying anything.

Cap wandered over to the kitchen window and
cracked a blind. "He's still out there. Same as he
was when we got that last call. He's a statue,
still waiting for something."

Roy rubbed his chin. "I wonder what he's up to?"

"Oh, about a foot and a half.." Kelly quipped.

Johnny made a face at Chet FOR Roy.

"Kelly's too rich for me with all that scientific
analysis and one liners. I'm gonna go take a shower.
I can still smell tar in my hair. " Roy said
and he left for the locker room.

"Make it quick.. It's almost dinner time. You know
what happens then. " Marco groaned.

"Shhh, You'll jinx us.." Stoker hissed.

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"Gee Stoker. Haven't you noticed? We've been
jinxed with the mother of all crazy days. How
can things get any worse?" Kelly said.

Hank just rubbed his face, knowing that Murphy's
law was about to strike again.

Five minutes later over sautee-ing mushrooms and
steak, the tones went off.

The gang gulped down their coffee, snatched a roll
or two and jogged for the squad and engine while
the address came over the speakers.

Johnny nearly choked on his when the house and
street number were announced. "Cap... I don't believe
this. That's Roy's house.."

"What?" Hank said. "You've got to kidding.. I thought
Joanne and the kids were at her mother's."

"They are.."  Johnny said, scrambling and slipping on
the floor in his haste to take the driver's seat of the squad.
Johnny's eyes shot to the locker room doorway where
he knew Roy would be dashing through, still dripping.
"What should we do?"

"Don't tell him.." Cap said as he slammed his
engine door shut as he belted in.

"But he's gonna know when he sees I'm

Cap snapped. "Then I suggest you break it to
him gently.. Let's move.." Hank said as
he watched Roy run in front of the engine and
squad heading for the driver's door. Roy
skidded to a halt when he saw Johnny there already.
He didn't understand the look on Gage's face
as he piled into the passenger seat. He opened
his mouth when Johnny said. "I'll explain it on
the way. Just get in the squad.."
The garage door began to open in front of
them as Johnny peeled rubber out onto the
street. He was silent as he headed left onto
the avenue.

Roy asked. "Johnny? What's going on?" trying
to sound unworried and casual.

Gage didn't answer and pretended to be
concentrating on the road in front of them.

Roy's hand snaked out and snatched the piece
of paper he knew would be in Johnny's pocket
with the address of the call they were responding
to. Gage tried to snatch it back and the squad almost
swerved out of the lane and slowed to the point
of making Mike hit the brakes a bit to avoid
plowing into the squad's rear bumper.

Cap's voice burst over the private band, truck
to truck. ##Front and center up there. Sharpen
up. Minds on the job, guys.## he snapped.

Gage picked up the squad mic and apologetically
replied, "Sorry, Stoker." and he hung it up again.

Roy's face was just radiating out of his shock when
he realized that their call was to his own house.
"A fire?! I don't get it? Nobody's home.."

"We'll know everything once we get there, Roy.
Just stay calm." Johnny said, completely not
that state himself.

"I think I should be asking that same question
of you. " Roy said agitatedly about Johnny's
driving. "I shoulda known something like this
was up the second I saw your butt in the driver's

"Lash at me all you like.. I don't care. This isn't
gonna be fun. For any of us." Johnny whined.

He turned the corner that led to the side street
that crossed Roy's street and soon, they all
saw the problem.

The gang bailed out of the engine and rescue
squad and Cap began to issue hose
layout instructions and Stoker took the engine
down the road to peel hose off the hose bed
while Marco took a length to wrap around a
hydrant to secure it for the pull.

"I don't believe it..That's a brand new roof."
Roy agonized.

"Was at any rate." Chet remarked drolly as he
began to release the hydrant valve with his
wrench to screw on a hose connector.

Roy's mouth was still hanging open at the sight
of his own house on fire when his eyes fell on
the sight of a utilities van parked and open a couple
of houses down the street. "Oh, no.. Don't tell me..
The water company's here for a burst pipe."

A rippling curse erupted out of Chet when he
finally got the hydrant cap off the hydrant and
only its metal ping hit the pavement without
the sound of gushing water. "Dry hydrant, Cap!"
he shouted.

"What?!" said Johnny, Roy and Cap in triplicate.

"Look at this and tell me it's impossible.." Chet
said defensively.

Cap sighed in long suffering and got on his HT
to the engine. "Stoker. Loop her back around.
We gotta use the engine tanks. No water in the
hydrants. Looks like the local utilities has them shut off.
I'm also calling for immediate back up. Johnny, go
in there with Lopez and start ventilating the
second story."

"What? You're gonna start ripping out my ceilings?
Cap, the fire's not that bad yet.." Roy complained.

"New roofing paper and shingles huh? Best kind
of tinder.." Cap said.  He returned to the engine
cab and told L.A. exactly what they had and
to turn off the power and the gas service
to Roy's side of the street.

Roy turned his eyes back onto the sight of his
house burning. "Oh, man.. When I find out
how this got started.."

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Vince Howard pulled up in the squad car and
dragged out an errant nine year old boy that
Roy recognized.

DeSoto hissed. "Butch, don't tell me. A tennis
ball can launcher and lighter fluid.."

"What's that?" Cap asked.

"A thing the kids are doing nowdays. Homemade
rockets which shoot tennis balls off from their
cans like a cannon ball in a cannon." Roy said
aiming a glare at the defiant neighborhood boy.

Vince nodded his head. "It's all over his clothes
and the dispatcher said that it was this little guy
who called it in. Probably because he thought
it would get him off easy."

Roy sighed. "But how are we gonna get off easy?
Meanwhile, my roof's burning through to the rest
of the house."

"Take it easy, Roy. The other tanker station's only
two minutes from here." Hank reassured his more
than agitated paramedic.

"No.." DeSoto said, thinking of something else
as he panicked.

"Yes.." Cap and Johnny reassured him. As yet,
Marco and Johnny hadn't moved from the street.
They were too worried about Roy.

"Wait!" Roy said, trying to come up with a
solution to their burning roof with no water

"What?" Cap and Johnny and Vince asked.

"There's a pond next door. Can we rig a
water pump to it to extend the gallons we got?"
Roy asked Cap.

"I don't know. Stoker knows what the engine can
or can't do that way."

"How about a helicopter water drop?" Johnny asked

"In the city?!" Cap and Roy both exclaimed

"I'm trying to help us out here!" Johnny said
in defiance, removing his helmet and running fingers
through his hair.

Roy said. "I know that.. I'm trying, too, but I'm freaking
out so bad I can't think straight."

"Why did you think Cap had me drive?" Gage said.

"Hey, Gage. You insisted on driving. "Cap interjected.
"Point fingers where the blame really is." he said with
a half grin, the first since the crazy call went out.

Just then, a part of the roof caved in, dragging all
of their attentions back to the urgent matter at

"Cap..." Roy whined.

Cap lifted his HT. "Station 51 to Station 127. What's
your ETA? Our fire may be burning through to the second

Roy quailed.
"Oh, no.. The second story? That's all our bedrooms.
All those toys! All those antiques we had in the attic!
Gone!" Roy said, running fingers through his thinning

"Don't worry, Roy.." Lopez said, jogging by with
another hose stretched out to run to Truck 127 when
she got there. "That's what homeowner's insurance is

"I don't wanna have to sue the fire department for
negligence to cover all this.." Roy panicked again.

"You can sue the fire department?" Kelly asked.

"No.." Cap said.

"Yes." Stoker said.


"What?!" said all of them.

"My house is still burning here.." Roy said.

"We know that.."

"Well, let's get cracking.." DeSoto snapped.

Roy started to go towards the house
to begin the ventilating it when Cap stopped
him. "You're sitting this one out. You're in no
shape to handle any of this.."

"What do you mean I'm not in any shape to
handle this?" DeSoto said, pulling free of
Cap's grip on his jacket. "It's my house."

"Exactly.." Cap said. "Stay here.. Tell Truck 127
what's going on when they get here. Let's go
you three. Looks like no SCBA's are needed yet."
and he and Johnny and Marco dashed into the
house to see what they could do with fire hooks
and axes to slow the progress of the growing
roof fire to keep it from getting into the walls.

Cap trusted Johnny to know the rooms and
where the stairwell was to the upper floor.
He and Marco followed Gage, taking the stairs
two at a time to where the smoke was
billowing through the ceiling. It had not
yet broken through from the attic to the
rooms below.

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A thick curtain of smoke hung near the floor
however and it brought a thought to Johnny's
mind. "Oh, no. Cap. What kinda pets does
Roy's kids have?"

"A cat. I think." Cap said.

"A cat?"  

"Yeah." Marco replied.

"I don't know cats very well. What would
they do in a fire?" Johnny asked.

"They'd hide.." Cap said. "Ours hides during

"Smoke's real thick. Roy's kids'll be real upset
if we let this roof fire kill em with smoke."
Gage said with a pained expression.

"What do you expect me to do?" Cap said.
"The house comes first."

"Cap, I can look for him.." Marco said.
"You and Johnny can stay in here and
see what you can pull down to slow
the fire up there.."

"Sounds like a plan. Keep a lifeline on
ya.." Cap said.

"What's his name?" Marco shouted over
the noise Johnny was making as he pulled down
a part of the ceiling that felt hot and ready to catch

"What's who's name?" Cap asked.

"The cat's."


"Calico, like the horse from the kid books?"


Marco set off through the knee deep smoke
with his fire hook. "I'll tug if I need ya.." said
Lopez, shouting behind him as he hurried
down the hall.  He left Johnny and
Cap where they were and he set off to the first
room at the end of the long passageway.

It was a girl's room.  Marco felt the door there
carefully before he opened it. He also swept a
foot through the thick smoke hanging on the floor
searching for a litter box to give him a hint
where the cat might favor as a hiding place.

He didn't feel the door was anything other than
room temp so Marco opened it. "Calico? Here
boy. You in here?"

Lopez rushed into the room, tipping over
the kid's desk and desk chair, and the kid's bed,
looking for the cat. "Calico?"

He stumbled over a Barbie's Airplane Stewardess
Playset. He kicked it aside. He ripped the curtains
down to make more evening sunlight cast into
the room. "Hey..Gato. It's time to leave.."

On a thought, Marco deemed it safe enough to open
wide the bedroom window where he was to provide
a way out should Roy's kid's cat be still in the little
girl's room he had found.

Marco turned around and went for a second door.
Roy's master bedroom. Lopez couldn't help but smile
when his attempt to flip the bed in his search revealed
that the piece of furniture he held was actually a
water bed. ::Joanne's wish no doubt.::  He only blinked
once when he ripped the sheets and pillows off of it
looking for Calico, when a silky fire engine red teddy
drifted down from off his gloves.

Marco gulped in ultimate embarrassment and he
stuttered. "C-Calico. Come on, kitty.. Get out here.
Daddy's outside.."

Lopez again cracked a window open safely and

The last room on the right side was Chris's
room. Marco again felt the door frame for heat
and opened it carefully, hugging the wall.

He entered and immediately heard a rustling
that couldn't be explained by anything else
other than a burrowing cat. "Where are you?"
Lopez said moving towards the sound.

The sound stopped and the smoke rose higher
up Marco's legs. It wasn't yet hot enough for
the smoke to rise to the ceiling.

Marco got on his HT. "HT 51 to Engine 51." he
hailed, knowing that Cap would answer from
down the hall.

##Go ahead.##

"Found him. He's in the third room on the right.
The boy's room. Somewhere.."

##Johnny'll  be right there. He's following your

Marco saw Gage appear almost instantly since
the paramedic knew the layout of Roy's house
very well. "Where is he? This smoke's getting
kinda thick by this carpetting."

"Over here somewhere. Thought I heard some

Both Gage and Lopez dug around the murky
layer of smoke hanging above the floor and
they tossed aside.. a base ball bat, a jumping
ball, a tinker toy tower, and a toy fire engine
that blasted its airhorn in their faces when it
took to the air.  

Johnny and Marco smirked at that one, then
turned to the business at hand. "Calico?"

Their gloves swept the floor beneath where the
pile of kid's toys had been and hit a body.
"Found him." Gage said, lifting up the limp

Marco and Johnny looked up at a knocking
on their window. It was a man from Truck 127
on a ladder leading up to them.
"And there's Calico's ticket outta this smoke."
Lopez said, cradling the unconscious cat
in his arms.

Johnny opened the bedroom window and
handed Calico out to the masked fireman
on the ladder.

"You two, ok in there? I saw the flying
toys. Thought you might need a hand."
said the man from County.

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"We're fine. Take this cat. He belongs to
one of our firefighter's kids."

"He breathing?"

"Don't know."

Johnny handed out the limp Calico to
the ladder man and briefly saw him
set his airmask over Calico's face before
the billowing blue curtains shut.

Gage and Lopez reversed their direction
and got out of the house, knowing that
Cap was now coordinating what Engine 51
and Truck 127 could do with their two water
supplies to combat the roof fire.

Cap decided things looked good. The fire
had stayed in the attic.

Down on the street, Roy saw a familiar station
wagon drive up. "Joanne! " he shouted and
he left the curbside to soften the blow
for her and the kids of seeing their house
smoking and receiving two firehoses worth
of water into the attic story.

Joanne and Roy's kids met in a tight knot
of hugs as they caught up on events and soon
his daughter piped up. "Daddy, did Calico get

Roy honestly didn't know. And he kicked himself
for not thinking of him sooner.

Right then, a ladder man from Truck 127 walked
up and said, "I believe he belongs to you, little
miss.." he said with a grin.

"Calico..." Roy's daughter sobbed and she
gathered up the smoky, now awake cat into
her arms and started crying.

Roy's paternal and paramedic instincts both
kicked in. "There. Looks like he's all right.
Why don't you let daddy check him out.
Looks like Uncle Johnny's already got some
02 and a plastic sheet already set out
for him.." Roy said to his relieved family
to calm them down even more.

He helped his daughter carry Calico over
to the squad for his smoke inhalation

Cap nodded with satisfaction as he
watched Johnny examine and give
Calico some 02 to help him recover
faster from his near suffocation.
He tapped Roy on the shoulder.
"Looks good.."

"No, it still looks bad.." Roy grinned
about the house.

Cap grinned, too. "The fire's completely
out. We're just moving in some ppv's to
clear out the smoke in there. The stuff never
got downstairs at all so there's very light smoke
damage. And only the attic rafters and the roof
burned. We were lucky this time.."

"Yeah. I guess so. I had those attic timbers
treated last fall with fire retardant."

"Good thing.." Cap nodded. "Take your
time here. I called us out with Station 127 until
the cleanup's complete. And I made sure
those hose guys are keeping the water damage to
a minimum.."

"Appreciate it, Cap."

"No problem.. Do you need a place for you,
Joanne and the kids to stay tonight? I've
heard Johnny's place is a little too small."

"Nah, I think I'll take em to a hotel.
A Howard Johnson's with a swimming pool.
We might as well turn this whole thing into
a mini vacation."

"Sounds like a plan." Cap said. "Your cat ok?"

"Yeah, Johnny's just ventilating him a bit
before Joanne takes him to the vet's for a

"ok, pal. Sorry this crazy day had to turn out
like this, but if your roof had to catch fire, this
is the best outcome. I'll be right back for your
scene info on what you know of this Butch
kid and his fondness for incendiaries."

Roy's face fell into annoyance and anger for
only two seconds before the sight of his
daughter and Chris hugging Calico wiped
it away.


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All the guys, including Roy had just cleaned
up in the bathrooms when Chet noticed something
drifting in the air behind him while he teased his
curly hair into shape with his pick. It was a white
feather of all things.

"What th-?" he exclaimed. "Hey guys, get in here.
Either we got another pigeon in the roof top
ventilation fan or somebody here's suddenly moulting
flight feathers.."

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Click Station "51" to go to Page Six

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  Crazy Days
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