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        Green Pen Of Johnny's
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        Page  Five

Mike Stoker gripped Kelly's shoulder tightly while his other glove
handed Chet the trickling hose. "Here. Just hold this and don't watch,
Chet. " Kelly closed his eyes in spinning horror as he fought his montrous
inner fear and just willed himself to breathe to prevent himself
from passing out.

Mike's voice was almost soothing and cut through the
roaring in Chet's head like a balm. Kelly anchored onto it like
a lifeline. "I'm pulling a tarp over this and someone else now. I got the
hose fully drawn up to us. Just go. The fire's out." Mike said

"Appreciate it, man.." Chet said making tracks for the
rising daylight they could see flickering above the clouds of ash
and soot coming from the devastated neighborhood and hospital
parking lot. He could barely contain his nausea.  "Why is it always the
photos which get me?" he asked himself. "I'm a rock with anything

::Because you have photos of friends and family just like they do
in your wallet..:: came his own ruthless conscience silently.

::Sorry I asked..:: his mind whispered to itself as Kelly finally
found balance in an unscathed flower pot still sitting where
it rested next to a dewy copper metal watering can on
House D's white porch railing. Water drops from his hose
made the shasta daisies inner eyes glow in the dawn sunlight.
"Who's the second one, Stoker?"


Sighing and shaking, Chet Kelly raised his HT to his lips
and reported the finding of two more air plane victims.

Then his firefighting cool reestablished itself when his
brain began working again. "Stoker..."


"If we found those two, the cockpit can't be far away.
Won't officials want to get their hands on the flight recorder
as soon as possible?"

"They sure would."

"What color is one from a Boeing? I can't remember."

"Red, I think."

"Terrific.. I wonder what the lame brain who thought
up that shade was thinking when he designed it."

"Don't be morbid."

"Kinda hard staying positive just about now. I'd do anything
to find someone with a pulse."

"Reach over and feel mine then. Anytime. I'm really glad
you're here with me, too." he said sarcastically, barely
abreast of his own fear and stress.

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Kelly chuckled and groped for Stoker's carotid. "Just so
you check mine, too, periodically. I feel like I'm numb all over."

"Numbness is bliss at a disaster scene. Wish for that pure
emotional novocaine each time at one, Kelly.. What's my rate
at now? Feels like 180 just slamming into my chest."

Chet's hand never touched Stoker's skin.
"Would you look at them?" Chet said, his grin at Mike's
rejoiner falling away once again into deep tortured pain.

"Look at who?" Stoker coughed, peeling off his hot
helmet to let the hot wind dry his hair.

"Them..." Kelly said pointing.

A rescue searcher and his dog crouched tightly in an embrace,
comforting each other across the street on a block of concrete
raised slightly above the level of the dead.  As yet, the human
had made no sound. But the labrador was trembling.

"Come on, let's give them some privacy." Chet said.
"Looks like they've already checked that last side of
the block ahead of us. Let's try and find that recorder
thing like good little fast firemen, hmm?"

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Roy looked up to see what row of cars they were currently
next to in comparison with the hospital's outline looming above.

He could just see the fourth floor and Johnny and Megan's patient
room window.  It was one in the shatter zone. ::Be safe, junior.
We're coming. Just whatever you do, don't get the crazy
idea in that idiotic head of yours to move around with the girl
to free yourselves from what you think is danger. I never
versed you on the realities of a large plane crash scenario and
about the fires that come from one. Magnesium burns can't be
barreled through, Johnny. They're far far hotter than you can ever
hope to expect ..or survive.::

Unseen, behind a preoccupied Cap and Chief McConnikee,
Boot wormed his way out of the Ward and went arrowing towards
Ground Zero and Rampart as fast as his hairy legs could carry him.

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From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Wednesday, February 11, 2004 11:55 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] One Step At A Time...

Johnny Gage coughed, and pushed a fallen bedstand
table off his shoulders. He immediately looked down.

The tiny burden in his arms stayed quiet, her eyes half
lidded around tinges of blood.

Gage bent close over her nose and mouth and he
sighed gratefully when he felt slight puffs of warm
wetness dampen the stinging cuts on his cheek from
her strong even breathing.

He eased the nine year old off his knees
and onto the floor gingerly, his eyes sweeping her body for
the reason why she was unconscious. Apart from places
where the window glass had sliced her skin, his
hands only found her over full coloring pen pouch bag that
she was still wearing around her waist like a fanny pack
and no other sign of serious injury.

The hallway outside their patient room door was amass
with shouts and seniors crying down the hall. Hustling nursing
staff around the central desk were trying to regain control of
the crowd of patients awakened by the plane crash.

An orderly's voice was loudest, and it was coming nearer,
checking the one room down the construction
scaffolded hallway that he knew was occupied and
facing the direction of the crash. "Hey! Anybody
still down here?!" boomed an African American
voice. "You gotta move to a room across the hall
to get away from those broken windows.."

Gage wiped a trail of blood out of his eyes and looked
up at his room's door, scratched and impaled by the
shards of glass that had been driven there from air

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The light over Megan's bed sputtered fitfully from
debris that had damaged its ballast. It only enhanced
the pale color of the little girl's cool skin. "Yeah!  In 415.
Me and a little girl! Get us out of here! The smoke's
coming in."

"All right, I'm almost there. Stay put mister!" came the
unseen voice of the orderly. "I'm coming in. You two
hurt any?"

"Megan's out but I've got a good airway on her.
She's gonna need some serious O2. She took
some glass into her eyes and yes, her IV line's

"How about you?"

::Yeah, how about me?:: Johnny thought. He hadn't even
considered himself. ::I must look a sight right about now.::
He ran experimental hands over his chest, head and back
and they came away bloodied but sharp pain or areas of
numbness didn't announce themselves. "Not finding anything
at all. Just some leftover dizziness from a sleeping pill
I took an hour ago. I'm not shocky in the slightest."

"Sounds like you're very certain of that." came the voice
and soon came rough aggressive noises that showed the hospital
man was pushing aside construction tarps, shelving and paint
carts out of his way right by Gage and Megan's room.

"I should sound certain. I'm a fireman paramedic. *cough*
Hurry, the air's going to turn real bad. We gotta get her out
of here." Gage got back down onto the floor and rolled Megan
onto a sheet he ripped free from his bed and he started
dragging her behind him across the floor towards the door
just beneath the oily smoke layer that was pooling into the
violated room.

"Working on it. Looks like people panicking out here pushed
an equipment cart over into scaffoulding and the whole lot's
tipped against your door! See if you can crack it open." came
the man's exerted voice. "I got most of it gone."

Johnny felt once more for the quality of Megan's carotid
pulse before he crawled nearer to the wooden door that
he could see bouncing in its hinges from the impacts
the orderly was making trying to free more space around
the door's handle latch.

New stabs of pain bit into his blue jeaned knees and his
bare palms as debris shards cut them. He moved closer
to the orderly's position getting ready to rise.Johnny kept his
head down in the clear air pocket near the floor only long
enough to snatch a breath of untainted air. He decided to
risk standing up into the blinding smoke's gasses to try his
luck at speeding the escape from their room.

The rush of air that sucked in from the window when
Johnny cracked the door slightly open, rapidly caused
an awful stench of death to gush inside the room.  
::Too close. The plane's too close to us. Aw, man..::

Briefly, Johnny saw the tangling jumble of equipment  
and the construction rack that still blocked his way
as the fetid wind from outside finally picked a direction
to flow. It decided to flow inside the hospital, thickly.

Gage shouted, not being able to see the orderly at all
around the smoke that suddenly came billowing out of
415's open portal that lay between them.  
"This is gonna take too long, *choke* This door
can't stay open, the toxic fumes are flooding in and that's
the last thing we need in the hallway with all those sick
patients out there, all right? Is there another
way out of here for us?"


"Just- Just think on it. We've got a minute or
so to get out of here." Gage said calmly.

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" Yeah.. Yeah, I think so. In the bathroom, straight back.
There's an adjoining access door with a lock. Yeah, I know
it for sure. Take this to open it."  Johnny felt a key ring and chain
being pressed into his hands. "After you get through that
door, go left along the service hall. It runs behind a surgical
store room. The firedoor at the end leads to the glass elevator.
You can get out that way. ..uh, wait a minute, no you can't.
D*mmit! I just remembered. That whole outside shaft might
be damaged and non functional. It's on the crash's side." the
invisible orderly quailed.

"Good enough for me. I'll take my chances. If not, I'll park us
in that store room and we can wait it out safely enough.
Now seal us off again so we can save what good air we
have left. It's enough to get us out of here." Gage commanded.

"Just be careful, man. I'll tell security you'll be showing up
anywhere along that route. Oh, and don't try to leave Rampart.
We've been ordered by the fire department's city dispatcher
to keep everybody inside no matter what."

"This is why. The powerlines in the area have to be down
just about everywhere. Now, go. We'll be fine. You gotta continue
your search for others who may still be trapped. We'll get out fine
now that we know how."


"Don't worry about the little girl, she's stable.. Just go."

"Ok." The door thudded shut and Gage slid gratefully back
down into the good air around his knees to try and breathe

Already, biting jet fuel was swelling up his throat and
lungs. ::I'll worry about that later.:: Johnny said,
clenching the key in his teeth. ::Thank G*d I'm used
to eating smoke.:: he sighed. "Megan,...we're getting
out of here. If you can hear me, just keep breathing real
shallow all right?" he said coiling up a corner of her drag
sheet around the better of his two lacerated wrists.  

Then he remembered, his station's gang would be
looking for him just as soon as the whole disaster scene
had been given a quick once over for survivors. "I know
Chet, he'll try ta sneak some of the guys in here at their
first rest break to try and look for me for sure. But d*mmit,
how can I tell them I got out ok?"

Then a brainstorm. Johnny reached and pulled out a
handful of Megan's markers and quickly patterned
out an arrow with them on a patch of floor he cleared free
of black dust with an edge of Megan's sheet.
"That'll clue them in.." he grinned. "I remembered my
boy scouting days just fine.."

Johnny wormed his way into the bathroom with
Megan's limp crevat and slammed the door shut behind
them, sealing off the choking fumes.

As promised, the other door was there.  Gage reached
up and turned on the wall light.

He startled when he saw himself in the mirror.

There wasn't an inch of him that wasn't dusty with black
and blood.  Quickly, he unlocked the service door with
the orderly's key and the two of them fell into the still pristine
air of the brightly lit hall that lay beyond it. It was utterly
quiet in there and everything was eerily devoid of any
sign of the ongoing disaster outside.

Johnny pocketed the door key into his jeans and
bent down to recheck Megan's status. "Megan...sweety..
You with me yet, hon?" He dug a knuckle into her breast
bone. Megan didn't stir, but her chest still rose
and fell regularly. "That's all right. It's ok that you're
unconscious, I'm gonna be happy your heart's still
beating, kid. Let's go."  

Gage gathered her up into his arms, holding her grimy
IV bag in between his teeth as he barefooted it on tender,
wounded feet down the corridor towards the surgical store
room he was told to watch out for. He paused only long enough
to make another arrow of markers showing the direction
that he and Megan were traveling in.

As he looked for the next door, his other hand turned
up Megan's IV port to wide open when the carotid pulse
beneath his finger skipped a beat.

The way along was not hard to find and the next light switch
Gage flipped on, revealed a stainless steel and tiled walled
anesthesia gas bottle store and a cart full of surgical dressings.
"Bingo.. but no phone." Gage coughed. "Oh well, Nothing
says we can't take time for a rest stop. We're safe now."

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Johnny carried Megan over to some crates and dug around
a few of them until he found the right bandages to dress her
eyes and her bigger still oozing wounds and even some of his
own lacerations that refused to clot up.

The markings on one of the huge gas bottles surrounding
them caught his eye. "Wait a minute.. That one's green.
I'll just bet that's oxygen!"

It took a search but soon, Johnny located a regulator
that fit the giant O2 tank. He snatched an anesthesia
mask and tubing from a blue surgical paper wrapped
bundle that he recognized from working in ER treatment
rooms.  And a child's oral airway just the right size for Megan
from a plastic covered recharging crash cart. He
rapidly set up the apparatus and tested it on himself,
breathing deeply from the O2 to make sure it was the right
gas and that the gas flowed well. He took a short while
longer working on the mask to clear an alarming,
rising congestion in his chest.

Then he secured Megan's airway with the oral tube
and strapped the too large adult black rubber mask
as well as he could over her face.  Then he tended
the child with a more thorough exploratory exam.
"Looks like just your eyes, I thought." he
concluded, wrapping both of hers up carefully with
kerlix around her head until they cushioned them
thickly. "These cuts are nothing."

He grabbed a BP cuff from the defib cart
and took a quick palpated reading on the
child to further ease his paramedic worries.
"72. Fair enough for me.." he sighed,
coughing as traces of acrid smoke lingered
his chest. "A few minutes of this oxygen and
I promise we're gonna get you out of here
lickety split. We got a date with our coloring
books to keep and we sure can't do that in

Grogginess from an unexpected quarter made
Johnny sway and suddenly, there were two Megans
lying sheeted swathed on top of the cleaning
boxes. "Well maybe after I treat myself too."

He set a cannula off the regulator and strung
it onto himself, breathing in the rich oxygen it
delivered to try and clear his head.

He leaned on the crash cart as his head sagged
down to his chest. "Maybe I'd better sit down on
the floor." And suddenly, he was there, his butt
bruised from falling. "Terrific.. a smoke inhalation
downer already? D*mn.. W- wonder what my
pressure's sittin at..."  Groping, he felt his own

"No radial pulse.. that's ..that's...lower than ninety.."
he gasped, suddenly air hungry.  He felt a little
higher up his arm and pressed down under
his bicep at the pressure point. "Just
a weak brachial.. that puts it.. somewhere near
the low 80's ...*cough* systolic. Just...just wonderful.
Last thing I need is to black out. And Megan needs
to get to a doctor asap." ::And so do I..for that
matter..:: his inner voice added.

The bright blue tile and steel room swam before
his eyes chaotically and Johnny slid the rest of
the way down the crash cart, slumping onto his back.

On the way down his elbow caught the cart and it
tipped over on top of him. He grunted as a drawer of
drugs shot out from their housing and hit him in the chin,
making him see sudden stars until he rolled over
to try and get some blood back into his head.

One packaged syringe rolled by his nose and
it begged a familarity to his foggy senses. "What
the h*ll is that one? Can I even guess? I'm feeling
pretty crappy here..."

Johnny drew in another deep breath on his O2
and strained to read the labelling. "A..t...r...o..
*cough*..p...i..    oh, atropine.  Point five milligrams.
Easy one.." he grinned as his consciousness faded.
"I sure could use some of that right about now.."

Gage's world went black before his hand obeyed
a mental command to try and reach out for the

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Dr. Brackett looked up from the smoky, fire lit
emergency doors as neighborhood residents
and rescue personnel brought in highway and
residential house victims in a steady stream,
with annoyance. "Where's Dixie?" he snarled at
a rushing candy striper, her hands full of trauma
packs. "She picked a h*ll of a time for a coffee

The young teenager just shrugged and fled from
his rage offering a tidbit from the hospital grapevine.
"Dr. Morton said she was headed up to Pediatrics
for some reason. Hope that helps you, doctor." And
she was gone amid the jumble of screaming
patients and calming hospital staff in seconds.

"Yeah, I'll say it helps. It helps me raise a little
blood pressure..." Dr. Brackett mumbled. He
peeled off his pair of bloody gloves from the last
hallway patient he briefly examined, who had been
tagged triage yellow, and dropped them, without
thinking, onto the floor.

He spied Mike Morton standing with a puzzled look
in front of strangely quiescent silver metal elevator doors.
"Aren't these running?" he asked Kel as the senior
physician sought him out to find out why.

"Nope. Compliments of the Los Angeles County
Fire Department. They want no one getting any
bright ideas in their heads about heading down
to ground floor trying to escape the hospital. A
control measure I guess. "

"It's a d*mned stupid one if you ask me.." Mike
flared. "It's hampering our patient room checks."

"I'm on your side, doctor.." Kel said, holding up
defending hands. "Ease off a bit." Then he fell
to guessing why Morton was still staring at the
closed doors. "Why are you here, Mike. Isn't
there plenty that you should be doing?"

"I just got a call from Security. They say they saw
someone in white getting in the elevator before
the lockdown, trying to ride it after the prohibition
on use announcement. Only now, they report
they can't tell on camera whether or not someone's
still in there."  Morton said.

"A panicking patient?"

"They don't know."

"That's odd." Kel said. "Usually the camera
has a pretty good view inside the car, doesn't it?"

"Key word, pretty good."

"What's the disparity?" Brackett wanted to know.

"Anything knee high or lower,. Probably
because some crazy designer thought the
emergency floor phone was good enough to
cover for the oversight."

That sent a chill up Kel's spine that he didn't like.
"I now see why you're over here."

Morton nodded gravely, folding his hands over
his arms.  "Maintenance is on the way with a
service key so I can get in there. Everybody else
is busy."

"How about trying to get a fire captain? They
always carry universal elevator keys."

"No one's around, Kel. But someone did report
a fire dog running around our floor somewhere..
Is that close enough?"

Dr. Brackett made a face, "Hardly.."

Kel heard a shout down the corridor from a nurse
calling his name. He started off to handle the
problem. "Let me know what you find out."

"I'll do that.." Morton said, drumming his fingers
impatiently on the inoperative buttons in front of him.

The phone at the unattended desk across from him
started ringing. Morton tried to flag down a nurse
to answer it but everyone was too busy with patients
or crying visitors to notice.  

The sound finally grated on him and he
jogged over and picked up the receiver.
"Emergency. This is Dr. Morton."

##Doctor! We've been trying to reach
anybody we could. This is Carol from
Pediatrics. Is Dixie all right? We saw
her take some glass in the arm when the
windows blew out. I wanted to help her but
she just wrapped a towel around her arm before
I could see anything and said she could handle
it on her own. Then she got into the elevator
and I lost track of her.##

"How long ago? Just now?" Morton demanded.

##No, maybe ...five, six minutes ago..##
Carol reported.

"What? She never arrived down here!"

##Doctor? I don't understand..##

Morton dropped the phone and grabbed
the maintenance man he finally saw wandering
aimlessly through the frightening sea of
casualties.. "Come on, mister. Move it..
We have a nurse who may be down in here."

Mike almost opened the door through sheer
super human strength as the chastened worker
slowly cranked the doors ajar using his spanner
jack as fast as he could get his shaking hands
to turn it.

Mike jammed his skinny torso inside the growing
crack in the doors and both feet almost slipped
on the tan carpet that was almost completely soaked
in fresh blood.  A huddled unmoving female
form, just as red, lay in the center of it. "Dixie?!"

"Oh my G*d." gasped the maintenance man.

Morton dropped to his knees and carefully
turned Nurse McCall onto her back as he opened
her airway to listen for any sign of breathing. She was
doing so, very well. ::Point for us. Now..::
Just as fast, he felt her neck pulse and found it
tachycardic. He looked up to the maintenance
man and said, "Get in here and hold her head
back so she can breathe good enough."

"Doc, I-I can't.. There's gore all over. I'll
check out."

Mike eyed the man's name tag quickly with
anger. "Do it, Jenkins ! She's bleeding to death
from somewhere and I'm gonna need both my
hands to find and handle it!"

He did so in seconds, grimacing at the warm
sticky wetness soaking his knees.

Morton cut away the sleeve on Dixie's left
arm and located a glass shard protruding
from a gaping laceration. Blood was spurting
out of it. "The main artery's been cut."

Very pale, but still upright, Jenkins offered
Morton his office jacket for a compress.

Mike shook his head and just pointed to the
knife of glass embedded in Dixie's arm. "Won't
work that way, don't wanna push that in anymore."
And he lifted up her arm high enough to reach its
pressure point and rapidly bore down with both sets
of fingers, pressing the vessel beneath tightly against
the bone.

Then they both began shouting for all they
were worth to summon some very fast help.


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"Mr. Gage..?  Mr. Gage? Can you hear me?
Stop playing dead and talk to me.. I'm really

"M...Megan?" Johnny's voice was a croak.

"Oh thank G*d. I woke up and heard you
breathing funny down on the floor. What
happened to us and why are my eyes all
wrapped up?"

"Plane crash in the lot outside.. Glass dust
in your eyes. Keep those on..." he said,
trying to lift his hand to stop Megan's from
pulling them off.

"Ok, I will.. What's that tube doing around
your face? I felt it checking you out."

"Oxygen.. I got us out of a lot of smoke..."
Gage said weakily without moving from
where he lay. " Do me a favor huh? Do
you hear that hissing sound on your right?"

"Yeah,, what is it? Gas?"

"No, it's the oxygen mask I gave you when you
were.....uncon-- uh,...sleeping.. Give it to me
for a sec..."

Gage saw Megan's groping hand locate it
through blurry vision.  He took it, foregoing the
nasal cannula for its use instead. Johnny
curled around the mask, sucking in great
breaths from it, waiting for his head to clear
enough and his body's resources to push his
increasing state of shock away.

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"Mr. Gage...Mr. Gage.. are you all right?
What's wrong with you?" she said, shaking

"Took in some bad air hon.. I'm...just gonna be
a little sick right now for a little w--"  He face went
slack and Megan felt her fireman friend go limp.

"Mr. Gage?.. Wake up...." She started to cry.
"Don't scare me like this.. I...I don't know what
to do..."

But then she picked up the flowing surgical
mask and held it over Johnny's nose and mouth
when she figured out that he must have done
the same for her earlier. "Maybe this'll help him
get better."




Try to wake up."

McCall moaned, the sensation of still being alive
coming back slowly to her spinning senses.

" We've managed to stop all the bleeding in your
arm. You're going to be just fine.." Dr. Brackett soothed
as Dixie opened her eyes to blink up at him blearily.

"W-Where am I?  Oh... my head.."

"Easy.. Just lie still." Kel suggested, and slowed
down the flow rate of her Ringer's IV.

Mike Morton grinned, taking a blood pressure
reading on his patient. "You're in Treatment
Three. Pressure's up to 94 over 70, Kel."

Dixie was too muzzy to analyze much
of anything. "What happened?"

"We found you in the elevator."

"How'd you find me in there?" She said through
an annoyingly dry mouth from her nasal cannula.

"Security spotted you going down on the camera.
Err,, rather, they didn't spot you passing out."

"What was I doing in there..?"

"I guess you were headed here from the fourth
floor after you got hurt, judging from readout panel.
But then further explosions caused the FD
to use the emergency stops to control our supposedly
panicky people flow and that unfortunately trapped
you inside."

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        Green Pen Of Johnny's
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