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  Episode Special
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    The Face In The Mirror           by Patti Keiper ( Anotherjaneway )

Rating:     [G] Mild swearing

Code:       E! Canon style, third person. Guest appearances :
              cross over characters, Craig Pomeroy(Parker Stevenson)
              and Jill Riley(Shawn Weatherly) from NBC's era run of
              Baywatch Season One, circa 1989. (See Panic At
              Malibu Pier- the "real" series pilot)  

Summary:   Roy DeSoto makes a mistake in the field and has
               to deal with the possibility of losing his job.
               The gang goes on a sea fog bank multiple car pile up
               rescue and run into trouble.

Disclaimer:   Sole property of those who made the show.
                 All things Emergency! belong to Mark VII Productions
                 and Universal Studios

Comments:  I wrote this piece for sheer joy of it after fans begged
                me to write more. I apparently have a very vivid style
                that makes my stories feel like a real Emergency episode.
                This series is responsible for getting me into the
                emergency medical field, working as an NREMT in
                Minnesota. P.S.   I love you Johnny Gage and Roy
                DeSoto, you are my heroes. The actors aren't so
                bad either. :)  All the other EMS TV shows which
                followed in Emergency!'s footsteps, can't hold a
                candle to the universal character appeal of this
                series. Like an episode itself, I have rescues
                featured inside this story that are based on some I've
                experienced myself. I was Roy touching the charged
                floor and Cap, fighting to keep a child alive,
                without a demand valve, just like you'll read here
                in this story. I  have taking liberties
                diving into the psyche of Roy DeSoto. Writing muses
                work your magic! If you aren't sucked into this story
                within the first three lines, I am not doing my job!
                Enjoy and may you have a wild ride, gentle readers.

                THE FACE IN THE MIRROR  

It was nine in the morning at the Ojai College
campus. Roy DeSoto was starting up yet another
vo-tech course of CPR for public citizens.

Johnny Gage was setting out the resusi-mannequin
onto the blue gym mat on the floor, and setting its
electronic wires in place. "Huh, you must be crazy,
Roy. Working doubles, then teaching the morning of
your day off.." he scoffed, part teasing, part
complaining. "Don't tell me you've got a new addition
on the house you're trying to pay for."

"Not for the house...." Roy said, shifting on his feet,
and studying his polished shoes.

Gage's smile wiped into a huge grin, "Nahhhhh...." he
bubbled as understanding dawned.

"Yep. Joanne found out for sure last night from her
family doctor."

John dropped the dummy and rose, pumping Roy's arm
like a happy uncle.. "Well, I'll be.. congratulations,
buddy."  He leaned in, hitting Roy on the shoulder,
"That's great! Three's a more rounded number."

When his partner frowned in confusion, John added,
"They say families have 2.6 kids per household." His
face fell ruefully, but amused, "But in my case, it's
definitely a negative number."

Roy handed John a cup of coffee from the counter
by a sunny window. "Don't lose hope, Johnny,
You've only had what?  Five crash and burn dates
this spring? Not a bad average.. And the summer's
young yet."

"Not a bad average.. Not a bad aver--?"
John lifted the coffee to his lips. It never got there.
"Yeah,...but when will I find HER..?" he sighed.
"I seem to have better luck attracting hairy furballs
than women lately.."

"How's Bonnie doing anyway?"

"Fine.. She's quiet. Doesn't mind going to the neighbor's
when I'm at work. And she's the one who's been finding me those
dates to begin with." John said, polishing his fingernails on
his grey terry shirt. He adjusted the navy bandana tied
around his forehead up a little more, drawing his mouth up

Roy rolled his eyes, "They say, dogs attract girls like moths
to the flame."

"And this flame is hot to trot..." John said, "I've landed a date
for tonight."

"Oh?" Roy asked, "Who?" he said with a wide splitting yawn.

"Betty..." his partner said mysteriously. "In fact, she's going
to be one of your students today.. Moreno thought he
saw Betty's name on your roster there.." He said pointing to
Roy's slate.

Roy folded his arms. "And I thought you volunteered to help me
with the class today just to be magnanimous." he said levelly,
sipping his capuccino.

"I am being magnanimous.." John said with conviction, stabbing
Roy's yellow t-shirted front with a finger.

Roy didn't believe a single word, "Only as long as it takes to enforce
that heroic rescuer image on her with this course work. I'll
just bet you're going to volunteer to be her heimlich partner.
You know, to get in real tight and personal with her right off."

John's face beamed into a pleased smile, "Hey, I never even
thought of that angle.. You know, for a very happily married
man. You're pretty savvy.. Thanks.. partner.."
He watched as Roy fell into another series of face tearing
yawns. "You'd better get more sleep from now on. Even
your wrinkles are getting wrinkles.. Start getting some more
sleep or I'm going to haveta take over driving the squad."

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Roy was about to launch a protest when there was the sound
of a bell and the rumble of many footsteps coming towards

John put a finger to his lips, "Later... Now you're on.
Just..try to act natural.. You know.. Make me look
good.." he said with a pleading look, sitting at one
of the desks. He took up a hotdog from a pouch in his
knap sack, on cue, and started munching loudly.

Roy sighed deeply and just shook his head.

He took a seat in the first of twenty empty ones ringing
the demo mat and flipped his baseball cap around,
looking nonchalant as he slumped there.

There was the usual nervous mix of new housewives,
looking to gain the reassurance of the first aid training
for their infants. Or, like this month, the latest teen aged
summer lifeguards chosen from high school job programs
to fill needs for L.A. County's vast ocean beach front.

He became one of many to introduce themselves to each
other in casual social groups. About five minutes later, the
class took in the air that the teacher wasn't in yet
and filed into conversation clusters around him.  
Even Gage made a big show of saying hello and eating
eagerly and chewing his food around his words.
He milled about acting boisterous and very biker-ish.

Until he threw hands up over his throat and knocked
his chair over in surprise. He started to gasp and
wheeze,  staggering around.

Two teens jumped up in alarm and started for the
door to call for help. Another football player type
teen grabbed Johnny by the shoulders and started
shaking him.  

A blond woman in jerseys with platinum eyes did
the only thing she knew, pounding gingerly on
Gage's back with a few fingers as if he were made
of glass. Of course, that did nothing to help.

Going limp, John fell to the mat and utter panic ensued.
The class of students milled over him ineffectually
poking here and prodding there until...

Roy got up from his place watching them all
and "rescued" the choking Gage with the proper
techniques in a calm manner, first listening,
then checking in his mouth, then following up
with back blows and one set of abdominal thrusts.

Johnny promptly spat out the hotdog
right into the class's shocked faces. They leaped
backward out of reflex as the seemingly unconscious
man made a ballistic missile out of his sausage bite.

Gage opened his eyes, grabbed Roy's hand,
and rolled neatly to his feet. "Thanks, man. I needed
that.." and he plopped down into his own seat as if
nothing had ever happened, buttoning up his shirt again.

The stunned onlooking students blinked. Then some
got angry or sank into chairs with shaky adrenalin reaction.

One redhead man stood over John, "You mean you weren't
really in trouble?!!" he shouted at Gage.

"Nope. He wanted to see what you all would do
for me just now." Johnny said, pointing to DeSoto.

Silence filled the room.

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Roy spoke up, taking off his hat.
"Pretty scary, wasn't it? Kinda funny
how higher reasoning goes out the window in the face
of a true medical emergency... You,.." he said, pointing
to the burly teen who had tried shaking Gage. "Could have
injured him or even made the obstruction worse
by doing that.  You.." he said, smiling slightly at
the blond woman in the jersey, "were closer to the right
track.. but sometimes, it's not a good idea to just
go pounding on someone's back if they're making
good attempts to dislodge a foreign body. You
meant well but in this case, it only made things worse
and your victim went unconscious when things
completely blocked off with your "tiny" tries at helping.
You others, who ran for the phone, made a good
decision. Sort of. Summoning help is a sound choice,
but it is always second order of business in a medical
crisis like this one..."

"Second order..?" said the angry teen. "But I thoug--"
He broke off when Roy held up his hand and shot him a
diplomatic smile.

DeSoto flipped his chair around, foregoing
the desk, to be face to face with his class.
"Let's start off on the other foot shall we?"

"Morning. I'm glad you came here today. I'm Roy DeSoto
and this is Johnny Gage, my department partner of six years."

John nodded, all serious in greeting, once.

"We're both L.A. County Firemen/Paramedics in our
day jobs, when we're not scaring the bejeesus out
of CPR class attendees." Roy went on.

Light chuckles filled the room.

DeSoto went on.
"Now, if you'll  allow us, let us impart a little of what we
know so you can have the opportunity to make a real
difference for somebody when it counts the most and to
be successful at it to the point of having the ability
to SAVE that life free of panic. You're here today to
learn much more than just what to do for a heart attack
victim or a toddler choking on a grape. You're here today
to assess any given emergency situation and become
an effective caregiver to that victim until professional
help arrives. Minutes and even seconds count, like in
the urgent scene you saw Johnny enact here."

And he went on, explaining why calling for help was
second in importance. He met the angry red headed
man's eyes. "Your first duty to any medical emergency
victim.. is to assure and establish a viable airway, do
whatever you can to restore and/or maintain  
breathing second, then to assess and/or
maintain circulation of bloodflow to the brain, last
of all.. But what if the mouth's so badly cut, you
can't get a good seal with which to perform mouth
to mouth at all?
Or what if someone's neck may be broken? How do
you establish an airway then without tilting
that person's head back to get one? If you don't, they'll
suffocate, if you do, they might be paralyzed. What
do you do?
There's is much more to CPR than just pushing on
someone's chest and pinching their nose and blowing air into
their mouths. So let us show you what to do in
many medical cases that aren't so neat and tidy an
incident as the ones your text manual shows you."

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It was two pm.

The class ran smoothly, following demos of the heimlich
and other moves and a movie, outlining oxygen debt and
the six minute chart.

Johnny learned that the shy blond woman was
Betty, the one he had known was coming. They seemed
to hit it right off in Roy's mind. She worked through
her timidness about breathing into a dummy only
after Gage demo'd it for her.

He caught Johnny over lunch break and held up a
compressions tape sheet from Betty's mannikin
sequence.  "Hey, Johnny, she's a strong one. Just look
at this graph! She's in the green on those CPR compressions.

Gage smacked Roy on the shoulder, "I know, she nearly busted
my ribs even pretending the heimlich. I think I'm in love."

Roy sighed, "Just don't go fainting dead away in class just
to get her to breathe for you or anything. Our intro
demo part is over. You two are disruptive enough as it is so
far.." he said smiling. "And we've still the test
outs to do on them all."

"Oh, puhleassee..I'm not that dumb. I want her to kiss me for
my natural charms, not some foolhardy stunt like that.."

"Hmmm. I wouldn't put it past you." Roy laughed.

Johnny was oblivious, "She has great reactions. I mean,
when I pretended a blackout with a full obstruction
while standing, she had her hands right there underneath
my head so I wouldn't bang it going down. Now that's
sweet thinking on your feet if you ask me."

"If you say so. If I were her. I'd have dumped you like a sack
of potatos and let your fall knock out the obstruction.."
Roy quipped.

"Oh. Ha. ha..." Gage said dryly. "You're just bent out of shape
because I'm using my "uniform" to win a girl. I'm not using my
uniform, how can I be? I'm in a tank top,
I'm....just teaching her class that's all..."

Roy was skeptical, "Uh huh.." But he said nothing more,
grinning behind his newspaper. "Gage, the choking Romeo..
Now there's one for the history books." he mumbled.

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It was the next day at the station and Roy
was still yawning.. Johnny rolled in whistling Dixie,
and popped his locker open with a fancy butt flourish.

Roy didn't even look up, pausing with his arms still
stuck in his T-shirt sleeves he had cocooned over
his head as he sat on the changing bench.
He appeared to be snoring..

Gage turned and tapped Roy's covered head. "Hey..
You alive in there?"


"Come on..." and John pulled down Roy's T shirt the rest
of the way. "Man.. you need a pot of coffee if you're
going to get anywhere today.. Didn't you sleep in the
last few days like I told you to?"

"A little. Had an unexpected amniocentesis bill slip up
on us yesterday. Had to take on another class to
pay for it."

"Amniocen--"  John guessed, "Oh. Is everything ok.?"

Roy looked up at him blearily. "Huh? Oh. yeah.. It's
standard to run one of those at this stage of the game.
Especially with this being Joanne's third ba---
YAWWNN...---by." Another ear splitting yawn
jumbled his last words..

John threw Roy's uniform shirt at him, who was
too tired to catch it. It bounced off his face.
"Wake up.. or I'm going to have give you some O2
to revive ya.. Time for breakfast.." and he
headed into the kitchen, leaving his sleepy partner
behind. "I have a feeling it's going to be a busy
shift for us. It's a full moon tonight." Gage groaned.

"Don't remind me.."came Roy's voice from the locker
room, floating across the station's truck bay.

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Sounds of fork scrapes and bowl slurps filled
the kitchen along with the aroma of at least
three kinds of morning repasts.

At one seat, the happy eating got a little loud
and not so harmonious. Wood chair legs squealed
like nails on a chalk board as one particular man
pushed backward from the table.

*Spit* A large glob of Juevos Rancheros festooned
Captain Stanley's paper napkin as he doubled over and
relieved his burning lips of a totally unexpected attack
on his tongue and throat. ".. whoa...*cough*!.."  
Cap's long arms shot out and grabbed a metal jug of water
and drained half of it in desperate swallows from
the jug itself.

All eyes at the table shot up from newspapers
and magazines in surprise.

Johnny looked up from dishing hashbrowns onto his
platter.. "Cap? You ok? " he said half rising in

Hank held up hands to show everything was cool and
waited for his voice to come back.
Then he set down the metal water pitcher with
a hollow liquidy clang. "Marco, what are you trying to do?"
he shouted in his best offended tenor voice.
"Are you trying to kill me?"  
He pushed away his Mexican eggs and eyed them distrustfully.  
"I know. This is some kind of revenge because I made you drag
and hang all the engine's hose in the tower before you
left last night." Captain Stanley said regaining his chair.

Marco shook his head vehemently.. "Oh, . no. Cap.."
with eyes widening..

Cap went on.. "I SAID, Try one of your
sweet little old mother's breakfast recipes for a
change of pace but I didn't mean creating a four
alarm fire! Man,,, whooo wee..." he coughed.

Gage sat down again, chuckling in relief that
he hadn't requested eggs like Captain Stanley had
done. Marco's turn at breakfast detail was
always a sort of culinary roulette when he got
into one of his creative cooking moods.

Marco, "Don't look at me like that, Cap. Your exact
quote, to clarify things, was...'How about breaking our
scrambled eggs and bacon tradition and whipping up
one of your mother's recipes for a new change of pace?'
You didn't say what KIND of recipe, nor any limitations
on any spices.."

Hank mulled over that, looking a lot like the
"Honest Abe" he was, "Hmm.. Guess I did say that,
Marco." And he reached over and stole Gage's lone bagel.

"Hey!" John protested, out ranked. But Gage quickly
and craftily snatched another solo bagel from Chet Kelly's
plate while the curly haired fireman laughed
uproariously over something in his funnies

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Kelly reached down, without looking, for his bagel
...and didn't find it. He whipped his paper away
and complained to the chipmunk cheeked
paramedic next to him. "Gage!!"

Johnny shrugged "Snooze? You lose.." he said,
chewing loudly. Soon,  Chet found and walked
fingers to Stoker's plate and procured the last
onion bagel there.


"OWw!"  Chet howled, dropping his booty and
yanking his guilty fingers into his mouth.
He sucked on them.

Mike deftly refolded his scolding magazine into his lap
and took a bite of bacon. "Never raid unless
you can get away with it. Chet, you're getting
sloppy. Must be because Gage finally one upped
the Phantom, eh?"

Chet rolled his eyebrows, frowning. "No way man.
Has hell frozen over? The Phantom's sharp as ever."

His next raid on Marco's pancake was thwarted with a
viscious fork parry from Lopez, "Ah ah ah.."
the Mexican warned.

Mike laughed, thoroughly enjoying his rescued
bagel. "Really? How do you figure?"

Cap snickered over his milk.

Then Johnny eyed the tardy DeSoto shuffling into
the kitchen.  He pantomimed to the guys to
keep quiet about his next action, putting a finger
to his lips. Then he made a big show pulling out a
chair for his partner, "Hey Roy.. Here's some nice
...hhhottt..  coffee.. " he grinned hugely..

DeSoto missed all the warning signs..
Roy rubbed dry eyes and lifted the mug handed to him                              
while he plopped down into his seat next to Chet. "Thanks
but I don't think it's going to help any. Not unless you've
got an IV that's pure caffeine somewhere around here."

Gage clicked his tongue.
"Fresh out." John said, picking up Cap's abandoned plate
of steaming Mexican eggs. "Ooo, Roy.. Doesn't that
smell good?  Dig in, pal."

And he deposited his offering in front of DeSoto,
sliding several napkins towards him, too.
He shoved the water pitcher to a far corner
of the table, well out of comfortable reach.

All eyes watched with amused horror as a sleepy
Roy cut a large biteful of the eggs and inserted
them into his mouth.

Gage thought. ##3...2....1..##

But Roy kept chewing..slowly.. his eyes more
shut then open.

Chet couldn't resist. "Hey Roy?"


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"How's breakfast?"

"Oh..." Roy said, looking down at his salsa
covered hen's eggs.. "Fine.. I guess.."

Gage looked at Roy incredulously.. "Roy..
Aren't they kinda hot to you?..." he said,
aiming a butter knife at Roy's platter, with
one cheek still big with bagel.

"Uh....."  DeSoto considered.. Then he mumbled
"" he ventured..

"Holy cow..  That's crazy.. You're
tasters wwwaaayyy off... Cap here couldn't
even BREATHE around em.."
Gage whipped out his penlight and reached
out making a big show looking at Roy's pupils.
"You're not even a Glasgow six on the scale man..are
you slipping into a coma or something?"

Roy slapped Johnny's hand away laughing. "I'm not feeling
any pain eh? Well, at least these eggs won't go
to waste.. compliments on your mother's
recipe.." he repiled, forking himself another hot sauce
smothered egg yolk.

"Gracias mi amigo.. At least I know who to cook for
now.." he glared at Cap.

Cap looked up from his very mild toast and butter.
"Sorry Lopez. I'm from a French neighborhood. Tame
palette I guess.."  he said apologetically.

Roy went on... "Maybe this numb brain thing will get
me through today with the miminum shift's torture."

Gage scoffed, "I highly doubt that.." pocketing his

Cap eyed Roy critically. "One of the kids keeping you
up, DeSoto..?"

John spoke up as he watched Roy drain yet another
mug of java. "Yeah,, the unborn one.. Joanne had
a ped bill Roy had to work off. He took on another
CPR class after the one I helped him on." he said.

Cap winced.."Ooo, tiring way to earn a few bucks.
Nothing like four hours of CPR demos to wear out
a guy.."

Roy shook his stiff arms.. "I would've been spared
if my buddy over here bailed me out again and helped
me to teach it."

"One time's enough."

"Yeah?" Roy quipped, "That's only because you
got yourself that date from that one student, eh?
Betty I think her name was." he chewed a few times
before asking, "How did it go?"

Gage didn't make eye contact as he swiped his plate clean
with a slice of bread. "I was at Eight's pulling extra
duty, or I'd been there pal.." he said, avoiding the

Roy just grunted, angling his jaw with an amused smile.
"She dumped ya, didn't she..?"

The gang erupted in giggles again. Chet voiced
a score count. "That makes it... what? Six
strung and hungs this year, Johnny? What a tragic
track record. A real bummer."

Gage said, with unconvincing icyness,
"Cut it out.. Kelly. Leave your prying OUT of my
love life.."

"What love l-?" Kelly started to say before
Cap pointed his all mighty index finger at
him to cease at once.
Chet amended what he was going to say.
"...uh,  lingers, except for later, right? For the next
time around? " he smiled wanely, covering his arse
and making an escape back into his paper.

Cap ended his challenging glare and continued
chewing. He shoved two pots of coffee in front
of DeSoto. "Hey John,.. throw these in your
pocket, eh..? Feel free to use them on him any time
you need to, pal." He said topping off Roy's mug
yet again.

A pack of smelling salts plunked into Gage's
hands as he reflexively caught what Cap sailed
his way. He laughed, brandishing them,
before pocketing them into his shirt.

Roy said sarcastically, "Oh. ha. ha."

An alarm sounded, a long one, through
every category of callout mode tones.
"Station 51, Station 8, Truck 137, Battalion
14. Multiple pileup on Hwy 101. Two miles east of
Roy Rogers State Park. Two miles east
of Roy Rogers State Park. Meteorological
weather station reports heavy fog in the
vicinity. Time out.. 07:59."

Gage turned to Roy,... "Full moon's
true to form yet again.." and he pushed
out of his chair.

The gang made their vehicles and
slipped into helmets, overcoats and
seat belts.

"Station 51, Responding.. KMG 365."
Cap said, writing down the 10-20 on a pad
and handing off carbons to both Stoker
and Gage.

They rolled out.

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Ten minutes later Cap thumb motioned
for Stoker to slow down the engine
travelling in front of the squad.  
He squinted through the thick musty
smelling mist, boiling before him and ordered.
"Lopez, get out on the footrail and see if you
can see anything, okay pal?"

"Right, cap."   Marco stepped out of the
rear cab and hung onto a spot mirror.

Cap waved Mike to drive forward carefully.
Then he thumbed his radio. "Engine 51 to
Truck 137. We're two miles south of
mile marker 2 next to the south end
of the park. We can't see anything. Give
a directional blast on your airhorn, will ya?"

"Will do. We are at the first MVA to
the north. No victims as yet. We have
evacuated the area and are beginning
a washdown."

"10-4. Appreciate that." Cap replied.

All in the cab, strained to listen. So did
Gage and DeSoto in their truck.

A horn bellowed from fairly close away.

"That sounds like only a fifth of a mile."
He thumbed the mike, "Gage, DeSoto,
we're there."

"10-4, Cap." Roy said.

The paramedics and firemen bailed their

Cap shouted to his men, "Fan out.
Start searching. There's no cliffs
to speak of here. We're level with
the ocean on this stretch of the

That much was true. All the gang
could smell the tang of sea salt
and could hear distant waves
echoing to them under the blanket of
heavy fog.

Cap chose to relegate scene triage
to Battalion 14, who pulled up right
behind Squad 51.  Hookraider took
over the task, understanding Stanley's
decision was a sound one. Men were
needed to search cars. Even those with
captain's rank.
"Battalion 14 to Station Eight. Station
51's got the south end. Position your men
in the northbound lane, to mile marker
three. Number of effected MVA's,
unknown at this time."

Gage and Roy moved out, walking fast with
meager torches and their gear. Chet followed
them with stokes and O2, shouting.
"Can anybody hear me? Fire Department!"

Gage and Roy nearly fell over the first
mangled car, gray, like the smothering
fogbank around it.

Johnny saw a second red pickup on
its side a short distance ahead through
the murk.
"Chet! Marco! Check out that truck!"

Roy tried the passenger door of the car
they had found but it was jammed.

"I got it.. Go check over there.." John
told Roy. John poked his head inside and saw
clothes. Two sets. "Cap! Get a K-12
over here! I've got victims!"

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Gage finished a brief check for gas,
then wormed into the narrow window up
to his waist. Glass crinkled under his gloves
as he found the driver. Gasping loudly, he
slid himself closer in the tight space
next to the first victim.

The smell of blood was strong and something
else that was very bad.

He felt for a carotid he knew wasn't there.
A definite sign of fully dilated pupils made
John's heart sink.

What he saw in the back seat was
even more tragic.

Roy leaned in the window looking in on Gage,
"That truck's clear. Everybody got out without
injury." he said, thick with concentration.
"How are they?" He couldn't quite, see inside.

John curtly shook his head, vacating the crushed car.
He waved Marco and Cap with the K-12 away
to the next vehicle. "She's been disemboweled.
Gone for too long. The toddler's DOA, too."

Roy glanced back at the impossibly flat
roof collapsed over the babyseat and
saw two sneakers poking out. The only
thing he recognized. "Johnny.." he
gasped, clutching Gage's jacket
as the shock of another child's death
sank in.

John understood it was ten times
harder for Roy to see that kind of
fatality, having kids of his own.

He covered the mother and child up
with a blanket quickly, hiding the sight.
"Roy. Just move out. There's gotta be more
victims around here. Only a semi could do
damage like this.." he said of the gray

Roy got on his walkie talkie, and mechanically,
John marked the car with flourescent orange
search paint. Putting an X on roof and door.
Swallowing, he put the symbols for two bodies
next to it.

"Cap, we've got two DOA's in the first car.
Second truck's clear but I'm smelling gas."
Roy reported.

Cap ran up waving on several stations' men
with 51's K-12 to take over the head of the
searching. "I'm on it. Marco! Run two inch
and a halves to cover any gas spills, Stoker,
you're with him. "

Then a chief from Station Eight pummeled toward
them. In the gray gloom, his white helmet almost
appeared to be glowing.. "We've found all of them.
Seven cars, one semi. Besides these two, here. One of
my men's found a Winnebago upside down
along the guardrail. There're two little girls inside.
Their parents are fine."

"We're on it.." Roy said. "Cap have the guys bring
our gear..!"  He put back on his helmet and grabbed
biphone and oxygen and followed the Station Eight
chief to the site.

"I'll get it myself.." Cap answered.  He ran back to the Honda
to collect the stokes and IV box. John followed to get
the defib and drug box.

Soon, John, the station eight man, Cap and Roy followed
an eerie trail of hissing cherry flares that acted as a
beaconing line along the way.
"Good thinking.." Gage said to the chief. "
This is a faster way of getting around in this stuff..." meaning
the heavy fog that was around them.

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Roy was the first one to arrive at the rolled
camper. He was met by a dazed father who only had
superficial contusions on temple and cheek. The man
grabbed onto DeSoto's arm and begged him to let him
inside the RV.. Roy physically peeled his fingers off,
deciding the man to be a low priority case. "It's all right,
You're all right. They're still alive. I'm going in to check
them out right now. Just sit on the curb here and take
it easy! My partner will take a look at ya in a second."
He handed him off to Cap and crawled into the
window the chief indicated.

Station Eight had already cracked it open and laid
overcoats over the glass.


John knelt by the wife, who was sitting supported by
Vince on the roadside. He glanced at the man
Cap brought over, knowing him to be the one a bit
better off of the two.

John asked the burly motorcop, "Any of em injured?"

Vince said, "He seems ok. But the wife almost went out
on me twice, though." Gage took her face into one glove
and checked her over visually. There wasn't a mark
on her. He took her wrist into his hand, feeling her radial
pulse. It was rapid, but strong. She seemed just out
of a faint, leaning heavily on the officer.  

"My name's Johnny Gage, I'm a paramedic with the Los Angeles
County fire department. Are you feeling any pain anywhere?"

The wife stayed dazed, staring at the Winnebago.

John pulled an aromatic ampuole from his shirt.
He snapped it and waved it under her nose.
"Hey.. can you hear me..?"

The slender woman gave a shudder and whipped
her face away from the fumes of the capsule,
coughing. She peered around blearily, then focused
again on what she was looking at. Emotion flooded
back in a wave,
"My babies..! I have to get to my girls. They're still
in there! I- I've got to help them.. The dresser pinned
them inside.." And she struggled in Vince's
protective grip without thinking.

Johnny held her by the shoulders firmly.
Her struggles jostled his helmet and it fell off.
"Take it easy now! My partner's working on that. Now let's
just make sure you're all right before you move
around so much, ok?" Gage said.

The clatter of John's helmet on the concrete
made Cap, by the chief, shout for his man he
couldn't see. "You ok over there?"

John answered.."Yeah..!"

The woman nodded, finally fully awake.
She calmed down as John softly spoke to her.
He told Vince, "Keep her upright. That's how you
found her, right?"

Vince nodded, "Yeah.. and the sergeant said she
was walking around earlier before I got here."

Gage strung cannulas of O2 set at six liters for both
husband and wife and began to get a set of
vitals for Rampart. As he worked, he glanced
over to the Winnebago, wondering what Roy

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Roy found a jumble of furniture in his way.
Gasping, he shoved his way through and
found the children. He waved the station eight man
monitoring them away. The man retreated back
out of the camper.

A tangle of wall and sheet metal
had wrapped the two girls up like pretzels.
One child's head wasn't visible and three
arms in pink stuck out from where they were.
It was hard to tell which limb belonged to
which child inside a hole in the debris for
both were wearing the same kind of clothes,
pink jumpers.

Reaching into the gap, Roy felt up the body of the
child whose head was hidden, to her face, feeling
for breathing. His bare hand encountered wetness
around her neck that was sticky, but cool.
##This one's not bleeding that bad.## he thought.  
And he was satisfied with her rate of taking in air.
He made sure she stayed breathing well by slipping
in a child sized airway. Roy began to search for
the reason why the little girl was unconscious.

Shifting around, he grabbed one of the arms he thought
belonged to the hidden child.

There was a strong pulse in the brachial artery
that attested to a fair blood pressure , giving Roy
more reassurance that she was stable and not
critically injured. He shifted each girl slowly
apart from the other, without jarring neck or spine,
trying to find how they lay.
::They're so tangled up here.:: His effort failed.
The twisting metal made him give up the attempt.
He got on his walkie talkie, "Cap! These two girls
are pinned in real good. We're gonna have to cut
them out! I can't get good access to either one."

##We're on it, Roy. Hang tight. We're coming now.##

DeSoto finished his quick assessment on his patient.
He found no more blood stains on the girl. But it was
bothering him that he couldn't reach all of her to know
for sure, her true physical condition.

Roy moved to the conscious child, who was
watching him with frightened silent eyes.
DeSoto flickered fingers quickly at her eyes to see
which startled fingers moved in the debris so he could
identify the position of at least one set of hands.

"Hi.. How are you doing? My name's Roy. Pretty scary
in here, huh? "

She nodded, which told him her neck wasn't hurt.

DeSoto leaned back, setting his handytalkie behind
him while he pulled some closet partition out of
his way. He cursed again in his mind how flimsy
Winnebago materials were in the trailer.

"Don't go!" the girl cried.
She reached out and grabbed Roy's jacket.

"I'm not going to leave you alone. I'm here to care
for you and your sister right now."
And he smiled at his small charge.



It was Cap, making his way towards where
the girls were trapped. "I got the gear.."

"Hand over the IV box first. We're gonna
have to get lines into both of them
before we extricate either one."

Cap got to Roy's side just as he spoke
again to the frightened sister who began to
struggle when the splintered dresser boards
above her began to creak.
"It's ok, honey. Just relax.. Someone's coming, that's all.
Mom and dad's just outside. This is my friend, Captain
Stanley. He's a fireman like me. We're going to help
get you and your sister out of here.. "

She said boldly. "He's not Captain Stanley.
He's really Abraham Lincoln.  I learned about
him in school." she claimed, voice hitching with

Roy and Cap exchanged ironic looks.
Hank mumbled, "Guess I do sort of
look like the man.." he said, scratching his head.

They spent a minute or two, leaning over their
young patients while they freed what they could
off the two children. But it was soon apparent
Roy was right. The jaws were needed to do
any more.

The air in the tiny space slowly grew hot and stuffy
and made DeSoto feel every second in a torrid
grogginess, but soon, he bent over the unconscious
sister to get a BP on an arm he had freed. He guessed
it was hers because of blood spatters on the sleeve.

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Cap touched another tiny arm at random. "Is this one yours?"
he asked the tiny girl. He sing songed, moving fingers
on that limb testing for neural response. "This little piggy
went to market.. This little piggy stayed home.."
he sang.

The little girl giggled. "No, that's my sister's."
Cap kneeled near her face to get closer and to get more
comfortable in the small space.

"Ahh!" she screamed.

Hank instantly froze. And lifted a loose board from where
he had been kneeling. A left leg was curled un-naturally
under her chin.

There was no doubt whose limb this was.


DeSoto took his stethoscope out of his ears
and saw where Cap was pointing.
"Is there a pulse in it?"

Hank removed a sandal and checked.
"Can't tell.. Hell, all of her's cold right now."

Roy said, "Hand me a hair traction splint.
"First thing, we're going to straighten that
limb out."

"With this metal in here like that?" He said
of a wound in the thigh. A three inch long stake of
side chrome stripping was embedded there.

"We have to. There can't be any bloodflow
in the leg with it being that dislocated.
I'll..think of something and work around that shard."
He thought for a few seconds. "I know.
Immobilize it. Keep that piece from moving around.
Use bulky dressings...or, some of that wall insulation.
Anything you can use."

After he was through, Cap slid drug box, IV
box and defib next to DeSoto.
"What can I do here now?"

Roy finished cutting away the pink
shirt on the buried sister.
"Get our awake little princess here on
the monitor.. We can always use the paddles
to check her sister's EKG. It's the best way we
have to keep tabs on her vitals with her being
buried like this."

Cap nodded, and got out leads for his
patient. Then he handed Roy the defib paddles,
stretching their coiled cords across to him.

Roy threaded the paddles through his tiny access hole
and set them on bare skin, an arm and a waist; the
only places he could reach well. It was enough
contact; Cap and he got a wavering strip off
the stilled girl.

"Bradycardia.. deep. Probably from that neck
bleeding. If a jugular's so much as bruised
you get a reading like this." he told Cap.

He got a second set of vitals on her and a
set on the frightened sister while Cap initialized
two tie ins on the EKG monitor using
the pads and leads he set in place on the
second child he was near.

"What's that?" she said as two sets of beeping
audios filled the air.

Cap stroked the girl's cheek. "That is a heart
TV.  It shows us you got one around in
there somewhere." He peered, tapping on
her chest gently.

She smiled, "And the other squiggly line is
Cassie's TV?"

"Yep. That's right.."

"Cassie is your sister's name?" Roy asked as he
positioned a hair splint by the leg Cap and he
were about to move. It had completely slipped
his mind to find out the girl's names and to use them.

"Uh huh.." she nodded. "And I'm Robin."

"Nice to meet two such pretty young ladies. Do
you and your sister always wear the same outfits?"
DeSoto asked, while he blindly checked Cassie's neck
more closely for any lacerations he might have missed.

"Not always. But today is Cassie's birthday. And
we wanted to fool Grandma into getting our names
wrong again."

Cap said. "It's your sister's birthday?
Well, we're going to have to do something about
that now aren't we, Roy?"

Roy looked up from his concentration, and flipped on
an instant, but tight, smile. "Yeah.."

"Really?"  Robin asked.

Another shaking of the debris around them
announced another fireman picking his way
into the camper. Stoker came near and passed off
an O2 apparatus to Roy, "This is eight's. Johnny's using

"Thanks.."  DeSoto got out the unit's demand
valve mask and started hyperventilating Cassie
to get her heart rate to speed up.

Cap gave Robin a nasal cannula on a second O2 line
after showing her how it worked on himself.
He adjusted it around her face.

Captain Stanley heard the sound of a K-12 begin to
cut through the Winnebago's outer wall. A blade
protruded noisily, making Robin startle, but the saw
retreated the second it got through the wall.

Roy's talkie buzzed, ##Cap? It's Kelly. We've
gotten most of the way through. Get those girls
under cover.##

"10-4, pal."
Cap touched Robin's arm lightly. "Let's see.. something
special for a very special birthday.. Hmmmm. I know.
Do you think Cassie would like to wear a fireman's helmet?  
We've got one for both you and her.."

"wow.." Robin nodded.

Cap and Roy flipped up their own overcoat
collars to shield themselves from the rain of saw
embers to come. Cap gave his helmet to Robin
and Roy used his to make a roof over Cassie's
face between two beams.

Roy nodded to Cap that he was ready for both
the splinting and the saw.

Hank warned the little girl what they were going to do.
"You let me know the moment you feel anything
like an owie when we move your leg..ok? And we'll
stop.." Cap told her.

Robin squeezed Cap's hand as her fright
mounted. She began to cry. "No.. I don't
want t- to.. I want mommy.."

Her EKG sped up rapidly.

He leaned over Robin and smiled, "Hey, I
know that. Roy knows that, too. But we
have to bundle you up first all safe and
sound before we get you out of here.
Ok? Now those men out there are going to
cut us a door. It's going to get a little loud.
Think you can handle that?"

But Robin was beginning to drift and
didn't answer. Hank turned up the flow
on her O2.

Cap gave the go ahead on the handy talkie
"Go ahead Kelly.. On the double!"

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