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Within Sight
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Season One, Episode Four..  


Debut Launch : 16 February 2003

Emergency! Main Characters Page

From :  "desertducks "<>  
Subject :[EmergencyTheaterLive] Back Home  
Date : Sun, 19 Jan 2003 07:45:11 -0000  
The engine crew made it back to the station by nine o'clock that
night.  "Might as well ruin one more person's evening."  Captain
Stanley mumbled, mostly to himself, as he crossed the threshold to
his office.  He left his door open - it felt wrong to close himself
off from the rest of his crew.  He dropped into the chair, but shoved
it back from the desk, leaned his head against the cool brick wall,
and shut his eyes.

It sounded like Chet was finally running out of steam.  The banging
noises coming from the locker room had diminished to a less jarring
level.  Marco had gone to the kitchen first to start some fresh
coffee.  Now they wait.

No - he still had to call in for a replacement engineer.

"Is Mike Stoker here?"

The young voice startled Captain Stanley.  He scrubbed his hands over
his face before focusing on the boy standing in his doorway.  It was
late for a kid to be out roaming the neighborhood alone.  He said the
only thing he could.  "He's not here right now.  I'm Captain Stanley,
is there something I can do for you?"  

His heart was pounding all the way here just to talk to Mike.  What
was he going to say to the captain?  "I think..."  Not another sound
would squeak out.  ::Great, I'm already shaking, figures my voice would
crack too.:: He started again.  "I think I know who started that fire."

Image of jeremyclose.jpg Image of stationatnight.jpg Image of capstanley.jpg

From : "Cassidy Meyers" <>  
Subject : [EmergencyTheaterLive] Witness  
Date : Tue, 21 Jan 2003 00:29:52 +0400  

Captain Stanley saw the color on the boy's face
pale and saw how worked up he really was.
"Here, son, have a seat before your knees
rubber and they drop you flat. Relax, I won't bite."
he said, rising. He guided the boy to the
wooden chair across from the desk and
half heartedly peered into the bay in an
attempt to locate whoever it was who
let the child into the station in the first
place. He suspected it had been Marco.
::Just like Lopez to subtly channel things
concerning touchy run subjects my way.::
"What's your name kid? Kinda feel like I'm
at a disadvantage since I don't know yours."

"I'm.....Jeremy Conners." he said quietly.

"Would you care to share just how you
know my fire station's engineer?"

"Mr. Stoker's my coach in the Second
Chance Little Leagues. We've been hanging
out Saturdays. Been doing so all summer."

::Oh, :: thought Hank. ::That would explain it.
Mike's doing that Big Brother program with
the juvies through the city's foster care program.
This young fella must be one of his latest personal
reclamation projects.::

"He said I could come here if I had anything on
my mind that was bothering me. And this is."
he fidgetted. His scowling eyes never left Cap's.

Cap saw that Jeremy was an unusual child. He
wasn't rubbernecking his surroundings like any
other boy his age would. It was as if he already
knew what a fire station was all about.

Hank's eyebrows rose but he put his analytical
observations to the background for a while.
"Ok, you came here to see my man Stoker for
a reason concerning which fire? My men and I
have seen three today." He cocked his head
and gestured to the milk carton he had
set near his incident report earlier to settle his
roiling stomach. "This is still cold. Thirsty?"

Jeremy shook his head despite his nervous
dry mouth. He purposely stopped fidgetting.

The red headed boy felt the station captain's
eyes bore into his own with an intense scrutiny.
"Before you make a move on me, I get out at
night all the time from the Home so don't even
think about calling the fuzz. I know every door
outta here."

"Fair enough. Let me let you in on a little known
fact about firehouses. In this office I'm not
the station's captain anymore. I'm just Hank.
Anything you say is confidential and won't
leave this office unless it deals with someone's
safety, property or life and limb." Stanley said. "So,
what's eating you? Must be important if it bugged
you enough to walk all the way here for what
I suspect was about a mile or so."

The boy's face fell open in surprise. "How'd you
know that?"

"Cause that's how far it is to the nearest
residential neighborhood past the Arco refinery
surrounding us. And, the logo on your jersey was
a dead giveway." Cap spread his arms wide
in a 'Well, what is it?' gesture.

Jeremy crossed his arms in front of his
gray baseball sweatshirt and pursed his lips.
He glanced away from Hank for the first time
since he arrived. "I gotta think about this

Cap sighed wearily and grabbed his glass
of now warmish 2% and downed it.
"Make it fast. I'm expecting my men on the
rescue squad back with some answers I
need any second now. After that, I'm gonna be
too busy for off hours visitors. So make up your
mind pronto. Who started what fire?"

Jeremy countered. "Why isn't Mike Stoker here?
That engine's filthy. He'd be the first one at
it with a rag to clean it off.."

It was Cap's face that betrayed him this time
and he went from tough act to vulnerable in a pico.
"He's..well, I gotta break it somehow since you say
Mike's your friend, Jeremy. Our last fire injured him
when the roof caved in and trapped him apart from
his hose team.  In trying to get out, a steam pipe he
didn't see burst in front of him and burned his
eyes through his air mask pretty bad. Caught his
throat and lungs too."

Jeremy held really still. "That's the fire I'm talking
about then if the roof came down. going
to be blind?" he asked in a very small voice.

Image of stokerdrive.jpg Image of hosebalconysmoke.jpg

Cap toyed with his empty glass thoughtfully and hid
his emotion. "I don't know yet about that. I'm
just glad he's still here. It took us a while to get him
going again. That other answer, I'm going to get
from my two paramedics the moment they get back
to base. "

"They were the ones who got him out?"

"Yeah. Because another man of mine couldn't
do it on his own."

".. That was..Kelly, Max said." Jeremy mumbled,
barely audible.

Cap's eyes narrowed when he heard that inadvertant
tidbit. "You know Chet Kelly?"

"He comes to our games with Coach every other
weekend to try and sell hotdogs to the folks
who come to watch us play. He doesn't know
me, but I know him. What a weirdo."

Cap threw his jaw to the side in half irritation
and no humor. "Ok, so you were at the last
fire call or heard about it, if you knew that Chet
didn't do so well saving the hour tonight because
he freaked out a little. So it should be real easy
now to tell me who torched that abandoned
building then, wouldn't it?"

"Not gonna BE easy."

"Why not? You're here. And I won't say who
told me who. Witness/FireCaptain confidentiality,

"Cause I may die for it, that's why. Listen high
and mighty man, forget I ever came.." and
Jeremy Conners shot up from the chair and
darted out the office door.

"Jeremy! Hey! Wait!!"
Hank ran after the boy but the child was faster.  
Jeremy slammed on the garage door release
button and he logrolled on through the narrow
space that was opening before Hank could grab
his torn pair of blue Adidas sneakers to stop

Cap was left standing in the driveway surrounded
by cricket calls and summer moonlight when the
shed doors finally snicked fully open. There was no
sign of the boy, only the sight and sounds of traffic
on the boulevard winking in and out
under the blue streetlights. Cap set his hands
on his hips in utter frustration and leaned on
the flag pole to hide his emotions as they
rose to the surface yet again. ::Mike Stoker
you hang in there.::

A rising soft night wind made the flags on the
chains over him ring on the steel pole and
Cap jumped, looking up. It hit home that Mike
might not be there anytime soon to man the
flag pole each day as he usually did. Slowly,
Cap took down the state and department
banners into his arms and tied off the chain.

He alarmed himself when he found his hands
folding the flags into neat perfect memorial
triangles. ::He's not dead yet stupid. And there's
no way in h*ll this eye thing is going to make Mike
retire if he does by some miracle, recover.::

In defiance, Cap rolled the silky flags into a ball
and sank down with them in his lap with the pole
at his back. He was quite alone when he
started weeping.


Chet Kelly sat down at the kitchen table with
the engine's small first aid kit and he cracked
it open.

Lopez set down a coffee mug in front of Kelly
with a thunk. He opened his mouth.

"Not another word, Lopez." Chet warned,
wincing as he examined the bloody knuckles
he had on both hands. Kelly fought with kerlix
and tape for long moments until he said. "J*sus
Chr*st already. I give up. Just what
kind of fireman am I turning into? I can't even
bandage my own knuckles here."

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Lopez pulled up a chair next to Kelly and took
over the task. "Let me do that. Oo, Chet, these
are going to be sore. Whydidya have to go
at the punching bag so hard? No one's blaming
you about what happened tonight. It was an
accident. Old buildings fall down when they're
on fire. It's a fact of life."

Chet grimaced. "Ahh!. Go easy on that
mecurachrome. It's stinging! Tell me something
Marco. Is it a fact of life that I panicked in there?
It's not like me to lose my head in a crisis, I just..."
and he shuddered. "I just...didn't like the mess
that pipe made of Mike's face."

"You did all the right things Chet. You kept
him breathing until we got him outta there. And
Johnny and Roy got the perfect EOA in fast
enough. Your hesitating those few moments
won't amount to anything.. It was chaos in
that room you guys were in. I know, I was
up there."

"How can you know that for a fact Lopez?
We couldn't even look at Mike's eyes to
see if they were responsive--" and Kelly's
voice cracked. Marco didn't say anything
and he put his hand on Chet's shoulder in
comfort as he got up to go find Cap.
"Here, drink this.. It'll make you feel better."
He said shoving his untouched coffee mug in
front of Chet.

"No thanks.. Not by a long shot. I'll puke."

"Cap said the same thing.." Marco mumbled
numbly, as he went out the kitchen door.
"I'm gonna go see if Gage or DeSoto called
Cap yet from Rampart."

Chet sat morosely in his chair and slowly
cradled his bandaged hands and nodded silently.


Marco saw that the boy he had let in was gone
already and that Cap's office was vacant.
The yawning bay doors were open to
the night air and Marco could just barely make out
Cap's silhouette in the drive under the station's
front spot light by the flag pole.

Marco was heading in that direction when the squad
appeared, honking its horn in greeting. Roy waved,
turning on its reds in order to make the backup
maneuver necessary through the busy traffic,
to park her.

Cap rose to his feet when he saw Roy and Johnny
returning and he wiped his face quickly before either
they or Marco, noticed.

Johnny called out. "Hey Cap, such service."
he said gesturing to the open doors, he grinned.

"Cut the small talk Gage. How is he?"

Johnny and Roy both saw how deeply worried
Hank was and how quiet Marco seemed,
watching him. The false humor Johnny had tried to
simulate fell away instantly..

Roy paused the squad in the drive and leaned
an elbow in the window. The wash of the spinning
reds in the darkness cast harsh lines on his face
as he said...

Image of royjohninsquadnightlights.jpg Image of capchetmarcothoughtful.jpg

From:  Katherine Bird <kathbird01@y...>
Date:  Fri Jan 31, 2003  7:49 pm
Subject:  The Spare Boots

"He's alive. He's still breathing ok. They took
him up to ICU for a full evaluation." Roy said slowly.

"And his blood gases are still good considering
the burns he took into his trachea. Amazingly, his chest
is clear, Cap. Maybe the airmask helped a little keeping
some of that steam from the pipe, out of his lungs.
I kinda figured that when the EOA went in slicker
than--" Gage said.

"And what about his eyes? Did uh, Brackett
mention anything about his eyes?" Cap asked
a little too quickly, betraying his worry. Then he
added, "I was told that roof coming down
was no coincidence.."

Gage and DeSoto were taken aback
by how vulnerable Hank's voice sounded. And
by the expression on Marco's face standing in
the garage bay entrance, haunted and
worn. "Cap.." Johnny asked. "Wh- what's going
on? You know something we don't?" he
said, getting out of the squad. He tossed
his helmet into the seat and vaulted over
the hood in a butt skid to get to his side faster.

Roy stayed where he was, hands on the steering
wheel, engine idling, in the drive. He switched
off the reds when Marco waved the outside
spotlights a little higher so everyone could
see in the darkness and DeSoto,too, took off his
helmet, looking scared.

Lopez joined Johnny, Roy and Cap's group around
the squad when he over heard Cap's matter
of fact comment.

The warm night wind lifted the slack chain on the empty
flag pole and the soft sound itself cut right through
Hank and he looked up at it unconsciously.
Cap fidgetted. "Roy, just finish backing it in there.
Us gawking out here like this looks bad. I'll wait until
ya get back out here. " Hank watched as DeSoto
parked the squad. Then he shouted.
"Kelly, front and center!" yelled into the open garage.
Running footsteps told him he had been heard.

Chet jogged out of the kitchen, holding a dish
towel over his hands and around the metal
coffee pot and mug he had been drying.

All five firemen stood in a circle by the empty
flag pole, tense and worried while Captain Stanley
waited for the auto close shed doors to be fully
shut over the vehicles. That rumble faded away,
leaving behind cricketsong when Cap finally
began to speak. "We had a witness tonight.."

"A witness?" Gage said.
"Oh, so that's who he was..." Lopez said.
"Who was who?" Chet asked.
"Cap, how'd you find anybody so fast?"
Roy asked.
"That's what I'd like to know.." Gage said.

Cap held up his hands. "Wait a minute. Wait a
minute. Just hold up here.. I'm getting to that.
Everybody, just hush.. and that's an order.."

The crickets reigned once more.

Cap sighed and lowered his head, planting
his hands on his hips. "I have it on a good
source that our derelict warehouse fire was
actually a case of malicious arson.."
Hank raised his chin when his men started
to talk all at once again so he raised his
voice that much louder. "Just wait a sec.
If I get any louder, the whole world'll
hear." Cap said, eyeing a convertible with
curious college kids driving by, rubbernecking
at the sight of the usually invisible firemen
standing in the drive.  

Gage noticed the car too, with startlement, and
he quieted. He didn't even look up when one of
the more attractive students waved a flirting
hand at him. "Hey Johnny..." she purred.

Her innocent catcall as they passed the station
seemed vile to Cap and very soon, they were
gone. ::What a time for one of Gage's conquests
to make an appearance.:: Cap thought.
His office seemed suddenly a more tempting
sanctuary. He felt his mouth move. "My
information source knows the party who did
it and you're not going to like it."

"What, Cap? Was the fire gang related?"
Johnny asked.

"No, a group of minors started it."

Chet, Marco and Gage's faces screwed
up in discomfort at the news and they all hid
it badly.

"Just how young, Cap?" Chet asked, wincing
when Johnny grabbed the coffee pot and mug out
of Kelly's hands looking for a steaming drink.

"Nine or ten years old.. from what I was told. Two
kids, at least, for sure."

Gage said, "Wonderful. Just wait until Mike
wakes up and we tell him a bunch of kids KO'd
him." He then addressed Chet's earlier
irregular reaction. "What's wrong with you...?"
he said.

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Within Sight
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