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        Page Two

From :  Mark <>
Sent :  Monday, August 22, 2005 3:36 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] The rescue continues....

"His pulse is weak and thready." John announced after checking his
carotid.  "We need to get him out of here, NOW!  BP has fallen some.

Fortunately the last piece of the tree Mike had removed left only
about a foot sticking out of Kel's shoulder.   The back side had
already been cut to enable them to get the backboard in place.  

Dwyer took a careful hold, supporting Kel, securely holding the
backboard.  Johnny quickly wrapped the portion of the tree limb that
still impaled Kel, securing it in place and immobilizing Kel's arms.

The car gave one final jerk as the engine crew worked the jaws,
prying the dashboard off, freeing Kel.  Johnny carefully placed the
splints on and secured Kel's legs to the board.

"Let's get him out of here." Johnny said tersely.  ::I never dreamed
how hard this rescue would be.:: Johnny thought to himself.  ::I
hope I never go through the rescue of a person I know again!  If I
can't have my partner, I'm glad it's Dwyer here. But I sure wish Roy
was here instead.::

They carefully lifted Kel, setting him on the waiting gurney.  

"Cap, let's get the equipment in the ambulance." Johnny
requested.  "We'll update in route." Cap quickly transferred the
biophone to the ambulance.  Marco handed in the rest of the
equipment.  Johnny and Dwyer climbed in.  Captain Stanley shut the
doors and gave them the traditional two thumps.

"BP is still 84/40." Dwyer advised.  "His pulse is the same - 130
and thready."

Johnny listened to Kel's heart and lungs again.  "Drat!  I'm hearing
more stridor." Johnny said.  He picked up the receiver to contact

"I'll get him patched in." Dwyer said.

"Rampart, this is Squad 51." Johnny called in.

##Go ahead, 51.## answered the anxious voice of Dr. Early.

"Rampart we have extricated victim and are in route.  Our ETA is 10
minutes.  Just prior to extrication patient was conscious and
oriented.  Patient advised he had a headache before the crash and
believes he is very sick.  He advised us to use safety precautions.  
Patient has lost consciousness.  BP is now 84/40, pulse 130 and
thready, respirations are labored with increasing stridor.  We have
him patched in and are sending you a strip.  This will be lead two."

##10-4, 51.  We're standing by for your next update.##


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Roy DeSoto was awakened by someone pounding on his front door.  He'd
just dropped off to sleep after spending an hour tossing and
turning.  "I'll get it." he told Joanne.  He threw on his robe and
went to answer the door.  Opening it, he saw his neighbor, Bill,
anxiously standing there.

"Bill?  What's wrong?" he asked.  

"Judy's in labor." he told Roy.  "She says it is time but our car
won't start."

Roy smiled and held up his broken left wrist.  "It's your lucky
night, Bill!  I should have been at work, but for this.  I'll be over
with the car in a flash."

Roy dashed back to his bedroom.  "Judy is in labor." he told
Joanne.  "Bill says the car won't start so I'm going to take them to
Rampart."  He quickly dressed, leaned over to give Joanne a kiss,
and then headed out.  He grabbed his keys and wallet from the
kitchen and hurried to the car.  He drove next door, jumped out and
helped Bill get Judy situated in the back seat.  They quickly headed
to Rampart.

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"They told us to come to the maternity entrance." Bill advised Roy.  

"Sure thing, Bill." Roy said.  The drive was short and soon they
arrived at Rampart.  Roy dropped them off.  "Give me a call when you
need a ride home, Bill."  Roy told him.

"Thanks for everything, Roy!" said a thankful Bill as he helped Judy
out of the car.

::It's after midnight and I'm wide awake:: Roy thought.  He drove
around the hospital and found himself going past the emergency
entrance.  ::Oh, what the heck. I might as well go in and see who is
here.::  He parked the car and casually strolled in the
entrance.  ::It doesn't look very busy right now:: he thought to


Kel moaned, starting to surface to consciousness once again.  "Wake
up, Doc." Johnny said.  He gave Kel a sternal rub again.  "Come on,
Kel!  Talk to me." ordered Johnny.  

Kel looked up into the lighted ambulance and moaned, "My head
hurts." he complained.  "Ahhh, the lights!"

"Hang in there, Kel.  We're almost there." Johnny told him.

"Oh man, Johnny.  I really messed up this time, didn't I?" Kel said.

"Hey, Doc, give yourself a break." Johnny replied.  "You're human.  
You know as well as I do that when a person gets sick, they don't
always use the best judgment.  Remember, you're talking to the man
who rappelled down a high rise with that monkey virus."

"Yeah, you're right." Kel sighed.  "Dixie's gonna have my head on a
platter, though."

"It's o.k., Doc." Dwyer chipped in.  ::I need to think of something
positive for him to focus on.:: thought Dwyer.  ::I know!::  "You'll
be able to make it up to her with a nice dinner.  You know how much
she loves that swanky restaurant you've taken her to in the past."

"Rampart, this is Squad 51." Johnny spoke into the biophone.

##Go ahead, 51.##

"Rampart, victim has regained consciousness and is complaining of a
headache as well as light sensitivity.  Vitals remain the same."

Kel found himself suddenly feeling very nauseous.   He tried to
voice his difficulty, but as he opened up his mouth to say
something, he realized he was too late.  He weakly began to vomit.  

Johnny dropped the biophone and grabbed the suction wand.  Dwyer
quickly unstrapped the backboard from the gurney and turned Kel up
on his side.


##Easy, Kel.  We've got you.## Dix and Joe heard Johnny say over the
sounds of retching.

"They'll be here soon, Dix." Joe commented looking at his watch.

"Treatment one is ready." Dixie answered.  "I'd better prepare the

##Rampart, this is Squad 51.##

"Go ahead 51." Joe answered again.

##Rampart, vitals remain unchanged.  Patient has vomited.  ETA about
1 minute.##

"10-4, 51. We'll be waiting." Joe replied.

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Dix went out to the desk.  Carol and the newly promoted
nurse, Sharon, were at the desk.

"We have a patient coming in." Dixie told them.  "This one isn't
going to be easy for any of us.  The patient is Dr. Brackett.  He has
multiple trauma injuries and probably some kind of infectious
etiology.  We'll be taking him straight into room one.  Please head
in there now and double check that everything is in order."  

"Yes, Miss McCall." came the shocked reply from both nurses.  They
hurried into room one.

Dixie looked up to see Roy heading down the hall.  He stopped at the
desk and gave her a grin.

"Quiet right now, huh?  I just brought my neighbors into maternity."
he said.  "It's their first baby.  Guess it is a lucky thing I broke
my wrist last shift because their car wouldn't start."  Roy stopped
and studied Dix.  It dawned on him something was not right at all.
"Dix?  What's wrong?" he asked.  Roy had rarely seen Dixie this
upset before.  ::The last time I saw her this upset was when Joe
needed heart surgery.:: Roy thought.

"It's Kel, Roy." Dixie said.  She bit her trembling lip.

"Dix?" Roy anxiously questioned.

"Johnny and Dwyer are bringing him in now." she told him.  "He crashed
into a tree.  Probably because he is pretty sick."

Shocked, Roy could only say, "Oh, no!"

Joe came out of the base station.  "Hi, Roy."  Joe paused and took a
deep breath and tried to mentally prepare himself.  "Let's go.  
They're here, Dix."  He said.

They heard the ambulance backing up by the doors.  

"We're set up in room one." Joe called out as the ER doors opened.  

They rushed him into the room and quickly transferred him to the
treatment table.  

Kel gasped for breath and cried out, "I...."


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From :  patti keiper <>
Sent :  Wednesday, August 24, 2005 4:14 AM
Subject :  The Heart of the Matter is.....

"What, Kel?" Dixie said immediately after she pointed
to Carol and Sharon to switch over Brackett's oxygen
supply to the wall's port hub. "Can you tell us what's
happening now?"

But Dr. Brackett wasn't able to voice anything more.

Joe Early looked to Roy, who had followed them into
the trauma room. Early quickly listened to Kel's chest for
signs of why he was having so much trouble breathing.
"Roy, would you call for the respiratory therapy and
anesthesiology team stat? He can't wait until he gets to
surgery for that endotrach tube. We need to put him
under sooner rather than later. "

"You got it.." DeSoto said, moving swiftly to the phone.

"Want me to help him, doc, until they get here?" Gage

"Yes, on that ambu again, but real light. I'm hearing a
definite pericardial friction rub with Kussmaul's and Ewart's
sign with developing aortic regurgitation." Joe said firmly as
he checked and double checked the entry and exit points of the tree
branch into and out of Kel's shoulder. "Something's bringing
on this cardiac tamponade but it's definitely not trauma related.
His vitals don't add up for that. He's got an area of dullness
to percussion at the tip of the left scapula and a clear rise in JVP on
inspiration forming. See?" said Joe as he pointed to the veins in Kel's
neck ballooning out when Johnny helped him breathe in on the bag.

Dwyer whispered. "Sorry we missed that out there, Doctor Early.
Things were noisy with the jaws and all the car cracking."

"Effects nothing. This is probably a new finding that just started
happening because he's been physically active trying to vomit.
You fellas did an absolutely terrific job out there...and from
the both of us,..we thank you wholeheartedly." Joe said about
Dixie and himself. Then he began to snap out lab orders to Carol
and Sharon. "Carol, draw bloods and have the lab run a creatine
kinase and isoenzyme levels series, a CBC with differential,
a PT, a PTT, an antinuclear antibody assay, and an erythrocyte
sedimentation rate."

"Yes, doctor." Carol said.

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Early turned to Sharon. "Let's stave off volume depletion, right now.
Confirm type and cross him off the I.V. line then set up a piggy back
TKO blood transfusion. Then I want you to begin another NS with
dobutamine at 0.5-1 mcg/kg/min IV and titrate until you hear better
compliance in his pericardium by auscultation. That med will
definitely get his heart, stroke volume and cardiac output increasing
without dilating the blood vessels in the rest of his body where
any internal bleeding we don't know about yet, might take hold."

Sharon the R.N., nodded. "Yes, Dr. Early. Right away."

Johnny tried to smile around his obvious, silent worry. "You
have a medication that acts like a chemical mast suit? I didn't
know you guys had stuff like that in your drug arsenal.."

"It's a brand new therapy, Johnny. Kel okayed the preliminary
human trials himself two months ago. I'm just glad the whole
experiment worked out fast enough to help the man who instigated
it all. " Early said calmly even as his hands worked fast to
assess his best friend.

"And how..." Dixie said in agreement.

Joe went on. "Dwyer.. get him going on a twelve lead. I wanna see
the whole picture as soon as we can get it." he looked up. "Roy,
add a cardiologist and senior radiologist specialist to interpret the
films we'll be getting of his chest, complete spine and bilateral legs
and get Kel's cardiothoracic surgeon in here a bit faster!" he
called out to the paramedic.

DeSoto picked up his pace with the switchboard nurse over
the black stat phone.

Meanwhile, Dixie was getting another set of vitals and she
wrote them down on the skin of Brackett's shivering stomach
with a pen so the surgical team would have them in plain sight
along with the time they were taken. "Kel, try to settle down and
let Johnny do the work of breathing for you. Just a few more
minutes,.. then it's off to sleep. It'll be a fast end to all this pain
you're feeling, I promise you."

Brackett ignored her in a shock delirium. "Joe.. *gasp*..
J-.." he waved a weak hand to his sweating forehead and
his eyes asked, ::What about the fever?::

Joe grabbed his hand and pulled it back down under
the backboard straps. "I know, Kel. I know. I don't think
what you have is contagious. Think about it. You have
a classic Beck triad going on....Little, if any chest pain,
in spite of this shoulder involvement, along with a
prominent fever and chills without any other clearly obvious
cold or flu symptoms.. What does it add up to? And no,
this isn't meningitis. Your stiff neck was probably just you
sleeping twisted up wrong on a pillow last night. Your
deep tendon reflex reactions don't float that theory
one iota."

Brackett's eyes squinted into a faint frown of confusion.
Then his features folded into self discovery as he put
two and two together.

"Yep." said Joe. "You've probably got an acute case of
purulent pericarditis going on. The blood work will show us
exactly what bacteria's the annoying culprit. Although I'm
suspecting Neisseria since you felt lousy enough to wrap
yourself around that tree with your brand new sports car."
he quipped. "I'll have the surgical team tell us what they
plan on the table when they explore and repair that left
shoulder so we can tell you all about it when you hit recovery.
Ok? You aren't gonna die here. Not with these findings.
That falling tree missed the bullseye and the whole target for
that matter. And I'll prove it to you with your slides. I'll just
bet your left subclavian and left carotid arteries' integrities
are unscathed apart from a little bruising. And I now know
that you have absolutely no aortic hemorrhaging going on.
Look..." he said, tearing off the running EKG strip that Dwyer
had collected.  He held up the roll like a scroll over Kel's
pillow so he could read it. "You're just in sinus tach with simple
PR segment depression with an alternation of your QRS complexes,
in a 2:1 ratio."

"Electrical....alternans?.." gasped Kel. He used the next
breath Gage gave him on the bag to whisper. "...are you

"Is my hair gray?" Joe smiled. "It's alternans. Your heart's
slipperier than an eel inside its sac. But not grossly so. And I didn't
hear any aortic complaint, at all. Not even a whisper of any.
Your tamponade will be an easy fix. Maybe just an echocardiographically
guided pericardiocentesis. I'll authorize the Swan-Ganz catheter myself
anticipating Dr. Weathers. That way we can sclerosely effuse your
pericardium with a family of tetracyclines and corticosteroids through the
pericath to get ahead of whatever heart germ you've managed to pick
up. There'll probably be no chest cracking this time around, you
lucky son of a---"

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Kel tried to chuckle and finally, he let go of his consciousness.

Gage changed his head hold to compensate for that as he kept
Kel's lungs expanding enough to matter without causing any more
jugular vein distension with all of his ambu work.

The ekg began to slow from its frightening, racing level.

Dixie sighed in relief as she handed Kel's stat chart for Joe
to sign for all the labs and treatments Carol had scribbled down at
his recitation. "Now that's the only benefit I've ever found having a
doctor for a patient. I've learned a milestone lesson this morning
everybody. Seems no one can calm a doctor down ...better than
another doctor."

Joe ordered another medication set. "Sharon. Start him on Ampicillin,
given IV every 4 hours plus Gentamycin, given every 8 hours. It's
time we nip this transient pericarditis in the butt."

And about Dixie's calculated commentary, he telegraphed absolutely
nothing at all ...past a pair of faintly raised eyebrows.

Soon, the x-ray, respiratory and surgical teams got working as one
in a smooth, orchestrated knot of aid, around Kel.


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Not long after, the three paramedics retreated back to the station
to come to terms with the whole unreal ball of wax with the rest
of the gang.

Roy was more than willing to hang out and talk about it.

He said....

From: "Cory Anda" <>
Date: Wed Aug 24, 2005  12:09 pm
Subject: The Cookie Chat..

"I still can't believe I walked into that stone cold and still
managed to function properly.." DeSoto laughed, sitting
at the table sipping on coffee.

The rest of the gang, now filled in on the surgery Kel was
heading into, chuckled good naturedly.

Chet Kelly pointed to the cast on Roy's left hand. "So
how's the old wrist? I still get shivers remembering how it
sounded when you popped that bone catching yourself
on that rappelling rope when the gear gave way."

"This?" Roy said waving his arm around. "The ortho says
it's just a stress fracture, a crack in one tiny bone. I still
have use of the hand and all. This splint's just a reminder
to keep it still to keep all the swelling down. I'll be back on
the job on light non fire duty after the weekend."

Dwyer spoke up. "And that'll be just in time, too. You know,
Roy? Gage is driving me nuts. Talks about you constantly."

"I do not. Did I even mention Roy once while we were getting
Doc Brackett out of his car? Huh?"

Dwyer ducked his head. "Well, no. But that's because you
were so busy, you didn't have time to."

Roy smiled. "Wow..Gee, Johnny. I ...didn't know you cared so
much." he teased mildly. "Usually you complain about all
my bad habits when I'm around."

"The grass is always greener...." Chet quipped.

"Oh, knock it off." Johnny said. "I'm just used to working with
him and miss it a little bit, that's all." he said to them all,
flinging a careless hand at Roy.

"More than a little bit.." Dwyer said. "Anyhow, just two more days
and I can get back to B shift."

Hank Stanley got up and refilled everyone's coffee mugs. "So,
Dr. Brackett's gonna be fine? Really?"

"Really.." said Gage. "He's probably just got two bandaids, one
on each side where the tree branch was sticking out and another
one where the cardiac needle went in draining out his pericardium."

"It's a little more involved than that, Johnny boy." Dwyer prompted.

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Gage relented. "Well,...Maybe a few stitches in front under his collar
bone and a support wrap for his ribs. He'll have a needle cath for his I.V.
and blood supply, another very small tube for the shunt
draining and treating the sac around his heart ...and a foley in.."

The guys cringed.

"But that's only until he wakes up from his anesthesia." Johnny added
hastily. "He'll probably be back to work in a week just like Roy, on
light duty, consulting on cases from his wheelchair."

"That's a relief. He looked pretty bad when we were there." Hank replied,
snatching one of Stoker's chip cookies from the platter in front of him.

"That was just the heart infection working on him, making him a
little too tired to breathe." Dwyer told him. "And he got a little cold
waiting for us to spring him free to get him onto that backboard.
That's why he looked gray."

"I thought he was a goner man, the way Johnny kept hollering."
Chet said. "You think he thought the doc was dying."

"There was every chance he was....until a certain point." Gage admitted.
"I didn't know what was going to happen until Dwyer told me all the blood
pressures in his arms and legs were reasonably fine and equal."

"Well, what did that mean?" Stoker asked.

"It meant that he wasn't heart stabbed.  Sometimes the aorta above
gets nicked and people bleed out into the pericardium and are
dead in very short order. They just up and quit with little warning
and no amount of defibrillating and CPR gets em back. You had
two cases like that last year, remember Dwyer?"

"I remember, I thought I was cursed."

"Yeah, I remember you telling me about them. That's the first
thing I thought when I got to Brackett's side and saw that tree
branch sticking out of his chest." Johnny said. "I couldn't
trust my instincts about him at all, thinking about it. That's why
I was yelling so much at Kel, Chet, trying to keep him awake. I
was getting myself convinced that he really wasn't gonna
crash on us because of a cardiac bleed out."

"Well, I'm sure when he wakes up in his room, that he'll
remember you cared to a great degree." Hank said to Gage.

"Yeah, that's probably after he nitpicks the kind of care Dwyer
and I gave him earlier."

Roy spoke up. "He'll do nothing of the sort. Johnny, Dr. Brackett's
not the complete ogre everyone thinks he is. He's good at
what he does and he tries to draw that out in others, but he's
no Craig Brice to tell a guy about how to do it. Not when it boils
right down to the fact that he found himself on the receiving end
of it from Joe Early."

"Hey,,... I never thought of that.." Gage said, snapping his fingers.
"That's right. Didn't Kel think he was coming down with meningitis
or something like that on the way in? He sure mumbled something
to that effect.." he said, looking to Dwyer.

"He did. I passed it off as a shock effect."

"Well, then we can go visit him with a clear conscience without fear."
Johnny said, stretching back into his chair with a sigh. "I'm feeling
better about the whole thing already."

Mike Stoker spoke up. "Hey, guys. We all got the weekend off.
I got a great deal on a bunch of steaks before shift last night .
Why don't we all get together at my place to celebrate Brackett's
recovery with a genuine backyard barbeque. Maybe we can get
in a few rounds with a set of clubs, too. I live on a golf course."

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Chet brightened. "Oh, yeah! Didn't you tell us that you built
an incredible outdoor stone fire place along with the outdoor
kitchen patio last week?"

"I did. Only everyone was so engrossed in the Marco versus
Johnny chess game, that I thought no one even heard me
say it."

"I did, Stoker. Didn't you see me nodding?" Chet insisted.

"No, I was watching Marco here swooping down to murder
Gage's black queen."

Johnny squirmed in his seat uncomfortably. "And she died
a noble death, too. I tried to take out Marco's attacking bishop
before he moved onto a pawn to checkmate my king. I don't
like to lose my patients or my chess games."

"No one does." Roy remarked. "Say, Stoker. Count me in.
A steak dinner sounds absolutely fabulous. Can I bring the

"Uhhh.." Stoker stammered. "Well..."

"No problem. The newly post pregnant neighbors still owe me
a favor.  I'm sure they can keep an ear out in our yard for the kids
in between their newborn's diaper changes." DeSoto said. "But
I get out of doing dishes. Walking wounded, remember?"
he said, holding up his wrist.

"But I thought you said that you have full use of that hand."

"The cast still isn't waterproof, Johnny. I wouldn't want Brackett
to get mad at me for wrecking all his nice handywork. You know
how he reacts to people ruining their broken bone casts. He
practically chewed up the last guy who went surfing with one."
said DeSoto. "If we're gonna visit Kel, I want my cast still smelling
like new plaster, if it's all right with the rest of you guys."

"Fine by me." piped Stoker. "Dishes are my game. Cooking, too, for
that matter. "

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Chet spoke up from the depths of the frig where he was hunting
down some milk for his pile of cookies. "Stoker, I'm not
coming if you aren't grilling chicken."

"I'll get some just for you, Chet." Stoker promised. "Just show
up without your rubber ones."

"Deal. The Phantom needs to take a break for a while. I need a
night out to relax some."

"Then it's a plan. Sunday afternoon..." Cap said rubbing pleased hands

Stoker jumped in happily. "My place. Bring your own beverage...
I hear the weather's gonna be fine.. And the golf fees after dinner,
are on me.."

From :  Roxy Dee <>
Sent :  Wednesday, August 24, 2005 2:47 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] Out of the Blue~~

Soon, it was Sunday, under a glorious, cloudless blue sky
around two p.m. in the afternoon, at Engineer Stoker's

"Man, that was fantastic, Stoker.." belched Cap from the
wooden bench as he lazily stared into the stone fireplace
on Mike Stoker's earthen patio. "Can I hire you on
as my personal house chef?"

"Sorry, not enough pay.." Mike replied.

"But you're not making any kind of pay now, Mike,
as an engineer. Maybe becoming Cap's kitchenhand
and butler has its merits there, pal." Chet chuckled.

"No thanks. I prefer a firehouse setting or a natural one
for cooking. That's why I moved out here to Torrence.
So do you like the new place?"

"How can you keep up with the payments, Stoker? Man,
this house is simply..incredible! And you've got a den, too."
Gage sighed in amazement.

"I don't live alone. A pair of stewardesses help me with the
mortgage payments. They fly PSA on weekends and are
home when I work during the week at the station."

Chet nearly choked on his beer. "St-stewarDESSES? As
in female? Wow, didn't know you had it in you, Stoker. Living
in sin...." he egged.

"We're just roommates, Chet. Just like Three's Company the
show? With the cost of living nowdays, getting a pair of roomies
seemed like the smartest thing to do. I even had enough
saved up to design and build this stove and fireplace for the

"I like it." said Marco.

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Cap jerked his head back at Johnny and Chet still mulling over
Stoker's living arrangements with two members of the opposite
sex. "Say, you two. Why don't you copycat like him for a while.
L*rd knows I can use some peace at the station from you two
yammering all the time about how poor you are."

Gage froze, considering his libido. "Uhh, I don't think that would
work out too well for me."

Roy sniggered. "Why, don't you trust yourself to behave like
a gentleman, Johnny?"

"Well,, it's not that I don't trust myself, it's just the fact that
my place is so small.. Th- there'd be no room for two more people
moving in." Gage said.

"Uh huh, a likely story.." said Stoker. "We all know how you are,
Mr. Nurse Stalker. Maybe it's a good thing that you lock yourself
away from society in that apartment of yours all alone."

"Very funny. Why don't you golf or something and make
yourself useful."

Grinning slyly, Mike did. "I'm up for a few rounds of golf. Cap? You

"Sure. Let me get my jacket. How about the rest of you guys?"

"Too full." sighed Marco.

"My wrist's itching. I'd get distracted and probably hit one
through one of Stoker's expensive bay windows." said Roy.

"I think I'm too drunk to play. I'd probably do the same thing
as DeSoto. " said Chet.

"Don't look at me. I play chess, not golf. In fact, I don't think
I've ever played a game of real golf my whole life." said Gage.

"Suit yourselves. We'll be back in half an hour." said Stoker.
"Come on, Cap. We'll catch up with these guys later. We'll
leave the second golf cart here in case any of these turkeys
changes their mind and decides to join us."

Hank grinned and soon, they were gone, zipping away in the
first golf cart, for hole number one.

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A few minutes later, Gage fell back from the stone balcony
railing and into a contented sigh. "Boy, this is a slice of heaven.
I hope Stoker knows how good he has it."

"He does. He put in all of this stonework, remember?"
Roy said, snoozing in a plastic and metal slat chaise lounge.
He set his bound wrist up over the back of his head to ease the

"I remember, I remember." said Gage irritably. "I'll ..go
do the dishes or something. Chet, burn off some of that alcohol
and get up and help me or you won't be fit to drive home later

A snore peeled from Kelly as he lay on the wooden bench in
front of the cozy outdoor fireplace.

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Johnny kicked his foot with his sneaker. "Come on, up!  Show
some hospitality and help me dry all the dishes.." Gage told
him as he filled the chrome steel outdoor kitchen sink next
to the mesquite coal glowing grill, with soapy water. "We can
probably clean up and have dessert laid out by the time they
get back."

Kelly snorted and finally sat up and reached for a towel.
"Do I have to? I'll get all hot and s-sweaty working like
that, man. I wanna snooze. "

"Yeah, it is kinda humid, isn't it? That's odd." said Gage,
peering up into the pure blue sky.

"Don't worry about it, Johnny. I'll help ya." said Marco,
moving to tie on the apron that Stoker had left hanging on
a hook off the stone chimney.

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Lopez had just moved away from the side of the patio where
Chet and Roy were snoozing, when a bolt of energy from
the sky cracked down and blew apart the pine tree
framed by the deck. Johnny was thrown backwards ten
feet by the concussion and his ears began ringing even
as his nerves vibrated with a furious buzz of electricity.
::Lightning!:: he thought frantically as he rolled over.

He lifted his head dizzily. "Marco?!"

"I'm right here next to you!" Lopez shouted over the
ringing his own ears were suffering.

"You okay?"

"Yeah!  What was that?! A power surge from the circuit breaker?"

"No, It must have some lightning. Just look at that tree!" Gage
coughed. He dragged himself off his stomach.  "Did any of it
touch you?"

Marco rubbed bark out of his eyes and he, too, coughed on
ozone. "No. I think I'm ok...How are the others?"

"The others?!" Johnny shook cobwebs out of his head.

Marco crawled over to Chet where he lay and touched his
shoulder. Kelly immediately began screaming. "I can't see?!
Oww!! Ohmyg*d. Am I talking? I can't hear.. Ohh hoo...GGHH!!
I can't feel anything!!"

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Marco grabbed Chet's shoulders. "Go check out Roy, Johnny.
I got him." Shaking his head, Lopez looked up onto the golf course
to see a bunch of heads turning in their direction. He looked
up higher and saw that Mike Stoker's chimney as well as his Ponderosa
pine tree, were smoking. And he noticed that there wasn't a single
solitary cloud in the sky.  Not even a white one. ::How can that be?::
he wondered. Then Chet's panicking drew his attention downward.
"Easy, Chet. I'm here.. Lie still.  I got you. You're ok.."

Chet erupted into a new horror. "I can't move my legs, Marco. I'm
deaf!..*gasp* ..Blind!  I can't move my--" his body seized into a spasm
and he grabbed Marco by the arms, yelling in pain.

Johnny ignored them both. He staggered to where he could see Roy's
feet lying toes down underneath the lounge chair. The cast on his
wrist was completely blown away. Fine bits of dust and debris
from it had settled onto his clothing. And his jeans were shredded
down one pants leg.  DeSoto wasn't moving.

Gage got to his side and rolled him over, feeling for a carotid
and he quickly began using some fingers to feel at his nose and
mouth since he still couldn't hear well. "Can you hear me?"

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Marco waved at Johnny to get his attention while he held Chet
down with a second hand on his chest. "How is he?"

"Just a sec! " John gasped, trying to get the stink of heavy
ozone out of his chest enough to talk louder. "He's got
a pulse......but he's not breathing. Not at all... Must have been
some step voltage shooting down the tree into his chair.
It's knocked out his respiratory muscles.."

He bent down, tilted back Roy's singed head, and
gave him a couple of firm breaths until he got his
chest to rise. He kept at it while his ring finger kept tabs
on Roy's heart rate while he worked to support his
partner until his nerves could recover the ability
to breathe again.

"Chet's paralyzed, Johnny! What do I do?"

"Stay with him. Make sure he keeps breathing. It's
probably..........keraunoparalysis working on him big time.
He'll be ........all right. It's all temporary. Keep him from hurting
himself!" Johnny said, still keeping up his mouth to mouth.
"When he calms down, go inside and call for help. I'm
fine here......... Roy, come on now. Start breathing! Tell me
you can smell my morning mouth! ..........Start waking up for me,
pal. The main part of that bolt missed ya completely!" he told
him. " know you aren't hurt that bad. Come on. Pick
it up again.."

Roy stayed still and Johnny was forced to stay on his head,
and stay being his lungs. ::At least you didn't sick up when you
fell off the chair.::

He could hear Marco talking to Chet and holding him down onto
the stones until Kelly could get a grip on himself. Finally, he
heard Chet ask a question. "Marco? Are Johnny and Roy ok?"

Lopez took that as his cue and took off running for the house.
And the phone.

Then, just as fast, he was back. He said. "I'm looking for Cap
and the others. I think I see them on the second hole. L.A.
says Station 127's on the way!"

"Good going! Yes! Go get them!" Gage shouted, pushing the
seared chair out of the way of Roy's legs.

In between delivering breaths, Johnny felt down DeSoto's limbs
for fractures or other problems. He knew that tetany of the strength
that convulsed his partner would have done some kind of harm if
the current had been strong enough to cause it.

He found only spidering burns on both of Roy's ankles.

He got up and dragged Chet closer to him so Kelly would
know that he hadn't been abandoned. Then he concentrated
on outwaiting Roy's breathing paralysis by offering breaths
every few seconds. He knew they would return by themselves
soon. ::That's how it works. If I prevent secondary hypoxia, we got
it made. He won't lose a pulse a second time..:: he thought eagerly.
::There's no way that bolt didn't zap his heart still the first time. It must
have started up again when he hit the ground so hard.::

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Two minutes dragged like years, but then Gage spotted Marco's
cart coming fast with Stoker's immediately behind him. "Get my
kit from the land rover!  I got airways in it!" he shouted to them.

The dots they were, quickly grew larger, until suddenly,
they were all there.

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Click Henry relieving himself
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