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        Page Three

From: "Mark" <>
Date: Wed Aug 24, 2005  3:17 pm
Subject: Kel to the rescue  

A young paramedic was brought into the room Kel was
occupying while he recovered from his illness and injuries. ::Not
again.:: he thought. ::Last time I was in here, it was young Romeo,
a.k.a. Johnny Gage, whom I had to room with.::

Kel recognized him from the last training class. The harried nurse,
realizing Kel knew the man, told him, "He will be fine. He has a
slight concussion and is dehydrated. I think he will probably sleep
for awhile." She hurried out of the room before Kel could ask her
any further details.

"Dixie would have stayed and talked with me at least for a bit." Kel
mumbled to himself.

It had been a long quiet Sunday. Drained from the last few days
of recovering from his illness and the surgery, Kel had been sleeping
most of the day. Now, however, he was awake and feeling quite
bored. The nurses that had been in had done the minimum they
had to do with few words. With the flu going around they were
covering many extra patients. "Not to mention they really
don't know how to react to having me as a patient." Kel groused.
"You would think I'm Simon Legree or something." He decided then
and there that he was not going to make "rooming in" a habit.

After reading from a medical journal for awhile, Kel drifted off to
sleep. He was still quite exhausted from his long ordeal.

Kel wasn't sure what woke him. He looked over and realized the
young paramedic was dreaming. "No, not dreaming, he's having a
nightmare." he said out loud to himself. He watched as the young
man started to jerk. Kel heard him call out something about being
trapped in a fire. Worried, Kel pressed his call button to summon

Kel called out to him, "It's ok, you're safe now. There isn't a
fire here."

Unfortunately the young man was still caught in the
dream and jerked him arm, breaking off the catheter from his IV.

"Nurse! I need help in here right now!" Kel yelled loudly. Unable
to reach the intercom that would enable him to call for help, Kel
wondered what he could do. ::Maybe I should just go ahead and
attempt to get to him anyway. No, I'd probably fall before I got to
the other side of his bed. I know!:: Kel picked up the phone and
dialed the number he knew so well, the ER phone number.

"I need help in here!" Kel called out again as he waited for
the phone to ring.

"Rampart Emergency." answered Joe Early. Kel knew the few
nurses on duty were nowhere near the base station phone.

"Joe, this is Kel. The paramedic they put in my room yanked out his
IV and broke the cath off in his arm. No one is coming to my call
light and nobody's hearing me!"

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"I'm on my way, Kel!" Joe responded quickly before hanging up.

"Johnson! Eric! Wake up!!" Kel ordered.

"Huh?" murmured the paramedic, still sleepy and somewhat lost from
waking suddenly.

"Johnson! This is Dr. Brackett. Put your arm down at your side.
You've broken the cath off in your arm. My legs are broken so I
can't get over to you to help you."

Eric looked over at Kel. "What did you say?" he asked.

"Put your arm down towards the floor NOW Eric! Raise the head of
your bed, too, if you can.

Eric, used to following orders, did as he was told.

"Don't worry, I've called for help." Kel assured him. No sooner had
he finished speaking, when Joe burst through the door. Kel,
relieved, relaxed back into the bed. "I managed to get him to wake
up and put his arm down and raise the head, Joe." he stated.

Joe quickly fastened a tourniquet on. "Ok Eric, we're going to take
you out for an x-ray and see where that catheter is at." He examined
the remaining portion hanging from the IV pole. "It looks like you
broke a fair sized piece off. There is a chance it has snagged on
some vein valves."

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An orderly with a gurney came in the door just then. Together, Joe
and the orderly got Eric transferred to the gurney, and then the
orderly took him out to have the x-rays done.

"Good job, Kel." Joe commented. "I'm glad you got him awake enough to
respond to you. I'm also very glad you didn't try to get out of bed
to take care of him. That sure wouldn't have been good for those

"I admit the thought crossed my mind when I couldn't get help here."
Kel confessed. ::I'm not going to admit that the only reason I
didn't was I thought I wouldn't make it.:: he thought. "Luckily my
next thought was to call ER on the phone. I'm just glad I got you."

"Well, I'd better go see about that venous cutdown. We'll
undoubtedly be bringing Eric back later." Joe promised. "Now try to
get some rest. You still have a long recovery ahead of you." Joe
hurried out the door to catch up with his new patient.

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Just then Dixie entered the room. "I finally have a day off, Kel. I
thought maybe you could use a little company."

"Hey, Dix!" Kel greeted her with enthusiasm. Kel stopped and
studied her. "You look..."

From :  Cassidy Meyers <>
Sent :  Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:30 AM
Subject :  The Best of Friends...

" a sight for these sore eyes. Glad you came so soon."

"Oh? Bored already?" Dixie asked, surprised. "Or is
there something wrong with your pericath?" she said
fussing with the patient gown draped across his chest.

"Nothing's wrong with it. I'm fine. Your first guess was
right on the money so stop acting like a fussing nurse."

"Sorry, it's second nature. So, what's on the agenda for tonight?
I brought over some more journals for you to read.."

Brackett made a face. "I just had a live case history in
here a few minutes ago..."


"Never mind. It's over. Shall we play a game? Sharon
brought me over some from pediatrics. They're in the closet."

A look of mischief came over Dixie's face. "We haven't played
a game since Monopoly over caviar."

"Last year, I know. I'd like to start up again. That's if, you
don't mind." he said self consciously.

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"I don't mind.." Dixie smiled. "Not at all, Kel. I was
waiting for you to say that again to me some day."

And gracefully, she settled down onto the bed to take
hold of his hand.

Roy coughed as a firefighter gave him a sixth breath
on the demand valve. "*cough*  Wh--? What happ...ened?
*cough*  Sorry-- Was I caught ...napping again?"

Gage grinned from every dirty pore. "You weren't napping,
Roy, you were fricaseed.... By lightning. Now hold still for the
nice paramedic and don't move until we've checked you out."
Johnny sighed. "Marve, his C collar's secured. Do you
want to call Rampart? Or shall I?"

Marve cracked a smile. "Who's on duty, Mr. Gage?"

"You are." Johnny answered truthfully with a matching grin.

"Then you have your answer. Hand it here." said
the big burly medic from 127's, holding out his hand for
the biophone receiver. "I'll letcha cut your partner's clothes
off." he teased, handing Johnny the clothes shears, from his
belt holster.

Gage just made a face and didn't take them. "He doesn't need
a strip down and you know it. Just patch him in. I'll be back soon.
I gotta tell your captain where the bolt struck so the truck
crew can check out the area and Stoker's roof, for lingering sparks."

Roy frowned at his surroundings, but he seemed
to have all five senses, unlike Chet. "Wh-where am I?"

Gage's expression fell into worry and analysis.
"Anterograde amnesia?"

"No, Johnny, you're done.  I'll fill him in." said Marve. "Why don't
you go help my partner get Kelly squared away. Roy's vitals are
stable now that he's breathing and I actually believe ya that he
never lost his color. Justlookatthosereactivepupils." he gushed,
checking out Roy's eyes with his penlight with a flourish.

Johnny's frown started to falter into a wisp of a smile. But then
DeSoto winced at the beam and made out a few facts.
"Ok, I'm hurt. How hurt am I?"

Johnny started to open his mouth.

"Ah, ah ah...Johnny boy. Leave him to me." Marve said.
"Just go." he grinned.

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Johnny stood, wiping cast soot off of his hands. He held up a mock
threatening finger. "If he throws off so much as a single PVC..."
he warned.

Marve threw up innocent hands. "I hear ya. I'll tell ya. Now shoo.."

Gage walked over to the second ambulance trying to hide
how sore his muscles were with all the dignity he could muster.

Marco Lopez was still with Chet and holding his hand tightly.

Lopez glanced up when he heard Johnny coming. "He
still can't see or hear. He's pretty frightened. He only
seems to calm down if someone's touching him."
he said, adjusting the flowing oxygen mask over Chet's face.

"I'll get a sedative order.." said Bill, Marve's paramedic partner.
"But I don't know how I'm gonna get it into him because I don't
know how to tell him that he's gonna have an I.V. started. Not
with him being out of the loop like this and all." he teased Gage.

"I know how.. Just gimme that, you....crazy character. I appreciate
you and Marve trying to make me feel better about them.  I can
solve this problem. It's easy, man. Just act like normal. Watch.."
Gage said, taking a latex band from out of Bill's shirt pocket.

He made an obvious show tying it off around Chet's bare upper
arm and miraculously, Kelly froze still, recognizing the pressure band being put
around his arm. He started fussing when Johnny began smacking the
bend in his elbow to raise a sluggish vein. "Oh, no.. not an I.V." he whined.
"If the doc says I gotta have a med, do it IM. I know my rights.
Last thing I want is having my muscle cramps breaking off an
I.V. catheter in my arm.." he quipped even as another full body spasm
twisted him up onto his side on the gurney. "I may be a male Helen Keller
right now but I'll be d*mned if I'm gonna be mute about it." he added.
"Johnny, shame on you. You know how much I hate I.V.s. You should've
told them I won't accept one unless my life's in danger."

Bill, the paramedic, just rolled his eyes. "Heaven help the nurse
who's gonna get stuck taking care of him."

Gage flashed 127's senior an annoyed look. "I'll give him
the shot if you get me an order for it. Chet doesn't mind me
giving them to him. Just tell me what for.. and the dosage."

"You might wanna DOUBLE it.." Bill winked as he moved
to his partner's side to take his turn on the biophone.

Despite himself, Johnny burst out laughing, but then he staggered,
falling against the fireman monitoring Kelly.

Bill grabbed Gage's arm. "Whoa..whoa. Hang on just a minute
there. I thought you said that the lightning never touched either of
you guys."

Marco suddenly sat down, too. "It didn't." he said. "Oh, I'm dizzy.."

Captain Stanley hurried up with a resuscitator tank already fitted
with two demand valves. "You twits, I told you not to cover
your symptoms from them." Then Hank eyeballed Bill. "Both took in
pretty good lungfuls of ozone at fairly high concentrations for a few

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"Huh.." Bill mulled that over. "Gonna be some touchy arrythmias in
their future. For Roy and Chet, too."

"Don't I know it." Cap grumbled. "Gage! Lopez! Get ventilating and
then get yourselves checked out! Looks like you both earned yourselves
a free ekg reading and a night's stay at Rampart. So lie down and shut up."

"I think I will." said Johnny, turning green. He never felt a second firefighter
help him down to the ground or felt the mask that Cap set quickly
over his face.

Dimly, he was aware that Marco, Roy and Chet had fallen into the same
state and were being cared for.


A few hours later, fate had dealt a funny hand out at Rampart.

Eric Johnson hadn't come back. He had to go to the intensive
care unit when another surprise piece of the catheter fragment
suddenly showed up in one of his lungs.

That had left five beds free in Dr. Brackett's six bed room.

Brackett was still grumbling over his and Joe's bad luck concerning
Eric the rookie paramedic, when all four firemen from 51's were wheeled
into the recovering doctor's room. "You've got to be kidding me.
Dix, did you arrange this?" he snapped.

"Me? Kel, we've been up here playing Yatzee together all afternoon. So
how could I have arranged for-- Fellas, ohmygosh. What happened to
the four of you?" she said oggling the four EKG monitors attached to
Chet, Johnny, Roy and Marco's upper torsos.

"Four birds with one stone..." Hank explained, holding the door open
for Mike Stoker. "Or should I say, bolt of lightning."

"Oh my.." Dixie gasped. "I didn't know it had even rained."

"It didn't. It was a freak bolt. Caused by some daylight ground fog
and built up tetonic static." Hank replied.

"You should have seen them, Dixie." Mike said of his coworkers.
"After they got done rescuing each other, the ozone poisoning set in.
They each puked for half an hour. Straight." Stoker smiled.

"Ah, so that's why they all got I.V.s.  How are they doing?"

Hank filled her in eagerly. "Roy got lung trigger knocked for a while.
No damage past some sizzled skin since Gage was on hand to take over.
Chet here's temporarily blind and deaf. He's only a noodle from the
waist down...."

"That'll pass, too.." Brackett said through his annoyed cross armed stance
before he could stop it.

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"Yeah?" murmured Dixie, sitting by Chet's bed to take his hand in
hers. "Poor guy. He looks so lost and helpless."

Chet Kelly immediately smiled when he recognized her perfume. "Hi,
Dixie. Wish I could ask you how you're doing, but I can't hear any
answer you might give me yet. Sorry.."

She kissed Chet's cheek slowly and made him blush into muteness
after giving him a shiver. "Ok, so what's the story about the second half
of the room?" she said, rising to go check on Roy's oxygen supply
while he slept fitfully under a CPAP.

"Gage and Lopez had just that bad gas exposure and both are waiting
for their cardiac rhythms to settle back to normal." Stoker told her.

Dixie adjusted Roy's I.V. so it was no longer kinked against the bed rail.
"Ah, I see.. so that means that we all get to throw a sleepover party
tonight in Kel's room, is that it?"

"No, Dix.." sputtered Dr. Brackett.

Dixie ignored him. "Yes. Why don't we have some fun for once. I can
take the empty bed here and Cap, I know there's a couple of spare cots
in the closet , for you and Stoker, so, any decision making's now final." she
purred. "Kel, they're staying." she said iron voiced. "I'm sure you'll agree
with me real soon. After all, these men did save your life."

Dr. Brackett finally ground his teeth together and uttered........
From :  wone3 <>
Sent :  Wednesday, August 24, 2005 10:12 PM
Subject :  [EmergencyTheaterLive] The start of reckoning

"A sleepover, Dix? At least, you could have called it something else.
It sounds too little girlish to me."

The entire group chuckled.
Probably most of them were surprised that the Doc even knew
about such things considering he was the confirmed bachelor.  

Dixie then kicked Cap and Mike out along with herself, telling the guys
she'd see them in the morning with hopefully their release papers. "All
except you Kel, you have a few more days here," She grinned.

Kel just gave her a look thinking, ::Last time it was bad enough getting
stuck with young Romeo, but why do I have to get stuck with the whole bunch?
I just hope we have a quiet night. ::

Kel was lucky, the whole incident took enough out of the guys that they
went to sleep all night and were all discharged the next morning with the
stipulation that Roy and Chet were going to miss at least the next shift.

It was around 6pm that evening when Dixie wearily walked into Kel's
room. Joe had been up to check on Kel several times and let him know
that he had planned on letting him out of the hospital with a few
restrictions tomorrow. Kel had also noticed the other night that
Dixie looked a little tired but she had put on a good show for the
guys when they came in. This time she couldn't hide it. She had the
classic symptoms of being tired and run down; especially glassy eyes
with dark circles that make-up couldn't hide.

"You look like something the cat dragged in. What's going on?" Kel
asked in a concerned tone as he took in Dixie's appearance.

"After the past several days that I have had, you'd look like this
too, Kel. Pulling a couple double shifts, worrying about friends who
have been in accidents over several days, and being called back in
after pulling the first double shift; has not made the past few days
fun, Kel." Dixie answered trying not to raise her no-nonsense temper.

Dixie curbed herself. Kel didn't entirely need the lecture and it would
just show him how vulnerable she felt that night when she and Joe initially
received the call. They were in the middle of one of those "off stages" in
their "on again- off again" relationship and she didn't want his pity
as a motive to start the relationship back up.

Kel had been waiting for this ever since the day after the accident;
he knew Dixie wouldn't go into it right after surgery. He just hadn't
figured on dealing with her after a couple of double shifts, the guys
from 51 being in the night before as patients, and a call back
in shift. "I'm sorry," he started to apologize.

Dixie interrupted, "Look, Kel, I know that you are sorry for putting
both Joe and I through h*ll especially initially, but you need to
face facts, even if it deflates your ego. You aren't Superman or God
and when you are sick, as much as I suspect you thought you were when
the accident occurred, you need to stay home and be sick. This place
will survive if you have to take a few days off, Kel, trust me."
Dixie's voice eased off to her gentle caring one that she seemed to
only display for him.

"I know I deserved that, Dix. You are right in saying that I'm not
Superman. I think I just need the reminder once in a while." Kel
answered. It brought a smile to both of them.
"Look, let me make it up to you. Let me buy you dinner at Manny's
soon and we can talk more. It will be nothing more than a friendly
dinner." Kel said, knowing how Dixie would hate to restart their
relationship over something like this. ::It's strange how we really
do know each other way too well:: "What caused you to be called in
after a double shift anyway, Dix? That almost never happens."

"Same reason for the first unscheduled double shift in the first
place. I am down nurses to this darn flu. Started with four being out
when you were brought in. It's now up to twelve. The call in was for a
nasty pileup on the 405. Something like, at least, forty cars involved.
We had to bring everybody back with the shortage of personnel, both
doctors and nurses." Dix answered with a sigh.

"How much longer are you on shift, Dix?" Kel asked.

"I just got off, and wanted to check on you before I left. I also
wanted to let you know that Joe told me that he's letting you out of
here tomorrow. I can give you a ride home and I can stick around for a bit.
I also accept your dinner invitation." Dixie answered with a yawn.

"Dix, are you ok enough to drive home? I don't want hear that one of
our guys had to bring you in after wrapping your car around
something." Kel said.

Dixie smiled, "I'm fine Kel, but I am going to go straight home.
Good night, Kel."

Kel answered with a smile, "Night, Dix. Drive carefully."

Dixie then walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her. She
headed straight downstairs to her car and drove home, all the time
thinking how lucky they were, that Kel was still around to talk to.

A few short minutes later she pulled into a parking spot, parked her
car, locking it as she exited, entered her apartment and headed
straight to bed for a good night's sleep.

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From: "killashandrarey01" <>
Date: Thu Aug 25, 2005  1:00 pm
Subject: Fish Eggs and Morning Mouth...

It was Tuesday morning, two days after the lightning strike
and the morning after Dixie had had a good night's sleep.

Hank Stanley buttoned up his work shirt swiftly. "Come on,
come on... If we're gonna get this done before lunch time
or another call, we gotta leave now."

Marco sniggered. "Cap, are you sure we aren't breaking any
rules by showing up at Rampart with the vehicles on a non
emergency call?"

Hank stared at Lopez as if he had grown a third eyeball.
"How many years have I been a captain, Marco?" was
all he said.


Gage, next to him, whistled low under his breath,..
"Too many..." so Stanley wouldn't hear him.

Cap, covering for any rank differential fallout, offered his
excuse belatedly to stave off any further criticism.. "Headquarters
knows the two of you have to get your final checkout at

"Hi, guys..."
"Mornin, all..." said two voices from Roy and Chet as they
came walking in through the side door from the backyard
parking lot.

"....Correction, the four of you."  Hank amended.

DeSoto fielded enthusiastic greetings from the others
as he quickly caught up changing into his uniform. Chet
was a few seconds faster. "The four of us, what?"

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Marco told him. "As soon as we're set, we're stationing
at Rampart so the four of us can get our final medical
clearances from Joe Early to work today.."

"No, kidding? Is there a parking space big enough to
hold the Ward?" Kelly asked like a kid catching another
doing something naughty.

"Yes, there is.." answered Stoker with a "duh" tone in his voice.

"Of course." breathed Chet. "Our engineer would know."

"What a memory, Stoker.." admired Marco. "It's been, what?
Five years since that fire at Rampart in the research buildings.
Through all that chaos, in the middle of the night, you still scoped
out the REGULAR parking places?"

"Yep. I gotta learn all the fast outs on any scene in case the chief ever
orders a pull back." replied Mike. "Consider it an unwritten rule of
the trade."

"That's why I keep him on.." winked Hank at the others. "He
keeps expensive property whole without my telling him to."

Stoker smiled at the surprise compliment.

Roy spoke up, "Speaking of memory...." and he glared at
Johnny to his right. "Your answer is yes. I did smell it."

"Smell what?" Johnny asked in confusion.

"Your morning mouth..." DeSoto snapped. "Next time,
drink a little water beforehand before you help someone out."

Chet Kelly looked up in confusion. "Just what the heck
did that mean? Hey,....Cap? I think DeSoto's still got a few
brain cells addled."

"Yeah, well. It'll be up to Joe Early to determine that."
Cap said, not getting it. "That's why we're leaving,
remember?" he teased.

Gage just closed his mouth with a grin and didn't say
anything. He ignored Roy's continued glare at his back
while he dressed.

Marco got it, though. He whispered to Johnny.
"I keep forgetting how good unconscious people can
recall things during a rescue.."

"I was counting on it that day.." Gage admitted to
him. "Roy wasn't listening to me then. At all. So I
had to do something drastic to get his attention."

Roy just slammed his locker shut and went out on
Cap's order to the squad.

"How's the wrist doing?" Gage hollered after him.

Roy didn't answer him, intentionally.

Lopez said, "And he's not listening to you now."

"What else is new?" Gage sighed.

"Let's go, Stoker!" hollered Cap in the bay.

That hustled the rest of the gang with their socks and shoes
and belt instrument gear. They had to hurry to keep up.

Marco turned to Kelly. "Did you get it?"

"Of course, I got it. Is he still in the same room?"
Chet asked.

"Yeah, Dixie called this morning and said so."

"So what did you get? Vanilla or chocolate?"

"Both, in a swirly. I couldn't decide.." said Chet.

"That'll be good enough. Chances are, Brackett
will throw the cake in all our faces for even bringing it."

"Nah, he won't." said Chet. "People change when
they come close to dying and survive it."

"It didn't change Roy." Marco sighed.


"Never you mind. Put your seat belt on.." said Lopez
as he buckled his.

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Soon, the engine and the squad were rolling.

"L.A., this is Station 51." called Cap out on the mic.

##Station 51, this is L.A.##

"We'll be 10-8 to Rampart with both. Base location
will be there for an hour. We are available."

##10-4, 51.## came Headquarter's reply.

Behind Cap's engine seat Chet muttered.
"Well, that was easy."

"Course it was. L.A. knows how to roll with the punches."
Hank sighed contently. "I knew that would work."

"Do they know we're having a going home party to
go along with all the medical checks?"

"Nope." smirked Stoker. "Why should they? We're doing
everything by the book and anything else is.... at the
captain's discretion."

"D*mned right it is. Step on it. I'm getting hungry for
cake. Dessert first, I always say."

Chet's mouth dropped open. "Cap! How'd you know
I got a cake for Dr. Brackett?"

"I'm aware of anything new entering the station."

Kelly and Lopez gave Cap suspicious looks and
they grew uncomfortable. "H-how does he know?"
they whispered to each other.

Cap let them off the hook. "Guys, I only knew because
I had to chase Henry away from the rear compartment
before I climbed on board a minute ago. He only
scrabbles at the engine doors when he's looking for food."

Stoker whirled around in the driver's seat."He was
scratching my engine's paint job?!"

"No," Hank grinned. "I stopped him before
he got even two paws up on the panel. Aren't I nice?"
bubbled Cap.

Stoker was barely appeased and he took the last corner
leading to Rampart a little fast.

Chet complained. "Hey, Stoker. Slow down! You'll spoil
the frosting!"


The gang left their overcoats in the trucks to avoid worrying
the public folk in the hospital and soon, the gang was
knocking at the door of Dr. Brackett's patient room, with
the cake.

"Ok, everybody, now pipe down. Is everybody here?"
Kelly asked. He turned his head and saw Dr. Early, Carol, Sharon
his whole crew and even the x-ray techs, all present and
accounted for. "Ok, I'm opening the door..."

"Surprise!!" shouted everybody. "Happy going home day!"

Their mouths just about fell open when they swung into the room
and found Dr. Brackett, fully in street clothes, reverse entwining his arms
with Dixie's, while they both ate crackers smothered with caviar, over
an open Monopoly board.

Brackett opened his mouth, raining fish eggs and cracker crumbs
and he said...


Photos: None.

Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 09:57:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jeff Seltun" <>    
Subject:  Reflections..

"Oh, that's just great, the gang's all here! ...Again!" he groused in
his worst doctor mode. Kel's face turned multishades of
angry that matched his blistering tone.

Everybody in the doorway, froze.

But then the most miraculous thing happened, Kel Brackett's
face softened, and then he actually smiled.

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Eyes darted everywhere, but no one moved for being
still in the grip of the shocking sight, stunned.

Dixie finished popping the fish egg smeared wafer into
her mouth, chewing. Then she wiped off the crumbs from Kel's
brand new striped shirt, "I was wondering when you'd show up.
Did you bring it?" she asked.

"Uh,....yes?" peeped Sharon, who had been in on the whole thing.

"Hiya, guys. I got the plates already set up on the next table. Come on
in..." Dixie said brightly after that.

"Gotcha!"  said Brackett, "I was only kidding. Dixie's been giving
me lessons on how to pull a fast one.  Ah, Joe. I see you brought
your doctor's bag. Are you here to give me a clean ticket outta bed?"

Slowly, the gang realized that they had been had and filed
into the room. Joe Early was quickest to assume normalcy.
"That and four others. For the boys here, too." he said, throwing his
head over his shoulders at Chet, Johnny, Roy and Marco.

Kel grinned as he helped Dixie clear the board game and
the crumbs from the made up bedspread. "Chet, how are
your eyes doing? Have they stopped giving you problems
with long distance?" he asked.

Chet Kelly was bold and reached for some of Dixie's caviar.

She slapped his hand, "Do you know how much this stuff costs?"

"Yeah.." Kelly dipped his finger into the roe anyway, to taste it.
"Doc, the eye chart you gave me still wavers on me when I look up
first thing in the morning, but only for a few seconds. Then it's all peachy
for the rest of the day. But don't worry. I don't drive anything at work
and I'm not going into any burning buildings for a while. Cap won't
let me."

"That's for your own good." Dixie waggled a finger at Kelly.
"Both Kel and Joe were in on that one."

"I kinda figured that." Kelly admitted.

Mike Stoker came forward with the cake. "Dr. Brackett, this is
for you. Uh,..I'm afraid the baker didn't know what a K-12 was
or even a jaws tool for that matter for the frosting picture, but
we gotcha a toy stethoscope for a decoration.. Here.." he
said handing the heavy cake over onto Kel's patient table.

"Oh, thanks guys. Although I think you've got things all backwards
here. You saved my life, not the other way around." Dr. Brackett

"We were thinking about the others times, Dr. Brackett.." Roy
said. "From other years..." he whispered.

Joe Early missed nothing. "Hey, where's MY cake then? I saved
a fair bunch of you then, too." he chuckled.

"We'll share.." said Kel, being a mediator.

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Soon, they were all eating.

Joe had set up a small exam tray on the other side of the room with
a live EKG monitor decorated in balloons and ribbons that Sharon
had wheeled in behind her. "Kel, you get the first clear all reading. Sit
down.." he said, patting a chair next to the bed. "Chet, would you get
Kel's BP? That way, I'll know you remember how to do one, and I'll
be able to tell whether or not you got your whole hearing back or not,

"Hmmm, trusting a firefighter to examine me? I don't know..." Kel frowned.
But then he laughed. "Give it a go, Kelly. This is your test." he said
while he watched Sharon, Dixie and Joe patch him into the EKG.
"Joe give Kelly your stethoscope."

"Ok.." laughed Dr. Early. "The pointy things go in your ears."

Chet smirked. "I think I got that part down ok, doc. Thanks."

Kel unbuttoned his shirt a little wider for the last EKG lead.

Everyone took in a gasp.

Gage squinted at Brackett's chest and said, "See guys? I told you, three
bandaid holes and a row of stitches under the collar bone. Just like
I said..." he exclaimed, pointing. Then he said, "Say, doc... They did a
nice job on the sewing..."

Brackett chuckled. "I get only the best, I guess. Who's work is this, Joe?"
he said, trying to peer at the stitches where the pericath used to be,
still glistening under their steristrips.

"Ryder's. He insisted."

"I should have known." said Kel. "He's a lefty. All the suture knots are
tied backwards. But they sure are even.. Maybe I should save some of
this cake for Ryder,.. to thank him."

Joe studied Kel's EKG strip silently, not letting Kel see the monitor
at all. "Nah, It might inflate his ego a little too much...."

"Well?" Kel asked of Chet Kelly and Joe Early after another minute
had gone by.

"NSR, Kel. No abnormalities whatsoever." replied Early...
"136/98..?" replied an only slightly fumbling Chet, pulling off Joe's
expensive stethoscope.

"Congratulations, gentlemen. You both passed... Next...?" Joe said.

"I'll go.." said Roy, stripping off his button down and pulling up his
T shirt.

All the nurses in the room cat called.

Roy just rolled his eyes. "Don't let my wife catch you doing that, or she'll
probably have a complex." he teased.  DeSoto sighed and good naturedly
let them patch him into the datascope monitor. At the same time, Joe
listened to Roy's lungs. "Take a breath. And.....another one...."

Kel leaned forward, reading Roy's screen. "Hmmm, I don't know, Joe."

"What..? What do you doctors see?" asked DeSoto, suddenly worried.

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"He's got a pulse. Think that might be a problem?" Dr. Brackett quipped.

Dixie smacked him on the arm. "Oh, Kel...Roy, you're fine. The QRS intervals
are normal.."

"Since when did you become the cardiograph expert?" Kel asked Dixie.

"Well," said Dixie. "..since I first started dating one, six years ago..."
she whispered, and then she kissed him full on the lips, right in front of

The whole room burst out laughing, a few, with a crow of mock innuendo.

Kel was good enough to blush.

Marco and Chet and Gage were examined and given clear bills of health
in short order. Then the whole room filled with the buzz of animated
conversation as everyone broke off into splinter groups to finish their
cake and ice water.

Joe was in a group with the five he had medically okayed and he found himself
listening to Roy while the others looked on.

"Doc," said Roy. "What I can't understand, is why that lightning didn't kill
me outright. I mean.." he crossed his arms shyly. "..I feel pretty normal inside,
all things considering..."

Chet broke into the conversation. "What Roy means to ask you, doc, is
why did Gage find him with smoking shoes and clothes but nothing at
all coming from his hide...?"

DeSoto nodded. "Y- Yeah. Thanks, Chet. That's it. That's it exactly."

"Anytime, bro.." Kelly replied, wrinkling his nose with a grin.

Joe sniffed, popping into lecture mode, and he said. "I've found that lightning
doesn't usually enter the body on strike victims, but flashes over the exterior
instead. Sure, some charges may leak into the body via the eyes, ears or mouth,
to cause senses loss, as in Chet's case, but most of the current from a lightning
strike passes over the surface of the body in an external flashover.
Burns are usually superficial, and usually caused by objects heating up
close to the skin, ...belt buckles, bracelets, rings. It is not uncommon to not have
severe burns, but on the other hand, clothing can be blasted from the body.
Such as that cast you used to be wearing.."

"Oh,..uh, that.." said Roy subconsciously. He began to rub his wrist when
he remembered that he no longer had it on.

Dr. Brackett crossed his arms, crossly. "So.., you wanted out of your cast
bad enough that you just had to go invite a lightning strike to get it off?!" he
mocked roared.  Then he smiled. "Come on, let me see it."

Roy gave Kel his left arm. Dr. Brackett began to manipulate it gently in
an exam. "Does this hurt?"

Roy was honest. "It's stiff, and the spongy bone itches something fierce, but no,
it doesn't hurt."

"Can you bear weight on it ok?"

Chet Kelly spoke up again. "We ran a few CPR sets on a manikin at Roy's house.
He did just fine, doc."

Roy just held up his hand at Chet to say "what he said."

Dr. Brackett nodded. "Mr. Kelly, could you let Roy answer this next question?
It's kind of important."

"Sure, doc.." said Chet, not taking any offense at all.

"Ok..." said Dr. Brackett. And then he sat knee to knee with Roy. "Do you
remember everything that happened to you on Sunday afternoon? Tell me
as much as you remember. The paramedics who treated you said that you
were demonstrating signs of anterograde amnesia. Joe and I just want to
check to see if you still are. The effects of the lightning should've worn off
by now if it was going to."

Roy took a breath and started speaking.
"Well.... I remember eating a really nice steak. Stoker's recipes are the best.."
he grinned nervously. "But then I think I decided to take a nap on a chair under
the pine tree.. Then, I began to think that something was starting to get a little

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Hank spoke up, "Yeah and around that time, I got the impression that something
wasn't right, too.  I glanced back at the house and I saw Stoker's TV antennae
throwing sparks!  I thought, those dorks, they're overloading a fuse box..

I started running back for the golf cart. But before I could do that, about 1,000
feet away, I began to feel a strange, intense, pressurized sensation around my
head. My hair stood on end, and I immediately crouched into a low ball with only
the bottom of my feet touching ground. The barbed wire fence across the golf
course sizzled with sparks; and I thought I was going to die any second. Then,
I knew the energy build up for what it was.. Lightning.."

Roy nodded, "I didn't know it was building up so far away, Cap. I remember  
shouting. I was blasted off my feet in a roaring vortex of energy and sound.
I felt my body hit the ground and as I did, a searing heat and burning began
passing through my left side through my rib cage. I was surrounded by a force
field blanketing me to the ground. Either the current was going through me or
electricity from the ground was meeting the bolt in the tree. I couldn't tell for

I thought to myself, I can't believe I just said this and it's happening!
There was a humming I felt more than heard. My body vibrating, and the
intensity of the searing heat was scaring me.  All along I thought if it stopped in
time, one of the guys could help me. And luckily the current began to lessen.
My side felt scalded and puffy.  I could see the sky and hear the wind,
and it was over...

The next thing I knew is that it was dark, calm, and quiet and that I wasn't breathing.
Like something had knocked the wind out of me ...but with no pain.. I started to
think that it's time to breathe now, so I tried to concentrate on that, but I couldn't.
After what seemed like ten or fifteen minutes, I got my first breath and the lights
went back on in a bang, but I couldn't move or feel much of anything."
Roy looked up. "Was I talking, Johnny?"

Gage met his eyes evenly. "After a while. After we put a lot of O2 into ya."

DeSoto's eyes clouded again. "I felt like I was in a dream..... that I wasn't able
to wake up from.  I did notice a strange, sweet burning smell..."

Johnny cleared his throat uncomfortably.

"Not you.. that was something different. It was all the ozone, doc, at that point."
Roy said. "Later at the hospital, I was able to see the spider web tracks across
both my feet and lower legs, the only sign of what I had gone through."  
Roy blinked and returned back to the present. "Fortunately, they faded rather
quickly." he said. "But I still feel like I've been kicked by a mule! " he chuckled.

"Be glad you aren't a horse, Roy." Hank commented.

"Why?"  DeSoto asked.

"Because your legs aren't very far apart. Sitting on that chair like you were,
protected you somewhat. A person who has one foot closer than the other to the
strike point will have a potential difference between the feet so that a current may
be induced to flow through the legs and body. This is a frequent killer of large livestock
such as cattle and horses because the distance between their hind legs and forelegs,
is so great." Stanley explained.

"Oh, so you mean, because I was crossing my legs, the lightning, sort of,
skipped over me after brushing my feet?"

Joe agreed. "Something like that, yes."

Roy stretched in his chair. "Boy, I never knew that having bad posture
would someday save my life... My mother used to tell me that
crossing my legs was bad for circulation.."

"It is.. but only if you have circulation problems." admitted Joe. "Kel,
he sure remembers a whole lot more of his near death experience
than most patients I know. I'd say he's recovered enough to be able
to work today.. What do you think?"

"I agree, Joe. Roy, how do you feel?" Kel asked seriously.

"Well, I still have problems sleeping. Seems like since the strike, I...
can't seem to doze off for long periods before waking up again."

Marco spoke up. "That's been happening to all of us.." he said, pointing
to Gage, Chet and himself. "We've talked about it."

"It has?" Cap asked.

Gage nodded.

Joe spoke up again. "Some people can be slightly injured by lightning and not
have a scratch on them. It's like a computer damaged by a power surge.
On the surface, the hardware appears fine, but when the machine is rebooted,
the software malfunctions. And insomnia is the most commonly reported side
effect following a lightning hit."

Johnny was shocked. "Then, does that mean Marco and I were hit, too?"

"More than likely. You probably just don't remember it." Kel answered.

Gage and the others fell silent.

"But,.. I wouldn't worry about it. That's probably a good thing. There's
nothing critical that Joe and I noticed today that could possibly effect
your day to day activities." Dr. Brackett said. "In fact, you guys appear
normal in just about every aspect that matters."

"That's right." Joe said. "Lightning-strike survivors can suffer from over
ninety symptoms. And some, don't start cropping up for weeks or even
years. But, if you don't feel like you're suffering from any.."

"A symptom which doesn't feel like a symptom.." Kel recited.

"...IS no symptom. I know.." sighed Johnny.

Chet was fussing in his chair, quietly. "Does this mean that I'll
need glasses at some point in my future?" he asked the doctors.

"Oh, Chet, everyone does at some time or another.." Gage
said in exasperation. "It's no big deal.."

"If the early morning blurring starts to bother you, we can
certainly prescribe a pair for you." Dr. Early offered.

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"Just for reading, of course." Brackett tempered.

Roy was thoughtful. "Chet, I don't think you should snowball
on things concerning this. Please. Let's all just give this some time, ok?
I'm not glad you're hurt," he said softly to him, "but I'm glad that I'm
not the only one. That way we can talk about it whenever we feel like it."

"That's the spirit." Dixie said. She had been listening to
Roy's account, with tears in her eyes. "Come on, boys,
we've got a party to enjoy."


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From:  "Patti K"     <>
   and.. From: "Mark"      <>
   and.. From: "wone3"    <>
Date: Thu Aug 25, 2005  (afternoon hours- pm)
Subject: The Defining Run...

Station 51 went roaring down the highway with sirens blaring
and lights flashing to their next call, which was being
broadcast even as they left Rampart General Hospital.

##Station 51, Station 8, Station 99, Station 36, Truck 127,
Battalion 14, Dam burst, Castaic Lake at Hughes Lake Road.
Multiple persons stranded, injuries reported. Ambulances are
responding as well as the police. Time out, 10:37.##

"Oh, man....
Roy, this sounds like a really bad one." Johnny moaned.

"I'm afraid so, Junior, I'm afraid so." responded Roy sadly. "It's
times like this where I'm both very glad I'm in this line of work as well
as wanting to hate it with all my being."

"I know what you mean, Pally. I know what you mean." agreed a
solemn Johnny.

It wasn't long until they reached Hughes Lake Road and took in the
horrible sight. Many people were leaving in a complete panic.

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"Where on earth do we start, Roy? I sure don't envy the Chief right
now." Johnny commented.

"Me either, Johnny. Well, let's go." he said as he pulled
over the squad.  

They got out and proceeded to pull some gear as the engine team
pulled in behind them. People were running toward them with a
scared look in their eyes.

The rest of the engine crew held back as Captain Stanley grabbed
one of the lesser frightened bystanders and asked. "What happened?"

"Everything was great. It was a clear, relaxing day. And then all of
the sudden, the alarms by the dam started going off. No one could
understand why. And then I could see some cracks forming in the dam!
There were people on top of the dam, also, from what I could see. Once
I saw those cracks, I just ran just like everybody else." he said.

"Roy, John.." Captain Stanley started.

Nothing more had to be said as the guys grabbed the basic gear
they had pulled and headed toward the dam, following the trail while
avoiding the stampede of people.

The trail had a pretty big turn and once they rounded that turn they


Image of pradodam.jpg Image of pradodamlongview.jpg

From Patti or Jeff or Cassidy  <>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2005 19:05:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:  [EmergencyTheaterLive] S.n.a.f.u.s. Compounded...

...a large earthen dam, oddly colored in newly applied, bright,
red, white and blue colors that spelled out words that Cap
couldn't yet make out.

"What th-?" Hank blurted.

The male witness started stammering self consciously.
"Please don't have us arrested!  W-we didn't mean any harm
climbing on the dam. W-we just wanted to celebrate the
bicentennial. You know, as a joke. So we painted it.
To surprise everybody."

Captain Stanley nodded his head grimly even as he smiled.
"Your dam defacement stunt's probably gonna save a lot of lives,
mister. If you hadn't been up there, no one would have noticed
those cracks forming at all, until it was too late. Good job!"

The man's jaw fell right open.

"Now tell me just how many of your bunch is in danger. I've
got men making their way down there right now."

"Four. No, five... I think.  Oh, I don't know!" he panicked, rubbing
blue paint across his face that accompanied the gaudy red
and white splashed all over him.

"Go find out, or people are gonna start drowning if we can't find them
just as fast as we possibly can. There isn't much time left."

The man started blithering. But then he moved.

Cap ordered. "I want you back here as soon as you know more!"

The man ran to locate the others in his group.

Hank had a thought. He pulled out his HT. "Roy, Johnny. Watch
for victims who might be covered with red white and blue paint!
:: If they've been hurrying as much as this guy to commit graffiti,
they're most likely coated in the stuff just as bad!:: he mused.
"Be sure to keep a firm tie off on your lifelines while you search

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Click Henry relieving himself
   to go to Page Four

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