From: patti k (email@example.com)
Mon 2/09/09 1:29 PM
"Guess what I figured out?" Chet said to the gang at
It was noon time and the morning's frigid snow bath was just
a dim memory, fading fast.
"What's that?" Mike Stoker asked finally, when no one else replied
as they relaxed or cooked or
played again around camp.
"I like being warm, that's what." Kelly told him, half serious. "And
glad the sun decided to cooperate with us and kick out the same heat
we had yesterday."
he said, burying the last traces of snow he still
found in the shadows under his lawnchair with a
restless hiking boot.
"What's the temperature at now, Roy?"
Roy replied, no longer cocooned
inside of his plaid winter jacket and
sleeping bag. "55 °F and rising." he said, peering at the barometer
duct taped to the picnic table where he sat. "Ah, almost feels like I'm home
said, cradling the device with a protective hand.
Marco chuckled. "That's if you close your eyes
and picture palm trees.."
Stoker smirked. "Have you been nesting near that thing since we got
here, Roy? I thought we were supposed to get away from technology
and just get back to nature
DeSoto blinked at him matter of factly, contented eyed.
"I like to keep myself
well informed when I'm in new places. Weather
wise angle included."
Hank rubbed his nose.
"Why torture yourself? You already know the
rest of the country is automatically gonna be colder than
"Yeah, I know. I know." DeSoto insisted defensively. "But old habits die
remember how cold I got on that d*m*d ferry in Seattle last
year going to that convention and ever
since then, I like to be prepared."
Gage regarded him ruefully. "You were underdressed. I told
necks weren't enough. But those fire girls were sure good company.
I never even felt
DeSoto started grinning, but for a different reason. "And neither did that
calf. He was actually kind of cute once we got him dried off. And
I still can't believe a seven year
old barn kid taught me how to dress
properly in winter weather once his cow had finished giving birth."
"Not so unusual, if you ask me." said Gage. "Farmers and ranchers are
the best weathermen around."
he declared from his tipped chaise
lounge, its backrest supported on a tree.
Chet rose to
the bait, aiming a coffee mug warmed finger in Johnny's
direction. "Okay, smarty pants. You're a rancher.
weather for the rest of the day..." Kelly challenged.
Johnny narrowed his eyes
matter of factly. Then he peered up into the
sky, scanning it thoughtfully. His eyes drifted shut
and he sucked in a huge
breath of air slowly before blowing it back out again. Then he opened his
shirt to let the air in a little closer to his skin.
The others waited with unveiled amusement
at his antics.
Gage finally spoke, keeping his eyes closed loosely.
"Snowstorm's blown itself
out over the ocean. Feel it weakening over there?"
he announced, gesturing at the last patch of dark
sky to their east mysteriously
while still blind. "Next, a wind's gonna pick up inland and get a little
On cue, the fall colored trees began to sway for the first time, softly rustling, with
growing energy. Johnny smiled. "And it'll be luke warm all day right where it is now.
fog down valley's gonna stay with us in the low spots. Pressure's
rising fast, but not fast enough
to dispel it."
"What is it?" Chet asked, scoffing in doubt.
"28.9 to 29.1 millimeters mercury
or so.." Gage told him, not opening
his eyes. "With relative humidity in the eighties."
almost fell out of the chair when he leaned back to confirm that
check on the barometer unit near
him. He blinked in surprise, gaping
at his partner with a question half formed on his lips.
"My neck's beginning to creak when I move it." Johnny replied to Roy's |
unspoken 'how did you do
that?' reaction. "Only does that when the
weather's turning fair while still wet."
"That's how you know?"
Gage dropped his poised analyzing pretense and glared actively at Chet.
"Yeah, that's part of how I know. If you guys'd just stay quiet every now and
then to reach out
with your senses and listen to what your body's telling you,
you'd be able to predict the weather,
too. It's nothing special. Pay attention
to your surroundings while letting go of a few of them when
home once or twice and you'll see what I'm talking about."
Kelly waggled his eyebrows.
"I don't think I want to do that. I might get
mugged on my front porch."
The gang laughed,
recalling the neighborhood Chet hailed from in east L.A.
There was a pregnant pause when both
Hank and Kelly eyed up
the still simmering coffee pot on the fire grill at the same time. Ferally.
Suddenly, both their hands shot out for its handle. Cap's longer arm won out
over Irish speed
and he toasted Chet triumphantly with it high into the air.
"Still too slow." he crowed. Then he
poured out the last dregs into his stone
pottery mug and clanked the empty pot back down again. "Ahhh,"
he sipped in
satisfaction. "Your turn to get more water." Stanley announced as was his
the winner. "The river's that way." he said, pointing into the fog.
Chet scoffed a gesture and
picked up the coffee pot, hugging it close
to his chest for its radiant warmth and meager comfort.
"It's still cold down
there." he complained.
"Why so it is. Huh, imagine that. Guess you're
gonna haveta... just bundle up
there, pal." Hank said, still smiling broadly.
The others tittered.
Stoker chortled. "Rules of the coffee game.." Mike teased. "Last man out rebrews
"All right, all right. Don't rush me. Geez.." Kelly said, zipping up his jacket
chin. He eyed up the woods unenthusiastically.
"Hurry up, I'm getting thirsty here.
I might burn the waffles for being so
distracted." said Marco, licking his lips, through the fire
smoke. He was half serious.
"Okay, I'm off. I'm gone.." Chet whined back, trudging slowly for
the tent. He reached
down for the silver pail.
"Not the baby bucket. The five gallon collapsible."
Hank ordered. "Pump's in the red sack."
"Aw, Cap. That'll take forever!" Chet complained loudly.
"Not if you're fast about it. Now shoo."
Kelly gave up his protesting and picked up the
crumpled cube and hand pump satchel.
As he tramped off into the trees he pulled on his winter gloves,
and both hoods of his
The fog swallowed him up.
Chet found the river
by sound and was grateful the heavy mist had lifted over the water.
He crouched down to set up and
string the pump tubing into the five gallon jug's port.
He shivered and glanced downstream as
he cranked the wheel. Icy water began to fill
the container. He saw scour marks on the banks from
the high water that must have
been there a scant hour ago from the effects of the snow storm of the
He looked upstream, and startled. Barely visible in the glowing fog, a |
partially unclothed man
lay face up in the water next to the remnants of a
shattered, brightly colored water kayak. His helmet
and life vest, were missing.
Kelly shot to his feet and began to splash over to him quickly, blowing
triple blasts on
a hiker's distress whistle that he snatched out from a lanyard around his neck in
an alert to the others.
Seconds later, Chet heard the noisy snapping cracks of breaking branches
the hiss of undergrowth being shoved aside hastily as the gang came running.
came Hank's worried shout. "We're here. What's happening? We got
"Guys! On the
double.. There's a man down in the water!!" Kelly yelled back urgently
still stumbling over the submersed
rocks he couldn't see in the shallow, fast flowing
current, trying to hurry. "Face up but not moving,
forty feet upstream of me!"
"In how deep?" Hank roared, still invisible to Chet.
a foot! He's snagged on a rock."
He heard an unseen Marco reply. "I'll get us gear!"
dimly saw Gage and Roy adjust their flight to the river according to his directions.
But they were
forced to slow their bounding as they reached the still thick, blanketing
fog hanging over the water.
Chet shouted again as he tried to find foot stones to use by boot toe's feel under
"There's a fallen birch log across the water, right where he is. See it?
His feet are on top of it.
The air's real clear here down low."
A splash announced somebody's arrival the moment Chet reached the|
kayaker. It was Roy. "We got him!"
said DeSoto as Chet and he crouched
swiftly over the man's head, on the submersed sandbar.
moulded his fingers for a jaw thrust and opened the man's mouth
under Roy's ear. The man's skin had
stiffened and was a pale white blue
in the fog filtered sunlight. "Is he breathing?" Kelly asked him.
Subject: Popsicle Wrap
From: patti k (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Wed 2/11/09 2:53 AM
"I can't tell that yet." DeSoto replied. "But keep him open
for now. Let me
check a few more things first." he said, over the noise of the flowing water.
"Chet, he may be in a diving reflex. He doesn't need any more oxygen for
a while if
his heart's still beating. But I have to know that second fact for sure
before we start messing
with him in any way."
Hank, Johnny and Stoker jumped into the shallows and joined them swiftly.
Stanley began to radio out from where he stood upstream as a safety, making
sure river debris
and pieces of the large kayak wasn't going to barrel in on the
current to their position. "Marker
70 to Appalachian Central. Mayday. Mayday.."
"Where're you at?" Gage asked Roy in a check list.
"Just starting the primary." DeSoto replied quickly. He didn't miss the
distressed look on Kelly's
face. Reaching down, DeSoto pulled one of the
man's arms away from where it was curled in its fetal
position against his
chest, gently straightening it out to his side. It immediately curled back
again, jelly slow. "He's still alive, Chet. Dead muscles can't contract."
Kelly grabbed for the
man's wrist, with a free hand, feeling for a pulse. "I
don't feel anything."
of vasoconstriction in his arms and legs." Roy said, next
groping for a careful carotid pulse. "Everything's
severely slowed down.
He could be breathing only once every 30 seconds, because with this
chilling him, his body doesn't need to any faster." He frowned in
concentration, as he probed for
the artery. "I still can't find one, Johnny."
Chet let Mike take over his jaw airway hold and he moved over to the |
kayaker's bare chest, framing
his hands into a CPR position. Gage
stopped him physically. "Wait, don't do anything yet. We're not
Johnny switched to feeling at the pulse point on the other side of
man's neck as Roy bent over to place a hasty ear on the man's ribcage.
"Shouldn't we get
him out of the water?" Kelly asked, moving his ansing
hands away from the man's chest. He blew on
his soaked icy fingers to
warm them as he studied the man's open, staring, dull eyes.
next once Marco brings sleeping bags. He has to stay horizontal.
All this water flowing around him's
acting like mast trousers. If we rush
things too fast, his pressure will drop. He might be injured,
look at his accident mechanism here." Gage said, throwing a head
up at the splintered
remains of the kayak. "We move him only the
absolute minimum necessary once we figure out how to
good C-spine stabilization."
Hank turned up the gain on their park hunter's radio.
"This is Marker 70,
Mayday!" Then he released the button. "This ravine's in a dead zone.
going up higher, back to camp. Mike as soon as you get him secured
airway wise, take over my spot
as safety if you can. I'll be back in three
"Right, Cap." Stoker replied.
came hurrying back, heavily laden with a first aid bag and as
many sleeping bags as he could drag,
along with all of their clothes and
jackets. "I filled one up with rocks heated from the fire.."
he gasped, laying
out that one with a silver mylar space blanket, unfolded, open and ready.
tossed Mike the right sized Berman tube.
Stoker caught it to use. Soon he lifted his head. "He
took in a gasp just
now. A small one. Right when I hooked in the oral airway."
Gage and DeSoto
just nodded from where they were frozen in place,
monitoring the man intently. Then they both jerked
excitedly. "There! We
definitely got something." Johnny shouted. "I just felt a few beats."
and I heard a definite arrythmia." Roy agreed, smiling. He rose
quickly up onto his feet and began
to organize a lifting grip. "He's about two
beats a minute here."
Kelly gaped. "Is that enough?"
Johnny waggled his head at Chet. "Even though his heart is beating very
slowly, it is filling
completely and distributing blood fairly effectively if we
can hear it and feel it like this. You
remember that external cardiac
compressions only are 20-30% effective? His blood's flowing only
around his core with far decreased demands right now. He can stay viable
and satisfy his circulatory
needs with only those 2-3 beats per minute just
fine. Good thing we didn't start CPR. That would
have pushed cold, acidotic
blood into his still beating heart and arrested it. On your findings,
a CPR mask. Start donating your heat. We're gonna prevent all respiratory
and from everywhere else from here on out. Time your ventilations
with his when you can detect them
and then add a few more of your own, at
6-12 times a minute. We need to offer him more oxygen now
if we're going
to raise his metabolic rate by moving him. Adding warm, moist air to his lungs
stimulate his brain stem activity and even out his heart rate."
"Okay." Stoker said, looking up
from the mask he had covered with a ski glove
to insulate his blown in breaths' heat from the cold
air. "He's not bubbling here.
There's no edema yet."
"Let's keep it that way." said Gage, thinking
to himself as he worked to
ease the man's legs gently back down to level off the log.
asked. "What the game plan?"
"Shouldn't we work a little faster?" Marco said along with Chet.
DeSoto looked up from where he was feeling the man's spine for|
problems. "Guys, we're not going to
try and rewarm him out here in the
woods. We don't have the proper equipment to do that safely. We
to just stabilize his core temperature and prevent any further heat loss."
"Johnny, nothing's obviously off on his spinal column."
Gage coughed eagerly. "Then a manual move's
warranted if we're careful."
"So let's get him out of here then." said Chet urgently, worried.
Roy remained calm and collected. "Marco, get ready to cut off his clothes.
We have to dry him
off completely once we get him up to you." DeSoto
"I'm set. Also, there are plenty
of branches and sticks up here we can
use to build a travois." Lopez reported.
"Good going. We needed some way to transfer him to a landing zone without
jarring him alot. His heart's
sensitive to physical disturbances right now. He's
still at a high risk for going into V-fib at
the slightest physical shock. We are
going to take a ton of time every step of the way to mimimize
Gage said, feeling up and down the man's limbs for fractures and injuries.
Roy. He seems clear here, too. No blood or deformities."
"Maybe he collapsed just from the cold."
Chet hoped. "He could have
been wandering around in last night's storm for a while, confused from
"That's probably what happened to him. Look,.." Marco said. "I found his
helmet in the brush." he said, holding up a red one that had the same serial
number as the kayak
on it. It was whole and uncracked.
DeSoto shook his head in negation.
"We're still assuming
broken back/broken neck. Get down here with us. He's
set to move. Kelly, keep tabs on his vitals.
Mike, you've got his head so you're
coordinating all of us. We'll level up on your count." Roy said.
Cap came back moments later from a dead run. "I got out a transmission.
They're sending us a
chopper and a paramedic land unit. ETA ten minutes."
"Good news.. We've a pulse and breathing,
Cap." Chet said, filling him in.
"Terrific. Knew he wasn't gone yet. His eyes are still reacting
to sunlight." and
Hank took his place in the inches deep water to help with their lift and carry.
Chet Kelly looked down and saw that it was true.
Please refresh the page to restore the original soundtrack.
Subject: Fate Squared.
Date: Fri Feb 13, 2009
From: patti k <email@example.com>
The gang slowly and smoothly carried the man
spine straight, up the river bank.
They rounded the small slope that led over to the insulating
sheet lying on the
dried grass in full warm sunlight and set him down gently. Stoker knelt once
more to continue his breathing support while the others began applying ski cap
after ski cap onto
the kayaker's head.
Swiftly, Marco began stripping away the man's water ice frozen clothing while
Cap and the paramedics dried him off thoroughly with a few sweaters.
"Definite inspiratory efforts
here. Still just a couple a minute." Mike reported
as he listened and watched the man's chest and
mouth in between ventilations.
"Pulse's ten." said Chet. "It's getting more erratic, guys."
DeSoto frowned, checking the man's eyes.
"His pupils are starting to dilate. Bundle up, Mike."
Roy told him. "Keep
your temperature really elevated by zipping up your jacket and hood. We'll
you on oxygen to give right back to him. He's running short on it now..."
he said, thinking hard
about treatment. "Chet?"
"I heard." Kelly replied, snatching for their jump bag. "Cannula on
"Yeah." said Johnny.
"Make it four. It won't be too irritating
for me right away." Stoker said.
Gage nodded in agreement. "Okay, the more the merrier."
Chet didn't disturb Mike's position working with the insulated pocket mask
as he got Stoker going
on their D tank. He fitted the prongs around Mike's
face and chin, hooking the tubing over his ears
and out of the way over
his shoulder. "If you think you're getting colder in the slightest, I'll
I'm sweating." he told Mike.
"I'll let you know when." said Stoker.
Cap issued an order. "Marco, smoke up our campfire some more and |
have a mirror set for signalling.
I'll lay out these wet clothes and pieces of
the kayak onto the snow so the pilot can locate us easier."
"Right, Cap." Lopez said, running up the hill towards their deer camp.
Again, Roy was puzzled
over their patient. "Johnny, he still doesn't appear
to be grossly injured." he said as he and Johnny
carefully checked again for
problems. "There's not a mark on him anywhere obvious that I can
"I agree." said Johnny, beginning to tuck the sheet around the man
after placing sock wrapped
hot stones at the sides of his neck, groin
and armpits. "Just the same, I'll rig him up a C-collar
from rolled clothes.
Once he's shelled up snug, we can find something flat to strap him onto for
"How about a backpack rack?" suggested Stoker.
"That'll work." Gage
decided. "Great idea." Then he turned his
attention to Roy. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Umm hmm.." replied Roy. "He's got severe hypothermia for sure. There's
active cold diuresis
setting in." Roy concluded.
"How much do you think he's losing?" Hank asked them.
a bit of fluid, Cap. Now I'm kicking myself for not bringing a few I.V.s
along, too." Gage grumbled
as he and Roy started to quickly zip up the layers
of sleeping bags around the kayaker that Marco
had set up for them.
"Smoke's set and noticable." Lopez said, pointing up into the sky as he
The others followed his gaze and nodded. "Good going, pal." said Hank.
"And I brought some
rope from the rover so we can build that travois." Lopez
said. "Our belts aren't going to be enough."
"Thanks.." said Chet, starting in on that task with his hunting knife and
a small axe.
this guy still has a story to tell." Cap wondered and he started to go
through their patient's discarded
denim jeans pants pockets, looking for
an I.D. or other clues. He found a key on a keychain, clearly
marked with the
park's name. "It's from the lodge's hotel."
"Then we might be able to have
him identified for the doctors even before
we arrive at the park hospital." Johnny said. "Call in
the room number."
Stoker cursed, making them all look up.
"Problems?" Gage asked, placing
his hands on the man's chest reflexively.
"Not with him. Look down there." he said, pointing down
to the river from
the high point they had found as a refuge. "Whoever this man is, he wasn't
"Sh*t." Cap said, rising to his feet. "Marco you're with me. We're going to start
a search along
both banks of the river." he ordered, snatching up the radio.
A second kayak paddle was drifting down the current lazily among the chunks |
and Stanley took off at a run for upstream for the spot in which they
had found the kayaker.
started to bolt after them, picking up two of the three coils of rope
that Marco had found in camp.
"I'm going with you, Cap."
"Take this.." said Roy, throwing him the first aid kit. "I'll fire
up a signal flare
when help arrives.."
From: patti k (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Sat 2/28/09 3:20 AM
In Bluebird Five, Pilot Ken Baxter heard the rescue call go out
for the park's better equipped paramedic chopper. He glanced
at Joey Collins, seated in the co-pilot's
seat next to him as
the dispatcher continued to give details over the scanner
Central, 240-Robert Air. Single hypothermia
victim without apparent trauma reported at Marker 70.
trained civilian personnel are at hand and rescue with treatment
has been affected.
Adult male, early thirties, kayaker. Respond
along the river on the bluff 200 feet below the deer
"Somebody's hurt down there?" asked the radio helmeted little
boy with worry.
Ken smiled. "Yep. But don't you worry about it. We're getting
help there faster than you can spit."
he said, gripping the flight
joystick a little tighter. "240's a bullet in the air when she wants
to be. And Morgan's pure ace getting to places."
Baxter heard his co-pilot Morgan Wainright respond
by Deputy Paramedics Dwayne Thibideaux and Trap Applegate from
their ground SUV.
##240-Robert Air, 10-4. Patching in to that
radio's comm frequency, direct.## said Morgan. ##My E.T.A.
Ken heard Trap thumb the mic from the roving sheriff's rescue jeep.
AP Base, we're doing the same. Copy kayaker in distress, Marker 70.
Our E.T.A. is approximately eight
The dispatcher back at the park headquarters acknowledged both units.|
##Copy, 240-Robert. Hospital
Urgent Unit has been notified. A physician
and an RN are standing by. *Beep* Alert: Weather condition
Radar is indicating winds are increasing zero nine zero at fifteen gusts to
the valley with ground bound fog.##
"Are we going, too?" Joey Collins asked fast.
if we're badly needed. See?" The park ranger said, casting a hand
about the helicopter's large cockpit
space." We need a lot bigger
landing zone on account of our size. Take a look. It's all forest down
there with few holes, except for where rocks and water are poking
through. Marker 70's near cliffsides
and a river. And their one tiny
meadow is the only open spot for miles."
"Can we fly over
and at least make sure they're okay?" Joey said
with growing worry. He minced in his seat, gripping
his Navy cap
so hard, that his fingers were turning white.
Ken could see his young passenger
was reliving the ghost of some kind
of painful memory. Gently, he reached over and patted his arm.
"Sorry, son. We need to keep the skies absolutely clear for Morgan
so she can land her bird. But
I promise you, we'll keep this radio hot
so we can listen in real hard to what's going on. Good or
bad. Just like
I told your grandma. Deal?"
Joey didn't look up at Ken, but he nodded minisculely,
like glue to the trees weaving and bobbing beneath them. Finally, he
spoke, his voice
barely above a murmur."Which way are they from here?"
"West, to your ten o'clock." Ken answered,
tuning the radio to a sharper
focus on multiple autoscan.
Joey peered about, squashing his
nose to the dew dropped windowed
door on his left. A minute went by. Then he shouted. "I think I
way over there!"
Baxter looked. "Uh. Huh. That's their signal fire. Smart men. They know|
how to call in a chopper
real fine. Morgan should have no trouble at all
Next to him, Joey collapsed,
limp. "Good. Cause nobody should
have to be.... hurt all alone." he whimpered suddenly.
glanced over. The boy's face was deeply etched, lost once
again in the past. But he appeared that
he hadn't noticed what he had
Baxter gave the boy some peace with respectful
space and silence.
Inwardly, his thoughts carried on. ::Ah, so that's how it went, when
your dad.:: he realized.
Ken Baxter lowered his head in sympathy as he flew, not
Joey's new private fugue.
Ranger Paul Carnes, at his desk in the lodge, sat up from his
paperwork and turned up the volume
on his scanner radio as the
call came out. He automatically switched to Marker 70's channel
link in to any new raw communications themselves as they
came in from the campsite.
Terri Blake and Joanne Almstedt over to have a listen.
Both nurse and doctor hit their pager acknowledgments
alert the dispatcher had just flashed to them.
"Sounds like a bad one." Paul said
"We'll be ready." said Joanne, unbuttoning her doctor' coat.
"I have it on file that the men out there are current
firefighters. Two of them are California paramedics."
"Great!" said Joanne brightly. "One in a row."
"State of the art training then." said Terri
thoughtfully, scratching the
taped cut on her cheek.
Paul pursed his lips. "I'm sorry to say
this, but I'm afraid they're only
going to be as good as the equipment they have with them, until
our people actually get there to help out."
That silenced the two female park rangers instantly.
Subject: Calvary Calling...
From: patti k
Sent: Mon 3/02/09 1:46 PM
Morgan Wainwright keyed up her mic as she
flew her chopper at top speed.
"240 Robert-Air to Tag 70, what's your patient's status? We are linked
ground paramedics on their way to you and to our hospital's physician."
tilt next to Cap and Marco, Gage took the camp radio Hank handed to him.
## 240 Robert-Air. Critical.
## Johnny reported. ##Vitals are : Pulse is ten and irregular
but effective. Respirations were depressed,
now being assisted mouth to mouth with
pure oxygen. BP's unpalpable due to vasoconstriction in the
arms and legs.
Severe hypothermia has set in and there's steady excessive urinary output. We
no signs of frostbite. He's been fully immobilized and we've prevented
all further heat loss.##
##Tag 70, This is Dr. Almstedt at Appalachia. I copy vitals. Have you any fluid
handy?## Joanne asked as she studied Paul Carnes and Terri Baxter
while she concentrated.
We've no I.V.s at all.## Johnny replied.
Trap, in the rushing sheriff's rescue jeep, broke into
the channel. "Tag 70,
240 Robert Ground. We've plenty warming in the cooker." he said, eyeing up
his partner Thib, who was packing four bags of NS into their battery heated insulation
his airway doing?"
## We've a working oralpharyngeal. ## said Johnny. ##But we've a new
There may be a second victim out here.##
Paramedics, pilots and park rangers alike, startled and there was a long|
pause of dead air on the
"Where?" asked Morgan, nosing down into the final valley separating them.
upstream of us along the river. Another kayaker.## Gage
told them all through the channel. ##We spotted
fresh debris that wasn't his
a few minutes ago.##
"I'll attempt to locate. What's your twenty?"
she asked, dipping the helicopter
skillfully down low to follow the river course.
##Upstream of the smoke plume at camp, next
to a shallow cliff to the west in a beech grove. We're
on the same bank,
three hundred yards up from there.##
Morgan answered. "Watching for you.
You listen for me." she said firmly.
##Will do.## said Hank.
Back at camp, Roy worked feverishly
to keep their patient insulated along
every seam. Chet had taken over for Stoker respiratory heating
the engineer was actively clearing out loose debris in the meadow to make
ready for a
helicopter landing. Thinking fast, Mike stabbed four sticks with
tied down bright bits of clothing
to mark off the combed through square of land.
He added a fifth stick in between two others to indicate
the direction the wind
was blowing into the meadow. Then he hurried back to the others.
set with a directional, guys. One hundred fifty foot square. There's no
soft spots as far as I can
tell." Stoker said.
"Powerlines?" Roy asked.
DeSoto nodded. "We've done
all we can for him here. I don't want to disturb
his position anymore. Could you help me keep tabs
on his pulse?"
"Yeah." said Mike, crouching near the man's head to place a light set of fingers
the man's carotid. "What about those?" Stoker asked, pointing to the log bundles
gathered for building a travois.
"Forget about it. The chopper should have its own stokes ready
far faster than we
can build one." Roy replied as he felt the effectiveness of Kelly's ventilations
the man with a hand on top of the sleeping bags.
"Glad they're fast." Mike said, checking
to make sure the oxygen supply to
Chet's cannula was still delivering.
"Me, too." said Chet,
taking in another slow breath inside of his jacket to keep
his breath warmed up.
The wind began
to howl in earnest as the feeble heat of the day rose, blowing
leaves and sun warmed tufts of grass
around them. Then, in the distance, Roy
heard the sound of rotor blades.
Raising his free
hand, he fired off the first of their gun flares out over the river for
Johnny and the others to
see and take heed.
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