Mike spun on his heels, gripping the side of the treatment room door impatiently. |
"I'll let you know
about Stoker as soon as I hear anything. We've got the scanner on in
the breakroom." he replied quickly.
Then he disappeared into the bustling main hallway.
The door shut between them.
let his head fall back onto the pillow. ::I really hate being laid up to
the point of where I can't
stand on my own two feet. I really wanna sneak out of here.::
he thought. ::I'm needed at the fire
to give out some info on his whereabouts.::
A new voice at the door startled him. "That won't
work, Sonny Boy. I can read your mind."
said Joseph Rockford, peeking in.
"Rocky? What are
you doing here? I thought you were a patient." Gage asked him.
"I was. I got discharged because
of the current fire emergency. And my son's been
too busy to come get me! He said something about
a sniper. Not too happy
about that. No, siree."
Johnny chuckled. "Your son's probably looking
for my friend now. He's still missing
somewhere out there in the big fire."
"Oh, I'm sorry
to hear that. Here." he said, handing Johnny a urinal can from
a nearby counter top. "I'll go stand
by behind the curtain while you take care
of this business. I can see the bulge your insides are
making through the
sheets from way over here! I used to be a corpsman."
I can do for someone who saved my life!" Rocky barked. "Sorry. I'm still mad
at being trapped inside
this joint." The two men continued their conversation with
each other through the wall of white fabric
between them. "Was Neb shot up really
bad? I wanna know what to tell his owner next time I see him."
"It hit him somewhere around the head. There was a lot of blood, but I remember
could still run and..." Johnny broke off, being considerate. "I'm sorry.."
"...scream and buck.
That's probably how both of you firefighters fell. It's okay. I can
take the details. I've seen worse
in the Korean War and so has my boy."
"Your son was a soldier?"
"No. For a while both he
and I lived on the streets when his mother left us suddenly
for another man. We were both targetted
and became frequent crime victims, because
we were naturally too nice to everybody. Too often, we
got beat up. It made him mad.
That's how, back then, that he had to do some prison time, after trying
to protect me.
Jim's still got a large chunk of that temper. And he's ...still learning how to control
these days. Even years later." Rocky shared. "All set?"
"I'm done. I tossed the thing into
the sink." Gage announced shakily.
Rocky rushed back out into the main exam room, just in time
to help Johnny
lay back down onto the gurney. "Quit with all of that sitting. You're in no
to do much of anything just yet."
"Too late. I'm already worrying. Tell me honestly. Are you any
good at breaking
and entering, Rocky?" Johnny asked. "I need you to help me again."
looking old man pegged him with a suspicious look. "How so?"
"Get into the secured doctor's lounge
and listen to all of the fire department
broadcasts from the radio they got on in there. It's the
fastest way I'm going
to get news about my friend Mike Stoker." Gage explained.
it. I'll come back every ten minutes with updates. I'll take notes!"
I think I'm... I'm gonna take a little nap here."
"You do that. I'll shake you awake the second
I hear word that they've
found him. With any luck my son'll be with him at that point."
From: patti keiper <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2017 5:38 PM
Subject: Man Of The
Battalion Five, the newest chief in the county, felt old. In his hand
he had Johnny
Gage's red triage tag ticket that had been slashed with a
black marker. It was labelled transported.
It should have made him feel
relieved that his paramedic had been found and safely sent on to a
hospital. But all he felt, was a nagging anxiety for Mike Stoker.
"Hank, we've news." said Chief
Malone, Battalion One.
"Give it to me." Stanley said, perking up. He crossed his fingers hopefully.
"The town's entirely clear. The crime scene crew's been moved out
from the site where that private
investigator's car got shot up. And
L.A.P.D. confirms that all businesses and homes have been checked
and are 100% visibly marked as evacuated."
"What's left to do then? We're at the max for water
drops from the reservoir,
we've the latest weather reports on wind conditions. We have all of the
accountability crew lists. USAR is standing by in case somebody ignores the
evacuation order and gets caught in town when the fire hits. Triage
is absolutely empty. That's a
first. Seems a shame now that we're flying in
a doctor and a nurse to help Roy DeSoto. What am I
Lou smiled. "Absolutely nothing at all, chief." Malone nodded. His heavy
wise eyes, were crinkling. "You've covered the bases. Still want the I.C.
spot over the whole fire
operation for another day?"
"No. I've a missing man in my division. I want in on his search and
mission." Stanley replied.
"You've got it. You are relieved." Lou gestured. "Inform
L.A. of the switch out.
They don't have to know the reason why. That's your prerogative."
immediately took off the vivid lime green vest and dropped it on the ground.
He passed off the work
slate and keys to the stand by morgue area to Malone.
"Do you want to wear that?" Stanley asked, toeing
the reflective vest.
"No, It'd never fit. I'm too fat." Lou chuckled. "I'll dry marker up my helmet
"Thanks, Lou. I owe you one."
Hank Stanley fled the hill.
He lifted his HT eagerly, to his mouth. "L.A. Battalion
Five. Incident Command of Operations is transferring
to Battalion One effective
immediately. I'll be located with the S and R ongoing for the missing firefighter."
##Battalion Five, L.A. copies at 12:07. Battalion One is now designated I.C. at the
::That doesn't sound good at all. I hate it when the media names a wildfire. Don't
know it stirs up even more sparks?:: Stanley thought, thinking about
copy cat repeat arsonists. ::A
named fire gives them a reason to go out and do
this kind of craziness again, somewhere else, just
for the fame/thrill factor.::
He jumped into his new red chief's car and soon, he figured out
where Engine 51
was assigned. There he ran into Roy DeSoto, Craig Brice, Chet Kelly
and Marco Lopez,
hard at work on an equipment rotation detail.
"Cap! I mean Chief! How's it going?" said Marco
happily, from where he was
filling air bottles from a gas tanker.
"Pretty much how I guessed
it would go. Call me Hank, since the old nickname's
taken." he winked. Then he pulled out Gage's triage
tag and slapped it against
Brice's chest. "Good work, Craig. He's half of our missing two. Go enter
the log book in the Ward."
Brice nodded and left immediately, leaving Stanley with
the other three Station
Chet leaned in. "What don't you want him to hear?"
"Chet Kelly, would I gossip about another guy behind his back?"
"Uh, no, C-- er Chief. I
was just joshing around a little. He's been under a lot of
stress since his girlfriend took a loop."
"Is he doing okay by all of you?" Hank wondered, squinting seriously at his old
crew. "I mean
about Brice, and not our currently local, station prankster who's
here. Everybody high up already
know how Kelly rolls."
"Yes." said Roy. "Uh..." "Well... " "I guess..." replied the others.
"Define those huffs of doubt, pronto. You don't have to hold your tongues.
I'm still your pal."
"He muzzled us, Hank." complained Kelly.
DeSoto held up a finger and clarified.
a time. But now he's retracting it when it comes to firefighter/public
communications and information
Marco gaped. "That's different. Brice? Retracting a captain's order?"
annoyed. "His past reputation aside, Marco, Craig is suddenly
a different man. This new rank of his
is changing him from the inside out.
He's finally seeing that he can't be so rigid or regulation stiff
comes to managing whole groups of people: our station crew, other
agencies, even sets of
public eye witnesses. He has to keep his
mind open to everything, all the time now, just to see the
"Yep." Hank Stanley grinned, crossing his turn coated arms over
"Exactly what I was checking for. Did he pass muster?" he
asked specifically of Roy.
"Yeah. For the most part. It was an added complication that Karen Overstreet
a call under his jurisdiction that he had to delegate out to someone
else." DeSoto shared, not afraid
to analyze their new crew structure situation.
"And..." hinted Stanley.