Emergency!: Miracle of the Century | By: Billy Moskowitz | | Category: Short Story - FanFiction Bookmark and Share

Emergency!: Miracle of the Century

Miracle of the Century


“About suffering, they were never wrong,” writes Paramedic/Lieutenant John Gage.


“What’s this, Gage?” asks Chet Kelly.


“Just some thoughts,” replies Gage. He continues writing. “On a pond at the edge of the woods, behind a tree.”


“So, our own Lt. John Gage is a poet now, eh?”


Gage keeps on writing.


“Everything runs away from Chet,” writes Gage.




“What, Chet?”


“Did you have to include me?”


“On an expensive, delicate ship.”


“Oh, Roy!”


“What is it, Chet?” asks Paramedic/Lieutenant Roy DeSoto.


“Something amazing,” says Chet. “Gage has started writing poetry.”


“I know. Johnny was over at my house last night for dinner, and Joanne gave him some tips on how to write to impress. And I’ll get her for it.”


“And I plan to use my new skill on more dates,” replies Gage.


“What’s this I hear about Gage writing poetry?” asks Captain Hank Stanley.


“I think Gage has finally lost it,” says Marco Lopez.


“You only think?!” says Engineer/Paramedic/Lieutenant Mike Stoker. “Gage lost it four years ago when we both worked on Engine 69.”


“Shows what you guys know,” says Gage. “I am grateful of Joanne for giving me these poetry tips. And, for your information, I plan on using them on my date this Saturday.”


“So, you have a date,” says Stoker. “When did she go blind?”


“I’m going on a date with Dr. Hunnicutt’s daughter, Erin.”


“Does Dr. Hunnicutt know?” asks Roy.


“We talked about it about three months ago. When Mikey here was talking to Dixie about becoming a paramedic.”


“Well, I wish you the best of luck when Dr. Hunnicutt is staring down the barrel of a shotgun at you,” says Cap.


“Ha, ha, ha, Cap. I will not be on the wrong end of a shotgun. In fact, Dr. Hunnicutt actually trusts me with his daughter.”


“I’ll start planning your funeral, Gage,” says Cap.


“Thanks a lot, Cap,” replies Gage. “Shows just how much confidence you have in me.”


“Actually, Gage,” says Cap, “I actually hope this is the one for you.”


“Yeah, Gage,” says Mike as Cap goes to answer the phone. “I hope this is the end of you striking out.”


“Thanks, Mike.”


“Gage!” yells Cap.


“Yeah, Cap?”




“I’ll be right there!”


“I think this might be Erin,” says Roy.


“I hope it is,” says Mike as John goes to the phone. “That way we can listen in on him.”


“Mike, I think Chet Kelly has been a rotten influence on you,” says Roy.


“Come on, Roy. When do you think the next time will be when we get another chance like this?”


“Good point. Ok. Let’s listen in.”


I’m just saying, Erin, that I might be a little late, and will not have time to change or get freshened up. They’re having a tough time finding a replacement for me for Saturday night. Right. Ok. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”


“We just got loaded with ammo, Roy,” says Mike.


“Mike, you may wanna lay off Johnny for a few hours. Let’s razz him later.”


“Sure thing, Roy.”


“That girl is amazing,” says Gage. “She won’t hold it against me if I show up a little late to pick her up. She said she understands about what a tough time a fire department has getting a replacement.”


“How would she know?” asks Mike.


“Her younger brother is a paramedic up in San Francisco with the San Francisco Fire Department.”


“On second thought,” Roy whispers to Mike, “just let this go until Sunday.”


“Fine with me,” replies Mike.


Gage looks sternly at Roy. “What was that all about, Roy?” he asks.




“Uh, huh. Sure.”


Later that night…


Roy is backing the squad into the station with Gage complaining.


“What a night! Eight runs in three hours. I didn’t think it was possible. Man, I’m beat!”


“I know what you mean,” says Roy. “I haven’t had a day like this since I worked on Engine 41.”


“I hear ya. I hear ya.”


“You wanna see if there’s any grub left?”


“No. You go ahead. I’m gonna turn in.”


“You must be tired if you’re turning down Mike Stoker’s spaghetti.”


“’Night, Roy.”


“’Night, Johnny.”


“Hey, Mike,” says Roy when he walks into the dayroom.


“Hey, Roy. Long night?”


“Like you wouldn’t believe. Eight runs in three hours. And get this: Johnny was so tired that he passed up your spaghetti.”


“Gage IS tired. Usually, I have to make a second batch.”


“I know. He’s probably also nervous about his date Saturday.”


“Come on, Roy. We’ve gotta hit the sack. We’ll need all the energy possible if we’re gonna throw Gage under the bus tomorrow.”


“Or in our case, under the engine.”


“Good one, Roy,” chuckles Mike.


About three hours later, the phone rings, and Cap answers.


“L.A. County Fire Department. Captain Stanley here,” grunts Cap. “What?! Hang on. Gage. Phone.”


“Right, Cap. Hello? Oh, hey, Erin. What’s up? You just got into LAX? Where’ve you been? Oh, San Fran. Listen I gotta–”


The alarm goes off, adding to a restless night.


“—I gotta go.”


“Station 51, Engine and Squad 10, Engine 210, Engine and Squad 36, Engine 116, Engine and Truck 127, Battalion 14 – Structure Fire – 1126 West 192nd Street. 1-1-2-6 West 192nd Street. Cross Street: 5th. Time out: 03:45”


“Station 51, 10-4. KMG365,” says Cap.


Station 51 is a block and a half away when Sam Lanier comes back over the radio.


“All units responding with Engine 10, cancel. Engine 10 reports kitchen fire, and Battalion 14 confirms.”


“Station 51,” comes an angry Hank Stanley.


“I don’t think Cap’s too happy,” says John.


“It doesn’t seem that way, does it, Lieutenant Obvious?”


Back at the station, Cap pulls Gage aside.


“John, can we talk for a minute?”


“Sure, Cap. What’s up?”


“About these phone calls for you in the middle of the night recently. They’ve really gotta stop.”


“Cap, I can’t help when planes come into airports. If I could, I would make them land during the day.”


“I know you would, but with the way sleep has been over the past couple of shifts, you’ve really gotta do something, and soon.”


“I know, Cap. I’ll talk to Erin tomorrow.”


“Thanks, John. Now, get some sleep.”


“Yes, Cap.”


“Mornin’, Roy.”


“Morning, Johnny.”


“Hey, Roy,” calls Cap, “I need to see you in my office for a minute.”


“Be right there, Cap!” replies Roy. “Wonder what I’m in trouble for?”


“Only one way to find out.”


“Yeah, Cap?” Roy says as he walks into Cap’s office.


“I just got a phone call from your wife.”


“Oh, no. This can’t be good.”


“No, it’s nothing bad. She just wants to know if you would like to go with her on Gage’s date. Sorta like a double-date.”


“I’d like to, but this is Johnny’s night. Plus, you’ve got me replacing Stoker, who’s replacing Johnny. Who’s replacing me?”


“I’m still working on that. So far, it looks like Craig Brice is the only one volunteering.”


“Great. Thanks, Cap.”


“What was that all about, Roy?” asks Chet.


“None of your business, Chet,” snaps Roy.


“Poor guy needs a marriage counselor,” Chet says to Cap as Roy walks into the dayroom.


“Yeah, and a baseball bat, too,” replies Cap.


“Excuse me. Can you tell me where I can find Captain Stanley?”


“I’m Captain Stanley. Can I help you?”


“How ya doin’, Captain? I’m Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt, and this is my wife, Peg.”


“What brings you to Station 51, Dr. Hunnicutt?”


“Actually, Peg and I are here to see Paramedic John Gage.”


“He’s in the dayroom.”


“Thanks, Captain.”


“I’ll take you in there.”


Cap leads the Hunnicutts into the dayroom, and Gage jumps up.


“How ya doin’, Dr. Hunnicutt?”


“I’m doing all right. Hey, Roy, Mike.”


“Hey, Doc,” says Roy. “Let me introduce you to the guys. You already met Captain Stanley. This is Marco Lopez. And this character is Chet Kelly.”


“Why am I always last?” complains Chet.


“I rest my case,” replies Roy.


“Before I forget, this is my lovely wife, Peg,” says B.J. “Peg, this is Lieutenant John Gage. He’s a paramedic. He’s also the guy going out with Erin tonight.”


“Glad to finally meet you, Mrs. Hunnicutt. I’ve heard a lot of nice things about you.”


“It’s nice to meet you, too, John,” says Peg. “How long have you been with the fire department?”


“About seven years now, Mrs. Hunnicutt. I worked on Engine 69 with Mike Stoker until we both got assigned to Station 51, where I’ve been a paramedic for four years now.”


“I can live with that. How old are you, John?”




“Peg, that is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand,” says B.J.


“I don’t mind saying that I’m 28, Doc!”


“I still don’t approve of you dating my daughter,” replies Peg. “If you break her heard, I’ll have to kill you.”


“Whoa, calm down, Peg,” says B.J. “You have to remember that Erin isn’t a little girl anymore. If she wants to date John, then she can date John. Who knows, they might end up getting married and giving us grandchildren.”


“Hey, Doc,” says Gage, “you’re jumpin’ the gun a little bit.”


“You disagree with me? In that case, I’m afraid I’ll have to kill you right now!”


“Dr. Hunnicutt, I agree with you. I’m just sayin’ that you’re lookin’ just a little too far into the future. I agree that Erin and I might end up married.”


“Yeah,” says Mike. “That chance is slim to almost none.”


“Will ya get outta here, Mike?!”


“Has Gage ever told you about his track record?”


“What do you mean by that?” asks Peg.


“Thanks a lot, Mike,” says Gage. “I think I’ll ask Cap how my funeral is comin’ along.”


“Peg,” says B.J., “you’ve got nothing to worry about. There’s no way his track record is worse than Hawkeye’s was before he settled down.”


“Who?” asks Gage.


“Dr. Pierce. His track record was legendary in Korea.”


“Oh, yeah? Who’d he finally hitch?”


“Margaret Houlihan.”


“Wait a second,” says Roy. “Now I place the moniker. She was the head nurse at the hospital at Fort Campbell, where I was a Medic. She was my Colonel. When did she retire?”


“About four years ago,” replies B.J. “But, Hawk and Margaret got married about a year after the Korean War ended. Margaret had their only son, Henry Blake Pierce, in ’65.”


B.J. is rambling on about Korea when the alarm goes off.


“Engine 51 – Rubbish Fire - 214 West 220th Street. 2-1-4 West 220th Street. Cross street: Rashdall Avenue. Time out: 13:06.”


“Engine 51, 10-4. KMG365,” says Cap. He just gets into the engine when Mike starts to pull the Ward out of the bay.


“Aren’t you guys going?” snaps Peg.


“Nope,” says Gage. “We only go when they call out Squad 51, or if the Captain says so.”


Roy, John, B.J., and Peg are talking about their pasts when the engine gets back fifteen minutes later.


“Some rubbish fire,” whines Chet. “A guy was grilling some steaks and burgers, another guy was walking by, saw the smoke, then called us.”


“Better safe than sorry,” says Roy.


“Roy, John, Mike, come in here for a second,” yells Cap.


“We gotta be going,” says B.J. “See you tonight, John.”


“Yeah, see ya, Doc,” says Gage.


“Yeah, Cap?” says Roy.


“Hey, Brice,” says Gage.


“Roy, you’re filling in for Mike. Mike, you’re filling in for Roy. Brice, you’re filling in for Gage. Again.”


All four of them reply in unison, “Right, Cap.”


“So, Brice,” says Gage, “I hear you have a new Captain at 110.”


“You heard right,” says Brice. “And you might know him.”


“Oh, yeah?” says Mike.


“Captain Dick Hammer.”


“Hammer is your Captain now?” asks Roy.


“For about six months now.”


“While you guys catch up, I gotta get going,” says Gage.


“See ya tomorrow, Johnny,” says Roy. He looks over to a grinning Mike Stoker.


“Yeah. See ya, Johnny,” says Mike. “Sucker,” he adds to Roy under his breath.


7:30 that evening:


John pulls up in Erin’s driveway in his trusty Land Rover a half hour early.


“Hey, Erin,” John says as Erin opens the door. “What’s with the military get-up?”


“You’ll see,” says Erin. “Oh, and, we’re going to the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown L.A.”


“If that’s the place I think it is, then we gotta get going,” says Gage.


Gage and Erin are driving north on the 110 Freeway.


“So,” says Gage, “are we going to some kind of reunion?”


“I hate you,” says Erin. “Dad told me to keep quiet about it. He thought you wouldn’t like the idea of coming to the annual reunion of the 4077th MASH.”


“Erin, you know I respect your dad. And as for this reunion, it sounds like fun. Who all’s gonna be there?”


“Dad, Dr. Pierce, Nurse Houlihan, Colonel Potter, Major Winchester, Sgt. Klinger, Radar, Father Mulcahy, and “Trapper” John McIntyre.”


“That’s a lot of people.”


“And I have a feeling that Radar is going to bring a few friends.”




“Radar is a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, and is stationed out of Central Division, so take four guesses.”


“Reed, Malloy, and I can’t think of anyone else,” laughs Gage.


“You got Reed and Malloy right. The other two are also detectives: Joe Friday and Bill Gannon.”


“I guess we better be on our best behavior, then.”


“It doesn’t matter anyway. You outrank all four of them.”


“Hey, that’s right. I’ll tell you, Erin, I’m still not used to this new rank.”


Gage is pulling up to the hotel, and sees B.J. standing out front.


“I think we’re late,” says Gage.


“He doesn’t look angry.”


“How ya doin’, Doc?” says Gage.


“I’m doing OK, John,” says B.J. “Hey, Erin.”


“Hi, Dad. Is everybody here?”


“Just about. We’re waiting for Radar, Reed, Malloy, Friday, and Gannon.”


“But, other than that, everyone’s here?” asks Erin.




“There you are, Beej,” says Hawkeye Pierce. “How ya doing, Erin? I see you brought a guest. How you doing, John?”


“I’m alright, Doc.”


“Please, just call me Hawkeye.”


“Why ‘Hawkeye’?”


“It’s from The Last of the Mohicans. It was my father’s favorite book.”


“Wow. I didn’t know that,” says Gage.


“There’s a lot of things you don’t know. For example: Your fly’s open.”


“Thanks, Hawkeye.”


“Ah, Radar’s here,” says B.J.


“Hey, Radar,” says Hawkeye.


“Oh, hi, Hawkeye and B.J. Is Trapper here?”


“He’s inside catching up with Colonel Potter,” says B.J.


“Alright. Who’s this with Erin, B.J.?” asks Radar.


“This is Lieutenant John Gage. He’s a paramedic with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, as you can tell from his uniform.”


“Well, these are Officer Jim Reed, Sergeant Pete Malloy, Sergeant Joe Friday, and Officer Bill Gannon.”


“Roy and I already know Reed and Malloy,” says Gage. “But, I don’t know Friday or Gannon.”


“Nice to meet you, Lieutenant,” says Sgt. Friday.


“Same goes for me, Lieutenant,” says Gannon.


“Guys,” says Gage, “just call me John.”


Before anyone can say anything else, gunfire starts ringing out.


Radar runs to his car, and gets on the radio.


“This is 1-K-82. Officers need help at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel! Shots fired! Also, respond the fire department for casualty extrication.”


“1-K-82, roger.”


“1-K-82, fire department is not available to respond to your incident.”




Gage takes the mic from Radar.


“Dispatch, this is Lieutenant John Gage. I’m a paramedic with the Los Angeles County Fire Department! Call them and have them respond Station 51 to this location!”


“1-K-82, roger.”


“B.J.!!” screams Hawkeye.


“What happened?” asks Gage.


“He’s been hit, you dunce!”


“I got him!” yells Radar.


“I’m also hit!” yells Malloy.


Radar, Reed, Friday, and Gannon go over to check on the suspect.


“Nice shot, Radar,” says Gannon. “He’s still alive, though.”


“1-K-82, come in.”


“1-K-82, go ahead,” says Malloy.


“Los Angeles County Fire Department is responding Station 51 to your location. Rampart Hospital is also responding an ambulance.”


“1-K-82, roger.”


“Also, L.A. County Fire asks to switch to their frequency.”


“1-K-82, roger. John, they want you to switch to L.A. County Fire frequency.”


“Right, Pete.”


After a couple of minutes, Gage hears Sam Lanier over the radio.


“I know that voice anywhere.”


“You on the right channel?”


“L.A., this is Lt. John Gage of Squad 51.”


“Go ahead, Lieutenant.”


“L.A., what is the ETA of Station 51?”


“ETA is five minutes.”


“10-4. I can hear the sirens now.”


“There’s no way they’ll make it to Rampart,” says Hawkeye.


“We’re taking them to Central Receiving,” says Gage.


“Good idea.”


“L.A., Station 51 at scene,” comes Cap’s voice.


“Station 51.”


“Cap, we have three victims.”


“L.A., Engine 51. Call Central Receiving Hospital and have them respond an additional ambulance.”


“Station 51.”


“Roy, Mike, Brice, tend to the victims.”


“Right, Cap.”


“Roy, Mike, over here!” yells Gage.


“Hey, Pete,” says Roy. “How ya feel?”


“Ok, I guess. I never thought I’d ever be treated by you two jokers.”


“Can’t win ‘em all.”


“I guess not.”


Roy hushes Pete as he picks up the Biophone.


“Rampart, this is County 51.”


“Go ahead, 51.”


“Rampart, we have three victims. Victim #1 is an off-duty officer with the LA Police Department, about 35 years of age, with a gunshot wound to the left bicep. B.P. is 100 over 62, pulse is 120 and strong, and respiration is 13 normal.”


“10-4, 51. Start an I.V. with Ringers, and add five milligrams MSIV.”


“10-4, Rampart. I.V. with Ringers, add five milligrams MSIV.”


“Roy,” says Reed, “we just lost the suspect.”


“Thanks, Jim.”


“How’s Pete?”


“I’m fine, Jim. And, Roy, no morphine. Last time I needed morphine, I was completely zonked out of my skull. Jim remembers.”


“Rampart, a correction. We only have two victims. We just lost the third victim.”


“How’s the second victim, 51?”


“The second victim is a male about 50 years of age. He was also involved in the same shooting, but it looks like the bullet just winged him on the right forearm.”


“10-4, 51. Transport as soon as possible.”


“10-4, Rampart. We will be transporting to Central Receiving Hospital due to our location.”


“10-4, 51.”


“How you doing, Pete?” asks Gage.


“Never better,” says Pete. “I gotta get shot more often.”


“Let’s get you in the ambulance,” says Gage.


“Jim, tell Mac where I am if he asks.”


“How about Karen?” asks Jim.


“Karen, too.”


“See ya later, Pete.”


“See ya, Jim.”


“Roy, you go ahead. I’ll stay with Erin,” says Gage.


“Ok, Johnny.”


Roy climbs into the ambulance with Pete and B.J.


“Brice, I’ll drive the squad in,” says Mike. “You take the engine on back.”


“Yes, sir, Mr. Stoker, sir,” says Brice.


“And when I get back to the station, I’ll explain just how much of an ass you’re making of yourself.”


At the hospital, Dr. Ronald Jones takes a look at Malloy, and Dr. Brackett takes a look at B.J.


“Didn’t expect to see you here, Doc,” says Roy.


“Not as surprised as I am to be here.”


“So, Dr. Brackett,” says B.J., “what’s the diagnosis?”


“Well, you definitely need stitches, and you’ll more than likely be getting a tetanus shot.”


“You need me anymore, Doc?” asks Roy.


“No, go ahead. I’ve got my own private ambulance.”


“See ya, Doc.”


“Hey, Roy,” says Reed, “how’s Dr. Hunnicutt?”


“He’s fine. How’s Pete?”


“They gave him some morphine, and now he’s singing ‘Hound Dog’ to the nurse.”


“Is this the same Pete Malloy I talked to twenty minutes ago?”


“Yes and no.”


Roy and Jim bust out laughing when the orderlies wheel Pete up to the O.R. while he’s singing “Hey, Good Lookin’” rather loud, and out of tune.


“What’s so funny?” asks Stoker.


“Sorry, Mike. We’re laughing at Pete,” replies Jim.


“We gotta get going,” says Roy. “But, first, we need to see how Johnny’s doing. See ya, Jim.”


“Alright. See you guys later.”


Roy and Mike head for the Squad, leaving Jim laughing like a hyena.


“I think he just gave himself a hernia,” says Mike.


Back at the scene of the shooting, Lieutenant MacDonald has shown up, and is questioning Gage.


“So, where exactly was Malloy hit, Lieutenant?” asks Mac.


“In the left bicep. How many more questions are you gonna ask me?”


“That’s it. You’ll be getting a call from Internal Affairs in the next couple of days. Then, you’ll be asked to appear in front of a Shooting Board in about a week. You got that?”


“Yeah, sure. Hey, Roy! How are Pete and Dr. Hunnicutt doing?”


“Hunnicutt’s fine. Malloy isn’t gonna wanna quit his day job anytime soon.”




“They gave Pete some morphine, and he’s zonked out of his skull singing country songs.”


“Singing - -?”


“To the nurses.”


“I’ve gotta get Erin home. See ya at the station tomorrow.”


“See ya, Johnny.”


“Who was that, John?”


“That was my partner and best friend, Roy DeSoto,” replies Gage. “Now, let’s get you home. And quick, because there’s your mom.”


“John!” yells Peg. “How’s B.J.?”


“He just got winged, Mrs. Hunnicutt. He’ll need stitches and a shot or two, but he’ll be fine.”


“That’s all I wanted to know. Just take Erin home.”


“That’s where we’re headed,” replies Gage.


The ride back to Carson is a long, silent trip until Gage turns down Erin’s street.


“What a night,” says Erin. “I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like this to happen.”


“That goes double for me.”


“As the old saying goes: There’s a first time for everything.”


“Why don’t you stop by the station sometime tomorrow?”


“I’ll do that. See you tomorrow.”


“Good night, Erin.”


The next morning, Gage walks into the station and sees Chet Kelly standing by the Squad with an evil grin on his face.


“What is it, Chet?”


“I’m impressed.”


“About what?”


“Your date last night was a complete disaster, and for once, it wasn’t your fault.”


“Lay off, Chet. I’m still a bit shaken up from last night.”


“I can imagine,” says Roy. “By the way, Chet, that remark just got you latrine duty for the next two shifts.”


“Aw, Roy! Have a heart!”


“Not this time.”


“Thanks, Roy,” says Gage.


“Don’t mention it. So, how’s Erin?”


“Better, but still upset. She said she’ll stop by the station later, but she’ll call first.”


“Hey, John,” says Stoker. “How you doing?”


“I’m fine, Mike. I don’t wanna talk about last night.”


“Not one word,” says Marco. “By the way, John, we’re having chili for lunch. Not the best meal to have a lady around when there’s six guys eating it.”


“She won’t be here for lunch.”


“I know.”


“Morning, Gage,” says Cap.


“Hey, Cap.”


“Gage, if you want to talk about what happened last night, my door is always open.”


“Thanks, Cap. But, I don’t wanna talk about last night.”


“Ok, ok. No need to get testy.”


“Sorry, Cap.”


“Hey, Johnny.”


“Yeah, Roy?”


“I just got a call from Jim Reed. Pete’s just fine, and he’s out of his state of confusion.”


“Thank God for that.”


“I already did.”


“Is Lt. John Gage here?” comes Joe Friday’s voice.


“I’m right here, Sarge.”


“The reason Bill and I are here is to give you a summons from Internal Affairs for a Shooting Board two weeks from tomorrow.”


“Oh. Thanks, Joe. I’ll see ya then.”


“Gage! Lunch!” yells Cap.


“Right, Cap!”


“This is good, Marco,” says Chet.


“Isn’t it always?”


“This is the best yet, Marco,” says Stoker.


Cap grunts as he goes to answer the phone.


“I wonder who that is?” says Chet.


Mike responds with, “Probably the miracle of the century.”




“Yeah, Cap?”




Gage looks skeptical as he heads for the office to take the call.


“Good luck, Johnny,” says Roy.


“Thanks a lot, Roy.”



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