Home » The Archives » Chapter 11 » Regaining Momentum
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #426 is a reply to message #425]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:42
Gordon guided the hoverbike through the wreckage, coming to a stop near where they were told there might be victims. He waved towards Luke and stopped his bike. Luke joined him a moment later. "Has Rommel found anything yet?" Gordon asked.|
Luke shook his head. "Nothing." He glanced over at his dog. Rommel was cautiously picking his way through the rubble, sniffing as he moved.
"OK, let's see what we can find." Gordon started forward.
Luke grabbed his arm. "Wait. This area might not be stable." He whistled to Rommel, who came trotting over. Luke held his hand up, palm facing the dog, then sharply pointed forward. Rom "woofed" and stepped in front of Gordon. He moved ahead a few paces then turned and bared his teeth, growling at Gordon.
Gordon held his hands up. "Ah...Wanna help me out here?"
"Good boy. Stay back, that area's not safe," Luke told Gordon.
Suddenly, Rommel darted in another direction. He nosed around a moment, then looked up and started barking. Luke moved instantly moved towards him. "We've got something." Rommel was pawing at the rubble. "And whoever it is, they're alive."
Gordon quickly called Mobile Control. "Maverick, this is Cousteau."
"Go ahead, Cousteau."
"It looks like we've found someone. Not sure how many yet, but..." he glanced over at Rommel, "Sarge is going nuts and Alpine says that means they're alive."
There was a short pause on the other end. "Sarge?...Oh, Sarge! FAB, Cousteau, will you need medical assistance?"
"Not sure yet, I'll keep you posted." Gordon turned back to Luke. "Find them?"
Luke shoved another piece of debris out of the way. "Not yet. Give me a hand here." Together to two men lifted a large chunk of cement, exposing a hole. "Rommel!" The dog scurried over, sniffing at the hole. He gave two sharp barks.
"H-hello? Is someone there?"
Luke grinned at Gordon, then turned to the hole. "This is International Rescue."
"Oh, thank God! Can you get us out of here?"
"We're working on it. What's your situation?"
"There are four of us. We're trapped in a stairwell. What happened?"
Gordon leaned over. "There was an earthquake. Is anyone injured?"
"A few bumps and bruises, nothing serious."
"Hang on and we'll get you out of there." Gordon quickly relayed the information back to Mobile Control, as Luke and Rommel moved to another area. Suddenly Rommel shot ahead, Luke following at his heels. Gordon called back down to the victims again. "We've let the others know your situation. Help is on the way, just hang tight." He bolted after his partner.
Luke and Rommel were poking around what looked like the remains of a trailer. "C'mon, mutt, who's in here?" Luke muttered as he followed Rommel's agitated movements. He looked up as Gordon joined him. "This must be the supervisor's trailer that Maverick told us about. There's no answer to my calls, but Rom's going nuts so someone's still alive in there."
Together, the two men pried apart what used to be a door. Luke slipped inside and Gordon heard him swear. "I found him. It's not good. Looks like head injuries, at least 3 broken ribs, and most likely, internal bleeding. He's shocky too. You'd better get the medical team down here."
"FAB. Cousteau to Mobile Control, we need Doc and her crew here now. Alpine says the victim is critical," Gordon told Scott.
"FAB, they're on their way."
Gordon peered down into the trailer. "Is he stable enough for you to leave him?"
Luke nodded. "I think so, why?"
"We need to widen this hole to get him out."
"Right. Hand me my pack, would you?" Gordon grabbed the knapsack and passed it to Luke. "Thanks." Luke pulled out a blanket and tucked it around the victim. He whistled to Rommel. "Watch him, boy." The dog stretched himself out next to the fallen man, his eyes never leaving Luke.
The two men assembled their cutting equipment and began slicing their way through the walls of the trailer.
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #427 is a reply to message #426]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:42
"Damn!" Dianne swore as she grabbed a medikit. She motioned for Nikki to take a stretcher and backboard, then picked up a scanner. "This is why we need this bucket of bolts back in working order! So we can move the whole damn thing to the victim if necessary!" |
Three long strides and she was down the ramp. Scott downloaded the coordinates where Luke and Gordon were to her visor; a quick glance and she was off and running. Nikki overtook her easily, glancing back to see Dianne huffing along behind. I will get some more time in on the treadmill! Dianne swore to herself. As much as I hate running, I have to be fit enough to do it!
She took some time to catch her breath when she arrived at the ruined trailer. Luke glanced over at her with a concerned frown; Gordon kept his focus on cutting the aluminum walls, but once they'd finished cutting and had eased a good portion of wall and roof away, he put a hand on her shoulder. "You okay, Doc?"
By this time, she'd recovered her breath. "Yeah, Ah'm okay now. Just a bit winded. Need to get back into shape." She straightened and moved over to the victim, running the scanner over him. "Concussion, three broken ribs, two fractures. Fractured arm... lung collapsed. We deal with that first, and get him on a backboard. I need a chest tube; Angel, start cutting the clothes."
They worked furiously for several minutes with both Luke and Gordon lending a hand. Rommel moved away at Luke's command, sitting between the two hoverbikes as if on guard. Finally, they eased their patient onto an antigravity stretcher. Luke's eyes widened when he saw the stretcher float upward to an easy height for pushing.
"Angel, you take one of these hoverbikes and go on ahead to prep the surgical suite," Dianne ordered. "We'll come along as fast as we can with our patient here."
"F-A-B, Doc," Nikki responded. She chose the red hoverbike, started it up, and sped off in the direction they'd come.
"Let's move along an' get this gent to Seven," Dianne said, shouldering her medikit and taking hold of the stretcher.
"Doc," said Gordon firmly. "You'd better take the other hoverbike, especially after that last run."
"We're faster than you are, and we won't be jolting this guy any. You get back fast and get ready." Luke turned and motioned to Rommel, who trotted over.
"F-A-B," Dianne said, shaking her head. "But don't get used t' ordering me around, y'hear?"
"Never," Gordon said. He nodded to Luke, and the two took off at a run, the stretcher moving smoothly between them as they matched strides. Rommel ran ahead.
Dianne kicked the hoverbike into gear, and sped back to the medical cabin, passing her patient on the way. This is more like it! she thought. I'll have to see if I can get one assigned to Seven on a permanent basis!
Post by Tikatu
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #428 is a reply to message #427]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:42
The plane slowly circled the small airfield, finally coming in for a landing. The young woman stepped out from under the hanger door and made her way towards the plane. She arrived as the steps lowered. A figure appeared in the doorway and she bowed.|
The leader of the Tyrikalicans smiled as he placed his hand on her head. "Rise, my child." She looked up, devotion clearly evident in her eyes. "What have you heard?"
"Kylania, they are reporting on the news that the damage in the area was minimal. It should have survived."
"You have not been there yourself?"
She shook her head. "No, Kylania, I have not."
"You have acquired transportation?"
"Yes, this way." She led her leader and his attendants over to a van. "Many of the roads are closed, but we should be able to drive quite a ways before having to continue on foot." The leader nodded, and gathering his blue robes about him, settled down in the passenger seat. A few moments later they were driving towards the city.
One of the attendants held a small laptop. He was scanning data then looked up. "Kylania, they are here. The Jestreethzi n'Hildrathuk are here!"
The leader appeared unruffled. "Why do you sound surprised? It is their sacred duty, is it not? Did you doubt they would come at Undlieek's call?"
Chastened, the man shook his head. "No, Kylania."
"After we have surveyed the damage, we shall find our brothers and sisters and offer our support."
They drove in silence for a long while, gazing out at the damaged buildings around them. As they got closer to their destination, the roads became impassable with crowds of people. The young woman pulled the van over. "This is as close as I can get, Kylania. It is about a mile's walk to our Supreme Leader's house."
"Very well, then we shall walk." The group exited the van and started down the street. They often paused to help people; once to reunite a small child that had become separated from her family in the crowds, another to lead an ambulance crew to a group of injured.
Finally, they arrived at their destination. They paused and genuflected, their eyes closing. "Prelishelvihano, Supreme Leader, we have come." The leader stood and led his charges through the gate bearing the word: Graceland.
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #429 is a reply to message #428]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:43
The rescue site, 1:50 PM, local time....|
Alan tapped his finger on the desk, his eyes never leaving the screens in front of him. He hated being stuck up on Thunderbird Five, more so in times like this. Now that three of them were sharing the rotation, instead of just himself and John, it wasn't so bad. He smiled as he listened to his brother issuing orders at the rescue site. Good old Scott, he thought to himself, keeping the troops in line.
A sudden beeping caught his attention and he turned and read the data coming in on the computer. "Damn..." He quickly hit the transmit button. "Mav, this is Indy. I've just gotten an alert from the Weather Service. There's a series of thunderstorms headed in your direction. They should be reaching you in less than an hour."
"Terrific, that's all we need." Scott sighed. "Got any more good news for me?"
Alan hesitated a moment. "Actually...have you had any aftershocks yet?"
"A few, nothing serious. Why?"
"Well, seismic scans indicate that you're either going to get another small quake or a big aftershock within the next couple of hours."
"You're just full of happiness and cheer, aren't you?"
"Just doing my job. How long until you wrap things up?" Alan inquired.
"Not sure. Alpine and Cousteau are still searching for victims; Frankie and Quasar are in the DOMO, clearing up some of the debris. They've managed to get a large group of people out and they're waiting to be checked out. Sweet and Tynan are with another group, giving oxygen and tending to the injured," Scott answered. "Ursa and Einstein are checking the area for methane. It used to be a landfill, so the danger of gas is a real possibility."
"Let's hope they don't find any. What about Angel?"
"She's with Doc. They have a critical and are working on him over in Seven."
Alan nodded. "I'll notify Base and update them on the situation." He glanced at the computer again. "Those storms are moving fast; you'd better try and step on it."
"FAB. Mobile Control, out." Scott cut the connection and Alan quickly got busy alerting his father.
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #430 is a reply to message #429]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:43
While Brains and Callie were getting the Laser truck ready for use, Scott looked up at the sky again, then at the group of people who were gathered around Thunderbird Seven's ramp. "I really hope those storms ease up by the time they get here. But whether or not they do, we're going to need some shelter," he muttered. Glancing around to see if any of the other operatives were available, he swore under his breath. "Thunderbird Five from Mobile Control," he called.|
"Thunderbird Five here, reading you strength five. What do you need, Mav?"
Scott rolled his eyes at the new nickname. "I'm locking up Mobile Control for a bit. We're going to need some shelter over the victims before those storms arrive. Keep an eye on Mobile Control for me long distance, will you? And if there's anything urgent that needs my attention while I'm working on the tent, send it to my visor."
"F-A-B," Alan said. He called up a schematic of the rescue site, then pulled aside another window with just Mobile Control and its immediate vicinity on it, and zoomed in tight. A blue dot glowed brightly near the unit.
"Locking up... now." Scott flipped a switch and the screens powered down. The keyboard locked, and the mike switched off. "I'm off to get the Penelar tent."
Inside Thunderbird Seven's surgical suite, Dianne was just shucking her gloves after finishing a quick and dirty surgery on Jim D'Angelo. She glanced up at the scanner's readings; the broken bones still showed clearly, even though they'd been splinted. His vitals made her lips thin, and she shook her head slightly. She glanced up at Nikki. "Okay, Angel. Let's move him and make room foah some o' our other patients."
"F-A-B." Nikki brought the antigravity stretcher up to the level of the surgical scanner, and together they transferred Jim to it. "Where do you want him?"
"Neah the doah," Dianne said as she helped ease the stretcher out. "Ah'm gonna see if'n we can get an airlift foah this one. We just don't have the time to finish the job heah, an' Ah'm afraid he won't last."
"At least he was the first," Nikki reminded her. She and Dianne moved Jim to one of the biobeds, and she slid the doctor's chart into its slot to record his vital signs. "Now we can focus on the others. Alpine and Tynan have been helping to triage when they've brought patients back, so everyone should be tagged so far." She tweaked the blanket that covered Jim. "Want me to see if Tynan is available?"
Dianne sighed. "Just bring in the worst o' the red or yellow tags and we'll start working. Let Tynan finish what he's started. We can corral Alpine if'n he gets back heah first." She looked down at her bloodied scrubs. "Ah'd bettah change real quick. Don't wanna scare the patients."
Nikki smiled wearily, and Dianne headed for the door to the cockpit... only to pull up short as she remembered that there was no cockpit. With another sigh, she headed back towards the tiny storage area at the back... only to nearly collide with the next patient. "Bring her in heah, Angel," she said, dismissing her former problem. A glance at the doctor's station on the way to the surgery showed her Jim's bioreadings, and she touched her earpiece. "Mobile Control from Thunderbird Seven. Ah need an airlift, if it can be arranged."
Scott, who was carrying the backpack containing the large Penelar tent, answered her call. "I'll see what I can do, Doc, but we've got some storms approaching and we need to get the other patients under cover."
"Maverick, the medical airlift first, if you please," Dianne said with a scowl, as she cleaned her hands. "Theyah have got to be some able-bodied men out theyah who can help you put up a tent."
Scott was about to reply, when a big dark fellow came up to him, and offered his hand. "Uh, sir? I'm Terry Nicks, construction foreman. I heard that you folks found Jim D'Angelo, our architect. Do you know how he is?"
"I'm not the one to ask, Mr. Nicks," Scott said as he headed back to Mobile Control. He put down the backpack and spoke into his earphone. "Thunderbird Five from Maverick. Unlocking Mobile Control now."
"F-A-B," Alan replied, watching as the blinking letters "MCon" stopped blinking.
"Indy, I need a medical airlift. One critical patient at this location."
"I'm on it, Maverick." Alan's voice rang in one of Scott's ears as Terry's rang in the other.
"Would that be Jim?" Terry shifted from foot to foot, a frown of concern on his face. "I heard he was in bad shape."
"I'm not sure, Mr. Nicks." Scott kept his eyes on the screens; the weather screen concerned him the most.
"Well, is there anything my men and I can do?" The near plea in Terry's voice caught Scott's ear. "I know Jareth gave you a hand earlier. Is there anything else you need?"
Scott glanced down at the backpack, and back up at the foreman. "Y'know, I think there is something you could help me with."
Post by Tikatu
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #431 is a reply to message #430]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:43
Brains and Callie had gone on to try and find the recovery system that vented the methane gas away from the buildings. They located a stairwell that seemed to be going in the right direction, but it was blocked. A small aftershock then hit, and some of the material partly fell away, revealing an opening. So, carefully, they went down. They found a wide hallway, filled with debris, but negotiable. |
Slowly they made their way, checking the rooms on either side, until they found what they were looking for.. But they instantly knew it was hopeless to try and get it going.
"I don't believe this, Ursa. This machine is a pile of junk. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was one of the original machines from the last century. It looks like someone was trying to save some money at the expense of people's lives. Or siphon off money for himself."
"I hate to think that of anyone, Einstein," Callie replied, "but I'd have to say that, in this instance, you're right. I can't imagine how they got this past the inspectors." She moved to one side, squatted down to peer past some of the debris. "But the beams and cement have crushed what looks like a very essential part of it, so old or not, it's useless. We're going to have to find another way of getting the methane out of here."
"What did the readings you took say again?"
Callie rechecked. "Very high. The last reading had it at 460 parts per thousand, and climbing rapidly."
"Then we need to act fast." Brains tapped his communicator. "Mobile Base from Einstein."
"Go ahead, Einstein."
"The device to vent the methane away is useless. It is both old, and badly damaged. We're going to need the Excavator to unblock the tunnels in as many locations as we can, and perhaps the Laser Truck to bore several holes into them from above. And we need to do it as fast as possible. Our readings indicate a high count of methane gas there, and it's rising rapidly."
"Tynan and Sweet have the Excavator and, I believe, have unblocked the tunnels in at least two locations already. The Laser Truck is standing by. Return here, and we'll figure out where the best places to poke the holes would be. We need to make it fast. Indy has informed me that both some thunderstorms and either another quake or a large aftershock is due within the next hour or two."
Damn! That's all we need. "F-A-B, Maverick. We're on our way." Brains cut communications, looked over at Callie and said, "Let's move. Every second counts."
As quickly as they could, they made their way back to the surface, then headed back to Mobile control.
Post by Hobbeth
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #432 is a reply to message #431]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:43
The rescue site, 2:15pm local time...|
Elsie frowned in concentration as she maneuvered the DOMO through the rubble. She and John had opened up a stairwell, freeing the people trapped inside. They had continued on, finding other victims and getting them out as well. There had been one hairy moment when the wreckage they were moving shifted, nearly trapping them, but John's deft actions at the wheel got them out just in time.
She glanced over at John, who was peering intently at the heat sensors. "Finding anyone else?"
John shook his head. "Nothing. I think we've got them all. We should head back to Mobile Control."
Elise nodded. "We sure don't want to be out in the middle of this mess if and when those aftershocks hit." She turned the DOMO and started back. "I'll see what I can do about clearing some of this as we go. Make it easier for the local clean-up crew."
"Good plan." They had been traveling for a few minutes when they noticed Gordon and Luke off to their right.
"Hey, Quasar, you guys headed back?" Gordon asked.
"Yes we are, Cousteau. Everything OK?"
"We're fine. We'll be heading in shortly ourselves. Sarge is acting funny so Alpine and I are going to see if we can figure out what's bothering him."
"Sarge?" John asked, puzzled.
"The four-footed member of our team," Gordon replied. "We'll be in soon."
"You'd better be. We've got those storms on the way. Make sure you're out as soon as you can," John told him.
John turned to Elise. "Sarge? Where'd he come up with that one?"
Elise shook her head. "I have no id--" Then she burst out laughing. "Perfect! It's perfect!"
John arched an eyebrow. "Am I missing something?"
Still chuckling, she started to explain. "It's a military thing. All the dogs in the service are given an honorary rank of Sergeant. It goes back to World War Two and it's one of those things that just stuck. You didn't serve, did you?"
John shook his head. "Just the space program."
"That's why you didn't get it. Gordon was in WASP, so he'd have known. Same with Scott. In fact, the squadron stationed with us had a beautiful Doberman named Sarge."
John raised an eyebrow. "You military types are weird."
Elise grinned. "We could say the same about you space cases."
"Ha ha ha." They drove back to Mobile Control in good natured silence.
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #433 is a reply to message #432]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:43
Scott glanced up at the sky behind him. It was turning an ominous looking black, and the wind was starting to pick up. Alan's latest reports had the storm slowing, but not enough to give the crew enough time to finish. At least let it wait until we get most of the victims under cover, Scott thought to himself.|
He checked the location of the rest of the team. Elise and John were on their way back in the DOMO. Looking up he could see the red vehicle moving slowly towards him. Brains and Callie were venting the methane, and should be finished shortly. Tin-Tin and Dominic had returned to Seven, and were tending to the least of the wounded. Dianne and Nikki were seeing to the more serious cases. The helicopter had left a short time ago, taking the wounded architect, Jim D'Angelo, to a local hospital. Gordon called in saying that he and Luke would be back shortly. Scott let out a sigh of relief. Things were going well. They were almost done.
A movement behind him caught his attention and he turned to see a white van pulling up. Figuring it was some of the locals finally able to get through, he turned back to Mobile Control.
"Greetings, Jhutu. We have come."
Scott turned, startled, then let out a groan. "Oh God, you've got to be kidding me."
"Maverick, is something wrong?" Alan's voice sounded in his headset.
"No, Indy. We've just got some...unexpected company," Scott replied.
The occupants of the van were all bald, with a ruby earring in one ear. Each was dressed in royal blue robes, accented by a burgundy sash. One man had a multi-colored sash, green, blue, burgundy, yellow and white. He stepped forward and bowed to Scott. "We are here, Jhutu, to assist you in whatever way you deem necessary." A second van pulled up, then a third, each full of more people.
For one of the few times in his life, Scott was at a loss for words. But the man didn't seem to notice. He gestured to his followers. "Spread out, do what you can." Most gave a bow and moved off towards the medical tent. Some went to comfort those not injured. A small knot gathered around Scott, the leader included. "We shall stay here and offer our prayers to Undlieek."
"Yeah, uh...that would be great...thanks," Scott stammered. "But, uh...please, stay back from the equipment."
The man nodded and moved his followers to a short distance from Mobile Control. Scott shook his head and turned back as the DOMO arrived. John and Elise stepped out. Seeing the Brethren, John did a double take as he and Elise hurried over.
"Is that the group from L.A.?" John asked.
Scott nodded. "Yeah, they're here to offer their 'support and prayers'."
Elise unsuccessfully tried to hold back a giggle. "How long have they been here?"
"Not long." Scott nodded towards the group. "That one with the colored sash appears to be their leader."
"All joking aside, I think we'd better keep an eye on this bunch. I've checked out their website, but maybe we should dig a little deeper," John said.
"Good idea," Scott replied.
Elise looked back towards the strange group. They all had their eyes closed and were chanting something she couldn't understand. "Why don't I go let Doc and the others know what's going on?" She then noticed the group near the tent. "Though at this point, I think they might have already figured it out." She headed off in that direction.
John glanced at them again and chuckled. "You've got to admit, they seem to be helping."
"Oh yeah, they're a big help," Scott muttered.
"That one on the left, the girl. She seems to like you. She keeps staring at you." John grinned at his brother's discomfiture.
"Shut up, John."
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #434 is a reply to message #433]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:44
Dom carefully ran the med scanner over the woman's arm, beginning at the wrist and moving upward, gently pulling the arm forward. His patient cried out, and he eased the joint back. "Sorry about that, miss," he said apologetically. "Looks like you may have torn a ligament in your shoulder, and sprained your wrist as well. We'll have to immobilize your arm and have the doc take a quick look." He turned to his right, expecting to find Tin-Tin there. His patient's sudden wide-eyed look didn't quite register as he asked, "Hand me a wrist splint, will you, Sweet?"|
The hand that gave him the inflatable splint looked odd, too light to be Tin-Tin's, and the sleeve wasn't the bright fuchsia of his helper's uniform shirt (she'd shucked the jacket in favor of the vest, while he'd made a quick change into his scrubs). He turned his gaze completely to the right, and his own eyes widened to find a young, bald woman smiling softly back at him.
"Here, Pewoif. Is this what you require?" Her voice was quiet, and slightly accented, but he couldn't place the tone.
"Y-Yes, thank you." He took the splint and worked to regain his focus so he could properly wrap it around the patient's wrist. When that was done, he reached for the medikit himself, intending to get an immobilizing sling. But the bald woman picked the up the bag herself.
"Tell me what you need, Pewoif, and I shall help you find it."
"I'd rather find it myself, thank you," Dom said, holding out a hand for the bag.
A slightly hurt look that passed over her face, but it was gone in an instant. She bowed, and handed him the bag. "Yes, of course, Pewoif."
He pulled out the sling, and began to gently ease around the patient's arm. The woman he was helping kept staring at Dom's erstwhile helper, and he was thankful for the distraction.
"So," he asked conversationally. "What's this 'Pewoif' you keep on about? What does it mean?"
"It is your name," the bald woman told him. "It means 'he of the melodious voice'." She paused, then added with a smile. "You truly have earned such a name, Pewoif."
The woman patient locked gazes with Dom and let out a noise, almost a hiccuping squeak, then another one, then a third. He thought at first that she was in pain, then it suddenly hit him that she was trying to keep back a strangled laugh. He sighed, turned to his admirer, and said simply, "Thank you."
Post by Tikatu
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #435 is a reply to message #434]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:44
Nikki stepped out of Thunderbird Seven's medical cabin, antigravity float at her side. She looked up, and stood stock still with surprise. The white Penelar tent was full of... bald people. One of them, a tall, middle-aged man saw her, and smiled, then bowed.|
"Greetings, Aoethapot," he said in a deep voice. "It is an honor to meet you and see that you are well again. May I be of assistance?"
Nikki put up one finger. "Uh, wait just a moment, please." She left the stretcher hovering above the ramp, turned around, and hurried back to the surgical area, where Dianne was cleaning off the scanner bed.
"Doc," she said, her tones urgent. "There are... bald people outside. They're wearing these blue robes and sashes... one of them bowed to me and called me something I can't even pronounce! They look like those nutters who think we're from Jupiter!"
Dianne's eyes widened in disbelief. "No! You're kidding!" She left the surgical room for the little storage area, and peered out, trying hard not to be seen. Her eyes widened even more, and she began to laugh. "You're not kidding!"
"Shh! They'll hear you!" Nikki pushed Dianne back into the surgery and slid the door shut. "What do you think they're doing here?"
Dianne kept laughing, louder now, holding a hand over her abdomen. "Oh, God. That is so funny!" she said between gulping breaths.
Nikki shook her head. "I'm going to ask Maverick." Tapping her earphone, she said, "Mobile Control from Thunderbird Seven."
Scott answered promptly. "Mobile Control here. How can I help you, Angel?"
"Er, I'm not sure, Maverick." She glanced over at Dianne, who was trying to get herself under control. "There are a lot of unauthorized people in the med tent..." Her description set Dianne off again.
"Uh, yes, I know," Scott replied. "They're the people from Jupiter. They're here to offer their 'help and prayers'." He paused to listen. "What's that noise in the background?"
"Just Doc, laughing," Nikki responded. "So they're really those nutters who think we're from Jupiter?"
"Yes, Angel. Just... just let them help, but don't let them interfere." Scott paused, then added, "And tell Doc to go breathe in a paper bag or something. We don't need to antagonize or insult them."
Nikki blew out a breath. "F-A-B, Maverick. I'll tell her. Angel out."
There was a knock on the surgical suite's door. "Doc, Angel, are you all right in there?" Tin-Tin called. "Your next patient is waiting."
Dianne finally calmed, pulling off her visor and wiping her eyes. "Yeah, we're all right, Sweet. Be there in a tick." She glanced at Nikki. "Ah hope Ah can keep from laughing in their faces."
"I hope so, too!" Nikki replied. She opened the door to the surgery. "Let's go."
Dianne took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Her voice sounded steadier as she said, "Right. We've been too long in here as it is."
They left together. Nikki descended the ramp, making her way to where Tin-Tin waited with the stretcher she'd left. The middle-aged man was there, ready to help transfer the next patient to the float.
"Well met again, Aoethapot," he said with a smile and a bow. "I am honored to help you and Undlieek-asjaphe in your work."
"Er, thank you, sir," Nikki said, exchanging a bemused glance with Tin-Tin. Together, they helped the male patient onto the stretcher. "That word you called me..."
"Yes, that. What is it? What does it mean?"
The man smiled wider. "That is your name in the language of Tyrikalica, and it means 'she of the Golden Fist'."
Nikki winced. "Er, thank you for telling me. I'm not well versed in Tyrikalica." She moved to the head of the stretcher. "We'll take it from here."
"As you wish, Aoethapot." The man bowed again, then moved away to speak to another patient.
Tin-Tin pulled up beside Nikki. "And I thought "daughter of the Golden Sun' was bad!" she murmured, grinning.
Nikki rolled her eyes, and gave Tin-Tin a hard nudge.
While Nikki brought in the next patient, Dianne busied herself by checking on the patients who were already settled in the biobeds, updating their doctor's charts, and making sure their vital signs were steady. As the stretcher bearing her next patient moved up the ramp, she moved to meet it in the doorway, and glanced out at those in the tent.
Suddenly, it seemed all faces were turned her way. A murmuring started amongst the robe-clad people, then they began to bow, murmuring, "Opalneio, Opalneio." A dark skinned woman raised her hands up and called out, "Praise Undlieek! Opalneio has returned to his service!"
The others took up the cry, while the construction workers watched with wide eyes and open mouths.
Dianne's jaw dropped for a moment, then she recovered her wits and held up her hands. "Please, please!" She wasn't getting the response she wanted, so she added, "Please, brothers! Sisters!"
The robed members of the crowd heard her and quieted, still looking her way. She took a deep breath and tried hard not to grin. "Thank you," she said, "Thank you for your help and your... prayers." The last word was hard to say, and sounded a bit strangled as she fought to keep from laughing again. "We appreciate them very much."
Motioning to the medical cabin behind her, she added, "I now must do my duty. Thank you again for your help."
With the last word, she turned and hurried to the surgery, where Tin-Tin and Nikki already had the patient on the scanner bed. She closed her eyes and shook her head, chuckling softly.
"Please! Don't start again!" Nikki cautioned her.
Dianne took a deep breath. "I'm okay. Really." She chuckled again, then took another deep breath. "Let me get to work here and I'll be fine. Really."
Nikki and Tin-Tin exchanged glances, and Tin-Tin shrugged. "You'd better go out and see what our Jupiterian friends are doing," Nikki said.
"Brothers and sisters, Angel," Tin-Tin corrected, with a sly glance in Dianne's direction. "Doc even said so." With that parting shot, she sidled out.
Dianne gave another strangled laugh, then took another deep breath. "I'll be fine. Really."
Post by Tikatu
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #436 is a reply to message #435]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:44
Luke looked down at his dog, a worried expression on his face. Rommel was pressed up close to his master, his tail between his legs, whining. "What's wrong, boy?" Luke knelt down and ran his hands over Rommel's legs and body.|
"Is he OK?" Gordon asked. His voice low.
"He doesn't seem hurt, but..." Rommel whined again and stuck his nose under Luke's hand. "I've never seen him act this way before."
Gordon looked around to see if anyone could overhear. "Then let's get him back to Seven. Mom can put him on the scanner. She's no vet, but if there's something wrong, she'll find it." He put his hand on Luke's shoulder. "We'll take care of him, Luke. He's part of the team."
Luke nodded and stood up. He reached into Rom's pack and pulled out a short leash, snapping it to the vest. "Let's go."
They picked their way through the rubble, Luke casting anxious looks down at his dog. "Easy, boy, almost there."
When they reached the edge of the debris, Gordon nodded towards the medical tent. "Go; I'll tell Maverick what's happening." Luke nodded and hurried off. Gordon started towards Mobile Control, then froze. An evil grin appeared on his face and he trotted forward. "Hey! Looks like we've got a party going on!"
Scott scowled. "Where's Alpine?"
"Having Sarge checked out." Gordon filled his brothers in, then nodded at the Brethren. "How long have our friends been here?"
"Long enough to make Maverick here go a little nuts," John grinned.
Gordon laughed. "I'll be right back."
Scott and John watched as Gordon approached the group. He stopped in front of the leader and bowed. "Greetings, Kylania. We are honored by your presence."
John and Scott's jaws dropped in surprise. "What is he doing?" Scott hissed.
"Shhhh!" John whispered back.
The leader had stepped forward and placed his hands on Gordon's shoulder. "No, Naoptap, it is we who are honored by you." He gestured to the others with open arms. "We are merely here to offer our support and prayers for your safety and those you are helping. You and your brothers and sisters, you are truly doing Undlieek's work. You of the Jestreethzi n'Hildrathuk are the real saviors of mankind." He smiled benevolently, then he and the rest of his followers bowed.
Gordon turned and walked back to his brothers. "That went well, don't you think?"
Scott grabbed him by the arm and dragged him further away from the Brethren. "What did you think you were doing?"
Gordon shrugged himself free of his brother's grip. "Just doing a little PR for our home planet of Tyrikalica." He grinned. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check on Sarge. Vistoalpam, Jhutu, Xuadji." He gave a short bow, then wandered over to Seven.
Scott took a deep breath. "One of these days I'm going to kill him and Dad's just going to have to deal with it," he said in a low whisper that was almost a growl.
John laughed. "Come on, he's not that bad." At Scott's glare, he took a step back. "OK, maybe he is. Well, if you're under control here, I'm going to help load up. Watch your back there, Jhutu." Chuckling at another furious look from Scott, John hurried away.
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #437 is a reply to message #436]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:45
Luke made his way towards the white tent housing Thunderbird Seven. Rommel stuck close to his leg, whimpering and whipping his head back and forth. Luke stepped inside the tent and froze.|
It seemed to be full of bald people wearing bright blue robes. Some were assisting victims, others seemed to be standing in a circle, chanting something he couldn't understand. Pulling Rom closer he sought out a familiar face. He spied Dominic off to one side and hurried over to him. "Hey, have you seen Doc?"
Dom looked up, then started at seeing Rommel. "Aye, she's out back. Everythin' all right?"
"I'll let you know." Luke quickly pushed his way through the crowd, stepping through the curtain separating the area. "Doc? Are you in here?"
Nikki looked up from where she was settling a patient in one of the last biobeds. She frowned a bit at seeing Luke with Rommel so close at his side, but something told her that the dog's demeanor was off. "She's in the surgery, Alpine. Is something wrong?"
"It's the mutt. He's acting really funny. Cousteau said that we could put him on the scanner." Luke's tone was full of concern.
"I'll let Doc know." Nikki finished her task, shucked her gloves, and headed back to the surgery. Just as she got to the door, she found Dianne escorting Dom's wrist and shoulder patient out. "See that she has a comfortable place to sit," Dianne instructed. "Her rotator cuff is torn, but if she can keep the arm immobilized, it should minimize the damage."
"F-A-B, Doc." Nikki glanced over her shoulder at Luke. "Alpine here has brought in... the dog. He says there's something wrong."
Dianne looked over to where Luke stood, trying to comfort Rommel. "Okay. I'll bring him in."
Nikki nodded and escorted the patient back out into the tent, while Dianne approached Luke. "What seems to be the problem, Alpine?"
Luke knelt down and unclipped Rommel's vest. He ran his hands over the dog's torso. "I'm not sure. We found that last group of people and got them out. Suddenly he started acting like this. All jittery like. He doesn't seem hurt, and he hasn't been out of my sight, but something's got him spooked."
"Have you found anything toxic out there? Something he could have eaten, drank, or breathed in?" Dianne asked as she guided both dog and trainer back to the surgical area. She was aware of eyes following them; the still-conscious patients were interested - make that very interested - in the dog's presence.
"No, nothing. He just started acting like this." He looked up at her. "You don't think he's been poisoned do you?" Luke swallowed thickly, his voice hoarse.
"Well, if he was, we'll find out," Dianne replied in a soothing voice. "Bring him in here, and lift him up onto the scanner bed."
Luke hoisted up the dog, and placed him on the bed. Rommel whimpered and Luke rubbed his head. "Easy, boy, easy." He took a step back, giving Dianne room to work.
She activated the scanner, and tapped her earpiece. "Doc to Indy. I'm going to need a long-distance vet consult. I think one of our agents is a vet. Can you get in contact with him or her and download these scans?"
Alan was surprised by the request. "F-A-B, Doc. I'll contact our vet right away."
"Thanks, Indy. Let me know when they're ready." She gave Luke a half-sympathetic, half-apologetic look. "I'm sorry, but I'm not a vet. Fortunately, one of our agents is and will be able to read these scans for me."
Luke had moved back to the dog's side. "Thanks, Doc." He lifted Rom's head, and peered into his eyes. "He's never been sick a day in his life." He bent down and pressed his forehead to the dog's. "You'll be OK, Rom. Doc here's going to take good care of you."
Dianne smiled at the sight of the pair, and stroked Rom's side gently. A sound in her earphone made her reach for her ear.
"Indy to Doc, I've got the vet online. You can upload the scans when you're ready."
"F-A-B." She watched as the scanner finished moving across the dog's body, then tapped a key. "Scans uploading now."
"Got 'em. I'm downloading them to the vet now."
"F-A-B." She turned to Luke. "The vet has the scans now. It shouldn't be too long before we get an answer."
"Thanks, Doc." He continued rubbing Rom's head. "By the way, what's with the pajama party outside? Thought I had crashed a costume party for a moment there." He frowned a moment. "Wait a second. Are those the kooks that were on TV a few months ago? The ones from Mars or something?"
Dianne chuckled. "Jupiter, actually. Yes, those are the same kooks." She raised an eyebrow. "Bet you get a Jupiterian name, too, now that they've seen you... you and Rom here."
"Terrific," he muttered. "See the trouble you get me into!" He ruffled the hair on Rom's head, causing the dog to lick his hand.
Dianne's earpiece sounded again. "Doc, patching the vet through."
A moment later a woman's voice came over the speaker. Dianne hit a button on the console so that Luke could hear too. "Doc, this is Agent 610. I've looked over the scans you sent me and can find nothing wrong." Luke groaned. The woman continued. "His heart rate is quite elevated however, indicating stress of some kind. I assume you have Diazepam on board?"
"Yes, we do." Dianne went to the meds cabinet. "What kind of dosage are we talking about? And it is better for him to have oral or injection?"
"Definitely an injection. How much does he weigh?"
Luke looked up. "About eighty pounds."
The vet rattled off a series of amounts and Dianne got the syringe ready. "Inject him in the scruff of the neck. He should calm down pretty quickly, but I warn you, he'll be groggy for the next couple of hours."
"Groggy I can handle, these nerves I can't. You have no idea what's going on?"
"I'd have to see him for a complete examination," she replied.
Luke looked down at his dog again. "I may take you up on that."
Scott cut in. "All operatives on alert! We have an aftershock warning!"
Before Dianne could inject Rom with the sedative, the aftershock rumbled and rocked the medical cabin.
Luke automatically threw himself over Rom, bracing himself against the table. The shaking lasted only a few seconds, but seemed like forever. When things had settled down, he glanced up at Dianne. "This is why I lived in the mountains. Are you OK?"
"Yeah. I'm okay." She picked the filled syringe from the floor where it had fallen. "I'd better get another, then go out and see how everyone else is doing."
Luke watched as she refilled the needle and injected Rommel. Within moments, the dog stopped shaking and seemed to doze off. Luke let out a sigh of relief. "Scared me, mutt," he said softly. He looked up at Dianne. "Think he'll be all right here? I should get back out there too."
Dianne winced. "I have to move him, I'm afraid. Need the scanner for other patients." She shook her head. "Just watch this get out into the media. I can see the headlines now." She pulled a blanket from a cabinet. "Move him out by the back door. I doubt we'll be needing it."
"How is the patient?" The vet's voice sounded.
"I gave him an injection and he's asleep," Dianne responded.
"Good." She paused a moment. "If it won't be too much of a security breach, can you confirm that you are in an earthquake area?"
Dianne looked puzzled. "Yes, as a matter of fact we are. Just went through an aftershock. Why?"
"Tell me, how was the patient acting when you first arrived?"
Luke thought a moment. "Fine, nothing out of the ordinary. We found victims, both alive and dead, but that's never bothered him before. It's only been the last forty-five minutes or so that he's been off."
"Hmmm, I wonder...Animals sense things, far better than we humans do. Could it be he sensed the quake coming?"
Luke paused. "I suppose it's possible." He looked down at the sleeping dog. "Big goof. Is that what you were trying to tell me?" He shook his head and hoisted Rommel into his arms. "Thanks, Doctor. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again soon."
"I hope so. Keep me posted."
"Thanks, Doctor. I appreciate the help," Dianne said as Luke eased himself and his burden out of the surgery. She pulled out some antiseptic and began to wipe down the scanner bed.
"You're very welcome. Glad to be of assistance. And it's nice to know that you've got a four-legged addition to the team."
"He's been a big help today, but I can see we're going to have some challenges with him, too."
The vet chuckled. "You'll be fine. I'd better let you get back to your specialty."
"F-A-B. Thunderbird Seven out."
The bed now clean, Dianne put away the medicines. As she did, Nikki appeared in the door.
"Alpine's gone out to help with the remaining yellow tags," she said as she helped another patient in. "That aftershock gave us a few more injuries."
"We'll deal with them, Angel. We'll deal with them."
Post by Tikatu and Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #438 is a reply to message #437]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:45
The rescue site, 3:05 local time...|
Scott braced himself against Mobile Control as the ground shook around him. He blotted out the screams of the people nearby, knowing there was nothing he could do until the tremor stopped. After what seemed like forever, but in reality was only a few moments, things grew still. Scott instantly snapped to attention, requesting an update on his team.
"This is Angel. Doc, Tynan, Sweet and I are in the med tent seeing to the victims. There don't seem to be too many new injuries, a few bumps and bruises, nothing major. Alpine is outside giving us a hand," Nikki told him.
"FAB," Scott replied. "Quasar, Frankie?"
"We're in Thunderbird Two, loading the equipment. Cousteau's here, giving us a hand picking things up. Things got a little shaky for a while, but no damage," Elise told him.
"How much longer?" Scott asked, looking up at the sky as it started to sprinkle.
"Less than an hour. We're waiting for Einstein and Ursa to come back with the laser truck."
"I'll see what's holding them up. Einstein, Ursa, do you copy?"
"We do, Mobile Control," Callie answered.
"What's your situation?"
"The tremor actually worked in our favor. It shifted some of the debris off of the draining pipes and the methane is venting freely. I would have to say the danger of explosion is passed, though someone should get out here and repair this correctly as soon as possible," she told him.
"That's the first good news I've heard all day," Scott muttered to himself. "Ursa, get yourselves back here ASAP. The storm is moving in and I want everyone, including the victims, under cover before it hits."
A whimper caught Scott's attention and he turned. The small knot of followers that had been praying behind him were in various forms of disarray. A few had fallen and were being tended to by their associates. Scott hurried over. "Is everyone all right?"
The leader looked up at him. "Jhutu, one of our sisters has been hurt."
"Let's take a look." Scott knelt down in front of the girl who had been staring at him earlier. She had a nasty gash across her forehead, and a dazed look on her face. "Hey there, can you tell me your name?"
She looked up at him and tried to smile. "Zyrethia, my name is Zyrethia. It means 'Devoted Follower'."
Scott nodded. "OK, Zyrethia, can you tell me where you're hurt?"
She brought a hand up to her forehead. "When the ground shook, I fell and hit my head."
"Relax, we're going to take care of you," Scott told her. "Doc, I need someone out here at Mobile Control. One of...our sisters...have been hurt. Head injury by the looks of it."
"FAB, Ah'm sending Tynan out," Dianne responded.
Scott turned back to the girl. "Hang in there, help's on the way."
The Tryikalican leader placed his hand on Scott's shoulder. "Undlieek blesses you, Jhutu. You truly are the Jestreethzi n'Hildrathuk."
Scott forced a smile. "Yeah, uh...thanks. Now, if you could gather your...people, we're trying to clear the area. There's a major storm approaching and we need to get everyone to safety."
The man shook his head. "There will be no storm, Jhutu. It has been taken care of. However, we will do as you ask and help you remove the others as well."
"Oh-kay..." Scott looked up as Dominic appeared at his side. "Thank God you're here," he said softly.
Dom chuckled. "What, you don't like our new friends?" He smiled to the girl. "Let's have a look at you." He ran the scanner over the girl, then peered into her eyes. "Well, it doesn't look like a concussion, but I'd like to take you over to the med tent, just in case."
"I shall do as you ask, Pewoif. And thank-you." Dominic helped her to her feet and together with some of her friends, led them to the med tent.
Shaking his head, Scott reached Mobile Control just as John reached him. "We've got everything secured, just waiting on the Laser Truck and Thunderbird Seven."
Scott nodded. "Good. Hold on a sec. Indy, I need an update on those thunderstorms."
"FAB, Mobile Control, checking now," Alan replied.
John looked around, watching as the Brethren seemed to be gathering up the uninjured and leading them to their vans. "I see you've mobilized the troops."
"Ha-ha." Scott followed John's gaze. "I'll admit they were more helpful than I thought they'd be. I'll be happier once we get everyone out of here. If we're still here when those storms hit, this place will turn to mud and be a nightmare."
John looked up at the sky. "It's not as dark as I thought it would be considering what's on the way." He wiped the rain off his visor. "Not raining as hard either."
Scott nodded in the direction of the Brethren. "The leader there claims it's been taken care of."
"Taken care of? What's that supposed to mean?"
Alan cut in on their conversation. "Maverick, the storms have dissipated to the south of you. Looks like all you're going to get is a little rain."
"Say that again, Indy," Scott said.
"The storms have blown themselves out. You are in no danger. Also, the local authorities are on their way to help evacuate. Is there anyone needing emergency evacuation?"
"You'll have to check with Doc on that one. Indy, are you sure about the weather?" Scott sounded baffled.
"Absolutely, Mav. Want me to send you the scans directly?" Alan sounded testy.
"No, Indy, that won't be necessary. Mobile Control, out." Scott looked at John. "You don't think..." They both turned to look at the Tryikalican leader, who smiled. Scott shook his head. "Nah, he couldn't have....could he?"
John shrugged. "Who knows? Stranger things have happened."
They glanced over at the man again. He opened his arms, raising them over his head then bringing them down in front of his chest, bowing. Scott waved sheepishly then turned back to his console. "That's it. Get everyone together; we're going home."
Post by Lillehafrue
|Re: Regaining Momentum [message #439 is a reply to message #438]
||Mon, 23 July 2012 20:45
"How's he doing?" Luke asked, climbing through the rear door of Seven's medical cabin.|
Dianne paused in her clearing of the doctor's charts long enough to toss her head in the direction of the biobeds. "Go see for yourself."
He nodded, and entered the near-empty cabin. Local ambulances and LifeFlight helijets had taken the patients on to local hospitals, as Thunderbird Seven couldn't make the trip in its current condition. Rom was on one of the biobeds, snoring, fastened in by a strap to keep him falling off. Luke went to his dog's side and stroked the sleek head. "You big goof," he muttered, a smile coming to his face. "You did good work today."
In Thunderbird Two's cockpit, the topic of conversation was their new-found "brothers and sisters".
"So, Brains," Gordon said conversationally, "Did you find out what your Tyrikalican name was?"
"No," Brains said. "I didn't have any contact with those posers."
"Posers?" Dom asked.
"Yes, of course," Brains replied, taking off his visor and replacing it with his glasses. "Nothing sentient could possibly evolve on Jupiter; it's a gas giant, made of hydrogen and helium. They claim that they -- and we -- are from Jupiter. Ergo, they are posers."
There was a ripple of laughter through the cockpit. Callie pulled off her visor, too, and rubbed at her eyes. "Man, I'm bushed." She sighed a little. "It would have been fun to know the name they gave me... if they gave me one."
Gordon gave her a small smile. "I overheard a couple of them talking as you and Brains hooked Thunderbird Seven up to the Laser Truck," he said smoothly. "They called one of you -- let's see if I can pronounce this right -- Bacqgiuy, and the other, Wamtopoe."
"Whoa! How do you spell those words?" Callie asked, a puzzled frown on her fact. "And which one was me?"
Gordon shrugged. "I don't know which was which," he said, adding to his lie.
John glanced between Callie and Gordon. "There is a way to find out," he suggested quietly. "They do have a website..."
"Really?" "Where is it?" "Can you send me a link?" "That must be one funny site!" The chorus of comments made John put up his hands.
"Email me when we get home and debriefed. Then I'll send you a link and you can look at their site for yourself."
The matter more or less resolved, the conversation turned to other things as they winged their way home.
In Thunderbird One, Scott was going over in his mind what he wanted to say in the debriefing. Before he left, the big construction foreman, Terry Nicks, had a crew help him take down the Penelar tent.
"Looks like the rain didn't materialize like you thought it would," Nicks said.
"True, but it's always good to be prepared," Scott had replied as he pushed a button and telescoped the supporting rods back down to a size that would fit in the backpack. He slipped it into the pouch where it belonged, completing the set, and took the neatly folded tent material from Terry.
Terry smoothed a hand over it before handing the bundle over. "What's that made of, anyway? Feels so lightweight..."
"Trade secret," Scott replied. He zipped up the bag and held out his hand. "Thanks for your help today."
"No, thank you. If you hadn't come, there's no telling when we would have gotten out and how many more people would have died here." Nicks looked over at the half-standing mall, and sighed. He looked as if he were going to say something more, but thought better of it.
Scott nodded. "Well, goodbye." Then he headed for Thunderbird One and soon was airborne.
I have to wonder about that mall, he mused on the way home. Should it have collapsed like that? Don't they have to be prepared for earthquakes? Maybe I'll check up a little on that when I get home.
With that, he turned his attention back toward his destination -- Tracy Island. Home.
Post by Tikatu
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