" Oh man, 8:07. Cap's gonna have my head," he mumbled as he turned to pull into his usual parking space.
As he made the turn, Johnny felt the crunch, more than heard it, just before his Rover veered slightly to the right. "As if I wasn't late enough, now what?" he complained as he regained control of the truck.
Getting out of his Rover, Johnny immediately went over to the passenger's side of the vehicle, forgetting for a moment about the fact that he was already late.
" If this is Chet's idea of a joke, I'm going to kill him!" Johnny growled, taking in the damage that a rake, which someone had left in the parking lot, had done to the tire and rim of his Rover.
" Gage, do you think you might want to join us sometime today?" Captain Hank Stanley called out the back door, as he watched Johnny check over his tire.
With a groan, Johnny ran for the back apparatus doors, sliding into line, where roll call was already in progress. He just knew this was going to be a bad day.
Smirking at Johnny's dishevelled appearance and tardiness, Roy whispered " Nice of you to join us, Junior, thought I was going to have to do this shift by myself." With a snicker, he took in the look Johnny shot him.
" Your such a comedian, Roy. You just wouldn't believe the morning I've had so far!" Johnny said, rolling his eyes to make his pont. "Besides, you wouldn't have had to do the shift alone. I'm sure Brice would have been more than happy to come in." He finished giving his partner a triumphant grin.
Clearing his throat, Captain Stanley glared at Johnny. "Now that you've decided to grace us with your presence, let's get on with roll call. Where was I? Roy, you're the cook this shift. Chet, dorms. Mike, the day room. Marco, the apparatus bay, and John, pal you have the latrine," Cap finished, a satisfied smile on his face.
Two hours later, a disgruntled Johnny entered the day room. Ignoring his co-workers, he headed straight for the coffee pot. Man, he needed coffee. Smiling, he grabbed the proffered cup from Roy. Lifting the pot, he tipped it forward with nothing happening. It was EMPTY.
" EMPTY! How can it be EMPTY? Oh come on, a guy can't even get a cup of coffee around here," Johnny ranted, becoming more and more worked up with each passing second.
Reaching over the stove, Roy took that empty pot from Johnny's hand. "What's with you? It's only going to take a couple minutes to make a new pot," Roy asked, waiting for Johnny to answer.
" You wouldn't believe the morning I've had so far. It started with my electricity having been out, so I got up late, then my landlady forgot to tell me the hot water would be shut off, so I jumped into a cold shower. As if that wasn't bad enough, when I get here, someone left a rake out in the parking lot! I ran it over! Flattened the tire and destroyed the rim, and now I can't even get a cup of coffee." Johnny had now reached full rant mode.
" There, there Johnny, ole Chet will make it all better," Chet said with a smirk on his face as he put his arm around Johnny's shoulder.
" Get your hands off me, Kelly," Johnny growled, shrugging Chet's arm off from his shoulders. "Do you happen to know anything about that rake?" he asked turning on Chet.
Roy stepped in between Johnny and Chet. " Chet, I think you need to find something else to do right now," Roy began as the klaxon sounded.
Station 51, Gang fight. Basterbee Park, Basterbee Park, Time out 10:38, Police are responding to scene. Blared from the station speakers.
" KMG-365," acknowledged Captain Stanley as the other men ran for their vehicles. Writing down the information, he handed one slip to Roy DeSoto before heading for the engine himself.
Squad 51 lead the way out of the station with light's flashing and siren's blaring. Fifteen minutes later, they arrived at the scene of the gang fight. At least two dozen police officers were there rounding up about thirty, dirty, bloody, and obviously extremely high motorcycle gang members.
Jumping from their vehicles, the men of Station 51 approached Officer Vince Howard.
" What do we have, Vince?" Captain Stanley asked.
" Hi, fellas. Well, it seems these guys got a little high and decided they didn't like each other anymore. You've got ten minor injuries over there," Vince said motioning towards where half a dozen men sat handcuffed. "But the real problem is these two over here. They don't want to cooperate and they're both bleeding pretty heavy."
" Okay. Johnny, Roy, take a look at those two, and we'll have a look at the other ones for you," Captain Stanley said.
Grabbing their gear from the compartments of the squad, Johnny and Roy followed Vince to where two very large, very mean looking men sat, both bleeding from knife wounds.
Stopping, they looked at the men, then each other. " I guess I'll take Spike over their." Johnny said, moving off in the direction of an at least 300 pound man. He grinned at his own corny nick name for the biker as he reached him. The biker had to be in his late forty's. He wore very tight leather and had his hair spiked on top of his head.
I hope they got all his weapons, Johnny thought as he dropped to his knees beside the scowling biker. "Hi, name's John Gage. I'm a paramedic," Johnny said in his most soothing tone as he reached for the man's leg, which was bleeding heavily from a deep knife wound.
" I didn't ask for a paramedic, so get your hands off from me," Spike growled, knocking Johnny backwards.
Vince moved in quickly to restrain the biker. " That's enough, let the man do his job or I can put you in cuffs," Vince growled, his voice as low and menacing as the bikers.
" No, no, man, no cuffs. He can look at me. Whatever you say," Spike said, complying readily with Vince's orders.
"All right now, you have to stop moving around so much so I can stop this bleeding." Turning his head to get some gauze, Johnny asked, "Are you hurt anywhere besides your leg?"
When he didn't receive an answer, Johnny turned back. His eye's grew wide, and he felt his adrenaline triple as he threw his arm up to ward of the knife that was heading for his chest.
" Vince, Johnny needs help!" Roy screamed out seeing what was happening with his partner.
Vince Howard, who had momentarily turned his back to give orders to his men, spun back around at the sound of Roy's words. He was shocked to find Johnny Gage laying on the ground with the biker on top of him.
Roy sprung into action at the same time Vince did. They tackled the biker together, knocking him off Johnny, but not before he was able to sink the knife into Johnny's shoulder.
As Vince took over charge of the biker, Roy ran to Johnny, who was weakly trying to sit up.
"No, Johnny, you need to lay still and let me look at you," Roy said, pushing Johnny back down on the ground and opening his shirt.
He cringed at the sight. Johnny had a deep penetrating wound to his right shoulder as well as at least a twelve inch laceration on his right arm. Both wounds were bleeding heavily. Sighing, Roy called in the Code I and requested an additional ambulance.
" I guess, he wasn't kidding when he said he didn't want me to look at him," Johnny whispered.
" Don't worry about that right now. Let's just worry about getting you out of here," Roy told him, watching as Johnny closed his eyes.
Twenty minutes later, Roy climbed out of the back of the ambulance, holding Johnny's IV's aloft.
" Treatment room 3," Dixie said. Placing a hand on Roy's chest, she took the IV's and patted Johnny's head in sympathy as they wheeled him through the doors.
" Lounge," Roy simply said, heading in that direction.
" Lounge," Dixie called after him in agreement. " I'll let you know as soon as I can."
A long forty minutes later, Dixie entered the doctors' lounge smiling. " He's doing pretty good, all things considered. We had some problems stabilizing him. He took forty-eight stitches in the arm, and we'll be sending him up to surgery to clean up the shoulder wound."
Smiling, Roy let his breath out. "That's good. I was worried. The guy was on him before anyone could react. Um... Dix, do you think I could see him before surgery?" Roy asked.
" Sure, maybe it will calm him down," she said with a chuckle. Glancing at Roy's worried expression, she added, "When I left the treatment room, all Johnny could say was, 'I knew I should have just stayed in bed this morning.'"
With a laugh of his own, Roy followed Dixie towards the treatment room, knowing his partner was going to be all right.