"Man, I’m telling you things are getting friggin’ weird. Some guy attacked Johnson, you know from bus 12, and bit his ear off. City Hall is trying to keep a lid on things, but it’s all coming apart. That red headed cop, what’s his name from Central Division, Tomlinson…whatever...he said that they were under orders NOT to talk to the press, and that that everyone was working a double shift, as of this morning. You can’t deny that business has picked up in the last forty-eight hours. And I don’t mean "full moon" busy, I mean "there’s some creepy stuff" busy."
Jan Davidson, known as JD, looked sideways at the large man in the paramedic uniform behind the wheel of the ambulance they sat in. Williams was always talking about squirrelly stuff; alien abductions, government cover ups, etc. This time though, JD knew he was on the money. Things had been getting weird in the city, really quick. "Yeah, but what are you gonna do? You’ve got a job, and need the paycheck. We’ll just deal with it, like we always do." It was JD’s manner to take things in stride, even when things got hairy. Williams was always amazed at his capacity to remain if not calm, at least controlled under most circumstances.
"It’s different this time. I’m telling you, I’m worried. I even got Alice starting to get things we might need if it hits the fan. I also brought this". Williams reached into his kit bag, which sat on the floorboard between them. He pulled out Colt .45 1911 pistol. JD sat up a bit straighter, tension visibly crossing his face. "What’s a matter Mr. Ex-Marine; afraid of a little gun?" Williams said, with slight mockery. Williams enjoyed ribbing JD about being a Marine, as he had spent 4 years in the Army.
JD reached across and used his open palm to ensure that the pistol was pointed away from him and towards the floorboard. "I’m not afraid of any gun. I’m afraid that your dumbass is gonna shoot one, or both of us. Plus," he continued, "if you get caught with that thing in the bus, you’re gonna get both of us fired; in a heartbeat."
"Don’t worry, that won’t happen. Besides, it gives me peace of mind. Promise me one thing." JD eyed him sideways and gave him the "what now?" look. "We’re tight, no matter what happens, we got each other’s backs, and when it’s time to go, we go together…I’m serious"
"Ok, drama queen, now put that damned thing away," JD replied shaking his head in amusement. Williams smiled and did a quick press check and ensured the safety was on. As he was putting the pistol in his kitbag, the radio crackled to life.
"Unit 14, multiple victims at 63rd and Prospect. They say that one is a police officer in critical condition. You’re the closest, hurry."
JD keyed the mic and responded, "Roger that, on our way," as his other hand reached up and hit the switches for the lights and siren. Williams turned the key and put the ambulance into gear. Pulling into traffic, they headed towards their destination. Several blocks later, they saw the lights of police cars. As they drew closer, they could see police tape already up and a crowd gathering. An officer doing traffic control waved them past, as they pulled as close as possible to the incident site.
Pulling to a stop, they both jumped into action. The two and a-half years they had ridden together had made them a well-oiled machine. They entered the small house. There was an elderly black man slumped in a chair. The side of his head was missing; he was obviously beyond help. In the middle of the room, there was a large woman face down, with three blossoms of blood on here overly large smock. Williams began to check her out, when a policeman intervened; “Leave, one of ours is in the basement, barley hanging on”, he said pointing to an open door in the hallway. They moved towards it, stepping over a third body; this one missing the top of its head.
They maneuvered their way down the narrow staircase and saw a group of officers huddled over another, who lay on his back. JD shouldered his way passed, and they gave the paramedics room to work. As they began stabilizing the victim, an officer explained the situation. A patrol car had received a call a possible abduction. When they arrived they entered the house and found a small time thug wanted in connection with a recent murder. He had viciously attacked one of the officers and the mother had attacked the other. The incident ended when the second officer shot the perp and the husband shot the mother, then himself.
As the paramedics worked over the victim, they looked at each other. Williams frowned and shook his head. JD knew what he meant; the man did not have a chance, he had lost too much blood. He doubted he would last long enough to get him into the bus for the ride to the hospital. Blood frothed at his neck, with every ragged breath. His trachea was punctured and his aorta was shredded. JD was surprised he still had a pulse. JD didn’t like losing anybody, especially a cop, but sometimes he knew it was hopeless for the victim. This was one of those times. They needed to move fast, as there was nothing they could do on site
Williams and JD quickly placed the officer on the stretcher. Hurriedly they moved it up the stairs and through the house. Time was against them as the man’s life slid further away. They placed the stretcher in the back of the ambulance. Williams started to head around to the driver’s side. JD stepped in front of him and placed is palm on his chest. "Uh-uh," he said shaking his head. "I’ve had to ride in back the last 3 times and either do paperwork or work on the patient. This time, I drive and you fill out the forms." Williams acquiesced with little argument. He and JD shared responsibilities evenly, and it was long past his turn. He crawled into the back of the bus, as JD shut the doors and got behind the wheel.
To Be Continued...