Joanne and Nicole were planning a special dinner for Roy and Johnny. They
had just come from Chet’s birthday party at Station 51 and were talking as
they entered the bank; not paying attention to the three men who followed
them in or the fact that one of the men locked the doors behind them.
“Wasn’t the look on Chet’s face priceless?” Joanne couldn’t wipe the smile
off her face as she thought of Chet’s reaction to Johnny’s engagement announcement.
“Yeah, I wish I had had a camera. But I think he was even more surprised
that Johnny didn’t give him a gag gift or do anything else to get back at
him for last week’s stunt.” Nicole was smiling, too.
Just then there was a shout. “This is a holdup, no one move.” As everyone
turned slowly they saw the three men waving rifles and handguns around. At
first no one moved. But when the guard thought the men’s attention was focused
away from him, he slowly started to pull out his gun. What he had not noticed
is that the gunman closest to him had been watching him out of the corner
of his eye. Just as the guard had his gun aimed, the gunman shot him in
the chest. The guard’s gun went off, hitting one of the other two gunmen.
“No one move.” The one that seemed to be in charged was getting angry.
Nicole did not want anyone else to get hurt. She had seen enough pain
in her job at the hospital as a caseworker for domestic violence and rape
cases. “Can I see if I can help him?” She pointed to the gunman. “And can
my friend look at the guard?” She spoke softly and didn’t move.
“Yes, go ahead. But don’t try anything funny.” He seemed to calm a little
as Joanne headed for the guard and Nicole went to the robber.
“What is your name?” Nicole figured if she could get some information
out of the man it would not only be a calming effect, but might come in
useful if they got out of this situation. If—no she was not going to think
“They call me Shades.” The man was bleeding from his upper left shoulder.
Nicole knew it was something that needed to be taken care of but wasn’t
life threatening unless left untreated. “Is that because you wear sunglasses?”
All three men had put ski masks over their heads before all of this had started
and she couldn’t see his face, but she had to keep the mood light or she
would lose what little control she had on her emotions.
“Yeah, how’d you guess?” He grimaced as Nicole pulled off the silk scarf
she was wearing around her neck and pulled two towels out of one of her shopping
bags and created a pressure bandage to stop the flow of blood by putting
one in front and one in back. Shades was lucky—the bullet went clear through
“Just a lucky guess.” She looked over at Joanne who smiled weakly back
at her. From what little she could tell, she guessed that the guard would
need attention soon, but right now was holding his own.
By this time the leader was standing beside Shades and Nicole. “Ok, you
keep her here with you. We’ll take care of getting the money.” Turning to
the other people in the bank he motioned them towards a small room just
off the main lobby. He looked at Joanne and motioned for her to join the
others. When she started to protest, Nicole shook her head slightly and
Joanne did as she was told. The room was an inside office and had no windows
or other means of escape. The gunman pulled the phone out of the wall and
locked the door so that no one could get out. Then he and the second gunman
took bags and started filling them with all the money from the tellers’
windows and the open vault.
Just as they finished and were about to leave, they heard the sirens arriving
just outside the bank. “Oh, crap. Who called them?” The leader was getting
nervous again. He ran back to the locked room and pulled the door open. Pulling
out the bank President he yelled. “Who called the police? Did someone hit
a silent alarm?”
“No the teller at the station where the silent alarm is was on break when
you came in. No one called from here. Maybe someone heard the gunshots from
outside and called.” The President had asked and no one inside had alerted
the police so he had been afraid they were going to be there a long time.
Hearing the sirens, he began to hope they would all get out of there alive.
“You’d better be right.” The gunman started to push him back into the
office and then stopped. “Give me two ties.” Two ties were handed to him
and he once again locked the door so it was just the three robbers, the injured
guard and Nicole in the main room.
Walking over to Nicole he turned her around and tied her hands tightly
behind her back with one of the ties. “You are going to be spending some
time with us.”
Then the voice came over the bullhorn. “Come out with your hands up.”
The leader grabbed Nicole’s arm and pulled her over to the front door.
He looked out and saw several police cars, two fire engines and a paramedic
squad. The guy must have been right. If they had just called the police, the
paramedics wouldn’t be there. Then an idea went through his head. This might
work out after all.
Nicole looked at the fire engines. She saw Engine 8 and her heart stopped
as she saw Engine 51 and Squad 51.
The leader unlocked the door. “I wouldn’t do anything if I were you. I
have some insurance in here.” He pushed Nicole into the doorway and pointed
the gun at her head.
Johnny’s heart stopped as he recognized Nicole. He started to get up,
but Roy held him down. “No, she’s ok. Don’t do anything stupid.”
Johnny sighed and nodded his agreement. The Chief of Police had seen Roy
keep Johnny from running across the street. “Do you know that lady?”
“Yes, she is my fiancée.” Johnny looked at Roy and fought to keep
the tears back.
“What do you want?” Looking at doorway of the bank the Chief of Police
called to the gunman. He really didn’t like it when there were lives at stake.
Anything could happen and someone could get killed.
“We want the paramedics in here. The guard and one other person were shot.
They need medical attention.” The gunman stood his ground.
Thinking it was a good sign for them to ask for medical assistance for
the guard and that maybe they could get everyone out of this alive, the Chief
of Police reluctantly sent Roy and Johnny into the bank with bulletproof
vests. However, the vests were thrown out the door just after they had entered
and then the door was locked once again.
Roy looked around. He knew that Joanne had been with Nicole and he wondered
where she was. He sighed with relief when Nicole pointed with her head towards
the back and smiled. He knew that Joanne was ok—at least for now. When Johnny
headed towards the bank robber, Roy headed towards the guard.
Johnny had a very bad feeling as he walked over to Shades and looked at
the bandage Nicole had put on his shoulder. He recognized the scarf and
choked down a feeling of doom. He knew that something bad was going to happen.
He just prayed that Roy and Joanne would get out alright. Taking off the
bandage, he noticed the blood had stopped. Pulling out a 4 X 4 he wrapped
both sides of Shades’ shoulder. “Just some muscle damage, but you really
should have a doctor look at it.” Johnny finished his examination.
Before Johnny could head over to Roy, the leader who had been standing
beside him the whole time with a gun to his head pulled his arms behind his
back and tied his hands together with the other tie he had.
“What are you doing?” Johnny didn’t like the way this was turning out.
“Like I told this little lady here, you are going to be spending some
time with us.” Turning to Shades, he motioned for him to bring Nicole and
the four of them walked over to see how Roy was doing with the guard. “How
is he?” The leader really didn’t want anyone to die during this. They had
accidentally killed someone during the last robbery and he really didn’t
want to have that happen again. He wanted to make sure the guard lived.
“He needs to get to a hospital real soon.” Roy was hoping they would give
themselves up and he could get the guard to Rampart. It was then he noticed
that Johnny and Nicole were tied up.
As the leader stood thinking, Roy could just hear Nicole’s voice. “Joanne
and the others are locked in the first office. They are all ok. The injured
robber’s nickname is Shades. He seems to be the calming force between the
three. Roy, take care of Joanne and the kids.”
She didn’t have time to say anything else as the leader pulled both Nicole
and Johnny with him back to the front door and unlocked it with a gun pointed
at Johnny’s head. “The guard in here needs to get to a hospital. Now we are
going to go out the back with these two and get in a car and leave. If we
are hindered in anyway, we will kill these two as well as the other paramedic
and the guard. You will give us ten minutes to get away. What do you say?”
The Police Chief knew this guy was getting nervous. He had two hostages.
Right now the chief would let them go, but follow the car until they could
free Johnny and Nicole. After all, the gunman was letting them get the guard
to a hospital before it was too late. “Alright, you have my word. Get away
from the alley and behind the bank.” He yelled at the other officers.
Johnny and Nicole were pulled back inside and the front door locked. The
three gunmen pulled them as they started to the back of the bank. The leader
looked at Roy and put the gun to Nicole’s temple. “Wait ten minutes and then
you can take him out of here.” With that they were down the hall towards
the back of the bank taking the medical supplies with them as they left.
Roy wanted to go after them and do something, but he didn’t want to chance
either Johnny or Nicole’s life. Then he remembered Nicole saying Joanne and
the others were in an office. “Joanne, are you here?” he called trying to
find out where she was.
Joanne heard Roy’s voice. Maybe everything was ok now. “In here, Roy.”
The lock on the office door turned and everyone filed out. Joanne fell
into Roy’s arms.
As the President started towards the front of the bank, Roy stopped him.
“No one can leave yet.”
“What do you mean? Are they still here?” The President wanted to get out
of there as soon as possible.
“No, but they took hostages and threatened to kill them if we didn’t wait
ten minutes. Please, don’t take chances with someone else’s life.” Roy begged.
He knew he was going to have to break the news to Joanne that it was Johnny
and Nicole, but he wasn’t ready to yet. He went back to check the guard’s
vitals once again.
When the ten-minute waiting period was up, Roy unlocked the front door
and motioned for the ambulance crew to come in and get the injured guard.
Walking out of the bank with Joanne and reaching the rest of Station 51’s
crew, Roy slumped down on the running board of the squad.
“Roy, are you alright? We were kept back and still haven’t been told what’s
going on. Where’s Johnny?” Captain Stanley was nervous at the white look
on Roy’s face. It wasn’t until that moment that Joanne even thought about
the fact that Johnny and Nicole weren’t there.
“Johnny and Nicole were taken as hostages ten minutes ago. They threatened
to kill them if we came out any sooner and I wasn’t willing to risk their
lives.” Roy dropped his head in his hands but jumped up when he heard Joanne
gasp. He caught her just as her knees gave way.
“Roy, you and Joanne ride in with the guard. Marco, you drive the squad
in and I’ll drive Roy’s car to the hospital. We’ll meet there. I’m going
to take Station 51 out of service for the rest of the day.” Hank led a shaking
Joanne to the ambulance. This couldn’t be happening. They were just celebrating
Chet’s birthday and congratulating Johnny on his engagement. If this was
a dream, he wanted to wake up now.
Johnny and Nicole were pushed into the back of a beat up van. They were
pushed face down on the floor as the van roared to life. A knee in their
backs kept them pinned to the floor. Luckily they were facing each other.
“Are you ok?” Johnny mouthed to Nicole.
“Yeah, are you?” She mouthed back.
Johnny nodded his head a little as he heard them rummaging through the
medical supplies. Soon a hand appeared and they were gagged and blindfolded.
There was nothing they could do right now but wait to see where they would
end up. He just prayed that Nicole would not panic.
Roy followed Captain Stanley into the doctor’s lounge at Rampart. The
rest of the crew along with Joanne was already there. The Captain had stopped
to see how the guard was doing. He was relieved when he heard he was just
going to be in the hospital for a few days.
Now Station 51 had to face the rest of what had happened on that run.
They couldn’t bring themselves to leave the hospital. Maybe if they stayed
long enough, Johnny would come walking in the door and say that he was fine
and the doctors had cleared him for work. But he wasn’t hurt—at least not
that they knew about. Roy said that both he and Nicole were ok when they
were taken out of the bank.
The men had been sitting there for over an hour when Dr. Brackett and
Dixie walked in to get a cup of coffee. Kelly stopped when he saw the men
sitting there. Looking around the room he noticed the missing paramedic
and assumed something had happened to Johnny once again. “We weren’t expecting
to see you guys here. I don’t remember any calls.”
“Yeah, what treatment room is our accident prone Johnny in? And what did
he do this time?” Dixie didn’t like the looks on the faces of the people
sitting in front of her. She tried to make light of the situation, but was
really worried when she realized Joanne DeSoto was there, too.
“There weren’t any calls and he’s not in any treatment room.” Captain
Stanley was the first one to find his voice and even then it could barely
A gasp from Dr. Early who had joined the group just as Dixie asked her
question, made everyone look up at him. “He’s not—“ Dr. Early couldn’t finish
“No—at least not yet.” Roy was the one to answer this time.
“What is going on? If he’s not – “ Kelly paused a minute before continuing.
“And he’s not in a treatment room, where is he?”
“That’s the sixty-four million dollar question, Doc.” Chet couldn’t believe
this was happening.
“Can someone please tell us what is going on?” Dixie was getting frustrated
and she, Joe and Kelly were all starting to get worried.
“Johnny and Nicole were taken hostage at a bank robbery this morning.”
Vince had tracked the men of Station 51 down and had entered the room when
Kelly asked where Johnny was.
“You mean the one that the guard was injured at?” Joe had been working
on the guard.
“Yes.” Roy could just get the word out past the lump in his throat.
“Nicole and Johnny both?” Dixie thought of her favorite caseworker and
“Yeah, and Johnny just told us at my birthday party this afternoon
about their engagement.” Chet’s breath caught and he started pacing. Then
he couldn’t hold it in any longer. The tears ran down Chet’s face. He was
embarrassed until he saw that every one of the crew of Station 51 had tears,
“Johnny, engaged?” Vince knew Johnny was dating Nicole. They had even
been on a couple of double dates together, but he didn’t know they were
It was then that Roy realized Vince had been the one to answer Dixie’s
question. “Vince, is there any word?” He jumped up hoping Vince had good
news for them. It had been over an hour and a half.
“Well, we had an unmarked car following them.” Vince really didn’t want
to tell them what had happened. He was hoping to deliver good news, but
he knew these people would want the truth. Taking a deep breath he continued.
“However, there was a picket on one of the streets and the car lost sight
of them for about ten minutes. When they located the van again, it was parked
in an alley and was empty. It looks like they had another vehicle waiting
and they got away. I’m sorry, guys.” Vince wished he had better news for
Roy sank back onto the couch. They had nothing to go on. Johnny and Nicole
were out there somewhere in the hands of three men with guns.
“Roy, I have to ask you and Joanne a few questions. You are only two that
were in the bank that we haven’t questioned. Can you tell me what happened?”
Vince knew they were hurting, but he also knew they had to work fast to find
Johnny and Nicole. “Can I talk to you now? Would you rather do it in private?”
“Yes, we’ll talk now, but I think we need to do it here. Everyone has
a right to know what happened. Johnny and Nicole are family.” Joanne looked
at the faces of the others in the room. She read the concern on their faces.
“Well, Nicole and I stopped to get some money. We were planning a special
dinner for Roy and Johnny. When the one guy yelled something about a holdup,
the guard pulled his gun. He was shot, but his gun went off and hit one
of the other robbers. Nicole tried to calm them by asking if we could check
on the guard and the robber. She sent me to check on the guard. I think she
knew that something like this was going to happen and she was trying to protect
me.” Joanne paused a minute as everyone thought about the relationship the
two couples shared and the “sixth” sense they had about bad things happening.
They could tell when the others were in trouble – they had a special bond.
The guys at the station would kid them about it. But more times than not
that “knowledge” prevented some very close serious accidents. It was almost
uncanny as each one could tell when something was wrong with one of the other
three. She thought about the feeling she had felt as they started into the
bank. Why didn’t she listen to that feeling? “Anyway, when we finished, they
put the rest of us in an office and locked the door. The leader came back
a few minutes later and pulled the President out. I don’t know what he wanted,
but he ended up taking four ties. Then the door was locked again until Roy
let us out.”
Roy picked up the narrative from there. “When Johnny and I got into the
bank, he sent me to work on the guard. I noticed a strange look on his face
at one point when I looked to see how he was doing with the bank robber.
He must have felt something was going to happen, too. Anyway, as soon as
he was done, they tied his hands behind his back. After they got the word
from the police that they could leave, they told me to wait ten minutes before
we left the bank. They said if we didn’t they would kill Johnny and Nicole.
I let the others out of the office, took care of the guard and waited the
ten minutes. The rest you know.”
“Did any of them say anything, anything at all that would give us any
clue as to who they are or where they might go?” Vince knew it was a long
shot, but he had to try.
“No, all I heard was the ultimatum to the police and to me to wait or
they would be dead.” Roy was slowly losing it.
“Thanks, Roy. We were hoping that maybe one of them called one of the
others by name or something. We know they had on ski masks. The surveillance
tapes show that much. We are doing everything we can.” The Chief of Police
stuck his head in the door and Vince turned to leave.
“Vince, wait a minute.” Roy remembered his conversation with Nicole. He
didn’t think the name “Shades” would be enough to go on, but they were grasping
at straws right now. “Nicole was the one that told me that Joanne and the
others were locked in the office. She made it a point of whispering to me
that the injured robber’s nickname was Shades and that he seemed to be the
calming force. She told me to take care of Joanne and the kids.”
“Shades? Oh, no.” The Chief of Police turned white as a sheet.
“Chief, what’s wrong?” Vince didn’t like the look on his Captain’s face.
The Captain didn’t want to tell the people setting in front of him what
he was thinking. But they had a right to know. “Shades is the nickname for
Calvin Vincent Malone. He is wanted in three states for bank robberies and
a string of rapes. The other two must be his partners, Jim Stevens and Tom
Sorenson. Malone loves the woods and lakes. They weren’t killers until the
last bank robbery and rape. The bank guard was killed and a hostage was
raped. Vince, we need to get out of here and check to see if there is somewhere
near here he can hide.”
A slow feeling of dread filled each person in the room as they thought
about the three men that were now holding their friends hostage. Eleven prayers
were sent up that both Johnny and Nicole would come home soon and unhurt.
After being gagged and blindfolded, Johnny felt the van stop. The knee
stayed in his back and he assumed that Nicole was still being held down,
too. When the van started up again, he felt rope replacing the tie that bound
his hands behind his back. The rope then went around his waist. When his
ankles were tied together, they were brought up and tied to his wrists, effectively
hog tying him. He guessed that Nicole was in the same condition. After what
he guessed to be fifteen minutes later, the van stopped again and he was
roughly pulled from the back of the van and moved to another vehicle. As
they started up, he prayed that Nicole would be ok and that she didn’t panic.
He knew she was probably in a bad way right now if she had been treated the
same way. ~Hold on, Nicole. You can do it. Just don’t remember the past.
Think about the future.~ Then someone pushed him on his side and back. He
realized he was close enough to Nicole to touch her. They must have placed
her with her head towards his feet, because he could entwine his fingers
with hers. She was trembling when he first grabbed her hands, but as he gave
her a small squeeze, she relaxed. It wasn’t long before both of them fell
asleep from the steady roll of the tires.
Johnny didn’t know how long they had been asleep when he was awaken by
the rough treatment he received pulling him out of the back of the van. They
had untied his ankles and were leading him—he didn’t know where they were
leading him. But he could tell the ground was uneven so he knew they were
not walking on sidewalks. Then he was pulled to a stop for a few seconds before
being pushed forward. He almost tripped over a door jam. All he could think
about, though, was Nicole and wondered what was happening to her.
Nicole was receiving the same treatment and as usual, her thoughts were
about Johnny and wondering if he was alright. Soon she felt her hands being
untied and she was pushed into a room. Not waiting to see what was going
to happen next, she immediately pulled her gag and blindfold off. It took
a minute for her eyes to adjust to the light, but she started crying when
she saw Johnny doing the same thing. When he saw her, Johnny pulled Nicole
into his arms and let her cry.
“Honey, are you ok? You’re trembling.” Johnny pulled Nicole as close as
“I’m better now. If you hadn’t been there and held my hands, I would have
lost it. Where are we, Johnny?” Nicole finally gained her composure.
“I don’t know. I’m not even sure how long we were traveling.” Johnny didn’t
want to let her out of his arms. “I do know that the door to this room is
locked and those windows are too high and too small for us to get out of
Nicole took a look around the room they were being held prisoner in. “Johnny,
this is that abandoned cabin we found with that group that summer.”
Johnny took a look around the room. His thoughts wandered back to the
hiking trip he had taken with a “tour.” That was where he had met Nicole.
The group had gone exploring and found this cabin that had been abandoned
and was miles away from the nearest neighbors. They also knew that no one,
other than that group, had visited the cabin for years. “You’re right. I
wonder how they knew about this place.”
“Johnny, what is going to happen to us now?” Nicole was getting scared.
“I don’t know. But how are you? I was worried when they blindfolded
and gagged us. I was hoping it didn’t bring back too many bad memories.”
Johnny looked into Nicole’s eyes.
“It started to, until I felt your fingers. I knew that I would be ok as
long as you were with me.” Nicole thought about her childhood. Her father
and cousins would go “exploring” and tie her up and then—well, that is what
made her become a caseworker for children and others who had to go through
Just then the door opened. Johnny pushed Nicole behind him to try to protect
her even though they both knew it was useless. The man at the door had his
ski mask on, pointed a gun at them and handed Johnny a note that read, *You
are to come and check on his wound and she is come out and start supper.*
“Who are you? Won’t you just let us go?” Johnny never was very good at
When the man in the doorway just waved his gun Johnny grabbed Nicole’s
hand and led the way out of the room. As she headed toward the kitchen, he
squeezed her hand for support and then went to check on Shades.
Nicole finished cooking the supper and turned as she heard someone enter
the kitchen. She smiled sadly at Johnny as he was being pushed into the kitchen
with the barrel of a gun. He walked over and pulled her into his embrace.
None of the three men had said a word to them. All communication was done
with notes. “I think they are trying to keep us from being able to identify
them by wearing their masks and only communicating through notes. Maybe
we will get out of this alive yet.” Johnny prayed that this would all end
Nicole had tears in her eyes as she looked at Johnny, “How’s Shades?”
Both Johnny and Nicole jumped when they heard cussing behind the first
man. “Carl what did you do? How does she know your nickname? Jim, go get
him in here now.”
“Sure, Tom, but didn’t you say we weren’t supposed to say anything so
they wouldn’t recognize our voices?” Jim knew Tom was going to be
very angry with Carl. But he also knew he was now going to be madder at
“Oh, just go get Carl.” With that, Tom pulled off his ski mask and Jim’s
as Jim walked by. “I guess Carl has just changed our plans. Come on, back
to your room.”
Johnny and Nicole silently walked past Tom and into their room. They jumped
when he slammed the door and turned the lock violently. Johnny pulled Nicole
close as they heard Tom start to yell at Carl. Tom was mad. Johnny realized
that the chances of them getting out of this situation alive had just diminished
greatly. What was going to happen now? Johnny and Nicole made a pact not
to do anything to upset their captors—including trying to escape. Neither
one wanted anything to happen to the other. They weren’t about to risk one
of them getting hurt.
None of the guys had felt like being alone so they all gathered at Roy’s
home. Hank and Mike brought their wives and Dixie, Dr. Brackett, Dr. Morton,
and Dr Early had joined them, too. Twelve very upset people sat around the
Roy was holding Joanne when suddenly a shiver went through both of them.
They sat up straight and looked at each other.
“Roy, what is it? Is it Johnny and Nicole?” No one questioned the feelings
that Roy and Joanne had regarding their friends. The four were inseparable
and knew when something was going to happen.
“I just got the feeling that their situation has taken a turn for the
worse.” Roy pulled his wife close for support.
“I had that same feeling. It was as if they were going to be fine and
then all of a sudden something has happened and now they are—“ Joanne couldn’t
finish. She broke into tears.
“Are they--?” Dixie couldn’t voice the question in everyone’s minds.
“No, and they aren’t hurt—yet” Roy shuddered at the realization.
Everyone had started to relax until Roy added the word yet. Now they were
all worried they might not see their friends alive again.
Johnny watched Nicole closely. She was fixing breakfast, but something
wasn’t right. Tom had taken his anger out on Nicole every time they were
let out of the room. And every time he tried to help her, Carl and Jim would
hold him back and make him watch while they laughed. Johnny prayed each time
that Nicole would be alright and thanked the Lord when Tom only physically
abused her and didn’t try anything else. Each time they were locked back
into their room, Johnny would sit on the bed with his head against the headboard
and pull Nicole into his arms. There she would cry herself to sleep and he
would hold her tight to keep away the bad memories. Nicole had been designated
the cook and all three of the captors seemed to really enjoy her cooking.
But right now, Nicole’s face looked very flush. Something wasn’t right.
“Nicole, are you ok?” Johnny had been allowed to help in the kitchen.
“I feel a little hot and achy. I just think it is a cold. I’ll be fine.”
Nicole hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of days, but she didn’t want
to worry Johnny. They had been in this situation for a week now and she didn’t
want him to try something foolish because she didn’t feel well. Looking at
him and smiling, she realized that he was accepting her answer for now but
that he didn’t entirely believe her. She would talk with him later when they
Just then Jim came running into the cabin. “Tom, there are some hikers
and campers about 30 minutes from here. They haven’t even thought of heading
this way, but I think we’d better get out of here before they do.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Come on.” Tom walked into the kitchen. “Turn everything
off and come on. We’re leaving.”
Johnny had been filled with fear from the moment Jim had come into the
cabin. Would they kill them now and leave them in the cabin? He let out the
breath he didn’t realize he was holding at Tom’s words. Turning off the
stove and making sure everything was safe, he turned just in time to catch
Nicole as her fever overcame her and she passed out.
Tom was beside them in a flash. “What’s wrong with her?”
Johnny looked at the man who was the leader for this ragtag group that
had taken them hostage. He was surprised when he saw genuine concern in Tom’s
eyes. “I’m not sure, but she is burning up.”
Tom reached out to feel Nicole’s face and pulled his hand back quickly
at the feel of her skin. “Is she going to be ok?”
“I don’t know, but she needs a doctor.” Johnny knew they would never take
her to a doctor. There would be too many questions and they were about an
hour away from LA.
“I have a doctor friend about 15 minutes from here. We’ll take her to
see him. He won’t ask any questions.” Tom indicated to Johnny to pick up
Nicole and follow him.
Johnny picked up Nicole and shook his head slightly. A week ago he felt
sure they were going to be killed. Now he didn’t know what to think. But
he prayed for Nicole as they headed out to the van.
He was relieved when they didn’t tie him up so he could hold Nicole. Her
fever seemed to be getting worse. Johnny was really worried and prayed all
the way to the doctor’s home. Not wanting anything to happen to Nicole, Johnny
just nodded when Tom introduced him as a cousin and Nicole as Johnny’s wife.
Right now he wanted to see that Nicole was taken care of.
The doctor had Johnny lay her on the bed in his guest bedroom and went
to get his bag. Tom had followed them into the room to keep an eye on Johnny.
While he was gone, Tom looked at Johnny with a hard look. Before Tom could
say anything, Johnny said, “I want to stay in here with her. I promise I
won’t say anything. I just want to take care of her.”
Knowing the paramedic meant what he said, Tom turned to leave the room.
“We’ll just wait in the living room.
Johnny didn’t like the way the doctor looked as he examined Nicole. He
knew there was something seriously wrong. “What is it, Doc?”
“I think she has a good case of pneumonia. She should be in a hospital.”
The doctor didn’t like the sounds he was hearing in her lungs.
“Can you give us some medication to give her until we can get to a hospital?
I am a paramedic and can administer any injections or medication you order.”
Johnny knew that Tom would not agree to a hospital.
“Yes, I can. But don’t wait too long to get her some help.” The
doctor left the room to get the medicine. Johnny was not surprised when
Tom walked back into the room.
Before Tom could say anything, however, the doctor returned. “I was just
telling your cousin here that his wife has pneumonia and should be in a hospital.
He told me that he is a paramedic and could administer medications until
you have the chance to get her to a hospital. I have agreed, but as I told
him, don’t wait too long to get her some help.” The doctor then went on to
give the medications and orders for administering them to Johnny under Tom’s
As the van pulled out of the driveway, Tom turned to look at Johnny who
had been praying the medication would work since he knew that going to a
hospital was out of the question. “You didn’t say anything to him, did you?”
It was more of a surprised statement than a question.
“No, I promised you I wouldn’t and I didn’t.” Johnny saw the confused
look on Tom’s face.
Nothing else was said as the van headed back toward LA. Johnny didn’t
know where they were going, but his mind was not on observing his surroundings,
it was on Nicole.
They had been traveling for about 45 minutes when Johnny looked up as
Carl cussed and slammed on the brakes. Coming straight at the van at a high
rate of speed was a conversion van. Carl pulled hard left on the wheel trying
to avoid the collision, but the other van hit them broadside. That was the
last thing any of them remembered.
The mood around the hospital and Station 51 was filled with tension and
a little depression. It had been seven days and still no word about Johnny
and Nicole. The police didn’t seem to have any leads or if they did, they
all proved false. Roy had taken to keeping everyone’s spirits up. He and
Joanne talked long into the night about the fact that both of them “knew”
that Johnny and Nicole were still alive. As long as they felt that way, they
were not going to give up hope and wouldn’t let anyone else give up hope either.
Roy was sitting staring into his coffee cup when Chet entered the day
room. “Hi Roy. How’s it going?” When he didn’t get an answer, Chet walked
over to Roy and waved his hand in front of his face. “Earth to Roy.”
“Oh, hi, Chet.” Roy snapped out of his daze. He had this feeling that
something terrible had happened to Johnny and Nicole.
Chet had seen the look on Roy’s face before and it was usually right before
he warned Johnny, Nicole or Joanne about something. But before he could ask
Roy about it, the phone rang. Roy walked over to answer it.
“Station 51. Oh, hi, Joanne. What? Yeah, I felt it, too. No, I don’t know
what it is, just that something bad has happened. Yeah, I’ll call you if
I hear anything and you do the same. Love you, bye.” Roy stared at the phone
for a minute before he turned to face Chet and the others who had just entered
“You and Joanne both have a feeling about Johnny and Nicole?” The Captain
was the last to enter the room. “What kind of a feeling?”
“Yeah, we both know they are still alive, but we both had this feeling
that something bad has happened.” Before Roy could go any further or before
anyone else could say anything, they got toned out to a multi-car pileup
on the freeway just outside of LA. From the number of stations and squads
being summoned, they knew it was going to be a bad one. They were out of the
station in less than 30 seconds and all thoughts of Johnny and Nicole were
pushed to the back of their minds.
Arriving at the scene, Roy and Brice, who had been working with Roy for
the last week, jumped out of the squad and grabbed all their equipment.
The engine had pulled in closer to the wreckage to help where needed.
“Look at this mess. I wonder what happened.” Chet couldn’t believe the
sight before his eyes. There must have been at least 20 vehicles involved.
“One of our patrol cars had been following a van coming in the other direction
that was weaving all over the road. The officers are sure the driver was
drunk or on drugs and tried to pull him over. When they turned on the sirens,
he sped up and crossed the median. Then he lost control and hit a van broadside.
The van had been trying to get out of the way. The second van was hit on
the rider’s side by the car following and it just kept going from there.”
Vince had walked up to the men from Station 51 when they arrived.
“Can you tell if there are any fatalities?” Captain Stanley wondered what
they were dealing with.
“I think there might be in the first two vans. The occupants of most of
the other vehicles are out of their cars and sitting along side of the road.”
Vince was glad that it looked worse than it was in the back, but he wasn’t
too sure about the first two vehicles. Their impact had been at a high rate
“Ok, we’ll take a look.” Since they were the first ones there, Captain
Stanley started assigning duties to his men as well as the other stations
responding to the scene.
Roy, Chet, Mike, Marco and Brice picked their way through the tangled
vehicles towards the two vans that were at the front of the mess. The van
that had crossed the median was on its side. The other van was crunched
between the first van and the three cars that had hit it from behind. But
the men of station 51 got lucky. They could get into the second van from
the rear door.
Roy had gone to the first van and was able to reach the driver through
the broken out windshield. He hung his head when he confirmed that the driver
who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old was dead. He knew it was the
kid’s own fault, though, because the van smelled like a brewery and so did
the kid. With a sigh, he yelled to the Captain that the kid was dead and
raced to see about the occupants of the second van.
Mike, Marco and Chet had to pry the rear door open, but it popped just
as Roy arrived. Brice led the way over the back seat of the van as Roy followed.
Not glancing at the two passengers in the second seat, Brice crawled to the
front of the van. There he found not two men, but three. Somehow the third
man had been thrown between the seats of the other two. ~Must not have had
his seat belt on. When will people ever learn?~ He set about checking out
his patients. He was not surprised to find that all three men were dead.
None of them had seat belts on and all had suffered broken necks. He just
hoped the other two occupants had faired better. He was about to turn around
when he heard Roy gasp.
“Roy, what is it?” Brice looked at the shocked look on Roy’s face as he
just stared down at the two people lying on the seat in front of him. Brice
followed Roy’s look and the color drained from his face, too. “Oh, Roy.”
Knowing that Johnny and Nicole needed them at that moment, Roy pulled
on his professional armor and started working. “Brice, check on Johnny and
see how he is doing.” Roy leaned out of the broken window that was near his
head at that moment. “Chet, how long will it be before we can get these people
out of here?”
“We’re getting a wrecker in here to pull away the van. It should be here
in two minutes. What do you have in there, Roy?” The Captain had just joined
the others to see how bad things were.
Taking a deep breath, Roy looked at his co-workers. “I don’t know yet.
Three of the men in here are dead.” Roy saw the grimaces on the faces of
the others and gulped before finishing. “We have two more victims in here
that we are checking now. I’d like to have an ambulance here as soon as possible.
The victims are Johnny and Nicole.” Roy caught the look of pain on each
face as he turned back to his job.
When the words finally sank in, the men of Station 51 worked twice as
hard to pull away the wreckage and make it so that when they were ready,
Johnny and Nicole could be transported to Rampart as fast as possible.
As Brice put the blood pressure cuff on Johnny’s arm, Johnny stirred.
“What happened?” As he remembered the van coming at them, he tried to sit
up. “Nicole, where’s Nicole?” Brice had to push him back down.
“Johnny, I’m taking care of Nicole. Why don’t you just let Brice take
a look at you?” Roy saw how his voice calmed Johnny somewhat.
“Yeah, Junior, it’s me. I’ll take good care of Nicole. Just let Brice
earn his pay, ok?” Roy glanced over at Johnny as he wrapped the blood pressure
cuff around Nicole’s arm.
“Roy?” Johnny had to tell Roy about the pneumonia.
“Yeah, Johnny?” Roy tried to keep his voice calm. He had seen the large
bruise and gash on Johnny’s forehead and the way Johnny held his right arm
“Nicole was sick before this happened. We were at a doctor’s about an
hour before the accident and he said he thought she had pneumonia. Please
take care of her, Roy.” The tears slid down Johnny’s cheeks. Brice was sensitive
enough to ignore them and made a pretense of cleaning Johnny up in order
to wipe them away.
Roy smiled at Brice. He could be caring when he needed to be. But Roy
didn’t have time to reflect upon that. He was worried about Nicole. Her
lungs didn’t sound good. She had three bruises in different places on her
head, she had three if not more broken ribs and he knew her left leg was
broken. Add pneumonia to that and it wasn’t good at all.
After getting the vitals, Roy called Rampart on the biophone. He gave
them the information but wished that Johnny would pass out again so he wouldn’t
hear what Roy had to say about Nicole, but that didn’t happen. The tears
began again when Johnny heard Nicole’s condition and three men silently prayed
that Nicole would make it.
“Squad 51, where is this accident?” Dr. Brackett didn’t like the information
he was getting regarding the two patients.
As Roy told him, he sighed. “Can you find out if you can get a helicopter
there to transport? I want both victims here as soon as possible.”
Hostages, Part II