OFFICER DOWN

BY LOUIS GAGLIANO

(written in honor of all who wear the uniform real or not)

It was the two words police through the years hated to hear. The words that froze the very blood of rookie and veteran police alike.

"Officer down! We have an officer down! We need emergency medical personnel immediately.", came the panicked voice on the end of the receiver.

It all started so simply. A.D. Police were called to the scene of an apartment complex that had been under attack by boomers which had without explanation began running amok. Inspector Leon McNichols was in the first wave to arrive on the scene. There would be no negotiations with this machine. Boomers of this type didn't process information the same way many computers would. In addition it was destroying the apartment building where many people on both ends of the age spectrum were living. The rouge boomer was putting their lives in danger.

He never saw her come into his vision until the last moment. He heard the crashing of a scooter against the ground and a petite, young, redhead running at full speed to where the scared occupants were huddling in fear. Instead of an ADP uniform all she had on that was visible was a mustard colored jacket, and brown slacks. It was a fellow police officer who apparently had been on her way to work when she saw the situation. The women was putting herself in danger with no protection, not even so much as a firearm to save her from harm

"Nene! Get out of there", shouted Inspector McNichols.

The young women refused to even acknowledge the order. She made it to her goal diving down to prevent the boomer from getting a good shot off on her. Leon watched as she spoke to the group though the noise of the firefight was too loud, and the distance too great to determine what had been said. After catching her breath Nene used hand signals to Leon to indicated she wanted him to provide cover fire. He could tell what she had in mind. By keeping the boomer busy Nene was planning on evacuating the trapped people to a safer location.

When the boomer looked to be turning his attention to the apartment Leon was ready, Making sure Nene and the others wouldn't be caught in the spray of bullets he peppered the area with round after round.

"Over here ugly!", he spoke loud enough to get the machines attention.

Nene didn't waste a second. Grabbing two of the infants in her arms who were only slightly smaller than she was the policewomen indicated to the others to start running. The sounds of the battle were all over the place. In the meantime Leon marveled how cool his fellow officer was behaving in the most heated of moments. Turning the corner of the building Nene placed the two youngsters on their feet and pointed them to where they should go. Then she was directing some of the seniors towards the proper location.

Leon never saw what happened after that. He heard the groaning of the steel structure as it began to lose its integrity. The building began to topple like a giant domino, taking down the boomer with it. The danger appeared to be over. Taking a sigh of relief he found himself marveling over the cool headed behavior of his comrade. Nobody would have blamed Nene if she had continued on and ignored the situation but instead put her life on the line to save others.

His beaming over the pride he felt was short lived. An elderly man tried to flag down Leon seeking his attention

"We've got someone hurt here!" Spoken in a tired but clear voice.

Running towards the man Leon thought that perhaps some of the occupants didn't make it. The old man escorted him to a sight that took his breath away. Under the rubble and steel of a corner section of the building was Nene. She was barely conscious and bleeding badly.

"We need a construction boomer here ASAP, we also need medical personnel here on the double. We've got an officer down! Repeat officer down!"

Leon knew the steel beams would be to heavy to move by himself. Instead he worked his hands around the twisted rubble and unzipped her jacket. There he saw the immediate danger. She was bleeding severely right below the right side of her chest. Without pausing he applied his hands to the would trying to put enough pressure on the area to slow down the bleeding and keep her alive. As he pressed down he heard a groan from the young women.

"Forgive me Nene, I know this hurts but its better than dying."

The emergency medical team was at the location within 10 minutes but their skills were of limited use until the construction boomer showed up 45 minutes later. All the while Leon kept the pressure on the wound knowing they were working against the clock to save her.

When the last of the beams were removed the medical team went to work in earnest. He didn't need to hear that Nene was in bad shape. He knew it. With every report it became clearer that if they saved the young women it would only be by the thinnest of margins.

"Tokyo General, we have a young redhead female, she is barely conscious . Blood Pressure is 80/40 currently, pulse is 30. She is also suffering from contusions, broken ribs, however the immediate need is the loss of blood. Blood type currently unknown."

"She's type O" ,responded Leon.

"Female is type O. She'll need at least two units upon arrival. Also prep for surgery STAT. Get OR prepped."

"If it'll help I could give her some blood. We're the same type."

At one time it was considered somewhat of an ironic joke that Leon and Nene shared the same blood type. The young redhead use to joke that he'd better treat her nice in case she would ever be needed to give blood to save his life. How ironic that it turned out to be the other way around.

Leon didn't remember much after that. His head was swimming in emotional panic. All he could think about was keeping Nene alive by the plastic tubing that was transferring his blood to her. They rode in the ambulance on twin gurney's. Earlier she had shown herself to be a giant of an individual. Now she looked so tiny and fragile. She had lost consciousness during the transfer to the hospital. The only sounds that indicated she was alive was the slow beats of the heart monitor and the oxygen mask as a breath was being taken in. He couldn't even see her chest raising and falling.

The vehicle made it to the hospital in mere minutes. There the pair was wheeled in and prepped for emergency surgery. Eventually the tubing for the direct blood transfusion was removed and Leon was wheeled to a nearby recovery area. There he stayed alone with his thoughts., praying to whatever deity might be listening to him.

His loneliness was eventually broken up with the arrival of Daley Wong, another ADP officer and Leon's most consistent partner. He tried to sit up but the giving of his blood and the quickness of his trying to sit up made him dizzy and he collapsed back on the bed.

"Whoa. Not so fast partner. You need to do this slowly. Here I brought you some orange juice, that should help your blood level."

"Thanks, so any word about Nene?", Leon asked.

His partner shook his head negatively.

"Too early to tell. They'll be in surgery at least three more hours. If she survives then Nene will have you to thank for that."

That news did help Leon's spirits at least a little. She was still alive. As bad as she looked back at the apartments he was thankful the worst hadn't happened yet. Still he knew there was a long way to go.

Back at Sylia kept close tabs to the police monitor. From the moment she heard the report of an female officer down she had a bad feeling about it. When it was confirmed by the scanner that it was Nene it was like a sick punch to the stomach. Worse for now there was nothing she or the other Knight Sabers could do for support. She was going to have to be careful how to proceed here to protect Nene's duel identity and still try and save her life.