A/N: Full summary and authors note are in the next chapter. Please enjoy this prologue.

Thanks to my wonderful beta LittleLea05

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.


I could taste the soot from the smoke on my tongue. It weighed heavily in the air. My heart was pounding so violently against my chest I thought for sure it was going to give out. I spent my whole life training to keep myself out of situations like this. To save the people who found themselves here. Never did I think I would find myself here praying that the men on the other side of the debris would find a way in. I could hear the crackle of the fire over head, to the sides and all around me. The sound of people shouting muffled by the thick concrete broken to bits on the floor, soft sirens in the distance and the sobbing of the little boy in my arms. "Deep breath" I shouted to him as I held the SCBA mask to his face to get him some fresh oxygen. I pulled it away and quickly brought it back to my face inhaling the fresh crisp air. I knew I had maybe thirty minutes left of clean air in the tank. Whether we would make it that long was the question.

It all happened so fast that there was no way out. Now I was trapped in this tiny crawl space with this little boy who was about four years old. It was stifling hot and the air was thick with smoke. We would die of inhalation before we'd burn to death – at least that was what I could hope for. I put the mask back to the boys face and immediately started opening up my turnouts. He was small enough, maybe I could get him into my turnout pants and jacket and protect him the best I could. I turned to him and saw the fright in his eyes. No child, no adult, should ever have that look in their eyes. "Deep breath and I am going to help you into my jacket to protect you, okay?" He nodded his head and took a deep breath. I quickly pulled his little body to mine and put his legs on top of mine in the spacious pants. I clipped them back together and quickly pulled the jacket closed over our two bodies and locking the latches. I left the top one open so he could still have his head out for the SCBA mask. Now all I could do was sit here and pray the debris to my right gets cleared in enough time to get out of here alive.


Oh Lord, let me die a natural death
because I don't want to burn.
I have seen so many Lord,
for fresh air they did yearn.

I have held the lifeless body
of a little child.
Please Lord, let me die a natural death;
Let me stay around a while.

And while I'm praying to you Lord,
There are others next to me,
Provide an exit from this fate
so we can all be free.

But, if in the line of duty
I must go this way,
let me know before I go
another I have saved.

Author: Vernon P. Anderson

A/N: This is just the prologue and I hope it has caught your attention enough to go forth and read the first chapter. Reviews are greatly appreciated so I know you are enjoying (and understanding) this story. Thanks!