A tornado tears through the outskirts of Toronto leaving one rookie in a dire situation. What happens when the 15th show up along with the rest of the police districts and rescue groups. Will the new rookie get out alive with her daughter and the pets? And how does Peck no exactly which house the rookie lives in? Has she been there before?
Outskirts of the City:
Cola Lynn Jackson was a twenty-eight year old single mother of one daughter. Hannah Jackson looked like her mother but wanted nothing to do with being a cop when she grew up. She was more interested in being a vet or something that had to do with animals. Already Hannah had adopted a mother cat and her six kittens, three abandoned puppies, a small mouse that came with the house they were living in and a turtle she had found in the creek behind there house. They lived in the country, on the outskirts of Toronto. Life was great.
Cola Lynn had gotten up as usual early that morning to get ready for work. She had the small TV on in the kitchen while she made breakfast for her daughter and coffee for herself. The news was on and was warning of some severe weather that day. She only hoped that it didn't effect her work day. Hannah wandered in around 7:30 that morning with tiger in her hands. Tiger the turtle went every where with Hannah. The cat and her kittens slept in a small box under one of the counters in the kitchen and the three puppies wandered behind Hannah with the Mickey the mouse riding on the lead dog.
It was like a zoo in there house every morning. The animals had to be fed and watered. Mickey had to go in with the cats, who had grown to love him as one of there siblings. Even the mama cat had adopted him as one of her own. Tiger had to go back in his tank. So many things had to get done every morning as Cola headed to get the animals food. Mickey mostly ate small bits of bread that she put in the box with him. The kittens still drank milk from there mother and mama cat ate cat food from a small bowl next to Mickey.
When the siren in town started going off and news was reporting tornado activity in the area, Cola grabbed her daughter from where she sat at the island and told her to go get one of the big duffel bags from under the stairs. When Hannah got back with the bag and her backpack, Cola put the cat, kittens, and puppies in the bag before grabbing Hannah's backpack and put Tiger and Mickey in the bag. She also threw in some food, blankets and some water. She had inherited the house from her parents and they had built a storm cellar just in case anything like this had ever happened.
All the important documents were in a safe in the cellar and Cola was able to get the animals down to the cellar before the first of the tornado could be seen. She went back into the kitchen, grabbed her cell phone, the satellite phone, and Hannah, who had her backpack on. They ran to the cellar and could see neighbors trying to find a safe place to hide. Cola put Hannah in the cellar and told her to stay with the animals and that she would be back.
Cola ran back up the stairs of the cellar and yelled at her neighbors to get into the cellar. Kids were running towards her with there families behind them, trying to outrun the tornado that was already ripping homes apart. Hannah screamed for her mother, but then she saw what was going on and yelled at her friends to come to where she was sitting. Once everyone that had run to them was inside, Cola with the help of a neighbor, shut and latched the cellar door. Then the waiting began.
Cola cell phone, which she had linked with the satellite phone, started ringing and she looked at the ID. It was Peck, probably wondering why she wasn't at work. As the adults calmed the kids down and Hannah pulled out the animal and passed them to her friends for comfort, Cola answered the phone. She could barely hear Peck but understood what she was asking. Peck wanted to know where she was and if she was alright. Cola said that she wasn't coming in today and to let everyone know.
Peck had been in Parade when she made the call to Lynn. Everyone at the District called her Lynn. Only her close friends were able to call her Cola. Toronto had been put under a storm warning and then twenty minutes ago, they had gotten the announcement that a Tornado was ripping through the outskirts of the city and Peck had thought of Lynn. She was able to get through to Lynn but the sound in background told her that the tornado was already on the ground.
"Lynn, can you hear me? I just wanted to know where you and Hannah are. Are you guys alright?" Everyone in the room was looking at her as if she knew something they didn't know. All had worried looks on there face.
"Gail, I'm not going to be making it in today. Hannah and I are fine, but a tornado has already touched ground. Were in the cellar, get up here once your allowed."
"Lynn, listen to me. If it's as bad as the news is saying, you're going to need to stay wherever you are until it passes. According to the news there are three tornados in the vicinity of your house right now. Stay where you are and we'll get up there as soon as possible. Do you hear me?" she practically had to scream the last part. There was so much noise in the background she didn't know if Lynn had heard her. She hung up the phone and got the full attention of the Parade room looking at her.
"Lynn lives where the tornados are?" Sgt. Best asked.
"Since when, I thought she lived in the city?" McNally asked.
"How long have you known Gail?" Nash asked.
"Hold it, one at a time jeez. Look the house they are living in now, Lynn inherited it from her parents. It's out in the country part of Toronto. Don't worry, she's safe. Her parents had a storm cellar built just in case any really really severe weather like this occurred. She'll be fine. I've been to the house and the neighborhood. I've seen the cellar, they'll be fine. I hope."
"That still doesn't answer my question Gail." Nash said.
"I've known for about six months. Look that's not important at the moment. What's important is that those tornados dissipate so we can get up there and start looking for survivors. And I can point you to the cellar. She had me help her move this big safe into the cellar that had all the important documents and some weapons into the cellar just in case. It also had some blankets, batteries and a radio in it. If anything, there as safe as can be at the moment."
"And what about her neighbors? How safe are they?" Williams asked.
"She had a plan for that too. They all did. If one was able to get to there cellar before the others, the others would run to that cellar, if they weren't already in there cellar of course. At least ten families can fit into Lynn's cellar. Her parents made it extra big just for that reason and the door is metal so it ain't going anywhere. It has a metal chain hanging from it that is attached to a block of cement, so it really isn't going anywhere."
"Alright, so we wait the storm out and then head up there as soon as possible. I'd rather not let those people have to stay there any longer than they already have."
Cola held Hannah and watched as the others got settled. With the anchor on the door, the door wasn't going to be going anywhere. She had pulled the radio and its batteries from the safe as well as some of the blankets. She had set up a card table and put a kerosene lamp on it as well as the radio. She turned it to a news station before shutting it off once more. She'd put Hannah on a blanket and allowed the animals out of the duffel bag. She put the cat, kittens and puppies on the blanket next to Hannah. The other families held there kids with blankets wrapped around them as well. People stayed away from the cellar door just to be on the safe side.
The tornados could be heard ripping through the neighborhood, tearing the houses from there foundations. Our only hope was that they dissipated soon so that rescue workers could get in and start helping those that needed help. Almost everyone in the neighborhood had cellars that were used as storage as well as weathering severe storms. Only one other time had a tornado touched down and Cola remembered that time as if it were like yesterday.
Cola had just turned six years old, her parents were in the cellar getting stuff ready just to be on the safe side. Then all of a sudden this loud alarm started going off and she was scrambling to get her two puppies from where they lay on her bed. She put them in her backpack, grabbed a flashlight and blanket and headed to her where her parents were waiting for her. They had been able to get a few things from the house like important documents and some food, water and emergency kit. They also had some dog food and some bowls to feed the puppies. That tornado had taken out four houses in the neighborhood that day and she knew that she was lucky that her house had only been slightly damaged.
She was brought back to reality when a scream was ripped from Hannah's lips. I looked over at my daughter, who had put all the animals back in the duffel bag and had put Tiger and Mickey in her backpack. She'd slid the bags under the safe where she knew they were safe. Her eyes were glued on the door. Cola looked at the door which was starting to move. She got up to grab the handle and had just grabbed it when the chain was yanked from the door and the door flung open. The kids were pushed to the back and the radio was given to Hannah as two of the fathers ran to the stairs and started trying to grab Cola.
Cola was still holding onto the door so she wasn't exactly going anywhere at the time being. But there were sharp objects flying above her and if she was struck by one, there was no telling how bad she would be hurt. Cola held on to the door with one hand and reached with the other one towards her neighbors. Hannah was screaming for her mother and trying to get to her but wasn't having any luck. Her last scream brought everyone's attention to what was flying towards them at that very moment.
A gasoline truck had been picked up by one of the twisters and was making its way towards the cellar and the open door. The men used each other like an anchor and one of them moved up the stairs until he was able to grab Cola's hand and pull her into the cellar, bringing the door with it. They secured the chain to the door one more time right as the truck hit the door. A loud explosion could be heard from above as the men pulled Cola to a sitting position, safely away from the stairs. Hannah ran to her mother and held her, not wanting to let go.
Cola gasped for air as Hannah squeezed her in a hug. Something sharp had indeed hit her side, and even though she knew she had to keep it a secret from her daughter, she knew that she wasn't going to be able to. Hannah had heard the inhale of breath and looked down at her mother, slightly pulling out of the hug. She saw the blood and gasped as well. She ran to the safe and grabbed out the first aid kit then ran back to her mother.
Cola looked down as well and noticed the piece of metal sticking out her side. Other than that, there were no other signs of injury. One of her neighbors just happened to be a paramedic and he dressed the wound as carefully as possible. He told her that if they didn't get out of here soon, it could become infected. His wife was a doctor and she had left for work at 4 that morning. She was probably watching the news at that moment.
With the metal piece secured by the bandages, Cola moved over to the blanket she shared with Hannah and they pulled the animals out one more time. This time, everyone stayed together instead of being scattered. When the noise outside finally stopped, it had been nearly two hours. They turned the radio on to the news station again and heard from the reporters that the tornados had dissipated after two hours of destruction. Unfortunately with the truck on the door, there was no way of getting out until help arrived.
The waiting began and everyone hoped that the other people in the neighborhood had made it to safety before the twisters hit. The whole neighborhood had about 250 people living in it and ten houses had been empty at the time, having just been built.
Waiting was the hard part…