Truck 81 arrived on scene just before mid-day. Snow carpeted the roads, so naturally CFD's response time was lacking at this time of year. Tracks cut through the snow, leading up to Quay Crescent junction on the South side of Chicago, where two cars lay on their side, smashed and battered, and one upside-down with sparks cascading off it. A crowd gathered, watching with wide eyes and concerned faces.
Sirens filled the air as the Truck firefighters stepped out, followed by Squad and Ambo. "Dawson, Candidate, check for survivors."
"Copy that, Lieutenant Casey." Dawson replied.
The two ran to the first car on its side, only held up by a single lamppost that was about to collapse.
"Herrmann, Cruz, Otis, secure that lamppost before it kills someone else." Casey said, as he ran over to the Squad team.
"Severide, there's an oil leakage there," He said, pointing to the car on its roof, "That's gonna blow soon..."
A nod from Kelly and Squad was already getting power tools ready for action.
"We got survivors!" Dawson yelled, as Chrisie went to check the other car, which had now fallen back onto its tyres. The Paramedics and Jason, the Ambo candidate wasted no time in getting to the survivors, arms full with stretchers and medical bags.
"Pass me the neck brace." Jason handed Sylvie a brace which she put round the victim's neck to stabilize her. "She's unconscious, mild concussion and a small blow to the head." Chillie said as she and Jason lifted the victim onto the stretcher.
"Two DOA's in both of the other cars," Chrisie called, "One impaled in the stomach by his own gear lever and one crushed between the ground and the steering wheel."
"Okay, good work Candidate." Dawson replied.
For a moment, there was only silence. No movement. Almost like the world stopped spinning and time itself had stopped.
Heartbeat as fast as a gunshot.
Silence, just a gaping void waiting to be filled with sounds, words, anything.
Out on the rolling skyline, in the direction of Quay Crescent junction, South side, a lance-like ray of orange-white light shot up into the gathering dusk, a thick ash cloud following in its wake...