Bubba Saves the World (10-13-17)

Write a story about five entirely disconnected, reckless rescue attempts succeeding because of each other. [link to post]

“He’s choking!” the woman yelled. She bolted up from her chair, then ran around the table. She began slapping the back of a man with a red splotchy face. “HELP!” She yelled again, hoping someone in the rooftop cafe could help. One of the waiters rushed over and pulled the man up from the chair. The waiter wrapped his arms around the man from behind and tucked his fist into his hand. The waiter pressed into the man’s abdomen with quick, upward pressure. He did it three times. After the third, a piece of lobster flew out of the man’s mouth and over the edge of the rooftop.

“Thank you so much!” The woman cheered and kissed the waiter on the cheek. “Do all the waiters here know the Heimlich maneuver? That’s brilliant!” she said while rubbing her husband’s back and letting him catch his breath.

“No. I actually don’t know it either to be honest. I know it was kind of reckless, I’m sorry. I had to try though. To be honest, I’m surprised it worked. I’ve only seen it on T.V. I don’t even think I did the maneuver properly, it was more a gesture,” the waiter shrugged apologetically. The woman smiled and handed him a 100$ bill.

The errant piece of lobster had hit a firetruck waiting at a stoplight. The morsel of seafood was wet with saliva and managed to remain stuck to the fire ladder when the light turned green. The truck drove off to its rescue.

“Hit the siren. This lady calls about her cat all the time, and she gets offended if we don’t pull in with sirens blaring. She says Mr. Mittens is just as much an emergency as a towering inferno,” Roy said to the new recruit, Fred, riding shotgun while he drove the firetruck. “You get to go up in the ladder today!” He said with a laugh. The new recruit just nodded and turned on the siren.  After two more blocks they arrived.

Mr. Mittens was probably meowing loudly. He was so high up Roy could not hear him. He looked up and shook his head. Mr. Mittens never failed to surprise him, and somehow managed to climb higher and higher every time.

“Can the ladder even reach that?” Fred asked. He stared up at the orange tabby opening its mouth silently at them from the top of a new water tower erected by the city within the last week. The team from Roy’s firehouse all attended the ceremony.  

“I don’t know,” Roy shrugged. “It wouldn’t have to if the city didn’t rush the opening. I’m surprised the cat made it up there using the shoddy maintenance scaffolding, the ladder isn’t even finished yet. We might need to go back and get the bigger truck,” Roy said. He decided to definitely bring the bigger truck next time instead of the smaller fire truck they used for school activities and such. While fully functional it was mostly just for show, and the firehouse had at this point nicknamed it “Mr. Mittens’ Limousine”.

“Let’s try it, I’ll give it a go,” Fred said and walked around to the back of the truck. When he was set he manipulated the controls and lifted the platform to get as close to Mr. Mittens as he could. The ladder stopped about six feet short of the cat, approximately one Fred in distance.

“C’mere Mr. Mittens,” Fred said. He tried to encourage the cat to jump the distance. He read somewhere that cats can jump an average of eight feet, and felt confident the cat could easily make the jump. If it wanted to. Mr. Mittens just stared at fred and meowed. Fred took a step closer trying to extend his body as much as possible and his foot squished something. He looked under his foot and saw a pinkish piece of solid goo that smelled like fish.

“Here kitty. I’ve got some food for you.” Fred held out the piece of lobster as far as he could, hoping the scent would bridge the gap. It did.

Without warning Mr. Mittens cleared the distance and landed on Fred’s shoulder. Fred offered Mr. Mittens the piece of pink. The orange cat took the piece of food and and ran down the ladder with obvious experience. Fred had less experience. He did not know that the firemen always waited for Mr. Mittens to reach the ground before lowering the ladder.

The sudden movement and sound frightened the cat and it jumped off from halfway down the ladder, then ran out into the street. A speeding car swerved to avoid the orange streak and rammed into the front of the small firetruck. Fred saw it happening and managed to keep himself from falling, but the the firetruck now had a flat tire and there was no doubt the engine was damaged. A call came over the radio and Roy answered it after making sure Fred’s footing was secure. Fred finished lowering the ladder and reached Roy.

“Grab your gear, Mike and Bubba are coming by to pick us up. There’s a big one downtown, and they need all the help they can get. The chief is taking care of getting this back to the garage, and dealing with that guy,” Roy said. He pointed at the driver of the vehicle who was talking on the phone, likely to the fire chief.

“I’m still new, but isn’t Bubba the guy that..” Fred began to ask. Roy stopped him.

“That’s the one.” Roy nodded. “Just stick closer to me than to him, and you’ll be fine.” The hurried ride to the fire was mostly quiet. This was a real job, not just a cat stuck somewhere. Mike shared the details he knew. Three story government building, burning way hotter than it should. Mostly evacuated, but there were still several important figures unaccounted for. They arrived and found four streams of water pointed at the two story blaze.

“You said three story,” Roy asked Mike. Mike shrugged.

“That’s what they told me,” he said.

“C’mon newbie, let’s go rescue us some official officials.” Bubba said. He clapped Fred on the back and Fred felt it, even through the heavy yellow jacket. Bubba was a mountain of a man, with the intellect of a mountain to match. Dumb as a pile of rocks, but damn good at his job. Bubba put his smoke mask on and yelled inside of it. The inside of the mask fogged up with breath while Bubba smiled.

“I need Fred out here, he’s gotta help control the fire. Take Mike, he knows how to work with you,” Roy said.

“Whatever,” Bubba said. The mask muffled his voice slightly. He turned and ran into the burning building, yelling the whole time. Neither Fred nor Mike followed him in.

“He’ll be fine,” Mike said.

Inside the bright dark building Bubba searched. The black smoke made it difficult to see anything except for the bright orange light of the blaze filtering through the ashen air. He moved through the halls, skipping marked doors of the rooms already checked. He reached the stairwell and noticed a door leading to the basement. The door was not marked, and Bubba wondered if the other crewmen missed it. He went through the door and down a level.

The basement consisted of a long hallway that only had two doors, one on each side of the hallway. Bubba ran to the door on his right first, and noticed neither one was marked. He pushed it open.

“..ELP!” Bubba heard the tail end of a call for help. He saw an older man in a military uniform pinned down under rubble. Four golden stars were on each epaulette as the man struggled to get free. Bubba ran over and started to dig the general out.

“Can you stand, Sir?” Bubba asked. The older man nodded and leaned on Bubba for support. They exited the room and Bubba leaned the general against the wall like an umbrella. “I’ll be back, Sir. I need to check the other room.”  The general nodded. The other room was empty of people, and Bubba helped the general out of the burning building. When they exited two men in uniform ran to take the General from Bubba.

“General Smith, Sir. We’re glad you’re okay. You’re the last one unaccounted for,” One of the men said.

“Thank you,” The general nodded, then turned his attention to Bubba.

“Thank you too. You saved my life. What’s your name, son?”

“Bubba, Sir!” Bubba stood tall and proud.

“Well Bubba, you’re a good man, and you do your department proud. Carry on.” The general saluted Bubba and let his soldiers escort him to the ambulance. Bubba saluted in return and ran screaming back into the building.

“You said I was the last one, right?” General Smith asked. His men nodded, and the general chuckled to himself. “He’ll be fine.”  After the medics cleared him, the soldiers handed the general a brief.

“It’s a good thing you’re okay, Sir. We have a bit of a hostage situation.”

“Hostages? Isn’t that something best left to the M.P.’s or even the Police department?” The general flipped through the brief, and immediately understood why they wanted him.
“Oh. They finally came to rescue their friend, then?”

“Yes, Sir. However instead of a negotiation like we’ve been planning, they recklessly assaulted the base. We have them surrounded, but they’re demanding to talk to you. They said if they don’t talk to you today, the Earth would be destroyed.”

“Well then, let’s go. That Bubba just saved the world.”

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