"A Family Affair"

By Ross7

Chapter One

"Are you kidding me?" Los Angeles County firefighter/paramedic, John Gage, turned his attention from Station 51's TV screen, to his closest crewmate, Chet Kelly. "A cattle egret?" Gage grimaced. "This is too painful to watch. A cattle egret? Of all the dumb answers…"

The two firemen had completed their Station assignments and were currently watching 'The Family Feud', whilst relaxing between runs. The question was 'Name a white bird.'

Kelly quickly came to the cute, blonde, female contestant's defense. "What's so dumb about it? Cattle egrets could be white, yah know."

"That's beside the point, Chet. One hundred average people were surveyed. How many—out of that hundred—have ever even 'heard' of a cattle egret—let alone 'seen' one? You have to think like those one hundred average people are thinking. Not like an 'ornithologist'. The average person is more likely to have said a dove…or a swan…or a pelican…or a stork…or a seagu—" The rest of Gage's argument was drowned out—er, supported, rather, by a loud *bu-uzzzz!* as the pretty little lady's answer failed to find a match up on the board.

Kelly did his level best to ignore his now smugly smiling colleague.

A gloating John Gage was always hard to take.

It didn't help that dove, swan, pelican, stork and seagull all ended up on the board, either.

Gage's smug smile broadened into a smug grin.

"Since you're so sure you could do so much 'better'," Chet insincerely began, "why don't you find yourself a 'family'…somewhere, and then go on there? Sure. You could prob'ly make a small fortune…a very small fortune," he teasingly tacked on.

John completely ignored the jibe. "That's not a bad idea…" he mumbled beneath his breath and gazed around the large, open room.

His Captain, Hank Stanley, and their engineer, Mike Stoker, were seated at the kitchen table, along with Marco Lopez.

His partner, Roy DeSoto, was busy putting the finishing touches on lunch.

Counting Kelly, the fireman had just managed to find five 'brothers'.

Gage got stiffly to his feet and then headed off…to compose a couple of letters.

TBC

Author's note: Sorry for posting such a short chapter, but computer time is very limited right now. So my writing will reflect this 'lack of typing time'…for the summer months, anyway.

:)Ross7