NOTE: AUSTIN IS A GIRL.

Flame Jockeys

Written By: Jessica McDaniel

Episode 1

Fade in on a bar full of off duty fire fighters. There are four of them sitting directly around the bar, obviously drunk.

Dennis

(Dennis Burroughs focuses intensely on the fireman across from him). Merrill, have I ever told you, that you have really bushy eyebrows? They kinda look like caterpillars.

Merrill

(He leers at Dennis). Have I ever told you that you look like you fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down?

Bob

(Laughing). I bet his momma beat him with the ugly stick once he hit the ground, for climbing the ugly tree to begin with…

Mack

(The Captain stares at them, shaking his head). Man, you can really feel the love in here tonight.

Dennis

(Slurred speech). HEY, its not my fault that Merrill has centipedes on his forehead!!!

Bob

I thought that they were caterpillars and not centipedes, Dennis.

Dennis

I don't care what they are… Merrill still had worms on his face.

Merrill

(Angry points at Dennis). Don't make me come over there and stab your ass!!!

Bob

(Sounding mildly scared). Hey, Cap. Merrill's going to stab Dennis in the ass.

Mack

(Slams beer on the counter). Damn it, nobody is stabbing anyone in the ass! Not unless I'm doing the stabbing!!

The room grows distinctly quiet. All eyes are on the firemen gathered around the bar. The firemen fidget, showing mild embarrassment. After a few moments of silence, Bob speaks up.

Bob

(A curious look on his face). What would be the side effects of being stabbed in the ass, anyway, Merrill?

Merrill

(Motions with his hand). Nausea, fainting, extreme diarrhea….

Mack

(Interrupting Merrill). And mild death.

Merrill

(Nods). Yes, and mild death.

CUT TO THEME SONG.

FADE TO AD.

FADE IN TO:

Dennis and Bob are playing pool. Merrill is sitting on the side of the pool table, casually smoking a cigarette.

Merrill

(Takes a drag off the cigarette). Guys, I'm bored. I can in a seven o'clock this morning… Its eleven-thirty all ready, and we haven't had one damn call!

Dennis

(Lines up the white and eight ball, the winning shot over Bob). Tell me about it… Not even an, " OH MY GOD, I LOCKED MY KEYS IN THE HOUSE AND THE OVEN'S ON!!"

Mack

(From the TV room). Hey!! Watch what you're saying in there! You're going to jinx us!

Dennis nods and knocks on the side of the pool table.

Dennis

Knock on wood. (He sinks the eight ball).

Merrill picks up a copy of the fire exit map for the firehouse that is lying on the pool table. He begins making a paper airplane out of them. When he is finished, he launches it at Dennis. The airplane gets stuck in the mop that is Dennis's hair. Dennis glares at Merrill, pulls the airplane out of his hair, and launches it back at Merrill.

Mack is watching TV in the TV room, directly in front of the television. As the plane nears Merrill, he ducks. The Airplane sails directly into Mack's left temple.

Mack

(Jumps up). Who the hell threw that!!!

Merrill, Bob, and multiple other firemen point toward Dennis. Mack walks toward Dennis carrying a glass of Pepsi and the paper airplane. Mack sets the Pepsi down in front of Merrill, draws back, and launches the airplane at Dennis. The airplane flies upward, then loops backward toward Merrill, and smacks Merrill in the head.

Dennis cracks a smile.

Out of surprise from the attack, Merrill's mouth drops open. The cigarette drops out and falls into Mack's Pepsi.

Dennis's smile turns into hysterical laughter.

Suddenly the gong goes off. The firemen all break for the brass poles in the rec. room and the bunk room.

CUT TO:

The camera shoots upward, shooting the firemen as they slide down the poles. The camera sweeps to the right, filming the men tearing off their shoes and pulling their turnout gear. The men then jump onto the trucks.

CUT TO:

Outside shot of the firehouse from directly in front. The Engine and the Ladder Trucks pull out, simultaneously, to the left. They tear off up the Baltimore City street with lights and sirens going.

CUT TO:

Engine 53 and Truck 33 pull up in front of a three story, red brick apartment building. Gray smoke billows from the roof and upper windows. The Engine and Ladder companies jump out of the trucks. They stare up at the burning building.

Bob

(Sighs heavily). Holy God…

Mack

(Glares at Merrill and Dennis). Are you happy now?! (He points at the building). Look at what the two of you have gotten us into! (Scoffs). BORED!!

Merrill glares back at Mack, but says nothing. He turns away and walks to the Ladder truck. Bob Parker, Dennis Burroughs, and Brad Wente follow Merrill to the truck. They begin to retrieve ladders and other needed gear.

FADE TO COMMERCIAL.

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FADE IN FROM BLACK

Two members of the Engine Company, Shawn Kunde and Scott Long, are pulling hose from the back of the pumper. Hillary Kaufmann and Tom Casey are hooking lines to a nearby fire hydrant.

CUT TO:

Merrill and Dennis are walking down a smoky hallway on the second floor. Both men are in full turnout gear, which includes the breathing apparatus. Slightly behind Merrill and Dennis, is Mack.

Merrill

All right, Mack, where's this fire at?

Mack shrugs, then lays an ungloved hand on the apartment door in front of him. Seeing that the door is not hot, he opens it. Just an empty apartment, no obvious signs of smoke or fire. Mack leaves the door open and continues down the hall and around the corner.

Mack

(Sighs). I don't know, Merrill. We haven't found it yet.

Merrill shakes his head, then moves to shut the open door.

A tight shot on the back wall of the apartment.

A small tendril of smoke curls out of an electrical outlet. Cut back to side shot of Merrill. Merrill has a perplexed expression on his face. He walks slowly over to the far wall. He pulls his right glove off, and lays his hand of the wall right above the outlet. He jerks his hand away. He then feels further up the wall. The same reaction occurs.

Merrill

(Raises his voice slightly). Hey guys, I think I found it…

Dennis

(He sticks his head around the doorframe). Are you sure? I'm pretty sure that Mack all ready checked that apartment.

Merrill

(He points at the wall). Dennis

Dennis walks into the apartment, takes one of his gloves off, and feels the wall. He nods and gets onto the radio that is clipped to his gear.

Dennis

(Talking into his radio). Hey, Mack, we found it. Second floor, apartment twenty-three.

Mack

(Over the radio). I'm on my way.

CUT TO:

Mack storms into apartment twenty-three and looks impatiently at Dennis and Merrill.

Mack

(Irritation in his voice). I don't see any fire, Merrill!

Merrill

(Almost sheepishly). It's in the walls…

Mack

(Takes his left glove off and feels the wall above the electrical socket). Damn it, you're right…How the hell did I miss that?! You can smell it!

Dennis

Anyone could have missed…

Merrill

(He glares at Dennis, then looks back to Mack). You didn't check the walls?! Did you check any of the walls?!

Mack

(Desperate look). No…

Brad Wente joins Mack, Merrill, and Dennis.

CUT TO:

Bob Parker, Merrill O'Malley, and Danny Logan are tearing down the inner wall of the apartment directly above apartment twenty-three.

CUT TO:

Mack Conners, Dennis Burroughs, and Brad Wente are tearing down the inner wall of apartment twenty-three.

CUT TO:

Shawn Kunde, Hillary Kaufmann, and Scott Long are spraying down the fire in the wall of apartment twenty-three. Mack, Dennis, and Brad are standing by.

CUT TO:

Tom Casey, Austin Patrick, and Stephanie Robinson are spraying down the fire in the inner wall of the apartment above twenty-three. Bob, Merrill, and Danny stand by.

CUT TO:

It is the garage of the firehouse. The trucks are parked and the filler hoses are attached. Both companies are milling about the garage, removing turnout gear, and putting other gear in its place. A radio plays in the background.

Shawn Kunde walks over to one of the brass poles. He grabs the pole with his left hand, then swings around the pole, dipping down and then up again. As he comes back up, he takes his helmet off and playfully tosses it to Danny Logan. All the fire fighters begin laughing.

Mack

(Pushes Shawn out of the way). You're doing it wrong!

Mack begins rubbing himself against the pole in a provocative manner. He then kicks his leg up into the air, wraps it around the pole then swings around the pole. Leg still wrapped around the pole, he dips backward, taking his helmet off and throwing it.

Chief Kevin Gordon walks out of the "watch box" behind Shawn and Mack. They do not notice his presence. Shawn and Mack begin "stripping" off their turnout gear, and tossing it to the other fire fighters.

Chief Gordon

(Shaking his head). And this is supposed to be Baltimore City's finest?

Shawn and Mack stop and turn around. They are both looking very embarrassed.

Mack and Shawn

Chief Gordon.

Chief Gordon

(Nods in a gentlemanly manner). Ladies.

Dennis and Merrill begin to snicker, then all the fire fighters burst out laughing.

FADE TO COMMERIAL.

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FADE IN FROM BLACK:

Merrill is sitting at the kitchen table, his chin in his left hand, elbow on the table. He is staring off into space, a blank expression on his face. Austin is cooking rice on the stove behind him. She is quietly chatting with Danny Logan.

CUT TO:

DREAM SEQUENCE.

Austin falls playfully against an apartment door. A man's hands rest gently on her shoulders. As the camera zooms out, we see that the man is Merrill O'Malley.

He leans in and gently kisses her on the mouth. She moves her right hand to the side of his face and kisses him back. Merrill smiles and opens the apartment door. She smiles slyly and pulls him through the door. He shuts it behind them.

CUT BACK TO REGULAR SEQUENCE.

Austin sets down with a bowl of rice across from Merrill. Merrill is still staring blankly into space.

Austin

Merrill, are you all right?

Merrill still stares into space.

Austin

Merrill Eugene O'Malley!

Merrill jumps then focuses intensely on her.

Austin

(Smiles). Welcome back.

He nods cautiously.

Merrill

Sorry… (He rubs his face with his hands).

A four or five second pause between them. Merrill is staring into space again.

Austin

(Cocks her head). What's wrong?… Merrill, what are you thinking about?

Merrill

(Complete absence of emotion). Nothing.

Austin

Merrill… (She reaches across the table and touches his arm).

Merrill

Nothing! (He pushes her hand away).

Austin

(A confused look). Merrill, please tell me what's wrong.

Merrill

Austin, damn it! There is nothing wrong!

Austin

Fine, what ever!

Austin gets up and stalks off.

CUT TO:

Austin walks into the bunkroom. The room is darkly lit, most of the shades are pulled. Many of the fire fighters are sleeping.

A dark figure grabs her at her waist. Austin gasps and turns around. Mack Conners is standing behind her. She smiles.

Mack

(Softly). Hey…

Austin

Hi…

Mack smiles broadly, then leans in and kisses her. She kisses Mack in return. Both quietly exit into the shower room.

Camera sweeps back to the shot of the bunks.

Bob turns over on his bunk, he is speaking to Brad Wente.

Bob

Did you see that?

Brad

OH YEAH… So, do you think Merrill knows?

Bob

Not-A-Clue.

Brad

Merrill's going to be crushed…

Bob

Yep.

Brad

Well, it's too late now.

Bob and Brad both nod.

FADE TO BLACK.

THE END.