Leonis, 1:11, 2:15 - Roach Hotel - Fire can't Kill 'er

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Gerald leapt to his feet and ushered Kate through the open front door of the building, never moving his eyes from the place he last saw Cameron. With Kate safely outside, he covered his face with the bend of his elbow and ran back into the blaze to find his partner.  

"Cameron!?!! Where are you?" Gerald called, keeping half of his attention on the ceiling above. He knew the rest of the roof was about to collapse, he could hear it creaking and moaning; regardless, he had to find his friend.  Gerald stopped in his tracks the instant he thought he saw something amongst the flickering flames. It was the Marine lying horizontally on the floor, his shoulder pinned beneath a wooden support beam. "Cam!?!!"

The heat was intense and the smoke suffocating, nevertheless, Gerald removed his coat to cover his head and ran through the roaring fire.

"Gerald?" Cameron coughed weakly "I don't want to burn..."

"I don't either. Now..." *cough* "...save your oxygen, buddy, we need to get you out of here!" Gerald said as he lifted the heavy board and tossed it to the side. He grabbed Cameron's arm and lifted it around his shoulder.

<<*>>

Kate raced down the stoop and into the middle of the cobblestone street and began calling for help, but her voice quickly trailed off. With tear-filled eyes, she turned around in a circle in the center of the street, hands to her head. It only took a moment for her to examine the nightmarish scene encircling her and realize there would be no assistance coming. People dressed in vintage bedclothes where either huddled together in small clusters or wandering aimlessly about as if lost. Moreover, no matter where Kate rested her eyes, a building was on fire or someone was crying out, either in pain or for assistance. It seemed as if the entire city was ablaze...whatever city it was...whenever it was.

Down the street to her left, Kate could see men in rubber slickers and odd, pointed helmets fighting a losing battle with a fire engulfing some sort of white cylindrical building. They had their backs to a horse-drawn wagon fitted with tanks of water and some sort of mechanical pump. The firemen were intently performing an intricate dance with the blaze; as the roaring beast would retreat, they would advance, then as it strengthened, they would back away. Like Laocoön and his sons wrestling with serpents, these men gripped their hoses of spewing water and attempted to drown the uncontrollable phoenix rising before them.

As the fires intensified around her, screams of terror and pain filled the night and competed with the frightening roar of the rising flames. Kate wondered if she had actually been transported from Eden straight to Hell this time. She shook off the thought and with a contrived renewal of hope glimmering in her eyes, waited for Cameron and Gerald to emerge from the belly of the old brownstone apartment building.

Kate lowered her eyebrows when she heard something shrill calling out just over the din of the meandering people. "What is that?" she wondered and then realized it was the nearby sound of an animal's fearful cry. She turned her head to find out where it was coming from. Kate scanned up the face of a neighboring apartment building and discovered a fluffy gray cat perched precariously on a second story windowsill. It appeared to be desperately trying to get in the window. Kate looked at the door of the brownstone for Gerald and Cameron and then at the cat and then back to the open front door, flames erupting through the doorway like the mouth of an angry totem. She could not do anything about the two men inside but pray for them; however, she knew she could save this poor animal from a horrible fate, if it would only jump.

She walked as close as she could to the base of the burning building and removed her leather jacket. She opened it like a safety net and beckoned to the cat. "Come here, kitty kitty!" she shouted repeatedly.

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