Quarantine a la Seven

By JudyL

February 25, 2007


I read a story LaraMee wrote based on a Starsky and Hutch ep for the challenge below and it got me to thinking. Here’s the result, an M7 ATF version of the CHiPs episode “Quarantine.”


Challenge found at: http://m7challenge.e-fic.com/

The January 2002 Challenge (The AU Challenge): offered by Setcheti
Write (or rather, *re*write) a movie or TV show as starring our favorite Seven guys. You MAY NOT use an existing AU, you must create your own. (Yes, that does mean you can't just have ATF Team Seven join forces with
Walker, Texas Ranger - a crossover is not what we're aiming for here.) You can do the whole thing or just a teaser so long as all Seven are used. Sounds daunting I know, but sit down and watch a few movies or a couple hours of cable and I'm sure you'll come up with something great!


Okay, so it’s not a completely new AU, just the ATF version of the boys mixed together with the CHiPs episode. But that’s okay, I still had fun writing it.


Disclaimers: None of the Seven belong to me. I wish Jon and Ponch did, but they don’t either. Just borrowing for a while. I’ll return them eventually <G> or not.




He stumbled and leaned against the car checking the door to see if it would open. He’d come so far. Nothing would stop him. He wiped the sweat from his brow and pushed away from the solid support of the car. He took little notice of the people he passed, intent only on finding transportation. As long as they left him alone, all would be fine.




Ezra Standish quickly buckled his seatbelt as Vin started his jeep. “I cannot believe I let you talk me into taking your… vehicle,” he finished sarcastically.


Vin Tanner grinned as he pulled out of the parking garage. “You’re the one who complained about getting soy sauce on the seat of the Jag last time we went on a meal run.”


Ezra sighed then clutched at the seat cushion beneath him as Vin swerved into the other lane. “I just hope I live to regret that remonstration.”




The two young women hurried down the stairs of Denver Community College and crossed the parking lot joking about the test they’d just finished. They climbed into a beat up old sedan and took off.


“Hurry, Lori. We’re going to be late for rehearsal,” the young blonde encouraged.


“I’m going as fast as I can,” Lori answered gunning the accelerator to beat an oncoming car as she turned onto the next street.


Crystal grabbed the armrest on the door. “Never mind hurrying, just be careful,” she admonished.


“Gripe, gripe, gripe,” Lori grinned. “Would you grab my jacket out of the back seat? I don’t want to forget it. The weather’s supposed to get cool by the time we finish at the theater.”


“Sure,” Crystal replied twisting to reach over the seat. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye and stared at the young Asian teen glaring back at her.


He held up a long metal pipe with some sort of pull ring on one end.


“Um, Lori?”


“Yeah,” Lori replied distractedly as she mentally rehearsed her lines.


“You know how you sometimes get easily startled?”


Lori grinned ruefully. “Oh yeah,” she admitted cheerfully.


“Well, it’s kinda important that you don’t startle now,” Crystal said trying to remain calm.


“Why’s that?”


“Because there’s a kid in the back seat with a bomb,” Crystal said her voice rising in pitch on the last word.


Lori screamed and reflexively jerked the wheel sending the car into the second lane and causing Crystal to scream as well.


“CALM DOWN!” Crystal shouted after she got control of herself. Lori clamped her lips shut. “I’ll see what he wants,” Crystal said quietly. She turned to look over her shoulder at the young man.


Broomfield,” he said holding the pipe up with one hand on the ring.


Crystal turned back to facing forward feeling anything but calm. “He wants to go to Broomfield.”


“Great,” Lori replied sarcastically. “Which way to Broomfield?”




Vin hit his brakes as the car in front of him swerved wildly all of a sudden.


“What the?” he exclaimed.


“It would appear there is some trouble,” Ezra replied having seen three heads in the car at first then the one in the back disappeared from view. “Perhaps you should pull up and see if they need assistance.”


Vin nodded and pulled into the other lane speeding up a bit to come even with the other vehicle.


Ezra pulled out his badge and showed it to the woman in the driver’s seat. “Do you need assistance?” he shouted through the open window.


Both women motioned over their shoulders to the back seat just as a young boy popped up. He lifted a piece of pipe into view then lay back down.


Lori shouted out the window. “He wants to go to Broomfield. I don’t know the way,” she admitted with a shrug.


Ezra nodded and turned to Vin. “It appears the young man in the back has hijacked these ladies. He has a pipe about a foot and a half long that is enclosed on both ends. It could be a bomb. He also does not seem well.”


Vin glanced at the car beside them. “She say Broomfield?”




“I’ve got an idea, tell her to follow us.”


Ezra did as instructed and then Vin pulled ahead of the car.




Vin stopped the jeep in front of the Federal building where they worked and watched as the sedan pulled in behind him. A back door opened and the teen climbed out. He swayed for a moment, steadying himself with a hand on the car as he looked around then headed for the front door to the building.


“Call Chris and clear our floor,” Ezra said as he got out of the car. “Have the building evacuated in case that thing goes off.”


“What ya goin’ to do, Ez?” Vin asked as he opened his cell phone.


“I’m going to clear the way for him,” Ezra replied before moving quickly to the building.


He entered not too far behind the young man who was just making his way to the metal detectors.


Ezra pulled out his badge and waved it to get the guards attention. “Let him pass and clear the building,” he ordered following the boy.


The alarms on the metal detectors went off scaring the lad. The adrenaline rush seemed to perk him up though and he rushed for the elevator. Ezra followed trying to make himself seem as unthreatening as possible.


The door to the elevator opened and the boy went in. Ezra slipped in just before the doors shut.


The boy held up the pipe again and Ezra raised his hands to indicate his lack of intent to do harm. He stayed in front of the door as the elevator stopped at the fourth floor.


He glanced over his shoulder at the two people waiting there. “This car is full,” he said drolly. The doors closed and he returned his attention to the boy. The teen appeared to be fifteen or sixteen years old. Definitely of Asian descent, though from which particular country, Ezra couldn’t tell. The boy continued to wield the pipe as if threatening to pull the ring.


Ezra took a slow, deep breath. “Easy now, son. No one’s going to hurt you.”


The teen leaned against the back of the elevator sagging a bit as a wave of dizziness overcame him. Ezra moved forward to catch the boy if he fell, but the boy jolted into a more upright position and glared, once again threatening with the pipe.


“All right. All right,” Ezra placated. “We’ll do this your way.”




Chris Larabee hung up the phone with Vin and jogged into the bullpen. He saw Buck and Nathan at their desks. “We’ve got a bomb threat, boys. Clear the floor and get out of the building. Use the stairs, Ezra and the bomb are coming up in the elevator.”


“What?” Wilmington and Jackson exclaimed together.


“What the hell is Ez doing with a bomb?” Buck asked following Chris out into the hall.


Larabee shook his head. “He doesn’t have the bomb, evidently some kid has a pipe bomb. Vin and Ezra led him here for some reason.” He looked at his agents. “Well don’t just stand there, clear the floor!”


“Right!” Buck said heading off to the right.


“Will do,” Nathan replied going the other way.


Soon office staff and other agents were streaming out of their offices and heading down the stairs. Chris waited by the elevator.




Buck checked each room, popping his head in and shouting “anybody in here?” If he got a response, he explained the situation, if he didn’t, he moved on down the hall.


The break room was one of the rooms where he didn’t get a response. He left the door open as he continued to the next room.


JD lifted his head up from the back of the couch as he saw the door move. “Anybody there?” he asked. When no one came in he shrugged and went back to listening to his walkman.




Nathan was doing much the same as Buck, checking with a quick verbal query to see if anyone was in the room, then explaining or moving on. He reached the file room and called out, not receiving a response, the medic pulled the door closed and went on to the next room.


Josiah frowned and grunted when he heard Nate’s call. He tried to decide if he should set the stack of files he’d just picked up on the floor or just drop the one he held in his teeth so that he could reply. He took too long to decide and by the time he’d carefully put down the stack and pulled the folder out of his mouth, Nathan was long gone.


The big profiler just sighed. “Wonder what he needed?” he said to himself and stared at the files on the floor. There had to be a better way to move them to his desk.




“Finally,” Chris swore as the elevator reached the eleventh floor. The doors parted and Ezra backed out followed by a teenage boy. Chris saw Nathan hesitate at the door to the stairwell and waved him off. “Go on Nathan.”


“Mr. Jackson,” Ezra interrupted. “You might want to contact the health department. I’ve been trying to talk to this young man, I’m not sure he understands English, but from his appearance he may have made his way into the country illegally and he is not well. I’ve noted dizziness and heavy perspiration.”


Nate nodded. “I’ll inform them. Meanwhile, don’t get too close.”


“I assure you, Mr. Jackson, until that bomb is neutralized, I shall endeavor to keep my distance,” Ez replied, never taking his eyes off the teen.


Jackson met Chris’ eyes and then left the floor.


“Son,” Chris said softly, “do you understand me?”


The boy looked frantically from Chris to Ezra and back. He eased himself down the hallway hugging the wall. A door suddenly opened and the boy jumped back. He stumbled a few steps more when Josiah’s huge form filled the doorway.


“Easy Josiah,” Chris warned.


The profiler quickly took in the situation and let a reassuring smile cover his face. “It’s all right son. No one will harm you.”


“He does not appear to speak English,” Ezra informed.


Josiah nodded and tried Vietnamese. The boy just backed up until he was against the wall again.


“I was unaware you spoke Vietnamese, Josiah,” Ezra said still monitoring the boy.


“I don’t really,” Josiah answered. “Picked up a smattering during my tours.”


Chris frowned. The boy had slid down the wall to sit on the floor and was now listing slowly to one side as his eyes closed. “I think…”


The boy suddenly toppled over, dropping the pipe. All three agents jumped back and watched as the bomb rolled across the floor. It came to a stop in the middle of the hall.


“Now what?” Ezra queried, his gaze wavering between the boy and the bomb.


“Now we wait for the bomb squad and the health department,” Chris informed them.




Chris, Josiah and Ezra watched as the health department officials, all dressed in quarantine gear, lifted the unconscious young man onto the gurney and wheeled it into the elevator. Two of the officials left with the gurney. A third man was busy placing quarantine signs on the walls near each exit. The fourth man turned to face the three ATF agents.


“I’m sorry gentlemen, but you will have to remain here until we determine what is wrong with that young man. We’ll have supplies sent up to you in the elevator,” he assured.


“Supplies?” Ezra asked. “Just how long will it take to identify his illness?”


“Could be weeks,” the doctor said. “It would help if we knew where he came from,” he said peering hopefully at the men.


They all shrugged.


“What are we looking at?” Chris asked, almost afraid to.


“With his symptoms, it could be any number of things. Bubonic plague,” the doctor replied all too calmly.


Ezra, Chris and Josiah all paled as the man continued his list.


“Denge fever, Cholera, Typhoid. There’s just no telling,” the doctor shook his head sadly. “We’ll have to wait for the culture. Until then you are all under quarantine.” He waved the other health worker over and pushed the elevator call button. “Let us know if there’s anything you need. We’ll do the best we can.”


“I need to leave,” Ezra insisted.


“Sorry,” the man said as the elevator doors slid shut.


Ezra ran his hand through his hair and turned pleading eyes on Chris and Josiah. None of the three saw JD exit the break room.


The young computer expert stepped into the hall and stumbled over something on the floor. He frowned and looked down to see a piece of pipe lying there. JD picked it up and examined it then tried to pull on the ring. He grunted with the effort. It seemed to be stuck.


Down the hall Ezra’s pleas were falling on deaf ears. “Mr. Larabee, certainly you agree that we cannot be expected to remain here for weeks. I have tickets to the opera tomorrow night.”


“Ezra,” Chris exhaled already tired of the situation. “We don’t have a choice. I know it and you know it, so just…” he was side-tracked by a loud clanking noise down the hall. Chris glanced over and saw JD banging something against the door frame. “JD! Keep it down already,” he said before he realized what he was seeing.


“Sorry Chris,” JD said as he tried to pull the ring again. He twisted it as well this time and was rewarded by the cap loosening in his hand. He grinned and was so focused on the pipe that he didn’t see the horrified faces of his co-workers.


JD peered into the end of the pipe then tipped it so that the objects inside fell into his hand. A photo and some coins were all that appeared.


Josiah came up behind the younger man and sighed with relief. He placed a hand on JD’s shoulder. “Son, how did you know that wasn’t a bomb?”


“Bomb?!” JD squeaked thrusting the pipe and its contents away from him. They clattered to the floor.


Chris and Josiah chuckled. Ezra was still too upset about being stuck in the building to find the episode amusing.


“There is nothing to laugh at here, gentlemen,” Ezra huffed. “This situation is intolerable. I won’t be confined here like a common criminal.”


“Nothin’ common about you, son,” Josiah said with a grin as he gathered the items from the pipe up off the floor. There was a small amount of change and a photo of a man and a woman by a truck in front of a building.


“Anything useful?” Chris asked.


Josiah shook his head. “Maybe, maybe not.” He handed the picture to Chris and watched as JD picked the pipe up again.


JD shook it then, when nothing else came out, looked into it. “Empty,” he said. “Where’d it come from?”


Josiah chuckled. Ezra rolled his eyes, grabbed the picture from Chris and headed for the bullpen.


Chris sighed. “JD, help Ezra. Josiah, let’s see what we’re going to need if we end up quarantined for two weeks.”


“Quarantined?” JD exclaimed. “For two weeks?!”


Chris grinned evilly.




Several hours later


The four men sat at their desks in the bullpen. Well, except for Chris who had borrowed Vin’s desk. Larabee had felt the need to stick close to the others for now. After two weeks he knew he’d need the privacy of his office. He just prayed it wouldn’t be that long.


Ezra sighed and sat back in his chair.


“Whatcha got, Ez?” Chris asked.


“Nothing yet,” the undercover agent said. “DMV is working on the license plate on the truck. We could read all but two of the numbers. Unfortunately, the only visible sign on the building is ‘Food.’ Put that together with the fact that the boy wanted to go to Broomfield, and we still have a large area to cover. Hell, the truck might not even be connected to the people in the picture,” Ezra concluded, running a frustrated hand through his hair.


Josiah hung up his phone and grinned at the others. “Our supplies are on the way up.”


“Halleluiah,” Ezra said.


“Yeah,” JD agreed. “I’m starving.”


Chris snorted, but followed the others to the elevator.


“Well,” Josiah drawled, “You’d better eat while you feel up to it then.” JD  missed the slight smirk that Josiah hid quickly.


“Why? Oh, you mean, if we come down with what the kid has?” JD asked, concerned. “How will we know if we’re getting sick? I mean, what kind of symptoms would we get?”


The elevator doors opened and the four men started removing the boxes, cots and the wheeled cart as Josiah spoke.


“Well, at first there will be a loss of appetite. Then a ravenous hunger for spicy food. Gradually, we’ll develop an aversion to fruit salad, chicken soup and Jell-O,” the profiler said as he pushed the cart off to one side of the hall.


“Those are symptoms of the plague or cholera?” JD asked, confused.


“No, son,” Josiah said, lifting the cover from the food tray on the cart. “Those are reactions to the hospital food we’ll be eating until we get sprung.”


Chris and Ezra laughed at JD. The younger agent stuck his tongue out at Josiah. “Oh, that’s funny, ha ha. Seriously, do you think we’re in any danger here?”


Josiah met JD’s worried gaze. “It’s a distinct possibility, John Dunne. A distinct possibility.”




Late that evening


Ezra walked into the break room and stopped. The sight of JD trying to jimmy open the vending machine brought a smile to his face.


“What do you think you’re doing!” Ezra demanded loudly.


JD dropped the coat hanger and bumped into the vending machine as he turned too fast to face his accuser. “I, uh… oh, Ezra. Geeze, give me a heart attack why don’t ya?”


“I cannot believe you,” Ezra sighed dramatically, “of all people, would turn to a life of crime, JD.”


“Ahhhh, come on, Ez. I can’t eat that junk. I need something sweet.” JD slumped back against the vending machine then straightened suddenly, grinning at the other agent. “Hey! I bet you could open it. Come on, Ez, please? I have money, just no change. It ain’t like we’ll be stealing nothin’.”


Ezra frowned thoughtfully as if considering JD’s point. “Well, I don’t know. You know how Mr. Larabee is…”


“Ezra,” JD whined.


“All right, JD. But you can explain it to Chris,” Ezra said with a grin.


JD grinned back. “Sure, sure. Thanks, Ez.”


Ezra picked up the clothes hanger and bent the end just so before inserting it into the opening at the front of the machine. “What did you want, JD?” he asked, his arm halfway up into the machine.


“Uh, a Milky Way and…”


“What the hell’s going on in here?”


Ezra jerked and banged his head on the front of the machine. JD jumped and turned to face Larabee.


“Um, Chris!” JD said. “Ezra was just helping me get some candy. See, we’re all out of change… I’m gonna pay for it, honest.”


Josiah stood in the doorway with a grin on his face as Larabee crossed the room to the vending machine.


“Well,” Chris drawled. “In that case, get me a Snickers and a bag of peanuts, would you?”


Ezra smirked, but nodded as he continued to work the machine.




“Tell me again, why it is that these damn lights won’t shut off?” Larabee grumbled from his cot as he threw his arm over his face.


Josiah looked up from his book and replied.


“What?” Chris asked, lifting his arm to glare at the profiler.


“He said,” Ezra replied, “that the lights are on a timer and will turn off when scheduled.”


“What the hell language did he say it in?” Chris asked, pissed at the whole situation and taking it out on the most convenient targets.


“Russian,” Ezra sighed, covering his own eyes with the hand towel he’d procured from somewhere.


“I’m taking a class at the University,” Josiah clarified. “I’ve taken Russian before, but I’m a bit rusty. Never can tell when you might need it.”


“Right,” Chris drawled, replacing his arm across his face.


JD slept through it all.




The next morning


“Hey, Cowboy,” Vin’s cheery voice came through the phone line. “How’s it going?”


“Fine, great, having a blast,” Chris replied sarcastically. “How about you? Find anything on the kid yet?”


“Nothing yet, but we’ve got the photo out on the wire to police departments all around the Broomfield area. Hopefully someone will recognize them.”




“I would rather starve,” Ezra said as he poked a fork at the indescribable slop on the plate before him. “I do not know what heathen prepared this poor excuse for a meal, but it bears closer resemblance to pig slop than the chicken with corn and potatoes that the label claims it to be.”


JD craned his neck to look at Ezra’s plate then looked back at his own. He bit his lower lip thoughtfully. “Undercover vegetables?” he said with a frown.


Ezra sent an appalled glance JD’s way while Chris and Josiah broke up laughing. The computer tech had finally told a funny joke.




Ezra, Josiah and JD watched Chris as he listened intently to the man on the phone. Chris nodded and ‘uh huh’d’ a couple of times then hung up. He met his men’s worried gazes with a straight face then let a happy smile slip onto his face.


“We’re free to go. The boy, Lee’s his name, comes from Pu Sahn, Korea. He’s being adopted by a couple in Broomfield. The people in the photo. Several weeks ago they got a letter saying Lee was going to visit his grandfather in Seoul and then make his way to the States on his own. They haven’t heard from him since.”


“And the illness?” Ezra asked.


“Manchurian fever. Only found in areas north of Seoul. It takes an intermediate carrier to spread. It’s not transmissible straight from human to human. We’re in the clear,” Chris said, visibly relieved.


“Great!” JD said, jumping up from his seat and heading for the door.


Josiah chuckled, but followed almost as quickly.


They all entered the elevator together.


Ezra turned to Chris. “So, how long do we get off to recuperate from this truly grueling experience?”


Chris raised his eyebrows. “Grueling?”


“Yes,” Ezra continued blithely. “You must agree that as an undercover agent, I have to be on the top of my game. I rely on certain… consistencies and comfort during my down time to… recuperate from the trials of being undercover. These last two days…”


“Day and a half,” Chris mumbled.


“Have been taxing, to say the least. I don’t believe…”


“Ezra, shut up,” Chris said as the elevator doors opened and he charged out into the lobby.


Josiah and JD smirked and followed Chris. Ezra stood alone in the elevator for a moment before following.


“Surely you gentlemen agree, a little time off to compensate…”


His pleas went unanswered as Vin, Nathan and Buck joined them on the sidewalk in front of the building.


“Glad to be sprung, Pards?” Buck asked, throwing an arm around JD’s shoulders as he took in the unkempt appearance of the other three men.


“More than you’ll ever know, brother,” Josiah grinned.


“I’m ready for a hot shower, hot food and a soft bed,” JD agreed.


“Figured it’d be Ez who said that,” Vin teased.


“Indeed, Mr. Tanner,” Ezra drawled. “I would have, only I am still recovering from Mr. Larabee’s apparent lack of interest in our mental health.”


“Ezra,” Chris growled.


“Now, Ez,” Josiah placated, dropping a hand on the Southerner’s shoulder.


“Hello? Hey…” a female voice interrupted.


The seven turned and saw two young women step away from a familiar looking car. Well, it was familiar to Vin and Ezra.


“Hello, ladies,” Buck said with a welcoming smile.


“Hi,” the blonde said, her eyes skipping right over Buck and landing on Vin. “My name’s Crystal.” She offered her hand to Vin while her friend sidled up to Ezra. “We didn’t really get a chance to introduce ourselves the other day.”


“Yeah,” Lori said, taking Ezra’s hand. “Thank you for rescuing us.”


Ezra bent his head over Lori’s hand and kissed the back of it. “It was our pleasure, my dear.”


Lori smiled demurely.


“How’s the boy?” Crystal asked. “He’s not in trouble is he?”


“No,” Chris said, hoping to break up the mutual admiration society going on here so he could head home. “He’s with his family now.”


“Good,” Lori said. “He didn’t seem like a bad kid, just scared.”


The seven men nodded in agreement.


Crystal interrupted any other comments, directing her gaze at Vin. “We were hoping to convince you to come see our play tonight and then, maybe dinner?”


Lori nodded and kept her hold on Ezra’s hand.


“Play?” Ezra replied with a charming grin.


“Yeah,” Lori answered with a smile. “We’re in a play. It’s called ‘Panic in the Streets.’ It’s about a Typhoid epidemic…”


~The end~




Hope you enjoyed it. It’s not exactly like the CHiPs episode. They had a few extras, a thief who was the one to open the vending machine… with permission from Getrear. And an escaped mental patient who had a multiple personality disorder and provided a great deal of comic relief and sage advice. I couldn’t figure a way to incorporate those two, since the boys don’t have a reason to have thieves and escaped patients at the Federal building, but I did paraphrase much of the original dialog.


I think my favorite was JD taking Harlan’s line about the pipe bomb. In the episode, it was Harlan, the mechanic who walked in and unknowingly opened the ‘pipe bomb.’ JD’s response was the same as Harlan’s.


Feedback is greatly appreciated. JudyL