- This page is for Edwin Steen, the original Lifeline. For rescue trooper Greg Scott, see Sgt. Lifeline.
"It's not a big deal...I'm just doing my job."
Elite units always take care of their own. The G.I. Joes are no exception. The troops have to know that if something really heavy comes down on them and they're in no condition to walk out of the mess, somebody is going to have the heart to wade in and extricate them. That somebody is Lifeline. Lifeline was a para-medic with the Seattle Fire Department for five years before he discovered that EMS (Emergency Medical Service) personnel who were disabled while giving aid off-duty were not eligible for pensions. In his mind, rescue personnel were never off-duty. He decided to make his status permanent by enlisting in the army as a corpsman.
Edwin Steen was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He has a younger sister named Stephanie, of whom he is very protective. Shortly after Stephanie was born, his mother suddenly fell ill, and died. Edwin's father, a strict pastor of a local church, was left to raise the children alone. In his broken-hearted state, the elder Steen became very stern and authoritarian in his upbringing of Edwin and Stephanie.
When Edwin joined the Army and was later invited to join the G.I. Joe team in 1986, his father became furious and this caused a major rift in the family. For many years, father and son didn't speak. This went on until one day, Edwin received news that Stephanie was going to get married. Edwin was a bit surprised by this, because Stephanie was barely out of high school, but he was happy that she was moving on with her life. The wedding fired up the old conflict between Edwin and his father, but they were eventually able to reconcile.
Lifeline was part of a team of Joes who were transporting a captured Cobra Firebat by area over Malay when they were attacked by the Oktober Guard, with both teams' aircraft shot down. The Joes had to make their way through the jungle, with Lifeline's insistence that he was a medic and thus a non-combatant not making him popular with his fellows. Despite this Lifeline proved to have crucial knowledge that helped the team survive in the jungle. Both the Joes and the Oktober Guard were captured by river pirates. The pirates' leader, Sarawak Sally, told them teams that a champion from each would fight with the winner going free. Lifeline drew the short straw, despite protestations, and faced Horrorshow. His fellow Joes were amazed to discover that Lifeline held a black belt in Aikido - "a Zen martial art with no offensive moves. The purpose is to redirect violent energy away from oneself..." He defeated Horrorshow but prevented Sally from killing him in cold blood, even though he could have the Firebat's black boxes with key Cobra secrets, as that would mean blood on his hands. His courage of convictions impressed Sally who freed both the teams.
Later Lifeline was part of the Joe team sent to Cobra Island to intervene in the Cobra Civil War. Lifeline then became a member of Tiger Force. On an early mission they tackled a group of Lower Darklonian Separatist Front terrorists in New York.
Over the years, Lifeline returned to school and got a full medical degree. He is now the Joe's company doctor.
11/2009 Update: Recently, Edwin had a major falling-out with Spike, when things went terribly wrong following Edwin's attempt to find Spike and his family some adequate temporary housing. Following a huge blow-up over the phone, Edwin ended up missing from his normal activities the following day. Eventually, he ended up at his sister & brother-in-law's place, looking extremely dissheveled and out of sorts. Edwin's sister, Stephanie, has taken him in and is trying to sort out what happened to him.
01/2010 Update: Following the major earthquake in Haiti, Lifeline was contacted by Doctors Without Borders to accompany a team of doctors to the ravaged country. Edwin very much wanted to accept the offer; however, he knew that infirmary patients in The Pit have special priority over all of his humanitarian work, so he declined. That evening, Edwin had nightmares about suffering earthquake victims, and he realized that he had a special calling to aid these people. He sent a written request to General Flagg III, asking for leave time to aid the Haitians. Along with this request, he named a number of physicians he wanted to run the Pit in his absence, including Evac, Stitches, and Doc Greer.
03/2010 Update: Lifeline's Shattered Glass universe counterpart, Deadline, married Shattered Glass universe Scarlett (Ebony) in Lifeline's universe, potentially causing Lifeline embarrassment and trouble.
During the post-flood recovery in 2012, Lifeline was initially assigned to Camp Lemonnier, before deploying with a unit in the Middle East to replace their surgeon.
In 2013, Lifeline returned to the Pit.
On April 22, 2013, Lifeline participated in EDC 's first "official" mission, where he was on hand to administer emergency first aid to Anwar Assan after he was freed from his captors in Trucial Abysmia .
Lifeline FAQ Edit
This is where I'm hoping to answer any questions about how I play the character. :)
Q. Who are the family NPCs associated with Lifeline?
Stephanie (Edwin's younger sister), Peter (Edwin's brother-in-law), Jeremy (nephew, about 5-6 years old), and his father, the Rev. Steen. Also, Mom calls him from time to time.
Joe teammate and Tomahawk pilot Lift-Ticket is Lifeline's best friend, whom I temp in poses from time to time.
Q. Mom? Isn't she dead?
His biological mother is, yes. Rev. Steen remarried later on, and Edwin (being the polite guy he is) calls her Mom.
Q. What's Lifeline's relationship status?
Divorced. Some time ago, after a years-long courtship, Edwin finally married Bree Van Mark. When he first met Bree, he didn't much like her, but her bubbly personality grew on him over time. Sadly, love alone wasn't enough to save their marriage, which suffered badly because of Edwin's tendency to put work ahead of everything else. Furthermore, he realized that he wouldn't be able to be a decent father to the children she wanted, simply because of how many hours he devoted to his job. Clearly, he was married to his job before he was ever married to Bree, and he felt very guilty for the way things turned out.
At the moment, he is dating Josie Beller. He met her when on assignment in Colombia, and fell for her rather quickly. It's said that every man has at least two interests: the love of his life, and the woman he has the hots for. Josie is proving to be the latter, and Edwin sees it as a complicated predicament, though not an entirely unpleasant one.
Q. Why is Lifeline a doctor? Wasn't he just a paramedic in the show and in the comics?
Yes. As a matter of fact, when I began playing Lifeline (back in 1997), he was just a paramedic. But I didn't feel as though he would want to remain one, especially with Doc's demise. So over the years, I've had him return to school and get a full medical degree.
Q. How come Lifeline is never in the Pit Infirmary? He's always somewhere else!
This one's easy. Remember the 'Star Trek' movies? When Kirk became an Admiral, he couldn't stand to sit around behind a desk. He just couldn't wait to get back into the action of commanding a starship. Like Kirk, Lifeline wants to stay in the heat of action as much as possible. You'll never see him sitting around being lazy when there's something he could be doing to help someone else.
Q. What's Lifeline's deal with guns? Does he have a gun phobia? How did he even get into the Army if he's so hung up on firearms?
OK, here's my take on this situation. Lifeline, like any Army soldier, is fully qualified in standard firearms procedures. Yes, he's been to a firing range. He knows how to load and handle a gun. However, out of principle, he won't use one when on duty. (Or off duty, for that matter.) No, he isn't scared of guns, and he doesn't have nightmares about them. I thought the show's take on that was a bit...much.
Q. He's such a nice guy, does anything ever get under his skin?
Not a lot. He's used to getting teased about his pacifism, so he's a pretty easy-going guy. However, he doesn't like being called 'Eddie'. One of his skeevy relatives used to call him that as a kid, and it rubs him the wrong way.
- February 26 - "A Meeting With Nightbird" - Flint meets with Nightbird, who brings him a special gift...
- November 15 - "Diplomacy," Hawk and the Joes meet with Cobra Commander to try to secure President Clinton's release
- May 16 - Encounter in the Jungle
- May 23 - Clayton - Quagmire discovers an apparent eager recruit for Cobra. When Major Bludd realises who it is, he comes to meet the chap himself -- and brings a welcoming party.
- July 13 - A Little Chat - Lifeline gets tricked by Over Kill, and then subsequently ambushed by Major Bludd, who pries him for information regarding an individual he's tracking.
- July 17 - A Narrow Escape - Major Bludd goes to Rotterdam, The Netherlands in pursuit of his quarry. Little does he know he has a welcoming party...
- July 19 - The Hunt - With the help of another Cobra operative, Major Bludd is able to continue to follow his target in Rotterdam.
- July 23 - Luminous TP Finale
- August 10 - Once Upon A Joe In The West Pt 1
- September 03 - Claymore Wakes Up from His Coma
Sep 27: Medical MemorandumEdit
- audio and text report only, no visual; report open to all ranks*
"Lifeline reporting in. Due to recent circumstances, I have been spending much of my time off-base in Seattle, Washington. I have an arrangement with the local college of Medicine to supervise and train the residency program in the hospital's Emergency Room. I want to make it clear that this by no means renders me unavailable for appointment. I've left a team of very capable medics in the Pit, though if someone would rather see me, I'd be more than happy to arrange it. Just let me know. I always have my cell phone on, as well as my radio."
"One more important reminder: If you are in my general area and wish to see me in the hospital, that's fine too; however, please keep in mind that the hospital is *not* the Pit Infirmary, and certain information needs to remain classified to the civilian medical personnel. If you contact me within the hospital, address me as 'Dr. Steen' *only*. Thank you."
Sep 27: Slipstream (Rank 5+ Only)Edit
- audio/text only, no visual; classified to Rank 5 & up*
"Slipstream presented at Seattle Memorial yesterday afternoon with a slight fever and bone pain in his humerus where 2 weeks prior he had sustained a hairline fracture and several penetrating bullet wounds. I confirmed a moderate case of osteomyelitis, and admitted him for observation. Treatment is an intravenous line of antibiotics, and several days of rest. In layman's terms, Slipstream developed a bone infection at the site of a previous arm fracture, and I'm taking him off of active duty for a couple of days to treat him in Seattle. His prognosis is very good, and I expect to discharge him in a few days. Lifeline out."
- Once again, no visual, just text & audio; This post is classified to Rank 5 & up*
"Due to events that have occurred in the past few days, I'm concerned that there could be active COBRA activity in the Seattle area. While treating Spike Witwicky for minor smoke inhalation, he received two visitors. One of them was the Autobot Tonka, which didn't surprise me. The other was Destro, which DID surprise me. The latter only stayed a short time, and then departed without incident. When I questioned Spike, he became somewhat defensive; he told me I had no right to judge his situation, and that he was only working for Destro because he couldn't find better work and needed to feed his family. I cautioned Spike against taking any sort of action against Destro on his own."
"The following afternoon, while taking a lunch break at the midtown park, I once again saw Destro. He was unaccompanied and apparently doing nothing more than loitering, but I'm very concerned by his continued presence in Seattle. I will report any future encounters, and will await orders on how to handle the situation. Lifeline out."
I regret to report that Twilight of Special Operations is no longer with our unit. She has apparently resigned under unusual circumstances, and my last encounter with her was, to say the least, suspicious. Her whereabouts at this point in time are unknown. Recommend Mainframe look into possible database tampering situation.
(Lifeline seems to be reporting from an infirmary bed. He has an intravenous line in one arm and is wearing a lovely green hospital gown. He has extensive visible burns, though none of them seem particularly grave. His voice is very raspy...sounds like his throat is swollen)
"At approximately 1600 hours local time yesterday, myself, Slipstream and Jinx were at a residential cookout, at the location of Slipstream's parents' summer home in Kentucky. We were disrupted by the sound of a tremendous crash, and we found a fiery crash on the nearest road between a semi truck and a family sedan. I went immediately to pull the survivors out of the wreck, while Slipstream went to, ah, investigate the semi, and Jinx went inside to call paramedics. As it turns out, the semi was a Decepticon named Convoy, just out for a day of destruction to get his kicks."
"At this time, we notified the Pit, and Stalker arrived on scene, as well as an Autobot later identified as Growler. A battle commenced, with...multiple incidents of...civilian property damage. Admittedly, my attention was more on the two persons pulled from the burning sedan at this time, and getting them the help they needed. At some point, Slipstream emerged from a shed with a...Civil War cannon, fully functional, and he proceeded to fire it at Convoy. Unsure if he was hit by the ordinance, but it...was loud."
"Once Convoy had been forced to retreat, I retrieved Slipstream, who had sustained damage to his inner ear and was experiencing vertigo. The local paramedics arrived for the injured couple, and we were able to assess the damage before Growler offered us transportation. I had him drop us off in the vicinity of the Pit, though closer to the wooded area than the main road."
(He coughs, then takes a long drink of water and continues)
"Slipstream should be alright in about a week or two. I reviewed his inner ear scans...he may have a slight perforation of the eardrum, but even so, there's no significant permanent hearing loss. He's pretty fortunate. As for myself...it could have been worse. Extensive 1st degree burns, some 2nd-degree burns, and a patch of 3rd on my thigh. Minor esophageal burns from smoke inhalation. Small price to pay to make sure those people survived."
(A nurse suddenly appears, and murmurs quietly to him: "Dr. Steen? ...Excuse me...a lawyer is on the phone...says he's representing the rental car company...he says the company is proceeding with a lawsuit...")
"*SIGH* ...Lifeline out."
(This rebuttal of Krista's column appears on a soldier's personal '.mil' blog, which then goes viral by way of social networking and forwarded e-mails in the following days)
Ms. Krista Devereaux's recent screed against the G.I. Joe team was naive, short-sighted, and contained a number of fallacies and errors that could only have been made by someone who is completely unfamiliar with the reasons most countries retain special missions forces in the first place.
Ms Devereaux claims that America's special missions forces are not effective, and that they are a waste of taxpayer money. How she can claim this, and then in the same breath claim that she's a patriot is unconscionable. Of course COBRA still exists -- did she think that taking down such an extensive organization would take a few short weeks? As long as there are extremists in the world, there will always be a terrorist network. Clearly, Ms. Devereaux has no concept of how effective the G.I. Joe team has been over the decades in quashing terrorist activity.
"Read the news," she writes, then asks rhetorically, "When was the last time you saw an article stating that G.I. Joe thwarted a terrorist act of any kind on American soil?" Special missions forces are not necessarily overt about their pursuits. Not every special forces mission is an obvious one; in fact, the obvious ones are just the tip of the iceberg, and much of the work is done covertly. This should be a fairly obvious fact to anyone familiar with military protocol, though unfortunately, Ms. Devereaux seems to miss the point. So just because she doesn't see any progress, that doesn't mean that progress isn't being made. The fact that Ms. Devereaux can wake up every morning and enjoy the freedoms of being a citizen of the United States of America is testament to the G.I. Joe team's continued success, on all fronts of the fight against terrorism.
Ms. Devereaux advocates for a redistribution of the team back into their respective military branches, to close what she sees as an antiquated government 'pork project'. This would be a colossal failure on a number of levels. Let's take the Army as an example. The Army is an extremely broad military branch, encompassing hundreds of different fields. There can be no single-minded goal for such an organization; it would be impossible, as there are far too many responsibilities to consider. With a special missions force, the best and the brightest specialists from each individual field are brought forth, trained extensively, and given extremely specific goals. I'm not sure how Ms. Devereaux can think of the G.I. Joe organization as a 'cancer', when they are more like the highly-trained immune system fighting the cancer of terrorism, freeing up the regular military branches to perform more efficiently with all the other tasks they are entrusted to achieve.
In conclusion, I think that Ms. Devereaux is entitled to her opinion, and I'm completely entitled to disagree with her -- which I do in every possible way.
Capt. Edwin C. Steen, MD
Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University
ER Physician, Seattle Memorial Hospital
The elusive chameleon arrives at University of Oregon to do a little research of her own at the Library, when she happens upon this little scene right here...
(Once again, this appears in a soldier's personal blog, and is forwarded virally, without the aid of syndication)
One of the first things Ms. Devereaux pulls out of her arsenal this time is...a pop gun, with a sign that says 'Bang!' Really, I was hoping for something better, especially since she spoke very eloquently beforehand about being gifted with a mind. If she'd rather resort to playground tactics, I can *try* to stoop to her level, but gee, she could be a COBRA operative running a syndicated column under the guise of fame! Good heavens, Why doesn't someone investigate her??
Are we done with the finger-pointing? I hope so. It's terribly childish. I signed this rebuttal with my credentials to allow Krista to see who I am, that I don't hide behind anonymous names or computer handles. I'm a real person. She's more than welcome to discover this for herself.
Let me continue by saying that while it's admirable Ms. Devereaux has military personnel in her family, and has finally demonstrated a working knowledge of the armed forces (which she probably should have done in her first column), this does not make her even remotely qualified to speak for them. It would be equally ludicrous for me to suddenly announce that since I have a younger sister who once starred as 'Annie' in a fourth-grade play (which is TRUE: Go Steph! I love ya, mwah!!), that I suddenly have credentials to know what's best for all actors. I'm sure Ms. Devereaux would surely take issue if I began telling her how things should run in her industry, as she should. It would be...obnoxious, at best.
I'd like to know where she's getting the Joe mission response time data. Sounds like she's making it up. If it's such a secret organization, how is there unclassified response time data available for them? Curious...
Additionally, if Ms. Devereaux has such faith and pride in her country and her government, she has a pretty difficult time trusting them enough to make such an important decision. If the Joes have been around for this long without getting their budget cut, then they must be doing something right.
Capt. Edwin C. Steen, MD
Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University
ER Physician, Seattle Memorial Hospital
December 19 - A Web of ConfusionEdit
Slingshot gets to ride the spider, Cuffs knocks Air Raid on his aft, Lifeline does a drive by, Air Raid hits on Trojan, Stormwind cements herself as the peanut gallery, and Ironhide causes a record number of spit-takes
Dec. 23: Scarlett's Medical Report Edit
Scarlett sustained some serious injuries in last night's attack, including abdominal lacerations which caused considerable internal bleeding. She had some minor bruising and lacerations to several internal organs, and one of the lacerations cut very close to her thoracic vertebrae and her spinal cord.
Fortunately, nothing was severed. The paralysis that she's experiencing now is due to inflammation interfering with spinal nerves. In other words, it's a temporary situation, until the swelling and infection goes down. There may be need for a second surgery to stabilize some of the other internal injuries, but I really want to wait and see, because there's a chance it may not be necessary if she does well in coming weeks.
I'm sending a notice out to Joes with 'O-Type' blood to please donate for Scarlett. She bled heavily during surgery, and she will need a steady supply in coming days. Donation is painless, and it only takes about half an hour.
Jan 28 - Report From Haiti Edit
(This report is filed shortly before the news wire report regarding the MSF clinic collapsing in an aftershock.)
"I've been so busy here with MSF that I very nearly forgot to mention something important: Cobra has a definite presence here, and I came face-to-face with Major Bludd himself. Things are... very unusual here at the moment, unstable and uncertain. As far as I can tell, the Cobra forces are being helpful and beneficial for publicity's sake. Since that time, I haven't encountered any other Cobra troops. I'll try to report in on a more regular basis. It's just been so endlessly busy here... Lifeline out."
darkSpike tries to piss off (literally) Edwin and try his interrogation skills.
March 25 - InterrogationEdit
Spike Witwicky tries to interrogate Lifeline. Lifeline tries to use his training to lure Spike into his cell. However, Lifeline quickly learns his darkUniverse counterpart is a worthy adversary. Once again, it's darkSpike, so consider it a PG-13 log.
April 27 - Close Call Edit
The SG Joes team comes dangerously close to blowing their cover.
April 29 - Red to the RescueEdit
The SG Joes are preparing to move.... Scarlett swoops in and rescues their captives!
May 2 - Parting ShotsEdit
Barely recovering from his two-month capture at the hands of the SG Joes, Lifeline is back at Seattle Memorial Hospital to look after a special patient. While checking on his patient, he is paid a visit from two Spike Witwickys. The first one is concerned about Lifeline and offers his help, however small, to help out Lifeline's patient. The other reeks of bourbon and hopes Lifeline will still sign a statement saying he's a good dad, despite leaving his son in a car during the dead of winter while he got his drink on. We won't tell you which Spike is which...you'll just have to read.
Lifeline battles an insurance wonk as the Joe medic gives the OK for a risky chemotherapy that could end up either killing Bryce or wind up paving the way for a recovery.
July 23 - LL saves the DayEdit
Scarlett's Elbow requires surgical reconstruction....
Dec 09 - Doctor In The House Edit
I've returned to active duty, and I'm available for appointments. If you're overdue for a checkup, medication refill, or immunization, I highly recommend that you come see me before I find out about it. Thank you, and have a good day.
Lifeline Capt. Edwin C. Steen, MD
Apr 18 - Spike Edit
I'm strongly recommending that no one call Child Protective Services on Spike Witwicky. There is no situation to warrant it. Spike and I are friends, and his family means everything to him. While I'm not saying that 910 is fabricating his story, I am saying that there was probably a good reason Daniel was distraught that day...perhaps several good reasons, none of them tied to an abusive situation.
April 23 - Anwar Assad Edit
(This is for Rank 6+ folks, not everyone, sorry!)
Following transport to a secure facility, I was able to give Mr. Assan a complete medical examination. The full report is included with this note as an encrypted file, but in summary, I believe that Mr. Assan's injuries and mental condition are consistent with someone who has endured torture. Following his transfer at the facility, I recommended that Mr. Assan be referred for psychiatric counseling. His prognosis overall is very good, especially now that he has been reunited with his wife.
Dr. Edwin Steen
(Attached to this e-mail is an encrypted PDF file which consists of the complete medical workup)
May 16 - Lifeline has a surprise encounter with the Autobot Steeljaw, who brings some very important news .
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