Yet (Another) Year in Seattle -Week 27 – Use of Force

Author’s note:  I am consolidating my blog into my website – once the blog looks the way I want it to, you will be referred to the site – but until then, I will continue to post in both places.  My new site can be found here:  I hope you enjoy this installment of:  Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle.

Sunday, June 27, 2066 – Not a good idea

Whenever a law enforcement officer discharges his weapon in some place other than the range, he has to file a use of force report. Whenever a mage or shaman summons spirits in an offensive manner, and it is publicly observed and reported (and said mage or shaman wants to keep on the right side of the law) a use of force report is required.

While this is not required for their friends and families, when they are involved, there’s always paperwork, statements, and investigations.

When a team of would be ‘enforcers’ attacks a gathering of family members, it’s usually the formula for tragedy. Lord knows, the last time something like this happened it was a very bad experience we’d managed to survive due to luck, ingenuity and a lot of plain stubborn.

We learned from that and this time well, let’s just say their remotes were easily downed magically, their mages were confronted physically and their muscle was met with magic and a whole lot of firepower.

They didn’t stand a chance. At least now the Feds have some people to question in regards to Mitchell’s ‘situation.’

Monday June 28, 2066 – Nepotism

Is it really nepotism when you’re hiring ‘family’ because they’re a known quantity and you already trust them with your life? How about if it wasn’t your idea?

Charlie has offered a job in my protection detail/SRT team to Philip. The fact that he’s more than a passable medic in own right helps. And let’s face it when I first met him there was a mutual degree of protection and medical care provided.

Is it really nepotism when they’re accepted as family even if they aren’t legally family?

Part of me says I should object, but the more sensible parts of me are pretty much shouting ‘if he says yes, do not let him go… if he says maybe… give him pleading eyes; if he says no, let Bri give him ‘pouty-face… no one can resist ‘pouty face”.

There is a third voice-the one that says ‘don’t let him endanger himself for you’ but it is way too late to listen to that voice. It’s how he got into the family in the first place.

Is it really nepotism when you know if he takes the job, you can actually go back to doing your job?

Tuesday, June 29, 2066 – The disadvantages of being the little sister.

I have been assured that it is not nepotism, especially since it wasn’t my idea or my final decision. I didn’t even have a real say in the matter. According to Philip “You’re the little sister-so don’t even think I’m going to listen to anything you have to say.”

At least he had the sense not to tell me not to worry.

It’s so not fair. Matt, Al, and even Andy were like that. They’d gang up on me like nobody’s business deciding what I would do if anything. At least with my new family, the infighting is kept to a minimum. To be fair it’s pretty much limited to pranks and creative acts ‘vengeance.’ With the boys, there was usually some degree of bloodshed involved.

I was trying to think of some creative way of getting even with Philip when Nathan headed up to bed. He’d managed to open the bedroom door when there was a faint rumble and the closet door gave way to the pressure of the accumulated stiffed ferret-like toys in the closet.

One minute I was plotting revenge, the next a litter of plush toys came tumbling down the stairs and mom was staring at me.

It is so not fair.  There is no way she’s going to believe it wasn’t me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2066 – Thoughts on home.

They say there’s no place like home, but let me tell you there’s no home like home.

I just wish I was there now. Case says next week but let’s face it after the incidents Saturday…

I mean, we’re still filling out paperwork and talking to investigators but a girl can dream. I want my bed, my tub… my cat.

I mean… we do have to work on Bri’s birthday request.

Thursday, July 1, 2066 – on the outside

I’m not sure what’s going on but… even I can feel it. Mom Walker and Jonathan have been talking privately a lot more than I’m used to. Nathan kept eyeing his groupies and Bri just shook her head.

Sometimes I really feel like I need subtitles to figure out what’s going on around here. When I got home from work Mom and Trina were cooking for something very special tomorrow. I was able to figure out that it was for Nathan’s fan club but again-no one’s talking.

So, I’m on the outside looking in and not getting any of it.

Friday, July 2, 2066 – Letting go

Tonight was a flashback to Gwen’s funeral: a celebration of a life cut short. I was trying to figure out who’d died when I felt a cold chill go through me. The gathering was for Dillon and Annie.

I think the only other people who were surprised were the guests of honor. I hadn’t really noticed that Nathan’s odd acceptance wasn’t just dealing graciously with their attention. He knew they hadn’t survived the shootings.

It made me all the more thankful for those people gathered to celebrate their lives, my adopted family. They had cared for these two who had no one else to mark their passing. They eased them into accepting what had happened and together we mourned.

It figures we’d find two people denser than I am and they’re dead. I wish them well.

Saturday, July 3, 2066 – Being ready

I had a long talk with Mom Walker today. I don’t know which bothered me more: the fact that I hadn’t figured out about Nathan’s groupies-how they were always able to get onto the island… the fact that they never went anywhere other than where Nathan was going or the fact that no one told me.

She smiled and shook her head. “Jessica… We were busy working to find a good way to send them on their way… no one told you because they never thought to tell you.”

When I asked why it took so long to send them home she simply told me “they had to be ready.”

I’ve always known that attitude and determination can help you survive something. I never thought about the fact that it could also keep you from accepting you hadn’t: just something more to keep me awake at night.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker – 2019 Edit

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Yet (Another) Year in Seattle -Week 26 – Lessons in Perception

Sunday June 20, 2066 – Mitchell

Just when you think you have a handle on everything, life tends to throw you a curve-ball. I’ll take this one as a decent sign and pretend I had a handle on everything but let’s face it things have been spiraling out of control since the year started.

I’ve had an Upper to Mid-Management Corper almost kill himself to get on my good side and work his way into a meeting with the Walkers. My brothers have been up to something that has Ares, and more to the point, Knight Errant after them. I have people breaking into my house, kidnapping me, arresting me… shooting up the city, elementals on the rampage… the year isn’t even halfway over and I feel like I’ve aged at least three…

And then my brother Mitchell shows up. Suddenly everything else seems like a weekend at a logic seminar. Mitchell, my distant brother from Jenny’s side of the family, a brother who wanted nothing to do with me or the boys especially when they were missing is suddenly at my doorstep asking for my help.

I still can’t believe it. He’s married, has two kids and oh yeah, a desperate need for Witness Protection. Jenny must have told him about Case. Now I have an almost complete stranger staying with us and trying to explain my chosen family to family who chose not to be there for me.

Talk about needing to get a grip.

Monday June 21, 2066 – Family ties

Where do I begin? Whether you believe in a no-win scenario or not, trying to keep the peace between two Miller kids is enough to shake you’re beliefs. There was no denying Mitch was my brother, all you had to do was leave us in the same room for more than ten minutes and watch the fireworks.

Mitch was upset because I didn’t seem to care about his situation. I was annoyed because in the past he made it abundantly clear that he didn’t care about mine or the boys. We made our situations and it was up to us to deal with them.

From my view point, he asked for Case. He asked for Witness Protection. The less I know the better.

I have mentioned we Millers are a stubborn lot right? Well, the trouble is exponential when you put more than one of us in a room.

I overheard Mitch and his wife Betsy talking and it seemed to sum everything up so well.

“I thought you said you two got along all right,” Betsy half accused Mitch.

“We’ve gotten along fine for the past ten years,” he objected.

It is true.

Basically we haven’t seen or talked to each other in the past ten years. It’s amazing what that will do for a relationship.

Tuesday June 22, 2066 – Family Ties Part II

I’m trying to find the right simile for Mitch and me. I’m not sure there is one that can fully describe the full melt down that’s brewing over us right now, but I can tell you that the longer we’re together the worse it’s going to be.

He was seriously working on digging himself a hole big enough to match the crater that’s going to happen if he stays much longer.

Today I did take enough interest in his case to ask “There are a lot of Marshal’s offices between where you were and here… why didn’t you just go there?”

“It wasn’t safe,” he answered as if that said everything.

I nodded, I honestly tried to reign in my temper and it was working until he added. “I’m not like you Jess… I’m just a law biding citizen…”

Yeah. Case worked very hard to get me out of there before he had to set Mitch and his family up in Witness Protection to protect them from me.

Of all the stupid, arrogant…

It wasn’t until Hurricane Jessica had settled down to a mere tropical storm that I realized the other probably far worse permutation.

It wasn’t safe for him where he was so he came to me, endangering me and my family. Oh yes, the other bit… family. Just because we don’t talk, don’t get along etc, doesn’t mean people can’t trace him to me.

Case wisely got people he knew and trusted to take over. On the bright side, WitSec will give them a new identity and I’ll never see him again.

Wednesday June 23, 2066 – Cascade effect.

Today was the sort of day made for motor medics, the sort of day that started off with a ‘for a want of a shoe’ type accident.

A worn pipe gave way some time in the middle of the night. The water saturated the ground around it causing a sink hole. The sink hole caused the pavement to crack, causing a the tire of a speeding car to be cut to ribbons, leading to an accident that blocked several lanes of the interstate.

Rubbernecking on the other side led to a matching accident blocking several lanes of the interstate heading south.

People trying to avoid accident related tie ups turned off the interstate only to drive into the nearest stationary object blocking those roads in both directions.

Meanwhile rescuers arriving to work the original accident(s) block the rest of the interstate and the mayhem of cascading problems lead to closed roads in every direction and worse, roads where only a motorcycle could get through.

We managed to survive and keep people covered but if it had gotten any worse we wouldn’t be able to reach them. That’s where the administrator me had to have a long talk with the medic me.

Motormedics are something Citywide pioneered. It’s part of what makes our service unique but… and it’s a very big ‘but’ is that business lead worth putting people at risk. I decided it wasn’t and came up with a proposal with Charlie’s help.

When I showed it to our CEO he nodded then looked at me. “What are you waiting Miller?”


He just looked at me and shook his head. “You’re the Chief. You see a need… ”

I guess he approved. Now to see what the others think.

Thursday June 24, 2066 – of hooks and ladders

Today was mostly spent doing PR work. It wasn’t my first choice but I had to spend about three hours explaining first to the victim’s family then to the press why central dispatched a ladder truck to a ‘difficulty breathing’ call.

It started when I got an irate call forwarded to me about the incident. After that I checked with dispatch, listened to the tape and talked to the responding medic.

Just when I thought ‘there was a medic on the ladder truck and they were closest’ summed everything up, the lawyers started arriving. At least I gave our lawyer a work out; don’t want him to feel unwanted.

Unfortunately logic rarely works as an argument when emotions are involved.

Friday June 25, 2066 – Floored

All right, I expected resistance from Citywide in having us train medics from other companies. It makes sense. In the end it’s the bottom line for the corp. It’s what makes us unique.

Sadly, while the company saw the importance of having more medics available in emergency situations, other corporations saw it as a ploy to take over their operations or training… or employees.

How can someone as jaded as I am still be so naive?

Where did I go wrong? I guess logic rarely works as an argument when the bottom line is involved.

I’m just… floored.

Saturday June 26, 2066 – Yeah…

Dear Mitch

I know it will be a while until you receive this and by then it will probably have been readdressed, but allow me to take this minute to thank you for leading the nice people straight to my family.

To be fair, since you did contact us first, we were expecting more than a little trouble and unlike our other siblings I had reinforcements watching over me, my daughter, my husband and the rest of the band of miscreants I call my family.

Two SRT guards were with me when the first attempt to garner information arrived. They then made the mistake of regrouping and trying to get us when we were at home.

Forensics, the Marshal Service, Lone Star and several other agencies are still combing over the area and Case, Nathan, Philip, Ray, Jonathan and I all have to file use of force reports… so yeah… thanks.

Let’s not do that again.

I probably won’t send this but I needed to get it out of my system. It’s been one of those days.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker (edited 2019)

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I have some friends who needed webwork done and sites created/revised and rather than force them to use my tools – I realized that WordPress was the way to go so– rather than having my blog in one place and my site in another, I am in the process of combining them.

Once I get the blog to display  the way I want, I’ll be redirecting there– but until then, I’ll probably be posting in both places – (I still have 27 weeks of Yet (Another) Year in Seattle to edit and post).

If you want to start looking around and kicking the tires – you can visit me at my site.

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MonsterMash Blog Hop

What happens when a bunch of writers decide there isn’t enough FlashFiction in their lives?  Why, they issue a challenge – Write a story inspired by Annie Lennox ‘s “No More I Love Yous – 500-700 words – post it on your blog… and share the link.

Here is my Monster Mash-up for the Halloween crowd… for details check out


Look Who’s Outside

It started with a whisper, in the dead of night, when no one else was around. I tried to ignore it, but as I’d drift off to sleep, the whispers would turn my dreams into nightmares.
I stopped sleeping.

I was able to function normally for a few days before the lack of sleep began to affect me in ways I’d never expected. Worse, the voices were back.

This time they weren’t whispering, but it was as if everything they said was backward. I could almost understand what they were saying, but for the life of me, I couldn’t.
I was in limbo. I was afraid that if I slept, the voices would make sense and I wasn’t ready for that. I knew that if I understood them, everything would change.

I would stop being me, and the voices would take over. The problem was, the process of fighting it only seemed to accelerate the process. I was at the end of my rope when a friend told me about a sleep study at the University, where I could get paid, and someone would monitor my dreams.

It meant there was a chance for me to receive the messages in a controlled environment.

If anything happened, there would be witnesses.

I knew it wasn’t the best idea, but I was desperate. I was starting to see trees in the middle of the road as I drove, and at dusk, as the shadows lengthened, I swore I saw people jumping out at me as I passed by.

By the time I was called for an interview, I was practically begging them to include me in their project.

Marcia, the woman conducting the interview, seemed interested in my experiences and felt that the perception switch I was experiencing had taken me outside the normal range of human experience.

She kept talking about shamanic journeys and spiritual enlightenment. Honestly, I would have walked away if it wasn’t for the stick-figure of a man who walked through her as we were talking. She kept on talking as if nothing had happened, but the man turned to me and gave me a smile that was as black as the midnight sky.

’m not sure, but I think some of that void found its way into her mind. They say she wasn’t the same after talking to me.

One of her associates gave me his card and told me that he would call me, but I saw that space-cold void in his eyes as he spoke, and I knew he was like the stick-man.

I gave up talking to people, retreating into my room, it was safer that way. At least I could keep the shadow-figures from taking anyone else’s souls.

As the days went by, it got harder and harder to think, to remember why I’d locked myself away. I found Marcia’s card and flipped it over.

Office of Unexplained Temporal/Spacial Incursions and Dark Enterprises. I snorted. Thinking that it was a name in need of an acronym, I sounded it out. OUTSIDE.

I swore I would stay in my room, to protect those I loved, but the lack of sleep caused the nightmares to grow worse until I screamed myself unconscious.

The police were there when I woke up, and so was the man who’d given me Marcia’s card. I couldn’t feel any change inside— but the voices were gone.

There are monsters in my room, dark, soulless things that could rend flesh with a thought. They are terrible and fearsome beasts. They are of the OUTSIDE, and the outside is in me. I am the monster that I feared.

With a smile, I turn the lights on and wait for the trick or treaters to come. Something tells me, my treat will do the trick.

637 words (not including the title)



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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 25 – A Strong Recovery

Sunday June 13, 2066 – Strength in numbers

Most of yesterday was spent tracking down members of our extended family. Turns out that not only did our apartment serve as temporary housing for medics and members of law enforcement, so did the condo, the Ork Underground, Citywide’s main office as well as the majority of the fire stations.

With all that available-I shouldn’t have been surprised that Nathan hadn’t been to any of them, at least not as near as anyone could recall. I hadn’t heard anything from the hospitals about John Does matching his descriptions, which was a good start.

I was doing a decent job of not worrying until Tabitha called asking about Nathan. It seems that he was picked up and put into a holding area for people breaking curfew-but then his trail simply vanished.

We had several possible sightings but nothing solid for most of the day. It was hard, but if that was hard-finding out what Philip had been up to was well… what you’d expect.

We were about to call it a night yesterday when Nathan came walking in, staff in hand-and two people who weren’t so much with him as following.

Tabitha was not amused, but seemed to take pity on him when she saw how much he was not enjoying the attention.

Today was simply spent celebrating and everyone hoping to hear enough stories to piece together what had happened. That was a ‘no’ when it came to Nathan and just a simple shrug from Philip.

After dinner, mom gave thanks and then gave us one simple lecture. As near as I can recall this is what she said:

“There is no gang, no threat that is bigger than this family. There are no numbers that can stand against us as long as we stand together.”

Good point.

Monday June 14, 2066 – Followers

There’s an old adage that a prophet is never appreciated in his home town. That adage is doubly true in families.

I’m not sure what to call them, Dillon and Annie… Nathan’s followers: acolytes? Fan club?

Whatever you call them… they’re trouble. They feel I don’t respect Nathan for the genius he is. Jonathan is holding him back and Tabs isn’t nearly good enough to be in the same room as the ‘Great One.’

I’ve tried to figure out what Nathan did that has them so… entralled but he’s is just as confused as I am. I even witnessed him trying to tell them that he’s just a guy, but they weren’t willing to listen save to comment on how humble he is and how amazingly cool that is. It’s bad enough we’re not even teasing him about it… at least not yet.

Hopefully they’ll get bored and leave. Then we can tease him to our hearts’ content.

Tuesday June 15, 2066 – Tuesdays

They aren’t getting bored.

On the bright side, things are getting interesting. According to the Star there are no signs of the suspect gun ever having been used before 3rd. There are no matches in IBIS or NIBIN for that matter.

Whoever had started the ‘situation’ has done a good job of keeping a low profile and making tracking them difficult. That’s where it once again pays to be a paranoid chief with suit happy clientele. The medics who responded to the first call and the subsequent calls all had their cameras rolling.

It gave law enforcement extra footage of the scenes to review, looking for common vehicles and people on scene.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual. It’s Tuesday… Case and Bri had class and someone, somewhere was probably planning new and complicated ways to make our lives interesting.

Until then we’ll have to settle for subtly teasing Nathan about his fan club.

Wednesday June 16, 2066 – Luck as a weapon

One of these days I will learn to keep my mouth shut.

Last week would have been my first week back on the job at the office. Please note the ‘would have been.’

Yes the shootings and subsequent rioting, shooting and Martial Law Edict not only kept me off the streets, it kept me from going home. My bed, my cat, my kitchen: all keeping others company.

Today I almost even got to go there.


I did get to work the incident command center for a major mudslide… with three members of our security team playing babysitter. At least until someone discovered a bottle of ether wired into the air system.

I am so not happy. I’m really beginning to think that if we want to get rid of these people we should just let them kidnap me and let my ‘luck’ take them as collateral damage.

It’s a shame it doesn’t work that way.

Thursday June 17, 2066 – A Jess denied is cranky

I’ve always known I don’t take disappointment well, I just didn’t know how badly I can take it until today.

Case knew I was frustrated at the turn of events and the fact that the target date for going home keeps slipping further and further away. Let me tell you Jason Casey is not the type to simply accept a sullen wife when he can do something about it-or try to do something about it.

He did something that was sweet, considerate and totally not what I wanted. Because it wasn’t what I wanted, I didn’t see the thoughtfulness behind it until I’d snapped.

He actually went to the apartment, gathered up our stuff, rounded up the cat (who somehow managed to disappear from the cat carrier before he could be removed from the apartment) and brought our home to our home away from home.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my extended family, and wherever Case and Bri are is ultimately home but it’s not the same.

We had a long talk once I was more receptive. I think Case understands: I’m not mad at him, I’m frustrated at the situation and I want my life back.

I don’t ask much.

Friday June 18, 2066 – One crisis at a time.

Sometimes I really think breaking law enforcement into a ‘for-hire’ business is a really bad idea, especially when the ‘for-hire’ corporations aren’t talking to each other, aren’t working together and better yet, actively tripping each other up.

Lone Star is supposed to be leading this investigation, but since Aztechnologies and Aries Corp assets were also affected by the shootings… everyone is running their own investigation and well… the Marshal Service has stepped in.

I know Case hates what he calls ‘the heavy handed approach’, but it’s the only thing keeping the investigation on track.

I guess it’s his turn to stress and mine to play the understanding spouse. I think that’s why we work. We’re only allowed one crisis at a time.

Saturday June 19, 2066 – Liaising on a Saturday afternoon

One of the advantages of what I do is the fact that I have to be completely neutral to get my job done and done right. I can’t afford to take sides so instead I focus on the main objective which has always been getting my charges in and out safely.

It seems that approach is needed in law enforcement as well, especially when dealing with multiple investigators from multiple jurisdictions who are dealing with each other and multiple gangs waiting for the outcome of their investigations.

I’d stopped by the Marshal’s office on my way home with Jonathan and we spent the next three hours playing peacekeepers.

Jonathan liaised with the law enforcement officers while I smoothed things over with the local gang representatives trying to keep everyone on the same page. It was even worse than working with medics, motor or otherwise.

Some of ‘keeping the peace’ turned out to be more a case of running interference than anything else but I’m good at that too.

At one point Jonathan had almost everyone calmed down when someone from Aztechnologies pointed something out and the shouting match began in earnest.

I looked at the gang representatives and sighed. “And that,” I told them. “Is exactly why we need more time to figure this out.”

Right now, I’m liaising with the pizza joint down the street, it’s going to be a long night.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 24 – Rule of Law, or Arms, or Numbers

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, June 6, 2066 – Filters

Day three of Martial Law and the Martial may be becoming part of the problem. I’ve had seven complaints from motor medics of being stopped en-route and detained for questioning because everyone knows only gang members ride motorcycles. This seems to be especially true of Meta-humans.

Three buses were stopped coming out of the Barrens, because… everyone knows that EMS doesn’t go into the Barrens…

I have delivered no less than three briefing reports to the Commander of the military operations, but to no avail.

On the public face of things, everything seems to be calming down but those of us ‘in the know’ know it’s simmering underground. Shootings are up just not the ones on the streets. I’ve tried getting this information to the Mayor, the County Council, and the Governor, but it seems that I now have to report through ‘proper channels’. Proper channels seems to be pass it to the duty clerk for the military detachment, have him filter it through a word processor that takes out anything negative, then pass it to his boss, who passes it through the filter and so on, until it reaches the Governor who gets a report that says it’s all sunshine and roses.

I wonder what would happen if I gave them a report that said the moon was indeed made of green cheese and leprechauns are hoarding chocolate…

Fortunately, I have filters of my own… alas, they only allow me to report what’s actually going on. At least they keep back most of the acerbicness.

Monday, June 7, 2066 – Packages tied up in red tape

Well, according to the news the military is working with law enforcement and EMS and together we are making a difference. Uhm… I guess we’re working together if by working together you mean the Military is dictating our actions and you can’t really call it second-guessing our calls since we aren’t allowed to act in the first place.

No, things are not all right in Seattle and they won’t be until we get to the actual cause of the problem. Currently, all we’re proving is that the military has bigger guns and better training than the people previously intent on taking their fight to the streets.

Needless to say, this has all put a damper on operation ‘take back my life.’

I tried to arrange a meeting between all the official parties but since it was initiated by EMS only the Marshal’s office and key members of Lone Star took it seriously. The National Guard Officers didn’t quite go as far as ‘there, there little girl you’re being emotional’ but it was close enough I almost laughed.

Unfortunately, they took that as a sign of my emotional state instead of having a keen sense of the ridiculous.

They’ll learn.

Tuesday, June 8, 2066 – Jaded

It’s a good thing I’m not the sort of person who likes to say ‘I told you so.’

Amid much hoopla, the Mayor announced that the ‘situation’ was under control and the guard would be standing down. He thanked the citizenry for their support in this trying time and hoped we could all put this madness behind us.

I tried to warn him it wouldn’t work but according to the military I’m just an overacting, overpaid medic who couldn’t cut it in the field.

Before the guard had even made it to the edge of town the mayhem had begun.

The only people taken by surprise were the Mayor and the Guard Commander. Me, I’m too jaded.

It’s simple really when you have a serious wound, and you apply pressure to get it to stop, you don’t let up until its healed or a doc is standing by to seal it up.

It’s true for wounds, it’s true for our not so civil, civil unrest.

The problem with applying pressure as your first reaction is the fact that there’s nowhere to go. You’ve limited your choices.

The one good thing about declaring martial law and this afternoon’s dog and pony show is the fact that it gave forensics enough time to go over the evidence from the first three crime scenes.

It gave us the edge we needed to at least start healing the wounds. The rest is up to Law Enforcement.

As it was it took the Marshal Service and Lone Star extending special ‘invitations’ to the interested parties.

The problem with ending hostilities is getting the hostile parties to see the other side. That was not a problem in this case since the first three shootings on all sides were started by the same parties.

They’ve agreed to allow law enforcement a chance to solve this before they resolve things there way.

Lord help me… I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

Like I said… jaded.

Wednesday, June 9, 2066 – Ring Master

Sometimes it really feels like I’m not so much a Chief Medic as a combination ringmaster and day-care provider.

The good news: No gang-related shootings… as far as we know. And the bad news? With no outside forces or threat to unite us, people tend to revert to their basest forms. After being forced to ‘behave’ for five days everyone was acting up.

Domestic cases were up, as were fights, belligerency, and whining. In very low supply were patience, understanding, and tolerance. Sadly it wasn’t just the civilians. The Star, private security, my medics, and dispatch were all at it.

I swear Bri at her worst wasn’t as bad as all this. After five hours of everyone getting progressively cattier and cattier, I finally came on the radio.

“The next person who whines gets my job for a week.”

So far I haven’t had any takers.

Thursday, June 10, 2066 – House of Cards

They say people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, I say people who work in houses of cards should be really careful about their juggling.

Tensions are still high and we all have to tread lightly. The last thing we need is anything that could touch things off… The gangs are still behaving themselves, but everyone else needs a timeout.

We’ve gone from a combat zone to a military encampment to a combination circus/daycare. This means that we’re either playing with firecrackers in a tinderbox, or juggling hats to keep the kids in daycare happy, and we’re doing it knowing at any minute it could all come tumbling down.

Remind me again why I do this?

Friday, June 11, 2066 – Roundup

I’m wondering if there’s some missing survival gene that is common in my family, both by blood and through adoption. We’re medics, law enforcement, daredevils who all believe that the risk is worth it if you get the results you’re looking for.

My brothers were like that; Case was willing to risk his life to protect me; Philip and Nathan I met on the job and they were both risking their lives to help others… Trina was working herself to an early retirement working at the clinic and the hospital, the list goes on and on.

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade them for anything but, after something like this last week, we have to try and track them down and something tells me I really don’t want to know what they were up to.

I’ll find out Sunday. Mom has requested a family dinner in the longhouse.

Saturday, June 12, 2066 – This space intentionally left blank

Nothing to see here; move along. Trust me on this you do not want to know.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 23 – Playing the Percentages

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, May 30, 2066 – The story of my life – without subtitles

Sometimes it feels like my life is like a foreign movie where I don’t speak the language. Things just feel surreal and I’m constantly trying to make sense out of what’s going on. Other times it makes sense but more often then not it’s more like I came in in the middle and I’m trying to piece things together and not lose track of where I am now.

I had a long talk with Nathan today. I knew something had happened in that first apartment fire-something that shook him up a lot more than feeling the hearth spirit die, and afterwards, everyone was a lot more protective of Michael.

And this last incident when the elemental went after Jonathan… at least… I think it was an elemental…

Is it the Walkers? Is it Thunderbird? Is it just dumb luck or am I going after patterns where there are none just because patterns and trends are something I can wrap my mind around and the other alternatives would only prove that I’m on a roller coaster and someone else is behind the wheel, or worse no one is and its going way out of control?

I don’t know but I think I need to look at more data… see if this is happening elsewhere. I’m not sure, but something tells me I’m going to need a lot more index cards.

Monday, May 31, 2066 – Memorial Day

I have seen my share of fitting tributes for those who have fallen in service of this country, but it is always the small things that affect me the most. Take away all the pomp and circumstance. Take away the speeches and there are three things that always stick with me and move me more than anything else: the echo of seven rifles firing in unison, a lone bugler on the rise playing taps and a riderless horse with boots in the stirrups.

Lone private moments, to honor those who died under fire are always the most precious. It is personal and they move me to tears. You are not forgotten.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 1, 2066 – Potato Salad

It would seem meetings with potato salad can be rather stressful when you’re the one supplying said potato salad.

The meeting went rather well all things considered… like… me trying to make the potato salad; trying to get off the island without Jonathan; and well… running the meeting. Okay, I mentioned the trends I’ve been witnessing and asked my people and several visiting units from other private fire/rescue corporations to contact me if they saw anything that fit the pattern or was just… suspicious then turned the ‘meeting’ over to our grill masters.

When I tried to check on the food I was forced away from the grill pit by several determined looking firefighter drones.

Judging by the stories I heard as I made my way around gathering, I’m not the only one seeing weird things happening. Then again, this is Seattle.

Wednesday, June 2, 2066 – beyond number crunching

I remember someone saying there are three kinds of lies: ‘lies, damn lies, and statistics.’ In their purest form statistics are just data elements grouped by common attributes. The problem has always been in how they are obtained and how they are grouped.

Group any finite bit of information and you can skew them to say whatever you want them to. The thing is-I don’t want them to say anything, I don’t want them to support anything. I just want them to point the way and sadly, I really don’t like the way they’re pointing.

There have been a lot more ‘interesting’ calls than my first analysis covered. It’s part of why I had Nathan at the picnic. He has a good feel for people and let’s face it, how a person tells something can be as important, if not more important, as what’s said.

He’s approaching it from the human side of thing., I’m going for the sheer number crunching method. There’s just too much going on for it to be ‘circumstances’

I may be slow, but I do learn.

Thursday, June 3, 2066 – Shooting begat shooting

Today I was ready for almost anything, which is good because almost everything happened. It started with a drive-by in the Redmond Barrens. That was bad enough, but it got oh so much worse.

It’s a sad state of affairs when things like this become routine and the big problem with routine is the fact that you grow lax. You know what to expect and you forget to look for the unexpected. Lone Star did it… we did it.

While the officers were trying to get statements they let the medics in. That’s when the second drive-by hit… they took out one of the officers and injured three more. Blind luck and the fact that 95% of my medics wear their vests meant I had two more medics in the hospital instead of the morgue, but that wasn’t even half of it.

People died and that meant retaliations and retaliations meant more retaliation. By the time things were reigned in, (with a liberal application of Magic, HRT and federal resources) we were under martial law with a curfew in place for all personnel including law enforcement and EMS.

The only good thing I can say is the shooting’s stopped… for now.

Friday, June 4, 2066 – 98% and rising

It’s really hard to tell if the shootings are over because those involved have just gotten tired of shooting and are taking a breather or if they’ve pretty much taken each other out. For all I know the military presence has something to do with it. Either way, the pundits are now analyzing everyone’s failures and demanding their air time to show how pro-active they are.

I’m proactive. I’m at 98% now when it comes to armored medics. I’d have 100% if I could get Ray to wear one but he insists that it just doesn’t go with his walker.

The Army and National Guard are doing their best to keep the situation under control, but listening to Case it really sounds like them doing their job is keeping law enforcement from finding out exactly what happened.

It’s times like these I’m glad I’m a medic-my position is straightforward: keep people alive. It’s a rather simplistic way of looking at things, but it works for me.

Saturday, June 5, 2066 – 2% Solution

Sometimes all it takes to figure something out is a different perspective. It’s true for investigations and sometimes, it’s true for medical conditions.

I was reviewing the past few days’ cases and checking in on my medics in the hospital, with supervision of course when I ran into Ray as he was leaving pt. It seems he’s not getting better and it’s been wearing on him.

It started out as a sympathetic bs session and ended as something else entirely. When Ray took the spill, way back when he broke his pelvis. I knew he’d had some setbacks-it turns out the break wasn’t healing properly.

The general diagnosis was that they would need to reset the bones and try again. Only there are no guarantees that it will get any better.

“You know,” I told him half teasing “You could get a pelvis pre-made…”

I was joking, but we agreed it could work. I need to check but I think it would be covered under medical.

Now, if only I could solve the martial law situation as easily.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 22 – Getting to know the players

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, May 23, 2066 – Council Island Stand-off

We had an interesting guest for dinner today. It seems that Nathan made an… interesting… impression on Lone Star’s Magical Forensics team, or more to the point one Tabitha McAndles.

Now, the interesting thing is Tabitha is almost as magical as I am. Why you ask is a brick on the forensics team? To watch over the team, and it seems that protection is also extended to consultants at least when they are working with the team.

After several days of working with Nathan and seeing him in action… well, let’s just say protecting Nathan is a lot like protecting me-especially when we’re on the job.

At least now she knows just how safe he is when he’s with family.

I think she had a hard time wrapping her head around our family of armed medics, shaman, feds, and doctors.

As she was trying figure it out I looked at her and shrugged, “It works.”

Monday, May 24, 2066 – Countdown

The pattern is closing in. It’s only a matter of days now, longer if we’re lucky but that’s not the way it feels. I’ve spent most of the day going through the cases for the last year trying to establish a pattern but I’ve had no luck yet.

So far the only thing I’ve gotten is a headache. Mom Walker has the lodge working on it while Nathan continues to work with Lone Star, but we don’t seem to be getting any closer to having it figured out.

I’m beginning to wonder if we could just ward the entire city but that kind of power is too much to ask for-even for me.

But a girl can hope.

Tuesday, May 25, 2066 – Invincible until you hit the wall.

The best thing I can say about today is ‘it‘ didn’t happen today. It was close. There was another ‘incident’ underground: an accident where several of the track workers fell victim to methane gas.

We almost lost a medic who was answering the call. We got lucky there… or they were saved because their boss is paranoid and has tried very hard to drum into their heads that they are not invincible.

Oddly enough, Tabitha seems to be having issues with Nathan’s seeming inability to accept his own limitations.

It would seem she tried to read him the riot act. I left when he was complaining to Jonathan and Case. I figured it was ‘man’ talk.

Oddly enough all they said was “He’s got it bad.” And “Oh yeah.”

Wednesday, May 26, 2066 – Gooped

The good news: I don’t think Jonathan’s going to be teased about shocking me this time. There is, however, the matter of the flame retardant goop and convincing everyone that it wasn’t my way of ‘getting even’.

Everything went down about the way we thought it would. There was an attack on the Sound which had almost everyone occupied when a fire broke out midtown. Case had been helping with the Sound, keeping people away from the two, yes two water elementals who seemed to be working out their own version of water polo using a ferry and a cruise ship as the goal posts.

I had to all but agree to be handcuffed to Jonathan to help with the fire. I couldn’t work it remotely since what we really needed were bodies moving equipment. I wasn’t allowed to actually work the fire, but I was quite capable of hooking up the equipment for those who were.

I couldn’t not work it. At least Jonathan understood that. We thought it would be safe-being on the ground level. But the elemental was waiting, not in the fire-it was waiting for Jonathan.

Somehow it was feeding off of Thunderbird’s power… it was growing stronger, and Jonathan was growing weaker. I managed to get into a fire suit but there was nothing I could do about the elemental… well… almost nothing.

All I can say is a full load of fire-resistant goop dropped from the proper height hurts. We were being hosed off when Nathan and Tabitha showed up.

Nathan looked at me… shook his head.

“What did you do?”

I looked at him. “Well… I didn’t know what to do… and I guess ‘panic’ isn’t the right word…I just…”

“Did something stupid?”

I shook my head. He was asking for it. “Well, I thought ‘what would Nathan do?'”

He laughed and shook his head. “Let’s just get J cleaned up before he wakes up…”

I am so not going to live this down.

Thanks once again to Follower for the use of Nathan. (Nathan’s dialog supplied by Follower)

Thursday, May 27, 2066 – on remote

You know, I hate it when I’m right. At breakfast this morning, Jonathan kept giving me worried looks and then scanning the skies for incoming remotes.

That kept up until Mom Walker stepped in and told him enough was enough. That should have been it, but then she looked at me and warned me “no remotes at the table.”

Sometimes I think it would have been easier to let the elemental do whatever it was assigned to do… but then I’d be in trouble for being out without Jonathan.

Now it’s just a question of paperwork and of course-looking for signs of the next one.

You know being kidnapped and taken south doesn’t sound all that bad now.

Friday, May 28, 2066 – Gather ye medics while ye may

I spent an interesting morning with Detective Tabitha McAndles as she followed up with me on my findings and got my impressions of what had happened Wednesday.

I tried to tell her that Jonathan would be a better source of useful information since the attack was magical in nature but she insisted she wanted my point of view of things. I guess being the only non-magical member of her team, working with trends and statistics is a refreshing return to ‘normal’ or what passes for normal in my neck of the woods.

Charlie came at mid-day to go over the reports and to give me a candle that smelled an awful lot like the flame retardant we use. It was a gift for Jonathan. Who said teasing was limited to immediate family.

You can usually tell how stressful things have been by the degree of teasing and pranks going on. Unless I’m missing my signs, there’s a lot of it.

I asked Charlie to call an all-hands meeting. If we’re feeling it-then maybe there’s more to the stress than just ‘a lot happening.’

The more details you get the better the picture, and the only way to do that is to talk. We’re meeting Tuesday. It’ll be a good time to unwind and review after the Memorial Day weekend… and well… I’ve always found that meetings involving potato salad are less stressful than ones involving assemblies and pomp.

Saturday, May 29, 2066 – Moving forward

It never ceases to amaze me how people can take a holiday to honor and remember people who sacrificed so much for the people of this nation and turn it into a political statement… or try to.

We were prepared for accidents, distracted drivers, people celebrating a little too liberally but not for someone trying to turn into an anti Meta message. Three armed men tried to storm the underground.

Fortunately for all parties involved the Star was there along with several private security firms. They were sponsoring a fundraiser for those suffering from SURGE. The attackers didn’t stand a chance

If things calm down-if IA finds nothing else… if Case is convinced we’ll be safe, we’ll be home June 5th. But it’s still a lot of ifs and we still have two more days of ‘holiday’ to get through.

I’m not holding my breath… too much.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 21 – The Coming Storm

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, May 16, 2066 – Evening comes

The honeymoon may never really be over with Case, but life does go on and we have to come up for air sometimes and we both have jobs to do.

We did spend as much time as we could together but evening came way too soon. Don’t get me wrong, it was good to see everyone and come back to family and we did miss having the terror along but she insisted that she stay with Jonathan and Trina and the twins.

I get the distinct impression she was preparing for her requested sibling. Lord help us.

Monday, May 17, 2066 – That feeling

I think the hardest part of working at home for me is the fact that Case isn’t. Okay, that’s not entirely true: I also am getting really tired of the view.

From the looks of things, we won’t be ‘home’, home for a while yet. Case, Jonathan, and Nathan are taking turns making sure that Bri is safe going to and coming home from school. I have to say my goodbyes when they head out-no dropping anyone off, no dropping by for lunch.

If there is any ‘dropping by’ it’s them dropping by to see me. At least I am going through the back-log of call analysis.

I spent the day tabulating calls, categorizing them by type, location, time of day and response time as well as the patient outcome.

I need to go over these again and if I don’t get back to my office soon, I’m going to have someone get me some 3×5 index cards. Something is happening here and I really don’t like the feeling I’m getting.

I need more input.

Tuesday, May 18, 2066 – The game is afoot

Mom Walker isn’t all that happy with me right now. I believe her words were “Nathan gets himself into enough trouble on his own he doesn’t need you pointing the way.”

The problem is, with him having hired on as a ‘special consultant’ for Citywide, when something dangerous and magical keeps knocking on our door… there really isn’t that much of a choice. We either let him do his job or we call in Lone Star. I’ve done both.

Lone Star is investigating things from their end-this is something a little… off center… something their ‘special arson squad’ should be looking into.

For a week and a half, leading up to each of the rampaging elementals “incidents”-the fires, the suspicious fires and the water elementals playing in the sound I found a rather disturbing pattern.

Accidents, unattended deaths, and fatal attacks would increase in the vicinity of the attack and then go back to ‘normal’ directly afterward.

Even more disturbing was the pattern that seemed to be starting in the subway system: odd accidents, equipment failures and yesterday… an unattended death on one of the trains.

No, this is definitely out of my realm of expertise and it seems to fall quite comfortably into Nathan’s.

Wednesday, May 19, 2066 – A change of scenery

Today Mom Walker and Trina had a surprise for me. I’m still on Council Island, I’m still telecommuting, but now I’m actually going someplace to do it from so I have a change of scenery.

They realized how much everything staying exactly the same was wearing on me and they did something about it: They gave me a building to work out of that’s away from the house.

It’s amazing how such a small change can mean so much, well, that and Mom Walker forgiving me for putt Nathan onto something to investigate.

I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it seems to be doing him some good. I learned a long time ago, you give Nathan a puzzle and you can keep him busy for days. He was looking into the accidents and is planning on talking to the folks in the Magical Forensics Department tomorrow.

I’m hoping they find things soon, ’cause it looks like we’ll be getting another ‘incident’ within the next week.

Thursday, May 20, 2066 – 3×5 pictures

I wasn’t exactly ‘on duty’ today, but I wasn’t exactly off either. Case got me a map, pins and enough 3×5’s to keep me busy for the day.

By the time lunch had rolled around Mom Walker was starting to get worried about me but she’s known me long enough to know I’m going to keep puzzling this out, 3×5 index cards or no.

She asked me to show her what I’d found– knowing full well that sometimes it helps to actually try and explain what I’m seeing. What neither of us expected was that she would become so engrossed in my theory.

Before we knew it, it was dinner time and Mom Walker laughed. “Now I know why you tend to overcook your meals.”

Sometimes I think it’s a wonder Bri grew up at all-I think the only reason I remembered to feed her as a child was the fact that she made a lot of noise when I didn’t.

All throughout dinner Mom Walker was distracted and finally, she announced that she was calling together the lodge and she wanted me to show them my findings as well.

Friday, May 21, 2066 – Homing in

So… Mom Walker, the Lodge, Nathan and Lone Star all agree that I may be on to something and whatever it is a) it’s probably bad and b) they have no idea what it means other than the basics.

I admit I have a lot more questions than answers now, but at least now people more ‘in the know’ are working on it and I can feed them my tabulations and estimates. I know a lot fewer people would be hurt if our defenses and response teams were in position before the elemental showed up so I guess I could feel good about that.

To be honest, I hope I’m wrong because that would mean no one would be in danger but I can feel those concentric circles again, and they’re homing in.

Saturday, May 22, 2066 – No attempt is a good attempt?

There have been no further kidnapping attempts on my doppelganger, which either means things have been taken care of or, more likely, someone’s caught on to the whole switch routine.

The other sign that this is going to take longer than planned: Case brought Schrödinger to the island. Jonathan was teasing me about getting me a green card… at least… I think he was kidding.

On the good news front: Nathan’s finished PT and Ray has graduated to crutches. It is kind of sad when progress is measured in healing time. But, I guess it beats the alternatives.

As a ‘graduation’ present for Nathan, Jonathan presented him with a cane. I could tell from Nathan’s expression that Jonathan and Mom had worked on it as only they could. It took him a minute to find my additions- the mini first aid kit and tracking device at the bottom.

I guess that’s what it means to be in this family- watching over each other in spite of ourselves.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker


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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 20 – Anniversary

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, May 9, 2066 – Making it work

I am still in ‘protective custody’ but at least now I’m with my family and they have worked out a way that I can do my job, albeit remotely.

I can do all the support work necessary, attend meetings remotely-even direct a major scene with assistance. I just can’t do any ‘hands-on’ work.

From the sound of things, this will continue until my kidnapping and the poisoning cases have been resolved.

Thankfully I didn’t have to try out any of the equipment.

Case, on the other hand, is also stuck on Council Island. He says it’s fine because for him this is the only case that really matters-but I know crime doesn’t stop just because you have different priorities.

But for now, we’ll find a way to make it work.

Monday, May 10, 2066 – Put to the Test.

My first-day working remotely-and it would seem it was a really good idea. IA may be done investigating Case, but they’re still investigating my attempted kidnapping-and the entire department is pitching in, including a newer Marshal who seems to like wearing an EMT uniform and giving orders.

She actually made a pretty good me, right up until an elemental tried to take her. Then she pulled her gun and was all business…

Then again, that is pretty much like me.

The Mages we hired were able to protect her and even managed to trace the attacking mage well enough that the Marshal Service was able to locate him.

I don’t know if they’ll get anything out of him, but they already have traces on his banking accounts and they’re hopeful they’ll have this wrapped up by the weekend.

Tuesday, May 11, 2066 – Stand-by

There’s no telling if the latest failure is the end of everything or not, but word has come in about an earthquake in Tibet. I’m on the shortlist of people to send. I have experience in remote area survival and medicine as well as search and rescue.

I’ve been monitoring the news, as has everyone here. Case and I were also discussing breaking things to Bri, but by the time she’d gotten home, she’d already heard about the quake.

When she saw me she gave me a big hug, told me to be careful and that if I could, please pick her up some prayer beads.

Nothing is decided yet, so we’re in a holding pattern.

Wednesday, May 12, 2066 – Denied

Well… the plane with the search and rescue team has come and gone.

I was supposed to be on it, but Citywide, using a little-known clause in our contract declared me vital to the region’s functionality.

They actually reached the second tier, and Case’s name came up but as soon as it did, IA stepped in. They may have cleared him of hiring the kidnappers, but it didn’t mean they wanted him halfway around the world with no extradition treaty.

Never mind the fact that we’re staying on Council Island with is technically a foreign government with no extradition treaty.

I guess if I really miss the others and working an honest search and rescue I could always find a cave and stay there for a week.

Thursday, May 13, 2066 – Anniversary

It would seem someone took my cave analogy a little too seriously. While there are caves here on Council Island, it was decided a small bungalow would better suit our needs.

I do need to do something about the regulations at work through- the fact that a spouse can apply for leave on behalf of their partner isn’t bad, but when it is done without said partner’s knowledge or approval…

I guess I can’t complain too much… it is our Anniversary. If we’re really needed someone will come and get us but it would seem Case and I are destined for a nice romantic weekend away from everything… especially pocket secretaries, pagers and hopefully kidnappers.

Friday, May 14, 2066 – Anniversary

Second Honeymoon – you think I’m going to write?

Saturday, May 15, 2066 – Anniversary

If you can’t figure it out by now… I’m sure someone will explain.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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