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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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 19 – Denial or Reality

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, May 2, 2066 – The eyes have it.

Sundays used to be so nice and peaceful… simple even. You get up, you go to church; you rescue a few people from a rampaging elemental then go have dinner with family. Why did people have to make it so complicated?

Things were looking like a nice normal Sunday. We were dealing with an elemental one minute and the next thing I know I’m waking up in the hold of a freighter headed south with some very tightlipped people making sure I’m staying hydrated.

I’ve never thought of canvas bags as a comfortable pillow and I still don’t. My head hurt and felt like someone was still pressing it in when I tried to sit up… either that or it could have been the concussion…

Typical there wasn’t a medic in the lot. Oh sure there was someone who could deal with bullet trauma, but nothing as mundane as a concussion. I mean… if you’re going to give someone one, you should know all the inherent dangers and how to treat them but people never seem to think about that.

No, they see people get knocked unconscious twelve ways to Sunday on the trid and think it’s just that easy. All I can say is someone really better check our security.

On the bright side, I’m home… or in Harborview which is close to home. The extra cameras came in handy, as did having a husband in the Marshal service, a brother who has enough magic backing him up to find me and the combined firepower necessary to bring me back.

It also helped to have actual camera footage of my attackers this time, several people who tried to blend in with the crew claiming they had no idea I was there. Hard to be believable when there’s footage of you a) hitting me, b) carrying me on board and c) giving me water.

Blindfolds only work on the eyes…

Whoever they are, they’re good and they’re not talking. Case is better. We will know something. I hope.

Monday, May 3, 2066 – Finding a replacement

I turned in my resignation today.

It took a lot of thinking and soul-searching and I realized-yes I can do the job, but not with the way things are going right now. I’ve spent more time sidelined and unable to work since I took the job than when I was just in charge of the motormedic program.

Charlie said he understood, but he doubted anyone could bring what I bring to the table.

“Chaos and mayhem?” I asked.

“A fresh if chaotic perspective.”

The CEO declined my request. He said he likes having me around because he never knows what’s going to happen next and I make his life interesting.

Yes, job security through entertainment?

I don’t know… but, as Charlie pointed out… I couldn’t even get someone to take my place as head of the motormedic program, how could I hope to find someone to replace me as chief?

Tuesday, May 4, 2066 – The trail winds home

Sometimes all the pieces fall into place and what was unknown is suddenly known. On those occasions, one can almost hear the celestial choir sing as the truth is revealed.

This was not one of those times.

Case’s investigation ended in him being arrested and Internal Affairs taking over. I didn’t understand it all until Nathan came home from his own investigation and asked if I knew anyone named Felix Lighter.

Felix Lighter, a name I haven’t heard in over ten years. The fixer who’s arranged for my kidnapping went by the name Felix Lighter. The same name used by the Marshal Service in general and Case in particular when hiring runners like my brothers for their more… clandestine missions.

Until IA can identify who this particular ‘Felix Lighter’ is, Case will remain under arrest and Bri and I are to remain in protective custody. Fortunately, IA agrees that Council Island is the safest place for us. IA thinks we’re not safe with Case around-I know we aren’t safe without him.

This is all so wrong on so many levels. Who knew that celestial choirs sang the blues?

Wednesday, May 5, 2066 – Paranoia, a game we can all play

Today was an interesting trip into the paranoia zone.

I used to think I was paranoid, and lately, I’ve realized that I’m just not paranoid enough. IA seems to be trying to make up for all the lack of paranoia I’ve been displaying and then some.

I tried to arrange to see Case, but IA was there trying to perform an interview disguised as an intervention.

“Why won’t you accept the truth that your husband could have hired these people?”

“I accept that it is possible for him, or anyone to have hired them… My question for you is ‘Why?’ ‘Why would he? There are much easier, much less traceable ways including the most obvious-leave me to my own devices.”

I don’t think they really understood until I talked to Case on the phone about arranging a visit and he just laughed.

“Jess darling,” he said between chuckles. “You know full well that if you came here… with your luck? There would be a riot… a tornado… an earthquake. I don’t think I can take that right now.”

“You forgot flash flood…”

Case laughed again. “Especially the flash flood… you just stay safe and I’ll see you soon, okay?”

“If I’m not busy with a riot… or a tornado… ”

“If you’re not too busy.”

It’s kind of interesting when unhealthy paranoia gets a good look at our relationship. I just hope they can clear him soon. I miss him.

Thursday, May 6, 2066 – One night too many

I had a long talk with Jonathan tonight.

He saw the looks Nathan was giving me and figured I’d listen to him more than I would one of my little brothers. I think he was surprised to find out that I’d already visited my shrink over this.

I don’t see him on a regular basis-he’s more on retainer than anything. It’s more like one of those prepaid service contracts where I’m covered for 10 incidents a year. If things keep up like this, I’ll have eaten through that before well before the end of June.

Case is still in jail which, no matter how light he makes of it, is not nothing. I know he’s doing it for me but he’s a law enforcement officer in jail. He’s in what they call ‘administrative segregation’, solitary confinement by a less depressing name. It keeps him ‘safe’ by keeping him out general population, but that’s a long cry from actually being safe.

I know the union has supplied him with a lawyer and he won’t go through the sort of nightmare I went through but keeping a man like Case in a position where he can’t do anything to protect his family is probably worse than what I’m feeling right now.

I had a hard time explaining it to Jonathan but I think he understands. Heck, he’s known Case longer than I have.

It doesn’t help that IA has actually cleared Case of any involvement in my kidnapping. They were just too late to get the judge to sign the paperwork for Case’s release.

I should be happy that he’s only in there one more night but it’s one more night too many and the angels are still singing the blues.

Friday, May 7, 2066 – Flying the coop… well… walking

When they told me Case would be out ‘first thing’ this morning I forgot to factor in processing time. The release forms had to be reviewed, verified and signed. Then the forms had to be notarized, copied and filed in triplicate at the courthouse.

Once they were filed, they then had to be taken to the jail and then it had to be sorted, filed, copied and verified before they could even begin processing Case out.

I’m pretty sure I drove Jonathan crazy as he tried to keep me from carrying the paperwork over to the jail myself. Fortunately, he knows I’m not the world’s most patient person at the best of times.

In the end, it took two rolls of duct tape and a 5th of coconut rum to keep me from getting in the way, and once Case was home well… the only person who even had a chance of pulling me away from Case was Bri and thankfully she had no intention of doing so.

Case is sleeping now, and I’m not far behind. I sleep a lot better when he’s here.

Saturday, May 8, 2066 – The tough go for a picnic

This morning I woke up to the sound of Case having a nightmare. He was so tense he almost hit me when I tried to wake him up. Guess I’m not the only one who’s got ghosts to deal with.

Today, however, we dealt with them by giving them a picnic. I had been planning on going into the office, but when I came downstairs Mom Walker and Trina were packing a basket for us. I may be slow at times, but I can take a hint and after everything we’ve been through Case, Bri and I needed some time together, and a picnic in the Walker’s backyard was perfect.

There are still a lot of questions, but for now, I’ll settle for coleslaw and BBQ chicken.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 18 – Manipulation

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, April 25, 2066 – Food Poisoning

… and… it would seem I spoke too soon.

No, no one needed medical care during or immediately after the luncheon, but almost every one of us needed it later. The only people spared the midnight trip to the ER were those where were lucky enough to have opted for the kid’s meal.

Thankfully Bri still prefers chicken fingers to almost anything else… and as I’ve said before… she’s her father’s daughter… there is no wondering where she gets that. The two of them ate chicken fingers, I had the ham salad sandwich.

At least this time, if I miss work, I’ll be in good company.

Monday, April 26, 2066 – Just Poisoning.

It would seem the ‘Food’ part of yesterday’s diagnosis was incorrect.

I’m a lot better off compared to some of my compatriots and all tolled we got off relatively lightly. First shift, our back up medics and several ‘on call’ medics from other companies managed to keep the city covered but only just.

I’ve talked to Charlie about some of the alternatives but as it is neither of us is really in any shape to do more than mull it over in front of the trid.

Tomorrow; I’ll deal with the outcome tomorrow and let the Star (and Case) deal with the investigation, really.

Tuesday, April 27, 2066 – From the ashes

Things just keep getting better.

It feels like we’re sitting in concentric circles and yet somehow-it’s like they’re pointing out our weaknesses instead of pressing them and taking advantage of us. It’s almost as if someone is trying to tell us we need to shore things up and make sure we have contingency plans in order.

That may not be the case, but that’s the hint I’m taking.

Charlie and I have worked, with the regional CEO’s blessing, on an agreement with the area EMS corporations. If something happens like Sunday’s food poisoning case, whoever is affected will have back up from the others.

Let’s face it, competition is all well and good but in the end, we can all agree that patients dying is bad for everyone’s business.

Wednesday, April 28, 2066 – Symmetry

On my list of things I’d expect people to do in the name of power and manipulation … eating something you know might kill you has never been on the list. At least it wasn’t until we found out, from Bri, that Arthur knew full well he was allergic to shellfish.

Case, bless him, was much better at cross examining our daughter than I was-and far more diplomatic afterwards when dealing with Arthur and his family.

It took some more… intervention in the form of Jonathan to get to the bottom of things… Case’s diplomacy only goes so far where his family is concerned.

It had nothing to do with Saturday’s poisoning. Oddly enough it was an effort to get in with me in hopes of meeting the Walkers. He got his wish, but not in the way he wanted. I don’t think he’ll be getting that raise or an audience with the Walkers.

Jonathan, it turns out, can be as diplomatically challenged as my husband. No wonder they get along so well.

Thursday, April 29, 2066 – An un-pretty picture

There are times when I feel like Case and I are on the same page today, however, was not one of those days. It was one of those days where I was working on building things up, he was breaking them down.

We’ve got the Medic Accord signed and ratified, we’ve hired our first magical staff in the HRT teams and we have one Mage/Medic now on the payroll with two more in the pipeline… like I said, we’re building things up.

Case, on the other hand, was breaking down everything we know from Saturday. The toxicology reports and victimology profiles helped him determine how the poison was delivered. Breaking down the scene and things he hadn’t noticed because he was busy worrying about me led him to a very disturbing conclusion.

The goal was not to poison the adults, but to incapacitate them… thereby leaving the children…

Yeah you know where that’s leading…

Someone’s taking marrow samples from me, trying to take my daughter… it’s a very unhappy Jess.

Friday, April 30, 2066 – He sees you when you’re sleeping.

Remember what I said about vetting St. Nick’s… and finding out that they’d vetted us long before we got to their campus? Well… it would seem they really did their homework.

Last night, as soon as we suspected that kidnapping was the objective and just how far the people planning said kidnapping were willing to go we realized they wouldn’t stop. When Case remembered the helpful medics he didn’t recognize hovering around us… hovering around Bri well, that’s when we started to suspect Bri was their objective.

Once we realized that we had no choice but to contact the school. It wasn’t safe for Bri and it definitely wasn’t safe for those around her. While I made an appointment, Case called Jonathan.

We showed up for our emergency meeting ready to pull Bri out and homeschool her for the time being when several ‘educators’ we hadn’t met showed up for the meeting asking if they were late.

I was about to object when the head administrator nodded to Jonathan. “Mr. Walker,” he said calmly. “Would you mind telling your friends what you see when you look around this room… around this campus?”

I’m not sure what he saw but it didn’t take long for Jonathan to be smiling. “Case, Jess-they are more than ready to protect everyone here….”

He paused then looked back at the administrator. “My question is how do you hide it all?”

That brought a smile to the man’s face but he quickly turned back to Case and me.

“This is why we accepted your daughter-because you both are concerned not only about her safety and well being but that of those around her. The student body here shares common dangers and common parental values. This needs to be nurtured. You keep doing what you do, all we ask is that you allow us to do our part.”

Any argument I could have come up with was washed away when he turned back to Jonathan and added: “When your daughters are old enough, I hope you will consider St. Nicholas’.”

I think I’ll just blame Jenna and leave it at that.

Saturday, May 1, 2066 – Too much time on my hands

Sometimes a slow day can be nice-it gives you time to get everything organized. Sometimes it gives you too much time to think. Sadly this was one of those days.

I got into the office early to get some paperwork done, but there wasn’t nearly as much as I’d feared. And that left a lot of time for mulling over things that are probably better left un-mulled.

I realized some things I’m pretty sure Case has already thought of and investigated, but that’s his job and his way of thinking. Me, I don’t tend to think about things analytically until well into post-game analysis.

Whoever attacked me-they knew to avoid the cameras. It’s surprising enough they even know about them, let alone their location. The only way I can think of knowing where they are is to either have seen our footage or worked with us.

Filming everything isn’t even a companywide policy. It’s something I instituted first with the motor medics, then with the regular medics when I took over as chief. Let’s face it, I’m the paranoid masochist who makes sure my medics are protected. I’m the one who taught them to be paranoid and the boys were the ones who taught me.

That means they know my medics… they know me.

Then there’s the matter of the sample that was taken.

Bone marrow samples are very specific and the reason for getting a sample is usually a matter of checking for compatibility. It all points to someone who knows me or is related to me and the only people who know me that well are my brothers.

The thing is-skulking shadows are so not their style.

Like I said, too much time to think.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 17 – Old Ways

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, April 18, 2066 – an unexpected request

Sometimes I really wonder what is going on inside my daughter’s head.

I should have known something was up when she arranged for Schrödinger to join our family, but I was just happy to have a cat around again and truthfully I wasn’t thinking. I thought having to find a new home for Puck would have cured her, but it seems to have just redirected her energies.

It came to a head this evening at dinner when she announced, to the entire family mind you-that she wanted a baby brother. I don’t think anyone was expecting that, but if they were they did a really good job of hiding it.

It’s amazing. I can discuss medical procedures with almost anyone, but my daughter can turn me into a blathering idiot with one simple question. I tried to point out that a baby wasn’t something you could just ‘find a new home for’ if it didn’t work out, but something in her eyes told me that that was exactly why she’d opted for a baby brother.

I did a lot of stammering until Case intervened and assured her that “We will take it under advisement.”

I could tell from her expression she wasn’t going to accept his dodge for long. Little did I know it wasn’t a dodge and we did indeed… discuss… the matter.

Monday, April 19, 2066 – Miniature Secret Camera

In the interest of getting at least one job done, Case and I decided it was probably a good idea that I stay off the road as much as I can. on those occasions where that is not an option, however, I have added a button cam to my shirt… two actually one in front and another in back-at least until we figure this out.

Of course, it’s a little late to tell us anything useful about my attacker, but if someone tries it again I’ll be prepared.

I kept thinking about the sample and realized that anyone with proper connections would be able to get that information from the donor network no need for cloak and dagger which means that they either don’t have access to the database or they have other uses for it.

Case is looking into a few possibilities but he’s being very tight-lipped about it. On the bright side, I was able to get a coffee at lunch without incident.

Tuesday, April 20, 2066 – Bad Chips

Sometimes playing it safe is not a part of my job, and sometimes the risk isn’t even a choice.

Things started off normally enough. I gave Nathan and Ray a ride in to the hospital then stopped off to see Deputy Chief Young to pick up the JD files for distribution. I still don’t know if it was a good thing I slotted the chip to review it before heading into the office or not.

On a personal level it wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but I’ve done it so many times the thought of it being corrupt or worse, virus-laden hadn’t even entered my mind. Well, it’s entered my mind, and wormed its way into every app and data file in my head. Still, if it had hit the computers at Citywide, or worse, some of my medics’ headware… it would have been that much worse. So I’m plus several hundred points for saving the corporate network and minus several hundred for corrupting my own files.

All I can say is: it’s a good thing I keep backups.

I ended up working with Lone Star’s Computer forensics department tracing down the virus and trying to figure out exactly who the target was. The jury is still out on the who and why, but the how was simple: the data chips had been delivered pre-corrupted.

The good news, we have 25 corrupt chips taken out of circulation. The bad news… it was a 30 pack…

When I left Young was coming up with some new and creative explicatives guaranteeing I won’t be letting Bri anywhere near the station for a while.

Wednesday, April 21, 2066 – Mapping Trouble.

Sometimes, things that might be considered good are overridden by the bad they bring, which I think is a left-handed way of saying ‘I’ve got some good news and some bad news.’

The good news is we’ve found four of the five missing chips. The bad news is we found them and the real purpose behind them today. There was the obvious threat I’d figured out yesterday in my head… or with my head – data corruption.

But this particular corruption was designed to cause issues with mapping software. That in and of itself isn’t all that bad… unless of course said mapping software is attached to a dispatching system used by Law Enforcement and EMS.

Sending assistance to the wrong place is bad enough, that can get people hurt or worse, but imagine if you will a sniper situation, not that those ever happen around here, where HRT is sent to the wrong address and the backup teams cordon off the wrong area and set up a staging area that rather than being safe turns out to be a killing zone.

Fortunately, my medics wear their vests and use their eyes. The first time they were shot at they sought cover and radioed in the situation.

It’s amazing how quickly someone can learn to depend on the latest and greatest technology and forget how to do things the ‘old fashioned way’. All things considered, we were lucky: Four wounded, one critical… it could have been much worse.

And the final ‘bad? There’s still at least one chip out there… I wonder if I’m too young to retire.

Thursday, April 22, 2066 – One of those days

Today was one of those days where it would have been better to have woken up on the wrong side of a dimensional rift.

Okay, maybe not that bad, but let me explain…

My day off, which I didn’t take since I was out most of last week recovering.

The plan:

  • Find funding for Magical Staff
  • Find funding for Specialized Training
  • Negotiate Medical Supply contract
  • Price out new vehicles and establish a budget
  • Review team performance
  • Go to the bank.

Of those you’d think, going to the bank would be is the easiest thing on my agenda and you’d be wrong. I know I was.

To be fair it wasn’t the ‘going to the bank’ part that was hard, it was the whole ‘getting out of the bank alive’ part that got tricky.

All I can say is, convincing a stressed out chip-head that you’re not the police when you’re wearing body armor, packing a gun and a radio is just about as improbable as it sounds. It is, however, a lot easier to convince said chip-head that you’re a medic when he’s been shot and you’re the one keeping him from bleeding out.

Thankfully the Star arrived before the nervous security guard acted on his assumption that I was in on the robbery and would probably kill them all when my ‘buddy’ died.

Friday, April 23, 2066 – Communication breakdown

Just a few days ago I was complaining about people forgetting the old way of doing things because something comes along that’s more convenient.

Today I have a new reason for the same complaint. It seems that sniping isn’t enough for some people-some people have to bring technology into it and add all kinds of complications we don’t need.

It’s simple – one sniper, one place to look for the sniper. If we have two snipers, you usually have two places to look and two people to take out. When you have one sniper using drones and remotes… well… the actual sniper could be anywhere and the bullets are flying everywhere.

Needing to get things under control quickly the Star broadcasted a blanket jamming signal, taking out the sniper’s connection to the remotes and in the process taking out all communications between all interested parties.

The Star couldn’t tell the medics to stand-by while they searched for the very human element of the sniper. They couldn’t call for help when he made himself known using a silencer and they certainly couldn’t call for us when they were finished. They couldn’t even call anyone to turn off the jamming equipment.

Not the way I wanted to spend my afternoon, that’s for sure.

Saturday, April 24, 2066 – Just Lunches

Well, it went from a Grand Gala affair to a dinner banquet to a luncheon, but Arthur finally got to show his appreciation for the medics who saved his life.

Three of the honorees were in wheelchairs; a fourth was walking with the aid of a cane. Looking at us, you’d think we were the ones in need of saving not Arthur.

The Mayor was in attendance, as were the heads of KE, Ares, Citywide and of course, Arthur’s company. I am happy to say we managed to get through the luncheon without anyone needing medical care.

Score one for us.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 16 – Detour

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, April 11, 2066 – Observation for Easter

Have you ever looked at something and you knew it was out of kilter but you couldn’t put your finger on it. And every time you looked at it, you were struck by how wrong it was but your brain just couldn’t process it.

That’s how today felt. Something was wrong and whenever I tried to face it head on it would vanish, but I could see it out of the corner of my eye.

I know memory is a tricky thing but the armed guard outside my room seems to tell me that whatever happened was intentional and bad. Well, that and the fact that I woke up in the middle of the night screaming, that’s usually a good sign that what happened wasn’t good.

Fr. Martin stopped by to see me, but as it is I’m still in the hospital for at least the next few days.

So, instead of observing Easter, I’m stuck being observed. At least the nurses are starting to complain to Dr. Shapiro about me. I’ll take that as a good sign.

Monday, April 12, 2066 – There’s no place like home, home

I remember almost everything leading up to the big blur, so I’ll take that as a good sign.

I went to work, which was probably my first mistake. The CEO was waiting for me… he told me I was “a hard person to get a hold of…” but then again, he wouldn’t leave a message so I never knew he was looking for me.

Now that everything is cleared up with KE, at least on paper, Arthur and his people still want to have their shindig, although now they’re talking about making it smaller… just the ‘attending medics’ and their families sort of gathering.

The CEO pointed out that it would do a lot for my public image, of which I’ve never really cared about. Before I could say anything he pointed out that part of the job is PR and I needed to learn to play the game. It seems that if I can enhance our company image-we can get the magical support we need.

Another difference of opinion: I see that as blackmail he calls it quid-pro-quo.

It’s weird. I can remember the stats on the last patient I treated. I can remember my ending mileage from the last trip but the actual incident is still a blur.

Case keeps telling me not to worry and not to push it, but he’s worried and so am I.

On the bright side, I got to go home tonight-although I didn’t go home, home. I went to Council Island home, which is probably better and safer but sometimes… sometimes I want to be alone and that can’t really happen here (which I guess was actually the idea)

Tuesday, April 13, 2066 – Waking to the nightmare

I don’t know which is worse, shadows of memories or the real thing.

It is both better than I feared and worse than thought. In the morning everything was still a blur… just a haunting feeling that something was looming over me. With mom and Michael watching over me, I started to relax and that’s when it hit me.

I wasn’t screaming this time at least. One minute I was sitting out in the garden staring at the geese, the next I was having trouble breathing as I remembered being tackled and as I fell all the pieces fell back into place.

The call came in around 17:30… I was about to head home, but it was the middle of rush hour-a standard motor call. I took the call so Dwight could go check on Hugh. By this time I’ve gotten used to being shadowed although I’m still very iffy about KE-or at least I was.

They ended up breaking the restraining order-but at the time they were actually trying to protect me, taking that into consideration no one’s complaining.

I got to the scene… an overturned vehicle. I made sure that Lone Star had secured the scene-but who hides inside a trunk in an accident scene? I’d moved towards the injured driver and the next thing I knew someone body slammed me to the pavement and hit me with something …

I was paralyzed. I couldn’t open my eyes, but I could hear and feel the person looming over me. I remember listening to him talk to someone-sub vocalizing… Then I felt the needle. It was agonizing but I couldn’t move… I couldn’t even scream.

Remembering that, I realized that my attacker didn’t inject me with something… he took something… I’ll need to check with Dr. Shapiro-but I think it was a marrow sample.

I told Case everything I remembered. It’s not much but it is something.

Wednesday, April 14, 2066 – Three ‘w’s’

Today, after mom and Trina verified that I was well enough, Case took me down to Lone Star’s offices so they could take my statement. At least now I had something to state. It’s still surreal for the most part but at least I know what happened.

The ‘what’ may help us figure out the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ but it’s not going to be easy. Especially when you consider that the attacker either knew about our cameras and their placement or they were very, very lucky. They managed to stay off both the Bike cam and the helmet cam and they were gone before Marcus and Evans could get anyone nearby’s attention

I don’t know if it was healthy or not, but Case and I spent most of trip home trying to come up with plausible ‘why’s’. There are a lot of them and none of them are very comforting.

Thursday, April 15, 2066 – If only…

We all know that “What if..” is a game you can’t win… and yet we are always more than willing to play it: “What if” and it’s variant “If only…”

The more I remember the more I find myself playing those games, especially “If only.” As soon as I start playing, things get all kinds of bad

“If only I’d checked the area before I focused on the driver.” “If only one of the officers had stayed with me instead of going to direct traffic.”

Those are bad enough, but when you start adding in “What if Marcus and Evans hadn’t been following me?” “What if they’d been a little slower?”

By the time Case got home, I’d all but driven myself crazy with it.

“Jess?” He asked.

“Playing ‘What if’ and ‘if only’ ” I explained with a sigh.

“What if?”

“And if Only.”

When he still didn’t quite get it, I shook my head. “If only I could keep myself from playing this stupid game…”

He tilted his head and winked. “If only I could distract you…”

“What if you tuck me in?”

Maybe there are ways to win these games… if only for a while

Friday, April 16, 2066 – Pencil Stabbing

You know, for being on medical leave, I sure am spending a lot of time in the office. Not just my office mind you, no, I’m splitting my time between Citywide, Lone Star, and the Marshal Service. Citywide is trying to figure out how to protect me that won’t involve a padded cell, Lone Star is trying to find out the who and why of the attack-not to mention the ‘are we going to get sued?’ side question. The Marshal Service is still trying to decide if it’s their case or not.

The only people I haven’t heard from are KE. To be honest I’m surprised and pleased with the restraint they’re showing. They even gave statements with all the involved parties.

I found out from Saunders that they had actually asked about my video feeds. They’re learning.

Ray and Nathan are doing as well as can be expected with PT-although Ray got a taste of sweet just deserts… all his teasing about pencil stabbings… you know it was bound to happen.

Fortunately… it was at a hospital. I would have said something but sometimes even I know it’s the wrong thing to do.

Saturday, April 17, 2066 – Best Served

Today was a good day for getting even with Nathan. I figure Puck was a good enough ‘payback’ for all the ferret toys, but there was still the matter of testing out his new illusion spell on me, and this revenge was sweet, just not the way you’d expect.

I think it was something both of us needed.

I took him to the hospital this morning, which was interesting since he knew I was up to something but he was still in no shape for running away from me and he said as much.

When he found out what we were doing, he accepted it graciously and as I said it was just what we needed. You should have seen the faces of the kids in pediatrics when I wheeled him in a wheelchair.

Okay, I wheeled him in, in a wheelchair, buried under a pile of stuffed ferret plush toys. (I kept the fighter pilot ferret and the paramedic ferret for myself but the others became get well soon presents). We handed them out and spent a lot of time with the kids.

Let’s face it cheering folks up is a lot better than wallowing in your own troubles and even Nathan could live with this ‘revenge’.

I still haven’t told him about the retirement home…

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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