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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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 15 – When Plans Collide

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, April 4, 2066 – Grill happy

Ray hasn’t been released from the hospital so much as kicked out. I got a call from him around 10:00 this morning, so after church, we went to bail him out… I mean pick him up.

Since he’ll be doing physical therapy on about the same schedule as Nathan, mom figured he’d be better off staying with him on Council Island. Ray tried to object, but let’s face it I’d rather face him down than mom. Besides, she always wins anyway.

With a warm pleasant spring day on our hands, mom got a taste of her own medicine as the men decided it was time to cook over an open fire and to the men belong the grill.

We had almost every meat imaginable grilled by no less than five grill masters. Sausage, beef, pork… lamb all cooked over glowing coals. No one could argue with that.

We also had enough left over to take a care package to the injured medics who had not been lucky enough to escape.

It was the kind of day I think we all needed.

Monday, April 5, 2066 – Unreasonable Reasoning.

Charlie and I met this morning to go over our options when it comes to hiring new staff, authorizing overtime and keeping our men, and ourselves from burning out.

The younger medics are all for O.T. It means more money, and they’re young enough that they bounce back faster. I really didn’t feel that old until I pulled two double shifts within three days. I also remember how I could keep going for a while but then I’d crash and I’d crash hard.

We’re still running multiple shifts, but the key is going to be making sure that people get rotated out of the high traffic zones before they wear themselves out.

There will be review board hearings on Thursday for our four medics on administrative leave. That will be held by a panel of reps, medics, and advisors so it won’t be just me investigating them.

Our sick medics all reported for duty so the main drain has been relieved. Now we just need our injured medics back in rotation.

I was preparing to report to the 197th when I got a call from KE. Marcus and Evans had some questions for me so I got to do another juggling act so I could meet with them at lunchtime.

They were civil, we met at the station and no, I did not get the coffee recipe from my Pranksters… it was tempting but they behaved and so did I.

They did pose an interesting question, and even more interesting was the fact that they actually wanted my impression on why it was done. To be honest I really hadn’t thought about it. The attack was precise, almost clinical in nature. I pointed out that sometimes the reasoning makes no sense except to the person doing it but… as I pointed out it was different from the recent rash of sniper situations. Something this precise usually means planning and planning usually indicates purpose.

It could have been a distraction or meant to study their response, deployment and how the perimeter was maintained. There were too many possibilities without knowing specifics. Specifics they weren’t ready to share with me.

It’s taken them long enough but I think Marcus and Evans might actually be catching on to the fact that I am not my brothers… at least not the brothers they’re looking for.

Tuesday, April 6, 2066 – Equal and Opposite

This morning I dropped Ray and Nathan off at Physio on my way to work. Thankfully they’ll be done and long gone before I get off work so Michael was the one who got the challenge of driving them home and keeping them from killing each other.

Well, to be fair, to keep Ray from killing Nathan for being so uber-cheerful.

Ray can be an eternal dismal cloud when he’s down, and let’s face it not being able to do for himself is enough to trigger his less than stellar behavior. For some perverse reason, this makes Nathan all that more cheerful.

The two seemed to feed on each other, the more cheerful Nathan got the more dismal Ray’s outlook turned, which only seemed to make Nathan’s cheer that much more pronounced.

Sometimes I think they deserve each other.

Thanks again to Follower for lending Nathan to the cause

Wednesday, April 7, 2066 – The Pitch

Today Charlie and I met with the board of directors with our proposal. I could tell by their expressions they’d heard almost every argument for it, but Charlie bless him knew how the game was played.

While I outlined the usefulness, Charlie went for the bottom line. I talked about lives saved, including our medics-he talked about cost-effectiveness and return on investment. When the board talked about the liability of having magic users on our teams, Charlie talked about the liability of not having them.

Them hiring Nathan as a consultant has set a precedence but, he’s working after the fact.

In the end, it is being taken under advisement but at least it is on the table and we have a decent chance.

That problem worked on I had to tackle our Paramedic Deficit. From the sound of things, it won’t take much to lure Rudi here. Luckily he’s nowhere as curious as I am and that can be a very good thing.

We have a few applications including one or two medics who look good on paper. I arranged for interviews and worked on an offer for Rudi.

We’ll see how it goes.

Thursday, April 8, 2066 – R and R… and R

I wasn’t going to take the day off today-we’re still short a few folks, but things seemed to conspire on my behalf for a change. Can something conspire for you?

Let’s face it I’ve been burning the candle from both ends, and the middles and well… it looks a lot more like a bonfire than candlelight. I got up this morning and had almost convinced myself that I was up for this when Case told me to go back to bed. You can usually tell just how tired I am by my argument level-it’s an odd kind of curve.

If I’m tired, the stubborn gene kicks in and I get defiant, if I’m really tired, like today, there is no fight just a simple nod and going back to bed.

When I woke up it was time to go to bed.

I think I could use more days like that.

Friday, April 9, 2066 – 24-B

Today was the sort of day when you kind of wish you could hit reset and start the whole thing over again. I started the day off as the Regional Chief of Citywide, Northwest on her way to the office. I ended it as the concussion in 24-B, with Dr. Shapiro fielding status calls from my husband, the Regional CEO of Citywide and half the medics from Citywide, not to mention diplomatic liaisons from the Tir, the Salish-Sidhe Council and a representative of the Kachakashqa Amaru. He was getting a bit exasperated until Bri asked him if I was going to be all right.

It seems he hadn’t been warned. One should never underestimate the powers of a precocious eight-year-old with a knack for adopting uncles.

I’m still not entirely clear on what happened and Case hasn’t told me anything. It seems I need to remember, or not, on my own.

I told him it wasn’t fair and he agreed. He kissed me on top of my head and told me, “the important thing is you’re here to complain about it.”

I guess that’s true, but right now I’m not feeling all that lucky.

I remember… I remember feeling like someone was following me. I remember being hit with something… then… it’s all a blur.

Something tells me it being a blur might be a good thing.

Saturday, April 10, 2066 – Altered States

Well…I’m still in the hospital at least for tonight. The classification is ‘being held for observation’ which is a nice way of saying “You look fine, but we’d rather not risk giving you cause for a lawsuit.”

It doesn’t help that I’m still unclear as to what happened. I remember meeting with the CEO… something about good PR for the company and keeping our options open.

I remember bits and pieces of the day and the last thing I remember was being on my way to a call on the bike.

Someone was following me, but I wasn’t too worried. If anything I was annoyed which means it was probably KE following me. It’s amazing how they can decide I’m not guilty and then still keep following me… I remember being vaguely amused by the thought.

I’m not sure if what I’m remembering is a dream-like interpretation of what happened or if it’s really what I remember. I do know it’s very surreal.

I can see a car overturned in a fog, its wheels still spinning. I remember walking towards it, med kit in had and then everything went black.

After that I can remember voices. There was worry and concern in their tone, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I can remember the sting of a needle… someone starting an IV line.

I know there was something about what happened that has everyone concerned, not just my family and friends but LoneStar and KE have both been in to see if I remember anything else.

The problem is… I don’t.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 14 – Fools Rush In

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, March 28, 2066 – A shocking surprise

Last Sunday’s teasing continued today, but it was different this time. It would seem my big brother has been learning from my younger brothers how to not only take a ribbing out but how to seek revenge in creative and amusing ways.

It started when someone thought a joy buzzer was a good way to tease me. What they didn’t think about was the fact that Jonathan is, among other things, his own personal, portable joy buzzer.

Couple that with the fact that he’s been talking to the hearth spirit since he was 12… and it was easy for him to identify the culprit and make sure that justice was served.

I never would have pegged my darling daughter as the guilty party. I could see where Case would be her accessory but still… She’s eight. Then again, I didn’t put Puck past her.

We’re really going to have to watch that child.

Monday, March 29, 2066 – Snow job

It snowed. It’s March and it snowed… It’s late March… and it snowed… in Seattle!

The big problem is that if there was ever a day where we needed quick response it was today, and the weather meant our two fastest vehicles were grounded: bikes and choppers.

Snow is rare enough that it’s a problem under the best of circumstances but add to it the fact that people were expecting rain and well… it’s almost April… No one was prepared or thinking. Let’s face it, if it’s cold enough to snow, the wet stuff on the ground may be wet pavement… it may also be glare ice and you aren’t going to know until you hit it.

Accidents abounded, and the busses were running almost non-stop. By 11:00 all the ambulances had chains on them and I was starting to look for snowmobiles…

The weathermen were scrambling to come up with an explanation but ultimately it came down to admitting that forecasting is just an educated guess. I don’t think anyone is capable of admitting it. One day I would love to see a weatherman look at the camera and just say… “We must have slept right through this one… sorry folks…”

Not that it would have helped us, but I think it would have made the next 19 hours bearable. The warning to stay where you were was late in coming. On the bright side, by the time the warnings were issued, those who were out had either hit something or had been stopped by something that had hit something…

It was also a great source of entertaining trids, I expect to be seeing on the news for the next three weeks.

Tuesday, March 30, 2066 – Winning Friends

I love the weather. Then again I love a mystery which can pretty much explain my fascination with the weather. Let’s face it we get a lot of it here, mystery and weather.

Yesterday was freezing and dangerous, today is… well rainy and dangerous.

I ended up visiting Ray in the hospital, but not the way I wanted to: I was checking up on Hugh who’d literally had a run in with an SUV.

You’d think the flashing red lights and the “Paramedic” on the front of the bike and the back of his jacket would have clued in the nice suburban soccer mom that she wasn’t dealing with some crazed biker… but all she saw was Tusks and a Harley and he was ‘bearing down on her.’

Actually, he was bearing down on an accident about a mile ahead of them, but she didn’t know that. To hear her side of it as she explained to the officers what had happened, you’d think that Hugh had lobbed a grenade at the poor dear.

Fortunately, Hugh had a few things going for him. One, his boss is paranoid and has made sure all her medic’s vehicles are rigged for recording and the motor medics have an additional camera built into their helmets. Two, said recordings include sound. Three, by now there isn’t a cop in Seattle who hasn’t heard of or met Dwight and Hugh. Four, Ms. Flirty picked the most married men on the force to try and wrap around her little finger. Fifth, and finally-said officers knew darn well that they had to get the poor dear out of there before Hugh’s boss got there and explained items 1-4 to her.

I overheard one of the training officers explain to the rookies, “never get between a momma bear and her cubs held true for Citywide’s Chief and her team.”

By the time I got to the hospital, Hugh had been moved to an all too familiar semi-private room. The doctor explained that it was best Hugh have a familiar face to wake up to, so they’d put him in Ray’s room.

The nurses said something about quote ‘keeping the whining know-it-all medics in one manageable place’. end quote.

I was still a bit… tense when I left the hospital. I was ready to track down Ms. Flirty and give her a piece of my mind, but as I headed for my car I saw a familiar figure leaning my new vehicle. He never turned as I walked out, he just merely shook his head.

“Jess, you know I could hear you all the way in Takoma… you’ve really need to learn to channel this aggression.


I have a feeling him teaching me to channel said aggression is going to be like… the immovable object meeting the unstoppable one. I’m just not sure which is which.

Wednesday, March 31, 2066 – Don’t ask

I think April Fool’ came early this year.

I’m used to people doing stupid things it’s part of why I have a job. To be fair, we all do our fair share of stupid things. Thankfully most of the time when we have those momentary lapses in judgment or focus, someone else is paying attention and makes up for it.

When they don’t… well, that’s where I and my buddies in EMS come in. And believe me, we came in a lot today.

We started off two medics down and it went downhill from there.

It got so bad that by the time I arrived on scene on my last call and saw a clown car, complete with clown in big shoes, dangling from a tree I just looked at the officer in charge and held up my hands up in surrender. “I don’t want to know.”

Sometimes… it’s just easier that way.

Thursday, April 1, 2066 – Day of Fools.

You know those stupid things we all do from time to time… well, today it seemed to be our turn and let me tell you… too many days like today and we’ll pretty much take ourselves out.

As it is, I have three more medics on the injured list, Four medics on administrative leave pending investigations and five medics on ‘sick leave’ due to a failed ‘prank’.

Of the four medics on administrative leave two of them will most likely be told to look into another field of specialization like… shower curtain installation. The other two are going to require some basic, remedial classes like “How to Tell if Your Patient is Dead 101” and “Why You Don’t Leave Your Keys in Your Unlocked Ambulance 102”

A few additional classes will be offered to the pranksters and the prankees – like… ‘if the coffee smells bad… don’t drink it’ and ‘I will not mess with peoples’ beverages of choice as a joke…’

I swear, the hospital is threatening to give us our own wing at this point and Dr. Shapiro is looking at me like it’s my fault. I tried to explain I wasn’t even supposed to be working but according to his nurses that’s no excuse and one thing you can say about the good doctor, he stands behind his staff.

On the bright side, Ray and Hugh are doing better and champing at the bit to get out and April Fool’s day only comes once a year… I hope.

Friday, April 2, 2066 – Programs

Do you have your scorecard ready, ’cause this is about to get really interesting

Okay, five medics in the hospital, four on administrative leave and another five still under the weather… That’s a bad start to the day any way you look at it.

All right… it wasn’t too horrific… I managed to juggle a few schedules. With me and Charlie on duty, that meant we were only down twelve medics. We keep about 5 in reserve and with them activated, that left us down seven.

With a little rescheduling, we managed to work it so each shift was only two men short. At least that’s how it looked on paper on the streets it was a bit different

A lot of what we do would make the OCD think we’ve gone overboard, but trust me, when you need certain pieces of equipment within easy reach, you really don’t want to have to look for them. It’s part of why we tend to pack our own kits. Motor medics have to be even more particular since we only have a limited amount of space on the bike.

That’s the first difficulty we faced. While the medics were juggled and working on setting up things according to the plan… the first alarm hit: a high-rise fire, midtown.

That took Charlie off the rig and back into a command position running the command center. I have no problem with Charlie running the scene, but if I’d known what was coming I would have taken the high rise call.

As it was we ended up with another sniper incident in Tacoma, really close to Ares’ Campus. It’s funny if you think about it: Ares scares me more than a sniper trying to kill me. I guess if I’m dead I don’t have to worry about anybody picking through my brain and opening doors that really should be locked and bolted.

If Ray had been on duty I would have sent him, but as it was I got a pleasant surprise from KE. They told us to stage outside the cordoned off area and they would bring the injured to us. Normally I wouldn’t go for that, but they were actually doing a decent job of containing the situation, and they did bring us the injured to triage and treat… and it was in an area outside their jurisdiction.

I did see Marcus and Evans briefly as they helped us offload a batch of injured from the back of an armored van. One of them had a snide “I bet you’re loving this.”

I looked at them, looked at the injured and just shook my head. They weren’t worth the bother and there were other people who needed me. I saw them once or twice more over the next four hours, but Dwight became my self-appointed bodyguard.

I heard him tell them once “we got a job to do and you two are the ones trying to make it into something it’s not. Look to the injured and the dying-and keep your comments to yourself.”

Something I would have said if I’d been there. As it was I just smiled and got back to work. By the time Ares and KE had dealt with the situation, I was ready for a nap, and the day wasn’t even half over.

By the time we were back in service Charlie and I had been not only running our scenes but directing a third remotely.

And yes, by the end we needed a program to figure out where everyone was.

Saturday, April 3, 2066 – Trials and tabulations

This morning KE wanted to debrief me and my people on the sniper incident.

Now that sentence alone was enough to put me on the defensive. I’ve experienced something KE called a ‘debriefing’ and well… I have some other names for it. No way I was going to willingly step into one of their stations for a ‘debriefing’ let alone put my people through one.

I set it up so they could talk to people at Citywide, with supervision, one at a time. We can’t tie people up for long blocks of time, not when where running pretty much at capacity

They weren’t happy, but let’s face it they’re used to getting what they want and getting the respect they feel they deserve. Sure they have a reputation for getting their man, but let’s face it I’ve seen their methods up close and personal.

Before they could accuse me of either favoritism or worse obstruction I turned over the video feeds. “With these,” I told them, “You can see everything we did. If you find you need further details, then we’ll make arrangements.”

Now I know the cameras don’t see everything and there are things that the human brain may notice that there’s no way the film could… People can recognize patterns in victimology or types of injuries. The film will just see reflections of light.

While they were viewing the feeds, I started tabulating the injuries we’d treated. By the time they’d finished reviewing our tapes, I’d cross-checked the tallies.

The shots were all clean, no graze wounds… the sniper was looking for targets in the open, not ones who were hiding. Most of the injuries were serious-he was trying to kill, but kill slowly. There were no headshots… almost all were to the torso, a few shoulder injuries but one of them was on the way out, and the other had gone into the armpit and lodged in the torso.

It was particularly nasty, but it didn’t match the recent sniper incidents. The others were more random… taking the trick shots, this one, like I said they were going for a clean shot.

I’m not sure what the investigators were expecting but they seemed more understanding after I’d given them more than what they’d hoped to find.

I guess the efficient Chief is a far cry from the seriously mucked with sister. Hopefully, it will make them think, but I doubt it.

It wasn’t until the end of the day I noticed them… an array of friends and family who were watching over me and watching to make sure the boys in blue kept things civil.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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Yet A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 13 – Skirting around the issue

Yet A(nother) Year In Seattle

Sunday, March 21, 2066 – Running Gags

You can always count on family to be there when you need them, and to laugh their butts off when you do something monumentally stupid.

It doesn’t help if you know it was monumentally stupid. It doesn’t matter how brave you were, or how heroic… they’ll celebrate those too, but it’s those momentary lapses in judgment, or control that take on a life of their own.

It’s like Michael and the flame retardant couches… Nathan and the ferrets… it’s expected

But when you get something like yesterday… where two family members are involved in the same situation-well, then you get matching gifts…

Like the “High Voltage” sign someone attached to Jonathan’s chair and the ‘Remember to wear your protective gear at all times…” warning attached to mine… those are the moments you really wish you were an only child.

I’m pretty sure Jonathan got the worst end of the ribbing on this… let’s face it, I do a lot of things that deserve getting teased about but Jonathan? Mr. ‘in control at all times’… he is so inexperienced at being on the receiving end… or even deserving to be on the receiving end of the teasing that it’s not funny.

Well, okay, it is funny but that’s another story.

The fact of the matter is I started feeling sorry for him, so I changed the subject and instead of focusing on our mutual misfortune… I asked about the elemental. It’s not the first time I’ve seen faces in the disasters I’ve faced. Some I know are my imagination getting away with me-but others…

I mean… I really did see a face of sorts, and I wonder if Jonathan saw the same thing I did.

It got the boys (Jonathan, Case, and Nathan) thinking about the elemental and its presence, I mean let’s face it: it’s the second ‘waterspout’ incident in the area in the past few months that affected mass transportation. Besides, I’m pretty sure Jonathan appreciated having the attention drawn away from teasing him.

Jonathan really does like to be the quiet man in the corner, the one you don’t mess with – the nice calm stable one. I like him better that way too: he has a lot to learn as a hair dresser.

Monday March 22, 2066 – The Good Part of a Bad Day

You know it’s been a bad day when the first thing you remember about it is waking up on a backboard with your neck immobilized and one of your best friends standing over you shining a light in your eyes to test your pupillary reaction.

I’ve had days like that, thankfully today was not one of them… for me. It was however one of those days for Ray.

It started out simply enough. I got into the office early so I could discuss my proposal for adding magical staff to both our first response and tactical teams with Charlie. If there’s someone making magical trouble for our people-we need to be ready to work against it and if there’s someone who knows how to make it happen, it’s Charlie.

He smiled and shook his head as he jerked his thumb towards my office. “Your partner’s waiting for ya. I got this.”

I’d forgotten that I was going to be riding with Ray for the day. Mr. “I’m not running the program” still hadn’t approved me for solo runs. I’m not sure if he was doing it to keep an eye on me or just for old times, but either way it was a good thing I was there.

The first few calls were simple enough and we fell into a balanced routine. We took turns leading the way, sometimes riding side by side, others in a single file line-whatever traffic would allow.

We were on our way to a probable coronary when it happened. Ray was in the lead… it could have just as easily been me. One minute we were riding and the next there was a blur of yellow as a cab ran the light and plowed straight into Ray.

The first few minutes were some of the most nerve wracking. As I’ve said many times-you deal with things by compartmentalizing. You divorce yourself from the person so you can treat the injury, but you remain connected enough to be comforting and reassuring.

Involving a person you care about involves a much deeper compartment and having seen it happen… we’re talking a very deep, multi walled compartment here. Fortunately I’ve been building a lot of those lately.

Come to think of it, it’s not a very good day when you’re the person kneeling over one of your best friends looking for signs of life. There’s also nothing better than the feeling you get when the said friend looks up at you and groans “What are you smiling at?”

Tuesday March 23, 2066 – Motorcycle madness

I checked in on Ray this morning. He was obviously feeling better since he was insisting that yesterday’s accident was his way of field testing my skills to make sure I could handle being a motor medic again.

I think it was abundantly clear I wasn’t buying it. I wonder if he’s figured out yet that I’m the one who’s going to have to approve his return to the bike. Maybe I’ll just keep that to myself for now.

His prognosis is good, and that seemed to set the tone for the rest of the day. When I got to the office, Charlie was waiting for me. He knew I’d be checking on Ray-I always check on a medic who’s hurt on the job, but he’s noticed that I’m a lot more mother-hen-ish towards the motor medics.

“Are they really that different from the regular medics?”

It took me a while to explain it, but in a way I am their mom in this. I’ve either trained them, or I trained the people who trained them. Being a paramedic is not a safe job to begin with, but when you add the hazards posed by doing the job from a bike all bets are off

I mean let’s face it, if someone T-Bones the bus, they’re going to do a lot less damage than if they hit a bike.

I love the fact that he wants to understand, but I agree, it’s not something I can really explain. We have a ‘session’ scheduled at the arcade Thursday. It’ll give him a feel for what we do, and it’ll be fun to play the game version again. Things can be a lot more interesting when you don’t have to worry about actually getting hurt.

Wednesday March 24, 2066 – Ferret sitting

Ferrets, can’t live with them, and it seems you can’t leave them home by themselves either.

Nathan’s officially started physical therapy today, he’s still got a ways to go but they fitted him with a walking cast so he’ll be a bit more mobile.

That means he’s starting his investigation and as I pointed out Puck is an escape artist. I love Nathan dearly but his apartment is by no means Ferret proof. Heck it’s not even Michael-proof. I can just see the sorts of trouble Puck could get himself into looking at some of Nathan’s ‘Formulae’ paintings.

Fortunately Nathan figured out the same thing and called us last night to make arrangements. When he’s working evenings Bri will be Puck sitting. Otherwise Case or I will make arragments.

Today Puck spent most of the day on the back credenza in my office… sleeping in his cage happily tucked away in his little ferret hammock dreaming of ferret havoc.

Another interesting fact about Puck: he snores. For the most part it wasn’t bad.

I had to spend the day in the office, doing administrative things. The first part, working with Charlie on the proposal, was fun and profitable. While I came up with reason to have them, Charlie worked on the legal ramifications of not having them. Between the two of us we developed a presentation that should answer most of the questions and or objections.

It felt good to do something positive, but there were a few less than pleasant issues I also had to deal with: first quarter reviews came in and there were several people I needed to talk to.

It’s very hard to be all stern and administrative when there’s a snoring ferret behind you. Then again it’s hard for me to be stern under normal circumstances. The key is for me to be focused on something else.

Do you know how hard it is to ignore a snoring ferret?

Thursday March 25, 2066 – Coverage

With Ray on the injured list and several medics out with flu-like symptoms I ended up working in the field today. I filled in at the 97th working with Dwight and Hugh. It was good to visit the old stomping grounds.

As Chief I do have the right to pick and choose assignments, but I don’t usually do that. There’s just too much to do and rearranging the entire structure of our staffing isn’t really justifiable.

Lately though I have a very good reason to exercise that power. With Ethan’s map in mind, I chose the 97th because it has the fewest Ares/KE ‘no go’ zones. That should help even the odds, but even the best laid plans of Chiefs and medics don’t always work out. Fortunately I have people who watch over me, which is just as well since I’m pretty sure I my guardian angle ran away screaming long before I hit thirty.

The day was pretty mellow and straight forward, a few accidents, a fire-nothing clandestine or suspicious and only one call to a KE protected shopping center.

Even as I started to move to take the call, Hugh was standing over me gently guiding me back to my chair.

“You aren’t going anywhere near there boss-lady,” he said in a protective yet teasing tone. “So sit right back down and let us do our job.”

It would seem Ethan got a copy of his map to all my ‘siblings’ to make sure I didn’t do anything heroically stupid.

As it was, there were more than enough calls that didn’t involve our friends in black, so I was still useful, but we have got to do something about this insanity. There won’t always be people to cover their turf and there won’t always be ways for me to avoid dealing with them.

Right now it’s a balancing act of epic proportions, but even the best balancing act is going to fall, and this promises to leave a lot of hurt people in its wake when it does. We have to do something to minimize the damage before it happens.

I hope Case is having better luck than I am.

Friday, March 26, 2066 – Spin clean

It’s amazing what a little spin can do for a story, even more amazing is how much it can change things.

I have gone from person of interest to potential witness, to suspect, to escaped felon to… get this… trusted agent.

Now I’m not really stupid enough to totally trust KE, they did, after all, install some less than trustworthy add-ons to my new vehicle, but, in theory, I can now do my job without the danger of being ‘taken in for questioning.’

Again, I’m not going to trust them half as far as I could throw them but, as far as all the CEO’s involved are concerned, everything is settled. Nick isn’t taking any chances: he’s heading east for about six months.

That’s how long his Federal Training will take. Yep, looks like I’ll have another brother in the Marshal Service. On the outside, everything is picture perfect.

On the inside, I’m still raging and Case has ended up calling Philip. Since Sensei won’t teach me tai chi… Case figures Philip might have a better chance.

Saturday, March 27, 2066 – New Blood

I showed up at the office today, looking less than professional since it was a Saturday and I rarely have to do ‘representative’ type things for Citywide on Saturdays. No, Saturdays are for getting paperwork done-and inducting new medics it would seem.

Another truth in the medic vs administrator debate: medics will celebrate anything with reckless abandon: administrative types, not so much. Since their parties are less enjoyable, the administrators make up for it with pomp and circumstance. I, of course, prefer the medic way.

I got to the office ready to settle in with a bad cup of coffee and my terminal. As I sat down Charlie entered my office dressed in his class A’s: my first clue I’d missed something

I couldn’t even plead that I never got the memo since…. since… well…it came from my office. Fortunately, I keep my Class ‘A’s at the office.

Charlie just shook his head as I went from looking like someone reporting for PT to the Regional Chief. I swear he looked prouder than dad did when I came down the stairs ready for prom.

I did my best to make what was a big day for some of the medics, a memorable and pleasant experience but… well… it’s hard to have fun in Dress Uniform.

I’m happy to report, my medics tried.

Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker

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