A Year In Seattle
Thursday, April 12th, 2057 – Just friends
It almost seems like I’m seeing more of Emmory these days than I did when we were uh…’stuck in the cave.’
He gets to see the shrink first. I think we’re both driving the man crazy. We both figured the less we talk about it- the less detail we give, the less chance there is of things conflicting. Especially since we’re both seeing the same shrink.
At least we’ve been able to convince him we’re adjusting. He says he wants to see me for another week and then I should be good to go. Emmory he gave a clean bill of health.
Emmory said it’s my rep- I think it’s an X chromosome thing… Sometimes I swear people think the ability to cope with adversity is linked to the Y chromosome. I’m feeling fine- except for the feeling that I’m being followed but- I’ve had that feeling before.
And its always been right. This time I have to admit, it was looking like I’d lost my touch. Emmory and I had lunch and touched on the subject and he just nodded. It’s not just me.
It turns out its not just one person following us- its several. They take turns so we don’t see the same person all the time. It also turns out they’re supposedly watching over us. They’re from AZT.
I nearly blew a gasket over that. Yes- the same people who’ve tried to kill me, or at least make my life miserable are now watching out for me. Seems its in their best interest that nothing happen to Me, Emmory or Janna. They just couldn’t get into the Tir.
I don’t know if I can deal with this. Although it goes right along with the way my luck and life seem to run. It all fits in some psychotic sort of way.
The thing is- the guy we caught doesn’t understand why we’re upset. As he sees it we should be honored if anything.
Of course- they probably had been told to watch over us- not any of our… history with his employers.
I told him you don’t follow a paranoid paramedic. If you’re guarding them- let them know. Its funny- he and his buddies were better than any of the others who’d followed me to date and that unnerved me more than anything.
At least Case had confirmed it as well. Although he seemed a bit put off. It took forever for me to get to the root of the problem: Emmory. I do believe the man is jealous.
“Hon- he’s just a friend,” I told him. “Something I never want to be with you… ”
It was hard for me to admit that. I never want to be ‘too good a friend to mess things up’ to Case. I like what we have and if anything I want more. That’s why I’m wearing the ring he gave me- and that’s exactly what I told him.
He did his best to assure me I’d never be ‘just a friend.’
Friday, April 13th, 2057 – Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th- I should have known. It wasn’t really anything specific. It’s really hard to describe, but it was one of those days that made me want to hide under a rock… or in a cave.
The shrink’s decided I need meds to ‘calm me down’ help me deal with the ordeal. I put in a call to the Navy Liaison Officer assigned to my case. He was unavailable.
Worse, the doc ‘knowing me’ like he does, gave me the first dose in the office. I would have faked it, but he’d prepared for that too: its hard to fake a shot.
And thanks to the Doc, I was in no shape to ride home. I guess he figures that since I’m not on duty I can take relaxants.
I ended up getting a ride from my ‘guardians’. At least they’ve been playing along… leaving signs for me that they were there. Giving me something more concrete than just the feeling– but not too much.
Hail the conquering hero! Who’s now too doped up to tell which way the train is coming.
It’s finally wearing off… now that I’m in bed for the night. The entire day was like trying to fight through molasses to do anything- especially anything that involved thinking.
Tomorrow, I’m calling Citywide and the Naval Officer- I cannot operate like this.
Saturday, April 14th, 2057 – Finding another way
Case offered to help me out, but I needed to handle this on my own- I’ve been through the trouble, its time I clean up the administrative details.
The Liaison Officer wasn’t available, so I started working my way up the food chain… er… chain of command. I went from a Chief Petty Officer to a Lieutenant JG and finally ended up with a Captain before I got anybody to listen to me.
Seems they wanted to just leave it at the cave and keep things simple. If only it were. Once I convinced them that it wasn’t that easy and that things were getting more complicated by the hour they finally started working on it and started listening to my problems.
Their solution was simple and elegant
They assigned one of their shrinks to the case and then I contacted Citywide. They weren’t too happy about me going outside the corp for ‘help’ but they finally agreed that the Naval councilor might be able to do what the company issued shrink hadn’t been able to do.
So- the plan was for me to spend the next week going over to the Sound, playing chess for a few hours with the Liaison Officer and then heading home. It’s still a farce, but at least he’s in on it.
Once that was taken care of, I grabbed a cab over to Citywide’s main office to pick up my bike.
I think the Doc had the thing staked out ’cause as soon as I showed up he was there. He was telling me how I needed my next shot and if I didn’t get it I was going to go off the deep end and either climb a clock tower or start playing canasta or something equally deranged.
It seems no one at Citywide told him about the new plan. Did I mention he had guards with him? And of course you know what happened- I got another shot.
This time Case took me home. By the time he picked me up- I was very relaxed. Which is a good thing, because if I wasn’t, I would have decked the Doc.
Sunday, April 15th, 2057 – Recovering from therapy
The second dose of the ‘relaxant’ seemed a lot more effective than the first. A lot more effective and a lot harder to shake. Case was worried, but we both wanted nothing to do with the shrink. He took me over to the clinic and had Trina check me out.
She told us that it was normal.
It seems that the drug takes almost a week to completely leave your system- making it ideal for long term treatment. You give one large dose and then small boosters to keep the levels up.
I think Case was wishing he’d let me deck the shrink.
Well- the shrink did his job– made sure I’d rest for the week he determined I need. Guaranteed I wouldn’t endanger anybody by practicing emergency medicine while I was ‘at risk.’
Still- I hate not being in control
It’s not like I can really do anything about it. Trina assured me that she would handle the Doc. There was something in her eyes that told me that the Doc’s professional life was about to get very interesting.
I was still too… relaxed… to do any traveling on my own. It didn’t help that I ended up getting a giggle fit on the way back to the condo.
Case didn’t leave me alone all day which was probably a good thing. I could just imagine what would have happened if I’d needed to do anything on my own.
Even now I can still feel the effects of the meds. It’s almost like the longer I sit in one place, the more they seem to pool in my system. Waking up was the worst. I took a nap earlier and when I woke up- I could barely move.
Worse- the relaxant didn’t really help my ‘mental state’ at all. If anything it took away my control and turned me into a passive observer as my mind called up odd memories with no discernable pattern. When Case was around, the memories were at least pleasant… but when he wasn’t and I realized I was alone- that’s when the ghosts would pay their respects.
It was a good twelve hours of that. By the time the edge of it had been worn off- Case was ready to rearrange some of the Doc’s anatomy. I was giving him pointers.
I think that’s when we both realized I’d be all right- that it was just going to take time. It’s almost 23:00 now and I’m almost coherent. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Monday, April 16th, 2057 – When a quiche’ is not a quiche’
Case dropped me off at the Walker’s on his way to work. I wasn’t taking it all that well. I mean– I know that with the meds, I can’t be by myself, but… I’m too old to need a babysitter.
I spent a lot of time sitting out in the garden with Mrs. Walker as she began working the soil and planting the seedlings she’d been nurturing inside. I tried to help- but my attention was still wandering.
Jonathan took me to my appointment at the Sound. The Liaison Officer was worried when he noticed how lethargic I was. He was angry when he found out what had happened.
He was already making phone calls when I started to tell him I was all right. When he got off the phone I knew the Doc was never going to be allowed anywhere near me again. Part of me keeps thinking that it’s not all his fault- but then again, he didn’t ask- he didn’t give me any options-
Jonathan had to leave before we were done- so I arranged to just stay there. I figured that while I was on the base, I might as well do some research.
I concentrated on “Naranja del mundo” and the numbers 18.104.22.168.1. I figured those were the most ‘solvable’ of the clues.
The Liaison officer asked me about it and I told him it was a puzzle a friend had sent me. He ran it through a few of his encryption programs but he didn’t have any better luck than I did.
Finally out of frustration I gave up and started researching the Mayans. I figure if Ayana’s going to want to know about her people- it would be a good thing for me to know at least some of the answers.
I got a lot more answers than I’d been expecting. Turns out Quiche’… the clue I thought I’d at least partially figured out… wasn’t what I thought… not in the slightest.
Quiche’ is a branch of Mayan.
They seem to be centered more around Guatemala but I don’t know.
It may be another case of misdirection, but I don’t think so- it goes too well with the Conquistador and Rainbow Serpent motif they set up.
The numbers fell into place after several other searches… when I searched Mayan and 13 I got some very spine-tingling results. There was a link to the 13-year cycle of the Mayan Long Count Calendar.
Seems you count the glyphs – 1 – 260. I’m not quite sure how the Long count works, but I found a date converter and then… everything started falling into place.
Today is 22.214.171.124.7 … 126.96.36.199.1 is May 20th… 2057 – Just over a month from now.
I may be wrong- but it just fits too well. Then again- how was I supposed to have figured that out?
Tuesday, April 17th, 2057 – Rest and Detoxification
It was late when Case picked me up. I didn’t care- I’d finally understood one of the clues.
What I didn’t know was what it meant. Was something supposed to happen on that date- was the date itself a clue. And if it was an upcoming event- was I supposed to make something happen- or prevent it.
It was frustrating. One clue solved and 27 new questions to take its place. Case wasn’t much help, but then again- I wasn’t all that easy to follow. I was surprised when he told me he didn’t want to know.
That quieted me down. I mean- Case has been with me on this for so long. Then I saw his expression. He wanted to help me- he just couldn’t. Not if I wanted to keep this private.
He told me that someone from internal affairs had stopped by the Agency. They were asking a lot of questions which he was obliged to answer. They were questions about the boys, his involvement with them- his involvement with me.
All the sudden, after almost a year- someone’s suddenly interested in the case. We’re getting close to something, I can feel it. And now when I really need it, I’ve lost my sounding board. I know Case isn’t happy about it either- but… We do what we have to do.
He tried to make it up to me, but he still had to go to work in the morning, so I needed someone to take me for ‘counseling.’
I don’t know what to think anymore. I’m doing better- but I still get lethargic- Mrs. Walker took me over to this Sound this time- seems she knows several influential people over there. I don’t know why it surprised me but it did.
When we got back she took me into her work area and gathered more ritual samples. When I asked her about it, she just smiled.
“How do you think we found you Jessica?”
I stared at her for a moment in surprise- she merely smiled.
Since I wasn’t really in any shape for conversation- she told me how Case had come back from his camping trip after two days. His heart just wasn’t in it- neither was Ethan’s. They were here visiting when the news came through about my death.
She didn’t tell me how Case had reacted, but I could tell by her expression it wasn’t good. Everyone was in shock. When she saw my reaction, Mrs. Walker hugged me. “Jess,” she chuckled softly. “You’re the only one I know who can go through something like that and be more worried about us than you were about yourself.”
I smiled slightly and gave the only explanation I could, at least this time my lack of deep thought made things easier.
“I love you.”
She nodded and smiled. “We know… And it wasn’t all that hard for Case to get me to use some of the samples to see- if you were alive.”
“So that’s how Nick… his team found me?”
She nodded. “Now you just rest,” she urged. “You’re getting better- and in a few days, you’ll be fine.”
I don’t know how she did it… but she was right.
Wednesday, April 18th, 2057 – Living vicariously through the radio
I tried to convince Case that I was fine and could take care of myself. And I could- except for the part where I had to get over to the Sound for my ‘counseling’ session. I’m almost normal- but I’m enough off that I can feel it. It means I can do normal things again, but driving isn’t recommended and riding is right out!
Mario called and promised to take me when the time came. That ended the debate. I don’t think either of us had realized that our discussion had gotten that out of hand.
Case gave me a bashful kiss on the cheek. “Sorry Jess- I just…”
“Want me in one piece?”
He nodded. “That would be the one.”
And that- was the highlight of my day.
It wasn’t really a bad day- I just didn’t really get anything done. I mean- I’d love to take some time off, but I want to do things- give myself a change of scenery and pace. The problem is- this break is forced and worse, I’m too relaxed to really do anything I need done or want to do.
It doesn’t help that I turned on the scanner and got to hear Smiley and Terry working my turf- doing my job. I spent most of the evening staring at the scanner- imagining what I’d be doing if I were there.
Kinda sorry if you ask me.
Copyright – 2000 M.T. Decker