A Year In Seattle
Thursday April 19th 2057 – Jump start
Okay- I’m done feeling sorry for myself. After three games of Chess, I’m glad to say I won two and the third ended in a stale mate. I think most of the drugs are out of my system and I’m starting to get back into the swing of things.
Citywide wanted to review my status- but it seems the shrink they’d assigned to me was being reviewed by the World Medical Association review board. It seems that he violated several procedures in insisting that I be medicated.
I have to thank Trina for that.
Anyway, I’m back on shift starting Sunday night. The one stipulation is that I’m to continue reporting in for counseling and that my reflexes be tested to verify that I am up to full function. I was at least cleared to ride again- but nothing strenuous.
Its funny- all the dread and fear I felt in Aztlan- seems to have burned out for now. I don’t think it was the meds either. I think it was having to fight to get back to what I do. Still- we’ll see how I do when I am actually under fire.
I checked in with Ray. Everything is going well- and I’m about to hop back in. Life is good.
Friday April 20th 2057 – Locked in
Sometimes- sometimes you just wish something would go right. I had to visit my counselor via the phone today. Nobody in the building’s supposed to go anywhere.
We’ve been cordoned off with police tape and told to say in our condos. The Star isn’t giving us the full details, but who needs them when you have full surveillance photos and a blow by blow report on every news station in the city?
Three suspects from a break in at Renraku had run into the building in an attempt to avoid police pursuit. The details were sketchy, but they were being repeated by every station.
Sometimes I wonder about these people. On one hand, I admit- I’d like to know what’s going on, but on the other… You usually don’t want the criminals knowing what the ‘good guys’ are up to.
That’s another thing I’m finding more and more questionable these days. Who are the good guys? I mean- as a kid I was always told to trust the police, and from what I’ve seen the beat cops are cool. But just like everything else- you have people with their own agendas- like Darringer and Mathias. Unfortunately it doesn’t take many of them to destroy that pristine image.
Then again you have folks like Saunders and Young- and Smiley for that matter who more than make up the slack.
I called Mario and made sure he’d heard the news. He had- and was about to call me. The phone was ringing even as I hung up with Mario. It was Case.
He told me to activate the boy’s security system and to stay back in the back bedroom. I smiled at him and nodded.
“I love you too,” I told him. I’d already activated the system.
He was about to scold me when he saw the look in my eyes. He just shook his head. “Should have figured you were already on it.”
I smiled. “Don’t worry,” I told him. “I’ll be careful.”
He nodded. “You better.”
I would have told him I always was- but I didn’t want to worry him any more than he already was.
I stayed in the back room, with my gun and my first aid kit. Figure it was time for me to do an inventory anyway and it beats knitting- or sitting and worrying.
I was starting to get a little stiff- and bored when the police gave the all clear. All three suspects had been rounded up.
I was heading out to the kitchen when I heard something above my head. I backed away from the sound, pointing my gun at the ceiling as one of the tiles was moved to the side and a figure dropped to the floor, with a cat-like leap.
I almost fired before I realized it was Fin.
He looked at me a little sheepishly as he straightened up an smiled.
“Morning,” he said.
“Don’t do that to me!” I growled as I put my gun away.
“Sorry,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure you were all right.”
I looked at him and raised my eyebrows. “Right. Wanna try again?”
“I was coming in to see you when the lock down occurred?”
“Closer,” I prompted.
Fin shook his head. “Jess- I had something to do in the building and I wasn’t exactly- in legally. Then these bozos run in and try and take cover… what would the police do if they found me?”
“If they had any sense they’d shoot you,” I answered, but he knew I was teasing.
“Thanks,” he sighed. “Anyway- I’m glad you’re back.”
I smiled. “Good to be back.”
It was, but it still didn’t explain his sudden appearance.
“The police have called all clear- but I wouldn’t go out right now if I were you.”
He nodded and thanked me.
We spent the better half of the afternoon not talking about anything. Whatever Fin was up to- he didn’t want me involved and that was fine by me.
At least I found out how he’s been getting into the condo.
Saturday April 21st 2057 – Primed and ready
It was kinda weird. Fin stayed at the condo until about half an hour before Case was due to show up, and then he flitted out. Sometimes I really don’t know about the man.
Case asked me about my day, knowing full well how it was. I smiled, yawned and pretended it was just a normal day for me. Unfortunately- its becoming all too true.
“If you don’t mind- I’d like to go out to dinner.”
He smiled at that and nodded. If he noticed that I was still wearing my holster, he didn’t say a thing. It was a nice evening.
In the morning I got Case to help me investigate Fin’s entrance to the condo. Whoever set it up knew what they were doing. The area was somehow masked both magically and technologically. There was no way to detect someone in the room- unless you were very powerfully.
Case had seen similar rooms before. As we explored, we learned a lot more about the room. It also provided either a quick exit from, or in Fin’s case a hidden entrance to the condo.
It may have been how the boys were able to escape from the people who trashed the apartment. I knew it could be handy, but if Fin could use it to come and go as he likes, so could anybody else.
Case helped me glue the ceiling tiles into place. I think we both breathed a little easier.
I had to go back to Citywide today and have my reflexes tested. Case waited in the room with me. The technician administering the test started to object but a quick suggestion that he read the file mollified him enough that he agreed to it.
I was a little nervous and I know it showed up on the test. I’m no good at proving I can do the job, I’m just good at doing it.
I had to wait in the hallway with Case as the technician reviewed my scores and finally poked his head out of the room.
“Miss Miller,” he called looking at me.
When I looked up at him, he simply nodded. “Now get out of here and stop wasting company time!”
He didn’t have to tell me twice.
Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me. I mean, I’m not an adrenalin junkie… I’m just… I don’t feel right when I’m not doing the job. I can’t explain it- at least with Case, I don’t have to.
Sunday April 22nd 2057 – Back into familiar chaos
Case and I spent the morning together, but my mind was elsewhere. It’d been over a month since I’d been on the streets and I needed to check everything out- my bike, my gear- me. I mean Citywide cleared me for duty, but I still need to know that I’m up for it.
You can’t do the job if your mind isn’t on it- and your heart isn’t in it. That’s how people die. They stop thinking and start doing the job by rote. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of this, it’s that there’s no such thing as routine. Especially not in my life.
Case seemed to understand, which helped a lot. Not that I really noticed it when we were together, I mean- I was going through mental check lists and testing myself on procedure. Looking back, I think he tried to ask me something, but then he realized I was elsewhere- and that I needed to be there if I was going to get the job done.
And part of the job is staying in one piece. Sometimes I think that’s the one part I tend to forget. The medic can’t help the people if they’re busy needing help themselves.
Case Kissed me good-bye and promised to call me. I smiled and told him I loved him.
“I know,” he answered softly. “Lord knows why you do, but I’m glad.”
I had to smile at that. I think its because we’re so well matched. We’re both work-a-holics in a rather insane world. Being together is the one bit of sanity we’ve got.
I told him as much and he laughed. “I am not a work-a-holic,” he objected. “I’m just dedicated.”
“Yeah, Case,” I chided. “Tell it to someone who’ll believe you.”
He hugged me then, getting a little serious told me, “You be careful out there Jess!”
I smiled and kissed his cheek. “Funny, I was about to tell you the same thing.”
I hated leaving him, but we both had things we had to do. I got to work early and gave my bike the once over. Then I noticed my helmet. Next to the Caduceus and the silhouette of the bike was a mountain with a cave opening. I wasn’t sure if I was amused or irritated by it, but I think it was then that I really realized I was home.
Home with one month to figure out the rest of the boys’ message. Something tells me- its going to be close.
Monday April 23rd 2057 – On familiar ground
There’s nothing like being back on the bike. After Atzlan, the chaos of a normal day was a welcomed relief. It may be chaotic, but it’s a chaos I know and at least sort of understand..
Traffic tie-ups, accidents, rescue work. These are the things I know. I know who to trust: dispatch, the Cap, my crew. I think that was the worst part about Atzlan- not knowing who to trust. I mean… Pacal and Yachacheq got us out of Atzlan, but at the same time- it suited their agenda.
Still they helped us: in the end, I guess that’s all that really matters.
It’s a relief to be back at work- doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Still, I have to admit, Tacoma is getting pretty tame for me.
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be back downtown in a few weeks. I mean, lets face it, Terry’s been running on his own while I was gone and Tristan and Smythe are catching on quickly. Between them and Smiley- Tacoma’s covered. That leaves the rest of Seattle but with six of us in varying degrees of activity- and a new class in the queue, it won’t be long.
Provided of course nobody gets stuck in a cave.
I checked in with Ray. I saw the look in his eyes. He’s got his eye on my job. Like I said- it’d be hard to keep him down one he got back on track. Figure we’ll talk about it Wednesday night When I get to meet the next class. He says they’re doing well. Can’t wait to see them in action.
Tuesday April 24th 2057 – Bryn Mawr
Last night, I got a serious reminder of how unpredictable life in Seattle can be. I was working with Tristan when we heard a call come in from Bryn Mawr- a sniper holed up in a building, with hostages.
It wasn’t in our range- but it didn’t really matter. Members of Lone Star would be called in, and that meant Citywide wasn’t far behind them. It also meant we’d be covering more territory.
Things only seemed to get worse from there. With the Star occupied, all the two bit hoods seemed to crawl out of the shadows. It started with small things, traffic tie-ups, an increase in gang activity
The trouble spread out from Bryn Mawr, Renton, Puyallup… it only took it a few hours to reach Tacoma. At least I learned that I can still keep my head under fire. Things were hopping all night, and by morning an odd sort of calm settled over everything.
When I made it back to the station I was beat. I almost didn’t notice the way the captain was looking at me. When I did, I knew something was wrong.
“Talk to me Cap,” I urged.
“We don’t know anything for sure…” he said gently moving over, guiding me to the couch. This succeeded in making me more worried.
I gave a slight shudder. “What?”
He took a deep breath. “Word on the Bryn Mawr situation is still sketchy.”
I looked at him my eyes widening slightly. “Case?”
He gave my hand a squeeze. “We haven’t been able to get any information. They’ve got several injured… a few dead…”
I nodded numbly. “Its part of the job…” I told him quietly. “If… you don’t mind… I’m.. ” I didn’t know what I was going to do- I just had to do something.
Cap nodded- he understood.
I went over my bike then Tristan’s. I stocked the kits, cleaned the truck- anything to keep my mind off of the unknown. It was another two hours before the phone rang. It was Case.
He called to make sure I was all right. I had to laugh. I was fine- except for worrying about him. When I looked at the screen I realized he had blood on his shirt. Reflexively I reached towards the screen. “Case?”
He looked down at his shirt and smiled at me. “Its not mine….” he assured me. “I had to pull one of the guys out of the line…”
I nodded, still tracing his image on the screen. He was all right. We’d come through another one.
“And here you were telling me to be careful.”
He grinned. “Yeah well… ”
“Yeah nothing,” I grumbled. I could feel the tension finally starting to drain.
He nodded. “I know- Catch you Wednesday?”
“Try and stop me!”
He blew a kiss at me before he hung up. I watched the screen blank out- still seeing his image in my mind. It was good to see him smile.
Wednesday April 25th 2057 – Just another day
Yesterday things seemed to calm down some. Its an annoying truth that these things tend to come in waves. You can go for hours, sometimes days with nothing happening. Others you’re running till you just can’t run anymore.
Nights seem worse- that’s when the trouble begins. At least that’s the way it seems lately. Well, no that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I think the trouble begins when I show up and doesn’t stop until I’m gone.
I like to think it’s the job. I really hope its not me.
Or if it is, that I burn out whatever’s got that electro-magnet running. The one that seems to attract trouble. And here Case is worried that he’s going to endanger me by virtue of his job- and the enemies he accumulates.
Still, I have to admit, I’ve met some pretty interesting and wonderful people. I guess when I’m in the middle of things I tend to forget that. I remember the jerk who tried to knock my lights out ’cause I was ‘hurting’ him…
The man gets shot for sleepin’ with another man’s wife and I’m the one hurting him- give me a break.
Or the guy who’s so drunk he doesn’t see the semi. And he gets off with some minor fender damage- meanwhile, the trucker careens into another car- nearly killing the driver… pinning him and his passengers under the truck.
You tend to forget the folks- like the Walkers, the Marios of this world. The docs.. the beat cops. The kids who tell you not to worry, the folks who care… sometimes you lose sight of them- but you can’t. They’re the ones that make it worth while.
Then there are the other folks I’ve met indirectly from the job – like Case. Yeah, these are the folks that keep me coming back for more. The Ayanas and Michaels of the world- they need me. And I guess truth be told I need them too.
Copyright – 2000 M.T. Decker