A(nother) Year in Seattle
Sunday – September 7, 2059 – Loss of Appetite
There’s nothing like a peaceful Sunday brunch– unless Bull is around. The day had started out so well too…
Let me tell you when he showed up with his ‘new line of questioning’ I lost my appetite. He was set on doing an expose on how corrupt and untrustworthy the city’s medical workers were– focusing on my people and me.
He brought out the list of charges made against me over the years– improper use of a handgun in the administering of first aid, dereliction of duty, incompetence…
Each case I fought and won, he had the charges, but he didn’t bother with the results– they just get in the way. He claims that the results don’t matter– if the charges are made and enough of them are made then there has to be some basis for them.
He was so convinced he was going to get the dirt on me– push my buttons, make me play his game. I just looked at him and as calmly as I could pointed out that the suppression of details would be slanderous and I would fight back.
He tried to smirk and tell me he’d get through to the truth of those cases. I told him that if he read the results– then he knows the truth.
I don’t roll over, I don’t give up and anybody who tries to make me learns that the hard way.
I doubt he got it.
Monday – September 8, 2059 – Stand by your team
When I got to the office this morning Angie was waiting for me. She was so ticked off with Bull that I couldn’t stay mad at the man. I actually even started feeling sorry for him– just a little mind you. She was even talking about quitting and joining the program.
He was definitely not prepared for Angie’s reaction to the ‘interview’ he had yesterday– he actually called it that: ‘an interview.’
Even more unbelievable– he filed a complaint with the director that I had denied him a simple interview. He didn’t even do it with the local branch, oh no, not Bull, he had to file his complaint with the CEO of Citywide Inc.
I was called into the boss’ office, where Bull sat there with a big smirk on his face. I swear his smile broadened as the CEO’s image came up on the teleconferencing screen.
I’m glad to say that the smile didn’t last long. The CEO didn’t call me on the carpet– he just asked me for my side of things.
As soon as I told him my side he just nodded and turned on Bull. I don’t think the man has ever had someone stand up to him and then have their company stand behind them. It was a great moment.
He snarled something about doing his job and was set to leave when I turned on him.
“So– it’s your job to stalk people? Threaten them– make them change their way of living just to accommodate you?”
He glared at me and told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. I just smiled.
“If you’d read my record instead of just skimming– you’d know how wrong that is.”
I’m not sure, but I think he went back and reviewed the cases fully this time. Not that its really going to make that much of a difference.
Tuesday – September 9, 2059 – Objectivity
Today Bull showed up, all smiles– barracuda smiles mind you. He claimed that everything would have to be re-filmed since Angie had lost her objectivity on the matter.
That’s a laugh. Objectivity in his book seems to mean that you find as much dirt as you can and if you can’t find some, start flinging it, some is bound to stick. Angie didn’t help his disposition any by asking when the next training session began.
It’s not like she needs to know the bike work– she needs the paramedic’s class and the next one of these starts in two weeks.
That only seemed to fuel Bull’s demands that we reshoot everything. He also started inventorying the tapes– and knew we were at least an hour short. That really got him going.
It would have gone on all day if a band of eco-terrorists hadn’t decided to start a riot in NLA.
Bull was packing as soon as the call came in. Angie paused– I could see the battle raging inside her. Bull was a creep– but the camera was her life.
Her calling won out and the others left my life as they’d come–in a flurry of questions and excited chatter.
Its nice knowing that my ‘exciting life’ makes good filler…
Wednesday – September 10, 2059 – Reflections
I have to admit that it felt good to be riding alone again. Even if I did miss Angie’s company. She had a good head on her shoulders and a good feeling for people.
I just can’t understand why she stayed with Bull– I mean, okay she’s probably one of the few cameramen with enough common sense and street savvy to deal with the day to day reality of the job– I mean she’s talented and she knows it. Perhaps more importantly– she believes it.
And yet– she’s willing to let Bull call the shots and to ride roughshod over her. I know its none of my business and I know she can more than take care of herself.
I just hope she remembers that when Bull wants her to do something for the good of the story, it’s his image that he’s really thinking about.
I found out that my ‘story’ airs tomorrow night. Case promised to tape it for me.
Thursday – September 11, 2059 – Golden
Tonight was one of those magic golden days where all the stars seemed to line up and everything just fell into place. I mean, I was in such a good mood, anything could have happened and I would have been able to handle it without missing a step.
Its odd– days like this scare me. It’s like… I know that somewhere out there there’s this Karmic balance that’s going to have to be paid… but on a day like today, you just can’t worry about it.
My caseload was light, and like I said– I couldn’t make a wrong step if I tried. Even the things that bother me just– felt like part of the whole picture– a piece of life instead of an annoyance.
I wish I could make it last but I know this– and the bad ones are all transitory.
It was a good day none the less.
Friday – September 12, 2059 – Pranks
I didn’t get to see the tape Case made until I woke up for shift– I think he was saving it so I could savor my good day. It wasn’t as jaundiced as I’d feared– and they, of course, showed the footage of my spill.
At least Angie had managed to keep the incident with the gang leader out of the news. I’m glad about that.
I didn’t have long to wait for the trouble to begin– I know the guys I work with– they probably raided every supply closet in the district– There was toilet paper in my locker– in my bunk, in my helmet– stuffed into my spare uniform… everywhere I turned…
And whenever I got back from a call– there was more. I think they’d have TP’ed my bike if they hadn’t known that Joe would have had their hides. The bike was safe– but I wasn’t.
You know– for a bunch of people who risk their lives on a regular basis, protecting people from themselves– we sure are an immature lot…
They never seemed to tire of teasing me with it either. I don’t know which amused them more ‘getting’ me– or the way I’d skirt around the kitchen cabinets trying hard not to be gotten. I know it was meant in good clean fun– I just wish they didn’t try to have so much of it…
Saturday – September 13, 2059 – Harsh memories
Mom Walker told me she was very proud of me for keeping a healthy demeanor about the whole accident and said that in spite of the news reporters chattering over everything– it was very interesting and educational.
She then took me into the back room and blessed my protective gear again.
She smiled at me when she finished and then noticed the question I was fighting not to ask.
She studied me and finally asked me about it. I asked her why Jonathan was so gun shy of commitments. She thought long and hard about it before she finally answered me.
“We all have things from our pasts that haunt us– I fear Jonathan’s are winning these days, but he must face them on his own,” she warned me. Her expression was so stern and knowing I had to laugh as I nodded in agreement.
Once she was satisfied, she began…
Jonathan had been in love with a woman who worked as a Financier downtown. He adored her and she seemed to be everything he wanted and needed in a partner. He finally asked her to marry him and she refused– unless he was willing to quit his job and come work for her corp.
He tried to explain to her that he couldn’t– that he had family obligations, a family that he wanted her to be a part from. She couldn’t accept that.
He found out two weeks later that she’d committed suicide.
What do you say after something like that?
“Sorry ’bout what happened, but don’t be a dunder-head?”
Mom clucked at me, told me I couldn’t solve everything and that it would just take time.
I know she’s right– but in the meantime, he’s making himself and Trina absolutely miserable. At least he hasn’t run away from her– I guess that’s a good sign.
Copyright 2000 M.T. Decker