A(nother) Year in Seattle
Sunday – November 2, 2059- Home is…
I’m happy to say that I’m sorry to leave.
Its been a really good experience– but I have to get back to work.
It’s probably better that Bri and I leave while everybody’s getting along– its better that way.
On the way back I thought about all the things that had happened since I’d left Baltimore… I hadn’t planned on moving out permanently– or on Case or Bri– or the rest of the folks I call friends…
Still, as we taxied into SeaTac, I realized– I’m finally home.
Monday – November 3, 2059 – Back at the wheel
Here I am, back in the office and its almost as if nothing’s happened.
I got a surprise when I went through the reports though– there were no less than four reports of the “Blue Man” on Halloween.
Glad I’m not the only one who’s seen him lately. I have no idea what this is all about… but considering what happened the last time he showed up, and somebody other than me saw him, I think we should try and find out what this is all about.
I’ll have to ask Case when he gets back– I think its time to talk to the Federal mage and find out what it is they aren’t talking about.
Tuesday – November 4, 2059 – Image
Today the job started before I even had a chance to clock in.
I was heading into work when I came upon an accident scene.
There were three bikers stopped at the side of the road. They were helping or trying to help, a fourth biker who’d been run off the road.
From the looks of things, nobody had thought to pull over or at the very least call it in.
The bikers actually seemed surprised when I stopped. I’m still driving the urban assault vehicle– looking every bit the part of a ‘soccer mom.’
There I was, hauling out my kit, tossing one of them flares and calling in the accident while trying to keep hold of my bagel. It must have been a sight. It didn’t take too long to get things worked out once it was called in.
After that, the day seemed rather tame.
Wednesday – November 5, 2059 – Falling into routine
I still haven’t heard from Case, but that’s no surprise– protective duty can get complicated, depending on the case. At least if he is going to be gone much longer, Case’s boss will call me and let me know that.
It’s not much, but it does help at least a little when it comes to planning.
Bri and I have finally fallen into some sort of routine now that we’re back home. We have a few hours together in the morning before I take her to the sitter’s place and report for duty. It’s amazing how– grounded I feel heading to work. I know she’s safe and she knows I’m there for her.
Although I have to admit, I’m glad she’s half asleep by the time I pick her up– I’m not quite as grounded after work and the last thing either of us needs is me being… unsettled.
It’s amazing how kids can pick up on that– no matter what you say.
Take today for instance. There was this kid who’d gotten stuck in the storm drains. Under normal circumstances, that’s not too bad– unless it’s been raining a lot, and let’s face it– this is Seattle we’re talking about…
I had to go in after him, the joys of being one of the smaller medics again– remind me to gain some weight!
Anyway, he was scared. Hell, so was I! I was trying to keep him calm but he could see that I was almost as scared as he was. The funny thing is, the adult response to that realization is usually one of either panic or serenity– with the kid, it was this odd realization that it was okay to be scared.
We got out of there, soaked and a bit worse for wear– but we got out.
On the way home I couldn’t help but look at Bri, all safe and serene, sleeping peacefully in her car seat…
I don’t think the world has ever felt more right than it did right then.
Thursday – November 6, 2059 – Patience
Another day and a new series of hassles to try my patience.
I got a call– an apparent heart attack in one of the posher hotels downtown. That’s normal enough, but of course, half of the hotel’s staff is on strike and I had to go through their picket line.
This shouldn’t be a problem. The key word there being ‘shouldn’t’. Someone on the picket line decided that it was a problem and tried to start something. They were still trying when Dwight arrived on his Harley.
Never argue with a Troll paramedic. If I’m the smallest of the team, Dwight and his brother Hugh are the largest. I guess each has their advantages. It did feel safe entering the hotel in Dwight’s shadow.
I’ve never needed another paramedic to run interference before– but it made getting through the crowd so much simpler.
When we left the crowd seemed a little more tolerant– or maybe the union representative and the folks from Lone Star had explained the rules of the game. At least we didn’t have any problems leaving.
Friday – November 7, 2059 – I have a problem.
Lord save me from bureaucrats intent on helping me and my family.
This morning I got the call from the Marshal’s office– Case was going to be gone at least another week– maybe two. I didn’t take it too bad– it’s not like it hasn’t happened before and won’t happen again– but I really could have used him today.
It was an average day– I left Bri with the sitter and then headed in for work. Everything was fine until we got a call… the call that ended the day for me.
I took the call… a man was acting erratically. He was combative and dangerous– I knew that much going in. I didn’t know how combative, how dangerous– or more importantly why he was combative until it was too late.
He was a mage. Worse, someone had drugged him using some sort of contact carrier like DMSO. It would have been fine too– if he hadn’t grabbed my arm and coated it with the remaining residue.
I didn’t know what hit me.
When I finally came down, I understood. I was in a nice quiet room, securely restrained and unable to do more than groan at anybody who came in.
That should have been the end of it– Trina was there and she should have been able to pick Bri up from the sitter’s and explain everything, but no… it seems that the drug was a seriously controlled substance and since I had been admitted for ‘taking’ it a flag went through the system. Before anybody was able to think or counteract it, protective services had stepped in and spirited Bri away to one of their foster homes.
We should have been able to clear up the issue, but by the time anybody knew what was going on it was after hours… on a Friday…
Good thing I was still in restraints.
Considering what happened– and the chemicals that were still in my system– I took it rather well. I took it a lot better once I was sedated.
When the chemicals had worn off, a counselor from child services was there to discuss my problem. We went a few rounds of me asking about Bri, and the counselor telling me that admitting I had a problem was the first step.
I don’t think he appreciated my definition of my problem– which was child protective services not bothering to check the details– but that only lasted until he’d checked the details.
The problem is– even with his help– I can’t get Bri back until Monday at the earliest. The system is designed to take kids out of hazardous situations– not to get them back where they belong when a mistake has been made.
Any system that doesn’t allow for corrections has a major problem– especially when it means that Bri is… Lord knows where.
And it’s not like she doesn’t have guardians appointed should anything happen to Case and me– and she has a lot more than the required one or two… We figured that between the Walkers, Mario, Trina, and Ray everything would be covered.
Everything but this…
Okay– I know I wouldn’t be able to see Bri while I’m here– but at least she’d be with someone I know– and I could talk to her… now she’s who know’s where…
I can take almost anything– just not this.
Case, I really need you.
Saturday – November 8, 2059 – Making it… barely
I don’t know how much more of this I can take… They let me out of the hospital this morning, and the Mario was there to take me home– only he didn’t take me home.
It was probably the best thing he could have done– but… I wanted to be home, with my husband and my daughter– only it would have just been me. No one was willing to let that happen.
He ended up taking me over to the Walkers’ where everyone was there. We stood a sort of vigil– me thinking of Bri and them watching over me keeping me from doing something stupid.
I was in the right, but anything other than working through the channels, working within the system would change that. It was a case of concentrating on the long run. Short term, Bri was somewhere theoretically safe…
I just wish I knew where– knew the people who were watching over my child.
I don’t think I would have made it without the people who watched over me.
Bri– where ever you are your father and I love you…
I only wish I could tell her that.
Copyright 2000 M.T. Decker