A(nother) Year in Seattle – Week 24 – Holiday Countdown

A(nother) Year in Seattle

Sunday – December 7, 2059 – Football duty.

Well, I was supposed to have the day off…

Unfortunately, some of the guys scheduled to work today’s football game were caught in a brawl yesterday and weren’t in the best of shape.

So I got to sit with the ambulance crew in the tunnel.

It wasn’t a bad view of the game– if you like football. I’m more of a hockey fan myself. The guys in the stands were kept fairly busy, but I was having a rather slow day, playing poker with the Ambulance crew.

Don’t get me wrong we were ready for anything that might have come up– but there’s only so much you can do and we were to stay right there until we were needed or sent home.

We got sent home after the game…

Sometimes I really like days like today.

Monday – December 8, 2059 – Avoiding paperwork.

Well– we are officially on holiday schedule for the next four weeks– which means longer shifts with more overlap during the rush hours and prime shopping times.

I dropped Bri off on Council Island and went to visit the two medics who were in the brawl. They were two of the newer guys.

Its funny– the new guys seem to end up here more often than most of us… well… except for me. I’m fairly certain I hold the record. I’m just trying to figure out that if it’s bad luck that I keep getting hurt or good luck that I don’t get seriously injured.

Of course– I can’t even manage to get to the hospital without getting into the middle of something. When I went in to see the guys, I saw Detective Young sitting outside one of the rooms– looking like he was on guard duty. When I came back– there was another detective sitting there. Only it wasn’t anybody I’d seen before, and by now– I’ve pretty much met all the Lone Star officers in one capacity or another.

I tried to remain as calm as possible as I headed down the corridor and then waited at the elevator. I was so sure they’d noticed me. That even as I was heading down in the elevator that someone would jump out and get me.

They didn’t.

As soon as I was sure I wasn’t being followed I called the Star and told them what was going on. At first, nobody believed me. They kept not believing me, figuring I was someone up to no good.

So I played the trump card– I called Case.

People were there within fifteen minutes. While I waited for them, I activated PC’s drawing program and had a sketch ready by the time they arrived.

As they headed upstairs they saw the man I’d drawn. If I hadn’t given them the picture, the man would have walked out of the hospital never to be seen again.

As it was, he was arrested and was charged with impersonating a police officer and attempted murder. Detective Young was found unconscious in a broom closet. They’d tranqed him.

By the time I got back to the office, it was quitting time. Just another day I guess.

h3>Tuesday – December 9, 2059 – Holiday Hell.

Okay– I’ve been seeing tinsel and lights for almost two months now– but I’ve been able to ignore it. It’s getting really hard now, and let me tell you there is nothing like having people ready to kill each other over the smallest things.

I wonder if they think about it at all?

Now after rush hour we’ve got shopper gridlock, and if that’s not enough we’ve got the after-hours shoppers doing a little B&E shopping of their own.

Muggings are up as if we weren’t busy enough… and there’s still 16 days till the main event.

Welcome to the joys of essential services.

Wednesday – December 10, 2059 – Urban Brawl– Christmas Style

Well– now I’ve seen everything. Rio de Sol, the premier toy store downtown managed to get a truckload of the Quasar- 720i programmable mini-drone, the toy to have this year. They made a big deal about it– and how they were going to open the store at 06:00 and would sell them on a first come first severed basis.

There were news clips last night, showing the people who were already camping out to get it. Big story– only in the morning the story took a major twist. They were gone. Someone had managed to break in, steal the entire shipment and leave only two very perplexed security guards. It had to be an inside job– but the only thing inside– were the toys themselves and they can’t just get up and walk away. Or can they?

Of course, they called in the Star to investigate but by the time they got there they had a full-scale riot on their hands. It was like watching a game of Urban Brawl, only there were no rules, no refs… wait, that is a game of Urban Brawl.

Seven people were injured seriously enough to win a free trip to the hospital of our choosing. Another twenty-seven people suffered varying degrees of minor injuries. All over a toy!

Sometimes adults are worse than the kids.

The theft, if you could call it that, wasn’t the only one. According to Case, someone had managed to reprogram the toys and they actually had just gotten up and walked away. I guess they couldn’t take the behavior either

Only in Seattle.

Thursday – December 11, 2059 – Countdown to disaster

Only 2 more weeks and if people keep up like this– we aren’t going to make it. Some people seem to be taking the credo of “shop till you drop” a little too seriously.

This is not an endurance event! Even if they don’t kill themselves– they’re going to end up killing us at this rate.

We’ve ended up keeping people out on patrol and stationing them at the malls. It’s helping– but I’m not sure how much more we’ll be able to handle. If the mob scenes around the arcology are any sign of things to come– we’re going to have trouble.

And on top of it all– I just got a call from Jennifer. She’s coming for a visit and as much as I hate to admit it– we will be joining the throngs of shopping maniacs next week. I’ve put in for next Friday off so we can indulge in a shopping run.

I can’t wait to show her the arcology.

Friday – December 12, 2059 – Second thoughts

After tonight, I’m not sure taking Jenny shopping next Friday’s a very good idea. It seems the closer we get to Christmas, the worse it gets. I don’t remember it ever being this bad. You’d almost think that the fate of the free world depends on everybody finding the absolute ‘right gift.’

And heaven help you if you manage to get a hold of the last one in stock. One woman was actually stalked as she finished her shopping and then mugged as she was putting said item into the car.

And all she could think about as I treated her was how her husband wasn’t going to have the gift for Christmas. I finally had enough and reminded her that he still had her, and that is the greatest gift.

Its much better to have a loved one than an object– any object. She smiled and nodded, but somewhere in the back of her mind was the doubt that he’d feel that way. I could see it in her eyes.

I don’t understand– I really don’t.

At least it made me appreciative of what I have– when I got home I made sure Case and Bri knew it too.

Bri basked in the attention and Case just kissed my forehead.

“Rough day, huh?” he asked.

I had to smile at that. He’s been there too. Between the three of us– we do all right.

Saturday – December 13, 2059 – The perfect gift.

Well– Trina and I finished our shopping, only to realize that we still hadn’t figured out what to get Mom Walker. I think we’d both avoided it– knowing all too well that there was nothing we could give her that would express how we felt about her.

Okay– I know what I said that it’s not about things, and this wasn’t… It took me a while and then I came up with the perfect gift.

No gift can truly express the feelings– but a song can…

It took a lot more time to convince Trina about it, to do it, but she has such a wonderful voice, and it would be so perfect.

Now all I have to do is write it and get it to Trina in time for her to feel comfortable with it. Yeah– I know with my schedule it’ll probably be February before I get it done, but it is the right gift.

Copyright 2000 M.T. Decker

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