Today after church we 'moved back' to the condo.
The reason it took so long is because everyone had to process the scene and verify that nothing had been left behind. It started with the Marshal's office techs, then their magical staff, followed by Citywide's mages and of course every mage, shaman and computer geek we knew… Just in the interest of being thorough mind you.
I may take chances when it's just me-but where Bri is concerned there is no such thing as overkill.
Still, I was nervous at first. That was until the Walkers showed up with dinner, and Trina and Jonathan brought the wine and Nathan brought… well… watching him look for the big sister paybacks was quite amusing.
Sometimes the best revenge is nothing… for now.
You know, for not taking the job, Ray certainly takes it seriously, or maybe it's the chance to mess with me that he can't turn down… either way he insisted that since I'd become a full time administrator he had to verify that I hadn't forgotten how to be a medic, and he just happened to be holding recertification classes today.
He said something like, "let's face it Jess, the odds of someone having a life-threatening paper cut are very slim."
He also went on to point out "I mean come on, when's the last time you heard of a pencil stabbing?"
I'm beginning to think Ray is a very good candidate
I watched him during the review and realized he was more in the mood for messing with a pain of part time medics who weren't taking the job seriously and he wanted me to see them for myself without him having been the bad-guy for turning them in.
I think I'd vote one of them most likely to stab himself with a pencil.
I am happy to say I not only passed my re-cert, I aced the section on sucking chest wounds. Ray said he'd 'pencil me in' on the roster.
I, for my part, let him know that I will be watching the other two closely.
I am not allowed anywhere near the Dojo where they are teaching Bri Tai Chi.
It all started innocently enough. Case ended up having to take an assignment that will keep him away for most likely the rest of the week. My luck he’ll come home after my birthday, but that’s something we’re used to.
The real problem was Bri. She just started Tai Chi as a father and daughter thing. It’s supposed to be her time with dad. She did her best to be adult about it, but let’s face it, she’s eight and this is something she really wants.
She didn’t want to go at first, and she definitely didn’t want to go alone. I can understand that, it being her third class and all, but her not going was never really an option. This might be something she does with Case, but according to everyone we’ve talked to its something that will give her the discipline she needs should her ‘abilities’ manifest.
I know kids who tested out as physical adepts who never ‘awoke’, I’ve seen kids who tested out as even more of a brick than me who ended up being full blown mages and everything in between.
But one thing is true be they adept, mage, shaman or brick: self discipline is a good thing. So, I talked her into letting me take her and she decided that mother and daughter time was good too. Unfortunately Sifu has seen me fight and kicked me out long before I was allowed on the floor.
Now, he says his reasoning is that any formal training would probably ‘ruin’ my natural instincts but I’m pretty sure that’s a nice way of saying he doesn’t want my ‘style’ to infect his students.
Now, I was taught to fight by my brothers and Nick. They never taught me a form, or a kata and what I learned was not a exactly a specialized martial art. It was designed for in fighting, purely defensive and purely designed to debilitate whoever I was fighting long enough for me to make a getaway.
Nathan, bless him, claims that it looks less like fighting and a lot more like I’m having a seizure, but hey… it works.
Still not the sort of thing you want your long term students learning, let alone an impressionable 8 year old who could quite possibly be an extremely gifted martial artist if things pan out.
My new assignment: find a substitute for Bri to take to class Thursday.
I swear… you want to talk about luck? Black cats see me, they run the other way. Okay, I'll be the first to admit that dumb luck is sometimes all that's kept me from biting it-but my luck is also what set it up and seated me at the table.
I have friends with odd senses of humor and do they get them in trouble? No, they get a laugh out of it and I end up on the cover of the news with headlines like "Chief of Citywide forced to Recertify!"
You know that pencil stabbing scenario Ray was talking about-that man just made the short list.
My day started with a very un-amused CEO waiting for me in my office, holofax in hand. After some serious explaining, he did help me spin this story around so that the story turned into "Hard Hitting Reporter Misinterprets Situation" and a great piece on how Citywide had wisely promoted from within the ranks to provide a Chief who was very in touch with the 'ground troops' and the needs of the community.
That is why he's paid the big bucks.
It also helped that I had never lost my certification and that I was the lead medic of record on at least three major scenes this year.
Just my luck I guess, Could be worse though, it could be raining and I could be in charge of the motormedic program about to meet with a very stern looking CEO.
Today was a case of 'good news', 'bad news,' Without Case at home I've been keeping the security system active and of course sleeping less, but Case promises me he'll be home tomorrow night.
That meant finding Bri a classmate for tonight's Tai Chi class. It's a good thing she has so many uncles wrapped around her little finger.
I called her Uncle Philip. Case and I had talked to him, along with everyone else when we were trying to figure out how to prepare her for things and he was one of the ones who'd recommend Tai Chi.
He pretended to resist - saying he had an assignment down in NLA, but that he could probably reschedule to spend some time with his favorite niece.
Then I had to make arrangements for her Uncle Philip to pick her up at school. Don't get me wrong, it's a pain, but I really appreciate the fact that the school is that protective. With the way my life and Case's run-she needs all the protection she can get.
That's all the good news. The bad: Sunday marks the anniversary of the night of rage. With all the new metahuman subgroups now appearing, the riots and stupidity only seems to grow, which means all leave with Citywide is cancelled for the weekend and all personnel are on call-So, Case will be home. I won't.
Still I guess there's more good news than bad so I'll take what I can get.
I started the day in single mom mode making sure Bri was set to go to school. All the while I was planning on seeing Case tonight and I did, just not how I expected.
Tensions were high today and because of the nature of the protests I told dispatch to send medics in teams and squads. I was going to do everything in my power to make sure that Citywide was not used as a target delivery service.
For the most part it helped but things always take on a new level of stupidity when people are dealing with emotionally charged issues. By Friday evening, I was making runs with Dwight and or Hugh and it was just as well.
We now have two less medics on our payroll. Ray's 'not taking it seriously' medics also made a bad situation that much worse, when a peaceful situation was turned from a quiet vigil to a full blown brawl the Clueless Ones arrived on scene to add their kind of humor.
When Dwight, Hugh and I arrived the Clueless Ones were trying to coax an injured woman out of hiding. While Dwight and Hugh explained to them the finer points of dealing with people, I was left to calm the woman down.
It took a lot of doing. Being hated and feared is bad enough, being hurt because you're different tends to breed trust issues but when after being attacked and injured and in fear for your life having two… idiots… trying to 'calm you down' by calling 'here kitty, kitty…' sets the difficulty meter well into the 'this is going to take all night' setting.
Getting a person who's been attacked calmed down enough to accept treatment can be difficult enough in a 'good situation.' When you're a 'Night One' - Homo Sapiens Nobilis - Nocturnum, being treated like you're an injured animal is pretty much the last straw.
At this point it doesn't even help that I've got two Meta Human medics backing me up-they're 'normal' Meta Humans.
Our conversation went something like this:
Me: "Ma'am, I cannot apologize enough for the stupidity you've endured, but it doesn't change the fact that you're bleeding."
Patient: "Go away."
Me: "If you want to refuse medical attention that is your right ma'am, but I really wish you wouldn't."
Patient: "Why? What's it to you?"
Me: "You're injured. I'm a medic…"
Patient: "They were medics!"
Me: "Operative word there is 'were' ma'am."
Patient: "They'll be back!"
Me: "Not while I'm Chief."
Me: "Yes ma'am, I'm the Chief. "
It was about that time I made the mistake of trying to assess the situation. It was a mistake because she took my looking at her as assessing her differences rather than the situation.
Patient: "What are you looking at?"
Me: "You, our surroundings and the potential hazards to us in general and your injuries in particular."
At least she wasn't expecting my answer.
Patient: "How so?"
Me: "We're under metal and wood risers, coated in what can only be classified as industrial grade… 'uck' … Hair is notorious for gathering said 'uck' and the only thing it seems to be attracted to more than 'uck' is wounds, of which you have both…."
She had to think about that one for a minute.
Patient: "Uck… is that a technical term?"
Me: "Yes ma'am."
It was about that point I knew she'd relaxed enough for the next step-getting out of said uck and somewhere distinctly 'un-ucky'.
We made quite a pair coming out from under the risers: a blue-black furred elf and an equally blue-black uck coated medic.
It would have been a perfect ending if the riot hadn't started back up while we were discussing the finer points of curb-side manner. I had enough time to cover my patient before a big glob of mud hit me in the vest.
I was waiting for more to come when I heard an all too familiar pair of voices begin advising the attackers of their rights. People may be stupid, but most of them aren't stupid enough to face down two angry UCAS Marshals after having just assaulted one of said Marshal's wives.
That would have been a perfect ending too, but the night was still young and stupid is forever.
"Mom, why don't you like surprise parties?" is not how you expect to start a conversation with your daughter-especially not the day before your birthday.
I paused for a while, and then pulled out a much older journal than the one I'd shown her when she'd asked about the shutdown-the one I started when I first came to Seattle.
I don't know if I should have let her read the whole thing-but she knew the basics, and let's face it, she knew I'd made it through more or less in tact.
She finished about the time I got home from work. She was putting the journal back on the shelf when I walked in.
She smiled and hugged me. "I'm glad you and daddy got together."
As if there was any doubt-once I'd realized that he wasn't just protecting me as part of his job or any messed up sense of indebtedness to my brothers.
"But mommy," she said, her voice getting very solemn. "That Aaron wasn't a nice man and you shouldn't have been with him."
I hugged her. "Trust me kiddo, if I'd know what he was really like-I wouldn't have given him the time of day."
If only I had known.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker