I really need to lay off the late night pizza. Either that or the trouble that’s coming has arrived… in Technicolor and 3D
I think this was the first Valentine’s Day Case and I got to celebrate on Valentine’s Day, and let me tell you Jason Casey is a romantic who does nothing in half measures. It started with breakfast in bed and convincing Schrödinger that it was my breakfast not his, but he seems to think the bed and anything around it is his.
The afternoon and evening were picture perfect, a picnic with Bri, an evening out on the town, just the two of us. Perfect except for the part where Case gave me the classic heart shaped box of chocolates.
Something in my mind clicked and suddenly I was somewhere else. Another place, another time—none of us are sure exactly what happened, but I much prefer the ‘late night pizza theory’ because the other options are I’m either under psychic assault or losing my mind.
Something shifted in my mind, that’s the only way to describe it. One minute we were smiling and Case was handing me a foil wrapped box of chocolates, the next I was standing on a pyramid… his beating heart in my hand.
Needless to say I dropped the box.
I wanted to end the evening in Case’s arms…. just not that way. I’m really going to lay off the pizza.
I’m happy to say there were no Quatl feathers, no paw prints or bloody visions involved with my day. It’s just as well since it was my first full shift alone on the bike since I became Chief.
Case had been against it, but his arguments against my doing it were exactly my arguments for doing it. When you’re on the bike, you can’t afford to have your mind anywhere else, which was exactly what I needed.
I needed to be active and buried in normal. Okay, my idea of normal is rather messed up, but it’s the normal I know and I would far rather be helping people than jumping at shadows or trying to figure out where the next batch of weirdness would be coming from.
I’m pretty sure Case abused his power and made sure there were eyes on me at all times, but at least his people are high tech enough that they could follow me without leaving the command center, and I kind of like it that way.
Although, I admit, there were a few times I was tempted to look up and wave.
Today went a lot like yesterday one but there was less arguing and more urges to wave.
Sometimes like today, I need to remind Case that he likes my self sufficient stubborn streak and that was what drew him to me.
He informed me that he was stuck with me because my self-sufficient stubborn streak meant he was the only one who had a chance of keeping up with me and protecting me from myself, but I could see the pride in his eyes.
He may not like the situation, but he understands my need to face the unknown on my terms. It’s one of the reasons we work well together.
I just wish there weren’t so many unknowns in my life.
Today was another first. For the first time since I became chief, I had to switch from being a responding medic to chief medic on scene, to chief in the command center. It started out as a normal call – collision with entrapment.
Somewhere between the initial call and my arrival three more vehicles had joined the scene. As soon as I arrived I called in for more units. It was a good thing I slowed my approach because I almost found the cause of the accident(s) the hard way.
I don’t know if it was black ice or grease or what have you, but it was slippery and it made rescue difficult and dangerous.
We ended up having to leave our bikes where they were and head down on foot, which of course made extraction that much more interesting. Once we had the extractions under way I climbed back to the top of the hill to coordinate getting the heavy equipment where it was needed.
We learned some rather creative uses for choppers and remotes, but we got the job done. It really did help having a medic on hand with a knowledge of the scene, the equipment needed and the medics involved—but it’s not something I want to repeat.
When I got home, I knew Case had been spying on me. He simply shook his head and said something about having never thought of using a roto-drone as an extraction tool.
Today should have been easy. I was off duty, I had nothing more strenuous planned than playing with Schrödinger and sleeping in. I can't even get that right.
One of the advantages of living in an apartment/condo is the fact that if anything goes wrong, you call maintenance. If your microwave breaks down, you call maintenance. Find a leak? You get the picture.
While living in a house is nice, security does seem to have better control over the the building than they do individual houses. Granted, we had the break in the other day but I've never had anybody shoot me through the building here either.
On the downside, when you're living on top of other people, what goes wrong in one unit, it can affect your neighbors. A fire is a good example, or something as simple as an overflowing bathtub... well, that can quickly become your problem.
It started off small enough I wouldn't have noticed it but since the cat-box is in the bathroom, Schroedinger noticed it and he let me know in no uncertain terms that he did not like what was happening. Let me tell you, that cat puts the 'cat' in caterwaul.
I put a call into maintenance and they assured me they'd take care of it. That should have been the end of it, but the building managers are nothing if not thorough and they knew their tenants and their professions. When the maintenance team found an unconscious woman in the overflowing bathtub, they immediately called management who immediately called me me back and asked me to bring my kit.
Talk about a fast response-time.
All I can say is she's lucky she didn't drown, but that would have been overkill. There were enough tranquilizers in her system to put down a devil rat. Once the on duty medics arrived, I put a call into Lonestar and tried to preserve as much of the scene as possible.
When the detectives arrived they of course had to ask why I'd called them on an apparent suicide. They answer is simple: suicide by pills is usually not done in the bathtub.
People trying to kill themselves with pills usually go for the whole, clean up the apartment and lay themselves out on the bed scenario, thinking it would be neat... but it's not. It never is.
Suicide in tubs usually involve slit wrists and warm water. There are some things I wish I didn't know as a medic.
Needless to say, I didn't really feel like taking a long soak tonight.
The un-meeting seems to be working. I know I'm just as glad to not be meeting every week, but some of our staff doesn't seem nearly as happy about the weekly status reports that have taken their place. Then again, some of them aren't very happy with anything I do and never will be.
As I was leaving the office, I swear I thought I saw someone hiding a voodoo doll. It's not like they could really do anything to me that I haven't already done myself. Let's face it if they really want to do me in-- all they have to do is leave me to my own devices. Like today. Instead of sitting in a nice safe climate controlled office, I'm heading off on a motorcycle to the Lynnwood area.
The place has changed a lot since I first arrived in Seattle. A lot of the people who were there ten years ago have moved out and new people have taken their place. It's the whole 'things changing and staying the same' situation. I'm not a complete stranger here. After Case and I got married I ended up renting out the condo to a couple of poor starving medics I know and Mario still lives here so we stop by from time to time, but it's not home. I'm not sure it really ever was.
It was where I stayed when I was looking for the boys, it's where my journey began but home is with Case and Bri, as it should be.
I ate lunch at the diner, and found the 'Jess Special' was still on the menu. It really was like hold home week. Even the two suspicious looking guys who entered the diner while I was eating seemed normal-- at least for the way things were when I was living here.
Thing is, I don't work for Lonestar, and I'm not even sure if my PI license is still good and let's face it looking suspicious isn't a crime, it's just a warning sign.
I took the warning for what it was and headed out, but not before warning the waitress and making sure Mario knew something was going on. Part of me worried that I was endangering Mario unnecessarily but let's face it if anyone knows what's going on in that neighborhood and is equipped to deal with it, it's Mario.
I don't know what they were planning, but I do know nothing happened in Lynnwood today. I'm pretty sure Mario had something to do with that.
My second day in Lynnwood, and the suspicious boys were back. Mario met me at the diner. Turns out they were asking about me... and the boys. I guess my being back in the neighborhood must have stirred up some old memories, or, more likely some old hornets' nests. They boys never did do things by half measures and Lord help me, when I got here I was well on the way to being just like them.
There was a time when something like this would bother me, but I guess after everything I've been through I got used to it. I feel bad because my first response is almost always to call Case and let him know what's going on. Early on I'd wait until my suspicions were confirmed, but that was before I got shot and Therese was killed.
That's the downside of being a Marshal's wife. There are people out there who are more than willing to go through family to get their jobs done, and those jobs are usually quite messy. We kind of came to an understanding after that. I tell him everything and he doesn't try to handcuff me to a bodyguard.
I mean, it's not like I could hide anything from him anyway. It's that whole suspicious nature thing and the only way I can keep a secret from him is if I don't know or don't remember it myself. Either way, Case got the call.
This meant that as they closed in on me -- two UCAS Marshals descended on them. There was a lot of badge pulling and a rather heated discussion on both sides until it was established that the Marshal Service does indeed beat Knight Errant in the authority department. That established it was agreed that they could talk to me... downtown at the Marshal's office, when I'm off duty, on Thursday.
Suspicious boys didn't like it, but since two Marshals beats a pair of Knights Errant, and the fact that I am pretty much a public figure, they agreed to wait.
Something tells me this is just the beginning.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker