Most of yesterday was spent tracking down members of our extended family. Turns out that not only did our apartment serve as temporary housing for medics and members of law enforcement, so did the condo, the Ork Underground, Citywide's main office as well as the majority of the fire stations.
With all that available-I shouldn't have been surprised that Nathan hadn't been to any of them, at least not as near as anyone could recall. I hadn't heard anything from the hospitals about John Does matching his descriptions, which was a good start.
I was doing a decent job of not worrying until Tabitha called asking about Nathan. It seems that he was picked up and put into a holding area for people breaking cerfew-but then his trail simply vanished.
We had several possible sightings but nothing solid for most of the day. It was hard, but if that was hard-finding out what Philip had been up to was well… what you'd expect.
We were about to call it a night yesterday when Nathan came walking in, staff in hand-and two people who weren't so much with him as following.
Tabitha was not amused, but seemed to take pity on him when she saw how much he was not enjoying the attention.
Today was simply spent celebrating and everyone hoping to hear enough stories to piece together what had happened. That was a 'no' when it came to Nathan and just a simple shrug from Philip.
After dinner, mom gave thanks and then gave us one simple lecture. As near as I can recall this is what she said:
"There is no gang, no threat that is bigger than this family. There are no numbers that can stand against us as long as we stand together."
There's an old adage that a prophet is never appreciated in his home town. That adage is doubly true in families.
I'm not sure what to call them, Dillon and Annie… Nathan's followers: acolytes? Fan club?
Whatever you call them… they're trouble. They feel I don't respect Nathan for the genius he is. Jonathan is holding him back and Tabs isn't nearly good enough to be in the same room as the 'Great One.'
I've tried to figure out what Nathan did that has them so… entralled but he's is just as confused as I am. I even witnessed him trying to tell them that he's just a guy, but they weren't willing to listen save to comment on how humble he is and how amazingly cool that is. It's bad enough we're not even teasing him about it… at least not yet.
Hopefully they'll get bored and leave. Then we can tease him to our hearts' content.
They aren't getting bored.
On the bright side, things are getting interesting. According to the Star there are no signs of the suspect gun ever having been used before 3rd. There are no matches in IBIS or NIBIN for that matter.
Whoever had started the 'situation' has done a good job of keeping a low profile and making tracking them difficult. That's where it once again pays to be a paranoid chief with suit happy clientele. The medics who responded to the first call and the subsequent calls all had their cameras rolling.
It gave law enforcement extra footage of the scenes to review, looking for common vehicles and people on scene.
In the meantime, it's business as usual. It's Tuesday… Case and Bri had class and someone, somewhere was probably planning new and complicated ways to make our lives interesting.
Until then we'll have to settle for subtly teasing Nathan about his fan club.
One of these days I will learn to keep my mouth shut.
Last week would have been my first week back on the job at the office. Please note the 'would have been.'
Yes the shootings and subsequent rioting, shooting and Martial Law Edict not only kept me off the streets, it kept me from going home. My bed, my cat, my kitchen: all keeping others company.
Today I almost even got to go there.
I did get to work the incident command center for a major mudslide… with three members of our security team playing babysitter. At least until someone discovered a bottle of ether wired into the air system.
I am so not happy. I'm really beginning to think that if we want to get rid of these people we should just let them kidnap me and let my 'luck' take them as collateral damage.
It's a shame it doesn't work that way.
I've always known I don't take disappointment well, I just didn't know how badly I can take it until today.
Case knew I was frustrated at the turn of events and the fact that the target date for going home keeps slipping further and further away. Let me tell you Jason Casey is not the type to simply accept a sullen wife when he can do something about it-or try to do something about it.
He did something that was sweet, considerate and totally not what I wanted. Because it wasn't what I wanted, I didn't see the thoughtfulness behind it until I'd snapped.
He actually went to the apartment, gathered up our stuff, rounded up the cat (who somehow managed to disappear from the cat carrier before he could be removed from the apartment) and brought our home to our home away from home.
Don't get me wrong, I love my extended family, and wherever Case and Bri are is ultimately home but it's not the same.
We had a long talk once I was more receptive. I think Case understands: I'm not mad at him, I'm frustrated at the situation and I want my life back.
I don't ask much.
Sometimes I really think breaking law enforcement into a 'for-hire' business is a really bad idea, especially when the 'for-hire' corporations aren't talking to each other, aren't working together and better yet, actively tripping each other up.
Lone Star is supposed to be leading this investigation, but since Aztechnologies and Aries Corp assets were also affected by the shootings… everyone is running their own investigation and well… the Marshal Service has stepped in.
I know Case hates what he calls 'the heavy handed approach', but it's the only thing keeping the investigation on track.
I guess it's his turn to stress and mine to play the understanding spouse. I think that's why we work. We're only allowed one crisis at a time.
One of the advantages of what I do is the fact that I have to be completely neutral to get my job done and done right. I can't afford to take sides so instead I focus on the main objective which has always been getting my charges in and out safely.
It seems that approach is needed in law enforcement as well, especially when dealing with multiple investigators from multiple jurisdictions who are dealing with each other and multiple gangs waiting for the outcome of their investigations.
I'd stopped by the Marshal's office on my way home with Jonathan and we spent the next three hours playing peacekeepers.
Jonathan liaised with the law enforcement officers while I smoothed things over with the local gang representatives trying to keep everyone on the same page. It was even worse than working with medics, motor or otherwise.
Some of 'keeping the peace' turned out to be more a case of running interference than anything else but I'm good at that too.
At one point Jonathan had almost everyone calmed down when someone from Aztechnologies pointed something out and the shouting match began in earnest.
I looked at the gang representatives and sighed. "And that," I told them. "Is exactly why we need more time to figure this out."
Right now, I'm liaising with the pizza joint down the street, it's going to be a long night.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker