Just when you think you have a handle on everything, life tends to throw you a curve ball. I'll take this one as a decent sign and pretend I had a handle on everything but let's face it things have been spiraling out of control since the year started.
I've had an Upper to Mid-Management Corper almost kill himself to get on my good side and work his way into a meeting with the Walkers. My brothers have been up to something that has Ares, and more to the point Knight Errant after them. I have people breaking into my house, kidnapping me, arresting me… shooting up the city, elements on the rampage… the year isn't even halfway over and I feel like I've aged at least three…
And then my brother Mitchell shows up. Suddenly everything else seems like a weekend at a logic seminar. Mitchell, my distant brother from Jenny's side of the family, a brother who wanted nothing to do with me or the boys especially when they were missing is suddenly at my doorstep asking for my help.
I still can't believe it. He's married, has two kids and oh yeah, a desperate need for Witness Protection. Jenny must have told him about Case. Now I have an almost complete stranger staying with us and trying to explain my chosen family to family who chose not to be there for me.
Talk about needing to get a grip.
Where do I begin? Whether you believe in a no-win scenario or not, trying to keep the peace between two Miller kids is enough to shake you're belief. There was no denying Mitch was my brother, all you had to do was leave us in the same room for more than ten minutes and watch the fireworks.
Mitch was upset because I didn't seem to care about his situation. I was annoyed because in the past he made it abundantly clear that he didn't care about mine or the boys. We made our situations and it was up to us to deal with them.
From my view point, he asked for Case. He asked for Witness Protection. The less I know the better.
I have mentioned we Millers are a stubborn lot right? Well, the trouble is exponential when you put more than one of us in a room.
I overheard Mitch and his wife Betsy talking and it seemed to sum everything up so well.
"I thought you said you two got along all right," Betsy half accused Mitch.
"We've gotten along fine for the past ten years," he objected.
It is true.
Basically we haven't seen or talked to each other in the past ten years. It's amazing what that will do for our relationship.
I'm trying to find the right simile for Mitch and me. I'm not sure there is one that can fully describe the full melt down that's brewing over us right now, but I can tell you that the longer we're together the worse it gets.
He was seriously working on digging himself a hole big enough to match the crater that's going to happen if he stays much longer.
Today I did take enough interest in his case to ask "There are a lot of Marshal's offices between where you were and here… why didn't you just go there?"
"It wasn't safe," he answered as if that said everything.
I nodded, I honestly tried to reign in my temper and it was working until he added. "I'm not like you Jess… I'm just a law biding citizen…"
Yeah. Case worked very hard to get me out of there before he had to set Mitch and his family up in Witness Protection to protect him from me.
Of all the stupid, arrogant…
It wasn't until Hurricane Jessica had settled down to a mere tropical storm that I realized the other probably far worse permutation.
It wasn't safe for him where he was so he came to me, endangering my family. Oh yes, the other bit… family. Just because we don't talk, don't get along etc, doesn't mean people can't trace him to me.
Case wisely got people he knew and trusted to take over. On the bright side, WitSec will give them a new identity and I'll never see him again.
Today was the sort of day made for motor medics, the sort of day that started off with a 'for a want of a shoe' type accident.
A worn pipe gave way some time in the middle of the night. The water saturated the ground around it causing a sink hole. The sink hole caused the pavement to crack, causing a the tire of a speeding car to be cut to ribbons, leading to an accident that blocked several lanes of the interstate.
Rubbernecking on the other side led to a matching accident blocking several lanes of the interstate heading south.
People trying to avoid accident related tie ups turned off the interstate only to drive into the nearest stationary object blocking the road in both directions.
Meanwhile rescuers arriving to work the original accident(s) block the rest of the interstate and the mayhem of cascading problems lead to closed roads in every direction and worse, roads where only a motorcycle could get through.
We managed to survive and keep people covered but if it had gotten any worse we wouldn't be able to reach them. That's where the administrator me had to have a long talk with the medic me.
Motormedics are something Citywide pioneered. It's part of what makes our service unique but… and it's a very big 'but' is that business lead worth putting people at risk. I decided it wasn't and came up with a proposal with Charlie's help.
When I showed it to our CEO he nodded then looked at me. "What are you waiting Miller?"
He just looked at me and shook his head. "You're the Chief. You see a need… "
I guess he approved. Now to see what the others think.
Today was mostly spent doing PR work. It wasn't my first choice but I had to spend about three hours explaining first to the victim's family then to the press why central dispatched a ladder truck to a 'difficulty breathing' call.
It started when I got an irate call forwarded to me about the incident. After that I checked with dispatch, listened to the tape and talked to the responding medic.
Just when I thought 'there was a medic on the ladder truck and they were closest' summed everything up, the lawyers started arriving. At least I gave our lawyer a work out; don't want him to feel unwanted.
Unfortunately logic rarely works as an argument when emotions are involved.
All right, I expected resistance from Citywide in having us train medics from other companies. It makes sense. In the end it's the bottom line for the corp. It's what makes us unique.
Sadly, while the company saw the importance of having more medics available in emergency situations, other corporations saw it as a ploy to take over their operations or training… or employees.
How can someone as jaded as I am still be so naive?
Where did I go wrong? I guess logic rarely works as an argument when the bottom line is involved.
I'm just… floored.
I know it will be a while until you receive this and by then it will probably have been readdressed, but allow me to take this minute to thank you for leading the nice people straight to my family.
To be fair, since you did contact us first, we were expecting more than a little trouble and unlike our other siblings I had reinforcements watching over me, my daughter, my husband and the rest of the band of miscreants I call my family.
Two SRT guards were with me when the first attempt to garner information arrived. They then made the mistake of regrouping and trying to get us when we were at home.
Forensics, the Marshal Service, Lone Star and several other agencies are still combing over the area and Case, Nathan, Philip, Ray, Jonathan and I all have to file use of force reports… so yeah… thanks.
Let's not do that again.
I probably won't send this but I needed to get it out of my system. It's been one of those days.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker