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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 14: Leap



Conner was working with Ryan and his partner Ted on his final two nightshifts of the practicum on the ambulance.  The two dayshifts he completed had been very busy for them.  Busy enough that Conner had already been signed off for most of the skills he had to accomplish to pass the course.  Ryan had enjoyed getting to know Conner better, and he had come to appreciate the adaptability, intelligence, and the quick wit the young man had.  What astounded Ted and Ryan was Conner's ability to use insight beyond his years and experience to not only diagnose but verbalize different treatments with their expected outcomes.  Both of the experienced paramedics had never seen this ability in someone so young.  In all honesty, the degree which he was displaying was rare even with senior paramedics.  They were at the base finishing their equipment checks when the alarm warbled on their radios.  It was a call to a motor vehicle accident on the edge of the industrial area.

Ryan and Conner were the first out of the ambulance at the accident scene.  As they approached, Conner abruptly stopped for a moment, staring at the scene.

Ryan stopped next to him, and asked, "What are you thinking?"

Conner scanned the van, the truck and the load of steel drill stem on the flat deck.  They both could hear the screams from adults in the van, as well as a baby crying.  The fire department was working on the passenger door, and Ryan was getting anxious to move towards the wreck to be ready.

Conner looked at Ryan, "We don't have long to get them out."

"What are you talking about?"

"The load is shifting, it's going to fall."

Ryan looked at the young man, "I'll keep that in mind but there is no way you would know..."

"Ryan, I just had a vision about what is going to happen as clear as day."

He looked at his student and was about to reprimand him when he remembered what family Conner was part of.  "How long do we have?"

"It's unclear but I know we need to get in and out fast.  Rapid extrication style."

Ted joined them as the firefighters made the final cut to the van door.  As they pulled it off, one of them yelled over it looked like two adults and a baby. The three paramedics moved to the wreck, and Conner slid in and into the back to look at the baby.  Ryan and the firefighters cut the seatbelt on the hysterical woman passenger and got her onto a spine board.  As they put the first patient onto the ground to finish strapping her, Conner had shivers running throughout his body.

He moved to the door and yelled around the second team working on the male driver.  "Ryan, move further towards the unit."

Ryan looked up and recognized the voice.  He yelled for the firefighters to move the woman on the spine closer to the unit, and they responded almost immediately.  Ted was working with two other firefighters and pulling the driver out and onto a second board.

Ted looked at Conner as he was assessing the baby, "Do you need a KED for the kid or are you bringing it out in the carrier?"

Conner didn't even look up as he began to cut the straps of the carrier.  "It's wedged in, not moveable.  I don't see anything on the baby... he's doing great."

"Ok Conner, I'll be back in a moment."

"No problem Ted, take him up to where Ryan is for your assessment."

"We can do it..."

Ryan yelled down at Ted, cutting him off.  "Bring the patient up here Ted, better lights and our equipment is here."

Ted didn't argue, and he and the two firefighters moved the patient on the spine board up near the ambulance.  Just as Ted turned around to go back and assist Conner, one of the chains holding the drill stem let go.  That was rapidly followed by two, three, and four more.  The drill threaded stem pipe spilled off the trailer and crushed the van.

Ryan stood up and screamed "Conner!"  He started to run to the trailer as pipe was still spilling off and rolling over the pavement.  Ted grabbed him by the shoulder.

"Sergeant, we have two here to look after.  We need to look after these two before they die."

Ryan looked, with tears in his eyes, and nodded.  A second ambulance pulled up to assist in the treatment, and they turned the patient care over to those paramedics.  The fire department was scrambling for a second alarm response as well locating a flatdeck with a cherry picker or a crane.

Ryan pulled his cell phone out and quickly dialled a number. He was pacing back and forth as he waited for his girlfriend to answer the cellphone.  When she did, be blurted out "Mel! He told me this was going to happen...  He even yelled at me to move further away..."

"Ryan, shut up and start from the beginning."  Finally, he did so.

"Ry, I'm on my way.  I'll be there shortly but I'm in my car... not an emergency vehicle."

"Mel, he was my responsibility..."

"Don't you even start on that shit.  Find Ted, and stick together until I get there.  Do you hear me, Sergeant?"

"Yes, sir."

"I'll be there in a few minutes.  I love you."

"I love you too, Mel."  Just as he hung up, he felt an arm placed across his shoulder.  Ryan looked over at Ted, and they both had tears in their eyes.

Melanie arrived 15 minutes later, right behind Rob in the Supervisor's Vehicle.

A large telehandler zoom boom drove up the road and approached the accident scene.  The driver jumped out and ran up to the firefighters.  Together, they approached the mess, and the operator looked from a few angles and made some gestures to the Fire Captain.  Then they appeared to argue.

As Rob approached, he could hear them.  "Look, Captain.  I've dealt with load spills like this before.  If you want access to the van, I can do it real fast... but there will be drill pipe all over."

"How will you do it?" asked Rob.  "That's my student paramedic under there."

The man gestured with his hands representing the forks and pushing part of the load backwards over the other side of the trailer.  Then using the forks to pull some forward and clear the top of the van.  The drill pipe would be stopped from rolling towards him by the outriggers.

Rob looked at the Fire Captain.  They locked eyes, and the Captain called his men together.  They were to clear the other side of the trailer and stand back.  The operator moved back to his machine.  It was a 1255 Cat, one of their biggest with a reach of 55'.

A moment later, Tyler's police car pulled up with Jared and Liam.  They had all been at the drop-in centre for a self-defence class when the call came in of the load shifting.  The entire class had heard the dispatcher announce a paramedic was trapped under the load with a baby.  Frank and Mark arrived a couple of minutes later.

Rob intercepted them and grouped everyone together.  Ryan explained what had happened, and Rob added what they were going to do.

Mark looked at Jared and Liam with a frantic look and voice said, "Do something!  Help him... Just don't fucking stand there..."

Frank cut him off, "Mark... stop."  He grabbed his son and pulled him tight.  "You think they wouldn't have done something by now if they could've?" They both were crying.

Jared was staring at the wreck and turned to Liam. "I don't sense anything."

"Neither do I.  Does this mean he isn't in the next world?"

"I don't know."

Jared went down on one knee, lowered his head and began praying.  The rest of the group followed his example; it was the picture of this group prayer which made the front page of the morning paper.

The telehandler moved into place and dropped his outriggers down.  He revved the engine loudly as the boom began to extend.  When the forks were in position, he dipped them into the pile of pipes and pushed them backwards.  The sound was deafening as the pipes clattered backwards, disappearing over the back of the trailer to land on the street below.  He cleared the flat deck of all the pipes on his second try.

He moved the forks to the edge of the trailer and slid them down.  The operator gunned the motor as he began to sweep the pile towards his vehicle.  Once again, the noise was deafening as the pipe clattered together.  A second sweep with his forks and the top of the van was fully exposed.

The Captain moved forward and looked around, and gave a thumbs up to his men to move in.  He also pointed at the equipment operator and applauded him.

Carefully, the firefighters moved in.  Once they determined it was safe, they began to cut the area between the roof and the windshield (the A-frame) as well as the frame between the front and back doors (the B-frame).  Carefully, they pried the roof back like a sardine can.  The firefighters looked in and immediately saw the student paramedic's body curled around the baby, on the floor behind what was left of the front seats.

Conner lifted his head slightly, and looked up.  "About fucking time you got that shit off us."

A firefighter yelled over at the group "He's alive!"

The baby began to cry, and Conner added, "So's the little guy."

The firefighter yelled again, "So is the baby!"

Jared nodded his head towards Liam to go assist Ryan and Ted.  Mark started to run towards the wreck when his dad grabbed him, "Let them get him out first."

"I want to be there..."

Jared looked into Mark's eyes and simply said, "Let the professionals do their thing, Mark.  This is the hard part buddy, not being involved but relying on others to do their best."  He then grabbed Mark into a tight hug, which Mark returned as he sobbed with relief. 

Conner was sitting up in the hospital bed, upset at being kept overnight for observation.  Mark and Frank were with him as Kat came in.

"You, mister... lose the attitude or I will give you a bare ass-lickin'," said Kat she pushed the mobile BP equipment over to get his vital signs.

"I don't want to be here, I want to go home."

Kat put her hands on her hips and stared at Conner.  "Last warning, mister.  Lose the attitude or I will do it with Franks help."

He crossed his arms over his chest and pouted.  "Yes ma'am," he mumbled.

The door to the room opened and a flood of people came through it, led by Tyler and Troy.  They rushed into the room and circled the bed, all chattering at once.  Kat backed out of the crowd and gave them a flustered look.

A set of fingers snapped, and the room went silent. Kat looked to the doorway where she saw Mathew standing there.

"Give Kat time to get her work done, and then we will visit with Conner," the old man said quietly.  "You all know he is here, and he is ok so everyone get out for a few minutes." Grandfather then spoke very clearly and with authority, "Move it!"

The group left the room very orderly after telling Conner they would be right back.  After they had left all which remained was Conner, Mathew and Kat.

Kat looked at Grandfather and took his hands into her's.  "Mathew, thank you."

The old man smiled, "Always a pleasure to help out, Kat."

She indicated Conner, "This one has been giving me attitude, too.  I just threatened to give him a bare-assed lickin' with Franks help if he didn't lose the 'tude."

Mathew smiled, "I am quite capable of accomplishing that for you if you wish it Kat, and I don't need Frank's help either."

He took a step towards Conner, and the young man scooted to the other side of the bed after putting both hands under his butt cheeks. "I'll be good, Grandfather!" exclaimed Conner quickly.  "I promise."

"Apologise to the nurse."

"Kat, I'm very sorry.  I'm not like that, especially to you..."

"I forgive you Conner, and I do understand."

Conner looked at the two of them, and his eyes began to fill with water.  "I just wanted to be with my family, after I almost d..."  He began crying.  Grandfather sat on the edge of the bed and the young man grabbed him tightly.  The old man held his grandson just as tightly while rubbing his back.

He looked at Kat.

"Mathew, one of the reasons they wanted to keep him overnight was because he hadn't shown any emotion or reaction yet."

"I suspected.  We will be with him, and he needs to know we will stand with him against anything, everything, and all which affects him from any world."

"I can't believe little Conner saved the life of that baby and risking his own to do so," said Kat quietly as she stroked the young man's head. "I did this the first time I met Conner.  I sat and held him as he cried while gently stroking his head."

"You are an important part of his life now... and our family."

The door opened a little, and Liam stuck his head in. "Is it safe yet?"

Mathew looked at Kat for an answer.

"I'll get my information and vitals later, Mathew.  He needs his family right now."

Mathew gestured with his head for them to come in.

Mark burst through the door, knocking the men aside. He rushed over to the bed and took the spot Kat had been sitting.  He hugged his boyfriend and grandfather as he began to cry tears of relief. 

Rob, Ted, Ryan, Melanie, Jesse, Jared, Zane, Liam, Troy, Tyler, Mark, Patrick, Adam, Frank and Mathew were all sitting on the bed, in chairs borrowed from all over or on the floor.  A stack of 10 empty pizza boxes sat in the corner. These had been bought when Conner said he was hungry, and that started a chain reaction in the group.

Liam was sitting near the bed and simply said, "Conner, now that we are all here now... what happened."

Conner looked at Rob, and then to Grandfather for permission. The old man nodded.

"I told Ryan I knew the load was going to shift, but I didn't know when." He looked at Jared and Liam before continuing, "I could hear what I thought was metal being stretched, and I had a flash in my mind of the chains letting go in series.  I saw the pipe hitting the van and scattering.  I didn't know when so I squirmed in between the seats to get the baby.  The baby seat was jammed in position, so I did a quick check of the little guy and then cut him out of the seat.  I heard the snap, clear as day, and for some reason, I knew if I got down below the seat level and used my body to shield the baby, he would make it."

Nothing was heard in the room except everyone breathing, concentrating on Conner's every word.

"As I laid there, my only thought was to protect the baby.  But, I began to travel..."

Ted looked at the young man, "You began to what?"

Jared answered him, "It's called travelling... or simply an out of body experience."

"There's no such thing..." started Ted.

"There are many things in life not understood Ted," said Grandfather.  "Conner, my grandson, please continue."

Conner took a moment and then spoke again.  "I was the fox, at the cabin.  Masqua was there and I ran up to him.  He acknowledged me and explained I would be ok, as would the baby.  He reminded me I had the protection of the bear, and the baby benefitted from my selfless actions.  Masqua continued to explain what I had experienced was the sudden arrival of the acute senses of a fox for sight, hearing, smell and taste.  He told me my ability to quickly process information to make decisions or take actions was the fox, and it was linked to other gifts which would be given to me in the future.  Masqua also explained the fox has the ability to move freely between time and places, including the next worlds.  He further explained I was being given a gift which I would have to learn to control, but it was the ability to anticipate the immediate future if a threat was imminent.  He told me the way I had thought of cutting the baby out of the seat and quickly analyzing how to hold him, in what position and below the level of the seat was the intelligence, resourcefulness and even camouflaging abilities of the fox. He also told me Nimanitôm was proud of the gesture I had made to protect the child.  That's when I heard the metal of the roof being pulled up, and I was back in the van."

"Did you really say what we were told when they cut the roof off?" asked Mark with a big smile.

Conner smirked and looked down, and then nodded his head.  "I said it was about fucking time you got that shit off us."  The room erupted into laughter.

Liam reached over and lightly punched him in the shoulder. "Well Conner, that statement will go down in history with 'one small step for man' and 'I shall return'."

"The baby is doing fine, and both of his parents came out of surgery a while ago," said Rob.  "Conner, you did a good thing... dangerous, but a good thing.  I don't know if I would've had the guts to do what you did."

"I just had faith that it would work out and if my path was to end... the baby's would continue.  The baby's path needed to continue and I knew I could do it."  Conner moved to the edge of the bed and stood.  He quickly moved to where Grandfather was sitting and knelt in front of him, his head bowed on the old man's knees.  "Grandfather, it was your teaching of Jared and the family in this room which made what I did possible.  When I met Jared and Liam, I was physically dying and spiritually dead. They brought me into this family and now I have a boyfriend, Frank as a dad, a large family of brothers and cousins who care and you as my grandfather."  The young man looked up and into the old man's eyes through tears.  "I have nothing of value to offer you but my love, loyalty, and my thanks."

Grandfather reached and pulled the young man into his lap. "Your love and thanks are more than enough, Conner.  You have made me very proud of you, and it is with pride I call you Grandson."

Conner snuggled against the old man, and he never heard Grandfather say "sleep" as he went out cold.

"The little one needed sleep, to rest.  I'm going to stay here with him for a while and we will walk in the middle world together, and talk," said Grandfather.  "Mark, are you able to stay with us?"

"Of course, Grandfather."

"Would a couple of you carry my grandson to the bed, and tuck him in?" asked Mathew.

It only took a moment, and Conner was in bed.  The group left the room, followed by Frank.  Just before Frank left, he stopped and looked at Mathew.

"Mathew..." he started.

"Of course my friend, you may stay with your children."  Frank immediately looked relieved. 

Frank, Mathew and Mark were sitting on the bed, holding hands.  Mathew had one of Conner's hands as did Mark.  They were in the shape of the powerful circle.

"Close your eyes, and empty your minds.  I will look after getting Conner into the middle world with us before I wake him up."

Frank knew he was still in the hospital room, but the air now smelled of sweet spring flowers.  A light wind blew across his face and he was confused.  He could hear what sounded like two dogs yipping and yapping at each other when Grandfather said, "Open your eyes, Frank."

He was standing in a pasture which extended as far as the eye could see.  The pasture had knee-high grass and wildflowers growing all through it, and was below a beautiful but clear blue sky.  He heard the yipping again and looked down.  A large fox and coyote were rolling around and playing near him.

Grandfather called over, "Mark, Conner... join us please."

The two animals bounced over immediately and morphed back into the two young men who Frank loved as his sons.

"Guys, I will never get used to that."

"You will Frank, have faith," stated Grandfather.  "This is the middle or next level.  It is used as a travel way between existence, time, and places through doorways.  They are not doorways as you think of them Frank, but something symbolically representing the doorway to the traveller.  Mark and Conner have both been here a few times with me or the others, and now Conner may journey here on his own."

Mark looked disappointed.

"Have no fear young one, we are here to explain both of your spirit animal's powers in more detail.  We can't have you different, you are meant to always work together.  Conner just leaped further ahead in his path due to circumstances, Mark."

"I understand Grandfather, he is working and I'm at school."  Again, Mark sounded disappointed.

Conner took his boyfriend's hands into his own.  "You're not getting it, Mark.  My path crossed another's path either by accident or design, and due to the need for the pathway of the baby to continue I was granted gifts.  You could be walking home from school and the same things happen to you.  It's not the job or being at school which determines it, it was the need."

Grandfather took over, "Excellent explanation, Conner.  This is the skills of the fox which he may slip into many different roles as the circumstances dictate.  Problem-solving aptitude and keen mental faculties will lead Conner down his path now.  My children, Aesop portrayed the fox as a con artist, which is not the way it should've been thought of.  The fox will lead you to overcome fear of the unknown, and link that lack of fear with forethought.  It is essential to see things clearly before moving down the path, and the fox is a master at this."

Conner looked at the old man and said, "Way cool."  Frank laughed.

"You have the gift of immediate precognition now, as well as retrocognition. You will not have a big window of either gift, but enough so the qualities of the fox may function."

Grandfather turned to Mark.  "The powers of the coyote are similar, but some are different.  You are both playful and very adaptive to situations. The fox and the coyote together will be masters of camouflage.  You are both also jokesters..."

"No kidding..." mumbled Frank.

Mathew chuckled.  "You beat me to it, Frank."  The old man cleared his throat before continuing, "The coyote teaches us to not take everything so seriously in life, and to solve an issue you may need to change your perspective.  If the issue is lingering, it needs the coyote to approach it from multiple directions until solving.  Frank, we can't discard both of these young men as jokesters but meaningless. The coyote uses playfulness, jokes, humour, or through the diversity of what it takes to pass on his wisdom to whoever needs it.  Finally, the coyote is the magic of life and creation.  As someone walks the path of life, a coyote crossing in front of them brings the power of adaptability, resourcefulness, and flexibility to adjust and survive.  Mark, you are given the gift of psychometry.  You may touch objects or people to link with them.  You will be taught how to do this."

"Thank you, Grandfather."

"We need the fox and coyote together as a team, and as strong, active, contributing members of the larger team composed of your family."

"Yes Grandfather," the two young men said together.

"Any questions?" asked the learned man.

No one said a thing.

"It is time to go back, and Conner you may wake up upon arrival.  But, it is time for everyone else to go home."

In an instant, the four men were back in the hospital room, sitting in the exact spots they were before their trip.

Grandfather stood, "Bedtime for me, and I suspect everyone else too. Frank, your adopted son and my grandson is fine.  I suggest you and Mark head home to bed as well."

"Good idea, and thank you, Mathew."

The old man embraced Frank, and then his two grandsons before leaving the room.  Mathew chuckled to himself knowing old Bertha was in the parking lot waiting for him.  The muffler was giving him trouble again, and he would drive by Jared's house in the village on the way to his apartment just to let him know he was home.  Mathew smiled and thought, "Payback is a Melanie, isn't it? I like that expression."


End of Chapter Fourteen


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