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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Copyright 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 25: Search



The next day was a slow starter after all of the activity the day before with saving Liam.  Some slept in, others laid on the deck in the sun and others just lounged about drinking coffee.  They were all relaxing as much as possible.

Tyler loaded up the little brothers in the ski boat so they could try water skiing around noon. Conner was doing better every time he was up, and Mark was a natural as he enjoyed skateboarding too.  Adam was a show-off and even kicked his skis off to barefoot ski.  When Patrick tried the same thing, it took several pulls to get him started.  The second time he tried to get up, he ended up doing the submarine because he forgot to let go of the rope after he had hit the water. 

The next time he tried it, Patrick simply sat back in the water with his tips up and thought to himself: "I can do this.  Concentrate, and let my body do what is needed."  The young man had done this before when he learned to ride a bike, rollerblade, and ice skate.  It was simply another part of his brain which came forward to take over.

Jared sent the four young men in the jet boat to fill some barrels with fuel at Tom's Marina.  Adam was driving as he was very familiar with jet boats and running the rivers.  As they were crossing the lake and travelling down the wider and deeper portions of the river, he spent time with each of the three other men to teach them to drive the boat as well.  The jet boat is a different type of operation as opposed to a propeller.  With the design of the hull, there is very little in the water.  The water jet which propels the boat can slide the boat sideways or even do something similar to a donut with a car; the steering and control take some practice and getting used to.  The trip was probably twice as long as it should have been because they enjoyed shooting the rapids so much Adam ran up and down them a half-dozen times.

As they were approaching the marina, the young men observed two regional police cars and an ambulance near the store.  Adam immediately focused on the dock and saw his grandfather standing and facing their direction.  Adam yelled to his friends, "Hold on" and gunned the motor to it's maximum.  The turbine kicked in and howled as the boat flew out of the water, skimming lightly on the surface.  The rooster tail propelling the boat was normally 75' long but suddenly increased to 150'.  Under normal circumstances that would be quite impressive, but Tom standing on dock knew his grandson had just maxed the craft out in power.  Everyone on the dock heard the boat coming before they saw the 26' aluminum river boat gliding over the water.  Adam dropped the speed and expertly pulled up to the dock. Conner and Mark jumped out and tied the boat to the dock.  Adam pointed at the gas pump and directed Patrick to fill the inboard boat tanks only.

Adam stepped out and took his grandfather's hands into his, "Grandfather, what's going on? Are you ok?" 

The old man smiled, "Yes Adam, I'm fine.  You arrived at the right time to help us, though.  There are some canoeists missing from a city youth group and are now overdue two days."

"Which way was their travel plan?"

"Actually it's upriver of Jared's cabin.  They had set in at Manitou Crossing and had a week to get here even though it would have taken experienced travellers 3 days or less."

"We'll fill up with fuel, including the drums and we can be back at the cabin in a couple of hours.  Jared, Liam, Tyler and Troy are there and we could use the jet skis to search as well."

A tall police officer walked over, "Excuse me, is this the boat you were expecting, sir?"

"Yes, it is Constable.  This is my grandson who grew up on this river.  He can head upriver back to the cabin and get more help to search from his brothers. He and his brothers are there, and they are mostly paramedics or police officers."

The policeman's one eyebrow went up at that news.

Adam spoke to him directly, "Most of the land up that way is Crown land, Jared's or Jared's tribal land.  He and I know it like the back of our hands.  We also have another boat, quads, and jet skis which can be used for the search."

"You're serious?  You guys have that type of equipment upriver at a cabin?" asked the Constable.

Adam turned to his grandfather, "Could you get someone to run the full barrels of fuel out to the cabin by road, and the rest of the police could follow them. We could head out and meet them there quicker without the extra weight."

"Good idea Adam, I'll get Ronald to lead them out to the cabin after loading the fuel."

"Can I travel with you?" asked the policeman.

Adam looked at him and smiled, "You're a little over-dressed to hang out with us but I guess its ok."

The policeman stopped and looked at the young man.  He then realized all four of the well-tanned handsome young men were dressed in skimpy leather breech or loincloths.

Adam smirked, "What I meant was you may want to put the gun belt and flack vest under the seat over there where we can lock it.  You're too heavy to swim with it if you get tossed out of the boat."

"Tossed out?"

"There are rapids along the river and sometimes the inexperienced zig when they should zag and end up swimming.  We'll look out for you."

Mark stepped forward towards the Constable with his hand outstretched, "My name is Mark and my dad's a sergeant on the force.  I won't let anything happen to you.  This is Conner, Patrick, and Adam."

Adam stepped forward while motioning to Grandfather Tom, "I'm not only his grandson, but I'll soon be a police officer when I graduate in a few weeks."

The Constable looked at the young man and could feel the unusual air of authority in the reassurance the young man was projecting, as all the young men were now projecting.  He couldn't figure it out, and maybe he was imagining it but all four of them were projecting a different feeling now.  He had no choice but to actually believe what they were saying and in what they were saying they could do.

He reached out shook their hands and said, "I'm Colton or Colt if my mother isn't around." Colt is 6'2", 200 lbs, black hair, light olive skin colour, clean shaven but definite beard pattern, beautiful soft brown eyes and a smile that would melt the coldest of hearts.

Mark smiled, "Anyone ever tell you that you look like a better version of Taylor Lautner?"

He laughed, "Usually not until they've had a few beers first."

Adam barked, "Clear the dock lines, let's rock and roll."  The young men quickly moved to the dock and untied the lines pushing the boat away from the pier.  They had outfitted Colt with a life preserver after storing his equipment in the locked compartment under the seat.

Tom had cleared the lower dock area and gave a signal to Adam.  He started the motor, idled for a moment and after checking the gauges, yelled, "Hold on!" throwing the lever as far forward as it would go.  The motor responded instantly with the turbine screaming in delight as it worked at maximum efficiency.  The boat flew up and onto the water quickly planing.  Adam went by the dock once to wave 'all's well' and 'goodbye' at his grandfather.

Colt was awed by the power of the boat and the ease at which Adam operated it.  He stood up front next to Adam, looking over the windshield in the direction of travel.  Suddenly, Colt was down on the floor; Mark and Conner moved to his side.

"What the hell was that?" asked Colt rubbing his forehead.

"Forgot to warn you about dragonflies," said Conner with a smile.

"Dragonflies?  Those little..."

"Colt," started Conner, "They ain't that little when they are hitting your unguarded skin at the speed we're travelling.  You're gonna have a bruise in the middle of your head."

"Son of a bitch," he replied rubbing his forehead.

Adam leaned down and yelled over the motor, "Sorry about that Colt, we're used to it and we see them coming so we can dodge'em."

Colt looked at him for a moment, "Dodge'em?  See them?  Bullshit."

Adam leaned over, "You're right.  Did you notice we're standing with our hands out in front of our faces?"

"You mean keeping the sun out of your eyes?"

"Nope, it's different.  Creates a small change in the way the air travels by our heads, and the bugs within the air stream."

"You bastard."

"Funny, that's what Patrick says to me all the time too."

Patrick leaned over, "Told ya Ads."

Adam turned to his boyfriend and gave him a million-dollar smile before leaning over to give a quick kiss.  Colt smiled at the two young men and the ease at which the two of them interacted and showed affection.

Adam expertly ran up through the rapids and weaved between the rocks in the river leading upstream to the lake.  Once the river met with the lake, he let Mark and Conner take over the boat for a while.  Patrick and Colt moved with Adam to the bow.  He motioned to the horizon where a small opening in the trees was located.

"That's the landing for the cabin area.  We should be there in 15 minutes or so at this speed.  The entire trip was only a couple of hours quickest I've ever done it before.  Mainly because we weren't playing the entire time," explained Adam.

Patrick looked first in the direction of the cabin, and then at Adam, "They're waiting for us in the boathouse to top the fuel off."

Adam looked at Patrick and smiled, "You're getting stronger all the time."

Patrick looked at Colt and smiled, "Colt, you have a common ancestry to everyone else here and even some gifts you try to hide from others."

Colt lost the smile on his face and snapped, "What the hell are you talking about?"

"You're among friends here.  A lot of people call us a family, but we are our own tribe of brothers.  We even have four who are shamen," said Mark.

"You know I'm indigenous?"

"Duh, even a blonde boy would notice," said Conner with flippant voice tone.

"I wondered why I felt so comfortable among you guys and why I sensed the change in you when your grandfather explained what needed to be done."

"When we play, we play hard.  When we're on a mission, that is the focus of energy.  Nothing will stop us as a tribe to do what we need to do," said Adam calmly.

Colt thought for a moment, "I believe you.  There's something inside of me which accepts what you are saying even without thought."

"Colt, where are you from?" asked Adam with new interest.

Colt looked at the young man and hesitated before answering, "My family is from Northern Saskatchewan, Alberta and southern Northwest Territories.  I am Dene, and not Inuit - although I do speak Inuktitut.  I have distant family who are Inuit, but I am not."

Adam and Patrick looked at the young Constable for a moment before Adam replied, "You are from the north and I think you need to meet the rest of our family. You will feel at home with us."

"Adam, we're getting closer," yelled Conner from behind the wheel.

Adam turned and said, "Mark, take her into the boathouse dock for topping up." Adam looked towards the shore while he thought for a moment.  The words of Colt about the Inuit were honest but full of anger... well, maybe not anger, but something else.  The Inuit and Dene (the Dene who had been misnamed as the Chippewan by the settlers) had been in conflict for generations.  The Inuit lived throughout the north and were known as the 'meat eaters'.  The stories of them eating members of the Dene Nation had been around as long as the two nations had lived side by side.  Many bloody conflicts had taken place between them and Colt could just be the epitome of their mistrust or something more.

"Aye aye, Captain," replied Mark with a Scottish accent like Mr.  Scott of Star Trek.  "She can't keep up this speed..."

Conner smacked him in the back of the head.  Colt saw this and smiled.

Adam returned to his thoughts after smiling at his two younger brothers.  He realized Colt coming to them as a representative of the north was not a coincidence, because everything happened for a reason.

Mark did a good job of docking the boat and the men jumped out of the boat and introduced Colt to everyone else.

"Your friends are up at the cabin," said Liam to Colt.  "They have a search manager with them and they're pouring over topographical maps and doing math and probability and they lost me at the math."

Tyler spoke up, "They said they have more jet boats coming for searching but it will take time to get here."

Jared shook his head, "There is only one river so why do we need more boats that what we have?"

Colt looked at Jared for a moment, his head cocked to one side.  "You're right when you put it that way."

"We'll take the jet boat, the ski boat, and the three jet skis.  If we bring one barrel of fuel we can go all the way to where they set in," said Jared.

Another voice was heard, "We are the ones who make the decisions here," said a chubby sergeant who had joined them.

"Not with my equipment, Sergeant," replied Jared as he stepped onto the dock. "We know what we're doing around here."

"You're trained in search and rescue?" he demanded of Jared.

"No, a couple of us grew up around here and this was our playground.  We know this area for miles like the back of our hands," replied Jared.

"Well, then we're doing it my way.  That's the advantage when I'm the search manager and a sergeant."

Jared stepped towards the chubby sergeant and said, "Number one, you were invited to help us.  Number two, you are on my land and this is my equipment, and finally number three, this is federal jurisdiction land tribal land.  Am I speaking too fast for you?"

"Sergeant," came another voice.  "Maybe you better go back up to the cabin Jared has graciously allowed us to use as an operational centre," said a Police Inspector.

"But, this needs to be coordinated."

"And it will be coordinated.  I'll listen to Jared's ideas as someone who knows this area like the back of his hand and then I will listen to your ideas based upon your training on how to approach it.  If you haven't learned anything before today, you will learn the combination of both of your perspectives is the best idea.  I also have the Crowns on my shoulders with scrambled eggs on my hat brim to back up what I'm saying right SERGEANT?" said the Inspector.

"Yes, sir," he said as he scurried away

"Jim, it is nice to see you again," said Jared as he reached out with his hand.

"Always a pleasure, Jared."

Jared introduced him to everyone.  They discussed options and Jared suggested they head out with the other boats following them whenever they arrived.  They could make a quick run to scan the shores for clues or signs.  If there was a problem, they could carry the emergency medical kits and some food with them.

It didn't take long before Jared suggested Colt travel in one boat and the Inspector in the other with Tyler, Troy and Liam on the jet skis.  Jim thought about it and said, "Let's stick with the two boats right now.  The more equipment such as the jet skis, the more things to complicate the matter by burning fuel or breaking down."

It was fortunate Melanie, Ryan, Jesse, and Zane were still at the cabin.  With it being used as a search headquarters, it meant someone would be there to keep an eye on the place while it was filled with strangers.

The Inspector explained to the group in the cabin what they were going to be doing and what he expected of the group.  Jared grabbed the sat phones while the others grabbed the emergency trauma kits they stored at the cabin.  Everything (when they went canoeing or jet boating up the river) was loaded into Rubbermaid tubs to keep it dry.  There was a lot of dry goods such as pasta and rice, along with dried soups and cans of food kept at the cabin.  There were also two freezers of all kinds of different meats so it would be no problem to feed people for a few days.  On the way by the boathouse, Jared grabbed a couple more Rubbermaid tubs with the cooking gear in it.  The final Rubbermaid tubs were filled with ropes, tarps, blankets and coveralls.

The search team would send additional boats out when they arrived as well as patrolling the forestry roads near the river as well as to control the perimeter.  This was in case the people had left the river and were now wandering through the forest. 

They had been on the water for two hours and the two boats were still travelling parallel as they came around one of the curves.  The boat had begun moving towards the next curve when Adam yelled about seeing something brightly coloured up ahead floating downriver near the shore.  They continued towards it and realized it looked like part of a canoe.  As they arrived, it was a canoe partially submerged.  The camping equipment was still strapped to the gunnels and had weighted the one end down.

"Liam, do you sense anything?  Adam?" asked Jared as he focused on the canoe.

It surprised them all when Patrick spoke up.  "They didn't drown, but they lost this canoe."  He was in deep thought for a moment and then looked at Jared and said, "Is there an island in the river near some rapids and a place you can walk?"

Jared smiled at the young man, "There's one a few more miles upstream and its called a portage."

Patrick smiled, "A portage I'll remember that word."

The young man leaned over the side and touched the drifting canoe.  It felt like an electrical shock on his hand when he made contact, and his mind filled with images of the people as the canoe swamped.  The group was really surprised when Patrick further added, "A second canoe is further up river.  The first one swamped and the second one tried to help but they lost that one too."

"You guys are going to have to explain this to me," said Colt.

"No problem," replied Troy as he moved back to the bow of the boat but said nothing more.

"Let's get going," said Jared as he started the boat up again.  Colt watched Troy intently as he appeared to be sniffing the air like a dog as the boat was moving.

Jared looked at Troy, "Anything?"

"Nothing.  That's a good sign not to have bodies in the area."

"Agreed," replied Jared.

Colt stared at the young men with interest.

They marked the partially submerged canoe with a large orange buoy before moving on.  The Inspector called back to the search base on the satellite radio to let them know what they had found and that they were moving further up the river.

Colt asked Troy, "How do you know there are no floaters or bodies?"

"You wouldn't believe me but I can usually smell them," replied Troy matter of fact.

Colt was about to say something again when the Inspector leaned over to Colt, "I would suggest for the moment you just let them do their thing.  They are all very good at what they do.  They will save the explanation for another day."

Colt started to speak when he was cut off by the Inspector. "I understand, and I have seen them do this before.  It was this team which ended the church camp standoff.  They have obviously taken you under their wing or you wouldn't be here with them using their gifts openly.  Let them do their thing and they will explain it at some time in their own way."

Colt locked eyes with Jim and a moment later he nodded his head.  Jim had felt a weak but definite electric charge emanating from the Constable as he seemed to be probing him with his eyes.  Being a low level sensitive, Jim was fully aware when another sensitive was trying to use their gift on him.  The Inspector also perceived Colt didn't understand what he could do with the gift and how that would help him as a police officer. Jim also realized if he had sensed it, Jared and Liam would have as well.  He looked toward the bow of the boat and immediately noticed everyone but Jared was facing forward and using their eyes to search everywhere for any signs.  Jared was looking back at him with a smile, and he nodded to Jim.  The Inspector smiled back and not only realized Jared was aware of Colt's gift but once again wished any one of these men were single.  He liked, respected and admired them all in so many ways he would have been with anyone one of them if he were younger and they were single.

It was approximately 4 hours later the two boats came around the gentle curve in the river and spotted the island in the distance. Troy had picked up on the scent a few times as they came upriver and advised Jared.  They were approaching the curve when Troy had yelled back to Jared from the bow there was a large group ahead.

As they rounded the curve they immediately noticed smoke from a fire on the island shore.  The boats pulled up and were beached near the fire as a group of people came towards them.

Just before he jumped off the boat, Jim called over to Colt, "Constable, let these men do what they need to do while I talk with the adults.  This will really open your eyes."

The young Constable watched as Liam and Jared moved quickly to the crowd to assess and triage everyone.  Adam was barking at Patrick and Conner to move the Rubbermaid tubs to the fire area while Troy and Mark were beginning to set up a camp kitchen to make a meal.  Colt was amazed as he moved towards where everyone had gathered as he watched food being prepared, injuries being treated and dry coveralls being given to people to wear.  He was standing there and feeling useless as the Inspector came up behind him.  The canoe group had lost 2 of their 5 canoes along with some of the equipment and food.  But, the two adults and ten youth were all safe.

"They are incredible, aren't they Colt."

"Yes sir, they truly are.  I realize some of these guys are trained professionals but the way they all work together is incredible."  He hesitated for a moment, "There are times they just seem to look at each other and no words are said but they both seem to know..."

"They all have gifts Colt, more than you will ever know.  But, think about it for a moment.  Even in our line of work, we can look at each other and through facial expressions, eye or mouth movements, and other subtle cues we can very effectively communicate."

"It's more than that, I think," Colt said slowly.

The Inspector put his hand on Colt's shoulder, "I said it before, they will explain it at some time in their own way."  The Inspector's satellite phone rang and he stepped off to answer it.

Troy yelled over to Colt to quit being a tourist and get over to the fire to help prepare food.  He smiled at Troy and nodded as he moved.

End of Chapter Twenty-Five


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