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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption

Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.


Chapter 32: Graduation



The audience in the bleachers were quiet as the troop finished their dismounted calvary foot drill demonstration.  The graduation exercises had started at 10:00 am, and ran in the same order they had for decades.  The troop had started out with 32 but finished with 29.  That was still quite high considering the average amount of people who usually give up, quit, or are dismissed for either academic failure or ethical breach.  The investigation into Jean and Reggie's actions had been completed fairly quickly.  They were dismissed for their actions of bullying of Adam as well as the recruit who they had caused to quit training.  Those are not the actions of a future police member who must remain impartial to things they disagreed with, found personally distasteful, or in conflict with their values.  Police represent the law, not their own personal agenda, and neither of those men would be able to do that.  Another reason the troop had such a high graduation percentage was due to the informal leadership of Adam.  He helped his troop mates study, worked with them when they got behind, ran extra miles with the slower ones to encourage them, sat and listened quietly when they needed to talk to someone, and gave advice when asked which seemed to be years over his actual age.

The biggest event for the graduates was seeing the list of who was being posted to where at 0900 this morning before everything started. Adam was one of the last to check the list because he was afraid of being transferred away without Patrick.  He couldn't believe when he saw that he was posted locally to complete his recruit field training.  Adam almost passed out with relief; he could hardly wait to tell Patrick.

The demonstrations for the crowd in the morning included self-defence, physical abilities and exercises as well as some demonstrations of procedural takedowns of offenders.  It was noon when that finished, just enough time for the troop to get dressed in their red uniforms for the noon Sgt Major's parade.  At the end of that parade, the crowd had been escorted to the drill hall for the final activity.  It was the presentation of their official badge as well as any special awards they had won during training.

The troop was formed in their usual position; two rows with 16 forming the front rank and 13 in the back.  Superintendent Skillet was calling the graduates up one at a time to congratulate them, present their badge as well as any awards.  Adam was getting anxious as he was the last one to be called up.  Expecting his name to be read out, he was surprised when the Superintendent stood in front of the microphone.

"For this graduate, we have three special guests to present his badge.  May I  present the Tom Janvier, Spirit Walker, Most Sacred Medicine Man of the People, Most Sacred Healer of the People, Speaker for the Council of Elders, Chairman of the Tribal Council, and Sacred Messenger of the Creator Himself.  He is Cst. Adam Machiskinic's grandfather."  Grandfather Tom walked out from a side door dressed in white buckskins covered in beadwork,  leather fringes, and the bison horn headgear of his position.  Tom walked proudly to where the Superintendent was standing, shook his hand and then stood next to him. 

The Superintendent continued, "I would like to introduce Cst. Adam Machiskinic's other grandfather Running Elk, the Most Scared Elder, Most Sacred Medicine Man, most knowledgeable Shaman of the people, loyal and devoted messenger of the Creator."  Mathew stepped out of the side door dressed in similar clothing to that of Tom.  Mathew walked to the front of the troop, taking a position next to Tom.

Superintendent Skillet continued, "We have one final guest to introduce.  I would like to introduce Assistant Commissioner John Belanger, Commanding officer of the Division."  John walked out, snapped to attention in front of the Superintendent who returned his salute.  John then moved to Tom and then Mathew, embracing them.  John moved quickly to the podium.

He looked from one side of the troop to the other. He turned slightly towards the audience until he spotted his husband sitting in the back.  John had a smirk on his face as spoke, "Troop, I'm honoured to be here today with you.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pizza's to share with you today."  Although the audience didn't understand, they politely chuckled.  What mattered to John was that every member of the troop had a smirk on their faces as they reflected on positive memories of John sitting with them in the dorm one night. 

In the booming voice of a former Sergeant Major, John called out: "Cst.  Adam Machiskinic, front and centre."  Adam came to attention, then marched to the front coming to a halt in front of the Assistant Commissioner.  He snapped off a salute smartly which John returned.

John turned as Superintendent  Skillet handed him something.  He faced Adam again, "Constable, it is my pleasure to present this award for service to your troop during training.  To a man, they all talk about how much you helped them in so many ways and asked nothing in return.  In fact, it's the first time there has ever been a unanimous nomination from all 28 members of the troop."

Quietly Adam said, "There are 29 members…"

John cut him off, "You didn't get a vote."  Then he gave Adam a big smile.  He handed the award to Adam while they shook hands and the official picture was taken.  John stepped backwards, returning the award to the table for Adam to pick up after.

Tom moved to the podium next.  "Cst. Adam Machiskinic...  Cst.  Adam Machiskinic.  It will take a while for me to call my grandson that, but I am very proud of you."  Tom turned as Mathew handed him something from the table.  It was a five-row buffalo bone and bead choker with an arrowhead hanging from the front centre.

"As you are now a peacemaker, you have earned the honour of the necklace of that position.  Not only are you a Medicine Man, but you are also now known as a Peacemaker.  This choker was made for the Peacemaker Most Sacred Burrowing Fox by his husband Bent Arrow.  It took nine months of work to form the buffalo bones, porcupine quills, oak wood and flint into this choker."  Tom held it out to show his grandson, "This choker has been worn by peacemakers since the time of the 13 tribes, handed down from generation to generation."

Tom turned to John who had his eyes fixed on the choker.  "We are part of a long line of peacemakers.  This particular choker has been used by my family of Turtle Island for generations.  Some say mankind is only 6,000 years old while others say Mother Earth is 4.5 billion years old.  Our friends at the university tell us this necklace is 35,000 years old."

Tom returned the choker to the table for Adam to pick up after the ceremony.  John handed Tom his grandson's badge.  Tom turned to Adam with a big smile on his face as he said, "Congratulations Peacemaker Adam Machiskinic" as he handed him the badge while shaking Adam's hand. The official photos were taken with Tom, John, and the Superintendent each presenting his badge to him.  Mathew moved to the microphone and gave a prayer.

"Ladies, Gentlemen, Officers and Members of the Force, Honoured Guests, and the Graduating Troop.  My name is Mathew Bear and I am the other grandfather of Adam Machiskinic.  I am also a Spiritual Leader of the Tribe.  I'm here today to say a prayer and bless the members of this graduating troop as they move on to working in the field."

Adam returned to his position within the troop.

Mathew leaned over to John mumbling "showtime".  John's eyes opened wide at the news but smiled.

Grandfather raised one hand skyward and snapped his fingers.  As he did, the lights in the auditorium suddenly went out except for one over the troop.  John quickly motioned to everyone to not be concerned.  Grandfather took a stone bowl off the table full of sweet grass and white sage.  He moved towards the troop, held the bowl up.

"Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all, we celebrate a troop of new policemen who are peacemakers.  Let them become instruments of your will in their careers."

The bowl ignited into flames, settling down to smouldering very quickly.  When the bowl ignited, many people in the auditorium were startled.  There had been many numerous comments made, including 'oh!', 'wow', 'what the hell?'  He set the bowl down onto the floor in front of the troop.

The smoke from the bowl collected into a large cloud in front of the troop.  Grandfather extended his arms and put both of his hands together as if he were praying. He then separated his hands quickly until they were wide apart.  The smoke split into two clouds, moving towards the men.  One cloud went to the left side of the troop, while the other went to the right.  As the cloud began to move amongst the policemen all standing at attention, Grandfather spoke.

"May your hands be cleansed so they may be extended to others in need,
May your feet be cleansed so they might take you to where you need to be,"

The smoke was weaving around and through the two ranks of policemen all standing at attention leaving a trail behind it.  The audience was gasping in awe at what they were watching.  The tendrils of smoke hung around the men, moving to engulf each of them.

"May your heart be cleansed so that you hear it's messages clearly,
May your throat be cleansed so that you will always speak the truth and the right words when needed,
May your eyes be cleansed so that you will see the true message and facts,
May your head be cleansed so that you think clearly, respectful, and with truth"

 Mathew and the troop began to glow white as he spoke the next words.

"May these people be cleansed and washed clean by the smoke of these sacred plants,
May this smoke carry our prayers to the heavens."

The audience drew a collective breath in at what they were watching.  Grandfather clapped his hands three times.  The smoke left the policemen, came to Grandfather, and then shot straight upwards through the roof, disappearing.

"May these men, and all peacemakers, be protected from evil."

As Mathew spoke these last words, the white glow disappeared from everyone.  "As it was in the beginning, as it is now." 

Everyone in the auditorium was silent until Mathew raised his hand to snap his fingers.  When he did, the lights all came back on.  The audience began to applaud as Grandfather picked up the smudging bowl.  He moved off to the side, standing next to John and Tom.  John looked at him, "Showtime?"

Mathew smiled back at him as he shrugged his shoulders.

"Sometimes, it's a good thing, John."

The final command was given, the troop responded, and the graduation was over.  The graduates immediately gathered together, shaking hands and hugging each other. 

The banquet that night was a beautiful event.  Each one of the new graduates sat with their guests and were served dinner.  The family all attended wearing police dress uniforms, paramedic dress uniforms, or suits. Even Dawn, Melanie, and Ryan were there in their dress military uniforms.  The two grandfathers wore their white buckskins.  There were a few speeches, a few more presentations of awards followed by a dance.  Everyone had left around midnight after having a very long day.  Patrick and Adam were standing in the parking lot holding hands, staring at the moon.

"Adam, are you coming to my hotel room tonight or staying here?"

"You have a hotel room to yourself?"

The young man replied, "Uh uh.  Tyler gave it to us."

"Why are we standing here then?"

"So, with those riding pants, riding boots, and spurs you wear with that uniform, does that mean I get to ride you all night or do you get to ride me all night?"

Adam pulled Patrick in for a kiss. "Take me to bed or lose me forever."

"Will you bring your handcuffs?"

End of Chapter Thirty-Two


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