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Jared the Paramedic III ~ Redemption
Copyright © 2018-2019 Snowblind. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 36: Speculation
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Jett woke up in the hospital; He immediately felt the pain in his shoulder, and then his chest. The young man moaned out loud.
"You're awake," said Liam.
The young man looked to the right of the bed and immediately saw Jared and Liam sitting in chairs.
The young man blurted, "Liam, Jared... I'm alive?"
Liam nodded, and then said, "You are indeed alive. We're here to help you get back on the right path in life."
"OMG, I'm still alive?"
Jared spoke, "Yes, you are. Everyone is very happy you are still alive."
Jett's eyes filled with tears immediately. "I couldn't even do that right."
Jared and Liam pulled their chairs closer to the bed. Liam spoke first, "Jett, we are very happy you are, and we're here to help guide you through your recovery."
The young man flinched as a spasm of pain from his shoulder moved through the rest of his body. "Ouch," he said through gritted teeth.
"That hurt a lot?" asked Liam. "Chest or shoulder?"
"Shoulder, it's settling down now. My chest feels like I have a patio stone strapped to it."
Jared looked at Liam, then at Jett, "Fairly soon, there will be lots of people in to see you. Doctors, nurses, police, family, and everyone is concerned about your recovery. Even your father is coming."
Jett visibly tensed at the mention of his father, which sent fresh waves of pain through his body.
"We will be with you every step of the way to support you," added Liam. "You asked us for support once, do you still want it?"
The young man began to cry, "I don't know what I want, or need, or what I'm going to do. You guys will still help me?"
Jared answered quickly, "We will support and stand with you as long as you want us."
"It's going to get rough, but we will be there," said Liam as he grasped the young man's hand.
"What do I have to do? I don't know what to do first? Where do I start?" asked Jett rapid fire.
"Believe in yourself, and believe in us. The rest is just learning," said Jared calmly.
"I do trust you, I've got nowhere to go now."
"A lot has changed since you tried to kill yourself, and you'll see how much things have changed shortly. But, you still have a long way to go," replied Liam.
Jett repositioned himself in bed slightly, which caused pain in his shoulder. The young man gritted his teeth.
"The pain getting worse?" asked Liam.
"Yeah," replied Jett. "My chest hurts every time I breathe in or move."
"Let me help you," replied Liam as he gently placed his hand onto Jett's sternum. Jett looked at his friend's hand. It was strange, but it felt as if the hand was warming up his skin. It was becoming very warm, like a heating pad. The heat was travelling from his chest over to the shoulder. Jett could feel the pain lessening as the warmth was building in the wounded areas. Jett looked up to ask Liam about what was happening but was shocked. Liam's eyes were glowing bright white. He didn't know what to say. What he did know was the pain in his shoulder was now manageable, as was his chest. Jett watched as Liam's eyes returned to normal.
"What..." Jett started to say.
Jared spoke first, "Jett, it's complicated. You have a guardian who prevented your death from the bullets. You have great things in store for you in your life, but we must get you back on that path to fully achieve your potential."
"No, messengers sent to help," replied Liam. "We will help you through this, and we will stand with you as you finish school. We can offer advice on what to do, but everything is your choice and under your control. To begin your healing, we are inviting you out to our cabin to meet our entire family and to introduce you to many things to help you succeed."
"Healing? What about my injuries and my family..." He was cut off.
Liam held his hand up, "Jett, not today. As soon as reasonably practicable. There are a few things which need to be cleared up first."
There was a knock at the door, Jared stood to open it. It was obviously Jett's mom, and brothers. Jared stood to the side, as they rushed in.
The family discussed what had happened, or as much as they knew. They explained about leaving the farm and talked about him moving in with them for the time being. Jett explained who Liam and Jared were, and how he had met them. The two of them had also explained it from their point of view, and what they hoped to accomplish with Jett after he was released from the hospital. His mother sat with him on the bed and sized the two men up.
She looked at Jared and Liam, and finally just said, "Why are you doing this?"
Jared remained seated and calmly said, "It's what we do, Ma'am. We come from a long line of healers, and we have managed to return many people back to their full potential and their path in life."
"You're not part of some right-wing extremist religious group, are you?"
"No, not at all," said Liam. "We are spiritual, and we are both considered Shamans and medicine men, but we're not an extremist group. In fact, Jared is very well known in the medical field, and this wing of the hospital was donated by his grandfather. His grandfather will be helping to move Jett back on his true path."
"What path is that?' she demanded.
"We'll find out for sure, but I suspect Jett already knows what he's going to do with his life," replied Liam.
"Are you the ones who turned him gay?"
Jett was upset by now, and he quickly said very loudly, "Mom, no one turned me into anything! I've been this way as long as I can remember. I just hid it from you and dad."
She looked at the two men in front of her for a long moment, then said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean that." She turned to look at Jett... looked at him for a long moment, and then said, "You didn't hide it from anyone but your dad. I've suspected for a long time, and your brothers have talked about it a few times with me."
Jamie, the next youngest at 16 stepped to his brother's side, "Jett, don't get mad at Mom. I approached her. It was to talk with her about more than just about you."
Jett looked at his brothers, and then asked, "One of you?"
He shook his head, "I won't say, Jett. When it's safe and comfortable to do so, it will come out."
His mother pulled his hand to her mouth to kiss it, "Jett. A mother knows or at least suspects these things. I still love you, and so do your brothers."
Jett began to cry tears of relief, and his brothers all joined their mom in hugging him tightly. The door opened slightly and a man put his head in. When he recognized the people at the bed, he entered slowly.
Jared and Liam both stood up and blocked his path to the bed. They stood straight, arms crossed, shoulders back and feet apart.
The man looked at the two men, and said very forlorn, "I came to see my son."
"Jeff, what are you doing here," asked Jett's mom.
He stood, looked down at his feet, and said slowly, "I was wrong, dear. Very wrong... and about a lot of things. I am here to apologize, and beg for Jett's forgiveness."
Jett spoke up, "Dad, these are my friends Jared and Liam."
He looked at the two men, and finally extended his hand, "Nice to make your acquaintance." Liam shook it, as did Jared. Both men had probed his memories as they shook his hand.
Jared spoke, "Jeff, are you here to talk?"
He shook his head up and down before mumbling, "Yes." When he looked up, he had tears in his eyes. Jared and Liam stepped aside, to allow him to move towards his family. He moved forward and grabbed his entire family into a hug while they all shed tears.
A few moments later, they were all settled down, and talking about what had happened. Jett was getting tired of repeating the story but repeated it again very well. His dad asked a few questions but remained quiet most of the time. From what Jett had described of his dad, he was quite withdrawn. Both Liam and Jared knew he was shaken up from the fight, striking his son, the loss of his family and nearly losing a son. His world had been shaken to the core, and he had no clue how to rebuild it.
"Jett, I beg you to forgive me. I was more than out of line, and I'll understand if you can't do it. I was wrong to live through you. Your mother was right about me." Jeff took a deep breath before continuing. "I was living through you. When you were on the ice taking a shot, getting a breakaway or even when you were hit, I was living it. I was ignoring your needs. I was ignoring what you were telling me so that I could force you to do what I thought you wanted. I love you son, no matter what you are."
Jett looked up from the hospital bed at his father, followed by quick glances towards Liam and Jared. He brought his hand up to the large bruise on the top of his sternum and thought for a moment. He looked directly at his father and locked eyes. Jeff looked back at his son and immediately noticed something was different about Jett. His son's eyes were twinkling with life he hadn't seen in them for a long time.
"I can't explain it Dad, but I see things differently now. I forgive you."
Jeff's shoulders slumped, he dropped his head to rest his chin on his chest; then the tears began to flow.
There were a couple of news services out in front of the hospital doing a segment to be shown later that night. As Jared and Liam walked by, the one reporter was saying, "The high school student who was shot by the police today is recovering in this hospital. He was in critical condition earlier but has been upgraded to stable now. The student was walking out of the high school and shot by a police officer who had arrived at the school in response to an alleged call about an armed person. The police have not responded to this reporter's questions except with a statement about the investigation is ongoing. The school wouldn't share the CCTV footage of the yard with this reporter either. So far, the only thing we know is that the police officer gunned down an unarmed boy with a plastic toy gun."
Jared and Liam both stood and stared at the reporter in disbelief at what she was saying. Finally, Jared touched Liam's arm and mumbled, "Let's get out of here before we both get mad."
"I totally agree," Liam replied with disgust.
The reporter continued, "The police have been investigated previously for excessive use of force in situations. The shooting of an unarmed student on the front steps of the school..."
Jared and Liam were not surprised to find the security system activated at the front gate of the village, but passed easily with fingerprint access. They joined the rest sitting poolside at the tables.
"How you doing, Tyler," asked Jared as he released him from his hug.
"I'm doing ok. How's Jett?"
"He's doing well. His family was with him when we left the hospital and even his dad had come to visit," replied Jared.
"What's the word with you, Tyler?" asked Liam as he embraced his brother.
"The Chief Superintendent was saying the investigation should be done fairly quickly and I have nothing to worry about. It's the comments which are running wild with the social media." Tyler held Liam tightly as he continued. "They have me convicted as a psychopathic irresponsible child-killing cop."
Liam held him just as tightly. "We know what happened and the truth will come out."
Tyler let him go and stepped back. "I've always tried to be the best person I could be..."
Troy and Patrick both embraced Tyler as be began to sob.
Zane was sitting at the table nearby, "Between Facebook and Twitter, it is really getting ugly. Even the Yahoo News comments are really personally attacking Tyler. There are real spin and click-bait going on with both. The more militant civil rights groups are getting into it now too claiming it to racially based."
Tyler's voice was loud, shrill and full of emotion as he said, "How can it be racially motivated? I'm a Metis who passes for white or Slavic and Jett is as white as you can get. How the fuck is that racially motivated?"
Shadow moved next to Tyler and nudged him gently while giving him a short whine. Tyler reached down and scratched his ears.
"What really bothers me is the public doesn't understand the complexity of what's going on in the social media. There are so many bots, bot farms, paid monitors, and agitators all linked to keywords such as 'police shooting'. So many of the comments are not even real, but they agitate and stir up the masses. There are so many naive people who believe if someone named Tom posts that 'he's a student at the school and didn't see Jett do anything to warrant being shot', everyone will believe him. It's amazing how many people are just like the lemmings over a cliff when it comes to believing social media."
"We had a lot of discussions about this at school and I read a few research papers and articles about it," said Patrick. "I was amazed at how the special interest groups are using social media to fuel controversy as a way to fundraise and expand their memberships. We looked at one example where a proposal was to widen a highway from two lanes to four due to the amount of truck traffic. Statistically, the number of collisions with fatalities or serious injuries within the proposed stretch from people trying to pass them was staggering. There was a sudden emergence of a new environmental group with the main purpose of fighting the widening of a highway. They were claiming it would be detrimental to the environment as it was a traditional elk and moose habitat area. Without real facts being presented, everyone got on board with protests while Facebook and Twitter along with Yahoo all reacted against it. The project died due to this outcry. The interesting thing which came to the surface afterward was the financial backers of the new environmental group to fight the highway were two train companies. They were fighting because the expanded highway would make it easier for truck travel, which is cheaper than rail. So they would lose business."
Liam shook his head, "You have got to be kidding."
Patrick nodded in agreement. "We looked at a couple of natural gas lines and crude oil pipelines, it was basically the same sort of thing. The oil producers were supporting anti-natural gas pipeline activists. The gas producers were also paying pro-gas-line activists through backdoors in addition to their overt lobbying. It makes it appear there is more support that way. Combined with the professional trolls on social media, a total army is mobilized to support whoever is paying them. Just like the political parties too."
Patrick added, "Many of the groups do this to increase their fundraising efforts. They make wild statements until the public begins to take the bait, then they drop the donation phone number or website. The more controversial, the more money they raise."
"The right-wing political parties are doing it that way too," Troy said. "I've been watching for a while and the opposition party is doing the same thing in Canada. They rile everything up out of proportion and link whatever they can to immigration and extremist Muslims. Just like their brother organization in the United States has been doing."
Jared was shaking his head, "They look for anything to exploit against their target. It's too easy now with so many gullible people online."
Patrick was getting agitated. "I can just hear the social media posts when they find out the main witness lives with the officer they hate, and that I love him as my father."
Tyler moved to Patrick and embraced him tightly. "I will protect you with my life Patrick. Never doubt that."
"I don't," he replied as tears ran down his cheeks. "I just wish I could help you after everything you've done for me."
"Little Patty, your hug right now means more to me than you'll ever know." After a moment, he released his little brother.
Shadow barked at Tyler and then ran for the door, stopped and looked back. Tyler was looking at him with a puzzled look so Shadow ran to him again. This time Shadow stood up and placed his paws on Tyler's shoulders and stared directly into his eyes. As he did, Shadows eyes glowed white and he connected with Tyler for a moment. Tyler looked back at Shadow and heard his thoughts. The wolf dropped down and stepped backwards.
Tyler looked at Troy, "He says let's go for a run, as a pack."
"Can I come?" asked Patrick. Shadow immediately nodded his head yes.
"Shadow wants all of us including Jesse, Zane, Jared and Liam, too."
Zane stood and moved to Patrick. "As a pack means in our spirit animal forms, Patrick. Do you need help..." He never got to finish as Patrick became his spirit guide Lynx. Zane looked at him and then to Jared, "Obviously someone has been doing some homework we weren't aware of."
The pack had run through the forest behind the village, crossed the river at the shallows and were bounding up and along the far shore of the river. Shadow led them on a hard run along the riverbank. Finally, they all stood in the river and drank the cool water. It was quite a collection of animals. The three wolves, a lynx and four cougars as Jared and Liam had chosen the cougar for this run. They had wanted to be part of the pack and not hold them up. After a drink of water, Shadow led them up the steep bank to a path which cut through a series of switchbacks and brought them to a lookout point. The lookout point was a flattened area on the top of a hill. It wasn't totally flat as the north side had a higher peak still. What the north side did was to give wind protection to the guards on the lookout in the days of old. From here everyone could see the river, the valley and the city off in the distance.
Shadow walked around with his nose to the ground, sniffing the area in what would appear to be a random pattern to anyone who was watching. What he was doing was following some scents in the slight breeze which flowed at both irregular heights and paths. Finally, he snorted his approval the area was safe.
Patrick was standing and looking over the edge at the view in front of him. "It's beautiful up here."
Tyler came up beside him, pulled him towards himself and embraced him from the side. "It is peaceful, isn't it?" The rest of the men moved next to their brothers.
A voice from behind startled them all. "About time you got here. The tea is ready" said Grandfather Mathew. Tyler turned and was startled that just a moment ago there was nothing there, and now, here was their grandfather. The old man was seated in front of a fire, a pot with tea in it and a few cups next to him.
The young men all exclaimed "Grandfather!" as they each moved to give him a hug. Mathew indicated for them to sit around the fire.
"Grandfather, not that I'm not happy to see you but..." started Jared.
"Sometimes I don't wait to be called to give help, especially when it's my grandchildren who need it." Shadow had moved to a spot behind Tyler and laid down.
"Tyler?" asked Jared.
"My grandson's integrity, confidence and spirit are being attacked. Although it is not the dark forces at work it is something which feeds the dark forces quite well. Shadow brought you here to be surrounded by the positive energy of mother earth and release some of your emotions."
The young man broke down finally as he asked, "Why me, Grandfather," sobbed Tyler. "I've tried to walk the correct path in life and to have you proud of me."
"Grandson, I both love you unconditionally and are proud of everything you do."
Troy had his arm around Tyler's shoulder for support. "Tyler, I stand with you as we face this. We are one."
Tyler leaned his head against Troy. Grandfather stood, and with his walking stick, he made a large circle around the men where they sat. As he did so, he kept chanting. Shadow stood up and moved to a point within the circle behind Tyler. The wolf rested his chin over Tyler's right shoulder. The man reached up to scratch his wolf friend's muzzle.
Grandfather sat down, reached for the pot of tea and raised it skyward. He spoke words in the ancient language thanking the creator for the tea he was about to share. He brought the pot down, set it on the ground and began to dip the cups into it. Mathew passed the cups out until everyone had one. The next few moments no one said a word as they sipped the tea slowly. The mixture was sweet, flavorful and very relaxing. Finally, he spoke to the men. "My children, not everything that happens in the world is nice, fair, or pleasant. You all know that already. This event has begun to move a young man back onto his correct path in life."
"Grandfather, I understand that," Tyler responded.
"Everything is progressing as it should except for the attack on Tyler led by the social media and newspaper. It is now time for us to discuss what is happening."
Jared explained, "Jett has offered to help us in any way he can. Liam and I sat down with his mom and dad to discuss their thoughts about his offer, and they agree with Jett. They will do anything to help Tyler."
"Jesse, I would appreciate your opinion on the idea I have," Grandfather said after sipping tea.
"Of course Grandfather."
"Jett's father needs to heal the rift with his sons. We can heal that rift, especially with Jett and allow them to move forward as a family."
"How do we do that?" asked Zane.
"We have a special sweat with the tribe, along with Jett's father and his sons."
"Would they do it?" asked Tyler.
"Patrick my son, what do you think the answer to that question is?" Grandfather asked.
"I believe they would, Grandfather. They are desperately seeking a way to repair the damage between them. If the damage is repaired between them, I believe the damage would begin to heal between Jett's mom and dad as well."
"Very good observation."
Jared spoke, "Grandfather, I will approach them tonight personally and ask."
"The sweat will take place this Saturday, and you will need them there to build a larger lodge for this sweat, my children. The building of the lodge together will be the same as building a house. Working together to build the floor first, then building on the floor after to bond the group. Building the lodge together, and then the sweat. They will need to come out Friday to start early Saturday."
"Yes Grandfather," the young men replied.
End of Chapter Thirty-Six
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