At a city council meeting, the tempers flared high:
“This has to stop! Our city services divisions are breaking the city. Where do I begin – lawsuit after lawsuit. Officer beats a suspect, all while being secretly videotaped by a civilian – $21 million. Fireman feels up and then rapes a our first and last female firefighter, $3.6 million. Paramedic responds to a traffic collision, a driver with no apparent injuries is given a drug, somehow, and the paramedic is later seen giving him a blowjob in a ambulence on the way to the hospital. Pension costs are running almost as much as current payroll. Then these union demands for the newest, latest and greatest equipment. Two years ago we floated bond money to update all services, and they want more – SOMETHING has do be done, and done fast.
So something had to be done. Not always we find the consequences of what has to be done good. Especially if we have to live trough them at the ground level.
Sven waited nervously outside his boss office. He had been orderd to come in after the shift. It was a hot day and he was sweaty. His shirt was not tuked in his pants, there was a little bit of coffee stain on his pants and his boots looked unpolished his hair was unkempt and fell into his forehead. It didn’t look good, helped cover the receding hairline. All in all he considerd himself not looking to bad but a little bit overweight.
“Mr. Svenson please come in”, his boss had opend the door, one of his workmates Adrain hat come out. Adrian was a nice guy, mid 20s waiting to go to medical school. A little bit disorganised at times and sloppy but never the less nice.
“Mr. Svenson I have your latest performance resoults here. Sometimes I wonder if you ever wen to paramedic training at all. And look at yourself you are a disgrace for the departement.”
“But boss its not easy, we are working, you get dirty, there are better things to do then cleaning boots, you know…”
“Svenson, I’m fed up with your excuses, you know that. You were warned..
“No more please. We have made a decision. You can either go for recertification, we will pay for that, but your salary will be cut by half or we send you to the new facility at Gordon Heights. 81 days intensive training, boot camp, like in the army”. His bos smirked.
“I don’t want to.”
“There is no No.”
“Adrian is going to Gordon Heigst, too. he says he wants to take on the challenge” Actually that was a lie, but both the Chief and Adrian had agreed to that line, easier to sell to the coworkers.
Sven looked baffled.
“OK, I do it!”
“Good, then sign here”. The chief took out a long form, more then 6 pages and flipped them to the last page. It was a lot written, very small.
“I have to read this”
“Just sign” The chief looked angry. Sven was not the stronges of characters at times, so he just signed and hoped all would be well.
Departure day had come. Sven had packed as the instruction sheet told him into a suitcase. He had talked to his neibours about watering the plans and emptying the mailbox, said godbye to his friends and co-workers and was now on the train. He was as anxios as Adrian. Both had to ride it all the line until he arrived at the very last station.
At the last station they excited the train. A lanky guy in a black overall, with black leather gloves, the tucked into the boots paratroper style, no nametag just crew written and a number written on the overall above the right brest pocket, wearing a black base cap held up a sign “Svenson”.
Sven walked towards him.
“Hi I’m going to Gordon Heigst, are you waiting for me?”
“Is there a car or a bus waiting?”
The guy just waved his arms to waiting black minibus with Gordon Heights written on it.
Sven walked over.
Behind the weels was another guy. He loked almost the same, except that there was a short stubble of black hair lurking behind the base cap. But otherwise he wore the same black overall, belt, black leather gloves, and had crew and another number written on the the overall.
The guy saw them, left the drivers seat, went to the back and opend the baggae area. He gestured to the suitcase.
Sven put both into the van.
Then stepped into the van. A third guy had come around withe the lanky guy from the station. His baggage was put into the rear of the van and he enterd. Then the door suddenly closed, was locked from the outside and the other black overalled guy enterd.
They started driving. The vans windows where tinted so it was difficult to see where they were going. Sven started to get sleepy. As seemingly all the other people sitting in the back of the van.
Before dozing off he had noticed that the driver and the guy next to him had put on some kind of helmet.
Suddenly the van stopped at a gate. Sven slowly became awake.
He noticed a razor wire fence. Despite the night strong flashlights were turned on.
Guys in what had to be submachine guns patrolled the entrance. They all wore the same black overall uniforms, bullet proof vests, visored helemts.
The drivers window opened: “delivery for paramedic programm” and handed a piece of paper to one guard.
The first steel door closed the second door opend.
The van drove on.
It stopped in front of a grey concrete buildung. A door labeld “processing” could be seen.
A guy in the same dark one piece uniform, with polished boots, leather gloves and red base cap.
“Once you step of this bus, I don’t want to hear any questions. You will be told what to do. You will adress everyone as Sir. You will do what you are told.”
Sven gulped. What the fuck?
Sven and his mates left the bus.
“Put your suitcases and belongings into your plastic container, its labeld with your name. Take your papers out, there is a folder with several sections, put the apropiate documents where they belong, after you finished assemble in a line”
Sven found his case easily, put his suitcase into it and his backpack as well. He didn’t think anything odd, probably they would get the stuff at their rooms.
“Quick, Quick, Quick” the instructors shouted. Sven saw others struggeling with their files and he hurried to put his stuff in the predescribed cases.
“Ok, it seems all of you sorry excuses for paramedics have finished your stuff and got your act together. Now form one straight line, we will bring you to assemlby the director of the acedmy will adress you. No talking necessary”
They started walking into the assembly. The head instructor with the red base cap in front, the to others with their black base caps in the back.
They were lead into a large auditorum. The instructor in the red cap stood on the podium: “Welcome to the academy. In a few moments we will hear our director, but before he comes I just tell you: After his speech you will be called up and taken to get a medical, it will be one by one”
Sven noticed that on each door two guards stood, they all wore the same black overall uniforms, bullet proof vests, visored helemts, had large lack sticks on their belts and black boots.
The director came in -he had grey side parted hair, exceded an air of seniority and confindence wearing wore the same uniform as the instructor and was flanked by two guards in the same uniform with visored helmets.
“Welcome to our academy. The next 2 and half months will be intensive, but you will get the chance to reedem your self and becoem the excellent paramedics you always wanted to be. You will be able to save lives and unlock your full potential. Serving your patients and your community.
That is what we offer to each of you.
For this we expect you take your chance. Particpate in the programm, do what you are told and you will exceed.
We will offer you our help.
Now its time for your medical, the instructor will call up your names and you follow one of our crew to the exam rooms, please do not speak unless spoken too.
We have noticed that discipline helps in the training and we will offer this help to you”
The director left the stage, flanked by his two guards.
The instructor came to the podium again: “Archer, Andrews follwo this Crew”
The procdure needed some time until they were at “Svenson and Schreiber”. Sven stood up and followed the uniformed “crew” to a grey door.
“Schreiber in here” the dark clad figure said.
The walked to the next door “Svenson in here”
The door opend and Sven stopped into a white tiled room with a dentist chair.
Sven sat on the chair.
“Place your arm in the support”
The crew guy sliped up svensons long sleeve and strapped the arm onto the chair.
“What are you doing?”
“You’re arm is getting secured, no need to talk”
Another guy came in, he was smaller then the “Crew” wore a similar tight fighting uniform, no cap and was completly hairless.
“I need blood and will install your bracelet”
A medal was uncermonisly pushed into the vein of his left arm.
The contraption around his left hand was freed and the bald guy started fiddling with a wristwatch style device.
“Make sure its tight”
“Of course, I’m a professional”
“What are you doing”
“No need to talk, don’t inturrpt”
The bald guy turned to Sven: “This is your braclet, it has to be tight. At night you can charge it with the wire. It has to be charged every night. Its for your safety. We can track where you are at any given time and your pulse. So should anything happen to you, whe know that. We take the safty of our students very seriously.
You can also use it to obtain food at the dispensers, open the doors you are authorised and acess things.
It will come off when you graduate. Until then, simply think of it as your best friend.”
The bald guy stood up and started to leave the room. The instructor turned to Sven: “Before we forget, the bracelet will help you to stay out of places you are not permited and will help if you need some discipline. Just to tell you”