Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "The Form of Every Virtue"

This poem is spillover from the January 3, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lone_cat. It also fills the "strategy" square in my 10-4-17 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Turq and Ansel go to the police station to plan a raid on Mr. Dipper's place, and being there makes Turq anxious. There are awkward interpersonal complications, food insecurity, hypervigilance, stage fright, references to faginy and child abuse, poor self-image, and other challenges. If these are difficult issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. Understand that this is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

The Form of Every Virtue

Ansel walked into the police station,
with Turq a thin blue shadow at his heels.

First they stopped at the front desk.
"I need an emergency volunteer badge
for my friend here," Ansel said. "He's
helping out with today's mission."

Turq jigged and jittered, never happy
to be indoors, and even less happy
to be inside a police station.

Soon the secretary produced a badge
and passed it through the window.
"Here you go, and good luck," she said.

"Wear this," Ansel said, clipping the badge
to Turq's shirt. "It lets people know that
you're allowed beyond the public areas.
of the department, at least for today."

"Where are we going?" Turq asked,
looking around the lobby with its clusters
of furniture and the frosted glass wall
that closed off the conference room.

"The meeting hasn't started yet, so
a lot of people are probably gathering
in the canteen," Ansel said. "I want
to introduce you to some folks before
we go out in the field together."

"Okay," Turq said, not sounding okay
at all. He clung so closely to Ansel
that they almost tripped each other.

Ansel let Turq through the halls
and into the canteen, where people
crowded around the kitchenette and
vending machines. Open boxes of
pastries covered the small tables.

"Hi, Ansel -- oh, and Turq! I wasn't
expecting to see you here," Justin said.
"I have donuts, if you want breakfast."

Ansel, who was still licking the last of
the Canadian bacon grease off his lips,
said, "Thanks, but I'm pretty much full."

"Too bad," Justin said. "I bought some of
those raspberry-lemon ones that you love."

"Maybe just one," Ansel conceded, and
picked up a pink-iced donut crowned with
a candied lemon slice and a fresh raspberry.
The inside was lemon flavored, and the icing
was made with raspberry purée sprinkled
with crushed, freeze-dried raspberries.

He glanced at Turq, hoping that the boy
would be all right. Justin had spooked
him badly once, which had caused Turq
some very unpleasant symptoms. Ansel
thought they'd worked it out okay, but
that didn't guarantee all was smooth.

"What are these brown ones that
don't look like chocolate?" Turq said,
leaning over to look into the box.

"Those are gingerbread protein donuts
with lemon glaze and candied lemon zest,"
Justin explained. "They really stick to your ribs."

Turq promptly piled three on a napkin, then
hesitated. "Sorry, I probably shouldn't hog
these. I just didn't have time to make as much
breakfast as I would have liked. We had to go."

Ansel realized that he had no idea when
Turq had eaten last, before breakfast, or
how much energy the boy might have
burned up getting from Mr. Dipper's place
to Ansel's cabin. Turq had food stashed
in the gazebo, but didn't always think of it.

"Eat your fill," Justin said quietly. "I brought
two dozen donuts. Lena has coffee cake.
I think one of the secretaries got a fruit plate.
Those of us who have time, grab what we can
during a big call like this, because not everyone
has a chance to get any breakfast at all."

"Thanks," Turq said, putting one more donut
onto his napkin. "I'll check out that fruit plate."

"I'll come with you," Ansel said. He didn't
want to leave Turq alone here and risk
anything unfortunate happening.

"You don't have to follow me everywhere,"
Turq said with a frown. "I'm not ... I mean,
I am, but I won't do anything bad in here."

"I know," Ansel said. "I'm not spying on you
out of mistrust. I want to keep you safe."

"Oh," Turq said. "Okay. I can deal with that."
He shifted back and forth from one foot to the other.
"Can we do the fruit plate now? I really am hungry,
but I want the fruit before the donuts, or it'll taste sour."

They actually got to the coffee cake first, which
turned out to be cinnamon-sugar banana. Lena
cut a slice for Turq, and gave him a paper plate
to replace the overfilled napkin that he held.

Ansel noticed Turq staring at the silver crosses
on her police uniform and explained, "Lena is
one of our chaplains, and also our counselor.
Lena, this is my friend Turq, who's helping today."

"Hi," Turq said, hiding halfway behind Ansel.

"I'm keeping watch on the station this shift,"
said Lena. "Emmanuel is taking the chaplain car
on the mission, in case they need some EFA."

"I'm pretty sure we'll need it," Ansel said,
then turned to Turq and added, "Emmanuel is
our other chaplain and Emotional First Aide.
I want to make sure you meet him too."

They squeezed through the crowd, with
Ansel shooing people away from Turq.

Finally they found the fruit plate so that
Turq could fill a cup with chunks of apple,
pear, orange, pineapple, and persimmon.

"There's cardamom-almond granola
and Greek yogurt if you want toppings,"
the secretary said, pointing them out.

Turq eagerly shoveled both into his cup,
making Ansel wonder if the boy had even
eaten anything yesterday, the way he'd
gone through about two breakfasts.

"Load me up too, I haven't eaten yet and
I've got a long day ahead," someone said,
shouldering through the hungry crowd.

"Turq, this is Bert Armbruster, he's on
our BASH team," Ansel said, and then
introduced Turq to Bert. By then, Turq
was more focused on his fruit cup, but
Bert didn't seem upset by that, since
he was doing much the same himself.

Ansel just felt grateful that neither
of them seemed inclined to revisit
the awkward first meeting, though Turq
still shied away from the big black man.

"I heard you volunteered to help us,"
Bert said to Turq. "You just focus on
providing information. Don't worry about
the rough stuff -- that's what I'm here for."

"We'll get to that in the planning session,"
Ansel explained. "Once we have an idea
what's going on with Mr. Dipper, we can
figure out how we want to handle that. I'll
make sure you get assigned with me, Turq."

"Uh huh," Turq said, nodding a little too fast.

"You folks look frazzled," a new voice said,
and Ansel glanced over his shoulder to see
Emmanuel. "Jumpstart this morning?"

"Yes, Turq woke me up to tell me about
the problem with Mr. Dipper," said Ansel.

"That takes some doing," Emmanuel said.
"Shall we take this to a bunkroom?"

Ansel considered the way Turq was
trying to watch every corner of the canteen
at once and flinching whenever someone
brushed against him. "That's a good idea."

"Who's this?" Turq whispered as they
followed Emmanuel out of the canteen.

So Ansel made the introductions
again while the three of them walked
to the staff corner of the building.
At least he'd managed to introduce
Turq to the most essential people
for today's meeting and mission.

The station had a pair of bunkrooms,
each with a twin bed, a desk, and a chair.
Along with the soft interview room, they
served as quiet space when needed.

"Do you have a preferred religion?"
Emmanuel asked Turq, sitting down
in the chair beside the desk.

Turq took the inside corner of the bed,
easily tucking his legs into the lotus position.
"Kind of," Turq said. He wobbled a hand in
the air. "I lean Buddhist, but I like Taoism
and Confucianism too." He focused
on the clerical collar that Emmanuel
wore. "But you're, um ... not."

"I'm a police chaplain," Emmanuel said.
"That means I take care of everyone,
regardless of whether they happen
to match my own Catholic path."

"Emmanuel started out as a chaplain
and then expanded to EFA," Ansel said
as he took the end of the bed. He wished
that he was as flexible as Turq, but had
to content himself with a half-lotus.

"Do you like reading, or being read to?"
Emmanuel asked Turq. "We could just
sit quietly, but I find that comforting words
can help to soothe a restless spirit."

"I like listening to people read,"
Turq said softly. "It's nice."

That reminded Ansel that not all of
Turq's placements had gone sour, and
reading to foster children was something
that the more capable families often did.

"We keep interfaith and secular prayer books
in here, along with some entertaining items,"
Emmanuel said. Opening the desk, he set aside
the dice and cards with their handbook of rules,
and found the interfaith prayer book underneath.
"Let's see what they have in the Buddhist part ..."

"Whatever's there is fine," Turq said.

Emmanuel crossed his legs, although
he didn't try anything more adventurous.
"Through the virtues I collect by giving and
other perfections," the chaplain read aloud,
"May I become a Buddha for the benefit of all."

Ansel leaned back against the wall, letting
the warm familiar voice roll over him,
even though the words were new.

"May everyone be happy," Turq said.
May everyone be free from misery.
May no one ever be separated from
their happiness. May everyone have
equanimity, free from hatred and attachment."

That was a really good prayer. Ansel would
have to remember that one. His job would be
a lot easier if more people would follow it.

Within a few minutes, Turq had stopped
vibrating in place, and calmed down enough
to eat the fruit and donuts that he'd collected.
He even shared out the slice of coffee cake.

Then Ansel's vidwatch vibrated a silent alarm.
"There's our five-minute warning," he said,
lifting his wrist. "The planning session is
about to begin. Let's take our seats."

Turq seemed a lot more relaxed
as he tagged along behind them.

When they reached the conference room,
Ansel tucked Turq into a corner seat
and then took the chair beside him.
Emmanuel sat on the other side.

There were only a dozen or so people
around the table. Despite the urgency of
the situation, Chief De Soto preferred
to keep it as concise as possible.

He stood up at the head of the table.
"We have an advance team out already,
clearing civilians from the houses nearest
the target," he said. "I've also succeeded in
borrowing a three-man BASH team from Rolla."

The chief went on to summarize what
they already knew about Mr. Dipper,
his gang, and the house and yard to be
raided. It lay toward the edge of town
and butted against a large patch of forest
that provided cover of equal interest to
the perpetrators and the police.

When Ansel got the nod, he stood up
and said, "As you may have heard, we
have a volunteer with inside information.
Please respect his efforts today."

"What am I supposed to do now?"
Turq hissed at his elbow.

"Just repeat what you told me
earlier," Ansel said, tugging Turq to
his feet with a gentle hand at his elbow.
"Start at the beginning, go on until
you reach the end, and then stop."

"What if I forget something?" Turq said.

"People will ask questions based on
their specialties," Ansel said. "Don't
worry about getting everything perfect,
you're not trained for this. We are. If you
follow our lead, then everything will be fine."

"I, um, was at Mr. Dipper's last night when
some new kids came in," Turq said. "I don't
think they wanted to be there, because they
kept cringing and crying instead of sassing
people like most street kids do. Then it got
worse this morning, before dawn, and I had
to do something, so I went to Officer Pink ..."

Ansel knew it was hard on Turq, because
the boy's innate humility and learned fear
made him shy away from attention.

As he listened, though, he heard
Turq's voice slowly gain strength and
clarity. Shoulders lifted and straightened;
the chin came up. Courage was winning
over the stage fright and general skittishness.

Despite a lack of training, Turq was adaptable
and observant enough to be of real value in
this mission. Ansel had heard rookies do
worse when trying to describe a scene.

When Turq finally wound down, then
Chief De Soto opened the floor for questions.

Bert raised his hand first and asked,
"Based on your knowledge of the gang,
who do you consider the worst threats?"

"Watch out for Mr. Dipper. He likes
to hit people where it shows," said Turq.
"Other than him and me, Crackleball is
the only other soup now. It's risky if he
hits you head on, but his aim isn't as
good as he likes to think it is. Most
of the rest are just kids -- they'll run
away rather than stand and fight."

"That's a relief, nobody wants kids
in the middle of a fight. Thank you
for telling us," said Bert, turning
to Chief De Soto for guidance.

"We'll make plans to get the kids out,"
the chief declared. "Anyone else?"

"Please tell me more about the smells,"
Justin said. "I almost never hear anyone
other than myself mentioning that, and
it's important. Did the kids smell clean
or dirty to you? Could you smell blood?"

"Dirty, but not like street-dirty, more like
they hadn't showered for a few days,"
Turq said thoughtfully. "No, I didn't smell
any blood on them, and I would have,
but that was last night. This morning ..."
He shrugged. "It could be anything, but
I'll bet Mr. Dipper's been using his fists."

"Then they probably haven't been on
the streets very long -- fresh runaways,
rather than homeless youth," Justin mused.
He jotted something in his notebook. "Also,
if several kids came in together, it's possible
that they know each other. Someone should
check for a cluster of missing person reports,
especially from the same school or group home."

"Did you notice anything that might suggest
whether or not they knew each other?"
Ansel asked Turq. "It would help."

Instead of answering immediately,
Turq leaned back in his chair, tilting
his head up in thought. "They might,"
he said. "I can't be sure, or even tell
whether it's some of them or all of
them, but I heard them talking about
a football game, the same game."

"Didn't Rolla have a home game
this past weekend?" Bert asked.

"Yes, they did. I overheard people
talking about that when I called to ask
about borrowing their BASH team,"
Chief De Soto said. "Follow up on it."

The conversation spiraled around for
a few minutes, teasing out more details,
and then shifted into active planning.

Turq flopped back into his chair.
"I never want to do that again."

"Most people don't, but you did it
very well," Ansel said. "I'm proud
of you for stepping up like this."

Turq looked away, all modesty again.
"I'm just doing what's right. For a change."

"That takes courage," Ansel said,
patting him gently on the shoulder.

"I'm not brave," Turq said. "Not even
a little bit. "The things I've seen, and
run away from ... that's not courage."

"You're not running away now,"
Ansel pointed out. "You're here."

"Not running away yet," Turq said.

"Courage is not simply one of
the virtues," Emmanuel said,
"but the form of every virtue
at the testing point."

"Oh," Turq said. "I think
that's a nicer way of putting it."

At least that settled him enough
that Ansel could turn more of
his attention to the discussion
as officers planned out the raid.

Mostly that was Bert's job. He would
take point, leading the Rolla team in
through the front. That left Justin and
Ansel to take care of extraction.

"Let me translate a bit of this for you,"
Ansel said to Turq. "You're with me, so
my assignment is yours too. Extraction
means getting the kids out of harm's way
as fast as possible. That is our only job.
Taking down Mr. Dipper is Bert's job,
so don't let that distract you."

"Okay," Turq said. "Stick with you.
Get the kids out. Don't worry about
Mr. Dipper. I can do that. I think."

"You're actually taking him in there
with you?" Emmanuel said, frowning.
"He doesn't have the training for this."

"No, but he knows the house and
he knows the other kids," Ansel said.
"He might be able to coax them out and
convince them to follow him. The last thing
we need is any of them feeling hunted. If
they get into the woods, they might lose us."

Not to mention his own extreme disinterest
in getting shocked unconscious and left lying
in the underbrush again. A softer approach
would hopefully yield safer results for everyone.

At last the meeting wound down. They all
had their assignments and an overview
of the larger ops plan. It was time to go.

Ansel led Turq to the locker room.
"Since we're on extraction instead of
penetration, I'm only wearing light armor
and carrying my zatzer and a tac knife,
instead of the heavier BASH equipment,"
he explained. "More than this would
slow me down and scare the kids."

"Why are you telling me?" Turq asked.

"So you'll know the rationale behind
my choices, because now I need to ask
if you want armor," Ansel said. "I'm
afraid I can't offer you a weapon."

"I don't want either," Turq said.
"As you said, it'd just slow me down.
Besides, if I get hurt, I'll heal."

That reminded Ansel to send a text
to Ethan in case either of them got
more hurt than they could handle
on their own, and needed a healer.

"All right, then," Ansel said. "We're
trying to be discreet, so I won't offer you
a 'Volunteer' vest the way I usually would.
Keep your visitor badge handy, though --
put it in a pocket or somewhere safe.
If we get separated and another officer
doesn't recognize you, that's your key."

"Like a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card?"
Turq said with half a smile.

"Absolutely," Ansel said in
a serious tone. "Later on, we'll
need to discuss this and how it
balances against the mischief
you've made, but that's talk for
another day. We need to go."

"I won't skip out on you," Turq said.

"I know you won't." Ansel tightened
the last buckle. "I'm counting on you."

As they left the locker room,
Emmanuel caught up with them
and said, "Do you want to ride with
me? The BASH van will be full, and
nobody's going to pay any attention to
the chaplain car. It'll be less alarming
for the kids if you get any, too."

"Thanks, Emmanuel, that sounds
like a great idea," Ansel said.

"I thought he was a chaplain?"
Turq said, following the two of them
toward the parking lot. "Why's he
coming along on a raid?"

"I'm the EFA, too, remember?"
Emmanuel said as he opened
the door for the other two. "So I'll
hang back in the warm zone for you
to evacuate the kids, and then I'll check
whether anyone is so shaken up that
they need to go to the Shock Room."

"Lena's holding down the fort here,"
Ansel added. "Usually we have only one
of them on duty at a time, but times like
this, we call in extra personnel. If this
goes south, we've got a counselor ready
to patch up anyone who needs it."

"I hope we don't need it,"
Turq whispered, shivering.

"From your lips to God's ears,"
the chaplain said as he ushered
them into his blue-and-white car.

* * *


Mr. Dipper (Earle Barcroft) -- He has fair skin and gray eyes. His short dark hair is rapidly going gray from the chin back; his beard is almost white, the crown of his head gray, and the nape still dark. Also his hairline is receding, so he is almost half bald on top. He is a small man, and not very strong on a physical level. Mr. Dipper lives in a small house in Bluehill. The landscaping looks like it's meant to support wildlife, but it's more designed for visual cover.
Mr. Dipper excels at spotting and exploiting vulnerable people. He runs a gang of disaffected youth, sending them out to steal things for him, but he does not take good care of them in return. He is a lousy provider and an abusive bastard. Always punctual himself, Mr. Dipper does not tolerate lateness from others. This is the gang Turq belongs to, hence why he's leaning more toward Officer Pink now that he has better options.
Origin: His superpower grew in slowly as he spent years learning how to make people do what he wanted.
Uniform: Men's street clothes.
Qualities: Good (+2) Exploiting Vulnerabilities, Good (+2) Punctual, Good (+2) Strategic Thinking, Good (+2) Thief, Good (+2) Tougher Than He Looks,
Poor (-2) Fagin
Powers: Average (0) Persuasion
Motivation: Self-aggrandizement. He is greedy, selfish, and demanding of respect that he does not really deserve.

Crackleball (Grady Detwiler) -- He has currant skin, brown eyes, and short nappy black hair. He is slim with wiry muscles. He is fifteen years old. Grady had been in "temporary" foster care for several years, due to questionable reasons, when his superpowers manifested. His foster parents kicked him out of the house, but lied that he had run away. Currently Crackleball lives in Bluehill, working with a loose-knit gang run by Mr. Dipper. Turq is another member of the gang.
Origin: While playing with a plasma ball he'd been told not to touch, Grady broke it, injuring his hands in the process. Not long after that, sparks began trickling from his fingertips, and later from his eyes.
Uniform: Street clothes, considerably nicer than he could afford on his own. He likes to steal current fashions from students at the good schools.
Qualities: Good (+2) Alert, Good (+2) Knife Fighter, Good (+2) Opportunistic, Good (+2) Street Smart, Good (+2) Thief
Poor (-2) No Family Ties
Powers: Expert (+4) Plasma Bolt (Signature Stunt: EMP Field)
Crackleball can fire plasma bolts from his hands, eyes, or forehead. He can channel all his energy into one burst or launch up to five bolts simultaneously. That makes him far more versatile than most bolt shooters who can only do one or two bolts, usually from only their hands or eyes. He's even pretty good at hitting different targets simultaneously. He can also discharge the energy as an electromagnetic pulse which shorts out all electronic equipment in the area. Because it is a super-power, it has a chance of affecting super-gizmos, which ordinary EMP can't.
Motivation: Scrabbling up the social pyramid. However, Grady harbors a secret desire to reunite with his birth family.

Edwin De Soto -- He has fair skin, blue eyes, and brown hair sprinkled with silver. In middle age he has crow's feet and smile lines on his face. His body is sturdy and a little padded around the edges. Edwin lives in Bluehill, where he serves as chief of police. He runs the kind of police department where an annoying person may come back from vacation to find their cubicle filled with gumballs, but their coworkers will still pitch in to help them empty it. He's a real people person, well liked both at work and in the community.
Qualities: Master (+6) Police Chief, Master (+6) Happy, Expert (+4) Coping Skills, Expert (+4) Public Relations, Expert (+4) Resilience, Good (+2) Constitution, Good (+2) Family Man, Good (+2) Fixing Things, Good (+2) Party Games, Good (+2) Practical Jokes
Poor (-2) Dealing with Negative People

Bert Armbruster -- He has sorrel skin, brown eyes, and short nappy black hair. He is sturdy with a muscular build. Bert grew up in the St. Louis part of River City through grade school. Then he moved to Onion City, where he later trained for the BASH team. Eventually he moved to Bluehill for an opportunity to lead their handful of BASH officers. Bert excels at overwhelming difficult targets. However, he's no good at delicate tasks that require de-escalation, and prefers handing those off to someone better qualified. On vacation, he loves traveling to interesting places off the beaten path, and always comes home with great stories to tell about his adventures.
Qualities: Master (+6) Teamwork, Master (+6) Tough, Expert (+4) BASH Officer, Expert (+4) Integrity, Expert (+4) Mixed Martial Arts, Good (+2) Courage, Good (+2) Leader, Good (+2) Strategy, Good (+2) Traveler
Poor (-2) De-escalation Skills

Justin Bates -- He has peach skin, gray eyes, and short ash-blond hair. He is slim and graceful, fast on his feet. He orients most on scent and taste, which very few people use as their dominant sensory mode, so he's often a little out of phase with people around him. Justin is married to Celia with a baby on the way. As a BASH officer, Justin excels at identifying and protecting vulnerable parties during a mission, like if a raided lair happens to have children inside it. He works in the Bluehill police department.
Qualities: Master (+6) Fast, Master (+6) Fidelity, Expert (+4) Anticipation, Expert (+4) Driver, Expert (+4) Family Man, Good (+2) Aikido, Good (+2) BASH Officer, Good (+2) Cooperative Games, Good (+2) De-escalation Skills, Good (+2) Housekeeping
Poor (-2) Scent/Taste Dominant

Emmanuel Harrison -- He has fair skin and brown eyes. His hair is chesnut, with a brighter red beard just beginning to go gray on the chin. His name comes from the fact that the song "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" was playing when his mother went into labor. Emmanuel lives in Bluehill, Missouri where he serves on the police department as a chaplain and Emotional First Aide. He is Catholic, and gregarious with people of other religions, and so he does most of the department's interfaith outreach work. His hobbies include carpentry and choral singing. Emmanuel has a low tolerance for alcohol, and prefers not to drink outside of ceremonial occasions.
Qualities: Master (+6) Existential Intelligence, Expert (+4) Chaplain, Expert (+4) Nonanxious Presence, Good (+2) Carpenter, Good (+2) Emotional First Aide, Good (+2) Singer, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Low Alcohol Tolerance

Lena Pulaski -- She has ruddy skin, olive eyes, and straight red hair to her chin.
She is Baptist like her mother, although her father is a Secular Humanist which Lena finds very useful in working with less-religious people. She lives in Bluehill, Missouri where she serves on the police department as a chaplain and counselor. She handles most of the department's interaction with atheist, agnostic, or otherwise secular folks. Lena enjoys trail sports such as jogging, hiking, and biking. Many of her relatives live a few counties away in Big Prairie and Rolla; sometimes she takes a weekend trail ride to visit them. She also enjoys reading cozy mysteries and other gentle fiction. Lena has a strong dislike of crude language, which sometimes causes friction because she works in an environment with some rough people in it.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Counselor, Expert (+4) Emotional Intelligence, Good (+2) Chaplain, Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Fan of Gentle Fiction, Good (+2) Trail Sports
Poor (-2) Dislikes Vulgarity

* * *

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
-- C.S. Lewis

This is a sitemap of the Bluehill police station on the west side of Concord Boulevard and its parallel train track. North of the police station is a row of buildings with the old town hall in the center, flanked by others of mixed use, and one separate. There is an attached parking garage behind the row by the railroad tracks. Open parking is around the other sides of the buildings.

See a floor plan of the police station. A spacious lobby of bulletproof glass opens into the public-accessible portion of the police station. Most citizens need either the administrative office, the large conference room (with smart glass), the administrative office, or the records room which are adjacent to the lobby. The squad room is off to the right, in yellow. The Special Victims Unit has a soft interrogation/meeting room at the back of the squad room. The small storage space below the canteen is the department's physical and emotional first aid station, wedged in alongside their emergency medical supplies. There are several different bucket kits in the room, like the visible one with the cross on the top, which can be bought or made in various styles. These include the 25-person Shelter-in-Place Bucket, the 4-person Deluxe Honey Bucket kit with tools, and the Mobile Disaster Survival System with heavier tools. Modular, rolling cabinets line the walls not occupied by other equipment such as the Triage Kit, MobileAid 24/7 Blackout-Ready Hi-Visibility Easy-Roll Trauma First Aid Station, and MobileAid Hi-Visibility XL Incident Command Team Kit. This small police station doesn't have dedicated space for everything, but they do have two bunkrooms each of which has one twin bed, a desk, and a chair. These can serve as quiet rooms.

This is the little strip mall marked "mix" adjacent to the "future growth" area in the site map for the police station area. See the floor plan for the strip mall. The donut shop features a mix of healthier donuts and more decadent ones.

The gingerbread protein donuts are topped with candied lemon peel. The baked raspberry-lemon donuts are topped with crushed freeze-dried raspberries rather than sprinkles or colored sugar. Candied lemon slices may be made plain or dipped in sugar crystals.

Bluehill is a modest-sized town that doesn't have (or need) a very large police department. Therefore, many of the employees cross-train to fill more than one role, in this case chaplain/EFA and chaplain/counselor. This allows the department to cover all the tasks with a concise workforce. It also enriches their work life and ensures that most positions can be covered easily when someone needs time off. Read about how to plan and implement a cross-training program.

Enjoy the cinnamon-sugar banana coffee cake.

High-energy fruit includes apples, pears, oranges, pineapples, and persimmons. You can make a nice fruit platter with these. Cardamom-almond granola makes a good topping. You can buy Greek yogurt, make it from regular yogurt, or make it from scratch. Note that if you strain regular yogurt for a short time, you get Greek yogurt; if you strain it for a long time, you get yogurt cheese, which you can use much like cream cheese.

In Terramagne-America, a raid is the preferred method of coping with supervillains. It may be planned well in advance, or hastily composed in an emergency as shown here. Ideally, it incorporates both civil authorities and superheroes, but that's not always feasible. BASH is the T-American equivalent of L-American SWAT, used in dangerous missions. However, T-America places much higher value on citizen life, so police are obligated minimize the potential of casualties by discreetly evacuating bystanders prior to a planned raid. You can read about planning operations and clearing buildings online. This page explains the hot/warm/cold zone system for support crew such as medics and chaplains. Trauma risk management aims to lower the risk of PTSD by providing education and Emotional First Aid.

The full lotus, half-lotus, and easy pose are three variations on sitting cross-legged, popular in meditation. Buddhist meditation helps to clear the mind and soothe the spirit. Ansel isn't a Buddhist, but is game to try anything that seems useful; some of this is a good match for him. Turq isn't officially a Buddhist -- he didn't have enough time to grow into a religion of his own -- but definitely likes Asian traditions. Such practices will help him settle his mind and body. There are tips for practicing Buddhist meditation.

Each bunkroom at the police station contains an assortment of support items including a notebook, pencils, and pens; a tablet computer stocked with relaxing games, news, and literature from local writers; a deck of cards, a set of dice, and a booklet of games; and interfaith and secular prayer books. You can also find rules for card and dice games online. These are Buddhist prayers. Browse some interfaith prayers and nondenominational prayers online; there are secular and agnostic ones too. Chaplains customarily keep religious texts such as the Bible, Torah, Qur'an, etc. in their office or desk.

Positive affirmations help frame healthy self-talk. Understand how to use them effectively, and browse some samples.

The Ten Virtuous Actions of Buddhism are really just refraining from the Ten Non-Virtuous Actions, thus more negative than positive in focus. However, the Noble Eightfold Path may be consider a positive set of Buddhist virtues. You can read about Taoist virtues and Confucian virtues too. What Turq is angling toward, but has not quite coalesced yet, is de. Often translated as "virtue" in English, it actually means something a bit different in each of the three Chinese traditions of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Think of it as the core where those all meet.

Terramagne-America has tighter gun laws and fewer guns than local-America. For this reason, few police officers wear armor routinely. However, gizmotronic and super-gizmotronic weapons can raise the stakes. Hence the use of battlesuits, which are not affected by most ordinary weapons short of tank rounds, and some also resist gizmotronic or super-gizmotronic weapons. Modern body armor is lighter and more comfortable than historic armor, but still becomes heavier and stiffer the more protective it is. Therefore, most police officers wear light (stops handguns) to medium (stops rifles) armor even on a raid. BASH personnel on the penetration team wear heavy armor (stops armor-piercing rounds), because they expect to get shot at; and if powered armor is available, that's where it goes too. In L-America, armor that protects against edged or pointed weapons is usually separate, and the combined armor is a nuisance to wear; T-America has better tech and thus their combined armor has similar weight and flexibility to single-purpose armor here. Ansel chooses light armor on this mission because he needs speed and flexibility more than protection from heavy weapons. He also needs to avoid spooking the kids he's been assigned to protect. Yes, he is wearing a utility belt with that.

Ansel's tac knife is small for a tactical knife, and folding knives aren't as secure in combat as fixed knives. However, it's not as intimidating, and it's lightweight enough to use for everyday carry in a noncombat zone. The extra features -- a saw edge near the hilt, a seatbelt cutter, and a glassbreaking point on the pommel -- make it far more useful than a regular pocketknife. It is sturdy, discreet, and effective in a wide range of situations. Under the badge is an ID chip that will furnish Ansel's badge number and other identification to a police scanner, making it a backup to his regular badge.

A zatzer is a heavy, rather clunky pistol that fires electromagnetic bolts. This is retro-engineered tech. It lacks the power and finesse of a true zap gun. At low settings it can disorient humans; at medium settings it can stun, like a taser; and at high settings it can singe or start fires. The higher the setting, the more risk of killing a person. This is often the only kind of gun police are allowed to carry in urban areas, except for BASH teams.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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