He took care of his blood-line. Helped teach hard lessons in the least painful ways. Made arrangements with friends, so that certain opportunities were available. Almost magically at times, it probably seemed, but that was his task. Being there when it seemed that only a miracle could save them now. Being that miracle.
He had been concerned, at one point, that it would get boring. It hadn't yet. The unprotected were amazingly able to come up with new threats. Sometimes to his kind, sometimes to his protected. Sometimes intentional, sometimes completely accidental. Never any thing that couldn't be handled. But sometimes it took a while to fix. Sometimes it took some lives before it was fixed. This was his concern.
Usually it was he, or a helper, that was taking the lives. Tried his hardest to avoid doing so, but sometimes there wasn't much of a choice. At least in his mind. Sometimes the decisions his blood made were beyond belief. How could one of his own do something, think of something, so insanably stupid. Almost wonders sometimes if he hadn't mixed up which were his. Almost, because he would never make that kind of mistake.
Her current choice of boyfriends for example. Looks were possibly the only plus. Comparing this boy to a box of rocks would insult the collective intelligence of the rocks. Idiocy came off as just in time humor, which was the problem. And then the background, it was a wonder that boy was even alive, but she didn't know those things. He tried to think of ways to get her to stop that relationship. Couldn't think of anything that would not jeopardize the unknown relationship with him. Which frustrated him to no end.
Not that it much mattered now. Boyfriend was in the passenger seat, she was driving. The passenger side was obliterated, the driver side would be as well, if he hadn't been there. Thank God for the satellite networks, and the friend that let him hook up to them.
Accidents happen. All the time. Sometimes they're small, sometimes they're big. Sometimes they involve fast moving vehicles. They shouldn't ever involve fast moving vehicles lined with explosives. Those aren't accidents. Even if the insurance agency insists. His protected were not ever using that agency again. Ever.
That much explosive, that much shrapnel. They, who ever they were, were not after her, one of his. They had to be after him. It didn't kill him. But the tactical computers plainly pointed out a little to the right, or to the left, and he would not be here. Hurt but alive; he got lucky.
He wonders sometimes, if there are guardians for the guardians.
Ambulance takes what is left of her to one of the best hospitals in the nation. Knows it the best, good friend manages it. Has managed it for a long time. He had gotten most of his upgrades there; goes there for routine maintenance as well. This place could take the mess of her body and put it back together. No advantages added though, just back to the way she was before. He didn't quite trust her decisions. In the waiting room, he has time to think.
Thinking about the possibility of one's own death is hard. Doubly so when you're not supposed to die. But accidents, sometimes planed, happen. Besides, his blood-line was doing well, he could use a little help. He just needed to figure out which would be the best. Which of his blood would become a Sentinel.
This story is Copyright © 2001 and is reprinted with permission.