Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

July 25, 2024





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Ianna had hired two different private investigators and had been scouring the prisons and hadn’t found a single sign of Jake. She had a paralegal working practically full-time filing Freedom of Information requests with the D.C. police, the Capitol Police, the FBI, and the Justice Department. And she was on the phone with every attorney in the country who had anything to do with the January 6 defendants. She had heard one rumor from a lawyer who represented a defendant from Indiana. The lawyer said his client had been transported with several other men to Oklahoma. But that was a dead end.

> Read the previous Chronicles at the bottom of this post.

She also connected with the other families. They were helping each other, and there seemed to be another lead every week. Nothing had panned out yet, but they were weaving a new fabric, a web of connection to support those who were silenced and isolated in prison. 

But now she needed to sleep.

She had always loved her bed. The cool smoothness of the sheets, the soft support of the pillow, and the plush feel of the blanket. Now, she could no longer get comfortable. The baby had grown, and she was frankly gravid, with a belly that felt like the most precious center of her being, swollen and vulnerable as she curled around herself.

Her back ached, and her ankles were puffy every day when she arrived home. The doctor told her she should take time off work, and she rolled her eyes. Running a law firm with a staff of nine didn’t allow for extra time off for the owner. She wondered if she should bring her two most senior associates in as partners. Maybe she should make her senior assistant the office manager. It was a little late for that kind of decision…this baby was due in 3 weeks.

Grabbing a second pillow, she put it between her knees. Lying still on her side, she began to relax. 

The baby started moving. She smiled through her exhaustion. Moving the sheets aside, she patted her swollen belly where a little fist, or was it a heel, was pushing, making a lump. 

“Hello, little one, how are you tonight?” She reached down, rubbing where that fist was pushing, then patting on her belly. Pat, pat, pat. Pat, pat, pat. Waiting a bit, she tried again: Pat, pat, pat.

Tap, tap, tap, came back to her from inside her belly. Ianna laughed. 

“Yes! Sweet pea. I feel you!” She patted her belly again, and again the baby tapped. 

“Oh, you are so smart. I wish your daddy were here to see this. I’m still looking for him…”  

She remembered when she first realized she was pregnant. She thought she was just overdue because of the stress from the January 6 disaster and being unable to locate Jake. She began looking for him the day after they were separated. After about 48 hours of trying to get the local police to provide any information, she was forced to return to Los Angeles and her law practice. 

As the weeks passed, she wondered if it was all a dream. That feeling ended as soon as she had to flee a deposition one day with what she first thought was a bad bout of stomach flu. She found out she was pregnant just as the Jacaranda trees bloomed. Lavender blossoms were so thick they looked like purple cotton candy trees. In January, spring in Los Feliz was a world away from Washington, DC.

They had been outside the tunnel. There was a massive press of people, and the crowd moved like a tide, forward and sideways, sometimes back a bit. 

Jake had a tight hold of her hand and said, “We’ve got to get out of here.”  

There were some men at the mouth of the tunnel. One hung from the top of the entrance arch, kicking at the police. Another, wielding a crutch, was striking at the black-helmeted police blocking the entrance. Noxious gas bloomed and wafted back. The crowd pressed, and she was pushed down. Jake disappeared toward the tunnel carried by the crowd. 

“Jake!” The noise and shouting of the crowd drowned her voice out. She realized she was a breath away from being trampled as she struggled to regain her feet. Big arms grabbed her from behind and lifted her high in a bear hug while moving toward the edge of the surging mass of humanity. 

“Wait,” she cried. But he plowed back through the human scrum, dragging her with him.

They broke through, and he climbed up on a bit of grass, putting her down. She turned around and socked him in his shoulder. 

“You didn’t put me down!” 

“Sweetheart, I just saved you from being trampled!” he protested. “Look at that mob.” He was at least 6’5” inches and had a bushy beard that lay down to his chest. A John Deere cap sat on his head, and he was dressed in a flannel shirt and old jeans.

“But I was with someone,” she cried, and began to shake. Gathering her wits, she said, “I’m sorry. I think you really saved me.”

“Ma’am, you need to get out of here. This is getting worse, and there is no telling how far it’ll go before it burns itself out.” 

She looked at the crush of humanity still pressing at the tunnel entrance. 

“There’s no way for me to find him again right now, is there?”  

“Folks are going to be arrested soon, you’ll see. You need to leave.”

And she did, and she had not seen Jake since. 

The Santa Ana winds blew through her open window, stirring the sheer curtains and bringing gusts of hot air into the bedroom. October in Southern California was hot, dry, and windy. 

Ianna rose and shut the window, turning on the air conditioner before getting back into bed. She lay still on her side, conjuring Jake’s image. His green eyes fringed with black lashes, his wide smile, and his soft hands. “No calluses,” he said. “You need soft hands for little patients.”  

She had taken one look at him when they met, and the most extraordinary thing happened. She had always scoffed at the idea, but here it was. She was suddenly, inexorably drawn to him. All those love songs, those love stories, and poems suddenly made sense. The Psalms made sense. The Earth shifted when she saw Jake and had never regained its axis.

Unable to sleep, she lay on her side, surrounded by pillows propping up her body, and thought about Jake. Three short days and nights were gone in a blink of an eye, and yet she could recall every moment. It was true what people said; the world looked brighter and more colorful since they met. Those three days were brilliant, hyper-pigmented in her memory. After he vanished, those colors vanished.

She couldn’t reach him any other way, so she sent out her thoughts — her spirit and intention. A flood of love and yearning out into the ether. I’m here, Jake, she thought. I love you and I want us to be together. We will find you. We are coming. Be strong Jake, hang on…. I’m safe, and I’m looking for you…  I’ll never stop.

To be continued.

Read the previous Chronicles:

1 – The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 1: “Good Job, X-i-41520-Y10”
2 – The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 2: Threads of Truth
3 – 
The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 3: First Images of a Pixilated Woman
4 – The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 4: Yes, Fear This “Thing”
5 – 
The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 5: I Disappeared Myself Into Madness
6 – The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 6: Breaking Through The Shackles
7 – The Elon-12 Chronicles, No. 7: A Political Prisoner in the Land of the Free!


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