Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 9

The scanner was always on and tuned to the local dispatch in Dective Barley’s apartment. It was the closest thing to a friend Barley had. It was constantly chattering and divulging new insights about so many and varied things. Besides it gave him an enormous leg up the next day when he went down to the precinct. Everyone else spent an hour just catching up on the previous 24 hours. Barley always hit the ground running right after he grabbed his tea and sat down.

This morning Barley was having a particularly early start. He’d had a few good ideas the previous evening on where to look for several of his cold cases and he figured that an early start might give him the extra push to make a difference. And as he was shaving he heard the operators laughing about a new call coming in. Something about a flying table and a few injured customers. The operators had even mentioned someone calling in Fox Mulder – he knew full well they meant him not his X-files counterpart. Funny. But just you wait. He thought. And so he grabbed his tie and ran out the door.

The Swan was about four blocks down the road and so Detective Barley just hoofed it. And when he walked through the front door he was out of breath and had to pause a moment before walking in. He looked around and saw that no one had responded to the call yet – and so he probably had fifteen minutes or more before a white and black rolled up at this time of day. Barley new he’d have to have his game face on to get in and out before another cop showed up and tossed him out on his ear.

He sought to take control of the situation as quickly as he could as he strode through the front door with authority. Flipping out his badge over his head he began asking for the manager. And just like that there were ten people explaining what they’d seen. Something about a table spontaneously launching off the ground and slamming into the ceiling. Apparently? Or something about it maybe being a gas main? Soon someone would be mentioning the alligators in the sewer system. It’s how these things devolved.

The conjecture was nice. But what he really needed was pictures. Actual photographs of the people in the room at the time. He didn’t even really care that much about the table really. He wanted faces. Clean photographs of faces. Something runnable through systems that could give him a social. Everything else was incidental. He already knew who his John Doe was. Had to be the same guy causing all manner of havoc throughout the city the past few weeks.

And so Barley cleared his voice and hollered over the din, “Excuse me people… I need your help. If any of you have photographs of the incident and the people in the restaurant during this incident I would love for you to email them to me. This could help in a breaking a national crime syndicate that has international ties.” And just like that hands started shooting up around the room. In this day and age everyone had a phone with a camera in it. He was surprised that any cases were left in his cold case queue at all.

And just like that he started handing out his business card left and right. Three minutes later his phone started vibrating with the first of over 27 different photos sent his way in the next several hours.

“Great! You’ve all been a great help. I will be sending two officers your direction in a moment. They will want to know more as well. I have to get this information up to Homeland as quickly as possible. You’ve all been great.” Barley laughed a bit to himself. The guys who followed him into that room next won’t know what hit them he thought. Serves them right.

When he got in to the office he set his 3 bag Earl Grey down and waited for it to cool a bit. He didn’t necessarily need the caffeine today, not after that start anyway. They should all start that way he reckoned. Would definitely make for a more interesting morning if nothing else!

Twenty minutes later – he yelled out “Bingo!”

“Finally got your definitive UFO proof Barley” yelled over one of the other cops from across the room.

“Yeah, I finally found the abominable snow man in a snow cone factory in Tibet. Pretty clever hiding spot actually.” Barley tried to not grind his teeth after responding – his mother was always telling him not to grind his teeth, he’d grind them to nubs by the time he was forty she was certain. God rest her soul.

Barley never took his eye off his blackberry, there was his John right there. And his face couldn’t have been clearer. Money. In fifteen Barley had submitted the photo to the relatively new FBI Next Generation Identification (NGI) system and waited. While he did he printed out the rest of the photos and began going over them with a magnifying glass. That was when he noticed that his John was with a woman. A pixie haired young lady with blonde hair and a distinguished looking face.

“Well what do we have here?” Detective Barley heard himself talking out loud but was too excited to stop it. “Hello there Mrs. Doe. Please to meet you.” Now he was getting somewhere. Five minutes later he had Mrs. Doe’s photo running through the system uploaded and running through the system as well. Today was turning out to be a fantastically beautiful day he decided.

I was just getting in from another day of markers, CAD and monotony when my phone began ringing. The tune of the ring was She’s a Maneater by Hall & Oates letting me know that Yolanda was calling. I decided I couldn’t deal with any more drama or revelations today and so I let her roll to voicemail. A few minutes later my phone indicated I had a voicemail. I flipped it open and began to listen.

“Bentley. Yo here. Exciting news. Sounds like the councils would like to offer you an invitation to apply for membership. I can’t really talk about it much over the phone – but I figured you’d like to know. You are going to have to practice though, it’ll be important for you to perform well for the best placement possible. Can we talk in person sometime soon? Alright see ya. Oh, by the way, I have a few people you are going to want to meet. Your mind is going to be blown.”

I threw the phone across the room after that. It screamed across the room like a shot. As I tracked its arc I realized it was going to go straight through the kitchen window and out onto the street. I threw a quick glitch and dejectedly walked across the room and snagged the phone out of the air. It would have felt good for a moment to watch the window shatter and the phone continue its way down to its demise on the street below. But the hassle of getting a new one and all that just didn’t seem like fun right now.

When I released the glitch I was surprised to feel the phone’s momentum pull at my hand as it continued on its way. I held tight to the phone and it eventually settled down. But I hadn’t realized that stored momentum continued even if the object was moved. Fascinating.

I hit play on my blu-ray and dropped onto my couch to crash. The movie picked up where it was last. Moulin Rouge. “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return” The movie was saying as it continued on its way. ‘Isn’t that the truth’ I said to myself. Isn’t that the truth. And I quickly fell asleep where I lay.

Two hours later I was awakened to the strangest set of people I had ever seen assembled in one place room before. Yolanda was leaning over the back of the couch down into my face with a smile that just spoke of possibilities. Then something whapped me in the face. Looking over I noticed Sumner was sitting on the armchair of my couch throwing wads of paper at my skull trying to get me to wake me up.

Standing over in the corner was the thinnest looking fellow I had ever seen. Rail thin with clothes that didn’t fit the poor kid. He wasn’t looking my way. And in that one non-glance I knew I had just met Derek. So my Celt couldn’t be far off then? And there lying on the floor by the television was a small child. Ponytails. The works. What was she 10? Seriously? ‘What is going on here?’ I thought incredulous. Wait… she even was carrying a teddy bear.

And then she walked through my front door. My mouth opened a bit in shock and Yolanda dropped her elbow in a full arc directly into my nose.

“WHAT THE HECK!” I screamed at the top of my lungs as blood squirted everywhere. I had never known pain like that in my life. Not even when Sumner pummeling me simultaneously with his cane, his fists and kicking me in the gut. The world went white with a blister of pain and a gush of tears. Once I’d gotten myself sitting up Sumner smacked me in the head with a towel from the kitchen. “You quite literally just broke my nose. There is absolutely no question. Its broken.”

Yolanda giggled a bit at this. “Sorry sweet’ems. My elbow slipped off the pillow. Want me to get you some ice?”

“No. No I do not. I definitely don’t want any ice. I can only imagine what you ‘helping’ would look like. So no, thanks. I got this.” Everyone laughed at this. Which broke the ice a bit. Holding the towel up to my face I stuck my hand out to introduce myself to the girl on the floor. I noticed then that I was covered in blood. “Oh, sorry.”

“Nada problem. Nice shiner there. I’m Cat by the way.” Seriously, already – I had a shiner?

“Nice to meet you Cat, I’m Ben. And yeah, she packs a wallop apparently.”

“Oh wait for it. You haven’t even seen the beginning of it yet.” She responded. And then I realized how this was going to go down. And I didn’t like any of it.

I wandered over to Yo and after wiping my hand on my shirt I said, “Truce?”

“Sure!” she responded as she vigorously shook my hand.

I walked over to Derek next and said – “I’m Ben. Pleasure.”

Derek shook my hand with his thin little wisp of a hand and responded, “The pleasure is all mine.”

Then turning to the woman firmly affixed to his arm I said with great pride, “I don’t think we’ve ever met. I’m Ben. And you are?”

“Beatrice.” Was all she said. And I had to work extra hard not to stare. Not in front of Derek. Not in front of Yolanda. Not in front of her. I just had never seen anyone like her before in my life.

“Enough pleasantries – shall we away to the practice grounds? Sir Bentley, coming?”

If had had a mirror I would have seen the most messed up mistake for a nose ever and the stupidest, happiest smile the world had ever seen. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”