Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 11

It took three minutes for Detective Barley to arrive on the scene. And then it took another three for five cop cars and three paramedics to arrive on the scene. And the major news networks were in route within the hour. This sleepy little hole of a township had never seen anything like this before.

The destruction ran far and wide around the perimeter of the quad. Whole trees were uprooted and tossed like so many abandoned toys in a giant’s playroom. Cars were tossed and rolled down the street. Every single house and storefront around the perimeter was damaged in some way or another. The worst of the houses was flattened completely by a gas explosion that sent a fire roaring down the length of one side of the quad.

The worst of it was that three people were killed in the explosion. Their bodies were found in the quad and declared dead on the scene. Two others were whisked off to the hospital soon there after. The running theory that was buzzing through twitter and the social media universe was that Al Qaeda was involved somehow. It was the first of many more explosions aimed for the heart of America to show just how vulnerable America had become. What better place to strike terror into the heart of the nation than Durango Colorado?

Detective Barley was not excluded from this particular crime scene. Every hand was needed and appreciated. The firefighters had their hands full trying to put the town’s largest ever fire out. The utilities in this section of town had been quickly turned off in an attempt to keep any more fires from breaking out. Cordoning off the area was also a nightmare. It seemed like every set of eyeballs for a hundred miles decided they would come and see visit the epicenter of the blast.

And within an hour a Black Hawk helicopter had alighted at a nearby ball field and shut its rotors down indicating it was going to be staying a while. Two FBI agents calmly walked off the aircraft and headed two blocks over to the investigation scene.

Turning to the first police officer they came in contact with FBI agent Samuels stated in a resolute fashion, “Detective Samuels and this is Detective O’Grady we are with the FBI and here are our badges, and this incident is now officially a Federal crime scene. We appreciate your assistance up to this point and we look forward to partnering with you going forward.”

The police officer guarding the perimeter didn’t quite no what to say. “Chief, could you swing over to the checkpoint on Elm?”

“Wilson? You do realize my hands are full right now don’t you?” the chief fired back.

Samuels pulled the CB off of Wilson’s chest and began speaking into it with a determined by monotone voice. “This is FBI agent Samuels. I am taking over this crime scene presently. All resources at your disposal are now under my command. We clear?”

“Detective who? With what?” the poor guy was confused. He was having a bad day.

“Please come to the perimeter check point on Elm and I can make it more clear to you in person. I’ll expect you in 2 minutes.” Samuels chuckled a bit and handed the CB back to the police officer. “Now, where do I go to requisition a cup of coffee? Check that. Requisition a coffee pot? That’s your priority number one now son. We will cover this checkpoint for you until you return.”

O’Grady laughed at that. Samuels was always a bit of a prick when he first walked on to a scene and took over. He liked to let the locals know who was boss from the start. And then if the resources on the scene cooperated Samuels would become the most amicable of people. O’Grady had seen it happen a hundred times. It really did work well, but the poor hometown cops never saw it coming and were always thrown for a loop at first.

Sixty seconds later Chief Dickenson drove up and hopped out of the car. As he wandered over a little confused as to what to expect he pulled his cap off and introduced himself. Samuels gave O’Grady a wink and then turned and greeted Dickenson with the firmest well practiced handshake ever.

“Chief Dickenson I presume?” asked Samuels.

“Sir,Yes sir.” A Sir sandwich even! O’Grady knew that Samuels would gloat about that later. O’Grady dropped his head to hide the enormous stupid grin that instantly spread across his face.

“Can I get a sit.rep. from you and get up to speed on where we stand currently?” Dickenson cocked his head to the side a bit and his eyebrows went up. “Situational Report?” answered Samuels to the unspoken question.

“Ah, yes. Three hospitalized from the quad. Four dead so far from the surrounding vicinity. Mainly from secondary explosions and resulting fires. We have cordoned off three blocks in each direction surrounding the situation.”

Officer Wilson ran up with a coffee pot in his hand, the chord trailing behind him. Samuels laughed out loud at this. “Son, my first objective for you is to find coffee – in a cup – with cream, for the two of us. Your second objective is to keep the coffee coming at regular intervals throughout the night. Ok? I don’t care how you do it. I don’t care if you have the beans flown in from the Peruvian jungles, walk to a local Starbucks or hand brew it in that there coffee pot. I just want coffee. And I want it now.” Chief Dickenson looked at the ground and just let Samuels run all over his officer. He was getting a clearer picture of where the situation now stood.

Samuels turned his attention back to the Chief and began asking rapid fire questions one after the other in rapid succession. “Do we have a command center? Something with lights and cover? We are going to be here for a bit. Do we video cameras, traffic cameras, ATM surveillance, anything yet? What about any indication of abnormal activity over the past 24 to 48 hours? And have you checked your logs for any outstanding or unresolved calls?” Dickenson was at a loss as to where to begin. And so Samuels clarified for him. “Begin writing – these are your to-do items.” And he repeated the list verbatim without slowing.

Once Dickenson had finished scribbling Samuels got his attention again. “But most importantly, can you tell me who Detective Barley is? And can I get him front and center presently.” Dickenson couldn’t have been more shocked at this sudden turn if the FBI agent had just stated he was a leprechaun in search of a pot of gold.

Chief Dickson’s eyes went wide but he didn’t say a thing. “Yes? You know him?” Dickenson slowly nodded his head. And then Samuels began nodding along with him. “And we aren’t getting him… why exactly?”

“Definitely. Definitely. He’s on his way. He just doesn’t know it yet.” Answered Dickenson quickly and firmly.

“That’s the spirit. That’s what I’m looking for Chief. Thanks. Now, onto more important questions – where’s that coffee I was asking for?”

Twenty seven minutes later the command center had been setup and more Federal and local resources had been coordinated. Bomb specialists were in route from Denver. And the agents had found there way over to Fran’s and planted themselves in a booth with Detective Barley. Barley had been assisting in scouring the damaged buildings for survivors and trying to find anyone trapped in the rubble.

Barley was just as surprised by the agent’s interest as Dickenson was and he couldn’t even begin to surmise what these two imposing men might want.

O’Grady had intercepted Barley as he arrived and pulled him into Samuel’s wake to follow until he was ready to address the questions he had had for the detective. Eventually the urgent items had been addressed and O’Grady recommended Fran’s as a way to get a moment of peace and privacy.

O’Grady kicked off the questions by trying to put Barley at ease while Samuels ordered a dinner/breakfast to feed four. “How long have you been in the department Detective?”

Barley swallowed deeply and responded “Two years and three months sir.”

“Any kids? A wife back home?” responded O’Grady.

“Um. No.” answered Barley clearly blushing at this.

Wipe out thought O’Grady. How do I get this guy? O’Grady gave Barley a second look and then hit on a different tact. “Married to the force I bet.”

“Yes. Yes. I love my job. Have really enjoyed tackling the cold cases for this region and have really done a great job chipping away. Just the other day I brought in a twelve year old murder case.” Barley became self conscious and picked up his coffee that just arrived and burnt his throat by gulping way too much.

Samuels appreciated O’Grady and the value add he brought to the table. He knew how to get past a person’s fears and put a person at ease. Definitely wasn’t his strength. The hard part for Samuels was keeping himself quiet long enough for O’Grady’s magic to work.

O’Grady quickly followed up “I’m guessing the great value that you bring to the department every day is under appreciated? Seems like a lot of good could come from investing more in this space.”

At this O’Grady had over played his hand. Barley wasn’t the brightest bulb on the tree but he wasn’t stupid either. “Definitely. Definitely.” Was all Barley responded with. And then he went from looking at O’Grady over to Samuels indicating that he was done with the flattery and was ready to move on.

Samuels put his fork and his enormous bite of food down. He wiped his mouth, coughed a bit and then took another swig of his coffee. “Alright. Let’s cut to the chase. Tell us a everything you know about Ben Swift and Yolanda Guiles.” And then Samuels slid Barley the photos he’d submitted to the FBI database a few days before.