Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 16

Lila Bleums had been the news announcer for Durango’s local news at 6 for over twenty years. She had become the local face for the town and was recognized pretty much everywhere she went. Over the past week Lila had spent every single waking hour at the station doing local and national news updates on the bombing. Her man on the street segments had been picked up all the way around the world as they cast the bombing in a personal light that other news organization couldn’t quite match.

While planning her next man on the street segment she heard something curious go over the police scanner. She wasn’t 100% certain but she thought it sounded like the FBI was moving north on something fairly large. On a hunch, Lila texted her producer she was going to check it out and then grabbed a David her key cameraman and jumped in the station’s one and only broadcast truck. While beginning the trip north Lila hopped on her cell and began calling in favors to get more details on what might be going down. Chief Dickenson was only happy enough to let the cat out of the bag on the FBI operation. And soon Lila not only had the address but also the raid’s tactical details. They were going to be late, that much was certain. But she was hoping to at least be the first crew on the scene.

As the van pulled into the estate’s driveway the yard had become a war zone. The trees north of the house along the mountain cliffs were ablaze. There was still sporadic gunfire ringing across the mountain valley.

Lila slammed open the van’s sliding door and had a camera in her hand filming the chaos from their limited field of view. Once David had run around the front of the van she slowly transferred the still rolling camera over to him and grabbed a microphone. The boom on the satellite link was still going up as she hammered the go live switch back to the broadcast studio. She then texted back to her producer to interrupt the station’s current programming. There was no way she was going to let this obvious Emmy slip from her grasp.

“We interrupt this regularly scheduled programming to bring you this news break. As you can see behind me the mountains of this sleeping mountain resort town are in chaos this afternoon as the FBI has attacked the suspected location of insurgents involved in this week’s bombing of Durango.”

And then off screen could be heard David yelling at the top of his lungs. “Down, DOWN DOWN!” The camera angle went sideways as the two people dove for cover. And then in the bottom right corner of the screen could be seen the picture of a Black Hawk spiraling and then slamming into the front lawn of the chalet. Rotors dug into the ground as debris and shrapnel exploded from the crashing aircraft. And then the screen went black.


I had been cooped up far too long. I was starting to get cabin fever. That is the long and short of how I accidentally saved our lives. I wish it had been some sort of special new power that I could invoke at will. But it was just random dumb luck.

“I’m going to hike up to the top of the hill tops behind the house.” I said resolutely enough. “Anyone wanna go along and see what we can see?” Sumner was asleep on the couch, so I chucked a wad of paper at his head.

“Wha, wha wha? Uncool Bentley. Uncool. I was sleeping over here.”

“You can sleep when you’re dead. Let’s go hike the outcropping behind the house. Yo, DJ? Where’s Bea?” Yolanda and DJ had been chatting in the kitchen and they both simultaneously pointed to the deck when I hollered my question. So I wandered through the sliding door and found her standing at the railing listening to the wind. “What say you to a hike?” I asked as nonchalantly as possible.

Bea sort of sniffed at the air and then said, “Sure, I could use some exercise.” Five minutes later water bottles were filled and backpacks gathered.

“All set?” It was then that I noticed DJ was busy throwing most of the food from the pantry into a backpack. “Woah there tex!” I hollered “It’ll take us two hours maybe three max. We aren’t talking about a hike up Everest for goodness sakes.” This slowed DJ not even a little.

As we started hiking I maneuvered myself to walk alongside Bea who had hopped out to the front of the pack. “Late to a fire?” I asked trying to get her to smile and also slow down.

“Too fast for the great and mighty destroyer of worlds? Or at least Durango anyway.”

I was caught off guard at that. Realizing she wasn’t about to slow down for me I quickened my pace to catch up to her. I also tried to conceal the fact that I was already out of breath and in desperate need of more oxygen. “Well, I thought about leveling the mountain to make the incline less difficult, but my superman suit was at the cleaners.” She laughed at this as she continued her intense pace. I looked back behind us and the nearest person was at least a hundred yards back or more.

Not knowing exactly what to say next I asked the only question that had been consuming my mind the last couple days “So what are your thoughts on our next move? Given it much thought?”

“A bit, I suppose. Though I think Yolanda already has something up her sleeve.”

“Really?” I was surprised at this. “Like what?”

“Well, I just wouldn’t put it past her if she’s already made contact with the TK House. Or someone else to reel us in.”

“Seriously? She would do that without talking to the rest of us?!” And then I remembered the Yolanda I had been dating the last couple years and I responded – “Right, of course she would do that.” Bea laughed at this. I loved the sound of her laugh. It was like sunshine after a rainstorm. It definitely made everything in the world seem perfect.

As I started thinking about the councils just got frustrated all of a sudden. “Why don’t we just disappear? We have the power necessary to just slip away. And then blend in somewhere else? I’m not really understanding what the councils can do that we can’t do for ourselves.”

“Yeah, that would be my first thought too if I hadn’t interacted with the councils before too.” She stopped and turned my direction to lean against an aspen. Looking at her straight on caused me to swoon a bit. Her beauty was always a shock to my system. Once I stopped I offered her a water bottle which she took a swig from and handed back to me. “The councils don’t take kindly to rogues. The only time houses cooperate is in hunting them down and punishing them. If you think hiding from the police is bad try hiding from the councils.”

Cat was quickly coming up the slope now. I waited and offered her a drink as well and then responded to Bea. “Ok. So that clever plan is out I guess. But what if the Councils won’t bring us in from the cold?”

Cat lifted her head at that, “There is another option.” She said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but didn’t want to bring it up in front of everyone else. What about going and seeing Gerard?” Bea looked at Cat with a bit of a shock on her face.

“Who’s Gerard?” I asked clearly clueless.

Cat answered first, “He’s the town bum I guess. I don’t think he’s been sober long enough to string a complete sentence together for years.”

Bea responded to that, “He’s way more than just the town bum, which of course, he is. But he’s also the only person to become a member of a council and then to leave and get away with it.” Bea rolled the idea around in her mind and then said, “He may very well be worth talking to Cat. Interesting.”

As the rest of the stragglers formed up we stood and watched across the valley watching the clouds quickly moving against the backdrop of the mountains.

Then Sumner looked at me and cocked his head. “What is it?” I asked.

“Shhhhh.” Was the only response I got. But then I began to hear it too. Sounded like three or four helicopters, military grade, flying in tight formation.

“I hear it now.” I responded. “Are there four of them?”

Yolanda responded this time, “There are three. And they are Black Hawks. We’ve been found somehow.”

My mind began to start taking on nitrous oxide in the form of adrenaline. “If we are separated meet back in the sewers of Durango. They kept me hidden for a couple days before I began following your scent here. Heading back towards Durango is the last thing they will consider.”

“It’s also insane, which is another reason why they wouldn’t consider it.” Snapped Yo.

“Which makes it all the more brilliant.”

“Or suicidal.”

Bea jumped in there, “Enough, you two. This is ridiculous. We have two minutes and then we will be under fire. The two of you can eat each other for lunch after we escape this mess, and not a moment before.” Yo and I snapped our mouths shut at the harsh tone in Bea’s voice.

I turned to DJ and Sumner and asked – “Ideas?”

Derek was at a loss. Sumner was thinking and if given a moment probably would have answered eventually. But Yo jumped in with, “Sexist much? I have a few.”

“Be my guest,” I responded. At this point I had no idea what to do next and every idea, even from Yolanda, was a welcome one.

“I say we hit them hard as they come in to land. They’ll be bottlenecked coming out of the helicopters and unprepared.”

Bea was shaking her head at this. “Hit them hard with what?! They have automatic weapons. Canons basically mounted to the sides of those Black Hawks. We might have a rock or two. A strategic TK pull here or there and a bit of invisibility. There is no way that can work. We pull back and become ghosts. Let them come to us and bring them down one by one. We work as a team we communicate, we outflank, and they don’t see us coming until its over. And then we run like mad before reinforcements arrive.”

It was brilliant. Retreat and then overwhelm.


The birds swooped in low to the trees and seconds later men began rappelling down onto the forest floor below. Each Black Hawk disgorged a squad each, an entire eleven man unit. Once positioned on the ground safely the helicopters took up stationary over watch duty. The men on the door guns at the ready to unleash M60 savagery at ridiculous rates of fire at a moments notice.

Seargent Conolly had just returned home from Iraq and assumed his real fighting days were over. But apparently not. He tightened up his squad as the took the right flank of the hill to cover while the center squad methodically searched the house. Once it was clear and evident that there was nothing there the executive decision was to start moving up the hill strategically. And so they did.

Connolly watched his lanes of fire religiously and the spacing of his men. What he didn’t know was that Beatrice had already beaten him and he hadn’t even realized it. Invisible, Bea had quietly found the most peripheral soldier in this right flank and pulled him down into the bushes. She quickly pulled his M16 and his ammo and slipped away from the group. Connolly harshly whispered to his men to tighten up and when he noticed that one of his men was missing. He furiously counted again and validated his initial assumption. He called the men to a halt when his men began taking fire from a draw further up the ravine. His men quickly took cover and began returning fire of their own.

That was when his men began to come completely unhinged one by one. The screaming was hard to take really. He’d been in much worse military engagement situations and never once had Connolly consider giving up. Men were disappearing out of the blue and others were just dropping their weapons and running like stark raving lunatics. The sergeant physically grabbed one man by the color and looked into his eyes, but the soldier wasn’t focusing on anything at all. He was firmly entrenched in some hell deep within his brain. “What is it Risser? Talk to me! That’s an order!” But the man just screamed wildly and slipped my grasp and ran like there was no tomorrow.

What was happening? He was losing control of this fight and he didn’t even know what it is that they were fighting. Was this some sort of alternative weapons technologies testing ground and they were the guinea pigs? Connolly hollered to his guys to pull the perimeter back now and quickly link up. As he drew his remaining guys within arms length he realized there was only himself and four others now. Packs and M16 were just strewn here and there wildly around them.

“Listen to me!” Connolly yelled at his men. “We circle it up and then we give ‘em hell! This thing stops right here. You hear me? It stops right here. I want the concentration of our fire into that draw.”

As Connolly was still yelling a man with an explosion of brilliantly blond hair came walking out from within the draw. “Destroy him!” And even Connolly brought up his M16 to bear on the target and began unleashing rounds. Connolly had to blink twice because it appeared that the man instantaneously moved four feet to his left. They trained their weapons on him again between curses and plaintive cries to God and released another salvo only to watch him sidestep 15 feet over to his right now. What was happening? Had they hit us with nerve agents? There had to be some explanation for what he was seeing. Training his weapon on him again he decided this was stupid. They needed a different plan. And so he told his men to cover the entire front and fire random sweeps 180 degrees in front of them. “Stop chasing him – cover the field.”

And then things started to improve. They heard the man begin to swear as he dove for cover. Just as he landed behind a boulder Connolly saw that the man had been shot and spun in midair by the collision. There we go! Thought Connolly. “Cover me! I’m going out.”

Connolly’s men definitely thought it was better him than them. And so they brandished their weapons wildly in an attempt to continue covering their sectors. Connolly sprinted the thirty yards to the boulder. As he rounded the spot where the man fell he stared at the spot where he knew the man had fallen. There was nothing there but blood. Connolly heard a twig snap directly behind him and he wheeled at the sound and pulled up his weapon to meet his enemy.

The woman standing in front of him had the most beautiful green eyes and gorgeous red curly locks he’d ever seen. Connolly’s brain froze immediately, he wasn’t sure exactly what he was supposed to do with this. The next thing he knew, she disappeared. Right there in front of him. Gone. Vanished. And then everything went black.

“Keep it tight on the wound!” I yelled at Sumner. Then I slapped him. He wasn’t focusing and I needed him to stay with me. I couldn’t stand here and babysit him. They were starting to surround us and if I didn’t do something dramatic right now something bad was going to happen.

“Right. Focusing. Got it. Pressure,” responded Sumner.

Now, to the matter of these Black Hawks, they were going to be the end of us if I don’t do something. “Bea, please keep everyone here in the draw and just keep a defensive posture until I’m back. I’m hitting that helicopter.”

Bea instantly objected. “Are you insane? That’s it, you want to die. I get it all now. You are hoping for your ticket into the great beyond.”

“That really is sweet of you to care – but right now I don’t have time for this. Either I turn one of those helicopters and its M60s against them or we die. We won’t even see it coming to do anything about it.”

She just shook her head and quickly as I started taking stock of where that helicopter was. I knew I couldn’t TK myself that high. Maybe half that distance maybe? And the chopper wasn’t going to come any further down because of the trees. And then I had it. Quickly I began using my juggernaut to sprint up the nearest tree. Hopping between trees, back and forth, and quickly I was as high as I could get. I then looked at my hand and flexed my mind to disappear. Nothing. How did she do that? I tried again. Nothing. Dang it. Invisibility would be extremely helpful here I screamed at myself as I tried again and again. Still nothing.

Invisibilty wasn’t working and so I glitched the world into a pause and leapt up to the helicopter. As I landed inside the bird I resumed the world to move forward again. I slid over to the other door and kicked the gunner in the head. He slumped over onto the deck. And then I slid over to the other gunner and cracked my elbow against his forehead. The gunner slid out the open door only to be caught by his harness that kept him from falling completely out of the helicopter. I was glad for that as my goal wasn’t to kill him. I then slid behind the M60 and began unleashing a rain of bullets against the nearest Black Hawk I saw. I was strategically aiming for the back rotor in hopes of incapacitating it.

The results were sudden and dramatic. The helicopter began smoking and flailing its way through the air. I kept pouring on the fire until it began to spin and then I quickly swept around through the air looking for the other Black Hawk. Finding it down by the front of the Chalet I began firing rapidly that direction. And then several things happened all at once. The other Black Hawk, now assuming that we were hostile, began pouring rounds from both his guns our direction. Both pilots were instantly hit and I realized the helicopter was going to rapidly have a violent greeting with terra firma. But the bird was rotating so quickly I didn’t know what to do. And then before I knew it the Black Hawk violently twisted itself into the earth. Rotors bit the ground and the helicopter buckled and then I don’t remember anything else.