Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 24

I was sitting on top of my hotel room’s dresser trying to think of just the right turn of phrase when there was a knock on the door. “Oh, one second Bea!” And then instead of perfection, I just scribbled down the first thought that came to mind and then signed the slip of paper. Sumner promised he would swing by and pick up my note for Barley soon. So I had to have something for him when he came to get it. I hopped off the dresser and almost TK floated my way across the room to the door, but decided I needed every ounce of reserve I had so I walked instead.

I swung the door open with a flourish and pulled Bea into my arms. “Why hello!” I laughed. I instantly realized her mood wasn’t anywhere near as excited as mine was. “What’s the matter?” I asked, my mood suddenly turning serious as well.

“I just heard who your sparring partner will be this evening.” Answered Bea. And then she just sat there.


“President Trill. Trill will be your opponent. Yeah. Trill.” She was obviously worked up about this for some reason but I had no idea why.

“Ok. And?” I asked dumbly.

“For one, she’s the head of Ghost House. No sitting President of any Council has ever sparred before. Ever. Secondly she is the most amazing ghost I’ve ever encountered. I’ve watched her shake down senior ghosts who didn’t even know what hit them.” Bea was going at a great rate now. “She will destroy you Bentley. We have to run for it.”

“Whoa, hold on now. Give me just a little bit of credit, would you?” I said with mock hurt in my voice.

“No, you are good. I’ve never seen anyone do some of the things you have done over the past month. And you do these amazing things without giving them much thought at all. Yes. You are good. But this is something else entirely.”

I still didn’t have any idea what I was up against. “Bea, something else entirely isn’t a scouting report I can act on. I need something more concrete here. Want me to go get you a bag to breath into?” She impulsively snatched my copy of Moby Dick off the dresser and chucked it straight at my head.


I took a quick breath. A slow exhale. And walked over to the book in mid-flight and plucked it out of the air. I placed it back on the dresser where it was and then wrapped Bea up in a huge hug and then released time.


“Not that book sweets. I’m fine with you throwing televisions, vaults, whatever. Just not either one of these two books.” And then I kissed her cheek to let her know everything was alright.

“What are they? Why are they so important? May I?” she asked as she went to pick them up.
I frowned. “Yeah.”

As she flipped through Moby Dick she began noticing the 3×5 cards – and she looked at me, silently asking if it was ok. I nodded in response to the unanswered question. And she began to read aloud. “The chase. The hunt for restoration costs Ahab everything. The question is whether its better to settle and allow the whale to sleep, or if we should ruthlessly hunt it down even if the cost is everything.” She reverently slid the card back into the book and closed it. “That script is gorgeous. Your mother’s writing?” I nodded in return, unable to speak. “She loved you very much. I can tell.”

And now tears were streaming down my face against my will. My face didn’t change composure or even move. They were just instantly there. “I can’t stop Bea. I can’t. And if it kills me I am sorry. More for your sake than mine. But I just can’t stop. I won’t settle. I don’t know how to.” She pressed herself up against me and the only thing I could hear was heart beating against mine.


Trill was the definition of diminutive. I noticed before just how small she was. As she strode up to the podium I wondered if maybe Bea was incorrect in her intel. “Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for coming to the third interrogation. So far it has been truly enlightening. Today should be another insightful day as well. To that end, I have asked for the privilege to be Ben’s sparring partner.” The crowd to in a collective gasp at that. They innately understood what this meant and were shocked. “I’ve heard that Ben’s odds have increased to 5to1, congratulations Ben.” At this the crowd laughed a bit, as she nodded my direction.

I was sitting in the stands awaiting the call to enter the arena. But mainly I was looking for Bea. She said she wasn’t sure if she could watch tonight. But I figured that was just gamesmanship to get me not to go. Apparently I was wrong on that account. I didn’t see here anywhere and I couldn’t feel her either. Which was even more daunting. I frowned a bit to myself at that. And then Cat jumped up on my back from behind me. “Who is that?” I whispered. Knowing full well that she would be the only one to dive on me, especially at a moment like this.

“I just wanted to wish you luck.” I was touched at that.

“Thanks so much Cat.” I responded as I pulled her around onto my knee. “Have you seen Bea?”

“No…” then she paused a second. “No, nowhere. I don’t sense her anywhere.”

“Yeah, me either.” And just like that they audience was applauding as Trill started her walked down into the arena.

“Alright girly-girl… I have to go.” And with that I tussled her hair knowing full well she hated that. I laughed a bit and then headed down onto the floor. As I walked down I made a point to swing by one of the four Emps in charge of cordoning off our match and said, “Give it everything you have today. I can tell already you are going to have to be on your A game to keep this audience safe.” She looked back at me with a bit anxiety written across her face. And then I said, “Boo!” and laughed. She lightened up a little bit at that… almost smiled even.


Today the floor was empty. No weapons were provided. All warm up gear had been fastidiously removed from the floor. I guess they learned something from my little water maneuver yesterday. I chuckled and then my eyes met Trill’s. Woah. This woman was a deep well. ‘Be very careful here,’ I told myself. I then understood what Bea was so concerned about. And then she smiled at me, and it was only then that I was truly afraid for my life.

The Emps snapped the barrier up around us and then it was understood we could begin whenever we were both ready. I thought about stretching a bit, or making some show of delaying but a part of me just wanted to get this over with.

I nodded Trill’s direction. She nodded mine. And the game was on.

She started walking my direction with a resolution and a deliberateness that was the epitome of disconcerting. How do I crack this thing open? I wondered to myself. I need a play here. Something. My brain was calculating from the different reserves of power. TK? Jugg? Ghost? Glitch? Emp? Nothing was clicking. It was almost like the synapsis weren’t fully connecting.

‘Wait’ I said to myself ‘Just wait a minute.’ And then I realized she was the one doing that. She was fritzing my circuits and keeping me from deciding on a path forward. It was almost like an impulse weapon that fries circuity across a swath of the battlefield, she was doing something that was keeping my mental systems off line. Where? How? And all the while she was walking straight for me. No fear. No hesitancy in her gate.

Eventually, I was able to hear a small flux of incoming wave chaos. Just a whisper. I threw everything at this signal. My body quit recognizing all other external inputs. My vision went dark and I heard nothing. I snapped the incoming attack out of my brain like unplugging a chord from the wall. And as soon as I did all hell broke loose. Check that. Nothing happened externally. Everything continued as it had been. Trill continued walking straight towards me and the audience continued to watch for some indication of a beginning. But in my head I was surrounded. On all sides, there were people everywhere and I was in extreme danger I realized.

I couldn’t figure out what all the signals meant, what all the data could possibly mean. And then I understood. Trill wasn’t alone. There were others with her. I tried to count them all, but they were constantly moving and their signals were very weak. Four maybe? Five? ‘Could this, for once, be easy’ I thought to myself. And then all of a sudden it got really scary. The good news was that I knew immediately what was happening, but I just couldn’t do anything about it. The moment they all realized I had figured out their ruse they began to collectively send a siren’s call my way. And just like that I was like Titan of the Greek myths beckoned by the sirens to their rocks. I would have gladly wrecked my ship on their shores their voices and their songs were so enticing.

I began walking towards the voices. Completely adrift in the arena. I saw visions of beautiful women accompanying the songs. Gorgeous voices singing only for me. And then, the strongest tug of them all, I heard Bea’s voice. I heard her cry and I wanted so badly to see her. Once I heard her I was determined to give my life to them freely.

Then, out of the haze, I saw Cat run up to the edge of the shield and stare at me. She didn’t move a muscle. But her jaw was completely set and her eyes were extremely stern. And then I understood. Then I realized what was really happening. I threw an Emp shield blindly outwards just trying to get my bearing and some sort of a balance to this fight. And just like that they all materialized in front of me. There were five in total, including Trill.

And then I noticed that Bea was here too.

I almost gave up right then. But then something inside of me rose to the challenge of it all. I glitched, and started running towards the nearest ghost. I Jugged a punch straight towards her jaw, but felt nothing at all as my hand past through the space where her jaw should have been. The glitch dropped and instead of being behind me now she was in front of me. She smiled at me a bit and then kicked me square in the gut. ‘What had just happened?’ I wondered to myself as I recoiled from the concussion of the impact. I glitched again and tried it again. This time I round housed her into her mid-section. Nothing. I was very confused now. The glitch snapped down again but this time I anticipated her attack, caught her fist inches from my face. I had hold of her now and I wasn’t letting go.

Just then I sensed another attacker inbound and I swung the first ghost around and into the second one coming our direction. Nothing. No collision. I released the first and sent her slamming into the shield. As the second ghost cracked her elbow down onto my skullcap. I went down in a heap, but as I went down I blindly flailed and connected a thrust to her gut. She crashed down to the ground as well.

I was laying there in a pile when Bea started walking my direction. I considered yielding the match to her now. Just giving up. But then I remembered our match in the quad and thought maybe she and I could have a little fun before she humiliated me. So I ghosted into a vapor and vanished. She saw this coming and quickly veiled herself from me. ‘How did she do that?’ I thought to myself. And the next thing I knew my chin was violently snapping to one side from the concussion of some impact. ‘Oh man! Take it easy on me over here’ I thought to myself. And then there was another, and I knew my nose was gushing blood now. And then I felt my body leave the ground with explosive force as she kicked me into the air.

And then I’d had enough. While in mid-air I glitched, threw an Emp-shield blast back her direction and then TK thrusted straight towards her simultaneously dropping the glitch as I flew. I was done messing around. But just like before I went straight through where she had just been. I wasn’t landing any punches in this fight. Nothing was working. All of these women were doing something I just had never seen before. Bea hadn’t never shown me this strategy and I just couldn’t figure out what was happening.

And then I saw it.

Trill was casually walking along one side of the arena. She was watching quietly. Just waiting to see the results of her handiwork. Upset at her pompousness I decided to bring her back into the game. I had flared a pulse to send her direction and the next thing I knew she was on the other side of the arena. It was as if she glitched across the distance. But she hadn’t. I would have seen the shift and would have been able to watch her move through time. This wan’t that at all. She must be teleporting somehow. And then it all clicked. Not only were they invisible, but they were also instantaneously spanning distances without traveling. Fascinating I thought to myself.

This didn’t bode well. Five ghosts. All with the ability to pop in and out of various locations at will. If this continued I was going to be killed by a million different cuts and from a million different directions. Already my nose was probably re-broken and I could feel a hairline fracture in my jaw. These women, lead by Bea, were going to dismantle me piece by piece. I needed some offensive maneuver that would eliminate this as a variable. And the only thing that I could think of was massively distructive and overkill. I didn’t want to hurt Bea. Trill I didn’t care about. She chose to walk into this arena… but I couldn’t hurt Bea. And so I continued to try different things to little or nor success.

TK lifting myself across the arena I landed behind a ghost and grabbed her from behind. Maybe I could use a hostage to keep them at bay while I thought some more? It worked at first, it kept them at bay, but then they coordinated their attack again and they began teleporting into range and raining blows down on me from above, behind and below. Ok, so that wasn’t working. And then without any indication the ghost I had hostage snapped her head back into my already damaged nose.

I fell to the ground in a heap. The lights went out and I didn’t know how long I was down on the ground. When I came back to, the group of women were standing around me discussing who should have the privilege of the final blow. I saw my achilles heel fall. As my eyes fluttered open I saw a woman with dark hair and blue eyes one moment and in the next moment as she noticed me coming to she snapped her form to Bea’s. She wasn’t Bea after all?

Oh now I was mad. I jugged extra strength to my legs and let fly a sweeping roundhouse kick that didn’t stop once I’d made contact with the first woman. I continued around the circle until they were all laying flat. And then poof, they all instantaneously retreated to the others side of the arena. But they didn’t realize what they had awoken in me. I pulled a lighter from my pocket and grinned a maniacal grin. They were confused. A moment ago I was completely hamstrung and about to die. And in the next I was on top of my game.

I flicked the lighter to a flame.

And then, with a little subtle fanning, I grew the flame into a gust. Picking the flame up I circled it in a TK hold, all the while fanning it to grow. One of the ghosts on the other side of the room was begging to be let out of the arena now. Trill began running my direction to preempt my move and as she teleported I threw the weight of my hate behind a massive TK thrust all the while fanning the flame with massive amounts of oxygen and fuel.

“I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

The blast blew through the back of the Emp shield sending all four ghosts and Trill into the wall behind the audience. The audience at that end of the arena was flattened under the explosion of it as well. As I walked towards Trill, I could hear moaning and crying all around me. And then, in one word I commanded an end to the game, “Yield.” She nodded at this and then passed out.