Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 30

Several hours of the city Yolanda woke up and decided to share a fairly critical piece of information with me about our destination. “There’s only four or five ways into the city.” I raised both of my eyebrows at her at that.

“Yolanda, what are you talking about. There’s a million ways into Chicago. Sure, the lake blocks one side, but this isn’t New York we are talking about here… what are you talking about?”

Yolanda was laying on the bench with her head in Cat’s lap. She pulled out a package of crackers and offered one to Cat who indicated she was fine. “You tell him Cat.”

“I’ve only heard stories about the Elder City. You’ve actually been there. You tell him.” Cat answered.

“I’m curious what you’ve heard. I’ll jump in if you wander too far afield.” Answered Yo.

“Welp, in the Elder City I have heard that they have so much extra cranial power they use it on some of the strangest things. For example, for some duration I don’t know…”

“A year.” Answered Yolanda.

“Ok, for an entire year the hold the entire city in a specific moment of time.” I was completely dubious now. And my face showed it. “You know how I put a bubble over our practice area in the quad with the help of a generator? Same idea. Except you thrown in a bit of time travel shifting into the mix as well.”

“Chicago is no quad. That is impossible.” I said, completely blown away at the possibilities. “What about the real inhabitants of Chicago? The humans? What of them?”

“I don’t know, but I would guess, if the city were shifted into a specific moment they’d be there too, frozen in time. So the Elder City is actually a place in time more than it is a physical location.” At this she looked at Yo for confirmation.

“Yes. That is correct. And the only way into the shifted city is through a couple of ways. All of which may very well be watched. Normally its a pretty wide open door for any cranial. But we will have to assume they are looking for your coming now. And I’m guessing you would prefer them not to know you’d arrived…” she said this last bit extremely pedantically. As if she were coddling some slow mentally deficient individual. I wanted to lash out at her now and just blow her out of the back of the van. And then I realized she was stoking that feeling with her Emp. I immediately checked my response and forced myself to think positive thoughts about her.

And then I realized what an idiot I was. She had tossed negativity at me so obviously that she knew I couldn’t miss it. And then she also knew I would counter it with positive feelings. At which point she piled on with positive feelings of her own… only this time they were much more subtle. I tried not to let on I knew what she was doing. I began wondering to myself just how long she had been doing this sort of manipulation of my feelings without my knowing it. I bet that is why I felt like I was stuck in our relationship and that I was drowning. I realized that was why I was so suicidal towards the end. I felt like there was no way out of her grasp.

I thought back to the old me. The one who had no idea about what was going on all around me and the potential resident inside my mind, waiting. I knew what I had to do right then.

I crossed the distance to her in a single step and I pressed my cheek against hers. I put my lips against her ear and I felt a smile creep across her face. “Yolanda.”

“Yes, love?”

“You were just hitting my emotions just now. No?”

“Maybe a bit,” she answered.

“Let me be crystal clear here.” I was whispering intensely directly into her ear. I knew this was going to be intense. “If you pull my emotions one more time, I promise you, I swear to you, that I will gut you where you stand. I would kill you now just to see the shock on your face if I didn’t need you so badly to get us inside. Our paths are coincidentally linked right now. But that time is coming to a rapid end.”

When I pulled away to look her straight in the eye, she was flushed. “Answer me.” I demanded via whisper.

“Fine. I guess your empath skills are improving if you could feel me sending the hate your way. I won’t do it again.” Oh this one was clever. She was wanting to know what I could sense. Was it the obvious play that she wanted me to sense or could I also hear the one she didn’t want me to feel?
“That and the positive path too Yo. I felt them both.” She was shocked now. I cocked an eyebrow and then went back to my bench. So I was making progress then. That was good news.


There were several train stations around the periphery of the city that doubled as portals into the the time-shifted Elder City. To gain access it required a simple check in at one of these locations that were guarded by several people night and day to keep unwitting individuals out. It had been Sumner’s idea for the makeover and send me in on my own. Me going by myself he reasoned would have been the last thing they would look for. And so we found the nearest drunkard asleep on the street and offered him my clothes for his. The man saw the clothes I was wearing and agreed in a heartbeat. I on the other hand was very uncertain about this particular trade. I then bought the bottle of liquor he was holding like a teddybear and the look was complete.

Sumner was looking me over and decided something was missing. So he grabbed some dirt and grease from the ground and began to smear it across my face in copious quantities. “No, no, no! Stop!” I yelled, sensing that my friend was reveling in the experience way too much. “DJ, make him stop!” I yelled as I thrashed about.

“I’m actually kind of enjoying this. But thanks for thinking of me though.” DJ laughed at this. As did the rest of the group.

“Guys?” Jacob interrupted. “I’m glad we have a plan for how we are going to get Ben through, but what about me. I’m guessing it is rare for regular humans to cross over?”

Yolanda looked at him like she’d never seen him before. “No, actually… it isn’t rare.” She shook her head at this and then continued, “It’s never happened before as far as I am aware. It’s Elder Rule number One for their city. And there are only three rules total.”

Cat jumped in at this. “I know how to throw my powers. Kinda like a ventriloquist. I can make it seem like he’s an Empath at least.” Everyone looked at her in shock. “Just thought it’d be cool to do.”

I knew there was more to this particular skill than it being ‘cool’… but I figured I wouldn’t push it. “How good are you at…” and just like that Jacob lit up like a christmas tree. Emp was pouring out of him like he’d been doing it for years. I was instantly amazed.

Yo jumped in, “Wow. That is a neat little trick Cat. I wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.”

Jacob was flustered now. “What? What’d she do?”

“To us,” Sumner responded, “Cat has made it look like you are a very strong Empath. The power of an emp is streaming off of you like you are quite capable.” And then to Cat he responded, “That is great. So are we ready then? Ben? You know what to do?”

“Yeah, I guess. Second stall, tell them you are bound for the Elder City. Pay the fare, act drunk, move along. Got it I think. Shall I wait for you?”

“No” answered Yolanda. “Just take the train in. Ride it to the last stop, which is downtown. Head to the surface and find the nearest park bench to crash on. We’ll be there on the next train. I figure its safer for you to go in alone. They would never think of that.”

“Yeah, and I would never do it, its such a bad idea.” Answered Sumner.

“If we want to keep them off balance we are going to have to start thinking completely backwards. Otherwise we might as well just tell them we are here and hand ourselves over.”


Getting my ticket had been extremely nerve racking. Trying to control your heart to keep it from sounding like it was about to explode is next to impossible. The more you think about controlling it the more out of control you feel. But in the end they men at the ticket booth had handed over the ticket easily enough. Didn’t seem like they had even given me a second thought even really. And as I walked through the gate into the train station the most amazing transformation happened. It was as if I was in the twenties. I was surrounded by people frozen in time out of a gangster movie. All the men wore hats and the women wore elegant long thin flowing dresses. And it was then that I knew what Cat and Yolanda had said about the city was true. The Elder City wasn’t a place, it was a moment in time and it was alive with power.