Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 31

I wasn’t much of a drinker. And I wasn’t sure I was going to pull off the drunk look. But I hadn’t counted on the fact that the closer I got to the city the louder everything got. The city was somehow completely playing chaos with my mind. It was like someone had walked up to the back of my head with a six foot speaker and cranked it completely to 10. My eyes were watering at the loudness of everything. I just wasn’t sure why brain felt like it was constantly ready to explode. To someone on the outside I’m sure I looked like really was a bum. I was stooped over holding my head as I wandered this way and that trying to find my way.

All around me 1920’s Model T Fords sputtered and scurried this way and that. On the corner was a man on a box selling newspapers by yelling out the day’s headlines. Further down the street I heard the big band sound of Louis Armstrong’s deep crooning voice coming from a dance hall studio. I’ll be honest it really felt like I had just tripped onto a Hollywood studio set. It was all very disorienting. That coupled with the cranial chaos I just felt completely out of my depth here.

Eventually I made my way to a park across the street and fell onto the nearest park bench. There was a couple on the bench holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes. I dropped onto the bench next to them and my arrival definitely dissuaded them from staying. I’m sure I smelled terribly. The smell of my new clothes had started to just become another input into my massively overloaded brain. I figured there had to be a way to settle this pain down. A way to get equilibrium of some sort. It felt like maybe if I could just pop my ears the pain would go away. But I just couldn’t figure out how to make that happen.

As I stared down the street I just stood amazed at the life and times of 20’s come to life in front of me. The architecture seemed like an incomplete version of the Chicago I had come to know and love. Many of the same edifices were there, but most of the truly iconic buildings hadn’t quite been built yet. And so it seemed like something was missing. But what it lacked for in sky scrapers it definitely made up for in panache. Everyone streaming up and down the city streets was dressed to the nines. Head gear was de rigueur both for the men and the women. From beneath the haze I wondered to myself how these styles ever fell out of fashion they were so original and gorgeous in every way.

And then one voice amongst the maelstrom shot out of nowhere and sang to me.

It was my Bean. I knew it. I would recognize her scent anywhere. I was immediately unsure of what to do. Yolanda had told me to wait for them here. And yet, I could sense Bea close by. How far? I couldn’t tell. There were too many different voices and way too many power sources exploding all over this awful city. It was so bright with evanescent power that I couldn’t even open my eyes fully. I don’t know how these people walked about without cowering from it all. I rolled over on my face and listened to her voice. I threw all of my power at slicing her out of the deep noise all around her. Eventually I isolated her and noticed that she was coming out of that door right there across the street. And sure enough, there she was. I almost stood and yelled at the top of my lungs when I saw her but then I saw Leif come out the door behind her.

I staggered my way to my feet and began running my way across the street. Several cars almost ran into me. I hadn’t even noticed until the third one, a Lincoln Town car, actually did hit me and launched me up onto the windshield. As I flew through the air I threw my jugg reserves at my back muscles that were about to receive a massive impact. And sure enough I slammed into the windshield as it exploded underneath me. I continued rolling up and over the car and then landed on the pavement where the car had just been.

I pulled my head up off the cement and looked down the street to see if Bea was anywhere to be seen. I first noticed that the car that had hit me had to be completely totaled. And there she was turning the corner with Leif close in tow. Then I heard someone yelling my direction. Screaming actually. “FETCH A HEALER! GO!” the voice yelled. This kind of attention was not good. That was the only thought crossing my mind even though I had just been hit by a car and I wasn’t able to get up. I forced one area of my brain to keep track of Bean and I concentrated the rest of my mind on getting my crushed body up off the ground.

I shook my head to clear the noise and then thrust my arms against the ground. Slowly I began to push myself off the ground. “No. I don’t think thats a really good idea mister.” Said a voice off to my right. It was a kid in a newsboy cap pulled close over his eyes staring intensely at me in awe. I didn’t listen. I was finally gaining some momentum now. And then I was standing. There was a small crowd of people all caps, scarves and stares. They were eyeing the crushed Lincoln and back at me. Each was wondering how I was alive I was fairly certain. And then I began limping my way into a run in the direction Bea and Leif had just gone.

I turned the corner and quickly glanced behind me to see that the crowd had decided to let the bum go and die from internal bleeding somewhere else. That was fine with me. And then one are of my mind fired off another alert signaling that Bea was slipping away. I concentrated my mind in the direction she had gone down the street and realized she was probably in the enormous hotel at the end of the street. It was a bulky square rise of brick and glass that seemed to have been dropped onto the street by a child of the gods. As he drew closer he noticed that the name of the hotel was the Allerton. ‘Hrm. Never heard of it.’ I thought to myself. But now I had another problem on my hands. Getting in. And it was then that Bea told me as clear as day to run for my life.


Bea had been trying to get Leif to talk to her for the past half hour now. She figured that if Leif would just began a dialogue she might be able to influence him even without her Emp abilities. But Leif was having none of it. Leif indicated that the were going by thrusting a finger towards the door. And as Beatrice walked to the door he did the strangest thing. He snapped the chocker of her neck. Bea immediately began throwing her mind at the possibilities he had just opened up for her. And yet at the same time she was inundated by the sudden loud crash of power all around her. And then a second later her mind equalized and the noise was gone.

As they continued to walk together down to the lobby Bea thought about disappearing and running for it. But Leif had obviously thought of that. And what of this place? Everything was different here. Maybe her powers didn’t work like normal? She just didn’t know what would happen and knew that Leif would slit her throat just for grins if she stepped out of line. And so she continued walking through the front door and out onto the street.

Immediately she saw him as she stepped out into the sunshine.

Ben was dressed as a bum but she would recognize his signature aura anywhere. She cracked a smile across her lips and continued up the street with a confidence that she didn’t have a moment ago. Leif grabbed her arm and pulled up along side of her now as they continued up the street and then around the corner.

They continued down the length of the street to an enormous hotel that was the largest building in the area by far. Heading up through the front entryway Bea began to sense that while the building was physically a hotel in the original 1920’s time frame, that wasn’t what it was being used for now. As she entered the foyer she sensed that the numerous men standing about were not visitors to the hotel but guards of some sort. She touched one with her mind and immediately understood. This was the Elder central command building. And her heart sunk as she realized it. A moment ago her heart had leapt seeing Ben, but now she was certain that he was about to get himself killed dashing himself against these walls. She saw it as clearly as she saw these guards standing next to her.

Leif waited at the front desk and indicated his name and that he had an appointment. The person at the desk waved his hand in the air to someone across the lobby and an entire crush of guards joined us and walked with us up the stairs. It was then that some sort of transfer of control happened that Bea wasn’t entirely certain of. Leif relaxed his arm off of Bea’s arm and it was replaced on the other arm with another gloved arm. ‘I think I may have just been sold,’ Bea realized with a start. It was obvious as to why and their purpose. But she couldn’t figure it out all the same.

Then it clicked. What was about to happen. How Ben was going to be captured. And how the two of them would be killed for their crimes against the order. The Elder’s investment would be paying dividends almost immediately after the sale and they didn’t even know it yet. Beatrice decided she needed to warn Ben somehow. She couldn’t sense him, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t out there. She whispered her mind backwards and down the street threading her way through the front door of the hotel and then down onto the street. She began a mantra and repeated it over and over again. “Don’t even. Its a trap. They are going to kill you. Don’t even. It’s a trap. They are going to kill you.” It was the only thing she could think to do. Ben knew nothing about restraint or patience. And this was going to go very badly here in a moment if he didn’t heed her warning.

They continued up the stairs, circling higher and higher into the core of the building. The trappings were gorgeously beautiful. All chrome, marble and scarlet red drapes. If Bea had been here under other circumstances it would have been a marvelous that she would be looking forward to as opposed to the hostage situation she was now under. And then abruptly, they left the stairs and headed into a grand expanse that was completely empty. Bea struggled to understand what this room might have been used for it was such a divergence from the rest of the building she had seen so far. They walked out to the center of the floor and stood.
Bea swung her eyes this way and that across the floor looking for the reason they were here.

And then, out of nowhere, five individuals walked in from across the hall. Three women and two men. The group walked with purpose and their gates matched in a sort of practiced unity and coherence. They were dressed in classic 20’s style dress. The women wore tan or black dresses what were long and form fitting. And the men wore pinstriped suits with wide lapels, and prominent watch chains across their waste coats. Beatrice was more than a little impressed at the image they caste across the room. Its like everyone in their presence felt better just being near them. And then Bea noticed that her emotions were being subtly pulled from somewhere near by. Ah, there, in the balcony at the far end.

Beatrice walled the Emp thrust off and was still impressed by the five figures in front of her. She even had to double check she hadn’t missed any other emotional attacks from anywhere else around her. No, they just were an intimidating group. And they hadn’t even said anything yet. The silence was actually becoming overwhelming. And then Beatrice understood that they were evaluating her, sizing her up.

Then one of the men walked over Bea’s direction and grimaced at her openly. “What do you think he sees in you?” There were a whole lot of implied subjects and pronouns in that sentence… so many that Bea didn’t feel comfortable answering any of them. “Don’t be coy Ms Gladwell. Facts. I’m looking for information about Benjamin. And I expect you to help. Right now you are our guest. Let’s not change that situation for the worse.”

The threat was clear. But it clearly was overly generous with the current situation. She was obviously not anyone’s guest. Beatrice had no option to leave when she felt like it and this much was clear. The threat of the circumstances potentially getting worse though were communicated clearly though.

“I really don’t know. Maybe it was just that I was the first Cerebrial he ever saw act. Or maybe it was just a basic attraction. I’m not certain. I’ve been asking myself that question since he first expressed an interest.”

Then one of the ladies sort of meandered her way over to Beatrice and then raised her eyebrows in an implied question. Bea blinked a nod of approval and then the woman lifted Beatrice’s arm, placing her thumb in beatrice’s palm and hold her wrist. And then the woman began delve into Bea’s soul and just like that Beatrice feinted cold and hit the wood floor hard. And like that she was overtaken by darkness.


The light of Beatrice’s scent flared bright and then went dark. At first I thought she had died. But there was still a murmur there, just very dimly lit. I began to panic then. The loud cacophony of sounds was still crushing my skull and disorienting me. But it was slowly getting better, minute by minute.

I hadn’t yet figured how I was going to make it into the building until I found a service entrance propped open around the back. A bread van was sitting there in the street and I figured that was why the door was propped open. Regardless of the reason I quickly thanked my lucky stars for the way in.

Sliding through the door I quickly found myself in a labyrinth of hallways and service stairways. Trying to find my way to the main stairs was tricky at first. Especially trying to keep a low profile. I sort of realized then that a drunk wandering around in this upscale hotel wouldn’t be looked on with too much kindness. And so I did my best to slink and slide my way as best as I could. Occasionally I would TK jump from this intersection or ghost from here to there. I tried to move as quickly and expeditiously as I could. But it was difficult restraining myself into safe movements that balanced between speed and stealth.

Eventually I found the main staircase and ghosted myself up three flights trying to push ever faster up to Bea. And then everything went all wrong in a heartbeat. I had been concentrating on a passing waiter who almost saw me run past. When I turned the corner and walked straight into 20 men standing by a large closed doorway. I knew the gig was up and so I dropped into character and hoped for the best.

With a loud belch I staggered to the pillar and tried to look like I was about to pass out. The group of men was just now becoming cognizant of my presence and they were slowly sizing me up.

It was then that I staggered to one knee as I tried to think of my odds on taking these 20 guards on. Maybe if I had some sort of magnification device I could have blown them all through the doors in one fell swoop. But I knew I didn’t have it in me at that moment to tangle with these trained thugs. Maybe I could get by them, but then what was awaiting me on the other side of those doors? And then in a coup de grace, I willed myself to throw up on the carpet right in front of them there.

Two minutes later I was unceremoniously thrown out into the back alley of the hotel. At first I thought I might have chipped a tooth on the sidewalk. I did feel blood welling up in my mouth anyway. When I turned back to look at the door I watched as it slammed shut.
Well that didn’t go nearly as well as I had planned.