Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 34

The next morning, the sun was nowhere to be seen across the horizon.  It was as if the gods had forgotten the city today.  The grayness of the clouds and the wind set a pall across the city that was hard to overcome.  Ben stared out the window and wondered how the end of the day would find them.  There weren’t really a lot of options.  He would either be dead trying to rescue Bea or he would survive through some ridiculous miracle of fate.  He knew this was a fools errand.  But he couldn’t help but to try.  Every other option seemed to indict him and laugh in his face.

Sumner wandered over and sidled up next to his friend and joined him in staring out at the gray sky and the overcast city.  “Penny for your thoughts?”

“Nothing really, just waiting.”  And then Ben decided his moroseness was stupid and that needed to get his act together if he wasn’t going to ruin today’s raid from the start.  “Were you able to get the outfits?  And the van?”

“Yeah.  There are going to be a number of restaurants wondering where their bread went this morning.  But yeah, I got them.”

“What about Yolanda?  Is she in place?” I asked, suddenly uncharacteristically concerned about her welfare.

“Yeah.  She’s set.  We got word from her already.  It’s all you big guy.  Any last minute oh by the ways you want to share with me before we go in?”

Sumner always had a way of saying things that put me at ease.  “Any word from Cat on the day’s outcome?”  I felt weak for asking… again.  Wouldn’t the leader of a potential rebellion be stronger than this?  Just felt so daunting and overwhelming all of a sudden.

“No, nothing is firm enough to see.  If you would decide what you were going to do she’d have a better time of it!” he laughed at his attempt at humor more so than the words he was saying.  I laughed at this in spite of myself.

“What about the amplifiers?  Are they all in place?”

“Ben, you asked me that exact question about an hour ago.  You ok chief?”

“I really am ok.  I’m just worried I’m going to get you all killed making this run at some lame attempt at chivalry.”

“Oh don’t worry about it – I figure today is just as good a day as any to die.  Let’s just take a few of them with us on our way out.”

Cat was basically in a catatonic state when the queue was given.  Silently she said a quick prayer and then threw everything she could against the amplifier.  Her job wasn’t difficult, not from a power standpoint.  But from a concentration standpoint it couldn’t have been more difficult.  To simultaneously give rise to thousands of individual moving and seemingly sentient individuals all at once was the hard part.  Keeping track of them all while sending the signal towards the hotel over their impending attack was the tricky part.  But Ben had faith in her that should could pull it off.  The entire plan rested on her in this moment and she knew it.

Down in the streets, vendors, shopkeepers and school children watched in awe as thousands and thousands of people materialized out of thin air.  One shocked bystander was baffled as three of these random people appeared directly in front of him and then walked through him towards some unknown destination.

Cat continued to concentrate as she threw her mind out into this quickly amassing stream of cabalists as they pushed their way closer and closer to their end destination and the beginning of the rebellion.


Yolanda had been trying to stay out of the way as she swept the same four foot square of the hotel lobby.  Earlier that morning Yolanda had followed a woman into the hotel and then knocked her out and deposited her in a closet.  Yolanda had taken her name badge and removed her long coat to reveal the uniform underneath.  ‘Well, here we go.’ thought Yolanda to herself.

Until recently Yolanda’s only intention was to subvert Ben at the last moment.  To take him out at the knees and turn him over to the Elders to show her support and ingratiate herself with them.  It made perfect sense.  To follow Ben directly into the lion’s den and then to play the role of Judas, to betray him with a kiss.  But in the last several days she had begun to have her doubts.  It was clear that something larger was going on.  That the tide of history was changing and that nothing would be the same again after today.  She wasn’t certain exactly how it would change, but all she knew was that she didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of history when it happened.  And so, she determined, that she would need to wait until as late as possible to make any play in order to play the odds in her favor.  If it looked like Ben was going to fail, then so be it… she would push him off the cliff.  If it looked like Ben might just pull it off, then look at how clever we were.  So here she was sweeping the floor, ready to play her part, deep within the lion’s den.

As she received the signal, she was ready.  She had steeled herself for this moment and just like that, out of the blue, she began to scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs and point towards the street.  The men guarding the lobby and the staircases came running to the foyer immediately.  Two hundred yards away streaming towards the hotel like a roaring crash of water came a mass of humanity hell bent on one thing and one thing only.

The guards and the advisors of the Elders all rushed to the front doors of the hotel and out onto the street to face the coming onslaught.  The advisors began signaling alarms and questioning each other as to how something like this could occur in The Elder city, right under their noses without anyone catching a whiff of it.  As Yolanda continued to scream, she saw that more and more guards and staff members streamed out from the inner core of the building and rushed downwards and out of the building.

When she thought the cost was clear she went the opposite direction from everyone else and headed back into the control room behind the main lobby.  She stepped through the door and greeted the three men staring at screens with nervous faces in the darkened room.  Yolanda tossed three metal balls into the air and then with blinding speed she fired them directly towards the foreheads of all three as they were just beginning to register her entry into the room.  And just like that, the control room was secured.  She sent a signal out to Ben letting him know that she had secured the objective.

Ben gave Sumner a look, that said it was time.  And then they adjusted their caps and uniforms one last time and then headed out to the van.  The drive would only take thirty seconds to cross the street and get to the hotel.  Yolanda had just sent the all clear and they were ready to go.

Ben trusted that everyone would continue doing their part and that things would continue to unfold to plan as the plan continued unfolding.  But he wondered how well he would do in this intricate plan to break Bea free.  He just had this feeling in the back of his mind like he was going to let the team down.  Worse yet, he had this feeling of dread that he was going to let Beatrice down.

Sumner looked over at his friend and said with a shake of his head, “There’s nothing you can do about it now.  We are up to our hips in alligators.  Let’s go make some alligator boots then.”

As Sumner began driving them the short distance to the hotel Ben responded “Is that your spin on lemons and lemonade?  What is that exactly?”

“You know, alligators.  Boots.  Belts?  Should I have gone with a different animal?” I hit Sumner upside the head with the back of my hand and then concentrated on centering my mind before going into the fray.

Sumner pulled the bread truck up to the back of the hotel and they both jumped out.  At the last second Ben turned to Sumner and said, “Look, I know this isn’t the plan, but stay here.  Watch the van, and when I get to Bea, just get everyone to group back here at the van.  I don’t want to endanger you if I don’t have to.”  Sumner began to object, but Ben placed a hand on his shoulder and gave him a look that told him everything Sumner needed to hear.

“I want it to be clear, that I object.”  Ben nodded and chuckled at that.

“Sure.  Its duly noted.  Just get everyone out of here safely do you hear me?  Don’t wait for me if I’m not back in time, I’ll take care of myself.”  Sumner nodded, shook his head and nodded his goodbye.

Ben swung out of the van and came to the guard at the door.  “Sorry, there’s a situation, no deliveries today.  Where’s Bernie by the way?  He not feeling well.”  And just like that Ben dropped the guard to the floor.  Ben picked the man up off the ground and slung him over his shoulder and heaved him into the van.  And like that, Ben was in.


Beatrice had it all figured out already.  She had been planning to make her move later tonight. But there was no way she was going to miss this opportunity now.  There had been some sort of alarm go out through the building and the guards in her suite and the guards at her door began running for the hallways left and right.  The only people left in her room was her steward and one remaining guard.  Beatrice chuckled a bit at this.  They would never even see it coming.

And just like that she phased, flashed across the room, and cracked the steward in the head with a vase.  The guard turned to see what the noise was and caught a marble bookend upside the back of his head.  His necked snapped with the velocity of it and he crumpled in a pile on the floor.

Bea stood at the the closed door to her apartment for a second.  She stared at the possibilities in front of her and ultimately changed her mind.  With a determined step she sped across the suite to the bay of windows overlooking the overcast city.  She took a deep breath and then unlocked the window closest to her and forced it outwards over the chasm below.

Concentrating, Beatrice dropped an Empath signature of herself here on the couch.  She didn’t want the Elders to come running because they were worried that she had decided to go walking.
Beatrice slid her head out the window and looked straight down to the street 12 stories below. With a burst of determination she swung her leg out the window and stood on the stone masonry just below the window.  Steadily she began to inch her way along the 10 inch stripe of masonry on down to the corner of the building.

When she arrived at the end of that face of building and began to make her turn the wind gusted and caused her to become unsteady with her balance.  She clutched at the side of the walls trying to get a handhold anywhere she could.  For a second she saw herself falling backwards off the building, screaming downward at a rate of 9.8 meters per second squared and then nothing.  She took a deep breath and calmed her blistering heart rate and continued onward again.

She began to concentrate on Ben’s face, and suddenly she was rock steady.  Her determination had returned in one fell swoop. And now she knew she could do anything.  The fear of the ground beneath her was gone.  The fear of being caught disappeared.  She knew that if she could get away and then let Ben know, everything would be alright.  If only she could get over to the fire escape and down to the ground, this would all be behind them.  As she lept over to the fire escape her attitude and her outlook increased exponentially.  Her attitude was so positively optimistic that she stopped throwing her presence into the suite anymore.  She figured no one could possibly care whether she seemed to be there in the hotel suite anymore.

I bounded up the stairs two at a time, exhilarated at finally acting after countless hours of thinking and fretting.  As I burst up the stairs I began sensing others nearby.  Phasing quickly I disappeared and as I did I remembered stepping into Beatrice’s arms that very first time.  The first guard stepped out of a doorway to the third floor.  I grabbed his head as I ran past him, with a TK hold and swiveled his head a full 270 degrees which was coupled by a horrendous crunch and snap dropping him to the floor.  I didn’t even look backwards as I continued running up the stairs ever closer to the obvious scent of my precious Bean.

I rematerialized as I continued running only to see two men in gorgeously tailored brown suits with fat lapels and matching hats standing at the top of the next landing.  I knew I was in trouble when the both began setting up a chained attack.  I saw it in their eyes.  Never mind the fact that they had the drop on me and I didn’t even know what I was dealing with here.
Time slammed to a standstill and I realized this was going to go very poorly here in a second.  When time continued my head cracked backwards as my momentum cartwheeled backwards into a backflip.  As I arced over backwards I watched as a spray of blood exploded from my mouth and nose.  My brain hadn’t registered the pain yet, but I knew that when it did it was going to be painful.  Shifting everything I had into my juggernaut reserve I steeled myself for the pain of the impact to my face and the coming impact on the landing at the bottom of the stairs.  As I crumpled on the floor I tried to get myself moving again as quickly as I could but my body wouldn’t respond normally.  Remembering the power and the pain of the shack and my their painful death, I willfully brought forward the anger on my own.  And then I knew that these two suits didn’t stand a chance suddenly.

I began standing slowly, and with a confidence they couldn’t understand.  And then I began slowly walking up the stairs.  One stair at a time.  Slowly walking directly towards them. Resolutely walking directly into their line of attack, willing it, hoping for it… encouraging it even.  The two men shrugged to each other and then they began throwing everything they had at me one salvo after another in a rapid succession of chaos and confusion. And as each salvo was sent I quickly thin sliced a glitch for each item hurled my direction and slapped them out of the air with a time lapsed rapidity that probably seemed like someone had just turned a strobe light on in the stairwell.  And then instead of slapping the projectiles away I began firing the back at them with the same speed they were fired at me.  In seconds they were both on the ground gurgling blood as they wondered what just hit them.

I continued on my way, back at a run now as I wiped the splatter of blood off my face.  As I reached the top floor of the hotel I stepped through the doorway and into the hallway.  I saw Bea as clear as could be towards the end of this hallway.  She was sitting there on a couch. Reclining as if she was awaiting my arrival.

And then, without warning.  She disappeared.  Vanished.  Completely gone.  I blinked twice and then wondered if I was confused about what I had just seen moments ago.  But no, I knew it was her.  There is no way that anyone else could trick me.  It just wasn’t a possibility.  And yet, she was gone.  I started running then.  As I neared the doorway to the Hotel room I jugged strength into my upper body and threw everything I had into the door.  It came down in an explosion of wood and metal frame.  Shrugging off the shrapnel I walked further into the room, looking this way and that for Bea.

“Beatrice?” I yelled across the room.  Nothing.  But then I noticed that there was a window open.  I sprinted over to the window and looked out.  Nothing.

And then behind me I heard laughing.  I knew that laugh.  And even without turning around I knew I had been played.  And that the game was up.  I cursed my stupidity.  I swore at the gods for their leaving me.  The rage in my mind was so complete and final that I went white with it.
Slowly spinning around I turned to see Leif standing in the shattered door accompanied by what looked like every guard and cerebral in a five mile area.  There was no way I stood a chance in this fight.  I’d been outmaneuvered somehow and I searched my mind for my mistake.