As a hectic schedule is required from Han, he quickly comes to the conclusion that psychic work takes its toll on a person.
Preserving Creata Part One, Chapter Eight
*** Eight ***
The delicious smell of fresh coffee and the sound of crackling bacon greeted me as I woke up. My body was feeling much better and I could tolerate the water from the shower on my skin.
Everything somehow seemed brighter than before. Much cleaner, with a glow around it, as if I was seeing in very bright but diffused sunlight. Even the water had a rainbow of colours as it cascaded over me. I was showering in a rainbow.
I heard the front door open and smelt Julie’s perfume.
I closed the water. No normal man should have smelt it. I stood with my back supported by the wet shower wall, placing the palms of my hands flat on the wall. Closing my eyes, I concentrated on the inevitable conversation that must follow.
It came to me, at first, as though hearing through a tunnel, then suddenly sounding normal.
“Hi. Glad to see you up so early. How’s your young Mr Storm doing?” Julie asked her uncle.
“Up and about, and hopefully dressed by now. The water stopped flowing so he should join us in a few minutes. May I pour you a mug of coffee?”
I came back to myself.
I had never left. I only transported my physical senses somewhere else.
Wow! This was something I could use really well.
I dressed quickly and rushed to the kitchen, afraid to miss too much. Like a little boy with a new toy, I could not wait to start practicing. I would keep it to myself for a while until I had this new thing under control.
“Hi“ Julie greeted. “You look a lot better. How does your body feel?”
Dearest Julie. She was always the nurse first. I beamed my most handsome smile at her, nodded to Tucker and dove into the food.
With all the pain I had last night, I did not make it to the kitchen for solid food. I was now beyond starving, so did not think much while eating, intent on working my way through everything set out on the table that was not on someone else’s plate.
Eventually, I became aware of Tucker and Julie staring at me.
Tucker had a look of amusement on his face, Julie one of concern.
I shrugged at them, my mouth full with the last bit of bread I had dipped into the gravy at the bottom of the bacon dish.
“Now I’m starting to feel better” I told them after swallowing.
Tucker laughed out loud. “I’m just glad you have your appetite back. I’ll have to go do some more shopping. At this rate you are going to spend your whole pay on food only.”
Thank goodness I was in a profession that paid hundred percent for housing.
“Do you feel up to some exercise?” Julie wanted to know. “We go to the park one day of the weekend. I saw a park a couple of blocks from here that looks lovely.”
Julie was dressed sensibly in a summer dress and sandals. I nodded my consent and offered her my arm. She declined gracefully.
“I told you I have someone. And you are not family.”
That remark stung. I felt it in my heart as surely as I saw it on Tucker’s face.
He ducked around the hurt and hastened us “Come on you two. I do not want to get there when it gets crowded.”
The elevator worked!
I had a sudden vision of Tucker throwing his toys out of the cot and arranging repair personnel on his personal account. It had never occurred to me that I could pay to have it fixed. And all this time I took the stairs!
I concentrated on walking those two blocks to the park. It was a slight uphill and my body really started struggling as we reached the second intersection.
Julie must have known that my body would respond this way. She kept on looking back at me.
Tucker supported me the last stretch into the park where I sat down thankfully on the nearest bench. I did not realize that my body was so weak after what had happened the last two days.
Julie went for her walk asTucker settled beside me. There was a comfortable silence between us.
Has it really been only a week since my life was tumbled upside down?
It felt as if I had lived many lifetimes within this week. If this was the hectic pace my new life asked of me, I could understand why psychics’ bodies gave out so soon. It was incredibly stressful to the body, not to mention the effort to keep oneself in some representation of sanity. The replacement of energy also made a huge dent in your pocket.
*Training to start, Han* Sensaii interrupted my train of negative thoughts.
I looked at Julie.
She suddenly seemed to be alive with vibrant colour. I could see her aura. She seemed so pure and clean my throat wanted to close with unknown emotion. I consciously closed the sight. The aura disappeared but she still had a halo around her.
I knew now that this was what I concentrated on when I was looking for someone.
I steered my gaze to an old couple walking over a little bridge. I opened my newly found psychic sight and saw them enveloped in a mutual aura, mingled with a myriad of colours swirling out from them and around them. The aura was large.
I became aware of other shapes behind them and slightly in front of them. It was not part of their auras. It presented to me as shadows.
*What are those?* I thought at Sensaii.
*Guides and Guardians* the answer came.
My sight closed abruptly.
It was a shock to my system. I have always accepted the common belief that all higher entities had spirit protectors, but to see one is to change one’s outlook forever.
My headache was starting up again.
*One or two more* Sensaii urged. *Concentrate on the plants*.
I looked at the flowers near us. At first I saw nothing and then, slowly, a halo of light started to became apparent around them. The light grew stronger and I started to note individual auras around each plant and then separate auras around each flower. I could not hold the sight and everything returned to normal.
My headache was getting worse.
“Can we go back now?” I asked Tucker.
He nodded and indicated to Julie that we were leaving.
It was a very long way home.
We took it slowly.
At home, Tucker handed me a bottle of tablets.
“For the headaches. Julie said you will experience them if you are anywhere near like the others.”
Julie did not come up to my apartment. She waited at Tucker’s vehicle.
“Thanks. It was very thoughtful of her. Tell her thank you from me. I really appreciate what you both have done for me.” I took the bottle from him and closed the door.
After taking some tablets, I retired to my room. I desperately needed some rest if I was to face Head Quarters tomorrow.
I slept uninterrupted for most of the day, loafing a bit over a light dinner, and returned to bed after a relaxing shower.
My body was relaxed and sleep overcame me easily.
I was standing on the edge of a cliff. A huge valley opened at my feet. Desert surrounded me on all sides. I felt utterly alone. There was a high wind and it was picking up. I tried to resist but a gust caught me and ripped me over the edge.
I was falling.
I kept on falling.
I knew this was my dream and I was going to see it through to the end.
Nothing is co-incidental. Everything is on purpose.
I fell for a very long time, stopping just short from slamming into the grey earth.
I hovered above it for a few seconds before turning myself upright.
It seemed that I was unable to touch the ground within this dream.
Taking my bearings, I recognized New Haven's mountains. I was at one of the outlook points at the top of the mountain, facing away from the city.
Turning around, I could only stare in horror, a feeling of utter loneliness threatening to choke me.
There was absolutely nothing left of New Haven!
Grey ash lay everywhere, with here and there a shape that might have been a building.
The only thing that could have done this was an explosion of great magnitude.
Slowly, it dawned on me that I was glimpsing into the future. I had been given the opportunity to try and prevent this disaster.
Floating above the earth, I followed what was left of Upper Hill Street to what looked like the point of origin of an explosion or impact.
It was where the city sport stadium used to be.
Strangely, my psychic perceptions did not pick up on any passed over persons, although I knew I was totally opened up as a receiver.
Things might work differently in the possibilities of the future, I told myself.
Settling down on the rim of the crater that used to be the centre of the stadium, I found that I could now touch the earth.
The ash drifted up in small puffs as I slowly walked to what was left of the stands.
The ash settled on my clothes. It was sticky and I tried to brush it off.
Rubbing the ash between my fingers – I was transferred back in time . . . to become one of the spectators.
It was a great afternoon and the home team was in the lead. I looked down at my son standing next to me. This was his tenth birthday. For an instant I remembered the calendar on the wall as he crossed the days off.
Seeing his memory as clearly as the spectator did, I was shocked out of the possible life-memory.
And out of this horrible dream as well.
Soaked through with sweat, the images still swimming in my head, I grabbed the notepad next to my bed and scribbled down the date and the location of the disaster.
Going to the lounge, I retrieved my organizer, quickly scanning forward to the date in my dream.
That is all I had to prevent this disaster.
My head was spinning.
Calming myself as best I could, I realized that this was exactly why I went through the accelerated expansion of my body and senses.
All this personal suffering was so I could receive this vision of a very probable future for all of us.
By the time Tucker arrived to pick me up, I had worked my way through enough food to bankrupt myself. The door was unlocked and Tucker let himself in, joining me for coffee.
“Glad to see you up and about so early. Are you feeling well?” he wanted to know.
“Yes, much better, thank you. We do have a problem though.”
Tucker raised an eyebrow over his mug. It must run in the family, I thought to myself, Julie raised her eyebrow in exactly the same way.
Not knowing how to soften what I had to say, I went ahead and just said it. “In thirteen days this city will be gone and only ashes left - if we cannot stop the coming tragedy.”
Tucker almost dropped his mug.
“You saw this?” Tucker replied with an incredulous expression on his face. Sometimes Tucker amazed me with his rhetorical questions. What did I spend the whole night doing?
“Last night I had a vision, but did not have a chance to complete it. I tried going back to sleep but just could not” I told him.
“Is there any way in which you could gain a complete vision?” he wanted to know.
“If Julie is prepared to acquire one of their psychic enhancement drugs, I think it would be possible. The way I see it, the drug will keep me under long enough to take the vision to where I need to go.”
“There’s more to it than just acquiring the drug, isn’t there?” Tucker’s concern was evident in his husky voice.
“Yes, staying in the vision too long might send me over to the Other Side, permanently. We will need someone on hand to bring my spirit back to my body.”
Tucker was quiet for a moment before replying. “Okay. I’ll arrange to see Julie later today, but now we have to deal with a little Low-life that’s all of a sudden not so little any more.”
As we entered our office, our Low-life/drug lord was still patiently waiting at his file, a smirk on his face.
“You figured out who had killed me?” he wanted to know from me.
Tucker closed the door. Seeing me concentrating on one spot, he quietly sat down at his desk.
“No” I replied. “The perpetrator wore a mask and not even I could follow him. I’m bound only to the person whose essence I’m touching.”
A blatant lie, but I was not prepared to allow a good officer take a fall for such a one as this worm.
“I did see who you really are” I continued.
The smirk disappeared from our Low-life’s face. It was replaced with anger.
“I also saw all you did and where you hid evidence we can use against you and your kind” I rubbed it in. “You are busted, even after death.”
The spirit looked so pained and tortured that I could not help but give some advice.
“You can forgive yourself and leave to the Other Side by following the Path of Light, or you can go and wait at your body until it is claimed by your original family. They will be notified in due course.”
“I have no other choice. I’ll have to wait” and with those words, the spirit vanished from my perceptions.
“That was quite blunt” Tucker commented. “I guess it will allow him to think about what he had done for a very long time” he chuckled.
I smiled. It definitely felt like a job well done.
While Tucker left to make arrangements with Julie, I spent the time finishing the report on our Low-life, including everything relevant I had came across in my vision, including all the hide-away places of criminal evidence. The investigators and detectives would be busy for quite a while.
Tucker returned after lunch to inform me that Julie would have everything we needed at my apartment late that afternoon. This was good news, as we had to push this urgent issue. Time was limited.
Racewater entered the office with the report I had prepared that morning.
“Do you realize how much extra work you have given me?” he glared at me.
“Yes” I stated, squaring off to him. His ungrateful attitude was starting to rub me the wrong way.
“Are you not satisfied with our efforts?” I wanted to know from him.
Racewater noticeably controlled his temper, softening his expression. “Great work. This will give us so much to go on.”
He glanced from me to Tucker.
“What’s up?” he inquired. “I have known Han only a week, but I can feel when something is going on.”
Tucker took the lead. “We are going to conduct an experiment. Han may have a big lead on something but cannot attain any specifics. We’re going to try and enhance his visions tonight.”
“Would you mind if I observed?” Racewater queried, seeming genuinely interested.
Tucker glanced over at me and I nodded my approval.
He gave Racewater my address and set the time for seven that evening.
As Racewater left the office he looked back at me. “You should go home. Get some rest before your trip.”
I thought it interesting that Racewater also saw my visions as going places, trips. Even though I leave my body behind, my spirit is still transported somewhere or someplace, allowing me to experience it as journeys.
At long last I had an opportunity to drive my Commoner home and was relieved when she started up at the first try. I took the shorter route behind the precinct, leading past the refuelling unit.
Stacey must have just finished refuelling her squad vehicle when I reached her. She waved me down and I stopped to hear her out.
“Where have you been? The first thing we heard was that you and your Sergeant were transferred to Homicide, special unit, and then you disappeared on us, leaving your vehicle parked all the time. What happened?”
“It’s been a madhouse at Homicide and we are all pulling double shifts.” Some 24/7 shifts, I thought wryly at myself. “How is your work coming on?”
“I’m fine” she replied. “It is really interesting and challenging. I’m taking extra courses in the evenings at Forensics. My Sergeant knows I want to join them, so, yes. I’m doing very well.
You, on the other hand, can do with more food and rest.”
“Is it that obvious?” I actually thought out loud to myself.
“Yes. You are definitely not looking after yourself. Whatever they are pushing you to do, is really getting you down. I barely recognized you. If it was not for your beaten up heap of junk, I would have thought a stranger was driving it.”
“Are you pulling my leg?” I wanted to ascertain.
“No, I’m actually very serious. When last did you have a look at yourself?”
Just this morning, I thought back at her.
“I’ll eventually get used to the odd hours we work” I tried to alleviate her worry. “I have to go now. See you around?”
She did not seem happy with that answer, but smiled and waved good-bye.
On my way home, I realized how much I had missed driving. It was an exhilaratingly free feeling. I did not think while driving and for a little while, I felt totally in control of my own situation. All too soon I reached my building.
After a late lunch I tried to sleep, but no sleep came. Going to my meditation room, I managed to place my body into a deeply relaxed state until Tucker showed up again with Julie and an escort.
Julie introduced the blond young man as Panam; a special friend.
Receiving the hint, I realized that this was the boyfriend. A blind person could see that Julie was very fond of him.
Panam had his hands full of equipment and asked where he could set up, upon which Julie took him to my bedroom.
Tucker waited for Racewater and I followed the two lovers to see what was to happen to me.
It turned out that Panam was with the local emergency response and was studying to become a full time ER doctor. He was becoming so fond of his work that he would have considered staying with emergency services if the pay was better.
Panam started to explain what was going to happen and I placed all my attention on him.
“I am going to connect you up to a heart-rate and blood-pressure monitor“ he explained. “The first drug we are going to inject is a psychic enhancing drug that will help take you to where you need to go. It frees ingrained inhibitions and was developed from the ill famed truth serums.
The second injection will be used to stabilize your body and the third injection will induce sleep so your body and spirit can integrate successfully.”
“Where did you learn all this?” I wanted to know.
“I used to be a doctor’s aid where Julie works. I could not stand what they did to those people and left. I have gained enough medical knowledge to warn you that this is not going to be a walk in the park. Is it really so important that you are willing to risk your life?”
“I am risking it for all of us“ I told them. “If I do not figure this out, none of us will be here in a few weeks.”
The couple suddenly looked scared.
Panam started to connect me up to the portable monitors. He placed an IV drip in my arm, explaining that it will help the drugs circulate faster and he could administer the drugs without effort.
Lying back on my bed, I listened to the soft whisper of the monitor indicating a strong, regular heartbeat. Blood pressure was still slightly below normal.
Tucker and Racewater came into the room. It suddenly felt crowded with so many people.
Tucker settled next to me on the one side of the bed. Racewater took a seat in the chair at the window while Julie stood by my head.
Panam was ready with the first injection and asked if I was ready.
I just nodded.
Closing my eyes, I felt the warmth of the drug pulsing in time to my heartbeat.
Suddenly, my whole body was in an icy clasp . . . and I stood on the edge of the cliff . . .
I launched myself over the cliff, more in control of my actions.
Again, it felt like falling for forever.
Once again, I stopped falling at the top of Hill Street, overlooking New Haven. Within this vision, it was night, and New Haven's lights were twinkling everywhere.
It was a most beautiful sight, until one of the lights became bigger and brighter – fast.
Placing all my attention on this light, my brain identified it as a missile.
At a height of about 200 meters the missile turned into an intense globe of light that expanded with terrible swiftness.
Everything went up in flames.
A huge wall of superheated air and deadly gasses rushed towards me, leaving very little in its path.
I was not affected as the blast went right through me.
Yet again, I floated to the stadium where I started tracking the path of the deadly missile.
Shutting off my emotional response to the death and destruction all around me, I reminded myself that this was only a possibility and I was going to stop it.
Everything in life; past, present or future, leaves a trail of particles or vibrations behind.
Flying at great speed on the astral plane, I followed the vibrational track of the missile in a southerly direction.
The trail ended on one of the Islands out in the open ocean.
Keeping every psychic avenue open, I carefully approached the island.
There was activity in a ploughed field and I drifted over for a closer look.
People wearing uniforms, brandished guns of all description, were busy dismantling a missile stand with super precision and speed.
I recognized one of the men on the edge of the group as he clambered into an all terrain vehicle and took off.
This was all I needed. Origin and motive.
I allowed myself to shoot upwards, guiding myself by the pull of my own particle path to return to my own time and body . . .
It was Tucker’s reassuring voice.
I opened my eyes but could not focus.
A warm feeling coursed through my body and I allowed myself to slip into the deep sleep as Panam promised . . .
Tucker was watching me. Racewater was sleeping in the chair next to the window. The moon was shining through the curtain, indicating that it was in the early morning hours.
“Are you with us, Han?” Tucker inquired, concern on his face and in his voice.
“Yes, but I am desperate for some coffee” I smiled. It seemed to put his mind at rest and I even managed to get out of bed by myself.
We did not disturb Racewater and snuck out to the kitchen.
My chest felt tight and bruised, but for all that had happened, I was feeling exceptionally well.
Over coffee, Tucker told me what they had experienced.
“After the first injection, your body went into spasms. It took all three of us men to restrain you. We fought you for what felt like an eternity, but Julie was timing the event and she said it was not more than 90 seconds.
You went into cardiac arrest and Panam pulled you to the floor where he started resuscitation until Julie had emptied the contents of the second injection into the drip.
We thought we lost you there for a moment as you initially did not respond to the drug. Then your heart started beating irregularly. Julie popped a tablet under your tongue and, seconds later, you gave us a regular beat.
I kept on calling you back and we were all extremely relieved when you finally opened your eyes. Panam gave you the last injection and when you were under, we placed you back on your bed.
I sent the youngsters home, but Racewater wanted to stay in case you woke up.”
Racewater’s charming voice drifted into the kitchen. “And now you are awake and we are all up, so could you please inform us what you have learnt?”
He took a chair opposite me and Tucker handed him a cup of coffee while I relayed my experience as accurately as I could, giving time, date, location and description.
The person I had recognized was wanted by the Planetary Security Forces on charges of terrorism. I should remember because I looked into his face on the public menace notice board every time I entered the Dungeon.
Racewater left as soon as he had finished his coffee. Tucker opted for my couch, his ‘Old Bones’ needing some well deserved rest.
I needed answers and went to my meditation room.
At first, I placed my head on hold and did slow, but intense stretching exercises until my shirt was soaked. After removing it, I sat down in my meditation position, physically tired but clear on what I wanted to do.
*Can you take me to the place where one can see the future possibilities?* I thought towards Sensaii.
*I will show you* he replied.
A part of me slipped out of my body. I was still actively aware of my body, but knew that I was also ‘going’ places at the same time.
Sensaii took me to what I perceived as a place in the Higher Worlds similar in design as the Recording Centre. I could find no recollection of how we got there. We just arrived there as if with a single thought.
We went up a flight of stairs where humanoid beings, dressed in long white robes, escorted us along a golden corridor to our allocated chamber of possibilities.
Standing at the oval door, the feminine energy reminded me that I should seek the outcome for the highest good of all. She left and the Chamber sealed around us. No obvious entry could be seen. We were stuck within a golden orb.
On a pedestal in the middle of the room was a gem similar in appearance to a large red ruby. I stepped up to this gem. Having had time to think about it before coming here, I asked to be shown the possible futures of the stadium for the next thirty days.
Looking through the gem, I was allowed to see several possibilities. There were red rays connecting the different options to the jewel and I could follow each one, indicating by thought which possibility to be brought forward.
There were seven very clear possibilities. As I indicated a possibility to be brought up, I was in the middle of the stadium, experiencing a holographic version of the proposed events for approximately a month.
I was simply an observer and could not touch anything or change anything. These were only possibilities.
In none of the possibilities that I followed was any sign of pending disaster.
Relief flooded my consciousness for whatever change I had instigated had worked. There would be no disaster to hit New Haven, at least not from that avenue.
Stepping away from the gem, I again felt very tired and drained.
Sensaii stepped toward the door that was now available again. It opened and we walked down the corridor and back down the stairs.
Closing my eyes at the bottom of the stairs, I concentrated on finding the particle path that attached me to my body, allowing it, and Sensaii, to guide me home.
My consciousness slowly returned to my body.
It felt cold and damp and it was a downright horrible feeling.
Hearing returned to me and so did the voices beyond the door. Racewater had come back from wherever he had gone.
After forcing my eyes to open, I could see that the incense I had lit before I had started on my journey was burnt out. The candle was almost out too, indicating that I had been away for far too long.
After intense effort, I managed to get my fingers and toes to respond to my instructions. The rest of my body followed suite as I stretched before standing up.
I was so cold that I shivered and my teeth did not want to stop chattering against one another. Slipping out to my bathroom, I took a warm shower.
Feeling much better afterwards, I could face the new day. The dull ache between my eyebrows was understandable from all the travelling I had done the last few hours.
I joined Tucker and Racewater in the kitchen. None of us had a lot of rest the past twenty-four hours and we all looked frail. The sun had just risen and everything was infused with soft golden light.
Tucker handed me some sweet, strong coffee.
Racewater gave me a long, hard look before speaking.
“I have spent the rest of the night organizing warrants for searching the premises you have given us on your Kingpin, as well as informing the Planetary Security Forces regarding the location of their terrorist.
They wanted to know my source, but backed down when I reminded them of the Planetary Security Forces Confidentiality and Privileged Information Act.
Tucker knows what I want you two to do. I am going home now for a few hours’ sleep and will catch up with you later. Good luck.”
With that remark, he abruptly left.
I looked quizzically at Tucker but no explanation was forthcoming. He turned his back on me while dishing up some steaming porridge. We ate in silence after which I cleared the dishes and switched on the dishwasher before we left.
It was only when we started driving that Tucker gave a huge sigh before explaining.
“There were three people shot dead in an ally while we were playing ‘Saving the City’. One of the people is known to us as a regular informer, a snitch working as a double agent with several of the drug gangs. The other two’s fingerprints did not show anything on the Planetary Data System.
We need to find out what had happened in that ally. Whether they were all actually killed there, and who else was involved in the situation.
If it turns out that you are right about our little Low-life, that he was one of the drug lords, the whole underworld system is going to be running red with blood as everyone scrambles for a new position.
We won’t need a missile to flatten New Haven. It will happen from ground-roots up.”
The morgue was situated in the Hospital’s basement. It was a puzzle why a hospital would be situated opposite the end of the airport’s western runway. It seemed the most unlikely place to have a hospital.
The building was cold and I did not look forward to what I was asked to do.
Tucker completed the paperwork and we were led to a separate section where the three bodies were lined up on standard mortuary slabs. The assistant left us with the bodies. He apparently knew we were coming and went about his business.
Tucker made sure the door was locked from the inside so I would not be disturbed.
My palms were sweating and I rubbed my left hand dry on my pants. We had no idea what would happen, as this was only the second time that I had to touch a body.
Tucker unzipped the first body-bag. Presented was a large man with short-cropped hair and bullet entry wounds to the chest and one to the forehead. The back of his skull was missing. It looked like a typical gang execution.
“This one was the snitch” Tucker informed me.
I took a huge breath and found my hand directed to the bullet hole over the heart. It made sense, as most of us on Creata believed that the heart is the seat of the soul-spirit.
I touched the bullet wound – and found myself in an ally . . .
It happened so fast that I was flung into the life-memory of the man I was touching.
I was unloading the second body, silently regretting that I had been forced to kill them both. They had found out about me and my special contacts. I stood to lose too much money.
Regent was helping me. My friend always helped me, no matter what the situation.
Dumping the bodies here would help to put pressure on the family that runs the South Side. These were their people and the police would be sniffing up the wrong ally, at least long enough for me to get away with it.
I turned to Regent and saw the firearm in his hand.
I was surprised to see it buck as he pulled the trigger.
I felt the bullet hit.
It was strange, there was no pain.
I touched my chest with my hand.
It was a heart shot, my mind said.
My body started to fall. I felt the next bullet enter my forehead . . .
Tucker was crouching over me.
I was back in my own body, lying on the floor.
This would not do.
Struggling up, nausea overwhelmed me and I dashed for the basin in the corner of the room. Afterwards, I rinsed the mess and my mouth and sat down on the cold floor.
Looking up at Tucker, I tried to stay as professional as possible. Tucker took notes as I related the facts as I saw them in the life-memory of the man I had touched.
After the short rest, Tucker opened the second body-bag.
This man reminded me of a weasel. He had been stabbed numerous times, making for a really messy business.
I centred myself, putting the professional observationalist to the fore before taking the plunge . . .
I was standing in another ally, an independent observer.
The person I was touching was guarding the back door to what looked like a shabby hotel. He turned away from the ally entrance and lit a smoke, cupping it so the draft through the alley could not blow out the match.
The door he was supposed to be guarding silently opened behind him and the first man, the snitch, plunged a knife into his back.
It was a bad thrust and did not have the desired effect, glancing off a rib. A warning was shouted towards an upper window as the weasley man turned to ward off the assault.
He tried to reach for his firearm, but the thrusts came fast and furious. The little man went down in a heap, the life draining out of him.
I tried to follow the killer back through the door, but was pulled back to my own body at dizzying speed . . .
I managed not to end up on the floor, but was heaving for breath, half lying on top of the body.
Focussing, I realized that Tucker was unlocking the door.
A knock on the door had been responsible for bringing me rushing back, unable to complete my task.
Stepping away from the body, I wiped my hand clean on a paper towel that Tucker had produced earlier. Feeling very shaky and ready to faint, I supported my weight by leaning against the third cadaver’s table.
The mortician entered. “Hi. I hope you found what you were looking for. My assistant said you have been in here for ages.”
“We actually need a few more minutes, if you please” Tucker replied, using his most authoritive voice, angry about the interruption.
“We would also appreciate no further interruptions” Tucker concluded with a stern glare.
The mortition was not perturbed. “I had been asked to give you all the assistance you needed and see no reason why I need to leave you alone with bodies in the custody of the state.
Unless . . . Oh!”
The mortician suddenly stared at me, his eyes narrowing, probably noticing me for the first time. You could see the thoughts flashing through his mind, assessing the situation. His eyes suddenly widened with comprehension.
“Unless what?” Tucker pushed.
“Unless your colleague is . . . ?” he stated, turning very pale. “I think I will retire to my office now and have some coffee and a rest . . . I have been working long hours and feel tired enough to start having hallucinations.”
He quickly backed out of the room, closing the door with exaggerated care behind him. It did seem as if he would keep his mouth closed about his ‘hallucinations’.
Tucker unzipped the third body-bag. This once good-looking young man had been executed in the same manner as the snitch.
Centering myself, I once again focused on being the observer, and touched the wound over his heart . . .
I was thrown into a closet. The now deceased young man closed the doors.
“Stay there! Stay quiet!” he ordered me.
Although frozen with fear, I was still aching deliciously from his lovemaking.
I could not help it, curiosity overwhelmed me and I opened the door a crack.
Ferdi was dressing hastily. The hotel room door was forced open and I had such a fright that I almost yelled out before clamping my hand over my mouth.
Ferdi froze, a gun held to his forehead.
“My father will have you killed before my body is cold” he told whoever was holding the gun.
The sound was not loud, just a sigh.
Ferdi fell back, onto the bed. I closed the cupboard door as the second shot whispered and the body moved oddly.
Biting my fist to stop from screaming hysterically, tasting my own blood, I prayed to whatever Universe was out there that whoever killed Ferdi would just leave.
There was a struggling and a loud thump.
Not able to contain myself any longer, I had to sneak a quick look.
Ferdi’s former friend and business associate, Grudber, was wrapping the body in the bed sheet.
Grudber was so intent on removing the body from the room that he did not check to see if Ferdi was actually alone.
The entertainment set was bumped over, sending shards of glass everywhere, killing the rhythmical sounds that had been coming from it throughout the whole event.
Grudber threw Ferdi’s body over his shoulder and left, leaving the door open behind him.
Who would care anyway, except to take whatever valuables they could find.
It seemed as if hours had passed before I emerged from the cupboard.
I closed what was left of the front door before dashing to the bathroom. My clothes were still lying in a pile next to the shower. As quick as my shaking fingers could pull clothes on, I yanked my portable comm from my pocket.
Checking at the door to see that no-one was going to disturb me, I phoned my lover’s father.
He disapproved of his son’s choice in lovers, but did not discourage our relationship outright, as long as we kept it very confidential.
He had also given me his personal contact number in case of an emergency. This was an emergency.
I dialled the number. It was on Answering-service, allowing me to leave a message.
“Ferdi was murdered by Grudber in front of me. Grudber took the body with him. He did not see me” I hysterically shouted into the comm before disconnecting.
I had to get out of here. The other side of the world looked very attractive. I glimpsed myself in the mirror. My eyes looked like a frightened animal.
I felt a strange pull and remembered that I was NOT Ferdi’s unnamed lover . . .
I came back to myself and opened my eyes.
I was still standing, clutching the slab with one hand.
Releasing contact with the body, I looked at Tucker.
“I had to call you back” Tucker explained. “You were gone for more than three minutes. That is far longer than usual. You look terrible.”
I felt terrible.
I washed my face in the basin and drank some water. At least the water stayed down this time.
We let ourselves out.
As we passed the head coroner’s office, Tucker thanked him personally. The man really looked uncomfortable to have us there.
“You should have told him that I see the spirits of the dead people” I joked towards Tucker, before entering the vehicle.
“I think that is exactly why he is so uncomfortable“ Tucker explained. “How would you feel if you have to cut those people open and their spirits might be watching? You did not see any spirits hanging around, did you?”
“I was not concentrating on it, so I did not pick up on anyone if they were present.”
“That’s odd. I assumed that you saw them all the time.”
“No, only when they want me to see them, and if it is really important. Then they present themselves in a form I can perceive. And then only with permission.”
I realized what I was telling Tucker. He had a sneaky way of finding things out. Now I was in for it.
“With permission? Permission from whom?” he insisted to know.
“The Other Side. Where we all come from and where we all return to when we go home.”
“You say that I will be reunited with my family when I pass over?”
“Yes. If your love here was a bonding, permanent, pure love, then your loved ones are watching over you now, waiting for you to return home.”
“Home. That sounds nice.” He was quiet for a while.
“Then why do some of you always see dead people, and you only see them occasionally?” he asked.
“Some people dedicate their living lives to help those passed over, either to come into contact with their loved ones that are still living, or vice versa. Or to help those that have passed over that are stuck between worlds to make up their minds to go either way. I, on the other hand, have other work to do.
Right now, I work mainly with time-lines, life-memories and future possibilities. It keeps me very busy and I do not need interference from passed over people to interrupt my current work.”
I somehow could not tell him about Sensaii.
He nodded, deep in thought.
I was relieved that he did not ask any more questions regarding this. As yet, I did not have a lot of answers myself and I was still in training most nights. Not that I remembered a whole lot of what was downloaded.
At last he asked the question I really wanted to give him an answer to.
“What did you find out about the third body?”
I adjusted the facts a little, telling him that our first body, the snitch called Grudber, had killed both of the other two. That there was a witness to the third person’s murder. That the third body belonged to a person named Ferdi and he was the son of a crime-lord. I omitted the relationship of the witness, sparing the father, even though he was a criminal.
When Tucker did not reply, I glanced over at him. He was clenching his jaw, as well as the steering wheel.
“Tucker, what am I missing here?”
“It was before your time. When I was young we had a wealthy family who was involved in all sorts of illegal things. We could never prove anything, of course.
The one man, Morgan, should be about my age now. He has a son called Ferdi. I just hope that this is not the same person. There will be hell to pay by anyone crossing that family.”
“The witness called the father’s private number and left a message regarding his son’s murder. The son’s last words were that the father would have Grudber killed before his body was cold. It seems to me that that is what happened.”
“Did you see the number being dialled?”
Tucker handed me his notebook and I wrote it down for him.
“I am taking you home now to rest and then I will get in touch with Racewater. I will either call you later or come by.”
He dropped me in front of my building and as he left, feelings of physical exhaustion set in.
I made it up to my apartment where I took a relaxing shower and stretched out on my bed.
I relaxed my body, but the sleep did not want to come and relieve the tension of my mind.
Eventually I stood up and went for a walk. Maybe a change in scenery would help.
The walk to the park seemed very short compared to the first time Julie and Tucker brought me here.
Sitting down on a bench, I tried to enjoy the lovely garden, but felt even more agitated and restless.
Getting up, I headed towards the beachfront, which turned out to be quite a long walk away from the garden.
The cooler air coming off the beach was soothing to my hot body.
It was already late afternoon and I found a secluded spot near the pier from where I could look out over the sea.
Settling on the sand, I ran it through my fingers. The sun was slowly setting to my right, throwing the pier’s shadow over this stretch of sandy beach. It was not a swimming spot, so was quite deserted.
The tide was coming in.
As I looked upon the silver, gold and red tinted water, something white near the pier caught my eye.
It was only there for a moment. Then gone. Then presenting itself with the next wave coming in.
Not able to make out what it was, I stood up, dusted myself and walked over to have a closer look.
I was almost at the pier when an exceptionally big wave washed the body high onto the beach under the pier.
Running over, I grabbed an arm to prevent it from being dragged back into the sea. I pulled it onto the beach, clear of the water. By now, I knew when a body no longer housed a spirit.
Turning the naked body over, I sat down hard on the sand.
It was the boy I had shared the experience with in the cupboard this morning.
Looking around to see if anyone else took notice, I found that the beach, and for some reason, the pier, was empty, making the whole area feel strangely deserted.
The boy must have drowned for there were no obvious wounds or bruises that I could see.
Looking down at him, I made my decision. I really wanted to know what had happened to him.
Taking his right hand in my left, I was transported to an apartment overlooking the Airport . . .
Ferdi’s father was standing in the doorway.
I was very surprised and terrified to see him.
“You killed my son!” he ranted. “You and your kind must be eradicated from this planet. I have taken a vow to protect my family, and now my youngest has been taken away from me also.”
Ferdi's father grabbed me behind my neck.
I did not even resist, sort of 'stepped' out of my body, and saw him dragging me to the bathroom.
He stuck my head in the toilet and kept it there.
I could not breathe.
I started struggling.
Breathe! Breathe! my brain screamed.
My lungs burnt for air and I took a great big gulp of toilet water.
Slowly, the burning ceased.
Slowly everything started going dark. It did not seem so bad to drown . . .
“Hey, mister. Are you okay?”
I opened my eyes and took a huge gulp of cold sea air.
There was a teenager standing over me.
I struggled up into a sitting position, still taking huge gulps of air.
The teenager looked at me with a mixture of scorn and inquisitiveness on his face.
“I’m okay. I just had a very bad dream. I must have fallen asleep for a while. I have been very tired lately.”
“Well, this is no place for a nap, especially not with the tide coming in. You will be cut off from the high ground soon.
It is a good thing that we were watching you. We do not see a lot of strangers on this part of the beach. Too many gangs around“ he explained.
I liked the teenager. He had a bright demeanour about him. Bright, chirpy and very dangerous.
Feeling for my wallet, I found that it was still in its place.
The teenager did not miss this gesture and laughed out loud. “Do not worry, we do not harass Law Officers.”
I came to the uncomfortable conclusion that he probably did check it out while I was away.
The waves were coming in. It would be a terrible spot to be cut off from the high ground. There were sharp rocks all over near the wall and only two places with stairs that would be under water soon.
Smiling my thanks at the boy, I turned away to leave. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a white object in the water.
I already knew who it was. I just hoped that this was not another vision/dream. Checking the pier to ascertain in which reality I found myself, I saw all sorts of people out for an evening walk.
In my haste to find peace within myself, I had left my portable comm at home. I turned to the boy.
“Please call the emergency services” I instructed him. “Tell them there is a body at pier 6. Detective Storm is in attendance and they need to get Lieutenant Racewater from Homicide, division 12, down here as soon as possible. Did you get all that.”
“Yes Detective” he confirmed before running for the stairs.
I jogged into the shallow waves to retrieve the body.
Careful not to touch the hands, I dragged it to the wall between the rocks. I guessed I had about ten minutes before the water would reach us.
After a short wait, I was relieved to hear a familiar voice from above me.
“What do you have there Han?“ Panam called out. “I received the message that an Emergency Vehicle was needed here to remove a body. From the look of things, it might be two if we do not get you out of there right away.”
He was right. The water was starting to come into the rocks. My assessment of about ten minutes was accurate.
Panam left for a little while and came back with a portable stretcher attached to ropes.
He lowered it down and I secured the boy’s body in it. It was dragged back up and over the edge.
My feet and legs were getting soaked. A rope with knots was flung down and I climbed up to safety on my own.
Clambering over the edge, I sat there for a while, breathing hard.
Whoever placed that boy in the sea knew that the body would have been pulped and eaten by the sea creatures before dawn. They had the timing just right, so they probably had done this before.
What they did not bargain on was an idiot to fall asleep on the beach. At least I now knew what had happened to the kid and had received a clear look at Ferdi’s father.
I really disliked these real life visions. It is very confusing not to know in which reality you actually found yourself.
I was still not totally convinced that I was awake, but I had to settle for this reality because of the uncomfortable wetness from my toes up to my thighs.
A perfectly good pair of shoes ruined at that!
Panam came over to me after securing the body in his EV.
“Terrible time you are having. Your ride just arrived at the corner looking extremely excited. Good luck.”
Panam was right. Racewater did look excited as he pushed through the crowd.
“Who did you get?” Racewater exclaimed.
“The witness from the case you gave us this morning. He did not make it” I replied dryly.
“Let me see.”
Racewater climbed into the back of the EV. Panam lifted the sheet from the boy’s face.
For a moment, I thought Racewater was going to have a fit, he was so upset.
He closed his eyes and sat down on the small ledge inside the vehicle. Pulling his hands through his hair, he sighed and stood up.
“Okay. That is that. Let us get back to the office. Tucker is waiting there.”
Looking at my wet pants, he asked Panam if he had any extra clothes with him.
Panam nodded the affirmative and dug out some clean pants for me. He did not have an extra pair of shoes. I changed inside the EV, feeling sympathy with the dead boy.
Armed with dry pants, but with bare feet, Racewater allowed me into his vehicle.
As we drove to the Precinct Racewater seemed irritated with me, shifting gears on his vehicle with short, angry stabs.
“Right. So you gave everyone a hell of a lot of work!” he eventually remarked. “Tucker instructed me to fill you in on the blanks of what had transpired since he left you this morning.
Your militia man was arrested by the Planetary Security Forces about an hour ago. They found the missile and a lot more weapons of destruction.
Combined with the find of a huge amount of drugs, not a bad deal for a day’s work.
New Haven is saved to be destroyed another day.”
It was shown in the possibilities that the threat to New Haven was over, but to have it confirmed was so much better. At least one stressful issue relieved.
“Your leads on the Kingpin turned out to be much bigger than anyone expected“ Racewater growled at me. “We are waiting for the chain-reaction to start. We have already gathered loads of evidence from his hiding places that will allow us to put away a lot of people for a very long time.
But, I am sorry to say, the murder of Ferdi Morgan has already started the imminent war.”
Racewater had just confirmed what Tucker suspected.
I watched Racewater out of the corner of my eye. I knew he was not yet finished. He was chewing on his lip.
“Had you ever felt within your heart that you were born for something greater than yourself?” he asked.
My heart suddenly leapt into my throat.
I had a hard time convincing it to get back into my chest.
Here we were starting with the destiny thing again.
Walk the middle path of invisibility, I told myself.
“Why are you asking me such a strange question? All psychics know they are born to serve” I replied, thinking that this answer should take the pressure off me.
But my hands were suddenly clammy and I had to rub them dry on my pants. The motion did not go undetected.
“I was just wondering!?“ Racewater fumed. “It seems to be such a waste of your talents if you were truly destined to help only one city.”
He was quiet for a short spell.
Relaxing my body, I tried to become non-committal.
He was really annoyed with me for not wanting to acknowledge his silly notions.
“Just think about it, Storm!
You are a free-lance psychic. You have only been opened fully for three days and you had been able to save a whole city.
No other psychic can lay claim to such a thing!
Does it not feel to you that you are extremely fortunate and special?”
I stared out the window.
All I could remember about the last week was extreme pain and confusion.
To me, Creata was hell itself, and I would much rather not live in this physical world. It was an extremely hostile environment, especially for someone who did not have loved ones.
I corrected myself. I did have my substitute dad.
I did not know what I would do if I had to lose Tucker.
Racewater sighed. He must have taken my silence for total denial. I did not correct him. At this moment, I was not really interested in any destiny.
I had my hands full keeping body and spirit together, so to speak.
We drove in silence the rest of the way to the Precinct.
The Dungeon was buzzing with detectives coming and going. Uniformed officers were running errands between offices. The place was swarming with people.
I felt very uncomfortable passing through the crowd and knew that the Detectives, at least, had cottoned on to what I was.
I was immensely relieved to reach the relative quiet of our out of the way office where Tucker was waiting for us.
New Haven was falling apart.
Some say Hell is a place you go to when you do not behave properly. In all my travels to the Other Side, I have never encountered Hell. I am sure that is why we were here, in these bodies, on this Planet. This was living in Hell.
We barely slept and I was called upon to do numerous identifications of who had killed who in the following days.
The gangs were at W-A-R.
It was terrible and the streets literally ran red with blood. Guilty and innocent alike.
I helped as best determine who were innocent victims of this war, getting really good at my grisly task.
Thankfully, I did not have to deal with any spirits at all during this time. Only the life-memories left behind.
It made my life a little easier.
Eventually, everyone settled into a new way of life, and over a period of about a month, things started calming down.
New Haven survived another kind of destruction.
The underworld was purged and reorganized. Unfortunately, most of it was now run by Custos Morgan.
And we could not prove a thing. He hid so well behind lawyers and reputable friendships, that only a handful of officers knew the truth about him.
He was a constant threat. A snake in the grass that hid until it could strike. I came to dislike the man intensely.
Whenever I could get a bit of sleep, I did not rest.
I either went to the Halls of Knowledge for downloads, of which I could not recall any content on waking up, or when I actually slept, I had a recurrent dream.
It was in black and white.
We were in a warehouse somewhere on the docks. I knew Tucker was with me, yet I felt utterly alone and abandoned.
I rebelled against this unwanted feeling and always managed to wake myself up.
The dream kept on haunting my waking hours too. Tucker seemed to sense that something was bothering me but did not ask me about it, knowing that I sometimes needed time to work things out for myself.
A few days after everything had seemed to finally calm down, we were called out to another murder at a warehouse on the docks.
My chest tightened as Tucker explained where we were going, my dream returning vividly to me. I tried to set it aside and concentrate on the work at hand, but did not have much success.
We drove to the warehouse in silence.
There were Security Force vehicles parked randomly in front of it. Some of the uniformed officers had already started cordoning the area off. Detective Stone escorted us towards where the bodies were in the back of the warehouse.
It was twilight in the warehouse and it reminded me of my dream. For a second I froze.
Tucker turned around to look back at me.
My head felt as if it exploded with the sudden noise of gunfire from short range. My first thought was that the warehouse was not secure and we found ourselves in a gunfight.
We scrambled for cover.
All except Tucker!
He was down against some barrels, desperately holding his neck.
Rushing over to him, I pulled him around the barrels, out of the line of fire. The artery in his neck had been severed.
Ripping my shirt, I made a pad, helping him to hold it against his neck.
I still wanted to encourage him to hold on, that Stone had seen his injury and would get help, but his blood gushed over my hands and I was thrown into his life-memories . . .
It is said that before you die, you see your whole life play off before your eyes.
This was similar.
I saw Tucker as a little boy, playing cops and robbers.
We moved on to his love for his wife. The joy and pride of becoming a father to a healthy baby boy. The utter hopelessness when they discovered him to be psychic. The devastation when their son died. The heart-wrenching guilt when his wife lost interest in life and moved on.
The unconditional acceptance of me as his replacement son. His fatherly love and genuine concern for me. His regret that he would no longer be there to help me.
The gratitude that his life was finally over and he could go home. The utter joy to find his wife and son coming to take him home . . .
He was gone.
My grief overwhelmed me.
Hugging his head to my chest, I rocked back and forth, tears streaming down my face.
It was very quiet now.
The gunfight had ended a while ago.
The screaming and calling from one officer to another came to an end.
I held onto Tucker what seemed to be a very long time. The tears dried on my cheeks. I closed my eyes and refused to acknowledge anything.
I had the sensation that Sensaii was trying to get through to me, but I refused to open my mind or my senses.
Tucker’s life-memories were now part of me too.
We were eventually found by Racewater.
He gently pried my hands from Tucker’s cooling body, pulling me to my feet.
I allowed him to lead me to his vehicle.
He took me home.
Panam was already waiting for us at my apartment.
They led me to the bathroom, helping me undress, shower and dry.
They took me to my bed and I settled on it, refusing to meet their eyes, refusing to hear Sensaii.
I just wanted to go with Tucker. This was just too hard.
Panam found a vein and the familiar coursing of drugs were welcome relief for my mind and body.
Copyright © H Gibson Chronicles of Han Storm. All rights reserved. 2009-2016
A full excerpt of Chronicles of Han Storm, Part 1 is available on Wattpad