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Seeking Alone: a Psi-Kicks story by: GF Willmetts.

February 3, 2019 | By | 2 Replies More

‘What’s the offence, Constable?’

‘We thought she was a vagrant but she was carrying a selection of ID cards, Sarge, including one for the Met. All with a selection of names. We think she’s a courier of some sort. She was found collapsed in a shop but not burglary. Must have been locked in over night.’

The Sergeant looked over the cards and then at the woman slumped in front of him.

‘There’s even a security card but this one looks faked. I mean who has a zero security clearance?’

‘What was that again?’ the Chief Inspector asked entering the building.

‘A zero security clearance card, sir. Does that mean she’s unreliable?’

‘Only when the number doesn’t go high enough.’

The woman looked up. Totally dishevelled. Spiky red hair. There was a sudden gleam in her eyes.

pulpy pulp

<<You’ve risen through the ranks, Inspector Salthouse.>>

‘Chief Inspector now. Detective Inspector Seeker, isn’t it?’

The woman nodded as he examined the wallet of cards.

<<Not promoted higher yet.>>

‘What are you charging her with?’

‘The cards mostly, sir’, the constable said. ‘We couldn’t figure out how she got in the shop. The locks and security alarm hadn’t gone off. Staff found her huddled in a corner. Must have been missed overnight.’

‘You’re quite right, she IS one of us. Undercover officer. This doesn’t need to be entered in the book, Sergeant.’

‘No, sir.’

‘I’ll take her to my office. Can you arrange with the canteen to send up a couple full breakfasts, I’m sure she’s hungry. Then forget you’ve seen her.’

As he escorted her away, both police officers looked at each other.

The Sergeant mouthed at the constable, ‘Spook!’

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Salthouse watched over her as Sara Seeker ate the full breakfast before her. He was early this morning and devoured his own breakfast at a faster rate. Sara declined a cup of tea and drank most of the milk.

‘It looks like you haven’t eaten in some time.’

Sara looked at him.

<<I’ve been missing in action.>>

‘How are you throwing your voice like that?’

She took a sip of milk. ‘Sorry. I haven’t been concentrating.’ Realising he needed an explanation. ‘It’s an implant. Top secret. A sub-vocaliser. Vibrates off your jawbone.’

‘I’m glad. I thought for a minute you would be telling me you’re telepathic. Are you undercover dirty or do you want a wash?’

Sara smiled. ‘Both would be nice. I saw the date when I came in. I think I’ve been missing a couple weeks.’

‘Is there anyone you want to contact?’

‘I think I ought to wash up first.’

‘I’ll get a WPC to point the way. You aren’t planning a disappearing act?’

‘Not yet. I thought I could do with another breakfast but am rather full. I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten.’

‘I’ll get her to get you a change of clothes while yours get cleaned.’

‘That would be appreciated.’

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Rather than twiddle his thumbs, Salthouse worked his way through his overnight paperwork. It was unusually quiet. There were no other appointments this morning which seemed an odd coincidence. Almost as though Seeker had been waiting for the right time to come in.

One thing he didn’t ignore was the opportunity to closely look at her ID cards before returning them to her. There was quite a variety. More like a collection than any distinct pattern. There was even a Parliamentary pass as well as some more spook-orientated ones. Either she had a fondness for collections or wanted free access to anywhere she needed to go.

The zero clearance security card was the one he had only heard about and the vague but coded response that would identify its owner that you were in the know and willing to help. She wasn’t a zero but a 10. The cards digits could only go up to a 9. Seeker’s pass even out ranked the Prime Minister. Very high level which meant she could pull rank. She hadn’t when he met her the first time a couple years ago when she got his station out of a jam when they nearly killed someone. Quite how she proved a dead person could walk without surgery beat him and a message from above later was to drop it. All he knew later was that Seeker had stopped a serious bomb threat which made her one of the good gals.

‘Have you got any operations in the city this morning?’

Sara Seeker had quietly re-entered his office. Her clothes had been given a quick wash and dry and returned.

‘Operations?’

Sara paused, ‘Stopping any of the bad guys?’

‘There’s something happening this morning.’

‘There was nothing in dispatches. I didn’t realise you were part of the Inland Security force.’

‘I’m not. Our…er…roles cross over from time to time. Purely in a consultant capacity.’

‘Where should I send my men?’

‘You aren’t questioning my information, Chief Inspector?’

‘You saved London from a bomb blast before. Why should I doubt you?’

‘You’re appreciated. My information is still pretty vague.’

Sara looked out the window, pausing in concentration. ‘The staging point is the London Eye. There’s several targets within range.’

‘Including the Houses of Parliament.’

‘The security is good there. We wouldn’t be letting something like that happen.’

‘That wouldn’t be a problem for the people we deal with.’

‘And they are?’

‘Long story and above your clearance. Sorry.’

‘You’re the one with the higher…highest security clearance.’

‘It’s also need to know. Can you come with a few trusted officers?’

‘Do I need CO17?’

‘Let’s assess the situation first.’

‘Considering the state you were in when…’

‘Training takes over after a decent meal. I’ll eat another one later. That one will last me all day. Better make it a civilian affair or at least wear overcoats. Wouldn’t want to spook them.’

‘Says the spook.’

 

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Looking back from the railings, the London Eye slowly rotated. A queue of people was making its way on and off the Ferris wheel.

‘Are you sure your information is reliable? It takes 30 minutes to rotate. Even if they did something up there, they’d never get off.’

‘Doesn’t bother suicide bombers.’

Salthouse nodded. ‘Fair point.’

‘I’m hoping they see me and back off.’

Salthouse paused and looked at Sara intently. ‘So if they don’t turn up, you’ve saved everyone and we have no way to verify it. Are these terrorists that fearful of you? It isn’t as though you’re armed.’

‘But you and your men here are. I also spotted a couple snipers you placed.’

‘I would have a lot of explaining to do if I hadn’t come in prepared. You’re very sharp-eyed. Why shouldn’t I evacuate the area? We ought to, y’know.’

‘It takes too long for the Eye to rotate.’

‘I’m putting a lot of trust in your judgement, Inspector.’

‘Do me a favour, Chief Inspector. If I say certain people are doing extraordinary things are mine, please don’t order them shot. The opposition also have a habit of doing major distractions.’

‘Salut, Sara.’

‘Where did you come from?’ Salthouse looked at a short woman with a wilder mop of gingery hair speckled with black who was just suddenly there.

‘She’s one of mine, Chief Inspector. Give me a moment.’

Sara walked away with Kataya Oberon, looking up at the Eye. Salthouse struggled to see her and then thought he was seeing an optical illusion as she kept disappearing.

<<You’ve had your babies.>>

‘Fhuh! Nu a rămas însărcinată pentru totdeauna.’

‘No and the Fey I know speaks broken English.’

Sara turned and clipped her under the chin and caught her before she hit the ground unconscious.

‘I thought you said not to hit any of your people and then you do it yourself.’

The collapsed woman suddenly had a change of appearance and looked quite ordinary. Was this the kind of extraordinary she was referring to?

‘This isn’t one of my people. Just someone masquerading as one. I was going to ask her to go up on the Eye and check the carriages and then it made sense that would be the best way to plant a bomb right in front of me.’

‘Jesus! And both of them would just climb up there?’

‘My team have special talents. This one wasn’t a perfect copy. Couldn’t speak the right language.’

Sara checked through the Pattern’s backpack and pulled out a bomb.

‘This evidence enough?’

‘Jesus!’

‘Finding religion, Chief Inspector.’

‘Amazed you were so right.’

Sara paused. ‘It isn’t over yet. You need to lock her up and officers need to go in pairs when they feed her. No one alone. That’s important. She can do a disappearing act and is a quick change artist. I’ll get someone to collect her later.’

‘Pairs?’

‘Triples all the time if you can afford the men. These people are very good at masquerading as other people. They are very fast quick-change artists.’

<<You will trust me on this.>>

Sara urged the spike.

‘She suddenly appeared, didn’t she?’

‘And kept fading away from behind.’

‘The real one would need eye contact for that. This one is a fake.’

Salthouse nodded slowly and gestured for his other officers to come over.

A little mind control but necessity didn’t give much choice, Sara decided. This didn’t feel right. She was being played but didn’t know how or why. Something was missing. If the Pattern were prepared to copy a Fey, what else were they up to? Up until then, Salthouse was accepting everything without question and only needed a little prompting not to get slack.

They would have to anticipate that she would reach out for Kataya Oberon. Who else could climb the Eye? That would make this a good choice to choose. I’m just being out-thought.

‘What was that, Chief Inspector?’

‘I asked if the danger here was over?’

Sara scanned. The tourists were still queuing. They didn’t even seem to care what was going on. Almost like background noise. She extended her reach but the danger had gone. Why would the Pattern only have one objective of destroying the Eye unless that wasn’t their intent. Getting someone under her radar made a lot more sense.

She looked more intently at Salthouse. How much of this and him was real? He knew not to question her security clearance but seemed to be going through the motions now. She scanned him again. He wasn’t a Pattern.

‘Yes. I’ll meet you back at the station for lunch…maybe’

‘You don’t want a lift?’

‘I said my people would meet me. Better if I do that alone.’

‘Fellow spooks?’

Sara nodded. ‘We can’t all show our heads above the parapet. Bad for business.’

Even so, a gentle push.

<<Obey the instruction. Don’t fret if I’m late or don’t return.>>

‘Fine.’

Salthouse shook her hand and he left, the other officers nearby joining him at a distance. The two snipers were already gone.

Needing space, she wandered over to the Jubilee Gardens. Not a big park but bigger and quieter than being so close to the Eye. There were smaller oasis over the river. Unlike her fellow Psionics she could tolerate the inner city population for longer periods. Even so, everything felt too easy. A prearranged plot. She needed to think. Where had she been these past two weeks?

Scanning no one was close or observing her, she reached out again. If she had felt Kataya Oberon then she would still be in transit.

Nothing!

She reached for every type she knew. Psionic. Vampiri. Fey. Not a signature. She was the only Psionic in the city…maybe the world.

That couldn’t be right. Even the Pattern wouldn’t be able to kill off all the Stable. But she was alone. Someone or something had left her truly alone. Could it be the Gorgons? Medea was acknowledged safe for now but what about Stheno and Euryale? It wasn’t like she had lost any of her memories. If they weren’t there, then what about the people about her? They obeyed almost too easy. Like a fabricated reality. Where was Mary Travers when I needed her?

I think, therefore I am. I’m able to scan and spike, so I’m still psionic.

The void is empty. No mental traffic at all.

What could be a worse purgatory than to be a Psionic alone in a world of Normals? Being depressed about it won’t help. But am I being watched at a level where I can’t spot it…yet.

Sara opened her eyes and watched a mother guide a couple children past her. No one else was close for skin contact or even acknowledging her existence.

So what was real? Just because it looked like London, didn’t mean it wasn’t London. It was also person specific. The best way to neutralise me would prevent me finding anyone or have no one around to find. Am I delusional, being kept from scanning or is it being imposed on me? If I’m here, where is the rest of the Stable?

I must either be waiting for something to happen to me or something to happen to them. How can I stay ahead of both? It needs a different gameplay. A different rule system that I can keep whoever it is guessing. If they know about Salthouse, then someone knows me or at least something about me…but maybe not all. I doubt if they expected me to react that way.

If I can spike people this easy, does it also mean I can manipulate this reality? Are all the people real and can I find what and who might I need?

Sara looked up and across at the London Eye. It might give her height but it wouldn’t affect her range. If the reality was temporary, why risk crashing to the ground? The only thing she knew for sure was being afraid to cross the river. Instincts ruled on that until she worked out why. To distrust her own psionic ability would be too reckless. It was there to protect her.

She closed her eyes. There were several Psionics that were clearly not suitable for recruitment but needed to be watched that only she knew about. Having innate abilities didn’t mean they could be used wisely. A few were too powerful. An unintentional share with no way to control it was bad enough. Her own experience of Harbinger ensured she had to control her thoughts for weeks before it wore off lest she accidentally killed anyone. The idea of sharing with Lucky Heather to neutralise it seemed plausible but the extremes of her luck had never been measured. Better she gave Harbinger some respite. Neither could spake unless spaked to even if they were here.

There was also the possibility of endangering whoever she chose. Another reason why some were left alone. If not one of her potentials, were there any others? The Vampiri had their own selection for energy but even Fernefaire rarely divulged anything except for that one thought. A rare hybrid who was getting too much for them and they might be willing to pass into her ranks. Considering Vampiri can’t breed amongst themselves, that seemed a contradiction in terms. Even so, the Vampiri were just an inclined not to stay in the capital neither. Still, this wasn’t a normal reality. Would they have been swept up?

So, a wishful thinking searching scan for anyone close. Mind signatures not required, just presence. Whoever causing this couldn’t manufacture a Psionic. If someone had gotten in unnoticed. She reached out again, this time adding her own signature. Maybe I can draw any and all to me. Maybe even another Pattern daring his or her luck if she could lock onto them. Someone powerful enough to find out what I’m all about.

Sara stayed in position until early evening before moving off to find something to eat. She didn’t want to take advantage of Salthouse again just yet. He would think she had other things to do and there was a secondary need to check that food was available elsewhere in case it was imaginary. A hungry stomach would confirm that. Where did reality end and this fantasy begin? Of course, if this was a digital reality and she was also a digital aviator then it wouldn’t make any difference.

Ego cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I seek.

‘You are Sara Seeker?’

Sara looked up. Facing her was a tall lanky brunette.

‘I’m Ludomere Shear. I’ve been looking for you. I’m a bean pusher. An accountant. People cross my path when I want to meet them.’

‘I just look for them. I’m surprised we’ve never met before.’

‘Fernfaire sends his regards…when I can find him.’

Sara scanned her. ‘Well, you’re not an illusion?’ It wasn’t really a question, just an unusual signature.

‘I hope not. I think not. Have you worked out how to stop Max yet?’

‘Who’s Max?’

 

the end…for now.

Psi-Kicks,

Sara Seeker and Ludomere Shear

© GF Willmetts 2018

all rights reserved

ask before borrowing

 

Romanian                                                                  English

Salut                                                                            Hello

Nu a rămas însărcinată pentru totdeauna.                   Couldn’t stay pregnant forever.

Latin                                                                           English

Ego cogito ergo sum.                                                  I think therefore I seek.

Category: Scifi, Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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  1. Louis says:

    love your psi-kicks series

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