Jimmy was a good cop, but age and changing times were getting the better of him. If he could only get an edge, take advantage of some of that new-fangled tech – what would be the harm? I mean, everybody cheats a little, don’t they? Just be careful not to get caught… Read “In a Flash” to see how Jimmy gets himself out of trouble.
“In a Flash” is a sci-fi/crime short story, the first in the Detective Jimmy Delaney series (and it’s FREE.) If you like a little self-deprecation and humor with some sci-fi elements thrown in (think “The Rockford Files” mashed up with the old BBC “The Avengers”) this is the series for you.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
An associate mentioned how he wished he could just plug a flash drive into his brain and acquire skills, instead of having to spend years studying. I wondered about the convenience, and the mind-hacking dangers, and "In a Flash" was born (And Jimmy Delaney liked the gig and kept finding other ways to get in trouble.)
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
As in all my books, the characters (or at least elements of them) are floating around within me. As I start writing the story, the circumstances and setting will strike a nerve with one of them, and they will decide to come out to play. Then they and the story grow from each other.
Jimmy let himself in through the back door of the clinic and crept to Yon’s office, where Diana and Yon were arguing.
“You have taken it too far,” Yon said. “He is a detective; you will not be able to get away with it.”
“You’re too timid, dear. And we’ll get away with it just fine.”
Jimmy came in and closed the door. The Yons, standing in front of the desk, turned to him.
“See, he’s here!” Diana said as she took a step toward him, “Hand me the…”
She stopped talking when Jimmy pointed his Disabler at her.
“Sit down. Both of you.”
Yon immediately sat in front of the desk.
“Sure,” Diana said. She started to slink around behind the desk.
“Not by the computer,” Jimmy said, pointing toward the other chair in front of the desk, “sit there.”
“Oh, fine,” she sighed, and slid slowly into the chair.
Jimmy decided it was better to keep his focus off of her, so he turned to Yon.
“Doc, you made Eddie kill Mickey. Why?”
Diana said, “He deserved it.”
“Please allow me to explain, dear,” said Yon, then turned to Jimmy. “Mr. Gialani, that worthless slime, discovered what I do to help people such as Mr. Smith and yourself. At first he blackmailed me into altering the feed from his AugMonitor, but he became more demanding.”
Diana blurted “He was too greedy for his own good. He had to die.”
“Leaving Eddie standing around in the alley wasn’t smart. What made you think you could get away with it?”
Diana said, “He was supposed to come back with Gialani’s AugMonitor.”
“He did not follow his instructions. Something went wrong,” Yon said, tenting his hands.
“Even if Eddie had come back, he would’ve eventually figured out what happened,” Jimmy said.
“No,” Yon said, “We would have removed any memory he had of the incident.”
“But instead he got himself caught, so you made me kill him,” Jimmy said.
“Good!” Diana said.
“So, you did kill him?” Yon asked, studying Jimmy.
“Must have. Still heard the gunshot when I came to.”
“Then you remember nothing before that. Did you bring the AugMentor?” Yon asked.
“No. I heard Diana’s voice in my head telling me to get it, but I wasn’t about to.”
“I see,” Yon said. Then he said to Diana, “It is as I told you, dear. You were able to force both of them to the point of killing, but it appears that that act was enough to short-circuit your commands.”
“I’ll get it right next time,” Diana said, as she rose and started to walk behind the desk.
“Stay away from that computer!”
Jimmy fired a Disabler round into each of Diana’s arms, causing them to spasm, and then hang uselessly at her sides. Yon jumped up from his chair, but Jimmy disabled his arms and legs and he fell to the floor.
“I’m taking you both in.”
Yon shook his head as he lay helpless on the floor. “No, you must not!”
Diana shook her head at Yon. “Don’t be pathetic.”
Then she smirked at Jimmy, said something that sounded like Chinese giberish, and Jimmy blacked out.
Jimmy’s head was clamped in the operating chair. He heard Yon speaking behind him.
“Yes, dear, you are correct, of course.”
Jimmy tried to reach up to pry himself loose, but his arms were strapped firmly in place.
“Good, you’re awake,” Diana said. “Forty-seven minutes.”
She came into view to Jimmy’s left, her hand on his chest, her perfume cloying. “I wasn’t sure how long the blackout I programmed would last. Anesthesia would’ve been easier to predict, but they’d find it during the autopsy. Such a shame.” She looked over Jimmy’s head and said “Come over here, dear.”
Yon appeared at Jimmy’s right.
“As you can see,” he said, waving a scalpel for emphasis, “the effects of your foolish weapon have worn off.”
“What are you going to do?” Jimmy asked.
“He’s going to remove the AugMentor,” Diana said.
“The incision I make will not be noticed in the damage you will sustain from your unfortunate accident.”
William Mangieri is a blogger, karaoke junkie, former theater student, and recovered wargamer, who spends far too much time inside his own head (he's not alone in there, so don't worry. Or maybe you should…) He grew up (as much as he did) in New England, but now writes from Texas, where he lives with his wife and the ghost of a nine-pound westie (who still dreams of being a cat.)
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