by D R Evans
a detective has to solve what at first seems like a simple case of a car crash.
The red glow mixed with the odd blue flash could be seen a mile away. The trees on both sides crowded the road giving the whole scene of the look of a night club. Jack pulled up behind the last car. He saw two state police cruisers on either side of the road. Two state policemen were directing cars to follow a row of flares that routed the traffic off the road, down a dirt side road. Jack moved to the right ,passing the row of cars on the verge of the road. One of the troopers stepped out and waved him to rejoin the processions of cars. He kept going. The trooper stepped in front of the Old Ford Bronco. When jack stopped the trooper walked up to his driver's door window, rapping his torch on the window. He motioned the internationally known sign for wind down your window.
"Mister if you don't follow the flares" the trooper said as Jack wound down his window.
"Who is that?" He said trying to shield his eyes from the officers torch light, "is that you Jimmy?"
The trooper moved his torch from Jacks face.
"Lieutenant Merrick?" He said " sorry sir, I did not recognise your car"
"No problem son. You would not have seen this Bronco. It is a restoration job I am doing. I was taking testing her at the lake when I got the call. I don't even have my lights, sorry for the scare."
"No problem, sir. Let me move the cruiser".
The young officer pulled his cruise back to let Jack pass by.
When jack arrived at the accident scene he was surprised by the amount of cars filling the road side. Being the head detective at a small police dept. along a stretch of road, notorious for speed, he had seen his fair share of accidents, but he had never seen this amount of official cars in attendance. He parked behind the last vehicle, a grey Ford Taurus which he recognized as the dept. un marked squad car usually used by the detective on duty. Jack wondered what was so bad that his young partner could not do alone. He might have only been promoted to Detective 6 months ago but Jack had found him bright and very good at his job. Two cars up, he found the red Chevy Caprice of his boss, now he was interested.
The chief was not hard to find, although only standing 5 foot 7 his presence was unmistakable. Jack could not remember the last time the chief was at an active site but it looked like he was enjoying it. In one hand he held a radio, in the other a clipboard that was presently directing his charges. Jack saw men scurrying around, some he had not seen move that fast for years. The chief was passing instructions to some unseen sap via his radio when he saw jack arriving. He waved him over.
Jack waved then walked over to meet the man.
"Jack, glad to see you. Sorry to spoil your weekend off but we need your help. And please don't blame Truman, he did not want to call you. He was following orders. "
" no problem chief, I had one bite the whole day. Sorry they dragged you out here, Angie must be pretty mad that you are missing dinner."
"Hell no, it's fish Friday. I couldn't wait to leave." The chief said. "But that is between you and me."
"Who am I to disobey an order" Jack smiled " so why all the commotion? The scanner said it was a crash site. Surely the Accident Division can handle it."
"Yes sorry about that, I know you did not want any more black lines on the board but this is a very strange accident. All seems normal on the outset, well, as normal as an accident can be. " said the chief. "But anomalies picked up by Jeff Truman caused him to call me directly. That is when I called you. Trooper Russel was first on scene but when he saw that it looked a bit more involved he decided to ask for a supervisor. I was just leaving the precinct when the call came in. Det. Truman was still an hour away, so I decided to come see if I could help."
Jack looked around then took out a pair of latex gloves, slipping them on with practiced ease. He felt in his back pocket to find his torch.
"ok let's go see what the hoopla is all about shall we"
"well you're the expert, lead the way." said the chief.
Jack followed his Chief of Police past a group of men marking the positions of vehicle debris till he arrived at a Maroon Jeep Cherokee sport squashed in the middle of Route 101. The front of the SUV was flat. Jack saw blood on the Driver seat.
They took the driver away?" he asked.
"yes, about 20 minutes ago." said the chief.
"who was he?"
"From the driver's papers in the glove box he is a John Squires, from Good Haven but we will know more know more in the morning when we can pull his sheet.
"where is Truman, now? "Jack asked
The chief waved to a man taking photos down a bank.
"Truman, Truman" he called.
A man lifted his head from his camera, waved to the chief then started walking over.
"hi Boss" said the young man" Glad you made it."
"So" said Jack "what's the issue with this crash site that you needed to keep the chief here out on a Friday night?"
"yes, sorry about that, but there are some irregularities with this crash that I could not place." He said.
"ok, let's have it"
"well for one, you will notice there is only one car." Said Jeff.
"I did notice that but I thought maybe the fire guys moved it for some reason" said Jack.
"the next issue is that the SUV is in the middle of the road."
"I saw that," said the chief "what is irregular about that?"
"well sir" said Jeff "what did it hit? There are no signs of anything else being damaged. I have walked up and down this road and on both verges. There are no signs of any trees, rocks or any other objects big enough to do the damage it has done to the vehicle."
"so you thinking hit and run?"
"I do not think so, Sir." Said Jeff "follow me"
They followed the young detective to the front of the car. He turned on his torch then moved the beam around the front of the vehicle.
"if you look carefully you will see there is no signs of another car or for that matter any other transfer. In fact, the paint on the crashed vehicle is not even scratched. Just bent out of shape"
Jack turned on his torch, shinning it on the bent wreckage of the Jeep. The light, a 200w torch favored by the Crime Scene crews lit up the crinkled bumper, showing up the damage. Jack ran his hand over the creased front vender. He stepped closer then bent his head to within an inch of the vehicle. He lifted the hood that was hanging from one mounting, looking at the engine.
Jack stood turned off the torch then turned to the young investigator.
"ok Jeff, secure this site of all unessential personal, get forensics out here asap. There is only one-way damage like this happens, in twenty years of investigating the only time I have seen damage like this is in a staged accident. In this case we have a dead driver. So if this is not a fraudulent claim, it can only be murder."
He took off his gloves, stuffed them in his top pocket then he turned to the young man.
"hey Truman remember this is your case I will help where I can but I am officially retired at the end of the month and do not need an unsolved case making me spend any more time at work"
"don't worry Boss, we will have you off the streets come the end of the month"
Jack smiled waved at the chief who was now directing officers and signing evidence bags as they were lifted into the evidence truck.
He started his Bronco then drove away from hopefully his last accident scene. An hour later he arrived at his apartment.
The next morning Jack arrived back at the precinct, ready to put his last month in. He greeted the duty officer then opened the door to his office and sat down.
A man in a blue lab coat with the stations insignia on the pocket stuck his head in..
"hey, Jack one more month, then what? You gonna take up golf?"
"Morning Mr. Cruse, the day you find me with a golf stick in my hand, use my service revolver and shoot me in the head"
The young man smiled turned to leave then stopped to turned back to Jack.
"oh by the way, Doctor Reamas dropped off the ME report for the accident last night. He must have worked all night."
"ok, leave it on Truman's desk, it's his case."
Jack swiveled round in his chair to look out of his window over a view he had seen for the last fourteen years. He had left the big city life of the LA to take the position of head detective here in San Martin. His wife had been diagnosed with cancer and they had decided that they should move to quieter police dept. so she could rest. She hung on for eight years before succumbing to the disease. After that Jack was well entrenched and decide to stay.
"morning boss" a voice said.
Jack turned to see his young protstanding by the door. A fruit smoothie clutched to his chest while he tried to get control of a case file he held under the other arm.
"Jeff how did it go last night? You get any answers?"
"Not yet, we are still giving the Murchison case precedent for now. I will be back on the jeep accident later today."
Jack looked at the young detectives face, he knew the face, it was a face of a man feeling overwhelmed. He had only just been made detective when he heard in 6 months he would be the only detective in the precinct. The Murchison case was pretty big, the theft of millions from a local jewelry store and the chief had decided that the young man was to run the case alone, a kind of test. Jack kept him hanging for a while.
"ok Jeff, give me the accident case, you carry on with the Murchison case" he said "but remember in..." he looked at his calendar "27 days I am gone."
The young man's face changed, the look of relief was apparent in every inch of his face. He had never been to good at hiding his feelings. He had even got the name 'Fleece' because of the ease the other officers took his money at poker.
"Jack, do not joke with me." He said "you would be doing me a solid."
Jack winced at the young detectives use of slang but let it go. He knew the Chief frowned on his own use of slang from his generation.
"just remember I will ask for that solid back on day"
"Solid does not ......." started the young detective "ok Boss, thank you."
He walked over to Jacks desk and dropped the file down in front of him.
"here is the ME report, the Drivers details and the GPS information from the Car company." He said "all the photos of the scene have been uploaded to the case number, good luck"
Jack waved him away picking up the folder he started paging through it.
The driver was a John Squires, from Dream Haven, a quiet suburb for the upwardly mobile. He was an investment banker who had moved to Sam Martin 5 years ago. He paged down to the vehicles SatNav print out.
The report was pretty standard; Jack had seen them countless times. The Jeep had left town at 3:30 then driven down to Dream haven. The vehicle stopped on Luke street at 3:55. It left again at 16:06 driving North. The jeep stopped 6 miles out of town. It then turned onto the 101 at 16:48. Ten minutes later the jeep stopped, abruptly. The speed going from 70 mile and hour to zero in 20 meters. Coming to a stop exactly where the young trooper found the smashed vehicle on the 101.
Jack turned to his PC, hitting the enter button. The picture of a quiet lake with the heading "fish and beer 27 days" fades away leaving the SMPD Password Screen and logo. He types in his password then waits for his PD screen desktop to come up. Clicking on the department's mapping software he maps the route taken by the jeep. The first stop was in Dream Haven at the Dream Haven junior primary school. The second stop was at a convenient store off the main freeway. Jack knew this store well; Jims Store, it was the first stop of many a vehicle leaving city to go to the capital ninety miles away. After Jims Store the next petrol or rest stop was 10 miles out of San Francisco 70 miles away. Five miles later the jeep turns south down the 101. Fifteen miles later the jeep had stopped dead.
Jack reads the report again trying to put himself in the vehicle, but nothing seemed wrong. At the back of his mind he felt there was something missing, something out of place.
Jack froze. He picks up the up the victims file. Scrolling through he reaches the family section. He had a daughter. She went to Dream Haven junior. Jack calls the school and they confirm the victim collected his daughter at 4 o'clock.
Jack opens the department directory and scrolls down to Jim Convenient Store. He dials the number listed. After three rings he hears a voice.
"hello, Jim convenient store, please come see our specials, this Lucy how can I help" a bored voice inquires.
"hi This is Detective Merrick from the SMPD, can I speak to a manger please."
"hold on, I will call him"
Jack waits 2 minute then a new voice is on the line.
"Macgarrit, shift manager, how can I help"
"Mr. Macgarrit, this is detective Jack Merrick from the SNPD, I wonder if you can help me. Does the store have CCTV?" he asks.
"yes we, detective, may I ask to what this relates to?"
"Just an enquiry can you tell me there is tape of yesterday's activities? Specifically, between 1600 hours and 1700 hours?"
"yes" the clerk answers, "we only change the tape every week so it should still be on the PC."
"great I will come see you right away." says Jack.
An hour later he pulls up to Jim Convenience Store. The sore still has the look of a building built in the early 1900s but Jack knows that when they rebuilt the store after a fire in 1960 they saved the front of the shop and rebuild the back of the shop with all the luxuries life in the sixties could muster. Since then the store had been updated seven times, but had always been owned by a descendant of the first Jim in 1904.
Jack walked up the stairs, the door opening with a swish. The mangers office was at the back of the store. Jack knocks on the door with the sign "manager" painted in big yellow letters.
"come" says a voice
Jack opens the door and walks in. A balding man in his late fifties is sitting behind a desk checking time cards of his employees. He lifts his head and smiles.
"Mr. Macgarrit?" he asks.
"that is correct, how can I help"
"I am detective Merrick; we spoke earlier"
The smile on the man's face is replaced by a look of concern.
"yes the security tapes?"
" right" says Jack
Mr. Macgarrit turned to his PC ushering the detective over to a chair.
"I have set it up for 1600 hours' yesterday."
The Store manager turns the screen so Jack can see. Jack cannot help thinking how this would have gone in the city, a rude store manager demanding a court order, a 5 hour wait to get a judge to sign it. This was much better.
"may I?" Jack ask
"be my guest"
Jack leans forward, he turns the dial forward and the tape speeds up. Around 16:09 he sees his victim, the daughter is not with him.
"have you got the forecourt camera?"
The store manager leans across pushing a button that changes the scene on the PC monitor from the shops' inside entrance the fore court.
"stop, go back a bit, ok stop, there she is."
The daughter is sitting in the back seat of the car.
"ok back to the counter cam"
The monitor shows the victim paying for sodas, candies and packets of crisps.
"I t seems like they are going on quite a trip" said Jack.
"yep, is seems so" agreed the Manager.
"thanks for your time" said Jack rising to leave.
"anything for the SMPD detective Merrick"
Jack sits in his Car. He opens the file to the GPS report.
"something is wrong" he thinks to himself "but what is it?"
Jacks pages to the back of the file to the accident report.
"that's it" he says" the daughter in not at the accident scene. According to the Jeeps GPS data the car does not stop after this, so where is the daughter?"
Jack starts the car and leaves Jims Convenient Store. He turns on his GPS and plots the route the Jeep took. Matching the speed and course of the Jeeps Navistar data, Jack pulls into the traffic. Ten minute later he turns onto the 101. He drives till he reaches the crash scene. Checking his data, he sees he has arrived at the spot where the jeep stopped. He checks the reading on his GPS, there is a 3 minute difference.
"that can be right" he says.
Jack turns his Car around and heads back up 101. 10 kilometers down the road he stops then does a U-turn to face in the direction of the crash site. Again he synchronizes the two GPS devices then pulls away. Again he reaches the crash site 180 seconds too early.
He turns the car back down the 101.tjis time he keeps the vehicle tracking devices on the up to his face, occasionally looking down the 101 for traffic. On arriving at the crash scene for a third time he is still 180 seconds to early.
Jack pulls the car over he takes out his GPs then gets out the car. On the road he sees the evidence of the jeeps accident so he knows he is in the correct place. He walks back down the road to position of the mark where the first piece of debris was found.
He turns and walks back to his car. Once again checking his GPS for the correct position. There is still a gap in the reading. He turns back down the road walking to where the file indicates the first peace of the Jeeps debris was located. Before he can walk into the road a Peterbilt semi rushes past him causing him to turn his away to protect him against the dust being towed behind the trucks slip stream. In the corner of his eye he sees the truck shimmer. He looks up but there is nothing wrong as the truck speeds down the 101.
Jack walks up to the place where the truck seemed to shimmer, slowly Jack walks down the center of the road.
A man appears in front of him. He is about to confront the man when he realizes, the man is him, not a mirror image but from behind. He stops, his image stops as well. Then the image turns to look at him jack can see the images confusion. Jack takes a step forward.
His image has not moved. He takes another step forward; he now inches behind his image. He leans forward till his head is an inch behind the image. Jack reaches out to touch the image but his hand passes through. His body no getting a push back took another step forward. He can see inside his body, he keeps walking through the image. He can see the blood in his brain then the back of his eyes. He keeps going till he can no longer see any of his body. Jack turns to see if he can see his image behind him. There is nothing there.
Breathing in he turns back. He can see his Police car a few meters up the street, but it is blurry as if behind a water fall.
A sudden blast of a hooter catches jack's attention and second Semi Truck rushes down the 101. As Jack turns to see what is coming it is too late, the semi is a yard away doing 60 miles an hour.
The truck reaches Jack, he raises his hand to his face in a futile act of desperation. The truck passes through Jack, he sees the inside of the truck then the contents then the back of the truck rushes past him. Jack puts his hand to his chest feeling if he is still here. He is as solid as ever.
Jack is about to take another step forward when he sees a figure standing to his left looking at him. He turns to see a man standing on the verge of the road. The man waves for him to come closer. Jack feels for his revolver in its holster behind his back, it is there , he unclips the safety strap. He keeps his hand on the butt of his gun, then moves towards the figure.
"who are you" jack asks" what do you know about the accident that happened here yesterday evening?"
"everything" says the man.
Jack draws his service revolver and points to the floor in front of the man.
"let me see your hand" he says" you are coming with me to answer a few questions"
"Jack" says the man "you have nothing to fear from us"
"us?" asks Jack raising his gun to scour the area behind the man. "how do you know my name?"
"We see all, we know all"
"That's great but it does not answer my question, what do you know about the accident"
"We were here when the man and girl crashed in the red jeep"
"The Girl "said Jack "where is the girl?"
"She is safe, put down the gun then I will explain everything"
"my name Zyler and I am from a galaxy on the far side of your system. We have been watching this planet for hundreds of years."
"Let's just say I believe you, what do you want with this planet?"
"Our planet is dying; it has been dying for 300 years. We found your planet by accident. We found it was identical to ours. Our species are even of similar composition."
"So you want to take over the earth."
"No, Jack we would blend seamlessly and eventually assimilated to everything on earth. But there are those who are more militant. They want to take over the earth, they think it would be going backwards to throw away our technology, to blend with humans instead of controlling humans with our superior knowledge."
"so what has this got to do with the driver of the Jeep and the girl?"
"The girls is not one of yours, she is a hybrid of our two species, she was made to show that we could assimilate to humans. John Squires was her guardian."
"so why did you kill him?"
"No detective we did not kill him, we saved her. The others wanted her dead, they did not want a success for the project. They wanted it to fail. They had planned to crash the Jeep and kill both the girl and John Squires. We got here too late to stop the accident but we managed to erect this shield in time to get the girls out of the jeep. She is safe and asleep. We have kept her in a state of sleep as not to scare her."
"So what now? Does she stay in stasis? What happens to her?"
She will need a guardian, Jack. You will be her guardian, Jack."
"but I know nothing about kids, what do I tell my friends and colleagues? How do I explain an eleven year old daughter?"
"Detective, you are resourceful man, who is near retirement. You were moving to the Lake Suburbs any way, there is a school and a good community at the lake, you will be perfect for the job."
"People will ask questions, you cannot just pitch up with a daughter" said Jack.
"You are the best candidate that we have, it could be years until find a suitable foster family. You must be that foster family, Jack"
Jack was about to say he could not do it when a girl stepped out from behind the man. She wore the same clothes Jack saw her wearing at Jim's Convenient Store. She came forward and took Jacks hand.
"Please Jack we have worked too hard to fail now. The earths freedom is at stake." She said.
Jack looked down at the girl her brown eyes looking deep in his. It was then that he knew, he would have to try.
"OK, What happens now?"
"We send you back to your car and life goes on we will delete the parts from your memory that are not needed. We will add to your memories what you will need."
"OK let's do it" Jack nodded.
Jack sat in his car, the Squires crash case file on his passenger seat. He adjusted his rear view mirror. He saw a red coat on the back seat. He turned to see what coat it was when it moved. A young girl of about eleven years old sat up.
She looked up a Jack and smiled.
"Hello, my name is Jill" she said.
Jack tried to play back the sequence of events that led up to him sitting in a car with an eleven years old girl in his back seat. But as many time as he replayed it he could not join the dots from the time he got out of his car to how he got into his car.
He looked back at the girl.
"Hi " he said" I am Jack."
He did not know where she came from, but he knew he had to protect her. He adjusted his mirror, checked for traffic then pulled on onto the 101.
He goes to covenant t store looks at ccctv the daughter is there, strange something he sees.
So where is the daughter. The jeep never stopped after the store and the girls was there.
Goes to site flows trail and dame speed. At accident site finds the timeline wrong. 5 minutes missing.
Not his birth daughter. Hybrid to save the earth and both planets. They had chosen human genetics because their planet was dying.
Some tribes want to take over earth. Enslave mankind. They wanted to kill girl. They were able manage to get the girl out before they destroyed the car. And killed the father. They do not know about the girlsd not being dead. Used the same time stop to save her. Long way away still. Lots more homework to be done.
Jack sat in his car looking over the crash site. What was he doing again? Oh yes the time line no not that it is not wrong. A movement on his back seat. A little girl, he did not know who she was but he knew he had to protect her.
He closed the file put it on his passenger started the car and drove away.
of the emCar crash
Routine inspection traffic officer?
GPS says 10min missing
Kids at hotel earlier (after investigation )
Alien saved girl_special?
No mother? Alien hybrid? Save world?
After he savez girl he is left standing in the road. He doez not know what is happening but he knows for some reason he has to protect this little girl.