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Crank
02-05-2012, 09:16 AM
Time will Tell

The basic reason for writing this is so I actually have something fresh to show you guys when I activated my account. The original idea’s actually about three years old, and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. It’s something I plan on continuing, but be warned, this is mostly a dialogue story. I hope you enjoy it regardless though, and any comments and criticism are much appreciated!
***********There isn’t quite like the atmosphere of one’s favorite diner, and my top pick was, by far, Dane’s Delicious Dishes. It was, quite honestly, like a second home to me. I started the day there, it’s where I took my lunch break, and it was one of the few places that stayed open after my shift ended. You can work long days as a cop, days I’m usually not too fond of, because they tend to mean something bad happened and I’ve got to write a report on it. Particularly, I didn’t like winding up in a shoot out for pulling someone over.

As I heard the door at the other end of the diner creak open, my eyes slowly drew off of my morning pancakes and over to the sound. The eyes of a heavily scarred man scanned the area slowly until he finally spotted me. He breathed a sigh of relief and quickly made his way to my table as I gave him a blank stare. I didn’t know him, how’d he know me?

“Parker Daggett?” He inquired. Okay, better question, how’d he know me by name? The way he asked didn’t even imply he wasn’t sure. It was like he was asking in the off chance he was wrong, which he was confident he wasn’t.

“…Yeah…” I eventually answered, “I’m sorry, have me met?”

The man ran his callused hand through his dark brown hair awkwardly before responding. “Well, yes and no…” He told me, trying to find the best words to explain the situation with. “Yes,” He indicated to himself, “And no,” he finished, motioning to me.

I looked at him like he was high. “How does only one of us meet each other?” I demanded, “Are you stalking me or something?”

“You haven’t met me yet.”

“You’re making one hell of a first impression.” I told him straight up. “What exactly are you on?”

A heavy sigh escaped the man’s mouth and he placed both hands on my table. “You know how whenever someone shows someone else a photo they say, ‘this is a picture of me when I was younger’?”

“Yeah.”

“Well uhh,” The man paused momentarily before sitting down across from me, pulling out his wallet in the process.

“If I see drugs, I’m arresting you here and now.”

He looked up at me oddly as he drew out a photo from one of the many pockets in his wallet. After placing it face down on the table, he slid it across. “This is a picture of you when you’re older.”

I almost didn’t pick the thing up, but I was too confused, and too thrown off to just leave it where it lied. I took my perplexed gaze off the man, and glanced downward as my fingers gradually lifted the edge of the photo. It started off normal enough. The top of a Christmas tree was the first thing my eyes met. There was a massive star on the very top if it and lights rotated all around. It was void of ointments, but I never threw them on my tree anyway. Feeling that it may have just been an ordinarily picture, I suddenly flipped it over. It was a good thing that my mouth wasn’t full, because if it was, mushy pancake bits would have scattered all over the table.

“Where the hell did you get this!?” I demanded as I pressed my finger firmly on the face of the man in the photo. The man holding the little girl, and the man on whose shoulder a woman was resting her head. The reason for my sudden outburst was because the man in question had my eyes, brow, hair color, jaw, smile, ears, and everything else! The only difference was that he looked about fifteen years older than me, and if there was any question about that, the date marked at the bottom read ‘December 25, 2028’. It was a fake, but it was a pretty damn good one. By a lot. At least twice over. “Because it isn’t funny, and in fact, it’s pretty creepy.”

“You sent it to me.” His words hit me as hard as I wanted to hit him. He was obviously lying, but he sounded so sure about it…

“…And I sent you this because…?” I questioned, crossing my hands.

“We were partners at the time,” It was growing clear that he had something specific to discuss and was growing uncomfortable with all my questions. “And your wife loved to write Christmas cards.”

“So, just to be clear, you want me to believe that your doctored picture was sent by my supposed wife and that you’re from the future.” I wasn’t sold by a long shot.

“Daggett, please,” He urged me; “You must believe me! Peters won’t trust anyone else!”

“That bastard!” I laughed, “I should’ve known he’d get some payback on me! Pretty elaborate too, a bit over kill for a Scream-In-A-Box though.”

“Listen to me! There’s a serial killer out there and he’s getting information from someone on the Force!” He harshly whispered as he suddenly leaned forward, “We don’t know who it is, and Peters is the only one with any kind of information, but he refuses to even tell me! He won’t talk to anyone BUT you!”

“And why is that?” I questioned, still grinning by how quickly I figured out what was going on, and how close I was to catching the man in a lie that not even he could get himself out of.

There was a long silence, a silence I used to eat some of my pancakes, before he spoke again. “Because,” He began solemnly. I quickly swallowed what I had in my mouth. He was good at coming up with things that would make me spew it all out. “You retired five years prior to it starting…”

Good thing I did. “What!? So now I’m retired too!” I chuckled, “Damn! Your story must be costing Peters a fortune! Let’s see…” I quickly did some math in my head, “I’ve been a cop for two years, the picture’s dated sixteen years from now, so that’s eighteen, minus five is thirteen. Thirteen years?” I laughed again, that was just ridiculous. It was my dream to be a cop, there was no way I’d give it up so soon.

“No, it was eighteen,” The man corrected, “The picture’s five years old. It’s the last thing you sent before you and your family left the county.”

“So now you’re over two decades from the future, and I’m no longer living in America?” I inquired with a smirk. “What exactly sent me packing?”

It was immediately evident it was not something the man wanted to speak of, but I made it clearer that he had to. “The case you were working on.” He finally answered after a heavy sigh. “A little girl was kidnapped when she was only seven and raped-” My smirk immediately vanished. “-Repeatedly for eight years.” My eyes suddenly narrowed into a deep glare. He had stopped being funny with his bizarre cycle of lies. “You never stopped looking for her, and when you found her, she looked so broken, so empty, so filled with misery that it broke your heart. You were expecting to see her overjoyed at her rescue, but as long as you saw her, she never stopped crying. A constant steam of tears flowed from her eyes, and as you led her captor outside in cuffs, she raced up to you and grabbed your pistol from its holster. You turned around just in time to see her pull the trigger with the gun pressed firmly against her jaw, but barely too late to stop it. She died instantly and fell lifeless into your arms. You quit the next day, and bought a boat by the end of the week. You were gone in two more.”

“Leave.” I ordered. I was officially pissed off. “Now.”

“What can I say to make you believe me?” The man asked desperately. He was a good actor, it almost seemed like there may have been a hint of truth to what he was saying. “Do have to see how I got here?” He immediately pulled up his sleeve and revealed some sort of high tech watch. It looked like it had a compact computer monitor on it and its numbers were constantly changing. ‘2/7/2012 07:49:26:96’. Well, only the last two were changing, but they were easily recognizable as the date and time.

“A nice watch doesn’t help your story much.” I growled, “Like time travel’s twenty-three years away.”

“It isn’t…” The man mumbled after a moment, “It’s a long story, but it was accentually a gift.”

“You already told me a long story.” I stated, poking my food. “And now my pancakes are cold. Tell you what; if you really want me to believe a grain of what you told me, tell me something personal that I wouldn’t have told anyone. Something that wouldn’t be in my file, and then maybe I’ll consider what you’re saying.”

The man didn’t even hesitate, “You abandoned your friends in a town none of them were familiar with at your twenty-first birthday for a one night stand. You took the party bus to do it and ended up getting an STD from the encounter.”

“You said Peters’ in danger, right?”

He finally had my full attention, and for the first time he breathed a sigh of relief. “Everyone is until we find the murderer,” He answered, “and who’s leaking the information to him.”

“So…what do I have to do?”

“Follow me,” The man told me, standing to his feet. “We have to talk to Peters, but we have to talk to him in the present.” I gave him an odd look and he corrected himself, “My present, or else he’ll look at us like you looked at me.”

“That sounds about right,” I nodded, as I counted the cash for my bill and left it on the table. I quickly grabbed my pancakes and followed the man as he led me outside. “I’ve got one last question before we go,” I told him as he pushed the door open.

“Oh, right, sorry.” He apologized, “I’m Jason Jung, I was your partner before you quit.”

“…Not what I was going to ask,” I admitted, “What I want to know is why now? If there’s eighteen years before I retire, why when I’ve only been a cop for a couple? I’m only 24, and I’m not even a detective yet. Why not get me when I have more experience?”

“Uhhhh…” Jason held the sound for a few seconds as he made his way to my car. “I’ve gone through you file several times, and this is the only time that you, uhhh, getting injured…won’t change the future.”

“Wait what?” I demanded, unlocking the door, “Why is that?”

“You… you get run over and hospitalized-”

“WHAT!?”

“-during your evening jog.” After stepping into the passenger seat, he added, “Sorry to be the bringer of bad news. Are you ready to go?”

“I’m close enough,” I grumbled, aggravated over getting run down later today. “I free run in my spare time, how do I miss car?”

“For the record, it was truck,” My mouth gaped. “Alight, I just have to punch a few buttons on my watch and it’ll take us to my time. Make sure you grab it when I say to.” I nodded and Jason began tapping buttons on the side of his watch, making all kinds of menus glow on the screen. “One last thing,” He grimly informed me halfway though, “This is going to hurt.”

“More than getting hit by a truck?” I joked.

He never told me. “…NOW!” Jason suddenly bellowed. Instinctively, I swung my hand on his watch and immediately felt a tingling sensation surge throughout my body. In the following seconds, I got the answer to my question. The colossal agony that the shredding of molecules creates is completely indescribable.

It did in fact, hurt more than getting hit by a truck.


“Wake up Daggett, we’re here.”

As quiet as Jung was talking, his voice boomed in my throbbing head. I felt like I was literally burning in hell (alright, I don’t have that reference point, but if I did, it’d be pretty accurate) and every noise I heard was amplified as if it was blasted into a megaphone. “I’m awake,” I managed to grumble shakily. “Where are we?”

“Peters’ house, or driveway rather,” I was informed, “He went into the private sector a few years ago, but he’s still a good detective. Do you want some painkillers before we go inside?”

I was about to say ‘no’, but before I could get the word out, I heard a door outside the car slam. Or maybe it just closed, but either way in my excessively sensitive ears, it sounded like it was a slam. Curious as to what the sound was, if not to see whose fault it was, I pulled up the recliner in Jung’s passenger seat. As my view became more than the roof of a car that had changed little as the years passed, I saw an obese man rushing off of his porch with a cigar in one hand and sandwich in the other. If I had to guess, I’d say he wasn’t expecting to work today. His undid tie and unbuttoned suit rippled in the light breeze, and his shirt was neither tucked in nor ironed. The man was clearly angered by the fact that Jung was blocking his own car from getting out of the driveway, and somehow his thick mustache seemed to emphasize his scowl. Only after Jung motioned for him to get in his car did he finally join us inside.

“Corner of 8 Mile and Mac,” He stated flatly, slamming the door behind him, causing me to cringe in pain. “He’s claimed another victim.” Jung didn’t need to hear anything else for him to shift the car into reverse and peel out of the driveway. As much as I hate having to use medicine, I began considering it when he activated the sirens on the top of his cruiser. “What’s with the kid?”

“You don’t recognize him?” Jung asked as he switched to drive and stomped on the accelerator. “You told me he was the only one you’d talk to.”

“That’s Peters!?” The Peters I remembered looked like a champion bodybuilder, if such a thing existed. In my time, he was also clean shaven and didn’t have a massive bald spot covering half of his hairline.

“That’s Daggett!? What the hell Jung!?”

“If I took him from any other time, an injury would risk-”

“Enough with your future bullshit! In case you haven’t noticed, it’s something that needs to change!”

“Yell quieter!” I bellowed to them both, “My brain’s pounding against my skull, and you’re making matters worse!”

After a moment of silence, Peters picked up exactly where he left off. “Has he even had a real case!? I was expecting to talk to him from NOW! When he’s actually a damn good detective!”

“Well this is the best I can do, so you’ll have to settle. Besides, now it can’t be any more obvious that he isn’t the inside man.”

I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of Peters having to settle for me, but I was a big fan of the quiet that the order brought. Well mostly quiet. Peters grumbled a bit and the lettuce in his sandwich crunched loudly as he bit into it.

In retrospect, it might have been better if they spoke more in the car, and actually gave me a heads up about the case I was getting into. It could have been that I never saw a dead body before, but I was by no means prepared for scene that was awaiting us when the car rolled to a stop. Ignoring my body’s pleas to stay inside the car and rest some more, I shoved the door open and stepped out on my wobbly pair of legs. From what little I could see, there was a small crowd gathered looking in horror at whatever was behind a long stretch of yellow tape.

Neither Jung nor Peters waited for me as they quickly made their way in-between the civilians, Peters lighting his cigar as he did. Questions of all kinds were spewed at them from all angles until they finally made their way through, and when I limped forward, following their route, I suffered the same barrage.

“How many more people are going to die before you can stop the psycho?!”
“How haven’t you found him yet!?”
“Do you have any leads?”
“Is it true that he has a cop working for him?”
“Do these pants make my butt look big?”
“Why haven’t you stopped him!?”
“When does this end!?”

“Why the fuck is the cop here?!” Between Jung and I, he was the only one in uniform. “They already contaminated evidence, one of them spilled the news of SWAT sniper locations, and they even let a witness die!”

“WHAT!?” That was basically echoed by everyone, myself included as our gazes all looked at the speaker. If I was going to be blunt about it, I’d say she looked like a stunning tomboy that ran with the wrong crowd. She had long black hair all the way down to her hips, a low-cut no sleeved top, but red sleeved undershirt and a pair of black skinny jeans. Under the bandana that she wore on her forehead, almost pirate style, I saw a single scar under her emerald eyes. The woman appeared to be my age, and I soon found myself staring at her. Had she not been glaring at Jung with a hand placed firmly on her hip, she may have noticed.

“Pick it up Daggett!” Peters yelled as he blew a cloud of smoke. “I don’t want to find another body! The bastard doesn’t just kill one person a day.”

“ ‘Just one person’!?” The young woman exploded. I used her outburst as an excuse to take one last look at her before joining Peters and Jung.

“Don’t worry about that bitch,” Peters informed me, motioning to the ground. “You need to focus on the task at hand.”

My focus priorities shifted as I followed his gesture. A pair of glasses jutting from the center of an eye that had been crushed like a grape was the first thing I saw. The victim appeared to be in his late thirties, and even excluding the glasses piercing his brain, his entire face was covered in cuts and bruises. His entire bottom lip seemed to be ripped off, and judging by the tearing pattern, it didn’t go easily. Muscle was plainly visible all the way down his chin to just before his Adam’s apple. His actual torso looked relatively untouched, aside from his right arm, which appeared to missing and replaced with another. The pale skin of his arm was stretched a peeled over the burly forearm of man much younger than him, and stapled and sewn until the two were attached. Blood stained both of them, and there was no effort to wipe the splatter of the slice off either. On the connected arm, there was one final anomaly. Directly under the wrist, a slit was carved all around his forearm until it got to the back, where a large circle was engraved. Even that had one final slice pointing directly to his hand, which in my mind, loosely resembled a watch at noon.

But like I said, my focusing priorities shifted from the body almost as soon as it came into my sight. And by that, I mean I really did not want to vomit all over the crime scene. I could feel the pancakes that I had eaten rapidly flow into my mouth with the acidic taste of the bile from my stomach. As nausea began settling in, I grabbed my head and took a few steps away.

“You should be thankful Daggett,” Peters stated as he walked over to me loudly. “Some of the other killings have been much worse. The freak takes a body part and an actual item from each of his victims, and then uses what he stole to kill the next one. The sick bastard carves the next murder weapon onto the sewn on part.”

I didn’t do much more than grimace due to my sickly feeling. “Jung said you wanted to talk to me about something?” I clarified after holding down some more puke.

After glancing over his shoulder and finding Jung was taking photos of the crime scene, Peters turned back to me and nodded. “One way or another, the killer has a way to get information from the police here,” He began, “Everything that the loud mouth bitch said was true. Because no one can figure out how the Intel’s getting acquired, and from whom, I need someone who’s off the force to help me. I doubt Jung’s the guy, but he talks about his cases to the other cops.” Peters took the cigar from his mouth and blew a cloud of smoke to his left, before putting it back and continuing. “I don’t want the monster to know when we get a solid lead on him; you’ll have to take him by surprise.”

“I will?!” I demanded, a bit perturbed and throw by the job he was trying to give me, “I still have no idea what’s going on, how long it’s been going on, or why it’s going on!”

“Damn it Daggett!” He yelled, “I need someone outside of the Force for a few things! I answer to Jung and he answers to the Commissioner!” Peters suddenly grabbed my collar and yanked me closer to him. “I need someone who doesn’t answer to anyone, and the man I knew wouldn’t hesitate to stop a serial killer. He’d be the first to take on any task, volunteer for life or death situations, be the first through the door, and the last back out.” Without warning, he gave me a sudden shove, which destroyed my balance and caused me to fall flat on my back. “Prove to me that that’s the man you are, and it’s just compensation for the Cyrus case!”

Everyone around us was deathly quite as I held a steady glare with him from my position on the ground. Honestly, it looked like were about to throw down, right after I got back up anyway. Even Jung, who had turned around at the yelling, was speechless. Finally, after what felt like hours, I spoke in a low growl. “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

“Fucking pu-”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t do it.” Peters’ expression didn’t change from his scowl. “I’m just pissed about the lack of details.”

“It’s been two weeks and twenty-seven people died.” He stated bluntly. “Four cops, one SWAT, and twenty two civilians. The civilians followed his M.O., two of the cops were the first investigating, one responded to a scream, one was trying to bait him, and the SWAT sniper was her cover.” His eyes narrowed even further. “There are no more details.” I nodded solemnly, and when I turned to look away, Peters leaned in and whispered, “Save for a theory.”

“What theory?” I questioned, equally quietly.

“I think he’s killed before the spree.” Peters informed me, “In all his recent murders, the only thing we found of him was blood, once. He must’ve had some practice.”

“Have you checked the cold cases and looked for similar killings across the country.”

Well that ticked him of. “Of course I have!” He yelled, “But this is the first time this has happened!” After taking a few deep breaths and grabbing the bridge of his nose to calm himself down, he continued, “About five, six years ago there were a handful of disappearances, and the investigations led to dead ends. No one was brought home, and no one was found.” He inhaled on his cigar heavily and blew into the air. “Their dead, I’m sure of it.”

“I’m sorry,” I clarified, cocking an eyebrow, “But do you want me to randomly look for five year old bodies?”

“Not randomly,” Peters corrected, “I think I know where they are.” Slowly, he pulled out a notepad with handwriting that could only be described as chicken scratch. After flipping a few pages, his eyes skimmed the alleged words and looked back to me. “A crematorium was shut down a few months before it happened. The building’s still standing, and it never was reopened.” Peters looked me dead in the eyes to show just how serious he was, and how much he believed in his lead. “If he made a mistake, he probably made it then and there.”

I let out a heavy sigh and brought a hand to my face. “Alright, I’ll look,” I eventually told him. “Should I help you investigate the crime scene first though?”

“Only if you know what you’re doing.” I didn’t, and my face told him so. “Then no. Jung and I will have it covered. Keep me in the loop from your end, and I’ll do the same from mine.” He looked like he was about to depart, but ended up taking a step closer to me first. “One last thing though.” He whispered before breathing in on his cigar deeply, sucking the embers on the edge closer to him. “Trust no one. Talk to no one. Anyone could be the killer, and I don’t want him to know that we might have something on him. If you find evidence, bring it to me. I won’t let anything else get contaminated again.” Peters didn’t back up until I nodded in understanding.

While I didn’t like the idea of trusting no one, I was new to this time, and people do change. Peters himself was a prime example, both physically and his dead serious mood. He used to constantly pull pranks and joke around with me and the others on duty. A good laugh was always an effective way to diffuse tension, and it always seemed to help before going into a situation that we all knew we might not return from. It felt like now was one of those times now, and if Peters wasn’t going to say anything, I would.

“Don’t worry Peters,” I grinned as he reached Jung, “I’ll find what we need and we’ll get the bastard before your habit gets you.”

“It hasn’t killed me yet,” He smirked, taking an exaggerated huff on the cigar. Jung shook his head, and pulled his shoulder to make him face the crime scene.

“We’ve got wo-”

Without warning, Peters’ neck snapped back as a devastating bang resounded in the area, deafeningly echoing off the walls of the nearby shops. His blood splashed in the air when his cigar detonated, and parts of his face and teeth spewed all over the grass, leaving a gory hole where his nose, cheeks and jaw had once been. His body fell back slowly, stiffly at first, until it hit the ground and went limp. I regurgitated my morning pancakes when his empty eyes fell on me as a mixture of blood and mucus leaked onto the ground. Jung, who had been only a foot away from the blast, lurched to his side as the left portion of his brow and eye were seared from the explosion. He screamed in agony and mass panic erupted in the crowd that had formed for the original body. People were shrieking in terror and doing everything they could to escape. They may have been looking at a corpse, but they never expected to see someone die. The group virtually stampeded away, and my eyes scanned them desperately as though I expected to see the man responsible standing among them, smiling at the hysteria breaking loose.

No such person came into my view however, and my heart pounded harder with every second that passed me by. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as grown men and women shoved each other out of their way like children experiencing their first fire drill. No one had any regard for the people who fell, and everyone found escape to be their only desire. It was impossible to tell if the bomb was timed, or if it was specially set off, but no one was willing to find out. It took every once of courage in my body to not join the retreating masses, but to instead rush to Jung, who was reeling in anguish.

I ended my sudden sprint to him with a something of a baseball slide next to the man, kicking up the dirt next to him. Before I could get out a frantic question, Jung broke my train of thought with a demand. “Whatever Peters told you to do, do it!” He ordered though grit teeth and clenched eyes. “Just say where you’re going so I can call you some backup!”

Still in shock of what I had witnessed, it took me a moment before I finally nodded and told him of the old crematorium.

“Then go there,” He told me. Tears were becoming evident through the blood splattered on his face and grief was growing clear in his agonized tone. His composure was beginning to break down and mourning was starting to set in. “See that he doesn’t die in vain, see that,” He coughed loudly, blood coming out along with some saliva. “See that…” The water from his eyes was beginning to flow and he held back a sob by swallowing hard, “See that the fucker is brought to justice.”

“I will...” I solemnly vowed as memories of the times Peters had saved my life flashed through my mind. The man was completely untouchable and he earned everything that he owned. He didn’t deserve to die like this, let alone in general. Not so sudden, not from an unseen foe…

“I will,” I repeated as I slowly backed up, hearing sirens converging towards us in the distance. “I’ll bring the monster to its knees if it kills me…”

Nikx232
02-06-2012, 09:26 AM
Very nice Crank, it took me awhile to realize you were our Crank from the FA. I was wondering why you wrote so well~!

I had a little bit of confusion when Jason was explaining Parker's past/future/whatever it was. It might have been due to my lack of sleep then and the fact that it was like 3 in the morning, but other than that it was a very good piece you've written here.

Crank
02-06-2012, 05:38 PM
Heh, yep it's me, and I'm glad you liked it Nikx!

And just to clarify, I'll make a timeline for what Jason told Parker.

3 Years ago -One night stand on Parker's 21st
2 Years ago -Parker joins the police force
Now -Conversation in diner
Later Today -Parker gets hit by a truck
8 years later-Parker's kidnapping case begins
16 years later-Parker quits the police force after solving the case and leaves the country
21 years later-Killings begin