Excerpts / Uncategorized

Fractured Fragment Friday: “Mixed Signals” (and a coupon!)

So – I wrote “In a Flash”, had some fun with it, but I thought Detective Jimmy Delaney would just be a one-time thing. But something in Jimmy called to me (maybe it’s the midlife thing, who knows?), and when I was thinking about the possibilities of jacking with a variety of devices in our expanding “internet of things”, I went beyond someone hacking your house thermometer, to what could happen with more personal medical devices, and Jimmy popped up again with “Mixed Signals.”

Here’s the blurb:

Nothing was going Jimmy’s way, lately. Jill had moved to Portland and filed for divorce. Sure, Jimmy should have never gotten that illegal jack, but how was he to know that the Yons would use it to make him kill Eddie?

Then the prosecutor thought Jimmy’s credibility was shot and wouldn’t put him on the stand at their trial. Even if he had been drugged part of the time, the jury would have still believed him. It wasn’t like they could prove that he’d been an accessory. They’d busted him down from detective, anyway.MixedSignalsCoverPubIt

Things couldn’t get any worse. Or could they?

And here’s this week’s excerpt:

Do dogs get laryngitis? He could only hope.

The barking stopped. Jimmy rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but in a couple of minutes the landlord’s pit bull started up again. Someone else was walking by her pen on the way into work. Jimmy glanced at his cell phone on the nightstand. 5:10AM. You could set a clock by that dog; it’d been like this every morning since he moved in. He’d wanted a quiet place when Jill kicked him out of the house for good. A shame the NO PETS ALLOWED sign only applied to the tenants.

Could he get another twenty minutes shuteye? It’d be worth trying if Miguel wasn’t due to pass by Fifi in twelve minutes. Jimmy grabbed a cigarette off the nightstand, lit it and lay back, blowing smoke at the ceiling. Maybe it’d be better when he was off the desk and busted down to patrol. They’d probably stick him on nights; Fifi might not bark as much in the middle of the day.

It wasn’t fair. Sure, Jimmy should have never gotten illegally jacked, but how was he to know that the Yons would use it to make him kill Eddie?

So what if that prissy prosecutor thought Jimmy’s credibility was shot? The jury would have still believed him. Even if he had been drugged part of the time. Even if he’d broken the law and tried to keep his job by cheating with the AugMentor. It wasn’t like they could prove that crazy accusation that he’d been an accessory to it all. They should have put him on the stand, instead of making a deal with Diana Yon to squeal on her husband. Hell, that manipulative slut was as guilty as the doctor; they shouldn’t have given her immunity. She sure did a good job playing the victim and claiming that her husband had made her do all that. Those legs didn’t hurt, neither, what with a mostly male jury. They didn’t mind seeing her get off.

The barking started again. 5:22. Good morning, Miguel.

The video feeds from the AugMonitor would have been enough to convict if the damn judge hadn’t ruled them as inadmissible. Of course there wasn’t a warrant pre-applied for to allow the recording, but why did that matter? All the evidence was right there. And why the hell did Jimmy need to notify the Yons in advance that they were being recorded when he didn’t even know? They were the ones that put the monitor in his head in the first place. When the department starts using them officially, they’re going to have to memorize some new speech about how “anything you say is being recorded and can be used against you…”

That’s one more reason for Jill to file for divorce; no way she’d chance being recorded. Even if Jimmy turned off the AugMonitor at the end of his shift, how could she tell it wasn’t still on? Even when they put a bright blue light on the side of your head for when it’s on, how could you really know for sure?

Didn’t matter; she was done with him, anyway. The AugMonitor was just one more thing on the trash-pile of their marriage. Jimmy never was good at partnering; he always had to do things his way. Would’ve been nice if she’d left Josh with him when she ran back home to Portland and her new life, but the football program at his new high school was better than the one here, and Josh was thriving. Keeping him here would only be holding him back.

His cell shouted “FIVE-THIRTY!” and started in with Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright.” Time to get up.

 

Jimmy hated filing, but what else was he going to do? What with all the records being electronic, now, flying around from cloud storage to Blotter Tabs on request, filing seemed just about pointless. But they’d had to figure somewhere to put him when he got back from medical leave. They couldn’t put him back out on the street, yet, and union rules were that he had to be assigned something to do until he was cleared to return to… ’

“How’s it going, partner?” asked a familiar female voice.

Jimmy looked up from his terminal in the cage and into the smiling face of Detective Allison March. He grinned in spite of himself.

“Aw, you know, Al” he sighed, “just the same old same old. You still trying to break in Singleton?”

“Yeah, but it’s not easy. Almost makes me wish they hadn’t busted you down.”

“Tell me about it. Wonder how long it’s gonna take me to work back up to detective so I can rescue you from him.”

“Good luck with that,” she smiled. “I need these docs scanned in and filed.”

“Aw, come on, Al – you could have done that from your blotter.”

“I know, but I’d like to keep the originals on this. Besides, I thought you could use something to do,” she winked. “Keep out of trouble!”

“Like I could find some here,” he said, as he watched her walk up the stairs. He’d always had a soft spot for Al, but between them both being on the force, being partners, and his marriage, there wasn’t room for anything to happen there. Of course, two of those conditions no longer applied, but still…

His cell buzzed. It was Captain Sanchez.

“Jimmy – please come to my office.”

 

Jimmy knocked on the door frame when he got to the Captain’s office, then stuck his head in the doorway.

“You wanted to see me, Captain?”

Captain Sanchez looked up from the report blotter tablet she was reading. “It’s Maria, Jimmy, and yes, please close the door and have a seat.” She went back to her reading.

Maria? Jimmy thought. Get ready for some more psychobabble. This new-age mind-game crap always set him on edge. He’d rather it was like the old days when a Captain would just ream you out and kick your ass back onto the street. Anything but this torture.

Jimmy closed the door and sat on the other side of the desk while the Captain – while Maria – finished, checked off the approval button, and transmitted the report back to records storage. She then set the tablet aside, and looked at Jimmy.

“How are you, Jimmy? Is everything ok?”

Jimmy sighed and examined his fingers. “Fine, just fine.”

“Is there anything you’d like to talk with me about?”

Jimmy already knew his answer, but made sure he looked like he at least thought about it first, then shook his head. “Nah, Captain – Maria. You know me; I don’t go in for those touchy-feely sessions. I’m dealing just fine.”

“Very well,” Maria shrugged, “I wish you felt comfortable speaking with me, but I understand.”

“Thanks. So if that’s all,” Jimmy stood up.

“”No, it isn’t. Please sit back down.”

Her tone was a little less touchy-feely; hell, it was almost old-school. Jimmy sat back down at attention.

“Even though you don’t want to talk about it,” she continued, “I know that you’re going through a lot. I hate to do this, but I need your badge.”

“My badge? Look, Maria, there’s nothing going on I can’t handle. My marriage problems aren’t interfering with my job, are they?”

“It’s not that,” Maria sighed. “Look, Jimmy, you really made yourself an enemy in the Prosecutor’s office. The Yon case should have been a slam-dunk, and Mathews was planning to use it for his re-election campaign. Instead he has to explain why he made a deal with Mrs. Yon, so he’s put the department front and center.”

“So I’ve got to be on admin leave just because Mathews wouldn’t put me on the stand? Just because he made a bad decision…”

“It’s not administrative leave, Jimmy. You’re off the force.”

“You can’t do that, Captain. Union rules say…”

“The union’s agreed to waive your protection.”

“They did what?”

“They’re not happy with you either. They figure you’re to blame for having the AugMonitors forced on them.”

Maria stood up behind her desk and reached out her hand.

“Your badge, Jimmy.”

So, Jimmy finds himself out on the street – not for long, but long enough to get himself in another jam. Find out what he has to go through to get out of it. “Mixed Signals” is a detective fiction novelette with a sci-fi element, and is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/238961

JD1BrokenDownCoverAmazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GB41AO

“Mixed Signals” is also included in Broken Down: Detective Jimmy Delaney Collection #1. (The next ten people who purchase the collection on Smashwords with coupon code RAE50 will receive a 67% discount – that’s only 99-cents for three Detective Jimmy Delaney stories – such a deal!):

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449196

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L2K4GN4

<<<>>>

Swordsmaster – my first novel (which only took me forty-some years to write) is ready for reading.

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.Swordsmaster4

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM

(there is also a paperback on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1691904910 )

<<<>>>

CatsOfWar_IIa_CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including Cats of War II (a collection of his Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series), can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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