The Mistake

by Cruncher

Tags: Fiction, Science Fiction,

Desc: Science Fiction Story: Mistakes will be made. I once read that, don't remember where or when. Doesn't matter. I made one today and it's a doozy. It's the kind that can end one's life. Well, not literally, I don't expect to die but I'm pretty sure the life I knew is over and a new one has started. Not sure the new one is better but it sure is going to be different.

Mistakes will be made. I once read that, don't remember where or when. Doesn't matter. I made one today and it's a doozy. It's the kind that can end one's life. Well, not literally, I don't expect to die but I'm pretty sure the life I knew is over and a new one has started. Not sure the new one is better but it sure is going to be different.

I am travelling with friends. Was. I wonder if my friends lives have changed as well because of this. I wish I had more energy. I can't see them but my guess is that they have been detained as well.

We were at LaGuardia airport waiting for a connecting flight when I spotted him. He was buying a newspaper at a kiosk when I saw the bomb he had strapped around his chest. Since we were behind the security checkpoint I am assuming the checkpoint failed at its job, or it's the kind of bomb that can pass through screening without being detected. He was here, that was the important part, and I had seen him.

I was with my friends at the time and not all of them know about me so I wanted to avoid attracting any attention. Since I was low on energy I couldn't make a long distance connection, heck I couldn't even make a local one. I used a internet stand nearby to alert the authorities. A short while later I saw security guards converging on him and talking to him. Then he was led away.

They came for me a short while later. I messed up. They figured out which stand I used and looked through security footage and found me, and here I am.

They want to know how I could spot the bomb. Their theory is that I worked with the terrorist and turned him in. They don't have a theory about the motivation yet, only that I turned in my "colleague". I can't tell them how I spotted it without sounding like a crazy person so for now I'm keeping my mouth shut. FBI is on its way and I asked for a lawyer. Not sure I can tell him either.

Her. The woman that walked in the door was my lawyer. She looked the part, if my "experience" with seeing movies where lawyers figure in was correct. Her credentials identified her as a lawyer with one the smaller lawfirms in New York. She had a copy of my arrest warrant in her briefcase but it had very few details, only that I was being detained for questioning in a terrorist investigation. She said her name was Jane. I looked through her files and saw that her full name was Jane Aulden.

She said that unless they could prove a connection between me and him they had a shaky case, but since it was a terrorist investigation, everything was being turned up a notch so I shouldn't expect to be cleared today. She too wanted to know how I had spotted him.

I told her. As expected she didn't believe me. I then told here minute details from the files she kept in her briefcase, files I would never have seen, files I shouldn't even know about. She had been driving back from a prisonvisit with another client when she was called and asked to make a stop at the airport. I read word for word some of the text of the files for that other client. She still didn't believe me but started to think that there may be some truth to it.

I am what you would call a freak. I can see things that nobody else can see, I can do things that nobody else can do, and I am things nobody else am. A freak, though not a freak of nature. I am a freak of man.


Back when my mother was carrying me, the local hospital in the small rural town she lived in had an X-Ray machine installed. The hospital, being owned and operated, by locals, was fraught with cheap labor and poor construction. The X-Ray machine was set up in a room adjacent to the room where expecting mothers was being cared for, and not shielded.

The machine was also installed by local labor, having no knowledge of anything medical, so it was incorrectly set up. The end result was that any time it was used it flooded the nearby rooms with X-Ray radiation, and radiation a lot stronger than it was supposed to as well.

My mother was subjected to this as was about dozen other mothers and medical staff. I know a few of the mothers died during childbirth, most of the babies were stillborn, and a few deformities as well. Since neither my mother nor me showed any signs of deformities, sickness, or death, it was hoped that we were unharmed.

Not quite. My body absorbed all the radiation, sparing my mother but changing me.

Now you probably think I have X-Ray vision, "Mr. X-Ray". I wear green tights and a mask. I'm assuming the airport autority would've asked me questions long before I managed to get past security if I had. No, nothing so flashy. I look and sound normal. Which is why I'm a freak. What you can't see is harder to explain.

Actually, explain how I can do what I can do is one thing I can't do. I don't know. Honestly. I can see through stuff, though it's not exactly vision. It feels more like I'm recalling a memory of seeing a piece of paper, or that bomb. If you've seen the inside of something, for instance the inside of a phone while you're inserting the SIM card behind the battery you can look at the back of your phone and recall what it looks like inside. That's how it is for me. When I looked at the terrorist I could "recall" that he has a bomb strapped around his chest.

How my mind comes up with the details I don't know but it does.

Jane still has a way before she believes me, I can see it on her face. She can't dismiss it though since I could read verbatim parts of the files she had with her, files I would never have seen, even text she had handwritten during her prisonvisit, text that nobody had seen but her.

I was told that my friends had been detained but seeing as they already had a somewhat shaky case tying me to the terrorist they were on even shakier grounds with them so they had been let go. They had missed their flight so they had found a hotel nearby. They were worried Jane said. I was worried too.


FBI finally turned up. 4 burly guys who looked every inch the agents they identified themselves as, and one that identified himself as the group leader. He was taller than the rest but more lean, not as heavyset as the other 4. I'm guessing he is here to interrogate me and the other 4 to intimidate me. Two of them positioned themselves outside the door and two inside, on each side. The leader, who said his name was Jack, took a seat at the table. What's with all the J's? Jane? Jack? The terrorists name was Jonas.

He went straight for the jugular and asked me if I worked with the terrorist. I said no. He said OK, and moved as though he intended to leave, leaving it at that. He had probably hoped I would panic or react and call him back but since I didn't he stopped himself before reaching the door and sat back down.

> Nothing is that simple. The bomb was hidden so well that we thought you were kidding until we asked him to take of his shirt. We don't believe there is a way for you to have spotted him from where you were standing. You must have known about it. So tell me.

> Not here. I will tell you, but not them, indicating with my head the other agents by the door as well as the mirror. There was a twoway mirror in the room as well, two guards looking in on us. One from airport security, the other head of security. An S this time, Samuel. I didn't tell him that I knew of the two on the other side of the mirror but my nod indicated I understood that it was a twoway mirror, and not just a "mirror".

> Where then? I am awaiting an upgraded arrest warrant, until then I cannot take you with me.

> What if I go willingly?

> You would do that?

> Yes.

> Why?

> If I don't, won't we have to go somewhere else eventually anyway? You said you were waiting for an upgraded arrest warrant, no doubt a federal warrant, and when you get it, won't what I say or don't say make no difference anyway?

> You're right. When I get the new warrant, you're coming with me.

> "Dead or alive"?

I smiled when I said it, hoping he would catch the reference. He smiled as well, a bit more tight lipped though.

> Not anything as dramatical. But if you're willing to come with me before I get the new warrant there is no point in sitting around here. Assuming you meant it?

> Yes I did, I may make your life difficult at some point, when we start talking, but now is not the time for any of that. I will come with you willingly.

We left. We drove towards New York and entered the city, ending up at a big nondescript building where we entered the sub level parking garage. We took an elevator up to the 17th floor where I was led to what clearly was an interrogation room. My lawyer had come as well though in her own car. We were now sitting in the interrogation room waiting for the agent to come back.


Jack entered the room and turned on a wallmounted display. He showed me several angles of the surveillance footage they had retrieved from airport security showing me, my friends, and my not-so-much-friend terrorist. You could see me looking around, stopping to look at him a few seconds, before looking around.

He paused and asked me if I could provide my side of what happened. I told him sure and started talking.

> I was standing with my friends, we were just chatting about the trip ahead, the trip behind us, the prices at the foodmarts at the airport, mundane stuff.

> I was just looking around out of boredom when I spotted our friend here and saw the bomb he had strapped around his chest.

> Yes, about that...

the agent started.

.... There is more of this story ...

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Story tagged with:
Fiction / Science Fiction /