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The Broken Ones (Book 2): The Broken Families, page 1


The Broken Ones (Book 2): The Broken Families

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The Broken Ones (Book 2): The Broken Families

  Broken Families

  By David Jobe

  The Broken Families

  Copyright © 2017 David Jobe

  All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be copied or transmitted in any form, electronic or otherwise, without express written consent of the publisher and/or author.

  All characters featured in this novella are the property of David Jobe.

  COVER ART BY Edward Hale


  EDITING BY Matt Crowder

  ISBN Number: 978-1546909170

  Flabisham Publishing

  Publisher’s Note:

  The Broken Families is a work of fiction. All names, characters and places are the products of the author’s imagination, used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblances to actual persons living or dead places, locales, events, etc., is purely coincidental.

  Published in the United States of America

  First Printing 2017

  Dedicated to my father, Donald Jobe.

  Thank you for all your support and love.

  Special thanks to Daffyd Corbett for the additional assistance in making this book great.

  Part One

  Chapter One

  Bullet Resistant

  It’s happening all over again. Brian Lockhart tried to control his breathing; to slow his fast beating heart. The van bumped along, feeling as if the unseen driver was seeking out every pothole that the streets had to offer. With it being the first thaw of spring in Indianapolis, along the downtown streets, he knew there would be no shortage of potholes. His hands rested on his knees, clutching the orange jumpsuit pants they were making him wear. Thick chains wrapped his wrists, meant to replace the handcuffs he had broken on accident several times already. Why won’t they just leave me in my cell? Each pothole made his heavy chains rattle and his body tense. Though the chains were thicker than any chains he had ever seen, he still worried that he could break them without any effort. “Are these really necessary?” He shook the chains between his hands. “I turned myself in. Again. As soon as I got that flying kid to the hospital, I found the first cop I could and turned myself back in.”

  Across from Brian sat Officer Wolfe. He had not gotten the man’s first name, as the wall of muscle that wore a uniform had refused to answer Brian’s greeting or to accept the handshake that Brian had offered. Officer Wolfe’s chiseled face sported a few weeks worth of stubble that was making its way to being a rather impressive beard, were it not for the hints of gray hair popping up here and there in a field of black. Long black hair hung down around his face, bordering on unkempt and Brian suspected it was out of regulation. Cold gray eyes regarded him with open hostility. Wolfe was dressed in what he had been told were the formal blues of a police officer. On his left hip sat a rather imposing looking gun, the butt of which faced Brian. He said nothing to Brian’s questions. He just stared with open malice.

  “Sorry, kiddo. We have to follow protocol. Even with the seemingly nice ones. Actually, because of those. One minute they’re all sweet, and the next they’re tossing people around in a PCP rage.” Seated next to Officer Wolfe sat Officer Luis Placido, his eyes watching the tablet that he held before him. Officer Placido had accepted Brian’s handshake and given his name, but then had settled into his seat in the back of the armored van to toil away on some game on his tablet. From his angle, Brian could not see what game the officer was playing, but it served to frustrate Officer Placido a great deal. Sometimes under his breath, he would curse at the game in Spanish. Most of the Spanish curse words Brian knew from conversing with friends, but some were of a new variety that he suspected would be far worse than the kid stuff he was used to. Placido was also dressed in the formal blues but was clean shaven and his black hair was done in a neat cut that revealed his scalp along the side and short curls along the top. On the man’s left hand was a fading tattoo on the skin between the index finger and the middle finger. Brian had first noticed it when shaking the man’s hand, but when the officer had noticed the glance he had pulled his hand away without saying anything. Now he held the tablet with those two fingers securely together.

  Another bump in the road jarred Brian. Rattling the chains around his wrists, causing Officer Wolfe to place a readied hand on the butt of his pistol. “I’m not trying to escape,” Brian said. “Am I going to a court hearing or something?” He blinked as the scent of cleaner assaulted his nose for the second time. The first time was when they had manhandled him into the van back at the jail. He had known then what it meant. The last person in here had made a mess. It was a thought that did not help Brian’s pounding heart.

  “We’re taking you to the hangman judge. Maybe you should try to escape.” Officer Wolfe said through clenched teeth.

  “You’ll have to excuse my partner,” Officer Placido announced without looking up from his tablet. “He’s not a big fan of Senor Bulletproof.” He said Brian’s ill-formed moniker with an overdone accent. “Seems that the brass did not approve of him letting you borrow his gun for the last press conference.”

  Brian’s mind swam. That was where he had known the officer from. It was the one who had decided to elbow Brian in the throat in the police center and Brian had opted to lift his gun. Though it had been maybe a month since he had seen the man, the difference was now noticeable. The man opted to elbow him in the throat had been clean-shaven and well dressed then. The man before him was a mountain of mess and malice.

  “You should have let us know you planned on having your coming out party. We could have ordered cake and balloons for you. Made it all extra special for the freak.” Officer Wolfe’s eyes were cold pools of hate, his hand now white-knuckling the pistol. The arm shook with what Brian assumed was the urge to pull the weapon.

  “I am so sorry,” Brian gushed. “I was all kinds of messed up. I really was trying to kill myself.” It sounded so weird coming out of his mouth like that. He had intended to kill himself center stage so everyone would know he was sorry for what he had done. Then, in that final realization that the bullet had not pierced his skin, he had uttered the seven words that no doubt would follow him the rest of his days.

  “Shame you failed.” Officer Wolfe’s hand remained on the gun. “Tell you what. You accidentally break those chains, and I’ll finish the job for you. Everybody wins.” A cruel smile played across his blistered lips.

  “His name is Bulletproof, Gringo. You won’t finish anything but your career.” Officer Placido replied in a tone that implied that he was bored with the whole thing. He swiped on the screen, only to mutter, “Perra.”

  Officer Wolfe leaned in, cold eyes sparkling dangerous intent. “How many times have you been shot, Freak?” The hand on the gun remained ready. The arm still twitched.

  Brian swallowed hard. “Twice?” The bruise from the last one was still healing on his forehead, turning the pale skin a deep purple. An assassin had tried to off him with a rifle from a bridge overpass. The hit had knocked him out, but not for long. When he had awoken, that’s when the real fighting had begun. The press was calling it “The Showdown on 70”. It sounded better than the truth. A bloodbath on the highway.

  Officer Wolfe laughed. It was the kind of laugh that Brian remembered from horror movies. A cold laugh full of anger and intent. “Twice don’t mean dick, freak. Might just be that you are bullet resistant.” He lifted his free hand, miming a two fingered gun. Pointing it at Brian’s left eye he dropped his thumb several times to indicate that shots were being fired. “Might be all that someone needs to
do is find the soft spot.” He patted his gun with the other hand. “This baby right here holds fifteen rounds of the big boys. Dum-dums for the dumb dumbs. This close a range, I am sure I can show you for the liar you are.” The thumb-hammer fell once more before he raised the two finger gun to his lips and blew away imaginary smoke from his fingertips. “Just say the word, freak, and I will be happy to oblige you.”

  “I’m good.” Brian choked out.

  “The fuck you are,” Officer Wolfe growled back, turning his head to spit on the floor of the van. He sat there, leaned in, staring at Brian until a few minutes later the van eased to a stop. From the back of the van came a loud knocking. “What’s the password?” Officer Wolfe yelled, still glaring at Brian.

  “I haven’t the time or the patience for this,” came a tired reply.

  Officer Wolfe gave a low chuckle and reached for the van’s latch. Unlocking it he popped the door open. Upon seeing the tall dark skinned man standing outside his humor soured again. “Detective Lanton,” his head bobbing into the least respectful of nods at the other officer. He turned to Brian and whispered, “Be seeing you soon, freak. Real soon. You and I ain’t done. Not by a long shot.”

  Detective Lanton raised a brow at him, before stepping back to let them disembark. “I thought they had you working Homicide. Not running security detail.”

  Officer Wolfe said, “Day’s not over.” He slipped out and shouldered Detective Lanton aside as he moved toward a series of double doors about twenty feet away.

  “Officer Wolfe was demoted after he pulled a Taylor.” Officer Placido explained, slipping out of the van to open the other back door. “Seems the brass don’t like it when a teenager can lift your gun from your person in the squad room.” He gave a low chuckle and moved to the side, his gaze sweeping across the abandoned underground parking lot.

  Detective Lanton frowned and nodded. “A Taylor,” he said, his tone flat. He then looked at Brian. “Mr. Lockhart. Or would you like me to call you Mr. Bulletproof?” He offered Brian a hand.

  Brian slipped out of the van, accepting the offered hand. “Just Brian. I never liked the name Bulletproof, to be honest.”

  Detective Lanton laughed. The man was wearing a brown suit that looked a little worse for wear. The seams around the elbows and shoulders were starting to show the thread giving up their hold. He was freshly groomed and had a faint odor of aftershave. His hair looked more gray than black, but he kept it cut very close to his scalp.“Odd, considering you chose it. Though, I could see how in hindsight it might be a bad choice in nicknames. I would suspect that it makes people want to test that theory. As it were. My name is Detective Monty Lanton. You’re welcome to call me Lanton.”

  Brian nodded as he watched Detective Wolfe slip through the tinted glass doors of what he expected was another police center. “You’ve got that right, it’s a bad name.” He looked back to Detective Lanton, who was watching the retreating officer as well. “You go by your last name?”

  Lanton smiled and nodded. “I spent some time in the military. It’s kind of their thing. Police officers tend to do the same thing, so you just kind of go with it. Besides, how many Full Monty jokes can you take before you snap?”

  “Full Monty? Like, as in Python?”

  Lanton snorted. “Oh my dear sweet summer child, no. Well. Yes and no. You know what. Never mind.” Brian couldn’t be sure, but he thought the Detective might be blushing.

  Behind him, Brian could hear Officer Placido wheezing with laughter.

  “No one would tell me what’s going on.”

  Lanton shook his head as if clearing his thoughts. He turned to face Brian. “I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that the governor has issued you a pardon. In a few hours, you will be a free man. The bad news is that they want us to do a little song and dance for the masses. Make em feel all safe and fuzzy in their homes. You think you’re up for it?”

  “Us?” Brian asked.

  Lanton smiled, though it seemed to fail to make it to his eyes. He adjusted his yellow tie, though more for show, as Brian could see that it was one of those fake clip on ones. For some reason, that made him decide to like Detective Lanton. “Can you keep a secret? At least for like ten to twenty minutes?”

  Brian looked around the empty parking garage for a few moments. “No.” He chuckled.

  Lanton laughed. “You are looking at the new head of the Altered Division of the Indianapolis Police Force. I will be in charge of making sure people such as yourself stay with the confines of the law, with whatever powers they possess.” He gestured for Brian to walk with him. As he turned, Brian could see the lump in his back that indicated that Lanton was armed. He could also tell by the way the tall thin man moved that there was a Kevlar vest under the brown suit jacket. The lines of it showed when Lanton turned to regard him.

  Brian fell in line with Detective Lanton, with Officer Placido trailing behind in silence. “So, are you going to build a team of Altered to defend the city? You should get an eye patch.” He gave a weak smile but wasn’t sure if Lanton could see it. Might be the man had good peripheral vision. Were the gun and vest because of me? Is he watching me for any sudden movements?

  Detective Lanton laughed. “Oh, I am no Fury. I’m still not sure if I will bring Altered in. I think right now the city will want normal folks running the show. At least for the time being.”

  “I gotcha,” Brian said, bowing his head as he walked. He gave a soft sigh. It wasn’t that he wanted to be on this man’s team, but the way he had referred to himself as normal had stung more than Brian had been prepared to expect. Normal.

  Lanton stopped. “Wow. I didn’t realize how bad that sounded until I said it out loud. I am sorry, Brian. I should know better than to say things like that.” He patted Brian on the back. “What I do now will set the stage for other departments to follow. Though the incidences of Altered appeared to be localized in Indianapolis and its surrounding counties, I have no doubt it will expand beyond that. To be honest, I do have an idea on asking a few people to at least sit in as consultants. I was wondering if you might be interested. I wouldn’t expect you to stand around blocking bullets for me or anything. Maybe just help me understand things if I run into someone with an ability I’m not prepared for. This is all new territory for me.”

  He’s just placating you now. “Me as well,” Brian replied. “I am not sure what help I can be.”

  Lanton nodded, stepping forward to open the door for Brian. “Just think about it. First I’m sure you’re eager to go home to your family. After the press conference, I’ll take you to them. I didn’t tell them yet because I was warned that if this leaked to the press, I would be running security at a Garth Brooks concert for the rest of my life.”

  I like Garth Brooks. Brian laughed. “I’ll think on it.”

  As he led Brian into the bustling police station, Lanton said, “please keep your hands to yourself this time around, okay? Let’s make this go as smoothly as possible.” He patted his jacket where the gun was as if verifying it was still there. He flashed Brian a smile.

  Brian nodded. “I have no intentions of causing a scene,” he promised. “I just want to get this over and done with so I can try to go back to a normal life.” Normal.

  Lanton gave a smile and escorted him through a near empty police station. They moved between desks stacked with papers to an escalator that led upward two levels. A few police officers stood around a large table at the back of the center, poring over a series of glossy photos. Brian couldn’t see them from where he was, but he had seen enough crime dramas to suspect he didn’t want to see them. Television fantasy was one thing. Seeing real life was a whole different story. Once there they walked across a huge three story room that held tall white marble pillars.

  After they passed about half of the pillars, coming to a large star emblem embedded in the white marble floor, Brian could see that he was being led to the front of the building. The whole side of the building appeared to be
made of glass and through it, he could see that a wooden platform had been erected on the top section of a series of stairs that led down to the street.

  As Lanton opened the door, the cool evening air rushed over Brian, blowing his long brown hair out of his face. The clamor of reporters and the flash of cameras assaulted him. He could hear someone making a formal address to the crowd, but through the barrage of flashes blinded him. He felt Lanton’s hand on his shoulder, helping to lead the way. As he inched along he was warned of a step. Managing that, he found himself standing on the platform he had seen.

  “Just in time,” a voice announced, followed by a large array of laughter. “I would like to introduce Detective Monty Lanton, the new head of the Altered Division. Detective Lanton.”

  The hand left Brian’s shoulder and he opted to stay where he was. The flashes of light had not calmed down, but now they seemed to be centered on Detective Lanton, so Brian waited for his eyes to start to regain their composure. When they did, he could see Detective Lanton standing at the podium with a stout man in a sharp blue business suit standing beside him. Brian didn’t know the man, but he suspected it was the mayor of Indianapolis. The man kept a smile plastered on his face as he stood off to the side, muscular hands clasped behind his back.

  “I have not picked my team yet,” Detective Lanton said. “Right now I am researching if we have anything on the law books in regards to situations like this. While we work out the logistics, I will still be working cases as normal. Once I have a working team built, then we can determine proper protocols for dealing with cases where an Altered in involved.”

  “Will you have Altered on your team?” A dark haired young brunette in a tight blue dress asked.

  Lanton remained silent for a few seconds. Though he didn’t turn his head, Brian suspected he was thinking of what he had said to Brian in the underground parking lot. “I am not opposed to the idea.” He held up a hand as a bunch of hands raised and mouths opened to shout questions. “When I was younger, we were just coming off the tail end of some hard policies that segregated our country. It is my belief that as we progress further, and we learn to be more inclusive, we grow stronger as a nation and as a people. It is my hope that we will continue with that belief with regards to our fellow citizens who now find themselves part of a minority.”

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