Author’s Note: This is an unedited scene that I originally wrote in book 14, Conspiracy. I got over 3,000 words into it and then I decided that I just wasn’t feelin’ it and it didn’t feel right for the book. It was heartbreaking to delete that much work all at once, but in the end it was the right decision. The following deleted scene has not been edited in any way, and as such may have typos or other mistakes. It is also not a part of the official Unseen Things canon since it never made it into the book. As far as the series is concerned, this scene never occurred. I’m simply adding it here for the sake of those who might be interested in reading it. The scene itself concerns a teenage boy that Jarrod helped after a drive by shooting, and a conversation he had on the phone with Frank well after the fact.
* * *
The next morning after breakfast, Jarrod’s cell phone rang…
“Hey, it’s Frank. Crap, I hope he doesn’t have to work on Tuesday,” he said as he answered it. “Hey man, what’s goin’ on?”
“He’s dead. They got him right in front of his apartment building. The poor kid was just sitting outside yesterday afternoon and some worthless piece of shit drove by and put two shots through his chest and one through his neck,” Frank said. He sounded completely devastated, and truth be told Jarrod was feeling pretty much the same way.
“Who did it?” Jarrod asked.
“I dunno man. The two who hit him the first time are still in jail, so I really have no idea who did it. The forensics team is going over the evidence now, but I can pretty much guarantee ballistics are gonna come up showing it was done with a stolen weapon, so that’s probably not gonna tell us anything.”
“What about witnesses?”
“None. There were people that saw the car, but no one saw who pulled the trigger.”
“Yeah. Plates came back as stolen. I tried man. I really reached that kid, and he still ends up dead. What’s the point man? I just don’t see the point in even trying anymore,” Frank said as he started crying.
“Hey…listen man, what you’re doing is a good thing. Don’t give up on those kids. Just because one didn’t make it doesn’t mean you can’t help others,” Jarrod said softly, trying to comfort him what little he could.
“You know they’re not gonna find the ass hole that pulled the trigger. No witnesses, stolen car and a stolen gun means they’re gonna get away with it. About the only chance we’d have is to find the car and get prints off of it, but even that probably won’t happen. Most likely it’ll be stripped and sold off as parts and the rest will be sold as scrap metal or dumped in some junkyard. The last thing they’re gonna do is to hold on to a car they committed a murder in.”
“Jeez man I don’t even know what to say…,” Jarrod said, truly at a loss for words.
“There’s nothing to say. I tried to make a difference and now he’s dead, and the ass holes that did it are gonna get away with it. I give up man…seriously. There’s no point in devoting this much of my life to something just to have it all end up being totally pointless,” Frank said with a shaky voice.
“Where are you right now?”
“I’m at the station. I just got the report right before I called you. Why?”
“Go somwhere private where you’re alone.”
“Huh? How come.”
“Don’t argue, just do it,” Jarrod said.
“Where am I supposed to go? It’s a police station. There’s not a whole lot of privacy here.”
“Go to the bathroom. Check it and make sure you’re alone, and then tell me when you’re sure.”
“Don’t argue Frank. Just do it…please.”
“Jarrod, what are you doing?” Sarah asked.
“Keeping a friend from giving up,” he said, and the look on his face told them all that they shouldn’t question what he was about to do.
“Ok man, I’m in the bathroom and there’s no one in here,” Frank said.
“All right, stand still,” Jarrod said. He opened his mind and remote viewed Frank in the bathroom, and then opened a teleportal between the living room and the bathroom. Quickly he stepped into it, grabbed Frank and pulled him back through into the living room of the house.
“Woah, what the…,” Frank said as he looked around in shock and saw Tina, Sarah and Derek standing there as well. “What the hell just happened? How’d I get here?”
“Frank…we need to have a talk. Sit down,” Jarrod said as he closed the portal.
“No…seriously…how the fuck did I get here?”
“Frank, you’re here. Sit down and I’ll explain everything to you. Please,” Jarrod said, putting his hand gently on Frank’s back so he could push him along gently.
“Hey Frank,” Sarah said rather nervously.
“Hey…Sarah. Derek…Tina,” Frank said as he sat down.
“Ok Frank…here’s the deal. We don’t work for a rich lady taking care of the house for her,” Jarrod said as he sat down.
“Yeah, I kinda guessed that. What is this place?”
“We live here, along with a bunch of others, both human and non-human. The non-humans are from this planet, but they’re from different dimensions,” Jarrod said.
“Dimensions? What the hell are you talking about?” Frank demanded.
“Hang on a second,” Jarrod said as he opened a link with Giles and Savaric. A few moments later they came walking in from the patio with Alarwyn and Stephanie. Frank got to his feet and stared at them, his eyes wide with shock. “Frank, I’d like you to meet Giles and Sav. They’re from the Ach’len dimension. Alarwyn is from the Nathalis dimension, and Stephanie is human, like us. Guys, this is Frank. He’s a friend of ours from high school.”
“Hey,” Stephanie said, trotting over with her usual enthusiasm to shake his hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“Hey…,” he said, shaking her hand nervously.
“That’s all I wanted guys. You can go back to what you were doing,” Jarrod said.
“Ok, uhhh…nice meeting you,” Giles said as Stephanie scooted back over to them and they went back out on the patio.
“Yeah…nice meet…,” he said, but then he lost his ability to speak.
“All right, you can sit back down now. They’re not the only ones by the way. We have four blue fins living here too, and an insect person as well,” Jarrod said.
“Oh, an insect person…of course,” Frank said with a shrug. “I mean, why the hell not, right?”
“I think he’s going a bit loopy,” Tina said.
“Loopy? Are you fucking kidding me? One second I’m in the bathroom at work, and the next I’m here in a house with people from another dimension. I mean, that shit happens every day, right?”
“Frank, just sit down, ok?” Jarrod said calmly. Frank looked at him for a moment and then finally seated himself once again.
“So…what’s this all about?” he asked.
“Frank, do you remember that story about my family being taken by a monster?” Jarrod asked.
“Remember? How could I forget. Everyone thought you were a freak because of it.”
“Yeah well, it was true. That monster came from the Faranox dimension. My mom and little brother are back now by the way. We rescued them and they’ve been given new identities.”
“Well that’s a whole story in and of itself. Maybe when we come to dinner on Tuesday we’ll tell you all about it. The long and the short of it is, we’re different now. We’re still human, but not really. Not anymore.”
“So what are you?” he asked. Jarrod looked over at the kitchen, and suddenly the door opened and a bottle of water came out, stopping to hover in the air directly in front of Frank.
“Here, have a drink,” Jarrod said as Frank stared at the bottle in shock. “Go on. It’s not haunted or anything. Trust me.”
Frank reached up and took the bottle, examining it for wires or anything else that could explain how it suddenly ended up floating there in front of him, but there was nothing.
“How did you do that?”
“I told you…we’re different now. Frank, the reason I brought you here and the reason I’m showing you all this is because I want to help you,” Jarrod said.
“Help me? How? What are you talking about?”
“Frank…you turned your life around. You made a great life for yourself once you got away from Diedre, and you’ve been doing wonderful work with these at risk kids. You can’t give that up. Those kids need you. I mean, how many of them come from homes with no fathers?”
“Most of them actually.”
“Well, you’re that father figure they need in their lives to show ’em the right way to be. To show ’em how to grow up to be responsible adults instead of drug dealing thugs. Every time I start thinking that humanity isn’t worth saving, I think of you and what you’ve been doing and it sort of restores my faith a little, ya know? I’m not gonna let you give that up because you happened to lose one. I know it sucks, but there’s something we can do about it.”
“What can you do?” Frank asked.
“Frank…I’m just gonna be honest with you here. We’ve killed a lot of people, on this dimension and in others. Remember that human trafficker who disappeared a while back?”
“Yeah…what about him?”
“That was us. We killed him. Actually, we took him to the fangtail dimension and let a bunch of fangtails rip him apart. We’re the reason those girls are all home with their families now. Remember that biker bar that burned down about the same time that was owned by an associate of his? That was us too.”
“Guys, I’m a cop! Why in the hell would you admit committing murders to me?”
“Because we’re gonna commit more. Probably a whole lot more over the years, starting with that guy who killed that kid last night. The thing is, we need your help to do it.”
“You want me to help you kill someone?”
“No, not at all. We’ll do the killing, but we need to know who to kill. That’s where you come in.”
“Me? What do you want me to do?”
“We need to know who to kill so we don’t end up killing someone innocent. All we need from you is a lead. Just a direction to start in or someone to talk to who might lead us in the right direction. Once we have that, we’ll question however many people it takes to lead us to the trigger man, and then we’ll eliminate him.”
“Frank, listen to me. You’re a cop, so what I’m about to tell you won’t come as any surprise to you. There are good people in this world, and there are people who don’t deserve to breathe the same air as those people. Whoever killed that kid doesn’t belong on this planet with the rest of us. You know that as well as anyone. Now, as a cop you can’t do anything about that directly, but you can point us in the right direction and then let us take care of it.”
“God…do you know what you’re asking? You’re asking me to be an accessory to murder!”
“No, we’re asking you to help us find some drug dealers we can pump for information. That’s all. Besides, it’s a little hard to prove there was a murder when someone just disappears, or they die in a horrible accident, right?” Jarrod asked. Frank rubbed his face with both hands for a moment and then looked around at Derek, Tina and Sarah.
“You guys are really serious about this, aren’t you?”
“Hey bro, show him what happened to that piece of shit the fangtails tore apart,” Derek said. Jarrod linked with Frank then and sent him the memories that Billy and Larry had shared with them after they got back, and as soon as he reached the point where the fangtails attacked, Frank started trembling.
“That’s what happens when someone gets what they deserve,” Jarrod said. “Does that jerk off who snuffed out that kid’s life deserve any better?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t even know what to say right now,” Frank said uncertainly.
“Listen, Frank. I’m not gonna let a good guy like you give up. There’s not enough people like you out there trying to do good in this world. You touched that kid’s life and he was on the right track. I’m sure you’ve helped other kids too, and there’s a lot more out there who still need your help. Don’t think about what we are now. Don’t think about what we can do, or what we’re gonna do. There’s only one thing that matters right now, and that’s finding that ass hole who took that kid’s life and putting an end to him.”
“But what if you get caught? What if we get caught?”
“We could kill him from right here if we just knew who it was, but since we don’t know we’ll need to do some digging around. All we need from you are some names and pictures of known drug dealers in the area. Don’t worry. We’re not gonna go on a killing spree here, even though we could. We don’t run around advertising who and what we are. We’re only interested in one guy, and that’s the guy that pulled the trigger. We find him, and he’s gonna die in a way that’ll make what I showed you look tame in comparison, and there won’t be a body left for anyone to find.”
“What if I say no?”
“Then we’ll wipe your memory that any of this ever happened, take you back to the police station and show up at your house on Tuesday like we planned,” Jarrod said.
“Wipe my memory?”
“Look, I could sit here and list off all our abilities and what not, but there’ll be plenty of time for that later. Right now there’s an ass hole out there with a stolen vehicle and a stolen gun and he’s got no problem whatsoever with killing unarmed kids. Now, weigh that against any objections or downsides you can think of to this whole thing and make your decision. We’re gonna find that fucker and kill him one way or the other. You can make it easy on us by giving us the information we need to get started, or we can go out to the area and start looking for drug dealers on our own and track this guy down ourselves. Either way it’s gonna happen, so you can either help us or stay out of it. It’s up to you. Hell, if you want we could even bring the guy to you and you could pull the trigger yourself.”
“You could do that?” Frank asked.
“I brought you here, didn’t I?”
“All right. I’ll get you everything I can from the reports and whatever records and mug shots we have of drug dealers in that area. I’ll also get you the details on the car that was used.”
“That would help us more than anything probably. If we can find that car before they have a chance to dump it, that’ll lead us right to him,” Jarrod said.
“All right, you better take me back so I can get started,” Frank said as he stood up. “Listen, are you gonna tell me about this whole thing you guys are involved with?”
“I promise we’ll tell you and Trish the whole story on Tuesday, but as long as you’re here, I guess we might as well tell you…”
“Tell me what?”
“We killed Diedre and dumped her body in a different dimension. That’s why no one ever found her and why no one could figure out how she escaped. It’s because she didn’t. We were all there, but Derek was the one that actually killed her.”
“Show him bro. He deserves to see it,” Derek said.
“Actually Tina should show him since she was the one talking to her before we ported in. Go ahead,” Jarrod said looking over at Tina. She linked with him, and as the scene played out, first he shook his head in disgust at what a vile person she was, and then he got a distinct look of satisfaction on his face when she got to the part where Derek punched her and snapped her neck.
“Now mind you, we didn’t have anywhere near the powers then that we have now. We were still just normal people who happened to be able to dimension travel, and look what we pulled off. She’s dead and no one knows what the hell happened to her. Not only that, but we did it right in the middle of a damn psych hospital in a locked room. That guy’s as good as dead Frank. All we need to do is find him,” Jarrod said. Frank looked over at Derek for a moment and then stepped over and hugged him, leaving Derek standing there with a surprised look on his face.
“I’m so sorry. God, you’ll never know how sorry I am,” Frank said as he started to tear up again.
“Uhhh, just a sec,” Sarah said as she opened her mind. About a minute later a portal opened there in the living room and Logan stepped through it.
“Hey, what’s up? I had to pretend to go to the bathroom, so I only got a minute,” Logan said. Frank looked over at him and then suddenly dropped to his knees as he started shaking.
“How…,” he finally managed to ask with a trembling voice.
“Frank? What are you doing here?” Logan asked with a confused look. Seconds later Frank was back on his feet and had his arms wrapped around Logan, tearfully apologizing to him for everything he’d done.
“Hey now…come on. Stop. Just stop, ok?” Logan said as he pushed him back slightly so he could look him.
“I don’t understand this. You…”
“Yeah, I blew my brains out that night. Well…as you can see…I’m back, and I’m a whole lot smarter now.”
“Yeah, but how???” Frank asked desperately.
“Listen, since you’re here and they’re showing you all this stuff I’m sure they won’t mind explaining it all to you. I really gotta get back to class. Before I go though, I just want you to know something. They told me about you and Trish and how you’d both changed your lives once you got away from Diedre. I just want you to know that I forgive you and Trish, but I know it wasn’t your idea to do what you guys did to me that night. That was all on Diedre, and I’m guessing they probably told you what happened to her too, so…yeah. Don’t worry about it anymore Frank. I’m not holding a grudge. My life is pretty freakin’ awesome now. I got a second chance, and I’m not wasting it, ya know? I’m finishing that last year of school and then I’m gonna move up here with these guys so I can start working with them on their stuff.”
“Hey, not that I have any right to, but could I ask you a favor?” Frank asked.
“Sure, but hurry. I really need to get back to class.”
“They’re coming down to dinner at our house on Tuesday night. Would you please come too? Trish needs to know you’re alive and happy. I don’t wanna just tell her. I want her to see it for herself.”
“Yeah, I’d be happy to, but you gotta do me a favor too,” Logan said as he opened the portal behind him again.
“Anything. Just name it.”
“I’ve forgiven you, now you and Trish need to forgive yourselves for what happened. We all know what the deal was there and how controlling Diedra was, so don’t spend the rest of your lives hating yourselves for it. Ok?”
“I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to get past what we did,” Frank said sadly.
“Yeah well, try. You owe me,” Logan said with a grin. “Ok, I really need to get back. See ya on Tuesday.”
“See ya bro,” Derek said, smiling at Logan a bit and giving him a little nod of approval right before he stepped back into the portal and disappeared.
“How?” Frank asked again, desperately trying to wrap his head around what he’d just seen.
“They brought my dad back too, and several others,” Jarrod said.
“Listen, I promise we’ll tell you all about it on Tuesday. Before I take you back, I just need to do one thing, ok?”
“What’s that?” Frank asked as his face suddenly went blank.
“Nothing you’ve seen here or that you’ve learned about us will ever be spoken of outside of this house or unless you’re in our company and we tell you it’s ok to do so. Understand?” Jarrod asked. Frank nodded slightly in acknowledgment and then he suddenly came back to his senses.
“What happened?” he asked with a confused look.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll take you back now. Hang on, I need to make sure no one’s in the bathroom there,” Jarrod said as he remoted viewed the bathroom. “Ok, it looks clear. Let’s go, quick before someone comes in.”
“Ok. I’ll be in touch as soon as I have that information for you.”
“Listen, all we need from you is a quick call to let us know you’re ready. Get the information up on your screen or lay it out on your desk or whatever and then I’ll link with you and look through your eyes. That’s all we need,” Jarrod said.
“You can do that?”
“You wouldn’t believe what we can do. Ok, let’s get going, quick,” he said as he opened a portal a few feet away.
“Ok. See ya Tuesday then I guess. I’ll be in touch. Oh, and hey…I’m really glad about Logan. That was the single biggest regret of my life, and Trish’s too. I’m glad he’s back and living a happy life.”
“We are too man, believe me,” Derek said as Jarrod put his hand on Frank’s back and pushed him gently into the portal. A few minutes later he returned and closed the portal behind him.