Sharp Eyes

“Well?” Dana Sharp asked. She stood in front of Cathy with her arms crossed while the confused woman wiggled in her seat.

“Well what?” Cathy asked. She was thrilled to be there, in the office of the most powerful woman in the universe, even if she didn’t know why. Dana Sharp saved the human race from extinction using advanced tech. An hour ago someone showed up at Cathy’s office with an invitation from Dana Sharp. Now the woman she admired was looking down at her expectantly.

“Your favorite number is 52…,” Dana said. Cathy was surprised; she didn’t know she had a favorite number, but as soon as Dana said ’52’ it felt right. “… so, what do you see up here,” Dana wiggled her fingers at the empty spot above her head.

“How-…,” Cathy hesitated for a moment, but she trusted Dana. And she obviously knew something. “How did you know about that?”

“Of course I know,” Dana said. That was the only explanation she gave and it was good enough for Cathy. “So what do you see?” Cathy shook her head and stood with an outstretched hand.

“I need to shake hands to see, but all it tells me is when and where you were born.”

“Interesting,” Dana said then she shook Cathy’s hand. The blonde woman’s attention was focused above Dana’s dark hair. The moment they shook hands her eyes went wide; she yanked her hand away in fear and surprise.

“What is it?” Dana asked.

“Universal Error: Data Not Found,” Cathy said. “That’s what it says for your birthdate.”

“Hmm,” Dana thought for a moment. “We’ll try it with a tattoo; present your arm,” she said.

“Tattoo?” Cathy asked as she rolled her sleeve up.

“Right here is fine,” Dana said. She reached out and traced the number 52 on Cathy’s skin with her fingertip. A cloud of white powder gathered on the spot and Cathy felt a burning, stinging sensation. After a moment the cloud dissipated. It left behind a fresh tattoo of the number 52 on Cathy’s arm. Dana grabbed Cathy’s hand while she was staring at the tattoo and shook it.

“Now what does it say?” she asked.

“Universal Error: Data Not Found,” Cathy repeated, then her eyes widened again when more information appeared. “Universal Error: Soul Not Found. Universal Error: Assigned Middleman Not Found. Universal Error: Afterlife Point Total Not Found.” Cathy’s voice grew softer as her confusion overflowed. “What does it all mean?” she asked.

“It means you’re working for me personally, now.” Dana said. “You’ve got all the information I need.”

“Yes, Ms. Sharp,” Cathy nodded eagerly.

Death on the Case

“You wanted to see me, Chief?” Detective Miller peeked into the Chief’s spacious office.

“Yeah, yeah. Close the door and have a seat, Larry.” The balding, wrinkled chief of police nodded at the pair of office chairs in front of his desk. Larry Miller nodded and took a seat. “You’re a good man, Larry, and a hell of a detective. You’re the only one I trust around here.”

“Thank you, Sir,” Larry nodded.

“Not so fast. You’re not gonna thank me after this: I’m assigning you a new partner,” the chief said.

“What? Come on now!” Larry protested. “I work best alone.” The chief nodded.

“You do, but it’s because I trust you. This isn’t a normal partner,” the chief pressed the intercom button. “Send her in,” he asked his secretary. Moments later the office door opened and Larry turned to see who his new partner was. Out of every type of partner he considered; a 10-year-old girl was not one of them. The waifish girl walked in with a broad smile on her face. She was dressed in what looked like a Halloween costume of a police uniform. Larry turned back to the chief.

“This is a joke, right?” The chief shook his head.

“No joke. Tell me, what’s your take on the Franklin case?” he asked Larry.

“Wife and boyfriend took out the husband. I’m pretty sure of it, but still trying to prove it. Why?” Larry asked, and the chief pointed at the young girl; she was seated by then.

“Show ’em, Cathy.” At the chief’s encouragement, the girl pulled her cellphone out of her navy-blue hip pack. She handed it to Larry with a video ready to play. He started the video and his mouth dropped open.

“! We have the murder on video!”

“Sorry,” The chief shook his head. “We can’t use that in court, but you can use it to build a case.”

“Why can’t we use it?”

“Because then we’d have to explain how we got it.” The chief replied. Larry took a moment to think, but then finally asked.

“How did you get it?”

“Time travel,” the chief grinned.

“You’re kidding me?” Larry asked.

“I don’t understand it myself,” the chief shrugged. “It seems Cathy here has the ability to time travel. She can go back in time and record incidents as they happen.”

“Wait. Pretending this is true for a second, why is she recording them and not just stopping them?”

“It can’t be stopped,” Cathy said. “I’ve tried. No matter how many times I save a person they always die when they’re supposed to.”

“The only thing we can do is make sure they face justice for what they’ve done,” the chief said.

“I need more proof. Video of Mrs. Franklin offing her husband is one thing, but.. time travel? That’s a lot to believe.”

“I thought you’d need more proof,” the chief said, then nodded again at Cathy. “Show him the other one.” Cathy tapped and swiped at the phone to prepare a new clip for Larry; then, she handed him the phone again.

Larry tapped the screen and the video came to life. A young brown-haired boy appeared on screen; he was running along the beach. He watched for a minute, then tapped the screen again to stop it.

“Fine, I believe you. I’ll take her on as a partner, on one condition,” Larry paused and looked both Cathy and the chief in the eyes. “I don’t want you to visit my past ever again.”