In December 2013, the once great Behavioural Analysis Unit, first of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and then of its replacement, the Foederatio Borealis Indigatores Imperiale (FBII), was reformed and reduced in size due to damning implications found in the controversial Milner Report. The Report alleged that the BAU's methods had caused unethical practices that corrupted law enforcement operation as a whole across North America, and thus recommended its disbandment. The BAU counters that it has always "followed the rules" and misapplication by lower level officers was really the culprit. Thus, the cases from its last year of operation are presented here, so that the readers may decide for themselves the validity of the BAU's assertion.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, the timeline for this story starts on February 13, 2013)
“Never forget the journey to complete the heart. Even though it is the toughest of life’s obstacles, it is also the most fulfilling.” –Casaran proverb
The Devil’s Diner, Quantico, Virginia
“Come on…when is he going to show up?”
Emily Proctor was antsy. She’d been on dates before…countless ones. In fact, first dates for her had become so routine that she no longer dreaded them and handled them effortlessly. Second dates, though, were another matter: for some reason that Proctor could never explain, even if the first date was a success, second dates almost never occurred. For her logical mind, Proctor searched long and hard within herself to understand why these men who professed their undying love for her one minute seemed unable to call her back the next, even if the reason for that could never be found.
Tonight, though, was different. Tonight, all the nerves she thought she conquered were reappearing, and with each passing minute of her date not appearing, the nerves just escalated. Her date made Proctor wait, and Proctor hates waiting.
Oldrich James smiled. He always did, even if on the inside he wasn’t as happy as he appeared. Even though he’d just caught Randy Joe and brought some closure to the darkest chapter in his life- the death of his wife and daughter- he was still saddled with a life of isolation. Sure, his personality was infectious, with the attraction being magnetic. You could even say that he’s hypnotic, because, in a previous life, hewas a hypnotist. However, despite the promise of an active social life, James often doubted the sincerity of the people who call themselves his friends, because, as he often found out, the people he often drew to him wanted something out of him without ever giving anything back to him.
Still, if he didn’t pull of his happy façade, he wouldn’t have much to live for. Perhaps, as he often thought, he had to have a form of “blissful naïveté” because if he let his rational side get the better of him, he would dismiss opportunities and people that could actually provide meaningful relationships if only he’d given them a chance. Even if, as he knew, 99% of the time those people didn’t deserve it.
“See,” said James to Proctor while taking his seat. “We agreed to meet at 8 o’clock…it’s 7:53…but, as I predict…” James then concluded with his trademark charm, “that still felt like an eternity to you, because you have to be early for everything.”
Proctor tried to bluff playing it cool, but her smile belied her fascination with James’ talents. Even though she knew better, James, it appeared, could actually read her mind. As a profiler, she could only envy this talent.
“Do you know how long I’ve been sitting here?” asked Proctor with a playful indignation.
“The diner doesn’t start its dinner menu until 5:30,” replied James. “You get off work, normally, at 5, but because this is a special day, you likely didn’t get out of work until 6. In your excitement, you decided not to go home, instead coming straight here. You ordered one of the bar’s finest drinks and you’ve been sitting here ever since. So…ballpark…I’d say 6:30. I know, it’s not a long drive here…but…anticipating your night, you left your car at work and took a cab here…waiting for that cab added some time to your trip. I, of course, knew all that…so I made sure that I got here…just on time…so that I can make you anticipate me more than you already have. You love having things orderly…when they’re not you get stressed. That’s the feeling I was going for…the longer I knew you were waiting for me the more that anticipation builds. Of course, I had to make sure I wouldn’t be late…because then that would make you angry and anger brings such negativity to the world…it’s not wise to stir it.”
“You’re pretty cocky, Mr. James,” said Proctor.
“I don’t like the word ‘cocky’,” said James. “That implies a belief that you’re entitled to things you haven’t earned. I like to think I’m just confident…see, you made the first move and asked me out…you know what you want and aren’t afraid to go after it and I like that. It also meant that you were expecting a move from me…so I played ‘The Waiting Game’.”
“…and it worked beautifully, Oldrich,” said Proctor with a warm smile, “although I should be mad at you for knowing that you played me like a violin.”
“Yes, but Emily…I know in your profession, you do the exact same thing, plus you have an eagerness to learn from others, like me, who can also read people so that you can hone your craft. Furthermore, I think, as much as you don’t like ‘disorder’, you like a guy who keeps you guessing…and I am not an easy one to figure out.”
“Okay,” said Proctor, accepting James’ challenge. “All right…let’s see.”
It didn’t take long for Proctor to come up with her own profile of James.
“You’re quite the charmer,” said Proctor. “You’re likeable, and you believe because of that everyone will like you. You have a flair for the dramatic, as nothing you do is subtle. However, while you are an attention seeker, you are not a narcissist, because your displays aren’t about you but about enlightening others. This wasn’t always the case- when you were a psychic, you were very narcissistic, because then you were just using your talents to gain as much of an audience as possible. Your narcissism unfortunately became your Achilles’ Heel as- and I hate to bring this up, but it’s important- Randy Joe struck at your family, revealing how misguided your pursuit of an audience was. Since then, you’ve resolved to use your skills for the greater good, although your past still haunts you. On the surface, you look like a guy who doesn't have a care in the world, but deep down inside is someone who knows how to care and be compassionate. You try not to make this side of you too obvious, because you believe being emotional is a sign of weakness, and your entire personna collapses at the sign of weakness. However, this doesn't stop you from knowing your faults or asking for help- you just do everything you can to avoid needing that help. Lastly, while you come across as a dominant alpha male, deep down inside you'd rather accede to someone who can offer you warmth and protection, due in no small part to your troubled past.”
James smiled before taking a sip of his drink. “How'd I do?” Proctor asked, somewhat nervously.
“I think you got it,” said James smiled, “although, as you already know, there's always more than what meets the eye, especially when someone knows all the tricks.” Proctor smiled warmly, agreeing with James.
April 12, 2012, The Darien Rainforest, Panama, The Empire of New Rome
Cindy Moss had only one thing on her mind: terror. After being beaten and raped in her own home, Moss lay, cleave gagged, in the back seat of the car, her hands, arms and legs bound tightly as if she were a pig. Fortunately her head could move freely, but it didn't dull the excruciating pain her limbs were going through trying to contort themselves in such awful positions, in addition to the mental anguish she was going through knowing she'd been violated in the worst possible way.
Deep into the jungle, the man who took her stopped the car. He approached her side of the vehicle, casually, to make sure he amplified her terror. As he opened the door, he saw her whimpering profusely, so he responded by punching her as hard as he could in the face.
“I told you to stop crying,” he snarled. He made sure to punch her again just so she got the message.
He held the gun menacingly to her face. He undid the bounds to her legs and marched her out of the car, after setting the locks. In her mind, Moss wanted to struggle, but by now the beatings and the torture rendered her so weak that she could hardly move a vengeful muscle, and, if she walked too slow, the man who kidnapped her gave her a “love tap” each time.
Thus, she was reduced to nothing but tears, but she'd been crying for so long and been refused much to drink or eat for the entire four day trip that all that was left were dry tears. Fear gripped her so much that she wanted to vomit, but, without any food, all that was left were dry heaves.
The man marched her into the jungle for only an hour, but for Moss it felt like days. They'd come across the Rio Chucunaque, which, for Moss, was the end. In her head she knew it, as, without the strength to struggle, there was nothing she could do except be summarily executed. However, the man wasn't going to kill her that instant- no, he tore off her clothes and raped her again, going for hours. When he was finished, he then stood her in front of the water and shot her in her femoral artery, making sure he raped her again as she lay dying, her dignity all but robbed.
After Moss died, the murderer pushed her body into the river. He then went back to his car, took off his blood-soaked clothes and burned them, putting on new clean ones. Then he lighted a cigarette, standing beside his car, pondering.
FBII Academy, Quantico, Virginia
“This doesn't look good,” said Behavioural Analysis Unit member Zeke Coleman, staring pensively at his computer screen. He was reading a news article that claimed that Moss' right hand had washed up on shore in Darwin, Australia.
“How does the article know?” asked Pascal Yves, a teammate of Coleman. “We haven't found the rest of her.”
Coleman replied wistfully. “Her odds weren't great anyway…but we can't jump to conclusions until the DNA test is finished. Still, the case in New Rome needs to be explored.”
“Six missing women in the course of a year…something is going on.”
“Seems like we’ll be going there next…the police are stumped…they’re not sure how one man was able to lure multiple women to their likely deaths. New Rome is notorious for a generation of unfriendly women…ever since Mexico splintered into smaller states as the result of the end of the Cold War.”
“The so-called ‘Drug Republics’…it’s unfortunate. Ever since their establishment they’ve done nothing except go to war with each other…the violence tends to be closer to California, which, depending on who you talk to, gets lumped in as a ‘Drug Republic’ since the violence sometimes spills into the state. New Rome, in the Yucatan, is well away from the action and is hailed as one of the world’s safest cities, but people there look at the map and conclude because they’re so close to the former Mexican state that they’re in trouble…so the women are cautious.”
“You can say that again…1 marriage out of every 1,000 people every year in New Rome…that’s the lowest in the world.”
“How do the police know it’s the same guy killing the women?”
“There was a guy calling himself ‘Bossanova’ that sent police a picture of one of the missing women, who had been terribly beaten. Her head was superimposed onto a picture of her in the gallows…with another woman having been found shot ‘execution style’. Bossanova wrote only one other letter to police, claiming he took the lives of four other women…thankfully, he didn’t provide any gruesome pictures this time.”
“Convenient…well, we know he’s a narcissist, and that a woman in his life angered him in some way, which explains the violence.”
Coleman nodded until the last part of the sentence Yves said. “I’m not sure that the violence is motivated by simple anger…the beatings seem consistent with someone who wants to establish control…you see that in the execution-style killing.”
“It’s like he thinks he’s supremely powerful being able to attract women in a place where men have a hard time getting even a smile from another woman.”
“If we figure out how he attracts these women we’ll be able to get our UnSub.”
A few minutes later, Proctor walked into the office, noticeably giddy with a mark on her neck.
“Somebody sure is happy,” quipped teammate Zoe Parkes, “and I don't think it's the coffee.”
“Oh come on guys,” said Proctor, still smiling as she took a seat at her desk. “I just had a really good night last night.”
“Come on Proctor,” said Coleman, egging her on, “spill the beans.”
“You must have met quite the guy,” said Parkes with a grin.
“Okay,” said Proctor, barely holding in her excitement, “I went out with Oldrich James last night and...it went really well.”
“Atta girl,” said Coleman with a wide grin, giving Proctor a high five. “You did pretty well.”
“I'm going to see him again tonight,” said Proctor, still giddy. “I'm so excited!”
Across the hall, in his office, teammate Claudio Pucci stood, staring pensively out of his window.
Valentine's Day, he thought to himself, I never understood it. So much effort goes into one day when, in the end, it's the other 364 that really defines what the relationship is all about. One day, I just might understand what the fuss is all about.
He sat back at his desk and stared at his computer screen. He needed to write a report on the Calgary case, but his mind was elsewhere. Team leader and longtime friend Aaron “Fitch” Fitchner stepped into his office.
“I hate this day too,” said Fitchner, reading Pucci's face.
“It's funny,” said Pucci, wistfully. “Most days, I revel in the fact that I'm single and don't have to hear anyone ask me to take out the trash. Then Valentine's Day comes and I see all those ads with happy couples and I can't help but think where I went wrong.”
“I know how you feel. Just when I think I have things right, they go south again.”
“I thought you and Jack were doing well.”
“We're still sorting things out...she wants to take things really slow...he's still putting her life back together after his incident.”
“So he's stringing you along.”
“No, he just needs patience. He had to go through years of rehab before he could go back on the job, and he's still not the same person he was before the attack.”
“He might never be.”
“I'm aware of that possibility, but I'm here to help, and he knows that. He knows I'm his strength, but he doesn't want to jump into something so soon...he's only just starting to rebuild his life professionally, so his social life still needs some work.”
“Hopefully he repairs that sooner rather than later, and that one day, we won't do relationships wrong again.”
“The only thing that keeps me going is that, one day, I'm going to get it right.”
February 9, 2013, Bossanova's Apartment, City of New Rome
Kim Myers wasn't giving up. Though she was pretty badly beaten and bruised and the padlock binding her legs to the chair legs and her hands behind her back and behind her chair were impossible to break, she knew there was a way out of this. After all, in 2002, when she was just 12, she successfully foiled the attempted hijacking of a video game facility by Dr. Julius Drakken with nothing but her acrobatics and her ingenuity, so she believed nothing was impossible. The press called her “Kim Possible” after her defeat of Drakken, a nickname she hated, but it stuck, especially when Disney used the name for a high school heroine character based loosely on her. Since then, she still went out on missions, always lending a helping hand whenever it was needed, so when she got the call to come to New Rome, she leapt at the chance, not realizing she was in way over head. Being a witness to the late night kidnapping of Esmeralda Rodrigo the previous night, she followed Bossanova to his apartment thinking she could take him on too...only for Bossanova to catch her by surprise and subdue her. He tied her up immediately, but decided against killing her, just leaving her bound and gagged in his apartment for him to tend to when he came back, which would be later today.
As she was struggling, fruitlessly, she heard Bossanova come back home, so she stopped squirming. Bossanova immediately tended to the fiery redhead, walking in to the room where he held her captive.
“How's my darling today?” Bossanova said warmly, though Myers squirmed at him, not reciprocating the feeling. He then remembered her cleeve gag, apologetically removing it, before placing his hands on her hips, right where her black crop top exposed her midriff.
“Don't touch me,” snarled Myers. “Your hands are just as cold as you are.”
“I love you though,” said Bossanova, tenderly starting to ruffle through Myers' auburn locks. “You're like the daughter I wished I had...one day I hope you'll come to accept me.”
“A father doesn't tie up his own daughter and hold her against her will,” scolded Myers, “and if you had any respect for me, you wouldn't keep me in these chains.”
Bossanova slapped her, angry with her defiance. “Don't talk to me like that, young lady!” Bossanova snapped, before continuing remorsefully. “See, that's why I restrain you...because you need to learn a little something called 'respect'. I wish I didn't have to restrain you but you've left me no choice. One of these days, you'll see that I was only trying to help.” He then placed the gag back in her mouth before going into the fridge to fix himself some lunch and pondered his captive. His fondness of the baby-faced Myers grew with each passing day, which made her rejection of him that much harder to take. Myers was anything but a submissive, as she liked to believe she could defeat anyone, so Bossanova knew he had to reinforce who has the power in their relationship. He had to be patient, though, and resolved to show her more affection and care towards her- dumping Rodrigo had him preoccupied. Only then, he hoped, would Myers eventually accept him.
FBII Academy, Quantico, Virginia
“Yves, Proctor,” said Fitchner outside of his office, summoning Yves and Proctor from the office floor. “I need to see you both.” The two agents left their desks and saw Fitchner in his office.”
After the agents took their seats, Fitchner briefed them at the task at hand.
“Kim Myers has been reported missing by Dallas PD,” said Fitchner with urgency.
“Kim Possible?” Proctor asked with concern.
“Again?” Yves said, bemused.
“Yes, again,” said Fitchner. “She left her house six nights ago and did not tell anyone where she was going. Her mother thinks she's on another one of her 'missions' because of what happened 11 years ago, but Dallas PD are expecting the worst.”
“Why did it take so long to get reported?” Yves asked, puzzled.
“Dallas PD were still exploring their leads, talking with her friends and family and they came up empty...so we need you guys to come in...perhaps a different level of questioning will unlock the case.”
“Kim's pretty reckless, exploring leads without telling anyone where she was going,” noted Proctor, dismayed. “I might have understood it when she was 12 but at her age she should know better.”
“There has to be something more to this,” said Yves, concerned. “There always is with Kim.”
BAU War Room, FBII Academy
After sending off Yves and Proctor, Fitchner called the rest of the team into the war room. He usually has his media liaison, Jenna Jayme “JJ” Cooke, brief the team on the case, but this time he was going to lead the discussion, since he was taking Cooke with him on this case.
“Where’s Yves and Proctor?” asked Coleman as everyone was filing into the room.
“They’re on a different case,” said Fitchner. “They’ve gone to find Kim Myers, who disappeared last week. The rest of us have a different task.”
“Kim Possible?” asked Pucci, shocked.
“Yes,” said Fitchner with a sigh. “Why does everyone say that when I bring up Myers?”
“It’s only her famous moniker,” noted Pucci. “Plus I found her story endearing when I first heard about it.”
“Well, that’s where they are,” snapped Fitchner, wanting to move on. “We are going to the City of New Rome.”
“I knew it,” said Coleman, with a laugh. “Every time I read a news article from the city it just screamed ‘BAU’. It’s good, because I want to kick Bossanova’s ass.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves now,” said Fitchner. “We don’t know who Bossanova is yet.”
“So what do we know about the victims?” asked Parkes.
“Here’s what we know,” said Cooke, motioned to the blue screen by Fitchner. “Bossanova has so far claimed six victims, but we’ve only accounted for four of them, all single- Kara McLeod, 39, a bartender, who was beaten to death and raped repeatedly, with her body washing up on the shore of the New Roman Reservoir last March. Then there was Sarah Jenner, 32, a real estate agent, who was also beaten and raped. She was found having washed up on shore in a New Roman park with her hands bound behind her back with zip ties as well as her legs, with a single bullet wound found in the back of her head. This was last July. Then there was Yasmin Gutierrez, 34, an executive, whose body washed up on the shore of Mazatlan in Sinaloa two months ago and, although it was badly decomposed, there were signs of a beating and an exit wound in her skull. Police in Darwin, Australia, recovered the body of Cindy Moss, 35, an independent practitioner, confirmed through dental records, just yesterday, and, earlier today, the body of Esmeralda Rodrigo, 33, a hotel manager, was found floating ashore in Aruba, and, though she wasn’t on Bossanova’s list, the effects on her body was also consistent with that of Gutierrez so we think she is connected to the other murders.”
“He likes older women, so he’s probably an older guy himself” noted Pucci. He looked at his notes some more. “He also seems to like strong, dominant women…all of his victims are well to do women who achieved their status while single. So how do we know there’s six victims?”
“As Coleman already knows,” said Cooke. “There’s a man who’s been taunting police by calling himself ‘Bossanova’, who has claimed, cryptically, that he’s killed six women, including in his correspondence a picture of Jenner. He claims he’s seduced them all, which flummoxes New Roman police since women are extremely hard to seduce in New Rome, but, in the cases of Jenner and Gutierrez, friends said that they were willingly meeting this person, whom neither named or saw. So we’re led to believe that these women are willingly going to him.”
“Did the interviews reveal what kind of man these women like?” Parkes asked.
“Unfortunately the answers vary too much,” interjected Fitchner. “Aside from several very general statements, nothing could be gleamed.”
“Okay, that's well and good...but if he’s seducing them,” pondered Coleman, “why rape?”
“Maybe he went too far too soon,” said Pucci, “or it’s one last act of humiliation. He seduces these women to control them- what better way to show that control than with rape?”
“Or he only thinks he’s seducing them,” said Coleman.
“In any case,” continued Fitchner, “since this case is about seduction, I have invited a special guest to come help us.”
Cooke opened the door to the room to reveal James waiting outside the entire time.
“Hello gang,” said James with a smug smile.
“Hello Oldrich,” said Pucci, returning the smile.
“Mr. James’ employers at the California Bureau of Investigation have allowed me to invite him to our case,” said Fitchner. “I have already briefed him on what we know. Since his boss, Teresa Gibson, calls him an expert on seduction, we thought he would benefit our investigation. We’ll discuss this more on the plane. Wheels up in 35.”
“35 minutes?” asked Coleman, puzzled.
“The pilot was asleep when I asked him to come today,” said Fitchner. “So he’ll be a little late.”
“You and Kim seem to have quite the history,” said Proctor, driving herself and Yves from the police station to Myers’ house.
“I helped her out when she was 12,” said Yves. “It was one of my first cases on the BAU…I didn’t really know what I was doing. At first, it played like any other missing person case, but, as I dug deeper, it was stranger than I thought. Kim left her house late at night without telling anyone, just like she did in this case, although back in 2002, her friend Ron Earle came along, having saved up enough on his allowance to afford the bus ticket to Omaha, where Dr. Julius Drakken had taken over the factory. See, Myers’ father works in the CIA, which is where she gets a lot of her leads and where she got the lead for Omaha…back then, sheer embarrassment stopped her from telling her parents and since it was at night, no one saw her leave.”
“Okay.” Proctor pondered what Yves said. “…but if she boarded a Greyhound, wouldn’t someone recognize them and report their whereabouts to the police?”
“Since the two of them paid in cash, they were able to get their ticket unnoticed. For all Dallas police knew, they still hadn’t left the Metroplex, so they concentrated their efforts there…they didn’t think two 12-year-olds would be crafty enough to take a bus.”
“Ah, okay. That makes sense…so how did you find them?”
“I found her computer and hacked into it.”
“Wait…you hacked into Kim’s computer? I thought you hated technology.”
“Just because I hate it doesn’t mean I don’t know how to use it. I’ve only met one hacker better than me and that’s Morales, and not even she beats me by that much.”
“So why do you hate technology Yves?”
“The book, Empty Planet.”
“You’re letting a book scare you out of using computers? You are aware that was fiction, right?”
“Yes, but it was highly accurate and extremely plausible…it’s enough to jar anyone.”
“Okay.” Proctor still thought that reasoning was absurd but she thought better about pressing the issue. “Back to Kim.”
“Yes…so I hacked into Kim’s computer and used the modem to turn the computer into a cell phone. I explained who I was, and it was then that she revealed she was already at the factory, having managed to find a hiding spot at a rarely used break room. She had her cell phone on at the time- on her journey she had it switched off, only turning it on to communicate with Ron at the factory- so I told Kim to conceal her phone in her back pocket, since it allowed me to turn it into a webcam that transmitted to her computer.”
Proctor was disbelieving. “There were webcams and camera phones back then? I don’t seem to recall any of that.”
“The technology was still relatively new but it existed…and, of course, with Tim being CIA he got access to that technology before the public did.”
“Ah, I see. So you were able to see what she was doing through her back pocket?”
“It was hard, but the stitches in her back pocket did have some holes, so I was able to make a few things out. Her father came in and wondered what I was up to…and then he saw the computer screen.”
“Her father must have been pretty upset.”
“No, he wasn’t actually. He just wished that Kim had told him what she was up to, because he would have helped her out.”
“So you played the role of hero.”
“Yup. From my webcam, I was able to serve as Kim’s ‘eyes’ and tell her how much time she actually had to infiltrate the company’s servers, which Drakken had corrupted.”
“So you hacked that computer too, then.”
“No, Kim did it. I couldn’t have gotten into the computer anyway since it wasn’t hooked up to the Internet…it was just an internal server.”
“Morales can hack into internal servers.”
“That’s because she’s Morales. I still don’t know how she does it.”
“In any case, Kim restored the company servers and then she found Drakken and physically subdued him if I remember her story correctly.”
“Actually…Drakken found her. I saw him coming into the computer room from behind…I had alerted her. She then proceeded to engage him in a fight…he was slender but he was a capable fighter…we were worried about her, but she came through quite handily.”
“She was 12…and she fought Drakken? Wow, she was good.”
“Her dad taught her some moves…he told me afterward that she was a bit sloppy and that she’d have to have more lessons to ‘refine’ her craft, but overall, he was impressed. After the fight, I called the police, alerted them to Kim’s position and everything was taken care of.”
“So when she went on subsequent missions, her dad knew about them, right?”
“He helped her out. Drove her to crime scenes…even participated in her takedown of perpetrators. There were six other missions overall, but they stopped late in 2002 when the cartoon became popular…she was losing her ability to be stealthy, so she stopped.”
“Sounds like she could be quite the FBII agent.”
“She’s studying to get a job in the CIA, from what I’m told.”
“All right…so if she told her dad about her previous missions, why didn’t he know about this mission?”
“Therein lies the rub…no one knows why she ran off this time…her mother only suspects it’s another mission.”
“If this is another mission, perhaps it’s like the first one where she was too embarrassed to admit what she was doing.”
“It could be…or that she was actually kidnapped. In either case, I’m not sure I like her odds. We’ll know more once we talk to her parents.”
The flight to New Rome
“Dear police,” said Pucci, reading Bossanova’s letter, dated December 22, 2012, “As I understand, you have been confounded by the murders that have happened in this city. Believe me, I understand how puzzled you are. However, there is nothing I can do to help, because this is all part of my master plan. You will be forced to sit there, as I seduce your women and destroy their large coldness, so that I can break their resolve and show them how a woman is supposed to behave. All lies end, xenophiles.” Pucci looked up at the rest of the team before continuing. “What do we make of the message?”
“At least we know his plan,” said Coleman, “but we knew that all along. Not sure what that last sentence means- 'xenophile' means someone who loves other cultures, which we know is a trait of New Rome.”
“We'll find out more about that once we do some research,” said Fitchner.
“He's a narcissist who thinks he can change women,” said James. “He obviously feels animosity towards them and that he feels like they're distant to him, but why does he want to change them?”
“He's obviously successful at seducing these women,” said Parkes. “However, we already knew he had a cause...the message doesn't reveal any more than we already know.”
“I don't think he's successful at seducing women,” said James. “I think we have a guy who thinks he’s a modern day Casanova but seems to be missing the mark. That’s the only justification I can give for why a seducer has to rape these women.”
“Maybe they are willingly having sex with him at first,” said Coleman. “It’s only later, perhaps when they try to leave, where he attempts to dominate them.”
“Sarah Jenner was found three days after she was reported missing,” said Pucci, “so that’s a distinct possibility. However, if they’re already smitten by him, why does he need to restrain them? They should be willingly coming back to him.”
“Perhaps all he wants is a one-night stand,” said Parkes, “and becomes a twisted version of a black widow. Once he’s had his fun he gets rid of them, but not before humiliating them.”
“If he’s going that route,” noted Fitchner, “perhaps he terrorizes them as soon as they get to his place. He could be a sadist, not getting his gratification unless he sees his victim in peril.”
“I like the sadist angle,” said James, enlightened by Fitchner’s comment. “It would still allow him to seduce the women and would explain why he needs to ultimately rape them- this is a guy who wants to dominate women, and obviously sees them as expendable.”
“Perhaps he was seduced,” said Parkes. “He fell in love…and it bit him in the rear. So that’s what he’s doing to these women: since he was a victim of seduction himself, he’s out to show them the perils of falling in love.”
“So our goal is to figure out how he picks up these women,” said James.
“Which is why I’m getting you, James, as well as Pucci and Coleman, to study the pickup scene in New Rome,” said Fitchner. “Since you guys are our best pickup artists, I need you guys to ply your trade.”
“Can we sign up for one of those classes?” asked James. “I think it might be illuminating.”
“Yes you can,” said Fitchner. “As long as you also observe how other pickup artists work their magic. As for the rest of us…Parkes and I will observe the women and note their responses to the men of the city. JJ I want you to examine the media in the city and see how that influences these women. We’re also going to study the city’s dating community in more depth…in a city where women already have no trust of other men, we have to figure out how he’s gaining the trust of vigilant women.”
The Myers House, Dallas, Texas
“Hi,” said Yves, as Myers’ father Tim opened the door. “I’m Dr. Pascal Yves and this is my colleague Agent Emily Proctor. We’re with the FBII. We’d like to ask you a few questions about the disappearance of your daughter. Have we caught you at a good time?”
“Of course,” said Tim. “Come right in.”
“You guys have a very nice house,” noted Yves, walking inside.
“CIA pays me pretty well,” said Tim. “Hey, didn’t you help put away Bruno Hawks?”
“Many years ago, yes,” said Yves, sheepishly.
“I’m glad you did,” said Tim, reassuringly. “He was a two-timer…had no business being in the CIA.”
“Hopefully today will be the start of another positive memory,” said Yves. Tim’s wife Ann as well as their twin sons, Jim and Tim, Jr., came in to greet the agents in the family room.
“I’m glad all of you are here,” said Yves, taking a seat with Proctor on the couch.
“We’re all very concerned,” said Ann, standing huddled in a corner. Tim was also standing, but much closer to the agents. The twins were sitting on the coffee table in the middle of the room.
“We will do everything we can to get Kim back,” said Proctor. “Ann, I’m going to start with you, since you were the first one to notice Kim was missing. Since our reports are hazy, when exactly did you notice Kim was gone?”
“It was,” started Ann, nervously. “It was 5AM, I think. Something roused me…maybe the wind or the furnace…I’m not sure. I remember getting up to use the bathroom when I heard this howling noise come from down the hall…I went to investigate when I saw the window to Kim’s room open with no sign of Kim anywhere. I woke up the rest of the family to ask if they knew where Kim was, because she didn’t even leave a note. Since I didn’t see any sign of a struggle I assumed she left on her own accord, but her lack of alerting us has me worried.”
“You seemed pretty certain in your report to the police that she went on a mission, however…yet today you don’t sound so sure.” noted Yves.
“I’m a mother,” said Ann. “It’s my duty to worry…anyway, I looked in her closet for her mission clothes…I couldn’t find them, yet her pajamas were lying on the floor. Therefore, I figured she went out.”
“Her pajamas were just tossed on the floor?” asked Proctor with interest.
“Yes they were,” replied Ann. “She must have been in a hurry.”
“Was there anything else you noticed about her room?” asked Proctor.
“Her closet door was open too,” said Ann, “and her laptop was open, which she never leaves open. Since I don’t know her password I couldn’t get into her computer.”
“So you think she read something on her computer that made her leave in a haste,” said Proctor. “What about her cell phone? Did she bring that with her too?”
“I couldn’t find it in her room…so I assumed she took it,” said Ann.
“If she took her phone then we can track it,” thought Yves out loud.
“We already tried,” said Tim Sr. “Her phone has been switched off…there’s not much we can do.”
“Maybe she hasn’t gotten to her mission yet,” said Ann, worriedly.
“Last time we did this she’d just arrived at her mission at this exact moment in the timeline,” said Yves. “Hopefully things play out the exact same way.”
City of New Rome Pickup Scene
“Wow,” said Pucci, reviewing his ticket at the New Roman Police Headquarters. “One of the associates is someone who calls himself ‘James Bond’.”
“Heh,” said Coleman, not even trying to hide his laugh. “Bond? Who does he think he is? Some mythical secret agent?”
“He’s no myth,” corrected Pucci. “I’ve met him- or, shall I say, one version of him. An elite agent in the British Secret Service gets selected at a young age to wear the moniker and assume the identity, and he keeps it until he’s retires, upon which a new Bond appears.”
“How do you know?” asked Coleman, puzzled. “The British Empire has never once acknowledged his existence.”
“Let’s just say I have it on pretty good authority,” said Pucci, smugly. “Best not dwell on it now.”
“His other associate goes by the name of The Mask,” noted James.
“'The Mask',” said Coleman. “He's all about 'Houdining', whatever that means.”
“So he's got 'the magic stick', huh?” James answered, derisively. Coleman and Pucci both laughed. “We haven’t got to the main guy, John Travis. How's that for a stage name?”
“What makes you think it's a stage name?” Coleman asked, intrigued.
“The name's just a little too boring for it to be realistic,” answered James.
“Okay,” said Coleman, trying to take charge. “So we go to these classes today and tonight we see them in action…and try to pick up girls ourselves.”
“Looks like we’re going to have some fun tonight,” said Pucci, smiling.
“Exactly,” said Coleman, nodding in agreement, “I can’t think of a better way we can get a clue about who this UnSub really is.”
“The key to women lies not in your words but how you say them,” said Travis to his class. Travis wasn’t an imposing man and dressed rather simply, but had a sly flair to his voice every time he spoke that made him magnetic. “Every word has a subliminal message, every gesture its own double entendre...if you spin it the right way you can make any gesture a flirtatious one. Watch this.”
Travis played a video he had prepared for today. It showed him at what was presumed to be a nightclub, but it was really a sound stage with actors.
In the scene, Travis walked up to a girl, standing alone by the bar.
“Hey,” said Travis suavely, leaning in real close. “If you seek Amy.” He paused for effect before continuing, “she's right over there.” The girl's eyes brightened like a flashlight, enamoured by Travis' words. “Gladly,” she said, smitten. “I'll f*** you tonight.”
Later in the video, Travis explained the other part of his technique- the idea of “reciprocity”. “Women,” Travis explained, “are programmed to move the same way you do. So if you put your arm around her, she will do the same for you, feeling the need to reciprocate the gesture. This way, you can escalate the gestures into something sexual- an arm around her turns into a hug. A hug turns into both of you holding each other at the waist. Holding each other at the waist turns into a kiss...and, well, you know the rest,” he concluded, with a wink.
As much as James sat there, watching the absurdity unfold before him, he thought against speaking up. He was a master of the double entendre anyway, and thought that maybe Travis could be on to something, despite the bad acting in his video. This man is a believable pickup artist, thought James. He’s not over the top and thus doesn’t draw much initial attention to himself, but his flair and usage of double meanings do evoke a sense of mystery to him. I could learn from this guy.
Later, the class met Travis’ associates, Bond and The Mask. The Mask was first, talking to the class about fashion and the need to “stand out” by “Houdining”. The process, he explained, involved dressing yourself in a way that stands out that evokes an aura about you, but never deviating from who you are.
“The number one rule,” said the Mask, who looked like a cross between Al Capone and Liberace, “is to always stay true to yourself. Find your style and milk it. Don’t dress like everyone else- be you.”
Last, but not least, was Bond, who explained the finer points of the approach to the class.
“Confidence,” said Bond, whose real name was Michael Irving, “is the key. You need to walk in like you own the place. Also, when you’re talking to a girl, you need to remind her, through subtle hints, who reallyis in charge- by subtly making jokes about her confidence, casually ribbing her, for example, for her hair. In fact, joking with a woman is a great way into her head- it shows that you are comfortable around her, and it allows you to innocently ply the subliminal messages Mr. Travis talked about. I call this approach ‘Brash and Witty’- don’t ever forget that. Because nothing enraptures a woman like an innocent joke that’s really something more.”
Not sure I agree with denigration part, thought James, but joking in general does make sense. I’ll have to put these rules in action before I actually comment on them.
Kim Myers' bedroom, The Myers House, Dallas, Texas
“She's gotten much cleaner than I recall,” said Yves, examining Myers' bedroom.
“Well, she is 22 now,” said Proctor. “I hope she's cleaner.” Proctor then noticed Yves getting downcast. “What's wrong Yves?”
“I don't know why but I miss Zoe,” said Yves. “I know we're just friends but there's this synergy I feel when I'm around her. We've gotten really close lately.”
“Aww...you love her,” said Proctor with a warm smile.
“I guess,” said Yves, sheepishly. “I see her as more of a sister than as a girlfriend.”
“Is that what's stopping you from going out with her?” Proctor asked.
“I think so,” said Yves. “I know Zoe likes me...but to me, the dynamic of a relationship just doesn't work yet. I think she knows that too...we just have to take our time.”
“I don't know how you do it,” said Proctor wistfully. “I've gone out with so many men but nary a single one I've ever felt so much an attachment to.”
“What about Oldrich James?” Yves asked.
“I like him,” said Proctor. “However, it's too early to tell what my true feelings are for him...as much as we like to believe, as profilers, that we'd be able to figure out immediately whether or not we'd fit with someone, emotions are a funny thing...they hit you when you least expect it. So I can't tell when that additional spark is going to happen.”
“I kind of feel for Kim in some of the same way that I feel for Zoe,” said Yves, trying to get back to the task at hand. “Kim is like family to me too...it may have something to do with the fact we bonded when I helped her the first time. I know she's too old for it to be a reality but she really feels like a daughter to me.”
“I wonder if that's a clue as to where she could be,” said Proctor. “She's evoked the 'daughterly' feeling in a lot of people...look at the press she got.”
“A father figure lured her?” Yves pondered. “Maybe...there's nothing for us to go on with that.”
“Or maybe she's 'the mother' looking for her 'daughter',” thought Proctor out loud. “Since she's been seen as a kid for most of her life, her going out on her own is an indicator that she wants to be viewed as an adult for once.”
“Ron's accounted for,” said Yves. “So, if you're right about this, she has another 'loved one' who is missing. Let's see if we can get into her computer and see if someone left a message for her.” Yves typed away at the computer, knowing that Kim likely didn't make a strong password, and got in after a few tries. What he saw horrified him.
“This isn't good,” said Yves.
“Oh no,” said Proctor, looking at the screen with horror. “You're right...this isn't good.”
Augustine Avenue, downtown New Rome
“Can you believe this road goes all the way from the North Pole all the way to the South Pole?” Parkes said to Fitchner as they strolled down Augustine Avenue, New Rome's downtown thoroughfare. The street- which actually stretches from Alert, on Ellesmere Island, all the way to its terminus in Pinguinium, on the Antarctic Peninsula- is marked as Roman Highway 1, but only in New Rome- and in other scattered locations, does the street actually bear the “Augustine Avenue” moniker. Still, the road's prominence in New Rome has led many to erroneously conclude it is “the world's longest road”.
“The Romans like topping themselves,” mused Fitchner. “The ferry links across the Darien Gap and to the Antarctic Peninsula were nice touches.”
“This street,” observed Parkes, “is so alive. You've got shops and bars everywhere...this is the street to be on in New Rome.”
“Right at the end is the Pillar of Bolivar, the tallest free-standing structure in the world...or at least every time they decide to extend the antenna at the top,” said Fitchner.
“The Pillar of Bolivar,” said Parkes, pensively. “The gift Bolivar gave to the Romans for assisting him in his bid to throw out Napoleon from South America, after Napoleon dismantled the Spanish Kingdom. The Romans gave him the southern half of South America as their token of gratitude, allowing them to take the rest of Central America and South America, except for Mexico which threw out Napoleon on their own.”
“...and then Chile and Argentina gained independence from Bolivia through force, though afterward stability would reign,” explained Fitchner.
“Which then gets us to here,” said Parkes. “New Rome, intended to be 'the world's metropolis' right from the start, bringing in hundreds of different ethnicities into one city. Founded in 1824, New Rome became the heartbeat of an empire almost overnight- and never looked back.”
“...and now,” said Fitchner. “It's reputation for safety and hope are under attack.”
“Look at all these people,” said Parkes, observing. “All they do is walk by...no one gives anyone a moment's notice.”
“It's often said that they're busy,” noted Fitchner, “but there seems to be a genuine coldness to the interactions...it seems like people are afraid of each other...too afraid of each other.”
The Boombox Radio Station, New Rome
“We’ve been doing this promotion for years,” explained Boombox’s Manager of Promotion, Ricardo Benarrivo, to Cooke.
“Isn’t it just a little demeaning?” Cooke asked. “Why is it called ‘Bad Boyfriend Blackjack’? Why can’t it be ‘Bad Relationship Blackjack?’ ”
Benarrivo sighed. “I know…the name doesn’t evoke fairness…but, let’s be honest here…the men in this city are pigs. I got my girl because I’m one of the few good ones. Since women here have met so many bad men, why not give them an opportunity to badmouth them on air and win some money for it?”
“So these women go on the air…they tell one story each, and then if one feels like they can top the other’s story, they move on. If they can’t- or the DJ doesn’t feel like the story tops the other story- they’re eliminated and the other woman wins the money. Am I right?”
“Yes, that’s right…one time two women were going at it for ten stories. It was hilarious. You should have heard it.”
“So you do these promotions because the culture here is decidedly anti-male. ‘Bad Boyfriend Blackjack’ isn’t your only promotion with this theme- ‘Men Say The Darndest Things’, ‘Horrible Pickup Lines’ and ‘The Wrong Way To Date’ are just some of your plethora of anti-male promotions.”
“Ever since the Drug Republics started their wars, dating in this city has been hard. Men, because of this lack of dates, have been doing whatever they can to get ahead of each other and, let’s face it- we’re all naturally competitive and aggressive. We’re not going to think simply- we’re going to outdo each other. That’s why we run these promotions- as a reminder to these men not to go over the top…because women don’t like antics.”
“The public doesn’t see it that way…they just see men as being demonized.”
Before Benarrivo could respond, his cell phone went off.
“Hey honey,” Benarrivo said to his girlfriend of five years, Giulia Pecaroro, who he lives with. He wore a tentative smile before a frown took over his face. “I know, I forgot to take out the trash…I was in a rush this morning…I told you I had to meet with the FBII today…you don’t believe me? I’m talking to the agent right now…do you want to talk to her?” Benarrivo heard the response from his wife before passing the phone to Cooke.
“Hello?” said Cooke to the phone. “My name’s Jenna Jayme Cooke…I work with the FBII’s Behavioural Analysis Unit. I specialize in media relations, so I’m talking with your husband about his radio station’s promotions.” Cooke made an incredulous look as she heard Pecaroro’s reply. “No, I’m not sleeping with him! You’re absurd…just because I’m a woman talking to him doesn’t mean I’m doing anything sexual with him!” Cooke paused, with the same look of disgust on her face, before getting even more shocked upon hearing what Pecaroro had to say. Before Cooke could respond, Pecaroro had hung up the phone. “Okay…” Cooke deadpanned, puzzled at what she just heard.
“She says that because you forgot to take out the trash she’s throwing out your foosball table,” said Cooke to Benarrivo.
“No!” Benarrivo said with horror. “Not my foosball table! I’ve had that since I was a kid! She…she can’t do that to me! I only forgot to do it today…every other day I’ve been great at it!”
“Mr. Benarrivo…is this the first time she’s been unreasonable with you?”
“She threw out all my clothes once…said they were tacky. People in her office were apparently commenting about how out of touch I was, even though she liked my fashion sense. I didn’t even get a chance to save my clothes- she did it right before I woke up the next day…didn’t have anything to wear to the office. So I had to call in sick and buy new clothes…all at her choice but out of my pocket. There was also this time where she refused to have sex with me because I accidentally dropped my fork on the floor.” Benarrivo’s voice grew with anger as he continued talking. “I also never get to see my friends but I have to put up with all of her friends…and I never get a snuggle when I have a bad day but every f***ing day I have to cuddle her and listen to her whine about all these trivial things…oh, and forget about watching my Cruzeiro play…she controls the remote!”
Cooke continued with concern. “Mr. Benarrivo…you don’t sound like you’re in a very positive relationship…I think you need to break up.”
“Break up?” Ricardo was exasperated, mortified at the suggestion. “Then I’ll be alone…I don’t want that…a bad girl is better than having none!”
“No it’s not…abuse is never okay.” Cooke realized what she was saying could apply to her situation with her husband, perpetual drunk Will LaMond. She worried about the effects on her son, Lucas, though. “Listen, do you have children?”
“No…we don’t. We’re not even married…we just live together.”
“Oh…I thought you were married.”
“I wanted to propose to her…but she wanted to wait a little bit…probably, as I suspect, so that we can accumulate things together so she can wring more stuff out of a divorce.”
“Listen, Mr. Benarrivo…get out while you still can…you don’t want to end up like me…marrying the wrong person…I have a son…that’s an unbearable burden to put on him. Will and I had one great night that turned into Lucas…and before I knew how wrong he was for me, I was already pregnant…trust me…get out while you still can. Don’t make it harder on yourself.”
February 10, 2013, Bossanova's Apartment
It was grocery day for Bossanova, with today going longer than usual since he needed to feed Kim as well as himself. He wasn't sure what she liked, but he did make sure that he bought tranquilizers to put into her food- so that she'd be too weak to resist him.
Don't know why I didn't think about tranquilizers before, thought Bossanova to himself, as he opened the door to his apartment. He found Kim lying on the floor still bound to her chair, having fallen over trying to escape.
“Darling, darling, darling,” said Bossanova shaking his head as he brought his food in and closed and locked the door. “That's a military grade padlock...you won't get out of that.” He put away his food and then took out his gun and walked towards her.
“If you try anything I will kill you,” said Bossanova, aiming his gun at her. It had a silencer. “I'm a marksman...your ninja moved won't work on me.” He then shot a pen off a nearby desk to prove it. Kim dutifully stood still, allowing him to undo the padlocks.
“Get on the bed,” Bossanova scowled. “Come on, move it.” Kim, still gagged, walked toward the bed. “Lie down on your belly.” Kim did so. “Extend your arms and legs all the way out.” At each corner post was a handcuff, allowing him to easily cuff Kim while still brandishing his gun. After he restrained Kim, spread-eagle face down on the bed, he pulled down her pants to expose her buttocks.
“I told you,” he said, angrily, as he spanked her forcefully, “not to defy me!” He put more and more into his spanks each time, pausing for a second in between the spanks so that Kim could feel the pain rushing through her body. As he slapped her, harder and harder, Kim couldn't help but start to sob, her screams muffled by the gag in her mouth.
Her sobs only made Bossanova spank her more. “Quit crying like a baby!” Bossanova hollered, increasing his force. After half an hour of continuous spanking, Bossanova stopped, leaving Kim, exposed, to cry herself to sleep.
Jaina Island, New Rome
“Hey Morales,” said Cooke, who escaped to New Rome’s beachfront at Jaina Island. Because it was so hot and she didn’t have someone to interview, she decided to doff her top and take advantage of New Rome’s law allowing toplessness- even though most of the women on the island didn’t seem to want to take part in it.
“Hey muffin,” replied Morales, “how’s life in the tropical paradise in the land of Amazon women?”
“These women are strange…the Empire of New Rome has a law allowing toplessness and, across the rest of the Empire the women openly embrace it…here…they seem afraid. At least they’re not afraid to show off their bikinis.”
“That is true…but let’s not forget…at least with a bikini you still have a little bit of mystery…once you’ve bared it all, what’s let for a man to discover?”
“Perhaps…but I believe it says something if you’re not afraid to show off your body…it shows how comfortable you are with yourself.”
“I’m comfortable with myself but I wouldn’t go around topless.”
“I’m making more of a generalization…I think it says something about this society that their laws are extremely liberal regarding clothing but the citizens don’t seem to want to express themselves…it’s like they’re afraid and hiding behind their clothes.”
“Ah…I get what you mean.”
“Okay, so did you check the dating websites?”
“See, whomever this ‘Bossanova’ guy was, he was extremely good…he left no traces online when he contacted Sarah Jenner or Yasmin Gutierrez…both used dating websites but neither contacted the same person…in fact there isn’t even a dummy profile that was used to contact them, so I’m not sure if Bossanova actually did contact them online. Esmeralda Rodrigo, though…she was contacted online the night of her disappearance…it traces back to a George Denton, he lives in Calkini, a suburb of New Rome.”
“Wow, good work Morales,” said Cooke, impressed.
A few seconds later, Parkes and Fitchner saw her and joined her on the beach. Parkes, seeing Cooke without her shirt, decided to take off hers too.
“Ladies,” said Fitchner, flustered. “We’re on a case here…now’s not the time to start taking off our clothes…let’s be official.”
“Fitch,” replied Cooke. “We’re not talking to anyone right now…we’re just amongst ourselves…I hardly ever get a chance to do something like this…can’t we just enjoy a few minutes in the sun?”
Fitchner sighed but agreed. “Okay, fine.”
“I do wish Pascal was here,” said Parkes, wistfully while taking a seat next to Cooke.
“You'll see him again in a few days,” said Cooke.
“I know...but it's just not the same,” said Parkes. “I feel so much better when I'm around him.” Parkes then tried taking her mind off of Yves by haphazardly changing the subject. “You did notice that we’re the only ones topless here.”
“I did actually,” said Cooke. “It’s like they’re afraid.”
“I find that interesting,” said Fitchner. “I didn’t realize you were making a point by taking off your tops.”
“Well,” said Cooke. “I just wanted to take advantage of this before we get back to stuffy old Virginia.”
“Well said,” said Parkes, with a laugh. “Though it is an interesting observation…Fitch and I talked with a lot of women on Augustine Avenue…a lot of them are frustrated…they meet way too many men who believe they have to be submissive…they want someone who will take charge.”
“It’s funny,” said Cooke. “I thought the same thing. I talked with the Promotions Manager at Boombox Radio, New Rome’s top radio station, and he was incredibly submissive to his girlfriend…it’s like years and years of poor dating has made all the men here afraid of displeasing their girls.”
“The police here don’t help,” said Fitchner. “Every time there’s a criminal on the loose, even a petty one, they keep reminding the women to stay vigilant…it’s not a bad idea in principle but take it to extremes you foster a culture of fear, and that’s what’s happening.”
“Exactly,” concurred Cooke. “Be smart, but live your life too.”
“Any leads on the online dating thing?” said Fitchner.
“Morales couldn’t find anyone that talked to Jenner or Gutierrez online,” said Cooke. “However, right before her disappearance, a George Denton talked to Esmeralda Rodrigo.”
“Good work,” said Fitchner. “Let’s bring him in.”
Myers Household, Dallas Texas
“What did you find?” said a worried Tim as Yves and Proctor went back downstairs.
“Mr. Myers,” started Yves. “She’s been hacked.”
“Hacked?” said Tim, surprised. “So a hacker kidnapped her?”
“We aren’t saying that,” said Proctor. “Right now, we don’t know what role the hacker plays in all of this.”
“I tried to get around the hack but I couldn’t,” said Yves. “He’s using technology I’m not too familiar with…I don’t keep up with technology like I used to.”
“So what are you guys going to do now?” asked Ann.
“We’ve got an expert hacker,” said Yves. “She’ll be able to help us out.”
“We’re going to back up there,” said Proctor. “We just thought we’d provide you with an update.” The two agents then departed back to Kim’s room, placing a call to Morales.
“Deadbolt Security?” said Morales. “Piece of cake.”
“Seven and a half years ago you couldn’t crack it,” noted Yves, confused.
Morales smiled. “That’s because I didn’t know it then. I have since learned.” Morales typed away at her computer, and, within minutes, was inside Kim’s computer. “Now, this hacker had to have known Kim…as soon as you log on, a message appears on the screen.”
“I know, I’m reading it right now…dear goodness…”
“It appears that all the hacker did was leave her a message. He didn’t do anything else.”
“Do you have a name?”
“Yes, yes…just give me a minute.”
George Denton’s Apartment, Calkini, New Rome
“Dude, you haven’t had a night out in a long time,” said Enrique Lopez, seated on Denton’s couch.
“It’s just been tough,” said Denton, reluctantly putting on a dress shirt. “She was the love of my life.”
“I know…but at one point you have to move on. Let’s have some fun tonight.”
A moment later, a knock was heard on the door.
“George Denton,” said Fitchner from behind the door. “This is Aaron Fitchner of the FBII. Open up.” Denton, puzzled, dutifully did so. “Are you George Denton?” Fitchner asked.
“Yes I am,” said Denton without hesitation. “Is something wrong?”
“George, you are under arrest,” said Fitchner, reading Denton his Miranda Rights. “Get on your knees and put your hands on your head.”
“Wait, wait wait,” said Lopez worried for his friend. “He’s done nothing wrong…you’ve got it all wrong guys.”
“Do you want to come in too?” said Fitchner, curtly.
“As a matter of fact, I will. This is my boy here…he’s no killer,” said Lopez, defiantly. He allowed himself to get arrested as well.
Half an hour later, Denton and Lopez were at the station with the BAU, being led into an interrogation room. Another half hour passed before Fitchner and Parkes reappeared in the room to start the interrogation.
“What are these?” asked Denton, confused after seeing Parkes place the victims’ photos down on the table one by one.
“I don’t know,” said Parkes, smugly. “Why don’t you tell me…this is your work.”
“I-I-I couldn’t do this!” reacted Denton, defensively. “I didn’t do any of this! You guys are crazy!”
“We know you were the last one to contact Esmeralda Rodrigo the night she disappeared,” said Fitchner. “So unless you’ve got a solid alibi, we have enough to charge you with her murder.”
“Esmeralda stood him up,” explained Lopez. “I was there, waiting at the café with him. We waited for over an hour but she didn’t show.”
“Don’t give us that,” scoffed Parkes. “We’re combing her body for DNA as we speak. So, unless you help us out, you’ll be spending the rest of your lives in this very room…and I know the laws of New Rome…you can get credit in front of a judge for assisting in the investigation.”
“That’s very nice,” stammered Denton, “but I didn’t do it!”
“Suit yourself then,” said Parkes, lying back in her chair. Fitchner then got a call on his cell phone. He stepped outside to take it.
“Fitch,” said Yves on the phone. “We know who drew Kim Myers out of her house.”
“Okay,” said Fitchner. “Tell me who it is.”
“His name is George Denton…his girlfriend was Cindy Moss…he reported her disappearance to Kim.”
“Oh,” said Fitchner, slightly red-faced. “I see. Thanks Yves.” Fitchner then re-emerged into the interrogation room with purpose, not wasting any time taking off the cuffs on Lopez and Denton.
“Fitch,” said Parkes, confused. “What’s happening?”
“There was a mix-up with your arrest...I didn't realize you were involved with Cindy Ross,” said Fitchner.“I apologize for your loss Mr. Denton”
“She’s…she’s…she’s gone?” said Denton. He began to sob. “Cindy…Cindy no!” He collapsed to his knees, crying uncontrollably. “I thought the news reports were all wrong…she has to be alive.”
“Come here,” said Parkes. Denton came to her and gave her a hug, crying on her shoulder. “We’re really sorry.” Lopez rubbed Denton’s shoulder as well.
“I guess now you guys believe I didn’t do this,” said Denton, through his tears.
“We do believe you,” said Parkes, “so believe us when we tell you how sorry we are for you.”
“Let’s go to the break room,” said Fitchner. “It’s more comfortable there.”
Babehood Club, New Rome
“You really get into these things, don’t you Mr. James?” said Pucci, trying not to laugh at James’ ridiculous outfit as they walked into the club.
“To know him,” said James, suavely while dressed in a leopard-print suit with a top hat, with his outfit littered with all kinds of passementarie, “I must become him.”
“You do that,” said Coleman sardonically. He and Pucci were dressed more simply, in basic suits.
“Men,” said James, excitedly. “It’s time do what we do best.”
“Finally, something I can agree on,” said Pucci.
“So this club can fit 15,000 people,” said Coleman.
“…and it’s packed every night,” concurred Pucci.
“With all kinds of women,” said James, with a smile.
“Perfect hunting ground for our UnSub,” said Coleman.
“Gentlemen,” said James. “Let’s dance.”
The three men dispersed onto the dancefloor, mingling with the women at will. Coleman, being more inclined to dance, found his spot on the floor, while Pucci preferred to be by the bar. James, though, just wanted to be everywhere, moving about with purpose.
On the dancefloor, Coleman moved with his usual cat-like reflexes, deftly placing himself behind the scores of women like he usually did. At the right moment, he would place his hands on the woman’s hips and guide her towards him, but at this club, the women weren’t that reciprocal. Coleman failed about ten times, but that didn’t deter him from finding his eleventh.
“Oh no, not again,” said the woman, as Coleman’s hands went on her hips. As she glided towards him, though, she had second thoughts. “Oh wait…yes…” She smiled, feeling just how well-endowed Coleman was, gleefully rubbing against him.
“So you agree that bigger is better, don’t you think?” said Coleman alluringly into her ear.
“Quit talking boy!” said the woman, “and just let me work it!”
“My pleasure,” said Coleman with a smile, as the two of them continued to dance.
“You are quite fascinating, Cassandra,” said Pucci, talking to a woman he met by the bar. “Let me buy you a drink.”
“I’m sorry,” replied Cassandra. “You’re a nice man…but I can’t.”
“Come on…just one…doesn’t have to mean anything.”
“Okay…well, have a nice day.”
Pucci gestured to the bar. “I think I need another Tom Collins,” he said. The bartender returned with his drink. Pucci turned his attention down the bar. “What’s she having?”
“An apple martini,” said the bartender.
“All right,” said Pucci. “Get her one.” The bartender promptly made an apple martini for the woman Pucci saw down at the other side of the bar. The woman, who has having a rough night, appreciated the gesture and called for Pucci to come over.
“Thanks,” said the woman. “My name is Cassie, what’s yours?”
“Claudio,” said Pucci, who continued with a bit of a laugh. “Cassie, eh? I was just talking to a girl named Cassandra…but she wasn’t as pretty as you are.”
Cassie blushed. “Thanks. It’s been so long since a man complimented me.”
“So what brings you out tonight?”
“Oh I just broke up with my boyfriend of five years…caught him with my dog…apparently it’s been going on for a while now.”
Pucci was taken aback. “Your dog? Never heard that one before.”
“You didn’t hear the story? I won ‘Bad Boyfriend Blackjack’ with it.”
“I’m not much of a radio guy…I prefer my iPod.”
“You have an iPod?” Cassie was pleasantly surprised to hear that.
“Yeah. I have Twitter too. Not Facebook, though…that’s just too much information for me. I know I’m an old guy but I keep up with modern technology…I love it.”
Cassie smiled, warming up to Pucci. “You’re not old…you’re experienced.”
Pucci laughed. “Experienced…I like that. Shall we get a drink?”
Cassie smiled, appreciating the gesture. “I thought you wouldn’t ask.”
“That’s just a little too close for me,” said a woman, peeling away from an attempted hug by James.
“Okay,” said James. “I apologize. I was just trying to explain what my mother always did.”
“So, Jamie…you design homes?”
“Yes. For couples.”
“Oh, so you build love nests.”
“Right now, I have a special because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend…in fact, I have the perfect house for you.”
“Forget it…you could use it for your silly attire.” The woman walked away in a huff, shaking her head at what she had just experienced.
James laughed, undeterred. He turned around to see musician Sean Paul Henriques, better known as just Sean Paul, seated at a booth.
“Sean Paul?” said James, recognizing an old friend.
“Oldrich James?” said Paul, recognizing James. He got up to greet James with a hug. “Wagwan brother, wagwan?”
“I’m here in New Rome trying to catch a killer,” said James.
“Dat Bossanova dude? He’s scary.”
“That’s the one. Part of our investigation is figuring out how he’s picking up women…so I signed up for John Travis’ class hoping for clues and here I am…acting out his class.”
“Right on man, right on. How’s it goin’?”
“Not so well. I got one girl’s phone number, but usually I can get six or seven a night.”
“Maybe if you dun dress like Elton John man you’d have more success.”
“I agree,” said John, who was dressed more simply at Paul’s table, though he still wore his signature rose-coloured glasses.
“Sir Elton,” said James, greeting John with a hug. “Well, it’s time to get rid of this then.” James, who had been carrying a bag with him, escaped behind the booth to change out of his outfit into his more usual grey suit and pants, without the tassels.
“Now you tha bad bwai that I knew before!” said Paul as James emerged from behind the booth.
“I couldn’t help but notice the amount of women you have here,” said James, taking a seat next to Paul.
“Dey come, man,” said Paul. “The beef…they drawn to me.”
“So you don’t even approach anyone…the women…they just come to you?”
“Ya man,” replied Paul. “The biscuits…they know I make dem my boopsies.”
“You, my friend, are definitely keeping these women very well,” concurred James.
“We come here every chance we get,” said John. “We love it here…everyone in New Rome is so hospitable towards us.”
“That’s funny,” said James. “Because my colleagues and I have been observing the men and the women here and it seems like everyone is so unfriendly towards each other…you guys don’t experience any animosity?”
“Naw man,” replied Paul. “The New Romans love me gaan to bed.”
“We have heard the stories,” said John. “I feel sorry for these guys, but we don’t experience any problems. It’s funny, because no matter how many times I tell the women here about myself they still hand me phone numbers. My husband David jokes with me that maybe one these days we should invite one of these ladies for a threesome.”
“Is Claude here?” asked James.
“Yes,” said John. “He went to the bathroom.”
“Tell him I say hello,” said James, saying goodbye to his friends. “I have a case to solve. Keep in touch, okay?” He then bought the gang a round of drinks in support.
James then caught up with Pucci and Coleman.
“How’d you guys do?” asked James.
“These girls are tough nuts to crack,” said Pucci. “I did meet this wonderful lady, Cassie…but she was my only phone number.”
“I only got one too,” said Coleman, who continued with a grin, “but she’s eager to see my snake later after rubbing against it for so long.”
“I think we need to keep our snakes in our pants tonight,” said Pucci.
“Don’t worry, I know,” said Coleman, assuredly. “I told her I’ll call her once the case wraps up.” Coleman then got the discussion back to the case. “So we’ve tried picking up women…we’ve watched the pickup artists do it…what have we found?”
“You’d make a great leader, Zeke,” said James, impressed with Coleman’s ability to take charge. Coleman smiled in acknowledgement. “Anyway,” James continued, “I don’t think our guy is a pickup artist or used their classes…I’ve been watching them…this place is full of them…none of them seem to have the rate of success that Bossanova has.”
“I agree,” said Pucci. “He’s claimed six lives, possibly seven and we’ve accounted for five, all in the space of less than a year. He’s a champion at this.”
“Don’t think it takes that much to seduce seven women, especially over a whole year,” said Coleman, disagreeing.
“Think about it, Zeke,” said James. “All these murders are painstakingly planned. He drives long distances to dump bodies, and goes through giant rituals before he kills each woman.”
“He selects these women,” continued Pucci. “He has to have a high enough number of women to meet ‘the right one’ and that takes time.”
“That may be true, but the pickup artists could just be having a bad night,” said Coleman.
“I disagree,” said James. “I tried being one, and it didn’t work. I also spent some time studying other methods and I realized that picking up is really just a numbers’ game…the art of picking up women is nothing more than knowing good common sense about taking care of yourself and how to approach people…even John Travis’ material can be simplified this way.”
“Okay,” said Coleman, understanding the line of thinking. “So he has to have a job where he can meet with women regularly.”
“Might I suggest a job like my friends Sean Paul and Elton John?” said James, pointing out the booth Paul and John were sitting at.
“So he’s an artist of some kind,” said Coleman, nodding in agreement. “They have to meet a lot of women just for their job, and women are likely drawn to them at a high enough rate that explains the murders.”
“I’m not sure he would operate in here,” said James.
“I disagree,” said Coleman. “He loves it in here. He wants a challenge…that’s why he sent that letter to the police…he wants people to think he’s outsmarted everyone and figured out how to seduce women…what better place than to do it here?”
“Now that I think of it,” said James, pondering Coleman’s words, “you’re right. Let’s see how Fitch is doing.”
New Rome Police Headquarters
At the Headquarters, Fitchner and Parkes were making headway with Denton and Lopez.
“So you kissed Cindy goodbye that morning and never saw her again” asked Fitchner.
“Yes,” said Denton, still struggling through his answers. “I knew she was having a girl’s night with her friends that night, so when she didn’t call I wasn’t too worried. I expected to hear from her the next day…so when I didn’t I called the police.”
“As we know, the police didn’t see any signs that she had made it home that night,” said Parkes.
“It surprised me,” remarked Denton. “I didn’t think she would cheat on me…but I decided to reserve my judgement until I found her. So when the police’s investigation turned up nothing, I went out and looked myself…when I didn’t find her, I remembered my friend, Kim Myers…she helped Enrique find the guy who stole his bong. I hacked into her computer and left her a message, and I guess she thought it was incredibly urgent, because, a day later she’d flown in and met with me.”
“We didn’t have much,” said Lopez. “So we just left Kim to her own devices…she was so good on her own. However, she must have been in over her head…I received a text from her telling me she saw some strange guy leading this girl into his car…and that’s the last I heard from her.”
“Did you receive that same text?” asked Fitchner to Denton.
“No,” said Denton. “I didn’t hear from her since she met up with us.”
“Why did Cindy fall in love with you?” asked Parkes.
“She’s from Calkini like I am,” said Denton. “We worked across the street from each other…I was at a computer sales shop and she worked for a doctor…I remember she was going to open her own office the week she disappeared…it’s dedicated in her memory.”
“Okay, so you guys were familiar with each other,” pressed Parkes.
“Yes,” replied Denton, “and people are friendlier in the suburbs of New Rome.”
“Do you think she let her guard down that night in New Rome?” asked Fitchner.
“I think so,” said Lopez. “She was always friendly and willing to lend a helping hand. So I suspected this Bossanova guy lured her by feigning injury in some way. Of course, I can’t know for sure.”
“Thank you for your time gentlemen,” said Fitchner, “and sorry for causing trouble tonight.”
Proctor’ and Yves’s hotel room, Dallas, Texas
“He…he can’t have her,” said Yves, worried for Kim.
“Yves, I know you’re worried,” said Proctor, “but that won’t change the fact that Kim has been kidnapped by this douchebag.”
Yves couldn’t help but freak out. “There must be some mistake! There must be!” As Yves pranced, frantically, he had a realization. “Wait! We don’t even know if Kim’s been taken by Bossanova…it could be an unrelated kidnapping! We jumped to conclusions too soon!”
“Yves, you profiled Bossanova as a guy who loves strong, dominant women…Kim is as dominant as they get. He has her.” Proctor sighed, worried for Yves. “I’m hoping for the best too…but you have to expect the worst.”
“Emily…I know…but it’s still horrifying…I grew close to her and her family…how could I tell them what happened to their daughter?”
Proctor squirmed. “Okay…well, let’s hope for the best…let’s not lose our wits about this…I know this doesn’t look good…but…she could still be alive. Let’s go to Fitch with what we know.”
Just then, the weatherman on the TV announced that a major snowstorm was due to roll into Dallas, grounding all flights until the following evening.
“We can drive, right?” said Yves, flustered at the news.
“Yves…let’s just get some sleep,” said Proctor. “It’s too late to fly out anyway. We can’t control the weather.”
“No…no…NO!” Yves got up and pranced around the room, causing Proctor to get up as well. She then gave Yves a big hug.
“Yves…don’t worry…please…you have to be strong. Kim was saved by you because you were strong…you have to do the same.”
As the days wore on, Bossanova realized that Kim started to get more submissive with him. She quickly realized that the more she resisted the more severe her beatings would get, so she decided to suck it up and just take them. Bossanova realized this, tending to her injuries and deciding to lavish her with gifts, and show her signs of real affection. Eventually, Kim started to think Bossanova really did care for her and started to return those signs of affection.
Once Bossanova knew that she had submitted fully to him, he let her out of her restraints, though he still fitted her with a shock collar to keep her from leaving the apartment. She didn’t mind that restraint- she found it cute, feeling very much like a puppy with her feelings towards Bossanova.
One afternoon, when Bossanova left to grab more groceries for the two, Kim instinctively started to wash the dishes. As she was washing, Bossanova came in from behind her, and started to feel up her belly, eventually grabbing hold of her breasts and squeezing them softly. Kim submitted to the warmth of his hands, leaning in towards him and started to kiss him. She then turned around, continuing to passionately kiss him until the two of them made it to Bossanova’s bedroom, where the two of them had consensual sex.
“I never knew how much I needed a bigger man,” said Kim, affectionately towards Bossanova as they cuddled after sex.
“All I needed was an angel,” said Bossanova, warmly, kissing her forehead. “I knew you were special all along. I’m glad you realized that.”
The next day, New Rome Police Headquarters
“Okay, so where are we in this case?” asked Fitchner.
“I know you wanted us to rest last night,” said Pucci, “but I couldn’t sleep…this guy is bugging me.”
“We determined he couldn’t have gone to a pickup artist class,” said Coleman. “He picked up girls at a faster rate than the pickup artists do, because he has to work in some kind of industry that allows him to meet women on a regular basis, we’re thinking as an artist.”
“Narrows it down a little bit,” said Fitchner. “That leaves us with photography, modelling, talent agent, actor…” Fitchner sighed with frustration.
“The women in this city complain often about men who don’t take charge,” said Parkes.
“They’re too afraid to express themselves,” continued Cooke, “so they’re too afraid to approach the men…forcing the men into some ridiculous situations to get the girl. Of course, since, as we all know, ‘the nice guy’ is boring, he’s often shut down too, leading to the strange scenario where no woman approaches a man and no man winds up getting in with a girl, since no approach seems to work.”
“We profiled this guy as a narcissist who seeks dominance over his victims,” said Fitchner. “To get in with these women he has to play to their feelings of overtly emasculated men, so he has to have something they don’t.”
“Access,” said James. “He doesn’t have to have been better than these pickup artists…in fact, I reckon that he likely isn’t…he just happens to have access to a lot more women than they do, so he has a lot more chances to hone his craft.”
“…and, a lot of practice,” said Coleman. “Picking women up isn’t anything more than a simple numbers game while having simple common sense about taking care of yourself and dealing with others…people who are great around other people tend to be the best pickup artists…it’s not rocket science.”
“So it was a waste of time to go to the club then,” admonished Parkes.
“No, it was illuminating,” said Pucci. “We believe he operates in the clubs when he has the chance, because we saw how tough it was to pick up in the clubs and we figure that, since he’s thumbing his nose at the police about how great he was at picking up, he had to operate- and have success in- the hardest place to pick up, and that’s the club.”
“The good news is that Yves and Proctor are joining us tomorrow,” said Fitchner.
“Tomorrow?” said Coleman, confused.
“Their plane got grounded in Dallas,” said Fitchner. “They had a snap snowstorm…we can’t fly our jet to get them because of it. I’ve been told we can get them tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s try to look over the evidence again and see if there was something we missed.”
“You look beautiful,” said Bossanova, admiringly to Kim, who was parading around a flower-print spaghetti-strapped sundress he bought for her.
“Thanks,” said Kim, planting a kiss on his cheek and embracing Bossanova, who was seated. “So does this mean at some point I’ll get to be in your art?” Kim asked, as the two cuddled.
“Of course,” replied Bossanova. “When the time is right.”
“Okay,” said Kim, smiling. She got up and sat down on Bossanova’s lap, facing him, so the two of them could kiss, with Bossanova thinking it may soon be time to "add" the mother that would complete his new family.
The next day, New Rome Police Headquarters
“It’s SO good to see you guys again,” said Yves as he met with the team. “I didn’t think we’d get out of Dallas.”
“Don’t mind him,” said Proctor. “He’s a little frustrated right now.”
“I know,” said Fitchner. “Him and Kim were close. We need you guys to look over the evidence…we’ve given it a look and we can’t find anything we’ve missed.”
“Okay, we’ll have a look,” said Proctor.
Once inside the police station, Yves and Proctor got to work, re-examining the evidence. Yves went to the coroner to re-examine the bodies, while Proctor took a look at Bossanova’s message to police to see if it could yield any further clues.
The coroner’s morgue
“This,” said the coroner, Sextus Procupius as he took the wrapping off the body, “is Sarah Jenner.”
“Okay,” said Yves, examining the body. “I already knew about the submissive-style beatings and the execution-style killing…turn her around.”
“Okay,” said Procupius, following the instruction. “There’s bruisings all over the place…it’s tough to make out each blow.”
Yves took another look at the bruising and came away with something.
“Mr. Procupius,” said Yves, pointing to Jenner’s buttocks, “you’ll notice…very faintly, that the bruising on her buttocks is different from the rest of the bruises…these look like repeated blows, as if she was being spanked.”
“Now that you point it out,” said Procupius, examining the body, “I see it too. It is very hard to tell.”
“Let me see Kara McLeod’s body,” said Yves.
Procupius unveiled McLeod’s body, the only other body that was preserved.
Yves looked for the same marks on McLeod’s body that Jenner’s body had. “Yup, it’s there- the spanking. It’s like he’s treating them like children…this is corporal punishment…he had lost a child of his own and he’s taking it out on the women he’s killed.”
New Rome Police Headquarters
“Dear police,” said Proctor, reading Bossanova’s letter, “As I understand, you have been confounded by the murders that have happened in this city. Believe me, I understand how puzzled you are. However, there is nothing I can do to help, because this is all part of my master plan. You will be forced to sit there, as I seduce your women and destroy their large coldness, so that I can break their resolve and show them how a woman is supposed to behave. All lies end, xenophiles.”
Proctor pondered the statement. Okay, think...there's a message in there somewhere...“their large coldness”...that's a pretty awkward phrase...there is something there...and that last sentence is awkward too...“All lies end, xenophiles”...wait...maybe if I put the words together...yes, it spells “Alex”...and “their large” sounds like “DeLarge”...he's describing the movie for “A Clockwork Orange.”
An hour later, Proctor and Yves revisted the team and told them what they found.
“I had a second look at the bodies,” started Yves. “It was very hard to tell, but there was bruising on both women's buttocks that suggested spanking or corporal punishment...which leads me to believe that he lost a child and is blaming a woman for it.”
“The message,” said Proctor, “that was a reference to the film version of 'A Clockwork Orange'...the awkward phrases were a giveaway.”
“How did you figure that?” Pucci asked.
“Read that last sentence,” noted Proctor. The team did so.
“Put those words together...they spell 'Alex',” said Coleman.
“What about the other awkward phrase?” Proctor contined. “ 'Their large'? Sounds like 'DeLarge' doesn't it?”
“Which was only present in the film version,” said Pucci, enlightened. “So he's a film-maker...with daughter issues.”
“Morales's Emporium of Intelligence Gathering,” said Morales, answering her phone.
“Okay Morales,” said Pucci, who placed the phone at the centre of the table and had it on speaker. “We need you to find a New Roman film maker who lost a daughter in the past year, be it from a divorce or a death. He may have even made a film about it.”
“Okay...woah...it's a big list,” said Morales, surprised.
“How many have made a film about it?” Fitchner asked.
Morales checked on her computer for a few minutes. “There's three actually- all of which were critically acclaimed,” she said.
“Any of them compared to 'A Clockwork Orange'?” Proctor asked.
“Negative,” said Morales.
“Thanks Andi,” said James. Pucci then hung up his phone.
“All right...three guys...we could interview them all but that would take too long,” said Pucci.
“I have an idea,” said James.
Babehood Nightclub, New Rome
“Ladies and gentlemen!” James said, taking over the DJ booth. “Is everyone having a good time?” The crowd hollered in excitement. Nothing like a few good beers, James thought. “All right, good...to tell you how to continue having a good time, here's my friend, JJ.”
Cooke approached the booth and grabbed the microphone from James. “Listen,” started Cooke, speaking with purpose. “My name is Jenna Jayme Cooke...I work for the FBII's Behavioural Analysis Unit. This goes out to all the women here. I know you've been scared about this Bossanova guy...and I wish not to make light of him, because it's serious. However, it seems to me like many of you have forgotten you can still have fun while being vigilant...being aware of your surroundings and what's happening doesn't mean you have to be scared. In fact, Bossanova wants you to be scared. So I'm urging you tonight...let loose. Have a good time. Don't let this guy get to you, because if you’re scared, you’re letting him win. Don’t ever forget that. Thank you.” Cooke then left the booth, as a remix of Cyndi Lauper's “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” played.
“Someone should say that to the City of Toronto,” said James.
“One step at a time,” said Cooke.
“Okay,” said Coleman. “Now, we look out for the guy who's most frustrated that these women are no longer a challenge. That will be our guy.”
“It's a bit of a lark, isn't it?” Yves asked, concerned.
“It's worth a shot,” said Pucci. “We don't have much else. Since he's a narcissist, he'll be rather vocal about his frustrations.”
An hour later, a SWAT team member overheard a man leaving the club telling a bouncer he was frustrated.
“These women tonight,” said the man. “They were too easy tonight...I liked them better when they were harder...at least there was some thrill to the chase.”
“BAU,” said the SWAT team member, “visual on a potential UnSub, at the south end of the building. Copy?”
“Copy,” said Fitchner. “Do you have a car and license plate?”
“Relay the information to Morales. Fitchner out.”
“Okay,” said Morales, checking the information back at Quantico, “this license plate is a fake...but the make matches one of our potential suspects.”
“Yes Morales?” Fitchner answered with urgency. “Bjorn Helguson? We'll be on our way.”
Bjorn Helguson's Apartment
“Do you see anything?” Coleman asked Yves, who was holding binoculars to peer into Helguson's window.
“No, not yet,” said Yves, downcast. “I'm getting antsy...”
“I know…f***ing probable cause! Of course, if we didn't have probable cause we'd be arresting people who are innocent of the crimes.”
“Good point.” Yves peered into his binoculars once more. He saw a figure at the window.
“Is that...is that Kim?” Yves concentrated a bit more. He reacted with disgust. “My goodness...it is...he's made her wear some hideous sundress.”
Coleman took a look himself. “I think she looks kind of nice in it.”
Yves got animated. “That's not the point...she's a rocker/punk chick...she loves cutoffs and midriffs, and she'd rather wear pants than wear a skirt...this is completely wrong.”
“At least we know she's alive.”
“...and we have probable cause.” Yves darted from their encampment towards Helguson's apartment complex.
“Dammit Yves!” Coleman sighed with frustration, knowing he was forced to run after him. The rest of the BAU did the same.
Upon getting up to Helguson's apartment, Yves tried to do his best Coleman impression by kicking down the door, but could only stub his toe. Coleman, though, was right behind him, and showed him how it was done.
“Bjorn Helguson!” Coleman hollered, raising his gun at Helguson, who had sat down to eat a bowl of Cheerios. “You are under arrest! Don't do anything stupid or we will shoot!” By now the rest of the team found their way to Helguson's apartment, with their guns raised.
“I don't think so,” said Kim, emerging from her room pointing Helguson's gun at the BAU. “If you even tryto shoot him, I will shoot you.”
“Put the gun away Kim,” hollered Proctor. “You don't want to go like this.” When Kim didn't even flinch, Proctor continued. “I'm going to count to three.”
Yves panicked with worry about what was about to unfold in front of him. She's got Stockholm...oh no...
“Hold your fire!” Yves yelled, “Hold your f***ing fire!” He then stood directly in front of Kim, to sheild her from his team's shots.
“Yves!” Fitchner yelled. “Get back here or I will be forced to arrest you and fire you!”
“So fire me,” yelled Yves, defiantly. “Arrest me...I don't care. If Kim goes down, I'm going down with her.” Yves then slumped to his knees.
Dear goodness, thought Pucci, how do you deal with Sudden Stockholm Syndrome?
“Kim,” said Yves, turning his attention to Kim, his voice quivering, “please...I'm begging you...don't do this...not just for me...but for you...you're better than this.” Knots were forming in Yves’s stomach, as his mind churned with all kinds of scenarios unfolding, each one worse than the last, with Yves worried the situation was only getting worse.
“No,” answered Kim, defiantly. “He loves me.”
Yves was still quivering, more than before, his voice raising with his concern over the situation. “I know you want to protect him…but he's not worth protecting...he's tricked you...look at you...you're wearing frilly sundresses, when you're f***ing Kim Possible!” Yves tried his best to hold back his tears, but a few managed to fall, as Yves tried in vain to think of anything to get Kim to snap out of her trance. “Does someone who loves you change you?”
“Kim,” said Helguson, calmly. “It's okay. You can put the gun away. I'll be fine. Don't sacrifice yourself for me.” He then reached for Kim, extending his arm to give her a hug.
Kim responded by grabbing his arm and kicking out his foot in one swift move, knocking him straight to the ground. “You forgot who I am,” said Kim with a confident smirk, “I'm Kim Possible. Nobody messes with me.”
As Helguson was formally arrested, Yves and Kim shared a warm embrace.
“I was so worried about you,” said Yves, crying on her shoulder.
“I can't believe I fell for that guy,” said Kim, starting to cry herself.
Yves could barely speak through his tears. “You're safe...and that's all that matters to me.” The two continued to hold each other tightly, crying tears of joy as Yves realized Kim's submission to Helguson and her Stockholm Syndrome saved her life.
The next day, FBII Academy, Quantico, Virginia
“I figured I would save you the trouble,” said Yves, putting his gun and his badge on Fitchner's desk.
“Yves,” said Fitchner, visibly concerned. “You don't need to do this.”
“It's okay. I understand. You're firing me because I put myself and the team in danger. I know I'm not the only one with a brain...I hear Ken Jennings is looking for work.”
“Yves, I'm not going to fire you. I never was. My emotions got the better of me...the situation was unravelling in front of me so I had to think quickly...and I thought wrong.”
Yves gazed at Fitchner, confused.
“Truth is, Yves, you saved someone's life and that's what counts. Had Proctor gone through with killing Kim I would have had a heck of a time trying to justify that homicide...really, your intervention got everything to where it should be. Not only that, but you showed just how much you care, and it's that passion that made me hire you as an agent ten years ago...don't sell yourself short...you did a great job today.”
“Keep it up, okay?”
Yves nodded before putting his gun back on and retrieving his badge.
When Yves emerged from Fitchner's office, the team was gathered, ready to say their goodbyes.
“Did Fitch understand?” Coleman asked.
“Yes he did,” replied Yves.
“Well,” said Morales, wistfully. “It's been fun.”
“I'm not leaving guys,” said Yves confidently. “Fitch decided to keep me.”
The team let out a collective sigh of relief. “That's great news,” said Coleman. “Now kid, that was risky...but that took guts. You should be proud of yourself. You weren't afraid to stand up for someone you cared about, and you deserve props for that.”
Yves smiled appreciatively before reassuming his spot at his cubicle. Parkes walked up to him.
“Zoe,” said Yves, acknowledging Parkes. “Thank goodness it wasn’t you in that apartment…I don’t know how I could handle seeing you in peril.”
“Pascal,” said Parkes with a warm smile. “You don’t need to tell me how you’d handle it…you already told me. I saw how you reacted with Kim…you really showed your heart. It tells me that I don’t need to worry if you need to save me, because I know you would.”
Yves smiled and hung his head, meekly accepting the compliment. “Of course, I already know about your abilities.”
“Yeah, and I don’t want to have to save you from Tora Bora again.”
Yves laughed, knowing that would be a memory he wouldn’t be able to live down.
Down the hall, in her office, Cooke was crafting a letter. It was her first petition for a divorce from her husband, Will.
I hate doing this, thought Cooke, but I can’t wait any longer. Lucas deserves a real father…it’s time I give him one. As she put the finishing touches on her petition, her phone went off.
“Jenna Jayme Cooke of the FBII speaking,” answered Cooke, not recognizing the phone number.
“Hey,” said the caller. It was Benarrivo.
“Ricardo!” Cooke was happy to hear from him. “How are you?”
“I took your advice. I left my girlfriend…I’m living with my brother…I’m still in New Rome…but I’m so much happier. I finally feel like I’m my own man…no more abusive girlfriend.”
“Wow…I’m happy for you. So you took my advice?”
“I don’t know why I took so long to realize it…I guess I needed an outsider to tell me before I realized how salient the point was…we all tend to tune out our friends after a while…I guess I had done the same.”
“I’m glad I could help.” Cooke smiled.
“…and people seem to be friendlier now in New Rome ever since you caught the guy…you guys did excellent work.” Benarrivo fumbled a bit as he continued. “Hey…I’m just asking in a friendly manner…do you want to grab a coffee sometime? I mean…when you’re back in New Rome, of course…to thank you for what you did for me.”Cooke responded reassuringly. “I think I’d like that.” The two then got to know each other on the phone for a bit, Cooke pleased to know that she made a difference.