(For the individual links, see: https://eastcup.blogspot.ca/search/label/Cases%20of%20the%20BAU)
Episode 6: Hidden Talents (Episode Start Date: January 25, 2016)
Episode 6: Hidden Talents (Episode Start Date: January 25, 2016)
An abandoned prison, 49 miles south of Manhattan, Kiowa Territory (old Kansas)
“Guys,” said Behavioural Analysis Unit member Spencer Reid, motioning the team to a door. “She’s in here.”
“Robert Griffith,” bellowed teammate Derek Morgan. “We know you’re in there. Open up!” When there wasn’t an answer, Morgan opened the door the only way that he could- by kicking it open.
Morgan gave the room a look. It was the prison lunch area, so it was pretty expansive. The rest of the team- Reid, leader Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, senior agent David Rossi, Emily Prentiss, Zoe Hawkes and media liaison Jennifer “JJ” Jareau- followed Morgan in, with everyone looking in every nook that they could. When they realized the person they were looking for wasn’t in the room, Hotchner gave the team the order to leave.
That’s when the door Morgan had just kicked open slammed shut on them, trapping them in the lunch room.
“I just kicked it open,” said Morgan, trying to pry the door open. “How in the world did it get stuck again?”
“Griffith must have sneaked up on us,” said Hotchner. “He’s the only other one in here.”
“Is he, Aaron?” asked Rossi.
“Well, we didn’t encounter any resistance when we got into the prison,” said Hotchner. “Certainly if he had minions we would have seen them by now.”
“I have a bad feeling about this,” said Morgan.
“How could we be so stupid as to fall into a trap?” asked Prentiss, confused. “We’re smarter than this, aren’t we?” The team then started to look Hawkes’ way.
“Don’t look at me,” said Hawkes, curtly. “I had nothing to do with this hunch this time.”
“Guys,” snapped Hotchner, loudly. “Placing blame on someone isn’t going to get us out of here. It’s obvious Griffith wants to break us.”
“Hotch is right,” answered Jareau. “Remember North Mammon? That was the UnSub’s goal and because everyone snipped at each other it was executed perfectly.”
Morgan looked around, frantically. The room had no windows, just the door, which was made of cast iron and bulletproof glass. Morgan tried shooting at the door but the bullets just bounced off the door, the casings landing right next to him.
“JJ” said Morgan, frustrated. “None of this ‘North Mammon’ stuff is going to do us any good. There’s no way out of here...that door is locked shut.” Morgan then looked at his cell phone. “Great...no cell service either.” He then tried to get to the prison phone, but when he picked it up, the line had been cut. “This son of a b*** is good...when I get my hands you f***er...”
Moments later, Griffith thought it would be fun to mock the team on the intercom.
“Greetings, FBI,” cackled Griffith through the intercom. “So you think you’ve caught me. You came this far, only to find that I have turned the tables on you. You guys thought that if this was a prison in the middle of nowhere that you wouldn’t need SWAT...looks like you were wrong.”
“Robert,” said Hotchner, directing his attention to the intercom. Griffith had already hung up. Hotchner resigned to a chair in defeat.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Thanks,” said Patrick Jane, handing a file to the receptionist, Julia Clarkson.
“No problem,” replied Clarkson with a smile. “When they get back from their current case they’d be more than happy to review your file.”
“It’s a lark, I know...but Red John has haunted me for far too long.”
“So you’re doing this alone?”
“I figure at some point I’ll let my team at the CBI know what I’ve done...but it’s too late in the day, I didn’t want to disturb them.”
In the distance, the BAU’s Technical Analyst, Penelope Garcia noticed Jane as she was walking out for a break.
“Are you...?” said Garcia, nervously approaching Jane.
“Am I the Boogeyman?” said Jane, with his usual charm. “No I am not. I am Patrick Jane though...you may have heard of me through such TV specials as ‘Reading the Mind of a Killer’ and ‘Daddy, I Know Who Really Shot Your Mother’.”
Garcia laughed. “You’re cute,” she said, smiling.
“You’re even cuter,” smiled Jane.
“Thanks,” said Garcia. By this point, the two of them had made it outside of the doors. “I do have a boyfriend, though.”
“You don’t sound so happy about that,” replied Jane, with a hint of concern.
“Oh no, we’re good,” reassured Garcia. “We just had a fight this morning, that’s all...we’ve been going out for five years now...it has peaks and valleys...you know what I mean.”
“Maybe,” said Jane, thrusting his hand from one side to the other, “your relationship has lost some zip. I’ve done some counselling, I might be able to help.”
“I might like that,” said Garcia, “and maybe you can give us a reading or something...I hear you’re a psychic.”
Jane smiled. He bristled at the notion of being called a psychic, but he since he still hadn’t told his own employers, the California Bureau of Investigation, that he wasn’t psychic, he had to keep up the charade. “Sure, I’d love to give you guys a reading, if it would help,” he replied. He clasped his hands together before continuing. “Forgive me, I should have asked this sooner, but what’s your name?”
“Oh,” said Garcia, enraptured by Jane. “My name’s Penelope Garcia...I work for the Behavioural Analysis Unit as their Technical Analyst...basically I just sit in front of the computer while the rest of the team goes out and has ‘fun’, but I wouldn’t want it any other way- I like being safe here in Quantico. Computer screens can’t actually shoot me.”
“The BAU, huh?” said Jane, nodding his head. “I’m trying to get their help on Red John...perhaps you’ve heard of him?”
“Oh yeah,” said Garcia, excited. “I watch The Mentalist-”
Jane waved his hand to interrupt her. “Please, please, please,” he pleaded. “The show has it all wrong. They’ve tacked on all these things about him, with cults and connections and accomplices...none of it is real. That’s just Hollywood theatrics. That’s what’s been hindering this case...everyone is watching the show and thinking all those details are real when they’re not...they’ve just been added because, in Hollywood, you can’t have simple villains- you need ‘epic’ ones. The proof is that Red John has stopped killing after he killed my family...there is no web, there are no accomplices, there’s no grand cover up...just a man who was smart. A man who realized that if he continued he’d get caught.”
“So he stopped killing, what, nine years ago?” asked Garcia.
“Thereabouts,” replied Jane.
“Why would he stop?” asked Garcia.
“Maybe something changed in his life,” thought Jane, out loud. “Maybe he just got bored. Maybe he just wised up and figured if he continued he was playing with fire. The one thing I do know is that he doesn’t leave a whole lot of clues, and what little I do have...I wonder if it means anything. That’s why I hope your team can help me.”
“Of course we can help,” beamed Garcia. “They should be coming back any moment now.”
“Oh?” said Jane, intrigued. “Where are they?”
“They’re somewhere near Manhattan,” said Garcia. “They didn’t tell me where.”
“They’re somewhere near Manhattan,” said Garcia. “They didn’t tell me where.”
“Manhattan?” asked Jane, puzzled. “Pretty hard to get lost in the Big Apple.”
“No,” laughed Garcia. “It’s Manhattan, Kansas. Or, at least it used to be called Manhattan before the Native Americans took over the territory after the Cold War.”
“Ah, right,” said Jane, understanding what she said. “Kiowa Territory.”
“Right,” said Garcia, “and, outside of Manhattan, a lot of their kingdom is ‘off the grid’, and thus they don’t have a lot of records.”
“The Natives never liked being tethered,” said Jane. “The Kiowa in particular…they’re warriors, and primarily hunters and gatherers. They never believed in staying in one area.”
“Exactly,” said Garcia, pointedly. “South of Manhattan is what is considered a ‘squatting area’…no one actually owns it. They maintain it but there’s no record of ownership.”
“Sounds like it’s easy to hide,” said Jane.
“Yeah it was…but I’m told they found the guy,” said Garcia. She then continued playfully, “through their super-duper profiling skills…I really don’t know how they do it.”
Jane laughed, then shook Garcia’s hand. “Hey, I should get going,” he said, “but let me leave you my card and you can tell me when you want that reading.”
“Sounds good,” said Garcia, smiling as Jane left.
The next day, FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Stupid elevator,” said Garcia, impatiently waiting for the elevator just past reception. She started to furiously pound at the buttons, thinking it would come quicker. “Finally,” she said, relieved when it finally did show up.
“Hello pumpkin,” said Kevin Lynch, another Technical Analyst and Garcia’s boyfriend.
“Oh my goodness!” said Garcia, jumping, being surprised that someone else was in the elevator.
Lynch responded playfully. “Did I scare you?”
“Yes you did you bugger! I still love you though.” Garcia planted a kiss on Lynch’s lips.
“You know, Penelope…” Lynch started to run his fingers up her side, “it’s just the two of us in this elevator…think of the possibilities.”
“Easy tiger.” Garcia softly clutched Lynch’s playful hand and put it on her shoulder. “We start thinking about that here then we can start thinking about the unemployment line.”
“Did you just get in now?”
“I was in early this morning…I forgot my USB stick in my car.”
“Oh, cool. What are you working on today?”
“Something for Rossi actually…this bizarre Calgary case…terrorists at a university…they need me to map out the school…they think the terrorists have actually carved out of a section of a building to use as a hideout spot.”
“Boy, they’re sneaky…and weird.”
“I know…it gets stranger by the minute.”
“Keep at it,” said Garcia, kissing Lynch goodbye and walking on to her floor.
“What the?” said Garcia, scanning the room. None of the BAU had returned from Manhattan. “They told me it wouldn’t take long…this is weird.” She took out one of her phones and made a phone call.
“Hello. You’ve reached the sexy phone of Derek Morgan,” started Morgan’s playful voicemail. “I’m sorry, I’m too busy preparing myself for you to come to the phone right now, but if you’d like to set up a date and have some fun, please leave your name and number after the tone…unless you’re Reid, in which case know this thang ain’t over yet!”
“Hey Derek,” started Garcia, though she was reserved worried about Morgan, “if you’re there or…anywhere…please give me a call. I’m worried about you. I want to laugh and cry together again and knowing you’re not here really troubles me…besides, we need to figure out how to get back at Reid for rigging that bet the other day…please call me…tell me you’re okay.”
Garcia then tried the rest of the team.
“This is Behavioural Analysis Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner. I can’t…” –click-
“You’ve reached the voicemail of Doctor Spencer Reid. I’m away computing the feasibility of tachyon drives, so I can’t…” –click-
“You’ve reached the phone of Zoe Hawkes. I can’t…” –click-
“This is Emily Prentiss. I can’t come to the phone right now, so please leave a message…unless you’re a collections agent in which case, please leave me alone…” –click-
“I’m sorry, David Rossi cannot be reached right now, because his phone made him upset. If you’d like to leave a message, leave your name after the tone. If you like pina coladas, press one now. If you’d like me to make…” –click-
“Something is strange,” said Garcia. She began to stress. “Something happened…oh no…my family…no…” She then scurried to her office, hurriedly slammed the door and made a phone call.
“Patrick?” said Garcia, a noticeable quiver in her voice.
“Penelope?” said Jane, groggy since he was just getting up.
“Yes, it’s Penelope.” Garcia started to plead. “Patrick…you have to help me…I need to know my team is safe.”
“Yes…the BAU…they were supposed to come home last night…they’re…they’re not here and…and…I’m freaking out.”
“Whoa…whoa…slow down Penelope.” Jane continued in a soothing tone. “Take a deep breath…relax…everything’s going to be okay.”
Garcia took a deep breath, and was reassured by Jane’s relaxing voice. “Sorry.”
“That’s okay. I understand your team is in some kind of trouble.”
“Yes…they’re missing…I need you to do a reading and tell me they’re okay.”
Jane sighed. “I should probably tell you that I’m not actually a psychic…I just have to trick everyone because they refused to believe me.”
“Can you come in today and see me? We need to find them.”
“I’ll be over in an hour.”
Garcia ended the call and walked towards Lucius Black’s office. She was worried about how the FBI Director would react upon hearing the BAU was missing, but it had to be done.
She knocked, nervously, on Black’s open door.
“Penelope!” beamed Black. “How are you today?”
“Sir,” said Garcia, still standing by the door, nervous.
“Penelope, it’s okay…I don’t bite…I know I’m Roman but really, I’m a nice guy.”
Garcia laughed, her tension relieved a little by Black’s statement. She walked in and closed the door. Black could tell something happened.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen to the team?”
“They’re…no…they can’t be.” Black was overcome with concern. He then adopted an authoritative tone. “Where are they now? I’ll get SWAT, choppers, dogs…I’ll get everybody.”
“Sir, I wish it were that easy. They’re south of Manhattan, and not the-”
“I know, it’s not the one in New York. I signed off on the case, and I’ve been there before…hmmmnnn, that’s tricky.”
“See what I mean sir? We’d be searching for days…and I’m not sure we have days, and the Natives…well, they hate us, they won’t allow us to just walk right in.”
“I did have to twist a lot of arms just to get Hotch in there…but I can’t leave them hanging…if I have to twist arms for them again I’ll do it…they would expect no less. Let me make a few phone calls Penelope. In the meantime…review the case file…see if you can locate them…it’ll make the search effort easier.”
“Will do sir. I’ve also asked Patrick Jane to come in and help.”
“Patrick Jane? The psychic?”
“Yes, well, he says not…oh wait…” Garcia stopped herself realizing she wasn’t supposed to reveal Jane’s secret.
Black gave her a look. “Penelope, I already know he’s not a psychic…I’m not stupid. I’ve been a hardened skeptic my entire life…he’s just an awesome detective. Well, see what he can provide.”
The prison, Kiowa Territory
“Okay…so how did we get here?” asked Morgan, frustrated.
“Well, we profiled the guy had a prison background, which got us into the prison,” said Reid.
“We also knew that Griffith loved Kiowa culture, which brought us to the territory,” said Hotchner.
“…and the lunchroom was the last place in the prison left to look for Sarah Fuller,” said Hawkes.
“Okay,” said Prentiss, waving her hand to draw everyone’s attention, “but that doesn’t explain why we’re in this mess. We had to have missed something. We don’t get trapped this easily.”
“Prentiss,” said Morgan, “we make mistakes…it happens.”
“This is a pretty bad mistake to make,” said Rossi, sardonically.
“Well, we made it…now we just need to figure out how to get out,” said Hotchner.
Hotchner got up. He looked around the lunchroom, searching for something, anything, that could serve as an escape. He tried to force open the windows that lead to the kitchen, but they wouldn’t budge. He then turned to the washbasin where the prisoners would wash their dishes, looking for a path under the sink. He searched, frantically, but found nothing.
“Darnit,” said Hotchner, banging a table in frustration.
“It’s a prison, Hotch,” said Morgan. “They’re not designed to escape from that easily.” Hotchner took a seat at a table.
“Where’s Griffith?” asked Reid.
“If he was smart,” said Hawkes, “he’s left by now.”
“Why can’t this be some bad TV show and he sticks around just to taunt us?” said Morgan, in frustration.
“Because he’s already achieved his goal,” said Reid. “He got rid of us, and now he can do whatever he wants with Sarah.”
“Do you think I care about Sarah now?” scowled Morgan.
“Let’s not forget her,” said Rossi. “Like that last package in Castaway, Sarah will keep us sane…we can’t lose hope.” Morgan grimaced before nodding in agreement.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Okay, so,” said Garcia, prancing around her office waiting anxiously for Jane. “They go to Manhattan. They follow this strange case...find the guy...and they get lost...somehow...think...how’d they get there...oh crap...I’m not a profiler...I haven’t a clue.”
Jane then walked into her office, not even bothering to knock. Garcia didn’t notice until he started to speak.
“Traffic is annoying today,” said Jane as he walked in.
Garcia jumped. “My gosh...you don’t knock?” she said, in shock.
“I knew you were expecting me. I didn’t need to. Besides, I like to catch people by surprise...it adds to my...mystery.”
“Well Mr. Mystery, I don’t like surprises...unless I’m the one starting them...then I’m all for it.”
“I knew you liked being in control. Most people in this profession, they love control. It could be why you’ve arranged all of your screens carefully...or why you’ve only buttoned up your cardigan up to the midway point of your chest...because you get to ‘control’ the view.”
“Are you trying to give me a compliment or are you putting me down?”
“I’m definitely not trying to put you down...I think you are a very beautiful woman. I’m just saying your fashion sense is so keen that you know exactly how to accentuate the curves you do like and hide the ones you don’t. Tell me, Penelope, were you once in theatre?”
“Yes, yes I was...ages ago...how’d you know?”
“Your clothes...they’re very well thought out. You wear a lot of bright colours, because you aren’t the kind of lady that likes to be quiet. Everything is about the spectacle for you...you, Penelope, like to be different...you want to standout, much like a showman. Plus, when you talk, you have a flair about you that commands a presence...it’s almost a pity that you have to waste it front of a computer screen when you could do so much more...you could be famous.”
“Well, I am already. I’m sure you remember the day that Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, McAfee and Symantec all went down simultaneously, right?”
“Yeah...that day was annoying...nothing on the Web worked...but I should have known it was someone like you...the hacker...they hacked all those sites at once because they wanted to be noticed...and replacing all their logos with a flower was a creative touch...I knew the hacker was special...wow, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Yeah...that day...in 2004...the FBI spent three weeks trying to find me...I kept changing my I.P. address and doing all sorts of other tricks online trying to mask my identity except for the one that would have kept them from me- my screen handle. That’s how they connected the hacking to me...they were so impressed with my work that they decided to give me a job instead of prosecuting me.”
“The online community must have had a field day with you.”
“Oh yeah...they said I was a sellout...but the FBI had enough evidence to put me away for ten lifetimes...I think I’d rather take a job over prison, wouldn’t you?”
“Principle only gets you so far, I agree.” Jane then pulled out a sandwich he had made and started to eat.
Garcia ripped the sandwich from his hands and threw it in the trash. “No eating in here! You’re with computers...have some manners!”
“That was a good sandwich...and I was hungry.” Jane then just shrugged and smiled, knowing it was Garcia’s sense of control that made her do what she did.
“I’ll make you a sandwich later...just don’t eat in here!”
Jane just laughed.
“Okay,” said Garcia, trying to get things on track. “So let’s review the case.”
“So they have this guy,” started Jane, reading a case note Garcia gave him. “He goes by the name of Robert Griffith...he calls Aaron Hotchner yesterday at 4:45PM, says he’s kidnapped this girl by the name of Sarah Fuller and that the team has an hour to find her or else she’s dead.”
“Yes,” said Garcia. “It was creepy. Hotch told me to look into the missing person files and confirm that Fuller was missing, which she was. He also asked me to trace the cell phone call, and that’s what brought them to Manhattan. After that, I really don’t know what happened.”
“Mr. Griffith only gave them an hour?” said Jane, surprised. “It takes more than an hour to fly to Manhattan.”
“Well, one of my colleagues, David Rossi, is an expert negotiator...he probably bought them some more time.”
“All right...well, let’s assume Mr. Rossi did buy them more time...it’s still obvious that they were scrambling...so they go on the jet...they do have a jet, right?”
“Yes...that part Criminal Minds got right. It may be the only thing.” Garcia then got antsy. “You know, every week Criminal Minds has their tech solving their cases for them…I wish real life were like that!”
Jane talked soothingly. “Relax, Penelope…you’re going to solve this case.” He then readopted his serious tone. “Okay...so they go on the jet...they arrive in Manhattan...say, at 7...just to be on the safe side. Did they communicate with Manhattan PD?”
Garcia stared at their phone records. “No...looks like they just landed at the airbase and hit the ground running.”
“So they did most of their ‘solving’ on the plane, then?”
“Looks like it...they didn’t bring any files or anything.”
“How’d they know there was a case to investigate?”
“Well, Griffith’s story seemed pretty legit.”
“Ah...it ‘seemed’ legit.”
“You don’t think it’s real?”
“The first thing that strikes me about this case is that Robert Griffith identified himself to Hotchner...or, at least that’s how I understand it.”
“You can call him ‘Hotch’...we all do...and yes, Griffith explicitly told Hotch who he was.”
“See, I find that very curious...if I were a criminal, I wouldn’t want the police knowing who I was...unless...the name I give them is fake.”
“So you think ‘Robert Griffith’ is an alias?”
“I bet my bottom dollar on it. His identity should have been looked into before they took off.”
“You’re right...I guess they were scrambling...and they didn’t have time.”
“See, that’s something Griffith knew...I bet this whole thing is a sham.”
“Sarah Fuller is not real either?”
“She could be, being just a tool in his narrative, but his story isn’t real…just because I find it odd that he calls them about the case and makes them hunt after him…I get that some criminals like the thrill of the chase, but smart ones don’t egg on the police.”
“Unless…he’s trying to trap them.”
“Exactly. He knew that if he created this case where they had to hurry, they wouldn’t have time to think about things like this...and he trapped them because of it.”
“Sneaky...and creepy good...oooohhh I hate this guy!”
“Why don’t you take a look into his name?”
Garcia began typing into her computer. She pulled up every man named Robert Griffith, and looked.
“Patrick,” said Garcia, pointing to a record, “there is a Robert Griffith in Manhattan...just one though.”
“Okay,” said Jane, not fazed. “Look into him a bit more.”
“He’s got...” Garcia started to dig. “Wow...he’s got...nothing...no phone activity except the one phone call...he doesn’t live in a house...no credit cards, no car, no social security number...it’s like...”
“Remember what we said about the Kiowa yesterday?”
“That they don’t like keeping records?”
“Exactly. This tells me he works for the government.”
“How do you know?”
“That was an official government database you pulled up, right?”
“Yes it was...well, it’s kind of like this hybrid database that combines a lot of other databases together into a single search engine...it’s pretty cool.”
“So that record came from the phone company, then?”
“Yeah...but his name also appears in the government database...that’s how my computer verifies the person’s name, otherwise it would have come up as simply an alias.”
“See...he works for the government, but probably not in an important job. Someone who concocts a scheme to trap seven FBI agents and cackle about it is making up for something...if he was an important government official he wouldn’t need a kidnapping plot for thrills.”
“How do you know he’s cackling about it?”
“He’s trapped your team somewhere...he thinks that because he so brilliantly deceived your team that he’s somehow clever...and it would inflate an ego...he’s going to rub it in your team’s face...heck, I would.”
Garcia got visibly steamed at Jane’s last remark.
“Sorry...but let’s be honest...if you came up with such a plan and pulled it off, wouldn’t you rub it in a little?”
Garcia thought for a few minutes, before nodding her head. “Yeah...I would...that son of a gun...”
“So...our first task is to get into the Kiowa database...but let’s download a few copies...I have a feeling Mr. Griffith has changed things multiple times...and since records are poorly kept, he likely got away with all the changes.”
The prison, Kiowa Territory
“Hello agents,” said Griffith through the intercom.
“You son of a b***!” hollered Morgan, “You let us out of here or I’ll-”
“Or you’ll what, agent?” Griffith let out a devious laugh.
“Robert,” said Hotchner, trying to take control. “You don’t need to do this. We only care about Sarah...if you let us go and give us Sarah, then we can talk about a deal.”
“Fiddlesticks, agent,” pooh-poohed Griffith. “I have all the power here...besides, I know you guys won’t offer me any kind of ‘deal’. I know that you guys want me to confess about Sarah because then that means you have evidence to convict me...right now, you have nothing. Not a shred. Just a voice message that I can tell the cops that someone else uttered from my phone.”
“Robert,” started Hawkes. “I know your life hasn’t quite been what you wanted it to be...but, really, what are you gaining from all this? You’ll kill us all, get a cheap thrill and then tomorrow you’ll be back at whatever menial job you have.”
“You don’t understand,” said Griffith, deviously. “This is about history. This is about taking out the most prized crime fighting unit in the entire world. Sure, my name won’t be known, but it won’t matter...knowing that I defeated the greatest crime fighters in the world is satisfaction enough for me. I won’t be just Red John or the Zodiac...I’ll be better, because I didn’t just outlast the authorities...I outsmarted them.”
“If it’s fame that you’re after Mr. Griffith,” started Reid, “this all seems counterproductive...you’ll continue to live in anonymity...any number of people can claim that they were, in fact, ‘The BAU Killer’ and you have no way of proving otherwise.”
“Look at you,” said Griffith smugly, “you’re just grasping at straws. Do you expect me to believe that’s nothing more than just a sorry attempt to let you free? Well, sorry...the party’s over.” Griffith turned off the intercom.
Morgan started to cuss uncontrollably. Prentiss started to bite her nails, not knowing any other way to keep calm. Hawkes started to sulk, as did Jareau. Reid held his head in his hands, frustrated. Hotchner started, blankly at the wall.
Rossi smiled, though.
“I hear that petunias are a great help in clearing allergies,” said Rossi, with a laugh.
“Rossi,” said Morgan, angrily. “Do you think I give a crap about petunias right now?”
“Oh come on guys,” replied Rossi. “Lighten up. We’ve all forgotten why this guy is doing this to us...he wants to break us...so we have to be better...we can’t lose our resolve.”
“Why does he want to break us?” said Reid. “Why did he lure us here?”
“Spencer,” said Hawkes. “He has a twisted sense of fame. This is a confidence trick...he wants to think that outsmarting a whole unit of FBI agents he’ll make up for whatever he’s lacking in his own life.”
“Maybe if we figure out why he did this then maybe we can find a way to reason with him to let us out,” thought Reid out loud.
“Reid,” said Morgan, dismissively. “What good would that do? He told us...he holds all the cards...there’s no reason for him to let us out. We just have to sit tight...and hope.”
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Look,” said Black in his office, calling the Kiowa government office in Manhattan, “I don’t give a darn about protocol. I don’t care about your stupid feelings...I have seven of my best men in your territory and I care about their safety. All I want is for them to come home.”
“Sir,” said Kiowa Defence Secretary Tom Benson, “I understand your concern...but our people will be distraught at seeing an army in their land...they will think the Americans are invading again.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, my men will be discreet. You won’t even notice that they’re there. I’ll even give them Kiowa Army dress if I have to. Your people won’t suspect a thing.”
“A Kiowa can tell a non-Kiowa from a mile away, just by their essence.”
“Their essence? Are you out of your mind?”
“We can tell when there are disturbances just by the flow of the air...when something isn’t right, we can just tell, and your army will disturb our balance.”
“Bulls--- Tom! Your ‘essence’ is nothing but poppycock...besides, don’t you think allowing seven FBI agents to die is going to disrupt your equilibrium even more? I’d like to see how the Kiowa can have that on their conscience.”
“They were not supposed to be there. You forced them upon me.”
“A dangerous criminal escaped into your lands and you expect me to just let him walk? You really are something.”
“There is a reason why he came into our lands...you should not have disturbed him.”
“So you’ll just let murderers run free then?”
“Why didn’t you let us take care of him?”
“You wouldn’t let me! You told me it was my problem and that I had to solve it! What was I supposed to do?”
“The wind needs to take its course.”
Black didn’t even bother saying goodbye, as he just angrily slammed down the phone.
“Texan Legate Emilianus speaking,” said Rufus Emilianus, the Legate of the Texas Legions of the Roman Army.
“Rufus, it’s FBI Director Black,” said Black, speaking in Latin. Emilianus soon caught on. “How long will it take for you to mobilize your Special Forces to go into Kiowa territory?”
“The Kiowa Kingdom? I don’t think we can just walk right in...the Union Congress...they’d have a field day.”
“Rufus, we can be discreet. They won’t even know we were in there.”
“What do you need the Special Forces for?”
“I have the Behvioural Analysis Unit missing.”
“The BAU?” Emilianus understood the urgency of the situation. “I can have a team ready by tonight. I need you to tell me where to go.”
“That’s the problem...I don’t know where they are...all I know is that they are south of Manhattan.”
“That area is not surveyed...we’ll be searching for days.”
“I’ve got our Technical Analyst working the case...hopefully very soon we can narrow this down.”
“Got it. I’ll get them ready.”
“Anything for you, Lucius.”
In Garcia’s office, Jane and Garcia continued examining the evidence.
“We have to look for inconsistencies,” explained Jane. “This guy…he likely didn’t just create one fake name, he created many.”
“He certainly had fun with it,” said Garcia. “Aside from the usual ‘Dan Druff’ and ‘Seymour Butts’, we’ve got ‘Dustin Ferfingaprints’ and ‘Moe Thalawn’.”
Jane had a bit of a laugh. “I think if I could manipulate a government database I’d do that too.”
“Okay, so if he’s created fake names…he’s likely created fake residences too.”
“See, now you’re getting the hang of it.”
“…and…well, he has…fifty places, all over the Kingdom, with addresses to non-existent buildings.”
“We need to focus on Manhattan…that’s your team’s last known whereabouts.”
“We don’t know if they’re all his…those could very well be buildings that have been torn down but not yet excised from the records.”
“We are going to find this guy here in the databases…but we need to think about this guy a bit more.”
“Well, if my team can find him…so can I.”
The prison, Kiowa Territory
Hawkes took a look at her phone. She stared, pensively at it, laughed, before cupping her face trying not to cry.
He’s so cute when he makes silly faces. Her phone showed a picture of Reid, contorting his face weirdly on the drive to the prison, just to be silly. It was the last message her phone was able to receive and, if she didn’t get out of the prison, might be the last text message she’d ever receive.
She then pulled another message, this one also from Reid:
“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential- Winston Churchill”
“So true,” she muttered to herself, before resting her head against the wall and curling up her legs. Like the rest of her team, she was feeling hungry, and the lack of energy had made her cold.
Reid, noticing Hawkes curled up by herself, came over and sat right next to her, putting his arm around her. Hawkes instinctively rested her head against his shoulder.
“Thanks Spencer,” said Hawkes. “I was getting cold. This place…it’s so foreboding.”
“I know Zoe,” replied Reid. “It’s tough…but we can’t lose hope.”
“I know…it’s just that the longer this takes, the more you start thinking about the finality of things. Did I do enough in my life? Did I love those who I love with the right energy and in the right way? Is the legacy I leave on this world going to be one that future generations can build on? I’m too young for this to happen…but I guess fate is cruel, sometimes.”
“I rather not think of this as ‘the end’, but rather, ‘the beginning’. Death can be maligned…many cultures celebrate it, talking about a new beginning in the afterlife…it’s something to strive for after all the trials and tribulations of this life can make things so hard.”
“True…the belief that if you put the effort into this life makes the next one better is one to keep you going.”
“We’ve been through so much…it makes me think, of all the ways to go…this has to be the strangest, but…as you said, fate is cruel, sometimes.”
Over in the other corner, Rossi still trying to bring some levity to the situation.
“Is it just me or is everyone famished?” said Rossi, playfully. “I feel like I haven’t eaten in days.”
“That’s because we haven’t,” said Hotchner, curtly.
“I don’t know what we’re going to eat,” said Morgan, frustrated. I guess we can start with these tables, or something.”
“I really could use a burger,” said Rossi, nodding his head. “Am I the only one?”
“Well, Vincent Shyer once called Morgan a side of beef,” said Reid, calling out from the other side of the room.
“Morgan does describe himself as tasty,” noted Jareau, “but I don’t think he meant that in the literal sense.”
“I don’t know,” said Prentiss. “At this stage, I just might be able to try anything.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa man,” said Morgan, moving his hands up and down as if to say, “slow down”. “I would do anything for this team…but I don’t think we’re at the stage where we need to start eating each other…that’s just sick.”
“We’re all going to get out of here alive,” said Hotchner, “let’s not lose our wits.”
“Sarah,” said Rossi. “Remember Sarah. She will get us through this.”
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Okay, so let’s look into Sarah a little bit,” said Garcia. “If, as you say, she’s fake too then there are going to be other kernels.”
“Sarah might be real,” said Jane, “but the missing person report will be fake.”
“Okay…” Garcia typed away at her computer, looking up Fuller and seeing what she could find. “She’s listed as being in Virginia Beach, and Virginia Beach Police did actually file a missing person report.”
“So that one is legitimate…that’s interesting.”
“Does that mean this case isn’t as fake as we’ve thought?”
“No…it wouldn’t take much for a guy to scan missing person reports, pick a name and use it to spur an investigation. Plus, whoever is playing Griffith knew that if he added urgency to the message, due diligence- and his eventual reveal as a fraud- wouldn’t happen.”
“So Griffith doesn’t have anything to do with Sarah then.”
“He still could…but it’s unlikely at this stage.”
A knock was heard on Garcia’s door. It was Black.
“Lucius,” said Garcia. “Come in.”
“Okay, Agent Garcia,” started Black, after acknowledging Jane and shaking his hand. “What have we got?”
“Well the missing girl is real,” started Garcia before Black waved his hand telling her to stop.
“I know she’s real,” said Black. “That’s why I authorized the case.”
“So it was you,” said Jane, wagging his finger, “that didn’t check on the veracity of there being a ‘Robert Griffith’.”
“It’s not my job,” replied Black, curtly. “I’m not here to look over Hotch’s shoulder…I trust him. He made a mistake. I know that. He probably knows that too, and it’s killing him.” Black let out a heavy sigh, concerned for where the BAU may be. “Any leads so far, Agent Garcia?”
“Not yet,” said Garcia. “Patrick and I have figured out that he probably works in the Kiowa database department…my computer gave out a hit on Robert Griffith’s name but the name in the system doesn’t have anything tied to him…in fact, the Kiowa database is riddled with errors and other made up stuff…so we think whoever is playing Griffith is manipulating things.”
“So whatever hiding spot the BAU is in he could transfer ownership,” said Black, who then snapped his fingers while continuing. “Like that.”
“He couldn’t do big things though,” said Garcia, “or else his boss would catch on.”
“What if he is the boss?” said Black. “That way, the only one he answers to is likely the Minister of Information, and he’s not likely to spend hours making sure the records he has are accurate. He’d still have to be careful to make sure the changes to the database are ones the public wouldn’t notice, but, being the boss would explain why he hasn’t been found out until now.”
“We still don’t know what his real name is, though,” said Jane.
“You have to think about this,” said Black, appearing to cup an imaginary ball with his hands, “in a different way. You’re not going to find his name just by looking over a database…he’s manipulated it, who knows what you’re going to be able to trust in there. Mr. Jane, how did you conclude that Robert Griffith was fake?”
“You can call me Patrick, it’s no big deal,” said Jane with a smile. “Anyway, I reasoned that it was odd Griffith would just come to the BAU with a case…usually criminals don’t like egging on the police, so I thought this was a trap. Since Griffith didn’t allow the team a lot of time before diving into the case, it gave him the perfect cover.”
“Read between the lines,” said Black. “If he wanted the BAU to find him then I think he’s going to want us to find him too, or at least leave us some kind of message indicating how he thinks he’s outsmarted us.”
“I predicted he’s cackling at the BAU,” said Jane, “because this is a pretty big thing that he’s done.”
“Wait,” said Garcia, a light turning on inside her head. “If he’s cackling, then maybe he’s a showman, or at least he likes the arts. Now, Sarah Fuller…” Garcia clicked away at her database, looking up her file. “It says here that Sarah acted in a play in Virginia Beach for a week before she went missing and if we look at the audience…” Garcia pulled up another file onto her screen, “you’ll see a Tyler Vance, who just happens to call Manhattan his home. His credit card gives him away. You’ll also see that he’s using it in such a manner that indicates that he drove back to Manhattan shortly after the play had run its course in Virginia Beach, allowing him time to escape.”
“Very good work,” said Black, impressed. “I should give you a raise.”
Garcia laughed. “Yeah, I could use one,” beamed Garcia. “Thanks though. We still only have half the battle though…his home ownership records are obviously tampered with.”
“He didn’t use the credit card to buy the phone?” inquired Jane.
“No,” said Garcia. “He didn’t have to, though…disposable cell phones are cheap.”
“If his credit cards work,” thought Black out loud, “then maybe we can use his purchases to map out where he lives.”
“I’m already on that, Director,” said Garcia.
“Good,” said Black. “I’m going to go back to my office. Let me know what you guys find…if you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask.”
The prison, Kiowa Territory
“Spencer,” said Hawkes, cuddling with Reid in a corner.
“Yes Zoe,” said Reid, resting his head on top of Hawkes’.
“I want you to know that, no matter what happens, I’ve always loved you.”
“Hey guys,” cracked Morgan, “wait until we’re dead until you get your freak on.”
Hawkes and Reid just sat their laughing.
“Listen guys,” said Hotchner, “I know it’s not much but if we keep our spirits up maybe it’ll be enough to throw Griffith off his game. He wants to break us...if we show we’re not affected by this maybe he’ll get bored and let us go.”
“Aaron,” said Rossi, “I agree until the last part. He’s got no reason to let us go...but, I think we should remember that we’re the government’s best crime-fighters...I don’t they want to lose us so easily.”
“Strauss would have left us here to rot,” snarled Morgan. “I want to believe that Lucius Black is different, but we’ve never seen him in this position before.”
“He is easier to get along with,” said Hotchner, “but, you’re right...it does seem like a bit of a front sometimes.”
“Strauss would have left you guys to rot?” inquired Hawkes, the only agent who didn’t know Erin Strauss, whom Black replaced in 2007. “That sounds wrong on so many levels.”
“Strauss was always about people learning things ‘the hard way’,” said Rossi, “and about procedure and protocol...she never liked the BAU...thought we got too much credit for the FBI...so I think she would have done a few token attempts to cover herself but she would have just left us here.”
“Strauss was not fun to work for at all,” said Reid, “I’m glad she’s gone...and we have Emily to thank for that.”
“Strauss had a twisted sense of justice,” noted Prentiss. “It was always personal for her...it cost Strauss her job in the end.”
“You weren’t scared to blow the whistle on her?” inquired Hawkes.
“It was easy,” said Prentiss. “I had nothing to lose...morale at the BAU was at all time low...Gideon said he left because of Sarah Jacobs but I really think he left because of Strauss. As soon as she told me I was placed in the BAU simply to be a mole I had to act...I didn’t care if I lost my job...I had to do what was right.”
“Now we just have to hope that Lucius is different,” said Morgan.
Tyler Vance’s house, a farm outside of Manhattan, Kiowa Territory
“I kidnapped the agents,” said Tyler Vance, tending to a man in a bed, the light on in his room because it was night time.
“Good,” said the man, bedridden with an illness. “I can die happy now.”
“I hope you’ll last a little longer, John.”
“I hope so too...AIDS has been unfriendly to me.”
“If you’re dying, why did you care about the BAU?”
“I want to die knowing that they could never find out who Red John truly is.”
“My cousin would have been proud of you.”
“Yeah, well, your cousin also infected me with AIDS...but I didn’t know that when I got involved with him ten years ago.”
“That’s why I’m caring for you...because I owe that to my cousin.”
“Thanks.” John slumped into his pillow and tried to get some sleep.
Vance went for a peak into his fridge. “I’m out of tapioca. Drats,” he said to himself. He picked up his car keys and went for a drive into town from his ranch.
An hour after he left, Emilianus was leading the Roman Special Forces onto his house, with Black keeping watch from a jerry-rigged weather helicopter from above.
“Lion 1,” said Black, radioing Emilianus from the helicopter, “do you have a visual on the UnSub?”
“Eagle,” replied Emilianus, looking around. “Negative sir. There is a man on his bed in the house though.”
“Lion 1...is he armed?”
“Negative. He has an IV attached to him...he appears sick.”
“Get two of your men in there...arrest him on the spot. Hold him there and see if he knows where Tyler went.”
Two of Emilianus’ troops entered Vance’s house. When they descended upon John, they tried to wake him but he was in a deep slumber. The soldiers had a look around, uncovering a notebook with Red John’s signature smiley face adorned on the cover- along with notes on each of his crimes and a hair taken from each of his victims.
“Lion 1” said one of the soliders.
“Yes Lion 6,” said Emilianus.
“Looks like we’ve got something. We’ll need forensics to look at this but I think we’ve just caught Red John.”
“How do you know?” Emilianus tried to hide his joy at the news.
“We’ve got a notebook with his smiley face on it...with detailed accounts of all of his crimes, as well as a hair sample from each victim.”
“That is something. Bring it out...I’ll put it in my truck.”
Lion 6 dutifully ran from the house to bring it to Emilianus, who hid the notebook in his glove compartment. Lion 6 went back inside the house to observe Red John with his partner.
Over in the distance, a Kiowa man noticed one of the Special Forces’ trademark eagle lapels, signifying that the Romans had come into their territory.
“Romans!” said the Kiowa man, motioning some of his friends. They all brought with them shotguns. When they got within range of the house, the leader of the Kiowa group put the soldier in his sights and fired.
“Bogies to your left! Bogies to your left!” screamed the soldier who was fired upon. The Kiowa’s aim wasn’t good so his bullet whizzed harmlessly by. The rest of the Roman forces took aim at the Kiowa group once they got into sight.
“Another twenty are descending upon your location from town,” said Black from the helicopter. He was prepared for this, requesting the attack helicopter- containing another Roman Special Forces team- he hid in Manhattan to the battlefield.
“Lions!” hollered Emilianus. “Engage on sight! Fire at will!”
The Special Forces, being better trained soldiers, dealt with the Kiowa group rather easily. After about twenty minutes, the Kiowa that had descended upon Vance’s house were all killed, with the Romans not taking a single hit.
Emilianus figured something was off. He ordered the team that had originally descended upon Vance’s house to gather around him. The Forces were all dressed in Kiowa civilian attire, with their bulletproof vests being concealed under their clothing. Emilianus knew they shouldn’t have been recognized, so he examined each soldier closely.
“Lion 4!” Emilianus screamed at the soldier with his eagle lapel. “Why didn’t you take off your Legion lapel! Were you not ordered to take it off?”
“Yes sir! I was sir!” answered Lion 4.
“So why is it still on?”
“Sir! It’s my favourite lapel! I snuck it back on sir!”
“When we get back, you’ll be suspended for four weeks and you’ll have work detail for six months.” Emilianus turned his attention to the rest of his troops. “Let that be a lesson to the rest of you...what Lion 4 did endangered our safety and will not be tolerated. Is that understood?”
The team replied, “Yes sir!” in unison.
“Good,” said Emilianus. He then took Lion 4’s lapel off of his shoulder and stuffed it in his pocket. “Lion 4...you will get this back when you are finished your suspension. At ease troops.”
“Lion 1,” said Black from the helicopter, “there’s a shed behind Vance’s house. Send some of your men there.”
“Roger Eagle,” replied Emilianus. Emilianus himself went to the shed, and broke open the lock with the butt of his rifle. Inside was Sarah Fuller, bound and gagged.
“It’s okay,” said Emilianus. “I’m Rufus Emilianus, Roman Legate for the Texas Legions...I’m here with Director Lucius Black from the FBI. I’m here to bring you home.” Fuller stopped quivering upon hearing Emilianus, allowing him to untie her.
“Eagle,” radioed Emilianus. “I have Sarah. I’m taking her to the other chopper.”
“Roger Lion 1,” said Black. “I’ll have them meet a chopper at the border in Oklahoma, and see to it that she is looked after in Dallas.” The other helicopter took Fuller, and met an Oklahoman helicopter that took her to Dallas.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Lucius is telling me that he’s found Sarah Fuller,” said Garcia to Jane, observing the action from their computer screen. “No sign of Vance or the BAU though.”
“Of course Vance won’t be there,” said Jane. “He has to know that by capturing the BAU that we’re on his tail...he’ll spend as little time at his house as he has to.”
A look of fear came across Garcia’s face. “He could...he could go back to where he’s keeping the BAU...and kill him...Patrick! We need to work!”
“Relax, pumpkin. We’re really close...you just need to think.”
“Okay...we know he works as the boss of the Kiowa Database...that’s how he can get away with concealing his license plate and his residence. We know he appreciates the arts, that’s how he caught Sarah...but...what else?”
“Think Penelope...you’re missing something.” Jane sat trying to think himself, but he didn’t want to sound unsure, believing Garcia would be frustrated if he showed any signs of pessimism.
“If he’s a boss...” Garcia reacted as if a light went on in her head. “He likes control.”
“That’s it!” said Jane, excited that Garcia had given him that lead. “He doesn’t just like control...he loves it...you know, I knew something was fishy from that database...I think I know what it was.” Jane then frantically examined the files before coming across something. “Dustin Ferfingaprints! It’s right there.”
“He owns...Hardy Adams Correctional Facility...49 miles south of Manhattan! That’s where my team is!”
Jane reached for the phone, hurriedly dialing Black’s number.
“Lucius!” said Jane, excited into the phone. “Get a team to the Hardy Adams Correctional Facility...it’s 74 miles south of your position.”
“Roger Patrick,” said Black, relieved. “You did a great job.”
“Actually you can thank Penelope. She found it.”
“Well I thank both of you.”
Hardy Adams Correctional Facility, Kiowa Territory
“No sign of Vance’s car anywhere,” said Emilianus, switching places with Black in the helicopter. “I’ll keep an eye out for him...Lions, you go into the Facility.”
“Roger Lion 1,” said Black, leading the charges. “Men, let’s move!”
The Special Forces wasted no time inside the facility. They searched every prison cell and every room, moving quickly. Since Vance only reinforced the lunchroom’s doors at a Kiowa army surplus store, the decaying doors of the prison were no match for the might of the Roman forces.
The lunchroom was the last place the Special Forces descended upon, as it was at the other end of the Facility. The doors were held shut by a single steel beam strewn across the door’s handles and a tight padlock.
Black, sensing his goal was near, summoned his strength to remove the beam. The former military detective was years removed from his last post, but he kept up much of his strength at the FBI’s own gym, which he helped remodel. He then used a pair of tweezers to gently unlock the door.
He smiled upon opening the door. The BAU was busy huddled in a circle singing “Kumbya”, an effort by Rossi to keep the team’s spirits up.
“Ready the paramedics,” said Black, radioing back Emilianus. He then turned his attention to the team, happy to see a path to freedom. “I think I know why I hired all of you as agents...because your singing sucks.”
“Morgan has a pretty good alto voce,” cracked Reid.
“Well I guess if I was trapped here for two days I’d think anyone’s voice sounds nice,” said Black, who disagreed, but smiled knowing the team was still in good spirits.
Hotchner gave Black a hearty handshake. “Thank you,” said Hotchner.
“No problem,” said Black, who responded in kind. He turned his attention to the rest of the team. “I was a military man...I only live by one credo.”
“Never leave a man behind,” said Morgan, reciting the Marine Corps’ motto. He then gave Black a hearty hug.
“Now,” said Black, pointing furiously outside. “I’ve got a ton of food for you guys in Rufus Emilianus’ truck...please, have at it.” The BAU excitedly ran towards Rufus, with Black talking to Hotchner as he was eating.
“How are you guys?” asked Black, concerned for the team.
“We’re okay,” replied Hotchner. “It was tough but we thought that if we stayed positive that we could beat Robert Griffith, and we were right.”
“His name wasn’t Robert. It was Tyler Vance...he’s the boss of the Kiowa Database...he tricked us with urgency...he knew that if we were rushing we wouldn’t know who he really is.”
“We were pressed for time...so we could only do a cursory profile...we only talked on the phone...he sounded very controlled so that’s what lead us to the prison. He must have known only we could figure out that message and had us waiting.”
Black tried to deflect blame for the mishap. “I should have gotten Garcia to look into it before you guys left...I take responsibility for what happened.”
“You shouldn’t...it’s not your job to remind Garcia to do that, it’s mine. Nobody feels worse about this than I do.”
“Hotch.” Black placed his hand firmly on his shoulder. “Do not feel bad about this. We all make mistakes. I grant this was a pretty big one...but an excusable one.”
“There are no excusable mistakes.”
“Yes there are...I’m not Strauss. I know you’re just human. These things happen. Don’t sweat it.”
Gas station, 10 miles from Vance’s home
“Stupid tapioca,” said Vance. “I shouldn’t eat so much of it...I’m going to feel this in the morning.” He leaned against his car, frustratingly waiting for the gas he paid for to finish pumping. When the pump stopped abruptly, he stepped inside his car to start it up, only to find that not a single drop of gas had been filled into his car.
He threw up his hands in frustration and cussed. He then placed his credit card back into the station’s prepay slot and again paid for his gas. He tried to fill his car again before he noticed that, once again, it didn’t fill.
“What the heck?” said Vance, stupefied. “Why won’t this P.O.S. fill up?” He then tried to start the car, only for it to fail. “Seriously...this is ridiculous.”
He repeated the same process again. He placed his credit card into the prepay slot. He then reached for the gas pump. This time, the pump stopped working. He threw his hands in the air in frustration. He looked up into the sky and asked, “what is this? Some sick joke? I know you Kiowa gods hate me...but believe me I’m trying.”
He frantically paced around his car for a few minutes. He got to the driver’s side and kicked the door, frustrated. When he turned his back, Morgan came from behind and tackled him.
“Tyler Vance!” said Morgan, unyielding on top of him. “FBI! You are under arrest!” He then completed the arrest as Vance was led into a waiting Roman Special Forces vehicle, hiding behind the station.
“Babygirl,” said Morgan, calling Garcia. “That was genius. I never thought you could control a gas station.”
“Perils of the modern age,” cooed Garcia. “See, Tyler Vance didn’t realize I found him with his credit card activity...once I had that I had his car, which was computerized and so was the pumps. The pumps are connected to a central server at the company so they can keep track of gas levels...it’s pretty genius stuff...and it allowed us to catch our guy.”
“Is it true?”
“Is what true?”
“That you found us?”
“Well, I had a lot of help from Patrick Jane here.” Garcia saw Jane giving her a look telling her not to sell herself short. “Well, okay, yes, I found you guys. Jane unlocked my hidden gifts...I guess I really am as much as a profiler as you guys are.”
Morgan smiled. “Babygirl...you really are my God-given solace. You never...ever forget that.”
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“John Hendridge,” said Jane, looking at the completed case file, happy that he had finally caught his family’s killer. “So he got sick…that’s why he struck one last time. Interesting.” He then gave the BAU hearty handshakes. “Thank you so much…this is years of frustration ended.”
“You’re welcome,” said Morgan. “It was a bit of a lucky break, I know, but at least we caught him. We should be thanking you though.”
“It was nothing…like I said, it was all Penelope…I just unlocked her hidden talents…she just had a hard time believing in her abilities.”
“You got that right.”
“I’m also glad we rescued Sarah.”
“Vance was trying to finish the job of his cousin, Joe Carroll. Thankfully they executed him last week.”
“It’s nice when everything can be wrapped up so nicely in a bow, isn’t it?”
“That’s what we do at the BAU…we answer the tough questions.”
“Well, if we at the CBI need you we will definitely give you a call.”
In Black’s office, Hotchner and Black were in a meeting.
“I don’t know if we can accept that,” said Hotchner, slumping in his chair.
“This isn’t disciplinary,” said Black. “It’s not a suspension…it’s a recognition that you guys just might be a little overworked.”
“I don’t know if I can take a week off.”
“See, that’s the sign of someone who’s just been working too hard…it’s why you make mistakes…you guys should embrace having a break…it’ll clear your heads. In fact, your guys can take as much time off as you’d like…I recognize things have been a little crazy lately, and I think you need to unwind.”
“Criminals don’t stop…they’re always operating. We can’t take breaks.”
“Hotch, I’ll monitor that…if something outrageous happens that we really need you guys back that instant I’ll call you in…but the vast majority of your cases are investigations that are months old anyway…one week isn’t going to affect anyone. Besides, we have other agents…we can cover for you guys.”
“I guess I’m just in shock that you’re trying to take care of us.”
“I come from a different background, Hotch. I believe a leader must look after his men, and know when to push them and when to take a step back. I told you from day one, I’m not your boss-”
“I know. A boss orders people around, a leader takes care of his troops.”
“Exactly. Look, you can come in tomorrow if you’d like…I’m not forcing you to take this vacation…but I heartily suggest it. You guys are wiped out…I want you guys recharged.”
Hotchner nodded okay and got up to leave, but before he left he asked Black one last question.
“Lucius,” he said, “why did you go over the heads of the Kiowa?”
“Hotch,” answered Black firmly. “They left me no choice. I know what the rules are, but remember…rules are meant to be guidelines. They’re not restrictions. I had to do what I had to do…besides, I wasn’t going to let some obstructive bureaucrat stop me from rescuing my men.”
“Well, as I understand, the Kiowa Chief himself was disgusted with his own Defence Ministry and ordered sweeping changes so this doesn’t happen again.”
“I heard about that…I’m glad he’s taking charge…something wasn’t right there.” Black then became poignant. “Hotch, let today remind you that, no matter what, I’ve always got your back. No matter what. Don’t you ever forget that.”
Hotchner replied with a wry smile. “Thanks. I’m going to call home, see how Jack is doing…I think he’ll be happy to see dad a bit more often.”
“That’s the spirit.” Black smiled as Hotchner left, allowing Black to resume his other work.
Episode 7: Leisure Suit Leery (Episode Start: February 13, 2016)
“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 Prentiss 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 Prentiss could never explain, even if the first date was a success, second dates almost never occurred. For her logical mind, Prentiss 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 Prentiss wait, and Prentiss hates waiting.
Patrick Jane smiled. He always did, even if on the inside he wasn’t as happy as he appeared. Even though he’d just caught Red John 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, he was a hypnotist. However, despite the promise of an active social life, Jane 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 Jane to Prentiss while taking his seat. “We agreed to meet at 8 o’clock…it’s 7:53…but, as I predict…” Jane then concluded with his trademark charm, “that still felt like an eternity to you, because you have to be early for everything.”
Prentiss tried to bluff playing it cool, but her smile belied her fascination with Jane’s talents. Even though she knew better, Jane, 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 Prentiss with a playful indignation.
“The diner doesn’t start its dinner menu until 5:30,” replied Jane. “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. Jane,” said Prentiss.
“I don’t like the word ‘cocky’,” said Jane. “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, Patrick,” said Prentiss 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 Prentiss, accepting Jane’s challenge. “All right…let’s see.”
It didn’t take long for Prentiss to come up with her own profile of Jane.
“You’re quite the charmer,” said Prentiss. “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- Red John 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.”
Jane smiled before taking a sip of his drink. “How'd I do?” Prentiss asked, somewhat nervously.
“I think you got it,” said Jane smiled, “although, as you already know, there's always more than what meets the eye, especially when someone knows all the tricks.” Prentiss smiled warmly, agreeing with Jane.
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.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“This doesn't look good,” said Behavioural Analysis Unit member Derek Morgan, 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 Spencer Reid, a teammate of Morgan. “We haven't found the rest of her.”
Morgan 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.”
Morgan nodded until the last part of the sentence Reid 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, Prentiss walked into the office, noticeably giddy with a mark on her neck.
“Somebody sure is happy,” quipped teammate Zoe Hawkes, “and I don't think it's the coffee.”
“Oh come on guys,” said Prentiss, still smiling as she took a seat at her desk. “I just had a really good night last night.”
“Come on Prentiss,” said Morgan, egging her on, “spill the beans.”
“You must have met quite the guy,” said Hawkes with a grin.
“Okay,” said Prentiss, barely holding in her excitement, “I went out with Patrick Jane last night and...it went really well.”
“Atta girl,” said Morgan with a wide grin, giving Prentiss a high five. “You did pretty well.”
“I'm going to see him again tonight,” said Prentiss, still giddy. “I'm so excited!”
Across the hall, in his office, teammate David Rossi 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 “Hotch” Hotchner stepped into his office.
“I hate this day too,” said Hotchner, reading Rossi's face.
“It's funny,” said Rossi, 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 Kate were doing well.”
“We're still sorting things out...she wants to take things really slow...she's still putting her life back together after her incident.”
“So she's stringing you along.”
“No, she just needs patience. She had to go through years of rehab before she could go back on the job, and she's still not the same person she was before the attack.”
“She might never be.”
“I'm aware of that possibility, but I'm here to help, and she knows that. She knows I'm her strength, but she doesn't want to jump into something so soon...she's only just starting to rebuild her life professionally, so her social life still needs some work.”
“Hopefully she 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, 2016, 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.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Reid, Prentiss,” said Hotchner outside of his office, summoning Reid and Prentiss from the office floor. “I need to see you both.” The two agents left their desks and saw Hotchner in his office.”
After the agents took their seats, Hotchner briefed them at the task at hand.
“Kim Myers has been reported missing by Dallas PD,” said Hotchner with urgency.
“Kim Possible?” Prentiss asked with concern.
“Again?” Reid said, bemused.
“Yes, again,” said Hotchner. “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?” Reid 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 Prentiss, 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 Reid, concerned. “There always is with Kim.”
BAU War Room, FBI Headquarters
After sending off Reid and Prentiss, Hotchner called the rest of the team into the war room. He usually has his media liaison, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, brief the team on the case, but this time he was going to lead the discussion, since he was taking Jareau with him on this case.
“Where’s Reid and Prentiss?” asked Morgan as everyone was filing into the room.
“They’re on a different case,” said Hotchner. “They’ve gone to find Kim Myers, who disappeared last week. The rest of us have a different task.”
“Kim Possible?” asked Rossi, shocked.
“Yes,” said Hotchner with a sigh. “Why does everyone say that when I bring up Myers?”
“It’s only her famous moniker,” noted Rossi. “Plus I found her story endearing when I first heard about it.”
“Well, that’s where they are,” snapped Hotchner, wanting to move on. “We are going to the City of New Rome.”
“I knew it,” said Morgan, 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 Hotchner. “We don’t know who Bossanova is yet.”
“So what do we know about the victims?” asked Hawkes.
“Here’s what we know,” said Jareau, motioned to the blue screen by Hotchner. “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 Rossi. 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 Morgan already knows,” said Jareau. “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?” Hawkes asked.
“Unfortunately the answers vary too much,” interjected Hotchner. “Aside from several very general statements, nothing could be gleamed.”
“Okay, that's well and good...but if he’s seducing them,” pondered Morgan, “why rape?”
“Maybe he went too far too soon,” said Rossi, “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 Morgan.
“In any case,” continued Hotchner, “since this case is about seduction, I have invited a special guest to come help us.”
Jareau opened the door to the room to reveal Jane waiting outside the entire time.
“Hello gang,” said Jane with a smug smile.
“Hello Patrick,” said Rossi, returning the smile.
“Mr. Jane’s employers at the California Bureau of Investigation have allowed me to invite him to our case,” said Hotchner. “I have already briefed him on what we know. Since his boss, Teresa Lisbon, 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 Morgan, puzzled.
“The pilot was asleep when I asked him to come today,” said Hotchner. “So he’ll be a little late.”
“You and Kim seem to have quite the history,” said Prentiss, driving herself and Reid from the police station to Myers’ house.
“I helped her out when she was 12,” said Reid. “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.” Prentiss pondered what Reid 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 Garcia, and not even she beats me by that much.”
“So why do you hate technology Reid?”
“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.” Prentiss 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.”
Prentiss 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.”
“Garcia can hack into internal servers.”
“That’s because she’s Garcia. 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 FBI 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 Rossi, 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.” Rossi looked up at the rest of the team before continuing. “What do we make of the message?”
“At least we know his plan,” said Morgan, “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 Hotchner.
“He's a narcissist who thinks he can change women,” said Jane. “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 Hawkes. “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 Jane. “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 Morgan. “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 Rossi, “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 Hawkes, “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 Hotchner, “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 Jane, enlightened by Hotchner’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 Hawkes. “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 Jane.
“Which is why I’m getting you, Jane, as well as Rossi and Morgan, to study the pickup scene in New Rome,” said Hotchner. “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 Jane. “I think it might be illuminating.”
“Yes you can,” said Hotchner. “As long as you also observe how other pickup artists work their magic. As for the rest of us…Hawkes 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 Reid, as Myers’ father Tim opened the door. “I’m Dr. Spencer Reid and this is my colleague Agent Emily Prentiss. We’re with the FBI. 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 Reid, walking inside.
“CIA pays me pretty well,” said Tim. “Hey, didn’t you help put away Bruno Hawks?”
“Many years ago, yes,” said Reid, 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 Reid. 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 Reid, taking a seat with Prentiss 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 Prentiss. “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 Reid.
“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 Prentiss with interest.
“Yes they were,” replied Ann. “She must have been in a hurry.”
“Was there anything else you noticed about her room?” asked Prentiss.
“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 Prentiss. “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 Reid 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 Reid. “Hopefully things play out the exact same way.”
City of New Rome Pickup Scene
“Wow,” said Rossi, reviewing his ticket at the New Roman Police Headquarters. “One of the associates is someone who calls himself ‘James Bond’.”
“Heh,” said Morgan, not even trying to hide his laugh. “Bond? Who does he think he is? Some mythical secret agent?”
“He’s no myth,” corrected Rossi. “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 Morgan, puzzled. “The British Empire has never once acknowledged his existence.”
“Let’s just say I have it on pretty good authority,” said Rossi, smugly. “Best not dwell on it now.”
“His other associate goes by the name of The Mask,” noted Jane.
“'The Mask',” said Morgan. “He's all about 'Houdining', whatever that means.”
“So he's got 'the magic stick', huh?” Jane answered, derisively. Morgan and Rossi 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?” Morgan asked, intrigued.
“The name's just a little too boring for it to be realistic,” answered Jane.
“Okay,” said Morgan, 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 Rossi, smiling.
“Exactly,” said Morgan, 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 Jane 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 Jane. 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 really is 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 Jane, 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 Reid, examining Myers' bedroom.
“Well, she is 22 now,” said Prentiss. “I hope she's cleaner.” Prentiss then noticed Reid getting downcast. “What's wrong Reid?”
“I don't know why but I miss Zoe,” said Reid. “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 Prentiss with a warm smile.
“I guess,” said Reid, sheepishly. “I see her as more of a sister than as a girlfriend.”
“Is that what's stopping you from going out with her?” Prentiss asked.
“I think so,” said Reid. “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 Prentiss 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 Patrick Jane?” Reid asked.
“I like him,” said Prentiss. “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 Reid, 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 Prentiss. “She's evoked the 'daughterly' feeling in a lot of people...look at the press she got.”
“A father figure lured her?” Reid pondered. “Maybe...there's nothing for us to go on with that.”
“Or maybe she's 'the mother' looking for her 'daughter',” thought Prentiss 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 Reid. “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.” Reid 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 Reid.
“Oh no,” said Prentiss, 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?” Hawkes said to Hotchner 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 Hotchner. “The ferry links across the Darien Gap and to the Antarctic Peninsula were nice touches.”
“This street,” observed Hawkes, “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 Hotchner.
“The Pillar of Bolivar,” said Hawkes, 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 Hotchner.
“Which then gets us to here,” said Hawkes. “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 Hotchner. “It's reputation for safety and hope are under attack.”
“Look at all these people,” said Hawkes, observing. “All they do is walk by...no one gives anyone a moment's notice.”
“It's often said that they're busy,” noted Hotchner, “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 Jareau.
“Isn’t it just a little demeaning?” Jareau 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 FBI 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 Jareau.
“Hello?” said Jareau to the phone. “My name’s Jennifer Jareau…I work with the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit. I specialize in media relations, so I’m talking with your husband about his radio station’s promotions.” Jareau 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!” Jareau paused, with the same look of disgust on her face, before getting even more shocked upon hearing what Pecaroro had to say. Before Jareau could respond, Pecaroro had hung up the phone. “Okay…” Jareau 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 Jareau 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!”
Jareau 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.” Jareau realized what she was saying could apply to her situation with her husband, perpetual drunk Will LaMontagne. She worried about the effects on her son, Henry, 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 Henry…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, 2016, 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 Garcia,” said Jareau, 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 Garcia, “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 Garcia,” said Jareau, impressed.
A few seconds later, Hawkes and Hotchner saw her and joined her on the beach. Hawkes, seeing Jareau without her shirt, decided to take off hers too.
“Ladies,” said Hotchner, flustered. “We’re on a case here…now’s not the time to start taking off our clothes…let’s be official.”
“Hotch,” replied Jareau. “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?”
Hotchner sighed but agreed. “Okay, fine.”
“I do wish Spencer was here,” said Hawkes, wistfully while taking a seat next to Jareau.
“You'll see him again in a few days,” said Jareau.
“I know...but it's just not the same,” said Hawkes. “I feel so much better when I'm around him.” Hawkes then tried taking her mind off of Reid by haphazardly changing the subject. “You did notice that we’re the only ones topless here.”
“I did actually,” said Jareau. “It’s like they’re afraid.”
“I find that interesting,” said Hotchner. “I didn’t realize you were making a point by taking off your tops.”
“Well,” said Jareau. “I just wanted to take advantage of this before we get back to stuffy old Virginia.”
“Well said,” said Hawkes, with a laugh. “Though it is an interesting observation…Hotch 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 Jareau. “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 Hotchner. “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 Jareau. “Be smart, but live your life too.”
“Any leads on the online dating thing?” said Hotchner.
“Garcia couldn’t find anyone that talked to Jenner or Gutierrez online,” said Jareau. “However, right before her disappearance, a George Denton talked to Esmeralda Rodrigo.”
“Good work,” said Hotchner. “Let’s bring him in.”
Myers Household, Dallas Texas
“What did you find?” said a worried Tim as Reid and Prentiss went back downstairs.
“Mr. Myers,” started Reid. “She’s been hacked.”
“Hacked?” said Tim, surprised. “So a hacker kidnapped her?”
“We aren’t saying that,” said Prentiss. “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 Reid. “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 Reid. “She’ll be able to help us out.”
“We’re going to back up there,” said Prentiss. “We just thought we’d provide you with an update.” The two agents then departed back to Kim’s room, placing a call to Garcia.
“Deadbolt Security?” said Garcia. “Piece of cake.”
“Seven and a half years ago you couldn’t crack it,” noted Reid, confused.
Garcia smiled. “That’s because I didn’t know it then. I have since learned.” Garcia 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 Hotchner from behind the door. “This is Aaron Hotchner of the FBI. Open up.” Denton, puzzled, dutifully did so. “Are you George Denton?” Hotchner asked.
“Yes I am,” said Denton without hesitation. “Is something wrong?”
“George, you are under arrest,” said Hotchner, 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 Hotchner, 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 Hotchner and Hawkes reappeared in the room to start the interrogation.
“What are these?” asked Denton, confused after seeing Hawkes place the victims’ photos down on the table one by one.
“I don’t know,” said Hawkes, 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 Hotchner. “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 Hawkes. “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 Hawkes, lying back in her chair. Hotchner then got a call on his cell phone. He stepped outside to take it.
“Hotch,” said Reid on the phone. “We know who drew Kim Myers out of her house.”
“Okay,” said Hotchner. “Tell me who it is.”
“His name is George Denton…his girlfriend was Cindy Moss…he reported her disappearance to Kim.”
“Oh,” said Hotchner, slightly red-faced. “I see. Thanks Reid.” Hotchner then re-emerged into the interrogation room with purpose, not wasting any time taking off the cuffs on Lopez and Denton.
“Hotch,” said Hawkes, confused. “What’s happening?”
“There was a mix-up with your arrest...I didn't realize you were involved with Cindy Ross,” said Hotchner. “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 Hawkes. 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 Hawkes, “so believe us when we tell you how sorry we are for you.”
“Let’s go to the break room,” said Hotchner. “It’s more comfortable there.”
Babehood Club, New Rome
“You really get into these things, don’t you Mr. Jane?” said Rossi, trying not to laugh at Jane’s ridiculous outfit as they walked into the club.
“To know him,” said Jane, 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 Morgan sardonically. He and Rossi were dressed more simply, in basic suits.
“Men,” said Jane, excitedly. “It’s time do what we do best.”
“Finally, something I can agree on,” said Rossi.
“So this club can fit 15,000 people,” said Morgan.
“…and it’s packed every night,” concurred Rossi.
“With all kinds of women,” said Jane, with a smile.
“Perfect hunting ground for our UnSub,” said Morgan.
“Gentlemen,” said Jane. “Let’s dance.”
The three men dispersed onto the dancefloor, mingling with the women at will. Morgan, being more inclined to dance, found his spot on the floor, while Rossi preferred to be by the bar. Jane, though, just wanted to be everywhere, moving about with purpose.
On the dancefloor, Morgan 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. Morgan failed about ten times, but that didn’t deter him from finding his eleventh.
“Oh no, not again,” said the woman, as Morgan’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 Morgan was, gleefully rubbing against him.
“So you agree that bigger is better, don’t you think?” said Morgan alluringly into her ear.
“Quit talking boy!” said the woman, “and just let me work it!”
“My pleasure,” said Morgan with a smile, as the two of them continued to dance.
“You are quite fascinating, Cassandra,” said Rossi, 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.”
Rossi gestured to the bar. “I think I need another Tom Collins,” he said. The bartender returned with his drink. Rossi turned his attention down the bar. “What’s she having?”
“An apple martini,” said the bartender.
“All right,” said Rossi. “Get her one.” The bartender promptly made an apple martini for the woman Rossi saw down at the other side of the bar. The woman, who has having a rough night, appreciated the gesture and called for Rossi to come over.
“Thanks,” said the woman. “My name is Cassie, what’s yours?”
“David,” said Rossi, 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.”
Rossi 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 Rossi. “You’re not old…you’re experienced.”
Rossi 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 Jane.
“Okay,” said Jane. “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.
Jane laughed, undeterred. He turned around to see musician Sean Paul Henriques, better known as just Sean Paul, seated at a booth.
“Sean Paul?” said Jane, recognizing an old friend.
“Patrick Jane?” said Paul, recognizing Jane. He got up to greet Jane with a hug. “Wagwan brother, wagwan?”
“I’m here in New Rome trying to catch a killer,” said Jane.
“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 Jane, greeting John with a hug. “Well, it’s time to get rid of this then.” Jane, 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 Jane emerged from behind the booth.
“I couldn’t help but notice the amount of women you have here,” said Jane, 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 Jane.
“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 Jane. “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 Dave here?” asked Jane.
“Yes,” said John. “He went to the bathroom.”
“Tell him I say hello,” said Jane, 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.
Jane then caught up with Rossi and Morgan.
“How’d you guys do?” asked Jane.
“These girls are tough nuts to crack,” said Rossi. “I did meet this wonderful lady, Cassie…but she was my only phone number.”
“I only got one too,” said Morgan, 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 Rossi.
“Don’t worry, I know,” said Morgan, assuredly. “I told her I’ll call her once the case wraps up.” Morgan 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, Derek,” said Jane, impressed with Morgan’s ability to take charge. Morgan smiled in acknowledgement. “Anyway,” Jane 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 Rossi. “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 Morgan, disagreeing.
“Think about it, Derek,” said Jane. “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 Rossi. “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 Morgan.
“I disagree,” said Jane. “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 Morgan, 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 Jane, pointing out the booth Paul and John were sitting at.
“So he’s an artist of some kind,” said Morgan, 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 Jane.
“I disagree,” said Morgan. “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 Jane, pondering Morgan’s words, “you’re right. Let’s see how Hotch is doing.”
New Rome Police Headquarters
At the Headquarters, Hotchner and Hawkes were making headway with Denton and Lopez.
“So you kissed Cindy goodbye that morning and never saw her again” asked Hotchner.
“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 Hawkes.
“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 Hotchner 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 Hawkes.
“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 Hawkes.
“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 Hotchner.
“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 Hotchner, “and sorry for causing trouble tonight.”
Prentiss’ and Reid’s hotel room, Dallas, Texas
“He…he can’t have her,” said Reid, worried for Kim.
“Reid, I know you’re worried,” said Prentiss, “but that won’t change the fact that Kim has been kidnapped by this douchebag.”
Reid couldn’t help but freak out. “There must be some mistake! There must be!” As Reid 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!”
“Reid, you profiled Bossanova as a guy who loves strong, dominant women…Kim is as dominant as they get. He has her.” Prentiss sighed, worried for Reid. “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?”
Prentiss 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 Hotch 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 Reid, flustered at the news.
“Reid…let’s just get some sleep,” said Prentiss. “It’s too late to fly out anyway. We can’t control the weather.”
“No…no…NO!” Reid got up and pranced around the room, causing Prentiss to get up as well. She then gave Reid a big hug.
“Reid…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 Hotchner.
“I know you wanted us to rest last night,” said Rossi, “but I couldn’t sleep…this guy is bugging me.”
“We determined he couldn’t have gone to a pickup artist class,” said Morgan. “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 Hotchner. “That leaves us with photography, modelling, talent agent, actor…” Hotchner sighed with frustration.
“The women in this city complain often about men who don’t take charge,” said Hawkes.
“They’re too afraid to express themselves,” continued Jareau, “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 Hotchner. “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 Jane. “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 Morgan. “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 Hawkes.
“No, it was illuminating,” said Rossi. “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 Reid and Prentiss are joining us tomorrow,” said Hotchner.
“Tomorrow?” said Morgan, confused.
“Their plane got grounded in Dallas,” said Hotchner. “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 Reid as he met with the team. “I didn’t think we’d get out of Dallas.”
“Don’t mind him,” said Prentiss. “He’s a little frustrated right now.”
“I know,” said Hotchner. “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 Prentiss.
Once inside the police station, Reid and Prentiss got to work, re-examining the evidence. Reid went to the coroner to re-examine the bodies, while Prentiss 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 Reid, 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.”
Reid took another look at the bruising and came away with something.
“Mr. Procupius,” said Reid, 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 Reid.
Procupius unveiled McLeod’s body, the only other body that was preserved.
Reid 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 Prentiss, 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.”
Prentiss 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, Prentiss and Reid revisted the team and told them what they found.
“I had a second look at the bodies,” started Reid. “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 Prentiss, “that was a reference to the film version of 'A Clockwork Orange'...the awkward phrases were a giveaway.”
“How did you figure that?” Rossi asked.
“Read that last sentence,” noted Prentiss. The team did so.
“Put those words together...they spell 'Alex',” said Morgan.
“What about the other awkward phrase?” Prentiss contined. “ 'Their large'? Sounds like 'DeLarge' doesn't it?”
“Which was only present in the film version,” said Rossi, enlightened. “So he's a film-maker...with daughter issues.”
“Garcia's Emporium of Intelligence Gathering,” said Garcia, answering her phone.
“Okay Garcia,” said Rossi, 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 Garcia, surprised.
“How many have made a film about it?” Hotchner asked.
Garcia 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'?” Prentiss asked.
“Negative,” said Garcia.
“Thanks Penelope,” said Jane. Rossi then hung up his phone.
“All right...three guys...we could interview them all but that would take too long,” said Rossi.
“I have an idea,” said Jane.
Babehood Nightclub, New Rome
“Ladies and gentlemen!” Jane said, taking over the DJ booth. “Is everyone having a good time?” The crowd hollered in excitement. Nothing like a few good beers, Jane thought. “All right, good...to tell you how to continue having a good time, here's my friend, JJ.”
Jareau approached the booth and grabbed the microphone from Jane. “Listen,” started Jareau, speaking with purpose. “My name is Jennifer Jareau...I work for the FBI'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.” Jareau 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 Jane.
“One step at a time,” said Jareau.
“Okay,” said Morgan. “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?” Reid asked, concerned.
“It's worth a shot,” said Rossi. “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 Hotchner. “Do you have a car and license plate?”
“Relay the information to Garcia. Hotchner out.”
“Okay,” said Garcia, checking the information back at Quantico, “this license plate is a fake...but the make matches one of our potential suspects.”
“Yes Garcia?” Hotchner answered with urgency. “Bjorn Helguson? We'll be on our way.”
Bjorn Helguson's Apartment
“Do you see anything?” Morgan asked Reid, who was holding binoculars to peer into Helguson's window.
“No, not yet,” said Reid, 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.” Reid peered into his binoculars once more. He saw a figure at the window.
“Is that...is that Kim?” Reid concentrated a bit more. He reacted with disgust. “My goodness...it is...he's made her wear some hideous sundress.”
Morgan took a look himself. “I think she looks kind of nice in it.”
Reid 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.” Reid darted from their encampment towards Helguson's apartment complex.
“Dammit Reid!” Morgan 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, Reid tried to do his best Morgan impression by kicking down the door, but could only stub his toe. Morgan, though, was right behind him, and showed him how it was done.
“Bjorn Helguson!” Morgan 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 try to shoot him, I will shoot you.”
“Put the gun away Kim,” hollered Prentiss. “You don't want to go like this.” When Kim didn't even flinch, Prentiss continued. “I'm going to count to three.”
Reid panicked with worry about what was about to unfold in front of him. She's got Stockholm...oh no...
“Hold your fire!” Reid yelled, “Hold your f***ing fire!” He then stood directly in front of Kim, to sheild her from his team's shots.
“Reid!” Hotchner yelled. “Get back here or I will be forced to arrest you and fire you!”
“So fire me,” yelled Reid, defiantly. “Arrest me...I don't care. If Kim goes down, I'm going down with her.” Reid then slumped to his knees.
Dear goodness, thought Rossi, how do you deal with Sudden Stockholm Syndrome?
“Kim,” said Reid, 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 Reid’s stomach, as his mind churned with all kinds of scenarios unfolding, each one worse than the last, with Reid worried the situation was only getting worse.
“No,” answered Kim, defiantly. “He loves me.”
Reid 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!” Reid tried his best to hold back his tears, but a few managed to fall, as Reid 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, Reid and Kim shared a warm embrace.
“I was so worried about you,” said Reid, crying on her shoulder.
“I can't believe I fell for that guy,” said Kim, starting to cry herself.
Reid 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 Reid realized Kim's submission to Helguson and her Stockholm Syndrome saved her life.
The next day, FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“I figured I would save you the trouble,” said Reid, putting his gun and his badge on Hotchner's desk.
“Reid,” said Hotchner, 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.”
“Reid, 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.”
Reid gazed at Hotchner, confused.
“Truth is, Reid, you saved someone's life and that's what counts. Had Prentiss 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?”
Reid nodded before putting his gun back on and retrieving his badge.
When Reid emerged from Hotchner's office, the team was gathered, ready to say their goodbyes.
“Did Hotch understand?” Morgan asked.
“Yes he did,” replied Reid.
“Well,” said Garcia, wistfully. “It's been fun.”
“I'm not leaving guys,” said Reid confidently. “Hotch decided to keep me.”
The team let out a collective sigh of relief. “That's great news,” said Morgan. “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.”
Reid smiled appreciatively before reassuming his spot at his cubicle. Hawkes walked up to him.
“Zoe,” said Reid, acknowledging Hawkes. “Thank goodness it wasn’t you in that apartment…I don’t know how I could handle seeing you in peril.”
“Spencer,” said Hawkes 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.”
Reid 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.”
Reid laughed, knowing that would be a memory he wouldn’t be able to live down.
Down the hall, in her office, Jareau was crafting a letter. It was her first petition for a divorce from her husband, Will.
I hate doing this, thought Jareau, but I can’t wait any longer. Henry deserves a real father…it’s time I give him one. As she put the finishing touches on her petition, her phone went off.
“Jennifer Jareau of the FBI speaking,” answered Jareau, not recognizing the phone number.
“Hey,” said the caller. It was Benarrivo.
“Ricardo!” Jareau 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.” Jareau 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.”
Jareau responded reassuringly. “I think I’d like that.” The two then got to know each other on the phone for a bit, Jareau pleased to know that she made a difference.