Friday, September 18, 2015
The cold night air sent shivers through his weakened body as he lay on the concrete. The bright red neon light made him squint as he looked around for someone to help him. There was always people coming and going from the ER but not tonight it was almost like a ghost town. He had no choice but to close his eyes and wait; Anderson had dragged him from the basement and then drove to the hospital with him in the back seat of his car. He had to give it to the man, he’d planned every thing perfectly, Neil Butcher, one of the last victim’s wallet was shoved in Morgan’s pant pocket before he sped out of the parking lot out of sight.
Anderson was elated he had beaten the great invincible agent Derek Morgan and he was close to beating them all. He was giddy as he sped through the city; they’d underestimated him only seeing him when they needed some menial task done otherwise he was invisible.
Home of Derek Morgan –
The team stood outside far from the ongoing investigation of the local police department. The forensics team was busy combing every inch of the home that Derek had owned and occupied for the last eight years. The Bureau chief had already sent word by the detective in charge that they were to stay away from the case. So, they watched from the sidewalk as officers moved in and out of the house.
“So what are we going to do?” Reid said breaking the silence.
“What can we do? We’ve been ordered to stay off the case.” Hotch added irritated.
“These guys don’t care about finding Morgan, we can’t just stand around! I don’t give a rat’s ass what the bureau chief says!” Rossi yelled.
Hotch had no intentions on standing around but he knew they had to be careful and their next move had to be the right one or they’d all be looking for work and Morgan would be dead.
“Hotch, you were a victim of the Reaper’s you know him better than anyone else.” JJ began. “What’s his next move?”
“Anderson has gone through great lengths to copy the Reaper’s M.O. but he doesn’t have the skills or the resources the Reaper had.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he knows he can’t use the FBI resources or he’ll be caught. His computer skills are limited at best, so being able to move around without being found like the Reaper is out of the question.”
“Okay, so…” Rossi started.
“As much as he wants to be like the Reaper, he wants to stand out on his own too.”
“So what are you saying?”
“He’s not going to take the time the Reaper took to torment us he’s looking to go out quickly and with a bang.”
“So do you think he’s already killed Morgan?”
“No not yet but he’s running out of time.”
Hotch quickly pulled his phone from his pocket and dialed Garcia.
“Hotch! Please tell me you found him!”
“No Garcia, I’m sorry we didn’t.”
He could hear her voice hitch on the other end. She was trying so hard not to let him hear her crying but he heard that too.
“Garcia, I need you to call all the local hospitals; start with the closest ones to Morgan’s home and work your way out. He didn’t have a lot of time so he has to be close.”
“O-Okay…I’m on it!”
Potomac General Hospital –
It had been an unusually quiet evening, which was very seldom the case in the Emergency Room. All Carlos wanted was a cigarette and a few moments of piece away from his fellow nurses. That was the bad thing about slow nights it gave the others too much time to talk about boyfriends, babies and bills. He had no use for any of it and he’d had his fill. The cool air felt like heaven and the first drag on the long brown cigarette between lips almost made him giddy.
Then he saw him laying on the ground near the flagpole on the edge of the handicap parking spaces. If it weren’t for the fact that he’d moved into the light he wouldn’t have seen him at all. Carlos dropped the lit cigarette on the ground and rushed over to the form hoping it was just some drunk who’d managed to find his way from the nearby alley across the street…as he got closer he knew it was much more than that.
“Hold on! You’re going to be okay!”
Carlos placed his hand slowly on the man’s shoulder to keep him from moving.
His voice was barely audible. Carlos noticed the blood…so much blood the man’s shirt was drenched and the ground around him was wet with his blood.
“Don’t move, okay, don’t move! I’m going to get help!”
The team was headed back to the office when Hotch’s phone rang.
“What did you find, Garcia?”
“I may have something! No one by the name of Derek Morgan has been admitted to any hospitals within a hundred miles but there was a man who was just admitted to the ER at Potomac General that fits Morgan’s description but his I.D. says, ‘Neil Butcher’.”
“Neil Butcher?” Reid shouted.
“That’s the name of our last victim.”
Hotch quickly turned the SUV around and sped off in the opposite direction toward Potomac General Hospital.
BAU Headquarters, Quantico, VA –
Garcia began shutting down her computers there was no way in hell she was going to sit here waiting to hear news on Morgan. She needed to be there. Her hands shook as she moved around the room on autopilot. He had to be okay she had to be able to yell at him about getting himself hurt and making her worry and…
She was pulled from her frantic activity by a light knock on the door. She didn’t have time for visits she kept working to power down her equipment but the knock sounded again except this time it was louder.
“Come In!” She shouted.
She didn’t turn around as the door opened throwing things into her large bag and folding up her laptop.
“I’m sorry but I really don’t have time to chat! I have to leave…”
The familiar voice stilled her busy flutter turning to meet the wide grin of the last person she ever expected to see.
Friday, September 11, 2015
Even though he would never admit it, Hotch was a little unnerved by the phone call. Hotch looked around the room at the others as the buzz of the phone rang in his ear.
The man was devolving and they needed to find him quickly if they were going to save Morgan. Until now they had no real clues except for the fact that he was an admirer of the Reaper using his crimes to pattern his after.
“He’s a ballsy son-of-a-bitch!” Rossi groaned.
“Just like Foyet…” Hotch began.
“But he’s not as smart. He’s studied the Reaper’s cases backward and forward he thinks he can beat us.” Reid added.
“But he can’t and if Garcia is right we know where he has Morgan.” JJ added.
Home of Derek Morgan -
Anderson smiled confidently as he looked around the home. The others didn’t realize just how close he was; they were no doubt trying to find where he lived or if he secretly owned any other property. They would never find him until he was ready for them to find him. As he walked around the living room he ran his fingers across the leather sofa and examined the artwork hanging from the walls. Then he picked up picture after picture from the mantle envying the smiling faces of the people who were a family even though they did not share any DNA. It should be him in those pictures; smiling and acting silly feeling wanted but he was on the outside, left out. His anger overcame him as he violently flung the pictures to the ground smashing the glass across the floor.
The Reaper had attacked Hotch in his home waiting for him after the senior agent returned from a case in Canada. Anderson had done one better attacking Morgan at the BAU headquarters and then bringing him here and as he slowly walked around enviously examining each room he felt not only justified but vindicated somehow. He’d worked for the BAU team for the last eight years and his only real accomplishment was managing to remain invisible unless of course they needed an errand run or some menial task performed. Not now he had them all scared shitless and willing to do anything he commanded to save their friend.
Anderson glanced at his watched and taking one final look around the room he headed to the basement. As clever as he had been he knew that eventually even the overpaid, overrated agents of the BAU would figure things out…not soon enough, he snickered to himself.
He knew he was coming the third step had given him away. Morgan had meant to replace the rotten piece of wood months ago but his job had delayed him. His hands and feet were still bound and his body especially were he’d been stabbed were throbbing with pain. Oddly, he took comfort in the pain it meant that he was still alive, still had time to convince his captor to release him and still time for his team to find him. Anderson’s over confidence and rage would have to be his only weapon…it was all he had to fight with and even time was beginning to choose sides against him.
“Back so soon?”
“I love your stubbornness…so damn sexy!” Anderson chuckled.
His heart rate increased he knew what was coming next the knife in the man’s hand confirmed it. Anderson dropped to his knees and leaned in close.
“Now, be a good boy…I’ll try to be gentle.”
Morgan closed his eyes and tried to calm his breathing. He hated the arrogant grin on his face that seemed to grow more and more with each visit. Slowly running the knife up and down his chest, Anderson watched for any sign of fear. Seeing none he angrily plunged the knife into Morgan’s left side. The pain was like the first time, raw and piercing and the repetition of the brutality had not done anything to dull his senses.
“You should be use to this by now, Derek.”
He didn’t know the sound of his first name could sound so dirty. He cursed himself for not being able to hide the pain.
“Your friends are quite concerned for you. It’s sweet really.”
“What are talking about?”
“How you all regard each other…you’re like this little family…you love each other.”
“Yeah we do.”
Anderson slowly pulled the knife from his body and Morgan could not suppress his cry of agony the grin on his tormentor’s face was now a toothy smile.
“At last! I knew it would only be a matter of time. I must admit you are most stubborn!”
“You sick son-of-a-bitch!”
“Now, now, Derek, I thought we were becoming close.”
“I’d rather be dead!”
“And so you shall!”
Garcia’s hunch had been right Morgan’s car was parked in the driveway. Hotch and the others quickly got out of the SUV’s and headed toward the house. Rossi and JJ headed around the side of the house toward the back entrance, Hotch and Reid to the front. On his mark, Hotch ordered them in. Swiftly and quietly they began a search room-by-room meeting at the basement door. Hotch led the team down the steps pausing momentarily on the squeaky third stair. There were no sounds and no movement from the darkness as they continued and no reaction from the third steps announcement of their presence. Then there was the blood; lots of blood in varying shades of brown, burgundy and bright red…no doubt Derek’s blood and it stilled them as they formed a semi-circle around the stained concrete floor. None of them had ever been in his basement until now. They’d spent countless weekends over the years upstairs and in Derek’s backyard but never the basement. Most of them never realized that this room, cold dark and now smeared in blood even existed.
They were certain he would be here they’d operated on next to no leads and this was their best hope. It wasn’t that they were wrong in fact they had gotten it right and Anderson true to the Reaper’s form had indeed brought Morgan to his own home to torture and brutalize him. The problem was that they were too late.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Anderson stood and smiled down at Morgan his hands drenched in his victim’s blood. Morgan’s main objective now was to remain conscious and aware of his surroundings. He knew that by know his team was searching for him but he didn’t know if they would reach him in time to save his life. It was evident by the look in his assailant’s eyes that he was just getting started.
BAU Headquarters –
“I’ve sent Anderson’s address to your tablets.” Garcia announced.
The likelihood that Anderson had taken Morgan to his home was slim they all knew but they needed a starting point and time was running out. It was evident that Anderson had been planning and waiting for an opportunity to take Morgan for a while now.
“Thanks Garcia!” Hotch began. “Rossi, JJ, Reid go to Anderson’s and see what you can find. Kate you and I will stay here and go over his office and talk to other agents that knew him.”
Everyone headed out following Hotch’s instructions leaving Garcia to continue searching for more clues. The ride to Anderson’s was solemn with everyone running worst-case scenarios through their heads.
JJ began searching the bedroom inch by inch looking in the drawers, closets even under the bed. That’s when she found a large flat box, which she pulled out and placed on the bed.
“Guys!” She yelled.
Ross and Reid came into the room and watched as JJ removed the lid and began to pull the contents from the box. Anderson had collected dozens of pictures of Morgan; pictures of him at the gym, at work, coming and going from his home and even several pictures of him working on a fixer he’d recently purchased.
Rossi pulled out a handful of pictures that caused him to be even more concerned.
“Look at these.”
He handed a few of the pictures to both JJ and Reid. The two looked on troubled.
“Do you think he’ll come after Garcia next?” Reid asked.
“Maybe.” Rossi answered.
“Why didn’t he go after her first?” JJ asked.
“She’s not who he wanted.” Rossi surmised.
“Her face is blacked out.” Reid added.
“Look at all of this stuff!” JJ began. “He’s got a list of Morgan’s properties, pictures of them, his family’s addresses…” She continued.
Reid grabbed another picture buried beneath a pile of other things and passed it to Rossi.
“This is creepy. This is a selfie of him sitting at Derek’s desk!”
“What do we do now?” JJ asked.
“Let’s head back. We need to give the profile.”
Location Unknown – Later –
Morgan flinched when Anderson knelt next to him. He was pissed at himself for showing any sort of emotion or fear to this man who under normal circumstances was not his equal. He was so out of it that he hadn’t heard him enter the room.
“You’re awake! Good then we can begin again.”
“Anderson, what are you trying to prove? Even if you kill me you’re not going to get away with this.”
“I want you to admit that I’m better, smarter than all of you! I should be a part of the BAU, not you!”
Morgan tried to move from his position on the cold floor but he only succeeded in causing more pain. Anderson smugly grinned as he brandished the knife holding it to his throat and pressing lightly on his skin.
“Where should I start this time, Agent Morgan? I know you’re a lady’s man I wonder what they’d think of you if you weren’t so pretty?”
“Anderson, please don’t do this!”
“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of touching that beautiful face of yours I rather enjoy looking at it myself.”
Suddenly and without warning Anderson plunged the knife into Morgan’s side causing him to scream out in pain.
“Yesssss!!!! That’s it scream, Derek!!”
Anderson had never felt a rush like that before. The feeling nearly lifted him off the ground as he held the knife in place closing his eyes and enjoying the rush of emotions that made him dizzy with pure gratification.
“Ahhh… no more! No…”
“Whew! This feels so fucking good!” Anderson whispered in his ear.
After a few seconds, Anderson slid the knife from his side and watched as the new wound gushed blood over his victim.
“You are an amazing man, Derek. I’ve got to go out for a while but I’ll be back. Try not to miss me too much.”
Morgan writhed in pain on the floor fighting desperately to remain awake but the pain made him long for sleep. He was getting weaker as he placed his hands over the new stab wound. Then mercifully, he was pulled into the deep darkness and momentarily away from his current hell.
Anderson left the homemade prison locking the door behind him. He was proud of himself he’d managed to beat the best of the best proving that he was indeed smarter and worthy of being more than their lackey. He’d studied and perfected the work of George Foyet and now the BAU and especially Derek Morgan would learn the cost of ignoring and disregarding him. There was still much more to do and he knew that now was not the time to celebrate or get over confident with his early victory.
BAU Headquarters – later
“Okay, what do we have?” Hotch began.
“We found a box full of stuff on Morgan.” Rossi began.
Hotch and Kate began rummaging through the box. Reid began taking the items from the box and creating order pinning them to the white board on the wall.
“Why is Garcia’s face blacked out? Hotch asked to no one in particular.
“We thought maybe Anderson saw her as competition?” JJ began.
“Then why didn’t he try to get rid of her?” Kate asked.
“Maybe he’s mocking Garcia, just like he’s mocking the rest of us by not shielding his face on our security footage.” Reid surmised.
“He wants us to know that he’s smarter and that he beat us.” Hotch added.
“Wait, let’s back up.” Garcia interrupted. “It wasn’t until after George Foyet escaped that he made everything personal.
“Garcia, I think you’re on to something!” JJ interrupted. “The letters Morgan received…”
“Yes, exactly! We need to look at the Reaper’s actions after he shifted his focus on Hotch.” Said Reid.
“It all began when we got back from Canada, he was waiting for you at your place.” Rossi said looking at Hotch.
“He tortured me for hours before dropping me off at the hospital with Morgan’s credentials.”
“You nearly died.”
Garcia had done so well keeping her emotions under control. She had to be strong and help the team find Morgan but now reality hit her square in the face and she felt panic overtaking her.
“We need to find him!”
Then Hotch’s phone rang freezing them all in place.
“Agent Hotchner, Agent Anderson here.”
Hotch immediately put the call on speaker.
“Where’s Agent Morgan?”
“Now, now Agent Hotchner, where are your manners?”
“What have you done with him, Anderson?”
“We’re getting to know each other. Just think when I’m done with him the two of you will have a few things in common.”
“Let him go! It’s still not too late to make this right.”
For the next several seconds there was silence on the phone. The team could hear breathing on the other end.
“Do you know my first name, Agent Hotchner? Do any of you know my first name?”
They all looked around the room at each other. Rossi shrugged his shoulders and shook his head to the negative. Hotch glanced at Garcia who began to type feverishly on her laptop. Hotch tried stalling until she found the information.
“Is that what this is all about? Whether or not we know your name?”
“I’m sure by now your little blonde techie has hacked into the personnel files and found out that my first name is Arthur.”
“Turn yourself in, Agent before this goes any further.”
“Not a chance, Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner. I’m not quite finish playing with my new friend Derek Morgan. I’ve got to go now, if I don’t get back soon, he’ll worry.”
“Goodbye, Agent Hotchner. Goodbye all of you.”
Then the phone went dead.