Title: El Camaleón
By: Modern Physics
Summary: The BAU runs into a unique serial killer; a man that has as many faces as he does victims.
'We're losing her, we're losing her!'
Bright lights whirred around inside a cramped ambulance. Paddles, IV bags, and other various instruments littered the available floor space.
Paddles shocked life into the motionless body that lay before two hectic paramedics; her eyes now open wide with fright. The slightly larger paramedic moved the oxygen mask down off of the woman.
'Can you tell me your name ma'am?'
The other paramedic was rifling through the tiny cabinets fastened to the ambulance walls. As the vehicle swerved around a tight curve he grabbed onto the shelf for support.
'Gabriella... Lourdes,' the woman of small stature whispered. 'Where am I?'
The smaller of the two paramedics shut the cabinet case gently after finding the sedative he was looking for and kneeled down beside the woman.
'My name is Adrian and you're in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.' The other medic, whose name was Matt, held the woman's bloody hand and gave it a gentle squeeze as Adrian continued.
'You were attacked by your husband, ma'am,' he said gently.
Gabriella shot up, the mess of blood on her chest now clearly visible. 'NO! NO! It was not Lucas! Lucas is dead!'
Adrian looked over at Matt and sighed. 'Yes, he... it looked as if he shot himself after shooting you. Is that correct?'
'YOU ARE NOT LISTENING!' Gabriella was shouting as loud as her physical state would let her. Matt glanced at the tiny monitors surrounding him and gave Adrian a look of small terror. 'A man that looked just like Lucas came in and attacked us both! I do not know the man that killed my husband!'
'Mrs. Lourdes,' Matt said calmly, 'you're going to have to settle down, your heart can't take all this...'
'YOU HAVE TO CATCH HIM,' she said breathlessly, 'before he kills again!'
Adrian pushed a little of the sedative out of the syringe to make sure it was ready to use at a moment's notice.
'Rest assured, the police will take care of everything...'
'El camaleón!' Gabriella shouted as she writhed on the stretcher. 'El camaleón!'
'What the hell is she talking about?' Matt said, his eyebrows raised in confusion.
'What do I care,' Adrian said in a hushed voice, 'I think she's on something to be completely honest with you.'
Suddenly the ambulance smashed into another vehicle, tossing the two paramedics into the air briefly. Medical supplies now littered every conceivable area of the ambulance. Gabriella continued to howl in apparent pain as Matt managed to get up off the floor. He pounded at the glass separating himself from the ambulance driver.
'Hey Eddie, what happened? What did you hit?'
Matt pressed his face up against the glass trying to get a better picture of the driver seat while Adrian roused himself quietly.
'Eddie, you okay?'
Without warning, the driver's lifeless head lolled down, covering the glass separator.
'Holy shit!' Adrian exclaimed, looking up as soon as the head came into view. 'What the hell just happened?'
Before anything else could be said or done the back doors of the ambulance swung open, revealing a man wearing a ski mask. Gabriella tilted her head back and screamed as if she had seen the devil himself.
'YOU KILLER!' she wailed, banging her hands on the sides of the stretcher. 'You killed my husband!' The medics cowered in the corner; Eddie's blank stare centered behind them.
The masked man's gloved hand reached into a back pocket and produced a small gun. 'And now,' he said in a low voice, 'I'm here to finish the job.'
'What do you mean? Nathan is Claire's dad.' Reid also stole a red Skittle from the coffee table in front of them.
'So like, these powers run in the family?' JJ never considered herself a big sci-fi fan. Then again, she never really considered herself a fan of any form of entertainment. Her own life seemed like one big crime drama except without any of the happy endings.
Reid shook his head in disappointment. 'Obviously not, because then Hiro would have to be related as well.'
JJ didn't really care what was happening on the TV screen, she discovered, as she slipped a few candies into her mouth. She was glad she was somewhere where she didn't have to think about work. Besides, it would have been rude not to take Reid up on his offer of a Heroes marathon at his apartment.
Just as Reid went to take a sip of coke his phone began to vibrate. A few seconds later, JJ's did too. They looked at each other and sighed; work. 'Good thing I don't have a social life,' she thought to herself as she got up off the couch and answered the phone.
'Agent Jareau,' she said politely into the mouthpiece.
'I need you to be here within ten minutes, JJ. It looks like we've got a big case ahead of us.' Hotch's voice sounded tired and jaded on the other line. It hadn't even been a week since their last big case. Serial killers don't usually take vacations though, she reminded herself.
Reid turned the TV off, JJ put away the remainder of the snacks, and the two agents headed out the door, both dreading what awaited them at the office.
'You, my friend,' Garcia said to a dishevelled Emily, 'look like death.' Emily's hair was tied back in a loose ponytail and dark circles formed under her eyes. Morgan walked past and handed her a cup of coffee.
'Anything stronger than this we'd be in a bar,' he said with a chuckle, 'or at my place.' Emily looked up from the mug and gave him a glare and then smiled warmly at Garcia. This was not her, or anyone else's, idea of how to spend a Friday night. The three co-workers were waiting idly in the break room for Hotch, who was talking on the phone with the Miami Dade Police Department in Florida in his office.
'Why are you so cheery?' Emily asked a bubbly Garcia who was now flirting with Morgan. In response, Garcia gave a small laugh and spun around to face her, taking a big gulp of oriental tea before doing so.
'I,' she said while motioning to herself, 'am a creature of the night. Very nocturnal; you know, like an owl...'
'I think she gets the idea,' Morgan said with a forced eye roll. 'Anyway,' Garcia continued, 'people like me that usually work with computers tend to be nighthawks. We work well in the early hours of the morning.' She left a long pause; obviously waiting for Morgan to remake some suggestive remark, but he declined.
The break room doors swung in to reveal JJ and Reid, both clutching matching take-out bags from a Chinese place down the street. Morgan raised an eyebrow.
'Oh, snacks!' Garcia squealed. 'I hope you got me my favourite.'
JJ and Reid looked at each other briefly and exchanged nervous smiles. 'Actually,' JJ said, setting her bag down on the large table, 'we didn't know you guys wanted anything.'
'Well did you ever think of calling?' Garcia said, feigning mock hurt. Reid bit his bottom lip as he took out his rice.
'Damn that smells good,' Morgan said, rather impressed with their meal selections. 'Now you're making me wish I had some egg rolls or something.' He walked over to where Reid was just setting up his place at the table and stole his fortune cookie.
'Hey! That's my...' he began, before Garcia cut him off.
'Oh stop being so whiney, you girl,' she said in a giddy voice. 'It's just a fortune cookie.' Reid sighed and mumbled something about principles before holding up his chopsticks and digging into his rice. Unfortunately, the last time he had eaten with chopsticks was that time the entire BAU team went out for Chinese. He had, since then, forgotten how to master the skill. Garcia and Morgan laughed while JJ showed him the tricks of the trade again. Everyone was just beginning to settle down after laughing at Reid's expense when Hotch walked into the room.
'This may just be one of our weirdest cases yet,' he said solemnly as papers describing the murders were passed around. Realizing JJ was enjoying her noodles too much, Hotch took it upon himself to set up a slideshow on the projector.
'Our first victim was Lucas Lourdes,' he said in a quiet voice, 'who was murdered in his own home two days ago. The unsub attacked his wife too but didn't kill her.' He left a long pause after this statement as the agents looked at the photos of the victim. After a few moments Emily piped up, cradling the coffee mug in her hands. 'That sounds like a break and enter,' she said with an air of annoyance. Hotch frowned and pulled up another picture of an overturned ambulance with the back doors busted open.
'Unfortunately,' he said, 'it wasn't anything like a break and enter.' Another image of the ambulance revealed three bloody corpses sprawled out in the back of the ambulance. One, a woman, was still restrained to a stretcher. The agents gasped and then remained silent.
'The MDPD believes whoever attacked Mr. Lourdes and his wife killed the people in this ambulance,' Hotch said as Reid took a sip of his bottled water rather noisily.
'So let me guess,' Morgan said, crossing his arms on his chest,' the victim inside the ambulance at the time of the attack was Mr. Lourdes' wife?'
Hotch nodded and handed out other reports. 'What's interesting though,' he said, 'is that a paramedic on the scene at the Lourdes' house reported her describing a man that looked exactly as her husband as the attacker.'
JJ's eyebrows knitted together involuntarily as she piped up. 'And the husband had no siblings similar in appearance? A twin or maybe even an uncle...'
'No,' Hotch said in a defeated voice, 'the paramedic said the attacker's face was deliberately the same as her husband's, right down to the scar on his chin from a boating accident three years previously.'
The entire room seemed to be thinking the same thing even before Emily voiced her thoughts. 'This unsub takes on the physical appearance of his victim's loved ones in order to get close enough to kill them?'
Hotch nodded as Reid shoved his Styrofoam take-out plate aside. 'It sounds farfetched, but it's happened before,' Reid said in his usual I'm-smarter-than-you-but-I'll-pretend-we're-equal tone. 'For some, the planning that goes into a kill is more exciting than the actual kill itself. This unsub may stalk the person he wants to portray for weeks and then craft the perfect disguise.'
Morgan couldn't help but laugh a little at Reid's seriousness. After all, wouldn't the unknowing victim be able to tell the difference between her real lover and the fake? 'Come on off it Reid, that doesn't make any sense,' he said in a now dismal tone. The rest of the group sat in silence as they thought about the unsub.
'Not if he was an experienced plastic surgeon, capable of transforming his face into someone else's,' Emily said as she unconsciously tugged at her loose ponytail. This observation seemed to pique everyone's interest.
'Then wouldn't his face be all gross and saggy now?' Garcia added, pulling at her face for dramatic emphasis. 'I mean, after a few different disguises, wouldn't he be pretty much screwed?'
This gave Hotch the perfect segway into his next area of discussion; the victim previous to the Lourdes'. 'I'm surprised,' he said with a small grin, 'none of you have questioned the seriousness of this case? What if I'm just making assumptions?' The team looked at each other and then back at Hotch. 'Well,' he concluded, 'it's good that you all trust my judgement...' 'For the most part, that is,' Morgan threw in with a smile.
'Two months ago there was a similar case; appeared to be a break and enter where the thief murdered the home's occupant. However, when the MDPD looked into it, neighbours reported seeing the victim's husband around the home a lot even when he was supposed to be at work,' Hotch continued. The team looked at him sceptically now, as he finished up his thoughts. 'After some more prying it was discovered that the husband was actually at work when the neighbours reported seeing him home.'
'So what happened when they questioned the husband? Did he notice anything suspicious over the past few weeks or whatever?' Garcia asked. Hotch shook his head. 'No; this unsub's good. Thankfully the police agree with us about the serious nature of these murders and have gone easy on the victim's husband. The sooner we get there, the better.'
Everyone in the room suddenly remembered that the murders took place in Florida and there were instant murmurs of excitement from the team. The prospect of leaving Virginia in the middle of winter and heading south made them a lot happier to be sitting in a break room at two in the morning.
'Well,' said Morgan with a comical look on his face, 'I guess I'm gonna pack my beach stuff.'
'Shouldn't you be breaking a sweat there, homeboy?'
Morgan unbuttoned the top two buttons of his grey polo and looked at Reid, who was wearing a wool sweater vest. The team were making their way through the airport and keeping a look out for MDPD officers that were scheduled to meet them. 'No, actually,' Reid said in his usual tone, 'I don't sweat as much as the average person.'
Morgan stopped and looked at him. 'I don't even want to know how you know that,' he mumbled, putting on his sunglasses as the team approached the doors leading outside.
'I take it you're all from Quantico?'
A tall, young man with dark hair and delicate facial features walked up to the group and extended his right hand out to Hotch, who was nodding in response. 'Good, good then. I'm Officer Elliot Lewis of the Miami Dade Police Department. How was your flight?'
JJ was practically gawking at the young man that stood before them, and everyone besides Hotch noticed. 'Not bad,' Emily finally said and he replied with a small smile. The team grabbed the few belongings they took with them wherever they went and walked out into the warm Florida sun.
'It's almost six,' Elliot said, looking at his watch lazily. 'Did you want to grab something to eat?' The team agreed in unison as they placed their bags in the back of the impressive limosine-esque car that was waiting for them. 'Florida already seems classier than I'd imagine California to be,' Morgan said with a laugh as he examined the interior of the posh car they were now seated in.
'Oh I wouldn't go that far,' Elliot said through one of his big, friendly grins, 'I grew up in California and it's definitely classier over there.' JJ let out a small laugh, a giggle that Reid immediately picked up on and felt a bit uneasy about. He reminded himself however that he felt uneasy the majority of the time and that he shouldn't be so jealous of this big-shot Miami police officer. Despite his familiar reassurances, he still felt a twinge of resentment.
The car drove through winding city streets, weaving in and out of a golden haze that filtered through the tinted windows. It was making Emily sleepy and she struggled to keep her eyes open as Elliot Lewis went into more detail about the case they were going to be working on.
'...so we really don't know much more than you do,' Elliot concluded, putting a folder back into his small briefcase and snapping it shut. Hotch nodded as he contemplated everything, tapping his fingers on his own collection of papers and photographs from the crime scenes. 'It still doesn't hurt to go through your stuff,' JJ said quietly, 'I mean, your evidence... to go through your evidence,' as Emily added hastily, 'as in, your department's files,' and rolled her eyes.
'Of course it doesn't,' Elliot said as the car pulled into a restaurant parking lot, 'we encourage being thorough,' he grinned as he opened the door and let the team out.
'This place is amazing,' Emily said after taking a bite out of her quesadilla. Morgan nodded in agreement as he downed a glass of water; 'and spicy,' he added. They were sitting around a large table inside a small Mexican-inspired restaurant somewhere in the city. Despite the ridiculous prices of the food, the atmosphere was casual and relaxed. Between nachos and deep fried ice cream, the team almost forgot that there was a deranged killer on the loose in Miami. As Hotch took one last sip of his diet Pepsi, the team subconsciously pulled their chairs in closer to the table, half anticipating, half dreading what was to be discussed next.
'We think this unsub may be dabbling in cosmetic or reconstructive surgery in order to disguise his physical appearance,' Hotch said in a quiet tone as a waitress cleaned up a table about ten feet away from them. 'I'll need your officers to get us a list of every plastic surgeon in Florida and their respective clients.' Morgan rubbed his eyes with his hands, not looking forward to skimming through hundreds, if not thousands, of names.
Elliot nodded as he swirled the ice in his water, looking into the distance as if in deep thought. 'I've never seen something like this before,' he finally said, 'it's so bizarre.'
Reid chuckled softly, and spoke up with an unusually authoritative tone. 'Well you're lucky you don't work for the BAU,' he said. 'You'd be reeling from all the stuff we have to deal with.' Elliot looked at Reid with a peculiar expression on his face. It was clear, however, to the team assembled around the small table, that this moment could have been torn from the metaphorical pages of anyone's high school memories. Reid was the nerdy, A+ student that sat near the front of class whereas Elliot was the sly, handsome slacker that didn't really associate with the nerds.
'You mean you're lucky that I don't work for the BAU,' Elliot replied with a forced chuckle, 'or else you'd be going home with a headache every night.' JJ looked at him with apparent adoration in her eyes as he spoke, but immediately focused her attention back on her drink. Emily rolled her eyes and was thankful that she wasn't as pathetic as JJ. After a few more tense moments at the table, Morgan got up and declared that he wanted to get to the hotel before it got too late. He mumbled something about hitting the hot tub and talking to the ladies, but no one was really paying any attention. The team was far too full and exhausted. They made their way out into the parking lot, where the limo was waiting.
'I'll see you all tomorrow morning,' Elliot said as he got into a cab that was waiting near the curb. The team got into the roomy backseat of the car and relaxed. Reid was the first to speak up after a few moments of silence. 'I don't like that officer very much,' he said as he picked at his nails subconsciously. Emily let out a small laugh and leaned back in her seat.
'I never would have guessed,' she said, letting out a sigh. 'You're not in high school any more, Reid. You can work with the jocks and get along now.' Reid made a slight grimace as he looked out the tinted window on his left. 'It's not that...' he trailed off under his breath. He didn't want to admit that he was jealous of all the attention JJ was giving him.
'I think he's really nice... and helpful,' JJ said quietly as she tucked her hair behind her ears. Now it was Morgan's turn to laugh. 'Girl,' he said through a smile, 'you think he's f-iii-ne.' Everyone in the back of the car let out a laugh, except for JJ, whose face turned scarlet. 'I decline to comment,' she finally said as she shifted in her seat.
The limo twisted and turned through unfamiliar territory as the team watched the burning sun set. It was almost 9 by the time they made it to their hotel. It was big and luxurious, with huge palm trees positioned outside the grand entrance way. A sophisticated staircase led to an area showcasing five different elevators. The teams' rooms were on the sixth floor, they soon discovered, as they made their way through the hotel.
Bright, warm air hovered lazily in the small Starbucks the team sat in at eight in the morning. It wrapped around their coffee mugs and rolled down their backs, making every last one of them sleepy.
'Why'd we have to come here an hour earlier than we were supposed to?' Morgan asked in a stiff tone, stirring his coffee with a tiny plastic stick. Hotch shifted in his chair and leaned in closer, eyeing the surrounding early-morning patrons before speaking.
'I received a call at seven from the MDPD,' he said quietly, 'and they've got a lead on the unsub.' The team, however, didn't seem too impressed with this information. In fact, Reid snorted as he bit into his Danish.
'Really?' Emily asked as a suspicious look came about on her face. 'I didn't know this information was made public yet?'
Hotch watched the tiny door swing open as three businessmen walked in briskly. 'It wasn't,' he said, barely over a whisper. 'One of the officers felt that our partial profile reminded him of someone he knew, a brother-in-law.' A quizzical look dawned on JJ's face as she poked at her triple-berry muffin with a plastic fork.
'Okay, what next Sherlock?' Morgan said, noticing Hotch's abrupt stop. For some reason he was incredibly wary of people sitting around them, which wasn't entirely unusual for Hotch, but it was really distracting nonetheless. 'The officer spoke with his sister, and it turns out she and her husband have been on the outs for weeks.'
'I'm assuming this suspect is a practicing plastic surgeon, then?' Emily asked quietly. Surprisingly, Hotch shook his head no. Reid opened his mouth to criticize the police force (most notably Elliot Lewis, whom he believed had something to do with this nonsense), but Hotch cut him off before he could even begin. 'He's a part-time assistant for a reconstructive surgeon,' he began, 'which would give him access to everything he'd need to craft a disguise.' The team looked relieved, as they had all figured this 'suspect' would have turned out to be a cashier or something else irrelevant.
'Great,' Reid said, 'did you talk to surgeon?' An uneasy quiet fell over the table as Hotch took a sip of his tea. Morgan cleared his throat, anticipating bad news. 'He was found dead three days ago,' Hotch said feebly, 'and the cause of death was cyanide poisoning.'
'Okay, that's something to work with,' JJ said hurriedly, 'but what did you learn about the unsub according to his wife?'
The coffee shop was filling up quite rapidly, which was making Hotch uneasy. Sensing this, Emily suggested that they go find somewhere else to discuss matters. All nodded in agreement. 'According to the wife,' Hotch proceeded once they were outside, 'her husband is a very self-centered and jealous man and he's only been getting worse the last few years. She said that ever since he began working for that plastic surgeon he became obsessed about switching identities; said it would be really simple to become someone else, at least physically.' JJ bit her bottom lip in concentration as the team walked down the street in the warm, Miami morning air.
'Do you think this guy had some dirt on the surgeon and was blackmailing him in order to get free surgery? I mean, or did he really have lots of money? If he was working part-time, he couldn't have,' Morgan said candidly. Emily raised an eyebrow in thought before replying. 'It is Miami... maybe he inherited money? Or the wife has an extremely well-paying job?'
Hotch pulled out some papers that had been faxed to him earlier that morning and skimmed them over. 'Bingo,' he said quietly, 'the wife inherited her father's estate after he died of cancer four years ago.' The team then assumed that the unsub was indeed capable of paying for his own surgery, if he had to. They spoke about different theories and possibilities for the next half hour, sitting down in a shady park for a bit. At nine o'clock the team went down to the police department to formally meet with the officers. It worked to their advantage that they already had the background information on the alleged suspect.
Hotch went into the building first, followed by Morgan, then Reid, and finally Emily and JJ together as they exchanged papers and folders. The layout inside was very modern; glass dividers were set up among the many desks and a large 'Miami-Dade Police Department' sign greeted visitors in the entranceway. Reid rolled his eyes at the thought of working alongside Elliot Lewis as he adjusted the horn-rimmed glasses that were sliding down his nose.
'Are you all from the BAU in Quantico?'
A shorter man with dark brown hair addressed them from a doorway that supposedly led to an office. The team nodded in unison and the man proceeded towards them.
'I'm a fan,' he said, a bright white grin spreading across his face. His white blazer and black jeans were hardly officer attire, and Morgan wondered who this man was and why he was here. As if the man could read Morgan's mind, he added, 'I'm Ryan Wolfe, by the way. I'm not with this department anymore, but I check in sometimes. Actually, I'm a CSI of the sort.'
Emily extended her right hand and shook Ryan's vigorously. 'A CSI! I always wondered what it'd be like doing that.' Ryan let go of her hand, a slightly arrogant look spreading across his face, before replying, 'Oh, it's stressful at times, but rewarding. Truthfully I've always wondered what it'd be like working for the BAU.'
After a few moments of small talk with CSI Wolfe, the team was escorted by Sheriff Martin Lowe into a meeting room. Five other people comprised of two detectives and three of MDPD's best officers (including Elliot Lewis) sat in the room as well.
'Glad you could meet with us so early,' Sheriff Lowe said to them briskly, 'I'd just like to get started on this as soon as possible.' The team nodded as they took their seats around a long, glass, rectangle table. A pitcher of ice water stood in the middle, stacks of Styrofoam glasses accompanying it.
'I assume you've all heard about our person of interest?' Low questioned. Once again, the team nodded. There was something about the sheriff's presence that demanded full attention and compliance. On that note, everyone in the room began discussing theories and other interesting aspects of the case, most of which the BAU team had already thought of previously. In his head, Reid was keeping a tally: Him, 1. Elliot, 0.
After a full day of intense speculation, six coffee breaks and one lunch break, the team headed back to their hotel, prepared to do the same thing over again the next day until they had more to go on. They did, however, learn that the suspect's name was Bryan Fytz and he was 38 years old. The only picture they had of him was one that was taken three years ago; a picture that probably had no resemblance to what he looked like now. The team arrived at the hotel at seven o'clock. Morgan proclaimed that he was going to check out the pool, Hotch was going to call his wife, and JJ was going to read some more of a book she had bought at the airport. This left Reid and Emily sitting together out on the deck, sipping lemonade. From the sixth floor they had a great view of the city as the sun made skyscrapers look like melting gold. Emily closed her eyes and twirled the ice cubes in her glass. After a few moments, however, she felt uneasy and opened one eye, glancing over at Reid. He was looking out in the distance, a perplexed look on his face.
'There's something off about you,' she finally said, after a few more quiet moments. Reid turned around to face her, his eyebrows knitted in mild confusion. 'What do you mean?' he responded, taking a gulp of his lemonade. Emily sighed and swung her feet around off of her chair, lifting up her sunglasses. 'It's JJ, isn't it?' she said almost apologetically. Reid laughed and took another drink.
'No, why would you think that? I mean, it's not that I don't like her, I mean... no, wait, why.... What?' Emily rolled her eyes and adjusted the sunglasses atop her head. 'In case you haven't noticed, you aren't the best when it comes to masking your feelings.' Reid mumbled something that sounded vaguely scientific and Emily ignored him. He persisted, however.
'I mean,' he said in a defeated voice, 'I thought she liked me. We get along, and we hung out outside of work and...' Emily cut him off. 'I think she does like you, Reid,' she said with a laugh, 'but you're overanalyzing everything. She just happens to find that officer attractive, that's all. And if it's any consolation, he's probably an airhead.' Reid sipped his lemonade and thought about what Emily had just said. He now knew why she was hired by the BAU: she was able to penetrate people's minds.
A black Hummer with the Miami-Dade Police Department logo etched onto the side pulled up alongside the curb of a short side street in a quiet suburb. It was two in the afternoon and after a good night's sleep, two amazing meals, and meeting once again with the local authorities, the BAU was ready to investigate one of their leads in the Chameleon Killer case, as dubbed by the Miami Star. Once the vehicle had stopped Emily opened the door and stepped down onto the freshly manicured lawn. Letting her eyes drift over the estate, she gasped involuntarily. The house was two storeys tall, pale yellow in colour, and accommodated a large pool in the back. Despite its plain description, it was the most gorgeous house Emily had ever seen. The white veranda wrapped around the side and sheltered a state of the art barbeque, an expensive patio set, and a gorgeous hot tub, accentuated with mood lighting around the sides. She removed her sunglasses to get a better look at the stained glass inlay above the front door. For a few moments Emily was jealous of the women that lived here, until she remembered her husband could possibly be the Chameleon Killer. Sliding the sunglasses back up, she took a deep breath and walked briskly up the walkway, Morgan close on her heels.
"Home girl's father was pretty well off," Morgan said quietly, eyeing the premises. He, like Emily, did a double take of the backyard and sighed. 'Damn, I should be making this much money for the shit I put up with."
"Take a number, buddy," Emily said with a laugh as she rang the doorbell. Morgan smiled and admired the view, letting his mind wander down his list of things he'd do if he had a lot of money. Shuffling could be heard from inside and finally a woman's figure was silhouetted through the glass door.
"Who is it?" she said quietly, one hand over the padlock. Morgan shifted his weight to his left foot. "It's the FBI, ma'am," Emily said in a quasi-friendly tone. "We just want to ask you some questions, if you don't mind."
The glass door opened slowly to reveal a short woman in her mid-thirties with blonde hair, donning a pale blue sundress and a string of ivory pearls. "How may I help you?" she said in a trembling voice.
"We'd like to ask you some questions about your husband, Mrs. Fytz," Morgan said politely. She nodded and ushered the two agents in through her spotless porch and into the impeccably tidy sitting room.
"Can I offer you a drink?" she asked calmly, clutching the pearls in her left hand anxiously. Morgan accepted a glass of ice tea, as did Emily. As Mrs. Fytz poured drinks in the kitchen, Emily eyed wedding photos perched on tables of various sizes throughout the room. The suspect, Bryan, was handsome in an offbeat way. He was of average height and build with dark brown hair. The couple looked happy as they were caught mid-stroll walking down a deserted beach at sunset. Morgan noticed the pictures too and nudged Emily lightly in the ribs. "Too good to be true, huh?" Emily playfully punched him and scolded through clenched teeth, "I'm a firm believer that true love exists... somewhere." Morgan stretched back on the plush white loveseat. "Say what you want about that, doll," he whispered as Mrs. Fytz walked back into the room with their drinks, "but I enjoy every minute playing the field."
After taking a few sips of her sweet iced tea and dishing out compliments left and right about the Fytz estate, Emily proceeded to asking questions about Bryan.
"Mrs Fytz," she began, but was kindly interrupted. "Please, do call me Karen," the small woman chirped as she held onto the pearls that draped around her neck, "there's no need to be so formal, is there?" With a chuckle and a curt nod, Emily tried again.
"Karen, I'm sure you know why we're here?" The woman crossed and uncrossed her legs, toying with the excess fabric of her expensive dress. "I do," she said weakly, avoiding eye contact, "have an idea, yes." Emily tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, allowing Morgan to take the lead.
"We have reason to believe that Bryan may be the Chameleon Killer," he said rather bluntly. "He fits the profile somewhat and we'd really appreciate anything you could tell us about him from his personal and professional life." Karen nodded, exhaling slowly as if she was in one of her yoga classes. She placed two small, manicured hands in her lap and looked up at Emily.
"Bryan and I have, well... we've become estranged the last few years of our marriage, as you can probably tell." Emily sported a confused expression and shook her head. "But there are so many pictures... wouldn't you take them down if things weren't going so well anymore?" Now it was Karen's turn to shake her head.
"These pictures are from our wedding day, eleven years ago. None of them are recent. I try to focus on all the good times we shared but now I don't even think those are enough to comfort me, knowing that he's wanted for murder." Small tears began to form in her eyes and her face became flushed. Morgan gave Emily a small glance and cleared his throat quietly.
"When did Bryan leave?" After dabbing at her eyes with the back of her index finger for a moment or two, Karen sighed. "Last week. We had just had an explosive argument about how much time he was spending at work. And on top of that, he kept on spending the money I inherited from my father without telling me what he was doing with it. We had lots of trust issues to work out but he never wanted to go to counselling. I didn't think he'd actually leave... but I guess I was wrong."
"Did you notice any radical differences in his physical appearance over the last few years?" Morgan asked as he rested his head on his hands, listening intently.
"Yes, actually I did. He said he was the model for his boss's new procedures. He'd come home with different looks all the time but I never questioned him. I guess it makes sense now, in hindsight... I suppose I know where all the money's gone."
"I wouldn't be too sure of anything just yet, ma'am," Morgan said as he thought about the surgeon being poisoned to death. The motive for Bryan would be perfect so he didn't want to dismiss that theory too soon.
Emily sat up on the edge of the loveseat, leaning closer to Karen. "I think it might be best if you leave the house until we find your husband," she said matter-of-factly, "because if he comes back here things might not turn out so nice."
"Damnit JJ, where are you?"
Reid closed his cell phone shut and ran a hand through his hair. She had agreed to meet him for supper at nine since Hotch said he didn't really need their help that night. Reid, being his paranoid self, checked the clock on his phone every minute or so. It was now 9:04 PM as he stood waiting in the hotel lobby.
At 9:06, JJ came down the lavish stairs wearing a yellow frock and blue heels, her hair wavy from all the humidity. Even when she wasn't really dressed up, she still had a certain quality of elegance to her that Reid could not get over, no matter how hard he tried.
"Sorry," she said hurriedly as she put one hand on his shoulder to steady herself as she adjusted the strap on one of her heels. Reid was shocked by the sudden touch but tried not to let on. "I was really into this book and lost track of time; I hardly had time to get ready." She let go of his arm and threw her purse on her right shoulder.
"You look great," Reid said quietly as they walked out of the lobby together. "Thanks," she said with a laugh, "you don't pull off the Clark Kent too bad yourself either. Where are we going anyway? I'm starved." Reid pushed up his glasses and readjusted his tie.
"We passed this little bistro place on the way to the hotel last night," he said in carefree tone, "I thought we could try that?" JJ's face lit up as she headed towards the cab, "How did you know I was craving pasta?" she said through a smile. Reid shrugged and grinned back: "Beginner's luck."
The dingy yellow cab pulled up in front of the small restaurant, aptly named Marco's. Several strands of cheap patio-lights were strewn around the humble structure, illuminating groups of people that culminated around the large outdoor tables. Latin music could be heard from inside the one-room bistro; the sound waves reverberated off of the walls and Reid swore he could see them. The atmosphere was drenched in electricity and rhythm as the two co-workers skipped up the narrow wooden front step. Inside there was only one vacancy; a small, round table that sat two accentuated with fresh flowers. JJ scuttled through a crowd of people dancing to the music provided by the four-piece band playing at the back of the room.
"Score!" she said quietly as she fist-pumped into the air. "We beat that couple behind us by about two seconds." Reid looked at her, one of his brows raised in mild confusion. JJ suddenly felt a bit childish and muttered an apology. Reid shrugged it off and assured her there was nothing to be sorry for. After all, they were both hungry and didn't feel like taking a cab to another restaurant.
"Hola!" a plump woman with a strong Spanish accent bustled over to the table for two and dropped menus. "Our special tonight is shrimp penne and toasted garlic bread..." before she could continue a middle-aged man began yelling to her in Spanish from the kitchen. "¡Un momento, por favor!" she exclaimed as she made her way over to the counter. Reid opened his menu and skimmed over the dishes as JJ did the same. A few minutes later the woman returned to take their orders. Both ordered the special and handed the beat-up menus back to the waitress. "What about a drink for the lady, senor?" The woman said to Reid as she nudged him gently in the ribs. Stammering, Reid declined.
"Oh, no, no we're fine... right JJ? We're fine. I mean, we're not together or anything... we're co-workers. We work together. You know, in an office? Well no, not really an office. We travel together, but, there's work involved. Lots of work. Paperwork, even."
The woman looked at Reid with a raised eyebrow and then over to JJ for a moment. "Si, si senor," she said slowly and deliberately, "your food will be out shortly..." With that, she headed towards the kitchen to bark orders in Spanish to the cooks. JJ's face was glowing a light red; it was hard to tell if it was from Reid's awkwardness or the heat inside the restaurant. Either way, she wanted it to go away.
It was well after eleven o'clock by the time JJ and Reid had finished their meals and enjoyed a bit of the Cuban scene. She wasn't sure about Reid, but JJ had thoroughly enjoyed herself. She loved the music, the food, and the friendliness. She wasn't looking forward to going back to the hotel and discussing casework, but she knew it had to get done. As the two talked and waited by the curb for a taxi, a black limo pulled up besides them. The driver rolled the window down an inch or two and spoke in a hushed voice.
"Need a ride?" the man sounded gruff.
"Actually, I just called a taxi a few minutes ago, thank you though," Reid said politely and waved him off.
"Dynamite Cabs?" The driver asked again. Reid nodded; his face was skewing up in confusion.
"Don't worry," the driver said, "I'm with them. My cab broke down so I'm borrowing this. It won't cost you any more, its okay. Just get in."
JJ shrugged as Reid opened the back door for her. Somewhere in the pit of her stomach she had a bad feeling about the cab driver. After Reid had told him where their hotel was, the black limo sped away into the night. A combination of darkness and tinted windows made it impossible to see where they were and where they were going. This did nothing more to help the uneasiness that settled down deep inside of both of them. As a precaution, JJ texted Emily's cell. "Got in a cab on 54th street," she typed, "black limo. Cab driver is odd. License plate #YGS723." She has just pressed 'send' when all of a sudden the car jolted to a stop.
Having been in way too many of these situations before, Reid locked the divider that separated JJ and himself from the driver, and then the two back doors. Thankfully, in this limo, the locks in the back were separate from the ones in the front. The driver, unless he owned the vehicle, didn't have access to the keys necessary to get in the back. Reid didn't know why he knew this, but didn't question himself. JJ tensed and clutched her phone and purse tightly. Outside they could hear shuffling and scraping of gravel; the driver was getting out of the car. Sure enough, the weight shifted which signalled that he had gotten out. Seconds later the door slammed. Reid gasped involuntarily and sat deathly still. After what seemed like forever sitting in the dark calm, a loud knock came from JJ's window, causing both of them to jump.
"I know you know who I am," the man said in a cold voice, "and that's unfortunate. I really don't want to take you out. You all do such good work over at the BAU." JJ's face went white. After a few moments and no response from either of them, the man continued. "Well, I can play this game too," he said quietly. Reid could tell from the sounds outside that the man was walking away from the car. Where to, however, he wasn't sure. He wasn't even sure where the man had taken them.
As the two sat in silence in the darkened limo, a small beep issued from JJ's purse. Just as she went to pick up her phone, something big and heavy crashed into the side of the car, throwing both of the occupants on the floor. Recovering quickly, JJ looked at her phone. How ironic, she thought. It was dead. In a matter of moments, for all she knew, she could be too.
Relentlessly, the supposed cab driver rammed into the limo with something heavy. JJ wasn't sure how much longer the metal alloy could last before the maniac's eager fists were swinging at her and Reid.
"Just stop and we can talk about this," Reid was shouting over the screeching of metal against metal. The man outside did not reply but kept on rocking the vehicle. Reid had soon discovered that he didn't have any service on this cell wherever they were, and JJ's phone was already dead.
"Why is it that we always seem to get ourselves into these situations?" JJ said as she moved to the opposite side of the car, away from the ensuing blows. Reid contemplated the question a moment but no response came to him. Being lucky sounded too morbid... he would have to go with random selection, deciding at that very moment 'random' was a poor-fitting adjective.
Almost as suddenly as they had began, the blows stopped. Gravel was heard being kicked up and the weight in the front of the car fluctuated. The man was back behind the wheel. As soon as he shut the door, the limo was off in a cloud of grey smoke and the two occupants in the back were once again thrown around.
"What the hell is he doing now?" JJ asked, rubbing her forehead. She still couldn't see, but knew enough to know that they were driving down a highway... fast. "Something obviously made him change his plans," Reid said, lost in thought. As though an answer to the unspoken question on both of their minds, sirens were heard in the far distance and JJ clasped her hands together. "Emily got my message! Thank God."
Reid, realizing that sometimes high-speed car chases with serial killers happened in his line of work, buckled in and tried to peer out the window. "Your message?" he said, dumbfounded, "you mean, you texted her?" JJ nodded in the dark.
"I felt creeped out the moment I saw the limo. I got the license plate number and sent it to her. I'm sure she alerted the police and they're on their way."
Reid let out a small sigh of relief. "Good, good then," he said, pushing his glasses up his nose out of habit, "I'm getting sick of finding my own way out of these situations." JJ snorted quietly and felt suctioned back into her seat by the increasing speed. "Oh I agree, Spence," she said as she clicked her seatbelt, "I agree."
As suddenly and unexpectedly as the rest of their night, the car veered off of the straight highway and onto a ruddy terrain. JJ's purse when soaring through the air, Reid's glasses following suit, and landing somewhere in the darkness that filled the tiny cabin.
"Okay, now I'm starting to worry again," JJ said, gripping the plush leather seats with both of her hands. "Remind me again exactly why this unsub won't kill himself and us with him by crashing this car?"
Reid felt a surge of panic rush through him now too, but focused on staying calm. "He's too vain," Reid said quietly. "He doesn't want to die, he just wants to keep getting away with what he's getting away with now. By killing us he'd get that wish."
JJ was getting a little agitated now, for obvious reasons. "Your professional opinion, Dr. Reid," she said through gritted teeth that were supposed to lessen the impact of the bumpy road, "seems to be that we'll be fine?" He was momentarily blindsided by the fact that she put some trust into his opinion, but then reminded himself that this wasn't an ordinary, textbook situation.
"I'd say... yes, we should be okay. The police are on their way and he'll feel confronted. I'm guessing that he'll probably run, too."
JJ gripped onto the small mini-fridge for balance as the car rounded a sharp turn. "Well we'll be testing that theory soon enough," she said, the sound of sirens filling her ears and the sensation of tires grinding lumpy gravel reverberating throughout her body.
Seconds, then minutes, ticked by. The sirens were growing louder and the car was moving faster. Oddly enough, the two passengers in the back weren't as scared as they ought to be. Silently, they attributed it to the fact that years on the BAU had toughened them up.
When police sirens finally deafened everyone in their proximity, the car slammed to a stop. The driver's door opened and the man hit the ground running, tearing up grass and gravel in his path. From inside the vehicle JJ and Reid heard police cars grind to a halt and the unmistakable bark from Emily as she made her way towards the suspect.
"I SAID," Emily shouted as she ran after the man that had just gotten out of the car, 'GET ON THE GROUND, NOW!" The suspect was putting up one hell of a chase, both by car and on foot. About a dozen or so police officers trailed Emily down a dark, rocky path in the middle of nowhere with powerful flashlights and guns raised.
'We're losing him,' Officer Elliot Lewis yelled as his flashlight just skimmed the top of the man's hat. Emily picked up speed and cut her way through some overgrown brush. 'We're not losing him on my watch,' she growled, gripping her gun tightly.
'Everyone, stop!' an older officer at the back of the group yelled; he pointed out that they were fast approaching a wide river and it would be difficult to see in the pitch black conditions. At his command, everyone stopped as the officer pulled out a floodlight and shone it around, hoping to catch a glimpse of the fleeing suspect. After a few seconds of waiting (which felt like hours to Emily), a figure of a man was caught in the glow. However, he wasn't on solid ground; in fact, he was on a bridge that crossed over the wide, rushing river.
'Put your hands behind your head!' barked Elliot, steadying his aim on the target. 'Don't make me shoot!' Not even a second had passed when the man jumped off of the bridge and landed in the river with a loud splash. The police were dumbfounded. It was nearing midnight and there was no possible way they'd have water rescue on hand before the suspect had gotten away to safety. Emily groaned and put her gun back into her hip holster. Frantic officers paged back and forth to each other amidst the humid, Miami air as Emily Prentiss called to find out where her colleagues were.
"Well, this sure has been one hell of a night Spence," JJ said as she straightened out the fabric of her dress; a weak dome light finally illuminated the inside of the vehicle. "What can I say," Reid said casually, as he heard footsteps nearing his door. Sure enough, Officer Lewis was the one to open the door and find the two 'hostages' in the back. Reaching over Reid as if he wasn't there, he extended a hand towards JJ.
"Are you alright, ma'am?" he said in a worried tone, looking at her all over. JJ stammered slightly and shook her head. "Yes, I'm... I'm alright," she said breathily.
"We do sort of get used to these things, you know," Reid said, alerting the officer to his presence. "I'm sure you do," Elliot said, a hint of annoyance in his voice as he helped JJ out of the car, paying no more attention to Reid, which suited him just fine.
"Did you catch the guy that was driving this thing?" JJ asked, tucking some wayward strands of hair behind her ear as she walked slowly around the vehicle. Elliot shook his head 'no' and explained what had just happened. Police slowly began to emerge from the forest like they were lost, paging one another and speaking hurriedly. Amidst the noise of similar voices, Emily's rose up and stood out on its own. Reid and JJ began to make their way through the crowd towards her.
"I'm glad you two are alright," Emily said, raising the back of her hand to wipe her forehead, "I got your text just in time then." JJ smiled and patted her purse, thankful that she was smart enough to think of using her phone.
"Where's the rest of the team?" Reid finally said, motioning to the thinning crowd of police officers. Emily bit her lip nervously and checked the time on her watch. "The thing is," she said quietly, "I called them fifteen minutes ago and they were on their way. I just tried Morgan's cell again but there was no answer. It should only take them about five minutes to get here, so..." As she trailed off, a worried look crept upon JJ's face.
"I'm sure they're alright," Reid began, before Emily's cell rang loudly. Frantically she picked it up and looked at the call display. It was Morgan.
"Are they safe?" Morgan sounded anxious.
"Yes, they're fine. The unsub got away though. Where are you?"
"Funny thing," Morgan said, "a man by the name of Bryan Fytz was just pulled over a few counties away for speeding. The man you were chasing wasn't the guy we had in mind."
Hanging up the phone, Emily took a deep breath and looked at her two colleagues. "I think we have more than one unsub," she said regretfully, "or possibly a copy-cat killer."
In a lavish room filled with shining silver tools, black leather chairs, and framed art reprints, a younger Bryan Fytz pulled at the corners of his eyes before an illuminated mirror.
"This is... amazing," he said breathily, examining the new shape of his eyes. He turned slightly to the right, slightly to the left, and then tilted his head backwards and then forward, examining every tiny modification. His boss and mentor, Dr. Frederick K. Jenkins, looked on with a smile at his work.
"With today's technology you can actually become another person... at least, physically," he said in his quaint professional voice. Dr. Jenkins was a short, round man of about 50 years who took great pride in his work as a plastic surgeon. Bryan continued to examine himself in the mirror, marveling over the significant changes made to his face.
"What about my nose, what could you do to that?" Bryan began prodding and pushing at his nose, shifting the ball at the end to the left and to the right, imagining what he would look like if it was smaller or larger. Dr. Jenkins coughed quietly and looked at his 'volunteer' as he pondered the question.
"Anything you like," Jenkins responded with a slight smirk. "Like I said, you can look like an entirely different person nowadays... if you have the spare change." At this, Bryan placed the mirror down on the metal tray beside him and looked the doctor square in the eyes. "How much does this stuff usually run?"
"Oh... I couldn't really put an exact amount on it until a consultation..." Bryan reached over and grabbed Jenkins by his collar, eliciting a small gasp from the stout man. Discovering his actions were very irrational, Bryan released the man and apologized, blaming some new experimental medication he was on (in fact, he wasn't on any medication... he had a very fiery temper).
"I'm sorry, doctor, it's just... you don't understand. My whole life I was told I wasn't good enough... my mother resented me and my father wanted nothing to do with me.. . it's just... I want to get away from that, you know? I don't want to be that man anymore... I want to be who I've always felt I was inside.. on the outside."
Dr. Jenkins pushed up his glasses, clearly nervous about his response. "Yes, yes... I see.. I'll tell you what I'll do.. I'll do some calculations tonight and let you know the approximate price tag of a few different procedures tomorrow morning." Bryan feigned excitement and a smile as he shook the man's hand.
"Excellent. Thank you so much doctor, you have no idea how much this means to me."
As Bryan Fytz walked out of that examining room two years ago he vowed never to go back to his old ways. He had lied about being an inadequate child and everything else he told Dr. Jenkins. It was on this day two years ago that Bryan Fytz realized his full potential as a n untraceable killing machine... a man with a mission. He would go down in history... he would become an artist.
Emily Prentiss looked down at the ground beneath her feet. If for some reason she could not see it, she would know that nothing in this life was real at all. Fortunately for her, she saw the grass with as much clarity possible in the dark, early hours of the morning.
"A copy cat killer," Reid said slowly as he examined the scene of scurrying police officers, ringing pagers and barking police dogs, "that's always possible... but... I don't know."
JJ nodded her head in the darkness, a few tiny scratches on her forehead made visible by a stray beam of light from an officer's spotlight. "Do you think Fytz had an accomplice?"
Emily shrugged her shoulders as she massaged her aching forehead. "I mean, have we even ruled out the possibility that these are two separate incidents? I mean, it could be totally coincidental."
Reid and JJ briefly looked at each other before taking turns to speak.
"Well, yeah, that is possible but I had the feeling he knew we were FBI," JJ said quietly as if the unsub was still lurking in the bushes around them. Reid nodded in agreement.
"I could be wrong, but I also got that impression. I think the best thing is to split up the officers and one group can treat this second unsub as a separate case, while the other one treats it as related."
Emily hesitated but finally agreed. She knew that it would be Hotch's word against theirs though when it really came down to it. After asking the officers if they agreed with the new strategy, the trio got back in the car and headed towards the hotel. It was now close to 3 AM and sadly none of them were in the least bit tired.
"So were you guys scared?"
Emily seemed genuinely interested, her eyebrows raised excitedly as she clutched her hands around the steering wheel.
Reid cleared his throat as JJ shifted in the backseat. "Well, seeing as how we're both trained for those kinds of situations..."
JJ laughed at his weak attempt to sound brave and professional. "I definitely was scared," she interrupted, "and I think ol' Braveheart here was too," affectionally punching Reid in the arm. He laughed nervously but didn't proceed to correct her.
Emily chuckled and made a sharp turn at a stop sign. "I would have been freaking out. I don't think anything really prepares you for something like that. But I know that you guys are definitely more suited for those kinds of situations after what happened last Halloween... seriously, that's the stuff of nightmares."
Reid looked at JJ nervously in the rearview mirror and they both shared a knowing glance. If it weren't for the other, who knows where they would have been at this very moment.
"Well, it wasn't so bad because we had each other. Genius here is actually pretty good at calming people down... I never pegged myself as someone irrationally emotional but... I guess those things bring out the worst in you."
Emily nodded, silently agreeing. Reid smiled warmly at her words of praise, but soon remembered the events they endured and went back to a more neutral expression.
"I don't think...," Emily started before she was cut off by a vibrating cell phone in her pocket which she answered immediately.
"Turn on your radio." It was Hotch.
She flipped the on switch inside the car; it was a police radio, not a regular AM/FM one.
"Calling all units, calling all units," a female voice cut through the silence, "please respond to Eckman county on report of two officers down..."
Reid turned swiftly to face Emily and JJ, a look of surprise on his face.
"...Fytz?" Emily said nervously, remembering what Morgan had said to her earlier about him being pulled over in another county.
"Afraid so," Hotch said quietly, "and one of the officers down is Morgan. After approaching the car he attacked Morgan and another officer before fleeing. I need the three of you out here now on foot."
A dead silence filled the inside of a car for the second time that night.
Lights whirred in hazy semi-circles. Audio clips of people shouting medical terminology. Clack, clack, clack. A gurney rolled down a narrow corridor in the dead of night.
"Stay with me, Derek."
Morgan opened his left eye and saw a terrified Hotch looking down at him, running to keep up with the E.R nurses who were rushing to get him the O.R. Their medical jargon confused him... he just wanted to sleep.
"Don't...don't close your eyes.. come on, stay with me. Morgan? Come on.. that's it. Keep those eyes open, stay with me."
Tires tore up gravel on a deserted county road. A group of bewildered local officers. Push, shove, grunt. Prentiss busted her way through to the scene.
One young cop looked at her questioningly. "Agent Derek Morgan from Quantico? He was rushed to Aridene-Harview E.R. five minutes ago."
"Back in the car!" Emily did not ask, she ordered. Everything melted into utter chaos.
"You can't do this, Emily," JJ said, running up behind her breathlessly, "we need to look for the unsub on foot, remember?"
Emily spun around to face JJ. "I said to get back in the car. I'm in charge now."
JJ looked taken aback.
"Excuse me but I don't allow people to talk to me like that and no, I am not getting in the car. Neither is Reid."
As if on cue, Reid ran up behind both of them brushing the windswept hair off of his face.
"Fine then, I'll go by myself. You two can handle this." Emily made a beeline for the truck but was caught by JJ's hand on her arm.
"You're not thinking clearly," she said reassuringly. "I know you care about him, so do we, but Hotch needs you here...we need you here."
Reid nodded, silently agreeing. Emily stood silent for a few moments, taking in the scene and letting her emotions sort themselves out before taking a deep breath. It was apparent to JJ, Reid, and the rest of the officers that she was in no state to be working right now, for whatever reason.
Downstream from the Maramont foot bridge, a soaking wet Adam Juldd emerged from the shallow body of water. He was stealthy in the early morning light, quietly removing the sopping clothes and laying them down carefully on the riverbed. From inside his pants pocket he produced a fair-sized waterproof plastic package. Slowly un-zippering it he took out a clean and dry t-shirt, pair of pants, a blonde wig, and a small hard-plastic case. After dressing in the crisp red shirt and dark jeans, he placed the realistic blonde wig down on his balding head. Opening the tiny plastic case he produced two dark green contact lenses and a metal plate with two false teeth attached to it. Spending a few minutes on his new disguise, he admired his new self in the glassy reflection of the water. Finally, before leaving, he reached into the almost empty plastic package and took out a tattered leather wallet. He opened it, admiring the driver's license on the inner opening. Adam Judd was going to be an interesting cover.
Bryan Fytz who?
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