The CIA and the FBI must form an unwilling alliance in order to end the greatest of cases, but can their agents get it together?
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Danielle caught the keys and sighed [#4433B1 "yeah, I know... just keep an eye out while I'm driving"] she says and unlocks the car, getting inside and pulling her seat belt on. She started the car and drove down the road. After a few moments, the awkward silence was starting to annoy her [#4433B1 "hey, why don't you put on some music or something? I like having music as a background noise, plus I hate awkward silence"] she says, not taking her eyes off the road. She started to notice that if there was nothing to be said, Aaron would just keep to himself and smoke his strange scented cigarettes.
Once they got to her apartment complex, she gave him back his keys and let him into the building. She got into the elevator and pressed the button for the fifth floor. She leaned on the pole and looked over some emails she got from work, plus a bunch of condolence messages shes getting from friends and family [#4433B1 "people sending their condolences is supposed to make you feel better, but it just makes you feel worse..."] she muttered and walked out of the elevator once the doors opened.
She unlocked her door and held it open so he could walk in [#4433B1 "welcome to my humble abode. Don't mind the research and works files all over the couch. I pull a lot of all nighters. So, what do you think you'll find here?"] she asks and kicks her shoes off and tossed her jacket on a hanger, taking his and doing the same [#4433B1 "Oh, and please do your best to not smoke in the house. My neighbors like to complain"] she sighed and walked over to the couch, quickly moving the files so he could have some where to sit. [#4433B1 "want some water?"]
As Aaron drove through the dreary weather, he was waiting on Danielle to start talking so he could maybe get some sort of clue or idea as to what the killer wanted with her. From the letter, it was painfully obvious that she was the real target, but finding out why is what would lead them to solving this little mystery. When she finally spoke up, it was a question to his involvement. [b “To be frank, I didn’t wanna take this case. It’s not even supposed to be our jurisdiction,”] he responded. [b “It’d be way too convenient to just call that a coincidence since FBI should’ve been the first ones involved from the beginning. My domain is cases that involve out of country matters, but for one reason or another, the CIA was asked to be involved first. I’ve been on this case for the past month and the day before yesterday was the first lead I had been able to trace throughout the time I’ve wasted.”]
After his spiel, it was Danielle’s turn. She had spilt the beans on her sister’s history. When she got to the part about things being strange, Rhys shook his head in disappointment. [b “That should’ve been a cue to check on your sis right there; rookie mistake. This might coulda been avoided if you did. I don’t hate to be the one to say it either. You need to learn so this doesn’t readily happen to anyone else on your watch.”] Rhys was a firm believer in learning from past mistakes; that is to say he doesn’t like making the same mistake more than once. Addressing it now would decrease the chances of it happening later.
Sure enough, Aaron and Danielle found exactly what he expected to find; not a damn thing. [b “Damn. This. Guy,”] he said flatly with a heavy sigh before pulling one of his cigs and lighting it letting the sweet smoke flow from his mouth. [b “I really fucking hate this guy. He’s as thorough as those cleaners I dealt with in Taiwan and those guys made us question if anybody was actually killed in the first place.”] He heaved a sigh before speaking again. [b “We’re going to your apartment next so let’s hurry up. I have a feeling something will be waiting there at least. You’re driving. I’m lazy, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why you shouldn’t been using your car,”] he said tossing her his keys and getting in his passenger seat.
Danielle was shocked by their analysis. The killer wanted her? She was at a loss for words as Rhys pointed out that the symbol on the note matched the one on her jacket, and how the killer murdered her sister right away. She stared at her drink as she tried to process the information she was given, downing it in one go before setting the glass down and sighing. [#4433B1 "But why would he want me? That's what confuses me the most. Does he have a relation to me in some way, or has he decided that I'm his next victim and he wants to toy with me for a bit?"] she asked and sighed, looking up at Rhys when he said they were gonna go investigate the house more. [#4433B1 "Alright, I'm coming. Thanks for the drinks, Tim"] she smiled softly and left him some money before following behind Rhys quickly.
As they drove down the road, Danielle sighed, resting her chin on her palm as she looked out the window [#4433B1 "This case seems to be getting stranger and stranger the more we involve ourselves... hey, when did you first get involved in the investigation? Did they call you right away or later on?"] she asks, looking over at him. Soon the rain started letting up so the road ahead could be seen more visibly. As they approached the house, her childhood memories started flowing into her mind [#4433B1 "My sister was 19. She moved out of my parents house with me when she was 17 and we moved here from England. Once she turned 18 she bought herself her own house and moved out of my apartment... everything between us was fine, until last week... she seemed a bit... distant, I guess you could say. But I thought it was normal, since final exams were coming up... the last time I talked to her was last night, and she said some weird things. She told me that she was so happy that I'm her sister, and that she hopes that everything will start working out for me... but she never says things like that... it was almost as if that was her way of saying goobye..."] she sighed, and once they pulled into the driveway she got out, looking around.
The place was a disaster. The fire had destroyed most of the interior of the house, and whatever was left was either smashed or broken [#4433B1 "whoever the killer is, he certainly was thorough... I can't see any signs of where she could have been attacked, more can I find any evidence of a crime at all... minus the fact that the house was on fire and everything has been smashed or broken..."] she says as she walked through the house, looking for anything that could be useful to them.
Aaron listened to her analysis and theory of the note he had handed to her. When she stopped to answer her phone, the conversation between old partners began again. [b “Well, Tim?”] Rhys asked him with his eyes closed sipping the combination in his drink. Tim raised an eyebrow toward him. It was his standard face of curiosity. “What do you-“ [b “We both know you can’t help yourself on your own analytical opinions. I want to know what you think of her analysis. Make it quick,”] he said pointing his thumb in her direction. [b “ Sounds like she’s almost done.”] Tim sighed before leaning in with his forearm on the bar to talk quieter. It bugged him a little bit that his young partner had gained the ability to read him so well. “It’s a solid theory, but from what I’ve heard, doesn’t this killer leave bodies like they’ve been experimented on? And this is the first time there has been a note right? So what-“ [b “Shhh…”] Rhys made the sound with a motion of his finger as the young FBI agent returned to them.
When asked about the next move, Tim filled up Rhys and Danielle’s cups. “On me. No problem,” Tim told them. Aaron gave him a thumbs up before taking a sip and plucking the note from her hands. “The note only mentions you, ‘Dani’,” he spoke quoting the note. [b “This is the first time the killer has ever left a note on the body of a person AND,”] he emphasized this word with a finger raised, [b “…it’s also the first time the killer has murdered a victim immediately. Why do you think that is?”] Tim’s eyes left Aaron and focused on Danielle. [b “Guess old man Tim’s got it,”] he chuckled raised his glass for a sip. [b “The handwriting is nothing more than a taunt. He’s a wise guy. A real comedian is what he is. He was never after your sister,”] he told before pointing at her with his palm to the air. [b “He wants you.”] Tim gave Rhys a stern look. He didn’t like that Aaron would get more excited about this sort of thing when danger got closer. [b “If you don’t believe, compare the form of the note to the brand symbol of your coat. It should match up quite nicely.”]
Rhys stretched his arms reaching up to the ceiling with a yawn. [b “Preciate it, Tim Tim. Keep in touch.”] “Anytime, Ay-Ay. Watch yourself.” Tim replied as Aaron stood up turning to Danielle. [b “Let’s go. The funeral for your sister is on Sunday meaning we have all of today and tomorrow to try to get clues. The blues should have cleared out by now so we can search what’s left of the building. I’ll need you to tell me everything about your sister on the way. No detail is frivolous,”] he spoke heading to his car and starting it up waiting for her to make her way. Things were getting interesting at last.
When Tom spoke about how the case is out of her league, she rolled her eyes and glared at him [#4433B1 "For your information, Tom, I'm one of the top agents at the FBI. I have every right to work on this case as he does"] she said and looked back at Rhys as he basically mocked her question. [#4433B1 "Alright alright, jeez, I was just asking..."] she looked at the piece of paper he gave her and examined it like he asked her too. It looked like a suicide letter. She read the note over a couple times and examined the signature. It looked exactly like her sisters handwriting and signature.
[#4433B1 "Well, at first glance it looks like a suicide note. The handwriting and signature all match up to my sisters, but there is a couple flaws. First, my sister was crazy when it came to spelling and grammar, and in almost every sentence, there is either a spelling error or a grammar mistake, which could mean that the killer left a secret message withing the letter. Second, when you pulled the note out of your pocket, I noticed this"] she folded up the note the way Rhys had and the folded edges revealed a picture of a half sun [#4433B1 "Now, I don't think this symbol has any significance to the case at all, and I think the killer put it there to throw us off. I am surprised by one thing, he managed to copy my sisters handwriting perfectly, which mean one of two things. One, he forced my sister to write the note before he killed her, or two, he plans his killings in advance and watches them for a period of time before killing them. How's that for theory?"] she asks and hands Rhys the note, ordering another drink from Tim.
A few moments later, her phone began to ring. She pulled it out of her pocket and looked at the number, then sighed [#4433B1 "excuse me for a moment, I have to take this... hello? Hi mum... y-yes I know about Olivia... I know, I know mum, I'll find her killer. I'm working with a man on the CIA, and we're gonna work together to find the murderer... the funeral is on Sunday? Alright, I'll be there... yes... I love you too... okay... cheers"] she hung up and sighed, shoving her phone back into her pocket before walking back over to Rhys and sitting next to him again [#4433B1 "Sorry about that. So, what should we do next?"] she asks, downing the rest of her drink and picking up the note to re-examine it.
Aaron walked into the bar and took his usual seat at the front. “Ay-Ay-Ron! How’s it hanging my brotha?” [b “Tim-Tim. It’s hanging. That’s for sure.”] The barkeep had been an old friend of his named Timothy Rogers. He was much older than Aaron; about 30 years older to be precise. He had a muscular build due to all the conditioning he used to do. Tim used to be the direct authority Aaron worked under, until Tim had an accident that left him with a banged up leg. It wasn’t until about a few months ago that he was able to walk again.
Tim slid him a glass of coke and rum. Aaron looked up at the glass. [b “Slow it down, old man. I didn’t even tell you what I wanted. How do you know I wasn’t in a different type of mood today?”] he asked with a smirked as his pulled out one of his unique smokes and lit up before taking a drag. “Because you’re still smoking that shit!” They shared a laugh before the mood tensed up as Tim began cleaning glasses with a rag. “Y’know, I won’t probe,” Tim spoke. “Whatever this new killer is up to, I’m sure you can get him.” [b “If it is a him, but you know the rules, old man,”] Aaron replied taking a sip. “Yeah yeah.”
Moments later, the door opened. A female entered the bar sitting beside him. It was the latest victim’s family and his new partner for the time being. She went through the motions like most people do. She gave a proper introduction and talked about the research she did on him. He scoffed at that part taking another drink. “FBI huh? Not that it’s any of my business, but isn’t this out of your league little lady?” Tim asked. [b “I’m sure it is,”] Aaron replied as the two of them chuckled. Then she asked about his past. Was she serious? Sob backstories? He replayed it in his head, but Tim spoke it aloud. [b “Relax, Tim,”] he told him as a cloud flowed from his mouth as he put out his smoke.
[b “Look, Danielle. I understand you’re FBI and what not. Since you have done your little research on me and whatnot, then you should already know my ‘sob backstories’ as you say,”] he spoke putting on air quotes. [b “Every single case is a ‘sob backstory’. Every theft, threat, and murder including your sister is a ‘sob backstory’. If your research did you any good, it would’ve told you that these things mean nothing to me. It’s just a matter of pride. I won’t ever let some murderer or thief or whatever stay ahead of me and I damn sure won’t let an amateur like you drag me down.”] He held a face of condescension toward her as he pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket. It was a note. [b “That is our only lead right now. It’s signed by your sister, but let's see if you can spot the problem.”]
Danielle listened as Rhys and O'Donell argued, and watched as Rhys left with a stranged scented cigarette in his mouth. She sighed softly and looked up when she saw O'Donell approached her. Once he finished explaining that she could work on the case, she smiled widely [#4433B1 "Oh thank you! You have no idea what this me- hey wait... Did you say I had to work with that bum? But he seems so... ugh"] she sighed and thanked him again for the information he gave her on where to find Rhys.
Danielle walked down the street and headed in the direction of the bar. The first thing she wanted to do was to speak with Rhys. She pulled her jacket up over her neck as the wind picked up [#4433B1 "It's gonna rain..."] she said to herself and picked up her pace. As she walked, she thought about her sisters death. Was she in any pain? Did she go through hours of torture? Or did the killer end her suffering quickly? That didn't matter. She was determine to find her killer and avenge her sisters death.
It soon started to pour and she put a newspaper over her head as she ran into the bar, sighing softly and looking around for Rhys. As soon as she took off her coat, various men could be heard whistling at her to come over. "Hey baby, why don't ya come sit with us?" one of them slurred. She just ignored them and rolled her eyes, soon spotting Rhys sitting at the bar and began to walk over.
[#4433B1 "Hey"] she said and sat next to him, ordering a tequila from the bartender. [#4433B1 "So, we're partners now huh? I didn't get to properly introduce myself. I'm Danielle Snow from the FBI. From the information I've gathered about you, your name is Aaron Rhys, right?"] she spoke softly, her British accent becoming more noticeable now that she wasn't yelling at the investigators. She sighed and looked down at her drink, taking a sip [#4433B1 "O'Donell said that you're the best that they have, but that you drive him crazy. You don't exactly put off that vibe, but you do seem quite stubborn"] she says and laughs a bit at the thought. [#4433B1 "So, what's your deal? Any sob backstories I should know before we start working together?"] she asks flatly.
Aaron was awakened by the iconic iPhone ringtone. He groaned before turning over and answering. [b "mm...Hello?"] "BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!!" The man on the other side of the phone was his superior. He was yelling because of the sudden developments. Somehow on Aaron's watch the Jersey killer had struck again. "WOMP WOMP WOMP WOMP!!!!" The chief kept throwing complaints and insults mixed in with his message before Aaron hung up the phone. [b "That's enough of that,"] he spoke. He got dressed in a hurry and headed outside to his car. He pulled the keys belonging to his black Nissan Altima from his pocket. He hopped in before pushing the button to start and headed to the site his boss had mentioned while wrapping a few smokes so he wouldn't have to do it later.
Aaron ended up at a pretty standard looking house with police swarming and his boss. Trayce O'Donell was his name. It was pretty rare to find the head man anywhere outside HQ. Usually that meant that things had gotten way out of hand. After getting out of the car, he made his way in to his boss. "You sonuva bitch! Don't EVER hang up on me again!" the chief began. [b "Chief, please. You were extremely loud. You might have woke my neighbors if I hadn't hung up,"] Aaron responded. "Watch it, Rhys. You're already on thin ice with this!" he spoke getting in Aaron's face who responded putting his hands up like a barrier between them. [b "You can't seriously blame me when every lead this guy leaves seems to be friggin' trap. That warehouse makes six times I've been led into a trap."] O'Donell sighed heavily as he pinched the bridge of his nose. Aaron pulled out one of the smokes he wrapped earlier and lit it before taking a drag and letting the candy scented smoke flow from his mouth.
[b "Who's the victim this time?"] They both turned to the body. "Olivia Snow. Her closest known relative is Danielle Snow, FBI. Blues got a call for help here and she was found in her bed set in a sleeping position." Aaron bent down to look at the body underneath the sheet. [b "There are a ton of lacerations and what looks like needle entry points. Any idea on the cause of death?"] "Not a clue. Too many possibilites to tell from just looking at her-" his thoughts were interrupted by a frantic woman demanding to let the FBI in on the case before being pulled away. Aaron took another drag before talking. [b "I'm guessing that broad is Danielle Snow, huh? And she wants in on this case,"] he spoke smoke flowing from his words. "She might get her wish," he replied. [b "Eeeeeexcuse me?"] Aaron raised an eyebrow. "Look Rhys, you're one of our best. If you ain't enough to catch this guy, then you need a hand. This has gone on too long. This guy has been doing this all over the world so we need to stop him while he's in the states." [b "Tch!"] he made a sound sucking his tongue throwing down the cig as stomped it out. [b "Whatever. It has never been a good idea to put anybody with emotional attachment on a case, but I'm in no position to argue,"] he spoke before walking off.
"Rhys! Rhys! Dammit!" O'Donell exclaimed. When the woman came back, "Okay, I'll contact your superiors. My name is Trayce O'Donell. The organization that is the CIA is my jurisdiction." He turned pointing to Aaron getting in his car getting in the car and driving off. "That guy that just drove off is who you'll be working with. Aaron Rhys. He never fails to piss me off, but frankly, he's the best we got. Talk to him. We'll need the both of you to be in the best shape of your lives to catch this guy. Do whatever it takes to catch him." O'Donell began to walk off with his hands in his pockets pulling his hat down before stopping suddenly. "One more thing, if you're wanting to go talk to Rhys now, you'll find him having a drink at the bar. He'll be smoking one of those candy smelling smokes of his. Good luck. With him that is." O'Donell tipped his hat at the Danielle before walking off to his own car.
Danielle was working at the FBI HQ filling out some report files. There was a cereal killer out around Jersey and she was ordered to stay back and let the more experienced do the case. That made her roll her eyes so hard it hurt. She was one of the most trained and talented agents in the FBI, and they made her be stuck with doing paper work all day. Typical.
She sighed softly as she typed into her computer, sorting file after file of closed cases and putting them into their proper section. After about an hour, she stood and went to get a cup of coffee. She went to the break room and poured a cup of black coffee, then put a little bit of sugar in it before going back to her desk “I should be on the field, helping them solve the investigation... they have zero leads...” she mumbled to herself, tucking some hair behind her ear before getting back to work.
That night, she was getting ready to leave the office when her phone started ringing “Danielle Snow” she said as she answered her phone, and her eyes widened as the person began to speak “n-no.... a-are you sure it was Olivia Snow??” She asks and starts running to her car, hanging up the phone and driving to her house “no.... no no no please not her... not my baby sister...” she teared up as she pulled up to her house and saw it in flames. She got out and ran to an officer “where is she?! Tell me where’s Olivia!” She exclaims and the officer sighed as he pointed to a body bag. She walked over to it and fell to her knees, then began to cry.
“No.... Olivia...” she cried and covered her face, clenching her fists ‘it was him... I know it was’ she thought and stood, walking over to a CIA agent “I demand that you let the FBI take part in the case. That wasn’t a request” she said sternly to the tall man, tears still staining her cheeks, but rage fills her eyes “I know that it was the Jersey Killer that killed her, and now it’s become personal” her hands started shaking and a nurse pulled her aside, searing her in an ambulance and wrapping a towel around her.
She heard footsteps of someone walking over to her and she looked up, seeing it was the man she was talking to moments before. She wiped the tears from her cheeks and looked up at him “did you consider what I said?” She asks, her tone a bit more calmer.
Aaron stood outside an abandoned warehouse in New Jersey. He had gotten some tips that led him to this spot. There was supposed to be something going down here. He took the twizzler flavored cigarette out of his mouth and dropped it on the ground before smashing it with his shoe. He loved his new smokes. Wrapping his own cigarettes was the best decision he had ever made.
He drew his desert eagle handgun and started to circle the building while hugging the walls. It seemed no one was around the outside, so it was time to go inside. He put his gun away before climbing the steps to the apartment complex beside it. Once he had reached the top, he needed to make a jump. This was the type of warehouse that had a hatch on the top as a fire escape. He would make his entrance there. He stepped back a bit and got a running start to jump the gap over to the warehouse landing with a roll. He took a moment to wipe off his sleeves before trying to open the hatch. Aaron had to work it around for a couple of minutes before it came loose because of how old it was, but he managed to open it and head in through the top.
The stairs were rusty and had an echo to them. He made sure to walk as lightly as possible. He was only half certain on what he was supposed to be looking for. The original case called for him to investigate a string of murders that had been happening in and outside the states. They called it murder because a body had turned up, but not the others. Normally inside business was under the FBI's jurisdiction, but because whoever caused this targeted people on the outside too, he was brought into the equation. Whoever this group was, they most definitely had some kind of hidden agenda.
When got to the floor of the warehouse, he took and exploration of the place and found nothing. There was literally nothing. No tire tracks, no signs of a torture system; nothing. It was as if he had been led on a wild goose chase, until he found a laptop; Asus brand, freshly bought from the looks of it. [i Did they just leave it here?] Aaron wondered before opening the laptop. The screen stayed black for few seconds then suddenly lit up with a timer of ten seconds.
[b "Shit!"] he yelled leaving the laptop at eight seconds heading for the front door. Aaron rammed it with his shoulder a couple of times, but it didn't budge. He stepped back and pulled out his gun shooting the handle and popping it of before ramming it again and running for about two seconds before the building lit up in flames with a loud boom. Aaron flew to the ground from the impact and turned to look at the flames dancing around the building. [i Tch!] He stood up and pulled out his cell calling the fire department first. Once he hung up with them, he called another number. [b "It's Rhys...yeah, it was another trap...yeah...yeah...mhm...sure. I'll do that."] *click* He was to head back to HQ in Langley first thing in the morning, but for now he was to spend the night in Jersey.
Aaron wiped off his jacket before pulling out a sheet of Rizal paper. He pulled out a bottle of tabacco and squeezed some on the sheet, licked it, wrapped it up with one hand, then lit it with his lighter before taking a drag letting the smoke flow out of his mouth. [b "Goddammit,"] he said aloud with discontent. Whoever this was had got away again.
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