Criminal Minds AU Episode 4: The Big Game
“Why is it we always get these calls when I’m about to get my groove on?” Morgan whined as the team reluctantly made their way into the conference room.
Allyson scoffed as she took a seat at the table across from him. “Oh please, Morgan. You were down twenty bucks and three tequila shots before we even got to half time. Trust me, that phone call probably saved your life.”
As soon as she had seen JJ exit the bar with her cell phone to her ear and a grim look on her face, Allyson had found herself reluctantly switching to a glass of water at the bar. She’d been on the team long enough to know that always signaled that they were about to be pulled back into the office for another case. Not only that, but given the fact that it was coming to them at such a short notice on their day off, that meant that it had to be something bad.
Sure enough, within the next thirty minutes, the team had all assembled back into the office at Quantico, lamenting in the loss of what had started out as a promising evening and attempting to shake off the last few bits of alcohol in their systems to prepare themselves for whatever fresh horror they had in store.
“I’m just saying,” Morgan continued, as if he wasn’t finished telling everyone how annoyed he was. “I just feel like we always get these calls when we finally get some time to go out and, you know, let loose,” he added with a smirk, causing Allyson to roll her eyes.
“Actually, the frequency in which we receive work phone calls doesn’t differ by time, location, or perceived time off,” Reid said. “It’s just that when we’re at work, we’re expecting them to come through, which puts us on higher alert, whereas when we’re out and about, that alert level decreases which makes it feel like it always seems to come at a higher inconvenience.”
“Well, it’s probably good that we stopped playing those guys before they had a chance to embarrass themselves any farther,” Prentiss said with a laugh. “JJ, I don’t know where you get your precision from, but could you possibly throw some my way next time?”
JJ smiled. “I’m pretty sure that one in the hat was about to ask you for your number.”
Prentiss groaned. “Ugh, seriously? He smelled like the entire men’s cologne department. I had to breathe through my mouth every time he came over.”
As the laughter died down, Hotch entered the room followed closely by Gideon, who had just returned from DC. “What have we got?” he asked.
“Where were you at?” Prentiss asked. “Didn’t want to come join the fun?”
“Personal business,” Gideon replied in a tone that suggested the conversation should end there. “The case?”
At this, JJ’s smile quickly evaporated into the grim expression she’d been wearing earlier when she’d received the phone call. She clicked the screen to life behind her where a picture of a beautiful young couple appeared.
“Dennis and Lacy Kyle of Atlanta, Georgia were found murdered in their home roughly an hour ago,” JJ said, flashing up another picture showing the unfortunate couple lying in bloody heaps on their bedroom floor. “There were several deep cuts lining their bodies and both had their throats slashed.”
“Wait a second, did you just say this happened an hour ago?” Allyson asked. It was rare for a case to come to them so quickly, especially one that wasn’t local. “How is it that we’re getting word of it so quickly?”
“Police received a 9-1-1 call from the unsub right before he killed them,” JJ replied. “We have Garcia working with it right now. From what the police chief could tell me, the caller told the emergency operator that Raphael was going to ‘kill the sinners that live here.’ The line went dead shortly after that.”
“So you’re saying this guy called 9-1-1 and then killed the family?” Morgan asked incredulously. “How would he know he would be able to get out of there fast enough?”
“It’s possible that this isn’t his first time doing it,” Hotch replied. “The police response time was just four and a half minutes after the phone call.”
“He did all of that in just four and a half minutes?” Prentiss asked, her eyes widening.
“And there’s more,” JJ said, clicking the screen once more to show a piece of paper taped up to the Kyles’ bedroom wall, a passage marked on it in yellow highlighter. “This was found taped to the wall. It appears to be a page from a Bible.”
Gideon got up and walked towards the screen. “‘I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him,’” he read.
“It’s Revelations,” Reid said. “The final book of the Bible. It’s talking about the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
Allyson shook her head. “Now that’s a messed up book if I ever saw one.”
“So that’s why they need us right away?” Prentiss asked.
Hotch nodded. “Clearly this man is trying to send a message. Whether this is all of it or part of it, we can’t be sure. And we can’t wait around too long. He wants his message out there and he won’t stop until the word gets out. Wheels up in thirty.”
The team closed up their folders and made their way towards the exit of the room. Allyson glanced once more at the screen before turning back to see her brother waiting for her by the door.
“You ever get the feeling like this case is going to be a bad one?” she asked.
“Sometimes,” Reid replied. “Why do you say that?”
Allyson shrugged. “I don’t know. I just have this uneasy feeling. Like this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”
“Well, unfortunately we probably won’t be able to stop him before he drops another body,” Reid said sadly. “But we’ll get him. Unsubs on a mission always leave a pattern. We find the pattern, we find him.”
Allyson nodded. She knew that was true. And she knew if anyone could find a pattern, it was most likely the guy standing next to her. But she just couldn’t shake this feeling that something bad was going to happen. After a year on the job, you’d think I’d be prepared for anything by now, she thought as she and Spencer grabbed their bags and headed towards the jet.
The first few minutes of the jet ride were surprisingly quiet. Instead of going over victimology and bouncing theories around each other like they normally did, the members of the BAU merely sat in silence, staring at the crime scene photos in their folders. Allyson began to wonder if they were thinking the same thing as her. Something about this case seemed uneasy to her from the very beginning. She had a feeling this guy wasn’t close to being done. It was just a matter of how many people were going to get hurt before he was.
Prentiss was the first one to break the silence. “It’s bad, isn’t it?” she asked in a quiet voice.
Morgan nodded. “Unsubs with a cause are never good.”
“They’re driven,” Gideon added. “They have a message that they want to get out. And they won’t stop until that message has been delivered.”
The monitor on the table beside them suddenly clicked on, revealing Garcia’s rather unsettling face. Not only was she also upset about the early departure from their night off, but she also seemed troubled by what she had to deliver to them. It was never a good sign when the happiest member of the team was looking somber.
“Did you get that 9-1-1 call, Garcia?” Hotch asked.
“I did, sir,” Garcia replied. “Patching it through to you now.”
She tapped some keys on her computer before producing an audio file. The team all leaned in to listen.
“9-1-1. What is your emergency?”
“I’m calling from 1527 Chestnut Drive.”
“I know where you’re calling from, sir. What is your emergency?”
“These people. They have too much stuff. Possessions. Things they don’t need.”
“I’m sorry, sir. Are you calling because these people have too much stuff?”
“It’s not right. It’s not right!”
“Sir, calm down. Tell me what is wrong.”
The man’s voice was hushed and trembling. As if he didn’t want to alert anyone to the fact that he was making the call. It was possible that he didn’t want to alert the Kyles of his presence in their house. However, as the voice on the phone suddenly changed, the team began to wonder if the Kyles weren’t who the caller was reluctant to alert.
“He’s calling because Raphael is going to kill the sinners that live here.”
“Sir, did you just say someone is kill—”
But her voice was drowned out by the sounds of scuffling, a door being thrown open, and high-pitched scream before the line went dead.
No matter how many times she had to listen to people dying over the phone, Allyson doubted it would ever get easier. Knowing that Dennis and Lacy Kyle’s lives had ended so violently and abruptly was bad enough. Having to actually listen to it was another story.
“Two different voices,” JJ said after another moment of silence. “So we’re looking at a team.”
“Seems that way,” Morgan replied. “The one who made the phone call, do we think he truly wanted to kill the Kyles?”
“If that was the case, he wouldn’t have whispered,” Gideon said. “He knew they would be dead before the police even got there. If he really wanted to save them, he could have called out.”
“Maybe he was afraid of what his partner would do,” Allyson suggested. “Maybe he was trying to make the phone call without his knowledge.”
“Or maybe he was forced to make it,” Prentiss said. “He definitely doesn’t sound very confident that this is what he wants to be doing.”
“So who is this Raphael?” JJ asked. “I mean, the second voice definitely sounds like the dominant one in the partnership and like he would be the one doing the killing. But he mentioned Raphael by name. Is he referring to the first voice?”
“Not necessarily,” Reid replied. “Some serial killers will refer to themselves in the third person in order to distance themselves from the crime. Especially cause-driven killers like this one. Their focus is on the message they are trying to convey with their crimes instead of the actual killing itself. It’s very possible that Raphael is actually the second voice.”
“Okay, so if this Raphael is the dominant one, then we’re led to believe he’s the one who did the actual killing,” Allyson said. “Do you think he told his partner to make the 9-1-1 call?”
“He wanted his message found quickly,” Hotch replied. “Whatever his end game is, he’s not into wasting time getting it done.”
“And what about what the first caller said in regards to ‘They have too many possessions’?” Prentiss asked. “Could that be the driving force behind his motive to target the Kyles? Because of their wealth?”
“It’s a definite possibility,” Hotch replied. “We’ll should keep that in mind. When we land, Prentiss and Ally, you two go to the ME to examine the bodies. Morgan, Reid, and Gideon, head to the crime scene. See what you can find there that may have suggested why the Kyles were targeted. JJ, you’re with me. We’re going to set up with Atlanta PD. Everyone, please be on alert. Until we know all the details of this unsub’s cause, we can’t be too careful.”
They all nodded in agreement, everyone prepping for the landing. Allyson glanced once more at the file on the table, studying the page from the Bible left at the scene. The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, she thought to herself. One thing’s for sure: whatever this guy’s end game is, it’s not going to be pretty…