Mutant...Part 6

“Lawyers are usually something we try to avoid,” Hotch says pointedly as he whips around on his feet, “However, asking for one is usually a good indication of guiltyness on some level.”

“Yes,” you state.

“I’ll have her charged and arrested within the hour,” Hotch says as he turns to walk off.

“No,” you state again.

As Hotch turns around, Emily once again steps up to the plate to defend you.

“I get it that you don’t trust her.  But you trust me, and I trust her.  You don’t know the whole story of what went on in there,” Emily says.

You side-glance her, warning her with your eyes that she’s toeing a very thin line between staying in the dark and being forced into the light.

“Then would someone like to fill me in on exactly what I just saw?” Hotch demands.

“First off,” you begin, “I get it.  You don’t trust mutants, and I can work with that.  What I won’t tolerate is you laying blame where blame isn’t necessary.  And while I wholeheartedly believe that Claire is the one doing this to these men, I can guarantee you that she isn’t doing it maliciously, and is probably being coerced.”

“Coerced?” Hotch asks.

You found that he conveniently side-stepped the accusation you threw his way, and that’s when you realized it.

Why Emily played in the dark.

And it made you buzz with anger.

“There are rumors in the mutant community.  Rumors of an organization attempting to synthesize abilities to be able to sell on the black market to ordinary people.”

“What is it supposed to do?  Give them powers?” Spencer asks as he steps up behind Hotch.

“Temporarily.  Rumor has it that the serum, once injected, can last anywhere from two hours to two days, depending on the concentration of the dose.”

“Which, I assume, affects the price,” Spencer says.

“I would assume,” you say.

“So then why not just kidnap the mutants and keep them hostage?” Spencer postulates, “Why kill them just for one serving of blood?”

“This is where we get into the genetics of mutants that I’m not familiar with,” you admit.

“Well, there are many theories,” Emily picks up as the rest of the team gathers around and listens, “the widely accepted one being that mutants can only create the chemical in their system that gives them their powers for so long at such an exponential level before it gives out altogether.”

“Like mutant diabetes?” you ask.

“You could think of it that way, yeah,” Emily states.

“So…what?  These dead men we found are mutants that could no longer harness their powers?” J.J. asks incredulously.

“So how does Claire fit into all of this?” Morgan asks, “Is she the one supplying them with mutants to take?  Or is she the one keeping them hostage and supplying them with the blood?”

“Neither…” you trail off as you bring your hands to your face and rub the sleep from your eyes, “I think they have her on retainer.”

“What do you mean?” Hotch asks.

You noticed the edge in his voice was gone, which startled you into looking up at him.

“I mean, I think she’s the one that figures out whether or not their tapped out,” you say as you quirk your eyebrow questioningly up at Hotch.

“That would make sense.  If she bit them and she didn’t acquire their power, it would mean they didn’t have anymore to be taken,” Spencer says.

“So…what do we do now?” Morgan asks.

And as Rossi appears with a phone up to his ear, he thanks Garcia before closing it shut and dropping it into the pocket of his jeans.

“We do what we always do,” he muses with a smirk on his face, “we follow the money.”