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Numbers Beyond What You Can Dial

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Cheyenne Mountain - 1999

The first time two extremely well-armed and serious airmen showed up at the BAU looking for Hotch and Gideon, Hotch hadn’t been sure what the hell was going on. After consulting with the director and signing what had seemed like a mountain of paperwork, Gideon and Hotch were taken to an airstrip and flown to an undisclosed location in Colorado. Hotch had tried to bring more of the team along but the airmen told him they had only received clearance for Aaron Hotchner and Jason Gideon, so that was who went.

When they arrived at the location, which turned out to be the N.O.R.A.D. base in Cheyenne Mountain, they met Major Carter who explained that there was a thing called a Stargate and it let people travel to other planets, and over the last three weeks, three female marines had been killed on the base and they thought at first the killer might be a solider under some sort of alien influence (which kinda blew Hotch’s mind) but then someone had suggested calling the BAU when they couldn’t find any evidence of alien influence and none of the security cameras were picking anything up. And that was the Cliff Notes version. She said for a more fulsome history of the Stargate Program they needed to talk to her teammate Dr. Daniel Jackson, who was currently quarantined in the Mountain, but would be happy to fill them in when they solved the case.

Next came the briefings for the generals and colonels and majors and everyone who had a point of view on how the situation should be handled because “things like this did not happen in the Stargate Program.” He couldn’t help but smile when Carter pulled him aside later to explain, that yes, things like this did actually happen all the time, but this was the first time they thought they had an honest-to-god serial killer on their hands, so no one knew what to do with themselves.

At one point during the super long briefings, Hotch was pretty sure someone had said “when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras” and Hotch could see how if you worked at a secret government base and traveled from planet to planet that if someone started killing people you would first think alien influence before serial killer, however, he was having a bit of trouble comprehending a place where the horse was a serial killer and not just some coincidence.

After Gideon just about snapped off the head of a particularly snotty colonel, Carter managed to extricate them from the briefings. So about six hours after they arrived, Hotch and Gideon started working the profile and looking into victimology. Two days and one more victim later, it turned out that the unsub was one of the Marines on SG-7, who had recently lost his sister in what everyone believed was a tragic accident. In fact, the marine had found out she was getting married, which caused a psychotic break because he was in love with her and caused him to start killing women who looked like his sister.

Once that was cleared up and the base was reopened, Carter took Hotch and Gideon to see the Stargate, which was the most amazing thing, and then they sat down with General Hammond for three days developing a better protocol for screening the men and women who were invited to join the Stargate Program.

Atlantis - 2005

The second time, it wasn’t marines, but an Air Force major named Paul Davis who showed up looking for Hotch and Gideon and explained that the Stargate Program needed them again. When he explained that this time they would have to travel a bit and be gone for what would likely be a few months, Hotch and Gideon refused to put their team on stand down for months while they handled a “secret” case, so either they all needed to be read in or Stargate Command would simply have to find someone else to help.

Major Davis didn’t like that idea - nor did he like the fact that Hotch kept attempting to decline the invitation by citing the fact he had a wife and newborn child at home and he wasn’t going to go off to god-knows-where for several months and leave them alone. Major Davis explained that Hotch and Gideon had been personally requested by Colonel Carter and General O’Neill (who was now the head of Homeworld Security) and they really needed his help. After a few calls with Haley, in which Haley was understandably less than pleased about him going away for a few months, she reluctantly gave her blessing after her sister volunteered to stay with her and Jack the entire time Hotch was gone.

Once Hotch’s participation was settled and Major Davis still wouldn’t capitulate on reading in the team, Hotch made a call to Colonel Carter and got clearance for Reid, Elle, Morgan. Carter couldn’t justify JJ or Garcia - they didn’t need a liaison or technical analyst where they were going. So Reid, Elle, and Morgan sat down in the conference room with the same mountains of paperwork Hotch and Gideon had previously signed. Hotch seriously thought Reid’s head was going to explode when he was done reading and signing (in about a quarter of the time that it took the rest of the team). Hotch tasked JJ and Garcia on other assignments and while both were good enough team players not to ask any questions when Hotch made it clear there would not be any answers, he knew they were both hurt at being left out.

Two days later they were in Nevada being beamed aboard a spaceship and told they were about to spend the next two weeks traveling to another galaxy to help profile and capture a suspected serial killer on an alien colony that was just offshore of the floating city of Atlantis.

They met the ship’s captain, Colonel Caldwell, who explained that the team on Atlantis had looked for every sign of alien influence, other life forms, and as many tests as the Athosians would allow, but for every four weeks for the last four months, one young Athosians male had been found strangled in the woods. The most recent body had been found two days ago, less than two weeks after the previous body, so the timeline was escalating.

Caldwell didn’t seem thrilled to have a bunch of FBI agents on his ship and mentioned so several times that it had been Colonel Carter’s idea to call in the BAU. The Athosians lived in an essentially closed society with their only only way to travel to other planets being through Atlantis and they wouldn’t agree to surveillance or military help from Atlantis. Stargate Command (Colonel Carter) believed that after the BAU got there and explained what they did, the Athosians would agree to them coming in to help catch whomever was committing these horrible crimes. At that point Hotch wished JJ had been read in and was coming along, because of all of them, she was the best at talking anyone into letting them investigate anything.

Reid spent the first week of the trip reading and analyzing all data on the Athosians while the rest of the team worked on victimology and read reports about the murders (as there were no crime scene photos). They wanted to be able to hit the ground running when they got to Atlantis.

Upon arrival on Atlantis they were greeted by the senior staff and they received an additional briefing about a body that had just been found that morning. Gideon had wanted to head out right away to see it, but Colonel Sheppard informed them that the Athosians had already made preparations for the body so it was no longer at the burial site. Colonel Sheppard had been permitted to take some pictures, so that was at lest something. Gideon still wanted to view the dump site, so the team - minus Reid who stayed behind to deal with additional research - headed off to the mainland.

It turned out profiling an alien race was very similar to profiling on Earth so long as you had the right information and skills. Three days after they arrived on Atlantis they figured out that one of the Athosians had actually been killing teenage boys for years, except that when they’d had regular access to a Stargate he had never had to kill on his own planet or from his own race. With the access to the Gate not as regular and harder to come by, he had started killing his own people to satisfy his needs and the fear of discovery had caused an escalation in his timeline. He had tried to hold it in as long as possible but ha simply been unable to stop the killings.

Once they figured out the who, they had to actually find him because he had gone missing. Sheppard’s team, along with BAU, finally found the unsub hiding out in the Athosian equivalent of a hunting blind, and Hotch discovered that suicide by cop was something that translated into other races because as they closed in, the unsub came at Reid and Elle with an ax and Colonel Sheppard was forced to shoot and kill him. That caused no small amount of drama between Halling and Colonel Sheppard about whether or not the unsub could have been dealt with in a non-fatal matter, but Teyla and Dr. Weir, ever the diplomats, defused the situation before it got out of hand.

After that, they had to wait three weeks for the Daedelus to head back to earth, so Reid started shadowing Doctor McKay and trying to learn Ancient and essentially memorize the city of Atlantis. While Doctor McKay had seemed perturbed by the whole situation, Colonel Sheppard had told Hotch and Gideon that McKay was loving it. Gideon spent a lot of time with Doctor Weir talking about cultures and subcultures, and things like that, and Morgan spent most of his time with the marines running laps around Atlantis.

Hotch and Elle spent the rest of their time on the mainland helping the Athosians cope with everything that had happened and the fact they had a serial killer amongst them. It was a part of the process they didn’t usually deal with - they caught the bad guy and went home, leaving others to help the victims and their families pick up the pieces. This time, they camped out with a bunch of aliens who lived offshore from a floating city and helped them put their lives back together. It was a humbling experience and Hotch was sad to leave Atlantis when the time was up.

Cheyenne Mountain - 2006

The third time, they don’t even bother to send Marines or some fancy Air Force major to request assistance. Colonel Carter called Hotch directly and asked for the team to come out to Colorado as soon as they could. She said there had been some mysterious deaths at an alpha site (which she told Hotch was an off-world base) and they needed the BAU’s help again. Carter explained that they had, as usual, attempted to rule out possession, invasion, alien influence, or other space-related issues before they came to the conclusion that they likely had a serial killer.

Even though the team had just gotten back from a rough four day case in Topeka, Hotch knew Carter well enough at this point to know that she didn’t cry serial killer unless she really thought there was one, so he called the team and ordered them back in as quickly as possible. She even told him he could bring the entire team this time.

Before Prentiss, JJ, and Garcia were allowed to board the plane they had to sign the same disclosures Hotch, Reid, Morgan, and Gideon had previously signed. Garcia couldn’t believe they had left her out before and JJ said she almost wished she had been kept in the dark again this time, but said she was happy to liaise with the Air Force and make the process run more smoothly. Given the security at Cheyenne Mountain, Hotch asked Garcia to tag along because although Hotch was sure if anyone could hack their databases Garica could. It would be easier to just hook her up to the internal network and go from there.

When they landed, Hotch and the team met General Landry, Colonel Mitchell, and Vala for the first time, and they introduced their own new additions to Carter, Dr. Jackson, and Teal’c. Landry gave them the full briefing - four Marines had been found strangled with several of their toes removed. No new bodies had been found since the call was put into the BAU and they had locked down the alpha site, however, given the killer’s current time line, they had about 48 hours before he killed again. Given the tight time line, Hotch dispatched Gideon, Morgan, and Prentiss to the alpha site with Teal’c and Colonel Mitchell (whom Carter reminded not to lose his pants as he was heading through the Stargate as if it were some common problem he had - given the look that Morgan and Prentiss exchanged, he was pretty sure Colonel Mitchell was going to be explaining that one as soon as they go to the other side). Garcia and JJ got set up in a war room with Carter, and Reid and Hotch went to look at the bodies and work on victimology with Dr. Jackson and Vala.

Hotch made a mental note to ask Carter how much effort he should put into keeping Vala away from Reid because you didn’t have to be a profiler to see the gleam in Vala’s eye meant trouble when Reid mentioned his genius-level memory. Reid could generally handle himself, but he wasn’t sure if anyone was equipped to deal with someone like Vala (though the resigned look on Dr. Jackson’s face suggested he had at least tried).

It took less than a day to create the profile and another two days and two victims to realize the unsub was a former Jaffa named R’aki who served Ba’al and had seen a lot of nasty things in his day. They discovered that before the killings had started R’aki had found out that his little brother had been horribly murdered by the Ori which could have been the triggering event as the brother had been tortured like the victims.

Gideon, Morgan, and Prentiss had wanted to bring R’aki back to earth for questioning and after a fight between General Landry and the Jaffa council over who had jurisdiction to deal with the situation, the council agreed that the R’aki could be questioned on Earth, but the Council was reserving their right to request him back to mete out any punishment if they found him to be guilty. Hotch had enough of a headache navigating the politics of the FBI, and he wasn’t sure how General Landry dealt with military and alien politics, but they got the result they wanted and his entire team was back on earth which set his mind at ease. (Though, he was a little concerned about Reid as he hadn’t seen either Reid or Vala in a few hours, so Hotch was going to have to send JJ and Dr. Jackson on a mission to make sure Reid wasn’t unknowingly committing any intergalactic crimes).

After few hours of questioning by Prentiss and Teal’c, R’aki confessed in great detail about what he had done to the Marines. After discussing it with General Landry, they turned him over to the Council for punishment - they couldn’t try him on Earth and no one wanted to hold a Jaffa in the brig indefinitely, so back to the Council he went.

Given the super-sensitive nature of the paperwork, they stayed at Stargate Command a few extra days while they finished and on the last day, Teal’c told them that R’aki had committed suicide. Given the flat tone of Teal’c’s voice and the look in his eyes, it was pretty clear there had been no suicide.

On the plane ride home Reid told Prentiss, JJ and Garica all about Atlantis and Hotch hoped that they never heard from Stagate Command again. It was hard enough dealing with serial killers on one planet, let alone an entire universe of them.

Destiny - 2009

The fourth time, it was General O’Neill who called and this time he invited just Hotch and one team member of his choosing to the Pentagon to discuss another possible alien serial killer. It would be easy to pick Morgan or Reid or Prentiss, who had previous alien experience, but he wanted them focused on Earth so he grabbed Rossi and off to the Pentagon they went.

And after they arrived it turned out that back in the day Rossi had helped out with some profiling for the Stargate Program in its infancy, so he didn’t have to sign 80,000 forms before they met with General O’Neill.

This time was a little different as the unsub was not only in a different galaxy, but also the only way to get there was through communication stones, through which you exchanged consciousness with another person - so while you were in their body, they were in yours.

With everything they had been through, Hotch wasn’t sure how he felt about someone else hanging out in his body, but O’Neill explained that using the stones was the only way the people trapped on Destiny had of communicating with their families and while they were helping out Colonel Young, someone who had been trapped in another galaxy would be reconnecting with their family. He couldn’t really say no to helping out and allowing someone trapped to visit home.

It was a bit surreal when he oriented himself on Destiny and looked in a mirror to see himself in the body of a solider in his mid-twenties named Scott and looked across the table at Rossi in the body of some civilian who turned out to be a engineer named Brody.

Once they acclimated to their new selves (Hotch was pretty sure he was never in this good shape, even in his twenties) they were off to meet with the IOA rep, Camille Wray, and the commander of Destiny, Colonel Everett Young, for their briefing.

It turned out that one of their Marines committed suicide shortly after they got stuck on Destiny and there was clear and convincing evidence that that was in fact a suicide (after a murder investigation, but neither Wray or Young wanted to talk about that, so Rossi and Hotch didn’t push), but they had another death yesterday and that wasn’t so clear. They didn’t think they had a serial killer, but given their numbers and the closed community of the ship, one death was more than enough to cause concern. They thought the profilers could talk to everyone and figure out exactly what happened. They would do it themselves, they explained, however, there were a few trust issues between the science team and the military so no matter which side did the investigation there would always be a question about its validity so they wanted a totally neutral third party to come in and handle it.

Rossi and Hotch both agreed that there was logic in that, so they set themselves up in one of the empty meeting rooms and starting interviewing everyone. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of anger, mistrust, and other issues and by the time they had talked to everyone on the ship (including Doctor Rush, who they got about three minutes with before he stalked out) almost everyone was a suspect. The first suicide had been by gun, and this one by hanging. The deceased wasn’t on the A, B, or even C team - just a poor grunt who happened to be on Icarus base when they escaped to Destiny so if someone did have the thrill to kill, this guy was a good place to start. Of course any death would be noticed, but this guy was a nobody on a ship full of somebodies. He was as close to a non-person as you could get in such a closed community.

After three days and more interviews and little progress, Hotch and Rossi were ready to call it a suicide when they were watching tapes with Eli and noticed one of the scientists sneaking off into an empty part of the ship. With the help of the Kenos and Colonel Young, they found the scientist sitting in the middle of an empty room wearing the dead marine’s missing socks. The walls were covered in violent chalk drawings. When they cornered him, he just smiled in a very broken way and confessed.

Young and Wray agreed he couldn’t be allowed to be free, so they locked him up and said they would try to bring someone in from Earth to help him control his violent impulses.

As they were heading back to the stones room, Rossi commented that while this guy had only killed one person, the stress of the being trapped on the ship had caused him to snap and it was likely they were going to have other issues, so he didn’t think this would be the last time they were called to help out on Destiny.

Cheyenne Mountain - 2010

After the trip to the Destiny, Hotch figured he would be hearing Stargate Command sooner rather than later but almost a year went by before Sam (they moved to a first name basis after the fourth case) called again about three dead airmen in less than two days and another possible serial killer in the Mountain. Once again, the security footage was less than helpful and they were at a loss. Hotch was surprised to hear the problem was in the Mountain. He’d figured the next call would come from another off-world base or ship - he didn’t have Reid’s math skills but he knew the odds of having two serial killers in eleven years in the same small closed community were pretty slim, but Sam was four for four, so on a plane to Colorado they went.

This time Garcia stayed behind and Sam patched her into the Stargate Command system on a secure line so Garcia could use her own computer system. When the rest of the team got to Cheyenne Mountain Hotch breathed a silent sigh of relief when Sam informed them that Vala and Dr. Jackson were off-world at the moment. Vala’s influence on Reid hadn’t caused an intergalatic incident like Hotch had been afraid it would, but a few months after the visit Hotch and Sam had met up for dinner when she was visiting DC and Sam told him about some tablet that Vala had tried to hock when they were off-world that Reid had something to do with (Sam hadn’t told him the whole story and Hotch wasn’t sure he wanted to know).

Landry assigned them the prime real estate, the conference room over looking the gateroom, and informed them that the Mountain was on lockdown pending resolution of these incidents - no one in, no one out. He had made an exception for the BAU team because Carter suggested they would work better if they were able to speak with everyone on the base in person.

Two days and one more dead airman later, Reid and Prentiss caught Morgan trying to strangle Colonel Mitchell, which ruled out an unsub as a serial killer and ruled back in some sort of alien virus. Morgan was moved to isolation while everyone tried to figure out what got into the base and how it got transmitted to Morgan.

Reid watched sixteen hours of security footage before his eye caught a member of SG-14 bumping into Morgan in the hallway about six hours before Morgan tried to kill Colonel Mitchell (who thankfully was used to aliens infecting his colleagues and then having them trying to kill him, so he was totally cool about it). Reid traced that scientist back to a Marine on SG-12 about six hours before the fourth victim was killed, and that Marine had touched an airman on SG-22, about six hours before the third victim - and that airman had touched a linguist on SG-6 about six hours before the second victim. Some further research showed that that SG-6 was on P3X-485 and got back about six hours before the first murder. Rossi and Hotch talked to everyone that was previously infected and none remembered anything about the murders, but all had large chunks of time missing from their memories.

One quick trip by SG-1 and Prentiss (she insisted and no one said no) through the Stargate in hazmat suits and a few conversations with the locals and they realized SG-6 had uncovered a crypt housing crystals containing the memories of that planet’s worst criminals and one of them was currently overwhelming Morgan’s brain. Why the locals couldn’t have warned SG-6 before they started digging up the crypt was beyond Hotch, but Sam assured him things like this happened all the time. According to the locals, the memories would fade in about six days and could be transmitted by touch so they needed to keep Morgan in isolation.

No one was about to leave Morgan alone and possessed by an alien serial killer and Reid had been begging Sam for a trip through the gate, so Hotch and team hung around Stargate Command. Reid and Prentiss went out with SG-2 on a day trip then took turns with Hotch and Rossi watching Morgan. Garcia insisted on being video-conferenced into his room every two hours to keep her man company.

Ten days after they arrived at Stargate Command, Morgan was cleared to go home. On their way out, Sam welcomed Morgan into the “Aliens made me do x” club and Hotch was pretty sure he never wanted to know anything else that aliens had made the members of SG-1 and the other teams do and was definitely sure he never wanted to be a member of that club.

Hotch hugged Sam on the way out and said he hoped she never called him for business again, but he had a feeling he would be seeing her.