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Hunting Ghosts

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Chapter 1: Sent Abroad

 

The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit was an elite team specializing in psychological profiling. The unit was based out of FBI Headquarters in Quantico Virginia and consisted of eight members. Team leader, Emily Prentiss, agents David Rossi, Mattew Simmons, Derek Morgan, Jennifer Jareau, Dr. Alex Blake, and Dr. Spencer Reid, along with their technical analyst Penelope Garcia. The team frequently handled cases of serial murder across the United States, but never before had they been sent out of the country. Until recently that had been the job of a separate unit which had since been decommissioned and dismantled.

 

On this particular morning, the team had been called in a whole two hours earlier than normal. Emily Prentiss had been called in for an emergency meeting with the director two hours before that and had been in Agent Prentiss's office

making certain emergency preparations with Garcia’s help, while they waited for the others to arrive. There were thirteen case files sitting on the desk between them.

 

“This is really happening?” Garcia asked, standing there with a tense, pensive expression on her pale face and tears of concern forming in her large blue eyes.

 

“Yes, and because we can’t assume we can trust the security of the networks over there, you’re coming with us to keep us connected but off of their radar,” Prentiss replied.

 

“Yes, I know, and as for that…other thing… we talked about, fret not, it’s all set up, all you have to do is say the word and I’ll have it replace everything there would be for this bastard to find. I even found a way to fake the metadata to make it look like this stuff has been in the system exactly as is all along.”

 

“Perfect. Thank you.” Emily replied gratefully.

 

“Are you kidding? I’m not gonna let my family cross an ocean to hunt some psycho with some weird, unknown way of killing people without a little protection. If a rock solid set of aliases can shield you all from this maniac then I’m more than happy to do that.” Garcia told her with a mix of pride and worry in her voice as she left the office. Her blonde curls bounced with each step of her heavy, platform heels.

 

***

 

Twenty minutes later, the entire unit was gathered in a small conference room, sitting at a roundtable. The other six field agents glanced at each other nervously, not daring to wonder aloud why they’d been called n so early, or why their boss had been so uncharacteristically cryptic about it.

 

“Morning guys, sorry about the early wake-up call but we have an especially long flight ahead of us. In the last few months, literally hundreds of criminals all over the world have dropped dead of heart attacks. The worldwide law enforcement community knew that they had a serious problem on their hands so they sent in L. L is a genius detective and one of the best-untrained profilers ever known. He’s taken on some of the most difficult cases ever and solved them all. This one is different.”

 

“How so?”Morgan asked.

 

“Well for starters, L knew from the beginning that even he would need help on this one, but that’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. L’s work combined with the fact that he only ever works alone has made him an extremely paranoid personality. He figured out that Kira, as people are calling this unsub, is hiding in Japan, and asked for the cooperation of the Japanese National Police, but he doesn’t trust them. L doesn’t trust anyone really.”

 

“It would be hard for someone like that to work with others under the kind of life and death conditions an investigation of this magnitude would create.” Dr. Reid commented.

 

“Exactly, which is why two weeks ago, twelve FBI agents out of the Bureau’s international division went to Japan to investigate L’s suspicion that Kira might be connected to the Japanese police. One of them brought his fiance, a former agent named Naomi Misora, she used to be part of Andi Swan’s unit before she resigned so she could start a family. Now they’re all dead, the twelve agents all suffered fatal and inexplicable heart attacks at exactly the same time, and Miss Misora apparently committed suicide the day after her fiance’s murder.”

 

“Well, the twelve agents all having heart attacks at once like that reaks of the unsub’s doing, but as for Miss Misora, I just don’t know,” Rossi added.

 

“Anyone in her situation would be at least a little depressed, but having been an agent, one would think that she’d want to bring the unsub to justice, not just give up and end it all,” Reid said.

 

“Exactly, the twelve are obvious murders given what we know about this ‘Kira’ and the suicide is suspicious at best. That’s why the Bureau had officially withdrawn their support from L’s investigation and is launching their own, with us at the helm. We’re going to Japan, to determine whether these thirteen latest victims were indeed Kira’s victims and if so, catch him.”

 

“Ok but, we still don’t know how Kira is able to do what he does, no one does, how do we avoid meeting the same fate as the original twelve agents?” Matt Simmons, the team’s newest member asked.

 

The others, suddenly hit by the ramifications of what he’d just brought to their attention, shot nervous glances at each other around the table, everyone that is, except for Prentiss and Garcia.

 

“Em and I already took care of that,” Garcia replied, passing each of them a sealed manila envelope.

 

“From what little we’ve been able to determine, at the very least Kira needs to know the face and real name of his victims. That is why while we’re over there we’ll be working under assumed identities. In the envelopes, Garcia just gave you are your new, temporary credentials, with your current file photos but the names that go with your covers. This way, we can still conduct the investigation, show our credentials when necessary, and still protect our real identities.”

 

Reid, who at twenty-eight was the youngest of the group, gave a silent sigh of relief. It wasn’t Kira that scared him, he had a secret unknown to the rest of the team, unknown to anyone, which was that he had a half-brother three years his junior. A half-brother who, since they were very young had lived in Japan with his father, easily winning full custody because of the affair and their mother’s mental instability. His brother had visited them on his school holidays when they were young but he hadn’t actually seen him in several years now. If this unsub had managed to discover that one of the original twelve agents had brought his fiance to Japan with him, it only made sense that it wouldn’t take long to find his little brother if they showed up in Japan using their real credentials. Despite the geographic distance and cultural differences, he loved his brother and they’d always kept inconsistent, though sparse, contact. Reid knew that the further away from this he could keep him, the safer he would be.

 

“One question Emily…” Jennifer Jareau began. She small-framed, blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman who had only recently made the transition to field agent and was affectionally known as JJ by the rest of the group. “Won’t most of us stand out in Japan like sore thumbs?” She asked.

 

“To an extent. That is why we’ve made certain arrangements that we wouldn’t ordinarily make. Instead of Hotel rooms, we’ve rented out an entire apartment complex in Ikebukuro, which is an area within the greater Tokyo area where foreigners like us will attract less unwanted attention. Also, because it is imperative that our investigation is kept a secret from L, instead of having a liaison among the Japanese police, for this case our liaison will be a private information broker by the name of Izaya Orihara. His job will be to help us remain off the radar of the local authorities as well as get the kinds of information that we won’t find in any kind of official record.”