A/N: I've taken my writing case fics to a different game. I hope you all enjoy it.
As always, this is a completely written FF. You will get a chapter a day. *stares at FF gremlins with light saber at the ready*
All rights to the Criminal Minds characters belong to Mark Gordon Productions, CBS and ABC Studios.
To: SAC Hotchner
From: Chief Cruz
Date: January 14, 2014
RE: Research Writer
Agent Hotchner, the Associate Director of the Criminal division received a request for a person specialized in the field of psychology to observe the BAU team out on a specific case.
After reviewing the request, the Director has approved. You will receive more details about this as the process continues to move forward.
Aaron Hotchner rolled his eyes. Damn I miss Erin; she would have never let this happen. Yet, with the stack of cases on his desk, he filed the memo away and within a week completely forgot about it.
The phone rang in Aaron's Hotchner's office on a Tuesday morning in late February. David Rossi was sitting across from his desk, sipping his coffee as the two men, long-time friends and BAU partners enjoyed a bit of a morning bullshit session. Things around the BAU had been quiet for over two weeks. While the team enjoyed the down time and sleeping in their own beds, most everyone was caught up on their case work files and having to fill their time doing research on past cases. The only one that enjoyed that was Dr. Reid.
Aaron looked at the caller ID. "It's Cruz," Aaron said to Dave, who arched an eyebrow. "He came back yesterday; office duty only though."
Dave nodded. "At least he's on the mend. And maybe he's got something to get rid of the team being so antsy," Dave observed. He pointed to Aaron's phone as it rang a second time. "Hello Chief Cruz," Dave slyly smiled.
Aaron shook his head and picked up the receiver. "Hotchner."
"Aaron, its Mat. I just got wind of a case; two children were abducted off a street in Duluth, Minnesota on their way to school. The Amber Alert went up about 20 minutes ago."
"Sir, I'm putting you on speaker phone," Hotch interrupted. "Agent Rossi is in my office."
Cruz repeated his opening sentence for Rossi's benefit. "I just got off the phone with the Duluth COP; this happened around 7:45 local time." Dave and Hotch both looked at their watches. They read 9:45. An hour plus ahead already they both thought, quickly calculating the time change. "They haven't fully confirmed it yet, but with their preliminary interviews of family members, they believe it's a stranger abduction."
"Sir, when do you anticipate us getting the official case?"
"That's the thing Aaron; we may not need an official invite."
"Sir?" Rossi eyed Hotch.
"While I was talking to the COP, he mentioned reading something about a similar case in Washburn County, Wisconsin approximately six weeks ago. The abduction happened around the same time in Lampson, a tiny community in the northern part of the county. Two children, a brother and sister as well, we're taken while waiting for the school bus at their rural home. However, because the county is so large, with a rather small sheriff department, it was never reported into any state databases. The children were found less than 24 hours later; strangled. While the State Crime Lab out of Madison was called in, there's still nothing that is hitting on the case in our databases. Yet the sheriff's department and DA ruled out any family; it's still an on-going case."
Dave rose out of his chair, grabbing his coffee cup off Hotch's desk. "I'll get Garcia going." He quickly exited Hotch's office. Alex and JJ, having their own morning chat session, noticed Rossi quickly flying down the steps from Hotch's office and leaving the side door. They exchanged looks.
"Aaron, I caught up with my profiling classes while I was recuperating at home; however, I'm certainly not the expert like your team is. Is this a possible pedophile case?"
"It could be sir," Hotch responded.
"That's what I thought. Which brings me to my next point; remember the memo I sent you about the researcher that wanted to study the team in the field?"
Aaron shook his head. "Yes sir; but please tell me it's not …. "
"I've already made the notification of the possibility," Cruz said. "Please keep me in the loop of your findings." The call ended.
Hotch didn't have time to think about that. He quickly exited his office to join Dave in Garcia's lair.
Emily and Morgan entered into the BAU as Hotch was going out the side door. "What's going on," Morgan questioned.
"At this point, we don't know," JJ said.
Reid looked up from his research book. "Something is going on?"
Alex looked at him in amazement. "Rossi flew out of Hotch's office less than a minute ago; Hotch just did the same. We're assuming both are in Garcia's lair."
"That's all you know," Prentiss asked.
JJ nodded her head. "How did the trainee field simulation go?"
"Emily bagged another one," Morgan smiled.
In the BAU lair, Garcia was typing like her usual fiendish self. She scribbled on a post-it note. "The number to the Washburn Country Sheriff Office" Hotch grabbed it and headed out the door.
"Garcia, start digging anyway; hack away if you have to," Hotch said, leaving her lair.
"Yes sir." Thirty seconds later, Rossi did the same with the phone number for the Wisconsin State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
They each blew up the steps and into their offices, shutting their doors. "Now that I noticed," Reid observed.
Aaron Hotchner made his overture to the Washburn Sheriff short and sweet. "Agent Hotchner; I'm sorry," Sheriff Mitch Thompson said. "We're just a small sheriff's department in a county strapped for funding. We don't have that kind of computer link."
"Sheriff, can you fax the details of your case to our facility here in Quantico?"
"Absolutely Agent Hotchner; I'll get my deputies on it right away."
"Thank you Sheriff," Hotch said giving him the number. "There may be another case that is linked to yours. We need that information ASAP."
"You'll have it Agent as fast as we can gather all the files and send it."
Hotch hung up the phone, walked out of his office and looked at the team in the bullpen. "Round Table Room," he said making his way to Dave's office. Morgan dumped his bag that was still over his shoulder by Emily's desk. The rest all quickly got up from their desks and headed towards the steps by the breakroom, grabbing refills on their coffees. "I think we're going to need this," Alex observed. Morgan grabbed the nearest cup available, nodding his head.
Hotch walked into Dave's office to hear him trying to keep his temper in check. "What do mean Detective; you didn't think the cases were connected?" He hit the speaker button on his phone console.
"Agent Rossi; the children were prone to walk off. They didn't have a happy family life. And they were found less than four days later; they died from hypothermia."
Rossi looked at Hotch. "Same victimology; in Bayfield County Wisconsin; four weeks ago."
Hotch stepped out of Rossi's office. "Agent Anderson," he said across the bullpen, stepping to the rail. "Get on the phone to our pilots; destination Duluth, Minnesota."
"Yes sir," Anderson said, grabbing his phone. Hotch walked back into Dave's office as he was hanging up the phone.
"They're opening up their files to Garcia," he said pressing a speed dial button. "Garcia, you're a go on the Wisconsin BCA."
"Roger that sir." Dave heard her already typing away as she hung up the phone. They both exited Rossi's office to walk down the catwalk into the Round Table Room. The team was already pulling out sheets from the fax machine, handing them to Emily that had the copier in the room doing its job.
"Prentiss, make an extra set please."
"Hotch," she questioned.
"The Bureau higher ups, including the Director have approved a researcher to tag along on this case. I don't know the details other than I and the rest of us are supposed to cooperate with this person."
"What the hell," Morgan added.
Hotch shook his head. He looked at the team. "But we have a possible case." He and Rossi quickly filled the team in on the details.
Agent Sharp stuck her head in the door as they finished. "Sir, Anderson said to tell you the flight crew has been briefed; the jet is fueled; they're just waiting on FFA clearance on the flight plan, which they expect within fifteen minutes. And his team is ready for all of you in the Go Room."
"Thank you Gina," Hotch said.
"Anything else I can help with?"
"Yes, Gina," Hotch said, handing her his stack of papers that Prentiss was churning out. "Get these to Garcia ASAP to get into our Tablets. And then double check the fax machine," he pointed, "of anymore that may come out after we leave and do the same thing." Gina nodded. He looked at the team. "We've got to get going."
Rossi looked at his watch. "We're coming up on hour two into the abduction."
Agent Sharp took the papers. "On it sir," she said, and then looked at the team. "Good luck," she said, leaving the door.
"Let's get moving," Hotch said. The team quickly left the briefing room to head to the elevators, leaving coffee mugs behind. They rode down the elevator together to the basement level of the building and quickly entered their Go Room. They moved silently and proficiently, knowing that two children's life were at stake. Everyone pulled their luggage bag out from their locker and set it in the middle of the room. Two junior agents, part of Anderson's team, immediately swooped in to put them in the waiting SUVs to get the team to the Quantico airfield.
As they quickly checked their go bags, adding their weapons, the door to the room opened and Chief Cruz walked in, carrying a luggage bag. Another of the junior agents, waiting on the team's go bags, grabbed that as well and flew out the door. Cruz held the door open and a woman walked in. The team looked up.
"Doc," Hotch asked.
"What the hell Cait," Dave added.
She pointed out the double glass doors to the SUVs. Her expression was all business. "I'll explain in them on the way to the airfield."
A/N: I'm sure all you of heads up CM watchers internationally understand what an Amber Alert is. However, you may not know the reason why for the name. It's named after Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and murder in Texas in 1996. It was her case that brought attention to getting a nation-wide alert to these kinds of cases in the US. And a fact that I didn't know until I did my research; different states in the US have different names for this kind of alert to honor kids that fell prey to this same MO in their states.
COP is Chief of Police. BCA is Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; many states have this agency to help smaller police departments with major cases.