Author's note: First of all I just want to take a sec and thank those people who reviewed my first Numb3rs fic, "Halloween." It was my first story and I was really nervous about it, and once I saw all those nice reviews it gave me a nice warm fuzzy feeling Anyway this is my second fic and all constructive criticism and comments are very much appreciated.
Summary: Don and his team face one of their most difficult cases. They can't seem to find any evidence against a violent killer until a lone witness turns up. Can they get the information they need from the traumatized girl before the killer claims any more victims?
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Numb3rs characters—blah blah blah—I'm sure you all know the drill.
WARNING: This fic contains violence towards children and violence in general. There may be extremely graphic descriptions. (The killer is one sick S.O.B.) If you don't like that sorta thing…you've been warned.
CHAPTER 1: Potential Witness—"…he was going to be working very late…"
They had found the girl hidden under a nearby bush at the latest murder scene. How she got there, was yet to be figured out, but to the FBI team, her showing up was like a miracle.
"The Sadist" had been giving the FBI a run for their money; they couldn't find any evidence at any of the five crime scenes. Then the potential witness showed up in the form of a ten-year-old girl. The FBI thought they had at least a lead now. Unfortunately, they were disillusioned rather quickly. The girl was apparently drastically traumatized—they couldn't get a single sensible statement out of her.
Special Agent Don Eppes thought all this over, rubbing the ever-deepening crease on his forehead. "The Sadist", as the media had dubbed the killer, was a sick individual. Don thought over each of victims. They had all been tortured and sexually violated with a foreign object (hence the name "Sadist"), and they were all girls between five and eight years of age. Don was repulsed by the savage nature of each of the deaths, and the fact that all the victims were little girls made the case that much harder. Don and his team had been astounded to find the potential witness at the scene. At first they had thought that it was a coincidence that the child had been at the scene, but upon inspection, the girl had scars that were nearly identical to the wounds on the victims. The most baffling question to it all however, was why wasn't she dead? And how did the girl get away from the killer? She was older than the age range of the other victims and it threw a wrench in their profile of the killer. Not that we had a great profile to begin with, Don mused to himself.
Don turned his attention to the conference room. Megan Reeves, the FBI psychologist, had spent at least three hours trying to get something intelligible from the girl, to answer some of their questions, but it all seemed to be in vain. Don sighed in frustration. He watched Megan through the door as she tried to cajole the girl out of her near catatonia. Megan sighed, pushed her chair away from the table forcefully and walked up to Don.
"It's no use," Megan let out exasperatedly, "it's like she's afraid of me…she didn't appear to be frightened by the agents at the scene and now she's not responding to me at all! I just don't understand." Megan rubbed her forehead, unwittingly mimicking Don's earlier action.
"Maybe she doesn't like you." Don half-joked, even as a more lucrative reason entered his mind.
"Don…" Megan started to say, annoyed.
"No, I'm being serious. Maybe in some way you remind her of the killer." Sudden insight flashed in Don's head. Finally, they were getting somewhere! The girl had helped whether she realized it or not.
"Our killer is a woman!" Don exclaimed, "Wait—before you tell me its not possible, think about it." Don rushed on before Megan could open her mouth and interrupt him.
"A woman serial killer is very rare, I know, but you said yourself, the girl wasn't afraid of the agents who brought her in—both agents who were men." Megan looked skeptical.
"Look," Don continued, shoving his hands in his pockets, "Let me go sit in there with her for awhile and see if I can't get any information out of her and…" Don held a finger up as Megan opened her mouth in disagreement, "…if I can't get anything out of her in couple hours, I'll admit that I'm wrong and I won't mention the woman killer idea again without further evidence."
"Am I allowed to talk now?" Megan wondered aloud sarcastically. Don remained silent as Megan gave him a penetrating glare.
"Ok, fine," she conceded with a shake of her head, "but I really don't see how you're going to find out any more than I did."
"Why don't you go home and get some sleep," Don said, putting his hand on Megan's shoulder, "You look like hell."
"Thanks Don," Megan shot back, too weary to be amused, "You have a wonderful way with people you know that? Call me if she does say anything enlightening."
"You'll be the first to hear anything, I promise." Don held up his hand like he was being sworn in before a jury. A wry chuckle escaped from Megan as she walked away. Don let out a heaving sigh. It was still early evening but he had the sneaking suspicion that he was going to be working very late. He'd have to call his dad and let him know that he wasn't going to be coming over after all.
He turned towards the conference room. The girl hadn't moved at all during the entire conversation that he'd had with Megan. All he wanted to do, he thought, was go over to his brother's house, eat dinner with his father and Charlie and then sleep for a week. However the gory images of the victims flashed through Don's head, and reluctantly, he admitted to himself that he wouldn't be able to sleep anyway. Besides, he wouldn't want to wake up to a phone call informing him of the latest victim. No, Don thought, there is truly no rest for the weary.
"Ok, kiddo" Don muttered under his breath, "Let's see if I can do better than the person who actually knows about psychology."
Don stepped into the room, having no idea just what he was getting himself into.
Author's additional note: AHH! How's that for a first chapter? I'm not sure how long I want to make this fic just yet. And just so everyone knows, this will be mainly a Don-centric fic, some Charlie (but no Amita…sorry guys I'm not an Amita fan). I'm terrible at math and I hate research so I'm not sure I could pull off a convincing Charlie. Also probably no romance either unless it's with an OC. Hope I haven't just discouraged half the people who might have read this from reading it. Please R&R!