The Best of Everything

Chapter 1

The Profile

The imperfections of a man, his frailties, his faults, are just as important as his virtues. You can't separate them. They're wedded. Henry Miller

"So to sum up," Prentiss said with a voice tinged with irony, "We have no crime scenes, no suspects, no bodies."

"But we do have victimology." Reid countered, "That is assuming these are actually victims."

"Let's see what we have got then." Morgan said. "Victim number….."

"Alleged victim." Morgan shot Reid an irritated look.

"Alleged victim number one. Martha Fellowes, disappeared three months ago, three hours after being awarded the Miss North America beauty prize. Number two, Myron Blade, disappeared ten weeks ago, after receiving an award, this time for breaking the world land speed record."

"Number three, Elihud Paxhill," continued Hotch. "Disappeared two months ago, and had just been awarded the Surgical Innovation Prize after he carried out a pioneering surgical procedure."

"And a possible number four," Said Reid. "Paij Hanley recently awarded the Life Science Prize for her work on deep sea environments. At eighteen, the youngest ever to get this award. Went missing last week."

"Four possible victims, all at the top of their chosen profession, all disappeared with out a trace." Said Hotch.

"So how was the connection made?" Asked Reid, flicking through the files, "I mean, they are all different states, moved in different social circles, men and women, varying ages. This would have been tough to connect these. Are we sure it's the same UnSub?"

"The connection was made by the fact that they were all special in their field." Said JJ. "It was noticed by an undergrad, who was doing a paper on disappearances. He noticed that these four were connected, simply by the absence of any workable evidence."

"There's along gap between the last two." Reid said. "There could be more disappearances that we don't know about yet."

"We will start with the latest disappearance, and work backwards. I've had all the information from the first three faxed to the police department, so we can collate everything there." Hotch began the assignments. "JJ go to the police office and set us up. Prestiss and Morgan, I want you to go to the university where Paij Hanley worked and speak to her colleagues. If there is a computer or journals, bring them back. Reid and I will visit her family.

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"She would never have left without telling us." Mrs. Hanley said, her voice frightened and breaking. "Her Dad has a heart problem, and she knew that stress would make him ill"

"Where is her father now?" asked Hotch.

"He's in bed. This has hit him hard."

Aaron leaned forward in the chair. "Can you tell us what happened the night she disappeared?"

Paij Hanley's Mum didn't say anything for a second or two while she collected her thoughts and took a tissue and dabbed at her eyes. "She went out with a group of friends to celebrate the award." Mrs Hanley smiled, staring into space as if she was watching a re-enactment. "She dropped the other girls three off at the door of the club, and drove her car round the back. She never made it back to the club."

"What about her car?" Reid asked.

Mrs Hanley gave Reid a little smile. "Yes. It was parked properly, and locked."

"So whatever happened, it was between the car and the doors to the club." Aaron said. "Had Paij been worried about anything recently? Odd phone calls, anything like that?"

"A couple of times she said she felt as if someone was watching her, always seemed to be where she was, At the library, when she went shopping, at the gym, he was always there, that kind of thing."

"Did she ever describe him or say anything about him?"

"No, just that this bloke always seemed to know where she was going to be. It was during the two weeks before she……" Mrs Hanley tailed off, unable to actually say that her daughter had disappeared.

"Was she frightened by this?" Hotch asked.

Mrs Hanley nodded. "Please find Paij, Agent Hotchner. She was a very special girl."

"We will do our best, Mrs Hanley. You can be sure of that."

Reid asked, "Did Paij have a computer, or did she keep a diary?"

"Yes she did. Why would you ask that?"

"Quite often, people write in their journals things that they wouldn't normally tell people about." Said Hotch. "There might be something she has written that will give us a lead."

"I'll get her diary. Her computer is at the university." Mrs Hanley left the room briefly and returned with a large hard backed note book. She gave it to Reid. "I would like to have it back." She said.

"Of course." Hotch got to his feet, and shook Mrs Hanley's hand.

"Thank you for your time, ma'am." Said Reid, shaking her hand also. "We may need to ask you some more questions, if that's ok."

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Reid was running his finger down the pages of notes referring to the other cases, remembering everything. The police officer standing behind him was watching.

"Can you read that?" he asked. Reid was used to people being surprised by his reading speed. He wished they could see what a disadvantage it could be. He had never actually enjoyed a book for its own sake. He could never pick up a novel and become lost in it, the way most people can. The only way he could truly enjoy literature was to have it read to him. His Mum used to read to him, and some of his best memories as a child were when he sat by her on the bed and listened to her reading to him.

Aaron liked to read to him too.

"Yes, I can. It helps the team if I can familiarise myself with the background, so that nothing is missed.

The police officer watched for a few minutes, then became bored and went to study the notice board with the victims on. Hotch came and sat beside Reid.

"We'll have a meeting in five minutes, Reid. Do you think you'd have got through this by then?"

Reid nodded, and continued his absorption of the information.

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Morgan and Prentiss had chatted to some of Paij's friends on the campus. They all pretty much agreed with what her Mum had said, that she wasn't likely to have jus run away. She was excited about the award, and would not have just deserted her friends.

"If she was going to run off, it must have been with someone, as she left her car behind." Said Prentiss. "None of her friends thought she had a man in her life. Most nights they met up as a group of girls to go out, and stuck together."

"She had said she thought she might have had a stalker." Morgan said. "Although there had been no threats."

"That's what her mother said." Hotch agreed.

"And there was no contact made by the UnSub after the disappearance." Said JJ. "No ransom demand, not in this or any of the other cases.

Reid was sitting thoughtfully, hand on his chin, first finger across his mouth.

"You have something, Reid?" Hotch urged.

"He's a collector!" he said. "These missing people are all special for one reason or another. I think they are being collected."

"That's an interesting premise." Said Hotch.

"If that's the case, there won't be a ransom demand." Prentiss said. "Our UnSub has no intention of letting them go."

"I think we are ready for a preliminary profile." Said Hotch. "JJ, call everyone together."

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Very good, Doctor Spencer Reid. Very good. I thought it would take you longer to work things out. But then I didn't know about your abilities before. You are a pretty special person yourself. Three PhD's at such a young age. My collection would not be complete without you, Doctor Spencer Reid. But I will bide my time. I have to make preparations for you first. I want you to enjoy being part of my collection.