I'm very sad that no one's reviewed yet. You make me sad.
I own zombies and a few characters, but not CM.
This is a semi-fictional story. Any resemblance to real people, living or undead, is probably fully intentional.
Chapter 1: A Rarity All Its Own
Reid frowned, staring blankly at his screen. It started off as a typical morning. Before I arrived, Jareau had left me several files for other cases to go over. The only time I saw her was when she passed my desk on the way to Hotchner's office, looking several shades paler than usual . . .
There was a knock at his half-open office door. Hotchner glanced up from his desk to see JJ's blonde head poking through.
"JJ?" The look on her face was one Hotchner had never seen before, and he could swear she had turned several shades whiter. "What's wrong?"
"Can I come in?"
"Absolutely." JJ came in and took one of the chairs in front of him. "Now . . ."
"A case just came in."
"It must be bad."
"It is bad." She handed him the file. "I'm not sure we've ever seen something like this before."
Hotchner opened the file and immediately shut it at the first picture. "Wow." JJ just nodded, and he opened it again. "Get the team."
JJ silently stood and walked out the door.
After I was attacked mercilessly by a broken coffeepot, Hotchner called us into the conference room to discuss a new case . . .
Apparently no one had started the coffee.
Reid grumpily bent down and pulled the grounds out from the cabinet and started the pot, glaring at it. Hardly a second later the top of the coffeepot flew off, sending grounds and water flying.
"Gaaah . . ." he groaned, trying to shake off wet grounds off his clothes. "Damn it . . ."
"Reid . . ." He rolled his eyes as Morgan walked into the kitchen area. "Did no one tell you that the coffeepot was broken?"
"Obviously not. Doesn't anyone make signs anymore?" He stormed off towards his desk. "Now I have to change my –"
Hotchner emerged from his office on the catwalk and knocked on Rossi's door, hardly waiting for a reply before entering.
"Might want to hurry up, Reid," Morgan said, looking back and forth between the very unhappy agent and the catwalk. "Looks like we're about to have a meeting."
"I just need to find . . . my . . . shirt . . ." Reid dug through his overnight bag frantically. Morgan glanced over at Prentiss.
"Think he'll have time?"
Prentiss shook her head. "Nope."
"BAU team. Conference room!" Hotchner's voice cut through the room. Reid groaned again.
"We'll have time between the meeting and leaving." Morgan patted Reid's shoulder and started up the catwalk steps, following Prentiss and disappearing into the room. Scowling, Reid followed him and dropped down at the table.
"You cleared to travel?" Rossi asked, noting the absence of crutches. Reid shrugged.
"Yeah. I'm off the crutches and just down to a brace."
"Good. We're going to need you." Hotchner nodded to JJ. "Go ahead."
"We have a case that came in this morning from St. Mary's County, Maryland." JJ glanced around the table. "I want to warn you, these pictures are probably worse than just about anything we've seen before."
"That must be pretty bad," Morgan answered, leaning back with his file half-open.
JJ hit a button on her remote to move to the first slide. Prentiss' and Reid's eyes shot open, and Morgan froze. Even though he had seen them once, Rossi swallowed heavily and looked down at the table.
"Are those . . ." Morgan found his voice first and pointed hesitantly at the screen. "Are those human teeth marks?"
"The coroner says so," JJ said with a nod, not looking at the screen.
"Someone disemboweled the victim with their teeth?"
"It appears so," Hotchner said. "Obviously, the sheriff's department in St. Mary's County is incredibly disturbed and requested our assistance."
"Do they have any suspects?" Reid asked, directing his attention to photos of the crime scene without the body.
"Except for anyone who tries to eat people with their teeth?" Prentiss asked sarcastically. "Seems like a vast amount of suspects."
The door started to open and JJ flicked the photo off the screen as Garcia entered. "Sorry I'm late." She sat down at the table. "What did I miss?"
"Nothing you wanted to see," JJ assured her. Garcia looked around the table as the others added their agreement with a simple headshake.
"Did someone gnaw off someone's arm, like that guy who chewed off his own arm for some reason I don't want to remember?"
"Actually, he used a penknife," Reid inserted.
"I don't care." She looked around at the others, who were looking away. "Wait . . . how close was I?"
"Let's just say teeth were involved," Rossi answered.
"I'm getting better, guys. I can see it."
"Garcia . . . baby girl, trust me. You don't want to." Morgan finally put his hand back on the table from where it had been frozen, pointing at the screen.
"We'll meet at the garage in ten. Reid, make sure you change your shirt." Hotchner stood up and walked back towards his office. Grumbling, Reid stood and stormed back to his desk for a new shirt.
"What happened to him?" Rossi asked.
"The coffeepot exploded."
"I put a sign on it," JJ said. "What happened to the sign?"
Rossi shrugged. "No idea."
At approximately 10:00 A.M., we arrived at the small hamlet known as St. Mary's City, sitting directly on the bank of the St. Mary's River . . .
"We're working a case here?" Prentiss looked out the window at the wide expanse of water on her right as they broke out of a wooded area and into a wide open expanse along Maryland route 5. Several sailboats with SMC painted on their sails moved quickly around the river, practicing maneuvers for their next regatta.
"I guess so. That's the campus." Reid pointed to the left as they passed signs for St. Mary's College, leading up a steep hill to a small grey house. "They told us to go to the Campus Center . . . I guess that's . . ."
"Where Hotch is turning?" Morgan stopped to let several college students cross a crosswalk. He turned after the other SUV and they parked in the small lot, joining Hotchner, Rossi, and JJ on a brick path in front of a suit clad man and woman.
"—College president, Lenore Cadogan." The woman was saying as she shook JJ's hand. "And the county sheriff, Kurt Trojacek."
"We have with us SSAs Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi, Derek Morgan, Dr. Spencer Reid, and Emily Prentiss." JJ motioned to each in turn.
"Thank you for coming," Lenore said. "We've never had something like this happen before. There are a lot of students leaving already, professors are cancelling class . . ."
"For one murder?"
"I told you, this is a very abnormal event. No one knows what happened." She sighed. "I have a student that volunteered to help you out down here. She's a senior and interned for the FBI last summer, so she's already cleared – I checked with Baltimore. I have to deal with the fallout from this, so I can't really hang around." The agents exchanged a look. That was weird. Fallout from a single, albeit very strange, murder?
"My men are patrolling the area. As soon as you find anything just let us know over the scanner." Trojacek nodded and walked back to his squad car.
"Follow me, please." Lenore led the agents down to a small brick patio leading to the inside of the Campus Center, where she stopped. It was empty. "She was supposed to meet me here. I don't—"
"I'm sorry, Lenore," a voice said. They turned as a girl with short-cropped red hair appeared behind them. "I was helping a friend get some of their stuff in their car."
"It's okay." Lenore turned back to the agents. "This is Teresa Flannagan, the student I was telling you about."
"Hi," JJ said, extending her hand. "I'm Agent Jareau, and these are –"
"Supervisory Special Agents Aaron Hotchner, Derek Morgan, Dr. Spencer Reid, Emily Prentiss, and . . . well, David Rossi." Teresa grinned. "I'm sorry; I'm a sociology major – going to University of Delaware next year for criminology. You're hard to avoid. Plus, I worked in the NCAVC when I interned so I saw you around the building."
Rossi gave her a small smile and half-nod. "What are people around campus saying?"
"Well . . ." Teresa said, thinking. "There's really nothing except people who're terrified. Since we've never seen something like this before, a mass hysteria is setting in that there is some sort of serial killer running around, and therefore are leaving in droves. Professors have already started cancelling classes, even though it's probably pointless."
"Why is that?" Hotchner asked. Teresa shrugged.
"Cancelling class isn't going to help because the murder happened at night, if you can believe time of death. I understand people wanting to leave, but it's too early to determine if this is going to be serial or just a random, albeit very weird, murder."
"Teresa, I need to get back to my office to try and handle the community on this," Lenore said. "Are you –"
"Go do your job. We'll be fine." As Lenore left, Teresa turned back. "We know you probably want a room to set up in, so Lenore's offered you the President's meeting room."
"Why aren't we at the actual police department?" Reid asked, looking around him.
"There isn't a police department anywhere closer to here than Leonardtown, which is about a half-hour away. The next closest is a small office in Lexington Park that I'm not even sure has a holding cell, nonetheless a conference room."
"There isn't one here?"
"This is St. Mary's City." Teresa motioned around her. "The 'City' is the College, Historic St. Mary's City, and the post office. Now, do you want to head straight up to the meeting room or to the crime scene?"
"We'll go to the room so we know where it is and then Rossi, Morgan, Prentiss, and I will head over to the scene."
"Okay. Follow me." She bounced off with a smile towards an archway with two sets of doors, going through the one that led to the larger building. Inside, they turned to go up a staircase to their right. "Up here, right across from the President's meeting room is the Great Room, so if you want to grab food you'd head there."
"Is there somewhere to get coffee?"
Teresa glanced back as she opened the door. "Yeah. Downstairs on the far side of this building is the Grind. They have coffee."
"Thanks. Anyone else want anything?"
With the answer, Reid trotted off towards the stairs. Teresa pointed after him.
"Is . . ."
Morgan shook his head. "He hasn't had his coffee yet."
"I completely understand." Teresa opened the door. "In here is the meeting room. We went ahead and put a whiteboard in here. Just call Maintenance for anything you need."
"JJ, can you and Reid set up –"
"We'll be fine, Hotch." JJ nodded.
"Where's the crime scene?" Rossi asked.
"Across the road, right next to Kent. I can take you there now."
As they walked out, Morgan realized what had been bothering him. "Don't you have classes today?"
"No. Most of my classes got cancelled, with the exception of one."
"What class is that?"
"Sociology of War and Peace, but it isn't until six. We'll probably be discussing the mass hysteria."
"Why did the president ask you to show us around?" Hotchner asked, looking out over a large pond to another brick building.
"I work for her office. Filing and such. So we're on good terms. Plus, her phone's been ringing off the hook since the news found out about this. People are really freaking out." They paused at the crosswalk as a car slammed on its brakes and let them cross. "So she needs to try and field every call. With the recession, they've cut back a lot on the unneeded labor . . . which included half our office."
"Ah." They crossed another road and started towards the river, where crime scene tape was plastered in between trees, surrounding a small fountain.
"The body was found here, in the Garden of Remembrance. You're allowed in, I'm not."
They ducked under the tape and entered the scene as Teresa sat down on a nearby bench to wait for them. This would be a long afternoon.