Why didn't we just say no?
THREE DAYS AGO
The second the Feds walked into the squad room I smelled trouble. Little did I know that Nikki and I were going to be part of that trouble.
They spent a good half hour in Dan's office with the door shut before Dan came out and asked us to come in.
"What do you think this is about?" Nikki whispered to me as we headed in.
"Beats the hell out of me, but whatever it is I don't like it already."
Dan shut the door behind us. "Detectives, this is Agent Zimmerman and Agent Harris. The FBI is asking for our help to catch a serial killer."
"We have reason to believe that the killer has entered the state of Louisiana and would like for you two to do some undercover work in an effort to bring him to justice," Zimmerman said as he smoothed out his tie.
I wanted to puke at the formality of it all and felt somewhat insulted. I couldn't help but feel like they thought they were the big bad FBI and what we were doing here in our city was chasing down people who didn't put money in the meter or maybe stole a pack of cigarettes from a local market. But I held my tongue and swallowed down my sarcasm. Thankfully, Nikki chimed in before I could open my mouth.
"No disrespect, sir, but why us? I mean, why New Orleans and not Baton Rouge or Minden?"
"We're not at liberty to give full details without a complete debriefing," Agent Harris responded as he glanced at his PDA and then tucked it into his jacket.
"Could I have a moment to discuss this with them?" Dan asked.
Zimmerman nodded and the two men stepped outside.
"What's going on here, Dan? Why us?" I asked.
Dan sighed heavily, "There's nothing I can do. They're Federal and they call the shots. They asked for two female detectives and you happen to be it."
"So that's it? You don't know what they want or..."
"I have a general idea but like I said, they're dictating this one."
"Wow, way to go, Dan. Thanks for throwing us to the wolves and keeping us in the dark," I snapped at him.
"They'll pull my badge if I tell you. They don't operate like we do, Nora."
The door opened and Harris poked his head inside. "We need to wrap this up."
"Right. Detectives, the agents will take you to the debriefing."
I felt like a criminal myself. Like I was being led away to God only knows where. The only good thing about it was that I had Nikki by my side.
They loaded us into one of their typical black SUV, complete with tinted windows, and drove us to some remote location. We got out and went into what looked like an old abandoned warehouse.
Inside, there was another man waiting, briefcase in-hand.
"Detectives, this is Agent Munson. He's going to debrief you on the task at hand and take care of all necessary paperwork."
Zimmerman and Harris exited the room and the two of us looked at one another in confusion.
"Which one of you is Delaney?"
"I am," I said as I watched him take out some papers in his briefcase.
"This is yours," he said as he handed me a piece of paper, "and this is yours, Detective Beaumont. This is your sworn statement indicating that whatever is discussed between us stays within these four walls. From this point on, you are to have no contact with your boss, fellow police officers, friends, family or anyone else other than myself. I am your only contact and everything goes through me. I dictate all of your orders and at no time are either of you to do anything other than what I instruct you to do. Is that clear?"
"How are we going to just drop off the face of the Earth for who knows how long and not let our family know?" Nikki asked.
"It will be arranged so that they are aware of an assignment that has come up, but they will not be told anything about what we are discussing today."
My stomach began to tie itself in a knot and I could see that Nikki was feeling the same way.
"If you will sign on the bottom line then I can debrief you on what we're asking you to do. Please keep in mind, detectives that it would be in the best interest of your careers if you comply with what is asked of you today."
"Is that a threat?" I asked.
Nikki grabbed my arm and pulled me closer towards her, "Nora!"
"No threat at all."
"Can we just have a minute to..."
"Like I said, it would be in your best interest..."
"Fine. Fine. Here," I said as I signed the bottom line and shoved the paper in his hand. "Happy now." I turned to Nikki, "Don't feel like you have to do this because I signed it."
Nikki paused for a moment and then signed the paper. "I can't let you do this alone."
"Alright then. In case you haven't figured it out by now, you will both be going undercover, hence the isolation from friends and family. We need you to get close to a man named Victor Genau. He's a known weapons dealer that got out of jail about a year ago and is back in business. Only he's expanded the business to include drugs and rumor has it, nuclear weapons."
"Wait. So where does the serial killer part come in?" Nikki asked.
"That was what everyone else needs to think."
The knot in my stomach began to grow and get tighter.
"Here is Victor's file. It contains his complete history and will tell you everything you need to know about him. There is also a disc included in there with video surveillance footage so you can see how he talks, walks, eats, and breathes. Study it carefully because you'll need to know him inside and out to get close to him and not tip him off."
A man in a dark suit entered the room and Munson made no attempt at an introduction.
"Your ride is here to take you to where you'll be staying. You'll find everything you need in the room - computers, weapons, clothes. I will contact you this evening with further instructions." He handed us a cell phone before walking away.
"I don't like this," I whispered to Nikki.
"Neither do I."