Disclaimer: I do not own most of the characters in this story. I simply borrowed them to create my own spin on James Paterson's books. I only own the character "Kiri" and "Jay Jackson".

As she opened the door to the DCPD homicide department she let out a sigh. Kiri had been working with detective Alex Cross for almost nine years. When she was little she had always wanted to have the job that she did now. Just the thrill of going after a killer made her heart pound out of her chest; it made her want to come back every day. And she did until Superintendent Davies made her start to take time off which she is still did not like, but at some point everyone had to. When she got to the office she and her partner Alex shared, she found him hard at work on a new case they got. But, a soft snore said to her that he was not working. No, he was asleep; drooling on the case file.

Kiri: Alex, wake up.

Nothing, not a sound from him. Then she got an idea. She pulled her iPod out of her bag, turned the volume up all the way and played her loudest song. Not a second after she hit play did he shoot up right and grab his gun off the desk even though is wasn't loaded.

Kiri: Relax it's just me. And you might want to remember to load that. I take it you've been here for a while?

Alex: Yeah thanks, and you could say that.

Kiri: So who died this time?

Alex: What? How did you know?

Kiri: The only time you stay overnight in the office is when another person died or you've had too much coffee so spill; which one was it? This time.

Alex: Three dead, about 23 blocks from here; the Cox Family. You wanna head down with me?

Kiri: Yeah, Bree or John coming? And when you say Cox do you mean Emmie down in narcotics?

Alex: Bree, John is at home; and yes.

((Time Passes))

After 54 minutes of driving in Alex's car, they arrived at the house. It was a nice three story, very modern-day Mediterranean, neutral tones on the outside. The Cox Family must have been rich because there was an Aston Martin, a Lamborghini and a Viper in the drive way.

Kiri: Nice cars. I guess the Cox family was rich?

Alex: Yes, got all of the money from the grandmother. Bought some nice cars, a nice house, and put the kids through private school.

Kiri: What's the style?

Alex: Stabbings and couple gun shots. Lots of blood.

Kiri: Just what I like.

Alex: Of course you do. Because you're the one in the office that goes and sees all of those freak show movies, tells everyone that they are not scary, then people come back and jump a mile when you say their name.

Bree: That's just because they never learn.

Kiri: So with the murder. The kids too?

Alex: Everyone. No survivors

Kiri: The bodies still here?

Alex: No, the ME took them out a few hours ago.

Kiri: Alright. Were you here to tell them to report to you?

Alex: No, I was going to go down there after this.

Kiri: Ok, tell me if they say anything. And you know this might be a stupid question but did you check the local asylum outs?

Bree: No, but I will. Thanks for reminding me, I would have forgotten.

Kiri: Well, then let's see what we can find here.

When the three went inside the house, the first two rooms looked as if nothing had happened, but as soon as they got into the bedroom upstairs it looked like a massacre. Blood was spattered all over the bed spread, walls and floor. But that was only what they could see. Bree pulled out a UV black light and shined it around the room revealing even more blood on the bed. Also on the bed spread were slash marks and a note was wedged in-between the pillows and the wall. Sliding a latex glove onto one hand, Kiri picked up the note and read it aloud.

'One, Two I'm coming for you,

Three, Four, Better Lock the Door.'

Kiri: Wow, sounds like something in Freddy Kruger.

Alex: Only you.

After searching the room and finding no other clues they searched the rest of the house.

Kiri: This guy must love to write notes.

Alex: Another one? What does it say this time?

'Redrum Redrum All Over Again,

Try to Catch Me if You Can'

Bree: This guy is crazy.

Kiri: Defiantly asylum material.

After searching some more and coming up dry they went back to the office. Once everything was set up in the lab they went home.

(Later that night)

Alex had been waiting at Kiri's door for five minutes and furiously knocking for three. 'How slow is she?' he thought. Finally he heard the lock being fumbled with before the door opened.

Kiri: Alex, it is 1:45 in the morning. This better be good.

Alex: We figured out… wait how did you know it was me?

Kiri: I've known you for nine years and in those nine years you have come to my door in the middle of the night exactly thirty-two times including tonight.

Alex: You keep track?

Kiri: I have a tally sheet hanging on my fridge.

Alex: Ok, well, we figured out who the killer is, and his motive.

Kiri: Good, that was fast. So tell me why you can't just tell me here?

Alex: Because this guy is crazy. If I told you here you wouldn't believe me so you have to see this.

He grabbed her arm and took her to his car. After a 15 minute drive they got to the Daley Building and they ran inside. Bree was sitting at the head computer searching up different files on the murderer. The name on the screen was Jay Jackson.

Kiri: So how did you figure out?

Bree: Ran a handwriting and finger print test.

Alex: Yeah, and apparently, he's been in jail multiple times. And he was at one point in the DC asylum.

Kiri: I knew it. What for?

Alex: Dealing drugs under the table. He took so many drugs and he sold so many drugs that they stuck him in the asylum and after that in prison.

Kiri: So what's his motive?

Bree/Alex: To get DC's cops.

Kiri: Cops? How do you know?

Bree: Well, as it turns out, he has committed more than just this murder. We just weren't on the case. However, each and every time, he hits a different sector of the DCPD. And each time, he takes out one or more of that sectors best cops and their families. Meaning, quite possibly, either you two, me or Sampson are next.

Kiri: Oh, this is going to one hell of a ride huh?

Alex: I think so.

Since he was the one that dragged her to the office in the first place Alex drove her home. He walked her to her door and was about to leave when an agonizingly blood curdling scream pierced the early morning air. He ran back to her house to see Kiri clutching the door frame to the kitchen for support before she lost her grip and slid down to the floor. Suddenly she jumped to her feet and ran right past Alex and up the stairs. He looked into the kitchen and saw her husband bleeding onto the floor. He immediately followed her to where she was going. When he reached his destination Alex saw that Kiri looked like she was about to collapse. Taking the fact that she was trembling as a hint, he managed to catch her before she hit the floor. Alex sat her down gently on the floor and saw why she collapsed. Not only was James either dead or dying but her nine month old daughter Naomi was face down in her crib bleeding from several stab wounds in her back. He turned around when he heard her sobbing. She jumped up and tried to run back to the crib, but he couldn't let her see that; not again. Alex hugged her close to him while at the same time calling Bree back at the homicide department. She arrived ten minutes later with a team of seven cruisers who came in and swept the rest of the house. Alex and Kiri were still in the nursery when Oreo, her kitten, came trotting in. Kiri pulled away from him and picked up the tiny ball of fur as a small comfort. Deciding that now would be a good time to leave, Alex got up and Kiri followed; without saying a word.

(About three weeks later)

After a hot shower Kiri walked down the stairs to get her water bottle when she heard a shuffling in the kitchen. Slowly she walked back up the stairs and grabbed her gun before going back down.

Jay: So, you knew I was here?

Kiri: How could I not? You were making too much noise to be my cat.

Jay: Smart girl. I thought it would have made great cover. But now the question is do you know why I'm here?

Kiri: Is it because I'm the next target on your list of murders?

Jay: Gold star. I guess you are smart after all. Do you know why you're next?

Kiri: Because you're a mentally unstable maniac who delights in hearing people scream in pain?

Jay: No. Close but no, I simply want to take out DC's cops. Once I do that then I can get my business back. I'll start with you, then Cross, then Stone, and then the tall one whatever his name is.

Kiri: And you think you can get away with this? I mean really, at 6'11 Sampson can be pretty intimidating.

He turned around and laughed.

Jay: You're not afraid are you Fera?

Kiri: That's right.

In reality though, what she said was just a bluff to try and buy herself some more time. She took advantage of the fact that he had is back to her and picked up her phone. Quickly she debated on whether to hit speed dial for 911 or for Alex and decided on Alex because DCPD couldn't do anything with what they heard anyway. With the number dialed she put the phone behind her and waited for his next move.

When the caller ID said Kiri's name Alex dived for it thinking that she had news on the killer as he had not heard from her in two weeks. But saying hello was the worst move he could possibly make.

When Jay heard the voice from the phone his head whipped around.

Jay: Did you call someone?

Kiri: Well yes, I'm not an idiot.

Jay: Well, for not being an idiot that was a pretty stupid move.

On the other end Alex heard everything. His heart was pounding out of his chest before it skipped a beat when he heard three gun shots followed by a scream a sob and four more shots.

Alex: BREE! Get down here now!

Bree: Alex what is it?

Alex: The killer he's at Kiri's. Seven shots and at least one if not both of them are hit.

Bree: Well, let's go! I'll call Sampson on the way.

The car pulled up to the side of the house and moments later Sampson arrived. With their guns pulled out they all ran for the door. Alex wasted no time in kicking it in. Kiri was like a sister to him and he was not about to lose her. With the light on in the kitchen, that was the first place they ran to. When they got in, they saw the killer unconscious with two bullets to the chest; but no sign of Kiri.

Alex: John, make sure that he stays unconscious, Bree you and I look for Kiri.

Bree: You got it, up or down?

Alex: You take up and I'll take down. Hurry!

Alex ran out to the living room where he found blood on the couch and more on the chair five feet away. Then he found blood drops leading to her office. His heart stopped when he saw Kiri collapsed in the middle of the floor. In seconds he was at her side when he saw her hand move. He placed a hand on her left shoulder and tried to gently flip her over but stopped when she groaned in pain.

Alex: Kiri, it's Alex okay?

A slight nod told him she recognized him and he called to Bree that he found her. Together they managed to get her up without causing her much pain. Once they were back in the kitchen, Bree told Alex to lay her on the table. There were two bullets. One in her left shoulder the other looked like it might have hit her right lung.

Bree: Alex, call EMS. And tell them to hurry.

Five minutes later, EMS arrived. John and Bree ran for the door and Alex stayed with Kiri. Her breathing was ragged and shallow. He started to wonder if she was going to die. Moments later two paramedics came through to the kitchen and quickly checked her vitals. The older one said that she would need to be taken to the Level 1 Trauma center seven miles away. The younger paramedic ran back out to the ambulance and brought back a stretcher. Minutes later she was in the back of the truck.

PMD: We can take one other person with us. Be it family or friend.

Bree: Alex, you should go. You're closer to her than we are. We'll just meet you there.

Alex: Alright. Be careful.

Sampson: We'll be right behind you.

PMD: Are any of you coming? We really need to hurry.

Alex: Yes, I am.

As soon as they were on the road, the first paramedic radioed in to the hospital to tell them that they were coming. When they arrived, there were three doctors waiting by the doors to help out. Immediatly they rushed her to the back of the trauma room. Alex ran to the desk and asked where they were taking her.

Nurse: Are you family or friend?

Alex: I'm…. family.

Nurse: Ok, right this way. I'll take you to the OR waiting room.

Alex: Wait, they're taking her into surgery?

Nurse: Well, I didn't catch it all but yes.

Alex: Alright. Is it ok if I call my wife and the rest of our family?

Nurse: Of course, just give me their names and I will send them back.

Alex: Bree Cross and John Sampson.

Nurse: Alright sir.

Once she was gone, Alex called Bree's cell.

Alex: Bree?

Bree: Yeah?

Alex: When you get to the hospital say that you are family, otherwise they won't let you back to the waiting room.

Bree: Got it. So it's definite that she will need surgery?

Alex: They just took her back a few minutes ago.

Bree: Alright. John and I will be there soon.

Alex: Ok, what about the killer?

Bree: Taken into custody. He'll be treated at the infirmary at the office.

Alex: Alright. I'll see you soon.

Bree: See you soon, and Alex?

Alex: Yeah?

Bree: She'll be fine. She won't go out without a fight.

Alex: I know.

(7 hours pass)

After seven hours Dr. Fouler came out of the OR.

Doctor: We've got her stable. The first bullet in her left shoulder did nothing. It didn't hit any arteries, veins or bones. That's what we like to call a through and through.

Alex: Ok, that's good.

Doctor: However,

Alex: There's always a catch.

Doctor: Ha-ha. I guess so yes. The second bullet punctured her right lung. The damage was pretty serious but we managed suture it up.

Bree: How is she now?

Doctor: Miss Fera should be fine. At this point there is nothing we can do but keep a watch on her.

Bree: Alright, is it ok if we go back and see her?

Doctor: I think that that would be ok. There is no guarantee that she will wake up, in fact it could be a while before she does. I would be very surprised if she woke up in the next few days. But nothing is impossible.

Alex: Ok, thank you.

As they were walking down the corridor the reality of the situation finally hit Alex. Kiri, his best friend for over nine years was in the hospital because of two gunshot wounds. Not only that, the doctor said that there was not guarantee that she would wake up in the next few days. But he had to stop and think. Kiri was a fighter; always has been always will be. He knew that she would pull through this. The very first day he met her he had no idea that she would become such a close friend to him. Now she was like family. 'No' he thought, 'She is family'. When they reached the room Kiri was in, it smelled strongly of rubbing alcohol and saline solution. Curious, Bree asked what was in the 100 CC drip.

Doctor: It is a saline solution. Because she is not awake, this will help to keep her hydrated.

Bree: Ok. How?

Doctor: Salt retains water.

Bree: Makes sense.

Alex: Sure does. What are all these monitors for?

Doctor: Making sure that her vitals stay steady. While you are in here, if one of these monitors beeps; push the blue button there. It will notify either I or a nurse to come and check to see what the problem is.

Bree: Ok, thank you.

Doctor: Not a problem. The good part is that she is breathing on her own even though her lung was torn. That, I would say is a miracle in its own.

Alex: Things must have been really bad when you start relying on miracles.

Doctor: I guess you could say that. Her condition was critical when she arrived. I am actually very surprised with Miss Fera's improvement. She has gone from critical to stable faster than I have ever seen. She must be quite the fighter.

Alex: You got that right. Ever since the first day I met her, there has never been anything she couldn't solve.

Doctor: She must be an ambitious girl.

Bree/Alex: Always.

Once the doctor had left the room, the three found a comfortable seat.

Alex: So theres no guarantee that that she will wake up any time soon, so she could be here for a while.

Bree: Yeah, that's really sad. I like Kiri. Things are really going to be different with the case now.

A few minutes after Bree finished her sentence, one of the monitors started to beep and blink blue and yellow. Alex got up and pushed the blue button as he was told should anything happen. Moments later, the doctor rushed in and checked the monitors. When the doctor was checking her vitals, Alex saw her head move and he could swear that her eyes had opened.

Doctor: In 30 years of this job I have never seen this before.

Then as if on cue, a croaky voice came from behind Kiri's doctor.

Kiri: Then I guess I'm pretty extraordinary, huh.

Alex: I guess you were right when you said this was going to be a hell of a ride.

Kiri: I'm a psychic like that.

Doctor: This, this is amazing. In thirty years I have never seen anything like this.

Kiri: I told you I'm just a very singular person. So how long until I'm out of here?

Doctor: Well, Miss Fera, I really don't think it wise to leave here as soon as possible. I mean your injuries are not even healed yet.

Kiri: Well, then how long until I can leave?

Doctor: At least two weeks if not more.

Kiri: Week it is.

Doctor: I said…

Alex: Don't even bother. Once her mind is set on something she won't budge.

Doctor: But I don't think…

Bree: Just let it go. And trust us she will be out of here in a week.

The happy moment however was short lived when Alex's phone started to ring.

Alex: One sec, I gotta get this.

As Alex left the room Bree and Kiri started talking about what happened not nineteen hours ago when Alex's voice boomed through the hallway.

Alex: WHAT! But we had him under maximum. He had two gunshot wounds Mahoney how could he have…. Yes I know but… Well that's your problem not mine. I put him under your watch knowing that you were one of our best guards and now this happens. Alright I'll… I'll be there as soon as I can.

Bree: What's up?

Kiri: WAIT! Let me guess! Um… The murderer escaped?

Alex: Yes… But I don't know how I mean….

Kiri: Five Days.

Bree: Five days what?

Kiri: I'll be out of here in five days. Plain and simple, I want to be there when we catch this guy.

Alex: Well, you work on that. In the mean time, Bree; John, you and I are going to comb the area around the facility. I'm sure that he couldn't get far. He hadn't been treated yet so he will have some sort of difficulty. And from the intelligence reports, he wasn't armed.

Bree: Ok, Kiri, you going to be ok here by yourself?

Kiri: Yeah you kidding me? It's not like it's a death house in here.

(A Few Days Later)

Three days later, earlier than she promised, Kiri was discharged from the hospital even through the many protests of her doctor. And even thought she promised no heavy activities, everyone knew she wasn't always a woman of her word.

Two days later she was back in the field with Alex, Bree and Sampson driving around with them trying to find her would-be killer. The search around the building came up with nothing so for the four DCPD Homicide agents, it was back to square one.

Kiri: Well, it could be worse.

Alex: How? Nothing is worse than a multiple guard prisoner escaping.

Kiri: Well, we could have nothing on him. At least we have a name picture and his fingerprints.

Bree: She is right Alex; at least we have some sort of leverage.

Alex: True, but how are we supposed to find him?

Kiri: Pull over and let me take the wheel, I know a guy who can help us.

Alex: Who?

Kiri: You'll see.

Bree: Is it Bur…

Kiri: Yeah, just have your guns out he might need a bit of motivation.

Sampson: Yeah, ok Kiri whatever you say.

(1 hour later)

An hour of driving later, the group arrived at a very dingy old apartment complex. When they entered, the outside looked better than the inside, and the outside looked really bad.

Kiri: I haven't been down here for a while so look out for apartment 3J.

Alex: 3J, got it.

Once they reached the door, Kiri pushed the buzzer. A few seconds later, three knocks were heard. Then Kiri knocked three times, then another three knocks then Kiri knocked once more and the door opened. Seconds later appeared a very scrawny, bug-eyed man wearing a black sweatshirt and brown pants.

Kiri: Burkoff.

Burkoff: Ahh. Miss Fera my condolences. Things get out to the media fairly fast you know.

Kiri: Yeah. Let's get to the point. We need you to be our worm for a while ok?

Burkoff: I'm sorry but I'm going to have to decline. I'm a little busy at the moment.

As he was about to close the door, Kiri stuck her foot out preventing it. At the same time, she pulled out her gun and kept it low pointing it at him.

Kiri: I wasn't asking. You can either do what we ask without fuss or I can put you in a federal prison for the next twenty years. You choose.

Burkoff: Fine. You have my attention. What do you want?

Kiri: We need you to keep a look out for this man. And I know how good you are Burkoff so don't hold out on me because I will find out.

Alex handed her the picture that they had of Jay Jackson.

Burkoff: You're in luck. I saw your guy yesterday at a gas station off the 95.

Kiri: Good. Here's my cell. You're going to keep a watch out for him and call me if you see him got it?

As she was saying this she cocked her gun and kept it pointed at him.

Burkoff: Yeah ok, ok I got it. I'd rather not take a bullet thank you.

Kiri: Good. So you understand the terms of our agreement.

Burkoff: Agreement?

Kiri: Maybe you're more stupid than you let on. You do what we ask and I won't take you into jail and I won't plant a bullet in your chest. Got it?

Burkoff: Right. I'll get right on that.

Kiri: You know how to get a hold of me.

As they were walking away, Kiri threw him one last meaningful look saying that if you don't deliver, I will not hesitate to take you in.

Kiri: Off to the 95.

Sampson: How do you know that guy?

Kiri: I'll explain in the car.

Alex having been her friend for the past nine years, already knew the story that was coming. As soon as they were on the road, Kiri started talking.

Kiri: Eleven years ago, this was just after my family was killed, a person came to me and offered me a well paying job, as a spy. Now I know when you think spy you think secret agent with all the high-tech gadgets like James Bond but no, I was given a gun, an ear piece and a watch and I was paid for every mission that I did right. The man who came to me was part of a small unit of the government, and at that time, Burkoff was their computer tech. One year later, that part of the government went downhill and finally just broke off. Burkoff became a "computer mercenary" I guess you could call it. He would be hired by people, and for the right amount of money, he would do his computer geeky stuff for them. After a while he was caught and went into hiding. That was when he contacted me and asked me to help him out, which was about six months after I was assigned to Alex as his partner. Of course I declined because I was a homicide cop now but I told him that I wouldn't tell anyone of his location. Now, he is going to be our worm.

Bree: Good we're going to need his help.

Kiri: Yeah, and when all is said and done, Burkoff might just get his own life back.

Alex: What do you mean?

Kiri: Well, if he proves to be useful, I'm going to talk to Superintendent Davies to see if he will think about incorporating Burkoff into the existing chain of commands.

Bree: Why?

Kiri: Because everything goes a little faster with a bit of leverage.

Sampson: So you are suggesting that we "hire" Burkoff?

Kiri: In a way. I'm not suggesting that we pay him job for job like a mercenary. But if he can deliver, then he might prove useful.

When they got to the gas station Burkoff told them about, they reviewed the security footage that showed Jackson stealing 200 dollars in the cash register and the station owner's gun. After watching it twice more and seeing no indication of where he was going to go next, they left with the tape.

(The Next Day)

The day after their contact with Burkoff, things were back to normal with Kiri. Before the incident with Jackson, she would go on a two mile run every morning. And that was exactly what she was going to do today. Kiri had just gotten out of her community and was jogging down the canal path when she felt like someone was following her. She turned her head slightly and saw a tall male and he seemed to be following her. Ordinarily she wouldn't do anything but because she didn't bring her gun, she decided to air on the side of caution and sped up a little. But speeding up did nothing. Every time she would speed up so would he. There was a bend coming up around the canal and when she went around it she could see his face and the only thing she could think of was 'Oh shit this is a problem'. Once she was out of the bend and under the cover of the trees Kiri took off in a full sprint. She had to get the Daley Building. Kiri knew that Alex and Bree were working today and her shift didn't start till that afternoon. She bolted around the corner and looked back at her follower and saw that he had pulled out a gun. He shot at her and it hit the lamp post.


But apparently he didn't care because he shot at her again and the bullet just skimmed her arm.


Finally she saw her safe point. Kiri rushed through the door and took the stairs two at a time to the second floor. She ran through the door to the office, got to her desk and started to go through the draws looking for her gun.

When Kiri ran through the door Alex looked up from the file folder out on his desk. When she started to look through her desk he saw the small but steady stream of blood coming from the cut on her arm.

Alex: Kiri? What happened to your arm?

Kiri: Doesn't matter. I found him!

Alex: What?

But his question was left out in the open because she rushed out the door again. Alex grabbed his gun and followed her back down to the main office only to see her stopped at the door.

Alex: Why are you waiting?

Kiri: Because I know he's hiding. If I walk out there and don't know where he is, I probably won't live.

Alex: There! Between the sign and the bush.

Kiri: Good.

Kiri and Alex stepped outside, each with their gun pointed at the location he was in.

Kiri: Step out onto the side walk and we won't shoot.

There was some hesitation but moments later he stepped out.

Kiri: Good now put your weapon down on the ground slowly.

Jackson did as he was told.

Kiri: Any other weapons I should know about?

Jackson: No.

Kiri: Alex, you got cuffs?

Alex: Yeah, here.

He tossed her the cuffs and Kiri started to walk toward him. Suddenly he pulled out a knife and ran toward her. He was three feet from her when Kiri dropped her gun kicked the knife out of his hand and put her arm around his neck keeping him in a choke-hold.

Kiri: Now, now. We don't want to do anything that we are going to regret now do we? So listen closely, I am going to cuff you so that you can't do anything stupid ok? If you do try to do anything stupid I will not hesitate to cut off your oxygen, knocking you out got it?

Jackson: No.

Not seconds after he replied to her, Jackson elbowed her in the stomach making her lose her hold on him. She doubled over in pain and took a few steps back. Then she jumped back up and placed a well aimed punch right at his jaw. Suddenly the two were going blow for blow and Alex was too stunned to do anything. It was like watching a MMA fight outside the ring. He had no idea that Kiri let alone Jay Jackson had any martial arts training. Finally Alex got his thoughts in order and shot Jackson in his right shoulder and he fell. As soon as he fell, Kiri grabbed the hand cuffs and pinned Jackson's arms behind his back.

Kiri: Well looks like we finally have him.

Alex: Yeah, you ok?

Kiri: Huh? Oh yeah I'm fine.

Jay: Well, I guess you should have a party.

Kiri: We should, but not until you're settled in your new home at the state penitentiary.

Jay: I'll have to have a house warming party.

Kiri: Remember to send an invite to me.

A few minutes later the penitentiary guards came and took him away. At the same time, Kiri's cell phone rang.

Burkoff: I found your guy running down the street next to the DCPD.

Kiri: We already caught him so you're a little late. Your services are no longer required. Thank you.

Burkoff: But…

But Kiri cut him off by ending the call.

Kiri: Well, that was fun. Now, does anyone have some gauze and peroxide?

Alex and Kiri were laughing and started to walk inside when the secretary came running out.

Secretary: Detective Cross! There is a girl on the phone asking for you. She says she's discovered a murder.

The two Homicide agents looked at each other.

Alex: I'll take the call.

Kiri: And I'll go and change and come back with my car.