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Mac looked at Stella in frustration. He had hoped for some answers but was left with more questions instead, "Do we have time of death yet?"
"He is just coming out of rigor so about a day ago? He had some unusual trace under his nails and I have already sent it to be analyzed. The victim's daughter is coming in to identify him but do you recognize him Mac?"
Mac stepped closer and saw that it was David Richardson, "It's him." He looked older but Mac could still see some of the features that he had known when he had been alive.
They heard a gasp from behind them and saw the daughter staring at the body, "Dad?" She stepped closer and started to cry when she realized that it was him. Stella handed her a tissue and they waited until she regained control of her emotions. She looked up at them, "This is all your fault," as she glared at Mac. "I'm not dumb. I've seen the news. You think my dad blew up your lab? He didn't. He was kidnapped like I said."
Don interjected, "We have collected evidence from your home and are processing the evidence now. We will find out who did this. Please come with me Ms. Richardson." Flack led her out and down to the station while Mac was frozen in place.
"She's right. It's my fault." Mac couldn't meet Stella or Sid's gaze because he felt guilty and knew that he would see remorse in their eyes.
"No, it's not Mac. It's the fault of whoever killed him. You can't hold yourself responsible for everything."
He knew that Stella was right but it was hard to be objective when one of his old friends was lying on a slab. "Let's go see what the evidence says. Thanks Sid."
Sid stopped him before he could leave, "Mac, are you feeling okay?" Sid looked at him and saw the concern in his eyes. He knew that a lot of people worried about his well-being and was glad to have them in his life.
"I'm fine Sid. I just want to get to the bottom of this."
Mac and Stella headed to the lab and saw that the cleanup was mostly finished already and people were at work processing evidence. Sheldon intercepted them on the way to the office, "You have to see this. Adam got a hit off a print found at Richardson's house. It matches a print from one of the military files that we received from Agent Bowlen. It came back to an Anderson Smythe."
"That's impossible," as Mac looked at the photo of his fellow marine. "He's been missing in action for 24 years."
"Well his print was found on a light switch at the Richardson house. There was no evidence of a struggle so Smythe must have immobilized him fast and then carried his body out."
"Anderson was a good marine. He was the top hand to hand combat specialist on the base. But what I don't understand is where has he been this whole time and how did he enter the country without anyone knowing?"
"I don't know Mac but something tells me that he's going to be hard to find. I'll tell Agent Bowlen about this. Maybe he has some resources that we can use to find Anderson."
"He's set up in Jo's office for now. Most of the lab is still in one piece. The damage was mostly done to the surrounding floors and your office Mac. I suppose you're lucky that your injuries weren't worse."
"I don't feel lucky. Anderson is targeting me for some reason."
Stella looked at him, "What happened before he went missing?"
He was about to answer when Adam walked up to them, "Mac someone is calling for you." They went to the nearest phone and he answered, "This is Mac Taylor."
"Do you know who I am yet Mac?"
"Yes, Anderson. I thought you were missing."
"Well you don't know about a lot of things. A lot has changed since we last met."
"Why are you doing this?"
"I know you're smarter than that Mac. I've been following your career for years, waiting for the perfect chance to kill you. You're the reason I was captured. But don't worry, things will work out in the end."
Mac heard the phone call end and he looked at them, "He's still planning something." Mac was worried about the call because Anderson didn't sound like he was messing around and there was no hiding the menace and hatred that colored his voice.
"We tried to trace the call but he wasn't on long enough to narrow it down. Sorry Mac," as Sheldon left to go process more evidence from the house.
Stella returned a second later with Agent Bowlen, "I heard that you have a new suspect, a Anderson Smythe. I'll see if we can get anymore background on him and get back to you later."
Stella looked at him, "Is there something that you want to say Mac?"
"He blamed me for him being captured. It's clear that this is about revenge but it makes no sense."
"You know as well as I do that we can't always understand people's motives, even if they are sane."
"I know Stella. This is just bringing up a lot of memories of my past and it's uncomfortable."
"What do you mean?" Mac saw the confused look she gave him so he decided to elaborate for her, "I don't want the team to think differently of me. I was naïve back then and I made some choices that have come back to haunt me."
"Mac, nobody is perfect. We've all made mistakes in our past and I'm sure nobody would think badly of you because of this or something you did in your past."
"Well thanks Stella. I hope I can live up to your expectations and be the kind of person that you deserve."
"I have no doubt that you will Mac. Let's go sit in the office so you can rest. I'm sure the team will update us if they get any more information."
"I'm glad that you're here Stella. I can't imagine doing this without you."
"There's no place I'd rather be," as she patted him on the arm and helped him to the office.
Mac sat down in a chair and pulled up the latest test results while Stella answered some emails from her lab. "The substance that they found under David's nails is asbestos."
"It's a common substance in older houses so that doesn't narrow it down any. I hate to say it but we need another hint from Anderson or something."
Mac picked up a tablet and saw that Sheldon was analyzing the bullet from the victim, "Sheldon is analyzing the bullet retrieved from David's head wound and is running it through IBIS. We don't have much more evidence to process since Homeland Security took over the bomb investigation. Mac stopped and a blank expression came over him, "How did he get the bombs into the building without anyone noticing?"
"He must have disguised himself as David and that's why you saw him outside the building. He wanted us to investigate the wrong person to buy himself more time to do something."
"We need to catch him before he can hurt anyone else," as Mac put the tablet down and stared out into the hall to see Don coming towards them.
"I managed to calm down Riley Richardson and she mentioned that she had noticed a guy following her for the past few days. I showed her a photo array and she picked out Anderson Smythe. It seems like he stalks his victims and learns their habits. Mac, I would feel better if you had a protective detail outside of your place from now on."
"Don, I don't think it's necessary." Mac saw the look Don gave him and knew that he wasn't going to win this one. "Thanks Don. Did you learn anything else?"
"She's not happy but I convinced her that she should go home and wait for us to arrest him."
"I suppose that's all we can do now too," as Mac looked out the window and wondered where Anderson could be hiding.
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