Disclaimer: Heavy Rain and all its characters belong to Quantic Dream.
Summary: The Origami Killer case is closed. The FBI is pleased with good press. While Norman Jayden fights his personal weaknesses, a new serial killer emerges. And this time, the ARI may not be enough.
Author's Note: Here we are, fanfiction for Heavy Rain. Not as dark as my usual fanfictions, just something for entertainment. And to be honest, I'm not sure about it. So, reviews, good or bad, are very welcome.
Rating: T for strong language, violence, drug abuse. Rating may change in later chapters.
"The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent."
(J. Edgar Hoover)
Chapter One: Case closed
Section for medical treatment,
2th January 2012, 08:45 a.m.
If there was one thing Norman Jayden really hated, even detested, it was waiting. Waiting without any purpose. Without any achievement. Waiting for a coffee he had ordered. Waiting in the regular traffic jam.
It was his first day at the bureau after the Origami killer case. His superior, Special Agent Walther Garland, had ordered him to take his holiday just after all the reports had been written. He had told him how great his role in the case had been, how pleased everybody was about the reaction of the press, how much admiration he earned for putting his life at risk to save the boy. And so on.
Jayden had felt pretty uncomfortable at the eulogy, just as he had felt with his face on all the magazines. The interviews. The talk show.
All he had wanted to do was lock himself up in his office and start with a new case. Find some peace until the reporters (vultures) found a new victim.
But no. Instead of just letting him go on, Garland had made his reservations, concerning his well-being. Said he seemed exhausted. Tired. Worn.
Said it was only understandable he needed to take a break.
Jayden had told him that everything was fine. He didn't need a break. But Garland had just shaken his head and told him if he didn't take his holidays free willing, he would order him to do so.
So, he had done it. He had basically locked himself up for two weeks in his apartment, not daring to go outside, afraid the reporters would catch him again, or somebody on the street would recognize him. Luckily, fame was not very constant. And the nation forgot pretty easily.
Not that it changed much. He still spent most of his holiday in his apartment, reviewing the Origami killer case, reading something about the newest theories in profiling, just to survive the feeling of being useless. Boredom was his number one foe. And patience was probably his greatest weakness, proven again now as he sat on the chair in the waiting room of the section for medical treatment.
He knew the procedure. As he had signed up for the ARI project, he had been told there would be medical check-ups every quarter of the year. Blood tests. The usual stuff.
He knew what the doctor would say, as well. That he should try to reduce the time he spent with the ARI. And the use of the Triptocaine. That the side effects weren't completely explored. That it could be dangerous. Long-term damage was the word spooking through his head.
He was sure the doctors were exaggerating. The FBI would never let anybody use the ARI if it was really dangerous. It would mean they would have to spend a lot of money for agents damaged by the stuff. And if departments paid attention to one thing, then it was money.
The door to the office right to him opened.
"You can come in now, Agent Jayden", Doctor Ambert said.
Norman stood up and followed the man to his office. Doctor Ambert sat down at his desk and looked at his computer.
"Your blood tests are slightly better than the last time", he said. "Did you reduce the triptocaine?"
"Yes", Jayden said.
The man nodded thoughtfully. "Nevertheless, the reaction test is worse. I assume you haven't tried to reduce the time you spend with the ARI as well?"
"Well, the last cases I had didn't allow any waste of time", Jayden said.
"You know, Agent Jayden, there was a time when agents worked without the ARI and solved cases nevertheless? The major part of our agents still doesn't use it."
He did not reply. Doctor Ambert just sighed and shook his head.
"Well, you're fit for service. But I think you should really consider slowing it down a little. Your health is something you shouldn't gamble with. In the worst case, nobody can give it back to you, no matter how many medals they pin on your vest."
"I'll think about it", Jayden said.
Doctor Ambert only raised his eyebrow in disbelief. "You can leave."
Jayden nodded. Finally.
Special Agent Garland's office,
2th January 2012, 09:02 a.m.
Special Agent Walther Garland was a very steady and patient man. His resolute and vigilant nature had owned him two commendations and a nice job. Whereas other agents in their early forties still risked their lives, he was in the position to decide who to send out in combat. Though, these decisions were naturally tough. One needed to know his people, needed to know about their strengths and weaknesses and select them carefully. Selecting the wrong agent for a case meant putting everything at risk.
The case he would pass on today was a very, very risky one. It had taken him two weeks to decide for an agent and even now, he was not absolutely sure he had made the right decision.
So, as Norman Jayden stepped into his bureau, he observed him from the very first second. He knew about the ARI. About the triptocaine. But according to Doctor Ambert, the blood results were better, though the Origami Killer case surely hadn't been a nice walk in the park. And actually, the younger agent did look fitter than the last time he had met him. The lines under the eyes were still visible and he still was way too pale, but then again, even before Jayden had signed up for the ARI project, he had had that almost white skin tone.
And of course, the press loved him. The nation loved him. That was a big plus. His own superiors wanted him to give the case to Norman. Hell, they needed good press.
"Sir", Jayden said.
"Norman, take a seat", Garland replied. "Would you like a coffee?"
"No, thank you."
"Doctor Ambert just informed we about the blood results. I'm glad to hear they got better. You're doing a great job, Norman, but we don't want you to ruin yourself with it."
Jayden just nodded.
"Well, did you enjoy your holidays?"
Yeah, like hell, he thought, but didn't say it, of course.
"Yeah. You were right. I really needed some days to… slow it down a bit."
His superior nodded with content. "I told you. Rest a little and then you can start over with maximum strength. You'll need it. I got a new case for you which makes the Origami Killer case look like a child's play."
And with these words, he gave him a file.
"Have you ever heard about the Chicago sniper?" Garland asked.
Jayden looked at him. "Didn't he kill three police officers one year ago?"
"Yes. One from the homicide department and two from Vice. Though the police tried desperately to catch him, they never got a real clue to go on. His identity remained a mystery. We sent two profilers, but even that didn't make a difference. He just vanished. Until now, as you can see in the file."
The young agent opened it and had a quick look. Two Washington police officers from the Vice department shot down, three weeks ago.
"He is in Washington?" he asked.
"Apparently, yes. The police have investigated the last three weeks, without getting any clue. They turned to us for help. We analyzed everything once more. It seems as if our sniper is somehow involved into drug business and probably murder, for he doesn't just shoot at random police officers. There surely is a relation to the cases they worked on. And these cases, in Chicago as well as in Washington, included lots of heroine."
"A drug gang?"
"No. We believe the drugs are just a way to get money. This guy is after more. We don't know after what, but he seems willing to kill everyone with scaring precision who gets in his way. We took over the case. The police are out of it. And I want you to find out what the hell this guy is after. I want him nailed down to the ground, just like the Origami Killer. I'm not going to lie. This is going to be pretty dangerous. But I think you're the best profiler we have. I think that we can get him."
"Yes, sir", Jayden just said.
"Very good. Look at the file and tell me what you think."
He nodded and stood up, heading for the door.
"Oh", Garland said. "Before I forget it – the ballistic expects you at 11:15 a.m., for test shooting."
Section for technical support 1.3,
2th January 2012, 10:51 a.m.
Charles Theodore Stephens was a nerd. You could see it directly when you met him. The old fashioned glasses, the messy dark blonde hair, the lack of fashionable clothes. Most of the time, he lived in his own high-tech world, nothing catching his attention except computer codes, passwords and the best way to avoid security protocols. Charlie, as everyone called him, was not an agent. The FBI had recruited him directly after he had finished his studies in Harvard and had offered him a nice, single bureau and enough money for his technical doddles. He had accepted immediately.
The agents made jokes about him, naturally. But these jokes were harmless, against to the ones he had needed to survive in high school. Well, everyone needed him from time to time, even if it was only to fix a computer problem.
Besides, Charlie was not very eager to make friends. He believed that it was better to have a few good friends you could rely on instead of knowing a bunch of people that would turn your back on you in difficult situations.
And because nerds had a way of finding one another, his best friend at work (and even in private) was Agent Norman Jayden. Hero Jayden, who hadn't bothered to visit or even call him since he had come back from Philadelphia.
Charlie had almost given up on ever seeing him again, except for his face on the newspapers, as he appeared in his office.
He raised his eyes from the computer and leant back in his chair, arms crossed behind his head. This time, his friend would not get out of the situation easily.
"Oh, look at that. Look who is finally coming down to the chamber of inferior. Good day, your royal highness. Can I get you something? A coffee?" Charlie said.
Jayden frowned at him. "Could you stop that shit?"
"Of course, sir. Your delight is my very only concern", he said, even bowing to him.
"Okay, I don't have time for this", Jayden replied angrily and turned.
"Yeah. Like you don't have time for a short visit or a call", Charlie said.
"I would have visited you if I Garland hadn't ordered me to take my fucking holidays!"
"Last time I was informed, you had a cell phone. Even a smartphone. Or did you lose it on your blasting chase for the Origami Killer?"
"Then you could have called", Charlie stated.
"You know you're sounding like an abandoned wife, do you?"
"Really? And you acted like a 5 year old who accidentally caught a killer and desperately searched for a hiding place."
For a second, silence fell between them.
"I hate publicity", Jayden mumbled. "Do you know how the others call me lately? Press boy."
"They just envy you for the glory."
"They can have it! These reporters were worse than contract killers."
"Norman Jayden. More afraid of reporters than killers. Wow. You really are a natural celebrity."
"Very funny", Jayden growled.
Charlie grinned. "Well, I forgive you. I wouldn't have time to chit-chat, anyway. I was working on a new top secret virus, which can infiltrate…"
"Yeah, sounds very interesting."
"You philistine. You work with all this technology and don't even want to know what it can do."
"All I need is this", Jayden said and held out the ARI.
Charlie glanced at it. "Yeah, sure. So, you know how to use them now?"
"I knew how to use them all the time."
"I meant, without fucking your head up."
"Well, I'm still here, am I not?"
Jayden sat down on the chair in front of the desk.
"So, what happened in good old D.C.?" he asked.
"Wait. Let me think about it. Ah, rumor has it that Agent Franklin was caught in the act with his very own Miss Moneypenny."
"And Agent Sterlington has been promoted to Special Agent."
"What? Sterlington? The one who can't even calculate one plus one? Never!"
"Oh yeah. If you need proof, just run through the building. You'll surely meet him up and get a look on his new badge. All he does the whole day is patrol through the corridors, to make sure he can show his badge to everybody."
"I hate that guy", Norman muttered.
"Yeah, tell me. Ah. And then there's one last thing. We got a new ballistic expert. And tell you what: she's a nine."
"On a scale from zero to ten."
Jayden stared at him, puzzled.
"In appearance. Looks!"
"Ah. Great", he said indifferently.
"A nine, Jayden! When did you ever see a nine walk around here? The best we got is Miss Moneypenny and she's only a 7.6 or something like that."
"Charlie, good looking women don't work in the ballistics. In your dreams, maybe, but not in reality."
"Well, they probably didn't, but now they do."
"Whatever you say. Your taste is not mine, anyway. I would rate Miss Moneypenny on 5. There's nothing behind that smile."
"Oh yeah, of course. You're looking for something more, aren't you?"
"Against to you, I'm not looking for anybody at the moment. But if I did, I'd like someone who at least has another topic than fashion."
"Yeah, I bet all you do on your occasional dates is talking", Charlie said, grinning wryly.
"Okay, that's it, then", Jayden said and stood up.
"Oh, come on. Don't act like that again. You know I'm just joking."
"Your jokes aren't funny", Jayden said. "Anyway, I have to go to the ballistic. I have an appointment with your nine. Apparently, there's a new gun model out and I need to do the test shooting."
"Oh god, you're so lucky. Since she arrived, I wish I was an agent too. For the first time in my life", Charlie said, stretching in the chair.
"You can still sign up for the training", Jayden replied.
"Are you mental? Getting up at six o'clock for a long distant run? No, I don't hate myself enough to torture me like that."
Jayden just shook his head. "I'll probably come down for lunch."
"Yeah, sure. Greet the nine from me, will you?"
With one last glance at his friend, Jayden left the office.
2th January 2012, 11:16 a.m.
The labs of the ballistic were probably the tidied ones in the whole headquarter. The white floor and walls were always shining from cleaning things; the guns examined and used for training were always sorted according to model and locked up carefully behind bullet-proof glass.
The former ballistic expert, Agent Catohe, had had the habit of supervising everybody very closely during the firing practice, which had caused a lot of young agents to shoot nervously, and by that failing the tests.
Norman was pretty sure every one of them was lucky he was gone. Probably they hoped that a woman wouldn't be so severe.
As he entered the ballistics, the only one in the office was a secretary he hadn't seen before. She probably belonged to some technology section. She was leaning over a desk, probably filling in a report for one of her superiors, her back turned towards him. He could spot that she was rather tall, with a slender, athletic figure. She was dressed in dark blue jeans and a simple shirt, a strange outfit, even for a secretary. They usually wore pencil skirts and blouses. Her long black hair was bound to a simple ponytail.
He waited if she would turn – she must have heard the door opening – but she did not.
"I'm sorry, Miss", he said, after realizing she either hadn't heard him or didn't matter who just came in.
Finally, she turned around. For a second, he was startled. She had a perfectly featured face, with high cheekbones, full lips and nice, vigilant blue eyes. Her skin tone was a light bronze. She probably had South American ancestors. He guessed her age around 30. Obviously, she did not need a pencil skirt to keep up with the other secretaries.
"Yes?" she asked, her voice steady and calm, darker than he had expected.
"Er… I'm searching for Agent Lauren Teason. Have you seen her anywhere around?"
"Yes", she said again.
"Well… Could you tell me where I can find her?"
"No", she replied matter-of-factly.
Stunned, he stood silent, not knowing what to say next.
The woman sighed and shook her head slightly, seeming unnerved.
"You already found her. I am agent Teason."
"Oh", he said. "I thought you were a secretary."
She raised an eyebrow, not looking very pleased with his explanation.
"I'm sorry", he hurried to add.
"Yes, of course you are", she said ironically. "Like all the others."
"Well, you're not wearing a suit", he tried to defend himself.
"Because I'm working with guns. I fire at least ten a day, a suit would be very unpractical, don't you think?"
"Agent Catohe always wore a suit."
"After all I heard about Agent Catohe, he was more into theory than practical experience. You're here for the test shooting?"
"Agent Norman Jayden, yes, I know that. I guess there's no one in America who doesn't know who you are", she said carelessly and walked over to the left door. "Well, are you coming?"
He followed her up and through the door to the shooting range. Lauren walked over to a cabinet and took out the Beretta, giving it to him.
"There you go."
He turned it over in his hands. "It seems lighter", he said.
"It is", she confirmed. "Now, if you would hand out your old one."
"Yeah. Yeah, of course", he said, took the gun out of his holster and gave it to her.
She took it and looked at it. "Wow. Did you drive over it? This one's got more scratches than the one Agent Miller threw of a building."
"Yeah, you know, some people actually use guns on the field, not only behind bullet-proof glass in a lab", he said ironically.
"Yes, I know. I used a gun like that for… wait… eight years, but mine never looked so abused. But well, I was just a street cop, that's a far less dangerous job than being aprofiler", she said. Though her tone was still very calm, he believed he could hear loathing in it.
He looked at her for a second, then said: "So, can we start? I'd like to get back to my work."
"Please", she said and waved her hand towards the shooting range.
"Ten shots. Five at steady targets, five at moving. But I suppose you know the procedure", she said.
"Great. You're ready?"
Seconds later, the first target showed up. The bullet hit the third inner ring. Not bad, but not as good as he had been with his old gun.
The second bullet landed somewhere between the third and second ring. The third was a clear hit at the second, like the fourth. The fifth finally hit the first inner ring.
He took off the ear protection and turned for agent Teason.
"Not bad", she said. "Some agents had quite difficulties. Ready for the moving?"
He nodded again, putting the ear protection back on. Just as he positioned himself towards the shooting range again, he felt his right tremble slightly.
The first target showed up and he fired, hitting it. But the tremor in his right got worse and the second bullet scratched the outer ring.
Come on, just three more. Get a hold of yourself…
He tried desperately to shake it off, but his effort was useless. Concentrating on slowing his heartbeat and trying to get control over his trembling hands, he missed the last three targets. Luckily, as he took off the ear protection, the tremor was gone. The last thing he needed was agent Lauren Teason spotting his hands trembling.
"Okay… I guess we repeat this", Agent Teason said, eyes fixed on the report. She looked up at him and furrowed her brow. "Are you alright? You look pale."
"I'm fine", he said, clenching his right, just in case.
She looked at him skeptical. "You need to hand in the gun until you passed the test shooting."
He gave it to her, then asked: "When can I repeat it?"
Great. No gun meant no investigation outside the building.
"The next test shootings are scheduled for Monday, 16th", she said.
"What? That's in two weeks!" he said.
She just shrugged her shoulders. "That's the way it is."
"But… I just got a new case! I can't waste two weeks doing nothing!"
"I'm sorry, but that's none of my concern", she replied and walked out of the room, back to the office. He followed her on step this time.
"But you could let me shoot tomorrow, if you wanted to, couldn't you?"
"Rules are rules, agent Jayden", she replied calmly.
"You could make an exception, couldn't you? I wouldn't tell anyone. Please."
She turned around and the look in her eyes was deadly.
"I'm not going to treat you in any other way than I treat the other agents, just because TV calls you a hero and for a whole week, one couldn't buy any newspaper without your face on it. To me, you are an agent like everybody else and you will follow the same rules. Are we clear on that?"
"You're doing this because I thought you were a secretary, do you? Because you're sick of being misjudged by your looks. You make me pay for that."
"No. I do this because it's right."
"But I don't have the time to wait for two weeks! And you are here the whole day! I mean, what are you doing except examining rifles and shooting? Nothing! But I have to catch a sniper who has killed at least five people until now!"
"Oh my god. You really think you're irreplaceable, do you? If this case is so urgent, I'm sure the FBI has another profiler who can solve it. Now get out of my lab", she said sternly.
With a last glance at her, he turned and dashed out, smashing the door as he left.
A/N: Alright. It's 4 a.m. and I'm still not sure if I like it at all. So, if you think I should stop, just tell me to.