Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior Fan Fiction Number Nine
One-Eighty By Summer
Summary- A new lead to the man responsible for the murder of five fellow agents months before directs the team to a newly found assassin working for Rais. Unfortunately the man has connections to Mick that none had ever imagined. When Gina and Mick are forced to attend a week in Florida for a LaSalle wedding, Cooper contacts an old friend to take their place on the case.
Rated high teen for themes. Nothing explicit though. Pairings are Mick/Gina, but not necessarily together yet. They're getting there. Major spoilers for my previous stories. There may be some for the first season of the show too.
I don't own anything involving Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior. Unfortunately. If I did, the show would air every Wednesday and it would focus a lot on Mick. Because really, how could his character not be interesting and fun to play with? Such a shame that I don't, so, yeah… Anyways, the only things I do own are my creations. Rais, Surkov, Flores, Nikola, Liam, etcetera. Everything else is just for my own entertainment and practice.
I'm trying something different with this. Because Mick and Gina won't necessarily be working a Red Cell case but there still has to be one otherwise things would get stale, the perspectives will be alternated between chapters. The case itself plays a lot into the Rais arc and that will be from the standard perspective. Most likely centering on Beth though. The first is focused on Surkov. Adventures with Mick and Gina will be told from my usual perspective. So, the standard exclaimers apply. I've only been to Florida twice for vacation so personal experience is used to make that aspect of the story more believable. Google and Wikipedia are still my lifeline and they help with everything else that I don't have experience in. Any grammar and spelling mistakes are my own. No one beta reads this, so please don't verbally kill me for a typo.
Now, on to the story. Enjoy!
Chapter 1 A Practical Exchange
January 15, 2012.
Operational Safe House 1185, or Igor, was thought to be a myth.
Legend among Rais and his followers purposed an outwardly decrepit building placed in the heart of the vast forest life south of Trubchevsk, Russia. It was supposed to be secluded from wayward eyes, hidden under the impression of an old government restricted military base that had been abandoned during the second world war. Vegetation masked a barbed fence fended against curious people, and the prospect of being found by those who wanted to end the nightmares Rais created. Transportation in and out was a thin path only traversable on foot, should the operative have detailed coordinates and knowledge to find it. Traps were rumored to litter the way for any who were not given prior permission, and therefore warning. Outward appearances suggested nothing more than a restricted area too hazardous for others to occupy.
Beneath the surface contradicted that.
Several key aspects of Rais and his organization were rumored to be located in a bunker beneath the land. Tunnels stretching for nearly a mile in every direction, some leading to dead ends while others led to secured outposts stationed in various small buildings scattered across the nearest towns and cities. Rooms sealed with mechanical and classic locks lining bricked walls, and guarded by disposable men armed to the teeth. Their only job was to keep the records pertaining to multiple operatives locked in vaults behind the sealed doors safe. No matter the cost.
And then there was the supposed screams. Torture victims, people who had information Rais wanted, were supposedly kept on one section of the tunnels. Locked in cells only large enough for a single person to curl into themselves on the frigid floor, pitch black with the agonizing sent of decay leaking through every inch of rough brick and mortar surrounding them. None lasted very long in such conditions. But the screams, even if all prisoners were confirmed to be silent, were allegedly the unfortunate souls still lingering about.
In essence, it was another piece of hell. And Nina Surkov was headed straight for it.
Surkov had never been superstitious. She knew the differences between reality and myth. Ghost and demons of legends passed from years of paranoia and culture were just that. Legends, fairy tales, imaginations drawn askew by stories deluded with age. All of which had to be taken with some formation of skepticism.
However, she was proven that it wasn't a myth when she tried to disband herself from Rais and his organization. That didn't end well in her favor.
She couldn't quite recall how she came to be bound in the back of a vehicle traveling a rather unpleasantly rugged trail in the dead of night. How long it had been since she was in the Raduzhny safe house with the kind hostess who had been tending her wounds for the past two weeks. Why she was too exhausted to scream or resist the painfully tight wire cutting into her wrists and ankles, securing her to a metal hook on the bed of a covered truck, close enough to brush rust against her bare nose with every pot hole and tangle her long, recently dyed brunette, hair. Or where she was being taken exactly and by whom. But she had the nagging suspicion as to why someone would have done something like that.
Disobeying a direct order from Rais was the worst mistake anyone working in the group could ever do. He wasn't lenient, not even towards his own protégé, and the severity of punishment was often seen as overkill for the crime itself. Considering the mess she created in Alaska with the US FBI and CIA, who were still trying to locate her using what she was forced to leave behind, she knew Rais was not going to show her any leniency. Despite the fact that he had raised her as his own daughter for the past sixteen years. She had betrayed him by disobeying his order to bring Mick Rawson with her to Russia.
Now she had to be punished.
The throb in her skull and right shoulder gave insight into a tangible injury, but she couldn't remember how she obtained such a thing. The last thing she did recall was leaving the safe house to pack her stolen car with luggage. She had been in the driveway, near the open trunk with a bag in hand. Then nothing. Everything afterwards was a blank, as if she had just imagined it. But that couldn't be right because she was sore. She couldn't find any adrenaline to wake herself from the stupor that muddled her senses, and that sent the horrible realization that she may have been suffering from something other than a physical injury. Poison, drugs, something that would have explained why she couldn't move despite the panic that was coiling in her stomach.
A paralyzing drug administered by whatever had pierced her shoulder. Bullets were an option, but she would have heard it. She did hold the best reputation among the other assassins for her skills with firearms, sniper rifles in particular, so she had been careful to clear the area for any threats laying in wait. Bullets left a sound when they sliced through the air, most inexperienced wouldn't have noticed such a mundane thing, and the lack of that noise suggested something else.
Or she simply didn't remember it.
Time spent on the frigid truck bed, curled forward into an uncomfortable position she couldn't stray from, seemed to pass in a haze. The roar of a distant engine, old and clearly not accustomed to the winter weather of Russia, rattled beneath her. She could feel it rumbling through her layers of clothing, jostling her face closer to the hook and enhancing the pain in her shoulder. When opening her eyes and screaming didn't work due to the blindfold and gag stuffed between her teeth, she fixated on anything else that would have told where she was being taken.
Cigarette smoke was subdued by the smell of motor grease and wet vegetation. No other vehicles were heard but the driver did brake a few times, possibly to avoid hitting an animal. He stayed on one straight course, never once turning a corner, as far as she could tell. The interior was scattered with cases of some kind that were tied with rope against the sides. Surkov could hear them shift occasionally. If she had use of her hands or even feet, she could have had a fighting chance.
But whoever had bound her knew that.
Surkov exhaled through her nose shakily, trying to calm the panic hammering her heart against her chest. Panic often led to adrenaline, which could have been her saving grace. The binds were painful against her skin, causing her to shiver at the lack of cloth once encompassing her hands and ankles. Her attacker must have known she hid weapons on her person at all times. Meaning her knives in her boots, belt, hair, and sown into her pant legs were probably gone.
Realizing that she was virtually powerless terrified her. But she accepted it with as much rational thought as possible. Rational responses were going to help her in this instance. So she ceased trying to shove the gag out of her move with her tongue and just breathed.
In and out. Focus on the nuisances. Her captor was going to stop the truck eventually. All she had to do was wait until that time came, and hope that the drug contaminating her brain dissipated enough for her to react accordingly.
She wasn't going to willingly confront Rais. Not after her epiphany that Rais wasn't the man she had always perceived him to be. Her husband was dead because of him. Sava, her protégé and adopted family, was in a prison at the hands of the US CIA. Everything she had built in Alaska, her life, was gone. All because of Rais. He may have raised her as his own daughter, but she wasn't foolish enough to believe that meant anything.
Mick Rawson hadn't been wrong. She really was just another pawn. And she was finished playing his perverse version of the game.
Forty seven minutes. Almost twenty miles. Two right turns onto a more secluded and rocky stretch of road. Then the truck ceased moving entirely.
Nina Surkov tensed in fearful anticipation at the sudden stillness. The once rhythmic stutter of the engine fell away in anxious silence. Every brush of biting winter winds against the exterior mingled with the whining trees surrounding the truck. She strained her ears to listen, holding her breath and pressing herself close to the metal truck bed until she could hear her own blood pulsing in her skull.
She knew what was going to happen next. It wasn't her first time at a drop off. Of course, in all previous occasions she had been the deliverer. The person responsible for handing targets to Rais's other operatives for execution at his own hand. So she knew how this was going to end. And she had to do something before her captor slung her over his shoulder and headed towards the rendezvous point.
Mobility was a slow return. It started with a twitch of her fingers on her left hand and moved towards her legs. She centered on flexing the digits, feeling them struggle just to meet her palm. The scuffle of her foot came next, and she almost cried out in relief when she felt the limb shift a few inches against the metal flooring. Her head remained thick with the drug impairing her usual attentiveness, but she was able to move enough to catch the edge of her blindfold along the hook securing her to the truck bed with the wire encompassing her limbs. Once the blindfold slid away from her eyes, she darted her eyes to every viable object shown by the glimpse of moonlight that fell through a large crack in the roof.
Boxes and crates, some secured and others not because they appeared to be extremely weighted by the contents, even several suitcases, remained just out of reach. The nearest crate caught her attention more than the rest. Or rather, the metal tips of multiple wood carved arrows peeking through the holes at the bottom. One in particular was caked in dried blood from the shaft to the tip, and while she couldn't see the end, she had the feeling that it had been snapped off to remove it from his victim safely.
Everything seemed to make sense after seeing that.
She was the victim. That had to be her blood. Meaning the pain in her shoulder and the temporary paralysis came from the arrow piercing her skin. It also explained why she couldn't remember the events pertaining to how she got in this situation. The arrow was laced with the drug. She didn't remember hearing the crack of bullet because there was none. Her captor was a fellow assassin. Although she doubted he was anything close to the typical assassin employed by Rais, she hoped she could use that to her own advantage.
The truck bounced slightly, so sudden that Surkov almost didn't feel it. He was leaving the driver seat and Surkov felt her heart skip a beat at the renewed urgency. She drew a deep breath and willed her limbs to move. One foot and a hand obeyed, the same she had regained some control of, and tugged at the wire embedding itself into her wrists and ankles. She bit the gag in her mouth harder to ignore the pain. Then continued to inch them closer to the nearest crate. It was futile, really, because there was no possible way for her to gain any traction to pull the crate towards herself. She still tried though.
Boots crunching against snow and ice and soft wooden twigs drew her actions to become more desperate. He was approaching fast, heavy footsteps in the ground that rang through the otherwise silent night like a bell in an empty room. One second turned into two. Footsteps were less than two more seconds from reaching the truck bed entrance near her feet and she had yet to even get within a foot of the crate.
The seconds faded before Surkov could breath. She stilled as soon as she heard the latch on the outside of the door, the frozen metal creaking in protest as the man pulled the barrier open with an echoing snap. Pressing herself into the floor as much as possible, she flinched at the obtrusive light of his torch that flickered over her. Something about the light worsened her headache. Probably due to the fact that the drug was dissipating from her system and one side effect was severe sensitivity to light.
"Good, you're awake." He stated almost excitedly.
Surkov felt her brow furrow at his accent. It was strangely familiar to the Welsh-English she had heard from Mick Rawson weeks before. Not quite the same because the assassin's held more slang to his tone. But as far as she knew, Rais didn't have any other assassins from Wales. Unless that was just another lie too.
He removed the light momentarily to place something metal and heavy above the roof. Then stuck the torch between his teeth and reached towards the metal hook in front of her face. She squinted and bucked away from him, trying to use her working foot to kick him to a distance. But he ordered something too muddled by the flashlight between his teeth and blinded her with it again. Surkov flinched once more and in those few seconds, she felt the wire holding her to the hook loosen slightly.
"See, better now, eh darling? Come on, let's get you out of here before someone starts noticing something's wrong."
She wanted to question what the hell he was talking about. Why any of this was happening because his actions had just contradicted everything she thought to be true about him. Any half decent assassin would have known not to show leniency. Not to let give their prey any leverage to be used for escape. So why was he dragging her from the truck and perching her on the edge of the rear fender? Instead of receiving an immediate answer she was forced to wait and obey.
"Name's Lucas Kyne, by the way." He stated as he dug in one of his many coat pockets and retrieved a pair of wire cutters.
Kyne was an old English surname, so he was either using an alias or he truly was from a more classical section of Britain. He was taller than her by only a few inches and certainly older, mid to late thirties if she had to guess. Broad muscles against a fairly thick frame barely shivered under the layers of dark winter clothing, which suggested that he was more than capable of defending himself with not only the arrows she saw in the crate. His features were masked by a thick wool scarf but his eyes were vaguely familiar. Brown, not hazel or the standard toned, but chocolate and dense with age and mystery. Short brunette hair peeked through the front edges of his cap against his forehead, masking the traces of a long and somewhat fading scar that ran from the top of his hairline on the right and disappeared along the opposite side.
What truly surprised her was the missing finger on his right hand. The dip in his black glove, where his middle finger should have been, was thick as if a bandage was still held in place. It drove close to his knuckle but left an inch of the actual digit to serve as a reminder. Judging by the way he was still favoring it, but could still operate without too much trouble, it was done recently too. Within the past month at the most.
Welsh or English, and held a strange resemblance to another sniper she had encountered just weeks before. She wasn't one to believe in coincidence, but there was something odd about him. Something she couldn't place words to because she had no rational explanation. The two couldn't have been related in any fashion though. Rais wouldn't allow a known relative to the very man he has been trying to break work for him. Unless Rais didn't know… No, that couldn't have been true. The drugs were probably screwing with her perception again.
Surkov watched him intently as he crouched to her feet and snipped the wires securing her ankles. Her posture remained tense and cautious, despite the shivers that pained her body with the passing seconds. She didn't breath a sigh of relief, as much as she wanted to, when the wire slipped off her ankles. The moment it landed in the snow, she dropped her gaze to it.
Why Kyne needed to use what appeared to be pieces of steel rope bound together, she couldn't fathom. Perhaps he heard of her impressive track record and didn't want to take chances.
Kyne unwrapped the few remaining pieces and tossed them into the back of the truck as he stood. Then grasped Surkov's uninjured shoulder and hovered the cutters near the obvious weak spot of the binding at her wrists. He fixed her with a stern glare and said quietly, "I'll cut you loose, but only on one condition. You can't run. I'm supposed to take you to Jonah, Rais's second, and he's got to take you to Igor. You know what that means, don't you darling?" He paused to watch her eyes widen in absolute terror, then gently pulled the gag from her teeth and continued as she fought to get moisture and control of her tongue again.
"He's going to kill you for betraying him. I was briefed into the situation and ordered to take the shot that would paralyze you before bringing you to Jonah. But I couldn't exactly do that, now could I?" Surkov's speechless expression contorted in confusion, but he only registered it for a moment before he glanced at the area of dirt road and forest. "You're a legend among all of us. Rais's perfect little soldier. And that's why I can't hand you over yet. I need your help."
"Why? With what exactly?" She blurted in broken English, her Russian accent as thick as her tongue itself.
Nothing made sense. She couldn't fathom why he was disobeying Rais. Why he was freeing her after he had just shot her hours before. There had to be an ulterior motive, she concluded stubbornly as she fought to shrug away from his grip on her shoulder. This was a trap, something to give Rais justifiable cause to kill her. She wasn't a fool and she knew how he operated. There was no way he would have ever allowed something like this to happen under his nose.
A trap? Or a sincere man betraying someone else, knowing full well that if he were caught it would have just ended in death for both?
Kyne disrupted her thoughts by snipping the remaining binds from her hands, catching them before they hit the ground. He held them in front of her face using his right hand, the limp fabric where his middle was supposed to be just inches from her nose. "This is what happens when Rais doesn't get what he wants." He breathed, suddenly angry and frustrated. "Ya may have heard about that bloody finger sent to Cooper's team a few weeks ago. Well that was mine. He thought that would have made a brilliant message. The FBI and CIA and Interpol probably already have the DNA results by now. And I doubt Rais bothered to cover my ass. So I'm in the system as far as CIA and Interpol are concerned. It's only a matter of time before Cooper himself figures out who I am and once he does, it won't take long for him to hunt me down and put Interpol on my back."
"And what do you think I can do about that?" Surkov interrupted sharply, swatting away his hand with a disgusted grimace.
The older man tossed the bindings in the truck behind her before dropping his hand to his side in defeat. He peered at the road and forest line behind him again, brow tightening in impatience and worry. "I need to get out. Lay low for a while with a new name and a new life. A birdie told me you were trying to do the same. I've got contacts to get me out of Russia and into the US under a false identity. And I have family in the US now, a relative, that could help me stay hidden if I play my cards right. The problem is that Cooper will stick his nose in once he catches onto what I'm doing."
"So you want me to keep Cooper preoccupied?"
He nodded once and stepped to her side, digging in the back of his truck for two large black rectangular cases. "In return, you get a life too. No Rais, no assassinations, and certainly no death penalty for betrayal. You can pick anywhere in the world that doesn't have one of Rais's outposts. Which is only about fifty actual inhabitable places, mind you. But it's better than livin' on the run until you're caught."
Surkov regarded him with narrow and suspicious eyes. Zacchary Turner, her deceased husband, once told her that if something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. Escaping Rais was her original plan. She was going to use the alias and paperwork given by a trusted informant to flee the country and live a new life in Northern Denmark. Everything she had gathered suggested that Rais had yet to place informants in the country, so until he did, she would have been safe. But it backfired when someone snitched. She didn't know who and at the time, she couldn't care. At the time all she could think about was disappearing.
Now some stranger, an obviously vital assassin to Rais, was offering her a chance to truly escape. But it didn't make sense and she wasn't about to go anywhere with him until he convinced her otherwise.
Kyne removed the two cases from the truck and set them on the ground in front of her. He pointed to the first and said quickly, "I know the rumors about your beloved sniper rifle. This was confiscated at the safe house you've been stayin' at." He kicked it for emphasis, urging her to open it. When she made no indication to do so, he sighed and crouched again. The moonlight poured over the black leather surface and everything else not illuminated by his flashlight in one hand. He ran his fingers over the polished locks, flipping them upwards until the lid opened with an audible pop.
Surkov almost grinned at the sight of her rifle. It was the first real relief she had felt in quite some time. She studied the polished metal, disassembled in the correct foam holsters, custom bullets lined in a neat row tip-side-down to bounce the reflective moonlight in an impressive glimmer. Then heaved a sigh and used her working hand to scrub her face, wincing at the feeling of her own freezing skin. "How do you expect me to keep Cooper busy? And how can I believe that this is not a trap? You did shoot and poison me…" She started to question as he snapped the lid closed and returned the locks.
He seemed to consider that for a moment, staring at her with considerate eyes she found impossible to look away from. Then shrugged and rose to his feet. He crossed his arms over his chest as he answered with as much sincerity as Surkov thought he could possibly show. "I recently came into some new information about Rais and his operations and the reasons behind it all. This runs a hell of a lot deeper than just a grudge or a challenge. Knowing that, I can't just stand by and let it happen again. If I would have known then what I do now, I never would have joined the bastard. You feel the same way, don't ya?"
"That does not answer my question." She replied after a moment of silence. He may have sounded sincere, but Surkov still didn't trust him. However, she may not have had a choice.
Kyne pulled the sleeve of his coat upwards for a brief moment, eyes scanning the black hiking wristwatch for the time. He looked down both sides of the road again before he turned back to address Surkov almost pleadingly. "We don't have much time left. They're going to know something's gone wrong when I don't show up at the rendezvous and send someone to look for us. I took a few short cuts to get us here so hopefully they're still a few miles away. But we can't take the chance. If you want out of this hell, now's the time. Otherwise I'll deliver you as planned and just run alone once it's over."
And there were the real choices. Escape or death at the hands of a man she once called father. It wasn't much of a choice at all, really, because she had no desire to die. Accepting alliance with Kyne was dangerous and she knew the chances of it being true were slim. But in the end, once she was faced with the simplicity of leave or die, she had no real choice in the matter.
"Details." She stated bluntly, rolling the word off her tongue as conflicting emotion thickened her accent. "How are we going to evade Jonah and his men? Who is your contact to get us out of the country? The relative you mentioned…"
Kyne held his hand up to signal silence and patience, both of which she was less than capable of at the moment. "I've got an unmarked vehicle half a mile away. I'll burn this one to kill any evidence and throw them a loop for a while. These cases are all we need." He answered with a pointed nod to the cases at their feet. "Everything else will be waiting for us at the safe house in St. Petersburg. My contact will get us a private flight to Dublin, Ireland. Then it's a straight shot to New York."
"The relative?" She questioned more sternly.
He seemed hesitant, like he wasn't sure it would be possible to convince whoever it was. Surkov had the feeling in the pit of her stomach again, the one that always accompanied troubling news, and her previous assumptions sounded less absurd as the silence grew between them. True, his eyes were relatively the same as Mick Rawson's. He, like Rawson, was obviously from a less populated area of Wales or another old English town. But none of that truly meant they were related. It simply couldn't have that simple.
"It's complicated, to be honest." He finally broke the silence in a mumble, barely heard through the fabric of his scarf. "Haven't seen the lad since he was just a kid. I doubt he even remembers me..."
"Rawson?" She intervened with a knowing glare, warning him that she was not going to be fooled by a ridiculous lie. He gave a small nod in agreement and rocked on his heels nervously. "Does Rais know?"
"Why do you think he cut off my bloody finger? Rawson got close again, too close, and Rais didn't appreciate that. But he was curious and not to be an absolute ass about losing, he presented another piece of the puzzle. A kind of yeah ya did good, but solve this next, if ya will."
Surkov chewed on the inside of her lip for a moment in thought. They were cousins, then. And obviously not very close at that. Convincing him to help them after everything that had happened just weeks before was going to be one of the hardest things she had ever done.
But again, what other choices did she have?
She lowered herself to the snowy ground from the edge of the truck tenderly, testing her footing on unstable legs. Then carefully wrapped her hand around the handle of the case containing her sniper equipment and pulled upwards. She winced as the movement made the world swim sideways but ignored it. Turning to Kyne, she posed the most sincere and threatening expression she could muster and stated, "If this is a trick of some kind, you will disappear. But not with a new life. I will dispose of your body in a way that will leave no trace behind. And you will never know until it is too late. Do you understand?"
He nodded once and picked up his own case, pointing to the forest line several feet away. "With your reputation, I would have to be stupid to betray you."
Note- Ta-da! People! Hi people! Sorry for the long wait on this. I'll try to get the next one out sooner.
So, just a few points to make with this. Surkov trying to escape Rais is a big step for the storyline. It shows that, in a way, the team's last profile of her was wrong. She blames Rais for what happened in Alaska and she just wants to get out of the game because of it. The introduction of Kyne helps that. He was ordered to take her to Jonah, Rais's official second in command, but he wants to get out too. You won't know what he found about Rais and the organization that made him want to leave until later in the story. But it's a big thing and I don't want to give it away just yet. And yes, he is Mick's cousin. But they haven't spoken or even seen each other since Mick was child so the reunion is going to be intense. There's history between them that plays into later chapters.
And I think that's it for now. You know what to do, right? Reviews are loved and appreciated. A big thanks to all who have read, reviewed, and subscribed to my stuff so far! Like I said, I'll try to get the next chapter out sooner than this was. It focuses on Mick and Gina, with an appearance from Gina's father and an awkward moment, so it should be easier to write.