AN: This is my first crossover story. Now I will be altering not one canon, but two, as I see fit to tell my tale. In this case, I will be taking some very major artistic license with one of the fictional sources of this story.
I am not Dan Brown, so I have no problem saying, any and all errors made in the story are my own.
Prophecy of Blood
Sable Vista, California
May 15, 2020
Patrick Jane emerged from his Citroen sedan and was instantly met with a wall of 100-degree heat. However, in spite of his rumpled blue pinstripes and brown leather shoes (worn in complete disregard of conventional dress sense), he felt no discomfort in the desert sun - or any other extreme climate, really, which was a good thing because he had to visit pretty much every region of California at least once a month on some case. He walked up to the corpse of the day, which according to Lisbon was that of a Jane Doe. Although the body was already covered up by a silver blanket, Jane could still see dirty-blond hair fanning out over the sand, as well as some seriously ugly bloodstains. "Mid-to-late teens, perhaps," said Jane.
Lisbon, having long since given up wondering how he did it, merely nodded. "She was found by these two," she said, gesturing to a pair of people, a man and woman dressed in similar tie-dyes and fringed leather vests like the most stereotypical sixties flower children ever. "New Age types, probably out for some kind of vision quest."
Jane looked askance at the New Age types in question. "Are you sure?" he asked. "Shouldn't they be in Sedona for that sort of thing?"
"Maybe they're on a pilgrimage," suggested Rigsby.
"I don't think so," said Jane. He turned and walked over to them.
"Uh, Jane, hold up," said Rigsby. "There's something..." his voice trailed off as Jane resolutely ignored him.
Jane approached the hippies and introduced himself. They in turn introduced themselves, calling themselves Bird and Saoirse. "Interesting names," said Jane. "Irish, I presume?" he asked Saoirse, who nodded delightedly. He then turned to Bird and sniffed him surreptitiously. "Quick, tell me," he said, "how did you vote on Proposition 19?"
"No, of course," Bird blurted out before he could stop himself.
Saoirse groaned and glared at her counterpart. "Way to blow our cover, Birdbrain," she grumbled, shedding her hippie gear to reveal Daisy Dukes and a white t-shirt underneath.
"Don't call me that," Bird grumbled back, revealing his real clothes, which almost looked like he was ready for a hike - aside from the beach-type thongs he continued to wear as part of his hippie appearance.
"Ah, and the disguise comes off," said Jane. "Obviously. You, Bird, could have done with forgetting to bathe for a couple of days in order to get the smell down pat. So tell me, who are you really?"
"Marty Bird and Sara Mensanja," said the man, producing a business card. "Los Angeles Times reporters. We were really on the way to Sedona, ya know."
"We were gonna blend in with some of the locals," said Sara, "so we could do a piece on the hooey of all that vortex energy crap. Pretend we'd been on a spiritual journey from the big city."
"Well, I don't know if you'd call what we found 'spiritual,'" remarked Marty. "That poor girl, she just crawled up to us, said something weird, and died in our arms. No lie."
Jane blinked. "What did she say?"
Marty tapped his head in thought. "I think she said, 'close to the scar,' or something. Didn't make much sense."
"Really?" Sara frowned. "I could've sworn she said, 'close down the school.' Either way, it doesn't make any sense at all, really."
"Jane?" Lisbon walked up to him and beckoned him over. "Come over here a sec, there was something you would've wanted to see."
Jane followed Lisbon back to the corpse, which the coroner was about to load into a body bag. "Could you show Jane the wounds, please?" Lisbon asked, and the coroner pulled up the back of the girl's shirt, revealing a pair of ugly, long, deep slashes to either side of her spine. Jagged shreds of bone and skin hung at random intervals from the sides of the wounds.
Except the skin wasn't skin at all. On closer examination, Jane realized it was really...
"...feathers," he breathed.
Rigsby turned to Cho, who had just finished speaking with the local police. "I knew he'd see it, too," he said, almost triumphantly.
Lisbon nodded numbly, thumbing the cross she kept on her necklace unconsciously as she did so.
Jane wasn't one to invoke celestial beings or phenomena, not even lightly, but as he stared into space and processed the anomaly he'd just seen, he whispered to himself, "What in heaven's name is this?"
Good so far? R&R please!