It’s okay Zoe...it’s just an interrogation room, thought Special Supervisory Agent Zoe Hawkes of the Behavioural Analysis Unit. The cold, dark room was foreboding, and with every passing moment, the isolation she felt grew larger and larger. Mentally, it took a lot for her not to be scared of her surroundings, but, if she wanted to get out of this, she had to be strong.
Two hours passed before her interrogator, Agent Emily Prentiss, walked in. Hawkes, whose trepidation literally caused her to sweat, had taken off her sweater vest, revealing a tank top underneath. Prentiss immediately snapped.
“Did I say you could take off your sweater?” said Prentiss. “Put it back on, you tramp. You’re in an interrogation room! Have some class.”
“I was hot, agent,” Hawkes replied defiantly. “Besides, if you’re not going to show me any respect then I have no reason to show you any.”
“You forget, Hawkes, who has the power here.”
“I know who has the power here. It’s not you.”
“Oh really?” Prentiss couldn’t help but laugh derisively.
“Yes. I have something you want. I have no reason to give it to you.” Hawkes stared with intent into Prentiss’ eyes, all while refusing to put her sweater back on.
“You want to play that game? Okay...” Prentiss opened up a folder she carried into the room. “So Zoe Hawkes...Special Supervisory Agent in the FBI...born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 23, 1985 making you age 27...oh, you graduated magna cum laude from both University and high school...well, that’s very nice. You went to Parma Heights Public High School and graduated at the top of your class...then you studied Criminology at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Says here afterwards you got a job at the FBI Field Office in New York, then, as a special favour for David Rossi, you joined the BAU on October 15, 2010, a year and a half after you started in New York. You were always very special, weren’t you Hawkes? So why are you such a Mama’s Girl? You make frequent visits to her, even after you joined the FBI...you should be independent, yet here you are, coming home for ‘Sunday meals’. Is that why you didn’t get me a coffee this morning? Because you expect everything to be handed to you because you’re that special?”
Wait, Zoe...this is a trap...it’s ‘pride-and-ego-down’...it’s textbook. “If you want to think that I didn’t work hard for everything I gained then do so...of course, why do you think you’re so special that I need to get you a coffee? You make enough money, do you Emily?”
Outside of the room, Hawkes’ boss, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner and teammate Rossi were looking on.
“Have you ever met someone that wants to willingly go through an interrogation?” asked Rossi.
“She’s dedicated to her craft, almost to the point of obsession,” said Hotchner.
“Okay, she’s obsessed with it...but I’d rather have someone that dedicated to improving her craft than to have someone who never accepts responsibility for their failures.”
“Why did you send her in to see Kate? She practically folded like a tent.”
Hotchner anticipated the question, having been torn on that decision himself. “Hawkes really wanted to talk to her...I saw the passion in her eyes. I thought if Morgan was there she’d be okay...and I disagree with your assessment...she held her own in there, though she laboured through it...she’s only been with the team for two years...she’s not a seasoned veteran like you and I, and Kate Sanders doesn’t pose nearly the threat that some of our other UnSubs do.”
“How’s she doing in there?” asked teammate Derek Morgan, approaching Hotchner and Rossi.
“She’s doing pretty well,” said Rossi. “She’s not giving Prentiss much.”
“I was concerned for her with Sanders,” said Morgan, “but I couldn’t take my eyes off Kate...one false move and we both could have been toast.”
“You did the right thing,” said Hotchner, “if you’d tended to Hawkes you both would have been dead.”
“Can you believe that lady?” said Morgan, “she never knew when to quit.”
“Kate Sanders was all about control,” said Hotchner. “When she lost it, she started to grasp for straws...that’s why she struck at Hawkes, thinking she’d be able to regain control but we knew she didn’t have a chance.”
Prentiss and Hawkes emerged from the interrogation room, with Hawkes still not wearing her sweater. She reached for it before Hotchner stopped her.
“It’s okay,” said Hotchner, worried that she was doing so as a sign of weakness, “you’re still professional. It’s just us right here, we’re not yet in the office.”
“I know,” said Hawkes, who still put the vest on, “but I don’t want to forget when I do step out of the hallway.”
“OK,” said Hotchner, convinced Hawkes was doing so for practical purposes. “Prentiss, how’d she do?”
“I think she did pretty well,” said Prentiss. “I told her this many times...she’s stronger than she gives herself credit for. She didn’t crack once.”
“I do know all the tricks,” said Hawkes, “so I don’t know why I let Katie get to me.”
“When you want something so badly you can taste it,” said Rossi. “You get carried away. It happens to all of us.”
“I’m just this bucket of emotions,” said Hawkes, hanging her head in shame. “I hate that about me.”
“No you don’t,” said Morgan. “You only say that because of what happened with Katie. You wear your heart on your sleeve...that means you’re in tune with your emotions, and you feed off the emotions of others. You relate to people, Hawkes. You’re not cold or distant...you’ve become a lot of people’s friends.”
“It’s admirable that you want to be better,” said Rossi. “At some point, though, you just have to understand that you can’t do it all on your own...that’s why we have a team. Even though we’re all trained in each other’s jobs, we all know there’s members of this team that can do things better than we can, just how there’s jobs we can do better than other members of the team. I mean...we’re not going to send Reid to go kick a bad guy’s ass, we get Morgan to do it. However, we’re not going to ask Morgan to explain momentum and geometry...we get Reid to do that.”
Hawkes smiled, reassured by Rossi.
“Come on,” said Prentiss, putting her arm around Hawkes. “I think I owe you a coffee.”
“Kids,” said Rossi to Hotchner upon the two of them returning to Hotchner’s office. “They always want to be the masters of everything...they never like making mistakes.”
“Youth brings scrutiny,” said Hotchner, “you believe the grizzled veteran because they’ve been through the wars, but a kid doesn’t look like they’ve seen anything so you constantly wonder if the kid really understands the reality of the job. Look at Reid...he’s been with this team for over a decade...yet he still gets looks.”
“Reid’s more in content with his abilities than Zoe is,” said Rossi.
“Reid’s matured,” said Hotchner. “I’ve seen it right before my eyes. Gone is the wide-eyed kid I saw when he started working, the one who could barely hold on to a gun properly or even have the courage to talk to an UnSub. Now...while I wouldn’t want him chasing down villains like Morgan does, or talking them down like Prentiss does, at least I know I don’t need someone to come in and save him if he gets into trouble...he can more than hold his own.”
“Zoe at least doesn’t have problems passing her field qualifications though,” said Rossi.
“Hawkes’ problem isn’t with the quality of her work,” said Hotchner, “it’s her zeal. She’s more likely to be reckless, moreso than Morgan. She won’t fight fair, and she follows her hunches way too much...but if she didn’t have the ability to think on the fly, then she wouldn’t be the agent that she is. Yes, many times her hunches are wrong...but many times, we don’t have time to sit around and wait for a decision...that’s where she’s most valuable. Her emotions...she’ll get over them as she gets older, especially as she gets more confidence in her abilities. That’s when she’ll also learn to stop second guessing herself...because that’s when she’ll learn to trust her instincts.”
January 4, 2009, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
“Mr. Rossi,” said a sheepish Hawkes as she approached Rossi, who had just finished delivering a lecture at a book store. She was nervously clutching her books tightly against her, though she still extended her hand. “Great lecture tonight.”
“Glad you liked it kiddo,” said Rossi, firmly shaking her hand. “Do you go to school in the area?”
“Actually, I go to Rutgers...I study Criminology. I go back home during the Christmas break to see my mother...she lives down the road, in Parma Heights. I’m not usually in this area but when I heard you were lecturing, I had to come. I love all of your books.” She smiled again, nervously.
Rossi patted her on the back, hoping it would relieve her tension. “Don’t worry kiddo, it’s just me.”
“It’s not that...it’s...” Hawkes stopped herself before continuing. “It’s just that...over in East Cleveland there’s been a string of strange murders lately...I know, East Cleveland’s pretty rough...but I can’t help but thing something is going on there.”
“I know what you’re talking about,” said Rossi. “I read just about every murder story that comes out on this continent...the ones here have piqued my interest a little bit. The murder rate has been unusually high in the past few weeks and...from what I can tell from the news reports, M.O.’s seem to be everywhere. I’ve offered my advice to the police when I can, but they haven’t called us in yet so there’s little we can actually do.”
“I’ve had a look at the area whenever I could...I think there’s a serial killer on the loose who is ‘practicing’...I just feel it...deep down inside. I don’t know how to connect them, but I’m working on it.”
“Keep digging.” Rossi pulled out his card to give to Hawkes. “Let us know if you find anything.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“I see an H...he’s calling to me,” said a man in a suit to a lady in the audience. It was BAU teammate Dr. Spencer Reid watching a video of a purported psychic.
“That’s my uncle Herbert!” said the lady to the man. “He died last week!”
“He said he understood what happened, and he’s sorry that things couldn’t have worked out differently.”
“We had to take him off life support...it was so hard...but his brain damage was just too much. I’m so glad he’s not upset with us.”
“He understands life hasn’t been the same since the accident, but he wants you to know that none of it is your fault.”
“I really tried holding that ladder for him...I really did...but I slipped.”
“It’s okay...he forgives you.”
“I’m so glad.” The lady began to sob, at which point the man approached her in the audience and gave her a hug. “Thank you...thank you so much.”
“Is that Patrick Jane?” asked Jennifer Jareau, the BAU’s media liaison passing by Reid’s desk.
“It is,” said Reid. “The famous psychic that now works for the California Bureau of Investigation...I’ve been watching his videos because I’ve been thinking of Red John again...I know, we haven’t been called into the case yet but I only think it’s a matter of time now...it’s been five years, he’ll eventually broaden his horizons beyond the CBI’s jurisdiction, even if it’s by accident.”
“Do you have anything on RJK? He’s been pretty elusive...he doesn’t leave a lot of evidence behind.”
“Not much...I do know he’s a narcissist because he leaves behind symbols, and that he likely works in law enforcement, since one of his accomplices was a sheriff and for someone to evade capture this long and killing this visibly has to know something about forensics and its countermeasures. He also has a strange obsession with Jane...which doesn’t narrow down much because Jane’s been in the public eye for so long, so there’s a long list of people who fit that description. He commands respect, though, since he seems to have quite a few people working for him and they seem to be willing to do anything for him...he’s organized and intelligent, and likely in his 40s now.”
“Sounds like he might be running a cult...I’ve heard people describe him as ‘Messianic’.”
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility...in fact, I’ve openly thought that perhaps his ‘cult’ is a rogue unit within the CBI itself...it might explain why one sting operation got botched ‘from the inside’.”
“How’d you hear about that? There isn’t a single news report about a sting operation.”
“I’ve heard whispers, talking with other agents...quite a few are as flummoxed about the case as I am.”
“Hey Spencer,” said Hawkes, smiling at Reid as she sat down at her desk beside him. She then took off her sweater vest.
“Hey Zoe,” said Reid, catching a look at Hawkes. She looks lovely...that tank top really accentuates the curves of her body...okay Spencer stop that...she’s your co-worker. Hawkes flipped her hair behind her ears, her auburn locks glistening in the office lights. Reid then had an image of Hawkes shaking her head in slow motion, with her locks flowing as she moved her head. Stop it man, stop it!
“You okay Spencer? I’m just feeling very hot right now.”
Yes, you are very hot. “I’m...I’m okay...um...” Reid sped up his speech. “Do you remember Red John? I’ve been looking into the case and-”
Hawkes laughed, thinking about how cute Reid was when he was having an awkward moment. She didn’t plan for it, so it became an unexpected surprise for her. “Spencer, slow down. I remember Red John...the man’s a modern day Zodiac. I hope the CBI catches him soon. Did you find some new information?”
“Unfortunately not...but I find his case and the case of Patrick Jane to be very fascinating.”
“Just like you are, Spencer.” Hawkes smiled before logging on to her computer to work.
January 5, 2009, East Cleveland, Ohio
Hawkes looked over the body. It was a female prostitute, eviscerated as she was leaving the residence of a john. It’d been there for a few days, as the police were still investigating. Hawkes came at night, when the police were done, and got as far to the crime scene as she could.
“So we’ve had BTK, Son of Sam, the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run and now...the Ripper,” said Hawkes to herself.
“It’s quite the assortment of killers that Cleveland has had lately,” said a man approaching Hawkes. He was a Caucasian male with scruffy hair and a full assortment of facial hair, but his hair was groomed and he appeared to be in good health and spirits.
“Back off!” Hawkes authoritatively held a can of mace to the man’s face.
The man tried to be reassuring. “Do you think if I was going to attack you I’d just come and say hello?”
“You expect me to believe that, in East Cleveland? I know serial killers come in all shapes and sizes...heck, Ted Bundy was quite the charmer if I recall correctly.”
“Well, okay...we got off on the wrong foot...I apologize for scaring you...my name is Eric Olson. I live down the street. These murders have been racking my brain for weeks.”
Hearing the name rang a few bells for Hawkes. She didn’t realize she’d met him ten years earlier when her family visited Sanibel Island in Florida, where Olson used to live. She started to let her guard down just a little, knowing he was an old acquaintance. “I’ve been trying to figure it out myself...sad the police hasn’t gotten involved.”
“I agree completely. It’s probably the area...that’s how he gets away.”
“It must be.” Hawkes started to think Olson was pretty cute, but she was too shy to ask him out.
“There’s a coffee shop down the corner if you’d like to discuss this a bit more.”
“Sure.” Hawkes smiled warmly. “I’d like that.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“These are strange messages,” said Morgan, staring at his computer screen. “I mean, who immortalizes a seagull and a fish? Well, this is Florida...it makes a lot of sense when you think about it that way.” One picture showed a bubble painted in the sand, with the line interspersed with hearts. Inside the bubble was the message “R.I.P. Angel” written in assorted seashells, with another message right below it- written in the sand- saying “we miss you seagull”. The second picture showed a fish skeleton with the message “R.I.P. Carl” written underneath it with beat-like twigs.
“Are those the pictures from Sanibel Island?” asked Reid, who was visiting Morgan’s cubicle.
“Yes they are,” answered Morgan. “It’s funny...the locals are used to all sorts of different sand structures...so I’m confused about why anyone would send me something like this...although no one has seen two R.I.P. messages in the same week...that’s ringing a few alarm bells.”
“They’re made out to Angel and Carl...Angel is manifested as a seagull while it appears like Carl is a pike...the only way this makes sense is if we think about the Casarans...they believe in reincarnation, but they believe you only manifest itself in a life-form once, so you can only have one life as a human. Your next life was based upon how you lived in the previous one, and a bird represents freedom or a ‘good life’, whereas a fish represents weakness or a ‘bad life’...Casarans believed at a funeral they could ‘influence’ the next life by having an image of the desired life-form in question...this is about sending a message.”
“So Sanibel has an African UnSub.”
“No...this guy is a copycat. Casarans used more local birds and fish when they made a message like this...these are local to Sanibel.”
“So we have two murders...Angel and Carl. I’ll have to get Garcia to look into missing person reports.”
Just then, Hawkes walked by Morgan’s computer. She stared at the messages with intent, then bolted to the bathroom, where she could heard vomiting violently. Hotchner heard Hawkes’ hurls and ran outside to understand what was happening.
“Morgan...Reid,” said Hotchner, motioning the two agents to come to him. “Is Hawkes okay?”
“I didn’t even realized she had passed,” said Morgan, walking instinctively towards the bathroom, as did Hotchner. Reid contemplated doing the same, but he instead decided to sit and watch knowing he didn’t need to be there with Hotchner and Morgan handling the situation. He did watch with interest, out of concern for Hawkes.
“Hawkes?” shouted Hotchner through the door as Morgan pounded away at it. “Are you okay?” When there was no answer, Hotchner asked for Prentiss to come and take a look. She was already on her way, as was Rossi, the commotion drawing them both in.
Prentiss walked in and saw Hawkes lying in a stall right next to the toilet, still moving but staggering. She eventually sat up right next to the wall, still weak from the vomiting.
“Hawkes?” asked Prentiss, concerned. “Are you okay?”
“Prentiss...” started Hawkes.
“I think you need to go home.”
“No...take me to the First Aid Room...he can’t get me there.”
“He? Who are you talking about?”
January 14, 2009, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey
“Oh man, I’ve wanted to do this all day,” said Hawkes with excitement.
Hawkes quickly closed the door to her dorm room and started to passionately kiss Olson, as both of them stripped each other. Olson, being particularly strong, held Hawkes up against the wall as he had his way with her body, Hawkes’ excitement level growing with every stroke of his fingertips and every caress with his mouth.
The two of them eventually made their way to Hawkes’ bed, with Olson throwing her on to it, just how Hawkes liked it. Of course, it wasn’t Olson’s style to have sex in a bed, so Hawkes instinctively crawled out of it and cleared her stuff off of her desk so they could continue enjoying themselves there. Even though Olson liked it rough as well and thoroughly enjoyed banging Hawkes against the wall, when he kissed and fondled, he did it with care, and he made sure he didn’t go too far when he did throw her around. Tonight, Hawkes tackled him onto their bed so she could service him there, figuring she needed to instigate some foreplay considering Olson usually did it himself. Eventually, Olson planted Hawkes on her chair and had sex with her right there, and when they were finished they both climaxed in a grand moment of ecstasy. It was fast, it was haphazard and it was rough but, most importantly it was exciting- Olson was nothing like the boyfriends Hawkes had before.
The next day, Hawkes met her friends in the dormitory cafeteria with an excited smile on her face. They knew what it was about.
“Hey Zoe,” said Amanda Blackburn. “I guess your ‘boy toy’ came over last night?”
“He’s not my ‘boy toy’ Mandy...I think I like him,” Hawkes said, barely containing her excitement.
“You’ve only known him for what, nine days?” said Jessie Palmer. “You can’t like a guy after that many days.”
“This is so real guys,” said Hawkes, enamoured by her new love. “He’s into criminology like I am...we connect on so many different levels...and the sex...oh boy...the sex.” Hawkes and her friends shared a giggle, before Hawkes started clutching her back.
“What’s wrong Zoe?” said Blackburn.
“I must have bruised something last night,” said Hawkes, wincing. “Hey, no pain no gain.”
“Yeah...” said Palmer. She looked at Blackburn with a look of concern, with Blackburn sharing the same look.
“No...this is all consensual guys,” said Hawkes. “I don’t want you to worry about me.”
“Zoe...” started Palmer. “We’ve seen this too many times...you find some ‘new guy’, you quickly fall in love and three weeks later, he breaks your heart. You get attached way too easy...plus, if he’s hurting you right now during sex, imagine what it will be like down the road...guys like that get off on violence...see how he reacts when you cook his steak wrong.”
“He’s going to be different,” said Hawkes, trying to reassure her friends. “Besides...we all need something to take the stress off of all these final projects...it’s as if four years of University weren’t enough.”
“I know what you mean about that,” said Palmer, thinking, as did Blackburn, that it wouldn’t benefit to keep on pressing the issue.
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“Angel and Carl are his parents,” said Hawkes, still woozy. “He’s killed them.”
“What makes you so sure?” said Prentiss.
“They live on Sanibel Island...he’s read all this stuff about African culture...he’s very well read about a lot of things...he just never went to school so he never learned how to properly apply things.”
“So now you’re worried he’s going to come after you?”
“I don’t know...I just know he was practicing all this killing just so he could figure out how to kill his parents...his father abused him regularly, even when he wasn’t at home...Carl called him all the time...left threatening messages on his cell phone...Eric had to change the number but they still found out.”
The door opened to the bathroom as another woman came in. It was Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, running to check on Hawkes with a cup of chicken noodle soup.
“Here,” said Garcia, handing Hawkes the soup. “Drink this. Are you okay pumpkin? Is she okay, Emily?” Hawkes nodded yes.
“Yes, she’s fine,” said Prentiss. “Just scared...her old tormentor is loose.”
“Eric Olson?” said Garcia.
“How do you know?” asked Prentiss
“Derek asked me to look up the names in the missing person database,” said Garcia. “Eric Olson’s parents Angel and Carl were both reported missing just yesterday, though there’s no bodies found as of yet.”
“That doesn’t fit Eric’s M.O.,” said Prentiss, surprised. “He doesn’t hide things.”
“Things are different now, Prentiss,” said Hawkes, starting to feel better with the soup. “He learned from the first time...he got caught because of his original M.O.”
“So how’d he get out now?” said Prentiss.
“He skipped bail,” said Garcia, “and the border between Roman Florida and the North American Union is undefended, so as long as he had falsified documents, he could flee.”
“So he might not even be in Sanibel anymore,” said Prentiss.
“No,” said Hawkes. “He will be...he loved it down there...he would never leave.”
“Means we have to make him,” said Prentiss.
March 15, 2009, Wessex, Ontario
“I’m glad you took me up here,” said Hawkes, lying on a couch with Olson. The couple had escaped for Mid-Winter Break in a cabin that Olson had built the previous summer.
“Isn’t it amazing,” said Olson. “Just the two of us, sitting by the fireplace...the perfect place to get away from all of our ills?”
“Yeah.” Hawkes started to run her fingers up and down Olson’s chest. “My friends were worried about me dating you...they didn’t this would last...look at us now.” They smiled, as Hawkes leaned in to kiss Olson.
“I’m just glad to get away from my dad. I’m a grown man...I can take care of myself now.” As if on cue, the phone in the cabin rang. It was Carl.
“Are you that tramp he’s going out with?” said Carl Olson to Hawkes, who picked up the phone, “because your loser of a boyfriend forgot to take me shopping today.”
“I resent your description of me and I profoundly offended by your actions. My boyfriend owes you nothing. Good day,” said Hawkes, slamming down the phone. “The nerve...”
Eric Olson snickered at his dad, then changed the subject. “Treasure, I’m going to go grab some firewood...I noticed our fireplace is getting low.” They kissed before Olson departed for the woods.
Hawkes decided to take this opportunity to look around. They spent so much time together that she never got to see Olson’s vast collections of books in the living room, mostly on crimes and culture. He’s so well read, thought Hawkes, I need to learn more about this man. She picked up a book, Rossi’s “Compendium of Serial Killer Profiles”, the textbook on criminal profiling, and began to read. What she found horrified her- interspersed within the pages of the profiles were pictures of the crime scenes she visited back in January, as if Olson was checking off which killers he’d already managed to copycat.
“Oh my...” said Hawkes, hurriedly putting the book and its contents back in order in shock. She started to breathe heavily contemplating her next course of action before Olson walked back in.
“Treasure,” said Olson, “what are you doing?”
“I should have known,” said Hawkes. “ ‘Treasure’ was the pet name the Stampede Stabber gave all of his victims...dear goodness Eric...am I going to be a victim too?”
“Woah, woah, woah...you stop that now...I’m not doing any of that stuff.”
“The book Eric...you have pictures of the crime scenes that I visited. Crimes that I investigated...ones that I stopped looking at because you said we’d figure this out together. Is that why you haven’t killed anyone in two months? Because you didn’t want me to find out who you really were?”
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Hawkes took Rossi’s book and thrust it in his face. “This Eric! Are you that dense?”
“That’s not what you think it is, Zoe.”
“Then what is it? How’d those pictures get in there? You and I are the only ones who know about this cabin; and I didn’t take any pictures of the crime scene...in fact, the picture with the Ripper...it’s got me in it. It’s time-stamped at the exact moment that you met me...that’s a strange coincidence, don’t you think?”
“Don’t you ‘Treasure’ me anymore, boy! We’re through.”
Olson reacted the only way that he could- violence. He darted for Hawkes, grabbed her and threw her on a nearby chair. He ripped off her shirt and used it to bind her hands behind the backside of the chair, and did the same with her legs with her pants. He also took off her underwear just so she could sit there, naked. As she squirmed and struggled, Olson hit her as many times as he needed to, just to make sure she didn’t resist anymore. He then violently raped her, knocking over the chair in the process. He then put it back up and reached for a pistol he kept behind the case.
In the meantime, Hawkes was sobbing uncontrollably, resigned to her fate. “No! Please don’t! I’m sorry, I’m sorry...” She cried some more, her body gripped with fear about what was going to happen next. “Eric, no! Please...please...OH MOMMY MOMMY, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!” She continued to cry, but instead of hearing a gunshot, she heard Eric drop the gun and bolt out of the cabin. Hawkes continued to sob, until she got so tired that she just fell asleep.
March 16, 2009, Quantico, Virginia
“Are you sure about this?” asked Rossi to his visitors, Blackburn and Palmer.
“Yes,” said Palmer. “Zoe doesn’t miss class...she’s always on time, in fact, she’s usually early...not seeing her today makes me think something happened to her.”
“Okay,” said Rossi. “Who was she with?”
“This weirdo,” said Blackburn. “Eric Olson...also from Cleveland. He visited her a lot on campus...they were having really loud sex...pretty violent too...she had a lot of bruises from the times she spent with him, but she was so happy that we eventually concluded that he wasn’t actually hurting her. Of course, we know that someone who is violent in bed is more likely to be violent, but...”
“This weirdo,” said Blackburn. “Eric Olson...also from Cleveland. He visited her a lot on campus...they were having really loud sex...pretty violent too...she had a lot of bruises from the times she spent with him, but she was so happy that we eventually concluded that he wasn’t actually hurting her. Of course, we know that someone who is violent in bed is more likely to be violent, but...”
“Young love,” said Rossi, finishing her sentence. An older lady walked into Rossi’s office.
“Hello,” said Rossi to the woman, “can I help you?”
“Yes,” said the woman. “I’m Sheila Hawkes...Zoe’s mother. I’m sure her friends here have told you that she’s missing...she never came home on Sunday...she never misses Sunday dinner. Eric even told us she’d be back for it...something’s up.”
“Did Eric tell any of you where they were going?” asked Rossi.
“All we know was that it was a cabin somewhere in Ontario,” said Blackburn. “He didn’t tell us where it was...Zoe’s Facebook account doesn’t even say because Zoe never turns on the ‘Places’ feature.”
“It’s usually smart,” said Rossi. “Stops stalkers, though in this case it could have helped. Why’d you guys come to me and not the police?”
“She loves you,” said Sheila. “She has all of your books...we know you can help.”
Rossi contemplated for a second what his next course of action would be. There wasn’t much to go on but he had an affinity for Zoe...he knew she was special. “I’ll take the case.” He then looked over Sheila’s shoulder outside his room to see Morgan and Reid practicing hacky-sack on the office floor, “and I got the best people for the job.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“Hotch,” said Morgan to Hotchner just outside of the bathroom. “We gotta take this case...we can’t let Olson get away again.”
“If he’s skipped bail then this is a continental case,” said Hotchner. “We can take it...we don’t need to be asked. The only problem is, we don’t know that he’s actually in Florida.”
“Hotch...I know Hawkes sometimes leads us on a wild goose chase...but she knows Olson better than any of us...we should trust her judgement.”
“Okay. I’ll notify Sanibel PD that we’re on our way. I want you and Reid to go to the beach and examine the messages in the sand, see if you can find anything. I’m going to send Hawkes and Prentiss to the Olson household and see what they can find. Rossi and I will meet with the police and see what their investigation has turned up so far.”
March 16, 2009, Quantico, Virginia
“Okay, so Zoe Hawkes was investigating a string of strange murders in Cleveland, Ohio,” said Reid, discussing the case with Rossi and Morgan in Rossi’s office.
“Then they stopped,” said Morgan. “Around the time she meets Olson.”
“We don’t know for certain that Olson is the killer we’re after,” said Rossi. “It’s entirely possible that this case is unrelated and that maybe something happened to Olson as well.”
“Olson fits the profile of the killer, though,” said Reid. “Zoe’s friends describe him as someone who is into serial killers as much as Zoe was, and the murders do suggest that someone is ‘practicing’ his craft, like a young person would. We can tell he’s well versed in serial killer literature but I’m not sure he comprehends it on a high level, because his crimes are still very disorganized.”
“I think it’s too coincidental,” said Morgan. “The killings happen, Olson meets Zoe and the killings stop...I don’t know how we can’t conclude there’s a connection. Olson also has a very violent personality...Zoe’s friends have reported that the two have had very violent sex.”
“Yes he does fit a serial killer profile,” said Rossi, getting up and staring at his bookshelf, contemplating. “I’m just not sure he fits the Cleveland serial killer profile...but...” Rossi waved his finger in the air to remind himself not to get carried away, “we’re getting away from the task at hand, and that’s finding Zoe. We’ll worry about the Cleveland killings later.”
“He’s either a serial killer or a serial killer in the making,” said Morgan. “We know that much. So, where in Ontario could a serial killer go to hide a body.”
“A body?” said Rossi, in shock, although he knew the possibility that Hawkes was dead passed his mind, as much as he didn’t want to think about it.
“I wouldn’t like to think that either Rossi, but we can’t ignore it...her chances aren’t so great now,” said Morgan.
“Ontario is blessed with a lot of open spaces surrounded by cities,” said Reid. “There’s ample opportunities for a killer to dump a body without having to make too much of a drive. In fact...” Reid pointed to an item on Rossi’s shelf. “Is that an Ontario road map?”
Rossi took a look and answered in the affirmative.
“Pass it over to me,” said Reid. Rossi dutifully handed Reid the map, which Reid promptly unfurled.
“Hey, don’t break it,” said Rossi. “I still use that from time to time.”
“He’s right here,” said Reid, marking a city on the map.
“Wessex?” said Morgan.
“Wessex County has been described as ‘The Killer’s Dumping Ground’,” said Reid. “Not just because it’s surrounded by wooded areas perfect for dumping bodies, but because Wessex has been so chronically mismanaged that their police department never gets around to investigating any bodies on time. The city is so poorly managed that the CTV network in Canada made a TV series called ‘Dan For Mayor’ about a buffoon who won the mayoral election simply by running on a lark...it was a pretty accurate depiction of what goes on in the town, much to the chagrin of the townspeople.”
“So that’s where we’ll find Zoe,” said Rossi, excited. “Is the plane ready?”
“Just called them,” said Morgan. “Wheels up in 30.”
“You’re starting to sound a lot like Hotch,” said Reid, with a laugh.
Morgan laughed as well. “Yeah,” he replied, “well, I still wouldn’t want his position...I’ve got too much work as it is on my own...I know, I have leadership aspirations but I’m not sure if I could do his job where I’m at right now.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
Hawkes by now had calmed down, and was seated with the rest of the team in Hotchner’s office. Right next to her and holding her hand was Garcia, as Hawkes sat, slouching and still feeling scared about the prospect of Olson being free. Reid sat on the other side of her, while Morgan, Rossi and Prentiss were standing. Hotchner was seated at his desk, trying to get a read on Hawkes.
“Let me just start that I understand your reaction,” said Hotchner. “If anyone knows about being violated, it’s me.”
“I thought George Foyet didn’t...” said Hawkes, her voice trailing off.
“No he didn’t,” replied Hotchner, “but he toyed with my sense of control. I never let anyone get inside my head...I’ve stared into the eyes of a thousand killers, and only one- Foyet- gave me the thousand yard stare. This was a guy who knew my every move and everything else about me and played me like a violin. I know your situation is different and I can’t claim to understand what you went through, but believe me I know what it’s like when you have that one person that gets inside your head and torments you.”
“Billy Flynn was in his sixties,” said Morgan, beginning to flail away with his arms, “and he knocked me out cold. I didn’t know he was an ex-Marine...all I knew was that I was knocked out cold by some old guy and that got to me. That, and that he took Ellie Spicer. Fortunately the second time when he tried to do it again I anticipated it and kicked his ass, but Billy taught me to never underestimate my opponents.”
“Tobias Hankel had me bound in his farm for an extremely long night,” said Reid. “I cracked very easily because here was this guy who made me realize just how spiritless I had become...it was harrowing being in a place of torment that doubled as a place of spiritual awakening...and he made me dig my own grave. Thankfully- as I predicted, since most religious people don’t actually read every part of the Bible- Hotchner understood my trick and used it to locate me, but it was tough sledding for a while.”
“I got shot,” said Garcia. “I’m the one that’s full of life and never experiences any danger yet here I was, clinging to my life and having to realize that I just might not have taken things as seriously as I should have.”
“Once Ian Doyle figured out I wasn’t going to sleep with him that night he had me tied up in a warehouse in Boston,” said Prentiss. “I still have the brand that he left for me on my left breast...fortunately the BAU and JTF-12 teams were on his trail and apprehended him but as strong as I am, I knew Doyle is crazy prepared and it was the only time I ever felt my life was in actual danger.”
“Before any of you were even alive,” said Rossi, eliciting a laugh from the room, “John Wayne Gacy found me and locked me in his cellar with all of his victims...it was one of my first cases, and I had to rely on Max Ryan, of all people, to help save me...I was young and scared just like you are Zoe, and I questioned why I even took up this profession...fortunately for me, Ryan’s sense of justice prevailed over any kind of hatred he had for me and that made me realize that I had to soldier on, for justice, and that I should never take this job for granted.”
“The point is,” said Hotchner, “we’re all here for you and we know what you’re going through. There’s no need to feel bad about it. I know you want to appear tough and strong but you don’t need to be- we’re always here to help...we’re in this together.”
“Thanks guys,” said Hawkes. “If I could hug you all right now I would.”
Hotchner laughed. “We’ll have a group hug later...we have business to take care of,” he said. “Hawkes...now that your head is clear and that you know Olson better than any of us, how should we proceed?”
“Okay,” said Hawkes, slowly regaining her composure. “He hated Carl, hence why he used the fish, but Angel...that had to have been a mercy killing. He loved her, but her family had a history of cancer and it was only a matter of time before she’d be afflicted by it to, so if she’s dead, it’s because he felt sorry for her. I remember...” her voice trailed off, remembering her frightening experience at the cabin in Wessex. Garcia instinctively rubbed her back, allowing Hawkes to continue. “He spared me because I shouted for my mother, because he realized he couldn’t kill someone with as much of an attachment to their mother as he did for his.”
“Did you plan for that?” asked Hotchner.
“No,” said Hawkes. “It was just instinct...when I was a little girl having nightmares I always called for her and...well, I had as much of a nightmare as anyone could ever experience.”
“So do you think he looks at you as ‘the one that got away?” asked Morgan.
“I don’t think so,” said Hawkes. “I mean, I can never be sure, but he reacted in a fit of range, not because he actually wanted to kill me. I still don’t believe he would. I think he still loves me...I remember getting a text message from him a week after his assault saying how sorry he was and that he wanted to make things right, but I knew better. Even after his arrest, he still looked at me with genuine love in his eyes. So I don’t think I’m in any real danger, nor are my parents.”
“We’ll still get them personal security services,” said Hotchner. “We can’t take any risks.”
“I’ll be okay coming with you guys,” said Hawkes. “I know I’m not Morgan or Prentiss but I’m not afraid of him anymore, all because your stories helped me tough this out.”
“You’ll be with me anyway,” said Prentiss, “and we don’t split up at all.”
“Understood,” said Hawkes.
March 17, 2009, Wessex, Ontario
“Reid, you better be sure about this,” said an exasperated Morgan. The three of them had been driving in the back woods within Wessex town limits for over an hour without much luck.
“I’m sure about this,” said Reid. “It has to be here...Wessex is notorious for its lackadaisical building licensing.”
“Is there anything the town gets right?” said Rossi, sardonically.
“The pub is pretty good,” said Morgan.
“I think I know why,” said Rossi.
Reid then pointed at a log cabin with excitement. Morgan had to hurriedly turn around to navigate the truck to the cabin that Reid pointed out, but when they got there they were astounded.
“That’s a near replica of the cabin that Leonard Lake and Charles Ng used to assault their victims,” said Rossi. “My goodness...this town is so stupid.”
“Guys,” said Reid, calling their attention to the side entrance, “the back door has been left ajar.”
“The mother f---er fled already,” said Morgan, who cussed again in frustration. He drew his gun and led the team inside. Reid then noticed the room that Hawkes was held captive in. He made sure the room was safe and then rushed to Hawkes.
As soon as he touched her neck to check her pulse Hawkes woke up and began sobbing on his shoulder. He undid her ties and she held him, sobbing uncontrollably.
“Guys!” Reid shouted to the other two, “she’s down here! Get me some clothes and call the paramedics.”
“I’m sorry,” said Hawkes. “I know you’re not supposed to do this but I can’t help myself...I haven’t seen a soul that wants to help me in so long.” She then planted a firm kiss on Reid’s mouth. “Thank you.”
“Zoe,” said Reid, “we’re here to help. Trust me, you’re not the first naked woman I’ve rescued...they usually don’t kiss me, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.”
“You’re cute,” said Hawkes, laughing at Reid’s statement. “You’re Spencer Reid, right?”
“Yes,” said Reid. “How’d you know?”
“Oh I love your work,” said Hawkes, “and I had to quote one of your papers for an essay I wrote last year.”
“Zoe!” said Rossi, hurriedly tossing Hawkes some clothes. She put them on and gave Rossi and Morgan hugs. “Thank goodness you’re okay,” continued Rossi, who held Hawkes as if she was his daughter.
“I knew you guys would come for me,” said Hawkes. “Thank you so much.” She then looked down at her clothes, which was a mismatched set of a golf shirt and short shorts. “I would never wear these clothes,” she remarked with a laugh. “Come on, you guys don’t have a lady that could have come save me?” The three men laughed, happy that Hawkes was finally making light of the situation.
Hawkes stayed overnight at a Windsor hospital- per Rossi’s request- and, despite being knocked around by Olson, her body amazingly escaped with only minor cuts, scratches and bruises, and would be fine the next day. The three men stayed with her the whole night, trying to plan their next course of action.
“Eric Olson could be anywhere now,” said Morgan, having gotten off the phone with Garcia. Olson had managed to forge a new license plate and falsified documents for himself once he arrived at Wessex. “There’s serial killers everywhere.”
“I think there’s one place in particular that he would go,” said Reid, “and that’s where most serial killers congregate- California.”
“Guys,” said Hawkes, weakly from her bed. “He’s not going to California...he’s going to Florida. His parents live on Sanibel Island, and he hates his father...all this killing...it’s because he wanted to practice before he killed his father.”
“Why just his father?” asked Rossi.
“His father was an abusive alcoholic,” said Hawkes. “He beat him and his mother incessantly...he left the house just to avoid him but Carl still found ways to taunt him. He never admitted it to me directly but, putting all this together, Carl Olson is the ultimate object of ire for him and his ultimate target. You don’t practice killing just for the heck of it...you practice killing because you have a target and you want to do it right.”
“We’re making a massive leap here,” said Reid. “The evidence doesn’t suggest Florida at all...this whole time his behaviour is consistent with someone who loves serial killers...why would he deviate from this path?”
“Okay, genius,” said Morgan with a hint of incredulousness. “Why don’t you tell us where he’s going then?”
“I don’t know,” replied Reid, sheepishly.
“Zoe has given us a lead,” said Rossi. “It may not be much of one, but it’s something. We need to follow it.”
Present day, Sanibel, Florida
“Prentiss,” said Hawkes, putting on her seatbelt in anticipation of the drive to the Olson house. “I know Hotch told us to go to the Olson house, but I don’t think we’ll find anything there.”
“Okay,” said Prentiss, “where should we go?”
“There’s a little used beach to the west of the Causeway, right adjacent to it,” said Hawkes. “Olson had a few pictures of it at his house, and it’s the perfect dumping ground for two bodies. It’s also a fisher’s paradise and Olson was really into fishing.”
“I’m trusting you on this, Hawkes,” said Prentiss, calling Hotchner on her cell phone.
“Hotch,” said Prentiss, “Hawkes thinks we shouldn’t go to the Olson house...she thinks the Causeway has a better link.”
“Can I talk to her?” said Hotchner.
“Yes,” said Prentiss, passing the phone to Hawkes.
“Hawkes?” said Hotchner.
“Yes?” said Hawkes, wondering if something was wrong.
“Why the Causeway?”
“There’s a little used beach there...it’s perfect for dumping bodies and Olson loved that area...I’ve seen multiple pictures in his apartment. He would have dumped the bodies there.”
“Okay, you can go there but if you find nothing, go immediately to the Olson house.”
Once the pair reached the destination, they were greeted by a yellow gate that stopped them from driving the car any further. As Hawkes predicted, the beach there was empty, but there was no sign of any bodies.
“Hawkes,” called out Prentiss as Hawkes searched the wooded area nearby the beach. “If there’s any bodies here they would have either been discovered or washed away...what makes you think there will be something here?”
“I just know it, Prentiss,” said Hawkes. “Olson was all about symbolism...everything meant something to him and this place meant something.”
“All I see is clear water, bush and an empty beach,” said Prentiss, walking around and holding up her arms in the air in frustration. Hawkes, however, kept digging but found nothing except an alligator causing her to scurry away quickly. Prentiss saw the alligator come after Hawkes and immediately pulled out her gun and shot it dead, having no other choice.
“Well, if you want a Gucci, there’s your chance,” cracked Prentiss. Hawkes laughed, though she felt bad for the dead alligator.
“I forgot I’m not in Cleveland anymore,” said Hawkes, brushing off the sand from her shoes.
“Okay Hawkes,” said Prentiss. “I’m ready to go to the Olson house...there’s nothing here.”
Hawkes sighed in agreement and walked with her, frustrated this hunch didn’t work out.
March 19, 2009, Sanibel Causeway Mainland Port, Fort Myers, Florida
“Okay, so we’re here...now what?” asked Morgan, getting out of their car with Rossi. Reid and Hawkes stayed inside the FBI vehicle, which was unmarked.
“Now...we wait,” said Rossi. The team was greeted with Lee County Police cars- unmarked- flanking the port, with Sanibel Police with a similar set up at the other end of the Causeway. Both departments were given pictures of Olson, and were told that upon sight, if they were to give chase they cannot make their presence obvious, lest Olson notice them and react violently.
“Morgan,” said Rossi to Morgan, “go across the Causeway to Sanibel and help with the arrest. The rest of us will stay here.” Morgan dutifully took a ride with a police car to the other end of the Causeway in anticipation of Olson’s arrival.
Inside the car, Reid and Hawkes started to bond a bit more.
“How do you know he isn’t in Sanibel already? It’s only a 26-hour drive from Wessex,” asked Reid.
“Eric is careful,” said Hawkes, “he wouldn’t just blindly drive, he’d stop a few times and make sure that he’d be rested. Besides, I think he went back home to Cleveland and picked up some stuff first.”
“Yes Ms. Hawkes?”
“Please, call me Zoe.”
“How did a young guy like you get to have such a badass job like this?”
“I remember I was finishing my PhD at Cal Tech, and my boss, Aaron Hotchner, approached me. He told me his colleague, Jason Gideon, recommended me for the team and that I should consider joining the FBI. I told them I wasn’t sure if I could pass all the field qualifications, since I’m just a stick, but Hotchner told me that I was a special talent and that he was willing to waive all those qualifications just to have me, and that I’d be on a team where I wouldn’t need to be gifted in the field to be successful. So I applied, and a year later I joined the Behaviour Analysis Unit.”
“How did Mr. Gideon find you?”
“He read my treatise on an interrogation technique I devised for my PhD. I didn’t have a name for it but he loved it.”
“The Reid Technique?”
“Yes, that’s the one.”
“I had to quote it for an essay I did for a class on police techniques...it was fascinating stuff. How’d you come up with it?”
“It was simple...I just used my understanding of psychology to come with mind tricks that interrogators can use to get criminals to confess...I know it’s maligned now, but I think that’s more police personnel misusing it than the technique being designed that way.”
“I admit, I’m one of the people who thinks the technique is manipulative.”
“I remember reading an article about an innocent man who confessed under the technique because the interrogator mistook his stressful tears as guilt, and made him think he killed his wife in a drunken blackout when, in fact, his alibi was solid.”
“See, that’s the fault of the interrogator. Although tears usually indicate guilt, you have to read the suspect and understand the situation...a lot of people like have things that are ‘cut and dry’ but the reality is far more complex...you can’t just say ‘oh he’s crying, therefore he’s guilty’. You have to remember context.”
“How would you have handled that situation?”
“I know the case you’re talking about...and I would have taken a break instead of pressing on. I would have also taken the man at his word that he doesn’t remember what happened, since having a drunken blackout means the suspect cannot reasonably expect to remember what he actually did...a real confession involves having the offender fill in details you didn’t know, and being able to accurately recall them. If you’d like, I’d teach to you sometime.”
“I’d love that. I really would love to pick your brains...you’re so smart, Dr. Reid.”
“Please, you can call me Spencer, we’re friends now.”
Hawkes smiled. “You know, Spencer, Agent Morgan was telling me you annoyed him one day talking about the Death Star...do you know how many times I’ve thought about that very thing myself?”
“That I annoyed Morgan?”
“No, the Death Star and its gigantic cost...I mean...why waste all that money on something that will hardly get used? A planet is pretty defenceless.”
“Well, the Galactic Empire would likely have so much money that $18 septillion would be a drop in the bucket for them, but you are right...why not make something that can do more than just shoot down a planet?”
“Not to mention you’d be wasting all those resources...it makes no sense to want to blow it all to smoke.”
“I should give you my card...I think we need to have a movie night or something.”
“Are you asking me out, Spencer?”
Reid grinned, realizing what he had done. “Maybe I am...I’ve just never met anyone that can keep up with me before...well, Morgan can but his attention span is as wide as a dime.”
Hawkes laughed before resting her head on Reid’s shoulder and snuggling up against him.
Present day, Sanibel Beach, Sanibel, Florida
“The message for Angel was carefully planned, whereas the message for Carl was constructed rather hastily,” said Morgan, examining the two messages with Reid, which were side by side.
“These are rather specific seashells too,” said Reid, examining the message for Angel. “They’re all shaded in some way...even the white ones are completely white, not just wiped of their colour.”
“So Angel gave colour to his life.”
“Not just that...I think Angel died of leukemia. The colours look like sanguine symbols and bones, indicative of a bone marrow condition.”
“Angel’s message was carefully crafted. She was likely discovered dead by Eric when he got down here, and he killed Carl in a fit of rage, hence why it was hastily crafted.”
“Morgan, look at this.”
A few yards away, Reid noticed a sandcastle with a pair of sandals left behind.
“That’s got to be something,” noted Morgan. “Is Hawkes done at the Olson house yet?”
“Let me call her,” said Reid, calling Hawkes. “She’s actually on her way...they found nothing.”
A few minutes later, Hawkes and Prentiss showed up at the scene. Hawkes gasped with immediate horror at the sight.
“Those...those,” said Hawkes, stammering. “Those are Lana Olson’s slippers...Eric’s much younger sister...he’s taken her...”
“What?” Morgan inquired, stumped. “How do you know?”
“He loved his sister...kept talking about her,” replied Hawkes. “Anyway, we can’t stand here and talk, we gotta find her...she doesn’t have that long left.”
“There’s no sign of a struggle here, Hawkes,” said Morgan. “She could already be dead.”
“No,” said Hawkes. “Something tipped him off...I’m not sure what but he was here mere moments before you guys arrived. Lana never forgets her slippers...she loves them...he had to have taken her in a flash.”
“Hawkes,” said Prentiss, exasperated at the thought of another wild goose chase. “You have to be right about this...we can’t just run around the island like this.”
“The lighthouse,” said Hawkes. “They’re at the lighthouse...he’s always there. He’s taken several pictures from it...I’ve been in a picture with him in it, when I visited the island more than ten years ago. Lana loved it too...they have multiple pictures, and she loved seeing the wildlife preserve there.”
Prentiss rolled her eyes, but Morgan didn’t miss a beat.
“Hawkes,” said Morgan intently, “let’s go.”
March 19, 2009, the Causeway, Fort Myers, Florida
A camera inside a patrol car up the road on Summerlin Boulevard caught Eric Olson as he was driving down to the Causeway. Rossi received the tip on the radio, and instructed the police to be ready for pursuit.
“Zoe,” said Reid, putting Hawkes’ head down. “Stay down. Eric is coming through the Causeway, we don’t want him to see you.” Hawkes didn’t even question Reid’s instructions, following them to the letter. Fortunately, Olson didn’t see their car and drove right through the Causeway, paying the toll and crossing to the bridge.
Upon learning of Olson’s impending arrival, Morgan gathered the Sanibel police, reminding them to be discreet. He observed the passing cars carefully and would be the first to turn on his sirens indicating the chase really was on.
Olson, however, wasn’t going to drive on to the island. As soon as he got off the Causeway, he parked his car on the adjacent beach, causing Morgan to jump out of his car.
“Eric Olson! Derek Morgan! FBI!” he hollered to Olson, who began to run.
“Oh no you don’t,” said Morgan, in hot pursuit. Olson, not gifted as a runner, had a tough time of it trudging through the sand whereas Morgan, a decorated high school athlete and experienced in sand, had an easy time of it, allowing Morgan to tackle Olson and arrest him before Olson could escape into the nearby bush.
“Eric Olson,” said Morgan fiercely. “You are under arrest for the kidnapping of Zoe Hawkes.” Olson tried to get up but Morgan held him tightly to the ground, as the rest of the police surrounded him making sure he could not escape as Morgan completed the arrest.
Present day, the lighthouse, Sanibel, Florida
“Eric,” said Lana Olson, gripped with fear wondering what was going on. Eric was tying her up against the dumpster located to the right of the lighthouse. He’d already thrown his parents in the dumpster, and remembered at the last moment he had to get Lana in there too before the dumpster was emptied, as it was once a week. After he killed her, he would shoot himself, leaving the garbage collector to find them all dead.
“Don’t ask questions Lana,” said Eric. “I have to do this, there’s nothing left.”
“...but why, Eric, why?”
Eric responded by punching her. Lana began to cry. He wished he didn’t have to do it this way, but Eric felt he now had nothing left to live for. He found his mother already dead at the hands of his father, so he killed his father the way he always planned to- just like Charles Manson did, with stabbings and a pillowcase tied over his head.
Moments later, Hawkes and Morgan arrived at the lighthouse. Hawkes raced out of the car first, and ran past the bathrooms. Since it was a blind corner, she didn’t see Eric Olson, who jumped her.
Hawkes, however, wasn’t rattled, using her leg to flip Olson up above her and onto the ground near her. She had her gun out right when Olson was able to look up and realize what happened.
“You forgot I’m not a scared little girl anymore,” said Hawkes. “Don’t try anything stupid- I will shoot you.”
“Zoe...” said Olson, “I love you...why would do that to me?”
“Oh yeah? Well you had a poor way of showing it.”
“Come on Zoe...that night in Wessex...that wasn’t me...”
Hawkes gave him an incredulous look. “Really? Maybe you should tell me who it was, because it sure looked a lot like you.”
“I was going to tell you eventually...I just...I just didn’t know how.”
“...and then you were going to kill me too, if not then it would have been now, where Lana is right now.”
“No...you don’t understand...we would have been together...we could have been Bonnie and Clyde...we could have triumphed over my oppressive dad and waged a real war on this vengeful society.” Olson started to think that maybe if Hawkes came back to him that maybe his life could be worth it again. Hawkes wasn’t buying it.
“You make no sense Eric...besides, don’t you know robbing banks ain’t my style anyway?”
Morgan then arrived at the scene, and, having seen that Hawkes had everything under control, directed his attention toward Olson. “Don’t do anything stupid Eric!” he hollered, drawing his gun as well.
Olson, recognizing his earlier foe, decided enough was enough. He fumbled around his pants for a bit before drawing his own gun and aiming it at Morgan, forcing Hawkes to shoot him dead. She fired at him several times, each shot a therapeutic one for all the pain Olson put her through, her rage coming out with every bullet. She emptied her cartridge right there, with Olson dying instantly.
She then sank to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably. Morgan untied Lana Olson before tending to Hawkes, with Lana also suspecting something was wrong.
“Hawkes,” said Morgan. “What’s wrong?”
“That,” said Hawkes, still crying. “How could I? How can I be such a killer?”
“It’s justifiable,” said Morgan. “He was drawing his weapon to shoot at me...I was in danger so you had to protect me.”
“No Morgan, I know that,” said Hawkes. “I’ve just...I’ve just never done that before...I know it was justified...but still...he was a human life and I just so coldly took it away from him...”
“Hawkes,” said Morgan. “I remember the first time I shot someone...it was a gangbanger in the south side of Chicago, my first beat on the police force, let alone my first day. He pulled his gun at me and I had no choice but to fill him with lead. I too, wondered just what I had become, before my partner told me that if we didn’t kill for the greater good, then those who kill for no good will go unpunished. Some guys won’t quit until they die...there’s no way around it. I wish it didn’t have to happen that way but sometimes we don’t have a choice. I know, you’ve never done that before and it’s a shock, but remember...at the end of the day you did this for the greater good, and now a serial killer won’t hurt anyone else.”
Instinctively, Lana came to Hawkes and gave her a big hug. It was that moment where Hawkes realized the true impact of what she’d done, by killing Eric to save his sister, who would be dead if it wasn’t for her.
“Thank you so much kiddo,” said Hawkes, holding Lana tightly and kissing the top of her head. “Do you want to go to Jerry’s and get a sundae?” Lana nodded yes excitedly.
“I think we could all use a sundae,” said Morgan, smiling at what he was seeing.
“Jerry’s has some pretty good food too,” said Hawkes. “It’s a supermarket and a quaint restaurant all in one. We should all go...and it’s got Wi-Fi so Rossi can update his Twitter account.”
At Jerry’s, the team gathered for a celebratory meal after sending Lana off to live with her grandparents. They were all expected to fly out that night, but Hotchner had other plans.
“Seeing how it’s going to be lovely here and how trying this case has been for some us,” said Hotchner to the team, “I’ve decided we’ll fly out in three days. You guys deserve a weekend getaway.” The team greeted the news with loud cheers of excitement.
“Hotch,” said Hawkes. “I know I can be difficult...but thanks for having patience with me.”
“Hawkes,” said Hotchner, “you don’t need to apologize. You did a great job today.”
“Kiddo,” said Rossi. “One of these days you’ll understand your full potential and stop second guessing yourself.”
“I understand you had your first kill today,” said Reid.
“Reid!” said Morgan, admonishing his lack of tact.
“It’s okay Morgan,” said Hawkes. “I’ve come to terms with it...seeing Lana made me feel better about it and made me realize why I do what I do.”
“Zoe,” said Rossi, “as long as you remember days like today then everything becomes easier. We see so much loss and despair, it’s days like this where we save someone that reminds us why this job is worth it. This can be such a thankless job sometimes, and we all know it can be hard going through the cases and seeing the depths of human depravity...but we get through it knowing that, at the end of the day, we’re still saving the greater good. Don’t ever forget that.”
“Sanibel Police was telling me they’re glad this is all finished,” said Hotchner. “They’re used to helping seniors with Alzheimer’s get home, not dealing with a serial killer.”
“I’m glad this is finished too,” said Hawkes, “and now I don’t have to worry about Eric anymore. I wish I didn’t have to kill him but I had to do it.”
“Foyet’s dead,” said Morgan. “Flynn is dead. Hankel is dead. Doyle is dead. Battle is dead. Even Gacy is dead; and now yours. Says something about the people who challenge FBI agents...they literally won’t quit until the very end.”
The next day, at their hotel, Hawkes greeted Reid in nothing but a bikini top and short shorts, ready to hit the beach.
“Hey Spencer,” said Hawkes.
“Hey Zoe,” said Reid. “I was thinking since we need to have a movie night that we can do it right now.”
“Oh no mister,” replied Hawkes, grabbing Reid by the hand. “Grab your trunks, we’re going to the beach. It’s too hot not go...it’s 86 and gorgeous, Spencer. Besides, you get to stare at me all you want.”
Reid laughed and agreed at the prospect, deciding against worrying about the sunburns he thought he was going to get. He quickly changed into swimming trunks and put on his sandals.
“...and then, Spencer, after we discuss the finer points of the Death Star, maybe you can show me how your Light Saber works.”
Reid grinned. “I think I’d like that.” They both departed for the beach.
Upon arrival, they greeted the rest of the team already basking in the sun and cracking jokes at Rossi’s expense.
“I think you guys are just jealous about my legs,” said Rossi, wearing nothing but a speedo. “One of these days, you’ll be man enough to wear something like this.”
“Sure Dave,” said Hotchner with a laugh, “I admire your bravery on the field, but I don’t think that’s the kind of bravery I want to emulate.”
“I think I can see his butt hanging out from the side of the swimsuit,” said Prentiss. Morgan responded with some catcall-type whistling. The team then had a good laugh, and went about having an enjoyable few days at the beach.