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4 Episode One, Part Two

Author’s Notes: The final part of episode one with the conclusion of the tutorial case! Episode two will begin with a brand new one, so please look forward to that.

 


 

A black handle stuck out from the ground. At first glance, it looked to be a marker of some sort, like those used for gardening. However, upon closer inspection, a glimpse of metal could be seen sticking out of the ground.

 

“Looks like Leanne was right…” Hayden muttered to himself as he snapped a picture of the area with the camera on his pager. It wasn’t nearly as good as the camera Dan used, it but would do. He could make a sketch of it later. For a moment, he wondered how she could have noticed such a small detail. They were experienced—Hayden chided himself—he needed to work harder if he were to be of any use to the team.

 

Donning on his gloves, he carefully loosened the knife enough to put it into an evidence bag. Traces of what seemed like blood could still be seen on the knife. As Leanne had suspected, the ground was still damp in places were sunlight did not hit. The soil in which the knife was found was moist enough to give way fairly easily. A faucet, presumably the one used to control the sprinklers, was nearby.

 

He looked at the knife, now neatly placed in the red evidence bag. It looked like a knife used to slice bread, though, he noted, it was quite light in weight. The handle didn’t seem to have any traces of blood on it, but it was best to have Leanne analyze it before he made a conclusion.

 

There weren’t any visible footprints that he could see, but seeing as the knife was there, it was likely that the suspects had spent some time in this area. One item was still missing—the blunt object.

 

Replacing his gloves with clean ones, Hayden decided to further examine the area. If the suspects had been here, it was likely that the blunt weapon could be in the area. He handed the knife off to Leanne and returned to the garden where he found the knife. According to Nayeli, the object was heavy enough to do quite a bit of force.

 

What could have been used as a weapon? With a frown, Hayden contemplated the answer to his own question. Closing his eyes, he recalled the conversation with Nayeli.

 

“Likely from the weapon. Shards of some material. Perhaps glass.”

 

Glass…

There were two places that he saw broken glass in the home. The fragments near the victim’s corpse…and the fragments in the senator’s office.

 

“That’s it…” Hayden muttered to himself before tossing his old gloves and pulling out the pager.

“Leanne?”

 

“Yes?” Her voice was calm, as if expecting his call. “I haven’t finished with the knife yet.”

 

“No, that’s fine. Sorry for interrupting, but have you received any samples from the body? Nayeli had said that there were possible fragments…glass fragments…possibly from the weapon.”

 

He heard a hum from her, assuring him that she had heard him. “Yes, I have the report here, although I haven’t looked over it quite yet. What about it?”

 

“There were two places where I saw broken glass in the house…once at the crime scene and once in the office. I was wondering if the shards matched either sample.”

 

“Right. Let me pull up the files.” Typing could be heard, followed by a pause. “We do have a match.” A hint of satisfaction could be heard in her voice.

“…!”

 

“Nice catch, Hayden.”

He hesitated, “N-no, not at all…you were the one that brought up the garden. I should be thanking you for that.” From the other side, he heard a small giggle.

 

“So it looks like we’re even. Well, the sample from the body seems to match up with the object in Senator Bernfield’s office. It appears that both materials were lined with titanium alloy. Analysis of the substances reveal a very close match.”

 

“So it’s probable that the perpetrator’s, in their rush to find the documents, knocked the object over, leading it to fall and shatter into pieces. They then took this object and, in a confrontation with the victim, used it to inflict trauma to the head.” Hayden muttered, with an affirmation from Leanne.

 

“However, there did not appear to be any incriminating evidence left on the object. Only the victim’s blood was found on the shards. No prints.” There was a pause on the line as both of them considered the new information at hand. “Why don’t you report this to Dan for now,” Leanne suggested. “Let’s wait on the results of the BOLO.” Hayden nodded, despite knowing that she could not see him.

 

“Boss?” Hayden cautiously stepped through the back door as he made his way to the house entrance way. He saw no signs of Dan, however. The body had been moved, presumably back to the headquarters coroner’s office to be further examined. He found himself alone in the house, which was, admittedly, fairly creepy. There were security guards and officers outside, but none of them were inside.

 

“Boss?” called Hayden again as he ascended the stairs.

 

“Griffith.”

 

It was unmistakably Dan’s voice, but quite far away.

 

“…?” Making his way down the hallway, Hayden found that the door to the office was open. Dan stood in the middle of the room, as if he were deep in thought.

 

“Boss?”

 

Dan simply turned to the sound of his voice.

 

“I found a knife in the garden. It’s with Leanne right now.” Dan gave a nod of approval, so Hayden continued. “About the other object…I asked Leanne to run a match with the reminants found on the victim’s body with the broken glass on the ground.” He nodded to the shards still left beside the desk. “There was a match. It’s highly likely that that object was the blunt weapon used.”

 

The team leader gave a final nod to show that he had heard before walking around the desk to look at the broken glass. “You said you found the knife?”

 

“Yes. It was hidden among the flowers…partially concealed behind the bushes.”

 

Giving a nod of approval, Dan made his way out of the room, with Hayden following curiously. “Let’s take a look.” The head agent had said simply as they made their way outside.

 

“You found the knife here?” Dan asked, as they approached the area for closer examination.

 

“Yes…”Hayden began, ” Leanne should be examining the knife for fingerprints right now…”

 

As if on cue, both pagers rang out, altering them to Leanne’s call.

 

“Boss, Hayden.” It seemed like Leanne had set up a joint call.

 

“Developments?” As usual, Dan spent no time idling.

 

“No fingerprints were found on the knife…although there were faint prints of the handle of the faucet. I’ve tried matching it with our database, but it doesn’t appear that there have been any matches. Only a partial print was present so a reconstruction of the fingerprint had to be used. I suppose that Hayden already told you about the blunt object?” A grunt from Dan. “As a recap, it is highly probable that the object used as the same object found on the floor of Senator Bernfield’s office. As for the BOLO sent out for the vehicle, we’ve got a hit. It appears that the van was found abandoned near the coast—that is, approximately twelve miles away. I’ve sent a team of agents to look at the vehicle. Cad and Evie were nearby, so they offered to check out the van as well.”

 

Dan asserted almost immediately after Leanne had finished, “Did Nevitt or Kirchner obtain any additional information?”

 

“Yes… Cad asked Senator Bernfield about the debris on the floor of his office. It seems like the object was a glass paperweight. Judging from the size and weight of the described object, it appears that it could have done substantial damage, just as we suspected.”

 

“Got it. Anything else?”

 

“That’s all I have at the moment…”

 

Hayden’s gaze shifted from the pager to the area where the knife had been found. There was a possibility that the paperweight wasn’t hidden in the garden at all. If that was the case, the BOLO was the only remaining lead that they really had.

 

“…Hayden?”

 

Leanne’s voice drew his attention back to the pager. From the corner of his eye, he could see Dan looking at him.

 

“Yes?”

 

“If you’re done at the scene, I could use your help here.” She repeated. “We only have a text description of the paperweight. It would be helpful if you could make a sketch of it from what we have.”

 

A reconstruction of the paperweight…

 

“Sure, I can try.” He responded, glancing at Dan for approval. The team leader gave him a nod before turning to examine on the garden.

 

The walk to the makeshift lab was uneventful; only a few guards remained patrolling around the home. Slipping inside the black van, he found Leanne in front of several large computer monitors. Upon his entrance, she turned to him with a small smile.

 

“Is it the first time you’ve been back here?” She seemed rather amused at his surprise and amazement at the size and complexity of the lab. The van had had three seats in the front, where they had sat on the way to the scene.

 

“It’s my first time,” Hayden admitted, making his way toward Leanne. “I didn’t think it would be anything like this…”

 

Her mouth curved up in amusement. “I figured. Everyone has the same reaction the first time they see it.” She pulled up several documents on the screen. “Cad managed to gather this information about the paperweight. At the moment, it’s probable that the reminants of the paperweight are in one of two places: the garden or the van. Best case scenario, fingerprints or other identifiers, such as blood, is found on the paperweight. I’ve calculated the approximate weight and height of the suspects from the descriptions given by Victoria Bernfield. The information had been released to the media, but a sketch accompaniment of both the perpetrators and the blunt object may more helpful than descriptions alone.” The image of the white van was shown on the screen. On it, a blurry figure of the passenger could be seen. “Unfortunately, this is the clearest image we have of one of the suspects.”

 

Hayden took a step closer to the screen, gazing at the picture. The suspect had evidently taken off the ski mask, but the quality of the image was not the best. Leanne pulled up several other images, presumably taken from camera footage in neighboring houses.

 

“From what I can tell, there seems to be two suspects.” Leanne tapped the monitor lightly with a pen. A shrill ring interrupted her next statement. “It’s Cad,” she muttered quickly before picking up the call. “Cad?”

 

“Leanne. We’ve arrived on scene. It was abandoned along Twelfth and Main. I’ve sent you photos of the van.” True to his word, the images appeared on the screen a moment later. “No one was inside at the time of arrival. Also…we couldn’t get in contact with Ron Stowers, the owner of the vehicle. No answer at the door of his home. Neighbors say that they haven’t seen him. Evie’s getting in contact with family members. I’ve done a sweep of the vehicle. No signs of blood, although there were traces of what looked to be glass on the ground. I’ve sent you the prints from the steering wheel…”

 

Leanne wasted no time in pulling the files up. It appeared that Cadmus had used a spray of some kind to capture the prints; a computer recreation of the print appeared beside the photo. “I’ll run a search along the database.”

There was silence on the other end.

 

“Cad?”

 

“Smells like disinfectant,” stated Cadmus in a low voice.

 

This caught both agents’ attention and Hayden’s eyebrows furrowed. “Disinfectant? Where?” If the suspects had taken the time to disinfect the van, why had they not taken the time to wipe the steering wheel off?

 

“Everywhere. Suspicious.” The agent muttered something under his breath that they couldn’t quite hear.

 

Curiously, Hayden asked, “Why would Stowers put his own fingerprints on the steering wheel?”
Cadmus seemed to be pleasantly startled at the sound of his voice. “Oh, hey! I didn’t know you were there!” He chucked before continuing in a serious tone. “Well, we can’t be sure quite yet, but likely to detour us. It’s Stowers’s vehicle, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to have his own fingerprints on or in the vehicle. In fact, it would be more suspicious to see no signs of prints on the wheel at all. Unfortunately for him, the smell of disinfectant still lingers.”

 

Leanne confirmed, “The prints are Stowers’s”, a frown on her face. “Did you take a look at the door handles?”

 

“Spotless. All of them. However, I found a spot of what seemed to be rust on the very edge of the handles. Doubt it’s entirely rust.” One of the monitors lit up, signifying that a file had been received.

 

Before Hayden could even look over the file, Leanne had already ran the file under a chemical analysis. “Right, I’m running an analysis now. Evie’s trying to track down Stowers?”

 

“Exactly,” responded Cadmus as they could hear him shifting around.

 

Settling down on a chair next to Leanne, Hayden examined the few photos they had of the suspects. None of them were clear enough to make an accurate sketch, but it would have to do for the moment, he figured. In the corner of the screen, he noticed that there was a picture of a man, along with a long description.

 

“The paperweight was a present for me from a well-known artisan…his name is slipping my mind. Nah… But anyway, I got it after winning the election.” So it was Bernfield’s words, Hayden’s eyes scanned the paragraph for any useful notes. “I have to say, I was pretty proud of how I looked in that sculpture. Captured all of my best features, if I do say so myself. I had it altered, you see. There was a compartment in the base of the paperweight. It had—well—something important.”

 

“…?”

 

Hayden frowned. It appeared that the paperweight wasn’t just any ordinary one. Perhaps if they could find the artisan, they could figure out just what was in the paperweight.

 

“Leanne, Cad!” A voice startled Hayden for what seemed to be the millionth time that day. He sighed, wondering why the CIU members loved doing that to him…and why he was so easily startled in the first place.

 

“I have a lead! I found his wife—nice lady—but she told me that he was allegedly out on a fishing trip with several of his friends: Robert Mullin, Stan Sage, Dave Dowell. Do any of those names match up with the descriptions of the assailants?” Her voice was a mixture of excitement and enthusiasm.

 

Within moments, Leanne had several documents pulled up. “Let’s see…Robert Mullin. Known for his aggressive tendencies. He’s been convicted on two counts of attempted burglary… Also conflicted on DUI charges.” She moved the documents to another screen as she searched up the next name. “Stan Sage. A retired congressman. He ran for election several times, some against Bernfield. No convictions.” Repeating the process, she opened the last set of documents. “Dave Dowell. A shopkeeper in Sensurren. He was arrested for being a threat to the public in a demonstration, but never convicted.”

 

“Seems like a sketchy group to me…” Hayden muttered, which got a brief smile out of Leanne.

 

“Right, so do you have any ideas about where any of them might be, Evie?”

 

Evie affirmed, “Apparently Dowell was seen just recently, so I’m heading over to his shop now. I called for some back up, just in case. Updates on the case?”

 

Leanne looked to Hayden, who nodded. “The murder weapon-“

 

“Ah Hayden!” The agent seemed to be more than overjoyed to hear his voice, which got a laugh out of both Cadmus and Leanne. “I didn’t know you were there! Hello! How have you been? Dan hasn’t been bullying you too much, has he? I mean, he can be a bit grumpy, but-“

 

“Evie.” To Hayden’s relief, Cadmus had interrupted her ramblings.

“Oops. Right. Back to the case. So what was that about the weapon?” She giggled sheepishly.

 

With an encouragement from Leanne, Hayden continued. “We found the knife on the property. There seemed to be another weapon involved, though; Senator Bernfield’s paperweight. No sign of it so far.” He looked to Leanne, who gave him a nod of approval.
“Cad also found a bloodstain on the van’s back handle. The blood belongs to the victim, Beverly Harris. Cad, any cameras in that area?”

The senior agent answered, “None immediately around here. Try tapping into the cameras between the van’s location and the Bernfield residence. I’ve sent the coordinates to you. I’m on my way to question nearby businesses. Two suspects?”

 

“That’s what we suspect,” Leanne replied, “Although we can’t rule out the possibility that there were more involved. The witness reported two intruders.”

 

Turning back to the description, Hayden began working on a rough sketch of the paperweight. He could hear Leanne’s conversation with the other two agents in the background. His eyes returned to the monitor to finish reading the testimonial from Bernfield.

“Its weight? Well, I’m not too sure. Probably pretty heavy. Though most of the weight was in the base.”

 

“…”

 

Shifting his memory back to the office, he recalled that the fragments were rather thin. None of the pieces were particularly heavy. His eyes moved back to the screen.

 

“The height? My guess would be, maybe eight inches?  The base itself was a good few inches tall. It could fit in my palm, the base.”

 

Eight inches…that was more than enough to use as a handle, assuming that the top of the paperweight had been broken in the scramble in the office. He tapped his pencil lightly against the desk as he gazed at the palm of his right hand, mentally calculating the size and shape of the paperweight before drawing a rough sketch of the sculpture and its dimensions.
“Found Dowell’s shop.” He could hear the sound of static before a new window appeared on the screen. They found Evie staring right at them with a grin on her face. “Is this working? Looks like it! Heeeeeey!”

 

“It’s working,” they answered together; the sight of Evie brought a smile to both of their faces. She appeared to be in the van, similar to the van that they were in.

“So I’m just outside across the street from the shop. I can see two people inside, Dowell being presumably one of the two. It matches the description I have of him anyway. Just waiting for back up before I go in.”

 

Hayden looked from Evie’s window to Leanne, “So if Evie has the van, where’s Cad?”

 

“Currently stranded in the middle of nowhere!” came an amused laugh from the said agent. Leanne simply smiled at him, confirming Cadmus’s words. “Nah, kidding. So I asked the nearby businesses about the van. It doesn’t look like anyone noticed anything particularly suspicious, but I asked them for the video footage of the cameras posted outside the building. I’ll have them send it to you in a moment. Evie, where are you right now?”

 

“Let’s see…off of fifth and Seaway Circle. If I’m right, it’s just a few blocks from where you are. Looks like I made a circle around town.” Evie noted, apparently pulling up a map on the GPS in the van.

 

The monitor made a shrill ping to show that the files have been received. In the folder on the screen, several videos were labeled with the time and date.

 

“If we’re looking for shortly after the crime, then it should be anywhere between…..9:15 and on…” Hayden mumbled to himself, but received a nod from Leanne.

 

“Right. Thankfully, this isn’t a large city, so there aren’t too many people to look up.” With a few clicks, she ran the video footage on fast forward. “So how’s the sketch coming along?”

 

Hayden’s gaze shifted back to his paper for a moment before he showed it to her. “I’ve calculated the rough size from the descriptions… It’s just a rough sketch though. Although…from what Senator Bernfield said, there seemed to have been a secret compartment within the base of the paperweight.”

 

Leanne’s eyes shifted from the paper, to the screen, and back to Hayden again. “A compartment? What did it have?”

 

Shaking his head, he answered, “He wouldn’t specify. Something ‘important’, he said.”

 

This got a frown from Leanne as her eyes reverted back to the video clips. “So it’s something he’s trying to hide.”

Hayden shrugged, his eyes going to the monitor as well. “If it is, it could be a possible motive” he added, resting his head in his palm as he worked to finish the sketch with his other hand.

 

Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see Leanne alternatively monitoring the screens and watching him work. After a few minutes, she spoke up. “We could send your sketch to Evie. Maybe it’ll help with questioning Dowell.”

 

This caught Evie’s attention, “You have a sketch?” The two looked up at the screen.

“Mhm. Hayden drew a sketch of the paperweight. The blunt object used in the attack.” Leanne answered, to which Hayden gave a nod.
Finishing up the last of the details, he gave the paper to Leanne, who looked satisfied with the work. “I’ll send it to you now, Evie.”

 

After a moment, they could see Evie opening the document on her pager. “Wow! How long did it take you to draw this? It would have taken me ages and I still wouldn’t be able to draw this! Although, I can draw some pretty wicked stick figures! But nothing like this!” A clear knock could be heard through Evie’s transmission. From the camera, they could see the sight of a uniformed officer knocking at her windows. “Ah, reinforcements are here!” exclaimed Evie cheerfully as went over the details with the officer. “That’s Dowell’s store over there,” Evie’s explanations could be heard over the speakers, “If possible, we’d like to bring him in for questioning.”

 

Movement could be seen on the screen until the camera settled, presumably attached to Evie’s jacket in a way that allowed them to see the scene from her perspective. From the screen, they could see Evie move out of the van. “I’m going in. Sound okay?”

 

“Affirmative, Sound is fine.” answered Leanne as she adjusted the screen to make the view bigger. Another officer could be seen in the shot, bringing the total to two uniformed officers. There was another person, dressed in civilian clothing, who stood with the group.

 

“Is that…”

 

“An undercover officer,” Leanne confirmed, glancing sideways at him before returning her eyes to the screen. “We don’t want to draw too much attention, so we only have a few uniformed officers on scene. There are some with Cad as well. Normally, we would have a pair of agents together, but we also want to keep an eye on the vehicle until it can be brought in as evidence.”

 

They watched the screen closely as Evie and the undercover officer entered the small store. A bell rang as they entered, drawing the attention of a young lady at the counter.

“Hello!” She looked young, presumably in her twenties or so.

 

“Hello!” Evie responded cheerfully, “Is Mr. Dowell here?”

 

The young woman hesitated before answering, “A-ah,” She glanced around nervously. “M-may I ask for your name? Perhaps I can take a message.”
Hayden noticed the frown on Leanne’s face deepen.

 

Evie too, seemed to have noticed something about her behavior. “My apologies, I didn’t introduce myself.” The cheer had left her voice. “I am Agent Evelyn Kirchner with the FCIA. I would like to ask Mr. Dowell some questions.” They could see her presenting her badge to the woman, who visibly paled.

“I-I will leave a message for him, please give me a moment.”

 

With that, she hurried inside. They could see Evie move around the store, examining the items on display. It appeared to be an antique shop. Slowly, she moved around the front desk.

 

“…”

 

Abruptly, she stopped, before bending down to examine something.

 

Through the camera, they could see a trashcan with bits of debris in it. Upon closer inspection, it seemed to be pieces of glass.

 

“There’s blood” reported Evie. They could see her give a nod to the other officer. “Leanne, a search warrant, please.”

 

“Very well.” Leanne moved the video to a side screen before working to get the warrant.
“How is it, Hayden?” Evie moved in a way that allowed him to see clearly into the bin.

 

As Evie reported, blood covered several pieces—far too much blood to be passed off as from an accident. From what he could see, the pieces had some shape to them, even in fragments. “It’s possible.” He answered, “I wonder what their excuse will be for that.”

 

He could hear a snicker from Evie. “My thoughts exactly.”

 

The camera shifted as Evie stood up to face the young lady. “Mr. Dowell will be out shortly…”

 

“Thank you. By the way, I noticed that there was some broken glass in the trash. May I ask what happened?”

 

The color drained from the woman’s face again. “A-ah, there was an accident.” She looked to the ground and fidgeted. “Excuse me.” With that, she turned on her heel and left the room once more.

 

“An ‘accident’, huh…?” Evie muttered. Before she could do anything more, a middle aged man entered the room. He stood stiffly and—like the young woman—looked around nervously before his eyes settled on Evie.

 

With her usual professional mask on, Evie greeted the man, “Hello. Are you Mr. Dowell?”

 

With a scratch of his arm, the man nodded. “That’s me.”

 

“Great. I am Evelyn Kirchner from the FCIA.” The man looked to the ground, away from Evie’s gaze. She continued, “I am only here to ask you a few questions. I would appreciate it if you would cooperate with me.”

“…dent.” The man had muttered something that they could barely catch.

 

“Pardon?”

 

“It was an accident!” The man repeated, a slight tremble in his voice. The camera turned as Evie turned to look at the undercover officer.

 

“Sorry to interrupt, but the warrant has been obtained. On the basis of the contents of the trash can, we have a warrant for searching the building for any signs of evidence. Evie, if possible, please send the glass for analysis when you have the chance.” Leanne’s words evidently reached both Evie and Cad, for Hayden could detect faint signs of affirmation from both agents. At the same time, Hayden pondered how exactly Leanne had obtained a search warrant that quickly, but decided that it was best to leave that for another time.

 

Evie turned back to the man. “An accident, sir? What was, if I may ask?” Dowell’s head jerked up, eyes wide, before it fell again.

“I-I…” He stuttered, backing up several steps. “H-he….he made me do it… It was an accident! I didn’t—I didn’t mean to hurt her!”

 

Resting her elbows on the table, Leanne leaned forward slightly, a frown on her face. “An accident, huh?” Her voice was not much above a whisper. “Well, now someone’s dead.” Glancing at her, Hayden’s eyes slowly moved toward his sketch of the blunt object before returning his eyes to the screen.

 

“The least we can do is capture the people who killed her,” Hayden said softly, to which Leanne gave a little smile.

 

At that moment, the door to their own van opened, revealing Dan. “Updates?” He made his way to the screen, eyes immediately focused on the scene in the shop.

 

“Lead on Dave Dowell. Evie went in to question him and found fragments of blood-stained glass in the trash. I obtained a search warrant on the shop and both Cad and Evie are investigating. We’re waiting for a sample of the blood.” Without looking away from the screen, Leanne recited with ease. “Dowell admitted that the crime was ‘an accident’.”

 

Eyes narrowing, the team leader ordered, “Secure the scene. Let’s head over there” as he got right back out of the van.

 

 

“It’s already dark outside, huh…” Evie sighed, leaning back on her chair.

 

Leanne and Hayden turned their attention to her as she began to ramble about how she was looking forward to going home and eating dinner. “We’re almost done, Evie,” gently reassured Leanne as she returned to her laptop. “Once Cad and the boss finish, we can go home.”

 

Gazing through the one-way window, Hayden watched as Dan and Cad interrogated the answers out of Dowell and Mullin, both of whom sat stiffly in their seats. Typing could be heard as Leanne took down notes during the interrogation. Hayden had his own notebook out, recording both the information and the interrogation techniques.

 

From the interrogation, it appeared that Dowell and Mullin had invaded the Bernfield residence with the intent of taking documents in an attempt to hinder Bernfield’s run for reelection. While they admitted that they had been coerced to commit the burglary, their descriptions of the mastermind were inconsistent.

 

“It’s like they’re describing two different people…” muttered Hayden with a frown as he took down the information.
Evie, too, didn’t seem all that pleased. “Maybe they didn’t see the person in the first place? Sorta like when you meet someone you think is a girl online and it turns out that they were a middle aged man who was pretending to be a girl the entire time! Talk about creepy, but it’s pretty common these days isn’t it? With the internet and online dating and all, you never know what’s behind the screen!”

 

“Well, all that we can do is take them into custody. We’ll have to catch the mastermind later.” Leanne stated, keeping a close eye on the interrogation room. “It’s not ideal, but it can’t be helped.”

 

As Leanne had predicted, Dowell and Mullin had been taken in that night. In the following days, Stowers, who was found hiding at a friend’s house, was taken in. While they hadn’t been able to track down the mastermind, even after following several leads, they had managed to close the Bernfield case without any further incident.

 

Hayden found himself staring at the screen of his computer, attempting to fix the dozens of mistakes that Dan had managed to find on his case report. Everyone else had left, though not before giving him a pitying look. He assumed that it was sometime past five in the evening. The team leader was at his desk, fully concentrated on his own screen.

 

“Done!” Hayden sighed softly, glancing at Dan before getting up to show him the revised report. He didn’t seem particularly pleased, but muttered that the report was satisfactory enough in his eyes. While it wasn’t a straight approval, it would do, Hayden thought in relief.

 

It was then that a sharp knock filled the room. Both pairs of eyes turned toward the door.

 

An agent whom Hayden had never met stepped into the room, a stern look on his face as he scanned the room. When he caught sight of the both of them, he stood up straight, “Excuse my interruption. My name is Jett Emmers. I presume that you must be Agent Rolmac. It is a pleasure to meet you.” A professional smile was on his face.

 

All the while, the man had not once casted even a glance in Hayden’s direction. Like he had done with Hayden, Dan seemed to scrutinize the agent for a moment before murmuring a “Likewise.”

 

“Hello, my name is Hayden Griffith. It’s nice to meet you. It looks like we’ll be teammates from now on.” Hayden offered the man a smile. He had finally taken a look at Hayden, though his smile had dropped briefly. It quickly resumed anew, however, the smile was now full of malice—or so Hayden thought. If Dan had noticed, the team leader made no show of it as he finished looking over the report.

 

“My pleasure.” The new agent took a few steps toward the two, the smile still on his face, giving Hayden an eerie feeling. “I hope we can get along well.”

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Episode One, Part Two Copyright © by Asyrinn. All Rights Reserved.

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