FIRST RESPONSE In Hot Pursuit (Chrysalism & MST3K 4ever)

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by Nydanna, Mar 12, 2015.

    • Two detectives follow the trail of a serial killer in Miami.
    • N/A
    • Cynthia Matthers (Chrysalism)

      Kevin West (MST3K 4ever)
    #1 Nydanna, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2016
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  1. It was like Christmas morning for Kevin West. Only this time he wasn't 12 years old, this wasn't Pittsburgh, and he wasn't getting a Playstation but the sense of anticipation was the same though. He had been up since 3:00 am getting ready for the trip of a life time and he wasn't due to leave for at least another three hours. Kevin and four of his closest friends from his college days in Pittsburgh. They had been planning for a year, and everything was in place for the perfect guys week. They would all meet up in Bradenton at a beach house, play poker, tell bad jokes, go fishing, get blitzed, grill out and just have fun. The main thing they were looking forward to was seeing the Pittsburgh Pirates during their Spring Training time. One of the guys knew someone in the Front Office who got them field passes, dug out passes, and they were even going to take batting practice with the team.

    He paced around his apartment loft wearing his Pittsburgh Pirates pull over jacket, his favorite black jeans, and his black riding boots because a trip like this demanded that he take his Harley and not his Jeep. With one overhead light on Kevin picked up his bat and began swinging it back and forth ever so slowly. As he did his German Shepherd Roxanne watched laying in her favorite corner of the loft

    When she let out a slight whimper Kevin said, "Relax Roxie Joey down the hall will be checking in on and feeding you. Besides it's only one week then I promise no more trips out of town until Memorial Day weekend."

    Roxanne let out another whimper and Kevin looked at her and said, "Keep it up and I'll leave now. I don't need you making me feel guilty."

    Roxanne turned a way and Kevin stopped pacing around. He looked at the ground and said, "All right Roxie you forced me to do this. Now I was gonna do this just as I was leaving." Kevin laid his bat down and walked over to the fridge where he pulled out a very sizable soup bone. Roxanne perked up slightly when she heard the fridge door close and then turned to see Kevin with the soup bone in hand. Immediately Roxanne sat up and began panting as Kevin walked over to her.

    He knelt beside her and asked, "Am I forgiven? Can daddy have some lovin' ?" Roxanne gave him two licks on his left cheek. Kevin chuckled and said, "That's my girl. That's my girl. Just so you know there are three more in the fridge just like this one. Joey will give one every other day." Kevin gave Roxanne two scratches behind the ear and set the bone in front of her. Within seconds Roxanne was growling and gnawing away. Kevin smiled as he stood up and said, "Enjoy sweet girl, and of course I'm gonna miss you." He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Why not? I get there early I can open up the house, enjoy the beach, or catch a nap before the crew shows up."

    Just then there was a pounding at the door. Kevin stood up as Roxanne dropped the bone and began to growl when he said, "Wait a minute Roxie settle girl. Settle down ax murderers and robbers don't knock."

    Roxanne settled down and Kevin then heard the familiar voice of his commander Captain Harry Webb bellow, "Open up West! I know you're in there! Open it up this is official Police Business! Let's go!"

    Kevin's heart slowly began to sink as he said, "I think I would've preferred the ax murderer."

    Kevin bowed his head and shook it slowly as he walked towards his metal sliding door. He let out a deep sigh and said, "If what I think is about to happen happens I may actually cry." He opened the door and saw Webb standing there in a gray t-shirt with black sweat pants Kevin said, "Leaving town in about two minutes."

    Webb replied, "I wouldn't be here if you had your phones on."

    Kevin said, "Well Cap I think you should know something..." He nodded as he said, "I would say that all that was an accident, but my mom taught me lying was a sin. It was to avoid situations like this"

    Webb replied, "Your mother is a saint. We gotta talk now this is big."

    Kevin stepped aside and motioned for Webb to come into his loft. Kevin closed the door as Webb entered carrying an envelope and said, "Cap in all seriousness I have had this on the books for almost one full year, plans have been made, deposits paid, all that mess you cannot do this to me Cap."

    Webb turned and looked at Kevin and said, "No but Commissioner Lido can." That statement caught Kevin's attention as Webb exhaled and asked, "What do you know about the Major Crimes Unit?"

    Kevin shrugged his shoulders and said, "Newly formed taking cases that are deemed high profile in terms of potential media coverage, very bizarre crimes, and possible political connections. They got their own club house with their own crime lab near the downtown area in building marked the Gold Coast Shipping Company, and you don't ask to be a part of it you get asked."

    Webb nodded and said, "You know the basics. Good you'll get the rest when you get down there."

    Webb handed Kevin the envelope and said, "By order of Commissioner Lido you have been transferred to Major Crimes. " Kevin took the envelope and began reading it as Webb said, "Truthfully I've done everything I can to keep you in my department, because I realize what I'm about to lose and the division won't be the same without you. There was another murder a lot like two similar ones that have recently happened. No way to id the vics, crime scene clean of anything that can be used. A real pro to say the least." Webb shook his head said, "The Commissioner got the call about 45 minutes ago. He called the Chief gave the case to MCU and then the Commissioner called me. By now MCU's CO knows you're joining up with them. You''re to report to MCU within the hour. You'll get your briefing when you get to MCU. Cecil will clean out your desk for you and have your stuff shipped to you."

    Kevin asked, "What if I say no?"

    Webb replied, "Then you go on your vacation and you make a lot of enemies downtown and in the department. More than likely when you get back your life was be made so miserable you'll have no other desire other than to quit. I can't protect you on this Kev. This is way beyond me. "

    Kevin laid the letter on the table and stuck his hand out. Webb took it and the two men shook hands as Webb said, "Congrats on the promotion, and sorry about your trip. We're gonna miss you."

    Kevin nodded and said, "Thanks Cap. I learned a lot from you and I know I wasn't always easy to work with, but I'm grateful to have been a part of the division. Make sure you tell Larry that I said he was a great partner and lay off the donuts."

    Webb chucked and said, "Will do. Good luck Kevin."

    Webb left the loft and Kevin quickly changed from his vacation attire to a black suit with a white shirt and a red tie. He cut his phones back on, deleted his messages from Webb, and then texted his friends explaining why he had to back out on the trip.

    As Kevin started to leave he saw Roxanne still chewing on her bone. Kevin looked at her and said, "Well at least one of us is happy right now."

    Kevin closed the door and walked outside to where he was parked. He looked at his jeep and then his Harley. Kevin shrugged his shoulders and said, "Hey if I'm up nobody is sleeping." With that Kevin started his Harley which let out a thunder boom. Kevin smirked a bit as he drove off to MCU.
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  2. CynthiaThe crime scene panned out nothing new about the killer, no unexpected surprises when the body was lifted, nothing at all. It was as the body had simply appeared out of thin air. Cynthia knew that wasn’t a possibility, but that was how the killer wanted it, and he was getting better and better at covering his tracks. All she had to go for this victim so far was that he was a white male, approximately six foot tall, with brown hair if the small amount of leg hair peeking out from the cuff of the sweatpants he wore matched the hair on his head. She knew there was something distinguishable about his arms, but exactly what she could not say. It could be anything from tattoo sleeves, to a missing finger. They could get lucky on a DNA match, but the killer wasn’t that stupid. Whoever these victims were, they were either law abiding citizens, or they simply hadn’t gotten caught yet. Either way, she was screwed. Identifying the three nameless bodies was the only way she’d be able to find the killer, and they were certainly making sure she hit ever roadblock on the way.

    After the medical examiner left, Cynthia went over the evidence collected with the forensics team, who agreed with her assessment that none of what was gathered would lead to any suspects. “Half this stuff’s been sitting here for months, probably years. You might find a couple outstanding warrants, but I doubt you’ll find your killer.” Timothy Roth, lead investigator of the CSI unit admitted when Cynthia questioned him about their findings. No, their guy was improving from being fairly good from the start, now it seemed like he was a perfectionist at keeping his identity, and that of his victims a secret. The detective felt like she was running into the same brick wall repeatedly, and sadly had yet to put even a small dent in it. She was out of luck, and if she didn’t catch a break soon the commissioner would end up tossing the case to the FBI. Cynthia may not have minded it, but for her this was now personal. Never had she come across a criminal that could evade her the way this killer had, and she was determined to find out who they were and make sure they were locked away for good. She certainly couldn’t do that if the FBI took the case.

    Even though CSI had taken pictures of the scene, Cynthia decided to take some of her own, focusing mostly where the body had laid for the past twenty four hours, and on the image painted on the wall. The three crime scenes had all been different, each one becoming progressively sloppier and harder to sift through. The first had been an alley, cluttered with trash and a small group of homeless men who had scuffled over who had rights to the large dumpster beside where the body was found. The three men had contaminated the crime scene before the murder could be called in, but even if they hadn’t, there wasn’t anything to be found other than the body itself. No fingerprints or footprints. No blood from the suspect. Nothing at all but a teenage boy who should have been worrying about college, not laying on a slab in the morgue.

    The second victim, an Asian female who was about five foot three inches tall, and approximately 50-65 years in age had been found in another deserted building, this one more recently abandoned and not quite as ravaged by time and drug addicts. Like the first victim, her teeth had been removed and her face beaten beyond recognition. The difference this time was that the killer had not bothered burning the woman’s fingerprints off; he had simply chopped off her hands. All three victims had any distinguishable marks removed, a one foot section of skin sliced off so that they could not tell what it was, and where exactly it had been. The possibilities were endless, and it made sifting through missing persons reports even more difficult.

    Sighing softly, the detective left the crime scene, letting the forensics team finish up what they were doing and the cleanup crew to come along afterwards to erase what evidence they did not want to be left behind. Cynthia certainly wasn’t thrilled with how her day was going, and little did she know that it was about to get worse.


    The Miami-Dade MCU was stationed inside a six story building, the sleek, modern design making it look more like a work of art than a police station. The MCU was located on the fourth floor, right between the forensics labs and a multi-unit floor with Homicide, Robbery, and a small task force with the Narcotics unit worked. Unlike their counterparts, Major Crimes had their own floor, each detective assigned an office. Currently, Cynthia was the only detective in the unit that did not have a partner, and had requested that it remain that way. Unfortunately for her, her single status was about to be revoked.

    It was a little after seven o’clock when Cynthia exited the elevator and entered her unit, a manila folder in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. She had been up since three thirty that morning when she was called in, and it didn’t look like she’d be seeing her apartment or her bed anytime soon. She had even less to go on with this victim than the previous two, and she was forced to wait to hear from the ME to get enough to even begin searching the database. It was the start of an extremely long day, and to her dismay it was about to get even longer.

    “Matthers, is that you?” Boomed the deep and stern voice of her captain, Richard ‘Rich’ Holsted, a twenty five year veteran of the force, and CO of the MCU for the past ten. Unlike most captain Holsted was not the nurturing mentor that was often portrayed on TV. He was a small man, only an inch taller than Cynthia herself, and probably outweighing her only by ten pounds. His face was pinched in a constant grimace, as if he’d been sucking on lemons his entire life. There was no nurturing from her captain, no ‘We’ll get ‘em!’ peptalks of encouragement. It was ‘Do your job and get the criminal put away’; no questions, no arguments, no debates. He didn’t deal with bullshit, not from anyone.

    Shoulders jerking up in a cringe beneath the light blue sweater she wore, Cynthia debated ignoring the man and pretending she was too engrossed in the folder in her hand to notice him. It might get her a few steps away, but she knew Holsted would simply chase her down. “Yes, sir.” She replied quickly, her feet moving toward the doorway to peer in at the man who sat tensely behind his desk. He nodded his head to one of the chairs in front of his large oak desk, and she knew that she was in trouble. She was never called into the captain’s office, not unless he was asking her for a report, and usually he would let her get to her office first. No, he was about to unleash something on her; the problem was, she wasn’t certain what. She had three cases all linked to the same killer now, and was unable to make progress on any of them. The fact that none of the victims had been identified was the biggest issue, but not something that was under Cynthia’s control. “Have a seat, Matthers. I have some news for you.”

    There was a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as she crossed the office and took up one of the chairs. “Look captain, if this is about the serial, I’m trying. So far Missing Persons….”

    “That’s not why you’re in here Matthers. I’m well aware of the situation. I’m also aware that this case is too much for a single detective to handle on their own. That’s why you’ve been assigned a partner. He’ll be coming in a few minutes. I want you to go get your files and bring them in here to brief him on the case.” The captain looked pointedly over at her, staring at her as if he was waiting for her to argue with him. Cynthia wanted to. Every nerve in her body was stretched thin, her stomach now churning chaotically as she prepared to reject the suggestion. She wasn’t an idiot though. She knew that she needed help, and while she didn’t like it, she would be an idiot to turn down the idea. “For this case only?” She asked hopefully, willing to give having a partner a shot if it meant she could go solo once this case was solved. The man across the desk snickered humorlessly, shaking his head. “No. From this point on you’re part of a team, Matthers. I suggest you get used to the idea. I’ve got the commissioner and the mayor breathing on my neck about this case. Two months, three bodies, and we can’t even ID the vics! You’re a smart girl. Your ass wouldn’t be in that chair right now if you weren’t, but you’re not making any progress trying to do everything on your own.”

    Lips puffing out in a slight pout, she felt the urge to argue against having a partner return, but wisely kept her mouth shut and her ears open. For now she would deal with having a partner, but once the case was closed and the killer was caught she would be putting her foot down. With a soft sigh of resignation Cynthia climbed to her feet, bowing her head down respectfully to the man across the desk. “If that’s it captain, I’ll go get my files together now. Should I….”

    “No. I’ll be bringing him by your office, then I want you two to head down to autopsy. The ME has some information for you.” He waved her off dismissively, the meeting short, sweet, and to the point, but certainly not anything that Cynthia wanted to hear. She was dismissed, left to go gather up her mountains of paperwork on a killer and victims she knew very little about to brief someone who would assume she was incompetent. No, today was not going her way at all, and Cynthia could only hope that the ME had something of value that may actually prove useful.
    • Love Love x 1
  3. Kevin’s mind was far from a good place as the sun began to rise. He had spent nearly 3 hours in the basement of the MCU Building, or the Gold Coast Shipping Company as it was known as MCU technically didn’t exist to outsiders, filling out paper work and answering questions that if Kevin was in his right mind would be eliciting some of the greatest sarcastic remarks he could ever dream of. Again though Kevin’s mind was not in a good place. The situation didn’t look like it was going to be improving either from Kevin’s perspective not only because of the missed vacation, but the missed sleep and feeling like he had no control over his career or life. Two things Kevin was promising himself when this was over. One whoever this killer was he/she would pay not only for the harm they caused, but also for him missing his vacation. Secondly he would start going to Church regularly again and not just occasionally, because if Hell was worse than what he was going through right now Kevin had no desire to go there.

    When Kevin emerged from the basement the sun was obscenely bright to him as it came through the glass doors.

    Kevin covered his eyes and said, “Ahh the light it burns no. Keep it away or I’ll melt.”

    Kevin took his hands away from his eyes and saw a woman standing before him in a blue pin-stripe pants suit. She had her black hair in a tight bun, holding an I-Pad, with a plastic box, while wearing glasses that she peered over the top looking at Kevin with the disdain of a common house fly.

    Kevin gave a slight grin and said, “Hello, Detective ….”

    She interrupted, “Detective Kevin West yes my name is Mrs. Hernandez. I am the receptionist for the God Coast Shipping Company I’ve been monitoring your progress since you arrived here this morning.” She held out the clear box and said, “Please deposit your phone, side arm, and your shield in this bin. We need to add a couple of new Apps to your phone, register your side arm, and issue you a new shield.”

    As he did Kevin asked, “You want my dignity and my manhood in their too?”

    Hernandez replied, “I wasn’t aware you had either one.”

    Kevin shook his head and said, “I walked right into that one. I must be tired.

    Hernandez took the box back and said with a smirk, “You certainly did Detective.”

    Kevin returned the smirk with a slight bow. Hernandez touched a blue tooth and said, “He’s ready sir…yes sir I’ll process his items.”

    Hernandez escorted Kevin to an elevator and as the doors closed she said, “You’re on your way up to meet with Captain Richard Holsted where he will give you a general overview and introduce you to your partner Cynthia Matthers.”

    Kevin nodded and said, “Right. Shouldn’t I give you my passcode for my phone?”

    Hernandez let out a slight snort with a grin and said, “It’s not a problem. Our techs can access your phone.”

    Kevin looked at her and asked, “I don’t know what’s scary the fact that you all can do that, or the way you said it?

    Kevin saw Hernandez smile a bit more as the elevator stopped it’s gently ascension. The doors opened and Kevin saw Captain Holsted. Kevin knew of Captain Holsted by reputation as he was the Homicide Captain before Captain Webb. According to some of the other vets in Homicide Holsted was far from anyone’s friend, very results driven, and didn’t take any lip off of anyone. However when his Detectives had their backs against the wall against either the Administration, or the Politicians at City Hall Holsted would go to the wall and over it for them. No one messed with his Detectives but him.

    Holsted looked at Hernandez and said, “That’ll be all Olivia. When Detective West’s items are processed bring them right to him, and tell tech his items are priority one he’s got a lot of work in front of him.”

    Olivia nodded and replied, “Yes sir.”

    As Kevin stepped off the elevator he said, “Oh by the way if the techs do anything to screw up my score on ‘Angry Birds’ those birds won’t be the only thing angry. Also good luck on finding and terminating John Connor.”

    Olivia actually looked like she wanted to smile as the doors closed. Kevin turned to the Captain and stuck his hand out. Holsted just looked at him and said, “Welcome to MCU Detective West. I’m your Captain not your friend. We get things done here not stand on civility. Walk with me West.”

    Kevin took his hand back and said, “Of course sir.”

    As they walked down a hallway Holsted pointed to a door that said, “Kevin West.” Holsted said, “Been trying for a while to get you here, so we’ve had your name plate ready. Your items arrived about ten minutes ago you can get your office set up later.”

    West replied, “Yes sir.”

    They entered the Captain’s office and he said, “Have a seat.” Kevin sat across from the Captain who sat down almost immediately. He said, “All right I’ll get right to it West. You have a reputation for being a damn good cop. I’m impressed with that but you also have a reputation as wise cracker.” He looked directly at West and said, “Not impressed with. There’s a time and a place for humor and I’ll let some of it slide, but don’t abuse it. I am 25 year veteran and you will show me the respect accorded to that status. Clear?”

    Kevin nodded and replied, “Yes sir.”

    In most cases Kevin would roll his eyes first chance he got, but seeing as this was his first day Kevin felt rocking the boat and making a bad impression was a bad idea. So he would play “the good cop” for now.

    Holsted said, “By the way somewhat impressed you got Olivia to almost show an emotion. She must think you’re okay. Don’t tell her I told you that though.”

    West replied, “Will do Captain.”

    Holsted said, “I don’t have time for nice so I’ll be blunt. The clock is ticking on this case. If we don’t start showing some results, and soon the Mayor is gonna get a call from the Governor to bring in the Feds to ‘advise’ us on this case.”

    West nodded and said, “And they’ll show up with their mini-Batcave, and if we’re lucky we’ll be able to get them cups of coffee.”

    Holsted replied, “Exactly. In all my years of being here I’ve never had to let the Feds in for advisement, and I damn sure ain’t gonna do it now.”

    West was now focused on the case at hand. He wasn’t moping about his vacation anymore it was time to get to work. Most of all Kevin hated seeing the Feds get involved in a case. He had seen it happen one time too many. West said, “All right then Captain let’s get to work.”

    Just then there was a knock on the door and Holsted said, “Enter.”

    Olivia entered the room with Kevin’s items and said, “Here you go Detective, and by the way my son is two levels ahead of you on ‘Angry Birds’ and has more than 250,000 points than you.”

    She smiled at Kevin as she walked away. Kevin shook his head as he put his items away. Holsted said, “Advice don’t try to keep up with her. I’ve seen her take out the Mayor and City Manager with just a look.”

    Holsted stood up and Kevin with him as West said, “Noted Captain.”

    Holsted motioned towards the door and said, “Let’s go meet your partner. Her name is Cynthia Matthers. She can be socially awkward and at times very demanding but she’s a damn good cop. If something happened to one of my family members I’d want her leading the case.”

    The two men walked down the hall and Holsted knocked on Cynthia’s door frame as the door was already opened.

    Holsted entered with Kevin following behind him and said, “Here he is.” He motioned to Kevin and said, “Detective Kevin West this is your partner Detective Cynthia Matthers. You can exchange your resumes on your own time. Right now you two have a trip autopsy. Get to it and Matthers get him up to speed I expect some sort of progress when I have my chat with the Commissioner at 2 today.”

    With that Holsted was out of the room. Kevin looked at Detective Matthers for a few seconds. One thing was for certain about Matthers she was an attractive woman there was no doubt, and if Holsted was singing her praises she had to be one helluva a Detective too. Kevin said with a smile, “Hello Detective Kevin West. Springsteen enthusiast, jogger, Harley rider, and a Virgo. Since I’m the new guy I will follow you to Autopsy. By the way do I call you Detective Matthers? Matthers? Or Cynthia? ”
    #4 MST3K 4ever, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
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  4. CynthiaCall her old fashioned, but Cynthia preferred to keep her records handwritten. While nearly all the other detectives had taken to typing up their reports, Cynthia still took her time to write them by hand, that way there could be no question of who made the report if it was bought up in court. Everything she had on the case was stacked neatly in piles on the top of her desk; she didn’t need the files to give her new partner everything he needed to know. From the time she arrived on the scene of the first body dump until she wandered in the office that morning. It wasn’t as if there was a whole lot, at not at first glance. She had the causes of death, which were different for the first two victims, but similar in that it wasn’t too difficult to put the two together. What made it hard for her, or anyone for that matter, to figure out any information about the killer was the differences in the three victims, along with the locations that they were dumped. The detective had yet to pin point the third dump job on the map, but she already knew that it was almost ten miles from the first, and thirteen from the second.

    Her time to reflect on the case was cut short by the knock to her door, Cynthia peering up to the two men standing outside with a disgruntled look of one who had just been rudely woken up. The introduction by the captain was blessedly brief, but her new partner decided that it wasn’t enough. Her head cocked to the left as she listened to him rambling on about facts that she didn’t need to know, lips sealed in a line to keep from interrupting. She waited until he was finished, but rather than humor him with how she preferred to be addressed, she reached over to grab one of the folders resting at the top of her desk, slapping it down on the opposite side for West to look over. “We’re currently working on case number oh-seven-two-two-oh-one-five, suspect unknown. So far we believe the suspect is responsible for the murders of three individuals, all of various races, ages, and gender. The victims have yet to be identified, which is making it extremely difficult to find any leds toward the killer.” She paused to take a breath, her head dipping in a nod toward the file she had placed for him to look at. The female was anxious to get down to autopsy, but first she needed to give the new guy the rundown.

    “Victim number one, found inside an alley by a group of homeless men, all who have been cleared. The victim is an African American male between the ages of fourteen to eighteen. The cause of death was poisoning, an ingestion of a large amount of bleach. The ME removed at least a thirty two ounces from the victim’s stomach.” Again she gestured to the folder, waiting for him to pick it up and begin looking over the photos. She was impatient, trying desperately to hide it and failing miserably. Her body was tense, her voice far too severe to even be considered casual. Cynthia was not accustomed to explaining herself to anyone but her captain, and having to go over all that had been done since the start of the murders was proving difficult. “Aside from the cause of death, the victim had all of his teeth removed prior to death, and his fingerprints burnt off by acid, making it difficult to identify him. His facial structure also suffered extensive damage, further hindering any attempts to ID him. Right now he is currently John Doe number one.”

    The detective gave the man a chance to question her, but not much of one. There was a brief pause, only a few seconds long, longer than her pause for breath, although it wouldn’t be nearly long enough for anyone to gather their thoughts together. “Victim number two, Jane Doe, is an Asian female, between the ages of fifty to sixty five. Like John Doe number one, she too was poisoned with bleach, however prior to the ingestion of bleach, the victim ingested shards of glass.” Sighing softly, Cynthia glanced up at her new partner, her eyes scanning over his face to try and get a read on the guy. She had no idea why he had been assigned to her unit, but she had to assume he was accustomed to violent crimes. The nature of death may not seem violent to the outsider, but Cynthia knew better than most. The killer wanted these victims to suffer a long, painful death, and she was willing to bet they remained there to watch the entire time. “Like John Doe number one, Jane Doe also suffered extensive damage to her facial structure. Unlike the first victim, Jane Doe’s hands were removed from the wrists post mortem. She is also missing several layers of skin in one foot patches at the small of her back, between her shoulder blades, and on her hips.”

    Cynthia finally took a breath, this time pausing a bit longer to organize her thoughts all over again. Now was the time to fill West in the aspects of the crime that were similar, and explain just how careful the killer was. “All three victims were found dressed in grey sweat clothes, two x; too big for any of the victims, and nothing else. All three bodies were found in high traffic drug areas, with no physical evidence to the killer. There’s nothing at all to point to the identities of the three. We have DNA, but they aren’t in the system, and missing persons has gotten us nowhere. The first two victims might be easier to identify if their faces could be reconstructed, but that’s not going to happen. Victim number three….well, he has no head, and no arms, so ID’ing him is going to be even harder than the previous two.” She realized that she had been vague on the third victim, but she had yet to learn anything about him herself. “I was going to go down to autopsy to see what the doc could give me about the third victim. He was discovered this morning at three twenty two, an anonymous tip was called in. Most likely a drug addict going into the building to use stumbled over the body, freaked out and called it in. I haven’t heard the recording yet, but it should be coming up this afternoon.”

    “The autopsy reports for the first two victims shows there was nothing in their digestive tracks other than bleach, and in Jane Doe’s case, glass as well as bleach, which means the suspect held the victims for at least two to three days prior to their deaths. Most of the physical damage was done prior to death, but the removal of skin and limbs was done post mortem. The killer wanted his victims to suffer, but not from blood loss. It would have been easy for them to die if they had been bleeding out. He didn’t want them to die that way. He wanted them to feel themselves dying from the bleach.” That wasn’t all that she knew about the suspect, but it was all that she felt comfortable giving without more information about the victims.

    Now that she’d gotten most of the information out of the way, Cynthia finally moved away from her desk, taking a moment to wait for her new partner to follow along behind her. “Matthers if you must call me anything. I suppose I’ll have to exchange the usual niceties if we’re going to be working together.” Having a partner was definitely not going to come naturally for her. She was used to working alone, not having to run everything past someone else. It was going to be a hindrance, one that would take her forever to get used to.

    As she moved from the room, the detective cast a cursory glance over at her partner, a small frown forming on her face. “I’m not sure why they put you with me, but they probably didn’t warn you. Expect long days, and lots of them. I’ve been out on the street following up every missing person report I can get my hands, and it looks like that’s not going to be changing. And you’d better have a stomach made of iron, because this guy is only getting more violent.” She came to a stop in front of the elevators, reaching out to press the button to go down to autopsy. Once the doors for the car opened, she stepped in, keeping them from closing before West stepped in behind her. “It’s only been a few hours since the doc picked up victim number two. If he’s already calling me down that means he must have something.” She could only hope that was what it meant. She needed some good news, and right now the only thing that could brighten her day was finding out that the killer had made a mistake and given them something to ID the victim.
  5. Kevin wanted to ask Cynthia, "Are you related somehow to Sheldon Cooper of 'The Big Bang Theory'?" However since he was just getting used to working with Matthers, as she stated to be called, he thought better of it.

    As Matthers gave him a play by play Kevin picked up the files and began to study the files. The pictures were graphic and not exactly something Kevin was ready to see on what should've been his vacation, but he had seen worse that still didn't make it any easier. Although Matthers social skills needed a lot of work Kevin could tell that Matthers was a very through Detective.

    As they made their way to the elevator Kevin's mind began to work and turn. He let out a bit of an exhale and said, "This is about notice and unnoticed. Notice in the sense of this killer is stripping away bits of the vic's identities, and the way he's killing them each victim has a little something more done to them than the previous one. Which means your belief of things getting more violent is a fact now in our case. Now anything that could be used to id them is taken away. Which tells us that our killer is smart very dangerous, and he knows what we would look for to make an ID."

    Kevin took a step back in the elevator car and spread his arms and hands as though he were wiping a slate clean. He then began to nod and said, "Okay you've seen the pictures dozens and dozens of times now think of something they all have in common." Kevin didn't wait for an answer as he said, "Its the cuts themselves. They are very precise not just a hack and slash but as though this killer knows how to handle a sharp instrument. Butcher, doctor, surgeon any of those would or even someone who is familiar with being precise. They want to put the victims on display like an artist."

    Kevin shook his head and said, "Maybe it's the lack of sleep, I was supposed to be on vacation, so right now my mind is a bit off so feel free to tell me when I'm wrong. Although I don't think that's gonna be an issue with you, but have tech start scouring the internet for videos or graphics. No way our killer is doing this just to dump bodies somewhere. They want to be noticed they want attention on themselves. However they choose to dress the victims in plain ordinary gray sweats and dump them in areas that not many people will take notice of, so it's not about the victim it's about the killer getting their moment in the spotlight.."

    He took a step back and leaned against the elevator walls and said, "Our killer is daring us to play a game with the only people in the world who can play with him, and that's the Police Department. He's bored and looking for a challenge which leads also to another possibility that our killer is someone of wealth. To buy the gray sweats, the items, the tools to kill with this ain't no gang banger Matthers."

    As the elevator began to slow it's descend Kevin nodded and said, "Missing persons is a good start, but so is traffic cam footage. Going over the tape of the anonymous tip call. If the person calling is calm and very precise that's our killer taunting us. If it was just a street junkie they'd be waiting for some kind of reward for their tip to satisfy their next fix. No junkie would miss a chance...."

    The doors opened and Kevin said slowly, "Miss? Something not to be seen. He wants an audience he wants to make sure that he has it. The killer knows we won't publish this to the media. It'll be a field day and that takes away our focus from being on him or her because we'll be worried about what the media is doing and not focused on the killer." Kevin got off the elevator and said, "Forensics they take pictures of the crime scene, and there are cameras in the cars for the crowds." Kevin looked at Matthers and said, "Cynthia our killer is in the videos or in the pics probably. If we break down the footage of our current three crime scenes I will bet a year's pay we will see a blip on the screen at some point that points us to our killer. This is a game to them and they want to make sure that we see them calling us out."

    He finally took a deep breath and closed his eyes as though he was reigning himself in. Kevin said, "Matthers I know that I did a lot of spit balling and free styling out, but I need you to also see were not as lost as we think we are. We have options and clues at our disposal we need just need to know how to use them."

    Kevin looked around as though he had just realized that he had stopped speaking, and was now off the elevator. He said to Matthers, "Okay ummm yeah autopsy? Which way?" Kevin pointed left and then right and shrugged his shoulders.
    #6 MST3K 4ever, Mar 13, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2015
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  6. CynthiaThe female detective listened to what West had to say, her lips in a line that was neither approving nor disapproving. There were a few points that he had hit on where he was incorrect in his assessment, but some of the others were actually valid. She had rushed on her explanation, and left out a few of the major details. She hadn’t told him about the marking on the wall yet, or the forensic findings of the wounds sustained by the victims after their death. It was too much ground to cover in their short elevator trip to autopsy, and Cynthia was still mulling things over in her head. The traffic cameras were a bust, as were the security cameras of the near the alley where the first body had been dumped. The techs had already gone over all the footage they could, and found absolutely nothing of value.

    Humming out a small response to West’s insinuation that this wasn’t gang related. She had already pieced that together, but at the same time, she hadn’t ruled it out entirely either. Gangs ran the streets of Miami as if it was their private city, even most cops tried to steer clear of them. Cynthia had never really had to deal with a case that involved any of the major gangs, but she’d crossed paths with some of the lower level flunkies a time or two during her investigation. They were a pain in the ass, a major one, and if she could avoid dealing with them again she would. “Gangs usually prefer shooting, but if someone wrongs them, they aren’t above resorting to more painful methods of killing. But you’re right. These kills don’t have the markings of a gang hit, at least not the ones we are aware of. However, there are new gangs popping up each and every day, so it would be unwise to scratch them off the list just yet.” There was still the mark to consider. It hadn’t popped up anywhere else yet, but there was always a chance that it could.

    When the doors opened up to the basement, Cynthia was already on her way to the autopsy room on the left, a soft annoyed breath flaring her nostrils as she turned to look back at West. “Left, n, oobie.” She replied quickly, alre ady strolling in that direction toward the metallic door at the end of the hallway. The door was shut, the light overhead a normal white light as opposed to the red light that would be on whenever the doctor was working on an autopsy where contagions and hazardous materials were involved. With practiced ease she pulled the thick metal door open, stepping into the small staging area. On one side was a sink, along with cabinets that were filled with paper robes, face masks and all the other essentials the doctor needed to carry out his work. Cynthia reached over to pluck one of the masks from the box, grabbing an extra one for her partner. “You may want to wear that, unless you find the smell of decay appetizing. If so, feel free to go in as you are.” She assumed no one had warned him how bad her sense of humor was, the jest being small enough to try and lighten the mood, but not nearly funny enough to distract away from the serious nature of what they were about to do.

    The door to the autopsy room was pushed open, Cynthia holding it for West to step through before releasing it to approach the row of metal tables that lined the center of the room. Their victim was the only body so far, but the day was still early. Dr. Samson remained hunched over the corpse, the chest and ribs already cut open, the skin pulled away to reveal the man’s internal organs. At first glance Cynthia was certain a bomb had gone off inside the man, but upon a closer look she could see that his stomach and intestines, while not intact, had no signs of burns. “What the hell happened to him?” The detective blurted out, startling the doctor who had been too busy studying the damage to notice that she and West had entered. His head jerked up, looking from Cynthia to the unknown male behind her. “A visitor, Matthers? How uncharacteristic of you.” He chided her teasingly, the redhead narrowing her eyes in a warning that was quickly ignored. Seeing that he wasn’t going to get an introduction from the female detective, the doctor regarded the yet to be identified detective. “Doctor Samson. And you are? I’d shake hands, but I’m fairly certain you don’t want to know where mine have been.”

    With no way of getting around it, Cynthia sighed softly, stepping off to the side to give the two men a chance to observe each other. “Doctor Samson this is West…..Kevin West. My new partner. West, this is Doctor Samson, our chief Medical Examiner.” Her eyes rolled at the simplemindedness of social etiquette, but rather than complain about the time taken away from her business, she jumped straight to business. “I take it you already have a cause of death? Looking at his organs, it looks like he swallowed a bomb.”

    The doctor chuckled, shaking his head slowly. No point trying to get Matthers to attempt to be social, he’d been trying for years and hadn’t succeeded yet. “Yes, it does look that way. But take a closer look. You’ll notice that his heart, lungs and other vital organs are intact and in their proper places. It is only his stomach and intestines that have suffered.” He nodded over to small metal rolling table with a glass test tube resting on the top of it, inside was a cloudy liquid that Cynthia couldn’t recognize at first sight. “Bleach?” She asked quietly, taking a step over to carefully examine the contents. She couldn’t smell bleach from behind her mask, not that it meant the scent wasn’t there. Surprisingly the doctor shook his head. “No, not bleach this time. I’m waiting for the lab to come pick it up to run some tests on it. I assume it’s some type of acid, and that is why his digestive track looks the way that it does. I called you down here to take a look at something else.” He pointed over to the lightboard where an X-Ray was hanging, the image was obviously of the man’s stomach, or what was left of it, however, it was what was inside that had Cynthia raising a brow. “More glass?” She asked, motioning for West to have a look himself. There were dozens of small, pointed objects, their shape and size varying, but each one looked sharp and jagged. “Perhaps. I haven’t got him all the way open yet, but that’s only part of what I wanted you to see.”

    The detective was pulled away from the grim looking X-Ray and back over to the body, her eyes searching over it for whatever it was the doctor thought was important. It took her a moment to notice the small spot of ink on the man’s shoulder, the speck a little smaller than the width of her pinky nail, but it was definitely a part of a tattoo. “He cut the arm off to hide a tattoo.” She exclaimed, feeling a sudden rush of giddiness over the find. They may not know what the tattoo was, but they at least knew that the man had one on his right arm that started at his shoulder. “He slipped up. Or maybe there was too much blood for him to notice the spot.” There was at least one distinguishing feature, although Cynthia had a feeling that there maybe more. “If he had a tattoo on one arm, it’s possible he had one on both, and that’s why the killer cut off his arms….but why remove his head? Unless he had a facial tattoo.”

    “That, I cannot tell you. But, I can tell you that there are several areas of skin missing on his back, along with his torso, which could add some evidence to your theory. There were five areas altogether. I’ll be marking them on my report once I’m done.” The doctor added, giving a heavy sigh of frustration. “I don’t know when I’ll be finished though. I haven’t even gotten halfway through yet, but I thought you’d want to see that for yourself to help with possible identification. I’ve already got a DNA sample ready to be sent off. Maybe we’ll get lucky this time around.”

    She doubted they’d get very lucky, but she did at least feel confident that they may have a bit of luck finding an ID. Tattoos weren’t all that uncommon, but it was more than what they had to go on than the previous victims. “Thanks, Doc. Anything else you want to show me? Got the cause of death yet?” The doctor shook his head, offering a tired smile. “Not yet. You’ll be the first to know once I have it.” He finally turned his attention back to West, giving the man a more enthusiastic grin. “And what about you, detective West. Any theories on our killer this early in the game?”
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  7. Kevin felt like he was in a Wonderland. He was used to dealing with the county morgue with equipment that looked like it's better day had come and gone. Not to mention also dealing with Dr. Wallace who looked like fought at the Alamo with a demeanor to match as well. Coming here was like coming from the deck of a World War 2 Aircraft carrier to the bridge of the Enterprise. Trying to wrap his mind around the change of scenery in addition to the new job, and a murder investigation with no leads with a partner who made Spock look like Robin Williams made West feel like a drink before 11 am was not a bad idea.

    As he followed Matthers down the hall her demeanor was all focused on getting from point A to point B. Kevin almost began to wonder what she did for fun, but in the back of his mind Kevin knew what Matthers was about; catching the killer and moving on. From all outward appearances it looked like the job was all that Cynthia had. She wasn't wearing a wedding ring, and there were no indications on her desk or her office that she was involved with anyone. In a lot of cases Kevin wouldn't care about issues like this with his partner, but it seemed she had no sense of creativity or imagination which meant that there wasn't a lot of thinking outside of the box. That kind of thinking sometimes was more of an asset to a case with no real clues to work with, but by the same token Kevin knew also to take things slowly and by process. Kevin also realized that Cynthia was thought of very highly and going too far off of book right now would not be a welcomed thing.

    When they reached Autopsy Kevin put on the mask that Cynthia offered him. Kevin was almost surprised that Doctor Samson seemed like he had a personality. When Doctor Samson declined to shake hands Kevin said, "No problem. Pleasure."

    Kevin looked over what Samson was doing. He wasn't too shocked to see a dead body Kevin had seen his share over the years, but in this case even he had to shake his head. This kind of damage took planning and thought this was not something that just happened. Whoever this killer was they were very skilled at what they did and how they did it, but above all they were smart.

    When Samson asked him for his theory on the killer West replied, "Very intelligent. This person knows how to cut not slash cut. As though they were slicing a piece of meat very finely not to mention they know what we would look for in terms of distinguishing marks on a body for an id."

    West let out an exhale as he said, "It seems as though that this killer is very much trying to put his work on display. He wants us to notice him he wants to play his game with him, and as Matthers here pointed out to me and I agree is that this killer is upping their game each time. The next body we find the damage will be far worse that what we see right now. It's like he's building up to something, but what and how far is the question. Not to mention these three victims are all connected somehow and someway we can't see yet."

    Then a thought occurred to Kevin as he took a step closer to the body. He looked for a moment and said, "They died from the bleach according to the reports. What sane rational human being would drink a quart of bleach or some kind of acid knowing what it would do to them? This also tells me that this killer has either a very powerful hold over their victims, or that they make the lives of the victims so hellish that drinking the bleach is the only way out. It's also possible that they don't realize that they are drinking bleach at the time. Hypnosis in a state of powerful suggestion and down the hatch."

    Kevin looked closer at the glass shards and said, "The shards are a twist not only because they're upping their game, but they want us to look at them and not something else. Samson I won't be surprised if the glass shards are the distraction here. That he's done something else somewhere that you might find on the body later on. Call it what you want but the glass is a distraction he's left something else for us to look for, but the question is what?"

    He turned to Cynthia and said, "I know right now I am going back and forth on a lot of things, and you've probably gone through a lot this already. However you got a bit of a head start on me here, so with all that being said what does your gut tell you Matthers."
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  8. Cynthia Cynthia folded her arms across her stomach, nearly scoffing loudly when the doctor’s attention turned to her partner. She should have anticipated that one. This was a chance for the doctor to talk to someone who spent a bit more time socializing than she did, and with the way her partner began to blurt out his assumptions, she had a feeling in the future he would be yapping her ear off with his theories. She should be glad for the new perspective, but deep down she felt as if was encroaching on her turf. This had been her case since she caught the first body, now she had to step aside and let someone else in on her ideas, and worse, she had to try and convince him that she was right. If she was any other person she may have sulked about it. However, Cynthia wasn’t a pouter. She could give the guy a break for not, at least until he tried to contradict her.

    The doctor straightened up as West spoke, giving the man a chance to say his piece before pointing out the facts of the crime as he knew them. “Actually, the post mortem injuries are all the result of a single blow, most likely with a weapon with a large blade. An extremely sharp axe, or a sword; something along those lines. There are no tool markings on the bone to suggest a saw of any sort.” Samson turned the body over, pointing to the skin that had been removed from the man’s back. “This is not quite as precise as something a surgeon or anyone with medical training could perform, but it’s fairly close. However, if you look closely you can see that he didn’t take off the proper amount of layers on their first attempt. There’s a bit of filleting of muscle and tissue to indicate multiple cuts.” Replacing the body back down, the doctor pointed over to the X-Ray that still remained lit up. “The glass was added with the second victim, most likely to induce more pain and agony when the victim ingested the bleach.”

    Cynthia had to bite down on her lower lip to keep from interrupting, her instincts telling her that they were wasting time discussing facts that her partner could read in the reports. She let the doctor ramble on, focusing on the liquid in the test tube instead. She didn’t believe it was bleach, not with the damage that was suffered. She was certain it was some type of acid, but what king she couldn’t even begin to guess. While she was busy contemplating the liquid used in the murder this time around, the doctor was continuing to address W

    “The truth is, we have no idea why they ingested the bleach. Their stomachs and intestines were empty of any food, which stands to reason they were not given water either. Considering the smell that bleach puts off, there’s no logical reason that the victims would willingly drink it.” The doctor smirked, giving West a small salute. “But, that’s not my job to figure out. That’s for you and miss Matthers to learn. I’m only here to tell you how they died, and I’m going to need another few hours to give you a cause of death for this gentleman.” It was the out the Cynthia needed, a way to get out of the autopsy room to begin her search for the victim, which she hoped may lead them to the previous two. “In other words, Doctor Samson is asking us nicely to allow him to get back to work.” The doctor looked speechless for a moment, sighing away his resignation. “If you say so, Matthers.” Again he turned back to West, regarding the man with a smile. “It was nice to meet you, Detective. Hopefully some of your chattiness will rub off on Miss Matthers here.”

    Cynthia scowled, but did not make any more of a fuss about the insult to her socializing skills. Turning on her heels, the detective moved to the door without waiting for West to follow along behind her. Her mind was already focused on the information she could feed into the database that might actually produce a lead that would get them somewhere. They actually had something to go on this time around, a tiny piece, but it was better than nothing at all. For once she actually had some hope going into doing a search of the database, and she was eager to see if something would pan out.

    Pausing in front of the elevator doors, Cynthia finally waited for West to catch up with her, addressing the male detective without looking over at him. “So, we do a search for a Caucasian male, thirty to forty with a tattoo on his right arm, and a possible neck and or facial tattoo. Missing anywhere between three days to a week. If nothing pops up we can stretch it out a bit longer. I don’t think he’s holding them for long.” There was still a very good chance that the victims were the type who had not been reported missing, runaways or the homeless that had no one to care if they suddenly disappeared one day. She refused to let herself think that way, not when she had something to be optimistic about.

    Stepping inside the elevator once the doors opened, Cynthia finally acknowledged West with a rather stern look. “We’ll do a quick search and start following up on any leads we get. No point waiting around for the autopsy to get done, and the lab will take a few hours to get the rest of the results in. Does that sound good to you, or would you prefer to stick around and wait? Truthfully, I’m ready to hit the streets. It’s been far too long without anything significant to follow up on.”

    (Sorry if it's crap. I'm off my game tonight. @_@)
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  9. Kevin listened with great interest to Samson's discussion concerning the cuts on the body. So maybe this killer wasn't as skillful as Kevin thought, but the fact that it wasn't merely a hack and slash job indicated that this killer was not a novice either. This gave Kevin a slight glimmer of hope that at some point the killer just might make that one mistake that could lead to a break. Not exactly something to bet the house on, but at this moment they could use all the breaks that they could get. West had a couple more questions to ask but Matthers interrupted and she was right to. Kevin could read more about the case in the files, and Samson seemed like he enjoyed the company. As much as Kevin was getting used to the cold and sterile nature of the people he had met so far at MCU Samson was a breath of fresh air.

    As they started to leave Samson couldn't resist taking one last shot at Matthers. To which even West looked back at Samson and gave him a look as if to say, "Ouch, that was below the belt." They walked to the elevator and Kevin could tell that Matthers was not exactly warming up to the idea of having a partner. He was about to address the issue when she came up with the criteria of what to be looking for in terms of their recent victim. Kevin could see her point of view on what to look for, and while the search might be a glorified needle in a haystack situation someone with a facial tattoo, even in Miami, wasn't that common.

    He looked at Matthers once she finished speaking and said, "I agree with you on the criteria in terms of what to look for, and not to mention I'm ready to hit the streets as well."

    As the elevator began to move up Kevin hit the stop button and looked at Matthers. He said, "Look Detective Matthers. I am not the enemy here. I realize that you have been working this case from the get go, and suddenly the higher ups decide that you need a partner to work with you. If I had my way about it I would be on my Harley on my way out of town right now." Kevin nodded and said, "That's right I was supposed to go on vacation for a week. My first one in over six months, but the higher ups 'strongly suggested' for the good of my career that I take the promotion to MCU." He let an exhale and said, "Now I know I have maturity issues at times and I let off the wise cracks more than I should I know that, but I also know something else and that is I am damn good Detective. I am not trying to usurp you on this case or any other case we end up on. We are partners that means we work together not one upping each other or looking at the other like we are just a step above the people we are trying to arrest."

    Kevin took a deep breath and said, "In order for you to catch a case like this means that you are Detective worthy of being here at MCU, and that you've made a difference. I respect you for those factors and the fact that you are a fellow Detective in one of the biggest diverse cities in the world is impressive. Now the Captain is getting heat from up above and if we don't start making progress and soon the FEDS are gonna be called in. You and I both know the FEDS get called in it's over. We will become glorified gophers for them and that's it. I have spent enough time over in Homicide that I've seen it happen time and again and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let that happen here too."

    Kevin pressed the button to start the elevator again and said, "The socially awkward aspect to you I respect that as well actually. You're not trying to change who you are, because if you did that the next thing you know you're doing everything to satisfy everyone else and not everyone else."

    The elevator stopped and Kevin said, "I suggest you drive. I have my Harley here, and somehow you don't seem like the type who enjoys riding a hog."
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  10. CynthiaCynthia hadn’t expected to get the riot act from West, although given her attitude it wasn’t any surprise that’s exactly what she got. There was a reason that she worked alone, and this was exactly why. She didn’t know how to respond to other people, not without distancing them from the start, and in most cases if she didn’t distance them, she pissed them off. She certainly didn’t mind that, but her captain was never thrilled when she began to give people a hard time when usually it was unprovoked. That’s how it was in this situation. West was only doing what he was told, what his CO had ordered him to do. It wasn’t his fault he’d been assigned to a loner, but then again, he certainly couldn’t have predicted that he’d rub her the wrong way simply because he was assigned to work with her.

    “I never said you were the enemy, West.” The detective stated coolly, her arms once more folding across her stomach with a pointed look in his direction. “I work better alone. Other people require….too much talking.” Sighing, she shook her head, casting her gaze back to the elevator doors as they slid open in front of her. “But you’re right, you’re not the enemy.” Working with someone else was almost as hard as trying to ID her killer. If she was honest, it would be easier to catch the killer in the act than to have a partner. Her IQ didn’t allow her to deal with others very well, and it wasn’t simply because of her previous insecurities as a teenager when she was almost always the smartest person in the room. Cynthia struggled even outside the job; no surprise there. However, she wasn’t nearly as bad with complete strangers as she was with those of her own profession. It honestly should have been the other way around, but it wasn’t.

    There was a brief pause in her speech, the elevator doors opening to the MCU and Cynthia stepped out onto the floor. “I happen to have a good feeling about this one. We have hair color…at least if the man didn’t dye the hair on his head. We have at least one possible tattoo on his right arm, and possibly some distinguishing mark on his face and neck. And we have a time frame. It’s a bit more than what I had to go on with the other two victims.” This time she waited for West to follow her before stepping off toward her office, but if he said anything her mind would tune it out. She was already running over the search criteria inside her head, and the moment she was inside her small office she was behind her desk and typing things out on her laptop.

    Once she hit the submit button, Cynthia glanced up at West with a faint frown. “Wait, did you say you came to work on a Harley?” There was a disapproving glint in her eyes, but she said nothing at all, she couldn’t. There was a small beep from her laptop, a list with seven names for men reported missing in the past week. Her eyes scanned over the screen in search of the names before selecting the first one on the list. Looking it over quickly she concluded that he wasn’t the man currently downstairs on the autopsy table. “Too heavy. This man is nearly three hundred pounds. Our guy downstairs is maybe two hundred at the most…”

    One by one she clicked on the names, dismissing each one in turn based on the images provided. Some were too heavy, others weren’t built the same way, at least until she clicked on the sixth name to pop up in the search. “Mark Tyler, thirty two, reported missing by his older brother Andrew on February twenty fourth when he failed to turn up for work for two days. According to the report his brother filed, he was set to go on a camping trip that weekend, and return Sunday night, but hasn’t been heard from since that Friday.” Turning the laptop so that West could see the report on the screen, she grinned brightly. “This is our guy. I have a feeling. Six foot one, about one hundred and seventy five pounds, with tattoos on both arms and the back of his neck.” There was no picture provided, but that could be taken care of easily enough by going to visit the brother to find out more surrounding the man’s disappearance. “It’s as good of a lead as we’ve got.’

    Turning the laptop back around, Cynthia carefully added the brother’s address and phone number into her phone, all set off to interview the man. This was the first possible crack in the case that she had, and while she wasn’t looking forward to breaking the news that the man was most likely dead to his sibling, it couldn’t be helped. It was the only part of the job that she really hated, and the one area that she was an absolute failure at doing. Hopefully having another person around to witness it might improve her skills a bit, but she doubted West’s presence would help out very much.

    Grabbing up her purse, she slung it over her shoulder and prepared to leave. Closing the lid to her laptop, she dug out her keys and lead the way out of the room, debating a brief pause to tell the captain that she had a possible lead. In the end she decided against it. It was too soon, and she didn’t want to cry wolf and come back empty handed. If the lead panned out she would tell him then, not before.

    Cynthia was silent throughout the elevator ride down to the first floor, not speaking at all until she was already seated behind the wheel of her Prius. Patiently she waited for West to climb into the car and get his seatbelt on, slowly turning to him with a thoughtful furrow to her brow. “Let’s keep the fact that we’re investigating a homicide quiet for now. If we’re lucky, the brother can give us a key to Mark’s apartment and we can get some DNA from something there. No sense getting the man worked up about a death until we know for sure that’s our guy.” The detective already knew that was her guy. She didn’t need DNA, she had a gut feeling that Mark Tyler was currently lying headless on a metal table. Of course she couldn’t say that without being looked at as if she was insane, but her gut had never steered her wrong before, and the facts certainly backed them up this time.
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  11. The way Matthers talked to Kevin actually made him feel actually better about his new partner. She didn't snap at him nor did she break down in cry because he hurt her feelings. Cynthia was actually making a good impression on Kevin, because this showed Kevin that Cynthia had inner-strength to go with her intelligence. For all the physical requirements and being able to use a gun this job mainly called for brains, and it was obvious Cynthia had them in abundance. Her cool demeanor would prove to be an asset during an interrogation and also help Kevin from flying off the handle which he was prone to do from time to time.

    When they arrived back to her office and Cynthia showed Kevin what she came up with in terms of a possible ID Kevin was impressed. Mark Tyler sounded like a winner to him as well. This was a good step not only because it felt like their first solid lead, but in this case it felt like Cynthia was actually talking to him as an equal and not lecturing him. Kevin took down some notes for later on Mr. Tyler and left the office following close to Cynthia. Her walk had a sense of purpose and focus Cynthia could feel that this lead was going to get things moving, and she wasn't about to miss out on it.

    They didn't stop off at the Captain's office which was just as well. West knew the cap wanted results and if they came back empty there would be all kinds of hell to pay. West was certain that Cynthia could more than hold her own against the Captain he was more concerned with what he would say to the Captain. For the most part Kevin had kept his sarcasm in check, his mother would be so proud, but he was smart enough to know that sooner or later he'd say something he'd have to apologize for later. To be honest if he had to apologize Kevin wasn't sure if he'd mean it.

    When he arrived at Cynthia's Prius Kevin made no expression of approval or disapproval. Of course every fiber of his being wanted to say, "I'm not surprised." He was also grateful that none of his college buddies he was supposed to see could him getting into a Prius. Kevin West Harley rider and Jeep 4 X 4-er riding a around in Prius. He would never hear the end of it if they found out. All that being said Kevin knew it was time to get down to work and got in and buckled up. He looked at Cynthia and said, "Okay let's get going."

    Cynthia suggested that they not tell Tyler's brother about the murder at this point, and he replied, "I agree. Let's just hope that his brother doesn't jump to any conclusions when he sees two cops on his front door. Assuming he's home of course." Kevin looked over at Cynthia and said, "Good catch on Tyler. You really do know your stuff Cynthia."

    Kevin pulled out his phone and began using the MCU's database app. He smiled and said, "Like the updated database app for MCU. We don't have this one back at Homicide we have the older one." He began entering information about the address for Tyler's brother so they could know a bit more than just address and phone number. The more they knew about the person they we're interviewing before hand the easier things usually went. As he was waiting for the information to come Kevin said, "By the way I caught the disapproving glint about me riding my Harley. It was my High School graduation gift from my older brother, and yes it makes a fair amount of noise but I figured if I was up at 5 am others should join me in misery." He looked back at Cynthia and said, "It's a maturity issue I know I'll try to work on it. However I do also own a Dodge Jeep Durango too so I'm not completely immature."

    Kevin's phone beeped and said, "Okay Andrew by all appearances is an upstanding citizen no red flags. Two years older than Mark and roughly the same build as him." Kevin opened up another app and said, "I'm gonna start digging up some information on our Asian American victim. There aren't that many here in Miami so that search should go a little easier." He began going through the names and said, "We have about a dozen reports of two Asian American women who have been reported missing within our time window and fitting our description." Kevin began scrolling through the names and when he reached the forth one something popped out at him. He said, "I got something here. Her is Doris Hahn 59 years old, works in the garment district at a shirt factory for the last 35 years. Went to work one day and never came home, widowed, niece lives here and was the one who reported her missing. " Kevin looked back at Cynthia and said, "I would say Doris is our possibility, because if you recall she parts of her skin removed. What if, and this is just a hunch, she got burned or scarred from the equipment. I mean working in a place liek that for 35 years is bound leave someone with some scars and marks. Those burns and scars would be useful as identifying marks. Call it a hunch."

    Kevin put his phone away and his mind wandered for a moment. Just like his own father he went to work one day, and didn't come home. The fall from the 10th floor of an office building job left no doubt that he was dead as soon as he hit the ground.

    As they arrived at Andrew's address Kevin knew it was time to really get to work. The wisecracks would be put aside as he took a deep breath and said, "I'll follow your lead on this."
  12. CynthiaCarefully, Cynthia pulled her car from her spot and headed toward their destination, letting her phone direct her the way she needed to go. She could only half listen to what West had to say about his motorcycle, not particularly bothered by it either way except from the driving responsibility standpoint alone. “If you want to ride a motorcycle, that’s fine, but don’t think you’re getting me on the back of one.” No, even if she was desperate, Cynthia wouldn’t be caught dead on a motorcycle, which meant she’d either be driving or hailing a cab if she could find one. There wasn’t a wild or rebellious bone in her body, and certainly not one bold enough to ride a motorcycle. She was as sensible as her choice of car was, and nothing was ever going to change about that.

    A deep frown formed when Kevin began to talk about a possible ID for the second victim, her eyes darting to his phone only for a moment before swinging back to watch the road. “When was she reported missing? I haven’t seen that one yet, and I’ve been checking every other day.” It was possible that the woman wasn’t close to her family, or simply did not communicate with them frequently enough that her absence was noticed. Still, it seemed strange that she hadn’t found the report on the woman yet. Not that it mattered much now. They had another possible lead to follow, and that was good enough to satisfy Cynthia for the time being. Even if the lead got them nowhere, it was still better than the huge pile of nothing that she had at the moment.

    Cynthia was thoughtfully silent during the rest of the trip, her time spent mentally prepping the questions she wanted to ask before they arrived at Andrew’s home. She had a list of things she wanted to ask, but most would seem suspicious. The last thing she wanted to do was make the man wonder, at least not until they knew for sure that the man down in autopsy was really his brother. She hated the high emotions that came with informing family members, the pleas to find the killer as if that wasn’t her job to begin with. She would have gladly given the job of informing the family to someone else if she was allowed to, but unfortunately, she had no choice in the matter.

    As she pulled up in front of the small beige stucco house that Andrew Tyler listed as his address, she turned to West as if she was about to say something. Realizing that she had no idea what to say her mouth snapped shut and she hurriedly got out of the car. She rushed up the sidewalk to avoid having any idle chitchat with her partner, her mind far too focused on getting as much information as she could from Mark’s brother. To her dismay it wasn’t Andrew who answered her knock on the door but a twenty-something year old woman who was balancing a fussy baby on her hip. “Yes?” The woman greeted snippily, already making a difficult interview even harder on Matthers who did not handle children well at all, and had no smooth way of dealing with other people’s attitudes. She sighed softly, flashing her badge to the woman before introducing herself. “Detective Cynthia Matthers, Miami-Dade P.D. I’m looking for Andrew Tyler to discuss his brother’s disappearance. Is he here?”

    The woman’s whole demeanor changed which was a huge relief to Cynthia who breathed a bit easier. The woman shook her head, but motioned for Matthers and West to enter the house. “He’s at work right now, but I can answer your questions. Mark’s my brother in law.” The woman led the two detectives through a sparsely decorated but extremely neat living room, stopping to set the baby down in a swing. The swing did wonders, silencing the baby within seconds and further putting Cynthia at ease. It was only after her arms were free that the woman began to speak to Matthers, explain what she knew about Mark’s disappearance. “Mark’s never been gone this long without calling Drew. The two of them own a house painting business together, and if he wasn’t going to show up for a job, he would have called.”

    Nodding her head understandingly, Cynthia followed the woman into the kitchen, taking a seat at the glass table when she was offered to have a seat. “Drew has been trying to call him since, but his phone’s off. It keeps going straight to voicemail.” Once seated, the detective began to jot down everything that she could, only glancing up from her writing when she had a question to ask. “Does he have a significant other?” There was a pause before the woman shook her head. “No. He had a girlfriend a few months ago, but she broke it off and moved to D.C for a job.”

    “Is there any friends he might have gotten in contact with? Any family members out of state that he might go visit?” Cynthia asked, not surprise when the answer was another shake of the woman’s head. “No. Drew and Mark all have the same friends, so if they would have heard something from him, we would have.” There was more questions that Cynthia wanted to ask, but she thought that Andrew would be a better source of information than his wife would be. “Is there a good time I can speak to your husband? And would you happen to have a spare key to Mister Tyler’s residence?” Mrs. Tyler moved to one of the drawers beside the refrigerator, extracting giraffe key chain that she handed over to Cynthia. “That’s the key to his house. He lives at seven thirty three Pine Drive. You can probably stop by later on after six and my husband should be home if you want to talk to him then.”

    Cynthia nodded her head, having gotten all that she really wanted for the time being. She and West could go visit Mark’s house and gather some DNA evidence to match to the body, which would only take a few hours. By time they could come back and speak to Andrew Tyler with possible bad news. Not wanting to take up any more of Mrs. Tyler’s time, Cynthia got to her feet, offering the woman a tight smile. “Thank you for your help, Missus Tyler. I know you’re busy with the baby, so we’ll get out of your way. Could you please inform your husband that we’ll stop back later this afternoon to speak to him?” The other woman nodded, and was about to lead them out, but Cynthia shook her head. “Don’t worry, we’ll see ourselves out. Have a good day.”

    It took all of her willpower not to rush out of the room in her eagerness to go investigate Mark Tyler’s house. This was the first time she had the chance to find some evidence that would link a body to a name, which may actually help point to the killer. For the first time since catching the case it didn’t feel completely hopeless, although she had yet to learn that for a fact.

    She waited for West to get back into the car, nearly pulling away from the curb the second his car door was shut. “We’ll go to Tyler’s house and see if we can find something to give to the lab for DNA comparison, then we can stop by miss Hahn’s niece’s house after we drop everything off at the lab. Sound good to you?" She hated having to run her plans by him, but she wasn't running the show solo anymore. If he had something to complain about she'd rather be the first one to hear about it than learn it from her captain, at least then she could take care of it before it became a major issue.
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  13. Kevin was impressed at the work of Cynthia dealing with Mrs. Tyler. Socially awkward yes, but it wasn't to her detriment. Kevin had known veteran Detectives that would've pounced all over Mrs. Tyler but Cynthia played it cool and calm. She asked all the right questions, took the notes, and more importantly Cynthia let Mrs. Tyler feel like she was in control. In many interrogations people see or hear the words "Police" and "ask you some questions" and things go from "hi, hello" to "I want my lawyer" in no time flat.

    As they got back into the car Kevin asked, "Did anything about that seem strange to you?" Kevin shook his head and said, "I don't know but if it was me the first thing I would be asking is things like, 'Have you found him? Is he all right?' Of course I'm assuming that she knows her husband as filed a missing persons report. " Kevin made his face as though he had just eaten a sour olive and said, "Maybe I'm seeing a phantom, or just taking the easy way out and looking at the family first as with so many other cases. Although she gave us the key to his place that hopefully will help us out can't hurt at this point."

    He leaned his head back on the head rest and said, "To answer your question about Doris Hahn the report was filed yesterday. If you were checking it every other day you would've seen it today. I'm interested in that lead but not nearly as much as the Mark Tyler lead. That's a solid lead here I say we follow it as far as we can." Kevin took his head off of the head rest and said, "You got us the lead on Mark we're going with it because it's solid, besides the Doris Hahn lead isn't even a lead it's a hunch and a pretty thin one to at that."

    Just then Kevin's phone text alert went off, but this time it was one of his friends texting him. It was a picture of them at the beach house with a caption that read "Hope you're having fun like us." Kevin was not impressed with this at all. First off he told the guys he was working and they knew not to text him while he was working. Secondly he was still some what seething over not being there with them. He shook his head and said, "Not now." He quickly texted back a reply which basically said working will text later. BYE! Kevin then programmed his phone to only receive messages from work. Kevin looked over at Cassie and said, "Sorry about that won't happen again. A couple of friends of mine texted me from the beach. Not in the mood for it, and we got a case to deal with."

    Kevin shook his head twice as though he was wiping out the cobwebs and coming back to his senses. He said, "I would be very interested to hear and see Andrew concerning all this. I'm just curious now about this. It's our first real lead and I feel very strong about it. The question that I am hoping that we can get answered is how do an African American teenager, an Asian American female senior, and a early 30's Caucasian all connect. What did they do to get on our killer's radar? Besides being human beings who live in Miami."

    As they arrived at Mark's house Kevin took a deep breath and said looking at Cynthia, "However long you want to keep at this today I'm with you all the way. I got nothing else going on, and each moment we don't find something brings us potentially another moment closer to another victim. It also brings the Feds one step closer to being here, and if that happens you can bet the Captain won't be pleasant to deal with."

    Kevin got out of the car and put on a set of rubber gloves, and said, "Okay let's see if we can stay on a role here."
  14. CynthiaPeering over at West questioningly, she shrugged her shoulders to his question. “She cares that he’s missing for her husband, and that’s about it. Notice she pointed out that her husband and Mark had the same friends, but didn’t include herself? She’s not close to him, but she tries to be friendly enough because of her marriage. Her husband obviously cares a great deal more about Mark than she does, which is why I’d rather speak to him. But, we got a key and that was the main reason why I f. questioned her to begin with.” Cynthia wasn’t suspicious of Mrs. Tyler at all. The woman had allowed them in, hadn’t mentioned a lawyer or even acted nervous when Mark’s name was brought up. She had handed over the keys to Mark’s house without requesting a warrant as well. If she had anything to hide, the detective was certain that she would have put up a fuss over the questioning and refused to hand the keys over. “I think her opinion of her brother-in-law isn’t as high as her husband’s is, and she naturally assumed something bad has happened to him because of her low opinion.”

    Like West, she wasn’t as confident about that Hahn lead as she had been by the lead on Mark Tyler, but something was definitely better than nothing at all. She would give it a shot, but first she wanted to grab whatever she could from Mark’s apartment to prove that he was the headless body they had. Even to her it was morbid to wish it, but at least if she had an ID, she was another step closer to the killer. It would be too much to ask for to hope for two ID’s in one day, but stranger things had happened before.

    The detective barely noticed when West’s phone went off, her shoulders hefting in a shrug at his apology. She couldn’t say a word about vacation; she never used her time, and even if she did, she’d have nowhere to go. Most of her vacation time was usually cashed in at the end of each year, with only a few days taken a year to cover doctor’s appointments and other reasonable days off. She had once commented that she’d give her vacation away to the captain if he would stop being such a grouch, but the man hadn’t found it nearly as funny as everyone else had.

    West’s question about how the victims were all connected wasn’t one that anyone but the killer could answer, at least not with as little clues as they had. “That we probably won’t know until we catch the killer. It could be they all used the same dry cleaner that ruined one of his shirts, or people he went to church with when he was a kid. Eventually we may find a pattern, but it’s still too early. First we have to ID them first, after that the connection might be a little easier, although I doubt it.” Cynthia had wondered the same thing herself. Usually serial killers stuck with the same type of victim, sometimes it was people who reminded the killer of themselves, or someone they hated. Sometimes it was people who had committed some wrong to the killer. There wasn’t much for her to go on just yet, but she had a feeling that there was a very strong connection between the three that would only be discovered later on after they ID’ed all the victims.

    When she pulled up to Mark’s house, Cynthia questioned whether she should call forensics in to begin gathering evidence as well, but decided against it. For now all they needed was something to prove that they had Mark’s body, and once they had that she would call everyone in to investigate the house. “For now we’ll go in and grab his toothbrush, and a hairbrush, anything that can help ID him. If we find out it’s him, we can get forensics in and start looking over the place. No point jumping the gun until we know for sure that the body is Mark Tyler’s.” Once she was out of the car she made a brief stop at her trunk gathering up a handful of plastic evidence bags and a pair of latex gloves before making her way to the front door of the house.

    Upon opening the door, Cynthia took a look inside to ensure that everything was relatively in order. There was no mess, no signs of a struggle or even any signs that Mark had left with the intention of not coming back. Stepping further into the house she became more and more convinced that the man had fully expected to return home after a weekend of camping. There were no packed suitcases, or signs that he had packed up in a rush. She found his toothbrush on the bathroom countertop which she quickly placed in one of the plastic evidence bags, along with a hair brush in another bag and a disposable razor in yet another. She shrugged as she dropped the razor in the bag. “He could have cut himself. Anything we can get to prove that’s Mark, I’m grabbing.” With the evidence in hand, Cynthia left the house, making sure not to disturb anything else in case forensics needed to come back later on. They had enough to get a DNA sample from, which was more than enough to ID the body.

    Back inside the car, the female detective waited for West to get settled before taking off, eager to get the evidence they had gathered to the lab. “How about you go drop the evidence off at the lab, and I’ll go update the captain? The labs on the floor above ours, and it should only take them a few hours to get the results, plenty of time for us to go speak to Miss Hahn’s niece and see what information she can give us.” That was definitely one advantage of having a partner; at least now they could get a bit more done if they divided the work.
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  15. Kevin took the evidence and said, "You got it." It felt like in someways Cynthia was running roughshod over Kevin, but he didn't mind it mainly because she had been working this case longer. Not to mention he was still the new kid on the block at MCU, besides that Cynthia was getting results she wasn't some junior Detective on a power kick. Kevin pressed the elevator button and waited for the doors to open. He leaned back against the wall and tilted his head to the ceiling. Letting out a deep exhale he said, " On the whole it could be worse. Always could be worse."As the elevator doors opened two people exited and Kevin was nearly run over. He said, "Yeah don't let my being her get in your way." The two showed no reactions as Kevin shook his head and said, "Whatever."

    Kevin got on the elevator and pressed the fifth floor button. Maybe it was something that one gets used to being part of MCU. You're so driven to get results that you don't think about the outside factors. Which in Kevin's perspective was both good and bad, but at this moment he didn't care. Right now Kevin was hoping that he and Cynthia could stave off the Feds for another day. As the elevator began to move Kevin's mind began working on what Cynthia had said in the car on the way back to MCU about the sister in law. She was right that Mrs. Tyler had been very cooperative and that should be enough to tamp down any suspicions on her. Kevin though had seen his share of more than cooperative interviewees later turned out to be cold blooded killers. He wasn't completely writing her off, and for now Kevin was keeping her in the back of his mind. Kevin was hoping that the interview with Andrew would give them some answers.

    The doors opened and Kevin stepped out. There was a part of him that was going to ask where to drop the evidence off at, but then he immediately realized that the entire floor was the lab. Back at Homicide this would've been in the floor just above the morgue and not exactly the latest in tech. This place was amazing. He knew at least three techies back at Homicide who would've given a kidney and maybe even sold a grandchild or two for a quarter of what appeared to be this operating budget.

    Kevin made his way to what appeared to be the main hub of activity. He approached a tech who was sitting on a stool and said, "Hey here to drop this off for Detectives Matthers and West. Need the usual work up done on it asap."

    The tech looked up from his clipboard and asked, "For who? Matthers and West? You mean to tell me that they gave the missing personality a partner, and you're still alive? You haven't flipped out yet? Are you to fill in the personality gap?"

    West replied, "She's not exactly a chatter box or a social butterfly, but going on first impressions she's a good cop. We both want to get our case solved."

    The tech shook his head and said, "My guess you got someone upstairs ticked off to be assigned to her. She has no personality and has all the warmth and sensitivity of a rapid pitbull."

    Kevin had only known Cynthia for a few hours, but the remarks people were making towards and about her were starting to annoy Kevin more than Cynthia could ever.

    The tech marked the evidence and motioned for someone to take it. He said, "Run this and make sure we notify Miss MCU. If we do our jobs right she might even say 'Thank you' this time. "

    Kevin had heard enough. As the other tech walked away the tech said, "What else can I do for you? We'll contact you when it's done."

    Kevin nodded his head slowly as she said, "I'm sure you will." Kevin pointed the tech's cheek and said, "Oh by the way I know something that will help with that bruise on your jaw."

    The tech asked, "What bruise?"

    Kevin quickly glanced around and saw no one was looking. Without hesitation he delivered a quick and sharp right forearm shiv to the jaw of the tech and said, "That one there."

    The tech went down like a house of cards and was staggering badly almost unconscious. The lab noticed the tech going down as Kevin helped him back up to his seat. One of them asked, "What happened?"

    Kevin replied as he was leaving, "He found out how much Marlins tickets are going for."

    Kevin got back on the elevator and made his way back to the Captain's office. While on the elevator Kevin rubbed his forearm and said, "That might leave a mark." He got off the elevator and while he was en-route to the Captain's office Kevin spotted the break room. He made himself a cup of coffee, and then headed to the Captain's office where he waited outside.
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  16. CynthiaWhether West knew it or not, Cynthia was actually doing him a favor by opting to deal with the captain instead of sending him into do it. The man had been on her ass about her lack of progress in the case for the past few weeks, and seeing as she only just now had a promising lead she knew it was going to be too little, too late. If she didn’t start producing something soon the FBI would be called in, and that alone marked the downfall of her career. It wasn’t a point of pride. Cynthia wasn’t arrogant enough to believe that the case could be solved alone, which is why she hadn’t argued against a partner. One possible ID was not going to make the captain happy, not when it really didn’t bring them any closer to finding the killer before he could strike again. Maybe if the Hahn lead led somewhere she could possibly work up some connection which might actually prove useful, but even that was doubtful.

    Heading straight to MCU Cynthia could already feel the weight of stares from the other detectives, some full of sympathy while others gave her smug looks that she promptly ignored. She didn’t let what was said about her bother her too much, which only encouraged people to talk about her even more. She was emotionally constipated with the personality of vanilla ice cream. She couldn’t count how many times she heard the same thing over and over again, most of it simply amused her. Considering the fact that they were there to catch murders, rapists, and some of the most twisted criminals around the fact that people were more concerned with her lack of social life puzzled her. How did dating help her catch a criminal? When did she have time to go out for a drink when she had important work to do? It was silly really, yet people continued to talk as if what they had to say bothered her.

    The captain’s office door was opened, and Cynthia gently knocked on the door before stepping inside at his wave. She took a seat in the same chair she had sat in earlier that morning, waiting for him to get off the phone without paying any notice to the one side of the conversation she could hear. Only after the phone was replaced on its cradle did she speak. “We have a possible ID on….”

    “It’s about fucking time!” The captain blurted out before she could even get the statement out, the female quirking a brow but shaking her head and quickly finishing up what she was saying. “A possible ID on our third victim, and a potential lead on the second. West went to drop off some DNA samples for the lab to run against the third body, and we’ll be going to interview the niece of a woman reported missing yesterday that could match the description of victim two.”

    “Well? Why are you sitting on your ass telling me? Get out of here and get to work! You’re not going to find your IDs sitting in here.” Cynthia huffed, but quickly jumped to her feet in a scramble to get to the door. Before she could step through the captain called out to her, forcing her to turn back to face him. “See. All you needed was another pair of eyes. Maybe now you’ll stop bitching when I suggest partners.” She frowned, but remained silent, deciding it was better to keep her mouth shut and let the man have his say.

    In her rush to exit the office she nearly crashed into West, coming to a halt before she could collide with him. Her frown remained intact, but she didn’t give him a complaint about the captain, instead gestured toward the elevator. “Let’s go speak to Miss Hahn’s niece. Do you still have the address on your phone? If not, I can run back to my office and program it into mine. Hopefully the lab will call by the time we’re finished talking to her, then we can swing by and speak to Andrew Tyler.” She moved toward the elevator, deciding that she’d simply look up the address on her own phone if West had removed it from his. She hadn’t had much of a chance to leave the unit since the case started, and now that she did, she was eager to stay out on the streets where she could feel productive; it certainly beat sitting at her desk waiting for something to magically appear on her computer screen.
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  17. As Kevin began to lean on the wall he heard Holsted lighting into Cynthia. She finally was making some progress on a case that had no discernible leads for months and in the span of less than 24 hours she was moving it forward. Holsted speaking to Cynthia in that manner made Kevin want to storm into the office. In this case it wouldn't be a sucker punch/shiv no no in this case it was going to be a direct jab to the face. Seeing as how that he hadn't even been here for a full day punching out the Captain was probably not best for his long term career prospects. "Another set of eyes" was one of the last things Kevin heard and it made him shake his head. Kevin didn't view Cynthia was friend or anything of that nature, nor did she indicate that she would be opening up to Kevin anytime soon. All that being said though one thing his former partner Detective Larry Montgomery taught him was that partners always had each other's backs. Kevin was determined to make sure he had Cynthia's back, because she was a damn good cop. It also seemed like she could use someone to show that they weren't going to belittle her.

    Cynthia came out of the office like a shot, and nearly bulldozed Kevin. He said under his breath, "Is there a class for this that I should be made aware of for bulldozing through people here? If so I gotta sign up for the next one." On their way to the elevator Kevin gulped a few a drinks of his coffee since he was willing to bet that Cynthia wouldn't allow for coffee in her car. Which was fine with Kevin, but at least he got some caffeine into his system which gave him a second wind.

    Kevin thought it best not to bring up the shouting he heard. Although it was kind of hard to miss it he was convinced that Pensacola would be calling to complain about the noise. The only thing he said was, "One thing is for sure I am dealing with a different kind of animal here at MCU."

    As they made their way to the elevator Kevin replied, "I got her address. We are going to interview Doris' niece a Janet Sochi. She is a 27 year old single law school student at the U. She lives at the Palm Grove apartment complex which is located 1248 Harbison Road about 3 blocks from the school apartment 220. Hope she isn't in class right now."

    The elevator doors opened and they got in Kevin said, "Look you and I both know that this lead is a glorified hunch. I could be so wrong about this." Kevin nodded and said, "If I am wrong. I'm sorry but last time I checked no cop was perfect. Thank you for allowing me to chase down this one." He looked at Cynthia and said, "I'm your partner and I will back you up all the way."

    As they got back to Cynthia's Prius he said, "Just so you know you if we get anything from Doris' apartment you might need to go to the lab." Kevin shrugged his shoulders and said, "I had a difference of opinion with one of the techs."
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  18. CynthiaMissing West’s grumbled words as she left the captain’s office, she peered up stoically at her partner as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. She was used to her CO’s brash behavior, and she wasn’t the only one who received that type of treatment. The pressure on the unit was enough to snap any cop’s sanity, they witnessed crimes that not even the most creative criminal writer could think of. If they couldn’t handle a bit of yelling from the captain from time to time, then they obviously weren’t cut out for the job. She had dealt with far worse than Holsted could throw at her on his worst days and hadn’t cracked. The day he made her break down was the day she’d hand over her gun and shield and take up a job as a clown entertaining children. Considering how much she disliked children, that was saying something.

    Blinking owlishly at West as he spoke, her head cocked slightly to the side as she considered his words. “What do you mean? What’s wrong with MCU?” Maybe she had been there too long and didn’t notice any differences between her unit and every other unit, or maybe she simply was blinded to it because she was a part of the unit, but not a part of it. She worked there, covered the cases, but when it came to the camaraderie that most cops shared with each other, she stood apart. Sure, she supported her fellow officers, but when it came to be quitting time she was off the clock and out the door. That was how she stood out, but it was also what she thought made her effective. Once she was out the door her mind rarely focused on her work; the problem was she was rarely off the clock.

    Cynthia allowed her partner to continue to speak, not having anything of importance to add to the conversation. She remained silent, almost thoughtfully so, her mind questioning why he felt the need to thank her for something that should have been considered common sense. The lead was as good as any others, and it wasn’t as if he was going out on a limb trying to come up with an ID for the second victim. Miss Hahn was as likely as any Asian female to be the deceased woman’s identity, she simply hadn’t had a chance to catch the missing person’s report for herself. Even if the lead got them nowhere, it was better than sitting around speculating on who the woman could be. Maybe he thought that she wouldn’t take him seriously since he just started on the case that morning, or maybe he was concerned that she’d judge him if the lead led them nowhere. Either way, she had no idea how to respond to his thank you, but knew she couldn’t just shrug it off.

    “I don’t know why you’re thanking me.” Her voice showed her confusion, as did the flustered expression on her face. “It’s not as if you’re asking me to do something that does not make sense. Miss Hahn meets the search criteria, and it is reasonable to assume that she could be the deceased.” It was as simple as that in Cynthia’s mind, and she said nothing further on the matter as she pulled out of her spot and began to head toward the address West had given her for Hahn’s niece. A brief glimpse at the clock on the radio and she wondered as well if they’d have better luck simply heading to the school instead of the woman’s apartment. It was early in the afternoon, possibly too early for the woman to be out of classes. They could decide what to do once they got there, for now she was willing to let West take the lead on the interview.

    Traffic wasn’t an issue as of yet and they made it there within twenty minutes, giving the detective plenty of time to prepare herself to hand over control to her partner. There had never been a time that she hadn’t handled an interview, and giving West the freedom to actually go through with it, without any input on her part was like allowing him to drive her car; she could trust that he knew what to do, but she’d still be a nervous wreck until it was over. She was going to have to learn eventually, and this was the first step to proving that she was capable of trusting him.

    Sliding her car into a parking spot, Cynthia put the car in park and finally glanced over at the man seated beside her. “You’ve got lead on the interview. We can always come back if you forget something, but the important thing is to get the keys for Miss Hahn’s apartment.” Withdrawing her keys from ignition, she fastened them onto her belt and twisted to begin climbing out of the car. Before she could exit fully, she turned back to West, her face once again covered with confusion. “You’ll have to explain to me exactly how you managed to have a difference of opinions with a tech when you were only dropping off evidence.”
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  19. Kevin almost smirked at Cynthia when she asked about the difference of opinion and he merely replied, "Later."

    West knocked on the door and there was no answer on the first knock. Kevin knocked one more time and they could hear someone working the deadbolt and the door lock. The door opened and standing there was a young Asian American woman with a gym bag and a back pack over her shoulder. She replied, "Hi you all caught me at a bad time I'm getting ready to head over for my workout and then I got class."

    Kevin asked, "Janet Sochi?"

    She nodded and replied, "Yeah and you are?"

    Kevin flashed his badge and said, "I'm Detective Kevin West Miami-Dade Police and this is my partner Detective Cynthia Matthers. We just have a few questions about the missing persons report that you filed concerning your Aunt Doris Hahn."

    Janet looked at her watch and said, "Okay for this I can spare a few minutes. I would invite you but again I'm in a rush."

    Kevin nodded and replied, "Understood we'll keep this brief as possible. Your Aunt Doris when was the last time you saw her?"

    Janet stated, "About two months ago. She was going to work and then she had plans to go to a beach house that belonged to a friend for about two weeks."

    Kevin wrote and asked, "What prompted you to file the missing persons report if you hadn't seen her in two months? Why wait?"

    Janet let a bit of an exhale and shifted her back pack. She said, "Detective I'm not too close to my Aunt. I love her and we are civil towards one another, but we're as different as night and day so I don't check on her as much as I should. A couple days ago I got a call from her work saying they had tried to reach her but couldn't. She had quit working at the garment factory and they were holding her last paycheck and her retirement check. They needed her to pick it up for their book keeping to get in order. I went by her apartment and it looked as though she had never left for the beach. There were all kinds of messages on her voice mail."

    Kevin scribbled as he nodded and asked, "Do you know of anyone who might be upset with your Aunt?"

    Janet shook her head and replied, "Not that I'm aware of." Janet looked back at her watch and said, "Detective I really need to get going."

    Kevin put the note pad away and said, "I think we have enough to work with. One last thing do you have a key to her apartment that we might use so we can go over her apartment and have a look around? We also need her address as well."

    Janet reached in her pocket and gave Kevin the key as she said, "Here you go she lives at the Brantley Arms. East Hyde St apartment 202. Now if you'll excuse me I need to get going." Janet closed the door and Kevin quickly said, "Thank you for your time. We'll be in touch if we find anything." Kevin would've given her his card, but he didn't even have those yet.

    Janet bolted and Kevin said, "Well at least we got the key. Let's go take care of it."

    Kevin walked back to the car and got in. He said, "Okay the reason I said what I said about MCU. Everything moves so fast and is so results oriented. Even more so than Homicide and the other Divisions back at the station. It's just gonna take some getting used to."

    The two detectives arrived at the apartment and did a quick look through. There was nothing out of the ordinary, the suitcase was by the bed, and they grabbed the hairbrush and tooth brush for the lab.

    Once they finished at Doris' apartment and we're heading back to MCU. Upon arriving back at MCU Kevin said, "Again it was a difference of opinion with the lab tech. He had a point of view that I didn't care for, and I let him know. So yeah you might wanna drop that off. " This time he didn't hold back the smirk and said, "If you'll excuse me for a moment I'm heading to the restroom and then I'm going to my office. I'll wait for you there."
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