I'd Die For the Man

Chapter 2

When the team finally touched down in New Orleans, each of them immediately headed for the police department stationed there in order to discuss the details of the murders with the locals to find out just what it was they were dealing with. As they got out of their vehicles they pulled up in, the team found that several people were standing around the station, keeping their eyes on the police and waiting anxiously for news from them about the grisly murders taking place in their city.

Prophet spoke up saying, "I never did like New Orleans. Even if these people aren't all into voodoo, black magic, and creepy rituals, they all still somehow seem…"

Gina finished for him, "Creepy?"

"Yeah, there's always been something dark about this city," Prophet answered as he and the rest of the teammates followed their leader inside the station. "I hoped that I'd never have to come back here again."

"This city always reminded me of another place I've been long ago while I was overseas fighting," Mick responded as he looked off in the distance, seeming to have been transported back to hard days from his past, then failed to continue, while the rest of them finally walked inside the police captain's office.

Upon doing so, the Captain rose from his chair behind his desk and reached out his hand to shake all of theirs as he said sincerely, "Welcome, I'm certainly glad that you all are here. I'm Captain Clay Montrose."

Sam shook his and allowed him to shake the rest of his friends' hands as well, except Mick, who still seemed lost as he looked around at the rest of the officers and citizens within the building, while he introduced the team saying, "Pleasure, Captain. I'm Agent Sam Cooper. The rest of my team is Beth Griffith, Gina LaSalle, Prophet Simms, and that guy over there, is Mick Rawson. You'll have to forgive him, he's not exactly the social type. Please, tell us what you know so far."

"Not really a whole lot," the man replied as he looked around at the newcomers. "At least not much more than the information we shared with your boss, Director Fickler. Over the last three weeks now, five men were all killed in a very grisly manner, stabbed to death with some kind of jagged blade, a pentagram painted upon their chests with blood. Forensics say that the symbols were all drawn in their own blood. However, there was also drugs found in our victims' systems."

"So it seems that two men are killed each week," Beth stated as she read the files one of the Captain's men handed her. "And where were their bodies found?"

One of the officers answered, "A few different places, but our last victim was found right outside our station on the sidewalk, dumped like a bag of trash."

Prophet quickly asked, "Is there a reason why your last victim was dumped here?"

"Yeah, he was one of us," the Captain responded. "Whoever did this, did it to send us a message. They're laughing at us."

"Maybe, but whoever's doing this is leaving your victims someplace of significant to each victim," Mick finally said as he looked over the crime scene photos upon the table set up in front of Montrose's desk.

Another of the officers asked, "And how do you know that?"

Mick looked back at the man and replied, "Your man was left outside of the station, and each of the others were left off in all different places. Usually the UNSUBs have a certain dumping ground for all their victims. It's easier for them to discard their kills. One of the sights is a park, another is a playground. They must mean something to these people they're killing."

"Mick's right, if it is a cult we're dealing with, or even if it is just one person who has a thing for the dark arts, these places wouldn't be of any significance to them," Sam answered with confidence. "And if the pattern holds out, another person will most likely be killed again by midnight tomorrow, as today is Saturday."

"Unless of course he believes Sunday to be the first day of the week, then we've got only until midnight tonight," Gina responded.

When the Captain ushered his own men out of his office so that the RED CELL team could be left alone, the group continued to look over the pictures as Prophet spoke up again as he said, "I hate voodoo. I hate everything about this city, except for maybe its football team and even that I'm not too crazy about."

Gina looked at him as she replied, "Voodoo isn't evil, only feared. It's no more evil than a gun is. It's the people behind it that makes it what we all fear."

"Well said, love," Mick answered with a smile, obviously having forgotten what was bothering him as he walked into the station.

"Thank you, Mick," she responded with a smile.

Cooper laughed and then spoke again in all seriousness, "We don't actually know whether or not voodoo is really involved. It's possible that the pentagrams painted on their chests are all meant to distract us from the true motivation of our killers. We need to go have a talk with the head coroner put in charge of doing our victims' blood work. I'd like to more about the kinds of drugs or toxins he or she found in their systems, as well as any other wounds or damages they might have sustained."

Beth nodded in agreement, then replied, "I'll go with you."

"And Mick, Gina, and I will go have a talk with our victims' families or friends," Prophet continued. "Maybe they'll be able to shed some light as to why our killer or killers targeted these five men specifically. I have a feeling that the common factor isn't simply because they're all Black."

"Maybe in a different city, but race is far from an issue here in New Orleans," Beth said as she looked out the window to observe the number of people walking around or standing outside the building waiting for a statement from the police. "There are probably more Blacks than there are any other ethnicity or culture. What are we going to tell the people? They're obviously getting scared. Our killers have made an impression already."

Cooper looked out as well and then answered, "As soon as we know what we're dealing with ourselves, we'll be able to come up with something to put their minds at ease."

Prophet responded, "Only catching our UNSUB and stopping the killings will do that."

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