Through the Streets of London

Chapter VIII: Trying to put the puzzle together

"Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him." ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When Gloria got back, Emily had already settled down beside Hotch, just like the good, old times. All this was so familiar to him and he had missed it, too much finally. Hotch noticed some red post-its stuck on some of the files and some red dots on some photos on the board, that he had missed because of his earlier argument with Gloria.

"Yesterday Agent Hotchner said that their victims were mentioned in law-enforcement files so last night I checked every single one of ours. I had already confirmed some of them so I moved on to all of them. The red dots are for them that they were indeed mentioned," Gloria explained sitting down beside Emily this time, showing them the board.

"This is a pattern, guys." Emily said standing up.

The old days resurfaced in Hotch's mind. Now, however, Emily looked again more lady-like in black, woolen trousers ofmuch better in quality than the ones she was wearing in FBI, a dark purple shirt, a black suit jacket finely inwrought with a flowery pattern and a pink, silk scarf. He was too upset to notice her outfit when she first arrived. He returned his attention to the board in front of him.

"Look at this. The first person killed in each country is mentioned in some kind of case files. The rest no," she continued.

"His DNA was confirmed on victims mentioned and un-mentioned. So he certainly worked both categories," Gloria clarified.

"So the first ones maybe consist the actual targets," Hotch spoke following the women's way of thinking, "The rest of them were they involved in any cases in any way?"

"Not something I could find, except the two in Rome, nothing else popped up and for some of them we can't find anything. Don't expect anyone to give up the dirt about the politician, for example," Gloria answered him without looking at him, she hadn't thrown him a glance since she came in.

"All the victims were killed in or around really infamous areas. The question is why did he pick those victims?" Emily asked the question that was in everyone's mind, "Certainly not only because they walked by him in the street that he probably stayed."

"They might frequented the same place as him, like the bar in Rome," Gloria assumed, "And there is the phrase too…" she continued looking at the words written in the corner of the board: "By that sin fell the angels".

"'That sin'…" Emily read from the board thoughtfully, "Look at this! All the victims were in areas that don't fit. I am a successful, married, small businessman like the third victim in Paris. What do I look for and I wander around one of the worst parts of the city?"

"You have something to hide," Gloria answered.

"Exactly. A bad habit, an affair or I am just looking for a cheap prostitute, I commit a sin."

"So the guy killed people just because they were sinners?" the other woman wondered.

Hotch was paying attention to the conversation and continued going through the files and something started to worry him. The first victims were targeted, the second victims were way too random.

"He selected however the very first victim. He went through files. He picked the target and travelled specifically for it. He had organization, patience, access to database. He arrived there. He killed the target and then he became disorganised, killed anyone that triggered him. After he turned again organised and moved on to the next target," he said.

"Like he went on a mission, he snapped but after he returned to another mission, snapped again and the circle went on," Emily followed his thought.

"I don't know much about sociopaths but are these sudden changes even possible for one person?" Gloria asked looking at both of them.

"No. I think we have at least one more UnSub. You have arrested the Executioner…"

"But not the Planner," Gloria added, "The Planner plans the hit and sends the Executioner. He does what he is ordered but he is nuts so he does some more work on his own."

The British agent was getting him. Even their completely bad relation, she was getting him professionally, at least this was good for the job.

"Till the Planner sends him again somewhere else," Emily added looking at Gloria, "And given the randomness of the victims…"

"We have even more of them," Hotch finished.

"And given that he snaps he may not have followed the M.O. completely or maybe something interrupt him or he had to kill quickly but always using the same weapon and always blunt attack from behind," Emily carried on.

"You said that some other people disappeared from that bar in Rome," Hotch addressed to Gloria.

"They are still missing persons, at least the two married men. I don't think that anyone is looking for the junkies."

"We need every single case reagrding blunt attacks from behind with his type of knife from around all these areas, any more personal information concerning the victims from the local police officers and all the possible ways to access the related database. Maybe we can find something about the Planner," Emily said in a tone that reminded him of himself again.

"I'll start making calls," Gloria stood up gathering the files.

"I'm going to call them personally. When they hear "Head of Interpol Office" they cooperate fast, believe me," Emily said smiling, "Gloria, you can inform Hotch on the suspect. Right now he is our only link to the Planner. After this, try to find how someone can get the information about the targeted victims."

"Alright," she answered casually.

Emily took some files and headed to the door. Before exiting she turned to Gloria and Hotch and she spoke knowingly.

"I don't need to remind you that we have enough murder cases, do I?" and she left.

"I'm not sure which of us she thinks can become the victim here, you or me," Gloria murmured taking another file separated from the others.

Hotch looked at his feet. He wasn't so comfortable but he had to apologize to the woman for earlier. But she didn't let him the chance as she started speaking.

"So, about the guy we have in custody. Actually we don't have him, the Met has him," she threw him a look, understanding that he didn't get it and she explained, "The Metropolitan Police I mean. His name is Robert Repard, at least that's what his passport says. He got arrested for attacking a pregnant woman that was having a drink outside a pub. Yeah, I know not very clever of her part," she added between the lines, "He attacked her from behind with the knife but a passerby stopped him. The woman was pretty shaken but only with a scratch."

"Was the pub in any strange area?"

"It was in Soho, a pretty alternative area but not a bad area. I frequent there myself."

"Were there any similar cases around?"

"No, this is fully checked out."

"She was the first. Was the woman mentioned in any files?" he asked and Gloria shook her head negatively, "He was in a normal area and he snapped just by a pregnant woman drinking. Something is off again."

"Maybe he is losing it."

"Or we are missing something," he added, "To be here he has to have a reason, a target."

"No one other is killed yet. He may has family here, some other regular reason."

"Did he have a cell phone?" he asked shaking his head.

"Nope. He had only 20 pounds on him, the knife and absolutely nothing else."

Hotch was thinking that all this looked too bad. Their only link couldn't give them anything actually.

"Did he tell anything?" he carried on.

"The police officers tried to make him talk but he isn't saying anything except "I did nothing wrong". You can try if you want."

"Did you try?"

"I can't. The guy has seen me undercover. Until we clear who he is, he mustn't see me in person. I don't want to "die" and fly to the other side of the world. I have enough problems."

She was referring to Emily's "death", Hotch assumed. His phone rang. He recognized Garcia's number and he put it on speaker.

"Good morning Garcia," he said, "You are on speaker. Agent Paterson is with me."

"Good morning, my captain on English grounds! Oh wait! Good afternoon! It is after 12 there, isn't it?", Garcia answered cheerfully.

"Yeah, Penelope but we forgive you," Gloria said smiling at the phone.

"Oh! Glorious Emily's friend! How are you, my love?"

"Fine, Pen, thanks! How are you?" she laughed.

"Well-well! Is gum-drop around too?"

"You would have heard her," Gloria replied.

"Oh bad! Glory, isn't our boss-man the best in the world! I don't mean in general… because you have the best boss-woman in the world! I mean the best of the boss-men," Garcia tried to clarified with enthusiasm.

"You tell me!" Gloria replied teasingly.

"What do you have Garcia?" Hotch intervened.

"Nothing and something, Sir," she said gathering herself, "This means that nothing came up about your mystery-man. But: I noticed something weird and I mean really weird. The date that his passport seems to be issued, some others were issued too and here comes the best part: all the names with the starting letters RR."

Both Hotch and Gloria were looking at the phone surprised.

"Garcia, dig as deep as you can get," he ordered casually.

"Sir, you know what this may mean…" Garcia replied confused.

"I know. Keep me posted," he said back.

"Always at you service!" Garcia replied and he ended the call.

"What the hell? RR may be name code for…" Gloria said still staring on his hand holding the phone.

"Secret services. The Planner may be higher than we are thinking," he said putting the phone in his pocket and exchanging a glance with the woman in front of him.

"Remember 007, shadows always remain in front or behind, never on top…" ~ M


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