Chapter 1: The Assignment
The station was busy this morning, numerous officers passing by either barely acknowledging each other or just the briefest of nods. This made it much easier for her to ignore everyone without causing more problems. Being one of the youngest detectives in the precinct already causes enough issues and what happened at the promotion ceremony didn’t help her situation.
She felt her face flush as she briefly recalled the promotion ceremony before shaking the memory away.
I just need another case. Something I can complete myself; I still don’t understand why they pulled me off the last one.
She entered one of the shared office spaces reserved for the precinct’s detectives, the moment she entered the three men stopped what they were doing and began staring at her. Sure, she was unable to hide the disgust in her face and not wanting to cause an added scene she simply hung her head.
Don’t scream, don’t shoot them… Just blame Becca.
She began walking towards her desk and could feel the men’s eyes practically burning holes through her. Just as she was going to sit down the door swings open and a tall woman with long blonde hair wearing a dark blue skirt and blazer entered the room.
The three men were still staring at the other girl oblivious to the woman that walked in the room.
“*Ahem*” She cleared her throat, and they snapped upright the color fading from two of their faces while the third man immediately began working.
“Don’t you two have something you should be doing?” She said glaring at the other two men who were now looking at her slightly dumbfounded.
“Yes, Lieutenant!” The two men say in unison and burry themselves back into their work. The woman begins to laugh softly as she looks over at the younger detective.
“Amanda. My office.” The Lieutenant’s tone was always difficult to read so Amanda simply walked back to follow her.
The two men begin to chuckle as the third simply smiles still focused on the paperwork in front of him.
“Don’t start that shit, you two are already coming to see me when Amanda comes back.” The Lieutenant stated as she turned to exit the room, Amanda in tow.
“Yes, Lieutenant…” The two men say dejectedly and hang their heads.
The two women walked through the halls of the prescient on the way to the Lieutenant’s office. The amount of people lessened significantly which meant it was much harder for Amanda to ignore the stares that she received so she simply kept her head hung as she followed along.
They entered the small office, and the Lieutenant took her seat behind the desk. Amanda sat down across from her practically seething.
“So, where do we start?” The Lieutenant asked with a large smile on her face.
“Why was I taken off MY case, Lieutenant?” Amanda asked coldly.
“So harsh, eh?” She replied still smiling broadly, “Lieutenant? Not aunty or even Becca now?”
“We’re at work, or did you forget your own rules?” Amanda pushed back.
“Amanda,” The smile faded, and her face softened. “I had a very specific reason to remove you from that case. There are more things going o-”
“Right as always,” Amanda cuts her off. “There are more things going on than you know.” She says in a mocking tone.
“I do what I do to keep my people safe.” Becca replied in a soft calming tone.
“So, you give it to Marko?” Amanda asks, “So you protect me and not him? I thought you said there would be no favoritism.” As soon as the words left Amanda’s mouth, she knew she made a mistake.
Becca’s expression went hard as she glared at Amanda.
“I’m so-” Amanda started but Becca immediately cut her off.
“You can question me as your friend, as your aunt or in any personal subject you wish.” Becca stated in a cold calculated tone. “You will never question my work ethics or my orders, is that understood?”
“Yes ma’am.” Amanda replied in a defeated tone.
Becca opened the desk drawer and dropped a file on her desk in front of Amanda. “Good, this is your next assignment.”
Every instinct inside Amanda told her to ask if this case would be taken from her as well but thought better of it before opening her mouth. She picked up the folder and turned to the first page.
“Three missing girls in three weeks,” She begins reading the file out loud. “No direct connections aside from Cupolie… What the hell is Cupolie?” She asks looking back to Becca.
Becca chuckles softly, “I’m sure you saw a commercial for it at some point, it’s a dating application and they’ve been advertising really heavily.”
“Ah, maybe I did see something about that.” She tries to think back to the few times she sat in front of the TV in the last month. “I haven’t had much time for TV lately.”
“I’ve noticed, your head is always in paperwork when you get home.” Becca’s look and tone softens again. “It would be good for you to relax a little bit, maybe go out and meet someone.”
Amanda starts to blush, “Becca, please.”
“You don’t even need to go far.” She began smiling broadly again, “It’s obvious Shaun has a thing for you.”
“Not my type.” She replied Immediately.
The thought has never crossed my mind, and never will. She thought to herself as a soft knocking began on Becca’s door.
“Enter!” Becca called out from behind the desk and the door opened. “Charles? I didn’t expect you for another hour.”
An elderly gentleman walked into the office with another detective in tow.
“Ah I see, good morning, Marko.” Becca looks back to Amanda, “Review the case file in the conference room next door, I’ll get you when I’m done with them.”
“Yes ma’am.” Amanda replies standing up and walking out of the office. Marko gave her a small smile as she walked past to which she promptly looked away.
She entered the conference room and sat down, spreading the papers from the file out in front of her.
Alright, let’s see what I’ve got to work with.
She places three pictures towards the top of the table, the three girls that are currently missing. Below them she placed the fourth picture, a man in his mid-twenties with short dark brown hair and green eyes. She began reading the profile for the suspect.
David Knotts, no registered next of kin born and raised in Antis, graduated from Antis University with a degree engineering. Recently moved to Impor from Calia after separation from a mid-level corporation, no available details on cause.
She continued to read through the profile, glancing back and forth between the individual pictures taking in as many details as she could. Eventually she set David’s profile to the side and began reading through each of the girls, absorbed in her investigations she didn’t realize that Becca had entered the conference room.
“Summary?” Becca asks as she sits down finally breaking Amanda’s concentration.
“David Knotts, seems like a normal engineer that relocated here three months ago.” She begins as she looks back at his picture. “By the social media information present he’s been in two long term relationships and began using the Cupolie application when he moved to Impor. He’s had 9 successful connections and the last three girls he matched with have been reported missing.”
“What about the girls?” Becca asked as Amanda picked up one of the three pictures.
“He definitely has a type.” She states as she places one of the pictures down and picks up the next. “Each of them have middle length cuts, darker hair color and blue eyes. What about the first 6 girls he matched with?”
“They’ve all moved out of Impor and refuse to speak on the matter, their profiles have been deleted but they’ve responded to our contact attempts.” Becca replies adding far more details than Amanda had anticipated. “We’re waiting on a judge to approve unsealing of some recently filed documents for each of the girls.”
“When do we expect to have that?” Amanda asked picking the picture of David up and looking closer at it.
“Two or three days.” Becca looks down, “But we need to move quickly, the girls have been missing for weeks now. Hopes of finding them alive are… diminishing.”
“Do you think he has them somewhere?” Amanda asks directly, which surprises Becca slightly and she smiles softly.
“No, I don’t.” Becca responds bluntly, “I think he’s connected, but I’m not sure how yet. He has airtight alibies for everything, his building has 24-hour surveillance and security that we have full access to. I had the twins go through all the video files for the last 2 months and there was nothing suspicious.”
“When did you have them do that?” Amanda asks.
“Last week, which is why they were so bitchy towards everyone.” Becca replies giggling softly. “What are the next steps?”
“Make contact.” Amanda replies still staring at the picture in her hand.
“Perfect!” Becca replies far to happily, “I’ve already set everything up! You just have to send the last message.”
“What are you talking about Becca?” Confusion washed over Amanda as she sat the picture down on the table and looked back to Becca who was grinning broadly.
“Well,” Becca began fighting to hold back her giggling. “This David guy apparently has a type. Dark hair, blue eyes, and a generous bust, or did you not pick that up from the profile?” Becca couldn’t hold her giggling back any longer as Amanda turned bright red.
“No… No, no, no…” Amanda protested shaking her head. “You can’t be serous? I’ve never even… You want me to have my first date with a possible psychopath!?”
“Relax,” she said grabbing Amanda’s hand. “I’ve checked him out and I don’t think it’s him. Likely someone that’s targeting him, so it would be better to have someone close to him.”
“Ok, but why do I have to date him to protect him?” Amanda looks down already knowing she won’t be able to get out of this. Becca has always tried to force her out of her shell and move past her previous trauma and this was the perfect excuse for her to do so.
“You’re a detective now.” Becca says bluntly the smile fading from her face. “There are going to be a lot of instances in the future where you are going to have to get through romantic situations with men even if you don’t want to. Consider this practice for a future undercover operation.”
Amanda sighs deeply as Becca slides a phone across the table. “I already set up your profile two weeks ago to make it more believable and added him two days ago, no messages from him yet and I haven’t sent any on your behalf.”
“You had this all planned out already.” Amanda stated dejectedly as she picked up the phone and opened the Cupolie app.
“Of course, I did Amanda.” Becca responds in her usual Jovial tone and smile forming on her mouth. “Do you need help with the message?”
Amanda takes a deep breath and sighs heavily again. “No, but I’m going to need other-”
“Don’t worry sweetie.” Becca says warmly, “Plan it for drinks tomorrow and I’ll help you get everything ready tonight.”
Amanda doesn’t respond this time; she simply accesses David’s profile and begins her message.