The Meranda Cross Files: Hidden Truths. by AJsSweety
Summary: A New Crack team on the FBI must find out why agents are dissappearing and turning up dead. Meranda, James and Colette will have to discover the truth before they too become part of the victums list.
Categories: Original Fiction Characters: None
Genres: Drama, Suspense
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Graphic Sexual Content
Series: None
Chapters: 12 Completed: No Word count: 16350 Read: 13541 Published: 09/22/05 Updated: 04/08/06

1. Prolog by AJsSweety

2. Finding Clues by AJsSweety

3. Nothings Adding Up by AJsSweety

4. A New Scene by AJsSweety

5. The New Team by AJsSweety

6. New Victim by AJsSweety

7. The Agenda by AJsSweety

8. The Press Conference by AJsSweety

9. The Funeral by AJsSweety

10. To Catch a Killer by AJsSweety

11. Returning from the Dead by AJsSweety

12. Offcier Down by AJsSweety

Prolog by AJsSweety
The Meranda Cross Files: Hidden Truths.
By LV Duttonę 2005

Meranda Cross had only been with the FBI for about five years. She was surprised when she was assigned to her first missing person’s case. Her partner for the case was Lucas Brian, an older detective that had twenty years with the department. Lucas had worked a similar case before and wondered if this was a copycat case. Meranda had read about missing person’s cases during her time in college. She knew why the director of the branch had assigned her this case; she was brought in years before joining the FBI as a profiler. Her expertise in certain crimes was making her job easier. During her childhood she had learned that she had certain abilities that helped her find people. But something about this case was going to be a challenge. Things in this case seemed more obscure than the original case twenty years before. When Lucas disappears for no reason, Meranda is assigned a new partner to help her. James Williams is the new partner and looks to be her friend. With the intent to get to the bottom of things its up to Meranda and James and their team to find the answers to a case that is over twenty years old.
Finding Clues by AJsSweety
Chapter one: Finding Clues

It had to be two am when the phone rang at

Meranda’s apartment. Rolling over she looked at

the clock and then turned on the light next to her

before picking up the phone.

“Cross.” Meranda said automatically.

“Meranda, it’s George.”

“George it’s two in the morning what is going on?”

“Lucas is missing.”

“What?” Meranda said sitting straight up.

“We had a call that Lucas’s car was found

abandoned on Fourth Street, Boston PD was sent

to check it out, the doors were open and blood was

found inside. But there is no sign of Lucas.”

“Damn it I told him to call if he was going to check

on some leads.”

“He said he was checking on a few and heading

home for the night.”

“That son of a bitch. He told me he’d call.”

“Randa, calm down.”

“No, is the car still at the scene?”

“Yes, that’s why I am calling you. Figured you’d

head over and check it out. Your temporary

partner will be there waiting for you.”

“I can do this alone.” She spat angrily.

“I don’t want this case worked by just you, I’ve

already lost one agent I wont lose two.”

“Yes sir. What’s the kid’s name?”

“The agent’s name is James Williams. Graduated

in the same class you did. Just get down there I’ll

give you the particulars on Williams tomorrow.”

“Thank you.”

“No problem. Just find our agent.”

“Yes sir.” Meranda said hanging up the phone. She already knew this was a strange case and now with the addition of a new agent, she would have to inform him of what was being worked on and still find Lucas alive. She only hopped the blood found at the scene wasn’t Lucas’s.
Nothings Adding Up by AJsSweety
Chapter 2: Nothings Adding Up

She could have sworn it was the longest ride in history, but it wasn’t. She only lived a five blocks from where Lucas’s car was found. She approached the scene as if it was any other. Police had the entire place cordoned off and she could see the flashing lights nearly a block away. She showed her ID to the young officer that was working crowd control and looked towards Lucas’s car. A young sandy blond hair man was leaning inside.
“Who’s he?” She asked an officer.
“Said he was your partner.” The officer said with a sigh, he hated feds and even more hated women feds.
“Grand.” Meranda said as she walked toward the car. She tapped the agent on the shoulder before speaking.
“Find anything we could use?” She asked surprising the man. He quickly stood and looked at her. Meranda was surprised by his muscular build and piercing blue eyes. She extended her hand.
“Meranda Cross. And you are?” She asked raising an eyebrow.
“James Williams.” He said shaking her hand. ”I am with you for a while it seems.”
“Yeah so it seems, have you been briefed on the cases we were working on?”
“Not entirely, Commander Ryan called me the minute Agent Brian was reported missing.” He stated looking at her. “The woman standing over there is the one that called the police, she said she had heard several gunshots and then a car speed away.”
“I’ll talk to her.” Meranda said walking towards the old woman. She could see the gray hair woman look up at her. She seemed to remind her of her own grandmother, and probably was just as nosey.
“Hello ma’am I am Agent Cross, I was told you were the one that called the police.”
“Yes that’s right.”
“What were you doing when you heard the gunshots?”
“I was getting ready to take miss Tilley out for her nightly walk.” The woman said, in her arms was a small white dog.
“But you saw nothing?”
“Not a thing, I heard the screech of tires on the pavement and the doors open and close but I heard nothing else until I heard the gunshots.”
“Do you know what kind of cars they were?”
“Couldn’t see them from the window.” She said. Meranda wasn’t getting anywhere with this old woman. She reminded her of a neighbor she had when she was younger, always nosing in to other peoples business yet when asked she knew nothing.
“All right thank you ma’am if you remember anything please give me a call.” Meranda said handing the lady one of her cards.

Meranda walked back over the car as she pulled some gloves from her inside pocket. Moving over to the car she looked inside.
“What are you looking for?”
“ Anything I can find. There has to be something inside this car.” Meranda said as she began picking around. She looked toward the passenger seat and noticed a few hairs that she knew were not Lucas’s.
“I need a baggie.” She said leaning out of the car. A forensic officer handed her one and waited a moment.
“Yeah, I’d say blonde. But I can’t really tell. I also want to get a sample of that blood on the car and around it.” She said looking towards the officer. He nodded and returned a moment later with what she had needed. Meranda leaned down and looked at the small drops of blood that were just outside the car. There wasn’t much blood but enough to get someone’s attention. Once she had gathered some samples she moved aside as pictures where taken of the blood spots. The inside of the car was a different story, the blood seemed to be splattered all over inside, the roof had some blood, the window and even the seat. Something major had gone on inside the car. Looking around Meranda noticed a tear in the seat.
“Looks like a fight happened in here.” She said. James leaned in and saw the same thing.
“I thought the officers said that there hadn’t been much struggle?”
“That’s what we were all told. But from the looks of it. Someone’s been wounded pretty badly. I’ll get some samples of the blood and take it back to the lab. Lucas was type B blood so if this is his it should be easily identified.” Meranda said, she took two swabs from her pocket and began getting the samples she needed. Standing up she moved aside as more pictures were taken now of the interior of the car.
“Get this thing back to the lab, I can get more evidence off of it there.”
“Yes Ma’am.” The officer said. Meranda pulled the gloves off and looked around.
“What’s wrong?” James asked. Meranda continued looking around till she spotted something on the ground. She motioned to the officer with the camera.
“Get a picture of this.” She said pointing to the tire tracks.
“Someone speed away, and it looks as if they left us a clue.”
“Not entirely. This could have been here for a couple of days, but I wanted to take a look just in case.” Meranda said. The scene was pretty much secure, what bothered her was the fact it was a large scene. The officers that were there could have moved, or even tampered with the evidence without even knowing it. She wished the call she had gotten from George had been sooner. And now with Ryan calling in James it seemed they knew more than they were letting on.
“What now?”
“We take the samples back to the lab and have them analyzed. I want to know what happened here. And once the car is back at the lot, I can really look it over, especially without the eyes of press and other people.
“Good Idea.”
“All right then, your with me.” Meranda said heading back toward her car. James followed behind her closely as they stopped.
“By the way how did you get down here?”
“Got a ride from one of the other agents.”
“Ryan, that would explain why he said you’d be here waiting.” Meranda said as she unlocked the doors and got in. James got into the car and buckled his seatbelt.
“Well let’s see what these samples have to tell us.”
“A lot I am hoping.” Meranda said as she drove away from the scene. Things weren’t adding up and that bothered her, things seemed out of sorts with the way things had been left. George had told her that blood had been found on the scene but it looked as if Lucas went freely, yet all over the interior of his car was blood. Something didn’t add up. At this point in her career she’d never seen a case as strange as this one. She’d been following many missing persons cases over the years but none that involved another agent.

Upon arriving back at the lab, Meranda went straight to work.
“You know how to use the equipment?”
“Yeah, don’t you?” Meranda asked looking toward James.
“I wasn’t brought into the bureau for forensic science.”
“I majored in it in college. One of my specialties is forensics. I tend to run my own tests rather than having someone else do them and screw them up.” She added as she put the first sample on a tiny slid. Placing the slide under the microscope she looked into the lenses at it.
“It’s blood.”
“Well I gathered that much. What kind of blood?”
“As soon as I am done running the test on all the samples I have I’ll let you know, for now leave me to work.” Meranda said.

James nodded and left the lab, he walked down the long hallway to what he assumed was Meranda’s office. He looked around and the office seemed to empty to have been hers so he closed the door and nearly ran into a young red head. She looked up at him with her piercing blue eyes and smiled.
“You’ll find Meranda’s office closer to the lab, she spends a lot of time in there.”
“Ok, thanks.” James said turning around.
“I’m Colette, I occasionally work with Meranda and Lucas.”
“Not to often. Lucas doesn’t seem to like me much.” Colette said leading James down the hallway to Meranda’s dark office. He looked around and saw the further down the hallway they went the less doors he saw.
“What is she way in the back?”
“Pretty much.” Colette said opening the door. She flipped on the light and shook her head. “And as usual Meranda’s got paper work everywhere.”
“I was told her and I would be sharing an office. Is there another desk in here?”
“Yeah there are two desks in here, you just have to hunt for them.” Colette said with a laugh. James started taking boxes off the desks and began a nice neat pile of them in a corner. He noticed the more he organized the room the more he noticed that it was a rather large room, much larger than the room he had first stepped into.
“Needs a lot of work, but I guess it will do.” James said. He looked around and spotted one of the boxes was labeled James Williams, lifting the box he began empting the contents onto the empty desk. He wondered when his things had been shipped over and why he wasn’t told of their arrival.
“If you wondering when your things arrived. I would say about two days ago, before Lucas went missing. Commander Ryan was going to replace you as Meranda’s partner as Lucas was going to be leaving the bureau soon.”
“How come you seem to know this more than Meranda does?”
“Meranda tends to turn a blind eye to things associated with Lucas. He was her father’s partner.”
“Her father had been with the FBI?”
“Yep, died when she was a teen. That’s something she’d have to explain when she’s ready.” Colette said. “I’ll come back and check on you later.” She said leaving the room.

Meranda looked around the room, and spotted the clock on the far wall. She had been working on the testing for over four hours. She waited for the computer to finally match the blood and DNA with that of Lucas. Suddenly the computer beeped, and Meranda looked at it.
“I’ll be damned.” Meranda said. Hitting a button the computer printed off the results. She grabbed the print off and headed out of the room. She turned towards her office when she noticed the light was on.
“There you are.”
“Yep here I am, any news?”
“Lots. Let’s go find Commander Ryan and fill him in.”
“What about Rodriguez?”
“What about George? He’s on this case as well, but he’s already gone home.” Meranda pointed out as she hurried down the hall.
“ What?” Ryan said stepping into the hall.
“I’ve got some of the results back.”
“What is it?”
“The blood found inside the car was Lucas’s. The blood outside the car wasn’t.”
“Then who’s was it?”
“Agent Rodriguez’s.”
“What? Why was George’s blood found outside the car.”
“That is an excellent question sir, and as soon as I have the answer for it, I will let you know.” Meranda said. James was shocked at the weird turn. He took the report from Meranda and read over what the computer had said. The blood found on the interior of the car belonged to one Lucas Brian, the blood found outside belonged to one George Rodriguez. Things didn’t seem to add up, what about the hair that was found.
“Hey what about the hair?”
“Dog hair. I am assuming that Lucas was taking care of his ex wife’s dog.”
“But there was no dog found on the scene.”
“That would be the other blood that was found in the car. It seemed that the gunfire that Miss Samuels heard was several shots, never one by Lucas but by George I am assuming. Until I get a better look at the car I am in the dark.”
“The car was brought over earlier. I would have bothered you about it but felt that what you were working on was more important.”
“Why didn’t you go check it out?”
“Because Partner, I didn’t get a degree in forensic science, I wouldn’t have a clue of what I was looking for.”
“Truthful I like that. Sir did you want us to go over the car?”
“I’ll have another team take a look at the car, you two get some sleep now.”
“Yes sir.” Meranda said taking the paper from James and heading back to her office. James looked at her strangely as he followed her down the hallway.
“He said go home.”
“And I will. I want to check something else first.”
“Meranda, you have to be exhausted.”
“Not really.” Meranda said looking at him with a smile.
“She never gets tired.”
A New Scene by AJsSweety
Chapter 3: A New Scene.
Colette watched as James seemed irritated that Meranda would not go home. She had long sense left the office and had moved back into the lab. Testing more things Colette supposed. But with all the tests Meranda was running she wondered if she was ever going to get any sleep. Most of the agents had already gone on other cases, home or just some place quiet to eat or rest. With a missing agent it tended to be a round the clock deal, many agents rarely left for rest at all and Meranda was one of them.
“Come on let’s get some coffee, she’s going to be a while.” Colette said getting his attention.
“What is she doing?”
“Working, what she does best. I’ll explain at the diner.” Colette said as she turned and headed toward the elevators. James looked toward the lab once more before following behind her.

Meranda looked up just as James was moving away from the window. She had been wondering when he’d finally go home and get some rest. Doing odd hours like this wasn’t unusual for her and being up for hours didn’t seem to matter. An agent was missing and presumed dead, she wanted to prove this herself. She finished attempting to match the prints found inside the car to any known criminal or even an agent. Meranda wasn’t to sure about who was to blame.
“We’ve had a call.” James said rushing into the room.
“For what?”
“We think Lucas has been found.” James said heading out of the room. Meranda grabbed her crime scene kit, she wasn’t going without the kit this time. She followed James and Colette to the car.
“Both of you?”
“Director Ryan said I should come along, see what I can find out.”
“All right.” Meranda said. Having Colette along could be a nice advantage, Colette was a profiler, with a high rate of accuracy.
They arrived on the scene several minuets later, the police again had arrived and had cordoned off the scene.
“Where is Detective Martin?”
“Over there.” The officer said pointing to the man standing near a blue tarp.
“Detective Martin?”
“I’m Agent Cross, these are my partners Agent Williams and Davidson.”
“Yes we were told to expect you.” He said looking at her. Moving aside he showed the covered body.
“We think this might be your missing Agent.” He said moving the tarp. Colette pulled out the camera and snapped several pictures.
“Yes that is Agent Brian. When was he found?”
“One of the homeless women found him about an hour ago.”
“Where is she?”
“She was taken to the hospital.”
“All right. Do you know the cause of death yet?” Meranda asked setting down the kit she had been carrying. Moving closer to Lucas’s body she pulled some gloves from the case and started checking him. His badge and ID where still in his pocket, his wallet and all the money remained in the other pocket.
“Gunshot.” Colette said pointing to the pool of blood beneath Lucas’s head. Meranda reached behind his head and noticed that for someone that had been found dead, the blood was still warm. She reached around and touched his blue lips.
“He hasn’t been dead long.” Meranda said. Colette looked down and saw the same thing Meranda was seeing, Lucas’s eyes were still open as if seeing his killer, and the shocked look still frozen on his face.
“I think he knew his killer.” James said.
“So do I.” Meranda agreed. She rolled Lucas onto his side and noticed that there was glass beneath him. She picked up several shards and rolled him back onto his back. Standing back up, the suspicions that she held that the killings that had been going on before had something to do with Lucas had changed now with his death. Something didn’t add up, why were people killing police officers and federal agents. She knew that they were prime targets and knew that her job was dangerous but this was something else. Something far more dangerous than anything she had ever encountered.
“What are you thinking?” James asked.
“We’ve got one agent dead, two more missing.”
“Rodriguez didn’t report for work this morning and Samuels didn’t either.”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“George never misses work. And will Samuels is an idiot to stupid to miss work. Something isn’t right.”
“I have the same feeling. I am getting that from the placement of the body, the fact that his wallet, ID and Badge where still on him meant that who ever killed him knew him. And knew that you’d look for those first.” Colette said.
“Good observation, but what I need is motive, why would someone kill a federal agent? The cases we were working on where about recent reports of missing young women.”
“Young women?”
“Lucas worked several cases about twenty years ago, when recent college graduates mainly female began disappearing. They were taken from their work, or right after work.”
“Was there anything in common about them?”
“All recent grads of a forensic sciences degree at a local Boston college.” Meranda said looking at James. James thought for a moment, thinking that maybe that had something to do with the killing.
“Could be that what ever happened then and now, is something that someone wants to keep hidden.”
“That could be possible. For now let the coroner take Lucas’s body back to the morgue and have the autopsy done so we can find out anything else. I want pictures of the scene.” Meranda said looking at Colette.
“Agent Cross.”
“Yes Detective?”
“This was found on the body, it’s got your name on it.” He said handing her the bag that held a small white envelope. Meranda took it and looked at the handwriting.
“I’ll take it back to the lab and have it checked there, thank you detective.” Meranda said placing it in the kit she was carrying. She moved around and started gathering more evidence from the scene as Colette took pictures. Once they had finished they left the Boston PD to finish up anything else they needed to do. She wanted to get back to the lab with the note and the new samples she had. Maybe something in them would point to who was doing the killing.
The New Team by AJsSweety
Chapter 4 The New Team
Meranda stood alone in her lab, James had gone with Colette to find out what the pictures had to say about the murder scene. Meranda stayed there looking at the blood, the glass shards and the samples from Lucas’s car. She could hardly believe that her friend was dead. Staring at the evidence that now sat in front of her she needed to find the killer. The clues were staring her in the face yet she could see nothing.
“We’ve got the pictures back.” James said as he and Colette entered the room.
“What do we have?” She asked.
“Looks like the shard of glass found under Lucas was also in his back. He must have fought the killer.”
“I have to wait for the ME’s report to know that for sure.” Meranda said.
“We know. But so far the pictures paint a rather eerie picture. The gunshot wound seemed to have come from behind, what bothers me is that it didn’t take out the front of his face.”
“Maybe he was shot from an angle?” Meranda asked.
“That could be possible. There is no exit from what I can see, we will have to wait for the report on that. There was also blood on his shirt and scratches on his hands.”
“You did a good job.” Meranda said taking the pictures from Colette. She began pinning them up in a row, taking a better look at each, and then trying to match what she had already collected to what was now being shown.
“I am thinking the scratches on his hands came from the car. That would explain the blood on the passenger side door. The gunshot wound I am unsure of, I am thinking that was done on the scene of the murder. But where did the blood inside the car come from?”
“His arm, look at the bullet wound.” James pointed out. Clearly in one of the pictures was a shot of the front of Lucas and any wounds on his body could be seen.
“Damn how did I miss that?”
“You weren’t looking for it. It doesn’t look like a fatal wound so maybe that’s why you missed it.” James pointed out. Meranda had to agree but until they received the ME’s report they were at a stand still, she had run all the tests she could on the samples she had. But until she had a clear picture of what happened to Lucas there was no one she could point the finger at. Even if she had a hunch she knew who had done it, she needed more time to bring the evidence into play.
“Why don’t we get some coffee while we wait for that report.” Colette suggested.
Meranda wanted to look at the two other people in the small room, the quiet slowly getting to her.
“I have to do something, I can’t just sit here.” Meranda said leaving the room. James stood dropped his empty coffee cup in the trash and followed her from the room. As expected Meranda was once again in her lab. She needed the information and getting the results from the computer might be faster than waiting on the Medical Examiner. Punching a few keys she waited for the computer to find the information she needed.
“Damn it he’s not done with it.” Meranda growled. James shook his head and looked around the room.
“Why not just go see the medical examiner and find out what’s going on with the tests?”
“Because he’s on the other side of town.” Meranda growled. James shook his head and pulled up another chair.
“Believe me he’ll get those results here quickly. Let the man do his job.”
“Yeah.” Meranda grumbled walking away from her computer. Walking to the door she nearly knocked over the young man that was coming with the results.
“Agent Cross?” He asked.
“I was told to give these to you.” He said handing her the envelope. Meranda nearly tore open the envelope to find out the contents.
“He was shot.”
“Duh we knew that much.”
“Lucas was beaten. The bullet isn’t what killed him.”
“What was?”
“Blunt force trauma. He was hit in the head hard. The ME says that it was either a lead pipe or something similar. But whom ever killed Lucas screwed up, there was a fight between Lucas and the aslant and it seems that he got in a few blows himself. There was fresh skin found under his fingernails. They are currently checking it against the DNA found on the scene and they are also sending over a sample of it for you to test, they figure that you know more about all of the Agent DNA in this dept than most.”
“Yeah, let me take a look at it. Give me a few hours and then I’ll let you know. Why don’t the two of you get something to eat and come back.”
“You’ve got to eat too.”
“I will.” Meranda replied as she began looking over the paperwork and then looking toward the door as the courier arrived with that package. Meranda took the package and signed the paper quickly before disappearing into the lab.

“What are we going to do about her? She thought her partner was the one doing the killings, but since he turned up dead, she’s not so sure.”
“I know. But Meranda is very talented and understands what her job is and knows what she needs to do to find Lucas’s killer.”
“James what are we to think? Meranda Cross is a fine Agent but what are we to think? She is to head up this new team, and at this rate she’s already emotionally involved.”
“Colette, you have to see things from Meranda’s point of view. To see things through her eyes.”
“Problem is I do.” Colette said looking back into the small room.

Meranda had already started her testing on the skin that had been found under Lucas’s nails. She also began looking over the picture of the body, she had wanted to examine it herself but the ME was still working on the other causes of death. From what she could see of the pictures, Lucas had taken one hell of a beating.
“I have to see this up close.” She whispered as she hurried out of the room. It was a lucky thing that the Medical Examiners office was just down the block. Hurrying from the building she made her way down the nearly dark and empty street to the Medical Examiners office, tapping a few keys on the keypad the door promptly beep and clicked open. She walked down the hallway, her heals clicking on the tile floor as she made her way to the morgue.
“Sorry Stan, I had to see this for myself.”
“Not a problem. I had actually expected you to want to see this. Looks like Lucas put up a fight before he was killed.”
“So it seems.” Meranda said as she pulled on some latex gloves to start touching the naked body. Reaching into her pocket she pulled a small tape recorder out and hit record.
“There are several bruises on the torso of the victims body, along with a large gash beneath his right arm. There are bruises over the entire face, eyes.”
“It seems that Agent Brian put up a good fight.”
“What was the fatal wound?”
“The shot to his upper right chest, it was as if the person knew exactly where to hit him. Your partner was wearing a vest.”
“Right beyond the vest, this was a professional hit.” Meranda said looking down at her former partner. Someone was out to kill agents, especially ones working on certain missing persons cases.
“Let me know what else you find. I am heading back to the office.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah I think I might have a lead.”
“Meranda this isn’t like you.”
“I know but you’re more than capable to finish this. I have what I need.” Meranda said disappearing out the door. Stan shook his head before going back to his own work.

Meranda hurried back to her office, she needed to fill in James and Colette on what was going on. Things had taken a strange turn and now she had a feeling that the entire agency was under attack. Nearing the door, she stopped when she noticed a car pulling up in front of the building. She knew that the building was closed to public access at this hour and wondered what the car was doing there. Standing outside she waited, suddenly the sound of a gunshot pierced the silence of the night and Meranda dropped to her knees as a blinding pain shot through her shoulder. Meranda looked up trying to see the face of her attacker, but the pain seemed to almost blind her.
“Goodnight Agent.” Was all she heard as her world went black.

James looked out the large window, wondering where Meranda was. He had already called over to the coroners office to find that Meranda had been gone for nearly fifteen minuets.
“Something’s not right.” James said turning and facing Colette.
“Yeah I know, Meranda should have been back by now. I really don’t want to call Ryan and tell him we’ve got another missing agent.”
“I don’t either, one of us should have gone with her.” James said. He headed to the elevator and waited for it to open so he could make his way to the lobby. As the elevator doors opened James barely had time to catch Meranda’s falling body.
“Oh my god, is she ok?” Colette asked helping James lower Meranda to the floor. James pulled the note off of Meranda’s coat and opened it.
* Drop this case or she will be the next to die, this is your first and only warning.*
“Shit, call an ambulance she’s been shot.” James said feeling the pooling of blood. Colette stood quickly and grabbed the nearest phone and dialed 911.
“We’ve got an agent down. No I don’t want the damned police, this is the FBI we’ve got an agent down we need an ambulance at the federal building NOW!” Colette shouted. Dropping the phone Colette dropped back down next to her friend.
“Is she ok?”
“Her breathing is labored but I think she’ll be fine.” James said putting pressure on the wound.
“She’s pale, when do you think this happened?”
“I don’t know, she was supposed to have been back over thirty minutes ago, so sometime during the walk back from the coroners office.” James said, he looked up as the elevator beeped and two paramedics stepped off. Behind them was Commander Ryan, James looked at him and then down at Meranda.
“What happened?”
“We are unsure sir, all we know is Meranda has been shot. There was a death threat attached to her jacket. But since she’s unconscious I am unable to ask her what happened.” James said as the paramedics took over what he had been doing.
“Why was Meranda outside?”
“She had gone to the coroners office to do some checking on Agent Brian’s body.” Colette said. She reached down and picked up Meranda’s coat and noticed that her small tape recorder was still inside.
“It’s still on.” Colette said absently.
“Her recorder it’s still on.” Colette repeated as she handed it over to Ryan. Ryan looked down at Meranda as the paramedics started toward the elevator.
“Someone has to go with her.”
“I will.” Colette said heading into the elevator. James started to follow but felt Ryan’s hand on his shoulder.
“We need to listen to this before heading to the hospital.” Ryan said leading James into the office. Ryan placed the tape player on the desk and looked toward James.
“What was she working on?”
“Lucas case. She went to see what the coroner had found during the autopsy. She was gone for about an hour before we called the coroner to find out if she had left. He told us she had left thirty minutes before that. So we figured she must have stopped along the way, we gave her a short time before we started down to find out what was going on, that’s when the elevator doors opened and Meranda dropped into my arms. She was unconscious so I haven’t any clue how she even got into the elevator.”
New Victim by AJsSweety
Chapter 5: New Victim

Ryan was still unsure of why Meranda had gone alone to the coroner’s office but decided that he wasn’t going to question it.
“We will listen to this tape and then head over to the hospital.”
“And if Meranda isn’t stable enough to talk then what?”
“We pray this tape will tell us what happened.” Ryan said as he pushed the play button. They both listened as Meranda described what she was checking on Lucas’s body, but then she said she was leaving the coroners office. Stan said his goodbyes to her and the door was heard closing. The next thing heard was Meranda stopping on the steps of the federal building and her mentioning a car parked in front of the building. The sound of a gunshot rang out and Meranda crying out in pain. Footsteps where heard next.
“Goodnight Agent.” Was heard next and then the sound of Meranda being moved.
“She’s going to live?”
“Who knows and who cares. Just get that fucking note and let’s get her loaded into the elevator.”
“What about her partners?”
“As long as we do this quickly no one will notice.”
“And the guard?”
“He’s out on a break. I know the rotation around here. Just get her moved.” An angry voice said. They could clearly hear Meranda being moved and then the sound of the elevator doors opening.
“They better get the hint or next time I will kill her and Commander Ryan won’t be the wiser.”
“I hope so, lets get out of here before the guard comes back.” Just as that was said the elevator doors closed, the next voice they heard was James’s as he caught Meranda just as she fell.
“What the fuck?” James said looking at Ryan.
“We’ve got a leak. Let’s get down to Meranda. I’ll call in a few agents to stay with her while she’s in the hospital, but for now nothing is said.”
“Yes sir.” James said as he followed Ryan from the office. He knew that Ryan would be the one driving to the hospital and would be the first to try and get answers out of Colette. The two nearly ran down the hallway as the hurried to find out if anything had been said. Ryan found Colette standing in the hallway outside the emergency room.
“What’s going on?”
“They are moving her up to ICU.”
“How bad is she?”
“Collapsed lung, her heart stopped twice, and the bullet never left her body. And she‘s lost a lot of blood, nearly half her bodies worth.”
“Is she stable?”
“No, she slipped into a coma. They have her on a ventilator to help her breath and have said until she’s stable they can not do any surgery to remove the bullet.”
“Damn it, I want to find the person that was on that tape.”
“Sir, there was a note attached to Meranda’s jacket. A warning telling us if we didn’t let this case go, she’d be the next to die.”
“We will bring in more security. No one will get to Meranda. We need to prove who is doing this.”
“That’s not the problem. I think Meranda saw her attacker.” Colette said looking at them both.
“You sure?”
“Very. I will be staying with her.” Colette replied as she headed toward the elevator. Ryan and James followed her silently as they waited, they took the elevator to the fifth floor and walked quietly down the hallway stopping for a moment.
“We are looking for Meranda Cross’s room.”
“Third door on the right.” The petite nurse said. Ryan nodded and lead the group down the hallway. The three stopped just outside Meranda’s room. There toward the far wall sat a large bed, Meranda lay in the center. A tube down her throat helping her breath, an IV running from her hand. They could clearly see the bandaging that took up most of her chest.
“Damn.” Ryan said as he slowly moved into the room. He could see that Meranda’s skin was pale compared to the color of the room. Her long dark hair was surrounding her face like a crown, there were a few bruises on her face, he suspected those came from her fall.
“We will need around the clock protection for her.”
“I’ve called the local police and have also called a few agents. We’ve got about twenty people that are willing to be here around the clock to make sure no one attempts to get anywhere near her.”
“They can slip in as nurses or even doctors.”
“Proper identification will be required even from agents.” Colette said.
“You’ve really thought this through.”
“Meranda is a good agent and a good friend. I will do everything within my power to make sure who ever did this to her will pay dearly for it.” She vowed. Ryan agreed that someone would pay for the injury of one of his best agents. He was just praying the voice he recognized on the tape wasn’t who he thought it was. Looking at the other two agents he knew that they’d be the first watch that night.
“I am going to go back to the agency and see what I can find out. Give the next team about four hours and they will be here to relieve the two of you. Then I want you both to return to your homes and get some rest. Neither of you will do Meranda any good if your not healthy yourselves”
“Yes sir.” They both answered. Ryan nodded and headed out of the room and back toward the elevators.
“ Commander.”
“Thank you.”
“She’s one of my best agents, and as you said a good friend. I knew her father. We will find out who did this.” He replied turning toward Colette. Colette nodded, but she already knew who had done this, she had seen the vision of the attack nearly ten minutes before Meranda’s appearance in the elevator.
“If you have any information Agent, please don’t hesitate to call me.”
“Yes sir. But I think you already know what I know.”
“I believe I do, and if we are both correct. He will be brought to justice for what he’s done.” Ryan replied as he left.

It seemed like hours before Colette even spoke. She looked around the small room, the only sound was that of the beeping machine that kept rhythm with Meranda’s heart beat, and the machine that helped her breath. James had since been sitting outside the room, thinking that Colette needed some time away from him. She was beginning to think he was blaming himself for what had happened.
“Yeah?” He said looking up at her as she exited the room.
“You do know this isn’t your fault?”
“Yes I do know that, but it doesn’t make things any better. I was assigned as her new partner and in a way I promised her nothing would happen. We would find out what was going on.”
“From what I’ve read on Meranda Cross, she’s a rather inventive agent and has always been one to do things on her own. When she gets something in her mind she always wants to follow through.”
“I know. I read her profile too, Meranda Cross has been an ace agent since joining the agency when she was almost eighteen. Being the daughter of an agent wasn’t a bad thing either.”
“But now we’ve got to sit here and watch one of the FBI’s best agents recover from something that should have never happened. I should have told her what I had seen.”
“You couldn’t have talked her out of it.”
“I could have warned her.”
“She has that same gift, I promise you she probably saw the same thing.”
“It doesn’t always work that way, we cant always see harm especially if it’s something that’s going to happen to ourselves. I saw that something was going to happen. I should have said something to her.” Colette stated.
“You still couldn’t have changed her mind. She wanted to go and find out the information on her own. I just wish she would have waited. Waited for one of us to go with her anything.”
“Well we can sit here and do would haves and should haves but it’s still not going to change the fact she’s in there in a coma. I hope Ryan finds out what is going on.” James stated. Colette had to agree as she turned her attention back to her friend, the young woman she had hoped to learn everything about being a top agent. Meranda was the best in her class, the best in the Boston area, everything. Colette had hoped someday she’d be as good.

In a dark room on the other side of town, he paced.
“It wasn’t supposed to go that way.”
“She’ll live.”
“She’s in a coma.”
“She’s nosey what did you expect me to do?”
“They will find out.”
“Not by her they wont. She’s quieted for now. Until she’s come out of that coma. They will never know what is going on.”
“They aren’t stupid. Meranda was just returning from the coroners office, that means she had her tape recorder with her.”
“And your point?”
“Pray she had shut it off. She tends to be a bit absent minded about things like that.”
“Then you should have done a better job. Remember Meranda was brought into the agency as a profiler then when she finished her training she became one of the best agents they’ve ever seen. That special talent of hers keeps her one step a head of many criminals.”
“Except you.”
“We will find a way to fix this. Meranda will be the next to die if they don’t let this investigation go.”
“Then I’d suggest you get to work.”
“Yes sir.” He replied before disappearing into the dark once again. They waited a moment before stepping into the light. The first a tall man with short dark hair, deep green eyes. The second a shorter male Hispanic man with dark hair and even darker eyes. Both watched as their partner disappeared around the corner before they too decided that they should leave before being discovered.
The Agenda by AJsSweety
Chapter 6 The Agenda

He walked quietly into the office, he knew that the commander was there and didn’t want to be heard. He looked around and noticed that there was some of the cleaning crew trying to get the blood out of the carpet. There was still blood on the tile floor just as you came into the entrance and blood on the steps just outside the door. One would have thought that there had been some form of mass murder with all the blood that had been around, but he knew that it only came from one person. The one person that he didn’t want anyone to know he had been involved with, her injuries were his fault and he knew it, but how was he to hide that from the assistant director and the rest of the agency. You could almost see the guilt written across his face as he walked through the office, his eyes downcast and his steps quick.
“Yes sir?” George answered looking up at Ryan.
“Where have you been?”
“Checking on some leads on the Lucas case sir.”
“That case belongs to Cross, you know that.”
“I was helping her out.”
“Then I am to understand that you haven’t been in this building at all this evening.”
“That’s right.” George answered.
“Rodriguez, you were sighted in this building two hours ago.”
“Sorry sir I was no where near this building.” George said looking at Ryan. Ryan narrowed his eyes, he needed to be able to prove that George had been seen in the building at the same time that Meranda was shot. But how was he going to prove something like that?
“Director, there is a call for you.”
“Thank you. I’ll have to talk to you later George.” Ryan said turning and heading back into his office. He picked up the phone and waited a moment before pushing the line that was blinking.
“Matthew Ryan.”
“Sir we have a problem.”
“What is it?”
“There has been someone sighted near Meranda’s room.”
“So double security.”
“We did but the person slipped in, Meranda went into cardiac arrest.”
“Damn it I’ll be right there.”
“Yes sir.”

Ryan left the building hurrying over to the hospital. As he drove he wondered why would anyone try and kill one of his agents? Why would someone really take this kind of time. As he arrived at the hospital he noticed that a familiar car was pulling out of the parking lot. Hurrying inside he stopped in front of James.
“How is she?”
“Sorry sir.” James said looking at the older man.
“They lost her.” James said looking toward the room. Meranda’s body still lay on the bed but the sheet now covered her face. Ryan could hardly believe this and walked into the room. He saw a nurse standing there, one he’d never seen at the hospital before.
“I’m sorry.” She said as she turned and left the room. James waited a moment before he entered the room. The woman was gone and James reached and pulled the sheet off of Meranda’s face.
“What are you doing? If she’s dead there is no reason to remove that.”
“She’s not dead.”
“Meranda went into cardiac arrest and the doctors came running to save her. There was a woman in there I had never seen on staff, I informed the doctors to make it look like Meranda had died. The woman was still there standing near the bed looking at Meranda as you entered the room. When she left that’s when I came in. Meranda’s being moved to a private wing so that only specified doctors and nurses can be near her.”
“Will she recover?”
“They aren’t sure. The woman gave her something in her IV and that is what caused the cardiac arrest in the first place.”
“I want her moved and placed under high security.”
“What about her death? Should it be in the paper and on the news?”
“Yes, I want who ever is doing this to think that she’s gone and that the only link to him is dead.”
“All right. I’ll make sure that a release is made.”
“I’ll speak the press sir.” Colette said looking at them both.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, it seems that the person who is doing this will want to see one of us making the release. Why not me, I can even get some tears going.”
“Good, get this done now.” Ryan said. James and Colette nodded as two doctors and a nurse approached him.
“Meranda will be moved in a few moments. Director, I must inform you that what ever she was given has caused extensive damage to her lungs and heart. There were signs that she was coming out of the coma, but after this episode I don’t see that happening for a long while. Her body needs to heal.”
“Just make sure she gets the attention she needs.” Ryan said, he watched as they wheeled Meranda out of the room and down the long hallway.

James placed his cell phone back inside his jacket and looked at Colette.
“She’s our friend. I can’t believe someone has done this.” She said looking at him. James had to agree, the attack on Meranda not once but twice was beyond what anyone would do. It was seeming that someone was trying to silence Meranda. As if she knew who had shot her in the first place.
“The press are to be here within the hour.” James stated as he reached into his jacket for a piece of gum.
“This case is getting worse and worse. What is next?”
“I don’t know but maybe this announcement will bring the killer out of hiding. Especially if he’s a he and the he that Director Ryan thinks he is.”
“We better hope so.” Colette said as she looked out at the darkening sky.
“Come on we best find a room we can use for the press conference.” James stated as he lead her into the hospital. After speaking to the lady at the main desk they were given permission to use the conference room down the hall. Once they had set things up, Colette made sure there were enough chairs and there was a table for them to sit at to answer questions. Colette placed a pitcher of water and three glasses on the main table. Looking up she could see the media people slowly filtering in.
“Go get Director Ryan the press conference is about to start.” Colette said to James. James nodded and hurried from the room.
The Press Conference by AJsSweety
Chapter 7 The Press Conference.

Ryan stood waiting for all of the press to settle down so he could make his announcement. Once the room was quiet he spoke loudly.
“As of 9:45 this evening Special Agent Meranda Cross was pronounced dead.”
“How did she die?”
“Agent Cross died from injuries sustained after being shot outside the federal building two days ago. We are still investigating the reason she was shot and once the person is found they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I will now take questions.” Ryan said looking out at the group.
“Director, did Agent Cross know her shooter?”
“Agent Cross never regained consciousness before she died, we are never going to know if she knew her killer.”
“Will there be a full funeral?”
“Agent Cross will be given a full military funeral with honors. There will be an announcement of the funeral.”
“Will there be an on going investigation?”
“Yes, with this being the third death within the ranks and within the city we are now taking matters into searching for a serial killer. Someone that is seeking out FBI agents and killing them.”
“Is there a reason for the people of Boston to panic?”
“No, at this time we are telling the public not to panic, that this has been centered around our agents and we are taking care of it. With the help of the Boston PD we are working together to find this person and bring him or her to justice.”
“Director, with the loss of Agent Brian, and now Agent Cross, will the cases they were working on be placed in another agents hands?”
“Not at the moment. We are centering all of our efforts on finding the person or persons that are doing this and end it.”
“Then at this time there are no suspects in the killing of the two agents?”
“We have two suspects we are still investigating but until we are certain we are unable to give out anymore information.” Ryan finished this and started out of the room.
“That will be all, if we receive any further information we will let you know.” Colette said as she and James followed Ryan from the room. All three slowly walked down the long white hallway and into the secure part of the hospital. They looked into the room and sighed. Meranda lay in the center of the bed, a tube running from her mouth helping her breath, several tubes running from her arms, one to give her antibiotics to counter act the poison she was given. Another tube was giving her nutrients that were needed. The sound of the heart monitor and breathing machine could be heard through the closed door.
“She will wake up.”
“I hope so. The doctors have been running a lot of tests and are unsure if the poison she was given has caused any damage.”
“What kind of damage?” James asked, fear now apparent in his dark eyes.
“Brain damage, liver and kidney damage, damage to her heart and lungs. Basically damage to just about anything. If you hadn’t noticed that person in the room, who knows what would have happened.” Ryan said looking at them both. Colette looked at Meranda again through the door.
“I’ve been friends with Meranda since we were kids.” She said absently.
“Really?” Ryan replied. Colette nodded and turned and walked down the hallway out of the secure area. James and Ryan stood there for a moment before they too followed and left the area.

Colette stood outside and looked at the rain as it fell. She could hear the thunder in the distance as she moved under the over hang. She listened as the cars in the distance drove through the puddles that had already formed from the sudden down pour.
“What did you mean that you and Meranda were friends when you were kids?”
“Just what I said.” Colette said looking toward the two men that now stood behind her.
“That isn’t in your profile.”
“Meranda never wanted to have anyone know that we were friends. I guess she felt that I’d get places faster that way. Being that her father was an agent she felt that things had been handed to her as it was. But she wanted me to get through the academy on my own.”
“Meranda was never given any special treatment.”
“I know.” Colette replied as she looked back toward the sky.” Meranda has always been a good friend and with that friendship came hard times. I lost track of her for a while after her dad died.”
“They said that her stepmother became mean with her and she had to be removed from the home rather quickly.”
“Yeah.” James answered. He had read in Meranda’s file all of her life’s changes and the things she had gone through It was no secret that she had had a troubled life, losing her mother when she was young to losing her father in her teens, to her stepmother nearly beating her to death because her father had died. Most would never gotten as far as Meranda had, but something inside of her told her she must prove that no matter what she could go on.
“Meranda has a journal that she keeps in her desk. She told me once that if anything was to happen to her, I was to take it out.”
“And do what with it?”
“Read it I guess. She said there would be a note attached telling me what to do. I wont do anything with it until something worse happens. We haven’t lost her yet.” Colette said heading into the rain. Ryan and James watched her climb into her car and sit there.
“I am going to go home.” Ryan said. He knew that there was nothing he could do there and he really wasn’t needed.
“Tell Colette to go home. I’ll stay here with Meranda.” James replied walking back into the hospital. Ryan waited a moment before he too hurried to his car, but not before he stopped at Colette’s car and tapped on the window. Rolling it down Colette looked at him with tears in her eyes.
“Go home, get some rest.”
“I can’t.”
“Please do it. I really don’t want to order you to.”
“All right. I’ll come back in the morning.”
“Thank you.” Ryan said as he headed away from the car.

James walked down the long hallway, stopping at the large door and typing in several numbers and listened to hear the door unlock. Turning the knob he walked through the doorway. He waited for the door to close and relock before he started down the long lonely corridor. As he walked down the hallway, he noticed the picture less walls and the sounds of machines. He noticed nurses and a few doctors that walked the hallways. He saw people laying unmoving in most of the rooms. As he passed the rooms, they had numbers but no names like you’d see on normal rooms. He stopped in front of Meranda’s room. He could hear the machine beeping that was keeping rhythm with her heartbeat and the soft sound of the machine that was helping her breath. Slowly walking threw the partially open door he stopped and stared at her. Her long dark hair hung around her face like a halo. Her normally peach colored skin was pale, her eyes closed and nearly black and blue. Her arms lay at her sides and the slow rise and fall of her chest told him she was alive. He walked further into the room and pulled a chair up next to the bed. He took her hand in his own and looked at her face.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered as he moved a stray hair from her face. He really didn’t know why he had said he was sorry but he felt he needed to. Something inside of him told him he really needed to tell her he was sorry. As he touched her hand he wanted so much for her to be awake, to talk to him. There were so many things he needed to say to her. So many things that were running through his mind and heart that he wanted her to hear.
The Funeral by AJsSweety
Chapter 8 Funeral Arrangements

Ryan stepped out into the midday sun and covered his eyes. He looked around and noticed off in the distance, the press trucks, waiting for their statement about the funeral for the recently departed Meranda Cross. Looking toward the other side of the parking lot, he noticed Colette’s car. Walking towards it he noticed that Colette still sat inside. Tapping on the window, he watched as the young woman jumped and looked at him. Rolling down the window she sighed.
“Sorry, I was going to come in really I was.”
“I know, it’s hard without her here.”
“It is, and with the press right out there breathing down our backs, looking for answers.”
“Looking for the truth, and some don’t even know that the killer is watching, waiting for us to mess up.”
“We wont.” Colette said climbing from the car and following Ryan back to the building. Ryan knew that the funeral had to look as real as possible, so if that meant burying someone without a name as Meranda Cross then so be it.
“Do we have someone to bury?”
“Yep, but it will be a closed casket funeral. The woman was badly burned and even if she wasn’t she looks nothing like Meranda. We will have the funeral tomorrow. I have to release the time and place to the local news crews and the paper. So that everyone will attend.”
“Your going all out on this one?”
“She will remain safe and secure until she’s better and the bastard that did this to her is in jail.”
“Yes sir. I will make sure that James is notified. He hasn’t left her side since they moved her.”
“I think Agent Williams likes her. And because of that, he will keep her safe.”
“I agree.” Colette said, she had been having that feeling long before Meranda had been hurt, the feeling that something good was to happen between James and Meranda. But it was up to the two of them to bring their troubled hearts together. But what troubled Colette was she saw the shooting of Meranda in a vision and did nothing to stop it, she knew that things in the future couldn’t be changed just contained. She just wished that she had contained it better and was able to warn Meranda enough to save her from the pain she would live for the rest of her life.
“What is on your mind?” Ryan asked seeing the look on Colette’s face.
“A lot, and nothing.” Colette said looking at him.
“Wrong, what is going on?”
“I saw Meranda getting shot, long before it happened. I should have warned her.”
“Meranda has the same gift.”
“She can’t see her own undoing, none of us can. But I saw it and should have warned her. But I left it and thought that it was wrong. And instead she lays in the hospital near death.”
“And none of this was your fault. Even if you would have warned her, do you really think that would have stopped her from going?”
“Not really, but she would have known the danger and would have been ready for it.”
“Being ready for your own death is not the way any agent wants to live. Believe me, her father didn’t live that way and I don’t see Meranda wanting to do it either. Death is something none of us can hide from. Death is the result, we just have to change the factors that get us there.”
“This is true. I guess even without the gift, you understand this.”
“Yeah I do. And as an FBI agent I also know that death is part of the job. Don’t let what happened to Meranda change the fact that we have a killer to catch.” Ryan pointed out. Colette nodded and sighed as they walked further down the hallway. She looked around, at this point everyone in the building could have been the one that shot Meranda. All of the agents were told Meranda was dead. Only James, Colette and Ryan knew that she wasn’t. With James remaining at the hospital as security, many agents were getting suspicious. But one seemed the most interested in why James had yet to return.
“Where is Agent Williams?”
“Still at the hospital. He is finishing up with the investigation there, and then is to meet us at the funeral. Is there a problem Agent?” Ryan asked looking at George.
“No problem at all sir, I was just wondering why he had yet to return.”
“Just finishing up what I asked him. It was his partner after all.” Ryan said. He watched as George shifted restlessly from one foot to the other.
“Why don’t you meet us at the funeral home. Many of the Agents and local Police are already starting to arrive there. You were her father’s partner at one time. Why don’t you make sure that everything is set?” Colette suggested.
“Good idea.” Ryan replied looking at the uneasy man. George nodded and nearly bolted from the building. Colette looked toward Ryan and then she too headed out of the building, she had no intention on allowing that man to get anywhere near that hospital. Pulling her cell phone from her pocket she quickly dialed the hospital number and asked to have James paged.
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“Have someone take over for you. We’ve told the press that all agents and local authorities will be at the funeral. We need you to get out of that hospital now.”
“Why what’s wrong?”
“George is on his way your direction. Maybe if he sees you exiting the parking lot he’ll believe the story that your there finishing up the investigation into the death of Agent Cross.”
“All right, the security is here, I am on my way out.” James said hanging up. Colette sighed as she followed behind George at a safe distance but made sure not to lose sight of him. The afternoon rush hour traffic was going to be hard to move through. Colette watched as James’s car pulled out of the hospital lot and was quickly followed by George’s car. Colette smiled, knowing that meant that Meranda was safe for one more day.

Colette parked her car and started the long walk toward the church where the funeral was to be held. The church was filled with police, FBI agents and political official’s from all over the city. She could hardly believe that Meranda was this well liked. She walked through the door and stopped near the large guest book, there it was already on the fifth page and she noticed that many signatures had been from the local officials. Meranda would have thought it nice to see so many there, but was it right that all these people thought she was dead?
James made his way into the church and looked around, standing near the doorway was George. He seemed to be deep in conversation with one of the politicians that came from another district. Moving closer, he tried to hear what they were saying.
“I guess it’s true, that’s one less agent we have to deal with.”
“I am sure that there will be a lot more. Meranda was a well liked agent within the agency, and I know with this death. They will look into it more.”
“Because her partner was killed only two weeks before she was. They will assume that there was something or someone behind it. I don’t know about you Senator but we can’t keep killing the agents.”
“You will do as your told, and like it.”
“Senator Kelly, we can’t be doing this.”
“Meranda Cross and her father were a thorn in my side, now that both are out of the way. We can continue with the job at hand.”
“Yes sir.” George said looking toward the front of the church.
There under the lights sat a dark oak coffin, the lid closed and a picture of Meranda Cross sitting on top. Flowers adorned the coffin from one end to the other. Soft crying could be heard from the front of the church. All eyes now lay upon the coffin and the man that now stood dressed in white in front of it. Raising his hands he spoke softly.
“Now we pray.” He said. Everyone in the room bowed their heads. James made his way to Colette’s side and had her sit down toward the back.
“What’s wrong?” She whispered, trying to not draw attention to them.
“I know why Meranda was killed.”
“We’ll discuss this after the service.” He replied looking toward the front of the church. Many people stood and spoke about how much they had admired Meranda, how much of a good friend she was even if she barely had time for herself; she always found time for her friends. Some spoke of the early years of Meranda’s time with the FBI, her time learning how to cope with what was going on around her. Learning to understand that things were not always personal. James listened intently and knew that his turn was coming up. He had told Ryan that he’d speak for their division and speak of how much Meranda meant to them. Slowly standing, James made his way to the front of the church. Standing in front of the podium he waited and looked toward the casket.
“Meranda was a wonderful woman. I first met her when we had gone through college together. I was a clumsy young man fresh out of high school. Meranda was the teachers pet, or so she seemed. Always having the answers but I found out the only reason she had so many answers was because she was the daughter of a former agent. Her life was that many had dreamed, the daughter of a secret agent. But she was more into her schooling than she was talking about her father. I learned rather quickly that she was just as hard into her studies as she was into her training. Meranda took and taught Karate on the side, plus took several other martial arts, I was shocked she even had time to study. But when we graduated from collage. It was a great experience to learn she had graduated top of the class. I lost contact with her for a while before I too joined the FBI, once I had joined I learned that she was assigned here in Boston, I wanted to hook up with her again. I just never expected it to be for such a short time. I never got to really tell her how I felt. How many of us felt about her. But we will as the FBI, Police and other officials we will bring those to justice that did this to her. Meranda will not have died for no reason.” James finished his speech and stopped in front of the casket.
“Goodbye my friend.” He said, placing his hand on the casket he then turned and walked down the isle back to his seat next to Colette.
“You really liked her.”
“Yes I did. And I will never get the chance to tell her that.”
“I know.” Colette said, she looked up as the priest finished the service and several officers stood to carry the casket to the waiting hearse. James and Colette where the last to exit the church, both watching George closely. James remembered what he had heard earlier and knew that George had ordered Meranda killed, and the Senator was the reason for that. He needed to find time to inform Ryan of this information.
To Catch a Killer by AJsSweety
Chapter 9 To Catch a Killer.

Colette waited until everyone had left the church before she approached James once again.
“What was so urgent?” Ryan asked as he moved closer to them both.
“Let’s speak in the car. That way we know we are alone.” James replied leading them to the waiting car. Once inside he looked at the two anxious people.
“I over heard Senator Kelly and Agent Rodriguez speaking about Meranda.”
“Ok.” Ryan replied looking at him strangely.
“They were talking about Meranda being a thorn in Kelly’s side, just like her father had been. That was two less agents he was having to worry about.”
“What else?”
“It seems that what ever has been going on has been ordered by Kelly, he’s got his dirty hands in all of this.”
“But the problem is proving it.” Colette pointed out.
“That shouldn’t be to hard. They think Meranda is dead, that means they will mess up.”
“I am not so sure about that sir. They’ve been doing this a long time. Kelly seemed hell bent on not getting caught and if that meant killing off any agents that knew about what he and Rodriguez were doing that would be what would be done.” James stated, he watched at the shocked expressions of both his companions.
“What will they do if they learn that Meranda isn’t dead?”
“She’ll become dead really quick. For now they are buying the fact that she’s dead. I will make sure that she remains that way. The problem is that means no visits to the hospital.” Ryan replied looking toward James.
“Yes sir, and I promise that I will refrain from going anywhere near the hospital. I did tell the staff to call me immediately if there was any change in Meranda’s condition.”
“Good idea, until this is ended we can’t take any chances.”
“Understood.” Colette and James replied together. Neither liked the idea of leaving Meranda alone, but for her own safety it was for the best. The car stopped at the cemetery and Colette was the first to exit. James followed her and then Ryan stepped from the car, he could hardly see where the line of cars ended as they walked toward the gravesite. They could see the large angel that stood above the gravestone.
“Who’s idea was that?”
“Meranda’s actually. This plot was already here.” Colette said as she sat down in one of the chairs. James sat down next to her and looked to see George and Kelly standing off to the side. He could hardly believe they had the guts to show their faces at the funeral, but they had some form of show to keep putting on.
Colette stood beside the car as people started leaving the cemetery. She watched as every single car left the area until the only car remaining was the one that she had arrived in. Ryan and James walked over to her, once they knew everyone was gone.
“What now?”
“Now we wait, we make a promise that we remain away from the hospital at all costs and wait to see what happens.”
“Yes sir.” Colette said getting into the car first, followed by James and then Ryan. They drove back to the agency and waited. They knew that it would be a long wait, so Ryan decided that they needed to find things to occupy their time.
“I have some new assignments for you both.”
“We aren’t going to be working together?” James asked, his voice full of surprise.
“Oh you’ll continue working together. I just have a few more cases that were never finished that Meranda was working on. Thought you might get them done.” He said looking at them both. Colette knew what he was meaning, they couldn’t just wonder around the agency not doing anything, it would rise suspicion. Colette agreed that it would be for the best. She walked down the hallway in silence, she pushed open the door and turned on the light as she entered their office. Off to the side were boxes already packed up with Meranda’s things. She guessed that with there being reports that she was dead, it was a good idea to move her things. James entered the room and gasped.
“I can’t believe it.”
“I know neither can I. But we have to face facts that she’s gone.” Colette responded as she sat down behind her desk. She pulled out a file and looked it over. She wouldn’t look up from the papers as she heard James pulling folders from the boxes that had been marked Meranda’s. She wondered what he was looking for, but didn’t want to ask. It hurt to much to feel that their friend was alive and well in the hospital but couldn’t be there because of some crazy killer that was one of their own.
Ryan sat quietly in his office, everything had to look as if they had just buried one of their own. He watched as George walked down the hallway, and noticed that he would look up and then down at the floor. Something was off with him, but wasn’t ready to approach him about it.
It seemed that days passed quickly without anyone saying anything about Meranda. Flowers had been dropped off in the lobby and several bunches had been sent to a local senior home. Ryan would walk past the plack that had been placed on the wall, in memory of Meranda. But he had made sure that Meranda’s name as well as Lucas’s and other fallen agents names had been listed as well. Over the years his branch had seen a great many deaths and he wanted to make sure none had been forgotten.
“Sir, there is an urgent call for you.”
“Thank you, I will take it in my office.” Ryan said heading into his office quickly. Picking up the phone he hit the blinking light.
“Director Ryan?”
“Yes this is. Can I help you?”
“I was told to call if there was any change in our Jane Doe.”
“Has there been?”
“A slight change. The breathing tube was removed this morning and it seems that her vitals are showing signs that she’s waking up.”
“She’s showing signs of waking up. But with those signs it could be a matter of hours or days.”
“Call me when she’s awake.”
“Sure thing.” The kind woman on the other end replied. Ryan put the phone back on the hook and knew that he couldn’t tell James or Colette yet. Not until Meranda was fully awake and ready for visitors. Now all they needed to do was catch the man responsible, the one that had caused all this heartache in the first place. But how was he going to make George or the Senator mess up. Do something that could get either of them caught. This would take a lot of thinking.
Returning from the Dead by AJsSweety
Chapter 10 Returning from the Dead

James was sitting at his desk when the strange call had come in. He had been working on a new case, as many of them had been over the last six months. But the call that had been received was from the hospital. Jane Doe had awakened, she was alert and doing well. James needed to see her, he knew that Jane Doe and Meranda Cross were the same person, but he had to see if it was true, that she was awake.
“I am heading over to the hospital.”
“Did you get the call?”
“Yes sir I did. I am going over to the hospital to be sure that it’s her. Meranda has been in that coma for over six months. I was beginning to wonder if she was ever waking up.”
“The doctors said that if she didn’t soon she probably never would. So it’s a good sign that she finally did.”
“I’ll let her know you care.” James said as he turned and left the office.
George stood silently in a corner watching the two. He wanted to know what they were up to. Since the death of Meranda Cross, it seemed the office had slipped into a daily routine. A routine that meant to him they were hiding something. He decided that he’d follow James to where ever he was going.

At the hospital, two nurses stood in the room with Meranda checking her vitals and making sure she was comfortable.
“I’m fine.” Meranda insisted but really she didn’t feel fine, she was confused and every time she’d move a little she’d get really dizzy. The nurses knew this, but said nothing as they went about their work.
“Just get some rest.”
“I’ve been resting. Six months worth. I want to leave.”
“Can’t yet. The doctor will be down to see you this afternoon, until then, just relax.”
“Fine.” Meranda grumbled as she leaned back against the pillows. The nurses shook their heads and headed out of the room, leaving Meranda alone. Meranda knew that meant she could just get up and leave, but that would result in her falling down. Reaching over she flipped on the TV, trying to find out what was going on in the world today. She also noticed that her room was basically bare, there were no balloons or flowers, cards or anything. She wondered why, or wondered why people didn’t care.
“You have a visitor.” A young nurse said peeking into the room.
“Really? Hadn’t I had anyone while I was asleep?”
“Just one, same person every time.” She replied as she opened the door further to let the person in.
“Yep, how are you feeling?”
“Tired, confused. What the hell is going on?”
“You were shot.”
“That much I know, what happened after that?”
“Someone broke into the hospital room and injected something into your IV, we had thought we had lost you at first, but the doctors saved you. But to keep you safe we kind of told everyone that you died.”
“Excuse me?”
“According to the entire city, your dead.”
“Damn it. And exactly how are you to explain that I’m alive?”
“We had already thought of that. Because we knew eventually you’d wake up, we were going to tell the press that it was something that had to be done for your safety, as you were a key witness in a murder case.”
“Goodie, do we know who tried to kill me?”
“We are close to knowing. We have a few people that we are close to arresting including Senator Kelly, and Agent Rodriguez”
“Your kidding right? Why would George try and kill me?”
“He’s working for Kelly, it seems that your father had something on Kelly.”
“And what he figures I know what it was?”
“We are guessing that. But we can’t find what your father had on him. We are thinking that maybe that’s the locked file in your computer. We’ve had the best trying to crack the code, but he was really good and it’s hard to get into.”
“The password is what your looking for?”
“Well when I am better and able to get out of here. I will get you into that file. I am the only other person that knew the password. I never bothered to open the file because I didn’t feel the need.”
“Well there is a need. But needless to say, the entire office will be happy to hear your alive and well.”
“And tired and dizzy. I really need to find out why.”
“The doctor said that you will feel that way for a while. You’ve been in a coma for six months. It’s expected that your body needs to readjust to you being awake.”
“I know, six months?”
“Yeah. Time sure flies don’t it?”
“Guess so. Damn.”
“Don’t worry. We will fill you in on everything that has been going on.”
“Thanks. And thanks for being here. I hear that you were here a lot.”
“Yep. Someone had to be.” James said with a smile.

George stood outside the slightly opened door, he could hear their every word. He knew that meant that with Meranda back into the picture, he’d need to find another way to remove her from the problem, but that also meant he needed to tell Kelly that the person they both assumed to be dead wasn’t. And what was the next step that Kelly would want done. He knew this time, shooting her was out of the question, he would not try to kill her again. He just needed to get her out of the way for a while. Turning he hurried down the hallway and down the darkened staircase, he needed to contact Kelly. This was a huge set back. Once he knew he was alone, he quickly dialed his phone.
“We’ve got a problem.”
“What kind?”
“It seems our problem has come back from the dead.”
“Cross is alive?”
“Yep, and awake. It seems she’s been in a coma for six months. I am telling you right now, I am not going to kill her. They already suspect me for the first shooting.”
“Don’t worry George, we aren’t going to kill her this time.”
“What are you thinking?”
“Just remove the problem.”
“I can’t remove her from the problem. There are guards everywhere. I’ve never seen this many.”
“Then wait until she’s released and get her then. But I want that problem dealt with. And I really don’t care how.”
“Yes sir.”

Colette’s eyes snapped open and she looked around. Something wasn’t right, someone close to her was in danger, but she couldn’t tell who.
Offcier Down by AJsSweety
Chapter 11 Officer Down.

James remained a constant visitor during the weeks following Meranda’s sudden awakening. He knew that once she was found to be alive things could take a turn. Someone had already tried to kill her once, he wasn’t sure if they’d try again. An announcement was made to the press that Agent Cross was alive and in an undisclosed location due to security reasons. The reason for her presumed death was for her own safety. James was still unsure as he looked toward George. Ryan could not prove that it was George that had tried to kill Meranda, his voice was heard on the tape, but since his accent wasn’t uncommon it could have been anyone. The minute Meranda was awake, security was doubled at the hospital, and even the local police were involved in keeping a key witness safe.

“Tell me George, what are we going to do about Cross?”
“She’s still in the hospital, from what I’ve heard she’ll be there for a few more days, then she’s being released into Agent Matthew’s custody, where he is taking her from there I am unsure.”
“Then you best find out. I don’t want her telling everyone what has been going on. We’ve kept this little secret this long.”
“Yes sir, I know. But like I said before I will not kill her.”
“And I didn’t ask you to, get her out of the way Rodriguez.”
“Yes sir. As soon as I know that it’s safe to do so.”
“Good, contact me when things have calmed down again.”
“Yes senator.” George said hanging up the phone. He leaned back in his large chair and shook his head, the man was asking the impossible but he knew he’d have to figure out a way. He looked up to see two large men standing in the doorway of his office.
“Can I help you?”
“Senator Kelly sent us over.”
“Come in and shut the door.” George said. James was walking passed the office as the two men entered the room and closed the door. James walked down the hallway further and knocked on Ryan’s door.
“Come in.”
“What’s wrong James?”
“I am not sure, two men just went into George’s office. They seemed rather shady.”
“At this point anyone entering George’s office seem shady. But we will keep an eye on them. Have you seen Meranda today?”
“Not yet, I usually go up to see her during dinner. That way she don’t have to eat alone. From what I understand from the doctor, if her rehab works as well as he’s hoping, she should be released in a few days.”
“Good, you make sure you take her to that secure home.”
“Not a problem.” James replied standing. Ryan nodded as James turned and left the office. Ryan shook his head and wondered sometimes if James was just to worried.

James made his way to his office to find Colette sitting behind her desk working on some new case.
“Going to see Meranda?” She asked, without looking up from her paper work.
“Later, why?”
“Just wondering, I have a new case to work on. Let Meranda know I will come see her when she gets out.”
“All right. What case are you working on?” James asked, moving over to her desk.
“Another woman was reported missing.”
“We haven’t had a kidnapping in nearly a year, why suddenly resurface again?”
“I am thinking the kidnapper got word that Meranda was alive. I noticed the kidnappings stopped right after it was announced Meranda was dead.”
“How old is this one?”
“I’d say this one is our youngest, she’s about twenty-one. Which is odd, the youngest before that was twenty-six. So the kidnapper is getting more bold. I am guessing that the kidnapper is male, he’s trying to get Meranda’s attention.”
“The thing is, Meranda hasn’t been briefed with the recent cases, I wont tell her about this one, not yet.”
“I don’t want you to. I think Meranda has enough to deal with, I don’t think she needs to deal with this.”
“I agree.” James nodded, he looked down at the picture that lay on the desk. “ Do we have anymore of these?”
“Yeah, we have every picture of every girl that has been taken in the last two years.”
“Let me see them.” James responded, pulling a chair over to her desk. He looked at the pictures, each girl looked similar, they all had long dark hair, either brown or red, blue eyes, and all were about the same height.
“Seems that all of these women look a lot alike, all about the same age, height and look.” James pointed out.
“I’ve also noticed that they all bare as striking resemblance to Meranda and to Senator Kelly’s dead daughter Jamie.”
“It seems about four years ago, while Meranda was working a case with Lucas, they were called to find Senator Kelly’s missing daughter. Kidnappers demanded a ransom and Kelly was willing to pay, as long as they didn’t harm his daughter. Problem is, Meranda was so close in looks to Kelly’s daughter that the kidnappers thought there was a double cross and killed Jamie before anyone could get to her. Meranda blamed herself once she had seen a picture of the young woman.”
“But there was no way Meranda could have known.”
“She didn’t, but even Kelly once he had seen her swore he’d get her back for the death of his daughter. I am thinking that maybe Kelly is behind this.”
“But I’ve seen Kelly around Meranda, he’s sweet on her bad.”
“Yes that he is. I am thinking that the girls that are getting kidnapped are being taken to replace Jamie, but when he finds they aren’t a replacement he either sells them into slavery or kills them. He wants Meranda.”
“He wont have her. We will see to that.” James declared as he stood up.
“Don’t head into this half cocked. We need all of the facts.”
“You seem to have as many as we need to arrest that son of a bitch.”
“Not enough. I have just a few cases that Meranda and Lucas were working on, that all seem to point in the same direction. As for the Jamie Kelly case, that one I found doing some digging. But we need more proof than a few old files.”
“I am not letting anyone near Meranda.”
“That’s fine, we all are understanding that Meranda knows more than she’s letting on. Give her time to heal, and maybe she will open up.”
“All right, I am heading over there.” James said, as he grabbed his coat and headed out the door. Colette shook her head and watched her friend leave the office. She looked to see that the two men she had seen enter George’s office earlier were leaving too. She wondered if she should be worried.

James slowly drove to the hospital, the conversation that he’d had with Colette still running through his mind. He wondered if Meranda knew that Kelly thought she looked like his daughter. He was hoping that it was something she had failed to share. But then again, he didn’t really know a lot about his new partner, they had been thrown together rather quickly just before her old partner was found dead. He arrived at the hospital, parking his car in the first slot he found, he walked inside. Smiling at the young woman on the third floor, she nodded as he walked down to Meranda’s room. Meranda was fully dressed and sitting in a wheelchair.
“And where are you going?”
“I am being discharged, I was assuming when you arrived they had called you.”
“Nope, then again I left the office in a rather hurry.”
“No worries. They said I was doing so well I could leave. But the officer outside said that I had to wait for my ride and then he’d walk us both down.”
“Ok, then we will go then. Do you have everything?”
“I don’t know, what did I arrive with?” She answered giggling.
“Good point. Ok then we are out of here.” James replied walking behind the wheelchair. He opened the door and saw the officer standing there waiting along with a male nurse. Meranda looked up at the male nurse and shook her head. This was the first time she’d seen him on that floor.
“New?” Meranda asked, as he placed his hands on the wheelchair.
“Yeah I was transferred last week. I normally work nights.”
“All right.” Meranda said, James looked toward the man, his face seemed to be familiar.
“Are you sure I haven’t seen you around here before?” James asked.
“Just started.” He answered. He pushed the wheelchair toward the large bank of elevators and waited for one to open. Once one going down opened he pushed the wheelchair inside, inside was another man, holding a large bag.
“Heading home?” He asked looking down at Meranda.
“Yeah.” Meranda said, her voice a bit unsure. The elevator started it’s decent when it stopped suddenly on a strange floor. The officer moved forward.
“Jerry, it’s probably another patient getting on.” Meranda said to him. Jerry nodded and stepped back. The doors behind them opened as the front doors opened. Jerry and James looked toward the open doors, and noticed that there was no one there.
“What the hell?” James replied as he turned around. To his surprise the male nurse was holding a needle to Meranda’s neck, an almost evil smile on his face as he plunged it into her throat. He started to move forward when he heard a gun shot, he looked down and noticed a dart sticking out of his chest, the last thing he remembered was hearing another shot and Jerry falling bleeding outside the elevator doors.

Colette raced from her office just after the call came in. There was shots fired at the hospital, and one officer had been killed. There were two people missing, one male and one female, she knew that meant that Meranda and James were now missing, now it was her job to find the two missing friends. But what bothered her the most was, what did Senator Kelly want with them. Ryan met her in the hallway as they both raced to the elevators and down to the waiting car.
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