Home > Graywulf > You Don't Wanna Know... Part 1, Part 2
"Really, I kid you not. It's character assassination. Me, using student records to pick up other students! Now, would I do that?" Blair asked innocently of his partner. Jim snickered and shook his head.
"What can I say Chief? Your reputation proceeds you."
"Come on in, gentlemen" Cat suggested as she opened the door to her suite - not giving them a chance to knock on the door.
"Man, this is getting a little too weird. How'd she know it was us?" whispered Blair to Jim.
"No mystery there."
Blair did a double take when he realized she had heard his comment. He raised questioning eyes at Jim.
"I heard the elevator. It's almost 9:00 p.m. I heard your voices ... You weren't exactly whispering. The rest of it was timing. Don't be shy, make yourselves comfortable," Cat said as she motioned to the couch and chairs in the sitting room.
Sitting down at the desk, where her laptop and papers were spread out she continued, "I guess you're here because you have more questions?"
"You mean you're going to give us a chance to ask?" Jim kidded.
"Hey, I never claimed to be Karnak..." she shot back. "Before we get started, can I offer you some coffee? Pepperidge Farms Chesapeakes? There's a couple of sodas or bottled water in the fridge, as well the cream for the coffee." She motioned to the pot of fresh coffee, mugs, and cookies on the counter and the small fridge directly below. Life was nice since hotels recognized business travelers had needs that needed to be met. Heck, they even provided the coffee and filters....
Jim helped himself to some coffee and settled into a chair opposite Cat. Blair choose a bottle of water and sat on the couch between them.
"There are four food groups recognized by the programmers I work with: caffeine, sugar, starch and grease..." she explained with a grin. "You can't get much delivered to a 3 a.m. meeting, so this is what we tend to survive on in the wee small hours."
"Oh, man, they sound like Wonder Burger groupies...." Blair said with a laugh.
"My kind of people," Jim replied with a grin.
Cat turned to Jim in a mock conspiratorial whisper, "I've heard rumours of an altar with grease and coffee stains down in the server room. Others say it's just the System Administrator's desk." It had the desired effect, a good laugh for all of them and was just the icebreaker Cat needed.
"Sorry. I think I'm getting a bit punchy - I've had trouble trying to settle down after the weirdness last night." Cat sobered, as she looked to them, "Speaking of which...?" Cat nibbled her cookie as she waited for either Jim or Blair to respond. She was surprised that Blair, the Department Observer, spoke.
"You mentioned last night, that the visions were continuing. Did you get any more or different information?" Blair asked.
Jim knew Blair had a talent for these kinds of questions, and had suggested he ask the questions. After all, how many times had he faced them himself with regard to his sentinel abilities?
"No, the same images keep repeating. The name Sheila McDonnell, no image, knowing that she was a student at the university. Knowing about the three murders..."
Cat's eyes widened with a look of shock. Then she leaned forward in her chair and looked directly at Jim, "You found the second one, didn't you? Where I said she'd be."
"Man! How do you do that?" Blair asked, amazed that she was able to pull that information out of thin air.
"Do what?" she countered innocently as she relaxed back into the chair.
"Know things like that? How did you learn to do it?" queried the curious police observer.
"Who learned?" She shrugged her shoulders and raised her hands up. "I've always known things. Things that I shouldn't have known. Heck, it was a family joke to call me The Little Witch. I always figured it was because I never learned not to. I've learned through tragedy though, to have a healthy respect for it."
She took a long look at Jim, and continued, "I believe you know something about that. You have your own talents, whatever they may be." Then she added with a smile as two pairs blue eyes focused on her, "No - I don't know what they are. I haven't wanted to know or been given that information. I do know you've had your own experiences to work through to get where you are. In the end, we do as we feel we have to, we use those talents to help others."
After a short silence, trying to get back on track, Blair asked hopefully as he leaned forward on the couch, "You mean, you can ask for information?" Cat shrugged and nodded. "Then would you be willing to try to figure out which of the Sheila McDonnells is the one we're looking for?"
"I can try. There aren't any guarantees. How did you want to do this? Do you have pictures of them, or something else I can focus on? Or did you want me to go to the university while they're on campus to see if I can find them?"
"I don't have pictures, but I do have student records," replied Blair, then mentally crossed his fingers as he thought, If I get caught doing this, bye-bye Ph.D.
"Okay. Give them to me one at a time, I'll try to see if I can get anything. Um, if you're concerned about the confidentiality, you can give them to me in an envelope or folded or something. I don't need to read them." Cat could feel the weight lift off his shoulders with that offer. She leaned over to her briefcase and pulled out some envelopes, and put one back, then handed them to Blair.
He put the reports in the envelopes, when he realized, she'd pulled five, and put one back. He shook his head, doubting it was a coincidence. He proceeded to hand them to her one at a time.
* * *
"Sorry. I'm not getting anywhere with these," she said reluctantly about an hour later as she gave Blair back the last of the envelopes.
"Why don't we try again tomorrow morning, this time, at the university. We can see if you get a better response there," suggested Jim. "Blair told me earlier three of the students will be on campus tomorrow morning, it might be the best time to try it, if you're game."
"I am, if you are," said Cat with a sigh.
"Okay, I think we can leave it at that then. Well see you at, lets say, 8 a.m.?" suggested Jim.
"That sounds good. Im still not used to local time, so Ill be up long before then," advised Cat.
"Thank you for your time. Well see you in the morning," offered Jim as he put his hand out to shake her hand.
"Um, Cat. I was wondering if youd consider getting together with me to answer a few questions..." Blair started as he also stood up. Jim motioned towards the door, making at face at his partner.
"Cmon, Sandburg. Lets go." His tone meant now, not later.
Watching the two men, Cat found herself amused at the undercurrents. She walked them to the door, again saying good night. Much to her amusement, she saw what looked like the older man cuffing the younger man in the back of the head only to hear the younger man respond defensively, "Research, man, just research." Blair rubbed his hand where he had been cuffed and followed Jim to the elevators.
* * *
As agreed the night before, Cat met Jim and Blair in the hotel parking lot at 8 a.m. and then followed the Ford to the Rainier campus. After finding a parking space, Cat spotted Jim and Blair on one of the pathways that went through the campus, waiting for her to join them.
Studying the three class schedules. "I think we should try this one first, it's the closest..." Blair suggested to his partner, not realizing that Cat had quickly walked past both of them, focused intently on something further up the path.
Jim hadn't missed it. "Come on, Chief, I think we're being left behind." She knew where she was going. They followed her, a few steps behind, trying not to attract attention to themselves or interrupt her concentration.
Blair was greeted by a couple of students from one of the tutorials he taught.
"Hey Blair, can I talk to you for a moment?" asked one of the students.
"Sorry man, Im on my way to a meeting, and Im late. Can we do this tomorrow during my office hours, just before, or after the tutorial?" countered Blair.
"Sure. Ill see you then," the student replied.
Jim grinned while listening to the exchange. Hed also heard a couple of the young women in the vicinity comment on Blair. Apparently, he had a few hearts a flutter.
She walked for about 10 minutes, until she came to the Ventris Lecture Halls, and entered.
She hesitated briefly at two intersecting hallways, eyes closed and head tilted as if listening for something, then veered to the right. Blair wondered if Jim recognized the similarity to his own movements at times while watching her find her way through the building.
Cat came to a sudden stop, and stiffened. Jim and Blair stopped as well, bumping into each other. Then she started to turn on her heel, ready to run. Only Jim heard her low whisper, "Oh, shit. He's here." She collided with Jim instead, who was following closer than she'd realized. Both Blair and Jim could read the blind panic in her face. The Sentinel could hear her heart racing, saw her respiration rate increase, and could smell the fear emanating from her.
"It's okay. We're here." Jim said quietly as he steadied her. "Where is he? Do you think you can locate him?"
Blair and Jim watched as she waged an inner war. She wanted to scream. Cat longed to run as far and as fast as she could from this place. All the while knowing she had to finish what she'd started. She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath, willing the fear to subside.
When she opened her eyes, Cat turned around and waited for that familiar knot in the pit of her stomach with the invisible tie to the nightmares that had haunted her the last two days. The knot of apprehension which grew larger with every step she took. Like a sleepwalker, she turned left at the next hallway.
Two doors down the hall, stood a man looking through the small window in the door of the lecture theatre. He started to move away from the door without looking and bumped into her.
Cat pulled back with a gasp, as though she had been scalded. Jim and Blair realized this was their suspect. Unfortunately, the suspect realized at the same time, that somehow, she knew who he was.
When the man started to walk away, Jim began to follow him, motioning for Blair and Cat to stay behind. The suspect's pace quickened, and by the end of the hallway, he was in a full sprint, crashing through a set of double doors. Trying to trace the suspect, he dialed up his sense of smell and hearing.
Cat was visibly shaken by the incident and was trembling like a leaf. Blair put a comforting hand on her arm. When the trembling didnt stop, he enfolded her in his comforting embrace. He crooned softly to her and quietly reassured Cat that it would be alright.
Jim followed the suspect through the double doors, only to find himself confronted with a sea of students pouring out of several rooms into the hallway. All of them seemed to be heading straight for him. Working his way through the crowd, he kept his sight on the fleeing suspect who had been able to avoid most of the mob.
The noise and smells of the crowd seemed to close in on him and he had to dial his senses back down. Jim suddenly felt disoriented and put out a hand to steady himself on the wall, as he caught a glimpse of the suspect with a knife at a womans throat. It was gone as quickly as it came. He shook his head to try to dispel the image.
By the time Jim broke through the crowd, his suspect had gotten through the doors at the end of the hall, and outside - alone. Jim followed, but there was no sign of the suspect outside the lecture hall. Jim turned and headed back to where Cat and Blair were waiting.
* * *
"What happens now?" Blair asked.
"Sheila is safe now. Of that, I'm sure. We knew who and where his next victim was to be found. That's going to piss him off, royally. He knows he's been found out, he just doesn't know how."
But he does know who gave him away, she thought, cringing inside at the image only she could see.
Cat turned and stared at the doors that Jim had gone through earlier. "Jim's coming back, alone. He got away," she whispered, stricken. The realization of what this meant only just now starting to dawn on her. With a sinking feeling, she realized, she was in deep shit now.
* * *
As if on cue, Jim came through one of the doors to join them. He eyed the two as he approached, raising an eyebrow at Blair, who was still trying to comfort Cat. Jim kept any remarks to himself once he heard her still racing heartbeat and saw the uncontrolled trembling.
Cat could almost see the storm clouds gathering overhead. The set of his jaw betrayed the depth of his frustration at having the suspect escape.
"Cat says Sheila is safe now. She's not a target any longer. What's next?"
Jim looked to Cat, and she just nodded. The Detective felt something was wrong. "Why don't we find some place where we can talk? Are you all right for time, Cat?"
"I've got another couple of hours before they're expecting me in the office. I told them I'd be in somewhere between 11 and noon."
"My office then? It's close, and we can at least close the door and talk privately." Blair offered.
"Lead the way, Chief," urged Ellison, motioning to Blair with his hand.
* * *
Blair "liberated" a chair from another office and moved books and papers from another so the three of them could be comfortable in his office.
"So where do we go from here?" asked Blair.
"We've gotten a look at him. We should check mug shots to see if we can put a name to a face. See if he's got any priors. Maybe we'll even come up with a current address. If there's no matching mug shot, the next step would be to get a sketch done, and circulate it. See if we can get a bead on him," offered Jim.
"Or, you could watch his next victim, and let him come to you," Cat said quietly as she watched her hands in her lap, not daring to meet either one of their looks.
"You know who his next victim is? Why didn't you say something earlier?" demanded Jim.
"She's quite safe right now. He's watching. Waiting. He needs to figure out her routine. To map out his plan of attack."
"You said she was quite safe." The pieces suddenly fell into place for Jim as he realized her heart rate was still elevated and she was still emanating fear. "Is that because he's just waiting and watching right now, or is it for another reason, say, she's with a detective and his partner right now?"
She said nothing, not looking up, unable to meet his gaze. He could hear her heart beating faster at that suggestion. He saw the image of the suspect again with a knife at his victims throat. This time, he realized that the victim was Cat. "Thats why you were ready to run back there at the lecture hall. You knew what was ahead if you went any farther," he continued.
"On some level, I must have known when I realized he was there. I just didn't know it consciously. Not until I knew he'd escaped. As to where we go from here, my personal preference is to get myself on the first flight out of here. But I also know that's not an option." She looked up, at both men, "Gentlemen, the ball is in your court." She wondered if the knot in her stomach was the same feeling a worm got when it found itself on the hook....
* * *
Jim watched Blair escort Cat from his office. After talking over their the best way to handle this, Blair suggested that Cat join him at the Faculty Club for a coffee to relax a little. Blair knew that Jim would want to talk to Simon about the arrangements that needed to be made. The surveillance teams had to be set up and scheduled.
Cat had already warned them that her work hours could be erratic, but she had also agreed to keep them informed of changes so that they could adjust as needed.
Jim and Blair would follow her to the office later that morning, then return to the PD to finalize the details of the surveillance. Someone would be watching her, and more importantly, watching for their suspect to make his move by this afternoon.
She worked in a secure work facility, which helped. You had to check in with security before you could enter, unless you had an access card, and those were closely guarded.
They worked out a routine, through the hotel to the parking lot, the route to and from work, so that theyd know where she should be and would be able to be there when they were needed. They would have someone posted in the lobby and on the way through the hotel to the parking lot so she could be observed without raising suspicions. Shed already volunteered to stay put in the hotel for the duration of the surveillance.
They just needed a break with their suspect. To be able to identify him, make it easier to watch for him. As it stood now, Jim would have to come up with either a composite of the suspect or go through mug shots to find him if he even existed in their records.
"No sense in putting it off any longer," Jim thought, as he picked up the phone to call Simon.
* * *
"Ellison, where the hell are you?" demanded Simon.
"Captain, I'm at the university, with Blair and Ms. Alexander. I believe we may be able to ID the suspect."
"Good. By the way, the forensics team has finished checking the evidence from your case and the unsolved one. They're a match. The autopsy on the body found yesterday should be complete later this morning. It will be checked against the same evidence for another match. Are you sure this Alexander woman shouldn't be considered a suspect herself?"
"Positive. We believe she may be the next target." Jim's jaw muscle worked as he thought of Cat being in danger.
"I thought you said that the next victim was to be a student at Rainier? What changed?"
"Ms. Alexander lead us to him, but he got away before I could stop him. We're going to escort her to work. She's in a secure work place, so he shouldn't be able to get in. She will call when she intends to leave or if her plans change. That leaves us the rest of the day to track down the leads we have, and make arrangements for her safety." He said the next words forcefully, angrily, worried about Cat being the next victim. Too many variables to completely guarantee her protection, no matter how hard they tried. "We need to catch this guy, and I believe this is our best shot at doing just that."
* * *
"The Faculty Club had been a good choice," Blair thought. Classes were still in session, so it wasnt crowded. The lunch crowd wouldnt be in for a while yet so Blair and Cat could talk in a calm setting while Jim talked to Simon.
Blair fired his questions so fast at her that Cat didn't have time to respond to the first question, let a lone all of them. "So, Cat how did you find him? I mean, what were you following? How did you know who he was?"
"It's hard to describe." Cat paused and looked at Blair. She was curious about this young man. Probably as curious as he was about her.
To Cat, Blair appeared to be a grad student working on his dissertation for his degree in Anthropology since that was where his office was. He had access to student records, probably through connections rather than by legitimate means. He was also partnered with a detective in the local police department.
His interest in her answers was obvious. In some respects, someone with a scientific background being as open to what she was able to do, as he was, was almost unbelievable. But for some reason, she had no reason not to trust him. Hadnt she already trusted both of them with her life?
"I guess one of the ways to start is, think of the not-so-funny feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something is about to go seriously wrong. Add to that something screaming in the back of your mind, to run in the opposite direction - as far and as fast as you can.... The feelings just got stronger as I got closer."
"Would you have been able to find him in a crowd?"
Cat sat staring into her coffee a couple of seconds before she replied, "In a crowd, I'm not so sure I would have been able to pick him out. His anger rages within him. Like a fire in a blast furnace. Bumping into him, I felt like I was going to get burned."
"I've met a few others like that," Cat continued. "One of them was a former supervisor. Not easy to stand next to him and take instruction, the whole time wanting to get as far away as possible. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're someone exactly like this guy that we're tracking down - but the potential is there."
"You mentioned last night, about learning to respect your talent..."
"Don't go there. Some memories are better left buried."
Blair shrugged his shoulders slightly. "Fair enough. You know, it's a shame you don't live here, there are some tests I'd love to try..."
"Uh, tests? Do you do these tests on your partner, too?"
"When I can," he replied with a grin. "Hes not the easiest person to convince that tests are necessary. Im always thinking up more tests, and theres not enough time to do them! I guess Im the proverbial scientist always having questions about everything!"
Reading between the lines, she grinned, "You've just made me very happy I don't live in Cascade...." Curiosity killed the cat was the only phrase that came to mind, as she thought about his admission.
* * *
The drive to Imaginet's offices was relatively uneventful. Jim eyed the rear view mirror, frequently, to see if they were being followed. They had been, by an older dark green car with a single occupant, which only confirmed their suspicions. The guy was wary enough though. He'd hung back far enough with a car or two between them that Jim wasnt able to get the license plate number.
Jim noticed that the dark green car, a 1990 Ford Tempo, did not follow them into the parking lot, but drove by, and parked in a lot further up the road, with an unobstructed view of where Cat had parked her rental. Waiting. Watching.
After seeing Cat into the building and watch her disappear into the secure area, Jim and Blair returned to the truck.
"He's waiting down the road. Green Ford Tempo. We're going to drive by, and see if I can get a license number, get ready to take it down, Chief. Then we can call it in and get a search started."
Trying not to be obvious, Jim drove past the parking lot where the Tempo was parked. He tried to make out the figure behind the wheel, with no luck. The suspect ducked his head so he couldnt be seen. Jim was able to get the license number, and called it out to Blair.
* * *
The license number had been the charm. Jim had called it in while on the road, and the DMV had forwarded the file to his computer in the bullpen. It was waiting for him on his arrival.
"Chief, looks like we've found him. One Henry Kalan, 45. A couple of priors, for sexual assault. Why am I not surprised?"
"Has he served any time?" asked Blair.
"A slap on the wrist for it. A few months both times." replied Jim.
"I'll make sure the photo gets passed out to the surveillance teams, so they know who they're watching," Blair advised.
* * *
Blair had gone for coffee. They'd been on stake out since 6 a.m. Rafe and Brown had had the earlier shift. Things had been quiet. Apparently Kalan had followed Cat to the hotel, but had left shortly after her arrival.
Their surveillance vehicle was sitting in an adjacent parking garage near the hotel, which gave Jim a clear view of the parking lot where Cat was parked.
Cat hadn't been kidding when she had mentioned 3 a.m. meetings. Twice in the last four days, she'd worked until at least 2:30, the first time she actually slept on the premises. Jim thought to himself, I ended up calling her, and waking her up, to make sure everything was all right. She'd been too tired to drive back to her hotel, and didn't want to trust her luck waiting for a cab. She ended up sleeping in one of the offices on a couch.
She called saying she was on her way down, just as Blair came back with coffee for the both of them. This had become the routine. As she passed the other members of the surveillance team inside the hotel, they all checked in, letting Jim know that all was proceeding as usual.
As Blair slid into the unmarked car beside Jim, Cat came out of the hotel to the parking lot and made her way to her car. Briefcase in her left hand, laptop in a carrying case over her right shoulder along with her car keys.
He'd watched her quickly scanning the area. Under her breath, he heard her say a little desperately, "Jim, I don't know how, but I know you can hear me. He's here. He's got the knife. I've seen the attack. Get your ass over here..."
"He's about to make his move," Jim barked into the microphone, alerting the others in the surveillance team. They made their way to the parking lot where Cat had been headed.
"Call for backup," Jim ordered Blair as he started getting out of the car. Jim scanned the area, trying to figure out where Kalan was coming from. He hadnt been seen in the area in the last few hours. He was there now according to Cat. But where?
The whole time she had looked as though she was doing what she'd done every morning. Walking to the car, unlocking the car door, putting the briefcase and laptop in the back behind the driver's seat, and started to get into the driver's seat.
Jim heard the sound of a side door on a van being pulled back, realizing that there was a van next to Cats car. There was a slight rocking to the van, as Kalan shifted inside, finally getting out.
Trying not to give himself away, weaving through the other cars in the lot, Jim moved cautiously up to where the van and car were.
Kalan was behind Cat, trying to stop her from closing the car door and making a grab for her. She slammed the car door on his hand, trying to get it shut, only succeeding in making him angrier. She fought to hold the door where it was, using both hands.
"Police! Put your hands on your head, and don't move any further." Jim moved into Cat's view, as he patted Kalan down for the knife, she had said he was carrying. Once it was found and removed, Jim started to cuff Kalans free hand first, turning him, so he could catch the wrist of the hand currently caught in the car door.
"Backup is on the way, Jim," called out Blair as he ran up beside Cats car.
"Open the car door, slowly, Cat," instructed Jim.
Jim moved Kalan away from the car so Cat could get out. As she did, Cat could feel her knees threatening to give out on her, so she leaned against the car for support. Blair joined her.
"Are you okay? How about letting that breath go that youre holding?" Blair kidded.
Cat took a deep breath. "Im okay. Shaky, but okay." Cat closed her eyes for a moment, folding her arms across her chest and let out a long sigh. "It will be nice to know I can sleep tonight, finally. By the way, your partner has succeeded in weirding me out."
She was watching Jim talk to the other officers as Kalan was put in the back of a squad car. Lowering her voice so that only Blair and his partner could hear her. "Those ears of his don't look like parabolic dishes, but they certainly do work like 'em...." Across the parking lot, she knew that Jim was smiling when he heard that.
* * *
Cat sat in the terminal, waiting for her flight. Closing her eyes, she groaned inwardly. This would be an entire day lost to travel. She wasnt looking forward to it. She felt someone sit down on either side of her.
"Now, was that coffee with cream and one or two sugars?"
Blair? she thought.
"Sorry no Chesapeakes."
Opening her eyes, she grinned and shook her head.
"What are you two doing here? Am I being escorted out of the city? The welcome mat being put away so I don't get confused and come back?" Cat kidded as she accepted the offered coffee.
"Oh, you'll be back," replied Blair with a wicked gleam in his eyes and a bright smile.
"...for the trial, of course," added Jim as he took the seat on the other side of Cat.
"Does the Cascade Tourist Bureau know about you two? You make a girl feel so welcomed."
They laughed heartily at her comment and chatted about what had transpired in the last two weeks since Kalans arrest.
Finally her flight was called and Cat rose to say goodbye. She hugged Jim, and whispered "Thank you." before turning to Blair and doing the same.
"Ill see you in couple of months then," and with that, Cat picked up her carry on luggage, and turned to the gate with her boarding pass in hand. One last look back, a quick wave, and she was on her way home.
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Home > Graywulf > You Don't Wanna Know... Part 1, Part 2