I’ve decided that the Angel subplot in earlier chapters isn’t working, and will delete it from archives when I post this chapter – please pretend it never happened.
Major spoilers for all seasons of Dexter to S4
See earlier chapters for disclaimers etc.
By Marcus L. Rowland
Intercontinental Hotel, Miami
“One of these things is not like the others,” sang Tony.
“One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
Before I finish”
He was interrupted by a slap to the back of his head. “Focus, DiNozzo,” said Gibbs.
“The Butcher went after murderers, not paedophiles,” said Tony. “So why the hell make an exception for Marten? What makes Marten so special?”
“He must have seen or done something that threatened the Butcher,” said McGee.
“Like Rear Window,” said Tony. “He’s taking pictures somewhere and gets shots of the Butcher carving up one of his victims, or dumping the body.”
“It fits,” said Ziva.
“Maybe,” said Gibbs. “But why would he be taking pictures near the Butcher?”
“Kids,” said McGee. “The Butcher must have been somewhere that Marten expected to see children.”
“A school or a playground,” said Ziva.
McGee plugged his laptop into the suite’s plasma TV, and typed “Primary Schools, Miami, FL” into Google Maps. Dozens of orange dots appeared. He zoomed in. “Three schools within a mile of Marten’s home, eleven within five miles.” He changed the search to playgrounds. “Six playgrounds and he lived a mile or so from the beach. There could be children anywhere along there.”
“It’s a theory,” said Gibbs, “but where does it get us?”
“Nowhere,” said Ziva. “The local residents all heard that he was a paedophile when his house was searched. Even if he was never anywhere near a playground, they will all now believe that they saw him lurking in the vicinity.”
“You’ve got that right,” said Tony. “And they’d probably be right. Marten wasn’t a parolee; he’d served his full sentence. He wasn’t lo-jacked, he was roaming free.”
“I’m not sure I buy it,” said McGee. “If it’s the Butcher he’s been careful over years, never put a foot wrong. Why would someone like Marten have a chance to see him in action?”
“I hate to say it, but McGeek may have a point. What I read about the Butcher this afternoon makes it seem like he hit most of his targets at night. You don’t see many kids at night, so why would Marten be on the prowl?”
“Maybe Marten had moved on from photographing children to murdering them,” said Ziva. “If the Butcher somehow found out…”
Gibbs poured himself a coffee, and said “Okay, we’ve got a lot of theories but no real answers, and we can’t spend much more time on this. Sooner or later we’ll have to return to Washington. What have all the theories got in common?”
All three said “Children.”
Gibbs went back to stare at the whiteboard. “So… any of these people got kids?”
NCIS Headquarters, Washington DC
Abby Sciuto was busy in her lab when the phone rang, and a familiar voice said “What have you got for me, Abs?”
“Nothing exciting, Gibbs. I think the Miami forensic people were competent. Looking at the forensics evidence McGee sent me, I can see a few things I would have done differently if it had been me, but it was adequate.”
“Give me an example.”
“Doakes’ fingerprints were all over the slide box and the slides, but if I’d been checking them I would have made sure that his prints were there before the blood went onto them as well as after. It doesn’t look like anyone did that.”
“Who signed off on examination of the slides?”
“Alex Brody and Duane Farmer, they’re both FBI forensics specialists, and a local blood guy called Dexter Morgan.”
“Who would have taken the lead in the examination?”
“Looks like it was Morgan; he wrote the report, the other two concurred in his analysis.”
“Thanks. Get yourself a Caf-Pow on my tab.”
“Thanks, Gibbs, but you can buy it for me when you get back. Which had better be soon, Major Mass-Spec and the kids are missing you.”
When you're a serial killer, it's rarely a good idea to rely on your emotions or instincts, that leads to mistakes. That night I decided to use reason instead. How could I steer the investigation away from Marten and the Bay Harbor Butcher, and the idea that the Butcher shot Lundy and my sister?
I wanted to learn from Mitchell, but that wouldn’t be happening; the situation was simply too dangerous. The simple answer, of course, was to point the investigation towards Mitchell. Always assuming that he’d shot them, of course. Even if it wasn’t him, I was perfectly happy to let him take the fall.
What I wanted to do, of course, was kill him, cut the body into usefully sized chunks, and dump them into the sea. But that wouldn’t solve the mystery; it might be days before anyone even started to look for a missing man, let alone suspect him of anything.
I wanted to kill him, but I couldn’t do it the way I like, the way that the Butcher likes. It took me half an hour to come up with a plan that I could bring off quickly. I had everything I needed in the shipping container I rent for some of my more questionable possessions. A couple of small diversions on the way in to work, and the problem would be solved.
When you’re a spy, you never take anything at face value. La Guerta and Morgan had given us some very detailed information; I wondered how much of it was true. Probably most of it; Morgan wasn’t likely to lie about something that got his sister shot. Ziva could probably check some of it, but would she even tell me if there was anything wrong? Could Ziva be setting us up?
“What do you think, Mikey?” asked Sam, derailing my train of thought.
“Sorry… think about what?”
“About Morgan,” said Fiona. “Focus, Michael.”
“What about him?”
“Doakes was never interested in science when I knew him,” said Sam. “Why would he keep blood samples from his victims?”
“Maybe,” said Fiona, “but why slides? Isn’t it more likely that they belonged to someone who was interested in blood? Someone like Morgan?”
“What about Morgan’s sister? And Lundy?”
“Damned if I know,” said Sam. “Maybe they were shot by the killer Lundy was looking for, or the muggers La Guerta mentioned.”
“You’re saying there was a second killer?”
“You really weren’t paying attention,” said Fiona. “This case is surrounded by killers, like flies on a corpse. The Ice Truck guy, the Skinner, the Butcher, Trinity, they’re probably all real. I think that Morgan is one of them.”
“It’s one hell of a leap.”
“It is,” said Sam. “But I think she has a point.”
“So do I,” I admitted. “Now how do we prove it?”
Comments please before I post to archives.