Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers Prime, CSI Crime Scene Investigation, or Criminal Minds
It was quiet in the Autobot base, or it seemed that way on the surface. It was hot, but given the fact that it was the middle of July and they were in Nevada it really wasn't a surprise that it was hot.
Miko was seated on the couch playing air guitar along to whatever heavy metal piece was playing in her headphones and Ratchet was glad that the headphones Miko was wearing muffled the music to the point he could tune it out.
He had initially not wanted to have the three humans around out of concern that something would happen to them. He worried they would get underfoot and end up dead, but he learned quickly that they were good at keeping clear of Autobot feet. They also learned fast and had the kind of information that Agent Fowler couldn't, or wouldn't, give them
He turned to work on the latest issue that sprung up on the computer system.
"Well Ratchet I've got to go" Miko said absently "My host family wants me home soon"
Meanwhile the LVPD night shift was just clocking in.
"Hi, Ray, how are you doing this evening?"
Ray didn't get the chance to respond as Katherine's pager went off
"Oh God…!" Katherine whispered
"What is it?" Ray asked
"427 out of Jasper"
"Yes" Katherine took off running Ray hot on her heals
It took almost an hour for Katherine and Ray to arrive at the house.\
"Mrs. Esquivel, please… I'm trying to help… when was the last time you saw your son?"
"This morning, one of his friends, Jack Darby, picked him up for school, like every morning"
"Jack Darby, how old is he?" Katherine asked
"16, Raf skipped a few grades early on so they're on the same campus and Jack… he watches out for Raf a lot on campus protects him from the bullies, to the extent of his abilities" Mrs. Esquivel explained
"So you trust Jack Darby with your son?" Katherine confirmed
"Jack has been really good with Raf, didn't see him as a burden, really treated him like a brother" Mrs. Esquivel sighed "Jack has been beating himself up from the moment he realized Raf wasn't with him. He called 911 he back-tracked his entire route in case Raf distracted or something"
Katherine got a sent article for the dogs and Raf's toothbrush for DNA
"First I'd say talk to Jack Darby, see what he knows. I could be reading this too far but why would a sixteen year old like Jack take a second glance at a kid like Raf? Then again he could have seen something in Raf, seen him like the baby brother he always wanted but never had. He is an only child, single parent household. He might have taken Raf in to fill in that gap for no better reason than he saw something special in Rafael" Katherine paused "If he's as close to Rafael as Mrs. Esquivel thinks he should be close"
"Either that or still with the search party" Ray surmised as a teen on a custom, blue motorcycle rode up.
"Are you Jack Darby?" Katherine asked as the teen removed his helmet
"I'm Katherine Willows with the crime lab; I've got a few questions for you"
"Okay, but… can we hurry, I really need to get back to the search" Jack asked as he got off the bike setting the kick stand
"This won't take long… Mrs. Esquivel says you normally take Raf to school in a yellow and black muscle car… why aren't you driving that now?" Katherine asked
"One… it won't start and two… I've got a better view of things around me from my bike" he paused "I would use this to take Raf to school but I didn't think Mrs. Esquivel would appreciate me taking her son on a motorcycle… I know my mom said she wouldn't have allowed me on one at his age. Plus I need to find a helmet to fit him"
A woman in green scrubs ran up to Jack
"Mom…" Jack looked to his mother the worry still evident in his eyes
"Yes," June said in concern
"I'm Katherine Willows from the crime lab"
Jack left to get ready to return to the search and June turned to Katherine
"Is my son a suspect?"
"Well right now we have no prof this was defiantly a kidnapping, for all we know Raf got lost and we're going to find him somewhere trying to figure out how to get back here" Katherine said, "But if we were to look at this like a definite kidnapping then I would have to warn you that Jack does look like a good suspect"
The lead detective approached Katherine and told her that they had found the yellow and black muscle car broke down on the side of the road between where Jack and Raf had been spending their time and the Esquivel house. They had also checked around the Darby house and found no sign of Raf being there or having been brought there any time recently.
"So far nothing has contradicted Jack's story that he was just walking Raf home when Jack either lost track of Rafael or he was snatched" Katherine sighed "Detective I'm beginning to believe that Jack really didn't have anything to do with this, he just seems too genuinely unsettled by this"
"I don't either" the detective replied "kid's working himself to death trying to find this boy; I don't think he would if he was involved"
"Yeah" Katherine said as she watched Jack accept a phone call from someone she assumed was still searching
"Sadie I know, but he's my brother" Jack sighed "No… not literally, but he is in every way that matters! Sadie… he looks up to me, I can't let him down… not now!"
Katherine watched as the tears fell down Jack's face.
"I should have been able to protect him!"
June hugged her son and tried to sooth him and convince him he was doing all he could, but the effort from her and 'Sadie', also known as Arcee, was lost on Jack as he just refused to believe it.
"Mrs. Esquivel is there anything about your son that hasn't been said. Any medical conditions that we need to know about?" Ray asked
"He has severe asthma, but as long as he can take his controller medication every day he's fine but once he starts missing doses the chances of him having a major asthma attack go up" Mrs. Esquivel explained
Katherine watched as Jack blanched at that statement
"I've got to go… I need to keep looking"
Meanwhile in Quantico, Virginia, a news bulletin caught the attention of an oddly dressed blonde woman.
"Oh my God, no… not little Raf… no… no…!" Penelope grabbed the phone and called her cousin
"Hello… Carla… is your son… oh God… he is… I'll be there as soon as I can" Penelope got off the phone and ran to Hotchner's office.
"Hotch, I… I hate to ask but I need to take some personal time I just found out that my cousin's little boy, my Godson, is missing" Penelope said and continued by explaining that she felt she could be of more help in Jasper than in Quantico.
"Normally since he isn't a direct relation I'd say no, but given the fact that Carla Esquivel and her son are some of the few living relatives you have left I'll grant you the leave under family crisis. I'll also send word that the BAU is available to help find Rafael" Hotch said
"Thank you" Penelope said and ran off to grab her purse and set up the flight to Nevada.
Arcee sent a message to Optimus and Ratchet that things weren't looking good with the search for Rafael. She also informed them of his medical condition which immediately sent Ratchet to the medical search engines to find what it was, what caused it and what symptoms to look out for.
After the transmission she said a silent prayer to Primus for Rafael's safety and that he would be found alive.
Rafael struggled uselessly against his bonds. He didn't recognize his captors, but he could tell they weren't M.E.C.H just by their outfits. Also the disorganization was a key indicator that they weren't M.E.C.H soldiers. Not to mention the fact that M.E.C.H would have known of his Asthma and known better than to use duct tape as a gag. He tried to see out the window and realized much to his dismay he could be anywhere with no way to contact anybody.
To Be Continued…
A/N: if you haven't figured it out by now (or didn't know to begin with) 427 is the radio numeric code that is used in Las Vegas for a kidnapping