A.N.: To understand some of what happens here, you should have some knowledge of Season 9 and the "mythology" of the Ghost Killer, like people (victims and others) that surround it.

As I said before, things will be different in some small ways from cannon. Some characters will be connected in ways you didn't realize they could. Rest easy that our beloved characters will make an appearance. Just not in the way you think.


Year Unknown

I really did have the best of intentions. Of course, killing wasn't the best way to show it.

When revenge blinds you, it's difficult to see the righteous path.

But in the beginning the reason behind the actions was protection.

My own.


1998

Some people might say the tendency to commit a crime is born with you. I say it evolves. It grows inside you. Sometimes all it needs is an incentive and a silenced conscience.

My interests always lay in the research area. Either in life, in biology or in experiments. I might have been confused in early stages of my life, but when someone gives you an incentive... You find you own objective. Mine was revenge.

For the moment.

Since my job entailed a lot of travelling, it was only fair that I take the most of it and apply some time to secondary hobbies.

I only wanted revenge. Of course, my meaning may not be the same as everyone else's. Having coming to terms that higher powers and interests were at play, I decided to focus on my own little game.

Some paws made wonderful messages.

These messages would take its time. But thankfully, patience was something I had in abundance.

I liked waiting. When you want to play your cards right, besides mastering the art of bluffing, you should also work on your gameplay.

Which is why I had been coming to Maryland City Park. Opportunity was the key. Many may arise but you should know when to take the right one.

The fresh air of nature mixed with the sound of children running around and playing. The park's trees were shaking from a sudden breeze. Laughter filled the air as a couple walked by.

A young woman sat in the bench next to mine. Painting. Her features hidden by her hair.

But my focus was on a shop across the street. Or rather, a travel agency.

It had played a prominent role in my itinerary as soon as I found out who worked there. However, the person who visited its space was the one I was particularly interested in.

Her fate would be dealt with at a later time. Like I said. Patience is a virtue.

Of course, the man currently shadowing her was not someone you wanted to deal with. Even if he was a pawn himself. His face familiar, from the time he accompanied Mr. No-Name to my father's house. Back then he had been dressed as if on official business.

That is when I discovered where Mr. No-Name's supposed allegiances lay. FBI.

Today, he's dressed like he's undercover. The stance of a cop betrays him from time to time. His focus is the same as mine. The client across the street.

As I looked back, I could see the owner of the travel agency focused on the computer. Exotic travel locations lined the wall behind her. She seemed to have forgotten the person standing in front of her. The client.

Another woman. A doctor. A medical examiner.

They were obviously friends by the way they interacted. The familiar way in which they seem to be addressing each other was built from years of friendship.

Reason why the latter was here. Some people don't learn that asking for favors are not good for your health. Or doing them.

Nevertheless, when you're trying to escape and are being watched by people above your pay grade, resources are limited. So you tend to seek help closer to home. Mistakes are made.

Her legs were shaking from time to time. Her hands twisting in her lab coat. The client was obviously nervous.

I had been following her for the last few years, tracing her footsteps wherever she went. She didn't make it easy. Apparently I wasn't the only one following her. That tends to happen when you mix with the wrong crowd.

When you do a favor to someone, you should never forget the implications. You are compromising yourself. You may lead yourself to believe you have that person in your hand, but don't forget you are the one getting your hands dirty.

It was just my luck the building she worked on had a sudden vacancy in the molecular biology department. Hospital gossip carried to neighboring buildings. Everyone knew of everyone's lives.

But I knew her secret. Hiding a murder is not something you take lightly.

As my mind wandered, the doctor left the agency. A travel bag already in one hand and grasping what appeared to be a plane ticket in the other. Only problem was that the woman's real name wasn't on it. Leslie Dallinger.

Inside the travel agency, the owner, a petite and beautiful woman, seemed troubled. As someone who had just done something she knew she shouldn't. As she stood to leave the office, I stood from the bench I'd been sitting on.

A meeting was about to take place.

My concentration momentarily vanished when I passed the young girl, almost my age that had been sitting on the bench beside me. Dark brown hair framed her mixed Asian features.

She was fixated on a canvas in front of her. Painting the previous couple who was no longer laughing but having a whispered conversation. In a tone only lovers can achieve.

The appraisal had to wait. The man in the shadows was gone.

I quickly crossed the street, leaving the park, hurrying my steps on purpose.

I could see the woman had already closed the agency. Her steps also hurrying from the other direction. Simulating I was in a hurry wasn't hard.

Even easier to distractively bump into her, just as my left hand lightly grasped hers.

"I'm so sorry. I wasn't watching were I was going. I'm late for work."

So distracted by her own hurry, she never noticed her name tag had fallen to the ground.

"That's okay. I wasn't looking either." And off she went.

But she wouldn't go far.

Watching her walk away I put the syringe I was holding back into my pocket.

Her name tag lay at my feet.

It spelled Carla Hopkins.

I do like when pawns walk a path you planned and don't even know it. Some pawns sadly didn't have much time. Some people would say life is short.

I think I might need a new change of scenery. My next destination: Costa Rica.

Some pawns aren't allowed to escape.