The shower turned off and FBI Agent Donald Ressler stepped out. He was a good-looking man with blonde hair, a square jaw and chiseled frame. However, he hid his personal life from most and was known to rarely crack a smile. He didn't have much time in his life to get personal and most days hid behind his black suit, white dress shirt, and monochromatic ties. Donald Ressler was all business. He toweled off and combed his hair into his usual government issue gelled side part. No hair strand out of place.
Ressler liked to be in control. He tried to know everything about everyone in his life and not a single hair fragment in his life was out of place. He's what you'd called a control freak and a goody two shoes. He follows the rules and truly believes in the American justice system. Criminals needed to apprehended, and that was his line of work. He brought the bad guys in and kept his country as safe as he could.
As he got dressed in his standard black suit and pants with white button up shirt and basic tie, he thought about the presentation he needed to give to his superiors today. His current open case had been open for quite some time now. Two criminals that always seemed to slip through his fingers. He'd track them down and be only a few minutes late catching them in the act only to find an abandoned warehouse or emptied cargo container. Today, he would have to explain where he was in his investigation and why the FBI's Most Wanted, the Concierge of Crime, Raymond Reddington and his daughter, Elizabeth Keen, had not been arrested yet.
Agent Ressler worked for the FBI, but more specifically, on a secret task force designed to catch the blacklist criminals, the worst of the worst. The ones the government and most everyday people didn't know existed. Ressler and his team worked out of a black site known as the Post Office in Washington, D.C. Only the highest levels of clearance in the bureau and no outside agencies even knew the task force existed. Ressler had been hunting down Mr. Reddington for many years now, only recently had his daughter shown up on their radar. Living under an assumed name, Elizabeth Keen had followed in her father's footsteps. She began a career in the US government set to become one of the good guys and then one day, a switch flipped, and she betrayed the country she once worked for and sought a life of crime.
As far as Ressler knew, the switch that flipped was the murder of Keen's husband, Tom, to which they never found the murderers. Keen fell off their radar and resurfaced a year later being spotted with Reddington on numerous occasions. The FBI was able to precure DNA samples of them both from their previous government affiliations and ran them through the lab. Shocked they were to discover the once Navy Intelligence officer and the once FBI recruit were father and daughter. Today, Keen is presumed to be Reddington's number two. She has only been photographed with him or his head of security, Dembe Zuma, in a number of countries around the world.
Ressler was no psychologist or FBI profiler, which was Keen's area of study, but he only wished to understand what was going on in her head. How someone of very simple means and a happy and fulfilling life by all accounts, ends up dropping everything to join her father's criminal empire, for which she did not have any ties or even know about before a few years ago. Loss of a spouse is hard, but not to push someone this far.
At this point in his investigation, he felt like he knew Reddington like the back of his hand. Knew his history, his medical records, every place he had traveled in the past ten years, how he took his whiskey, even his favorite boutique haberdashery. However, he had not gotten enough on Elizabeth Keen and it was beginning to bother him, not to mention put a spotlight on him by the high ups who wanted results.
The Reddington's crime ring was an elegant one, they dealt in the whitest collar of crime, and always had a back up plan. Reddington's contacts spanned the entire globe and his fingers could be found on countless deals, negotiations and illegal trades and purchases, the FBI could not wait to bring him. Possibly even turn him for his intel alone. Somehow, Reddington remained elusive. His mark was there but he was not. Those charges did not even include treason, acts of terror, the selling of US secrets, cyber-hacking, and money laundering to name a few on the home front. Reddington was cunning and always a few steps ahead of his opponents. Skills he had passed down to his daughter it seems. The FBI could not tie a single crime to Elizabeth Keen despite knowing she was involved in countless international crimes they just didn't have the evidence to prove it. She had become even more elusive than her own father.
This was a war. Agent Ressler was in charge but so far this war was the only thing in his life he was having trouble controlling. Reddington and Keen were in his sights, but he just kept missing.
Ressler grabbed his keys and was leaving for work when he noticed an envelope had been slid under his door. He left the envelope and immediately opened the door to scan the hallway. No one was there. Then he heard it, the faint click of a door closing, the stairs. Ressler abandoned his apartment, door still open and the envelope still on the floor.
Racing down the hall towards the stairs, he flung the door open and began taking the stairs three at a time. He was realizing he did not have his gun in holster, it was in his car, and his back up was in a decorative box in the entryway of his apartment. He glanced over the railing to see if he could spot the fleeing suspect. Again, no one was there. Was he even chasing anyone. He hit the bottom landing and pushed the emergency exit door open and ran out onto the street. He looked in both directions but saw no one running. Come to think of it, he didn't even know who he was even looking for. Male, female, tall, short, Caucasian, black, Latino? Ressler took one more scan of the street and headed back inside to examine the envelope.
His apartment door was still open when he reached his floor. He did a quick walk through of the rooms to make sure no one had entered while he was gone before picking up the envelope. The large yellow envelope was very thin and extremely light. He checked the seams to make sure there was no tampering of any kind. The front was simply address: Agent Donald Ressler. No mailing stamps or return address. Ressler carefully undid the top pins and out slid two high resolution 8x10 photographs. A photograph of himself wearing only a towel in his bedroom picking out clothes and another of him dressed in the exact clothes he was wearing right now.
These pictures were taken this morning and no more than thirty minutes ago. Someone took these pictures, printed them, and had them delivered before he even left for the office. They must be close by, he realized, very close.
Ressler had also had extensive training in surveillance and the thing that disturbed him the most was the fact that these pictures were not taken by a telephoto lens of a normal camera, but through that of a high velocity sniper rifle's scope.
Ressler turned the photographs over and found two notes one written on the back of each photo. The first picture's note read: Hmmm spending too much time at the gym and not enough at the office. The second read: You picked the wrong tie for a day like today. Both were signed with the letter, L.