Reid is get strange messages from an unsub who considers himself the personification of a fictional character. When Reid refuses to follow his orders, what are the ramifications? (Possible character death. I don't know the ending yet.)
Reid was cold.
He shifted from foot to foot, blowing warm air onto his hands. Hotch and Morgan stood on either side of him—they didn't seem to notice how cold it was. They were immersed in a conversation about the body.
"Reid? What do you think?" Hotch demanded suddenly, turning towards him.
Reid blinked. He hadn't been listening, but he could hazard a guess as to what they were talking about. "Well," he said, "Let's see. W, I, J, G, question mark. Same as the other three bodies. Obviously, that question is pretty important to him."
Hotch sighed. "Yes," he said, "But what does it stand for?"
Reid fought the urge to roll his eyes. Did they think he had a database of every acronym in the world stored in his head? He was good, but not that good. "I'm not sure," he said, "But I think we'll be getting more information soon—a killer like this is obviously trying to send a message. If the message isn't being received, he'll clarify himself."
"If he leaves the bodies in a graveyard, that suggests a significant amount of remorse," Morgan added.
"Right," Hotch said, "I'm calling Garcia."
Reid stood there as Hotch took out his phone, frustration mounting. "I s-sorry," he said after a moment, as his teeth began to chatter, "I'm going to go w-wait in the c-car."
"Too cold for you, pretty boy?" Morgan taunted him as he made his way back to the car, rubbing his hands together. Reid dutifully ignored him, walking around the car and getting into the front seat.
"Hey!" Morgan called out as he and Hotch approached the car, "Who said you get shotgun?"
Reid just folded his hands in his lap and stared out the window, a smile playing on his lips. He was thinking.
Morgan muttered something incomprehensible as he opened the door and seated himself in the back.
Reid turned to him. "Denial of death," he said conversationally.
Morgan blinked. "What?"
"Ernest Becker. Dystetology."
Morgan just raised his eyebrows. Hotch opened the door and stepped in, frowning at the younger agents. "What are you two talking about?"
Reid folded his hands, feeling the excited tingling sensation that appeared whenever he got to explain something. "Ernest Becker postulated that everything we as humans do is an attempt to deny our mortality—hence, to escape death. Art, music, literature, science, murder—everything for one purpose. To achieve immortality—in its own sense."
Morgan shook his head slowly. "So what?"
"So. Apply it to the case."
Hotch let out an annoyed gust of air. "Alright, Reid. We know that you've already got it figured out. Explain, please."
Reid's grin widened.
"The W and the I. What do those to letters, in succession, tend to stand for?"
Morgan shrugged. "Hell if I know," he said.
"What is?" Hotch asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Who is," Reid clarified. "This guy wants to be noticed; he feels invisible. Like nobody knows his name. But he also doesn't want to get caught. So he leaves his initials on the bodies, henceforth—" Reid folded his hands, "Taking revenge on those who have failed to notice him, and immortalizing himself forever."
Morgan shook his head. "Seems kind of far-fetched," he muttered.
"Think about it," Reid said. "When it comes to attention seeking serial killers such as this one—what's the ultimate dilemma? They want everyone to know about their crimes—and yet, no one can ever know. How will their name live on forever—if nobody knows it was them? I'd say its classic narcissistic personality disorder. He needs some way to take credit for this. The bodies are his—and he wants the whole world to know it."
Hotch and Morgan were both frowning at him. "So," Morgan said, "We can have Garcia search for anyone with the initials of J and G."
Reid was already shaking his head. "It's very unlikely this is his real name," he said. "First of all, it makes it easier for the police to find him. Second of all, I'd say he's operating under a pseudonym of sorts; it's much more personal if he chose the name himself."
Morgan sat back in his seat. "So this doesn't help us at all," he muttered.
Reid shrugged. "Don't shoot the messenger," he said.
Hotch raised his eyebrows. "We'll head back to the station," he said, "Tell everyone what we've found."
He started the engine. "Wait," Reid said suddenly.
"Never mind," he muttered, "I thought I saw—" Then, he saw it again.
Reid got out of the car. "Hey!" he called.
The kid started, turning around. He was clutching a book in his hands and trembling.
"You aren't in trouble," Reid said, approaching him. "What're you doing hanging out near a graveyard?"
The kid didn't answer. "Are you Dr. Reid?" he asked nervously.
The kid shrugged, then pressed the book into his hands. "Y-you should read it, Dr. Reid," he muttered. "It's a good book."
Then he took off.
"Hey!" Reid grabbed onto the kid's arm. "Who gave this to you?"
The kid just shook his head. "Please," he said, "I couldn't see him. He seemed nice at first. J-just take the book, okay?" The kid jerked his arm away and took off down the street.
"What the hell was the about?" Morgan called. Reid approached the car, staring at the book.
"He knew my name…" he muttered.
"What've you got there?" Morgan prompted. "Who was that kid?"
Reid shrugged. "Probably not someone who has actually read a…" He flipped to the back page. "1,167 paged book."
Morgan frowned. "So someone gave it to him?"
"That's what he said. He never saw his face, though. I—" He broke off as a note fell into his lap. "Oh," he said softly.
Learn to distinguish between errors in knowledge and breaches in morality. Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins. A government is the most dangerous threat to a man's rights; it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force over those who have been legally disarmed. Remember, evil requires the sanction of the victim. The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.
"What the hell does that mean?" Morgan asked, reading over his shoulder.
"Someone doesn't like the government," Hotch said.
Reid flipped the book over, staring at it in astonishment. "They're quotes," he muttered.
"What?" Morgan demanded.
"I know what JG stands for," Reid said, "And I've read this book before."
Fifty points to anyone who knows what book it is. Thanks for reading, please leave a review and tell me what you think!