Case File 2: The Profiler
Author’s Note: This is a sequel to my story “Case File”. You might want to read that one first.
It’s not often my team adds a member. The last one we added was Ross, our teleporter. But when the Boss asked me to do the “welcome to the team:” thing, I do my job.
I go to the small conference room not far from my small office, and find her waiting for me.
“Hi. I’m Joseph.” I said, and offered my hand.
“Megan” She replied, and took my hand and shook it firmly.
“The boss says you can be a profiler for us?” I asked her as we sat down.
“Among other things, yes. I have ... a talent for getting into the heads of the sort of people you must deal with.”
“Can you give me a demonstration?” I asked.
“Certainly.” Megan replied, and a made a gesture. A moment later, a file was in her hand.
“I mentioned you might need convincing to your boss, so he let me take a look at one of your unsolved cases.” Megan said as she spread the contents of the file on the table.
I glanced at the pictures, and remembered the case. People had begun to report being magically coerced into performing actions that ranged from the embarassing to traumatizing. So far, we had no idea who was behind it.
“The first thing I noticed was your guy is acting out addictive behavior.” She said.
I must have looked confused, because she continued, “It’s not just drugs or alcohol you can get addicted to. You can get addicted to almost anything. And the signs are there that this guy is an addict.”
“One of the principles of addiction is the law of diminishing returns. When you’re addicted, you find it takes more and more of the thing you’re addicted to to get the same result. You can see this for this guy in how each report has each victim treated worse than the last. Mild embarrassment isn't enough for this guy. He’s gone further each time.”
“We thought that was because he was growing in power or confidence.” I stated.
“Well, there is another couple of things. The time between attacks is getting shorter. He went more than two months before he went after his second victim, and since then there has been a pretty steady decrease of how long he can go without striking again.”
I looked at the dates of the complaints, and realized she was right. “And the other sign?” I asked.
“The first few attacks were against one person. Then he did two people a couple of times, then three people. The last attack involved four people at once.”
“So if you’re right, he’s going to keep increasing the number of people involved, and shortening the time between attacks?”
“Yes. I’d say that was nearly a certainty.” She replied.
“Great” I said sarcastically.
“It may end up helping find him. The shorter the time between attacks means he has less time to prepare and gives a better chance of catching him. And if he needs a larger group, that also increases the chances to catch him.”
I had to admit to myself that I had been impressed, and I said, “You’ve convinced me. Are you willing to help us catch this guy, and the others like him?”
She nodded. “I told your boss I wanted to help. So yes.”
My curiosity got the better of me, and I asked, “Do you ... know the boss well?”
“We met a long time ago. Has he told you much about himself?”
“Not much. He’s old, he’s powerful, and he wants to help protect the innocent from magic abuse.”
“All true. This little group of his isn’t the first time he’s created a force to defend the innocent. The last time he did it, it was called the Round Table.”
“You mean, King Arthur and all that stuff? They were like knights, though, and not real.”
“Wrong on both counts. They were defenders against magic abuse. They used the title of ‘knights’ because nobody had come up with the idea of ‘policemen’ yet.”
“How do you know this?” I asked.
“Because, I was there. On the wrong side, but I was there.”
“You mean you used your powers on people? How did you ... why are you helping us then?”
“Because I was a lot like the man in this file. I was an addict - addicted to power, to control. And your boss stopped me, and made me feel every horror I’d inflicted on others. So when I ... woke up in this age, and discovered your boss had also returned and created your group, I came to him asking for a chance to make up for my crimes.”
I looked at her carefully. My own abilities were mostly about being able to charm people, but I was pretty good at reading them as well. I said, “I believe you. Let me introduce you to the team, and we can get started.”
“Good idea. This attacker will be striking again soon, so we should prepare.”
I nodded, and we left the conference room together, to meet the rest of the team ...
To be continued ...
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