Chapter 3 – Old Faces in New Places
Brennan sat at the same desk she’d been at for the past nine hours and looked at the now completed skull. It had taken forever, but the reconstruction was finally complete. Now they needed to put a face to the bones, she only hoped that they could. She found that realizing that this woman had been pregnant at the time of her death made her really want to find the son of a bitch that took her future away from her.
She’d known murderers before, hazard of the life she lead, but she only ever associated with those that had a code. No children, even unborn ones, that was just something that never washed out. If you killed a child, most believed that your hands would be stained beyond redemption. Adults, of either gender, at least had the chance to fight back and possibly live on through sheer force of will and strength, children had no such chance when faced with a fully grown adult.
Leaving the skull where it was she went to find her new boss, to ask about a facial reconstruction.
“Dr. Soroyan, I have finished with the skull, who here does facial composites?” The womans back had been turned to her, so she jumped slightly at the sound of her voice, but she recovered quickly. Good for her.
“Wow, that was quick work, with as many pieces as it had been in I had thought it would take at least twice as long to complete it. As for the facial composite, we do not have an artist on staff at the moment, we had someone but they proved to be unreliable and their work was usually hit or miss. Now we rely on a computer program that you will find through here.”
A computer program? Not good enough!
“Actually I find I am quite tired after everything, and I thought I might go home for a few hours to get myself back together.” She hated this part of her “deal”, having to ask permission from her superiors on the use of her time. She could do nothing without either Dr. Soroyan or Agent Booth signing off on it and punching their code into her nifty new ankle monitor. If she tried to leave the premises of the Jeffersonian without either ones code the entire building would go on lock down to prevent her re-entry and the authorities would be alerted to her violation and be sent real time GPS of her location.
“Of course, I’m sorry for not suggesting it myself. Be sure to punch out and I will sign off on three hours for you.”
“Thank you.” Thankfully though she did have a nice radius she could wander without either of them at her side as long as one of them signed off on her having personal time. They housed her five miles from the Jeffersonian and she was allowed an equal five miles in either direction of both her home and work. Thankfully the park she wanted to visit was within her zone.
Wandering around the park filled with street performers and other creative types she looked for the familiar multicolored controlled chaos that she knew by heart.
“Tempy? Sweetie, where the hell have you been? I heard you got scooped up!” She allowed the hug to soothe her in a way she hadn’t even known she’d needed until that moment. Just seeing a familiar friendly face again after so long surrounded by people who didn’t trust her was something she hadn’t known she was craving until now.
“I was. I’ve missed you Anggie.” She braced herself for the hit before it came. She knew her best friend well.
“Don’t call me Anggie!”
“Don’t call me Tempy!” It was an old argument. In reality neither of them really cared if the other called them something completely off the wall as long as they were talking to each other.
“Okay, tell me everything!” She let Angela drag her off to the side to sit on a bench and she took the ice-cream that she pulled out of her little cooler. She never really cared for it all that much, but she knew it was one of her friends comfort foods, so on occasion they would indulge together.
“I got taken in on these bogus trumped up charges. They had me cold on some of it, but at best with my record I would have gotten six months if not a suspended sentence or community service. You know how my dad works, one part never touches another so there’s no way you can go down for the whole thing. These guys though, they wanted to make an offer so they stacked everything against me until I was looking at ten years easy.” Hell half the time she didn’t even get why she was still here, with her friends not to mention her dad’s old buddies she could be all the way to Figi by now if she wanted.
Then that body on the slab in the lab would push to the front of her mind and she would stay. She was being ridiculous and she knew it, but she promised herself that this one would be the only one. She’d help to catch this one jerkoff and then she was so out of here, the FBI’s plans be damned.
“What did they offer? A deal?”
“A job.” So she began to outline everything from start to finish, including why she’d come here in the first place.
“Oh, I see how it is. You need me so I rate a visit. Nice.” She knew she wasn’t really mad at her, she wanted something. This was her weedle face.
“What do you want?” She knew her help wasn’t contingent on her getting her way, she would help her simply because she asked her to, but there was no harm in asking was there.
“I need a place to crash.”
She thought about it a minute. Her place was most definitely monitored by the FBI, not that something like that would matter to Angela. Besides Angela was legit in all her dealings, beyond the occasional favor for a friend, not to mention that the feds never once said that she couldn’t have a room mate. They probably thought that it was implied somewhere, but if it’s not in writing then it doesn’t count.
“Sure, it’s a one bedroom apartment but there’s a pullout. Or we could just share the bed, up to you.” She knew it was coming, but that didn’t keep the enthusiastic thank you from nearly knocking her to the ground. “Alright, come on we’ll get you moved in then you can help me with that thing I need you to do.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
Brennan sat at the table and looked around at all of her new colleagues, as they each offered up what they knew of the crime so far.
“What about a face, do we have one yet?” Booth was looking more and more frustrated as they told him more and more information that all added up to nothing he could use at the moment. All this information would be a good jumping off point once he had a suspect, but for the moment he didn’t even really have a victim.
“I think we do now, yes, if you’ll follow me to the computer lab.” She’d left Angela to do her thing four hours ago so they should have something by now. She said something about a computer program, but she would have done a sketch first so they would have something to go on.
“Excuse me, who are you?” Looking up at the question she saw that Dr. Soroyan had gotten ahead of her and found Angela hard at work.
“This is Angela Montenegro, she’s a friend of mine and a very talented artist. I asked her to come and help us find a face for our victim. With as damaged as the skull was the computer program alone, which is at least four years out of date anyway, would have been unable to give us an accurate face, Angela can.”
“Woah woah woah, you can’t just bring your criminal friends into an ongoing FBI investigation. What’s with you squints always doing dumb stuff like this, I thought you egg heads were meant to be smarter than the rest of us.” How dare he! Just because Angela was her friend that didn’t make her a criminal.
“Angela is not a criminal, she’s an artist, I believe I already explained that!”
“That’s not the point, you can’t just-” She’d had enough, they wanted results, this was how they could get them, and now they weren’t even willing to try. Ahhh! These people were so annoying.
“Just give her a chance, Angela tell them what you have so far.” She turned to her friend putting her body between Angela and the Jeffersonian crew.
“This computer program which I designed, patent pending, accepts a full array of digital input, processes it, and then projects it as a 3D holographic image.” She saw the looks of begrudging respect that overtook all the “squints” and the look of confusion that overtook Agent Booth. The only part he probably understood was the patent pending part.
That was fine of course, a good team was comprised of people with different yet complimentary strengths, Booth wasn’t needed as another scientist, he was needed as an investigator.
“Brennan reassembled the skull and applied tissue markers.” Everyone turned towards the rotating skull for a moment, taking in her work.
“Her skull was badly damaged but racial indicators, cheek bone dimension, nasal arch, occipital measurement all suggests African American.” As the program began to run she saw the looks of awe that none of the others could hide as the image projected before their very eyes. Even she had to admit that Angela was good, amazing even, but there was something off about the image. She looked familiar, but it was a little off.
“Angela re-run using Caucasian features.” Closer but still wrong. “Now split the difference mixed race.”
“Lenny Kravits or Vanessa Williams?” She thought about it for a minute.
“More Lenny than Vanessa.” Finally the face was starting to look more like what she remembered. If only she could remember where she’d seen it before. “Angela reduce tissue depth over the cheekbones to the jawline. Does she look familiar to anyone?” She could tell from Booth’s expression he knew exactly who this woman was.
“Cleo Louise Eller. Only daughter to Ted and Sharon Eller. Last seen approximately nine p.m. April 6th 2003, leaving the Cardio Deluxe Gym on Kay Street. She didn’t even make it to her car.” Booth recited the facts from memory, almost by rote, but there was something in his voice when he did. It was almost, sorrow, but somehow not, like it was an old wound newly remembered.
“Wait wasn’t she that Senate intern who was screwing that big wig Senator?” Angela of course would remember the sex involved.
“Yeah Senator Alan Bethlaham.”
“That was never proven.” The force behind Booth’s statement made everyone calm down. This almost seemed personal for him, but she knew it couldn’t be. The FBI didn’t do personal. Did they?
Previous Chapter Next Chapter