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Noise in the Quiet
I sit quietly at my desk at Quantico and I still wonder how I got here. My first case is near the Mexican border and my boss says it might be serial. I look through the case file before the briefing: three bodies so far, victims both sexes and of various ethnicities, and the victims eyes are always shut. There are no ids on the victims. I will have to head out to Arizona soon. The briefing will begin soon. I rush to the briefing room.
The boss begins the presentation, “We do have ids on one of our victims so far. The police department just called me and they said her name was Marsha Lynn-Ginger, who was a stay at home mom. Amado PD says she was last seen at her home. Get packed because tonight we are flying to Amado. Arizona.” We finish the briefing and I go to my apartment to get my stuff.
My apartment is pretty barren. It has two beds, some posters, and my roommate. He is mostly out, going to clubs and parties. I pack some clothes, tablet, makeup, and other things I need. I relax as I watch TV before having to go to the airport. The news is on again, there is something going on with politics.
The pretty blonde news anchor says, “Gun control is like controlling knifes. Criminals will still get them anyway. We should focus on violent video games instead.” I watch the whole program rolling my eyes. How does the news anchor explain all the gun deaths? Oh she explains it probably with “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. I get into my car and I head to the airport. I make it in time and I get to my seat.
I sit next to a man with dark brown hair and a heavy Scottish accent. He smiles at me and I smile back. He says, “Hello ma’am.”
“Hello,” I say.
The heavy Scottish accent guy says, “So why are you going to Arizona?”
“Business trip,” I say, “And you?”
“Visiting family in Tucson, I haven’t seen them in ages. So what’s your name? Mine is Robin Lundy,” He says.
“My name is Emilie Sutcliffe,” I say.
“Well if we ever see each other again how about lunch?” He asks.
“Sure I will hold you to it,” I say.
The plane lands and we all get out. I head to the Amado Police Department. Everyone else is already there. I get into my black Sudan and I race there. They are all in the bullpen as I get in. One of my fellow agents calls out to me, “Agent Sutcliffe, it’s nice of you to finally arrive.” He has a sly smirk and really blue eyes. He is also the “alpha male”.
“I got stuck in traffic heading to Amado,” I retort, “Some of us don’t use are FBI powers to get out of traffic.”
“Some of us don’t sleep with our bosses to get promotions,” He says.
“Says the playboy Agent Mayfield who can’t keep his hands off women,” I say, “And I never slept with any of my bosses.”
“It’s a men’s world in the FBI,” He says.
“Shut it you two,” Our supervisor says, “You’re making the FBI seem like a bunch of children. Now let’s look at these cases and later let’s call in witnesses. Mayfield and Sutcliffe you’re working together and you’re going to the crime scenes.” He hands us the case files and says, “No complaining both of you because it gives me a migraine.”
“Yes sir,” I say.
“Come on rookie,” Mayfield says. He takes me to the first crime scene which is in the desert a little outside of town. The heat bothers me and I take off my suit coat to reveal a low cut blouse and I adjust my sunglasses. Mayfield smirks again as we begin to work.
“This was the dump site of all our victims. How they were dumped were ritual,” I say as I look at the case file, “The suspect lit candles and dressed the victim all in white almost like they showed pity on our victims. Their lips were covered with bright red lipstick and blood as well there is flesh in their teeth.”
“So he’s saying they’re cannibals and innocent? Two contradicting ideas,” Mayfield says, “What is this psycho trying to say?”
“Probably something philosophical, this suspect could be someone working or studying in university or community college,” I say, “I’d also the university or community college would be close to Amado and the dump sight. Probably from University of Arizona and is studying philosophy and psychology along with art.”
“How did you get that observation?” Mayfield asks.
“I don’t know maybe because these murders look like they were trying to make some philosophical statement,” I say.
“Or the suspect is schizophrenic,” Mayfield says. After a long day of investigating I go back to my hotel room in Tucson. I collapse on my bed. A little while later I hear a loud ringing. I find my phone and I answer it. Just so the noise would stop.
“Hello,” I say as I groan.
“Hey is this Emilie?” A voice asks, “Its Robin I’m in Tucson for the night do you want to get a drink?”
“Sure I would like that,” I say as I smile, “Just let me get ready and where do you want to meet?”
“The Chili Pepper,” He says.
“Okay I will see you there,” I say as I hang up. I go through my suitcase to find a dress. I find a tight black dress. I put it on quickly and I slip on some heels. I put on some red lipstick. I look at myself in the hotel mirror. My black locks are actually in place and my eye makeup actually looks good. I brush my hair before leaving. I drive to The Chili Pepper.
I get there to see Robin waiting for me. I sit down next to him and I order my drink.
“I’ll have some vodka,” I say. The bartender gives me my drink. I gulp it down and my mind reverts to a time where alcohol wasn’t allowed. It starts to taste better than it originally did. He smiles.
“Never thought of you as much of a drinker,” He says.
“When you see the things I have oh boy you would drink,” I say. I order vodka.
“Where do you work?” He asks.
“The FBI,” I say, “And may I order some water and some fries.” The bartender gives me the food and drink. I eat my fries then I order another round of them.
As I eat he says, “Impressive, I am a translator in the US army.”
“You’re not shocked that I am in the FBI?” I ask.
“Because you’re a girl in the FBI, no not at all I think we could use more women in the FBI. It’s too much of a men’s club,” He says.
“I thought an army man like you would rather women stay in the kitchen,” I say. I take another drink.
“No my parents taught me otherwise,” He says. We drink till I get a phone call and it’s my boss.
“Yes boss?” I ask.
“We have another body we need you here now!” He says, “The suspect dumped the body
“I am on my way.” Robin kisses me goodbye before I leave. I kiss him back then I head to my car. I get in and I head to the crime scene. I get there in time and I go through the yellow police tape. I show the police my FBI badge. I get on some gloves and I go to examine the crime scene. The victim is dressed in white again and their eyes are closed but this time an arm and a leg is crudely cut off.
“Have we had an ID on the body?” I ask the forensic team.
“An Iranian woman named Laleh Kaveh who had just emigrated from Iran.” I pause for a minute as Mayfield comes next to me.
“Nice dress Sutcliffe were you stripping or clubbing tonight,” Mayfield says.
“Nope I was out at a bar,” I say. We examine the body into the early hours of the morning. We find out where the body was before it was dumped, a concrete building. I get back to the bar where Robin is at. Thank god he is still there. He gives me a beer.
“So Emilie, do you want to crash at my place tonight? You don’t look fit to drive,” Robin says.
“Sure,” I say.
He takes me into his car and we drive back to the place he stays at and say, “If you need me to drive you to Amado I can.”
“That’s so sweet,” I say. We began to kiss and clothes began to be ripped off. He kisses my neck roughly. This is release from all of the stress of the case. I kiss him roughly as we lay on the bed. We lose ourselves in each other. I fall asleep in his arms.
The next morning I awake to him making breakfast. I rub my eyes and I say, “Has the FBI called yet?”
“No we still have time to relax,” He says smiling. I get up and put on one of his shirts. I then go over to kiss him as he cooks me eggs. Days like this make me question my choice of jobs. After he finishes the eggs we eat them together. He feeds me some. I grin widely as I snuggle him.
As him and I get comfortable my cellphone rings, I go to the side table to get it. I answer it.
“It’s Mayfield and we need you at APD as soon as possible. I will tell you when get here,” He says. I get changed back into my dress and one of his suit jackets and he drives me to the station. We spend 42 minutes in the car just talking.
“So have you ever been a correctional officer?” I ask. I eat some chips in his car.
“Actually yes, when I was 19 years old,” He says, “I left as soon as they had a riot. I ended up going into the army.” He has some of the chips.
“Please tell me how we become so close considering it was a one night stand and we met on the plane and please tell me why I’m so crazy about you,” He says.
“I could say something scientific about the brain or whatever but I think it’s just chemistry,” I say. We get to the police station and I run in.
“You’re finally here Agent Sutcliffe,” My boss says in a rough tone of voice. He hands me a note. I begin to read it.
Or as I should say Emilie Sutcliffe, playing the part of the noble FBI agent investigating crimes. The Saddam regime would be laughing hysterically. Daniyah, I know what you did during his regime. You were the playboy son’s little puppet. You can’t run forever from your old life in Saddam’s Iraq. Even if the FBI and the US government let you get away with it Scott free.
The last they will see of you Dani will be in a body bag.
“I want you off the case Sutcliffe. Your life is in danger. I’ll get a protective detail on you.” My boss said. He did not look me in the eye.
Mayfield says, “So you slept with one of the Hussein’s.”
“I’ll just go then. I’m staying with this guy called Robin Lundy. He’s staying at the Hampton in Tucson,” I say in barely a whisper. I thought the FBI buried old identities or something.
“Okay we will send the protective detail over there any idea why you’re staying here in Arizona?” My boss asks.
“I just need a vacation that’s all boss. Work is getting to me,” I say. I go back to my hotel room and I check out and pack. I head to Robin. He waits for me with open arms. I hug him tightly. I say, “Someone is trying to kill me. They are killing people because of me.”
“Just hug me everything will be okay,” He says. We spend time eating, watching TV, alcohol, and making love. Another night like this is making me suspicious.
I wake up somewhere else. I have a huge, pounding headache. My hands are handcuffed and my clothes are nowhere to be seen. I hear talking in another room. The floor is ice cold against my body and the whole building is made of concrete. I am pretty much helpless right now and I start to call myself Daniyah again instead of Emilie. Maybe accepting who I am will get me out of this alive or a gun.
“I know you were falling for her Robin but you did the right thing,” A deep voice says. He has a distinct Iranian accent.
I could hear Robin’s voice trembling, “Are you sure this girl is Daniyah El-Amin she’s too sweet. I heard Daniyah loved torture and was the last person to fight crime.”
“Shut it Robin or should I say Abdul-Aziz. You were no worse than Daniyah so I would cooperate,” The voice says.
I yell, “So these were why the ritual killings happened because of me Daniyah and Abdul-Aziz. Sure we were not perfect an utterly despicable sometimes but why I joined law enforcement was to wash away my sins. I changed my identity because I thought I could run away and the US was letting me get out of there with a free pass because I had dirt on the Hussein’s. Robin, I did not know you were Abdul-Aziz or just Abdul as I called you. Maybe that’s why we had such a connection these past few days. I remember when someone wrote a book about us called Daniyah and Abdul. Hell I cannot tell how much of our story is fiction and how much is real but I’ve became a better person, Abdul.” I cough after saying all that. Abdul/Robin comes in with the suspect.
“Ghalib, this is wrong I know you want your revenge on people who worked with Saddam in some way but I cannot kill her or let you hurt her. She’s my Daniyah,” Robin says. Ghalib sticks him with a needle and he is knocked out. He puts him in chains as well.
“Both of you will die for your sins especially dealing with the playboy Hussein and letting him get away with his crimes,” Ghalib says.
After Abdul wakes up he gets onto torturing us. He takes enjoyment out of it. As the torture goes on I think of how my identity came back to haunt me. I wish I had just been Daniyah El-Amin in the US and went into a career as a teacher or a doctor. I hold onto Abdul hand as the torture gets worse. I need to find a way to get out of these cuffs. I needed to get out of this so I could make things right.
“Some FBI agent you cannot even fight off your soon to be killer. What are you having an identity crisis?” Ghalib says mockingly.
I am able to get out of one of my handcuffs and I punch Ghalib with my good hand. I take out a hair clip and I use it to get the cuffs. I get Abdul out. I tell him to distract Ghalib as I find a weapon. Abdul uses the last of his energy to subdue Ghalib. I crawl on the floor to find a weapon, trying to say conscious. Bloody hand prints run across the entire floor as I try to find something. I find a screw driver and I get to Ghalib and Abdul. I hit Ghalib with the screw driver until he is disabled. I get Ghalib’s cellphone out of his pocket. I call 911.
“This is Agent Sutcliffe I am in a warehouse in Amado with Robin Lundy we are injured and I don’t know how long we can last,” I say as I cough up blood, “And Ghalib Ahmed is the guy who tried to kill us and he is only unconscious.”
Not too long after the call comes the police and FBI get there. They put Abdul and I in the ambulance. Ghalib Ahmed is going into the patrol car. Robin asks me, “Why did you spare him and use our “new” identities and when will we go back to our old names?”
“Because it would be wrong to kill him and I used those names because I was panicking and this whole two identity things gets me confused and we will we just have to go through some paperwork but we will Abdul,” I say.
This new Daniyah will be like Emilie but without the English name. The values and morals that I’ve gained were not from the new name but from how I changed. I should not run from my past or deny it. I only helped the Hussein’s because that’s how I survived and prospered. I thought about all my 25 years I remember on the way to the hospital.
Ghalib killed those people because all he could feel was revenge but he killed random people who were not part of his pain. I was his only victim who would have satisfied that revenge if he killed me.
I hold Abdul’s hand with my right which only has two fingers left.