The Protector Story 2 by 9pDQ63

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									The Protector
 Story 2
 by Julie O

 Chapter One

 The rain was slowing down and it looked like the worst had past. The late
 summer thunderstorm, which had started an hour earlier, appeared to be over.
 "I appreciate your help. I must admit that when we asked your agency for help,
 I was a little surprised that you came down here," remarked Det. Gary Bowie.
 "I don't mind. I like getting out of the office every now and then," replied
 the tired, young woman, sitting in the passenger seat. "I also appreciate you
 finding me a hotel room this late at night."
 Gary glanced over at her. Looks really were deceiving, he thought. When he
 heard that the head of the agency's Internet teen sexual crime department was
 flying down to Atlanta to assist his department, he had expected an older
 agent. The reputation that preceded Agent Ally Burns, made him assume that she
 would be more imposing. Instead he saw a young, slight woman next to him. She
 was very attractive too, he thought.
 "No, problem. I cashed in a favor from the manager. You're lucky, between the
 conventions and the game tonight, there aren't very many rooms available,"
 replied Gary. "We should be there in ten minutes."
 "That's good. I'm a bit fatigued," replied Ally, holding back a yawn.
 "I don't understand how you could be tired! You only arrived early this
 morning and spent the entire day helping us set up our computer lab. Then you
 spent the rest of the evening helping us get closer to that bastard!" laughed
 Gary. He was referring to an online pedophile that they were hunting.
 Ally smiled back. She was too exhausted to laugh. "I do get a bit of tunnel
 vision when I am on the track of a predator. Caffeine helps too!"
 Gary smiled, as Ally must have drunk six cans of Diet Coke while helping them.
 "You have helped us a lot. What do you think of Det. Johnson?" he inquired
 "She is a good choice to run your Internet sting operations. I like her drive.
 If you can spare her some day, I'd love to show her our center up in
 Washington," replied Ally, as she glanced over at Gary.
 "What, and give you a chance to steal her from us?" he quipped.
 "I'd never do that!" smiled Ally, although it was how she had ended up in her
 present position.

 Gary cut off the conversation abruptly. "Looks, like we have a problem up
 ahead."
 Ally looked ahead and became instantly alert. Through the wet windshield she
 could see the flashing red and blue lights of several squad cars. There was
 also an ambulance. They were parked in the parking lot of a closed gas
 station. Behind the station was a carwash.
 "Do you mind if we stop?" asked Gary.
 "No, not at all," replied Ally. She had previously been a detective and at
 times she missed being out on the streets. The cobwebs in her mind were swept
 away.
 Gary pulled up and flashed his badge, as did Ally, and the uniformed officer
 waved them through the roadblock. Gary parked the car and they both got out.
 The humidity seemed worse, now that the storm was over. Ally left her jacket
 in the car; it was too humid to wear. She was wearing a skirt and a white silk
 blouse. Her high heels clicked on the wet pavement as they approached the
 crime scene. Even in silk, she felt hot and sticky! Sometimes, Ally really
 missed Southern California and its near perfect weather. She didn't even want
 to think about winter!
 They walked over to where a middle-aged man in a wrinkled suit was talking to
 two uniformed officers. He waved when he saw them approaching.
 "Gary, what brings you out this late?" he asked. He eyed Ally and smiled
 knowingly at Gary. "Out on a hot date?"
 "Rick Cook, this is Special Agent Ally Burns. She's down from Washington to
 assist us in setting up an Internet crime lab," introduced Gary, smiling as he
 saw Rick's reaction.
 Rick looked slightly confused, then embarrassed as he saw her badge. "Pleased
 to meet you. I didn't know you were an agent."
 "Don't worry about it," replied Ally. She glanced at Gary and smiled.
 "So, what do you have?" asked Gary.
 "Nothing much. Just a dead trannie whore," he replied casually.
 His words cut through Ally like a knife. She tried to maintain her composure,
 but it was difficult.
 Gary noticed the instant change in Ally's demeanor.
 "It looks like the 'John' found his secret and whacked him," he continued.
 "Do you mind if I take a look at the victim?" asked Ally. Whenever she was
 dealing with local cases, she was always very polite, even though she was
 seething inside.
 "Sure, he's over there." He pointed over to the edge of the parking lot. The
 body appeared to be located in one stall of a self-service carwash.
 Ignoring the fact that he called the victim "he," Ally nodded and walked over
 to the body. The Medical Examiner was just finishing up. The victim was lying
 on her back with a large hunting knife impaled in her chest. She was dressed
 in a short black skirt and top. Additionally, she was wearing fishnet
 stockings and very high heels, almost 5". Her makeup was overdone and she had
 worn a large blonde wig, which was lying next to her lifeless body. Her
 natural hair was light brown and styled in a very feminine. To the casual eye,
 she looked like a stereotypical street whore. That's what seemed wrong to
Ally.
 Ally began to ask the ME some questions. He didn't seem to mind, in fact, he
 seemed pleased that someone was actually interested in the case.
 "How long ago do you think she died?" asked Ally. She crouched down and stared
 at the body.
 He smiled at Ally. He saw her badge and wondered why a Fed was interested in a
 simple murder. "I'd say around an hour ago."
  "Did I say something amusing?" asked Ally as she looked up and over at the ME
  "No, it's just that you're the only one to call the victim, 'her,'" he
replied.
  Ally nodded. "Do you have her ID?"
  The ME picked up her purse and pulled out her license. "She was Stacy
  Robinson. I'll be dammed! She had a female name on her driver's license!" he
  exclaimed, as he looked at the driver's license. "Usually, you don't see that
  with TG working girls."
  Ally slipped on a pair of gloves and examined Stacy's purse. In addition to
  her ID, she had a letter of transition from her therapist. That seemed odd for
  a prostitute, she thought. She handed the bag back to the ME.
  Gary walked up with Rick. "Anything interesting?" asked Gary.
  Ally continued to examine the body. "Something doesn't seem right," replied
  Ally, without looking up.
  "Like what?" asked Rick. He was obviously a bit annoyed that a Fed was asking
  questions in what seemed like a simple case of rage by a disgruntled John.
  "Well, when I worked vice, I never remember seeing any working girls dress
  like this, not even the transgendered ones. She looks like an extra for a bad
  police drama on TV," explained Ally as she looked up at the two detectives.
  "Do prostitutes dress like this down here?"
  They both shook their heads no. "What else?" Gary asked.
  "Look at her hands. She recently had a manicure, yet she covered it up with
  cheap red polish. Also look at her wrists, they look like she was tied up
  recently," explained Ally.
  The ME examined the victim's wrists. "Looks like rope burns, pretty recent
  too," he remarked. He then examined her legs. "She also has them on her
  ankles."
  "So, he was into rough sex!" remarked Rick "That doesn't mean anything."
  Ally was doing the best to control her temper. It was bad enough that he was
  bigoted, but this was just bad police work. "I don't think SHE was a working
  girl. Was she killed here or was her body dumped here?" Ally asked the ME.
  The ME looked at her and then Gary, who nodded. "I would say that she was
  killed here, judging by the blood loss. The roof of the carwash kept her body
  dry," replied the ME.
  "Does Stacy have a police record?" Ally asked Rick.
  Gary looked at Rick, who shrugged his shoulders. "I haven't checked yet,"
  replied Rick.
  Ally nodded. "So, is this a common area for prostitutes to bring their
  customers?" asked Ally. She would take it step-by-step and hope that Rick
  didn't get angry with her for pointing out the obvious.
  Rick shook his head no. "Nope, we've never had any problems with hookers of
  any kind around here."
  Gary was secretly enjoying the fact that Ally was schooling Rick, even if he
  was a good friend.
  "Is there a club or bar nearby that a girl like her might have been working
  out of?" continued Ally.
Again Rick shook his head no. "The closest place is cross-town."
Ally pointed to the knife, still in Stacy's body. "One last thing, I noticed
that the knife looks like a custom job," added Ally. "The handle looks like
someone spent a lot of time and effort in shaping it."
Gary crouched down and looked at the handle. It was some sort of exotic wood.
"You're right again, Ally. This is fine work, whoever did it."
"Okay, let's assume that it was an act of rage. Why do it here? And why would
he leave his knife here?" asked Ally. She figured that she might as well help,
as she didn't have much confidence in Rick.
Rick nodded in agreement. "It looks less cut and dried with each passing
minute." His opinion of the Fed was changing; she was a pretty good detective
and he was also a bit pissed off at himself, as he had made some pretty
obvious mistakes.
Gary smiled at Ally. It would be a mistake to underestimate you, Agent Burns,
he thought.
"Just out of curiosity, I would like to see the file on this case; that is if
you don't mind, Detective Cook," asked Ally, as she stood up.
"No, not at all. You're right. I jumped the gun on this one. My bad!" he
grinned.
Gary escorted her back to his car. "That was some impressive sleuthing back
there," he commented.
"Elementary, my dear Bowie," she quipped. "Sorry, that was uncalled for. I
just hate to see the victim degraded by the people who should have protected
her in the first place."
Gary nodded knowingly.
A few minutes later he dropped her off at the hotel. "I'll pick you up at ten.
Is that okay?" he asked.
"Sounds good. See you in seven hours," she replied with a smile, as she looked
at her watch. Gary smiled back and shrugged his shoulders, working late was an
occupational hazard of police work.
Ally checked into her room. She was now fully awake and decided to check her
e-mail. In a few moments she was opening up her mail on her laptop. She had
insisted that she be given a top-of-the-line laptop, with wireless modem. The
laptop was more important to her work than her 9mm semi-automatic. She looked
at her sidearm, resting on the nightstand. She had never fired it in the
line-of-duty and hoped she never would.
She read the messages from some of her agents. The hardest part of her job was
finding competent people. Not only did she need good agents, but also she
needed people who could think and pass as a variety of victims. She was
presently six people understaffed, but she would rather be short than to have
unqualified agents.
She saved the best for last. There was a nice long message from her lover
Carol! Ally didn't realize how much she loved Carol until they were separated!
This would only be the fourth night that they hadn't been together since she
arrived in Washington DC!
After replying to Carol's message, she undressed and took a shower. As she
dried off, she examined her body. By Rick's standards she would still be a
man, as she still had her penis. But that was just a technicality, as far as
Ally was concerned. She touched her breasts and was happy to see that they
were still growing. Granted, they were still small, but they were still
growing! She hoped that they reached at least a B-cup. The idea of getting
implants was depressing.
Ally then thought about the recently deceased Stacy. There, but for the grace
of God, go I, she thought. Ally felt so lucky to have a career that allowed
her to live her life as she pleased. She was also blessed to have a lover that
cared deeply about her. She debated calling Carol, but decided to put it off
until later that morning.

Chapter Two

Ally was just finishing up breakfast when her phone rang. It was Detective
Bowie and he asked if she was interested in seeing the apartment of the
previous night's victim. Ally readily agreed, and fifteen minutes later she
was sitting next to Gary as they drove to Stacy's apartment.
"I got a call this morning from Rick, he said there were some strange things
at the victim's apartment and he wondered if you wouldn't mind taking a look
at them," explained Gary.
"Sure. What sort of strange things?" she asked.
"I'm not sure, but we'll find out shortly," replied Gary. "By the way, Rick
won't say it, but he appreciated your help last night."
On the way over to Stacy's apartment Ally read the preliminary report. Stacy
had no police record. The ME's report was brutal. Her attacker had viciously
assaulted her sexually, before killing her. Additionally, the attacker used a
condom. Ally figured that it was more out of the fear of leaving DNA evidence
than from catching a disease.
They pulled up to a nice looking apartment complex. Judging by the cars parked
in the lot, it was upscale. Not the type of place that a street prostitute
would live, thought Ally. She was even more convinced that Stacy's death was
more sinister than a simple crime of rage.
Her federal badge caught some of the uniformed officers off-guard. They
wondered why a dead tranny whore would interest the feds. Still, she was
pretty cute for a fed, they agreed.
Rick was wearing the same wrinkled suit and looked like he hadn't slept all
night. Gary explained that Rick always looked that way! Rick was holding a cup
of coffee in his left hand and a report in the other.
"Good morning, Detective Cook," greeted Ally.
He nodded. "You were right. If the victim was a street whore, then he was
leading a really bizarre double life." He took a sip of the coffee.
"You mean SHE," corrected Ally, with a light tone of irritation.
"Whatever….," replied Rick. "SHE ran a home computer consulting firm and from
what we've seen, it looks pretty successful."
Ally ignored the sarcastic tone of Rick's voice and looked around and saw that
the two bedroom apartment was set up as a working home. The second bedroom was
Stacy's office. She walked into the bedroom and saw the remains of a silk
dress lying on the floor. It was shredded, as if it had been cut off her body.
The rest of the room was very neat and orderly. Stacy's closet was filled with
fashionable clothes. There weren't any other clothes of the type she was
wearing when they found her. Likewise there was no male clothing in Stacy's
closet.
Ally looked at the bed and saw the remains of rope tied to the bedposts. So,
this is where he had initially violated her, thought Ally.
Gary looked around and seemed to pick up the same things. He watched as Ally
walked into the bathroom. "What're you looking for?"
"She didn't wear a lot of makeup, but what she did was top of the line stuff.
This stuff looks out of place," replied Ally. She was pointing to some cheap,
bargain brand makeup located on the counter. She leaned down and, without
touching them, she examined the eye shadow and blush. "These look like the
colors she was wearing last night. Looks like it was the first time she used
them."
Gary nodded. He knew that he wouldn't have picked up on that.
"Gary, Agent Burns, check this out!" shouted Rick from the office.
They walked into the office. Rick was pointing to the computers. All three had
been vandalized, so that accessing their data would be nearly impossible.
"Looks like a job for Data," remarked Gary.
"Data?" asked Ally, with a smile.
"That's our nickname for our computer tech. He can do wonders with damaged
systems. I'd introduce you to him, but I would be afraid that you'd try and
steal him!" quipped Gary.
Ally smiled. "Seriously, if this person is as good as you say, then you should
have him on your Internet investigation team."
Gary nodded. She was right again, he thought.
Ally looked around Stacy's apartment and was saddened. It looked like Stacy
had a good life, with a successful business, judging by her expensive clothes
and furnishings. Stacy didn't deserve to die, degraded on the floor of a
carwash. Ally wished that she could do more, but she left the case to the
Atlanta PD.
"Thanks for your insight. I'm usually suspicious of the Feds as they give you
a little bit of help and then grab all the credit. But I can see that you're
different," apologized Rick.
Ally smiled back, but then she became very serious. "Do me a favor and nail
this creep."
Rick nodded. He wondered why Ally would care about someone like Stacy. Oh
well, he didn't understand his wife either, he thought.
Gary drove her to the station where their Internet Sex Offender Task Force was
set up. He noticed how quiet she was on the drive.
"What's bothering you?" he asked.
"There's something disturbing about the murder of Stacy. Obviously, she wasn't
a prostitute, but someone took great effort to make her look like one. He also
was smart enough to cover his tracks," she explained.
"I was talking to the CSI guys, and they said that the knife didn't have any
fingerprints on it. They suspect that he was wearing gloves," added Gary.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," she remarked. Ally began to wonder if
this man had killed before and if he would kill again.
Gary nodded in agreement. "For what it's worth, we appreciate your help. I'll
keep you updated on the investigation."
"Thanks," replied Ally. "Now, let's get to back to your lab."
Ally spent the rest of the day working with task force personnel. She liked
that they were so open-minded and willing to learn. As expected, many of the
team members were young and a bit alternative in their thinking. She was also
pleased that many had done some acting. She was actually debating on whether
she should hire an acting instructor for her federal team.
Mid-afternoon, Ally brought in a guest speaker. The woman was from a center
that worked with abused teens. She spoke to the group on what sort of kids
were at the highest risk. Ally was pleased that she specifically talked about
LGBT teens. Ally added that many of their best arrests resulted from
portraying the parts of transgendered youth. Additionally, Ally watched the
reaction of the officers. She didn't see anyone being disrespectful or being
inattentive. That was another good sign. She wanted the teams she helped to be
looking out for all teens. She was also glad that they weren't like Rick in
their attitudes towards the transgendered.
By the end of the afternoon, she felt that the Atlanta team was well on it's
way to becoming an efficient weapon in the fight against sexual predators.
They were sitting around the room relaxing. Ally was sitting on the edge of a
desk drinking her third Diet Coke of the afternoon.
"So, do you know 'The Protector'?" asked one of the detectives.
"The Protector? That's just a myth!" laughed another detective.
"Oh, The Protector really exists. But what is more important is that the
legend is also alive," explained Ally. She took a sip of her soda.
Everyone in the room stared in silence at Ally. It was as if someone just
offered proof that Santa Claus really existed.
"So, who is he?" asked the first detective.
Ally paused for a second and scanned the room; they were all looking at her
intently. "Me," smiled Ally.
They stared back in disbelief.
Ally had initially dismissed the nickname given to her by the DA back in
California. But now she accepted it as another weapon in the fight against the
bad guys!
"It was a name given to me back in California, when I was a detective. But now
we use it anytime we nail a particularly nasty predator. When we get a really
bad one, we'll send out a death card from The Protector. As long as it puts
fear into sexual predators, it serves its purpose," smiled Ally. "They don't
know where The Protector will strike next."
They all smiled in agreement. The Protector was fast becoming the bogeyman
among the Internet sexual predators.
Gary insisted on taking her out to dinner. "I want to make up for yesterday,"
he stated.
They had eaten takeout food the previous night. Tonight, they were sitting in
a steakhouse located near the station. It was the kind of place that catered
to the police and Ally felt right at home.
"I appreciate it. You have the makings of an excellent task force here,"
complimented Ally. She took a sip of her wine. It really hit the spot. She
examined the bottle and made a mental note of the vineyard and year.
"Thanks. That means a lot coming from you," he replied. "Can I ask you a
personal question?"
Ally nodded.
"I checked your history. Does your being transgendered ever cause any problems
professionally?" he asked.
Ally smiled. "It hasn't been a major issue. I know some people talk behind my
back, but it doesn't bother me too much, so long as it doesn't have a negative
effect on work."
Gary stared at her as if he didn't believe her.
Ally shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "Okay, it does bother me. It bothers
me a lot. But, I try not to let it get me down. The agency hired me based on
my abilities, they also knew that I was transgendered. Legally, my gender is
female. One day I'll have the surgery to make my body whole. I'll take some
good natured kidding, but I won't tolerate harassment."
Gary smiled back. "That's better!"
They both laughed.
"I have to admit that if I hadn't researched your past, I would have never
guessed your original gender," confessed Gary.
"Does my being transgendered bother you?" asked Ally, taking another sip from
her wine.
"When I found out your past, I must admit that I was a little concerned. I
wasn't sure what you would look like or how you would act. Like many in the
force, the only transgendered people I've met were in the line of duty. I
guess I thought the fact that you were transgendered would be a distraction.
But once I met you, those fears disappeared," admitted Gary. "By the way, I'm
very impressed with your investigative skills. I wish I had someone like you
down here!"
"Thank you," replied Ally. She appreciated his honesty.
"Just so you know, Rick is a good detective. I know that his comments about
the victim bothered you, but he isn't that bad," explained Gary.
Ally nodded.
It was also obvious that Gary was attracted to her. Ally was still a bit
uneasy about being sexual attractive to men. Not that she was looking for a
date; she was deeply in love with Carol. Still, it was intriguing that a man,
who knew she was transgendered, was still interested in her!
"Well, I have an early flight in the morning. I really need to get back to the
hotel," announced Ally.
"No problem," answered Gary.
He dropped her off at the hotel. "I promise to keep in touch with you
concerning Stacy."
Ally nodded and thanked him. She also said that she had a shuttle to the
airport in the morning. Her flight was very early, as she wanted to get back
to the office as soon as possible.
She was pleased that he was so open-minded. It gave her hope for the future.

Chapter Three

Ally read the morning paper on her flight to Washington. Stacy's death barely
merited a paragraph. Of course, the article referred to Stacy as a "man
dressed as a woman". They also identified her as a sex worker. In some ways,
Stacy had been violated a second time.
Ally picked up her car and headed directly to the office. They had a good lead
on a potential predator. For once the case was local, and that added to her
staff's eagerness to catch him. A man was posing as a teenage boy from the
suburbs. He would make contact with a lonely teenage girl, lure her to the
city, and then drug and sexually assault her. So far, he had molested three
teenage girls. The description of the man convinced Ally that it was the same
man in all three assaults. Ally suspected that he might have actually
committed more assaults, but couldn't prove it yet.
She had two agents posing at teens, working the chat rooms that the previous
victims had frequented. A female agent named Donna was portraying a
14-year-old girl named Kristie. Kristie's bio stated that she was an only
child, living with her divorced mother. She had just moved to the Washington
area from Florida and hated it. She often complained that she felt neglected.
She told her problems to a girl in the chat room named Terri.
Donna was 26 and had a real knack for playing teens online. She had a very
good sense of humor and was always cracking bad jokes. She wore her brown hair
in a ponytail and was into cycling. She also was deeply interested in the
processes that Ally had developed. Ally was very impressed with Donna. Ally
could see Donna as her eventual replacement in leading the unit.
Another agent, named David, was portraying Terri, a teenage girl. David, NEVER
Dave, had a talent for portraying teens of both genders. Terri was a regular
in the chat room and was used by the agency to introduce new bait. Bait was
the term they used instead of potential victim. They saw themselves as
fishermen or hunters.
Donna and David were a great team and had been nicknamed "The Double D Gang"
by the others.
Ally was interested in eventually using David as a transgendered youth and he
was presently researching the role. He had no problem with portraying a TG
youth, as he confessed that he was a frustrated actor. He actually had acted
in a few local plays. Ally couldn't wait to see his next performance.
Inside the control room, Ally let her agents be rather casual. The room was a
larger version of the room she had created back in California. There were
several couches, a stereo, a TV, and a fridge stocked with soda and junk food.
There was also a large library of books on pedophilia, teenaged issues, LGBT
teen issues, and also books on profiling. Ally allowed her team to add any
book they felt was useful.
There were ten computer stations set up. The computers were set up to record
conversations in the chat rooms. Additionally each station had a phone line
and cell phone.
It pleased Ally to know that her replacement back in California was still
active in hunting predators and the original room was named, in jest, "The Al
Burns Memorial Room". Ally saw this as a compliment and had even showed up for
the dedication. It pleased her how accepting the rest of force had been when
she came out to all of them. Although, it did bother her a bit when many of
them had said that they weren't all that surprised!
Ally was snapped out of her daydreams by the sound of Donna's voice. "Ally, I
think I have a nibble!" she called from her computer.
Ally walked over towards Donna. "What do you have?"
"A boy named TJ just came on to Kristie," replied Donna. She turned and smiled
at Ally.
TJ was very close to the name the predator had used previously. He had used
DJ, RT, and TC in his previous appearances.
"Sounds good. Keep me informed," replied Ally. She fought the urge to hang
over Donna's computer. The hardest part of her job was letting her agents do
their job. Ally had to let them know that she had confidence in them. "By the
way Donna, I have complete confidence in you. Go get him!"
If this really was the predator then he would be cautious. He would slowly
befriend Kristie and only then would he start to make his move. This was a
critical time in the investigation and everyone knew it.
Donna turned around and smiled back.
Ally went back to her office and reviewed a few other cases. She wanted to be
in the control room, but she knew she had to give Donna a chance to work
without her hovering nearby. She spent the next couple of hours working on
paperwork. Ally did find time to fill out the office football pool slip. She
was slightly pissed that she had lost the previous week on points. She had
picked Atlanta in the Monday night game, but the tiebreaker went to a guy in
narcotics. Ally smiled and noted that she shouldn't be too upset as she had
won the pool twice this season and it was still September.
Ally couldn't get the death of Stacy out of her mind and she decided to check
something out. As she headed down to the research department, she remembered
to grab her jacket, as the techs in the computer room kept the temperature
slightly above meat locker.
Ally looked around and was pleased to see that Michelle Parker was working
today. Michelle was a former field agent who now ran the research department.
Ally also knew that Michelle still loved to get into a good investigation.
"Hey, Michelle, how're you doing?" asked Ally.
"So, what do you need today, Ally?" asked Michelle, as she turned around from
her computer.
Ally pointed at her own chest innocently. "Me?"
Michelle laughed.
"Okay, I need some info. No rush, but I want you to do a search for me,"
replied Ally. She told Michelle about Stacy's murder. "The murder didn't look
like it was done by a first time killer. It was too orderly and precise."
"The way the knife was in the victim, sounds like it was almost ritualistic,"
replied Michelle.
"I agree," replied Ally. "Also, the fact that the knife was custom-made seems
strange."
"I'll do a search, say going back three years. I'll look for similar crimes
against transgendered victims. Do you want me to focus on Atlanta or go
nationwide?" asked Michelle.
Ally thought for a minute. "Nationwide."
"You know what this means if you're right?" asked Michelle, staring back at
Ally intently.
Ally nodded slowly. "I hope I'm wrong," replied Ally. The idea of a serial
killer out there killing transgendered women was frightening to her. Not just
because of the victims, but the potential apathy from law enforcement. TG
victims weren't high on their list of priorities. They were treated about the
same as prostitutes. Several serial killers of prostitutes had operated for
years with little effort made to catch them.
"I'll get back to you in a few days," replied Michelle.
"Thanks. By the way, keep this between us for now. Okay?" asked Ally.
"No problem, Ally."
"Thanks. Oh, I just got a case of Merlot from California. I'll drop off a
bottle the next time I see you."
"Thanks for the added incentive!" replied Michelle, who shared Ally's taste
for good wine.
Ally smiled and returned to her office. She hoped she was wrong about the
possibility of a serial killer, but deep down her guts were telling her she
was right. Ally wondered what her next step would be if she was right.
Over dinner that night, Ally told Carol about her trip and her suspicions. The
preparation of dinner was their time to discuss work. Carol loved cooking and
was determined to teach Ally how to cook.
"Run your evidence by me first," remarked Carol. "If it looks good, then I'll
support you all the way to the top."
"Thanks," smiled Ally. She paused and looked over at Carol. "I missed you."
Carol smiled back. "You were only gone Monday and Tuesday!"
"I know, but I still missed you. I guess it confirmed how much you mean to
me," added Ally.
Carol nodded. She knew that Ally was dealing with a lot of stress. Between her
transition and the new responsibility of her job, Ally was carrying a heavy
load.
"What do you say to a weekend in the country next month? It'll be your first
real fall," suggested Carol.
"Oh, that sounds wonderful!" replied Ally with a big smile.
"Great, I'll make the reservations tomorrow! I know a lovely country inn." She
then leaned over and kissed Ally.
After dinner they sat together on the couch and watched the classic movie
channel. Carol put her arm around Ally and pulled her close and she felt
Ally's head rest on her shoulder. She loved how receptive Ally was to her
affection. Carol had found the perfect lover and couldn't be happier.
Likewise, Ally loved Carol. She couldn't imagine transitioning without Carol's
strength to support her. Yes, Carol was the dominant person in their
relationship, but she was far from being overbearing. Their lovemaking was
very mutual and sharing.
"Let's go to bed," whispered Carol.
Ally glanced over and nodded yes.
Carol stood up and took Ally by the hand and led her to their bedroom.

Chapter Four

The next few days passed by quickly. The investigation of TJ continued to
progress. Donna was confident that TJ was the one they wanted. Ally was very
pleased with Donna and David. They had done a great job so far.
Her other investigators were also making some progress. One was working with a
small town up in Rhode Island and another was working with the Detroit Police
Department. As their success rate increased, so did their workload. There were
at least thirty requests being processed for assistance. Ally was screening
and assigning the cases. She felt bad that they couldn't take on more, but in
this kind of work, they couldn't afford to get sloppy.
Ally had several trainees screening printouts from chat rooms, looking for
potential predators. In Ally's mind, this served two purposes. First, it
helped to narrow down the hunting grounds. Second, it allowed Ally to screen
her trainees. Several agents had been rejected due to their inability to
recognize an adult pretending to be a teen.
Ally got an email from Gary in Atlanta. The report only confirmed her fears.
There were no fingerprints of the suspect in Stacy's apartment. Data had some
luck in retrieving information from the damaged computers. He was presently
contacting Stacy's ISP to access her address book. They held some hope that
Stacy had kept his address, but Ally wasn't too hopeful.
She printed a copy of the e-mail out for Michelle and headed down to the
computer room. Ally was almost out of her office when she remembered the wine
and darted back to get it. She also grabbed her jacket as she prepared to
enter the chilly confines of the computer room.
Michelle examined the bottle of wine. "Hmm. This looks very good. Thank you
very much; I can't wait to open it! I've been slowly weaning Warren off beer,"
remarked Michelle, referring to her husband.
"So, do you have any info?" asked Ally hopefully.
Michelle handed Ally a thick folder and several CDs.
"These cases all look similar. I have a theory, but I don't want to say
anything until you look at it. If you get stuck, call me," responded Michelle,
in a very serious tone.
Ally nodded and retreated to the warmth of her office. She retrieved a Diet
Coke from her office fridge and sat down and started to review the cases.
Michelle had placed the most likely cases on top. She had actually gone back
five years, instead of the promised three. Ally would send another bottle of
the Merlot her way for that! There were a lot of similarities between the
cases and Stacy's death. The strange thing was that the crimes occurred all
over the country. There didn't seem to be any pattern.
Three years ago there were the first three possible cases. One was in Seattle,
the second was in Minneapolis, and the last one was in San Francisco. The
women were all strangled by a stocking. They were also suspected of being sex
workers, yet all had good paying professional jobs. Ally also noted that all
three women were in the middle of transition.
The next year there were three more killings. This time they had their throats
slashed. The weapon was never identified, but was suspected to be a custom
made hunting knife, as the wounds didn't match any standard knife blade. That
was an interesting connection, thought Ally. The crimes occurred in Oakland,
Cleveland, and Baltimore. The profile of the victims was similar to the
previous year.
Last year there had been three more killings. Again the weapon was a knife and
the victims were killed by a single stab wound in the chest. A large bladed
hunting knife was suspected in all three cases. The victims fell into the same
profile as the two previous years. The locations for the crimes were Miami,
New Orleans, and Detroit.
The rest of the cases appeared unrelated. Ally stared at the suspected cases.
There had to be a pattern. She turned on her laptop and began to try different
patterns out. Serial killers often worked in a pattern; the trick was to
discover it. Ally was worried, as the killer was getting bolder. He was
getting very confident and was starting to drop hints to the police. Many
serial killers did this to show off how intelligent they were and how stupid
the cops were. She was convinced that the leaving of the knife in Stacy was
deliberate. It wouldn't surprise her if they were to start getting letters
from the killer soon. Ally also wanted to get the lab techs to compare the
data and see if the knife could be the same in all cases. But she would need
approval before she could do that.
She tried many different combinations of the cities, the dates, the victims,
and anything else she could think of. Nothing seemed to click. The only thing
she discovered was that all the killings occurred between September and
December. She also discovered that all the killings took place on a Monday.
Ally called up a map of the US and plotted each killing with its date. Still
nothing stood out. She looked up at the clock and saw that it was almost 4:00
PM. She had been at this for over five hours! All she knew was that there was
a serial killer out there. But she didn't have enough information to convince
her superiors. Dammit! Ally knew that it was staring at her. This had become
personal, but she decided to take a break.
She walked around and talked to every person on her staff and got an update on
their cases. This was a daily habit and the staff didn't seem to mind. They
liked that Ally gave them room to work and trusted their opinions. The
operations room was busy. The Double D gang was locked into a conversation
with TJ. Ally nodded her approval. The other cases were also progressing
nicely.
"Keep working, but I do need your weekly progress reports on my desk before
you go home today. Just a gentle reminder," Ally smiled.
"Yes, Mom!" they chorused.
Ally smiled and returned to her office. Several of the weekly summary reports
were already in her in-box. She was about to start on the puzzle again when
Bill Carter knocked and entered. Bill ran the weekly football pool. He worked
in the Internet Fraud Division.
"You want in on the pool this week?" he asked.
"Sure. I have my slip in my desk," replied Ally.
Bill sat on the edge of her desk as she rummaged through her desk.
"Hey, what's this? You using your computer to track games?" he quipped as he
looked at the map on her computer screen.
Ally laughed. "No, that's just something I'm working on."
"Well, it sure looks like you're tracking the Monday night games. I've got a
good memory. You even have this week's Monday game on here," he replied,
pointing to Atlanta and the site of Stacy's murder.
Ally froze in her tracks and then examined the screen. That was it! All the
cities had professional football teams. She handed Bill the slip and the
$5.00. She then jumped up and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you, Bill!
You're a genius!"
He smiled at her. "Sure, anytime, Ally. I just wish I knew what I did!"
'I'll tell you later!" she replied.

Ally accessed the Internet and called up the last three years' schedules. Sure
enough, all the murders occurred on the night of the nationally televised
football game. It couldn't be a coincidence! She reviewed the games and found
that the killer hadn't repeated any cities. She checked the schedule and found
that the next city, without a reported murder, would be in Washington, DC, in
four weeks. That didn't give them much time.
Ally sat there and plotted out her strategy. She had a lot of information to
retrieve in a very short period of time. She had to build a profile that
matched the victims and she had to find the chat rooms that they frequented.
Of course, she also had to get permission from her supervisors. Ally knew that
it was vital that she succeed. Ten women were dead, and at least two more
would die, if she did nothing.
Ally called Michelle and requested the complete files on the ten victims. She
also explained her theory to Michelle, who agreed that it looked like the work
of serial killer.
Ally sat back in her chair and debated her next move. She knew she was
reaching out of her department's tasking. Requesting the files was a bit out
  of line, but at worst she would only get a chewing out for jumping the gun.
  Ally suspected it would take a few days to get all the files, so she had time
  to make her case. She knew that she couldn't afford to be wrong.
  Next, she called Carol. "Can you come down to my office? I have something I
  need to show you."
  Fifteen minutes later Carol arrived and Ally laid out her evidence. By the
  time she was done, Carol was convinced that Ally was right.
  "I think you're on to something. Nice work," congratulated Carol.
  "Yes, but this is just the start. Do you think the boss will agree?"
  "Only one way to find out. I'll make the calls. Get your information in
order."
  Ally nodded and they got to work.
  To Ally's complete surprise they were told to be ready for a meeting at 9:00
  AM Monday morning. Carol was also impressed that he had so quickly added them
  to his schedule. So much for having time to get ready, thought Ally!
  "You've got a busy weekend ahead of you, my dear," smiled Carol.
  Ally nodded in agreement.

 Chapter Five

 Ally spent most of the weekend in the office. Carol helped, and together they
 put together a pretty good presentation.
 Ally had a partial profile of the victims. They were all pre-op transgendered
 women, living fulltime as women. They were all between 22 and 30, college
 educated, and had professional jobs. While none had any past history in the
 sex trade, they were all dressed as prostitutes. Ally found that several were
 dressed as Stacy had been, as an almost stereotypical Hollywood hooker.
 The biggest missing piece was how the killer met his victims. Ally suspected
 the Internet, but couldn't prove it yet. She was still waiting for the files.
 Even so, she began to sketch out her bio for her online persona. Ally had
 already decided that she would take this one herself. Carol didn't argue,
 besides it made sense, as Ally fit into the profile almost perfectly. However
 that didn't stop Carol from being worried about her lover's safety.
 "Do you think I'm being obsessive about this case?" asked Ally as they drove
 home Sunday afternoon.
 "Not obsessive, but you are taking it very personally," replied Carol bluntly.
 Ally nodded. "I guess you're right. I keep thinking that any of those victims
 could have been me. I also think of Stacy, the woman killed in Atlanta. I want
 to solve this for her."
 "By the way, I contacted a friend in the profiling department. She is very
 interested in the case and will look over your data, once the investigation is
 approved," stated Carol. "Before you say a word, yes, I think the
 investigation will be approved."
 Ally sighed a huge sigh of relief.

 Chapter Six
Monday morning Ally presented her case to her boss, Travis Coleman. There were
several other people present. Ally was a bit nervous when she recognized them.
They were all department heads, and if they shot down her case, then it was
dead.
Ally took a deep breath and presented her case. She projected the map on the
large screen and showed the connection between the murders and the football
game dates. She then pointed out that the only cities not repeated with
scheduled Monday night games this year were Philadelphia, Houston, Denver,
Chicago, Tampa, and Washington.
"You want to build a profile for a potential victim and try to lure him for
the Redskins game in October?" asked Travis.
"It may be our best chance. We will also start up profiles for the other
cities," replied Ally.
Travis and several others nodded. "If you'll excuse us for a few minutes Agent
Burns, we will discuss your proposal," replied Travis.
Ally nodded and walked out of the briefing room. Well, she had done her best;
she could only hope it was good enough, she thought.
After nearly twenty minutes, she was called back in.
"Agent Burns, I have approved the investigation of the potential MNF serial
killer," he stated. MNF, stood for Monday Night Football.
Ally nodded and tried to act calm.
"However, we don't believe that you are experienced enough to run an
investigation of this size. I'm appointing a more senior agent to lead the
taskforce. Don't worry, you're still in the investigation," continued Travis.
"I am appointing Agent Robert Ledyard to be lead investigator."
Ally was a bit in awe. Robert Ledyard was a legendary agent and had been the
lead investigator for several serial killer cases. She felt honored to be
working with him.
Robert Ledyard was 52 and had been in the agency for years. He was considered
one of the best field agents ever. He had been involved in many of the most
important cases and seemed to have a sixth sense when it came to catching
serial killers. He fought promotion for years, as it would have meant an end
to being out on the streets. However a mild heart attack had convinced him to
take a desk job.
After the meeting Ally was sitting next to Robert discussing the case. "I've
heard some good things about you, Ally. I think we'll make a good team. I'm
impressed with the way you made the connections between the ten previous
murders, and even more impressed that you had the 'nose' to suspect a serial
killer from that single case in Atlanta."
"Thank you. I'm honored to be working with you," Ally replied. She immediately
knew that she would love working for Robert.
"Now that the mutual admiration is out of the way, let's discuss your case,"
stated Robert.
For the next hour, Ally laid out what she had accomplished so far. She
explained that her profile was still a work in progress, as she was still
waiting for the complete files on the victims. They also didn't know what chat
rooms the victims had visited.
"We can find out their ISPs and then access the records," added Robert.
"I am waiting for a report from Atlanta. Their computer techs are trying to
access Stacy's computer," reported Ally.
"Do you still want to be the bait?" he asked.
"Yes, I fit the profile and I'm an agent. I've done a lot of undercover work
too," Ally replied.
He nodded, as he understood her desire to become personally involved in
investigations. "I'll be very interested in what the profilers come up with.
They've never let me down before. It may help us narrow down the potential
cities"
Ally knew that Robert had helped to shape many of the procedures used by the
profilers. She looked at him as a role model.
"Ally, I want you to know that you weren't kept on this case because of your
gender status. I could care less. What I do care about is your ability to keep
a clear head in this investigation. Your life depends upon it," he stated
bluntly.
Ally nodded. "So, you don't care about the gender of the victims either?"
"Why should that matter? A victim is a victim. The main thing that matters is
that they were brutalized and killed by a sadistic monster. Our goal is to
stop him from killing again. Don't lose sight of that," he replied.
"Thanks. I won't. I was just afraid that they wouldn't get the same attention
as more 'socially acceptable' victims. I saw the way that detective in Atlanta
treated Stacy and it hurt," replied Ally. She was getting a little emotional,
but she felt that she could trust Robert.
It was Robert's turn to nod. "I understand. But that won't happen here. I
won't tolerate it. Let's just get this bastard."
Ally walked out feeling a growing sense that they now had a good chance at
getting the killer. She couldn't wait to tell Carol!

Chapter Seven

A few days later the MNF killer task force met to discuss the latest
developments. Present were Ally Burns, Robert Ledyard, Carol Martin, Michelle
Parker, and Denise Stevenson. Denise was one of the agency's best profilers.
Carol would be in charge of surveillance and security for Ally, once the
undercover stage began.
The complete files had allowed Ally to expand her profile of the victims. As
she suspected, they were all highly computer literate and spent a lot of time
online. They were also lonely people. Several of the victims were recent
transplants to their cities. She suspected rejection from their families. She
wished she could interview their families, but that was being done by other
agents. However, she had created a list of questions about the victims that
would be used by the field agents. Additionally, she had provided some
instructions for the agents, on diplomatic ways to approach the friends and
families of the victims.
Her bait was called Victoria Hampton. Ally picked the name Victoria after a
friend's cat. Victoria had just moved to the Washington, DC area from San
Diego. Like many of the other victims, Victoria ran a business out of her
home. The agency was prepared to set up an apartment and appropriate phone
numbers and e-mail access. Ally was pleased with her creation and she hoped
the killer would find the victim equally appealing. Ally also thanked Stacy,
as she based Victoria on her life in several ways. She would refine the bait
as more information on the other victims arrived.
Ally figured that she had narrowed the choice of chat rooms down to two
possibilities. Stacy's computer showed that she spent a lot of time in a
transgendered chat room associated with a free online message service. The
service also allowed people to post their profiles. Ally noticed that several
of the victims had used this room and she had retrieved their profiles as a
model for Victoria's profile. Ally felt that this was the best hunting ground
for the killer. With Robert's permission, Ally had signed Victoria up for the
service, in addition to several other chat rooms.
Denise gave a very disturbing profile of the killer. He was very deceptive and
was able to lure his victims into a feeling of false security. She believed
that he was in his 40s, charming, and well educated. He had a job that allowed
him to travel, without causing any suspicion. He was also carrying around a
lot of anger at transgendered women, especially those who were successful and
in the middle of transitioning to fulltime. All his victims were pre-op women,
who had legally changed their names and identities.
Ally asked about the bit of dressing them up as whores. Denise believed that
was his effort to degrade them or to put them in their place.
"He may even talk them into dressing that way, as part of a sexual fantasy, or
he might force them to do it. Then he rapes and kills them. He leaves their
bodies out in the open as a final act of degradation," added Denise. "The rape
is nonsexual, and strictly another act of degrading his victim."
"What about the connection to the football games?" asked Robert.
"He may be associated with the television crew, or be a member of the press.
We have started to check the records for people that match the profile. At
last look, we had fifteen people that meet the age and size requirements,"
replied Denise. "The job gives him a wider selection of victims. He also
doesn't have to worry about being tracked by his local police. I doubt he
would kill in his home territory."
"Could he be just a hard-core sports fan?" asked Robert.
Denise shook her head, "Unlikely. Football fans tend to stick with one team.
I'm positive that the connection to the games is job related. But we will
check out that possibility."
"Size?" asked Ally.
"He's very strong physically. I must warn you not to take any chances with
him, Ally. He takes great joy in the killing," stated Denise. "I also believe
that if he is cornered he will kill you. He sees these killings as a
cleansing, so in his mind he must kill you."
 Ally nodded.
 "What do we have that links him physically to the other killings?" asked
Denise
 "We do have some DNA evidence that links three of the earlier murders. But
 nothing since killing number four," added Robert.
 "We have the type of knife, too," added Ally. "The labs confirm that the same
 sort of knife was used in all the killings after the first year. The knife
 used in Atlanta has been positively identified as the murder weapon in two of
 the other cases."
 "I think we can also narrow down the list of potential games that he will
 strike again. I've cross-referenced the dates of the games and the found there
 is a numerical code in the dates of the games. The computer punched this one
 out. The first game each year the date and the month combine to be close to
 twenty. The second killing is thirty and the last is close to forty. The
 Washington game is on the 18th of October. The Philadelphia game is on the
 29th of November. So if we miss him here, we should shift to Philadelphia
 immediately," explained Denise.
 "I disagree on one point. I think we should try for both games now. I can
 create another bio in a few days and be online in no time. Back when I ran the
 unit out in California, I've had as many as five personas going at once,"
 explained Ally.
 Robert and Denise looked at Ally in disbelief. Carol just smiled.
 "You won't be able to portray both of them. You'll need a different person to
 actually play the Philadelphia victim," replied Robert.
 "I know, but hopefully we'll get him here," stated Ally.
 "Assign the second target to one of your agents," ordered Robert.
 Ally didn't hesitate. "I'll assign Agent Donna Hollings to the case." She felt
 Donna was ready for a case of this magnitude.
 Robert nodded. "Good hunting, Ally."
 Ally smiled back. She also knew this was the most important case in her career
 so far.

 Chapter Eight

 The next several days, Ally split her time between supervising her team and
 stopping by chat rooms. The second persona was called Trish, and Ally made
 sure that she was also becoming well known in the rooms. Donna eagerly
 accepted this new task and helped to shape Trish into a living person.
 Ally knew that the odds of hooking up with the killer weren't good. It was
 different from when she was just trolling for any predator. This was like
 fishing for one specific fish. She shook off the doubts and convinced herself
 that she would get him. Ally also hoped that he was so arrogant that he
 wouldn't think that he was being hunted himself.
 She also used the Double D Gang to help Victoria become introduced into the
 room. It was a trick she used in the old days back in California. It also
 allowed her to see her trainees in action. It didn't take Ally very long to
see that they were very good.
As they chatted online, they talked about the case involving Kristie.
"I really think that TJ is the one. He's no more sixteen than I am fourteen!
He's made too many slips. Of course, Kristie hasn't noticed his mistakes! She
is falling in love with him!" quipped Donna.
"Has he mentioned meeting her yet?" Ally asked.
"No, but he has danced around the issue a few times. He jokes about showing me
around the city and things like that. Yesterday, he asked if I had ever taken
the train into the city," replied Donna. "I'm willing to bet that he asks in
the next couple of days."
"Good!" replied Ally. "I only wish that I was as lucky."
A few minutes later Donna looked up from her screen. "Are you scared?"
"About what?" asked Ally, with a smile.
"Seriously. Doesn't the idea of going undercover bother you?" replied Donna.
"I've done it many times. Remember, I was originally a detective."
"Still, this guy you're going after is a real psycho. I would think it would
bother you," asked Donna.
"It does. But I think about what would happen if I don't get him. If you had
seen that poor woman in Atlanta, then you would understand," replied Ally. "I
guess I'm doing it for her."
Donna was silent for a long time. "I've never done fieldwork. I was hired as a
techie and when they opened this position, I jumped at it. I don't know how I
would react if I saw a dead person."
"They say the first one is the worst, but I don't believe that. Stacy was the
worst one I've seen," replied Ally. She could close her eyes and picture Stacy
on the ground.
"I just want to say that you're the best boss I've ever had. I don't want to
see anything bad happen to you," added Donna. There was genuine concern in her
voice.
Ally stopped and glanced over at Donna. She noticed that the others in the
room were all staring at her and nodding. She was suddenly aware of how much
these people looked up to her. "I appreciate your concern and I promise to be
careful. Now, everyone back to work!"
"Yes, Mom!" they all chorused.
Ally smiled at the idea that they called her Mom; most of her agents were
close to her age. Still, she took it as a compliment.
Donna walked over to Ally. "I just want to thank you for assigning me to play
the second bait in the MNF case. I appreciate your confidence in me. I won't
let you down."
Ally smiled, "I know you won't, Donna."

Chapter Nine

TJ upped the ante and the following day invited fourteen-year-old Kristie to
meet him downtown on the Washington Mall. 42-year-old Thomas Jackson Anderson
was shocked when the police surrounded him and arrested him on a variety of
  charges. He was confused that the young girl he had hoped to molest was
  wearing a badge. A Washington DC policewoman played Kristie. It finally hit
  him that he was in deep trouble when the police told him that he had been
  caught by The Protector.
  Ally got a kick out of seeing Donna celebrate TJ's arrest. She understood the
  joy that went with nailing a real scumbag like TJ. It was a good day, and Ally
  tried to fish some more for the unknown predator who had killed so many
people.
  Ally decided to use the computer room, since everyone else was celebrating.
  She spent some time in a transgendered chat room. The people seemed nice
  enough, but none seemed too threatening. Ally was about to give up for the day
  when she suddenly got some interest. The person's name was Lensman. His name
  caught Ally's attention. She immediately began to record their conversation.
  He seemed interested in Victoria almost immediately.

 Lensman: Victoria, what an elegant name.
 Victoria: Thank you.
 Lensman: I was looking at your profile. You're really in DC?
 Victoria: Actually just outside the city. I live just east of the city in
 Virginia. I just moved here and it seemed like a nice area.
 They had selected an area close to the football stadium. Ally hoped it wasn't
 too obvious.
 Lensman: I know the area well. You can't be that far from the stadium.
 Victoria: I'm just a short traffic jam away.
 Lensman: LOL
 Victoria: It's not that bad. I'm just not used to the area yet.
 They proceeded to talk for the next hour. Ally slowly let out the story and he
 took it. She knew that she had no proof this was the man they were looking
 for, but it seemed to feel right. He was deliberately vague about his own
 life, while seeking very specific details about Victoria's life. That was fine
 for now. What Ally was looking for was interest in her, rather Victoria. He
 finally ended the conversation, but he told Victoria that he would love to
 talk again soon. He seemed pleased that she told him that she would like that.
 He really was charming, just like Denise said he would be.
 Lensman: I must admit that you are a Victoria. You're too classy to be a
Vicky!

 Victoria: Thank you!
 Ally logged off and was startled to see most of her team sitting behind her.
 "How long have you been there?" Ally asked, twisting around in her chair. Deep
 down she was pleased to see she had an audience.
 "For most of the last hour," replied David. "It was impressive the way you
 played him."
 "We don't know if it's him yet," interrupted Ally.
 David shook his head and smiled. "No, you know. Don't you?"
 Ally smiled back. "Let's just say that I have a strong gut feeling. Speaking
of that, lets go get some pizza to celebrate Donna's big arrest today!"
"Your treat?" asked David, with a smile.
Ally nodded. She took them out once a month or so. It was good team building.
Besides, she genuinely liked them. She called Carol on the way home and said
she'd be late. She also called Robert Ledyard and told him she might have made
first contact and that she would e-mail him the conversation. He seemed very
pleased.

Chapter Ten

That night, Ally and Carol were lying in bed together. With Ally asleep and
cuddled up next to her, Carol sensed that Ally was worried and she could
understand why. It was one thing to go undercover to catch a pedophile, but
this man they were hunting was a monster. Carol remembered how shaken Ally was
after they had caught Mac back in California. Mac was a bad guy, but he was
small time compared to the Lensman.
Carol wondered about the significance of the name. Was he a TV cameraman or a
photographer? It narrowed their search, while at the same time expanding it.
Carol put her money on his being a photographer. She had requested the press
pass list from the stadiums for the past three seasons.
Carol gently stroked Ally's hair as she slept. She loved seeing the vulnerable
side of Ally, but at the same time she worried greatly over this
investigation. If everything went well, they would grab Lensman as soon as he
made contact with Ally. He was too dangerous to be left alone with her. The
sting might seem relatively simple, but Carol thought of a thousand things
that could go wrong. The idea of her Ally being trapped in a room with that
monster made her cringe. Carol knew that the agency had lost an agent in an
operation like this several years ago. She hoped that Ally was ignorant of
that event.
At first, she had wondered if her affair with Ally was the smart thing to do.
Soon, she couldn't imagine life without her. Ally was the light of her life.
If anything were to happen, she didn't know what she would do. One thing was
clear, she would insist on the selection of the backup team personally!
Carol returned to more pleasurable thoughts regarding Ally. She was so pleased
as she watched Ally blossom and bloom into a beautiful and confident young
woman. It wasn't the physical changes that Carol marveled at; rather it was
Ally's personality and demeanor. At times, Carol had trouble believing that
Ally had ever been a male. Even Ally's parents were accepting of the change
and had welcomed them into their home. She felt a sense of pride in the
agency's treatment of Ally. Initially, they had been apprehensive to even
bring Ally in for an interview, let alone let her head an important new
department. But Ally had won them over and was projected to be on the fast
track to the top.
Carol closed her eyes and cuddled up next to Ally, drifting off into a deep
and restful sleep.
 Chapter Eleven

  There weren't any other contacts with the Lensman that weekend. That just
  confirmed Ally's suspicions that he was their suspect. If he were working
  football games, it would be unlikely that he would come online to chat.
  Ally studied the interview sheets with the friends and relatives of the
  victims. While she read them all, she paid particular attention to the ones
  related to Stacy. Soon she had a pretty clear picture of Stacy's life. From
  what she could tell, Stacy hadn't dated much and might even have been a
  virgin. In fact, most of the victims were not overly sexual active.
  Later that afternoon, Ally was sitting in her office talking to Denise. She
  wanted to learn as much as possible about the killer she was hunting. Denise
  felt that he would be very professional, if not obsessive about his
  profession. He took his job very seriously and it would be the one thing he
  held above his calling to kill. She explained that he most likely saw what he
  was doing as a sacred task, given to him to cleanse the world.
  "But why professional women? And why dress them as prostitutes?" asked Ally.
  Carol was right, Denise was the best! Their discussions really helped Ally
  gain an insight into this monster. Ally took a sip of her Diet Coke.
  "He may believe that they have stepped out of their role in life. Sort of like
  a caste system. Prostitution is an acceptable job, but nothing respectable,"
  explained Denise.
  "That makes sense, in a twisted crazy sort of way," quipped Ally. "So what
  about the numbers?"
  "That's a mystery. It may be some code or message that he is sending those who
  tasked him. It may just be a coincidence, but every killing falls into the
  range of the code. Even if we get to question him, I doubt it will make
sense."
  "What do you mean by that?" asked Ally.
  "I don't think he'll give up easily. Ally, I've profiled many serial killers,
  but this one could be the worst. He's intelligent and strong. Don't let your
  guard down with him, even for a second," replied Denise in a very serious
  tone. "He doesn't see killing you as a crime, rather he thinks he will be
  rewarded for doing it."
  Ally nodded. She had recently purchased a new sidearm. Her semi-automatic was
  a good field weapon, even though she had never fired it in the line of duty.
  But, she wanted something that would be a real man-stopper. Most big handguns
  would be too awkward to handle in a close situation. So, she had bought a
  short-barreled 38, with hollow point bullets. It would allow her to defend
  herself at a closer range. She hoped that it would become a waste of money.
  By Tuesday, Ally made contact again with the Lensman. They talked for several
  hours. He seemed interested in her career and that she ran her own business.
  He still didn't give out much about his own life, except that he traveled a
  lot. He explained that he had always felt attracted to transgendered women.
  By Friday, he was getting more personal with Victoria. They talked about
  romantic dinners and going to jazz bars. He then made his first move.
Lensman: I know this may be a bit rash, but I'll be in the Washington area in
few weeks. Would you like to get together? We can meet somewhere public, if
that would make you feel safer.
Victoria: I'd like that. When're you coming?
Lensman: Two weeks. I have to work at the football game. But I'd love to go
out to dinner with you.
Victoria: That would be great! Thanks!!
Lensman: So, may I have your number?
Ally smiled. "He just took the bait," she said out loud to herself.
Victoria: Yes, but you must tell me your name first!
Lensman: Call me Scott.
Ally gave him the number of Victoria's apartment and cell phone. Both phones
were right in front of her in the computer center. They were both set up to
trace numbers and to record all conversations.
Lensman: Great. I'll call you next week. I have a plane to catch. I'll talk to
you next week. By the way, do you have a pic?
Victoria: Sure. Do you have one in trade?
Lensman: I'll send you one when I get back home.
Ally sent it to his e-mail address in the chat room. She knew that it would be
untraceable, but they would still try.
Ally also knew he'd try the numbers just to see if they worked. Victoria's
home phone was set up with an answering machine. At least the telemarketers
had her number smiled Ally.
Ally went to Robert's office and reported her latest contact. He seemed
pleased.
"By the way, are you ready to move in to your new apartment? I want you living
there starting this weekend, just in case he stakes you out early," remarked
Robert. "Don't worry, it's a nice condo. We're borrowing it from another
agency. It's already wired for audio and video."
"I hope that it's turned off, for now!" quipped Ally.
He smiled. "It won't be activated until we're ready. We'll be in the condo
next to yours. You'll be under surveillance, the whole time."
"I'll go check it out this weekend," replied Ally.
"Here are the keys and directions. We've already hooked up a duplicate phone
for Victoria. By the way, you're doing a great job as bait," he smiled.
Ally smiled back. His praise meant a lot to her.
"Just remember, you're NOT expendable. Wiggle, but don't get bit!" he added.
Ally drove out to her temporary home. Robert was right; the condo was pretty
nice. She suspected that it was actually a safe house for the spooks. She was
impressed with the furnishings. The agency had set up an office in one
bedroom. Everything looked pretty authentic. Ally checked the fridge and was
pleased that it was nicely stocked. There was also a nice bottle of Merlot on
the counter with a card.
Ally opened it up and read the card.
Ally,
I heard you like a nice bottle of wine. This is one of my favorites. Hope you
enjoy it.
Robert
She was definitely moved by the thoughtful gift. She would share it with Carol
that evening. Ally unpacked her bags and explored the house. In every room
there was a panic button. They were presently marked with yellow stickies.
They looked like regular touch light switches. But they would immediately
alert the surveillance team next door that something was wrong. Ally memorized
their locations and removed the stickies. The door was also specially rigged
for quick opening from the outside, even if the deadbolt was closed on the
inside.
Ally checked the answering machine and was pleased to find a short message
from the Lensman. He just said hi and that he'd call her next week. His voice
sounded very calm and pleasant, just like Denise said it would.
Ally thought that, other then being separated from Carol, this wasn't a bad
setup.
Carol was arriving in a few hours. They couldn't be seen coming in together.
For the next few weeks Ally would be Victoria Hampton She would work out of
the condo. The agency had set up delivery/pick-up of packages and mail. To
anyone looking in, Victoria would be seen hard at work at her consulting job.
As Victoria was new and a bit shy, Ally didn't have to worry about her
neighbors, most of whom seemed like professionals who worked in the city. It
was a nice anonymous complex, where no one knew anyone and everyone minded
their own business.
Carol arrived and they had a nice dinner together. They didn't talk about the
separation and the potential things that could go wrong. Carol would be
spending a lot of the next few weeks in the surveillance condo. Instead, they
talked about the vacation they would be taking when this mission was over.
They both agreed the wine was excellent as they carried their glasses and the
half-empty bottle into the bedroom.

Chapter Twelve

The next two weeks flew by very quickly, as Ally cemented her friendship with
Scott. He opened up a little to her and claimed to be from Chicago. Ally knew
that the agency was checking the backgrounds of all the press. They had around
eight suspects that fit into the profile. None were named Scott or were from
Chicago.
Scott called her a few times. He never stayed on long enough to get a good
trace, although they found he was calling from the Midwest. His calls were
short, but eventually they traced one call to a payphone at O'Hare Airport in
Chicago.
On Friday morning, Ally took her new gun to the range and practiced shooting.
She had had been using it since she bought it, but still wasn't totally
comfortable with it. The range was used by all Federal agencies and you never
knew who'd be using it. She was using a target at very short range, and was
focusing on putting her shots into center mass of the target. Ally knew that
if it came down to using her gun she would have to shoot to kill. The 38 was
very different from her service weapon. It had a bigger kick and due to it's
short barrel, was less accurate. Still at ten feet or less it should be
accurate enough, she thought. A shotgun would be better, but those were very
hard to hide under a sweater, she thought with a laugh.
Another agent came down and watched her shoot. He then came over while she was
reloading.
"May I ask you a question?" he asked.
Ally turned around and smiled. "Sure."
"I assume there's a reason for the range you are shooting at and the type of
gun you're using. You don't see many 38s out there anymore," he stated.
Ally ignored the opportunity to correct him, as that wasn't a question. "If I
have to shoot, it will be in close, and I won't be able to use my normal
semiautomatic. I also want something with more kick."
He saw the box of hollow-point rounds and nodded knowingly. "Undercover ops.
Good choice for a weapon. They're very dependable. I'd like to recommend a
better way to hold it."
Ally readily agreed, as she wasn't really comfortable with the weapon yet.
He borrowed her gun and demonstrated the technique. He then positioned Ally
and had her try it. Ally was impressed, as her accuracy was much better.
Ally turned and gave him the thumbs up sign. "Thank you. By the way, I'm Ally
Burns."
He smiled back. "Pleased to meet you, Ally. I'm Steve Williams." He then
turned and walked away.
Ally returned to her practice. She soon felt confident with the gun and her
ability to hit what she was shooting at. She silently thanked Steve Williams
for his help. Scott could be arriving any day and he might even already be in
town, she thought. She knew that she was under surveillance and it gave her
strength.
Back in the condo, Ally took on her persona as Victoria. The game wasn't until
Monday, Scott had said that he might be in town sometime Sunday.
Ally thought about the meeting held earlier this week. The tactical team
didn't think there would be a problem until the end of the game and Ally
totally disagreed. Carol let Ally state her argument without interrupting.
Thanks to Denise, Ally had a lot of insight into the killer. Ally argued that
Scott would act before the game, not afterwards. If Scott worked the game,
then he wouldn't have much time to grab and assault his victim. Even if Scott
left immediately at the end of the game, it would still take him a good hour
to get to the condo, due to traffic. Stacy was killed only two hours after the
end of the game, which included time to transport her to the carwash, which
was fifteen miles from her apartment Additionally, she had rope burns on her
wrists. Ally was positive that Scott had abducted her earlier and then kept
her tied up. He finished her off after the game. That meant that he might
strike as soon as Sunday. Her arguments paid off. Carol stated that the team
would have two agents ready the entire weekend. Ally appreciated that Carol
let her have her say.
There was a knock at the door and she was surprised to see Carol standing
there.
"What's up?" asked Ally as she welcomed Carol.
Carol walked in and shut the door. "I have a present for you." She then pulled
a Kevlar vest out of a shopping bag. "Robert's orders. You need to wear this
from now on."
"It won't do much good against a knife," replied Ally. "Besides, it will look
bulky through my clothes!" A regular vest had only limited protection from
knives, although it was good against slashes.
"Wear a sweater or a sweatshirt. Ally, this isn't a request," replied Carol.
"Besides, Denise feels he would probably carry a gun too."
Ally nodded and slipped off her top. The vest wasn't that bad, but it would be
useless if he stabbed her like he did Stacy, she thought. She slipped her top
back over it. It showed, but she would be able to get away with wearing a
sweater over it.
"Happy?" smiled Ally as she posed for Carol. One of the things she hated about
the vest was that it squashed her small breasts down.
"Yes, I am," replied Carol, who then leaned over and kissed Ally. She smiled
inside at the fact that Ally sometimes acted like a teenager.
"I'll be so glad when this is over!" exclaimed Ally. She plopped down on the
couch.
Carol sat down next to her. "I have some more bad news. I can't see you until
this operation is over. We can't risk tipping him off. I won't be very far
away, I'll be in the surveillance condo next door."
Ally looked instantly sad.
Carol slipped her arm around Ally. "Don't worry. We'll make up for lost time
when this is all over. I'm so proud of you!" exclaimed Carol. She then pulled
Ally close to her.
They held each other for a long time, as neither wanted to let go. The phone
interrupted their affection.
Ally picked it up and answered. It was Scott.
"Hey, Victoria, I'll be in town tomorrow. What do you say to dinner tomorrow
night?" he asked.
"Sounds lovely," replied Victoria.
Carol noticed the subtle change in Ally as she portrayed Victoria. She still
marveled at how quickly Ally could assume a new persona.
"Where would you like to go?" asked Scott
Ally gave him the address of a restaurant twenty minutes away. They had good
food and there were several excellent surveillance spots nearby. The bad thing
was that there was a lot of traffic in the area. Additionally, there were
several strip malls in the area, all of which could allow for the killer to
observe Ally in relative safety. Still it was the best they had in the area.
Scott agreed and said that he would make the reservations. They agreed to meet
there at 8:00 PM.
After she hung up the phone, Ally gave Carol a big smile. It was really
happening.
Chapter Thirteen

Saturday night, Ally pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. She was
wearing a red sweater, black skirt, and knee-high boots. The sweater did a
good job of hiding her vest and the wire she was wearing. Outside the
restaurant, agents were waiting for the signal to swoop in and grab the
suspect. Ally walked up and waited in the front of the restaurant for nearly
twenty minutes. In her mind, she played out every worst-case scenario. Had he
been tipped off? Was he even the killer? She stayed calm and waited.
"Excuse me, are you Ms. Hamilton?" asked a man. His nametag identified him as
the manager.
"I'm Ms. Hampton," replied Ally.
He looked down at the paper and shook his head and smiled. "Oops, sorry my
mistake. Ms Hampton, your date just phoned and asked us to inform you that he
won't be able to make it tonight. He sends his deepest apologies and will call
you later."
"Thank you," replied Ally. She walked back to her car and drove home. There
was still a chance that he was interested. Still, she felt disappointed as she
was hoping that this would be all over by now.
Ally was too caught up in her thoughts to notice the black sedan that
carefully followed her back to the condo.
Back inside, Ally made herself a cup of tea and logged onto her computer. She
would have preferred a glass of wine, but she resolved not to drink until the
operation was over. The ringing of her phone shattered the room's silence.
Ally fumbled for the phone. "Hello?"
"Sorry, hon. My rent-a-car broke down. I promise to make it up to you,"
apologized Scott.
"That's okay. I appreciate you having the manager contact me," she replied.
She tried to keep him on the line, hoping they would get a trace. Scott seemed
genuinely sorry about missing dinner. Ally reminded herself that Denise said
he would be smooth.
"I have things to do tomorrow, but I'll call you when I can. I promise that
I'll give you a night that you'll never forget!" he promised cheerfully.
Ally felt a cold chill run down her spine!
After he hung up, Ally called up Robert and told him everything. He agreed
that they were close. They didn't get an exact trace, but they knew he was now
in town. She asked him if they'd had any luck in narrowing down the killer.
"We're checking out two very promising leads. Hopefully, we'll get him before
you meet him," replied Robert.
"I hope so. I'll stay on guard," she replied.
"Hang in there, Ally," he comforted. "I'm very proud of you."
"Thanks," replied Ally.
Before Ally went to bed, she checked the alarm system and then her gun. She
then drifted off into a light, restless sleep. Ally kept waking up at the
slightest noise. More than ever she realized how much she missed Carol.
Chapter Fourteen

Sunday passed by slowly. Ally knew she was a target and spent most of the day
trying to relax and act normal. The surveillance system was activated and Ally
knew that she was being watched by the team next door. Robert told her that
Scott was using a stolen cell phone. They would keep it activated, so he
wouldn't get suspicious.
Ally was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt that hid her Kevlar vest. The
sweatshirt also hid her 38, which was in its holster on her left hip. It was
damn uncomfortable, but Ally thought about the discomfort of being attacked.
She practiced drawing the gun and found that she could get it out pretty fast
and she smiled thinking about the team next door watching her practice.
Ally bounced back and forth between her computer and the TV, but she found
comfort in neither. She felt like the tethered goat in a tiger trap. Reading
the Sunday paper relaxed her a little.
Ally had drifted off to sleep in the living room when she heard her doorbell
ring. Ally woke up and looked outside, it was already dark. She got up off the
couch, looked through the peephole, and saw it was a pizza deliveryman. She
recognized the company, as they were regulars in the complex.
Without thinking, Ally, cracked the door open to send him away. Keeping the
chain on the door, she opened the door to explain that he had the wrong
address. Before she could speak, the man slammed against the door, snapping
the chain and knocking Ally to the floor. He was inside in a flash and slammed
the door shut behind him. He quickly twisted the deadbolt shut and turned and
flashed a wickedly evil smile at Ally.
"At last we meet in person," he grinned. He set a bag on the floor next to the
door. His grin was pure evil. He showed absolutely no fear of her.
Ally was on her back and trying to back away. She was in a poor position to
grab her weapon, and she had to hope the team next door had seen what
happened. Scott was standing maybe six feet away. She slid backwards and was
sitting on the floor with her back against the wall, both literally and
figuratively! Ally also cursed her stupidity for opening the door, that
mistake might cost her her life.
"I'm sorry Victoria, but you need to be punished. You violated the rules. We
can't have people like you thinking that you can hold respectable jobs. This
isn't personal Victoria. I'm just doing my job," Scott stated in a calm voice.
"Now, we can do this easy or hard. It's up to you!" He was holding a large
vicious looking knife at his side. It looked very similar to the weapon that
Ally had seen in Stacy's chest. Its blade was six inches long and was two
inches wide. He twisted it back and forth so that the reflection danced on
Ally's body.
From the look on Scott's face he enjoyed intimidating his victims. If the
twisting of the knife was designed to intimidate Ally, then it failed
miserably. In a flash, Ally made her move and drew her gun and cocked the
hammer. "I was about to say the same thing!" she stated, in a firm controlled
voice. The gun was pointed directly at Scott's chest. "Easy or hard? Your
choice."
Scott froze in total shock. It was as if the idea of one of his victims
fighting back had never occurred to him. He stared at the small woman on the
floor and the way she gripped the handgun. The gun was held rock steady in her
hands. Something was very wrong, he thought.
Ally sensed his surprise and decided to further confuse him. She knew that she
had to delay him, until help arrived. She glanced up and saw that she was ten
feet from the nearest panic button that was too far. If she made a dash for
it, he would kill her before she pressed the button.
"Put that away. I promise that I won't hurt you," he stated softly. He
recovered from his initial shock and began slowly moving closer to Ally. He
smiled at her. It was a soft comforting smile designed to make her ease up and
let her guard down. He lowered the knife to his side, to make it less
threatening. He smiled to himself, as he knew he could have in her chest in an
instant, if he could just get close enough.
"Nice knife. It looks a lot like the one you left back in Atlanta last month,"
stated Ally sarcastically, as she began to get up. Her back was against the
wall and she slowly began to stand up.
Scott froze and he glared at Ally. How did she know that? He decided that he
better kill her now and get it over with. Something wasn't right! He gradually
moved a bit closer.
"If you move one inch closer I'll shoot. Drop the knife! You're under arrest!"
exclaimed Ally. Come on, dammit! Wake up over there, she thought. Where was
the assault team?
"Under arrest?" Scott replied incredulously. He was in total shock, but that
was turning into rage. It was bad enough that this bitch was threatening him,
now it turned out she was a cop and had set him up! He was calculating the
distance to Ally. All wasn't lost. He figured one good lunge and he would have
her.
"I'm a federal officer and you're under arrest. Drop….the…..knife! NOW!"
ordered Ally. She began to slide up the wall. The gun was steady in her hands
and was kept pointed straight at his chest.
What happened next, occurred in just a few seconds, although it seemed like
hours to those involved. Without warning, the front door crashed to the
ground, popped off its hinges by the security team. As soon as the door hit
the floor, two agents entered the house with guns drawn. The sound of the door
slamming against the floor distracted both Scott and Ally for a split second.
Scott saw the two armed agents and immediately realized that it was all over.
He turned back towards Ally and flashed a smile of pure malevolence at her.
The agents were screaming at him to drop the knife and to freeze. Ally
remembered Denise's description of the killer, and how he wouldn't surrender,
so she never let her guard down. She kept the gun pointed at him, ready to
shoot. Scott relaxed, as if he was about to surrender and then he lunged at
Ally, the knife aimed at her chest.
His attack was so swift and violent that he was on Ally in a flash. Ally tried
to retreat from Scott's attack; but the wall blocked her escape, but instinct
made her shift out of the way. Like many in law enforcement, Ally had never
fired her gun in the line of duty. During all her practice, Ally wondered if
she really could shoot another human being. However, Scott's attack left her
with no time to think. Ally instinctively pulled the trigger and fired
repeatedly at Scott.
The knife plunged deep into Ally's right shoulder, almost impaling her to the
wall. Scott was knocked back by the impact of the rounds. As he fell back, he
pulled the knife out of Ally. She screamed and fell to the floor, slumped
against the wall The 38 dropped out of her hands and clunked on the floor
beside her. Ally screamed as her shoulder felt like it was on fire. She
glanced down and saw that a steady stream of blood was flowing out of the
vicious gash. She tried to reach up and stop it with her left hand, but was
too weak. She felt her life seep out of her wound and began to sink into to
oblivion. So this is how it ends, she thought.
"Ally! Wake up! Stay with me!" exclaimed a male voice.
His words caused Ally to regain consciousness. She felt someone pressing
against her wound. Weakly, she looked up at the agent applying pressure to her
wound. Ally was fighting the intense pain and her tears, but she was able to
momentarily focus on his words, even though she couldn't even remember his
name.
"Hang in there, Ally! Stay awake. It's a good clean wound. I know it hurts,
but you'll live!" he stated. "Help will be here soon." He kept his hands
pressed tightly against the wound.
He was actually lying to her, as the wound was very deep and he was worried
that she might bleed to death. Judging by the blood loss, the knife had done a
lot of damage.
Ally nodded, but the pain was so intense. She was fighting to stay conscious,
and was losing. She stared at Scott. He was lying on his back and was
breathing slowly. To her utter amazement, he wasn't dead. But, he wasn't going
anywhere either! She felt a sense of satisfaction knowing she had stopped the
monster, before he had got her. She began to drift out again.
The sound of Carol's voice brought her back. "Ally, stay awake! Don't you dare
leave me!"
Ally tried to smile at the woman who meant so much to her. She also wanted to
say goodbye, but now she lacked the strength to talk. She sensed that Carol
was holding her, but it was too hard to think. Everything seemed so foggy,
even Carol's voice seemed to fade away, as she surrendered to the darkness and
slipped into unconsciousness.

Carol held Ally as the EMTs arrived and worked frantically to save her. The
wound was deep and Ally had lost a lot of blood. Carol glared at the monster
lying on the floor and she hoped that he died. They got Ally stabilized enough
to transport to the ER. Carol never let go of Ally's left hand.
When Ally finally woke up she was in a hospital bed. Her right shoulder hurt
like hell, but she was alive!
"Good afternoon," announced Carol, who had a look of relief on her face.
"Afternoon?" asked Ally, groggily. She then remembered what had happened.
Carol explained to Ally that she had been in surgery for five hours. "They
must have given you some good drugs because you've slept soundly all night,"
replied Carol. "It was a nasty wound, but the doctors think that you should
eventually recover completely."
"Thanks for being here," replied Ally weakly.
Carol took Ally's left hand. No words were necessary.

Chapter Fifteen

A week later, Ally was home, sitting in her bed, with her right arm in a
sling. There was constant dull ache from her shoulder. Ally was trying to ease
herself off the pain pills, so she was trying to adjust to the discomfort. In
some ways, the wound was more of an annoyance now than anything, as it made
typing very difficult. She had her laptop in front of her and she was slowly
typing away with her left hand. Ally had already talked to a physical
therapist, who had told her that she would have a long recovery ahead of her.
Ally was working on her final report. It was taking forever to complete as she
could only work for a short time before tiring. Additionally, Carol wouldn't
let her exhaust herself. More than ever, Ally knew how much they meant to each
other.
Ally was by no means lonely, as many co-workers and friends had stopped by
since her release from the hospital. Their home looked like a floral shop. She
even got a big bouquet from the Atlanta PD! While Ally appreciated the fact
that so many people thought highly about her, she would have preferred that
they had brought wine, like Michelle had! Carol wouldn't let her have any wine
until she was off the pain pills, so she made do with some excellent chai tea.
All kidding aside, Ally knew she was very lucky. She was also amazed that from
the time Scott broke down the door to when she shot him it was less than a
minute. It seemed more like hours! She had replayed it in her mind many times.
She felt relieved when Robert told her that she had done almost everything
right. Thankfully, Robert didn't admonish her too badly for opening the door
to Scott. Ally was still kicking herself over that; it was such a rookie
mistake! Ally ran her hand over her right shoulder. There would be a long ugly
scar that would serve as a lifelong reminder of this case and her mistake.
Ally also knew she was very lucky. The wound was deep and she was very
fortunate that she had twisted away at the last second. She shook her head to
clear the thoughts away of what might have been. It was a fair tradeoff as the
killer was behind bars, rationalized Ally. Still, the next time she wouldn't
commit such a stupid mistake!
Robert Ledyard, while upset that Ally was hurt, was pleased that they had
caught The MNF killer. To his and everyone's amazement, Scott had survived.
Any of Ally's shots should have killed him, but somehow he survived. One of
the shots had shattered his spine and left him paralyzed. Robert fully
expected the defense attorney to use this as an excuse to avoid the death
penalty. As for Ally, he would keep his eye on her. She had great potential,
he thought.
Scott, AKA, The Lensman, was actually Brian Steven Wilcox, age 42. He was a
respected sports photographer and had won several awards. He was also a
twisted psychopath. His arrest had made headline news. Of course, everyone who
knew him was very shocked by the crimes, as Brian was such a nice quiet man!
Denise and several other agents interrogated Brian. He described his job as
being a punisher. Brian claimed to understand his rights and calmly refused a
lawyer. He then freely admitted to killing all the women they knew about,
along with five others. Brian stated that the earlier five killings were his
audition. He believed that those killings won him his position as a punisher.
He saw no reason to lie, as he was actually proud about what he had done.
His reasons for the murders were very disturbing. Brian believed that
transgendered women were the perfect whores and that was their sole purpose in
life. They could please real men and not get pregnant. Any woman who left her
preordained career as a whore had to be punished, and punished severely. The
brutality of the killing was meant as a warning to other transgendered women.
His job was to carry out the killings. The numbers were his signal that he was
doing the job assigned to him. He firmly believed that he would be released
soon to complete his work. He biggest concern was whether of not he would be
well enough someday to continue his job.
The bag contained a set of clothes that he had planned to use to transform
Ally into the whore he believed she was destined to be. Additionally there was
a coil of rope and a gag. He obviously planned to leave Ally somewhere as
degrading as the place he had left Stacy. He explained that his victims had
been left tied up for a day, to contemplate their crimes, before he dressed
them for their executions. Along the way he would rape them to help them
understand what they done wrong. Instead, the contents of the bag would be
used to get him charged with murder, along with the evidence found in his
apartment in Milwaukee. Additionally, the charges included assault and
attempted murder of a federal agent.
Actually, there would be no trial, as Brian freely confessed to all fifteen
killings. His court appointed lawyers were trying to get him declared legally
insane. However, the judge ruled that he was sane and that his confession was
legal. The government prosecutor declared that he would seek the death penalty
in the penalty phase. Ally was just happy he was off the streets.
The media coverage of the case was extensive. There was a tabloid feeding
frenzy concerning the capture of the MNF Killer. One undisclosed police source
mentioned "The Protector" and HIS assistance in the capture of the nation's
latest serial killer. Ally found the idea that the press automatically figured
that "The Protector" was male insulting. This in turn, spawned separate
articles on the fear of "The Protector" that was spreading among sexual
predators. It was concluded that "The Protector" was a creation of law
enforcement and not an actual person, although; several networks were thinking
of developing a fall series based on the idea of an Internet investigator.
Ally did get a slight laugh out of that.
Epilog

A few weeks later Carol and Ally were standing in a cemetery just outside
Atlanta, Georgia. In Ally's mind there was one last task to complete in order
to close the case of the MNF killer. Ally gently laid a pot of flowers on
Stacy's grave. Even though she had never met Stacy, Ally felt a close kinship
with her.
Ally leaned down, and holding back tears, whispered, "We got him, Stacy, and
we couldn't have done it without you. "
Ally stood up and felt Carol's arm around her. "Come on, let's go home!"
stated Carol softly.
Ally nodded and smiled back at her protector. She hoped that Stacy's spirit
would find peace now.

The End

								
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