I have this idea that there’s an immortal currently serving a sentence for murder. After all, these immortals are constantly going around killing each other. Surely they get caught by the police every so often. Kalas certainly did. Now, most immortals get out pretty quickly. Either they escape or they “commit suicide,” or, I suppose, some other immortal kills them in order to keep the secret or get revenge or some such. However, not this one. Let’s say it’s Methos (because I love him):
He was, for many years, a serial killer and a mass murderer and all sorts of bad things. Then he stopped… which anyone who watches Criminal Minds would know is highly unlikely. For serial killers, killing is a real addiction and there’s no AA for killing. However, Methos had time on his side and he did manage to get control of his addiction and managed to get away from his enablers/brothers.
When we first meet him in canon, he tells MacLeod that he hasn’t killed anyone in several centuries. And MacLeod thinks that’s terrible and in the next few years, Methos is back to killing occasionally. Only bad guys, sure, but still, killing. Feeding into his addiction.
So then some stupid headhunter challenges Methos and Methos kills him. In the recent past, Methos would have run away or hid or something. Now he’s killing some stupid immortal for no other reason than a challenge? He realizes that he’s backsliding severely. So he doesn’t even bother hiding from the police. He admits to everything the police accuse him of—which probably includes all the beheadings that he could possibly be accused of—and goes quietly to prison as a serial killer.
It’s a time for him to meditate and get himself back under control. Looking like a somewhat innocent academic, the other prisoners think he’ll be easy pickings regardless of his crimes. He quickly proves them wrong. Prison life turns out to be just as nice as the last time he was in a monastery. Maybe he teaches a few of the other inmates how to speak ancient Babylonian, which later really weirds out the distance learning people. (“Your second language is Babylonian?”)
Because Methos admitted to everything and took the sentence that was offered, there was no big trial and no big media storm. However, it was still big news within the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit.
After all, they’ve long known that there’s some sort of cult that goes around killing people by cutting off their heads. It’s been around for as long as there have been records and the killings happen everywhere around the world. However, this is the first time that a member of the cult hasn’t escaped detainment either through outright escape or through suicide. They desperately want to speak to Adam Pierson about why he is a member of this cult, why the cult kills, how the victims are picked, etc.
Adam Pierson is incredibly uninterested in answering any of these questions. He won’t agree to any interviews. He will, however, agree to conversations, if they’re interested.
All of the BAU profilers have tried conversing with him at one point or another. Most of them give up on getting anything out of him. Dr. Spencer Reid mostly gave up on getting anything out of him, too, but doesn’t stop visiting because the conversations themselves are enjoyable. His reasons for killing are the only thing that Adam Pierson is not willing to discuss. Everything else is open for discussion and it turns out that Pierson is the only person that Reid has ever met that can keep up with his own conversational tangents. (Among other things, Pierson knows all sorts of things about medieval poetry and about dimensia. Reid has wondered if there was a way to include his mother in some of these conversations but hasn’t figured out how. Yet.)
The other BAU agents keep a wary eye on this burgeoning friendship but life goes on.
So too do the occasional beheadings. However, mostly beheadings happen years and cities apart.
Then there’s a killing spree. One beheading after another in a clear trail across the county, each death only weeks or maybe days apart. The trail is heading towards Los Angeles. The Los Angeles FBI office is notified and the BAU are brought in to work with Don Eppes.
Professor Charlie Eppes is introduced. The BAU already know all about Charlie, actually. He made some amazing breakthroughs in the way they track killers. He is very well thought of.
“Doctor Eppes. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Your work has been a wonderful resource for us.”
“Thanks! Working with Don has given me all sorts of first hand experience tracking specific killers but I’m glad the wider applications have turned out to be useful.”
“Very useful. In fact, they’ve improved our rate of capture by…” (I have to think of some appropriately Reid like measurement here.)
Don meanwhile is left gaping. He always liked impressing people with his little brother, but it was always surprising when they were already impressed. He hadn’t known that Charlie was working with the BAU.
However, this case is proving quite difficult. Charlie has long since created a tracker to try to figure out the beheading cult. It does find patterns but this spree is one of the weird outliers, like what happened in Paris some years back, it doesn’t fit with the normal pattern of things.
“I have an idea.” Dr. Reid says, but then doesn’t continue.
“Well, what is the idea?”
“I think that Dr. Eppes should come with me to meet Adam Pierson.”
“No. Absolutely not.” Don’s denial is immediate.
“Who’s Adam Pierson?” Charlie asks.
“Adam Pierson is the only member of the beheading cult to allow himself to be imprisoned. Why do you think Charlie should meet him, Reid?” Hotchner doesn’t see the benefit but knows that Reid’s ideas are often good.
“I visit him regularly and we talk about pretty much everything. He’s a very, very intelligent person. He doesn’t talk about the cult, but I think that’s partly because I wouldn’t be able to hold up my side of the conversation about it. I don’t know enough applied mathematics as it relates to predicting human behavior to really discuss it, but that's Charlies expertise, Adam can’t possibly know more about it than Charlie. So, if Charlie started discussing his analysis of the cult, I think Pierson might be willing to discuss the analysis, at least.”
“Your analysis assumes a closed system. That the only people are cult members and potential victims. With smaller groups, one killer or maybe two working together, then a simplified world view can work. However, with larger groups, there’s more social interaction both within and without the group. There’s the cult itself, and the members within it, and then there’s people who know about the cult. Some of them hate it and want all the members to die. Others love it, and want to become members themselves. Oftentimes, the same MO is kept, and the only difference is in the choice of victim.”
“But the victims all vary. There aren’t any patterns in the victims.” Dr. Reid pointed out.
“There are always patterns,” Charlie corrected him. “These patterns are just going to be subtle. But it’s good to know that there are at least three separate groups of victims. And at least one of those groups must be members of the cult.”
“Or their friends and family.”
“The problem you have is that your killer isn’t part of the cult.”
“At a guess, he wants to be, he knows someone who is, and he thinks that if he just kills a bunch of people, then somehow that will get him in. It doesn’t work that way, and no, I’m not going to tell you how it does work.”
Anyway, the main tension revolves around this friendship between Adam Pierson, Spencer Reid, and Charlie Eppes that makes all of their friends and family uncomfortable.
Even Joe Dawson and Duncan MacLeod and maybe even Amanda are telling Methos that being friends with such smart crime stoppers is a good way to get caught for real, and endanger all other immortals when he goes get caught.
Spencer and Charlie’s friends just don’t want them to get involved with a killer.
But there begins to be questions about if Adam Pierson really is a killer. Sure he admitted to everything but, looking at some of the crimes he admitted to, he almost certainly didn’t do them all.
Then either the spree killer (who’s not immortal) or an immortal (who thinks Methos is helping the FBI to track other immortals) attacks Methos in prison. And since it’s the one place that Methos can’t really run away from easily, Methos has to protect himself by killing again. Hmph. Maybe prison wasn’t such a great place to hide in after all.
I’m not sure if he stays or gets himself out after that.
But regardless, the two FBI groups have caught their spree killer, have gotten closer to a good analysis of the beheading cult than they had before, and yet are left with more mysteries. (Nice clean endings being for authors who are nice and kind and not sadistic in their love of taunting readers with future potentials. Ah well.)