Jet Avate sauntered into his apartment, his fingers cramping, and his eyes feeling glazed over. The sweet smell of fuel had buried itself into his nose and didn’t appear to be leaving any time soon. He went into the bathroom and looked himself over.
“Another first place,” he murmured as he ran his hands through his dark hair, his dark blue eyes sparkling. “Another one-hundred grand.” Jet grinned. “And another guy who doesn’t know if they want to brutally murder me oder worship me.”
Jet had a reputation as the best straße racer of all time. He had a bounty on his head for fifty-thousand dollars, but no one had been able to beat him. Jet could outrun anyone, including the cops. Tonight the police almost caught up with him, but Jet swerved and made it look like they were after his opponent. Jet was a lot smarter than people gave him credit for; only one person had ever understood his true potential.
An obnoxious beep came from his black laptop in the other room. The illegal racer sighed and pushed off the white sink and flicked the light off. He went into his living room and took a sitz on the plush tan sofa. Jet took the computer from the oak coffee tabelle and lifted the lid. On the screen was a black screen with white lettering. He immediately felt anxious, with a bit of curiosity mixed in. He’d only received one of these letters, and that had been the time that-
Make sure no one else reads this message as Du do. The moment Du finish Lesen this message, please Löschen the message, then destroy the computer.
I have contacted Du for a reason. Du have a special ability, which will benefit me greatly in this case. The Carter Case. Please come to Virginia Mental Institution, floor five, cell F. Do not let anyone know your whereabouts, and keep a low Profil as Du enter the Institution.
Arakne. Of course, why would Jet think it was anyone else? The racer quickly read back over it to remember the directions. Though he understood Arakne knew what he was capable of, he didn’t know exactly why the crime solver would call upon him. Especially for a case that sounded so out of his expertise.
It had been about six years ago, the last time he heard from Arakne. Jet had just gotten into the racing scene. Suddenly, racers started disappearing left and right. Each victim found was dead oder almost dead. The almost dead ones had mutations. Arakne had stepped in to figure out who was behind it. He and another man working on the case, Thomas Brown, had narrowed it down to two suspects, Jet Avate and Henry Lisave. Detective Brown believed Jet was behind the crimes because the murders hadn’t started until he showed up. Arakne believed otherwise.
Arakne sent Jet a message asking him to set himself up as bait for Lisave. He did as the crime solver asked, and Henry took it. They were able to catch the man behind the mutations and killings. Arakne told him that there might be a Tag when he would call on Jet again for help. Jet was beginning to think that Tag would never come, but here it was.
Jet looked the computer over once Mehr and frowned. He had plenty of money, but no one ever wanted to destroy a computer. With one last sigh, he began to pick apart the pieces of the laptop and slowly destroy them.
“Hey, Iz!” Ryan, Isabella’s boyfriend called from the dining room. “Can Du bring a bottle of wine in here when Du come back?”
“Yeah!” she replied and squatted down to the wooden cabinet below the stainless steel sink. She was throwing a abendessen party for her boyfriend’s promotion. That and they were celebrating her parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary. She took a bottle from the rack under the sink and walked it back into the dining room. She set it at the head of the tabelle in front of her boyfriend. She then took a sitz between her boyfriend and her mother.
“Thanks baby.” Ryan smiled, his cheeks dimpling. He worked as a police officer at the local station.
It was quite funny actually, considering Isabella used to kill people for a living. “No problem,” she replied, fixing her amber gaze on him.
A series of beeps followed her reply. She slowly turned around to look at her computer sitting at the edge of the living room. She rarely heard those beeps. It was an urgent signal. She slowly stood from the table.
“Excuse me,” Isabella murmured and walked out of the dining room. She slipped around the Wand and bent down to look at her computer. She clicked at the dark screen, and white lettering popped up.
She blinked at the name on the bottom of the message. Arakne. Excitement rushed through her. The last time she’d heard that name was when everything in her life fell to ruin, when all the adrenaline disappeared. Isabella knew the crime solver, because he was the one that made her give up killing. He was the one that made all the charges against her disappear. She hated him and loved him all at once.
It was about four years Vor when she’d started on a mission. She had to kill different people, she didn’t know why, but the man that hired her offered to pay her two million dollars. She accepted and soon heard of people she had assignments to kill dying before she could get to them.
An FBI agent caught up to her. Arakne came up with two suspects, Isabella Hanshew and Shane Gastrine, the man that hired Isabella. The crime solver came up with a plan to figure out which was truly behind the murders. Arakne made her tell him everything. He began to trust Isabella and asked if she could track Gastrine. She found him just as he was about to murder a teenage boy. Agent Mattis arrested Shane, then Arakne cleared all charges against her assassinations.
Isabella blinked and took a small handgun from under the computer desk. She brought out the metal weapon and aimed it at the monitor. Isabella shot at the computer, destroying it. She had to get to the Institution. The normal life was killing her.
Thomas shut the door to his apartment and leaned against it tiredly. Who knew having a girl friend was so much work? He meant to break up with her tonight, but his soft herz couldn’t do it. For one of the smartest detectives in the world, he was rather tenderhearted. Thomas locked the door and went into the living room. He collapsed on the blue couch and stared up at the cream ceiling.
His dark hair fell into his eyes as he closed them. Fatigue took over his body as he rolled onto his side to get comfortable. The scent of ahorn filled his nose as he suddenly remembered he forgot to turn to candle warmer off in the kitchen. Thomas groaned and rose from the couch so he could go flip it off. The detective began to kreuz the threshold of his red and white kitchen, but a long beep coming from his laptop made him freeze in his tracks. That beep meant the message was urgent. Any other message would beep three times then be sent to the archives.
Thomas slowly turned around and walked over to the schreibtisch in the corner of his cream living room. He clicked on the black screen and watched as the white lettering popped up. His black eyes widened as he skimmed over the message. Arakne, the only man in the world who proved to be a better crime solver than Detective Brown.
Thomas wondered why Arakne would call on him. He’d made an inaccurate conclusion on the last case they worked together. Thomas had suspected the very man that ended up helping catch the real killer. Arakne had dismissed it rather easily, but even years after it still bothered Thomas. The detective chewed on his lower lip as anxiety swelled inside him. Arakne had gegeben him no choic; he had to help him. Thomas stood from the couch and sighed. He never wanted to work with the crime solver again…
Hot water pounded against Rainier’s back. She slowly tipped her head until her black hair spilled down her shoulders and fell into the stream of water. She relived her last Tag as an FBI Agent. She’d resigned only two months ago. Her team went after a serial killer and one of the suspects attempted to take her life. She killed him, the man turned out to be the killer. It had shaken her up so bad; she resigned.
Rainier was an excellent FBI Agent, but she couldn’t handle all the responsibility it came with. She’d worked many cases in her time; she should be proud rather than ashamed. What would her superiors think if they saw her now? Rainier, working as a columnist for a local newspaper instead of on the field tracking bad guys, oder behind the scenes pulling together information to capture a deranged maniac.
She turned off the water and stepped out of her white bathtub. She ran her hands through her long, ebony hair, pushing it back out of her face. Rainier looked at herself in the mirror, her violett eyes sparkling with hate. She hated herself for resigning even though it was for the best.
“You’ve got mail,” the monotone voice came from her computer.
Rainier raised an eyebrow and made her way into the living room of her small apartment. She’d closed the curtains before she got into the dusche so she had no qualms about strutting around naked. She walked around the teal, knickente, blaugrün sofa and sat in the black chair in front of her wooden desk. She clicked on the message icon. The screen went black and white lettering began to decode itself.
The ex-agent’s eyes went wide as she looked who the message’s sender was. Arakne. She worked under him and helped solve a murder case years ago. She hadn’t heard from him since, and thought that when she’d left the FBI she’d Lost all contact with everyone else from that environment as well. Rainier stood up and walked into her bedroom. She plundered through her small closet in an attempt to find something to wear. She prepared for whatever mission awaited her.
Ciel stood in the surveillance room, staring at the one-way window with wide eyes. Black covered the window. Was it a blackout? oder had something happened during the attempted break-in? The psychologist could only hope that Akira was safe. He left the room again and walked over to the entrance of cell F. He slammed himself into the door, but nothing happened. The door had been unable to open for at least two hours now, the same amount of time the room had blacked out.
A vibration went off in his pocket. Ciel felt around and his fingers skimmed over his pager. He pulled it out, seeing he had an urgent message. The man turned around and walked down the hallway quickly. He burst into his office and sat down at his computer. Ciel clicked on the message and watched as it loaded. The last time he’d received a message from Arakne was the time they had finished profiling the killer and closed a case. He never expected to hear from the almighty crime solver again.
He bit his lip and looked at the address with wide eyes. Why did Arakne want to meet in Akira’s cell? The Carter Case… This involved Akira, but how? No murders had occurred, right? Arakne only took on special cases. Was this special? Ciel quickly disposed of the computer then made his way back down the hallway to Akira’s cell. Before he tried the door again, he peeked into the surveillance room. All the cameras were back on and the sheet was down.
He spun and slammed himself into the door. It opened without any problems this time and Ciel stumbled into the room. Four other people had their eyes on him, watching him with curiosity and amusement.
Ciel quickly straightened himself and took in the other people in the room as they did the same to him. “Who are you?” he asked.
A brown haired girl smirked. “We could ask Du the same question,” she responded challengingly.
The psychologist cleared his throat, and began to introduce himself, but a loud beeping interrupted him. Simultaneously, everyone turned their heads toward the bett at the back wall. A laptop set atop the blankets and the screen was black. Suddenly, white letters began to appear, as if someone were typing them at this very moment.
Do not worry. I am Arakne. This computer is safe, sicher and Du can feel free to speak. I’ll be able to hear you.
“Why are so many other people here?” Ciel asked immediately.
This case is going to require the assistance of Du all. Jet, I hired Du because I know Du are Mehr than capable of taking charge of a situation and are fearless.
The black haired man smirked and everyone knew that he was Jet.
Isabella Du have an amazing tracking ability and Du can defend someone until death. This could come in handy in this particular case.
The brown haired, amber-eyed girl nodded.
Thomas, Du know how to put the pieces together and know how to be sympathetic. Du are very levelheaded and know how to play the game.
The man’s black eyes narrowed slightly as if analyzing his words.
Rainier, Du are the best FBI Agent I know, even if Du are no longer apart of the organization. Du are a talented tracker, Du know a killer when Du see one, Du have many valuable skills.
The black haired, violet-eyed woman bit on her lower lip.
And finally, Ciel. Du are apart of the team because Akira Carter trusts you. Du may also come in handy with your knowledge about the human brain.
The man’s brown hair fell into his eyes as he looked at the ground.
I want Du all to go to the Weiter meeting place immediately. Get to know the man Du will protect. Once Du reach your destination, contact me again using this computer and no other device.
The screen went white, then the laptop turned itself off. The five members looked at one another. Each of them wore expressions of confusion.
“He never told us where to meet,” Jet murmured.
“Arakne is testing us,” Rainier said. “There is a clue somewhere in this room. He wants to see if we can find it and how long it will take.”
Ciel’s green eyes widened. “That would mean he would’ve had to been in this room in the past few hours.”
“Did Du see him?” Thomas asked.
Ciel shook his head. “Everything that allowed a visual in the room was cut off. Everything just came back on when I came in here.”
Thomas grinned. “Arakne has definitely been in here.”
Ciel felt somewhat stupid for not guessing it before. Why else would everything have Lost power?
Rainier, Isabella, Jet, and Thomas began to Suchen around the room. Finally, Ciel joined in and started examining the small bookshelf. It looked like someone had messed with the books. He glanced over all the titles wondering which book Arakne would be most likely to pick up.
“The Wonders of Insects, Dream Cycle, Arachnid Encyclopedia, oder America’s Most Dangerous Insects…” Ciel drawled as he examined some of the Bücher that Arakne may choose.
“Arakne is most likely derived from the word arachnid,” Rainier mused from behind Ciel.
He looked up at her with an eyebrow raised. “Pick a book,” he said, “any book at all.”
“Arachnid Encyclopedia,” she sagte automatically.
Ciel plucked the book from the Sekunde shelf and began to thumb through it. He stopped on page thirty-three. A blank slip of paper marked the page. Ciel scanned over it. Latrodectus, South, Virginia, West all had red circles around them. Was it blood oder an ink pen? “What do Du think it means?” he asked Rainier quietly.
The women plucked the book from his tan hands and examined the page thoroughly. “The only reason I can piece this together is because I understand Arakne’s methods,” she murmured, her brow creased. “Southwest Virginia, fifth house on Lat Road.”
Ciel arched an eyebrow as he stared up at the girl. “Where did Du get the bit about the fifth house?”
“After Lat Road oder Latrod, there are five letters remaining. It’s the only thing it can mean and make sense,” Thomas interjected.
“Looks like we figured out where we need to go,” Jet said. “Let’s get going.”
The team traveled for about an Stunde until they finally reached Lat Road. Jet drove while everyone else looked out the window, squinting through the darkness to find the fifth house. They came to the fifth house and pulled into the lot only to find that it was an apartment building.
“Um, did anyone happen to catch anything that might help figure out what apartment it is?” Ciel asked from the backseat.
“What page was it on?” Thomas asked.
“Thirty-three,” Rainier replied.
“Maybe apartment three-zero-three?” Thomas suggested. “Or third floor, third apartment?”
Jet parked the car. “We’ll figure it out when we get in there.” He slid out of the car impatiently and everyone followed suit.
Akira Carter sat in the living room of apartment three on the third floor. He sat in a black office chair facing away from the door. His black eyes fixed themselves firmly on the Wand in front of him, and his elbows rested lightly on the desk. The room he sat in was dark, but he could still see the outline of the harvestman that crawled on his pale hand. The only noise in the room was the ticking of the clock that hung on the left wall. Tick, tock, tick tock.
The door opened allowing light from the hallway to stream into the room. Akira squinted slightly, but didn’t turn around. He only smirked slightly, then said, “You’re early.”