Spencer Reid was a genius. There was absolutely nobody in the world, not even the snottiest Grigori, that could argue that point.
He was, however, looking at a book written in an unknown alphabet in an ancient language. Morgan wasn’t sure if the kid could handle that, even as smart as he was.
Derek paced the room, watching the kid out of the corner of his eye while he pretended to profile the murderer and the victims with the rest of his attention.
“Quipia Tlacatl οστά, Tempero Eperu πέτρα Tempero Tlacatl οστά, επάνω, ανατέλλω, εγείρομαι.” Up, rise, rise up. Slowly, while he pieced together the pieces of their likely-dead enemy, Derek pulled the bodies out of their impossible positions embedded in the bedrock.
“What was that?” Spencer rubbed his eyes and looked around. “Is there some coffee around here?”
“Just talking to myself.”
“You only do that when you’re stressed or working through a problem.”
“Well, this case justifies both of those, wouldn’t you say?”
“It’s just that there was something that you said that sounded Greek. ????, that’s bones. I didn’t know you spoke Greek.”
“I picked up a few words on an old case. And we’re walking over piles of bones here.” He patted Spencer’s shoulder. “How’s the translation going?”
“If I just had a key.“ He raked his hands through his hair. “Something, anything. I know I’ve seen this alphabet before.” He closed his eyes. “On my mother’s bookshelf. It was a book hidden in something else – The Joy Of Cooking.”
Derek watched the genius’ brain work. “What do you remember about it?”
“She said… she said it was a history.” His hand moved while his eyes remained closed, the pencil sketching on the paper. Old Tongue letters. The History of the People in the New Land.
Derek was here to keep the team from learning the wrong things.
He was here to profile and catch criminals.
He was here for his team.
“I’ve seen it… now that you draw it like that, it came across my desk, years ago.” He sat down and took the pencil from Spencer. “This. This is ‘new,’ if I remember right.”
He could ruin the whole investigation and hurt Spencer’s brain if he gave him the wrong information.
He drew the symbols more carefully than he’d ever written anything in his life.
“And this is ‘Law.’ Law was a big deal in the paper I read.”
“Okay, so something in here means ‘history,’ and that word there means ‘new.’“ Spencer nodded. “I can work from that. Could you get me some paper?”
Derek dropped an empty legal pad in front of his teammate and waited for the all-clear to dig.
The shovel moved. The dirt moved. He muttered another Working, to make it lighter, easier to sift for the dig team, easier for him to move. The shovel cut ground, the dirt lifted up, he hummed another Working.
Reid’s pencil moved, his lips moved, the paper fluttered, the pages of the killer’s book moved. He muttered something under his breath and made another note, his murmurings making a counterpoint against Derek’s Workings. His pencil sketched out another symbol. The pages moved. The paper fluttered.
“I think I’ve got the start. But Morgan, if you could remember anything more of this paper you read, it would be great.” He turned to look directly at Derek. “Like a translation.”
Derek swallowed and tried to cover. “Look, kid…”
“Profiler.” Spencer had that pissed-off look he didn’t often get. “With three PhD’s. Look, I don’t know what you’re doing, but the fact of the matter is, we’re trying to catch a murderer, and you’re obstructing the investigation if you’re withholding information.”
Derek sat down with a thump. “Look… Reid.” He covered his face with his hands and tried to think. “Some things…”
“You don’t have to explain to me. But if you know what’s in this book, Derek, you know your job. I won’t ask you why you know, or why you were hiding it from me. But you know what your duty is.”
Derek picked up the book and scanned it. “You were nearly there, you know.”
“While you… did what? Don’t think I didn’t notice the second scan showed the bodies at a different strata of the earth.”
“You said it yourself. There’s no way to bury a body in bedrock.”
“That doesn’t explain how the bodies aren’t in the bedrock anymore, either.”
Derek flipped a page. “It’s written in a language called Idu a’Iduþin-”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“I’m not surprised. In its own language, Idu a’Iduþin means ‘to Know all there is to know.’ The book starts with a list of dates-”
“I knew it!”
“-and a list of descriptors. He doesn’t give any of them names. Let’s see. The first date is June twenty-first, eighteen-twenty-six. Brown hair, brown eyes, pales skin. It references a page further back…” He flipped through the book. “She didn’t expect me. This land has not been preyed upon in some time; perhaps not since the last time I came through…”
“Morgan.” Reid was still staring at him. “How can you fluently read a language I’ve never even heard of? How are the bodies in dirt now when they were in bedrock when we got here?”
Derek smiled tiredly. “Magic.”
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