close encounters

Today on close encounters of the FBI kind with Shiloh & The Gang:

We made it to the crime scene this morning. We were a little late, so the house wasn’t crawling with cops or CSI or whatever, but it was still all taped off so we got suited up — even me! Since there was no one directly supervising us, I got to put on my very own lil pant suit and sunglasses and do my best Phoebe Bridgers in the motion sickness music video impression (HOW does she get her hair so white????)

Inside the house was upsettingly normal until we reached the room where it all went down. Shoes by the door, coat on the coat hooks, dishes in the sink, HORRIBLE BLOODY STAIN BY THE FRIDGE, throw pillow on the chairs in the dining room.

“He’s a criminal psychiatrist,” Neal said, coming out of the office.

Julian frowned. “You sure?”

“Certificate is framed in there,” Neal replied, already on his phone doing some googling. “Bit strange that didn’t come up in the reporting, huh?”

I’ve been sorta coy with the details because they’re so horrible, but here’s what happened:

BE WARNED.

Ken Lowry came home from work to where his wife had made pot roast. The two of them sat down to eat. Ken ate the entire pot roast top to bottom. Then he took the carving knife, murdered his wife and set about eating her, as well.

“Look at this,” Neal said, and read from his phone, “Renowned in his field, Dr. Lowry has been called to interview and investigate cases with the FBI.”

“How much you want to bet he met with our previous cannibal?” Julian sighed.

“Let’s get out of here,” Neal said. “We’re not gonna find what we need in this house. We need to see the man himself.”

Which was easier said than done.

Ken was being held at an unspecified location because his case was awful enough to be drawing a lot of attention, and they were trying to avoid a pitchforks situation. Julian spent like an hour on the phone just to track the guy down in a high security psych ward.

Julian sighed when he got off the phone. “We’re going to need to do a costume change,” he said.

All I wanted to do was prance around in a suit and flash my badge at people all day but noooooo now Julian’s dressing up as brain doctor for monsters, and I’m being sidelined yet again.

“You can be our patient,” Neal offered.

Ha ha Neal.

Trying to get in to see Doctor Lowry was going to be difficult though. It was high security.

“Why don’t you just go,” Neal told Julian. “It’ll be easier to get one guy in.Shiloh and I will do some driving practice.”

Julian’s eyes narrowed. “That deal you and Shiloh have going? Where you’re not allowed to lie to her? I should get in on that.”

Neal grinned and Julian rolled his eyes. “Fine, but you meet me okay? I won’t be more than half an hour.”

I was sort of hoping Neal didn’t mean that we were just gonna be driving around, and bless him, he had other ideas. I mean, he did make me drive, too, which was CHAOTIC. Things that will not surprise you: I am a terrible driver. I am both too fast and too slow. I am reckless and overly cautious at exactly the wrong times. And know it’s true because I’ve driven for a grand total of ten minutes at this point, and I almost hit like three different cars and almost ran a red light. So.

We went to Dr. Lowry’s office.

“What are we looking for?” I asked, to cover for the fact that I was still experiencing driving-induced hyperventilation.

“I don’t know yet,” Neal said.

“And why didn’t we tell Julian what we’re doing?”

“Because he would have wanted me to come and I didn’t want to wait around in the lobby of a high security psych office,” Neal replied. “Plus,” he added, added, testing the office door and finding it locked. “Julian doesn’t like it when we break into places in broad daylight.” He pulled a lock pick out of his pocket and grinned at me.

LOL Julian’s reasoning became immediately obvious, because inside there was a young woman.

“Oh! My god,” she said. “What are you doing in here?”

“Uh,” Neal said.

“Didn’t I lock that?”

“No, it was open,” Neal lied. “The police department sent us here to make sure all Dr. Lowry’s files were properly locked up.”

“Oh,” she said, slightly suspicious, but apparently buying it. And in her defense, I don’t know how the police works, I might have bought it at one point in my life, too.

“Good thing, too,” Neal said. “As evidently it wasn’t.”

“Oh — no, it was,” she said. “Sorry, I hope I’m okay to be here. I just forgot something.”

“Are you a patient?”

“What? Oh!” She laughed nervously. “No, I’m his secretary. I’m Kylie.”

Neal reached to shake her hand. “Nice to meet you.”

“Are you a cop? I haven’t seen you before,” she said, and she was totally batting her eyelashes.

“Detective, actually,” Neal replied.

Pffffffft gag me Neal. Detective. I must have audibly snorted because he flashed me a sideways smirk.

“Okay, well,” she made an awkward little smile. “I’ve talked to a lot of detectives lately, so.”

“I’m sure,” Neal said. “Did you see any of this coming?”

“No,” she said. “Not at all, Dr. Lowry was always great to me.”

Something in her tone tipped even me off.

“Were you and Dr. Lowry close?” Neal asked, and she got a little awkward.

“Not really,” she said, looking away. I glanced at Neal and he shook his head behind her back. “Anyways,” she said. She held up her box. “I have my stuff. So I’m gonna head out.” She hesitated, as if trying to figure out how to say something, but couldn’t quite.

“So,” I said when she’d gone. “What are we looking for detective?

Neal mussed my hair, and didn’t answer.

We didn’t find anything in the office, either. Most everything was already gone, most likely taken in by detectives. The office was all but cleared out.

“Well,” Neal said, locking the door behind us. “That wasn’t quite a bust.”

“No?” I asked.

“No.” He grinned at me. “We learned that Kylie and Dr. Lowry were very close and she’s lying about it. And you get to do some driving.”

On the way back to meet Julian at the facility, I accidentally pushed the gas instead of the break at a light and if Neal hadn’t reached over and jerked the wheel so we drove into the shoulder I for sure would have rear ended someone.

Julian wasn’t out when we got back to the facility, so we went up to wait for him in the lobby.

“We’re just here to meet the Doctor Beech,” Neal told the nurse.

“Ah, yes,” the nurse said. “Interviewing Dr. Lowry?” and then without even waiting for us to confirm, he went on. “We’re trying not to let this out too much, but there was another case of cannibalism last week. It was less high profile. But Ken — Dr. Lowry — went and interviewed that woman just three days ago. And then he comes home and decides he wants to give it a shot, too?” He shrugged and shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. “Just seems funky.”

Neal sighed as we sank into the chairs by the window in the lobby. “He’s not wrong,” he said. “Definitely seems funky.”

I was looking out the window, idly watching a car pull into the parking lot. It was just a boring black car, but I kept watching it as it parked, and the doors opened and who should I see climbing out into the parking lot but the esteemed Agent Mulligan.

“Neal,” I said, and when he didn’t look up from his phone, I whacked him in the arm. “Neal, look.”

He twisted. “Oh, hell,” he said and immediately started texting Julian.

We literally had to run down the back staircase back to the parking lot.

“You wanna drive?” Neal called as we skidded to the car.

Lmao NO asshole, I’m not driving the getaway car you maniac. I skidded the keys over the top of the car, he caught them and we blasted around to the stairwell.

“C’mon Jude,” Neal said, tapping the steering wheel.

Julian burst out the back door, fell into the backseat and we fuckin burned out of there.

They saw us though. I know because I made eye contact with Mulligan in the window upstairs as we ran for it.

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