Authors' Note: Just so you know, I'm playing with the BtVS timeline pre-Season One a little bit, to better suit my own purposes.
Los Angles, CA
Violent Crimes Squad
"Okay, guys, listen up."
Megan Reeves, David Sinclair and Colby Granger all looked over at their team leader, Don Epps, as he called for their attention.
"You guys remember Tobias Fornell, from the Washington office, right?" Don asked, looking around at his people for confirmation that they all recalled the agent in question.
Seeing the general agreement and nodding of heads – the guy was hard to forget – Don proceeded to explain the favor Fornell had requested in the course of his phone call earlier that afternoon.
"Tobias has gotten involved – unofficially at this point in time" Don noted parenthetically, in the course of his explanation, "in a case involving the disappearance of a Navy petty officer, and he's asked us for some unofficial support in this matter."
"Why get the FBI involved in a case concerning a missing Navy PO, Don?" Sinclair inquired, a frown on his face. "Shouldn't something like that be investigated by NCIS?"
"Yes, it should, and it *is* being investigated by NCIS," Don nodded his agreement with the African-American agent's observation, "The problem, though, is that their main witness in this case – a young woman named Dawn Summers – skipped out of the hospital she'd been brought to, after being found unconscious and bleeding at the apparent site of the petty officer's disappearance, and NCIS is still in the process of trying to get in contact with her."
"So, do they think she fled to L.A., and they want us to pick her up for them?" Granger chimed in.
"No, Ms. Summers has apparently been staying in the Washington area, and NCIS has their own people looking for her, there," Don replied. "What Tobias would like us to do, off the record, is check into the woman's family. Apparently she and her older sister, one Buffy Anne Summers, were born and raised here in L.A.; before they moved to a town up north called... Sunnydale, I think it was, when Ms. Summers was roughly ten years old."
"Sunnydale? Isn't that the town that collapsed into a sinkhole a couple years back?" Megan said, a surprised and suddenly interested expression on her face upon hearing that fact.
"So I heard," Don nodded with a small shrug.
"You mind if I ask why, exactly, we're getting involved in this, Don? Especially, if it's only an informal inquiry?" Sinclair asked, his frown remaining. "Why haven't we gotten a formal request from Washington for whatever information Fornell's looking for?"
"Yeah, well, there're a couple reasons we're handling things this way, and you're not gonna like hearing any of them, any more than I did after Tobias explained the situation," Don answered, the frown on his face shifting into an angry scowl as he glanced down at the notes in his hand.
"First off, from what I was told, both of the Summers woman's parents have encrypted NID files," Epps went on, the scowl deepening as he spoke, "which means that whatever operation they're involved in, probably isn't something that the NID is even gonna want to admit exists."
Hearing that, and reflecting on the reputation the National Intelligence Directorate currently held with virtually all other Federal law enforcement organizations throughout the country, all three agents nodded their heads in agreement with their boss's comment.
"Second, the young woman in question, Dawn Summers, is twenty years old," the dark-haired team leader noted, again consulting his notes as he spoke.
Don paused to take a deep breath, as though to calm himself, before then continuing with the briefing.
"And from DNA tests run on samples of her blood found at the scene of the petty officer's disappearance, Ms. Buffy Summers and Mr. Alexander Harris have been positively identified as Dawn Summers' parents," Don stated.
"And, apparently, Buffy Summers is twenty-five years old, and Alexander Harris is twenty-six years old," Epps added, glancing down at his notes with a frown.
It took a couple seconds for the last two statements to fully sink in, but after they did, all three agents practically erupted from their seats, each of them half-shouting questions which the team leader was unable to answer.
One he'd managed to quiet the (relatively) minor bedlam his briefing had created, Don began elaborating on the unofficial project they were taking on.
"Look, at the moment, all I really know about this situation is what I've just told you," Don informed his team, "so let me reiterate what it is we know with certainty, as opposed to what we suspect might have happened:
"One, Dawn Summers is physically twenty years old. Two, Buffy Summers, who is listed as Dawn Summers' older sister, is twenty-five years old, and she has been conclusively identified through DNA analysis as actually being the girl's mother. Three, Alexander Harris, the man identified through DNA testing as Dawn Summers' father, is twenty-six years old. Four, Buffy Summers and Alexander Harris both have encrypted NID files," Don ran down the list of facts he knew were indisputable.
"Based on all that I know about human biology, it's not all that reasonable to assume that Buffy Summers became pregnant, and then gave birth when she was only five years old. Especially when the biological father was himself only six at the time," Don said, shaking his head in a mixture of disbelief, anger and disgust at the topic under discussion.
"Actually, Don, while it's difficult to believe – and extremely repugnant to even consider – there are numerous recorded historical instances of girls as young as five and six years old becoming pregnant after being molested, and then not only carrying to term, but actually giving birth to completely healthy infants," Megan interrupted Don, her face currently schooled in an expression her colleagues had learned meant that she was currently repressing a great deal of anger – or in this case, what was far more likely, rage – at the idea of a five year old being sexually molested. That correction made, the brunette agent then settled back into her chair, apparently content to let Don continue on with the briefing.
"Okay, Megan," Don nodded acknowledgement of the behavioral specialist's statement. "Thanks for the correction.
"In any event, regardless of whether Buffy Summers was actually sexually abused and became pregnant, or her eggs were simply removed and then mixed with this Harris' kid's DNA, it certainly appears, at least at first glance, that whatever did happen twenty years ago was probably very illegal," Epps stated, a look of mixed anger and disgust momentarily crossing his face as he reviewed the situation. "And if I'm right, there was probably some expert computer hacking done as well, to alter the records and conceal the extent of the experimentation being done.
"Now, with that being said, our applying for warrants to view the encrypted files of Ms. Summers' parents would instantly alert the NID that we partially know about what happened to those two people. And it would most likely result in the NID's upper echelons hiding, or possibly even erasing, any evidence that might still exist concerning whatever crimes were committed against Buffy Summers and Alexander Harris, back then. So I want us to gather as much information as we can about these three people, as quietly as possible, so that we can try and get a better idea of what exactly happened and who precisely was involved.
"If we can possibly get intel on how many more of this type of project might exist, and exactly what it was the people involved with this project were intending to do, so much the better," Don noted.
"Anything you come up with should help us figure out where we might want to look, next, people," Epps advised his team, "so if you have any ideas about where to look, or who to talk to, that's outside the usual framework, let everyone know about it, so maybe the rest of us can do the same, okay?
"Anyone have any questions?" he asked.
"Okay then," Don said after receiving either mumbled 'No's' or head shakes, "let's get moving on this. I can't tell you to drop everything else that isn't vitally important, but I trust you all to be able to prioritize.
"We'll meet and compare notes at lunchtime, tomorrow."
Los Angles, CA
Violent Crimes Squad
Lunchtime, the following day
"Okay, people, talk to me. What have you found out about the Summers women and this Harris guy?" Don asked as he leaned back against the edge of his desk and looked at his team.
"Well, according to every record I've been able to locate, Buffy and Dawn Summers are consistently identified as sisters," Megan stated, initiating the discussion.
"Based on her school records, Dawn Summers was a fairly smart kid: with a B-plus average in all of her classes at elementary school. She played wing position on the school's girls soccer team, took both piano and trumpet lessons as part of her school's music appreciation club, and did nothing else in any way remarkable as far as her school records are concerned," the honey-blonde-haired woman informed her teammates. "Which, considering that we're talking about a ten-year-old kid, makes a lot of sense if the school records are actually all fakes.
"Her so-called sister, Buffy Anne Summers, however, is an entirely different matter," Megan continued, after pausing a moment to take a sip from her coffee cup.
"From all of the school records I've been able to access, Buffy Summers was pretty much your stereotypical California teenager once she began attending Hemery High School. Considering that she became a member of the cheerleading squad in her freshman year, she was undoubtedly in excellent physical condition, and taking into account that she was also elected both Freshman Princess and Fiesta Queen, I'd say that she was probably not only popular, but also smart, quite charming when she wanted to be, and extremely adept at manipulating social situations," Megan said analytically. "Especially for a fourteen year old girl.
"After the start of her sophomore year, however, there were a number of significant changes in Ms. Summers' behavior. For example, there was an incident involving a number of football players, and what the school counselor termed 'overly aggressive interpersonal behavior'," Reeves stated, glancing down at her notes. "The counselor's entry into her permanent record also mentioned that Miss Summers appeared to display what she believed were bruises, although that was never positively confirmed, and that the girl vehemently denied that there any sort of problems or abuse at home.
"Things apparently got worse as the months passed, though, and it culminated at the high school's winter ball later that December. That was when some sort of riot broke out and the gymnasium caught on fire, burning it to the ground." Megan informed her fellow agents.
"Although various people insisted that Buffy Summers was responsible for starting the fire, the Fire Marshal's investigation ultimately attributed the cause of the blaze to 'mice chewing through electrical wires.' Despite this, however, Miss Summers subsequently ended up being expelled for 'disruptive behavior,'" Megan said with what looked like a grimace of irritation.
Reeves drew a wide-eyed whistle of surprise from Granger when she then added, "A few days after her expulsion, Miss Summers' parents had her committed to a psychiatric facility for paranoid delusions. Both Hank and Joyce Summers are on record as saying that their daughter had informed them that she had become what she described as a 'vampire slayer,' and that she had burnt down the gym in order to save her classmates' lives.
None of them noticed Colby's reaction to the word 'vampire.'
"Two weeks after her commitment, though, she was released. This was after Miss Summers managed to convince her doctors that her behavior was in response to her parents' marriage ending, and she now realized that her efforts to attract attention were only making the situation worse," Reeves informed her colleagues.
"The divorce became official shortly after Miss Summers' release from the psychiatric care facility, and Mrs. Summers and both daughters then moved to Sunnydale, a small coastal town which used to be about a two hour drive north of here, before it collapsed into the earth back in ought-three," Megan noted.
"No school records from Sunnydale High School were ever put online, so I don't have any idea of what Miss Summers' behavior might have been after the family's move to Sunnydale," Megan said as she looked around at her co-workers, "but based on all of the documentation I've read so far? That young woman's actions could easily be interpreted as that of a person reacting, and very badly at that, to traumatic, previously suppressed childhood memories." The expression on Megan's face made all of her fellow agents exceedingly glad that that particular look was not directed at them.
"And as far as Alexander Harris is concerned, as I've already mentioned, the Sunnydale school records were never available on online, so I have no basis on which to make an opinion regarding his behavior. Still, the medical records I was able to access from his family's health provider have enough mentions of Alexander Harris visiting the hospital emergency room as a child to make me concerned that he could very well have been abused as well," Reeves hypothesized.
"Of course, it's equally possible that Harris was just an overactive boy who got himself into more situations leading to injuries than a so-called 'typical' child his age," she added with another frown. "At this point, with the records I've seen, either theory is equally plausible."
Looking over at David Sinclair, Epps said, "All right. So what did you find on the Summers mother, David?"
"The girls' mother of record, one Joyce Mason Summers, graduated with a Master's Degree in Art from the Otis College of Art and Design, right here in L.A., in 1974. She eventually opened her own art gallery after spending several years working for various other galleries up and down the West Coast," Sinclair said, checking and summarizing his notes as he spoke
"She married Henry 'Hank' Summers during the July of 1977, and they resided here in L.A. until their divorce in 1996. Joyce Summers was well-thought of by her peers, and had a good reputation for being able to track down difficult to find pieces of art," David informed his teammates.
"As for her giving birth to Buffy and Dawn Summers, there's an extensively documented medical history for both daughters' pregnancies according to my HMO sources. And yet her obstetrician, a Dr. Frederick Wellhauser, died in an automobile accident nine years ago, and all his personal records were lost after a fire at his private clinic. So that's pretty much a dead end, as far as we're concerned," Sinclair said with a frown.
"After moving to Sunnydale, Joyce Summers reopened her art gallery. She was doing fairly well, business-wise, until her death in February 2001, which the coroner declared was a result of an aneurysm following brain surgery to remove a tumor," he concluded his report.
"Is there anything even remotely suspicious about either Mrs. Summers' death, or her doctor's death, David?" Don asked, one of his typical frowns on his face at their inability to question the doctor about Mrs. Summers' purported pregnancy.
"Sorry, Don, but no," the African-American agent shook his head. "Everything I saw in both of the reports looked completely okay.
"Mrs. Summers' tumor appeared to be a normal development, and the fatal aneurysm she underwent was a result of the woman's brain surgery, according to the autopsy report. And according to the police report, Dr. Wellhauser's car was hit by another vehicle which was driven by an eighty-six year old female alcoholic who ran a red light and tee-boned the doctor's car," Sinclair elaborated for his boss.
"The woman had a fairly extensive history of DUIs, and she was driving with a suspended license at the time of the accident. She survived the car crash, but then later died while in the hospital as a result of combined liver and kidney failure, which were due to complications from her alcoholism," David said as he set his notepad down on his desk and looked over at his partner, Colby Granger.
"Me, I've been checking out the girls' father, a Henry Jason 'Hank' Summers, and Alexander Harris' father, Anthony Harris," Granger seamlessly picked up the narrative from Sinclair, "and from what I've been able to find out in just one day, it's entirely possible that Hank Summers really was enough of a scumbag that he could have been whoring out his little girl to the NID.
"Not that Anthony Harris isn't a prime piece of garbage, too," Colby noted parenthetically, before returning to his report.
"All right, the L.A. connection – Hank and Joyce Summers were officially divorced in December of 1996, and he stayed here in Los Angeles, leasing an apartment after the family house was sold as part of the divorce proceedings. The money from the sale was split between him and Joyce Summers, along with the three checking and savings accounts they shared," Colby continued.
"Joyce Summers was awarded uncontested custody of both their kids, and Hank Summers continued to live in L.A. after his ex-wife and daughters moved to Sunnydale," he noted parenthetically.
"Now, here's where things start to get interesting," Granger looked up and around at his co-workers for a moment before continuing. "Hank Summers was a senior partner of a medium-sized law firm, which dealt primarily in divorce and family court type of cases. And the way he had his assets structured ensured that his wife didn't get nearly as much in the divorce settlement or child support as she should have.
"After his divorce, Summers moved into an apartment his firm officially maintained was for the use of their out-of-town clients. What's more, he continued running around with his secretary – who was one of the reasons for his divorce – for a few months, before he dumped her. And then Summers took up with an aspiring 'actress' named Shannon Briscoe" – here he used finger quotes to emphasize the word 'actress' – "who was only a couple of years older than his oldest daughter," Colby reported.
"A few months later, Briscoe filed assault charges against Hank Summers at her local police precinct, as well making various comments to both a number of her friends and the investigating officer about him preferring *much* younger girlfriends," Granger continued his report, glancing up to see the reactions the information had produced among his teammates.
"Shortly after the report was filed, Briscoe withdrew her complaint. She then told the LAPD that she wouldn't be cooperating with the investigation, and that she was moving out of town. According to the police report, she told her friends that she'd won a pile of money in a lottery recently," the federal agent recounted the information he'd uncovered. "A few days later, she disappeared and none of her friends have seen or heard from her since."
Granger absently noted how a few eyebrows were raised upon hearing that last pieced of information, and then continued with his report.
"After Briscoe dropped the charges against him, Summers cashed in his share of his firm and likewise disposed of all of his other assets. He took the money and all of his other assets and moved to Spain, living in various places along the Mediterranean coast for a while," he went on. "When I checked with Interpol, they were unable to locate Hank Summers anywhere in Europe, and it now appears that he vanished back in 2002. As best as I can determine, he hasn't been in contact with either of his children since he left the country. Not even after his ex-wife's death, which apparently left the two daughters with a large amount of financial debt to deal with.
"Coincidentally, following Summers' retirement, his law firm was sued by several of their clients who alleged that money owed to them from various legal judgments hadn't been paid. Also coincidentally, Hank Summers was the lawyer in charge of the various accounts relating to the missing money," Colby smirked as he continued his report.
"As far as I'm concerned, Don, this guy is a grade-A scumbag, and he's not only made a point of being a stereotypical deadbeat dad and gone out of his way to sever all contact with his kids, he's intentionally dropped out of sight after he made off with his clients' money."
"Anthony Harris, on the other hand, appears to be nothing more than your standard, run of the mill lowlife," Granger stated as he continued reporting his findings.
"As far as I've been able to determine, he's not affiliated with any major organized crime group, but he's got a fairly long string of arrests for assault and battery, public drunkenness and a laundry list of other minor crimes. But what I found most interesting is that Harris made a series of large cash deposits into his checking account, when his son was roughly four and a half years old.
"And something that I find just as interesting is that Anthony Harris hasn't made any other similar bank deposits that I can find, either before or since that time," Colby stated as he finished his report.
"So, boss, what do we do, now?" Granger asked as he looked over at Don.
"The only thing we can do. Forward everything we've learned to Tobias and his people in Washington, and then wait and see what they want to do with it," Don answered after a moment's consideration.
"Problem is we haven't found anything hinky enough about either Ms. Summers or Mr. Harris to give us a reason to take any sort of action, in terms of bringing them in for questioning. Everything I've heard so far is either hearsay, or possibly coincidental," Epps decided, clearly unhappy with what his team had learned.
"And like I said, this was all completely unofficial; so, I can't see how I can justify our spending any more time on this," Don said reflectively.
"Still, maybe it'll be enough to give Tobias and his people indications about where they might want to look, next, though," he said hopefully. "That being said, keep the inquiries open and see if anything else pops up."
"Okay then, guys," Don declared, clapping his hands the same way he used to do after giving his fellow Stockton Rangers teammates a pep talk.
"Back to business as usual. So, David, what've you learned about the First National hold-up?"