Title: R is for Rampage

 

Author: mathgoddes aka kinkymastermind

 

Disclaimer: I don't owe nothing, just entertaining the fans.

 

Rated: PG-13 Genre: Angst/Dark

 

 

R is for Rampage

 

It was a lazy sunny afternoon at Huntington Park. Due to the weather it was crowded. Kids were playing and laughing. Some couples strolled along or sat down in the green hugging and kissing. Some people had brought food and drinks for a picnic. Joggers and Inline-Skaters rushed by and some of the elder population just sat there putting their faces into the sun. Nobody really cared about the man sitting close to the chess tables. Every now and then he watched one of the games. But as soon as someone looked at him he turned his head away. He gnawed at his lower lip, rocking steady back and forth. His head was full of mathematical formulas. He blinked his eyes, wiped sweat from his brows.

 

“Do you have a problem?” one of the chess players, a boy at the age of eight, snapped.

 

The man flashed a smile and shook his head. The dark curls were bobbing around his head. Damned the rugrat had confused him with his question. Now he had to do the calculation again.

 

“Percent, divided by … minus … plus.”

 

“Are you a mathematician?” a little girl, holding her teddy bear close sat down next to him.

 

He startled and looked at her as she’d be a creature from outtaspace.

 

“My name is Irene and this is Sam.” She nodded and dangled her feet.

 

He took a deep breath and said, “Weren’t you told by your parents not to talk to strangers under any circumstances?”

 

She shrugged, “maybe. But you look nice. Like your curly hair. So are you a mathematician? I heard you counting and …”

 

“You are right, so would you please leave me alone now?” he spat.

 

She looked at him with her big brown eyes but didn’t move.

 

“Where’re your parents? I bet they’re still looking for you. Leave.”

 

Tears welled up in her eyes; “I hate you!” she yelled at him, jumped to her feet and ran away.

 

“By the way my name is Charlie,” he whispered watching her disappear.

 

He closed his eyes briefly and swallowed. He couldn’t get rid of the big lump in his throat. What just happened proofed him right about what he was going to do. He put his hand in the pocket of his shabby jacket. There it was .38-caliber. He started over with his calculations. Suddenly the face of his wife occurred in his mind’s eye. Ex-wife. She had left him what seemed ages ago though it was just months. She couldn’t bear his possession any longer. Everything was numbers for him. He became possessed of it. And while their friends went out Friday or Saturday night, she stayed at home with him.

 

“What’s so fascinating about these numbers and formulas?” she once asked him.

 

“You wouldn’t understand it,” he shot back, “go watch TV I guess your favorite show is on.”

 

“But Charlie, we haven’t been out for weeks. Drop your pencil and let us go to Frank’s,” she suggested.

 

All she earned was a venomous and incomprehensible look. No wonder she’d left him one day. He would have to. And now he was all by himself. Even his family had turned their backs on him. There’s a fine line between genius and madness. Slowly he had crossed this line without knowing. Nobody told him to stop. He could’ve been a wealthy man by now instead he spoiled it all by his stupid behavior. He ran his hand across his face and ended his calculations.

 

He got up working his way through the crowd, passing the chess tables, the beach-volleyball court.

 

“Stop that, Peter!” a young mother shouted.

 

Charlie felt the wire snap. PAYDAY!

 

“What’s wrong with you?” she’s still yelling at her son.

 

Nobody seemed to see him as he pulled out the gun of his pocket.

 

“It's because I’m invisible,” he giggled in insanity.

 

He felt the jolt of the gun’s recoil. The eyes of the woman bulged out in disbelief, a hurt yelp, a red stain of blood on her yellow shirt.

 

The little rugrat at her side followed her fall to the ground with his big Bambi eyes, desperately calling her name. The sound was annoying. BANG! BANG!

 

Someone tried to get close to him, Charlie saw it out from the corner of his eye. All he had to do was straighten his arm, BANG!

 

Seven more gunshots, five more injured people. He thought he would feel something like relief but it didn’t work. Finally he aimed the gun at himself. BANG!

 

Don and his team were at the office when they received the call. All they got was that somebody was on a rampage at Huntington Park. Don had a really bad feeling and it mushroomed when he saw the streets ablaze with police activity. They flashed their badges on their way to the crime scene, ducked under several yellow tapes until a uniform called: “Over here!”

 

Panic stricken faces were all around, people were crying or just stunned. The paramedics were buzzing around. Colby felt reminded of Afghanistan.

 

“What the hell was going on in here?” he muttered.

 

David shrugged. Don and Megan talked to another uniform of the LAPD who lead them to the body of the perp.

 

Don startled when he discovered the dark curls and the blood smeared coat.

 

“Don!” Megan looked alarmed, too.

 

“According to his driver's licenens the perp’s name is Charles, Charles Brimley. We already contacted his ex-wife Alison. She lives in Pasadena. Not much of the face is left for identification. We took his fingerprints, too. No results showed up at AFIS. Therefore we told Mrs. Brimley we’d need things from his personal belongings like a tooth brush or hair brush for the DNA-Analysis. She told us she has a key for his apartment."

 

“We’ll take care of it,” Don said irritated.

 

He put on a pair of latex gloves still thinking about the coincidence of dark curly hair and the first name. He squatted next to the body and took a close look. The uniform was right, there wasn’t much left of the face. Don shook his head as Charlie’s face showed up in front of him.

 

“Rubbish,” he muttered and got up.

 

Megan, Colby and David were talking when he joined them.

 

“Megan and I go to meet Brimley’s ex-wife. Colby, you and David stay here and talk to the witnesses,” he comanded.

 

About forty minutes later they knocked at Alison Brimley’s door. She opened. Her eyes were reddened. Don and Megan flashed their badges and Alison waved them in.

 

She lead them to the kitchen, “please have a seat,” her voice was almost a whisper.

 

Don cleared his throat, “we’re sorry for your loss and sorry to bother you now. But we need …”

 

“I know,” she cut him short, “two uniforms were here before and informed me about your visit.” She put her hand into the pocket of her waistcoat.

 

She took out a crumpled photograph and put it down on the kitchen counter.

 

“This is me and Charlie. The picture is about two years old it was our last vacation.”

 

Don and Megan looked at it bewildered by the similarity to Don’s younger brother and exchanged concerned looks. While Alison’s face was aglow with happiness, Charles Brimley’s face was blank.

 

Alison rattled with a bunch of keys, “excuse me, would you mind … I have a lot to do, anyway.”

 

Don nodded, “sure. Where did your ex-husband live?”

 

“It’s not far, just five minutes down the street,” she swallowed, “the apartment was cheap and I’m moving to Boston by the end of next month,” she explained, “my parents live there and I got a well paid job, too.” She took a deep breath, “sorry, I’m nervous and when I’m nervous I’m talking too much.”

 

Megan went over to her and put her hand on Alison’s shoulder, “never mind. It’s ok. If you can’t deal with it, agent Eppes and I can handle it without your help.”

 

Alison shook the head, “no, I’m fine. I haven’t been in the apartment since Charlie moved in.”

 

She gave the two FBIs a weak smile.

 

Few minutes later they arrived. Alison fidgeted with the keys, “damned.”

 

“Let me help you,” Don said and took them.

 

The apartment was a total mess. Dirty laundry was lying around, dishes piled up in the kitchen, it smelled of filth.

 

Alison was stunned, “dear Lord, I had no clue.”

 

Don and Megan went on into the living room.

 

“Oh … my … God,” Megan said slowly.

 

The walls were covered with numbers and letters.

 

“Are these …?”

 

“Mathematical formulas, yes,” Don cut Megan short, “I think I'd better call Charlie.”

 

Alison startled.

 

 

“He’s my brother and Professor at the CalSci, he teaches math,” he explained to her while he dialed the number.

 

“Hey Charlie, how are you doing?”

 

“Hey Don, just fine. Watching my Kois and working on my second book,” he sounded jolly.

 

“Listen, I’ve got a problem over here. It’s a new case, a shooting and I could really need your help. I’m standing in the middle of a room and the walls are covered with mathematical stuff. “

 

“No problem, just tell me the address and I’m coming.”

 

Don gave him the necessary details then he dialed again and called the CSU while Alison curled up on the couch.

 

Tears were running down her cheeks, “why didn’t he tell me?” she muttered, “I thought he was meeting Dr. Epstein.”

 

“Who’s Dr. Epstein,” Don asked.

 

“She’s his shrink. Charlie suffered from a disease, a mental disease. They called it schizoaffective disorder. It’s kinda bipolar thing.”

 

“Like manic-depressive?” Megan got into it.

 

Alison hesitated, “in his case he felt despair and depression and then hyperactive and mania. Unfortunately he managed his illness for quite a long time. More or less he’d fit the fringes of society so to speak. But when he lost his job, he was working for the NASA, he became a different person. He cut himself off from family and friends. More and more he got lost in his own world full of numbers. I once tried to talk to him and all he said was, “I hear voices Ally and it frightens me. They’re telling me nasty things. When I’m doing math they remain silent.” Then he kept on scribbling. I tried to help him. Introduced him to Dr. Epstein, she’s a good friend of mine. At first he did really well but then it got even worse. I couldn’t handle it any longer and filed for divorce. Charlie didn’t die today, he died long ago,” her voice broke and she started to sob.

 

Someone rang the doorbell.

 

“I get it,” Don said while Megan tried to calm Alison.

 

It was Charlie. As the rancid smell of garbage assaulted his nostrils he wrinkled his nose in disgust, “geez, couldn’t you just warn me?”

 

“Sorry bro, try to ignore it,” Don growled and moved him into the living room.

 

Alison lifted her head as Charlie entered.

 

“Jesus,” she called out and covered her mouth with her hand.

 

Charlie looked at Don puzzled.

 

“Alison Brimley this is my brother Charlie. Charlie this is …”

 

“Brimley?” the younger one cut him short, “I knew a Charles Brimley at Princeton. He was two years older than me but he was also great in math.”

 

Alison swallowed, “then you’re the other part of the “nerdy-twins”?

 

Charlie shrugged, “I think so. He told you about it?”

 

She nodded slowly, “in his better days. And I have to admit there’s definitely some similarity.”

 

Don and Megan exchanged questioning looks.

 

“You knew Charles Brimley from Princeton?” asked Don, “you never mentioned anything about “the nerdy-twins”.”

 

Charlie was already examining the endless numbers and formulas Brimley had scribbled on the walls.

 

“I didn’t think it was important. Mom had known him, too.” He bent his head a little aside, “very interesting,” he mumbled.

 

“What?” Don peered over Charlie’s shoulder.

 

“I’m not quite sure. It’d be much easier if I could talk to Brim, I mean Charles. Where is he?”

 

“Unfortunately he’s the one who killed three people before he shot himself,” Don stated.

 

Charlie froze. It took seconds before he turned around and stared at his brother and the two women in disbelief.

 

“He did what?” his face fell and he turned pale, “I can’t believe it. I mean he was such a nice guy, very laid-back. Sometimes I thought he didn’t take math as serious as I did.”

 

“But he had changed over the past years,” Alison said bitterly, “it’s this fine line between genius and madness, you probably know what I’m talking about.” With the back of her hand she wiped her tears away.

 

----------

 

I was close to midnight. Don, Charlie and Alan sat around the coffee table. Three empty bottles of beer stood on it. They had been talking about Charles Brimley and his rampage.

 

“Did the scribbling on the walls tell you something?” Don wanted to know.

 

Charlie gnawed at his lower lip thoughtfully, “obviously he was trying to improve my “Mathematical Analysis of Friendship Dynamics” and he was desperately looking for a solution of P vs. NP.”

 

“This is sick,” Don spat, “it gives me the creeps. It seems to me he saw kinda role model in you Charlie. You’re lucky he didn’t come after you.”

 

Charlie shook his head, “we were never competitors. They called us the “nerdy twins”. We were united it was always us against them. We were encouraging each other, had almost the same interests. It’s not sick Don it’s scary. It could have been me who killed this innocent people today.”

 

“Rubbish,” Alan barked, “you have a solid background. A family who loves you and …”

 

“Brim had also a family,” Charlie objected, “he was even married. Something I’m still working on,” he sighed, “he had a good job at the NASA.”

 

“And he had a bunch of voices in his head who told him to pull the trigger,” Don interfered, “and I’m not talking about the “little voice” we all hear in our own heads from time to time, the interior monologue that helps us to figure out problems or whatever. He must’ve had some real troubles with that.”

 

“Until today where he decided to obey,” Charlie muttered.

 

“But why did he have to kill three people before he finally committed suicide?” asked Alan.

 

“A secret he took to the grave obviously,” Don stretched his legs and looked at his younger brother, “have you ever thought about the fine line between genius and madness, Chuck? I mean the whole department is talking about it.”

 

Charlie laughed bitterly, “I don’t think you have to be a genius to cross a certain line, do you? Isn’t there this legal term of “consciousness of guilt”?”

 

Don nodded, “It refers to actions one may take that show one is aware what he or she did was wrong.”

 

“I would say for telling right from wrong you mustn’t be a genius, bro. Brim was suffering from a mental disease. It wasn’t something you cut out like a tumor.”

 

“And I say he wasn’t looking for help early enough,” Alan stated, “according to his wife he hid his problems. Finally there was no way out and we all know what happened today.”

 

Alan darted his looks to and fro between his two sons, “remember what you’ve been asking me not long ago, Donnie?”

 

His eldest looked at him expectantly, “you asked me what if Charlie wouldn’t work for you anymore? Then you mentioned that your mom and I sacrificed so much for him to do something great.”

 

“He said what?” Charlie wondered.

 

Alan ignored his youngest and kept on talking, “and I replied, “you mean he should do something better than you do?” That none of us know where his path to greatness might lead him?”

 

Charlie cleared his throat and waved with his right hand, “hello, I’m here. Don’t talk about me like I’m not.” He drew his attention to Don, “I had no clue you’re worried about me.”

 

Don shrugged took the empty bottle just to put it right back on the table, “I wasn’t worried,” he grumbled.

 

“You were,” Alan snapped, “and I’ve also told you that we all made these sacrifices for Charlie, especially YOU.”

 

Don blushed.

 

Charlie smirked and nudged his brother’s shoulder, “glad to hear you’re not that soulless hormone driven adrenaline junkie I thought you were.”

 

Don’s look spoke volumes. Charlie jumped to his feet immediately.

 

Don followed suit yelling, “run for your life, Chucky, RUN!”

 

The End