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Story Notes:
Okay! My partner, antomato, who was originally supposed to write a collaborative with me, bailed on me shortly after this project began. However, thanks to some encouragement from my reviewers, especially catlover5040, I have decided to combine this story with a different project. This story will become a sequel to Yesterday's Just A Memory and other stories, but you won't really need to read the others in order to understand this one. In addition, I'm not entirely sure what classifies as graphic violence. I don't think I've included any of that in this story, but if it gets to that point, I will include a warning in the chapter beginning notes. Thanks for reading! :-) Awesome banner by Dragonnan!

>Disclaimer: I do not own Psych, nor do I own any of its characters, settings, trademarks, or related material. Psych and all related materials are the property of their respective owners. The plot and original characters of this story are my intellectual property. I am not associated with Psych, its creators, or any involved parties. No copyright infringement is intended.

***UPDATE: Many thanks to everyone who voted for Roulette in the 7th Annual Psychfic Awards! You have no idea how much your support means to me. :-)

Banner and icons by Dragonnan, Harakiri, and Aakira

Author's Chapter Notes:
PineappleHead here!
In this chapter, I sort of started things off and set up the background of the serial killer. I also may have gone a bit overboard on introducing the Psych characters, but I wanted to make this as non-confusing as possible for antomato! :-)

I have included my OC, Rebecca, but I don't know if she'll stay. I'll play with it. Please enjoy!

Head Detective Carlton Lassiter scowled into his cup of coffee as he read over the case file spread out on his desk. There had been a homicide, the murder of a young shy man named John Trelowski. No murder weapon found at the scene. So far, no forensic evidence whatsoever had been found, either. The murderer, according to the "A" that had been painted on the floor of the victim's house in gold paint, was the Aurora Killer, who'd been moving from town to town across the West Coast, growing in notoriety with every stop.

"Um, sir?" came a voice from beside him.
Lassiter looked up. "What is it, McNab?"
"The coroner's finished the autopsy and he's ready to give you the report now."
Lassiter rose, tucked the case file back into his desk drawer, shoved the young officer out of his way, and motioned to his partner, Juliet.

Detective Juliet O'Hara and Lassiter arrived in the morgue to find Shawn and Gus already there and already talking to the coroner.
"Well, hey there!" Woody greeted them. "We were just talking about fruit punch. Would you like some watermelon?"

"Just give us the report," Lassiter snapped. "What did you find out?"
Woody shrugged. "Well, it's hard to find out anything because he was in pieces, but it looks like the killer gave him an overdose of a sedative and arsenic. He's been completely drained of blood, but she left it in a bag along with the bags of body parts. I have it in the freezer over here. As you can see, I put him back together. He looks kind of like the Frankenstein monster now. This would make a good movie."
"I'll write Paramount with the pitch," said Shawn. Gus retched into a trashcan in the corner.

Juliet cleared her throat, disturbed by the gruesome sight. "So...she embalmed him."
"While he was alive," confirmed Woody.

"Well, we still have to rule out the possibility that it's a copycat," Lassiter said.

"From what I've seen so far, and from comparing the results of this autopsy to the autopsies of Aurora's other victims, I would say there is a ninety-eight percent chance that this poor guy is indeed a victim of the Aurora Killer." Woody tore open a bag of gummy worms and began to have a snack, not bothering to take off the latex gloves he'd used for the autopsy. Examining victims of a serial killer was hard work, and he felt he deserved a break.

Lassiter cursed to himself. "That means every man in the city of Santa Barbara is a target. We've got to find her, and fast."

Suddenly, the door to morgue opened. "Detective?" called a shy secretary. "The Chief needs to see you all right away. There's been another murder."
Lassiter made a bee-line for the door, with Juliet, Shawn, and Gus close behind.
The four of them piled into Chief Vick's office as Rebecca Williams and Buzz McNab hovered outside the closed office door, waiting for any news.

The Chief looked up from her desk, and from the strained look on her face, Lassiter knew that whatever she had to say wouldn't be good. "There's been another murder, but this time...well, the first officers on scene found a note. Here." She handed Lassiter a plastic evidence bag with a small sheet of pink paper inside.

In neat, looping cursive, the killer had written a short, simple message in black marker: "Hello, Detective Lassiter."
Lassiter dropped the note on the desk as if he'd been burned. "What's this supposed to mean, Karen?"
"How am I supposed to know?" Chief Vick snapped. "It could mean anything. We know that she's inspired by Yin and Yang. It's possible that she wants to play a game of cat-and-mouse."
"But it's also possible that he's the next victim!" Gus said.
"Exactly," Chief Vick agreed. "Which is why I'm placing you in protective custody, Carlton."

"What? But---"
"No buts! This entire situation is dangerous. We can discuss this more later if necessary, but right now I need you to give the rest of the officers a briefing."
Lassiter jerked open the office door and stormed out, nearly knocking over Rebecca.

"Is it bad?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "I'm in protective custody."
"Is there anything you need? Anything I can do to help you?"
"I need more coffee. McNab! Come with me. I'm giving a briefing."

Lassiter shouted, "All right! I need everyone's attention! I'm going to be briefing you on our latest top priority, the Aurora Killer. I'm going to need everyone's utmost cooperation and focus. The Aurora Killer is highly dangerous and unstable. She chose her own name, claiming that she comes and goes quickly and unexpectedly, like Aurora Borealis. She operates primarily at night, and she targets only men. Generally speaking, she prefers quiet outcasts. However, she's been known to kill cops and criminals alike, and it's nearly impossible to predict who her next victim will be. She takes seven victims from each city before moving on to another, but she chooses cities with no pattern that we can determine. She injects her victims with high doses of sedatives and arsenic, then embalms them while they're still alive. She is exceptional at covering her tracks, and to date no one has ever found any real forensic evidence at one of her crime scenes. We don't even have a description of what she looks like." Lassiter noticed that McNab's hand was raised. "Yes, McNab?"

"Uh, sir? If we have no evidence and no description, then how are we supposed to catch her?" McNab asked.
"Oh, gosh, Lassie!" Shawn cried.
"What is it, Spencer?"
"You don't even know for sure that she's a woman!"
"I'm...pretty sure that she's a woman, Spencer."
"Are you saying that dudes can't use hot pink stationery, too? Because Gus has a whole drawerful."
"I do not, Shawn!" Gus smacked his best friend in the arm.

Lassiter rolled his eyes.
Juliet said, "Actually, Shawn, since the victims were poisoned, it kind of makes sense that the killer is a woman. Statistically, women are more likely to use toxins and overdoses as weapons."
"Statistically, not everyone is a psychic with great hair. Which means that she obviously isn't a woman, because what woman would send Lassie a love note instead of me?"

"She sent you a love note?!" Rebecca cried.
"No. Of course not. It was a threatening note."
"Written on hot pink stationery? Who sends a threatening note on hot pink stationery?" said Rebecca.
Gus shook his head as if the answer were obvious. "A serial killer!"

"It wasn't necessarily a threatening note," said Juliet. "It just said 'Hello, Detective Lassiter.' It could mean anything. It might even just be a ploy to get attention."

"If you think there's a possibility, you need to treat it as if it's a real threat," said Rebecca. "Be careful, all of you. I know what it's like to be faced with a serial killer, and this chick is worse than anything I've ever even heard about. I'm worried for you guys. I really am. Especially you, Carlton."
"I'll be careful," Lassiter replied, "and I'm going to bring this twisted sister to justice."
"Wow," Shawn said. "You just made THAT reference."

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