Before I joined the Bureau, I was a cop–NYPD, like my father. I’d been with the FBI for two years on 9/11. I was in New York on a case that Tuesday morning. When the news broke, I got to the World Trade Center as fast as I could, knowing Dad would be there, doing his job as he had for over thirty years.
What I encountered there…I can’t even put it into words. Chaos. Smoke, so thick breathing was difficult. People running in all directions. Screaming. There were people jumping out of the upper floor windows, desperate to escape the fire. Ash in the air, heavy, suffocating.
I saw Dad and called out to him. “Stay back, honey!” he shouted, but he had to know I was not going to do so. I had to do all I could to help. That was how he raised me. That was what I was trained to do. I ran into the building after him, but lost him in the chaos. I started herding as many people as I could to safety. I told myself Dad was no rookie. He’d know how to get himself out safely and save as many lives as he could.
My father saved countless lives that morning, but not his own.
I was unable to function as an agent for months after that. I went into therapy, which helped me to deal with my feelings of guilt–and to a degree, the claustrophobia that resulted from the experience–but the emotional scars remain.
Now, I have to find thirty missing children…and whoever took them.
Author’s Note: This one was Collin’s pick–Jeri Ryan as Caitlin. This was the only character he really voiced an opinion on….