Simon the Ripper

cover

Simon The Ripper’s Mental Musings

By Humbuggie

(c) 2003

san@sv-tales.com

Edited by Truthwebothknow1

A special thanks goes out to X-Phylia, with my utmost

thanks for (ab)using her scientific mind to get all the

complex details of this story in right order. I’m not a

scientist. Thank god for me that she is.

Written for Virtual Season 11, with a special thanks to the

team there that has created such a wonderful series. I’m

hoping that my efforts will contribute to the series’

continuing success.

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Oh no, I see,

A spider web is tangled up with me,

And I lost my head,

The thought of all the stupid things I said,

Oh no what’s this?

A spider web, and I’m caught in the middle,

So I turned to run,

The thought of all the stupid things I’ve done

— Coldplay

Teaser

October 2003

Simon West liked to sing. No, he loved it. All the time. He

hummed at the office, even though the sound of music was

the furthest thing away from his ears. He chanted in the

car driving home, turning up the volume during Coldplay’s

Clocks, which he recited perfectly. He went wild on

Parachutes, too. At home, he was nuts on Dido. And when he

was in the shower, he preferred Sunday Bloody Sunday.

At school he was the boy you would always try to avoid in

the playgrounds. The one who was picked upon and teased

with his buckteeth, stupid grin and red hair above a

heavily freckled face. He was never cute, cuddly or even

slightly attractive: an awkward teen. He was off kilter.

Weird. Not the good weird, but the awkward type. Something

indefinable, something so strange, that it stirred in him a

pure hatred against women. What a miracle that he’d passed

all the psych tests to get his job; all forced upon him by

women. Women were everywhere: in the shops, the elevators,

the pharmacy, the office, the . . . well, everywhere!

A male teacher of his, one-day said: “Some people are

destined to become human

wallpaper. Just go with the flow, and you’ll be able to

live your life freely.”

Simon had taken that advice to heart; now he just sat back

and hated them all.

Today, Simon West no longer cared that women at the office

constantly took the piss out of him at work. Now he was

just the nerdy dude with the stupid Simpson’s-mug, who took

the four spoons of sugar in his coffee. The one who still

lived at his mother’s and liked her to make his lunch. In

fact, his mother was the only woman he didn’t hate. In the

end, he just learned quickly to become that unseen

wallpaper.

That night, on his way home from the office, Simon’s mind

had been made up. He had been researching all the details

for weeks online, imagining it all playing out inside his

rather large skull. He knew that he had all the equipment

now: the dark clothes, the gloves, the knife, the ropes and

“The Ultimate Guide to Ripping: A Full Companion for the

Future Serial Killer.” Lovely. He had also printed out all

the gruesome details he found described on a detailed,

known website, and also in books. He’d devoured every

single novel or reference book on Jack The Ripper; and last

week, he decided he would become him.

Jack The Ripper was his example, his god: the first serial

killer noted throughout history, becoming notorious through

his many gruesome acts and never caught. But Simon wanted

to get caught.

Perhaps he could commit one, two murders before anyone

would make the connection. Then, they would scream ‘murder’

and say that The Ripper had returned once more. At the turn

of the new millennium, someone needed to stir things up

sometimes. That someone was Simon West: Mister Ordinaire,

just like Jack The Ripper had once taken the innocence out

of London.

Simon scrubbed, shaved and dried while listening to

Radiohead’s OK Computer, and put on his black outfit.

Everything lay ready in the trunk of the car. Downstairs it

was quiet. His mother didn’t like to be disturbed after

eight, when she had cooked, cleaned and had dressed in her

satin nightgown that buttoned up to the top.

“I’m going out, mom,” he told her politely. “I’ll be back

in a few hours. Don’t worry about me.”

She didn’t respond verbally, but waved with her hand. He

locked the door from the outside and walked brusquely to

his car. His sedan waited for him. It was a run of the mill

trustworthy car, not an exciting one like most of his

colleagues drove. He left D.C. and headed for Baltimore. He

was a far cry from Victorian London, but he didn’t care.

There were plenty of alleys where he could find his whores

to kill. He had researched the areas well, and knew where

to go.

He pulled his car into an abandoned parking lot a few miles

outside of D.C. and walked over to the stolen RV he had

snatched three days ago. He’d replaced the license plates,

and paid some dude he knew to re-spray it black. It was

old, it stank strongly of dog piss but it suited the

purpose. He was in Baltimore in less than an hour.

He knew his way around quite well, having scanned the area

previously. He debated between Exeter Street, or Rhubarb

Road; deciding to pick out the latter. Plenty of working

girls hung out there, who would do anything for a dime. He

spotted groups of them on almost every corner, and a few

walking alone. He settled for the singletons.

He put on the Knicks’ cap that hid his thick red hair,

pulling it down low over his eyes. He cruised up beside a

woman dressed in black and red ass-freezer dress.

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“A blow, baby?” she purred instantly, lingering

suspiciously near the RV.

“I’m looking for a girl named Mary Ann,” he whispered

hoarsely, and then felt totally ridiculous. Who in their

right mind would listen to this shit and not be put in mind

of a B-movie?

But the working girl smiled. “You’re in luck baby, I’m Mary

Ann.”

“No, you’re not. I need a Mary Ann. A real one.”

“I can be whoever you want, darling.” He watched her

chewing gum working back and forth through her teeth. In

his mind’s eye, he pretended to choke her, to shove that

gum as far down her gullet as possible, blocking off the

air in her windpipe and have her suffocate on it.

“I want someone named Mary or Ann, or both. Got it?” he

hissed menacingly.

She froze for a second or two, and waved out her hand

instinctively. “There’s an Ann standing right over there.

The blonde bimbo with the leather boots. But she doesn’t

blow as well as I do.”

“I’m sure she’ll die better,” he muttered under his breath

as he drove off, leaving the redhead dazzled. Before long,

he had reached the blonde and asked if her name was Ann.

“Yeah,” she replied broadly.

He was angry that her hair wasn’t the right color, but

hell, that didn’t matter. “Hop in.” He threw open the door

and allowed her inside.

“No way,” she said. “Around that corner there’s a small

motel. I’m not doing you in your car.”

“Get in then, I’ll drive you.”

She hesitated. He took off his cap. She relaxed. “You seem

okay.”

She stepped in gingerly and they drove around the corner,

not even that far from where her friends normally worked.

But instead of going inside the cheap, sleazy motel that

was a magnet for hookers and their customers, he parked the

car one block down.

“Do you know why you are going to die?” he asked in a

friendly, matter of fact manner.

She startled and went for the door. He grasped her wrist.

“Do you?”

“No,” she squealed.

“Because you’re a stupid bitch woman with a stupid name

like Mary Ann who can’t keep her legs closed, and just begs

to be killed in some equally stupid alley, slashed by a

Ripper knife. That’s why.” He ground out a sliver of anger

between clenched teeth.

“Are you stoned?” she asked as calmly as she could manage.

He smiled. “I’m high on life, baby.”

“I’m calling the cops!”

He laughed. “You do that.”

In a flash, he’d grasped her by the hair and pushed her

down hard, smashing her head against the filthy dashboard.

She was stunned instantly. He left the RV and dragged her

out from the passenger side, wearing his gloves. Strands of

her hair remained on his clothing. He pulled her to the

ground, and then onto the wet pavement glistening from the

night’s rain.

Then he worked swift and fast, summoning up the gory

details that he almost knew from the top of his head.

Within three minutes he was gone, leaving her carved-up

body for her friends to find. Blood flowed from underneath

her body, twisting like a dark serpent into the drains

beside her. The cuts were exactly as the real Jack would

have made them.

Simon West’s voice remained calm until he reached his own

car again. He had been careful not to leave a single trace

inside the RV, still wearing his gloves. The bloodied

clothing he had quickly replaced for another set. He would

wash everything and re-use them the next time.

His mother would be long asleep by the time he got home,

under the influence of her sedative, and leave him to his

grisly devices. He felt strangely calm and started humming

to himself without music. By the time he’d reached his own

car again, he was ready to sing.

The voice never trembled even slightly as it passed to

mimic Coldplay’s volume. He switched on A Rush Of Blood To

The Head and sang every word perfectly.

It was a rush indeed.

The following morning, Simon West left for the office as

usual, dressed in a decent gray suit, with shiny black

shoes and an old-fashioned, boring tie. He used his badge

to gain access to the building, to his department on the

first floor, and ultimately to his desk.

“You’re late,” his female boss snapped. “We’re already

running behind on all these case files. Assistant Director

Miles is not happy with us right now, you know. The VCU

needs to score quickly, and the backlog is not helping

matters. Where the hell is your analysis?”

He thought of killing her right there. Instead, his face

smiled bravely. “I’ll stay behind late today and make sure

he gets everything.”

“You’d better. It’s your fault entirely, Simon. You don’t

work fast enough. Your work is a mess.”

Simon stretched his back, switched on his computer, and

accessed the Bureau’s most sacred databases, before

glancing unhappily at the amount of paperwork piled on his

desk. He glanced at his watch, wondering how long it would

take before anyone would drop the file on his desk, and ask

him to start researching data. His file. His crime.

Now that would give him quite a kick.

Act I

“I see. I see … I see. I see Nachos. Hot dogs.

Basketball. The New York Knicks vs the Washington Wizards.

The MCI Center. I see … I see … I see us there. Sunday

night. Eight p.m. Two tickets.”

Dana Scully waited in barely contained amusement, until her

partner in every sense of the word, was finished hocus

pocusing before stepping into the basement office they’d

shared for so long. She never missed a beat while strolling

to the desk, placing her briefcase on top of it, and

crossing her arms over herself.

Mulder sat at his desk, a hand held over his eyes, and the

other over two tickets he’d no doubt paid a fortune for.

They were front row center court, right behind the visitors

bench, the most expensive seats he could lay hands on. He

opened his eyes. “Oh yes, that’s our future, baby.”

“I see us working on Sunday evening,” she retorted. “There

goes your prediction. Or did you get that from the

Stupendous Yappi?”

Mulder looked up in quasi-shock. “Working, Agent Scully? On

a Sunday? Besides, is Yappi still in business? Last time I

heard, he was living in Australia predicting the future of

Skippy the Kangaroo, after declaring to the world that Al

Gore would beat the crap out of Bush, Jr.”

“Yes, Agent Mulder. Working. And the last thing I heard is

that Yappi’s working in Caesar’s Palace, Vegas, where he

urges zillions of filthy-rich men and women to spend

millions of bucks on the slots; telling them erroneously

which one is going to pop at any second.”

“Oh please, no work, Scully. Not this weekend! Is this

coming from the woman who vowed a long time ago that her

weekends were sacred, and that no one in this world could

drag her into becoming a weekend working girl?”

“Don’t forget mentioning that I also said Easter and

Christmas should fall together.” Scully lingered around his

desk, before sitting on top of the two tickets, nearly

squashing her partner’s hand in the process. “I should add

that it’s not my idea to work, but unfortunately it needs

to be done. This weekend. I’m sorry about your tickets.”

“Okay, where’s the fire?”

“We’ve had that already. It’s AD Henry Miles.”

“The new guy in VCU? I heard he was a hard ass, but since

when does he get to order us around?” Mulder groaned, “Did

he get lost on the way to his office?

Or is he attempting to replace Skinner who’s enjoying a

peaceful weekend in the City of Angels?”

“Well, actually, Skinner did tell us he would replace him

during his absence.”

“Which means that we have to obey the New Big Bad Boss. I

know,” Mulder sighed. “Ah well. So, what does he want?”

“I’m guessing he’s shooting under Skinner’s feathers. He

wants an evaluation of all our cases of the last year,

going meticulously over all the details from A to Z. Even

though you have an eidetic memory, I don’t see how we can

pull this off in less than a day. We are lousy admins,

Mulder. We both put it off until the very last moment. This

place is a mess, too; the cabinet is sloppy, the dust

bunnies will start an uprising soon. The cleaning lady

hasn’t been here for ages.”

“Says who?” Mulder smiled.

Scully ran a finger in a slow line through the grot on top

of that filing cabinet, pursing her lips with a hint of

annoyance, and lifted her finger up, shoving it under

Mulder’s nose. “Says my finger. Anyhow, it’s Friday and he

waited until eight a.m. this morning, while I stood in the

elevator with him, to throw this at me. Perhaps he’s

psychic too, and remote-viewed the tickets lying around on

your desk.”

“Tough.” Mulder leaned backwards, almost losing his grip on

the chair, dangling between empty space and the desk.

“He’ll get everything that’s in my head and that’s it. If

he wants a complete evaluation he can go run it by that

analyst guy they have ensconced in dust on the first floor.

I’m sure he can stump up all the crappy details that AD

Miles gets off on. Remember him? The Freckle Dude. He knows

it all, and it’s right there in his computer, sitting next

to Miles’s office. I’m sure he’s got no plans for the

weekend.”

“Are you really going to tell him that?” Scully smiled.

“The Freckle Guy will get all the blame, while you’re

shouting out obscenities from your top notch seat in all

your juvenile glory?”

“If he doesn’t like it, he can serve my head on a platter,

after we’ve seen the game. Now, grab your coat, Agent

Scully and take a walk with me.”

“Where to?”

“Starbucks. I’m thirsty. Didn’t have my CafŽ LattŽ this

morning, as you well know.”

“Oh Mulder.”

“What?” He stopped at the door and turned towards her.

“It’s not like we’re swamped with work right now. I’m

actually thinking of reopening up the Titanic case to see

if they didn’t crash into a UFO instead of a boring

iceberg, so at least we can go do a little sea trip, and do

something useful for a change. Hell, I’ll even watch the

movie with you for the twenty-fifth time, while running

back and forth serving you peanuts and cola. Anything’s

better than opening the Weekly World News for the umpteenth

time, hoping that one of the fake anal probing stories is

not so fake after all. Do you know that an eighty-year-old

man claimed he was probed and prodded for the use of his

sperm, to create alien-human hybrids? He’s suing the mental

institution he’s lived in since 1986, because they forgot

to lock their doors at night.”

She laughed. “If you put it that way, I’m fairly certain

that there’s a reason why you’re suddenly so keen to check

out the new flavors at Starbuck’s. They have great

frappucino’s there by the way, and I wouldn’t mind trying

one.”

“Yes. Thank you God!” Mulder exclaimed, waving his hands in

the air. “Agent Scully finally saw The Light, and is no

longer sucking down tofu crappy thingies.”

The second he opened the door; he was halted by a man

trying to enter at the same time. An almost inaudible groan

came from Mulder’s mouth, when he realized that the one man

he didn’t really care for right now stood before them.

Assistant Director Henry Miles.

“Coffee, sir?” The agent asked, broadly smiling.

“You can have that at the VCU, Agent Mulder. From what I

hear, they have excellent hospital-taste blend that will

open up your sinuses for the next two days. Walk with me.

Now, if you please.”

Miles marched off around the corner, before the X-Files-

agents could utter another word. Mulder threw down his

coat, glared at his partner and exclaimed, “Dead man

walking!” before sashaying after the Assistant Director,

shaking his ass. Scully trembled with laughter, muffled

only with the back of her

hand when Miles turned suddenly, and threw them the most

poisonous glare he could muster from his sizable

repertoire. Where was Skinner when you needed him?

The VCU was buzzing with activity as it always was. Mulder

saw people chatting, talking, discussing, and laughing.

Here, the most gruesome cases in the world were handled.

People who were ten times worse than Hannibal The Cannibal

were being sought, taken down and readied for trial.

Laughter was natural in the bowels of the VCU: it was a

safety valve; their way of ridding themselves of the

anxieties one experienced on a daily basis.

There were a lot of new Special Agents there now, and

plenty of profilers, Mulder thought. The VCU had expanded

quite a bit after 09-11, when suddenly the world seemed to

be filled with more danger and serial killers than ever.

Some said that the New Millennium was actually the cause: a

lot of weirdos out there thought they were the new Jack The

Ripper, or Boston Strangler and wanted their five minutes

of fame. Jerry Springer didn’t cut it anymore. The only way

to get publicity now was by slaughtering and killing.

It had been a while since Mulder was asked to profile a

case at the VCU. They had been quite busy lately with their

own cases, which also involved a number of strange

killings. So why were they here now?

Miles ordered the two newcomers to sit down in the room

filled with FBI colleagues, and walked up front.

“Revenge,” Mulder hissed at his partner. “We probably

forgot to clean his toilet.”

Scully leaned relaxed into Mulder’s side, as they perched

sitting on the edge of a desk, before whispering back, “If

this has to do with your little trip to the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame in Cleveland a few weeks ago, you know, the

one that you tried to reimburse through your expense

account, I swear I’m impounding your desk right here and

now, and throwing your name plate in the garbage. I told

you he wouldn’t go for the ‘Elvis was an alien’ angle.”

He smiled and turned to her. “If I were ever abducted by

aliens, I’m sure that’s the first thing you would do

anyhow. My name plate wouldn’t survive a fortnight.”

She showed him the broadest of grins, just as Miles turned

towards them and voiced coldly, “I hope the joke was funny,

Agent Scully because I can assure you that this case is

not. The details I’m about to tell you are not so humorous.

Keep that in mind when I show you the following photos. I

hope none of you had a large breakfast of bacon and eggs,

or any other cholesterol-laden junk you might chow down in

the local diner. This is not good for the appetite. You

have been warned.”

Before Mulder could quip, gruesome photos of four carved up

bodies were passed around the room, silencing the eight men

and women gathered there. Scully and Mulder, who were the

last to receive them, watched how their colleagues faces

became red and then pale, and how some balked and looked

away. A young woman, who obviously was brand new at the

VCU, rushed out of the room, taking deep breaths in an

attempt not to spew out in the hall. Miles ignored her.

“What is it?” Mulder asked as the photos were handed to

him. He too became very silent when the photos lingered in

his hands. He had seen a lot of gruesome stuff in his

lifetime, but this really took the cake. His eyes took in a

morass of flesh, blood, and the remains of other various

human tissues, as yet undermined. There was simply nothing

really that could easily explain the intent behind such a

vicious crime. This wasn’t done by a human, but by a

monster. He had seen such photos before: more blurry and

out of date, but definitely in the same manner.

“We’re not looking for Hannibal The Cannibal this time,” he

groaned as he handed Scully the photographs. “More like the

MO of Jack The Ripper.”

“Indeed.” Miles looked straight at his agent. “You hit it

on the nail, Agent Mulder. It seems that we might.”

“Sir?” Scully asked, swallowing back the disgust at seeing

such gruesome details.

Miles stretched his back and looked around the room.

“The agents I have in here are top notch, and the very ones

that I need to resolve this matter quickly and silently.

That’s why you are starting immediately; you will drop

everything else you’ve been working on. You will work on

this case non-stop, until we find the killer who butchered

the four women I’ve just shown you.”

Miles paced through the room; satisfied that he was

grabbing the attention he sought.

“The bodies you have just seen belonged to four working

girls in the Baltimore area. They have been noted as

professional hookers for at least four years. All of them

were sliced and diced over the past three nights, with

every subsequent act becoming more gruesome. Last night

there were two bodies discovered in the same area, only a

hundred feet from each other. None of these women have any

connection to each other, or to anyone else. Different

pimps, different areas, different features, different

names. Yet they were not taken randomly. They appear to

have been taken because of their names. Names that concur

with the prostitutes that Jack The Ripper killed in London

during the late 1800’s. The method of murder is also the

same. Since the case of Jack The Ripper has become quite

notorious over the years, all these details can be found in

abundance on the Internet and in books.”

“How did you make the connection, sir?”

“The killer made it for us,” Miles continued in stiff tone,

and then looked at Mulder. “Agent Mulder, I happen to know

that you studied the case of Jack The Ripper during your

time at Oxford. I am sure you could convey the particulars

of the story to your colleagues.”

Mulder stepped forward feeling as if he were back in

school, and had been asked to draw a mathematical

calculation on the board, slightly uncomfortable because it

was Miles’s scrutiny he was most under.

“I don’t recall all the details anymore, sir. I can give

you a summary.”

“Go ahead.”

“I believe the murders occurred sometime in the fall of the

year 1888. Jack The Ripper selected prostitutes from

Whitechapel, a London District, and murdered them in a very

vicious way. He was considered the very first serial

killer, and even though there are plenty of ideas of how

and why he did it, in the end it became clear that every

murder became more gruesome, as though his anger escalated.

They knew of at least five murders he actually committed,

but there were constant rumors of a total of eight or nine

murders. He left a message written in chalk on a door at

one point, which led people to believe he was a Freemason.

Since chalk was quite expensive in that time, the only ones

who would have afforded it were doctors, carpenters,

butchers or craftsmen.”

“Do you recall what that message was, Agent Mulder?”

I smiled and looked at him. “Of course I do: ‘The Juwes are

the men That Will Not Be Blamed for nothing’. Interestingly

enough, for an educated man, he miswrote the word ‘Juwes’.

The murders stopped after he almost totally decimated the

body of one young prostitute. He then disappeared. He also

sent letters to the police, taunting them to catch him, but

they never did. Oh and I personally believe it was the

doctor sir, even though I have seen the movie, From Hell,

where they claimed the killer was conspiratorially linked

to the royal family.”

“Very good, Agent Mulder,” Miles muttered with a wry grin

on his lips; taking a photo that had been tucked inside the

map he was holding. It was a photo of a sentence written in

chalk on a green, old door.

“The Juwes are the men That Will Not Be Blamed for

nothing,” he repeated aloud. “That’s our link, ladies and

gentlemen, the sign that our Ripper wanted to leave us.

We’ve got a copycat killer on our hands, and only one more

murder to go before he finishes his grisly spree, if he’s

true to Ripper form. If he is stopping, that is.”

Miles focused on the faces of his agents. “This man is

eager to get the slashings over and done with. In the real

Ripper-case, the killings happened over a period of nearly

two months. Our killer has killed four women in the past

three nights, and I’m fairly certain he’ll go for his fifth

victim tonight. This means that we only have this afternoon

to solve this matter. By tomorrow morning, it could all be

over.”

“With all due respect, sir,” an agent from the back asked.

“But why didn’t we know about this earlier?”

“The Baltimore police didn’t really seem to care much about

hookers being offed,” Miles retorted coldly. “Until it

turned out that the last victim was the estranged daughter

of one of their most famous surgeons. He has threatened to

inform the press over the lackadaisical police behavior,

and also slam Baltimore PD if they didn’t contact us. So

now their blood is on our hands, so to speak.”

“What did they do wrong, sir?” Scully asked curiously.

“It’s what they didn’t do: like sending samples of the

victims’ clothing to the labs, non-prioritized. It takes at

least a week then before the results to come back. I am

certain we can do much better than that.”

“Does that mean, sir, that we didn’t have that evaluation

on Monday?” Mulder suggested. Miles didn’t laugh.

“I want feedback on this quickly. The local press is

starting to catch on now that the rumor about the surgeon’s

daughter has made its way onto CNN, and they’re not happy

that the Baltimore P.D. has been treating this case as a

couple of unrelated murders. We need results, and we need

them fast. Agent Moore, you are in charge of this

investigation, because you’re the senior agent in VCU. I

want everyone to report to you. You in turn, will report to

me. Set up shop here and move quickly.”

Moore smiled in a self-assured, quite cocky way. He was an

agent with the mental agility of a goose, Mulder thought.

Of all the people in the VCU, why did Miles have to pick

him? Why not Kenny Andrews, who was a much better profiler?

It wasn’t even as if Moore had the brains to solve such a

case. Or was it because Miles knew Moore would never get

much press coverage?

“Agent Mulder, why are you still lingering about? I suggest

you take your partner and your awe-inspiring brain to the

morgue and get an idea of what these photos really look

like up close and personal. Since you’re the resident

Ripper-expert, I want you in the field. Let someone else do

the profiling. Hell, we’ve already got the MO/profile. Just

go to http://www.casebook.org and scan the information at hand.”

With that, the AD Miles disappeared down the hall to his

office and slammed the door, startling most of the agents

working on the floor.

Mulder’s eyes followed Miles, catching a glimpse of the

Freckle Guy who sat at his desk typing furiously away,

while a woman waved hand gestures over his head; obviously

shouting at him. The redheaded man didn’t even seem to

notice, stuck in his own world.

What was his name again? Mulder tried to remember,

concluding that he didn’t even know it. Ah well. He

shrugged and turned towards Scully. “It seems that the

slicing and dicing has already been done for you. But how

about we take a look?”

She pulled a face. “No frappucino’s today. You’d better

sell those tickets too. We’re never going to make it.”

“Wanna bet I can solve this case tonight, and we’ll still

make the tip-off?”

“You’re on, Mulder, for two frappucino’s.”

“You’ll choke on them, Scully. Your insides will freeze up

and you’ll have an ice cream tofutti frozen yogurt

headache.”

She smiled, and whispered for him alone to hear. “Who says

I’ll drink them?”

The morgue had always been an eerie place for Mulder, but

not so for his partner, who somehow always managed to get a

certain sparkle in her eyes, betraying her excitement. This

was her territory and he felt awkwardly out of place.

Give him psychic abilities any time. Or a profile to

create. Or Jack The Ripper. Even though he wouldn’t admit

it to anyone, he did know the whole case by heart,

including all the names of the victims. He had read at

least a dozen books on the subject, and knew all the

theories by heart. It was one of the reasons why he became

so intrigued in psychology in the first place. That, and

novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose Sherlock Holmes

made solving crimes seem so easy and inspiring.

Back in Oxford, he’d started to get acquainted with all the

details of the case, even jotting down his own notes and

theories. He had done the Ripper tour in London, and walked

through Whitechapel to get a feel for the place, as it

would have been a hundred years ago. Unfortunately the

streets were no suburbanized, and there was nothing left of

the old town, except a few churches and original pubs here

and there. He knew the Casebook website well, and had even

contributed theories to it. He had the special edition of

From Hell, and loved to theorize that Jack The Ripper had a

connection to the royal family; as suggested in both the

film and popular myth. He didn’t care much for the monarchy

anyhow.

The notion that there might be someone out there

copycatting The Ripper was more than exciting for Mulder.

In fact, were it not for the deadline, he would be looking

forward to going head to head with a Ripper-copycat.

Perhaps, if he were lucky, the killer might even be a

reincarnation! How cool would that be?

Mulder’s resolve lessened slightly, as his eyes took in the

remains of the washed bodies of the three victims. Good

thing he’d passed on that Starbucks Coffee. It probably

would have shot back up his throat. It really was gruesome.

No, more than that. It was horrific, disgusting and very

much an act of pure misogynistic hatred. Whoever did was

mentally deranged. Either that, or had a real hard on for

The Ripper.

“They were all slashed across the throat,” the coroner

started to explain. “But from there come the differences.

Entrails are missing. This victim is missing a nose. She -”

Mulder found himself swaying off, as the monotone voice of

the coroner droned on and on, with gory detail after gory

detail, of the final moments before the women all met their

deaths. Good thing The Ripper had thoughtfully slashed

their throats first, before committing his gruesome deeds,

he thought. One cannot imagine what it must have been like

to die in such a manner: alone and abandoned by the world

that lived and breathed only a few seconds away.

Mulder didn’t need to know all the details. He knew them,

as well as he knew the first names of the women who lay

here. He looked at their distraught, ghastly pale faces and

suddenly it struck him, that there was only one night and

one victim left. The clock was ticking.

“Scully, I’m going to head back to the office,” Mulder cut

in, interrupting the discussion. “I have to talk to Moore

about where to go from here.”

“How am I going to get back?” she asked, surprised.

“I’ll drop you off,” the coroner proposed. “I’m heading

there for a couple of meetings in an hour anyhow.”

“Oh. Okay.” She looked at her partner. “You go then. Don’t

go anywhere without me, okay?”

“Yes, boss.” He winked and left the coroner’s office

hastily. Outside, he gulped down a few deep breaths,

grateful for the fresh air that filled his lungs. His

stomach still felt queasy, but already he was gathering

thoughts and formulating ideas on what to do next.

“But lunch first,” he muttered under his breath, and

crossed the street to buy two, extra ketchup laden hotdogs

from the vendor.

Simon West was a man without nerves. He’d learned to forget

how to be nervous, while growing up being pestered by just

about anyone. He had taught himself not to show any

emotions.

Yet, the second he learned his file had opened at the FBI

he felt excitement grow inside of him. This was better than

sex! Not that he knew what sex was, of course. This was how

it felt to score a goal or touchdown, or have a number one

hit in the charts. It felt so good. Fabulous. Orgasmic.

His boss, Vera Thompson, threw a thin new file on his desk.

“I want you to look up all the data you can on Jack The

Ripper. File all the information under the name “John Doe

Ripper”. We need it now instead of tonight. Mandatory

overtime.”

“Yes.” His fingers lingered on the label stuck onto it.

John Doe, he thought. How he wished he could announce that

his name was Simon. Simon The Ripper. Now, didn’t that have

a cool ring to it? Oh, if only someone would figure it out.

He was growing tired of murdering, anyhow. Good thing

tonight was the last one, even though it would be the

hardest one of all. The original Jack really had his way

with that last hooker; almost turning her inside out. His

stomach clenched in anticipation. Ah well, he was used to

the blood already. In his mind, he was merely butchering

pigs and chickens, not humans.

If only they would find his little hint. He had hoped the

Feds would have been on the case two days ago. Stupid

Baltimore cops. Why had they dithered so long? Simon

started scanning the Net; stored and then printed out data

on The Ripper. He knew all the websites by heart.

He looked up again to find Fox Mulder standing at his desk.

With one startling gesture, Simon brought his index finger

to his mouth, nibbling on his fingernail; a habit he’d

nurtured fifteen years ago. Pieces of the nail stuck on his

tongue and in his mouth; he flushed a scarlet red.

“Do you mind if I take what you have already?” came the

agent’s friendly request.

Simon, for the first time face to face with the man he had

admired for so long, just nodded quietly. “Go ahead.”

“Thanks eh -”

“Simon. Simon West.”

“Thanks, Simon.” Mulder turned around and walked to the

conference room reserved for the agents working on the

case. Simon’s eyes followed him until he closed the glass

door. The data analyst sighed deeply. If only he would be

the one to find the little lead Simon had planted for them.

Mulder had one of the most astute minds in the FBI. It

couldn’t be that hard to catch him, now could it?

ACT II

“How many cops are guarding the area?” Moore asked his

partner, Lane, a feisty female, who looked more man than

woman. Mulder smiled because he knew Lane. A long time ago,

before Scully breezed into his office, rumor had it that

Blevins had earmarked either Lane or Scully for the job of

Mulder-Watch. Good thing they picked Scully. He couldn’t

possibly imagine himself working day and night with this

volatile creature.

“According to the Baltimore P.D.? Too many already.”

“They still don’t give a shit, do they?”

“If it hadn’t been for the surgeon, they would have passed

on this case. They see hookers every day. They feel this

guy is probably just doing them a favor by cleaning up the

city.”

Mulder smiled while continuing to scan the photos and

coroner’s report that had been e-mailed to them earlier. He

had the original Ripper’s coroner’s reports next to him, as

well as the original photographs that were printed out by

Simon The Freckle Guy.

“Something’s off,” he finally said after half an hour of

intense reading, startling most of the agents who were

working just as intently, on their share of the

information. Moore left his desk and walked over.

“What? What do you see?”

“The last victim has been killed differently. If he

followed the original Ripper MO, her body would have been

much more severely decimated than it is. He left it pretty

much intact, and I’m wondering why.”

Mulder looked up at Lane. “Didn’t the Baltimore cops say a

man almost caught him in the act?”

“Yeah, an eyewitness heard a scream, went to look and found

her dead.”

“Yet he still had to time to carve up bits and pieces of

her, but not everything. Interesting. Now tell me, if you

were a serial killer, Agent Lane, would you still take your

time slicing, when at any point in time you could be

disturbed by a sailor, or pimp?”

“I would get the hell out of there.”

“Quite interesting,” Mulder muttered. “Especially since the

Ripper liked

to cut his victim’s throats; severing the vocal cords in

one drag. Assuming he took his time to carve into her, how

could the victim have screamed without a voice?”

“So -?” Moore asked.

“Our guy left a chalk message on a door, and he didn’t

follow the full procedure on the Catherine-victim. That

means he wants us to believe he was nearly caught in the

act. In truth, I believe he might be leaving us a clue, and

perhaps that is, that he wanted to get caught.”

“If he wanted to get caught, he would have waited.”

Mulder smiled. “Agent Moore, the first thing you learn

while studying serial killers, is that most of them have an

unspoken urge that needs to be fulfilled. They almost dare

us to stop them. The duality is that they want to get

caught, but don’t want to. You know?”

“Agent Mulder, I’m sure your theory will amount to

something but -”

“All the other victims were killed in the exact same manner

as the original ones, Agent Moore. Meticulously up to the

smallest detail: the way the bodies were placed, the way

they were carved up, the entrails that were missing, …

everything. Only, in 1888 it was the third victim that was

left in one piece, because the Ripper got caught. The

theory was that he killed a second woman that same night to

satisfy his blood lust. But here, our Ripper was killing

his fourth victim, while the police had already found the

third. Yet, he left her in one piece too. Why would he do

that, if not to leave us a breadcrumb?”

“Aren’t you reading into details too far, Mulder?” Moore

smiled nervously.

“I don’t think so. I’m wondering – could I have that

description on the victim’s clothing again?”

“Leather skirt, black panties, high black heels, short top,

push-up bra,” Lane read out in detached monotone. “Just

enough to leave some skin covered.”

“And enough clothing to leave smudges or traces on the

leather. A fingerprint or DNA, perhaps. Wouldn’t that be

great? I mean, I know the clothing has already been

examined for prints, semen and all that, but we know that

we can do better. Do you know where it is?”

“At the coroner’s, I’m sure. He would have picked it up,

had the killer used his bare hands, Mulder,” Moore said.

“You’re looking for things that aren’t there.”

“It won’t be on the clothes then. Whatever trace he left of

himself, it must be on her body somewhere.”

Mulder grasped his cell phone and dialed Scully’s number.

“Hey, traitor,” she said, picking up.

“Hey, are you still at the coroner’s?”

“Yeah.”

“Could you do me a favor, and ask the coroner to go over

the last victim’s abdominal area again, to find any

possible residual tissue or semen from our perp?”

“Mulder, she was a hooker. I’m fairly certain there will be

DNA from more than one person on her body.”

“Do you?” he winked.

“But I should check the clothes, too. I have this hunch our

killer might have left behind a few clues there.”

“You’re right,” Mulder agreed. “Get on it.”

“Yes, Mr. Bossman.”

After Mulder hung up, he turned to find Simon West, staring

across at him from behind his desk. The redheaded man rose

up and walked slowly over to him. Mulder leaned back in

anticipation, as the other agent handed more printouts to

him.

“Is it true you’re looking for a Ripper copycat?” Simon

asked quietly.

“Yep.”

“Great. I mean, fascinating. If there’s anything I can do –

“How are you fixed in the coffee department?” Moore yelled

over his shoulder, then grinned broadly at his own stupid

joke.

Simon turned crimson, and left before Mulder could utter

another word. The agent stared at the other man’s slumped

walk, realizing who West reminded him of: Rain Man.

Minutes later, Mulder’s phone rang.

“You were right,” Scully spoke excitedly over the phone.

“We picked up enough tissue to get a DNA-sample, and should

have it analyzed within the next twenty-four hours.”

“We don’t have twenty-four hours, Scully. If our theory is

correct, he’ll be slicing before midnight. That’s in about

seven hours. You’re not giving me much of a window here. In

fact, if the analysis is that late, it will not help one

bit.”

“Mulder, have you got any idea how complicated it is to

perform a DNA-test? In normal circumstances, a person has

to wait two weeks to find out if he fathered a child. So be

glad they can rush this through in a day.”

“Yeah but we have a great, big and beautiful lab in the FBI

that can do this in a matter of hours. We need you to pull

some strings here, Scully. Your Quantico-colleagues will do

you a favor, right? I’m sure they can speed things up a

little bit.”

“Right,” she sighed. “I’ll head over there myself. So, what

are you going to do?”

“Me? I’m going clubbing.”

“Ha ha, very funny.”

“Seriously. Since ‘Field Marshall’ Miles wants me as a

field agent on this, I am going to the area myself to check

out some bars. There might still be a remote possibility

our John is killing off the competition, even though I

don’t think so. I’ll probably be home late tonight,

darling.”

“Mulder, you’re not going by yourself, are you?”

“Of course not. I’ve got Agent Moore to keep me company

even though he looks more like a Fed than most of those

stereotypes on Die Hard. Plus, he isn’t as gorgeous as you

are. I’m telling you, this guy has F.B.I. written all over

him. I’d be better off alone.”

“Don’t you dare do that, Mulder, I’ll go with you.”

“Nah. We’ll need you as a decoy later on to play Mary

Kelly.”

“Who?”

“The last victim. She was a redhead too, did you know

that?”

“Funny, Mulder. I’ll talk to you later.”

Mulder smiled as he pocketed his phone, and then looked in

shock at Moore for a second as something hit him. The agent

lived only a block down from the office, and had gone back

and forth to change for their night out. And there he

stood: dressed in the most overtly, flashy colors ever. He

looked like a Hawaiian pimp. The shirt screamed

‘Undercover’ all over it.

“Oh.my.god.” Mulder couldn’t help but muffle his laughter

at the sight of the cowboy boots, and greasy slicked black

hair combed back on his head.

“What?” Moore asked innocently. “Don’t I look okay?”

“Moore, how long as it been since you’ve been in a bar?”

“Hmm, about fifteen years.”

“And before that, you mirrored yourself on Magnum P.I.? You

even have Tom Selleck’s chest hair? Jeez, the only thing

missing is the mustache.”

“Actually, I have a fake one -”

“Save it, Moore. Come with me, I’ll help you out.” Mulder

got up and patted his colleague on the back. “I’ll

transform you into a sexually obsessed forty-something in

no time.”

As the other agents shared instructions on their duties for

the following hours from Moore, Mulder caught Simon West

hanging around his desk looking quite bored. He didn’t know

what it was about West that somehow made him feel sorry for

the man. Was it because he really was the garbage bin of

the office? Because no one seemed to give him a break? He

didn’t know.

Yet West seemed to be the type of guy that actually

belonged in a sleazy bar, seated on a stool while some

bimbo danced around a pole for a buck or two. With him,

they would definitely look undercover.

“How’s Miles on lending out people?” Mulder asked, turning

to Moore. “I’d like to take The Freckle Guy as our third

man.”

“Who? West?? Mulder, he’s a first class loser. He’ll do

nothing!”

“Indeed, that’s what I’m looking for. He’ll fit right into

those bars we are going to visit. Better than you faking it

as Magnum P.I. and ready for the karaoke club.”

“Miles will never allow this.”

“He’s not here right now, right?”

“No, he’s in a meeting with the new Deputy Director.”

“Goodie.” Mulder walked over to West and tapped on the

desk. West looked up in sheer awe, surprised that once

again he was called upon.

“How about a night on the town in Baltimore?”

West suddenly smiled broadly, revealing a set of perfect

white teeth. “I love Baltimore! But can I call my mother

first and tell her I’ll be late?”

Moore groaned loudly.

With Simon West sitting quietly as a little boy in the back

of the car staring outside, Mulder started a conversation

with Moore, who seemed to admit there was a slight issue

between the agents.

“I know what you’re thinking, Mulder,” he said. “You don’t

think I can handle this case.”

“I don’t care either way, Moore. To be honest, I’m just

here to do a job, and then on to the MCI Center to catch

the game.”

“Yes, you do care. You’re like a kid on a playground. You

feel right at home in this kind of world. Is that because

you’re dealing with monsters every day?”

“The human psyche is a monster, Agent Moore. It doesn’t

matter if you chase human weirdoes or whatever. In the end,

it all boils down to one thing: everything happens for a

reason. Find that reason, and you find your killer.”

“Does a creep like that need a reason to murder?”

“They never do. They act on their instincts.”

From the rear came a sound. Simon opened his mouth and

caught Mulder’s glare in the rearview mirror. He cleared

his throat, and stretched his back a bit. “Don’t you think,

Agent Mulder, that someone can kill just to get rid of some

desires, but for no particular reason at all?”

Mulder smiled sympathetically. “They all do that, West.

Every single one of them. We humans are a veritable

cornucopia of desires and urges. It’s just the question of

if you act upon them.”

“And what if that man doesn’t know how to stop anymore?”

“Then he will be stopped, one way or another. That’s where

law enforcement is vital.”

Mulder never took any of his colleagues home, save for

Scully and Skinner, but he wasn’t about to let the Hawaiian

Shirt Agent become the cause of any them getting hurt. So

the two agents followed Mulder into his apartment, the two

of them looking around curiously. Moore, because he’d

always wondered if Spooky Mulder was actually a freak that

kept alien fetuses on his dresser; and West because he

wanted to know how his favorite agent lived.

They were both disappointed.

“Your apartment looks normal. Boring even,” Moore

complained. “This sucks, Mulder.”

“Sorry.” Mulder disappeared into the bedroom, and returned

with two sets of clothing. One pair would fit Moore

perfectly, albeit a bit small around the waist, but West

would drown in them.

West changed in Mulder’s bathroom, taking his time to nose

around for special things while biting his fingernails. No

female stuff here, nothing out of the ordinary. Just

shaving gear, soap and all the necessities of life. What a

drag.

He bit his thumbnail, and dropped small pieces of it on the

tiles; not even aware of what he was doing. His mother had

tried to break him out of the habit, but even as an adult

he couldn’t shake it off. He did it everywhere, even in the

stolen car that waited for him outside the D.C. area.

Simon West felt troubled. He knew he had to kill tonight,

but how he was going to do that, when he was undercover

with his idol and another agent? Should he just go with the

flow and play it by ear? Perhaps he should ask Mulder to

come join the party. He was certain that Mulder must have

the murderous streak in him too. You had to be a little

crazy if you were a field agent/profiler. It was almost a

requirement to get in the heads of perps. Perhaps Mulder

would even be in awe that he, Simon West, had fooled them

all. Just wait and see, he thought as he hummed The

Scientist.

When he walked outside, he looked like a regular guy. Clad

in jeans with rolled up pants, a sweater with rolled up

sleeves and his hair combed neatly, he was ready to go.

Moore actually looked human again, too. Mulder looked suave

dressed in jeans, dark sweater and leather jacket.

“All right, boys,” Mulder smiled broadly. “Let’s go catch

us some fish.”

The night before, Simon West had made himself a case file

that he kept at home on his computer. He had started to

gather information on Fox Mulder ages ago, but had never

done anything with it. The frustration had struck when he

realized that after three days of murdering, no one at the

FBI seemed eager to take on the case. During one very long

restless hour, he had thought he would never get Mulder’s

attention.

But in the morning, when he learned about the fresh cases

at hand being probed, he knew he was in luck. They were

interested and alarmed now. And yes, soon enough Mulder

showed up. Simon had instinctively known that Miles would

drag Mulder into it.

Simon couldn’t even explain why he liked Mulder so much. It

probably had something to do with the fact that he lived a

very mysterious professional life in that basement office.

West had seen cases pass by his desk that were about

aliens, government cover-ups, freaky people, monsters, and

misfits of science; just about running the gamut of

everything imaginable.

The case that really caught his interest was Luther Lee

Boggs, the serial killer who claimed he was psychic. From

then on, whenever he could, during the dreary working hours

he maintained, West would study cases of the X files agents

had solved or not solved.

He couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to step

into Mulder’s shoes, facing danger every day of his life.

It would sure as hell take the edge off the boredom and

dreariness he felt right now.

Perhaps that’s why I do what I do? West pondered as he

jumped into the backseat of Mulder’s car. To kill the

boredom. So far, he hadn’t really found another reason.

Should there be one then? Perhaps not.

They arrived in Baltimore around seven p.m., after stopping

at a deli to pick up sandwiches, ice tea and coffee.

“So what now?” Moore asked, as soon as Mulder parked the

car outside The Inn, a dreary old place that looked like it

belonged in old London. “Are you going to stand around

outside, and look for working girls who are named Mary?”

Mulder glanced in the rearview mirror. “West, what do you

think?”

“I’d go inside that bar, and check to see if there are any

pimps who have girls named Mary, and get them off the

streets. And then see if they have noticed anything odd.”

“And why do we not ask that as FBI-agents?”

“They’d pack up their bags and go. They won’t talk.”

“West, are you sure you’ve never been out in the field

before?” Mulder asked grinning.

“Actually, I have -” Simon stopped, knowing he would be

giving out too much information. He didn’t want Mulder to

know the truth about his reasons for wanting to work as a

data analyst.

It was too late. Moore laughed loudly. “Yeah, he fucked up

his first case, didn’t you know? That’s why Miles has

banished him to the office permanently. He killed his own

partner, the sucker.”

Simon knew when he was being toyed with and when he didn’t

like it. He felt his face Contract, his cheeks turn red and

his entire beings thrum with anger. This was exactly what

he’d been trying to avoid for so long, the reason why he

became Simon The Ripper in the first place. He needed to

release pent up steam. He needed to show that he could do

it.

He clenched his fists, and chewed on his lip until it bled.

And he would have rushed forward in that anger, for the

first time in his life forgetting his exterior meek

appearance, when Mulder suddenly spoke in a harsh, angry

tone towards Moore.

“Don’t ever call anyone a sucker for getting hurt, okay? Do

you want to lose your partner?”

“No, but -”

“Do you?”

“No!”

“Then have respect for your colleague, and don’t ever treat

him like garbage again, okay?”

“Geez Mulder, get off your high horse.”

“I’m sure you mean ‘Spooky Mulder’.”

“Whatever,” Moore shrugged, throwing his sandwich on the

ground. “I’m going inside. You can follow in ten minutes.”

“Don’t do anything stupid like blowing your cover,” Mulder

hissed after Moore rammed the door shut. “Sucker.”

Suddenly Simon did something he hadn’t done in ages. He

laughed. He could feel it starting deeply from his insides,

becoming harder and harder until a flood of mirth rushed

through him, until he heaved with escaping laughter. He

could not recall having laughed this loudly before. Ever.

And when he looked into the mirror, he discovered that

Mulder was laughing too. In fact, he was roaring along with

him, instead of at him, like most people did.

“Here,” the agent said. “Have a seed.”

“Don’t mind if I do,” Simon replied, spitting out the piece

of fingernail stuck inside his mouth. “Thanks.”

“Gross, West.”

“I know. Call it a bad habit.”

Mulder just smiled and chewed on a seed, wondering what

Moore was up to inside the bar.

“So, what happened to your partner?”

Simon raised an eyebrow. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Sure you do. You were eager enough to come when I invited

you along. Now spill, while you look around for anything

out of the ordinary, like guys trying to lure girls

outside, that sort of thing.”

“My partner and I were supposed to backup a couple of other

field agents, who were going after a bank robber at his

apartment. We walked in and he started shooting at us. We

ducked away, inside the apartment. I ran, Agent Mulder. I

ran into the bathroom and shut the door, while they kept on

shooting back. He was hidden behind the couch that stood in

front of the bathroom door, right there. All I had to do

was open the door and shoot him at point blank range. But I

panicked, uh… chickened out. I fired three times through

the door. I heard shouts. When I opened the door, I saw

that Larry was dead as a doornail. I had accidentally shot

him through the door. After that, they laughed at me.

Everyone thought it was a great joke. Horrible really. Just

awful. Agent West shot his

partner and peed his pants. Funny, isn’t it? Since then,

the closest I’ve come to a case is by putting the data into

the system.”

“Well, just don’t shoot me,” Mulder smiled as they walked

to the bar door.

The next one to enter the bar was Simon. He insisted on it.

Mulder watched him leave as he grasped the cell phone to

call his partner.

“Thanks for making this case quite boring, Agent Mulder.”

“You’re welcome. What’s new?”

“Nothing yet. Results first thing in the morning. Did you

get hurt yet?”

“Oh thank you.”

“Come on, I’m waiting for a call from either Miles, or a

hospital to tell me you got kicked in the balls for asking

pimps too many questions, when they want to protect their

goodies. Where are you?”

“The Inn. Nice place for a pimp-gathering, don’t you

think?”

“Very nice. Are you alone?”

“No, I’ve got colleagues here.”

“Have fun with the ladies, Mulder.”

“Do I sense a bit of jealousy there?”

“Oh no. I’m happily discussing boring science crap with my

colleagues. You see what you made me say? Since I’ve met

you, I’ve come to frown on science now and then.”

“Must be my good influence.”

“Har har. Get back to me soon, Mulder. Okay? And stay in

one piece.”

“I’ll try. I know a great overnight store where they sell

grapes though.”

“Night, Mulder!”

Mulder laughed as he hung up his cell phone and left the

car.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll, baby,” he muttered underneath his breath,

when he opened the door for what was obviously a working

girl, who smiled at him broadly underneath fake lashes that

looked like huge spiders – and walked inside the barrier of

noise that was the bar.

Simon West didn’t even wink when Mulder stepped into the

bar, and quickly scanned the area. Moore sat in the back,

talking to a bulky African American who roared with

laughter every time the agent said something. A blonde sat

on his lap rubbing her tush on his leg.

“He feels right at home,” Mulder groaned, walking over to

the bar where West sat. Simon wondered what he had to do

now, but he shouldn’t have. Mulder leaned a bit into him

and whispered, “Anything weird yet?”

“At least four pimps. Look at the guy to my right.”

Mulder leaned forward to order a drink from the bar,

catching a good glimpse of the man sitting next to West. He

was tall and draped with at least four gold necklaces like

Mr. T on ‘The A team.’

“Now that’s got money written all over it,” Mulder said.

Mulder then looked caually around the bar, spotting a

couple of men clad in dark clothing. The bar was thick with

cigarette smoke. Only a few looked up. In the back a couple

of pimps were fighting; more notable by their fancy

clothing and golden attire.

“Talk about clichŽs,” Simon smiled.

“Martini,” Mulder ordered.

The bartender pulled up an eyebrow.

“Shaken, not stirred?”

“Do I look like James Bond to you?”

“When I’m drunk, probably.”

“Just the Martini.”

“This feels cool, being undercover,” Simon whispered too

loudly for Mulder’s liking. The agents both bristled

inwardly, when the bartender placed his drink before him at

the exact same time.

“Oh. I’m a fucking things up, aren’t I?” Simon cringed

quietly.

“Just shut up and let me do my thing, Simon. You carry your

piece.”

“Unfortunately, yes,” Simon sighed. “Not that I’m that keen

on it. I mean I shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun at all,

should I?”

Mulder looked aside. “You are still a Fed, Simon. Everyone

makes mistakes. Just keep it ready but don’t do anything,

okay? Just follow my lead when I need you.”

With that, Mulder left Simon seated on his stool and

wandered through the bar looking for working girls who

might be willing to talk to him. He knew that in order to

do that, he’d have to get past their employers.

He stopped at a table in the far corner, where four girls

were chatting loudly with someone who was obviously a pimp,

and his bodyguard. Nearby at a table, sat three

transvestites: three bulky men were dressed up like

gorgeous women. And they were gorgeous, Mulder discovered

in awe. With their slim shoulders, and long legs they could

easily have been walking down the catwalk, pretending they

were female models. But as soon as they opened their

mouths, a dark male voice came out and gave them away.

Ouch, Mulder though. Such a shame.

He sat down without asking, but was immediately seized by

the shoulder, by the bodyguard who grumbled, “Get lost.”

Mulder didn’t miss a beat. “I’m sure your boss would like

to help me preserve his women. Wouldn’t he?” The bodyguard

stared at him for more seconds than were comfortable to

Mulder. This was a big no nonsense guy.

With that, the pimp waved with his hand, and allowed Mulder

to sit. The agent slipped into a chair. “You a cop?”

“No, I’m a man with business interests, just like you.

Rumor has it that there’s a new Jack The Ripper out there

slashing women. I’m looking for him. I want to protect my

interests, if you know what I mean.” He winked

conspiratorially.

“You don’t look like a pimp.”

“I prefer not to think of myself that way. I’m a

businessman.”

“New in town, hey? So, are you going to steal my

territory?” The pimp flashed his teeth dangerously.

“No. I just want to find out if this Ripper guy is going to

kill off my girls.”

“I don’t care what he does. He hasn’t touched any of my

ladies yet. But you look like the sort of low life guy who

would love to step onto my turf and fleece my money. I

don’t like that. I think you deserve a warning.”

Uh oh, Mulder thought wearily. “I don’t care about your

territory. Gotta go.”

Before he could move an inch, he was grabbed by two bulky

transvestites who dragged him backwards. From the corner of

his eye he saw how Moore was still talking animatedly to

another pimp, and the girl sitting on top of him. West did

see it. He stepped up from his stool, but didn’t move an

inch.

Before he knew what was happening, Mulder was dragged

outside into the cold air.

“Hey, we can talk about this, right?” the agent asked,

ready to take the first punch. “I’m sure you are nice girls

and all but -”

Before he could even react, his right arm was twisted

firmly up behind his back. So firm indeed, that it knocked

the wind out of him. Two strong sets of hands grabbed it.

Suddenly, Mulder realized what they were going to do.

“Hey, stop it!” he shouted. “Don’t – !”

A sickening pop came from his shoulder as the ball joint

neatly separated from the socket. Mulder screamed in pure

anguish and agony, feeling the shoulder muscles try

unsuccessfully to self-repair the damage. He had been there

before, when they busted up his little finger a long time

ago. The pain was so acute it nearly sent him off into

oblivion.

Through a haze of red hurt, he saw the doors open, and

people rushing outside, but no one helped him. He couldn’t

see West or Moore. Then the punches followed, sending

explosions of pain through his ribs. By now they had him on

the ground kicking him, and kept on kicking him. He was

fairly certain they kicked him in the balls too; it sure

felt like it.

“The kneecap too?” one of the ‘girls’ asked.

“No, that’s enough. Let him walk back to the dirt he came

from.”

By the time they kicked him on the side of the head, he was

too far-gone to notice, still clutching his dislocated

shoulder, his arm plastered protectively against his chest.

Then he heard shouts, but he wasn’t capable of doing

anything but groaning, and stayed down for the count on the

cold concrete only a few feet away from his own car.

Eventually, the hurt became a non-stop thunder inside his

head, and strobes of pain hit his entire body in waves.

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“Sucker.” The group split up and left him alone writhing on

the tarmac, in the first trickles of rain. He hardly felt

the numbing pain going through his shoulder and ribs,

wondering instead how to pick himself up and get help.

Until out of the darkness, a body stepped forward and a

hand reached for him. He opened his eyes and saw Simon

West.

“Come on,” he said. “I’ll take you to hospital.”

“Where’s Moore?” Mulder groaned.

“He’s dead.”

Act III

“So this is what it’s like to be field agent, is it?” Simon

asked, staring in awe at Mulder’s beaten and bruised body

while they jacketed his chest up with bandages to protect

the cracked ribs. His right arm was already in a sling

strapped around behind his back. The dislocation had been

reduced upon his arrival at the ER and fortunately didn’t

require surgery. Just a couple of weeks of rest and

healing.

“Yep. Some sight, hey?” The agent winced, gingerly wiggling

the fingers visible beyond the blue cotton sling. “Not

exactly what you were expecting, is it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps you’ve got some babe on the side

who finds it very interesting that you’re a Special Agent.”

First silence, then Mulder muttered painfully: “In my

dreams.”

“So eh, what now?”

“Now? Now I go home, get some rest, good. …Ouch…pain

meds and forget about our Ripper until tomorrow.”

“So you’re not going to bite into the investigation and

move forward? I thought you’d be pissed at everyone and the

world. And what about Moore? He’s dead, you know. Shouldn’t

you be out investigating his death?”

“No. Someone else can pick up those pieces. Besides, Moore

died of a gunshot wound during a bar fight. Not exactly the

most glamorous way to go, you know. I’ve given my statement

of what happened. Not much else I can do tonight like

this.”

“But don’t you feel guilty?”

West knew he’d struck a painful chord when Mulder winced

loudly. “Of course I do. I dragged his ass in that joint,

didn’t I? What’s the use of going back there and dredging

it all up? I can’t handle that, Simon. I’ve been stuck on

guilt trips all my life. Moore knew what he was doing. His

death was a shitty exit, but I cannot focus on that right

now. I’m still hazy on the details that led up to this. I

was having a few problems with breathing at the time,

getting used as a punch bag. There are still seven agents

working on the case and I guarantee you that by now Miles

will be itching to haul my ass anyhow. Plus, I am not

exactly in good shape here, Simon. I mean, look at me. Let

someone else pick up the pieces for once.”

“Then what about The Ripper? He’ll kill again tonight! You

have to stop him, Mulder.”

“I’m not of any help to anyone right now, am I? I’ve got a

bump on my head the size of New York, a dislocated shoulder

and several cracked ribs. Should I even talk about my nuts

here? Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase: blue balls!

No, let Miles handle it before he fires my ass. He didn’t

need me in the first place. Finding The Ripper is just

plain old police work. He can comb the area with a

toothbrush for all I care. I won’t be there tonight. Geez!

Be careful with that, will you? You’re kind of hurting the

hell out of me here.”

That last part was directed to the nurse and doctor still

strapping up his ribs.

“You shouldn’t give up like this, Agent Mulder!” West

exclaimed frantically, knowing he was losing Mulder’s

interest quickly. “This is still extraordinary, you know.

You are still looking for a serial killer. Let me help save

your career. I could help you with all the data. I know all

the cases by heart. Your lovely partner could help too.

She’s on her way, isn’t she? You could have your killer by

tomorrow, just like you wanted. This shouldn’t have been

for nothing.”

Mulder was about to retort, only to be stopped by Scully

breezing into his treatment room. Even though she obviously

tried to keep her cool, he could tell she was quite

distraught.

“I told you, didn’t I?” she sighed, gently touching his

chest where it was not taped. He winced at the coolness of

her fingers, and then at the look that Simon gave the two

of them. Scully’s fingers lingered there a bit too long.

“Oh, you are -” West stopped and turned his usual crimson

red. “Never mind. I’ll wait outside.” They watched him as

he shuffled off in an embarrassed gait.

The door closed quietly. Scully carefully embraced her

battered partner, who groaned in agony. Somehow she almost

got stuck between the tape and his chest, managing to catch

his sore arm in the process.

“Oh sorry. How bad is it?” She directed that question to

the doctor.

“Two cracked ribs, a dislocation, now reduced. That is,

shoulder separation in human language, Agent Mulder. A raft

of bruises just about everywhere, it could have been

worse.”

“Don’t forget the bruised ego,” Mulder completed. “Two

‘girls’ took me down, Scully. Of course they were guys

dressed like girls, but still. Could you see Ru Paul

winning a fight over you? It was like something out ‘Too

Wong fu’.”

“You’ll live. Now tell me, Mulder. What in god’s name

possessed you to take Simon West out there? Are you crazy?

Miles is going through the roof! You should have told him.”

“He was busy sucking up to the big bosses. I thought it was

quite a good idea really. Somehow West seemed to belong in

the part. He didn’t fall out of place for undercover. That

was me, unfortunately.”

“Busy asking too many questions?”

“At least they believed I was a pimp.”

“You should be very proud of that. Now tell me, what the

hell happened to Moore?”

“I don’t know. One moment he was inside the bar talking,

and probably asking questions. The next, West told me he

had been stabbed to death. It was weird, Scully. I didn’t

have time to ask questions. I was out of it after getting

my ass kicked. West shoved me in the car and called for

backup. By that time, the bar had emptied. So tell me, did

they find a body yet?”

“Moore is in the morgue, Mulder.”

“No, not him. A hooker’s.”

“Not yet.”

Mulder sighed. “Just take me home, Scully. It’s no use. I’m

fading fast here.”

She sat at the side of the bed and stared at her partner.

The doctor finished up. “Going home is probably out of the

question for the night. You should be under observation at

least for the next 12 hours or so. You might want to stay

here and rest a bit. We’ll give you nice painkillers.”

“As tempting as the offer is, I must decline. I just want

to go home.”

“It’s your choice, Agent Mulder. Let me just remind you

that you have to watch those ribs for the next few weeks.

They are quite near to your internal organs. If you got

into another bar fight again, you might damage something

more severely. Okay?”

“Yes, sir,” Mulder replied meekly. Then the doctor and

nurse disappeared and left them alone. Scully pulled that

face she normally made when she didn’t believe her ears.

“Mulder, what are you up to?”

“Moi? Nothing! I just want to go home, Scully.”

“That doesn’t sound like you. In fact, it’s so unlike you

that I’m almost suspicious. You have a plan, right? You’re

going back to find your killer. You’ll end up getting into

another situation and get even more hurt.”

“Scully, why is it that you believe I have danger written

all over me? I’m not interested. Miles didn’t need us in

the first place. He didn’t need a profiler, just a stupid

agent who would get someone killed. I’m fairly certain he’s

writing his report to the Director on me as we speak. So

why should I even bother?”

“Mulder, it wasn’t your fault. Okay? You actually made the

right choice throwing yourself into the field like that. We

had a deadline. We had to do something. It was a good idea

at the time. It just backfired, that’s all. Happens all the

time. Since when did that stop you?”

Somber faced and in pain, he stared at her, eyes shouting

defeat. “I’m…”

“Stop that nonsense right now, and get your ass back in

gear. I’ll be your eyes and ears. Hell, I’ll dress up like

a bimbo, and become Mary Kelly the Second; how’s that?”

“Are you going to wear a flimsy little black leather skirt

then? Shake your tush?” He asked with a familiar leer

breaking through the pain on his face.

“Of course.”

“And loads of make-up?”

“I’ll even ruin my hairdo. Satisfied? Now let’s get out of

here, and get you to the office. It’s early evening yet. We

might find a way to catch him before the morning. At least

we can try to stop him from slaughtering a fifth victim,

and disappearing into back into the woodwork. I’m not eager

to let you go back to the office, Mulder, but I know you’ve

got your mind set to it. I’ll be your twenty-four medical

staff from now on.”

“Yes, ma’am.” Mulder eased himself off the bed carefully,

aided by his partner; grinning broadly yet painfully. “Have

I ever told you that ‘angry Scully’ is quite a turn on?”

“Have I ever told you that a man clad only in boxers,

carrying his business to the left, with a strapped up chest

is a real kick too?” She smirked, one finger straying to

stroke his bandage.

“Oh please. You sound like a groupie.”

“I am your groupie, Mulder, and don’t you forget it. Here,

I’ll help you get dressed.”

Scully leaned down to help Mulder step into his jeans. When

her face came eye to eye with the bulge in his boxers, he

groaned and laughed. “Scully, are you coming on to me?”

“Not now, Mulder. Think ice cool frappucinos.”

Outside Simon West was still waiting. Nervously chewing on

every single nail that still he still had left. His face

was distraught. “Please don’t give up,” he started

immediately when he saw the two agents: Mulder looked quite

pale and in pain, Scully’s arm around his back, eager to

help.

“Don’t worry, I’m back. Now, you said you could help me

with that data, right? Let’s drive back to the office, and

go over everything again. Perhaps there’s a way of

establishing a profile. I created one out of my own

curiosity on Jack The Ripper a long time ago. Maybe I can

come up with one on this man with a similar MO.”

“Would it help if I told you that the DNA tests will be

ready in about an hour?” Scully asked, grinning proudly.

He turned to her with a leer. “If we weren’t in a hospital

right now and I didn’t feel like I’d gone ten rounds with

Tyson, I’d take you right here, right now.”

“Mulder…”

“Oh, I forgot. Sorry, Simon.”

“‘S’Okay,” the Freckle Guy smiled. “I’m happy to see there

is at long last, someone who treats me as if I’m here.”

“Simon, why do you put yourself down like that?” Scully

asked as they walked to the elevator.

“Because I’m wallpaper, Agent Scully. I don’t exist. I’m a

grey appearance. Nobody cares about me, and I don’t care

about anyone. That’s my life. Dreary, isn’t it? It’s always

been like that.” Simon suddenly stopped, realizing he was

confessing how he felt for the very first time in his life.

“I guess I don’t matter,” he finally added.

Both agents stared at him. Then Mulder suddenly realized

that West was right. During all the years he’d worked for

the Bureau, Simon had been there, sitting in his corner

near the Assistant Director’s office, dutifully typing away

at the data, which every Special Agent used for research

and information. They all received input from West, but

they didn’t even care where it came from. He could have

been a computer. Press Enter to print.

Mulder had seldom met anyone before who could blend in with

the furniture the way Simon West did. Then why had he lured

West along into this adventure? Because he had sensed that

West was a very lonely man, eagerly looking for some

excitement in his life. Because somehow, he’d finally and

suddenly connected with this man, who seemed all too happy

to be dragged into a mess made by his peers; because Simon

was a man with no past, no present and no future. Because

he could even blend into a bar filled with pimps and

scumbags, and no one cared he was there. Invisible in plain

sight.

So . . . odd.

The three agents drove back to the office in silence.

Mulder and Scully could not know how much Simon The Ripper

suddenly felt at ease in this strange situation. They were

looking for him, and all he had to do was go with the flow.

He could help them track down himself. He could only hope

that the DNA he’d left lying around at crime scenes, was

evidence enough with which to find him. His fingerprints

were stored within the FBI’s databanks with links to the

NCIC.

And then he could only pray they would stop him before he

had to return to Baltimore and finish the job.

Simon The Ripper didn’t want to kill anymore. He’d got what

he wanted: Mulder’s attention. But the urgency inside him

told him he had to finish what he had started. And then

what? Strange, he hadn’t thought that far ahead yet. He

would take the punishment the way it came. No matter what

it was.

Find me, Mulder, he prayed in silence. And explain to me

why I am what I am.

ACT IV

“Mulder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Miles’s booming voice filled the room as soon as the agents

walked in.

“Here we go,” Mulder whispered to his partner as he

straightened his back, causing flashes of pain through his

body. He felt like crap. His arm and shoulder ached

severely in the sling. The stabbing pains in his chest

prevented him from taking deep breaths, and he had the

mother of all headaches that would have send anyone into

oblivion.

But the really cool drugs that the doctor gave him before

leaving the hospital were starting to kick in nicely.

Mulder heard how his own voice started to slur and felt

strangely happy. The pain would soon subside to just a

nagging ache.

“I love drugs,” he muttered underneath his breath as he

wiggled his way to Miles’s office.

Then he plonked himself down in the leather seat that stood

behind the desk, squirming to find the right position. But

somehow, it didn’t work. He just couldn’t get the right

seating height. “Yjou’ve got a lovely chjair,” he muttered

incoherently when Miles turned his back on him; waiting

impatiently for the others to come in.

He got up and moved behind the desk, throwing himself back

into the big brown expensive leather chair. “Whjy don’t I

hjave a chjair like this?” he whimpered as he started

wiggling back and forth. The chair squeaked in unison with

his movements, alarming Miles.

“Mulder, what the hell are you doing in my chair? Get your

ass out of there and get Scully in here! And the other one

– the Freckle dude – what’s his name again? North or

something?”

“West, sir. East, South, North, West.”

“Don’t be funny, Mulder, or I’ll hand your ass over to my

superiors. Move out of that chair, now!”

Very loudly Mulder started pumping up the seat height,

using his left arm and hand with all the might it had.

“Hjeight njot gjood enjough. Captain Kjirk to the rescjue,

sjir!” he giggled inanely, still bouncing up and down.

Miles sighed and gave up, taking the seat opposite his

desk. Every time Mulder inquisitively grabbed something

from the desk, Miles leaned forward and snatched it out of

his fingers. Mulder couldn’t care less anymore about the

consequences of his actions. Who would when the best

painkillers available to mankind made him giddy with overt

goofiness?

“Mulder, are you sick?”

“No, sjir,” he slurred as he picked idly at the ink blotter

in front of him.

“You look like shit.”

“You alwjays djo, sjir.”

Miles first turned pale, and then bloodred. Oh god Mulder,

Scully cursed underneath her breath. Stop talking.

But Mulder was on a roll. “Isj thjat a njew sjuit sjir?

Thje coljour sjuits you.”

“Moore is dead, Agent Mulder. Have you got anything to say

for yourself?”

Mulder smiled and closed his eyes, leaning happily

backwards. “I shjot the shjeriff, but I djidn’t shjoot thje

djeputy.”

“Agent Scully, what the hell is wrong with your partner?”

“It’s njot – erm, I mean – not his fault, sir. He’s in

severe pain and the doctor gave him heavy medication.”

“So why is he not in the hospital then?”

“Agent Mulder insisted on solving the case, sir. Since our

copycat is still walking about, he wanted to give the best

of himself to aid in the search.”

“Thanks to Agent Mulder, the Ripper will not show his face

tonight. The entire Baltimore area is covered with cops and

Feds.”

“At ljeast wje’ll hjave sjome tjime ljeft to booglie

thjen,” Mulder bounced precariously in his seat.

“Shut up, Agent Mulder. Or better yet, tell me why you

dragged a bleeping data analyst from his desk job, and put

him out in the field with no experience at all!”

“Sir, if I may -” Simon whispered from his seat, but his

words fell on Miles’s deaf ears.

“If yjou wjould stjop trjeating thjat mjan ljike a kjid,

hje wjould djo a ljot mjore than plus a pren,” Mulder

garbled. “Sjimon djeserves bjetter.” Mulder suddenly seemed

to realize that a trickle of drool had escaped his mouth,

and lifted his right arm to try and wipe it off, only to

realize it was strapped to his chest and no use to him.

“Djamn it,” the agent whispered loud enough for everyone to

hear. “I cjan’t ewen jopen my fly. Hjow am I gjoing to

wjipe my assj?”

Miles at least had the decency to ignore that remark.

“Well, next time you drag your colleagues out into the line

of fire, you’d better ask me first, Agent Mulder. Or I

swear I’ll kick you out faster than the speed of light. Now

what are you going to do next?”

“Agent Mjulder – pardon me, Mulder – is going to try and

set up a profile now, sir. Based on the gathered data we

have, we might determine who’s been committing these

heinous acts, while we still have time. We’re also waiting

for further DNA results and will compare them with known

criminals in the database.”

“Go to work then. And Agent Mulder, please don’t drool on

my chair in future. It’s hard to get the stains out. Go

drool on your own.”

“Yjes sjir.”

Mulder somehow managed to swing himself up and out of the

chair, and sprung into salute mode. “Gjoing boldly tjo the

fjinal frontjier, Captjain Miles!” and waddled towards the

door, stopping, momentarily confused.

“Hey, wje’re baldly gjoing now. Here’s Skinman.”

Walter Skinner stood agape in the doorway, staring at the

spectacle of his doped up agent. Ignoring Mulder, he turned

to Scully. “Is he on medication again?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Oh brother.”

Mulder pushed himself past his boss, and wobbled drunkenly

back into the hallway.

“I’m njot sjacked!” he exclaimed for the remainder of the

crowded VCU to hear, giggling away to himself. Then,

suddenly loosing his equilibrium, he slid straight into

Skinner’s arms and drooled on the A.D.’s suit.

“I love you, Scully, I do.” he slurred, before slithering

bonelessly into a drug-induced stupor.

“Are you sure he’s okay? He looks like shit,” Miles

remarked in amazement.

“Oh, that’s normal. He can’t stand his medication. This

stuff makes him as wiggy as all get out.” That was Scully.

“And this man’s going create a profile tonight? I don’t

think so. Get him home and out of our way.” Miles again.

“No, he stays.”

“Grrrrrrroan.”

From the couch in Miles’s office came the unmistakable

moaning of a man waking up from a medicated stupor, and

back into his world of pain. As much as the medication

affected Mulder, it also wore off quite quickly.

“Mulder, it’s me,” his partner soothed, as soon as he

managed to open one eye.

“Yes, I know,” he retorted, trying to turn on his uninjured

side, only to realize he was stuck between Scully and the

seat. ” Ouch. Oh brother.”

“You drooled again. Here, try to sit up. You okay?”

“Oh no. Err, I’m okay. What happened?”

“You did a little dance, made a little love and went down

tonight. Oh yeah, and Miles is having his chair cleaned.

Your spittle was all over the place.”

“Huh?”

“Well okay, skip that little love bit. You’ve got another

bump but you’ll live. Here, drink some water. We need you.

Something happened while you dreamt your little dreams.

I’ve got some shocking news.”

“Skinner’s back with a vengeance?”

“Well no. You actually passed out in Agent Lane’s arms,

calling her Skinner, and then Scully. Skinner’s not here,

Mulder. You dreamt about him, that’s all. Is there

anything, I should know about the two of you?”

“Funny, Scully. Very funny. Now tell me what you found.”

“First of all, I forgot to tell you that we’ve found DNA on

both the Catherine-body, and the woman that died before

her, Elizabeth. The lab examined both of them. And get

this: they are two different types of DNA!”

“So?” Mulder grumbled. “You said so yourself: they could

have been with any number of guys at any time.”

“Mulder, you don’t get it. One of the DNA samples belongs

to a man… and the other to a woman!”

“Huh?”

“Yeah, huh. Exactly!”

“A lesbian hooker maybe?”

“Yeah right. Mulder, there’s more. The DNA test shows that

there is a definitely close blood relationship between both

subjects.”

“Like in a brother and a sister? We’re looking for a duo?”

“Most likely.”

“Oh joy.” Mulder downed a cup of water, only to suddenly

find Simon West staring at him in total shock. The man

became as pale as a sheet, and suddenly had to lean on

Miles’s desk. Nah, he had to have imagined that. Mulder

shook his head to clear the cobwebs.

“Did I really call him Captain Miles?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Crap.”

“Don’t worry about that now. There’s more. When Moore was

killed, the knife was missing. The killer took it with him.

But get this: the coroner is a hundred percent certain that

the same knife was also used in the slayings. Moore was

killed by the Ripper, Mulder. Your theory was right. He was

in that bar, probably searching for a new victim.”

“But a new victim hasn’t been found yet.”

“No, everyone’s on the lookout for any possible missing

working girl. Only, there are so many runaways working the

streets, that she could be long dead; lying in some alley

without even being reported missing.”

“No, Miles was right. The Ripper would not be stupid enough

to kill her with so many cops and Feds crawling over the

area. The red light area is small in Baltimore, and he

would want to kill her right there, where he took all the

others. I think we may have some time left.”

“Simon is running a data analyses on the DNA, comparing it

right now.”

Mulder felt his mind come back to his senses, and shook off

the last bit of confusion. The drugs had worn off and the

pain was back with a vengeance, but anything was better

than calling Miles ‘Captain.’ With utter embarrassment, the

agent spotted the VCU-members muffling their snickering as

he walked in.

“Where are we so far?” Mulder asked, ignoring the wry grins

and tittering. “Can I help?”

The profilers gathered in the room groaned and moaned

because the night passed

quickly, and they were no further ahead. All they had so

far was the possibility of a Bonnie & Clyde type of duo,

which went out killing people ˆ la Jack The Ripper. That

was if the female DNA actually even belonged to the

killers.

“It must have been,” Mulder surmised. “The first two bodies

didn’t have a trace on them. However this time, the killers

deliberately touched the bare skin of their victims, and

they left a hint for us that we can use to look for them.

So what gives?”

“What if the female DNA belonged to one of the hookers

finding the body?” Lane asked.

“No. Two men, who didn’t touch her, found her. Can’t be.

Autopsy showed she was washed and scrubbed everywhere – and

I do mean everywhere – so she probably didn’t do a John

before she was killed. Of course women could have touched

her but even so, I’d like to think we’re talking dual

killers here.”

That in itself, Mulder found very odd. “We’re obviously

looking for someone with

misogynic tendencies.”

“Excuse me?”

“Someone with a profound hatred of women. I established

that in my previous profile on Jack The Ripper that he was

a misogynistic. No one in their right mind would do this.

The man carving into the bodies, mutilating them in such a

fashion, is most likely to suffer from this mental

disorder.”

“So a woman can’t have this disorder?”

“I don’t know. I guess that in the case of a woman with

something like this, we would just call her a psycho

bitch,” Mulder grinned. “I’m not excluding the possibility

that the killer was a pimp and one of his working girls.

The people in that bar seemed to belong to that profession

anyway. There was a girl sitting on Moore’s lap, and he was

talking to a big bulky African-American.”

“Most serial killers are white.”

“Play that funky music, White Boy.” Mulder groaned and

rubbed his eyes with his left arm. He felt useless and

awkward without the use of his trigger arm. He’d dislocated

his shoulder before but this time it hurt like hell. What

if he could never fire a weapon again? Nah, the doctor said

it would mend perfectly.

Suddenly Simon, who’d been sitting quietly behind his desk

sifting through the DNA data, stood up and looked at his

peers. “Why are you so sure it’s two people doing this?

It’s not possible. I mean; it doesn’t make any sense. I . .

.”

The room became quiet as everyone stared at Simon.

“A maso-whatever you called it wouldn’t be using another

woman to kill women, would he? That doesn’t fit his

profile. It must be a mistake.”

“He’s right,” Mulder agreed after an awkward silence.

“Unless of course his sister is the only woman he doesn’t

hate. I’m going with Simon’s theory. We’re looking for one

man. Lane, did the police find anyone who was in that bar?”

“Nada.”

“Okay, then I’ll go scan the database for all the pimps

we’ve arrested in that area lately. I’ll never forget the

face of that dude busting me up.”

Mulder winced painfully as he moved to a computer next to

Simon’s, and opened the massive database that held the

arresting records, and photographs of every criminal in the

state. “Here we go,” he sighed, as he started searching his

way through it on the lookout for the ladies’ man that had

beat him up.

Fifteen minutes and a hundred photos later, Mulder found

his guy.

“Got him and an address,” he exclaimed in triumph. “Let’s

see if he’s still not willing to talk, shall we?”

It was past four a.m. by the time Michael “Mighty Mike”

Chandler sat firmly ensconced in the Bureau’s bowels. He

was not allowed to have a cup of coffee, but Mulder and

Scully were at their sixth cup in the past three hours.

Mulder’s aches and pains seemed to worsen considerably as

his body started to stiffen up.

“I knew you were a cop,” Mike grinned broadly, taking in

Mulder’s pale bruised features. “You couldn’t hide it for

the life of you.”

“That’s funny because I’m a Federal Agent. Don’t insult

me.”

“Whatever.” Mike shrugged.

“So, did you have fun killing my colleague?”

“Excuse me?”

“You were there, Mike. You killed Agent Moore with a single

stab wound. You’re the copycat Ripper, aren’t you? Might as

well admit it because I’ve got witnesses.”

“That’s bullshit.”

Mulder banged loudly on the table with his good hand. “Is

it? I can put you at the scene. You beat me up. You decided

to punish the other FBI-agent in the room too, didn’t you?

Forgetting that the knife you used would link you to the

killings.”

“I didn’t kill anyone! What, do you think I’m stupid?”

“You look stupid. You assaulted a federal officer. That

makes you stupid. So, what’s it going to be, Michael? Are

you going to help us, or should I drag your ass in front of

a judge and lock you up until trial? The D.A. is eager to

get his hands on you. You can help yourself here. Men like

pimps in prison, did you know that? They know you love to

play pet.”

“Okay, okay.” Michael shuddered. “I’ll cooperate. On one

condition: you don’t charge me for assault on you either.”

Mulder smiled. “Hmmm. Let me think. Okay I thought about

it. No deal.”

“Okay okay. Just cut me a deal then. A punishment of some

sort. Whatever. No hard time. Okay?”

“We’ll see what we can do. Now, you know who killed those

women, don’t you?”

“All I know is that it’s not someone from our crowd. It’s

an outsider. Several of our women have seen him. I can tell

you what make of car he drives, and what clothes he wears.”

“What about his face?”

“They see so many faces. I’m having a hard time protecting

them as it is, without an asshole driving around

slaughtering them. They are all scared shitless. The

Baltimore cops did shit to help them, you know. Nothing.

They didn’t care.”

“Well, we do care,” Scully cut in with sincerity. “And we

are going to stop this. So tell us all you know.”

After ten minutes they had all the details on the RV,

including a partial license plate number.

“Now we’re getting somewhere!” Scully smiled as she rushed

over to Simon to run the latest info through the database.

And Simon? He just smiled. He felt itchy inside. It had

been a long night, and he was glad he wasn’t out there

slaying his last victim. Let them find me. Let them find

me. Let them find me.

The RV was found abandoned in a supermarket parking lot

outside of Baltimore. The vehicle had been reported missing

by its elderly owner, who obviously didn’t have anything to

do with the murders. It was towed to the nearest lab around

seven in the morning.

Scully lay restless with her head down on her desk at the

VCU, red rings underneath her eyes, and very tired. Mulder

slumped exhausted next to her.

“I told you you should have sold those tickets,” she

mumbled. “Even if we still make it, I’ll be dead as a

doornail.”

“We’re nearly there, Scully. I can feel it in my bones.”

The agent stretched his back, jarring his aching ribs in

the process. “Oh god. I wish I were somewhere on an exotic

beach right now being pampered by hula-girls.”

“Hula Mulder. And moi?”

“You can have hula-boys, Scully.”

“Oh. Okay then. What now?”

“Now we wait for the lab results to see if they find any

fingerprints, more DNA samples and lovely little thingies

that we can use to establish our killer. Simon, stop eating

your fingernails. It’s annoying.”

Simon West looked up and flushed. “Sorry, Agent Mulder.”

“Go home and get some rest.”

“I prefer to stay here.”

“It’s the weekend. Don’t you have anything to do on a

Saturday?”

“Except taking a shower? No.”

Mulder’s interest was peaked. “Simon, don’t you have a

life? I mean you must have something to do. Somewhere to

go. Do you have a wife, a girlfriend or anyone who can keep

you company?”

“No one, nada, zip. It’s just me and my mom.”

“Your mother must miss you.”

“She doesn’t care about me.” Simon couldn’t prevent his

voice becoming bitter. “It’s just me, that’s all. I don’t

like women. Never have.”

“Oh? Why not?”

“They laugh and tease you, and tell you you’re too

insignificant. Make you feel too small for this world. They

don’t see you, treat you like wallpaper, and choose someone

else all the time.”

Simon abruptly stood up, the blood in his veins alive with

the anger he’d kept under control for so long. He was

tired, weary, and suddenly sick of hanging around the

office in a futile attempt to deny his goals. He had to go

out now and kill. It had felt so good to kill those women,

to put his knife into them, and run it through their skin

and muscles. Yeah, he had to feel that again.

“He needs a good lay,” Scully muttered from her seat.

“You know what?” he said. “I have to go. I’ve been here for

too long already. You’re right, Agent Mulder. I do need a

life.”

“That a boy. Go out and have fun. And thanks for your help,

Simon. We appreciate it. We’ll keep an eye on the rest of

the results.”

“Goodbye, Agent Mulder. And thank you for . . . well, for

all of this.”

Before Mulder could say another word, Simon was already

rushing towards the elevators.

Scully groaned, and turned her face to her partner. “Do you

really like this guy, Mulder? He’s just downright weird.”

“Yep. I know. And yes, I kinda like him.” The agent stood

up, stretched his back again, and almost passed out as a

tremendous pain shot through his chest. “Oh god, I really

should stop doing this. I’ll be busting a kidney soon.”

“Then sit down and get some rest. You look like hell.”

“I love you too, Scully. When are we going to hear from the

lab?”

“Anytime soon,” Scully said as she stared at Agent Lane

snoring at her desk. Most of the agents had fallen asleep

as they waited for more information to come in. The two of

them were the only ones remaining awake.

“I hate Miles,” Mulder mumbled. “Ten to one he’s sleeping

in his own warm soft bed right now.”

“How do you know?”

“Scully, shuddup. Hey my phone is ringing. Yeah Mulder.

Okay, yes. Okay, what? Huh? Okay. Thanks! Bye.”

Scully forced herself to pretend to be interested, as

Mulder looked at her and became suddenly very pale.

“What?”

“They found stuff in the truck. Fingernails. They’re

comparing it now to the DNA.”

“Fingernails? Cut off?”

“No, bitten off. Oh my god.”

“What? Mulder, what is it?”

She followed her partner as he rushed to Simon’s desk, and

watched him pull up the database that held all fingerprints

and DNA on every Federal Agent in the Bureau.

“Damn it, I can’t open it. Does anyone have the password of

this database?”

“It’s private. No one can access that but the A.D.’s and

D.D.’s,” Agent Lane yawned sleepily from her chair.

“Get Miles on the phone, and ask him for the database pass,

Scully.”

“Mulder, why in god’s name? Do you think it’s someone

here?”

He turned to her, breathing heavily with pain and

disbelief, and whispered, “It’s Simon.”

“What??”

“He always bites his fingernails. He doesn’t like women.

He’s a loner. My spooky sense is almost shouting. It’s

him.”

“He wouldn’t.”

“What do serial killers crave for, Scully? Satisfaction

they cannot get in any normal way. Simon left us deliberate

clues, I’m sure. He wants us to stop him. That’s why we

found the DNA. That’s why he reacted so oddly at times. The

killer wants to be caught. Geez, I’m so dumb I didn’t see

this before!”

“I’ll get Miles here,” she spoke, “but you are seeing

ghosts, Mulder.”

“I hope I am, Scully. I really do.”

Miles was not a happy trooper when he strolled into the

office, and opened the FBI’s most sacred database for his

agents. He was quite familiar with data analyses as it was

one of his jobs to ensure that all data was utilized

properly.

“Simon West, huh?” he growled. “The Freckle guy sitting at

his desk all day looking dead? Come on, Mulder. That’s a

stretch even for your questionable machinations.”

“Sir, he saw himself as wallpaper all the time. The most

important thing a killer does is to blend in with the

crowd. That’s what he did. It’s him.”

“If that’s the case, you had your killer underneath your

nose all the time. Too bad, Mulder.”

“If that’s the case, he could be out there right now

looking for his next victim. He left in a hurry, sir.”

“You’d better find him then. Because it looks like you’re

right.”

“Oh god,” Scully muttered as she stared at the proof in

front of her on the computer screen. “Mulder, that can’t

be.”

“It is. Simon’s our guy. He’s the one.”

“Much more than that, Scully. I think he’s an X-File. He

doesn’t have a sister, yet that DNA says he does.”

“Then let’s find out the truth.”

Mrs. West was a skinny, frumpy old woman who didn’t seem

too happy about the intrusion in her house.

“Simon?” she asked. “Not here. Didn’t see him since last

night.”

“Do you know of places where he might hang out?” Scully

asked wearily. “Bars, friends…”

“Friends? Simon?” The woman laughed loudly. “He hasn’t had

a single friend in his entire life. He’s a loser, ma’am.

Nothing more, nothing less. He shouldn’t have existed, you

know. I should have gotten rid of him from the start. He’s

a nothing, just like his daddy.”

“He is a man with talents, Mrs. West. It’s a shame you

never figured that out.”

“Talents? Hah.”

“Do you have other children, Mrs. West? Did Simon have a

sister?”

“No.”

“Are you certain?”

“I know how many kids I popped. I just had Simon and that

crybaby was more than enough. I never had any other.”

“Thank god for the kids,” Scully hissed under her breath,

pissed off at the woman’s indifference to her own son.

“Excuse me?” Mrs. West stood up, instantly becoming a tad

taller than Scully. “Do you know what it’s like to have a

son that’s worth zip? If you ever have kids, I hope you’ll

have a stupid one so you can know what it’s like.”

“With a mother like you it’s a miracle he even made it this

far,” Scully retorted. “Come on, Mulder, let’s get out of

here.”

“No, I’d like to see Simon’s room first. Perhaps there are

more clues there.”

“Get the hell out of my house,” Mrs. West replied coldly.

“You’re not going anywhere.”

“Yes, we are. Or do you want to be arrested for co-

conspiracy? I can get a warrant in an hour.”

“Go upstairs then and leave me the hell alone.” Mrs. West

returned to her television set and couch, acting as if they

didn’t exist. Scully stuck out her tongue, before following

Mulder upstairs.

“Jeez, women like that piss me off,” she hissed, staring at

Mulder’s amused expression. “There are so many people out

there who ache for kids, and she treats her own like dirt.

Nice woman.”

“Ah well, let her be. Here, let’s take a look.”

The bedroom was a representation of the dreary life that

Simon West had always lead. On the walls, hung posters of

long lost glories like Jane Fonda and Farrah Fawcett.

“Oh yuck. Charlie’s Angels. The series. Poor guy.” Scully

looked around realizing the room hadn’t changed for at

least twenty years.

“He really must be desperate. Look! Knight Rider!”

“Mulder, we’ve concluded that Simon West is a poor excuse

of a man, but where is he now? He killed those women, and

the clock is running to stop him before he does it again.

Where do we go?”

“He’ll be in Baltimore, Scully. I’m fairly certain of that.

I just don’t understand why he doesn’t have a sister. They

must have screwed up at the lab.”

“They don’t do that.” Scully sighed. “I can’t explain it

either, Mulder. We need to find Simon, maybe see if he can

tell us. I’m just hoping that the others might catch him

before he does anything wrong. Every unit out there knows

to look for him.”

“Look at this.” Mulder pointed at a notepad and pen lying

on the desk near the window. Simon had jotted, scribbled

and drawn dozens of words on several pages. “This is old,”

Mulder said. “Look what he wrote over every page.”

clip_image008

“I hate women. I hate women. But I love mother. I hate

women.”

“Okay, so now we know he hates women,” Mulder said. “And

that’s not getting us

anywhere.”

“Mulder, I remember something I’ve heard throughout my

science classes. If this is true, then Simon West is

extraordinary after all. I cannot imagine though that he

would be -”

“Scully, what?”

“Do you know what chimaera people are?”

“Erm. No?”

“Sometimes nature plays freakish jokes on us, as you know.

I read this article not so long ago about a boy that was

born a couple of years ago, whose blood contained two

different sets of genetic material. During the gestation of

twin siblings, one of the embryos is somehow absorbed by

the other, resulting in a fetus with two different sets of

genetic material. That is called chimaerism. This boy that

I read about, some of his cells carried female DNA, while

others carried male DNA.”

“Are you saying that’s what Simon West is?”

“What if he doesn’t have any siblings like his mother said?

What if the lab didn’t screw up? Where did the female DNA

come from? The pattern in both samples clearly indicate a

close relationship between them, like that of siblings. Do

you have another explanation?”

“So what does this mean?” Mulder asked. “He’s both male and

female?”

“It could explain why he feels so out of place.”

“What exactly is wrong with him then?”

“From what I’ve heard, he might have two different types of

blood, but that’s not always the case. That would happen if

he had a non-identical twin during his development. We

would have to run tests on him to determine that. Mind you,

Mulder, chimaeric people are very rare. I’m just guessing

here.”

“In that case, let’s find him quickly and see if your

theory’s right.”

She smiled. “You want to go back to The Inn, don’t you?”

“Fancy dressing up like a hooker?”

“That won’t work. They’ll know by now you’re a Fed. I’ll

watch your back instead.”

“Too bad.”

The Inn was crowded again. After Moore’s body had been

removed the previous night, and the cops had combed the

place, the crowd had slowly returned. It was nearly nine

a.m. on a Saturday morning, but no one seemed to care. Most

were eating breakfast and looked as if they had been there

pulling an all-nighter.

Most of them probably had.

The place fell silent when Mulder and Scully walked in.

Mulder still wearing last night’s clothing, complete with

bloodstains and looking worse for wear. He was looking more

and more pale, Scully thought, starting to get worried

about his exhaustion. He belonged in a hospital bed, but

she knew Mulder wouldn’t give up now that they were chasing

Simon.

The bartender was the same guy too. Mulder walked over to

him. “The guy I was with last night. The freckled one. Has

he been in here?”

“Yeah, an hour ago. He left with a girl.”

” Shit! Where?”

“How should I know?”

“Did they talk about a room, or a house or something like

that?”

“She has a room on Exeter. Don’t know the number.”

“Think harder.”

“She belongs to him.” A shrug to the right, and the bulky

African-American Mulder had seen the previous night glared

in their direction. The two ‘girls’ were by his side.

“Uh oh,” Mulder grinned, “Scully, get ready for a

catfight.”

“Is that them?”

“Yep.”

“Leave it up to me.”

The two agents walked to the other side of the room.

Scully’s Antarctic glare froze the two transvestites in

their tracks. She dug out her badge and flashed it in their

faces.

“Which of you two sweet girls hurt my partner?”

They shrugged, starting to look worried. Scully pursed her

lips nastily.

“If I see you make one wrong move, if you even breathe

wrong, I’ll make sure you’re a permanent transvestite.

How’s that?”

“Bitch,” one of the two muttered, before they walked away,

shooting Mulder a wry look.

The agent sat down next to the bulky man. “Your girl

wandered off with our guy. Where is she?”

“He’s a Fed. He said so. Why should I tell you?”

“Because this Fed is also a murderer. He’ll slash her until

you’ll find bits and pieces of her all around the town.

Where are they?”

“Exeter, 10. Apartment 4. That’s her joint.” Mulder was

already running.

“Let’s go, Scully.”

Mulder called for backup as they drove to Exeter Street,

where they had once captured

Eugene Victor Tooms. “This calls for a trip down memory

lane, hey Scully?”

She smiled. “Why is it that we always end up chasing

freaks?”

“Perhaps we’re the freaks.”

“You don’t seem to be growing any extras on your body

though.”

“You should check harder, Scully. Tonight, maybe.”

“Let’s find Simon first, but I’ll keep you to your

promise.”

The apartment building was a dreadful, damp and dark place.

Mulder pushed all the buttons, except the one for Apartment

number four. Finally a man came outside, leaving the door

open for him. The agents rushed up the stairs; guns aloft

and ready for use. Mulder carried his with his left hand,

since his trigger arm was of no use. At number four, they

stopped.

Scully pounded hard on the door.

“Simon, open up!” Mulder yelled. “We know you’re in there.

Now get your ass out of there and leave the girl alone.”

No answer.

Scully pounded one more time before trying the doorknob.

One turn, and they found themselves inside the apartment.

On the couch lay the body of a blonde hooker. Blood trailed

sickeningly across her face and torso, but she was still

alive. Her hands were taped in front of her and blood ran

in a stream down her legs too.

“She’s alive,” Scully said softly. “Where is he?”

The girl didn’t respond, trembling in shock. She was still

young, couldn’t have been older than twenty.

“Simon!” Mulder scoured through the living room and checked

the kitchen and bedroom. Then he remembered what Simon had

said once about his partner, and carefully advanced on the

bathroom.

“Simon, it’s no use. Come out of there and talk to us. We

know it’s you, Simon.”

“Took you long enough!” Simon shouted from the bathroom.

“And here I was thinking you would catch me within the

hour.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Simon. Fieldwork is long and

hard. Why don’t you put your gun on the floor and show your

face. We don’t want to kill you.”

“Simon,” Scully called out after she’d lead the girl

outside to wait for paramedics, and who now sat trembling

on the floor. “We know why you feel so strange. We think we

know what is causing it. We want to take you to the

hospital for a couple of tests. We can work all this out.”

Silence.

“Simon?”

The door clicked open. Scully raised her gun and aimed it

at Simon. Mulder held his gun up too, swaying the thing in

the wrong direction. He couldn’t fire if his life depended

on it, he knew.

Simon had tears running down his cheeks. He was the epitome

of the image he’d procured over the past few years: the

loser who sat in the corner of the room and played

wallflower, while all the others were going about life and

enjoying themselves.

“Simon, it’s over,” Mulder spoke friendly. “Now, why don’t

you come with us and we’ll take care of you.”

“It was the fingernails, wasn’t it?”

“Oh yeah.”

“Not the DNA?”

“We never imagined it was a Federal Agent doing the

killing. We had no reason to go look there.”

Simon sighed. “All I wanted was someone to pay attention to

me. That’s all. For once in my life, I wanted to be

someone. Is that so much to ask?”

“You definitely got noticed this time around. I’m sure

you’ll end up in the history books as one of Baltimore’s

most vicious killers.”

“But they’ll remember me as Simon The Ripper, won’t they?

Not as an original serial killer.”

“Yes. For that, you shouldn’t have copycatted the most

notorious serial killer of all time.”

“Oh drat.” Simon sighed. “I don’t have inspiration, you

know. I was a boring kid who couldn’t even read a book

properly. I couldn’t imagine what the characters were

really like. I just read and it meant nothing to me.”

“You killed Moore.”

“Oh yeah. Not so difficult in the confusion. Everyone was

running outside to see the fight with you and the girls. He

kind of just ran into the knife. I always kept that on me,

underneath my pants. No one saw it, so why not? I don’t

like it when they laugh in my face. My partner, too. He

hated being stuck with me. Well, I solved that problem. But

you guys really fucked up, didn’t you? With that female DNA

and all that. Such nonsense. I don’t even have a sister.”

“We know that, Simon,” Scully countered evenly.

“Ah well.” Simon shrugged, lifting his gun and aiming it at

Mulder. “I guess we say goodbye here then.”

“Are you going to shoot me, Simon?”

“No, I’m waiting for Agent Scully to shoot me, because I’m

threatening you.”

“She won’t shoot you.”

“Someone has to. I don’t want to end up being the prison’s

wallpaper. Just let me die and get it over with.”

“Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.”

“Then I’ll shoot myself.”

“Will you, Simon?”

“Sure.”

Simon’s movement changed and he cocked the gun to his head.

“It’s over in a flash.”

Mulder moved forward.

“Stay put, Agent Mulder.”

“Simon, you’re not a bad person.”

“I’m a fucking serial killer!” His eyes bulged

disturbingly.

“No, you’re not.”

“Oh come on Mulder. Stop trying to save me. I put this on

myself. I’m not the type of lanky, cute FBI-agent that you

are. I don’t get the women’s attention, and I don’t have a

beautiful partner in the sack every night. That’s not me.

You have everything, but I have nothing. We’re not two of a

kind. You don’t have to try and convince me otherwise. I am

just me, stupid little Simon West who leads nobody’s life.

That’s me, and that’s final.”

“Okay then.” Mulder sighed wearily, and turned around,

winking at Scully. “Go ahead and shoot yourself then. I’m

sure it will all be wrapped up very neatly in a casefile

that will end up gathering dust in the basement. I mean,

everyone will want to hide the fact that you – an FBI-agent

– killed four and a half women, right? Not to mention your

colleagues. You’re right, Simon. They will want to treat

you like the nobody that you are. Good for them. I guess

that’s the fate that you deserve.”

“Wha -?” Simon opened his mouth to protest. “I thought you

were different!”

Mulder shrugged. “I guess I’m not. Because of you, I

sustained two cracked ribs and a separated shoulder. I’m

not happy about that, Simon. I’m actually quite pissed. It

fucking hurts. I should be happy that you’re going to kill

yourself. It’ll be a neat little ending to this tale. You

don’t deserve a better fate than that.”

Simon lowered his gun and dropped it on the floor. “Take me

in then, and let me do my story. I want everyone to hear

it!”

Mulder turned. “Of course you do. Come on, Simon.”

Scully sighed in relief, lowering her gun as she approached

Simon. Mulder held him with his left hand. “Turn around,

Simon. We’ll have to handcuff you, and bring you in like

the criminal that you are.”

He smiled. “I’ll get a huge trial, right? They’ll all pay

attention.”

“But you’ll still end up locked in a small, two by two cell

down the end of the hall,” Scully intoned. “That’s how it

works.”

Simon paled. “You can get me help, right? Treatment?

Anything? A doctor? An audience?”

Mulder shook his head while Scully dug out her handcuffs.

“No promises, Simon. You butchered six people.”

Simon West felt the bubble burst. He could actually tell

that it was all going to hell. This was not how it was

supposed to end. He was supposed to get press attention, to

get all the fear that Jack The Ripper created upon the

world. He had to be notorious, feared.

‘SIMON WEST IS THE NEW RIPPER’

‘SIMON WEST IS A BAD, BAD MAN’

‘SIMON WEST: FEAR HIM!’

The second Scully clicked one cuff around his left wrist,

Simon’s anger burst. He pushed her away with one huge shove

of his hand, kicking her body against the bathroom door

where it smacked into the wood frame. She stayed down for

the count.

That same unexpected shove shook Mulder’s grip on him. The

agent fell backwards but didn’t fall. Simon hurled himself

on top of Mulder, pushing him onto the ground. The agent

cried out in pure animal agony as his torso collided

against the tiles. The sling and bandage that protected his

right arm couldn’t prevent it from hurting like hell. It

smacked against the hard surface.

“Fuck,” Mulder muttered underneath his breath, for one

moment begging for the painkillers that had helped him

before.

The next second, he found himself staring into the barrel

Simon’s gun. “So, how am I going to get the attention I

deserve, Agent Mulder? Or better yet: what do I have to do

for it?”

“You had your chance, Simon,” Mulder groaned underneath

him. “Now get the hell off me.”

“If that is all that’s left for me, I might as well kill my

idol too, right? I’m sure you’ll get a memento in the

Bureau’s building somewhere. And perhaps it will read

‘Killed by his colleague in the line of duty’. Maybe

they’ll even name me. I’ll be notorious.”

A smash over the head with a heavy glass ashtray stopped

Simon West’s reign of terror. Without giving so much as a

kick, the murderous agent fell forward, on top of Mulder’s

banged up ribs.

“How’s that for notoriety?” Scully grumbled angrily,

dropping the ashtray to the ground.

“Scully, very funny one-liner, but could you please get him

the hell off my chest!!! I’m kind of choking here,” Mulder

spluttered from underneath West’s unconscious form.

“Oh, sorry Mulder.”

“And while you’re at it, could you please call an

ambulance? I think I might have damaged a kidney; maybe a

lung. And I think he screwed my other arm too.”

Epilogue

“How’s that, honey?”

“Oooh, I love it when you call me honey, Scully. It doesn’t

suit you, but I’ll take it as it comes. Sweet as honey.

Milk and toast and honey.”

“Shut up, Mulder and enjoy the game,” Scully smiled,

feeding him the last bit of hotdog she had smuggled into

the hospital.

It was a funny sight really to watch her partner perched

upright in his hospital bed. His right arm was plastered to

his chest by an even bigger sling after the abuse he’d

caused the already damaged muscles and ligaments.

His left forearm and wrist were bandaged, thanks to a

sprain caused by Simon falling on top of him. His torso was

still strapped in bandages for the ribs knocked around at

the time of arrest. Fortunately he hadn’t damaged any

internal organs even though he’d come close.

“Rest, rest, rest, rest,” the doctor had insisted before

filling up his IV with the good stuff. “We’ll keep you

here, at least for the weekend.”

Nestled in his bed that Saturday evening, Mulder had

droopily replied, “Djoctor Jjackson ljooks ljike Skjinner.

I mjiss jour bjoss.”

The Knicks tickets were sold after all, to Agent Lane and

her girlfriend.

“Now, if I’d had Agent Lane as partner, I would have had

wet dreams all day,” Mulder retorted when he found out

about her preferences.

“Oh thanks,” Scully had replied. “Good to know I don’t turn

you on.”

“Would you mind turning on the television instead?”

Sunday morning Scully came back with the results of the lab

research. “I was right about West,” she exclaimed in

triumph. “He’s a chimaera, and strangely enough that is

going to help him. His lawyer told me they are filing to

have him submitted to a hospital for further voluntarily

testing and research. He’ll probably wind up in a mental

institution for the rest of his life.”

“Hopefully he’ll have the time of his life being the

subject of many tests,” Mulder replied. “After all, he

wanted the attention, didn’t he?”

Sunday evening, Mulder had been quite depressed, trapped in

his bed. Everything itched and ached; felt hurt and sore.

“I could have been at the ballgame, Scully,” he’d whined

over the phone. “Now I’ve got itchy and scratchy all over

the place.”

“Poor fuddy duddy. I’ll come and keep you company, okay?”

As soon as she opened the door, the scent of delicious

greasy hotdogs swayed in his direction. And she strode in

wearing a Knicks cap and T-shirt. In her hands, she also

had a bag of popcorn, a large Coke and extra cap.

“Let’s go to the ballgame,” she chanted and ended up

feeding him two hotdogs. The bits of mustard that ended up

on the sides of his lips, she licked up with a grin on her

face.

“Scully, you are the best. I’ll never dream of Agent Lane

again.”

“You’d better. Now move your ass and make some room.”

Before the game was even half an hour further, Scully

suddenly looked up. Mulder was fast asleep, with a goofy

grin on his face, and the cap slipped over his eyes. She

smiled, pulled up the blankets before turning down the

volume a bit, and snuggled deeper underneath his left arm.

Within two minutes, she too had fallen asleep, happily

admitting that she really found all sports quite boring.

Give her chimaerical people any day.

In his newfound situation, Simon West happily submitted

freely to all tests. They prodded and poked him, and asked

him zillions of indiscrete questions.

And he liked every moment of it. He’d found his niche.

End

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