Moa A Moana

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Title: Moa a Moana

Author: Martin Ross

Type: Casefile

Rating: R for adult language and innuendo

Synopsis: When a genetically engineered

“supertuna” may be on a killing spree in

paradise, Mulder and Scully must net a cold-

blooded killer, human or finned

Spoilers: Host, El Mundo Giro; The Practice —

Season Seven

Disclaimer: The X-Files is the property of 10-13

Productions, Chris Carter, and Fox. Rebecca

Washington is the legal creation of David E.

Kelley

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Lahaina, Maui

11:08 p.m.

Heart no longer racing, breath slowing to a

normal rhythm, Peter Crowther stared out over

the darkness of the Pacific, broken only by the

white froth of the breakers. Under a starless,

moonless sky like tonight’s, water and air

merged into a uniform black void that stretched

to the horizon. It was a source of calm for

Crowther.

In his years with The Company, it had been

Peter Crowther’s job to penetrate the darkness,

the veil of secrecy others had built around him,

and to create a new darkness — an impenetrable

veil to hide what the world, including his

fellow Americans, could not be permitted to see.

Within that cloak of darkness dwelt

monsters, Crowther included. The destruction of

governments and economies, the deaths of men

evil and noble alike, had been sanctioned and

executed under cover of that veil. Crowther had

trafficked with the darkest abominations the

species had produced, from diplomats with

unspeakable appetites and urges and assassins

with dead souls and depthless eyes to that

smarmy, chain-smoking horror to whom Crowther

had briefly answered, the one who hinted at some

role in the events in Dallas back in ’63, in

Memphis in ’68.

That was in the past now, thanks to a new

veil Crowther had woven of secrets and threats.

They would leave him alone here in Paradise: He

was viewed as a burnout case, an old, apathetic

man with too many secrets to risk erasing.

Crowther would live out his last two or three

decades on Maui, unmolested, just him and his

demons.

Those demons — who arrived in the night

with heart palpitations and distorted half-

memories — had spurred him to his newest,

potentially most significant “mission.” The one

that might bring him a measure of absolution, or

at least solace. Certainly, he could never leave

the world better off than it had been before he

and his colleagues had tinkered and meddled with

it. But he could mitigate some of the damage

others had done, if he could deal with this new

crew of undisciplined, emotional “civilians.”

Crowther continued to fume over his encounter

with the bush leaguer who’d left minutes

earlier.

Crowther stared again into the darkness —

a darkness with secrets no man could ever

inveigle or obfuscate. He sighed and pulled off

his robe.

The water was cool, bracing but not

forbidding. Crowther liked to think his

ritualistic nightly swim was a sort of

incremental baptism of sorts, gradually washing

away the film of sin and degradation that had

clogged his life. He’d even thought of joining a

church here, but decided ultimately that that

would be reformatory overkill.

Even strokes, rhythmic kicks — Crowther’s

regimental discipline kicked in even in such

recreational pursuits. Then, something brushed

his leg. He paused, but did not panic: The

storms had come only a few days earlier, and

debris both natural and manmade continued to

float between the islands and out to sea.

The object collided again with his

muscular thigh, and he pushed away. The

mainlanders’ superstitions and prejudices aside,

shark attacks were an infrequent occurrence here

on Maui, especially this close into shore.

Probably a large fish, maybe a sea turtle.

Crowther’s speculation was interrupted by

a nearby thrashing and the sensation of knives

rending the flesh of his calf. He’d been shot

twice, stabbed once, while with The Company, and

this wasn’t like that. This was like…

The bastards, he thought, as teeth tore

into his abdomen.

J. Edgar Hoover Building

Washington, D.C.

8:32 a.m.

Dana Scully stared into the flat,

emotionless eye of the big fish.

“Thunnus albacares,” Mulder explained,

caressing the remote for his beloved, if

antiquarian, slide projector. “AKA, the

Yellowfin Tuna. AKA, El Pollo de la Mar. The

legendary chicken of the sea, known associates

mayonnaise, a dash of dill, and a couple slices

white or rye.”

Mulder pulled the trigger, and a second

yellowfin gaped out at Special Agent Scully.

“Dolly the cloned yellowfin,” he identified.

Scully, who had been forced by Mulder’s

lackadaisical bathroom regimen to skip her

morning half-caff Grande, turned with an

unspoken sigh.

“OK, just kidding,” Mulder confessed. “But

not exactly. This is Event T-12, one of seven

genetically engineered yellowfin tuna being

studied at Pescorp’s Maui R&D facilities. As I’m

sure you must know,” — Scully crossed her arms

at Mulder’s genial sarcasm — “animal biotech

research follows strict USDA, EPA, and FDA

regulations. Well, we have reason to believe one

of our T-12s is missing, and our finned friend’s

suspected disappearance has spurred concerns

about a potential environmental release.”

“Suspected disappearance?” The brow arched

as Scully rallied.

“Six nights ago, one of Pescorp’s security

guards called in a break-in at the research

facility. The Maui County Police Department

investigated and found one of the perimeter

surveillance cameras had been expertly disabled

and the key card scanner at the yellowfin lab

tampered with. Then Pescorp quickly got the

investigation shut down, reporting nothing had

been stolen — no harm, no fish nor fowl. MCPD

checked all the T-12 tanks before the company

execs slammed the door on them, and all tuna

were accounted for.”

“Animal rightists or industrial espionage?”

Scully demanded with decaffeinated directness.

“It looks like the former, given the

physical evidence left at the scene,” Mulder

offered. “Aquacultural biotechnology has been a

sore spot for several environmental and consumer

groups, and the controversy’s been exacerbated

by initial research focusing on salmon species

that spawn in the Pacific Northwest, in the

heart of Greenpeace Acres. If you could see this

photo in full context, and you knew how big a

yellowfin tuna grows, you’d see that T-12 — The

Tunanator (Scully pointedly ignored the

Schwarzennegarian pun) — is roughly half the

size of his conventionally produced counterpart.

Pescorp hopes this new biotech fish will help

meet America’s growing demand for sushi and hip-

and-happening Asian-fusion entrees.”

“So the green guys were thwarted and the

U.S. made safe for jumbo tuna,” Scully murmured.

“Where’s the X-File? Hell, where’s the case?”

“Ah ha,” Mulder proclaimed, clicking up a

new slide. A palm-lined streambank was littered

with bloody fish corpses. The agent clicked

again, and Scully witnessed a similar scene in

what appeared to be a rocky marine cove. “Two

fishkills, reported by the U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Services four and three days ago,

respectively.”

Scully looked skeptically at her partner.

“Are you suggesting a yellowfin tuna did this?

That this biotech fish was released into the

wild, and this was the result? First of all,

Mulder, that first slide would appear to be a

freshwater stream, and a marine species like the

yellowfin wouldn’t survive for an hour in that

environment.”

“Unless,” Mulder suggested in a Holmesian

tone that never failed to annoy Scully, “Pescorp

intentionally or accidentally incorporated

genetic material that would allow this animal to

live in either environment. Imagine the

commercial advantages of being able to raise a

commercial marine species in a freshwater pond

or tank. It would cut production costs

significantly.”

“It doesn’t work that way, Mulder,” she

protested. “And even if it did, we’d be looking

at a novel genetic trait neither EPA nor FDA

would ever approve. And with the public outcry

over cloning and genetic engineering in animal

species, I’m not sure you’d get consumers to by

such a ‘new’ tuna. From a biological standpoint,

although I’m no ichthyologist, I don’t remember

the yellowfin being an aggressive predator

species.”

“Perhaps in tampering with yellowfin growth

factors, they somehow triggered some new level

of fish ‘testerone’ release. We can speculate

all day, Scully, but the investigating wildlife

biologist at the scene swears the dental marks

found on the mutilated fish are clearly

identifiable as a yellowfin’s. The regulatory

guys suspect Pescorp may be covering up an

actual T-12 theft, and just wants to avoid the

publicity. The company’s erected a solid wall of

lawyer pinstripe, and the agencies have had to

go to court to get a warrant to get into the

labs.”

“So where do we come in?” she asked, tired

of sparring. “Missing Perches?”

Mulder grinned. “See? The fun’s contagious.

No, the FBI was called in two nights ago.” He

clicked the remote, and the modified yellowfin

was replaced by a man, bloodied and mauled but

clearly older, tanned, and tall. “Meet Peter

Crowthers, Maui. A retiree who moved from the

mainland five years ago. A beachcomber, wino,

whatever, found him in the surf behind his

beachfront condo 20 miles north of Lahaina. His

jugular and femoral arteries were punctured, and

again, the local pathologist ID’ed the dental

marks as being consistent with those made by a

yellowfin.”

“This is like a bad ’50s horror film,”

Scully complained. “So we’re supposed to

investigate a serial fish killing and a man who

very likely was mauled by a shark or other

predatory species brought into the wrong cove by

some oceanic storm.”

Mulder turned the projector off and brought

up the office lights. “There’s one other thing

the director didn’t bother to tell Skinner or

us. I thought Crowther’s name was familiar, and

I asked Frohike to run it through his shadow

files. Peter Crowther’s gold watch has ‘CIA’

etched on the back of it.”

Scully was silent for a moment.

“Coincidence.”

“Even so,” Mulder began, slyly, “the

powers-that-be seem to feel our country needs

us. In Maui. Land of white beaches, potent tiki

drinks, and erotic sunsets. I don’t know about

you, but if Uncle Sam demands I leave my cozy

Washington home in the midst of the iciest

February on record to investigate a threat to

domestic security in a Hawaiian paradise, well,

I suck it up and do my duty.”

Scully’s frown relaxed, and her eyes began

to glaze. She shrugged with a suddenly sunny

smile. “I suppose you may be right, Mulder. The

bastards.”

Kahalui Airport

Kahalui, Maui

11:28 p.m.

“Agents Mulder and Scully? Aloha, and

welcome to the island.”

Scully looked up blearily as she wrestled

her carry-on into the gate area. The shoulder

strap had snapped when some overweight

Midwesterner had jerked his tote bag from the

overhead on the bumpy Washington-to-L.A. leg. A

liberated Mulder had not offered to assist her,

and the walk to the LAX terminal had been a

death march which had ended in a two-hour flight

delay.

“Aloha,” Mulder greeted, refreshed by the

near-coma into which he had fallen during his

trans-Pacific flight.

The man before them was probably 50, stocky

with thick gray hair and genial wrinkles framing

his rich brown Hawaiian eyes. “Jim Kamehana, Lt.

Jim Kamehana, Maui County CID. You folks are a

little late — hope the flight wasn’t too much

of an ordeal.”

“Milk run,” Mulder assured him. Kamehana

gently appropriated Scully’s carry-on.

“Baggage’s this way. I appreciate you two coming

out. I can use a little help on this one.”

“That’s a refreshing attitude,” Scully

said. “Sometimes, local law enforcement’s not to

thrilled when the Bureau’s called in.”

“Ah,” Kamehana shrugged. “I think you’ll

find the department pretty cooperative. It’s

that way on the island — when you’re fortunate

enough to live 2,000-some miles away from the

rat race, in the cradle of paradise, all that

competitive mainland crap seems kinda

ridiculous. Domestic disturbances, DUIs, and

cocky teenagers aside, I figure I’m already

living the dream, you know? E komo mai — c’mon,

let’s get your bags.”

“Any leads on the Crowther case?” Mulder

inquired.

“Not sure yet there is a case — not for

homicide, anyway,” Kamehana reported. “Though it

don’t make much sense, M.E.’s pretty sure it was

a yellowfin got Pete. Be pretty hard to fake

those kinda wounds.”

“Pete?” Scully asked, working her ravaged

right shoulder. “Did you know the victim?”

“Sure, we all knew Pete. He used to be some

kinda federal cop, though he always played that

one pretty close to the vest. I figured CIA or

NSA, either that or he just talked a good game.

See him at the local watering holes, he always

wanted to talk shop with the guys. Also had to

bust him a few times. Pete was a born-again

‘green.’ One of those haoles — foreigners, no

offense — who come to the island and start

thinking they were born here, that they’re gonna

save their island Eden singlehandedly. I don’t

mind ’em particularly, and I agree with a lot of

what the enviros say, but when they start

callin’ us storm-troopers and Nazis, they start

wearing out their welcome. At least Pete didn’t

preach — he’d show up at the protests, but when

the party was over, he’d put on the cuffs

peacefully and ask if we wanted to go for beers

later on.”

“Kind of a coincidence, an environmental

activist allegedly being attacked by a

genetically engineered fish,” Mulder said.

“How’d Crowther feel about Pescorp’s biotech

research?”

“Mostly, he was upset about the development

on the west side of the island, on the hillsides

where the sugar cane fields used to be, and

about the ‘biodiversity’ of the island. But you

get a few beers in him, he’d rant about

‘corporate engineering,’ us screwin’ with Mother

Nature, that sort of thing.”

“How do you feel about what Pescorp’s

doing?”

The lieutenant waggled his fist, pinky and

thumb extended, in a surfer’s gesture signaling

laid-back indifference, and steered his charges

toward the baggage carousels. “Hard times tend

to catch up to us a little slower out here, but

unemployment’s starting to creep up, and even

though the tourist trade’s important, the

average kama aina — local — doesn’t always

understand why he has to pay $6 for a cup of

Kona or a gallon of milk in town just cause to

soak some rich orthodontist from Ohio. I got a

kid at the U of H, biology major, and I don’t

buy into all this mad scientist stuff about

biotechnology. If Pescorp says it can make a few

more jobs on the island without belching black

smoke or pouring poison into the water, then far

as I’m concerned, they can grow all the three-

eyed Simpsons fish they want.”

“Did you investigate the break-in at the

Pescorp lab?” Scully asked, hobbling along on

her sensible but escalator-damaged pump.

“The big fish — pardon the pun — took the

case directly from the responding patrol team,

before the kahuna at Pescorp shut us down. What

I understand, though, smells a little like week-

old ahi — yellowfin. Kenny — the first uniform

at the scene — said the surveillance equipment

at the company had been acting up. Chuck —

Chuck Kinau, the guard on duty that night —

told him it was like some kind of TV

interference, like the signal was being jammed.

Wanted to check the lab tapes, but Pescorp

turned us down. Lucky thing Chuck didn’t get

canned — he’s got a big family and his folks to

look after.”

“You think the company’s covering

something?”

“We saw the fish — all seven of them, fat

and hau’oli, fat and happy. Ah here we are,

Hawaii Airlines.” The carousel already was laden

with suitcases, golf bags, and totes. Scully

began to reach for her garment bag, and Lt.

Kamehana reached in and swung it over a thick

shoulder.

“Thanks,” she said, nursing her shoulder.

“A’ole pilikia,” the cop responded, then

shook his head. “Sorry, I meant no problem. My

youngest’s in one of those Hawaiian immersion

classes, and I just can’t help myself.”

Peter Crowther residence

Lahaina, Maui

12:46 a.m.

“This couldn’t have waited ’til morning,

Mulder?” Scully groaned, kicking sand from her

good pump.

Mulder eyed the floodlit underbrush

surrounding the beach behind Crowther’s large

but aged cottage. When Kamehana had offered to

transport them directly to their beachfront

lodgings, Scully had been wearily grateful, but

Mulder was restless and wired. “C’mon, you’ve

said it before — the fresher the scene, the

closer the solution.”

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“Mulder, there is no scene. The evidence —

at least, any evidence pertaining directly to

Crowther’s death — is all out there now,” she

waved into the inky waves of the Pacific. “What

do you hope to find?”

“Whatever I find.”

“Great. Lieutenant, you say there was a

witness?”

“Not an eyewitness, exactly,” Kamehana

amended, leaning on a nearby coconut palm.

“Name’s Bobby Jameson, old salt been here since

after the Big War. Lost his wife, then his house

to the booze, and these days, he sleeps his way

from park to golf course. Week or so ago, the

chamber started kickin’ about the homeless

scaring the tourists, and we had to roust Bobby

out. He probably started sacking out around the

private beaches. The locals, like Pete, knew he

was harmless.

“Anyway, we found Bobby, white as a sheet,

about a quarter-mile down the beach, oh, about

11:30 or so. He’d called in about the body

anonymously, from the Shell station up on 30,

but we recognized his voice, plus he tends to

use a lot of colorful adjectives in his speech,

you know what I mean. He thinks he may have

heard Crowther arguing with somebody, then

thrashing around out in the surf. When he came

out of the thicket over there, he saw the body

at water’s edge.”

“Patio’s pretty clean, Lieutenant,” Mulder

observed, peering inside Crowther’s house.

“Almost too clean. From the looks of the tile

inside, Crowther wasn’t the greatest housekeeper

in the world. Sand all over the place.”

“‘Ae, we spotted that,” Kamehana nodded.

“That’s what made us a little suspicious about

the death in the first place. Maybe Pete had a

visitor the night he died? But Doc’s pretty

certain about those bite marks on Pete’s body.”

“I’m a pathologist,” Scully informed the

cop. “You think I could examine the body? In the

morning?” She glared at Mulder.

“Sure. And you want me to round up Bobby,

too?”

Mulder turned, surprised. “Yeah, if you

can.”

“Oh, I can. I want you to hear his account

of things, in his words. Definitely in his

words.”

Mulder turned to an equally puzzled Scully

as Kamehana crunched back toward his car.

Ronald Gennari residence

Lahaina, Maui

12:32 a.m.

Ronald Gennari’s great-grandfather and

grandfather had been New England lobstermen, up

well ahead of the butt-crack of dawn and out on

the bay before the first hint of orange touched

the Atlantic sky. Theodore Gennari, his father,

had abandoned the sea for the perilous swells of

the business world in the 1950s, building a

taste in the Heartland first for frozen cod and

shrimp, then for fresh perch and blue crab, then

for mahi-mahi, Chilean sea bass, and other more

exotic fritti di mare. In the process, he built

a corporate empire that consistently ranked in

Fortune’s 50 and that rivaled Sara Lee, Tyson,

Philip Morris/Kraft, and the other titans of the

food industry.

But some things are bred in the bone and

etched irrevocably in the genetic code, and

Ronald Gennari (“If you knew sushi…: Pescorp’s

Neptune of the New Millennium reigns with market

savvy,” Newsweek, Dec. 18, 2002) remained prey

to the adaptive curse of his early-rising

forebears. Pescorp’s senior VP for Pacific

marketing and development survived on five

hours’ sleep a night, prowling his faux

plantation manse and consuming tireless hours of

satellite business news and sports. Gentry was

watching highlights of his hometown Celtics when

Carl Nahimi, his executive assistant, phoned in

on the line that opened exclusively into his

teak-lined home theatre.

“FBI’s on the island — cat-and-dog team,”

Carl reported. Gennari bit back on a pearl of

annoyance: Carl loved intrigue and was too fond

of crime movie jargon. “They went straight to

Crowther’s shack.”

“Son-of-a-bitch,” Gennari snapped. “I still

think that crazy bastard is behind it. Those

fucking hippies he hangs with probably fed him

to a shark.”

“He was an ex-spook, you know,” Carl noted.

“You think maybe the Company ordered some kind

of—”

“Christ, man, just get me some intelligence

on those feds, and indulge your fantasies on the

Internet, on your own fucking time.”

“Sure. How we coming with…you know, the…”

“Kee-rist! You think they’re tapping my

phone, now? We’re on schedule, as long as the

lawyers can keep those government vultures at

bay. You don’t worry about it, hear? You have

enough on your plate.”

“Yes, sir,” Carl murmured. “I’ll–”

Gennari broke the connection, turning back

to the 100-inch screen in time to see the Celts

give up a three-pointer.

“Bastard,” he grumbled, referring not to

the fumbling center on the satellite feed.

Maui County Police Department Lahaina Annex

Lahaina, Maui

9:05 p.m.

Mulder watched Bobby Jameson scarf a fourth

sausage Croissan’wich with mingled horror and

admiration.

“God anudda pepshi?” said the rail-thin old

man, who resembled nothing so much as Popeye on

a bad day. Lt. Kamehana patted him on the

shoulder and stepped out of the police interview

room.

“Mr. Jameson,” Mulder ventured as the

derelict’s Adam’s apple twitched with the last

morsel of ground pork and pastry. “You remember

the night the man died on the beach? The night

the big fish attacked him?”

“Patronizing and leading,” Scully murmured.

Mulder waved her off.

Jameson squinted up at the agent. “Yeah,

just cause I’m an old drunk don’t give you call

to talk down to me. ‘Big fish, my a–”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“Effin’ straight.” Jameson sucked at his

sparse teeth and settled back into his folding

chair. “Wellll, the fucking Nazzies told me I

couldn’t sleep downtown with the nice tourist

folks, so I was campin’ by the feller’s house. I

was grabbin’ a little shuteye after supper — Mo

down to the Barbecue Shack gived me a whole pan

of burnt rib-tips the mainlanders wouldn’t

touch. Anyhow, all of a sudden, I hear these two

fellas yellin’ at each other to beat the band.

One was the guy what lived there, and the other

sounded like an islander. Kaui this, Kaui that.

Maybe that’s where the fella was from, like I

give a flyin’…”

“Pepsi on deck,” Kamehana sang. The old man

guzzled the soda.

“So Mr. Crowther and the other man were

arguing.”

“Yeah, I thought they was gonna mix it up a

little, so I tried to get up to where’s I could

see. But that’s when I saw the menehune.”

A uniform hanging in the doorway snorted.

Scully glanced up at Kamehana, who shrugged with

a slight smile.

“Mene–?” she asked.

“—hune,” Mulder finished, leaning forward

with interest. “Little people. The menehune are

like island fairies or gnomes, supposedly

supernatural beings. You saw one, Mr. Jameson?”

“Bet your pale haole ass,” Jameson said

proudly. “Was gawkin’ at me from behind a tree

about six or seven feet away. Scared the blue

lovin’ shit outta me, and I kinda lost track of

what the fellas up to the house was sayin’. Ugly

little fucker — I heard stories about them

menehune, and I didn’t want no truck with ’em.

But then, just when I was lookin’ for a stick to

bash his little fairy brains in, he runs off.

Second or two later, the fella, one that was

fightin’ with the guy owned the house, I hear

him rev up his car and spray gravel and shit all

over the place getting’ outta there. I was

afraid maybe he’d killed that other fella, but a

couple minutes later, that fella…”

“Crowther?” Mulder prompted.

“The fella what owned the house,” Jameson

snapped, wearying of interruption. “I hear the

patio door open and him traipsin’ out hummin’

and whistlin’, all cocky, like maybe he’d won

the argument with the other guy. Then I hear him

goin’ down the beach, I guess to take a swim.

That’s when I heard him screamin’ — guess it

was him, cause I was the onliest one else there.

He was catterwhaulin’ like a little girl with

her arm caught in an outboard motor. I’m

thinkin’ shark, but that don’t make no sense.

Then I’m wonderin’ if maybe the little menehune

bastard had got him, ‘cept I never heard a’ no

menehune knowin’ how to swim. I just got my ass

outta there quick like. Then I figured maybe I

oughtta call Jim and the fellers, let ’em know

maybe they should put out a shark or menehune

alert.”

Jameson guzzled more Pepsi, a thin thread

of cola meandering through the stubble on the

old salt’s chin.

“Mr. Jameson,” Scully began tactfully,

“You’ll have to pardon me for asking, but, ah,

the night that man was attacked, did you, were

you, um…”

“Crocked?” Mulder supplied. Scully slumped

back in her chair, and the uniform fled the

scene. Jameson’s can stopped in mid-arc, and the

old man’s eyes narrowed. Then Jameson grinned,

and he crooked a finger at the agent. Mulder

looked at him quizzically, then leaned in.

Jameson whispered into his ear at length,

finally leaning back with a single cackle.

Mulder had turned a lighter shade of beige as

Jameson talked, and he nodded soberly as he

regarded his partner and the Maui detective.

“Mr. Jameson is rather firm in his

conviction that he was not inebriated the night

of Crowther’s death,” he announced. “And thanks

for the advice, Mr. Jameson, although I’m fairly

certain I lack the agility to accomplish it.”

Maui County Police Department Morgue

10:16 a.m.

Scully pulled her latex glove free with a

sharp snap and tossed it into the biowaste bin

next to the steel exam table where Peter

Crowther’s corps lie. “I’d have to concur with

Dr. Pukui — Mr. Crowther seemingly died as a

result of an encounter with a fish.”

She sighed, and avoided eye contact with

Mulder. “A big fish. I identified at least 25

individual bite marks, the fatal wounds likely

being those to Mr. Crowther’s carotid artery.

While the bite pattern is consistent with

Thunnus albacares, Dr. Pukui assures me this

sort of…piscine vehemence…is wholly atypical of

the species, and the size of the wounds is

roughly twice the size of a large yellowfin

bite.”

“Tuna, ahoy!” Mulder crowed. Kamehana

frowned.

“You saying one of Pescorp’s fish may have

done this?” the cop drawled.

Scully pulled off her scrub blouse. “I am

merely confirming that a marine fish of

prodigious size and mandibular strength was

responsible for Peter Crowther’s death.”

“The polysyllabic backpedaling and

academic profundity you hear is the sound of

Special Agent Dana Scully once again flying into

the face of the facts,” Mulder smirked. “Maybe

this’ll at least convince the court to issue

that warrant for the Pescorp lab.”

Scully frowned. “I don’t know, Mulder.

There are a number of inconsistencies here. I

don’t want to jump to the conclusion we’re

looking at a yellowfin attack — given the

abundance of comparative samples on the island,

I’ve requested a DNA test of the tissues

surrounding Crowther’s wounds. Biotech test

specimens also usually bear a special marker

gene to identify them, and that also should show

up in any DNA screen.

“Plus, there was no missing flesh, no

tearing — no sign that whatever attacked

Crowther attempted to consume him. And the USFWS

reports of the two earlier fishkills indicated a

similar pattern — a frenzied attack, but no

signs the predator fed on any of the vict–, ah,

fish.”

“Maybe it was just, well, crazed,” Mulder

protested.

Scully gave her partner what only could be

deemed the fisheye. “Attack of the Giant Crazed

Killer Tuna. Why don’t you put that on a triple

bill with Night of the Chupacabra and Revenge of

the Flukeman? I know Skinner would buy a ticket

for that.”

Colonial Maui Tropical Plantation

12:37 a.m.

“Don’t you want to stop at the gift shop,

Scully?” Mulder asked as the pair followed the

plantation tour route past a wild-looking plot

of sugar cane and a stand of pineapple trees. “I

was assuming from your demeanor this morning you

might like a good lei.”

“You keep this up, it may be the only kind

you get this trip,” Scully responded, kicking a

rock out of her shoe. “You are literally on a

fishing expedition, Mulder, and I’m not sure the

evidence bears out your wild speculations. God

knows what kind of predatory species may be out

here, forced to find a new habitat by shifts in

the oceanic food chain, pollution, maybe even

fishing activity. And why is this Makule

important?”

“According to the lieutenant, Crowther’s

been seen or arrested at several MKA

demonstrations. Vincent Makule’s the closest

thing to a Maui chapter president. I still think

that if there was an attempted break-in — or a

successful one — at Pescorp, some activist

group is behind it, and MKA’s been particularly

outspoken on biotechnology. Left at the guava?

Is this guava?”

“Macadamia,” Scully sighed, pointing to the

tour sign at Mulder’s elbow. “And it’s right at

the plumeria patch. I can hear the tour ahead,

and it sounds like they’re talking coconut.”

“To the grove, Watson,” Mulder declared.

“Yeah, fine, whatever.”

As the three-car Colonial Maui Tropical

Plantation tram trundled off toward a shack

displaying birds-of-paradise and garlands of

hibiscus, Vince Makule tossed shards of coconut

husk into a white plastic pail next to a

primitive wood bench in a clearing adjoining the

trail. Affixed to the bench was a long, broad,

fierce-looking knife.

Makule, in a sun-yellow aloha shirt and

oyster white jams, looked up, smiling, as the

agents approached. “Aloha! You two get lost?

They don’t like folks just wandering around

alone, especially they don’t have tickets.

Tram’s just up ahead; tickets are available at

the general store.”

“Vincent Makule?” Mulder asked, unsheathing

his ID. “Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana

Scully, FBI.”

“Wow, FBI,” the young man enthused. “Just

like on TV?”

“Wow, yeah,” Mulder grinned. “Just like

that break-in at Pescorp about a week ago.”

Makule smirked and resumed cleaning up the

debris of his 12:30 p.m. show. “You guys are

kinda late to the luau, aren’t you? I already

talked to the county cops and the state cops,

even some joker from Homeland Security, I think,

after the break-in. Then I went through it all

again after that dude in Lahaina got eaten.”

“He wasn’t eaten,” Scully noted, weakly.

“Tell you what I told them. Malama Ka Aina

is a peaceful organization that exercises its

lawful First Amendment rights and sometimes

practices non-violent civil disobedience when

the environment and biodiversity of the islands

are threatened.”

“Was that swarm of toads someone planted at

that new subdivision up north last April lawful

exercise or civil disobedience?” Mulder

inquired.

Makule shrugged. “You never know when new

construction might bring some of the indigenous

wildlife out of the hills. ‘Sides, I never heard

of frogs killing a couple of hundred fish or a

man before, not like that superfish of

Pescorps’.”

“You’re really up on the local news, Mr.

Makule. And didn’t you know that man, Peter

Crowther? According to the county cops, you and

Crowther shared a cell with you a few times.”

“Yeah, OK, I hung with Pete some. One of

those guilty burn-out types out to save his

soul. I’m sure you know he was a spy for Nixon,

Reagan, Dubya’s daddy — probably overthrew a

couple of Third World countries, offed a few

guys in his time. But he was loyal to the cause,

understood how to piss off the bureaucracy. And

he knew what Uncle Sam and the corporate machine

were willing to unleash on the planet for a few

bucks. Like Moby Dick out there, eating its way

through the island fish population. Ah, well,

maybe it’ll take out a few of those fat tourist

chicks, too.”

“Do you honestly believe that man was

killed by Pescorp’s yellowfin?” Scully asked.

“Lemme show you something, lady,” Makule

said, searching up a plump green coconut and

straddling the bench. He lifted the fruit above

his head and brought it down just off-center. A

large slice of husk came away. “We been growing

and selling these things more than a half-

century here, and this is just about as state-

of-the-art as coconut ‘processing’ gets. Know a

guy on the big island can strip one of these

down to the nut in three seconds flat, a lady

here on Maui can take off the husk in two

minutes. But nobody’s been able to come up with

some computerized machine that can do it. Each

coconut’s different; you can’t predict what’s

inside. Those suits down at Pescorp think they

can build a better fish than Nature can, but

they don’t know the half of what they’re messing

with, or what that supertuna sandwich is gonna

do to your grandkids.” He held up the semi-

shucked coconut. “Goin’ on break — wanna share,

FBI?”

“Wonder how long he’s rehearsed that

routine,” Scully pondered a few minutes later,

as she and Mulder ascended the hill approaching

the plantation gift shop/tour center. Her

partner paused at a small zoo near the center,

where a group of largely Hawaiian elementary

students listened to a plantation employee’s

hourly recitation.

“While there are no monkeys native to

Hawaii, the plantation support the Pacific

Primate Rescue Program, which finds new homes

for displaced, abused, or neglected monkeys like

Dakota here. Dakota’s a capuchin…”

“Probably pretends the bathroom mirror’s

Diane Sawyer,” Mulder suggested, embroiled in a

staring contest with a boldly colored parrot.

“I’m not buying Makule’s Gandhi act. There’ve

been at least a half-dozen acts of sabotage,

trespassing, and vandalism around the islands in

the last six months that’ve been linked to MKA,

but not enough evidence to bring charges. I

think somehow Makule and Crowther were in on the

break-in together, or maybe Crowther the ex-fed

was pissed off about the way Makule exercised

his civil disobedience. Maybe Crowther was

keeping the T-12 for Makule and the gang, and it

got out of control.”

“Where would he have held it, Mulder?”

Scully challenged. “There were no tanks or

enclosure nets at his house. You think he was

taking his tuna for a midnight stroll when it

turned on him?”

The parrot looked away, and Mulder turned

triumphantly. “It just seems too pat, too

deliciously ironic, that Crowther would be

killed by the creature whose existence he was

protesting. I feel like Makule is involved in

Crowther’s death, somehow.”

Scully flopped onto a huge rock next to a

tankful of geckos. “Well, I got a look at

Makule’s teeth, and if he mauled Crowther, he

must have been wearing dentures.”

Lahaina, Maui

2:37 p.m.

“Gaze upon paradise,” Phillip Lutz invited,

his leathery hand sweeping across the ocean’s

near-turquoise perfection, the seamless,

cloudless robin’s egg blue of the morning sky

abutting it, and the velvet jade of the nearby

hills towering above the bay.

Lutz had chosen pointedly not to entertain

Mulder and Scully in the confines of a cluttered

university extension office that served him

largely as an academic storage closet and an

emotional torture chamber for stupid and

indolent students. Instead, the middle-aged

molecular biologist, who more closely resembled

some surfer-gone-to-beachcomber, invited them to

a picnic lunch of smoked kalua — pork — and

macaroni salad on his catamaran, in a cove just

south of Lahaina.

A collection of mixed-vintage but largely

salt-pitted cars lined the sandy berm next to

Highway 30 above the bay, their owners

worshipping The Big Wave, several true believers

wielding the solid wood boards demanded by the

legendary surf god Huey. A hundred or so yards

offshore, a goofy foot — a surfer riding his

board right foot in front of the left —

executed as perfect a cutback as one was likely

to see outside the North Shore.

“Ironic that this Eden, this outpost of

natural wonder, may be a gateway to man’s

greatest achievements in food production and

prolonged life,” Lutz continued, once his guests

had absorbed his home paradise. “At least,

that’s the horseshit they put on the Biosciences

Department Web Page. But there’s a great deal of

truth to the defensive hyperbole we toss around

regarding genetic engineering.

“I don’t suppose you two have had the

opportunity to visit any of the big plantations

on the island? If you can get away from your

investigation for a few hours, I think you might

find it educational, perhaps even for your

investigation. It’s one of the first real

socioeconomic success stories for biotech

research and development. You know the Hawaiian

sugar industry is losing ground fast to Brazil –

– South American production costs, improved

inland transportation infrastructure, all that

good ag economics stuff? Well, we still maintain

a competitive edge in papaya production, but we

almost lost the entire crop a few years back, to

ringspot — a fungal disease. It was decimating

the plantations. Even if we’d had effective

chemical treatments for the rust, EPA’s

continuing to whittle away at the few potent

fungicides we have left, and nobody likes to

think their tropical fruit salad has been

marinated in methyl bromide. Long story short,

Agent Mulder?”

“Sorry,” Mulder grinned, coming out of a

deepening slump. “I was about ready to sacrifice

myself to the nearest passing mano.”

Lutz, accustomed to worshipful sophomores

and calculating post-grads, beamed at his

passenger’s refreshing candor. “Occupational

hazard — I frequently lapse into lecture hall

mode when I get into this subject. Why I

windsurf and immerse myself in The Simpsons on

the weekends. And very nice pronunciation,

Agent, although nothing sticks out like a sore

haole like a mainlander peppering his speech

with island lingo.”

“Mahalo.”

“You’re quite welcome.”

“The papayas?” Scully prompted tonelessly,

brushing another red lock from her sunburnt

face. Mulder waggled his fist, thumb and pinky

extended, in a surfer “chill out” gesture. She

surreptitiously started to offer an alternative

gesture, but thought better of it, and nibbled

at the sweet Hawaiian roll that enveloped her

pit-cooked pork .

“Long story short, before your partner

surrenders to the sharks” the professor

repeated. “Biotechnology comes to the rescue —

I should say molecular biology, because biotech

goes back thousands of years to when the native

Meso-Americans manipulated maize into its

current harvestable ear state. In this case, my

university colleagues were able to build

biological rust resistance into indigenous

papaya varieties without changing either the

content, the natural function, or the

environmental impact of the plant. Didn’t sit

too well with some of the organic folks, but you

can’t have an organic market without a product

to sell. GMO papayas very likely saved Hawaii’s

economy. Oops, more defensive hyperbole.

“But my point is, despite the politicized

rumblings of the European trade community and

the capitalistic fear-mongering of some ‘non-

GMO’ food companies, we have in our hands the

tools to meet the food and agricultural needs of

a global population that could grow to six

billion within the next 50 years. Imagine rice

engineered to provide a child the vitamin A

necessary to stave off blindness or disease.

Drought-resistant cassava that could survive in

the shadows of the Nigerian hunger relief camps.

We have the tropical climate, the relative

isolation from major cross-pollinating farm

crops, the international scientific support for

finding biotechnological answers. China knows

it, India knows it, sub-Saharan Africa knows it,

though it doesn’t yet have the means to fully

exploit it. It’s the mall-shopping yuppie

housewife we still have to convince.”

Scully tucked her Laura Ashley-shorn feet

under her, spitting hair. “At the same time,

Professor, hasn’t Hawaii been somewhat notorious

for biotech problems over the last few years?”

Lutz nodded, as if Scully had scored a

glancing blow in a classroom sparring match. “I

assume you’re referring to the recent federal

sanctions against Monsanto and the others for

failing to follow proper field test protocols.

Yes, I’ll admit there are certain pitfalls when

you transfer technology from the university lab

to the bottomliners at some multinational

biosciences outfit. The Prodigene incidents in

Iowa and Nebraska back in Iowa demonstrated that

— the company’s error set pharmaceutical crops

research and God knows what Third World medical

advances back at least five years.

“You can’t hire some kid who was making

gorditas at the Taco Bell last week to dispose

of GMO crop wastes or fudge a foot or two on

EPA-prescribed test plot buffers. I’m adamant

with my colleagues and students that we must

jump through all the federal hoops if we hope to

be a credible force for the world. But I can

assure you, there was no imminent threat of

environmental contamination in the cases you’re

citing.”

“What about animal biotechnology?” Mulder

challenged. “There’s a big difference between

goosing up a soybean or papaya plant and

genetically tinkering with some fish or mammal

whose natural tendency’s going to be to tango

with whatever fish or mammal strikes its fancy.”

Scully’s sunglasses slipped to the tip of

her nose as she gaped at her partner’s flippant

— not to mention simplistically anthromorphic –

– characterization of mammalian and

icthyological reproductive processes. Dr. Lutz

cackled.

“Sorry, just watched Finding Nemo last

night, and the picture of ahi or bonito

tangoing…” the biologist said. “Of course,

animal biotechnology is an entirely different,

ah, animal, than plant biotech. Not only in

purely molecular and physiological terms, but

also in a sociological context. When the Scots

successfully cloned cells from a sheep, the

public began to conjure images of genetically

engineered armies of slave monkeys produced to

perform sub-minimum wage duties for the

corporate machine.”

“Might improve the service at Burger

King,” Mulder suggested. Scully’s loud sigh was

lost in the crashing tides.

“And then 60 Minutes came out with its

‘analysis’ of biotech salmon a couple of years

ago, and anyone who’d ever seen a bad ’70s

horror film became convinced we were going to be

setting hordes of mutant coho loose in the

Columbia to swim upstream and converge on

Seattle.”

“I see Bruce Willis, lots of screaming

Starbucks drinkers.”

“Precisely. But what you really would like

to know is whether whatever is responsible for

these recent fishkills and that poor

unfortunate’s death is some genetically mutated,

homicidal yellowfin tuna that has developed an

appetite for human flesh.”

“Ask any geneticist you happen to see…”

Mulder sang.

“Sorry, Charlie,” Lutz responded dryly. “I

served on a National Institutes of Health panel

that examined Pescorp’s research protocols for

Event T-12 — the modified yellowfin. Are you

familiar with diploid and triploid development

in catfish, salmon, and other aquacultural

species, Dr. Scully?” Scully nodded in

consultation. “Agent Mul–?” Lutz smiled

indulgently, and Mulder looked at a now-smiling

Scully in indignation. “Let’s just say modified

aquatic species are, in effect, built to be

sterile. They do not have the capacity to

reproduce, by design. T-12 was modified in this

manner, so first of all, if a specimen was to be

released into the wild, it could not possibly

procreate, or tango, as you put it, Agent

Mulder.

“Secondly, as a precaution against

liability or environmental damage, all test

specimens of T-12 were engineered with a gene

conferring extreme nutrient deficiencies. The

GMO yellowfin are kept in a medium with

abnormally high levels of manganese, potassium,

and other nutrients present. If one were

introduced into an environment without this

signature cocktail of nutrients, it would die

within a day or so, if that much. I’ve seen all

the documentation — it’s a foolproof safeguard.

“And finally, the idea that the particular

growth promotant genes incorporated into T-12

could turn it into some kind of hyper-

testosterone killing machine, well, that’s a

Bruce Willis movie. If you want the full

scientific explanation, Agent Mulder, …”

Scully snorted.

“No, I’ll take your word for it — at

least for now,” Mulder nodded, ignoring her.

“You said you’ve reviewed Pescorp’s research

protocols. Did that include the company’s

security systems? How difficult would it have

been to steal one of the T-12s?”

“I’m no security specialist, but I would

think extremely difficult,” the scientist

considered. “Beyond federal regulatory

expectations, I should think Pescorp has

considerable capital invested in those tuna.

They have the resources to protect their

investment to the maximum extent possible. And I

truly can’t believe they’d attempt to cover up

the disappearance of a specimen.”

“Truly, Prof. Lutz?” Mulder posed, raising

a Scullian eyebrow. “Is nicotine truly

addictive, Doctor? You have any stock in Enron?”

Lutz chuckled. “Your somewhat paranoid

point is well taken, Agent. But, again, how

could anyone get beyond Pescorp’s security?

Unless…”

“It was an inside job,” Scully supplied.

Royal Aha’aina Luau

6:23 p.m.

“Nah, the guys at Pescorp are all as

straight as the day is long,” Kamehana assured

Mulder as he forked a pile of cold octopus onto

his plate. He’d used his law enforcement

connections to snag a couple of tickets to

purportedly Maui’s finest luau, and after an

introductory Lava Flow, even Scully’s jet-lagged

disposition had improved considerably. “I’ve

known Chuck Kinau’s family since I was a kid.

His dad and granddad were fishermen here ’til

they had a few years’ run of bad luck. Chuck

worked patrol until Pescorp offered him and a

few of the guys more money.”

“His family lived off the sea,” Mulder

noted, eyeing a dish of mahi-mahi in macadamia

cream sauce. “Could he have become sympathetic

with MKA’s cause, maybe decided to use his

access to help them?”

Kamehana shook his head curtly. “Chuck pees

red, white, and blue — he was Marines in the

Gulf, worked for the Bush side the last

election. Never had any use for the enviros or

the animal rightists. Calls ’em ‘haoles in

sheep’s clothing.'”

“Just in case, maybe you want to check his

whereabou–”

“Time-punched in at Pescorp, third shift,

when Crowther was killed. Helluva a lot more

definitive than trying to nail down Vince Makule

killing a six-pack with his buddies on the North

Shore. McGarrett’s got nothing on the Maui PD,

brother.”

Mulder took a breath, glancing over at

Scully, who was engaged in conversation with a

pasty older couple in garish aloha togs. “What

did you make of Jameson’s story?”

“Sounds like a falling-out between

comrades,” Kamehana theorized. “I’m checking out

any Kaui connections for Pete, even though he

stuck pretty much to himself.”

“Which for ex-CIA could in itself be

suspicious behavior. No, I meant the menehune

part. Tell me about the menehune.”

The lieutenant sought any sign Mulder was

kidding, and shook his shaggy head in bemusement

when he found none. “Holy crap, you’re serious.

Well, legend goes that when the Polynesians

first settled out here, they found heiaus —

temples — dams, and fish ponds. Some of the

first real aquaculture was practiced here, you

know — long before Pescorp started tinkering

with tuna. Anyway, the Polynesians thought all

of this was built by the little people, the

menehune, who lived in caves on the islands.

“A menehune’s kinda like a leprechaun,

except with bipolar. Each one has its own

personality, but a menehune can be mean and

dangerous one day and harmless the next. They

have a leprechaun’s cunning, and they say you

oughtta stay clear of them.”

“And what do they look like?” Mulder asked.

Kamehana laughed as he dished up some

kahuna pork. “Subject’s six inches to two feet

in height, naked, long straight hair. You want

me to put out an APB?”

Mulder grinned. “Just speculating. Jameson

may be one mai-tai short of a luau, but I think

he saw something relevant out there. I just have

to make a few connections. Ah, I see my

partner’s managed to shake off Ma and Pa Kettle.

Hey, Scully, over here.”

Before the redheaded agent could reply, a

stereo warbling rang through the buffet tent.

Mulder and Kamehana reached simultaneously for

their cell phones.

“Aloha,” Mulder greeted.

“Yeah,” Kamehana rapped out.

“Mekaleka heinie ho, Mulder,” Frohike

grunted. “How goes it in the land of lethal UV

rays and bootie-licious wahines?”

“Answers now, whacking later, OK?” Mulder

said. “What’d you find out about Crowther?”

“Peter Crowther, AKA Pieter Krause, AKA

Pedro Cruz, was not your usual spook.

Apparently, he was recruited out of NASA, where

he did some of early lunar rover research,

satellite robotics, and the like. My guy at the

Company says he did a lot of high-tech, black

budget project work. During the ’80s and ’90s,

Crowther moved around a lot between Central

China, Brazil, India, and, for some reason,

Oregon. His cover was he was some kind of

environmental engineering consultant.”

“Environmental engineering,” Mulder

murmured. “CIA, he’d know where the bodies — or

the toxic waste — was buried. Any word of why

he left the agency?”

“I looked into your eco-angle. My

Greenpeace guy never heard of him, and he hasn’t

been laid in years. If Crowther’s a tree-hugger,

he must just be cuckoo for coconuts.”

“You paint a dark and disturbing picture,

my diminutive friend,” Mulder moaned. “Mahalo,

Frohike.”

“De nada, Mulder,” the Gunman returned.

“Save a whale for me, and if you happen to get

any Polaroids of the pulchritudinous Agent

Scully basking on the beach, save one of those

for me, too.”

“You’re a sick little menehune,” Mulder

said affectionately, ending the call. Kamehana

was pocketing his phone, a plateful of meat and

fruit balanced in his other hand. “Got some

curious background on your victim. What do

China, India, Brazil, and the Pacific Northwest

have in common?”

“Probably all got Starbucks every other

corner by now,” Kamehana guessed. “That was my

buddy at the federal courthouse. We finally got

our warrant for the Pescorp lab. Go in tomorrow

morning, if that’s soon enough for you.”

“Gotta meet my three mai-tai limit,” Mulder

assured him, heading for the table. “Scully’s

designated driver.”

His partner had shed herself of the AARP

carders but was being assailed by a pudgy

spectacled man and his well-fed wife. Scully

smiled forcefully as Mulder set his groaning

plate on the long communal table.

“Mulder, this is Clark and Carol,” Scully

said. Clark beamed sharkishly, as if eyeing new

conversational prey.

“The little woman bending your ear?”

Mulder asked, reaching across to grasp a pink

sea cucumber of a hand.

“This is your husband, Dana?” Carol

purred.

“No,” Mulder replied, avoiding Scully’s

glare. “What’s your 20, Clark?”

“Columbus, Ohio,” their tablemate

announced. “I teach social studies at one of the

high schools. That’s part of why I’m here. We

were thinking Branson this year, but I told

Carol, ‘You know, we’re living in a global

village now. Why don’t we see how the other half

lives, expose ourselves to another culture.”

“Clark’s something of an amateur linguist,”

Scully said, rising. “Why don’t you tell him

about that while I hit the little girl’s, ah,

the lady’s room.”

“I’ll go with you, dear,” Carol volunteered

as she struggled to her feet, and Mulder shot

Scully a retaliatory smirk.

“I’m not really a professional linguist,

uh…” Clark began. “Mulder your last name or your

Christian name?”

“Call me Fox,” Mulder invited, drawing a

perplexed look.

“Yeah, Fox…I’m really fascinated by

regional dialects — the different words they

call things and why, the way how folks live

affects how they talk. Like you take the

Hawaiian language, for instance. They got three

different sets of first-person possessive

pronouns. It has to do with the relationship

between the possessor and the possessee.

Possessee?”

“I get your meaning,” Mulder smiled, mouth

going rapidly dry.

“See, if you’re talking about something

like a body part or a relative like a father or

a sister, something you can’t control having or

that’s like an extension of yourself, then you

say ‘ko’u’ — ko’u po’o would be ‘my head.'”

“My head,” Mulder agreed, rubbing his

temple.

“But if it’s something you just own, like a

cup or a plate, or your kids, who you

consciously chose to have, then you say ‘ka’u.’

But, then, if you want to avoid having to choose

between ko and ka, you can say ku. Then you get

into some of the cultural nuances — well, I

could go on forever.”

“I bet.” Jim Kamehana approached, looking

to Mulder like a knight with a meat-laden

shield. “Hey, Clark, this is Jim — he’s a cop

on the island, and something of an expert on the

language and the culture. Maybe he can tell you

more about possessive pronouns.”

Clark’s eyes lit up. “Hey, Jimmy, maybe you

could explain the differences in Hawaiian and

Tahitian consonant use…”

“Not to mention the Maoris,” Kamehana

added, launching into a lengthy and academic

discourse that had Clark initially spellbound

but ultimately dazed. When Scully returned,

Carol having peeled off to watch a pair of half-

naked luau performers carve volcano gods, Mulder

cornered her.

“OK, what do China, India, Brazil, and

Oregon have in common?” he posed.

“Except for Oregon, a tendency to over-

spice their entrees,” Scully guessed. “Mulder,

if you want to play Scattergories, we can do

that later at the hotel. I may even know an

interesting new adult variation.”

“I’m just trying to figure out what Peter

Crowther was up to during his CIA years, and

whether it may have some relevance to the case

at hand. I mean, maybe this whole tuna thing is

a red herring. Who’s better at ‘staging’ an

accident or a suicide than our friends with The

Company? Maybe Crowther knew something his ex-

coworkers wanted hushed up.”

“First of all, we have no evidence Crowther

was murdered,” Scully countered. “And if the CIA

wanted to stage a fatal accident for Crowther,

don’t you think they’d have come up with

something a little more, oh, ordinary? Like a

car crash or a drowning? A tuna mauling isn’t

exactly an inconspicuous way to kill someone.”

Mulder frowned, and played absently with

his octopus. “OK, Crowther was a gadget guy with

NASA before he signed on as a professional

spook. That tell you anything?”

“It tells me he’d probably have got on

famously with Clark,” Scully sulked. “When are

they bringing on the guys with the loin cloths?

And don’t give me that look, Mulder — not after

you asked me to model that ridiculous coconut

shell bra. If I like the talent tonight, maybe

I’ll rethink my position.”

Mulder grabbed a passing waitress. “Excuse

me. When’s the show start?”

A cell phone sounded. Mulder and Kamehana

went for their pockets, but Scully held up a

finger and reached into her handbag. “Dana

Scully. Yes. No, it’s fine. What did you come up

with?…What?…How’s that possible? There must

be some trace…No, I’m sure they did, but maybe

you could ask them to double-check…OK, thanks.”

Scully held the phone for a moment longer,

frowning, before she closed it.

“What?” Mulder asked.

She looked up. “That was the M.E. — the

DNA tests on Crowther and those fish came back.”

Scully turned to Kamehana. “Any time an animal

violently attacks a person, there are almost

always traces of saliva, blood, other remnants

of genetic material left as they maul the

victim.”

Carol’s fork dropped.

“Given the depth of the wounds particularly

in Crowther’s case, even the sea water he was in

shouldn’t have washed away all traces of DNA or

tissue. But they couldn’t find any foreign DNA

in either the fish or Crowther. Not merely

unusable or contaminated samples, but no

samples.”

“My,” Clark breathed.

Lahaina, Maui

1 a.m.

The bartender at The Kahuna Schooner

watched with a vague sense of concern as Bobby

Jameson stumbled out of the establishment. The

young guy at the bar had taken pity on the old

souse and bought him a few rounds, even listened

to Jameson’s probably fictional tales of the

merchant marines and his postwar conquest of the

local wahines. Finally, the old guy had worn

himself out and decided to set out in search of

a nesting place for the night.

Jameson made it nearly to the door before

he collided with the jukebox. He let loose with

a stream of profanity.

The young guy glanced at the bartender, who

shrugged, and sighed as he hopped off his stool.

“C’mon, ka’u makua kane, let me help you.”

The bartender shook his head at the young

samaritan, and turned to the cute not-so-young

thing at the end of the bar. The young guy

guided the old man out the door, and the sound

of crashing waves momentarily eclipsed Jimi

Hendrix from the bruised box.

“Nice night out, Pop,” the younger man

noted. “At least you got some good weather to

sleep under the stars.”

“Fuckin’ Chamber of Commies,” Jameson

burbled, grabbing his new friend’s sleeve as he

trudged through the sand beyond The Schooner.

“Public beach — gotta right to use it just as

mucha those tourist ass-haoles. ‘S a violation

of my constipational rights.”

“It’s OK, Pop,” the young man said,

steering Jameson toward the water’s edge. “You

oughtta be able to crash in the pilings under

the Seafood Shack without nobody bothering you.

Hey, look, what is that?”

“Whattya lookin’?” Jameson mumbled,

following the man’s gaze out toward the black

ocean. He squinted.

“Looks like some kinda box or something,”

the young guy drawled, pulling free of the old

man. “Maybe fell off one of the freighters or

something. Loot from the sea.”

“I don’t see nothin’…”

“Out there, right before the breakers, out

Lanai direction.”

Jameson leaned forward, then began to nod

slowly. “Yeah, yeah, I see it. You think there

may be somethin’ in there? Somethin’ worth

somethin’?”

“Dunno. Hey, where you goin’, Pop. You

better not go out there — you been tying it on

pretty good.”

Just as he’d predicted, Jameson’s combined

greed and pride drew him toward the sea, toward

the parcel the younger man firmly moored about

30 yards out before he’d begun to pour beer down

the old guy’s gullet. Jameson stumbled through

the sand, kicking off his ragged boat shoes as

he eyed the potential fortune bobbing on the

nearby waves. “Watch them shoes, boy. I’ll cut

you in.”

The young man smiled grimly as the derelict

treaded into the water, toward his treasure. He

reached into his pocket, withdrew the device

he’d been supplied, and sent the signal.

Jameson was nearly out-of-breath by the

time he swam the last ten yards to the floating

crate, but booze, a life of hard living and

survival, and avarice empowered him. He hoped

that whatever the crate might contain wouldn’t

have been damaged by the corrosive sea salt. If

it was packaged food, at least it would provide

a few days’ nourishment. If it was something

more valuable, he could maybe sell it for

something more appetizing.

Finally, he bumped into the crate, cursing.

It was large, but not unwieldy, and Jameson

figured the young fella could help him back to

shore with it. In the pale light of the moon, he

could make out stenciling on the side of the

box.

COLA? Wasn’t Bobby’s drink of choice, but…

No, it was longer. C-O-L-O-N-I-A-L. MAUI.

TROPICAL. P-L-A-N-T-A—

A pair of hands suddenly appeared at the

edge of the crate, and a face materialized. Wet

hair, angry eyes, a mouth full of sharp teeth.

“Menehune,” Jameson tried to whisper before

it struck.

Lahaina, Maui

7:05 a.m.

“Poor old Bobby,” Kamehana eulogized,

patting the corpse’s shoulder. The morning tide

had washed Jameson against a small dune, and

he’d been found by a local seeking tourist booty

with his metal detector. A trio of uniformed

officers were scouring the beach for clues, and

a cluster of tourists had gathered on the bank

above.

“At least a dozen sets of bite marks,

consistent with Crowther’s,” Scully observed,

crouching beside the dead witness. “And here’s

something else…See that scar on his face?”

“Probably when he washed ashore,” Mulder

suggested above her.

“I don’t think so,” she frowned. “I can see

traces of dried blood, and if he was dead before

the tide brought him in, as I’m assuming, he

wouldn’t have bled. Look closely — there’s two

lighter scratches alongside. Almost as if

someone had raked their fingernails across his

face.”

“Think smaller, Scully,” Mulder said.

“Those marks are too close together to be

human.”

His partner looked up, skeptically. “What

are you suggesting, Mulder? That this man was

attacked by one of those little people? Those

mene-whosis?”

“Menehune,” Kamehune corrected. He looked

warily at Mulder. “Tell me that isn’t what

you’re thinking, Mulder.”

“You might want to get that APB out,” the

agent advised.

Pescorp Commercial Marine Research and

Development Center

Kehei, Maui

11:02 a.m.

Ronald Gennari was as cordial as any man

could be surrounded by representatives of four

government agencies and looking down the barrel

of a federal warrant.

“Let’s get this the hell over with,” the

Pescorp VP rumbled, slapping the warrant into

his lead attorney’s palm. He scanned the throng

gathered about him. “This is the most ludicrous

waste of both my company’s and the taxpayers’

time I’ve ever witnessed. C’mon.”

As the EPA, USFWS, and USDA bureaucrats

sorted out the niceties with Gennari’s legal

crew, Mulder examined the tubular ceiling-to-

floor tanks that lined the Pescorp Research

lobby. A trio of yellowfin tuna glided through

the tube closest to the terse group.

“FBI, huh?” a spectacled, immaculately put-

together man ventured at Scully’s shoulder.

“Carl Nahimi, Mr. Gennari’s executive

assistant.”

“Special Agent Dana Scully,” she said

uncertainly. “Yes. We are. FBI, I mean.”

“Let me ask you,” Nahimi lowered his voice,

moving further into Scully’s personal space. “Do

you really believe one of our T-12s could’ve

killed a man? The very notion’s absurd.”

She caught Mulder’s eye. He waggled his

eyebrows, and a spark of annoyance ignited in

her gut. “Any more absurd than attempting to

engineer a jumbo colossal megatuna?”

Surprisingly, Scully hadn’t antagonized

Nahimi. “How much do you know about the

commercial fisheries industry, Agent?”

“A little…”

“The world’s annual yellowfin catch is

rapidly surpassing 300,000 metric tons per

year,” he explained with a smile. “While Pescorp

adheres strictly to best industry practices —

we’re 100 percent dolphin-safe — the commercial

industry is coming under a lot of heat from the

environmental movement. Believe me, dead

dolphins and sea turtles do not make good

advertising copy.”

Gennari set off with the feds and lawyers

in tow, and Nahimi gently took Scully’s elbow.

She heard Mulder snicker behind them. “The

yellowfin was an ideal focus for our pilot

genetic enhancement program. It’s a prolific

breeder with a relatively rapid maturation.

We’ve enhanced those traits, along with

promoting increased size and meat yield and a

greater ability to predict sex and maturity.

That should help improve managed production and

reduce the need for wild catch. And to top it

off, we’ve tweaked the T-12 to produce greater

concentrations of the essential fish oils

nutritionists have linked to improved cardiac

health.

“What we hope to accomplish with the T-12

project is not just increased productivity and a

higher profit margin for one of our fastest-

growing product lines, but a new level of

industry stewardship and community

responsibility. It’s basically the same

philosophy the crop biotech firms have adopted:

Getting more production out of fewer acres. More

captive production, less risk to innocent marine

wildlife and less overfishing of the species.

And our plan is to contract yellowfin tank

production throughout the islands, much like

Tyson and Smithfield contract poultry and hog

production on the mainland. That should create

new economic opportunities for farmers and

laborers at our planned new ahi processing

plant. It’s a win-win. Um, a win-win-win.”

“But you still have to clear FDA,” Mulder

asked, drawing an annoyed backwards glance from

Gennari’s assistant. “And it would appear you

have some strong activist opposition to the idea

of genetically engineered fish.”

“We’re trying to steer clear of that

term,” Nahimi said, somewhat peevishly. “We

prefer to say ‘genetically enhanced.’ In fact,

we plan to use that in our advertising/marketing

program: ‘Nature made it good; we’ve made it

great.'”

“How about ‘Good to the last bite?'”

Mulder suggested.

“Excuse me,” Nahimi said frostily,

releasing Scully’s arm and moving to Gennari’s

side by the card-scan console that provided

access to the yellowfin research lab.

“Great mother of Mrs. Paul’s!” Mulder

breathed as he scanned the outsized tanks

throughout the room. The three regulatory agency

reps glared at the agent; Gennari regarded him

as if he were a new species of bony, bitter-

tasting bottomfeeder, and Nahimi’s jaw hung

open. Scully created distance from Mulder.

The seven T-12s were identical in

appearance to the tuna in the lobby tanks, but

were larger than a trophy swordfish. Gennari’s

eyes flickered quickly to one of the T-12s.

“Somebody get me a harpoon and a tub of

cocktail sauce,” Mulder marveled.

“The warrant,” the EPA representative

announced, too loudly, “specifies that we’re to

draw tissue samples from each of the modified

Thunnus albacares, for purposes of genetic

verification. I’m to be present during all

phases of sampling and testing.”

“You think we pulled a switch or

something?” Gennari blustered incredulously,

glancing again at the T-12. “You think we just

pulled a jumbo tuna out of our, ah, hat?”

“We’re mandated to ensure no environmental

release of a yet-unapproved organism has

occurred,” EPA droned. “Verified reassurance no

such event has occurred is as much for your

company’s benefit as it is for the public’s. We

just want to confirm that each of these seven

specimens carries the marker gene that

identifies it as the event T-12.”

“This guy must be a real hoot at a luau,”

Mulder whispered to Scully, who swatted at him.

“Hey, you notice Mr. Big Fish keeps looking at

that tuna?”

“Yeahhh?” Scully murmured. “So what?”

“The same tuna. Like he’s anxious or

nervous. Why?”

“I don’t know,” she hissed.

“Who’s going to conduct the sampling?” EPA

asked.

“Excuse me,” Mulder said after studying

Gennari eyeing the T-12. The three wise feds,

Gennari, the lawyers, and Nahimi turned as one.

“Oh, God,” Scully sighed.

“Sorry to interrupt, but your DNA test?

Can it be used to match samples as well as

identify a marker gene?”

EPA examined the agent silently for a

moment. “What do you mean? What samples are you

suggesting we compare?”

“That fish there,” Mulder said, pointing

to the focus of Gennari’s ill-hidden attention,

“with each of the other six specimens.”

“This man’s FBI, isn’t he?” one of the

Pescorp attorneys, a short young woman with a

close-cropped Afro, protested. “By what

authority…?”

Gennari just stared at Mulder, his eyes

wide and unblinking.

“You cloned that yellowfin from one of the

others, didn’t you?” the agent challenged.

“What are you suggesting?” the lawyer

demanded.

As Scully tried to shrink into the

background, Mulder looked directly at a

dumbstruck Gennari.

“Gentlemen,” he proclaimed, “I believe one

of our tuna is missing.”

**

Why did I ever leave Boston?, Rebecca

Washington pondered as she sat beside a sweating

Ronald Gennari, amid a sea of feds. A

taxidermied tarpon — a recent catch by the

senior VP — looked accusingly down at the

conference table and his killer.

Washington had left, well, not a lucrative

but at least a meaningful practice in

Massachusetts, after her mentor and senior

partner Bobby Donnell had bailed out. A few

months of floundering on her own, accepting

personal injury and drug cases, had made the

offer from Pescorp’s home office extremely

attractive. They’d watched her impressive

performance in a few well-publicized

litigations, and read about the persuasive Mass

Supreme Court appeal that had led to the

acquittal of convicted murderer Lindsay Dole,

one of Washington’s partners.

When Pescorp offered a six-figure salary

and the post in Maui, Washington recovered from

her daze long enough to pack up her winter

wardrobe for the Salvation Army. Now, one

antitrust and two price-fixing cases later, the

attorney longed for subzero temps and ankle-deep

slush.

“A voluntary consultation process is a

voluntary consultation process,” Washington

protested, grasping for the one legal point that

wasn’t too slippery or full of sharp spines.

“The cloned progeny of this test animal is not a

product intended for any commercial release. It

is merely a basic research specimen. As such,

consultation requirements do not app—”

“Your employers manufactured this creature

just for, what, the educational value?” the FDA

man challenged dryly. “You people produce fish,

for commercial sale. Even though biotech

consultation is voluntary, there is an

expectation…”

“Let’s set that aside for a moment,” the

EPA representative said before Washington could

respond with an albeit shaky point. “Where is

the T-12, the real one? Do you know its

whereabouts?”

“Ron,” Washington warned as her employer

turned salmon red and leaned forward.

“Why aren’t you–?” the VP growled.

“Ronald,” Washington flared, as if she

were disciplining a child. “You do not talk

here. I talk for you.”

“Why are you busting my balls–?”

“Shut up!” Washington shouted, slamming

her palm on the table repeatedly. The three

bureaucrats and the redhead fed stared in

stunned silence. The odd one, the one who’d

leveled the cloning accusation, was suppressing

a giggle.

“—when you oughtta be out there looking

for those tree-hugging cocksuckers who stole our

fish?!” Gennari roared.

Washington inhaled, let it slowly go, and

planted her palms on the conference table. She

swept her notes into her briefcase and rose.

“The hell are you going?” Gennari snapped.

“Back to the arctic wasteland, Baby,”

Washington said as the hall door shushed close

behind her. The room fell silent.

“And we still haven’t been offered so much

as a cup of coffee,” Mulder observed.

Lahaina, Maui

4:46 p.m.

“And this is…?” Scully inquired, her

sunglasses sliding down her sunblocked nose.

“This is the Lava Flow,” Mulder said,

depositing the slushy, fruity concoction on the

towel next to her chaise. “Guaranteed to chase

away cloned supertunas, killer menehunes, and

deceased CIA agents.”

She glanced down into the drink. “And

perhaps loosen my inhibitions?”

“There is that.” Mulder, bedecked in a

Roswell T-shirt and cargo shorts, took the

lounge chair next to Scully’s.

“OK, let’s hear it,” she sighed, laying

back.

“What?”

“You know. The T-12 was stolen from

Pescorp, and the company was covering it up. I

was just up in the room, and it’s already made

CNN.”

“Sooo?”

“Just get it out of your system. I was

wrong, and you had a valid theory.”

“Yow, don’t humble yourself too much,”

Mulder said. “Look, Scully, it doesn’t matter

who reached the proper conclusion — we’ve found

a big piece of the puzzle. And one more

important thing: Ya-ya-ya, I nailed it!”

“Good,” Scully muttered. “Where are we

eating?”

“$12.95 lobster. Six-ish?”

“Fine. And, oh, by the way: Extensive river

infrastructure.”

“What?”

“China, India, Brazil, and Oregon. All have

major rivers — the Yangtze, the Ganges, the

Amazon, and the Columbia. Whatever that tells

you.”

Mulder stared out at the dark shape of

Lanai on the horizon. “Rivers. CIA.”

“Are we playing Catchphrase now?”

“Something’s resonating, but I can’t quite

grasp it.”

“It’ll come to you,” Scully assured him

drowsily, closing her eyes and turning her face

to the setting sun. A cool shadow fell across

her, and her eyes blinked open. Mulder was

standing before her, a digital camera in his

hands.

“What are you doing?”

Mulder lined up a shot. “I promised

Frohike.”

“The drink stays…” Scully began.

**

“YES!”

Scully jumped at Mulder’s exclamation. “Are

you starting again without me?” she mumbled as

her cardiac rate slowed and her eyes adjusted to

the darkness. Mulder came into focus, his face

and torso illuminated in the glow of his laptop

as he pecked away at the hotel room work table.

“Actually,” Mulder said, “your somewhat

over-analytical comments the first time dampened

my ardor. The good news is, you’re about to get

even in the points.”

“What do you mean?” Scully yawned, crawling

out of bed and padding over.

“Just that I think you may have been right

all along about the T-12.”

“Mulder, help me here…”

“I don’t think the missing T-12 was

responsible for the fishkills or either of the

murders,” Mulder said, jerking his head toward

the web page displayed on his Thinkpad. Scully

leaned in.

“‘CIA gadgets: Robot ‘bugs,’ pigeon camera,

jungle microphones,'” she read. “What is this, a

wire story?”

“Associated Press, from about three or four

months ago,” Mulder reported. “I thought I

remembered reading about how The Company had

been involved with building these goofy, ‘Get

Smart’-style surveillance/infiltration devices,

from robotic dragonflies they could use to plant

window bugs to mock tiger dung that can conceal

a radio transmitter in a jungle war zone.”

“This is what you woke me up for?” Scully

complained. “A bunch of covert dweebs inventing

toys to justify their black budgets?”

“Wait a minute. Scroll down — right

there.”

“‘Besides the jungle transmitter, the

exhibits include a robotic catfish, a remote-

controlled dragonfly, and a camera strapped to

the chests of pigeons and released over enemy

targets in the 1970s,'” Scully glanced at her

partner. “Robotic catfish?”

“Yup. In 2000, the CIA built a catfish

named Charlie, quote, ‘a remarkably realistic

swimming robot.’ The Agency won’t say anything

about how it was used, but some experts think it

may have been designed to collect water samples

near suspected chemical or nuclear plants.

Problem is, the catfish robot, uh, robot

catfish, was so realistic that it could be eaten

by predators while on a mission. So sorry,

Charlie. Scully, what if we’re dealing with a

robotic tuna? What if this was what Crowther was

working on all those years on the Yangtze, on

the Amazon?”

Scully plopped onto the edge of the bed,

silently meditating. “You know, as ridiculous as

it sounds, it would explain why we were unable

to find any foreign DNA in Crowther or those

dead fish. But, Mulder, the bite marks were a

precise match for a yellowfin. Realistic fins

and scales, realistic movements — those would

be essential to pass a…robot fish…off as the

real thing, at least from a reasonable distance.

But why realistic teeth?”

“Maybe this tuna was designed to kill,”

Mulder suggested. “Specifically designed to

replace the T-12 — the one that was stolen.

Crowther wouldn’t be the first sociopathic spy

to be born again: Maybe he applied his knowledge

to help Makule and his buddies make a point

about biotechnology. The giant mutant tuna

disappears from the lab, and the next thing you

know, fish are dying all over the island.

Jameson said Crowther and the other man arguing

with him kept yelling about Kaui. What if he

misheard it, in his inebriated state? What if

Crowther’s friend was yelling, ‘Ko’u ahi.’ ‘My

yellowfin.’ Granted, it ain’t Shakespeare. But

why would these two environmentalists — avowed

enemies — be claiming a genetically engineered

fish as their own? I think the two of them —

Crowther and Makule — fell into a power

struggle over their robotic tuna. Maybe Makule

wanted to make a real point, set the thing loose

on a few fat tourists. Like I think he did with

Crowther and Jameson.”

Scully exhaled as she took it in. “But,

Mulder, wouldn’t something like this bionic tuna

cost tens of thousands, maybe more, to produce?

How would Crowther or Makule come up with the

funds or resources to build this thing? And why

were you so coy with Kamehana today about the

menewhosises?”

Mulder turned, his arm drooping over the

chairback. “Menehune. I think I found the answer

to that, too.” He clicked up his bookmarks and

punched a key, looking to Scully in triumph. His

partner examined the image on the screen.

“Ah huh…” she replied.

“Yoicks,” Mulder yelped.

Scully patted him on the shoulder. “I’ll

issue a warrant for Ms. Hilton in the morning.”

Colonial Maui Tropical Plantation

9:07 a.m.

“Like so many young idealists in search of

a divine cause, Vincent Makule made his rounds

of the activist community,” Mulder explained to

Kamehana as the tall palms of the Tropical

Plantation came into view. “I Googled him last

night: He came up in a news story about

Greenpeace fighting recreational boaters they

blamed for injuring a humpback whale, an item

about a PETA demonstration at a Waikiki

boutique, and, right before he came to work

here, an outdated news release about his work

with the Pacific Primate Rescue Program. They

save monkeys, chimps, and the like from small

zoos, animal test labs, and the like, and

relocate them in the islands.”

Mulder pulled into the plantation parking

lot, where a shuttleful of seniors was

debarking. Scully and Kamehana trailed him

through the crowded welcome center and out

toward the tram loading station. “Makule’s

specialty was animal relocation. When he left

the rescue program, under what I understand were

less than amicable circumstances, Makule took

one of the monkeys with him — a capuchin. He

came to Maui and landed this job at the

plantation, but apparently his landlord had a

no-apes policy.

“I called the owner of the plantation this

morning, and he told me the monkey, AKA Dakota,

came as a package deal with Makule. Although

Dakota is prone to biting anyone but Makule and

occasionally flinging his own feces at loud or

obnoxious tourists, the management seems to feel

the monkey was the better part of the deal.”

“While I’m never averse to getting out of

the office,” Lt. Kamehana said, “can I ask how

this is relevant?”

Mulder turned to Scully. “My God, you’ve

begun to rub off on the natives. Right up there,

Lieutenant,” the agent instructed, waving toward

the plantation zoo. “See, I don’t think Bobby

Jameson’s delusions about the menehune lurking

about Peter Crowther’s house were really

delusions at all. I think Makule was the man

Crowther was arguing with the night he was

killed, and Dakota was along either for the ride

or maybe even to manage the robotic tuna,

somehow. Even some of the lower primates have an

amazing ability to learn complex series of

commands.”

“The robotic tuna?” Kamehana pondered.

“Later,” Scully urged.

“Scully sent off a new DNA sample from

that scratch we found on Jameson. If we can get

some hair or whatever from Dakota, I’ll bet we

come up with a match. We may even be able to

find some trace evidence from Crowther’s house

or yard in the monkey’s habita—”

Mulder had arrived at the capuchin’s

large, wire-enclosed frame habitat. The

enclosure was empty. The agent corralled one of

the plantation staff, who was feeding a small

rodent.

“Excuse me,” he asked, flashing his Bureau

credentials. “Where’s the monkey?”

“One of the guys — Vince — had a yelling

match with the boss yesterday,” she informed.

“It got kinda ugly, and the boss thinks he took

Dakota along with some cash and a couple cases

of bananas last night.”

“I’ll get somebody over to Makule’s

apartment,” Kamehana volunteered. “And we’ll get

a tech crew to go over this cage.”

“I’m guessing you won’t find Makule

watching Springer,” Mulder lamented. “He’s

probably gone underground.”

“Small island,” Kamehana noted calmly.

“We’ll get out word at the airports and the

docks, ‘case he tries to get out by boat. You

want to go back to town?”

Mulder scratched his neck in distracted

irritation. “Yeah, thanks. I want to check up on

something.”

“I’ll check on the results of the DNA

test,” Scully said.

Her partner stared at the empty habitat.

“Damned dirty ape,” Mulder muttered.

Hawaii State University Maui Marine Sciences

Center

Kahalui, Maui

3:21 p.m.

Dark shapes glided along the perimeter of

the tank below Philip Lutz. The geneticist

studied the impassive grace of the mako sharks,

sleek and quiet but filled with some of the most

mindlessly lethal potential in either the

vertebrate or invertebrate worlds.

Though Dr. Lutz’ world existed largely at

the cellular and molecular levels — he’d

accumulated no wife, no children, few real

friends among the focused egos of the academic

universe — he spent hours at the mako tank.

Their silent but deadly presence was a lesson —

and a model — for the researcher.

He’d grown disenchanted of late with the

frustrations and deprivations of the academic

life, and had begun swimming with sharks.

“Professor?”

Lutz turned from his sharks. “Ah, Agent

Mulder. Back for more droning revelations about

the world of biotechnology?”

“Actually,” Mulder said, “I’d like to talk

to you about robotics.”

Lutz paused before descending the metal

steps next to the mako tank. “You want the

university’s engineering department. I’m afraid

my expertise is limited to the mechanics of

chromosomal modification and adaptation.”

The agent smiled. “Don’t be modest,

Professor. I’m sure a PhD and Nobel nominee such

as yourself is a fast study. Peter Crowther may

have been the engineering mind in your little

‘project,’ but I think you provided the

zoological know-how to help him build a perfect

T-12. Plus, my guess is you provided the capital

for Crowther and Makule. I talked to your

department head at the main campus, and he told

me you’re currently managing close to $12

million in federal grants. Cutting a few corners

here and there, it wouldn’t be too tough to skim

off $50,000 or $60,000 or $100,000.”

“Agent Mulder,” Lutz sighed, “I’m afraid

I’m too disoriented by your accusations to be

outraged. But I believe you’re suggesting I have

some involvement in that man’s murder.”

“Oh, I think Vincent Makule’s the homicidal

maniac on this project. You and Crowther simply

wanted to throw a monkey wrench in Pescorp’s

biotech program, kill a few fish and create a

little public panic, right? How’d you three ever

get together? A hotheaded environmentalist, an

ex-CIA gadget guy, and a distinguished

scientist. Your whole professional life has been

devoted to unlocking the secrets of genetics.

Why suddenly throw in with the anti-biotech

faction?

“Or did you have a different agenda?”

Mulder posed. “I came across some research

abstracts on the web this morning. Genetic

Expression of Enhanced Reproductive Traits in

the Genus Thunnus. That ring a bell? Most of

your work since you came to Hawaii has been

directed at helping build disease resistance and

reproductive capacity in overfished species.

Basic, meat-and-potatoes research.”

“Basic research for the benefit of the

planet,” Lutz spat. “Not to sell tuna.”

Mulder leaned against a lab table. “You

said it yesterday. The ‘pitfalls’ that occur

‘when you transfer technology from the

university lab to the bottomliners at some

multinational biosciences outfit.’ Or when one

of your pet grad student jumps ship to sell his

soul to the corporate machine, right, Professor?

A C. Nahimi was listed next to your name on the

tuna research abstract. Did Carl barter some of

your work for a cushy research post at Pescorp?

Highly unethical, but probably difficult to

prove, especially against a deep-pocket, Fortune

500 company. When Carl dumped science altogether

to become the head honcho’s chief yes-man, that

must’ve been the last straw. Crowther and Makule

thought you’d begun to rethink your life’s work,

when really all this was about was bringing

Pescorp down. I am curious, though. How did you

manage to get the T-12 out of the Pescorp lab?”

Lutz smiled. “A man of your whimsy will

appreciate the irony. Crowther had the basic

schematics for our aquatic animatron, and, as

you pointed out, I had the creative bookkeeping

skills to help Crowther and that volatile cretin

Makule realize their ham-headed plan. Makule was

assembling a crew to break into the Pescorp lab

and ‘liberate’ the Thunnus. Some gang of

delusionary, deconstructionist thugs. But then

someone beat us to the punch.”

Mulder blinked. “What?”

“Yes. An island like this is almost like a

small town: Everyone eventually knows everyone

else’s business. The break-in at Pescorp and the

company’s attempted coverup quickly made the

island grapevine, and we simply took advantage

of it.”

Lutz was suddenly being very forthcoming —

too forthcoming. Those hoary last-act

confessions in every bad detective show

notwithstanding, Mulder had seldom been given so

much data based on so little solid evidence. His

hand slipped into his slacks pocket.

His finger had barely made contact with the

pre-programmed button when something unwieldy

made contact with the back of his skull.

Vincent Makule grinned down at the crumpled

Mulder, and up at his academic partner-in-crime.

“‘Volatile cretin,’ huh?’ the

environmentalist sneered. “Your insults weren’t

so freaking pompous, I’d take a few whacks at

you, too.”

Maui County Police Department

Lahaina, Maui

3:36 p.m.

“Definitely primate DNA,” Scully announced

as she cradled Kamehana’s phone. “They’re still

trying to fix species, but I’d say, under the

circumstances, we’ve got a hit.”

The cop swigged his Pepsi. “Now all we

gotta do is find Dakota’s daddy. Got both

airports covered and the word going out down the

coast. But you know, even with the Coast Guard’s

radar out, it won’t be too tough for Makule to

get to one of the other islands.”

Scully rubbed her temple. “Should be a

little tougher if he’s packing a robotic

yellowfin tuna the size of Shamu the Whale.”

“There’s that.”

Scully’s cell phone warbled. “Agent

Scully…Hello?” She glanced at the phone’s

readout. “Mulder? Mulder…?”

**

The impact with the water shocked Mulder

back to consciousness. The breath control

exercises he’d mastered with the Oxford swim

team instinctively kicked in, and he used his

legs to stabilize himself as he drifted toward

what appeared to be a tiled floor.

Mulder’s wrists had been cuffed behind him,

and he kicked back toward the blue sky

shimmering above him. Then he heard the muffled

sound of someone diving into the semi-cloudy

water, and turned to see a murky figure sinking

perhaps 15 feet away. The large, long object

suddenly arced, and what he now could identify

as fins began to twitch. Adrenalin pumped into

his brain and throughout his body, and Mulder

shot up toward the surface of the pool or tank

or whatever he now shared with the animatronic

T-12.

clip_image006

The “tuna” jerked to life, and Makule or

Lutz guided it at breakneck speed toward the FBI

agent. Mulder used his upper body strength in

the low-gravity environment to whirl out of the

robot’s path, and he spun as the plastic-skinned

metal shell of the “fish” collided with his hip.

The “tuna” banked, and Mulder, lungs beginning

to burn, kicked frantically toward the light.

The agent’s head broke the surface, and he

sucked in a welcome gallon of air as he quickly

scanned what he now recognized to be the

swimming pool of some abandoned hotel or

apartment house. Mulder caught a glimpse of

Makule and Lutz, some small device in Makule’s

hand, before he re-emerged to escape the rapidly

approaching robot. It was roughly five feet away

and closing, and Mulder rocketed down past it

and came around to see it circling back. Was the

thing guided in part by body heat? Had that been

the CIA’s original purpose for Charlie the

Catfish and his mechanical cousins? Aquatic

killing machines?

Mulder again lurched to the side, but this

time, the mock “T-12” seized his pants leg and

ripped away a long ribbon of fabric. The agent

paddled away, and could practically feel the

piscine missile again bearing down on him.

A second missile broke the water cloaked in

froth and bubbles, and Mulder watched the

speeding object, transfixed, as the robotic

killer shot toward him. The dead-eyed “fish” was

mere feet from Mulder’s face, jaws deployed,

when the second missile connected. The tuna

jerked and convulsed as a metal shaft sunk into

its synthetic “skin” and a barbed point ripped

through its underbelly. The “T-12” convulsed,

and Mulder could see sparks ignite in the black

void beyond its razor “teeth.” Then the fins

jerked to a stop, and the giant faux fish

drifted to “clunk” onto the pool floor.

A splash sounded behind Mulder, and he

whipped around. Did they have two robots? An

army of them, ready to converge on Honolulu, Los

Angeles, Miami? He nearly sighed in sheer,

blood-draining relief before remembering he was

underwater. The redheaded siren glided the

through the murk, clutched his arm, and dragged

him upward.

As Mulder and Scully’s heads broke the

membrane between water and oxygen, Mulder saw

Kamehana, speargun tucked under his arm,

standing above the prostrate figures of Vincent

Makule and Philip Lutz. The conspirators, their

hands cuffed behind them, wriggled ineffectually

like a pair of mackerels.

Scully tugged him to the side, and the cop

helped yank him from the dirty water.

“Good thinking with the cell phone,” his

partner puffed as she climbed out of the pool,

dripping, and — to Mulder’s amusement —

stooped to recover her good pumps. “Phone

company tracked the signal almost right to the

lobby.”

“Yeah, well, I hope Skinner will

requisition me a new one,” Mulder said as

Kamehana unlocked his cuffs. He withdrew his now

defunct Nokia, which bleed dirty water onto the

pool deck. “Hey, nice shootin’, Sheriff Ahab.”

“Normally don’t kill what I don’t eat,”

Kamehana murmured, hefting the spear gun and

glancing at the colossal dark shape at the

bottom of the pool.

Mulder kneeled beside Lutz and Makule. “You

know what, guys? The tuna here SUCKS.” He looked

to Scully with his best Jack Lord scowl. “Book

’em, Dana.”

“I should have thrown you back,” she

reflected.

Lahaina, Maui

2 p.m.

Scully absently thumped her skull against

the headboard, glumly watching the palm trees

outside the lanai window groan and the Pacific

roil under 60-mile-per-hour winds and driving,

nearly horizontal rains.

Pleased with the resolution of the

Crowther and Jameson murders and exposure of the

fraudulent yellowfin, Skinner had given his

agents an extra few days in Maui to “clean up

some details and liaise with local law

enforcement.” The island’s worst tropical storm

of the year had commenced just as Scully had

completed packing her case notes and unpacking

her sun block.

“You wanna play another game of

Scattergories?” Mulder suggested, surfing

through the channels for the tenth time that

hour. “You know, that special version?”

“Only if you make the ‘clues’ a little

harder,” Scully muttered sourly. “What do you

think happened to the T-12, the real one? I

mean, that’s why we came here, right?”

Mulder clicked off the set and flopped

back at her feet. “I dunno. None of the activist

groups ever came forward to claim the credit. I

wondered for a while if maybe one of Pescorp’s

competitors might’ve made off with the T-12

either to steal the technology or discredit the

industry’s big fish, but wouldn’t you think

they’d have covered their tracks by trying to

frame the anti-biotech people?

“Lutz said Pescorp probably encoded

safeguards into those tuna — severe nutrient

deficiencies, terminator genes to prevent

reproduction. Maybe outside its controlled

laboratory environment, the T-12 simply couldn’t

survive. Maybe our enviro-burglars got home to

discover their prize catch had turned into a few

hundred pounds of rotting sushi. Or maybe one

day, Pescorp found one of its futuristic fishies

floating at the top of the tank and flushed it

down the toilet. Maybe the only thing worse than

creating a Frankenstein is doing a botch job of

it. Whatever the case, I doubt our megatuna will

ever turn up alive or pose a threat to the

environment. The enviros wouldn’t let it loose,

and the corporate sharks wouldn’t let it go. So

let’s order up a couple mai-tais and some room

service and toast our absent friend.”

Scully peered dully at the smudged sky and

sighed audibly. “Anything but ahi.”

“That’s the Aloha spirit,” Mulder said

brightly.

Molokai, Hawaii

Ten months later

Chuck Kinau grunted as he hoisted two bags

of high-protein, floating soy pellets over his

beefy shoulder and headed down to the inlet. His

stomach full of leftover ku’lolo — taro/coconut

cream pudding — and the setting sun casting

warm orange tones on his small house and the

recently constructed fabricated steel processing

shack, he smiled unconsciously. It was something

he’d seldom done when he was punching a clock at

Pescorp.

Chuck had bailed out of Pescorp soon after

the stories about missing mutant fish and

cloning experiments hit CNN and Fox. After the

home office had announced it was moving its

Pacific division offshore to Thailand — which

was courting biotech firms with a Viagra-like

fervor — the security guard had a plausible

out. The Pescorp management, emphasizing its

gratitude in advance for Chuck’s discretion

regarding the T-12 project, offered him the most

gracious golden parachute ever extended to

anyone of his job grade.

The company’s severance check provided his

family the seed money and Pescorp’s departure

from the islands the opening it needed to

relocate to Molokai and take out a state-backed,

low-interest venture capital loan. With that

loan, the family was able to secure two almost-

new fishing boats and some processing and flash-

freezing equipment purchased at a fire sale from

a retooling Pescorp.

The consumer backlash against Pescorp,

seized upon by Greenpeace as an opportunity to

grab a Dateline segment on corporate

overfishing, proved a boon for the smaller

seafood companies. The Kinau clan’s Moana Gold

brand hit pay dirt with a somewhat vacuous

“Family-Fished” label that appealed to suburban

and metro mainlanders willing to pay for the

notion that they were simultaneously eating

healthier, sticking it to the Big Guys, and

probably saving dolphins and maybe even whales.

That thought amused Chuck, whose grand scheme

had been motivated by dreams of sticking it to

Chuck’s nephew Kyle, the HSU electronics

grad who’d helped circumvent Pescorp’s

computerized security system, had devised the

new company’s advertising and marketing strategy

and developed Moana Gold’s increasingly familiar

“Aaaaah-hi!” radio and TV campaign. Cousin

Mickey, who’d helped liberate the T-12 from its

tank and re-liberate it from Pescorp’s low-

security maintenance plant after the cops had

investigated the lab “break-in,” had proven a

master at keeping seafood shipping costs in

line. And Tina, Chuck’s girl, who had taken a

few junior genetics courses from Dr. Philip Lutz

before earning her own masters in molecular

biology, headed research and development for the

family business.

R&D focused largely on improved methods of

packaging, extending shelf-life without losing

flavor or mouth-feel, and testing flavors for a

planned line of Hawaiian-style yellowfin entrees

(Wolfgang Puck in a Los Angeles Times Sunday

interview had predicted Luau would be 2005’s

Next Big Cuisine, and Kyle had storyboarded a

national TV spot urging up-scaled consumers to

“Get Tuna-ed In”). Tina also was charged with

Moana Gold’s special “breeding” project, which

was based in the fenced inlet into which Chuck

now hauled his high-protein rations.

As general manager of production for Moana

Gold, Chuck had studied up on joint

Chinese/American Soybean Association feeding

trials for both freshwater and marine fish

species. The floating pellets he fed “Tina’s

Tuna” improved feed efficiency and individual

rate of gain and, at least to Chuck’s belief,

enhanced the taste of the ahi. He ripped climbed

onto one of the catwalks that extended across

the inlet and ripped open the bags. Pellets

rained into the turquoise water and floated on

the surface like so many tiny islands.

Chuck loved this part, and he leaned on the

catwalk railing with an anticipatory grin. Soon,

a school of huge-but-graceful creatures

converged on the islets, their distinctive,

slender pectoral fins parting the warm waters of

the gated cove. A round head the size of a

killer whale’s broke the water and gobbled a

dozen pellets with one sweep. More heads emerged

to greedily inhale the soy rations.

Chuck Kinau shook his head. The big brains

at Pescorp were so confident in their science,

in their “diploid” or dipwad or whatever

technology they’d called it, that they’d missed

a major hitch in their project. Chuck’s people

had been raised with the sea in their blood,

with the lovely stench of fresh catch in their

nostrils, and he knew just by looking at the

original T-12 that its genetically guaranteed

“sterility” was no more than a fish tale

perpetrated upon those who thought to second-

guess God and the genetic code.

“E komo mai!”

Chuck turned to see his brother Kevin

waving to him from the rock above the inlet.

“Come on!” the stocky young man repeated in

impatient English. “Mom wants us to come for

supper tonight. She got some T-bones down at the

market, or there’s still plenty of that aku Jack

caught the other day.”

“Steak, man,” Chuck shouted emphatically.

“You know I hate fish.”

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