Rating: NC 17
Classification: Case file for VS 12…if it’s not too violent!
(or too big)
Spoilers: None…that I know of…
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, no harm.
Summary: Various murders are occurring in the DC area
with a hint of familiarity
Mortuus Iterum (Dead Again)
After unpacking the TV and VCR, and pulling a few
cushions from one of the cardboard boxes that the
moving men had dropped on any flat surface they could
find, Sandra settled down to watch a movie with her
glass of wine. The story on the screen played out easily
before her but her eyes wandered around the room,
mentally decorating her new home and paying the
movie no attention.
Until a knock on the door dragged her back to reality.
She placed her glass on the windowsill and cautiously
went to the door. This was her first night in her new
apartment and she hadn’t met any of her neighbors yet,
so she wasn’t expecting a visitor.
“Hello?” she called out, reminding herself to get the spy
hole put in first thing in the morning. “Who is it?”
“I’m your neighbor. I live in apartment 7H. I saw you
moving in earlier and I just wanted to welcome you to
the building.” The voice was pleasant and friendly
enough and she felt like a fool for hesitating to open the
door, but something inside her wanted to keep it closed,
savor her first night alone, and enjoy the peace she had
been striving for. “I have a bottle of wine to welcome
you…but I’ll leave it out here.”
She heard the sound of the bottle being placed on the
floor against the door and the few steps of her new
neighbor walking away. Feeling silly, she shook away
her misgivings and opened the door.
“Hi. I’m Sandra Carson.” She extended her hand to his,
which he returned with a crooked smile.
“Hi. Welcome to the neighborhood.”
She let him in and he picked up the bottle of wine on his
way. His smile seemed genuine as he passed by her in
an aromatic wave of soap and mild aftershave.
“Let me get you a glass.”
“Thanks.” He opened the bottle of wine with the
corkscrew that was by her own drink and was ready to
pour by the time she rejoined him. “Did you have any
trouble moving your stuff in?”
“No. There wasn’t much to move anyway,” she laughed
self-consciously, scanning the room for open boxes that
might be displaying her meager belongings.
“You’re not from DC are you? Is that a mid western
accent I detect?” he queried, leaning on the sill as she
perched on the corner of a wooden box that held her
‘Pottery Barn’ collection.
“Yeah. I grew up in Ohio. Moved out here for my post
“Georgetown University?” he asked and she noticed his
dark brown eyes crinkled at the edges as he smiled.
“Yes. The degree is in microbiology but it’s boring, you
don’t want to get me started on that.” She laughed
again then saw the bag of groceries on the counter
that she forgot to put in the fridge. “I’ll be right back.”
In the kitchen she fumbled with the milk and eggs and
shoved them quickly into the fridge. She turned the
corner from the kitchen and stood in the doorway to
the living room as he approached with her drink in his
“It’s a lovely apartment you have.” He sipped at his wine
and walked towards the hallway that led to the bedroom
and bathroom. “Do you mind if I use your bathroom?”
“Not at all.”
When he was gone, she took the opportunity to make
the room a little more presentable. She draped some
throws over a pile of boxes and aligned the
cushions on the sofa. After a few minutes passed and he
didn’t return she became suspicious. She listened for the
sound of running faucets but heard nothing.
Venturing down the hall, she was about to call out his
name when she realized he hadn’t told her what it was
“Excuse me…are you okay?” she knocked lightly on the
closed bathroom door but there was no response.
“Hello?” the metal door handle was cold as she turned it
to open the door, …only to find the room empty.
Startled, she backed out of the room into the hall where
the only other door was the one to her bedroom.
She took two careful steps over to the door and slowly
pushed it open. It was too dark to make anything out,
but she needed to walk further into the room to reach
the light switch. With her feet barely past the doorframe
she stretched her hand along the wall and fumbled with
the switch, blinking away the intrusion as the light
covered the room.
He stood by the end of her bed, completely naked, his
clothes puddled in a heap by the open window and he
stood like he was in a trance, ready to jump.
“What the hell?” she mumbled as she backed away, her
thoughts swimming in confusion. “What are you doing?”
“I didn’t want to get any blood on my clothes.” He said
simply as if it was the obvious explanation for him
standing naked in her bedroom. He had taken her
robe off the chair by the bed and was pulling the cotton
belt free from it. After winding it around each hand in
tight loops, leaving a foot length hanging loose between
them, he walked towards her, snapping it soundlessly.
“Get the hell away from me!” she yelled, the power of
her legs coming back as she tried to run away but he
chased after her, grabbing hold of her around the
neck with her robe belt and dragged her backwards into
her bedroom. Her legs kicked and thrashed as she
struggled to get a foothold but he was too strong and
too tall. Her fingers scratched at her neck, pulling at the
taut skin to get hold of the ever tightening belt but it
was no use.
When he reached the bed he tossed her onto the bare
mattress and rolled her onto her back. She coughed and
wheezed when the release of his grip brought a
sudden surge of hot air into her lungs, but as he
fumbled with the tie on her sweats, the horror of the
situation came crashing down on her chest, crushing her
lungs and her ability to breathe.
“No, no please no!” she fought as he pulled her sweats
off over her knees and left them around her ankles,
trapping her feet with them. She kicked her legs wildly,
the instinct for survival still strong in her until his fist
came down in a crashing blow to her face, stunning her
into silence for a moment.
It was then that she noticed his face. It wasn’t the face
of the man she had let into her apartment. His eyes
shimmered black and cold, suddenly emerging green
instead of the chocolate brown she had noticed earlier.
His cheeks seemed to shake and move, his skin
tautening around his face and suddenly she was looking
into a face she had never seen before.
He held her still with one hand against her neck, pulling
her against him, and the other cutting off her air supply.
She soon became weak and surrounded by darkness.
Her face flushed with warmth as the trapped blood
flooded her cheeks.
She invited the darkness in when her only other option
was to see his face contort with rage.
The limpness of her lifeless body did nothing to distract
him as he focused on his raging need. Replacing the
cotton rope with his hands, he circled her neck and cried
out in pleasure as he slumped over her.
For a few moments he didn’t move, focusing on his
breaths that came fast and shallow. With a sigh he
rolled off her and stared up at the white peeling paint on
the ceiling. The neglect and disdain for the room
suddenly making him disgusted, and he jerked away
from her body.
Standing back he looked down at her pale skin, a stark
contrast to the dark mattress. Her body was slim but
with the curves he had so admired when he had
spied her moving in, now exposed in full glory before
He felt the growing desire churn in his stomach again
and he stepped closer to touch her, but decided against
it. He dry washed his face, rubbing his hands
gingerly over his cheeks, pressing the heel of his palms
into his eyes. He felt the discomfort of his skin moving
again but shook it off. Crouching to his knees, he
fumbled through his clothes, searching the pockets of
his jeans. With his fingers finally curling around what he
was looking for he moved swiftly to the body and got to
Dana Scully slowly ambled through the narrow hallway
and entered the office with a curved, knowing smile.
Friday at last, she thought with a sigh of
satisfaction. It had been a long, slow, and monotonous
week of paperwork and creative editing of Mulder’s
reports. His somewhat sketchy explanations of how
the last bureau issue car had been totalled needed a few
extra touches, and his receipts were all filed under
But finally Friday had arrived. Although no fanfare
greeted her this morning as she walked through the
building, she felt like she was walking through a parade.
Her heart beating excitedly at the prospect of a lazy
weekend, her smile a little brighter than normal, and
then there was the small apple Danish she’d treated
herself to when she bought her latte.
At her desk, she set the coffee down and next to it
carefully she placed her treat.
After shrugging her coat off and hanging it onto the
stand by the door she sat at the desk and ripped open
the deli paper bag. The bitter taste of the latte was
perfect with the sweet apple from her Danish. She
sighed contentedly with every bite, settling a little
deeper into her chair each time. There was only one
bite left when Mulder walked in, his expression
somewhat darker then her own.
He’d been gone before she had woken for some reason,
so she had anticipatedhis dark mood to greet her this
His jacket had already been shed and the sleeves of his
blue shirt rolled up past his elbows. Scully watched him
cross the room and scramble through the files
on his desk before finishing the Danish.
“Couldn’t sleep last night?” she asked, commenting on
the empty space he had left her to wake up to this
“I was sleeping fine until the sirens started,” he
muttered, his bad mood infecting his somber voice even
“Sirens?” She pushed herself away from her chair and
walked over to where he still fumbled around his desk.
“There must have been a burglary in one of the houses
on our block. The alarm woke me then with the sirens
blaring and I couldn’t get back to sleep.”
“So you went for a run?” She had tripped over his
sweats that had been carelessly discarded on the
bathroom floor on her way to the shower.
“Yes but I was too riled up. So I came in to do some
work.” His voice was strained as he moved the heavy
monitor to get it out of his way.
“You should have woken me Mulder.” She reached out to
rest a hand on his back but he moved out of her reach.
He pulled out a thick manila folder from under his PC
monitor, leaving it lilting to the side. “What are you
“This.” He held it up and flicked through the pages until
he came to what he was looking for. Through squinted
dark eyes he glanced at his watch. “Skinner wants
to see us by the way.”
“A case?” her voice was an octave over her normal
timbre as her lazy weekend dissipated before her.
Goodbye Friday night bath, she mused, hello Saturday
morning in the airport, or a crappy motel in Nevada, or
“Maybe. Agent Daly asked me for consultation on a case
file yesterday and I had a look…but it seems my
services are not required…” his voice trailed off.
“What case?” He passed her the file folder as he rolled
his sleeves back down and fastened the cuffs.
“A woman was raped and beaten in her apartment. She
died during or prior to sexual assault and there were no
signs of forced entry.”
“Boyfriend, husband, ex?” Scully queried as she flipped
the page of the file over and started at the grotesque
picture of the victim. He guided her to the elevator
with a hand on her back as she quickly read over the
“She was single. Just moved into the city. Didn’t know
anyone. Lived in an apartment building on the
“There is something else, Mulder. What is it? Why does
Skinner want to give us this case?”
“On the body they found…a note.”
“From the killer?”
“Of sorts…” He reached for the file and flicked through
the pages until he reached the end. “A quote. It was
carved into the victims forearm.”
“Carved?” Scully held up the file photo and examined
the picture more closely.
“It’s not clear. The coroner thinks with a tattooing
needle but it’s too clean.”
“‘I did this not as a sex act . . . but out of hate for her,”
She read from the file, “It’s signed by Albert De Salvo?”
“The Boston strangler,” he answered her unspoken
question. “Alleged Boston Strangler. Depending on who
“A copy cat killer? After all these years?” she asked,
doubting what she read in the autopsy results preformed
by the M.E. on the victim.
“Insanity has no time constraints,” he replied tersely as
he preceded her through the hall to Skinner’s office.
AD Skinner sat behind his desk, his eyes fixed on the
pages before him. Without looking up to greet his two
agents, he gestured them towards the chairs before
him. They sat silently and waited for him to speak.
Slowly Skinner closed the file he had been reading and
looked up to face them fully. His fingers formed a
temple before his lips and he rested his thumbs under
“I don’t have time to ask the careful questions, Mulder,
so I want you to tell me straight.” He pushed back on
his chair and stood, letting his hands find a
comfortable spot on his hips. “Why did Agent Daly send
this file to you? Without speaking to AD Larkin or
myself,” he added tersely, turning away from his agents
to take a deep breath.
“He called me yesterday morning and asked me to look
through it. Agent Scully was at the Coroners office filing
reports and I was at loose ends so we met and
discussed the case.”
“Simple as that?” Skinner barked, whipping his head
around to face Mulder.
“Yes sir.” Mulders voice was flat, his frown deep and his
eyes glazed over in thought.
“I’ve spoken to AD Larkin and he is adamant that you
have nothing to do with this case. Can you explain
“No sir.” Mulder shifted on his seat, meeting his boss’s
eyes for the first time, but it wasn’t enough to hide the
discomfort he was feeling.
“Why did Agent Daly circumvent the usual channels to
bring this case to you?”
“I don’t think it was like that sir, it wasn’t a conscious
decision to bypass AD Larkin. He asked me to look at it
and I did.”
“Have you prepared anything for the case?” Skinner
“I was working on a profile,” Mulder began feeling
Scully’s gaze burn into his cheek. “But I’ve only had the
case for one night. I would need more time. I
have nothing but conjecture.”
“You have no more time. AD Larkin is on his way up
Before Skinner could continue there was a light knock on
the door and Kim entered softly, AD Larkin on her heels.
He was one of the oldest Assistant Directors, somewhat
jaded with too many crimes and killers under his belt.
With thinning grey hair and a portly stomach, he strode
across the room determinedly, his eyes locking on
Mulder over the top of his half glasses.
He was wearing a fashionable dark navy suit with a pale
blue shirt and a plain black tie but it didn’t hide the
tiredness in his face or the anger in his eyes. As Kim
closed the door after her, AD Skinner invited Larkin
to sit down.
“No thanks. It’s simple, Mulder. Stay away.”
Larkin held his hand out, gesturing for the file in
Mulder’s hand. With only a quick glance in Skinner’s
direction where he confirmed the slight nod, Mulder
handed the file back.
“I have more than enough agents to handle this case,”
Larkin blurted out, flicking through the pages in the file
as if he were checking to make sure it was full. “I don’t
need your people making the situation any more
“We would only offer the assistance required, but if you
feel like you don’t need it then fine.” Skinner’s lips were
pulled so thin Mulder could hardly see them as he
crossed his arms across his thick chest. “But you know
there are no better agents more qualified to tackle this
case then Agent Mulder and Agent Scully.”
“It’s not a damn X file Skinner!” Larkin roared angrily,
“You have no jurisdiction over this case.”
“Agent Mulder was consulted on this case.”
“Well consider him un-consulted.” Larkin shoved the file
under his arm and walked towards the door without
offering them a further glance.
Whitley Bed and Breakfast
Out of all the rooms Michael Wilson was asked to clean
at the Whitley B&B, the basement was his favourite. The
room had one bare bulb hanging from the low
ceiling and only two small windows, whose light was
blocked by overgrown ivy.
But the task of sweeping and mopping the old stone
floor could be stretched out to last most of the day.
Not that anyone had asked him, he grumbled, but if
they wanted this house to look older by putting in the
old stone flooring, they could add more to the effect
by not asking him to mop it out as often. But he
preferred it to standing in the kitchen getting shouted at
by the chef, and he damn well wasn’t getting paid
enough to deal with the public.
Down here with only his iPod for company, he could
imagine he was someplace else and not worry about
mopping. So far this morning he had managed to stay
down in the chilled basement for almost two hours
before the heavy thud of the door startled him. Choosing
to ignore the faint voice he could hear calling him
though his earphones, Michael mopped vigorously at the
His head rocked back and forth with the rhythm of the
music, while his fingers danced over the handle of the
mop as if across the fret board of his guitar. He
daydreamed of the matte black Gibson he was saving up
for and that image alone
helped him push the mop around.
“Michael!” he heard, the voice getting closer and
angrier, but he paid no attention but jumped back as the
heavy hand slapped the back of his shoulder.
“What the hell!” Michael yelled as he tugged the
earphones off his head and twirled around angrily.
“Christ, Jason, what ya do that for?”
“Kevin wants you up in the kitchen.” Jason smiled at his
visibly shaken friend.
“What for, I’m not finished mopping up down here.”
Michael argued indignantly as he swept his arm around
the small basement.
“He says the wedding party is finished with dinner and
he needs a hand washing dishes.”
“Alright,” he replaced his earphones and grabbed his
mop roughly. “I’ll be up there as soon I drain this mop
His voice rose over the music and he turned to reach for
the bucket. Jason thumped his back and raced back up
the stairs. Stumbling from the friendly but exuberant
thump, Michael tipped the bucket over and spilled its
contents on to the cream tilled floor.
“Shit!” he exclaimed as he reached for it and pulled it
back into place. The water spilled across the floor and he
chased it with his mop as best he could.
Without really caring, he banged the mop into a stack of
chairs and jumped back as they suddenly toppled to the
floor. “Crap,” he muttered, looking around to see if
Kevin, the hotel manager, had heard the clatter.
As quick as he could manage, he picked up the chairs
and started to stack them again. He hurried to get them
back into place before someone came looking for
him again, and pushed them up against the wall but
found their pathway blocked.
Hunching down onto all fours, he held his face to the
ground so he could look underneath, allowing him to see
a bundle stuck between the legs of the chair and
With his arms outstretched and his chest flat on the cold
floor, he reached under and grabbed it. Pulling it out
roughly, he kicked it aside and slid the chairs back
into place. Grabbing his mop and bucket he turned to
walk away, but stopped suddenly as he noticed the dark
stains on his hands. The light was too dim to
recognise it for what it was, but the wet feeling on his
skin chilled him. He turned back to the chairs and slowly
walked over to the bundle he had kicked away so
carelessly only moments ago.
It was brown cloth and coarse like a potato sack, tied
several times around with blue twine. Looking closer,
Michael noticed the same stains on the cloth as were
on his hands as he reached out for it. It was heavy and
uneven and there was a strong unrecognizable smell
surrounding it, clinging to the rough cloth, so he
dropped it quickly on an old discarded table that hugged
“Michael, you still down here?” Kevin yelled from the top
of the stairs. “C’mon, I need you up in the kitchen.”
“Kevin!” Michael called without taking his eyes off the
bundle. “You better get down here right away!”
“What’s going on?”
“Come down!” Michael yelled out angrily and listened to
the heavy thudding footsteps of his boss approaching. “I
found something you should look at.”
Kevin stood annoyed behind him, his hands on his hips
and his brow furrowed angrily. “I have 45 guests out
there waiting for dessert, this better be good,”
he muttered in a low impatient voice.
“I found this, hidden behind the chairs.”
“What is it?”
“Dunno, but I think…I think it’s covered in blood.”
Michael held up both his hands showing the dark
staining on his skin. With careful, disgusted movements
he pulled at the twine to loosen the package and pulled
the sides apart.
The smell seemed to explode into the room like rotting
meat and his stomach lurched. The air in his mouth was
stale and hard to swallow but he wasn’t about to take a
breath, the stench growing sharper still, making them
both cover their mouths.
Kevin held his tie over his nose and mouth and gagged
as Michael pulled his tee-shirt collar up to cover his own.
Carefully reaching down with slow movements he
removed the last piece of cloth to reveal two human
feet, two hands, and another unrecognizable piece of
meat. The flesh and muscle were decaying and the
bones at the joints were jagged where they had been
sawed free from whoever the victim was. Blood stained
the cloth on the inside and had leaked heavily through
the material but it was obvious there was little of it left,
although neither of them could tell how long this grim
package had remained hidden where it had been
Michael turned away and managed to crouch over the
mop bucket before his stomach protested the smell and
rejected the small breakfast he’d eaten earlier.
Looking down at his hands, he suddenly realized what
the dark stains were. His stomach lurched again as he
turned to see Kevin examining the dismembered
limbs closely. But as his boss turned to him, he saw a
revulsion that matched his own and then he noticed not
only the feet and the hands but also the size of
them. They were so much smaller than his own.
He looked down to his blood stained hands and
somehow, suddenly, his brain realized that the severed
limbs belonged to a child.
The remainder of the day at the office was muted with a
tremendous silence that seemed to suffocate them both.
She sat at her desk looking at him from the corner of
her eyes, but could offer him no more comfort than he
had already rejected.
Watching the clock flick past four o’ clock, Scully sat
back in her chair and sighed.
The idea of her bubble bath lingered in the back of her
mind but the black mood that Mulder was permeating
was stopping it from forming into a full notion.
“You want to know why AD Larkin hates me?” he said
suddenly, dropping his pencil onto his desk and dragging
his fingers loosely through his hair as he revived the
question she had brought up a moment ago.
“Yes,” she replied bluntly, focusing her eyes back on her
“It’s nothing really. Just a decaying hatred he has built
up for me over the years.”
He stood to rifle through his case files, but she saw the
movement as his offering of the proverbial olive branch.
“You’d think a man of his age would be trying to bury
the hatchet instead of keeping it festering.”
“Festering over what?” Turning on her chair, she faced
him fully, her interest peaked.
“It’s stupid…it’s nothing.” He shrugged it off but his
refusal to meet her eyes intrigued her. “He’ll be retiring
soon and I won’t have to deal with it anymore!” he
“You make it sound like you stole his woman!” she said
laughing but stopped suddenly at the look on his face.
“There may have been a member of the fairer sex
involved…but I had no idea she was…with him.”
“I can’t believe this!” She tried to cover her smile with
her hand but it wasn’t working. “When did this happen?”
“A long, long time ago. My second year in the bureau.”
Mulder admitted with a slight blush. “He was a big man
on campus back then.”
“Was it his wife?”
“His wife? No Scully!” he laughed at the reposterousness
of the conversation but his mirth was cut off by the shrill
sound of the phone. He snapped it up from its cradle.
After a short one-sided conversation Mulder hung up
and grabbed his jacket from the back of the chair. “That
was Skinner. They found a new body. Looks like they
need us after all. Ready for an autopsy?” Scully stood
with him and followed him out to the stairwell without a
At Quantico the Lab had already been set up and AD
Larkin met them in the lobby. His tie was missing and
the top two buttons from his shirt had been undone. His
face was clammy with a tinge of green lurking behind
Scully walked in first and he extended his hand. She
shook it carefully, not missing the fact that he swiftly
put it back into his pocket as Mulder approached.
“It’s in here,” he said tersely, walking ahead into the lab
allowing the agents behind him to exchange curious
“It?” Mulder queried as they approached the large metal
table that had been draped with a blue tarp.
“Gender is indistinguishable at the moment.”
Beneath the coarse blue material she saw two feet,
hands and another piece of flesh she couldn’t recognise.
Turning the small delicate hand in her own, she was
physically sickened by the size of it. Having worked on
so many cases, so many bodies and corpses, she was
able to control the urge she suddenly felt to flee.
The tiny fingers that she imagined didn’t have the
strength to defend against attack; the small feet that
she thought had kicked out in vain only to fight a
losing battle. She gently placed the hand back onto the
table and carefully touched the small foot.
“The body, or rather dismembered limbs of the body
were found in the basement of a local Bed and
Breakfast,” Larkin sighed as he pinched the bridge of his
nose to dispel the impending headache.
“Has the rest been located?” Mulder asked, fearing the
answer he was about to hear.
“Partially. The skull and scapula bones were found
buried in a shallow grave behind the hotel.” Flicking
through more pages, he kept his eyes on the jumble of
words rather then the remains on the table.
“The body…” Scully couldn’t form the words to finish her
“It was fed to the wedding guests.” Larkin said coolly,
leaving Mulder and Scully speechless, their mouths
“What?” Scully managed to choke out.
“It seems that a delivery of meat the hotel was
expecting was cancelled unbeknownst to the chef, who
arrived to work this morning to a fridge full of fresh
meat.” Larkin walked across the room to the stainless
steel counter where he had placed the file. He pulled out
the photos of the basement where the limbs had
been found, from the back and reluctantly passed them
“Why would he bury the skull and save the feet and
hands?” Scully queried, trying hard to tamp down her
“Maybe he was saving them for another trip?” Larkin
suggested chancing a glance at the table but looking
“The chef accounts for 40 lbs of meat that was ingested
by the wedding party but even with the skull, scapula,
feet and hands there is still a considerable amount
missing.” Scully said mentally calculating it in her mind.
A hot, uncontrollable wave of fury washed over her,
boiling her blood and clouding her vision. Her trained
fingers ran over the roughly jagged edges from
where the foot had been severed when it caught her
“There is something written here…” She reached
overhead to fix the light and pulled it down closer to the
smoother flesh of the remains. Across the flat,
dismembered flesh, they tried to make out the small
“”He told me so often how good Human flesh was, I
made up my mind to taste it.”” She read aloud.
“Albert Fish,” Mulder said by her left ear.
“Who?” Larkin asked, stepping back as Mulder pulled on
some gloves and gingerly touched the writing. He
watched as Mulder examined the text as if he could
derive something of the writer from it.
“Albert Fish. He was a serial killer in the 1920’s. The
basis for the Hannibal Lector movies.”
“1920’s?” Larkin was clearly annoyed at Mulder’s
“The last quote was from Albert De Salvo. He was active
during the 1970’s.”
“These remains are fresh. Core temperature is still
relatively high and decomposition has only just begun.
I’d estimate it in the last 25 – 20 hours.”
Scully pulled off her jacket and reached for the lab coat
that hung on the stand by the door.
“There are agents already going through recent reports
of missing children.”
Larkin said, stepping back to give her more room as she
donned headgear and a fresh pair of gloves. “We’re still
trying to identify the…the child.”
“This guy isn’t thinking about the victims. I don’t think
the victim is important.”
Mulder’s voice was low and Scully wasn’t sure if he
meant to say it aloud or not.
“Maybe not to you Mulder, but there’s a parent out there
who is missing her child-
” Larkin said tersely, almost eager to disagree with him.
“But you wouldn’t care about that,” he added coldly.
Scully instinctively knew that the comment had
nothing to do with this current case.
“It’s not about the child, or the lady in the apartment.
It’s about the killers. Albert De Salvo, Albert Fish.”
Mulder walked around the table as if he hadn’t heard
Larkin, peering closer at the severed limbs. “Ted Bundy,
Charles Manson…Jeffery Dahlmer…John Gacy…”
“Where the hell are you going with this Mulder?” Larkin
asked angrily, his face flush with the effort of remaining
“It seems to me that he isn’t interested in who he is
killing but more how he is committing these acts.”
“That doesn’t help us discover his identity.”
“No, not yet. But obviously he is trying to understand
some of the most notorious killers in history. Get into
their heads. Did you know that over 80% of all known
serial killers were at some point employed for some sort
of Law Enforcement?”
Scully tried to catch his eye. Tried to stop his diatribe
but it was no use; he was no longer seeing the room,
the autopsy lab or the other people with him. All he
was focused on was the body, what was left of it. The
decaying limbs, the severed foot, the plain black text.
“I think you were right about these.” Mulder pointed to
the limbs on the table.
“They weren’t buried with the skull because he was
“Saving them for what?” Larkin asked, not entirely
interested in Mulder’s reply.
“He said it himself here…He told me so often how good
Human flesh was, I made up my mind to taste it.””
Mulder stood up straight and fixed his eyes on Larkin’s
angry stare. “Maybe he was going to eat it.”
Georgetown University Library
Janice Smith juggled the heavy literature books in one
hand as she tried to locate her keys from her pocket
with the other. Finally her fingers brushed against the
cold metal of her car key and she tugged on it to free it
from her jeans pocket.
She winced at the scratching she could feel against her
thigh as the jagged metal dragged across the inside of
“Damn jeans, I knew they were too tight!” she muttered
under her breath as she reached her car and dumped
her books onto the roof. With both hands on the job
now, she pulled the keys out easily and quickly unlocked
the door. She hurriedly placed her books onto the back
seat, slipping out of her jacket and tossing it over
Glancing behind her, she dispersed the familiar chill
down her spine that seemed to creep over her whenever
she walked though the parking lot alone. Only one
other car sat in the lot and she knew it belonged to the
librarian. Jumping into her old Nissan, she locked the
door behind her and let out a little breath.
“Home, James,” she breathed aloud as she turned the
key in the ignition and listened to her engine splutter to
life. The small car shuddered in protest as she
shoved the gear stick into reverse and pulled out of the
space. She had parked right outside the doors to the
library as usual, but it meant she had to travel the
length of the parking lot to get to the gate. With the
sidewalks lined with trees and tall bushes, she always
kept one eye on the road ahead and one eye on the
“Too many horror movies, Janice!” she chastised herself
as she reached the gate in safety. She settled into her
seat and fumbled with the radio before checking
the traffic and slipping the car into drive. Then she saw
Across the road with his leg in plaster up to his hip and a
pile of books spilled out on the sidewalk before him, she
recognized him from the library, having seen him
there many times before. They had exchanged smiles
and glances but no words had been uttered in the silent
sanctuary of the library.
He had balanced one of his crutches against the wall as
he tried to pick up his books, but even from across the
road Janice could tell he was having terrible trouble. She
glanced at her watch and saw it as nearing eleven thirty.
Jack would be waiting, she argued with herself but she
as watched his other crutch fall out from beneath him
she sighed in resignation.
Driving quickly across the double lane road, Janice rolled
her window down and smiled warmly.
“You look like you could do with a hand,” she said,
unlocking the door and slipping off her seatbelt. Slowly
he looked up and she saw his face red and sweaty
with his efforts. He smiled in recognition and stood up
“I’d prefer a foot but whatever you have to offer would
Janice jumped out of the car and quickly gathered his
books. He passed her a backpack and she saw the
broken zip through which they had fallen.
“Do you have another bag?” she asked.
“No, but it’s okay. I’m getting the GUTS to Rosslyn
station.” He helped her bundle the books into the bag
and tried to hold it closed as best he could
“Rosslyn Station? That’s near Moore?”
“Yeah, just around the corner.”
“Let me give you a ride,” Janice said suddenly much to
her own surprise. “I’m going right by it.”
“No, I couldn’t do that,” he argued as he leaned back to
reach for his crutch. “I couldn’t impose.”
“Please, I can’t leave you struggling like this. It’s only a
“Are you sure?” he looked warily at her car.
“It’s a tank!” she admitted, sensing his concern about
her car. “C’mon, get in.”
She took his book bag from him and walked around to
the passenger side.
Dumping his bag onto the back seat, she held the door
open for him and watched as he slowly made his way
around to the seat. She’d pushed it back as far as it
would go and he still had trouble fitting his cast in. But
eventually, and with only a little pain, he seemed
Janice hurried around to her own seat and was soon
buckled in next to him. She
noticed immediately how his aftershave filled the car
with that gorgeous
masculine smell. Soap, aftershave and men, was there a
better smell? She
queried silently, casting him a sideways glance.
She gunned the engine, as a form of reassurance that it
was still there and still
needed, before pulling carefully out onto the road.
Traffic around the university
was light at this time of night and it wasn’t long before
she saw the bright lights
of the metro station.
“That wasn’t too hard now was it?” she said smiling as
she pulled up near the
“It was a lot easier then I thought!” he admitted,
shifting on his chair and facing
her as much as his cast would allow.
“Do you need a hand up into the station?” She was
looking out the window to the
large entrance where a row of steps led to the ticket
“No, that’s okay. I think I’ll be staying here.”
“Sorry?” she looked around to see him holding a small
gun in his hand. It was
nestled against his torso and out of view of passers-by,
but the barrel was
unmistakably aimed at her head. “…What?”
“I want you to drive.”
“Drive?” Her confusion was wild and she looked out to
the metro station again.
“Just start the car and drive. I’ll let you know where to.”
With shaking hands Janice pulled away from the curb
and drove straight on Moore
Street to Lynn Avenue, then continued north across the
river back towards the
university. It was all too soon that the familiar sights
had disappeared, taking
with them the small sense of hope she had been
burgeoning since this nightmare
To her dismay they passed the university grounds and
turned west onto Benton
Street. He pointed towards the small garden park known
as White Haven parkway
and urged her to pull in silently. Janice killed the engine
and kept her hands on
the wheel. Her knuckles were white with tension as she
turned slowly to see him.
The hand holding the gun was lifted higher as he tugged
on his cast and to her
horror, she watched as it fell away from his leg.
“Get out of the car,” he said tersely. Pushing open his
own door he stepped out
and quickly came around to meet her. “Move!”
He grabbed her elbow and dragged her towards the
small park, pushing her
through the broken hedge and following her with a sneer
on his lips.
“What do you want?” Janice said suddenly finding the
need to fight, the need to
defend herself. “My boyfriend will be expecting me, he’ll
have called the police by
“Yeah, sure.” He pushed her further into the darkness
and she looked up to the
night sky. She could hear what little traffic there was on
the surrounding roads
but she doubted there was any hope that they would
hear her. “Over there!”
He pushed her towards a group of willow trees and
under the hanging branches.
In the darkness he threw her to the ground and twisted
her onto her back. She
looked up to him with glistening eyes as he put the gun
down and straddled her
across her thighs. She wanted to buck him away but she
was frozen in terror.
He smiled and ridiculously, she couldn’t help but notice
how nice and clean his
even white teeth were. A dimple appeared on his left
cheek and his eyes warmed,
but as his hands fumbled at his belt she started to cry.
“No! Please! You have to let me go!” she wailed.
She began beating her hands off his chest and twisting
beneath him but he
gripped her tightly with his knees and grabbed her
hands. He held them up over
her head, stretching his torso along hers as he did. His
nose brushed gently over
her mouth, her cheek, and across her eyes.
“Do you like it rough?” he whispered against her ear.
“Please…no,” she whimpered, her tears flowing over her
cheeks as she turned
away from him.
He sat up again still holding her hands over her head
and removed his belt. She
screwed her eyes tightly shut as she prepared for his
invasive touch but it never
came. He released her hands and sat further up her
torso, then lifted her head
and slipped the coarse brown leather belt around her
neck. He fed it through the
buckle and tightened it around her neck forcing her to
She kept her eyes tightly shut to save herself from the
horrible image, but as he
tightened the belt they shot open wide with surprise. He
forced her hands to rest
alongside her body and pinned them there with his
As he tightened his belt, she gasped for air, watching his
smile deepen, darkening
his chocolate brown eyes and lighting his whole face up.
Then she watched
dumbly as his eyes turned a light shade of blue and his
cheeks puffed out. His
skin ruffled then smoothed out to make a different face.
Even his hair seemed to
change color to a sandy brown.
It all seemed so unreal until her lungs burned in pain
and begged for release. Her
legs kicked out fruitlessly and her mouth opened for the
scream that would never
His eyes locked almost hypnotically with hers as he
tightened the belt further,
and one hand reached down to her abdomen to feel the
rapid beating of her heart
as her life fought the resistance.
Janice wanted to close her eyes, shut out the horror, but
for some reason she
couldn’t. She held them open gasping for the air she so
desperately wanted, until
finally the darkness overcame her.
Mulder & Scully’s Residence
The sound of the phone was enough to wake her. It took
a moment longer for her
to roll towards the bedside table where the cordless set
lay, but the ringing
stopped before she could reach it. But it was too late.
She was awake now and
she knew she wouldn’t get back to sleep. It was only
then that she realized she’d
woken to an empty bed again. Patting the pillow and the
bedclothes, she could
feel they were still warm.
Scully sat forward and pushed the duvet from her legs.
She slowly got off the bed
and padded around the room out to the hall, grabbing
one of her partner’s tee
shirts from the chair and slipping it over her head. From
the top of the stairs she
could hear Mulder’s muffled voice coming from the
kitchen. Slowly she made her
way downstairs and listened as his voice went quiet then
heard him coming
Stopping two steps from the bottom, she placed her
hands on each side of the
stairs, watching as he approached. Delighted to see him
wearing only his black
boxers, she smiled at his ruffled bed-hair.
“Morning,” he said standing at the bottom of the stairs
and pulling her a step
closer, his hands on her bare thighs. His fingers brushed
the edges of her tee shirt
and he was thrilled to see that she wasn’t wearing any
underwear. “What has you
up so early, Agent Scully?”
She circled his neck and leaned against him as his hands
cupped her butt. “Early?
What time is it?” she asked as he kissed the bottom of
“Quarter past five.”
“Five?” She pulled away from him and looked out
towards the window where the
sun was leisurely making it’s presence known. “Who was
calling at five in the
“Skinner.” His hands moved up her back, pulling her
tighter against him, and he
felt the tension coil the muscles in her back across her
“Yeah.” Resigned to the fact that they had work to do,
Mulder slapped her
playfully then turned her round and followed her up the
stairs. “AD Larkin called
him and told him about another body.”
“Why did he call Skinner?” she asked as an after thought
as she went into the
bathroom and flipped on the shower, before pulling
towels from the closet.
“He may have accepted our help on this case but I don’t
think he’s ready yet to
ask for it outright.” Scully stepped into the shower and
quickly washed herself
down, lathering her hair with shampoo. With her eyes
closed and her fingers
knotted into her hair she didn’t see Mulder stepping in
behind her and only
realized he was there when his fingers replaced hers in
“You never did explain to me why he hates you so
much.” She teased, tilting her
head back so he could reach her better.
“Didn’t I?” She realized he was stalling as he brought
her head under the warm
spray and rinsed it off.
“So? Aren’t you going to tell?” she asked as they
swapped positions and he stood
under the water.
“There is nothing to tell really.” He tilted his head back
and let the warm water
caress his face.
“I’ll find out sooner or later Mulder so you may as well
tell me now!” Stepping out
of the shower Scully draped a warm towel around
herself against the chill and
watched as he pretended he hadn’t heard her. He
lathered his hair with closed
eyes as she sat on the closed toilet and waited.
“You still here?” he jibed playfully when he turned off
the shower and stepped out
to grab his own towel.
“C’mon, Mulder!” her eyes sparkled as his cheeks
flushed and he knew it was a
loosing battle. “Sharing is caring!”
He laughed out loud, a raw chortle at her angelic
expression as he soaped his face
up with shaving cream. Standing in front of the mirror,
he could see her watching
him from the other side of the small bathroom, a
determined smile embracing her
lips and lighting her eyes.
It had been too long since he had seen her like that. Too
long since he had put
that expression on her face and, as he turned, his own
“I love you Scully,” he said suddenly serious, causing
her smile to falter for a
second, then it returned if somewhat faded.
“Don’t try to weasel out of this one Mulder,” she
chuckled, glancing at her watch
as she stood and walked towards the door. “Don’t make
me go Special Agent on
you!” she added over her shoulder as she went to their
room to dress.
By the time Mulder had finished shaving he heard Scully
puttering around in the
kitchen. No doubt making toast and coffee that she’d
force him to have. He
smiled, wondering how he would explain that he had
been up for ages and had
already eaten three of the bagels she was saving for
Looping his tie around his neck he raced downstairs and
snatched a slice of
buttered wheat toast off her plate before she could offer
“We have twenty minutes to get to Quantico,” he
informed her around a mouthful
“We?” she queried, finishing off her last slice and putting
the plate into the sink.
“Well, I’ll drop you at Quantico.” He fixed his tie as they
walked through the
kitchen and took the coat she handed out.
“I’m going out to the precinct to meet Detective Brice
who called in the murder.”
14 Thomas Street
The dull grey of the computer screen was the only
illumination in the room. With
the heavy curtains drawn and all the windows shut, the
air was warm and stale
with the smell of rotting meat permeating every crevice.
But he didn’t even notice
it anymore. It was part of him. Part of what he had
created. The smell of victory,
he decided, chuckling to himself as he raised the cold
glass of milk to his lips.
He had been staring at the computer screen for so long
that the words had
become jumbled, insincere. After arriving home on such
a high last night, he got
immediately to writing, but that had been over eight
hours ago and the
adrenaline rush had worn off. He typed the last sentence
over and over again,
until the words held no meaning and he knew his train
of thought could not be
recaptured. He templed his fingers before him and
concentrated on the text he’d
written in an urge to recapture the feeling he had lost.
Then started to type again.
He was a handsome, charming, urbane and extrovert
graduate, who did charity
work and campaigned for the Republican Party in the
USA – Ted Bundy did not fit
the bill as a serial killer.
And that was his great advantage.
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re
looking into their eyes. A
person in that situation is God.”
God? Through the creation of life we can ourselves feel
godly but with death will it
be the same? Do I take the role of the almighty deity?
He read aloud what he had just typed and smiled.
Saving the word file, he pushed the chair away and
stood up with curling limbs as
he stretched the aches away. He lifted the now empty
glass from the desk and
brought it out to the sink where he rinsed and left it on
the sideboard to dry.
Checking the clock over the stove, he noticed he still
had another hour before
classes began so he strolled to the bathroom and started
the shower. Undressing
in the total darkness of his bedroom, he grabbed a towel
from the closet and
stepped into the steam filled room.
After thoroughly washing himself down he wrapped the
towel around his waist
and stood before the mirror to shave. Slowly and with
well-practiced ease he
pulled the straight razor across his cheeks until it was as
smooth as he desired.
He splashed warm water over his face and rubbed in the
He took his time choosing his shirt and tie and finally
decided on the white shirt
with dark red tie. It contrasted wonderfully with the
black Jacket and trousers, he
thought as he carried his shoes downstairs. In the
kitchen he glanced at the
kettle as he tied his laces and decided against coffee.
Wanting a latte instead, he
thought he’d grab one on the way. Opening the fridge,
he tried to ignore the
rotten smell as he took a swig of milk from the carton
before grabbing his keys
and sauntering down the steps of his front door. The sun
was high and bright
today as he walked through the morning pedestrian
On the corner of the block was the coffee shop he often
frequented. He no longer
had to ask for his order. As soon as the waitress spotted
him walking in she
prepared his latte and wrapped up a slice of marble
cake. He winked at her as he
handed over a few bills and told her, as usual, to keep
“Can I offer you a lift, sir?” He’d just stepped outside
into the light and was
blinded for a moment by the brilliance of the sun. The
words, the simple gesture
of kindness caused his heart to beat a rapid rhythm in
his chest. He held up his
hand to shade his eyes from the sun and spotted Carrie
Goldman in a sporty red
car by the curb. She watched him with a flirty smile as
her hair cascaded around
her face.” Professor Brown?” she purred when he didn’t
“Carrie, good morning,” he managed to say as he
deliberately slowed his
breathing and tried to ignore his heart’s lurch into his
“I’m just on my way to the university. Can I offer you a
“No that’s ok. It’s only a couple of blocks. I’ll enjoy the
“Your parents told you not to take lifts from strangers?”
she said laughing as she
started the engine smoothly and slipped on a pair of
sunglasses, not noticing that
he didn’t laugh with her as she pulled away from the
Washington DC Police Dept
“Suspect?” Mulder queried, his voice high with surprise
as they entered the exam
room next to an occupied interview room.
“No. He called us last night to report his girlfriend
missing.” Mulder looked
through the interview window to the young man who
was nervously sipping luke-
warm water from a plastic cup. “We told him to come by
this morning and file a
“He hasn’t officially identified the body?” Mulder asked,
looking through the
pictures in his hand of the crime scene that was
discovered early this morning.
“No, but as he was waiting at the reception area,
Detective Pearson was carrying
the evidence bag from the murder scene and he
recognized her belongings.”
Mulder closed his eyes and bit off a curse.
“Do you mind if I talk to him?” Mulder asked,
remembering to ask before barging
in and taking control of their investigation. He smiled
inwardly with the
knowledge of Scully’s influence and slipped the photos
back into the file folder on
“Not at all.”
Mulder nodded at Detective Brice and slipped out of the
room. He paused a
moment by the interview room door and took a breath.
As he opened the door the
young man looked up, his eyes red raw from the unshed
tears and his arms
hugged tightly to his body as if racked with a chill.
“Mr. Jack Douglas?” Mulder extended his hand and
waited for him to shake it. He
took a seat across from him and leaned forward,
interlocking his fingers before
him. “I am special Agent Fox Mulder from the FBI.”
“FBI? What the hell? FBI? Where is she? Why won’t they
tell me anything?” His
speech was slurred and rapid, quivering with the
emotion he was experiencing.
“When did you last see your girlfriend?” Mulder asked,
allowing him to take a
breath before answering.
“Last night.” Jack wrung his hands together then wiped
his palms on his jeans.
His eyes darted from Mulder to the large mirror that was
on the wall. “I got in
from work at seven and we chatted for five minutes
before she left.”
“Where did she go?”
“She always goes to the university library on Friday
nights. A study group.” He
gulped down the last of his drink.
“She attends one of the local universities?”
“Georgetown. She’s just finishing her degree in
“Do you know who is in that group with her?” Mulder
pulled a notepad from his
breast pocket and prepared to take the names down.
“Three of her class mates. Jerry Conway, Matt Wilson
and Kate Young.”
“What time does she usually return home?” Mulder
walked over to the dispenser
and poured himself and Jack more water.
“Usually around eleven but she has stayed as late as
1am, usually only if she has
an exam coming up. She was supposed to be home last
“Why do you say that?”
“We had booked theatre tickets. For the late show. The
AMC was showing the Star
Wars triple bill starting at midnight.”
“When did you call the precinct?”
“A little after midnight. At first I was just mad at her for
forgetting, but I called
Matt’s place and he said they all left just before eleven
and that she was speaking
with the librarian.”
“So you began to worry?” Mulder inferred urging him to
continue to speak.
“I tried calling her cell but it kept going to that damn
voice mail.” He sipped his
drink and Mulder sympathetically watched as more tears
welled up. “I thought
maybe she had car trouble but I figured she would have
phoned or text
messaged. So I called the police. They said I had to wait
24 hours before I made
a report.” He sneered and rolled his eyes looking at the
mirror with contempt.
“So you came down first thing this morning?” Mulder
“Yeah. I couldn’t sleep much so I was down here by five
this morning. They made
me wait a couple of hours and as I was waiting I saw a
cop carrying in Janice’s
“You are sure it was hers?”
“Yes. I made it. I’m a graphic designer,” he added at
Mulder’s quirked eyebrow.
“It has a design of a dragon on the back of it and some
Chinese writing on the
Mulder looked at the mirror and nodded. Within ten
seconds there was a light rap
on the door and it was immediately opened. Zip locked
in a large evidence bag
was a navy blue backpack; the dragon design just as
Jack had described on the
back. He pulled the bag closer and began to open the
“I’m afraid we can’t let you do that. It is still being
processed,” Mulder said kindly,
placing his hand over Jack’s to stop him tearing open
the plastic barrier.
“Processed?” the expression of confusion on Jack’s face
was so innocent that
Mulder had to look away. He removed the bag from the
table and passed it back
to the officer who had carried it in, swallowing hard.
“This morning at four fifteen there was a female body
discovered at Whitehaven
“A body?” Jack barely whispered as he slumped back in
his chair and Mulder
watched as the color physically drained from his face.
“The physical description matches that of Janice Smith.
Her car was found a few
“Can… can.. I see her?” Jack’s tears fell loosely about his
face, streaming across
his cheeks and blurring his vision. His voice cracked as
he sat up and tried to
regain control of his emotions but Mulder could see he
was fighting a loosing
“Of course.” He patted his arm sympathetically, ” I’ll
The scraping sound of the chair disguised Jack’s sobs as
Mulder pushed away
from the table and left the room. Detective Brice was
waving at him to join him
from across the room.
“Agent Mulder, we might need your help with this one!”
Detective Brice said as he
held his hand over the mouthpiece of the phone and
lowered it from his angry
“What’s that?” Mulder asked as he crossed the bullpen
“Library security won’t release footage till we get a
warrant.” Brice handed him
the phone and Mulder took it with a grimace, wishing
immediately that Scully was
here to smooth out this stuff.
“You need a warrant to get it, I don’t care,” Came the
terse reply from the other
end of the phone.
“This is Special Agent Fox Mulder with the FBI.”
“I don’t care if you are the goddamned Pope. Call me
when you get your
warrant.” To Mulder’s surprise the phone suddenly went
dead. With a bewildered
smile he passed the receiver back to Brice who was
shaking his head slowly.
“He said we should call back, with a warrant.”
“And with a few more choice words too I’m sure! What
an asshole.” Brice rolled
his eyes heavenwards.
“I’ll sort out the warrant and collect the footage. I want
to see if maybe the
librarian will remember Janice. Can you get someone to
call these three?
Apparently she was studying with them last night.” He
ripped out the page of his
notebook and handed it to Detective Brice.
“Sure. I’ll take Douglas to the morgue to officially
identify the body.”
“Okay. Will you call Agent Scully first to make sure she’s
ready for viewing?”
Quantico Autopsy Lab
Dana Scully pulled the latex gloves off quickly and
tossed it aside. Rushing over
to the counter, she grabbed a notebook and pen and
hurried back to the cold
body on the slab. She pressed the record button on the
recorder again and
reached overhead to aim the light for a better view of
the text, before carefully
jotting it down.
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re
looking into their eyes. A
person in that situation is God!” she read aloud. “The
text is clearly written in a
soft text that appears to have been tattooed on with
great care. No residual
bleeding on the fresh wound either suggesting it was
post mortem. ” She turned
to find her phone when it began ringing and smiled as
she spotted his name on
the ID display.
“Mulder, how do you do it?”
“Pure skill mixed with raw unadulterated manly talent,”
came the quick reply.
“I was just about to ring you.” She said glancing down
at the page in her hand.
“You found something?” She could hear he was driving;
she hated talking on the
phone with him while he was driving.
“Yes. On her belt buckle I found some calcium sulphate
CaSO4*1/2H2O. According to the local police chief I
spoke to a moment ago there
were traces of it in her car too.”
“And that would be?”
“Plaster of Paris.”
“Did she have a broken bone?”
“Not according to her recent medical records.”
“What else?” He asked knowing she was holding more.
“Another quote,” she said, and then read it aloud for
“Ted Bundy,” he came back immediately.
“Where are you going Mulder?” she asked finally,
realizing he was still driving.
“Back to the Hoover building. I need to get warrants to
secure video footage from
the university library. There is a young man coming to
identify the body soon.
Will she be ready?”
“Yes. I’m done here.” Scully glanced sadly over at the
body on the table and
mentally calculated the time she’d need to make her
ready for viewing.
“Okay I’ll pick you up on the way to the library.”
The students filed out quickly, racing through the
corridors to make it to their
next lecture. Michael Brown watched them silently
making sure each student
dropped their report on his desk as they filed by. Most of
the girls cast hopeful
smiles in his direction but he paid them no heed,
watching the reports pile up
“Professor?” turning slowly to his right he saw Aimee
Traxler approaching his desk
rather sheepishly. She clutched her folder to her chest
and fixed her eyes on a
point on his cheek, refusing to make eye contact with
him. “Sir, I was wondering
if I could get an extension.”
“Extension?” He toyed with her, enjoying the way the
muscles in her face
scrunched up with nerves.
“I didn’t get time to finish my report. I’ve been working
so hard at the paper this
month that everything got away from me.” She knew
she was babbling now and
she tried to stop the flow of clumsy words that cascaded
from her dry mouth but
she couldn’t help it.
“Is my class too difficult for you Aimee?”
“No sir, it’s just the time-”
“You had no time put aside to do your report?”
“I had, sir, but the paper kept calling me about the
bodies they found in the city,
they needed articles on it and its my job, I need the
money to pay the rent.”
Aimee’s cheeks burned hot under the curious gazes of
her fellow students as they
watched her squirm.
“The report was due today. You have until 3pm to have
it on my desk. No later.”
“Sir!” Aimee began but he had gathered up the pile of
pages and turned to leave
“3PM Aimee. No later or you will fail my class. Now run
“Yes sir,” came her soft defeated reply.
Michael Brown stepped through the corridor, his face
clear of the thrill he was
feeling. He loved his job, the constant interaction with
students, and the mixture
of emotions of fear, happiness, joy and confusion that
emanated from the
students on a daily basis.
He stepped into his office and locked the door behind
him. Folding all the reports
he held, he neatly fit them into the trashcan before
sitting at his desk and
reaching for the red folder from the bottom drawer.
Slowly he opened it and flicked through the pages
towards the end. With an
orange highlight marker he ruled lines across a name on
the list — Ted Bundy,
then added yesterday’s date and a computer filename
Georgetown University Library
Scully climbed out of the car and took a deep breath of
fresh air into her lungs.
After being in the autopsy lab all morning she welcomed
the stinging breeze that
tickled her throat and wafted through her hair.
“This guy was on a major power trip this morning,”
Mulder said mockingly as he
fiddled with the warrant in his hand and pulled his badge
out of his pocket.
“He was within his right to demand a warrant, Mulder.”
“Maybe, but when its someone’s life, its annoying as
They walked through the main doors and Scully stood
back a little as Mulder
slapped the warrant purposefully on the reception desk
and held his badge out to
the baffled looking receptionist.
“Special Agent Fox Mulder with the FBI. I’m here to
collect the video footage from
your CCTV cameras.”
“You’ll need to speak to Kip, let me call him.” With
trembling fingers she dialed
through to the security office and spoke quickly. After
replacing the receiver she
looked up to Mulder and nodded. “He is on his way
Mulder turned to Scully and took a few steps closer.
Kip. He mouthed soundlessly in her direction, and then
rolled his eyes.
“People in glass houses…Fox!” she replied and he
Just then a small door to the left of the entrance opened
quickly and a small stout
man with receding hairline and an expanding waistline
marched over to them.
Mulder held his badge out stiffly and handed him the
“We need to collect the footage immediately. Any
hesitation on your part will
result in immediate arrest.”
“This way.” Kip stiffly led them through the door and
into the security hub where
a bank of televisions covered one wall.
“Can we see the footage from last night?”
“From 10 pm to 4 am,” Scully butted in and leaned
forward, resting her hands on
the console to get a closer look.
The footage whizzed by and at precisely 11.24 the
unmistakable figure of Janice
Smith left the library and hurried to her car. Scully
watched the monitor as the
body she had been examining all morning was brought
to life on the grainy black
and white screen. She was seen unlocking her car
getting in and driving off the
scene towards the gateway.
“Nothing. You?” Mulder asked.
“Do you have anything from a different angle?”
“No sir, we cover the door and the grounds, but nothing
else on the entrance.”
“I need that tape.”
Kip ejected the tape and passed it over to Mulder with a
“Sorry about earlier but we get a lot of crank calls from
Mulder grudgingly grunted his acceptance then left,
Scully smiling in his wake
before following him quickly. She found him leaning
against the tall reception
desk speaking softly with the librarian.
“She was in here last night with four students. Left at
about 11.30. Do you recall
“No, I’m afraid not.” The librarian was visibly shaken
and Scully appreciated the
soft tones Mulder took with her, easing her through his
questions. “Has something
“We’re just tracing her whereabouts. So you don’t
“I’m afraid we get so many students in this time of year.
With thesis studies and
exams on…” her voice trailed off and Mulder slipped his
card across the marble
“Well, if anything comes back to you, let me know.”
Mulder smiled and turned to walk out the large double
doors. However, instead of
climbing into the car, Mulder walked away from the
building towards the entrance
at the road.
“If she made it to her car safely, then how did he get in
her car?” he mused aloud
to no one in particular. “The plaster was in her car so he
must have been in it
before the murder. If it was afterwards he would have
driven the car further
Scully followed him and they both walked the short
distance to the gateway.
Across the road they spotted the bus stop and little else.
The buildings were
mainly residential with little or no security measures in
“You know Ted Bundy used to have a fake cast. He
would put it on his leg and
pretend to be injured to lure women into his car, under
the guise of helping him.”
“You think that’s what he did?”
“We saw her get into her car. She made it. There was no
delay when she got in
that would indicate someone was waiting for her in the
backseat.” He watched the
traffic for a break then raced over to the bus shelter,
Scully in tow. “It’s possible
he was waiting here for her.”
“Mulder, maybe in the 70’s you’d stop to help a stranger
but not nowadays.”
“Maybe he was someone she knew. Maybe that’s why
she stopped.” Stooping low
on the ground he spotted two white marks that looked
like chalk on the pavement
Scully rubbed her fingers across them and brushed the
tips of her fingers against
each other. She glanced up at Mulder with a knowing
look, then took a tissue
from her pocket and brushed it roughly over the
markings. As she slipped the
tissue into a concealed evidence bag, Mulder pulled out
his cell phone and called
for a crime scene unit.
Sitting in the meeting room, Mulder swiveled gently
from side to side on his chair
watching the door and waiting for Agent Larkin to make
his entrance. Next to him
Scully was reading over her autopsy report, knowing she
would be asked to go
over it aloud, dumbing it down for non-medically trained
“Do you think this is for my benefit?” he asked softly,
leaning towards her and
resting his elbows and forearms on the table.
“Don’t be so hedonistic,” she said without looking up.
“He is trying to make an
entrance, assert his authority. But I don’t think it is
purely for your benefit.”
“Maybe not,” Mulder conceded, leaning back on his chair
to swivel some more.
Just then the door swung open admitting AD Larkin’s
confident gait. He had shed
his jacket and had rolled his sleeves up past his elbows
but his tie remained
securely fastened to his collar.
“Okay, what have we got? Autopsy, Agent Scully?” he
said as he crossed the
room to the top of the table, his eyes focusing on the
sheets of paper in his hand.
He offered no one a look and barely gave the impression
he was listening.
“Janice Smith died of asphyxiation. She was strangled
with a leather belt with a
steel buckle. I found bruising on her torso and abrasions
on her hands to suggest
that she was restrained with her arms by her side.
Possible he straddled her while
choking her.” Scully spoke loudly and clearly, looking
straight at AD Larkin.
“Any text on her body?” Larkin asked glancing up at her
over the rim of his
“Yes sir. A Ted Bundy quote. “‘You feel the last bit of
breath leaving their body.
You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation
is God.”” Scully let her
words sink in before continuing. “Also on her belt and in
her car I found traces of
calcium sulphate hemihydrate .” She saw the bewildered
looks on the agent’s
faces then added, “Plaster of Paris.”
“Ted Bundy used fake leg casts,” Agent Daly supplied.
“We obtained the security footage from the University
Library this morning and
confirmed Janice Smith left at 11.24pm. She got into her
car and drove away
from university property safely,” Mulder spoke up.
“However, across the street at a bus stop Agent Mulder
found traces of calcium
sulphate on the pavement. We called a CSI unit
“On the scene?” AD Larkin looked over to Agent Jones
who was heading up the
“We found the calcium sulphate but little else. Cigarette
butts and hair samples
we took are being processed for prints and DNA but it
was a public bus stop, so
there is no guarantee they belong to our perp.”
“We interviewed several drivers from different bus
routes who would have been at
the bus stop between 10:30 and 12 and some of them
remember seeing a man
on crutches.” Agent Holwel added. He pulled from his
folder a picture and passed
copies around the room.
“Approx. 6 foot 2, 170 pounds. Light brown hair well
trimmed and well dressed.
He had his left leg in a cast from hip to ankle and was
carrying a backpack of
books. He didn’t get on or off any of the buses and was
leaning against the wall.”
“He was spotted at 10:20 by a bus driver named
Damien Wright but wasn’t there
at 10:10 when Maggie Marks drove by.”
Mulder stared down at the picture before him. There was
about this man. No distinguishable scars or marks on his
face that would make
him easily noticeable. His eyes were open wide and
Mulder stared into them
intensely, wondering what made him do the things he
“So what’s next?” AD Larkin asked the room.
“I’m meeting with Detective Brice in half an hour. He
was interviewing her study
partners,” Mulder offered.
“We are waiting for results to come back on the prints
“Okay then. Get to it.” Larkin stood up and watched as
the agents gathered their
files and left the room. “Agent Mulder, a word.”
Mulder cast Scully a wary glance before turning back to
the table. He dropped his
files on the table but refused to sit down. When the last
Agent had left the room
and closed the door behind him leaving them alone, AD
Larkin slowly took his
glasses off and folded them into his breast pocket.
“If you ever go over my head to authorize a warrant and
a CS Unit again, I will
have you busted down so quickly….” Larkin ground out
angrily, his hands spread
out on the table before him and his eyes boring into
“Sir?” Mulder faltered.
“You continuously try to undermine my authority and I
won’t have it. Once more
Mulder…just try it again and you’ll regret it.”
Larkin stood stiffly and stalked from the room, leaving
dumbfounded after him. He leaned back against the
table and watched as Scully
re-entered the room.
“What was all that about?”
“He just wanted to chew me a new one for getting a
warrant for the video footage
and calling the CS unit without his authorization. A job
he should have done but
“What?” Scully said surprised, leaning back next to him.
“He’s just not going to let it go.”
“Let what go Mulder. What did you do? Why does he
Mulder looked over to her and knew it was time to tell
her. Regardless of how
embarrassing it would be.
“Okay. I’ll tell you on the way to the precinct.”
Mulder led the way silently to the car and pulled out into
the midday traffic
without uttering a word. Scully let him drive a couple
more blocks before turning
to face him.
“Huh?” he said in mock confusion glancing at her
“Tell me, Mulder. Spill.”
“Okay.” He pulled up at a red traffic light and drummed
his fingers rhythmlessly
on the steering wheel. “It happened years ago.”
“Yeah, yeah, I heard this bit…second year in the
bureau…what happened?” she
teased, smiling at his obvious discomfort.
“It was at the Directors Christmas Ball. Back when I was
still out to impress and
attended those god awful events.”
Scully laughed, knowing his disdain for those nights
“I attended with a friend of mine from the academy but
she quickly hooked up
and left me to fend for myself.”
“I know! Well, I was at the bar, I started talking to a
woman and she actually fell
for my clumsy attempt at conversation. We laughed and
talked for a while then I
asked her to dance. I’m not sure why. It must have
been the whiskey talking.”
Behind them a car beeped them to move with the traffic
and Mulder slipped the
car into gear and took off. He concentrated on driving
for a while longer then
“We pretty much danced for most of the night and as
everything was rolling up to
an end, I felt a finger tap my shoulder.”
“AD Larkin?” Scully guessed.
“Agent Larkin at the time…wondering if he might spend
some time with his
Scully covered her mouth with her hand in mock shock.
“Right in the middle of the dance floor,” Mulder said,
“She started to explain how
she had attended the ball with him only as a friend and
now wanted me to escort
“Needless to say AD Larkin was livid. To his credit he
didn’t do anything further
that night but ever since he has had it out for me.”
“And you and this mystery heart breaker?” Scully
inquired teasingly, “did you
make it worth her while?”
“I never kiss and tell Scully!”
Scully laughed sensing there was more to that story
than he was letting on. More
to the mystery woman than he was willing to reveal but
she didn’t push, Mulder
looked embarrassed enough. Even more surprising was
the childish grudge of a
grown man like Larkin.
Fort Totten Park
Michael Brown watched from the back of the crowds. His
eyes scanned the room
for the long silky blonde hair he craved. He could
already feel the silky strands
between his fingers and he felt himself hardening at the
prospect of making it
real. Thankful for the cover of darkness as he ambled
through the park, he
worked his way through the crowd that had gathered for
the midnight concert by
the local orchestra.
The music was soulful as it drifted through the still night
air. Most people had
brought blankets to sit on but some hovered near the
back, content to listen to
the sounds while standing. The carefully executed
performance across the grand
piano stalled even Michael’s thoughts as he halted a
moment to immerse himself
in the haunting music.
Then he saw her.
She sat alone on a red and blue checkered blanket with
tasseled endings. Spread
out on it next to her was some music sheets and
notebooks that she scribbled
things down whenever the mood struck her.
Michael circled slowly around her in a wide perimeter to
get a better view. From
the front he could see the pale complexion of her
beautifully clear skin. Her eyes
he couldn’t make out but decided to examine them
closer when he got the
chance. Her hands moved fluidly along the music sheets
as she noted down the
sounds that drifted over her, the riffs that touched her
and the thoughts they
Perfect, Michael thought, wondering how he would sit
next to her, strike up the
conversation and get her alone. Then with a sinking
heart, he watched as another
man approached her. With two glasses of wine in his
hands, he crouched beside
her and proffered one glass towards her. He couldn’t
hear their words but from
the surprised expression on her face it wasn’t an
expected intrusion. She declined
his offer of the glass of wine and gestured towards the
work she was doing,
before smiling warmly at him as he turned and left.
Michael wasn’t sure if he was glad that she was still
alone or worried now that he
might get the same reaction. For a moment longer he
watched the crowd, then as
the couple that were sitting next to him rose to get
some more wine from a
vendor behind them an idea struck him.
Quickly he gathered up their blanket and walked away
from the crowds. Back at
his car, he took a notebook and a pencil from the glove
box and folded the
blanket carefully under his arm. Shedding his coat, he
loosened his shirt collar
and tie and made his way back to the park in a
seemingly random route. When he
approached her from behind, he avoided all contact with
her and secured a spot
on the grass to the left and just in front of her.
Laying the blanket out before him, he took the notebook
out and started to line
the pages with the five recognizable lines for music
notation. When he had the
page fully lined, he summoned up all the musical lessons
he could remember and
started to take note of the melodies that played around
He had filled the first page and was beginning to line the
second page when her
voice called out to him softly.
“Excuse me?” He ignored it the first time and
concentrated on lining his page as
best he could, delighting in her persistence. “Excuse
“Me? Were you talking to me?” he half turned to her
“I see you are taking note of the music.”
“Trying to. I forgot my music note book, so I’m trying to
“I can give you some sheets if you’d like.” He turned
fully towards her with an
easy smile and watched as she pulled out some pages of
her notebook and
handed them out to him.
“Thank you, that would be great.”
“No problem. Nothing worse then the homemade music
“I’m Joe by the way.” He took the pages and held out
Feeling he was near her limit of intrusion he smiled
warmly at her and turned
back to his work, hoping she wouldn’t want to compare
notes at the end.
When the orchestra had finished playing and the crowds
began to slowly
dissipate, Michael took his time gathering up his things.
He couldn’t help but
notice that she was stalling too.
“Beautiful, wasn’t it?” he ventured as he folded his
“Yes. They played a lovely rendition of Brandenburg’s
“Do you play?” she asked.
“I play piano and dabble in violin but I wouldn’t say it is
suitable for human
consumption.” He laughed and she smiled with him.
“You? Do you play?”
“I used to play violin with the national orchestra in New
York but not anymore.”
Without realizing it, they began to walk away from the
park towards the bank of
cars near the entrance. Michael deliberately slowed their
pace hoping the crowds
would be lessened by the time they got there.
“Oh? Why not?”
“I was in a car accident a couple of years ago. Broke my
hand and severed my
nerves.” Her voice was steady as she spoke but he
caught the glint of regret in
As they crossed the parking lot, she fumbled in her
pocket for her keys and
opened the driver’s door.
“It was a pleasure talking with you, Joe.”
“And you.” He watched as she climbed in and buckled
her seatbelt, then
screamed inside with triumph as she rolled the window
“Is your car here?”
“No, I’m staying in a hotel a couple of blocks away. The
“Can I offer you a lift?”
“No, that’s okay I couldn’t impose.”
“It’s no problem. It’s the least I can do for a fellow
He climbed in beside her and smiled as she drove off.
She parked across the road
from the hotel and accepted his offer of a nightcap in
the hotel bar. They claimed
two comfy seats near the back of the room and sat close
sipping wine and talking
softly. The bar staff topped up their drinks without being
asked and soon
Stephanie was surprised to see the creeping rays of
daylight color the city streets
“Oh my, it’s late.”
“Or early,” Michael added, moving his hand from her
knee, where it had rested
most of the night, to her cheek.
“I better go,” she said softly but made no move to do
“Stay,” he whispered, kissing her cheek where his
fingers had just stroked. “Stay
One arm snaked around her shoulders pulling her closer
and the other crept up
her knee to her thigh and circled her waist. She slid
easily onto his lap sitting
sideways with her head on his shoulder. He bent slowly
and kissed her warmly.
His mouth was warm and wet against her lips and she
sighed into the kiss,
parting her lips for him and allowing him to kiss her
“Will you come upstairs to my room?” he asked in
between the butterfly kisses
trailing her neck as his lips covered as much of her skin
as he dared in this semi
“Yes,” she panted.
He slid her off his lap onto her feet and followed her
closely. Taking her hand, he
led her through the empty bar and lobby to an elevator
off the lobby. Once the
door closed, offering them more privacy than they had
all night, he pressed her to
the elevator wall and pushed his body against her.
She couldn’t help the desire that coursed through her as
he squeezed her breast
through her blouse, nipped at her ear lobe, and licked
her neck in small teasing
strokes. The elevator ride was all too short to the fifth
floor. He all but pulled her
out of the confines and along the hall to his room.
Once inside, all the resolve disappeared as they hungrily
shed clothes. His shirt
and tie fell next to her skirt and blouse. Her underwear
came off so easily, the
silky material slipping against her satin skin to the floor
in a luxurious puddle.
“Joe,” she breathed softly.
“Shhh,” he urged as he dropped the rest of his clothes
and peeled off his socks.
“Don’t say it. I’m not used to the passion you bring out
in me. I’ve never done
anything like this before.”
He knew they were the words she wanted to hear. The
words she longed for, of
Detective Brice paced the floor of the ornate lobby until
he spotted Mulder and
Scully walking in. After shaking their hands, he gestured
for them to follow him.
They all took the elevator to the fifth floor where a
smaller lobby greeted them.
There was no receptionist at this one, only a phone, a
fire extinguisher, and
several shelves of towels and pillows for guests’ use.
Also to the left of the
elevator were two doors marked with the familiar male
and female signs for
“The body was found at 11:03 am today, by another
guest.” He opened the door
to the female restrooms and stood before the middle
stall. The door had been
removed off its hinges and was leaning against a
different wall. The entrance was
blocked off by yellow police tape.
From her pocket Scully pulled out a pair of latex gloves,
slipping them on easily.
Mulder held up the tape for her to step under and she
crouched low over the
The body was completely naked, twisted and contorted
around the toilet. The
ligature marks on her neck was unmistakable, so much
that Scully could make
out the individual finger marks.
“According to the night staff she arrived with a
registered guest, Joseph Toucan,
at about 1 AM. They went into the hotel bar and stayed
there till about 4. By that
time they had gotten real pally, if ya know what I
Mulder turned towards the opening door to see AD
Larkin stride in.
“The receptionist has ID’d the photo fit as Joseph
Toucan. But all research points
to that as an alias.” Larkin’s words were loud and
hurried, his anger at being so
close, bubbling to the surface over the calm exterior of
his FBI persona.
“Do we have an ID for her?” Mulder asked reaching to
lift the tape for Scully to
“Hotel surveillance has them walking in from across the
street. There is a car out
there that they might have arrived in. We’re running the
plates right now.”
“She died from asphyxiation. He placed his hands
around her neck, both hands,
strong and brutal. There are eight finger marks around
the back of her neck and
two thumbs on the front at her larynx. But she hasn’t
been dead that long. It
couldn’t be more then a couple of hours.”
“Any text like the other victims?”
Scully looked carefully over the body again and on the
inside of her thigh she
found the small black lettering.
“For me a corpse has a beauty and dignity which a living
body could never hold . .
. there is a peace about death that soothes me” She
Just then the cell that was clipped to Brice’s belt
crackled to life startling them all.
“Brice here, what is it?”
“We ran the plates and found the owner.”
“Wait a sec…” Brice switched the phone over to speaker.
“Okay go ahead.”
“Stephanie Adams. The license picture is of a female,
five foot eight. 120 lbs.
Blonde, brown eyes.”
Brice looked up to Scully who was nodding slowly in
confirmation of the
“Lock up that car, don’t let anyone get near it.”
Mulder was already out the door; he skipped past the
elevator and raced down
the stairs. He had made it across the street and was
already leaning into the car
when Scully and Larkin crossed the road behind him.
“Mulder, don’t contaminate that scene. I have the CS
unit on the way and I don’t
want to waste any time tracing DNA from your god
damned hair!” Larkin yelled at
Mulder ignored him and continued to check the contents
of the car, his trained
eyes scanning quickly over the discarded letters and
pages until they fell across
the leaflet that rested on the dashboard.
“Midnight Concert by Washington Orchestra at Fort
Totten Park,” he read aloud,
pulling himself out of the car and standing up straight
next to Scully. “This was
last night. If she didn’t arrive at this hotel until after one
then maybe she met him
“That’s about 9 blocks away,” Scully said, already pulling
the keys out of her
pocket and backing away.
“Let’s go,” Mulder walked away and stopped only when
Larkin grabbed his arm.
Silence bristled between them and the tension crackled,
but Larkin nodded slowly
and released him.
Fort Totten Park
The park was deserted with only a few remnants that
the concert ever happened.
Scattered flyers advertising the concert, discarded food
wrappers and other
detritus, with two park rangers cleaning it all up.
The car lot was empty and Mulder ran across the grass
to the nearest ranger to
speak to him. He produced his badge and held it up.
“Fox Mulder, FBI.” From the inside his jacket he
retrieved a folded copy of the
photo fit sketch and a grainy photo from a security
camera and passed it to the
ranger. “Did you see this man here this morning?”
“Yes I did!” He watched as Scully joined them and
flashed her badge.
“He came in through the north gate and got into a car
over there. Then he drove
off…looked to be in a real hurry too.”
“You’re sure it was him?” Scully asked.
“Yes. I noticed the car when I got in this morning, only
one here. He looked kind
of odd too, troubled. I like to people watch. Interesting
hobby, that’s why I
“What time was that?”
“About eight thirty. We like to get this park real clean
before anyone else gets
here. And with the concert on last night we knew the
place would be a mess. His
car really caught my eye, ya know. It was a vintage.”
“What make?” Scully asked, opening her notebook.
“1967 Ford Mustang, midnight blue.”
“Did you get the license?”
“Yes.” He watched both agents as Scully jotted the
license plate down and smiled
her gratitude. They exchanged glances and seemed to
have a whole conversation
without uttering a word. “What’s all this about?”
“Thank you for your time.” Scully cut in as they backed
away and raced over to
their Taurus. Mulder was already revving the engine and
spinning out of the park
while she dialed Larkin’s number. She quickly relayed all
the information they had
and waited on the line as he barked orders in the
background at the crew who
stood around him. She heard him shout at two agents to
locate the owner of the
Mustang and bring him into the local precinct, then he
came back to her to tell
her the body of Stephanie Adams was en route to
14 Thomas Street
Michael Brown latched the door behind him and rested
his back against it. His
breathing was heavy and labored as he moved through
the room and raced into
the bathroom. In the mirror he watched as his face
contorted back to his own
familiar features and laughed. A deep throaty laugh that
gurgled up from the pit
of his stomach and shook his shoulders.
He could still feel the pressure of her neck, the thrill
from the feel of her pulse
beneath his fingers and he stared down at them in
them from the fists they had been during his
transformation. Crossing the room
to where he kept his PC, he booted it up and began
‘John Reginald Halliday Christie was a typical
“repressed” lust killer who could
achieve satisfaction only through rape, murder, and
Christie’s motives were sexual; he admitted strangling
one of his victims during
intercourse. He related how he had invited women to the
house and having got
them partly drunk, sat them in a deck chair, where he
rendered them unconscious
with domestic coal gas. He then strangled and raped
Michel leaned back on his chair as he typed, reliving the
moment over and over in
his mind, then slowly the Cheshire grin spread across his
lips like a slash from a
“For me a corpse has a beauty and dignity which a living
body could never hold . .
. there is a peace about death that soothes me.”
He interlocked his fingers at the back of his head and
sighed satisfactorily. The
words flew out of him in a way he had never
experienced. Never before had the
passages for his writing been so succinct and accurate.
Never before had he felt
the rejuvenation of life course through his body like a
Ever mindful of his work, he saved it and closed the file.
As the sensations began
to fade he went over to the fridge and selected the bag
of meat he’d was saving.
Saving for moments like these, moments when he
needed to feel it and maintain
that precious high for a little longer, a littler stronger.
The pan was already on the stove, greased and dirty
from the last use. He
thought of cleaning up a bit but decided against it. When
the oil was at boiling
point he dropped the meat into the pan and stood back
as it splashed up hot
sparks of fat.
He knew it wouldn’t be long now. He knew he’d been
sloppy and careless, but
that was the way it had been done. Bundy, Christie and
Fish, they all left hair,
DNA, semen and other evidence behind. His dissertation
wouldn’t be valid if he
had cut corners, changed the routines.
He grabbed the TV remote and switched it on. Flicking
through the various
channels until he found the news, he waited. Waited for
the report he knew was
His meat feast was almost done when the newsflash
appeared. The picture of the
muted newscaster suddenly changed to the onsite
reporter who stood across from
the Plaza hotel. Michael turned up the volume and
waited in anticipation for the
“The body was found in the public restrooms on the fifth
floor. Police have yet to
release any information on the victim until next of kin
can be contacted but we
have Special Agent Mulder from the FBI with us.”
The camera panned to the left where Mulder stood, a
grim expression on his face.
In his hands he held a small file and Michael stared at it,
the smile on his face
widening. Absently he stirred the meat in the pan and
inhaled the delicious aroma
of cooked flesh.
“We have gathered considerable evidence today.”
Mulder admitted vaguely as the
newscaster asked more questions.
Michael turned back to the stove and forked the meat
onto a plate. Moving across
the room he perched himself on the edge of the couch
and took a bite of his meal.
It was medium rare, and he loved the pattern the blood
had left on the plate,
mesmerizing him as though an ethereal message was
held within the gruesome
He observed Mulder as he spoke with clear confident
tones, the agent avoiding
eye contact with the camera, instead addressing the
interviewer. More questions
were fired at him but Mulder offered little or no
information, opting instead to
excuse himself from the interview.
The reporter continued speaking into the camera but
Michael’s eyes moved with
Mulder who had moved with large strides into the
background to converse with a
small red headed woman who he assumed was another
agent. Michael smiled,
chewing on his next odious mouthful.
She’s perfect. It won’t be long now, he thought.
The garage of the plaza was strewn with SWAT
members and CSI Agents. AD
Larkin was standing over the table upon which a map of
DC was spread out.
Scully stood with Detective Brice at the doorway and
turned as Mulder
approached, offering him a sympathetic smile.
“What have you got?” Mulder asked Brice, nodding at
the pages he was showing
“We’ve run the plates and turned up a name and
address. Michael Brown 14
“Professor Michael Brown? Professor in psychology at
Scully said then added, “SWAT Team is ready, and AD
Larkin wants to speak with
you,” Scully told her partner as she fixed on her bullet
proof vest, slipping her suit
jacket over it.
Mulder accepted the vest she handed him and carried it
with him as he crossed
the room to where Larkin was barking out last minute
orders to the SWAT
members standing around waiting.
“This has to go smoothly, quickly and without any
screwups.” Mulder cringed at
the stereotypical moral boost but made no comment.
The desired effect seemed
to be working as the SWAT members fanned out to their
“Sir?” Mulder said as he pulled off his jacket and draped
it on the back of a chair.
“Agent Scully said you wanted to speak with me?”
“Yes, I need you to go back to the Hoover building and
copy this warrant.” Larkin
held out the folded page and waited for Mulder to take
“Sir?” Mulder’s fingers stalled over the Velcro strap he
“Judge Waterman failed to provide us with enough
copies.” Larkin sneered
smugly, watching the battle of reactions play out on
“But sir the-”
“Agent Mulder, are you disobeying my direct order?”
Larkin stood up a bit
straighter and spoke loud enough to be sure to be
overheard by other agents.
“No Sir,” Mulder said firmly after a moment’s hesitation.
He took the warrant with
a tight smile and walked back to Scully, angrily tugging
his vest off on the way.
“Mulder, you have to put the vest on.”
“No I don’t.” he dropped it onto the chair beside them.
“I’m not going on the
“AD Larkin wants me to go back to the Hoover building
to sort out this warrant.”
Before Scully could ask any more questions, Larkin
called for attention from the
entire room. He barked out the orders to each team
leader and stressed the
importance of this raid. Mulder stood at the back of the
room watching with
growing anger. When the time came the men and
woman all poured into the
waiting vans. Scully followed Brice to the police car and
shot a look back at
Mulder. His eyes were sad, underlying worry making
them bright. She nodded her
assertion to his silent plea to keep safe then shut the
door and buckled up.
The garage cleared so quickly that Mulder found himself
standing in the swirl of
dust the vans kicked up in their wake, his feet glued to
the floor and his anger
14 Thomas Street
Michael stripped down to his boxer shorts and raced
through the hall to the fire
escape. He hurried down the metal stairs and ignored
the sharp pains in his bare
feet as he pushed on to the floor below him. The fire
door was stuck and he
roughly shoved his shoulder against it. Finally on the
third attempt he managed
to swing it open, bashing it against the wall inside.
Moving quietly through the hall he counted the doors
down to Apartment 7. He
took a moment to smooth out his hair and slow his
breathing before knocking
carefully on the door.
“Who is it?” came the frail reply.
“Mrs. Leeson? It’s me, Professor Brown. I seem to have
locked myself out of my
apartment. I know you have the set of skeleton keys.”
“Michael? Is that you?”
He waited as the shuffling footfalls came closer to the
door. The latch on the door
rattled as she released the chain. Michael braced himself
for the push and
watched as the door handle moved. With all the force he
could muster he pushed
himself off the opposite wall and rammed into the door.
With a scream Mrs. Leeson fell back from the door,
smashing her head against
the wall behind her and falling to the floor. Michael
rushed in after her and
slammed the door shut behind him. He dragged her
dazed body to the bedroom
and laid her out on the bed. She struggled to come to
for a moment but then
Michael went back to the door and waited.
Outside the unmarked vans screeched to a halt on the
curb and all the agents
poured out. Scully followed the lead team into the
building as the others secured
the surrounding area. The vest she was wearing
constricted her breathing but it
offered her the comfort she needed to continue. She
followed the orders of the
team leader and hugged the wall to the elevator. With
her gun outstretched she
covered the hallway as the other agents got into place.
They raced up to the first floor in a well-trained fluid
execution and held position
at the bottom of the stairway to the second floor. They
had all studied the layout
of the building on the way over here so everyone tensed
as they started the
ascension towards Brown’s apartment.
Scully covered the stairway again as the various agents
silently stepped up into
position. She waited for her signal to go and moved
swiftly and silently when it
was her turn. Radio silence was kept throughout the
maneuver, the team relying
solely on hand gestures and trained instinct.
As they curled around the apartment, Agent Smith stood
to the side and gestured
for the battering ram to be readied. He slammed his fist
against the peeling paint
and called out.
“FBI, open up.”
After a few seconds when no reply came Smith stood
aside and watched as two
agents rammed the door open and let the SWAT team
barge in. The room swam
in pandemonium as the agents cleared out the small
“Living room, Clear!”
“Kitchen, Clear!” Came the quick replies as they swept
through the apartment.
Scully stepped aside as they went through the quick
process and followed them
through at the end. The first thing that hit was the foul
stench that clung to the
air. She coughed and covered her mouth with the back
of her hand as she
stepped further into the apartment.
“No one here,” Smith relayed to her. He pulled the radio
from his pocket and
called to the other teams to report in.
Scully checked slowly through the room; trying
desperately to ignore the
disgusting odor , she switched her trained eyes on her
surroundings. She noticed
the PC with the empty shell where his hard drive should
be, the plate of half
eaten food on the floor beside the couch. With her latex
gloves in place she bent
closer to it and touched it. It still felt warm.
Her mind reeled in horror as her eyes studied the meat.
The curved bite marks,
the sharp rips where his teeth had cut into the flesh and
the pink of the half
It wasn’t meat, she realized suddenly, it was human
Fighting revulsion as she put it back down she stepped
back and found herself in
the small kitchenette. The smell was stronger now as
Scully forced her legs to
step further into the room. It seemed to be permeating
outwards from the fridge.
With her mind screaming in protest, Scully pulled the
fridge open and swallowed
back the taste of bile that exploded into her throat. Each
shelf was packed full
with bags and bags of unrecognizable meat. The bags
were tied loosely and Scully
could make out the rotting flesh from the groundswell of
smell they were
creating, infested with maggots and lying in pools of
She slammed the fridge door shut and stepped out of
the kitchen. In the living
room Agent Smith was rearranging the other teams to
start a search of the
building. They all seemed to be oblivious to the stench.
No one made a comment
about it or covered their mouths. Smith asked Scully to
team with Agent Bryson
and told them to start on the first floor.
The relative fresh air in the hallway was a welcome
relief. She took a few lungfuls
as they descended the stairs to the first floor. She
noticed that Bryson looked a
little green around the edges too and smiled.
As they approached the first door Scully pulled her gun
free from it’s holster and
held it rigidly by her side. Bryson crossed the door and
nodded to her that he was
He lifted a fist to the door and knocked on it heavily.
“FBI OPEN UP!” he called
out. It opened partially and Scully glanced to see a small
elderly man peering
fearfully through the gap.
“Sir, can we come in?” she asked, showing him her
badge. With trembling fingers
he opened the door and stepped aside as the two agents
swept through his small
apartment. They spoke quietly as they walked carefully
through the apartment,
then left when they were satisfied it was secure.
“Thank you sir. Lock the door after us,” Bryson said as
they stepped back into the
hallway. “One down eleven to go.”
Michael Brown watched the distorted figures of the two
agents as they entered
the apartment across the hall. Through the peephole he
could make out more
then just the periphery. His body tensed as they came
back into the hall and
stepped over to the door. Scully seemed to glare
through the peephole and stare
right at him but he knew that was impossible. With the
kitchen knife held firmly
in his hand he stepped back from the door and braced
himself against the wall.
The heavy thumping of the agents at the door startled
him even though he was
expecting it. Blood roared through his head and made
his hands tremble. He
forced them to still as the agents knocked again.
Mentally he counted to three then took in a deep breath.
He held it in, burning his
lungs and causing his eyes to water as he waited for
them to burst through the
door. As if on cue, Agent Bryson smashed through the
door and held it open for
Scully to race in. She held her gun up and walked trough
the hallway into the
living room. She checked the kitchen and bathroom and
then stepped into the
Spying the elderly woman on the bed, she raced over to
check her pulse. It was
weak and thready. The blood stained the pillow behind
her head and her
breathing was shallow. Scully took the cell phone out of
her pocket and called
“Brice,” he said, answering the call on the first ring.
“Brice, this is Agent Scully. I’m in a first floor apartment
with Agent Bryson. I
have a woman hurt and needs medical attention.”
“Okay, they are on the way.”
As she hung up the phone she could hear him calling out
orders to the medical
squad that were standing by.
“Bryson! Get in here!” she called out as she noticed the
woman’s breathing was
faltering. “Bryson!” Scully called out then looked up as
the bedroom door opened
slowly. Instead of Bryson standing in the doorway it was
another SWAT member.
“Get over here! Where is Bryson?” Scully shouted out
pulling him down beside her
where she knelt at the bed. “Hold this!” Scully pressed
his hands onto the cloth
that was pressed against the lady’s head wound. “Keep
pressure on it.”
“Bryson’s gone back.”
“Do you have a radio on you? Call Agent Smith.” Scully
pressed her fingers
against the woman’s neck to feel for a pulse but there
“No I don’t.”
“Shit, I’m losing her,” Scully pressed her ear to the
lady’s chest and listened to
the faint breaths.
Mrs. Leeson stirred on the bed rolling away from the
intrusive hands that tried to
help her. Her eyes flittered open and she spotted him.
Michael Brown leaning over her. His smile was curved
and cold as it spread across
“No…nnnoo,” she murmured trying to get away. Two
strong hands held her down
by her shoulders as she turned to see a small red haired
woman standing over
her. The stranger’s voice was soft and gentle as she
spoke but the fear she felt
building inside stole the comforting words from her as
she spotted her evil tenant
“We’re here to help. Can you tell me what happened?”
Scully asked trying to draw
the elderly woman’s attention.
“No!” Mrs. Leeson called out, staring wildly at something
over Scully’s shoulder.
She flinched as Michael lifted his gun over his head.
Scully turned to see what
was scaring her and came face to face with the butt of
the gun as it smashed into
Mulder walked past Kimberly without a word and stalked
into Skinner’s office. The
words he was ready to spew out in anger died on the tip
of his tongue as he faced
an empty room.
He swirled around on his heel and faced a bemused Kim
who stood leaning on the
“Where’s AD Skinner? I need to talk to him.” Mulder
ground out trying to hold
back his anger.
“He’s gone looking for you. Where is your cell phone
“It’s…” he patted down his pockets but didn’t find it. “It’s
in the back of a police
car.” Kim quirked her eyebrow at that admission.
“Where did Skinner go….I.. ?”
Mulder asked but before he could finish his question the
phone rang and Kim
reached over the desk to answer it.
“AD Skinner’s office.”
Mulder waited patiently for the call to end and watched
as Kim’s face turned
ashen. Her eyes slowly turned towards him and fixed
him with such a look of
sympathy and suddenly he knew that call was for him.
His heart lurched into his
throat as he stared at Kim holding the receiver out to
him, his pulse roaring in his
ears. Everything moved in slow motion, his mind
clammed up with a dense fog;
his hands grasped the phone without realizing it and
pressed it to his ears. It was
hard to form words over the lack of breath.
“Agent Mulder.” It was AD Larkin. “I was calling for
“What happened?” Even his own voice seemed to be
coming from somewhere
“He got away.” Larkin sighed shakily into the phone and
Mulder instinctively knew
he had more to add. “He’s taken a hostage.”
This time Mulder felt the blood drain from his own face.
Without listening for
more, Mulder handed back the phone and raced out of
He sprinted through the corridor to the FBI garage and
was fumbling in his pocket
for his keys when he heard a familiar voice calling his
name. Turning, he saw
Skinner running towards him.
Mulder tugged the right key free and unlocked the car.
He gunned the engine and
was surprised to see Skinner jumping into the passenger
seat beside him.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Skinner
shouted pulling on his belt as
Mulder careened out of the garage and onto the street.
Mulder ignored him and focused on the traffic. Weaving
in and out of the cars
took more concentration than his mind was prepared to
“Mulder! You won’t get near this case. You’re too close.”
“Too close?” Mulder scoffed.
“She is going to be okay,” Skinner offered but Mulder
made no reaction.
“The area is surrounded with over fifty SWAT members.
They won’t be going far.”
Mulder reached over Skinner and grabbed the cell phone
out of the glove box. The
spare that Scully insisted he carry. Thanking God she
had forced him to keep one
in the car he dialed an old familiar number from
“It’s not the geography I’m worried about.” He pressed
harder on the accelerator
and sped through the streets, ignoring Skinner’s white
knuckled grip on the
dashboard as he waited for a reply.
“Frohike, I need you to get some info for me.”
“Mulder! Stranger! You missed the best session-”
“Frohike, listen!” Mulder’s urgency bit through the
“What is it?”
“Professor Michael Brown. Professor in psychology at
“What do you want on this guy?”
“Everything. I’ll call you in one hour.” As Mulder held the
phone away from his
face to press the end call button, he heard Frohike’s
At the apartment block he screeched to a halt and raced
through the throng of
onlookers to the perimeter. He flashed his badge at the
agent on duty, who lifted
the tape for him, allowing him to enter. Mulder found AD
Larkin immediately and
grabbed his shoulder, twisting him around.
“What the hell happened?” he shouted in Larkin’s face
before other agents pulled
“Agent Mulder!” Skinner came up behind him and
brushed the restraining agents
AD Larkin straightened his jacket and turned to face
“Get him out of here!” he said coolly and quietly, staring
Mulder straight in the
“I should have been here! You bastard!” Mulder went to
lunge for him again but
the grip of Skinner’s strong arms held him back and
turned him away. With the
aid of the burly AD, Mulder was forcibly removed from
the crime scene and back
towards his car.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” Skinner
barked, his fury plain in the
tone of his voice as he pushed Mulder against the door
of the car. Mulder didn’t
reply and concentrated only on his ragged breathing.
“Do you want to get fired?
Is that what you’re after?”
“I have to find her.” Mulder’s heartrending whisper cut
through Skinner’s anger
like a raw wind. “I should have been with her!”
“What the hell happened? Why weren’t you on the
raid?” Skinner asked looking
over his shoulder angrily, checking to make sure Larkin
was still across the road.
“AD Larkin,” Mulder bit out the name with contempt,
“sent me back to the Hoover
building to sort out the warrant.” He moved his feet,
shifting his weight from side
to side as he glared across at Larkin.
“Agent Mulder, I’ll deal with him. I want you to go
home. I want you away from
this crime scene and out of harm’s way while we deal
with this situation. Do I
make myself clear?”
“Sir-!” Mulder started to argue but the sting of
disappointment in Skinner’s eyes
crumbled his words to dust.
“I know what you’re thinking, Mulder, but you’ll only
make it worse. Get out of
here and I’ll call you with any new developments.”
Without offering him the
solace Mulder begrudgingly expected, Skinner turned
and walked away.
Mulder let his head fall back onto the roof of the car with
a soft thud. He closed
his eyes from the glare of the morning sky but her
image burned there tauntingly.
“Agent Mulder? You okay?”
Mulder looked up to see Detective Brice approaching
“Been better.” He straightened up away from the car
and pulled the drivers door
“She called me.” It took a moment for Brice’s words to
“She called me to get a medical team up to an
apartment. They found someone
who had been injured.”
“They?” Mulder asked realizing he was stuck in
“She was working with Agent Bryson.” Detective Brice
stepped closer and placed
his hands on the hood of the car as if he needed the
help to stand.
“She called for medical assistance. But when we got up
there she was gone.”
“Where was Bryson?”
“They found him dead. He had been stabbed through the
neck. Didn’t have a
“What?” Mulder urged. Could this get any worse?
“His uniform was gone. Brown had taken his uniform.”
“That must be how he got close enough to take her.”
Mulder muttered aloud, his
mind clicking into overdrive as he started to fit the
pieces together. Clues he
didn’t realize he had, corners he didn’t know he’d
turned. He reached into the car
and grabbed the cell again and hit the redial button.
Brice looked on in confusion
as Mulder got into the passenger seat and urged him to
jump in to the driver’s.
“Frohike, what have you got?” Mulder snapped on his
seatbelt and pointed west.
“Nothing. This guy is clean. He has an alert on his record
that was put on this
morning but I’m guessing that was why you were calling
“Yeah. You have nothing for me.”
“Nothing. He has been working at Georgetown
University for the past four years.
Exemplary record, had papers published and is
considered a brilliant mind in the
criminal psychologist field.”
“What papers?” Mulder asked and turned to Brice. “Go
to Georgetown University.”
“In 1998 he published ‘Criminal Serial Killers and the
Forces that guide them’,
‘The mind of the Sane Serial Killer’ in 2001, He goes off
the map then for a while
and emerges early last year attempting to publish
another paper entitled ‘Genetic
Killers’ in which he claimed loftily to have broken the
genetic code of the mass
“Jesus, how did he move from psychology to genetics?”
“Well, there was a four year gap.”
“Long enough to study genetic biology and break the
gene code?” Mulder said
“No. His paper was never published and he resumed his
position at the
“Seems he was doing more there than just teaching
“Mulder, I’ll keep looking but it doesn’t look too
“Okay Frohike. Let me know if you find anything.”
Mulder hung up the phone and slipped it into the inside
pocket on his jacket. He
rubbed his shoulders off the seat back and glanced at
“If he was an employee at the university of Georgetown
then why didn’t his finger
prints come up with a match for the ones we inserted
into the database?” Brice
asked suddenly, with his head cocked to the side and his
frown deep. “All
educational employees have background checks and
The question stumped Mulder, and he paused a moment
in thought before
snatching his phone again and quickly dialing a number.
“Gerry, it’s Fox Mulder,” he said as soon as he heard the
call clicking into place.
“What can I do for you?”
“The prints you ran for me? What level search did you
“A level four. All records including state and military as
far as security clearance
“Does the system check for prints if the record belongs
to a deceased criminal?”
Brice looked over at Mulder at his strange question but
quickly turned his eyes
back to the road.
“No. The system was designed to move all prints
belonging to the deceased to a
separate folder. It needs to be searched separately.”
“Will you run the prints again?” Mulder asked, his heart
lurching a beat with the
adrenaline boost that usually came with one of his
spooky leaps as it coursed
through his body. “Run all the prints we lifted from all
the scenes and check them
against the records we have dating back as far as
There was a an incredulous pause, a sigh and then…
“Okay, I’ll get it started
“Call me as soon as you find something…anything…no
“No matter how weird…I know, Mulder. You got it. I’ll
“What are you thinking?” Brice asked as he pulled the
car up outside the
university hall and looked over to Mulder.
“What if…what if the reason we didn’t find a match for
his prints was because his
prints kept changing.”
“Changing?” Brice looked over skeptically but followed
Mulder’s lead as he jumped
out of the car and over to the University Reception.
“With each crime scene we found a lot of prints, but
none of them linked the
separate scenes. The only thing that linked the bodies
were the quotes.”
Mulder stalled a moment to scan the board of directory.
He spotted the name
Prof. M. Brown and noted the room number. Racing
through the hall with Brice on
his heel, he hurried into an elevator and repeatedly
stabbed the button for the
third floor in his urgency.
“But fingerprints are…they are unchangeable, Mulder!
It’s not like you can
produce new ones. If anything, he had an accomplice.”
Mulder looked over to Brice and briefly thought of
explaining his theory, but
decided against it. When the elevator doors started to
open he rushed forwards,
exiting at the first opportunity. Brice raced after him,
but they both pulled up
short as they turned the corner and spotted the two
Agents on guard duty outside
“Agent Mulder,” one of them said as he approached. “We
were told to expect to
“Excuse me,” Mulder said as he sidestepped around him,
but the guard put a
hand on his chest.
“We have orders not to let you in here.”
“Sorry?” Mulder looked up.
“AD Larkin called and left orders.”
“You’ve got to be kidding?” Mulder’s anger flared as he
started to argue but the
Agent on duty looked away. “He is impeding this
“It is our understanding that you have been taken off
this case,” the larger Agent
“Taken off active duty even?” the other one added.
Brice chose that moment to step in and move Mulder
“I am still on this case. And I’m pretty damn sure the
bureau doesn’t want a
territory war with the local police department.”
“This is an active Federal bureau case. You have no
“Okay, I’ll call my department head and relay that
Agent…what’s your name?”
“Agent Rankson has actively stopped my investigation
citing local jurisdiction as
the reason.” Brice started to turn but the other Agents
swapped uneasy glances.
“Okay, we can let you in but not him.”
Brice looked over to Mulder, silently urging him not to
argue. He knew the local
Agents were well within their rights to deny him entry,
given their orders. The
door was opened for him and he entered, the larger of
the Agents on guard duty
followed him in and held the door wide open, conceding
Mulder the option of
Brice ran his eyes over the office and scanned the row
upon row of files and
“Has this room been processed yet?” he asked as he
snapped on a pair of latex
“No. CSU is on the way.”
“Brice, the PC,” Mulder called from the doorway. “Check
the latest files.”
The PC was in standby mode and took only seconds to
restart. The screen
flickered and on came the prompt for a password.
“It’s looking for a password,” he said as he searched the
desk for a trinket or
photo that might give him a clue to the password. But it
was clear of personal
items. No family pictures, no snow globes or memorable
charms from vacations,
just file after file of psychological research.
Brice was trying more possible words but to no avail
when Mulder called out.
“Plenary!” Brice looked up to Mulder who was pointing at
a leaflet on the notice
board across the window. Pinned to it was a small black
and gold lettered
invitation for Prof Brown to attend the annual Plenary
Award Ceremony in Ohio.
Brice hurriedly tapped it in and was surprised when the
screen flickered to a
Windows desktop. He scanned through the icons
displayed there but saw nothing
out of the ordinary. Through Windows Explorer he
accessed the recent documents
but again there was nothing of note that jumped out at
him. Recent emails to and
from other members of faculty gave no clues and the
recycle bin was empty.
“Nothing!” he called out to Mulder without looking back
to him. From the doorway
Mulder’s eyes scanned the room but there didn’t seem
to be anything out of the
ordinary. Filing cabinets lined the walls in an orderly
fashion. On the wall was
some strange artwork Mulder recognized but couldn’t
place. The large oak desk
was covered and neatly arranged with notes and folders.
“Did you check the trash can?” Mulder called out but
Brice shook his head. It was
empty. Brice leaned down in front of the desk and pulled
out the drawers.
Thrusting his hands into the jumble of stuff inside, he
quickly searched through
them all until he came to the bottom drawer.
“It’s locked,” he said before bracing himself and roughly
pulling on it. The drawer
flew open and in it rested a red folder. Brice yanked it
out and rested it on the
desk. On the spine of the folder in small concise letters
read “Psychology Thesis:
Inside the Mind of a Killer”
Mulder went to take a step in but the Agent guarding the
door held him back for a
moment. He hesitated, looking between Mulder and the
folder before removing
his hand from his chest and letting Mulder pass.
Brice opened the folder and flicked past the index to the
first page. Before him
was a list of names on a printed Excel sheet. After each
name were dates and
computer file names and through each line were
highlighted rule marks, crossing
each one out in turn.
All but one.
Dana Sully woke to the stale stench of car fumes. The
smell forced it’s way into
her airways making her cough. Her body screamed in
protest as the sudden jolt of
pain shot down from her temple. Holding as still as she
could, she closed her eyes
tight and slowed her panicked breathing. As she became
more aware of her
surroundings she realized she was in the trunk of a car.
Oh god, not again?
Judging from the bumps and way she was being tossed
about, she guessed they
were traveling at a high speed. Minimal light seeped in
through the gap left by
the missing left tail light but it wasn’t enough to see
much of anything. She felt
her hands bound tightly behind her back and her feet
had been taped together
with what she guessed was duct tape. She deliberately
pressed her back to the
floor of the trunk and felt her empty holster folding
against her spine.
Determined not to focus on the negative, she took a
deep breath and started to
worm her hands away from their bindings. She could
feel the thin twine rubbing
her skin raw but it was a pain she welcomed. At the
same time she blew hard on
the tape across her lips, wetting her lips and trying to
create a gap. Eventually
she managed to wet it enough to loosen the glue that
fastened it to her skin.
Trying to ignore the stale smell and the rough texture of
the trunk carpet, Scully
rubbed her face along it to try to catch the seam of the
It was loosening; she realized in delight and kept
Eventually the glue gave way and she managed to peel
a corner off. With her
mouth and tongue she loosened the rest and peeled it
away with her shoulder.
Determined now and with the victory of the tape
removal boosting her, she pulled
harder on the rope that held her hands in place.
Just then the car stopped.
She froze. A front car door opened and she could hear
footsteps across the soft
gravel to the rear of the car. Frantically she yanked on
her hands and pulled
harder. But it was no use the knots were too tight.
Please don’t let history repeat
itself… please, her mind railed in panic.
A key fumbled in the trunk lock. The sound of it clicking
open before the lid was
lifted and the bright sunlight burst in, blinding her. She
turned away from the
light and held her eyes closed.
“Well, well, you’ve been busy.” The voice was familiar.
“C’mon, out you go.”
With two strong hands hooked under her arms, he lifted
her out of the trunk and
rested her carefully on the ground below. Scully blinked
away the water in her
eyes as they became adjusted to the light. She noticed a
small red brick house
across the wide yard with a taller shed behind it.
It was a farm, she realized. Through squinted eyes, she
took in the plush green
land that rolled away behind the buildings and the lack
of other residences in the
“Up we go .” He lifted her up again, this time holding her
close to his body, one
arm behind her back and supporting her head as the
other lifted the crook of her
knees, as if wanting to protect her more then harm her.
It was then she
recognized the uniform he was wearing. The black SWAT
combat trousers with
heavy combat boots, a black tee shirt and bullet-proof
vest. Across the name tag
over the Velcro fastening was the name Bryson.
“Who are you?” Her voice sounded dry and scratchy as
he carried her across the
stone yard towards the small house. “What did you do to
“Who am I?” he laughed, a deep smoky laugh.
“Professor Michael Brown. And
“You still have a chance to get out of this,” she said
ignoring his question.
“Get out of this? And ruin all my hard work?” With his
elbow extended he pressed
it against the front door and pushed it open.
Inside the house was a large living room. It seemed to
be the only room in the
house Scully noted, as she spied the fold up bed packed
in beside the fireplace.
Another wall was lined with kitchen cabinets, a fridge
and a sink, and then next to
the front door was a small table with two seats.
Gently and with the utmost care, Michael laid Scully
down on the rug in front of
“What are you doing?” Scully struggled to sit up but he
leaned over and pushed
her back down again, her back against the floor. He held
her shoulders down for
“I just have one more chapter to write.” His eyes
flickered with something
incomprehensible when he spoke, as though it was the
most everyday thing.
Perfect conviction in his words. He opened one of the
kitchen cabinets and pulled
out a small laptop. He booted it up and set it on the
table by the window.
“Final chapter. Law Enforcement…or rather the
resistance thereof.” He seemed
oblivious to her presence for a moment as he booted his
PC and accessed the
“You’re writing a book?” Scully asked, trying to recall
her hostage negotiation
rules. Number One, gain his trust…or just keep him busy
so he doesn’t kill me,
“A book?” He laughed again, this time it was harsh. “No,
books are for people who
can’t think. This is a thesis.”
Scully saw the gleam in his eye, heard the pride in his
voice as he conversed
about it, and knew that he would need no more
prompting to reveal more. She
“Inside the Mind of a Killer. The intellectually perfect
paper. My paper. It’s going
to be so pertinent as a resource to understanding the
criminal mind. From child to
sexual predator, to cannibalistic killing, the final
fascinating chapter is the
confrontation with law enforcement.”
“So instead of researching the material you decided to
act it out? Study your own
reactions thus knowing precisely the mind of a killer?”
“Very good. It’ll be a benchmark of publication for
everything that follows.”
Michael tapped a few more keys on his laptop then
checked the progress and
turned to face her. “Did you ever hear of the name
Mathew Nicholson?” he asked
her almost nonchalantly.
“No.” she concentrated on worming her wrists out of the
knots as best she could
without drawing his attention.
“Mathew Nicholson was the son of a local Sheriff back in
the 1800’s. He grew up
in this very house. His father was as corrupt as they
come, taking bribes, framing
people for murder, and generally causing more trouble
than the criminals
themselves.” Michael stood up and went over to the
kitchen sink where he poured
out a glass of water for himself. Retaking his seat back
at the table he continued
“So Mathew grew up in this environment where it was
okay to hurt people, kill
them even to get what you want. Can you imagine what
that does to a kid?”
He paused as if waiting for a reply but Scully offered him
“He first killed when he was twelve. It was a deputy
from his father’s own
precinct. The story goes that the boy caught the deputy
stealing from his father
and tried to blackmail him. When the deputy dismissed
the boy’s attempt he was
stabbed fifteen times in the stomach His throat was
slashed and his fingers were
Scully’s eyes widened and she stared back at Michael.
Her hands stopped their
wriggling as she focused on his words, realizing
suddenly this was a prophecy of
what was about to happen to her.
“At twelve he commits murder. Knowingly and willingly
taking another person’s
life. It didn’t end there. He moved through the sheriff’s
office killing anyone who
dared defy him, and by the time he was sixteen he had
slaughtered the other
Michael approached Scully and lifted her head.
Supporting her at the neck he let
her sip from the glass he had filled from a tap on the
sink, letting take her fill of
water, before gently replacing her head onto the rug.
“It was on a stormy night in June that he committed his
last and most heinous
crime.” He stood up over her and looked down. The
dimming daylight casting
threatening shadows onto his face, while his voice
washed over her with a lilting
yet confident tone. “While his father slept, he crept into
his room,” Michael said
lowering his voice to a whisper, moving over her. Slowly
he came down to her
face level and knelt over her.
“He stood over the bed and doused a cloth with ether.
Holding it over his father’s
mouth he waited for it to take effect. Then with a small
knife he sliced his father’s
belly open.” Michael dragged the top of his fingers
across her stomach mimicking
the slicing motion, making her flinch, both from his
touch and his fetid breath.
“Next he attacked the legs, sawing them off from just
below the knee, the arms
were severed from above the elbow. He bound the
wounds so the bleeding was
slowed but left his father’s belly open. Then he waited
for the ether to wear off.
He sat by his father’s bed and watched as he came to.”
Scully gasped in horror at the image he created as his
fingers touched her elbows
and knees. Lifting her shirt out of her pants, he exposed
her belly and ran his flat
palm across her trembling skin.
“Still suffering from the effects of the ether and no doubt
the loss of blood his
father didn’t realize what had happened. As he came to,
there was a knock at the
door. The story goes that Mathew stood to slash his
father’s throat but before he
could finish the job, one of the Sheriff’s deputies walked
in, saw what had
happened and shot Mathew before he could kill his
Michael paused; his breathing was ragged and labored
as he spoke this time,
breaking his words as he panted. He sat back on his
heels and let his hand linger
on her exposed belly. His eyes watched the play of his
fingers moving across her
pale soft skin. He seemed to be elsewhere, his mind was
scattered and his eyes
Scully lay on her back still, trying to keep her breath
from stuttering with fear.
She summoned up all her control; knowing she would
need that. Her eyes facing
the ceiling, her mind raced through the possibilities of
getting out of there alive.
Without her noticing it, the room had darkened
considerably as low-level storm
clouds blocked the sun. A cool breeze wafted in through
the open window. She
watched as he stood to close it, and then stepped over
her as if she were a
sleeping dog to light the fire.
Michael left the lights off, preferring the eerie light from
the flickering flames. It
would be a strong storm like this that could kill his
remote connection to the PC at
his office, so he watched the progress bar on the screen,
willing it to complete the
download of his unfinished paper to his laptop.
Scully wormed her body back away from the fire and
closer to the table, small
movements that he didn’t appear to notice. From her
vantage point on the floor
she could see the screen. Guessing what would happen
when he was finished
working on his laptop she was dismayed to see it
crawling past 90%.
Closing her eyes for a moment, she slowed down her
breathing and tried to calm
her racing mind. When she opened them he was
standing over her, watching her
with a soft expression on his face. She flinched as he
bent lower and knelt beside
“Don’t be afraid,” he hushed, speaking softly as he
reached over to brush her hair
out of her face. Looking up to his features, Scully
watched in horror as his skin
rippled and changed before her eyes.
His cheeks tightened and became gaunt and his hairline
receded back at the top
of his forehead creating a widows peak of hair in the
middle, shortening and
turning a bright blonde color. Scully shut her eyes
tightly, hoping the
hallucination would disappear when she opened them
but instead it had settled.
His eyes were a dark rich blue now instead of brown.
She stared back into the
face of a teenager.
After reading the name Mathew Nicholson on the file,
Mulder called Frohike and
asked him to do an immediate search for an address.
Frohike came up with
nothing and for twenty agonizing minutes they waited.
Finally when it rang, Mulder pounced on his cell phone.
Frohike spelled out an
address that Mulder didn’t recognise but Detective Brice
Brice raced out to the car and jumped in. Without
checking to see if Mulder had
joined him, he shoved the gear into drive and took off
through the university
campus at breakneck speed. Luckily, Mulder had
anticipated his dash and had
made it into the car in time. Thanking Frohike, he pulled
his belt on and glanced
over at Brice who was pulling frantically at the police
band CB receiver.
“10-17 This is Detective Brice Car 4-2-3-Bravo-Delta on
route to Front Royal. I
need immediate backup. Repeat immediate back up.
“This is Precinct 42. What seems to be the situation?
“I am in pursuit of a Murder suspect who we believe to
be at Whitmore Farm in
Front Royal. Over.”
“Okay sir, we’ll get them out there ASAP. ETA 14
“10-4. Over and out.” Brice tossed the CB radio back
towards the console, not
caring if it sat in place or not. It was then that Mulder’s
phone cut through the
silence, making him jump.
“Mulder,” he barked immediately without looking at the
“Agent Mulder,” It was Skinner. “Where are you?”
“Sir, I was just about to call you. We know where he is.
We know where he’s
“You have an address?”
“A place called Whitmore farm. It’s in Front Royal.”
“Okay, I’ll get a team out there.” Skinner pushed on
with the next question
Mulder was dreading. “Where are you?”
“We are about 4 miles east of Front Royal. 2 minutes
away from the farm.”
“Jesus Mulder!” He heard Skinner cursing under his
breath. “You are trying to get
fired! If AD Larkin knew you were-”
“If AD Larkin let me do my job in the first place and
watch my partner’s back I
wouldn’t be in this situation!” Mulder countered and
Skinner had no argument. He
knew Mulder had been treated unfairly but a direct order
from an Assistant
Director wasn’t something any Agent should dismiss.
“Sir, he has her and he is
going to kill her if we don’t stop him. We need
immediate back up out here.”
“I know, Mulder,” Skinner’s voice softened for a moment
then all of a sudden he
was back to all business and harsh commands. “I’ll have
the SWAT chopper there
ASAP. Don’t go in and don’t attempt to engage the
suspect. Wait on the
boundaries of the land for the tactical support to get
there. Hear me?”
“I mean it, Mulder.”
As Mulder ended the call and quickly replayed the info to
Brice, his phone trilled
again, coming to life in his hand as it rang loudly.
“Agent Mulder, it’s Gerry in forensics.”
“You found something,” Mulder prompted.
“Yes. I found a match for four sets of prints.” Gerry
spoke lowly as if afraid he
might be overheard.
“One match for four sets?”
“No…four matches.” Gerry coughed nervously. “Four
matches, one from each
“The first scene we uncovered was at the apartments on
the southeast. Those
prints aligned perfectly…100% perfectly,” he repeated
for emphasis. ” And get
this… to a set that was taken from Albert De Salvo in
Mulder let the words hang between them, not wanting to
interrupt he urged Gerry
to continue silently.
“The second set was lifted off of the rope that bound the
body parts at Whitley
House. They matched up to prints taken from Albert Fish
“And the third?”
“This will blow your socks off, the third we lifted off the
inside of the victims car.”
“Ted Bundy?” Mulder guessed, the sinking feeling in his
stomach churning up a
“And the fourth?”
“None other than John Reginald Christie. Arrested in
“Okay, thanks Gerry.”
He turned to Brice and thought of explaining his theory;
his thoughts on how
Michael Brown had escaped capture for so long, but it
seemed fruitless now and
precious time was running out. It didn’t matter how he
had done it or who might
believe him. All that mattered now was finding him and
finding Scully. Before she
became his next victim of design.
At the farm border, Detective Brice killed the siren and
pulled the car to a slow
stop off to the side of the road. The small dirt road was
lined with shoulder high
embankments and a trail of long rye grass ran down the
center of it.
From the trunk Brice pulled out two rifles, tossing one to
Mulder and a pair of
binoculars, plus a box of rounds. He lifted the trunk
carpet to reveal a second
compartment that housed the bullet-proof vests. He
slipped his on easily then
passed a second to Mulder. Checking his equipment and
running a quick glance
over Mulder’s, Brice walked halfway up the embankment
and peered through the
“I see the farm.” He passed the binoculars to Mulder
who came up alongside him
“See the car?”
“Ford Mustang. Classic American wheels. It’s his car.
Lets get a closer look.”
“Aren’t we supposed to wait?” Brice followed Mulder who
scrambled over the
embankment and crouched low as he ran through the
scattering of trees to follow
the taller agent.
“I’m not waiting for him to kill her.” Mulder hissed, his
Scully closed her eyes and tried desperately to close her
lungs. But it was no use.
Her instinct to survive overpowered her better instincts
not to breathe.
Michael crouched over her, his feet planted on either
side of her head as he
watched her squirm. The rag he had doused with ether
was pressed carefully
against her mouth, covering her nose as well. At first
she struggled, but with his
restraining hand on her shoulder he held her in place
and waited for the ether to
Her lungs burned with the need for oxygen and she had
to give in. Slowly she
took in a shallow breath, inhaling the bare minimum but
as the sweet smell of the
toxin washed over her, the muscles she was controlling
so strictly suddenly
relaxed, leaving her airways wide open. The ether swam
through her nasal
pathway and saturated her lungs. As she began to lose
mentally prepared herself for the effect of the ether.
“(CH3CH2)2O,” she murmured. “Molar mass: 74.12
g/mole; Boiling point: 34.5
degrees Celsius…sweet vitriol.”
Michael watched in awe as she fought the strength of
the ether until she finally
succumbed to the gas and passed out. He checked his
watch and knew he didn’t
have much time. Tossing the doused rag aside, he sat
her up and removed the
twine that bound her hands. Seeing the raw bleeding
skin where she had tried to
squirm free, he felt a pang of regret for her discomfort
but it quickly dissipated as
his excitement grew.
Mulder pressed his back to the front wheel of the
Mustang and took a few deep-
steadying breaths. The rifle felt cumbersome and heavy
in his hands compared to
the sig saur he was used to, and the vest was stiff
against his ribs. Silently he
cursed Larkin again for his ill made order to remove him
from this case.
Something he planned to address officially or unofficially
depending on the
Brice arrived beside him and peered over the hood of
the car. The house looked
empty but the tell tale smoke that rose from the
chimneystack clued them
Silently, Mulder signaled for Brice to wait where he was
and he braced himself on
the loose gravel as he ran stealthily towards the house.
Brice waited for the signal
then raced over to another window. Crouched below the
sill they both took deep
breaths before peering in.
Michael slowly removed the tape from her ankles and
laid her limp legs back onto
the floor. He had removed her blouse and vest and had
angled her arms out from
her body. After tossing the balled up tie aside he gently
removed her shoes and
reached up to undo her pants.
Her small figure yielded easily under his strong hands as
he lifted her hips to pull
away her pants.
Mulder took a deep breath and slowly moved over the
sill to peer inside. The
room was dark, but by the flickering light of the fire he
could make out the dark
shadows in the center of the floor. Scully’s almost
naked, unconscious form was
sprawled out while Brown stood over her carefully
folding her clothes.
The serial killer turned away from Scully to place her
folded clothes onto the table
but out of the corner of his eye he caught the movement
by the sill.
Surreptitiously, he slid a gun out of his jacket that hung
on the chair in front of
him, and turned his back to the window. Hiding the gun
from prying eyes, he
cocked it and braced himself.
It was too early for interruption, he wasn’t quite ready.
He clamped his teeth
down on his lower lip and spun around just as Mulder
peered over the sill again.
Michael squeezed the trigger and the shot rang out
loudly in the small confined
With a yell Mulder fell back and Brice jumped up. He
swung his rifle into position
and aimed it through the small window. But Michael was
too quick. His gun was
already aimed and the trigger already pulled.
Brice jerked back as if he were on a wire and lay
motionless on the gravel. The
storm clouds that had been threatening to break all day
shuddered in the sky and
shattered what was left of the cool evening. Rain fell
harsh and sudden, washing
rivulets of blood across the gravel where the fallen man
Creeping over by the window Michael clutched his gun to
his side, ready to shoot
again. The sky had darkened enough to block his view
but he could still make out
the fallen figure of a cop. Looking left and right for the
other figure Michael was
surprised to see nothing.
Quickly, he backed away from the window. Crouching
lower, he bent beside
Scully’s still body and glanced at her, as if checking that
she was still there.
Outside in the pounding rain, Mulder secured his hand
over the small bullet hole
that pierced the skin over his left shoulder. It caught his
flesh and ripped straight
through the muscle and out the other side. Shit
Brice…Cop killer bullets, his mind
twisted as the pain almost floored him. He could feel
tricking blood elsewhere
lower down on his chest. No time to think about his own
well-being. He just
hoped his blood and breath would hold out long enough
for him to save Scully.
He ripped of the sleeve of his shirt and balled up the thin
cloth to press it harder
and against the other hole he could feel just above his
sternum. Somehow how
he had managed to roll away from the house and
flattened his body against the
wall around the corner.
Peering around he watched Brice lying still in the
pounding rain. He willed himself
to move and blinked past the heavy drops that hit his
face. In the distance, he
could barely make out the sounds of choppers
approaching over the roar of blood
in his ears and his labored breathing.
Not close enough, he murmured, his chest heaving.
Mulder dropped the rifle and pulled his own FBI issue
gun from its holster.
Michael rubbed his sweaty forehead with the sleeve of
his shirt and fumbled
through the kitchen. For the first time since he had
started his plan, he felt like he
was losing control. So many conflicting thoughts raced
through his mind but he
resisted the urge to lunge for his laptop to record them
Finally his fingers curled around the edge of the knife he
was searching for. With
razor sharp serrated edges the stainless steel blade was
perfect. He pressed his
fingers to his captive’s carotid pulse. It was a slow but
strong pulse, just as he
Crawling on his knees away from her head and along her
body, he carefully lined
the knife up against her leg. Bracing the left limb with
one hand, Michael rested
the serrated edge of the blade against her skin, and
drew it back, slicing it open.
Mulder crept along the outside wall, pressing his back to
the jagged bricks.
Ignoring the pain in his shoulder, he tightened his grip
on the gun and crouched
by the door. Noticing it wasn’t locked by the way it
rattled in the stiff wind, he
slowly pushed it open, wincing at the creak it made.
Pausing for a moment,
Mulder took a breath to holdback the searing pain that
ripped through his
shoulder and carefully peered around he edge of the
And found himself looking into the barrel of a gun.
“C’mon in.” Michael stepped back to give Mulder the
room he needed to crawl
further into the room. “You’re a little early but that’s
Nudging him with the gun Michael urged Mulder across
the room towards the
table that sat in the corner by the window. On the floor
Mulder saw the blood
pouring freely from the open wound that sliced across
his partner’s shin just
below her kneecap. He felt sick to the core. He wanted
to run over to her, cover
her up, take her so far away, but the persistent gun that
prodded his wounded
shoulder told him otherwise.
“What are you doing to her?” Mulder asked through
gritted teeth, the sting in his
shoulder racing down his arm and across his back,
sending shots of electric pain
to his skull.
“Get comfortable, and watch.”
Thoughtless of his wound Michael bound Mulder’s arms
around the leg of the
table. He smiled at the Agent’s discomfort and made his
way back to Scully’s side,
setting the gun down he grabbed the knife off the rug.
“Wait! No!” Mulder called as he saw Michael grab the
knife again and brace
Scully’s leg. “Don’t!”
He watched as Scully’s head fell to the side and her lips
parted. She took in a
slow breath and released it. With a soft barely audible
moan she moved her head
“Sorry, you’re not part of this script,” Michael said
without looking up. “You don’t
get to interfere.”
He took a tighter hold of her leg and realigned the knife
to match up with the
slice he had already made.
“You fucking son of a bitch!” Mulder pushed his shoulder
against the underside of
the table and lifted it off the ground before throwing
himself towards Michael. The
table flew up and Mulder managed to loop his hands
under the leg. With his
wrists free but still bound he charged at him, trying to
dodge the knife that was
now aimed at his heart.
Michael turned to face Mulder’s charge and braced
himself on the ground before
lunging up, swinging the long blade in his wake. With a
guttural roar he slammed
his fist into Mulder’s shoulder and followed it through
with his other hand to stab
the furious agent in his side, but Mulder jerked away
from the knife, causing it to
only graze his skin painfully.
Mulder’s bound wrists smashed into the side of Michael’s
face causing it to
shimmer and change. Mulder stared at his hair as a
streak of it, about an inch
wide, turned brown from his forehead to the nape of his
neck. His cheeks rippled
as if facing a strong wind.
Michael smiled at Mulder’s shocked expression and drew
the knife back to stab
The thudding sound of the chopper blades cut through
the howling wind.
Mulder lifted his arms to block the knife but Michael was
too quick. The knife
slipped into his left side, slicing through skin and muscle
as if it was butter.
“AARRGGHH!” Mulder yelled out in pain, throwing his
head back, he gnashed his
teeth together and felt his head swimming. His eyes
rolled back into his head and
he fell limply onto the floor.
Michael stood back, panting and weary. He looked over
to Scully who was
becoming more and more lucid. She moaned as her
head moved. Her eyes
blinked rapidly, shaking off the effects of the ether, she
tried to lift her head but
found it too heavy.
The killer rushed over and slammed her head back
against the floor, stunning her
for a moment. He turned back to her knee grabbing it
roughly this time. His blood
curdled and boiled though his body as the need for
Scully moaned in protest as he straddled her feet,
holding her still while he
groped for the knife that lay just out of his reach. Scully
watched in horror, his
fingers touching the blade but unable to grab it. She
found her body heavy and
unresponsive to the fighting urges she had. Even her
throat was constricted and
“Stop moving!” Michael yelled out, his anger inflaming
as she tried to squirm out
from under him. Her fingers scraped the carpet, inching
ever closer to the knife.
Behind him she could see Mulder lying still and lifeless
on the floor, a pool of
blood seeping out ominously wider and wider beneath
Seeping is good, Scully thought groggily, seeping means
his heart is still
The sound of the helicopter was louder than the wind
and the windows rattled
harder than before. Outside the leaves danced heartily,
pattering against the
windows in a swirl of dust and pebbles.
Scully felt stronger now as her hand moved up from her
side, slowly, as if through
water. She grabbed the front of her assailant’s shirt and
tried to push him away.
But it was no use.
The heavy sound of footsteps raced across the pebbles
outside and Michael felt
his plan falling apart before his eyes.
“NOOOOOO!” he yelled out, slamming his fist down into
Scully’s face with
desperate fury and lunging once more for the knife. His
fingers finally curled
around it as the door flew open. Ignoring the men that
poured in behind him,
Michael grabbed the knife with both hands and raised it
up high up above his
head, aiming for the center of Scully’s chest.
She stared up in horror as his face shimmered again; his
cheeks rippling as if
they were alive, his features changed and his face took
on a whole different
identity. The faces of five different men stared back at
her. It swirled and rippled
like a lake in winter and Michael felt a burst of energy
that exploded in his chest
and he started to laugh, a manic uncontrolled laugh that
tore into her ears.
“Put down the weapon!”
The two SWAT members that charged into the room
simultaneously, but Michael ignored them all. Without a
glance back, a roar
erupted out from the pit of his stomach as he swung the
knife down in a smooth
Scully’s eyes watched the knife fly towards her, the
blade glinting in the firelight
but before it could pierce her chest the gunshots rang
out. One bullet hit Brown in
the upper chest and the other cut through his shoulder,
embedding itself in the
plaster wall over the fireplace. The force of the bullets
impacted the trajectory of
the blade, which clattered harmlessly to the ground from
the now dead hand of
Michael fell limply over her body his blood pouring freely
over her chest, but with
no strength left to move him Scully had to wait for the
SWAT members to remove
his dead weight him.
As they eased him off her and placed him carefully onto
the rug beside her, Scully
shakily sat up and grabbed her blouse from the chair.
With trembling fingers and
a pounding headache Scully managed to crawl over to
where Mulder’s lifeless
“Get an EMT over here now!” she yelled but was unsure
of how loud her voice
was, it seemed thunderous in her head.
She ripped open his shirt and fumbled her shaky hands
down his side to the
massive stab wound. Without the right equipment Scully
needed to improvise.
She pressed her ear to his right side of his chest and
listened to the shallow
sounds of his lung inflating. But when she pressed it to
his left side there was
Holding her own breath, she listened again but still,
Just then the EMT’s arrived. Scully scrambled to her
feet, oblivious to her state of
undress and explained to them how he’d been injured.
Trying to stand, she felt
light-headed and tired, but before it could wash over her
fully a strong pair of
arms encased her shoulders. As the darkness swam over
her, engulfing her mind
she looked up into Skinner’s concerned face.
Howard University Hospital
Walter Skinner stood at the hospital desk waiting for the
nurse to turn to him.
She had steadfastly ignored him and his badge for the
past ten minutes and he
was quickly running out of patience.
He turned on his heel surprised at the casual use of his
name, even more so when
he spotted AD Larkin marching up to him.
“Your report?” Larkin demanded crisply.
“Sorry?” Skinner’s face started to turn red as his eyes
narrowed and he turned to
face Larkin full on, annoyance radiating from every pore.
“As agent in charge of the raid on Whitmore Farm, I will
be expecting your
“My report,” Skinner said with barely controlled anger,
“will be sent in when all
aspects of the raid have been cleared up and I’ve done a
little side investigation
of my own.”
“Now we have a dead suspect-”
“A dead suspect?” Skinner roared cutting into Larkin’s
tirade. “You wouldn’t even
be near him if it wasn’t for Detective Brice and Agent
“And I don’t want this case to roll over because a few
people delayed reports,”
Larkin continued as if Skinner had never spoken.
“Listen to me, Larkin,” Skinner took a step closer to him
and lowered his head. “I
know exactly how you treated Agent Mulder on this
case, I know how you abused
“I did no such thing!”
“-to satisfy your own personal vendetta. Now because of
Agent Mulder, I have a
good Agent recovering instead of lying dead on a slab in
the morgue!” Skinner’s
low growl grew in intensity as he spoke and his face
Larkin stammered for a moment, knowing he was
beaten, he opened his mouth to
say something but clamped it closed instead.
“So I am about to go and check on their well-being but
first I want you the hell
out of here. The case is yours, the claim is yours. Take
it.” Skinner turned his
back on Larkin and slammed his badge onto the
The nurse who had watched the altercation with interest
looked up at him,
“What can I do for you sir?”
“The room for Dana Scully please, and be quick about
Scully woke slowly and naturally curled over onto her
side, her arm groping for
Mulder’s familiar warmth. But instead a sharp sting in
her leg that shot across her
shin woke her suddenly, fully. It was then she became
aware of the overly
starched sheets and pillows, the medicinal smell that
permeated the air and the
small friendly nurse that stood at the end of her bed.
“Good morning Ms. Scully,” the nurse reassured, smiling
wider as she approached
the head of the bed, Scully’s chart in her hand. “How are
you feeling today?”
“Today?” Scully almost squeaked as she looked around,
finding the window with
the slowly rising sun creeping over the buildings outside.
“Mulder! Oh my god,
how’s Mulder!” she cried suddenly, pulling the
bedclothes off her legs to get out.
“Careful now!” the nurse admonished her, grabbing her
and pulling her back onto
They looked up to see AD Skinner standing at the door.
He let it close softly
behind him as Scully was pushed back against the
pillows and covered with
bedclothes gruffly by the nurse, who was no longer
“Sir?” Scully asked trying to sit up but the nurse was
firm. “How is he?”
“He seems to be doing fine now. It was touch and go for
a while. Got hit by cop
killer bullet in the shoulder, knife wound in the chest.
He must have hard bones;
his sternum stopped the deadly path of the knife but it
glanced off and punctured
a lung. Still, how it never killed him I don’t know.
“I want to see him.”
Scully brushed the nurse’s busy hands away and sat up.
With a little effort she
threw the sheets off her legs and swung them over the
side of the bed. It was
then she noticed the thick bandage over her left knee
and halfway down her shin.
“What happened?” Gingerly she reached out and
prodded the bandage, feeling
the tingling sting across her leg.
“You don’t remember?” Skinner asked tentatively
glancing at the nurse who
quietly left the room to get the doctor.
“No sir, it’s all a bit blurry.” She looked up and waited
for him to fill her in on the
“Your leg was…cut. Some ligament damage but nothing
major. Doc says you’re to
stay off it for a couple of weeks.”
“And Mulder?” She reached out for the crutches that
rested against the wall
behind him. Skinner passed them to her and watched as
she slid off the bed,
resting her weight on the two cumbersome sticks.
“He lost a lot of blood in addition to the damage to his
lung. He was more than
lucky. I’d say he used up another of his nine lives.”
Skinner walked alongside her
slowly, surprised at how agile she was on the crutches.
They made their way through the halls into the surgical
Skinner led the way to a private room near the end of
the hallway. Falling heavily
into a chair, tired and weary, Scully rested the crutches
onto the ground at her
feet and reached over to take Mulder’s hand. Here they
were again. She fought
back the tears that suddenly threatened. He looked so
Skinner watched the silent exchange with a sinking
heart. It was all too often he
found himself in this position, with either or even both of
his agents too close to
death’s door. He watched as Scully’s delicate fingers
brushed Mulder’s limp hand
but Mulder made no response. She limped to the end of
the bed and picked up
his chart to study his medications.
“What happened with Brown?” she asked wearily without
looking up from Mulder’s
sleeping figure as she replaced the chart in its holder.
Skinner hesitated. “He was brought to the ER. He
sustained two gunshot wounds,
one of which perforated the aorta.”
“He’s dead.” Her voice was flat.
“Yes. It was called several hours ago.”
“His face…what about his face?” she asked closing her
eyes at the sight of his
“Sorry?” Skinner stepped closer.
“His face was…different. It moved.” She spoke slowly,
afraid to air her thoughts
without the opportunity to review them, to filter them
into a report she could
“I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean. A folder from
his office implicates him in
every single murder including two we hadn’t uncovered
Scully, tired of standing, weary from the effort, closed
her eyes and shook her
head. She felt Skinner’s heavy hand on her shoulder and
the gentle squeeze of
reassurance he offered her.
“Get some rest Dana,” he said and when she had
opened her eyes he was gone.
Claiming her seat by his bed Scully took her lover’s hand
again and watched his
bandaged chest rise and fall with the slow careful
movements of sleep.
“We’re here again, Mulder.” She glanced around his
body at the heart monitor,
the tubes and EKG pads that snaked their way out from
under his dressings, and
the nasal oxygen cannula that circled his face.
“Sometimes I think you just fake
these injuries so you can get some time off.”
Scully wiped the rogue tears that stained her pale face
with the back of her hand
and squeezed his hand again. She stilled and held her
breath when his fingers
With a gasp she turned her watery gaze up to his face
and watched as his eyes
flickered open. With a groan of pain as she leant too
hard on her leg, Scully stood
up from the chair and leaned down closer to his head.
“Mulder?” she cooed softly, brushing his hair with shaky
fingers. His eyes were
closed again but she could see them moving beneath
the lids. “Hey.”
“Scully?” his voice croaked out into the room, silent
except for the beeping of the
“I’m here,” she said as the moved her head into his line
of sight. “Hey.”
“Are you okay…your leg,” he whispered, panting and
“Shhh Mulder, I’m okay. Just a scratch,” she said with a
smile, wiping more tears
“Brown?” he croaked, trying to ignore the crushing pain
as he spoke.
“He’s dead,” she said simply, no sign of sorrow or regret
tingeing her voice.
“His face Scully…did you see his face?” Mulder implored
sending himself into a fit
Which one? Scully thought silently but said nothing. At
her silence Mulder turned
his head slightly to face her.
“You did see it, didn’t you?” he coughed again, the heart
monitor flaring in alarm
as Scully shushed him. She reached over his head and
pressed the call button for
“Mulder, calm down, it’s okay. I’m here and I’m not
leaving. You sleep. Heal.” She
pressed his shoulder back as he tried to sit up.
The door swung open and the room filled with two
nurses and the on call doctor
rushed in. One nurse gently led Scully over to the chair
and then joined the
others at Mulder’s bedside. They thoroughly checked his
wounds and vitals and
asked him loads of questions before becoming satisfied
with his condition. The
nurses’ left and the doctor smiled over at Scully.
“You’ll be fine Mr. Mulder. You just need plenty of rest
and some TLC from this
nice partner of yours.” He winked at him and walked
back to the door and stood
there for a moment. “No water just yet, I’ll send in some
ice chips for you.”
“Okay,” Scully said with a smile when she caught
Mulder’s face as he let his
tongue loll out over his lip.
“Yummy, Ice chips. My favorite.” Mulder quipped when
the doctor had left, then
added “You saw, didn’t you?”
“Saw what?” she asked non- committally.
“Oh c’mon Scully, I saw it too. His fingers prints, we ran
them against the old
database …..and came up with four matches.”
“Four matches?” Scully said confused.
“The folder we found in the office, it details everything
that he used to feel during
the murder…including the invigorating rush he felt as his
face changed.” Mulder
coughed again and Scully rested a hand on his chest as
she waited with him for
the painful spasms to pass.
“Mulder, shush,” she soothed. “He dead. And there
won’t be an autopsy.”
“Then we’ll make them authorize one! Contact Skinner!”
“But there is enough evidence-”
“Forget about the evidence Scully! What about the
truth?” he coughed again and
sat up slightly but the pain was too much, pushing him
back down onto the soft
bed. “What about finding out how he manipulated his
own fingerprints, his own
skin, and changed his hair color at will!”
“Mulder, it’s over. Relax,” she pacified him but her
gentle words only riled him
further. “There was a mix up at the morgue. The body
was cremated.” She
knew that would only upset him and she was correct.
“No, Scully, it can’t be.” He urged her with his eyes, the
only part of him that
“It is over, Mulder. It has to be,” she said more sternly
than she expected then
added with a whisper, “Besides, I couldn’t look at his
Mulder looked over to her wet face and tear filled eyes.
For the first time since he
woke up in the sterile room he noticed the blue green
hue that tainted her pale
skin. The bruised swollen side of her cheek was raw and
Gently he reached up and cupped her cheek. With his
thumb under her chin, he
turned her to face him fully and looked deeply into her
sad distant eyes.
“Hey,” he said softly, urging her closer. “Hey, look at
me.” Her eyes fluttered open
and she bit back a sob. “Come here.”
Mulder opened his arms and pulled her into a tight
embrace. Carefully but with a
jolt of pain through his chest, he managed to shift over
onto the bed, making
room for her to climb up beside him. Curled up by his
side, she let go of the fear.
Her arm draped over his chest and gripped his shoulder
and he held her close and
kissed her hair.
“It’s over now. I love you,” he whispered, his lips
tickling her skin as he spoke
against her forehead. “Now it’s over.
And she whispered, “Love you too.”
June 2005. ©
Mortuus Iterum by Skinfull