The Mindhunter

Title: The Mindhunter

Author: Vickie Moseley

Summary: Medium/The X-Files crossover. The Phoenix area

District Attorney’s resident psychic, Alison Dubois, is about to

make the acquaintance of the FBI’s top profiler and his enigmatic

partner. None of them will ever be the same.

Category: crossover, X

Rating: good for all

Disclaimer: (Crossovers make these things so complicated).

Thanks to Kelsey Grammar, also known as Dr. Frasier Crane for

Alison Dubois and her family and co-workers. Thanks to Chris

Carter for Mulder and Scully and seven wonderful years plus some

episodes later. Thanks to me for putting them all together, stirring

gently for five minutes and ‘voila’! No copyright infringement

intended in any case.

Written for the Virtual Season 13 Crossover Special.

Archive: Two weeks exclusive on VS 13 and then everywhere

Dedication kisses to: Martin, who bugged the bejeebees out of me

until I finally in desperation got this baby written — back at ya, big

guy! Lisa, who did such wonderful artwork and made me go back

and fix the ending. Donnaj, Randi, Sally, T (and baby Erin) and all

the VS producers and writers and artists and betas old and new

who have kept the dream alive.

Comments: vickiemoseley1978@yahoo.com

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The Mindhunter

Dubois Household

February 27, 2006

1 am

The television screen is dark, then suddenly springs to life.

“Tonight . . on the Mindhunter,” a deep throated voiceover booms

through the speakers. “The FBI’s top Profiler comes face to face

with the one man who could break his near perfect case-solved

ratio . . . maybe forever — ”

A series of pictures flash across the screen.

A man in very nice charcoal suit, his dark hair shining in the sun.

A petite woman with red hair looking up at him and smiling.

A close up of a satellite dish and a television set.

A body bag lying in an alley, partially unzipped.

Flashings zooming in to reveal different faces — Devalos, Scanlon,

Alison.

Now in motion, the screen shows a hand zipping closed the body

bag, camera honing in on the face of the body —

Joe Dubois.

She bolted up so fast, she shook the bed. Breathless, she gasped

for air. Slowly coming back to her surroundings, Alison Dubois

looked over at the other pillow and found it empty.

Most people had dreams at night. They dreamed of the cars they

wanted to buy or of stairways that led to nowhere. They dreamed

of flying through the clouds without benefit of any devices.

Sometimes they dreamed of loved ones long ago absent from this

earthly plain. Psychologist told them that their dreams were

working out their daily stress and strife. But Alison wasn’t most

people

Alison’s dreams had an unnerving propensity to come true.

Wide-eyed and frantic, she crawled across the bed and off the other

side. Pulling open the first door she came to, she flicked on the

light and found the bathroom devoid of life. She absently turned

off the light and hurried down the hall.

In the living room, the television droned on. She found him asleep

on the sofa, remote clutched possessively in his hand.

Heaving a sigh of relief, Alison crept around the sofa to kneel in

front of it. Carefully she extracted the remote and clicked off the

television, plunging the room into near darkness. She reached a

hand up and brushed the longish hair off her husband’s forehead.

In that moment, she was able to banish the terror of seeing him

dead in the body bag in her dream. He was alive and warm . . and

completely asleep.

“Joe? Joe, honey, come to bed,” she cajoled softly.

He awoke slowly, smiling when he saw her face. “Whatimizit?”

he slurred, rubbing the back of his hand across his sleep moistened

lips.

“Ah,” she looked over at the VCR clock. “Quarter after one,” she

whispered low, so they didn’t wake the girls asleep in their rooms.

“Oh, man, I’m sorry, sweetheart. I got so interested in that show, I

must have dozed off.”

“This late?” she asked as he got to his feet, scratching parts he

made a point never to scratch when their three daughters were in

attendance.

“Yeah, the game ran late, so they moved the airtime back.”

“Was the show any good?” she asked, glad to get her mind off her

dream and onto more mundane tasks, like helping her half-asleep

husband to bed.

“Yeah, yeah it was. Some new crime drama. This was the pilot. I

think it’s gonna be a good one. Comes from a different angle.”

“Crime drama,” she said dryly. “Gee, I’ll have to pencil that one

into my viewing schedule.”

“Hey, maybe it will give me some insight into your job,” Joe said,

stopping long enough next to the bed to pull off his tee shirt.

She crawled back across the covers to her side of the bed and lay

down. “So, what is this next Emmy award winning series called,

anyway?” she asked with a yawn.

“Mind . . . something or other. I can’t remember. It’s on again

tomorrow night.” He got under the covers and punched his pillow

a few times before sinking into its surface. “Mind . . . hunters!

That’s what it was, Mindhunters.” He leaned over and kissed her

lips. “‘Night, sweetheart.”

He didn’t see the look of worry on her face as he drifted off to

sleep.

Phoenix Arizona District Attorney’s Office

February 27, 2006

9:00 am

Alison smiled at the administrative assistant as she paced outside

her boss’s office. District Attorney Manuel Devalos was a busy

man and that morning, he appeared swamped.

“Maybe I’ll just go to my desk — ” Alison started to say to the

woman when Devalos looked up and saw her through the glass

wall. With a sharp jerk of his hand, he motioned for her to come

in.

“Alison, I was just about to call you. Have a seat,” he offered,

pulling files from stacks and arranging them at the front of his

blotter. “We’re just waiting for Lee, he should be here in a

minute.”

Alison nodded. She was used to working with Detective Lee

Scanlon, the only other person DA Devalos seemed to rely on

almost daily. As if on cue, and carrying a styrofoam cup and half a

chocolate iced cake donut, Scanlon awkwardly opened the door

and joined them.

“Sorry. Missed breakfast. And dinner last night, for that matter,”

Scanlon said apologetically. “Hey, Alison.”

Alison smiled in the Detective’s direction and tried to ignore the

donut, which seemed to be calling her name. Or was that the

District Attorney?

“Alison,” he said, obviously not for the first time. “There, finally,”

he muttered as she turned to face him. “There was a murder last

night. Lee was called out to the scene.” Devalos handed a file

folder over to her and she started to leaf through it. At a few of the

pictures, she had to turn her head.

“I know, I’m sorry to pull you in on this so early in the morning,”

Devalos sympathized. “A few hours ago, we got a call from

Washington DC. The FBI put out a bulletin requesting

information on any crime that matched certain criteria. This one

was a dead ringer, if you’ll pardon the expression.”

“The vic was strangled, but not before being sexually assaulted,

object rape from what the ME could determine at the scene,”

Scanlon reported from his notes. “Death occurred between 10:00

and midnight. ME further suggested the murder took place

elsewhere and the body was dumped in the alley.”

The pictures shook in her hand as she flipped through them again.

“Did you say the body was found in an alley?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Scanlon said, hesitantly. “You gettin’ vibes on this one

already?”

Alison shook her head. “I don’t . . . no. It was . . . Joe was

watching this show last night, I think I heard it and incorporated

part of it into my dream. It’s nothing,” she said unsurely.

Devalos was not as easily persuaded. “What, exactly, did you see

in your dream, Alison? You know you can trust us not to belittle

your abilities.”

She looked up and smiled. “No, no, it’s nothing like that. I just —

it seemed like a television promo for a show, a series. The name of

the series was The Mindhunter. I got some flashes; saw a body in

an alley. Then I woke up and Joe wasn’t in bed yet. I went out to

find him and he had fallen asleep watching this pilot for a new

series called Mindhunters. See, it’s all coincidence.”

“Your husband watches those cheesy crime dramas?” Scanlon

scoffed. “Get the poor guy a sports package, for cripes sakes!”

Devalos smirked, but covered it quickly. “The FBI is sending

some agents to go over the report, examine the crime scene. I

know you have a station wagon and since I really didn’t have

anything else lined up for you this morning — ”

“You want me to pick them up from the airport?” Alison

suggested.

“See, I’m convinced you’re psychic,” Devalos joked. She tilted her

head and gave him a stern expression, which just made him

chuckle. “Yes, if you don’t mind, I would like you to pick them

up. They’re flying into Sky Harbor, American Airlines Flight 42,

arriving at 11:21 am.”

“How will I know them?” Alison asked.

Scanlon snorted beside her. “They’re FBI. You’ll spot ’em a mile

away!”

“Just hold up a sign saying ‘District Attorney’. They’ll find you,”

Devalos said, ignoring Scanlon’s snide comment. “Besides,

Alison, you’re psychic — remember?”

American Airlines Flight 42

25 air miles out of Phoenix

Fox Mulder lightly touched his partner’s cheek, where it rested on

his shoulder. Immediately, Dana Scully jerked her head up and

looked around.

“Easy, Scully. They just put on the seatbelt sign,” Mulder cooed.

“Sorry,” she said, wiping at the corner of her mouth. She looked

down at his shoulder, noticing the telltale spot of wetness.

Apologetic eyes searched his.

“It’s due at the dry cleaners when we get back home, anyway,” he

assured her. “Besides, you haven’t drooled on me in at least 6

hours,” he teased.

“If you didn’t hog both pillows,” she shot back, straightening her

jacket. “Did you get a chance to read through the fax we got from

the Phoenix PD?”

“Yeah. I’m sure this is our guy, Scully. Ligature marks are

consistent with shipping twine, blunt object rape, blind alley dump

— ”

“So we’re dealing with a serial. But Mulder, do you really think

this guy is one of the Adams from the Litchfield Experiment?”

“You saw the PCR on the scraping from the victim’s fingernails in

Denver, Scully. You told me it showed 56 chromosomes.”

“Eve 6 told us the Adams were all dead — that she, Sally Kendrick

and Eve 8 were the only ones left.”

“Gee, Scully, I was pretty sure you knew the male from the female

of the species — PCR wise at least. And might I remind you, the

woman you’re talking about was wearing the latest in straight

jacket apparel when we interviewed her,” Mulder countered.

She shot him a glare. “If we are dealing with one of the Adams, I

just can’t figure out why he’s surfaced all of a sudden. Cindy

Reardon and Teena Simmons killed their fathers almost 12 years

ago. The original Litchfield children are in their late forties by

now.”

“Maybe he was in an institution, like where we found Eve 6.

Maybe he recently got out,” Mulder suggested. “All I know is that

we’re not more than 12 hours behind him and that’s as close as

we’ve been in weeks. I want to nail this bastard, Scully. I want to

solve this case so we can go home and sleep in our little bedroom

and not have to face seeing more pictures of strangled bodies in

alleyways for a while.” He rubbed the back of his neck. She

twisted so she could massage his shoulder.

“You came back too soon,” she chided. “You should still be on

medical leave.”

“I have a very forgiving personal care physician,” he said with a

ghost of a smile.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

11:25 am

Touchdown was smooth and deplaning was accomplished with a

modicum of shuffling. Mulder led the way through the concourse

toward the baggage claim area.

“I’ll grab the bags, you hit the Lariat counter,” Scully advised as

they approached their carousel.

“No need, the District Attorney said he was going to send someone

to pick us up.”

“Wow, hospitality,” Scully murmured. “There’s your two-suiter,”

she pointed and he reached for his bag. He spotted her bag and

snagged it from the track.

“Now, who looks like an employee of the District Attorney’s

office?” he asked, searching the crowd of recent flyers and waiting

family members.

Scully spotted the sign and pointed. “I think that’s a likely

candidate,” she said.

“And they said you couldn’t cut it in the field,” he teased.

“Who said?” she asked, one eyebrow raised.

“They. You know ‘they’?” he replied with a grin. He shifted the

luggage and nodded toward the area where the woman was holding

a white piece of paper with the words DISTRICT ATTORNEY in

bold red marker.

“I sure hope you’re our ride,” Mulder said, extending his hand to

the woman.

“I sure hope you’re with the FBI,” she replied with a nervous smile.

“Alison Dubois. I work with DA Devalos.” She reached for each

agent’s hand in turn.

“Fox Mulder. And this is my partner, Dana Scully. It’s really nice

of you to give us a ride to the office.” All the while Mulder was

shaking her hand, Alison had a strange look on her face. She

glanced over at Scully and then back at Mulder. Alison just kept

staring at them. Flashes of her dream came back in full force along

with a jumble of other images that left her almost dizzy. She

shook her head to clear her thoughts.

Scully looked from Alison to Mulder. “Ms. Dubois? We’d really

like to get started, right, Mulder?”

“Absolutely,” he agreed. “Lead on, Ms. Dubois.”

“OK,” Alison said reluctantly. “My car is just over in short term.”

They arrived at the car and Alison opened the back to allow

Mulder to stow the luggage. “Excuse the car seat,” she apologized.

“No problem,” Scully said with a smile. “My niece is still in one.

I have to borrow it when I take her anywhere.”

Alison glanced over at Mulder sitting next to her in the front

passenger seat. She had a very clear picture of Mulder crouched

on the floor making a funny face to a tiny blond girl and holding

the same child, now very sick, on his shoulder. “Do you have

children, Agent Mulder?”

Mulder choked and looked back at Scully. “Uhh, no, no I don’t.

I’m not married,” he said, a faint blush coloring his cheeks.

Alison frowned, shook her head again and put the car into gear,

backing out expertly. “Oh, I thought — ” she stopped and

swallowed. “I’ll take you to DA Devalos’s office. Det. Scanlon is

there and he can take you to the police station and by the crime

scene, if you want.”

“I would like to go to the morgue,” Scully said from the back seat.

“Det. Scanlon can take you over there. It’s not far,” Alison assured

her.

“So, Ms. Dubois, what exactly do you do in the office?” Mulder

asked, settling in his seat.

Alison licked her lips nervously. “Oh, this and that. I was in law

school when I met the District Attorney and he persuaded me to

come work for him part-time.”

Mulder looked over at her. “And Mr. Dubois? Does he work for

law enforcement, too?”

Startled, Alison glanced over at him. “Oh no. Joe’s an engineer.

He works for an aerospace firm in Scottsdale.”

“Hear that, Scully. There but for the grace of J. Edgar — ”

Alison looked at Scully in the rearview mirror. “I don’t

understand.”

“Scully has a degree in physics,” Mulder explained. “But she took

a left turn and became a medical doctor.”

“I thought you were an FBI agent,” Alison refuted, shaking her

head.

“I am. I turned right not long after the left turn. I’m a forensic

pathologist,” Scully clarified.

“And you’re a profiler?” Alison asked, making another quick

glance at Mulder.

“Was a profiler, yes. I left that division several years ago.”

“But if you aren’t a profiler now — ?” Alison was becoming

irritated with the whole conversation.

“Scully and I are in a division unto ourselves. We specialize in

some rather unusual crimes.”

“Unusual, how?” Alison prodded.

“Unexplained,” Mulder countered. “Cases that normally would be

closed without resolution. We use — a different approach, if you

will, to get the answers that solve those cases.”

“I’m sorry, I thought this was a serial murder case,” Alison

reasoned.

“It is, on the surface. But there was some evidence left at one of

the crime scenes that leads us to believe there is something unusual

at play here.”

“You keep using that word — unusual. What exactly do you

mean?”

Mulder turned back toward Scully, who sat back in her seat with a

superior expression on her face. No help there. “Actually, Ms.

Dubois, we aren’t at liberty to disclose exactly why we think this

case is unusual. At least, not at this time.”

Alison gave him a dubious look and shrugged. “Well, be sure to

let me know when you find the right time.”

Phoenix Police Department Conference Room A

February 28, 2006

6:45 pm

Mulder rubbed the back of his neck again as Scully tossed another

set of test results into the folder on the desk.

“So, don’t keep me in suspense,” he begged.

“There are 56 chromosomes in the sample,” she said flatly. “But

Mulder, I’m beginning to think this isn’t one of the Adams.”

He frowned, but listened.

“I had the Whiting Institute for the Criminally Insane send me Eve

6’s PCR. I compared it to the sample we have from ‘Adam’.

Mulder, they are similar, but it’s not a complete match.”

“Would you expect it to be?” he asked, sitting forward.

“Yes, pretty much. But there’s more. I asked for the PCRs for

both Teena and Cindy and then I compared all four results.

Mulder, the sample from this Adam is different from Eve 6, but it’s

actually closer to Cindy and Teena.”

Mulder sat back in his chair, eyes wide. “You mean Sally

Kendrick didn’t just give the world two little clones — ”

“She gave more,” Scully completed his thought. “We’re not

looking for a man in his 50’s. We’re looking for a young man in

his early 20s. We’re looking for a sibling of Teena and Cindy.”

Mulder closed his eyes and leaned back. “That would explain how

he overpowers the victims.” He sat forward suddenly. “Scully,

that would give us an idea of what he looks like, too, wouldn’t it?

Wouldn’t he have the same facial features as the girls?”

Scully thought about that for a moment. “Most likely, yes. We

never saw a picture of the Adams. If you remember, the picture

Eve 6 had on her ‘family album wall’ was just the Eves. But I

guess you could assume that he’d have similar facial features.”

“Well, I may end up the ass, but I’m going to get someone back at

the Bureau to have a composite worked up using Teena and Cindy

as the basis — young male, 22 – 25 years old. Then I think we

could find time to grab a bite to eat, because I’m starved.”

Dubois Household

6:45 pm

“No, no, no, no, a thousand times no!” thirteen year-old Ariel

Dubois reiterated for her younger sister. “You can not use my

markers! Those are for my art class and if you use them, you’ll

lose the caps just like you did last time I let you use them!” To

drive home her point, the willowy blond flipped a pigtail behind

her shoulder and turned her back on her sister.

Bridget, all of eight years old and built like a small bulldozer,

lowered her eyelids and scowled. “I did NOT lose the caps! I put

them in the bag and YOU knocked the bag off the table with your

stupid hair stuff and they all fell out!”

“Girls, girls, please, could we just once get through homework

without bringing in the Fifth Armored Division?” Joe Dubois

pleaded. “Bridget, don’t we have other markers around here

somewhere so you wouldn’t have to borrow your sister’s?”

“Where’s Mommy?” the little girl whined. “She bought new

markers last Saturday and I can’t find them.”

“Mommy said she’d be a little late,” Joe said with a sigh. He

finally had the dishwasher filled and closed the door to it with a

satisfying click. The machine hummed happily.

“She’s always ‘a little late’,” Bridget moaned, plopping down at the

kitchen table, chin in her left hand, full on pout firmly in place.

“Mommy has an important job,” Ariel said scornfully.

“You didn’t say that when she was late picking you up from play

practice the other night,” Bridget shot back angrily.

“I was only five minutes late, you just wanted to get home to call

your friend Elisabeth,” Alison said calmly, coming in from the

front hall. She walked over, kissed Joe briefly and then opened a

drawer under the kitchen countertop. “Here, a new box of

markers, the washable kind. But remember — ”

“Don’t let Marie get them, she colors on the wall,” Bridget recited

from rote. “Thanks, Mommy! I’m glad you’re home!” She

hugged her mother for a second and then ran off with her prize.

“You need to start leaving notes where you hide things,” Joe

lamented.

“I’m sorry. I really thought I’d get home on time tonight, but we

have these FBI agents working on a murder case — ”

“I saw it on the news. Said it was a burglary but there was no

forced entry. They think the murder took place at the guy’s house,

but the body was found in an alley. Said the murder victim was a

body builder and too big to be subdued and strangled. They were

saying there’s speculation that it was more than one person who

committed the crime,” Joe said thoughtfully.

“Well, they’re wrong. It was definitely one guy. One of the agents

did the autopsy. She found scrapings under the victim’s

fingernails. And they found fingerprints in the victim’s house.”

“So they can catch this guy pretty quick then, huh?” Joe asked. “I

mean, if they have fingerprints and all.”

“You would think,” Alison said, digging through the refrigerator

and coming up with a plastic container of leftovers. “You made

stew?”

“Dinty Moore kindly compiled the ingredients. I heated it up,” Joe

confessed. “So why wouldn’t they be able to catch this guy?”

“Because the prints might belong to a completely innocent friend

of the murder victim. Because this isn’t the first killing like this

and they haven’t caught the guy yet. And because those two FBI

agents are . . . downright spooky,” Alison rattled off. “Are we out

of diet cola?”

“I saved you one, bottom shelf.”

“I knew there was a reason I married you,” she smiled contentedly.

“Now, don’t get all offended, but when you, of all people, call

someone else ‘spooky’ — ”

She frowned at him and raised an eyebrow. “OK, maybe not

spooky. But they are hiding something, I just know it.”

“Alison, they’re FBI agents. Their business is to hide stuff,” Joe

remarked, joining her at the table. “What stuff are they hiding?”

“They’re having an affair. I’m positive about that one.”

“You got a vibe?”

“No. I could tell by the way he leaned into her when he was

talking to her. And he puts his hand right here,” she pointed to the

small of her back, “every time they walk together.”

“Oh, yeah, well, with hard evidence like that . . . ”

“Maybe not just an affair, either. I think they’ve been together for

a long time. And he said he doesn’t have any kids, but I got a flash

of him buckling a little girl in a child seat.”

“Maybe she has kids,” Joe suggested.

“No, she has a niece.”

“Is one or both of them married?”

“I don’t get that impression. But if they’re single, why would they

hide an affair?” Alison drained her cola and sat back, crossing her

arms.

“Maybe because they work together. That’s a big no-no in many

office settings,” Joe theorized. “Besides, maybe they were simply

being professionals.”

“I think there’s more to it than that,” Alison she said reluctantly. “I

saw them, together, in a dream last night.”

Joe cocked his head. “You didn’t tell me about this one.”

She shrugged. “There wasn’t much to tell. It was like a promo or

something and then I woke up and you were watching the show I

was dreaming about. I didn’t think anything about it.”

“Well, give them the benefit of a doubt, until you have something

concrete to go on,” Joe offered.

LaQuinta Inn,

10:45 pm

Mulder was in the shower when the call came. Scully ran into the

adjoining room to answer the phone and tried hard not to pant into

the receiver. It was the Phoenix PD. “Yes, Det. Scanlon, what can

I do for you?”

Mulder walked out of the bathroom to find the bedroom deserted.

He heard Scully talking and followed into the adjoining room just

in time for her to end the call.

“Yes, we’ll be waiting,” she said and returned the receiver back to

the base.

“Don’t tell me — ” Mulder began.

“Dress fast, Scanlon’s on his way. They found another one. And

Mulder, this time he didn’t dump the body in an alley.”

14576 Mesa Drive

Scottsdale, AR

11:45 pm

The deceased, Andrew Juarez, was the former captain of the

varsity football team at his college. Scully stood quietly talking to

the ME while Mulder surveyed the scene.

“You say his wife found him like this?” Mulder asked Scanlon.

“Yeah. She works nights — he works days. Her story checks out.”

Mulder looked at the body with ligature marks and all the signs of

strangulation, then over to the tiny dark haired woman sobbing in

the arms of a neighbor. “Yeah, I believe her,” he said. “What’s her

name?”

Scanlon checked his notebook. “Anita. Anita Juarez. They’ve

been married two years, no kids.”

Mulder only half listened as he walked over to the woman. “Mrs.

Juarez, I’m very sorry. I’m Special Agent Mulder with the FBI.

Do you think you could answer a few questions?”

The woman looked up at him, grief evident in her face. “If it will

catch the monster who did this, I’ll answer every question you

have,” she said tearfully.

Mulder led her off to the sofa and they talked in quiet tones.

Alison moved nervously around the evidence team until she

spotted Scanlon.

“Sorry about this, but Devalos wanted you out here,” the Detective

apologized.

“It’s OK. Joe’s getting kind of used to it,” Alison muttered. She

glanced over at the body on the floor, noticing it was in a state of

undress. Suddenly, she had a flash of a television screen. On the

screen, she saw a man going to the door, answering it. He let

someone in and started toward the living room. Suddenly, the

visitor pulled something out of a case — a length of twine. He

walked up behind the man, who was pointing to a projection

television. The visitor lashed out, wrapping the twine around the

man’s neck —

“I think I know who did it,” Alison said aloud. Scanlon hurried

over to her, taking her by the arm. “Did they have a TV repairman

here recently?” she asked, loud enough to be heard by everyone in

the room.

Mrs. Juarez looked over at Alison. “We had satellite TV installed

last week. Andy wanted to get all the baseball games this season.

They had a special.”

Mulder rose and walked over to Alison and Scanlon. “What makes

you think this has something to do with a TV repairman?” he

asked.

Alison glanced over at Scanlon and then back at Mulder. “I, uh, I

just — ”

“Ms. Dubois, could we have a word, privately?” Mulder asked

formally. “Outside?”

Scanlon held his hands up in surrender and Alison reluctantly

followed Mulder out of the house.

“OK, spill,” Mulder ordered as he leaned against the side of

Scanlon’s car.

“I don’t know — ”

“You can cut the ‘I’m just a poor law student running errands for

the DA’ act. You had a vision or hallucination in there. I watched

you. You zoned out. Now, what the hell is going on?” he

demanded.

Alison bit her lip. “You won’t believe me if I tell you,” she said,

shaking her head.

“You have no idea what I would believe,” he shot back. “Try me.”

She licked her lips. “I have a gift. More like a curse some days,

but generally, I consider it a gift.”

Mulder’s face slowly morphed into an excited grin. “You’re

psychic?”

“I have dreams. Sometimes I have visions, during the day. Other

times, dead people just walk up and start talking to me.”

“Wow,” Mulder said and whistled in appreciation. Suddenly, a

thought occurred to him. “You never sold life insurance, have

you?”

Alison looked at him as if he were crazy. “No, I have not.”

“Good,” Mulder replied. “Don’t.” He licked his lip. “You sure

about this TV thing?”

“It was the satellite installer, I’m sure of it,” Alison affirmed.

“But they had the dish installed last week,” Mulder reminded her.

“Look, the vision didn’t go into details,” Alison explained. “Maybe

something went wrong with the signal and he called the company

to get someone to take a look. I just know this guy was here today.

I saw him kill that man!”

“OK, OK, I get it,” Mulder soothed. “I need to tell Scully.”

“Wait,” Alison said, grabbing his sleeve. “You believe me? Just

like that?”

“Why? Are you lying?” Mulder asked.

“No! Of course not! I’m just not used — I don’t usually have

people believe — ”

“Ms. Dubois, you see, I want to believe,” Mulder said with a faint

smile. “Now, I really have to go back and find out more about the

satellite company they ordered the dish from.”

Phoenix PD

Conference room 1

March 1, 2006

3:00 am

“Mulder, it’s a bust.” Scully said tiredly. “We woke up the owner

of the satellite company, only to be told he contracts out

installation services. We call the contractor, only to be told they

use day labor and sometimes they hire people on for just a few

days, as was the case recently when every satellite dealer in the

greater Phoenix area decided to have preseason baseball packages

on sale, and we have a list of over 200 names of installers. We

need to go back to the hotel and let the computer try for a match.”

Mulder sighed and rubbed his neck again. “You’re right. Let’s try

go back to the room and try to get some sleep. But how do we get

there? Scanlon picked us up.”

She dangled a set of car keys in front of his face. “They finally

gave us a car to use.”

He sighed in relief. “More of that hospitality.”

Scully nodded, relieved as he was. After she packed up her

briefcase, she stood and stretched. “So, you really think Alison

Dubois is psychic?” she asked with a smirk.

“Scully, she’s the real thing,” Mulder replied, pulling on his suit

jacket. “I talked to Scanlon. He’s convinced.”

“Mulder, she works with him, she’s a friend. I tell people all the

time that you’re amazing.”

“Scully! You talk about our sex life in the FBI locker room?” he

whispered in her ear, and then pulled back so she could see his

look of feigned indignation.

She smacked his arm and shook her head. “Seriously, Mulder. I

really think we might be chasing a wild goose here.”

“Do you have another line of inquiry we aren’t following up?” he

retorted.

“No,” she admitted. “I just don’t want you to place too much faith

in a 30 something former housewife-slash-former law student who

has visions of murders.”

“You believed Clyde Bruckman,” Mulder pointed out irritably.

She stopped and crossed her arms, glaring at him. “Mulder, Clyde

was a very lonely man who — ”

“Correctly predicted that I was going to be attacked by a killer in

the basement of a hotel, after I’d stepped in a banana cream pie,”

Mulder recited. “Alison is the real thing, Scully. Just wait.

Besides, at least we’re making some headway. We never would

have picked up on the installer if not for her.”

Scully refrained from further comment while she unlocked the car

and they both settled into their seats. By the way he was sitting, he

was pretty steamed at her. When they were on the road back to the

hotel, she spared him a glance. “Look, Mulder, you know that I

accept a lot more now than I ever did when we were first

partnered,” she said evenly.

He blew out a breath and grudgingly nodded his head.

“I’m just saying that until she does something like tell us ‘this is the

guy, he lives here, go get him’, Alison Dubois really doesn’t help

this investigation that much. Not to mention I question the wisdom

of bringing a civilian to a crime scene.”

“We took Clyde to a crime scene,” he interjected.

“We took Clyde where he told us to go. We didn’t know it was a

crime scene until the car got stuck in the mud.”

“The mud used to bury Claude Dukenfeld,” Mulder reminded her.

She had to smile at his uncanny ability to pull names from cases

over a decade past out of thin air.

“Look, I don’t want to argue about this,” Scully said tiredly. “I just

want to be careful how much time we spend following up leads

Ms. Dubois gives us.”

Mulder leaned his head back against the headrest and reached

down to take her hand. “I only follow where you lead,” he said

with mock seriousness.

Scully rolled her eyes at his rock song reference. “I wish.”

Dubois Household

6:30 am

The television screen shows nothing but static. The man is

standing with his back to the viewer. He is hitting a remote control

with barely concealed rage. “Friggin piece of — ”

A doorbell rings. The man sighs and tosses the remote on the

coffee table where it clatters and then falls to the floor with a

plastic crunch. “Damn,” the man mutters as he crosses to the door.

On his way he passes a window and the viewer can see the TV

repair truck at the curb. “Dish R Us” it reads on the side panel. He

opens the door and the viewer follows him as he turns back to the

television, never showing the face of the person who has just

entered. The man points to the TV and growls “200 channels of

static! Fix it, please!”

Two hands appear with a length of twine between them. They

move behind the man, his back is turned and can’t see them before

it’s too late —

Alison let out a startled gasp and opened her eyes wide. Panting

for breath, the alarm clock next to her went off and scared her out

of her wits. She slammed her hand on the top of the machine,

silencing the buzzer.

“Joe,” she called out. She heard the shower running and tossed the

covers off to get out of bed. “Joe,” she called to the bathroom door

as she entered.

“Hey, there,” he said, sticking his head out of the curtain. “You’re

up. I thought you’d sleep.”

“You set the alarm,” she accused.

“Oh, darn, sorry. I forgot to turn it off. I woke up before it went

off. I have that meeting this morning with Chan. I need to be on

the road in about an hour. You’re taking the girls, right?”

“He’s going to kill somebody today,” Alison said absently. “I have

to call Scanlon and those FBI agents.”

“As long as you get the girls to school,” Joe reminded her and

stepped out of the shower. He kissed her as he passed, noting the

faraway look on her face. “You aren’t going to remember to take

them, are you?”

She looked up at him, as if just noticing he was in the room with

her. “Ever hear of a satellite company called ‘Dish R Us’?” she

asked. Without waiting for an answer, she walked out of the room

and over to the telephone by their bed.

Joe looked in the mirror and sighed. “Looks like I’m taking the

girls again,” he told his reflection with reluctant acceptance.

District Attorney’s office conference room

8:05 am

Scanlon had the Greater Phoenix area yellow pages opened before

him, scanning each page carefully. “Nope,” he said, turning the

book so that Alison could see it from across the table. “Not a ‘Dish

R Us’ in there.”

“Maybe it’s new. Maybe it’s opened since the yellow pages came

out,” she suggested anxiously.

“Alison, maybe the guy bought a truck and painted that on the

side,” Scanlon suggested.

The door to the conference room opened and the Agents walked in.

Mulder was carrying a tray of Starbucks and set it down on the

table. “Compliments of our Uncle,” he said, passing out the cups.

“Now, Alison, tell us this dream.” He sat down in one of the chairs

and settled back, giving her time.

“He’s a repairman, that’s obvious. He comes to the house and they

let him right in. As they’re explaining what’s wrong, he walks up

behind them with the twine and — ” she stopped, uncomfortable

going any further.

“Did he look like this man?” Scully handed over the computer-

generated composite they’d received from the Bureau in DC.

Alison shook her head. “I never see the killer. I see through his

eyes.”

Mulder shuddered and sat forward. “OK, well, we have a truck,

we have the name of a company that doesn’t exist.”

“Mulder, panel trucks are easy to disguise,” Scully offered. “He

may have a white panel truck, but we can’t rely on the fact that he’s

going as ‘Dish R Us’. He could change it easily to something else.

“But this murder happens today, right Alison?” Mulder asked.

She looked furtively over to Scanlon, who shrugged back at her. “I

don’t know. It could happen today — it could have happened last

week and the body hasn’t been found.” She leaned back in her

chair, looking defeated. “Sorry, it’s not an exact science.”

At Scully’s less than lady-like snort, Mulder shook his head. His

eyes scanned the room and landed on a classifieds tabloid next to

the phone book. He frowned and picked it up. “Have you looked

through here?” he asked.

“Classified ads? Yeah, but most of the ads don’t have names of

companies — they’re all independent and self-employed, probably.

Just phone numbers. There wasn’t a ‘Dish R Us’ anywhere,”

Scanlon assured him.

“What better way to allow yourself some freedom of movement,”

Mulder said, looking over at his partner. “You’re right, Scully.

This guy could be changing the appearance of the truck every time.

That way, if there are any witnesses, it would turn up a dead end.”

“OK, so what are you suggesting?” Scully asked, sitting forward.

“We bait a little trap,” Mulder said with a smile. Scully’s eyes

widened.

“Mulder, I do not like the sounds of that,” she said evenly.

“With proper back up,” he said forestalling her first objection.

“And with the ‘bait’ in kevlar underwear, to the chin,” he added.

“Scully, we’re spinning our wheels here. We have to do

something.”

“Getting you killed is not what I had in mind,” she said with arms

crossed in front of her.

“So we’re just going to call down the list until one of these guys

tries to off you?” Scanlon asked derisively.

“Pretty much, yeah,” Mulder shot back.

“You have a good time with that,” Scanlon said, sitting back to sip

his coffee.

Alison picked up the composite picture of the suspect. Her eyes

were drawn to Mulder and then back to the picture. “He’s looking

for you,” she said quietly.

“He wants to be caught,” Mulder agreed.

She shook her head. “No, he’s looking for you, Agent Mulder. He

wants to find you. Or for you to find him.”

“See, Scully. Even Alison agrees, I make the best bait,” he said

waving his hands for effect.

Alison looked over at Scully. “I don’t like this, either. But I think

it may be the only way to catch him.”

With Scanlon and another detective on the phone making

‘appointments’ with the nine listed satellite repair services in the

classifieds, Mulder was escorted to the Department’s supply room,

where he was outfitted in a bulletproof vest and a choke proof neck

enclosure. A loose fitting cable weave turtleneck sweater obscured

the neck protection from view. Devalos provided a furnished

vacant house to be used for the sting operation. By a little after

9:30 everything was arranged.

“This is a safe house, we’ve only had to use it a couple of times,

but it’s all state of the art,” Scanlon explained as he adjusted the

view of the living room now coming up on the computer monitor.

“The camera is hidden in the wall clock above the fireplace. We’ll

have a perfect view of anything going down.”

“It better not be Mulder,” Scully muttered under her breath. At

that moment, her partner came out of the bathroom, tugging at the

loose sweater.

“Is there A/C in this place? I’m burning up with all this crap on,”

he said irritably.

“You wanted to play ‘bait’,” Scully reminded him as she checked to

make sure the neck protection was fitting properly. “Mulder, do

not take any chances. If this is an Adam clone — ”

“Super strength, super intelligence, yeah, Scully, I remember,” he

said gruffly. Looking down into her worried face, he softened his

tone. Gently, he cupped her cheek. “I’ll be careful,” he promised.

She pressed his palm against her face, turning her head just slightly

to give the pad of his thumb the briefest of glances with her lips.

“Make sure you do,” she whispered back.

Alison tried to stay out of the way, hanging back by the computer

Scanlon was watching so intently. The monitor was split between

four views, one of the living room, one of the interior of the

garage, one of the front door from a camera on the exterior wall of

the garage and another showing the back yard.

“Lee, a truck is coming,” Alison said, pointing to the front door

camera. Sure enough, a white panel truck was pulling to the curb.

“Show time, Agent Mulder,” Scanlon said with a nod of his head

for luck.

“Watch my back,” Mulder tossed over his shoulder as he walked

out of the bedroom, closing the door behind him. It was a short

hallway to the living room, and he glanced once around to make

sure everything was in place. His ankle holster was a comfortable

weight on his left leg, his belt holster covered by the thick sweater.

The only thing out of place was the steady stream of perspiration

trickling down his back to pool in the general vicinity of the elastic

on his boxers. The doorbell rang and Mulder drew in a deep

breath, striding over to open the door.

Three hours later

“Just a loose connection there, Mr. Hale,” the fourth repairman

said as he handed Mulder a clipboard with the invoice attached.

“Just sign here and that’ll be $75, cash, check or credit?”

Mulder gritted his teeth and pulled out his wallet. “I had no idea

you guys made this much,” he said, barely concealing his

contempt.

“Well, if we worked a straight 40 hour week, maybe. But these

things are pretty reliable. Once you get acquainted with the system

— ”

“Gee, look at the time. I have to get to the office. Thanks so much

for being so prompt,” Mulder jumped in, ushering the little man

out the door. Leaning against the closed door he looked directly

into the camera. “Who wants to trade places?” he asked.

“Nobody,” came the three voices from the next room.

The call came in on Scanlon’s phone at 3:30. After listening

intently, the Detective looked up at Scully, muttered a curse to the

person on the other end of the line and disconnected the call.

Standing, he rolled down his shirtsleeves and pulled on his jacket.

“There’s been another one. Tempe. We need to get over there

now,” he said tersely.

Mulder was already at the door. “We have another appointment in

half an hour,” he said. Scanlon was dancing on the balls of his

feet, waiting to be told to go. “OK, how’s this. Take Scully and

check out this new one.”

Scully immediately put up an objection. “Mulder, I won’t leave

you here unprotected,” she protested.

“Scanlon, send a unit — unmarked — over here and have them park

up the street. Scully, we haven’t seen him so far today and we now

have proof that he’s already killed somebody. We need to get over

there and see if there is anything fresh we can use,” Mulder

reasoned.

“I’ll stay,” Alison offered.

Mulder and Scully both frowned at that prospect. “It could be

dangerous,” Mulder said shaking his head.

“Look, I’ll sit here and watch the monitors. And I can call for the

police down the street if anything happens,” she suggested.

Scanlon went over and jiggled the doorknob. “Alison, lock this

door, it’s reinforced steel under this veneer. You can see the living

room clearly. If Agent Mulder is not alone, under no

circumstances are you to open this door, understand?”

She nodded, paling. “I get it. Now you better get going,” she said.

After Scully and Scanlon left, Mulder sat down in the chair the

Detective had vacated. “He’s coming here, isn’t he?”

“He wanted them out of the picture. But Agent Mulder, I don’t like

doing this,” Alison admitted.

“I don’t like it, either, but I see no other choice.” He stood and

started toward the door.

“She’s gonna be really pissed at you if you get yourself killed.

You’re her one in five billion, too, you know,” she said timidly.

He looked at Alison over his shoulder. “Yeah. I know that. But

thanks for the reminder,” he said with faint smile.

The doorbell rang. Mulder pulled the bedroom door shut behind

him, waiting to hear the click of the lock into place before going

into the living room.

Alison had a bird’s eye view of the encounter. The young man

who walked into the room was no more than 24, had dark hair on

the black and white surveillance picture. He was easily as tall as

Mulder. Mulder didn’t turn his back on the young man, facing him

down for a few minutes. With a glance over to the camera in the

wall clock, where Alison could see a very blank expression on the

agent’s face, he purposely turned and bent over the projection

television taking up a corner of the living room.

Adam, or Jay as the nametag on his shirt identified him, stalked the

two feet to stand directly behind Mulder but didn’t reach into his

bag. Alison watched in horror as a small ice-pick style stiletto

dropped from his sleeve and into his hand. In a movement so swift

the camera didn’t show it as more than a blur, Jay jabbed the

stiletto firmly and to the hilt into Mulder’s side. The sharp blade

sliced neatly through the agent’s borrowed Kevlar vest, missing

any ceramic plates that might have deflected it. In almost the same

motion, Mulder drew the weapon at his ankle and fired point blank

into Jay’s chest. Both men were down before Alison had a chance

to scream.

Phoenix Baptist Hospital

6:50 pm

A very shaky Alison gave her statement to Scanlon, who took it

along with the video from the surveillance camera. Not much

more was needed at the scene. Jay was pronounced dead at the

scene before Scully had a chance to make it back to the safe house.

Mulder was stabilized as much as possible and taken to the nearest

trauma center, Phoenix Baptist Hospital, just a few blocks away.

After going home quickly to feed the kids and cry on Joe’s

shoulder, Alison was back at the hospital, checking on Scully. She

had a bag in one hand and a cup of Starbuck’s in the other.

“Low fat soy latte, vanilla,” she said handing over the cup to the

agent, who had yet to acknowledge her presence. Scully took the

cup with forced movements, her eyes dull. “Have you heard any

more?”

Scully looked up at Alison and nodded to the seat next to her.

When the psychic had settled down beside her, the agent’s chin

started to tremble. “The blade punctured the lung. There was

major blood loss at the scene.” She stopped long enough to brush

tears from her cheek. “He’s still in surgery. They haven’t come out

to talk to me yet.” Her voice trailed off and she looked away,

toward the entrance to the waiting room.

Alison slipped her hand over Scully’s, where they rested on her

knees. She squeezed gently. “He loves you. He’ll pull through,

just on the strength of that love,” she assured the agent.

Scully’s head snapped up and her eyes flashed, but when she saw

the look of tender understanding in Alison’s face, she lost all her

anger. “I just . . . I mean I thought it would get better. I thought

after I’d told him how I felt about him he would take better care of

himself. But that hasn’t happened. He still takes risks like this and

. . . I don’t know how to make him stop,” she said tearfully.

Just as Alison reached over to give Scully a much-needed hug, a

man in scrubs appeared in the doorway. “Family of Fox Mulder?”

Scully was up and moving toward him in a heartbeat.

Alison watched as the doctor spoke briefly to Scully, who nodded

and hurried down the hall with him. Alison found herself in the

lounge, but not quite alone.

“Why did you do it?” she asked the sullen young man who had

been slouching in the corner all the while she’d been talking to

Scully. “Why kill all those people? Why come after Agent

Mulder?”

Adam laughed bitterly and stood up straight, turning almost toward

the window and then coming to pace in front of Alison. “The

better question is why not Agent Scully,” he said calmly,

instructing her. “She was there with him most of the time. But I’d

already decided to divide and conquer. She would have been easy

prey once he was gone. So why did I do it? I knew I could get

their attention. I wanted them to come to me. They destroyed my

family. They imprisoned my sisters before we could even meet. It

was all about vengeance. ‘Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord’,

isn’t that what all the wealthy preachers teach?” He turned back to

face Alison. “I wasn’t born, you know. I was created. Just like the

atomic bomb. Not my fault I went ‘boom’, is it?”

“You were too born,” Alison said defiantly. “Some woman carried

you in her womb, someone loved you. And you turned your back

on them to become this — this thing you are.”

Adam/Jay looked down at Alison where she sat. “You really think

love is enough?” he said with a sneer. “You really believe all that

shit you were shoveling to her?” he cocked his head toward the

seat Scully had just abandoned.

“Always,” she shot back.

“Well, I wasn’t the only one like me. There are others out there.

Maybe love can overcome genetics.” He turned and walked

toward the door, fading out of view. “But I doubt it,” he said just

before his image winked out of sight.

March 2, 2006

9:05 am

The nurse had just come in to take his vitals. The doctor had

removed the vent just a few hours before and now Mulder looked

like he was just sleeping late on a Saturday. Scully ran her fingers

over the tape securing the IV to his hand. When the fingers of his

hand flexed, she pasted on a smile and waited.

It didn’t take him long to open his eyes. Hers was the first face he

saw, the only one he looked for. He smiled weakly at her before

closing his eyes again briefly and then blinking them open once

more. He swallowed roughly and grimaced. An attempt to clear

his throat only caused him pain.

“Want some water?” she asked and didn’t bother to make him

answer. She held the straw up to his lips and he sipped greedily.

“You’re being nice. I must have really been in a bad way,” he

rasped. At her trembling chin, he reached out and clasped her

hand. “Sorry. Probably not the smartest thing I could have said,

huh?”

“Mulder, do you realize — no, I know you do. You knew full well

what was likely to happen and you took the risk anyway,” she said

too calmly for his liking.

“Should learn to keep my mouth shut,” he muttered. “I’m sorry,

Scully. But you can’t accuse me of knowing that he was going to

stab me. I had on body armor not to mention that neck brace.”

“Mulder, you still knew he would try and kill you. But you went

ahead and took the risk.” She couldn’t look at him. Tears were

hanging on the edges of her lashes.

He reached over and cupped her cheek, stroking it with his thumb.

“We take risks every day. I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t expect

him to come as soon as you and Scanlon left. But Scully, if our

places had been reversed, can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t

have done the same?”

“I don’t want to lose you like that,” she said softly.

“Scully, I’m doing everything I can. I wore the vest, I wore the

neck protection. Hell, I wore my ankle holster. And I knew that

Alison could see everything and would call for backup and

ambulance immediately. I covered all the bases. Aren’t you the

one who gets mad at me when I try to keep you out of harm’s

way?”

She put her hand over his and held it there. “I just hate — ”

“I know. I do, too,” he said tilting his head. “But it’s the life we

have and I’m not sure I want to change any of it.”

“I supposed it’s not the same as a ditch,” she admitted.

“Not by a long shot,” he agreed.

There was a rap at the door and Scully called ‘come in’. A large

bouquet of balloons appeared to float into the room, coming to rest

on the bedside tray table. Alison emerged from behind them.

“Hey, how are you feeling?” she asked Mulder with a smile.

“Not bad, considering,” he said hoarsely, nodding toward the water

cup again. Scully accommodated him and put the water back on

the table.

Alison nodded and bit her lip nervously. “Just wanted to tell you

that DA Devalos is writing a letter of commendation to your

superiors in Washington. He really thought you both went out of

your way to catch this guy.”

“Alison, you were instrumental in our tracking him down,” Scully

said.

“Thank you, Agent Scully. That means a lot to me.” Clearly

flattered and slightly embarrassed, Alison turned to Mulder. “So,

when are they letting you out of here?”

He looked at Scully who rolled her eyes. “Three days, four if he

causes any trouble,” she told Alison while staring right at her

partner.

“Well, I’d be happy to give you a ride to the airport, when they let

you go home.”

“We’d like that. Thank you,” Scully answered for both of them.

“I’ll let you get your rest,” she said, heading for the door. “Oh, one

thing, Agent Mulder. When you get home, don’t blame Agent

Scully for the puddle in den upstairs. You’re the one who left the

window open during the warm spell before you left last week.”

Scully looked over at Mulder and crossed her arms.

Mulder looked at her sheepishly. “Think we better call your

mom.”

The end.

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