A Reason To Believe

15x10_title

A REASON TO BELIEVE

Author: Traveler

Summary: A tabloid headline becomes the basis for an investigation that leads the

agents to witness the most powerful forces on earth.

Rated: PG-13 for a few bad words

Written for VS 15, 2 weeks exclusive to VS 15

Disclaimer: We all know the score.

Authors Notes: I should acknowledge the lyrics used here are from REASON TO

BELIEVE by Rod Stewart. My thanks to Vickie for the beta and Martin and Lisa for

their wonderful artwork. And Chris, the Explorer is for you. May you all find your

own reason to believe.

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“If I listened long enough to you

I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true”

FAIRBURY, NEBRASKA

Craig Fleming sped down State Route 16. His cargo had been purchased illegally,

he was only 19 but the gang was expecting him to deliver the goods, six cases of

beer, for Rachel’s party. It had been raining earlier and now with the dusting of

snow the roads had become slick. The ringing of his cell phone made him jump.

The LCD display told him it was Rachel. “I know, I know, I’m coming,” he answered.

“Where are you? Everybody’s gonna leave if you don’t get here soon, I promised

them beer,” she whined into the receiver.

Craig stepped harder on the accelerator. “I’m gonna be there in,” he started to say,

taking his eyes off the road to check the clock on the dash. “Fifteen…” He never got

a chance to finish his sentence. A deer bounded across the road in front of him. The

young man’s first instinct was to stomp the brake causing the car to swerve hard to

the right on the icy road. Craig fought to control the car, turning into the skid like

he’d been taught but the car swerved in the other direction, across the opposite side

of the road and before he knew it he was careening through the brush and down the

embankment. The vehicle flipped on its side, then onto its roof, tearing through the

brush at an alarming speed. Craig tried at first to protect himself, throwing his arms

in front of his face but when the car turned over and his head hit the roof sending

searing pain down his spine, everything went black.

At first he had no sensation at all. A moment of euphoria swept over him and then

he opened his eyes to find he was lying in the brush outside his vehicle; something

warm and wet was trickling down the side of his head. Terror like he had never

known swept over him when he realized he couldn’t reach up to wipe it off. He

couldn’t feel or do anything. He had no sensation from his neck down. Craig stared

up into the falling snow and prayed for God to let him go.

“You must go back.” It was a gentle, soothing voice that caught his attention then

and a man he had never seen before came into his line of sight. The man had long

blond hair and a clean-shaven face; he leaned over the young man and pressed his

hand against the side of his neck. Something Craig could only describe later as an

electric shock ripped through his body and then suddenly he could feel his limbs

again. He tried to sit up but the man pressed his hand against his shoulder. “I have

a need for you,” the man told him.

“Ah – ah need for what?” Craig stammered.

“You will soon see,” the man told him as he stood up and somehow disappeared in

the darkness.

Craig shivered and looked at his crumpled car. Sirens in the distance told him he

soon would be in deep trouble.

X-FILES OFFICE

9:20 AM, TWO WEEKS LATER

Scully found her partner amidst a sea of newspapers. His sleeves were already

rolled to his elbows and the tie he had neatly tied at the breakfast table that morning

was already askew. She smiled silently to herself; it reminded her of their earlier

years. He was obviously on a hunt. “It looks like you’ve got us something…”

When he didn’t reply she dropped her coat on the chair in front of the desk and

moved around it to stand beside him. On the monitor in front of him was a website

dedicated to “Miracle Cures and Miraculous Recoveries”. As he clicked through the

stories she began to sift through the papers on the desk. It didn’t take her long to

realize that they were all tabloids with headlines proclaiming ‘Miracle Cures in the

Heartland’, ‘Miracle Man’ and even the absurdity of ‘Is This The Second Coming?’

“Mulder?” she questioned as the momentary thought that he was researching this for

personal reasons crossed her mind. She knew he was still certain that Krycek had

made off with whatever it was he and the bastard had found on that remote island

off the coast of Washington. Mulder would look for her cure until the day he died she

realized. If only she could prove to him he’d already found it, deep in his own heart.

“Are you going to let me in on this or not?’ she finally asked.

“Yeah,” he looked up at her, a soft smile tugging at the corners of his lips. “I was

just trying to get my ducks in a row here in hopes I could win you over.” He reached

over and started to sift through the tabloids that littered the desk. “Read some of

these and tell me what you think,” he told her handing her several of the rags and

then turning his attention back to the computer.

“Please tell me you’re not looking for a case for us in these,” she commented,

accepting the papers from him and then resting against the counter behind him to

look through them. Visions of monkey babies and fluke men came to mind as she

scanned the articles. When she finally looked up she found her partner looking at

her, his right eyebrow slightly raised. A look she could only equate to the skeptical

look of Mr. Spock.

In a condensed version, three different articles in three different tabloids told a story

of what appeared to be a faith healer who had stirred up the local population of

eastern Nebraska with his miraculous cures. She’d been there before with Mulder,

Samuel Hartley, the young man in Tennessee who was eventually murdered. Her

partner had seen something in the young man’s claims. Certainly this wasn’t the

same thing. “What is it you think you have here, Mulder?” She finally asked.

“Did you read those?” he asked, turning his chair to face her fully and nodding at the

tabloid she still held. He reached up and tugged the STAR away from her, “Residents

in Fairbury, Nebraska and people as far away as Springfield, Illinois have been

flocking to a barn on Redmond Road where Billy Ward has been performing weekly

healing rituals,” he began to read. “Malcolm Tucker, crippled in an auto accident in

1987 is now able to walk without the help of his crutches…”

Scully watched his eyes scan the article.

“Halley Emerick, a leukemia patient now shows no signs of the disease…” he

continued.

“Mulder,” she huffed in annoyance and tossed the remaining tabloids on her

partner’s desk. “The stories of miraculous cures go all the way back to the Old

Testament.”

“Kara Micak, blind since birth, Scully, is now able to see. Helen Redmond, owner of

said barn says Billy showed up in Fairbury just after the first of the year looking for

work. Her husband passed away last year, she needed someone to help with the

farm,” Mulder went on seemingly oblivious to her attitude.

“Too bad he didn’t show up last year then, her husband might still be alive. I don’t

know what you want me to say, Mulder.” Her partner turned his chair to follow her

as she walked around the desk to stand in front of it. “This man just lays his hands

on someone and voila, they are cured.”

“Jesus did it.”

“Don’t start with me on that, this is not the work of God, Jesus or any of the

Apostles…”

“Actually the Church has very specific criteria on what is or is not a miraculous cure,”

he continued.

She watched the corner of her partner’s mouth curl again and realized at that point

that he was just egging her on. “All right, what do you think is going on in…” she

reached across the desk to snatch the tabloid back from him. “In Fairbury,

Nebraska?”

“Thought you’d never ask,” he smiled and leaned forward to type something on the

keyboard. “Billy Ward just sort of materialized overnight according to the local law.

They’ve even done some background checks on him and can’t find a thing. He hasn’t

really done anything that would warrant them bringing him in so for now they just

sort of show up at his ‘meetings’ for crowd control. Funny thing is,” he paused to flip

the Weekly World News back to its cover to a photo of Billy Ward. “The same story

was reported in early 2002 in Wheatland, Wyoming and in 1996 in Dickinson, North

Dakota. Look at this…” he finished motioning for her to step back around the desk to

see what he was looking at.

Three photos populated the laptop screen. One matched the photos of Billy Ward,

who even she had to admit, bore an eerie resemblance to Jesus Christ. The other

two were completely different people. “Skinner’s never going to sign off of this,

Mulder, not unless you come up with some viable evidence…” she never got to finish

as he waived the 302 folder at her. Her shoulders drooped, what had he told him.

“I just sort of suggested it could be Jeremiah Smith…” he admitted.

“But you don’t think…”

“I don’t know, could be a relative,” he mocked before he leaned towards the desk

and tapped the monitor. “I think what we really need to find out is who this guy

back here is because he’s in every one of these photos.”

Scully leaned in for a closer look. Behind each of the alleged healers stood a tall

man in a long coat with long light colored hair. Even in the poor quality news photos

there was an eerie look about him. “When do we leave?”

**

Mulder had flown them into Lincoln. From there it was normally an hour and a half

ride to Fairbury. Their flight had been late leaving Reagan as was the connecting

flight from Chicago. They were now trying to beat the darkness heading south on

Route 77 in the midst of wind driven snow. Scully was at least thankful Mulder had

pulled out a personal credit card and upgraded their vehicle to a Ford Explorer when

he saw the conditions at the airport.

“What are we looking for?” she asked.

“136 west, should take us right into Fairbury. The Capri Motel is supposed to be

right on 136.”

“Sounds like a swell place,” she commented pulling her coat more tightly around

herself.

“There weren’t a whole lot of choices,” Mulder confirmed.

“There never are.”

His eyes flashed at her in the darkness of car but she smiled to acknowledge she was

only ragging on him.

Mulder bit his bottom lip and grinned. “Turn the heat up if you’re cold,” he told her.

She was cold; fact was she hadn’t been warm since they got off the plane. The snow

that swirled around their vehicle probably blew all the way down from Canada.

There was nothing between Canada and Nebraska but open prairie. She reached

over and turned the heat indicator up a couple notches.

The sign for Route 136 loomed out of the snow and Mulder made the turn. Forty

minutes later they were turning into The Capri Motel, a one story brick structure

obviously popular with the truckers as evidenced by the numerous rigs parked in the

lot. Scully was not impressed. At this point however, she could only hope that the

place was clean and warm.

Mulder tried the door to the office and found it locked. A hand written notice on the

door instructed him to ring the bell. A few minutes later a middle-aged woman

wrapped in what looked like a hand-knit sweater appeared. “Can I help you?” she

asked through the door.

“Fox Mulder, I have a reservation,” he replied digging into his coat pocket to produce

his badge and then pressing it against the glass.

The woman smiled an apology, “Oh yes, I’m sorry, it’s late. I lock the door after

nine,” she told him as she opened the door for him.

“Sorry, we were a little late getting into Lincoln and the drive down’s been an

adventure,” the agent told her, stepping into the office, thankful for the warmth. His

ears were already red from standing out there for just a few minutes. Scully had

stayed in the car. He rubbed his bare hands together to get the circulation going.

“Oh yes, nasty evening. I’m glad you made it okay. My name is Andrea Wheeler,

welcome to Fairbury,” the woman acknowledged as she stepped behind the counter

to retrieve his reservation. “I have you and Ms. Scully in the end units away from

the congestion. It will be a little quieter for you there.”

Mulder handed her the bureau card, signed in and grabbed the key cards. “Is there

a place for breakfast nearby?” he asked as he stepped towards the door.

“Oh well, you’ll find most of the locals at Smitty’s, that’s on the square. Griffey’s is

on 4th, you can get a full breakfast there. And there’s always McDonald’s.”

“Yep, there’s always McDonald’s”, Mulder acknowledged.

“There’s a coffee pot in the kitchenette in 40,” she told the agent as he opened the

door. “Coffee, tea and hot chocolate packets in the cupboard over the sink.”

“Thanks.”

Mulder hefted his bag onto the luggage rack in his room, tossed his wet coat over

the desk chair and opened the connecting door and tapped on its mate. Scully

opened it almost immediately. “You know, Mulder, I think by now the Bureau knows

you and I don’t use two rooms.”

“Yeah, well, wouldn’t want the American taxpayer to know we’re fraternizing on their

dollar,” he told her as he slipped out of his equally wet shoes. “Besides, gives us two

bathrooms, we can sleep a little longer and we don’t have to fight over the mirror.”

He wandered into her room heading towards the kitchenette. “Andrea said there

was coffee and hot chocolate in the kitchen, you want some?”

“Hot chocolate would be nice,” she replied. The room was clean, warm and appeared

to have been recently redecorated. Not bad by Mulder’s standards. Her room had a

king, the other room, two doubles. There was no doubt which room they’d be

sleeping in. Her partner appeared a few minutes later with a couple of steaming

mugs. “It’s only water and coca mix but at least it’s hot,” he told her handing her

one of the mugs.

“So, what do we tell the locals about why we’re here?”

**

The snow had stopped by morning but the frigid temperatures had coated the SUV

with a layer of crystals that took Mulder a good five minutes to scrap off the windows

with the miniature scraper the rental car company had provided. It was a good thing

he was tall or he’d never have been able to reach the center of the windshield with

it. He left the car running and went back inside to thaw out his fingers.

“So, breakfast?” he questioned his partner who was still in the bathroom.

“Anywhere but McDonald’s,” came her reply.

Okay, he thought to himself, I guess that left Smitty’s or Griffey’s.

Griffey’s was located in one of the oldest buildings on the square. In fact the entire

downtown area was filled with historic buildings the agents discovered during their

drive from the small motel to the square. It was like passing through a time warp

and finding yourself in the 1920’s. However, as evidenced by the well-preserved

condition of the buildings, the town took great pride in their historic nature.

The sign inside the door said ‘Seat Yourself’ so the agents found a booth on the far

wall away from the door and sat down. A young woman with a ponytail and the

name ‘Katie’ emblazoned on her nametag approached with a pot of steaming coffee.

“You folks look like coffee people,” she acknowledged as she turned over Scully’s

cup.

“Yes, please,” Scully confirmed.

“Where you folks all from?” Katie asked as she then filled the cup.

Mulder reached for a copy of the breakfast menu that was tucked behind the

condiments. He figured they were screaming ‘out-of-towners’ by their attire.

“Obviously not locals, huh,” he joked.

“Nope, everybody knows everybody around here,” the waitress smiled.

Several minutes later Scully was staring across the table at the enormous omelet

that had been set down in front of her partner. She had even noticed his eyes grown

large when it had arrived. There must have been a dozen eggs involved in its

creation. She watched as he chopped it up with his fork and then reached for the

ketchup bottle. The first bite was inches from his lips when they were interrupted.

“Excuse me.” A man in a plaid shirt, barn jacket and worn baseball cap had

suddenly appeared at their table. “Sorry to interrupt your breakfast, there. But your

name wouldn’t happen to be Mulder would it?” he asked.

Mulder consumed the bite of omelet anyway, swallowed, glanced at Scully and then

up at the man standing at their table. “It is.”

“Travis Stark, I talked to you over the phone…” Travis extended his hand which

Mulder accepted. It was the call that had sent him on the hunt in the first place.

The agent glanced at his partner again. She had that ‘what else haven’t you told me’

look.

“Sit down,” the agent said; starting to slide over in the booth so that Travis could sit

next to him. Instead Travis grabbed an empty chair from a nearby table, slid it over

and straddled it.

“I’m sorry to approach you here like this, it’s probably not a good place to talk,” he

began, his eyes scanning the other patrons in the restaurant. “Lot of believers here

who wouldn’t want me talking unkindly about Mr. Ward.”

“Believers?” Scully asked.

“Oh yeah,” Travis addressed the agent. “Ward’s got a regular following around here,

holds a revival in Helen’s barn every Friday evening. Half the town will be there

tonight hoping to be the next one cured.”

“You don’t sound like you’re one of these ‘believers’ Mr. Stark,” Scully commented.

“No offense m’am,” he told her, nodding in recognition of the cross she wore around

her neck. “I don’t put much stock in faith myself anymore. I’ve had everything I’ve

ever loved taken from me in the past year or so to believe that anything — or

anyone, for that matter can make miracles. They just don’t happen.”

Scully caught her partner’s eye across the table, he looked away immediately and

they both turned their attention on Mr. Stark.

“So how do you explain Billy Ward then?” Mulder questioned.

“I can’t, not so you would believe me either, but I can point you to someone who

thinks he does know what’s going on.”

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH

FAIRBURY

11:00 AM

Mulder held the door open for his partner. As they had left the restaurant Travis has

explained how Charlie Berne, custodian at the church had been cleaning up last

Saturday evening before Sunday services when he had experienced his ‘miracle’.

Charlie, in his late 60’s, had been on a ladder dusting the statue of Jesus that

adorned the alter when to his amazement the statue had begun to weep. Charlie

had a form of palsy; he shouldn’t have even been on a ladder. When he reached up

to touch the tears he lost his balance and tumbled off the ladder onto his back. He

told everyone afterwards that something like an electric shock had passed through

his body moments after he impacted the floor. As it turned out, Charlie not only

suffered no ill effects from his fall, all the symptoms of his palsy had disappeared.

He felt like a new man.

“You must understand. You are being deceived by evil…” Father Dohnal was

addressing a small group of residents seated in the first several rows of the church.

The agents approached them and then slid into one of the pews to wait until the

priest had finished.

“How can you call the work of God, evil”! A woman shouted from the second row.

“This is NOT the work of God! Billy Ward does not promise you a miracle without a

price! These people who have been cured – they are not who they used to be… ” the

priest went on. “These healings are an illusion. I implore you to walk away…”

“Look!” the same woman who had spoken up before shouted as she pointed to the

statue. “He weeps at your bitter words!”

Gasps erupted from the group and they rose almost in unison, stumbling over each

other to reach the alter. “This is a deception!” The priest bellowed.

Ignoring him, the group crowded around the statue, straining to reach up and touch

the liquid that now trickled down its face and arms and had begun to drip off the

fingertips.

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Mulder turned to his partner, she sat momentarily mesmerized by what they were

witnessing as the towns people dabbed themselves with the liquid, some even

touching it to their lips. Whispers of “Praise Jesus” spread between them. Two

women fainted.

“I’ve seen enough,” Mulder said under his breath. Something was going on here, but

it didn’t involve Jeremiah and it certainly wasn’t anything divine. He picked up his

partner’s hand and pulled her with him, heading towards Father Dohnal who had

been pushed aside by his parishioners.

Mulder fumbled his badge from his pocket and flipped it at the priest, “Fox Mulder,

FBI, this is my partner, Dana Scully.” The agent flashed a glance at his partner.

She was still studying the group of parishioners. “May we speak with you a

moment?” he asked, touching the priest’s shoulder to steer him towards a doorway

that led from the sanctuary.

A few moments later the three of them were standing in the rectory office. Father

Dohnal, a tall dark haired but slightly graying man a few years Mulder’s senior

seemed visibly shaken by what he had seen as did Scully. “You don’t believe what’s

happening here is in any way caused by some divine intervention, do you, Sir?”

Mulder asked.

“Mulder…” Scully cautioned her partner before she turned to the clergyman. “Why

don’t you sit down, Sir,” she suggested.

The priest didn’t say anything for a moment and then he turned to the agent. “No —

no, I’m alright,” he said and then looked at both agents as if noticing them for the

first time. “I’m sorry, you said you’re from the FBI?” he questioned.

“Father,” Scully began before Mulder could respond. “My partner and I investigate

cases of what you might call an ‘unexplained’ nature. Travis Stark contacted our

office about a man named Billy Ward whom he believes could be responsible for

some unethical practices here in Fairbury.”

Mulder had to admire his partner’s tact.

“Reverend Stark? I’m sorry, the ‘former’ Reverend Stark?” the priest asked seeming

to awaken from his former funk.

Mulder caught his partner’s eye, “Mr. Stark is also clergy? He asked.

“Travis was the minister at the Presbyterian church across town until about a year or

so ago, when his wife and daughter were found dead in the pond on Helen

Redmond’s farm,” the pastor began. “From what I remember autopsies found they

had both drown but no other explanation could be found for their deaths. Travis

stepped away from the Church, abandoning God. I must admit I find it rather odd

that he would be drawn to something like this.”

“Maybe he doesn’t believe it either,” Mulder suggested.

“I’m sorry, believe what?” Dohnal asked.

Mulder slipped his hands into his coat pockets. “From what I gathered from your

message out there when we walked in. You were advising your parishioners not to

be taken in by what they’re witnessing.”

“Mr. Mulder — is it?” the priest asked suddenly seeming uncomfortable with the

subject matter. “We all want to believe in the possibility of miracles. They’re a part

of a larger picture that is referred to as faith. Would you not agree?”

Mulder looked at his partner again. “I’m probably not the one you want to be asking

that question of, Sir” he admitted.

“You don’t believe that what’s been reported here can be classified as miracles?”

Scully asked, taking over the conversation.

“God would not ask for payment for performing a miracle,” the priest replied.

“Billy Ward is being paid? The agent asked.

“Not in the sense that he’s receiving cash, no. But everyone in this town who has

been ‘cured’ by his touch have now become his servant and those who have not

been picked by this servant of the devil are suffering from what they feel is his

rejection.”

“So, you believe they’re selling their souls to the devil,” Mulder commented.

“Not if I can help it,” Dohnal told them, glaring at Mulder.

“Father?” Scully asked, pulling the priest’s attention away from her partner.

Regardless of who or what Billy Ward was, or was involved in, there was something

she needed an answer to. Moments ago they had all witnessed the crucifix in the

sanctuary weep. History was filled with such instances across the globe but she had

never actually witnessed it herself, it was unsettling. “May I ask what you believe

caused the statue to weep?”

Mulder turned to his partner but respectfully said nothing.

“I have no idea,” the priest told her.

REDMOND FARM

7:13 PM

Mulder pulled their Explorer in next to Travis’s truck. They had followed the former

pastor out here from his home after questioning him about the death of his family.

Gail Stark and her young daughter had disappeared from their home and had been

found two days later hidden in the pond reeds that surrounded Redmond’s pond.

Case photos the agents had obtained from the local police files revealed the same

tall blond man that had been visible in Mulder’s photos had been present when their

bodies were found.

Travis was out of the truck and heading for the local sheriff who was at the moment

directing traffic in the chaos that surrounded the Redmond barn. “Frank!” Travis

barked at the sheriff who made no attempt to draw his attention away from his

present duties. “Dammit! I need to talk to you now!” Travis grabbed the man and

spun him around waving a photo of what appeared to be himself and the sheriff

speaking to each other at the scene of his wife’s death, the mysterious blond man

obviously visible in the background. “He was there! Look at this!” Stark demanded.

“Dammit, Travis, get away from me! I can’t look at that now. Don’t you see I’m

occupied here?” The sheriff argued wrestling himself from Travis’ grip.

Travis made a lunge for the sheriff. “Will you just look at the picture! This man,”

Travis shouted, pointing at the image of the blond man behind him in the photo. “He

was there when they found my wife!”

The sheriff finally grabbed the photo from Travis and studied it briefly. “I don’t see

anybody but you and me in this picture, Travis. What the hell are you talking

about?”

“You don’t see three people in this picture?”

“No I don’t. No get the hell outta my way!” The sheriff turned away to survey the

traffic.

“You’re a fuckin’ liar Hank!” Travis shouted, once again reaching out to grab the man

but someone pulled him back.

“Hold on!” Mulder’s voice boomed in his ear as the agent spun him around. “Take it

easy,” the agent tried to verbally subdue the man. Scully took the photo and turned

to the sheriff.

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“Sir? My name is Dana Scully,” she began opening her badge for his inspection. “I’m

with the FBI. Can we have a moment of your time?”

Sheriff Hank Kleinworth turned and eyed them all. “Okay, you got one moment,” he

told them.

“This is you in this photo, correct?” she asked. “The other gentleman is Mr. Stark

here. Can you identify the third man?”

Kleinworth grabbed the photo from Scully. “You’re all nuts, there’s only two people

in this photo,” he told them, shaking the photograph at them. “Me and Travis. Now

let me get back to my work.”

Scully turned to her partner who subtly shook his head indicating that there was no

point in pursuing the matter any longer. She took the photo back from the Sheriff.

“He’s lying! They’re all lying!” Travis argued. Mulder reached out and touched his

shoulder turning him around as they made their way to the barn.

“We know that. Now we have to find out why,” he said.

Inside the barn chairs had been set up in rows. Lights had been strung back and

forth from the overhead rafters. A small stage built on bails of hay was at the far

end. Despite the chill, most of the seats were already filled with those anxious for a

miracle. On their way through the parking area Scully had noticed plates from as far

away as Minnesota and Kentucky. Word spreads fast evidently. She had mixed

emotions about this whole case. While her analytical mind told her that realistically

there a more logical explanation for what was going on here, her heart yearned for

the unexplainable.

They were met at the entrance to the proceedings by an elderly woman in a worn

coat. Her hair was tucked neatly into a bun at the back of her neck. “Oh, welcome!”

she said extending her hand to Scully who took it in a warm shake. “My name is

Helen. I’m so pleased you could join us. You’re here to see Billy of course.” Her

voice trailed up into a questioning tone.

Scully glanced at her partner, “Yes, we’ve heard he’s done some amazing things…”

“Billy’s been just a wonderful help to me,” the elderly woman went on. “He’s

changed my whole life. Come, please sit down…”

“Oh, that’s okay,” Scully released the woman’s hand, motioning to her partner who

had stepped aside to stand against the wall. “We’ll just stand back here.”

A young man stepped up to the microphone on the make-shift stage and cleared his

throat. The crowd turned their attention forward. “I know your all here for a reason

so let’s not keep you waiting any longer. Ladies and gentleman, Billy Ward!”

The barn erupted in a chaos of cheers and applause. Billy Ward was a stocky young

man dressed in jeans and a plaid flannel shirt like most of the men in the audience.

His hair was dark and curly; about shoulder length that combined with the short

beard gave him an unsettling resemblance to Jesus Christ. Something about his

eyes made Mulder shudder; he turned to his partner and noticed the blond man who

had been present in all the photos was standing near the entrance to the barn

dressed in a long black coat. He gave Mulder a cold stare and the agent glanced

away. When he looked back the man had disappeared.

“I know you’re all here because of the signs and wonders you’ve seen around town,”

Billy began. “You’re here because you’re hoping for a miracle. I’m here to show you

all it takes is a willing spirit and an open heart.” Billy scanned the crowd, his gaze

stopping momentarily on the group standing in the back that included Mulder, Scully,

Travis and now Sheriff Kleinworth. “Markus Baker,” he said, stepping down from the

stage as an elderly man in glasses stood up. “You can’t see without your glasses can

you?”

“No, sir, I’ve worn them all my life,” Baker replied.

Billy stepped up to Markus and reached out, pulling his glasses from his face.

“Hey, I can’t see without those!” Markus exclaimed.

“Yes you can,” Billy told him, his voice almost hypnotic. Billy reached out and

touched Markus’ forehead with is right hand. Everyone watched as Markus’ head

snapped back as if struck. The man staggered slightly, a man sitting next to him

reached up to steady him.

Markus looked around the barn, an expression of amazement spread across his face.

“Carl,” he said pointing to a man across the aisle. “I can see you! And Bob Wherle,

I can see you too! Hank,” he said turning to the Sheriff who still stood with the

agents at the back of the barn. “I can see you”!

Travis pushed past Mulder to confront the young man. “I know what you’re trying to

do! You’re trying to make these people believe you’re Jesus Christ!” he burst out.

“You’re a fake and I’m going to prove it!”

Billy walked down the aisle until he was standing in front of Travis and the rest of the

group. He unbuttoned his sleeves and raised his arms above his head to reveal the

scars on his wrists. “Does this make me a fake?” he asked in the same methodical

voice he had used when speaking to Markus his eyes scanning the group before

finally settling on Mulder. It was then that the agent realized where he had seen

that look before, in the eyes of a young boy named Charlie. The words “It knows

you” danced through his memory. Billy then turned around to face his audience.

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The entire assembly gasped in unison. Some of them close to the young man rose to

reach out and touch him. Others joined them until almost everyone in the barn was

crowded around Billy.

A woman who had come to stand next to Travis turned to him. “I want my son out

of here, Travis,” she told him as she pushed past them and into the crowd of people.

“Craig!” the woman yelled over their heads. Pushing her way through she reached

the boy who had introduced Billy. “I want you to come home!”

“I’m needed here!” Craig yelled back.

“You’re needed at home!” The distraught woman yelled back. Suddenly someone

touched her arm; she turned to find Travis pulling her out of the crowd of people.

“Carol, let it be,” Travis told her, guiding her back to where the agents were

standing.

“I’m not leaving him here, Travis,” she insisted.

“Will you just listen to me for a minute!” Stark barked. “These are the FBI agents I

told you about,” he told her turning to the agents.

Carol Fleming had long ash blond hair, probably in her mid 40’s. She was the town

veterinarian. “Can you help me get my son out of here?” she asked them.

“How did your son get involved in this Ms. Fleming?” Scully asked. Behind them

people still crowed around Billy, gasps and screams of delight could be heard as he

touched one of them after another.

“Ever since his accident. He claims he was dead and he was saved for a purpose. I

guess he believes this is it.” Carol did not sound convinced.

“I think we should get out of here,” Mulder told the group. “I don’t think your son is

in any danger right now, Ms. Fleming.”

“Mulder?” Scully studied the scene before her, it was reminiscent of the revivals she

and her partner had seen elsewhere but something was different here. She wasn’t

sure that her partner was correct. He reached over and took her elbow, motioning

for her to follow him outside.

“We’re outnumbered in there, Scully,” he told her once they had exited the barn. He

turned to Carol. “If we try and pull him out of there against his wishes then you’ll

have the entire town against you. That’s not what we need right now. Billy seems

to be taking care of his disciples. I think it’s better if we keep it that way.”

CAPRI MOTEL

12:22 AM

According to the database Mulder was currently searching through, Billy Ward’s last

place of employment had been a garage in Western. He decided that they would

start there in the morning. Scully had been unusually quiet on their trip back to the

motel. She was currently snuggled into bed, her back to him. He shut down the

laptop and went into the other room to change.

He returned a few minutes later and lifted the covers on the other side of the bed.

“Am I welcome here or not?” he asked with a slight teasing tone.

“If for nothing else than I can use the warmth,” she chided back patting the pillow

next to her.

“Nice to know I’m good for something,” he replied easing himself in beside her.

“Something’s bother you, you want to tell me what it is?” he then asked.

“Billy Ward is not who he claims to be, Mulder,” she stated flatly moving over against

her partner and then turning her back to him so they could spoon together.

Mulder pulled her close. “I know that and I’m glad to hear you know that.”

Puzzled, Scully push away and turned to face him. “What makes think I believe any

of this?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted pushing the hair off her face. “You seemed pretty

mesmerized in the church. I know you believe in the possibility of miracles,

something I’m not honestly ready to accept. I’m not sure what you think of Billy.”

“There have been many instances of stigmata throughout the centuries Mulder.

We’ve both witnessed it.”

“Kevin Kryder?”

“Billy is not Kevin Kryder.”

“I don’t think he’s Billy Ward either,” Mulder finally confessed. He watched as the

puzzled look returned to his partner’s face. “I want to drive up to Western

tomorrow. Talk to the owner of Parker’s Garage. That’s the last place Mr. Ward held

a job.

PARKER’S GARAGE

10:14AM

Not by chance the agents had met up with Travis and Carol Fleming at Griffey’s and

followed them up to Western. Mulder pulled the photo of Billy from his breast pocket

as he exited the car. An elderly man in a greasy jacket was already talking to Travis

as the agents entered the old garage. Even with the overhead door open, the smell

of axle grease and oil was overpowering. Like everything else around here, the place

had probably been here for sixty years. “Mr. Parker?” Mulder asked.

“You folks are from the FBI? Look, this ain’t no chop-shop if that’s what you’re

thinking,” Parker told them defensively.

“I’m sure it’s not, Mr. Parker,” Mulder assured him. “You wouldn’t be here for as

long as it looks if your customers weren’t satisfied with the work. My name’s Mulder,

this is my partner, Dana Scully. We just want to ask you a few questions about a

former employee.”

Mulder handed the man the photo of Billy Ward. “Can you identify this man as Billy

Ward? I believe he used to work for you.”

Parker took the photo from Mulder and held it close to his face. “Can’t see too good

without my glasses,” he admitted. “But I can tell ya, I don’t know who that is, but it

ain’t Billy Ward.”

“Do you recognize this man?” Scully asked, accepting the photo back from Parker.

“No ma-am. I don’t know who that is,” Parker told her, pointing an equally greasy

finger at the image. “But I can tell ya, Billy used to work for me some years ago,

went home one night and never came back. Heard they found him shot in the head.

Everybody sorta felt he did it himself.”

“Travis,” Carol said, turning to Stark. “If this man is not who he claims to be I want

to go get my son now!”

“I think it’s a good idea, Mulder,” Scully suggested.

Mulder eyed his associates and then addressed Parker again. “Billy Ward, did he live

around here?”

After a few minutes of weighing their options the group headed back to Fairbury, via

the Ward residence. Travis led them to a small secluded house off road 725. The

wind had picked up again blowing the snow around the yard as the four of them

waded through the more than ankle deep cover and up to the house. Mulder cursed

under his breath. He had no boots and Scully’s ankle boots were of little help.

There was no answer when Travis knocked on the door; in fact the house was dark.

The lack of any tracks in the snow, human or otherwise indicated that the place was

probably unoccupied. Travis and Carol went around back. Mulder pulled the collar

up on his coat and turned to his partner who gave him an icy stare. “Don’t say it,”

he told her disgustedly already feeling the melting snow in his shoes.

“Agents!” Travis called from behind the structure.

Mulder jogged around the back with Scully following as best she could in his leggy

footprints.

“Back here!” Carol’s voice echoed off to his right. The agents turned and saw her

waving

at them through the trees. Tramping back through the heavy snow, the agents

found

Carol and Travis standing over the open grave of Billy Ward, the date on the simple

stone

read 2002. “Who would have done this?” the woman asked.

“Maybe the question we should ask is what were they looking for?” Mulder admitted.

He stooped down with Scully who was already squatting down to get a closer look.

With the newly falling snow it was hard to tell when or how long the grave had been

opened. “Is it a practice around here to bury the dead in your backyard?” the agent

looked up at Carol and Travis.

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Something danced in the side of his field of vision, a figure in a black coat he

thought. Carol must have seen it too because she turned with him. “What was

that?” she asked. The wind made an eerie sound as it stirred the scrubby pines

around them.

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“What was what?” Scully questioned.

Mulder felt that shudder again. “I don’t know,” he told her, taking her elbow again

and beginning to stand. “But I don’t think we should hang around and find out.”

Within minutes they were back in their vehicles and heading back towards Fairbury.

The wind blew the snow across the highway but they kept a brisk pace. Shortly after

making the turn back on to 15 Mulder caught the lights of an emergency vehicle in

his rearview mirror. As the vehicle got closer he realized it was a patrol car and

before he knew it the car was right on his bumper, the headlights flashing to indicate

he should pull over.

“What are you doing?” Scully asked as she felt the car slow down. Mulder pulled off

the road to the right and came to a stop. They both watched Travis’ taillights

disappear into the blowing snow ahead of them.

“We have company,” he told his partner his eyes fixed on the mirror. “What he

hell?”

Scully turned around and watched Kleinworth exit the vehicle that had pulled them

over.

“Stay in the car,” Mulder warned her as he unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the

door.

“What the fuck are you doing out here!” Kleinworth yelled, shoving Mulder against

the side of the car his fist wrapped around the lapels of the agent’s coat before the

agent could even close the door. Scully burst out the other door almost immediately

and circled the vehicle.

“We’re investigating a lead,” Mulder spat back, pulling Kleinworth’s hands from his

coat.

“You’re out here snooping into things that are none of your concern Agent Mulder,”

the sheriff warned pulling his gun on the agent.

Scully studied the man; he seemed even more agitated than the previous evening at

the revival. “Sir!”

“Shut up!” Hank shouted, turning his gun on the female agent. Mulder watched his

partner spread her arms in submission indicating she was of no threat.

“Billy wants to see you,” Hank finally admitted, still waving the gun around.

Headlights broke through the blowing snow and Travis’ pickup came back into view.

He pulled up on the other side of the road and both he and Carol got out. “Hank,

what the hell is going on?” Travis crossed the road without even looking.

“I was sick in the head, but now I’m better ’cause of him,” the sheriff told him.

“Billy’s not doing anything wrong and I’m not letting these people,” he waved the

gun at the agents again. “Interfere with what he’s doin’.”

“You’re not better, Hank,” Carol spoke up. “Billy just has you and everyone else

brainwashed into thinking that. You need treatment and if you don’t get it you’re

going to die! You’re being used, don’t be a fool!”

“You’re the fool because you don’t believe him!” Hank turned the gun on Carol and

Travis jumped in front of her.

“Hank, listen to me,” Travis held up his hands in a surrendering gesture. “These

people are here because I contacted them. I’m worried about you, Carol’s son and

everyone else Billy’s been in contact with. There’s some question about Billy’s

identity,” Travis tried to appease the officer. “How about we all go see what he has

to say about that.”

Hank studied his friend for several minutes; the manic look seemed to ease on his

face. He shook his head as if trying to shake the cobwebs away. “Well, fine, because

he wants to see these people anyway.” Hank finally holstered his weapon. “Trav,

you lead the way and I’ll follow these people so they don’t get any funny ideas.”

Mulder, Scully and Travis exchanged glances and then got back into their vehicles.

“You have any funny ideas?” Scully asked when she and Mulder got back into the

SUV.

Mulder turned to her, a wry grin touching the corners of his mouth. “You sure you

want to ask me that?”

“Forget it, it’s too cold out here,” Scully came back. “Seriously, you have any kind of

a theory brewing in that head of yours?”

“Not exactly,” Mulder admitted as he eased the car out of park and began to follow

Travis. “I think that we can both agree that what we’re dealing with here is most

certainly not anything divine and in my opinion, probably just the opposite.”

“Evil forces?” Scully mocked.

Mulder flicked on the wipers, when the snow blew across the road it was hard to see

Travis’ taillights ahead of them. “You jest, but we both know evil exists. I think

what we’re dealing with here is a need.”

“So, what, Billy is possessed by something evil?”

Mulder turned to his partner, his eyes going wide. “Did you just say — possession?”

he mocked back.

“Isn’t that what you were alluding to?”

“Not exactly, but I like the way you think.”

RENWOOD FARM

Mulder wasn’t surprised when they ended up at Helen’s farm. The woman had

seemed enamored with Billy. She had opened her home to him and his followers

without so much as a second thought, trusting him in much the same way as

everyone else the man touched.

A woman that Carol obviously recognized answered the door. “Where’s Craig,” Carol

immediately demanded.

The woman seemed taken aback by the abrupt exchange. “He’s here,” the woman

acknowledged.

“I want to see him now!” Carol again demanded bursting into the front hall of the

stately old home.

Travis reached out for her. “Carol, dammit, hang on. Donna, where’s Helen?”

“Helen’s upstairs resting comfortably,” Donna told them.

“I want my son, Donna, now tell me where he is.” Carol started down the hallway.

“Resting comfortably from what?” Scully asked.

“Helen, is fine, she’s under Billy’s care.”

“I want to see her,” Scully told the woman as she grabbed the banister to head

upstairs. Mulder stepped up behind her in an unnecessary show of masculinity.

Donna stepped aside.

Travis followed Carol into the drawing room of the old home as the agents went

upstairs to look for Helen. The upstairs hall was dark, the only light emitting from

under the door of a room on the right. Mulder tried the handle several times and

then glanced at his partner as if asking permission before he used a powerful kick to

force it open. The door banged back against a piece of furniture but Scully caught it

as Mulder stepped into the room.

Inside the room an unmade bed was empty. The agents stepped into the chilly room

together, Scully heading for the empty bed, Mulder making his way across the room

to close the French doors that opened onto a small porch. Something in the

shadows to his right made him turn, “Mrs. Redmond?” he asked in a soft voice, his

eyes straining to see in the dim light. The figure who stepped from the shadows was

unrecognizable as Helen Redmond. She was clothed in only a nightgown, her gray

hair was in disarray about her face and as she came into the light the agent could

see her eyes had a hauntingly familiar wild yellow look to them. “Helen?” he asked

again.

“We’re here to help you, Mrs. Redmond,” Scully tried to assure her, stepping across

the room. Something wasn’t right here.

“NO!” the woman screamed, darting across the room to latch her hands around

Mulder’s throat. “You’re not wanted here!”

Stunned, Mulder stepped back with the impact of the woman, he reached up,

attempting to pull her hands from his throat but her grip was unnaturally strong.

They staggered backwards toward the French doors. In his peripheral vision he saw

Scully moving across the room to his aide. In what seemed like a split second the

woman turned to his partner, her look sending Scully airborne against the far wall

and in the same moment propelling him backwards, out onto the porch and over the

railing.

He could feel himself falling backwards into nothing, his arms instinctively reaching

out for anything that would break his fall. The flash of gunfire lit the room above

him and then he crashed, rather ineloquently into the shrubbery.

“Mulder!” Scully was peering down at him from the porch above, gun in hand. “Are

you alright?” she asked as she watched him struggling to free himself from the mass

of broken limbs.

“Oh yeah,” he told her looking up. “Once again, my ass broke the fall, “What about

you? Where’s Helen?” he asked, already knowing the answer.

“She’s dead, Mulder,” Scully replied as she watched her partner struggle to his feet.

“Get out of there,” he yelled up, looking for an entrance back into the house. When

he hit the front porch he was met by Carol, her arms wrapped around Craig, his face

damp with tears. “Where’s Travis?” he asked.

“Inside, he needs help…” Carol told him almost dragging her son away from the

home.

Scully met him at the bottom of the stairs when he entered. “Travis,” was all he said

as he headed down the hallway. A young woman was kneeling on the floor just

outside the drawing room, weeping hysterically. A quick glance from her partner

told her that she should attend to the girl. Scully stooped down and put her hands

on the girl’s shoulders. “My name is Dana, let me help you…”

Blood ran from the girl’s hairline when she looked up, “All my scars are coming back,

he doesn’t want me!” the girl cried.

“He doesn’t want you?” Scully asked confused.

“Billy! He asked me to do some terrible things and I said no. Now he doesn’t want

me!”

Inside the drawing room Travis was struggling to help a man from the floor. “Come

on Malcolm, we have to get out of here,” Travis was trying desperately to get the

man to stand. Mulder recognized the name Malcolm from the STAR article. It

appeared that his legs, which had been healed, would no longer hold him. The agent

stepped over to help. “Heal me!” the elderly man screamed. “I’ll do anything! Help

me walk again!”

“If I gave you a gun would you kill this man?” Billy rose from the table by the

window, a glass of red wine in his hand. He pointed to Travis. “Would you kill this

man?” he asked, pointing at Mulder.

“I — I…” Malcolm stuttered as Travis and Mulder pulled him to his feet.

“I thought not,” Billy concurred stepping closer. “You tell me you’d do anything but

when I ask this of you — you can not. You have no faith. That is why you can not

walk. You don’t believe!”

Mulder followed Travis to the door of the drawing room where Scully was trying

desperately to stop the blood flowing from the young girl’s head. The girl’s eyes

were growing glassy. He bent down and scooped the girl up and headed for the door

as Scully and Travis guided Malcolm from the home.

Once outside, Travis’ truck was gone, Carol evidently had taken Craig and driven off

in it. The sheriff was no where in site. He headed for the Explorer. When they

reached the car Scully popped open the back door and Travis guided Malcolm into it.

Mulder lowered the girl onto the seat next to him and then stepped out of the way

while his partner administered to her. “We have to get her to a hospital, Mulder,”

she told her partner raising from the car and turning to face him.

Mulder pulled the keys from his pocket and handed them to his partner. “Then go,”

he told her.

A look of puzzled fear spread across her face. “Mulder — you’re not staying here…”

“Get them to a hospital, Scully, I’m not alone here …” he looked away for a moment,

over at Travis who stood waiting for him.

Scully looked at Travis. “Take 15 up to 80, it will take you right to Lincoln,” he told

her starting to walk away. Mulder stepped closer, bending down to kiss her. He

didn’t need to say anything when he stepped away.

Scully stood for a moment watching her partner’s back as he and Travis jogged back

towards the house. She didn’t like the feel of this nor did she understand why they

were going back but she got into the car anyway and started the engine, glancing

into the rearview mirror at Malcolm who was trying desperately to help the girl. A

sudden thump on the driver’s window startled her, when she turned around, Sheriff

Kleinworth was glaring at her “You can’t leave here!” he yelled through the glass.

Scully didn’t answer, she stepped on the accelerator and the SUV lurched forward,

spewing dirt and snow out behind as she struggled to pull it onto the slippery road.

Once she had control of the vehicle she pulled out her cell phone to dial the state

police. Her partner was going to need more help.

Mulder found Travis in the drawing room of the house. Billy stood before him,

swaying slightly, the glass of wine still in his hand. “Blood of Christ” he offered,

wobbling back over to the table to offer them a drink.

“I hope you choke on it,” Travis answered back.

“Don’t you understand!” Billy burst out. “I was left alone by an unloving God. He

abandoned me, just like he abandoned you!” Billy staggered back across the room to

stand in front of Stark, “And you!” he stated turning to Mulder. “What has he given

either of you but grief?” Billy tossed the wine down his throat and threw the glass

across the room. He swirled the wine around in the bottle. “He doesn’t bleed for

any of us! That is why they all come to me!”

“All you offer them is fear, Billy,” Mulder told him.

“No! I show them the way when they’ve fallen off the path,” Billy corrected the

agent. “I can help you.”

“What happens when they won’t serve you?” the agent asked, ignoring Billy’s offer.

“You take back what was given to them don’t you.” It hadn’t taken the agent long to

understand what he was seeing. “We know you aren’t Billy Ward,” he confessed to

the man.

“Ha!” Billy swankered. “That name sounded much more impressive than Norb

Gookin — who the fuck names their son Norb Gookin?” Billy spat. “I’ll tell you who,

the father that beats you while the rest of the town and your church,” he continued

his eyes piercing into Travis’. “Look the other way!” Billy saw recognition pass

across Travis’ face. He smiled and evil smile. “You remember now, don’t you? You

forced me to put my faith in another… Maybe your wife died as a payback for what

you refused to see!”

Travis lunged at Billy who sent him flying across the room with a sweep of his hand.

The man slammed against the bookcase and lay motionless. Billy turned to Mulder.

“That redhead cost me a death. Helen was mine…”

“There won’t be anymore deaths, Billy,” Mulder stated, pulling he weapon.

“And who is going to stop me? You?” Billy asked his gaze directed over Mulder’s

shoulder at something behind the agent.

Mulder felt a chill pass through him and turned around. The blond man and two

other men clothed in black stood behind him.

“Not all angels serve God, Agent Mulder,” Billy sneered. “Six years, every six years,

there must be a death by my hand or they take my life — I guess you will have to be

the one now…”

1996, 2002, and now 2008, six, six, six, Mulder thought to himself. It was then he

realized that not only was this man not Billy Ward, it probably wasn’t Norb either. It

was something that had continued to find a path of existence throughout time. The

thought turned him cold. Billy’s disciples weren’t the only ones living in fear. It was

evident now that Billy was also frightened of what he suddenly realized might be out

of his control. Mulder made an attempt to step away but the three men were on

him, disarming him and wrestling him to the ground with a heavy thump that sent

everything black.

He came too a few minutes later lashed to what he morbidly realized was Helen’s

kitchen table. “Welcome back Agent Mulder,” Billy’s voice had returned to the

mesmerizing tone he had used in the barn. “This is much more fun when I can hear

you scream… You see we all have to pay for what we believe are miracles Mr.

Mulder. This is how I pay for mine.” Mulder watched Billy raise his hand above him.

In it was a ten inch kitchen knife. “Say your prayers, Agent Mulder…”

The agent found he couldn’t take his eyes off the blade that now descended on him.

Moments before it would have penetrated his chest something heavy landed on him.

The blade which continued its motion downwards in Billy’s hand ended up deep

within the object.

“NO!” Billy yelled. Lifting the knife up along with the object, a book, the inscription

on which Mulder could now read THE HOLY BIBLE. Travis was on Billy in an instant,

pulling him back away from the table until they tumbled to the floor in a heap.

Travis rolled Billy onto his back, pinning his shoulders to the floor.

“Demons can not enter where they’re not welcome and they can not stay where

they’re not allowed. Get out of our town! Release this man!” Travis yelled, shaking

Billy against the hardwood floor. Mulder struggled against the bindings as the three

men advanced on him.

With a gust of wind and a loud bang the kitchen door blew open swirling snow about

the room. The agent could feel the table shaking; in fact the whole house seemed to

be shaking around them. He watched in amazement as the three dark figures

seemed to vanish before his eyes.

On the floor Billy emitted an unearthly scream, his face distorting into an ugly image,

Travis didn’t recognize. He jumped up and backed away. In the commotion of the

shaking house he and the agent could here the sounds of others as they scrambled

out of the dwelling. Cracks appeared in the walls and ceiling, the floorboards began

to split apart. Travis staggered over to the table attempting to release Mulder. The

bindings that held the agent were tight. Travis was shaking so badly he couldn’t

make his fingers work around the lashings. Plaster dropped on them from the

ceiling above as a hole in the floor opened up threatening to pull them both in. “I

can’t untie these!” Travis finally confessed. “In here! Help me!” he yelled at anyone

who might hear him.

“Get out of here!” Mulder yelled wrestling with the bindings himself in an attempt to

get free. What he did only made them tighter. Suddenly the table lurched, dropping

several feet as the floor gave way beneath it. “Go!” Mulder yelled again at Travis.

Stark hesitated for a moment, the house rumbling about him and then in an instant

everything was crashing down around him. He leapt through the open door and out

into the snow as the entire house collapsed in on itself and into the gaping hole in

the ground.

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Stark staggered to his feet, dust and snow billowed all around him. Behind him he

heard the sound of emergency vehicles. As they pulled into the yard their headlights

lit up the scene around him. He glanced around at several groups of people that had

been inside the house, some of them now stood weeping. Eventually a deputy from

the state police approached him. “What the hell?”

“I think that explains it,” he told the man and then stepped away.

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ST. ELIZABETH MEDICAL CENTER

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA

Scully stood on the hospital’s heliport and looked off into the darkness of the

southern sky searching for a light. All she had heard from the local law was that

Mulder had been found in the rubble of Helen’s home and that he was being med-

evacted to Lincoln. The wind whipped her hair about her face; she didn’t bother to

button her coat. The hospital staff waited for the chopper’s arrival in the comfort of

the hospital’s trauma center. She needed to see him before they whisked him away

for treatment.

When a light in the distance grew steadily brighter she knew it would only be

moments before she would know his condition. In those moments she found herself

thinking about the existence of miracles. While Mulder believed her unexplained

remission from cancer years ago was due to the chip that still lay beneath the skin of

her neck. Her faith told her that her being here was nothing short of a miracle, a

miracle of which both God and her partner were an integral part.

She thought about the statue they had both seen weep in the church in Fairbury.

While Father Dohnal said he didn’t know what made it weep she couldn’t help but

feel that he thought that was the work of evil also. But perhaps the Christ had wept

because those that stood before him were so willing to place their faith elsewhere.

Now as she watched the light growing brighter like a shining star of hope she found

herself putting her faith in a God she believed in and in the knowledge that he would

bring her partner home safe.

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The chopper landed in a whirl of wind and snow. The emergency staff was out the

door as soon as it landed, rushing past her to accept the cargo. She wanted

desperately to run to his side with them but she was lucky they had agreed to let her

on the heliport at all. The door to the aircraft opened and for a moment no one did

anything. One of the emergency technicians looked her way and in that moment she

was certain her heart stopped. Then they all jumped into motion. It took them only

seconds to pull the gurney off the chopper and pop it up, heading towards her and

the door the wind whipping at them. Mulder was wrapped in a warming blanket; an

IV ran down underneath the blanket, an oxygen mask covered his face. Scully

stepped towards the gurney, thankful that no one stopped her as she dug his left

hand out from under the blanket. “Mulder? Mulder, can you hear me?” she almost

pleaded.

The trauma door opened and she followed them through, still holding her partner’s

hand. “His vitals are good,” one of the nurses assured her. When she looked up to

see who had spoken to her she felt Mulder squeeze her hand, she looked down at

him immediately. “Mulder?” His eyes opened then, an easy grin spread across his

face from beneath the oxygen mask going all the way to his eyes. She breathed a

sigh of relief and squeezed his hand tightly as the doors closed behind them.

Early the next morning as she sat watching her partner sleep she thought about

what the state police officer who had been on the scene had said. If they hadn’t

found him when they did he certainly would have been crushed to death as the

rubble of the house continued to settle on him. As it was, other than some bruising

and a few cracked ribs he had escaped relatively unharmed. “Somebody was sure

lookin’ out for him,” the officer had said.

She shook her head sadly, for all Mulder’s belief in the paranormal he still would not

acknowledge that God could have a part in what could not be explained. His faith

was and would forever be in the truth. In the end she thought, what did it really

matter, as long as it gave them a reason to believe.

FAIRBURY, NEBRASKA

Three dark figures stood on a low rise just south of Fairbury. Below them lay the

rubble of what had once been Helen Redmond’s home. The wind whipped a tattered

sign that still clung to the fence proclaiming a revival of a different sort had been

held there. None of them spoke. The tall man with the mane of blond hair knew

what the others knew, that a force more powerful than their own had laid waste to

the property, putting a stop to what was transpiring within its walls.

They would regroup, find another to instill with the power that continued to grow as

long as they found those who would believe.

“If I gave you time to change my mind

I’d find a way just to leave the past behind…

Still I look to find a reason to believe.”

4

A Reason to Believe by Traveler

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