Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 2:58 PM

Insomniac 1/2

By San aka Humbuggie
Story:  A case brings Mulder and Scully on the trail of a serial killer, out
there looking for his next victim. When both FBI and the killer are looking for
the same woman, a race against time begins to find her and bring her to safety.
At the same time, Mulder suffers one of the worst fates possible: Insomnia.
Note: In previous stories ('The Game', 'Sins of our children' and recently 'The
Darkness and The Light') I have introduced the character of Terence Davis,
Mulder's former boss at the VCS. There are several references to my previous
story 'The Darkness and The Light', but it's not necessary to read that story if
you don't want to. This isn't a follow-up, but the story takes place a few weeks
after 'The Darkness and The Light'.J
Type: MTA with lots and lots of UST
Rated R for some explicit word-use and graphic scenes
Spoilers: Several general spoilers for 'Paper Hearts', the Samantha-abduction,
but nothing in particular. The story takes place during the season seven
timeline, situated after 'Je Souhaite'. In my X-Files-Universe season eight and
'Requiem' have never taken place.
A special thanks to Mairéad, for giving me permission to use her name in this
story. (That name actually gave me the basic idea for this story), so please
accept my gratitude!
 Mairéad, as promised, you're one of the good guys J
All lyrics that appear in this story, come from Faithless' 'Insomnia'. 
I need to get some sleep
I can't get no sleep
Before that day
So he wanted her. It was written in his books. She had been on his mind from the
very first day he saw her, when she strolled through the streets with the spring
sunlight falling on her face. She had settled into his mind and would stay there
until she died.
He had experienced this feeling so many times before and had always given in to
his urges. It was in his nature to do so. He was born to be a killer, just like
his brother had been. For years he had denied himself this pleasure, but now
that he was given the opportunity to act towards it, he did.
So he watched her as she left her office that Friday evening and took a cab to
Lane Street downtown, where she lived in a small yet spacious house that she had
bought after her divorce with her husband's settlement. She was only twenty-six
when she got that divorce, and now she pretended to be eighteen again. She was
so determined to forget that faltered marriage, that she could actually convince
herself she was young, vivid and very eligible.
He had been in her house several times. He had wandered in, feeling the soft
fabrics of her couch and carefully selected chairs that went perfect with the
expensive marble table. He had been standing outside as well, watching her
several times while she worked out on her home trainer in the study. He had
looked at her while she watched TV at night, staring at her from behind the
blinds that were supposed to hide her from the outside world. She never bothered
to completely close them, believing that no one would dare to come this close to
her. After all, she thought she had the world in her pocket.
She liked comedies and the so-called quality TV-shows. She was a sucker for ER
and hated all the other hospital clones. She knew all the medical terms inside
and out and spoke out loud when she disagreed. She liked The Practice and had a
weak spot for tall men with dark hair. Those were her kind of heroes. She
dreamed of having a man like Dylan McDermott in her bed and life.
Instead, she had him in her life, even though she didn't know it yet. She didn't
like him. That much he knew. She had told him so two weeks ago when he asked to
go out with her on a date. She had laughed in his face and told him he was too
chubby, too short and too poor to her liking. She liked men with money. They
paid for what she couldn't afford with her office salary. They made sure she
didn't have to work too hard. Why be manager when you could earn more fucking a
man on occasion?
That's the trap her ex-husband had fallen into. He still paid dearly for his
mistake. He had thought that the age difference didn't matter. He was wrong. She
had plucked him until there was nothing left, claiming to be mentally abused.
She was a good actress.
The home trainer she had gotten from her last lover. She had done him in three
times a week, every night after his work, while his wife thought he was doing
overtime. Afterwards he went home to her and his kids and didn't feel like
having sex anymore. When he told her he had enough, she told him she wanted that
home trainer. And she always got what she wanted.
The world would be happy if she died. She was a bitch.
When he had done his first kill, he had figured out a plan that got him off the
hook every time. He would use the same plan now. He knew she would fall into the
trap. They always did that. She would walk into his hands and never see the
daylight again.
The fun part was that he would take her in broad daylight, with hundreds -
thousands of people around them. The fun part was that no one ever knew she was
dying while they were enjoying themselves. He got a kick of hearing their
excited voices outside his carefully selected shelter. And it was more fun to
hear her beg and scream, while not a single soul could hear her.
He would keep her for three nights. Then he would kill her and get rid of her
body like he did the others. He would hear about the murders in the papers and
on television. And the world would wonder who this new serial killer on the
loose was.
After he would dump her body, he would be out there again, looking for his next
victim. He had the new one's address and telephone number in his pocket. He had
spotted her by chance, just like all the others. And she would step into his
trap with her eyes open, just like they all had done.
And finally, he would kill her too with all the pleasures of the world.
Part One
I only smoke weed when I need to,
 and I need to get some rest, I confess.
I burned a hole in the mattress, yes yes.
It was me, I plead guilty.
Morning bliss
The morning came as bliss after a night of sleeplessness. Mulder sighed when he
turned off the alarm, slid out of bed and opened the curtains to let the
sunlight in. Usually the waterbed got him to sleep quite comfortably but this
night it had seemed as if every second lasted an hour.
Finally he had slipped out of bed and gave the couch to try and get some sleep.
As if the devil himself was involved, sleep simply wouldn't come. Finally, after
watching "Planet of the Apes" for the twentieth time or so, he managed to take a
nap. By that time it was five in the morning.
But sleep wouldn't come easily. He was haunted by several weird dreams. In one
of them he heard the constant sound of a moving freight train. In another one he
was in his father's backyard and watched a concert of "The Barenaked Ladies"
with thousands of screaming and shouting men and women around him.
In yet another one, Faithless came on stage and he stood centred, watching them
as Maxi Jazz got the crowd to move. When he looked aside, Scully stood next to
him and said something he couldn't hear. Her lips moved but no sound came out.
He couldn't hear her for the love of god.
He woke up finally around five thirty, bathing in sweat after merely half an
hour of sleep. He was awake and alert, angry with himself for eating that last
slice of pizza last night. That must have been the reason for his lack of sleep
now. His stomach was too upset and kept on reminding him that he had been a bad
boy. Needles to say it were not one of his best nights.
Just out of the shower, the doorbell went. Scully was too early to pick him up
but she wouldn't mind the wait. He remembered vaguely something about a short
meeting with Terence Davis this morning at Skinner's request. He had been
surprised by Skinner's late call last night, asking to meet with Davis in his
office first thing in the morning.
He had wondered why Davis had wanted to see the both of them. After what
happened in New York and Mulder's recovery, Davis had decided to give Mulder a
break. A few years ago Mulder had helped Davis out on several cases as well,
returning on occasion to the VCS.
A few weeks ago Davis had taken Mulder out to lunch, discussing the possibility
of returning to the VCS on a part-time basis. They were short of profilers.
Mulder had actually considered it, but when Skinner found out, he had friendly
yet forcefully requested his pal Davis not to do this. Mulder never knew what
the two discussed, but he knew that both Directors were worried about him. It
was true that he always got in too deep, but that was exactly what a profiler
had to do. When someone's life depended on it, to Mulder it didn't matter what
After that talk between the two Directors, Terence had kept his promise to
Skinner and backed away. Despite the fact they lost a profiler just recently,
Terry had kept his promise.
Until, apparently, last night. And Skinner had gone along. That could only mean
there was something serious going on, and they wanted him in on the journey. He
was glad with the change of pace. Truthfully, after New York, Mulder had
seriously considered going back to the VCS on his own terms. Right after he
found out the truth about Samantha, he had believed that The X-Files had served
its purpose and that he could move on. In truth, he knew he couldn't. He had
been angry at Scully when she believably convinced him she had quit The X-Files.
Then how could he even consider the same thing?
He simply couldn't bear not working with his partner anymore. It was an
unthinkable thought. If it ever happened to turn out that way, he would quit the
Bureau immediately and take her with him. Somehow - how selfish as it might seem
- he would persuade her to join his quest.
Right now, Davis needed a hand however, and he was planning to give it to him,
even though he didn't seem physically fit right now to do so.
'You look like hell,' Scully remarked when he opened the door.
'Good morning to you too,' Mulder mumbled, drying his hair with a towel that was
supposed to look white but had ended up in a machine with blacks. 'Take a seat,
I'll be right there.'
Mulder could feel his partner's eyes pierce in his back when he returned to the
bedroom and left the door half open so he could talk to her. He saw her glance,
and smiled as he got changed out of her sight. He knew she had seen him naked
many times before, but that usually happened when he was lying butt naked in
some hospital with her hovering over him. Right now, that was as far as he
wanted to go.
'Why does Davis want to talk to us?' Scully asked as she sat down on the leather
couch, and glared at the rest of Mulder's living room. The place looked a mess.
A blanket lay beside her. The couch still felt warm. Mulder had obviously slept
here, but she wasn't going to ask him about it until he offered to explain. She
knew he hated it when she hovered over him like a mother hen.
'Beats me,' Mulder said from the bedroom. 'I'm sure he's got a case for us.'
'An X-File?'
'Not likely. Davis only believes in down-to-earth serial killer-cases. He's good
at what he does, so I'm sure he's not going to change his MO right now. It's
probably a serial killer-case or something. I know he loves to put me through
the wringer.'
'And get you emotionally fucked up again?'
Curiously Mulder glared at her from behind the door and smiled. 'My, my, Agent
Scully, what forceful language.'
'I'm sorry, Mulder,' she said, not smiling back, 'I don't like the Davis-cases
and you know it. You always end up in trouble. This is not good for you and you
know it.'
'I'm a big boy, Scully. I can take care of myself.'
'That's just it,' she sighed. 'When you're working on a case like that, you
forget everything. Sometimes you're so mixed up in them, that you just ignore
the rest of your life. I don't want that - not this time. So you better get used
to the fact that I will be hovering over you until we catch whoever it is we're
Mulder returned to the living room, dressed in a business-suit with his hair
still sticking in all directions. He looks adorable, Agent Scully thought, not
even trying to ignore the feelings inside of her any longer.
He could have been any woman's dream hadn't he been working full-time on cases
that other people just laughed at and she worked with him every day. She had
this incredible urge inside of her to protect him at all cost, knowing what
happened to him during previous cases. She remembered the kiss they had shared
after New York. She remembered the long talk after that. They had fallen asleep
together on this very couch. But they both knew they wouldn't go beyond that
She sighed. They were so different yet she wanted so much to be with him. She
found him interesting even though she loved to go against all that he believed
in. She knew he expected that from her. Why couldn't she just keep this
partner-wise and forget all about the fact they both were in need of  something
more than friendship? It would make things so easier.
It just didn't become any simpler, with everything they had been through. All
that they had done and seen had lead them to a life where they needed each other
more than anyone or anything else in the world. They were like drugs to one
another. Without the daily fix, there was nothing left.
'Planet of the Apes calling Agent Scully,' Mulder grinned, waving his hand
before his partner's eyes.
Scully looked up shocked, trying to figure out where in the world she had been
with her thoughts. Then she smiled, despite her worries, and got up so that she
could face her partner.
Carelessly the male agent stuffed his badge and wallet in his jacket pockets,
strapped his gun and ruffled through his hair. 'Ready to go,' he said, saluting
her as if he was a soldier.
She laughed, looking at the funny faces he pulled on her. 'Your hair is sticking
out, Soldier Mulder.'
'Oh yeah -' Mulder grabbed a comb from the coffee table and went quickly through
his hair, ignoring the stubbles on his chin. He had obviously not been awake
when he shaved. He had a day-old beard. Perhaps he hadn't even shaven at all. He
couldn't actually remember.
'You okay Mulder?' his partner asked worried, standing next to him as he stared
at his familiar face in the mirror, rubbing his chin as if he was seeing someone
He turned towards her. 'I've been dreaming about trains and rock concerts
whenever I fell asleep last night. Can you believe that? Hell, I even sang and
danced along.'
'What band?' she asked, biting her lip in order not to laugh.
'Barenaked Ladies first, then Faithless.'
'Then it couldn't have been a bad dream. Come on, partner, we're late as it is.'

Mulder sighed, closing the door behind him as they left and walked beside his
partner to the elevator. He felt a bit light-headed like he always did when the
night had been too short.
If he had known his problems were just beginning to see the light of day, he
wouldn't have gone to see Davis.
Seeing Davis
Seeing Terence Davis again, was like seeing an old friend. The Director didn't
seem to age one little bit. Even though they had first met over ten years ago,
the man still seemed to be exactly the same person. Mulder remembered they first
reunion a couple of years ago. Davis had been out to test and tempt him. Now
they were on the best terms possible.
'Mulder,' Davis said, shaking the agent's hand, 'it's good to see that you're
doing well.'
'As always, sir,' Mulder responded, nodding towards Skinner who was in the
office as well. That surprised both Mulder and Scully. This really must have
been something serious for both Directors to be there.
'Take a seat,' Davis said, pointing at the chairs before his desk. He had shut
the door of his spacious office and offered them coffee. As they sat, Davis
looked serious and folded his hands under his chin as if he was thinking. It was
a gesture that Mulder had gotten so used to fear in the past, when Davis was
still his Director and bossing him around.
'I can't even say that it's been a long time, Mulder,' Davis said, sipping his
warm coffee and adjusting his glasses. 'But I can't consider New York a case you
worked on under my jurisdiction. Of course I'm very happy that it got resolved,
thanks to you and Agent Scully.'
The AD stopped and glanced at Skinner. 'You know that I contacted you a few
weeks ago about a possible co-operation between our two divisions. I was serious
about my offer, realizing afterwards though that it wouldn't be realistic to
assume we could work things through. You cannot possibly divide your time
between two departments and expect the both of them to run perfectly.'
Davis took his time, emptying his coffee before he came to the point. 'But I had
an agreement with Walter that I wasn't going to bother you again unless it was
an emergency. Walter knows that we are short of profilers and after the loss of
Agent Jones I unfortunately was forced to seek a new profiler on short-term
basis. Agent Grayson wrote the initial report, by the way. She's an ex-cop and
was recruited about four years ago. I asked her to join our team because I feel
she's an excellent asset. You know that it takes a lot of time to work your way
in, Mulder, so I cannot ask my new Agent to take the lead on this case for me.
Therefore I called in a favour on Walter and asked him to allow your
Mulder looked at Skinner who looked at Davis. He realized both AD's were
concerned. It was true that in the past he had done a few cases that nearly got
him killed, but every single case they investigated brought him in danger. He
lived with it. Every field agent did.
Now, all of that seemed to be forgotten as Davis took a file from a drawer and
placed it on the table, tapping his hand on it. 'I want to ask you, Mulder, if
you're up to this. I know that New York shook you up. You saw the psychologist a
few times. Walter tells me you're back at your old games, but I want to hear it
from you.'
Mulder swallowed away the dryness in his throat and the sudden knot in his
stomach as he stared at the file beneath Davis' hand. In truth, he had not
discussed his fears with the psych. They had told him he had to go, but he had
not spoken about his sudden seclusion and worst dreams come true. That, he kept
to himself.
'I have to be honest,' he finally said, as Scully's image caught the corner of
his eye and he glanced outside, at the warm sun that seemed to brighten the
world. 'I haven't - we haven't been able to put it all behind us yet. But I need
a good, solid case. I'm not afraid of doing cases like this. I want to go back
in the game, sir.'
Davis smiled as he glanced at Skinner who didn't seem too happy with this answer
but didn't respond or give input. In fact, looking objectively at it, adding
profiler cases to his list, was a perfect way to strengthen the agent's
credibility, thus allowing him to defend his work on The X-Files. They all knew
how to play these political games.
Scully knew she wasn't able to argue about this with her partner. She had seen
his determination before. She knew now what he felt when they were after serial
killers. Had she not been on the trail of one herself? This was no different
than finding out the truth about an X-File. The only thing missing was the
paranormal tint that seemed to make it more unbelievable when they handed in
their case files. But wasn't a human being, murdering more human beings just as
incredible? Why else could someone murder the innocent and claim that he did it
because he had been "chosen"?
'Scully?' Mulder said as he looked aside and tapped her hand. She blinked her
eyelids, realizing that once again she had been far gone in her thoughts. Her
partner looked at her with care and worry and said, 'I'm not doing this without
you. If you say no, it's no.'
She stared at him shocked. Was he really going to refuse cases on her behalf,
even though these might be the most satisfying ones?
She looked nervously at the others, waiting for a reply. 'I can't say no,' she
said, 'even if I wanted to. But I don't want to. I know now what it's like. I
can only support you in what you're doing.'
He smiled at her, taking in her approval. That was so important to him - more
than anything in the world. She knew and smiled back, albeit nervous.
'I have taken the liberty of freeing your time for this case, Agents,' Skinner
said. 'Officially you are working under my jurisdiction. Unofficially, you will
work in unison with AD Davis. We're doing this because rumours have it that
Kersh is up for Deputy Director. You know what it's like.'
'That's right,' Terence agreed, finally opening the file that he shoved towards
the agents. 
Several photos and newspaper clippings were spread out on the table. They had
already heard of this case. It had been all over the news. 'They call him 'The
Concert-Killer',' Davis said, tapping his right index finger on an LA-Times
article. 'Several police units from different states and cities have been
working together to nail this guy, but he's smart, clever and fast.'
'I read about him,' Mulder said hesitant as he glanced at the autopsy report and
pictures that he gave to Scully. 'Several women disappeared without a trace
during rock concerts and were found three days later with their throat slit. No
one knows how he does it.'
'That's right,' Davis said. 'The FBI has been keeping a low profile in this case
for several reasons. Main reason is that the daughter of Police Chief Brandon
with the Chicago PD was one of the casualties. It became a police prestige case
after that. We're six weeks and six murders later. Our killer selects one victim
per week. With the festival- and concert summer ahead of us, we fear that he
might be upgrading soon.'
'What kind of concerts does he select, sir?'
'Several different ones. There's no link between the bands or the arenas they
perform at. He always picks out large stadiums that hold up to 20,000 people.
That seems to be our only reference. We've sharpened security at every concert,
but we can't keep that up. I had a meeting with Brandon yesterday and promised
him to put my best profiler on it. I thought of you.'
'How did they disappear?' Mulder asked, ignoring the side compliment.
'All victims got separated from the groups of people they were with. No one saw
them leave the arena. In fact, in most cases a person that leaves the arena is
not allowed back in. There's usually such a large crowd there, that security
becomes tight once the concert starts.'
'And all victims vanished from within the arenas?' Scully asked.
'Yes. Chief Brandon believes that someone from the inside working at those
concerts, is responsible for their disappearances. The only problem is that
there are so many people walking around there, that it could be anyone. It could
have been one of the concertgoers as well. But we can't trace anyone. A lot of
the tickets are purchased anonymous, at the spot. Only for high-profiled
concerts most tickets are bought upfront. Brandon actually had someone going
through the list to track down criminal records but that only led to dead ends.'
Scully gave the autopsy photos to Mulder. They were taken from up close and
clearly showed that the cause of death was strangulation with a piano wire.
According to the report there was never sexual assault. The victims seemed to be
in perfectly good shape until the moment they were murdered.
They were all found within hours after their death, usually dumped in an alley
in the same city they had been taken.
'All we can do right now,' Mulder said, 'is profile our John Doe and see what
ticks him off. It's obviously a man that loves to take risks. He toys with his
victims and us. He doesn't kill them straight away. He likes to keep them for a
while before he does them in. But he doesn't do it for the sexual thrill of it.
If he did, he wouldn't leave them alone.'
'Go on,' Terence said, looking at Mulder as his brain started to work at full
speed, putting the pieces together.
'I think you were right about our man working at those concerts, but I believe
he's always there on a temporary basis. Most security guards have fulltime jobs.
They can't account for missing hours. We're looking for someone here that has
the flexibility of freedom and uncounted hours. He needs to be with his victims
during the abduction period. For that, we're looking for someone that knows
these arenas inside out and has easy access to information.'
'Do you think he selects his victims casually?' Skinner asked.
'Not likely. They never do. He has a basic reason for taking these women
specifically. Looking at this file, I would say at first sight they don't have
anything in common, except for their features. They couldn't be more Irish or
Davis smiled. 'You're absolutely right. I caught the same impression.'
'Are you saying he's targeting specifically Irish women?' Scully asked.
'Or British,' Mulder said, 'but some of the family lines might go back hundreds
of years. Don't forget that basically, most of us have English roots. It's not a
good place to start, but it's something.'
'How's he selecting them then?' Scully asked.
'It's not so difficult these days to look up one's history,' Mulder said. 'The
moment you've got a name and age, you can go on the Internet and run one of
those family tree-programs. He might be searching on a specific name or family.'

'We can't guard every woman in the US with English roots,' Davis said. 'We'd be
putting everyone in small cages and hope nothing happens, so to speak.'
'Right now I agree that's too little to go on,' Mulder agreed, 'but there are
other ways.' He rose up from his seat and took the file, turning as he walked to
the door. There he stopped as if he remembered something, turned and said
confused, 'Sorry, can I please be excused?'
Davis nodded with a smile on his face. When Mulder left, he turned to Skinner
and said, 'Our boy's back.'
'It's your responsibility to see that he pulls it off, Terry,' Skinner said
hard, glancing at Scully as if he didn't want her to be there. Scully understood
the message and excused herself, leaving the room as well.
Terry got up from his seat and walked to the window, glancing outside as he
sighed. Suddenly he seemed to look ten years older even though he had started
out at the FBI alongside Skinner so many years ago. So many things had happened
ever since. They had both become AD. But Terence had declined an offer to become
Deputy Director. For ten years now he had been in charge of the VCS and he
wasn't about to let his baby go.
'You're tired, Terry,' Skinner said as he leaned on the edge of the desk. 'Isn't
it about time that you consider that offer? You know it still stands.'
'No.' Terence shook his head. 'There's too much going on out there to quit now.
I don't want to be pushing papers in a bigger office just yet, Walter. I want to
be out there, in the field. I want to watch my agents do their job. I've got
good men out there, and I'm not about to stop helping them now. They need me
too, you know.'
'I know,' Skinner said, placing his hand on his friend's shoulder. 'It always
works out, Terry.'
'I'm worried,' Terence admitted as he glanced outside. 'When Robert Jones died,
I thought my world had come to an end. The investigation was so hard, and with
good reason. I shouldn't have let him handle that case on his own, but I had no
choice. All my good profilers are working in other cities. Brandt's in New York,
Jenkins in LA. Here in Washington I have eight people working fulltime for me,
and it's not enough. It seems that the crime rate has never been higher.'
'No,' Skinner said, 'it's just changed, that's all. Years ago a serial
killer-case made the news. If a woman disappeared, you could be sure that woman
was taken by the one creating havoc at the time. Look at Ted Bundy or The Boston
Strangler. Now someone gets a kick out of destroying human lives for fun and he
doesn't even make the news. We are becoming oblivious to what is out there.'
'That doesn't make it easier,' Terence said, pointing at passing people on the
streets below them. 'Anyone of those men or women out there can be our next
suspect. I grew up with trust and faith until I winded up at the FBI and
realized everyone could be a killer. We all have that inside of us, even the
people working for us right now. The reason why Mulder is such a good profiler
is because he lives in that dark world. He allows himself in. He switches the
button that gives him access to their world but doesn't always know how to get
back. That's what worries me. What if one day he doesn't know how to get back?'
'Isn't that what you feared more yourself?' Skinner said as he turned and looked
at the framed awards that decorated Davis' office. 'That one day you won't be
able to distinguish right from wrong, like Patterson did?'
Davis frowned when hearing that name. Patterson was the school example of an
exccellent man gone wrong; a fate that could lie ahead for all of them.
'You're right,' Davis said. 'One shouldn't dwell on these things. We cannot
allow ourselves to think about the abyss. We should move up and about and try to
forget that every single case leaves behind its casualties.'
'If you want to keep sane, that's exactly what you need to do,' Skinner said,
leaving his friend alone in his comfortable office with something to think
To be continued ...
Part 2
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The arena
He walked around the arena, looking at the huge amount of seats and foot space.
In a few days all of this would be filled with thousands of people, all coming
here for the same thing. He closed his eyes and breathed in the fresh air,
stretching his arms as he did.
'Hey!' a dark male voice shouted behind him, 'you're here to work, not to waste
He turned, angry that someone had dared to disturb his most inner thoughts. Then
he forced a smile and an apology from his lips, and went back to work. He
couldn't give up his cover now, even though he felt a sudden urge to strangle
his temp boss with a piano wire.
But even while working he dreamed about the next one in his arms that would
wriggle as they tried to escape his grip. Just like the others she would not be
able to get away from him and she would be his to play with for three days.
He had carelessly bumped into her the day before, muttering an apology as he
did. She had turned and smiled and then someone said, 'Come on, Mag, let's go.'
He had stopped and listened to the use of that name. It sounded so soft, so
gentle, and so beautiful that he wanted to weep. Soon Margaret would be his, and
then he would forget all about her, just like all the others, and move on to the
next one. Every new woman in his arms seemed more important than the previous
one. They all became more and more important to him.
He would never get enough. In fact, the knowledge that summer was up and about
made him almost giddy. Perhaps he shouldn't be stopping this, ever. He was
having fun killing. Yeah, he could consider making a career out of it.
And so at night, he hid himself in his little shelter, taking out his most
precious possession. Her golden hair that he kept in the sniff box that his
mother had given him fifteen years ago. He smelled her hair and recalled her
taste. And he knew that soon they would see each other again and she would be
forever his.
He would find her again one day. Soon her golden hair would twist around his
index finger again, and she would kiss him and tell him she loved him, like she
had done in his dreams so many times before.
Agent Grayson
Agitated because he wasn't able to take a nap on the flight despite his fatigue,
Mulder was happy when the plane touched down in Miami where they would be
It all had to be arranged fast. Scully called to arrange the tickets and motels
while Mulder made a quick listing of sights and places he wanted to check. Even
though they could extract a lot of info on the thorough report made by Agent
Grayson and the different police departments, there was still a lot of work to
be done.
Mulder had insisted on flying out to Miami himself. Scully knew he wanted to get
a feel of the places where the women disappeared, hoping to catch a glimpse of
the killer. Even though their John Doe was long gone by now, the agent needed an
impression on his MO.
Before they left, Skinner had walked in on them and told them that all police
departments gave their full cooperation. Chief Brandon was waiting for them once
they arrived in Chicago where his own daughter had vanished. It would be a tight
schedule but a necessary one. They had no idea how long it would take for the
next victim to disappear. Concert season meant that just about every city pushed
two to four big gigs a week.
At the exit terminal, a woman clad in business suit walked over to them. She
seemed to recognize them immediately and smiled widely as she offered her hand.
'I'm Agent Grayson from the Miami Field Office. I'm glad to see that AD Davis
convinced you to come over.'
Mulder looked over the younger agent who didn't seem a day older than thirty,
and shook her hand. 'You wrote the initial report, didn't you?' he asked,
recalling the thoroughness of the file they had received earlier that day.
'Yes, I did. AD Davis asked me to write a report about a week ago. He had a
hunch then that we would be requested by Chief Brandon to take over to the case.
I worked under Davis' supervision on this. AD Davis asked to assist you on this
case. He said you wouldn't mind.'
'AD Skinner already informed us,' Scully said as she accepted the offered hand
and smiled friendly. The younger woman seemed very eager to start to work
properly on the case. She had tried to create an image on 'The Concert-Killer'
in her mind but never came further than the classic image of a regular guy doing
irregular things. That's what they learned during their first course. Anyone
could be a murderer.
'Is there a possibility of seeing the last victim?' Scully asked as she walked
beside the younger agent outside. Mulder followed behind them, covering a yawn
with the palm of his hand. 'From my understanding she died about four days ago?'
'That's right,' Mairéad Grayson said as they walked towards a waiting car. 'It
was a shock, I can tell you that much. I was working out in Washington when the
call came, trying to gather evidence to make the report, and then suddenly a
murder takes place in my own hometown, sending me back here. That's the downfall
to this case. We never see it coming.'
'And the victim?' Mulder asked as he slipped into the backseat of the car,
watching the two women upfront. He had difficulty putting his long legs in
place. Scully couldn't help but smile when she saw him struggle with his
seatbelt and big feet, groaning several times before he was able to fit into the
relatively small vehicle.
Grayson started the vehicle and took off taking sharp turns and curves as she
drove her vehicle to the Field Office. It was a hot day and the air-conditioning
blew air in their faces. Still it didn't seem to help much. Scully felt her
blouse stick to her chest, tempted to take off her jacket. When she glanced
aside, she saw that her partner had already removed his tie and was working on
getting his jacket off his tall body.
Grayson glanced in the mirror, wondering what was going on in the back of her
car. Her eyes met Mulder's and she flushed, noticing he was examining her
without discretion. She knew Mulder had difficulty working with younger agents
and wasn't a very patient man. At least, that's what they said. But he had been
polite and friendly to her, albeit impersonal.
Somehow she could see the man was somewhere else with his thoughts. Wherever it
was, it sure wasn't with them in this car. He seemed to be far-gone. Davis had
told her about him. During Academy she had read many profiles and cases he had
done. He intrigued her.
'Pearl Jennings was our sixth victim,' Mairéad said as she drove through the
busy streets, driving like a New York-cop that had been on the streets for too
long. 'She vanished during a Barenaked Ladies-concert. She was found three days
later, strangled with a piano wire, like all the others. Chief Brandon was very
reluctant at first to call in the FBI. Said that doing so would be admitting
that they couldn't handle it. But at least he got Davis to start working on the
The car stopped abruptly at the Miami Field Office. They followed her into a
white, crowded building where ventilators hung on the ceilings and blew in
constant fresh air. The agents had left their belongings in the trunk of the
car, just taking a small case with them. Despite the fact it was after eight
p.m. there was still a lot of activity going on.
'Most people here like working at night when it's cooler,' Mairéad said as she
showed them into a small two-desk private office. 'During the day you won't find
many people here. It can be unbearable, believe me.'
The three sat down. Without asking them what they wanted, Grayson left and came
back with glasses of ice-tea. Scully took a sip, realizing this self-brewed cold
drank was the best thirst-quencher they could possibly find. Mulder didn't touch
his glass while he started up his laptop and automatically selected the first
'We're going after a hunch our John Doe might be interested in English or Irish
women,' Mulder said as he handed Mairéad a copy of notes he had typed in the
morning, after leaving the meeting. 'Could you do me a favour and run a check on
these women's backgrounds to verify that?'
'Sure,' the agent said, flushing as she jotted a note on a small notepad. She
smiled. 'I hope you're wrong about that part though - I'm Irish myself. At
least, my mother was.'
The agent seemed nervous when she looked up at the agents, simply saying, 'I'm
sorry if I might sound inexperienced. This is my third case at the Bureau and -'

Mulder smiled reassuringly, stopping her apologies. 'You've done more than okay
so far. Your report is thorough and detailed, and better than a lot of work I've
read. I'm able to pick out a number of things to set up a preliminary profile.
I'm sure it must be strange for you too to work with us. After all, they say I'm
Grayson laughed out loud. 'I don't believe in reputations,' she said. 'All I'm
interested in is solving this case.'
Instantly both Mulder and Scully were thrown back to the past, remembering what
Scully had said during their first case together after Mulder accused her of
double cross. She too only wanted to solve that case. It was like looking in a
Grayson seemed aware of the fact she had struck a sensitive cord and said,
'Sorry, did I say something wrong?'
'Not at all,' Scully assured her. 'We're happy with your help. I assure you that
we're very pleased with your assistance.'
Mairéad responded to her smile and said, 'Well, let me check that out and get
back to you on it. A part of me hopes that you're wrong, Agent Mulder. I have
Irish roots myself. In fact, I think just about half the people living in this
country have.'
Mulder smiled. 'I know. Let's hope that is not the basis that our killer uses to
track down his victims. It would make our task more difficult. I'm hoping for
something more juicy that helps him select them.' Mulder got up and put all the
photos up to the white board. Grayson and Scully watched as he set three steps
back, his hands on his hips as he watched them. The top two buttons of his shirt
were opened. Mairéad couldn't help but stare at his features as her heart
Then she noticed the same stare coming from Scully and realized she was already
too late to try and make a move.
'He doesn't want them for his sexual pleasure,' the agent said. 'That, we can be
very sure of. I don't think this guy had a bad childhood. Most victims are
beaten and battered before they are killed. This one does it with one streak, as
if he's a hit man. It's like he wants something from them and questions them.
Afterwards, he kills them. And he always gets what he wants.'
'What makes you say that?' Scully said.
'He kills them within a certain period of time. Perhaps he uses old-fashioned
torture to taunt them. He might be keeping them awake with sounds and lights. He
might want to terrify them so badly that they say what he wants to hear within a
few days time. None of them has been able to hold on. He tells them he's looking
for that particular thing and promises them they will be released afterwards.
But they never are. In fact, the sooner they tell him, the sooner they're
sentenced to death.'
'What's he looking for?' Scully asked.
'I don't know. Anything goes right now. It could be a person he's trying to
find; a girlfriend, a childhood fantasy, someone he could not reach when he was
a pimpled teenager. Or it could be a thing - something he thinks they have.'
'What are our next moves?' Mairéad asked as she jotted down Mulder's remarks.
Scully nearly smiled at the sight of adoration the girl seemed to have for
Mulder. And the funny thing was that her partner didn't even spot it himself.
Every time he looked at her, he seemed to be seeing something else.
'We need to determine both our John Doe's profile as a victim's sketch. These
women look alike. They're in their late twenties, varying a few years in age.
They have slim, bright features. They have green or blue eyes and hair that
varies shades of colour going from blonde to dark red. They're all naturals -
which might be important to him. Their backgrounds are very different, so we
can't assume that he's selecting them on that basis. They all purchased their
tickets beforehand, paying with credit cards. They like different styles of
music; he doesn't make his selection on that. They come from different cities,
but all lived in houses - no apartments.'
'Is that important?' Scully asked who read the same thing in the file on the
flight out.
'It is, assuming that he's been stalking them. He wouldn't select apartments. He
would stand a greater risk of being caught.'
Mairéad nodded in agreement. 'Can we assume he might have spoken to these women
before he took them?' she asked. 'He could have been in deliberate contact with
'A valid assumption,' Mulder agreed. 'He might want to be sure what kind of
person he's taking. He might take his final call character-based.'
'How will we know in what city he strikes next, Mulder?' Scully asked. 'He's
been to Miami and LA twice, Chicago and New York. He could take any place next.'
'All large arenas and stadiums have been warned. All we can do for now is
distribute a victim-sketch but that still includes hundreds of women. We're
asking the impossible at this very moment. I would like to go to the arena where
the last victim was taken and get a feel of the place. I think right now that's
my best shot to get in contact with our killer.'
Mulder sank down on his chair behind the desk and started typing away, seemingly
unaware of the fact the two women watched him as his brain worked at full speed,
ordering his fingers what letters to type in. It happened so automatically that
it was nearly scary. It was like watching a writer write his next best seller,
not able to explain to others how he came up with the story idea and how he was
going to proceed. It rested in his head alone.
'Do you want to see the body today or tomorrow morning?' Mairéad asked as she
glanced at her watch. She was hungry but didn't dare say. She wanted to spend as
much time as possible with these two agents, eager to learn what she could.
'Actually,' Scully said to her great relief, 'I'm quite tired. Do you think you
could wait 'til the morning? When is the funeral set?'
'In three days. We still have time. The body will be released tomorrow night.
The coroner's probably finishing his last report right now,' Mairéad explained.
'He had to wait for the results of the other autopsies to make his final
conclusions, as requested by AD Davis. Now that the FBI's handling the case, we
want to bring all the files together and compare notes.'
'Good,' Scully said. It was nearly nine and they hadn't eaten properly since the
small tasteless sandwich on the flight out. 'Do you know of some good places in
'Sure,' Mairéad said, 'I could guide you to a great Italian place.'
'What about joining us? If you want to, that is,' Scully said, wondering if the
woman was married or had a family to go to. Mairéad seemed flattered with the
invitation and said, 'I'd love to. Let me just grab my things.'
The agent slipped out of the office to another shared office where she shared a
desk with three other agents working on forensics. They had been the ones
helping her to put together the file but were now moving on to other cases.
'So, what's that spooky really like? Has he found our victims yet?' her male
colleague asked as she put on a jacket and grabbed her bag.
She glanced aside, hurt by the stupid remark. Funny, even though she had only
met him two hours ago, she already felt like defending the Washington-agent.
'He's a nice guy,' she said. 'He could teach you a trick or two.'
The other agent flushed, realizing she took the remark personally as if she was
forced to be working with the man against her will. 'Sorry,' he said, 'I didn't
mean it that way. But you know what it's like. Our reputations precede us.'
'I know, Shorty,' she said, grinning as if to show him she didn't take it at
heart. 'But mark my words: In three days he's got our John Doe.'
Her colleague watched her as she left with self-confidence of agents that had
been on the job for years and knew what they were doing. There was something
different about her, as if working with the two Washington-agents boosted her
confidence and abilities. Perhaps they were exactly what she needed after all
she'd been through.
Scully put her hand on her partner's wrist and stopped him from typing away
forcefully. From the look in his eyes she knew he was far-gone, lively imagining
the murders as he went along. 'Mulder, pack your things.'
'What?' he looked up, staring at her as if she were a stranger.
'We're leaving. Pack your things and we're out of here.'
'No,' he mumbled, 'I have to finish this.' He ignored her and continued his work
as hundreds of thoughts rushed through his mind. Bluntly she moved past the desk
so that she could slide the laptop in her direction.
'Hey!' he objected but she ignored his remarks and shut down the program,
turning off the computer afterwards. He blinked his eyelids, seeing her for the
first time now as she gently looked back at him and said, 'this is exactly what
you're not supposed to do. If you don't have dinner with us now, I'm calling
Skinner and I'll tell him to take you off this case. You don't want him to come
and bring you back home like he planned to do in New York.'
Her partner seemed upset but she ignored the angry look in his eyes. He wasn't
so much angry with her as confused with her actions. Then he glanced at his
watch, realizing it was after nine. He had lost minutes like he always did when
he was working on that what seemed more important than anything. She was right,
but he wasn't ready to give in yet.
'I'm not hungry,' he protested. 'Can't you guys go now? I promise to come
afterwards. Just let me -'
'- No,' she said strict, interrupting him. 'You're going with us now for a bite
to eat, or the deal's off. Don't let me pull ranks on you.'
'Theoretically I outrank you,' he mumbled as she turned around, shoving the
laptop in its case.
'I heard that,' she said by the door. 'Practically I'm your medical doctor and I
can even declare you insane with the right papers. So don't push me.'
He couldn't help but laugh when she left him alone. Quickly he grabbed his
jacket and put it on. It had cooled down a bit by now but he was still feeling
uncomfortable and warm. It never felt this hot in Washington.
Mairéad waited for them by the elevators and used her badge to get access.
Mulder didn't feel like using Mairéad's car again, but they hadn't had the
chance to rent their own vehicle yet. That would be the first thing he'd arrange
in the morning though. Riding along with Grayson was like a roller coaster ride
at Disneyland.
He was barely seated in the backseat of the car when she took off. She drove
fast but self-assured, bringing them to an Italian place by the beach. Because
it was a weekday they were in luck. It wasn't that crowded and service came fast
and perfectly arranged. Within twenty minutes they were staring at their pasta.
Mairéad spoke about the city, explaining a bit why she had moved here at her
free will. She was a New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan, where she
followed into the footsteps of her father. He was a cop until his retirement and
then moved to Dallas where he grew up. He was still living there with his second
wife, a woman she couldn't stand. Out of friendship's sake, she only saw her
father once a year.
When he left New York, she saw no reason to stay there anymore. She had enough
of being a cop, and when the FBI recruited her and she had the chance to work at
the VCS two years after, she took it. By that time she had met someone in Miami.
He offered her a place to stay and she moved in.
When the relationship ended, she stuck around. Her ex-boyfriend didn't. She
bought a great place with a low mortgage that she loved. Davis had no problem
with her working from the Miami Field Office, but she came to Washington just
about every week. She had a hectic life, she explained, but she loved every bit
of it.
Mairéad still pondered over her past decisions when Mulder put down his fork and
spoon and said, 'I feel like we're missing something here. This guy wants us to
catch him. He takes great risks taking those women in public. He wants to make a
point but I don't believe he wants to make it to us. He directs it at one person
in particular - the one he's looking for.'
'Who do you think that might be?' Mairéad asked. 'You don't know where this
man's from. You can't just put up signs everywhere asking a woman in her late
twenties to respond to a vague description like that.'
Mulder emptied his glass of water. 'Did you know that 80% of our serial killers
pulled out wings of butterflies when they were six years old? You can compare
every case with that act that happened when they were little. Only, this time
these butterflies became human beings. When they were in their teens they might
have killed off animals. When they were nineteen going on twenty, their
butterfly could have been the girl next door, or the woman across the street. If
we find this butterfly - the catalysts - we find him.'
'But he or she doesn't know she's the catalyst.'
'That's what we'll find out. Writing a profile is nothing more than gathering
all the pieces and adding them to the basic things we already know of serial
killers. Have you ever seen a photo of Ted Bundy, Mairéad?'
'Yes, I have.'
'If you were a young woman that met him, would you suspect him of killing off
women at night?'
'Of course not. No one did. That's why he had the chance to kill so many.'
'Have you ever met a killer in person?'
'Yes, I have.'
'Did you believe he was capable of murder?'
'No. He was a young man in his early twenties. He had killed off eight young
'They reminded him of his best friend in high school he had a crush on. When
that best friend got involved with a girl, he realized the love wasn't mutual.
He felt betrayed and changed. And he started killing.'
'Exactly,' Mulder said, staring at the remaining pasta and tomato sauce. He had
hardly touched his plate but at least - so Scully thought - he had eaten
something. He was making improvements. Her partner's eyes changed as he looked
at that plate as if he saw things no one was supposed to see. Then he glanced at
Mairéad and said, 'what would you do if you felt you were in danger? If they
told you that you were eligible to become a victim, would you still go to the
concert you had planned on going to?'
'I don't know,' she said slowly. 'Perhaps. But I would probably think this would
never happen to me. And I would proceed with what I had planned.'
'That's what I fear,' the agent said dark as he excused himself and left for the
men's room. Mairéad stared in shock at Scully. The redhead smiled reassuringly
and said softly, 'He's already in his head. He just doesn't know it yet.'
'Is that why you are so worried?' Grayson asked, putting her napkin on the
table. 'AD Davis said that he would be lost without you. You're his keeper, he
claimed, even though I had a hard time believing Agent Mulder needs anyone to
take care of him.'
'Did Davis say that?' Scully asked with a smile, recalling the arguments she'd
had with the AD in the past. He had told her once to back off claiming Mulder
was better off without her interfering. He had said that she shouldn't be
hovering over her partner like that. He could take care of his own.
It was true that Mulder had been working as a profiler before she came in the
picture. But in the past it had been Patterson that took care of him, and before
that Reggie Purdue. Mulder needed someone, even if he didn't know it himself,
and she wasn't planning on backing away that easily. This was her rightful spot
and she would take up the right she earned over the past years.
'Agent Scully?' Mairéad said, trying to get the agent's attention. Scully
blinked her eyes and focused on the woman opposite her. Then the blonde agent
said friendly, 'it's going to work out, Agent Scully. It really will.'
Scully shivered, as she remembered when she had almost lost her partner. There
seemed to have been so many occasions now, and she wasn't willing to step into
another adventure like that. On the other hand, wasn't she supposed to think
positive, instead of believing the worst would happen?
Reminisce the night
In the middle of the night he found himself staring at the ceiling, recalling
what it was like to kill. He needed to fulfil his urge again, to satisfy that
need in him that only the feeling of life being taken could fulfil.
In the morning he would take her when she took her spot within the arena. He
knew where she would be. She would meet with a couple of friends, and they would
go for a spot at the stage. Even if she wasn't there, there was always plan B to
track her down. Fortunately he had never had to use that.
She had an account at the ticket service agency. He had selected this concert in
particular because he knew the arena by heart. He knew where he would take her,
and his spot was already sealed off so no one would find her. He knew the place
so well that every attending guard was on his shortlist. He knew their habits.
He knew how to get them away from their spot so that he could take her down.
Tomorrow night, around this time, he would have her to play with, and his night
would be filled with joyful dreams and sentiments.
Cruel night
In the middle of the night Mulder found himself staring at the ceiling of his
hotelroom. He knew every crack and inch by now as he had explored it for several
hours. He was so tired he thought he would not be able to stand the next day.
Thoughts ran through his mind like a high-speed train that wouldn't come to an
Every time he closed his eyes, he remembered moments and events of the past day,
and the faces of the murdered women danced before his eyes. Pearl Jennings,
Ellen Brandon, Margaret Tilly and the others ... He tried to envision what went
through their minds. He tried to grasp their connection but couldn't find it.
Eventually, around three, he turned up the sound of the playing television and
watched reruns of Star Trek until the morning finally came, and he took a shower
to freshen up. This was the third night in a row he hadn't slept a wink. Even
for the insomniac he was, this wasn't normal.
Before all, he had to admit that to himself.
The body
Scully knocked on her partner's door, picking him up for dinner. She saw
instantly he hadn't slept. His eyes were small and fatigued. His chin had more
stubbles than the night before. He seemed to be ready to doze off at any time.
'Have you tried sleeping pills?' she asked as he explained to her he hadn't
slept. He knew it was no use to lie. She knew from the second she saw him what
the situation was.
'I don't like those things. They make me dizzy.'
'That's the idea,' she said, smiling despite everything. 'You're supposed to
feel dizzy and sleep. Otherwise they don't work. I'll pick some up this
afternoon and I don't want any 'buts' from you, Mulder.'
'As long as you don't stick a needle in my butt,' he mumbled, closing the door
behind him. At the breakfast table Mulder took two croissants and nibbled on
them, taking much longer to eat than usual. He ignored Scully's glances as they
sat quietly opposite each other.
Mairéad came to pick them up around eight, instantly noticing the male agent
wasn't well. She didn't ask any questions, and offered them a ride to the
morgue. Mulder didn't move when Scully got up and dropped her napkin on the
breakfast table.
'Are you coming with me, Mulder?' she asked as she grabbed her coat.
'No, you go ahead,' he said, 'I'll pop in later on. I'm going to arrange for a
rental car first, and drive over to the office. I'll come later. I just need to
verify some things.'
'Okay, we'll see you later then,' Scully said, as they left.
Mairéad seemed nervous when they drove over to the coroner's office, making
Scully wonder what went through the agent's head. Only later, the young woman
confessed that she had never seen an autopsied body before. Sure, she had seen
some horrific things, but to actually see a body after it had been sliced and
diced, was something completely new to her.
During the Academy she had been confronted with many gruesome photos. Her past
as a cop had taught her to objectively look at crimes, yet keep that human touch
to it. As a profiler she hadn't been in touch with the other side of the medal
just yet. She had been the administrative agent, the one making the reports.
The coroner's office was only three blocks away. The main lobby was large, and
didn't remind Scully of a morgue at all. In fact, it seemed almost inviting, as
if they were trying to put people at ease. Yet, no one went to a morgue without
a reason, and that reason was always death.
The coroner was already waiting for them and showed them to a smaller room where
a body lay on the slab, only covered with a sheet.
'To be honest, I was waiting for you guys to put her body back,' he said, 'I'm
not sure what it is with this body, but there's an awful smell to it, as if she
has been dumped in a sewage. Yet she was found in an alley. I don't get it.'
Scully glanced at Mairéad, realizing the agent heard this bit of news for the
first time as well. Yet it could lead them closer to the truth. She made a
mental note to call Mulder about it later.
Grayson didn't stand too close to the slab, not interesting in glancing at the
body. Yet she knew she had to. The younger agent bit her lip, trying to ignore
the stench that came from underneath that sheet, and watched as the coroner
pulled away the sheet.
On the table lay the naked body of Pearl Jennings, age twenty-eight. She must
have been a beauty before her death. Her hair had been blonde with a reddish
taint but now looked grey. Her face was still as pretty as ever, but a large red
cut on her throat showed her vocal cords and muscles. Her tongue protruded her
mouth slightly as always happened with strangulation victims.
Her body was slim and had been petite. Now it was still slim but un-pretty in
death. Her eyes were closed. The rest of her naked body was untouched and
undamaged. There were no signs of rape of physical violence. 
Her chest had been cut open and was sowed up again with rough stitches. Her
intestines had been weighed and examined. Her body had been violated even worse
after her death than before, leaving nothing to coincidence.
Scully put her hand before her nose, ignoring the smell. She had seen worse than
this but it still remained gruesome and sad. Why did a young woman have to die
like that, while she still had so many dreams to fulfil? It seemed so senseless
- so useless, as if her death was unimportant.
She turned to look at Mairéad, only to see the younger agent faint. She had
stared at the woman's chest, where the chest had been cut open and her ribcage
cracked for easier access to the organs. Then she had simply passed out. It
could happen to them all.
'She'll be fine,' Scully said, rushing towards the woman that was already coming
Mairéad opened her eyes, held firmly by Scully as she lay on the cold floor.
'Take it easy,' Scully said, helping her slowly sitting up. 'Put your head
between your knees and take deep breaths. It's over.'
The coroner quickly put the sheet back over the body and said, 'Let's get her
out of here into some fresh air.'
Supported by Scully and the coroner, Mairéad was brought outside to sit down on
a chair in the more comfortable office. The coroner had opened the window,
giving her the chance to inhale the fresh air.
'Here,' Scully said, giving her a glass of water. 'It's okay.'
Embarrassed more than anything else, the young agent drank from the glass and
refused to look at Scully.
'I'm so sorry,' she mumbled, resting her head on her hand. 'I'm such an idiot.'
'It was the smell,' Scully said. 'The combination of the smell in that
uncomfortable would be enough to drive anyone crazy.'
'It shouldn't happen to me.'
Scully couldn't help but smile, remembering the very first time she had to
perform an autopsy. She too had passed out, so long ago, feeling just as
embarrassed afterwards. She felt sympathy for the young woman. Somehow it looked
like the girl needed some protection. She looked barely twenty years old even
though she was in her late twenties and obviously could take care of herself.
'I feel like an idiot,' Mairéad sighed. Slowly the younger agent was starting to
feel better. Soon she had some colour back on her cheeks.
'Don't worry,' Scully smiled reassuringly. 'I won't tell Mulder.'
Mairéad got up and looked around as if she was surprised not to be standing near
the body any longer. She hardly remembered them bringing her to the office.
'Why don't you wait here while I go over the details of the autopsy with the
coroner,' Scully said. 'It will only take a minute.'
'No,' Mairéad said forcefully. 'I need to go get through this again.'
'No, you don't,' Scully said, placing her hand gently on the woman's arm.
Mairéad smiled, realizing she would rather prefer to stay here than to see the
woman's body again. But the professional in her said that she needed to work her
way through this. In future she was bound to deal with a lot of bodies, and
there was no time like the present to get over that ridiculous fear and disgust
she had.
She took a deep breath and stopped Scully from closing the door, stepping inside
the room with her. She didn't notice that Scully smiled, happy with the decision
the other woman made for herself.
Her coming
He prepared everything for her coming. He cleaned the place up as much as he
could, realizing she would be very much afraid. He wanted to make her feel at
ease, to make her feel wanted. And by tonight, she would be in his shelter and
watch him as he proceeded.
He would ask her the question. And then he would kill her.
He put fresh sheets on the improvised bed, checked the cuffs that would hold her
and looked through the dirty single window he had to the outside world. No one
could see him from the outside. Her prison would become the last place she would
ever be at.
Now all he had to do was wait until the evening came. And then she would be his.
To be continued ...
Part 3
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The find
The arena was empty as if no one ever came there. The gates had been locked. He
had to pull strings earlier that morning to get them to unlock the place so he
could get a feel of the place. Finally the security guard had let him in,
showing him the entrances and exits. He also provided him with a map of the
place, even though he didn't understand why Mulder had asked for it.
During the morning Mulder had gone through the details of the abductions
meticulously, trying to gather as much information that his mind could process.
Apart from the fact every woman had vanished within the arena, there was one
thing that struck the agent as odd. Until now, the cops had always assumed the
victim had left the arena with her abductor. No one had ever tried to figure out
if the victim had been kept inside the arena for a while before being
transferred. They had always assumed John Doe had taken off with his victim,
somehow forcing her to go with him. But what if she had never left the arena?
Putting the details together, Mulder was startled by a phone call from Scully
telling about the autopsy findings and the strange stench the victim had on her.
The agent couldn't make sense of the stench, wondering if it was related somehow
to the victim's whereabouts during the past week. Somehow it didn't add up to
the other victims. This was the one point where the cases were different.
Unless ...
Mulder glanced at the map he had been given of the complex, noticing that there
was only a map of the arena itself. But a place like this had backstage entries,
safe ways, and above all emergency exits that had to lead somewhere.
The agent stopped in the middle of the arena, suddenly aware of the fact someone
was watching him. He looked up and about, until he saw a small figure on one of
the tribunes all the way up there. With the place empty, Mulder felt small and
exposed, and above all vulnerable.
The figure up there noticed he was looking at him, turned and left in a hurry.
Mulder knew it would be useless to run after the man. By the time he would reach
the top row, the man would be long gone. Instead, the agent returned to the
security officer that waited annoyed in his room, glaring at the cameras that
kept an eye on the agent. In the room, Mulder laid down the map, asking, 'Do you
have a map of the underground area as well?'
The security officer looked even more annoyed. 'No one is allowed in there.
Backstage is forbidden to anyone.'
'This is not exactly a packed arena right now,' Mulder said. 'I have to insist
on checking down there.'
'Why? There's nothing to see down there. Except for the backstage entrances used
by the artists and security, no one ever comes down there.'
'Let's just say I'm following a hunch.'
The security officer got up from his seat, and handed over a chain of keys to
the agent, refusing to go with him. Mulder knew the man would be keeping an eye
on him anyhow, through the cameras that explored the entire area.
Following the officer's directions, the agent walked back to the arena. There
were twenty emergency exits to cover the entire indoors. Most of them lead
outside, except for four. Two of them, Mulder excluded for now. One - right
behind the stage, lead - according to the map - backstage. This was the way the
artists went when they came up or left.
The last one left lead from the left of the stage to a hallway that was supposed
to bring the audience to the lobby of the huge arena. But according to the map
there were several passageways in that corridor that weren't pointed out.
Mulder pushed open the emergency doors and stood in the darkness. There weren't
any lights to guide him, except for a small, lit sign that pointed to the second
emergency door. Mulder blocked the doors so a bit of light shone in. He could
hardly see where he was walking, and touched the walls until his fingers reached
for a handle that seemed nearly hidden. That was what he was looking for.
With the keychain in his hands, he tried every key until the door was unlocked;
bringing him into another dark hallway that seemed hardly used. It was damp and
uncomfortable to walk through. The agent's hands touched the wall until he found
another unlocked door that stopped before a set of stairs. This time he saw it
because there was a faint light shining in, coming from a nearly completely
hidden window.
Mulder realized he was in some area of the arena that was hardly ever used. But
he sensed with every step that this would bring him closer to the truth. He
could tell by the way the stairs lead down, underneath the actual arena, until
they suddenly stopped again before yet another, unlocked door.
Mulder's fingers touched the door, pushing it open. A horrible stench came
towards him, as if he was standing in a sewer. Suddenly he realized he was
indeed right next to the sewage system underneath the arena. In surprise Mulder
looked at the small room with mattress and chair. That was all there was.
Mulder knelt down by the mattress and touched the fabric, closing his eyes. He
knew Pearl Jennings had been here. He could feel it. He was sure. This place had
her scent on it. He closed his eyes and turned away from the mattress, jerking
his head as his eyes caught sight of the table, turned around and tried to keep
his breakfast down.
On the table before him, lay a finger.
The room
Instantly they were all over the place after he made the call in the huge arena,
sucking in the air after escaping the darkness. He waited as he tried to keep
his posture, explaining briefly to the security officer that he had found
When they arrived, there were at least four cars, cluttering the entrance and
exit. Scully found her partner sitting on one of the seats, staring before him.
'Mulder,' she said, placing her hand on his shoulder, 'what's wrong?'
He turned towards her and smiled, 'Hey. I think we've got ourselves a lead.'
His reaction terrified her. His pupils seemed dilated, as if he had taken
something. But she knew it was his reaction to what he had seen. He hadn't told
her what it was.
He guided them through the dark corridors. Their flashlights lit the walls.
Without the underground map, no one could have possibly found his or her way
through these tunnels. The entire place was so well sealed off, that one could
have easily missed the door that lead to the area underneath.
The smell inside the room was so intense it took them minutes to adjust. As a
reflex, Scully put her hand under her nose, trying to keep the stench out of her
nostrils. It was pretty bad. Her flashlight rested on the neatly cut-off finger
on the table. It was bloody yet already decaying. It felt cold and stiff when
she touched it carefully with her gloved fingers. She didn't want to pick it up,
but it was a piece of evidence that could lead them to the killer.
'It's a woman's finger,' Mulder said as the urge to puke out his guts passed.
'But it's not Pearl's,' Scully said. 'She had all her fingers intact.'
'Then whose is it?' Mairéad asked from the doorway, trying to force back the
urge to pass out. That stench that she had smelled on the corps was here again -
so bad that it would remind her for days about this very moment.
'If we know that, we know who our killer is,' Mulder said softly. 'He left it
here for a reason.'
'As a hint towards us?'
'Not likely. I don't think he believed we would track him down this quickly.
This hideout was a brilliant find.'
'Then why did he leave that finger here?' Scully said convulsed. 'Do you think
he left more human body parts somewhere else?'
Mulder didn't respond but turned and left the room. There was something so cold
in here that he didn't want to stay. Now he knew their killer was one of the
coldest men he had ever tracked down. What Monty Props and the others had done
with their victims was bad. But this coldness could be even worse.
The agent hurried through the long corridors, passing two agents that looked at
him surprised. Quickly Mulder hurried through one of the emergency exits to the
fresh air outside the arena. The world tumbled before his eyes. He closed them,
leaning tired against the wall, placing his head against it. They were close
now, and he knew it. Now that they had found a first hideout, it would be easy
to discover the others. Now they knew how he did it. He hid them inside the
arena, using knowledge perhaps he alone had.
Slowly the agent made his way back inside, finding the security officer in
argument with Mairéad and Scully. He came back just in time to listen to the
question of why no one had ever bothered to check underneath the arena.
'No one knew about that room,' the officer argued, 'if they had, they would have
found out. I'm telling you that the cops and Feds were already all over this
place. It took a miracle in itself to find that room like your agent did. We did
all we could when that woman disappeared. No one ever figured out that she was
here all that time.'
'He must have had a passageway in and out,' Mulder interrupted softly. 'If he
alone knew about that room, he must have had a map, or know this place inside
'Look, all I can say is that years ago this place got renovated. The corridors
that you used were completely sealed off. No one ever used them. I had no idea
about that place. Hell, I had to blow the dust off the maps I gave your
Mulder turned towards his partner, saying tired, 'Can you get in touch with the
other Field Offices and ask them to check for older maps of the arenas that
might lead to spaces or rooms like that? I've got this feeling our John is using
the same MO over and over again.'
'Sure,' Scully nodded.
'We have to keep this from the press,' Mulder continued. 'If he knows we're on
to him, he'll change his methods. We weren't supposed to track him down just
yet. He didn't leave that piece to lead us to him. He left it for another reason
- perhaps to scare off his victim. Or perhaps ...'
Mulder's eyes lit as he looked at Mairéad. 'Can you do me a favor and run a
check on female bodies that have been found over the past few years with missing
fingers and other body parts?'
Mairéad nodded and grabbed her cell phone. Scully reached for her partner's arm
and touched him. He glared at her. 'You believe he's leaving pieces of one of
his earlier victims behind?'
'We'll only know that when we found out where he left the others,' Mulder said
softly. 'In meantime, we should try and figure out who that finger belonged to,
and what it means.'
'It's like looking for a needle in a haystack,' Scully mumbled, as she decided
she'd seen enough of this place and wanted to get out of the sour feeling that
stuck to the arena.
Part Two
And on the count of three I pull back the duvet,
Make my way to the refrigerator,
One dry potato inside, no lie...
Not even bread, jam,
When the light above my head went bam!
In the morning they would head back to Washington, putting all the bits and
pieces together they had literally found. It had taken the entire afternoon, but
finally calls came in from New York, Chicago and LA, reporting they had found
human body parts in small rooms underneath the arenas where the women had
The rooms were similar the one in Miami. It was small, damp, and very secure -
almost impossible to find. They had to go through piles of junk and dust, using
an old map stuffed in the back of the owner's locker to find the doorway. But
when they did, they ended up in a small room with one single mattress, a table
and a chair.
Listening to the report, Scully knew it sounded like all the rooms were similar.
And when she heard an ear had been found in Chicago, and another two fingers in
LA, she knew they were on the right track.
As gruesome as it sounded, Mulder was satisfied with the find. More than ever he
was sure that all the parts belonged to the same person, but it would take some
time for the labs to go through these details. At first sight the fingers seemed
to belong to the same person. Both fingernails were manicured and painted. Even
in death and mutilation, that particular detail was vivid, convincing Mulder the
killer had painted the nails after he cut off the fingers. Yet he had kept them
bloody and as they were until he could use them.
Chances were the body of the victim was still missing. With these many parts
missing, it was most unlikely he hadn't dumped it somewhere.
Fatigued Mulder explained his theory to the agents in the meeting room. With so
many clues found in such short time, Davis had pulled some strings and gathered
about ten men and women, now full-time occupied with the search.
But listening to Mulder's findings, they all knew it would take another bit of
great luck to find the killer, especially with the doom image that he might be
anywhere at that very moment looking for his next victim.
It was after ten when they sat down and listened to Mulder's theory that the
killer had murdered his first victim by accident, and was now looking for her
'Our murderer has cut off pieces of his first female victim, presumably after he
murdered her. For what purpose he's leaving them behind right now, we do not
know. Perhaps he doesn't even know it himself. But I do believe that the first
murder was an accident and set something in motion that can only be stopped
until he finds her again. Since he has killed her, he must have blocked that out
of his mind somehow. We might be dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One
doesn't know that the other has killed, and believes that the one he loves is
still out there. He might be looking for her, yet not realizing he has already
killed her.'
'So he's chasing some delusional image?' an agent in the back asked. Mulder
turned his attention towards him and nodded.
'If that's the case,' another agent added, 'he might not stop unless we do.'
'Or he might find her again in someone he's tracing, and stop. He might already
have found her, tracking her down as we speak.'
'There are a lot of 'might's' in your story, Agent Mulder,' the first agent
said. 'What are we basing ourselves on right now?'
'On good old-fashioned police work and a lot of hunches, Agent,' Mulder replied.
'We have a lot to go on right now. We need to track down the first body. With
the lab work we can determine when this victim died. That will narrow down a lot
of possibilities. Secondly, our boy definitely works at those arenas. He has
access to the sites and knows these places inside out. We're looking for a
security guard, a worker, someone who works at one of the ticket agencies. He
knows where to find his victims and will be following them days before.'
Mulder stopped talking and looked at them seriously. He felt faint as his body
reminded him he hadn't eaten properly in some time. But he ignored the fatigue
and said seriously, 'the fact that this man can kill anywhere in the country
doesn't simplify our case. I need agents in every site that can help us go
through this information. Anything else is not of importance right now. Every
second can count. I need you to work in teams around the clock until we find
this guy. Agent Scully and I will be returning to Washington in the morning and
coordinate this case from there.'
The agent paused again as his eyes seriously took in the scene and the agents
listening to him. He looked aside at Scully, catching the expression on her
face. He stumbled backwards, grabbing the edge of the table, ignoring Scully's
sudden expression of surprise.
'What was I -' Mulder began, stopping because he didn't remember what in the
world he was going to say. 'That's it,' he finally said. 'Thank you.'
He turned and left the room, leaning his hand against the wall outside the
meeting room. The world danced before his eyes. He closed them and sighed,
rubbing his eyes with his hand.
Quickly he turned, smiling reassuringly as Scully put her hand on his shoulder.
'Yeah,' he said tired.
'You're deadbeat. I'll drive you back to the hotel. You'll get some food in you
and then some rest.'
He sighed. 'I wish.'
'We'll pick up that sedative on the way back. You'll sleep like a baby.'
He nodded his head slowly, staring outside at the palm trees before the
building. 'I'm not supposed to sleep, Scully. I realize that now. I -' he
stopped, realizing he sounded like a fool. But he couldn't stop himself from
thinking it. He knew he was right. Somehow, when he was in that small room
surrounded by that horrible stench, he had known.
Because the night before - while lying awake in bed - he had detected that same
stench. He had sensed it the moment he closed his eyes and drifted off for just
a wee second. He had thought it was his mind playing tricks on him. He hadn't
realized it had been a part of his dreamscape until the moment he looked up and
was awake again.
Two nights before he had dreamt about rock concerts. It couldn't have been a
coincidence. He knew that now. Somehow he picked up parts from this case before
it became his, and then dreamt about parts he didn't know anything about just
yet. He couldn't possibly have known about the stench.
Mulder shook his head, not willing to share his thoughts - not before he could
grasp the truth himself. He had been an insomniac, yes, but never before like
this. In fact, the only time he hadn't slept for days was the time around
Scully's abduction. Then he had lived on adrenaline, neglecting everything that
was sanity. He had voluntarily gone that direction then.
Now, he didn't want to. Never before had a case forced him to stay awake. He had
always slept, even if it were merely four to five hours a night. He didn't need
more. Now sleep just wouldn't come as if he wasn't supposed to.
He turned towards Scully. 'You said something about the victims being kept awake
'I didn't. It was in the coroner's report. There were signs of mental and
physical abuse leading down that track. But we have no proof. Why do you ask,
He smiled a weak smile. 'I guess I'm feeling sympathetic.'
She placed her hand on his upper right arm again and said gently, 'Let's get
some rest, Mulder. It's been a long day.'
'No, one of us should stay here.'
'They've got it under control for now. You won't do them any good by collapsing
on the spot. We need you in the morning. You need to be fit.'
He nodded. 'I guess you're right.'
Scully offered him his coat and glanced over her shoulder at Mairéad who was
sitting at a desk with another agent. She was scrolling through police records
to find the missing woman. Scully said goodbye and left with her partner.
She drove the rental car back to the hotel, glancing occasionally at her partner
who rested with closed eyes, leaning with his head on his hand. He didn't speak
a single word on the way back to the hotel. He didn't have to. She stopped at a
drugstore and bought a legal sleeping aid that didn't need prescription. When
they got back to the hotel, her partner opened his eyes and looked disoriented.
He opened the door to his room, refusing when she offered to order room service.
She ignored his denial and ordered a light meal for the two of them. Mulder took
off to the bathroom. She heard the water tap run, and waited patiently until he
returned in jeans and T-shirt. He looked even more tired if that was at all
'How long has it been since you slept?' she asked, watching him as he got down
on the bed and rested his head on the pillows.
'I don't know. Three, four days. I can't remember.'
'You're becoming delusional, Mulder. Your body is reacting to the lack of sleep.
You have moments that you don't even know where you are. Don't deny it. I can
see it by the way you act. I've never seen you like this before.'
He grinned painfully. 'A human body can go days without sleep, Scully. You, as a
medical doctor, should know that.'
'I know that we are not made to stay awake for this long. There is a reason our
body tells us to rest. You know what it's like not being able to shut down your
mind.' Scully sat down on the side of the bed and tried not to remember Mulder's
grave illness. But she had to. There were so many things to remember.
'This is not the same,' he said weak. 'I've been there before. I'm just
downright tired. I'm sure that this sleeping pill of yours is going to help me.
It has to. When I get some sleep, I'll be fine.'
'Of course you will,' she said. 'That's just the point. Since this case started,
you haven't been sleeping. You worry too much about this. It's exactly what I
feared when you were asked to investigate. We both know you cannot afford this
fatigue right now, and I'm going to help you to snap out of this.'
'Yes, doctor,' her partner said tired.
A short knock on the door startled them. Scully got off the bed and opened the
door, giving the waiter a tip as he put the tray on the table. Scully turned as
she shut the door, only to find her partner turned on his side and asleep. His
eyes had closed when she walked over to the door and he had just fallen asleep.
She smiled as she picked up a plate, left the drug on the tray besides the other
plate, and left her partner alone. The moment she shut the door, Mulder startled
and looked up.
Shocked his body heaved, his stomach turning into a knot. During the few moments
of sleep, his dreamscape had become a huge arena, where he stood with thousands
of people. And beside him, as she was singing to the music, stood his partner.
Her hands had been cut off.
The crowd is moving
When the doors opened, the crowd gathered at the arena. There were thousands of
them, all coming for the same band. She almost lost track of them as they were
pushed forward automatically. There was hardly any effort to get all the way up
front, towards the gates that held the first rows from the back ones. The seats
filled just as easily.
Then the wait began. She looked at her watch. Another hour before the concert
started. Her friends were joking and fooling around, smiling at her. There were
ten of them, all just as eager to see the band perform as she was. It seemed
silly perhaps, looking forward to something that lasted only two hours, but this
had been on her mind.
'We shouldn't be going, Mar,' her boyfriend had joked when they heard the
description being spread on the news bulletin about women that were potential
victims for 'The Concert-killer'. 'That description could be you!'
She had laughed, yet shivered at the same time. Then she laughed away her fears.
She was surrounded in a crowd of ten thousand people. Nothing could happen to
her. She would not let her friends out of her sight.
Suddenly, before they knew it, the concert started and everyone was pushed
forward, including her. She stretched out her hands, just in time stopping
herself from being shoved into the gate. A man grabbed her upper arm, preventing
the same thing from happening.
'Thanks,' she muttered as she looked briefly at the security guard that stood
behind the gates. He smiled and turned his back on her. She looked at the stage
and concentrated on the band, enjoying every second of it.
A few moments later her boyfriend lost her out of sight. When he looked back up,
she was gone.
Another one
Just after midnight his phone rang. He picked it up instantly, listening to what
the voice on the other side said. He hung up, sighing deeply as he heard the
He put on his shoes and left the room, knocking on her door. She opened after a
while, her hair tussled and her body clad in silk pyjamas. 'What is it?' she
asked, alert immediately as she saw his serious face.
'There's been another one. Right here in Miami.'

To be continued ...
Part 4
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
Finding Margaret
The arena was packed with people, all wanting the same thing: Margaret Spencer.
The rental car stopped before the entrance of the Eastern Arena. When they got
there, several police cars were already there.
This time the killer had used an open arena, holding over ten thousand people.
The one they had explored the day before was small in comparison to this one.
And here, a young woman had disappeared before the eyes of her boyfriend.
'This might become an X-File after all,' Mulder muttered as they went through
the details of the disappearance with her boyfriend, Mark. The young, upset man
explained how they had been standing near the gates. Margaret had been standing
next to him all this time. And then she was gone.
'At first I thought she had pushed herself forward a bit to see more of the
stage,' Mark explained. 'We had agreed on a meeting point should we get lost.
When the concert was over, I walked over but she never showed up. I called her
mother. She never showed up at home.'
'Did you see her talking to anyone?' Mulder asked.
'No,' Mark said desperately. His friends shook their heads. It was needless to
say everyone was worried.
Mulder frowned as he glanced around. This was a much larger arena with a lot
more hideouts. If the killer was still here, watching them right now, he knew
they were on his track. They had to act as normal, not letting out they knew. If
they betrayed themselves now, Margaret would be lost.
'We have to go,' Mulder said as he explained to the others why. They all agreed
that the best way to surprise their man was to catch him on his way out. If he
pursued his previous actions, he would still be inside the arena, guarding his
victim. But how great was the chance of him leaving his shelter? How would they
be able to track him down without him tracking them?
The agent that had argued with Mulder before stepped forward and proposed to do
a surprise attack. Track down all the possible shelters, he said, and catch the
guy before he has the chance to kill the girl. Mulder disagreed, as it would
endanger the life of the hostage. One of the FBI's most important policies was
that hostages should never be endangered and kept out of the line of fire.
But Agent Oates disagreed. They had to do something.
'No,' Mulder said, shaking his head forcefully as he tried to argument his case.
'You can't do this. Margaret will not stand a chance if he realizes we're onto
him. We have to leave the arena and give him that sense of security he's had
with the other cases. We cannot jeopardize her life like that.'
'Look,' the stubborn Agent Oates said, proposing the search, 'no matter how you
turn it - this woman doesn't have a chance whatsoever. You cannot do a surprise
attack. You said it yourself: This man has foreseen everything. We must use all
the forces we have and step in before he has the chance to kill her.'
'No,' Mulder said, forcefully stopping Agent Oates when he wanted to turn and
order the attack. 'I'm ordering you to back off. This is my case, and I've
decided against it.'
Agent Oates looked back angrily. 'In the state you are in you're not likely to
make the right decisions.'
'What the hell is that supposed to mean?' Mulder replied angrily.
'Look at you - you can hardly stand on your feet. Why don't you let this case
over to us, Agent Mulder, and get some rest.'
'You don't have to tell me what to do, Agent Oates,' Mulder shot back. 'I
outrank you on this case, and I'm saying that we're not going for the search.
You can take it up with AD Davis if you want, but he'll agree with me. I'm
ordering you to get out of here. We're going for the surprise, and that's the
end of it.'
Oates opened his mouth to bite back, but was stopped by his partner who shot a
glance at him. Oates finally nodded and turned, ordering the others to get in
their cars and leave the premises. Finally, after nearly half an hour, the
called-in force had left the arena. But they weren't far away.
At the Field Office, only three miles away, the group gathered in the huge
meeting room on the fourth floor where the maps of the arena were spread out. 
The owner, manager and chief of security were in the room as well, going through
the details with the agents.
'It's very simple,' the manager finally said, pointing at the second, older map
that gave away the details they sought out. 'If your boy is still in there, he
can only be on the sublevel that has been shut down three years ago. Before we
used to have security quarters there. There are corridors running underneath the
entire building that give quick access to all sides of the arena. However, we
shut it down after the renewing the entire building. No one uses those corridors
'Is there a way he could have gotten access to those corridors?' Scully asked,
frowning as she realized they had a lot of passageways and smaller rooms to
cover. That didn't look too good. The more possibilities, the more ways out
their John Doe had.
'I don't know,' the manager said. 'There were a few sets of keys that were
locked away. If he has gotten a set or copies, he must have had access on
security level as well.'
'I need a list of all the employees that you hired or worked here temporarily
over the past few weeks, sir,' Mulder said. 'I also need you to contact the
people you've worked with for years, and ask them if they spotted any
'Are you saying I hired him?' the manager said in disbelief.
'You might not even have known that you did, sir,' Mulder said quickly,
reassuring the man that it wasn't his fault.
The manager nodded and took off. It was after three when he did. For all parties
involved it would become a very long night. Mulder sighed and rubbed his eyes,
taking off the reading glasses he had used to concentrate on the maps. This was
the fourth night he went through sleepless. He needed to find their guy quickly,
before he too would suffer physical consequences.
The link
Suddenly the doors of the meeting room opened and Mairéad stepped in, waving
with papers in her hands. 'I think I've got something,' she said, handing them
over to Mulder.
'What is it?' Scully asked, glancing over her partner's shoulder at the list of
names that she had printed out.
'You were right when you said he was looking for something,' Mairéad continued,
'and I think I know what it is.'
The others stared at her in anticipation as she placed the photo of a young
woman on the table. They glanced at a woman that matched the description of the
other women. She was a dark blonde, slim, beautiful woman that smiled daringly
at the camera when the photo was taken. She couldn't have been more than
eighteen years old. Her smile was forever put on paper. But the fact that they
had a printout of her photo could only mean that she was dead.
'Megan Nome was an eighteen-year-old grad student who was stalked, disappeared
and finally was found murdered, after she filed a complaint against one of her
fellow students, a man named John Willis. She vanished - get this - during a
concert. Willis was questioned but had an alibi. He claimed to be at home,
sleeping upstairs in his bed, while his mother watched television. When
questioned, his mother claimed to have checked up on him. He was lying in bed,
asleep. However, Megan's murderer was never found.'
'And let me guess,' Mulder said, 'she was missing body parts?'
'That's right. In fact, the only things they found of her were her torso and
head. Her limbs were gone. Her face was mutilated beyond recognition. Her
parents were not allowed to see her again. She was so carved up in pieces that
they identified her using dental records and blood tests. The missing limbs were
never found.'
Mulder stared at the report the police had made six years ago, when the young
woman was found dead. They never had a chance finding her killer. She had been
extremely popular and loved by her friends. She had no enemies. All they had was
the report on her stalker.
'Dig up all you can about this man,' Mulder ordered. 'We need records. If it's
him, we're dealing with an extremely violent figure. We cannot stand to lose
another second.'
'What are you going to do?' Agent Oates asked. Mulder frowned for a second when
he saw them, blinked his eyelids and concentrated on what he was doing.
Mulder sighed. 'Using these maps, we can access the arena through those sealed
corridors. We need to set up teams that cover inch by inch of that area. We'll
move by first dawn. He won't expect us then. He'll be on his guard tonight, but
in the morning he'll think he's okay down there. Agent Oates, please set up
those teams. Agent Grayson, I want you to cover all the facts on our John
Willis. We still have about three hours before dawn. I want all of you to get
some rest now, and get back here at six a.m. sharp.'
Mulder turned at Scully, clutching the side of the table as he tried to hide his
fatigue. Scully looked worried, remembering all too well that her partner hadn't
slept for so long. And somehow he still seemed more alert than most of the
agents on the room.
'That's it for now,' he said, sighing deeply. 'Thanks.'
Mulder dismissed the group, just as the arena manager stepped back in with a
list of names of people he had temporarily hired. Quickly he explained he knew
most of them by heart, because they had assisted during concerts before. There
were three new ones he couldn't account for.
'That's our guy,' he suddenly exclaimed, pointing at the name John Nome. 'He's
using her name as a cover.'
The manager glared at the name, remembering the man vaguely. He had been a
dark-haired, chubby guy - no one that stood out. And that was a killer?
'What does he do?' Scully asked.
'He's a security guard.'
'For which company?'
'Grand Security. I always work with them. It was the first time I saw him but
they often work with interims. He seemed decent enough, kind of a dreamer. I
caught him once standing in the middle of the arena, doing nothing. He looked
very angry with me when I told him to get back to work. But he seemed okay
'Can you give us the name of your contact at this security agency?' Mulder
asked, glancing at Scully. She understood instantly, realizing that this might
be the link they were looking for. But they knew there was only a small chance
Willis would use the same company as a cover every time.
Mairéad had ignored Mulder's request to get some rest and returned with a photo
of John Willis when he was eighteen. She had called the dean of his high school
out of bed, requesting to fax the photo from the yearbook immediately. A young
man smiled at them innocently. His hair was blonde.
'Is this John Nome, sir?' Mulder asked, showing the manager the photo.
The man looked almost relieved when he shook his head and said, 'No, that's not
him. He doesn't even look like him. You must be looking for someone else.'
Mulder nodded, placing the photo on the table, as he frowned. The manager
excused himself and left, leaving his phone number in case he could still help
them. At dawn they would use the chief security officer as guide throughout the
'Mulder,' Scully said softly. 'Your order to the others to get some rest counts
for yourself too. Look at yourself, you can barely stand on your feet.'
'I'm fine,' he said, waving away her remarks as he focused on the case at hand.
What was he missing? There was something not there that they were all seeing
over. He just couldn't grasp at what it was. He nodded slowly. 'Perhaps I should
try,' he mumbled, looking at her. He had woken her up too. But she seemed very
alert and awake. Her face faded before his eyes and he turned away from her,
refusing to let on his tiredness.
'I'll just take a nap on the couch,' he said, walking away from her. She watched
as he opened the door to an adjoined office. He didn't care whose office it was.
The couch seemed very appealing to him right now. He lay down and closed his
eyes, moving his arm over them so the light was shut out.
Within a few seconds he was asleep, in a zone between deep sleep and awareness.
He was standing in the middle of the arena, glancing at the side doors. They
were open. A chubby, short man stood there, looking at him. He held something in
his hands. Mulder walked closer, glancing at what it was, but he couldn't tell.
Then the man laughed loud and turned, going inside the corridors, shutting out
the light. Next thing he knew, Mulder stood before the podium and watched a band
perform. And everywhere around him where women that resembled Margaret's face.
Mulder startled, moving up from the couch as he stared into the surprised eyes
of AD Davis, who had entered the room.
'Rest easy, Mulder,' the AD said, pushing the agent's shoulder gently so that he
could lean back on the couch. 'You're fine. It was just a dream.'
Mulder swallowed the lump in his throat, recalling the dream. He knew what it
meant. Somehow Willis - or whoever their killer was - knew they were on to him.
And he was freaking out.
'No,' Mulder said, moving so that he could move up and about, leaning heavily
against the AD's shoulder when he nearly fell back on the couch. 'We have to go.
What time is it?'
'Nearly five. Just relax. Scully said you haven't slept for quite some time.
She's a bit worried that you might be overdoing it. There's still some time
before dawn.'
Mulder shook his head. 'No, not much time left. Gotta go. He's going to kill
Davis stared in shock as the agent hurried out of the room, forgetting his
jacket in the process as he went on his search for Scully. He found her and
Grayson in the other room, talking. There were a few other agents gathered as
'We have to go,' Mulder repeated. 'He knows we're onto him. We don't have much
'What -?' Scully asked. 'Mulder, what's wrong?'
'Gotta go,' Mulder repeated, 'now!'
The agents that were there packed their things and followed him outside. It was
still dark but slowly the first dawn was rising. It was already warm, damp. They
knew it was going to be a hot day. Mulder felt frustrated as they drove off
towards the stadium, with the maps as their only guide.
He closed his eyes as Scully drove, focusing on what he had seen resting in the
palm of the man's hand. If he knew that, he knew the actual cause of all of
this. His tired mind told him so.
To be continued ...
Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day." --
Ptahotpe, c. 2350 B.C.
Find San's Columns and The X-Files at
Nooooo Chris, Mulder LIVES!