Details and disclaimers in part 1.
He walked around the arena, looking at the huge amount of seats and foot
In a few days all of this would be filled with thousands of people, all
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
He turned, angry that someone had dared to disturb his most inner thoughts.
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
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
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
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,
then he would forget all about her, just like all the others, and move on to
next one. Every new woman in his arms seemed more important than the
one. They all became more and more important to him.
He would never get enough. In fact, the knowledge that summer was up and
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
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
had done in his dreams so many times before.
Agitated because he wasn't able to take a nap on the flight despite his
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
while Mulder made a quick listing of sights and places he wanted to check.
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
Mulder had insisted on flying out to Miami himself. Scully knew he wanted to
a feel of the places where the women disappeared, hoping to catch a glimpse
the killer. Even though their John Doe was long gone by now, the agent
impression on his MO.
Before they left, Skinner had walked in on them and told them that all
departments gave their full cooperation. Chief Brandon was waiting for them
they arrived in Chicago where his own daughter had vanished. It would be a
schedule but a necessary one. They had no idea how long it would take for
next victim to disappear. Concert season meant that just about every city
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
'I'm Agent Grayson from the Miami Field Office. I'm glad to see that AD
convinced you to come over.'
Mulder looked over the younger agent who didn't seem a day older than
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
I worked under Davis' supervision on this. AD Davis asked to assist you on
case. He said you wouldn't mind.'
'AD Skinner already informed us,' Scully said as she accepted the offered
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
in her mind but never came further than the classic image of a regular guy
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
beside the younger agent outside. Mulder followed behind them, covering a
with the palm of his hand. 'From my understanding she died about four days
'That's right,' Mairéad Grayson said as they walked towards a waiting car.
was a shock, I can tell you that much. I was working out in Washington when
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
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
relatively small vehicle.
Grayson started the vehicle and took off taking sharp turns and curves as
drove her vehicle to the Field Office. It was a hot day and the
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
getting his jacket off his tall body.
Grayson glanced in the mirror, wondering what was going on in the back of
car. Her eyes met Mulder's and she flushed, noticing he was examining her
without discretion. She knew Mulder had difficulty working with younger
and wasn't a very patient man. At least, that's what they said. But he had
polite and friendly to her, albeit impersonal.
Somehow she could see the man was somewhere else with his thoughts. Wherever
was, it sure wasn't with them in this car. He seemed to be far-gone. Davis
told her about him. During Academy she had read many profiles and cases he
done. He intrigued her.
'Pearl Jennings was our sixth victim,' Mairéad said as she drove through
busy streets, driving like a New York-cop that had been on the streets for
long. 'She vanished during a Barenaked Ladies-concert. She was found three
later, strangled with a piano wire, like all the others. Chief Brandon was
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 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
showed them into a small two-desk private office. 'During the day you won't
many people here. It can be unbearable, believe me.'
The three sat down. Without asking them what they wanted, Grayson left and
back with glasses of ice-tea. Scully took a sip, realizing this self-brewed
drank was the best thirst-quencher they could possibly find. Mulder didn't
his glass while he started up his laptop and automatically selected the
'We're going after a hunch our John Doe might be interested in English or
women,' Mulder said as he handed Mairéad a copy of notes he had typed in
morning, after leaving the meeting. 'Could you do me a favour and run a
these women's backgrounds to verify that?'
'Sure,' the agent said, flushing as she jotted a note on a small notepad.
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,
sorry if I might sound inexperienced. This is my third case at the Bureau
Mulder smiled reassuringly, stopping her apologies. 'You've done more than
so far. Your report is thorough and detailed, and better than a lot of work
read. I'm able to pick out a number of things to set up a preliminary
I'm sure it must be strange for you too to work with us. After all, they say
Grayson laughed out loud. 'I don't believe in reputations,' she said. 'All
interested in is solving this case.'
Instantly both Mulder and Scully were thrown back to the past, remembering
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
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
we're very pleased with your assistance.'
Mairéad responded to her smile and said, 'Well, let me check that out and
back to you on it. A part of me hopes that you're wrong, Agent Mulder. I
Irish roots myself. In fact, I think just about half the people living in
Mulder smiled. 'I know. Let's hope that is not the basis that our killer
track down his victims. It would make our task more difficult. I'm hoping
something more juicy that helps him select them.' Mulder got up and put all
photos up to the white board. Grayson and Scully watched as he set three
back, his hands on his hips as he watched them. The top two buttons of his
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
too late to try and make a move.
'He doesn't want them for his sexual pleasure,' the agent said. 'That, we
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
if he's a hit man. It's like he wants something from them and questions
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
torture to taunt them. He might be keeping them awake with sounds and
might want to terrify them so badly that they say what he wants to hear
few days time. None of them has been able to hold on. He tells them he's
for that particular thing and promises them they will be released
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
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
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
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.
women look alike. They're in their late twenties, varying a few years in
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
tickets beforehand, paying with credit cards. They like different styles of
music; he doesn't make his selection on that. They come from different
but all lived in houses - no apartments.'
'Is that important?' Scully asked who read the same thing in the file on the
'It is, assuming that he's been stalking them. He wouldn't select
would stand a greater risk of being caught.'
Mairéad nodded in agreement. 'Can we assume he might have spoken to these
before he took them?' she asked. 'He could have been in deliberate contact
'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
'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
the last victim was taken and get a feel of the place. I think right now
my best shot to get in contact with our killer.'
Mulder sank down on his chair behind the desk and started typing away,
unaware of the fact the two women watched him as his brain worked at full
ordering his fingers what letters to type in. It happened so automatically
it was nearly scary. It was like watching a writer write his next best
not able to explain to others how he came up with the story idea and how he
going to proceed. It rested in his head alone.
'Do you want to see the body today or tomorrow morning?' Mairéad asked as
glanced at her watch. She was hungry but didn't dare say. She wanted to
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
could wait 'til the morning? When is the funeral set?'
'In three days. We still have time. The body will be released tomorrow
The coroner's probably finishing his last report right now,' Mairéad
'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,
want to bring all the files together and compare notes.'
'Good,' Scully said. It was nearly nine and they hadn't eaten properly since
small tasteless sandwich on the flight out. 'Do you know of some good places
'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
woman was married or had a family to go to. Mairéad seemed flattered with
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
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
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
forced to be working with the man against her will. 'Sorry,' he said, 'I
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
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
confidence and abilities. Perhaps they were exactly what she needed after
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
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
as hundreds of thoughts rushed through his mind. Bluntly she moved past the
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
first time now as she gently looked back at him and said, 'this is exactly
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
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
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
he was working on that what seemed more important than anything. She was
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
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
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
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
in the morning though. Riding along with Grayson was like a roller coaster
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.
it was a weekday they were in luck. It wasn't that crowded and service came
and perfectly arranged. Within twenty minutes they were staring at their
Mairéad spoke about the city, explaining a bit why she had moved here at
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
then moved to Dallas where he grew up. He was still living there with his
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
of being a cop, and when the FBI recruited her and she had the chance to
the VCS two years after, she took it. By that time she had met someone in
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
with her working from the Miami Field Office, but she came to Washington
about every week. She had a hectic life, she explained, but she loved every
Mairéad still pondered over her past decisions when Mulder put down his
spoon and said, 'I feel like we're missing something here. This guy wants us
catch him. He takes great risks taking those women in public. He wants to
point but I don't believe he wants to make it to us. He directs it at one
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
twenties to respond to a vague description like that.'
Mulder emptied his glass of water. 'Did you know that 80% of our serial
pulled out wings of butterflies when they were six years old? You can
every case with that act that happened when they were little. Only, this
these butterflies became human beings. When they were in their teens they
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
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
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
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
He felt betrayed and changed. And he started killing.'
'Exactly,' Mulder said, staring at the remaining pasta and tomato sauce. He
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
at that plate as if he saw things no one was supposed to see. Then he
Mairéad and said, 'what would you do if you felt you were in danger? If
told you that you were eligible to become a victim, would you still go to
concert you had planned on going to?'
'I don't know,' she said slowly. 'Perhaps. But I would probably think this
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
men's room. Mairéad stared in shock at Scully. The redhead smiled
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,
claimed, even though I had a hard time believing Agent Mulder needs anyone
take care of him.'
'Did Davis say that?' Scully asked with a smile, recalling the arguments
had with the AD in the past. He had told her once to back off claiming
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
picture. But in the past it had been Patterson that took care of him, and
that Reggie Purdue. Mulder needed someone, even if he didn't know it
and she wasn't planning on backing away that easily. This was her rightful
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
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.
seemed to have been so many occasions now, and she wasn't willing to step
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,
what it was like to kill. He needed to fulfil his urge again, to satisfy
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
go for a spot at the stage. Even if she wasn't there, there was always plan
track her down. Fortunately he had never had to use that.
She had an account at the ticket service agency. He had selected this
particular because he knew the arena by heart. He knew where he would take
and his spot was already sealed off so no one would find her. He knew the
so well that every attending guard was on his shortlist. He knew their
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
would be filled with joyful dreams and sentiments.
In the middle of the night Mulder found himself staring at the ceiling of
hotelroom. He knew every crack and inch by now as he had explored it for
hours. He was so tired he thought he would not be able to stand the next
Thoughts ran through his mind like a high-speed train that wouldn't come to
Every time he closed his eyes, he remembered moments and events of the past
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
through their minds. He tried to grasp their connection but couldn't find
Eventually, around three, he turned up the sound of the playing television
watched reruns of Star Trek until the morning finally came, and he took a
to freshen up. This was the third night in a row he hadn't slept a wink.
for the insomniac he was, this wasn't normal.
Before all, he had to admit that to himself.
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
stubbles than the night before. He seemed to be ready to doze off at any
'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
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
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
sat quietly opposite each other.
Mairéad came to pick them up around eight, instantly noticing the male
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
'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
rental car first, and drive over to the office. I'll come later. I just need
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
confessed that she had never seen an autopsied body before. Sure, she had
some horrific things, but to actually see a body after it had been sliced
diced, was something completely new to her.
During the Academy she had been confronted with many gruesome photos. Her
as a cop had taught her to objectively look at crimes, yet keep that human
to it. As a profiler she hadn't been in touch with the other side of the
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,
didn't remind Scully of a morgue at all. In fact, it seemed almost inviting,
if they were trying to put people at ease. Yet, no one went to a morgue
a reason, and that reason was always death.
The coroner was already waiting for them and showed them to a smaller room
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,
not sure what it is with this body, but there's an awful smell to it, as if
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
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
body. Yet she knew she had to. The younger agent bit her lip, trying to
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
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
cut on her throat showed her vocal cords and muscles. Her tongue protruded
mouth slightly as always happened with strangulation victims.
Her body was slim and had been petite. Now it was still slim but un-pretty
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
after her death than before, leaving nothing to coincidence.
Scully put her hand before her nose, ignoring the smell. She had seen worse
this but it still remained gruesome and sad. Why did a young woman have to
like that, while she still had so many dreams to fulfil? It seemed so
- 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
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
Mairéad opened her eyes, held firmly by Scully as she lay on the cold
'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
out of here into some fresh air.'
Supported by Scully and the coroner, Mairéad was brought outside to sit
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
refused to look at Scully.
'I'm so sorry,' she mumbled, resting her head on her hand. 'I'm such an
'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
like the girl needed some protection. She looked barely twenty years old
though she was in her late twenties and obviously could take care of
'I feel like an idiot,' Mairéad sighed. Slowly the younger agent was
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
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
woman's body again. But the professional in her said that she needed to work
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
She took a deep breath and stopped Scully from closing the door, stepping
the room with her. She didn't notice that Scully smiled, happy with the
the other woman made for herself.
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
ease, to make her feel wanted. And by tonight, she would be in his shelter
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
and looked through the dirty single window he had to the outside world. No
could see him from the outside. Her prison would become the last place she
ever be at.
Now all he had to do was wait until the evening came. And then she would be
To be continued ...
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The arena was empty as if no one ever came there. The gates had been locked.
had to pull strings earlier that morning to get them to unlock the place so
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
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
victim had left the arena with her abductor. No one had ever tried to figure
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
Putting the details together, Mulder was startled by a phone call from
telling about the autopsy findings and the strange stench the victim had on
The agent couldn't make sense of the stench, wondering if it was related
to the victim's whereabouts during the past week. Somehow it didn't add up
the other victims. This was the one point where the cases were different.
Mulder glanced at the map he had been given of the complex, noticing that
was only a map of the arena itself. But a place like this had backstage
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
was watching him. He looked up and about, until he saw a small figure on one
the tribunes all the way up there. With the place empty, Mulder felt small
exposed, and above all vulnerable.
The figure up there noticed he was looking at him, turned and left in a
Mulder knew it would be useless to run after the man. By the time he would
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
kept an eye on the agent. In the room, Mulder laid down the map, asking, 'Do
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
on checking down there.'
'Why? There's nothing to see down there. Except for the backstage entrances
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
the agent, refusing to go with him. Mulder knew the man would be keeping an
on him anyhow, through the cameras that explored the entire area.
Following the officer's directions, the agent walked back to the arena.
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
artists went when they came up or left.
The last one left lead from the left of the stage to a hallway that was
to bring the audience to the lobby of the huge arena. But according to the
there were several passageways in that corridor that weren't pointed out.
Mulder pushed open the emergency doors and stood in the darkness. There
any lights to guide him, except for a small, lit sign that pointed to the
emergency door. Mulder blocked the doors so a bit of light shone in. He
hardly see where he was walking, and touched the walls until his fingers
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
bringing him into another dark hallway that seemed hardly used. It was damp
uncomfortable to walk through. The agent's hands touched the wall until he
another unlocked door that stopped before a set of stairs. This time he saw
because there was a faint light shining in, coming from a nearly completely
Mulder realized he was in some area of the arena that was hardly ever used.
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,
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
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.
knew Pearl Jennings had been here. He could feel it. He was sure. This place
her scent on it. He closed his eyes and turned away from the mattress,
his head as his eyes caught sight of the table, turned around and tried to
his breakfast down.
On the table before him, lay a finger.
Instantly they were all over the place after he made the call in the huge
sucking in the air after escaping the darkness. He waited as he tried to
his posture, explaining briefly to the security officer that he had found
When they arrived, there were at least four cars, cluttering the entrance
exit. Scully found her partner sitting on one of the seats, staring before
'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
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
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
reflex, Scully put her hand under her nose, trying to keep the stench out of
nostrils. It was pretty bad. Her flashlight rested on the neatly cut-off
on the table. It was bloody yet already decaying. It felt cold and stiff
she touched it carefully with her gloved fingers. She didn't want to pick it
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
'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
urge to pass out. That stench that she had smelled on the corps was here
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
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
he left more human body parts somewhere else?'
Mulder didn't respond but turned and left the room. There was something so
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
with their victims was bad. But this coldness could be even worse.
The agent hurried through the long corridors, passing two agents that looked
him surprised. Quickly Mulder hurried through one of the emergency exits to
fresh air outside the arena. The world tumbled before his eyes. He closed
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
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
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
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
all we could when that woman disappeared. No one ever figured out that she
here all that time.'
'He must have had a passageway in and out,' Mulder interrupted softly. 'If
alone knew about that room, he must have had a map, or know this place
'Look, all I can say is that years ago this place got renovated. The
that you used were completely sealed off. No one ever used them. I had no
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
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
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
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
- 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
fingers and other body parts?'
Mairéad nodded and grabbed her cell phone. Scully reached for her partner's
and touched him. He glared at her. 'You believe he's leaving pieces of one
his earlier victims behind?'
'We'll only know that when we found out where he left the others,' Mulder
softly. 'In meantime, we should try and figure out who that finger belonged
and what it means.'
'It's like looking for a needle in a haystack,' Scully mumbled, as she
she'd seen enough of this place and wanted to get out of the sour feeling
stuck to the arena.
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,
finally calls came in from New York, Chicago and LA, reporting they had
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,
an old map stuffed in the back of the owner's locker to find the doorway.
when they did, they ended up in a small room with one single mattress, a
and a chair.
Listening to the report, Scully knew it sounded like all the rooms were
And when she heard an ear had been found in Chicago, and another two fingers
LA, she knew they were on the right track.
As gruesome as it sounded, Mulder was satisfied with the find. More than
was sure that all the parts belonged to the same person, but it would take
time for the labs to go through these details. At first sight the fingers
to belong to the same person. Both fingernails were manicured and painted.
in death and mutilation, that particular detail was vivid, convincing Mulder
killer had painted the nails after he cut off the fingers. Yet he had kept
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
many clues found in such short time, Davis had pulled some strings and
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
great luck to find the killer, especially with the doom image that he might
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
'Our murderer has cut off pieces of his first female victim, presumably
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
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
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
still out there. He might be looking for her, yet not realizing he has
'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
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
'We have a lot to go on right now. We need to track down the first body.
the lab work we can determine when this victim died. That will narrow down a
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.
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
reminded him he hadn't eaten properly in some time. But he ignored the
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.
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
coordinate this case from there.'
The agent paused again as his eyes seriously took in the scene and the
listening to him. He looked aside at Scully, catching the expression on her
face. He stumbled backwards, grabbing the edge of the table, ignoring
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
'Yeah,' he said tired.
'You're deadbeat. I'll drive you back to the hotel. You'll get some food in
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
stench. He had sensed it the moment he closed his eyes and drifted off for
a wee second. He had thought it was his mind playing tricks on him. He
realized it had been a part of his dreamscape until the moment he looked up
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
it became his, and then dreamt about parts he didn't know anything about
yet. He couldn't possibly have known about the stench.
Mulder shook his head, not willing to share his thoughts - not before he
grasp the truth himself. He had been an insomniac, yes, but never before
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
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
always slept, even if it were merely four to five hours a night. He didn't
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
'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
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
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
sitting at a desk with another agent. She was scrolling through police
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
who rested with closed eyes, leaning with his head on his hand. He didn't
a single word on the way back to the hotel. He didn't have to. She stopped
drugstore and bought a legal sleeping aid that didn't need prescription.
they got back to the hotel, her partner opened his eyes and looked
He opened the door to his room, refusing when she offered to order room
She ignored his denial and ordered a light meal for the two of them. Mulder
off to the bathroom. She heard the water tap run, and waited patiently until
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
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
You have moments that you don't even know where you are. Don't deny it. I
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,
medical doctor, should know that.'
'I know that we are not made to stay awake for this long. There is a reason
body tells us to rest. You know what it's like not being able to shut down
mind.' Scully sat down on the side of the bed and tried not to remember
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
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
you haven't been sleeping. You worry too much about this. It's exactly what
feared when you were asked to investigate. We both know you cannot afford
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
door, giving the waiter a tip as he put the tray on the table. Scully turned
she shut the door, only to find her partner turned on his side and asleep.
eyes had closed when she walked over to the door and he had just fallen
She smiled as she picked up a plate, left the drug on the tray besides the
plate, and left her partner alone. The moment she shut the door, Mulder
and looked up.
Shocked his body heaved, his stomach turning into a knot. During the few
of sleep, his dreamscape had become a huge arena, where he stood with
of people. And beside him, as she was singing to the music, stood his
Her hands had been cut off.
The crowd is moving
When the doors opened, the crowd gathered at the arena. There were thousands
them, all coming for the same band. She almost lost track of them as they
pushed forward automatically. There was hardly any effort to get all the way
front, towards the gates that held the first rows from the back ones. The
filled just as easily.
Then the wait began. She looked at her watch. Another hour before the
started. Her friends were joking and fooling around, smiling at her. There
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
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
victims for 'The Concert-killer'. 'That description could be you!'
She had laughed, yet shivered at the same time. Then she laughed away her
She was surrounded in a crowd of ten thousand people. Nothing could happen
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,
the same thing from happening.
'Thanks,' she muttered as she looked briefly at the security guard that
behind the gates. He smiled and turned his back on her. She looked at the
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
she was gone.
Just after midnight his phone rang. He picked it up instantly, listening to
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
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 ...
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The arena was packed with people, all wanting the same thing: Margaret
The rental car stopped before the entrance of the Eastern Arena. When they
there, several police cars were already there.
This time the killer had used an open arena, holding over ten thousand
The one they had explored the day before was small in comparison to this
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
the details of the disappearance with her boyfriend, Mark. The young, upset
explained how they had been standing near the gates. Margaret had been
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
When the concert was over, I walked over but she never showed up. I called
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
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
they were on his track. They had to act as normal, not letting out they
they betrayed themselves now, Margaret would be lost.
'We have to go,' Mulder said as he explained to the others why. They all
that the best way to surprise their man was to catch him on his way out. If
pursued his previous actions, he would still be inside the arena, guarding
victim. But how great was the chance of him leaving his shelter? How would
be able to track him down without him tracking them?
The agent that had argued with Mulder before stepped forward and proposed to
a surprise attack. Track down all the possible shelters, he said, and catch
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
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
'You can't do this. Margaret will not stand a chance if he realizes we're
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
turn it - this woman doesn't have a chance whatsoever. You cannot do a
attack. You said it yourself: This man has foreseen everything. We must use
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
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
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
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
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
end of it.'
Oates opened his mouth to bite back, but was stopped by his partner who shot
glance at him. Oates finally nodded and turned, ordering the others to get
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
The owner, manager and chief of security were in the room as well, going
the details with the agents.
'It's very simple,' the manager finally said, pointing at the second, older
that gave away the details they sought out. 'If your boy is still in there,
can only be on the sublevel that has been shut down three years ago. Before
used to have security quarters there. There are corridors running underneath
entire building that give quick access to all sides of the arena. However,
shut it down after the renewing the entire building. No one uses those
'Is there a way he could have gotten access to those corridors?' Scully
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
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
involved it would become a very long night. Mulder sighed and rubbed his
taking off the reading glasses he had used to concentrate on the maps. This
the fourth night he went through sleepless. He needed to find their guy
before he too would suffer physical consequences.
Suddenly the doors of the meeting room opened and Mairéad stepped in,
with papers in her hands. 'I think I've got something,' she said, handing
over to Mulder.
'What is it?' Scully asked, glancing over her partner's shoulder at the list
names that she had printed out.
'You were right when you said he was looking for something,' Mairéad
'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
other women. She was a dark blonde, slim, beautiful woman that smiled
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
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,
and finally was found murdered, after she filed a complaint against one of
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
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
they identified her using dental records and blood tests. The missing limbs
Mulder stared at the report the police had made six years ago, when the
woman was found dead. They never had a chance finding her killer. She had
extremely popular and loved by her friends. She had no enemies. All they had
the report on her stalker.
'Dig up all you can about this man,' Mulder ordered. 'We need records. If
him, we're dealing with an extremely violent figure. We cannot stand to lose
'What are you going to do?' Agent Oates asked. Mulder frowned for a second
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
corridors. We need to set up teams that cover inch by inch of that area.
move by first dawn. He won't expect us then. He'll be on his guard tonight,
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
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
fatigue. Scully looked worried, remembering all too well that her partner
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
most of them by heart, because they had assisted during concerts before.
were three new ones he couldn't account for.
'That's our guy,' he suddenly exclaimed, pointing at the name John Nome.
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
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
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
be the link they were looking for. But they knew there was only a small
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
of John Willis when he was eighteen. She had called the dean of his high
out of bed, requesting to fax the photo from the yearbook immediately. A
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
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
them. At dawn they would use the chief security officer as guide throughout
'Mulder,' Scully said softly. 'Your order to the others to get some rest
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
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
try,' he mumbled, looking at her. He had woken her up too. But she seemed
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
as he opened the door to an adjoined office. He didn't care whose office it
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
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
his hands. Mulder walked closer, glancing at what it was, but he couldn't
Then the man laughed loud and turned, going inside the corridors, shutting
the light. Next thing he knew, Mulder stood before the podium and watched a
perform. And everywhere around him where women that resembled Margaret's
Mulder startled, moving up from the couch as he stared into the surprised
of AD Davis, who had entered the room.
'Rest easy, Mulder,' the AD said, pushing the agent's shoulder gently so
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
meant. Somehow Willis - or whoever their killer was - knew they were on to
And he was freaking out.
'No,' Mulder said, moving so that he could move up and about, leaning
against the AD's shoulder when he nearly fell back on the couch. 'We have to
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
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
'We have to go,' Mulder repeated. 'He knows we're onto him. We don't have
'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
still dark but slowly the first dawn was rising. It was already warm, damp.
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
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 ...