From: Humbuggie []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2001 3:00 PM

 Insomniac 2/2

Part 5
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The killer
She had slept and woken with a startle, when he started rattling the bed.
Instantly she was on her guard, realizing that she was still bound and gagged to
the bed. Her eyelids blinked a few times. Her eyes were tired and still needed
adjustment to the shades in the room. She was terrified. He didn't allow her to
sleep, despite the fact she was deadbeat. He was hard to her.
But during the few moments she had slept, she had seen a man that was out there
looking for her. He had been kept awake too as his mind wouldn't allow him to
rest. He had not seen her even though she had been standing right before him.
She had called out to him, not knowing his name.
And then her abductor took her by the arm and pulled her inside this room, tying
her up the bed so that she wouldn't lie comfortable. And he looked her in the
eyes and told her he was going to kill her.
And when he woke her up roughly, the first seconds she had believed it was all a
bad dream. But here she was, tied up to that bed with the dirty old mattress in
the smelly room. With her eyes open, she dreamt of being at home in her own cosy
bed and Mark. She would give her right arm to be at home right now.
But she was in a dark room with a man that smelled horrible and was all around
her, as if he consisted of different personas that were cluttering the room. She
didn't want to be here at all.
Finally he took off the rag, now keeping her awake with strong light that he
shone in her eyes. She wasn't allowed to sleep. It felt like one of those
old-fashioned interrogations where one would keep its victim awake in order to
brainwash him.
He gave her something to drink and eat, resting his hand in her neck so she
could sit up a bit in order not to spill. She was very much afraid when those
same fingers touched her hair, and he kissed her and called her his little
pearl. She didn't know what he was on about. She had never met him, even though
he had looked vaguely familiar to her.
But all she could remember was feeling faint when the crowd started pushing her
forward, and then a sharp pain in her upper right arm made her loosen her grip
on the gate. She had slumped forward and someone had grabbed her and pulled her
over the fence, bringing her quickly through some door. There she had passed
out. The last thing she had remembered was being carried away from the noise on
the stage.
Now he walked around nervously as he glanced outside. She had lost all track of
time. She had no idea where she was, how late it was or if anyone was looking
for her. But they had to be. She couldn't imagine them dumping her like that.
She had friends and family that would be worried sick about her.
Suddenly he got up from his hidden darkness and looked around, walking over to
the door that shut them away from the outside world. He stopped and listened as
sounds were heard in the back. Then there was a rummaging and the sounds
stopped. And it was gone.
Even in the darkness she could see the panic in his eyes. He was afraid of
something. Perhaps his shelter hadn't been as safe as he thought.
He moved forward, unwrapping something that he took from a bag. He placed it on
the table. Her mouth felt extremely dry, and she was barely able to speak. But
when she saw what he put there, she felt her breath choke and her body seemed to
convulse as it reacted against the nausea his little gift brought up.
He moved towards her, lifting her up so that she could heave without the chance
of choking. She convulsed when his hands were all over her chest, but he didn't
get aroused. He wasn't sexually interested in her. Whatever it was he wanted, it
was different.
'My little pearl,' he finally spoke, his voice so soft that she had to strain
herself to hear it. 'Why did you run off?'
'I'm not your pearl,' she said, louder than she had expected. 'I don't know what
you want, but I'm not the one you're looking for.'
His eyes locked onto hers as his hands touched her and he smiled. 'I found you
again. You don't have to hide from me. I know who you are. The chase is over.'
'It's not,' she said, forcefully shaking her head. 'Let me go.'
His eyes shifted and he kissed her softly. But still he wasn't sexually
interested in her. She could tell by his moves and reactions. He didn't want her
body. He just wanted her soul. And that frightened her even more.
'You'll tell me who you are,' he said. 'It takes time, I know. But you'll tell
'My name is Margaret,' she said hoarse. 'I'm living right here in Miami. I've
never met you. What more do you want to know?'
He didn't give an answer. He just looked at her. Then finally, he spoke again
and his voice sounded as cold as ice.  'You're my pearl, aren't you? You might
have changed the way you look and your voice, but you're still her.'
'We've never met,' she said in fear. 'I don't know who you are! Whoever you're
looking for, it's not me! You have to believe me, and let me go.'
And then, outside the door, they heard that same noise again. She opened her
mouth to scream, but he had foreseen it, gagging her so fast she hardly knew
what happened. Her tongue stuck to the cloth he used. She tried to move, to
escape from his grip.
He stood still, pressing his ear against the door as the noises returned and
came back. Then they were gone again. But he knew they were onto him. And he
couldn't wait much longer to do what he had to do.
He sat down on his knees beside her, glaring at her. His eyes examined her face.
He knew she wasn't the one, but somehow it didn't matter. The visions he'd had
about killing her came back stronger now, and he realized that he had murdered
He turned to see the mutilated hand he had placed on the table. Two fingers were
missing. He had left them behind before, when he killed the others. He blinked
as he remembered what he had done to her. Then he blinked again, and the vision
was gone, and he knew he just couldn't stop killing. He had become a hunter
looking for a prey, and he enjoyed the hunt. He enjoyed the fear in his victim's
eyes. He relished the fact he was going to kill her soon.
The urge to stop was over. He had to move on, until they would stop him. And
they never would. But then the sounds behind those doors came back, and he stood
in silence as he watched.
When he met her eyes again, she knew he was going to kill her. She wasn't the
one he searched, and now he was going to get rid of her.
Mulder vs. the killer
'He's not here,' Agent Oates said hard as they gathered in the security
officer's booth. They didn't dare to turn on the lights. Working with
flashlights, they could barely see each other. There were five groups of two in
that small room, all scanning a part of the tunnels that ran underneath the
'That's impossible,' Mulder replied hard, as he rolled out the maps on the table
once again, going with his flashlight over every inch of it. 'He has to be here.
He had no way of knowing we were onto him. He wouldn't change his MO.'
'I'm telling you he's not here,' Oates repeated, glaring at Davis for support.
But the AD hardly looked at the agent, realizing that they might have made a
grave mistake. Then he looked at Mulder and knew they hadn't been mistaken. The
killer was here, and his profiler felt it.
'Let's go over this again,' Davis said, asking the chief to help him out. 'You
are very sure that we've covered all areas?'
'We must have,' the security officer said. 'We've followed the map thoroughly,
as it were.'
'Is there a chance that there were older maps?' Mulder asked. 'There might have
been closed-up rooms before.'
'This is the only one I've got. The one that you're holding should tell you
Mulder frowned as he focused on the entire area underneath the stage, running
from left to right. All the other shelters had been found in that area. But
here, there was just one underground corridor running to two small rooms that
had been used as dressing rooms in the past. With the new layout, the artists
had more privacy using the new dressing rooms they had set-up to the right of
the stage.
Mulder blinked as his eyes hurt from the flashlights. He put his finger on the
map as he tapped on the two small squares. 'There's something there that doesn't
add up. There should have been more rooms.'
'Not to my knowledge,' the chief security officer said. 'If there were, they're
hidden behind cardboard walls.'
'Perhaps that's exactly what we're looking for,' Mulder said, as he looked at
Davis. The AD nodded. 'Let's go over this again. Light's come up by now. We have
to move fast. Every team covers his area again. Look for fake walls, things that
aren't in place. Don't use the arena area. With the sunlight coming in, he might
see you. Use the corridors.'
Some of the agents mumbled something. Oates looked even angrier when he removed
himself from the security room. Mulder grabbed his flashlight and gun, being
stopped by Skinner who asked him where he was heading.
'I'm going down there myself, sir,' he said. 'There's something I need to check
'You're not going anywhere, Agent Mulder. You're in no shape to do this.'
'Of course I am,' Mulder said hard, opening the door. 'Don't even think of
stopping me, sir. This is my case, or have you forgotten that?'
'Terence will get you off. He's your supervisor at this time. Or have you
forgotten that?'
Mulder stopped. 'You wouldn't dare. If you take me off, I'll quit the Bureau and
do the investigation on my own. I haven't forgotten that you and Scully were
eager enough to put me in this position before. Don't think that I will be
stopped now.'
Suddenly the room became very quiet, as Scully and Skinner held their breaths
and watched Mulder. The agent blinked his eyelids as he scanned past their
expressions. Terence Davis sighed deeply, realizing he had put the agent under
more pressure than ever before.
'I'm sorry,' Mulder said, rubbing his eyelids. 'I didn't mean that. I just want
to find this guy before he kills the girl. Is that too much to ask?'
'Alright,' Davis said friendly, putting his hand on Mulder's shoulder. 'Let's
compromise. We go through the arena once again. If we can't find her, you're
going to your hotelroom, get some rest and come back when you see fit. Okay?'
Mulder smiled, despite everything as his eyes met Scully's. 'Okay,' he finally
said. 'I agree.'
'Good. Let's go then.'
Mulder lead the way to the stage, using the map to find his way through the
corridors and areas that would keep them out of sight. Davis and Skinner walked
after them. None of them said a word as Scully took over the map and guided them
through a door that brought them down the stairs. Now they were behind the
Again a set of doors lead them further down. This time they had to use the
keychain to open the locked up doors. The air began to smell stale, as if no one
had been here for some time. Suddenly Scully stopped, pointing at the door to
the right that seemed hidden in the décor.
'That's one room,' she said. 'Oates covered that one. It was empty.'
Mulder tried the door and opened it. It was unlocked. The room was empty and
seemed perfectly normal. It smelt just as damp.
They walked down further. Davis and Skinner used the other corridors that lead
them to another area that had been covered before. There they met the other team
that was going through the motions. Scully watched as her partner opened the
second door to the other small room that was pointed out on the map. It was just
as empty.
Mulder stopped in his tracks, frowning as his flashlight made figures on the
'What is it?' Scully asked, lowering the map.
'There's something wrong here, Scully. This area is much smaller than it should
be. Look, if you take the map, you can see that this entire area belongs to the
backstage area. We're right underneath that now. But it's too small if you
consider all the odds and ends.'
'Are you saying there is another area behind all of this?'
'Yeah.' Mulder moved to the wall, touching it with his left hand as he tried to
manoeuvre his flashlight with the right one. The gun was tucked back in its
holster. When he tapped on the wall, they heard a hollow sound. Scully bit her
lip as she looked at her partner.
'That's it,' Mulder said. 'Get the others here quickly.'
'Don't go in there by yourself, Mulder. Wait until I get back.'
He barely listened to her, focusing on what might be behind those walls.
Scully turned and left. He could hear the tapping of her heels as she hurried
through the corridors for the others. Suddenly the agent touched something
sharp. It felt like steel, like an old handle that was hardly noticeable. He
pushed it but it didn't budge.
Then he gave it a hard yank and the hidden, light door flew open, banging
against the cardboard wall that had been put up years before to hide this area.
There were boxes all over the place with relics no one had remembered. Everyone
that worked here now, was too young to remember that in the early days, this
place had been used as a storage facility.
Mulder stopped in his tracks as he heard noises in the room. Yet there was no on
here. He was alone - or so it seemed. He turned off his flashlight, instantly
noticing the stroke of light that came from behind one of the walls. He moved
towards it, touching the wall. Then he heard a muffled sound, as if someone was
being hurt.
Mulder's hands in panic searched for that same handle that would allow him
access to the room. He took his gun back out, working the flashlight so that he
could switch it on as a surprise attack. He heard sounds behind him, and the
same muffled sound from within that room.
Suddenly his fingers touched the handle. With the same strong movement he had
made before, Mulder pushed open the door, shining his flashlight in at the same
time as he held up his gun.
'FBI!' he said sharp.
The first thing he saw in the darkness was her form lying on the mattress. There
was blood on her neck and throat. Her face looked deadly pale. Even in the
darkness he could see that. And he was nowhere in sight. Mulder's flashlight
scanned the room, but he found nothing but the mutilated hand on the table, and
the body on the bed that was still breathing.
But it didn't take an expert to see that she was dying. He had slit her throat
with the piano wire that was still strangled around her throat. She couldn't
breath. She opened and closed her mouth as if to get in the air.
'Oh no,' Mulder muttered, lowering his gun as he rushed forward to help her. His
fingers touched the wire, gently removing it from her throat. Suddenly it ran
through his mind. She was alive. Why was she still alive?
At the same time, something moved beside him. And the door, through which he
came in, was shut in its lock. He turned around, aiming his gun at the assailant
before him in the utter darkness. The flashlight that rested beside him was
gone. He was alone in the darkness, with Margaret losing her fight for life
beside him.
He closed his eyes, aiming the gun at the sounds that he hoped to hear. But
there weren't any. All he could hear was Margaret's shattered breath.
'Stop this right now,' Mulder said, 'you know you can't get out of here. We're
all over the place.'
The man didn't respond to his words. The silence remained as it were.
Suddenly something hard knocked the gun out of his hand, setting him off balance
at the same time. Mulder shifted from his kneeling position, stretching out his
hands to grab a hold of the assailant. From behind the door, there were
footsteps and sounds, and he heard Scully banging on the door, shouting to get
Mulder grabbed a hold of his attacker, shoving him away. Something broke and
fell on the floor. Then the attacker was back, while Mulder tried to adjust to
the darkness. He couldn't see a thing. Then something was shoved over his mouth
and nose. It had a horrible scent to it, trying to send him into oblivion. But
the agent wouldn't budge.
Mulder hit the man's hand, sending the piece of fabric to the ground. As it
fell, its scent fled. Mulder shook his head, forcing himself to stay alert. He
wasn't going to be put off like that.
'Mulder!' he heard Scully shout from behind the door, and suddenly he realized
why they couldn't get in. It was barricaded with a chair, keeping them out.
Suddenly a flashlight went on, shining straight into his eyes. Mulder shouted in
pain as the light hit his eyes, forcing him to back away.
His attacker moved forward, shoving him to the ground as the two men hit the
ground. Something sharp entered his skin and flesh, piercing into him from the
side. As skin and flesh tore, Mulder stayed on the floor. He saw his attacker
move, and knew this would be the end.
But a sound came from Mulder's left, and a door was opened, blinding both Mulder
and the attacker with another flashlight. His attacker screamed as he tried to
cover his eyes. In a flash he was up and about, pushing aside the woman that
kept her light and gun on him.
From his lying position, Mulder heard the footsteps as they moved through the
room. Then there was a gunshot and a lot of silence. Running footsteps were
heard, and then they came back. Mulder saw it was Mairéad, who had found the
other entrance to the small room.
Mulder moved his hand to his side, trying to figure out what hurt him. Something
stuck into his side. His fingers moved until he felt a large piece of glass
sticking into his side. The agent crawled up on hands and knees, listening to
the shallow breath of Margaret to concentrate on his position. Was the attacker
still there? No, he had taken off probably using another exit they didn't know
anything about.
'Agent Mulder,' Mairéad said, kneeling down. 'Are you all right? He's gone. He
was too fast. There are so many corridors and ways in and out - I -'
'The woman,' Mulder interrupted her as she tried to get him up and about.
Mairéad turned her attention to the woman on the bed. Mulder got up on his
knees, supporting himself against the wall until he managed to open the
barricaded door.
'Mulder,' Scully said, looking at her partner's pale form. He leaned heavily
against the door as the others walked in. Someone turned on the switch that sent
a sharp light into the dark room. Several agents stood in the doorway, trying to
figure out what went wrong.
'He's still in the building,' Mulder whispered hoarsely, as he pointed to
Mairéad and Margaret. 'Help her, Scully.'
'We will,' his partner promised. 'And you.'
Gently Scully took her partner's arm, believing that he was merely deadly tired
and ready to drop on cue. She put him on the edge of the bed, ordering Skinner
to watch him. 'Call 911!' she said sharp to Oates, who had already taken out his
cell phone. There was confusion all around at the sight of the woman on the bed
and the agents that tried to help her.
Mairéad backed away when Scully took over, realizing she could do nothing but
watch. Mulder didn't speak to anyone. He didn't respond to Davis' questions or
Skinner's urgent requests. He kept his eyes focused on Margaret, the woman he
knew they could have saved. Now it was too late.
'She's still alive,' Scully said, touching the woman's neck, trying not to
glance at the way the piano wire had nearly slit her throat. Quickly the agent
ripped off pieces of the sheet that covered the mattress and used them to make a
temporary bandage.
Mulder stared at them as they moved about, trying to make the woman as
comfortable as possible while they waited. Skinner stood by his side, watching
the procedures. They seemed to be in another reality, powerless to do anything
but watch.
They still had a chance. They all knew it. But it seemed a hopeless task. The
blood that covered her throat already found its way past the fabric that covered
her throat. Her eyes were closed, as she, deadly pale, didn't budge. There
seemed to be nothing they could do. But Scully wasn't ready to give up yet.
When the paramedics came in to take over, the woman was breathing. They quickly
bagged her and lifted her on a gurney. When they transferred her out of that
small room, Scully caught a glance of the mutilated hand and sighed, rubbing her
forehead with her left hand as she leaned tired against the wall.
Mairéad followed the gurney outside, promising the others she would go to the
hospital with her and not leave her out of sight. The others stayed inside the
damp room.
'The lab is already here,' Davis said, catching a glimpse of the men that were
waiting with their equipment. 'Let's get out of here.'
'Come on, Mulder,' Scully said, grabbing her partner's arm.
The agent stared at her as if she was a stranger. Scully watched him, as he
seemed unable to talk to her. He had been so quiet since they walked in; so
deadly still. He looked so strange now, the way he sat on the side of that bed,
still looking at the mattress as if Margaret's body was still on it.
Then her eyes caught the white shirt he wore underneath his jacket. His hand
still lay there even though he wasn't even aware of doing that small gesture
himself. There was blood dripping between his fingers. The shirt was cut open
and soaked with blood but she had thought it was Margaret's. She hadn't stopped
to think it might have been his.
'Mulder?' Scully said gently, trying to get him to look at her.
Her partner stared dazed at her, and got up. When she touched him, he slumped
backwards, going through his knees that wouldn't carry the weight anymore. His
hand finally let go of his side, and she held her breath as she saw the glass
sticking out like a knife.
'Scully?' he said, losing his balance. He would have dropped like a ton of
bricks, hitting the back of his head on the wooden side of the bed, hadn't
Skinner grabbed him. Scully was on his other side in a second, supporting her
partner as they gently moved him to the floor.
'Get those paramedics back in here!' she heard Davis shout. 'We've got an agent
'Careful,' Scully whispered, helping the AD settle her partner on the floor.
Skinner took off jacket and put it under Mulder's head. There was no way they
could place him on the mattress. They had to try and make the situation as
comfortable as possible.
Mulder was far away. She could tell by the way he saw right through her. His
skin seemed as pale as Margaret's had been. She didn't know he was wondering why
he felt so numb. His side felt like a bullet had hit it with shock settling in
soon after. And he was so damned tired.
'Oh god,' Scully muttered, lifting the shirt that concealed a deep entry wound
with a sharp and large piece of a drinking glass embedded in it. Only then she
saw the other pieces of the glass lying on the floor. It must have fallen during
the struggle. 
'He's cut bad,' she said towards Skinner, somehow knowing her partner wouldn't
understand a word she was saying. He didn't react when she focused on Skinner
and Davis who watched her nervously.
'Internal damage?' Davis asked.
'Don't know. If his kidney is bleeding -' She stopped herself from saying it.
'They'll determine that at the ER. There's no way of -'
'No!' her partner said so hard it startled everyone in the room. He fought back
as Skinner held him to the ground. 'I'm not going back there!'
Scully stared at her partner in shock, as he sobbed and moved his face away from
her. He was in much pain now as he forced his body to move. Skinner had to make
a serious effort to keep him calm.
'You're not taking me back there,' Mulder argued. 'I'm not going! You can't make
me. I refuse to go back there. Not on your life!'
'Go where, Mulder?' Scully asked softly.
'That place. They'll finish their business. I'm not letting them stick their
knifes and needles in me. I want to go home! Scully, please, just take me home.'
Mulder grabbed her hand, pulling her so close to him that it hurt. 'Please,
Scully,' he begged as she watched in despair. 'Take me home.'
She leaned forward, stroking his hair out of his face. It felt sticky. The
boyish look to it was gone. He was panicking, and she didn't want the others to
notice. It could jeopardize his credibility and abilities as special agent. But
she couldn't care less right now about all the others that were waiting and
'I can't, Mulder,' she said gently, trying to relax his features. 'You're hurt.
We need to make sure you're fine. You are wounded badly.'
'Hurt?' he asked, frowning as he glared beside her at Skinner. Then Davis moved
in sight and knelt down with worry as well. Somehow his presence seemed to
comfort Mulder.  
'We need to take you to a hospital, Mulder,' Davis said. 'You've fallen on a
piece of a glass. It's embedded in your side. We have to get it out.'
'No. Just pull it out. I'm fine. We need to find her ...'
'You already found her,' Terence said gently. 'She's fine thanks to you.'
'She is?' the agent asked in surprise as he blinked his eyelids. Scully noticed
the agitated look in her partner's eyes. Why in the world didn't he just pass
out and allow his body to rest? Right now, that was all he needed. For once she
would be grateful if he passed out. But he wasn't supposed to. Somehow she knew
he was right.
Scully moved her body so he alone could see her. 'I won't leave your side,' she
swore, 'but we have to help you. Can you understand that, Mulder?'
Her partner nodded, not letting go of her hand. Then he turned his face away
from her and closed his eyes. Wherever he was, it wasn't in this room. She bit
her lip, hoping and praying that he would stand the pain until they got that
piece of glass out of him. And then all they could do is hope that it hadn't
caused irreparable damage.
Part Three
But there's no relief, I'm wide awake in my kitchen,
It's dark and I'm lonely, Oh, if I could only get some sleep,
Creaky noises make my skin creep,
I need to get some sleep,
I can't get no sleep...
The ordeal
But the ordeal had only just begun. Mulder was awake during the trip to the
hospital. He was awake at the ER when they examined him, made X-Rays and was
prepared for a transfer to the OR. The piece of glass was embedded so deep in
his flesh that they couldn't get it out at the ER. The X-Rays showed it came
dangerously close to his kidney. In order to play it save, the piece had to be
cut out surgically.
The transfer to the OR happened fast. A team was gathered quickly to help him.
An anaesthesiologist walked in quickly to put Mulder under. Most of the medical
staff present in the room was surprised Mulder had been awake throughout the
process. In a way he had been cut by a knife, so deep it might have killed him.
But he was alive and alert and knew very well what was going on.
He watched numb as they talked to him assuring, telling him he would be put to
sleep so they repair the damage to his internal organs. When the first injection
was emptied in his arm, he felt dizzy, but not sleepy.  He just felt a little
numb at most, not even realizing they were injecting him with sedatives.
His eyes closed as he remembered New York. He had been awake through the
experience of being cut open. They had stopped him from talking or reacting. He
had been powerless. Would they do the same thing here as well?
It was enough to cause him to panic once again, and he pulled away his hand when
they prepared to give him another injection. With the back of his hand he
knocked the syringe out of the man's hand.
From behind their masks they all looked the same. He couldn't distinguish their
faces. In a flash he was back at that other OR, where they prepared to cut him
open while being awake throughout the process. He didn't want to remember those
details. Never before had he been so frightened.
Suddenly he relaxed and didn't move when the nurse took him by the wrist and
spoke to him. He saw right through her. He just wanted it to be over. If they
wanted to proceed, let them. He couldn't care less anymore.
The anaesthesiologist looked at the surgeon when the second syringe was emptied
into Mulder's system and said, 'I don't understand this. He should be asleep by
now. Why is he resisting this?'
The surgeon lifted his shoulders. A mask was placed over Mulder's mouth and
nose, forcing sleeping gas in his nostrils. He felt dizzy again and everything
seemed to tumble. But when the mask was removed, he opened his eyes and stared
at the ceiling, praying for the ordeal to be over.
'Do a local,' the surgeon ordered as they became nervous. 'If we don't get that
piece of glass out, we stand to risk much more damage than ripped flesh and
skin. And get someone in here to calm Agent Mulder down. He needs a familiar
A nurse left the room. The anaesthesiologist asked for assistance to roll
Mulder's body and sedate him with an epidural. The agent felt their hands as
they disinfected his back to stick the needle in, and closed his eyes. He moaned
when the sharp needle entered his back, sending him back into the world of pain.

'I'm sorry, Mr. Mulder,' the doctor said, looking at him from beyond the mask
that concealed his mouth and nose. 'We need to do this to help you.'
Mulder nodded as they rolled him back, biting his lip as the pain slowly ebbed
away. He wanted Scully to be there. As if she had heard his prayers, she stepped
in, scrubbed up and ready to help. A mask covered her nose and mouth, but at
least he could see her eyes.
'Hey partner,' she said, leaning forward so she could see her partner's pale
face. He didn't smile. In fact, he looked very scared when he responded. 'Hey.'
She made sure he felt the grip on his hand. 'Why can't you let the drugs do
their work? You need to relax, Mulder. The only reason why you're not asleep
right now is because your body is fighting back. You're fine here. You're in
good hands. This is not New York.
'Believe me, Scully,' he said softly, 'if there was one time in my life that I
would have been happy to pass out, it's this. I just want this to be over with.
But I'm not allowed to sleep. I can't sleep until I find this guy.'
'You haven't slept in four days. Your body cannot keep up this pace. You're in
surgery. They need to help you. How can I help you?' she asked desperately.
'I don't know. I simply don't know.' His hand still rested in hers. She knew he
was terrified. But at least he seemed to be back and able to talk to her. He
knew exactly what was happening to him.
Finally they performed surgery, not speaking at all during the process. Mulder
moaned when he felt a pressure to his side, as if someone was pushing him. But
the feeling was bearable. He bit his lip, resisting the urge to scream. His legs
were numbed up, as was everything from his ribcage down.
 Scully touched her partner's hair, trying to soothe him and get his mind off
things. He answered her questions, but she knew he wasn't there anymore. He had
gone back into that special place in his mind where he always went when his body
needed to cope with pain or hurt. She saw the change in his eyes, and knew it
would take some time for the wounds to heal. He was back in New York, reliving
the whole ordeal.
'Can't you give him more pain medication or something?' she asked desperately,
trying to stop this ordeal. 'He's hurting.'
'I've already given him the maximum,' the anaesthesiologist said. 'If I give him
more, his body will not be able to take it. I've never seen anything like this
before. I don't know what else I can do for him, but try and make him as
comfortable as possible.'
Scully turned her attention to her partner and said comforting while she glanced
at the surgeon at work, 'It's nearly over, I promise.'
Mulder didn't respond. Suddenly his eyelids blinked, his eyes closed and the
monitors in the room went haywire. 'What the hell,' the anaesthesiologist said,
watching the heart monitor as it beeped and then showed a flat line.
'We struck a bleeder,' the surgeon exclaimed, working his way in to stop the
artery from bleeding. When he pulled back his hands, they were covered in blood.
The surgical team moved swiftly, stopping the bleeding.
'Patches!' Scully ordered, preparing her partner so that they could easily
access his chest. The green covers were pulled back. The surgeon handled the
resuscitation, sighing deeply in relief when the monitor showed a heartbeat
'Let's work through this thing before he wakes up again,' he said, concentrating
on stopping the bleeding and cleaning the wound. Fortunately they were in luck.
Despite the blood loss, the kidney remained undamaged.
A few moments later it was over. Scully walked by her partner's side as they
transferred the bed into the recovery room, pulling off the green cap as they
walked out of the OR.
Even before they had him hooked up on the monitors, Mulder opened his eyes in
confusion. He had passed out long enough for them to finish up surgery. His eyes
just stared at the white ceiling, as if his mind was still out there, buried in
that safe haven.
In silence she sat by her partner's side until he was to a semi-guarded room,
still hooked up on the monitors. They were worried about the bleeder and wanted
to make sure his heart hadn't suffered during the process.
'Mulder?' Scully said as she sat down beside her partner, watching as the clock
struck noon. She realized she was deadbeat. She too hadn't slept for so long
now, and it felt like she would not be able to do so for some time still.
He didn't look at her. He hadn't spoken a word since he woke up. He was in a
place she couldn't reach him. She shivered as she realized she had seen him like
this before - when his brain was going haywire. She didn't want to go back
'Mulder,' she spoke, kissing his fingers. 'Talk to me, please. I need you to
respond. You have to know. Margaret is fine. She's okay Mulder. It will be a
while before she wakes up, but you saved her. You stuck to your guns and got her
out of there. You need to know that.'
He didn't respond to her but she knew he understood. Finally he blinked his
eyelids and shed a tear that trickled down his left cheek. She moved forward and
rubbed it away with her index finger. 'Oh Mulder,' she whispered, sitting down
and putting her head on her arm. 
Finally he whispered, 'He's going for another one. There's not much time left.'
She looked up as he glanced at her. 'I know where he's going to do it.'
To be continued ...
Part 6
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
The fury
The fury struck him as hard as a sledgehammer. He was angry as hell, realizing
it was over. Now that they knew about his set-up, he wouldn't be able to keep
this up. But would he really stop? Could he stop? He didn't know.
Now that he had seen her and found her, he knew it would be impossible to stop.
She was the one. He was as sure of it as anything that had ever happened to him.
He held his own destiny in hands, and he knew he couldn't stop.
In a few days he would set the trap, and she would be there. He had set his mind
on it. He smiled. The thought of it even pushed aside the anger for not being
able to kill Margaret. He would move on and enjoy things to come.
He knew who she was. Her name was Mairéad. And to his joy, she was to be by his
side once again.
The reason for it
Mulder sat up straight, leaning heavily against the pillows that supported his
neck and head. The monitors were gone by now. He was making a very fast
improvement. The wound was healing nicely. He hurt only when he moved too fast,
straining his body.
'Christ, Mulder,' Skinner said, folding his arms before his chest as he stood
angrily in the room. 'If I knew you were suffering from sleeplessness, I would
have dragged your ass back to Washington two days ago. Why the hell didn't you
tell us how bad it was?'
'Scully knew,' Mulder said, receiving an angry glance from his partner.
'Besides, there is a reason for this insomnia.'
'Scully told me about your theory. Are you saying that your insomnia is caused
by this case?'
'Yes, sir.'
'You had it before you were put on this case!'
'I must have known instinctively that I was going to get it. Sir, I know it
sounds crazy but all the details add up. I dreamt of a Barenaked Ladies-concert,
thus related to the disappearance of Pearl Jennings -'
'- You could have read that in a newspaper and remembered it.'
'- All the women held in captive were kept awake during the process. I dreamt of
them. I dreamt of Margaret before we found her. I knew she was in danger. If we
had gotten there an hour later, like we originally planned, she wouldn't be
alive right now.'
'So you say that you are connected to your killer somehow?'
'It has happened before. Roche has been in my mind - I have been in his.'
'This is not Roche we're dealing with, Mulder. It's a killer that doesn't even
know you. How do you explain this?'
'I'm not connected to the killer, sir. I'm connected to the victims. Or at
least, to the solution to all of this. I am supposed to solve this case, sir. I
can't explain how, but I have a connection that has to do with this
'Calm down, Mulder,' Scully said, as she sat down and placed a hand on her
partner's. 'Explain it calmly.'
Mulder sighed deeply, realizing he only had one shot at convincing the others.
Someone else's life could depend on it. 'During the few moments that I'm allowed
to sleep, I've seen a lot of things, sir. I saw a concert by a band called
Faithless. I saw something in the killer's hand. In my dreams he held something
that I couldn't identify. I only realized what it was this morning. When I
passed out during surgery, I saw it again, more clearly now.'
'What did you see?' Skinner asked.
'Pearls. There were several pearls lying in his hand.  Megan Nome, the young
grad student that was found murdered, was missing body parts. Scully told me
this morning that the lab work showed all the parts came from her. John Willis,
the one suspect, had the perfect alibi. Yet someone, using the name John Nome,
worked at the Miami arena and all the others that had missing women. Our killer
had a connection to both John Willis and Megan Nome. I'm thinking a friend or
contact of both of them, probably from the same year.'
'Go on,' Skinner said.
Mulder moved agitated, trying to sum up everything he wanted to say. 'We have
one man that can identify our boy because he had an argument with him. All the
other managers didn't seem to know him. We unfortunately only have a vague
description that could match just about anyone. Agent Grayson and myself have
seen this man in a flash. It could have been anyone. We cannot go that direction
and hope that we might stumble into him. Our guy is going to use another name
from now on to reach the same goal.'
'So you believe he's going through with it?'
'Yes, sir,' Mulder said firmly, 'his desire for blood has become too great to
stop. He wanted Margaret to suffer slowly. I believe that's why she was still
alive when I got there. He never believed I had enough time to get in there and
help her.'
'What about those pearls then?' Scully asked curiously. 'What's up with that?'
'It took me some time to figure that one out,' Mulder said. 'I called Agent
Oates this morning and asked him to run a check for me. He confirmed it. The
pearls weren't a clue to the whereabouts of the girls. It regards their names.
That's how he picks them out. Their names all have the same meaning. Oates ran a
check on the Internet. Margaret, Megan, Pearl, ... all the others had variations
of these names. He selects them by that, and I'm thinking that's what he's
looking for ... someone who can replace the first pearl he killed: Megan Nome.'
'We cannot verify this with Margaret, Agent Mulder,' Skinner said. 'She's still
heavily sedated. Yet we need to know what he told her, and hope that we can get
a clue from there.'
'Agent Oates ran another check for me, sir,' Mulder said, as he handed a faxed
copy of a list to his partner. 'I never figured out why I dreamt of Faithless,
so I ran a check once again. This band is finishing up a tour in the US before
they'll return to the UK. Their last performance is in tomorrow, in New York. I
know he's going to be there too. I can feel it.'
Suddenly Mulder laughed bitterly. 'It's been some time since New York, but these
past few days I've been going through the motions of those events again. Now at
least I know why. It - this - was meant to be.'
'I cannot justify this, Mulder,' Skinner said. 'I can't use your hunch to move
the troops to New York. I need something more solid than that.'
'Make up a story,' Mulder said. 'But don't ask me to lie about this. Sir, so far
my hunches have been right. I know I'm right on this one as well. We need to
move fast. We need to know who is going to attend that concert. We need a list
of names. Every female name needs to be checked thoroughly. We need to warn
these women. If there are a lot of possible victims, we need to make sure that
there is someone watching each and every one of them.'
'In meantime,' Scully continued, 'we need to go over the list of interim
security guards that are being used by that concert. Acting as a guard is a
great cover.'
'Ask Mairéad to do that,' Mulder said. 'Get Oates to check connections between
John Willis and Megan Nome. He can do that from Miami. He's going to stay here
and coordinate the search from here.'
'And what are you going to do?' Skinner asked.
'What do you think?' Mulder said. 'You're going to book us tickets on the first
flight out to Philadelphia.'
'Not a chance,' Mulder and Skinner said in unison. Scully got up from her seat.
'Mulder, for once, listen to me. You have to rest. You can't do this anymore.'
'I'm the one shot you've got and you know it,' Mulder said. 'I've seen this guy.
I've sensed him. You need me and you're not going to stop me. Afterwards you can
do whatever you like, but right now I'm going with you. There's a flight out
this afternoon and we're going to be on it. I've already talked to Agent Grayson
about arranging the tickets. She's coming with us. She knows the city and will
be able to guide us through.'
'No, Mulder,' Scully said.
'I'm discharging myself, Scully. I'm not critically wounded.'
'You flatlined in the OR!'
'That was yesterday. This is today. Now, are you going to get me some clothes or
do I have to get them myself?'
Skinner and Scully both knew there was no stopping him. In surprise Scully
glared at her partner as he shifted his long legs out of the bed, swaying on his
legs. Instinctively Skinner reached out to grab him.
'No!' Mulder's strength seemed to return as he lifted his arm, stopping the A.D.
from touching him. 'Don't!' Slowly the agent lifted himself up, returning to the
tall, strong man he was. 'I'm doing this. If you don't like it, get lost!'
Skinner seemed shocked but not as shocked as Mulder, who realized he had uttered
his thoughts. He didn't want to talk like this to the man that had become his
friend, but there were more important things in life. He didn't have time for
good behaviour right now, not while being so frustrated with the situation.
'All right,' Skinner said, standing clear from the agent. 'Have it your way. But
one wrong move and I'm sending you to DC. Got it?'
Mulder nodded obedient, admitting his weakness. 'Agreed.'
A few hours later the afternoon flight brought a group of FBI-agents and AD's to
New York.
Breathing down his neck
He could feel them breathing down his neck yet he didn't want to call it quits.
There was still too much to do - too much that he still wanted to accomplish. It
wasn't even that difficult this time to find her. She was an FBI-agent after
all. One quick call and he knew where she lived.
He went to her house that night with Margaret's blood still on his hands. He
watched when she came home in the middle of the night. She closed all the
curtains but he could see dancing shadows as she made her way to the bathroom.
He envisioned her as she showered. In his dreams his hands were over her throat,
and he was slowly strangling her. He kissed her when she died, and her fear was
what fed him after all these years. He could finally have her to himself once
again and get rid of the demons that started years ago.
What good fortune that he had found her. What luck that she was there. She was
the one. He knew it, as much as he knew now that he had once killed her before.
Her phone
At the Miami Field Office the phone on Mairéad's desk rang for minutes before
another agent finally picked it up, and told the man on the other side that she
had left for New York on a case.
Surprised he put down the phone, wondering if she was off his case. Was she no
longer looking for her? Furiously he called the airlines and reserved a ticket
on the first flight out to New York. If she were neglecting him, he would go
after her. He wanted her to know it was he that would kill her.
Another favour
Before long he booked a hotel room in the city. He was frustrated as he realized
that she had interfered with his plans. In Miami he could have used his
knowledge on the arenas to get to her. Now he had to settle for another
solution. He could no longer take her the way he had taken the others. Or could
He reached for his cell phone and called the one that had always helped him out.
If he knew anything that might help tracking her down, he would tell him.
'It's me,' he said. 'I need another favour.'
'I'm tired of these favours,' the man on the other side said. 'You do realize
that the FBI's been here looking for you? I want out of your activities.'
'Really? What did they ask?'
'They think you'll be at some concert in New York. Please tell me you're not in
New York.'
The killer laughed. 'What do you think?'
'Please let this one go. They'll be all over you. If you want to track her down,
don't do it now. She's not worth the effort. Hell, what am I saying? Just stop
doing this! You're putting their lives in my hands and I don't like it.'
The killer paled as his hand clawed around the cell phone. 'It's too late to
back out now. You're doing this for me, or I'll kill your daughter and then your
wife. I'll make you watch. You know I'll do it.'
After a long silence on the other side, the man said, 'Just promise me this will
be the last time. I'm afraid.'
'After tomorrow, I'll have what I need,' he said.
'Where can I deliver it to you?'
'I'm staying at the Centre Holiday Inn. Have the package delivered there by
tonight, and tell them I'll report first thing in the morning.'
'Agreed.' The man hung up, not wanting to hear his 'old friend's' voice any
The killer smiled as he looked at himself in the mirror. Would she recognize
him? Of course not. She would pretend that she didn't know who he was. But he
knew who she was, and for now that would suit him just fine. Tomorrow night she
would be his, and he could retire.
Exhausted Scully had fallen asleep on the bed. He watched her as she slept. She
had given him a sleeping pill to catch a nap as well, but it hadn't taken. When
she finally closed her eyes and slept, he placed a blanket over her body and lay
down beside her. She seemed so tired. She needed the rest.
And the irony of the facts was that she had come into his room to make sure he
could sleep. But he couldn't. He hadn't slept for so many nights now that he
hardly remembered what it felt like to close his eyes and nap.
He wanted to sleep. Of course he did. He had never felt this exhausted in his
life. But nothing seemed to work. Even when he drifted off, his body was in full
alert, ready to jump up at any sound or movement. And now even that wouldn't
come anymore.
When he looked in the mirror, he saw a deadbeat man with eyes that hardly seemed
to focus on anything anymore. He hadn't shaved properly for days. Somehow that
only added to his fatigued features. When he walked about, it felt like
everything about him was ready to fall apart.
And when the morning came and first sunlight poured into the room, the only one
sleeping, was his partner.
The day grew tenser when the first results of the ticketing agency came in.
Going on Mulder's advice, out of the 9,000 sold tickets, twenty-three women were
potential subjects. And that only included the named tickets. There were still a
lot of potential "candidates" left that they didn't know about.
Mairéad took it upon her to contact all the women and inform them about the
potential danger. Most of them waved away the danger, saying they were in
company. Talking to them by phone, it was impossible to know what they looked
like. Mulder insisted that the killer wasn't about to select just anyone. He
wanted someone with the particular features that Megan Nome had.
The day became more and more hectic when Mulder and Scully drove to the arena
and talked to the manager, informing him as well of the potential risks. Of
course they couldn't cancel the concert. It was too risky. The killer would
simply move on and pick out another concert. He wouldn't stop.
When they sat inside the manager's office, drinking coffee while waiting for a
list of security guards, Scully leaned to Mulder. 'I hope you're right about
this, Mulder,' she said softly. 'If he picked out another concert, we're
'I know we're right about this one. I can feel it in my bones.'
Mulder refused to look at her as he focused on the list of employees that were
hired for tonight's concert. John Nome was nowhere in sight. Yet Mulder knew he
was amongst them.
'Can we talk to them?' Mulder said. 
'Most of them come in tonight.'
'Are there men on this list you don't know?'
The manager glared at the list and frowned. 'I don't know all of them by heart.
You should know that there are a lot of security guards during a concert like
this. I can't pinpoint them all out to you. But I can tell you that we always
work with the same agency. I have no reason to distrust them.'
'Grand Security?' Scully asked.
'That's right.'
'Who is your contact there?'
'Tim Johnson. He's been my contact for years.'
Scully and Mulder shared a glance. They had heard the name before. The one link
they thought that would never lead to the killer, turned out to be more than
valid. Could it be that simple after all?
'Can you tell me where Mr. Johnson works, sir?' Mulder asked.
'He's got an office right here in New York, but he travels around quite a bit.
To be honest, I've never even seen him. He became my contact when the last one
died of a heart attack a couple of months ago. I can give you the address and
his phone number.'
'That would help us a lot, sir,' Scully said, jotting down the data on her
notepad. A few moments later the agents were on their way to the offices of
Grand Security, that worked nationwide. Mulder knew they would find Tim Johnson
there. And he probably had an interesting story to tell.
On the way out, Agent Oates called and told them he had a list of people that
were in Megan Nome's graduation year. There were about four men that matched the
description of John Nome. And two of them were unaccounted for.
The young woman shivered when she talked to the FBI-agent on the phone. The
explanation of how she could be a potential victim struck her. She had read in
the newspapers about this case. She had seen photos of the victims on the
Internet, where some serial killer-search site had all the gory details. She had
been repulsed by what she had seen, yet at the same time she had known all along
she could be a victim as well.
'Miss Weatherby,' the friendly agent said, 'you have nothing to fear, but I do
have to ask you if you have seen anything out of the ordinary lately. Do you
believe you might have been followed? Have you noticed men that you haven't seen
'Agent Grayson,' the woman said patiently, 'I live in New York. Every single day
there are people passing by I've never seen before. I don't know. But if you
feel that I'm in danger, I'm not going.'
'Can I ask you what you look like, Miss Weatherby?' Mairéad asked, jotting down
notes on a large pad before her.
'I look just like those other victims,' the woman said. 'I'm Irish. And to be
honest - I'm very much afraid.'
'Would you mind if I came down to talk to you?'
'Sure. I'm at home right now. I'm sure you've got my address.'
'I do,' Mairéad said. 'Thank you.' The agent hung up and left a message for
Scully before she took off. If there were just a remote chance that this woman
was their victim, she would have to do anything to help her.
When she arrived at the woman's house, the clock struck two. The hours were
passing too fast, and she didn't like it.
Changing features
He knew now she was staying at the Regency. The FBI could afford a decent hotel.
But he wouldn't take her there. The night before the package had arrived at the
hotel, sent to him by courier. It didn't take too long this time to arrive.
After all, it just had to come across town.
When he had opened it, a copy of a map dropped on the table. He looked at it,
going over the old corridors and hallways that were used in the past. There was
nothing he could use, except for a small room. It would be too dangerous to use
this time. He needed time with Mairéad, to make sure she was the one. No, this
time he would take her outside, even if it meant taking some risks. And looking
at the map, he knew exactly how to go about it.
He glanced at his watch. It was after three. In a few hours he would have to go
to the arena. He would dye his hair first, and get rid of the black moustache
he'd had for months. He knew he looked completely different without it. They
wouldn't recognize him for sure.
In the package a new badge had been placed. All he had to do was place a fake
photo between the plastic flap and he was all set.
He took his jacket and went out to buy colour shampoo and a shaving kit. Two
hours later he looked nothing like the man he had been for years. Not even his
old classmates would recognize him now. He smiled as he grabbed his 'Grand
Security' outfit and left for the arena. In a few hours he would see her again.
Tim Johnson, a man in his late forties with wife and child, sat nervously behind
his desk as the agents took a seat before him and started asking him questions
about the schedules of his security guards that were used for concerts.
'Look,' Johnson said as he played with his pen, 'I've responded to all these
questions a few days ago. One of your colleagues came here and asked me exactly
the same things. I am responsible nationwide for the ticketing service, yes. I
travel around the country and meet with the local offices on occasion. I have a
lot of people working for me. There's no way I can keep a watch on everything.
It takes up too much of my time.'
'But you do know that one of your guards might be a serial killer?' Mulder said.
'Or haven't they told you?'
'It's nonsense. I know it is. Whoever this person is, he's there without me
knowing about it.'
'Would it be that easy to infiltrate your group, sir?' Scully asked. 'Someone on
a high level that can manipulate personnel files must know about this. This man
cannot have done this by himself. He cannot put himself on those lists, unless
he breaks into your systems and puts his name there. You do realize that your
name has been under all the contracts and approvals?'
'Are you implying that I'm involved?' Johnson asked as his face turned a bright
red and his hands started fidgeting with the pen even more.
'Can you tell us you're not?'
'If you think I did it, why don't you arrest me then?' Johnson got up from his
seat. 'Go on, arrest me. But you don't know for sure, do you? How dare you enter
this office and accuse me of such horrible things?'
'Who is John Nome, Mr. Johnson?' Mulder asked. 'Can you go through your files
and show us a photo of this man?'
'Of course I can.' Johnson relaxed and sat down, typing away on his pc until he
found the personnel file. He turned his screen so they could see the same photo
they had tracked down in Miami. It was a photo of John Willis. Yet in Miami, the
manager had clearly stated this was not John Nome. The personnel files were
doctored with.
'This is not John Nome,' Mulder said. 'If you cannot tell us who hired this man,
we have no reason than to suspect you, sir.'
Johnson again flushed. 'I've got nothing to do with this. Arrest me if you
Mulder got up and looked at the closed cabinet behind the man. They knew they
needed a search warrant to go through his things, but something told him he
would find a lot of evidence in that cabinet.
'Do you mind, sir?' Mulder said, as he stepped behind the desk. Johnson got up
and said furiously, 'That's private property!'
'You've got nothing to hide, do you sir? After all, you're innocent.' Mulder
quickly opened the cabinet doors before Johnson could utter another word. On the
shelves lay several maps of arenas and concert halls. Most of them were quite
old and dusty. But it didn't take an expert to see that they shouldn't have been
'How did you get these maps, sir?' Scully asked as she moved forward. Johnson
looked more nervous now.
'I collect them,' he said. 'My father used to work at a concert hall and started
this little hobby. He gave them to me after he retired. That was the reason I
stepped into this branch.'
'We are going to have to place you under arrest, sir,' Scully said, as she
grabbed Johnson's hand and pulled it behind his back. 'You are suspected of
conspiracy to kill. You have the right to remain silent. Anything -'
'I know my rights,' Johnson said, as he lowered his head. He knew it was over
but he just wouldn't believe it. His eyes focused on his daughter, the girl he
was so proud of. What would she think if she knew he had helped to kill after
what had happened to Megan?
Tim Johnson sighed deeply and turned towards them. 'I'll tell you what I know,'
he said. 'It's no use for me to keep on lying. I've grown so tired of it. I know
what I've done and what I'm guilty of.'
'What are you guilty of, sir?' Mulder asked. 'You helped him find his shelters,
haven't you?'
Johnson took a deep breath. 'He threatened to kill my daughter like he had done
Megan. And I knew he wasn't kidding. I know what he's capable of, and I know
what he's done.'
Mulder stared at the man in surprise, suddenly realizing they had been so close
all this time, yet so far away from the truth. And when it came down to it, all
trails lead to Megan Nome.
The confession
Mairéad felt that she had struck the right cord after talking to Laurie.
Everything about her reminded her of the ways of lives of the other victims. She
had their looks in common and of course the name. She could be the one.
After requesting Laurie to drive downtown with her, the woman reluctantly
agreed. At the New York Field Office, both women were overwhelmed by the busy
activity. In an interrogation room she saw Mulder and Scully talking to an older
'Wait here, Laurie,' she said, pointing the girl to a seat near a desk. AD
Skinner stood before the window and watched. The sound was turned up, and they
could hear everything that was being said. AD Davis was on the phone with DC.
'Is that him?' Mairéad asked tense.
'No,' Skinner said. 'It's his snitch.'
The AD turned his glance back to the window and listened attentively as Mulder
questioned the man. But there was no need to force the truth out of him. Johnson
was talking by himself.
'I knew Megan Nome,' the man said. 'And I knew him. My daughter graduated with
him. There was a bunch of them - a group of friends that were very close. John
Willis was in that group as well. Everything went fine for years until Willis
started developing a crush on Megan. My daughter told me about it, and said that
Megan felt flattered but wasn't interested. Then Megan got murdered. We all
thought Willis had done it, but he had the perfect alibi. My daughter never
believed he was the one and started asking questions. Then she noticed that he
was acting strange as well, even though he tried to hide it. She told me about
her suspicions and found herself being silly. But I too noticed it. And one
night, when he was at our home, I caught him looking at my daughter the way he
had looked at Megan. And so I confronted him with it.'
'What's his name, sir?' Scully asked.
'Morris. Morris Aldham. He was one of Megan's best friends. Yet he slaughtered
her like an animal, and I knew he was going to do the same with my daughter if
she kept on questioning the facts. They talked to him. He too had an alibi,
provided by someone he no doubt paid off. But he was never under real suspicion.
Willis had the stamina of killer written all over him.'
'What happened when you talked to him?'
'He just smiled and said I was nuts. Then he leaned forward and I'll never
forget what he said. His eyes - god almighty - I've never seen such cold eyes.
They looked into mine and he just smiled and said that he was going to cut off
my daughter's hands as well, like he had done Megan's. He said that he kept
parts of Megan in a freezer, just as a memento, and that he liked to take them
out and just look at them.'
'And he threatened your daughter?' Scully asked.
'Yes, of course he did. He knew how far to go to scare me. And it succeeded. For
years I kept my mouth shut, fearing that my daughter might some day disappear as
well. But she never did. And then a few months ago he knocked on my door and
said he needed my help.'
'Did you know what he was planning to do?'
'No. He asked me for the maps. My daughter had told them once that I collected
them. And now he wanted copies of them. I didn't ask why. I just gave them. And
when I read about the first murder, I knew it was him. It wasn't a coincidence.
By then I was in head over heels.'
'Why didn't you call the cops? They could have protected you.'
'He's like a chameleon,' Johnson sighed. 'I was too afraid for my daughter.'
'Yet you stood aside and watched him kill the others. You knew you could have
saved a lot of lives, but you did nothing. You bargained your daughter's life
against his, knowing that he wouldn't stop. Have you helped him now too?'
'What name is he using?'
'Morris Peters. I provided him the badge but I don't know what disguise he's
using or what he looks like.'
Mulder glanced at Scully who nodded and left the room. Then the FBI-agent leaned
forward and whispered, 'Do you think your daughter will be proud of you, sir?'
Johnson didn't give an answer and leaned forward, hiding his face with his
hands. Mulder got up and left the room, closing the door behind him. Now they
had a name. But did they have their killer?
Morris Aldham
Agent Oates received a call around five to investigate the past of Morris
Aldham, one of the graduate students that were now under official suspicion of
Megan Nome's murder. A check on the man revealed he was a salesman, travelling
around the country on an independent basis. He sold life insurances. And no one
had ever noticed that he sometimes disappeared for two or three days in a row.
No one had ever seen he was at the cities where the murders took place.
He brought in his travelling expenses and somehow managed to sell insurance
between the kills. He was a normal, decent guy with black hair and a moustache.
There was nothing extraordinary about him. He seemed perfectly normal.
Yet he had slaughtered several women and enjoyed every second of it. He had done
it in a public place, relishing the fact the world was looking for him.
And no one had noticed. Until today. And the most frustrating thing was that all
this time someone had known who he was, and hadn't done anything to prevent it.
All these deaths seemed so useless.
Frustrated Mulder rummaged through the file, reading about the man's past. He
regretted not having this information sooner. But what could he have done about
it? This was always what happened. Through research and the gathering of bits
and pieces the truth came out. At the end that was their job.

To be continued ...
Part 7
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
Running out of time
Time passed quickly. They were running out of it. Before long the doors would
open and the crowd would step in to listen to the band. And they couldn't
postpone or cancel the concert.
Mulder listened in silence as Mairéad explained about Laurie's fears, stating
that it could be a chance for them to catch the killer in the act. If indeed he
was after her, they couldn't afford not having her there. But how could they
have her play a victim? Their first priority was not to jeopardize the woman's
life. Yet using her to set up a trap seemed logical and straightforward.
Mairéad took it upon her to talk to the woman and ask her what she wanted to do.
She had planned on going to the concert by herself. She was still new in town
and hardly knew anyone that could have gone with her. But now she wouldn't have
to go by herself. An agent would be by her side at all times, keeping a watch on
her while they searched for their killer.
Hopefully, Mairéad thought, it wouldn't be necessary. She thought of Mulder and
Scully who were on their way to the arena right now to talk to all the hired
guards. As soon as they found Morris, they would prevent the danger from
happening during the concert.
She shivered when she remembered the photo they had shown of this man. His
expression had seemed so cold, even when he was eighteen years old. In just a
few years he had become a gruesome murderer that wouldn't stop until they
stopped him. She had seen Margaret and remembered the blood. He had tried to
strange her without remorse, cutting her skin and flesh so deep that it had left
a large mark that would forever remind her of what she had been through.
Even now she was still kept unconscious, to give her body and mind the time to
heal. They all knew that she would not be able to give them sensible
information, and now she didn't need to.
Just get him, Mulder, Mairéad thought as she waited tense for news. If nothing
positive came, they would have to head out to the arena themselves and try to
make the best of an impossible situation. She didn't want it to come that far.
Instinctively she knew it would.
The ID's
Before long the guards that were already there showed their ID's. Mulder talked
to all of them, taking his time as he tried to figure out if one of them was the
man he was looking for. But none of them wore a badge with the name of Morris
Peters. He wasn't there yet.
Frustrated Mulder glanced at the entry and exit-doors of the empty arena. In a
few hours this place would be packed with people. How would they be able to go
through the motions with so many people inside? They couldn't check everybody,
could they?
Mulder looked around as the guards became impatient and were dismissed to go
back to work. At the same time they were sent back, Morris stood behind the
exit-doors and glanced at the agents inside. He recognized the man he had
Morris cursed under his breath. When the agent fell, he had hoped he was a
goner, but here he was - alive and kicking. And he could ID him.
'Hey,' Morris said, grabbing another guard by the arm, 'what's up with these
'Don't know. They're looking for someone.'
'Are they?' Morris said softly, glaring at the guard before him. They looked a
bit alike. Morris turned around and said, 'I was wondering if you could help me
out. I've got a bit of an issue back there.'
'Sure,' the guard said, walking with him through the doors that lead to a shut
room. Morris delivered the key chain he had stolen from the security guard's
office and opened the door to a small storage facility.
The other guard tried to switch on the light but it didn't work. 'The lights
don't work,' he remarked.
Morris smiled in the darkness. 'I know.'
Big trouble
Mulder walked through the building and looked at the blonde guard that walked to
the middle and seemed to be checking out the safety measures. He was wearing a
'Grand Security'-outfit. Quickly the agent came over and flashed his badge.
'FBI,' he said. 'Can I see your ID, sir?'
'Sure,' the guard said, showing his ID.
Mulder's eyes examined the guard's calm features. 'Thank you.'
'Is there something wrong?' the guard asked.
'We're looking for someone named Morris Peters.'
'I'm sorry - never heard of him,' the guard said. 'Excuse me if you please, we
have to get everything ready.'
'Sure.' Mulder watched as the guard turned and walked away. This man looked
nothing like Morris Aldham, yet at the same time there was something vaguely
familiar about him. But the man walked about as if nothing was wrong and
continued to do his work.
Mulder shook his head and walked away.
Less than an hour later the doors opened and the first concertgoers were let in.
Within an hour the place was packed. And Mulder knew they were in for trouble.
Big trouble.
Part Four
I can't sleep, something's all over me,
Greasy, insomnia please release me,
And let me dream about making mad love on the heath,
Tearing off tights with my teeth.
The Concert
Mulder felt a sting in his side as he joined the group of agents gathered at the
entrance of the concert hall. They watched as hundreds of people moved forward,
showing their ticket and receiving a stamp before coming in. There was laughter
and joy in the air. No one seemed to care about anything but the music they were
about to hear.
'Anything?' he asked in anticipation as Scully frowned and bit her lip the way
she always did when she was nervous. She shook her head. 'This is hopeless. We
have to get him when he gets to Laurie.'
'If he gets to Laurie.'
'She's our best shot right now. Grayson is coming over with her. She agreed to
play the decoy.'
Mulder felt warm in the sticky heat of the arena. The fact that the concert was
indoors only added to the claustrophobic feeling.
'Morris Peters didn't show up,' he finally said, taking off his jacket. He was
still wearing a tie that he loosened with the thumb of his right hand. He was
painfully aware of the fact his gun was in sight. Several concertgoers glanced
at him before passing through. Fortunately they probably thought he was part of
the security.
'He didn't?'
'All security guards had to check in before seven. He wasn't amongst them.'
'Do you think he knows we're here?'
'Probably. But that won't stop him from coming. He's enjoying the game too
'So he's probably amongst the crowd then. He could be anyone.'
'He always took his girls from the front. Somehow he knew they were there. He
had to be checking their habits for some time. He must have had details on
particular habits in their lives - including the concerts he went to. If he's
after Laurie, he must have done the same with her. So he knows she likes to
stand near the gates in case she feels faint. All of his victims did that.'
'It would make it easier for him to take them away. The safety gates lead
straight to the emergency exits, and thus to the other corridors,' Scully said,
glancing at the busy crowd. They all knew the place was going to be packed.
Before long Laurie stood before them. Mairéad was walking beside her. Laurie
looked very nervous.
'You're going to be fine,' Scully said reassuringly. 'There will be three agents
near you. You'll be safe all the time.'
'I know,' Laurie said with a pale smile. 'Thank you for your efforts.'
'Thank you for wanting to do this,' Mulder answered, smiling back as he put a
hand on her shoulder. Laurie nodded and looked at the agents that were there to
protect her. Mairéad watched as they took off in the crowd. Now all they could
do was hope that this was the woman he was after.
The concert didn't start for another hour. As the warming-up act started, the
crowd was up and about, swinging and dancing as the band brought the best of
them. There were still groups of people gathered in the lobby. Mulder walked
past them and dropped his jacket off in the security office where all the guards
were monitored.
'Bob, have you seen Jack?' the chief officer asked.
'Negative,' a voice responded. 'He was supposed to be here about an hour ago. I
haven't seen him since this afternoon.'
'Thanks. Ask the others if you will and report back to me.'
'Sure.' The voice cut off as the chief officer sighed and frowned.
'What's wrong?' Mulder asked. 'Who's Jack?'
'One of my regulars. I wonder where he is. It's not like him to bail out on us.
I know his wife is pregnant but he would have called me if he had to go.'
'What does he look like?'
The chief officer looked surprised. 'Blonde, tall, regular guy.'
'I've seen him,' Mulder remembered. 'We talked briefly. He showed me his ID. He
wore glasses.'
'Jack doesn't wear glasses.'
'Yes, he did - he -' Mulder stopped, slowly recalling the feeling he'd had when
he spoke to 'Jack'. It wasn't so difficult to disguise yourself. Change the
colour of your hair and get rid of the moustache, and you would be a completely
different person.
'What is it?' the security officer asked agitated.
'Search this place. If my hunch is correct, Jack is still here and he might be
in trouble. Search all closed up storage facilities, booths, whatever -,' Mulder
said, recalling very clearly the ID of the security guard he had spoken to
before. If he was correct, Morris Aldham/Peters was now walking around with the
ID of Jack Smyth.
'I can't alarm the other guards without alarming the fake Jack too. He'll hear.'
'Can you use an alternative frequency?'
'I would still have to alert the others. There's no way.'
'Locate the guards that you trust and inform them. They'll locate him. We're
looking for a short, blonde man wearing a fake ID. He'll most likely hang around
the safety gates. He has a map of this arena. He can be anywhere.'
Mulder rushed outside where he met Grayson, Skinner and Scully. Davis was
coordinating the search from the other side, monitoring all the emergency exits.
'He's here,' Mulder said. 'He probably killed one of the guards and took his
place. There's one man missing. Let's go.'
Mulder pushed himself a way through the crowd, just as the main act started to
perform. Faithless instantly started off with a bang, moving the fans up and
about as they began a rhythmic tune.
Scully grabbed her partner's arm, stopping him in his tracks. 'There are too
many people here, Mulder!' she shouted over the noise. 'We'll never find him
like this!'
'We don't need to find him. We need to find Laurie before he does!'
'I know where she is,' Mairéad said. 'Follow me.'
'Check all regular exits,' Skinner ordered the agents that stayed behind. 'Make
sure that no one leaves without a thorough check-up. Compare every woman with
the picture you have. The rest of you, come with me. Agent Mulder, you stay
'Not on your life,' Mulder simply said.
Mulder swayed on his feet as he pushed himself into the crowd, feeling too hot
in the business suit, even without the jacket. His tie felt choking. The crowd
was already swarmed with dancing people, all getting in the mood as the second
song started and caused a shout of recognition and joy.
They moved through the crowd, using the safety gates as a reference not to get
lost. They held back most of the people. Several thuds and thumps later, Mulder
thought he couldn't go on any longer. Someone had hit him hard in the side,
causing him to sway on his feet again. He could feel a sharp pain going through
his side where the stitches reminded him that he was still wounded.
The others followed behind him. Suddenly, as the next song started, Mulder got a
hard push as a woman screamed that this was her favourite sing and jumped up and
down to prove it. He turned to move back to the gates, and then realized he had
lost the others.
They were all gone. Scully was no longer behind him. Just a second before she
had been right after him. He had felt her touch when she had put her hand on the
back of his neck, as if to show him she was still there. He turned to find her,
seeing nothing but blurry faces. It hadn't been a good idea to move through the
crowd. He felt dizzy and unstable.
Quickly he lost the tie, simply dropping it to the ground. As it dropped he
remembered that Scully had bought it for Christmas once. A sting of sadness
passed through his system. Then he shrugged and moved on.
He pushed forward again, ignoring the shouts and protests of people while doing
so. They didn't like intruders in their carefully sealed-off area. They had
fought hard for this privileged spot so close to the stage and weren't about to
let go of it.
'Sorry,' he muttered several times, carefully keep his hand on his gun that was
still strapped to his clothes. If someone noticed it, panic would arise and he
wanted to avoid that at all cost. He didn't feel like causing a mortal incident.
Finally he reached the front area where the biggest fans gathered to wait for
their band to perform. By then everything just swayed. He could hardly make out
the faces. He grabbed onto someone, trying to keep on his feet.
'Get off me, drunk!' he heard a woman shout and she pushed him away. Her hands
pushed hard in his side, and he shouted as the pain struck him. Then he realized
he was bleeding underneath his white shirt. Damn it, another shirt gone to hell,
he thought as he turned away from her.
Where the hell was Scully? Why couldn't he find Skinner? And where were those
damned gates?
Suddenly he saw a guard and realized he was closer to the gates than he thought.
Quickly he pushed himself forward, flashing his badge to make way. Now they all
passed and ignored him as a calmer song started, and excited people shouted to
each other how much they enjoyed the concert.
'Mulder, FBI,' he shouted against to the guard that stood behind the gate. The
man looked at him curiously, examining him. He was African-American. At least
one guard that couldn't be Aldham, Mulder thought wry.
'Did you see this woman?' Mulder held up the photo of Laurie they had received
before in case of emergency. He had held the photo in his pant's pocket. It was
torn and wrinkled.
The guard first shook no, then looked curiously at the photo again and said,
'Two of yours - both women - picked her up and brought her to the emergency
exit. One of my colleagues helped them over the gates and is bringing them to
safety.' The guard pointed towards the small exit area created in the midst of
the gates.
Mulder felt relief, realizing that Laurie was safe by now. It was over. Now, all
they had to do was find the fake 'Jack' and bring him in for justice.
Mulder crawled over the gates, nearly losing his gun as he did. His shirt was
soaked with blood by now. He felt the guard's eyes on him but ignored him. A few
people stared at the weapon that was clearly visible, but turned their faces to
the podium again, hoping not to miss a single thing. With the guard behind him,
Mulder hurried through the passageway, towards the emergency exit.
When he pushed open the door, the first thing he saw, was another guard that
looked at them curiously. In the darkness it was difficult to tell who it was.
He was talking to Mairéad who stood in the darkness, looking much more relaxed
than she had done for some time.
'Agent Mulder,' she said. 'Laurie is okay. Agent Scully and AD Skinner brought
her away.'
Mulder nodded relieved. 'Are you okay, Agent Grayson?'
'Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just glad that she's okay. I just wish we could nail that
bastard.' Mairéad turned her attention to him, spotting the blood. 'You're hurt.
Are you okay?'
Mulder nodded. 'I'm fine. Let's go.' His eyes caught the guard in the shadows,
suddenly realizing it was the same guy he had seen before. The badge was gone.
He wasn't wearing any. And the others hadn't recognized him. Mairéad had brushed
by him and didn't know it was Morris. His eyes stared deadpan at them, waiting
for them to make the connection. For he knew they would.
Suddenly, within a few seconds, they all realized what was going on. The
African-American guard glared curiously at the man standing in the shadows and
said, 'wait a minute. Who -?'
Mulder pulled out his gun, reacting already too late when the blonde guard got
out a gun and shot his colleague. With his other hand he grabbed Mairéad,
pulling her so close to him that she gasped for breath.
His hand was inside her jacket, and dropped her gun on the floor. He kicked it
to the far wall with the tip of his right shoe.
Mulder aimed his gun at the killer. His fingers trembled as he tried to get a
good shot in the darkness. But he knew he couldn't get a clean shot - not in the
state he was in. From the corner of his eye he stared at the dead guard on the
floor. No one had even heard the shot. It had been tempered by the music and
noise outside.
All help would come too late. He was dead. His eyes stared into nothingness.
'Let her go, Morris,' Mulder said.
Morris Aldham smiled. 'Finally you know my real name. It was about time, Agent.
Now, why don't you drop that gun? You know I'll enjoy killing her.'
Mulder was surprised by the softness of the man's voice. Before they had hardly
spoken. He had expected a hard voice, just as hard as the dead look in his eyes.
Instead the man seemed to keep his head tilted a bit, as if he couldn't hear
that well. There was nothing dangerous in his features, except of course for the
fact he held a gun on Mairéad.
'You didn't get Laurie,' Mulder said. 'Agent Grayson is not your means to get
out of here. Not one FBI-agent in the country will allow for you to pursue
'Laurie?' Morris smiled softly. 'Whom are you talking about?'
Mulder stopped in his tracks as his eyes met Mairéad's. Then he knew she had
known all along she was a possible casualty. It was written all over her face.
Hadn't she told him she had Irish blood running in her veins?
The woman swallowed as she closed her eyes and bitter tears dripped down her
cheeks. 'My father used to call me Margaret,' she spoke softly. 'I'm sorry,
Agent Mulder. It was the only way.'
'She lied to you,' Morris remarked with surprise in his voice. 'You knew I was
coming after you, didn't you?'
The woman swallowed away the lump in her throat. 'I felt it the moment we
brushed against each other in that damned hell that you created.'
Mulder bit his lip, angry with himself for not making the connection. Why hadn't
he realized it? He had seen Mairéad in his dream. He had seen her as a victim.
But he had waved it away, too busy putting his theory together. And Mairéad had
become a willing victim in order to help others survive. She would become an
excellent agent one day. If she lived to see the day.
Morris pointed his gun at Mulder's head now, still using the female agent as a
shield. 'It's up to you, Agent. Shoot to save yourself. Kill her in order to
live. You know you won't get a clean shot. So why don't you shoot her and then
me and get it over with? Just one casualty more or less - what the hell does it
matter anymore?'
Mairéad's scared eyes found his. He had remembered how she had done everything
she could to help him out. She had put herself beyond and above the call of
duty. He couldn't do this to her, not even when it meant being killed himself.
Suddenly the abyss leaned towards him. He had the choice between life and death
right here and now. And he chose death above murder.
'No,' Mulder said, lowering his gun as Mairéad tried to hold back her
frustration. 'I'm not killing her.'
'Fine,' Morris said, pointing his gun at the male agent. 'Have it your way.'
'Don't!' Mairéad screamed, pushing herself so hard against her attacker that
they both swung against the brick wall behind them. Morris shouted but didn't
let go of his gun and her as the shot went off and hit the opposite wall. It
passed Mulder's ear within an inch.
The second shot struck the agent's shoulder, sending him hard against the wall.
Mulder fell, dropping the gun before him as he leaned heavily on his knees,
heaving as his exhausted body tried to gather its strength.
Tremendous pain shot through his shoulder, but it wasn't as bad as the
exhaustion that simply took over, refusing to allow him to stay on his feet for
another second.
Not now, Mulder prayed. Don't let it be over now. I don't want to die a useless
Morris shouted something that he couldn't hear. Then Mulder felt a rough hand
grabbing him by the collar of his shirt, and then he was shoved inside a small
room, hidden behind a heavy door. They were on the move but Mulder was hardly
aware of it.
Someone supported him gently. This time the rough hand was gone. He heard
Morris' voice behind him speak, and then they were inside another room and the
doors were locked.
Morris sighed deeply as he glared at his two hostages. The footsteps had sounded
hard. He had known they were coming. And now his chances of getting out of here
with her were gone. But he still had them, and he wasn't going to let them go.
They were his ticket out. In order to have the woman do what he said, he had to
keep the man alive for now. But as soon as they were outside, he would kill and
dump his body.
Then he put his attention to the woman leaning over her colleague and smiled as
he grabbed her by the arm. 'I've waited quite some time for this moment, my
little pearl, and now you're mine.'
The hunt
Scully knew her partner was in trouble. His blood was all over the place when
they rushed back after Mairéad's and Mulder's sudden absence. Everyone was
accounted for, except for the two of them. And Mairéad had stayed behind to find
Laurie was brought home by one of the agents. The concert was coming to an end.
Everyone was taking off. But there were guards missing. Scully remembered the
guard with the black cap that was pulled widely over his eyes. She hadn't known
him. And he hadn't been wearing a badge.
'Damn it,' she muttered under her breath, realizing she had been too busy
minding Laurie's safety. That had been her first priority. And now she might
have delivered her colleagues in the hands of a killer.
She rushed back to the spot with Skinner and other agents behind her. The guards
were making sure everyone left calmly. The place would be deserted soon. The
search for the missing guard was still ongoing.
Blood was on the wall and floor. The traces lead to a locked door. And there
were the guns. Mairéad's and Mulder's both lay on the floor. It was a token of
their imprisonment. 'Does anyone have the key to this room?' she shouted. The
chief security officer had followed them and used his key chain to open the
door. They were in a small room. Scully realized she had been in the same
situation before. She wasn't about to find Mulder in danger again. They had to
move faster than that. But she knew she wouldn't like what she was going to
find. The blood trail seemed to be everywhere.
And then it just stopped. The agents looked around, trying to figure out where
they could have gone, until Skinner discovered a small doorway that lead to a
storage room. There the blood trail started again.
The shelter
Morris laughed as the male agent moved his body. He spoke to him yet he seemed
to be somewhere else. His shoulder wasn't even that bad. A through and through
had caused some bleeding perhaps, but he had been lucky.
Mairéad rested in Morris' hands, listening to his senseless words. Yet at the
same time everything seemed to make sense as well. The pieces finally fell
'I've missed you for so long,' he whispered in her ear, keeping an eye on Mulder
who sat on the floor, leaning with his head against the wall. 'I knew I would
find you one day though. But you shouldn't have messed around with Willis,
darling. You knew I had a crush on you. Why did you fuck me and him at the same
Mairéad listened in shock as Morris was dragged back to the past. Suddenly it
didn't seem to matter anymore that there were people outside these doors trying
to find them. Time had come to a stop and there was nothing else but the past,
leaning heavily as a blanket over them all. They were forced to go back in to
the past with him, and accept what it had brought them.
'You knew I wanted to marry you, but no - you went out and fucked him instead,
and left me alone in the darkness. But I gave you your darkness too, didn't I? I
punished you for what you did, and left pieces of you all scattered all over the
country. You guided me to find you again and now that I have, you will be mine
She looked straight into his eyes and her look seemed very confident when she
smiled. 'You're right,' she said. 'I have been denying it, but here I am. You
can do whatever you want with me.'
His eyes changed as she willingly took her place into the past. 'You won't fight
me anymore?'
'I won't.'
He kissed her. His tongue was on her lips and inside of her mouth and he grabbed
her so tight that she could feel the barrel of the gun sticking in her back. If
he moved his finger now, the gun would go off. She let him kiss her. She closed
her eyes and accepted what he wanted to do with her. There was more to consider
than reality. There was more to do than protect her own life. She was
responsible for Mulder's condition. She had to get him out of here.
She stopped him. 'They'll be here soon. You have to tell them that you want us
to leave. But leave Agent Mulder here. He's hurt. He won't do you any good.'
Morris let go of her. 'I'm going to kill him. He tried to stop us.'
'He's not worth it. If you kill him now, you'll get everyone to come after us,'
she said softly and sensual. 'I'll come with you, I swear. But you have to leave
him behind.'
'No.' Morris said, aiming his gun at the agent's head. Mairéad shoved him hard.
With one hard kick he sent her against the far wall where she hit her head and
dropped like a log. She was out like a light. Mulder moved from his position,
crawling towards her.
Morris laughed out loud, looking at the agent crawling on the floor on all
fours. Was this the FBI-agent that had tracked him down? He was nothing but a
scrubby man, someone who didn't look like he was able to think straight. He
seemed like a madman, the way he crawled there pathetically.
The killer kicked him in the ribs with the tip of his shoe, sending the agent
rolling on the floor. Mulder moaned as he rolled on his back and again on his
belly, biting the dust. His shoulder was burning like hell. His body seemed to
be at the end of its rope. He shook his head softly, trying to gather his
He ended up on his back again, trying to focus on reality. He needed to stay
awake. If he didn't, it would all be over. Mairéad would die. 
'No,' Mulder moaned, protecting his ribs as he tried to get up. 'Leave her alone
'Not on your life,' Morris said, walking slowly towards the agent, making
circles around his body. 'She's a bitch, just like Megan was. I know now that
I'm meant to do this. I'm chosen to kill women like her. All they do is lie and
cheat and feed us what we want to hear.'
'You're a coward, Morris,' Mulder said, opening his eyes slowly. 'You feed on
innocent women because you can't stand it that you killed the one you loved.
You're nothing more than a pathetic bastard. Mairéad's done nothing to you. None
of them have. You pick them out on looks. You think you control life and death.
But you're nothing more than a coward and a loser.'
Morris turned towards Mairéad who lay on the floor. 'I'll show you what a loser
I am,' he said, turning his back towards Mulder. 'I'll kill her before your eyes
and you'll stay alive with the knowledge it was your words that drove me to it.'

The moment Morris turned his back towards the agent and attempted to kneel down
beside Mairéad; a shot went off, striking Morris Aldham in the side. Morris'
surprised glance was turned down as he spotted the trickle of blood that slowly
became a pool. And then it just poured out.
Morris turned and saw the strapped ankle holster, now visible. And he saw the
small handgun in Mulder's hand. Morris mumbled something, the gun still in his
hand. A second shot filled the room. Morris fell flat forward, his hand
stretched out and finally losing the gun.
Mulder sighed deeply as he stared at the man's dead eyes. Mairéad's eyes opened.
The female agent seemed out of it. The back of her head bled where she had hit
the wall. Her eyes caught Morris' body. Then she stared at Mulder.
They both felt the same regret.
To be concluded...

Part 8
Details and disclaimers in part 1.
'Mulder,' Scully said, hurrying towards her partner who sat with his back
against the wall again, awaiting their next moves. At first he hardly seemed to
notice her. His eyes sought out Mairéad's. She seemed fine on the outside, but
he knew she needed mending on the inside.
Then he looked up curiously to see who was touching him. His partner held her
fingers against his throat to check his pulse. She frowned when she saw the
damaged shoulder and the bloody shirt. From the corner of her eye she saw that
Mairéad was talking to Davis. Someone took a look at the back of her head. She
was cared for.
'Hey ... Scully,' her partner said with a faint smile. 'Fancy seeing you here.'
'You're delirious, Mulder. What the hell have you done to yourself?'
'Me?' he said with a grin, 'nothing. I'm fine, can't you tell?'
'Like hell you are,' she said.
'How did you find us?'
'That wasn't so difficult. We just had to follow the blood trail you left
behind. If I didn't know better, I would say he was trying to lead us to his
shelter this time.'
'I think he was,' Mulder said softly. 'He wanted it to be over with.'
Scully thought her answer over for a second and then smiled to reassure her
partner. 'I guess so.'
Mulder's eyes drooped as she worked on stopping the bleeding. He bit his lip in
pain when her experienced hands moved. He had been shot on exactly the same spot
she had shot him so long ago. She knew he would heal quickly.
But his reactions worried her. 'Stay with me, partner,' she said. 'Don't pass
out on me now.'
She glanced behind her to find Skinner's worried look. But Mulder's eyes closed
as if they were finally allowed to do so. He slid aside, losing his balance
against the wall, and slumped slightly forward, into her arms.
Skinner helped her to put her partner on the floor in a more comfortable
position. Frantically she felt Mulder's pulse again. Then she looked at Skinner
and Mairéad in surprise, as she said, 'He's asleep.'
'You mean passed out,' Mairéad said.
'No. I mean asleep.'
As if to support her words, Mulder opened his eyes briefly, glanced at them,
mumbled something, and closed his eyelids again, trying to slide on his side as
if to take a nap.
Scully remembered what Mulder had said before. Once I get this case solved, I'll
be allowed to sleep. Somehow, he managed to do just that. After nights of
sleeplessness, his body was finally resting.
How he did that, kept on surprising her.
Mulder slept for over twenty-four hours before finally opening his eyes,
wondering where in the world he was. He wasn't so happy that he woke up in a
hospital though. Scully found him arguing with the doctor over it.
They both had to convince her partner he had been shot and had managed to rip
open the stitches to his side again. This time Skinner and Scully were not as
easy as they had been before. There was no way out of a recovery period.
That, Mulder had to find out for himself when he was ordered to stay for at
least three days. Despite his protests - proving to Scully he was fully alert
and feeling much better - he was ordered the rest by Skinner, and he knew his
boss would live up to his promise.
And so he slept.
'Did you know that this band - Faithless - has a song called 'Insomnia',
Mulder?' Scully asked as she put the roses sent by the security guards in a
'Yeah, I do,' Mulder said. 'Why?'
'I don't know. It kind of suits you right now. You couldn't get any sleep.
Basically, you do realize that you have made an X-File out of this case?'
'Because of my dreams?'
'Because of the fact you wouldn't sleep, not even drugged and filled up with
medication. That in itself is an X-File.'
'We've seen cases before where people were having trouble sleeping,' Mulder
said. 'There were medical reasons for that - unnatural causes. I cannot explain
why I wasn't able to sleep during this time. I just know that somehow I was
connected to this case. Perhaps, in a way, my mind was preparing for this case -
already going into that world Morris had created. I don't know how else to
explain it.'
The day before, Scully had told him that the real Jack Smyth had been found
badly wounded in a small storage facility near the lobby of the arena, stabbed
in the back with a sharp object. But he survived. He had lost a pile of blood,
but at least he was able to pull through. At least there was one survivor out of
this ordeal.
Mairéad had not been admitted to the hospital. She had needed stitches and had
been thoroughly checked but except for a bad headache, she was fine. Mulder
wondered why she hadn't come to see him though. He had wanted to talk to her
about the events, but she had radically refused to do so.
Scully sat down on the side of the bed. 'Do you know that Mairéad has given her
'What?' Mulder said. 'You're kidding me.'
'Don't worry. Davis refused to accept it. She's going to talk to an
FBI-counsellor about this case. I guess she learned the hard way that an
FBI-agent's first task is to keep herself and her colleagues out of harm's
'She did just that,' Mulder objected.
'She should have told us her suspicions. She jeopardized you and herself.'
'Doesn't anyone of us do that, every single day, Scully?' her partner asked.
'Let's be honest. Every time we go out on the streets, we know that it can be
over. I encourage her for trying to find her own way. She knew instinctively
that she was a potential victim. She crawled inside Morris' head and wasn't
afraid to face the danger. She's going to be an excellent profiler.'
'Are you planning on mentoring her?'
Mulder sighed. It was a discussion he didn't want to have. 'I don't belong to
the VCS.'
'But next time Davis asks you, you're going to be there again. You can't say no
to these cases, can you?'
Mulder looked at her seriously, realizing she was afraid that he would leave her
and The X-Files some day. 'I can't say no,' he said slowly, 'because it's a part
of who I am. Scully, I studied psychology because I knew that some day I would
be doing this line of work. If Samantha hadn't been there ... I guess I wouldn't
have worked on The X-Files in the first place. But she was there, and I don't
regret my decision. I just want to find a way of combining my work. I know I
have a value here. I can't just turn my back towards it.'
Scully looked sad, yet at the same time there was a pride in her eyes he hadn't
seen before. He grabbed her hand. 'I'm not leaving you,' he said forcefully.
She smiled and touched his face. 'I know. I'm just afraid that one day I won't
be visiting you at a hospital anymore, but at a morgue, staring down on your
body. I can't bear it if that should happen. I can't go on without you.'
'I promise you here and now that will never happen,' he said. 'I cannot
guarantee it, but I'll try. Don't ask for anything more. And please don't ask me
to make a choice.'
'I'm not,' she said as she kissed him.
He smiled. 'Now then, when are you going to let me out of here?'
She laughed and waved her finger like a schoolteacher would. 'Don't push your
luck, buster.'
They were pleased about her. They didn't hold the events in New York against
her. Mairéad realized that the moment Davis called her up and told her she was
getting a new case. This time she would be the main profiler. She would still be
able to count on the support of her more experienced colleagues, but they were
certain she could handle it.
She didn't sleep that night. She kept on revisiting that night, with Mulder's
life in her hands. She knew she could not change the past. She could only work
on her future.
And when she got to work the next morning, she was setting up the profile,
putting the pieces together as if she had never done anything else. She had
learned from the best after all.
She found their killer. She found the victims. And she became good at her job.
The next case was already lining up.
But at night, she found herself staring into the abyss, realizing there was
merely a thin line between sanity and insanity. She didn't know where to draw
the border between what was right and wrong anymore. She found herself
distrusting everyone. She sold her house in Miami and moved back to New York.
She didn't want to walk that line between good and wrong. Yet at the same time
she knew she was already doing it. She couldn't stop herself. 
She looked into the abyss. And there was no one to drag her out.
She dreamt of the kiss she had shared with Morris when she was trying to get
them out of that room in one piece. She dreamt that he was still alive and near
her. In her next dream he was strangling her. And his mind and thoughts was
passing on to her. She had become him and he had become her.
She woke up startled from those dreams. She looked at her hands and noticed
there were still in one piece. He hadn't cut them off and left pieces of her
body all over the globe.
During the days she saved people. During the nights she killed them.
One day she would contact Mulder and tell him about it. He would understand. But
she wouldn't do that just now. Right now she had to deal with her past and
present. She would have to cope with the future.
And she knew she could only count on herself in this hard, cruel world. 
- The End -
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!