Title: Genetic Appetite

Author: Pattie

Rated: PG

Spoiler(s): Squeeze, Tooms. Whatever Season you want it
to take place.

Category: Angst, Eew, Yuk.

Summary: Who would have guessed THIS villain was
capable of having progeny?

Feedback: patfiler@hotmail.com

Archive: Gossamer. Others please ask beforehand.

Disclaimer: I make no pretense of owning these X-Files
characters. To charge money for the pleasure of writing
this story would be disrespectful.



BRAEBURN APARTMENTS
ANNAPOLIS, MD
8:09 PM


It was late when Harry Drake arrived home. He waved to a
neighbor who was still in the elevator, and tried to think of
a good explanation to give his wife. "Nah, she wouldn't mind
that I stopped for a beer with the guys in Advertising," he
assured himself. "Even if it is well past 8:00."

As opened the door he called out, "Helen, I'm home! Got
caught up with the boys... " That was strange. His wife
would have been right there with a well-prepared argument.
Not a word. "Helen?" Drake ran frantically into the
kitchen, then from the bathroom to the bedroom. "HELEN!!!"
he cried. "Oh my God!"

At that time...

Mulder and Scully were attending a formal function in honor
of the new Police Chief. Actually, they were in Annapolis
to investigate a wave of mysterious disappearances that had
turned out to be a wave of truant high school students pulling
a practical joke on the city.

They were seated at a table for four with the new Chief and
his wife.

"So, congratulations, Chief Baird. This is a better way to
end our case than driving home in the rain," Scully said with
a smile. The creases in the middle-aged man's brow revealed
a lot of satisfaction as well as a lot of pain.

"Well, I am honored, and I'm glad you could be here with us
tonight. I don't see why I need such heavy protection when
I have almost the whole Annapolis Police Department right
here. And call me Chuck."

Mulder smiled, glanced at Scully, and back at the Chief.
"Still, the Bureau was asked here as a result of your new
appointment, in light of your reputation as the underworld's
least enthusiastic fan."

"True, but I think Grace can tell you we're pretty safe."

"Now don't say that," his wife warned him. Her brow, too,
had furrows showing years of worry for her mate. Her blonde
hair shimmered under the lights, and her blue eyes sparkled,
but there was no mistaking her concern for her husband.
"Shall we dance?"

"With pleasure, Grace."

As Baird and his wife danced, Scully wistfully looked on,
and Mulder took a sip of wine. "This does beat driving home,"
he admitted. "Scully, would you care to... "

Just then, Mulder was approached by a waiter who whispered
something, then left.

"Mulder? You were saying?" She was up to a little night out
with dancing. *Why not?* she thought. *It's been ages since
I've danced with anyone.*

Mulder held up his hand as his cell jingled. "Hold on to
that thought, Scully. Mulder."

*So much for wining and dining," she thought. *Even if we are
working.* Scully watched as Mulder's expression changed from
serious to seriously alarmed. When the call concluded, she
asked, "What's wrong, Mulder?"

"Would you care to join me at another crime scene?"

Scully rolled her eyes and grabbed her purse. "Of
course. You lead, Mulder. But who's watching the Chief?"

"Rigby and Albert just drove in. Something tells me we're
not going to like what we find."


***



BRAEBURN APARTMENTS
9:52 PM

Mulder and Scully arrived at the Drakes' apartment just as
Helen Drake was being wheeled out in a body bag. They
flashed their badges. Mulder began to gauge the situation
from the police detectives' investigation, as Scully sat
beside Harry Drake, who was so shaken he was definitely in
shock.

"Would you like to talk about it, Mr. Drake?"

The man wiped his eyes with a handkerchief. "We were going
to be moving next week. Our own house. I wanted everything
to be just right when the baby... " Drake fell into some
serious sobbing. Scully could sense the pain he felt.

Scully patted the man's hand and stood. "Mulder? What's
happened?"

Mulder led her away from the policemen, and whispered, "I
didn't think this was possible, Scully. Her liver was torn
out. Three months pregnant."

"But you saw Tooms die, Mulder! I saw the mess, and it can't
be him!"

"Scully, let's not talk about it here. Make sure you get the
Medical Examiner's file and take a look when they give the
green light. I think..." Mulder rubbed his forehead. "I
don't know what to think. They're calling Mr. Drake's
sister to stay the night with him. It's late. I can download
the Tooms files on my laptop. You don't suppose he had a
brother or sister with the same tastes, do you?"

"Looks like another night in Annapolis, then. I'll call
the PD and see if they have any more recent cases similar to
this, and Mulder?"

"Yeah."

"Get some sleep. And get those hands off of your hips. That's
your 'I've-got-to-investigate-this-with-no-break' pose, and
I won't have it. I'm on the case WITH you. And I know what I
saw, and what you went through under that escalator."

"You know I can live without sleep..." Mulder shook his head.
"Maybe he had a cousin... I know. Get sleep."

"Yes. I also know how wrapped up you get in these cases, and
Tooms was especially hard on you. C'mon. I'll drive. It just
has to be another X-Files, and since we're the experts on this
kind of thing, we'd better get some rest if we're going to be
in any shape to do our jobs."

"It isn't that long a drive home, Scully... "

Scully was adamant. "We are staying." She knew she wasn't
going to have a good night's sleep when Mulder started thinking
aloud in the lobby of the apartment building.

"You don't suppose he... "

Scully's patience was wearing thin. "What? Don't suppose he
what?"

"Mated. Well, it's not that impossible to believe, Scully.
All beings have the urge to procreate. Maybe he could get
through a date without eating."


***

SUPER 8 MOTEL ANNAPOLIS
2:31 AM

To his own surprise, Mulder had actually slept for a couple of
hours. His rest was short-lived, as images of escalators,
yellow-eyed Eugene Victor Tooms, and bile ran through his head.
He awoke sweating and terrified. As he splashed cold water on
his face, and drank a full glass of water, the unthinkable
entered his head.

Scully was still awake, in her pajamas, and reading old files,
birth records, and crime reports from 1903, 1933, 1963 and 1993
on her laptop. She'd definitely not followed to advice she had
given to Mulder. She made brief notes as she searched through
the documents, and just as she was yawning, there was a knock
at the door. "Right on time, Mulder," she whispered to herself.

She opened the door to Mulder, wrapped in his bathrobe. He was
clearly in emotional shock.

"Mulder, it's after 2:30. What's wrong? You look like
you've seen a ghost."

Mulder sat in the chair in Scully's room and stared at the
papers and laptop on the bed. "I dreamed about a ghost. The
last time I ever saw Tooms. Then I thought, maybe he did
procreate, Scully. Check for any reports of women raped
around the times he went out for fresh liver. Then look at
the births."

"I'm right ahead of you, Mulder. Please, try to relax. One rape
linked to one birth in 1933. A teenager by the name of Elsie
Adams gave birth in an abandoned warehouse on Valley Road in
1933. The warehouse is long gone, and Elsie Adams raised an
apparently healthy little girl. Jenny Adams left her mother's
home on Annapolis St. at the age of 16. The mother died in
1946."

"Cause of death?"

Scully hesitated. "Well, are you sure you want to know?" When
Mulder just glared straight at her, she gave him the rest of
the story. "She was bludgeoned to death, and traces of what
looked to be human liver were found on the floor of her kitchen.
The house where they were living is on Sparks Street, vacant
since then. There were several other liver extractions, but
none were linked to Eugene Tooms as he was apparently in
hibernation at the time. Police believed the only possible
suspect would have to have been Tooms, but he had vanished.
No one... ever... No one ever thought he could have fathered
a child."

"Apparently father and daughter were out of sync, Scully." He
couldn't believe what he had heard.

"I would say so. Look, I wasn't about to go knock on your door
with all of this," Scully said softly. "Why don't you go back
and try to get some rest?"

"We're going to that house in the morning, Scully. Hopefully,
we can put this cycle to an end. Do you think there could be
any more little Tooms children in the family tree?" Mulder
didn't want to think about the possibilities, and he didn't
like the fact that he'd just scared his partner tremendously.
One look at her face told him how she was dealing with the
matter. She was just as bothered by it as he was.

Scully was horrified by the prospect. "Let's hope not. I'll
double check city archives. I'm due at the morgue at 9:00. Go
on, try to get some sleep. When I finish at the morgue we'll
investigate the Adams house."

"And probably find... "

"Bed, Mulder."


***

245 SPARKS STREET
ANNAPOLIS, MD
11:16 AM

The boards creaked on the dusty, weather-worn porch. Old clay
flowerpots sat lifelessly along the railing and on the window
sills. Not surprisingly, the front door to the house was open.
Hallway walls, living room walls wore graffiti from the sixties
to present, advertising peace, love, rock groups and gang symbols.

"Home sweet home." Mulder mumbled.

"Kind of makes you wonder, Mulder. Does she live here?" Scully
peered around the corner of the living room, into the dusty
kitchen.

"Were any of these artists her victims?" Mulder looked at the
peace signs, wondering how such a symbol could possibly grace
the walls of a Tooms. "My bet is, there's a nest here
somewhere."

"No kidding." Scully pointed at a stack of old newspapers in
the corner of the kitchen. "Basement, attic, bedrooms. Anywhere
there's bound to be one. Unless she's gone modern and upgraded
to a mew model."

"That's my type of remark, Scully. For all we know, the nest
could be under the kitchen cupboards."

As they searched the premises upstairs, Mulder's cell rang.
"Mulder. You're sure? Scully will be right there."

"Another victim?"

"Two for the price of one. An elderly couple from across town.
The M.E. has them now."

"Well, I see no signs that anyone has been here in years,
Mulder. So, what's the count now? Three? Five?"

"Well, get down there, then. I'm hoping it's NOT five. I'm
going to see if any of the neighbors have seen any activity
around the house. You take the car. I can grab a taxi."

"No, Mulder. You've already encountered the father. You need
me to cover you. The morgue will just have to wait. Let's
take a look upstairs again, and in the basement."

"The M.E..."

"The M.E. can wait, Mulder. Which first? Attic or basement?"

"Lead the way."

Scully chose the basement, as it was cooler, damper and more
likely the better choice for hibernation. There were traces
of two old nests, almost powder. "These are so old, Mulder.
Since the basement would be her choice for nesting, I see no
reason she would abandon it. Unless... "

"Unless she chose to move," Mulder finished Scully's thought.

"Yeah. I'm only guessing, but chances are slim she moved to
the attic. Too dry and hot spring, summer and fall."

"Well, let's go to the Medical Examiner's Office. The PD can
tell us where they found the victims, and maybe we can find
something to lead us to Jenny Adams. If Eugene Tooms' habits
were inherited, chances are she needs only two more meals,
and we have to prevent that, or try."


***

M.E.'s OFFICE
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND
1:34 PM

"You've come across this type of thing before, Agent Scully?"

Scully had donned her scrubs and was going over the bodies with
the Medical Examiner. "Would you mind taking dental impressions
around the wounds?"

The doctor looked at her questioningly. "Dental impressions?"
The ebony haired man almost laughed. You're kidding me, right?"

"No. You see this wound on Mrs. Abercrombie's abdomen. It's
not from any scalpel, knife or other sharp object."

"So, someone gnawed their way in to get the liver. Is that what
you're suggesting?"

"Yes. To answer your first question, yes. We've seen similar
cases. Granted, they were probably before you graduated, but
just trust me on this one."


"Well, if the blood work-ups are any indication, whoever bit open
her husband is dying."

"Dying?"

"Mr. Abercrombie was suffering from heart failure. Apparently,
his bloodstream was full of digoxin, and a lot of it."

Just then, Mulder walked into the examining room. "Scully. Take
a look at this note."

She glanced at the personalized stationery of one Daniel
Abercrombie. " 'Dear Anne, by the time you read this note I will
have gone to rest. My illness has been a strain on you and I
cannot bear-- cannot bear to see you suffering the burden--' A
suicide note." Tears welled up in Scully's eyes. "Mulder,
the man did indeed commit suicide. Apparently, if Tooms' daughter
ingested enough of the drug in Mr. Abercrombie's liver, there may
be no fourth and fifth victims."

That news was an eye-opener for the M.E. "Say what? Wasn't there
a Tooms case a few years back?"

"Yes," Mulder informed him. "!993, 1994. But if this woman's
metabolism is somehow different than the average, perhaps she's
still out there."

"And we'd better get moving," Scully quickly said. She removed
her scrubs and goggles and followed Mulder out of the building.
"Maybe if we're lucky, we can at least get some supper."


812 MIDDLEBROOK LANE
2:10 PM

There were two cruisers and four officers still at the '60's
style house sandwiched between two parking lots. It was, after
all, the industrial district.

An officer met them at the door. He was young, barely out of
the Police Academy, and his skin had that gray tinge that just
cried out nausea. "You must be Agents Mulder and Scully. Officer
Anderson."

Scully saw the fear in the man's eyes. "Yes. Can you tell us
how the police became involved here?"

"There were screams heard by some kids riding their bikes. One
of them used the Abercrombie's' phone to dial 9-1-1. The wife
was screaming, and when we arrived, there they were. Forensics
is finger printing the place, but we think it's the same perp
who killed the other victims in this manner." Anderson was not
looking well. "If you'll excuse me... " The officer ran into the
powder room off of the kitchen and slammed the door.

Mulder looked around the living room, where the bodies had been
found. Scully took a look at the front door. There was a mail
slot. "Mulder? Take a look at this."

"Bile?"

"Yeah."

Mulder waved one of the policemen over to the door. "How far is
this place from the old soap factory site?"

"About half a mile. There's an abandoned gas station on that
site now. Why?"

"Just a hunch. Thanks." Then, Mulder whispered to Scully, "My
guess is she went back instinctively to her old stomping
grounds."

"Her new nest? But how-- ?"

"Your guess is as good as mine. Let's get going."


***


BIG FRED'S GARAGE
212 VALLEY ROAD
2:55 PM


Mulder stopped the car just across the street from the left side
of the gas station. There were two pump platforms, each with two
rusting pumps, apparently devastated by vandalism. Oil stained
the pavement all the way up to the pay window. Windows in the
repair bays had been shattered, and the front of the building was
charred from the bottom upwards, but the place could still shelter
anyone who could get in through the door.

Mulder drew his gun. "You check the bathrooms; I'll try the
front.

"Mulderrr... "

"I have my gun. Don't worry. The moment she grabs you, I'll be
there."

"Yeah. That's cute, Mulder. May as well get it over with." As
Mulder made his way into the front of the station, Scully tried
the washroom doors. Both were open, and showed no signs of
having been recently occupied. In fact, they were both lacking
even fixtures. As she walked to the back of the building, the
image of slimy, green-yellow smear marks on the front wall of
the station flashed through her mind. Things she had seen but
had overlooked. She could have kicked herself. "Mulder!"

As Mulder looked around the repair bays and then ventured back
to the cash register, a long, human arm stretched out to grab his
left leg, Beneath the counter was a yellow-eyed, brunette woman
who could barely grasp the Agent's leg. She did manage to floor
him, and as she was dragging Mulder into her cubby hole, Mulder
fired a couple of shots. He missed the woman, and Scully ran
into the place in time to see the long arm let go, and slink
beneath the counter. Mulder wrestled his leg free.

"Mulder? Are you all right?"

"Yeah. Just a bit bruised."

"Come out of there!" Scully demanded, gun at the ready.

"She's dead, Scully. Look."

Scully bent down to see the lifeless remains of one Jenny Adams.
She felt for a carotid pulse. "Yes. She is. Time of death,
3:11 pm. Likely cause: Digoxin poisoning. Ready to go for a
late lunch, Mulder?"

Mulder stood and dusted himself off. "I think given the
circumstances, we should just call in the local police, and
finish the file, Scully. Maybe a late supper."

"You're sure you're all right?"

"Yeah, Scully. I can walk. As for the thought that there could
be others out there, just like her mother, just like her... "

"Mulder, I think you need some rest. I doubt there's any remote
possibility... "

"Really, Scully? Can you honestly say you never think of it?"

"I must confess, I really don't know. All I know is, life goes
on. We can't drive ourselves crazy wondering if every strange
creature we encounter has relatives. We move on, Mulder. We have
to."


END



























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