Scully was not happy, it was early on Sunday morning, so early in
fact that it was still dark outside. She and Mulder had finally
managed to fall into bed sometime around midnight after working
seemingly non-stop for over three weeks. Their last case been an
elaborate hoax perpetrated by some very creative but exceedingly
bored university students. A snap strike by airport staff had meant
that instead of being able to fly home, they had spent the last
fourteen hours driving. Then to top it all off, the weather had been
absolutely miserable; unseasonably low temperatures accompanied by
heavy rain and strong winds had dogged them as they tramped around
the varied delights of Madison Wisconsin. They both had a suitcase
full of saturated clothes and waterlogged footwear. The only thing
that they had planned for today was a long leisurely sleep in.
finding herself lying in bed staring up at the ceiling trying to
figure out what had woken her did not put Scully in a very good
frame of mind.
ran through a mental checklist; it was still raining heavily
outside, but it had been doing that when they went to bed, so that
was unlikely to have caused her sudden bout of sleeplessness. She
did not think she had been woken by Mulder's nocturnal wanderings;
he was curled up on his side facing away from her, and from the look
of things, still soundly asleep.
Scully sighed and rolled closer to Mulder, she brushed her fingers
lightly down the length of his torso until she came to the hem of
his tee shirt. She remembered how tired they had both been; Mulder
barely taking time to shuck his pants and shirt before collapsing
into bed; she had paused long enough to snuggle into another of
Mulder's well-worn tee shirts before following him into slumber.
her hand over Mulder's flat stomach, she stopped in sudden
realization that his skin was warmer than usual. She pressed her
lips to the back of his neck in the tried and true method and
frowned, he did not have a fever, at least not yet, but it looked
like he was well on his way.
was not surprised, they had both spent more than their fair share of
time in wringing wet clothes; it stood to reason that one if not
both of them would come down with a cold.
moved her hand and absently counted his respirations while listening
to him breathe; there was some congestion building already. She
reached down and pulled the comforter further up over his shoulder.
Closing her eyes, she began to prepare a mental checklist; the most
important thing was to contact Skinner and arrange for a couple of
days off for both of them. With any luck and a lot of co-operation
from Mulder, they could nip this cold in the bud and prevent it from
developing into anything more serious. Scully gave a soft snort; she
had just included Mulder and co-operation in the same sentence.
Mulder co-operative; that was an oxymoron if ever she had heard one.
She drifted back to sleep, thoughts of how she was going to get her
partner to take it easy whirling through her mind.
again, she was pulled unwillingly from the depths of dreamland; it
took several seconds for her mind to register what had woken her
this time; realizing that a phone was ringing had her instantly
alert. It wasn't hers that was trilling madly, it was Mulder's, whom
she noticed with some chagrin, was still soundly asleep. Clambering
out of the snug nest of blankets, Scully stumbled over to the pile
of clothes that Mulder had carelessly dropped on the floor. She dug
through pockets until she found the device that had shattered her
her somnolent partner none too gently, Scully held the phone out.
The only reaction she received was an indistinct mumbling.
wake up!" She shook his shoulder again.
sighed, wondering how much patience the caller possessed.
"Mulder, your phone's ringing."
Without opening his eyes, Mulder reached out, Scully placed it in
his hand, his fingers closing around the casing.
His eyes remained closed but Scully could see his fingers tighten
sir...umm when...today...yes sir...uh no...yes sir...yes sir."
Mulder pressed the disconnect button with slightly more force than
necessary and rolled over onto his back. "Shit!"
Scully enquired from where she was crouched on the floor.
Mulder cracked his eyes open. "What's the time?"
what did he want?"
have a meeting with our esteemed A. D. in one hour and thirty seven
minutes." Mulder groaned and rubbed his hand across his
forehead. "God, I feel like something chewed me up and spat me
rolled her eyes. "Nice analogy Mulder, I hate to be the bearer
of more bad news but it looks like you're coming down with a
cold." She moved from the floor and sat next to Mulder pulling
her knees up under her chin.
don't wanna do this Scully."
not the only one, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing sleep
were you now." Eyes crinkling with mischief, Mulder reached out
and ran his fingers down Scully's bare leg.
doing nothing more than sleeping...stop that."
you sure that you just wanted to sleep?"
looked thoughtful. "Yes I think so, why did you have something
raised himself up on his elbow. "Oh nothing specific, but I'm
sure I could've pulled something out of my hat." His fingers
resumed their gentle exploration.
burst into giggles. "Your hat! Is that where you keep it
reached out and pulled her down on top of him. "I'll show you
where I keep it." He grinned, his long fingers tickling
Scully squirmed breathlessly.
Scully glanced over at the bedside clock. "We now have one hour
and twenty six minutes before we have to meet Skinner." She
twisted out of his loose embrace. "And I for one am not going
to miss out on a nice warm shower." She scooted to the end of
the bed before raising an eyebrow. "Besides I thought you said
you weren't feeling the best."
are certain things that a man is prepared to put before his health
you're just going to have to tie a knot in it until we find out what
Skinner wants us for."
you know that you're a spoilsport Scully?" Mulder griped.
can blame that one on the boss." She tossed over her shoulder
as she headed for the bathroom.
apologize for dragging you both out on a Sunday." Skinner
glanced across at the two agents seated in front of the desk. He
cast a critical eye over them, noting how tired they both looked. He
shifted his focus back to Mulder and gazed at him speculatively. The
agent whose long lean body usually lounged in the chair with a
recalcitrant petulance was instead sitting on the edge of the seat,
his shoulders hunched and his hands deep inside the pockets of his
have had a call from ASAC Logan from the Albany office."
Skinner shuffled a few papers on his desk. "Six months ago the
bodies of two women were found near the small town of Gilbert
Corners in upstate New York, both had been strangled. In the last
three weeks, another four bodies have been discovered; the cause of
death again is strangulation. Unfortunately, no headway has been
made in determining who is behind the murders or what their motive
is. He has requested the services of a profiler."
know Agent Scully, believe me I know." Skinner put up a hand to
stall the petite agent's protests. "Regrettably, neither Mulder
nor yourself are currently involved in anything that cannot be
shelved for the foreseeable future."
I Sir?" Mulder pulled one hand out of a pocket and gestured to
the file in Skinner's hands.
passed the folder across before leaning both elbows on the top of
his desk. "This file contains a cursory background on the
murders, all material pertaining to the case will be available on
your arrival. You will report to ASAC Ryan Logan at the Saratoga
Springs field office as soon as possible."
haven't had any down time in nearly three weeks." Scully
pointed out. "I know that Agent." Skinner nodded.
"I fully expect both of you to take some time off once Mulder's
presence on this case is no longer warranted.
the deceased were prostitutes." Mulder took his eyes off the
papers in front of him and looked up, he squinted against the light
coming in the window behind Skinner and raised a hand to his temple.
Assistant Director narrowed his gaze. "Are you feeling all
right Agent Mulder?"
Agent Mulder is..."
quite well, thank you for asking sir." Mulder finished Scully's
eyebrows drew together into a distinct frown as he leaned back in
his chair and silently observed his two agents. A faint look of
concern, directed at her partner marred Scully's delicate features.
Mulder oblivious to anything other than the material in his hands
was frowning as he read through the file. The circles under his eyes
were like dark smudges and despite the comfortable temperature of
the office; the agent was wearing a thick sweater under his jacket.
Scully on the other hand dressed in jeans and a light
pullover had shed her outer jacket within minutes of entering the
closed the file and wordlessly handed it to Scully, plunging his
hand back into his pocket. He closed his eyes and leaned back in his
lifted her eyes from the Medical Examiner's report and glanced
across at her partner, a small frown marking her forehead. She
shifted her gaze to Skinner and silently shook her head as the
Assistant Director opened his mouth. "Did you tell ASAC Logan
when we would be arriving?"
Agent Scully, unfortunately unlike us, Kim actually gets a day off
or I would have her arrange a flight for you, I assume you will need
to return home to pack, whether you manage to catch a flight today
or tomorrow morning is up to you."
Mulder's monotone voice startled them both.
still killing." Hazel eyes opened and settled on blue ones.
makes you say that?" Skinner enquired.
not..." Mulder pinched the bridge of his nose between his
fingers before heaving a sigh. "I just know." He finished,
dropping his chin to his chest.
closed the file and leaned over placing her hand on Mulder's arm, he
lifted his head squinting slightly.
leaned back and observed his favorite pair of agents; he knew they
were exhausted, both physically and emotionally and yet he had no
choice but to send them out into another situation. He cleared his
throat. "That will be all agents, please make sure that you
keep me updated on what progress you make."
sir." Scully rose to her feet, still maintaining a physical
connection with her partner. "Come on Mulder, I'll toss you to
see who gets to choose the accommodation."
Mulder struggled to his feet, a frown etched itself into Skinner's
forehead as he observed the lanky agent. Usually the man moved with
an unconscious grace, today his movements were slow as if he
suffered from joint pain. "Scully?" He questioned softly.
back to meet her superiors worried expression, Scully nodded.
"I'll be keeping a very close eye on him sir."
his approval, he dismissed them with a quick jerk of his head
waiting until the door closed behind them to turn his attention to
the work stacked on his desk.
Nature was conspiring against them; Scully had come to that
conclusion as soon as she saw that the weather had not improved, if
anything it was raining harder and the temperature seemed cooler,
enough to make her pull her coat more snugly around herself as she
and Mulder exited the cab in front of their motel. The weather and
Mulder's condition had strengthened her argument for stopping at the
motel before going to the field office.
waited whilst Mulder tipped the cab driver then preceded him into
the office, the bag containing her laptop in one hand and pulling
her suitcase along behind her with the other. In short order they
had signed in and presented with their keys, they dashed quickly
through the torrents of rain to their room.
cold wind triggered a bout of sneezing that literally shook Mulder
to the core as he closed the door to their room, he rubbed his nose
with the back of his hand then mopped the stray raindrops from his
face; furtively he wiped his hand on his coat stilling as he heard
an exasperated voice behind him.
your handkerchief Mulder."
turned just as Scully tossed a surprisingly thick towel at him.
"Give me your coat and dry your hair."
shrugged out of his coat and rubbed the towel quickly over his head;
he threw it on the end of the bed before running one hand through
his semi-dry hair leaving it standing up in uneven tufts. Scully
surveyed him with a smile before pointing at the bed. "Sit down
Mulder." Once he was seated, she finger combed his hair back
into place. Brushing the back of her hand across his forehead, she
placed two fingers under his chin and lifted it until he was looking
into her eyes.
a little bit warmer Mulder, how are you feeling?"
you know." He shrugged. "A little bit more chewed up and
spat out than before." He flexed the muscles in his shoulders
until a faint crack sounded and swallowed past his scratchy throat.
turned to her suitcase. "I want you to take a couple of
aspirin, it'll help keep any fever in check."
hand on her arm halted Scully's progress. "Not yet."
She began. " You know you are sick, I know you are sick, my aim
is to stop you from getting any sicker."
know Scully and I promise as soon as we contact Logan and let him
know we are here, you can dose me up with whatever you want."
Privately Mulder wanted nothing more than to climb into a nice warm
bed and just sleep, his head had begun to pound and his nose would
not stop running.
right." She nodded reluctantly as Mulder took his cell phone
from his pocket. Scully moved about the room emptying their
suitcases listening with one ear to Mulder's conversation. A sudden
defensive tone to his voice brought her back to his side.
are at the motel sir...no sir we arrived about ten minutes ago...no
sir A.D. Skinner did not impart that information to us...tonight
sir?...yes sir...the Brougham Arms Motel sir...yes sir." Mulder
folded his phone, placed it back into his pocket, and met his
did he have to say Mulder?"
from a seemingly limited range of expletives, ASAC Logan's
conversation consisted basically of get your asses over here now,
we've been waiting all day for you."
Skinner's interpretation differs drastically from Logan's."
Mulder shrugged. "He is sending a car for us, to make sure we
get there this time."
Scully brushed her limp hair off her forehead. "Well ASAC Logan
is going to have to cool his heels, I'm not going anywhere until
I've had a shower and changed clothes." She raised an eyebrow
speculatively as she turned towards the bathroom. "Are you
coming, the steam will do you good."
no, I thought I might go over the file again while we're
loss Mulder, just make sure when you change that you also put some
dry socks on okay."
nodded absently, his mind already concentrating on the slender
folder in his hands.
Springs Field Office.
paused before the double doors leading into the conference room; he
swiped a well-used handkerchief over his slowly reddening nose and
straightened his tie. He graced Scully with a small smile before
pushing the door open, allowing his partner to move ahead of him, he
followed closely behind, his hand hovering at her lower back.
voices that they had heard from inside the room fell silent as they
entered. A broad-shouldered man broke away from the group and
approached them. Eyeing them through gold-rimmed glasses, a
disdainful expression crossed his face.
that you eventually showed up Agents, I didn't realize the concept
of 'as soon as possible' would be foreign to you."
sarcastic manner ruffled Scully's feathers immediately; she opened
her mouth to respond but was halted by a firm pressure to her upper
apologies Sir, I can assure you that we made every endeavor to
ensure a prompt arrival, if you would care to check the airline
schedules, you will see that we caught the first available flight
whatever." Logan turned back to the other agents gathered
around a large table. "I suppose you want to know who everyone
is." He gestured vaguely with one hand. "Agents Sam
Britten, Lance Stott, Pamela Neal, Jim Wilson and Phillip Drew,
these are Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. Agent Mulder is a
profiler, Agent Scully a forensic pathologist."
occasional nod of confirmation from each agent as his or her name
was mentioned was the only indication of which name belonged to
whom. Scully shook her head at Logan's attitude surprised that
Mulder had kept his temper under control. She turned her attention
back to the ASAC as he continued.
finally we can start the briefing, Agent Britten will you give a
short middle-aged man stood and moved to the head of the table as
Mulder and Scully took their seats. He pointed to a map pinned to
far six bodies have been recovered, the first one a Marie Ives aged
twenty-eight was discovered partly submerged in Black River six
months ago, two days later thirty year old Alice Gibson's semi-nude
body was found by a hiker half a mile upstream from the first body.
Both women are known prostitutes and there had been no missing
persons report filed." As each name was mentioned, the woman's
picture was pointed out from the half dozen that were pinned to the
wall. Mulder eyes roamed over each picture committing the names to
memory along with the photos of the sites where the bodies were
picked up several folders and placed them in front of the Washington
agents. "This is the case report and these are the M.E's
reports on the bodies found." He returned to the map. "In
the last three weeks we have had a total of four bodies found,
Catherine Walley, twenty-two found face down in Kelsey Creek. Angela
Parker, eighteen located on an island in the middle of Blue Mountain
Lake. Jade King, twenty-one was discovered by children near the
eastern lip of the lake. Finally, three days ago, an angler stumbled
on thirty-two year old Caroline Worthington caught in some reeds
about midway between the first two bodies. Again all the women were
slipped his glasses on and focused on the papers in front of him.
Apparently, the fact that there seemed to be a serial killer running
amuck in the small town had escaped the police department. It was
only with the body of the third woman found that someone had begun
to put the pieces together. The Gilbert's Corner Police Department
finally acknowledged publicly that there could be a serial killer
preying upon women whose lifestyles exposed them to danger. The
local P.D. had talked to some of the women who were in the trade but
with the discovery of the fourth body, they realized that they were
going to need the co-operation of every prostitute.
police had sat in unmarked cars watching them and allowing them to
ply their trade. The women had been uncertain about this arrangement
not fully trusting that the police were not going to just arrest
them. The word spread among the women to be on the lookout for
suspicious behavior in the men who approached them. They were still
nervous but not so much that they didn't still get into cars with
women had mentioned a station wagon with a damaged front fender that
repeatedly cruised the area but when the vehicle was found the
driver was discovered to be totally innocent.
the public announcement, calls offering advice and tips had begun to
flood in. Of the many responses, over one hundred had been phony
leads apparently motivated by spurned lovers and women who wanted to
harass their boyfriends and spouses. All of them had to be followed
up tying up detectives and hundreds of man-hours. One tip had come
in from an anonymous caller who identified the killer as 'J',
however when the detectives had tried to follow up the lead, lack of
information had relegated it in with the other crank calls.
few customers were questioned but those enquiries also led nowhere.
The police had checked the files of known sexual predators who had
been paroled but found nothing to indicate that any were in the
became clear that the killer was familiar with the areas in which he
dumped the bodies leading to the conclusion that he either hunted or
fished in the vicinity, he also owned a vehicle because the dump
sites were too far away to be reached on foot.
seemed likely that the killer was also someone the murdered women
had felt comfortable with. They appeared to have gone with him
willingly despite the fact that they knew someone was targeting
prostitutes for murder.
read through all the reports listening with one ear to Agent
Britten's droning voice.
the discovery of the third corpse, all areas around or in the
general vicinity of bodies of water had been searched. Even so, it
had been members of the public who had found the remaining three
bodies and not the police.
cast a sideways look at Scully who seemed engrossed in Britten's
report. He scanned the ME's report for each woman; they all bore the
same type of marks on their necks, without a doubt made by human
intervention and not by a ligature. It was obvious that they were
looking for a reasonably large man with a wide hand span. As he was
looking for any other factor that might link the women apart from
their race and profession, a detail jumped out at him and he nudged
tipped her head towards Mulder as he spoke in an undertone.
"Did you see the ME's report on what substance was in each
woman's mouth?" When she shook her head in the negative he
continued. "Semen, each and every woman had the residue in her
they were prostitutes, the odds of that occurring is moderately
but according to the ME, it wasn't present anywhere else."
you heard of condoms partner?"
Mulder and Scully?" ASAC Logan's voice cut sharply across
Britten's. "Do you have something you wish to share with the
rest of us?"
looked up at the other man. "No Sir."
hostility flowed off him in palpable waves. "I beg your pardon
said no sir, at least not at this point in time."
scowl crossed the ASAC's face. "Very well, play your games
then, but do you think you could do Agent Britten the courtesy of at
least listening to what he was saying."
ducked her head and hid a smile, she knew exactly what was coming,
ASAC Logan did not know who was up against.
I have heard every word of Agent Britten's report."
The derision in the ASAC's voice was patent. "It looked to me
like you and Agent Scully were having yourself a private little
attention of everyone present in the room was focused on the two
men, one gruff and imposing, the other quiet and earnest.
leaned forward in his seat and fixed his gaze upon the other man.
"I regret that you doubt my veracity in this matter sir, would
you like me to repeat verbatim, everything Agent Britten has said.
Of course that will undoubtedly add a great deal of time to this
meeting, perhaps it would be better if I just list the salient
points." He challenged.
jabbed an elbow into his ribs whispering. "Mulder, play
was astute enough to recognize when he was outclassed. He directed
his attention back to Agent Britten and urged him to continue
ignoring the two Washington agents for the rest of the meeting.
Eventually, after everyone had given their report, Logan stood and
addressed the assembled agents.
that'll do for tonight, I want everyone back here for seven am
tomorrow morning and I do mean everyone." He gave Mulder a
pointed look before stalking out of the room.
atmosphere in the room was tense; slowly the other agents began to
gather their belongings until an exclamation broke the silence.
"Ah shit, I don't know what bug flew up Logan's butt, however I
can assure you we weren't all cast from the same mould."
and Scully turned back to face the agent whom had spoken, he was a
fairly short man barely making it to five-foot-eight without shoes.
Blond hair that looked permanently windblown topped a face with
sober brown eyes. He held his hand out to Mulder. "Phillip
Drew, sorry that Logan let you have it like that, he's had the press
jumping all over him for a week now."
thought it was a fairly poor excuse for the ASAC's behavior, but
kept her opinion to herself. Her main concern was Mulder's health
and getting him back to their hotel was a top priority. "Thank
you Agent Drew, Agent Mulder and I both appreciate your
apology." She allowed a smile to cross her face. "Do you
think we could impose on you to arrange for a ride back to our
hotel, we haven't had time to rent a car yet."
Drew nodded. "No problem, you're staying at the Brougham Arms
that's correct." Scully nodded.
I can drop you both off on the way."
began to voice his thanks, but his words were cut off by a bout of
harsh coughing. The other occupants of the room looked on in concern
as he leaned against a table for support.
it Mulder." Scully gripped his arm. "You need to get some
not gonna get an argument from me about that partner." Mulder's
head had begun to throb and the thought of getting off his feet was
shivered and pulled the blanket further up around his ears, a fierce
thirst had woken him sometime earlier but after crawling back into
bed, he found himself unable to get comfortable. All his joints
seemed to ache, no matter which way he laid in the bed.
concern over disturbing Scully with his tossing and turning prompted
him to get up; a bone deep feeling of coldness assailed him as he
moved away from the bed, quickly pulling on a pair of sweatpants and
a warm pullover he angled the desk lamp away from Scully's side of
the room and began working on his profile.
hour or so later, he removed his glasses and winced at the headache
that was rapidly building behind his eyes. He felt a light touch on
his shoulder and turned his head to meet Scully's concerned face.
long have you been up?" She asked.
a little while, couldn't sleep." Mulder rubbed at his temples.
and every other joint I own has gone out in sympathy."
walked over to her carry on bag and rummaged around before returning
to Mulder's side. "Take these, they should help with your
3, you've had them before."
sighed and took the tablets swallowing them with the aid of the
water Scully placed in front of him. He closed his eyes and tipped
his head back.
sat down in the chair next to him and waited, after several minutes
with no movement from her partner, she reached out and brushed the
hair away from his eyes.
not asleep." He murmured.
know, your breathing was wrong."
opened one eye and peered at his partner. "What do you mean it
a person sleeps, their body adjusts the oxygen flow, they breathe
deeper and slower. You were still breathing normally."
powers of observation never fail to amaze me Scully."
had plenty of practice Mulder." She chided.
his head in discomfiture, Mulder shuffled the papers in front of
him. "I was working on my profile but I need your medical
should be trying to get some sleep." Scully covered his hand
with her smaller one.
will, these tablets are gonna knock me out before too long."
considered his statement before crossing her arms. "Okay, what
do you need help with?"
what I was telling you about the semen residue in the woman's
and I recall saying that they are prostitutes."
know Scully, but as prostitutes, don't you think that they would be
first and foremost concerned with protecting themselves from STD's.
Not that I have had any experience personally, but I would imagine
that the primary consideration of a professional woman would be that
of her own safety. The fact that six murdered prostitutes in the
same small town all had evidence of having had unprotected oral sex
with someone defies the law of averages." Mulder's hoarse voice
grew thoughtful. "Unless...."
if, he strangled them first and then had oral sex."
turned away and coughed into his hand. "I know what it is
Scully." He wheezed. "But it also explains why there were
no traces of semen anywhere else."
what you're saying is that the unsub has necrophiliac
possible, does the ME's report say anything about stomach
flipped to the appropriate page in the folder she was holding;
quickly she perused the writing before laying the paper down and
moving on to the next folder. She repeated the same action six times
before looking across at her partner. "I think you're on to
something Mulder, the report makes no mention of semen in the
stomach of the bodies but there are small traces in the gullet of
three of the women." She folded her hands over the report.
"You know I can't believe that I dismissed your theory out of
hand, I was typecasting those women because of their
shook his head." It's easy enough to do Scully. I've done it
before and I'll probably do it again, it's part of being human I
guess." He referred back to his notes. "I'm thinking that
the logical conclusion to this fact would be that after he strangled
the women, he had oral sex." He peered over the top of his
glasses. "Is there any way to confirm that they were dead
before the act was performed?"
I don't think so." Scully shook her head.
sighed deeply, he felt a bead of perspiration trickle between his
eyebrows and irritably he swiped it away. Pushing up the sleeves on
his sweater, he leaned back in the chair and settled his eyes on
Scully. "I'm tired." He announced pulling his glasses off
and dropping them on the table. "And I'm hot."
declaration brought Scully to her feet, holding her hand against his
forehead, she frowned at the heat emanating from his skin.
"Your temperature is way up." Pursing her lips at the
flush on his face and the dark shadows under his eyes, she
instructed him to stay put while she retrieved a thermometer from
Scully returned to Mulder's side, she found him sprawled over the
table, his head resting on his arms. "Mulder, open up."
do I have to." A distinct whine had crept into his husky voice.
you do." Quickly Scully slid the tube between his lips before
pressing her fingertips to the pulse in his wrist.
feel awful Scully."
I know." She soothed softly. When the low beep of the
thermometer sounded, Scully checked the readout. "101.7 Mulder,
congratulations you officially have the flu."
series of muffled words that sounded conspicuously like cursing
erupted from the man slouched on the table. After a moment he raised
his head, bloodshot eyes squinting in the light. "Are you
sure?" He mumbled.
see, symptoms of the flu are a fever, check; headache, definitely;
general aches and pains, I'd say that's a yes; exhaustion,
unquestionably, cough and chest discomfort..." Scully paused as
Mulder broke into a set of sharp coughs, his hand pressed to the
middle of his chest. "...indisputably. Mulder, you need to be
home in bed."
agree Scully." Mulder panted between words. "But I
of your health should be paramount, if you're not very careful, this
could develop into pneumonia. Mulder, the FBI can always find
another profiler, but there's only one you." Scully crouched
down beside her partner. "And I want to keep you."
always gonna be yours Scully, but you know how it is, I have to
Scully agreed with her partner. "All right, but I've got
may you joke Mulder, but I am primarily concerned with the state of
your health. Seeing as you insist on continuing to work on this
case, I'm going to insist on being in charge of your day to day
frowned. "I had a mother Scully, I don't need another
know that sweetheart, and I'm not attempting to be your mother. What
I am going to do however is keep a very close eye on you, if I think
you are working too hard to the further detriment of your health, I
reserve the right to pull you into line. If that means I think you
need a rest, then you will have one." Scully held up her hand
as Mulder opened his mouth to argue. "No, don't even try and
push me on this, if I wanted to, as your primary physician, I could
override your wishes and haul your ass back home." She smiled
as a shocked look passed across his face. "I know what's going
to happen, you'll get so deep into this profile, that you won't eat,
you won't sleep unless you collapse from exhaustion and I get the
feeling that ASAC Logan isn't going to give one damn what happens to
you as long as you catch the unsub." Scully's torrent of words
came to an end.
stared open-mouthed at Scully for a moment before a smile lit his
face. "Have I mentioned recently that I love you?" He took
her small hand and pressed his lips against the knuckles.
I believe I heard something like that not too long ago, I suppose it
could have been you." She smiled.
better not have been Frohike again."
eyes twinkled. "You know, the more I think about it, the more
I'm convinced that it was someone I'm on very familiar terms
grinned and then yawned suddenly. "I think those pills are
finally kicking in."
you should have just enough time for a nice warm shower."
myself?" Mulder arched an eyebrow.
I had one when we got back to the motel." Scully tried to hide
don't you think it would be a good idea to keep an eye on me, you
know just in case I get really tired and fall asleep in the
shower." Mulder suggested eagerly.
good idea. Wouldn't want you getting all shriveled now."
don't think I'm going to have a chance to get shriveled."
Mulder climbed stiffly to his feet and held his hand out.
eyed him thoughtfully. "You know, I believe with certainty that
in a little while there is going to be at least part of your anatomy
that will be shriveled."
really." Mulder lowered his head and nipped at her neck.
"Which part would that be?"
him along behind her, Scully smiled. "Follow me and I'll give
you a hands on demonstration."
moaned in anticipation as they reached the bathroom. "Oh
Scully, you know what I like."
Springs Field Office.
early morning briefing had provided negligible information for
Mulder to add to his profile; both he and Scully had listened to the
reports presented by the other agents without offering any comments.
Currently, they were reviewing the statements of several other
professional women in the hope that something more may come to
had his elbows propped on the table, the fingers on his left hand
rubbing unconsciously back and forth across his temple; his right
hand occupied twirling a pencil in circles. If it had not been for
the fact that he occasionally jotted things down on his notepad, the
Saratoga Springs agents could have assumed that he was in a world of
Logan sat at the head of the table; glowering as each agent in turn
reported their findings. As Agent Stott's narrative drew to a close,
he focused his attention on the two from D.C.
"Do you have anything you want to say Agent
pencil twirling stopped, but he did not look up. "I want to
view the dump sites."
the hell for?" Logan growled in reply. "Everything has
been photographed and documented, you've seen the files, I assume
you've read the forensic reports.
glanced up at the other man "I need to get a feeling of what
the unsub was thinking when he dumped the bodies, why he chose those
case you hadn't noticed Agent Mulder, it's raining, heavily, it's
been doing that for over a week now. Any evidence that might have
been left, has undoubtedly been washed away by now. What on earth do
you hope to find?"
not interested in the evidence, I'm interested in the actual site
itself. How difficult it was for him to dump the body, what access
was like. Whether there are any commonalities between the
sites." Mulder replied.
all located near bodies of water, that's the commonality that's
staring you in the face." Logan sneered.
took a deep breath. "I know that sir, but I still need to see
them for myself."
ASAC waved his hand in dismissal. "Sure go ahead, knock
yourself out, don't pay attention to the people who have been
working their asses off on this case for weeks. You obviously know
better than all of us." He climbed to his feet and stalked
towards the door, stopping as he reached Mulder's seat. "I
asked Washington for a profiler, I expected to get someone who would
do a professional job. Instead I get you and your partner, she
hardly says anything at all and you, you come in here, coughing and
sneezing and acting like a prima donna. I don't like it but I'm
stuck with you." He wrenched the door open and slammed it shut
shocked silence filled the room; the local agents had never seen
their ASAC behave like this. Mulder stared down at his notepad in
embarrassment only lifting his head when he felt Scully move beside
him. "What are you doing?" He whispered.
going to have a word with ASAC Logan." She replied tightly,
anger plainly written across her face.
don't Scully, just leave it." He grabbed her hand to stop her
can't Mulder, his attitude towards us is unfair to say the very
least." Her voice rose slightly.
not our call to criticize a senior agent's attitude."
may not be your call, but I sure as hell am going to do something
about it." A tall stocky man Scully recognized as Jim Wilson
pushed his chair noisily back. He moved swiftly to the door, his
exit nowhere as near as forceful as the previous one.
pressed both hands to his forehead; his head was thumping so loudly
he thought it a wonder that no one else could hear it. A couple of
the other agents noticed his actions and exchanged nervous glances
with each other. Scully become aware of their attention and sank
back into her seat. "Mulder are you okay?"
reached into her purse and extracted a foil packet of tablets.
"Would someone get me some water please?" She asked. A few
seconds later an unopened bottle of water was placed in front of
her. Scully nodded her thanks and popped two tablets into her hand.
"I want you to take these Mulder, they'll help your
headache." She watched as he swallowed the medication and
thirstily gulped more than half the bottle of water.
Pamela Neal crouched down beside Scully. "Is Agent Mulder all
right?" She enquired. "He looks like he should be home in
smiled at the soft voiced woman. "I totally agree with you, but
unfortunately Agent Mulder has a different opinion."
got a cold and I've never heard of anyone being killed by one
Scully." Mulder grouched in a rasping tone.
got the flu Mulder which is totally different from a cold." She
flu, they both make you feel like shit." His comment drew a
smile from the others in the room. "I can do more here though
than I can if I'm in bed."
were you saying about viewing the dump sites Agent Mulder?"
Philip Drew enquired.
find it easier to get a feel for the unsub if I can view where the
bodies were situated." Mulder paused at the looks of confusion.
"It's hard to explain, but it's almost as if I'm putting a
jigsaw together and I have to look at all the pieces. That consists
of the victims, any commonalities, forensic evidence and the dumping
would probably be the best choice for showing you the sites in that
case." Drew nodded at his fellow agent. "She was first on
the scene in the majority of the incidents."
seemed infused with a new supply of energy, his headache either
relieved or forgotten. "We should head out now, is that
coming with you Mulder." Scully announced.
we need to make a detour past your motel first." Pam Neal, bit
her bottom lip as she looked at Scully's tight skirt and high heels.
"Those shoes won't last once we get to the river. In fact if
you happened to pack boots and jeans, I'd suggest you both wear
them, I will be."
shrugged. "Suits me. Lead on Agent Neal."
rain was coming down hard enough to soak everyone thoroughly.
Reaching under the hood of her borrowed rain slicker, Scully pushed
her limp hair back out of her eyes as she gamely tried to keep up
with the other agents and their overlong strides. Mud stuck to the
soles of her boots and had splashed up the legs of her jeans, which
were soaking wet from her hips on down. Scully was determined to
make this site the last for the day, Mulder looked to be in no
better condition than she was and it occurred to her that he was
probably running on pure stubbornness by now.
reached the lip of the creek bank and looked down to the water,
normally Kelsey Creek was moderately shallow, however the past week
of rain had swollen it until it now resembled a small river. Agent
Neal pointed out the approximate area where Catherine Walley's body
had been found. Mulder stood for a moment his hands on his hips and
surveyed the area.
going to get a closer look." He announced taking a cautious
step down the muddy bank. Mulder's feet sank deeper into the mud the
further down the slope he went, as he looked back over his shoulder
at Scully standing at the top, he misplaced his left foot and it
skated out from underneath him. He slid halfway down the hill, his
arms whirling frantically as he tried to keep his balance.
stood at the top of the rise, she was so sick of the rain and being
wet, her feet squished wetly inside her boots and all she wanted to
do was go home, get dry and warm and curl up into bed, preferably
with a dry and warm Mulder by her side.
looked around heartily sick of the sight of dripping foliage,
branches heavy with rain bowed down to the ground. Focusing her
attention back on her partner, she gasped as she saw him sliding
down the muddy bank.
grasped recklessly at scanty clumps of grass trying to halt his
inexorable slide down the hill, he jammed the heels of his boots
into the mud, but all that did was shift his balance and he tumbled
head over heels down the bank ending up laying flat on his back at
the bottom, his arms flung out beside him. Looking up into the heavy
gray overcast sky, he blinked as the rain smacked him in the face.
don't move!" Scully's worried voice cried from above him.
move, who was she kidding? Mulder's heart beat madly in his chest as
he concentrated on making sure all his limbs were still where they
belonged. Over the top of the noise from the churning creek and the
relentless slap of the rain on the ground he could hear movement
behind him. "Mulder, are you okay?" Breathlessly Scully
dropped to her knees beside him, the soft squelch of mud cushioning
her hurried movements.
I think so." He responded, moving slightly in an attempt to sit
don't move. I want to check you out, you might have done some
damage." She peered into both his eyes, satisfied with what she
found she ran her hands firmly down his neck and over his ribs.
I'm fine." Mulder protested. "The only thing I damaged was
my pride." He lifted his head and glanced down at his
mud-encrusted clothing. "And my wardrobe." He sighed
ignored his claim and continued her examination, first one arm then
the other. Pressing her fingers lightly against his belly, she
sighed in relief when he showed no signs of tenderness. Finally she
quickly checked both his legs for broken bones before moving back up
to his side. "I would have expected some injuries after that
tumble you took." She eased a hand behind his neck as Mulder
pushed himself to a sitting position.
sudden shiver rocked his frame as he lifted his hands and flicked
the mud from them. "Soft landing I guess." Carefully he
pushed himself to his feet, Scully supporting him from one side. The
sound of splashing footsteps reached them over the background roar
of the creek and the endless rain.
Scully, Agent Mulder!" Pam Neal's voice carried through from
the dense growth along the creek bank. She pushed her way through
the heavy branches, a smile of relief lighting her face. The smile
quickly gave way to an expression of dismay as she caught sight of
the two mud-spattered agents. "Oh my, are you both okay?"
peachy." Mulder scratched at his cheek leaving a streak of dirt
gave up her efforts at trying to scrape some of the muck off her
clothes. "I think we both need a shower and a change of
clothes." She sighed.
not gonna argue with logic like that." Mulder added.
made their way back to their vehicle along the path that Agent Neal
had found, it took them a little out of their way but at least they
didn't have to try and clamber back up the embankment. Several
moments were spent in determining the best way to keep as much mud
as possible out of the car before Scully decided the best solution
was to turn their rain jackets inside out.
rode back to the hotel in silence; the only sounds were the squeak
of the windshield wipers and the tires hissing on the wet road.
Mulder stared out the window as the rain-drenched trees zipped past.
Scully did not bother him, she could tell by the faraway look in his
eyes that his mind was hard at work fitting pieces together. She
just reached out and laid her hand on his.
thirty minutes, Agent Neal peered worriedly into the rear seat.
"Everything okay back there?"
turned her gaze away from her contemplation of the gray skies and
smiled at the younger woman. "We're fine thanks."
stole a slightly longer look at her unresponsive partner before
turning her attention back to the road. "You're sure?"
caught the direction of the agent's look. "I know it doesn't
seem like it, but believe me, Agent Mulder is very hard at
Neal's drawn out response was swimming with disbelief.
smiled softly at the amount of skepticism that Neal had managed to
infuse into that one word. She knew probably better than anyone else
the amount of information that Mulder was working through as he sat
there oblivious to anything or anyone around him.
she began to stroke the back of his hand before returning to her
study of the sky.
Mulder, not tonight."
Scully..." A hint of peevishness colored his tone.
took a deep breath and moved across the room to sit next to the man
who was her life and her love but at this particular moment reminded
her of her nephew when he was about four years old. "No buts
about it, you don't need to go back to the office tonight, you have
files here if you absolutely have to work, although I wish you
wouldn't." She reached over and brushed the hair from his eyes.
"I'm going to pop down to the restaurant and order us some
dinner, is there anything you feel like?"
rolled his head on his shoulders and shrugged. "No, not really,
I'm not sure if they serve whatever, but I'll see what I can
do." She bestowed a quick kiss on his temple and grabbed the
room keys from the table. "I'll be back as soon as I can."
be here." Mulder mumbled as she left the room. The moment the
door shut, he moved across to the small round table where the files
had been placed, he glanced through a couple until he found what he
wanted and without conscious thought began to pace as he reread the
material inside. He had made a dozen or so laps of the room before
he straightened and grabbed a notepad and pencil. He gave a moments
thought to clearing away the files so he could spread his notes out
at the table before the empty space of the bed caught his eye.
Stretching out on the bed, he propped himself on one elbow and began
to scrawl across the paper. It wasn't long before the days exertions
caught up to him however and the words began to swim before his
eyes. As his body began to shut down from fatigue, the pencil rolled
out of his fingers, unable to summon the energy to pick it up again,
Mulder laid his head down and dropped into a well-earned sleep.
heat built until it was all encompassing; feebly he tossed his head,
searching for relief. Reaching deeply into a hidden reserve of
strength, he forced his fingers to move, gripping weakly at his
shirt pulling it up and away from his burning torso. Sudden blessed
cool air assailed him, giving him an instants clarity, enough time
to unzip and remove his trousers, exulting as he felt the sweat
evaporate with each inch of skin that was revealed.
can make you feel so much better." A light voice whispered from
somewhere on his left.
Scully." His words
were hoarse and breathless.
me look after you." A face framed in curly dark hair swam into
view. Brown eyes that were dull and lifeless stared at him. "I
know what you want."
Scullee." Mulder moaned.
sweat that covered him had evaporated fully and he now felt
uncomfortably cool. His fingers plucked uselessly at the sheet
unable to draw any covering over his now shivering body.
now, this will warm you up."
gasped as he felt movement around his groin, sudden moist warmth
enveloped him and he threw his head back in surprise, his eyes
I told you it would make you feel better."
lifted his head, glancing down the length of his body to where a
dark curly head was working over his crotch.
Blood rushed through his head rendering him incapable of completing
incredible feeling blossomed from deep within and Mulder arched his
back crying out.
want more don't you? I can give you so much more."
The mouth was wrapped warmly around his penis, a tongue
stroking him and a whimper left his lips. Then he could feel a long
slow suction as she moved from base to tip and then back again. A
hand cradled his testicles rubbing them slowly between two fingers
and God yes, he wanted more.
hands moved of their own volition, past his waist, fingers brushing
against skin and hair; and then he was moving, breath rasping
thickly through his open mouth, his hips snapping up and down.
He groaned heavily, clenching his hands tightly, forcing himself
deeper and deeper within the mouth giving him so much gratification.
He dropped his hands lower, feeling them surround a slender neck and
then as his ecstasy began to build to a crescendo, he began to
fingers gripped tighter, forcing a sound of distress from the lips
wrapped around him. His eyes snapped open and he stared coldly down
as the woman lifted her dull heavy eyes to meet his. He could feel
his fingers digging into the bones at the back of her neck and his
vision blurred as his pleasure soared towards its culmination
to see her face as he spilled his release into her, Mulder blinked
rapidly. His heart stuttered in horror as he found himself staring
into blue eyes, not brown, his hands buried in rich red tresses. The
blue eyes gazed miserably back at him, lips stretched obscenely
around his cock.
He gasped as everything shrank and narrowed around him. He pulled
his knees up and thrust his hands out in front of him as a violent
shudder spasmed through his body.
up Mulder." A soft voice that he knew so well crooned in his
ear. "Come on it's okay."
it was not okay, he had forced himself onto her, into her and then
had tried to strangle her. It would never be okay. As another
shudder coursed through him, he forced his eyes open meeting a pair
of sympathetic blue ones. Revulsion at his actions overwhelmed
Mulder and he jerked away as Scully reached out her hand.
sorry...I didn't know." He choked hoarsely. "I'm so
you haven't done anything." Scully spoke quietly.
flinched sharply at her words and moved further across the bed
widening the distance between them. "How can you say
that..." His eyes sought hers and he stared into their blue
depths waiting for her to admit that he had defiled her.
it's the truth."
I saw you, my hands were..." His breath hitched as he verbalized
his perceived assault. "I forced myself...into you and...I was
squeezing..." Mulder's words came to a gasping halt, his chest
heaving as he pressed both hands over his face. "Oh God Scully,
what have I done?"
listen to me, it was a bad dream, nothing more." She reached
out and gently touched his arm. When he didn't shy away, she moved
her fingers slowly up to his shoulder and across to where his hands
covered his face. "Mulder, can you look at me?"
he lowered his hands but turned his face away. Small shivers raced
though his body and he felt heavy with lassitude.
I need you to look at me." She took his chin and tenderly
turned his face towards hers. "Look Mulder, you haven't hurt
me." With one hand, Scully lifted her hair and turned her head
to show him her neck.
were no marks, no finger shaped bruises, nothing at all. Mulder
swallowed and hesitantly reached his hand out allowing Scully to
press it against her neck. Wonderingly, Mulder smoothed his fingers
around the slender column of flesh and then up until they rested
across her smiling lips. An anguished cry escaped him and he flung
himself into her arms.
now." Scully soothed, running her hands lightly up and down his
sweat dampened shirt.
words interspersed with sobs, Mulder choked out his distress.
"I was him...I...I...she asked him if she could...and I...he
didn't stop her but when he got...close, he put my...his fingers
around her neck and I could feel...it was so good...I was so close
to...but then when I looked it wasn't her anymore it was...it...her
face was yours and I...I nearly..." His words trailed off into
reached up and trailed her fingers through his thick hair, gradually
with each caress; she could feel the taut muscles easing. She
shifted her center of gravity and pushed Mulder back so he was
laying on the bed, she leaned on an elbow and continued stroking the
soft strands with a gentle intensity. Reddened eyes slid closed for
a moment over tear-spiked eyelashes and he took a long breath.
"I was dreaming?"
you were." Scully answered.
of a nightmare than a dream." He said softly moving closer
until his body was pressed against hers.
gazed into Mulder's sleep-heavy eyes, she moved slightly pressing
her lips softly to his forehead then to each temple. She moved down
a little further, nuzzling his cheek, feeling the beginning rasp of
his beard. She brushed her lips lightly over his chin and then
finally settled against his lush full lips.
kiss was deep and full of promise. A promise that Scully knew would
not be fulfilled tonight. She could feel Mulder slowly fading into
sleep, a dreamless, healing sleep she prayed.
reached up and gently stroked the hair at his temple, marveling at
the texture as she watched his eyes slide shut and gradually the
deep line between his eyebrows that had seemed to be a permanent
fixture, faded and disappeared.
eased off the bed and carefully pulled the coverlet up over his
shoulders. Turning away from the bed, she remembered the food she
had placed on the table; she considered waking Mulder and getting
some sustenance into him but then decided that he needed his sleep
more. Besides she reminded herself, Mulder was the king of reheated
takeaway and would no doubt enjoy it just as much in the morning as
he would now. Feeling the weight of the day upon her shoulders,
Scully settled herself with her own notes and a heaping plateful of
mouth-watering mandarin chicken.
repetitive clink of cutlery against china woke Scully from a deep
sleep; opening her eyes, she found the other side of the bed empty.
She rolled over to find Mulder sitting at the table shoveling food
into his mouth with one hand while making notes with the other.
movement he turned and graced Scully with a wide smile. "Mornin'."
back against the headboard, she returned his greeting. "How are
you feeling this morning?"
fine." Mulder stopped scooping food into his mouth long enough
to answer her question. "I feel good actually." He went
back to his breakfast. "This is terrific Scully, what is
to see her partner eating more food in one sitting than he had in
the past two days, Scully forwent the urge to tell him not to talk
with his mouth full. Instead she climbed out of bed and padded
across the floor to his side. "You've got Cantonese Beef and
Hokkien Noodles." She wrinkled her nose. "It was nice last
night, how you can eat it for breakfast is beyond me."
got to learn to expand your horizons, day after takeaway is one of
man's greatest inventions."
felt a shudder ripple through her as she watched him eat. "I'll
pass thanks Mulder." She reached out and touched her hand to
his forehead. "Your temperature feels normal."
you, I feel good."
long have you been up for." Scully stifled a yawn.
hour or so I think, enough time to make some decent headway on my
you see the notes I was working on last night?"
hmm, I never knew you were acquainted with so many facts about semen
Mulder, that is so not something I want to talk about before I've
looked up from chasing a stray noodle. "What do you want first,
coffee or shower?"
tempted as she was by the thought of a caffeine hit, Scully decided
on a shower first. She would have preferred a bath to soak away
yesterdays mud but another shower this morning should go a long way
to making her feel reasonably presentable again.
hot shower I think."
don't be too long, we have a briefing in an hour."
Springs Field Office.
cleared his throat again as he swept his eyes over the assembled
agents. His gaze rested on ASAC Logan for a fraction of a second
longer than the others but apart from an unblinking stare, the man
showed no reaction at all.
sure you realize that profiling is not an exact science, but it is a
useful tool when used in conjunction with the more standard
investigative techniques. Having said that I would also like to
point out that the groundwork that every member of this team and the
police department has put in has not only made my job easier, but I
am hoping has also saved the lives of any future victims."
Mulder paused and took several swallows from the bottle of water on
the table behind him.
you are all aware, prostitute murders are not unusual, a disgruntled
john, a cheated pusher, an angry pimp, almost anyone could have
committed these murders. Prostitution is a high-risk occupation with
a low risk of discovery for whomever decides to target such women
have always been a favorite among serial killers; Jack the Ripper is
a prime example. Why? Prostitutes are easy prey, they are easily
accessible, will talk to anyone who is a potential target and go
with that person without knowing who he is.
we are looking at is a man who has a hatred of prostitutes, where
did this hatred come from? Several possibilities arise; he was
involved with a woman who prostituted herself for some reason, maybe
he believes that prostitutes are committing a sin by charging money
for something that God has given freely to woman and man, perhaps it
is displaced anger at his mother or his wife.
are three base motives of the serial killer, domination,
manipulation and control. The killer may have felt inadequate and
inferior but when he was killing his victims, they were completely
under his control.
was his motivation, prostitutes are intrinsically connected to sex
and they openly flaunt their sex which may somehow tie into the
Mulder finished off his water, Scully took the opportunity to
observe her fellow agents, they were all engrossed in what Mulder
was saying, even ASAC Logan, she discovered when she covertly
glanced his way.
recommenced speaking, this time he began to pace back and forth in
front of the long table where the evidence and photos were
displayed. "I have a rudimentary profile, it is not complete
but it may help us in looking at things in a new light." His
voice had developed a distinctive husky sound but he continued on
nevertheless. "Our unsub is male, obviously, he is between the
ages of fifty and sixty-five years. I believe him to be unmarried
but perhaps living in a de-facto relationship and I also believe
that in his past, he did something or something was done to him
involving water of some kind." Mulder's voice died on his last
words and he began coughing. Scully moved to his side and placed a
gentle hand on his back.
okay." He rasped breathlessly, reaching for the empty water
flicked her eye across to the seated agents in an unspoken request;
Jim Wilson was first to his feet. The other agents took his movement
as a signal to start asking questions.
did you work out the age of the unsub?"
refer that question to Agent Scully, who knows much more about this
subject than I do." Mulder croaked out.
you Agent Mulder." Scully replied dryly. She collected her
notes and waited until Agent Wilson had returned with some bottles
of water before commencing. "As a forensic pathologist, I deal
in the evidence side of crimes. A dead body can impart an absolutely
astonishing amount of information if you look in the right places.
In this case, after strangling his victims the unsub treated himself
to oral sex." She smiled at the varied responses from around
the table. "I know, I had the same reaction, however because of
that particular deed we were able to extract from the evidence he
left behind some interesting information." Scully paused and
gave a small smile. "I apologize in advance for the subject
matter." She took a deep breath before continuing. "A
males ejaculate is made up of the fluid that supports the sperm.
Besides sperm, semen is made up of fluids, sixty-five percent from
the seminal vesicles, thirty to thirty-five percent from the
prostate and five percent from the vasa. It contains citric acid,
free amino acids, fructose, enzymes phosphorycholine, prostaglandin,
potassium and zinc. The amount of ejaculate produced can vary from a
few drops to a couple of teaspoons." There were a few mumbled
comments at this revelation and Scully shot Mulder a quick glance.
He was leaning back against the table, water bottle in hand and
cleared her throat and continued. "The volume of ejaculate can
differ due to many things, low hydration, excessive ejaculation and
age. However the production of sperm is governed by age. Sperm
motility reduces by point zero seven percent every year; that means
by age fifty; the motility has reduced by fifty percent. Our unsub
has a sperm motility rate of forty-seven percent, which therefore
puts him in an age bracket of over fifty and under sixty-five."
relinquished the floor and took her seat. Once again Mulder swept
his gaze across the agents. "For the time being we can only
continue to review all information pertaining to this case until it
is solved. I need to be kept up to date with any new facts, no
matter how trivial they may seem. With any luck we will get a break,
remember more often than not it is something small and insignificant
which can turn the tide in our favor. Your job is to find these
pieces and my job is to put everything together into a cohesive
report that will hopefully identify our killer. I thank you for your
time and attention this morning."
questions were immediately fired at the D.C. agents; they both
answered the ones pertaining to their respective expertise until
finally Mulder's voice gave out altogether. At that point, ASAC
Logan stood up.
you agents for your reports, everyone has their assignments, barring
any breaks in the case, we will meet again tomorrow morning at
seven-thirty." With that announcement, Logan turned on his heel
and stalked out of the room.
narrowed her eyes at the retreating ASAC before she turned to
Mulder. The expressive shrug of his shoulders was all the answer she
received until she heard someone clearing their throat.
both turned to see Jim Wilson behind them. His hands were shoved
deep into his trouser pockets. "I've known Ryan for a while and
if I've learned something about him, it's that he is extremely frank
with his opinions, regardless of whether he is right of wrong, he
says what he believes. Don't get me wrong, I don't think he was fair
in his treatment of you, but he is a damn good ASAC." Wilson
held up his hand to stem Scully's retort. "I'm sorry you both
got the reception from him that you did."
shouldn't be apologizing on his behalf." Scully declared.
shrugged his shoulders in deprecation. "In all the time that
I've known Ryan Logan, not once have I ever seen or heard of him
apologizing to anyone." He met their eyes with a rueful look
before turning and walking away.
pushed her sleeve back and peered tiredly at her watch; they had
been in Saratoga Springs for a little over a week and the days had
taken on a doleful air of repetition. She leaned back and looked at
her partner across the room. His head was resting on one hand as he
read over the hundreds of pages of reports that had been generated
by the killer dubbed as The River Strangler by the towns press. As
she watched his head slowly began to sink before he jerked himself
upright again. Scully sighed in resignation and pushed herself away
from the table as Mulder repeated the act. Making her way over to
his side she braced herself for his inevitable reaction to the
suggestion that he call it quits for the night. She knew what his
response would be, somewhere in the paperwork that was spread out in
front of him was the clue they were looking for and he knew he would
find it if she would just let him be.
had made him moody and irritable. The tension in his bowed shoulders
was noticeable. Scully knew his temperature would be on the rise
again, he wasn't sleeping well, his appetite was virtually
non-existent and he had also been afflicted by a nasty case of
laryngitis. She suspected it was the latter that was generating his
foul temper; Mulder was not as a rule a loquacious person but when
confronted with the incapability of talking in anything more than a
whisper, his patience had worn thin very quickly.
conference room door opened before she reached her partner, ASAC
Logan stepped into the room, his eyes immediately going to where the
agent sat hunched over the table.
cursed under her breath and quickly completed the steps necessary to
bring her to Mulder's side in moral support. Logan looked up as
Scully drew near, he showed no reaction to her presence other than a
slight narrowing of his eyes. Instead he focused his attention on
the back of Mulder's head and cleared his throat.
screwed his eyes shut as the words danced on the paper before him,
he was tired, incredibly so and his head ached with a vengeance but
he couldn't stop now. He knew the answer had to be here somewhere
and the longer it took him the more possibility there was of another
murder being committed. He was so deep in thought that he didn't
notice Scully beside him nor did he hear the sound of a throat
clearing behind him.
frowned as he cleared his throat again, he was not used to being
ignored and he was determined not to let the D.C. agent get away
with it. Just as he reached out to pull the agent around, Scully's
hand shot across his. "Sir, let me."
she laid her hand on Mulder's shoulder, a smile crinkling the corner
of her mouth at his barely audible preoccupied response.
a bit longer, please Scully."
stooped down and spoke in his ear. "Mulder, ASAC Logan wants
words startled him, grabbing at his glasses as they slid down his
nose, Mulder's head flew up. "What?" He whispered.
want to know what you're doing Agent Mulder." Logan stated
had learned within a day of contracting laryngitis to keep his words
to a minimum. "Profile sir."
stared at him for a moment. "You look like shit, when did you
last get some sleep."
his pathetic excuse for a voice, Mulder replied. "Last night
for long I'll warrant, am I correct Agent Scully?"
Agent Mulder doesn't sleep well at the best of times."
took his glasses off and polished the lenses with a handkerchief
before speaking again. "Well I think it's about time you called
it a night, both of you." His eyes included Scully. He stared
impatiently at Mulder as the agent attempted a protest. "I
could make that an order agent, I'd prefer not to however."
shoulders sagged as he reluctantly nodded his acquiescence.
I'll see you in the morning, usual time." Logan swept out of
the room, leaving two stunned agents in his wake.
telephones shrill ring cut through the darkness, startling both
occupants of the room awake. Mulder reached out and grasped the
receiver, stunned when his larynx refused to co-operate with even a
whisper. The disembodied voice on the other end grew anxious when
there was no response.
hello, Agent Mulder, are you there?"
his teeth in aggravation, Mulder passed the phone across to Scully.
"Hello, this is Agent Scully."
Scully, I'm sorry, I was after Agent Mulder."
all right, who is this?"
sorry, it's Agent Stott, do you want me to try Agent Mulder
that's okay, what can I do for you Agent Stott." Scully held
the phone so Mulder could listen at the same time.
I remember that Agent Mulder said he wanted to be told about
anything that might have a bearing on this case, so I thought, that
is I found out tonight, oh, I apologize for ringing at this
rolled her eyes at the young mans faltering explanation. "What
is it, Agent Stott" She repeated.
I was at the station earlier and there was a radio call about a guy
they had booked for a traffic misdemeanor, which in itself is
nothing much, you know maybe I should talk to Agent Mulder."
sighed in frustration. "Don't worry about it Agent Stott, Agent
Mulder is here, he can hear every word you're saying."
there? I'm sorry Agent Scully, you confused me when you answered the
phone..." The agent fell silent for a moment. "Um, Agent
Scully, I did ring Agent Mulder's room, didn't I?"
Agent Stott, you did." Scully sighed elbowing Mulder as he made
a hurry up gesture.
that's okay then...I...um...oh...I see."
smirked as he visualized the imaginary light bulb that had just
blinked on over Stott's head. Scully simply shook her head.
"Agent Stott, would you like to tell us why you're ringing at
this time of the morning." She prompted gently.
yes, of course. Well, I was saying that there was a guy..."
we got that part, what was it that caught your interest?"
well when they did a check on his name, it came up that um, he has a
expression hardened and he leapt off the bed and began grabbing his
clothes. Scully continued to pry the information out of the
stammering young agent.
Stott, what was his offence?"
he was convicted of murdering two kids about fifteen years
placed her hand across the mouthpiece. "Mulder, I don't think
he's our guy, he's got a conviction for killing children."
Mulder shook his head and continued to get dressed, Scully returned
her attention to the phone. "Agent Stott are you still at the
station? All right Agent Mulder and I are on our way." She
covered the phone again. "Do you want to let Logan know?"
At Mulder's emphatic nod, she instructed Stott to contact his
superior and hung up. She dressed swiftly. "Mulder, it's a
complete change of pattern, what's the likelihood of this man being
the River Strangler?''
Mulder's voice let him down, he clenched his teeth and looked around
for something to write on, spying some napkins from one of their
meals he quickly scrawled across one. 'I know, but it's our best
pulled her shoes on and pursed her lips as she joined her impatient
partner at the door. "Mulder." The single world held a
wealth of implication, skepticism, understanding, compassion and
closed his eyes and basked in the feeling for a few seconds before
straightening his shoulders and ushering Scully out the door.
leaned against the cold brick wall of the interview room; he kept
his eyes fixed upon the grey-haired man sitting on one side of the
long table in the centre of the room. ASAC Logan was sitting on the
opposite side of the table, a file spread out in front of him.
According to his criminal record Joseph Geiger was fifty-two years
old and had resided in Gilbert Corners for a little under twelve
months with his common law wife Patricia Meyer. They had located to
the small town after several attempts by Geiger to blend back into
society in other towns had gone seriously awry once the residents
discovered whom he was. As a result of the difficulties he had
experienced, someone had come up with the idea of suppressing his
record, the parole board had decreed he was unlikely to offend again
and psychiatric reports had backed up their findings. Their strategy
had worked, so well in fact that the local police had been
thoroughly amazed and considerably put out to discover that they had
a former child killer in their back yard and no one had seen fit to
had been very co-operative and had answered all the questions put to
him willingly; at first he had been slightly defensive, wondering
why the FBI had been called in when all he had done was run a stop
sign. They had managed to placate him with assurances that they were
merely updating their records. Logan's questioning had shifted to
the details of the manslaughter offences and Geiger surprised
everyone by how eagerly he had imparted details of his crimes. After
two hours Logan had gestured to Mulder to talk outside the room.
the profiler Mulder, what do you think?"
like to ask him some more questions, but I believe the man in that
room is the one we're looking for." Mulder replied in a
gravelly voice. "We can't get DNA, but if we show a photo of
him to some of the other women, one of them might remember him, once
we place him in the area, we at least have grounds for questioning
nodded in agreement. "I'll get the photo and have Stott and
Britten show it around. We're gonna have to let him go but I've seen
the Captain about keeping this guy under surveillance and he's
organizing that as we speak."
came as no surprise to Mulder that Geiger was positively identified
by several of the areas working women as a regular customer, his
preference for oral attention was noted by more than one woman and
even though another woman remembered him wanting to put his hands
around her neck, they confirmed that he had never caused them
trouble even when none of them had wanted to accede to his requests.
consultation with Logan, a decision to bring Geiger back in for more
questioning had been made. Surprisingly, he had been quite agreeable
which gave rise to the theory that he was another john albeit one
with a criminal record, who had been in the wrong place at the wrong
disagreed with this speculation and over some very vocal protests;
Geiger was returned for another interview.
corridor outside the interview room was crowded in complete contrast
to the inside, the only occupants being Geiger, Mulder and Logan.
Scully had opposed Mulder's insistence on conducting the interview
citing his illness as a principal reason. She was only partially
swayed by the inclusion of Logan and currently had her eyes fixed to
the one-way window, observing her partner's every movement.
the minute Geiger entered the room, Mulder had watched him
carefully, his questions were cautiously worded in an attempt to get
the man to volunteer information. Geiger denied ever frequenting the
area where the prostitutes worked, his claim of not wanting to catch
anything sounding hollow to Mulder. As soon as he was informed that
several women had identified him, his shoulders slumped.
I guess it over then isn't it." He asked for a map and quietly
began pointing out the sites where he had dumped the women's bodies.
He went on to calmly recite how he had murdered each woman. Mulder's
stomach heaved as he described his actions right down to how their
faces had looked as his fingers tightened around their throats and
he had stolen their last breath. The illicit thrill he had
experienced as his excitement overwhelmed him and he completed his
to disguise his disgust at the man's recitation, Mulder dropped his
eyes to his hands clasped together across his notes.
monologue came to an abrupt halt, Mulder slid his gaze back to the
man, taken aback at the simmering anger that had replaced the
composed acceptance. "Mr. Geiger?"
don't like me do you?"
hesitated a moment as he desperately tried to work some moisture
back into his throat. "Whether I do or not is immaterial,
that's not why we are here."
think you're better than me." Geiger's eyes held his own in an
did too you know, the women, and all they are is trash, walking the
streets, putting out for any man who has enough money to pay for
their favors. Not me though, I wasn't good enough for them, they
wouldn't do what I wanted them to. Kept shaking their heads when I
asked 'em... 'no we don't do that' they said."
eyes widened as Geiger vented his reasons for killing six women. He
was aware of the heightened tension in the room, he noticed as Logan
subtly altered his stance in response to the perp's condemnation of
the women. Even so, he was unprepared for what happened next.
I showed 'em." Geiger's final statement was punctuated by a
swift move that took him around the table to Mulder's side in an
reactions dulled by fatigue, Mulder registered the big man's actions
and pushed his chair away from the table. The legs caught on the
floor and he felt himself falling backwards as Geiger's hands closed
around his throat.
strong fingers began to squeeze his neck as he hit the floor,
peripherally he was aware of other movement in the room and the
sound of several voices, but the blood beating in his ears drowned
out the words. Mulder forced his fingers around Geiger's strong
digits trying to ease the excruciating pressure but his depleted
physical reserves were no match. Slowly, he felt his vision darken
as his lungs strained to pull in a breath of oxygen.
soon as Geiger lunged, Logan was in action, incapable of bodily
prying the enormous man off the fallen agent, he drew his weapon and
called out a warning as he angled for a clear shot.
door slammed open behind him and the room filled with agents, shouts
of warning came in tandem with Scully's higher pitched calls to her
partner. Logan's warnings went unheeded by Geiger as he continued to
squeeze the breath from the limp man beneath him. Logan fired a
warning shot into the wall and moved again endeavoring to position
himself so that any shot he took would not injure Mulder as well. He
was astonished when a small redheaded dynamo whirled past him and
latched onto the behemoth crouched over her gasping partner.
landed on Geiger's back and reached around digging her fingernails
into his face. A roar of pain echoed her actions and Geiger shook
himself throwing the petite agent off his back. Scully's tactic
worked as Logan took advantage of the change of position and aimed a
shot at his left shoulder. The bullet flew straight through the
muscle impacting into the floor just inches away from Mulder's face.
Geiger slapped a hand to his injury and collapsed on his side
rolling away from the gray-faced agent.
crawled across the floor to where Mulder lay gasping like a fish out
of water, large purple fingerprints marring the base of his neck.
it easy." She soothed, gently caressing his cheek. Mulder's
eyes were like saucers as he frenziedly tried to suck life-giving
oxygen in through his badly bruised throat. Suddenly his body
spasmed as a paroxysm of coughing broke free. Scully scooted around
behind him, lifting and supporting his upper body against hers.
hurt to breathe, it hurt to swallow and he was damned sure it was
going to hurt like blazes to talk, but he had to try. "Scul....Geiger..."
shot him, but he's alive."
press of bodies standing around the fallen perp parted and two EMT's
ran into the room, one stopped by Geiger and the other continued on
dropping down by Mulder's side.
can you tell me your name?"
lips were turning blue as he tried to inhale air into his lungs but
the attempt produced another outburst of coughing that made
breathing nearly impossible. Tears squeezed out from behind his
closed eyelids as his chest was squeezed with a band of pain. "Muh...der."
Fox Mulder." Scully supplied.
Agent Mulder, my name is Brad, I'm just going to have a quick look
at you." The EMT palpated around the enlarged veins on Mulder's
neck, muttering a quick apology as his patient winced. "Marked
tenderness of the larynx, evidence of petechial hemorrhage." He
lifted one of Mulder's hands and inspected his fingers. "Discoloration
of lips and extremities." Mulder felt fingers pulling at his
shirt and then coldness placed against his chest. "Congestion
and crackling in both lungs."
got the flu." Scully provided, she ran her forefinger up and
down his cheek watching as he slowly moved his eyes back and forth.
Gus." Brad twisted his upper body as he addressed his partner.
"How's your guy?"
brushed his straw-colored hair off his forehead and smiled.
"He's stable, he's not happy, but he'll live." He crawled
across the floor dragging his equipment box with him. "How's
things over here?" He took note of Mulder's rapid shallow
breathing. "Sir, I'm going to put a mask over your face, I need
you to take slow deep breaths."
lowered her head and spoke softly into his ear. "Breathe with
me Mulder, in...out...in...that's it." She placed her hand on
the oxygen slowly permeated through his starving blood cells,
Mulder's head began to clear. He opened his eyes and peered around
him. Two paramedics were kneeling on his either side and ASAC Logan
was crouched down by his feet a frown creasing his forehead.
above him caught his eye and he peered up to see Scully pushing a
lock of hair behind her ear. A brilliant smile lit her face.
Mulder lifted his hand, sighing contentedly as he felt small fingers
clasp through his. He yearned to feel her lips against his but
before he could act on his desire, he fell asleep.
were murmuring in low tones beside him but Mulder was not awake
enough to hear what they were saying. He rolled his head sideways
and felt something catch on his cheek, as he lifted his hand to move
the offending object it was caught in a firm warm grip. Slowly he
opened his eyes, blinking several times as a pair of bespectacled
brown eyes gazed back at him.
Mulder." Skinner's deep baritone greeted him.
disengaging his hand, Mulder laid it back on the covers. His eyes
roved about the room before settling on the small figure seated on
his other side. A feeble smile lifted the corners of his mouth.
"Hey." The single word was more like a heavy exhalation
but it had the desired results. Scully leaned forward taking his
hand in both of hers and pressing it to her lips.
moved and stroked the tips of his fingers gently down her cheek
watching as Scully closed her eyes and leaned into the caress. She
claimed his hand again before lifting a glass of water from the
bedside table turning the straw towards his mouth. He sipped the
cool liquid slowly reveling as it slid slowly down his aching
throat. After several swallows he nodded his fill and turned
questioning eyes on his partner.
shifted in the low chair glancing at Skinner before beginning an
explanation. "I suppose you want to know what the damage
nodded, he opened his mouth to speak and was surprised when Scully
laid her fingers across his lips. "You're going to find it hard
to speak for a few days, you've got severe bruising to your larynx
cartilage." She pointed to the pulse oximeter on his forefinger
and then ran her fingers along the nasal cannula. "Your oxygen
levels were severely depleted, so you are going to have to put up
with this for a couple of days."
pursed her lips at the expression on his face. "Don't use that
look on me Mulder, it won't do you an ounce of good. You have to
stay under observation for at least forty-eight hours to rule out
any airway and pulmonary complications." Her roving fingers
drew his attention to the IV in the back of his hand which up until
that moment he had not noticed. "You have mild dehydration due
to the flu and will be getting a top up for a few more hours."
flicked his eyes across to Skinner and raised his eyebrows
quizzically. Clearing his throat, Skinner rested a hand briefly on
his agents shoulder. "ASAC Logan called me Mulder." He
smiled briefly as surprise registered in the hazel eyes. "He
has asked for an official commendation to be added to your file. He
seems to have a very high opinion of your flair for profiling and
added that you showed great dedication in working while you were
had trouble believing what Skinner was saying and tipped his head
back to Scully who shrugged her shoulders in bemusement.
continued. "It's my understanding that ASAC Logan wanted to be
here to congratulate you in person, but he had other pressing
demands, he asked me to convey his apologies."
emitted a breathless gasp at the same time as Scully choked.
"Sir, did you just say that ASAC Logan apologized?"
Agent Scully, why do you have a problem with that?"
sir, not at all." She grinned at her partner who was shaking
his head in amazement. "There's only one explanation
partner raised his eyebrows as Scully's eyes shone with devilment.
"It must be an X-File."