Title: The Faceless Soul
Author: Sara Dobie
Washington, D.C. 1988
"He's here. I'm sure of it."
Reggie Purdue shrugged his shoulders gently. "And who would know this nutzo better than Spooky?" He took his gun out of its holster and smiled. A few of the men snickered slightly. "Spread out. We're going to catch this guy if it kills us."
"Knock on wood." Fox Mulder turned toward his operation leader and smirked. He took out his own gun slowly, unsure if he really wanted to use it. He was fairly new in the bureau, and he had never had to really use it. The thought of shooting another human being perfectly horrified him.
Mulder was young. He had gotten out of college only two years before after studying criminal psychology for three years at Oxford University. He had not expected his life to simply fall into place as it inevitably had for this bright, youthful, man. He had been recruited to Quantico Academy almost as soon as he had stepped out of the front of the college. There, he had earned a nickname he had come to dispise: Spooky. Although he knew it to be truthful, it still bothered him. After leaving Quantico, he had immediatly been assigned to the Vilent Crime Section of the bureau because of his natural apttitude for profiling murderers. He was one of the only agents that was so amazingly talented at crawling inside the brain of the killer. After making quite an impressive capture of the infamous bank robber, John Barnett, Agent Mulder had finally been accepted by the rest of the agents.
Mulder thoroughly enjoyed his work with the VCS. Although at times, his teem leader gave him looks that just about screamed "You're insane," he had taken a liking to Agent Purdue. They had become friends after working together, and they seemed to always be watching out for one another.
Agent Mulder stalked up the rickety staircase in pursuit of a killer. His name was Mitchell Ghallager, and even the name Satan was not evil enough for him. He had already killed four people in the past month, and Mulder was going to put him away before he had the chance to kill again. Even the most seasoned agents sometimes had to leave the crime scene for fear of getting sick all over the evidence. Ghallager had become infamous because of the fact that he bisected his victims. He cut them from the center of their foreheads all the way down with such a perfect incision that it appeared a skilled physician had done the dirty work. He was fond of leaving messages for the police written on the walls in the victim's blood. It was a simple calling card that Mulder planned to never see again.
The man smiled from the shadows. The young and unsuspecting FBI agent walked be slowly with his gun drawn. He looked so uncomfortable holding the weapon, Ghallager almost burst out laughing. He knew this young man. He knew the short, brown hair that always seemed to fall perfectly into place on his forehead. He knew the hazel eyes that seemed to shine whenever he came upon another clue. Ghallager had been watching this young man from the beginning, waiting for him to finally stumble onto the insane individual that had killed those people. Ghallager even knew this agent by name: Fox Mulder. He was a criminal profiler that had figured out how his mind worked. No one else seemed to understand except this bright, new agent. They never would have discovered his hideout if it wasn't for Fox Mulder. They never would have been able to stop the killings without Mulder's fullproof profile on Ghallager. This was why this young and talented agent had to die.
Mulder opened one of the many doors in the upstairs slowly and with some hesitation. His heart was beating to catch this man, and he would do anything to stop him.
"Spooky?" Purdue's voice echoed up the steep staircase to Mulder.
"What?" He was exhaustively wearied by these constant interruptions. If Ghallager had ever been there, he was surely gone by now.
"Be careful up there. This guy is a real psycho, and he's about twice your size." He scratched his forehead nervously, hoping that Mulder would actually listen to what he was saying to him. "We've found a few bloody knives down here. Call us if you need help."
"Yeah, yeah. He's probably long gone by now." He shook his head in disappointment. So close, but so far.
After he was sure Purdue had left, he took a cautious step into the room with his gun pointed in front of him. He was taking no chances. If Ghallager was still in the house, he had to be caught. Mulder could not let him kill again. If he did one more thing before he died, it would be to stop Ghallager.
Ghallager waited patiently behind the door. If he had one thing, it was patience. It takes a lot of patience to cut a human being perfectly in half. He glanced through the crack in the splintering door and waited for the perfect moment when Mulder was directly in front of the door.
Mulder tried to see through the darkness of the windowless room, but he was not very successful in doing so. He silently cursed himself for not bringing a flashlight with him. He pointed the gun to the floor as his eyes adjusted to the blackness. The room was almost completely empty except for a small table in the corner. The floor was filthy with dust and dried mud from footprints that had dried years before. He held back a sneeze as he stepped further into the room.
The door flung at him unexpectedly, sending him flying onto the floor. A wave of dust blurred his vision. The gun had gone soaring into the darkness, and as his hands searched the floor, they found only emptiness. He didn't want to look back over his shoulder, because he knew who he would see. As the door closed slowly, Mulder silently prayed that Purdue had heard the sudden noise.
Mulder stared helplessly into the face of Ghallager. He was more horrifying than Mulder ever could have guessed. He had a long, thin face with an incredibly dark complexion. He almost appeared Negro in the darkness, but Mulder knew better. He had small, beady eyes that appeared perfectly insane. They shined in the little light that was circulating around them. His dark, brown hair was incredibly disshelved and plastered back upon his head. Purdue had been right. He was almost twice as big as Mulder. He was at least seven feet tall with thick arms that bulged with muscle. Now, Mulder understood why the victims never appeared to have struggled. How could they possibly win against this monster?
"Hello, Agent Mulder." A terrible grin spread across his hideous face. He licked his upper lip nervously. It was a terrible habit that Ghallager could never seem to break.
Mulder's eyes widened. How on earth did this man know his name? Could he have been planning this all along? This could not possibly have been a trap for Mulder. He had never really met this frightening man in all his life.
A small glint of light hitting metal blinded Mulder suddenly. He opened his eyes to see a small but seemingly sharp knife clutched between Ghallager's fingers. Mulder recognized this blade. He had seen it at almost every crime scene Ghallager had been responsible for. It was the knife he used to bisect his victims!
"It really is too bad I don't have the time to make you into one of my masterpeices. I'd really enjoy it. Sadly, I only have time to murder and run." The smile disappeared from his face as he dove at Mulder's throat.
Mulder saw this as the instant he should be moving out of the way. He rolled rapidly to his side, hoping that this immense figure would not land directly on top of him. Mulder held his breath as Ghallager's hefty figure crashed to the ground sending a violent vibration through the ground.
Purdue jumped from downstairs. He stared at the ceiling in curiousity. He glanced at his men. "Who's up there?"
He jumped to his feet and pulled out his gun.
Mulder lurched to his feet and glanced quickly around the room in search of his gun. It couldn't have gone too far. Besides, the room was small. He sensed movement from over his shoulder. He turned quickly and caught Ghallager's shoulder directly in the stomach. He tried to yell out, but the air had been knocked out of his system. He struggled to get the hell away from Ghallager, knowing that the knife was surely nearing his stomach. Out of the corner of his eye, he sighted the pistol. It was almost completely immersed in the thick dust. He pulled quickly away and dove toward the gun. Ghallager had fallen with him, and he was close behind. He had noticed the gun, too. He knew what his victim was shooting for.
Mulder gasped in agony as the knife was brutally impaled into his side. He could almost hear Ghallager's thoughts of victory. He was sure to win, now. He pulled the knife roughly out of Mulder's side and sat up. He had to get to his jugular and escape before it was too late.
Mulder's shaking hand clutched tightly to the butt of the weapon and held his breath. He had to get control of the pain that was raging through his system. He felt Ghallager getting closer and closer, knowing that his goal was about to be reached. Mulder had other plans. Now he knew why agents were always able to shoot at people. He closed his eyes and pulled the trigger. He opened them just in time to see what he had done. The bullet had only grazed Ghallager's forehead, causing a trickle of blood to fall down his cheek. But the pressure of the bullet had caused his head to fly back and hit the table in the corner. Mulder felt like laughing. He was alive, and glad of it.
"Mulder!" The door fell back onto the dirty ground as Purdue leaped inside the small room. The other men follow close behind him. Their eyes took in the scene with shock. Spooky had been right again!
Mulder stood up slowly and carefully, solicitous to not rip the wound in his side further. His shirt was already dyed with the crimson color of his own blood as he shuffled toward Purdue. One of the men jumped forward to examin Ghallager. They couldn't prosecute a dead man, after all.
Mulder put his hand on Purdue's shoulder, using himfor support. "Call an ambulance."
Purdue shook his head. "I'm sure Ghallager's all right. We want him good and healthy for his life sentence."
Mulder swallowed hard. "It's not for him. It's for me."
The red light reflected brightly off the many police cars that
lined the area. Mulder glanced at Purdue. "Are you all
right? You look awfully pale."
Purdue shook his head. "I shouldn't have let you go up there alone. I don't know what I was thinking. You could have been killed, for God's sake. Killed on your second case. That would have been a nice addition to your resume."
"Don't beat yourself up about it. It wasn't your fault. Hell, I was sure he had already left. I was the one that wasn't careful."
"There you go taking the blame, as usual. You've really got to stop doing that."
"Would you prefer it if I blamed you for everything?" He arched his eyebrow.
Purdue laughed, glad that Mulder had no hard feeling. "Hey, you go ahead and keep blaming yourself if that's your alternative."
As they pulled Ghallager from the building, Mulder's hair raised. Even though he was clad with a straight jacket, Mulder still felt unsafe. He still didn't know how this psychopath had known so much about him, and he wasn't sure he really wanted to know.
Ghallager bared his teeth as he walked by. "This isn't over, Fox. You haven't won, yet. You'll never win!" He laughed an earpiercing laugh as they shoved him into the back of the police car. The door slammed and silence surrounded them yet again.
New York City, 1997
The group cowered behind the thick glass as they awaited the
death of the man that had caused them such pain. The four
families cried loudly into their black hankercheifs. They would
mourn this day and celebrate this night, for Mitchell Ghallager
was finally going to die. He had taken away so much from each of
them, and it was now time for their payback.
Kristi Smith sobbed loudly into her small, cotton hankercheif. Her eyes were already red with all the tears she had shed that day. She had waited for this day for the past nine years, and it had finally come. This terrible man had taken her mother from her when she was only five years old, and she would never forget it. Although she had never seen or met the man, she felt such a burning hatred toward him. The only image that had stayed with Kristi all those years was the sight of her mother's slaughtered body sitting in her desk chair. Her eyes had been wide and lifeless. She almost screamed as she recalled that her mother had been found in two pieces. Her father stood close to the thick glass and stared out at the man being strapped into the chair. Kristi was not sure she would be able to watch. She had only hoped that she would be able to see this man dead, and her heart would finally be settled.
Her eyes scanned the room. A man with a dark hood stood in the corner clutching the throw switch that Kristi wished she could throw. His eyes were dark and lifeless even through the hood. Ghallager's immense figure had been strapped into the chair tightly. No one wanted him to be comfortable in death. They all knew exactly where he was headed for.
As the switch was thrown, Kristi's eyes linked with this horrible man that had taken her mother away. They screamed out to her in a voice unheard by the rest of the room. Her hand shook slightly as she continued to stare into her very soul. A feirce fight was happening, but no one knew it.
And Kristi.....................was losing.
FBI Headquarters, New York City
Jill Markus winked at the kind man behind the counter as she
poured another sugan packet into her black coffee. She took a sip
and swallowed whole heartedly. She needed to wake up. She had had
another late night with a man she had met in a bar the evening
before. He had said that he would call, but she knew he was
lying. Jill was a one night stand kind of woman. She walked
gracefully on her long, thin legs that men always fell for. Her
waist was tiny and fragile, and with a full chest and slim arms
she was the most attractive woman in the entire building. Her ful
lips were always covered with sharp, red lipstick, and her dark
blue eyes always surrounded by dark mascara that lengthened her
lashes to the point of illegal length. She always wore her long,
curly, black hair in a tight and fashionable bun on the back of
her head, giving her a look of sleak sophistication. Another
young man gaped at her from a seat in the small cafeteria as she
walked by. She threw him a wink and was on her way. She was used
to men staring at her, and if they didn't, she instantly guessed
that they were gay. Who could turn her down? She took another
slow and sensuous sip of her coffee as she passed out of the
She turned toward the sound and smiled. "Hello, ladies." A small circle of women had been created in the hallway. Jill knew them all well. She had been working with them for the past seven years, and she had always loved talking with them.
Kyle Rehard and Sarah Beedee smiled at their friend. They knew her well, and they enjoyed her company. She was a humorous person that was willing to do just about anything. Besides, Jill drew men's attention in their direction. She was almost like a magnet.
"How was last night?" Kyle inquired.
"He was all right. Although, he was kind of an asshole. A girl can never find a real man when she wants one." Jill touched the half-empty pack of cigarettes in her pocket. They seemed to be calling out to her, but she'd save them for later.
"I'm sorry. He was cute, and he seemed nice." Kyle and Jill had spent the evening together going club hopping. They were both heavy partiers, which made their friendship even stronger. "We've got to find you a boyfriend."
"Forget it. You know I hate relationships. They never work out. Let's just leave it at that." She crossed her arms and smirked. "Men are pigs. Show me a perfect man and I'll show you Jesus Christ."
"Actually," Sarah smiled revealing that she had some news, "I spotted quite a specimen this morning."
Kyle leaned closer. "Oh, do tell. I could use a good love story."
"I was bored to tears sitting behind my computer, waiting for prince charming to come and steal me away when this perfectly gorgeous guy walks up to me. I'm sure he's from Washington on a case because he was lost. He asked me for directions, and I pointed him in the right direction." She sighed. "That was my chance encounter with Prince Charming."
Jill smiled. "Don't leave me hanging! Let's hear the details. What did this guy look like?"
A smile spread across Sarah's face as she went on, "Well, he was tall and thin, maybe six feet. He had short, brown hair and hazel eyes that could kill. Oh, and when he smiled, he had this tiny dimple on his cheek. I just about melted." She laughed. "He probably thinks I'm an idiot."
"Oh, that's all right. We all think you're an idiot, too." Jill smiled as her friend slapped her shoulder gently.
"Thank you, so much!" She smiled and glanced around the area. She knew she had to go back to work soon, but she wished she could just stand there and talk with her friends. Her eyes widened. "Oh, God, there he is!" She pointed her long finger toward the cafeteria.
Jill spun around and squinted. "Where?"
"He's in line behind the short, red head. The one smiling at something the woman just said."
Jill smiled. "Oh, God, that's a nice peice of work."
Kyle slapped her on the shoulder. "Stop undressing him with your eyes."
"Who me?" Jill continued to watch this stranger as he paid the young man behind the counter. "I would never do such a thing!" She turned back towards her friends as he and his red-headed friend walked slowly toward the door of the cafeteria. She had a plan, as she always did. She winked quickly at Sarah and Kyle as she put her hand to her forehead and fell backwards softly.
His strong arms wrapped around her as she fell and held her tight. She laid limply in his arms for a moment and gasped for breath. She wrapped her arms innocently for support as she acted like a woman in distress and nuzzled her nose in his neck.
"Are you all right?" His satiny voice touched her ears like Cupid's arrow wounding her heart. He sounded truly concerned.
She opened her eyes slowly and looked up at him. "Oh, thank you. I just felt so faint and dizzy all of a sudden." She pushed off from him and smiled. "I'm sorry I fell on you."
"That's all right." He smiled politely and resumed his path with the short, red-headed woman. He had not even noticed how beautiful she was! What was wrong with him?
She watched him walk away. "He smells wonderful! And that voice was like satin." She smiled and shook her head.
Kyle laughed. "That was smooth. Very smooth."
Sarah shook her head. "You're totally insane."
Jill walked slowly down the hallway back to her office. She
had to get back to work. She had been working on a dumb wire tap
case for the past week, and it was truly going nowhere. Her only
hope was that she would be reassigned to a more worthwhile case.
As she sat behind her desk, her thoughts lingered dreamily on the
gentlemen that had saved her from tumbling to the ground. He had
smelled so good. She wouldn't mind nuzzling her nose in his neck
"Hey, Jill!" A young man hurried toward her. He was handsome with his short, blonde hair and raging blue eyes, but he was too young for her taste. He liked her, though, and he never gave up his flirtatious attitude.
"Hentges wants you in his office, now. He says you'll like what he has to say." He smiled.
"I'm probably fired." She stood up slowly and touched his shoulder. "Thank, honey."
"Always glad to help." He watched her walk away and sighed. "God, she's beautiful."
Jill took a seat nervously in front of her boss. She had never
gotten along with figures above her because she simply hated
being bossed around. It was only her way, and that was the way it
would always be for her.
"We chose you for this case because we know of your interests in strange murders like this one. Besides, we think that you'll take care of business and catch this psycho. We've been leaving you with cases that barely reach your high standards, and I think that this one will truly show your talents."
She smiled and nodded. She was never one to turn down praise. "Thank you, sir. I won't let you down."
"I have no doubt in your talents. Two agents from the bureau in Washington have come up here to help with the case. I know one of them well. He's an amazing criminal profiler, and he'll be able to hunt down your killer with no trouble at all. I'm sure you'll try your best, Agent Markus, to get along with the two of them."
"Yes, sir." She recrossed her legs. She hated working with other agents. Especially men. All they could ever think about was how gorgeous she was. They usually didn't even remember the case. They just flirted with her.
He leaned back in his seat. "They should be here momentarily. I would like to say hello to Agent Mulder before you leave, if you don't mind waiting."
"Not at all, sir." She smiled politely and tapped her finger nervously on the arm of the chair. She loved meeting new people but not other agents. She always felt so strange around two strangers that were well aquainted with each other. They always left her out of their conversations.
The door opened softly behind them, voices soaring through the air.
Hentges rose from his seat. "Mulder!" He smiled and walked toward the door. "God, how long has it been?"
"Too long." They shook hands.
That voice! Jill spun around in her seat. It was him! The red-headed woman stood at his side, looking serious as an agent should be.
Mulder stepped back. "This is Agent Scully."
"Hello." Hentges shook her hand and smiled kindly down at her. "This is Jill Markus. She'll be working with you both on the case. I figured you needed a native to help you around the city."
She stood up casually, hiding her attraction. "You make me sound like a crazy islander." She extended her hand to Mulder. "Hello, Agent Mulder."
He took her hand. "Hello. Feeling better I hope?"
She laughed slightly and nodded. "That was so embarassing. Thanks for catching me before I made a scene."
"Always glad to help." He smiled weakly, revealing the shallow dimple on his cheek.
Her heart rate increased. "Agent Scully."
The two women shook hands politely. "Hello, Agent Markus. You really gave us a scare out there. What brought that on?"
"I don't really know. I was just deathly dizzy all of a sudden. Weird, huh?"
Scully nodded. "Very." She looked suspicious as if she knew what Jill had been doing the whole time.
"Well, I suppose we should be going to the crime scene. I haven't even seen it, yet." Hentges turned the group toward the door as he grabbed his coat.
"Murder scenes always make me hungry." Mulder smiled slightly and waited until Scully had exited the room to follow after her.
Jill smiled as she watched him leave. She shook her head as she thought of how adorable this man was. Her embarassment had just about disappeared. She stepped toward the door, but Hentges grabbed her elbow.
"You be good, Jill."
She smiled. Everyone in the office knew her as a huge flirt, but she didn't care what they thought of her. "Oh, I wouldn't even think about it, sir."
"You just keep your eyes on the evidence." He strode out of the office. She followed close behind him smiling innocently.
New York High School
Police officers of all shapes and sizes covered the scene like
ants at a picnic. They picked up everything from samples of dust
to peices of hair. Everything counted in a murder case. Nothing
was to be overlooked, and no rock unturned. Students stood close
to the scene. Some were crying, and some were just shocked. It
wasn't everyday a teacher was murdered in the school during the
Kristi shoved her long, blonde hair behind her ears. It was always annoying the young teenager, never giving her a moment of peace. She always wore it down unless one of her annoying friends made her wear it down. They all thought it was so pretty! She pushed her thick glasses up on her nose and looked over the scene. She was waiting for him, and she knew he would be there any moment.
Mulder climbed the steps of the school with his brow furrowed. "She was a teacher?"
"Yes, sir. Her name was Wagner. She was a science teacher, and they found her this morning in the science lab."
"Cut in half?"
Murtha swallowed hard. "Yes, sir."
Jill watched Mulder with a small grin on her beautiful face. She liked the look of him in his fashionable sunglasses. She liked the way he was handling everything. She liked him.
"Who found her?" He pulled the door open, letting the three female agents go in before him.
Murtha stepped inside and glanced up the steps. She was new on the force, and she really hated the scene upstairs. "One of the students. She was going in for science lab when she found the corpse."
"It gives new meaning to disecting frogs."
Scully glared at her partner, but she had half expected him to make jokes as he always did. It made her feel better at messy murder sights when he lightened up the situation with his humor. "Which student was it?"
Murtha opened her notepad and glanced at the name she had scrawled down earlier. "Um, Kristi Smith. She's a ninth grader at the high school."
As the ascended the steps Mulder muttered, "They say freshman year can be murder."
Jill smiled. Thank God he had a sense of humor!
"I'm going to check out the scene." He hurried past them and stepped into the crowded lab area.
Scully noticed Jill gaping at Mulder. Women usually weren't quite this smitten over her partner, although she always noticed females throwing him the eye when they went to restaurants.
Mulder stepped through the crowd until his eyes fell upon the bloody body underneath the white sheet. He was almost afraid to glance under the sheet. He didn't want to see what he knew he would. He knew this scene. He had seen it one too many times as a young agent, and he had hoped he would never see it again. He crouched next to the body and lifted the sheet partially so that he could see into the lifeless eyes of another victim.
He jumped when a hand touched his shoulder. He looked up.
"I didn't mean to startle you." Jill stood over him. "I just thought you'd want to see something."
"Thanks." He dropped the sheet. He was thankful that she had stopped him from doing something that would remind him of things that he had long forgotten. "What did you want to show me?"
She walked toward the far end of the room and pointed to the wall. "661, written in blood. I have no idea what it means." She shook her head and looked up at him. She was hoping that he knew what it ment since she did not. "Any ideas?"
He stared at the numbers for a moment, thinking back to cases that had been wiped away from his memory years before. "I have no idea. The key's in there somewhere, though." He stepped closer to the wall. "Is it the victim's blood?"
She stepped up next to him. "We aren't sure, yet. We just guessed that it was."
He turned back towards her and crossed his arms in front of him. "That would be our first guess, but the murderers I've encountered usually would use their own blood in something like this."
"You've seen something like this before? I know I sure as hell haven't."
"I've seen much worse than this, Agent Markus, and I have a feeling you will, too."
His words sent a shiver down her back. She wasn't sure she really wanted to know what he was referring to. "We'll try to get a sample."
"Good." He glanced back at the writing and stared at it for another moment. He had never seen these numbers before. What could they mean?
He turned toward Scully's voice.
"You want to talk to Krisit Smith?"
He nodded. "Yeah."
Kristi stood nervously in the middle of the numerous officers that lined the building. She licked her upper lip nervously. Where was he? If he had heard of this case, he would have come, wouldn't he? It was almost a sure thing, but she was worried. What if he wasn't there? Had all of her struggles been for nothing at all?
She turned toward the familiar voice and smiled. A weight was lifted from her heart as she saw him. "Yes."
"I'm Agent Mulder. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
She shook her head. He looked just as she remembered him, still young and cocky. But he seemed wiser in his ways. "No. I wanted to talk to someone as soon as possible. I really want to go home. This has been so hard for me."
"It must be. I'm sorry you had to find her."
"Thanks for your concern."
He nodded and glanced back over his shoulder. She could see it in his eyes that he was worried about this. She could see he remembered 1988, and she smiled. Her victory was inevitable.
"Tell me what happened, step by step."
She licked her upper lip nervously. His eyes widened for a moment. He knew this little action. He had only seen it once, but it was something he would never forget. A spring of panic ran through his system before he remembered that he was only talking to a high school kid. Why had this tiny habit frightened him so much?
"I came to school early so that I could get help on my science report. It's on the solar system, and it's so boring. So, my dad dropped me off and I came upstairs. I knocked, but she didn't answer." Her voice shook slightly.
"Do you need to sit down?"
She nodded and sat down on the top step. Mulder took a seat next to her as she went on. "I walked inside, and she was on the floor. How can someone just walk in and cut another human being in half? I don't understand any of this."
"You're right. It takes a sick human being to do such a thing. I'm sorry you had to see it." He patted her on the back lightly. "Did you see anyone that was unfamiliar to you when you came into school today?"
She shook her head. "No one but the usual people."
Mulder nodded. "All right. Do you need to call your parents to come and get you?"
He reached into his pocket and handed her his cellular phone. "Use this."
"Thank you, Agent Mulder." She took the phone in her shaking hands. Her story had worked out perfectly, and he had fallen for it!
"Sure." Mulder rose to his feet and walked toward Scully.
She turned toward him and crossed her hands in front of her. "Did you get anything out of the kid?"
"Nothing but tears."
"We've got nothing to go on, Mulder. I don't know how to go after this one. Are you going to try to profile this guy?"
"I'm not sure. But, I'm willing to bet he's going to kill again."
"What makes you say that?"
"I'm thinking that if he took the time to bisect a human being once, he's going to do it again. I also think that 661 has some sort of relevance here. I think it's a peice of the puzzle, and this psycho is probably going to be giving us another peice soon."
"You think this is serial?" Jill's voice came from behind Mulder. She had been listening to what he was saying the entire time.
"I'm almost sure of it." He glanced back into the science lab, flashes of victims dead eyes lingering in his mind.
Jill walked down the crowded hallway carefully. She turned
another page of the thick forensic details she had received
earlier that day with all the information they had discovered at
the crime scene. She had been striving to read all the
information by the evening, but she was having a hard time
reaching her goal. She had been busy all afternoon with other
murder related issues, and the forensic details so far were of no
interest to her. They were not helping their case in any way, but
she had an obligation to read the materials.
She glanced up from the sheets to rest her neck. It was aching after the day she had had. She felt truly awful. All of her anguish suddenly disappeared as she spotted the tall, slim outline of her working associate. He appeared to be reading the same material that she was, and he looked just as bored with it. His handsome, brown hair fell over his brow as he looked down at the thick pages in his hands. She smiled slightly and called out to him, "Agent Mulder!"
He looked up from the paper at the sound of his name and glanced over his shoulder. He smiled slightly at Jill as she took long strides to catch up with him. Her flirt gland clicked into gear. "Hello."
"I see you're enjoying the wonderfully exciting material I'm enjoying."
He smiled and shook his head as he began walking again. "Oh, you like it."
She flipped the pages shut and smiled up at him. "Since you're so sure this is a serial killer, have you started to formulate a profile?"
"Actually, I have." His eyes skimmed the page rapidly as he turned on. He was interested in the blood on the wall.
"I hear you're the best."
She was annoyed that he wasn't even paying attention to her. For once, she wanted a man that didn't even know she was alive. This did not happen often, but she would not let him go that easily. She touched his arm. "We really should talk about the case. How about if we go out to dinner to discuss our next plan of action?"
He nodded. "That's a good idea. We really need some sort of plan. We can't just wait for him to kill again."
"Exactly." She grinned. Victory! "I'll drop by your hotel at eight."
"All right. We'll see you then."
He looked perplexed for a moment. "Scully and me." He noticed his mistake and felt himself blushing. "Were you asking just me?"
She laughed nervously. "No. I meant both of you, of course."
He looked relieved. "That's what I thought you meant. See you then."
She nodded and silently cursed. She was never going to get him alone! She hadn't wanted Scully to be there. The woman obviously didn't like Jill. Besides, she wanted to get to know Mulder better.
Mulder turned the corner and read on. He didn't even notice Kristi standing in the corner watching his every move.
The smoke moved like a cloak through the immense restaurant.
People drank and danced everywhere. The small light being created
by the overhead lamps had a slightly romantic touch to it. Jill
stared across the table, hoping he would notice the romantic
"How can you be so sure, Mulder?"
"The motive is simple. This guy is truly a psycho. He probably has some sort of link to the victim that we haven't even thought of yet. He probably knew this woman by heart, and he planned the entire thing. Normal people don't just wake up in the morning and say `I'm going to kill someone today.'"
"I didn't say that. I'm sure we're dealing with a real psychopath. It's just that I don't see why you think he'll kill again." She took a sip of her diet Coke and waited for him to answer.
"Look, I've seen things like this before. When people die deaths this terrible, it means the killer has been going over it in his mind, planning it, working everything out. He must have enjoyed it, or he wouldn't have spent the time to cut the lady in half. He's hungry for it, Scully. He's going to do it again."
Jill was hypnotized by him. She had fallen for plenty of gorgeous men in her time, but they had never not noticed her. This made him even more fun to flirt with. She was going to have to work for this one, and she knew it.
"I suppose, but we still have to work on solving this first murder. If we're lucky we can stop him before he kills again."
Mulder laughed. "He'll beat us to it. I'm willing to bet on it."
Scully smiled and shook her head. "You always are." She took another short sip of her drink and set it down. She glanced around the area. She liked the cozy place. It made her feel warm inside.
The soft notes of a seductive Sarah Maclaughlin song soared gently toward them. Jill stood up suddenly. "I've got to dance. Come on, Mulder." She grinned down at him.
He seemed surprised by her sudden question. "What?"
"You're the only guy in here worth dancing with, and I'm not leaving until you dance with me." She took his hand and pulled him from his seat.
Scully laughed as she watched them move to the dance floor. Jill's antics were so funny. Scully had known from the very beginning that Jill was a major flirt. She had been flirting with Mulder since the beginning, but he hadn't noticed any of it.
Jill pulled him behind her to the dance floor. She could tell he was hesitant to dance, but she got what she wanted. She pulled him gently to her as they reached the crowded floor and wrapped her arms around his neck. He put his hands on her hips uncomfortably. He seemed so nervous.
"Relax. I don't bite.......much." She smiled.
"I was just surprised that you wanted to dance with me."
She laughed out loud. "Oh, come on! Every woman in here wants to dance with you. You're perfectly adorable!"
He laughed and blushed. He was not used to this kind of treatment.
"You are! All of the woman in this place have been throwing you the eye all evening, and you can't tell me you haven't noticed."
"I don't usually notice things like that. I'm not exactly a romantic."
She grinned a seductive grin as they swayed back and forth. "You're just like I like `em." She pulled closer to him and rested her chin on his shoulder. She loved the feeling she got when she pressed against him. His hands slid up her back as he relaxed in her arms. He nuzzled his nose in her hair, taking in the sweet smell, savoring being close to a beautiful woman. It had been so long for him. His job didn't really give him time for a personnal life. She laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. She smiled. He had finally noticed her, and she was thankful for it.
Mulder leaned back on the soft couch and flipped through the
channels. It was late, but Mulder could not sleep, as usual. He
had been up formulating a profile for the past two hours. He knew
this motive well. He knew this killer well. A shiver shook him
slightly as he thought back to that night in 1988 when he had
almost become one of the faceless victims of Mitchell Ghallager.
It had been a little too close for comfort. He had thought about
the numbers further: 661. He had gone through his mind from
addresses to dates, but nothing came to mind. What did the killer
mean them to discover by these three numbers? Mulder usually
could figure things like this out within minutes of discovery,
but his mind was blank. He had tried his hardest to forget the
case that had almost killed him, and simply calling the terrible
memories back wouldn't help his solve the case. He was going to
have to crawl inside Ghallager's mind for the second time, and
Mulder was not very excited about it.
He jumped at the sound of a quiet knocking on the door of his hotel room. Scully, most likely. He rose slowly, switching off the television as he went. He opened the door without thinking about looking through the eye hole.
"Agent Mulder?" A small and quiet voice met him.
She nodded slowly and played with her shirt sleave. "Can I come in?" She looked up at him with wide and emotional eyes. "I need to talk."
"Sure. Come on in." He opened the door for her and stepped back so that she could enter. "What is it, honey?"
She licked her upper lip nervously and walked toward the couch Mulder had just been sitting upon moments before. It was still warm under her where he had been lounging. "I've seen that scene before, Agent Mulder." She stared at him with wide, frightened eyes.
He sat down next to her and tried to read what she meant. She couldn't have seen that before. "What do you mean?" He wrung his hands nervously.
"My mother, she was killed a long time ago." She thought about this for a moment. "I was five, then. I knew you looked so familiar when you questioned me earlier, but I didn't think about it until now." She tapped her foot. "You worked on my mother's murder case." She smiled slightly, unexpectantly. "They all called you Spooky."
He smiled with her. "Of all the things you remember, you remember that." He was glad to see her smile. She seemed so distraught. "Who was your mother?"
"Patty Smith. I found her in her office, cut in half, just like Mrs. Wagner."
Mulder's smile disappeared. Her mother had been one of the origional victims! That's why he looked familiar to her. That's why she was so upset. She knew it was happening again, and she was hoping he could stop it.
"I'll never forget that look on her face." Her voice broke as she sobbed into her hands. "You've got to stop this, Agent Mulder! You're the only one that can." Her shoulders shook as she fell to him for support. He cradeled her in his arms softly, careful not to make her worse than she already was. She shook uncontrollably in his arms, clutching tightly to his hand, pouring everything out.
The phone wrang suddenly. He pushed her away gently and walked toward the receiver. Kristi smiled slightly. Everything was working perfectly. She knew what this phone call was about, too.
Mulder picked up the phone. "Mulder."
"Mulder, it's Jill." Her voice was slow and frightened. "Someone else died."
"You were right, Mulder. I don't know how, but you were. He's struck again. And there's more writing on the walls."
He touched his forehead. He had a pounding headache all of a sudden. "Where are you?" He scrawled down the address quickly, knowing that all he had to do was look for the flashing, red lights. He hung up the phone without even saying goodbye and turned toward Kristi. "I've got to go."
"Someone else died, didn't they?" She folded her hands on the couch.
He nodded. "If you feel better here, you can stay while I'm gone. Or, I could take you home."
The thought of staying in the hotel room of one of her soon to be victims engergized Kristi. If he would let her stay the night, everything would be falling into place. "I feel better here, safer."
He tried to appear to not be upset that someone else was dead. "Whatever makes you feel better." He grabbed his coat and walked toward the door. "Lock the door behind me."
The door shut and she climbed to her feet. She locked the door and licked her upper lip.
Mulder hurried up the steps, searching for Jill or Scully. He
needed details, and he needed them now.
Jill smiled slightly at the sight of him. It was obvious that he hadn't slept a wink. His hair was still perfectly styled over his brow, and his electric, hazel eyes still were vibrant and awake. He had changed out of his dress clothes, now wearing tight jeans and an attractive button down. He strode toward them, looking concerned.
Scully sighed loudly. It was obvious she had not had any trouble catching up on her sleep. "Neighbor heard a loud noise and went over." She gave him a look that explained it all. Another victim, identical to the last, no witnesses, no evidence, nothing.
He itched his chin and groaned. "I suppose I should see this one, too, huh?" He walked into the crowded apartment and glanced around. It was a small place, but fairly well decorated. A thin layer of blood covered the floor. Out of the corner of his eye he glanced the victim's body. He didn't need to see it. He didn't want to see it.
Jill grabbed his arm and pulled him toward the other side of the room. "You're going to want to see this." She pointed to the wall. "8788. Mean anything to you?"
He shook his head. "Nothing."
She sighed. "I figured that would be what you would say. Damn. We're never going to catch this guy."
"We'll catch him. I started the profile."
"You should get some sleep, Mulder. You're going to need it tomorrow."
"I know, I know. I can never sleep when I have something to finish. It's a habit I should work on breaking." He walked away from the writing with a frown on his face.
"Mulder!" Scully called out to him.
He walked quickly toward her through the troops. "Yeah?"
"What blood group was the blood on the wall at the first murder?"
"A Positive." He wasn't sure what she was getting at.
"What was the first victim's blood group?"
"O Negative." He had read the forensic information, and Scully obviously had not. "Why?"
"This victim's blood group was A Positive."
"You think this psycho had this all planned out, don't you, Scully?"
She smiled weakly at the look on his face. He had been right. "You were right. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
"Dana Scully, apologizing to me? This is just too good to be true."
"Don't get cocky."
Jill laughed. "We should have listened to you, Mulder. You did good."
The police sampled everything as usual. The three agents decided it was about time for them to be leaving. They were only taking up space. They did most of their work out of the crime scene.
As they walked toward their cars, Jill caught up to Mulder. "You know something?"
"I don't think I've ever heard your first name."
He smiled. "Fox." He hated telling people his first name. He hated it.
"Honestly." He turned toward her.
Jill liked this addendum. His first name was Fox! It certainly was fitting. She looked him over when he glanced away. She loved him in jeans! They fit him perfectly, and she hoped he would wear them more often around her.
They diverged paths as they both reached their cars. Much to her disappointment, he didn't give her any sort of goodbye kiss. He seemed so hesitant with romance. He was all business, but that could be good at times. She would have to loosen him up considerably. Tomorrow night...................
Mulder leafed through the pages of the forensic details of the
latest murder. Anything would help him. What he really wanted to
discover was what the blood type was on the blood on the wall. He
knew that if it was A Positive, the blood was the murderer's
blood. No serial killer with the immense talent of chopping
someone completely in half would be uncreative enough to kill
someone with the same blood type as the latest victim, after all.
If it was not A Positive, he knew another death was bound to
occur. Another death, that he could not avoid.
A file flew across the desk and hit him in the arm. He stared at it for a moment before glancing up. Jill was glaring down at him. She was seething with rage. "Did you really think I wouldn't find out?" Her voice shook with annoyance and worry toward this man she barely knew. "How many murders involve the victims being bisected?"
He opened the front of the thick file and glanced inside. Ghallager's eyes stared back at him in the mug shot. They seemed to be alive. He shut the file quickly and sighed. "I was hoping you wouldn't think to look into old files."
"Do I look like an idiot? Mulder, this case is identical to the one in 1988 when you were on the VCS!"
"I know that." He sat back in his seat, forgetting about the forensic details for a moment. He could see she was angry as a mad bull.
"That's why you came up here. That's why Hentges called you! He knew you could handle it." She circled the table and sat next to him. "If this guy is out there, do you know how much trouble you could be in?"
He thought of what to say next, but she cut him off.
"I read the report. This guy was seriously psychotic."
He laughed bluntly. "Seriously psychotic is an understatement."
"How in the hell did he know to come after you? How did he know who you were? I don't understand." She looked hungry for answers.
"We learned later that he had been at every single crime scene, watching us, watching me. He knew my name, he knew where I lived. At the questioning, they learned that he had planned to kill me from the beginning."
"Because I was the one that had crawled into his brain. I was the one that had written the profile of him that got him caught. You see, he only killed people he liked. He thought he was blessing them by killing them."
"So, he liked you for catching him?"
"Something like that. They would never let me question him. They said it was too close to home. They weren't sure what he'd do if he saw me again. I had so much I wanted to ask him, but I couldn't."
"How old were you?"
"Twenty-eight. I'd never shot anyone before. Hell, I'd never even pointed a gun at anyone."
"I guess it's something you learn fast." She leaned her chin on her hand. "You've got a scar from it haven't you?"
He touched his side. "Oh, yeah. Something that won't let me forget."
She touched his hand and stared into his eyes. They were so full of pain. "Would you like to come to my house for dinner tonight?"
She smiled and stood up. "I'm going to go get you some coffee. I think you're going to need it." She took a step toward the door, but stopped. She turned around and bent toward him, touching his cheek gently with her lips. She lingered there for a moment before pulling away and going out of the room to get him a cup of coffee.
Mulder leaned forward and pulled the file toward him. He knew exactly what he was looking for, but he really was not sure he wanted to find it.
Jill walked into the room after a few minutes, carrying two cups of coffee in her hands. She tried her best to look normal, but she felt a strange worry surging in her stomach. His back was to her as she entered. He was holding the Ghallager case file in his hands with white knuckles. She set the cups down on the table and wrapped her arms gently around his neck. She sat her chin on his shoulder and looked at the file in front of him.
"I know what the numbers mean."
This caught her attention. He was just as good as Hentges had said he was. "What?"
He pushed away from her and laid the file on the table top. "661 is the address we caught Ghallager at. And 8788 is a date. August 7, 1988. We caught him on that date." He bit his lip and turned toward her. For the first time since she'd met him, he looked nervous.
Her stomach churned suddenly, and she knew Mulder was on dangerous ground.
"Something to drink?"
He nodded and glanced around her penthouse. It was a truly beautiful place overlooking the entire town. Dark furniture, candles, and a grand piano gave the room a romantic touch, and Mulder noticed. He was not sure why she had invited him there, but he was beginning to get the idea.
She sauntered over to him in her tiny, black gown and handed him a small champagne glass. "Straight from France. My father thought I deserved to be spoiled." She smiled and sipped silently on the sparkling liquid. She watched the small, silver, bubbles trickle to the surface of Mulder's glass.
He turned toward the window and glanced out at the city below. "This is a gorgeous view, Jill. This place must have cost you a fortune."
"Again, my father thought I deserved to be spoiled." She watched him carefully as he looked over the city. She thought she saw a glint of romance in his eye, but she was not sure. She would have to move the evening along for them both.
"I would die to have an apartment like this."
Her dress fell quietly to the floor. She waited patiently for him to turn around.
"I was-" he turned toward her and stopped suddenly. Her black, silk bra shined in the candle light. He closed his eyes for a moment, hoping that he was just seeing things. It wasn't that he didn't find this woman attractive. It was just that he knew it was wrong for them to be together. He reopened his eyes. She was still there. He wasn't seeing things. He opened his mouth to speak, but she cut him off.
She put her finger to her lips. "Shh, don't say a word." She walked toward him with her best seductive pose.
"Jill, we shouldn't. You know as well as I do that it's against the rules. You know that it would never work out."
She snatched the wine glass out of his hand and set it on the table next to them. "Take off your coat, stay awhile." She shoved his dress coat off his shoulders and pulled it off his arms. She tossed it on the couch and smiled up at him.
He looked terribly nervous. "Agents working together can not get involved. One of them will be kicked off the case."
"I'll step off of the case if we get caught. You're more than worth it." She grabbed his tie and used it as a leash, pulling him down to her level. She pressed her lips passionatly against her own. She was hungry to feel him in her arms, to touch and feel every inch of him. She danced her tongue over the top of his mouth and let go of the tie. He seemed to have relaxed considerably as they pulled away from each other.
He looked down at her with burning eyes. "Oh, God." It was obvious he had enjoyed the kiss. She smiled and pulled the tie off from around his neck slowly and tossing it on the floor. She pulled his shirt out of his pants and reached up to the top button. He stepped back. "Wait, Jill." He backed up further, but she kept advancing. His back hit the wall, forcing him to stop his backward retreat.
"You seem to be trapped, Agent Mulder." She unbuttoned his shirt slowly.
He was still tense, and she could see it. "Maybe I should leave."
She smiled and shoved his shoulders into the wall roughly. "I'm not letting you leave."
She shook her head.
He seemed to think about this for a moment before responding, thinking of the perfect thing to say. "Well, I suppose, if you're not going to let me leave there really is no point in me trying to stop you." He smiled.
"No point." She pressed her lips against his for another moment, enjoying their warmth. His arms closed around her. Now, he was relaxed.
Krisit scowled from outside the window. She was very unhappy about this.
Jill awoke with the soft feeling of Mulder's lips on her neck.
She smiled and glanced over her shoulder at him. By the small
amount of light in the room, it was obvious that it was almost
morning, and they would have to go to work. She turned toward him
and wrapped her arms tightly around his shoulders.
She nodded and grinned. "Very."
"Good." He pressed his lips against hers in a gentle lip lock.
"What time is it, Fox?"
He glanced at his watch sitting next to the bed and frowned. "Six-thirty. We've got to get up soon."
"Couldn't we just lie here all day?" She caressed his ear with her fingers softly.
"That would be nice." He brushed a lock of hair off her forehead and kissed her cheek. "You look exhausted. I can make coffee if you tell me where everything is."
"Why, thank you. You're awfully chipper this morning."
"I don't sleep very much. It comes with the job." He sat up and stretched like a cat after a long nap. "Lay down, sleeping beauty. You need your rest."
She pulled him roughly back onto the bed and pinned him onto the bed. "If I wanted rest, I wouldn't have invited you to stay the night." She smiled and kissed his neck. He had a pleasant scent that was all his own, and she loved it.
Mulder's cellular phone rang loudly, making them both jump slightly. She fell away from him so that he could get to his phone. "Mulder," he muttered as he shoved the receiver to his ear.
"Mulder, it's me."
"Someone else is dead."
He sighed and threw Jill a look that explained everything. "Where are you?"
The scene was filled to the brim. Everyone was getting antzy.
It was a serial killer, and he never, ever left any evidence. A
case like that could get to a person after awhile.
"Agent Mulder!" Murtha hurried up to him with a sickened look on her face. This must be a bad one. "God, am I glad to see you."
"Why is that?" He searched the scene for the victim, but saw that they had already taken the body away. He frowned at the thick, chalk outline.
"There's a note this time." She changed direction suddenly, forcing Mulder to do a complete one-eighty to catch up to her.
She nodded. "A note."
They walked into the main room of the small apartment. Now, Mulder understood what she had meant. The wall was covered in numbers: 25-15-21-12-12 14-5-22-5-18 23-9-14, 6-15-24.
He turned toward the young agent. "Did you figure out the code?"
She nodded. She looked seriously paniced, but he wasn't sure why.
"Well, what did it say?"
Hentges broke into their conversation, and Murtha let out a sigh of relief. She did not want to tell him what it said. She hurried away to pretend she had something else to do.
"Mulder, come over here, will you?" He turned away and began walking toward a small group of men with thick glasses on thier small faces. It was obvious that these were the code-breakers of the bureau.
"Gentlemen, this is Agent Mulder. Explain to him what you found." Hentges stepped back and crossed his arms in front of him.
"Well, the code is so basic a child could break it. The numbers are simply the letters of the alphabet in numerical form. For example, one is aye, two is bee, and so on. This leads me to believe that the killer wanted us to figure this out without any trouble." He frowned. "Or, perhaps, he just wanted you to find it."
"What did it say?" Mulder had a bad feeling that he was part of the code.
The man handed Mulder a small peice of paper with a few numbers scrawled on it. Below these numbers he saw the words that the killer had wanted him to see:
You'll never win, Fox.
He heard a gasp from behind him. It was Jill. She was reading
it over his shoulder. This was just a trap for Mulder after all.
After all the time that had passed, this man still had an odd
obssession with Agent Fox Mulder, and he was out to get him.
Mulder set the paper on the table and turned away from the group that was now struck with a strange worry for one of their own. This killer knew him, and Mulder knew this killer. He touched his forehead and tried to organize all that was going through his mind. What was he going to do?
He turned back toward Hentges. "How far are we from the Carlstein Prison?"
Hentges was perplexed. "Why would you want to go there?"
"Because I have a suspect."
"You never mentioned this to me, Mulder." He gave him an annoyed look.
"I thought it was impossible. I put Mitchell Ghallager away in 1988, and he was never going to be up for parole. The only way he'd be out was if he escaped." He thought for a moment more. All eyes were on him. "Or, this is a copycat case. But if it was, Ghallager would have to have told someone everything about me that he knows. He would have to have someone on the outside. The only way we can stop anyone else from dying is by going to the source."
His brow furrowed. "Twenty minutes, and we'll be at the prison."
The small, metallic beap signalized the door was opening. It
moved like a fat elephant with three legs. Mulder tapped his foot
nervously. It was all he could do. His emotions were raging like
a volcano about to explode, and everyone in the hallway could see
that was the truth.
Jill touched his shoulder. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine, thanks."
The door finally opened, and a small, bald man poked his head out to them. "What do you want?" It was obvious he was in a bad mood.
Mulder stepped forward and pulled his identification out of his front lapel. "I'm Agent Mulder with the FBI. We need to talk to one of your prisoners."
The man sighed and opened the door for the four of them to enter. "Who is it you need to pester?" He scratched his head and leaned against he wall.
Jill stepped forward. "Mitchell Ghallager."
The man looked her over before going on. He laughed dryly. "Not to be blunt, but Mr. Ghallager is worm food right now."
"He was executed a few days ago in the electric chair. What a mess that one was. He really burst." He smiled at the thought.
Their minds were just about to burst. How could he be dead? A prisoner can't really fake his own death! He had to be dead, but how could a dead man commit murder?
"Yes, sir. Very much so." He itched his nose and smiled weakly.
Jill frowned. How could Mulder had been wrong? She was suddenly disappointed in him. "Thanks for your time."
"Wait." Mulder was not finished. "Do you have a video of the execution? I mean, of the witnesses?" He clenched his fists nervously, hoping agaisnt hope that they had what he wanted.
"Actually, we do. You want to see it?"
Mulder nodded. Jill gaped at him. She had absolutely no idea what he was getting at. He just wasn't making any sense. Why would he want a video of the witnesses?
They moved as a group toward a small room in the corner of the building. A few scattered videos were sitting around the area. They had names that were incomprehensible to anyone except the person that wrote on them. The gaurd dug through a small pile in the corner before finding what he was looking for. He smiled. "Here is it. Real Oscar material." He laughed dryly and walked toward the tiny television in the corner. "I don't know how this is going to help you, but here ya' go." He shoved the tape into the VCR and pushed the play button with a shaky, bony finger.
The screen blinked to life momentarily. Mulder's eyes searched across the screen. He knew exactly what he was looking for. He just had to make sure his hunch was correct. Scully and Jill just gaped at him in wonder. It was apparent that he was looking for something specific, but neither of them had any idea what.
A smile spread across his face like the sun breaking through the clouds on a rainy day. "Ha! I figured it out!"
Jill felt like laughing at his excitment, but she was too curious as to what he had just figured out. "What are you talking about?"
He pointed to the screen. "Do you recognize her?"
Scully leaned toward the screen and gasped. "That's the woman from the first murder." She thought back to the scene. "Mrs. Wagner."
Jill smiled. "The second victim." She pointed to the screen. "And that's the third victim!"
Hentges stepped forward. "You are amazing, Mulder." He shook his head and looked at all the people on the tape. It was true. All the victims were there.
Mulder's eyes moved to the fourth person on the tape. "My God, it's Kristi."
"What's she doing there?"
"The same thing all these people are doing there. These are the children, the wives, the mothers, of all the origional victims. The ones from 1988. Ghallager killed Kristi's mother when she was five." Mulder's eyes widened as he thought over his next move. A thought struck him that truly horrified him. "My God, someone's knocking them all off." He stepped away from the screen. "Someone that knew Ghallager, someone that was there to see him get executed, they're killing all of the offspring of the origional victims."
"You're right, Mulder."
"He's killed them all off except for Kristi." Scully glanced toward Mulder. He looked suddenly frightened. He knew she was right. Once Kristi was dead, they had no hope of catching the killer. The killer would be finished with his job.
"We've got to find her first."
He raced through the small suburbia that led to Kristi's
house. It was bad luck that her home was almost all the way
across town in the middle of nowhere. What else bad could
Jill had run home to change her clothes. She knew it was going to be a long night, so she wanted to get into something more comfortable. Scully had gone to the police station to round up the troops. They were going to need protection for Kristi. Of course, they would have to set up a trap for the killer, and to do this, they needed some of the craftiest minds in the bureau. Mulder had taken the arduous task of looking for Kristi. He had learned her address from looking up the scene where Patty Smith had been found. Strangely enough, they had stayed in the same house even after all that had happened there.
As he pulled into the driveway, his rememberance of this place struck him like a brick. For a moment, he glanced police cars carrying the corpse to the nearest morgue, people crying, and reporters with bright lights. He shook his head and climbed out of the car. He didn't need to start seeing things at a time like this.
He climbed the front steps of the immense structure and rang the doorbell religiously. As he stood outside with no answer, he realized that they weren't home. He hadn't even thought about what he would do if Kristi wasn't at her house. He cursed quietly in annoyance. Where else could he look for her? His time was running out, as was hers.
He raced back towards the hotel room. She had been there once before. Maybe she had come there to find him. He said a silent prayer that his assumption would be correct. He did not even want to toy with the fact that she might already be dead and in two peices. Either that or he could be torturing her into death, which was something he enjoyed to do. Sometimes, he would even keep the victim awake as he cut them in two. Mulder shivered at this thought and pulled into his parking space in the small parking lot of the hotel.
He jumped out of the car and speedily approached the door of his room, hoping to see her there. He almost screamed out in joy! She was sitting on the ground outside his door, waiting for him to return. He ran to her and touched her shoulder.
She woke gently and stared up at him. "There you are."
He nodded. "I've been looking for you, too." He pulled her to her feet. "Come inside." He opened the door and locked it tightly behind them. "We need to talk about something."
"What is it?" She suddenly appeared concerned as they took a seat on the couch.
"We think that the killer may be after you next."
She gasped. "What?"
"All of the people that have died witnessed Ghallager's execution. Everyone there is dead except you. It seems that a copycat killer is exterminating all of the origional victim's families."
She sat there for a moment, staring off into oblivion. She appeared paniced but under control. "Well, what can I do?"
"I'm going to take you into the police station for protection. Agent Scully is already there. I-" the phone rang rudely making them both jump out of their seats. Mulder sighed loudly and picked up the phone. "Mulder."
"Mulder? It's Scully. Where are you?"
"At my hotel. Why?"
"I'm on my way."
"Did you find something?"
"It's Jill, Mulder." Her voice sounded shaky.
Mulder held his breath and expected the worst. "What is it, Scully?"
"Jill's dead, Mulder. Her neighbor found her five minutes ago after they hear glass shattering." She paused. "She was cut in half, Mulder. It was the killer."
Mulder closed his eyes and swallowed hard so that his voice would not crack as he went on. "Was there another message?"
"Nothing. I think the killer was in a hurry. She had somewhere else to go."
"Yes. Jill had a security camera in her room. It caught the whole thing." She pulled her car to a stop in front of a red light and sighed. "I'm betting you haven't found Kristi yet, have you?"
"Why?" He took a deep breath.
"It's her, Mulder. She's the one that's killing everyone. If you find her, consider her very dangerous. There was no weapon found at the scene. She must still have it with her."
Mulder blinked and glanced over his shoulder. The receiver fell to the floor with a clunk. Kristi was gone! Mulder swallowed hard and reached to his gun holster. "Shit." He had left it in the car. The small room spun around him. There were only so many places a person could hide in a small hotel room. Where could she have gone?
He took a slow, cautious step toward the front door. Had she already escaped from the room? But he would have heard the heavy door opening. He took another step toward the front of the hotel, holding his breath with each inch he moved. A quiet sound from the bedroom sent a sharp shiver through his body. He almost gasped out loud, but he stopped before he broke the silence.
The small amount of light eminating from the tiny lamp in the corner was barely enough to do anything but throw shadows all over the room. The light echoed through the room like a noise through a tunnel, but it was not enough to calm his senses. Mulder longed to have his gun with him. If he had a weapon, the score would be more than fair. He frowned and stepped closer to the bedroom. He held his breath, waiting for another noise, but none came. There was nothing but silence.
He held his breath and extended his arm, flipping the light switch. The room lit brightly. A figure stood in the far corner, almost causing Mulder's heart to stop. He laughed out loud as he noticed that it was only the mirror reflection of himself. He glanced quickly around the room. There was no one there, either. She must have left already. He flipped off the switch and turned around.
Kristi stood inches from his face. Mulder backpedaled rapidly, seeing that this was a dangerous situation. Kristi chased after him with a huge smile on her face. She pulled the already bloody knife from her pocket and lunged at him. Mulder gasped in pain as the knife scraped upon his arm. He had tried to sheild himself from the blow. If his arm had not been there, his face would have been totally gone. He fell backwards onto the floor from the force of Kristi's attack.
"Mulder!" Scully's voice made Kristi's eyes widen. Scully kicked in the door violently with her gun already drawn and pointing into the room.
"Scully, in here!" Mulder screamed out at the top of his lungs.
Kristi glanced nervously around the room, searching for a way of escape. The window! She lunged at it and threw it open. The night air drifted into the room as she jumped into the alley and disappeared into the darkness.
"Mulder, are you all right?" she yelled as she stared out the window, trying desperatly to spot Kristi. There was nothing out there but darkness.
"I'll be fine."
She turned around. At the sight of his blood, she ran to his side. She could easily deduce what had happened, so she did not bother asking. "We should take yo to a hospital."
"Forget it! We've got to round up the troops and hunt her down. You're a doctor. Can't you just wrap it up for now?"
She sighed. "I suppose."
"We need to split up and find her. She couldn't have gone far. Give me your cellular phone, and I'll call out the guys."
"Yes, sir." She smiled and shook her head as she bandaged his arm quickly.
Mulder was impatient. He had circled his area at least five
times, and he had found nothing. He could only hope that Scully
was having more luck than he was. The small, black phone on the
seat suddenly rang. Mulder jumped for it, hoping that they had
found her. "Mulder."
"Mulder, help me." Scully's voice was barely audible. She sounded as if she had no air in her system, that she was just squeezing out nothingness. "Help, Mulder. I need your help."
"Scully? What's going on?" Silence. "Scully?"
"You're the only one that can save her, Fox." Kristi's voice broke through the silence and hit him right in the face. "Dock 5. Bay Drive." The line went dead as this sunk into Mulder's system. She had Scully. She was a smart girl. She knew what could catch Mulder's attention, and now, she had him on a leash.
He hurried through the darkness with his gun pointed carefully
on the floor. He was more than ready to shoot anything that
moved. This was going to end here and now. The warehouse smelled
of mold and dissuse. It was obvious that whatever the warehouse
used to be had closed a long time ago because thick dust covered
every corner of the immense figure. Empty boxes leaned against he
walls waiting to be filled, but they never would be. The entire
place had an air of mystery that Mulder was not fond of.
He spun around, holding his gun level with Kristi's forehead.
She smiled. Scully sat in the chair in front of her with a paniced look on her face. Kristi had the upper hand, and each of them knew it. She held Scully's gun tightly to the agent's forehead. "If you shoot me, she's coming with me."
Mulder froze. He had been in this situation before, and he knew he could handle it if he just stayed cool. "You can't win. There are police everywhere in this city looking for you. What is killing her going to do for you?"
"Oh, that's what you're supposed to figure out. That is your job, isn't it, Mulder? Crawl inside my head, Mulder. I dare you." She smiled an evil grin. "Besides, I'm insane. I don't have a reason to do any of this except for revenge against you."
"What revenge do you have on me?"
Kristi laughed. "You put me away, Fox. You're the reason they strapped me to that electric chair. You're the reason I'm trapped in this little body. Everything my life is happens to be your fault."
"What the hell are you talking about? You're only fourteen years old! You aren't Ghallager."
"Oh, but that's where you're wrong. Kristi was too weak for me. I took her over easily. I would have shot for an older, larger body, but I knew I wasn't strong enough for that." She paused. "You can learn a lot in jail, Fox. I had a lot of time to think over how I was going to get back at you. I had to learn how to jump bodies and possess other people before I could come after you. It's as easy as that."
"Oh, really, Fox? 1988. I think you remember it as well as I do. That cozy old warehouse where we played cat and mouse. I took too long to finish you off. I really should have sped up on you. How's your side, Fox?" She smiled at her victory.
Mulder's knee shook slightly. This couldn't be happening. It just wasn't possible! Ghallager was dead, wasn't he? Mulder stared at Kristi's young face, watching her carefully. As she licked her upper lip anxiously Mulder knew it was true. No fourteen year old was capable of cutting another human being in half. It took strength to do such a thing.
"It's nice just talking, Fox, but we have some more important things to do." She cocked the gun. "Drop your gun, Fox. Either that or your pretty, little partner here dies a terrible death."
Mulder's hand shook. He had worked himself into a corner that he would not soon be able to work himself out of. He dropped the gun to the floor and kicked it toward Kristi.
"Good job, Fox. I knew you'd see it my way. No one else seems to." She suddenly whacked the back of Scully's head with the butt of her pistol, knocking her unconsious. "Let's go for a walk, shall we?" She pointed Scully's gun directly at his heart and put Mulder's gun in the back of her jeans. She escorted him to a tiny room at the very back end of the warehouse, shutting and locking the door behind them. She smiled a smile that was not her own but Ghallager's and kept the gun level to Mulder's heart. "No one is going to save you this time, Fox." Kristi suddenly collapsed to a small lump on the dirty floor. The gun fell to her feet. She didn't move.
Mulder stood for a moment, not understanding what had just happened, now knowing how he should react. He slowly took a step toward the teenager's motionless body and crouched down next to her. He kicked the gun away from Kristi's hand just to be safe and touched her shoulder. Her eyes fluttered lightly and opened. Mulder looked at her as if he had never seen her before. Her eyes were not cold, and her movements were not quite as awkward. He realized what had happened. Ghallager had left her body. He was gone! Mulder smiled. He had won so easily. Ghallager must not have been strong enough to remain in the body. He must have been shoved out.
Kristi looked up at him with worry in her eyes. Her eyes widened as she stared at something over Mulder's shoulder. As quickly as they had opened, her eyes snapped shut. She had fainted! Mulder didn't understand. What had brought this on? He stood up slowly. Ghallager's towering form smiled from behind him.
Before Mulder could react, Ghallager broke a bottle over his head. Mulder tumbled to the floor, unconsious.
His forehead ached as he finally began to awaken. His memory
was blank. He felt as if he just had a bad hangover. His head
felt dizzy as he tried to sit up. It was then he noticed that he
couldn't move. Mulder's eyes opened suddenly, violently.
Everything was coming back to him. He glanced around at his
surroundings. He was still in the warehouse but in a different
room. The ceiling was higher and there was less dust in the area,
but he was sure he was still in the warehouse.
He pulled hard on the ropes that kept him bound to the slanted table top. His feet were mere inches from the floor, but inches was too much in a situation like this. He sighed and looked around desperatly for a way he could get his hands free, but there was nothing that could help him. Approaching footsteps made Mulder's heart rate quicken considerably. He knew exactly what Ghallager had in mind for him, and it was not pleasant. All Mulder could do was hope that Scully was awake and calling the police at that very moment.
The door opened softly, throwing a beam of light onto the area. It was sunshine! He must have been unconsious for hours at least, and Ghallager had been waiting for him to wake up. In interviews he had always claimed to enjoy it more if the victim was awake when he started. Mulder felt naseous at this thought. What exactly did he mean when he said "started"?
"I'm glad you're finally awake. It's so much more fun that way, don't you know." He strode quickly toward him and set a small, black box onto the nearby table top.
"Ghallager, this is stupid. You're going to get caught. What's the point in getting yourself in more trouble?"
"Oxford taught you well, Fox. You really do sound like a psychologist." He opened the box slowly and smiled.
Mulder did not have to see directly to know that the infamous knife Ghallager used to bisect his victims would be there. He swallowed hard and pulled against the strong ropes again. "Ghallager, I think we can talk about this."
"There's nothing to talk about, Fox."
"You've got some real issues you need to channel into, here, Ghallager."
He laughed. "You really can crawl into my head, can't you? I read your profile on me through the Internet. You can do amazing things there." He pulled out the knife and clutched it in his hands. "It was so accurate, it seemed like I had written it myself. You really do understand me. That's why you have to die. No one can understand me." He shook his head slowly and turned toward Mulder.
"You need serious help, Ghallager. You really are just as insane as I thought you were." Mulder pulled with all his might on the ropes. He could feel his flesh ripping beneath their coarseness.
Ghallager laughed. "Of course I am, Fox. You were right about me. Everything you said was right about me. It's funny, actually. You should have known I would come back for you someday. That someday," he raised the knife to Mulder's forehead, "it today."
Mulder closed his eyes and held his breath. He felt the cold metal touch his head. Pressure was applied. Mulder felt a trickle of blood running down his forehead.
Bang! The knife fell away from Mulder as Ghallager's hefty form fell to the floor with a loud smacking sound.
Mulder opened his eyes. "Kristi!" She appeared to almost be in shock as she stood above Ghallager's body. She looked so pale, Mulder worried that she might faint again.
She broke out of her trance as she saw Mulder. "Agent Mulder, are you all right?" She ran to his side and reached up to untie the ropes around his wrists.
"Yeah. Are you all right?" His left hand fell to his side. He had been right. The skin was ripped open, but it was not serious.
"I don't remember anything." Her voice was quiet and frightened.
"That's all right." He rubbed his wrists as she successfully untied the ropes. "Thank you , Kristi."
She did not smile. She fell to her knees next to Ghallager's body. "Is your arm all right?"
"What?" He sat down next to her.
"It was horrible, Agent Mulder. I could see everything he was doing. I would scream and scream, but I could do nothing but watch it all happening. When he made me go to your hotel room and try to kill you, I kept screaming and yelling at you, trying to warn you. But he wouldn't let me." A tear rolled down her cheek. She touched the arm she had injured. "I'm so sorry. I didn't want to kill any of those people. Honest. I'm not going to jail, am I?"
"Oh, no. It wasn't your fault. You won't go to jail. I'll make sure of that."
"I killed Jill, Agent Mulder. I'm so, so sorry. You liked each other so much, but he made me kill her. It was awful. She just kept begging me to leave you alone. Even in her own death, she was worrying about you." Her cheeks were soaked with tears by now.
Mulder couldn't speak. He knew if he did, his voice would crack revealing his emotions. He just held her hand and let her cry on his shoulder until the police arrived.
Mulder watched the questioning carefully. He knew Kristi might break down if they pryed too far into her, but they had to scrape the surface enough to get answers. He crossed his arms in front of him and listened as they went on with the questions.
"Did you kill Mitchell Ghallager?"
"Yes." A tear rolled down her cheek. Mulder was glad that she couldn't see him through the one way glass.
"Was it in self defense?"
He turned toward Scully. She smiled weakly at him. This had not been a case they would soon forget. Mulder's forehead had numerous deep gashes from the bottle Ghallager had shattered over his head. A small, but deep vertical cut had been made near his hair line by Ghallager as well.
"How are you holding up?"
He nodded. "Fine, Scully." He turned back toward Kristi and listened to what they were saying.
Scully grabbed his hand and linked her fingers through his. She squeezed gently and smiled when he turned toward her. "Kristi's safe. She's going home after this. We're going to have a policeman there for the week, but we're pretty sure she'll be okay."
His face brightened slightly. He had been so worried about Kristi's well being. She had seen so much, and she was liable to have a breakdown if they weren't careful. "Thanks, Scully."
She nodded and leaned toward him. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders gently and set her chin on his shoulder. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. This one had been close, a little too close. She was just glad that he had made it through all right.
When they pulled away, he smiled. It was obvious that he was feeling better now that he knew Kristi was all right. "Let's get something to eat. I'm starving."
Scully smiled. "Good idea." They left the room together. They would both be so glad to finally get back to good old Washington, D.C..
Murtha smiled at them as they left. Her first real homicide had gone very well. She watched the questioning for another moment before turning toward the door. She licked her upper lip nervously and followed after them.