By Anonymous
Rating: R
Classification: XA
Spoilers: US3 -- Grotesque. Big time.

Yvonne will accept feedback for this author at Please indicate that the
feedback is for Anonymous.

Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner and the
X-Files and X-Files characters are the property of 20th Century Fox,
Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. No infringement is intended.

Two stories converge as an exhausted Mulder works a heinous murder case with Bill Patterson,
which is brought to light as Mulder and Patterson meet again on the John Mostow case.

From Janson's History of Art:
"Donatello has here produced another revolutionary work <St. George and the Dragon>, devising
a new kind of relief <schiacciato> that is physically shallow yet creates an illusion of infinite
pictorial depth...every tiny ripple becomes endowed with a descriptive power infinitely greater
than its real depth."



Thin fingers of light breathe down on me as I watch the killer. His fevered eyes flick back and
forth as he tries to avoid my gaze. The light hurts his eyes. Too bad, motherfucker. He is
foreign to me, completely alien. He has committed horrific crimes against humanity. All in the
name of salvation.

I crouch down to see what he has been laboriously drawing. It is a hideous face, a gargoyle. It
looks through me and I blink, suddenly staggered by its power. The killer, Mostow, keeps
looking at me.

I can feel Scully's revulsion behind me and I want to send her out of the room, but I know better.

I ask Mostow about the drawing. He looks surprised, for a moment, that I've even noticed, then
he begins talking about it as if it is...real. He doesn't tell me much that I don't already know,
claiming that the evil he's rendered is known by all. He's been possessed by this creature, forced
to commit the murders with his body and the creature's mind.

I question him, probe him, and come to the conclusion that Mostow, at least, believes in this
thing. Mostow claims that it will be looking for someone else now, someone else to inhabit while
it commits its grisly parade of murders.

I wonder briefly if Mostow knows about the latest murder. I ask him and he is stunned, sickened,
horrified. It has already found another. Mostow seems this revelation. I wonder
if he misses it, if he misses the power this creature gave him. I wonder what it's like.


FEBRUARY 1, 1988

"If you want to know an artist, you must understand his art."

That phrase ran circles through Fox Mulder's memory as he crouched next to the body. He could
feel the hovering presence of law enforcement, keeping a respectful distance from both the
mangled corpse and the Giant Brain. Mulder shifted his weight and tried to focus. This was his
fifth murder case in two months and the bodies were starting to look surreal.


Mulder slowly got to his feet and turned to face Bill Patterson, a man Mulder had once regarded
as a trusted mentor. Now Mulder just hated the sound of his voice. He was the disembodied
voice on the other end of the line, who called him in the middle of the night and told him to get
packed, he was on his way to Duluth/Marfa/Fresno. Patterson's steel gaze bored through
Mulder's skull. As usual.

"I just got here, Bill," Mulder said mildly. Patterson clapped him on the shoulder.

"Easy one, Mulder. Even the locals can see this isn't a serial."

Oh really, Mulder thought. Aloud, he said, "Then why are we here?"

Patterson looked immediately uncomfortable. He glanced at the cops, who were still staring at
Mulder, then took Mulder by the arm and led him away, safely out of earshot.

"The mayor is friends with the Assistant Director," Patterson began quietly. Mulder sighed.

"Fucking politics?"

"Fucking politics are what keep us in business, Mulder," Patterson reminded him severely.

"You're not going into your 'Feds against the world' speech again, are you, Bill?"

Patterson's jaw clenched. While Mulder had always been in the habit of questioning, of
challenging, he rarely argued for the sake of argument. Patterson looked closely at Mulder. The
kid was exhausted, anyone could see that. Ever since Patterson had sent him on his first
assignment, Mulder had struck gold. There would always be cases like this to solve and someone
would always demand the best. Fox Mulder had done this to himself, Patterson told himself. He
was the best. Now he just stood wearily in front of Patterson, arguing as if it were a reflex
reaction. Hell, maybe it was. Mulder always had the far-out theory, could always establish the
defining moment of the lives of the monsters they hunted.

"This is one, two days, tops. Just do the work, catch the psycho, and then you can take a
vacation," Patterson said. Mulder grinned.

"Next you're gonna want me to beg for Scooby Snacks."

Patterson had no comeback.



Bill Patterson has been working this case for three years. I haven't seen him since I quit the
Investigative Support Unit, many years ago. It's obvious that he still despises me for leaving. As
he attempts to goad me again, I refrain from mentioning that I probably could have solved this
case in a few weeks. Bill knows that and he'll never forgive me.

I wonder for a moment about my involvement in this case. Bill doesn't look surprised to see me.
As soon as I mention the spirit Mostow claims inhabited him, Bill rolls his eyes. He can still push
all of my buttons, get me going down whatever sick avenue he deems appropriate.

I push the idea that Mostow could have been possessed, just to make Bill angry. It appears as if I
can still push Bill's buttons, too. He looks tired, exhausted by this ordeal and for that I'm glad.
He deserves it. The other agent, Nemhauser, looks jittery. He and Scully exchange glances, as if
privately commenting on the war between Bill and I.

Bill pisses Scully off. She treats him with deference and I can feel her astonishment at the brutal
personal attack. I believe that Scully has a much different idea about my year with the ISU. She
believes the stories.

I toss off a caustic comment and turn to leave, but Bill stops me. He begins railing at me about
how long this case has taken, how much it's taken out of all concerned, and how horrified they are
about this latest murder. Deep down, both Bill and I know that this isn't a copycat. I know that
Mostow is connected, even though Bill won't believe that. He was never much for extreme

Bill believes in the work. He has more faith in it than I ever did. Bill is definitely on edge. I try
to talk him down a bit by throwing his own profile in his face. It's a good, solid profile, if a bit
unspectacular. But Bill was never much for theatrics. Bill's profile claims that Mostow acted
alone and I believe him.

I ask Bill about the drawings and he automatically dismisses any idea that these monsters have
anything to do with the killings. I bite back my response. I've seen the photos, the hideous
death-masks Mostow created. I begin talking off the top of my head, remembering all that I can
about gargoyles and marrying that with what Mostow told me and what I observed.

Bill blows up at me and suddenly I can't take it any more. His mere presence is dredging up
memories that are better left alone. It took me a good long time to rid my mind of those horrible
three years, of all of those bodies, and I'll be damned if I'll let Bill Patterson use me to fix his mess.


FEBRUARY 2, 1988

The crime scene photos were particularly gruesome. Mulder tossed the file on the bed and picked
up another folder, one dated two months previously. He flipped through it slowly.
Something...something was telling him that this related. Mulder frowned and looked off into
space. Something...

The dead girl he'd examined at the crime scene today, the girl whose body had remained in its
unnatural state until Mulder could get there, had been a college student, studying physics. She
had been eviscerated and beaten to death and earlier, Mulder would have said that she had been a
random, albeit vicious, killing. The cops said there was no signature, just a violent murder. JUST
murder. Mulder ran a hand through his hair, desperately needing to watch a Hepburn and Tracy
movie. Something, anything where decapitation and mutilation wasn't on the bill.

Mulder managed to bring his mind back to the folder he held in his hand. A high school student, a
senior, beaten to death in an alley. The beating was consistent with that of the most recent dead
girl. But the recent girl had been placed face down and she had obviously been killed from
behind. A definite signature.

"He has a problem with women, that's a given," Mulder said to himself. "He's ashamed, showed
some remorse after the latest killing. Another given."

But he hadn't shown any remorse after the first one, so why did these two murders seem
connected? Mulder looked at the more recent photos. There was nothing to indicate that she had
been killed by the same UNSUB who had killed the high-school girl. Nothing. Yet...



Scully, ever-curious, asks me about Patterson as we leave the prison. I can't keep the bitterness
out of my voice. Scully thinks I was some sort of avenging angel with the ISU, that they couldn't
live without me, that I did nothing but solve cases left and right. Well, perhaps that part is true.
But I don't want to tell her what it was really like. Not because it's Scully, but because it's me.

I can't talk about this anymore. I've managed to lock it away. But even though I determine to
leave it alone, it comes out again at Scully's innocent instigation. I tell her that Patterson always
hated me. He put on a jovial, father-figure of a front, but it was never sincere. I had my own way
of doing things and I refused to worship at his altar.

I think that there might have come a little bit of respect in the middle of all this horror, but I
wonder if I was too delusional at that point to notice that Bill was still putting me on. He uses
people, he always has, and he's probably using that poor, defenseless Nemhauser. Poor sap.

All I will tell Scully about Bill's methods is that he taught us if you want to catch a monster, you
must become one yourself. I leave out the night terrors, the chills and fever, the insomnia that
comes when you finally open your mind to evil.

I used to sit in the park and watch people walk by, envying them their innocence. And then my
mind used to fuck with me, telling me that I had the unique gift to be able to preserve that
innocence, and I rejected it.

I used to wonder if Patterson's mind-fuck had insinuated part of his personality into mine. My
conscience was hell to deal with, absolute fucking hell. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I
know that the guilt I feel over Samantha's disappearance was only aided by the guilt I still feel for
walking away from the psychos. I can reconcile that intellectually, but emotionally...that's still a


FEBRUARY 3, 1988

Mulder let himself in, quietly closing the door behind him. He stood in Caroline Weston's living
room. Her empty living room. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. It was musty in here.
But Caroline wouldn't be coming home to open a window. Mulder opened his eyes and walked
carefully towards Caroline's bedroom, the room where she'd been killed. The cleaners had done a
good job with the blood stains and the room appeared almost normal, like Caroline herself. Too
normal. Mulder wandered through the room, picking up random objects, getting the feel of

There were dust bunnies underneath the bed but precious few secrets. Caroline hadn't kept a
diary, an appointment book, nothing. Her only correspondence consisted of rather innocuous
notes dashed off to friends, informing them of parties and get-togethers in the future. Caroline
was relatively popular, but nothing to write home about. Average in every way. Her grades were
solid but unspectacular, she was a diligent student, and if the truth be told, she was putting
Mulder to sleep.

He yawned widely and sat down on her bed, which was covered with a bright white comforter.
Birth-control pills in the bedside table drawer. A canister of Hershey's Kisses on the dresser. The
high school girl, Patty Weymouth, had been anything but average. She had been a hell-raiser of
the highest order, a punked-out super-bitch quickly on the road to AIDS or drug addiction,
whichever came first. There was none of the understated elegance of Caroline's life in Patty's.
Yet Patty's family was straight-laced normal and Caroline's had been monstrous. Her father beat
her and her brother constantly and had finally been tossed in jail where he remained to this day,
much to Mulder's dismay. At least he could foist the possibility of the man's guilt on the local
cops and then he could get some sleep until they sorted it out. Lost in thought, arms behind his
head, Mulder lay down on Caroline's bed and was asleep almost instantly.

The rattling of the windows woke him. Mulder sat up quickly, disoriented. It was dark out and
the increasing wind signaled a storm. Mulder looked at his watch. He'd been asleep for three

"Shit," he muttered, rubbing a hand over his face. He was even more tired than before. He got to
his feet and looked around, praying that he'd missed something, but Caroline remained a normal
dead girl. Mulder cracked his shin on the bedpost and almost fell over the chair to Caroline's
small desk. Then he saw it. Pinned to the bottom of Caroline's cork board, which had been hung
with the bottom even with the top of the desk, was a note. Mulder had thought the cops' work
rather sloppy up until now, and now he had evidence to support his theory that local cops were
just coffee-swilling boobs waiting for that big pension. Mulder reached out and unpinned the
note. He unfolded it slowly.

"Nice," he read. Nice? Mulder turned the note over. Nothing. Holding it carefully, he pulled an
evidence bag out of his pocket and sealed the note.



Mostow's 'home', if you care to call it that, is nestled in a warehouse. The cot that serves as a bed
sits against one of the dingy walls. The place is cluttered, many surfaces splattered with paint and
smudged with charcoal.

Blue light from God knows what source pricks the darkness. The overall effect is rather
unsettling, especially when combined with the hundreds and hundreds of drawings Mostow had
tacked and taped to the walls.

Scully is standing close to the door and I don't blame her. I am drawn to these works, wondering
why Mostow was compelled to recreate these images over and over, wondering how it helped
him keep the madness at bay. Or if it even did.

I need to examine these drawings, touch them. The charcoal sketches are ragged, insistent.
Mostow had obviously broken many pieces of stick charcoal in his attempt to commit the image
to paper.

The charcoal is clumped in places on the drawing I examine. It flakes off easily when I touch it.
The jittery line drawings have a life all their own, a morbid exuberance that reminds me of Van
Gogh's work. Madness is readily apparent. I believe that the reason Van Gogh became the
pre-eminent artist of the Fauve movement was because he was truly insane.

Mostow is no Van Gogh, but I haven't seen madness so aptly portrayed before. It's almost as if
his drawing is an attempt to banish the evil he creates. I wonder if Mostow realizes the irony of
this vicious circle. Probably not.

Mostow has a cat. It's black, of course, and it nearly scared Scully to death. I turn to look at her.
She is hardly breathing, casting glances around the horrible room. I remember that she has seen
terrible things, but never anything like this. The room has a feel to it, an oppressive, psychotic
feel, and Scully is not prepared for it.

I debate sending her out of the room but once again, I know that's a bad idea. She takes a deep
breath and looks at me, gaze steady. Regrouped. I smile at her, then kneel down and search for
the cat's entrance. I hold my breath. There is another room.


FEBRUARY 3, 1988

Mulder clenched the Weymouth file tightly in one hand as he rang the bell again. He shifted his
weight. Christ, it was getting cold out! Mulder got his best professional smile ready as the lock
was slowly unbolted from inside. The door creaked open and a rather haggard looking older
woman stared at him.

"Yes?" she said frostily.

"My name is Fox Mulder, I'm with the FBI --" he began. The woman started to close the door.

"We gave you enough of our time before."

"Wait, please...I think the man who killed your daughter might have killed another girl."

That got her attention. Debra Weymouth opened the door wider. Mulder was staggered by the
bitter look on her face. The loss of her daughter had ruined this woman. As he followed her into
the house he could see remnants of her vitality. The house itself was like a mausoleum. The
Weymouths had probably died twice, once when their daughter rebelled and once when she was
killed. Debra settled herself down in an armchair and Mulder sat, uneasily, on the sofa.

"What is this all about?" she asked wearily. Mulder hesitated. Did this woman really need to
dredge up these memories? It had only been six months. Almost reading his mind, she waved a

"Go ahead, Agent Mulder. Ask your questions."

"I'll try not to take up much of your time. A college girl was murdered yesterday and I have
some...evidence...that it was not a random killing."

Mulder paused. This woman was not going to be happy with him.

"I was wondering if it would be possible to look at some of Patty's effects," he said in what he
considered to be his soothing voice. Debra's eyes narrowed and she regarded him long enough to
make him squirm.

"The other cops didn't care about that," she said in her flat, unemotional voice. Mulder nodded.

"I know. I think there may be a link between these two killings."

"I still don't understand why you need to look at Patty's things," she said. Mulder sighed. He
hated even attempting this explanation.

"I need to know what Patty was like in order to form a picture of the killer," he said, choosing the
succinct approach.

"Form a picture? What do you mean by that? The cops have been looking for this animal for six
months. What makes you think YOU can find him?"

Because I'm fucking brilliant, Mulder thought sarcastically to himself. They don't call me Spooky
for nothing.

"It's possible that this man has a compulsion to kill, that he can't help himself and he can't stop. If
I have enough information about the crime and the victim, I can put together a profile of the
killer, which narrows the search --"

"Thereby doing the work of the police for them," she said bitterly. Mulder was taken aback.

"Not exactly, Mrs. Weymouth --"

"You seem like a nice young man. Very earnest. I appreciate that. but this voodoo --"

"Trust me, it's not voodoo. IF Patty was killed by this man, I will find him. He made a big
mistake killing again."

Mulder and Debra locked eyes. Finally, she looked away. Mulder was very conscious of his FBI
suit and tie, his conservative haircut, that overeducated Oxford stench that would be with him
forever. Perhaps if he looked more like Dirty Harry...

"I don't suppose it would hurt," she said softly. Debra got to her feet and started down the hall.
Mulder did the same.

"We...haven't thought of anything to do with her room yet. Not that she was ever in it when she

Debra's voice trailed off and Mulder felt her frustration. She mourned her daughter's death but
also had the added burden of mourning her life. Patty hadn't been much of a daughter.
Somewhat ceremoniously, Debra flung open a bedroom door and gestured to Mulder.

"Just...please don't touch anything," she said. Mulder nodded and slipped inside.

Patty's room was the antithesis of Caroline's. It was wall-to-wall clutter and walls weren't
obscured by stacks of junk were covered with music posters. The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience,
The Chameleons, Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, the obligatory Sex Pistols poster, Big Star and
Alex Chilton, Orange Juice, Split Enz. Mulder frowned at that one. Somehow Split Enz didn't
seem to fit. He sat down on Patty's lumpy, messy bed, obviously the way she had left it. Papers
were strewn all over the room and the thought of sifting through any of it made Mulder even
more exhausted than he already was. Better not fall asleep here, Mulder told himself.

It took him the better part of an hour to find the note. The real challenge came in putting
everything back the way it was. The note was pinned behind a massive enclave of phone numbers
on Patty's bulletin board, which was banished to the closet, ostensibly because of the presence of
fluffy white kittens. Patty had not been a fluffy-white-kitten kind of girl. Being just as careful
with this note, Mulder handled it gently and unfolded it.

"Naughty," he read, already knowing the word before seeing it. Naughty. Of course. Naughty
and nice. What Mulder didn't understand, however, was how this note got pinned to Patty
Weymouth's bulletin board when Patty had been killed in an alley in the middle of the night.

"So you're saying that this guy's done, then? That he killed these two girls to exorcise whatever
demons? Naughty and nice, that's it, right? There isn't, like, happy and sad, homicidal and saintly,
messy and immaculate?"

Mulder wanted to punch Kyle Stokes in the head. This guy was an asshole who definitely needed
his comeuppance. He stared at Mulder now, absurd tie swinging back and forth, buggy eyes
practically bulging out of his melon-shaped head. Mulder looked at the doorway to Stokes's
office. Bill Patterson hovered there, like some mercurial avenging angel who was ready to smite
Mulder if he did anything wrong. Why, after three years and God knows how many potential
serial murder cases, did Patterson still feel the need to watch Mulder's every move? Gosh Mulder,
I don't know, his little voice told him, perhaps it's because of that fucking holier-than-thou attitude
you seem to cultivate whenever you're faced with people like Stokes. Patterson needs the leash.

"How should I know?" was really the best Mulder could do under the circumstances. He could
barely keep his eyes open. Here it was, ten o'clock at night, and Mulder had been on the go since
yesterday morning.

"You're the genius," Stokes muttered somewhat resentfully.

"I'm so many things you'll never be, Stokes, clean being one of them," Mulder replied almost
instantly. Patterson took a step into the office as Stokes snarled at Mulder.

"Look, asshole, do we got a serial killer here or not?"

"Check the notes for prints, Stokes," Patterson intervened. He took Mulder by the arm and led
him out of the office.

"Call me at the hotel."

Stokes sputtered but stood silently by as Patterson and Mulder left the station. Mulder should
have known he wasn't getting off that easily. Patterson stopped him and turned to face him.

"Do we, Mulder?" he asked quietly. "Is it a serial?"

"I really don't have the slightest fucking idea, Bill," Mulder said sarcastically. "But given the fact
that two notes were found at the homes of the victims, this might just indicate that we've got one

"Come off it, Mulder," Patterson said viciously, "Forensically, you still can't substantiate a similar

"But the notes --"

"Could be bullshit. Mulder, listen to me. I don't know why you feel the need to prove a
connection between these murders, but you've got enough on the Weston case to draw up at least
a preliminary profile. Shit, Mulder, the whole reason I brought you along on this case was
because it was basically in and out, we look great, you get more accolades, it doesn't turn you into
a fucking lunatic."

"Do you think I'm a lunatic, Bill?"

"Of course not, Mulder. Don't be stupid. But you're working unnecessarily hard on this case.
Go write the profile of the Weston killer. Leave the Weymouth case alone."

Mulder stared at Patterson, just stared at him.

"You have GOT to be kidding me. The causal connections --"

"Could take you months to uncover, if they even exist. You need some time off, Mulder. This
was supposed to be two days' work and you've got the staff of an entire police department not to
mention our forensics staff, working their butts off on the blind chance that these two cases care
somehow related."

"Can you tell me they're not?" Mulder asked, barely keeping his temper in check. Patterson's
agendas were getting to be too much.

"Of course not. But it doesn't matter."

"You go ahead and gladhand politicians, Bill. Just leave me out of it."

Mulder turned to go, but Patterson grabbed his arm.

"Look, Mulder, I'm trying to do you a favor here," he said rather soothingly. Mulder arched an

"You always seemed to give a shit, Bill. It was never about this crap but always, ALWAYS,
about locating the UNSUB and solving the murders. What the hell has gotten into you?"

"Don't go all righteous on me, Fox Mulder. Some battles aren't meant to be fought."

Mulder looked at Patterson.

"Aren't meant to be won, you mean," he said. Patterson shook his head.

"Let it go, Mulder. Write the profile. Go home."

Mulder shook his head, cracked a smile.

"I learned from you, Bill. I can't go back."

Patterson stared after Mulder as he walked to the car. He allowed himself a very tight, very small
smile. Sometimes Mulder just needed a push in the right direction.



Scully helps me rip Mostow's drawings off the wall and she is able to locate the door. Scully
advises me to wait until we can get back-up, but I just can't let twenty cops swarm into that room
before me. I know what's in there. The rest of Mostow's madness. A fetid, cold draft of air
greets me as I step into the room. I snap on my penlight, shine its feeble beam around.

Gargoyles. Dozens of them. I am truly astonished. In addition to being a renderer, Mostow was
also a sculptor. I can hear the drip, drip, drip of water, somewhere far off in the distance as I
approach a menacing, gruesome torso of clay.

I reach out a quavering hand and touch it. I can hear Scully, her voice high with tension, asking
me if I'm all right. I hear the snap of her holster as she draws her gun.

I run my finger over the surface of the gargoyle's face. The clay is still wet. I hesitate, then bring
my other hand up and suddenly I'm tearing at the clay, just tearing at it, tossing it down onto the
cement floor in grey clumps. I unearth a face, given the same death mask as Mostow's other
victims. His unfinished victims.

This waxy countenance is transformed. It has 'licked the greasy floor of hell, just to see its
reflection', as Mostow so aptly put it. Mostow killed man, gave him over to monster, and
monster turned man into monster. I stare into its shocked eyes, its dull pupils, dilated with
horror. And I feel horror.


FEBRUARY 4, 1988

Mulder was on a boat, unable to move. The waves crashed against the side of the boat, tossing it
from side to side. Mulder opened his mouth to scream but caught a mouthful of salt water.
Gagging, he peered through the darkness. There was a light, flickering through the haze and the
fog. Beckoning to him. But the boat was veering off course now, taking Mulder away from the
light. He screamed, kicked, did everything short of gnawing off his hand, but the boat continued
away from the light. The light wavered, flickered, and disappeared.

Mulder sat bolt upright, gasping for breath. He glanced around wildly. He was on top of the
hideous bedspread, still in his rumpled suit. He glanced at the clock. Four A.M. Mulder
groaned and flopped back down on the bed, trying to put a halt to the images that ran through his
mind. Shit. Too late. He sat up again and turned on the light, rubbing a hand over his eyes.
Three hours of sleep. This blew. Mulder thought about the dream. The dream...why had it
scared him so much? It was probably the most benign dream he'd ever had. But it totally freaked
him out.

"Okay, look at this rationally," he told himself. He furrowed his brow, trying to follow his own

"I'm on the wrong track," he muttered almost instantly. Thank God for Psych 101. What was his
track? That this guy had killed both Patty Weymouth and Caroline Weston. Okay. Fine. Why?
What was the connection? Mulder got to his feet, began pacing.

"Come on, Mulder," he murmured, "get this. Figure it out. Come on..."

Mulder suddenly dove for his briefcase, ripping it open and pulling out the two files. He'd been a
lot more interested with the pathology and forensics reports, with behavioral reports on both girls.
Now he stared at the photos which accompanied the file. He stared as if his eyes burned.
Caroline Weston, three years older than Patty Weymouth, was a dead ringer for the younger girl.

"Bingo," Mulder said softly.



We found five dismembered bodies. Scully is with the pathologist and I have bugged out to the
library in hopes of being able to more clearly define the nature of this evil. I find many mentions
of gargoyles in literature and folklore and they are even more hideous than Mostow described

They are descended from a medieval French dragon who prowled the Seine. The image of the
dragon became the symbol of condemned souls...I search further and discover that the image
serves another purpose. It represents demons spared eternal damnation, vicious demons who rape

The gargoyle is a psychological creature, turning our fears inward in an attempt to capture our
souls, hoping to send us to hell and to grow stronger itself. The gargoyle takes our darkest
imagination and twists it to suit its own nefarious purpose.

It is a selfish creature, condemned itself and hateful of those who condemn it. And it compels
artists to render its likeness, to set it atop churches and other sacred sites so that it may watch
over the souls of the living and perhaps, perhaps force those souls into a macabre, diabolical
dance with evil.

The gargoyle manipulates in order to feed its hunger. It resurrects itself, born again and again,
torturing our physical selves in an attempt to create us in its image. It exists to torture, to haunt,
to destroy. It uses our own nature against us.

It is selfish. We are selfish. Do we exist with inside of us? Can we? Or
rather, can we exist without it? Does the gargoyle represent our dark side, the side we must have
in order to set things right?

Is the gargoyle madness? Is that what compelled John Mostow to kill? Did his renderings of the
monster finally become the monster? These thoughts circle around in my head as I fall asleep.


FEBRUARY 5, 1988

Patterson watched as Mulder rushed through his presentation. He could tell that the local cops
were completely at sea, and even the two FBI agents in the room looked confused. Patterson
made a mental note to not ever let those two maroons into his National Academy program. Hell,
even Patterson was having a...time...following Mulder, but he knew where the kid was going and
he was glad that he'd goaded Mulder yesterday. Mulder looked worse today. He'd obviously
gotten virtually no sleep at all and had been running the case backwards and forwards in his mind.
For someone of such obvious brilliance, Mulder was a naive patsy. He'd stood right there and
vehemently defended what Patterson wanted in the first place. Mulder's exhaustion had
lengthened his response time. He was missing things that he shouldn't miss, failing to make leaps
that he should make. Patterson's little agenda had given Fox Mulder something to fight against
and it was making all the difference in the world. Mulder needed to get deeper into this case. His
analysis barely scratched the surface of the psycho's mind. It was sloppy work, uncharacteristic of
Mulder. Patterson hated to do it, though. He knew what the kid had been through. But what
was the point of the giant brain if he didn't use it? This guy would kill again and again and only
Mulder could stop him. Patterson allowed himself a small smile. Mulder was the least political
person Patterson had ever known. He fought every fight, didn't know how to pick his spots.
Which was why Patterson had decided to take a back-seat on this one, let the kid have some
glory. Mulder's raised voice brought Patterson out of his reverie with a jolt. He was arguing with
Pastini, one of the Feds.

"No, you fucking moron. Do you listen to me?" Mulder practically shouted.

"I'm listening to you, Mulder, but you're not making any sense. Jesus, I asked a simple question.
I gotta know how you know this stuff."

"No you don't," Mulder said viciously. "I'm doing my job here, Pastini. You do your job and go
find this sick fuck."

Time for an intervention. Patterson stood.

"Agent Mulder, perhaps you could slow down just a bit and give Agent Pastini a more thorough
background on our UNSUB."

Mulder's eyes flashed. He turned to glare at Patterson and finally noticed the small quirk at the
corner of his mouth. Mulder cocked his head and slowly nodded. He looked down and put his
papers in order.

"Of course, Agent Patterson. You're right. I apologize, Agent Pastini," Mulder said calmly.
Pastini stared at him, stunned by the change.

"This has been a very stressful case for all involved. I'll try to explain."

Patterson sighed. Mulder always aimed for the fence with his Academy Award theatrics.

"Our UNSUB was abused as a child. You with me?"

Patterson groaned. Mulder was NOT going along with him. Pastini, though, was dumb as a
snail. He just nodded. Mulder grinned.

"Great. Okay. He was abused. He was raised in a female-dominated home, probably had at least
one sister, who he adored. He may have had a stepfather, but one who treated him remotely,
without feeling."

Mulder looked closely at Pastini, who stared at him with a resentful look on his face. Patterson
was already out of his seat and moving towards the front of the room when Mulder continued.

"His mother beat the shit out of him with a broom handle and fucked his best friend. Sound

Patterson couldn't blame Pastini for going after Mulder. Hell, Patterson would have done the
same thing. As he sprinted for the front of the room and tried to pull Pastini's hands off Mulder's
throat, he completely regretted bringing Mulder along on this case. Pastini was very strong when
he was enraged and it took three men to pull him off Mulder. Patterson jerked his head and the
men magically dispersed, dragging a hissing and spitting Pastini with them. Patterson looked
down at Mulder, who was coughing as he tried to regain his breath. Patterson squatted down
next to him.

"You okay?" he asked calmly. Mulder nodded. "You asked for that, you know."

Mulder nodded again.

"So did he," Mulder gasped hoarsely. "Fucking prick thinks he knows it all. Won't even listen.
He had the local cops doing the same thing, Bill. None of them were listening to me."

Patterson sighed. The one criticism he had of Mulder's technique was that it was most definitely
NOT user-friendly. Mulder didn't understand why nobody else could follow his thought
processes. As if by rote, Patterson tried once again to clue Mulder in on the sad, sorry lives of the

"Look, Mulder, they can't follow what they can't understand. This is all hocus-pocus to them.
Even if you sat them down and explained how you drew your conclusions, they would still think
that you pulled this shit out of thin air."

"Well, I do, Bill."

"I'm not finished. We're all on the same side here, Mulder. You have GOT to get these assholes
to want to go out there, use your information, and nab this fucker. You are not supposed to
make the gulf between us and them any bigger. You alienated a roomful of cops and two FBI
agents tonight. They are NOT going to work with you after this."

Mulder stared at Patterson.

"What do you suggest we do then, Bill?" he asked quietly, in that deadly Mulder-voice that
Patterson hated.

"You're going to give me your written profile, what you've got so far, anyway, and I'm going to
doctor it and distribute it, in the hopes that it coming from me will repair some of the damage
you've done."

Mulder looked at him for a moment, then nodded. Patterson breathed a sigh of relief.

"And what should I do?"

Patterson regretted this even as he said it. Didn't they have enough to get started? Was it
completely necessary to send Mulder back into the lion's den? Patterson looked at him. Mulder
could hardly keep him eyes open. Would it hurt for Mulder to take the day off? Patterson shut
his eyes.

"You have to get into his head, Mulder. You're not in there yet. You know that."

Patterson could feel Mulder flinch.

"But the connections --"

"Will you stop with the Goddammed connections already?" Patterson practically shouted. He
took a calming breath.

"You've done great with the connections. But now that you've found one, you know there are
several more out there."

"And several more murders," Mulder said.

"We don't know that, Mulder, but yeah, it's always possible that he's killed more."

Mulder shut his eyes. Patterson waited.

"I'm so tired, Bill," he said softly. Patterson's heart went out to the kid but now that he'd made
the decision to keep him going, there was no turning back.

"And I'm sure those dead girls were tired too," he said, too harshly. Mulder opened his eyes,
stared at Patterson.

"That's not fair," he said defiantly.

"Maybe not, but it's true. You wanna quit right in the middle of this case? Is that what you

"No of course not...I didn't mean that...I'm just so tired. I don't know if I'll be able to find

God, it was easy to manipulate this kid. Patterson often wondered what kind of miserable family
Fox Mulder came from to make him this malleable.

"You have got to try," Patterson said firmly. Mulder sighed and the wind seemed to go out of
him. He rubbed a hand over his face and nodded.

"I'll try," he said faintly. "I'll try."

Patterson grinned, helped Mulder to his feet.

"Great. Hey, I'll bet you haven't eaten today. Let's go get something, huh?"

Mulder smiled slowly.

"Why Bill, do you mean in a real restaurant? With paper napkins and everything?"

"There's got to be a Perko's somewhere in this Godforsaken town."

The door was flung open as Patterson got in the car. A very over-excited young cop raced
towards him.

"Sir," he said breathlessly, "there's been more..."


"Another murder?" Mulder asked. The cop shook his head violently from side to side.

"Not one. Two. Two little the woods."

Patterson and Mulder exchanged glances.

"Sorry about dinner, Mulder."

"It's for the best. I didn't have the heart to tell you how much I loathe family dining."

Patterson put the car into drive.



A sharp crack wakes me. Bill stands there, that severe look on his face that tells me I've gone too
far off the rails this time. He's almost shouting at me, tossing the heavy books around as he taunts
me about shutting myself off in a library while the real work is being done. He wants a theory
from me, wants it badly, but I am hesitant with what I have.

I can give him a history lesson, marry it with a little psychology...that might hold off anyone else
but Bill Patterson. He sees right through me, almost the same way the gargoyle saw through
Mostow...I rub my eyes, suddenly exhausted.

I am back in the zone again, tracking a killer by becoming one. And Bill knows it. He has been in
that zone for three years. Does he really need me? Judging by his insistence that I jump into this
case with both feet, he does. Bill always has an agenda.

He badgers me about the drawings and I finally tell him that the monster wants to see its own
reflection. Bill is incredulous and I am a little surprised. It makes no sense to him but it does to
me. The monster wants what it wants. Perhaps Mostow was right. Perhaps the monster found
another sad soul to carry out its bidding.

Bill accuses me of wasting time and again I wonder why I'm here, why he seems unhappy to have
me on this case but unwilling to let me go. Bill tells me that he's disappointed in me, that he
thought I'd finally put my feet on the ground. Bill has always been disappointed in me. No case
was ever solved quickly enough for him.

Bill reminds me of my father, always demanding and never approving. Bill storms out and I get to
my feet, going to the window to look out over the city. A cold flash of grey stills my heart. A
gargoyle perches in front of the window, its grotesque face looking into my soul.


FEBRUARY 5, 1988

Mulder was in shock. The girls, approximately ten and seven, had been ripped apart. Literally.
The clearing was covered in blood. Mulder staggered over to the crime scene, which was
curiously deserted. Many of the local cops had never seen anything like this before and they were
off ralphing into the trees. Mulder's mind, tired as it was, took every detail into account. He
could feel Patterson behind him, feel the rage emanating from him. Mulder didn't feel rage, only
despair. The killer was heating up now. The game was in the final inning and Mulder needed to
move his ass in order to catch this guy.

"My God..."

Mulder turned at the sound of the choked voice. Pastini stood behind him, eyes wide and
horrified, a handkerchief covering his mouth. Pastini and Mulder locked eyes. Pastini lowered
the handkerchief.

"Catch this fucker, okay?" he muttered. Mulder nodded, turned back to the crime scene. He
stripped on his gloves and carefully stepped over the police tape. The iron stench of the blood
made him gag but he forced himself to concentrate on the physical evidence. Concentrate,
Mulder. He does this for a reason. He's compelled, he can't help himself. If he could, he would
be a lot smarter, craftier. This guy is desperate. That was it. This crime scene had a sense of
desperation about it. The killer had needed these murders, like a junkie needed a fix. The
haphazard pattern of the blood and the state of the bodies indicated that the killer had spent some
time here, hoping and praying for whatever release he thought these hideous acts would give him.
With a shaking hand, Mulder reached out and picked up the white piece of paper that was shoved
in the mouth of the first, the younger, victim. Nice. Mulder swallowed hard and crab-walked
over to the other girl. The piece of paper was also shoved in her mouth. Naughty.

"Jesus," Mulder muttered, shaken. He jumped as Patterson spoke.

"Sexual assault?"

"Uh, no."

Mulder slowly got to his feet and looked at Patterson, realization dawning.

"A vicious fucking crime, but no sexual assault."

Mulder looked down at the crippled bodies, his mind working furiously. Was it possible that this
man did NOT need these kills as a sexual release? Sure, it's possible...Mulder thought back to the
other killings. Neither had been sexual in nature. Patty Weymouth's murder hadn't seemed like a
serial at all, just an assault gone too far. Caroline Weston definitely HAD been murdered, there
was no chance that it was any sort of accident, but the indications of a serial murder were virtually
nil until Mulder found the note. How many girls had this psycho killed? How many families
mourned the accidental deaths of their daughters, when in reality they had been some kind of
placebo for a maniac?

"Or not," Mulder muttered.


Mulder turned to look at Patterson.

"I've got to go."

Mulder turned and practically sprinted away from the crime scene. Patterson watched him,
suddenly worried.


Patterson raced after him, caught him by the arm as Mulder was getting in the car.

"And just how am I supposed to get back?"

Mulder started the car.

"You could use some exercise, Bill," he replied as the engine caught.

"Mulder," Patterson said loudly. Mulder turned to look at him and Patterson had a hard time
keeping back the smile. Mulder's eyes had that focused, 'processing on all frequencies' look that
meant he was onto something. But Patterson couldn't just let the kid go.

"Mulder, he's stepping it up. You don't have much time before the next one, or two, or twelve.
You have got to crack this guy's code."

Mulder stared at him.

"And just where did you think I was going, Bill? Fuck, I'm onto this guy. Will you quit
badgering me so I can get some work done?"

Patterson watched as Mulder drove away.



I have to get closer. I go to the evidence room, hunting through the evidence until I find the
bloodied knife. I hold it, balancing it in my hand, closing my eyes and trying to get the feel of the
grip. It is a clunky weapon, a convenient weapon. I flick open the blade which catches on the
dried blood. I have to force it open.

I stare at the grisly remains of Mostow's last victim. It is an artist's knife and Mostow, though
insane, is an artist. The blade is dulled by Mostow's work. I flick the knife closed and carefully
replace it in the evidence bag. I kneel next to the box, staring off into space, thinking about what
it takes for a man to pull that knife and carve a gargoyle out of a human face. I need more.

Mostow's home is as dank and decrepit as I remember. I am drawn to his sketches once again
and this time I can't resist. I reach out and touch the gritty charcoaled surface, running my finger
along the browline of the creature. Unbidden, my other hand comes up and I shape the creature's
intent on the paper.

I can feel the charcoal working its way into my skin. This isn't enough for him, I realize. Like
other killers, he has tried to ignore the impulses. But every step away brings him one step closer.
The impulses live within him, much like the tale of the gargoyle lives within the collective

I look around, at the drawings that cover the walls. I need to be enveloped by them. I begin
untacking the drawings, tucking them under my arm. It takes me close to forever but eventually I
have taken them all down.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

The crime scene photos were etched in his memory. Mulder stared at the wall, which was
covered with the photos. His eyes moved from one to another even though he'd already
committed the photos to memory. He took slow, even breaths, switching his gaze in time with
them, almost hypnotizing himself. The phone startled him. He reached over and picked it up.


He listened for a moment, then stupidly nodded and replaced the phone in its cradle. No sexual
assault. None at all. He rubbed a hand over his face and looked down at the glowing CRT of his

"Okay, UNSUB...where am I going wrong here? Where are you..." Mulder half-heartedly
pecked at the keys, then winced as a stabbing pain shot through his temple. He grabbed his head.


Mulder wondered if he'd had anything to eat today. Unfortunately, his mother would not count a
Snickers bar as food. The headache got worse. Mulder shut his eyes and fell back against the
ratty motel pillow. Maybe if he actually used those reading glasses...

The pounding on the door woke him and he had to fight through the dull throb of the headache to
figure out that someone wanted in. Mulder slowly got to his feet, glanced at the clock, which
read 2:32 A.M., and staggered to the door. Not surprisingly, Patterson stood there.

"You're not sleeping on the job, are you, Mulder?" Patterson immediately went into attack mode.
Mulder viciously rubbed at his eyes with the palm of his hand.

"Got any Vicodin?" he asked abruptly. Patterson stared at him, then entered the room and closed
the door. He dragged Mulder over to the desk lamp and looked closely at him.

"How long have you had it?" he asked, his voice softening somewhat. Mulder started to shake his
head, then thought better of it and just shrugged.

"I don't know. A few hours, I guess. Uh, maybe five or six...I lost track." Mulder cracked a
smile. "Missing time, Bill."

Patterson glared at him.

"Don't give me any of that UFO crap. How bad?"

"Uh...stabbing pain, then I went to sleep for an hour or so and now it just throbs fucking


"Not yet."

Patterson stared at him, debating. This put the official seal on Mulder's exhaustion. He was
prone to headaches, like all other overworked members of the ISU, but if this was anything like
the Delahoussaye case, the throbbing headache would turn into a migraine that would almost
completely incapacitate the kid. Once again, Patterson ran through the questions in his mind. He
came to the unhappy conclusion that he should take this case and send Mulder home, but judging
by the look in Mulder's eyes, Mulder would not go quietly into that good night. He would cuss
and spit and cajole and wheedle until he got his way. And that would make him even sicker. No,
better to blow off his better judgment and get some powerful drugs to keep Mulder's migraine at

"Okay. I'll go see what I can find. You lie down for awhile, rest your eyes. Turn that fucking
computer off and take those Godawful pictures down."

Mulder frowned.

"I'm serious, Mulder."

"The case --"

"Can wait a few hours. I'll be back soon."

Mulder followed him to the door.

"What, you got an Elvis doctor hidden away?"

"Have to, for you poor slobs."

"Did you know that a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich has 42,000 calories in it?"

Patterson stared at Mulder.

"You're shitting me."

Mulder shrugged.

"I'm not making it up. The whole thing is fried in a cube of butter, until the entire cube has been
absorbed into the bread. Maybe you oughta get me an Elvis nutritionist instead."

"Go lie down, Mulder."



I drive home blindly and for once my apartment seems warm, welcoming. But I ignore it as I go
to work, covering my walls with the monsters, taking some refuge in the idea that they will
protect me from the evil that consumed John Mostow.

Exhausted, I finally sink down on the couch and look at my handiwork. Gargoyles, hundreds of
them, stare at me, accusing me. Of what? I wonder. What have I done? You have existed, a
hideous voice whispers. You have resisted the temptations of hundreds of monsters until now
you only find solace among them. No, that's not true. I refuse to believe that. But what would
the monster gain by lying to me?

The dim light in my apartment makes my head ache. I stand and move to the closest drawing,
running my hands over it again. I am enveloped, in my own place, and I need to feel this. My
fingers don't penetrate the paper and I am frustrated. I can't feel the form of the monster. I need
to feel it.

I return to Mostow's hideous studio. Finding a vat of drying clay I add water, mix until it is the
right consistency. My hands dive into the mixture and the feeling is joyous. The clay is infinitely
malleable. It responds to my every touch.

I find a plaster form, a form of a head. Innocuous, a tool of artists. I begin slapping clay onto the
form, closing my eyes and getting the feel of the material. The amount of pleasure I receive from
this simple act is almost frightening, and I imagine what it was like for Mostow, who was driven
by something I do not yet understand.

Almost as if in a daze, I watch myself forming clay onto the mold. I can see it coming to a lumpy
kind of life. I pinch holes for eyes, add clay for a nose. I shape its devilish ears and twist its
mouth into a cruel grimace. Every bit of clay I add makes the figure more intense, more evil.
More real. I am helpless to stop it.

I lie down on Mostow's bed and drop into a dreamless sleep. The atmosphere envelops me, and a
cold prick of fear brings me out of sleep. The monster I have created is staring down at me. I sit
up quickly and it moves back into the shadows, the tips of its ears catching the light. I can hear it
making its peculiar noises. I know it wants me.

I get to my feet and race after it as it runs out the door. I can hear its feet scraping the metal of
the catwalk and I can see it in the distance. It's very fast and it loses me. But I feel it, I know it's
still here. I draw my gun. Anything that casts a shadow can be killed. I tell myself that, over and
over, as I search behind boxes and jump back from irregular shadows.

Movement, off to one side, and the creature is upon me. I see the flash of metal, feel the searing
pain as it slashes at me. I yell and it knocks into me, sending me tumbling over the railing onto
packing material below.

My head throbs and I try to catch my breath. I slowly stagger to my feet, but it's gone,
disappeared back into the shadows. I touch my forehead and wince. The blood pours down my
face in rivulets.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

The Vicodin was making him float. Mulder relished the sensation, having spent too much time on
planet Earth in the past few days. Unfortunately, it wasn't doing anything for his headache, but
fortunately, he was too fucked up to give a damn. He remembered when he was at Oxford, being
able to go to the druggist's and pick up a box of 222s or Veganin, lovely pain-killers containing
codeine. He'd come to the conclusion that Vicodin was better, but there was something so
above-board about being able to literally buy codeine on the street. His mind meandered,
reminding him of his past and weaving in and out of the case. He saw the loony's face in front of
him. Well, the outline, anyway. The face was a blank. But the mind...he could see into the mind.
Mulder flew through the man's cerebral cortex, memorizing every trauma, every impulse, until
finally, the images came too quickly and he fell asleep.

Mulder opened his eyes, instantly regretting that simple act as the morning sun crushed his skull.

"Fuck," he muttered, turning over on his side, trying to escape it. He felt Patterson in the room
and groaned.

"Mulder? You awake?"

"Go away."

Patterson sat down on the bed, reached for his arm. Mulder snatched it away again.

"I said go away."

"Come on, Mulder, look at me."

Muldre rolled over and squinted at Patterson.


"Delirious. How's your head?"

Mulder sat up, very slowly. He winced.


Patterson stared at him in disbelief.

"You have got to be kidding me. I gave you enough Vicodin..."

"Yeah, I know, and I'd like to thank you, Bill. That was one great trip."

Mulder got to his feet, swayed, but stayed standing. He closed the blinds, flipped on the light, and
turned on the computer. The brightness of the screen did nothing for the headache.

"Look, Mulder..."

Here it comes. Mulder loaded his document and scanned it quickly, waiting for Patterson to get
to the point.

"Maybe you should cut out of here."

"Right, and have some other poor asshole start over? I don't think so."

"I thought I'd take over for you."

Mulder turned slowly and looked at Patterson.

"Bill, I didn't know you cared."

"I don't. But I'm also not too fond of the idea that your family sues me for sending you home in a
pine box."

"Pine? You underestimate my father, Bill."

Patterson stared at him.

"Cut the crap, Mulder. You aren't getting anywhere on this case. You haven't written a word
since we found those girls, have you?"

Mulder's silence spoke volumes. Patterson stood.

"You know what you have to do. I'm serious, Mulder. I will send you home. I have never been
this serious before. This was supposed to be easy and you're complicating it. Look at the forest,
Mulder, not the trees."

With that, Patterson stormed out, slamming the door behind him. Mulder winced, then looked
back at his screen. What kept him from the knowledge he needed? Where was this guy? Why
was he stumped by this? Suddenly he remembered his Vicodin haze, remembered the man's mind.
See the forest. Okay. He hurt little girls. No, wait. He killed Patty, then he killed Caroline.
Then he killed the two girls. Naughty, nice, naughty and nice. Both of them together. Wait a
minute. Caroline and Patty, alike enough to be sisters, three years apart in school. The two girls,
also close enough to be sisters, three years apart. In each case, the younger girl had been labeled
'naughty'. But they weren't. Were they?

Mulder stared at the words which had suddenly appeared on his screen. The first kills had been
apt. Patty was a juvenile delinquent...Mulder reached for her file, flipped through it. Patty had
been a frequent drug user. Her parents didn't give her any money, in a feeble attempt to keep the
girl on a leash. Patty had been sexually active. Good God. Patty was the inciting incident.

Mulder had it now. He had this guy, could feel the noose growing tighter around his neck.
Mulder could also feel the hunger which not only went unsatisfied for each murder, but which
grew almost exponentially after each experiment. That's what it was, Mulder, thought, an
experiment. How to end the torment? Had Patty been a mistake? Had he killed her in the heat of
passion? Had she laughed at him, embarrassed him? Had her rejection of him triggered whatever
was going on in his sick mind? My God, it all made sense. The sick fuck had put the note in
Patty's closet after he'd killed her, perhaps many weeks after, when the urge began to surface
again. And then he'd needed to balance the 'naughty' with 'nice'. And it started all over again with

Mulder rubbed a hand over his face, staring off into the darkness. He reached for another file, this
one of potential suspects, any suspicious men seen hanging around. Six names leaped out at him.
Six names. Mulder debated. He should call Patterson, give him the names. But the cops
wouldn't listen. He didn't even have the profile written. He had the bastard in his head, fucking
with him. Mulder got to his feet and grabbed his jacket.



Scully stands to one side as the paramedic puts the edges of my skin back together. They are
both talking to me but I can't listen. The buzzing in my ears is terrible. I can hear the tone of
Scully's voice. She hasn't talked to me in two days. I feel that cold stab of fear again. Two days?
Has it really been that long? I try to remember what I've done but the buzzing doesn't let me.

The paramedic finishes and begins blathering to me about the potential severity of the wound but I
am already walking away. Scully sticks to my side like a burr, trying to connect with me in any
way she can.

Scully feels that I am delusional and maybe I am, but that's what it will take to catch this killer, to
penetrate Mostow's mind. I tell her that the monster is real, that I saw it, that there is no second
killer. The monster is unleashed.

Scully tells me that I have been stressed out ever since this case began and that I am only seeing
what I want to see. I turn to her, suddenly aware of the great gulf between us. Why would I
want to see THAT? She doesn't understand the idea of searching for exactly what can do you the
most harm.

Scully has my attention and begins her speech again, only this time she mentions that she's been to
my apartment. Oh, Christ. Her eyes are terrified, but not for her. For me. She's afraid that I
have lost all my objectivity, and she's right. Objectivity won't catch this killer. Right now,
objectivity is as alien to me as Scully's rationalizations.

Scully's telling me that Patterson went to Skinner and requested me for this case and I almost
laugh. Somehow, that makes sense. Bill has always been able to push my buttons and it must
give him a vicarious thrill to be able to still do that after all these years. If Bill has to follow this
monster there's no reason I don't have to as well.

Scully tells me that Patterson's testing me. Of course, I want to tell her, that's what he lives for.
But I don't want to get into an argument with her. I don't want to hurt her. I just want to catch
this thing. I need to.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

Mulder stood at the door, jittery as hell. His eyes darted from side to side as he spoke. Patterson
was scared. Either this was a reaction to the Vicodin or Mulder was going nuts on him.

"I've got it, Bill, but I've only got some of it. I need to go deeper."

Patterson jumped aside as Mulder forced his way in. Patterson closed the door and sat, waiting
for Mulder to continue.

"Okay. He was the older brother. He had two sisters, three years apart. And...something terrible

Mulder's voice trailed off. Patterson jumped in.

"Look at me, Mulder. Come on, focus. I can see you in this. You can do it."

Mulder looked at him and put his palm to his eyes again. Christ, his head must be killing him,
thought Patterson.

"Right. He...the girls were half-sisters. There was a stepfather...he ignored the kid. Didn't pay
him any attention. Beat the hell out of the women, especially his wife...maybe sexually abused the, he didn't. No sexual abuse. All physical, and this guy wasn't smart enough for
emotional abuse. He didn't use words, just fists. But he didn't hit the boy. His mother...he never
meant much to her until her new husband began to strip away all of her self-worth. Then she
began to dote on him, shunting the girls. She blamed the girls, but she never blamed him. She
hated the girls. Loathed them. But she scared him, she was so strong and he wasn't...and he
loved his sisters. His mother began to get obsessed with him, tell him that he was everything to
her, that he was her salvation. Put pressure on him, unrealistic pressure. He's not sociopathic.
He always tried to please. He was good, but unremarkable, in school..."

Mulder rubbed his eyes again. His breath was coming in short gasps now and Patterson was
pretty sure they were about ten minutes away from one mother of a migraine. Mulder frowned,
perplexed, trying to piece it together. Patterson tried to help, tried to think, but this guy was
foreign to him. Mulder had him, he just needed some encouragement.

"Mulder, that's all surface crap. You have to go deeper."

Mulder stared at him.

"There are six names --"

"Deeper, Mulder. You're not feeling him yet."

"I don't want to feel him!"

"You have to."

Mulder looked away. He knew he had to. Patterson waited.

"They're all dead..."


Mulder looked at him, his eyes haunted.

"The family. His family. They're dead. He feels an enormous sense of connectedness to this
place but only because of his memories. He has no physical ties to this place."

Mulder slumped. Patterson sighed. The kid was done. Hell, they had six names. That could be
good enough. But something in Patterson couldn't resist. He'd taught Spooky Mulder, taught
him well. And he'd be damned to see Mulder stop just shy of his goal.

"Dammit, Mulder, you cut them apart and it gives you no peace. Why? WHY do you do it?
How fucking sick are you? What does it give you? What didn't you have when you were a kid?
You hacked those girls to bits, you sick fuck, cut them apart, tore them limb from limb. You
stole them from their beds and took their lives. WHY?"

Patterson fought the nausea as Mulder shuddered, the words cutting through him. But his mind
was working. He was finally in the zone. Mulder looked up at Patterson.

"When I was a kid, my mother worshipped me. She had two children with a man who could
provide for us, but she didn't love him. She grew to hate him. We tried to get away from him but
we were trapped. My mother decried that I would lead a good life. In order to do that, I needed
to be cleansed. WE needed to be cleansed of the evil. The girls were whores, bitches who asked
for what they got. And my mother knew that they had to die for my sins so she killed them. They
were naughty and nice, she said. I asked why she would kill the nice one and she said that they
went together and that the only way you could be free was to take them together."

Patterson was floored. Mulder took a breath and looked at him. Tears glittered in his eyes.

"And then she killed herself. Right in front of me. The ultimate sacrifice, she said, before she
blew her head off. And that girl, I had sex with her, and she laughed at me, made me angry. So I
killed her. And I hurt so bad, then I remembered what my mother said, so I had to find a nice
one. And she looked like the first girl..."

"But it didn't go away, did it?" Patterson asked in an amazed, hushed voice. Mulder shook his
head slowly.

"No, it didn't," he said sadly. "It didn't go away. And it will never go away, Bill. Never."

Patterson was ashamed of himself. Mulder just sat there, staring blankly off into space, that
wicked memory of his playing the killer's thoughts over and over again. Patterson had sent
Mulder to hell.

Mulder hugged the pillow and tried to go to sleep. He'd wanted to go pick up the suspect, now
named Joseph Gillis, but Bill had sent him to his room with strict orders that if he left, he'd be
hunted like the dog he was. Bill had given him two Vicodins but they weren't doing any good,
just making him sick. Mulder remembered that he hadn't eaten in almost forever but he wasn't
inclined to do anything about it. Every path his mind took led inexorably back to the murders.
Mulder couldn't shake Gillis out of his head. The man was fucking with him, tormenting him with
his twisted psyche. Mulder had wanted, no, had needed closure, but Bill wouldn't let him have it.
Bill didn't even say anything about the fact that Mulder had recited the whole profile in first
person. Bill HAD looked sheet-white, though. Somehow, Mulder knew he wasn't going to get
his time off. He knew that he'd be back to profiling killers the day they got back to Washington.
And his mind was on overload right now. Hell, the fucking sick twists were in there right now,
talking to each other about their gruesome acts. Mulder was a bystander in his own head.

Mulder tried to sleep, but his subconscious mind had too much in store for him so he spent the
morning staring at a particularly bad fruit painting. At least it wasn't clowns.



I have to see Mostow again. It's a long walk to his cell and I feel the eyes of the other prisoners
on me. I feel acceptance from some of them. It's almost as if they can sense how close I am to
the edge. Mostow is still in a straitjacket but this time he looks at me with knowing eyes. He

I immediately ask him why the monster didn't kill me, what it wants from me, why it let me live. I
want so badly to understand and Mostow is the only one who can help me. He's already gone
over to the other side and I need to know how. I ask him to help me go deeper, to help me
understand what it wants.

Mostow locks eyes with me and his features melt. He can see the hunger in my eyes, feel the
desire, taste the desperation. He stands, feeling in control, and I lose myself. I hit him and he
slumps as I grab the front of the straitjacket. I am no longer the cool FBI agent. I am naked with
desperation. He is not telling me how to find it. He's keeping this from me. He's selfish.

Mostow sees more than he lets on and he tells me that the evil has already found me. I stare at
him, astonished. Would I know if it had? Should I now look inwardly, at my own soul, in the
hopes that the monster has curled its tendrils around my heart?

I turn and leave Mostow's cell, suddenly needing to throw up. It already has already has
me...the physical manifestation I saw was a sign, a taunting sign that I could no longer choose to
escape the evil. The noose tightens.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

Mulder was popping pain pills like they were M & Ms. Patterson watched him carefully. Mulder
had insisted that he was fresh and rested, and that he would really, really appreciate it if Patterson
could see his way clear to at least let Mulder attend ONE of the sessions. Mulder looked awful.
Patterson tried to get some food down him but to no avail. Food made Mulder turn green. As
did sleep, apparently. Patterson didn't think much of the nutritional value of Vicodin and
wondered if he could slip a Vitamin C pill in there somewhere. Mulder was chewing aspirin now
and the other agents and cops in the room were pretending not to notice. Mulder caught
Patterson looking at him.

"Is this all you've got so far, Bill? He's given you nothing."

Patterson sighed, knowing what would come next and waiting for it all the same.

"Give me a shot, Bill. We can compare childhood tragedies."

Patterson winced and tried to ignore the look Pastini gave him.


"Your loss."

The day dragged on and the session was just getting ridiculous. Gillis had the detective wrapped
around his finger. He had already dusted the first Fibbie Patterson had sent in. Patterson tried to
ignore the derisive snort that came from somewhere around Mulder. Finally he sighed and turned
to Mulder.

"Okay, go ahead, but don't piss this guy off."

Mulder raised a Who, me? eyebrow and nodded. Patterson rapped on the glass and the tired
detective was out of the room in ten seconds flat. He wiped his brow and looked at Mulder.

"He won't talk," he said. Mulder nodded, turned on his heel, and walked into the room.
Patterson stepped forward, suddenly nervous, suddenly aware of the fact that it had only been
seven hours since Mulder had been in this guy's head.



Even blue light casts the shadows of monsters. I am among them, yet they don't respond. I
beseech them, cajole them, threaten them. They stare at me, accepting me but giving up nothing.
I walk through them, touching them. They are my brothers. I am home.

It hits me from behind, throwing me off balance, and I bring the weapon up.

The monster morphs and it is Patterson, gripping my right arm. I can feel the grip of the knife and
I manage to bring it up and slash Nemhauser across the face. Bill slams my arm against the

I wake in my apartment, drenched. The paper monsters offer no comfort. I am become death...

I am in the car, driving towards Mostow's. It gave me something in the dream. I am truly among
them, among the sadly defeated. Only this time I am searching. It has let me in. I know.

My hands shake. The clay is still wet and I am inexorably drawn to a dark canister at the back of
the room. The pungent smell of clay mixed with blood is unmistakable.

I know what I will find even before I see the dark pooling of blood and the lifeless hand. I stare at
it, grief-stricken, inwardly asking the monster if he worked through me to achieve this end. I truly
don't know.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

"Hey, Joe," Mulder said easily as he sat across the table. Joe Gillis stared at him, dark circles
under his hollow eyes making him look almost worse than Mulder. Mulder fiddled with the file
folder he had, pretending to shuffle papers around as he talked.

"That guy's a prick, isn't he?" Mulder said conversationally. Gillis's eyes shifted to the glass, but
he said nothing.

"I can't tell you how fucked up those cops are. They're totally worthless. Aspirin?"

Mutely, Gillis shook his head. Mulder popped two more aspirin and rubbed his palm against his

"I've had the damndest headache, ever since I nailed you."

Suddenly, electricity crackled in the air. Gillis sat bolt upright, staring at Mulder.

"What do you mean?" he asked in a rough voice. Mulder leaned back in his chair, balancing on
the back legs.

"You don't seriously think that those COPS caught you, do you? You can't think that."

Gillis narrowed his eyes.

"Who are you?"

"FBI," Mulder said simply. Gillis nodded slowly. The mystery was solved and it was obvious
that he had a pretty good idea of how to treat any kinds of law enforcement.

"So look, Joe, no bullshit here. They've been asking you leading questions all day. I just wanted
to put your mind at ease a bit. See, you're not the only one we're questioning. We've been talking
to suspects all day and you're the last one. None of the others panned out, so you can imagine
how badly we need for you to work out."

"But I didn't do anything!"

Mulder let the front legs of the chair fall as he leaned forward on the table, nodding

"I can understand how it looks that way to you, Joe. You really don't think you've done anything
wrong. I know how bad the pain is but have you ever stopped to wonder why, after every
murder, the pain just gets worse? You're never going to find sanctuary from it. It lives inside
you, Joe, with the memories of your mother and your sisters."

Mulder stopped, trying to shake the grisly images from his mind. Jesus. He closed his eyes and
rubbed a hand over his face.

"You look more shaken up about it than...the killer," Gillis said in a smooth voice. Mulder
squinted at him, suddenly at a disadvantage. Dammit, he thought viciously, I'm too close. Mulder
got to his feet, paced slowly around the room.

"Well Joe, maybe I am. I mean, I don't have a penchant for this type of aberrant behavior. This is
foreign to me. When I see it, when I force myself to see it, it strikes me as the most inhumane act
one can commit."

Mulder leaned down, hands on the table, his face inches away from Gillis's.

"But it doesn't for those who commit them," he said icily. Gillis flinched, ever so slightly. Mulder
looked away, picked up the file folder and extracted some pictures.

"Look, we have to show these to everyone, so don't freak out on me, okay?"

"I don't want to see any dead bodies," Gillis said nervously.

"I understand that. Don't worry, I wouldn't do that to you. These are photos of the first two

Mulder tossed the black-and-white 8X10s on the table, in front of Gillis. He went white and he
picked the photos up. Mulder glanced at them over his shoulder.

"Pretty girls, huh? Here are the next two."

Mulder tossed two more photos, identical to the first two, in front of Gillis. He started shaking,
then he looked up at Mulder, anger finally in his eyes.

"What kind of sick joke is this?" he demanded. Mulder shrugged.

"You tell me, Joe. Actually, I'm wrong. Here are the first two victims."

Once again, Mulder handed Gillis two photos identical to the other two sets. Gillis exploded.

"These are my sisters, you sick fuck! They're all my sisters! What are you trying to do to me?
What do you want? You sick asshole..."

"Calm down, Joe, take it easy. I told you I knew you, but you wouldn't listen to me."

Gillis stared at Mulder with wild eyes. He viciously tore the photos in pieces and threw the pieces
at Mulder.

"You can't do this to me. It's against the law."

Mulder laughed.

"Uh, I don't think so, Joe. They're such pretty girls. Why did you tear them up like that?"

Mulder leaned forward, eyes locked on Gillis's.

"Why did you tear them up, Joe?" he asked quietly. "Why did you rip them limb from limb, smear
them in their own blood, strip away all of their innocence and dignity? How did Patty Weymouth
make you feel, Joe? Was it like fucking your sister?"

Even Mulder was unprepared for the onslaught. Gillis hurled himself at Mulder, arms extended,
his hateful gaze locked on Mulder. Mulder leaped backwards, tripping over the chair and Gillis
was on him instantly. Outside, the cops were frozen by the sudden attack but Patterson
immediately ripped the door open. He took two steps inside but Gillis turned suddenly, Mulder's
gun in his hand. Oh shit. Mulder's GUN. Patterson could feel the electric energy of the cops in
the room as he stared at Gillis. Gillis waved the weapon wildly.

"Back off, pig! Just back off!"

Patterson held his hands up.

"It's okay, Gillis, nobody's going to hurt you. Just put the gun down. All right?"

But Gillis was having none of that. Out of the corner of his eye, Mulder could see the cops
scrambling to organize themselves. Mulder started to sit up but Gillis caught the movement and
turned the gun on him.

"Stay where you are," he growled. But Mulder kept moving, managing to sit, resting his head
against the wall.

"You're not going to shoot me," he said calmly. Gillis's shaking hands cocked the gun. Mulder
stared right down the barrel.

"The hell I'm not. How dare you talk about my sister that way? How DARE you?"

"Your mother gutted her. And your other sister. Didn't she?"

"Mulder..." Patterson said, desperately wanting Mulder to stop this. Gillis backed away, trying to
keep both Mulder and Patterson in his sight line.

"She tried to do the best for me," Gillis sobbed. Mulder nodded in sympathy.

"I know. But she was sick, Joe. She hurt you because she was sick. You can't help this, you
can't help what you've become. But there are people --"

"People never did a fucking thing for me!" Gillis suddenly screamed. Patterson moved forward
slightly and Gillis turned the gun and fired. Mulder leaped to his feet, rushed Gillis, but he
managed to fire again. Mulder was flung backwards into the wall as Gillis shot him in the head.



The shrill ringing of a cellular phone startles me and I search blindly for its source. A suit jacket,
carelessly tossed on a canister, its pocket holding the phone. As I take it out I see the gargoyle
looking at me, daring me.

I fumble the phone open and answer it. Oh God. Scully is on the line, asking me where
Nemhauser is. Nemhauser? I cut him, was going to kill him and carve him into the grotesque.
Suddenly, I can't remember.

Scully is talking in that insistent voice of hers and I can't defend myself, I can barely speak. She
demands to know if I've seen Nemhauser and this time the gargoyle seems to shift slightly,
mocking me. I'm not sure, I tell her. Will I ever be sure? Was Mostow sure that he killed those
men or is he still in a haze?

Scully's voice cuts through me as I move forward. She tells me about the knife, that my
fingerprints were on it. Suddenly, it's more than I can bear. My voice cracks as I tell her that I
just needed to hold it, needed to feel its weight in my hand.

She wants to understand, but she can't, no matter how hard she tries. And I don't want her to. I
don't ever want Scully to have this curse. She tells me to stay put, that she is coming to help me.
Just like I wanted to help Mostow, help him understand these impulses.

I tear into the clay, ripping it off, tearing it, dropping it to the floor. And I am confronted with the
macabre half-image of Nemhauser, face still frozen in horrific death. Beseeching me.


FEBRUARY 6, 1988

Utter chaos. There was blood everywhere. Patterson had been winged by Gillis's first wild shot.
It took four cops to restrain the screaming Gillis. Patterson practically sprinted to Mulder's side,
horrified at what he might find. Mulder's head wound was pumping out blood and Patterson had
to use his suit jacket to mop it up so that he could get a look at the wound. He sighed with
infinite relief. It was bad and it was bloody, but the bullet had carved a gash in his forehead, not a
hole through his skull. Patterson pressed tightly on the wound as he yelled at the cops to get a
fucking ambulance. Mulder groaned and came to. He blinked at Patterson.

"Got any Vicodin?" he murmured. Patterson nodded.

"As much as you want."

"How bad is it?"

"Not too bad. I think you'll live. How does it feel?"

"Like I got shot in the head," Mulder answered.

"Mulder, what the fuck were you doing with your gun on in there?"

"It's like a second skin," Mulder muttered. "I don't know, Bill...I don't know why..."

He groaned again and closed his eyes. Patterson's jacket was already drenched in blood. Jesus,
could someone bleed to death from a head wound? Mulder's skin was already pasty white and his
breathing was labored. Patterson was shoved away as the paramedics took charge.



Something prickles at the back of my neck and I turn. It's Patterson. He stands behind me,
looking lost, hands outspread. His dull gaze meets mine as I swing my gun up and point it in his
direction. He is suspicious of me and the bile rises in my throat as I realize that everyone thinks I
am responsible, that I have become the monster.

Because now, I know. And the relief floods through me even as I ask Bill what he's doing here.
He seems different, smaller somehow. I follow his horrified gaze to Nemhauser and then I know
that Nemhauser suspected him, and that Bill killed him. Bill shakes his head slowly, dazed, even
as I bring my gun up once more and lock on him. He has no answer, no words.

I make him see the drying clay on his hands and when he does he gasps, begins to shake. He still
doesn't understand. The monster has made Bill blinder than it made me. My fury comes out as I
tell Bill that the three years of his life stolen by Mostow turned him into a killer. He lived the
horror in his head, over and over again, sinking into the darkness like he taught us to do. And it's
all suddenly so clear.

I realize that in my head, I have been profiling Bill. The ugliness stayed with him. He was so
involved that it had to outlet, no place to go. When that happened to me I knew that I needed to
walk away. But Bill Patterson never walks away from anything. He has become the monster that
I was afraid of becoming.

But there was a dual nature to Bill, a responsible nature, and he called me so that I could catch
him. I was the only one who could. The monster needed to be caught. It was time.

The light emerging from behind Bill temporarily blinds me. I hear Scully's steel-kitten voice and I
yell at her to get the light off me. She demands to know why I am holding a gun on Bill but
before I can say anything Bill launches himself at me, tumbling a gargoyle to the ground and
slamming into Scully on his way towards the catwalk.

I get to my feet and help her up, tell her that it's Bill. I pray that she follows because if she doesn't
believe me she is going to have to shoot me to stop me. But Scully has not let her emotions get
the best of her. She nods crisply and we chase Bill Patterson down the catwalk.

I clamber up on the roof, looking around. The wind whistles through me and I can feel him. I
know he's up here, desperate for redemption. He won't get it from me. I catch a glimpse and
dash towards the ladder that leads to the other roof. He's here. I stand still, asking him to come
to me.

I hear the roar and before I know what's happening, he's knocked me down. My gun spirals away
from me. I can see his pointed ears, his grimace, feel the tendons in his wrists as he holds me
down. He brings the weapon towards me. God, he's strong.

The monster moves closer, the wild look in his eye indicating that he will destroy me. I throw my
hand out, reaching for my gun. And feel the barrel. I turn it around and just as the knife reaches
me I manage to bring the gun up and fire. The ears melt away and Bill falls silently to the ground.

I look at him, covered in clay and blood, and mourn the loss of a man who did nothing but make
my life miserable. He gave me the key to something that, once unlocked, could never be hidden
away again. I kneel next to him as Scully checks for vital signs. He's still alive. No God. He's
still alive.

Scully give me a peculiar look as I sit hunched over, preferring to let Bill bleed to death than
revive him and watch him lead the life of John Mostow. I slowly remove my phone and call for an


FEBRUARY 9, 1996

Mulder kept having the dream about the boat, only this time Joe Gillis was there, hacking little
girls to pieces. Sometimes Mulder could see through Gillis's eyes, watch his own hand destroy
living flesh. He could never go back to sleep after having that dream.

He lay on his couch, staring sightlessly at the TV, where Lee Tracy was giving what Mulder
believed to be the most brilliant monologue in the history of film. Mulder tried to concentrate on
the movie. BLESSED EVENT always brought him out of the doldrums, always made him laugh.
Not today, though. Even Dick Powell's antics were having little effect. Mulder's eyes strayed to
the case file on his coffee table. He had spent two days in the hospital and this had been waiting
for him when he was released. Another horrific murder case, this one definitely sexual in nature,
definitely deviant. Mulder had flipped through it, then threw it against the wall. Patterson
promised him that he could take some time off. Promised him.

Mulder got to his feet, turning off the TV. He picked up the file and his jacket, grabbed his keys,
and locked the door behind him.



As we wait for the ambulance, I remember Bill's rage upon my resignation from the ISU and I
remember the guilt I began to feel after my long recovery.

Bill always taunted me about the fact that I never picked my fights. Ironically enough, I finally
learned that valuable lesson from him and am doing the work I was born to do. I don't feel like
my work is taking anything away from me. I feel like it enhances who I am, defines me. We fit,
the work and I.

I constantly felt out of control in the ISU. I always knew that I could one day go too deep and
when it happened, I knew it was time to quit. But Bill knew that I was aware of the risks when
I'd marched into his office eight years ago, for the last time.

Bill knew that he could leave me with damage that would last as long as he felt my punishment
was necessary. Bill knew me, had profiled me. He knew my weaknesses. I just wish I'd known
his. I'm sorry, Bill.


FEBRUARY 9, 1988

Patterson looked up, a smile creasing his face.

"Well, Mulder, what are you doing here? I wasn't expecting you until tomorrow morning."

Mulder plopped himself in the chair opposite Patterson's desk. He tossed the folder on the desk
and watched as Patterson's cheerful facade slipped a notch.

"I can't do this," he said flatly. Patterson picked up the folder, flipped through it.

"You know, you made a lot of friends after the Gillis case. This is a real high profile case,
Mulder, and --"

"I don't give a shit about your politics!" Mulder practically shouted. He got to his feet, paced

"Don't you understand, Bill? I can't do it! I can't...I can't do anything. I keep seeing all those
girls, hacked to pieces, and the maniacs...and sometimes I'm one of them..."

Mulder ran a hand through his hair. He still looked like hell, was obviously still exhausted.
Patterson felt for him, but...

"Mulder, you knew when you signed on that this was a tough assignment. We're all overworked

Mulder stared at Patterson.

"We're all overworked here," he mimicked. "Bill, I've done more profiles for you in three years in
the ISU than most of these guys ever will. It's not a question of overwork, it's a question of
sanity. Christ, I took my gun into an interrogation. Day One of the Academy. Don't have your
gun anywhere near you when you're interrogating a suspect. I can't cope with this shit anymore."

"So you just want to give up?" Patterson said harshly. Mulder's mouth twisted into an ironic

"That's good, Bill, lay the guilt trip on me. Dammit, I got shot three days ago!"

Patterson stood.

"And what about these girls who are being strangled, Mulder? Huh? What about them?"

Mulder stared at Patterson.

"You son of a bitch," he said quietly. "I don't have to do this, Bill. I've already been to Blevins,
requested a transfer. He approved it. He's worried about me, Bill. Blevins! Can you imagine?"

Shit. Patterson just stared at Mulder.

"I wish you hadn't done that, Mulder," he said.

"I'll just bet you do. Look, I know what I'm worth to you. I can't jump through these hoops
anymore, Bill. I can't stay on the roller-coaster with you. I'm exhausted and I'm losing my mind.
Bill, I hardly remember what happened. The last two days of the Gillis case are a complete blur.
About all I remember is him pointing the gun at me. Two days, Bill!"

"Look, Mulder, I'll arrange for you to take some time off --"

"No good, Bill. It'll just start all over again."

Patterson was losing him.

"Mulder, you know how important our work is here! If you walk out on me now you let the
entire unit down. You are giving carte blanche to these sick fucks to rape and murder all they
want, just because you can't handle it anymore. Do you think it's any easier for the rest of us?
You're here because you have a gift and if you waste it..."

Patterson's voice trailed off. Mulder's expression hardened.

"You'll do anything to get what you want. Won't you?"

Mulder turned and walked towards the door.

"Don't be a coward, Mulder!"

Mulder paused, hand on the doorknob, then turned to look at Patterson.

"You're the coward, Bill. You push me and goad me, and it looks great for you and the ISU.
Find another puppet, Bill. I quit."

Mulder slammed the door behind him. He paused outside the door, heard Patterson pick up the
phone, probably trying to get another profiler on the VIP case. Mulder took a deep breath.
Blevins had been marvelous, very supportive, and seemed eager to put Mulder on cases other than
Violent Crimes. Actually, Blevins had already received a few inquiries about Mulder's services.
He'd be freelance, for whatever that was worth. And it allowed him time to find his niche, his
place in the Bureau. His life.

Mulder didn't turn around until he was out of the building. He put on his sunglasses, looking
forward to, as Blevins put it, "As much time as you need to get yourself back together." Tonight,
Mulder's agenda consisted of twelve tons of take-out Chinese, accompanied by a little video
featuring Warren William chasing Kay Francis around his desk. Mulder turned and walked away
from the Bureau, sure for the first time that he was following his own path, that when he found a
fight worth fighting for, he would meet the challenge. He would succeed, on his own terms.


"We work in the dark. We do what we can to battle the evil that would otherwise destroy us.
But if a man's character is his faith, his fight is not a choice but a calling. Yet sometimes the
weight of this burden causes us to falter, breaching the fragile fortress of our mind. Allowing the
monsters without to turn within and we are left alone to stare into the abyss, into the laughing
face of madness."

-- Howard Gordon.