Vyolasyonby Caroline Seawright
February 20, 2001
All characters portrayed in this fanfic are © Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and The Fox Network.
[1.38am, June 7, Chelsea City Morgue]
A knock was heard at the front door, and a man in a blue medical coverall placed some surgical knives down on the bench next to a table. He gave a sigh and exited the room, shutting the door behind him.
A sheet-covered body lay on a metal examination table in the morgue. The sheet started to twitch in a few places. As it twitched, the sheet slipped just enough to expose an Asian woman's face, her eyes open wide. She stared wildly around the room, confusion on her face.
Before she could move, the door facing the table opened as the lights in the room were suddenly extinguished. A bright light from the doorway shone on the woman, blinding her. She painfully lifted up an arm to shield her eyes from the glare and something entered the room. The door slammed shut.
A dark shadow moved along the sterile, polished floor. As it got to the table, a reptilian form could be seen, the head rising up, opened mouth baring its fangs.
Seeing the creature, the woman started screaming, but was unable to move an inch. It struck.
Her screams were suddenly cut off.
The man stood at the front door, holding it open. Two FBI agents stood near each other, seemingly about to talk to the other, but neither moved. A thin haze hung in the air. Each person was frozen, not even seeming to breath as the clock on the wall ticked...
The vapour curled in on itself and blew out of the open door. Suddenly the man at the door blinked and shook his head as if to clear his mind of something. "No-one at the door," he said and shrugged to the two FBI agents.
"I haven't seen anyone either. Pretty quiet here tonight." One of the FBI men shrugged, "Anyway, it's your shift. I'm off to the hotel, see what's on the tv, then hit the sack."
The other nodded, "Have a good night. I'm going to take a look around."
As the FBI men went about their business, the coroner's assistant headed back to the other room. Returning to the morgue, he muttered to himself as he switched the light on.
The examination table was empty.
With a winced he groaned. "Not again..."
[11.53pm, June 9, FBI Building, Mulder's Office]
"Scully, look here," Fox Mulder waved some files and what looked like a fax under his partner's nose, "It says that about an hour ago, a male Caucasian, one James Redmond, disappeared from the Chelsea City Morgue."
Dana Scully shrugged and took hold of the papers. "I assume that since we've got it, he was dead at the time?"
Mulder nodded triumphantly, "Exactly." He leaned in close and flicked over a few pages in the manila folder she was holding, "See? And the same thing happened three nights before. A lady by the name of Lilly Cham. And another three nights before that was a Mr. Tristan Lewis. And..."
"There's a three night pattern. I see that, Mulder," she quickly cut in. As excited as her partner was about this case, he might have gone through the list name by name for however long people had been disappearing. There seemed to be quite a number of sheets of paper in this X-File. She'd been up half the night doing an autopsy to help out on a case from upstairs, and was longing to get home for some much needed sleep. She would not put up with Mulder going through the whole list tonight. "How long has this gone on for?"
"About a month."
"A month? Why did it take so long for us to get this case?"
"The idiots upstairs didn't know it was an X-File. They had a couple of stakeouts, yet the bodies went right on disappearing beneath their noses," Mulder rolled his eyes.
"What do you have on this case, then? I know there's something else."
He grinned at her, a boyish charm lighting up his face. "Everyone of these people, they were mostly men, died of unknown causes and disappeared before there was a chance to perform an autopsy on the bodies. And the strangest thing about it? All of the victims were visitors to Chelsea, all staying at different hotels around the town."
Scully frowned. Talking through things always helped her think. "Maybe a virus of some description. Air-borne or through the town's water supply. Something that the townspeople had grown accustomed to. I can't know for certain until we can run some tests, but this town should be put under quarantine until we figure out what's going on."
Mulder nodded. "It could be some sort of vampirism or zombie, but it's the three days and the cause of death that's got me."
"Well, as long as you don't end up dating one of the dead women, things should be fine."
"I'll do my best, but you know how those undead women can't resist me."
[9.38am, June 10, Mulder's car en route to Chelsea City]
Scully smoothed her skirt as she looked blankly out the window. Looking at the countryside became monotonous after a while, as did sitting talking about the X-File with Mulder. There was only so much they could plan for.
Usually they had no problem travelling. It was just that she had gotten to the stage where she wasn't exactly sure what to do with Mulder. She really enjoyed his company, more than that, she loved being with him, but she wanted more. But at the same time, she didn't want to ruin what they did have. He was her partner, her friend, the only one she could trust. He'd put his life on the line for her, so many times, as had she for him... and although she couldn't say it out loud, she'd given him her heart, too. It was a strange position to be in. Frustrating at times but that was the nature of their relationship. There was no awkwardness. Just love. <The problem,> she thought wryly, <is that I don't know if he's in love with me or not.>
Usually things like this didn't bother her. She wasn't sure what was wrong. She didn't get enough sleep last night, but that wasn't anything too unusual. But she couldn't get that thought out of her head. Glancing over, she looked at Mulder's profile.
He was rather nice to look at, high cheekbones, beautiful eyes, and lips that made her think about kissing. His hair was slightly tousled; his tie was loose, the top button of his crisp white shirt undone, but that was not enough to spoil his clean-cut image.
Glancing over, Mulder found Scully's wide blue eyes on him. "What is it, Scully? Do I have something on my face?"
She dropped her eyes, breaking the sudden eye-contact. "No, no. It's nothing. I was just thinking..." <Quickly, Dana! What's a question about the case??> She glanced down at the folder, "D...did any of the FBI agents assigned to the case end up in the morgue?"
<Dumb question.> She looked back out the window to avoid his gaze. He'd have told her if any of the FBI's people had died.
"No, they didn't. Unless symptoms include falling asleep while the dead get up and walk, I don't think they were contaminated."
"I guess not." She gave a soft laugh and turned back to staring out the window.
Mulder glanced back at her before turning his full concentration back on the road. Maybe she was feeling sick, but there was something odd going on with his partner. She wasn't usually this... out of it. But she obviously didn't want to talk it over with him, not at the moment. It would eventually come out. The truth always did.
[7.10pm, June 10, Chelsea Ramada Inn]
"Here you go, Scully, adjoining rooms." Mulder tossed Scully the keys and unlocked his own room, "Doesn't the FBI put us up in some great hotels?"
"The best available." With a sigh, she opened her door and dumped her suitcase just inside. She shut the front door and collapsed on the bed. Travelling was hard work.
A knock came from the adjoining door. "Hey, Scully. Open up."
She struggled up into a sitting position. All she wanted to do was sleep. But they were on a case. Mulder wouldn't let little things like sleep get in the way. He'd want them to both go check out the morgue that evening. "Okay, I'm coming."
She unlocked her door and let him in.
"Want some dinner before we go off to the Chelsea morgue? The town's coroner is expecting us in an hour. We can have a look around town, too."
"Don't you think it would be better to look around town during daylight hours? But I could murder a pizza right now."
He opened Scully's front door and unlocked the car, "Pizza, morgue then the town and water supply tomorrow."
She trailed after him, locking her motel door behind her.
[8.00pm, June 10, Chelsea City Morgue]
The coroner, Simon Carter, was a middle aged, balding man, dressed in a boring, dull grey suit. "Ah, you must be the FBI agents. Agent Mulder," he nodded towards the correct agent, "Agent Scully." He gave her a small smile and dry washed his hands. "I'm sorry that your visit to Chelsea is under such... strange and sad circumstances. I really don't know what to think about all of this."
Professionalism overtaking tiredness, Scully took out her own notes on the X-File. "I see that all of the people affected by the sickness were found dead in their hotel rooms, usually by staff coming to clean the rooms during the day."
He nodded, "That's right. It's been so unusual. Every body, no pun intended, I bring to the morgue disappears during the nights. I leave the room for a moment to answer the telephone, or shut the front window, and poof, they're gone, not there any more."
Mulder started to examine the room as the conversation continued, running his eyes over the floors, desks, walls, plants, windows and ceiling. "Do you mind if I have a look around?"
"Of course not, Agent Mulder. Feel free," Carter turned back to Scully, "By the time the bodies get here, it's usually late in the evening or early in the morning. Odd, that. But I guess it's the police business, what goes on beforehand. At first I thought it was one of the morticians playing a joke on me, but no-one has owned up. I don't think any of the boys here are so bad that they'd continue a prank after the FBI get involved."
Scully nodded as she took down a few notes, "What happened with the FBI agents, Mr. Cater?"
Carter shrugged, "I'm not exactly sure, Agent Scully. I was told that they'd catch the body thief, and that I was to stay away from the building during those third nights. It's so hard to get my work done with those people hanging around, as I'm sure you know. You're a forensic scientist yourself, aren't you?"
She nodded slightly. She might end up doing some autopsies of her own here, so it was better to let those in authority know before hand. "If we do find any of these bodies, you wouldn't mind if I helped with the autopsies." She said it as more of a statement than a question.
"Of course not. It would be interesting to work with another professional."
"Scully!" Mulder's voice came through from another room, "Have a look at this!"
Scully closed her notes and hurried through to the cool room to find Mulder, Carter following close behind. "What is it Mulder?" she asked. Mulder, kneeling on the floor by an autopsy table, held a fragment of paper in a gloved hand.
"The dead don't usually write notes to each other, do they?"
"What is it?" He stood up and showed her the corner of paper. It seemed to be a normal piece of paper, with a signature. "'My Dear Lilly'," Scully read, "It seems to be part of a letter. Maybe she was holding a letter when she died, and it fell out of her hands while she was here?"
"Hmm," Carter looked over at the paper. "You'd have to ask the police. I can't say that I took much notice of their investigation. I'm just the coroner after all. They ask me the questions."
"Another job for tomorrow, Scully."
Nodding, Scully went back to questioning Carter while Mulder continued his search. How he managed to find anything was beyond her. He had gut instincts, she guessed. Or maybe a special touch with the strange things in the world. But he did bring results, when it came to the supernatural, anyway.
[11.42pm, June 10, Scully's Room, Chelsea Ramada Inn]
Scully filled a small sample jar with the inn's tap water. Coming back to her room, she opened the FBI's water Ph Balance kit, and dipped the paper into the sample. This was only a stop-gap measure, but she wasn't about to have a shower in contaminated water. <Almost as bad as being in Mexico,> she thought to herself. <Eat as much as you want, but don't drink the water!>
Looking forward to sleep, she took her silky camisole out of her suitcase and placed her gun on the bed-side table. She never unpacked on assignment. She lived out of her suitcase and carried all essentials on her person. The hazards of being on assignment.
Checking the result, the water seemed to be fine. Nothing more acidic than it should have been. But they'd both brought bottled water, just in case. Picking up her toiletries, she headed in to the bathroom.
As she went back to get her camisole, a knocking came from the adjoining door. "Go to sleep, Mulder! We can work on the case in the morning. I'm having a shower."
The knocking stopped.
In his room, Mulder started to fantasise.
Outside, a shadowy figure stared at the two lit windows of the hotel, before disappearing into the hotel's foliage.
[9.28am, June 11, Chelsea Police Department]
Mulder flashed his FBI badge at the police desk clerk, "Agent Mulder from the FBI. May I speak to the officer in charge of the missing bodies investigation, Sergeant Hutchinson, please?"
Scully stood nearby, watching the police at work. Nothing unusual there, just a regular police office in almost any town in America. <Hopefully none of these are vampires or cannibals or...>
The clerk led them through to one of the offices. Knocking, he poked his head in, "Two FBI agents here to see you, sir."
"Thank you, you may go, Pitman. Come in, you two must be Agents Mulder and Scully. I heard that you were in town. You had Joe's pizza, huh? Pretty good, isn't it?" He was a rotund man, with dark hair and a full mustache. Wings of grey flecked his hair at the temples.
The two made their way into the office and sat down on the offered chairs, "Yeah, great pizza," Mulder sounded unconvinced but got on to matters at hand. "Last night I found part of a letter that was sent to Lilly Cham, the second last victim to disappear."
"Oh, yes. The Asian girl. A letter, you say? Hmm," the policeman said as he got up and rifled through a few files on his desk. "Here we are. Lilly Cham. Says that she was found dead at the desk in her hotel room. Here's the photos."
He spread photos of a pretty Asian girl who looked like she'd fallen asleep. Her head was on the desk, her arms cradling her face. Her hands were under her head, not shown in any of the police photographs. An envelope was peeking out from under her arm though.
"Did you pick up the envelope?" Scully pointed out the piece of evidence on the photo with a pen.
Flicking through the file, Hutchinson nodded, "Ah, yeah. It's in the evidence locker. You want to see it? There was nothing in it when we found it. I don't remember the girl holding anything, but in the report, it says that her hands were closed." Standing up, he led them out of his office. "The coroner was supposed to find anything else that happened."
"Didn't your people think to check the body before sending it off to the coroner?" Scully lifted an eyebrow, "After all, the rest of the bodies disappeared before even a cursory exam could be taken, according to Mr. Carter."
The Sergeant gave a shrug, "We do what we can. But we can't do everything." He stopped by a door, took a bunch of keys out of his pocket, and proceeded to unlock the door, "Here we are. It should be in one of those 'lunch bags' in here."
It was a cluttered room, filled with trays of objects of various natures, almost all of which were enclosed in clear, zip-lock bags. Hutchinson went to one of the shelves and took down a tray. "There's nothing much here apart from some of her belongings and the envelope. Her family must have already come to collect her luggage and all."
Mulder took the little bag and peered inside it. He nodded to himself before handing it over to Scully, and joked, "Didn't I tell you that the dead don't usually write letters to each other?"
Scully's puzzled expression gave way to interest as she read the address on the back of the envelope, "It says that the sender was a J. Redmond. Wasn't that the surname of the last victim?"
"Yep. James Redmond. I'll bet you anything that they were one and the same person. Sergeant, can you find the Redmond file and see if the details match?"
"They sure do. Already checked that out, when I checked the envelope. I guess they were here as secret lovers because they sure weren't staying at the same hotel. Maybe their folks didn't like the fact that they were secretly going out with someone of another race or something. I've seen a few couples coming to motels around here for similar reasons." The policeman nodded, "If we could find the full letter then I guess we'd know why they were here."
All Scully could do was nod. That suggestion might have been possible, but it could be anything from a business contact, to pen pals, to goodness knows what. Too many 'ifs' and no evidence, just the fact that two of the victims knew each other. Not much to go on, but they'd worked on cases with less information...
[11.39am, June 11, Chelsea Reservoir]
Scully closed the last of a series of vials of water, which she marked and placed in a tray with a number of others. "That's the last of them, Mulder. We've taken a sample of water from all over - the hotels where the victims were found, the main water supply, and even our own hotel."
"So we can send them off to get analysed now?" He stood up from where he'd been squatting, watching Scully take the samples. <Frohike's right - she's hot.>
"I've arranged for one of the couriers to collect it at the hotel. As soon as they know, they'll call. We should know first thing tomorrow morning." She paused and looked at him, "You know, I really hope we're not facing a whole town that kills off people again. I just can't make sense of this."
Mulder went back to the car, allowing his partner to follow. "I have a theory on this," he said, unlocking the door and hopping in. When Scully settled herself in the passenger seat, Mulder started the car and drove back towards the hotel, "I don't think it's vampirism - vampires might on some occasion be notoriously picky about who they change into other vampires, but the pattern of days just doesn't fit. But there is a sect of one of the Afro-Caribbean voodoo cults way that does have rather ... interesting ceremonies."
Scully, used to Mulder's "crazy theory" speeches, nodded. The thing was, he was normally right when he had his theories. His details might be off, but the theories themselves were pretty sound.
"In voodoo folklore, the creation of zombies involves a traditional form of mind-control technique through a ritual routine of shock, drugs, deprivation, training and nutrition, especially effective were those who were seen to be sociopaths. These people literally became like the living dead - zombies."
Scully shook her head slightly, "Yes, I remember Folkstone, but they had Haitian refugees there who had access to the tetrodotoxin used in those ceremonies. Maybe the toxin was used, and the victims appeared to be dead. But by all accounts, that form of treatment to a person would seriously damage all of the higher functions of the brain. This whole system would be prone to backfire on the one who instigates it. They might destroy the mind totally, rather than get the slave they want."
"Come on, Scully," Mulder spoke with passion, "it's happened before, so what would stop it this time?"
"In this case, we have people dying, then disappearing every three days over and over again. What makes you think that it's a voodoo cult, when there are no Haitians in the town?"
"I wasn't sure until recently, but while you were running around getting the water, I checked up in the Chelsea library. There is a certain voodoo sect which believes that their power waxes every 36 hours. They believe that their python-god comes to them every three days, during the night, and reanimates the corpses while the priest, the bokor, performs the mind-altering ceremonies to bind the undead to themselves. Usually this is done in the hours of darkness so the zombie can 'awaken' during the night, totally under the power of the bokor." He took a breath, "It seems that we have a local who's attempting to zombify out-of-towners, someone who's seen a few books and zombie movies, and thinks he knows what he's doing. Maybe he's even attended a few voodoo ceremonies. It seems, though, that he hasn't gotten his formulae quite right because he keeps on trying every third night, and that he's getting desperate. I've checked the history of the morgue, and bodies have disappeared occasionally, maybe one or two a year, for the past three years. He's after something, Scully. Something that he believes will be happening soon."
A slight frown creased her forehead, "So we're looking for a desperate, Caucasian voodoo priest who breaks into the morgue, steals the bodies and tries to turn them into zombies. Someone who also can steal the bodies right from under the noses of FBI agents."
Mulder grinned, his tone triumphant. "Something like that. The narcotics the voodoo cults use in their ceremonies could well be employed in making people oblivious of what's going on in the real world. If they have powers that can make a man hallucinate, why couldn't they make a man believe he isn't seeing what he's seeing? It is much easier to make a man believe that he isn't seeing what he doesn't want to believe than to make a man see strange things. Mostly, though, we'll be looking for a python or another large snake. That would be the priest's object of worship, used in any ceremonies he might have. The drugs would, I presume, be much harder to find compared to the python."
"What makes you think it's just one man, Mulder?"
"He seems to be pretty incompetent. Unless there are a whole lot of incompetent people in the cult, it seems more likely that he'd be working alone. If he was making this many mistakes in front of a whole group, he wouldn't last long."
Scully nodded, then sighed, "A big snake. Well, that shouldn't be too difficult to find."
[12.13pm, June 11, Chelsea Pets-R-Us]
"Afternoon, can I help you folks?" The pet store manager was an elderly woman, her grey hair pulled back into a bun, but she was comfortably dressed in track suit pants and a t-shirt.
"Hi, I'm looking to see if you've got any pet mice or rats. Rodents of any description, actually." Mulder gave a winning smile to the shop keeper.
"Rats or mice? Unfortunately they're big sellers around here. I don't actually have anything like that at the moment. Maybe in a week or two we'll get some more in. Would you like a hamster instead? We've got a few of those with the rabbits."
Mulder shook his head, "No, not my type of animal. Mice are big sellers, huh?"
Scully wandered around the store while Mulder chatted to the old woman. <No snakes here.> There were fish, birds, rabbits, kittens and puppies. Not even little snakes. <I hope Mulder gets somewhere with the mice thing. We've been to enough pet shops already. If I never see another furry animal, it'll be too soon!>
After they left the building, Scully came to a stand-still near her partner. "So?"
"No rodents there, either. Someone around here must have a snake or another large reptile. This one town could never have such a demand for mice and rats. Gerbils, maybe, but not mice."
Scully tried not to smile. Keeping her face smooth she nodded, "Well. Now to find the snake owner, and arrest him for being a voodoo priest?"
"Something like that."
[2.33pm, June 11, Chelsea City Vet]
"You get many calls for big snakes around here, err, Kara?" Mulder poked at the brittle, dry flake of skin that once belonged to a rather large reptile.
The pony-tailed young blonde teen behind the vet's counter shrugged. "Oh, occasionally. Like old Samson and his carpet snake. Dunno why he keeps the thing. It's not very friendly, but it keeps away the mice, I guess. He's got a farm out beyond the town," she gestured vaguely before putting her hands in the white vets' coat pockets, "I reckon he should just get a cat."
Scully looked around, "So he's the only person in town with a snake?" Carpet snakes, from what she recalled, were a member of the python family from Australia. They were regarded as pretty much harmless. To her, it seemed unlikely that these animals would be the type used in voodoo witchcraft.
"Nah, he's got the smallest. It's a 5 footer, but I don't think it'll grow any bigger. Hmm, in town we've got two snake owners. There's an emerald tree boa - she's a big 8 footer with nasty teeth! - and the other's an amazon tree boa. He's not as big, but still a good 6 and a half feet. You two got a problem with your pet snake or something?"
"We've got snake problems, yeah," Mulder gave a shrug, "I'd like to speak with the snake owners, if that's possible. Who's got the emerald?"
"Ummm, I guess... Mr. Carter's got her. Hey, you won't tell anyone I said anything, will you? I'm not meant to give out this kinda information. I only gave it 'cause you're cute."
Scully crossed her arms, rolling her eyes, "I'm sure we won't be telling anyone, will we Mulder? Let's go find Mr. Carter, shall we?"
She practically dragged him out of the vet's.
"You jealous over a girl or something, Scully?" Mulder said as he dropped himself into the car seat, "Anyway, you know I go for red-heads."
He winked as his partner sullenly buckled herself into her seat.
<If only!> Scully found herself somewhat annoyed by her jealousy and that thought. "Why the emerald, Mulder? Why not the amazon? Both are rather large snakes that might equally have been used in any Hollywood-style facsimile of a voodoo ceremony, if the body snatcher is after a large python."
"Haven't you ever seen 'Live and Let Die'?"
"Drive, Mulder. Just drive."
[5.18pm, June 11, Outside the Chelsea City Morgue]
"You go on in, Mulder. I'd better get back and see if I can find out any information about the water. They might send a fax to the hotel, if they've had time to analyse the samples. If there's anything dangerous, they'll fax us right away."
"It's a little bit early yet, isn't it?" Mulder didn't like being away from her. Maybe it was a little that he felt protective of her, but she was a strong, capable woman. He felt so many feelings for the diminutive red-head, feelings that were so strong that it was hard to keep them in check. He wished that he could throw caution to the winds, but even Skinner wouldn't be able to stop Them from taking her off the X-Files if They found out. An excuse to take the only person in the world he could trust away from him.
"Sometimes the FBI has been known to be efficient." The irony in her tone came through strongly. "I'll call you when I hear."
He didn't show his disappointment. "Okay, I'll hear from you, then."
When his partner left, Mulder went up to the morgue's door. It was time to question Mr. Carter.
[10.47pm, June 11, Chelsea Ramada Inn]
"Mulder, it's me." Scully spoke into her mobile, as she entered her hotel room, "I've got the report from the water. It seems that we're pretty lucky that we haven't been drinking the hotel water - a small number of the hotels, ours included, have traces of tetrodotoxin in their drinking water. The town's water supply is fine, so someone is deliberately poisoning the water of specific hotels."
Her partner was in his own hotel room, next door to Scully, laying on his bed and watching tv. He rolled over on to his side to respond, "It's got to be Carter. I'll bet you anything he knows the hotel owners by name and has been watching for newcomers. Probably putting the voodoo drug in the hotels' pipeline each third day, maybe in the early afternoon. I'll bet he wants to get back to his pet snake in time before it awakens for the night. You back at the hotel yet, Scully?"
"Yes," Scully took off her gun and placed it on the bed-side table, and sunk down on the edge of her bed with a sigh. She slipped off her shoes and started to rub her feet, "What did you find out?"
"Not much. I asked him about a snake, and yes he did have one. But he's still claiming that he knows nothing about the bodies disappearing. It's probably a little too much to hope for that someone will admit what they did and turn themselves over to us, isn't it? Anyway, he won't be doing anything until tomorrow, so you'd better get some sleep." He smiled to himself, "Sweet dreams, Scully. See you in the morning."
"Good night, Mulder." She hung up the phone and smiled.
The watcher crept up to the hotel wall and waited. Eventually, the lights from the rooms turned off, leaving the figure in darkness. When all was quiet, the figure raised itself up to peek in the window.
[10.22am, June 12, Outside the Chelsea City Morgue]
"We've been sitting here for a while, Mulder. Carter hasn't left the morgue since he got here." Scully peered at the front door from the passenger seat of the car. They had a pretty clear view of the morgue building, and Carter's car was still parked out the front.
Mulder munched on a few sunflower seeds from a packet he had in his pocket, "Okay, in another hour or two I'll go check up on him. He'll have to make a move some time this afternoon or early evening if he wants to go get his snake or drugs to try out on any visitors. There's only two out of towners, both at the same hotel on Main St, so we can always stake out there after hours."
"Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Morrison," Scully shrugged, and went through the photos of the bodies in the X-File, "Though they seem to be a bit old to fit the profile. All of these people are younger than forty. The Morrisons are in their sixties!"
"If it has to happen tonight, it'll have to be them."
Scully, unconvinced, went back to watching the morgue.
[12.42pm, June 12, Chelsea City Morgue]
"Time to go in. If I'm not back in 30 minutes, call the cops," Mulder grinned at Scully, checked his gun, and exited the car. He headed over to the morgue and opened the door.
Inside, the receptionist at the front desk looked up, "Hello, Agent Mulder. You're wanting to see Mr. Carter?"
Mulder nodded and headed straight towards the door to the morgue itself, "He's in, isn't he?"
"Yes, but --"
Mulder left the receptionist open mouthed as he opened the inside door and barged straight into the cool room. Straight into Carter and one of his assistants, in the middle of an autopsy.
Carter finished his notes on his hand-held voice recorder, and pressed stop. "Agent Mulder, I don't think that this is a good time to speak to you. As you can see, I've got a 'patient' to work on."
Mulder, satisfied that the coroner was there, settled back on one of the benches to wait for him to finish his work. Hopefully he wouldn't take too long.
Kara, holding a thermos flask, knocked on Scully's window. Not really paying attention to anything but the morgue, Scully hadn't noticed her approaching. She wound down the window to speak with the young vet.
"Hi," Scully looked up, "I'm waiting for Mulder. Can I do anything for you?"
She shrugged and smiled, "I just saw you there when I went to the cafe and thought you could use a cup. You've been there a while." She held out one of the styrofoam cups for the agent.
"Thank you, Kara." Scully took the plastic lid off of the cup and blew on the steaming liquid to cool it down slightly. It smelled good.
The teen took a sip of her own coffee, "Mrs. Simons does the best coffee in town, don't you think?"
Scully took a sip of hers. "Not bad," she conceded. Actually, it wasn't bad. In fact, it was the best coffee she'd had since she got to this town. She gave a sigh and took another sip, "Thanks so much, Kara."
"No probs! Anyway, I've got to get back to the veterinarian clinic, see ya!"
Scully settled back down to watch the morgue. <Mulder still hasn't come back, so I haven't missed much.>
The girl headed off down the street. As she turned the corner, she stopped and began her own surveillance. She settled herself to watch Scully.
Half an hour later, Carter finished his last notes on the body. Apparently, this was old Miss Jameson who had died of a heart attack, not unexpectedly.
"Poor old woman. Well, at least she's at peace now." The coroner left it to his assistant to clean up, "She always was complaining and sticking her nose into her neighbours' business. No more, though. She'll probably be complaining up in Heaven that the clouds aren't fluffy enough for her instead."
"Here's the coffee you wanted, Mr. Carter." The receptionist came in the room and handed one out to the coroner and one to his assistant. "This one's for you, Agent Mulder. Thought you might like one since you're waiting."
Mulder took the cup and thanked the woman. He sipped at his coffee while Carter cleaned himself up at the sink, "Carter, I'll be watching you. I know all about your snake so you may as well give it up."
The coroner looked puzzled, "What does Sylvia have to do with anything? She's at the vets, anyway. I don't know how, but she's pregnant, or so Kara says, so she wants to keep her there for observation. I thought she just ate a cat or something."
"The vet...? Oh, damn! Damn! Damn!" He turned and rushed out of the room.
The coffee cup landed on the floor and spilled.
The coroner sighed and directed his assistant to clean up the floor, too. He picked up the coffee cup, and tossed it in the bin.
Leaving the room, he went out to his receptionist, "Didn't Kara drop these off, like she normally does? I think Agent Mulder wants to see her about something. Something about my snake, it seems." He looked mystified.
"Yes," the receptionist finished off her own coffee, "Funny thing, though. I wonder how she knew that he was there. She just came with an extra coffee, and stressed that it was for him. Something about him wanting extra sugar, way too sweet for our liking."
"She's a weird girl." The coroner shrugged, "But she makes sure we get the best damned coffee."
Mulder ran straight up the road towards his car. He felt a little odd, and realised that if there had been anything in his coffee, he was just speeding up the process. But he had to get to Scully. His body felt heavier with every movement his made, but he forced himself to run. Labouring for breath, he panted but still kept his feet pounding on the ashphalt. He needed to get to Scully. He focused on his goal - the gleam of beautiful red hair in the car - and ran.
Reaching the car, Mulder felt as if his body was made of lead. He collapsed into his seat, panting heavily. His whole body felt like it was melting, as if it wasn't his any more. But he had to warn Scully. He forced himself to talk. The words sounded slurred to his own ears, "Scully, it's Kara...... she's..." he trailed off and saw that Scully hadn't moved. She was so still. She looked like she'd fallen asleep, but she wasn't moving... at all. As he forced his unwilling body to leaned over and feel for a pulse, his eyes rolled up in his head and he collapsed as the poison took its toll.
[3.48pm, June 12, Outside the Chelsea City Morgue]
Hutchinson and a swarm of police surrounded Mulder's car, taking photographs and began to search for evidence.
An ambulance was parked near Mulder's car, its lights flashing. Mulder lay on one stretcher, Scully on the other. The doctor shook his head and lifted the sheets, first over Mulder's face, then over Scully's. "They're all yours, Carter."
Carter's assistants pushed the stretcher towards the morgue.
"You were the last to see him, Carter. I'll need to speak with you for a while." Hutchinson looked over at the coroner, "You got time now?"
"Yeah. I guess I'll have to look them over tonight."
Hutchinson and Carter got into the police car, and drove off.
Inside the morgue, Mulder and Scully's bodies were transferred to the cool room, and placed on examination tables. They were stripped by the assistants, their clothing, shoes, guns and personal items placed in two marked boxes.
Mulder and Scully lay next to each other on the tables, covered by sheets. The assistants eventually left, turning off the light and shutting the door, leaving the room in total darkness.
[11.29pm, June 12, Chelsea City Morgue]
Two metal examination tables were pushed together, Mulder and Scully's bodies lay together on the two tables, their hands almost touching. They lay still, motionless, not even stirring when the light flicked on or when someone entered the morgue.
After a while, Scully opened her eyes and ever so slowly turned her head to look at the table next to her. She was almost close enough to touch him. Only the rims of the tables separated him from her. A distance of a few centimeters, but the way she was feeling, it was a world away. Her limbs were numb and unmoving. Even the attempt at movement sent painful pins and needles shooting through her body.
The vet was there, placing a pillow under Mulder's head. She noted that she didn't have one. The next thing that she noticed, other than that she was freezing, was that she and Mulder were only wearing sheets and toe tags.
A wave of jealousy ran through her as she saw what was happening to Mulder. The girl from the vet, Kara, was snuggled up to him, her fingers running over his chest and shoulders while she nuzzled his neck. Mulder, though, was seemingly dead on the table beside her. Instinctively, Scully knew that he was still alive. It must have been the tetrodotoxin.
"What are you going to do with us?" Her voice croaked as she spoke, her throat dry. Scully felt at a disadvantage, wearing only a sheet and half frozen to death. Metal just wasn't pleasant to lie on, especially for the length of time she seemed to have been on the table. But she couldn't move. She turned her head, with great difficulty towards Kara. Shivering slightly from the chill, she kept a steady eye on the girl.
Ignoring Scully, the teen hopped off of Mulder's table and reached for a cage. Opening it, she gently, carefully took out a rather large emerald python, obviously Carter's snake. Setting down the large animal, all 8 feet of it, she pulled a candle and a pouch out of her vet coat's pockets.
She lit the candle with a lighter and sprinkled some herbs from the pouch over the candle flame. Dipping into the pouch, she took out a small mass of home-made incense and tiny pot of dark liquid and drew a symbol on the bench with her fingertip before replacing it in the pouch. She tucked the pouch in her belt. She used the candle and lit the incense while chanting below her breath.
Scully didn't know what she was doing, but she did know that it wasn't good.
"Mulder, wake up!" she croaked, twitching her fingers, trying to get her body working. Pain ran through her blood-starved body as she continued to desperately try and get some movement back, "Mulder!"
As Kara went about her strange ritual, Mulder's eyelids fluttered open. He painfully moved his head, first to one side, noting the girl immersed in her rites, then to the other. Seeing Scully, he gave his best attempt at a smile, "We're not dead, then?"
"Mulder," Scully breathed and a little tension drained out of her face. <He's alive, thank God!>
The two agents started trying to work the blood back into their limbs, both staring at each other as they did so, silently communicating. They knew each other so well that speech wasn't needed. Mulder would try to distract the girl, Scully would try to see if their guns were in the boxes. Otherwise, it would be down to Mulder, knocking the girl out. They didn't need to speak, they just knew the plan.
Mulder managed to struggle into a sitting position, "Kara, why? What did James and Lilly do to you?"
"That Cham tart and James were lovers. He came to find her but she was already dead. The stupid man refused me! The love spell didn't take on him, either, so I had to do something! You can see that, can't you?"
Quite clearly, Kara wasn't mentally stable.
"But why don't you just go to a bar and find a man, like everyone else?" Stalling for time, Mulder glanced over to the side of the room. The clothes they were wearing when they 'died' were in boxes, marked with their names, on a bench near the metal tables. Maybe within Scully's reach. If she could just lean back, maybe she could reach in and find one of their guns? Most likely it would be evidence, but if they undressed them here that evening, and the police hadn't been by to collect the clothes, maybe......
The incense started to give off plumes of smoke, its scent heavy and cloying as it burned.
The vet reached into the medical cabinet and chose one of the scalpels there then turned to Mulder. "A bar? Only perverts hang out there! And the men here are all scum or married or both. I need a well educated man, a man from the city, not some country hick that comes here for drinks all weekend!" She laughed suddenly and picked Mulder's wallet out of the box of clothing, "And I think you'll do, Agent Mulder of the FBI! You're so cute. Too bad for your girlfriend."
He had to try and save Scully from the psychotic teen if he could, "She's not my girlfriend, Kara. We're just partners, nothing more." The lie felt strange on his lips.
The smoke started to cover the ceiling from view, drifting and swirling in strange patterns as it grew even heavier...
Kara snorted, "I saw the looks you two give each other. I'm not stupid."
Scully twisted her body at the waist, biting her lip to stop a moan from escaping. Mulder had the girl's full attention. She had to get the gun. The smoke drifting around the room made her eyes water, but it helped cover her movements... her fingers felt the edge of the box, then went inside.
"Come on, Kara. If you let her go, I'll go on a date with you." Mulder forced a grin.
Kara's eyes narrowed as she focused on Mulder, "I said I wasn't stupid! The goddess will make it so you'll never look at another woman again. But it's too late for your bimbo." She set down the snake and whispered to it, sprinkling it with more of her herbs, painting the voodoo glyph on its head...
Scully growled beneath her breath <Bimbo?!> and her hand came in contact with the holster of Mulder's gun. Quickly, she drew it out of the box. Trembling fingers pulled the gun out of its holster, but a fit of coughing racked through her body, and the gun dropped between the two agents, on Mulder's examination table.
"Scully, can you breathe?" Mulder coughed as he reached for the gun, grabbing it before Kara's attention returned to the pair. He managed to struggle up into a sitting position, his shoulders supported by the pillow.
The strange, smoky incense, strong with the scent of basil, wafted even more strongly through the room, obscuring Kara and the snake. There was a large snake in here, not to mention a crazy priestess, both hidden by the smoke. "Dammit," the realisation hit Mulder, "it's not zombies! She's thinks she's a priestess of Erzulie!"
Scully grabbed onto Mulder's arm with one hand and held the corner of her body sheet up to her lower face, "Who?"
"The Haitian goddess of love!"
The smoke cleared between the three people, and the vet glared at the two agents on the examination tables, "You will be mine, Agent Mulder! Your pretty partner will end up with all of the other women, cremated and mixed with the ashes in my fireplace!"
The young vet picked up the slithering python, slid it over her shoulders with practiced ease, and started a slow, twirling dance. "Erzulie! Come to me!" She dipped her finger into a bag on her belt and it came up deep red, almost black. With surprising speed, she painted another glyph on her forehead, "I call on you, Lady of Vengeance! Lady of Jealousy! Uncoil your snake form! Rise up out of the water and strike with your passions, goddess! Strike the girl, then make the man mine!"
Mulder's gun-shot rang out through the morgue as the girl leapt at them, a scalpel in her hand. The bullet tore into her shoulder, breaking the girl's chant. Blood trickled out of the tiny open wound...
Kara suddenly screamed, and her whole body convulsed as the emerald python wrapped tightly around her body. Her screams continued as her body twisted sharply, knocking the girl to the floor, but still the snake tightened. A rapid succession of crunches and snaps like muffled firecrackers resounded through the room as Kara's bones broke. Screams intermingled with the snaps, screams that turned into gurgles and finally silence. Then she seemed to flow and melt in silence, the python becoming one with the mix... till in her place was a rather large water snake, the avatar of the goddess. With a hiss, the reptile itself seemed to turn into water, leaving only a small puddle to indicate where Kara had died.
With a small plop, the water suddenly evaporated, the smoke in the room turning into a fine mist which then disappeared. A delicious, sweet scent filled the room.
"Mul... Fox," she sat up slowly and leaned over towards him. Glancing over at the far door for a moment, a strange feeling of happiness filling her. She looked back for a moment - how innocent he looked, lying there - and whispered, "You have to get up. We'll have to make the phone call. Someone would have told Skinner that we're dead, and he'll be on his way to investigate."
He opened one eye to look at her. <Damn, she can even make a mortician's sheet sexy!> he thought to himself, "Even the dead can't get a moment's peace around here!"
Truth be told, he was pretty exhausted. But work was work.
"Let's go," Scully repeated and hopped off the mortician's table herself. She held the sheet to her as she went and gathered her clothes.
As they changed, Mulder took their toe-tags and slipped them in his pocket. An appropriate souvenir of the evening.
Scully led the way out of the morgue and back to where they'd left the car. Thankfully, no-one had seen anything. The morgue and street outside were quiet. Mulder's car wasn't there. It had probably been impounded by the police. They wandered to a nearby bus shelter and sat down together.
Mulder moved his hand to rest on Scully's, "I guess we were 'blessed' by Erzulie. To the Haitians, Erzulie is the goddess of not only jealousy but of true love. Kara was punished for her own flaws, her own darkened twisting of love. It's said that the goddess 'rejoices in those whose love is true and abhors those who violate the lovers'."
"But why us, Fox? If this 'punishment' was to take place, why not previously with the other victims?" Scully looked up into his face, her eyes meeting his.
"I think you know the answer to that... Dana."
Scully felt all of her emotions rising, all of her feelings for Fox Mulder, but she couldn't yet say the words. She finally knew the answer. They were both in love with each other. She'd say it one day, but not yet...
"Or maybe it was just because the women were just killed off while she tried to use her love rituals on the men. I guess her spells didn't work, and the men joined the women in the fireplace. I think it's time to call Skinner. The forensics team will need to do a thorough investigation of Kara's house."
"They'll find all of her voodoo paraphernalia there, along with the human remains in the fireplace. She'll have had some hidden at the vet's, too."
Scully took out her mobile and started to dial the FBI when Mulder leaned over and placed a finger on her lips. She reached up and silently ran her fingers over his cheek, her fingertips moving to slowly trace the outline of his mouth. They both knew.
Scully made the call.
Another X-File was over.
All characters portrayed in this fanfic are © Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and The Fox Network.
Well, there you have it - my first X-Files fanfic, inspired by the picture and challenge at An X-Files Writing Challenge! Be nice, as it's my first one, please! I usually write anime fanfics! ^_^;;
A big thank you goes out to Mike Tatsugawa for characterisation help, to Nick Pavlovski for help with wording and general editing, to Jeremy Fogelman, Trisha Lynn, Lawrence Ang, Brad Crawford and Candace Mcbride for spelling and grammar corrections! A big thank you for their help with this fanfic. You guys are great!! ^_^
Caroline 'Kun-chan' Seawright
© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2001 - present
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