The End Is Near...And Purple
Summary: An alternative ending to the X-files, in place of Jump The
Shark through The Truth
Spoilers: Seasons 1 through 9
Rating: R for violence
Disclaimer: I'm borrowing the x-files cast from Chris Carter, and claim no ownership to any of the characters created by 1013 productions
April 4th, 2002
A man dressed in boxer shorts and a too-small tattered blue robe walks his dog in the wee hours of the morning. The dog, a particularly ugly shitzu sniffs at the ground, looking for the best place to deposit his leavings. The man heaves a weary sigh and shakes his head as the dog shuffles forward once again. The man is thinking about the commercials with the Jose OLE trucks when he hears a flapping noise. He has the chance to scream once, then the ground, and the ugly little dog, are covered in a spray of red blood. The dog, with its leash no longer being held by its owner, yips and hides under a parked car.
<cue theme song>
April, 8th 2002
Reyes is at her desk, reading a file, with her bare feet up on her desk when Doggett comes in.
"Agent Reyes, you know they keep sending us memos telling us that bare feet is a health hazard." Doggett admonishes her.
"John, why do you have to be such a stick in the mud?"
"I don't know. I suppose it's a mixture of genetics and envi-"
"That was a rhetorical question." She says, sighing deeply.
"Oh. What are you reading?"
"A file came in this morning on a strange case. It seems that a man was walking his dog in the early hours of the morning when he disappeared."
"Why is that strange?" Doggett asks. "People disappear all the time."
"It's strange because some of his remains were discovered by three 11-year-old boys taking a hike in the woods. They were in what appeared to be a giant nest of some sort."
"That is strange. Maybe we should call Scully in on this one."
"Why?" Reyes asks, wondering why he's always so quick to ask her to come in and consult.
"She has more experience. Or something." Doggett says, reaching for the phone.
Scully thinks about throwing her phone through the window, emulating a scene in If Lucy Fell, but she masters her temper. Why is it, she thinks, that even though she's no longer at the X-Files she's always being dragged into cases? Don't Reyes and Doggett realize that she has a son of indeterminate age who'd like to spend time with his mother instead of being shipped over to his grandmother's house all the time?
She'd actually like to be around to see his first steps and hear his first words. She mentally rehearses an ultimatum- either they stop bugging her all the time, or they pay for a part-time nanny. She kisses Will on the cheek before handing him over to her mother.
Will uses his mind to heave the phone through the window, and it lands at Scully's feet as she heads for her car. She shrugs.
Reyes and Doggett are waiting for her with the various pieces of the murdered man nicely wrapped in plastic. She uncovers the remains and steps back with a hiss.
"Why is the deceased covered in a purple goo?" She asks, and they have no answer. "Any idea who this was?"
"Teddy Fiddlemister, 37, of Baltimore Maryland." Reyes supplies.
"From what agent Doggett told me on the phone he disappeared without a trace, and was later discovered by cub scouts taking a hike."
"I believe they were boy scouts." Doggett corrects.
"Ok, by boy scouts. Were there any witnesses to the crime?"
Reyes shakes her head no, but Doggett speaks up. "Just the dog. But the dog doesn't count, right?"
Scully counts to five mentally before answering him. "Right, the dog doesn't count as a witness."
"Are you sure? We could bring the dog in for questioning, and maybe hire one of those pet psychics-" Doggett says, as Reyes grabs at his arm and pulls him out of the room.
"I'll let you know if I find anything of significance." Scully calls to the swinging door, shaking her head.
Reyes reaches out one arm and fumbles blindly for the phone, knocking it to the floor before she can haul it up by its cord.
"It's 3am, who is this?" She asks sleepily.
"It's me, Doggett."
"This better be good, John."
"There's been another death."
"And you couldn't wait until 8 to tell me this?"
"This time there are witnesses. You're not going to believe this, but they said that..."he trails off.
"What did they say?"
"They said that they saw what appeared to be a large purple bird flying down main street carrying the victim's body."
"There aren't birds that large."
"I know. But five different people swear to it. We've got the body to examine, perhaps someone can tell us if what the witnesses say they saw is at all plausible." John tells her.
Reyes hangs up on him, planning to tell him later that it was an accident.
Reyes sighs to herself and wonders why on Earth the witness insisted that he'd only meet with her and Doggett in a Burger King. The young man, who has longish red hair and eyes that seem to be barely concealing a frantic energy, is enthusiastically eating a whopper. He looks up at Reyes and smiles. "This is really good, sure you don't want one?"
"No, I'm fine."
Finishing his sandwich and crumpling the wrapper, he turns to Doggett and says, "So you two are the ones in charge of all the weirdo cases now, huh? Whatever happened to the other agents? They made a cute couple, though the chick was sort of a skeptic, if you ask me. Nice hair, though, different shade than mine."
Reyes gives him a startled look. "You knew Mulder and Scully?"
"Yeah, sure. Didn't know their names, though. They investigated some strange lights back when I was living in Idaho. They were pretty cool to hang out with, even though that Mulder dude was more of a risk-taker type than was good for him-"
"While this walk down memory lane is nice, we should probably talk about this case." Doggett says.
"Oh yeah, sure. So I was walking down the street with my girlfriend, a different one than I meet the other agents with, though, when we saw the strangest thing up in the sky."
"What?" Doggett asks.
"Ok, so, given your line of work I suppose you have to believe me, even though this seems impossible. But I've seen a lot of impossible things. Anyway, we were walking like I said, and this giant purple bird flies up over us, holding this guy. I mean, I guess it was a bird, but it seemed to have had hands instead of talons. The guy seemed...dead. Is he?"
"Unfortunately yes." Doggett says with a grimace.
"That's too bad. You know, I moved here to escape weird stuff but the move hasn't helped much..."The man says, toying with his soda cup.
"Well, thank you for your time." Reyes says, standing up and shaking his hand. "if we need more information, we'll call you."
"Hey, no problem. Tell those other agents I said 'hi' if you see them though, ok?"
Reyes nods, and she and Doggett exit the burger place.
As they walk back to the car, Doggett asks Reyes why she dismissed the witness. "Don't you think we could have questioned him further?"
"Actually, John, I don't think that talking to a druggie is a good use of our time on this case."
"What makes you think he is a druggie?" Doggett asks, sounding puzzled.
"If it wasn't obvious to you, I don't think I could possibly explain it. I do wonder, though, if he really knew agent Scully." Reyes says, pulling out her cellphone.
Scully finishes sprinkling fish food into the aquarium before picking up the phone. "Scully."
"Dana, it's Monica. Listen, John and I talked to a really strange character today, and he claims to have to know you and Mulder."
"Oh? What was he like?"
"Late 20's, shaggy red hair, claimed to have come from Idaho and met you and Mulder while you were investigating-"
"- Strange lights that looked like alien space craft." Scully finishes for her.
"Yeah, how did you know that's what he said?"
"We did meet him, and his girlfriend, back on one of the very first cases Mulder and I worked together. I'm surprised he's out here, though."
"He said something about trying to move away from 'the weirdness'. Do you consider him a reliable witness, though?"
"More or less. He's a bit of a stoner, but a good-hearted one. He probably told you the truth."
"Ok. Thanks, Dana." Reyes says, hanging up. Unfortunately, Neither agent notices that they're being watched.
The woman, a reporter from a third-rate liberal newspaper called DC Diatribes, watches them drive off. She whips out a cell phone and gushes to her superior "Ed, have I ever got a story for you..."
The headline on the next day's Diatribe reads "Man-bird persuaded by the FBI in connection to grizzly slayings." The story outlines how a man-bird, the result of an experiment in human cloning gone wrong, broke out of the lab several weeks ago and is extracting a cruel vengeance on its creators. The article ends with several empty-headed, yet sympathetic, people saying how the man-bird should remain free since it was basically forced to kill, and one statement from a man vowing to shoot it with a shotgun if it ever gets in his range.
Reyes and Doggett read the article twice, because they're trying to delay looking up at Kersh. Kersh is still glaring hard for their benefit once they've finished reading. He starts
in full hysterics mode to save time. " Do you have any idea what an article like this does to the FBI's image??" He demands.
"I'd hazard a guess that it doesn't make us look good." Doggett says.
"Rhetorical!" Reyes hisses at him, and he shrugs an apology.
"Right, Smartass. It doesn't make the FBI look good. It makes us look like we're feeding these harebrained theories to the general public." Kersh growls.
Reyes interrupts his ranting. "To be fair, sir, we did not say a word about anything that was printed in this article. The witness mentioned he thought that the bird seemed to have hands, but no one mentioned the possibility of a man-bird, lab created or otherwise."
"While they may very well be true, it doesn't matter! You should not be interviewing witnesses in a public place!" Kersh practically screams, causing Reyes to flinch.
"What if we were investigating something that happened in a public place and needed to talk to witnesses that there still there?" Doggett asks, completely in earnest. Reyes covers her face with her hands, and hopes that Kersh doesn't have a stroke before they leave the office. The veins throbbing in his neck don't look too healthy.
Kersh finished screaming at the two agents twenty minutes later, and when he was hoarse, he waved them out of his office. He toyed seriously with firing them both, or maybe having a hit put out on them, but in the end he just let himself steam for about an hour, while frequently using a throat spray, before calling up the newspaper and threatening them with a lawsuit.
Kersh enjoys himself thoroughly as he screams at the paper's editor. "I don't care who you are, Ed. Printing that sort of thing about the FBI is libel. Not to mention that your silly story might just tip off the murder in this case, and compromise our investigation. If you ever print something said by one of my agents again, even if it's merely what they say they had for breakfast, you will be slapped with a lawsuit so fast your eyes will fall out of your head from the force of the impact. Am I making myself perfectly clear? Well, good. See that you keep what I've said in mind." Kersh slams the phone down with a self-satisfied look on his face.
He's actually feeling quite content as he leaves the office at twilight, because he gets a thrill from terrorizing others. He whistles to the theme from "lassie" to himself as he walks out to his car, and he only hears the flapping sound over his own noise at the last second. Like Teddy Fiddlemister before him, it only takes him one look before he screams.
There are no witnesses.
April 17th, 2002
The preacher's monotone voice heaps stilted praise on the deceased, a man the speaker had obviously never met. "Alvin Kersh was a pilot in Vietnam, and after his military career, joined the FBI..."
Doggett half listens, but is instead looking at his fellow agents They both look really good in black, he thinks; he bets if it wasn't a funeral someone in attendance at there would hit on at least one, if not both of them. He notices that both women appear as bored as he does, but considers their expressions to be fairly polite in light of what a hardass Kersh had been. Doggett's thoughts wander farther, and he mentally makes up his grocery list as the preacher drones on.
Reyes stands next to Scully, and wills herself to feel some sort of remorse about Kersh's untimely death. She thinks for a moment she might be able to summon up a measure of pity, but a flash through all the conversations she had with the man evaporate the impulse. The kindest feeling she can summon up is indifference, and even that takes effort.
Scully is having a harder time keeping a straight face than anyone there realizes. Her bored expression is something she's been practicing in the mirror for two days straight, because she keeps bursting into inappropriate laughter when she thinks about how Kersh died. The purple goo on his remains, or the remains of his remains to be more accurate, tie him directly to the other two unexplained deaths. It's with bitter glee that she reflects on the fact that man who most wanted to shut down the x-files because of his lack of belief in their validity has become the victim of one of them.
Skinner is having the hardest time of all trying to be respectful, though. Now that Kersh is dead, all the fire has gone out of his lapdog Folmer, and Skinner has been promoted to Kersh's position. Skinner is only in attendance at the funeral because propriety dictates that he must. That, however, will not stop him from inviting the agents out for drinks once the preacher concludes his attempts to put Kersh in a good light.
Folmer is the only one who sheds a tear during the funeral, and that might only be because a strong gust of wind throws some of the graveside dirt into his eye.
7pm that night
Folmer is miffed because he wasn't invited to go out drinking with the rest of the agents. It's not fair, he fumes to himself, as he takes his daily jog. They never include me in anything. I keep getting this sidelong glances from them that all but say that they don't think I'm one of them, and that I'm not on their side. It's not like they ever even gave me a chance. Except Reyes, and look where that's got me...a mere two years go by without us talking, and now she goes home with post-it notes on her ass, or I figure she does from the way she looks at Doggett when she's
not pissed at him. This sucks, I'm going to invest in a hooker, I swear to god. No, not a hooker, an escort. Someone with a little more class. Reyes and Scully wouldn't know class if it came up and introduced itself to them-
At that moment he realizes that he's being followed. His eyes nearly bug out of his head when he sees what is behind them. This is what I get for not supporting PBS, he thinks for one mad moment, then pulls out his gun.
The creature either doesn't recognize what a gun is, or doesn't care, because it keeps advancing on the hapless man. Even Folmer's shout that he'll shoot doesn't faze it. Folmer only has time to get off one shot before fingers and razor sharp teeth are all he knows.
Frohike is looking something up on his computer when he hears the front door bang open. "Byers, Langly? That you guys?" He asks, his hand snaking towards a draw that contains a hammer.
"Yeah, come help us." Langly says.
Frohike gives them a bewildered look, because the two of them are lugging in something large and purple. "Did you guys buy a new mattress for the futon?" is all he can think to ask. It's only then he notices that the futon mattress seems to be leaking.
"No. It's a dog." Langly tells him. "And it's hurt."
"I don't think that's a dog, fellas." Frohike tells them, taking several steps backwards.
"Of course it is. What else could it be?" Byers asks.
"I don't know. But off the top of my head, I'd say there are three strikes against it being a dog. One, it's as big as we are. Two, it's purple. Three, it seems to have wings."
"Well, whatever it is, it needs help." Langly says, running to get the first aid kit.
"Shouldn't we bring it to the vet or something?" Frohike protests.
"No. It's taken a bullet and you know how doctors ask questions." Byers says.
"I don't honestly think that it'd be expected to answer questions." Frohike says, still keeping his distance from whatever it is. It seems to be unconscious, something for which Frohike is thankful for. He watches as Byers and Langly stretch the creature out on the kitchen table. "Or we could call Scully. She's a doctor..."
"Got it." Langly says, holding up a pair of tweezers with a lump of misshapen lead held on the tip. He quickly threads a needle, which surprises Frohike.
"When did you become a medic?"
"We all took a first aid course with our live action role playing club in high school, so we'd know what to do if someone got hurt."
"Wow, you really have been a geek your whole life." Byers quips, uncharacteristically flippant.
"Shut up. Maybe calling Scully wouldn't be such a bad idea, though. This thing is definitely weird, so she might get a kick out of it or something." Langly suggests.
"Or something." Frohike agrees.
Before a definitive decision to call can be made, the creature wakes up and begins thrashing around. Frohike and Langly freeze, but Byers runs to the front door and throws it open. The rampaging creature escapes through it.
"Well, that was strange." Frohike says from the window, watching the beast chase someone on the sidewalk. He shrugs and goes back to his computer.
April 19th, 2002
Scully has just laid William down for a nap when the sharp jangle of the telephone's ring wakes him and sets him howling. Scully vows to murder whoever it is who is calling.
"Yes." She growls into the phone.
"Oh hey, this is Langly. I hope this isn't a bad time..."
"You woke the baby, thank you very much." She answers tersely.
"Sorry, I can call back-"
"So you can get a second crack at waking him?? Just tell me what it was you're bothering me for, then I'll try to get him to go back to sleep."
"The day before yesterday we ran into something weird. Mulder caliber weird. We found a hurt animal with a gun shot wound, and patched it up before it when on the rampage and fled the apartment."
"What was it?" Scully asks, still sounding annoyed.
"Well, that's just it, we don't know what it was. I figured it must have been a dog, because what else could it have been? Byers was less convinced, but he couldn't decide a better name for it either, so we both called in a "dog." Frohike though, said it couldn't be because dogs were neither purple nor winged. So I thought we'd call you about it."
"And you waited two days to tell me? Great. The thing you're describing sounds like it was probably the thing that AD Folmer shot at before it ate him."
"I thought it was Kersh that got eaten." Langly says, sounding puzzled.
"Him too." Scully says. "You don't have any evidence for us or anything, do you?"
"Um...it did bleed all over a towel we haven't gotten around to washing yet. Would that do any good?"
"It might. I might be able to get a DNA analysis done on the blood. Bring it over to me at the academy, ok?"
"Yeah sure, as long as security doesn't kick me out on sight." Langly jokes.
Scully gingerly handles the plastic bag that contains the bloody towel, and is hesitant to remove the item despite her gloves. The side of the white plastic bag is smeared with blood, and the towel is still wet in some spots when she finally removes it.
Scully squeezes the towel and gets some of the blood into a test tube while Langly watches. "Langly...I appreciate that you guys kept this so I could get a sample, but...what would you have done with the towel if I hadn't needed it?"
"We would have washed it. Eventually."
"Yeah. We do do laundry you know. Every few weeks." Langly says defensively.
Scully looks away and rolls her eyes. When she looks back she smiles. "When I'm done with it, I'll have it return to you so you can wash it."
"Uh..."That's ok. You can keep it." Langly says as he quickly leaves.
When Langly gets back to the apartment, he finds it empty. He looks for Frohike and Byers, but they're no where to be found, and even Byers normally neat room is in disarray. In his own room, Langly finds a note on his pillow with a plane ticket paper clipped to it. The note says:
The shit has hit the fan. That thing we patched up has been killing people all over the place. We're taking a vacation in Oregon. Meet you at the airport. We took a suitcase for you already, so get to the airport ASAP.
Frohike and Byers
Langly shrugs and grabs his laptop, heading back out to the car.
April 22nd, 2002
Scully looks at the lab report and shakes her head. She's already read it three times, and she can't make sense of it. The report confirms the blood belongs to a carbon based life form, but beyond that it offers no guesses as to what type of animal it is.
Scully calls Reyes to tell her about it. "It's the strangest thing, Reyes. The lab claims that they can't identify what type of creature it is, and can't even hazard a guess as to whether it's a mammal or a bird. In fact the only thing it shares any genetic links with whatsoever is a type of Ameba."
"You're saying they think this is a giant one celled organism?" Reyes asks.
"No, not at all. They're saying that it isn't a known species."
"Could it be alien?" Reyes asks.
"Are you sure you're not related to Mulder?" Scully grouses. "I don't know what to think. Have you talked to the lone gun men about it, yet? They're the only living witnesses who have gotten up close and personal to whatever it is."
"We tried to, but..."Reyes hesitates.
"But they have taken off to somewhere safer, at least according to the note they were kind enough to leave pinned to their front door before fleeing."
"Did they mention where they were going in their note?" Scully asks, already knowing the answer.
"Funny but no."
"It figures." Scully says, sighing deeply.
May 3rd, 2002
Maggie pushes William in his carriage, and smiles as he babbles happily at a passing butterfly. Spring has finally come to the park, and Maggie is thrilled. Some years it doesn't seem that the flowers will ever bloom, but this year they have. The butterfly lands lightly on a purple bloom. Maggie stops the carriage and points at the insect.
"Do you see that William? It's a butterfly. Can you say butterfly?"
William laughs at her and says "mama, mama," instead.
"Oh, I miss her too, kiddo. She works such long hours. We're going out to dinner with her tonight, though, so we've got to get you home for a bath and outfit change."
At the mention of the word "bath" he claps his chubby hands together and crows with delight.
"My little fish." Maggie says to him fondly.
The butterfly flies off suddenly, as if frightened. A huge shadow engulfs Maggie and William. When she sees what's casting the shadow, she acts quickly, and pushes the carriage into the protection of nearby bushes. William cries at first as branches invade his space, but Maggie hushes him before it sees or hears him.
Until this moment she never truly believed that any of the things Dana and Fox told her could possibly be true. She takes a deep breath and bravely walks forward to face it, and draw its attention to her instead of her grandson.
Scully divides her attention between the latest lab reports on the creature's blood and an unappetizing humus sandwich. Eventually she gives up on lunch in disgust and placates herself with the thought of the nice dinner she'll be having with her mother later on.
While it causes her frustration to grow, the report engrosses her attention completely, so much so that the door opening startles her so much that she jumps. The report falls from her fingers as the police officer approaches her, carrying a whimpering William.
"Are you Dana Scully?" he asks, his no nonsense tone telling her nothing about why he's holding her son.
"Yes." She says frantically.
"And this is your son, William?"
"Yes, give him to me please!"
"I need to see some ID first, ma'am." He tells her flatly.
Scully fumbles for the blazer she took off earlier because of the heat, and finally finds her ID badge to show him. Seeming satisfied, he hands the unhappy baby over to her. Scully holds him tightly and looks over the scratches that cover his arms and head.
Finally she looks up and asks. "What happen? Why is he covered in scratches, and where is my mother? He was with her today..."
At last displaying some semblance of human kindness, the officer quietly says, "I think you better sit, I have bad news."
Scully sits heavily in her chair, and has the sudden urge to cover William's ears, in case they're told something too terrible to hear. Instead she rests her chin on his head.
"We found your son's carriage pushed deep into some bushes, probably by your mother. We didn't know he was there until we heard him crying, he was that well hidden. The tag you put in his sneaker was a very good idea, because it made finding you much easier for us. An EMT looked him over and none of the scratches are deep enough to have required more medical attention than being washed with an antiseptic-"
"And my mother?" Scully interrupts.
The expression on the officer's face becomes grim. "After she hid your son she...seems to have been the victim of an animal attack. We're going to need you to identify the body, ma'am." He says almost gently.
Scully doesn't realize she's crying until William protests that her tears are falling on his head.
Meanwhile, somewhere in DC
Doggett twined his fingers around Reyes' and listened as she talked to Skinner on the phone. They were on the second day of a stakeout and both were eager to be relieved by other agents for the day. Doggett lets his free hand pinch a lock of Reyes' hair, then looks contrite as she shoots him a disapproving look. As soon as she hangs up her phone, she turns to him and says, "You know that it's against bureau policy."
"This from someone who regularly ignores the policy on bare feet." He retorts, pulling both of his hands away.
"Me having bare feet isn't going to cause one of us to be reassigned." She reminds him.
He doesn't reply but just looks unhappy. "Don't look at me like that, John. You know we need to exercise caution."
"So Mulder and Scully can have a baby, but I can't even hold your hand? That's fair." He grouses.
"Be serious, please." She says, rolling her eyes. "In public it is necessary to be discreet. However, what agents do on their off time is no one's business but there own..."she trails off.
"Oh, is that so?" he asks, rewarding her with one of his rare smiles.
Scully balances Will on her hip while he makes unhappy noises, and then finally convinces herself that she's being ridiculous; he'll be safe with her there even if she's not holding him. Relieved to be out of his mother's arms and finally able to move, Will thanks her by pulling videos out of the entertainment system and scattering them on the floor.
Scully, however, sees it but doesn't really pay attention because she's trying to dial a phone with trembling fingers. Finally she enters the number and hears the other end pick up. Without waiting for an answer she speaks in barely more than a whisper, "My mom's dead, and I need you to come home, Mulder. Please come back, I'm afraid for Will."
When the pounding on the gets more insistent instead of abating, Doggett sighs and stands up. He quickly smoothes wrinkles out of his shirt, and casts Reyes an apologetic look before padding to the front door.
Skinner stands on the stairs with his fist held frozen in the air; he obviously intended to keep on knocking. He gives Doggett a scowl. "I'm sorry to be interrupting your evening, but something's come up. The thing that's been killing people seems to be trapped in a warehouse down town. I need backup so you'll need to come with me."
Reyes pops her head around the corner. "Do you need me as well, sir?"
"No, Doggett should suffice, thank you. You ought to get some rest, I'm going to need you two in first thing in the morning." Skinner tells her. As soon as she leaves the room, he looks Doggett over. "I'll wait here while you get some socks and shoes on...and wash the lipstick off your cheeks." He says pointedly. Doggett blushes and rushes off.
A DC Warehouse
Doggett sighs to himself and peers through the gloom and tries to find Skinner. Things had begun badly and had gotten worse from there. One of the two other agents they'd gone into the warehouse was dead. The other two agents had decided to go in ahead rather than wait for Skinner to bring Doggett, so one of the first things Doggett and Skinner stumbled over was the man's dismembered corpse. So far they haven't found any sign of the other agent, so they had no idea if he was hurt or dead as well.
At the moment, Doggett would be content to just find Skinner. Ten minutes ago they heard something, and Skinner ran in that direction to find it. Immediately after the power cut out completely, so Doggett couldn't find Skinner, even by the dim glow of his flashlight. He strains his eyes, hoping to see Skinner's flashlight, but there's nothing.
Suddenly he hears the distant sounds of scuffling feet, and something that sounds larger than human. Then there's a shout, "Doggett, we have it cornered!" And for a moment Doggett is relieved that both Skinner and the other agent together. He trains his flashlight in the direction of the shout and runs in that direction. When there's an agonized scream, he runs faster.
Though she'd returned to her own apartment after Doggett had left with Skinner, Reyes still hasn't got any sleep. It has been hours since their evening was interrupted, but she still hasn't heard anything from either of the men. An hour ago she began to call their homes, but that only resulted in their answering machines cheerfully informing her that they weren't home to accept messages, but would call her back soon.
Tired of pacing, Reyes picks up the phone for the last time and punches in the number of the only person she feels she can talk to about her fears.
Scully dives for the phone, and hastily mutes the late movie that she's been watching for company. "Hello?" she asks, hating the worried sound of her voice.
"Dana, it's Monica, did I wake you?"
"Um, no." Scully says, feeling bitterly disappointed that it's not Mulder.
"I'm sorry to be calling you this late, but Skinner had John go with him to some warehouse to capture that, um, thing, and it's been hours. I'm getting really worried, and I'm thinking of going down there to investigate. Could you come with me?"
"Agent Reyes, I'd really like to help you out, but that thing killed my mother, and Mulder is supposed to be on his way here but hasn't arrived yet. I wish I had the time to care about Doggett and Skinner." As soon as the words leave her mouth, Scully wishes she could call them back, even before the muffled sound of a sob pours over the phone line.
"I'm sorry to hear about your mom." Reyes says shakily.
Doubly damning herself for being unkind, Scully quickly says, "As much as I hate to, I'll leave the baby with Bill and then meet you at the warehouse, ok?"
Reyes quickly agrees and gives Scully the address. Scully scribbles a note to Mulder, then goes to get the baby ready to visit his uncle, whom she knows is going to be thrilled to be woken up in the middle of the night.
Reyes decides not to wait for Scully to get there before going into the building. Having discussed brother Bill with Scully before, Reyes wouldn't be surprised if Bill decides to lecture Scully about her job and family obligations before letting her leave. Reyes takes a deep breath and quietly opens the door to the warehouse.
Since she doesn't dare to turn on her flashlight yet, it takes her eyes a moment to adjust to the dim gloom of the building's interior. After a moment she can see that there are randomly stacked boxes all over the floor, piled into less than stable looking towers. At first it's not what she can and can't see that spooks her, it's the utter silence. Nothing moves, there's no sound at all from within the cavernous depths of the building. A line from a Christmas classic pops into her "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse," and the absurdity of it would have made her laugh if she wasn't so scared.
At the sight of a shoe, her world crumbles. Even as she runs towards the still form that becomes more visible with every step, she knows she's walked into a trap. She just doesn't care any more.
The broken bodies of the men, one she respected, the other she loved, are laying side by side behind one of the box towers. Fighting tears, Reyes tries to find pulses, even though she's sure it's already too late. She turns on the flash light, and spots the body of the third agent, a man she'd never met before, lying near by. Somewhere beyond the range of the light she hears the stretch of what she thinks is probably a wing.
She twists the light in an arch but sees nothing at all. Dropping the flashlight, and throwing out her arms, she screams the first thing that seems appropriate, a bit of dialogue from I Know What You Did Last Summer. "What are you waiting for, huh?! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!" the silence almost seems amused, which enrages her. "You know I'm right here, so why don't you come and get me?!"
From within the darkness a voice answers. "Ok."
Reyes recoils in surprise, realizing she hadn't expected an answer, at least not one in words and with what sounded like an English accent. As the thing drags itself into the weak spill of light she gets a clear view of it. It is purple and does have wings, just as every witness who lived asserted. However, it also has a large horn growing out of its forehead, directly above its one unblinking eye.
It doesn't immediately attack her, which gives her hope. A desperate hope flutters up in her chest, and she suddenly wonders if she can reason with the thing. "Can you at least tell me why?" she asks it.
A look of disdain fills its eye. "You really don't know, do you." It says, though its flat statement is half question.
"No, I don't know. If I knew I wouldn't be asking you." Reyes says, confusion making her voice waver.
It sigh deeply, and begins to speak in its polished British accent. "It's the song, you see."
"The song?" Reyes asks, no less confused. "Do you mean the flying purple people eater song?"
"Of course." It snaps at her.
"How could a song make you kill people? Are you some sort of representative of a censorship group or something?"
A low growl comes from its throat and Reyes cringes. "Since that song, my kind has been hunted to the point of extinction. I am the last of my kind. Can you imagine what that's like, to be the last one left?"
Reyes glances back at the bodies, and decides that she might have an inkling of what that is like. "I'm sorry for you, terribly sorry, but what does that have to do with me? With them?" she asks, pointing.
It laughs, chilling her blood. "The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children." It intones. "You are all related to the people who are responsible for making the murderous song popular."
"But..but...I was adopted. I don't know my real parents." Reyes blurts out.
"Do you think I care? This isn't House on Haunted Hill, you know. No, you too shall pay retribution." It says, its sharp teeth suddenly in view.
Scully bursts through the door just as she hears a pained scream. She can hear something large ram its way through another door at the other end of the building, but at the moment her attention is drawn towards Reyes.
Reyes gives her a weak smile as Scully crouches above her. "I should have waited for you." She whispers harshly. Scully whips out her cell phone and calls for an ambulance.
Scully automatically says, "Don't try to talk," as she examines Reyes' injuries. They look horrific to her, so much blood, and she has trouble believing that Reyes is still alive.
Reyes discards the advice. "I think it's all over. I think people will be ok now. It was looking for revenge for what a song had done to its kind, but I think that it's over." Reyes trails off weakly.
"You're going to be ok, Monica. You'll be fine." Scully lies to her friend.
A peaceful look passes over Reyes' face. "Oh, I will. As soon as I go to John..."
For a second Scully is confused, but when she glances over at Doggett's body, the other woman's meaning becomes clear enough to her. She's so caught up in her grief for all of the victims that it takes a moment for her to realize that the sounds of the sirens are coming from somewhere other than her screaming mind.
Daylight bleeds through the night sky as Mulder puts his arm around Scully and pulls her across the stair towards him. William, who is sitting on his father's lap, cuddles towards his mother once she's huddled up against Mulder. Mulder's hand gently strokes her hair, and he tries to tell her that it will all be all right, but since it's not true it keeps coming out wrong.
Sighing, Scully dabs at tissue at her red and puffy eyes. "At least it's all over." She breathes.
"At least." Mulder agrees, but then looks up at the sky. The faint sound that caught his attention is getting louder. He and Scully exchange horrified looks as the overhead noise becomes a distinct flapping.
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