Summary: Jordan has to face a nightmare from her past, she requests Mulder and Scully to help her track down a killer.
Notes: This is a continuation from "Shift". It does stand alone but there are several points that will make more sense if you've read the first story.
Due to the problem of a lot of email programs not displaying accents. All of the vowels with acute accents will appear as a/ e/ i/ o/ u/. It's a little distracting, but that's Irish for you.
It was an unexpected call that brought the woman back to her apartment in Glasgow. An old friend she hadn't seen in a long time.
Grabbing a cider from a freshly stocked fridge she headed for the balcony to wait.
She positioned herself on the concrete ledge with her back to the wall and her legs tucked against her body. Slowly sipping from the bottle, she was completely oblivious to the precipice she was balanced over.
A lone piper from the nearby barracks played. The mournful sound wrapped her in its embrace. Closing her eyes she let the music carry her back.
The bagpipes had called her to battle many a time. She had fought for the Scots against England and she had fought amid the Clan wars. The smell of blood, of sweat. The metallic clash of swords. The frightened cries of horses and the screams of the wounded. Rotting wounds that would kill slowly.
Bodies awaiting burial.
A female warrior was an unknown. Never had her compatriots fought beside a woman. They laughed. Until they saw her fight. She fought like a creature ossessed. She commanded their respect with her sword.
And always the same haunting tones followed her.
The gentle buzz of his arrival interrupted her melancholy and she felt the cool green colours that were Seagha/n Mac Conmara flow through her as the Laoch Si/ appeared at her side.
"There's nothing quite like it, is there?" his soft voice whispered.
"No. There isn't. Nothing on this earth," she sighed. "It's been a while, Elf. "
"Too long. " He held out a hand to help Jordan down from her perch, and pulled her into a bear hug. "So, Macti/re Mac Conchu/ir, what do I call you now?"
"Jordan, it's still Jordan Wolf. " She smiled. They both changed names so often it was hard to keep up. But then often was a relative term when you measured the passage of time in centuries.
"I like this," he said ruffling his hand through red hair that was only slightly longer than stubble.
"I got the shits with it and shaved it off," she grinned evilly at him as she fingered his long red ponytail. "I could cut yours too, if you like. "
Seagha/n extracted his hair from her grasp with a shudder.
"No. Thank you. I still remember the last time you cut my hair. " He added a mental note to himself; 'Check her for sharp instruments before falling asleep anywhere in her vicinity.'
"It grew back," Jordan pouted in jest.
He slipped a long finger under her chin and raised her eyes to meet his. "Sorry, love. I guess I'm just not a mohawk kind of a guy. "
She looked her friend over. The only way to describe Seagha/n was beautiful, like all of his people. A silver clasp held back long red hair that reached the center of his back. She recalled how they had fought together in battle time and again, standing back-to-back, with their long fiery hair flying around them. Green eyes flashing as their swords wreaked havoc amongst the enemy. They were laughingly referred to as 'the twins'. One a short, stocky werewolf and the other a tall, graceful warrior of the Daoine Si/. She smiled at the memory.
"I see you still haven't gotten the knack of using doors," she teased in reference to his habit of appearing wherever he felt like it.
Seagha/n smiled warmly. "How's the pup?" he asked ignoring her jibe.
"Nathan is fine," she shook her head in amusement. "You know he hates you calling him that. "
He shrugged. "Can I help it if I never know what names you're using. "
Jordan threw her hands in the air in mock frustration. "You know, I never got around to telling you that your prediction about him was just a tad off. "
"Hey, don't blame me. I just passed the message on," he laughed. "Just how far off could it be anyway? A county?"
Jordan held his glaze firmly. "Try a continent," she murmured.
"What? How did he end up there?"
"He was born there," she explained. "By the time I tracked his parents down, they'd both been transported. "
She knew neither of them could have anticipated that occurrence. When she finally found the parents, she was too late. The 'pup' had vanished after his parents murder and nobody knew of his whereabouts. I think everyone just assumed that the baby was dead too. "
"They were good people, his parents. " Seagha/n was saddened to hear of their loss. "What happened?"
"I couldn't find anything at first. Nobody knew what had happened. I thought I'd lost him. It was years later that I started hearing rumours of a wild beast terrorising the English troops. That was when I finally caught up with him. "
"How? He couldn't have survived for long without help, and somebody had to have seen him change. " Seagha/n was dumbfounded.
"He had help all right," she smiled at his confusion. "The Spirit Talkers helped him. "
"What?" he was taken aback. "I thought they were just a legend. Are they really still out there?"
"Yes, they still are. " They had discovered her search and sent her a dream. She remembered their dark knowing faces. They were as surprised to see Shape Walkers as she was to see Spirit Talkers. "They lost contact with the Family and never resumed it, even though they now have plenty of opportunity. " She shook her head still not quite believing it. "It has to have been tens of thousands of years since they disappeared. But they still remembered the Wolf. They raised him as their own. "
Seagha/n shook his head in amazement. "What about the attacks?" he questioned.
Jordan shrugged. "The troopers killed his parents and were starting to hunt his adopted family. Revenge, defence, take your pick. "
"Understandable," he agreed sadly. "Enough of this morbidity, mo mhacti/re beag," Seagha/n suddenly grabbed Jordan's hand and started for the door. "Sounds like we have a lot to catch up on. Let's get out of here, I know just the place. "
"I see you still know every pub in Scotland," Jordan said in amusement. In all the years she'd been coming to Glasgow she hadn't stumbled across half the pubs that Seagha/n had dragged her through that afternoon.
Seagha/n looked up from his beer at Jordan's comment. "Every man must have a hobby, my love. "
Jordan smiled at her friend. "Which is?" she prompted.
"Why getting you drunk, of course," his emerald green eyes glittered with amusement. "Or depleting the cellars of every pub in Glasgow. Whichever comes first. "
She exploded with laughter. Their mutual tolerance of large amounts of alcohol was a long standing joke between them. They were only ever drunk when it suited them. Jordan's healing ability could negate the effects of alcohol and the stuff that Seagha/n was raised on was enough to give a veteran wino instantaneous alcoholic poisoning. "It's good to see you haven't changed. I'm afraid there are going to be a great many disappointed people tomorrow if you keep this up," she indicated the latest pint glass on the table.
"And here I was thinking that you were the party animal," he offered innocently.
"Now whatever gave you that idea?" Jordan wondered where he was leading.
Seagha/n's fingernails seemed to have taken his interest all of a sudden. "Nothing. Well a rumour really. "
Jordan's voice lowered in warning. "Elf," she drew the word out.
"I heard about your last outing with a certain party who shall remain nameless. But to narrow things down let's just assume he is both Irish and undead. "
Cassidy. "Bugger. I had hoped the powers that be hadn't connected that incident to me. "
"Two trashed pubs, one burnt-out police vehicle, innumerable broken windows. And then there's the human casualties; two policemen injured, thirteen civilian casualties; ten hospitalised and three deaths - by extremely unusual circumstances," he ticked off the points on his long fingers. "I think that rates as more than an incident. "
She dropped her head onto her folded arms on top of the table. 'That man is a bad influence on me.'
Seagha/n smirked. [I think you're a bad influence on each other.]
[Aye,] she spoke to the voice in her mind. [You're right. But it wasn't all our fault.]
He shook his head. [Of course not. But am I right in assuming that one or other of you instigated it?]
"Sort of," she replied meekly.
"I'll take that as a yes, then shall I?" Seagha/n fixed her with his intense green eyes.
"Yes," she agreed, raising her head from her arms to look at her redheaded companion. "But we didn't touch the police or the pubs. We just had a small altercation with a couple of skinheads," she said defensively.
"And somehow this escalated into a full scale riot?" Seagha/n stared at her in disbelief.
"Well neither of us realised they had all of their mates with them. In hindsight that was rather foolish," she said sheepishly. "Once the fight got out of hand we waited on the outskirts and picked off the more exuberant revellers until the police turned up. "
Seagha/n looked at her thoughtfully. "That explains why the police ended up with such relatively minor injuries. "
"Well, considering who I work for I thought it bad form to be responsible for the deaths of any policemen. But why drag up past indiscretions, Seagha/n. That's not like you. "
"I know, I'm sorry," he sighed. "If I was there with you that night I would have been in the thick of it too. "
Jordan reached out to Seagha/n with her empathy. "They want me back. " It wasn't a question.
The man was astounded. She had managed to read him. He never knew she could do that.
Telepaths were notoriously difficult get a feel for. Maybe it was because they could read others' thoughts so easily that they held their own under such tight control.
[Surprised, Elf?] Jordan raised one eyebrow. "You always said we could do it. That we'd just forgotten how. "
Seagha/n's usual calm, professional demeanour was shattered. "That was just a theory. I didn't expect... I mean... how... " he trailed off.
She smiled sweetly. "Ask me later. " Her voice hardened. "Now why do they want me back?"
'Just tell her what you now, it'll be much easier,' he thought to himself. "They've been following your work since you left. They like the way you've run the Davidson agency with Nathan. "
"Then what was the little reminder of my 'wild side' in aid of?" she shot back.
"They wanted me to let you know that they knew. They don't care about that. They're desperate for someone with your abilities. "
"They must be desperate if they're willing to overlook the circumstances under which I left the last time. " Jordan eyes flashed in anger.
Seagha/n grimaced remembering. Jordan had finally reached the limit of her endurance when it came to dealing with the inner bureaucracy of the agency and had resigned. To make her point she had disembowelled her immediate superior. Granted it wasn't permanent considering the man's healing abilities, but it definitely wasn't within the bounds of agency protocol either.
Jordan knew that Seagha/n was uncomfortable with his role of messenger. Her voice softened as she looked into the troubled eyes of her friend. "Come on, Seagha/n, spill. They know I haven't mellowed in my old age, so something must have really put a bug up their arse to ask for me. What's going on?"
"He's back. "
Jordan hadn't spoken since Seagha/n had delivered his message from Section 10. He had led her to back her apartment by the hand like a lost child and was starting to get worried. He knew that she wasn't in a state of shock - shocked yes, but not 'in shock' - it was more a state of withdrawal, lost in her own thoughts. Considering how well he knew her, he had an idea of what direction those thoughts were heading.
She could almost see the minds behind this request. Section 10 wouldn't have wanted her involved, this was Family business.
The 'Family' had originated millennia ago. A cabal within a race that predated human civilisation, whose purpose was the protection of the Family. You didn't join the 'Family', you were born into it and even that didn't guarantee you knowledge of the intrigues that protected all Family members. Even the individual clan councils didn't have specific knowledge of 'Family' business. Their secrecy was absolute to the point of not even having a name.
They had members in every form of intelligence agency on the face of the planet - and a few others besides. They were so integrated that not even the heads of those agencies would know of their existence. They manipulated silently from within, following their own agendas. And if those agendas happened to clash with agency policy they would not hesitate to deal with outside sources who had no such qualms.
Because of its paranormal nature and similar leanings, Section 10 had become something of a base for 'Family' operations.
Jordan had managed to keep away from their influence for a long time now and wasn't particularly happy to be dragged back in again. But then you never really escaped their power for long.
"How do you feel?" Seagha/n asked in concern.
"Not. Good," she managed through gritted teeth.
Well, it was a start. "I thought you'd take this badly. "
"Badly," Jordan's voice started to rise. "I saw him kill my partner in front of me. " She swallowed painfully, that simple statement didn't do justice to what had happened so long ago, but she had no intention of inflicting the full horror of that situation on her friend. "And when I did catch him - alive against my better judgement - the bastard escaped. The 'Family' assured me they could handle him. And now they want me to do their dirty work again. It's been... what? A hundred years? Why haven't they been able to get him in that time?"
Seagha/n sat on the arm of an old leather chair, watching Jordan pace in frustration. "I'm sorry, Jordan, but they haven't told me much about him. Just that he's been in hiding for a long time. " He paused. "He's started the killings again. They said to tell you it's the same as before. "
"Oh god. " She sunk into the chair beside Seagha/n and buried her face in her hands. When she looked up at her friend there was a fierce determination in her bright green eyes. "One question. Am I cleared to kill him?"
He nodded. "Yes. "
"Using any means necessary?"
He nodded again. "Yes. "
"Good. " Jordan blew out a breath she didn't realise she'd been holding. "They'll need Nathan as well, I expect," she mused to herself. "I had hoped never to involve him in this. "
"Is there anyone else that you trust enough to use as back up?" Seagha/n questioned.
The redhead thought about it a long time before answering. "No one with the skills I need who's still alive. There's not many trackers left. I don't want Nathan drawn into Family intrigues if it can be avoided. "
Seagha/n nodded. He wished that somebody had cared enough about him to keep him from getting himself involved in the machinations that kept the Family secret. "What else?"
"I've got some friends who can give me a projected idea of what he'll do next. What I'm going to need is a plane to the US, all transportation and accommodation stateside and... " She paused thinking of just how far she could push Section 10, then she realised that the 'Family' would ensure she was provided with anything she requested. "...I also need to borrow a couple of FBI agents. "
It hadn't taken as long as Seagha/n had expected to get under way. Section 10 had agreed to all of her demands without question and before he knew it he was driving Jordan to the airport.
She was flying down to Heathrow and meeting Nathan for the connecting flight to Washington.
Seagha/n glanced across at his friend. She had been lost in thought since receiving the go ahead. "I've been meaning to ask... " he started tentatively.
"Mmm," she responded distractedly.
He plunged ahead. "How did you read my mind? You never told me. "
She smiled at him, the first smile he'd seen since he delivered S10's message to her. "I synchronised my ability with your telepathy. "
"How? You're not a telepath. "
"You always said we're not that different. Maybe it's a latent talent. We share the same hair and eyes after all. " No human possessed such startlingly green eyes.
"But how did you figure out how to do it? I mean it's not something that just occurs to you out of the blue, is it?" he questioned.
"My bondmate showed me," Jordan stated with a slight catch in her voice.
Seagha/n frowned. "But he was human, wasn't he?"
"Yeah. But whenever we were together he could synch into my empathy. " She shrugged. "Over the years he kept improving on his skill with the Talent; larger range, a greater amount of distance between the two of us. I've often wondered if he'd had a longer life whether he could have developed it further still. "
"Strange," he said thoughtfully. "That's the first I can recall hearing of anything like that before. "
"Well hopefully it will help me now. Any edge I can get will be a bonus. "
The security officer on reception looked up to see a tall, slim, well-dressed man walk through the entranceway of the building. 'Looks like someone from top brass,' he thought, noting the double-breasted grey Armani suit and the trenchcoat that the man was wearing. The only thing detracting from this image was the man's guide dog.
The man walked directly over to the security officer. "I have an appointment with Assistant Director Skinner. "
"Yes sir. If you'll just step through the scanner... " The officer held the man's dog as he guided him through the scanner. 'Damn strange looking guide dog.'
It was an unusually large, grey animal that looked vaguely husky-like. Certainly not the usual German Shepherd or Labrador. The officer handed the dog back, eager to get as far away from it as possible. "That's fine, sir. Just take the elevator around to your right. "
"Thank you very much. " The man with guide dog headed towards the elevators.
He walked past the block of waiting lifts and disappeared into the stairwell. "Okay, let's find Mulder's office. "
Mulder and Scully were returning from lunch. When they reached their office Mulder opened the door for Scully and followed her through. Well, he would have if he hadn't have collided into the stationary figure of his partner that was blocking the doorway. "Hey, Scully. Watch - " He looked up to see what had halted Scully in her tracks. "Oh. "
There were two occupants already in X-Files office. One, a tall well-dressed young man with naturally grey hair, was lounging against one of the filing cabinets. He smiled warmly at the two startled agents. His smaller redheaded companion was clad in jeans and a jean jacket that was faded and worn. She had seated herself cross-legged on Mulder's desk amid the refuse and was currently balancing a pair of throwing knives on two of her fingers. They both shared the same bright green eyes.
"Jordan? Nathan?" Mulder started in surprise.
"Hey Mulder," Jordan said happily. The knives swiftly vanished and she vaulted off the desk to throw her arms around him.
"Good to see you guys again. " She laughed and released Mulder to capture Scully in an embrace.
Nathan offered his hand to Mulder in a more refined greeting, while making Dana blush as he captured her hand and briefly kissed the knuckles.
"This is a surprise, we thought you were still in England. " Scully was delighted to see the two InterPol agents again.
The phone rang, interrupting the reunion. "Mulder... Yes sir. " Mulder looked at the two agents curiously. "Right away sir. " He replaced the phone. "Skinner wants to see us in his office now... all of us. "
The four agents entered Walter Skinner's office. He couldn't believe that the couple following behind Mulder and Scully were a team of professional InterPol agents. One looked decidedly scruffy - complete with bare feet - definitely not up to FBI dress regulations and the other could have stepped from the pages of GQ. He doubted that it was possible to find two people of more opposite appearance. Except for the unnerving green eyes that they shared.
The other occupant of the office was Special Investigator Will McCormack. He was a perfectly ordinary young man in his early twenties with short brown hair, ice blue eyes and a habit of blending into the background. Will was also a vampire. He had recently been assigned to Washington as Section 10's acting Special Investigator in charge US Affairs. He was here to negotiate the interagency exchange with AD Skinner.
Will McCormack warmly greeted his two friends before shaking hands with Jordan and Nathan. He hadn't met the two InterPol agents personally, but he had gathered enough background information on them from both his partner, Rhuriadh MacGregor, and Seagha/n Mac Conmara in Glasgow to make sure that they were legitimate and posed no threat to either Section 10 or the FBI. Well, that wasn't exactly true, providing that his friends were safe he didn't care what harm they caused to either area of operations. Considering that the pair had managed to surreptitiously enter the building unchallenged and - from what he'd heard of them - both more than likely carrying a small arsenal of weapons, Mulder and Scully were going to be in good hands.
"What are you doing here, Will?" Mulder questioned.
"Official business, Mulder," the young Scotsman smiled. "I'm here on behalf of Section 10 to arrange to 'borrow' your services for a couple of weeks to help profile a case we're working on. You're to be working with Special Investigators Jordan Wolf and Nathan Blade. "
Mulder and Scully exchanged a puzzled look. Will had addressed the InterPol agents as Special Investigator, an S10 term. This was the first they'd heard of Jordan and Nathan working with Section 10.
The four agents walked back to the X-Files office. Mulder was trying to read from the bundle of files that Skinner had passed on to them at the end of the meeting and Scully was gently guiding him out of the way of immovable objects.
"How did you get into the office?" Scully questioned, nudging Mulder out of the path of a filing cabinet. She knew they hadn't arrived with Will and security just didn't let strangers wander about the building. Especially with the weapons that this pair packed at all times.
Nathan looked at Mulder. "You're the psychologist Mulder. Tell me; how do people normally behave around the disabled when they're forced to confront them?"
"Hmm? Sorry. " Mulder looked up from his perusal. "They're usually uncomfortable, uneasy. Like it's a disease that will rub off. "
"Exactly," Jordan stated. "And when a blind man passes through the security scanners cleanly, why would they even think to check his guide dog? A guide dog, mind you, that creeped the poor guy out so much I'm surprised he didn't run screaming into the street. He was so flustered he didn't even confirm our appointment with Skinner. " 'And to think that all I had to do was stare at the man and look hungry,' she chuckled to herself.
Scully caught on. "A guide dog who happens to be a werewolf wearing a customised harness that, being metal, would obviously set the scanner off. No one would even consider inspecting it more closely. "
Mulder frowned. "But why the charade?"
"Showing off for Will's benefit," Jordan grinned. "We hadn't met before, he only knew of us through mutual friends. Section 10 has borrowed our services for the duration of the case. The outcome depends on whether we stay on or return to InterPol's Davidson Division. "
They trooped back into the small X-Files office. Jordan and Nathan finding what seats they could.
"I think you need to give us a bit more of an idea about what's going on here?" Mulder said placing the files on his desk. He reclined back in his chair with his fingers laced behind his head and regarded the temporary S10 investigators.
"Give me your opinion first," Jordan prompted.
"There's not much to go on here," Mulder gestured to the files. "None of the deaths have anything in common. Look at this," he flipped through the photos. "A body slashed open, a strangulation, a beating and... " he grimaced in distaste. "There's one here that looks like a tank ran over it. There doesn't seem to be any connection here, different places, times, all over the course of the last couple of months. "
"Is there any reason why you picked these particular deaths?" Scully questioned.
"Yes. We were sent to put an end to the killings. " Jordan closed her eyes and rubbed her fingers against the eyelids.
"But half of this is under VCS jurisdiction and the other half that of the local police, Jordan," Scully stated. "Why are you involved in this case and why are we?"
Nathan looked at his partner who was now massaging the bridge her nose. "This is bigger than just these files," he sighed. "This has been happening in England too and I'd hazard a guess there are more deaths that have so far been mistakenly listed as accidents, suicides or missing persons. "
"But there's no connection," Scully argued. "I mean, how can you link these deaths to the others?"
"What haven't you told us yet?" Mulder interrupted. "Jordan?"
She looked up at the two FBI agents facing her. All of a sudden she felt very tired. "All of the murders have been committed by one man. " She held up a hand to forestall Mulder's questions. "Not only is he a werewolf like us... " she paused before continuing in a soft voice. "He's kin. And Section 10 have sent me to kill him. "
"What?" Scully was outraged. "You're here to murder a murderer? Why can't you let the justice system handle this - "
"Because he's done it before," Jordan gently broke Scully's tirade. "And he'll do it again. "
"How can you be so sure," Scully said adamantly, her arms folded across her chest, daring Jordan and Nathan to offer her proof.
"Look, Dana. We really don't have time for your sanctimonious attitude," she said wearily. "The facts are this; this man is over 4000 years old, he's the originator of our Clan line and he likes to play little games like this every so often to test the mettle of his offspring. He will not stop until one of his Clan confronts him. The last time I encountered the bastard, he killed a very good friend of mine out of spite before I had the chance to bring him in. I do not plan to lose any more friends and I refuse to let him continue with this 'game'.
"We need you to give us an indication of where he'll strike next to give us a starting point. That's all," she finished.
Dana slumped back in her chair in shock. Was this what changing would mean? Hunting down and killing rogue weres. Enforcing your own law. Was it really that bad? 'Come on Dana, how many times have you wanted to see a more permanent form of justice imposed? What about Donnie Pfaster, hmm?' She willed the little voice into submission. She was a law enforcement officer, it was her duty to uphold the law. Wasn't it?
Throughout this exchange Mulder had sat back in his chair just taking information in. He knew how torn Dana was in situations like this, but decided to give her some room for the moment to sort things through on her own terms.
Mulder finally spoke up. "Are you sure that these are all the handiwork of one man, Jordan?"
She nodded. "Positive. I've seen his work enough times in the past to recognise it. " She saw Dana's smirk at her lack of solid evidence. "And I've personally checked all of the scenes of crime in those files. It's faint, but I've got a positive scent trace left by the killer. It's the same man. " Scully was no longer smiling, she knew how accurate both Jordan's and Nathan's sense of smell was. She had tested it herself.
Ever since she had been informed of both her and Mulder's status as halflings - potential weres - she had gone on in a personal quest to gain as much information as possible. Both Jordan and Nathan were willing volunteers and Dana had subjected them to no end of trials and tests. And yet she was still undecided on what course her future should take.
"What else do you know about him that could help us to narrow down the search? Mulder questioned.
"I've always know him as Rex. He uses different surnames, but will always use Rex as a first name. " Mulder looked at her quizzically. "King," she explained.
"He's about 5' 6", dark hair, the family eyes," she laughed without humour, indicating her odd green eyes. "Stocky build, unbelievably strong. Most of these murders he probably wouldn't even have bothered to change for, he can snap a man's neck like a pencil.
"When he plays his game, he targets one family member for the hunt. As far as I know he will follow a system of killings to draw me into the game. He won't kill me, but he will try to break me. And that means anyone around me will become fair game. That's why I don't want you coming with us. Being family, Nathan at least has a better than average chance of survival. "
Mulder nodded. "Okay, give us 24 hours and we'll get back to you on this. " With one killer linking the crimes it gave him a whole new dimension to use to profile the case.
Scully guessed that Mulder hadn't gotten any sleep since she'd left him compiling information at his apartment the previous night. He looked like hell.
"This is what I've got so far," Mulder addressed Jordan and Nathan. "Bear in mind that I would prefer more time to get a clearer picture, so consider this a preliminary outline. "
Jordan nodded for Mulder to continue. He opened a US road map across his desk. "These red dots are the deaths reported in the files. And these," he indicated one of the black dots,"are hotel registrations under the name of Rex. " Nathan raised his eyebrows questioningly at Mulder. "Some friends of mine," he supplied. "Faster than the FBI and more discrete. "
Scully snorted. "More paranoid would be more like it. "
Jordan traced a finger along a definite westward path across the map from New York. "Looks like we've got a definite match,' she said. The black dots continued past the red. "Anything unusual reported here yet. " She pointed to the last of the dots.
Mulder grinned. "I'm ahead of you there. " He showed them a fax. "An abandoned car was found by the side of the road there last night. The driver's side window had been smashed and it looked as if the occupant was pulled through, so far there's been no sign of the driver. "
Jordan sighed. "There will be, after Rex has moved on. Where would be the best place to start, Mulder?"
"Detroit," Mulder tapped the map. "With the path he's taken so far, you should see him hit town in a couple of days. "
"Thanks for this, Mulder," Nathan said in appreciation.
"Ah, I think there's something else we should tell you," Scully interrupted. She opened a file and drew out a
Jordan visibly paled as she flicked through the images. Nathan gasped as he saw the reason for his partner's distress. All of the photos showed men who bore a remarkable likeness to Jordan's bondmate. The man was hunting images of her long dead lover. Section 10 had to have known of the resemblance when they had assigned her to this case, but they had kept the information to themselves. 'I hope she comes through better this time,' he thought.
The last time she'd gone up against Rex without him she returned to discover that all of her friends - including himself - thought she was dead. The man had sent a message notifying her bondmate of her death. Nathan assumed that he was hoping for the man to kill himself and in doing so shatter Jordan. It hadn't turned out that way, but it came close.
Nathan felt his partner's dark agony change. She felt like ice in his mind, all calm and deadly controlled fury.
Even Scully and Mulder felt the difference in the small redhead. It was frightening in its intensity.
Nathan reached out to comfort Jordan, but her voice stopped him. It was beyond cold. "Book a flight, Nate. I have an appointment to keep. "
Buffalo, New York
Rex lay on the bed of the motel room. Thick fingers laced behind his head, he hummed happily along with the advertising jingles on the room's television.
"I can feel you getting nearer, Macti/re," he said to himself. "Not close enough yet, though. There's still some fun to be had before we meet. I wonder what playmates you'll bring this time," he smiled.
The room's other occupant didn't. He simply sat against the wall where Rex had deposited him. All he did now was create a spreading pool of blood. It oozed down his body, soaking through his clothing and puddling around him. Since Rex had slammed a fist through his heart it was really all that could be expected from the corpse.
Nathan was worried about Jordan. He had never seen her like this before. At this point he didn't know if her current state of mind was a good or bad thing. What he did know was, that if this was going to affect her judgement, when it came to a confrontation with Rex, then, they both may end up dead.
He had tried to break through to her since she'd shut herself off. Nothing worked. She refused to react to his usual attempts to soothe her, he couldn't even reach her with his empathy.
Jordan had sat silently in the car as they drove to their Detroit hotel, locked in a world of her own. She knew she was upsetting Nathan, but at this point she didn't care. All she wanted was Rex's blood on her hands. The slower he died the better.
Nathan grabbed their bags from the car and headed for their room with his partner trailing behind him like a ghost.
As they reached their room Nathan's leather jacket slipped off the bags where he'd put it. Jordan automatically caught it before it hit the floor and slung it over her shoulder without missing a beat.
Then it hit her. The jacket smelt of Nathan. It broke through her self-imposed withdrawal, recalling all of her memories of the years they'd been together. The smell of the one man that held her together and kept her sane. And her fury quickly dissipated.
She quietly closed the door behind her and leaned against it with her eyes closed.
Nathan put the bags down and sat on the edge of the bed watching her.
"I'm sorry, Nate," she offered softly. "I wasn't thinking, was I?"
"No. " Nathan smiled. "But that's okay, you're back now that's all that matters. " His smile vanished as he continued. "Where do you want to start, Jordi?"
She dropped back into the professional banter they used when they were working. "Perimeter search, check the inroads, keep a feeler out for him. I want to get a feel for this place before he turns up. We should have about 24 hours before he arrives. "
Nathan nodded and felt in his pocket for keys. "Let's hit the road then. "
The report had just come in. The body of the missing driver had been found. The good news was that the motel had been able to provide a make, model and registration plate on the car of the room's last occupant, one Rex Masterton.
"This guy must have made one hell of an impression on the staff for them to have caused two of them to make a note of his details, Scully. "
"Well from their statements, they sounded pretty creeped out. "
Mulder's eyebrows shot up. "Creeped out?" he asked, humour entering his voice.
Scully ignored his jibe. "Both of the girls said that he unnerved them, but that they couldn't exactly say how. They say here; well-dressed, polite, softly-spoken. One of them even thought he was cute at first. But, Mulder, something about this man compelled these women to write down a number plate 'just in case'. "
"Point taken, Scully. "
"Have you contacted Jordan and Nathan yet?" she asked.
He shrugged. "I tried, but they're still incommunicado. I've left word at their hotel, but they may not return for hours. Why can't they use cell phones?" he grumbled.
"They have to know, Mulder. "
He looked into his partner's eyes and saw the same resolve. "I'll book us on the next flight to Detroit. "
Just outside of Buffalo, New York
Rex tuned into the local country music station on the car's radio and smiled. He was a happy man, the game was proceeding nicely.
He could feel her presence ahead of him now. "I'm impressed. You've improved, Macti/re, you're much faster now. But let's see how your FBI friends like to play. "
He knew that the women from the motel would pass his details on to the police once the body was found. He had created the right impression to ensure it. Now the game would start to get interesting.
The two warriors faced each other, their weapons at the ready. Their bare feet made no sound as they paced silently in a circle. The sabres that they held would have given any antique dealer a fit of apoplexy at the thought of the possible damage about to be inflicted on such beautiful ancient weapons.
Nathan lunged for Jordan and unleashed an attack on his partner that was almost a blur. Jordan countered effortlessly, smoothly meeting Nathan stroke for stroke.
After a morning spent patrolling the city to get an idea of the layout, the two weres had decided to wind down by fencing.
The rules by which they played - three strikes and you're out - dictated their manner of dress. Both were clad in track pants only. With body shots as the only target of the game, experience - and an aversion to repairing holes and cleaning bloodstains from clothing - made fighting shirtless a practicality.
Nathan had been hit twice. The wounds although reasonably deep had already healed, leaving a crust of dried blood to mark his mistake. He had managed one shallow graze across Jordan's ribs under her left breast and was trying desperately to even the score with a second hit.
Jordan's preferred weapon was a broadsword, but the weight of it would have severed Nathan's lighter sabre. Fencing amused the older were. She considered it a dance, nice for display and despatching disgruntled lords in duels, but next to useless in battle. 'Give me a good heavy sword any day,' she thought derisively.
The dance continued with neither gaining an upper hand. Their weapons caught the light, sending a wild light show spinning around the room.
Abruptly the swordplay ended. Jordan and Nathan stepped back from each other and sheathed their weapons. "What the hell are they doing here?"
He shrugged. "We'll find out soon enough, Jordi. "
Mulder lifted his hand to knock on the door only find it yanked open and a furious Wolf standing in the open doorway. Both FBI agents stepped back involuntarily, the look on her face was enough, but even Mulder and Scully's rudimentary empathy could detect the anger radiating in their direction.
"We couldn't reach you. We tried, but we couldn't get hold of you anywhere - "
Nathan laid a hand on Jordan's shoulder, calming her down and guiding her out of the doorway. "Mulder, you're babbling," he stated.
"Sorry," he said sheepishly, entering the room. Scully followed him with a similar chasten expression.
They dragged the available chairs over to the bed and sat down. Jordan had seated herself in her customary cross-legged position on the bed and Nathan had draped himself around her. Scully envied the packmates their casual display of affection with each other. The physical and emotional support they shared.
"I really wish you hadn't come," Jordan stated sadly.
Scully's face clouded in confusion. "Why? We aren't amateurs. We're trained to handle cases like this. "
"It's not that. " Jordan shook her head. "If you had important enough information to bring you all the way here, it was provided with a purpose. Rex does not slip up. "
"But why?" Mulder interrupted.
Jordan ran her hand along Nathan's arm where it crossed her chest, drawing support from her partner before answering. "He wanted you here. Congratulations, you have just entered the playing field of an insane werewolf. He will consider you pawns to be used against me. "
Mulder's next question died on his lips and Scully turned decidedly pale. "We never realised... " she whispered.
"It's partly our fault for not telling you more," Nathan offered. "But we didn't want you drawn into this. "
"Is he mad?" Mulder asked coming back to himself.
Jordan tilted her head to the side, thinking. "No... I don't think so. He just has his own set of rules - most of which clash with twentieth century social behaviour. He's a brilliant man, a faultless battle technician. That's why Section 10 wanted him brought back alive last time. "
Scully tried to draw her out. "What happened?"
"He carved himself a bloody path out one of Section 10's most secure holding facilities. "
While it was true that the property belonged to S10, the agency had no idea of the real reason for it's existence. 'And hopefully they won't ever have cause to know the lengths that the Family will go to in order ensure they secure exactly what they want,' she thought hopefully. "I don't think they ever managed to identify who's name went with which body. I'd heard they just hosed the building out," she sighed.
Mulder swallowed audibly. "Is there any way we can beat him?"
"We hope so. Jordan has a few ideas," Nathan said quietly.
"I'm hoping that he doesn't know of Nathan's existence. "
"But surely he knows you have a partner?" Scully questioned.
Jordan smiled. "Yes. He may even know that he's were, but very few people know that we're from the same Clan. I've been shielding Nathan from Rex's empathy since we arrived in the States. There is no way that he can sense him. He knows that I'm here and once he enters city limits we both pull ourselves in and 'vanish' so to speak. "
"And then the hunt begins," Nathan finished for her.
"What can we do?" Mulder asked.
"Is there any chance that I convince you to go back to Washington?" Mulder's green-grey eyes held hers and Jordan felt his refusal before he shook his head. She smiled, his control was improving. "I didn't think so. Tomorrow night is probably when he'll decide to make his move. I suggest pairing off and searching for him then. "
Mulder and Scully nodded their agreement.
"In the meantime, however, I suggest you practice some basic were skills," Nathan raised an eyebrow, regarding his two friends. "You need to strengthen your empathic bond with one another and simple shielding will help too. "
Jordan smirked at her partner. "I'll teach you how to shield. He," she indicated Nathan with a backward jerk of her head,"never bothered to learn. "
"I've never needed it," Nathan replied indignantly. "There are more important things in life than being able to shield,"
Jordan just rolled her eyes at his comment. 'If you consider seducing young ambassador's daughters important,' she snorted in amusement. To give him his due he never really had a need for it. Nate was always the diplomat, preferring to use his natural charm on people. Charm and diplomacy were two things that she had never gotten the hang of.
Mulder smiled and shook his head at their bantering. "We'd better get started if you plan on getting some sleep before confronting the enemy then. "
Nathan started awake with a shock. He was drenched in sweat. Gently dislodging Jordan from where she'd wrapped herself around his body, he got up and headed into the bathroom.
Splashing water on his face he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror. His eyes were black, the pupils fully dilated and completely occluding the iris. 'Good thing I didn't turn the light on,' he grunted to himself.
Wandering out onto the room's small balcony and leaning over the railing, he let the cool evening breeze wash over his bare skin and fought against an urge to howl out his pain.
The dream was a bad one.
He had seen Scully and Mulder lying on the ground covered in their own blood.
This wasn't a nightmare, he was a Dreamer. The ability to Dream the future was something he'd learned from his foster family as a child and a skill he developed over the years.
He had seen the deaths of two of his friends at the hands of the man they were hunting. And he didn't know if he could do anything to alter that outcome.
Jordan believed that Rex would head for somewhere dark and secluded, with minimal risk of being disturbed. Mulder argued that he would kill again, but Jordan countered that the killings were for no other reason than to draw her into his game, he had and now the hunt would start. After much debating the four agents had agreed that the best place to start searching for Rex would be industrial estates near the airport. They would split up and search all areas with warehouses and storage yards.
With their destination set they headed off. Mulder was paired with Jordan and Nathan was accompanying Scully. This way they could utilise the best of their combined skills.
Rex settled comfortably into the darkness as if it were an old armchair. He wore nothing but his trenchcoat in preparation for the hunt and it hung awkwardly on his frame. With his barrel chest he gave the impression of a well-dressed gorilla.
The warehouse was just what he was looking for; large, dark, deserted and a complete maze of machinery and packing crates. It was as good a setting as he could have hope for in this urban environment. A forest would have been his preferred choice, but beggars couldn't be choosers.
He hoped that the FBI agents would take the bait and join the game. His sources had indicated they were a challenge. His report on the male agent in particular intrigued him. It was almost a shame he would have to die, he had such potential.
Grinning into the darkness, Rex waited patiently for the hunt to come to him. He was a patient man and after all, he had all the time in the world.
Mulder was tired. He had been driving for hours, continually patrolling the warehouse-lined backstreets of Romulus, Detroit. His only relief from the boredom was waving to Scully as their paths occasionally crossed.
Jordan had been silent almost the entire time and Mulder's attempts at conversation had resulted in grunted responses. She seemed to be concentrating intensely on their surroundings, narrowing down a list of potential sites for further examination.
He watched as she added an address to her list. She stuck the end of the pen in her mouth and chewed thoughtfully at it for a moment before crossing two of the previously listed addresses off.
When Mulder had asked earlier what she was looking for he'd gotten a string of criteria a mile long. Dark; unoccupied, but not abandoned; little or no security; low value stock - his head spun as he tried to assimilate all the data she had continued to rattle off. He wondered how she examined and determined the status of every building in a matter of seconds.
His dazed look had made her smile. "I go on what feels right," she had said. "I reach out and feel the area, but instead of targeting on the people I check the building against a mental image. "
Mulder had been watching her work ever since. As fascinating as he found the process to be, he was beginning to get antsy for something - anything - to relieve the tedium. He wondered if Scully was faring any better.
Dana Scully had if fact been enjoying her company. She found Nathan to be was polite, eloquent and - 'Go on, admit it, Dana,' - drop-dead gorgeous.
Strange as it was, she found herself using her fledgling talent to 'feel' the man in the passenger seat beside her. She was still associating emotions with colours and felt Nathan as a shimmer of calming green that slowly flowed from one shade to another. Comforting.
But still he wasn't Mulder. Mulder was a constant flicker of colour, cycling blues and greens with sharp flashes of red, orange and black. She noticed the nearer she was to Mulder the smoother his colour cycles became and the less frequent the flashes. Strange, she would have to ask Jordan about that later.
Nathan was following the same routine of examining their surroundings as Jordan. But he was more forthcoming in sharing information - and conversation - with his temporary partner. He guessed that Jordan would have shut Mulder out almost completely. She didn't mean to be impolite, but a combination of worry and concentration had wound her tight at the moment.
The scanning of the area wasn't all that singular an activity that he couldn't talk with Dana. Jordan on the other hand was shielding him completely, buffering Mulder and Scully's psi- shields and searching for a rogue werewolf.
With his partner as the centre point of their shielding, Nathan found that he could still feel her presence. He hoped that their quarry couldn't.
Nathan and Jordan were continually comparing each other's list of sites via their link. While it wasn't fully telepathic, their empathy allowed them to exchange feelings and perceptions about each other's choices. They had narrowed the selection down to three possible warehouses.
Scully started at the same time as Nathan.
"What was that," Scully felt the echo of the odd surge of emotion that had flashed through her.
Nathan's eyes darkened. "Pull over here please, Dana. That was Jordan, she's on to Rex. She's picked up a scent downwind on one of the possible sites. "
She pulled the car over to the side of the deserted street. Nathan got out and walked around to the rear of the vehicle. Catching Scully's eye in the rearview mirror he mouthed,"Boot," as he tapped the lid.
Scully looked back in momentary confusion. "Oh," she suddenly realised what he mean't. "The trunk. " Shaking her head, Scully pulled the trunk release.
She wondered at Nathan's reaction to Jordan's contact. 'How can he pick up all of that information from such a brief pulse of emotion?' It had been so fast that she hadn't even been able to determine it's colour.
She looked in her side mirror to see what Nathan doing. She caught a glimpse of his leg, his bare leg. She blushed scarlet and redirected her eyes to the front of the vehicle.
Nathan slammed the boot closed and tightening the belt on his trenchcoat returned to his seat. "Sorry about that. I should have told you what I was doing. " He had felt Scully's embarrassment with amusement.
"No, no. That's all right. No need," she stammered, turning a brighter red.
Nate reached out with his ability, calming her. "It's okay, Dana. I needed to change out of street clothes while I had the chance. Shifting while clothed can become a little restrictive. Now let's go meet the others, I'll show you how to get there keeping downwind. "
Mulder pulled into the warehouse parking lot, with Scully close behind, just as dusk was darkening the sky. The building, a hulking brick structure, looked to have been built in the last twenty years or so. But for some reason it conveyed a sense of darkness that reminded Mulder of Gothic architecture he'd seen in England. 'Must be the light,' he thought.
As they got out of the car Jordan nodded to the only other operational vehicle in the parking lot. "We've hit a winner. Does that look like an abandoned car to you?"
Scully walked over from her vehicle. "Aren't those plates a match to the ones from the hotel, Mulder?"
"You're right, Scully. He must be inside. "
Jordan raised an eyebrow. "You think, Sherlock?"
Nathan joined the three agents by the car. "What's the plan of attack?"
"Split up and search the building," Mulder offered.
"Good idea, Mulder, but you and Scully are staying put," Jordan said firmly. "You know how dangerous this man is. Nathan can look after himself, but neither of you stand a chance in there with him. " Mulder pouted. "And you can forget trying that look on me, Mulder. I'm not falling for it. "
Scully smirked as Mulder's pathetic expression vanished. "She's right, Mulder. He's too dangerous. "
"But we're armed, Scully. "
"And how effective do you think that's going to be against somebody with rapid healing?" Nathan asked.
Mulder considered this for a while. "How about we stay here then," he suggested.
Jordan clapped him on the back. "Good idea, Mulder. Let's get this over with, Nate. "
Nathan nodded. They headed off towards the entrance together, trenchcoats curling around their legs as they walked.
Once inside the warehouse, Jordan and Nathan were on silent communication - mindlink and hand signals only.
Looking around the inside of the building didn't give them any idea of what it used for. There was no company name outside to help its identification. The inside of the warehouse was a jumble of crates, machinery and shelving, it looked like a dumping ground for old equipment. From where they stood it was impossible see further than a few metres in any direction.
They couldn't see Rex, but they could smell where he'd passed through. Jordan tapped Nathan on the shoulder and nodded to the right. They would circle around and try to surround him.
Jordan headed to the left, silently making her way through the jungle of detritus. She'd was circling in the direction which would bring her scent to her quarry. Nathan was still her - hopefully unknown - backup and she meant to keep it that way as long as possible.
She was almost to the point of her circuit when she would pass her partner when she felt eyes watching her. It wasn't her ability that picked this up, as everyone was still shielded, it was instinct.
Slowly examining the objects around of her, Jordan picked out a shadow that didn't belong to any of the nearby crates. She silently called Nathan to hold back as she watched the shadow detach itself and drop down from its perch on top of a shipping container.
"It has been a few years, child," the shadow said. "You've been much quicker to find me than you were the last time we met. "
Jordan swallowed as Rex's features passed into the faint light. He was slightly taller than she was, but much heavier. A definite weight advantage. 'Stay out of arms reach. You don't stand a chance if he gets too close,' she mentally reminded herself.
He had a pleasant, almost beautiful face. That coupled with a business-like demeanour made him seem like an unlikely killer. But from long experience she knew that appearances were deceiving. This man was the perfect chameleon. "You haven't changed, I see," her voice managed not to betray her nervousness. She wasn't referring to just his appearance.
Rex smiled, the benevolent smile of a proud parent. "But you have, my dear," he beamed. "I must say that I am impressed by your achievements. Now... shall we dance?"
Before she could think, Rex had leapt for her. Jordan went limp and rolled backward with the momentum, tossing him into a crate.
The timber box splintered around the larger were, spilling foam packing peanuts over the floor. He recovered quickly and swivelled in a blur to attack, only to find his quarry missing.
The moment of confusion was all the break she needed. Jordan dropped from Rex's previous hiding place on the shipping container. She landing feet-first on his shoulders bringing him down. Her fist flowed into a long-fingered claw as she slashed at the downed man's kidneys.
Rex howled at the sudden pain and backhanded her with such force that she bounced when she hit the container's side. The hollow boom of her impact echoed throughout the building.
Scully jumped at the sudden boom. "What was that?" She looked at Mulder.
"I'm not sure, Scully. But we've got to go in, they need us," he stared at the building in thought.
"But Jordan and Nathan both said - "
"- it's too dangerous," he finished for her. "Yeah, I know. But do you want to stay out here when god-knows-what is going on in there?"
Scully shook her head. It did sound like her friends were in trouble. "Let's go, Mulder," she said with determination. She pulled her gun and headed for the door closely followed by her partner.
Jordan got to her feet, shaking her head to clear the ringing. Rex was back on his feet with a hand jammed into his side.
He gritted his teeth and forced the wound to heal faster. "That hurt. First blood, little wolf. Let's see if you can take as well as you can give. " He was on her instantly. His huge hand around her throat lifting her off the ground.
Jordan kicked her feet and felt them swing though the air. Her kicks at Rex didn't have any force without a surface to brace them against. If he kept his grip on her she was going to pass out from lack of oxygen. Her hands locked around his meaty wrist were doing little to relieve the suffocating pressure.
Rex raised his free hand to Jordan's face and slowly shifted it to a wolf's paw. He then preceded to slowly carve bloody tracks along her exposed chest and abdomen. One claw at a time.
She didn't make a sound, but it was not through choice. Just as she was about to call Nathan, she felt them enter building. 'No,' she thought to herself franticly. 'Get out.' She tried to empathically call to them, but either her concentration was shot or Mulder and Scully were ignoring her. Jordan suspected the later.
Rex's eyes glittered in anticipation as he picked up their scent. "Your playmates have joined the game at last. I knew you could never travel alone. Let's see how much fun I can have with them. Good night, child. " He threw Jordan into the remains of the broken crate, hearing a satisfying thump as she hit something solid within. With a half-smile at the unconscious werewolf he vanished to pursue the FBI agents.
Nathan moved in as soon as he felt Jordan lose consciousness. Waiting for Jordan's signal to attack while he could feel her being beaten was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do. If she wasn't such a good tactician he would have ignored her wishes to keep him in reserve and joined in sooner.
He pulled her body from the crate and noticed the blood pouring from a head wound, the long shallow gashes along her body and the stark handprint around her throat with worry.
Nathan's touch brought Jordan back to reality with a jolt. Her eyes focused on his and she remembered. "Forget me. Get to Mulder and Scully, they won't stand a chance alone," she rasped.
"But what about you?" Nathan was torn between helping his partner and helping his friends.
"I'll be fine, it's them he's after now. Go," she ordered.
Nathan nodded and ran. His legs blurred into wolf-form as he vanished into the gloom.
Jordan dragged herself up and followed more slowly. She felt her wounds healing as she moved. Within the space of a minute she was almost fully healed and running to help her friends.
Mulder and Scully followed the inside wall of the building with their guns drawn at the ready.
"See anything, Scully," Mulder whispered.
"No," she replied. "It's too dark in here to pick out anything clearly. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. "
"We couldn't stand by and not do anything," he argued quietly.
"Shh. " Scully heard a noise off to their left, in the direction they were heading. "Did you hear that, Mulder?" she questioned.
Mulder nodded and nudged her to continue. The path the were following was relatively clear of packaging and looked wide enough for a forklift to manoeuvre. The layout of the building - or lack there of, from what he'd seen so far - gave the appearance of a disorganised garden shed, with the goods being haphazardly dumped without thought for their future retrieval. Weird. Ahead of the them he saw the warehouse's forklift and a couple of handtrucks. He didn't like this place, there were too many hiding places for his liking. The perfect place for an ambush.
"Welcome, Agent Mulder, Agent Scully," a cultured voice drifted through the darkness. "I'm so glad you could join me. " He stepped into their sight. He didn't look half the monster they expected. Mulder shook himself, he should know better than to categorise the man after all those years in spent working for the Violent Crimes Section.
Scully held her gun on the man in front of her and held out her ID with her left hand for him to see. "Rex Masterton. We're arresting you in connection with a
"Come now, my dear, that gun won't be necessary," he held out his wrists for her to cuff,"I'm willing to go peacefully. I'm sure this has all just been some terrible misunderstanding. "
Scully holstered her weapon and stepped forward to handcuff Rex Masterton.
Mulder didn't couldn't put words to it, but something felt wrong here. "No, Scully. STOP," he yelled. Too late.
Rex grabbed the handcuffs and dragged an unsuspecting Scully forward into his embrace. He looked into her terrified eyes.
His eyes were what scared Scully the most. They looked so much like Jordan's and Nathan's.
"Such a pretty face. It's such a shame to have to change that," Rex sighed with true regret.
"LET HER GO," Mulder roared pointing his gun at Rex. He couldn't fire without the risk of hurting Scully.
Rex looked towards Mulder as if noticing him for the first time. "Of course, Agent Mulder. Where are my manners?" He thrust Scully out at arms length and slammed his fist into the side of her head. She sprawled out on the floor beside the handtrucks.
"NO!" He fired off three shots into Rex's chest at close range the instant Scully was clear. The man dropped in a heap and Mulder rushed to his partner's side without giving him a second thought. "Scully. Are you okay?"
"I'll live," she muttered around her swelling mouth. Her eyes widened in surprise. "Mulder! Look out!"
Mulder was spun around as the still very-much-alive Rex Masterton grabbed his shoulder. He slapped the gun from Mulder's hand and heard it clatter to the ground. The man smiled at Mulder as his claws slashed into the agent's stomach. Mulder paled and dropped to the ground in a foetal ball.
Scully struggled to free her weapon from its holster. Just as the gun popped free it was torn from her grasp by the smiling madman. She screamed as she felt his claws ripped through her belly.
The entire encounter was over in a matter of seconds.
The chuckling werewolf slipped back into the shadows. "Enjoy, Macti/re," he whispered to the air and disappeared.
"NOOOO!" Jordan screamed. She felt an echo of her scream coming unvoiced from her nearby partner.
Rex was forgotten in her rush to get to her friends. A dark voice in the back of her mind reminded her that he probably wouldn't touch her when he could play with her this way. She hurtled over and around the crates that were in her way without thought, she was homing in on the shock of pain she felt from both Mulder and Scully.
Flying over the last of the obstacles, she landed, in an area clear of equipment, on all fours. A second later Nathan made a similar entrance almost colliding with her.
Two handtrucks and forklift were parked along the warehouse's side wall. It was beside the forklift that they first saw Mulder and Scully. They didn't need the dim light from the windows to tell them that the dark substance covering the pair was blood, they could smell it.
"Check Scully," Jordan directed her partner. "I'll see to Mulder. "
They were both still alive, barely. 'He wants me to see them both die in my arms.' Another game. History repeating itself. She wouldn't allow it to happen again. "How bad is she, Nate?" She took off her trenchcoat and wadded it against Mulder's abdomen to staunch the flow of blood.
"Pretty bad," his voice was choked as applied pressure to Scully's wound. "Sever abdominal trauma. She's unconscious. "
"Mulder too. It looks like he tried to gut them," she grunted.
She felt a weak brush against her mind from the man she was holding. "Don't Mulder. You are not going to die and I am not leaving you here to go after Rex. "
Nathan glanced at her uncomprehendingly. He watched as Mulder struggled to communicate with Jordan. He'd seen wounds like these before. They were going to die. Soon.
"Mulder, calm down. " She brushed the hair from his eyes. The shock was blocking the worst of his pain, which was a good thing considering the amount of damage. "You have a chance. I could 'change' you. But I won't do it without your consent. "
Mulder closed his eyes. "Not. Without. Scully. " Jordan nodded.
He took a deep breath. Rousing Dana was not something he wanted to do. He gently washed Scully's mind in calm.
Scully slowly rose from the blackness, buoyed on the flood of calming emotions. Pain. She could feel the distinct presence of Nathan first and then Jordan in the background and finally - - faintly - Mulder. 'Looks like pain is a wonderful trigger for empathy,' she thought. She was amazed she could think coherently at all.
Nathan soft voice broke through the pain. "Dana. " She slowly opened her eyes halfway. "You're seriously injured, Dana. " She nodded once in acknowledgment. He looked into his partner's eyes and found the strength to continue. "There's every likelihood that you're going to die. "
Her voice when she tried it was little more than a whisper. "I know. " Her offered him a faint smile. "Mulder?" she questioned.
"I'm sorry Dana, but he's in the same condition. You'll both die unless we 'change' you. "
She closed her eyes again. All of the agonising she'd put herself through over this decision in the months since she'd met Jordan and Nathan and discovered her true potential. All of the pros and cons that she'd carefully weighed up. All of the time spend swinging from yes to no to maybe. They all vanished. She wanted to live. If this was the only way, so be it. Hang the consequences. There was too much that she wanted to do in this life to just throw it all away, now. "Do it," she breathed.
She felt Mulder's relief flood through her. He'd tried so hard to hold back and not pressure her into a decision. She smiled to herself. Did he think that she'd let him go on alone? Or throw his own chance away because of her? She was finally realising the depth of their empathic link. 'Great timing, Dana. Leave it until the brink of death to come to your senses.' Where were these thoughts coming from?
Nathan felt her released from her inner turmoil at last. Looking up at Jordan and Mulder he asked,"Ready?"
Mulder weakly reached for Scully's hand and twined his fingers with hers. Mindlink not withstanding, he needed to have physical contact with her to reassure both her and himself.
"Okay, Mulder. This won't hurt," Jordan smiled down at him.
"Couldn't hurt... more than... I do now," he quipped.
She shook her head. "Mulder, do me a favour and shut up," she joked back in reply. She lowered her lips to his and kissed him gently on the lips. She released the 'change' and felt it flow like quicksilver into the young agent at the same moment that Nathan was changing Scully.
He locked eyes with Jordan as they felt the 'change' happening to their friends. He'd never witnessed a potential were turned before. He almost expected a physical change. All he felt though was an altering of his perception of Mulder and Scully. They felt different. Whole. But still bleeding to death. "That's it?"
"What did you expect?" she sighed. "They'd heal instantly? They don't know how to yet. "
"So what was this for?"
"Their bodies can now handle the damage better than a human body would. They'll live. " She saw his 'that's not good enough' look. "I want to try to force a partial shift in them. Just enough to heal. "
"You can do that?" Nathan questioned in disbelief.
"Yes. I'm pretty certain that I can. Think you can follow me?"
"Look, if you can pull this off, so can I. " He shot her a wide grin.
Jordan released a long breath. "Okay. Just do everything I do. " Nathan nodded.
She reached deep into Mulder. Feeling his body on a much deeper level than her usual mindscan. She could feel the damage to his abdomen. Layering her own ability to shift forms on top of Mulder's yet to be tried gift Jordan subtly altered his body with her mind. She encouraged the injured area to heal, knitting muscle and flesh. Rejoining blood vessels and nerves. It seemed to take forever. Self-healing was something she did herself on an almost involuntary basis, healing somebody else was slow work.
Fifteen minutes later Jordan exited Mulder's subconscious, content with her work. Pulling aside the remnants of his blood-stained shirt she examined the affected area. His flesh was completely unmarked, not even a bruise. "Scully?" she questioned.
Nate grinned. "Fine," he panted. "How do you do that and still remain upright. I'm exhausted. "
"I didn't do all of the work, Mulder did. I just pointed him in the right direction," she explained. "You know you really should try to practice synching more, Nate. "
He nodded slowly. "How are they going to be?"
She carefully manoeuvred Mulder to lean against Nathan with Scully and stood up. She noticed that they were still holding hands and smiled. "Well, it's not the most ideal welcome to the Family you could hope for, but they're alive and they're going to be fine. They're just sleeping now rather than unconscious. Once they wake they're going to be exhausted, they've lost a lot of blood - only some of which we could force to regenerate. " She squatted down beside her partner and cupped his face with her hands. "You'll have to stay here, love. "
"I know. " Nathan wanted to argue, but he was too tired to even make an attempt. She was right anyway.
"Watch over them and keep them safe. I have a score to settle with Rex. "
"Are you going to be able to handle him?" he asked worriedly.
"Oh yeah. " Jordan grinned evilly. "I don't think that'll be a problem. I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve. " She leaned over and kissed Nathan's cheek. "See you soon. " And then in a flash of fur she was gone.
"Take care," he whispered after her.
Jordan took the high ground. Leaping from crate to machine to container she made her way to the highest point of the warehouse. Looking up she saw the steel beams that crossed the ceiling just above her and leapt. From this vantage point she could see most of the floor plan.
She scampered along the joists to a clearer position and scanned the area below. She was almost fully wolfen for speed and mobility, but had strangely elongated hands and feet that looked oddly simian. With these she could grip anything - even to the point of dangling from the rafters by one foot if it came to that.
'There,' she thought as a movement caught her eye near the building's entrance. 'Got you.' It looked like the game was moving outside.
She bounded from beam to beam, heading for the door. Grabbing the final beam, she swung under and dropped to the floor erect. A human covered in soft, grey fur. Jordan opened the door and followed Rex into the car park.
The car park was empty expect for their cars, whose pale colour seemed to glow in the poor light. And then she saw him. 'An ape in a trenchcoat,' she thought. He stood on two legs with a wolf's head. With his black pelt and coat he seemed to be darker than dark, a light-sucking black hole cut from the night. The only light he reflected was the twin stars glittering greenly where his eyes would be.
"Shall we drop the pretence?" he asked as she walked over to stand before him - out of arms reach he noticed. His voice was strangely unaffected by his current lupine vocal chords. It still had a strangely hypnotic quality to it. A gentle British lilt with the modulated tones of a BBC announcer.
Jordan nodded, it was pointless now. She dropped her shields and felt her fur ripple as it returned to its natural orange state. She felt his presence flood through her. It was an extremely disconcerting sensation being able to see and smell someone, yet being unable to feel them.
"Isn't that better now?" Rex voiced the question as he would to a disobedient child.
Jordan was silent.
"You've changed, Macti/re. You're so calm, so detached. This is a big difference from the creature that runs on pure emotion that I know so well. " He seemed genuinely surprised.
Still she didn't respond. She just continued to gaze calmly into his eyes.
"My, my. Is this the silent treatment? How childish. " Truth be told he was starting to feel a little edgy. Nobody ever failed to rise to his baiting. He enjoyed watching people respond to his barbs, seeing their emotions take over. Their loss of control made them that much easier a target. And besides which, he smiled to himself, it was fun.
He tried his trump card. "I enjoyed your playmates. Not too bad, one of them even managed to shoot me. " He fingered one of the bullet holes in his coat. "Pity it was wasted. How are they?" he asked in the light conversational tone of someone inquiring after a mutual acquaintance.
'Damn.' Nothing but serenity emanated from the younger were. Either she was still shielding them or they were dead. "I don't suppose it matters at this point in time. Shall we play?"
Jordan nodded once, but didn't move any further.
Rex shrugged and removed his coat, tossing it aside. He dropped to all fours and shifted to full wolf form. A huge jet black wolf.
He was much larger than Jordan when she was in wolf form. She wondered if there was a Dire Wolf in their ancestry, she'd have to ask Seagha/n if he knew when she saw him again.
Jordan circled with Rex, not allowing him to get behind her. They paced slowly, constantly watching their opponent. Rex feinted, but Jordan stood her ground. He backed away and continued pacing.
"It's almost a shame to have to kill the last of my clan," he sighed.
Jordan allowed a slow unpleasant grin to spread across her face and finally broke her silence. "Oh, I'm not the last, Rex. You've never met my partner, have you? He's my cousin. As a matter of fact he's in there now," she nodded towards the dark edifice of the building. "With two new weres, the FBI agents - - my friends - that you attempted to kill. You're slipping up in your old age. " She dropped her shields fully to allow Rex to see the truth of her statement.
Jordan saw as much as felt Rex launch his attack. His calm exterior was shattered, he was a raging ball of fury. In blur she raised her arm behind her head and drew the short sword she'd embedded beneath her back muscles. As Rex made his leap for her throat, she sidestepped and swung in one smooth movement.
Rex sailed past her, his body coming to rest a couple of metres past her. His head, however, continued it's journey, finally rolling to a stop under one of the abandoned cars.
Jordan sunk to her knees on the bitumen and leaned her weight on her weapon. The sword dripped with the blood of two weres. She was glad her gambit had worked. She healed fast, but not that fast. When she'd drawn her sword and swung it was a one- shot deal. She knew that with the speed that Rex could move, if she missed there would be no second chance.
She used the sword to lever herself to her feet and walked to stand over the body of her fallen kinsman. "Survival of the fittest. " She slowly shook her head. "I'm still learning from my mistakes, but I am learning. And I've learned a lot since we last met," she said to the corpse. "Te/ir in ainm an diabhail. Go to hell. " She turned and walked away.
Nathan's face lit up as his partner slowly walked towards him. "It's good to see you Jordan. I'm glad I didn't have to avenge your death," he joked, the exhaustion was still evident in his voice. "I don't think I could stand upright for too long, let alone fight. "
Jordan smiled warmly at my partner. "I'm glad too, Nate. " She looked at the two sleeping agents. "I'll retrieve their guns and then we can get out of here. "
She found one of the weapons under a handtruck and the other on the seat of the forklift. She leaned down and returned the weapons to their respective holsters.
Looping an arm around Mulder, she hoisted him to his feet. The movement woke him.
Mulder's eyes flickered open. "Did we win?" he asked.
Jordan smiled crookedly at him. "Yes, Mulder, we won. And you slept through the whole thing. "
Nathan was helping Scully to her feet when she came around. "Nathan?" She blinked rapidly trying to focus her vision. "Did you know that you're both naked? And where did that come from?" she indicated the bloody sword that Jordan was carrying.
Jordan snorted as she led Mulder back to the car, shouldering the strange-looking sword. It was a blade that Jordan had not yet completed. The shortness of the blade made it look like a really long knife, with the handle nothing more than blade wrapped in leather and a cross-piece not yet in place.
"I'll explain later, Dana," Nathan answered rolling his eyes at his partner's retreating form. "I'll explain later. "
When they returned to the parking lot Jordan sent Nathan back to their hotel with Mulder and Scully. She waited until the car was out of sight and using Mulder's cell phone called a pre-arranged contact.
She said one word,"Done," and disconnected. She would remain as a beacon.
Half an hour later the clean-up crew had removed Rex's body and carted it off to whatever laboratory wanted to play with it. Jordan didn't recognise any of the quiet, efficient men that had removed all signs of the dead man. Jordan doubted they were Section 10, possibly InterPol, more likely some Black Ops branch of the CIA. Wherever they came from they were all 'Family' loyal, far too much had been invested in Rex to let him fall into anyone else's hands, dead or alive.
Jordan didn't care any more.
She was tired, she needed to sleep and she wanted to go home. The hotel would have to do for now.
After an all too brief rest, the four agents roused themselves to meet Will McCormack in the hotel bar. Jordan had contacted him the previous night to organise transport and arrange for the return of a couple of FBI agents.
Will greeted them warmly. "You all look like hell," he stated bluntly. There was something different about Mulder and Scully that he couldn't quite put his finger on. It was familiar but every time he got within reach of the feeling it skittered away. 'Almost like psi-shields,' he thought and than instantly rejected the idea as ludicrous. 'It must just be the ordeal they've been through.'
"I wish I'd known sooner what you were up against. I wouldn't have involved you," he apologised to Mulder and Scully.
"They weren't supposed to be involved at all. They weren't even supposed to leave Washington," Jordan interrupted.
"Ah," Will said in way that showed that he did indeed understand the situation. "I've had experience with these two before. " He grinned.
"On an official note, Section 10 wished to extend it's thanks to Agents Mulder and Scully of the FBI for their invaluable assistance in this case. Formal letters of thanks will be forwarded from my people to your people. You know the way this crap works. The diplomatic inter-agency paperwork alone is a nightmare. Fortunately it's all going via Glasgow, so it won't be my hand cramping. " All four agents nodded, smiling tiredly. They were all familiar with the nature of the beast.
"Personally though, I'm pleased to see that you're all right. I wasn't informed of what you'd be up against here," he paused,"If I'd have known I would have been down here like a shot. I should have been here.
"And as for you two," he turned to Jordan and Nathan. "I've had Section 10 in Britain bending my ear since I got off the phone with you earlier. They want to see to you as soon as you touch down on British soil. I'm under the impression that they'd like to keep you on a more permanent basis. "
"Oh," Jordan muttered with little enthusiasm. "Happy days. "
"What do you want to do?" Mulder questioned about the job offer.
"I don't have the faintest idea at the moment," she answered.
"We'll figure it out once we're back home," Nathan finished.
"Are we all flying back together?" Scully asked.
Will shook his head. "I'm flying on to LA from here," he said. "I've got your tickets here, you and Mulder for DC and Jordan and Nathan direct to London. " He drew the tickets from his pocket and slid them across them table. "I've got a connecting flight in less than an hour, so I'd better be off if I expect to catch it. It's been good to see you again. "
The four agents bid farewell to Will and returned to their table in the empty bar room.
Scully had a look of confusion on her face. "I just realised that Will didn't sense our change. " Her mind was still fuzzy from exhaustion. "He should have been able to. "
Jordan looked a little apologetic. "I shielded your change from him. It'll give you a little more time to get used to it before having anyone else know. If you weren't so exhausted you could have done it yourself. "
"So what are you going to do now that you've both changed?" Nathan asked Mulder and Scully.
Both agents shrugged. They were still too tired - and a bit shell-shocked - from their attack and subsequent change.
"We've got some friends we'll put you in contact with who can help you iron out the finer points of weredom," Jordan suggested. "And Mulder, I wouldn't recommend teaching yourself how to fly by jumping off a building, so you'd better speak with them. "
Mulder smiled briefly at her joke.
Jordan continued. "If you have to leave the FBI, I'm sure that Section 10 would snap you up. They're always on the look out for Special Investigators and on the plus side you've worked with them in the past. " Both agents nodded.
Nathan looked through the collection of tickets that Will had left. "We've got to run, Jordi. Our plane leaves soon. " He passed her the tickets.
They said their good byes and left the two FBI agents in the bar.
"What are we going to do, Scully," he asked his partner.
"Right now I'm too tired to think, Mulder. "
"Do you think Jordan and Nathan would mind if we took over their room once they've left. " Mulder dangled the spare keys under Scully nose. It was much larger and a hell of a lot more comfortable than the tiny dog-boxes they'd been relegated to the previous night.
"I don't think so," Scully brightened at the thought of sleep in a bed and not a airline seat. "But you get to explain to the accountants why we're sharing a room. "
"Don't have to," he announced helping Scully up from her seat and heading for the lifts. "It's not in our name, it's being paid for by Section 10 and we'll be saving the FBI money by checking out of our rooms now. " He looked quite pleased with himself.
"You're incorrigible, Mulder," Scully sighed. "And you can keep your hands to yourself or you will be getting an instant flying lesson from the tenth floor. "
"Scully! I'm wounded that you could think such a thing. " He looked the picture of innocence.
Scully rolled her eyes. "Just remember this, Mulder. Fly or die. " She grinned evilly taking the keys from Mulder's senseless fingers and opening the door to the room.
Well that's it. If you've gotten this far, thanks for sticking around.
This can be found on my web page with the correct formatting and proper accents for anybody who's interested.
Thanks to Alasdair McLean for allowing me to borrow his universe and play in it for a while.
Thanks to Jeannie Howse for her fast and invaluable work as my beta reader.
And finally, thanks to all of the people who begged, pleaded and cajoled me into writing another Jordan story. You got your wish. Maybe not in the form you would have wished for, but I'm the writer and therefore have the very rare opportunity to play god.
Red Wolf currently spends free time sacrificing christians, virgins and small children in the opinion that while they may be useless to civilisation as a whole they do serve nicely as a main course
"To answer your somewhat unique question...