Title: Dragons on The Water
Summary: Reports of a sea monster in Lake Ontario send the trio on a fishing trip...
I only have one thing to say... livengoo, revenge is fast and sweet when dealing with Dragons...heh,heh..
The dark slide flashed onto the screen. "The Loch Ness Monster." Click. "Ogopogo." Click. "All unusual creatures in unusual environments."
"Like Newt Gringrich in Congress." Dana Scully put her hand to her mouth, trying not to laugh at Jackie St. George. The CSIS agent sat back in Mulder's office chair, propping her feet up on the stack of files. "Does he do this often?" Scully nodded. "And you let him?"
Mulder continued, oblivious to her comments. "Recently the Native American Reservation of Nashawana has reported five sightings of a creature rather like these two subject in the past month. Also, four small boats have been lost, with no trace of the owners."
"Smugglers?" Scully asked. He nodded.
"Given that they are on the boundary of Lake Ontario, there has been numerous investigations into the smuggling activities of certain members of the group, running alcohol and tobacco into Canada." Flicking on the lights, he smiled at Jackie. "And guess who was there five years ago..."
"I am going to tell Rosie to ban you from the Consulate." Twirling a piece of long black hair between her fingers, she shook her head. "I was there to help negotiate a new election for chief of the band. I didn't hear anything about any sea monsters in the lake then."
"It's been proposed as the reason behind the murders." Dana's eyebrows rose at this.
"These disappearances have been classified as murders?" Fox nodded, the eagerness in his eyes betraying him.
"That's all they'll say to the local police -- who have no jurisdiction whatsoever. In fact, the only way we'll get on the grounds is by having a representative of the Canadian government..." He brandished a form letter. "And I have the paper to authorise ourselves as representing the American point of view."
"Gee Mulder, where are you going to find a Canadian rep?" Jackie asked thoughtfully, flicking a rubber band at him. "Man, I thought when I transferred down here I'd have less work to do. You two are giving me high blood pressure." Scully chuckled, enjoying the joke. Being the possessor of a strange psi ability that enabled her to go slightly mad and kill with superhuman strength and reflexes whenever her blood was drawn, having high blood pressure was the least of her worries.
"Skinner's approved it. Rosie's busy getting the proper papers stamped for you." He winked at St. George. "Better go pack..."
Getting to her feet, she walked over to him. "I am banning you from my office. And I'll make sure there's a shoot-to-kill order." The young woman laughed. "And I like getting out of more diplomatic dinners. I hate getting dressed up to have some pompous politician try to pinch my butt. See you at the airport in two hours."
A slow drizzle fell as they drove onto the reservation, stopping at the Band Offices. They ran inside quickly, shaking the rain from their trench coats. St. George smiled as she recognised the officer behind the counter.
"Samuel..." He ran around the barrier, lifting her up off her feet and swinging her around in a bear hug.
"Friendly folk," Mulder said to Scully. St. George dropped to the ground, gasping as she stared up at the six foot, seven inches tall man.
"Good to see you again." He jerked a finger at the office behind him. "We got the fax. Chief's waiting for you -- I also laid in some fresh venison for you and your pals -- Joanne's marinating it as we speak." His voice dropped. "It's bad." He looked at the two FBI agents, accepting them into his confidence. "We just lost another boat this morning. The bodies did wash up -- all dead. Two of them; the Dorval brothers."
"Can I see the bodies?" Scully asked. "I'm a trained pathologist..."
"Sure." He reached for his hat. "You're all set up in the furthest cabin. We don't have any hotels here -- I gave you the old hunting lodge. I'll drop by later to talk... and with the meat." Samuel left with Dana, walking back into the rain.
"He remembers you quite well," Fox said.
"I helped him do a bit of training for the local officers, off the record." She put her hand on the doorknob. "Chief Dan White Wolf. A good man, so please don't screw this up..." He raised his hands, giving her that innocent expression she knew Dana hated so much.
"Yes, some people are saying that it's this monster..." The elderly man shook his head in disbelief. "I don't know what to think, to tell you the truth. There's a younger group of men who have become more militant; more distrusting of the governments..."
"Not such a bad idea." Mulder looked around the small office, enjoying the sights of the old varnished wood, the sense of time standing still and being peaceful. "Do you suspect that they're having a bit of a turf war?"
He shrugged. "I don't know what to tell you. Sam Longbow's done his best to curb this smuggling, but we can't catch them all. It's just too simple to race across the lake. And they aren't going to stop just because of a few bodies..." He stared at Jackie. "I believe, but I don't believe. You know how it is..."His voice dropped. "If your investigation turns up any new evidence, I can take it to the Council; push for arrests and indictments."
"We'll see what we can do," Fox said. White Wolf nodded, his eyes slowly searching Mulder's, then flicking over to St. George's.
"It's been a rough trip, hmm?" She shrugged. Mulder was confused... "You're a bit better this time around -- a bit more relaxed." The Chief smiled. "It does you good to be back on the earth..."
The hunting lodge was instantly comfortable and warm, the old polished wooden beams welcoming them in. Jackie pointed upwards, to the ladder that led to the open loft. "Two beds up there, a couch down here." Her eyes laughed. "So, where do you want to sleep?"
"You and Scully can have the loft. I'll take the couch." Chuckling, he went about unpacking his suitcase, shaking his head. That woman... Ducking into the bathroom, he changed into a sweatshirt and sweatpants, feeling more relaxed by the minute.
"Hey, Dana." Jackie yelled from the small kitchen as Scully walked in the door. She blinked, a bit overwhelmed by the atmosphere. Dropping her laptop on the table, she joined St. George in the kitchen.
"Autopsy shows they died of hypothermia. Not surprising, given that the average survival time in Lake Ontario is twenty to thirty minutes at this time of year. No physical signs of being eaten by anything other than a few fish nibbles." She looked in the fridge. "What's up for dinner? We really can't do much until morning..."
"Sam's bringing over some good meat for us. And we can chat about this smuggling stuff." She lowered her voice, staring at the bathroom. "Does Mulder really believe in this sea serpent theory?"
Dana shrugged. "After all this time, I think he'd believe anything."
"Good...I brought a deck of cards, and if you play poker..."
Scully smiled, unpacking her own sweat suit. "My father taught me. As long as it's not strip..."
St. George looked shocked, clutching a hand to her chest. "Dana Scully! I am mortified that you would suggest such a thing... but if we skunk Mulder too badly, I got dibs on those ties -- you can have the boxer shorts."
"I heard that!" A muffled shout came from the bathroom. "Your butt is mine!"
Jackie smirked. "I think he's talking to you."
Sam took a large gulp of coffee, watching the slices of venison cook in the oven. "Well, I can't tell you a helluva lot more than I already have. The bodies are unmarked, but we don't have any boat wreckage, any evidence of any violence..." He grinned at Jackie. "Not like the good old days, hey?"
"Do you think this sea monster idea's been made up to divert attention from possible criminal activity?" Dana inhaled the aroma, feeling her mouth fill with saliva. It had been years since she had had such fresh meat. Quietly Jackie went to the kitchen, pulling out her pain medication. The headaches had gotten less intense, or perhaps she was handling them better -- she didn't know.
"Anything's possible. Out here, you can lose touch with yourself and just flow into the land." He looked into his mug. "Look, I went to the police academy in Pennsylvania, then transferred back here when I graduated. I'm not deep into this mystical stuff, but some things you just... you see and you don't know what to believe..." His eyes locked with Jackie's. "You've been there. Not here, but I can tell. You've been there." She nodded, a sad smile on her face. "I'll take you down to the marina in the morning. We've got a small runabout we use for our investigations -- I can't take you out, but I can give you the keys." The tall native looked at Dana. "I'll feel safer if you're in charge. She..." He jerked a thumb at St. George. "She can't tell port from starboard and he doesn't look like the water type." Mulder sat back, holding his stomach already. Wonderful, more water...
"Right." Dana expertly shuffled the cards. "Penny ante, no bid higher than a dollar." She looked over towards the table. "You coming, Jackie?"
"Just a second." She tapped on her laptop. "I just have to flame some livengoo...ah, there it is. New game -- you input your name, this creature comes after you, and you nail it with a flamethrower... I like it." Saving the game, she strode over to the table, completing the triangle. "You two make more money than me, so be prepared for a drastic reduction in your incomes..."
Scully scooped the pile of change towards her, grinning. "Another hand?" Mulder held his hands up in surrender, joined by St. George.
"Man, I'm glad we didn't play strip. Mulder would be looking like an entry in Playgirl."
He frowned. "Is that supposed to be an insult?"
"Hey, I'm not going to incriminate myself..." Getting to her feet, she yawned. "I'm off to bed. See you later." They nodded in agreement, Dana pushing the mound of pennies to the centre of the table as she got up.
"I can count it tomorrow." She winked at Fox. "Or we could play again..."
The rifle shot blasted through the window, narrowly missing the couch where Mulder slept. Rolling onto the floor, he grabbed his pistol.
"Scully! St. George!" He yelled, crawling towards the broken window.
"We'll be down..." Dana called back, flipping the safety off her weapon. Looking to her left, she saw Jackie grasping her .38 tightly. "We can't climb down that ladder, we'll be easy targets..."
St. George smiled. "Well, now that Mulder's awake..."
Fox crouched against the wall, breathing rapidly. Another bullet rang through the window, burying itself in the far wall. He looked up, seeing the two women above him in the loft. On a count of three they both leaped, aiming for the recently-vacated sofa.
"And I was right in the middle of a dream with Alec Baldwin..." Jackie groaned, slithering over to Fox. Dana joined them, rubbing her shoulder. "You hit hard?"
"I bashed myself on Mulder's suitcase." She glared at him.
"If that's the only thing that gets bashed tonight, I'll be happy." He said, looking up at the shattered glass. "So, I'm open to suggestions..."
Jackie grinned. "Well, I've always been a fan of the direct approach..." Leaping to her bare feet, she ran to the front door, throwing it open and firing rapidly six times. Diving to her left, she lay on the floor.
"Are you nuts?" Dana hissed, crouched beside Fox, whose eyes were wide with disbelief. They listened as the sound of a pickup truck roared away, a few yells reaching their ears. Getting to their feet, they stared around the lodge.
"What the hell was that?" Mulder strode over, grabbing Jackie by her sweatshirt top. "Are you having another suicidal urge?" His voice shook with anger. Gently she disentangled his hands, smiling softly.
"Mulder, if they wanted us dead, they would have succeeded. These guys hunt all the time, they know this lodge like you know your apartment. Those shots were just warning us -- I had to let them know we weren't going to sit back and be afraid. Saving face..." She slapped him lightly. "And save your analysis for our next session. I'm fine, really." He licked his lips, realising that she was right. "I'll put the kettle on. You call Sam."
"Jackie's right. If they had been serious they could have picked you off like fat deer." Sam stared into his coffee. "Best bet is Chris Running Water. He's the one who's more or less in charge."
"That jerk?" Jackie said.
"Yes. He took over his dad's business when you took him to prison for rigging the election." The tall officer frowned. "I really don't think you should go see him alone."
"Hey, haven't you heard? I'm immortal and invulnerable," she quipped. Dana rolled her eyes towards the ceiling. Why can't she just be a normal... then she looked at Mulder, quickly retracting the first thought.
"Right. We'll all go." Longbow drained his cup.
"Ah, why don't you stay back a bit?" Mulder told St. George as they approached the group of young men gathered around the bar. She opened her mouth, then closed it. Turning to Scully, she sighed.
"Chris." Longbow singled out the tallest of the group, a swarthy twenty-year old with a thin scar running down his neck. "Somebody took a few potshots at these agents last night... know anything about it?"
Mulder pulled out his I.D. badge. "I'm Special Agent Mulder, that's Agent Scully..."
"And that's the woman who busted my dad." He snarled. "You her keeper now?" St. George would have stepped forward, except for the restraining hand Scully had put on her arm. Running Water looked at Longbow. "If anyone was going to be shot, it'd be her. As it is, I have witnesses that will testify that I was here, drinking, all night." He grinned.
"What do you know about the murders?" Fox asked.
"That the sea creature's eating them. The Dorval brothers were the first bodies to show up. You go out there at night, and you'll end up washing up on some shoreline somewhere." He turned his back on them, walking away. Pausing for a second, he yelled back. "Feed it that bitch first! And tell your wife she's too pretty to be stuck with a guy like you." The ten men laughed, walking away. Longbow shook his head in anger.
"That's all we can do."
"I'm going to see Cody." Jackie said softly. He looked at her, then nodded. Scully and Mulder exchanged confused looks. "You better come too."
The shaman's cabin was dark, yet infused with that same sense of comfort that had enveloped them in the hunting lodge. Gingerly walking inside, they waited. Longbow had left them, saying that he was going to try to scare up some repairs for the lodge.
"So, you finally come to me." Fox could dimly make out his silhouette in the shadows. "Well, have a seat. I'm not getting any younger."
Cody Seeing Far was on the downside of eighty, although to Dana's eyes he carried himself like a twenty-year old. Rubbing his chin thoughtfully, he looked at the trio seated around his table.
"You came back," he said to St. George. "Your spirit guide is pleased with your progress." She nodded quietly. "Now, you..." A thin finger pointed at Dana. "I can tell you who your guide is by just looking at you. The Otter -- the happy-go-lucky creature of the water. But the Otter also is a family being; a friend to all." Scully looked down at her hands, clenching and twisting her fingers back and forth. "You..." He frowned, looking at Fox. "You are Coyote -- the Trickster. The world is not what it seems, and you change what you are and what you see. And you are part of the game and not part of the game." A grin crossed his face as he saw his words hit home.
"But you've come to talk about the creature of the lake." He pursed his lips, silently retrieving the information from his mind. "It has been there since before we came here -- any of us. And it had slept, unburdened by the worries of our modern life until someone awoke it."
"What happened?" Mulder asked.
"I don't know. But it is a fierce creature. It has no mercy; it is..." He stared at St. George. "It is a brother to dragons."
"So you're an otter, hmm?" Fox thought out loud as they headed back to the lodge. Dana gave him her killer look. "Slippery when wet..." A swift kick to his shins cut that thread of conversation off.
"Jackie, he said you had one too." Dana tried to switch the topic, ignoring the grimacing Mulder holding his leg. "What was yours?"
"The Wolf. Solitary, but a hunter." She shrugged. "I went on a quest a few months after I finished my assignment here. Tried to quell those inner demons."
"Did it help?" Fox said, limping slowly.
"So let me get this straight. We're going to go out on the lake and watch the smugglers run their stuff back and forth, looking for a sea monster." Jackie looked to Dana for salvation, finding none.
"Believe it or not, I think the only way we're going to find out is to get out there on the water." Mulder rubbed his stomach. "I'm not wild about this either..."
Scully expertly steered the small boat out into the lake, enjoying the chance to be on the water again. Mulder sat at the back, looking a bit greener than the chow mein in his refrigerator. St. George stood at the bow, trying to see into the darkness. Their life jackets lay on the floor of the craft -- Dana had argued for wearing them, but Fox pointed out that if they had to use their weapons, it would be a bit of a problem getting around the large life preservers. Taking a course out of the small marina, she looked at her watch. Eight o'clock. They should be seeing some other boats... a fast Zodiac-type boat whizzed past them, heading for the Canadian side of the lake. Grinning, she pointed it out to the pair.
Two hours later, they had seen over twenty smugglers, and no monster. Fox took a deep breath. The worst had actually passed, due to the calmness of the lake. He staggered forward, leaning on Dana as she steered the small craft through the water.
"Doesn't look like..." Suddenly a shape appeared out of the darkness, bearing down on them quickly. Jackie pulled her .38 out, bracing herself with a two-handed grip.
"Mulder! It's..." The snap of a hunting rifle filled the air as she pitched forward into the water. Scully killed the engine, pulling out her pistol. The pirate boat bumped aside their own boat as Chris Running Water leapt aboard.
"Looks like your friend's going to be meeting the creature head-on." The rifle in his hands gestured at their weapons. "Over the side, if you don't mind." The splash of the two pistols echoed in the night. "Right. Now let's see...what did you two do to die out here like this..." He smiled wickedly.
"So you're the only monster out here," Dana said, watching for any sign of Jackie. "You spread that rumour about the monster and then started to pirate your own people." Fox thought he saw a figure bobbing in the distance...
"My, you're smart -- for a woman. Yep, the best way to keep my turf clean. I just weighed the bodies down with a few bricks, then talk about the creature. Sink the boats, or resell them over the border. Either way, I win." The rifle levelled itself with her chest. "And you lose."
"If you kill us, Longbow's going to be suspicious." Mulder spoke quickly.
"He would...if you died of a gunshot. As it is, you're going to die slowly." Raising the rifle, he slammed it into Mulder's head, sending him over the side. The unconscious body floated face-down in the water. "I guess you better go save him." He nodded at Dana. Quickly she dove in, swimming strongly towards Mulder's body. Waving a hand at his companions, he fired into the bottom of the boat, starting the sinking process.
Leaping back aboard his own craft, he nodded to his friend. "Stay around until they go down. The boat's done for. Just keep far enough away that they can't swim to us."
Pulling Fox over, Dana saw the bloody gash over his left eye. She wrapped her arms around his chest, gasping as the water washed up into her face. He took a fast breath, coughing.
"Scully..." He didn't try to break free of her hold, just looked up at the sky. "I'd like to reverse my thoughts on the life preservers." She smiled, forgetting that he couldn't see her behind him.
"Can I get a vote in on this?" St. George drifted over, throwing her head back to get the wet hair out of her face.
"You alright?" Dana wasn't sure what was happening...the water was so cold...
"The bullet hit me here..." She pointed out the gouge carved along the left side of her head, just behind her ear. "A new scar. And I didn't even do it this time. Don't worry, I've kinda got some control here -- those jerks are too far away for it to take over." The wave hit her in the face. "Ah, how long do you think we can keep this up?"
Dana began to shiver. "Twenty minutes... maybe a half-hour."
"Well, if we swim really fast, we can be in my old apartment in Toronto in two hours..." She spat out a mouthful of water. "This is not good. With that moron watching us, we can't even try to make it to shore."
"We'd never make it," Fox said, finally breaking free of Dana's grip. "Even at top speed, I'd take over an hour to get in." He tenderly touched the gash. "And I'm not able to do it right now." He murmured, feeling nauseous.
"If you guys want to do any heartwarming confessions, I can just float over here..." Jackie disappeared under the torrents of water splashing her way from the pair. "Hey, just an idea..."
The pirate boat hung just out of their reach, bobbing up and down in a oasis of safety just out of their reach. They could see Chris at the front of the craft, grinning with satisfaction at their predicament.
Suddenly the boat shook, sending all the men to one side. It lurched to the left, then back to the right.
"Mulder..," Scully whispered. "I...I just felt something go by me."
"Yah, me too." He didn't say it. St. George just swallowed.
A huge hole appeared in the hull, just below the waterline. They watched silently as it sank, the men leaping into the water in a vain attempt to escape. Then the screaming started.
"Oh, my god..." Dana watched as the bodies disappeared from the surface of the lake, pulled under as the debris of the boat began to bob around them. Snagging a large piece of wood, Jackie paddled over to them, pulling Fox onto the board.
"I don't want to think..." She touched the open wound on her head, taking a deep breath. "Well, a brother to dragons..."
Dana watched the last body being pulled under, hypnotised by the sight. Turning, she saw Jackie press her hand to the bloody cut, squeezing the blood out between her fingers.
"In the name of St. George..." Suddenly the water began to churn around them, the waves rising as the unseen body passed under and around them. They began to move slowly at first, then more rapidly as the swell carried them.
Dana felt the first signs of hypothermia beginning to set in, felt her mind growing sluggish and sleepy. Reaching out, she grabbed Fox's collar, shaking him back to consciousness. The shoreline danced in the distance, coming closer. Beside the pair, Jackie closed her eyes, feeling the pain and power tearing through her head.
Scully felt the ground beneath her feet first, the rough pebbles of the beach a welcome change. Dragging Mulder along, she fell on the shore. St. George staggered up beside her, pulling her to her feet.
"Dana... we have to get someplace warm... you're a doctor..." She mumbled, dropping beside them. The world began to spin around them, filled with dragons and sea serpents...
Fox smiled as Dana opened her eyes, blinking at the light. "Good morning, sleepyhead." He passed her a cup of hot,sweet tea. She frowned. He motioned to his head, pointing out the bandage.
"Longbow found us, brought us back to the lodge. Him and his wife took care of us; just in time too. Says that Cody called and told him where to find us." Fox chuckled. "I guess you are an otter after all." He motioned to the loft. "Jackie's asleep."
"Not now, with all that noise." She grumbled, climbing down the ladder. "And whose shirt is this?" A finger pointed at the Knicks logo.
"Well, they weren't sure whose clothes were whose, and we had to get changed into something dry..." He chuckled. "I was out of it too, don't worry. Besides, your city doesn't even have a team."
"We have a cool logo. And the Raptors are going to kick your butt..."
"Hey, hey." Dana put up her hand, stopping the argument. "What happened to the men." Quickly she looked down at her own shirt, noticing the Redskin logo. He better have bloody well been asleep...
"Longbow found no trace of them. Or the boat -- the debris must have washed away from the area." Fox bit his lower lip. "I don't know what to say..."
"Say nothing." Jackie shrugged. "I don't know -- I just don't know. I'll rubber-stamp whatever you say." Turning, she climbed back up into the loft.
"It saved us," he said softly to Dana, seeing the disbelief in her eyes.
"Mulder, we were carried in by a series of lucky waves." That would look great on the report. "I don't believe in sea monsters... and we never really saw anything, aside from the fact that you and Jackie were both injured and we were all suffering from hypothermia." She changed the subject suddenly. "Is this your shirt too?"
"Hey, I only sleep in quality..."
"Was that in, or with?" a shout came from the loft.
"Shut up, Jackie!" They simultaneously yelled. Fox and Dana looked at each other, then burst out laughing.