Title: Hungry
Author: SkepticalScully
X-Files Case
Archive: Anywhere, but please let me know first so I can keep track.

Synopsis: Something is terrorizing the people of a small town. Scully and Mulder are called in to investigate strange occurances, and soon find out that the source lies witin in a cave in the woods. It only comes out at night, and they must figure out how to put it to rest, and they have no choice if they want to get out of the cave alive because their trapped in with it.

Cereno, Mississipi
8:15 pm

"Toby, get inside! It's dark out and I don't want you getting lost out there," Mrs. Meiser called her son in from the backdoor.

Toby whined but dragged himself in reluctantly. "Ah, mom, I don't see why I gotta be in so early. It's no fun!"

Mrs. Meiser smacked her son playfully on the back with her magazine. "Toby, you know what the rules are. Until these things stop, you must be in by nightfall. And I don't want to hear any more compainin' comin' from you, you hear? Now get washed up. You can watch some television, then get in on to bed, you hear?"

Toby stalked up the steps to the bathroom.

Later on, Toby was watching TV when he heard a loud banging outside. It sounded like some cats had gotten into the garbage can outside. He looked behind him through the door to his kitchen but his mother didn't appear to be in there anymore. "Mom?" he yelled, but she didn't answer. He got up from the floor and looked out the window next to the door. It was dark out and he couldn't see anything. He opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. The noise stopped.

Toby looked over at the garbage can's but they looked as if they hadn't been touched. Toby sighed and turned to go back inside, but when he did, there was something blocking his path.

"Toby, where'd you go?" Mrs. Meiser asked, coming downstairs from her shower. Toby wasn't in the living room where she'd left him. She started towards the kitchen when she felt a draft coming through the hall. She turned towards it and gasped. The front door was standing wide open and she could see her son staring in at her.

She walked over to the door, fuming, "Toby, I told you. How many times do I have to tell you-" she stopped mid sentence. Toby was staring at her but he didn't seem to see her. He didn't even flinch as she snaped at him. She opened the screen door, which was blocked by her son, barely able to squeeze out. She kneeled down so that she was at his height and turned him towards her. Toby didn't move. "Toby, what's wrong? Toby! Talk to me!" She hugged her son to her chest as hard as she possibly could and cried out. "Somebody! Somebody help my son!"

Two weeks later
11:22 am

"Thanks for coming by. We've had it up to here with these calls. Our men can't handle them all."

"That's no problem, deputy. We'll help all we can." Mulder said, tapping his fingers on a file folder he held in his hands.

The deputy went away and Mulder turned towards Scully. "What's a deputy in a such a small town need to enlist the help of the FBI because his men can't handle the job?"

"I don't know, Mulder. You probably have a theory."

"You think too highly of me, Scully. But, I do have a hunch."

Scully turned to face him more directly. "These towns are known for all sorts of old time legends. The Kindred, Witchcraft...more of the same stuff we've seen before, Scully. Anyway, I talked to John Mellencamp, no relation; he sent me some background on some recent events that have taken place around here."

"Like what?" Scully asked. She crossed her arms to show Mulder she was listening, but also to tell him that while she wouldn't dismiss what he was about to say, he would have to give her more. Because whatever Mulder had up his sleeve wasn't going to be very believable. "Well, for the past six month's there's been strange occurances in the area at night. A couple people have died, some have disappeared all together. Other's are...scared for life. Toby Meiser, a young boy, went out on his front porch, thought he heard something. Whatever it was, no one saw anything. Mrs. Meiser, his mother found him outside. He's blind and by no means was it a previous imparement."

Scully's jaw dropped a little. Whatever this was, she didn't know it was something terrible. "Then I think we should go talk to Mrs. Meiser and her son."

"They've tried already. He won't talk to anyone."

"We'll maybe he'll talk to us." she said. They left the deputy's office and headed towards their rented Intrigue. "What do you think it is then, Mulder? What can blind a boy without anyone seeing or hearing anything?"

"That's exactly why we're here, Scully. To find that out." Mulder started the car and pulled out into the street.

"Because it's an X-File, Mulder. That's why you wanted to take the case."

"Well, it makes reasonable sense. Who else is going to investigate it? They practically threw the case at us because they didn't want it."

Scully bit down on her cheek. Being ridiculed by everyone wasn't exactly easy, but something had to have happened to that boy, and they would do everything they could to help them figure out who did whether it was an X-File or not.

A woman opened the door and peered out. "Yes?"

"Mrs. Meiser?" The woman nodded. "I'm Special Agent Dana Scully and this is my partner Fox Mulder. We were wondering if we could talk to you and your son."

Mrs. Meiser's features drained, she looked so tired and she had probably spoken to police and doctors for the last two weeks. But she opened the door wider and invited them in. "Listen, Toby hasn't wanted to see anyone since then. There's nothing he's been able to tell anyone else. It's already happened to just about everyone else. Can't you talk to them?"

"Mrs. Meiser, we understand your distress but we're trying to figure out what's happening to the people of this town so that it doesn't happen again. And we are talking to the other's, but we thought maybe your son might have seen something he's not telling anyone." Scully said, trying to calm the woman. "Could we just have a moment with him?"

Mrs. Meiser slowly nodded her head. "He won't come down stairs for anything. I'll take you to him."

Scully glanced back at Mulder as they followed Mrs. Meiser up the stairs and down the hall to Toby's room. Inside, Toby was sitting on his bed, playing with a couple of Superman and Spiderman action figures. He was making them talk. He felt their presence and stopped. "Mom?"

Toby's mom sat on the edge of the bed, her hand on this shoulder. "Toby, two nice FBI Agents are here. They want to talk to you for a moment." Her voice softened. "You remember how you always wanted to go to D.C.? Well, that's where they are from and they've come to visit." She looked up at Mulder and Scully and smiled, then stood and left them alone, but she hung by in the hall.

Scully sat down on the bed. "Hi, Toby. My name's Dana and this is Fox." She picked up the Superman doll. "Which one is your favorite?"

The boy looked her in the eye, although he couldn't see her. "Definitely Superman."

Mulder asked. "What's wrong with Spiderman? He's cool. He got those webs he can jump from building to building with."

Toby's eyes lit up and he almost smiled. "Sure, but Superman can fly, catch bullets in his teeth, and see through things." He was quiet a moment as he took the Superman from Scully and held it. "So you want to ask me if I saw anything, don't you?"

Mulder decided to be straight forward with the kid. The kid was very smart, he could tell already. "Yes."

The boy scratched his nose then fiddled with Superman's arms. "Well, I didn't tell anyone else because they're stupid. Plus, I didn't like them. They were all stuck up and snotty."

"Tell them what?" Scully asked. She watched Toby.

"Well, all the things that have been happening in Cereno."

"What's been happening?"

"You know. You are the FBI. You know everything. Like what happened to me, what's been doing it."

"Who, Toby?" Scully asked softly. She wanted to make sure he didn't start telling them and then stop. It was a wonder he was telling them when he wouldn't tell anyone else.

"Not who. What. You know those ghost stories where things come out of the woods? Like that movie, The Blair Witch Project? Well this thing, it comes out of the woods every thirty years, because it's hungry, you know. Been sleeping all that time, it wants something to eat. It can't eat berries and stuff, it's too big. Doesn't fill him up. It needs something else, but it's too scary to just go into a store. People were so mean to it a long time ago that they turned it bad. So he thought that must be the way you were supposed to act, cause he doesn't know how to be polite and stuff. He comes out only at night because people can't see him. But I think he picked up some kind of super powers over the years, that's why no body is able to see him or anything."

"You saw this creature?"

"Yeah, sure." He got up from the bed and reached into a box under the bed. He pulled it out and got back on the bed with it. It was full of comic books.

Mulder took one out and looked at it. There was a picture of a creature that looked something like a cross between Big Foot and a prehistoric dinosaur. He turned the comic book around so Scully could see the picture. "The Hedevil." He looked at Toby. "Toby, do you mind if I borrow this? I'll give it right back."

Toby shrugged. "You can keep it. I have another copy of it."

"Thanks," Mulder said and they stood.

Mrs. Meiser showed them out. "Thank you. You can reach os if he knows anything else." Mulder handed her a card.

"What, you actually believe what he says is true? That this thing is a Hedevil?"

"Oh, this?" He held up the comic book. "I just wanted to read it." He smirked. They got in the car. "I've heard about this thing, Scully. This thing, it comes out every thirty years or so to eat, at night, and then one day the terrorizing just stops." He drove down the street and turned left, back towards the Police Station.

"So what, this thing might not even come out again." Scully said. She took the comic book and flipped through the pages. She sighed, then read a loud from the book. "Jake and Sloan then head into the woods to find the cave where the Hedevil resides. They must get there before first light before it returns." She put the book down. "A comic book, Mulder? I should have known."

Laura Evans and her husband left the house after Jenny, their baby-sitter arrived to watch Kari. Michael closed the car door after his wife got in, then went around to the drivers side. Laura looked back towards the house. "Do you think it's safe to leave them, Mike?" she asked worridly. Mike patted her on the leg. "Lar, we have to have some time out once in a while. Jenny is old enough to know what to do. They'll be fine." And then he smiled.

Jenny got Kari and herself some snacks, then they both plopped down on the couch to watch a movie. After a while, Kari looked over at the baby-sitter and asked, "Jenny, why is it so scary when its dark out?"

Jenny looked over at her. "It's not the dark that's scary, its what's in the dark."

"What's in the dark, then?" Kari probed.

Jenny paused the movie. "Aren't you a bit too old to be asking these kinds of questions? If you're worried about your parents, don't be. There's nothing to be scared of."

Kari replied indignantly. "I didn't say I was scared, I was just asking a question." Then she turned away and faced the TV.

After a while, the phone rang, and Jenny went into the kitchen to get it. "Hi, Scott." she listened. "Well, maybe after they get home. I can't leave Kari here by herself. Yeah, I know she's old enough but I still can't leave her. Especially with that psycho that's been running around town-yeah, I'll call you when I get home, alright?" she hung up the phone, a little ticked at her boyfriend. He was beginning to annoy her, calling her up when she was babysitting and telling her to come over when he knew better. She started back into the living room when the phone rang again. She stopped, turned around and went back to the phone. "Listen, Scottie-Oh, sorry. No, I think you have the wrong number."

"Jenny! The part where Lucy falls off the bridge is coming up!" Kari called from the room.

"Coming." She just sat down on the couch when there was a knock on the door. Both girls looked at each other. "I bet it's Scott." She got up, very annoyed. She parted the curtain on the window beside the door and peered out. She couldn't see if anyone was standing there. She flipped on the outside light and opened the door.

"Jenny, mom said not to-" but too late. The door was already opened, but there was no one standing outside. She stepped onto the porch and glanced into the yard. Everything was quiet. She came back in and closed the door, returning to her seat. "Let's watch the movie, huh? No more disturbances."

It was after twelve now, and Jenny kept glancing at her watch. Kari had just gone up to bed and Jenny was waiting to leave. She got up and started to put the potato chips and the glasses away in the dishwasher when she heard something from upstairs. She ignored it, figuring it was Kari, when it came again, one from one side of the house, another from the other side. Jenny closed the cabinet door and started up the steps. "Kari? Was that you?" No answer. She turned the corner down the hall way and switched on the light. "Kari?" she peered into Mr. and Mrs. Evans bedroom where one of the noises seemed to be coming from. Dark and quiet. She listened for a moment, then started to go back downstairs when she heard Kari scream.

"Scully, it's me. Where are you?"

"I'm waiting for the autopsy reports on Daryl Hogarth," Scully replied. "Where are you?"

"I'm at the Evans residence. There's been another one."

"Okay. I'll be there as soon as I can."

"Agent Mulder, will you be able to find my little girl?" Mrs. Evans came over to Mulder.

Mulder put his cell phone back in his coat and looked at her. "Agent Scully and I will do everything we can, Mrs. Evans." Her husband put a hand on her shoulder and guided her back over to the couch. Mulder went upstairs, turning the corner. He peered from room to room until he found Kari's. He went in, looking at the posters on the wall, the desk and on the bookshelf. He went to the window and looked out.

He bent down and looked at the sill of the window closely. He turned to some of the officers that were in the room. "Did you see this?"

One of the men came over. "No."

"Well, get a dusting." Mulder said and crouched so he could see it better. He cocked his head to the side and studied it while the man went to get his kit. He came back and dusted it, then lifted the print.

"Don't tell me, the Hedevil left that."

"Scully, check it out." he traced the outline with his finger, hovering over it. "What makes that kind of print, Scully?"

"Well, it's not human, I don't know, Mulder." Scully stood and stared at the room. "Officer Burke filled me in downstairs. Do you think there's a connection?"

Scully followed Mulder out of the room. "I'll find a connection."

Scully was on the laptop, trying to find a match for the print that had been left on Kari Evans window sill when she was abducted the night before. So far nothing conclusive had turned up in any files. Maybe she'd have better luck once Mulder came back with a copy of the print from the lab.

She picked up the Hedevil comic book that was lying on the table beside her.

This morning, Mulder had gone to the grocery store and bought every issue of the comic that they had. She didn't know what he hoped to obtain from them. She stared at the front cover awhile, staring at the creature on the front. It really was a very good drawing, she thought. There was a picture of a man, his knees bent slightly, his back arched, hands up in front of his face in defense. The Hedevil was slightly taller, muscular. Its head was curved and his teeth were sharp. It stood on two feet and its arms were reaching out towards the man, 3 long, bowed fingers and a thumb. Scully noted that the creature had no claws, but instead, saw the strength that the sketcher had put into the creatures hands, telling her that the creature could crush his victims with ease. Scully shuddered to think that there might possibly be a creature that existed that could cause this much harm. She set the comic book down on the table again.

There was a knock on the door and she went to open it. Mulder came in, taking a seat at the table. "I talked to Deputy Newton. These same prints were found at the Emmerson's, Klayton's, Hogarth's, and Brook's place when they were found missing. I also sent someone over to Mrs. Meiser's home to see what they could find, but I don't think they'll turn anything up."

"Why?" Scully asked.

"Joe Emmerson was killed while he was walking from the house to the car to go to work that night. The prints were found on the hood of his car and on the drivers window. Billy Klayton is still missing and so is Jane Brooks. Fingerprints were found on Billy's window also, and in the garage where Jane was last seen and also on the window sill where Kari Evans was last. But the other victims, Toby Meiser, Marisa Calister, Ben Andrews, and Tina Felliez, are still here, and there are no prints. It's like he's leaving his signature."

"But there are no prints at the victims who he didn't abduct." She paused. "Instead, he does something to them, blinds them in Toby's case, Ben Andrews hand, leaving his signature on them. But who, Mulder? This, this Hedevil is a comic book character, its not real."

"But I think it is, Scully. Look at the print from the Evans. The same print at each house where the victims disappeared; they are the same as the ones in the comic books. Look." Mulder took a comic book and flipped it to the end of it. The last drawing at the end of the story was a picture of the Hedevils print.

Scully closed the book and stared at him defiantly. "Mulder, it's a coincidence-"

Mulder stood. "How can it be a coincidence, Scully? You see the same thing I do."

She searched for words. "Well then it is the work of someone trying to pass off this fictious animal as real, but it is not real, Mulder. Its a comic book and nothing more."

George Colson had just settled his ailing bones into a chair to listen to the evening news when there was a knock at the door. He muttered to himself, and patted his dog, Marvin on the head. "It's all right fella, I have it." But the dog whined and stood, shaking itself. George reached for his cane, feeling along the table until he felt it, grabbed it and then slowly made his way across the living room, to the front door. Marvin followed him, whining softly. He stood between the door and George.

He reached for the knob and opened it, "is anyone there-?" but he stopped, his knees suddenly shaking. "Oh my-" and he slammed the door with more strength than he thought he had. He walked as quickly as he could across the room to the telephone. He dialed, his fingers behaving on their own accord, and waited. "911 Operator, what is your emergency?"

For a moment, George could not find his voice. "I saw it! It came to get me."

The operator asked. "Sir, please repeat yourself."

"It comes at night and its my turn."

Mulder knocked on the door. "Mr. Colson, are you there?"

After a moment of silence, the door opened and an old man came into view. "Mr. Colson, we're with the FBI. Are you alright?" Scully asked. Mr. Colson's skin was ashen and he was hunched over. A dog bumped its way in to see what was going on.

Mr. Colson opened the door wider to let him in, gripping the door as if he was using it to support himself. "Yes, yes, I'm fine. Thank you for coming."

Mulder and Scully stepped in through the door. He led his guests into the kitchen. "Can I get you anything to drink?"

"No, thank you. Mr. Colson you say you saw something last night?"

George sank into a chair. "Been blind my whole life but last night I saw it. Saw it standing right there on my porch. Damn thing was knocking on my door!"

Scully leaned forward. "Mr. Colson, what did you see?"

"Damn if I know what it is. It's that thing everyone's been afraid of, the thing that's been comin' into this town every night." Mr. Colson got a glass down from a cubboard and poured in some Scotch.

"Can you describe it for us?" Mulder asked.

"Ugliest, meanest thing I ever saw. Can't rightly describe it for you, Agent Mulder. I'm not so good with physical descriptions. Had powerful teeth though. I thought it was going to bite my head off."

"Thank you for your time." Scully said, and stood. Mr. Colson stopped them with a question. "Agents, if I've been cursed with the inability to see a day in my life, then why has God chosen me to see this thing?"

The Bugs Bunny Motel
5:50 pm

Scully was sitting on the bed, looking over each of the victims. There was something strange about each one of these victims, yet she couldn't pin point it. She went through the files again. "Mulder, there's something about these victims I don't understand. It's as if this thing is chosing his victims for a reason."

Mulder set down the comic book and went over to the bed. Scully spread the files out and started with the earliest victim. "We'll, first each victim alternates between gender. The first victim was a male, then a female, then a male, and so on, the lastest is George Colson..." She stopped, thinking of something else. "This thing, it can't be seen by anyone, but Toby Meiser and George Colson are the only ones who saw it..."

"And they're both blind." He paused. "Scully, the only way were gonna catch this thing is if do it on his territory."

"What do you mean, Mulder?"

"I mean, we go find that cave and stop it before it has a chance to take another victim."

"I can't believe I let you drag me out here, Mulder." Scully replied, hefting a backpack over her shoulder and following her partner across the road. They climbed over the guardrail and down the hill.

When they got across the creek, Mulder stopped and pulled out the map he'd gotten from Deputy Burke. "Okay, Scully. If we go this way," he pointed towards his left, "we should come across this out cropping of rocks. I thin k that's where the cave is." He looked down at Scully.

She was silent a moment, Scully!Thinking, then grabbed the map from Mulder's hands and continued. "Let's get going then, Mulder."

They seemed to be walking for hours. Scully stopped and looked at the map again. "This maps got to be wrong, Mulder. We should have reached it by now." She looked around but all that she could see were trees. "And it's getting dark."

Mulder kept going, "come on, Scully, it's just up here a little ways."

Scully sighed, but followed him.

They walked for a bit longer, the last bit of sunlight going down behind the trees. Scully didn't believe that they would find anything out here, but the fact still remained that people were dying in this town and she didn't like being caught out here at night, armed or not while possibly some Hedevil comic book characature was out there, waiting.

Scully hurried to catch up with Mulder. It was NOT just up there a little ways. They walked for almost another hour, flashlights dying, when they finally came to the spot on the map. Mulder's eyes lit up with excitement and he took the map from Scully and put it in his pocket. He took out his gun climbed over the rocks, stopping to give Scully a hand. She climbed up after him and followed into the mouth of the cave, hoping that who, or whatever lived in here was out, but not killing people.

They shined their flashlights around the area. The entrance was a domed formation, about seven feet high, and led back about ten feet. Then it split off into two distinct passageways. They both looked at each other and and in unison asked, "which way?"

Mulder pointed his flashlight towards the left one, while motioning Scully to take the right. Scully turned without a word and ducked through the opening. Around this corner and that, she felt like she was in some Alice in Wonderland maze, about to fall into the white rabbits domain. But that didn't seem to be the case, because the tunnel ended. She looked around to see if there was any other possible way to continue and found that the only way was to go back towards the entrance. Why must these things always happen to me? she thought. She hurried back the way she'd come so she could catch up with Mulder before one, either he got lost and she was stuck in here looking for him, or two, he got hurt by whatever they were after and she was stuck in here looking for him. "Mulder?" she called, hurring down the other tunnel.

Of course, this tunnel had to also split off into two, and she stopped to contemplate which way he might have gone. She saw his footprints in the dust and sighed thankfully. She found him in the opening further down. He turned around. "What do you have there?"

He moved so that she could see what he was examining. She took out her own latex glove and put it on, then took the tweezers from Mulder and peered at what was held between the prongs.

"What do you think it is?" Mulder asked.

She turned it around. "I don't know. Part of a spiderweb maybe?"

Mulder looked around, examining the deep, dark, crevices from where he kneeled. It wasn't a very pleasent thought. "Awfully big web for such tiny little spiders."

Scully looked over at him. "Or maybe really giant spiders, Mulder. And maybe the spiders are to blame for what's been happening to this town." he stared at her incredulously for a moment, then scowled at her.

They stood, bouncing their flashlights off the walls. It seemed like the end of their journey. The only way to go from here was back outside. Mulder's beam sought something and stopped. "Or maybe you're right."

Scully's flashlight met Mulder's and the color drained from her face. What they were looking at was the same thing she still held in her hand, although these were the size of cocoons. Human cocoons.

"Give me a hand, Scully." Mulder mumbled as tried to get across to the cocoons. Scully took the flashlight and guided him with the light. He took out a pocketknife and opened the little blade. He began slicing through the thick white mesh.

"Be careful, Mulder." She said. Mulder carefully peeled away the web, and simultaneously covered his mouth with his hand and started gagging.

"Are you okay, Mulder?" Scully asked, starting over to him.

"I'm fine. Stay where you are."

Scully stopped. She couldn't see what he had uncovered. "What is it?"

Mulder turned around. "I think I just found Kari Evans."

They had finished opening the remaining two cocoons, revealing Billy Klayton and Jane Brooks-or what remained of them.

"My God, Mulder." Scully whispered, bending over the bodies. "I see rapid deteriation. I think whatever's done this has been feeding off them." She stared at Mulder with a stricken face.

"We have to catch this thing, Scully. Tonight, before it has a chance to strike again."

"But, Mulder, we don't even know how to catch it!"

Mulder stood. "We don't, but Toby Meiser does."

"You've got him believing in this nonsense! He's hasn't slept in days because he's afraid it will come for him again." Mrs. Meiser exclaimed, blocking the door so that Mulder and Scully could not enter.

"But your son, we believe he may know how to stop this thing. Mrs. Meiser? Were not taking him anywhere, we just want him to tell us how." Mulder explained in a reasonable tone, putting his hand on the door so she couldn't shut it any further.

"He's only a little boy!"

Before anyone had a chance to go any further, Toby pushed his head between his mother and the door. He must have been listening. "The only way you can kill it is to make a sacrifice before it. When it takes the sacrifice, it will die." He pulled his head back and disappeared.

Mrs. Meiser was angry. "Are you happy now?" She slammed the door in their faces.

Mulder and Scully turned around. "Make a sacrifice, Mulder? That means, in order to kill it, someone else has to die. You know we can't do that, Mulder."

Mulder was heading back towards the woods. "Mulder, where are you going? We can't go back there by ourselves." She yelled, but sprinted to catch up with him, none the less. She grabbed his arm to stop him. "Mulder, are you hearing me? There has to be another way without innocent people dying."

"No one else has to die, Scully."

"What are you going to do, Mulder?"

"Be the sacrifice."

The two Deputies got out of their car and hurried up the front steps of George Colson's home. Eugene Newton pounded on the door hard with his fist. "Mr. Colson, this is Deputy Newton. I'm here with Gary Burke." They waited until George opened the door.

George's slow moving body registered exhaustion. "Mr. Colson, you haven't been sleeping." Burke said, taking the old man under the arm and deterred him to the couch. He knelt down beside his chair. "George, two FBI agents came over here to talk to you earlier today, is that right?"

George nodded. Burke looked up at his partner. "Okay. Well, we haven't heard from them since then, did they happen to mention where they were going after they left your house?"

George thought for a moment. Finally he shook his head. "No. Can't say I remember them saying anything like that. They showed themselves out."

Burke stood, motioning for Deputy Newton to follow him. He stopped by the doorway, looking over at George as he talked softly. "No one's heard from Scully and Mulder said yesterday and George here is probably the last to see them."

Newton rubbed his chin. "What about that Joyce Meiser and her son? He was a victim."

Burke walked into the kitchen, pulling a glass out of the cabinet. He began to fill it with water. "I had some one go over there a little while ago. Says she hasn't seen them. Said she seemed like she was hiding something though."

"Why would she have something to hide?" Burke asked, not waiting for an answer, but took the glass of ice water back to George.

"Mr. Colson, if the agents happen to come by again, give us a call."

George took the water and sipped it. He patted Marvin on the head with his free hand. "I will, Gary. Thanks for stopping by. Next time come visit for pleasure huh?"

Deputy Burke patted him on the back, "sure thing, George." Newton turned back to his partner once they'd let themselves out. "So much for that. Bet their just off having a good time or something. I wouldn't be worried, but their Assistant Director in D.C. couldn't seem to be able to reach them and he's giving us a hard time."

"Gee, I kind of wish Medresky cared about us like that."

Newton gave a hearty laugh. "Ah, me too."

Back in the cave, Scully was still trying to convince Mulder not to do whatever he was thinking up, and she was almost about ready to use her weapon on him, maybe even shoot him again if she had to, but she knew she wouldn't and she knew it wouldn't stop him. So she went with him with false hope.

Scully hadn't spoken for a few minutes. "Mulder, what you're doing is ridiculous." She paused, closed her eyes, and sighed. She opened her eyes and found Mulder looking up at her from the ground. "Okay, so for the sake of argument, say this Hedevil is real. We can't see it. How are we supposed to catch something we can't see?"

Mulder handed his gun up to Scully. "I'm hoping when the time comes, I'll know."

She stared at him. Mulder...I don't-"

Mulder held up his hand at her. "Shhh. Did you hear that?"

They both turned towards the tunnel.

"Can't you people just leave us alone?"

"We don't want to bother you, Mrs. Meiser, but we need to talk to your son. It could the difference between life and death."

"Funny. Come on in." Mrs. Meiser said. She let them know with a look that she didn't appreciate the Deputies coming in, but she also didn't want any problems to arise from her refusing to let them in.

"Thank you. Can we talk to your son?"

The words immediately rushed out of her mouth. "He's asleep."

"Like I said, could be the difference between-" Burke repeated.

"Oh all right. Hold on." She left to go get her son and came back down with him.

"Hi, Toby. How are you feeling?" Newton asked him.

Toby shrugged, wiping sleep from his eyes.

Newton looked at his partner. "Toby, did the two FBI agents come by here today? I need you to tell me the truth." He looked at his mother and gave her a fierce look that stopped her from interjecting.


"And what did they want?"

"They wanted to know how to stop the people from dying."

"What did you tell them?" Burke asked.

"I told them that they had to make a sacrifice to kill the monster. They went to the cave in the woods to stop it."

The deputies looked at each other. "Thank you, Toby. We're sorry for waking you."

Toby shrugged. "No problem. I like them. I hope nothing bad happens to them."

"We certainly hope not too. Good night Mrs. Meiser."

They walked back to their squad car. "Call Medresky and let him know what's going on. We're going to need some backup for this one. Let's put a stop to it once and for all."

The flashlight went out and they were thrown into total darkness. Everything was quiet except for the heavy breathing that came from Scully and Mulder. They waited in silence, listening for whatever it was that might be coming for them.

Scully was afraid to move, but she wanted to know where Mulder was. If anything was going to go for him, she wanted to be ready for it. How she was going to without being able to see it, she didn't know, but the only thing she could do was do what Mulder said and hope that when the time came...

She moved, but heard the sound of a click against the wall further a head. "Mul-" she started, but was silenced by a low gargling sound. In an instant, she spun around and fired into the tunnel.

"Mr. Colson, we need your help. You may be the only one who can."

George Colson may have been old and he may have been weak, but his brain was still with him. "Grab my coat from the closet, Gary. And my shot gun from the cabinet. It may take me a month to get to your car, but by gone it, we're going to catch that sonofabitch if I have to die for it!"

George was out the door before Gary could get over the shock of his friends outburst. He quickly hurried in to gather the two items.

They drove straight through the woods, bouncing around like bumper cars until they reached the outcropping of rock that Toby had described to them earlier. Leutenant Medresky and Deputy Newton were right behind them. Burke helped George out of the car and together, the four of them went in, while the rest of the backup guarded the entrance to make sure whatever it was didn't get out.

"George, you're going to have to be as quiet as you can." Gary said and George let go of his cane, which had been scraping against the floor, and used Gary for more support.

Up ahead they heard a faint sound and thought it was Scully and Mulder. But they stopped in their tracks because, although he didn't know the agents too well, he was pretty sure they didn't growl.

Medresky and Newton got on their knees and aimed their weapons, having no idea that their target was invisible to them.

"George, we need your help. You're the only one old enough to remember the last time this thing was out and about. And you're the only one beside to by that says they saw this thing. If you see it again, you know what to do."

"Damn right I do. Now give me my shotgun." George had a newfound strength he hadn't realized he possessed. He took his shotgun and waited. He knew he wouldn't be waiting long because he could see the shadow of the Hedevil. He hadn't been able to catch it forty years ago when it took his wife but he damn well would take care of it this time.

As Scully fired, she heard other shots, three of them, coming from the direction of entrance of the tunnel. At the same time, she heard Mulder grunt and fall back on the floor. She put her gun away and quickly bent down on the ground till she felt her partner. "Mulder?"

Lights were coming through from the tunnel and Scully saw that Mulder was on his back. Though the light was still dim, she could see the reflection off the crimson color that was staining his white shirt. She quickly leaned over him, making sure he was okay. He looked up at her; she could already see his flushed face. She pried his hands from this abdomen to access the seriousness of his injury. "Agent down! Get an ambulance!" She yelled and she heard shouting and running footsteps. Deputy Burke knelt down next to Mulder, shining the flashlight on his wound. He called an ambulance from his walkie talkie.

"Mulder, you're going to be okay." She placed a hand on his forehead which felt greasy and cold. "Hang on."

Two days later
Cereno General Hospital

"So what did the doctor say? Am I going to live?"

She came in and sat down next to him on the bed. "I was worried about you. For a moment I thought you weren't going to make it."

Mulder smiled and reached for her hand. "It's gonna take a lot more than getting shot to take me out of the running. Don't worry." He winced.

"Did um, did they get the Hedevil?"

Scully nodded. "George Colson confirmed that he shot it and they've called in a group of researchers to study it." She shrugged. "It's all over now."

It was dark and damp. Deep in a corner of the cave two eyes blinked. A mewling sound issued from within the crevice, a sound that was lonely and frightened because it understood. It came out from the corner and found its way out of the cave. The sky was over cast this night but it didn't need any light to get where it was going.

The End!

"What are you going to call him?"
"William, after your father."
"I don't know. He's got your coloring and your eyes, but he looks suspeciously like Assistant Director Skinner."
"I don't understand, Mulder. They came to take him from us, but they didn't."
"I don't quite understand that either. They said that maybe he isn't what they thought he was. That doesn't make him any less of a miracle does it?"
"From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth-about how, and why, and I know that you feared it too."
"I think what we feared were the possibilities....The truth we both know."
"Which is what?"


RIP Ratboy!

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