Title: Legend of the Amazon|
Author's page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/528106/
Disclaimer: I OWN nothing & CLAIM nothing!
Summary: Reports of missing children, animals & half eaten corpses send Mulder & Scully deep into the Amazon in search of a creature whose existence has been denied for many years.
"Mulder, I hope that you can give me a reasonable & logical explanation as to why we are fighting our way through thick vegetation & braving hordes of bloodthirsty insects," Scully said as she followed him through the thick underbrush of the Amazon rainforest.
"Are you telling me that you have never wanted to experience the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest?" he replied, his sentence ending in a grunt as he hacked at the dense vegetation with his dulling machete.
"Somehow, I get the feeling that we're not here to experience the… beauty of the rainforest," she said flatly as she looked around, Mulder shot her a mischievous grin over his shoulder as he pushed through the undergrowth.
Suddenly, Mulder back peddled so quickly that Scully only just had time to dodge his retreating form. "What in the hell is the matter with you!" she said as she irritably stepped in front of him, she had to cover her mouth with the back of her hand to keep from bursting into gales of laughed when she saw the basis for his hasty retreat. "Mulder it's just a goliath bird eating tarantula, intimidating as they may look, they're harmless to humans."
Mulder's body language told her that he didn't completely take her word for it as he nervously skirted past it.
They had been on their way for five minutes when they heard a rustling in the underbrush ahead of them. They exhaled sighs of relief when a human being casually appeared through the underbrush. It was a woman that looked to be in her late forties, she was carrying a bow & arrows.
"You must be the FBI agents, yes? My name is Jaci, now follow me, it isn't safe to venture out into the forest without a guide these days."
"Why is it no longer safe to go into the forest without a guide?" Mulder asked over tea in Jaci's hut that evening.
"The forest is never safe for those like you who haven't grown up living with its dangers, but now even the most experienced tribesmen will not venture into the forest alone. We have lost children, livestock as well as adults to this creature & still, no one believes us. They come & they tell us that it is crocodiles, or jaguars; but I know how the crocodile & the jaguar kill, these kills are not theirs."
"We're going to need to see where the victims disappeared from," Mulder said.
"Okay, but tomorrow, it is too late today, we'd never make it back to camp before the sun sleeps. Come, I will show you to the guest huts," she said as she beckoned them to follow her.
Mulder & Scully awoke a banging sound just outside their hut. "Make haste! Then the sun has awoken before you!" Jaci said.
They walked out to fins her irritably twirling her bow between her fingers. "Now come on! The two of you are slower then slugs," she said as she led the way. Mulder threw Scully one of his boyishly amused looks over his shoulder; she rolled her eyes in reply.
"This is where the three children were taken a few months ago," Jaci said as Scully studied the area for any forensic evidence. "You waste your time; the forest's climate makes sure there is never anything left," Jaci said.
"Scully," Mulder said seriously as he nudged her, she followed the direction he was looking to see something floating in the water.
"It's a body; we have to get it out of the water somehow," Scully said as she looked at it through her binoculars.
Jaci responded by tying a section of rope around a nearby tree, then fastening the other to one of her arrows. "Now, why didn't we think of that?" Mulder said dryly as he & Scully helped her heave the corpse in.
"What did you find?" Mulder said as he entered one of the vacant huts that now served as a makeshift lab.
"I don't know, Mulder; he's been… squeezed to death, all of the bones in his body are crushed. Also, the condition of his skin leads me to believe that he spent some time in the… stomach cavity or something."
"You know, for centuries there have been stories of giant anaconda capable of swallowing a fully grown man," Mulder interjected as he looked over the body opposite Scully.
"Most large constrictors technically are capable of swallowing children up to the age of nine, or perhaps a small adult. The shoulders span of a fully grown man such as this one would be more then a mouthful for even the largest anaconda. The snake would have to be upwards of eighty feet to be capable of swallowing a human."
"And why is that so unbelievable to you? Snakes continue to grow throughout their lives," Mulder argued.
"Because to reach a hypothetical length swallowing this man would require, the snake in question would have to be close to seventy years old & even if it lived to be that old. It's highly unlikely that this animal would have even had the strength to attack something as strong as a fully grown human… what?" she said as she took notice of Mulder's amused expression.
"Nothing, I just never knew you were such a reptile enthusiast," he said with wide grin.
"I'm not; my roommate in collage was a Herpetology major, I helped her study," she replied as one of the villagers burst into their tent, gasping for air from a long run.
"There has been another attack, according to this man, the victim managed to survive," Jaci translated for them.
"Oh my god," Scully said as she discovered that the man's leg had been torn clean off. "Get him into the hut, I'm going to need a tub of hot water & whatever herbs you can find that will act as a disinfectant."
Jaci relayed the translation to the villagers & they tore off in different directions. "Can you save him?" Mulder asked as he took the pot of boiling water off the fire & set it down beside the man's cot.
"I don't know. He's lost so much blood & there's no way to give him a transfusion," Scully replied as she used the herbs brought to her by the villagers to clean the wound as best she could before stitching it.
Mulder watched with great interest as she skillfully used fishing line to close the wound. "You're improvisational skills never cease to amaze me," he said, remembering how skillfully she had treated the deputy when they were stranded in Florida during a hurricane.
"I'm glad that you think so highly of them, but I'd always rather have sophisticated medical equipment at my disposal," she replied as they exited the hut.
Against all odds, the man survived his ordeal & was now asking for Mulder & Scully. "He wants to tell what happened to him," Jaci said as they joined her at the man's bedside. "He says that he was grabbed from behind by what he first thought was a caiman he turned to fight it off & saw a snake's head latched onto his leg instead. Before he could do anything, the snake retreated, taking his leg with it," she said.
"But to do that the snake would have to be…" Scully trailed off.
"…upwards of fifty feet? Scully we're going to have to go back out there & hunt this thing down before it injures anyone else," Mulder finished for her.
"Mulder I have to say that you have me pleasantly surprised; here you are venturing out into the forest with a small army of men instead of rushing off impulsively by yourself, perhaps there's hope for you yet," Scully said.
"Yeah, I'm starting to think rationally, I think there might be something wrong with me," he replied with a laugh as he glanced back in her direction. "Besides, I'll have much better luck in finding this thing with these guys then if I went gallivanting out here on my own," he added.
"Wow, not only are you acting rationally but you're thinking strategically as well…wait a minute… who are you & what have you done with my partner?" she chortled; Mulder threw her a wide grin over his shoulder.
"Acrimony looks good on you, Scully. You should try it on more often," he replied.
After a day of searching the setting sun forced them to head back. "Don't look so disappointed, Mulder. The Amazon rainforest is a vast place; you didn't really expect to find it the first day, did you?" she asked as they trudged back to camp.
"I was holding out some hope that we would find at least one shred of proof that this thing exists," he said, suddenly there was a shout from the front of their group, Mulder & Scully ran toward the panicked voices.
"Oh my god!" Scully said as her hand went to cover her mouth in front of them was a massive snake skin, coiling towards the water.
"Whatever shed this must be fifty feet long at least," Jaci said, more to herself then anyone else as she gently collected the skin careful not to tear it.
"I can't believe it… I was so sure something like this couldn't exist," Scully murmured as they lay on their cots, watching the outlines of dragonflies hunt mosquitoes through the fabric of the tent against the light of the full moon.
"Well, like you said, the rain forest is a vast place where new species are being discovered every day," Mulder replied placidly as he put his hands behind his head. "Think of it this way, you could be on the verge of a find that could rock the scientific community. Most scientists debunk the fact that a reptile of this magnitude even could exist."
"And I bet that if we do find solid proof, then you'll make sure you're there to thumb your nose at them," Scully interjected.
"Come on, Scully put yourself in my shoes. If you'd been laughed at and dismissed as a freak and a whack job for as long as I have, I think you'd jump at the opportunity to give the bastards a big fat 'I told you so'," he replied as he dialed out on the satellite phone.
"Who are you calling?" Scully asked.
"An expert on snakes," he said, shooting her a look. "I never helped him study, though."
"Mulder? Do you have any idea what time it is over here!" Cody's slurred voice lulled into Mulder's ear.
"I'm sorry Cody, but we've gotten a little situation over here, is there any way you could come out here?"
Cody let out a long, suffering sigh over the phone. "Let me wake up Mike and fill him in and see what flight I can get at this hour," he said as irritably as he hung up.
"Cody! I'm glad that you could make it, sorry I had to make you fly red-eyed over here," Mulder said as the two men shook hands.
"It's no problem, the nearer I got, the more excited I got about the possibility of finding something like this, then we can finally thumb it in their faces, eh?" he said as he clapped Mulder heartily on the back, Scully merely shook her head at them.
"This is… extraordinary! The snake that shed this must be in excess of fifty feet!" Cody said excitedly as he looked over the skin.
"Okay, based on your professional opinion, would a snake this size be capable of swallowing a human?" Scully asked.
"Little lady, a snake this size is capable of swallowing a fully grown bull. They will also eat monkeys that are unfortunate enough to slip from the trees above, so I don't understand why a human would be a huge step; especially if the snake has learned how to compress the width of the shoulders with its constricting strength," Cody said.
"So you're saying that snakes can exhibit learning ability?" Scully asked.
"How do you think they learn to survive in the first place? There isn't a mother to teach them the ropes like most mammals have," he replied.
"You studied Herpetology somewhere, didn't you?" Scully asked abruptly.
"Yeah, why does it show?" he asked with a sheepish laugh.
"Come, agents' daylight is burning!" Jaci called to them.
"Well, lets get it on," Cody said eagerly as they trotted to join her.
"Mulder, you really owe me big time for this," Scully said over her shoulder as she mopped her face with a sodden handkerchief.
"Why, you're telling me that this isn't one of the most exhilarating things you've ever been involved in? We might be on the verge of discovering an evolutionary anomaly!" Cody said excitedly.
"Don't waste your energy, Cody. Scully's idea of exhilaration is taking a nice long bath with a bottle of wine within arms' reach," Mulder said as he gave Scully one of his heart-melting boyish grins, she playfully cocked him with her handkerchief.
"Shut up, Mulder," she said.
Suddenly, the caravan of people came to a sudden stop at Cody's request. "It must have rained last night, this bog is pretty swollen."
"What do you mean 'must have' rained? Didn't you hear it? The wind was loud enough to wake the dead!" Scully interjected.
"Naw, I don't hear much of anything after I crap out," Cody said sheepishly. As he turned his gaze back to the bog, his expression became serious once more. "I think that our best bet would be to tackle this as a group," he said.
"Why?" Mulder asked reluctantly. "Because, then we'll appear to be one entity and it'll be less likely we'll be attacked," he replied.
"So you're saying that this snake could be in there?" Scully said as she eyed the bog.
"Is there any way we could get around it?" Mulder asked.
"Taking to the river is the only way, but that's worse then just wading through this," Jaci interjected.
"Okay all together now, let's go," Cody said.
They all began to trudge through in one clustered group half way through, Mulder froze. "I think I just felt something brush up against my leg," Mulder whispered shakily as they all looked down as a terrible silence swept across the jungle, as if the animals could foresee what the humans could not.
"No one move, no one panic or make a sound," Cody said under his breath as his hand went to the machete that was hooked into his belt. At that very moment, the huge snake rocketed itself out of the water.
"Watch out!" Mulder yelled as he pushed Scully out of the snake's deadly reach, the serpent's massive jaws closed around Mulder's shoulder, barely missing his jugular vein. Mulder had no time to prepare before the serpent's deadly coils were around him, binding him, squeezing the life out of him with every breath he exhaled.
Scully raced forward with her gun cocked & ready to fire, but Jaci grabbed her hand & wrestled it down. "What in the hell is the matter with you! Let me go!" Scully cried as she desperately tried to free herself from the woman's surprisingly strong grasp.
"If you fire that weapon, the bullet will go right through the snake into your partner, killing him; you will be doing the snake's work for it," she said as she took aim with one of her arrows as Cody held Scully back.
"Scully settle down, she knows what she's doing!" Cody said as he struggled against Scully's surprising show of strength as she fought against him.
Jaci took aim with her arrow & fired right into the snake's spine, with an almighty hiss, the snake recoiled from the seemingly lifeless form of Mulder & turned on Jaci, who calmly fired another arrow, this one pierced the snake through its skull, killing it.
Mulder came to on the way back to the village, he was being carried by Cody & another of Jaci's fellow tribesmen.
"There going to have a chopper meet us at the village," Scully said worriedly as she checked his pulse.
The whipping blades of the helicopter were never a more welcome sight to Scully s the forest cleared to reveal the massive life-saving machine.
"Oh my god, what in the hell happened?" The flight nurse said as he looked Mulder over.
"Snake attack," Scully replied.
"Well, Ahab. You got your proof; you succeeded in throwing the scientific community on its head with the finding of the legendary one hundred-foot anaconda," Scully said as she took a seat beside Mulder's bed & took hold of his hand. "I hate it when you do this to me, Mulder."
"Do what, save your life? Why does that still continue to surprise you?"
"It doesn't it… I just…" Scully trailed off as she put her face in her hands, Mulder sat up & pulled her to him.
"Scully when you were abducted all those years ago, I wasn't there to save you. When you mysteriously reappeared in the hospital that day & I saw you lying there, so fragile & exposed, I vowed never to leave you like that again.
"I made a promise to myself to always protect you, even if that meant giving up my own life," he said into her ear as he held her close, Scully let out a tearful chuckle.
"That's funny; I promised myself the exact same thing when I found you in that field after the aliens were done with you."
Mulder laughed. "Well, this is an interesting dilemma to have, isn't it?" Mulder said, as he pulled back to gaze at her, a playful look in his eyes.
Scully sighed as she placed her hand on Mulder's cheek. "What am I going to do with you?" she asked exasperatedly.
"Well, I have something in mind," Mulder said suggestively as he pulled her into a kiss. Scully couldn't believe it, the moment she had thought about over & over again was finally happening & all she could think about was 'It's about time.'