Title: The Water
"Look at it this way, Scully; we get to spend a few weeks or however long it takes us to wrap up this case taking in the beauty of Mexico," Mulder said as he watched their plane touch down in Mexico City.
"Beautiful depends on where we happen to be staying," Scully replied as she retrieved her carry on bag, Mulder smile widely.
"It so happens that the call came from Belize," he said as they located a man holding a sign that bore their names.
"You are aware that we had a hurricane hit last week," the chief of the Belize police department said to Mulder and Scully as he led them to the morgue.
"Yes, we were informed of that," Scully said as a lab tech pulled out the trays containing the victims.
Mulder and Scully looked at each other; something about the wounds on their neck seemed oddly familiar. "Scully, don't the wounds on these people remind you of what we saw in Flordia a couple of years ago?" Mulder asked.
Scully nodded absent-mindedly as she studied the bodies. "Except this time they aren't turning into water."
"So what is it killing for if it's not using the bodies to replicate itself?" Chief Martinez asked Scully.
Scully sighed in frustration as she pulled off her surgical mask and gloves. "That I don't know yet," she said as she dumped the bloody garments grumpily into the trash can by the door just as Mulder walked in. "I haven't found the cause of why it is killing," she said as he opened his mouth to ask.
"Scully if I didn't know better I'd say that you could read my mind," Mulder said banteringly as he followed her out of the autopsy room.
"Actually that's what Chief Martinez asked just before you came in," Scully replied as they headed to their car.
Scully awoke to a rapping on the door of her hotel at three thirty in the morning; she looked through the peephole (though she often wondered why she even bothered to do so, Mulder was the only person who had the stones to bother her at this hour). "Two more bodies have been found, same wounds around the neck," Mulder said, a smile crossing his face as he paused to look Scully over in her baby blue cloud-patterned pajamas. "Cute," he said as a boyish grin widened, she promptly pulled her robe around her.
"Well, I'd like to see what you wear to bed," she countered as she crossed her arms across her chest; Mulder leaned intimately close to her.
"Really?" he asked dryly.
She returned his advance with one of her famous exasperated looks. "I'll be ready in fifteen minutes," she said as she closed the door on him, Mulder turned to wait in the car, a boyish smile still populating his face.
"Tessa Villarreal and Jose Mendoza, they were found dead on the other side of the beach by a couple of interlopers a few hours ago," Chief Martinez told Mulder and Scully upon their arrival.
"Same wounds, no other sign of physical trauma, I just don't see what this thing is after and until I know we are powerless to stop it," Scully said frustratingly after she autopsied the two bodies.
Mulder rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Then I guess we have a creature to catch."
"Mulder, I don't have to tell you how insane this is, to you have any idea how large of a canvas area you'd have to cover? I don't even think that the coast guard has enough men for that!" Scully said as they drove to the local marina.
"All the victims have been found near or on the beach, and the ones that were found in their homes lived on the beach. What if this thing comes into shallow waters or maybe even on land to attack people?"
"That would mean that it's evolved," Scully said thoughtfully.
"And perhaps it's still evolving; did you know that we know more about our neighboring planets then we do about the bottom of the sea and the creatures that live there? Like the colossal squid, the only reason we know that it exists is because one washed up dead on shore. We might be on the threshold of discovering a whole knew species of sea... creature," he said, Scully couldn't hide a smile at how he had to refrain from saying 'monster' as they pulled into the parking lot of the marina.
"Agent Mulder, Agent Scully. We've been expecting you," one of the workers said as he met them at the back entrance and waved them to follow him.
After traveling down a series of dark hallways, lit only by the eerie swimming blue light of the surrounding fish tanks, they finally arrived at a small office facing the ocean at the back of the facility.
"Ah!" A thin man in a white lab coat that practically engulfed him cried as he caught sight of Mulder, the two men shook hands warmly as Mulder put a hand at Scully's back and opened his mouth to introduce her. "No need, I know who you are! The enchanting and intelligent Agent Scully!" he said admiringly as he shook her hand briskly with surprising strength for a man so quaint. "My name is Dr. Ignacio Rios, marine biologist; I know what you've come for," he said as he handed Mulder a large, heavy box. "But please be careful, as I want it returned, which means I'll be seeing you again very soon," he said as he winked at Scully.
"First Frohike, now Dr. Rios, you're really chalking em' up there, Scully," Mulder said jokingly as they drove back to their hotel with the box in tow.
Scully chose not to comment as Mulder plopped the box down onto the bed in her hotel room, however when he turned to leave, she took hold of his arm. "Where do you think you are going?" she said.
A playful crossed Mulder's face as he turned to face her.
"... You didn't think you were going to get out of helping me sort through all this stuff, did you?" she finished matter of factly as she pointed to the bed, Mulder sighed disgustedly and mumbled something about how the Yankees were playing as he shuffled towards the bed.
Two hours later they had gone though all of the papers and watched nearly all of the documentary tapes from the underwater cameras to no avail, when something on towards the end of the last tape caught Mulder's eye. "Look at that!" he cried as he hit pause, the blurry image of an octopus-like creature filled the screen; it almost blended in with the water itself. "Scully, what if this creature is taking something from these people that is so small and insignificant that even you'd miss it?"
"Like what?" Scully asked, perturbed.
"We need to get back to the morgue; the answer was in the bodies the whole time," he replied.
"Mulder I'm starting to doubt that the answer is here," Scully said as she leaned over the bodies, her frustration mirroring her partner's.
"It has to be here," he replied, more to himself as he paced between the two corpses. Scully studied the mouth of the man nearest her and was surprised to find the same red marks that made the pattern around his throat descending down into it.
"Chief Martinez, have any of these people ever had a tonsillectomy?" she asked, her heart rate rising at the thought of breaking the case.
"No, but I don't under stand what that has to do with..."
"That's what the creature was taking from them!" Scully said excitedly.
"Maybe it's using them to evolve further? Maybe every time it reborn itself from those people back in Florida it was evolving then, too?" Mulder offered, his excitement rising as well.
"We have to catch it to find out," Scully replied.
"We looked at that footage multiple times and we never noticed that." Dr. Rios said as he hung his head.
"Don't feel bad, it was almost impossible for me to spot, I was just lucky." Mulder replied as he put a hand on the doctor's shoulder.
"The most important thing is getting this thing stopped before it can hurt any one else." Scully quipped.
"Anything?" Mulder asked, after three weeks of asking that question, he was starting to feel like a broken record.
"Nothing, we've had our remote cameras as well as our divers with their hand-held cameras down there. It's a big ocean, it could be anywhere now."
"What do you think happened to it?" Scully asked as she joined Mulder on the landing overlooking the ocean.
"I think this thing was forced ashore by the hurricane and just took advantage of the food source available to it. It's probably returned to the depths of the ocean by now, but I can't help but wonder if we'll be seeing it again."
As always, please Rand R.
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