looked around for Mulder. She had
stopped to get the local paper before following him to the squad room.
This case was getting play throughout the state and she wanted to see how
the local ‘media’ was handling it.
spotted Mulder talking to a well-dressed older man on the far side of the room
and moved in that direction. Mulder
had his back to her but his companion was facing her and stopped speaking when
he saw her approaching. His
appraising look was insulting and she immediately felt her hackles rise.
She had been ogled in her time, but she had never gotten used to it and
this man was particularly unpleasant.
turned to see what had stopped the conversation and saw Scully.
She didn't look happy but he hadn't realized what was happening, his mind
was on the case.
stepped slightly toward her. "This
is Chief Backus. He's handling the
case. Chief, this is Special Agent
didn't extend her hand to shake with him. The
older man’s eyes had widened at the knowledge that this diminutive and
attractive woman was an FBI agent.
than speak to Scully directly, he turned back to Mulder, "Agent Mulder, I
think I would feel more comfortable . . . "
eyes narrowed as he finally caught on. "Chief
Backus, Agent Scully is my partner and one of the best agents the Bureau is
privileged to have."
sure you're correct; however this case - "
Mulder, may I speak with you?"
looked startled that she had interrupted the man, but turned to her regardless.
She stepped away to ensure their privacy.
Backus' eyes narrowed dangerously when he saw that the male agent had
walked away from him. He had no use
for female agents, or policewomen for that matter.
There were none in his squad, which was as it should be.
rudeness only added to his confidence that she would be unable to handle this
investigation. The victims were
women, and they had been sexually molested.
They had, no doubt, asked for it, but he wasn't going to state that,
especially if one of the agents 'working' on the case was a female.
what is it with this man?" Even
with the distance she had put between them, she was whispering.
the chief honcho around here. Look,
maybe he's a pig but he is in charge of this case.
You've handled chauvinists before. Come
on Scully; don't let him get to you. You
haven't even really met him yet."
couldn't say that she didn't want to
meet him. That wasn't professional
and that would be the key to working with him.
Besides, Mulder was now aware of this man's attitude, which might make
things a little easier.
took a deep breath and squared her shoulders.
Mulder nodded, a smile in his eyes that didn't reach his lips.
She moved back over to the chief and Mulder followed.
"While you and Agent Mulder discuss the evidence, I would like to
see the bodies of the last two victims."
sure it won't be necessary for you to subject yourself to such a terrible sight.
Our coroner has done a thorough autopsy.
Maybe you could read that."
shook his head slightly. Oh this
was going to be a fun case.
will be redoing the autopsies on these two women, Chief Backus.
If you would please inform the coroner I am on my way."
Before he could speak, she had turned and was moving toward the door.
mouth opened for an instant and his face hardened. Mulder watched and his own jaw tightened.
you have any doubts about Agent Scully’s abilities - “
sure her ‘abilities’ are not subject to doubt; however, I see no reason for
her to bother with a second autopsy. My
men did a very thorough job.”
man’s inflection on ‘abilities’ had caused Mulder to stiffen.
Just what the hell was he implying?
When he landed on the word men, Mulder’s understanding was complete.
Scully likes to be thorough. I’d
like to see the files, please.” He
maintained his manners but his respect for the man had plummeted.
He had classified Scully as “woman, inferior”.
Mulder couldn’t wait to see what she would find that would no doubt
blow this case out of the water. And
he enjoyed the surprise in the man’s face when he had referred to her as
monster had done everything imaginable to these women.
The overkill spoke of a rage she couldn't imagine.
He'd snatched hair from their heads; the bodies were covered with small,
but painful cuts. The sexual abuse
. . . that wasn't what killed them. They
had died of blood loss from the cuts, but if they had lived, they would never
have been able to bear children. He'd
performed object rape as well. Peritonitis
would have been a major problem, if only they'd been given a chance to suffer
looked up as the door opened and saw Mulder approaching her.
At the look on her face his pace increased.
what he did to these women, Mulder. I
don't see an X-File here, but I want to catch this guy."
did you find?"
don't think I've ever seen a man more full of rage."
definitely looking for a man?"
nodded. "Do the police have
talked to the husbands of the victims, some co-workers, but since the attacks
have continued, that's pretty much been blown.
These women didn't work together; I haven't been able to find any link
between them, except the superficial physical appearance.
I mean, they were all blond, 5'7" or more, married and
shook his head. "The children
were spread out over three elementary schools, nothing in common for church,
community works, little league, nothing."
sighed, "I'd say this guy is not finished; not when he's this angry."
nodded, "We'll work up a profile. Are
you through here?"
quite. Where's the chief?"
a meeting. This isn't his only
should hand this one over."
don't disagree Scully, but I know you can handle him. And he's not going to give this one away.
Too much publicity."
nodded. "Give me another half
want to catch this guy."
wanted to reassure her, even hug her, but she wouldn't appreciate it and when
she was covered in blood, like now . . .
look at this." He moved
closer. "Their faces,” her
brow was furrowed. "All the
damage he did to their bodies; but not their faces, except for right here."
She pointed to the lips of the victim in front of her.
"The lower lip, it's been . . . bitten?"
about the other one?"
stripped off her gloves and pulled on fresh ones as she moved toward the cooling
unit. Mulder followed, and watched
her uncover the face of the second victim. She leaned in for a closer look at the mouth of the victim,
then looked up at Mulder. She
nodded and he stepped closer.
need to see the photos of the previous victims."
nodded, "I'll get them."
almost missed it."
you didn't. I'll go get the
pictures and come back to pick you up."
nodded, still staring down at the body. He
watched her for a moment, then let himself out.
was waiting outside for him when he returned and let herself into the car.
"You got it Scully." He
handed her a folder. She opened it
and held up the top photo. "See,
there in the corner. It's not
mentioned in the report. The
coroner missed it."
of the over kill. This is probably
the smallest wound on the body and it's the only one on the face."
didn't say anything when I picked these up.
Let's get something to eat, then get back to the room.
I want to make some notes."
not really hungry, Mulder."
knew you were going to say that. You
should eat something anyway, step away for a minute."
glanced over at him and finally nodded.
tapped on the connecting door following her shower. "It's open." She
came on in as he looked up and grinned. "You look more relaxed."
brushed her still damp hair back and gave him a rueful smile.
"I am. How's the
handed her the pad and made himself more comfortable on the bed.
She sat on the side and looked at his notes.
White male, twenty to thirty-five, unmarried.
angry at women, his mother, his ex-wife. It's
a work in progress. This guy
started months ago, it's taken them this long to realize it's serial.
Now he's escalating. What I
don't understand is why we're on the case.
This is not an X-File that I can see."
looked down at her hands, "That's . . . that's my fault Mulder."
looked up at her and settled back against the headboard of the bed.
uh, the last victim. She's the
cousin of a good friend of mine from undergraduate school. She called me at home; told me what she knew."
didn't you say something?"
wanted to see the evidence first."
I ever refused to work on a case you wanted to take?"
He was watching her now.
wouldn't meet his eyes, "No."
sighed, "I'm sorry."
not asking for an apology, Scully. I
just want to know why you didn't trust me with this."
looked startled. "I do trust
doesn't feel like it."
do you want me to say?"
don't you tell me what your friend told you?"
nodded; knowing this part of the conversation wasn't over, but more than willing
to postpone it for now.
next morning he followed her into the station.
She didn't want to talk about anything personal and he wasn't sure what
that was about, but if she wanted to work on this case, he was going to be here
for her. Maybe it was nothing more
than helping out an old friend, but for some reason that didn't feel like a
headed toward the chief's office and he knocked on the door.
He took in her expression and grinned.
This guy had really made an impression on her in a short time.
chief answered the door quickly. "Agent
Mulder, good to see you. Agent
Scully." He nodded slightly in
her direction. "I'd like you
to meet my wife, Brenda."
younger woman appeared in the door. Scully's
eyes flicked over her and she squared her shoulders.
reaction was quite predictable and she held herself in check from punching him
in the ribs. "Agent
Mulder," she held her hand out to him.
‘Brenda’ was giving him a thorough once over herself and Scully felt
a definite sense of unease.
Backus." He was still holding
her hand and the chief was nodding, with understanding, and was actually
probably be late this evening, Darling. I'll
try to give you a call."
I'll fix something that will keep. Have
a good day." She kissed his
cheek; nodded at Scully, and let her eyes caress Mulder one more time, then left
rolled her eyes, then turned back to the men.
At least Mulder's tongue was back in his mouth.
He looked down at her, apparently feeling her gaze and the smile slipped
from his face.
Chief Backus, we've worked up a partial profile and wanted to bring it to
course, come in, come in." He
opened the door to his office a little wider and beckoned them in.
accepted the seat that he indicated, but before Mulder could begin, turned to
the chief. "How long have you
two been married?"
blinked as though he'd forgotten she knew how to speak, "Mrs. Backus and I
have been together for nearly a year."
nodded and fell silent at that, letting Mulder present their information.
they left the office, Mulder's hand came up to her back.
"Why so interested in his wife?"
the only one that can be interested?"
She glanced up at him, and saw the flush of embarrassment.
I was just - "
her with your eyes?"
looked away then, and didn't bother to respond.
you were ogling her, did you happen to notice how closely she resembled the
profile of the victims?"
stopped then and Scully turned back to look at him, her eyebrow high.
After a moment he nodded and they continued on toward the car.
talk to the families, Mulder. See
what we can learn."
followed her on to the car. Well,
he certainly hadn't improved their communication this morning.
Hell, he hadn't known the man had a trophy wife, or that she would be at
the station. There was nothing
wrong with looking, was there? Surely
she knew where his interest really lay.
met with two of the families that morning and ended up with nothing but
frustration. When they returned to
the car, Mulder slid in behind the wheel. “This
guy is taking a specific type of woman. Maybe he stalked them, but it’s obvious his victims have to
fit a certain type, a certain look.”
think we should warn Mrs. Backus.”
nodded. “Maybe this is someone
who’s incredibly ticked off at Backus and . . . Maybe we ought to interview
eyebrow rose. “He certainly has
the attitude toward women. I’m
sure he has only one idea of what women are for.”
want me to handle this.”
nodded, “He wouldn’t be very forthcoming if I was asking questions.”
had to agree there. “I’ll go
ask him some questions. Not sure I
could get a full interview, but give me a couple of minutes.”
I’ll go get the car and meet you out front.”
nodded and turned back to the office.
let herself out the back door. Being
around the chief was wearing and she knew she was letting it get to her, but it
had been a long time since she’d spent time with a man so blatantly backward
in his thinking. She glanced down
at the keys in her hand. She had to
put this aside. It was more
important to find the killer, which was what she needed to concentrate on.
been surprised when her friend had called.
They hadn’t stayed in close contact, but Claire knew what she did.
Well, she knew she worked for the FBI.
Not many people knew what she did,
sometimes not even her.
Claire had remembered her feminist views from college.
Claire had shared those views. She’d
been adamant that Dana would be able to find out something.
Claire’s opinion of the police work had been as low as Scully’s had
sunk. She was deep in thought as
she approached the car.
hand over her mouth and the blade against her throat shocked her.
The position of the knife was perfect.
If he applied pressure, she’d be dead in minutes.
They wouldn’t be able to save her.
look around.” He took his hand
from her mouth, but increased the pressure at her throat. Her own hand came up involuntarily to her neck.
. . . I won’t. You’re in
sure am.” He took the keys from
her hand and moved her toward his car. With
his free hand he opened the trunk and shoved her toward it.
He didn’t bother trying to bind her, his superior size giving him the
assurance he needed.
nodded with her eyes, willing to obey him, for now.
she brought her hand down she pulled the cross with it, allowing it to fall to
the ground at her feet.
are you taking me?” Her voice was
steady, which surprised her a little. The
“Ice Queen” had asserted herself.
me?” There was no answer to that
one. She became aware, or let
herself become aware, that she was being driven to her death. There had been no attempt to hide his identity, no attempt to
hide their destination. He had no
intention of letting her go. Mulder,
get out here! Hurry!
How long did he usually keep his victims alive?
There had been a lot of questions about that.
needed to think, she had to get into his head.
How long before Mulder spotted her necklace? He would see it, he had
did she do to you to make you hate women?”
glanced over at her and managed to hide his surprise quickly, but not before she
woman you’re trying to hurt. It’s
not going to help; killing me won’t make it better. Has it helped with any of the others?”
quiet.” He slammed the trunk shut
and she was alone in the dark. She
closed her eyes in despair.
car had stopped; she heard the rumble of a garage closing and then the trunk
opened. The light was dim inside
the garage, the only light coming through the small windows in the automatic
took hold of her arm and pulled her from the car, then forcing her in front of
him, took her into the house and down into the basement.
was led into a room to one side and he shoved her down on the cot in the room.
He turned then and left the room without a word.
She heard the padlock click into place.
looked down the street once again, then started walking around toward the back
of the building. Maybe the car
wouldn’t start. But she hadn’t
come back inside. He knew she was
avoiding the chief, and he couldn’t really blame her.
turned into the parking lot and saw that the car was where he had parked it.
But where was she? He headed
over to the space. Where had she
caught his eye and he bent to get a closer look. A jolt of adrenaline coursed through him.
Scully’s cross. Was that blood on the chain?
Oh shit. He seemed to be
paralyzed. He needed to find her,
gather whatever evidence was here. Come
turned toward the door leading back into the station. He needed help and fast!
A few short sentences had things in motion. At least a couple of the officers actually looked relieved
that someone else was in charge.
Scully didn't fit the profile - she wasn't tall or blond, she wasn't
married and she had no children. And
. . . and she was his.
had joined her again and brought her a bottle of water.
talk like a man.”
man?” She was watching him
closely. He didn’t seem . . . all
not like a girl.”
you mean I sound . . . smart?”
eyes narrowed, but after a moment he nodded.
He looked familiar. Had she
seen him during the investigation? She
was searching her mind for memories of everyone she had been in contact with
can’t be doctors.”
caught her attention. Did everyone
in this whole town have that attitude?”
went to medical school. I really am
a doctor.” She nodded
can write prescriptions?”
Have you never been to see a woman doctor?”
needed to form a relationship with him. He
had to see her as a person, not a victim. “What’s your name? I
should call you something.”
hesitated and she watched him trying to make up his mind.
She realized then that he was slow, mildly retarded at least.
How could she use that?
Fred, I’m Dana.”
. . . Dana.”
I need to leave here.”
I don’t think you want to hurt me.”
shook his head reluctantly. “I
can’t let you go.”
hurt those other women, didn’t you?”
his eyes narrowed, but she still didn’t see the rage. This didn’t seem like the same man. The killer had been so angry, but Fred . . . Fred seemed
almost mild in comparison, sorry even that he had her here. Yes, he had kidnapped her, held a knife to her throat, why
wasn’t she seeing that now?
had to.” He looked down, not
apologizing exactly, but he seemed almost embarrassed.
did you have to, Fred?”
rose to his feet abruptly and she startled back. He didn’t touch her, leaving the room quickly.
She heard the lock snick into place again.
collapsed back against the wall, and gave into the shaking that had taken
control of her body.
was several hours before he returned. It
had gotten awfully hot and stuffy down here.
Fred had propped the door open and there was more air now.
He had a burger and fries for both of them and he sat in the only chair
to eat, while she sat on the cot. He
allowed her to choose the sandwich she wanted and took the other.
It occurred to her then that the idea of poison hasn’t entered his
head. She was relieved, because the
drink was more than appreciated.
a few bites he spoke again. “Did
you make good grades in school?”
I did. How about you?”
looked down and shook his head. “They
said I was stupid.”
don’t think that, Fred. And I
don’t think grades in school are the only measure of intelligence.”
looked at her puzzled. “You’re
not dumb Fred. You managed to take
these women and . . . and hurt them. And you weren’t caught. Why those women, Fred? You
haven’t hurt me.”
don’t look like her.”
his wife.” He was beginning to
get angry just thinking about it.
blinked, understanding now. “You’re
Fred Backus, aren’t you?”
want to hurt women who look like your stepmother?”
not my stepmother!”
He slammed his fist down on the table and she jumped.
It was the most violence she’d seen.
. . . I’m sorry Fred. Where . . .
where’s your mother?”
formed in his eyes then. “His
wife killed her. Brenda killed
do you mean?” Keep it calm, Dana.
You’re on thin ice here.
stayed with Dad all these years. Even
when he hurt her, she never left him. He
was her whole world.”
your Dad hit your mom?” This was
falling into place.
sure.” He looked up at her,
boy had murdered those women; she knew that now. He’d caused them incredible pain while doing it, but she
found herself blaming his father. This
man in front of her didn’t even seem to comprehend what he had done.
did your mother die?”
tear fell from his eye then, “Six months ago.
After Dad divorced her, she got sick.
She didn’t go to the doctor right away.
She thought she was just sad, but then she went and . . . and they said
she had cancer. He didn’t even
come to see her in the hospital.”
wiped his eyes. “I miss her.”
know, but Fred, you killed those women. They
didn’t do anything to you. Do you
hung his head. “When I see a
woman that looks like her, I . . . I just get angry.”
you should talk to someone about that, but not hurt the woman just because she
looks like someone you hate.”
rose abruptly and left the room, locking it behind him.
Her shoulders sagged and she closed her eyes.
When she opened them she looked down at her watch.
She’d been missing for six hours.
Mulder must be going out of his mind.
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