After a momentâs indecision, Scully picked the phone back up and dialed a second number. As she waited for an answer, she wondered how Mulder had made the connection to this particular subway station. She hoped he hadnât just been guessing, or soon both of them were going to look awfully foolish.
âAgent Brentwell, itâs Dana Scully. I just got a message from Mulder. He seems to think that our guyâs going to hit the Eastern Market station tonight. Iâve alerted Metro security there, but I thought maybe we should get some of our own team over there to check it out.â
âMulder figured it out? How? Whatâs the connection between these stations?â
âI donât know. I havenât been able to reach him on his cellphone. His message just said that he thought heâd figured out the pattern and he was going down there to look around.â
âWell, what do you think, Agent Scully?â
** I think I have a bad feeling about this, ** she thought to herself. Out loud she said, âIf Mulder says this is the place, I think itâs in our best interest to assemble the team and get them down there. Maybe we can catch this guy tonight.â
A few minutes later, Scully hung up the phone feeling slightly better about the situation. At least now Mulder would have backup if he needed it, regardless of whether or not it was wanted. She headed towards what was now destined to be her not-so-nice, not-so-long, tepid soak in a bubble-free tub.
Eastern Market Metro Station
Scully strode into the Eastern Market subway station forty-five minutes later, her eyes scanning the throng of people for the tall form of her partner. She didnât find Mulder, but did manage to pick out Agent Brentwell where he appeared to be briefing a combined group of FBI agents and Metro security officers.
ââ¦and I want each team to check in with me via radio every ten minutes. Report any and all suspicious activity, no matter how insignificant it may seem. We still donât know how this guy is making off with his victims, nor do we know where he takes them once they leave the train stations. Itâs best to err on the side of caution, so I want to act first, and ask questions later. I want to catch this psycho tonight before he has the chance to hurt another innocent person. Good luck!â
The group began to disperse, breaking up into smaller teams of two before heading to their assigned areas. Brentwell turned to Scully as she approached.
âEverything seems pretty quiet here so far, but weâre more than ready if he shows up.â
âWhereâs Agent Mulder?â
âAccording to the Officer in Charge here, Mulder never showed up. Maybe he decided this wasnât the place after all.â
Scully frowned in concentration. Surely Mulder would have called her back by now if heâd discovered his hunch was incorrect?
âIs Officer Brown certain that Mulder was never here? Maybe he came and left without speaking to security.â
Brentwell gave her a puzzled look. âWhoâs Officer Brown?â
âStuart Brown, the chief Metro security officer on duty here tonight,â she answered matter-of-factly. âI spoke with him earlier, right before I called you.â
The other agent flipped open a small blue notebook and scanned what heâd written there. âNo, itâs Johnson, not Brown. Keith Johnson. Heâs right over there.â Scully was halfway to the man in question before Agent Brentwell had finished speaking.
âOfficer Johnson?â she queried. At his affirmative nod, she continued. âIâm Special Agent Dana Scully. Are you the officer in charge of this station this evening?â
âYes, I am. Can I help you with something?â
âI called here earlier and spoke with someone who told me he was the commanding security officer. Do you know a Stuart Brown?â Her no-nonsense tone stated clearly âsomeone here is lying, and I want to know who it isâ.
Recognition lit the manâs features as he rushed to clear up this slight misunderstanding.
âYes maâam, Stu is my superior, and if he were still here, he would be the commanding officer. He went home early tonight. He wasnât feeling very well.â
âWhen was this? I spoke to him less than an hour ago.â
âIt was around five âtil nine. Maybe ten or fifteen minutes before Agent Brentwell and his team arrived.â
âAre you certain? Thatâs only about ten minutes after I talked to him. He didnât mention that he might be leaving early.â
âYes maâam, Iâm sure of the time. It was about five minutes after the false alarm, which took place at approximately 8:50pm.â
âIâm sorry,â she answered, not understanding. âThe false alarm?â
âWe got a call that someone had hit the panic button in the elevator that goes up to street level, at the same time that we temporarily lost the visual surveillance system. Thinking it may be our guy trying to make off with another victim, we locked the elevator down and rushed up there, but the car was empty. There mustâve been a short or maybe a power surge in the system.â
âDoes that happen often? Losing the cameras like that?â
âOften? No. But itâs not unheard of. The way everything relies on computers so heavily these days, you learn to expect a few technical difficulties from time to time. We were lucky tonight, though. Stuâs a computer wiz, and he got the cameras back up in no time.â
âI see. So Officer Brown stayed behind to work on the video problem while the rest of you went up to check the elevator, is that correct?â
âDid anyone stay behind with him?â
âNo maâam. He said he could handle it, and if that nutcase was up in the elevator, weâd need all the help we could get. May I ask, why are you so interested in that incident? Like I said, it turned out to be a false alarm.â
She gave the officer a reassuring half-smile. âItâs nothing. This case is just getting to me, I guess. Thank you for your time.â
As she was turning away from Officer Johnson, Brentwell approached.
âIâm not sure heâs going to put in an appearance tonight, but Iâm going to keep some of the team here anyway, just in case. You look exhausted, Scully. Why donât you go home and get some sleep? Weâve got this covered, and Iâll call you if we see any action.â
He noted her hesitation and tried to reassure her. âIâm sure your partner is fine. He probably figured out he had the wrong place and stopped on the way home for a drink. Donât worry.â
Dana Scullyâs apartment
Scully awoke with a start to find herself still on her couch with the television on, where she must have fallen asleep while waiting for Mulder to call.
She stumbled into the kitchen in search of caffeine, hoping to clear away the fatigue that only a night passed sleeping upright on a couch can produce. She started a pot of coffee brewing and decided to try her partnerâs number once again.
It had now been eight and a half hours since sheâd received his message, and she was finding it more and more difficult to contain her worry. Even if heâd gotten in late, he should have called by now. Mulder had absolutely no compunction about calling her in the middle of the night. His philosophy was, Iâm up, so why wouldnât everyone else be? And she had left a message on his machine telling him to call when he got in, no matter the hour.
Calls to both cell and home phones unsuccessful, Scully decided to do what she always ended up doing when Mulder ditched her. She got dressed, poured herself a cup of coffee for the road, and drove to her partnerâs apartment to try and figure out where the hell he had gone this time.
Fox Mulderâs apartment
Scully knocked on the door of apartment number 42 and then used her key to let herself in without waiting for a response. She called out his name softly, not at all surprised by the lack of reply.
The coffee table in front of his couch bore the evidence of the previous nightâs activities. The case file heâd taken from the Hoover building was spread over its entire surface, almost completely covering the pizza box, which contained the remainder of his dinner. A rolled up map of the subway system was being held open by a half-consumed can of Diet Coke.
Scully sat down on his couch, looking over the photos, maps, and pages containing Mulderâs notes, trying to decide which piece of paper was the one that had prompted him towards the Eastern Market metro station. Her eyes were drawn to a yellow sheet of legal paper in the center of the table that contained a list of subway stops written in her partnerâs familiar handwriting:
Virginia Square-GMU Station â 05/16/00 â 6th stop orange line (VA)
â Allison Broomall taken
Arlington Cemetery â 05/19/00â 9th stop blue line (VA)
â Allison Broomall found â poison
Eisenhower Ave. â 05/20/00 â 20th stop blue/19th stop orange (DC)
â Mary Packman taken
Navy Yard Station â 05/23/00 â 15th stop green line (DC)
â Mary Packman found â gunshot
New Carrollton Station â 05/24/00 â last stop orange line (MD)
â Nancy Wright taken
College Park Station â 05/27/00 â 2nd stop green line (MD)
â Nancy Wright found â beaten
Glenmont Station â 05/28/00 â last stop red line (MD)
â John Jasen taken
East Falls Church Station â 05/31/00 â 4th stop orange line (VA)
â John Jasen found â eviscerated
This in itself led to no particular revelations. Scully had been with Mulder the previous day when heâd taken these notes. What drew her attention, and prompted a sudden gasp of awareness, was what he had written below them.
Virginia Square â 1st abduction
Eisenhower Avenue â 2nd abduction
New Carrollton â 3rd abduction
Glenmont â 4th abduction
E -??? â 5th abduction
Arlington Cemetery â 1st body
Navy Yard â 2nd body
College Park â 3rd body
East Falls Church â 4th body
A quick glance at the list of subway stations confirmed what Mulder had already figured out. There were only three stops that began with the letter âEâ, and two of them had already been the scene of either an abduction or a body dump. That left one possible Metro station to fill in the missing âEâ stop. Eastern Market.
Scully wondered briefly what the next station in the sequence could possibly be now that the word was completed, and then found herself hoping that she wouldnât have to find out. If she did, that would mean her partner was lost to her forever.
Using Mulderâs phone, she dialed the now-familiar number and waited for a response.
âAgent Brentwell, itâs Agent Scullyâ¦â
âAgent Scully! I canât say Iâm sorry to inform you that your partner mustâve been wrong.â
The man sounded positively jovial. âWe had a quiet night here, and no one has turned up missing as of yet. As a matter of fact, as far as we know, no oneâs been reported missing from any of the stations. Maybe our killer decided to give us a break, and offed himself instead.â
âNo,â she said quietly, âMulder was right.â
âBut I just told you, no one was taken last night. If the killer was going to stick to his established pattern, he wouldâve taken his next victim sometime last night.â
âIâm calling to tell you, Chris, that someone was taken last night. And Iâm willing to bet that he was taken from Eastern Market.â
âWho?â the agent questioned, clearly confused.
After explaining to Brentwell the method by which Mulder had determined where the killer would show up next, Scully repeated the conversation sheâd had with Officer Johnson the previous night regarding the so-called âfalse alarmâ with the cameras and the elevator.
âI know itâs a long shot, but I think we need to take a look at the guard who went home sick. Stuart Brown. I personally spoke to the man no more than ten minutes before he supposedly became too ill to remain at work, and let me tell you, he didnât sound sick to me. And he certainly didnât mention the possibility that heâd be leaving anytime soon. According to Officer Johnson, Brown is some kind of computer genius. What if he created the problems with the cameras and the elevator as a way of distracting the other security officers? What if â what if he knocked Mulder unconscious, as we believe was done with the other victims, took out the cameras and created a little diversion for the other guards so that he could get Mulder out of the building without being seen, and then came back in to âfixâ the problem and save the day? Then, not wanting to leave his prize alone for too long lest he wake up, he suddenly develops a terrible case of the flu and leaves.â Even as she heard herself spouting the theory, Scully realized how farfetched it sounded. But at the same time, it felt right.
âThat doesnât explain how he got the other victims. If heâd been working at each metro station at the time they had an abduction, that wouldâve come up during the background checks. And it certainly wouldâve come up if there had been the same sort of âdistractionsâ at the other stations prior to the other disappearances.â
Scully was starting to understand how Mulder felt when she shot down one of his crazy ideas.
âLook Brentwell, I donât know what to tell you. Maybe â maybe he takes them a different way each time, in much the same way that each manner of death is different. Perhaps he has only worked at this station, and for that reason, saved it last in this little game of his. We did decide that our killer probably works for the Transit Authority, right? Iâm only asking that you have him checked out. It may be a weak lead, but right now itâs the only lead we have.â
She heard the heavy sigh through the phone and knew he was giving in. âOk Scully, you win. Iâll put somebody on it right away. Iâll tell you what though, if Mulder turns up safe and sound, Iâm gonna have to hurt him.â
Scully smiled ruefully into the receiver. âYouâd have to get in line.â
Replacing the phone in its cradle, she noticed the message light blinking on the attached answering machine. Figuring that the messages were all from her, yet willing to try anything at this point to glean some clue as to his whereabouts, she hit the playback button. As predicted, a familiar feminine voice filled the room.
âHey Mulder itâs me. Listen, we need to have a talk about this nasty habit youâve got of running around with a dead cellphone battery. Call me when you get in, ok? I donât care what time it is. Just call me.â
The next voice was one Scully didnât recognize, and was decidedly masculine.
âAgent Mulder, this is, uh, never mind, you donât need to know who this is. I believe we have a mutual acquaintance in Melvin Frohike? He gave me your number. Anyway, you can call me, uh, Wolf, yeah, call me The Wolf, and the reason for my call is something that I canât get into over an unsecured line, but I believe I have some information that you will be interested in. I have in my possession some documents that prove without a doubt that the US Government has known for years about the existence of leprechauns and has been suppressing that information. Oh shit, unsecured line. Anywayâ¦I guess youâre not there, so Iâll try to reach you again tomorrowâ¦Oh yeah, destroy this tape as soon as youâre done listening to it.â
Ordinarily Scully wouldâve had a good laugh over the paranoid musings of Mulderâs mysterious âinformantâ, and would most certainly have teased him about it mercilessly in the future, but she found herself unable to focus on anything the man said after the words âcall me The Wolfâ. Scully was only dimly aware of hearing the last two messages, both her own, as she fought to bring the elusive memory that particular moniker stirred to the surface of her mind. Why was that so familiar? She spoke out loud, testing the word on her tongue. âWolf, The Wolfâ¦â Suddenly she had a flashback from Saturday when she had read aloud to Mulder the letter from Dorothy Williams. âI can only pray that when the wolf comes to callâ¦â
She gasped as she was forced to confront the fear that had gripped her ever since receiving that letter. The fear that it was all true. If she believed in the power of the bracelet, then sheâd have to believe Dorothyâs prediction that someone she cared about would be lost to her, perhaps forever.
Closing her eyes, she took several slow, deep breaths, trying to calm the unsettled feeling in the pit of her stomach. ** Get a grip, Dana. Tossing your cookies all over Mulderâs living room isnât going to help get him back. ** Opening her eyes and strengthening her resolve, Scully decided it was time to face her fears and go find her partner.
End Chapter Six