TYPE: X-files, MT, maybe implied MSR

RATING: 13+ for some violence and language

DISCLAIMER: I don't own X-files. I don't own the characters. I don't own anything but the story idea. Please don't steal it—it's all I own.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first fanfic. Please R&R!

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J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING

WASHINGTON, DC

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25th, 1996

0819

Mulder walked into the X-files office, eyes glued to the file folder in his hand. Scully looked up from her report, and raised an eyebrow.

"Mulder, we haven't even finished the report for our last case. Please don't tell me you've got another X-file."

Mulder looked up, a smile playing on the corner of his lips. "Scully, I'm shocked. The thought that I would be inconsiderate enough to let you write the report for the last X-file, while simultaneously making you work on another one wounds me."

Scully simply gave him a look, and Mulder put the folder down. "Besides, it isn't an X-file."

"What is it, then?" Scully asked skeptically, letting her eyes float back to her report as she rested her hands on the keyboard.

"Agent Harris in Violent Crimes faxed me the report. It's a serial killer in Montana." Mulder sat down at his desk, and leaned back as he watched Scully type.

"No special powers, no telepathy or telekinesis or clairvoyance? No genetic mutations or alien abductions?" She asked as she multitasked, finishing a paragraph and starting a new one.

"Not that I can see."

"Then why did he fax you the case?"

Mulder picked up the file, and opened it again. "He wants us to take the case. Skinner agrees with him."

She stopped typing, and looked at him. "Did Skinner give you a reason why?"

"The serial killer captures and tortures his victims in a meticulous manner. Harris is sending me the photos soon, and we can take a look then. But from what Skinner tells me, the killer does more damage than they think is possible."

Scully raised an eyebrow. "All right," she said, a bit confused as to why that would make it an X-file. "When will we have the photos?"

"They should be in my inbox any minute," he said, and accessed his computer. As he logged onto his email account, Scully continued typing. "You're almost done anyway, Scully."

Scully fought back a groan. It was just like Mulder to drag her into a case when they hadn't even finished the last one. Well…they had finished the last one, and she was on the last paragraph of the report. But it was a good way to make him think he owed her something. Maybe when he dragged her into this, and she decided it was time to leave the fleabag motel and declare the case as 'not an X-file', he'd listen. And maybe Jimmy Hoffa would fall through the roof of the X-files office and land on Mulder's head.

A few minutes later, her partner got up and headed for the door.

"Where are you going?" She asked.

"To pick up the slides," he said with a smile. "I just got the photos from the email transferred. I think Skinner's right."

She rolled her eyes, and decided now was the time to type furiously. If she didn't get this report done now, it would never get written.

XXXX

0850

Mulder practically ran back into the X-files office just as Scully was printing the report. "Great, you're done," he said with an eager smile.

Scully simply eyed him as he slipped his new slides out of the envelope and into the projector. "You could just use the new computer projector," she said.

"What new computer projector?"

"Over there," Scully pointed to an unopened box. "I requested it last week. It hooks up to the computer and displays what's on the screen."

"I'll be damned," Mulder said, unimpressed. He finished putting the slides into the old projector and then placed it in front of their blank wall. "This one works fine," he said.

"You're not scared of the new projector, are you, Mulder?" She asked playfully.

"I'm not going to dignify that with a response," he said, his voice deadpan but a smile creeping on his face.

"You just don't want to admit you don't know how to hook it up."

"Excuse me, Scully, trying to work here," he said as he turned the old projector on, and picked up the file.

Scully smirked. He acted like such a baby sometimes. She turned around, and the smirk fell off her face. She was staring at a horribly mutilated corpse. It looked like every bone in his body was broken. "Who's this?"

"Jeremy VanBuren. Twenty years old, kidnapped from his dormitory in the University of Montana, allegedly driven forty miles to a cabin near Doctor Lake, in a thicket of woods. Every bone in his left and right arms were meticulously broken," he said as he switched the slide to close-ups of VanBuren's arms. Then a slide of VanBuren's legs was shown. "Every bone in both legs was also broken. Clean breaks, as if done with a machine. His pelvis was shattered, then each rib broken. No organs were punctured. His spine was snapped last, and that's what killed him according to the ME."

Scully looked at the slides, troubled. "This is horrible, Mulder, but I'm not seeing how Skinner's right."

"One of Jeremy's friends saw the kidnapping take place at 8 pm two weeks ago. The kid called the police and a chopper was tracking the car. A road block failed, and the killer was able to reach the cabin. It was surrounded and stormed only five minutes after the killer pulled up next to it. When the police entered, Jeremy was in this state, and the killer was gone. There's no way he could have done the damage he did while driving, or in the five minutes he was in the cabin. Jeremy's body was discovered at 8:30 pm that night."

"He was only gone thirty minutes."

"Yes, and twenty-five minutes of that time was spent in a high-speed police chase in which the killer couldn't have possibly inflicted this torture. There was no one in the car with the killer and Jeremy. The choppers have film of the car and no one entered or exited except for Jeremy and his captor. There were no instruments found in the cabin that could have accelerated this damage."

Scully frowned.

"That's not all," Mulder said, and switched slides. This time a young girl was displayed. "Cynthia Paris, twenty years old, also abducted from her dormitory in the University of Montana. Driven sixty miles to a similar cabin, undiscovered for two days. Same meticulous damage," he explained, as he switched to slides of Cynthia's shattered bones. "But here's the thing. This cabin is near a campground and four campers said Cynthia came to them in the middle of the night, having escaped from a killer who had held her for nine months. They gave her food and water, let her stay the night. She was taken two nights later, according to these campers. She didn't let them call the police while she was with them, but they called when she was taken. And it took the park ranger fifteen minutes to find the cabin. It was the only cabin without a registered guest. This is what they found inside."

The slide switched to a picture of Cynthia's body next to a small pile of hay, with an odd snake-like thing on top of it. Scully recognized it instantly. "An umbilical cord?"

Mulder nodded. "Nine months, Scully. Cynthia claimed to have been held for nine months. It was two days, but here's an umbilical cord."

"Do we have a DNA match?"

"Not yet, but they're working on it. Obviously you understand why Skinner wanted us to take this case from Harris."

Scully looked troubled. "You're not trying to suggest this killer has the ability to…slow time?"

Mulder had that look in his eye. Scully knew she had hit the nail on the head. "What other explanation could there be for this?"

His answer was an unsatisfied look from his partner.

"I'm going to book our tickets. We'll probably leave tonight for Montana. We need to talk to the ME who examined both bodies, and I'd like you to take a second look. Verify whether Cynthia had ever given birth. We'll need to poke around a little at the sheriff's office, look at the evidence ourselves and then visit the University of Montana to talk to these kids' friends. And their parents."

For once, Scully didn't seem to be arguing. This was clearly a case that, X-file or no, they would need to be in Montana to investigate. "I agree," she said. "But Mulder…please…we're going to be spending a lot of our time collecting other people's DNA. I don't want to find any in the motel we're staying at."

Mulder smirked. "Absolutely," he said. But Scully knew it was too late. This case had caught his eye, and he was too far gone to care about what motel they'd be sleeping in.

With a sigh, she stapled her report and walked out of the office to deliver it to Skinner. Here we go again, Scully thought.