SEWICKLEY VALLEY HOSPITAL

SEWICKLEY, PA

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd, 2010

2230

"So the pharmacy's video camera was destroyed as well, but the police didn't include that in their report because it hadn't caught anything on tape—it was the one on the inside," Scully said, sitting in the chair beside her partner's bed.

His thigh was bandaged and he sat on the side of the bed in a hospital gown, waiting for them to bring his clothes from the other room.

"And they disappear into the woodwork again. We can try to keep the expanders as evidence, Scully, but you know they're just going to get lost."

"I think it's worth a try, at least. This time they're using the newest technology available to restart these tests, Mulder. It's just like before, only more disastrous. Popular Mechanics magazine recently featured an article about wireless transmission of electrical charge—effectively charging electronics without wires. That's exactly what they did here, only they concentrated the energy into a symbol. If they were somehow able to do that, they could potentially carve a symbol like that into a city, destroying several buildings from some unknown origin."

"They can already do that with missiles. What this gives them is the ability to terrorize. What extremist wouldn't like to get his hands on some anti-religious or anti-government or anti-capitalist or anti-Oprah symbol to carve into the land and freak some people out?"

"Anti-Oprah?" Scully asked with an arched eyebrow.

"Popular Mechanics, Scully?" Mulder countered back.

"It's in Skinner's office…" She defended.

Mulder smirked slightly, and then sighed. "I'm wondering if they're starting up again, or if they never stopped. What if this is just the first one we've caught, Scully? What if they're just getting better at these tests? Getting so good at it that we're not noticing anymore?"

"If they have to resort to using expanders in children's mouths, I'm pretty sure they're not getting better," Scully said dryly.

"How are the kids?"

"They're all confused. It hasn't been explained to them why their orthodontist had to pull out their expanders in the middle of the night."

"At least we won't have the Manson children running around anymore."

Scully looked down. "Their parents aren't happy campers."

"If I were a parent, I'd be pretty damn confused myself."

"How's your leg, Mulder?"

"It's fine. Doctor said it wouldn't scar as long as I apply this vitamin E crap to it on a regular basis."

"You'd better. That's not the kind of scar you want to have."

"Got that right," Mulder said, glancing down at it. He paused a moment. "Why do you think they chose the Nazi Swastika? The Anti-Semetist theme?"

Scully shook her head. "I don't know. Could be a message…"

"Maybe a statement of their purpose? To manipulate the minds of the weak—the children—to serve their purposes and form a unified but enslaved population? Drones under the monarch, the present-day Hitler?"

"Possibly," Scully said, entertaining the thought. "I wouldn't put it past them. It is sort of what they want to do, isn't it, Mulder?"

He nodded slowly. "2012…"

"Let's not think about that right now," Scully said, getting up and sitting beside him. "We stopped them this time. Now that we're watching Sewickley, they won't try here again. And we'll do our best to stop them the next time."

"The question becomes, how many times can we stop them? And how many times do they get away with it?"

Scully didn't have an answer for that.