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The Witness

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October 27, 1999 12:24 a.m.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

 

The woman flailed her arms helplessly, searching blindly for something - anything - to fight her attacker.  Her windpipe was squeezed so tightly shut that her face was nearly purple.  The oxygen deprivation made her limbs heavier and heavier as her life slipped away.  Before going completely still, she rolled her eyes to the side, looking away from the dark face of her killer.  Her struggle for breath ended with the crack of her neck.

 

*****

October 27, 1999 9:17 a.m.

FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

 

Skinner tapped the bottom of his pen on his ink blotter as Mulder scanned the file he’d just passed over his desk.  Mulder closed the manilla folder and passed it to Scully, the lack of interest clearly written on his face.

 

“Doesn’t look like an X-File,” Mulder said.

 

“Your expertise was requested,” Skinner answered.

 

“I agree, Sir,” Scully said.  “This looks like a run-of-the-mill strangulation to me.”

 

“The victim was an abductee,” Skinner added.

 

“Alleged abductee,” Scully clarified, looking up from the file for a moment.  “This says there was never any evidence to support her claims and she was hospitalized as early as 1991 for her delusions.”  

 

“Potato, pohtahtoh,” Mulder said, turning his head slightly towards her.

 

“Who requested us?” Scully asked, giving him an annoyed look in return and closing the casefile.

 

“Victim’s brother is a friend of Senator Matheson,” Skinner said.  “He’s been estranged from his sister for some time, but as her only living relative, he was notified of her murder this morning and made some noise.”

 

Scully opened the file again and scanned the intake page.  “James Logan?  As in…”

 

“James Logan the third ,” Skinner verified.  

 

“Well, there’s your motive.  That family has more money than God.”

 

“The family, maybe.  But, Miss Jessica Logan was disinherited after she was hospitalized.”

 

Mulder sat biting the edge of his thumb as though he were bored.  He folded his arms across each other when Skinner looked at him, but he still sat slumped in the chair like a petulant child.  Skinner straightened his back and turned his attention to the papers in front of him, his unspoken way of ending the meeting and dismissing his agents.

 

Scully stood first and Mulder pushed himself up and followed her out of the office.  When they were out of earshot of Kimberly, Skinner’s secretary, he bent closer to her as they headed to the elevators.

 

“Game four of the world series tonight, Scully.  If the Yankees win again it’ll all be over.”

 

“Mulder, aren’t you even curious about this case?  Or why we were requested to look into it?”

 

Mulder shrugged as he punched the down button at the elevator bank.  “Like you said, looks like a run-of-the-mill strangulation.  I say, we do our due diligence, check out this crime scene, you can get your hands dirty with the autopsy later, and we can get back to the real cases by tomorrow morning.”

 

“Pretty sure murder is a real case, Mulder,” she said, entering the elevator ahead of him as the doors slid open.

 

“Potato, pohtahtoh.”

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 10:09 a.m.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

 

Something about the crime scene didn't fit right with Mulder.  The townhouse was in an affluent area, historic and expensive, yet sparsely furnished.  Four of the five bedrooms were entirely bare.  There was no signs of forced entry.  All windows were locked from the inside, as well as the back door.  The cleaning lady who'd discovered the body at 6am stated that she'd used her key to enter through the front and it was definitely locked.  

 

“What're you thinking?” Scully asked as she stood over the floor where Jessica Logan’s body had been found.  They were both careful to step around the markers dotting the floor where evidence had been collected.  The police had found next to nothing.

 

Mulder stood between the bed and the closet with his hands on his hips.  “Let me see that photo again.  The one from the door.”

 

Scully flipped through the crime scene photos they'd been given and found the one Mulder was looking for.  She handed it to him and he squeezed by her to stand inside the doorway.  She watched his eyes bounce between the room and the photo.  He stepped closer to her and looked at the photo again.

 

He reached up and put his hand against her neck.  With his thumb at her jaw, he tipped her head to the side just a bit.  He looked at the picture and then past her towards the closet.  She raised her brows and then pulled her head back and out of his grip.

 

“Mulder?” she asked.

 

Mulder crouched down next to the outline of the body and Scully stepped back behind him, trying to see what he was looking for.  He stared at the closet for a few moments and then got up and handed the photo back to Scully before he opened the door.  She watched him inspect the hinges and pat his hand along the top of the frame.

 

“What’re you looking for?” she asked.

 

“I don’t know.  But, it appears to me that Jessica was looking at something.”

 

Scully looked down at the photo.  Jessica’s broken neck was tilted back and to the side, and her vacant, bloodshot gaze seemed to be fixed at a point on the wall, but Scully knew that wasn’t possible.  

 

“Mulder,” she said, watching him crouch down and inspect the grating on a heating vent next to the closet.

 

He didn’t answer.  He was much too intrigued by the white dust on the wooden baseboard beneath the heating vent.  The screws were missing at the top of the brass grate and he experimentally plucked at the top of the frame with his fingernails.  It came away from the wall a few millimeters and he wiggled his fingers into the space until the grate popped free into his hands.  He set it to the side and peered into the hole in the wall.

 

“Scully!” he called, his voice muffled as he pushed his upper body into the small, but wide space.

 

She quickly moved to his side and when his head and shoulders emerged from the hole, he had a child in his arms.

 

“Oh my God!” she said, dropping to her knees as Mulder sat back on his heels.

 

The child was no more than three or four.  He lay passively in Mulder’s arms, but his round blue eyes were alert.  His baby blue pajama pants were damp, indicating he probably wet himself at some point.  

 

“What’s your name, sweetie?” Scully asked.  “Can you tell me your name?”

 

The boy looked at her silently and then looked up at Mulder.  Scully did a frantic exam on him.  His bare toes curled when she touched his feet.  He stuck a thumb in his mouth when she felt his forehead.  He flinched, but otherwise didn’t make a sound when she gave a small pinch to his hand.

 

“I think he’s a bit dehydrated,” Scully said, freeing her cellphone from her pants pocket.  “We should get him to a hospital.”

 

“Wait,” Mulder said.

 

“Mulder, we don’t know who this child is or what’s happened to him.  He needs to be looked at immediately.”

 

“You’re right, we don’t know who this child is or what’s happened to him, but my guess is he’s the only witness to whatever happened here.”

 

“Even more of a reason to get him to a hospital.  We don’t know what effect a trauma like that could have.”

 

“You’re a doctor.  You just examined him.”

 

“I gave him a brief glance, Mulder.  He’ll need lab work, x-rays, maybe.  I don’t know.”

 

Mulder shifted the boy so he was holding him with one arm and he covered the phone in Scully’s hand with his.  “No one made any mention of a child.  Not Jessica’s brother, not the cleaning lady, not any of the neighbors who claimed they heard nothing and saw nothing, but that Miss Logan was a very private lady who kept to herself.”

 

“Exactly, we don’t know who this child is or how he got in that wall.”

 

“And if Jessica is an abductee, if her murder has anything to do with that, we don’t know who’s involved, including the government.   Someone knows about this boy.  Maybe even the killer.  If we expose this, we could just be putting him in more danger.”

 

“You said yourself you don’t think this has anything to do with an abduction.”

 

“Doesn’t meant I can’t be wrong.  What if I am wrong?”

 

Scully pulled her hand out from Mulder’s and her thumb traced the 9 button on her phone.

 

“We both know what happens to kids if the government is involved,” Mulder said.  “Especially ones that are created without consent.”

 

Scully sat back on her heels and stared at Mulder, unblinking, until he looked away.  The room grew deathly quiet and tense.  

 

“We don’t know that,” she said, her voice strained and quiet.  “We don’t know if he’s anything like…”

 

“I’m sorry,” Mulder said.

 

She slipped her phone back into her pocket and Mulder maneuvered himself out of his suit jacket and put it over the boy like a blanket.  The boy took his thumb out of his mouth and gripped the collar of the jacket and pulled it up to his cheek.  He rubbed his face against it and then he clutched it tightly as he put his thumb back in his mouth.

 

“Here,” Mulder said, transferring the boy from his arms into Scully’s.  He pulled out his pocket flashlight and peered back into the hole.  A tattered stuffed rabbit was left behind, which he retrieved and showed it to the boy.

 

“Look what I found,” Mulder said.  “Is this your bunny?  Hm?”

 

“Tiger,” the boy whispered around his thumb.  He reached for it with his free hand and then pulled it in close to his chest under Mulder’s jacket.

 

“Least we know he can talk,” Mulder said.

 

“What’re we gonna do?” Scully asked.

 

Mulder put the grate back up in the wall and took the boy again so Scully could stand.  “Find out who he is,” he said, looking down at the kid who stared up at Mulder with a sort of fascination.  “Protect him.”

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 10:54 a.m.

Offices of the Lone Gunmen, Washington, D.C.

 

“This is weird, even for you, Mulder,” Byers said.

 

“Duly noted.”  Mulder ushered Scully over to the couch in the corner and was going to take the boy from her to set him down, but she shook her head slightly.  

 

The boy stared at the three gunmen from over Scully’s shoulder, clutching his stuffed bunny under one arm and Mulder’s jacket like a security blanket.

 

“First and foremost, we need your help finding out who this little guy is,” Mulder said.

 

“No,” Scully disagreed.  “First and foremost, I need to examine him, he needs food and clothes.”

 

“I can go to McDonalds,” Langly said.

 

Scully shot him a look and then glanced up at Mulder.

 

“I’ll go,” Mulder said.  “Scully will take care of the kid, and you boys need to work your magic and get me everything you can find on Jessica Logan and the Logan family.”

 

“Mulder,” Scully whispered, grasping his elbow and pulling him closer.  “I have the autopsy scheduled at one.”

 

“There’s a Wal-Mart five minutes away.  Tell me what to get and I’ll be back before you know it.”

 

“This is serious, Mulder.  You can’t run off, you can’t...I’m not leaving with those three over there if you don’t come back.”  She glanced over towards the gunmen’s computer station and back up at Mulder.

 

“You could have more faith in me than that, Scully.”  He put his hand on the back of the boy’s head and stroked the soft hair above his ear with his thumb.  “Twenty minutes, tops.  Tell me what to get.”

 

Scully’s answer was a sigh.

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 11:29 a.m.

Offices of the Lone Gunmen, Washington, D.C.

 

Mulder dropped six Wal-Mart bags at Scully’s feet and she crouched down to go through them.  The boy was asleep on the couch, Mulder’s jacket draped over him.

 

“How is he?” Mulder asked.

 

“Not a scratch or a bump on him,” Scully said.  “He’s said a few more words, but not his name.”

 

“What did he say?”

 

“He said, ‘I hide here,’ when I took him into the bathroom to examine him.”

 

“I hide here?”

 

Scully ripped open a package of socks with her teeth and sat down at the edge of the couch to slip a pair onto the boy’s feet.  “We need to interview the cleaning woman,” she said.

 

“I was thinking the same thing.”

 

“What was she doing there at 6 a.m.?  And you saw that house, what did she even clean?  If this boy lived there, why didn’t he have a room?  Or clothes?  Or toys?”

 

“That’s why this whole thing is suspicious.  There’s more going on here than a simple murder.”

 

Scully ran her hand over the back of the boy’s head and his sandy blonde hair ruffled up like duck feathers under her fingers.

 

“I took a sample of his blood,” she said.  “And I swabbed his cheek.  I can run a PCR against a sample from Jessica Logan to see if they’re a match.”

 

“How long will that take?”

 

“Few hours.  I’ll be sure to check for other...abnormalities as well.”

 

Mulder nodded.

 

“We might’ve found something,” Frohike called.

 

Scully adjusted jacket over the boy and stood.  She followed Mulder over to the computer station where the gunmen were gathered around the screen.

 

“There’s a record of a live birth for a Jessica Smith of Silver Spring, Maryland on August 1, 1996.  A baby boy named Logan Smith, father listed as unknown.”

 

“Possible,” Mulder said.  “She was a patient at Johns Hopkins until June of 1995 and we only know she’s been in Arlington for the last two years.”

 

“What’s Jessica Smith’s DOB listed as?”  Scully asked.

 

“January 7, 1972.”

 

“Jessica Logan was born May 12, 1971.”

 

“She could’ve given false information,” Mulder said.

 

“Of course.  Jessica was receiving outpatient care from the hospital up through the end of 1995.  It’s entirely possible a doctor or another patient could’ve gotten her pregnant and information was falsified to avoid a scandal.”

 

“So, we’ve got the cleaning lady to interview and we’ll need to take a drive over to Baltimore,” Mulder said.

 

“Right now, I need to head over to Quantico and perform the autopsy.”

 

Mulder put his hands on his hips and looked over at the sleeping toddler on the couch.  Scully rubbed her brow and sighed.

 

“Look,” she said.  “It’s also entirely possible there’s a Jessica Smith in Silver Spring right now with a three year old boy named Logan.”

 

“Quite a coincidence we’d have there,”  Mulder said.

 

“Coincidences aren’t impossible.”

 

“So in the meantime?”

 

“In the meantime…”  Scully sighed again and looked back at the boy.  “You’ll need to interview the cleaning lady and...which one of you three do I maim if a hair on that boy’s head is harmed?”

 

“I used to babysit my nieces,” Frohike said.

 

“Then, you’re in charge,” Scully said.

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 1:08 p.m.

Home of Carmelita Villarreal, Alexandria, VA

 

“How long were you employed by Jessica Logan?” Mulder asked, flipping his notepad open and clicking on his pen.  He was seated on a plastic-covered love seat in a small parlor in front of a bay window at the home of the cleaning woman, Carmelita Villarreal, who insisted Mulder should call her Carmey.

 

Carmey was in her 50s, small in stature, but with tan, muscular arms.  Her long dark hair, streaked with strands of grey, was pulled into a heavy braid down her back.  She blotted at tears on her weathered cheeks.  

 

“Mr. James ask me to help Miss Jessica maybe two year ago.”

 

“Her brother hired you?”

 

“He buy the house for Miss Jessica after his daddy die.  His daddy not let Miss Jessica come to Washington because she bad in the head.  But, Mr. James want to take care of his sister.”

 

“How long have you worked for the family?”

 

“Since I come to Washington from Guatemala.”

 

“And when was that?”

 

The wrinkles across Mrs. Villarreal’s forehead deepened.  “I get my papers?”

 

“No, no,” Mulder said, putting his hand out and touching the woman lightly on the wrist to reassure her.  “I just want to know how long you’ve known the Logan family.”

 

“Mr. James and Miss Jessica small, but not so small.  Maybe Miss Jessica ten and Mr. James just teens.”

 

“Okay.  So, you know about Jessica’s claims of being abducted?”

 

Carmey nodded.  “She say light come into her room when she sleep and she disappear from herself.”

 

“She disappeared from herself?  Do you know what she meant by that.”

 

“She say like...time happen and she not there.”

 

“Okay, so missing time?”

 

“Si, yes.  Missing time.”

 

“How often did she believe she was being abducted?”

 

“All times.”

 

“All times?”  Mulder raised his brows and shook his head a little.

 

“Si.”

 

Mulder scratched his jaw for a moment.  “When did she start talking about the abductions?”

 

“When her mommy die.  Then the light start hurting her.”

 

“She said she was hurt by a light?”

 

“Si.  The light hurt her and she disappear.”

 

“Hurt her how?”

 

Carmey shrugged and shook her head.  A tuxedo cat suddenly waltzed into the room, tail twitching, and paused when it saw Mulder.  It slunk low and skittered over to the chair Carmey sat in and jumped into her lap.

 

“This cat belong to Miss Jessica,” Carmey said.  “He a baby cat when she go away to hospital and her daddy want to throw him out and I say no.  I take him.”

 

“What’s his name?”

 

“Tiger.”

 

Mulder pressed his lips together and looked down at his notepad.  “Um,” he said.  “How often did you clean at Jessica’s house?”

 

“One day.  Not much for to clean.  I do washing and bring grocery.”

 

“So, today was your day to do all of that.  And you got there at six?”

 

“Si.  I come in and I put grocery in kitchen and I go upstairs and I find Miss Jessica.”  Carmey’s eyes began to water again and she started patting her chest and rocking slightly in her chair.  The cat meowed loudly and curled his tail over her wrist.

 

“It’s okay,” Mulder said.  “The police got your statement about that already.  I want to know if you ever saw anyone at Jessica’s house before.  Anyone at all.  Man, woman...child.”

 

“No.”  Carmey shook her head and wiped her nose with a tissue.  “No, Miss Jessica not like stranger.”

 

“Not even maybe a doctor from the hospital, or a friend?”

 

“No.”

 

“Do you know if Jessica was ever pregnant?”

 

“No.”  Carmey hung her head and an expression of sadness seemed to take over her whole body.  “She bad sick in the tummy when she became woman and doctor say she not ever have baby.”

 

“That must have been difficult.”

 

“She cry very much.”

 

“Was this before or after the abductions started happening?”

 

“After.”

 

“Can you think of anyone at all, from the past or present, that would want to hurt Jessica?”

 

“No.”  Carmey shook her head profusely.  “Everyone love Miss Jessica.  Even the ghosts.”

 

“What ghosts are those?”

 

“The ghosts in the house.”

 

“What house?  Jessica’s house?”

 

“Si.”  Carmey nodded.  “They whisper in the walls.  I hear them.”

 

“Miss Villarreal, you’ve been very helpful.  If you think of anything else, I want you to give me a call.”  Mulder tucked his notepad in his front pocket and then pulled out a card from his pocket.

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 3:39 p.m.

FBI Morgue, Quantico, VA

 

Mulder peered through the glass window and tapped lightly on the swinging door before he stepped inside.  Scully was still in scrubs, but all the metal slabs in the room were empty and she sat on a high stool at a computer, typing.  She looked up when Mulder came in and pushed out another stool from under the table with her foot.  He straddled it and sat down.

 

“Give me a minute to finish,” she said.  “Have you talked to the gunmen?”

 

“I did.  The boy’s awake.  Hasn’t spoken, but they said he’s fine.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Well, I don’t know, that was an hour ago and they were about to take him to a strip club.  The first round of Irish car bombs are on Langly.”

 

Scully stopped typing and glared at Mulder.

 

“Relax, Scully, he’s in good hands.  They’re awkward, but harmless.  Besides, Frohike fears your wrath.”

 

“How was your interview?”

 

“Somewhat enlightening.  How was your autopsy?”

 

“Less enlightening.  But, I found a few things.”

 

“Like what?”

 

Scully made a few more keystrokes and then she pulled the surgical cap from her head and shook her hair free.  “I’m gonna get dressed,” she said and slipped from the stool.  “Read for yourself.”

 

Mulder switched chairs to sit on the stool Scully had just left and watched her disappear into the locker room.  He scrolled through her dictation notes on the computer until she came back out.

 

“You have here that Jessica only had one ovary and part of it had been surgically removed,” Mulder said, when Scully emerged.

 

“Yes,” she answered.

 

“Could she still have gotten pregnant?”

 

“It’s possible.”

 

“In my interview with Carmelita Villarreal, she told me that Jessica was told at a young age she couldn’t have children.”

 

“How would she know that?”

 

“She’s worked for the family for nearly twenty years.”

 

“I’ve put in authorizations for Jessica’s medical records, but I’m guessing she was probably diagnosed with endometriosis or ovarian cysts that were considered serious enough to have warranted surgical removal.  In certain situations, it can make pregnancy difficult or impossible.”

 

“No conclusions on whether or not she’d given birth?”

 

“There’s no c-section scar or episiotomy scar, but there are uterine fibroids, which can indicate a previous pregnancy, just not whether it came to term.”

 

“And the PCR?”

 

“Lab will call with the results in a few hours, most likely.  I sent both samples off right away.”

 

“No implants?  Scars?”

 

“None.  Obviously I still need the results of the tox screen, but my preliminary conclusion is death by manual strangulation.  The hyoid bone was fractured inward, indicating extreme pressure and squeezing of the neck.  No signs of rape or other trauma.  I sent hair and fibers to be analyzed.  No debris under the fingernails.”

 

“All right, let’s get out of here.  I’ll tell you about my interview and then we have to figure out what to do with the boy.”

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 5:20 p.m.

Offices of the Lone Gunmen, Washington, D.C.

 

“Let me show you what we found,” Byers said, spreading printouts across a worktable.

 

Scully kept one eye on the boy, who was enraptured with a toy helicopter that Langly was flying around the room.  He still had a hold of Mulder’s jacket like a security blanket, clutching it at the collar and hugging it tightly.  It was obvious he hadn’t let go of it since he’d woken up and didn’t intend to.  

 

Mulder hunched over the table next to Byers.  As Byers started to explain what they were looking at, Scully turned her attention to him.

 

“I don’t know what you know about Logan Shipping,” Byers said.  “But, the company was founded in the 1800s by Thomas Logan in Glasgow.  They were one of the first steamships to run trade between Europe and America, and one of the most successful.  Thomas’ son, Hamish, immigrated to Virginia in 1852 and began operating in imports and exports out of Alexandria.”

 

“Not that I don’t enjoy a good history lesson,” Mulder said, “but, will any of this help us solve a murder?”

 

“Well, I’m getting to it,” Byers said.  “Before he came to America, Hamish Logan joined the Society of Friends while living in London.”

 

“The Quakers?” Scully asked.

 

“Yes, notable for starting the abolitionist movement,” Byers said.  “Hamish Logan made a decent amount of enemies when he opened up shop here, namely for refusing to participate in the slave trade, and then later, supporting and aiding the Union during the Civil War.”

 

“Dangerous time to be in merchant sea-trade,” Mulder said.

 

“True,” Byers said.  “But, Hamish was pretty smart.  He leased his ships to the navy and got a good deal for them.  The Glasgow operation still ran trade in Europe and after DC was Emancipated in 1862, Hamish left Alexandria and kept a low profile until the war was over.”

 

“Professor Byers, I have a question,” Mulder said, raising his hand.  “What the hell does this have to do with Jessica Logan’s murder?”

 

Byers went on with his history lesson, undeterred.  “As I said, Logan made a lot of enemies.  One of those enemies was a rival shipper named F.E. Dwyer, whose family dated back to the Jamestown colony and had been successful traders for nearly two hundred years.  Until the war started.  After that, Dwyer was financially ruined and Hamish bought out Dwyer & Dwyer Shipping.”

 

“And the result of this bad blood today?” Scully asked, the impatience obviously getting to her as well.

 

“The Dwyer’s never really got over the loss of their family business.  F.E.’s son, Andrew, went into politics for the express purpose of writing and proposing bills to limit international trade agreements.  Every time a new generation of Dwyers and Logans pop up, the rivalry gets rekindled.”

 

“What’s the rivalry du jour?” Mulder asked.

 

“Take a look,”  Byers pointed to list of numbers and percentages.  “Logan Shipping is a publicly traded company.  For the past two years, Paul Dwyer has been purchasing Logan Shipping stock every time it comes up for trade.  Little by little, he’s acquired 18% of the company.”

 

“For what purpose?” Scully asked.

 

“I don’t know.”

 

Scully’s phone rang and she turned away to answer it.  “Scully,” she said, stepping away so she was just out of earshot.

 

“Is any of that significant?” Mulder asked Byers.

 

“I don’t know,” Byers said again with a shrug.  “The family owns the majority share at 51%, however, voting rights are given at 7% ownership.  Every 7% gives the shareholder a vote and a seat on the board, per the terms of the stock.  So, it looks like this guy is trying to amass voting rights.”

 

“Can you find out more about him?”

 

“Sure.”

 

“They just got the results of the PCR,” Scully said, coming back into the conversation.  “That boy is definitely Jessica’s child.  But, they noticed an abnormality in the test that they want to get back to me on.”

 

“An abnormality?” Mulder asked.

 

“The tech described it as a chromosomal overlap.  They want to run it again.”

 

“I’ve got something as well,” Frohike said, turning from his seat at the computer.  “We broadened the search of live births to include stillbirths and locked in the mother’s DOB as May 12, 1971.  There’s a registration of a stillbirth on September 20, 1996 of a Caleb Morgan, mother Jessica Morgan of Alexandria, Virginia.  The father is listed as Jay Morgan, deceased.”

 

“What hospital?” Scully asked.

 

“No hospital.  Born at home.”

 

“Huh,” Mulder said, putting his hands on his hips.  He stepped out from the work area to where Langly and the boy were flying the helicopter.  “Caleb,” he said.

 

The boy turned away from the helicopter and smiled brightly.  

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 8:21 p.m.

Hotel Miranda, Washington, D.C.

 

Mulder flashed a fake ID and credit card at the clerk behind the counter and signed for a room under the name Steven Andrews.  The clerk tucked two electronic keycards into an envelope and handed them to Mulder with a copy of his receipt.  He snapped his fingers at a valet, who scurried over immediately and offered to take up any bags they had.

 

“That won’t be necessary,” Mulder said.  “What floor are we on?”

 

“Room 1006 sir, tenth floor,” the valet said.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Mulder picked up his bag and then Scully’s and nodded at her across the room.  She met him at the elevators, Caleb on her hip and his head on her shoulder.  He looked around with sleepy eyes and Scully made sure Mulder’s jacket stayed draped over his shoulders.  They entered the elevator with an elderly woman with her white haired pulled back into a bun at her nape.

 

“He’s got your eyes,” the old lady said.

 

“I’m sorry?” Scully asked.

 

“Your boy,” she nodded at Caleb and smiled.  “He’s got your eyes.”

 

“Oh,” Scully said, glancing over at Mulder as she licked her upper lip.  “Thank you.”

 

“What’s your name, handsome fellow?” the old woman asked.

 

Caleb pulled his shoulders in a little and curled himself up in Scully’s arms.

 

“He’s just a little shy,” Scully said, rubbing his back.

 

“Steven Jr.,” Mulder answered.  “We call him Stevie.”

 

“How sweet.”

 

The elevator dinged and the woman smiled before she got off.  Mulder smiled and waved with one hand while punching the ‘close doors’ button with his thumb.  He breathed out a small sigh of relief and Scully craned her neck to look down at Caleb.  He cast his eyes up at her and then rubbed his face against her shoulder.

 

They had no further encounters on the way to their room.  Mulder opened the door and held it back for Scully to enter first.  On one side of the door was a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, a microwave, a sink, and a stove.  The counter was open and looked out into the room.  Two queen beds with white and blue bedclothes were on one side and a small pull out sofa was against the opposite wall.  A closet and a bathroom were on the other side of door.

 

“This is an upgrade from our usual accommodations,” Scully observed.

 

“Frohike won’t settle for anything less for his best girl.”  Mulder winked at her and she rolled her eyes.

 

Caleb wiggled in Scully’s arms to be let down and she put him on his feet.  He went about the room, dragging Mulder’s jacket behind him, inspecting the place, but not touching anything.

 

“I’m gonna need a new jacket,” Mulder said.

 

“I should probably give him a bath,” Scully said.  “He didn’t eat very much, but they managed to get both Pedialyte’s into him.”

 

“Mary Poppins has nothing on Ringo Langly.”

 

“I’ve been thinking about what we can do about tomorrow.  He can’t stay with the gunmen again.  Not all day.”

 

“Why not?  He’ll probably learn how to recite all the Lincoln-Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.”

 

“I was thinking I’d call my mother.”

 

“Really?”

 

“If we’re going to Baltimore, it’s on the way.  And, she’d probably enjoy it.”

 

“If you think she’d be okay with it, it’s your call.”

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 8:58 p.m.

Office of Dr. Richard A. Kline, Baltimore, MD

 

Dr. Kline sat down with an exhausted ‘oof’ in his leather chair and leaned back, closing his eyes.  He rubbed his forehead with one hand and then pushed his glasses down a little to pinch the bridge of his nose for a moment before he sat back up and gave a yawn.

 

Wearily, he eyed a stack of files on the side of his desk and pulled one off the top.  A 13” black & white TV sat on a table off to the side.  He turned it on and adjusted the volume to a low level just as the news was starting.

 

“Police aren’t commenting on the murder of Jessica Logan in the early hours of the day at her home in Old Town Alexandria, but neighbors say they’re shocked that anyone would want to hurt the young woman who they say, mostly kept to herself.”

 

Dr. Kline looked up from his file with wide eyes and turned the volume up a little.

 

“Jessica Logan is the daughter of the late shipping barron, James Logan II.  Her older brother, James Logan III has asked for privacy in this matter as he grieves for his sister.  She was only 28 years old.  Live in Alexandria, this is Christine Joy.  Back to you in the studio.”

 

Dr. Kline turned the TV off and sat in silence.  After a few moments, he got up from his chair and went to his filing cabinet.  In seconds, he’d pulled a file labeled Logan, Jessica L. from amongst the others and took it back to his desk.  He caressed the top of it for a moment and then smashed his fist down hard, rattling his desk and causing the other files to tip over and slide to the floor.

 

*****

 

October 27, 1999 9:03 p.m.

Hotel Miranda, Washington, D.C.

 

Mulder was typing up a preliminary report on his laptop when Scully emerged from the bathroom with Caleb.  He was dressed in a pair of white pajamas with blue and yellow stars and moons.  In the background, the baseball game was on mute.

 

“Bottom of the second, Scully,” Mulder said.  “No runs, one out.  Ledee just fouled.”

 

“Oh, thank you,” Scully said, drily.  “I’ve been thinking of nothing else all night.”  

 

“Hey, little guy,” Mulder said when Caleb walked up to him.  “You like your new pajamas?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Come on, sweetheart,” Scully said.  “Let’s get you into bed.”

 

Caleb went docilely to the sofa bed that Mulder had arranged while he was in the bath.  He climbed in when Scully pulled back the covers.  His stuffed rabbit and Mulder’s jacket were also laid out on the bed, which he snatched up and pulled close.

 

“Storytime?” he asked in a hushed voice.

 

“Oh,” Scully said.  “Well, let me think.”

 

“Between the dark and the daylight,” Mulder said, his fingers still on his keyboard, “when the night is beginning to lower, comes a pause in the day’s occupations, that is known as the children’s hour.”

 

Caleb turned his eyes to Mulder and Mulder gave him a smile.

 

“I hear in the chamber above me,” Mulder said, “the patter of little feet.  The sound of a door that is opened, and voices soft and sweet.”

 

The chair Mulder was in creaked slightly as he got up and he sat on the side of the sofabed opposite Scully, Caleb between them.  He continued with the poem as he moved and Caleb tracked his movements across the room.

 

“From my story I see the lamplight,” Mulder said.  “Descending the broad hall stair, grave Alice, and laughing Allegra, and Edith with golden hair.”

 

Caleb yawned and Mulder dropped his voice a notice.

 

“A whisper,” he said.  “And then a silence.  Yet, I know by their merry eyes.  They are plotting and planning together to take me by surprise.  A sudden rush from the stairway, a sudden raid from the hall.  By three doors left unguarded, they enter my castle wall.”

 

Caleb yawned again and rubbed his eyes.  Scully moved a hand over his head and stroked his brow as they both listened to Mulder speak.

 

“They climb up into my turret,” he said, walking his fingers over the covers and up Caleb’s arm to his shoulder.  “O’er the arms and back of my chair.  If I try to escape, they surround me.  They seem to be everywhere.  They almost devour me with kisses.  Their arms about me entwine, till I think of the Bishop of Bingen in his mouse-tower on the Rhine.”

 

Caleb’s eyes drooped and closed, open and shut, open again.  Mulder dropped his voice even lower so that it was almost a whisper.

 

“Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti, because you have scaled the wall, such an old mustache as I am, is not a match for you all?  I have you fast in my fortress and will not let you depart.  But, put you down into the dungeon in the round-tower of my heart.”

 

By the even rise and fall of Caleb’s chest, it was apparent he was asleep.  Mulder moved the blanket a little higher up to his shoulder and tweaked the ear of the stuffed rabbit.

 

“And there will I keep you forever,” he said.  “Yes, forever and a day.  Till the walls shall crumble to ruin, and moulder in dust away.”

 

“That was beautiful, Mulder,” Scully said.

 

“I’ll be sure to pass your compliments on to Mr. Longfellow.”

 

“Where did you learn that?”

 

“I took a children’s lit class at Oxford.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Seemed like a good companion class to take with child psychology.”  Mulder got up and stretched his arms over his head as he walked back to his laptop.

 

“Are we heading out to Johns Hopkins first thing in the morning?”

 

“That’s the plan.”

 

Scully got up and then dimmed the lamp in the room.  “I’ll call my mom.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 1:33 a.m.

Hotel Miranda, Washington, D.C.

 

Caleb sat up in bed and looked around in the semi-dark.  He managed to wiggle free from the blankets he was tucked into and he slipped off the bed to stand between the two beds in front of him.  The muted glow of an infomercial lit him from behind.  

 

The little boy stood still, only his eyes moving back and forth between the sleeping woman on one side and the sleeping man on the other.  His eyes began to water and he opened his mouth as if to let out a wail, but he made no noise.  Instead, he pulled his hands into his mouth to suck his fingers.  

 

Scully opened her eyes with a start when he shuddered on a sob and she sat up on her elbow, squinting against the light.

 

“Caleb?” she murmured.  “Are you okay, sweetie?”

 

Caleb sniffled and rubbed his wet eyes and cheeks.  He made a soft whining noise through his nose and Scully pulled her covers back and sat up.  She reached for him and pulled him into her lap where he curled up against her and rubbed his face against her neck.

 

“What happened?” Mulder rasped, sheets rustling as he turned in his bed.

 

“I don’t know,” Scully answered, holding the back of her hand to Caleb’s forehead.  She caressed his cheek lightly and rocked him back and forth.  “Did you have a bad dream, honey?”

 

“Unfamiliar surroundings and unfamiliar people,” Mulder added, rolling out of bed.  “Not to mention whatever happened last night.”  He went into the bathroom and when he returned, handed Scully a damp washcloth.

 

“Thanks,” she said, wiping the tears from Caleb’s cheeks.

 

“Wish we could get him talking.”  Mulder cupped the back of the boy’s head for a moment and went back to his bed.  He turned the TV off while Scully hummed softly and continued to rock Caleb as he snuggled against her.  The room was dark without the light from the TV, but the glow from outside made it bright enough to see.

 

“Try Joy to the World,” Mulder mumbled, and chuckled when a pillow hit him in the face a moment later.

 

Scully continued to hum and Caleb’s sniffles gradually tapered.  Eventually, he fell asleep against her shoulder, breathing roughly against her neck, and she got up and put him back in his bed.  She made sure he was tucked in before she settled in her own bed again.  Mulder watched her the whole time, propped up on his side.

 

“Where'd you learn how to do that?” he asked.

 

“Do what?” she answered.

 

“I don't know.  Be...comforting?”

 

“My mother, maybe.  I don't know. Do you think it's a learned?”

 

“I don't know, should we debate nature v. nurture at this late hour?”

 

“Absolutely not.”

 

A silence fell.  Mulder stared at her from across the beds.

 

“Scully?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Yankees won.”

 

“Mm.  I'm happy for you.”

 

“I don't think I ever told you how sorry I am that...things didn't work.  The IVF.”

 

Scully's eyes opened, but she didn’t say anything.  

 

“I know you said you didn't want to talk about it,” he continued, “but if there's anything else we could do, or try...just ask.”

 

She rolled over to face away from him and he rubbed his lips together as he stared at her back.

 

“Good night, Mulder,” she said, after an extended silence.

 

“Night, Scully.”

 

*******

 

October 28, 1999 2:14 a.m.

Home of James Logan III, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

 

James Logan sat cross-legged on the floor of his bedroom, weeping softly.  The floor was littered with photographs of his family.  Hundreds of photographs.  He picked one up of two young children - himself around age 13 and Jessica age 9.  The weeping started again and he tipped his head back against his bed.

 

“I’m sorry,” he cried.  “Jessie, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 9:17 a.m.

Office of Dr. Richard A. Kline, Baltimore, MD

 

“Please, come in,” Dr. Kline said, holding his office door open for Mulder and Scully.

 

“Thank you for seeing us on such short notice,” Scully said.

 

“Not at all,” the doctor answered, taking a seat behind his desk while the two agents took the chairs in front.  “I heard about Jessica last night on the news.  I’ll admit, I never expected the FBI to show up, but I debated whether to call the police myself or not.”

 

“Why is that?” Mulder asked.

 

“Jessica was removed from our facility against medical advice,” he answered.

 

“By who?” Scully asked.

 

“Her father.”  Dr. Kline sighed and opened a file on his desk.  “Are either of you familiar with fugue state?”

 

“It’s a dissociative disorder characterized by memory loss, confusion, and altered personality,” Mulder said.

 

“Yes.”  The doctor nodded.  “Which, also includes the tendency to wander, unaware.”

 

“It’s very rare,” Mulder added.

 

“Extremely.  Even more rare that it lasts more than a few hours or days, but not unheard of.”

 

“Is that what Jessica was diagnosed with?” Scully asked.

 

“Partially.”  Dr. Kline sat up and bridged his fingers over the file.  “Fugue states themselves are not treatable.  It’s a matter of reaching the cause, which is difficult to ascertain in a person suffering fugue.  In the absence of head trauma, it’s likely caused by stress or emotional trauma.  However, once a person recovers from their episode, more often than not, they have no memory of the stressor or the fugue state.”

 

“Like disappearing from themselves,” Mulder said.

 

“It’s been described that way,” Dr. Kline nodded in agreement.

 

“In a state of fugue, could someone hallucinate an alien abduction?” Mulder asked.

 

Scully shot Mulder a look of annoyance, but said nothing.

 

“All fugue states affect the patient differently,” Dr. Kline answered.

 

“Specifically, Jessica,” Mulder clarified.  “Do you know why she believed she’d been abducted?”

 

“I don’t.  I could never determine where that delusion sprang from.”

 

“What if it wasn’t a delusion?”

 

“Mulder,” Scully warned.

 

“It was the disorientation when Jessica came out of her fugues that she couldn’t handle.  At some point she convinced herself the lost time she experienced was caused by alien abduction.”

 

“And what about the light?” Mulder asked.  “The light that hurt her?”

 

“She had a terrible fear of bright light, which is one of the reasons I argued to keep her institutionalized.  When something as simple as the flick of a switch could send her slipping into a fugue…”

 

“And you never found out why?” Scully asked.

 

Dr. Kline got up from his chair and shoved his hands in the pockets of his white coat.  He stood at the window behind his desk with his back to Mulder and Scully.

 

“Jessica was declared incompetent before she came to us,” he said.  “Her father had gained conservatorship of her when she was 18.  She sleepwalked almost nightly.  We had to remove the lightbulbs in her room just in case someone might turn it on by accident.  She began to trust me, though.  I felt I was making progress.  And then, suddenly, her father withdrew her from the hospital with no explanation.  I immediately attempted to make her a ward of the state, but money has a way of blinding people who should otherwise act in the best interests of those who can’t do it for themselves.”

 

“Why do you think he did that?” Mulder asked.

 

Dr. Kline did not immediately answer.  His fists were tight in his pockets.  “The obvious root of the cause was the death of her mother.  She had no history of mental illness until then.  She would wail uncontrollably at the mention of her mother.  That’s when it started, but I don’t believe it was the reason.”

 

“What was?”  Scully asked.

 

“There were signs of sexual abuse.  They took time to manifest, but she began to act out aggressively.  There were times we had to keep her isolated from other patients.”

 

“Is there anyone you suspect?”

 

“Unfortunately, I never made that breakthrough.”  Dr. Kline turned back towards his desk and removed his glasses to wipe them with his tie.  “Could’ve been anyone.  A teacher, a family friend, someone in the house.”

 

“Her brother?”  Mulder asked.

 

“I couldn’t even wager a guess.  I never met her brother.  Her father wouldn’t allow him to visit.”

 

Scully’s phone rang and she got up from her chair.  “Excuse me,” she said, stepping outside into the hall.

 

“Thank you,” Mulder said, rising to follow Scully.  At the last second, he turned, with his hand on the door.  “When was the last time you saw Jessica?”

 

“Too long ago, I’m afraid,” Dr. Kline answered.  “The courts allowed her outpatient treatment on a weekly basis while she could be independently evaluated when I tried to make her a ward.  My last visit to her would’ve been in December of 1995.”  He paused and flipped through his file for a moment.  “December 15, 1995.”

 

Mulder nodded.  “Thank you for your time.”

 

Scully was standing in the hall with one hand on her hip when Mulder came out of the office.  He raised his brows at her in question.

 

“That was the lab,” she said.

 

“And?” he asked.

 

“The hair and fiber analysis found a hair that doesn’t belong to Jessica.  The fingerprints that the VAPD turned over haven’t provided much, but they say that a set of prints on the lock on the front door seem to belong to a child.”

 

Mulder cringed a little at that.  “What else?”

 

“The chromosomal overlap in the PCR results...it’s not exactly an abnormality.”

 

“What is it then?”

 

“The kind of result that appears in cases of incest.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 11:16 a.m.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

 

“What are we looking for, Mulder?” Scully asked.

 

“I want to know as much about Jessica as I possibly can before we go in to meet with Logan,” he answered, searching the sparse dresser drawers in Jessica’s bedroom.

 

“The police already did a search.  They didn’t find any diaries or journals or notebooks.”

 

“Oh yeah, they did a bang up job.  So thorough they didn’t notice the toddler in the wall.”

 

“Well, honestly Mulder, who would?”

 

“I did.”

 

“Yes, but you’re you.”

 

“And that’s why I’m looking.”  He bumped his arm into Scully’s shoulder and moved past her to open the closet.  One by one, he went through the slim selection of shirts and then pushed them all aside to knock on the walls.

 

“We’re going to have to let someone know about Caleb,” Scully said.  “Either VAPD or CPS.”

 

“He’s not going into foster care,” Mulder answered, closing the closet and moving on to open the grate he’d moved to find Caleb.  “I’m not thinking about that right now.  We need to find something that can help me get him talking.”

 

“Mulder, you’ve got to think about what’s going to happen to him.”

 

“I can’t!” he answered, voice raised in agitation.  He paused, crouched down in front of the open vent and lowered his head.  “I just can’t.  Not right now.”

 

“Alright,” she answered, softly.

 

“My shoulders are too wide for this space.  Can you look inside and see if you can find a way in or out that isn’t through this grate?”

 

Scully knelt down and Mulder moved out of the way.  She leaned into the opening and moved her upper body inside the little tunnel to feel and inspect the walls.  The back wall made a dull, hollow sound when she tapped on it and she ran her hands around the seams.  Her finger caught on a groove, but it was too small to get her finger inside of it.

 

“I need your pocketknife,” she said.

 

Mulder fished the tool out of his pocket and then slipped it into Scully’s outstretched hand.  She pulled her arm back in and snapped open the knife to wiggle it into the groove and then gave it a little pull.  The back wall flipped down and kicked up a small cloud of dust into her face.  She coughed and wiggled out of the hole to take a breath.

 

“What was that?” Mulder asked.

 

“False back, it looks like.”

 

Mulder turned his penlight on and peered into the space.  “Can you fit?”

 

“Probably.  You’re my witness when accounting questions this month’s dry cleaning expense.”

 

“Got your back.”

 

Scully crawled back into the vent and moved through the opened wall.  On the other side was a small room, windowless and dark.  She pulled her own penlight from her pocket and looked around.

 

“What do you see?” Mulder called.

 

“I’m gonna take a wild guess and say, this was Caleb’s room.”

 

“Dammit,” he said.  “Is there any other way to get in?”

 

Scully waved the light around on the floors and ceiling and walls.  She turned and searched from all angles and something glinted in the light in the corner.  There was a small, gold hook embedded into the floor that lifted up into her finger when she tugged at it.  She gave it a pull and opened a trap door.

 

“Trap door,” Scully said.  “I guess I’ll see where it comes out.”

 

“Be careful.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 11:34 a.m.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

 

Mulder followed Scully up the narrow staircase behind the library wall.  The empty, built-in bookcase had opened up to the stairs which led to the trap door.  

 

The room was dim, but there were a few battery operated lights hooked to the wall that they turned on to see, in addition to the flashlights.

 

In the room was a small bed and a few toy cars on the floor.  Crayon scribbles went up the walls a few feet.  A small, squat dresser sat in the corner and Scully opened each drawer in turn.  One was completely empty and the other two had a few pairs of boys pants, shirts, socks and underwear.

 

“He can't have spent his life in this room,” Scully said.

 

“I have a theory,” Mulder said.

 

“I'd love to hear it.”

 

“Jessica was afraid of bright light and disappearing.  I think this was some kind of safe room to protect Caleb at night.”

 

“What about during the day?  The cleaning woman was here once a week and never saw him.”

 

“You can't take what you can't find.  She had him hide while Carmelita was here.  The woman said there were ghosts in this house - that the walls whispered.  I bet if we looked harder we'd find more of these hidden passages.”

 

“The reason he's so quiet - do you think she threatened him that something bad would happen if he was found?”

 

“Possibly.  But, if he was scared of strangers or people, he wouldn't be so trusting of us.  It might have been treated more as a game.  At least, I'm hoping that's the case.”

 

“Why are you hoping?”

 

“Less damaging.”

 

Mulder’s phone rang and he answered it while crouching next to the wall and shining his light up and down the length of crayon scribbles.

 

“Sounds like a dead end to me,” he said.  “No, keep digging.  I don't want to rule it out completely.  Thanks, Byers.”

 

“The Gunmen?” Scully asked.

 

Mulder stood back up and brushed the dust from his knees.  “Dwyer is a dead end.  He's a co-chair with Logan on an environmental program designed to transition companies into using energy efficient fuel sources.  They think he might be snapping up voting rights so they'll have the majority on making a costly decision a less conscious board would like.”

 

“Still seems odd though, don't you think?  Hundreds of years of rivalry and working together?”

 

“Kids aren't their parents.  Or their grandparents.  We’ll see about it when we ask him, but I doubt it's relevant.”

 

“We better get going then, we have an appointment at 12:30.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 12:27 p.m.

Home of James Logan III, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

 

“Forgive me if I’m a little distracted,” James Logan said, ushering Mulder and Scully into his very clean, modernly furnished townhome.  “I didn’t sleep well.”  He wiped his wet eyes on the sleeve of his sweater and gestured to a long seat covered in white vinyl in front of floor to ceiling windows looking out into a small atrium.

 

Mulder and Scully sat down and Logan took a seat as well in a matching chair across from them.  He had the same sandy hair as Caleb and the same blue eyes as the boy, as well as his sister.  The family resemblance was strong.

 

“Can you tell me if you know who killed my sister?” he asked, and then shook his hands a little.  “I’m sorry, maybe I’m not allowed to ask that.  I’m sorry if this isn’t what you normally do either, but Richard said I should ask for you.  He said you could help.”

 

“Mr. Logan,” Scully started.

 

“Jamie,” he interrupted and then demurred.  “I’m sorry, please call me Jamie.  Mr. Logan makes me think of my father.”

 

“Jamie,” Scully said, “we need to ask you a few questions about your sister that might be difficult to answer, but it will help in our investigation.”

 

“Yes, of course.”

 

“When was the last time you saw Jessica?” Mulder asked.

 

Jamie swallowed and tears spilled out of his eyes that he wiped away.  “Five years ago, I think,” he said.

 

“That long?” Scully asked.  “Your father passed away two years ago, you didn’t see her at his funeral?”

 

“Jessie didn’t come.”

 

“Why not?” Mulder asked.

 

“It was that place,” he said, bitterly.  “It turned her against the family.”

 

“The hospital?”  Scully asked.

 

“They wouldn’t let us see her.  And then they even tried to take her away.  My father was very upset about that.”

 

Scully glanced over at Mulder before continuing.  “And you had no contact with her after she left the hospital?”

 

“I tried.  She returned my letters.  I still have them if you think they’ll help.”  Jamie made a move to get up, but Mulder waved him back down.

 

“Maybe at some point,” Mulder said.  “We’ll let you know.  When I spoke to your cleaning woman, Miss Villarreal, she said you’d bought the house Jessica was living in.”

 

“No, not bought,” he answered, shaking his head.  “It’s a family home.  It was left to me, but I had the deed transferred to Jessie.  It was her favorite place when we were kids and I thought it might make her happy.”

 

“We were told she was disinherited,” Scully said.

 

“That’s complicated.”  Jamie sighed and raked a hand through his hair.  “She was written out of my father’s will, but the family business falls to both of us and he couldn’t change that.  He was afraid though, because of her mental problems, to give her anything.  So, there’s a trust that handles her part of the estate.  Lawyers, bankers, people like that.  I can get their information.”

 

“Before we leave,” Mulder said.  “You can get it.  How did Jessica know you’d given her the house if you weren’t in contact?”

 

“I sent Carmey to her.  She was the only one Jessie would see.  After she moved in, I asked Carmey to look in on her as often as Jessie would allow, which wasn’t much.”

 

“What do you know about a man named Paul Dwyer?” Mulder asked.

 

Jamie looked suddenly nervous.  He twisted his fingers together in his lap.  “Paul is...we went to school together.”

 

“We heard there was some bad blood between the families,” Scully said.

 

“You don’t think...oh, no, no.  Paul and I...Paul is…”

 

“A partner of yours?” Mulder supplied.

 

“Yes.”  Jamie nodded.  “Yes, a partner.”

 

“We were able to pull some hair and fibers from the crime scene,” Scully said, breaking an awkward silence that followed.  “Would you be willing to provide a hair and DNA sample for testing.”

 

“Whatever you need.  And Paul, I’m sure...if you need Paul for anything, I can let him know.”

 

“We’re not sure if that’s necessary yet,” Scully said.  “But, I have a kit with me and I’ll take a swab before we leave.”

 

“Can you tell us about what drove Jessica to be institutionalized?” Mulder asked.

 

Jamie’s shoulders slumped dejectedly.  “I was away at school.  Mother had died recently and I wanted to take a semester off, but father didn’t approve.  The next time I saw her, she didn’t seem herself.  Father said she’d have these episodes, he called them.  Like sleepwalking.  I guess they just kept getting worse.  And then he sent her away.”

 

“Who lived in the house at that time?”

 

“My father, Jessie, Carmey some of the time.  I don’t remember the name of my father’s valet.  There was a bodyguard for a time, Sean something.  My father employed him for a short time for something to do with NAFTA.  I think he was just being paranoid.”

 

“No other male relatives?” Mulder asked.  “Cousins or Uncles?”

 

Jamie was quiet for a moment and then his eyes welled up and he dropped his head into his hands.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “Jessie was all the family I had left.  Both our parents were only children.”

 

Scully looked over at Mulder and he gave her a glance, but leaned forward and put a hand on Jamie’s shoulder.  Jamie sniffed and straightened and then wiped his eyes.

 

“I’m sorry,” he said.  “Sorry for the outburst.  You can’t imagine what it’s like being the only one left.  I’d hoped for so long that Jessie would find her way back to me, but now that won’t happen.”

 

“I think we have all we need here,” Mulder said.  “Scully will take your sample and we’ll be in touch.”

 

“Thank you.”

 

Mulder left ahead of Scully and waited by the car until she came out of the house.  He reclined against the passenger side, arms crossed.  She stepped up to him with her brows raised and he handed her the car keys.

 

“To what do I owe this honor?” she asked.

 

“I want to head into the office and look into something.  I’ll take the Metro if you want to go pick up Caleb from your moms’.”

 

“I can drop you and you can take this sample to the lab for me.”

 

Mulder nodded and they both got into the car.  Scully adjusted the driver’s seat to her height and he smirked at her.

 

“Shut up, Mulder,” she mumbled.  “What did you make of all of that?”

 

“He’s either a fool or a con artist,” Mulder said.

 

“We should have the answer to that in a few hours time.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 4:08 p.m.

Hotel Miranda, Washington, D.C.

 

When Scully brought Caleb into the hotel room, Mulder was already there.  The pull out couch was tucked away and in its place, Mulder sat, surrounded by dolls of all kinds, but mostly Barbies and a few stuffed animals.

 

“Caleb,” Mulder said.  “I’m glad you’re here.  Come on over here, buddy.”

 

“Mulder, what is all this?”  Scully asked.

 

“Scully, you can play too.  Sit down.”

 

Caleb got down on his knees and sat back on his heels.  He was wearing Mulder’s jacket and holding his stuffed rabbit.  The sleeves had been rolled up so that his hands poked through, but barely.

 

“This is a pretty doll, isn’t it?” Mulder asked, holding up a Barbie with dark hair and blue eyes.  She was dressed in a pair of white jeans and a t-shirt.  “Does this doll look like Scully?”

 

Caleb looked up at Scully and then at the doll and shook his head.

 

“No, that doll doesn’t look like Scully, you’re right,” Mulder said.  “Which doll looks like Scully?”

 

Caleb looked at all the dolls on the floor and then picked one up with red hair and held it up to Mulder.  Mulder grinned and Caleb smiled and then gathered the doll to his chest with his rabbit.

 

“How about this doll?” Mulder asked, selecting a brown haired Ken doll.  “Do you think I could be this doll?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Okay, this doll’s name is Mulder.  And that doll you have is named Scully.”  He held up the dark haired doll with the blue eyes again.  “What’s this doll’s name?”

 

Caleb looked at Scully.

 

“Does that doll have a name, Caleb?” Scully asked, rubbing his back softly.

 

“Mommy,” he said.

 

“Okay,” Mulder said, passing Caleb the doll.  “You hold the Mommy doll.  And how about we call this little guy here, Caleb?”

 

Caleb nodded at the tiny plastic baby doll in Mulder’s hand.

 

“Do the Mommy doll and the Caleb doll like to play hide and seek?”  Mulder asked.

 

Caleb shrugged.

 

“Do you know what hide and seek is?”

 

Caleb shrugged again.

 

“You can say yes if you know or no if you don’t know, okay?”

“No.”

 

“Hide and seek is when one person hides and another person has to try to find them.  Do Mommy and Caleb like to play that game?”

 

“I hide,” Caleb said.

 

“Does Mommy come find you?”

 

“No.”

 

“Why do you hide?”

 

“Mommy says so.”

 

“Okay, we’re going to play a hiding game now.”  Mulder grabbed a thin box that one of the Barbies had come in and he put the small baby doll they’d named Caleb inside of it and tucked it between his leg and the couch.

 

“Caleb hide,” Caleb said, pointing to the box that was just barely visible under Mulder’s leg.

 

“Yep, Caleb is hiding,” Mulder said.  

 

Caleb put a finger to his mouth and bounced it off his lips a few times.  

 

“Does Caleb have to be quiet?”  Mulder asked.

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Okay, the Caleb doll will be very quiet in this game, but this Caleb can talk really loud if he wants to,” Mulder said, tapping lightly on Caleb’s chest.  “Do you know what loud is?”

 

“Noises,” Caleb said.

 

“You can make as much noise as you want to.”  Mulder looked over at Scully for a moment.  “Why don’t you sit with Scully?” he said.  “She looks like she wants to give you a hug.”

 

Scully looked quizzically at Mulder, but brought Caleb into her lap when he scooted closer.  He leaned back against her chest and she crossed her arms loosely over his body.

 

“Scully is nice, right?” Mulder asked.

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Do you know what safe means?”

 

Caleb shook his head.  

“It means when you feel like nothing will hurt you.  Do you feel safe with Scully?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Scully won’t let anything hurt you, Caleb.”

 

Caleb nodded again.

 

“Do you remember when you were hiding and Scully and I found you?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Before we found you, Mommy was on the floor.  Do you remember that?”

 

Caleb nodded and he leaned over to lay his doll on the ground.

 

“That’s right,” Mulder said, patting the box next to his leg.  “Caleb is hiding and Mommy is on the floor.  Before Mommy was on the floor, did Caleb see someone else with Mommy?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

“Was it a man who looked like me?” Mulder asked, holding up his Ken doll.

 

Caleb shook his head and then stretched his neck to look at the other Ken dolls on the floor.  He pointed his finger at one with gold-blonde hair and Mulder picked it up.

 

“Is this a bad man?” Mulder asked.

 

“He’s mean,” Caleb said.

 

“Can you tell me how he’s mean?”

 

“He’s scary.”

 

“Did he hurt Caleb?”

 

“No.”

 

“Did he hurt Mommy?”

 

Caleb nodded and he hugged his rabbit and the Barbie in his grip tighter, pulling his shoulders in to make himself smaller.  Scully put a hand on his chest and rubbed his arm.

 

“It’s okay, Caleb,” she said.

 

“Do you remember if the bad man said anything to Mommy?” Mulder asked.

 

“Where’s the money,” Caleb said.

 

“Did Mommy say anything to the bad man?”

 

“Stop.”  Caleb’s lower lip began to tremble and his eyes watered.  He rubbed one fist into his face and Scully gathered him closer.

 

“Okay, Caleb, you were very brave and I’m proud of you,” Mulder said.  “I’m going to put all the dolls away now and I’ve got a present for you.”

 

“Hey,” Scully said, softly, rocking Caleb a little.  “I bet you’d like a present.”

 

Caleb nodded and sniffled.  Mulder pulled a coloring book and crayons out of a bag and held them out.  Scully took them and put them in Caleb’s lap.

 

“Try to stay off the walls,” Mulder said.

 

“Look at that,” she said, pointing a picture of a turtle on the cover of the book.  “What is that?”

 

“A bug,” Caleb said.

 

“That’s called a turtle.”

 

“Turtle,” he repeated in a whisper.  “Turtle turtle turtle turtle.”

 

*****

 

October 28, 1999 6:47 p.m.

Hotel Miranda, Washington, D.C.

 

Scully’s phone rang while she was getting Caleb ready for a bath.  He had chocolate stains on his lips from Mulder introducing him to ice cream, the remnants of which were puddling on the table in the room.

 

“Could you,” she said, nodding towards the bathroom before she picked up her phone.

 

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing,” Mulder mumbled, shuffling into the room to stare at Caleb.  “Arms up, buddy.”

 

Caleb raised his arms and Mulder pulled his shirt off.

 

“Um, let’s get your socks off,” he said, sitting down on the closed toilet lid and pulling Caleb sideways into his lap.  He pulled the boy’s socks off and dropped them onto the floor with the shirt.  “I think we should probably wait for Scully to do the rest of this.  Let’s check the water.”

 

Mulder put Caleb on his feet and then bent down by the running water and ran his fingers underneath it.  Caleb bent beside him and put his hand out too, but he couldn’t quite reach, so Mulder lifted him and moved him closer.  He smiled as the water ran over his hand.

 

“Should it be warmer or colder?” Mulder asked.

 

“I like it,” Caleb answered.

 

“Mulder, you’re not gonna believe this,” Scully said, moving through the doorway.  “They’ve got a match on the hair we found.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Sean Reilly.  Formerly employed as a bodyguard for James Logan II.  VAPD is issuing a warrant for his arrest.”

 

“You’re kidding.”

 

“There’s something else.”

 

“What is it?”

 

Scully glanced at Caleb and then moved past Mulder to turn the water off.  She bent over, touching the tips of her fingers to the rim of the tub and whispered in Mulder’s ear.  He raised his brows when she stood back up.

 

“Are they sure?” he asked.

 

“99.98% sure,” she answered.

 

He exhaled sharply from his pursed lips and shook his head.  “I’ll call VAPD.  Guess we have to let the cat out of the bag.”

 

“Guess so.”

 

Mulder stood up and ruffled Caleb’s hair.  “Well, you...I’ll leave you to this.”

 

*****

 

October 29, 1999 10:19 a.m.

Alexandra Police Department Alexandria, VA

 

“Look, Caleb,” Mulder said, lifting the boy into his arms and tapping on the mirror in front of them.  “Wave.”

 

Caleb waved and smiled.

 

“Okay, watch.”  Mulder took Caleb out the door and into the room behind the mirror.  “Look, we can see the room we were just in.  We can see the room, but the room can’t see us.”

 

Scully came into the room with a file folder and nodded at Mulder.

 

“Scully will stay here and we’ll see if we can see her.”  Mulder walked back out into the other room and stood in front of the mirror again.  “Scully!” he called.  “Caleb, do you see her?”

 

Caleb shook his head.

 

“Knock on the window,” Mulder said, tapping his knuckle against the window and angling the boy closer so he could do the same.

 

Scully knocked back and Caleb giggled.

 

“It’s like hiding,” Mulder said, bringing Caleb back into the viewing room with Scully.  “We’re all hiding in here and no one can see us.”

 

“Caleb,” Scully said, “in just a few minutes, some men are going to come in here and stand by that wall.”

 

Caleb nodded at her.

 

“If you see a bad man back there, you tell us, okay?”

 

Caleb’s brow wrinkled and he nodded.

 

“It’s okay,” she said, rubbing his back.  “Mulder’s got you.”

 

“No one’s going to see you, little guy.  Right now, Caleb is hiding, alright?”

 

Caleb nodded.

 

Scully leaned out the door and waved her hand.  An officer and a man in an expensively tailored suit came in the room.  The officer shut the door and then pressed a button and the interior door of the line-up room opened.  Six men shuffled in and stood against the wall.

 

“Have them step forward, one at a time,” Mulder said.

 

The officer flipped the switch on an intercom and requested number one step forward and hold for five seconds and then step back, and for each man to step out in turn.  When they got to the fourth man, Caleb’s little fingers twisted at Mulder’s shirt.

 

“Caleb?” Mulder asked.

 

“That’s a bad man,” Caleb whispered.

 

“Speak up, kid,” the man in the tailored suit barked.

 

“Shut up,” both Mulder and Scully said to him.

 

“Why is that a bad man?” Mulder asked.

 

“He hurt Mommy.”

 

“Who hurt Mommy, Caleb?  Point to the bad man.”

 

Caleb reached out and put his finger on the glass, pointing at number four.

 

*****

 

October 29, 1999 10:42 a.m.

Alexandra Police Department Alexandria, VA

 

Mulder slapped a file down onto the metal table in the interrogation room and smoothed his tie down his chest as he sat down.  Scully took a quiet seat next to him, her face drawn into a stern expression.  Opposite them, Sean Reilly reclined nonchalantly in one chair and the expensively attired man from the line-up, his attorney, sat next to him.

 

“So, Sean,” Mulder said.  “I’m not interested in the ‘where were you on the night of October 27’ line.  I know where you were.  What I would like to hear is why you killed Jessica Logan?”

 

“Who?” Sean asked.

 

“Let me refresh your memory.”  Mulder opened his file and started tossing crime scene photos of Jessica’s body across the table.

 

“Never met her,” he said, without looking at the photos.

 

“Never met her?  That’s interesting considering you worked for her father for six months in 1993.”

 

“Oh, that Jessica Logan.”

 

“Would you like to explain how your hair was found on her body?” Scully asked, her face and tone devoid of emotion.

 

“My client doesn’t have to answer that,” the lawyer said.

 

“Were you aware that Jessica had a son?” Mulder asked.

 

“Congratulations,” Sean said.

 

“Her son was in the house the night you murdered her.”

 

“Allegedly,” the lawyer interjected.

 

“He saw the whole thing,” Mulder said, shaking his head.  “He saw you.  And not ten minutes ago, pointed you out in that line-up.”

 

“You’re bluffing,” Sean barked, but there was a twitch in his cheek.

 

“So, ‘where’s the money?’ doesn’t ring any bells to you?”

 

Sean didn’t answer.   Mulder reached across the table and slowly gathered up the crime scene photos, one by one, taking his time to put them back in his folder.

 

“Here’s my theory,” Mulder said.  “And you can tell me if I’m right or not.  VAPD questioned the neighbors and local businesses.  There’s an all night bodega around the corner where she’d go to pick up some groceries on occasion.  On the night of October 27, she picked up a carton of milk.  The bodega owner confirmed this just a few hours ago.”

 

Mulder paused to read a note in the file and acted more interested in it than he was in Sean.

 

“There’s an officer on his way back to the bodega right now to flash the owner a picture of you,” he said.  “And I’m guessing he’s going to recognize you.  Yeah, he was in here the same night as Jessica.  Left around the same time she did, too.  Maybe he’ll even remember you talking to her at the back refrigerators where they keep the milk.”

 

Mulder closed the file and tossed it down on the table again.  He sat back in his chair and laced his fingers behind his head.

 

“Now, here’s where I need your help filling in the holes, Sean,” he said.  “Because I can’t quite decide if Jessica let you into her house willingly, or if you threatened her to get in.  See, I’m guessing she may not have recognized you, but you recognized her.  You followed her and ambushed her at the door.  She was the daughter of a rich man you used to work for, so she had to be rich too, right?”

 

“And you just wanted a little cash,” Mulder continued, piercing Sean with a hard stare.  “Maybe some jewellry.  But, the house was empty.  And you were pissed off.  Where’s the money?  Where’s the money?  She told you to stop, but you didn’t.  You just put your hand on her neck and squeezed.  You squeezed so hard the bone in her neck snapped.”

 

Mulder took his hands off his head and then leaned forward across the table.  “And her three year old son watched you kill his mother, you sonofabitch.”

 

“I didn’t know,” Sean said.

 

“That’s enough,” the attorney said.  “My client has nothing more to say.  Sean.”

 

“Didn’t know what?” Mulder asked.  “That she didn’t have any money?  That she had a kid watching you the whole time?”

 

“I didn’t mean to hurt her.”

 

“Sean, keep your mouth shut,” the lawyer said.  “This interview is over.”

 

“Fine by me,” Mulder said, scooping up his file and standing.  “I got what I came for.”

 

Scully stood as well and followed Mulder out the door.

 

*****

 

October 29, 1999 11:13 a.m.

Alexandra Police Department Alexandria, VA

 

“Jamie,” Scully said, meeting the young man in the lobby of the precinct.  “Thank you for coming.  Follow me.”

 

“This is Paul,” Jamie said, grabbing onto the elbow of a tall, slim man with jet black hair and dark eyes.  “You asked about Paul.  He drove me here.”

 

“Paul.”  Scully nodded at the man.

 

“It’s nice to meet you,” Paul said.  “Thank you for helping Jamie.”

 

“It’s our job.”  Scully paused at a closed door and turned to both men.  “Jamie, there’s something Agent Mulder and I did not disclose to you, or anyone in the investigation until we determined it safe enough to do so.”

 

A look of fear crossed Jamie’s face and he clutched Paul’s arm tighter.  She reached out and put a hand on his arm in reassurance.

 

“Your sister had a son,” Scully said.

 

“A what?” Jamie said, his hand coming to his chest in shock.  “Are you...is this a joke?  A son?  Is he okay?  Where is he?  Was he hurt?  Oh my God, please don’t tell me he was...oh God!”

 

“It’s okay,” Scully said.  “He wasn’t hurt.  He’s three and his name is Caleb.  He’s inside this room with Agent Mulder right now.”

 

Jamie covered his mouth with one hand and he began to cry.  Paul reached over and rubbed his back.

 

“I’m sorry,” Jamie said.  “You’re saying I have a nephew?”

 

“You do.  But, there are some things you should know.”

 

Jamie composed himself and nodded.  “Okay.”

 

“We did a DNA test on Caleb to verify he was Jessica’s son.  There was a genetic abnormality in the test.”  

 

“Well, whatever it is, it’s okay,” Jamie said.  “I mean, if he needs medicine or some kind of care, that’s...that’s not a problem.”

 

“Nothing like that,” Scully said.  “The abnormality was due to chromosomal overlap.  It’s what appears in the offspring of related parties.  The swab I took from you, was used to determine if you were Caleb’s father or not?”

 

“Me!?” Jamie exclaimed.  “How could…”

 

Paul squeezed Jamie’s shoulder and furrowed his brow.

 

“You’re not Caleb’s father,” Scully said.  “But, what you are, is Caleb’s brother.”

 

“Oh my God,” Jamie said, turning and putting his fist against his mouth.

 

Paul sucked in a breath and then turned as well, putting his arm around Jamie.  “Come on,” he said.  “Just breathe.”

 

“Look,” Scully said.  “I know this is difficult.  I’m going to give you the information for a Dr. Kline at Johns Hopkins.  He was your sister’s doctor and he’s agreed to meet with you and give you all the information he can on what Jessica’s condition was and what he believed was the cause of it.”

 

“I want to see him,” Jamie said.  “I want to see my nephew.”

 

“Alright.”  Scully opened the door and led the two men inside.

 

Mulder sat at a low table with Caleb, coloring.  He stood when Scully opened the door and nodded at Jamie.

 

“Oh, he’s so beautiful,” Jamie whispered, his eyes welling.

 

“Caleb,” Scully said, leading Jamie closer.  “This is your Uncle Jamie.”

 

Caleb looked up from his coloring for a moment.

 

“What is that you’re coloring?” Jamie asked.

 

“Turtle,” Caleb said.

 

*****

 

October 31, 1999 4:52 p.m.

FBI Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

 

“That was VAPD,” Scully said, hanging up the phone in their office.

 

“What’d they have to say?” Mulder asked.

 

“Sean Reilly is being arraigned on murder in the first.  He’s pleading guilty.”

 

“Great.”  Mulder leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes.

 

“What’s the matter, Mulder?  We caught the bad guy.  A little boy is going to get the help he needs.  Your Yankees won the world series.  And, it’s Halloween.  Your favorite.  All the ghosts and goblins and monsters will be out tonight.”

 

“I think I’ve had enough of monsters for awhile,” he murmured, eyes still closed.

 

“Do you know any more poems?”

 

“I know a lot of poems.”

 

“A bedtime story poem.”

 

Mulder opened one eye in a squint.  “Do I get to tuck you in as well?”

 

“I liked the way you recited.  I’d like to hear another.”  She crossed her arms on top of the desk and waited.

 

He tipped his head back and closed his eyes again, rocking the chair from side to side as he ran his tongue over his teeth.  “Whose woods these are I think I know,” he said.  “His house is in the village though.  He will not see me stopping here, to watch his woods fill up with snow.”

 

Scully watched his lips move.  The room seemed to grow quieter, as though it was also listening to him speak.

“My little horse must think it queer to stop without a farmhouse near, between the woods and frozen lake.  The darkest evening of the year.  He gives his harness bells a shake, to ask if there is some mistake.  The only other sound’s the sweep of easy wind and downy flake.”

Mulder paused and breathed deeply before he continued.  “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.  And miles to go before I sleep.”

 

Scully waited until Mulder opened his eyes and then she gave him a soft smile.  She stood and pulled her overcoat on and then picked up her satchel.  Mulder tracked her with his eyes as she moved about the office and then stopped at the door.

 

“Mulder,” she said, touching the doorframe lightly.  She glanced over at him to see if he was looking at her and then she averted her gaze.  “You were my only choice, and you were the right choice.  If I could try something else, I would ask.  And, I’m sorry as well.”

 

“Thank you for saying that, Scully.”

 

“Good night, Mulder.”

 

“Night, Scully.”

 

The End