Scully vs the Desert Monster by Anonymous

Scully vs the Desert Monster cover

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Scully vs the Desert Monster by Anonymous

Scully vs the Desert Monster cover

Scully Vs The Desert Monster

By Anonymous

Rating: PG

Classification: H

Disclaimer: Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner and the X-Files and X-Files characters are the property of 20th Century Fox, Fox Broadcasting and 1013 Productions. No infringement is intended.

LOGLINE: Mulder and Scully team up with a particularly obnoxious Interpol agent in order to investigate random animal killings and Scully learns the true meaning of anger and male-bonding.


It was dawn, the sort of dawn that moves poets to create. A velvety sort of dawn. Velvety, with a hint of peach. Simply lovely. Animals scurried to and fro, some grazing on the desert grasses, others sinking predatory fangs into the necks of frightened herbivores. A wolf, blood still coating his muzzle, trotted carelessly across the desert, head swinging as he automatically searched for his next meal. He paused, frozen, muzzle quivering, beady eyes alert. The ground rumbled underneath his paws. The wolf shifted nervously, ignoring the stampede of dinner as gazelles and rabbits ran for cover. A shadow rose, blocking out the lightening dawn. The wolf sat down on his haunches and began to howl.


Mulder could barely contain his excitement. He beamed at the report in his hand, as if it existed only to please him. He glanced up as the door opened and gestured for Scully to enter. She saw the excitement in his eyes. She groaned and turned to go. Mulder leaped up and grabbed her arm, pulling the unwilling Scully back into his messy office.

“It’s not what you think—” he began.

“It’s always what I think,” Scully replied, “it’s just never what I believe.” Mulder’s eyebrow rose. Scully nodded, impressed. He was learning well.

“Very good, Scully. Take a look at this then. Let’s see you run with it.” Mulder perched himself on the edge of his desk as Scully flipped through the file. The breath went out of her with a whooshing sound. She stared at Mulder, eyes wide.

“What the hell DID this, Mulder?” she asked in a hushed voice. He shrugged.

“If I knew, we wouldn’t have to fly to the Arizona desert to investigate.” Scully immediately began shaking her head.

“No, no, no. No.” Scully stood, resolute. Mulder looked at her.

“So, no then?” he asked mildly.

“This is a wild Fox chase. I know what you’re thinking—” she began.

“Oh, you do? Enlighten me,” Mulder countered. Scully glared at him.

“I hate when you pontificate,” she said.

“You call THAT pontificating? One sentence? Pontificating?”

“Two sentences.”

“Two sentences? Pontif—”

“Stop it.”

Mulder stopped it. He had to play Scully very carefully here.

“It’s a bunch of animals,” she said. Mulder sighed inwardly with relief. At least she was still arguing with him. “A bunch of very dead, very mutilated animals. They were killed by something, Scully.”

“Yeah, by a wolf.”

Mulder grabbed the file from her, flipped through it, pulled out a picture, and tossed it at Scully. She made a face as the photo of the mutilated, ripped-to-shreds wolf landed face up on the desk.

“Unless you’re willing to accept that the wolves have suddenly turned cannibal, I disagree with your hypothesis, Dr. Scully.”

Scully made a face at Mulder again. She tossed the picture back at him.

“Okay, let’s hear it.”

Mulder grinned. He always got his way.

“I don’t have any theories yet, Scully. I won’t until we get a look at the site. But whether it’s somebody or something killing these animals, it’s still under our jurisdiction.”

Scully didn’t buy that for a minute.

“Oh, come on, Mulder. Our jurisdiction? Does Skinner even know about this?”

Mulder shifted nervously.

“Sure he does.”

Scully waited. Mulder may always get his way, but he was as susceptible to guilt as anyone else.

“He thinks we’re going to investigate cattle mutilations,” Mulder mumbled. Scully leaned forward.

“Sorry? I didn’t catch that,” she said sweetly. Mulder glared at her.

“He thinks we’re going to investigate cattle mutilations,” he said. Scully nodded, unsurprised.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we ARE investigating cattle mutilations once we get there, though,”

Mulder said defensively. Scully got to her feet.

“No matter what anyone else tells you, Mulder, or what happens in the future, you are and will always be full of crap,” she said, turning on her heel. She stopped as she got to the door, then turned around.

“What time does our flight leave?”

Mulder grinned.


“I am NOT going into the desert in this heat,” Scully announced. They had arrived at Lake Havasu, Arizona and it was hot as Hades. Everything Scully was wearing was sticking to her sopping wet flesh. Her hair felt like it was on fire, and she was pretty sure that it wasn’t because of the color. Mulder, while also drenched, seemed to be handling the heat better than she was. He didn’t seem quite as amazed at the heat that fairly radiated off the asphalt. As a sort of consolation, he handed her his lemonade. She drained it and tossed the cup.

“Aw, come on, Scully, I thought we could get some sightseeing in. Wanna go see the London Bridge?”

“Yeah. In London,” Scully muttered darkly. Mulder pulled her aside.

“Look, Scully, I’m sorry about the heat, but we don’t have a choice.”

“Let me guess: your monster hasn’t yet started attacking any animals who live anywhere near air-conditioning, right?”

Mulder smiled faintly. Scully sometimes amused him. Scully glowered at him, hating that face.

“Shuck the jacket, Agent Scully, and let’s collect us some camping gear,” Mulder drawled. Scully peeled off her jacket, wadded it up into a tiny, sticky, wet ball, and stuffed it into her bag. She wiped her face on her sleeve and followed Mulder out into the hot Arizona summer.


Mulder, arms loaded with bags, gazed at the London Bridge. He sipped thoughtfully on a lemonade. Scully stood next to him, slightly off to one side, using Mulder as a sunshade. She stared blindly at the bridge as she sucked down her lemonade. Mulder glanced at her.

“It kind of loses something, don’t you think?”

“You mean in the translation from wonderfully cold, cloudy London to blazing hot Arizona?” she asked. Mulder gazed again at the bridge and nodded.

“Yep, sure does.”

“I long for London,” Scully said dully.

“Cheerio then, lass,” a new voice said cheerfully. Mulder and Scully turned slowly to find themselves face to face with a rather slight young man, dressed in ragged jeans and an almost-white t-shirt. He grinned at them around a newly-lit cigarette. He took a long drag and extended his hand towards Mulder.

“Agents Mulder and Scully, I’ll wager,” he said. Mulder nodded. Scully was still having trouble focusing. The man turned towards the bridge.

“Christ. Ugly blighter,” he said thoughtfully.

“And you are…?” Mulder tried again. The man took another puff, blowing out a perfectly-formed smoke ring.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry. John Trelane, Interpol.”

Mulder looked surprised.

“Interpol?” he said.

John nodded.

“Yeah, Interpol. The international police agency? Maybe you heard my accent, which is English, which means that I work for an international agency. See how that fits in?” he said. Mulder looked slowly at Scully, who was glaring at John.

“It’s, uh, nice to meet you,” Mulder said cautiously. John stamped out his cigarette and lit another in one smooth motion.

“You too. Interesting case, what? Come on, let’s discuss this away from prying ears.”

Scully looked around. Tourists, completely unmindful of their presence, swilled lemonade and squinted at the bridge, posed for photos, and rounded up children. Scully looked back at John.

“I can see why you’d want to conceal any secret information,” she said snidely. Mulder nudged her. Scully ignored him. Mulder tried to make nice.

“I didn’t realize that Interpol would find this interesting,” Mulder replied. John motioned them towards a black Mustang convertible.

“Interpol doesn’t give a whit. I’m the one who finds this interesting. Hop in,” he said to Scully as he unlocked the door, “I’ve got air-conditioning.” Scully was in the car in a flash. Mulder followed more slowly, still unsure about this cheerful agent. John slid behind the wheel and gunned the engine. Mulder sighed and climbed into the passenger seat. Scully had turned all of the air vents towards the back seat, where she was lounging apparently in some form of freon paradise.

John gunned the engine again as he searched for a radio station.

“Christ. You’d think I could get the college station out here,” he muttered. Giving up, he popped in a tape. Cheerful pop melodies blared through the speakers. Mulder frowned. John noticed.

“The Chills,” he said as a way of explanation. Mulder looked confused.

“The Chills? From New Zealand? They’re a band.” John said helpfully. Mulder shrugged. John sighed and shifted violently into drive.

“I guess all those rumors about the FBI are true,” he ventured. Mulder loosened his tie, an act that made him acutely aware of the differences between him and their new partner. Speaking of that… “Where does your interest lie in this case?” Mulder asked.

“I’m Interpols answer to you, Mulder,” John explained. Scully’s eyebrow shot up.

“Really? I didn’t realize that there were more,” Scully said. John’s gaze slid towards Mulder and Mulder found himself exchanging a sympathetic look with the cocky agent.

“S’okay. Interpol thinks I’m crazy, too. Which is why I’m on this case.”

“Case? We don’t have a case yet,” Scully said.

“Oh, you just wait. There’ll be a case. You guys are so cautious. It’s cute, rather.”

Scully slumped back in her seat. Mulder looked out the window at the faceless, never-changing landscape that whizzed by. This was going to be a long few days.


The sun beat down mercilessly on the Mustang. Unfortunately for the Mustang’s occupants, the car was sitting by the side of the road, steam rising out from underneath the hood. Mulder, completely drenched in sweat now, stared blankly at the car. Scully wilted as she stood next to John.

“Right. That’s it then,” John said. He turned on his heel and began walking down the road. Mulder and Scully turned to stare at him.

“Hey, where are you going?” Mulder shouted. “It’s just overheating.” John paused and turned around. He casually lit a cigarette.

“It’s a Ford, isn’t it?”

Mulder, puzzled, nodded.

“Found on road deserted. Come on, let’s get a move on. We’re not too far now.”

Scully glared at Mulder, who was staring at the retreating back of John Trelane in disbelief.

“This is so much less than great—” she began. Mulder nodded wearily.

“I know. I’m sorry, Scully. You’re right. He’s insane,” Mulder said.

“What do you suggest we do, Mulder? Call for a tow?” Mulder shrugged.

“I don’t know why, Scully…but—”

“Oh, no. No way. You just said—”

“I know what I said, Scully, but I have this hunch—”

The ground rocked. Scully clutched Mulder for support. A tire blew out on the Mustang. Scully and Mulder looked at each other, wide-eyed. Without a word, they turned and followed John, who had shrunk to a speck in the distance.


John Trelane squinted at the flattened automobile. He moved forward cautiously, slowly. But that was really unnecessary. The car was as flat as a pancake. John kneeled down next to what used to be a door. He cocked his head as Mulder and Scully galloped up.

“What is it?” Mulder asked breathlessly. John examined the car, then got to his feet. He hid a smile. Scully looked like a drowned rat.

“Catch a swim along the way, then?”

Mulder put a cautious hand on Scully’s arm as she lunged forward.

“Don’t provoke him, Scully,” he said. John motioned to the car.

“1975 Chevrolet Nova. Blue. A particularly unattractive model.”

Scully stared at the car.

“How can you tell?” she asked. John grinned.

“It’s one of my many talents.”

“I’d hate to know what the others are,” Scully muttered.

“Actually, love, we don’t have that kind of time, but I’m sure you’ll find out sooner or later.”

Mulder kneeled down next to the car. He looked at John.

“What the hell did this?”

John shrugged carelessly.

“Why knows? Betcha it’s the critter we’re looking for, though.”

“Critter?” Mulder asked in disbelief. “This car has been flattened. No animal did this.”

John raised an eyebrow.

“Aren’t you the open-minded one, Agent Mulder? I don’t suppose that you’ve ever been chased by a maddened African elephant then.”

Mulder was getting more than a little tired of this man’s tone.

“No, I haven’t. But you have, I take it.”

“Of course. Interpol. International. Remember that and you’ll be okay.”

Scully walked around the other side of the car and gasped.


Mulder trotted over to her. John shook his head.

“One day you’ll call my name…”

“Shut up and get over here,” Scully barked. John shrugged.

“Good enough for starters.”

He joined Mulder and Scully and Scully was happy to see that something affected the man.

“You okay?” She asked sarcastically. Mulder rolled his eyes. John nodded.

“Sure, fine. Seeing a bloodied hand protruding from a smashed-up automobile just takes a little getting used to.”

Mulder was getting queasy. A hand was indeed poking out of the wreckage. It was attached to an arm, which was attached to a torso which was entirely unrecognizable but obviously recently deceased. The ground rumbled again. A crow flew nervously overhead, cawing madly. Scully looked up, unsettled. She glanced at John.

“I suppose you have a theory—”

Mulder was offended.


Scully ignored him. John seemed to take the few oddities they’d seen in stride. The ground shook again, more violently. John grabbed Scully’s arm.

“Wait a minute—”

“No time for niceties, Agent Scully. We’ve got to get out of here. Come on, come on, let’s go,”

John said. Mulder followed John and Scully as the sky turned dark.


They were in a ravine. Scully was hungry, tired and sick of following John through the Arizona desert. Mulder slipped her a very sticky half of a Power Bar. She gave him a grateful look and shoved the whole thing into her mouth. They walked on. The sky had remained dark only for a few moments, but even its return to normalcy seemed to give John worry. He paused abruptly and Scully slammed into him, presenting him with a sticky Power Bar-colored, hand-shaped print on his back. Mulder stifled a laugh.

“Earthquake,” John said, quite sensibly. Mulder and Scully exchanged puzzled glances.

“What—” Mulder began, but the ground once again began to shake, worse than before. Mulder grabbed John’s arm.

“You’re leading us into this, not away!” He said accusingly. John nodded.

“Of course. We’re supposed to investigate, right? What, do FBI agents investigate from afar, or is this some new kind of training?”

“Of course not, but you can at least tell me what we’re up against.”


Scully tried to get her partner’s attention, but he was all fired up at being led around by the nose. Yeah, a taste of your own medicine, Mulder, Scully thought. She pulled on his shirt.


He shook her off, going toe to toe with the cool Englishman.

“Mulder, I really think—”

“In a minute, Scully.”

In a minute? IN A MINUTE?? Scully shrugged and moved back. Fine. Get yourself killed. See if I care. The ground was shaking with some regularity now, but both John and Mulder seemed unconcerned. The sky darkened. Scully tried one more time.

“You guys, I really think you should—”

The were still ignoring her. The dominant sex. Ri-i-ight. Scully turned on her heel and ran, as fast as she could over the quavering ground. CRASH! CRASH! CRASH! THUD! THUD! THUD! It was getting closer. Scully stumbled, righted herself, and sprinted towards a dark opening in the rock, hoping, praying, that it was a cave. As the sound and the fury increased she flung herself into the darkness of the cave, backpeddled and found her back against a wall. She panted for breath. CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH CRASH. Scully covered her ears.


Mulder turned around. Scully was gone.

“What the hell…?”

John, who had been bearing the brunt of Mulder’s wrath, suddenly turned on his heel and dashed after Scully.

“Come on. She’s found a cave!”

Great, Mulder thought. Jolly for Scully. CRASHCRASHCRASHCRASHCRASH!!!! Wait a minute. It wasn’t just the ground moving. Something was doing the moving. Something was coming. Mulder turned, but could hardly walk. The ground was unmanageable. What on EARTH was doing this? The sound was getting deafeningly closer. Every instinct screamed RUN!, but that niggling curiosity of Mulder’s got the best of him. Still running as best he could, he turned. And screamed. Dust swirled up behind him, furious dust, getting into his eyes, his throat. Two red eyes glared balefully at him from about thirty stories up. A mighty jaw opened in a deafening roar, exposing incredibly sharp teeth the size of the crushed Nova. The roar nearly knocked Mulder to the ground, but he kept running. Survival of the fittest. Yeah, right. Not in the face of THAT thing. CRASHCRASHCRASHCRASH! Mulder ran as fast as he’d ever run. He could see the opening, could see Scully’s pale face watching him, watching the creature closing the distance. Mulder zigzagged crazily in the ravine, feeling more than a little like Luke Skywalker in the Death Star’s trench. He was nearly bowled over by a gust of wind to his right. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a gigantic claw moving in for the kill. Mulder zigged. Another claw took a swipe at him from the other side. He zagged. The creature screamed, and Mulder felt its hot breath ruffle his hair. OhChristOhChristOhChrist…

If he dove now…a claw caught him, knocked him sideways. Dazed, Mulder stumbled to his feet. Then he was off his feet. The claw wrapped itself around Mulder and picked him up. He could see Scully’s terrified eyes watching helplessly as he was lifted towards that gigantic mouth. Mulder was an appetizer. He was done for. His arms were pinned tightly against his body. He squeezed his eyes shut, heard a sharp crack and was suddenly plummeting towards the ground. He hit hard, felt a bone give in his arm, and didn’t even mind that Scully used that arm with which to drag him into the cave.


Half in, half out of consciousness, Mulder lay on the dusty floor of the cave as Scully’s doctor hands felt him for wounds. She sucked in her breath as she saw his arm.

“Shit,” she muttered.

“It really doesn’t hurt at all,” Mulder murmured drowsily. It HAD been a long day. He had every right to be tired. John’s face swam into view. He looked worried. Je-sus. Mulder must really be hurt. John holstered his gun and Mulder realized that the gun had made the cracking sound that had forced the monster to drop him.

“Hey…thanks,” Mulder whispered. John shrugged.

“No problem, mate. Didn’t cause him a bit of pain, though. How is he?” John asked Scully. She stood and pulled John aside.

“He’s got a broken arm, thankfully not a compound fracture, more of a green-stick fracture but I don’t know for sure…two, maybe three, cracked ribs…God knows if he’s got any internal injuries…we have to get him to a hospital.”

“Ah, you doctors are all the same.”

Scully stared at John as he lit a cigarette.

“He’s seriously injured!”

John shrugged.

“He’s not THAT seriously injured. What, has he got a low pain threshold or something?”

“Okay, you incur injuries like his and then we’ll talk.”

Scully marched back to Mulder. John followed.

“He’ll live. And I HAVE incurred injuries like his. Worse, in fact. I was the proud recipient of a cracked skull on one case. And then there was the severed leg case in Australia…and the sliced jugular in Spain…or was that Morocco? No, Spain. Morocco was that nasty dysentery…”

Scully ignored John, but Mulder didn’t. He needed something to latch onto and someone to argue with.

“I’ve been shot twice—”

“Where?” John challenged. Scully avoided Mulder’s gaze.

“One in the shoulder, one in the leg.”

John nodded.

“Ah. Very impressive. Ever been gut shot?”

Mulder hesitated.

“No,” he replied reluctantly.

“Ah,” John said wisely, “I don’t advise it. I’ve been gut shot twice, been in five, no six, comas…”

Mulder nodded painfully then dug into his own bag of tricks.

“I was infected by a retrovirus carried by toxic alien blood…nearly killed by a mutant who ate livers…identified by evil…was nearly infected by an alien parasite…been attacked by a werewolf…almost been abducted by a UFO, darn it…wrestled with a six-foot intestinal worm…”

Scully carefully dressed Mulder’s wounds.

“Mulder,” she said softly. Mulder, in shock now, ignored her and kept on droning.

“Had sex with a near-vampire…”

Scully stopped.

“Excuse me?”

He kept going.

“Fought the devil…was attacked by a voodoo-crazed soldier…aged decades, only to be returned to my own age…was nearly cannibalized…”

Mulder was slowing down.

“Was almost killed when Cancer Man blew up the boxcar I was in…almost had my head severed by an NSA agent…almost became a gargoyle killer…fought the oilien…had my mind controlled…attacked by an alien clone…something with killer kitties…don’t remember…Jose Chung…”

Mulder was out. John stared at him in amazement.

“Show off,” he muttered jealously. Scully stood and stretched, carefully putting away the hypodermic needle. John watched her.

“I don’t suppose you’ve got enough tranq to put that creature out, do you?”

Scully smiled slightly.

“Afraid not.”

She sat down a few feet away from Mulder, watching him carefully. The creature’s rampaging noises were lessening. John sat down next to her.

“He was kidding, right?”

“Don’t I wish,” Scully said dryly. “Huh.”

Scully turned to look at John. He had an enormous gash on his arm from the claw and he didn’t seem to notice.

“Doesn’t that hurt?”

He looked faintly surprised to find that he had been scratched.

“Oh. Bloody hell.”

“Want some antiseptic?”

John shook his head.

“Nah. I’ve an iron constitution.”

“I see.”

Scully watched Mulder. She looked at John.

“What IS that thing? You know, don’t you? You knew it would be here.”

John shrugged modestly. He’d perfected that shrug and it had treated him well.

“I suspected. I don’t know what it is, really, although I’ve always fostered the hope that it was Godzilla.”

“Oh, that’s realistic. You and Mulder should be fast friends.” Scully commented. “It sure moved like a badly-animated stop-motion dinosaur.”

“Godzilla is not a dinosaur,” John said, miffed. Scully smirked.

“Yeah, whatever. This thing’s a hell of a lot more frightening than Godzilla.”

“Tell that to the Japanese,” John muttered.

“So what IS it?” Scully asked. What she wouldn’t give for a pat scientific answer…

“For lack of a better description, it’s a dinosaur. It lives underground, in tunnels.”

Oh God. Scully couldn’t believe it. This guy was nuttier than Mulder. She glanced quickly at her partner. His breathing was steady. She checked his pulse. Strong. Good. She sat back and regarded John.



“In tunnels.”

“Uh huh.”

“Then what the hell are we doing in a CAVE?”

“Hell if I know. You found it, if you’ll remember correctly.”

Despite herself, Scully was getting frantic. Mulder didn’t stand a chance if that thing could burrow through the ground. Hell, none of them did.


“Don’t worry, Scully. You probably didn’t catch a good look at it, but it really IS a dinosaur. At least, it resembles one physically. It can’t burrow through the ground and eat us. It lives in existing tunnels, natural tunnels. Soft ground here. It hunts above ground, sleeps underground.”

Scully nodded. She was still with him.

“Okay, say I accept that. But then why haven’t we seen it, or others like it, before?”

John grinned.

“Something tells me that your partner would just accept this without reservation.”

“And your point?”

“Touché, Agent Scully. Seismic shifts seem to act as an alarm clock for this creature. There was a little quake in this area last week. Nothing major, nothing that was even felt or reported. But it existed, and it woke the thing up. It got up, went to work, clocked in, and started eating.”

“Okay,” Scully said slowly,” so how do we get rid of it?”

“Easy. We kill it.”

Scully stared at him, stunned. Then furious.

“If we’d been informed that we’d be plopped down in the middle of Jurassic Park we could have armed ourselves.”

John nodded sagely.

“True, true.”

Scully glared at him.

“And you didn’t come prepared either, did you?”

John shrugged.

“I’m not prepared NOW, if that’s what you mean.”

Oh God.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

John almost looked sheepish. Scully groaned inwardly. This wasn’t going to be good.

“I had the tranq kit with me, but when that monster made its mad dash towards us, I must’ve dropped it.”

Scully stared at him in pure, panicked disbelief.


“I know.”

Scully wanted to kill him and she fervently prayed that infection would do the job for her. He dropped it. Swell. Scully looked at him. His arm was obviously stiffening up. Something occurred to her.

“You never planned on killing it. You planned on finding it, trapping it, and capturing it.”

“So what if I did?”

Got him.

“You don’t work for Interpol, do you?”

John sighed, reached into his back pocket, and pulled out his I.D. He flipped it to Scully. She examined it.

“As you can see, I DO work for Interpol. Just because we don’t want to exterminate the thing doesn’t mean that I don’t work for a government agency. Not every agency is as callous as the FBI.”

Scully stared at him in complete disbelief. She sputtered. He waited. She stopped.

“Okay now?” he asked solicitously. Scully slumped against the cave wall and closed her eyes.

“I’m sure Mulder wouldn’t want to kill it either. You two should be fast friends after this escapade.”

John leaned back as well.

“Escapade. I like that. It has a nice drawing-room feel to it.”

Scully looked around their prison. Sure, fine, whatever.


The monster roared. Somewhere in the dim recesses of Mulder’s brain, that registered. And everytime the thing bellowed, the ground heaved and Mulder’s arm began to throb. Hey, he was feeling pain again. He carefully opened an eye. Scully sat opposite him, gun firmly in hand, watching the opening of the cave. John, a bandage sloppily wrapped around his arm, appeared to be lighting a fire with a Zippo. Mulder couldn’t be sure. Maybe he was still delirious.

The monster shrieked again and Mulder could smell monster-breath. It was trying to scare them out of the cave the same way a T. Rex would. Scully, fed up to the gills with this monster bellowing thing, lunged to her feet, took three swift strides forward, and fired two rounds into its tonsils.

“Cut that OUT!” She hollered. The monster made a choking, gagging sound and shuffled away, obviously getting ready for another attempt. John looked at Scully.

“You’re wasting bullets,” he observed. Scully glared at him.

“It makes me feel better. Maybe it’ll give him lead poisoning.”

“Bullets don’t —”

“I know. Shut up.”

Mulder surreptitiously closed his eye. Scully was in a foul mood. The acrid smoke from John’s fire made Mulder open his eyes all the way. Scully noticed the flutter of his eyelids.

“He’s awake,” she told John. Yeah, like John cares. Scully knelt down next to Mulder and gave him that you-stupid-moron-how-ya-doing smile.

“Scully —” Mulder croaked. Scully checked his pulse and nodded.

“You’re going to be okay, Mulder. We’re going to get you some water.”


“Where?” Mulder was really thirsty. John’s fire was blazing now and it felt good in the cool desert night.

“Don’t worry. Everything’ll be fine.”

“Scully —”

“Mulder, cut out the death scene, okay? You’re not that hurt.”

Geez. She WAS in a bad mood. John’s face swam into Mulder’s sight. If it was possible, John looked even worse than Mulder, but Mulder figured that this was another in the long list of competitions that they were supposed to have. John’s face was slick with sweat and he was deathly pale. Mulder couldn’t figure out if the paleness was in addition to his English complexion or not.

“Want to play questions?” John asked as cheerfully as he could.

“How do you play that?”

John hesitated, then shook his head.

“Nah. Too easy.”

Scully helped Mulder sit up and moved him closer to the fire. John settled down on the other side.

“It goes something like this: A man walks into a diner, sits down and orders the special, which is seagull soup. The waitress brings him the soup. The man takes one bite, spits it out, begins screaming, jumps up and runs out of the diner, down the pier, and leaps into the ocean, drowning himself. Why?”

Mulder and Scully both stared at John. They looked at each other, then back at him.

“Why what?” Mulder asked slowly. John rolled his eyes.

“Why did the man kill himself?”

“How are we supposed to know?” Scully asked. John just shook his head.

“You two are slower than I thought. The object of the game is for you to ask me yes and no questions in order to determine why the man killed himself. Simple enough?”

ROOOOOOAAAAAAAAR!!!! It was back. This time, its scream nearly blew out the fire. Mulder winced.

“Does that thing ever give up?”

Both Scully and John shook their heads.

“It hasn’t so far,” Scully muttered. Mulder glanced at John.

“You want us to play some sort of game instead of trying to figure out how to kill that thing and get out of here? I’ve heard of casual, but this —”

“Look, Agent Mulder — may I call you Spooky? — it’s pitch black dark out there. Prime predator feeding time. That thing sees better at night than we see during the day. If we tried to make a break for it now it would all be over.”

Scully shook her head.

“What we need to do is to find that tranq kit of yours,” she said.

Mulder perked up.

“He brought a tranq kit?”

Scully nodded.

“Yep. He’s going to tranquilize the creature and take it back to Interpol, I guess.”

“Ha ha,” John said. “Granted, we need to find it. But we can’t now. We’ll try at dawn.”

“Then we should get some sleep,” Scully offered. John glared at her.

“Maybe this is just a guy bonding thing, but I rather like sitting around a campfire telling stories.”

Scully nodded.

“You’re right. It’s a guy bonding thing.”

Mulder glanced at her.

“I’m a guy,” he said softly. Scully raised an eyebrow. Yeah, so? Mulder looked sheepish.

“I want to sit around the campfire and tell stories.”

Christ. Scully stood, brushing off her pants.

“Knock yourselves out, boys.” Scully, gun still in hand, walked over to the cave’s entrance and stood guard as John and Mulder got to know one another.


Scully winced as the monster roared again. John was right; it appeared to be a bit more frantic now that night had fallen. She turned to look at Mulder and John, who were immersed in their game and simply not paying the monster any attention at all. She hated them.

“Okay. Let me see if I’ve got this straight: The man was a sailor, and he was shipwrecked on an island,” Mulder said, spraying cracker crumbs out of his mouth. John handed him a flask. Mulder glanced quickly at Scully then surreptitiously downed a slug.


Mulder stared over John’s left shoulder, lost in thought. He looked at John.

“Was the sea red?”

John was completely lost.


“The sea,” Mulder said patiently. “Was it red?”

“Why on Earth would it be red?”

“You know. Diatoms,” Mulder offered. John’s glance slid over to Scully.

“I know you said he was paranoid, but this is ridiculous.”

Scully came back to the fire and kneeled down.

“That’s not paranoia. It’s desperation,” she said. Mulder made a cracker face at her.

“Thanks a lot, Scully,” he muttered. Scully grinned as she reached over to check his wounds. Mulder scowled.

“No problem.”

John lit a cigarette.

“Come on. Go again.”

Mulder thought. Scully sighed.

“Were there other people on the island besides the sailor?” she asked tiredly. John’s eyes lit up.

“Now you’re getting the hang of it!”

Against her will, Scully found herself thinking the puzzle through. Something in the soup…no, Mulder had been there already. He’d even suggested alien blood. Okay, then maybe the sailor thought that the soup was something different…Scully looked at John.

“Did the people make seagull soup?” She queried. John nodded happily. Mulder glared at her. Scully thought.

“There aren’t any crop circles,” Mulder offered. Scully nodded slowly.

“That’s good to know, Mulder. Why don’t you rest.”

He sulked.

“Got it yet?” John asked. Suddenly, an enormous clawed hand raked into the cave. Scully grabbed Mulder and pulled him to the back of the cave. The fire went out.

“Shit,” John said softly. “Got any bullets left, Agent Scully?”

Scully groaned.


John nodded.


The claw came closer. The monster was roaring his silly head off now. Rock and dust began falling from the ceiling as the furious beast tried to get at his prey. The three professionally trained agents shrank against the wall. Mulder coughed.

“Marshall, Will and Holly…on a routine expedition…” he muttered. John started giggling. It was NOT a pretty sound.

“I better get to be Marshall,” John said. Mulder shook his head adamantly.

“No way. You’re the milquetoast brother.”

“I thought Marshall was the brother,” Scully said.

“Nope,” both John and Mulder said simultaneously. Scully rolled her eyes. Whatever. They’d been cooped up in this cave for twelve hours, daylight was imminent, the monster was making a last-ditch effort to eat them, and Scully was almost ready to take her chances with the beast. Anything to get away from Mulder and John.

“You’d think the thought would pierce his dim brain that we’re not really worth all the bother,”

John observed. Scully replied automatically.

“Given the creature’s size and the fact that he seems to be one of a kind, it’s not unbelievable that he would require many meals of smaller animals. Of course, other animals have the sense to be long gone before darkness falls.”

John stared at her.

“Hey, ducky, I was joking,” he said. The monster roared again and the cave shook. A huge rock fell directly in front of them. The monster’s claw raked over the rock and then reached around it, pulling it out of the cave. With one mighty roar, the three agents heard the sound of teeth on rock. Scully raised an eyebrow.

“He is a bit dim, isn’t he?” John said. Scully stood suddenly, checking her gun to make sure that her one measly bullet was still safely in its chamber. Mulder looked at her.

“Scully —” Mulder said, dreading her actions.

“Don’t worry about me, Mulder. I’m sick of this thing. It’s got the I.Q. of a paramecium and we’re allowing it to hold us captive. I’m not waiting until morning. I’m going out to get that tranq kit, I’m going to put it to sleep, and we’re getting the hell out of the desert.”

With that, Scully turned and walked decisively towards the cave entrance. John and Mulder watched her, slightly in awe. They looked at each other.

“Why do I suddenly feel like the damsel in distress?” Mulder asked.


Scully saw red. She hated that creature almost as much as she hated twelve hours of aimless man-talk. Maybe it was the man-talk that drove her out in the first place, willing to confront the most frightening beast she’d ever seen. Scully slipped out of the cave, her wary gaze on the monster. It was still making a snack out of the rock. Scully winced. The thing was making lip-smacking, snuffling noises. Dee-sgusting.

Scully moved rapidly but carefully down the ravine, gun in hand, on the alert for the tranq kit. Where did that lout John drop it? She heard a crash behind her. The monster had dropped the rock and was rooting around in the cave once more. Then Scully saw the white box. Pleased, she scampered over, picked it up, and turned to go. She froze. The monster had risen from the cave and was staring at her, angry little eyes locked on her frightened form. It turned its massive body around and let out another deafening roar. Scully didn’t move. The thing craned its neck and started towards her.

So much for the theory that it couldn’t see you if you didn’t move, Scully though as she tore into the tranq kit. The thing was fast and it was closing in on her. It roared again. Scully had had enough.

“Shut UP!” she screamed. “Just shut the hell UP, pea-brain! Jesus Christ, what the hell do you think you ARE, terrorizing innocent people like us??”

Scully had lost her fear and was focused on screaming at the monster. The thing appeared to be slightly taken aback. Scully pressed her advantage and stalked towards the monster as she loaded the tranq gun.

“I’ve been stuck in a cave with two manly men only because of YOU! I’ve been shot at, had my head nearly cracked open, abducted, once by aliens and several times by you-don’t-want-to-know-what, and all because I follow Mulder into whatever cockamamie case he digs up! And I’ve HAD it, I tell you! I’m here because of Mulder! And there’s no goddammed way some fucking faux dinosaur is going to dictate to ME when I can come out and when I have to cower in fear in some fucking CAVE. I haven’t had a shower or a decent meal in what feels like days, and I REFUSE to be YOUR meal, so just stand still, you son of a bitch, because I’m taking out all my anger on YOU!”

Scully whipped out the tranq gun and fired, hitting the monster right between the eyes. Still staring in stunned disbelief, it fell, hitting the ground hard. The entire ravine shook. For good measure, Scully hit it again and then stalked past the motionless body and back to the cave. Mulder, supported by John, was standing at the entrance to the cave, staring in open-mouthed shock as Scully tossed the tranq gun aside.

“Come on. Let’s get the hell out of here,” she growled. Mulder and John meekly followed Scully down the ravine. As they climbed the rocks that led them back up to higher ground, Scully paused and looked at John.

“There weren’t enough seagulls on the island, so the men cannibalized each other but only a few people knew that the soup was really human soup and not seagull soup. When the man ordered seagull soup it tasted completely different from what he’d had on the island, so he figured that he’d eaten human soup on the island. Hence, the suicide.”

Without another word, Scully turned and kept walking. Mulder and John looked at each other.

“She’s stressed out,” Mulder said. “Scully’s a great theorist, but sometimes —”

“She’s right,” John said, amazed. Mulder narrowed his eyes.

“THAT’s what upset that guy so much? Let him walk a day in MY shoes, we’ll see if he complains.”

John rolled his eyes.

“Come on, Marshall.”

They continued trekking after Dana Scully, Monster Killer.




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