Buffy belongs to, apparently, someone else than Joss, as they don't want him in the new movie. If it belonged to me, I would have made Whedon do a canon Faith movie. X-Files belong most probably to Chris Carter and Fox. And, once again, nothing here belongs to me and I have made no money here (and never will).Author's Note:
This is sort of a response to challenge 935 on TTH. In the terms of plot this is not much of a story, but this is how I felt after watching X-Files, something mysterious is going on, but the characters don't know sh!t. So I stopped watching that show.Note:
This has not been beta-read by an outside source, if you see a bug, tell me.
Above the body, writing on the wall, "Mother's milk is red <undecipherable>". Writing done in blood, probably victim's, sent for analysis.
The text went on, but Dawn stopped reading there. "Mother's milk is red today". She knew the phrase. She encountered it before. And she almost became a victim then…
The only problem was, she attributed the bloody (well, blood-written, at least) message to the being now thought of dead, extinct. The First Evil. If it was back to its old tricks, back to world-endage, it would be bad. Calling for her sisters help bad. And she wouldn't want that now. Definitely not now…
She decided to finish reading the report, but she didn't find anything new there, it didn't look any different than any other homicide she ever came across in her short career. A slashed throat, a bloodbath… and a message on the wall. Well, the message was different. The rest – almost ordinary for Miami. Not demon-y. Not demanding the attention of the Council. Nor her sister. Definitely no need to call anyone there. A visit from Buffy would be bad now, really, really bad. The overprotective older sister with a case of serious mom complex and enough resources to pull her out of her current life was seriously of the bad…
She still did not finish reading the report, having been once again sidetracked by thoughts of her pre-Miami days. Once again she continued reading it. The more detailed parts followed the initial report, these coming from the tech's reports. It was a meticulous work, a series of tests run again and again. But she had to go over it all. It was her case now, oddly enough. And there she was, intimately familiar with one of the elements of the crime scene…
"Officer Summers," a male voice interrupted her reading… or rather the random wandering of her thoughts that started once again. She looked it up to a dark suit – uh,oh, her thoughts went immediately – and then to a handsome face. Of an FBI agent. She so had to stop checking out guys now. Seriously, she… Well, as for now she needed to focus on answering, not talking with herself.
"Yes, Agent?" she fished for his name, meanwhile spotting another suit heading for the techies' lab, that one a female, redhead…
"Mulder," the agent stopped her once again wandering train of thoughts. "The one you are looking at is my partner, Agent Scully. We are here following a case of yours."
"A case? But I have no case open at this time…" she paused. "Except for this one," she pointed to the file on her desk. "But I've only been assigned it, I haven't even finished reading the previous documentation!" she said defensively.
"That's no problem, officer. We are not here to take the case away from you. Not at this point anyway. We are only observing."
"And may I ask why?" that was not a normal FBI behavior. When they came, they always came to take over, never just to snoop around. Oh, they did snoop around quite often, it was that they didn't stop at just snooping. The FBI always stated that it's time was so important, that…
"The message written in victim's blood," Dawn almost gasped upon hearing this, she KNEW it was something. Meanwhile, the suit continued: "It is not the first I have seen that sentence. It's the first case of a homicide, though."
"So you have no case here. It is not a federal jurisdiction."
"Oh, you see, but it may be. It may well be. There never was a body before… blood of missing people, though…" he stopped at that. Dawn just sent him the patented you have got to be kidding me
The agents took to following her when she went to check back on the crime scene. She hated that kind of behavior, especially as they used a rental car and stuck to her rear bumper, or so it seemed. When she finally arrived, she was seething and almost ready to erupt at them. She stopped only in the fear of them taking the investigation from her.
Why she went back to the house, she wasn't really sure. It was thoroughly investigated. She just wanted to check something out, she had a feeling. If only the suits hadn't wanted to recheck the scene themselves!
The murder took place in the living room and that was where the message was written on the wall. She spotted it immediately after entering, it was hard not to, the wall being white… previously. Blood on white wall, visible from miles and miles away…
She stood there staring until the redhead moved ahead to look at the floor where the body had been found. The guy, Mulder, was standing beside Dawn, also staring at the wall.
"Mother's milk is red today," she heard him mutter. He obviously knew the phrase then, as the last word on the wall really was undecipherable. It was something of an unfinished business really. Maybe the killer had to run not to be caught in the act? After all when the police arrived the body was still warm.
Slowly, she approached the wall, checking down only to avoid the furniture and Agent Scully, who was still busily checking the general area where the body was found. She didn't pay any attention to Agent Mulder, leaving him behind in the doorway, still looking at the scene. The wall… it was as if it was calling to her. She stepped even closer, looking at the message. Then she moved her hand and touched the wall, just below the sentence. It was where the bloodied hand was pressed in her earlier encounter with the being… well, situation. She used her nail to scrape the wall…
"Scully, look at that," she almost jumped up, startled to hear Mulder's voice. She turned around to see both agents looking at her. No, not at her. At the point she was scraping the paint off… She looked back to the wall. There was something red under the paint. Something looking just like... blood.
"Officer Summers," it was the male agent once again, this time talking to her. "I gather you have encountered something like this before?"
"No, I…" she stammered, no really sure how to answer. How could she talk about Sunnydale to the FBI?
"It wouldn't be an old case, like the blood-job there," he started talking, visibly more to himself, not to her or even to Scully. "You have seen it in some other city I gather?" And without giving her time to answer, he continued: "I think it is safe to say that the cycle is starting again in Miami, Scully. The second murder may already have taken place. Or it may not. We are taking over the case. Don't touch the electronics…"
"No, you cannot," Dawn felt drawn to the case, she had no intention of giving it out to some suits.
"Yes, we can. Similar murders have taken place all over the country over the last few decades. It is safe to say that the serial killer has now moved to Miami. Or rather returned here, seeing the old mark. Scully, call Skinner. I'll contact my other sources…"
"You are not serious about that," it was the first time Dawn heard Agent Scully speak. And there she was beginning to suspect the other woman was mute. "It is not something from your archive. It is a normal case of a serial killer," her partner tried to interrupt her at that point, but she raised her hand and stopped him. "And a good thing too, Skinner would have probably finally fired you if this was another wild goose chase."
"It is not a wild goose chase. There was no… Oh, nevermind, we'll talk about this later," he stated with a side glance at Dawn. What the hell?
Dawn truly hated those so called taskforce meetings
. It almost never brought in any new information and only took place to soothe the boss. At least she was on the taskforce for this case. If the FBI had more agents around it would have surely taken over the whole case, not just set up shop here. And of course the Lieutenant was droning about some crap in the background. And that short wanker from the lab was edging closer to her. Seriously, where is a friendly vampire to scare of idiots when you need him?
The whole meeting was just going over the already established facts. And Dawn already knew every part of it, having been assigned to the case before the FBI made their appearance. At least the agents brought in some new information. There would be three murders overall, two left then, and after that the killer would move on to some other, random city. Maybe to strike in a week's time. And maybe not once in the next ten years. The only chance to realistically catch him was now, before he kills his third Miami victim.
For a while there was hope that the bloodwork would bring in some new trail, or at least anything. No such luck. Oh, the tech did determine some interesting things, like the tools used, the angles, even the height of the assailant, but it was nothing really useful. There was no foreign blood, so no real possibility to track the murderer. And of course no one, with the possible exception of Agent Mulder, who she was suspecting of being an Andrew-level freak, would believe the deadly electronics trail. Well, their bad. She would pursue that one on her own… time. She had to stick to the rules while at work after all.
The second murder was not different than the first. It was a random person, it could just as well have been her, as there was no connection to the previous victim. That… complicated things. But the suits had been expecting something along those lines, as they did not even push for finding the connection. Well, crap.
She looked around the house, at the few cops and techs left, examining the house. She spotted Agent Scully, checking something on the floor, near the place the body was found. Mulder, on the other hand, was busily cataloguing every piece of malfunctioning electrical equipment. Well, that would be something to do if you knew about the supernatural. And she was almost certain now, even if Fox Mulder did not know-know that there was something out there, he at least suspected there was. She wondered how did that happen, did he maybe came into contact with that LA cop that worked with Angel for some time? If he encountered a vampire himself he would KNOW… or be one himself.
And here she was, meeting with some shady electronics guys. Geeks of the Warren type, really. Evil geniuses. Thankfully locked in their little shop. And currently checking her out. Did those guys even have a live? Who was she kidding, definitely not.
"Mister Atton, would you please stop that and answer my fucking question?" she asked nicely once she had had enough of it.
"I, uh, I…" he stammered, unable to compose his thoughts.
"Yes, you. My question. Answer. Now," she said, sweetly. Well, though her teeth, but she still thought of it as sweetly, considering the fact that she should have decked him already. Twice.
"To answer your question," the nerd started. Dawn glared. "Uh… There have been no incidents of the kind you describe. There was no comet after all, like in that movie..." Dawn glared some more. "Uh… Anyway, the reception is down in some areas recently, for an unknown reason. Some kind of EM interference, most probably…"
"Show me where," Dawn just said, taking a city map out of her back pocket.
The interference was surprisingly of a shape that could be easily identified by some centers. Three of them to be precise. Two, more or less around the locations of two previous murders. The third center, she guessed, would point at the location where the last one would occur. If it already hadn't. She sped through the city, high above the speed limit, still unofficially. There was no single building in the suspect area, but rather housing for two thousand families. This would take some time… If only she had some kind of backup, someone that would not think of her as nuts, when she suggested it... Or maybe? She picked up her phone and dialed a number.
"Agent Mulder?" she asked immediately upon hearing someone picking up.
"Officer Summers," the answer came after a short pause.
"I remember you looking around the electronic appliances in the victim's households," she simply stated.
"And what do you think about them?" she asked, hopefully.
"Something must have fried them, maybe something the killer did. It was a kind of a ritual after all…"
"Did you follow the trail?"
"What trail?" he asked. Obviously the guy was slow. She wondered how the hell did he make it to the FBI. A psychologist maybe?
"There is localized EM interference around the murder areas," she said in her best duh!
"Does that mean?..."
"Yes, there is a third area. I've pinpointed it to a couple of streets. Grab a pen."
Dawn arrived at the scene minutes after Mulder. Both of them already too late. Maybe not much, but still… The victim was dead. There was a body. There was the bloody handprint. There were the few first letters of the message, but it was incomplete. The suit had probably scared off the murderer. Or, Dawn shuddered to think, the demon.
"Did you see him?" she asked the agent upon seeing him checking out the victim.
"Who?" he asked, looking up at her.
"The killer? I guess you scared him off," she pointed at the bloodied wall.
"I doubt it," Mulder said flatly. "The body is already cold. And the blood on the wall looks to have already dried. Whatever happened to the killer must have happened a good while ago," he looked at the body apprehensively. From what Dawn could tell it did look different. A bit. "Someone… or something," he continued, looking directly at Dawn this time, his eyes drilling holes in hers, knowing that she knew, "must have grabbed him during the ritual."
"Maybe," she just said, "but that would mean that it's over, finally."
"Yes, I think there would be no more victims with this MO. Only…" he paused, then continued sadly, "I would really like to know what was that all about…"
Dawn sat behind her desk, watching the pair of FBI agents heading for the elevator, glad it was all over.
"Hey there, paranormal babe," one of the lab guys approached her, smirking.
Dawn turned to him and growled. She could see how the guy will never let it go and keep pestering her with this name. Title. Whatever.
"I've got something along your alley," the short guy continued, laughing stupidly. She so hated him. "A body was found today morning. And guess what? There is no blood. Not a fucking drop of it."Crap, here we go again,
was the only thing Dawn could think of. Then she simply banged her head against her desk.