Author’s note: Obviously, some of the characters envisioned in this story look more like those in X-Files than SWAT Kats. Ergo, Jake is taller than Felina, with broad shoulders. For her part, Felina is more delicate, and wears more feminine clothes, ie “Scully suits”. For a better idea, go take a look at Ashryn’s “Furry Files” picture.
Case # 17-6459 (A Mysterious Partnership)
Carefully, FBI Agent Felina Scully made her way down the stairs toward the basement. The lower she went, the darker the stairwell got. She finally reached the lowest level, pushed the door open, and entered a dim hallway. Turning to her right, she walked along the hall until she came to a door marked with the name Jake Mulder. She knocked loudly, and a voice told her to enter. Her paw turned the knob, and the door opened.
“I was wondering when you were going to show up,” Jake, a slender red tom-kat, greeted Felina from behind his desk.
“I take it you were expecting me?” Felina glanced around the cramped office, taking in the files spilling out of the drawers, the I Want To Believe poster, and the cluttered desk, complete with a day old pizza box. Gingerly, she crossed the room and sat in the only chair not piled with clutter, which happened to be directly in front of Jake’s desk.
“Oh, yeah, they told me you would be here. So, Doc, come to spy on me? What’d you do to get such a horrible assignment?”
“I requested this assignment, Mr. Mulder,” Felina informed him, mentally squirming at the nickname Doc, “and, please, call me Felina. What should I call you, Spooky?”
“You requested this? Are you crazy, Scully?”
Felina, relieved he had at least stopped calling her Doc, risked leaning back in her chair, “When I heard you were involved in investigating the so-called K-Files, the unsolved and strange cases that come through the Bureau, I wanted to be involved,” she tucked a black lock of hair back from her face, her tail twitching behind the chair.
Jake smiled, and popped a pawful of sunflower seeds into his mouth, “I see. Isn’t your uncle director of the Bureau?”
“Yes. Is that a problem?”
“You tell me.”
“Look, Mulder,” Scully leaned forward in her chair, “If all you want to do is give me hard time, we’re not going to get anywhere. How about you bring me up to date on your latest case?”
Mulder’s smile widened, “I like your style, Scully. Now, look at this,” he swept aside the pizza box and, much to Scully’s dismay, several x-rated magazines, and set a manilla file folder on the dingy desk blotter, “This is the latest bout of weirdness to come down here,” Mulder opened the file and handed her a typed report, “Take a look.”
Scully took the file and scanned it briefly, “I read this yesterday. My uncle figured this would be the case you would be working on. No new leads?”
Mulder shook his head, then leaned forward across the desk, “Any ideas on your part?”
“Not really,” Scully gave him back the report, which Mulder tucked back into the folder, “I find it hard to believe anyone would really have a use for such things.”
“What I find interesting is all the kats who have been kidnapped and, well, de-tailed, were all discovered in strange places.”
“Like the society matron found in the back alley?” Scully knew she was showing off her knowledge of the case, but didn’t care.
Mulder nodded, “Exactly. And, like you said, who would have any use for amputated tails?”
“So, where should we start?”
“Why not the alley where the last victim was found?”
“Fine by me,” Scully stood up, “After you.”
Mulder grinned at her as he got up from his desk. The two exited the office, Scully taking one last look at Mulder’s UFO poster before the door closed after them.
Callie Skinner had just sat back in her chair and taken her first sip of coffee for the morning when her telephone rang. With a sigh, she put down her cup and picked up the phone, “Skinner.”
“It’s Feral,” the Bureau Director barked at her, “Did my niece make it in this morning all right?”
Skinner picked her cup back up, “Yes, Sir. I sent her down to Mulder’s office about an hour ago, and they went to investigate that tail amputation case.”
“As I thought. Make sure that damn weirdo doesn’t ruin my niece’s career, Skinner.”
“She requested the assignment, Sir,” Callie reminded Feral as she took another sip of coffee.
“I know,” Feral said, and hung up. Skinner returned her phone to the cradle and leaned back in her chair. She scanned the paperwork on her desk, her eyes falling on the information file on Felina Scully. Skinner wondered how long Agent Scully would last with the department weirdo.
They rode in silence for a time, until Scully finally spoke, “So, you’re Jewish?”
“Nope,” Mulder kept his eyes on the road.
“But isn’t your full name Jacob? I mean, isn’t that what Jake is short for? It wasn’t in your file, but I thought…..”
“No, my name’s just Jake. My mother liked the name,” He glanced at her, “My family is vaguely Protestant, in case you’re wondering.”
“Oh,” Scully cast her eyes down, “Sorry.”
“It’s ok. After all, I know you’re Catholic.”
“How? It’s not in my file,” She looked over at him again.
“Because the cafeteria serves only fish on Fridays, by order of your uncle, and he mentioned you go to Mass with him occasionally. Also, you just confirmed it,” Mulder calmly informed her, “And, by the way, you should know that a hebrew name doesn’t always mean a kat is Jewish. Don’t be so quick to judge.”
Scully, not knowing whether to be impressed with his deductive reasoning or angry at his rebuke, settled for changing the subject, “Are we there yet?”
“It’s just up there,” he pulled the car over, “Perhaps it would be better if we walked the rest of the way. Never know what you might find. Besides, here’s a parking spot,” He pulled over and parked the car, and they got out, Mulder popping two coins in the meter.
“Scenic,” Scully observed dryly as they strolled up the dirty sidewalk, “Just the place I’d expect to find a society matron.”
“With or without her tail?”
They reached the mouth of the alley, and Scully peered in. It appeared to be something out of a really bad movie, with drunks sleeping propped against the walls and a beggar digging through the dumpster at the end of the alley. She hesitated, but Mulder simply swept around her and into the dimness. After a moment, Scully followed. The drunk leaning up against the wall to their right gave the pair a dirty look, but no one else seemed interested in the two strangers. There had been too many strangers the past few days for them to keep track of, so the drunks tended to ignore anyone dressed too nicely.
“This is where they found her,” Mulder pointed to an area in the middle of the alley.
“In what kind of physical and mental condition?” Scully squinted at the area Mulder indicated, but could see nothing unusual about it, except that the area seemed a bit cleaner than the rest of the alley.
“Disoriented, groggy, and, of course, without her tail. Dunno what made her madder, the missing tail or the fact that she had been seen in an unfashionable neighborhood.”
“What can you tell me about the amputation wound on her?” Scully straightened up and looked at him.
“It was clean. Done with either an amazingly sharp implement or a laser scalpel.”
Scully turned and headed back towards the sunlight. Mulder ambled after her, seeming to study her as if she were a bug under a glass. When they were standing on the sidewalk once again, she turned to him, “Have all the victims survived?”
Mulder shook his head, “Nope. The first three were dead when they were discovered. A forth one died shortly after discovery. The three since then have all lived.”
“What do they remember about the incidents?”
Scully bit her lip, “Weird.”
“That’s why they gave it to me.”
“That I figured out on my own,” she informed him, “But now it’s our case, not just yours.”
“Let’s go down to the morgue,” Scully turned and moved in the direction of the car, “I want to have a look at those autopsy reports.”
A couple of hours later, Scully walked through the doors of the county morgue, where the bodies from the first four tail-amputation cases were sent. Mulder had insisted on stopping for lunch, although she failed to see how he could eat a meal with all the sunflower seeds he downed. Somehow, he had managed. The records kept by this facility were usually pretty reliable, and Scully was anxious to get to work.
The manager of the facility was kind enough to loan Scully an empty office, and she spread out the files on the four victims in front of her. Studying the autopsy photos, she saw that Mulder had been right. All the amputation incisions were very precise, and cleanly made. Suddenly, an idea occurred to Scully, and she dug into each file until she had four similar pictures in front of her, all close ups of the amputation sights. She examined each of the photos in turn, paying close attention to the top of the amputation area on each victim.
“Find anything?” a voice startled her. She looked up to find Mulder leaning against the door frame.
“Actually,” Scully recovered her composure quickly, “I did.”
Mulder raised an eyebrow, “Really? I’m impressed.”
Scully ignored his sarcasm, “Look at this,” she motioned him closer, moving the photos so he could see what she was talking about, “There seems to be some sort of strange markings above the amputation sights.”
Mulder entered the room and leaned over the desk, examining the pictures closely, “I see them. I saw them before. What’s so special about those markings?”
“It means someone took a skin sample from these kats before they removed their tails,” Scully explained, “As if they wanted to test for something. See how the fur is carefully shaved?”
“You mean, someone took a lab sample from these kats before taking their tails?” Mulder looked up at her, “How far before the amputations were these skin samples taken?”
Scully sighed, “Based on these photos, I can’t make an accurate estimate.”
“Can you offer a guess?”
“I’d say, roughly, about two or three days.”
“Two or three days?”
She nodded, looking again at the photos, “Someone planned this whole thing. The question is who – and why.”
“Skin samples,” Mulder mused, “But why? A transplant?”
“I’ve never heard of a tail transplant before. Have you?”
Mulder shook his head, “There’s a first time for everything, I suppose. Are you allowed to take these files?”
Scully began to reassemble the files, “The manager said I could sign them out overnight.”
“Good. Let’s take them back to the office and compare them to the information there.”
Scully scooped up the files, then rushed to catch up to Mulder as he quickly walked down the hall. She cursed his longer legs under her breath, and made a mental note to buy more flat shoes.
Callie Skinner was busily scribbling on a report form, and didn’t notice when a figure, accompanied by a cloud of cigarette smoke, moved from the shadows and sat heavily in the chair in front of her desk. After a few moments, however, Skinner smelled the smoke, and looked up at the big, dark kat in front of her, “What now?”
The purple fingers flicked cigarette ash onto the carpet, “I understand you assigned Agent Mulder a new partner.”
Skinner nodded, not sure what was coming next.
“The Bureau Director’s niece?”
“That’s right,” Skinner put down her pen and gave the large kat her full attention.
“She requested it.”
“Hmmmmm,” the dark figure murmured. Then he started to chuckle, a deep sound that startled Skinner, “This should be interesting. I intend to take an interest in this partnership,” With that, the big kat flicked more ash on the floor.
“Would you like an ashtray?” Skinner asked, annoyed.
“Not necessary. I’m going. At least, for now.”
“Do you think we could get the hospital records of the other amputation victims?”
“What for?” Mulder was leaning back in his chair behind the only desk in the office, while Scully sat on the opposite side, spreading the files out on the desk between them.
“I want to see the specifics of what they found on the survivors,” she answered, still absorbed in the files in front of her, “The ones that died had massive infections. The fourth not so much as the first three, but still a shocking amount. I want to see if they found traces of the infection in the survivors.”
“They didn’t,” Mulder told her.
She looked up at him, “What do you mean, they didn’t?”
“They didn’t find any signs of infection in the survivors,” he elaborated, “Kind of like someone was using the old trial and error method. Someone who didn’t know much about kat physiology.”
“What exactly are you implying?”
“Did you ever wonder if there might be visitors to our world from others, Scully?”
Scully’s brow wrinkled, “What are you implying, Mulder?”
“Take this case, for example,” he gestured to the files on the desk, “Just how do you explain it?”
“That’s what I’m…..what we’re trying to do, isn’t it?”
“What we’re trying to do is to solve this case, and I feel we have to be open to all explanations. What do you feel about it?”
“I think…..,” Scully began.
“I didn’t ask you what you think, Scully. I asked you what you feel.”
“My feelings have no bearing on this, at least not at the moment,” she snapped at him, annoyed, “Right now I’m trying to gather the facts.”
“A kat doesn’t live by facts alone.”
Scully rose to her feet, “I’m going to see if I can have a look at those hospital files. Are you coming, or are you going to wait here for the aliens to come and explain things to you?” she whirled and exited the office.
With a grin, Mulder stood up and followed her out.
Callie Skinner was just exiting her office when she saw Mulder and Scully emerge from the stairwell and come down the hall. Felina Scully had a dark look on her face, and was stalking along the right side of the hall, other kats scrambling to get out of her way. Jake Mulder was moving at a more sedate pace, but managed to keep up with her on his long legs. For some strange reason, Mulder was grinning at the back of Scully’s head. The two turned the corner before they got to Skinner.
“Nice to see Mulder’s made a new friend. He’s such a charming fellow,” another agent, Ann Gora, observed from behind Skinner.
“As long as they do their job,” Skinner replied, drawing her coat around her and moving off down the hall.
Scully didn’t speak to Mulder on the way to the hospital, which suited him fine. He wanted her to consider what he had said. Even if it turned out to have no bearing on this case, he wanted her to at least consider the possibilities he had suggested to her.
“Your phone is ringing,” Scully’s voice broke into his thoughts.
“Huh?” Mulder came back to reality, hearing the buzz of his cel phone. Driving with one paw, he reached into his coat pocket with the other and pulled out the phone. Deftly, he flipped it open and held it to his face, “Mulder.”
“This is Skinner. What the hell have you been saying to Agent Scully?”
“Excuse me, Ma’am?”
“I saw you two in the hall this afternoon, and Agent Scully did not look too pleased with you, Mulder. I swear, if you drive her crazy with your zany ideas…..” Skinner seethed.
“Here, why don’t you ask her about it,” Mulder held out the phone to Scully, not taking his eyes off the road, “It’s our fearless leader.”
Irritated, she took the phone from him, “Scully.”
“Agent Scully,” Skinner’s voice came over the phone, “If you would like to request another assignment…..”
“No, that’s alright, Ma’am,” Scully interrupted, “I think I might have a lead on this amputation case.”
“If you’re sure,” the wind seemed to have gone out of Skinner’s sails.
“I’m sure. I’ll call in when we find something.”
“Put Mulder back on.”
She held out the phone towards Mulder, “Tag, you’re it.”
Mulder took the phone back with a grin, “Mulder.”
“You got a phone call,” Skinner informed him, “Said to meet him at the usual place at three, and that this message would make sense to you.”
“Yep. Thanks,” Mulder hung up the phone and placed it on the seat beside him. He glanced at Scully, “I’m going to drop you off at the hospital. I have something else to take care of,” he pulled into the hospital parking lot.
“Oh?” the tone in Scully’s voice invited explanation.
“Just gathering a little information,” was all he would say.
Scully snapped open her seat belt and got out of the car. Mulder watched her walk across the parking lot and enter the hospital. He then drove out of the parking lot and headed for Megakat Bridge. He had some questions for his so-called friend at the usual place.
Scully made her way to the office of the hospital director, her heels clicking loudly on the tile in the hall. She approached the secretary’s desk, flashed her identification, and asked to see the director. The secretary, a timid blond tom-kat named David Steel according to the nameplate on his desk, scurried off to inform the director of Scully’s presence. He returned in a few moments, and told Scully she could go into the office.
As Scully entered the director’s office, she noticed it was spartan and sleek, nothing giving away any private information about the occupant. There weren’t even any pictures on the desk.
“Agent Scully, I’m Dr. Abi Sinian. May I help you?” the director, a thin brunette she-kat, asked from behind her desk.
Scully cleared her throat before answering, “Yes, Dr. Sinian. I was wondering if I could look at the files from the tail amputation cases that have been brought here over the past few weeks.”
“I thought this was Agent Mulder’s case.”
“We are now working together.”
“Agent Scully, you should know patient files are private.”
“In that case, may I see the results of any tests you ran on the victims, minus their names? This is very important.”
Dr. Sinian smiled slightly, “I might be able to arrange something,” she leaned forward and pressed a button on the intercom on her desk, “David? Come in here and show Agent Scully to the empty office down the hall. After that, I’m going to have some copying for you to do.”
The office door opened to admit the secretary. With a nod to Dr. Sinian, Scully followed Steel out of the office, down the hall, and into another office just as spartan as the first. After Steel left, Scully closed the door and got out her cel phone. She dialed Mulder’s number, but there was no answer. Probably busy with his informant, she thought as she turned off her phone.
Mulder got out of his car and walked around to the trunk. Leaning back against the bumper, he glanced around. He was a little early, but that really didn’t matter. He knew, when a meeting was set up, it always began on time, never early or late. Mulder took the time to ponder the case he and Scully were working on, which led to ponderings of Scully as well.
“Am I interrupting something?” a voice came from the shadows.
“In a parking garage? Not likely,” Mulder didn’t bother to turn towards the voice. He knew he wouldn’t be able to see much, “What have you got for me?”
“What have you got for me?” nervous paws reached up to adjust a wayward toupee, and a watch chain flashed from the shadows.
“A new partner, but I’m sure you already knew that.”
“Felina Scully. Just the one to tame your outlandishness.”
“Don’t count on it,” Mulder fished some sunflower seeds out of his pocket and popped them into his mouth.
“What case are the two of you working on? The amputations?”
Mulder nodded, “And we’re still coming up with nothing.”
“Notice anything interesting about the patterns of the crimes?”
“You mean, that they go male-female in an alternating pattern? Yeah, but that little piece of evidence didn’t yield anything.”
“It might, once Scully gets done at the hospital.”
Mulder finally turned towards the source of the voice, “How did you know about that?”
“Mr. Mulder, if you knew that, you would know too much,” Mulder heard the stairwell door open, and knew his informant was gone.
Scully was still comparing the test results of the amputation victims when her cel phone screamed for attention. She quickly picked it up off the desk and flipped it open, “Scully.”
“How’s it coming?” Mulder asked.
“Very interesting. I think I’ve got something here. I need to go back to the office and check on a few things.”
“I’m on my way. What did you think of Dr. Sinian?”
“And other kats tell me I’m cold.”
“Who says that?” Mulder asked in mock surprise, “I’ll meet you out front in ten minutes.”
“I’ll be there,” Scully hung up her phone and put it back in her purse. Gathering up the copies Dr. Sinian had said she could keep, Scully exited the office and walked up the hall towards the reception area. David Steel was not at his desk, and she would have walked right by except that the name on a file caught her eye. For some reason, Dr. Sinian was keeping a file on Mulder, and Scully could see that her own name had been added. She made a split second decision and scooped up the file, adding it to the stack she already carried.
In the car, Scully noticed her new partner seemed agitated. She studied him for a few moments, then finally spoke, “What’s eating you?”
“Hmmmm?” Mulder glanced at her, “Nothing.”
“It’s not nothing. Did your informant fail to show?”
“Not by a long shot. He said you might find something to crack this case while you were at the hospital.”
“You mean, there’s something in the files?” Scully began to sift through the pile of papers in her lap.
“That’s not exactly what was said,” Mulder pointed out, “He said you would find something at the hospital.”
“Um, I did,” Scully pulled out the file she had taken from Steel’s desk and held it up, “The good doctor seems to be keeping tabs on us.”
Mulder pulled into the parking garage back at Headquarters, and found an empty space. That the space was supposed to be reserved for Skinner didn’t seem to impress Mulder that much. Parking the car, he turned to face Scully, “What’s it say?”
She opened the file to examine the contents. On top, she found a picture of Mulder, obviously from a security camera, “Not too flattering.”
“Definitely not my best side.”
Flipping through the file, Scully was shocked to find medical information on Mulder. She scanned the forms, then looked back up at him, “You don’t go to a doctor there, do you?”
“Nope. I stick to Megakat Memorial. Megakat General is a bit too small for my taste.”
“Then how did they get these records? And why?”
Mulder seemed to be contemplating her words carefully, “Do you think they’re afraid of what I might find out about them?”
“I don’t know. This is all very odd.”
“True. Now that we have this information, what are we going to do with it? Make it jump through hoops?”
“Listen, Mulder, I want to go assemble all the information we have on this case. I’m going to go in and get the rest of the files, then go on home to try and piece this one together. Want to come with me? We can order in Chinese,” Scully offered.
“I’ll pass. I think I’ll leave the deductive stuff to you analytical types,” he seemed about to say more, when his cel phone began to ring.
“I swear, Mulder, if you were without that damn cel phone for longer than two seconds, you’d go into a katatonic state!” Scully informed him as she got out of the car.
“Call me if you find anything!” Mulder yelled after her as he groped for his ringing phone.
As she entered the office she now shared with Mulder, Scully let out an involuntary growl. This case was very frustrating, and it was only her first day. She knew there was something she was missing, some link with these cases. Quickly, she moved to the desk, anxious to get home and take another look at the information they had.
Finding the rest of the paperwork where she had left it, she made an unruly pile and added it to the stack on her right arm. She then took a moment to look around the office, finding it no better than it was this morning. They’d never be able to get another desk in here, she mused, taking in the dimensions of the room. Not that she absolutely had to have a desk, but it would be nice
Scully made sure to secure the door behind her when she left the office. Funny, she thought to herself, only one day with Spooky Mulder, and I’m already jumpy. Adjusting her burden, she set off back to the garage, hoping Skinner hadn’t busted Mulder for parking in the wrong place.
Mulder slumped in the recliner in his living room. He had stopped off at the local deli and picked up a sandwich for supper, but he really didn’t feel like eating, so had stowed it in the refrigerator for later. The appearance of the file with his and Scully’s name on it had intrigued him. Apparently, someone was getting nervous. But who? That Dr. Sinian seems a likely suspect, but he wasn’t sure why she would want amputated kat tails. What was he overlooking? Rolling his eyes in disgust, Mulder got up to retrieve his sandwich. Perhaps some food would help his mood.
After a shower and a bowl of soup, Scully felt ready to attack all the paperwork she had brought home. It had been one hell of a day, and it was shaping up to be a long night as well. She sat down at the kitchen table and looked at the piles she had arranged the information into before she had gotten in the shower. Somehow, the pattern she had seen before escaped her. What was it Mulder had been harping on today? Never judge a book by it’s cover, or something to that effect. With a sigh, Scully began to rearrange the papers in front of her, trying to find the connection between them, and wondering how Mulder fit into all this.
It took Scully’s sleep addled mind more than a minute to realize the noise that had woken her out of a sound sleep was her phone ringing on the nightstand. She groped for it, finally picking up the receiver, “Hello?”
“Mulder, it’s oh-my-God in the morning. What is so important?” Scully woke up a bit more, “Has there been another amputation case?”
“No, but I had a thought. My informant today pointed out something about the case that I hadn’t thought of as too important.”
“He reminded me that the amputations have occurred alternately on tom and she-kats.”
“A tom-kat should be next.”
Scully sat up in bed, “And your file just happened to be out at the hospital where the victims were taken, a hospital you don’t go to. What time is it?”
“About five thirty.”
“Think we can make it to the hospital before Dr. Sinian?”
“I think I’m on my way.”
Slipping through the Emergency Room entrance, Mulder and Scully made their way to the stairwell, where they paused to get their bearings. On the way to the hospital, they had decided that she would check the main file room, to see if there was any more information they should know about. Mulder, meanwhile, would take a trip up to Dr. Sinian’s office, to see what might be in her private file cabinet.
“Got your cel phone?” Mulder asked her.
She nodded, “I don’t have to ask if you have yours,” she turned and headed down to the basement, where the records department was.
For his part, Mulder headed up the stairs, towards the floor of offices where Dr. Sinian’s office was located.
Neither of them saw or heard another kat enter the stairwell behind them. After a moment, the kat turned and followed Scully downstairs.
Mulder made his way down the hall, surprisingly unmolested, and to the door of Dr. Sinian’s office. The secretary was nowhere in sight, and this end of the hall seemed deserted. He walked nonchalantly up to the office door, reaching out to try the knob. To Mulder’s dismay, the door wasn’t locked, and it swung open to reveal Dr. Sinian sitting behind her desk, holding the phone. Her eyes widened as Mulder came into view, and she hung up the phone.
“Ah, Dr. Sinian,” Mulder quickly regained his composure, “I wanted to talk to you about the case.”
“I see,” Dr. Sinian said coolly, “Why don’t you come in, then?”
A bit sheepish, Mulder entered the office and sat down in a chair opposite the director.
“Now, then, Mr. Mulder, what is it you want to see me about?”
Mulder’s mind raced, trying to come up with a plausible story, “Well, it has to do with your staff,” he blurted out.
“Indeed? What about them?”
“Have you noticed anything suspicious lately? Any unexplained disappearances, strange wounds, that kind of thing?”
Dr. Sinian shook her head, “None that I can……wait, there has been something strange going on with my assistant, David. He seems to spend a lot of time pacing lately. Since his accident, he seems quite bitter.”
“Yes. He had to have his tail removed after it was crushed in a car door. He usually wears a false one.”
“Yes, that’s right. That also reminds me. It was you I was trying to call just a moment ago. There’s been another amputation occurrence.”
“Yes,” Dr. Sinian sounded surprised, “How did you know?”
Mulder rose to his feet, “Where is David now?”
Scully had managed to slip into the file room unnoticed. Of course, the lab coat she had acquired had helped. She scanned the file drawers, looking for either the M’s or the S’s. Moving to the next bank of cabinet, Scully had just managed to locate the M drawer when the lights went out. What the hell is going on, she thought to herself.
Dr. Sinian’s eyes widened as she realized what Mulder was implying, “You can’t think David had anything to do with these amputations!”
“Doctor, right now I simply want to know where he is,” Mulder replied coldly.
“I sent him down to the main floor to check on preparations for the arrival of some of the hospital board members today.”
“How long should that take?”
“Actually,” Dr. Sinian began to look a bit uncomfortable, “He should have been back by now.”
Mulder reached into his coat pocket and pulled out his cel phone, “Can you get me his address?” he asked as he opened the phone.
Scully looked around in the dark, trying to remember which way it was to the nearest light switch. She figured someone had simply not seen her in there, and had turned off the lights by accident. As she stood there, however, Scully became aware that she was not alone. Moving away from the file drawers, she backed down the aisle, squinting into the darkness. A loud thump in front of her, about where she had just been standing, convinced her that this situation was no accident.
“You can’t hide from me,” a familiar voice told her, “I’ve locked the door, no one will disturb us.”
“What do you want?” Scully moved a little further back.
“I want to make you feel as out of place as I do.”
Before Scully could answer, her cel phone started to ring. Snatching it out of her pocket, she scurried around to the aisle on her right. Answering the phone, Scully heard footsteps heading for the spot she had just vacated, “Scully,” she whispered into the phone.
“It’s me,” Mulder’s voice came over the receiver, “I think I’ve figured out who our perpetrator is. Did you know Dr. Sinian’s secretary had to have his tail removed?”
“Did you know he’s down here with me right now, chasing me in the dark?” Scully asked him, then moved farther up the aisle. Her phone went dead, and she hoped that meant Mulder was on his way downstairs. She tucked the phone back in her pocket, and tried to figure out Steel’s location in the dark by the sound of his breathing.
“It won’t hurt, I promise,” Steel purred from somewhere in the dark, “I’ll knock you out, you won’t feel a thing.”
“I don’t think so,” Scully wheeled in the dark, stepping to the right, as a drug dart bounced off the cabinet she had been standing in front of. She wondered how the hell he had gotten around her in the dark, then realized he had gone over the cabinets. She retraced her steps, trying to make her way to the door, “Why are you doing this?”
“As I said,” Steel told her, “To make you feel as out of place as I do. You have no idea what it’s like to loose your tail.”
“I wouldn’t have known yours is false if you hadn’t told me.”
Scully ducked as another dart struck near her. She turned, and her shoulder hit hard on the drawer handle behind her. Biting her lip to keep from crying out, she moved away from the sound of Steel’s voice. When she came to a stop, she reached around behind her and drew her gun from the holster at the small of her back. Squinting into the darkness, she tried to make out the other kat, but the darkness was too complete.
“I didn’t get a chance to take a sample from you, but no matter. I checked your records via computer from St. Mary’s Hospital, and you seem like a good match,” Steel’s disembodied voice came at her from somewhere above, “It’s amazing what I have access to as Dr. Sinian’s secretary.”
Scully chose not to answer, figuring that he was trying to draw her out. Where the hell was Mulder, she fumed silently.
As if on cue, she heard someone trying the lock on the door. Scully listened, but Steel didn’t seem to notice. A key slipped into the lock, and then a broad shoulder forced the door open against the chair propped up under the doorknob, “Scully?” Mulder called, as he groped for the light.
“No!” Steel called out, leaping off the cabinets. Mulder hit the lights just as he jumped. Scully had been able to close her eyes, but Steel was blinded. As he landed, Steel raised his dart gun and fired wildly at Mulder and the hospital security guards accompanying him. As the other kats scattered, Scully’s eyes became accustomed to the light, and she leveled her gun at Steel.
“Freeze! FBI!” Scully called, looking at Steel down the sight of her gun. Steel swung around to her, growled, and leapt again. Scully’s bullet caught him in the shoulder, spinning him around as he fell to the floor.
A few hours later, Mulder and Scully were seated across from Callie Skinner in her office, Scully sipping a mug of coffee and Mulder chewing on an egg sandwich. Skinner was scanning their reports, as well as the police report and statements taken from witnesses. She spent extra time reading Dr. Sinian’s statement, but found nothing amiss. Mulder surmised Skinner was having trouble believing the case was finally closed.
“Nice job,” Skinner complemented them as she stacked the reports into a neat pile.
“Thank you,” Scully responded.
“So, Steel’s motive was a transplant?” Skinner asked.
“Not just that,” Mulder answered, “He wanted to make other kats feel as worthless as he did, and as out of place. Hence the placing of the society matron in the alleyway.”
“We believe the first four died because he performed the amputations outside a sterile setting. The others he managed to take to the hospital,” Scully continued, “He used a portable laser scalpel to perform the operations, and the skin grafts he took while the patients were in the hospital for other procedures.”
“How did he get the medical files on Mulder?” Skinner shot back.
“By using Dr. Sinian’s reputation,” Scully said, “He simply added a request for copies of files from other hospitals to whatever stack of papers she had to sign that day.”
“Why didn’t Steel try to have one of those tails transplanted?” Skinner looked from one kat to the other in confusion.
“He couldn’t find a doctor to try it,” Mulder finished his sandwich with one last large bite, “He’d approached a few, but no one would do it. He had to keep at least one tail on standby, in case he found someone to do the surgery. After a while, thought, the tissue would start to deteriorate, and he’d need a fresh one.”
Skinner nodded, “Like I said, nice work. You two can go now. As a matter of fact, you can go on home if you want. It’s been a long day for you already.”
The two agents got up and left Skinner’s office, grateful for the chance to catch up on their sleep. As they walked down the hall, Mulder grinned at Scully, “Wanna go get some lunch?”
“You just finished breakfast,” Scully pointed out.
“Yeah, but I like to try and keep on track. Never know what might happen next. Besides, the aliens might drop by to explain things to me, and I’d rather have that happen on a full stomach.”
“You know, Mulder,” Scully stopped, and turned to him as he stood behind her, “Your mind is a truly scary place, and it’s even scarier that you are aware of that fact. I can’t go to lunch with you, unfortunately, because I have another appointment. Let me know what the aliens tell you,” Scully spun around and continued down the hall.
Behind her, Mulder’s grin widened into a smile, and he nodded to Ann Gora as she passed him. Ann seemed shocked at this friendly gesture from Spooky Mulder, and failed to respond as he walked off down the hall.
“Is there a reason you’re standing around in the hall, Agent Gora?” Skinner asked Ann from behind.
“Yes, ma’am,” Ann replied, “I was wondering how come Mulder is so happy. If I start breaking the rules, will it improve my emotional state?”
“Do as I tell you, or I’ll send you down to the basement with those other two weirdos!” came Skinner’s reply.
Scully walked down the well lit hallway to the office at the end on her left. She knocked lightly, and a voice called for her to come in. Opening the door, she was surprised to find herself in a main office, not an outer office with a receptionist. The figure at the desk motioned for her to come in, and she did so, closing the door behind her. Approaching the figure, Scully sat in the large leather chair squarely in front of the ornate brass name plate resting on the antique oak desk. She glanced briefly at it, reading the name – Chance Carter.
“Nasty, isn’t it?” the big tom-kat asked from behind the desk, “It was a gift from my mother, so I’d feel guilty if I didn’t use it.”
“Yes, Sir,” Scully noted the orange tom-kat was wearing black jeans, a white oxford shirt, no tie, and had his sleeves rolled up, showing the dark stripes on his arms. She figured the higher up you were, the more casual you were allowed to dress. Then again, she couldn’t see anyone telling such a muscular kat how to dress.
“Well, then, Agent Felina Catherine Scully, let’s get down to business, shall we?”
Scully nodded, and Carter picked up a file from his desk and plucked out her latest report. Scully could see he had made some notes in the margins, but she couldn’t quite read the writing. Carter scanned the report for a few moments, then turned back to her, putting the report back in the file and closing it.
“Is there a problem, Sir?” Scully asked before he could comment.
“Not exactly, Agent Scully,” Carter set the file aside, “I’m very pleased with your work so far. There are, however, a few questions I would like to ask you.”
“Of course, Sir.”
“Why did you volunteer to spy on Jake Mulder?”
Scully was a bit taken aback by the question, but answered as best she could, “I’m not spying, Sir. I know that was my uncle’s intention when he allowed me to become Mulder’s partner, and I know that’s what you expect, but I am very interested in the work Agent Mulder is doing.”
“Don’t presume to know what I expect from you, Agent Scully.”
“I’m sorry, Sir. My point is, though, that I don’t want to be treated as a spy, but as Mulder’s partner. I know I’m suppose to rein him in, and I do admit to being skeptical of his rather outlandish theories, but…..” Scully trailed off as Carter held up his paw for her to stop.
“What you are expected to do, Agent Scully, at least by me, is to temper Mulder’s rather rampant enthusiasm with a little scientific reasoning, and to protect him from himself……and others. As a pathologist, you are used to putting together clues to find a logical conclusion. I have no intention of destroying Mulder. Quite the opposite, in fact.”
Scully found herself smiling tentatively, “Yes, Sir.”
“Now that we have that straight,” Carter stood up and came around to her side of the desk, “I’d suggest we both head home and get some sleep. It’s been a long day, for both of us,” Carter held out his paw, and Scully allowed him to help her out of the chair. The help turned into a hearty pawshake, and Scully realized she was standing in front of Mulder’s main ally in the department, whether he knew it or not. Giving Chance Carter one last smile, she turned and exited the office.
The End…..for now
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.