The Inquisitor Sorka This is my first attempt at a long fan fiction. I hope you like it. I've made this a crossover 'cause the other characters wouldn't leave me alone while I was writing this. I think this should be rated PG-13, for some harsh language and a few gory scenes. Disclaimer: The Sentinel and all its characters belong to Bilson & DeMeo and Pet Fly Productions. X-files and all it's characters belong to Chris Carter, Ten-thirteen Productions and Fox TV. Any characters you don't recognize from either show I made up on my own. Authors note: A.C. Kjolesk is an anagram for a character on TS, if you can't figure it out e-mail me and I'll tell you who it is. :) This story has ties to my other stories Tremors and Necessary Conversations. If you haven't read them yet you might want to go do that before you start. You don't have to, but some scenes will make more sense if you do. You can find these stories on the Guide Posts Archive or you can e-mail me for them. Brief explanation of The Sentinel: After being stranded in the Peruvian jungle for 18 months Ranger Captain James Ellison developed extraordinarily heightened senses. Five years after his rescue, Ellison is now a detective with the Cascade PD. During a prolonged stake-out in the woods, his suppressed abilities return. Fearing for his sanity he looks for help, finding it in a young Anthropology grad student named Blair Sandburg. Blair offers his help, in return for the chance to study Jim for his doctoral thesis. Over time the unlikely partnership has become a strong, trusting friendship. The only other person that knows of Jim's abilities is Captain Simon Banks, head of the Major Crimes division. One more thing. Time frame for this story happens in the X-files *before* Leonard Betts and in TS *after* Secret and *before* Smart Alec. The Inquisitor by Sorka Blair Sandburg stood back from the rest of the people at the crime scene. He didn't want to get any closer than he had to. His friend and partner Jim Ellison had warned him it might be a gruesome sight before they arrived at the small new age book shop. They met the officer in charge of the scene at the front door. "We got a 911 call less than an hour ago. The caller reported seeing blood seeping out from under the main doors," officer Thompson told them. "When my partner and I arrived at the scene we forced the door open and found the place as it is now." "Was there any sign of forced entry before you opened the door?" Ellison asked, as he peered at the door. "No. The place was secure," the officer replied. "Even the dead bolts were in place." Jim nodded thoughtfully and thanked him. "Where's you partner, Thompson?" Jim asked looking around. Thompson rolled his eyes nodding toward his cruiser. "He's trying not to embarrass himself in front of everyone by losing his lunch." "His first murder scene?" "Yep." "Give him some slack. Not everyone has a constitution like yours." Jim said with a sympathetic smile. "I can see that," he said glancing at Ellison's 'partner'. Blair had turned an amazing shade of pale green. He then turned back to the detective. "It's a real mess in there. So watch your step." From the doorway a thick coating of blood could be seen, it stretched back into the small store to the center of the floor, where lay the body of a woman in her mid-thirties. The body was laid out, on her back, like a cross, legs bound together and arms stretched out. The body was held down by tent spikes driven into the wood flooring. The store was a shambles, most of the shelves and displays had been knocked over. Jim stepped inside the store, carefully avoiding stepping in any blood. He turned down his sense of smell, so as not to be overwhelmed by the combination of blood, incense, and whatever else was in the store. Blair followed him inside, being careful to step only where he had to, trying not to get too close to the body and at the same time stay near enough to Jim so he'd be there if he was needed. "How're you holding up, Chief?" Jim asked. He could understand the anthropologist not wanting to get too close to the grisly scene. "I'll be fine," Blair said weakly, still a bit pale. "This won't take long, we'll have forensics comb the place once we're done," Ellison reassured him, putting on a pair of surgical gloves he took from his pocket. He looked over the scene with a critical eye. "Looks like we're not going to find any fingerprints," he said as he bent down next to the body. "Why is that?" Blair asked, his curiosity overcoming his nausea. Jim pointed to the clear outline of a hand in the blood. "There are none, it looks like whoever did this was wearing gloves, leather from the look of it." He straightened his back, looking around, then moved past the body to the back of the store. A curtain separated the back storage area from the front of the store. There were blood smears on both the curtain and the door frame. Following the trail Jim found more blood on the back door, "Looks like this is how the perp' got out." "He locked the door on his way out?" Sandburg asked, surprised. "That's a bit odd isn't it?" "If he... or she didn't want the body found for a while, the best way would be to make the store look closed for the day." Jim looked back at the body. There was something wrong with the look of the victims face. Making his way back to it, he bent down for a closer look, examining her face. "There's something stuffed in her mouth," he said. He reached in carefully, pulling out a folded piece of paper. "What the hell is this?" he said as he carefully unfolded it and placed it in an evidence bag. Stepping away from the body, Jim turned his hearing up to listen outside. "Sounds like Forensics has arrived. We'll let them have a go at this mess while we see if any of the neighbors heard anything." Jim suppressed a smile when Blair let out a quiet sigh of relief. Once back outside Blair was looking much better. "I don't like the way that body was displayed like that," he commented, shaking his head. "Almost a ritualistic appearance." "I noticed," Jim said as they approached the forensics team. "I have a bad feeling about this. Take a look at this." He handed the evidence bag to his partner. He heard Blair's heart rate increase as he examined the paper. "Detective Ellison," Serena Davis the head of the forensic team shook his hand. "Good to see you again. Is there anything you want us to keep an eye out for while we're in there?" Jim shook his head. "Just be as thorough as you can. It's a real mess in there" The woman nodded and signaled for her team to get to work. "What is it, Chief?" Jim asked when he turned back to his partner. "Did you read what was on this?" Blair was looking at the page still, his hands shaking just a bit. "Not really," Jim said, becoming concerned, "it just looks like a page from a book." Handing the page back, the younger man said. "It is a page, from a book written in the 12th century. It's called the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches." "How do you know that?" the detective asked with some surprise. "I took a class in comparative religions a few years back. Part of the course covered the medieval witch trials. The book was written by monks during the Inquisition, as a way to find and get confessions out of suspected witches." Jim read the contents of the page. "You read this thing?" "Only a chapter or two. It wasn't required reading." He shuddered, "I read enough to recognize the writing style." "Is this book easy to obtain?" Jim asked noticing the worn quality of the paper. "The book is still in print," Blair growled in frustration, "but as a historical reference book, not an instruction manual." "Well, it looks like someone's taken up the practice again." Jim said gravely. Ellison and Sandburg began the long task of questioning all of the neighbors, all of whom where stunned by the murder. It wasn't hard to eliminate the vast majority of people in residence, most had solid alibis. The only one that didn't have a witness to her where-abouts was a young woman that claimed to have been at a concert that night. They'd check that out later. What was really getting on Jim's nerves was the apparent lack of witnesses. Not that it was uncommon, but by the very nature of the crime, someone should have heard or seen something. They found and talked to the 911 caller. He was a postman for the area. He wasn't able to give them much more information than they already had. "The body's been dead for at least four hours. From what I can see from the amount of blood it looks like the stab wounds were not immediately fatal." Serena told them as they removed the body. "I'll be able to tell you more when the autopsy is done." "Anything else?" Jim asked "We found some hairs and a couple of prints, no guarantee that they're from the killer though. We found some skin under the victims fingernails. There was also something odd," she said handing him an evidence bag. Inside was a smashed, woman's analog watch the hands had stopped at 2:54. "We found this near the body. Looks like it belonged to the victim." "Have it checked for prints and I'll see if there are any other personal articles damaged like this. Maybe there's some sort of pattern here." Jim said thoughtfully. Serena nodded, "I'll get this stuff back to the lab." * * * * * Back at the station Blair was going though the computer files for Jim. His hair was pulled back behind his head, reading glasses on, his face set in a look of intense concentration. The murder scene had been bothering him all day. But not in the way he really expected it to. It was like a nagging feeling in the back of his mind, bits of information that he picked up from somewhere, trying to make itself known to him. The ritualistic look to the crime was part of it, that he knew, and it wasn't just the page they found. The other thing that was bothering him was the items that where smashed. A watch and a pendulum wall clock, it could have been that the killer didn't like clocks but there had been a third digital clock in the storage room that hadn't been touched.The files that the department had access to couldn't come up with anything that resembled this. On a hunch Blair sent out an inquiry to the FBI's computer data base looking for a possible match on the crime's signature. He doubted there would be anything but it wouldn't hurt to check. Jim didn't like to use the Feds for anything, and considering their past experience with them, Blair felt the same way. But with the little evidence they had to go on, he figured it was worth a shot. Leaning back in his chair the anthropologist looked over to Captain Banks' office. He wished, not for the first time, that he had his partners hearing. Simon had called Jim into his office, again. Every couple of months he did this, asking Ellison when he was going to get himself a *real* partner. Not that Blair didn't wonder that himself on occasion. But the subject never came up when they worked and Jim always defended his presence. He was actually more accepted by the department as a whole since the Golden incident. When he had recovered Jim's coworkers had thrown Blair a 'welcome back' party. It had been embarrassing, but gratifying to know that they had been concerned about him. The party showed that he had been accepted into a very exclusive club, even if it was still under the title of observer. * * * * * Jim sat listening to Simon go over the same old arguments that they had been having for the past year and a half. He was beginning to get tired of it. "I just think you should have someone with you who can back you up. Someone with the proper training." Banks was saying. "Sure Sandburg helps you but..." "But he's not a cop, right?" Ellison's jaw clenched with irritation. "I know he's not trained. We've been over this ground before, and my answer is still the same. I *need* him as my partner." Simon was about to reply but Jim cut him off. "Look Simon, these Sentinel abilities don't come with an instruction manual. I'd be dead five times over if not for him. Hell, without his help I'd have never found out what was up with my senses in the first place." "But you're in control now. Why do you still need him?" Simon asked. "I'm only in control *because* he's there to help me." Jim tried to articulate the way Blair's presence helped him, but he failed. So he decided to switch gears. "If you made me take on a partner from within the department, I risk revealing what I can do. I trust you not say anything, but you know what the rumor mill is like around here." He waved his hand toward the other room. "One slip to the wrong person and half the building will know in an hour. Within a week I'll be dragged off in the night to be some government agency's newest lab rat." Simon had been reaching for his coffee pot, Jim's words stopped him cold. He stared at him in disbelief. "You don't really think that could happen, do you?" Ellison held his gaze. "I have nightmares about it. I half expected to disappear after the Brackett case." "But you're a police officer," Simon said, his voice colored with disbelief, "a public figure. Hell, you where on the cover of Newsweek." The detective shook his head. "All they would have to do is fake my death well enough to fool you until they got me into one of those secret Black Ops bases. You'd never be able to find me." "Why haven't you said something about this before?" Banks demanded. "It's not something that's easy to talk about. Besides they'd kill anyone that got in their way *if* it ever happened." "Does Sandburg know about this?" His eyes resting on the young man at Jim's desk. Jim nodded, "We discussed it after the Brackett case." "And he's still here? I wondered why he got all paranoid when Colonel Oliver's men grabbed you," Simon said thinking back to Blair's first frantic call, and his own initial reaction. "Alright, you made your point. Now, get out of here." Jim left without another word. Simon took off his glasses, rubbing the bridge of his nose. He looked out his office window at his friend as Jim walked back to his desk. Sandburg was telling him something and pointing to the computer. Ellison had said that they had talked about the dangers after the Brackett case, yet neither of them seemed to worry about it. But thinking back on it now, Blair's desperate attempts to find Jim made more sense. He suddenly wondered how either of them got any sleep at night. * * * * * In the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, FBI Headquarters Washington D.C., Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were going over a mountain of back paperwork. It was one of the things that was nessesary in this line of work, but it was also one of the worst aspects of it. The agents had been in the field for over two weeks looking for a connection between cattle mutilations on federal grazing land and the murder of a local enviornmentalist. The whole case had been a mess from the start, taking far longer than it should have, giving both of them headaches that where only now dissipating. "If I never see another cow again it'll be too soon." Scully sighed finishing her report. "It wasn't that bad." Mulder said, pulling off his glasses. "Tell that to my dry cleaner. I think those new shoes I bought are a total loss as well." Mulder gave her a sympathetic smile. His clothes hadn't faired any better than hers. The few remaining sets of wearable clothes that either of them had were packed into their overnight bags, just in case. The rest of it was either being cleaned or had to be thrown away. Scully turned to her computer, pulling up her email to go through the backlog. After several minutes she found a tagged message from the FBI data base. "Mulder, did you check your e-mail yet?" "Not yet, why?" "One of the tags you had set up just came back with a match." Mulder quickly moved over to her desk. She pointed to the message on her screen. "It's a request for possible match on a crime scene signature. It looks like it might be the pattern for the Inquisitor." Her tone was grave. "Where is the request from?" "It's from a Det. James Ellison in Cascade, Washington." She pulled off her glasses, looking at her partner. "Do you want to talk to Skinner or shall I ?" "You go, I'll gather the files we'll need." Scully nodded, Mulder handed her his finished report with a lopsided grin. "You might as well bring these up with you." She gave him a disgusted look as she took it. His smile widened as he returned to his desk. Mulder checked his own messages for the same tagged inquiry. He wrote a quick response, informing the detective to expect their arrival within the next twenty-four hours. He then called the travel office to make reservations on the next available fight to Cascade, as well as hotel reservations and a car rental. He then pulled all the files he thought they'd need. Scully entered AD Walter Skinner's office and calmly stood in front of her superior's desk. Skinner looked up from the report on his desk. "Have a seat Agent Scully. Are those your final reports from you last case?" "Yes sir." She said handing the folders to him, then sitting down. She resisted the urge to scan the room for the man her partner called 'Cancerman'. "I take it there is more to this visit then turning in your report." Skinner said taking the time to go over the file before him. "Yes, sir. Upon finishing the report before you, I checked my messages and found an inquiry for information regarding one of our cases." "Which case?" His face was a mask of indifference. "It appears the Inquisitor may have struck again. The sender is a detective in Cascade, Washington." Skinner leaned forward in his chair. "Agent Mulder did the profile for this case, did he not?" "Yes sir." "Very well, I'll call the Cascade Bureau and inform them of your arrival. You're dismissed." "Thank you, Sir." She said standing and heading for the door. "Agent Scully," Skinner called after her, "tell Mulder I want that bastard caught this time." Scully looked back at him and nodded. * * * * * Cascade Captain Banks' office Later that day "All I did was request some information." Blair said defensively "How was I supposed to know they'd send someone out here?" Simon sat behind his desk throughly aggravated. Less than a day into what looked like a very difficult murder investigation, the FBI was on its way to see if there was a connection between this murder and a serial killer. The agents were already on their way from D.C.. The local Feds could be bad enough, but the ones from the main office could be, and generally where, downright offensive with their 'holier than thou' additude. Jim had taken Blair's overzealous computer search in stride, knowning that if the information they wanted was out there Blair was likely to find it. Then came the message from Agent Fox Mulder, (what kind of a name was that anyway) telling them that he and his partner would be there soon to help with the investigation. Ellison wondered briefly if killing Sandburg would be worth the prison time. Seeing his partner's pained expression Jim decided to forgive him. Blair was just as uncomfortable at the thought of Feds as he was. More often than not they treated cops with little respect. Having a civilian observer hanging around might not sit well with them. Of course two of the few times Blair had any dealings with the FBI hadn't helped. The first time had been the psychologist that turned out to be serial killer David Lash. The second time had been when Jim had been kidnapped. Colonel Oliver had impersonated an agent and tried to have Blair, Jack Kelso, and DEA Agent Ben Chauves killed. It would be a while before any of them accepted a federal badge at face value. "Man, this sucks." Blair murmered. "It's alright Chief." Jim placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "I would have told you to check their files anyway. Don't beat yourself up about it." "Aside form getting the FBI's attention, did this search provide anything useful?" Simon asked, chewing on the end of his cigar. The anthropologist brightened a bit as Jim said, "Actually it did. The MO of the killer is a match for a serial killer called the Inquisitor." "How come I've never heard of this guy?" Banks asked, as he looked over the computer print-out. "The Feds have been keeping a tight lid on these murders. The only place that you can find any real information is on certain pagan web pages and newsgroups," Blair said. "Most of the information there, is screaming about the lack of progress in catching this guy." "This killer targets pagans?" Simon asked. "Exclusively." Jim nodded. "He also seems to be able to slip out from under any of the dragnets the authorities have set up to catch him." "This is sounding better and better all the time." Simon sighed. "Do you have any leads?" "Forensics is still going over the evidence gathered at the scene. They won't have anything for a few more hours," Jim began. "I want to go back to the store, to see if there is anything they missed." "Alright, do what you can before the Feds arrive. Anything else?" "Um... just one thing." Blair spoke up. Both men turned to him expectantly. Blair cleared his throat, he had figured out what had been bothering him about the case and was far from happy about it. "I'm not sure about this but... um.. there is no way in hell this guy should have been bothered by the items that he destroyed... unless he was unable to ignore the sound they made." "But in order for that to be the case he would need a heightened sense of hearing." Jim said. When Blair nodded, his eyes went wide. "You don't think this guy is a sentinel do you?" "No I don't, but I think we should keep in mind the possiblity of someone with one or two hyperactive senses." Sandburg looked uncomfortable. "I thought I should mention it." "It's never easy with you two is it?" Simon sighed again. "Go on, get back out there." Jim and Blair exited the Captains office. After retrieving their jackets, they headed for the elevators. "I hope I'm wrong about this guy." Blair said only loud enough for Jim to hear. "We'll deal with that if it becomes an issue. Right now we just handle this like any normal investigation," Jim said reassuringly. Blair nodded his agreement as they stepped into the elevator. * * * * * American Airlines Flight 734 From Washington DC to Cascade, Washington Somewhere over Iowa Dana Scully was going over a few of the files that Mulder had brought with them, refreshing her memory so that the needed facts would be foremost in her mind. She looked in the profile notes her partner had made and stopped short. "Mulder!" she whispered harshly. "Are you out of your mind?!" "What do you mean?" he asked looking up from his own reading. "That detective is going to take one look at this file and then he's going to laugh us out of the city." Scully scowled at him. "That is a perfectly acceptable profile. The evidence all points to the possibility, and is the only explenation for all the combined facts." "Right, perfectly reasonable. To you. You have no documentation to support this theory." "Since when do I need documentation?" Mulder said peevishly "Don't push it on the locals this time Mulder." Scully warned. "I'd rather not have to deal with the looks you get." "If I got documentation would you feel better about it?" he asked. She looked at him for a long moment. "If you could find some, yes." "Okay," he picked up the air phone and hit a set of numbers. "What are you doing?" "Getting the documentation you want." he said matter-of-factly as the phone rang. "Turn off the tape, Frohicke." he said into the phone. Scully rolled her eyes at her partner and looked out the window at the billowing clouds as they flew past them. "What can I do you for, Mulder?" Frohicke asked cheerfully. "I need you to look up some information for me." "I can do that, what kind?" "Anything you can find on heightened senses in humans." "Hmmm... Interesting topic. I'll see what I can find. Anything else?" Mulder thought for a moment, one of the benefits of having an eidedic memory was being able to remember obscure facts. That was also a problem when the information was something he'd only partially read. "I'd like you to look up one of your old issues." Mulder said finally. "Anything that has to do with Cascade, Washington." He winced slightly when he saw the look Scully threw his direction. "I'll get back to you on that stuff. Shouldn't take more than an hour or so." Frohicke said with confidence. "Thanks." Mulder said. "No problem, man." the Gunman said then hung up. Looking over at his partner Mulder saw Scully shaking her head, muttering to herself. "What?" he asked. "Once, just once, I'd like to have your average, run-of-the-mill case. No weirdness, no conspiracies, no..." "You're no fun." he said impishly. The stewardess arrived with their dinner then, forcing them to put away their paperwork for a while. About an hour later, Mulder called The Lone Gunmen back. "Hey Mulder," Byers said. "We found that information you wanted. There wasn't much out there on that field of research but what *is* out there is interesting." "Really? Can't wait to see it. How about the back issue I asked about?" "That wasn't too hard to find. Not too many wierd things happen out there. Although I can see why you wouldn't remember it too well." Frokicke's voice said from farther away from the speaker phone. "Why? Was it that boring?" "Ah... no," Byers said, sounding uncomfortable. "The article was published around the same time that your father died." "I see..." Mulder said quietly, the pain was healing but it still hurt. "What was it about?" "It's about some government agent that tried to steal an ultra- secret spy plane right out of a Company skunk works." "Rather ambitious of him. What happened?" "How about you get your pretty partner to hook up her laptop to your phone and we'll send it to you along with the other stuff you wanted." Mulder could almost see Frohicke's leering expression over the phone. "Sounds good, thanks guys." "No problem Mulder." Twenty minutes later the information was in Dana's computer. Mulder decided to read the article form TLG first. He made a cursory glance at the other document before saving it for later. Mulder's eyes grew wide as he read the account of the attempted theft of the spy plane. Somehow a rogue CIA agent stole a vial of ebola virus from a university, threatening the entire city with a lingering death if a detective from the Cascade PD didn't help him. At the last possible moment the theft was stopped and the virus recovered. The author, A.C. Kjolesk, had stated that the rogue agent is as dangerous as they come, and worries that with the subsequent cover up of the incident, it would make it more difficult to prosecute any case against him. Mulder began to wonder how one CIA agent and a cop where able to breach an ultra-secret installation's security system. Looking up from the laptop he saw his partner sleeping next to him. He was glad that they had been bumped up to business class, with its larger seats, they could both get comfortable. Scully was trying to take the edge off the jet lag that they would both feel when they got to their destination. He smiled and watched her for a moment, just glad to know that she was there, safe, and alive. He stifled a yawn, as he shut off her computer. Mulder decided that the other article could wait for a while. Leaning back he slowly drifted off to sleep knowing that his partner would be there when he awoke. * * * * * Cascade, WA The flight had been blessedly uneventful and pleasantly smooth. So smooth that both agents managed to sleep the whole rest of the trip. Waking only when the Captain announced that they were on final approach. Mulder kicked himself mentally, he'd wanted to read that second article that was on Scully's laptop, but it would now have to wait until later. The only bags they had were their overnight bags, so after disembarking they headed straight for the rental terminal. The car provided to them was a Ford Taurus, nothing unusual there. As they reached the appropriate car slot Scully stopped short. "Whats wrong, Scully?" Mulder asked, trying to suppress a smile. "It's... purple." she commented, one eyebrow cocked. It was a dark plum color, almost black. Not that unusual, but definitely not what they were used to. "Yes it is." Mulder said, a grin spreading across his face. "A nice change from gunmetal gray, don't you think?" Not waiting for her reply he opened the trunk and placed both of their bags inside. "Here, catch," he said tossing his partner the keys. "You're enjoying this," Scully said climbing into the drivers seat. "A little." Mulder admitted. "What's wrong? Don't you like the color?" Once on the road he pulled out the city map that he'd obtained from the rental counter. It didn't take long to find the building they needed. The Cascade bureau was situated in a multi-story office building, which housed several other agencies of the federal government. Arriving at the main desk, they were instructed to go to the office of Assistant Special Agent in Charge, David Ludwig. "Agent Mulder, Agent Scully. Welcome to Cascade." He said as they entered his office. He shook their hands and motioned for them to have a seat. "AD Skinner informed me of your arrival, I was a bit surprised by his call. This is the first I've heard of this case." "We were alerted to this latest murder by an information request sent to the main office data base." Scully told him. "I see." Ludwig said evenly. "I wasn't aware that serial killers were part of the x-files normal case load." "There are some anomalies in these cases that can't be explained. We were given this case due to those anomalies, as well as my previous experience as a profiler." Mulder didn't like the tone in his superior's voice. Glancing at his watch, Mulder said, "I'm hoping to catch Det. Ellison before he leaves work for the day." "Did you say Ellison?" the ASAC's eyes took on a hint of amusement. "Is there a problem?" Scully asked, wondering what had caused that reaction. "Not really. Ellison just has this habit of giving federal agents the run-around. I doubt you'll be greeted warmly." Mulder exchanged an exasperated look with his partner. This was not the kind of thing he wanted to hear. "But," Ludwig continued. "He happens to have the best case/solved record in Cascade history. In fact he's well respected by most of us here, and we owe him a great deal. So when you meet him, try not to piss him off." "Anything else we should know?" Mulder asked. "Nothing that you can't find out on your own. Dismissed." Exiting the federal building, Mulder said, "Do you ever get the feeling that you've missed something important?" "Every time we come home from a case, Mulder." Scully replied. * * * Jim and Blair sat at the detective's desk, getting ready to eat the Chinese take-out they had picked up after finishing with the crime scene. Both of them were tired and hungry. Jim had zoned out briefly trying to find anything that might give them a clue as to who the killer was or why the victim had been chosen. All they had found was what appeared to be residue of old floor wax off of a shoe pint. Jim had wanted to return to the precinct immediately to get the sample to the lab. Blair argued, in deference to both of their grumbling stomachs, that they go eat first. A compromise was reached, they brought dinner with them to the precinct. Pizza was not on the menu. That food item hadn't seen the Major Crimes bull pen in weeks. The local Italian restraurants were getting more calls for subs than anything from the police. Jim's mood improved a bit when they found the preliminary forensics report waiting for them on the desk. The report was pretty inconclusive, only confirming that the assailant was male, blood type B positive. The hair they found was from the killer. The time of death was narrowed a bit to between 1:30 and 3:30 am. "It's not enough." Jim growled looking over the report again. "Jim, eat already," his guide instructed, poking at the cartons of food that were being ignored by the detective. "We've been at this all day, you're tired, I'm tired, you zoned..." the last part was whispered. "Just relax, even you can't solve this in a day." "I just feel like we're missing something here." Jim sighed. "Believe me, I want to catch this guy as much as you do." "I know, I know." Jim dropped the file, rubbing his eyes. "I was just hoping to get more done before the Feds got here." Finally he started to eat his dinner. Blair relaxed a bit, happy to see his friend beginning to loosen up. He almost jumped when the desk phone rang. "Ellison. He's right here." Jim handed the receiver to Blair. "Some guy named Gary from the University." "Gary, what's up man?" he said into the phone. "Really?... I don't know, man. I mean that's awfully short notice.... Okay. ... Yeah, I understand that. I'll give you a call tomorrow. Right... Thanks man... Bye." Blair hung up the phone. "What was that about?" Jim asked, noticing a slight increase in his partners heart rate. "Remember that tremor a few weeks ago?" "How could I forget." "Well, I've been trying to find a way to test it. Short of finding another earthquake, the only way to test it is with some equipment that the U just received. Unfortunately, the only time to do this will be late at night, when no one else is around." Blair fidgeted a bit. "When did you want to do this?" Jim asked warily "Umm, tomorrow night." Ellison rolled his eyes, "Chief, we're in the middle of an investigation." "I know, Jim. But this isn't something we can put off." Blair lowered his voice. "The bulk of the Geology department is off doing a survey of Mt. St. Helens, they'll be gone for the next three days. We'll be in and out before anyone else knows we've been there." "All in the name of science, right?" Jim teased. To his surprise Blair didn't smile back. "No. This is for you, your ability to function." Sandburg's eyes were hard and serious. "The more we learn what you're capable of, the more you'll learn to trust yourself. The more in control you'll be." The vehemence in Blair's voice was a bit startling. He was always trying to find ways to help Jim with his senses, but he'd never been this insistent before. "No problem, Chief. We'll do the test, whatever it is." Jim reassured his partner. Blair visibly relaxed, he almost seemed embarrassed by his own tone. Simon came out of his office a few minutes later. Seeing them still working, he walked over. "You two planning to stay here all night?" Jim shook his head, "Just wanted to get a look at the lab reports before going home for the day." "Where you able to find anything else?" Simon asked. "Not really," Blair said. "Alright then, I'm out of here. See you tomorrow." The elevator doors opened as Simon reached them. The two people that stepped out absolutely screamed *Feds*. Clean cut, well dressed, wearing trenchcoats, and carrying briefcases. The man was tall, maybe an inch or two shorter than Ellison. The red haired woman with him was almost tiny in comparison. Even Sandburg had her beat by several inches. Both of them carried an air of authority. "Excuse me. I'm Agent Fox Mulder, this is my partner Agent Dana Scully." the dark haired man addressed him. "We're looking for Det. James Ellison. We were told he was on this floor. Is he still here?" "I'm Captain Simon Banks," Simon said, using his most authoritative voice. "Ellison is at his desk, if you'll follow me." Turning he led them back into the Major Crimes bullpen. "You got here awfully fast. We weren't expecting you until tomorrow morning." "We've been trying to catch this killer for the past two years, Captain," Agent Scully said. "The quicker we get here the sooner we can find him. Hopefully before he strikes again." Ellison heard the voices in the hall, his jaw clenched with irritation."That was awfully quick." he muttered, stabbing his food with his fork. "What is it?" Blair asked through a mouthful of rice. "The Feds are here." Jim explained, motioning his head toward the doors. "Already?" he looked apprehensive. They both turned to see the two agents being escorted into the bullpen by Simon. They stood as the others approached the desk. "Jim, these are Agents Mulder and Scully." Simon told them, turning to the agents. "This is Detective Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg." "Sorry to interrupt your dinner, Detective." Mulder said glancing at the desk. "But we wanted to get started as soon as possible." "It's not a problem," Jim said with a slight smile. "So long as you don't mind us eating in front of you." There was a hint of annoyance in his voice. //Well at least he's not openly hostile// Scully noted. //That's a good sign// Seeing Blair's appearance in contrast to those around him, and the ID tag on his shirt. Mulder asked "Your not an officer, Mr Sandburg?" "No," the young man said. "Sandburg is a special consultant for the department." The Captain said quickly. Not wanting Sandburg to begin one of his now famous obfuscations. Mulder accepted the explanation, but filed several more pointed questions away for later. He had a sudden impression that there was more to it than that. "If you all will excuse me," Simon began. "I'm going home. You can give me a full report in the morning." With that he retreated back toward the elevators. Pretty sure Jim would hear him he muttered. "Don't give them a hard time, Ellison." The Sentinel had to suppress a chuckle at that. //He's learning// "Before we get started, Det. Ellison," Scully began. "I was wondering about the security check we had to go through to get up here." "Did you have a problem?" "No, but I've never had to have my ID verified like that before. " "We've had a few minor breaches in security." he explained. "It's just a precaution" "I see," she said, wondering what was considered 'minor' in Cascade. "I would like to conduct an autopsy on the victim as soon as possible." "The autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning, I'll arrange for you to be there." Ellison said. "Thank you," Scully agreed. There was no real need to have it done now. If it was the same killer the body wouldn't give them many clues. "Have you had much experience with serial killers, Detective?" Mulder asked. "I've only had one case before this one." Jim said, he heard Blair's heart skip a beat. "It wasn't something I'd want to repeat given a choice." Mulder nodded, almost relieved that Ellison had *some* experience. Opening his briefcase he pulled out several files, placing them on the desk. "These are the most recent cases, each contains a copy of the profile of the killer." Ellison picked up the top most file and flipped though it quickly. "What's this 'x' in front of the file number?" he asked. "I'm not familiar with that designation." "X-files are a designation for cases involving unexplained pheonomenon." Mulder explained. "What, like UFO's and stuff like that?" Blair asked a glint of curiosity in his eyes. Jim rolled his eyes at his partner. "Sometimes," Mulder noticed the lack of judgement in the young man's voice. "It also covers cases outside the realm of the other divisions." "What's so unusual about these murders that they deserve an 'x'." Jim was beginning to get a bad feeling about this. "It's all in the reports but it's quite possible that we are dealing with a killer that has some kind of advantage over the average person." Scully took that opportunity to grind her heel into the top of her partners foot. Mulder looked at her with a 'what did I say' look, missing the look of panic that flashed across Sandburg's features. Only Ellison's next words kept him from showing it. "That's an interesting theory, Agent Mulder." he said with a skeptical tone. "What kind of advantage are you suggesting?" "Due to the killer's ability to escape capture, plus the items that were found damaged at each of the crime scenes, I believe we may be dealing with a heightened sense of hearing." Mulder winced as the heel of his partner dug into his foot again. Scully saw the look of disbelief on the faces of the two men and sighed mentally. //Looks like we just lost some ground here.// She wondered if Mulder did this kind of thing deliberately sometimes. Forcing them to work with people that thought he was off-his- rocker. "Thats an ... interesting theory, Agent Mulder. I'm sure you will understand if we don't seem too eager to accept something like this." Ellison kept his tone even. // Shit shit shit!! This case just got a whole lot more complicated.// "If its alright with you I'd like to take these files home with me tonight, and try to familiarize myself with the other cases." //And give Sandburg a chance to confirm his own suspicions.// "That won't be a problem. And if I could have a copy of the forensics report, it would help bring us up to speed on this case." Mulder hoped that after reading the reports the detective would be more receptive to his theory. After exchanging papers they headed off, Mulder and Scully to their hotel, Ellison and Sandburg back to the loft. * * * * * "Shit! This sucks, man!" Blair exclaimed as they entered the loft, throwing his keys onto the small table near the door. "Now we're going to have to be *extra* careful around these two." "Calm down, Chief." Jim said, walking to the fridge. "Want a beer?" "Please." the anthropologist said, collapsing on the couch after dropping the case files on the coffee table. "After that little meeting I need one. Did you see how he noticed damn near everything? Fox is definitely a good name for this guy." "Yeah, I noticed." Jim said handing him a beer and sitting on the opposite end of the couch. "He and his partner don't miss much. But they'll be focused on the case. They shouldn't suspect anything, as long as I don't zone-out in front of them." "Gods, I hope so. Otherwise we'll end up in one of those files with the little 'x' in front of it." "Let's take this one thing at a time." Ellison cautioned. "You're the expert here, lets go though the files and see if the evidence points to just one or two heightened senses." Blair pulled out his reading glasses, grabbed the top file and started to read. After a few minutes he dropped the file and reached for the phone. Jim gave him a puzzled look. He held up a hand forestalling his roommate's question. "Hi, Jack... How are you feeling?...Yeah, I know its late but I need another favor... You wouldn't be able to get me some information on an Agent Fox Mulder from the FBI? You've heard of him?... Great! Thanks man. I'll stop by after class tomorrow. Yeah, bye." He hung up the phone with a smile. "It's good to know someone with connections." Jim commented. "At least we'll know what kind of guy we're dealing with." Blair turned back to the files. In the time it had taken them to go through the first six reports, Blair had gone from sitting on the couch to sitting on the floor. Using one of his text books as a make-shift desk, he made notes of all the different aspects of each case. The possible connections between them and multiple heightened senses was beginning to become more apparent. The other aspects of the cases were just as disturbing. Agent Mulder's profile had concluded that the killer was of a strict religious background, possibly a victim of child abuse, a victim of a severe trauma involving his religious background. "Oh man," Blair said softly. "You got something?" Jim asked looking up form one of the coroners' reports. Most of them were signed by Agent Scully. "If this guy's senses came to the fore when he was young, being a victim of child abuse, no wonder he's nuts." he said brushing his hair out of his face. "Is that what you meant earlier? " Jim asked softly. "About the test, I mean. You're worried about my losing it." "No..." Blair paused. "Yeah, sort of." He shifted to look at his friend. "When we first met you were half scared out of your wits. This case just brings up a lot of 'what if' questions." "Try not to dwell on that, Chief. We met, now you are my partner, my friend, and the only one that understands the sentinel thing to any extent. Lets go with that and deal with everything else as it comes along." Jim smiled reassuringly. "Who knows, your knowledge could be the key to catching this guy." Blair smiled at the confidence in his partners voice. "Well then I better get back to work." * * * Mulder entered his room and promptly opened the door separating his room from is partner's. He had read the forensics report on the way to the hotel. As inconclusive as it was, he was impressed by the amount of evidence that the team had been able to find. "Was there anything of interest in the report?" Scully asked from her room. "They're thorough I'll give them that." Mulder said walking over to the doorway. "You can read it. I'd like to look at that other file that the Gunmen sent me." Scully took the file from him and handed him her lap-top. "Want to order something to eat?" she asked. "As long as it isn't fried chicken or that rabbit food you insist on eating." he said with a teasing smile. "How about a pizza?" She rolled her eyes at him and nodded. The hotel had their own menu that included pizza so they had their dinner within twenty minutes of ordering. By then they had both started to relax and unwind from the long trip. Scully was sitting in one of the padded chairs in Mulder's room, while he sat on his bed. He was taking a bite out of his third slice when he exclaimed and nearly dropped the slice onto the laptop. "Son-of-a-bitch!!" "Mulder so help me if you get pizza grease on my computer." Scully warned. "Whats wrong?" "That little neo-hippy, he knew what we were talking about." "Who? What are you talking about?" She moved over to see what had caused this sudden flare of temper in her partner. He turned the screen so that she could read it. "This is that paper that Byers found for me." "The documentation on heightened senses. What about it?" "The author's name is Sandburg, Blair Sandburg." Mulder practically growled. "There's no way that guy was there by coincidence. They suspected the same thing we do and they didn't say a damned thing about it." "Ludwig did say Ellison doesn't like working with federal officials. But do you think he'd deliberately withhold vital information?" "I don't know. But I'm going to find out what's going on." Pulling out his cell phone he called his most familiar number. "Hey Langely, turn off the tape... Yeah I know it's late. I need you to do some discreet checking on the backgrounds of a Det. James Ellison, and a guy named Blair Sandburg. Both are from Cascade, WA. Yeah... Thanks. I owe you. Bye." * * * "That was Mulder. He wants us to look up info on these two guys." Langely said handing the names to Byers. "They both sound familiar. Who was on the other line?" "Would you believe it was Kelso?" Byers said "Haven't heard from him in a while. Whats he been up to?" Frohicke asked sleepily. "Not much, still working at Rainier U. Just got back to work after recovering from a gunshot wound." "How'd he manage to get shot?" Frohicke asked, suddenly more awake. "He really didn't say. Just that he was helping a friend find some information." "What does he need?" Langely asked. "You'll love this." Byers smiled. "He was hoping we could find him some information on Mulder and Scully." "Your kidding." Frohicke grinned. "Did he say why?" "A friend of his is working with our two favorite FBI agents. The guy needs to know some background on them." There was a momentary pause as the Gunmen looked at each other. "How much you want to bet Jack's friend is either Ellison or Sandburg?" Frohicke snickered, his eyes gleaming with amusement. They exchanged knowing glances, no need to bet on a sure thing. "So do we tell Mulder about Kelso's request?" Langely asked. "Nah." they all said in unison. * * * * The next morning was rather uneventful, consisting of Agent Scully assisting in the autopsy of Sarah Whitlow, the store owner, Agent Mulder going to the crime scene, and Ellison doing some enquiries and obtaining the phone and bank records of the victim. Sandburg had classes to teach that morning. A short time after noon the grad student arrived at the station, he and Ellison commandeered one of the interrogation rooms for a private discussion. "What did Jack find?" Jim asked after a quick scan to make sure no-one was in the observation room. Blair took a deep breath, pushing his hair back behind his ears. "Jack said that Agent Mulder is a maverick, the kind of guy that plays by his own rules. But he and Agent Scully have one of the best case/solved records in the bureau. He was the best profiler in the Violent Crimes division. So good in fact that he was nick named Spooky cause of his ability to create accurate profiles though flashes of insight. He also has an eidedic memory, which makes him even better at what he does." "Sounds like the ideal type for Violent Crimes." Jim said thoughtfully. "What is he doing in a flaky department like the X- files?" "According to Jack, he was given his choice of assignments. He choose to be where he is." Blair shrugged. "Maybe he likes the challenge. But he is passionate about the truth of things. He's been known to put his life and career on the line in the search for it and protection of it." "So what is it you're saying?" "I'm saying that he's very good, and if he figures it out, which he very well might considering the profile on the killer, I think we could trust him not to mention your abilities in his report... if we explained how dangerous it would be for you." "So you're suggesting we keep quiet unless he calls us on it?" Jim looked uncomfortable. "Basically, unless you have a better idea." Blair replied looking worried. "Not really," Jim admitted. He placed a reassuring hand on his guide's shoulder. "We'll just have to play it by ear. Just relax, everything should be alright as long as we keep our heads." Blair took a deep cleansing breath and nodded. Stepping back out into the hall, Jim noticed the voices of both agents coming from the bullpen. Blair paused a moment upon seeing them. Jim placed a reassuring hand at the small of his back, gently pushing him into the room. Blair quickly went through a breathing exercise to calm himself. Taking a moment to gather the files they needed from Jim's desk they proceeded into Simon's office where Mulder and Scully had just gone. Jim shut the door to the office after he and Blair entered. Jim sat down in one of the chairs while his partner sat on the edge of the table next to him. The agents were seated in the other chairs facing the Captain's desk. "So Agent Mulder, you've had a chance to go over the evidence." Simon stated, getting things rolling. "Are we looking at the same guy?" "Having had the opportunity to go over the crime scene," Mulder began. "I would have to confirm that we *are* dealing with the serial killer known as The Inquisitor." He turned to his partner for conformation. "I agree. Although the weapon used is never the same, the pattern of the wounds is consistent with those of the previous victims." Scully said, pulling out several morgue photos. "As you can see, the multiple stab wounds are all centered in the chest area. In each case the wounds surround the heart but never actually damage the organ itself. Most of the victims die from shock and massive blood loss, rather than trauma to any of the major organs." She paused to allow the Captain to examine the photos more closely. "In each case a passage from the Malleus Maleficarum was placed inside the victim's mouth." Scully glanced at her partner, without missing a beat he took up the explanation. "It appears that all the pages are from the same volume. Taking into account the worn quality of the paper, we are looking at a copy that is around ten years old. The bodies of all the victims, with the exception of the third one in California, were all displayed in a cross pattern." "What was different about that one?" Jim asked Mulder grimaced slightly. "During our investigation there, we had narrowed our search to a five square block area. He was in the process of killing her when he was somehow alerted to our presence, he left her with his job half done. But he made sure that she wouldn't be able to communicate with us if she lived. We found her barely alive, she died less then an hour later." He placed the photo of the body on top of the pile on Simon's desk. Banks' normally stoic face paled as he looked at it. The victims hands had been severed at the wrists and her face had been sliced from ear to ear along the line of her mouth. Blair leaned over to get a better look, it was a gesture out of habit. Simon angled the picture so that the grad student couldn't see it. "Trust me Sandburg, this isn't something that you want to see." The anthropologist paused, looking at Simon's face, then nodded. Leaning back against the table, he decided not to try to imagine what the photo looked like. If Banks didn't think he should see it, it must be really bad. Simon took a sip of his coffee then asked. "You said the killer knew you were coming?" "Yes," Scully replied. "Mulder has theorized that the killer may possess certain genetic advantages that allowed him to detect our presence from over a block away." The answer was worded to get a reaction from Sandburg. But Mulder didn't miss the Captain's swift glance toward Ellison and Sandburg. The only thing that kept his temper from flaring was that it was a look of concern. Reaching into his briefcase he pulled out a stack of neatly bound paper, which he placed on the desk for everyone to see. "Considering the unusual nature of our killer, Scully thought it best that we provide some corroborating documentation on the subject. Not surprisingly there is very little written on heightened senses in humans. I had a friend find this paper, it was written only a few years ago. 'Sentinels Myth or Reality: Reflections of Ancient Man in Modern Times'. Quite an interesting piece of work, but what I really find interesting is that you failed to mention your expertise in this field of study, Mr. Sandburg." Simon looked down at the paper in shock, there in black and white was Blair's name. Looking up at the grad student he saw his lips pressed firmly together. Simon wondered how the kid would get out of the hole he just fell into. Then Blair looked at Jim, his eyes seemed to speak volumes. Jim's jaw was pulsing with tension but he nodded. Sandburg cleared his throat, looking directly at the two agents. "Look man, I can understand your being ticked off at me for not saying anything last night. But you *must* understand that it had nothing to do with the case at hand. I was in no way trying to interfere with your investigation." Seeing the worry written all over Blair's expressive face, Scully asked "Does this have to do with your being an observer here for over a year?" At Simon's look of surprise Mulder said. "We did a background check on both Ellison and Sandburg last night, after I realized who Sandburg was." A slight smile crept onto Blair's face, he ran a hand through his loose hair, pulling it out of his face. "We did a little background check on you as well." Scully cocked an eyebrow at that. "Which is why I'm going to be honest with you. My friend told me that you value the truth above anything else." Mulder couldn't hide his surprise, whoever had looked him up must not have used normal channels, he kept quiet letting Blair explain his actions. "You see, I'm working on getting my doctorate in Anthropology. If you read my paper you know that I've documented hundreds of cases of people with one or two hyperactive senses." "I assume your next paper would focus on a more intense study of your chosen field." Scully commented, "But what has that to do with your working with the police?" "Unless you found a subject to study within the Police Department," Mulder interjected. "Someone that was worth years of intense study, possibly a full fledged Sentinel." Scully turned to her partner, "But that would be nearly impossible to find let alone prove." She noticed Sandburg's stance shift from a self defensive posture to that of a protective posture. He had taken a small step forward placing himself between Ellison and the two agents. Mulder shifted his gaze from Blair to Jim and back again. Both men saw a light go on in Mulder's eyes, Jim detected an increase in the agent's heart rate. "Sandburg is more than just an observer or a consultant." Mulder said remembering a passage in Blair's paper. "He's your Guide. Isn't he Detective?" Jim looked at the agents for a long moment, then nodded. Simon nearly gasped at the intensity of the gaze both Blair and Jim leveled on them. Blair's eyes seemed to burn with a greenish blue fire as he spoke. "You have to understand why I didn't volunteer the information you needed. If it ever got out to the wrong people, Jim's career, his whole life, would be over." He lowered his voice till it was almost a growl. "And there is *nothing* in this whole world that is worth risking that." "You're serious?" Scully asked. "Your saying that Det. Ellison is a Sentinel?" A healthy skepticism in her voice. Jim stood next to his partner his hand resting lightly on Blair's shoulder. "Yes, that's exactly what he's saying, Agent Scully." Simon looked from Jim to Blair in shock. He had never thought he'd see the day that they would admit anything about Jim's abilities to anyone. Much less to two Feds, especially after his discussion with Ellison just yesterday. "Did you know about this, Captain Banks? You seem somewhat surprised." Mulder asked him. "Yes, I knew about his abilities. I just didn't think that they would ever confirm them to anyone." "Why *did* you tell us?" Scully asked the pair. "Neither of you are stupid," Jim said candidly. "The very nature of the killer could have led you to Blair's research. Eventually you would start asking the right questions, piecing together the puzzle of his working with me. This way we avoid any speculation on your part." "You're taking an awfully big risk telling us this." Scully said, "What's to stop us from going to our superiors and revealing what you can do." "Nothing," Simon said, rising from his chair to stand at his full height. "Except that if anything should happen to either of them as a result of such a report, I will hold the two of you personally responsible. "I guarantee that you would have the entire Cascade PD, several members of the DEA, and the FBI to deal with." The two agents looked at each other, although no words were spoken Blair observed an entire conversation occur between them. All from simple body language and facial expressions. "I can speak for both of us when I say that your secret is safe with us." Mulder told them. "There will be no mention of Ellison's talents in either of our reports. Nor of the true nature of Sandburg's work at the station." Jim had been listening to Mulder's heart beat as he spoke. There was no increase pressure or in his breathing as he spoke. As far as Jim could tell, Mulder was telling the truth. Jim turned to his partner and nodded, Blair let out a sigh of relief and leaned back onto the table. "What?" Scully asked, surprised to see them all relax some. "I think I just passed a polygraph test." Mulder commented dryly. "Remind me never to play poker with you Ellison. I'd probably lose my shirt." His joke seemed to break the tension in the room a bit more. Giving Simon room to get things back on track. " Alright, now that we've cleared the air," Simon said getting everyone's attention. "Can we get back to the business at hand?" "Right." Mulder agreed. Taking a deep breath he continued with his explanation. "The killer seems to choose his victims from the pagan community. The pattern suggests that he takes a job that allows him access to the victim's buildings." "You mean like a locksmith?" Blair asked "Either that or a cleaning service or possibly a local security company." Scully told him. "The last victim was the one in California, right?" Jim asked. "That we know of." Mulder confirmed. "So we start checking cleaning services, locksmiths, and security companies for any new employees in that time frame? That's an awful lot of ground to cover, isn't it?" Blair sounded dubious. "Nothing nearly so complicated." Scully reassured him. "If we run a check on Whitlow's phone and bank records. We should be able to find something to go on." "I spent most of the morning getting those," Jim said. "They're on my desk." "Well since you seem to have things well in hand, why don't you all continue this conversation elsewhere." Simon suggested. Taking the hint, those present gathered up their papers. "Oh, one thing." Sandburg said getting the agents' attention. "No mentioning Jim's abilities in public. Especially around here." Ellison nodded in affirmation. "There are enough tabloid reporters here on any given day to make a cops life difficult without these senses. One of *them* gets a hold of a story like that and I'll be on the cover of another magazine, and this time it won't be Newsweek." "More like the Weekly World News." Scully grimaced. "You'd be amazed how many of our cases end up in that rag." "Really? Like what?" Blair's eyes lit up with curiosity. "Chief." Jim said getting his attention. "Yeah, Jim?" "Later." The detective said sternly. "Oh, right. Sorry." * * * * * The next several hours were spent going over the bank and phone records, looking for anything that might match Mulder's profile. It was a rather unique site, four people, two of which were Feds, working around Ellison's desk pouring over file after file. This started to get interesting when, much to the horrified amusement of the other detectives in Major Crimes, Blair and Mulder began to spread the files of the victims across the floor of the bullpen. It had begun innocently enough, with Blair sitting on the floor several files on his lap, making lists of things found at each murder scene. Mulder, in trying to help, had laid out a few more files to try and find matching items. Within no time files stretched from Jim's desk, down one row of desks, and just past Simon's office door. Several detectives and uniformed officers were standing in the doorways just watching the spectacle before them. One seemingly highly professional FBI agent, glasses on, jacket off, sleeves rolled up, crawling on the floor. 'Ellison's Shadow' was on the other side of the room doing the nearly the same thing, glasses on and his hair pulled back, so wrapped up in what they were doing they didn't notice they had an audience. The moment the spectators had been waiting for arrived when Captain Banks stepped out of his office and almost slipped on an open file. "What the--?! Sandburg!" he bellowed, zeroing in on the anthropologist who was only a few feet away. "Yeah Simon?" Blair said sitting up where he was. He had to crane his neck to look into Banks' face. His blue eyes wide, almost innocent looking. "Would you mind explaining this to me?" Simon growled, towering over him. "I said to discuss the case. Not wallpaper the room with it." That elicited chuckles from the spectators. Mulder peered over the top of a nearby desk. "This isn't his fault, Captain." he said, standing up and moving to stand next to Blair, who stood as well. "We got a little over enthusiastic. I didn't mean to take over the floor like this." He made a sweeping gesture at the papers at his feet. Only then did Simon notice that that both men had removed their shoes. Simon looked from them over to Ellison's desk. Jim just shrugged, but Simon saw the amusement in his eyes and knew he was fighting to keep it from showing on his face. Scully having just realized what her partner had been up to, rolled her eyes and dropped her head into her hands. Exasperated beyond belief, Simon did the only logical thing he could think of. He turned his attention to the officers gathered outside the bullpen. "Don't you people have something better to do with your time?" There was a sudden flurry of activity as they all made themselves scarce. Turning his attention back to Mulder and Blair, he said. "I'd appreciate it if you moved this mess somewhere more containable." "Yes sir, Simon." Blair replied, looking sheepish. Simon growled and made his way carefully to the exit. As he got out of sight, a rueful smile spread over his face. Scully pulled off her glasses and leaned back in her chair, watching the two men gather up the files. Once everything was off the floor she said, "What do you have to say for yourself, Mulder?" "Umm... Ooops?" Mulder replied with a lopsided smile. The gleam in his eyes was totally unrepentant. Jim stood and stretched, his neck and back making audible popping sounds. Scully cringed at the sound. "Sorry," he smiled at her. "Interested in some dinner?" he asked the group. "That sounds like a plan." Mulder agreed. "How about pizza?" "No!" Blair shuddered. Jim scowled at the same moment. "I mean, umm... there is this nice Mexican take out place just down the road." He tried to hide his embarrassment at his outburst. With an understanding smile Scully placed her hand on his shoulder. "That would be fine." After a moment she added. "Don't feel bad if you find an aversion to certain foods after a case involving them. I couldn't eat chicken for weeks after one case." "I don't even want to know." Jim said holding up his hands. After a brief discussion they agreed to move their little party to the loft. Jim felt a little odd having the agents know his secret. There hadn't really been much choice, he just hoped that they kept their word. Mulder and Scully were a study in contrasts. On the one hand you had Mulder who seemed ready to believe damn near anything out of the ordinary, in fact Jim would have to say that the man expected the extraordinary. On the other you had Scully, the consummate field agent, with the medical knowledge to do examinations of any bodies that they might encounter in their work. In some ways they reminded Jim of himself and Sandburg, different backgrounds giving them a wide perspective to any problem. When they got back to the loft, dinner in hand, Mulder was impressed by the size of the place. It had a nice warm welcoming feel to it, so unlike the feel of his own apartment. When Blair tossed his backpack into the room just passed the kitchen, Mulder realized that the two men lived together. // This is interesting.// he thought. // I wonder if this has to do with Sandburg being Ellison's Guide.// Seeing his partners quizzical expression he knew Scully was thinking along the same lines. By the time they had all finished eating, the files Blair and Mulder had been working on at the station were once again spread out on the floor. But this time they were spread behind the couch between the windows and the stairs to Jim's bedroom. Scully was looking over some of Blair's notebooks that he said contained research pertinent to the case. She was impressed by the amount of data within his notes, also by the complete lack of direct reference to Ellison in any of the notes. Blair had made sure that if anyone ever got a hold of any of his research they would not be able to directly link the notes to the detective. After nearly two hours of intense note taking, flipping though his papers and generally immersing himself in his work, Blair suddenly stopped writing and reread his notes. "It can't be that simple." he mumbled under his breath. Jim walked over to him. "What can't be that simple." Mulder looked up from his file. He hadn't even heard Sandburg say anything. Blair looked up at his partner. "I think I know how he chooses his victims. But it can't be that simple." "Spill it Darwin. What can't be that simple." Jim repeated, noticing his friends heart rate increase. A mixture of excitement and disbelief playing across the expressive face before him. "Give me just a sec. First I need to know something." Blair said holding up a cautionary hand. Turning to Scully he asked, "Were there any physiological similarities between the different victims. I don't really have the stomach to go over the autopsy reports." Scully pulled off her glasses. "They all had minor heart defects, not the same in all, but nothing that would be considered dangerous." Blair's eyes lit up. "Then I've figured it out. But I couldn't be that simple." He looked up at the expectant faces around him, realizing that he wasn't making himself clear. "Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers that we know of. Its effects on the human emotional state can be varied and startling." He shifted into teacher mode as he explained. "Old musty smells remind some people of playing in an attic as a child. The smell of an open fire can remind one person of camping and another of a traumatic fire. A person with a heightened sense of smell can have even stronger reactions to that kind of stimuli." "But we aren't talking about smell," Mulder reminded him. "We are talking about hearing." "I think we may be dealing with someone with both senses heightened." "Why do you think that?" Scully asked. "All of the victims had two other things in common aside from being pagans. One, they all had a slight heart defect, and two, all were in possession of or had recently burned lavender, sage, and frankincense. Now all three are common enough, but the three burned together are not, nor are they what I would call compatible." He paused to make sure he had their attention. "There must be something in his past that makes this combination of stimuli set him off." "Alright, lets say you're right about this." Scully said thoughtfully. "Then why is it that a man with all five senses heightened is more stable than a killer with two? I would think it more difficult to handle all five. No offence Jim." "None taken." Jim replied "For starters Jim didn't have any kind of seriously damaging psychological trauma in his youth. Second his abilities didn't manifest until after he was a adult." Blair paused to take a drink from his tea cup. "You admitted earlier that you are Ellison's Guide." Mulder said. Jim nodded, "Sentinels need a partner with them to keep from focusing too hard on one sense. If I zone-out during a case I could get shot and never even know." "Is that why Sandburg lives here with you?" Scully asked. Blair grinned, "No, I live here 'cause my apartment blew up. Jim has been nice enough not to throw me out yet." "Your apartment blew up?" Mulder asked his eyes wide. "Don't ask, it's a long story." Jim cautioned. "Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is," Blair continued. "That if you combine those senses with a trauma like the kind your profile suggests. Then perhaps you could end up with a killer like the one we are dealing with now." "So your suggesting that a potential victim would be someone that burns those three things together?" Scully asked, Blair nodded. "Well that narrows down our targets a bit." "There is only one problem with this theory." Jim said, leaning on the wooden support pillar between the kitchen and the living room. "I could smell the sage Naomi burned for several days after she left. The victims could have used the different incense over a period of a week and still could have triggered the attack." "Man, your right. I didn't even think of that." Blair said thoughtfully. "Even so, the combination does seem to be the trigger, doesn't it?" Mulder nodded, "Are you sure you're an anthropologist, you know a lot about the human mind." Blair shrugged, "I minored in Psych." "The good news is that there appears to be only one company on the records that matches the ones that we are looking for." Jim announced. "Looks like Whitlow paid a cleaning service every month." "We'll get a warrant tomorrow to check their personnel records."Scully said. "But we need to find a way to catch our killer." "I'll see what I can come up with." Blair said. * * * * * Later that evening... Scully lay on her bed in the hotel room trying to sleep. There was a soft knock at the door separating her room from Mulder's. "Come in Mulder." She said with a sigh. Mulder entered with an apologetic look. "I was just thinking about Ellison and Sandburg and I was wondering what your thoughts are." "If it weren't for the fact that we are working on a case involving heightened senses and their captain confirming their story, I'd have labeled them both as certifiable loons." Scully said sitting up in bed. "But you're willing to believe them based on that?" he asked leaning in the doorway. "I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt." Scully amended. "But I do think that if what they say is true, they could be in real danger if certain groups found out about it." "I agree, but I was thinking more about the way they seem so protective of each other." Mulder said. "Banks looked rather surprised at the way Sandburg tried to protect Ellison. Like it wasn't the typical way the young man spoke." "It seems that way doesn't it. He looked like he was almost ready to do anything to defend Ellison from us if he had to." "Could it be that they already had a scare along those lines and they are both expecting the worst?" Scully asked. "That is quite possible. Ludwig said that the bureau owed Ellison a lot. Perhaps whatever it was that he did, caused their protectiveness." Mulder had *that* look in his face, the one that meant he was getting intrigued. "I wonder how they first met?" "What for?" "Well they just seem to be an unlikely duo." "Gee, where have I heard that before?" Scully smirked, referring to the comments that occurred when they themselves first teamed up. "Point taken." Mulder yawned and stretched his arms over his head. "Go to bed Mulder. We have a lot of ground to cover tomorrow." "Okay, okay. I'm going," he groused. "You're such a mother hen." "Well someone has to keep you in line." He stuck his tongue out at her and ducked back into his room, just as a magazine flew across the room hitting the wall where he had been standing. * * * It was almost midnight when Jim and Blair entered the empty halls of the Geology Dept. of Rainier University. There were only a few lights on in the echoing corridors. "Explain to me again why we are sneaking around this place in the middle of the night?" Jim asked his partner. Blair rolled his eyes, "Because we need to test your ability to sense earthquakes." his tone was matter-of-fact. "I don't have a degree in geology, therefore I don't have ready access to the equipment in this area." "So?" "So, I called in a favor to be able to do the test." Jim stopped in his tracks. The day had been bad enough without someone new finding out about his talents. "You didn't tell this guy why you wanted to do this test did you?" "Not in so many words." Blair turned to him. "Don't worry Gary is the soul of discretion. Besides all he's doing is testing the new equipment so that it will be calibrated for some experiments the Dept. is conducting in a few days." "I don't like it." Ellison turned back the way they came, Blair placed a restraining hand on his arm. "Jim, this is the only time we're going to be able to do this test with no one else around." The grad student could understand his friend's reluctance. He hadn't really told Jim what the test entailed. Pulling lightly on Jim's arm Blair lead him down to a door that opened up to a set of stairs that went down to the basement. "How can you be so sure this Gary guy won't say anything?" Jim persisted, pausing again as they reached the bottom of the stairs. Blair smiled reassuringly. "Because Gary isn't just a RA. He is a good friend of mine, and he's also one of my first case studies." Jim's eyes widened. "Your kidding right?" "No, come on. How do you think I got my masters degree in the first place?" "I guess I didn't really think about it. You told me about your other documented cases. But I guess I never thought that I'd meet one." Jim was still unsure about meeting this guy. "Gary won't tell anyone." Sandburg's voice slipped into Guide mode, trying to calm his friend's nerves. "He's going to be credited in my paper for his assistance, when I'm ready to publish. Trust me." His eyes were in full 'puppy' mode. "Okay, okay, lets just get this over with before the sun comes up. We still have an investigation to do, remember." The Sentinel said giving in. The Guide practically danced down the basement hallway to the third door. The sign read: Warning: Sensitive Equipment. He knocked and waited for the door to open. After a few moments the door opened to reveal a wiry, red haired man a little older than Blair. His hair was cropped short and he sported a neatly clipped beard. "Blair, man. Good to see you made it." he said shaking Blair's hand, his bright green eyes shifting to Ellison. "I'm Gary Martins," He said extending his hand. "Jim Ellison" the detective replied, clasping Gary's hand. As their hands touched, the RA's eyes widened and he smiled broadly looking from Jim to Blair several time. "I don't believe it." Gary said, he looked ready to jump for joy. "Believe what?" Blair asked his friend. "Blair you creep, why didn't you tell me you found him." "Found who?" Blair asked, warily. "Don't give me that. I felt the difference in your presence, you're not searching anymore, your feelers are pulled in. Which means you found a Sentinel." Blair didn't know what to say to this. They had discussed his hopes of finding a real Sentinel while he was working on his Masters thesis. At the time Gary had confidently told him he would find one eventually. Seeing the color drain out of both men's faces Gary said, "Calm down dudes. I won't tell anyone. It's a real pleasure to meet you Mr. Ellison. Blair has been looking for you for a long time." Gary smiled, he could feel the connection between the two men in front of him the moment he shook their hands. The geology major had been blessed/cursed with a hyper tactile sense. It was so sensitive that he could feel the body's natural energy field as well as the texture of things. His abilities helped in his research, being able to tell different soil and rock types by touch alone and sense when pressure was building underground. Martins remembered when Sandburg had first found that obscure monograph by Burton. It had been in a mountain of other old books that had been donated by a deceased alumnus. It had been as if Blair had found his destiny within its pages. A spark had flared in him that burned even brighter now. "What did you mean by feelers?" Ellison asked suspiciously. "Well, everyone has a personal energy field, commonly referred to as an aura. Now if you're looking for something, you unconsciously send out what I call feelers, tendrils of your own energy as part of the search." he grinned at Ellison's skeptical expression. "Blair has had tendrils out almost as long as I've known him, but now I can't feel them reaching out any more." What he didn't say was that he could sense that those tendrils were now firmly wrapped around and though Ellison's aura, just as Ellison's own energy was wrapped around and through Sandburg's. What he found interesting was that neither of them seemed aware of it. "Sounds like something that Naomi would say." Jim commented. "Actually she and I have had many conversations about it." Gary said grinning even wider. Jim rolled his eyes. "That figures." Blair chuckled softly. "Anyway, I'm all set inside, if you're ready." Martins said, realizing that he was blocking the doorway, he quickly lead the way inside. Inside, the room contained several large free standing safety shields made out of plexiglass. A half a dozen or so high sensitivity microphones and six video cameras surrounded what looked like a hydraulic press. On the left side of the room was a pile of numbered cylindrical objects wrapped in paper. On the right was a control panel and monitors. Gary looked around the room with uncontained pride. "This is the department's newest baby." He walked over to the pile of cylinders. Marking a notation on a clipboard nailed to the wall there, he added. "It took months to get it." "What exactly does this thing do?" Jim asked. "Give me a hand with this and you'll see." Martins gestured to the top most cylinder. With some effort the two of them moved the two foot tall one foot wide object onto a small cart. Garry wheeled it over to the machine, then stripped the paper off to reveal a solid piece of granite. He ran his hands over the surface slowly, taking note of serval micro fractures in the seemingly flawless surface. "Mr. Ellison, would you mind running your hand over the block and tell me what you feel?" he asked. "What for?" "Well, I've never met another person with my sense of touch." Garry admitted. "I'm just curious to know if you can feel the same things I can." Seeing Jim's reluctance Blair piped in. "Think of it as another test, but this time we have a control subject." Jim sighed, then ran his hands over the rock's surface. After he finished Gary took out a red marker pen from his lab coat. "Tell me if I miss any." he said and traced the path of all the fracture that Jim had found. "Well I'll be damned." Ellison said with unconcealed amazement. "It's weird having someone else confirm what I can sense like that." Gary gave him an understanding smile. "It took me a long time to trust what I was feeling. Especially when none of my colleagues could understand what I was talking about." He rolled the rock into place on the machine, setting clamps to keep it stationary. "Now," he said cracking his knuckles. " This sucker is a hydraulic press, modified from industrial use as a molding machine into a mini earthquake maker." "How does it do that?" Blair asked. "It's quite simple really. The press simulated the action of tectonic plates rubbing together. We gradually build up the pressure until the stone sample shatters. Now, scientific studies have already proven that the rocks samples emit sonic waves just before they shatter. What we are hoping to do with our set up is find a way to detect these waves efficiently enough to create an early warning system." "That explains all the mics but what are the cameras for?" Jim asked looking at the set up again. "Two of the six cameras are infra-red. A few of the professors are hoping to capture some kind of visual anomalies" "Like what?" Blair asked. "I'm really not sure. Probably ball-lightening or something like that." Jim looked at his watch. "As fascinating as this is, we have to work tomorrow morning." "Sorry," The two grad students said in unison. "Everything is all set now. So if you'll have a seat we can get started." The geologist motioned toward a chair set up behind one of the plexiglass shields. It was set so that Jim's back would be toward the press. Ellison complied, muttering about insomniac grad students. Smiling broadly, Blair knelt down next to him. "Okay Jim, we're just going to do the same thing we did the night of the tremor. The only difference is that you are going to have to filter out the noise of the press itself." "Actually, the machine isn't that loud." Garry said from the control panel. "That's 'cause you don't have heightened hearing." Jim reminded him. "You'd be amazed what you would find painfully loud." As he spoke he noticed a spark of an idea flash across his guide's face. "What?" he asked. "I'll tell you when we are done here." Blair told him in a low voice. "All set over there?" The geologist asked. When both men nodded he touched the controls, turning on the monitors and starting the press. Jim winces slightly at first, then adjusted to the noise level. Blair kept an eye on the machine trying not to give his partner any clues as to how the test was going. As the pressure increased on the block, the sound of machine changed pitch. Blair instructed Jim to filter out the sounds of the equipment. "Tell me when you hear anything that reminds you of what you hear the night of the quake." he whispered. Gary checked the gauges, it wouldn't be long now. He just hoped Ellison would hear something before the rock shattered. As if on cue, Jim straitened in his chair, tilting his head to the side listening intently. "I hear it." He said opening his eyes. He looked down at his guide and smiled in wonder. "Son-of-a-bitch, I can hear it. It's not as loud or as intense but the harmonic is there." Blair's face beamed with excitement. Jim was about to say more but just then the rock sample shattered, sending fragments flying in all directions, some of the projectiles bounced off of the safety barriers. Gary hit the cut off switch shutting down the equipment. They began to clean up the debris while waiting for the hard copy of the test to print out. The rock had shattered along the marked lines. "I wish I could do this test again for you but I only had authorization for the one test tonight." The RA's voice was tinged with regret. "Hey man, it's not a problem." Blair reassured him. "The fact that you could do this for us at all has been a great help." Martins handed them the hard copies saying, "Let me know if there is anything else I can do." Turning to Jim he extended his hand. "It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. Ellison." "It was nice meeting you too." Jim replied with a genuine smile. As they headed out of the building, Sandburg asked, "That wasn't so bad, was it?" "No it wasn't," Jim looked at his watch and sighed, 1:30 am. "Lets just hope we don't get an early call, I'd like to get *some* sleep tonight." As the climbed into the truck Blair said. "Could we stop by the Anthro building? There is some things I need from my office." "Can't it wait until morning?" Jim groused, but turned the truck toward the building. "I don't have any classes tomorrow, and I'd rather get it now rather then risk getting snagged by one of my students when I should be helping you." He pulled out his office keys as they approached. "This will only take a minute." "Right." Blair hopped out of the Expedition, Jim only a step behind him. Once inside his office Blair went to his desk and unlocked the bottom drawer. Reaching deep inside he pulled out a handfull of familiar objects. "Are those what I think they are?" Jim asked. Blair nodded, "I figured if Brackett can use these suckers against you. Then we can use them against our killer." Jim took a moment to examine one of the white noise generators. "Where do you get these things anyway?" "I've got connections." Blair smiled and held up another smaller object. "This is the other thing I wanted." It was a small dog whistle. "You weren't ever planning on using that thing on me, were you?" Ellison's eyes narrowed with suspicion. Blair looked hurt. "Jim, I'm shocked that you would think so little of me. You know that I would never do anything to hurt you intentionally." "I'm just checking, Chief. Your natural paranoia must be rubbing off on me." "Funny, Ellison real funny." Blair locked the drawer again and headed out of the door. "When I first started studying about Sentinels, I began looking for people with heightened senses, I used to take the whistle with me into lectures or out onto the campus to see if anyone would react to it." "Did it ever work?" Jim asked, climbing into the truck. "Nah, all it did was attract the college mascot. That cute brown dog you see from time to time." "The one that keeps trying to steal my hotdogs?" Jim smiled remembering. "The very one, he seems to like you." Blair looked thoughtful. "Ever think of getting a pet?" "Why bother, I have you." Jim teased as they headed home. "Not funny man." Blair said trying not to smile. * * * * * The next morning Jim and Blair were to meet the FBI agents at the office of Penski Cleaning Services Inc. When they arrived Jim saw by the purple Ford Taurus in the driveway that Mulder and Scully were already inside. As he pulled into a parking spot, Jim focused his hearing inside the building. "We've only had two new employees in the last three months," the manager said. "Charlie Winslow and Nathan Morgan." "Could you tell us where we could find them?" Scully asked. "Charlie is in the back, restocking his truck. Nathan is out with with the team that does clean up at Rainier U." "You have a contract with Susan Whitlow's New Age shop, the Silver Moon. Did either men do any work there in the past week?" Mulder asked. "Yes they both did. Is this about Ms. Whitlow's murder?" "We just want to ask them both a few questions." Scully responded. He showed them into the back room and introduced them to Charlie. After a few minor questions Mulder had the feeling that this man wasn't the killer. "Did Nathan seem agitated or nervous to you while you where at the shop?" "Now that you mention it, he did seem a bit more upset than usual." "What do you mean by, more that usual?" Scully asked. "Well, he's never been comfortable going in that store or any place that deals with alternative religions." Charlie shrugged. "I tried to talk to him about that once. But he wouldn't tell me why." "Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Winslow." Mulder said. With that they turned and left. Outside, Blair leaned over to his partner. "So what's going on in there?" "It sounds like our suspect is over at the University on a job." Jim told him shifting his awareness back to his immediate surroundings. They both got out of the truck as the two agents exited the building. "Our suspect should be at Rainier U." Mulder said as they approached. "I heard," Jim told him. "I think we should do this as quietly as possible. We don't want to spook Morgan before we get to question him." Scully couldn't hide her surprise, her mind reeling at the detectives ability to hear what they had said from outside the building. "Well, you two are the experts in this." She said trying to recover. "How do you suggest we proceed?" Jim was thoughtful for a moment, "I think just the four of us should go in, any more and we won't be able to mask the noise. We'll set up some units outside the perimeter of the campus on standby, just in case he bolts." "That fine but how are you planning on hiding our approach?" Scully asked. At Scully's question, Blair reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out two odd looking devices. Handing one each to Mulder and Scully he said. "Turn them on and leave them on once we get on the campus grounds. He'll never hear us coming." At the questioning looks he explained. "These are white noise generators. They'll keep him from hearing you until you are in close proximity, as long as you keep quiet." "Will these things cause you a problem Detective?" Mulder asked clipping it on his belt. "No, I can filter out white noise as if it wasn't there." Concerned Scully asked, "What is to keep Morgan from doing the same thing?" "If this guy has problems with analog clocks, then he'll have no clue how to handle white noise." Blair said with confidence. "I hope you're right." Scully replied. "Trust me," Jim said. "He knows what he is talking about." * * * Half an hour later, after clearing it with a rather irate Simon. A dozen squad cars and unmarkeds were in position. There was also an ambulance on standby just in case. All units had orders to maintain radio silence until hearing the word from Ellison. As they entered the campus grounds Jim easily located one of the vans from the cleaning company. One of the employees was there refilling a bottle of cleaning fluid. "Excuse me," Jim said getting his attention and showing his badge. "I'm Detective Ellison, I need to talk to Nathan Morgan. Your boss said that he was here. Could you tell me which building he might be in." "Is he in some kind of trouble?" he asked. "We just need to ask him a few questions." "Well, he should be in the student union, putting a coat of wax on the steps that lead to the stage." He said pointing in the right direction. Jim thanked him, then turned to follow Blair who was already moving in toward the building. "Jim, those steps were stripped and rewaxed the day before the murder." Blair's heart rate increasing. "That would account for the residue we found in that foot print at the store." Jim said understanding. "According to their records Morgan was on the job here, as well as the job at Silver Moon later that day." Mulder added. As they approached the building a man dressed in Penski Cleaning coveralls was exiting just in front of them. His eyes were on a flyer taped to the door, so he failed to notice them approaching. Jim tightened his visual focus, zooming in on the name sewn onto the coverall. The letters spelled out 'Nathan'. Jim pulled his badge out holding it up for the man to see. "Nathan Morgan. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions." Morgan's head shot up in surprise. His eyes going wide with terror, he began to edge away form the four people in front of him. Whatever reaction Blair had expected from this guy it was nothing compared to what he saw. "It's alright," Scully said trying to calm the suspect. "We aren't going to hurt you." "No!" Morgan shouted in panic. "Don't come near me, whatever you are." He dropped every thing he was carrying and ran down the sidewalk deeper into the campus grounds at an amazing speed. "Aw hell, I hate it when they run." Jim said as he took off after him, Mulder only a step behind him. "What the hell was that?" Scully asked Sandburg as they too ran trying to keep up with there longer legged partners. "He couldn't hear us." Blair said, as though that explained it all. "Of course he could hear us. How else would he know what we said?" "But he couldn't hear... our heart beats or the sounds of our cloths rubbing together." Blair explained as they ran. "He probably thinks we're demons or something. I didn't think he'd react like that." He sounded apologetic. "Damn he's fast." "I've still got him," Jim said pausing at the top of a small rise to get his bearings. "It looks like he's heading for the library." "Shit! Your kidding!" Blair exclaimed in dismay, as skid to a halt next to Ellison. "Why? What's wrong?" Mulder asked turning to the grad student. "The History Dept. just set up a display on the history of weapons in warfare." "You've got to be kidding me, Chief." Jim said. "How many weapons are we talking here?" They were all running again. "None of the guns on display work, all the firing pins were removed." Blair told his partner. "But there has to be at least a couple dozen different types of edged weapons on display." "Simon was right, nothing ever comes easy for us." Jim muttered to himself. The library was in chaos when they arrived, students poured out of the doors in a panic. While they waited for the press of people to ease. Jim called in backup to cover all the exits. Blair saw a familiar face among those by the entrance. "Jack!" Blair called to the former CIA agent. Kelso spun in his wheel chair, seeing Sandburg and Ellison, he let out an exasperated sigh. "Blair, why is it every time anything crazy happens around here you seem to be right in the middle of it?" he asked making his way closer. "Nice to see you again Detective." "Hi, Jack." Jim said absently, his attention focused inside the building. "Jack, these are Agents Mulder and Scully," Blair introduced, "Mulder, Scully meet Jack Kelso, political science teacher." Jack shook the hands of the two agents. Mulder eyes widened when he recognized the ex-CIA agent. // This guy is Blair's friend? I wonder if he's the one Sandburg asked to do the background check on us.// "Mind me asking what's going on?" Kelso asked the group. "The man that just ran in there in a suspected serial killer." Ellison explained. "We were attempting to question him when he bolted." "Is there anything I can do to help?" Kelso asked, him eyes serious. Jim considered the question a moment, then knelt down and pulled his back up .38 pistol from it's ankle holster. Handing it to Jack, Jim said, "If you see the suspect coming out these doors, don't let him past you." "You can count on it." Jack promised, his face set in grim determination, as he expertly checked the revolver's weight and balance. Once inside Jim opened up his senses to get an idea of how many people were still inside. Filtering out the layers of white noise coming from the small devices. In the back of the library he could hear harsh breathing and two distinct heartbeats. Picking up a discarded notebook from the floor he wrote: 'In the rear of the building, Possibly one hostage.' Blair grabbed the notebook from him and quickly made a rough sketch of the buildings layout, including all possible exits. As the agents studied the map Sandburg turned to his partner and mouthed ' Where? ' Closing his eyes, the Sentinel visualized the layout of the library. Grateful for all the times that his Guide had dragged him there if one reason or another. With a pen Jim circled an area in the back corner of the reference section. He gestured for Mulder and Scully to take the right side while he would take the left. Turning to Sandburg he motioned for him to stay put. The Guide glared at him shaking his head. Ellison glared back not wanting to risk his friend getting hurt. //We don't have time for this// Jim thought frustrated. 'Alright just stay back.' he mouthed, sighing when Blair agreed. Making there way toward the killer they heard Mulder call out. "Nathan Morgan, I'm Agent Mulder of the FBI. We don't want to hurt you, we just need to talk to you." "What ever you are, you keep away from me!" Morgan cried. In a softer voice Jim heard him say, "Don't listen to them. Don't trust them. They're not real." "I don't understand." a frightened yet familiar voice said. "Don't you see? Can't you hear it? The silence that they have. There are no hearts in the beasts." Through a gap in the books Jim got a glimpse of the suspect and his hostage, RA Gary Martins. Morgan was holding a ten inch long dagger flat against the grad students chest, his other hand was holding Gary by the throat, his focus was in the direction of Mulder's voice. "They've finally come for me. Just like Father always said they would. But maybe if I gave them your heart they'd let me go. What do you think?" "I think it's a pretty lousy idea, personally." Martins said trying to pull away from the blade. "We aren't demons Nathan." Jim said as he moved in closer. "We want to ask you where you were Tuesday night." He saw Morgan's eyes glaze over in confusion, his heart rate shot through the roof. "If you let that young man go we can sit down and talk this over peacefully." Mulder said stepping into Morgan's line of sight. His Sig Sauer trained on the suspect and his hostage. Mulder reached onto his belt with his left hand, pulling the WNG off and holding up for the man to see. "Do you see this? This is why you can't hear our hearts." "I don't believe you." He whimpered in fear. Blair moved to stand next to Jim trying to see what was going on. Jim leaned down and whispered softly. "I want you to use that whistle. Give me to the count of twenty to get into a better position." Blair was about to protest, but stopped himself. This was not the time to argue. Jim moved forward with the grace of a cat, stealth acquired from those many months in the jungle. When he was within ten feet of his target, he visualized the dial for his hearing, turning it down as far as he could without consciously making himself deaf. Mulder was still trying to calm the suspect. "I'm going to turn this off and you'll see that I'm telling the truth." He flipped off the power. The bubble of white noise disappeared from around the agent. "That's not real," Morgan said desperately, trying to ignore the sudden inclusion of Mulder's heart beat and the ticking of the agents analog watch. "Your just trying to trick me." His grip loosened on the grad student and the dagger dropped a few inches. At that very moment Blair reached the count of twenty, placed the whistle between his lips, and blew as hard as he could. Jim braced himself for it, feeling the vibrations in his inner ear, he grimaced at the sensation but it wasn't actually painful. Morgan on the other hand had no defence, with a scream of agony he released his grip on Martins and clasped his ears. The sudden movement caused the dagger to slice across Garry's arm. The grad student cried out in pain as his hyper-sensitive skin protested. Ellison took two large strides, grabbed Martins and dragged him behind the book shelves to where Blair was standing. Sitting him down Ellison checked the wound, the sent of blood mingling with the smell of old books and the perspiration of those present. "Bloody hell, this hurts!!" Gary said through clenched teeth. "It's pretty deep, but I've seen worse." Jim reassured him, Blair knelt down next to them and without a second thought pulled off his layered shirts and began tearing the t-shirt into strips for a temporary bandage. The distraction Blair created gave the two agents time to train their weapons on Morgan. "Drop the knife!" Scully ordered. The order was not received well as Morgan screamed incoherently and lunged toward the source of yet more torment. He came up under the path of her pistol, one hand grabbing for her weapon while the other slashed with the dagger. "Scully!" Mulder cried, his heart clenched in his chest as the two fell to the floor. The sound of Scully's pistol going off a was accompanied by a gasp. The struggles ceased and Mulder wrenched the body of Nathan Morgan off of his partner. Quickly checking for a pulse, Mulder confirmed that the suspect was dead. "Are you alright, Scully?" He asked checking her over. The dagger had sliced through her blouse leaving a nasty looking gash along her ribs on her left side. Her light green suit was stained a deep crimson for not only her blood but that of Morgan. "How bad is it?" She gasped as her partner ripped open her blouse to get a closer look. "It's not bad." he said after a few moments. "You keep this up and you'll force the guys back home to start hedging their bets." "For which pool?" she asked, grateful for the distraction. "The one for the most stitches for a single year." Mulder teased lightly. "It'll take a lot more than this to break your record, Mulder." "That's not a record either of us should be proud of." His eyes lost their humor as he took her hand in his and gave it a light squeeze. Ellison emerged from around a book shelf, the shredded remains of Blair's t- shirt in his hand. Kneeling down he helped Mulder create a temporary bandage. "How's the kid?" Mulder asked. "He's fine. Mostly shaken up, Blair took him outside." Jim replied. "I called in the ambulance. They'll bring in a stretcher for you Agent Scully." "What made Morgan scream like that?" Scully asked. "It was like he had some sort of attack." "Sandburg used a dog whistle to try and distract him. We weren't sure what would happen." "Why didn't it affect you the same way?" Mulder was curious. "It's hard to explain. I can, sort of, adjust the amount of input I receive from my senses. I turned down my hearing so that it wouldn't hurt me." "That's useful." Scully muttered. "I wish I could do that right now." "Trust me, these senses are not always an advantage." Jim said. "I wouldn't wish them on anyone." At that moment the paramedics arrived and took charge of Agent Scully. Mulder bent down over the body of the killer, searching the coveralls he pulled out Morgan's wallet and keys. * * * "It hurts!" Gary complained sitting in the back of the ambulance. Fighting off the hands of the medic that was trying to help him. "Well if you would calm down for a second and listen to me, maybe it wouldn't hurt so much." Blair was trying very hard not to growl at his friend. "Can't they just give me something for the pain?" Garry whined "I'm sure they could but it won't do you any good if your pain receptors are on overload." Blair was beginning to feel like he was talking to a child. "Well then, what do you suggest, 'oh wise one'?" the RA asked sarcastictly. Blair clamped down on the retort that formed in his mind. Closing his eyes he gathered up all the patience that he had acquired from working with Ellison. "I want you to take a deep breath and let it out slowly." he said, consciously modulating his voice to the one he used when guiding Jim. Garry did as he was told, the first breath came out ragged. "Do it again." Blair instructed, making his friend repeat the action several times. Blair watched with satisfaction as the lines of pain eased in Garry's face. He nodded to the medic. "He'll be fine for now. He's just *really* sensitive." As he climbed out of the ambulance he saw the stretcher carrying Scully, Mulder was walking next to her speaking softly. Jim paused to pull out his cell-phone and call the station. "Banks." "Simon, it's Jim. Everything is under control here." "What the hell happened down there?!" Simon bellowed. Jim winced pulling the receiver away from his ear. "Our suspect went over the deep end when we tried to question him." He explained the events of that morning. "Did you have to kill him?" Simon asked "I don't think he gave Agent Scully much of a choice, Sir." "Alright, just finish this up quickly. The press is going to be all over this." "Will do, Simon." As he broke the connection Jim heard a long suffering sigh from the other end of the phone. Kelso wheeled himself over to where Jim was standing. "I believe this is yours Detective." he said handing Jim the .38. "Thanks for your help." Jim smiled as he returned the pistol to it's holster. "No problem, I haven't had this much excitement in my life since I left the Company." he said with a hint of amusement. "I don't want to make this a habit though. That's why I became a teacher, you know, retire to a life of quiet academia." "Hasn't worked out that way, huh?" "It was working just fine until Blair started working with you." The smile on his face broadened when Jim grimaced ever so slightly. Whatever it was that Blair was studying at the PD, it had a lot to do with his friendship to the detective. Jack really didn't care what the subject matter was, he just hoped that it didn't get Blair killed. The young man in question had been talking with the two agents over at the ambulance. He made his way over to where Jim and Jack were talking. "Jim, Agent Mulder wants to check out Morgan's address." Blair said, his voice and posture radiating fatigue. "I need to make sure that Gary doesn't wig out on the doctors when they try to stitch him up. I need to follow the ambulance so I was wondering..." he left the last bit hanging. His eyes wide and pleading. Jim sighed and nodded. Reaching into his pants pocket for his keys, he said, "I'll meet you back at the station. But you scratch it and your dead meat." He gave the younger man's shoulder a light squeeze as he handed them over. "Good work in there, Chief." Blair's whole face lit up at the praise. "Thanks man." he gave Jim an affectionate slap on the back. Turning to Kelso he said. "See ya later, Jack." "Later Blair." Jack replied, trying to hide his amusement at the little exchange between the two men. "I'll be in my office for the rest of the day if you need anything from me, Detective." Jim nodded, "You take care of yourself." He watched Kelso as he headed for his office, trying to figure out what Jack suddenly found so amusing. * * * * * Ellison, Mulder, and two uniformed officers entered the apartment of the late Nathan Morgan, not sure of what they would find. The small living room and kitchen areas that could be seen from the door were immaculate. Ordinarily you would expect some kind of sign that the place had been lived in, personal items, knick- knacks, mail on the counter. But none of those things were visible. As they searched the rooms Jim felt an uneasiness in the pit of his stomach. There was something in the stark emptiness of the apartment that made his skin crawl. Suddenly he realized what it was, he shivered ever so slightly. All his instincts screamed to get the hell out of there. Biting down on the urge to run, he continued his search of the rooms. Mulder had moved into the single bedroom. He pulled on a pair of surgical gloves and began searching. The room was covered with religious items, crosses, prayer books, and other items. Many were old, and well worn. Inside the closet he found a wooden chest, old, beat up, and the varnish flaking off. Lifting the lid, Mulder felt a feeling of relief wash over him as he looked at the contents. "Detective Ellison, I think you should have a look at this." He called out, letting go of the breath he had been holding. Together they examined the contents of the chest. Inside there were several unopened packages of tent stakes, a brand new pair of leather work gloves, a hammer, and a tattered copy of the Malleus Maleficarum. Carefully removing each item and placing them on the floor, when the chest was empty Jim held it in his hands and examined it closely. "It's too heavy still," he said almost to himself. "I think its got a false bottom." Setting it back down, Jim felt inside, increasing his tactile sense to be able to feel through the gloves. He felt the seems and pressed down. The bottom came free revealing the secrets within. Inside, were twelve daggers, each one carefully wrapped in clear plastic. Blood encrusted each of them, the top most dagger was still slightly damp. "If there had been any doubts," Jim said holding up one of the blades. "I'd say they're gone now." Mulder agreed, "At least he saved us the cost of a trial." * * * * * Agent Scully received thirty-five stitches to close the wound in her side. After the doctor had finished, he instructed her to rest for a few hours to get over the shock to her system. She was placed in an observation room to wait to be released. Sandburg had stayed nearby while she was treated. He left the hospital only to take Gary Martins home, promising to be back before she was released. She must have dozed off, for the next thing Scully was conscious of was the sound of paper rustling. Opening her eyes she saw Blair sitting next to her. He was hunched over in the seat, a note book in one hand. Furiously scribbling on the pad. Occasionally he would comment softly, as though trying to sort out facts to himself. "How long have you bee sitting there?" Scully asked quietly. Blair looked up from his notes clearly startled. "Not long," he smiled, setting down his papers. "How are you feeling?" "Not bad, a bit sore." she admitted. "But I've been worse." //A lot worse.// "What is it that you're writing?" "Nothing really, just trying to get a handle on what happened today." Blair shifted in his seat, as though he were uncomfortable. "I was trying to figure out if Morgan could have been helped if he'd had a Guide." "But I thought you said that only full Sentinels needed a Guide." Scully pointed out. "I did, but I'm going to have to rethink that." Blair shook his head sadly. "Most of my early research was based on persons with one heightened sense, from stable backgrounds, in normal situations. I think maybe under extreme stress a person with one heightened sense would need a Guide, if only for a short period of time." "I'm not too clear on the whole Sentinel thing," Scully said with an analytical tone. "But until we find out more about Morgan's past I wouldn't go tossing out your theories." She shifted on the bed sitting up. "I meant to ask you earlier, what did you mean by zone-outs." Blair looked at her in surprise. He hadn't realized that he hadn't explained. "A zone-out occurs when a Sentinel focuses too tightly on one sense. All other input to the brain sort of shuts down. The Sentinel will lose touch with the outside world." "It sounds like it could be dangerous." Scully's eye shone with concern. "Has this happened to Ellison?" "It is dangerous, and it has happened to Jim a few times. He nearly got killed the first day we met. Zoned-out right in the middle of the street and almost got flattened by a garbage truck." His eyes clouded over for a moment, reliving the rush of air as the truck passed over both his and Jim's bodies. Blair shuddered slightly at the thought, he had nearly lost the best friend he'd ever had before ever getting to know him. "The doctor said you can leave anytime you're ready." He said, suddenly uncomfortable with the topic. "That's good." Scully smiled, deciding to let the subject drop. Looking down at her hospital gown she asked. "You wouldn't know what happened to my clothes would you?" "Trashed, they were covered in blood," he tried not to smile at her look of dismay. "Your ID and personal stuff is all on the tray over there. But before you panic," he placed a bag that had been sitting next to him on the floor, onto her lap. "I figured you would want to leave here at least decently clothed." Scully opened the bag and smiled in surprise. Inside she found a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt, underwear, socks, and a pair of inexpensive canvas shoes. After checking the tags she asked, "How did you know my size?" To her further amazement, he blushed a deep crimson. "I, umm, checked the tags on your clothes before they where disposed of. I hope you don't mind?" With a reassuring she said, "Thank you Blair. This was very thoughtful of you." Relief flooded across his face. "I'll just give you some privacy." Blair said as he stepped out of the room. Dana shook her head as she slowly dressed, wondering if the young man was aware of how much his face gave away. She still wasn't sure whether Ellison was a Sentinel as they claimed, but the two of them made a good team. Ellison's arrest record was as impressive as her's and Mulder's in fact it was better than theirs. Blair's knowledge of heightened senses had helped them stop a mad man. Just for that she was willing to edit her report if there was any chance Ellison or Sandburg would be put at risk. It wouldn't be the first time she'd done some creative editing and it certainly wouldn't be the last. The very fact that Blair had gone out of his way and bought her comfortable clothes to wear was so endearing it nearly left her speechless. What was more, he deliberately purchased a shirt a size larger than she needed to keep it from rubbing against her stitches. Scully stepped out of the room fully dressed and ready to go, finding Sandburg leaning against the wall just outside. "Well, what do you think?" she asked modeling for him. "Oh hey, I'm glad everything fit," he smiled. "Are you ready to go?" "More than ready. I spend far too much time in hospitals as a patient." "I know how that feels" Blair grimaces, as they made their way to the exit. "I've spent more time in here than I want to think about. I'm starting to know the interns on a first name basis." * * * * * Cascade PD Simon's office "So there is no doubt that this Morgan guy was the killer?" Simon asked the two men before him. "None, Captain." Mulder replied confidently. "Several of the daggers we found a the apartment matched the descriptions of some of the victims' athame, or ritual daggers. They were reported missing at the time of the murders." "Morgan also kept a journal, dating back nearly fifteen years." Jim added. "In it he describes his struggle not to carry out this urge to kill. About two years ago there was an entry, just after his fathers death, that stated that he could no longer fight the word of God." "I figure his fathers death was the what sent him completely off the deep end." Mulder said, Jim nodded in agreement. "Well' I'm glad you were able to stop this guy before he killed again," Simon said relieved. "And before the press got a hold of it." There was a quick knock on the door, all three men turned to see Sandburg and Scully enter the office. "Hey guys, how's it going?" Blair asked. "Pretty well," Jim answered making room for his partner to sit next to him on the table. "We found evidence linking Morgan to all the other murders in the files." "That's great!" Blair replied, he saw something ghost across Jim's face for a moment. A look he thought he recognized, but hadn't seen in a while. His partner's whole posture suggested he was holding something in. Blair decided to ask him about it as soon as they got home. Mulder guided Scully over to a seat, one hand on the small of her back. "How are you feeling?" he asked once she was seated. Concern reflecting in his eyes. "I'm fine." she smiled back reassuringly. "By the way, casual is a good look for you." he teased her with a wink. Scully rolled her eyes toward the heavens, sighing she said. "Why, oh lord, do I put up with him?" "Because the alternative is unthinkable." Mulder answered, the teasing smile softened to one more tender. Clearing his throat, Simon said. "So, I guess you'll be heading back to DC then?" The two agents nodded "As soon as we pack and report to the Cascade ASAC that we are done here." Mulder said. Turning to Jim and Blair he extended his hand. "Ellison, Sandburg, it was good working with you." "Likewise, Mulder." Jim said clasping his hand firmly. "A pleasure." Blair said with a smile. "Take care of yourselves." "We will. Listen, if anything should happen to either of you contact us." Mulder said pulling out his wallet, pulling out a card he wrote a number on the back. "If you can't get a hold of me directly, call this number. These guys are good friends of mine, just tell them I gave you the number." Blair took the card and looked at the number, the letters TLG were written above it. "Thanks." he said. * * * * * A few hours later Blair was preparing dinner back at the loft. A light stir fry meal, he didn't think either of them could handle anything heavier. The ride home had been quiet. With Jim clutching at the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles were white. Blair couldn't think of what could have caused his friend to act like he was. The same pensive expression he'd seeing in Simon's office was back and more pronounced. "So, what does a psychopath's apartment look like anyway?" Blair asked out of the blue, trying to find a way to get Jim to talk. Jim's eyes clouded over. The muscles in his jaw jumped as he clenched his teeth. But he didn't say anything. Blair turned the burners off, dinner could wait. "Hey man, What's wrong?" "Do you remember the first time you set foot in the loft?" The wall that Jim had been trying to build crumbled, a hint of fear crept onto his face. "Yeah, what about it?" Blair was becoming even more concerned. "What was the first thing you asked me?" Jim prompted him. "I asked you if you had just moved in." Blair replied after a moment. "You were surprised when I told you that I'd been living here for over four years. You said the place looked barely lived in." Jim stood and leaned against the counter by the sink. "So?" Blair was wondering where this conversation was going. "Lots of people live spartan." Jim took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Morgan's apartment, the way it looked, the feel of the place...it reminded me of how this place felt...before you moved in." He scrubbed his face with his hands and looked at the floor, afraid of what he'd see in his Guide's face. Blair's eyes widened with understanding. He closed the distance between them, gently forcing his friend to look at him. "I want you to listen to me." his voice firm but his eye shown with concern. "There is *no* comparing yourself to that psychopath. There is nothing in your past to even suggest that you could go on a killing spree. If there was you would never have made it into the police force." "But..." "No. There are a lot of different reasons for that kind of behavior. You read Morgan's journals, the guy was a victim of a seriously abusive family life. Half the time his father was drunk, the other half he was being punished for, what sounds to me, like imagined indiscretions." "Morgan's heightened senses were dredged up as a defense mechanism. Hearing, to know when his father was nearby, and smell, to tell if the man had been drinking." Blair saw Jim relax slighty, but he wasn't done yet. "Remember he ran away from home after being locked in his basement for three days. He went to the only person he could think could help him, his mother. But his father had been a major religious nut. Giving him the kind of fire and brimstone speeches that would make an evangelist jealous." "When he arrived at her house he discovered that she was a pagan. He didn't leave right away, tried to come to terms with the conflict. But it sounds like she tried to help him with his heightened senses and he freaked. He probably thought she was trying to corrupt him or something and he ran back to his father's home thinking to save his soul if nothing else." Blair took in a deep breath, letting in out slowly. He saw belief in his friend's eyes. "Jim your senses came out after your formative years, during a time when the only input you received was from native tribesmen that could recognize your Sentinel abilities as the gift that they are. When you returned home you repressed them 'cause your conscious mind wasn't ready to deal with that much information." Jim sighed leaning back against the counter. "Before you found me, I thought I was losing my mind. I can't help but wonder, what would have happened if we hadn't met?" His voice fell to a whisper. "How long would I have lasted before I ate a bullet just to make it stop?" Blair rocked back on on his heels. This admission was not something he ever expected to hear. "Jim, don't think about that. I'm here to help you now. And not just for my own gain. I meant it when I told Mulder and Scully that there is nothing more important to me than your safety. Even my thesis takes a back seat to that." Now Jim was concerned, "But what about your doctorate?" He didn't want Blair to ruin his career just for his sake. To his amazement a smiled crossed his Guide's face. "In the past year and a half, I've spent more time in the midst of a rarely studied cultural sub group than some scientists spend studying entire tribes. If it comes down to a choice, I can always publish what I've studied about the Cascade PD." Blair's grin was conspiritorial. Blair's smile broadened at Jim's look of astonishment. "You mean that line you used on Naomi wasn't a complete crock?" "Hell no, Mom can catch me in a lie faster than you can. Half truths though she has a hard time with." Jim smiled at that as Blair continued. "What I said after Peru still stands, man. This is more that just a research project, this is about our friendship." Jim reached out and pulled Blair into a fierce bearhug, after only a moments hesitation Blair wrapped his arms around the older man, hugging him back. "Thank you." Jim whispered into the smaller man's hair. "I'll be here for as long as you need me." Blair whispered back. Jim released his grip on his partner. With a smile he ruffled the top of Blair's hair. "So I guess I'm stuck with you for the duration?" Blair's eyes sparkled with amusement. "Just try and get me to leave." Sentinel and Guide worked together finishing their dinner, and spent the rest of the evening enjoying each others company. The End Well there it is, I hope you liked it. Sorry for any errors in the mix. I'd like to thank my sisters Judy and Pam for encouraging me to finish this after having to do a complete rewrite. I also want to thank Melrae for her encouragement, over the past few weeks and for having put up with the teaser that I sent to her. One last thing, the 'Golden' insident, and the dislike of pizza by Jim and Blair, is in referance to the episode Blind Mans Bluff. Where pizza laced with a powerful designer drug called Golden is sent to the Major Crimes bullpen. Blair was the first person to eat a piece, and nearly died from the overdose.