Monday, November 25th, 2002
Kronk-Grad residence, Chicago, Illinois
"Come on, sweetheart, time for bed," Dr. Billy Kronk murmured. "It's been a long day." He carefully lowered his sleeping baby daughter into her crib and pulled her tiny pink blanket over her. As he was turning to leave, Emily gave a little cry.
"Ssh, it's okay, Daddy's here," Billy whispered. "C'mon, it's already nine, if mommy finds out about this you won't have a daddy anymore, sweetie." After she had settled down, he switched on her night-light and was about to shut her door when he heard it.
"Emily?" Billy turned the light back on and crept back to the crib. "Sweetie?"
"Dada," Emily replied. "Da-da."
Billy was so surprised and happy he was laughing and crying at the same time. "Yeah, that's me! Dada." After a few minutes of trying to coax another 'dada' out of his daughter, he gave up and closed the door, wishing her a good night.
As if on cue, the phone rang. Billy promptly answered, saying, "Yes, we're still alive, and Emily just conked out in her crib." Immediately saying this, he winced.
"Uh, Billy, it's nine-fifteen," Dr. Diane Grad answered. "What was she doing, 'just' conking out? You know how cranky she gets when…"
"I know, I know, but I've got it under control," Billy assured his wife with a chuckle. "And hey, guess what…"
"Oh, Billy, I'd love to listen but the ER's insane tonight and they need my help. I will be home by six in the morning, I promise," Diane interrupted. "I have to go. I love you!"
Billy sighed. "I love you, too." He was listening to the dial tone.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2002
Agent Dana Scully's apartment
Dana Scully woke up late on Tuesday morning to a loud knocking on her apartment door. "I'm coming," she mumbled as she stumbled to the door. She looked out the peek hole and, seeing who it was, opened the door.
"Morning, sunshine!" Fox Mulder said with a smile. "Scully, it's already noon and you're still sleeping?"
"I was sleeping," she replied sarcastically as he pushed past her into her apartment. "What do you want?" She rubbed her eyes wearily, following him into the living room.
"I want you to see this," Mulder said, clicking her television on and flipping to CNN.
"Late last night in the city of Chicago," a brunette newscaster spoke, "a one-year-old baby girl was kidnapped from her apartment where she and her parents reside. Both her parents are ER doctors at Chicago Hope Hospital. Apparently, her mother was on a nightshift who found her husband this morning unconscious in their living room." A clip of the front of the apartment building was shown. Squad cars and yellow tape surrounded the area.
"The authorities are currently questioning the parents and neighbors while detectives from the Chicago Police Department are searching the building for clues leading to the baby's disappearance."
Mulder flipped the television off and turned to Scully, pulling a bag of sunflower seeds out of the inside of his jacket. "So?"
"Uh…" Scully gave him a strange look, and said, "so what?"
Mulder fiddled with the bag for a second, then looked up at Scully. "I think that this may be connected to the kidnapping of William."
A look of pain flashed across Scully's eyes. "Mulder, you know we can't do this anymore...it's out of our hands now. Dogget and Reyes aren't even authorized to be on the case anymore."
Mulder put the bag back into the pocket of his jacket. "Scully, you know me better than anyone else. Do you really believe that I am going to just stop? Do you believe that I am going to allow you to let it go? He's our son..."
Scully was silent for a second, staring into her former partner's eyes. "Okay, Mulder. Tell me how this is connected to our son."
Mulder nodded, "I think we need to call agents Dogget and Reyes to hear this, too."
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Chicago Hope Hospital
Diane sat numbly next to her husband's bed at the hospital. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"Dr. Kronk, Dr. Grad, I know that you have both already been questioned by authorities more than once, but I would like to just ask them one more time. I'm the detective in charge of the case. So, what did you do when you heard the noises, Dr. Kronk," the female detective, Rhoda Baxter, asked, looking up from her small white notebook.
"I was watching television. I turned the TV off and heard the noises again, coming from our daughter's..." his voice cracked a little, and Diane squeezed his hand reassuringly as he continued, "nursery. I thought maybe Diane had come home and I hadn't heard her, so I got up."
"Then what did you hear?" Detective Baxter was scribbling everything down quickly.
"We have a baby monitor that we carry around with us everywhere," Billy replied, "and we always keep it turned on. When I stood up, I heard a voice coming from the monitor."
"Dr. Kronk, just to cover this, you said that your daughter spoke her first words last night?"
Diane looked up, surprised and bewildered. "Billy?"
Billy looked at Diane with a sad smile on his face. "Emily said 'Dada' as I was putting her to bed." He turned back to the detective. "It wasn't her voice, though. It was a male voice. I heard him say, 'be quiet, don't cry'."
"Then what did you do, doctor?"
"I tired to stay calm. We keep a metal softball bat in our hallway closet. I opened the closet as quietly as I could and got the bat. Then I walked to the nursery, still trying to be quiet. I still had the monitor with me." Billy waited as the detective wrote these details down, and then continued. "I heard Emily give a little cry over the monitor, and then it was quiet. I walked into the nursery with the bat raised, and I saw Emily lying in her crib. The window was wide open, and chill was coming in and her blanket was gone."
The detective looked up from her notes again. "Do you remember what happened after that?"
"I think I saw a black figure, but I cannot be sure about that. I heard a loud crack, like a gunshot, and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital," Billy finished. Billy had been lucky. The bullet had grazed his head, above his right ear. A half -inch more and he would have been dead.
The detective turned to Diane. "Dr. Grad, what time did you come home?"
"About six-thirty," Diane answered. "I found the front door of our apartment ajar and when I went to check on Emily, I found Billy lying in the doorway and the window wide open."
"Emily was gone?"
"Emily was gone," Diane replied, trying not to cry. "I checked Billy quickly, to see if it was...fatal, and I called 911. There was very little blood, but quite a bit of swelling, which is why he was unconscious," she explained. "The force of the bullet knocked him out." She had to wipe a tear from her face, already raw from having to use a lot of tissues.
The detective nodded. "I have one last question, for both of you," Diane and Billy nodded, still holding hands. "Is there anyone, anyone at all, whom either of you can think of that would have a reason for doing this? Do you have any enemies, any threatening relationships with anyone who you think would be capable of doing this?"
Diane and Billy both shook there heads, more saddened by this than by any of the other questions. Neither of them could think of any reason as to why anyone would do this to them.
Tuesday, November 26th
FBI Headquarters, Washington D.C.
The four of them, Mulder, Scully, Dogget and Reyes gathered in the FBI's basement X-Files office that was now run by Dogget and Reyes. Scully was still teaching courses in investigation and Mulder was busy writing a book, the subject of which he wouldn't reveal even to his closest companions. He claimed he had even found a publisher, but that was all they knew. They were pretty sure, naturally, that the book would have something to do with governmental conspiracies and/or aliens, etc.
Mulder had the handy overhead projector on and a transparency covered by a sheet of paper on it when the other three arrived. Scully had showered and donned one of her skirt-suit ensembles; she had a class to teach at five. The three of them quickly found places to sit; they were all a bit skeptical about anything Mulder would have to show them already.
Mulder switched the projector on, turned out the lights and uncovered the transparency. On it were a picture of a man in his mid thirties and a list of information about him.
"This is William Kronk," Mulder began, "he is a thirty-six year old doctor at Chicago Hope Hospital. He works in the ER, and is a surgeon. He has lived in Chicago his entire life. He comes from a very wealthy family, has two brothers, and plays hockey. His only criminal report is DUI when he was seventeen, but his father cleared that up with the police department, probably with a large sum of money. He did well in high school, college, and excelled in medical school." Neither Scully, Dogget, nor Reyes had to question Mulder about his extensive facts on just an average Joe: working in the FBI, you could find information on anyone very easily.
Mulder pulled that transparency off and replaced it with another one, this time with a picture of a woman. "This is Diane Grad, the wife of William Kronk and fellow ER doctor at Chicago Hope Hospital. She was valedictorian of her graduating high school, recurring dean's list member throughout her college career, and was also in the top percentile in medical school. She specialized in infectious diseases and emergency medicine, and worked in research of AIDS and obscure medicines until her last grant expired. She was orphaned at the age of two and grew up moving around constantly to new foster homes, never staying in one for more than two years. Kronk and Grad have a seven month old daughter, Emily, who is the infant that was kidnapped last night in Chicago..."
"What made you delve into this case deeper in hopes that it might be in some way connected to William's disappearance," Dogget interrupted, "what's so fantastic about this incident that it made you dig up all this information?"
Mulder shook his head, and replied in a calm, matter-of-fact voice, "I've been doing it to all similar cases, everywhere in the United States, since William's kidnapping. I'd be researching all cases all over the world if it were possible. And I wouldn't have brought you all here to listen to this had I not found some interesting information that I believe we should look at together."
Dogget, Reyes, and Scully shared side glances, before Reyes said, "okay, Mulder, we're listening."
Tuesday, November 26th
Chicago Hope Hospital
Diane and Billy sat in stunned silence after the detective and officers had left. Dr. Aaron Shutt checked on them briefly, but they asked him politely to leave. They needed to be alone, Diane explained.
Finally, Billy looked up at Diane. "Baby, I am so sorry," he whispered.
Diane shook her head and looked away, grasping his hand. "No, it's not your fault. Don't apologize..."
"I was home, I was there...I didn't protect my daughter..." Billy went on, still gazing up at his wife in a desperate, mournful expression.
"No, no, Billy stop..."
Billy choked. "She's gone, and it's all my fault, why didn't I stop him...?"
Diane stood up abruptly. "Stop it!" she cried. "You're making it worse, Billy, you're only making it worse..." her voice become more gentle. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to yell, but we have to remain calm..." she sat down again. "A million things went wrong, everything happened, some bastard came in and stole our child and almost murdered you...apologizing to each other will be fruitless..." She took Billy's fist in hers again and rubbed her temple with her free hand.
"You're right," Billy answered softly, "as always. This is going to be okay; they're going to find her. Everything's going to be fine." He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Diane bent down and tenderly kissed his forehead, trying not to let her tears escape.