Washington DC - 2009
Fox Mulder closed the file on his desk and leant back, stretching, his eyes sweeping through the tiny cupboard sized room that used to pass as his office.
He wondered, as he fired up his computer, how he could have possibly been so wrong, how he could have missed something so large and fundamental, how the world had changed so dramatically without him even knowing.
He didn't really expect anything to happen, so he wasn't particularly surprised when his screen stayed blank. He flicked off the monitor and got up, shrugging into his thick black coat and picking up his, now useless, FBI badge.
He guessed he'd have to go back to the old methods and use his feet to do the searching.
He bit his lip, looking round at his domain one last time.
Scully would have loved this.
Wyoming was hot and humid, the stench of death much stronger here than in some other cities.
Mulder knew where to look, but he also knew he had to be cautious. Demons were not something he knew much about, even after extensive research. All he did know is that they were dangerous, now more than ever, and that they could possess a man at the drop of the proverbial hat.
Mulder did not want to be one of those men.
He pulled the amulet down over his head and let it settle on his chest, glinting silver against the tee shirt he wore. He hoped that it would be ample protection, the English broad who had sold it too him had been reassuring enough, but Mulder knew nowadays, that 'Trust no one' was still a good mantra to have.
The smell of rotten eggs told him all he needed to know. He was certainly in the right place and, if he wasn't mistaken, the gate had been opened again. He moved cautiously into the cemetery, looking in dismay at the open graves, the ripped up stones. He wondered where the corpses had gone, then decided that he really didn't want to know.
Mulder had been researching alien conspiracies when he first heard of the activity in Wyoming. He and Scully had gone down there, looking for one thing and had come back with a completely different view.
There had been no lost time, no circles of dead earth, and no sightings of 'little green men'. Instead, they had found an old mausoleum, burn marks around its door, the scent of sulphur strong in the air.
There had been two dead bodies at the scene.
One, bizarrely, was a hospital janitor from California, reported missing by his family over nine months before. The other, a soldier named Jake, last seen with his battalion, reported AWOL. Both men had been shot, one in the shoulder, the other hit several times in the back.
A harried field agent called Hendrickson had been running the operation and he was in no doubt who was responsible for the chaos. A pair of brother's, he had explained to Mulder, his hands twisting the handle of his gun, teeth clenched in frustration. A pair of murdering, psychopathic brothers; whom Hendrickson had been tailing for months.
Mulder shook his head, bringing his thoughts back to the present. He leant forward and touched the old building, feeling how cold it was, despite the heat of the day. There was a ring of salt around it and several sigils drawn, roughly, on its walls. Mulder looked closer, trying to interpret the sigils and failing miserably.
How he missed Scully and her research skills.
The demons had been insidious and sneaky right from the start. They had been prisoners for a long time and, having managed to crawl out of hell, they couldn't wait to make mischief.
People were possessed at alarming rates, bodies taken over randomly, an army beginning to form, an army looking for a leader.
Mulder knew a few things and, shit, he had seen a few things in his life, but this, this was different. He and Scully would spend hours in diners, pouring over biblical texts, looking for signs, looking for a way to stop these things, things he had believed only existed in stories. No one seemed to know what was happening and no one seemed to know how to stop it.
But someone was having a damn good try.
Five or six bodies found burnt, in a pit, outside an abandoned farmhouse.
The bodies of a priest and a bar tender, shot through the head and left in the middle of a 'devil's trap' in a cellar.
A notorious vampire hunter found headless at the scene of a murder, barbed wire wrapped around his throat.
Hendrickson and several others, including the infamous Winchester brothers. Blown up in a freak accident in a small town police station.
Through his research and through an army of contacts, including the lone gunmen, he found out about a society of hunters, people who already knew that this sort of thing existed and also knew how to stamp it out.
This time, though, even they had been outnumbered.
A cough, dry and harsh, made Mulder turn around, hand on the gun that was always tucked in his jean pocket, the other clutched around the amulet at his throat.
The man that stood behind him could not have been described as threatening exactly. He was small, stocky, a beard covering most of his chin, a baseball cap pulled down over his eyes.
Despite this, there was something about him that was dangerous, a hidden strength, a glint in his eye that said i'Just try me/i.
"Christo," Mulder still felt foolish when saying it, despite the fact that it had saved him more times than he cared to remember.
The man might have smiled; it was hard to tell. He coughed again and nodded, his eyes remaining bright.
"Christo," he echoed and then he held out his hand, grubby and callused, to Mulder.
"Bobby," he said, "Bobby Singer, you'd better come with me, he's waiting for you."
The house was large and sprawling; smack bang in the middle of a junkyard, old cars and bits of machinery scattered everywhere. The whole building was ringed with salt, charms and amulets hanging from every conceivable part. Two fierce looking black dogs pulled back their considerable jaws and began to bark, loud and threatening.
"Nice place you have here," said Mulder.
He didn't know what to expect; he had heard, as everyone had these days, of the 'boy king', the man who was supposed to lead the demon army. The man who was, allegedly, half demon, half-human. The man, who Lilith wanted to hang up to dry, whose head, Lilith wanted on a silver platter.
This man was a greater threat to her and all of her minions, a greater threat than any other living thing.
And Mulder was about to meet him.
Inside the house was as cluttered and as protected as the outside. Two more dogs lay in the hearth, looking up, eyes following, as Mulder moved through the sitting room into the kitchen.
The man sat at an old oak table, head bent over a laptop whose screen was as black and as empty as Mulder's old computer. His fingers were lightly tapping on the keys and his eyes were fixed on some distant point, gazing out of the window as if he were watching, waiting for something.
He looked up as Mulder entered and the FBI man felt a shudder of shock go through him.
Despite the fact that he was huge, broad shouldered and long limbed, the man before him was barely more than a boy.
He had long chestnut hair that hung around his shoulders in unruly curls, his cheekbones were high and prominent, emphasising tip-tilted cat-like hazel eyes. There were dimples in his cheeks and a cleft in his chin. He was clean-shaven, not a hint of stubble and his whole demeanour was one of lost innocence.
"Hello Mr Mulder," he said, in a soft, slightly southern accent, his voice deeper and more gravely than Mulder would have imagined, "would you like a beer?"
Mulder nodded, feeling strangely anti-climatic, holding his breath as if he were waiting for something to happen.
After all, he was face to face with the alleged Anti-Christ and, if he had been expecting anything, it certainly hadn't been a beer.