Author's Note: I revamped this story after I re-read it and found many typos and continuity issues. I also added some things, all in all, it's been rewritten better. Thanks for reading again!


Timeline: Three weeks after 'Fight the Future'

Prologue

Arcadia, Indiana

September 16th

5:33pm

Elise VanDuran's heels clicked along the pavement as she walked from her office downtown to her car. Her light brown hair billowed out behind her as the autumn wind blew through the lot. The day was finally over and she stretched her neck from side to side to ease the tightened muscles while fumbling with the keys to open her door.

"Elise?" The young woman turned at the sound of her name and to see a tall thin man with red hair and dark eyes. His face bore pock marks and freckles and his small features took in hers, "It is Elise, isn't it?" He repeated and instinctively, Elise nodded, but backed away.

"Hi Bernard," she said warily. She had never felt all that comfortable around Bernard, her co-worker, but she had always tried to remain cordial. Everyone else seemed to get along well with him, but she felt that he stared at her too much, not to mention the odd vibe she felt when he spoke to her. He began to mumble something that she couldn't quite catch. She heard what sounded like her name several times, however, his voice low and constant.

"I gotta go, Bernard." She said and she scrambled into her car. Hitting the gas hard, she careened out of the parking lot and down the one way street.


September 19th

9:54pm

Elise stepped over her couch cushions, plopping her weight down heavily as he eyes concentrated on the television. Her small home was tidy with whites and creams as the main colors. Her red couch stood out by comparison. Taking a bite of the last of her dinner, she set the plate on the coffee table and yawned. Her heels had already been shed while her panty hose and skirt remained. She began to strip them off now, absently watching the evening news. Sighing in relief as the binding business wear had been peeled away, she stood to take her plate to the kitchen.

Hanging a left, she was shocked to be face to face with the very same red headed man who had approached her three days before. Bernard! Before she could scream his fist made contact with her face and her body hit the floor with a thud.

Just as the plain faced man left the small tidy house, he looked back at his handiwork. The body lie on the floor, decomposed beyond recognition and the man smiled before locking and closing the door.


Chapter One: Fresh

Washington DC

September 20th

6:55am

As Agent Fox Mulder climbed the stairs of the YMCA, full clad in a suit and a case file in his hand, he scanned the small amount of runners on the track above the gym. Spying the red ponytail that he was seeking, he waved her down with the manila file folder and a smile. His partner, Agent Dana Scully slowed her rigorous jog and made her way toward him using a fast walk, her ponytail swinging from side to side. If the reason for his visit was not of a serious nature, Mulder might have smirked at his partner. Scully was clad in a tight sleeveless top that clearly showed her damp chest while black pants hugged her shapely legs. Her hair was held high behind her head with a rubber band while errant wisps of red floated around her porcelain face perfectly setting off her blue eyes and full red lips. He cleared his throat and his mind of any thoughts other than those surrounding Elise VanDuran.

It was early and she wasn't due at work for another two hours so her look of concern was understandable. It was obvious he had come here with something important and their ability to speak to one another without words was advantageous in moments like this one. He did not have to explain himself nor did she have to tell him that she trusted that whatever he had to interrupt her morning routine was not trivial. She was on board, he knew, as her sea blue eyes regarded him seriously, glancing at the file in his hand.

Wordlessly, she fell into step as he began to walk away from the track and he handed her the case file. She took it gently, almost tentatively, and opened it. Her eyes fluttered across the page as she rapidly took in the heinous crime. It was less than twelve hours old, but Scully pulled back a page and found a similar crime dated last year.

"Elise VanDuran was found in her home this morning by her boyfriend, Rudy Giles. Several people claim to have seen her earlier that day at work, however her body shows signs of major decomposition, as if she had been dead several months." Mulder summarized and his partner nodded absently, still reading through the facts.

"And you're sure that it's her?" Scully questioned, still not looking at him.

"All we know is that the blood type matches, but we can't really run prints nor do we have much else to ID the body. The teeth were removed, the fingers are just bones, and she is not recognizable physically." He explained, "We know her blood type by her parents, but only from medical records. They are both dead, so DNA proof is going to be difficult to obtain." He added, reading her thoughts before she could voice them, "But, so far everything seems to add up. The corpse is estimated to be the same age, height, approximate weight, and hair color of Elise VanDuran."

"And this isn't the first time," Scully noted, tapping the page that held older reports of the same type of findings.

They exited the YMCA and Scully winced at the sunny day opposing the dim lighting inside the building. Mulder's tall form cast a shadow on her and she used it to shield her eyes.

"No, last year on exactly the same day three women were found in similar circumstances. The investigation was shotty at best, especially since I believe they are dealing with serial murders. They investigated them as isolated murders. One year before that, three other women were found in the same way and the department was just not equipped to handle such an odd case. This is the seventh murder in all and it came to me now that they believe they have a serial killer. They also cannot explain the decomposition since no obvious accelerant was used."

Scully paused, her attention now solely on him as they entered his car, "What do you think it is?" She asked, her skeptical mind obviously looking for a logical explanation.

"I just think it's strange, we'll know more when we get there today, and if the pattern persisted, we are looking forward to two more murders." He offered diplomatically.