Innsmouth Blood  (Child of R’lyeh)




            “I never thought I’d live to see the day when you lead me out on a monster hunt, Scully.”


            “This is not a ‘hunt’, Mulder.  The FBI has lost two Agents, and I’ve lost a personal friend.  I just want them both back.”


            “I take it you don’t know the history of Innsmouth?”


            “No, and I don’t care to.  The only thing I’m interested in is the whereabouts of Kelly and her partner.”


            “Agent Marsh, the one with the odd skin folds on his neck, right?”  Mulder shuddered.  “That guy is creepy.”


            “This coming from a man widely known as ‘Spooky’.  It’s just a birth defect, and I’m sure he has had to deal with enough prejudice in his life without the mistrust of his coworkers.”


            “It’s more than just the initial physical impression.  I don’t like the way he sulks around like he’s hiding something.  Whenever I see him he just stares at me with those big glassy blue eyes.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen him blink.  Not to mention the fact that he always smells like fish.”


            “He’s probably just afraid you’re going to open an X-file in his name and he’ll wind up preserved in a glass jar in your office.”  Scully pulled out a road map, and after careful contemplation managed to turn it right side up.


            “So where are we?”


            “We’re just about to pass through Arkham, Innsmouth is about an hour Southeast of there, along the coast.”


            “A perfect place for the Fish Man.”


            “Don’t start, Mulder.”








            Scully hadn’t thought it possible that a town could be more run down than Arkham, which they had just driven through, but Innsmouth was proving her painfully wrong.  The highway that had led into the town had petered out into a dirt road, adding to the general dilapidation of the sea side community.  The two and three story houses that crowed each side of the street were composed of half rotted wood.  Brittle yellow glass windows like eyes with jaundice stared drearily at the strangers passing through.  Between each row of houses were dark uninviting alleyways that trailed off out of sight of the main artery road, which just happened to be named ‘Fish Street’.  The few houses that still had paint all had the same gray/blue colour that would have seemed antique even if it had been fresh.  Everywhere she looked she found a stunning display of decay and neglect.


            The only sounds came from the car its self.  As the slow drive progressed the eire silence continued to get heavier.  Closer to the sea the houses started to look a bit more inhabited, despite the fact that all the windows were boarded up.  Of the inhabitants, however, there was no sign.  Scully didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t a single person anywhere to be seen at least Arkham had a straggler here and there.  All the buildings that appeared to resemble shops were dark inside.  To make matters even worse the whole placed reeked of low tide and long since dead fish.


            “Great place to raise a family.”  Mulder forcibly broke the silence.  “Why exactly were Agents Marsh and Leigh doing in Innsmouth anyway?  There hasn’t been a raid here since the 30’s.”




            “The FBI used to routinely raid the Innsmouth Refinery.  They used to haul people out of here left and right, seizing their property and placing most of the captives in Arkham Asylum, others simply disappeared.”


            “What could the FBI possibly want with an old Fish Refinery?”


            “It wasn’t fish, it was gold.”


            “There is no gold in New England.”


            “They imported it all from the Philippines on three Clipper ships that seemed to make the dangerous trip without incident for decades.  There were four families that basically ran this town back then, Naite, Gilman, Eliot, and Marsh.”


            “Marsh?”  Scully questioned, momentary drawn in by the story.  She shook her head.  “How is it that you know the history of every Godforsaken town we come across and all the myths behind them?”


              Mulder took a breath to answer but was cut short by Scully surprised gasp.  Following her gaze out the windshield he slammed on the brakes despite the fact that they hadn’t been going fast enough to warrant such drastic measures.  The object of curiosity was an old man standing in the middle of the street staring at them down the sights of an antique rifle.  From the looks of the weapon the man had a better chance of it exploding in his face than successfully shooting anyone.


            Deciding to humor the man Mulder put the car in park.  He turned to Scully to discus what to do next, but she was already halfway out of the vehicle.  Following suite he got out slowly, trying to look non threatening.


            “Mar citi folk!”  The old man gurgled in a thick muttled accent.  “Geet gone!  Go on, scram kids, ya bather me!”


            “Sir,”  Scully addressed cautiously  “we’re with the FBI, Ag...”


            “Thar’s no mar gold!”  He interrupted.  “Shoo!”


            “We’re not looking for gold.”  Mulder assured him.  “We here investigating the disappearance of two Agents.”


            “Ain’t nothen to investabate.  Dey belong har anyways, got Innsmouth blood, ya can smell it on um.  Dat boy’s a Marsh sure as I’m alive.”


            “Do you know where they are?”


            He jerked his head towards the ocean that was about fifty yards away at end of the street which terminated in a long decrepit pier.  Scully looked to Mulder and forced a tight liped smile.  ‘Great, another cracked native’ was the unspoken message.  Mulder tried not to laugh.


            “Sir,”  He started.


            “Seth Akins.  That’s Mr. Akins to you youngen!”


            “All right, Mr. Akins, we’re going to need a place to stay for a few days.  Is there a hotel around?”


            “Only one Inn here, and dat’s in da name of da place, Innsmouth.”  The man’s wheezing laughter changed his whole attitude.  He lowered the musket like weapon and a friendly smile deepened the creases in his face.  “Der was de old Gilman place, but that done slip inta da sea quite a few years back.”  He paused and looked the pair over.  Sighing he threw his hands in the air.  “Come, see’n as I’m not gona git rid of ya, ya can stay here.  I’d got some boarden rooms upstair.  Leeb yar mecanical hoarse where she be.”  He shuffled off towards one of the few houses without boarded windows.


            “'Mechanical horse’?”  Scully repeated.  “I can only assume he means the car.  Mulder, I’m not sure we should stay here.  He seems to be the only one in town, and that makes him a prime suspect by sheer elimination.”


            “I doubt Old Man Time here got the drop on two able young Agents.”


            “It doesn’t take much strength to poison someone.”


            “The glass is always half empty with you isn’t it, Scully?”  Mulder went to follow Akins.  “It will be fine.  I’ve got a good feeling about this place.  It has a certain ‘Je ne sais quoi’.”


            “Je *certainly* ne sais quoi.”





            “You never answered my question.”  Mulder stated with mock indignity.


            “What question?”  Scully responded attempting to sound innocent.


            “What were Agents Marsh and Leigh doing here?  This isn’t exactly a crime Mecca, and if I’m not mistaken they were homicide Agents.  I think that any case to come out of this town would be sent directly to us.” 


            Scully looked around the dreary boarding room and had to agree.  If she was going to believe in ghosts and spooks this would be the place to do it.  Even though she knew better the whole place set her on edge.


            “Well?”  Mulder promoted when he didn’t get a response.  Suddenly and knowing smile spread across his face.  “Could it be that your not telling me something?”  He teased.


            “All right, all right.  Marsh and Leigh weren’t exactly on assignment when they came here, and...”  She hesitated.


            “Neither are we.”  Mulder finished.


            “You knew?”


            “You’re a lot of things, Scully, but a good liar isn’t one of them.”  Mulder laughed.  “In fact I also know that officially we shouldn’t be calling them ‘Agents’ anymore either.”


            Scully sighed and sat down on the bed which squeaked its protest.  “I’m sorry, Mulder, I should have told you.”


            “Don’t worry about it, I probably couldn’t even count the times I’ve misled you on a case.  So what’s really going on.”  Mulder’s expression turned to that of a dog waiting for an expected table scrap.


            “To be honest I don’t know.  Two weeks ago both of them resigned from the Bureau and then vanished.  Yesterday I got a panicked phone call from Leigh’s mother.  She knew that Kelly and I were close friends and thought that maybe I knew where she was.  I hate to admit it but I didn’t even know she was gone.  I told her that I would find her daughter, and so here we are.”


            “Why here?”


            “Kelly used to tell me a lot about her partner and the one thing that unsettled her was his attraction to this place.  I can see now why it upset her so much.  They had vacationed here on several occasions.”


            “They vacationed together?”


            “They were very close.”


            “So are we but I can’t ima...”


            “Look, that’s not important.”


            “I hate to point out the obvious here, but don’t you think it’s possible that they ‘ran off’ together?”


            “Agent Leigh wouldn’t do that.”  Scully defended fiercely.  It was against Bureau policy for Agents to consort, and even though they had quit she still wanted to protect her friend’s job so she could come back to it.  “They were just partners.”


            “Not everyone is as professional as you, Scully.  It’s hard to lay down your life for someone day in and day out and not...”


            “Stop right there.”  Scully warned.  “We’re not even going to have this conversation.  We’ll find them first and if they have just ‘run off’ then at least I should be able to talk enough sense into Kelly to get her to call her mother.”


            “Fair enough.”  Mulder conceded.  “Where do we start?”


            “I don’t know about where, but I do know when: tomorrow.  Good night, Mulder.”


            “Do you want to set up a night watch?”


            “I don’t think that’s necessary, the door lock is just fine.”


            “There is no lock.  But your right, I’m sure it will be fine.  It’s kind of hard to sneak up on anyone around here.”  Mulder illustrated his point by stepping on floor board which groaned mournfully beneath his foot.


            “Good night, Mulder”  Scully dismissed once again.


            “All right, I can take a hint.”


            “If that were true I wouldn’t be still sitting here talking to you.”


            Mulder grinned and left.  Scully listened to the hallway creak as he walked away.  She did note that he went downstairs instead of to the next room.  She didn’t give it much thought.  It was Mulder’s decision, she just hoped that he would stay out of trouble.  However, knowing that the odds against that were strong she kept dressed as she crawled into bed and placed her gun fully loaded on the night stand.





            Mulder made his way carefully down the dry rot staircase to the bar that lay beneath the board rooms.  Mr. Akins was behind the bar with a dirty rag which he was rubbing on dusty tumblers.  After ‘cleaning’ one glass he set it down with care and picked up another one.  At his side was a bottle of scotch that he drank from directly from the bottle, for sanitary reasons most likely.


            “What can I get cha, citi boy?”


            “I don’t suppose you have any clean water.”


            “Ha!”  Akins turned to the side and spat on the floor.


            “I didn’t think so.”  Mulder turned to take a walk outside.


            “I wouldn’t go out dere, young fella.”  Akins warned.


            “Why not?”


            “Do cha know?  Innsmouth Devils.  Dhey play out on da’ reefs at night, dangerous folk.  Stay in.”


            “I just thought I’d get a breath of fresh air.”


            “Ha!”  Akins spat again.  “Dere isn’t any fresh air in Innsmouth!”  Akins laughed again and ended up coughing violently.


            “Just the same I think I’ll step out.”


            “Suite chur self, whippersnapper.”


            Mulder shook his head and smiled to himself.  Old Akins had been relying to heavily on the scotch to get him though the night he thought to himself.  Akins had been right about one thing however, there was no fresh air in Innsmouth.  Mulder wondered for a moment if the tide ever came in.  A mist that teetered on the edge of fog hung over the town and obscured the dark horizon.


            Walking onto the pier that wandered aimlessly into the Atlantic Mulder felt a bit uneasy.  After all he was just a hair shy of a hundred and seventy pound and the dock probably hadn’t seen any repairs in decades.  He kept walking out further however.  He couldn’t explain, even to himself, why.  He just felt drawn to the slate gray sea.  The pier ended abruptly.  At one point it seemed to have gone out further, but the ocean had won out against the intrusion. 


            A heavy splash behind him under the dock caught Mulder’s full attention.  He spun around to see what denizen of the deep had surfaced.  With his back to the darkened Atlantic he did not see what dragged him off the end of the pier, but he certainly noticed when his out cry was cut short by the shock of the icy water.




            Scully hadn’t even found time to get comfortable on the musty mattress when she heard a short cry followed by a splash.  She found herself on the pier, weapon in hand, before her adrenaline had a chance to catch up with her.  The end of the dock had three broken board that showed relatively fresh wood showing that they had just been snapped.  The mist had graduated to a fog and kept most of the ocean off the pier concealed.




            The only answer was the lonely lapping of lazy waves upon the shore that lay far under the dock.  Scully put her gun away and stood on the dock in a moment of indecision.  She couldn’t be positive that Mulder had just broken the dock while falling off.  Even if the boards had been broken a month ago they would look fresh compared to the rest of the mildew covered dock.  Mulder could be anywhere.  Plus he was a good swimmer.  Scully edged up to the extreme end of the pier.




            This time the silence of the sea was broken by a violent thrashing in the water ten feet off the dock.  The fog hid the cause but Scully feared she knew what it was without seeing.


            “Mulder!”  She cried again.


            “Sc...”  Mulder’s voice was cut off.


            Scully dove off the pier and found the New England Atlantic to be much colder than she expected.  When she surfaced she gasped with the shock of the temperature change.  She tired to swim for the spot where she’d last heard her partner, but direction was hard to determine in the fog and chokingly cold water.  Scully cried out a few more times but this time even the sea didn’t answer.  Everything had gone flat calm, like even nature itself was holding its breath. 


            Swimming around blindly in the murky water was not going to help Scully realized.  She made her way back to the pier and hauled herself up a half broken ladder onto the suddenly slimy wood.  She was thankful that Innsmouth didn’t have a breeze to speak of because the water had already chilled her to the bone.  A writhing at her side caught her attention when she could feel her skin again.  A fish had become caught in the seaweed that had in turn wrapped itself around her gun. Pulling the weapon out released the fish which wriggled its way back into the sea.  Salt water dripped out of the end of the gun.  It should have been water proof, but something must have given way when she hit the water.




            Scully ran down the pier to get Akins in hopes that he had a boat.  At the land end of the dock she was greeted by more than just Akins.  She stared at the sudden mass of almost human creatures that filled the street in front of her.  It looked at a glance to be an entire community spawned through multi generational inbreeding.  One of the more humoid beings pushed his way through the crowd.  As he made his way forward Scully was paralyzed by the shock of recognizing the beast.  Despite the exaggerated icthocod features, and gray/blue skin, the thing in front of her possessed the face of Agent Allan Marsh.


            Marsh wore a tattered blue robe adorned with various symbols, shells and fish bones.  Atop his long seaweed like hair was a crown made out of  a strange drip work of a gold-copper mix.  The head piece was an amazing feat of metal work depicting a reef scene complete with painstakingly crafted sea life.  He looked up at the full moon and raised his slightly webbed hands almost in homage to it.  With his head back the disformed skin at his throat shockingly resembled gill slits.  A deep hiss that gurgled from his wide down turned mouth excited his monstrous companions.  Marsh brought his glassy stare back to Scully and deliberately moved closer.


            “Stay where you are Agent Marsh!”  Scully warned she raised her weapon.  Marsh continued to move closer.  “Allan stop!  I will shoot you.”  Marsh paid her no heed and shuffled closer still.




            The impotent sound of the weapon echoed mockingly off the dilapidated houses.  Scully closed her eyes for a second painfully remembering she had soaked the cartridge.  Looking at the hideously toothy grin of Agent Marsh, Scully decided that now would be an excellent time to turn tail and run.


            Marsh bayed like some gigantic hound and took chase, albeit at a slower shuffled pace.  Scully didn’t take the time to look but she assumed the rest of the horde had joined the hunt.  She made it around a corner dashed down a small alley.  Running past an open door she was violently grabbed by the back of her blouse and hauled inside. 


            Scully retaliated to the treatment by lashing out blindly in the darkened room.  Her assailant ducked in anticipation of the move.  Scully quickly turned to go back outside where she could at least see her enemy.


            “Dana!  Wait!”  A distinctively feminine voice hissed desperately.




            With her eyes finally adjusting to the dark conditions Scully could make out the countenance of her lost friend.  She was in terrible shape.  Half her face was darkened with blood.  The rest of her was smeared with the strange blue clay that seemed to cover every available surface of Innsmouth.  What was left of her clothing was soaked with sea water and her once shiny black hair was matted and tangled with seaweed. 


            “God, Kelly I thought yo...”


            Agent Leigh put her hand against Scully’s mouth reminding her that Marsh was still looking for her.  Taking Scully’s wrist Leigh led the way through the house to a place where the floor boards could be lifted.  Scully hesitated to follow.


            “I don’t have time to hide.”  Scully explained quietly.  “I have to find Mulder, he’s hurt and if the Atlantic doesn’t kill him Marsh will.”


            “He’ll kill us all if we go out there.”  Leigh pointed out.  “Your partner will have to wait till morning.  Allan hides during the day.”


            “Then why haven’t you escaped during the day?”


            Leigh took the chance of chuckling.  “You haven’t changed, Dana, your curiosity is going to get you killed one day.  Let’s not make it today.”  She whispered.


            Leigh’s point was stressed by the sound of the townsfolk banging around outside.  Scully quickly conceded to her friend’s plan.  Following Leigh down the rickety wooden stairs Scully noticed the woman’s pronounced belly for the first time.  She had her answer as to why she hadn’t simply run away, she could hardly walk.  Agent Leigh had to be eight, if not nine, months pregnant.






            Not quite in sync with the conscious world Mulder laid peacefully in the dark.  Something was bothering him, but he hadn’t put much effort into figuring out what.  The back of his mind was screaming some urgent message and it was relentlessly giving him a headache.  He mustered up enough strength the listen to the subconscious voice.


            High tide!


            That didn’t make much sense to him.  What possible bearing could the state of the tide have on...  A sudden rush of adrenaline chilled Mulder more thoroughly than the cold Atlantic waters which were slowly lapping up higher and higher against his sides.  He’d washed up on the silty beach under the Innsmouth wharf.   The sudden realization of his surroundings brought with it a flood of sensations.  The most prominent being a fiery burning coming from his ribs.  Whatever had hauled him into the icy, not to mention salty, water in the first place had slashed four sizable gashes in his side.  The same salt that was inflaming his side made trying to gain visual conformation of his surroundings nearly impossible.


            A myriad of tiny fishes darted in and out of the red river that had seeped out into the shallow water.  Mulder didn’t need to see them to know they were there, he could feel the quick pricks as the fishes feasted on the river’s gory source.  However, the ravenous wildlife was the least of his problems at the moment.  The most pressing issue was to get out of the path of the merciless Atlantic.  It seemed almost embarrassing to drown now after making it this close to the shore.


            The third attempt to raise himself out of the blue-gray mire of the Innsmouth beach left Mulder breathless and exhausted.  He didn’t think anything was broken, but he did feel the congestion of a bit to much sea water in his lungs.  By the time Mulder had recovered enough to try again the fast rising tide had become a significant factor working against his continued survival. 


            When the waters next to him were suddenly disturbed Mulder realized that the tiny minnows weren’t the only animals around.  There were other fish in the sea, bigger ones, ones with sharp teeth.  A cold slippery touch brushed against Mulder’s injured side.  The contact was surprisingly delicate.  Mulder opened his eyes despite the salt water sting.  Expecting to find some hungry aquatic animal he was taken aback to see the outline of a woman.




            The woman reacted sharply to the sound of his voice and turned to look at him.  She moved in nervous jerking motions.  The lock of long black hair that fell over her shoulder answered Mulder’s half delusional question.  Squeezing his eyes shut he managed to clear them with a few relatively fresh water tears.


            Taking another look at his companion Mulder found himself in the company of something just shy of human siting in the water.  She was incredible, possessing an alien beauty that almost dared any viewer to define the allure.  The long hair that hung to her waist in tight curls was not black but midnight blue.  It made a fascinating contrast against her nearly flawless light blue-gray skin.  The outlandish skin was not creased or marred by fine hairs like human flesh.  Instead it had the qualities of poured latex, however it gave the impression of being silky rather than slimy.


            The only visible scars on her body were several deep fissures that marred both sides of her long throat.  Although the scars could easily be overlooked due to the amazing necklace she wore.  Actually the jewelry was the only thing she wore.  It looked like it was a combination of several metals that had been melted down and then fashioned into a necklace by dribbling it into the desired shape.  It depicted an infinitely intricate ocean scene.  By its self the jewelry would have been a sight, however set against the creatures queer flesh it was simply dazzling.


            Her thin lips naturally turned down sharply at the corners like a permit pout.  Large round glassy blue eyes studied Mulder just as intently as he studied her.  When she tilted her head to the side to get a better look at the strange creature on her shore a thin clear liquid poured out of the gashes in her neck.  


            Bending down like a zebra taking a drink she sucked up a mouthful of water and quickly expelled it through what Mulder know realized were gills, not scars.  Mulder could hardly believe it.  This was one of the Innsmouth devil people that Seth Akins feared so much.  For all intensive purposes, a mermaid. 


            A small wave rolling into shore quickly reminded Mulder that he did not have the aquatic advantages that she had.  The mermaid was alarmed by his sudden coughing and sputtering.  Unlike the merfolk of common tales she had no tail to speak of.  Although her hands were more like flippers she was still able to pull Mulder out of reach of the creeping waters.  She helped him sit up leaning against one of the wooden pier pilings.  She sat in front of him with her muscular legs crossed Indian style.


            “Taslig gartics conda?”  She asked in a deep guttural voice.


            Mulder just smiled at the nonsensical question.  He reasoned that she was asking what he was doing out of his element.  He would have given her an answer but being moved had sapped what little strength he’d had left.  He’d never been very good at fighting, and struggling underwater had been extremely taxing.  All he wanted right now was to sleep for a week.  However, the thought of dying peacefully in his sleep kept Mulder awake.


            “Tilton.”  She stated simply placing her webbed hand on her chest.  “Tilton.”  She repeated and then she put her hand on his arm.  “Conda?”


            “Mulder.”  Mulder answered quietly after catching on.




            “Close enough.”


            “Clase eenouf?”  She shook her head in a perplexed fashion and then continued.  “Zine iptha tongadeara ip grislips.  Huas tan anad xpith ralking, ta ka?”




            “Ta ka?”


            “Uh, ta ka.”  Mulder responded hesitantly.


            Tilton seemed satisfied with that.  Unfastening the foreign necklace she secured it around Mulder’s neck, with a bit of effort she unlatched the clasp on his watch and took it in trade.  Having completed the transaction she raised up to her full height and made her way back to the open sea at a slow shuffled pace.  When she reached deep enough waters she leapt up into the air and dove back down into the dull green waters without so much as a splash. 





            The staircase that Leigh lead Scully down ended in a wine cellar that was hardly recognizable through the centuries of dust and cobwebs.  Leigh went over to one of the wine racks and struggled to move it aside.  Scully saw what she was doing and helped.  When the rack was moved it revealed a small opening.  With amazing agility Leigh ducked into the hole.  Scully followed her wordlessly. 


            After a short tunnel a cavern opened up.  It wasn’t huge, but it was enough to stand up right an move around.  The walls had several other tunnels carved into them, most likely by the sea a long time ago.  Leigh went over to a dirty pile of ratty blankets and after a bit of effort managed to sit down.


            “I was going out to find something to eat when I heard your voice.”  Leigh explained.  “And I knew Marsh was on the prowl.”


            “What happened to him?”


            “He is a Child of R’lyeh.”




            “He’s a Marsh, he has Innsmouth blood in him.”  Leigh tried to explain.  “A long time ago this town ran a gold trade, the people of the town mixed with gods of the sea to insure that their ships of gold would make the dangerous passage across the ocean safely.  Once the descendants of the original town folk reach a certain age they return to the sea to live among the sea gods.”


            “You’re not making any sense, Kelly.”  Scully leaned over her and place her palm on the pregnant woman’s forehead to make sure she wasn’t running a fever.


            “I didn’t think you’d believe me, Dana.”  Leigh laughed feebly.  “Why should you?  I don’t even believe me.  But its all true, Allan is changing he is preparing to return to the sea.  But not without first taking what is his.”  Leigh rubbed her bloated stomach affectionately.


            “I suspected it was Marsh’s.”  Scully looked around, she wasn’t sure what to do.  “Look we’ve got to get you out of here and to a hospital.  Do any of these tunnels lead to the ocean?”


            “That one on the left does, down to the shore under the pier.”


            “Perfect.  You stay here.  I’ll be back, I promise.”


            “I believe you.”


            Scully turned to leave.


            “Dana,”  Leigh said stopping her  “thank you, thank you for finding me.”


            Scully only answered with a smile and ducked into the tunnel.  The path twisted and turned a few times but the way was obvious.  She hoped that Mulder had made his way to the shore, if he hadn’t then the cold would have killed him by now.  So this was her only hope of getting him back alive. 


            Coming out into the salty stale air Scully was not disappointed.  Mulder was just getting to his feet.  Scully instantly saw the cuts on his ribs where his shirt had been torn, but they didn’t look critical to her medical eye.  Not daring to make any noise she waited for Mulder to look up an notice her.  When he did she quickly put her hand up to hush him and went back into the tunnel.  She knew he would follow and he did.


            Once back in the cave where Scully had left Leigh she saw that things had escalated.  Leigh was laying down on her back now, panting heavily.  Scully had known that Leigh was close, she didn’t think she was this close!


            A powerful contraction shook the laboring woman’s frame.  Leigh’s scream ricocheted off the sea worn walls of the underground cavern.  Mulder looked at Scully with a sheepish grin.


            “Uh, Scully, I know this isn’t really time for witty remarks, but: ‘I don’t know nuthen about birthin no babies’.”


            “Please, Mulder, not now or I’ll throw you back to the fishes.”  Scully snapped and drew her attention back to Leigh who was breathing heavier by the second.  Her water had broken only a few minutes ago.  “Listen to me, Kelly, just calm down, we’ll get you out of here.  This isn’t the movies, babies aren’t born in half an hour, labor can last days, we’ve got some time.  Everyone stay calm.”


            “I’ve only been pregnant for three months.”  Leigh panted.  “So I doubt that this is going to work by normal time table standards.”


            “Three months?”  Scully repeated incredulously.  “That’s impossible.”


            “What we need”  Mulder mused  “is some hot water and towels.”


            “What are you muttering about Mulder?”


            “Well that’s what they always need when a woman goes into labor, ‘hot water and towels’.”


            “That’s just to keep the men busy and out of the way.”


            “That’s fine by me.”


            “Be serious Mulder.”  Scully put her hand on Leigh’s stomach.  “Okay now let’s see.”  She muttered to herself.  “I can do this, I read about parturition, once, about six years ago...”


            “Wait a minute,”  Leigh spoke up suddenly alarmed  “Dana, I could have sworn that you’re a doctor.”


            “I am, but I’m not an Obstriction.”  Scully replied defensively.  “I’m a general practitioner with a specialization in forensics, I deal with deaths, not births.”


            “Well here’s your big chance, cause this baby is coming with or without you.”  Leigh cried out as another contraction washed over her.


            “All right, just hold on.”  Inspecting the situation Scully found that Leigh was right, this baby was coming and it didn’t seem to need any encouragement.


            Ten minutes later Scully was cradling the product of Leigh’s and Marsh’s union.  The child was more deformed than he father had been.  In fact Scully was grateful that Leigh had passed out because she wasn’t sure any mother could handle this.


            “Now that is one ugly baby, Scully.”


            “It isn’t possible, three months, what’s going on here, Mulder?”


            A deep gurgling voice from behind answered.  “Nothing that need concern you, mortal!”


            “Marsh!”  Mulder gasped as he got a look at the transforming Agent.


            “Give me my son!”


            “No,”  Scully backed away as far as she could  “listen Marsh I don’t know what has happened to you, but you, your son, and Kelly all need to get to the nearest hospital.”


            “I don’t think we’re going to have much choice in this matter, Scully.”  Mulder commented as more fish men filed in from the other tunnels. 


            The child squalled as Scully struggled to keep him safe from the deranged Agent.  However Marsh and his numbers quickly won.  It didn’t help that Mulder had pulled her out of the confusion in an effort to protect her.  They were grossly outnumbered and Mulder expected that nothing short of a miracle was going to get them out of this.  One of the more deformed men shuffled over to Marsh who was admiring his son.


            “Ssssire, Sssssire,”  the man hissed  “the sssun,  it will be up ssssoon, we mussst go!”


            Marsh looked up at Scully who was still struggling against Mulder to get the child back.  He walked over and bowed deeply. 


            “Thank you, Dana, for helping my son into the world.  He shall one day be King of the Atlantic!”


            “You’re crazy, Marsh!”  Scully cried being held back by Mulder.  “Please, leave the child,  what about Kelly?”


            Marsh looked at the unconscious woman and smiled.  Without a word he and his entourage left towards the sea.


            Now that Marsh was gone Mulder released his partner.  There was nothing more she could do for the child.  Besides Mulder had a feeling that the mutant was going to the only home where he would fit in.  Scully almost chased after Marsh but Leigh’s quiet groan brought her to the woman’s side.


            “It’s all right, Kelly.  It’s over.  Mulder and I are going to get you to a hospital.  You’ll be fine.”  Scully turned to Mulder for the first time she noticed the necklace he wore but this wasn’t the time for questions.  “She’s still bleeding and these haven’t been the most sanitary conditions, let’s get here out of here, assuming the car is in one piece.”


            The car was right where they had left it and so was Seth Akins.  Only by this time Akins had drunken himself to sleep on the bar.  Without saying good-bye.  The laid Leigh out on the back seat and drove quickly out of Innsmouth.  Scully and Mulder remained silent as the sped away from the cursed town.




            A year later Leigh stared into her bathroom mirror.  She could feel something wrong with her throat, but she didn’t know what.  The mirror revealed tiny folds that had started to appear faintly on her neck.  However the odd skin was not what disturbed her most.  What she could feel more than anything was the sea.  The sea, the sea, it was calling her.  The mighty Atlantic was gurgling its call and she felt compelled to answer.  She closed her eyes against the feeling, but she knew, she knew, she’d go back.  Kelly Leigh would return to Innsmouth and rejoin her love in the city under the sea!