Title: After_the_Fact: The Host: Offspring
Spoilers: The Host
Summary: Reports of an old memesis take Mulder to
the Canadian side of Lake Erie.
Archive: After_the_Fact, Gossamer. Other please ask.
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Disclaimers: Chris Carter, 1013 Poductions and Fox
Studios own the copyrights to Mulder, Scully, and
the title The X-Files. I air them out so they won't
mildew, and I receive no money for it.
LONG POINT BEACH,
"Last one in is a rotten egg!" a little girl, ten years
old shouted, as two boys followed her into the summery
"Aw, you had a head start anyway!" a blond nine-year-old
The girl with laughed, her red hair shining like copper
in the sunlight. "Who cares, Kyle! Hey! Kevin! Where's
The boy looked around, as did Kyle. "Kevin! Yo!
Hey, don't goof around, Kevin!"
Then both Kyle and the girl looked at each other and
started to panic. "Mommy!!!" the girl screamed as loudly
as she was able. Mommmm--eeee!!!"
"Mommy! Kevin's gone! Kevin's gone!"
The mother ran into the water. All three of them were
shouting the boy's name. Within a minute, they saw Kevin,
a seven year old red head, gasping for air, trying
desperately to fight his way above water. "Something's got
me!" Somehow, the boy kicked hard to break loose of
whatever had hold of him, and his mother grabbed on to him.
Kevin, his mother, Sherry and Kyle made it to shore. Kevin
fell to the sand, and there was a rather unusual bite mark
on the back of his thigh.
"X marks the spot!" the girl laughed. "What is that?"
"I don't know, honey. Okay, I want you two to get your
clothes onm, and bring an extra towel for your brother,
and my cell phone. Run!"
While Kevin's brother and sister did as they were told, the
mother examined the mark closely. "Well, it isn't any
whitefish bite. Who knows?"
"Mom, I don't feel too good."
"I know." The mother briushed her son's hair from his eyes.
Does it hurt?"
"Not as much as my tummy, Mom. My stomach feels awful sore."
Sherry ran back with the cell phone. "I know you need this
now. I'm gonna get dressed. Sorry, Kevin."
"Yeah. Dumb lake!"
Qickly, the mother dialed 9-1-1. "My son was bitten or
scratcheed by something, and he's in pain!" she cried.
"We're at Long Point, near the first change cabin!"
TWO DAYS LATER
Scully walked into the office and turned off her computer.
"C'mon, Mulder. Skinner wants to see us in his office."
Mulder, sitting behind a pile of papers folded his arms.
"Whoa, Scully! Now? I was just finishing up some notes
on the profile for the... "
"Mulder. He says this might have something to do with
that case in Hew Jersey two years ago. Remember the
"Yeah, the 'FLUKEMAN'. Why so fast?"
"He said he wanted us there pronto. Let's go."
As the pair hurried hown the corridor to the elevator,
Scully tried to explain. "There might be another instance
of that fluke creature in Lake Erie. The Canadian
authorities... Maybe I'd better let Skinner tell you."
As they entered the elevator, Mulder pushed the button.
"Sure. Keep me in suspense. So, old fluky, or one of his
relatives, shows up again."
"That's right, Mulder. Right up your alley."
"Don't say that." Mulder grimaced. The very thought of
the thing made him squeamish. That, and the thought of
the sewage plant's stench.
Scully smirked. Mulder just glared at her. He remembered
all too well what wrestling with the wormy creature was
like. He remembered seeing a man killed by the creature.
"Well, apparently someone up in Welland, Ontario, Canada
called this in to someone at the Mounted Police, and they
called Skinner. You're quite... well known, when it comes
"Weird and strange phenomena," Mulder concluded, as the
elevator doors opened. "Let's just get out travel orders
so we can get this over with."
Mulder flashed his badge at the desk nurse. "I'm Agent
Mulder, ny partner, Agent Scully. We're looking for a
Mrs. Ilene Johnson?"
"Room 321. Just two doors down that hall. Dr. Wells has
been expecting you."
"Thank you. Well, Scully, I can't imagine how that thing
travelled up here."
"Probably a ship. There's a lot of trade in the Great
Lakes area. Maybe someone dumped their bilge..."
"Yeah. I don't doubt it."
Kevin's mother, Sherry and Kyle were trying to entertain
him while the doctor looked over the boy's chart.
"Excuse me. Dr. Well?"
"I'm Adent Dana Scully, and this is my partner, Agent
Mulder. I'm also a medical doctor. Can we speak with
"Yes, certainly. Mrs. Johnson, I'll have the lab
technician take another blood sample. His liver enzymes
need to be analyzed again."
"More." Kevin cried. "This is the pits!"
"Shh, it's all right. They need to know these things, to
help you get better."
The doctor ushered Mulder and Scully into a small office
where he had a desk. "I know. You must think this is just
something in the lake water, or regular hepatitis. But
this kid puked up what looks to be a flatworm."
"A fluke." Mulder nodded to Scully.
"Yes, a fluke. Last month, we removed one from a woman's
liver, and it wasn't a typical fluke. We embalmed it until
we could find someone to identify it. Then, when Kevin
Johnson was brought here yesterday, we had our second fluke.
It's in an aquarium in the same lab. as the one we embalmed."
"Can you decribe the wounds on Kevin?"
"Yes. They were made with four teeth and there was a deep
wound in the centre."
Mulder cut in right away. "You can't let the other fluke
live. If you do, it'll grow to be five and a half feet long,
and it won't look like your average flatworm."
"Are you joking?" Wells was beside himself with laughter,
but Mulder and Scully stared straight-faced at him. "You're
not serious... Well, what is this?"
"About two years ago, Agent Scully and I investigated a
case in New Jersey. A Russian ship had apparently flushed
out what was a human-like large fluke, which made its way
into the New Jersey sewage system. Two men were killed by
that flatworm, one as a result of attack, the other as a
result of hosting a small version of it. We think it
originated inradioactive water as a mutation."
"Then it's true," the doctor said quietly. "Frankly, this
is disturbing. I need to alert Public Health about this.
The beaches along Lake Erie will be off-limits."
"Well, the two cases you saw may be isolated," Scully tried
to assure the doctor. "Doctor Wells, may I take a look at
"Sure. I need to call the Health Department, and the
Conservation Areas. I'll make sure the lab knows you'll
want to see the test results. Kevin Johnson has been
prescribed an antihelminthic, so the results should
reflect its action."
"Thank you, Doctor. Mulder, let's see what he has to say."
"Yeah. I guess it'll make a really good 'What I Did This
Scully put her hand on the little boy's arm. "Hey, I
heard you had quite a fight with something in the lake,
"Yes, I did. I kicked it away really hard. It was ugly!'
Mulder thought the boy would have been more or less
horrified at the sight of the mutant. "What did it look
"Well, it looked like a huge worm, but it had these, you
know, eyes. It had a mouth, and it really hurt when it bit
"Well I guess so!" Scully exclaimed. "You're a brave little
boy. Are you feeling any better?"
"Yeah, but my tummy still hurts a little, and where he bit
me still hurts, too. They gave me stitches and all that.
Was that thing a sea serpent?" The boy's eyes were wide
"Umm, no. It wasn't a sea serpent. It was... something
else. But Kevin, we're hoping we can make sure mo one else
gets bitten by that thing."
Dr. Wells entered the room. "How's my patient?"
"I'm doing okay, I guess. It's boring here." He poked his
brother Kyle in the arm.
"Now you stop that!" His mother warned Kevin. "You may be
sick, but you are not to hit your brother. Understood?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Well, we need to give you another dose of that medicine
and let it work before we let you out of here, Kevin." Dr.
Wells noted it on the boy's chart.
"Does that mean he still has the fluke?" Mrs. Johnson
asked. Clearly she was worn out.
"I'm afraid so. But another dose should do it. The test
results show he still has it. I'll tell you later
where it is, and what's happening." As he said that, he
handed Scully a piece of paper. The print read: "Attached
Mulder and Scully made their way towards the door. "Doctor?
May we see you for a moment?"
"Yes, Agents. Take care, Kevin. I'll be back."
"This fluke is attached to the small intestine, and after
one dose it's still alive. How many doses would it take to
kill it, given it's size?"
The doctpr frowned. "To tell you the truth, up to three. It
isn't harmful to the boy, but just the same, we're monitoring
his blood chemistry. This will be a real headache for the
tourist industry. It took us years to clean up that lake."
"Back then, it was the algae growing from the phosphates in
household detergents," Mulder added.
"Well, be that as it may, the water is still clean. But with
this type of 'thing' happening, who knows what public reaction
Mulder topened his cell phone. "Maybe we should call the
Coast Guard. Maybe they can start searching the lake with
sonar equipment. Scully, check the neighboring hospitals.
See if they've had any reported cases of flukes."
"I will. Mulder? There can't be that many out there!"
"You told me yourself, two years ago, it can breed. It's
"I'm on it."
As the sun rose at Lake Erie, tow men were out fishing in a
small boat, each admiring their catches, and waiting for the
next fish to bite.
A middle-aged man turned to his friend and whispered, "You
won't get me up and out here this early again, no matter how
many I caught."
"Well, that's your loss," a younger man, about thirty,
replied. "Dad, you used to do this all the time when aI was
a kid. What ever happened to 'Rise and shine, boy! They're
waitin' for ya?'"
"Shh. You'll scare the fish off. It turned into "How am I
going to pay for your education if I keep taking unpaid
holidays.' Besides, when you get to my age, you'll want
to slap that alarm for another ten minutes, then another."
"Not a change. Hey! I've got another one! He's sure
giving a good fight!" The younger man tried to reel in
what he thought was a fish. A large, whitish creature
emerged from the waters, and the man's father grabbed his
son's fishing reel, while he picked up his camera. The
flash seemed to scare the creature away, and the fishing
reel was free of it. "What the hell was that?"
"I don't know," the older man answered. "But here it is."
"Didn't I see a picture of this on some tabloid cover last
"I don't know. I don't read them things. Looks like we
got something to show besides fish. I'm takin' it to
the Conservation Authority. Maybe they know what it is."
MULDER's MOTEL ROOM
Mulder was going over his notes regarding the Flukeman in New
Jersey as Scully walked into his room. "Hey. Any news?"
"No, Mulder. I called the hospital and Kevin's fluke died
last night. They've removed it for futher study. Surgery.
What a thing to remember about a summer vacation."
"Well, I heard from the Coast Guard. They haven't found
anything matching the description..." His cell phone rang.
"Sorry Scully. Mulder. All right. Yes, we can be there.
Thanks." Tht was the Regional Conservaation Authority. Two
men went fishing and hooked a real live one. They've got
a picture to prove it."
"The Flukeman? Mulder, I don't think... "
"No, they didn't catch it. It got away. But they do have a
picture of it. The Coat Guard are out looking for it now.
Let's get going."
HALDIMAND-NORFOLK CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
"This is like nothing I've ever seen." Dr. Paul Peterson
was a marine biologist employed by the Conservation Authority.
"What is it again?"
Scully spoke up, as she was more qualified than Mulder. "Well,
it seems that this is a form of Trematode, most commonly known
as fluke worms, or flsat worms. But this is a type that has
apparently developed primate-type characteristics, one of which
Agent Mulder and I dealt with two years ago. That had apparently
been flushed from a sewage tank of a Russian freighter just
outside of New Jersey."
"Aren't fluke worms rare in North America? Usually, they're
more prevalent in Indonesia, Hong Kong... "
"Exactly. But that doesn't necessarily mean they can't
be brought over accidentally. Have there been any ships from
overseas coming through the lakes this past month or so, Doctor?"
"Of course. We have steel companies on Lakes Erie and Ontario,
there are numerous ships going all the way to Lakes Superior,
Huron and Michegan. I think only a couple cme from overseas in
the past month. Let me just check with the Welland Canal.
It'll only take a minute." The doctor sat in fromt of a computer
and contacted the people at the canal. "We've had two ships from
Europe. One was from Russia, the other was from the U.S.
"It's more likely the one from Russia brought the fluke over,"
Mulder told Peterson. Thanks for your help."
"No problem. The guy who brought this picture is going to--"
"Sir, we'd rather you didn't tell him or anyone else about
this. We don't want anyone to panic. Chances are, this is a
freak occurrance," Scully cautioned him.
"Yeah. Two in a couple of years? What are the chances of that?"
"Slim, " Mulder said. "Just... don't tell anyone. Tell the
fisherman it was a decomposed body or someting."
"Why would I do that?"
"Because nobody would believe it's some wierd mutation, and you
don't want people avoiding the lake. The Coast Guard is out
there right now checking for any further signs of this. They'll
let you know what they find. Just chalk it up to random chance."
The Johnson boy had just been released from Recovery and
settled into his room when Mulder and Scully arrived. They
thought it only fair to buy him a stuffed dog and a basket
Scully tucked the bear under Kevin's covers. "Hey, how are
"Fine, I guess. They got that thing outta me."
"So I heard. The doctor says your family's downstairs having
lunch, so we brought you a few things to take with you when
you go home."
"Thnmks, Ms. Scully. Is it true?"
"Is what true?"
"What they say, about this Flukeman?"
Mulder laughed. "Where'd you hear that?"
"From the little girl in the next room. She had appesitis."
"Appendicitis? Well, what do you think?" Mulder wanted to
guage just how far the story had been passed around.
"I think it's crazy. I mean, you only see those things in
horror movies, right?"
"Well, I think whatever I saw might be real, but I don't want
to see it again. I'm still going to swim out here, though."
"Good for you," Scully told Kevin. "I think this was just one
of those things that we can't explain, and that we should just
get on with our lives."
"Yeah. If it's real, will it come back?"
"Well, not if the Coast Guard caught it," Mulder said. "If
it was out there."