Peregrines (Parts 4)
TITLE: Peregrines (4/?)
AUTHOR: Maureen S. O'Brien 
ARCHIVE: yes, please.
SPOILER: anything through 4th season.
CONTENT: Skinner/other
SUMMARY: X-Files/Profiler/Due South crossover. Serial killer 
Jack-of-All-Trades causes problems for the X-Files, the VCTF, 
and the RCMP.
DISCLAIMERS: see part 1
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Still dedicated to Joy Parker, because she keeps
asking me about it. This thing was supposed to be done a long time
Peregrines, Part 4
....Pairs are sometimes cooperative when hunting during the
breeding season....
Regina Peregrine Falcon Project, "Description"

She'd played guest-of-honour long enough. It was time to do her job. 
Meg slipped out of the room. She could be inconspicuous when she 
tried, and none of the distinguished Washington lawmen noticed her 
going. The only one who might have, she decided, was Walter Skinner, 
and he'd just been called into a huddle by the VCTF SAC, Bailey 
Malone. So. Let's see how my people have been doing.
Out in the hallways, some of her people stood watching in their 
dress uniforms -- just making sure noone went into restricted areas. 
Others guarded the doors, just in case. The one at the main entrance 
kept tabs on which guests had come and gone. Everything seemed fine. 
Her second-in-command smiled. He was going to impress his new boss 
But something started to bother her. What was it? Had she seen 
something wrong and only noticed it unconsciously? She frowned and 
continued her inspection until she reached its end. The monitor room 
for the video cameras. The quietest post.
She paused as she started to open the door. It was very quiet 
tonight. There should have been a little more noise.
She motioned to her second. He didn't understand at first. Too slow, 
part of her thought. Getting soft at this posting. Then he backed 
her up, and she opened the door, careful to stay out of any possible 
line of fire from within. 
Silence. The lights were on, but the video monitors and the radio 
were off. Silently, Meg and her second checked out the room, 
drifting from cover to cover like ghosts. 
Nothing. Nothing but the monitor's very dead body under the video 
desk, and a sheet of paper on the empty chair.
Meg looked grim. She needed those monitors for security, but she 
also needed to preserve the crime scene. "I want pictures of the 
exact position of every piece of equipment. I want someone to 
monitor this place. Have them wear gloves, and tell them to touch as 
few things as possible."
"Where will you be, ma'am?"
"I'll be downstairs informing the ambassador of what's occurred. And 
finding an expert on this killer."
"You know who did it?" 
She hurried downstairs to the library. Her people had seen Malone 
bring Skinner there, where Waters and the two X-Files agents waited. 
They stopped talking and turned to her as she entered. She felt as 
if she had intruded on some private matter.
"Assistant Director," she began, signalling everyone that this was 
business, "with your permission I would like to consult the VCTF."
"Of course," Skinner replied, almost startled. "What's happened?"
"One of my people has been killed. And I believe Jack-of-All-Trades 
may have done it."
[Fumbling pick up of phone] [Groan]  "I'm not even gonna ask who it 
is, 'cause there's only one guy in Chicago who'd call me this time 
of night. Whaddaya want?"
"Hello, Ray. I apologize for waking you, but it was an emergency."
"What is it this time?"
"Victoria came by."
[Phone bangs on something. Probably dropped on floor.]
"Hello? Hello?"
[Phone retrieved.]
"Ray, are you there?"
"I'm here. Victoria's back? Jesus, Benny! Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. And before you ask, I have already informed the 
authorities. However, from what she said and from certain non-verbal 
clues, I believe that Victoria may be carrying a grudge against Meg."
"Jesus. Poor Dragon Lady. Have you warned her yet?"
"I haven't been able to locate her and speak with her personally. I 
called the embassy and left a message for Meg, but somehow I doubt 
that she'll receive it. The person taking the message did not seem 
to take it very seriously."
"What! What'd you tell them?"
"That I believed a fugitive murderer, Victoria Metcalfe, was heading 
for the District, and that Inspector Thatcher's life might be in 
danger. And then they asked me for my name and number, so I told 
"Oops. You shouldn'ta told 'em who you were."
"Why not?"
"Uh, Benny, you got Inspector Gerard convicted of murder and a 
buncha other stuff."
"After he killed my father, yes. You were there."
[Sighs.] "Yeah, I was. And do you remember what how the RCMP 
rewarded you for catching their crooked cop?"
"Look, Benny. You did right catching the bastard. But there's 
probably a lot of Mounties who still figure you shouldn't have gone 
after another red-suit. Right? And from what Dragon Lady's said, 
you've got a rep for being weird. So if the Mountie you talked to 
believed any of that load of crap, he probably threw that message 
into File 13. Capish?"
"Understood." [Clears throat.] "We've got to get to the District of 
Columbia as quickly as possible."
"Well, you can try calling the airlines...but I don't think we're 
gonna get a flight."
"Well, Ray, I've found that the airlines usually leave a few seats 
open for just this sort of emergency. They're really quite helpful 
in time of need."
[mutters] "As long as the ticket agent's female...."
"What was that?"
"Nothing. I better call Welsh and tell him what's going on. See ya, 
"Goodbye, Ray."
The video room had been carefully photographed. Now Mounties were 
bagging evidence, supervised by the VCTF.
"I don't suppose you have a black light here."
"I'm afraid not," Meg apologized.
"Oh, well. We'll take it over to the Hoover Building and see what 
little message Jack left for us this time." Bailey frowned. "Wonder 
what he has against Mounties."
Scully was looking at the body. "There doesn't seem to have been a 
struggle...cause of death isn't obvious."
Mulder had followed Scully in, and noone had stopped him. "Poison? 
Just a very small wound?"
"No telling, Mulder. Wait till we get this back to an autopsy bay. 
Then we'll see."
The Canadian ambassador bustled in. "What's going on here? How did 
this killer get in when you were handling security?" He paled as he 
saw the body, then rallied. "Inspector, this embassy is part of 
Canada. Why is the FBI here?"
Meg squared herself. "The RCMP does have jurisdiction. However, our 
people won't be able to get here from Ottawa for almost a day. By 
that time, the trail may have gone cold, and much evidence degraded. 
I thought it best to enlist the FBI to work under my supervision." 
She paused a moment. "Tonight's theme was cooperation, after all."
Scully smiled so that only the body could see. Mulder was smirking 
openly, so she poked him one. The VCTF, as manifested in Sam and 
Bailey, did their best to ignore the politics; they could feel Jack 
close by, and that was far more important.
Skinner stepped a little bit closer to Inspector Thatcher. Just a 
little reminder that ambassadors should be polite when high-level 
American lawmen are in the room. "Jack obviously has no respect for 
borders, Ambassador. But we at the FBI feel honored that the 
Inspector trusts us enough to request our assistance in this matter. 
We will do our best to respect that trust and act as good neighbors 
*For God's sake, our countries are allies!* he didn't say. *Pull 
your head out of your ass before Jack comes along and cuts it off!*
"Ah...thank you, Assistant Director." He looked nervous. "Well. I 
saw that security has been increased."
"Yes. I'm afraid that won't help us, however. Jack either has very 
good connections or is extremely adept at forgery. He didn't crash 
this party, sir. He probably had an invitation."
"He could be anyone, then."
"That's the problem, yes."
The Ambassador looked nervous again, and who could blame him? 
"I'll leave it in your hands, then. And keep me posted on your 
progress." He left.
Meg turned to Skinner. "Thank you. That little speech helped."
Skinner looked at her. "Is this going to cause problems for you?"
"Nothing that I can't handle." Probably. Canada didn't like to look 
dependent on the US, and some fallout was bound to occur.
He sighed. "Damn politics. Well, you let your people know that I 
said we have no problem giving you the credit if we help catch the 
bastard. Not that I think we will, mind you."
"Thank you again." She smiled wryly. "Don't say our party didn't 
have interesting guests."
The other Mounties looked up, startled. Jokes from the fabled Dragon 
Skinner chuckled. 
The four other FBI agents looked up in shock. Was this their boss?
Scully and Mulder glanced at each other. Mulder bent down, 
ostensibly to examine a bit of carpet. Scully knew better. She was 
the only one who could hear his monotone singing.
"....Skinner and Thatcher, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G."
Victoria looked at her handiwork with satisfaction.  A few 
incriminating pieces of paper had been tucked into files that Little 
Miss Inspector Do-Right would never have to touch. Earlier that day, 
she'd set up an account in Thatcher's name; Victoria would 
periodically deposit strange lump sums and, after a while, take them 
out again in equally large amounts. After a few months, when the 
frame was solid, she'd leak the story to a reporter or anonymously 
call the Mountie who hated her the most.
She felt something cool on her neck.
"Don't turn around. Don't move."
She froze. She was no fool; years in prison had made her a survivor.
"Victoria Metcalfe. What should I do with you? You started as a mere 
bank robber, but you made yourself into something more. Intriguing."
"How do you know that?"
"Constable Fraser left a warning for Inspector Thatcher that you 
might be dropping by."
"So she told you to watch her office." Her voice was bitter.
"Not at all." The man behind her sounded amused. "The Inspector 
never got the message. The man who took the message gave it only to 
me, and now he's dead. So sad. I bribed him to let me in, but he'll 
never get to enjoy the fruits of his labor."
"Who are you?" she whispered.
"If I told you that, I'd have to kill you." He laughed shortly. "I 
think I like you, my dear. Not as much as my lovely Sam, but you'll 
do." He lowered his gun. 
"You're letting me go?" She turned slowly. The man behind her looked 
incredibly nondescript, but something told her that he was in 
"Not at all. You have nowhere to go." He bowed. "You may know me by 
my nom du guerre. Jack of All Trades."
"You're a killer."
"So are you, my dear Vicky. I believe the term is 'spree killer'. 
Multiple killings within a short period of time, all stemming from 
the same stress point? In your case, your desire to even accounts 
with Constable Fraser. I'm not sure what to call your frames of 
Detective Vecchio, the Constable, and now the dear Inspector. But 
I admire your work. It's given me a few ideas for later." He smiled.
"It's so good to be able to talk shop with a sympathetic ear. Don't 
worry. I have no reason to kill you. You haven't cut into my 
territory. But security is very tight. It would be highly useful if 
I could walk out with a lovely woman on my arm. And your date seems 
to have abandoned you for the charms of a platinum blonde. So, if I 
could offer you an escort? And perhaps dinner afterward. All this 
stalking gives me an appetite."
Victoria thought hard. She really really didn't want to
spend quality time with some crazed serial killer. On
the other hand, it really wouldn't be a good idea to 
cross a crazed serial killer. And at least with him,
she'd know where she stood at all times: at risk.
"I believe I'll take you up on that, Jack." She offered 
him her arm. 
He took it, and she managed to suppress a shiver.
"Then come along, my dear. The night is young.
And we have much to talk about."
Maureen S. O'Brien
The ticket agent watched the terminal nervously. She was used to 
seeing employees from all kinds of federal agencies. And it didn't
bother her that the four FBI agents out there were "carrying". So
what was it?
She looked at them again and felt the tendrils of a poem begin to
grow from her brain, as they often did in these lonely predawn hours.
Dark trenchcoats on them all. The blond woman with the look of
pained surprise etched in her wide watchful eyes and parted lips
even while she slept. The hulking man with the gentle smile, 
whose fedora spoke fluent Dashiell Hammett. The other man, too 
hyper but brown and haunted, and the other woman, crowned with 
fire, still as a corpse. Fatality hung about them. Surely they sought 
some criminal, desperate and driven. Would they find their destiny 
or death?
She scribbled and scribbled and scribbled.
Mulder looked up at the woman at the ticket desk. She froze.
He tried a smile. She looked stricken and looked away. "Is
there a sign on my forehead that says 'Spooky Mulder'?", he
wondered with annoyance.
"They put the shy people on the night shift," Malone told him. 
"Why don't you get some sleep? Your partner is."
"Scully's the one who gets to help cut up Canadians 
tomorrow. I'm the one who has to face my mother tonight."
"Sam's asleep, too."
"She must be the smart one."

If you'd like to take a look at the meet site,
try the 
National Shrine web page. Sorry, folks; I like the National 
Cathedral, but I love the Shrine. It grows on you.
"We are the yin and the yang, my dear Vicky. You are the science 
of murder, committing your crimes in specific ways to avenge 
specific grievances. I am the art of murder, constantly finding 
new techniques and creating new pictures to fascinate the eye 
and disturb the heart." Jack paused. "Don't you agree?"
"Of course."
Without turning to look, Jack released the stickshift and 
backhanded her across the mouth. "Don't lie to me, Vicky. 'Lying 
lips are an abomination to the Lord'," he intoned.
Victoria Metcalfe fingered her lip and said nothing. She was 
beginning to think that she should have screamed for the Mounties
as soon as she saw Jack. Yes, she would have been arrested. Yes,
they would have sent her to prison for murder and robbery. She 
didn't care, somehow. Prison had had crazies, but nobody as
bad as him.
But she couldn't show him fear. He'd get off on her fear, and 
then she'd be dead. Her mind worked furiously.
"I was just trying to be polite," she said smoothly. "After all,
I am your guest."
"That's true," Jack mused. Victoria tried not to laugh. He 
really was thinking about it. "A social lie. A little white lie,
as they say. Hmm. I suppose so." He turned and looked into her
eyes, while Victoria tried to forget that they were going 75
miles per hour without Jack's eyes on the road. "But don't lie 
to me again."
"Fine," she replied. "I'll consider that a warning."
He nodded, satisfied, and turned back to the road. And his
musings out loud on the nature of crime.
God. He was nuts. She wished she could take a deep breath
or sigh in relief, but she'd better not.  She had to keep 
him talking. As long as he was talking, things were okay.
[progress of investigation. Note left by Jack.]
[Mulder and co. go to CT.]
[Meet set up. Vicky sent to meet by Jack.]
[Fraser races to basilica to save Meg from Vicky,
not knowing it's Scully who's going in.]
Scully looked around her in disbelief. What is this fascination
criminals have with churches? Why can't we meet in Wal-Mart? 
"Coming, Agent Scully?"
"Yessir." She walked a little faster to keep up with Skinner's 
long strides. The gigantic bulk of the crypt level of the National 
Shrine weighed on her, making her feel her shortness far more 
than usual; the 50's era decor made her feel far younger. This 
was her father and mother's Catholic Church, the one (in 
America,  anyway) with massive amounts of money, parochial 
schools full of children, and St. JFK, President and Martyr.
She looked at that bust as they passed by. Mm. Better not 
make that crack at home.
She didn't hate that Church. Some people did, and were still 
rebelling against it all these years later. Some kept trying to 
get it back. She barely remembered it. She had been born after 
Vatican II, into a Church excited about reform and scared of 
change. And there had been plenty of change. She remembered 
how her mother and father had loved to boast that the Church 
was the same wherever you were: same Mass, same language, 
same beliefs. But on the bases and everywhere else, the Mass' 
format had changed for the first time since the 1600's. The priests 
and nuns all began to act and dress just like the laypeople. The 
fundamental beliefs of the Church were challenged by some and 
reinterpreted by nearly everyone. And the language of the Mass 
was English, not Latin -- unless it was in Spanish, for the 
Hispanic people on base. That was her Church. It had been 
almost disappointing for her when the pace of change had begun 
to stabilize. 
Was that why she had stopped going to church, six years ago?
She had been at Quantico then. Had it been the pace she'd been
maintaining? Had she just been too tired to get out of bed in the 
morning? Had it been Jack Willis, or Jack Willis leaving her? She
still wasn't quite sure. But somewhere along the way, she had lost
the urge to get out of bed Sunday morning or head over to church
Saturday evening. Spiritually...she was at least as close to God
as she had ever been. She had her ups and downs in that respect,
and the downs were far lower. But whenever she and Mulder were in
danger, God seemed as close as her partner, and listened far better
when harangued.
But there you are, she thought, as an old woman, a mother, and two
rambunctious little boys nodded to them as Skinner and she passed.
It's just Mulder, God and me against the world, and not the entire
Body of Christ in all its pewsitting, handshaking, under-breath-
singing, baby-in-the-back-wailing glory. And suddenly she missed it.
She missed non-holidays, Sundays in Ordinary Time, the priest in
green vestments and the altarboys' sneakers peeking out from 
under their robes.
Then she remembered. There were official altargirls now, at all 
the Masses and not just the ones at girls' schools and 'liberal' 
parishes. Did they wear sneakers, too, or did their mothers make 
them wear flats? Or even, God help them, high heels? She had to 
smile at the thought.
They were in the crypt church now. It looked like it had been 
transplanted from Byzantium. The fact that it was basically a 
basement had not stopped the designers from going overboard. In fact, 
'too much and too many' was the mission statement for this whole 
place. Too much gold, too many mosaics. Too much iconography, too 
many statues and pictures and symbols to absorb at once. You had to 
examine each part separately, while the overwhelming whole built up 
around you until you were part of the mosaic yourself. 
Maybe that had been it. Maybe it had been the people. There were 
so many people in her life at Quantico -- students, fellow 
instructors, bosses, secretaries...she was a friendly person, she 
hoped, but she needed her privacy. And in church, whenever she 
tried to get private with God, she hadn't been able to shut the 
world out the way she used to. There were just too many people, 
each needing and wanting and yearning as much or more than she 
did. Maybe she hadn't turned her back on Mass or Catholicism, so 
much as the Church herself.
And now?
How can you shake hands with people who've never touched a dead 
body? How can they grant you peace, and what peace can you grant 
them when the Consortium is out there? It was like lying. It made 
her feel like some kind of whited sepulchre, all rotted inside. 
Contaminated. She should have a sticker marked "Dangerous to 
know" on her head, so no civilians got close enough to get shot. 
Leper, unclean....
But that was the funny thing. In Hoover's time, the FBI had been 
full of the young Irish Catholic men he'd recruited into his 
Bureau.  He wasn't either, but he'd believed in their abilities 
in a time when the Irish were still discriminated against in every 
area of endeavor. The FBI had become a secular version of the 
priesthood -- more than a job, a vocation. Even now, there were 
more Irish names than you could shake a stick at. And she was 
one of them. Funny, that. She had felt a sinking feeling, years ago 
when she was arguing with Ahab, when she'd realized how proud 
her father would have been if one of his sons had joined the 
G-Men. It had never occurred to her that he wouldn't be proud of 
his daughter.
But he thought she had turned her back on medicine, wasted all her
training and her time. And so he had turned his back a little on 
And then, she thought,  I turned my back a little on God.
She grimaced. It seemed pretty stupid if you put it like that. 
Childish. She had never given up on God; she had just stopped 
going to His family dinners. But the more she thought about it, 
the more she wondered. Ahab and Starbuck, chasing that big white 
whale. Maybe she'd ditched the Pequod's crew and gone off on her 
own whale hunt. Maybe that had been a mistake. Maybe.
[meet set up during tail end of Mass, so that Vicky can escape 
in the outgoing crowds.]
Peregrines are powerful, streamlined birds, capable of
soaring to heights of 600m and are among the world's
swiftest birds, flying at speeds of more than 200km/h.
Peregrine falcons are expert hunters feeding on songbirds,
shore birds, waterfowl, sea birds and pigeons, all of which
are caught in flight. The peregrine is anatomically specialized
for hunting by direct pursuit in open areas. The prey often
tries to escape by gaining altitude but the peregrine uses its
speed to stay above the prey, and then dives, killing the prey
by a direct blow of the closed fist. 
In addition to speed the peregrine may use the element of
surprise -- swooping from the direction of the sun or
suddenly appearing from behind a cliff, or around the corner
of one of our sky scrapers. 
....The Arctic peregrine falcon (Falco Peregrinus
tundrius) occurs across the wide arc of tundra from the
Mackenzie Delta to Hudson Bay and Ungava, and north to
Baffin Island. This subspecies is listed as vulnerable.
....Pairs are sometimes cooperative when hunting during the
breeding season. Peregrines, and particularly the Arctic
peregrines, occasionally prey on small mammals such as
lemmings. On the wintering grounds, peregrines
predominantly prey on migratory shore birds. 
In the breeding season, falcons nest on a cliff ledge, cliff top,
a ledge or top of the tallest building is also preferred, preying
on pigeons in nearby parks. Occasionally peregrines may
nest on the ground. 
....Peregrines rarely breed before
three years of age. The average life span is four to five years
but individuals have been known to live much longer. 
....Peregrines are predators at the
top of the food chain, and accumulate high levels from their
prey, since pesticide residue becomes more and more
concentrated as it works its way up the food chain. This
phenomenon is known as bio accumulation.
Regina Peregrine Falcon Project, "Description"
Historically, peregrines resided in southeastern, southwestern, and west central portions of Illinois
along the Mississippi and Wabash Rivers. Naturally cliff dwelling birds, they adapt readily to city
buildings. The city of Chicago mimics the preferred habitat of the peregrine but with numerous
advantages. The skyscrapers are pseudo-cliffs along a waterway (Lake Michigan) that funnels
numerous prey species through the area during spring and fall migrations. Chicago provides an ample
supply of winter food in the number of pigeons (Columba livia) and starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in
residence. Free of natural predators such as the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), the largest
threat to the city dwelling peregrines comes from other adult peregrines attempting to establish
Chicago Peregrine Release and Restoration Project.
Originating from the Latin peregrines, the term pilgrim 
evokes the one wandering in search of a deeper reality; 
one determined to discover a more profound truth...what
the world offers is not sufficient to satisfy all of human
longing. It is necessary to look elsewhere, even if it 
takes us far from home...Within the confines of time and 
space, a pilgrimage enables us to realize that in whatever 
circumstances we find ourselves, we are capable of also 
finding God, if only we venture to seek Him out. 
"Pilgrims of God" from the Basilica of the National Shrine
of the Immaculate Conception home page.
"The very act of killing leaves the murderer hanging, because it
isn't as perfect as his fantasy...After a murder, the serial
murderer thinks of how the crime could be bettered...nonfulfilled
experiences become part of the fantasy and push them on toward 
the next killing." 
"All the murderers -- every single one -- were subjected to 
serious emotional abuse during their childhood...These children
were deprived of something more important than money -- love."
"In his mind, he had long since fused sexual desire with the need
to damage and destroy."
-- Whoever Fights Monsters, Robert K. Ressler
and Tom Shachtman.