NEW! Witness by Susan Proto
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999
Category: Story, ANGST, M/S UST-Friendship
Rating: PG13 for language
Spoilers: through season six
Summary: Mulder takes the witness stand as seen through Scully's eyes.
Disclaimer: Chris Carter owns the ones you recognize. I'm just
'em. I'll give 'em back. Later.
The site addy for Susan's Garden (courtesy of the incredible
Smiley/Web Mistress Supreme of MTA) is:
To Vickie Moseley: Thanks for being reminding me when things
undone. You can cover my back anytime.
Please note in my disclaimers I neglected to acknowledge
incredible Deep Backgroud site. I thank her and her knowledgable
contributers for their information regarding Profiling and characteristics of
Thanks in advance for all of your feedback.
Please send e-mail comments to: STPteach@aol.com
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
I watch him more carefully now than I've watched him in the
last three weeks.
He's agitated, and I'm not sure who is more distressed by it, him or me.
Not five minutes ago he was sitting next to me slumped on the hard wooden
bench, as he waits to be called into the courtroom to testify. Now, however,
he's up and about, pacing almost at a frenetic pace.
I don't know how to convince him this will all be okay.
I don't know how to convince myself.
"Mulder," I call out gently to him, "come sit down and try to relax a bit."
He doesn't hear me. He continues his perseverative travels
over and over the
same course. I think about calling out to him again, but I realize having
hope that he'll hear me is futile. So, I stand up, walk over to where I know
he will cross yet again, and wait to block his path.
He practically walks into me, and as a result he shudders and
Jeeze, what the hell are you doing?!"
I gently, but firmly, grasp his arm and silently lead him back
to the bench.
I nudge him to sit down and then seat myself directly next to him. Now that
I've gotten him this far, I wonder to myself what I'm going to say to him.
How do I comfort this man that means so much to me, but so little to himself.
"Mulder, you're going to help put this bastard away. Have
faith that justice
will not be blind in this case," I say with as much conviction as I can
He turns to look at me, and for the first time in I don't know
how many days
he actually makes eye contact with me. Real and true, no trying to hide
behind any bravado, he peers into my eyes with all of the concentration and
determination of a young child learning to write his name for the first time.
At any second I half expect him to stick his tongue out of the side of his
mouth, since he seems to be concentrating so hard.
"But that's exactly what I'm afraid of Scully," he
begins. "I'm afraid
justice will be so blind a guilty man will walk off scott free."
I grasp his hand at this point. I know what he's afraid of;
we've all been
afraid of the same thing since the District Attorney started putting this
case together. However, given the fact there was a miniscule of hard
evidence and lack of eye witnesses, we had to proceed with the assumption
that Mulder's testimony would be taken as that of an expert witness, because
if it wasn't, Mulder is right.
The bastard will walk away scott free.
"Mulder, you know your testimony cold. There's no way the
recognize your account of the evidence as the truth," I say in what I hope is
a convincing tone.
He smiles at me, but I realize immediately there is no joy in
it. He then
shakes his head, slowly at first, but he soon becomes more adamant in the
denial he is expressing.
"Scully, you of all people should realize how absurd that
sounds. How can I
possibly convince those people that I just knew the child's jacket was going
to be hidden inside that bastard's car? I had no hard evidence that pointed
me to it; I just knew," he spits out.
"Why are you being so hard on yourself? Why can't you
simply accept the fact
that you were able to put all of the pieces to this jigsaw puzzle together
and figure out where the missing jacket was?" I ask with a calm, even tone.
I don't want to agitate him more than he already is, especially since he's
due to be called to the witness stand at any moment.
But, I also want him to see that what he has to say to the
important, and if anyone can convince the jurors the truth behind his
testimony, Mulder can. So, I look at him again and remind him, "Mulder, you
are the best at what you do. The profilers that were on this case for five
weeks couldn't make the headway you made in three days. You were the
"But all I saved was a dead six year old's pink jacket, Scully."
I sighed and looked away briefly. I know how badly he wanted
to find this
victim alive. I know how badly we all wanted to find this child alive. I
return my gaze to him and try to reassure him.
"But you gave her parents closure, and you of all people
should know how
important of a gift that is," I say. I'm about to reach out to him when I
hear the door to the courtroom across from us open.
"Special Agent Fox Mulder?" asks the court officer.
Mulder nods and the two of us rise at the same time.
It's show time.
I follow him into the courtroom and take a seat with the other
I'd already testified earlier in the week, as I was the coroner of record.
My testimony was fairly cut and dry, and I was on and off the witness stand
in less than an hour.
I watch him as he transforms himself from the agitated,
of nerves that was in the hallway not less than thirty seconds ago, to the
consummate professional. His stride is long and sure, and he arrives at the
witness chair standing tall and with confidence.
Of course, I know the truth.
However, I know the jurors do not, nor will either of the
knows in order for his testimony to be effective, he has to exude confidence
in the eyes of both courtroom representatives.
I prepare myself to watch an Academy Award caliber
performance, knowing all
too well, I'll be the one to pick up the pieces at curtain call time.
"State your full name for the record, Sir," directs the court bailiff.
"Fox William Mulder."
"Place your hand on the bible, Sir. Do you swear to tell
the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"
"Be seated," the bailiff directs and returns to her post.
The judge directs the District Attorney to begin his questioning.
"Please state your profession and title, Sir," requests DA Mark Johnson.
"I am a field agent for the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. My title is
Special Agent," replies Mulder in a confident tone.
"Agent Mulder, did you play any particular role in this
case?" asks DA
"Yes, Sir. I was brought in to work as a profiler by the
SAC of the original
team working the case."
"And would you define 'SAC' for the jury, please?"
"Special Agent in Charge."
"And would you define what a profiler is, Agent Mulder?"
Mulder pauses before he begins his answer. He's been well
aware of Mark
Johnson's intention to ask him this question, and the two men had gone over
his response with a fine, tooth, comb. Yet I know Mulder does not want his
testimony to sound canned, so I watch him pause and collect himself before he
begins to speak.
Smart man, my partner. Never speak until you're ready. Don't
ever let the
attorneys rush you into making a mistake, because they can be so difficult to
correct in the eyes and ears of the jurors.
"A profiler," he begins to explain as he looks
directly at the jury box, "is
the title that describes someone who creates psychological profiles. The
term profiling is used to describe the process of gathering all pertinent
evidence and information that is related to a crime scene in order to create
a picture, or profile if you will, of the type of person who committed the
crime in question."
"How accurate are these profiles that you create?" asks the DA.
"It depends. First drafts may be a far cry from the
reality, while other
times, if there's enough information for the profiler to go on, they can be
right on target," answers Mulder. "Sometimes it takes more than one draft to
accurately draw up a relevant profile."
"How many profiles were drawn up during this case?"
"I believe it was a total of four," responds Mulder cautiously.
"How many of them did you create," asks the DA already knowing the answer.
"And at what stage was yours written up, Agent Mulder?"
"It was the last one," Mulder says. I see him
hesitate for only a moment,
and then he continues, "and since I had the opportunity to review all of the
other profiles, mine benefited from that earlier acquired knowledge."
That's my Mulder. He can never take sole credit for anything.
He can't even
allow himself to acknowledge the fact that the other profiles were so far
from the truth, and that he'd created his profile before he'd ever laid eyes
on the other three profiles.
That's just the way Mulder prefers to work if given the
doesn't like to take the chance of being influenced by another agent's
opinions, so he looks at the evidence, writes his own profile, and then takes
the time to compare profiles. Which is exactly how he did it this time too.
"So, Agent Mulder, would you please explain to the
members of the jury what
your profile indicated?" directs the DA.
Mulder than shifts his body so he is facing the jury box at a
comfortable angle. He looks over and makes eye contact with at least four,
no maybe it's five, jurors before he actually begins his account.
"The crime scene evidence indicated the UNSUB is a highly
individual," Mulder begins but he is interrupted with a question from the DA.
"UNSUB? I'm sorry, Agent Mulder, would you define that
term for the members
of the jury?"
"An UNSUB is an acronym for 'unidentified subject.' It
allows the profiler
to work without attaching any predetermined characteristics that one might if
the individual were referred to as a male or female subject."
When the DA nodded in acknowledgment, Mulder continued,
"As I was saying, the
UNSUB is intelligent, and contrary to what earlier profiles indicated, I
found the evidence pointed to a very outgoing, sociable personality.
"The UNSUB enjoys being the center of attention. The
UNSUB craves being the
center of attention, and returns to the scene of the crime to be certain the
crime scene is presented in the meticulous manner that would enhance
recognition of the UNSUB's work.
"This particular UNSUB also likes to take souvenirs of
the crime, and in the
case of the last victim, the child's jacket was taken," Mulder relates.
I watch Mulder pause and then take a deep breath. He's pretty
his summary of his role. It's a very general overview, but the first rule of
thumb is don't give any more information than is asked for, or it could turn
around and bite you in the ass.
Mulder knows he'll have further explaining to do, but he'll do
so through the
questioning by the DA.
Afterwards, it will be the defense attorney's turn; an
experience I know
Mulder is not looking forward to. He had a hard enough time convincing Mark
Johnson the role he played was legit, so I can only imagine which weapons the
defendant's lawyer will throw at him.
"Agent Mulder, can you describe for the jury what it was
about the crime
scene that led you to create the profile you did which in turn led to the
arrest of the defendant?" asks DA Johnson.
Mulder goes on to explain it isn't just the one crime scene in
which he bases
his conclusions, but on all of the crime scenes that are related. He relays
how through the use of research related material, Mulder is able to draw up a
psychological profile of the UNSUB's personality.
"Though I have, in the past, drawn up profiles based upon
one or two crime
scenes, the accuracy rates tend to drop as opposed to those where there are
three or more crime scenes to investigate," he explains.
"So, you're telling us that by reviewing the evidence as
seen in both the
photos of some crime scenes, and the evidence at the crime scene of little
Cara Huffman's murder, you were able to deduce the murderer is a highly
intelligent, sociable human being. In addition, you state the perpetrator
likes to take the time to make sure the crime scene looks perfect so the
police will take special note of it. And finally, you conclude the murderer,
or UNSUB as you label him, likes taking something from the crime scene as a
remembrance of the crime. Have I summarized this correctly, Agent Mulder?"
"Yes, Sir. You have."
"No more questions at this time," DA Johnson announces.
I take a deep breath along with Mulder. We both know the hard
part of his
testimony is only just beginning, as the defense team will certainly require
Mulder to go into more detail than Mark did. We're expecting this, but that
does not make the anticipation any less difficult to handle.
It's with a great sense of relief I see the judge call for a
recess. When Mulder steps down from the witness stand and walks toward me, I
rise and meet his eyes. He knows he's going to be taken through the mill in
just a few short minutes, and so looks to me for some refortification.
If I could wrap my arms around his waist to show him just how
much I do
support him, I would. Of course I can't in public, so I show him with my
eyes and hope he's able to read the intensity with which I'm feeling in my
He smiles slightly. He bends down and whispers into my ear,
"God, how I just
want to hold you right now."
I smile and nod slightly. He reads me just fine.
End of Part 1
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Disclaimers in Part 1
I take the lead, but I feel his hand find its familiar place
at the small of
my back as we walk out of the courtroom. I want him to have a few minutes to
relax before he returns to the witness stand. He held his own nicely under
direct questioning, and I tell him this now.
"Thanks, Scully. It's not too hard when you know you're
on the same side as
the guy asking the questions." Mulder smiles momentarily and then adds,
"Johnson did throw me for a loop at one point though."
"When he asked you at what stage you wrote your
profile," I answer for him.
He looks at me and nods his head in amazement that I was able to pick up on
that so quickly. "I know you, Mulder. You hate taking center stage for
anything, and taking full credit for the profile that nabbed that bastard
isn't your style."
He nods again, briefly brushes his hand over mine and then
takes a deep
breath. "I think I'll hit the john before I go back in. I'll be right back."
I watch him walk towards the men's room and decide it's
probably a good idea
for me to use the facilities as well. I walk into the ladies' room and enter
a stall. I'm aware of the door opening and hear other women enter. As I
finish taking care of my personal needs, I can't help but overhear the
conversation of the two new occupants.
"It's all psycho mumbo jumbo, you know," one woman
says in a high pitched,
"Mama, James's attorney will make mince meat out of that
witch doctor, you'll
see. There's no way the jury will believe my honey did the things that man
says he did!" replies the other woman in a similar tone.
"Arlene, I just don't understand how anyone can just get
up on a witness
stand and say they know someone went and murdered a little child based on
some pictures. There's got to be a law against this. I mean, can't you get
this __, this sonofabitch arrested for harassment?"
I stand absolutely silently in the stall. I'm afraid to
breathe, as I
haven't any idea as to how these two women will react if I step out in full
view of them.
More importantly, I don't know how I'll react. Witch doctor?
I pray the jury doesn't see Mulder's testimony in this light too.
I wait until the two women depart before I leave the stall. I
wash up and
dry my hands. I take an extra thirty seconds to touch up my lipstick and
then go to where Mulder has resumed his nervous pacing.
"Hi," I say quietly. He looks at me and then resumes
his pacing. I choose
to remain quiet about my eavesdropping. "Mulder, c'mon, sit down before you
wear a hole in the floor."
He stops and simply shakes his head. I understand his need to
nervous energy now in order for him to be able to maintain his calm demeanor
on the stand. Still, it worries me that he appears so shaken. I wonder if
he heard a conversation in the men's room similar to the one I heard in the
Then it hits me. Of course he has, for the better part of a
Mulder has had to live with the 'Spooky' persona ever since he'd achieved
messiah status when he wrote the Monty Props monograph. I hope he can hold
up under this new scrutiny.
I know he's had more practice at dealing with it than any one
man should ever
have, but still, I worry if he's up to the task. I don't think the years of
having to deal with it makes it any easier. If anything, I think it just
wears you down more and more each year.
The bailiff calls us back into the courtroom. I look quickly
reaction to seeing the uniformed officer call his name, and I see him grimace
slightly and pale before me. He then nods and I see him shudder slightly as
if to shake off whatever demons are gripping him, and walk toward the door.
He waits for me, and I take the lead, with his hand assuming its rightful
position on my lower back.
"Agent Mulder," the judge reminds, "you are still under oath."
"The defense will now cross examine the witness," instructs the judge.
I watch the lead attorney, Arnold Harris, rise from the table.
formidable man, though not very tall, he is solidly built and gives a very
strong, confident appearance. Harris' stature is quite the opposite of
Mulder, in that Mulder's tall, willowy appearance almost belies the strength
I know is there.
"Mr. Mulder, how long __," Harris begins.
"__Agent," interrupts Mulder. "My title is Agent Mulder."
"Your Honor, would you please direct the witness to not
interrupt while I
attempt to cross examine?" Harris says in a tone that drips of disdain.
I only hope the judge picks up on it and treats him as the
horse's ass that
"The witness will not interrupt the attorney when he
poses a question," he
directs Mulder, but then he looks directly at Harris and states in a very
stern voice, "And the attorneys for the defense will accord the State's
witnesses with the respect they are due. You will address this witness by
his rightful title, Mr. Harris. He is Agent Mulder, and do not make me
remind you of that fact again, Sir."
I smile broadly at Mulder as I hear Arnold Harris acknowledge
"Very well, Agent Mulder, how long have you been a
profiler for the FBI?" he
"I began working at the Bureau in 1986."
"And did you begin profiling at that point?" asks Harris.
"Objection, Your Honor, as to relevancy. I was under the
defense had already recognized Agent Mulder as an expert in his field,"
raises the DA.
"Your Honor, we're just trying to establish what exactly
Mr. __oh, excuse me,
Agent Mulder is an expert in, that's all," explains Harris.
I bristle a bit at these remarks. This does not sound like
it's going to be
a fair fight, and I worry about Mulder's ability to maintain his cool,
Hell, at the moment, I worry about maintaining my own.
I feel Mulder's eyes on me now; we have no choice but to hold
each other with
our gaze. I know he feels my anger at the turn of events, and I can tell
he's practically willing me to remain calm.
He needs me to maintain my professional demeanor; he needs me
to be his
anchor, and if I fall apart then he'll have nothing to hold on to. I nod
toward him imperceptibly and he offers me a mere wisp of a smile. I know how
hard he will work to maintain his professional persona on the witness stand.
I also know what a struggle he faces.
I know what a struggle we both face.
My attention is drawn back to the courtroom scene, as I hear
the DA voice his
objections at the obvious 'fishing expedition' the defense attorney is
"Your honor," begins Attorney Harris, "it is
simply my objective to establish
the credibility of this so called expert witness. It appears the weight of
the state's evidence against my client rests with this one witness. I hardly
think the DA would begrudge me an opportunity to establish the man's
credentials and background.
"Your honor," he adds dramatically, "my client's life is at stake."
I want to stand up and shout back, 'No! No, you've already
accepted him as
the expert witness. You can't renege on that!' But I sit quietly, though I
suspect my eyes are raging, as the woman whom I assume is the suspect's wife
startles when her eyes meet mine.
I believe this woman believes her husband is not the monster
we have proven
him to be. I respect her right to defend her husband, and to remain by his
side. But I'll be damned if she's going to do so at the expense of Fox
"I'll allow you some leeway, Mr. Harris, but I'm not
going to be a patient
man for much longer. Be careful in which direction you go. You are to
establish Agent Mulder's credentials, is that understood?" directs the judge.
"Yes, Sir. Thank you, Your Honor." Harris turns and
walks back to the
defense table. I watch him and will him to look in my direction so he might
catch some of the venom my eyes hold, but he doesn't and, instead, picks up
his legal pad.
"Agent Mulder, what was the Monty Props Monograph?" he asks.
Mulder looks at him for a moment before he answers. I haven't
a clue as to
where this is going; I hope Mulder's profiling skills kick into overdrive to
help him anticipate the direction Harris is taking this.
"Monty Props was a serial killer back in the late 1980's.
I wrote a
monograph, which is essentially a very detailed profile, of Props in 1988
while I was assigned to the Investigative Support Unit," explains Mulder
"That's the ISU, isn't it?" asks Harris. When Mulder
Harris then asks, "Is it also known as the BSU?"
"And that stands for?" probes Harris.
"Behavioral Science Unit."
Harris is nodding his head at this, but I can't for the life
of me figure out
why he's taking the time to question Mulder about this. I'm not sure if
Mulder has a sense of Harris's rational either.
"Why were you given the task of writing the monograph, Agent Mulder?"
"I wasn't specifically given the job," Mulder begins.
"You did it on your own volition?" interjects Harris.
"What I mean, Mr. Harris, is there were ten profilers
assigned to the case.
We were all assigned a certain number of cases and we each worked on the most
pressing cases. Monty Props was on all of our minds," Mulder explains.
"But you wrote the monograph. Did anyone else write a monograph on Props?"
"Why did you?" Harris asks.
At this point I am ready to jump out of my seat in total
frustration, but DA
Johnson beats me to it.
"Objection, Your Honor, as to the relevancy of this line
of questioning? The
man was a profiler and he was doing his job. I don't understand why Mr.
Harris insists upon wasting our time with this line of questioning,"
proclaims Mark Johnson disgustedly.
"I am inclined to agree with the District Attorney, Mr.
Harris," responds the
Thank heavens the judge seems to have some common sense.
"Your Honor, if you will indulge me for a few more
questions, I'm sure you
will see the relevancy."
"Very well, but do not try my patience, Mr. Harris."
Well, so much for common sense. I listen attentively in the
discovering what strategy the defense team is using. I hope Mulder is ready
for whatever it is.
"How long did it take you to complete the monograph, Agent Mulder?"
I watch him and see Mulder react to this question. I don't
else notices, but they do not know Mulder like I do. Ohmigod! He knows.
Mulder knows the tactic Harris is going to use, and he's worried. Oh God,
what is it, Mulder? How is this going to ambush you?
"About three days, I believe," he says quietly.
"Three days," Harris echoes. He returns to the
defense table and picks up
what appears to a fairly decent manuscript. He holds it up for the jury and
those others present to observe. Harris then drops it with a thunk down onto
the ledge of the witness stand and asks Mulder, "Would you identify this,
He doesn't even look at it. "I assume it's the Monty Props Monograph."
"You assume correctly, Agent Mulder. It took you only
three days to write
that? That's got to be over two hundred pages, Agent Mulder. How is it you
were able to accomplish such a feat in only three days?"
Mulder remains silent.
I'm still not sure how Harris is going to go for the jugular,
obvious to me that Mulder does. I feel my own breathing become more rapid,
and I can only imagine what Mulder is going through on the witness stand.
"Agent Mulder? Shall I repeat the question?" asks Harris much too drolly.
"No, Sir. I heard the question. I'm simply not sure how to answer it."
"Well, let's be pragmatic about it, shall we? Let's start
out with where you
did the writing."
"The office. We put in long hours in the ISU,"
Mulder replied in a quiet
"Long hours, you say? How many hours did you spend
working on this
monograph, Agent Mulder?"
"I can't be sure. It was a long time ago."
"Oh, come now, Agent Mulder.," Harris prodded.
"Surely the details for
something as important as this work; a piece that has been proclaimed as the
reason behind the capture of the infamous Monty Props, wouldn't escape that
eidetic memory of yours, now would it?"
Mulder remains silent and then Harris says, "I have some
affidavits of other
profilers that worked with Agent Mulder at the time which can attest to the
number of hours he spent writing the monograph."
"Objection, Your Honor! The DA's office hasn't been privy
to any of these
so-called affidavits," cries out Johnson in frustration.
"Your Honor, I don't wish to put them into evidence; I
merely wish to present
them to the witness to help him refresh his memory in case he's still having
difficulty remembering the number of hours he spent working on the
monograph," Harris says innocently.
"Very well, Mr. Harris, but I am losing my patience. You
will wrap up this
line of questioning very quickly, is that understood?" instructs the judge.
"Yes, Sir. So, Agent Mulder, do you need the ___?"
"__Seventy-two hours, Mr. Harris. I wrote the monograph
hours," Mulder interrupts.
"Agent Mulder, that's seventy-two hours straight, isn't
it?" asks Harris.
When Mulder doesn't answer immediately, Harris nudges him verbally, "Isn't
"Yes," Mulder whispers.
Oh, dear God. The man is going to take Mulder's gift and turn
something the jury will fear. That's what the bastard's wife and
mother-in-law were talking about in the bathroom.
Voodoo. Witch Doctor. Psycho mumbo-jumbo.
End of Part 2/4
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Disclaimers in Part 1
I look over at Mulder and see him almost deflate before my
eyes. I try to
call out to him with my heart, 'I'm here, Mulder. I'm here for you. You're
going to get through this.'
"You didn't sleep for three days straight, Agent Mulder?"
"You didn't eat with the exception of inhaling some
coffee and cigarettes,
Cigarettes, Mulder? You were a smoker too?
"You have quite a reputation at the Bureau, don't you
Agent Mulder? You
gained this reputation while you were still a student at Quantico and then
justified that reputation with your work in the ISU. Even today you're still
known as 'Spooky' Mulder in most circles at the Bureau, aren't you?"
I watch Mulder cringe slightly at the use of his nickname. The
ambush is in
"But you solidified that 'Spooky' persona of yours when
you wrote the Monty
Props Monograph in seventy-two hours straight with nothing more to sustain
you than caffeine and nicotine. And then you collapsed didn't you, Agent
Mulder. You collapsed and were hospitalized for several days weren't you?"
"Yes, but that was a result of exhaustion," Mulder
explains a little too
"You no longer are assigned to ISU, are you Agent Mulder?"
"No, Mr. Harris, I am not."
"But you still profile on occasion?" asks the defense attorney.
"Obviously," replies Mulder in a tone that suggests
a little more annoyance
than I think he intends.
"How is it you have the time to do profiles if you are no
longer assigned to
the ISU? What department do you now work in, Agent Mulder?" asks Harris.
"I work for a small division known as the X-Files,"
"And how would you describe the cases assigned to you in the X-Files?"
"They are basically those cases that have been deemed
unsolvable by normal
standards and practices. They are often associated with the paranormal."
"Aren't they nothing more than a dumping ground for cases
that involve UFO
sightings?" jeers Harris.
"No, they are not a dumping ground, though the cases my
partner and I are
assigned to are more often than not unexplainable under normal parameters,"
"But you do deal with UFOs, don't you?"
"On occasion," answers Mulder somewhat warily.
"In fact, you have had a first hand experience with a UFO
you?" asks Harris vehemently.
I am befuddled for a moment. I have no idea as to which UFO
sighting the man
is referring to, since there have been quite a few. There's the one at
Ellens Airforce Base, then of course the one Mulder said he saw in West
Virginia. The latest one was the one in Antarctica; one that even I have a
hazy memory of seeing.
It's obvious Mulder is not sure which experience the defense
referring to either.
"There was another time you were hospitalized prior to
the Props' incident,
wasn't there? The Props collapse was not the first time you were
hospitalized for a mental disorder, was it, Mr. Mulder," Harris asks casually.
It's AGENT Mulder, you sonofabitch! And it wasn't a mental
disorder; it was
physical exhaustion! Damn it! He's going for Mulder's jugular. Damn him!
Object, for crying out loud. Object already!
"Objection, Your Honor," calls out Johnson.
"Overruled. The witness will answer the question."
Now he looks at me, and all I can do is let him know in our
own, silent way,
that I'm here for him. I don't know if it's enough.
"I was hospitalized a long time ago when I was a child; I
was twelve years
old and treated for catatonia," Mulder says quietly.
"Catatonia is quite a serious mental condition, isn't it Mr. Mulder?"
"Yes. But I was treated and obviously no longer suffer from it."
"No, you certainly are now able to relate and respond to
the world in an
appropriate manner. What prompted the catatonic state, Agent Mulder?"
"Objection, Your Honor, as to relevancy," Johnson calls out futilely.
"Overruled. We'll play this out now, gentlemen, but I do
reserve the right
to strike if I find the relevance is wanting," the judge replies.
I am appalled the judge is allowing this to go this far. Does
think Mulder's childhood experiences are relevant to the profile he wrote to
catch the bastard sitting over at the defense table? What's wrong with the
man? Can't he see the defense attorney is setting up the jury, and doing it
at my partner's expense? It doesn't matter if the judge throws it out later;
the jury will have already heard the testimony.
And though the judge may tell them to disregard it, we all
know just how
likely that will be. Shit. Mulder is right.
Justice is blind. The sonofabitch is going to walk, because
our judge is no
better at avoiding the 'rubbernecking' syndrome than the rest of us. Mulder
is a traffic accident waiting to happen, and the judge and jury now have
front row seats.
"May I ask the court stenographer to repeat the last
question I had for the
witness," requests Harris.
The court stenographer stops his keying, and picks up the
white paper that
has accumulated at the end of her machine. He finds the requested place and
reads, ""No, you certainly are now able to relate and respond to the world in
an appropriate manner. What prompted the catatonic state, Agent Mulder?"
Mulder looks at the defense attorney and then over at the
I wait a second more and then watch his eyes seek me out. He sees the
situation the same way I do. He knows his hand has been forced at this
point, so he has nothing to lose.
He sits up a little straighter now, and he even offers me a small, wry smile.
"I watched my sister get abducted, Mr. Harris," he
answers in a calm, steady
"Abducted by whom?" Harris probes.
Mulder looks Harris straight in the eye, and then he turns
directly to the
jury box. "I cannot be absolutely sure."
"Didn't you undergo hypnosis some years back in order to
memories of that day?" asks Harris. "It was made a matter of public record
last year at a conference Dr. Verber, your doctor, attended. I violated no
privacy rights here."
"Yes. I did," replies Mulder.
"What were the results?" Harris asks with a broad smile.
Mulder returns the man's gaze, and pauses momentarily before
he states, "I
assume you have a copy of the tape, Mr. Harris. Why don't you just play it
so we can get this over with and all go to lunch," retorts Mulder.
My Mulder is angry now. I don't think Harris will want to play
with an angry
Mulder. Though I do wonder why Mulder is so nonchalant about Harris playing
And then I remember. I'd heard that tape, oh, so many years
ago. I'm a
scientist, and I need facts and proof to make me believe something is fact.
But when I heard Mulder's voice on that tape; when I heard him relate what
he'd seen that night, it didn't matter if all the facts didn't add up totally.
I believed him.
I may not have believed the facts of his story.
But I believe in him.
And my angry Mulder knows that even though the good men and
women of the jury
may not believe in aliens, they will hear that tape and believe him.
Oh, my angry Mulder is one helluva smart G-Man, isn't he?
Harris practically giggled when the judge gave him permission
to play the
tape. As the tape begins, I first look at Mulder who is now looking over at
the jury. He is practically willing them to believe the words of his past.
He's showing them he has nothing to be ashamed of; he's not hiding behind the
tape, he just feels the actual words can tell the truth so much more
effectively than a recollection can.
And he's so right.
I wonder if Harris actually listened to the recording prior to
suspect one of his paralegals simply gave him a synopsis of it but never gave
him a sense of the depth of emotion the tape held.
I am able to watch Mulder as he hears his words replayed
aloud. This must be
the first time he's listened to the tape in quite a while, and his face is
playing back his emotions vividly. When he first speaks of how Sam called
to him, he looks utterly despondent.
I feel him reliving the pain of his sister's disappearance all
over again. I
feel angry they are putting Mulder through this pain again; I feel angrier
that they are putting Mulder through this pain again in a public forum. Yet,
miraculously, he holds it together. I feel my lip tremble slightly as his
does, but he remains focused on the jurors.
Then, we hear the part when Mulder mentions how he reached for
consequently dropped his father's gun. I see his expression change from
despair to one of anger and frustration. I worry he will lose control and I
will him to look my way, but his eyes remain steadfastly on the jurors. His
posture is straighter now; he wants the jurors to know he tried to save her
and that he has nothing to be ashamed of in how he'd behaved at the time.
I feel so proud of him at this moment, I feel as though I'm
going to burst
out in tears. I pray the people in the jury box have an inkling how hard
this is for Mulder. I pray they have some notion as to what an ordeal it was
for him to have lived through this at the age of twelve, and that it is
equally traumatizing to have to live through it today.
Finally, the voice on the tape talks of how his sister's body
is elevated on
a stream of light and then lifted through the window of the house. As Mulder
listens to this final section of the tape, I can only describe his expression
as one of awe. It is at this point, my Mulder chooses to look at me.
He believed then, he believes now, and he looks at me to make
understand this. He needs me to give him assurance that I'm all right with
this. I look at him and hope he can read the message my eyes and heart send
him; of course it's all right.
You believe in the truth, and I believe in you.
I smile at him now, and realize my vision is glassy through
the tears that
appear unwittingly. When he returns the smile, I notice for the first time
him swiping at the couple of tears that manage to escape down his cheek.
I look at the jurors now, and I do not have to wonder what
they are thinking.
They, like Mulder and me, wear their feelings on their sleeves as well. I
observe one particular juror that I've been a little worried about; the third
man (I've nickname him Mr. Whipple because that's who he looks like to me) in
I've managed to find out that this juror is a recently retired
the defendant. The teacher's union has issued a statement indicating that
teachers are always in precarious positions when dealing with children.
They've stated that they hope justice is served in this case. It appears
that this particular juror was, at one time, very sympathetic to the
defendant's cause as a result.
But it no longer appears to be the case. He's looking at
Mulder and actually
smiling. The audio tape tells this man how much Mulder loves his sister; the
audio tape also tells this man how much finding justice for the victim means
Mr. Whipple believes.
As does apparently juror number nine, whom I've dubbed Ms.
Peckham (the name
of my sixth grade teacher from long ago.) She's another person I've been
having my doubts about, until now that is. She's taken out a tissue, and
she's actually dabbing at her eyes.
Me thinks Harris realizes his ambush has been thwarted. I have
to smile at
When the recording is complete, Harris asks a couple of more
questions in an
attempt to salvage his 'loony toon profiler who believes in little green men'
line of defense, but it's obvious that he is going nowhere with it.
In fact, the judge now instructs the jury to disregard any and
that Mulder had given that was not in direct regards to this case.
Basically, everything after the judge's admonishment to address Mulder by his
proper title was deleted from the record.
The judge calls for the lunch recess, and though I know Mulder
will have to
go back on the stand this afternoon, I suspect it will go much easier for
him. He'll still have to answer the hard questions, such as how did Mulder
know little Cara's jacket would be found in the lining of the defendant's car
But Mulder has nothing to worry about now. You see, the
defense attorney has
played right into Mulder's hands. He's allowed Mulder to show the jury
there's a good reason that he's known as 'Spooky' Mulder at the FBI.
End of 3
By Susan Proto (STPteach@aol.com)
Disclaimers in Part 1
The defense team rallies after the tape debacle and puts
Mulder through his
paces with question after question regarding his profile and the evidence the
FBI has gathered as a result of it.
We know the defense is going to attempt to show the FBI, at
the time they
garnered the warrant, had no clear, reasonable evidence that would have
justified a warrant to gain entry into the defendant's car. This warrant
allowed the agents to put a knife through the defendant's car seat to find
the child's jacket.
Each question regarding a specific detail in Mulder's profile
is given a
calm, succinct, clearly stated answer. Mulder sits straight backed, yet
relaxed, as he withstands the cross-examination. He knows he must answer
each question so the jurors will understand the process of creating a
profile, and therefore how evidence is gathered and UNSUBS are identified.
He has to show the jurors he learned about a little girl's pink jacket
through his profiling skills, and not through some voodoo, witch doctoring.
Since the jacket is the only concrete evidence the DA's office
has to put the
defendant in contact with the child; it's a pretty important point that's up
Guess who wins?
No foul, no rim, just net.
It's four-thirty by the time Mulder is excused from the
witness stand, and I
can see he is exhausted. All I want to do is get him the hell out of this
place, so he can catch his breath and relax. I stand by my seat and walk to
meet him in the aisle. As our paths cross, I hear the judge declare recess
for the day and court will resume tomorrow morning at nine o'clock.
"Are you ready to make a break from this joint,
G-Man?" I ask with a smile.
All he does is nod. He's still wearing his professional mask, but I know he
wants to pull it off as soon as possible. That means I need to get him the
hell out of here quickly.
"Agent Mulder," calls out Mark, "Mulder, hold on!"
Shit. I know Mark means well, but he doesn't understand the
kind of stress
Mulder's just been put through for the last three and a half-hours. Mulder
turns toward the DA and accepts the extended hand graciously. Good. Okay,
now let's go, okay?
"You did a helluva job up there, Mulder. A helluva job," he repeats.
"Thanks, Mark. I hope I was able to help. I really want
to put this bastard
away," Mulder replies quietly.
"I know." Mark pauses for a moment and then says,
"Listen, Mulder, about
that tape. I'm sorry. I had no idea he was going to__."
"__It's okay," Mulder interrupts.
"Well, I think having Harris play that tape actually
worked to our advantage,
don't you?" Mark asks a little too gleefully. He obviously has no idea what
a grueling experience Mulder just went through.
"Yeah, I guess it did," Mulder agrees.
I'm short on patience at this point and announce, "Well,
it looks as if our
work here is done. You know where to contact us if you need us for anything
else, Mark. Good evening," I say and literally grab Mulder's hand and lead
him out the door. I strongly suspect Mulder looks at Mark and is shrugging
his shoulders at this very moment, but I don't care. At least I'm getting
him out of there.
I pull my car keys out of my purse, but Mulder stops me.
"Scully, I'm still
too wound up. Let's go for a walk and grab a bite to eat somewhere, okay?"
I nod affably and walk along side my partner. We don't say
don't need to. We continue until we arrive in front of a small tavern that
boasts of food and spirits. I feel a little hungry and look at Mulder. I
still don't speak, but he nods and we enter the bar.
It's not nearly as dreary as I thought it would be and we find
a seat at the
bar. We both order beer (he orders a Sam Adams, while I order a Kirin) and
begin to munch on the peanuts sitting in a large wooden bowl on the bar.
"You folks want a menu?" asks the bartender. We nod,
yes, and he brings us a
couple of plastic coated menus.
I order the tuna melt, while Mulder chuckles out loud.
"What's so funny?" I
"I haven't seen this on a menu since the last time I was
in Buffalo, NY." I
look over his shoulder and read the menu selection he's pointing to. 'Hot
Beef On Weck - Hot roast beef in au jus piled high on a Buffalo kimmelweck
roll with horseradish. Curly Cue Fries are included.' Of course he orders
it extra rare and with extra horseradish. How this man's stomach hasn't
developed a hole in it is beyond me.
We sit in comfortable silence at the bar while we wait for our
food. I take
a long pull at the bottle of cold beer and look over at Mulder as he simply
fingers his. He still looks so tense, so I impulsively reach over and start
pulling at his tie to loosen it. He looks at me with a surprised smile, but
I know he appreciates the effort.
I hop down from the stool (yes, I have to hop down; it's a
barstool) and reach for his suit jacket. I help pull it off and hang it up
on the coat rack nearby the bar. I hang up my suit jacket as well and return
to my seat. As I climb up (yes, I actually have to climb up using the bar at
the bottom of the stool) I hear some all to familiar voices enter the tavern.
I feel myself stiffening a bit and quickly look over at Mulder
he's suddenly sitting straight as a board as well. "Shit," we both mutter
simultaneously. We look at one another and cannot help but smile at this;
our psychic connection sometimes scares even us.
"Well, if it isn't Special Agent Fox William Mulder and
the lovely Special
Agent Dana Katherine Scully, M.D. I'll be damned. Fancy finding you here!"
announces the lead defense attorney, Arnold Harris.
"Hello, Mr. Harris. If you don't mind, we've come in to
grab a bite and then
we'll be on our way," I say way to prissily for my standards, but I can't
help it. I don't like this man's tactics and I don't like him, and I do not
want either Mulder or me to have to deal with him a second longer.
"Well, I just wanted to let old 'Spooky' here know I
think he did a fine job
up on the witness stand. I mean, that was a pretty amazing story you told
earlier today, doncha think, boys?" Harris says loudly to the rest of the
I hear a murmur of agreeing voices, but I don't feel the
enthusiasm Harris is
obviously searching for. The man is a horse's ass even to his own team.
"So, Mulder, where do you really think your sister is
after all this time?"
asks Harris with just enough venom that I have no problem with what I am
about to do.
I hop down off of the stool and stand up to my full, five feet
height (and yes, I am wearing my two-inch heels.) I then pick up my right
hand, make a fist, and rear back. As I am just about to have said fist
ricochet back into the defense counsel's face, I feel someone grasp my hand.
He holds it just tightly enough to prevent me from doing something that will
more than likely cause me a great deal of physical pain, but also a good deal
more emotional satisfaction.
"Mr. Harris," I hear Mulder say, his calm, even
voice is actually laced with
ire, "my partner and I are here to enjoy a nice, quiet dinner and drink after
a rather long and tedious day in court. I have dealt with you in a civil and
professional manner in the courtroom, and if you would like me to continue to
treat you in said manner, you will kindly leave my partner and me to enjoy
"Or else, I cannot vouch for my _ partner's
_actions," he concludes in a firm
tone as he lets go of my arm. Several seconds pass when one of the team
members speaks up.
"Hey Arnie, c'mon. Let's go get a drink," he encourages.
"I thought we might join our favorite witnesses for a
Harris responds with congealed politeness.
I'm about to raise my fist again when the aforementioned
interjects quickly, "Arnie, let's go grab a booth. Now, Arnie. Let's leave
'em be. He's been through enough today." At this point the understanding
soul grasps Harris elbow and begins to lead him off.
"I could have gotten you if the damned judge didn't throw
out the testimony,
you know!" he calls out. "I had that jury believing you were nuts, you know.
You are nuts, you know. Ah, but you know that already, don't you?" he asks
"Sonofabitch," I mutter and I'm ready to go over
there and haul off, when
Mulder places his hands on my shoulder to steady me. Damn it. Mulder is the
one who was put through the wringer today, and he's comforting me and calming
me down. This is not what I want to happen.
Suddenly I feel his lips close to my ear, and I instinctively
lean into him.
"He's not worth the energy, Scully. Let's finish our beers, eat our dinner,
and then go rent a movie. I think I'm in the mood for "The Rainmaker;" what
do you think?"
"Little guy versus big corporate guns? Sounds like a
plan, Mulder," I say
with a relieved smile. He's going to be fine, and with him by my side, I
will be too.
And something tells me things are going to work out just the
way they should.
Little Cara's parents will have closure soon after tomorrow's closing
And since I want, no need, to believe in the truth, I have to
will turn out to have twenty-twenty vision after all.
End of Part 4/4
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