Title: How To Catch An Alien (or The Day West Tisbury Met the EBEs)
Author: RaEnright
Disclaimer: All those 'show' characters are property of the lovely Fox/1013/CC type people, Dustin Amory rightfully belongs to Aviva, she came up with the idea of him.

Summary: A teenage Fox Mulder is determined to communicate with whoever took his sister. He and a friend build a radio and manage to get in touch with... someone.


A Mall, Somewhere In Washington DC Present Day, Sort Of (Post-Boxcar)

Special Agent Dana Scully stood in the aisle of the B. Dalton's and sighed. *I just can't escape.*

She strolled down the aisle and tapped the kneeling man on the head. "You seem to be shrinking, Mulder."

He looked up in surprise. "Well, the people you meet at the bookstore. Nice to be taller than me for a change, hm?"

"No short jokes, I *do* have my gun." She watched as he returned to scanning the books with a finger. "What are you looking for?"

"It's a conspiracy." He muttered. "It's a damned government conspiracy."

"In a bookstore? Have you told the Lone Gunmen?" She squatted next to him and squinted. "How can you see anything? This must be the darkest corner of the bookstore."

"Exactly. I think they're taking government payoffs, Scully."

"B. Dalton's?"

"Look at this." He waved his hands. "This is the most obscure, darkest corner of the bookstore. It's also the New Age section, which," and he looked at her, "Is one of the most embarrassing sections to be caught in. It's also where they stock the UFO and conspiracy books." he tapped one. "So when you finally find the section, get up the nerve to go in, and find a comfortable position to read in, because they're invariably on the bottom shelf, you still can't even read the titles, and you end up going blind or insane from eyestrain."

"I give up, Mulder. Go play with the Lone Gunmen. Maybe they'll listen to your stupid theories." she stood, brushed at her skirt, and walked off.

"Typical non-believer." He mumbled, and went back to the business at hand. But a memory from somewhere came to the surface, and he had to sit back for a moment.


Amory Books West
Tisbury, Mass. June 10, 1975

The bookstore was just like every other store in this small town, dusty, old, rather dim, with a cute, general-store type bell on the door. It rattled as the boy came in.

He looked around for a minute; this store was new to him, at least. His father had just moved to West Tisbury, and young Fox, age almost fourteen, if you asked him, was busily investigating every nook and corner of the town. But this place wasn't like the bookstores at home, in Chilmark.

*Of course it's not, dolt.* he told himself. *It's new and _really_ big.*

It would take him a while to find what he was looking for. He patted his wallet, to make sure he still had it, and began to search the aisles for the right section. A grey haired, bright eyed old man watched him with interest as he scanned the top shelves for subject markers.

After half an hour of looking, he snorted in disgust and sat for a minute to think about where he should look next. Finally the old man walked up to him. "Y'all need some help, son?"

He looked up and frowned. "Naw, I'm just looking."

"Nonsense, nob'dy your age comes t'a bookstore t'sit on the floor." The old man held out his hand. "Name's Dustin Amory, but everone calls me Dusty. And ye are?"

"Mulder." He answered sullenly as Dusty helped him to his feet.

"Come now, what sort'f a name is that? What's y'*first* name, son?"

"How'd you know that isn't my first name?" he eyed Dusty suspiciously. "You aren't another investigator, are you? Cuz my dad told me-"

"You're father, lil Mulder, came in this morning. Y'just moved here, right?"

"I'm visiting him."

"Ah." He nodded. "And what can I call ye?"

"Mulder."

"That's not a name, son."

"Fox Mulder."

"Better. Now, Fox, ye tell me whatcher lookin' fer and I'll see what I c'n do."

"Books on aliens." His eyes brightened. "Do you have any?"

"Aliens? Now why would a smart boy like ye want t'read about aliens?"

Fox looked down. "It's a long story."

"Sounds like it could use a telling." The man's eyes twinkled. "Care to tell me? Swear I won't tattle to nobody."

"A couple years ago," Fox said slowly. "My sister disappeared. They say someone kidnapped her, but I don't think so."

"And ye want to find them that took her." Dusty surmised. "And ye think it's aliens what did it."

"In the absence of any other plausible explanation," Fox drew himself up like he'd seen the lawyers on TV do, "It's a novel theory."

"Don't use them fifty-cent words with me, Fox boy. All ye need to say is yer sister's missin and you saw them grey men steal her."

"Yeah." Fox scuffed his shoe. "You think I'm crazy now."

"Not't'all. You come with me, son, and I'll help ye. I seen them grey men too. You et lunch yet?"

"Nosir."

"Wal then, let's go!" Dusty led him out of the shop, closing the door and hanging a 'out to lunch' sign in the window. "Let's get some eats and I'll tell ye whut I know."


"Now then." Dusty sat in the booth and sipped his soda. "We don't get many folks like y'all round here. This here's a small town and word travels mighty fast. So if I tell ye this, ye have to keep yer mouth shut and not tell noone, or they'll drag me off to the 'sylum for crazy folks."

Fox nodded and took a bite of his sandwich.

"All righty then. When I was eight, just 'bout knee high to a junebug, I seen them little grey men. Yes siree, they came and they had their flying ship all busted. So they come to my pappy and they ask him if he can fix it. Now my pappy ain't no eddycated man, but he sure do know how to handle them mechanical things, like." Dusty leaned in to emphasize his statements. "I wasn't s'posed to know nothin, on account of I was a kid. But them grey ones, they're enough to make anyone want to look twice, like."

"What did you do?" Fox listened carefully.

"Wal, one night my pappy was workin late and feelin tired, like, and he couldn't figger for the life of him how to fix the durned thing. So he calls them little men, all bald they were, and he tells them he wants payment up front, or he don't work no more.'

'Now, they couldn't hardly refuse him, seen as they weren't the kinds what could blend in and live round here, but they told him outright they didn't have no money, bein' from some other place and all. So they struck him a bargain, whilst I listened from behind the big hay barrels out in the barn. They told him, quiet like, that if he wanted payment all he'd have to do was get the next spaceship that went zoomin' by and ask them for the money, and they'd oblige to pay him if they could.'

'Pappy saw that it warn't no use to argue, so he asks them how he catches a flying ship, and durned if they don't tell him."

"They told him how to catch one?"

"Sure did, sonny boy, and me listenin the whole time. And I'm tellin ye, taint no easy task. Ye sure you up to huntin down them that took your sister? I never did try to catch another ship, and neither did pappy, s'far as I c'n tell."

"I'm sure," Fox said solemnly. "How do you do it?"

"First of all." He leaned in further and whispered. "Ye hafta make a big circle in a wheat field, like they do over England way. Then, ye takes a big flare and ye wait until they come. But ye gotta call them, see, so they know where to look for ye."

"How do you call them?"

"I'll show you." He stood and dropped some money on the table to pay for lunch. Fox took out his wallet, but he waved it aside. "On me, son. Ye come on back to the store and I'll show you somethin."

At that moment a familiar face looked in the little restaurant and glanced around. Finally a man came in, and stood, hands on hips, in front of Fox.

"Fox, I told you to be home half an hour ago. Where have you been?"

Fox checked his watch and winced. "Sorry, dad, I-"

"If ye'll excuse the boy, Mr. Mulder, he was keepin me comp'ny whilst I ate." Dusty tilted his head at Bill. "He didn't mean no harm, just got caught by an old man with lots o' stories to tell. I'll see ye tomorrow, Fox, and we'll talk s'more."

"Yes, Mr. Dusty."

"Just plain Dusty'll do fine, son." And he brushed past the older Mulder on his way out.

"Sorry, dad, I lost track of time."

"See that it doesn't happen again, Fox. I don't like that man. People around here say he's crazy. If he tries anything, you tell me, hear me?" he put his hand on Fox's shoulders for emphasis. "Let's go home, you can help me paint the new house."


June 11, 1975

"Mr. Dusty?" Fox called out into the empty bookstore. "Mr. Dusty?"

"Come on in, Fox, and sit yerself down back here!" Dusty's voice echoed back to him. "I got something interestin to show ye."

Fox took a seat at the counter in the back of the bookstore and waited. After a few minutes Dusty emerged, a yellowing bit of paper in his hands.

"Now." He set it down in front of the boy. Fox examined it closely, but as far as he could tell it was just a jumble of technical notes. He regretted not having taken shop in school last year.

"This here's the design for the little device that's gonna call up some aliens for ye." Dusty poked the paper for emphasis. "All y'got to do is build this thingamabob here and set it on, and f'it works, y'got yerself an alien."

Fox cocked his head and started to memorize the designs. It called, apparently, for a telephone receiver, five AA batteries, wires all over, a few bits of strategically placed plastic, two 8-track cassettes, an old umbrella handle, and a short-wave radio. He sighed.

"Mr. Dusty, how am I gonna find all this?"

"Now, son, that's yer business. I got the wires, but as fer all those other do-hickeys...yer on yer own. Now, you take this home, and don't show it to that father of yers, or he'll think yer crazy."

"Yessir." He folded the paper carefully and tucked it into the pocket of his windbreaker, along with the wires Dusty provided. *I didn't think aliens even _used_ 8-track players. And did telephones exist back then?*


By that afternoon he'd managed to find the batteries and the umbrella handle. He didn't have enough money to buy two 8-track tapes, but he did manage to find his father's old radio, which seemed to work reasonably well.

He spread the designs out in his new room, and set to work. He had to stop to help his father cook dinner(That was going to take some getting used to; his dad wasn't really much of a cook.), but afterwards he went back upstairs to his room, assuring his dad he'd be down to watch the late show with him.

He puzzled over the weird handwriting, and had some trouble deciphering it, but he followed the directions he could, and hoped for the best. He'd cannibalize one of the phones tomorrow and get the receiver. His dad wouldn't miss it.

When ten-o'clock rolled around he covered the whole thing in a box and shoved it into his closet where the rest of the packing boxes were. His dad was already asleep on the recently-purchased couch, and Fox switched off the television before going back upstairs and to bed.


June 12, 1975

He was awakened the next morning by a banging above his head; his dad must be up on the roof, fixing the shingles. Whoopee.

He fixed himself some Cheerios and went back to puzzling over how to get the rest of the materials. There wasn't any shortage of plastic around the house, but the 8-tracks still posed a problem. There must be a store in town that sold them cheap, somewhere.

Meanwhile, the rest of the device was coming together. Back in his room, despite his dad's hammering, It was taking shape. The wires tied the umbrella handle to the radio antenna, which in turn was connected to the phone receiver. The plastic was set in grooves in a base sheet of cardboard (He hoped it wouldn't catch fire if the thing overheated) and lined with wires, which led to the batteries. It looked...alien.

The spaces between the sheets of plastic was where the 8-tracks, the main source of power(He supposed) were supposed to fit, over the wires.

He let his dad know he was going back into town and strolled down the dirt road. His first stop would be the bookstore, to see if Dusty might know where he could get some tapes.

Dusty, apparently, didn't even know what they *were*; he tried the general store, and a few other places.

He was getting really tired of this little town.

Finally, by accident, he ran into a teenager outside of the cafe, who was willing to lend him some tapes.

Unfortunately, Dillon's tastes in music left a little to be desired. Fox finally found himself walking home with a brightly colored Pink Floyd tape in one hand and a Jimi Hendrix recording in the other.

Jeez, the things he'd do to find his sister.


When he got home he was dismayed to find his house full of people; apparently the Tisbury welcoming committee had decided it was time they got to know their new neighbors. About ten women descended on the house with pies and salads, all running around the kitchen and...he would have said clucking...

He scrambled up the stairs and dropped the tapes in The Box before going to the landing to watch curiously. They were *loud*.

One woman ventured out into the hallway for a moment, noticed his perch, and let out a quiet shriek. "Mr. Mulder! You didn't tell us about your son!"

*Oh no, please don't no please-*

It was no use, the entire committee rushed up the stairs and brought him down, exclaiming about how 'cute' and 'handsome' he was. He noticed his father tilt his head in the background, and understood the order: *Humor them. Or else.*

One woman pinched his cheek, and he considered risking his father's wrath. Another handed him a slice of pie, and he decided against it.

"What's your name, sweetie?" she asked as he took a bite of the pie.

"Fox," he replied. They laughed.

"Come on, hon, what's your name?"

"That *is* his name." Bill spoke up. They stopped laughing.

"Oh." One woman said, and then they were back in the kitchen, leaving the two Mulders to mentally compare notes on the intelligence of moving to a small town.

Was it really worth the pie?


The ladies were finally gone, though Fox had the feeling that he hadn't seen the last of some of them. His father was handsome, well off, and recently single. No, that wouldn't be the last time Fox saw them.

He went back to working on his machine the next morning, putting the finishing touches on it. The tapes slid in snugly, so he figured he'd done that part right, at any rate. He decided to invite Dusty along that evening when he went out. The Thing resided, for now, in a box near the door, along with some of his models and a few books.

He picked it up and yelled to his dad that he had some books he wanted to show Dusty, he'd be back in a little while. His father yelled back to avoid Miss Hewitt at any cost, that woman was murder. Fox thought that was the one who'd pinched him on the cheek.

"Well, ifn it ain't Fox." Dusty wiped the ink smudges off his fingers as Fox came in. "Ye finish your contraption yet?"

"I'm gonna try it out tonight." Fox whispered. "Do you want to come along? I still need the flares, and I don't know if I can make a circle on my own."

Dusty eyed the Thing in the box and nodded sagely. "Looks like a proper-type do-hickey to me, sonny. I'll meet ye in th' grass field at th'school, eight o'clock. Ye be good, now, hear?"

Knowing the Thing was safe with Dusty, Fox spent the rest of the day waiting impatiently and hiding from the various town women, almost successfully. They caught him at lunch.

As Dusty would say...durn it.

Miss Hewitt and Miss Beal caught up with him and proceeded to tell him how handsome he was for the rest of the afternoon, taking him around to the shops and showing him all the sights of Tisbury, which he'd already seen, anyway. He figured he better not mouth off, though, or his dad might make good on his threat from the day before. His dad was right about one thing, at least-Miss Hewitt was most definitely murder.


He didn't tell his father he was going out, Bill Mulder also being preoccupied with escaping the lady brigade. But at eight sharp he was at the overgrown grass field behind the local school. Dusty met him there, box in hand.

As soon as it was dark, they set to making the circles with an old two-by-four, and setting up the flares. Fox carefully unpacked the Thing and set the wiring up, setting the 8-tracks aside until they were needed.

Dusty was exhausted from the circlemaking, and walked over to sit under the overhang of the school. Fox waiting, kneeling in the grass.

Ten minutes passed.

Twenty minutes passed.

Fox realized the old man must have fallen asleep, and decided to go through it without him. He slid the 8-tracks into their slots and twisted the wires between the radio and the batteries together.

Noises began to emerge from the phone reciever.

He cautiously picked it up and was rewarded with the sounds of the two tapes playing an odd duet. He turned the radio knob and tried to receive something.

"Hello? What the hell?" a voice came over the line. "Hello?"

"Hello? Is someone there?" Fox said back.

"Yes, someone is here." The voice sounded annoyed. "Could you turn the music off? You're jamming our airways."

"Nope, it's part of the energy source."

"The what?"

"You designed it, don't ask me how it works."

"Hey..." he heard a crackle and the voice said something in the background. "Hey kid, how old are you?"

"Almost fourteen. How old are you?"

The voice chuckled. In the background, Jimi and Pink kept battling.

"What d'you want, kid?"

"I want to talk to you. Can you see us from where you are?" Fox was getting excited. He did it!

"Well, no, but I'll check again." The...whatever it was sounded like it was trying hard not to laugh. "Can you give us a general local?"

"West Tisbury, Massachusetts. Martha's Vineyard?"

"Oh, yeah, we're near there. Hang on." There was a short pause. "You wouldn't happen to be sitting in a field surrounded by flares, would you?"

"No kiddin! Yeah, I'm right here." He looked up and waved at the bright arrow of lights that suddenly appeared. "Can you land?"

"Sorry, kid, goverment orders. What was it you wanted?" Fox's eyes widened when he heard that and he muttered "The government."

"Excuse me?"

"I want to get my sister back. Do you have her?"

There was another crackle of static, and he thought he heard the voice say "-load of this."

"Pardon me?"

"Sorry, kid, we don't have your sister, but we'll find out who does. What's your name?"

"Fox Mulder."

"Oh." silence. Jimi Hendrix was yelling. He could have sworn he heard "Mulder kidnapping." Before the voice came on clearly again. "Kid, we don't know if there's anything we can do about that. Is there anything else you need?"

"Well...Mr. Dustin says you own his pappy for ship repairs."

"Oh we do, do we?" someone chuckled. "Keep an eye out for a package, kid. It should be falling right about...now. We've gotta run, see you in the stars!"

"Bye!" Fox said sadly. Darn, they didn't have his sister either. Maybe they'd keep an eye out for her.

A package the size of a shoe-box fell down and hit the ground a few feet away. He crawled over and opened it up. Inside was a ten dollar bill and two quarters. Odd enough, there was a US Air Force patch on the parachute.


Pilot Drury Ericson grinned as he turned his airplaine back towards base. "Whaddaya make of that, Issac?"

His copilot snorted. "That's one bright boy, tell you that much. Not many boys his age can build radios, let alone break in like he did."

"True. Poor kid, I read about him in the papers awhile back. I wonder what he meant by 'did we have her' and 'we designed it'? And howinhell did we start picking up Pink Floyd?"

"Mysteries never to be answered, Drury. And hey, why'd you give him ten bucks?"

"Said we owed some guy for ship repairs. Figured I'd make his day. Besides, makes for a good story when we get back to the barracks. The first Stealth bomber test flight ever and some kid in West Tisbury gets them on a makeshift short-wave radio."

END


Author's End Notes:

This was just a silly half-spoof, half-story, all-crazy. I got the idea from Aviva Roller (Many, many thankful nods in your direction, Aviva.) and jotted it down. It's a conspiracy, folks. Speaking of which, everyone, that little conspiracy theory Mulder expresses at the beginning is out of mine own head, discovered after many trying hours spent on the none-too-clean floor of the bookstore in the New Age section. It's invariable...go see for yourself. I have to bring the truth to light!

I don't know if West Tisbury is a small town or not but I made it one to suit my purposes. Also, for those of you who relish hearing about Bill beating Fox, move along, this here's a kinder, gentler Bill, sort of. A certain amount of strictness and some threats is all. I can't believe that Fox was beaten as badly as some stories show, or he wouldn't have tried to hug his father in Colony, or even have gone up there in the first place. It doesn't click. Question for the day:Why was 'Samantha' at West Tisbury when she 'came back' in Colony? You'd think she'd go to Chilmark first. Just some food for thought after I watched it a few times. That should have made *someone* suspicious, paranoid family that they are.

Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking? -Lily Tomlin

So what happens to young Fox? Will his dad find out where he was? Is Dusty a fake or just insane? What will become of Drury and Issac? And, most importantly, will they escape the Lady Brigade? Only...The Shadow Knows.<ahahahahahahahahahaha!> 8-@ And you might, too, if I ever get around to writing a sequel.

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