Title: Croatoan
Author: Beautiful Evidence
Author's Page: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/513993/
Completed: 07/28/2005
Category: X-Files
Genre: Mystery/Romance
Words: 4752
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Momento Mori, Redux 1&2
Disclaimer: X-Files mine? Nope.

Summary: There was something on the island, always lurking, always hunting for its next victim. Whether it was a spirit from the Lost Colony or simply another addition to the government's Conspiracy, even Scully wouldn't deny it's existence on Roanoke Island.

Summary: There was something on the island, always lurking, always hunting for its next victim. Whether it was a spirit from the Lost Colony or simply another addition to the government's Conspiracy, even Scully wouldn't deny it's existence on Roanoke Island.

A/N: One of my favorite parts of the X-Files is the wacky and elaborate cases the writers have managed to put together using a trail of supernatural, paranormal, or all around scientific clues. I hope my writing reflects a little bit of my interest. And if you sense a hint of Lost, yes...I am fan.

A/N2: I always like to make previews for my stories, so I sort have something climatic to work with as I write. Also, being a new X-File writer, I guess this is in a way an introduction to my writing style. I'd love to hear some thoughts on this, even though it's rather short. Feedback ismuch more than welcome! I'm very accepting to constructive cricitism expecially. Want to flame me? Lol, go ahead. I'll just ignore you. :)

Preview...taken from the chapter The Truth

Mulder scrambled through the forest floor, his skin and clothing soaked with mud, his face drenched with fear. Out of nowhere a root would jut out of the ground and take him off guard, throwing his body to the ground he'd already been well acquainted with countless times that night. The canopy of trees was momentarily protecting him from the rainfall. But where they didn't succeed with helping him they failed, making every step in darkness what seemed to be a never ending trudge through an exotic forest so far from home yet, geographically, so close.

Animals shrieked and bawled all around him. Movement in the trees above or perhaps in the undergrowth near his footing would interrupt his desperate hike. He'd dart his green eyes through the thick nighttime just as an impulsive act of identifying the additional creature as friend or foe. Or human, for that matter.

His legs were sore from the strenuous journey, his ankles weak. And as a result, every step would send a pulsating pain through his limbs...an attempt to disable his motor functions, Mulder thought grimly. Over the past week on such an incomprehensible...such an inexplicable island, one thing had been made well apparent.

Someone didn't want them here...someone or something...and yet this being was doing everything its power to prohibit them from leaving the island.

Another root appeared almost out of nowhere, and Mulder was sent face-first to the muddy floor. An insect much larger than something he would have seen in D.C. slithered past his face and he let out a cry. But his cry was muffled by the ground. Inwardly he cursed, feeling guilt for the position he'd put Scully and himself in; and not just the two of them but also the innocent lives that had already been lost by such a reckless force let loose on the island.

Mulder sobbed into the forest floor. He refused to believe the truth, but somehow he knew that there was no other possible scenario. Maybe it was too late.

His fists pounded the ground with such strength that, if fully alert, he may have sworn that the ground itself shook with tremors and repercussions of his own emotional status. Or were those slightly imaged tremors merely another addition of the island's unrelenting anger? The island was an oddity in itself, so why wouldn't it be possible?

There was no presence of reassurance left. Mulder lifted his head in agony and gaped at the sky masked with trees, yearning...longing...to see the stars, just so he could find one last tinge of comfort in hoping that Scully was looking at the same stars. But instead something on the ground in front of him, not even a hundred feet away, caught his attention. It gleamed and glistened, sharing the same luminance as a star. In fact, the hope it brought to a despondent heart gave him a form of comfort...comfort in knowing something actual...something real...something accurate for once.

As he stared wide-eyed in front of him, his jaw dropped and whole body frozen, Mulder finally knew the truth about Roanoke, Virginia, and accepted it for what it really was.

Prologue...Lock In

December 1997
9:32 PM
Washington D.C.

"Okay. Let's get this show on the road!"

Three sets of van doors swung open in unison. SWAT teams piled out, their black, heavy-duty boots landing with a splash on the concrete. The drizzle in the air was left over from the thunderstorm they had waited off for the past half hour. Taking position, the tactical unit knelt behind the curbing with their machine guns aiming towards the deserted factory.

Agent Henry Garrison jumped from the passenger's seat of one of the vans. Just like the team, his attire consisted of all-black warfare uniform, weaponry, and a face mask that concealed everything except the eyes, mouth, and nostrils. The uniforms were a regulation needed to be met on such a Search and Rescue operation, but Garrison had to admit...regulation or not, they looked pretty damn cool; and black combat suits on a stormy day like this was pretty much the subtlety they needed.

As he knelt behind his units, Garrison ran over the well-rehearsed plan through the GPS transmitter.

"Ben, you copy?"

There was some crackling on the other end, and Garrison pressed the ear piece harder against his ear.

Finally: "Ramer. I copy. What's up?"

"We're going to operate this as smoothly as possible. Keep check on all our main guys. Once we bust in, I'm gonna take Miller and Liason with me in a semi-circle dragnet on the upper level. Since you're the man running behind the scenes, make sure Matthews, Collins, and Chase split ten degrees on ground level. I'm gonna need SWAT to deputize as backup if needed. Or else,"...Garrison paused..."fire when ordered. You copy?"

"10-4," came the distant answer.

"Okay. You mind putting me online now?" Garrison asked.

Ben Ramer, who sat inside one of the black vans, multiple computer screens radiating in his face, took a breath. "Sure thing." There was a moment of nothing but consistent static. Then: "Okay, buddy. You're hooked up to your MP agents. And the feed's being transmitted...live...back to HQ," Ben explained over the modulator.

"Alright. Agents, quick sound check," Garrison spoke into the mouthpiece as he wobbled close to the ground, nearing the entrance to the building. "Liason?"

"Check, Garry."

"Great. Miller Light?" There was no reply. Garrison grew impatient. "Miller, get your ass out of the clouds or somebody fix his feed."

Ben's voice came over the line. "I'm on it, Garry."

"How about you other three? Matt...you there, buddy?" Garrison continued.

"No way in hell I wouldn't be," came the abrupt answer, causing Garrison to smile with reassurance that this mission was going to be...for once...successful.

"Don't forget about me, Henry. You know I wouldn't miss out on this either," a new voice said. It was "D" Collins. Or Dave, depending on who addressed him. But in this case...and just how it was with the other MP agents...Garry had given them all suitable nicknames.

Garrison tensed. "Well, I guess the only ones I'm waiting on are Chase and Mills." Have we got okay feeds on both of them, Ben?"

But before Ramer could reply, a new and exhilarated voice came online. "Hey, don't give up on the Chaser, man. I wouldn't wimp out, and I'm sure as hell that the Miller Light wouldn't either," Jesse Chase said over the modulator.

"Cool, guys. Cool. Alright, Rames. You getting anything on Miller?" Garrison asked, pressing the ear piece closer to his ear, attempting to hear over the splattering of drizzle-turned-downpour.

Ben answered, "The GPS isn't picking up a thing. I'll try re-coding his system."

"If we don't have feedback from Miller in two, I want Chaser to team up with Liason on ground level," Garrison said, his voice now serious. "We never go alone, got that?"

"10-4, Garry," Chase replied.

Then Nick Liason answered, "Copy that."

Henry sighed and loosened, though his muscles were still a little tense from the anticipation. But whose wouldn't right before the lock in of a kidnapper-cum-serial? "Okay, Ben. I need a final report."

"No stat, Garrison, nothing. Sorry, man," Ramer said with a sigh of disappointment. He and Garry were buddies, so this mission meant just as much to him.

"Well, we can't wait off any longer. Boys, you ready?" he asked over the speaker.

Wherever each of the agents were, they made a silent reply to Garrison. As part of the missing persons department, they had all encountered cases much like this one...adrenaline pumping, anticipation climaxing just at the thought of bringing one more family good news that their loved one has been found dead or alive. Alive hopefully, but the real thrill was the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

"Ben, alert SWAT that we're moving in. Let's go!"

With that, Garrison took the lead, standing from his crouching position near the entrance of the factory. He drew his weapon...a puny 9mm in comparison to the Tommy guns the bad-ass tactical unit used...and nodded to Collins when his stalky figure appeared on the opposite of the doorway. In one competent movement, Garrison had kicked down the doorway. He and Collins bolted in, followed closely by Matthews, Liason and Chase entering moments later.

"Federal agents!" Garrison hollered. "We're armed!"

There was some clutter heard from the second level, and with the usage of a brisk hand movement, Garrison signaled his unit towards the stairs.

"Unit 2 enter and separate at 10. Copy that?" he nearly whispered into his mike.

Liason replied with a "copy that," leading the way into the building. The Chaser separated from him and headed towards his two o' clock while Garrison's unit carefully climbed the stairs. Liason tiptoed towards his ten o' clock. Every agent moved with caution, knowing that one wrong move could blow the whole operation; if their suspect really was here they had a damn good chance of finding him. Over thirty men surrounding the building. Six federal agents within the building...seven probably, but Miller was still AWOL.

Adrenaline coursed through Garrison's veins. Over the past couple weeks they had never been this close. And now, here they were, possibly a hundred feet or so from their suspect. But there was still that possibility and no actuality.

Suddenly, inside of the van, Ben froze. "Garry, I'm picking something...explos " Explosives!

"What, Ramer? You're cutting out on me." Garrison said quietly. He adjusted his modular transmitter, a confused look crossing over his face. He knew Ben, and he knew that Ben would never interrupt such a crucial operation unless it was a downright emergency.

"Explo...Garry .!" Ben's distant voice sputtered, staccato and unclear from the sudden surge of static. "Rad tive !" Radioactive!

Garrison shook his head and tried to focus. They were performing a lock in here.

As he stepped foot on the second level something caught his attention. It was an obscure body darting into the shadows for cover. He stiffened. His finger immediately moved to the trigger of his gun, ready to fire whenever he felt his life in danger. He could sense that Collins and Matthews had seen what he had, because they fell into a step behind him...one on either side...each taking on an inquisitive stride. What now, Garry?

"Alert...units, we have suspect. Going in for lock down. Unit 1, move in at 4."

Collins nodded. Matthews made a hand gesture. The two of them did exactly what Garrison had said: Collins approached at his 9 o' clock; Matthew approached at his 3 o' clock; and Garry moved forward.

Just as the shadows flinched before them, their ear pieces quivered within their ears. Ben shouted: "We've got explosives...radioactive explosives!" A shocked expression overloaded each of their faces at this sudden stat. "Get the hell outta there!"

"Damnit," Collins breathed.

But Garry paid no attention to the striking news. Instead, he kept his hands steady upon the gun, aiming at the shadows with no target besides an obscure figure that disappeared into the indicated direction a few moments ago.

"I repeat...we have a progressing 224 ready to blow! All SWAT units return to vans! MP units .evacuate!" Ramer continued to shout out orders, watching with dismay the GPS system as Garrison stayed stationary. "Garrison, what the hell are you doing?" he asked, not really intended to be aloud, and especially not online.

Garrison paused, squinting into the darkness. "I think I've got him " With every step he took, his finger squeezed a little harder on the trigger. Thank God he didn't have a hair-trigger, or whoever lurked in the shadows would have already had a 9mm slug in their gut.

"F.B.I.! I'm armed! Show yourself!" he ordered with a voice that said no sympathy.

"Garrison, c'mon!" Collins called over his shoulder, he and Matt already making their way to the stairs they had accessed coming up. "Just leave him; he's gonna blow anyways."

Then Ben, who still stared in disbelief at the computer monitor, screamed into his mike: "I'm getting a reading! This building's gonna blow in T-minus 30 seconds!"

Garrison took one last squint into the darkness and saw nothing. The urge to search more thoroughly flushed over him, but Ben's words were suddenly beginning to register within his mind: he had less than thirty seconds to evacuate.

On ground level of the old factory building Chase and Liason were already making a mad dash out of the doors. Matthews and Collins raced down the stairway, both glancing over their shoulders with crossed fingers that they'd find Garrison frantically trying to keep up and if they didn't, they'd have to agree to go back and drag him out of the place. Thank God he was just racing down the staircase, his eyes darting back and forth from his footing to the shadows he left behind.

The desperate run towards the door seemed like slow motion, which gave Garry enough time to ponder everything settling upon his mind.

Had this whole project been a setup? Were they had...framed...by whoever they were working against to begin with? Was whoever he saw behind it all and simply one of those suicide bombers, only his attack not by plane?

Had the suspect outsmarted him?

Garrison figured his thinking must have slowed him down, because Matthews was suddenly grabbing his hand and jerking his entire body forward to give him an extra boost towards the squad car. Sheriff Willis Sanders sat anxiously in the driver's seat, gesturing towards them with the expression on his face.

T-12 seconds. Does that mean nothing to you feds?

The three of them hopped into the squad car...scramblers blaring. Garrison slammed the door and turned his head just in time to see his two other agents slamming the doors to a squad car parked along side of them. The two cars tore off down the alley. A sudden rumble seemed to commence within the core of the factory, growing until red and orange flames burst into the air. Heat scoured the earth within a half-mile radius, radiation pouring out at least a hundred yards.

As he shifted in the backseat of the squad car, his eyes attempting to gather the whole sight, a sudden question entered Garrison's mind, which was already in the red...and Garry's stomach sunk.

Where was Agent Maxx Miller?

One Month Earlier

November, 1997, 5:38 AM
J. Edgar Hoover Building, D.C.

Scully yawned and stepped out of her car, hoping that one more glance at her watch would prove her crazy for coming into work at this time of the morning. She just crossed her fingers that this time the case would be at least worthwhile her and Mulder's time. Maybe it would even be the career booster that both of them needed to help their reputation. A high profiler? A serial killer case from violent crimes?

Something not extraterrestrial?

She entered into HQ and approached the elevator. The hallways seemed dead. She would've thought these parts of the J. Edgar Hoover building would've been a little more bustling with executives and directors...the "important" people. Scully shrugged it off and stepped into the elevator, selecting the lowest digit there was. As much of an embarrassment as it was, going down to work everyday had simply become routine.

In fact, Scully mused, this was her first day back at work since her remission of cancer. She thought back to those dark days of lying on her death bed, clinging onto her partner's hand, her mother, her brother...all of the ones important in her life. There was a time where she had wanted to die; she had assumed that cancer chose it's victims as fate. But through those last few weeks she had chosen to live. Now, a few days later, she had terminated her leave of absence and returned back to work early, a new person.

The elevator sung a high pitch note to her, and the doors parted. She straightened her suit, adjusted her badge...Special Agent Dana Scully...and made her way towards the X-File office in the basement of the J. Edgar Hoover building.

The door was open, and inside she found her partner Fox Mulder bent over, rummaging through all recorded X-files dating back to 1947. She had to smirk at his "absentminded professor" composure when a new X-file arose before him. He pulled out a manila folder and slumped down in his chair, flipping through it with an intensified look upon his face.

"Mulder," she stated and walked into the office, finding a seat across from him.

"Hi, Scully." He looked up from the folder and smiled. "Thanks for getting here so soon."

She nodded and relaxed into the chair, watching him as he read. She rose her eyebrows in expectation that he hadn't just called her here for company. "It's important to me, Scully. I need you to come right away," he'd told her over the phone.

"Mulder?" she asked.

He peered up over the manila folder. "What?"

"Have you got something or not?" she asked, tapping her finger nails loudly on the desktop.

"Yeah, actually." He slid a folder across the desk to her, and her eyes fell upon a case file that dated back 400 years old. She narrowed her eyebrows and shot him "the look." Now this was not the look of affection that she often gave him, or that look of deep trust and devotion that only partners and best friends shared, this was the look when he showed her an X-File; it was the look that told him just how much she loved and appreciated him but really, how could things get more weird?

"A 400-year-old white doe?" Scully asked with skepticism. "What happened, Mulder...the doe get abducted by extraterrestrials?"

"Do I detect a hint of mockery?" He leaned forward and smirked. "No, Scully, the doe was not abducted by extraterrestrials. This is just research for an actual case."

"And what case would that be? The case of the albino deer?" Her blue eyes narrowed on Mulder, her look of skepticism now turning into a look of fascination. She did know one thing...whether or not this case was worth their time, Mulder did have a reason for everything he did.

Almost everything.

Mulder sighed and stretched. Scully could tell he was tired, and maybe had been here all night.

"Are you familiar with Agent Henry Garrison, Scully?"

"Well..." She let her eyes scan the ceiling as she thought for a moment. "I do know that he's the best of the missing person's department...a well-known profiler. Back in the 80's he was the one responsible for the death of that serial killer Phylls, wasn't it?" Mulder nodded and she continued, "And I also know he's a running candidate for the assistant director of violent crimes."

"Yes, but you're forgetting one detail "

"Oh yeah, and you two hate each other's guts?" She kicked off her shoes and put her feet up on the desk, a little out of character for the strictly professional Dana Scully. Mulder was a bit taken back by her action, but decided to ignore it. "How could I forget that one?"

"Well, this is wannabe A.D. Garrison has a case."

Scully's eyes widened in disbelief. "For us?"

"Well, no but "

"Mulder?" she asked curiously, letting her eyes settle firmly against his hazel eyes.

"We've been asked, by A.D. Skinner, to assist Agent Garrison in a case involving some rather strange happenings. But if you ask me, we're not going to be assisting...not if Garrison has anything to do with it. We'll just be those two key figures who he gets the mythology crap from when he needs it." Mulder paused and drew in a breath, then smiled. "When the case turns weird."

"I don't believe I follow you," she said, gesturing towards the manila folder. "What does an albino doe have to do with this case?"

"If you ask Agent Garrison, nothing," Mulder replied.

"I'm not asking Agent Garrison, Mulder, I'm asking you," she stated. She grabbed another case file that he passed her and studied it intently.

"Everything then. You've never heard of the Legend of the White Doe, Scully?" He stood up and turned off the lights, flipping on the projector.

"A little. It's just an old folklore, Mulder. It's about the first American child born in the colony of Roanoke. Virginia Dare. A medicine man transformed her into a deer, right?"

"Scully," he said, "I'm impressed in your knowledge of the inexplicable. But that isn't merely half of the story." Mulder flipped to the first slide, revealing the profile of a Native American inmate, dressed in orange and holding his identity to the camera. Mulder pushed a button, and another image of the inmate popped up. "This is Jeff Kyde. The suspect in an ongoing line of missing persons' cases."

"Is he serving time right now?" Scully asked. When Mulder shook his head, she continued, "Then what was his original crime?"

"Manslaughter. I was the lead agent on this case. This was back in my days when I worked in violent crimes. I was the lead agent until someone framed me for planting evidence," Mulder explained. "Then I was taken off the case and a younger Agent Henry Garrison took over." He rubbed his chin in thought, a certain gleam in his eyes.

Scully's eyes widened. "You think Garrison had something to do with that?"

Mulder nodded. "Yes, I know he did. In fact, I opened an investigation under the consent of the deputy director. When I turned up hard evidence against Garrison and reported it to the deputy director, it seemed that the evidence had been contaminated somehow. All charges...against me and against Garrison...we're dropped. I guess you could say that ever since then we've been aloof rivalries."

"So Agent Garrison really did frame you, and he got away with it? Have you ever talked to him about this, Mulder?" Scully questioned, now rather amused.

"Yes. He refuses to admit he did it." Mulder began pacing the floor. "I had hard evidence, Scully. Hard evidence. DNA off of the envelope that once held the letter that I supposedly wrote...a deal with the suspect...and somebody contaminated the evidence!"

Scully watched as he paced back and forth. "Mulder, why don't you sit down and finish explaining this case that we don't really have a part in." She gestured towards the chair, then towards the slide. "So this Jeff. Where is he now and how is he involved with the case?"

"That case file I just handed you...you'll find the reports of three missing women, age varying, no particular motive. But they were all the type of women that weren't even considered missing until nearly a week after their disappearance. Agent Garrison recovered blood DNA from one of the women's homes and ran it through the database. Turned up as this Jeff Kyde's blood. So Garry searched the other women's homes and also found trace amounts of Jeff's blood."

"I still don't see how this ties in with the White Doe, Mulder," Scully said, a little agitated.

Mulder flipped the slide, revealing the body of a middle-aged Caucasian woman with blonde hair and attractive features. Her body showed no external injuries, except for one detail.

"Oh my god what is that?" Scully stood up from her chair and approached the screen, her focus remaining intent on a tattoo-like imprint on the woman's lower left torso. But instead of being sketched into the woman's flesh, it appeared to be burned or branded.

In the shape of a doe.

"This is the body of one Lisa Turner. She was found dead by a search and rescue team that skimmed the woods of Roanoke Island approximately twenty years ago," Mulder explained.

"Roanoke? Why the hell Roanoke Island?"

"Because years ago the lead agent on Lisa's case received an old piece of rawhide or some sort of animal skin with the figure of the white doe sketched into it. He brought it to the X-Files department, and was told about the Legend of the White Doe. Going out on a limb, the agent had Roanoke Island searched, and indeed Lisa's body did turn up. With this mark," Mulder flipped to the next slide and revealed an enlarged photo of the branded mark.

"And how does this affect us...now?"

"Because Agent Garrison received an identical item: an old piece of animal skin with the White Doe etched into it," he explained.

Scully looked at Mulder blankly. "You're not going to tell me Agent Garrison came to you about that."

"No. I guess you could say that I know some guy in violent crimes, who knows some guy in the MP department, who happens to be a friend of somebody important. Long story short, word traveled and I found out about the case and did a little researching. Now Skinner has cut a deal with the MP department to let us go along," Mulder said. He reached for his briefcase and picked it up, slinging his coat over his shoulder.

"Mulder? Go where?" Scully asked, rising out of her seat and scrambling after him, shutting the door behind her.

He turned around and smiled, nodding towards the elevator. "We leave at eight. You have a while to pack some things together."

Scully muttered something under her breath about her partner never being completely thorough. "Mulder!" she called after him. He held the elevator door while she caught up. "Where are we going?"

"God, Scully, I've always wanted to go there. Maybe we can solve the mystery of 400 years make history ourselves. Wouldn't it be great?" he asked as the elevator doors closed and they rode up.

She turned towards him and furrowed her brows. "You're not serious."

"Mmm-hmm," he said with a boyish grin. "Scully, we're going to Roanoke Island."

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