The Cycle of Axer Carrick
Part III -- Frostmelt
by Henry Wyckoff

Chapter 12

Scully was at home, sipping broth through a straw. The blow to the jaw was a lot worse than the doctors had thought, and they had given her two weeks until she could use her jaw again. In the meantime, it was so immobilized that she couldn't even budge it.

Although her jaw still hurt, Scully knew that it could have been much worse. The rampaging maniac who took the spear was all over the news. He had killed several people for no reason at all, caused a string of severe traffic accidents, and robbed a McDonalds.

Through the side of her eye, she saw another news report on the McDonalds incident -- the police didn't know whether to laugh at the absurdity of it all, cheer at the fact that a gang kid was viciously killed in the attempt to steal a car (the impression she got was, "Thank God another *gang kid* got what was coming to him!"), or get serious because an innocent man was murdered.

Some of the security tapes were aired so that the public would know who to watch for. Chills went down her spine as she saw the freakish lunatic switch back and forth between howling barbarism and English courtesy. The scene where he patted the cashier on the head and pinched her cheek had Scully fighting the snickers, even though she knew he might have spun around and killed her right after.

It was by sheer luck that she saw the young man in the business suit discreetly following the murderer. He was on the video for only a second, but his actions were clear.

Scully hobbled over to her computer and logged onto her e-mail account. Within moments, she had a message sent to some of Mulder's friends...

* *

...There was genuine laughter as the e-mail was received.

"Does she think we're idiots?" asked Byers. He scratched his beard in irritation.

More laughter.

* * *

Nick was at his desk, going over his reports, when he heard a commotion. Looking up, he saw several riot cops trying to keep hold of a wild, struggling man. Surprisingly enough, he didn't have any handcuffs on him.

For a brief moment, the man's eye caught his, and a< brief flash of memories hit Nick. They were of a vicious war, where Krycek was being speared by the man -- with the spear from the church. He looked to a sixth man behind the main group, and saw that very spear, covered with dried blood.

The lunatic threw three of the men away with one motion and slammed the heads of the other two into the ground. A sixth, who had kept the spear, was too startled to do anything. The lunatic grabbed the spear from his hands and gutted him.

Nick intervened before any more damage could be done, and he looked into the man's eye once more as he held the spear immobile, his hands over the other man's hands.

"It's a wonderful *day* in the neighborhood!" grinned the maniac.

Nick wasn't having a good night to begin with, so he head-butted the maniac in the face, slamming him into the wall. The guy grabbed the spear and ran through the room, flapping his arms and screaming, "Fly! -- and be freeeee....."

He jumped through a window, which shattered into a million bits and pieces. A moment later, a loud thump was heard accompanied by a faint "Ouch!", followed by a softer thump. Then silence.

By now, Captain Reece had emerged on the scene. "What the hell is going on?"

"You don't want to know," said Nick. "This is going to be one of those nights..."

* * *

Scully was visited by the Lone Gunmen, who still wore smirks on their faces.

"Thanks for the e-mail," smiled Byers. "It was *very* helpful!"

"Leave her alone!" snapped Frohike, guzzling a bottle of scotch. "She thought she was helping you!"

Byers shrugged. "It doesn't matter much anyway -- we would have come to you, since Mulder is probably past Quebec by now."

Scully wanted to say a dozen things by now, but all she could do was make whining noises. Frohike looked at Byers. "Why don't you start from the beginning?"

"OK." Scully seemed to calm down and Byers began. "We noticed that man long before you did, and we already did a check on him. On the surface, he looks like some promising kid who just got a job in economic research. Search all you want, and that's all you're ever going to find.

"However, if you blow up the McDonalds security video, you'll see something interesting." Scully was given a picture of an unusual tattoo on the man's left wrist, blurred a great deal from the blow up. "We looked around everywhere, and while we could find historical references, nobody seems to know what it means or signifies."

Frohike jumped in. "Tell her about the lunatic."

He nodded. "Take a look at him, and you'll find that he's full of enough bullet holes to have killed ten men. The blood is real -- at least by looking at the video -- and it's pretty obvious that the bits of skin we see are real. If this is stage work, I'd hire the man responsible in a moment!"

Scully was nearing her snapping point. She stomped over to her computer, and typed, %%Don't you think I already know all that?! _I_ was the one who filled him full of bullets!%% They all looked at one another with startled looks. %%The only thing I needed to know was who the man is. You may not know anything about him, but that's easily fixed!%%

* * *

Odin slowly moved his hands, flexing them. There were the occasional pops and cracks, but they soon stopped. He slowly stood up, and smiled as he felt his body come back to life.

//Food...// he thought to himself, looking around as he picked up the spear. //It's a cop station, so there should be something nearby.// He shuddered, //But no doughnuts and coffee!//

When Nick and a few other cops made it to where Odin's body had fallen, they discovered only a pool of blood. "Damn!" swore Nick. He looked at the other cops, "Split up and fan out -- he can't have gotten too far. He might be on some kind of drug, so don't expect him to be cooperative!"

He sent them away not only to make the search more efficient, but so that he could also use some of his "other" abilities. He flew up, listening for any sounds and scanning around for movement. All he heard or saw were the signs of policemen, making a lot of clatter.

Just when he thought he'd lost the guy, he heard the shatter of glass, then saw a sports car take off. He followed it.

* * *

Skinner looked at the report that had come in through the fax. It was the crazed freak, and he had surfaced in Toronto. He had caused a major disturbance on a flight from D.C. to Toronto -- he had somehow clawed his way into the passenger compartments from the cargo hold and grabbed all the cinnamon rolls and coffee he could find, using his spear as the only weapon.

The pilots had no trouble calling for help -- the maniac grabbed the radio and said, "Hello Toronto, this is Odin, your hijacker speaking. My demands are simple: I want two pizzas and fifty pounds of Big Macs waiting for me when we reach the airport. I won't threaten to kill the passengers, but if my demands are not met, I'll threaten them with... a gringo's attempt to read a French translation of the Bible!"

It was reported that there was a moment of stunned silence followed by a sharp reply, "Stop clowning around! This is an emergency channel!"

Odin replied, "I can live with that -- would you prefer it if I killed half the passengers now, and killed the other half when we get there, or should I kill them all now?"

That got their attention. Surprisingly enough, all he had done was order the stewardesses to tie up every passenger and fix their socks under their noses.

Odin had reportedly said the whole time, while scarfing down whole wheat crackers and guzzling coffee, "I'm killin' 'em! Yeah, I'm really killin' 'em!"

When the plane landed, the police were greeted by a bizarre spectacle that they would never forget or see again -- the stewardesses forcing the passengers to sing "Row Row Row Your Boat" and make rowing motions with whatever luggage they'd brought with them. They were using their belts as whips to encourage the passengers into keeping the pace.

Odin was beating an empty coffee can -- apparently setting the pace. A walkman was in his ears, playing full blast -- and so he was caught by surprise and apprehended at that moment.

The problem now was that he'd escaped from the police building by jumping out the window, flapping his arms, and screaming, "Fly, and be free!" His body wasn't found when the policemen reached the spot where it had lain only a few moments before.

Skinner had a good idea what that meant. His head fell into his hands, his fingers clawing into his eyes. //Why me?! Why Toronto?//

The door to his office opened, and Powys walked in. His grin was no longer impudent as he took a seat. "We have to talk."

"I'd say!! Do you have any idea what's been happening these last few days?" Powys just looked at him with a level gaze. Skinner cleared his throat with a look of embarrassment. "Well, read this report I just got from Toronto."

Powys read the report, and tried to keep from laughing. "I hate to tell you, but this lunatic is one of our most dangerous threats -- because he's so unpredictable. He's Odin the Mad."

"Now, take a step back. I remember the Odinssons, but are you telling me that their god truly exists?"

Powys' look was pained. "We don't really have all that much time to argue. You're going to have to choose your side, and come along right now. I'll be happy to tell you all you need to know on our way up."

"What do you mean, 'choose your side?'"

"There's a war coming up, and the stakes are higher than anything imaginable. Let me say for now that the Invisible Ones have set the stage, but for now they're sitting back themselves, only taking steps to make sure that they're not directly involved. Odin *is* directly involved, and he's the one we need to worry about."

"What threat can one man be to the world?"

"Obviously you're concerned, so I see you've chosen your side. So come on! We can talk about the rest later."

"I don't even know what you're talking about!"

"That's OK. -- I do, and that's all we need for now."

Skinner grimaced, slammed the table with both of his hands, and nearly howled with frustration. "Damn it! I just want you to know I'm doing this against my better judgment!"

Powys frowned, "So am I. I have Frohike watching over Scully."

Skinner jolted in shock. "WHAT??!"

"Hey, take it easy -- she has a nasty slap. I was worrying about Frohike!"

* * *

Mulder was driving now -- if the two hours spent learning how to drive the truck were ignored. Sharpe, a man who had been through countless battles and survived the rack, was clutching the seat so hard that his knuckles were white.

Mulder, of course, was grinning like a fool and changing the gears like crazy.

Sharpe spoke through the intercom. "Anybody feel like

There was an emphatic "NO!!" from the other end.

Sharpe sulked, and found his foot reflexively slamming on the brake -- only there was no brake. Mulder made a sharp turn that almost turned the thing over, and Sharpe's guts almost did a pretzel-knot.

"Why don't you let me drive?" whined Sharpe.

"You've been driving for too long! Besides... I *like* this!" His eyes lit up like he'd been given a new toy for Christmas.

Sharpe was given his reprieve when he saw the faint blue of the ocean approaching. "Enjoy your fun. We'll have to switch to a boat soon."

Mulder nodded. "Do you have a boat reserved?"

"No. I didn't want to alertanyone to our presence any more than we have already."

He shrugged. "I imagine we're going to have a hard time. It might even be impossible."

"What do you mean? We have enough money!"

Mulder shook his head, and nearly sent the truck into a ditch. He did send Sharpe into a brief series of convulsions and stuttering. "Take a look at the weather. I've been up this far north enough times to see a storm coming. My guess is that we'll have a month-long storm with winds strong enough to rip a tree out of the ground."

"You're not serious!"

Mulder grinned slowly, like a lunatic. "What do you think?"

Sharpe banged his head into the paneling.

Mulder handed him a paper bag, "Give this a try."

* * * *

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