“I.....I....I love you, Barney,” Scully said, wrapping her arms around the shoulders of the obese purple lizard.
Barney patted Scully on the back. “That’s a good girl, Scully! You see, Baby Bop? I knew she’d learn to be our Special Friend.” He then slid his paw around her waist and whispered, “Come tonight you and I can play some super-dee-duper games on my waterbed, won’t that be fun, Scully?”
Baby Bop pointed at the wall clock. “So where’s BJ? BJ being late, very late! Almost fifteen minutes since he took away mean boy!”
Barney did not acknowledge the rantings of the infantile green dinosaur. Rather, he began softly nuzzling his snout tenderly against Scully’s auburn hair. “Yes, I think you and I will be very Special Friends indeed.“
Scully smiled, and ran her fingers gently under Barney’s immense chin. “I can’t wait, Barney. I just can’t wait.”
The next instant Barney felt a forceful jolt between his plush chubby thighs, as Scully rammed her knee squarely into the dinosaur’s groin. Falling back, she picked up a chair and hurled it towards Baby Bop. The little green dinosaur screamed as the front legs of the chair pierced her stomach and left arm.
“Yaauggh!” bellowed Baby Bop, “I’m hurt! Huuurrrttttt!”
Scully watched as thick green spurts of ichor squirted out from the holes, spurting against the classroom walls and some of the children. Barney lurched and wobbled clumsily across the floor, his paws wedged tightly between his legs.
“Get her, my Special Friends!” he gasped, “She mustn’t get away!”
Scully climbed to the top of a writing desk, swinging a yardstick at the encroaching horde of zombie youths. She worried that if they didn’t cease their retreat, that she would have to use excessive force against them to protect herself. Just as one of the toddlers made a futile jab at her with a stapler, a high-pitched squeal filled the room. Looking up, Scully saw Mulder enter the room followed by a cluster of filthy and deranged looking teenagers.
“There he is!” cried Pedro, shaking an emaciated finger at Barney, who had just barely picked himself off the floor, “there’s the so-called friend who locked me up for three years in that metal box!”
“Mulder, who are these people?” asked Scully, still clutching the yardstick.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls,” began Mulder, gesturing towards the bedraggled lot, “I give you the former cast members of Barney and Friends, dating all the way back to the show’s humble origins. Some of you may remember these former ‘Special Friends’: Tony. Tina. Pedro. Scott. Laurie...”
A little girl began to cry. “No! I can’t believe it! Barney, why? Why?”
“Because Barney didn’t want them to leave,” answered Mulder. “Even after they outgrew their usefulness as kid actors for his program, Barney figured they would reveal too much about him if allowed to enter the Real World once more. So desperate was his need for secrecy and acceptance, that he kept these people locked inside a metal playpen, only occasionally giving them the attention and love he once gave so freely. And this would’ve been your fate eventually.”
Barney’s face began to sag, his jaw drooping into a look of disdain and fear.
“Barney, under the jurisdiction of the FBI and our respective department, The reX-Files, I hereby order you to surrender yourself to the custody--”
Mulder felt himself flung sideways, as the green disembodied arm rose from the puddle of festering goo that used to be Baby Bop and yanked on his ankle. Scully reached under her coat and removed her gun, but she was too late. Barney had shoved a couple of children into her sights, and then used his human shields to duck out of the classroom. Before the agents could pursue him however, they were forcibly pushed aside by the pack of degenerate, teenagers from the older casts.
“Sorry,” said Tina, rolling up the sleeves to her tattered Baby Bop nightie, “but this is between him and us.”
The next second, the cursing and screaming horde of people exited the room, leaving a pack of horrified children in their wake. Many of the kids had begun to cry. In the center of the room, the syrupy remains of Baby Bop began to finally sink and trickle into the gaudy tiling.
“Mulder,” asked Scully, “what happened to BJ?”
“He had to blow off some steam,” answered Mulder, collecting a sample of the greenish fluid from the floor into a tiny bottle, “but let’s get out there and see what’s become of Barney. You kids stay right here!”
Scully and Mulder raced out into the open sports field, and saw Barney surrounded by the pack of ravenous teenagers. At first, it looked like the cherubic purple lizard had managed to charm and soothe his former child-stars, but an instant later he pulled one into his gaping jaws and began munching on the hapless victim’s body. This desperate act of defense refueled the mob’s bloodlust, which then fell upon the growling dinosaur and began hitting it with fists and rocks.
“He’s lost total control of them, Scully,” said Mulder, “having denied them any real identity or contact with negativity, they’re all on primal overload.”
Scully didn’t reply. She was mortified at the carnage the former “Special Friends” were inflicting upon Barney. And as if to only add to the bizarre spectacle, a purple shaft of light suddenly broke through the clouds above, focusing squarely on the bruised and bloodied head of the not-so-jolly dinosaur.
A gigantic, saucer-like craft emerged from the sky, painted in varying shades of green and purple. Spritely music poured out of the ship’s many valves, and in the thick glass dome of the craft, grinned and scowled a trio of purple reptiles with jagged teeth and flaring green eyes.
“Barney’s kin....they’ve come for him,” muttered Mulder, watching the beam suddenly levitate Barney off of the ground. “He was some sort of scout or agent for an invasion force.”
The crowd of angered teens weren’t sitting still for Barney’s escape. Clutching the struggling dinosaur’s feet and tail, the mob tore and bit, pulling against the gravitational rays of the spacecraft. Even from several hundred feet away, both Scully and Mulder could hear Barney’s cries of anguish.
“Nooooo! Let go of me, let go of me! I’m....I’m.......BARNEY........CAN’T TAKE.......FORCE OF PRESSURE.....MUST LET GO.....LET GO! LET GOOOOooooo............!”
The next instant, Barney was ripped in half, plump purple intestines flailing all over the field and spacecraft. His lower half became the immediate trophy of the now cheering group of former Barney devotees, while the upper half of his torso was speedily yanked into the spacecraft, spewing pinkish blood all over its surface. The craft then hastily rose into the sky and disappeared.
“What do you mean we’ve been reassigned?” cried Mulder, slamming the purple folder against Skinner’s desk. “We just cracked the Barney incident for the whole nine yards!”
Skinner looked sternly into Mulder’s eyes. “That’s the way it is. Don’t despair, Agent Mulder. You’re going back to the X-Files, same as you’ve always served. Now put all thoughts of Barney away and concentrate on this latest incident: a woman in Spokane, Washington, claims to have fathered Bigfoot with Elvis while being abducted by lesbian aliens possessed by Hitler’s brain.”
“I’m right on it,” nodded Mulder. He turned to Scully. “Let’s go.”
Scully shook her head as she followed Mulder down the hallway. “I just don’t get you,” she grumbled, “perhaps the most open and shut case...I mean, even I had to believe the details.....of our career, and you’re willing to let it drop just like that for some trailer park pipe-dream? Mulder, I can’t believe this!”
“Believe it Scully,” answered Mulder, entering their departmental car, “besides, even if you can’t accept it, there’s nothing we can do about it. The reX-Files was a temporary fixation; now that we’ve opened up something hot, the powers that be are getting cautious again. They feel safer giving us back to the X-Files and we both know it.”
Scully let loose with an exasperated sigh, and began studying the street maps of Spokane. As the car rolled out of the parking garage, she found her mind wandering. The children were connected with the mass murders of their parents, and were now in counseling; the imprisoned former Special Friends were all taken in for immediate medical and psychological care, then hired out on the talk-show circuit; and Barney, Baby Bop, and BJ were all reduced to chunky piles of ecto-plasmic goo. So why did this case feel to her that it still harbored a loose end?
The Smoking Man watched from his office while the car containing Agents Mulder and Scully drove away, soon to be flown out of the region for an extended investigation in the Pacific Northwest. He grimaced at the vehicle, its occupants responsible for the death of one of his closest confidantes. But as he reached into his lower desk drawer and removed the plush purple doll with the fuzzy green belly, he smiled; there would be another Barney to spread love and friendship in the world again soon. It was just a matter of time.
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