Chapter 7

x-x-x

The following takes place between 5:00pm and 6:00pm Pacific
Time.

x-x-x

Michelle Dressler's Cubicle
CTU 
Los Angeles, CA
5:00pm PT

Tony watched as Milo left to pick up the Landon Prince file
from the printer.  Copies would be needed for Jack, Mr.
Mulder, Dr. Scully and his own files.

"What do you think of all this?" Michelle asked.

"I don't know."

"Based on these files, I can see why the two of them think
they've earned the right to be left alone."

"If what's out there is what we think it is, no they haven't. 
Their desire to be left alone is fine, but there are people dying
who they can help."

"Dr. Scully provided the data needed by the hospital."

"Dr. Scully was forced into cooperating and she'll be forced
into cooperating here as well.  We're asking them to do their
fair share, nothing more."

Michelle picked up Fox Mulder's file.  "I think they'd argue
they've done their fair share."  

x-x-x

FBI jet
5:05pm PT

"The pilot has asked me to tell you that we're beginning our
descent into Los Angeles.  CTU will have a helicopter at the
airport waiting to transport the three of you to their offices,"
informed the attendant.  

"Thank you."  Skinner waited for the attendant to return to his
seat.  "I wish Mulder would call back with his plan."  Skinner
chuckled.  "Mulder with a plan, now that's something new."

"What do you think it is?"  Reyes still found Mulder a bit of a
mystery, even after two years of friendship and three years of
knowing Dana.

"Knowing Mulder, he'll insist Scully and William be released
and will "Red Chief" them."

"Red Chief?"  Doggett asked.

"I had him do that to several meetings and task forces years
ago."  Skinner told him.  "It's a short story, 'The Ransom of Red
Chief' by O. Henry."

Reyes smiled.  "Mulder will be such a pain in the ass they'll let
him go just to get him out of their hair."

"That he can do."  Doggett agreed.

"Meanwhile, Dana and William are safe and my guess is the
three of them disappear forever."  Skinner said.  

"I think that was always Mulder's plan.  Dana wanted some
version of a normal life for the three of them."  Monica shook
her head.  "She was happy with that normal life."

Doggett disagreed.  "She's happy with William and Mulder.  
She'll be happy with them wherever they are."

"And the UFO in the desert?"

"We can take care of it with CTU," Doggett said confidently as
he heard the landing gears lower.  "It is nice to be back in the
field again."  

x-x-x

Conference room two
CTU 
5:10pm PT 

"Who the hell did this?" The building engineer looked at the
conference room door leaning against the wall.

"I did.  You know what, I'll just write you guys a check to cover
the damage and we'll call this even."  Mulder grabbed a pen
from the conference room table and started patting his pant
pockets for his checkbook.  

"Sit down, Mr. Mulder."  Jack turned his attention to the
engineer.  "How long is it going to take to fix the door?"

The man looked at the door jamb.  "The electronics for the
security system have been totally destroyed.  I can rehang the
door in half an hour, but the security system will take two days
minimum."

Mulder started again.  "We can..."

"Please be quiet, Mr. Mulder."  

As Jack turned to talk with the engineer, Mulder wrote "Play
Along" on his left palm.  Keeping his eye on Jack, he showed
Scully his palm, tossed her the pen and tilted his head toward
Charles.

Milo walked into the room with an armful of files, giving
Scully enough time to pass Mulder's message along to her
brother.  Charles looked confused at the message but nodded in
agreement.  Scully got the pen back to Mulder just before Jack
sent Milo out of the room.

Jack looked down at the material Milo left.  "Mr. Mulder, do
you know a Dr. Landon Prince?"

"I'm bad with names." Mulder answered.

"Dr. Scully?"

"I believe he was murdered in a family planning clinic fire in
the mid 1990's."

"Dr. Dale Gayheart?  Dr. Harvey Buchanan?"

"Both were killed.  Both worked at family planning clinics.  It
is a career with some inherent dangers."

"Dr. James Dickens?"

"Dickens died in federal custody."

"Oh, that's encouraging." Charles mumbled.

Mulder nodded his head.  "Your tax dollars at work."

"Why is your wife cooperating, Mr. Mulder, and not you?"

"I wasn't that involved with this case.  I was hit by a car chasing
a suspect early on and a family emergency immediately after
that had then Agent Scully running the investigation."  Mulder
smiled at his wife.  "She did an amazing job."

"Three men in protective custody died as did a CIA Agent
named Chapel, an FBI Agent named Weiss and a Federal
Marshal named Timmons.  That's an amazing job, Mr.
Mulder?"

Mulder turned to Jack and frowned.  "The men in custody were
a part of a group working on a project that included something
like a virus that killed both Agent Weiss and Marshall
Timmons.  It may have possibly killed Agent Chapel.  His body
was so badly decomposed by the time it was pulled out of
Weems Creek no cause of death could be assigned.  The men in
custody were killed by someone posing as Marshal Timmons. 
That man then took my wife hostage to secure the release of
someone I took into custody."

"That's not in the file."

"No.  It's not."

"What happened to the man who abducted Dr. Scully?"

"A sniper for the FBI shot him after the exchange and he fell
into the Washington Channel.  He was never found."  

"This virus, or something like a virus, that Dr. Dickens and the
others were working on, is that what Mr. Mulder was exposed
to in Alaska?"

Scully nodded.  "I believe so."

"And the corpsmen were exposed to in the desert?"

"Probably."  Mulder and Scully answered in unison.

"How is the virus transmitted?"

Scully looked down at the still sleeping William and said
nothing.

"How is the virus transmitted, Mr. Mulder?"

"You're not going to believe me."

"Before this morning, probably not."  Jack picked a picture of
the craft being loaded onto a flatbed truck and showed it to
Mulder.  "This is not anything I've ever seen before - try me."

"Who got to the craft first, the corpsmen or the Marines?"

Jack flipped through the morning's report.  "The corpsmen
went in first, while the Marines were securing the area.  When
the pilot made a move toward the corpsmen, one of them used
his sidearm to stop the pilot."

"Never shoot at these pilots."

"How do you stop them?"

"You don't."  Mulder and Scully replied again in unison.

"Why don't you shoot them?"

"It doesn't stop them and their blood is toxic."  Mulder replied.  

"Well, the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun mounted on
the top of a Marine vehicle cut him, it, whatever, in half.  That
stopped the pilot."

"I guess it would."  Scully commented.

x-x-x

The Morgue
TwentyNine Palms Hospital
5:25pm PT

"Commander, I have some dinner for you."  

Sean Hamlin was happy to see the young marine with a mess
tray.  Two pieces of fried chicken, green beans, apple sauce, a
can of Coke and an apple.  Nectar of the gods, even if it was
made by a hospital cook nicknamed Spoons.  

"Thank you, McLean, I'm starving."

"Happy to do this for you, sir.  My wife is still very grateful for
your help last month."

Hamlin smiled.  "I was happy to help your wife, even if she
doesn't like Naval officers as much as she likes Marines."

"I can't believe she said that."

"She thought she was in early labor, I gave her some room."

The door opened and an older man with grey hair, a
stethoscope and white coat entered with two orderlies and a
gurney.  "Dr. Hamlin?"

"That's me, sir."  Hamlin got up from his desk.

"I'm Dr. Nolan with the CDC, I'm here for the corpse."  Nolan
handed Hamlin release papers.

"No, sir."  Hamlin told him.

"Excuse me."

"Sir, I'm under direct orders not to release the body to anyone
except CTU."

"The CDC works in conjunction..."

"Sir, I'm just following orders."

Nolan turned to his orderlies.  "Open the door and remove the
body."

"Sir, that will not happen."

"Dr. Hamlin, I'm not sure you know what you're dealing with
here."

"Dr. Nolan, I'm not sure you know how things work here.  That
door was sealed by Military Intelligence this morning on orders
from CTU.  I can't open it, they," Hamlin pointed to the
orderlies, "can't open it.  Talk to CTU or Naval Intel if you
want that body, but right now, it's not going anywhere."

"Call someone and get the code."

"Excuse me sir, I don't take orders from you."

"If you expect to work outside of this base, you'll get that door
open."

McLean noticed the orderlies were acting suspiciously. 
"Gentlemen," he said in his nicest tone of voice as he pulled
out his sidearm, "how about you two put your hands up.  You
may want to do that too, Dr. Nolan."

"I will do no such thing."

"Sir, you will do just that."  McLean pointed his gun at Nolan's
head.  

The orderlies pushed the gurney at McLean and Hamlin and ran
out of the room, with Nolan in tow.  

"Call the gate, sir" McLean told Hamlin as he pushed away the
gurney and started out the door. 

"Be careful."  Hamlin told McLean as he picked up the phone. 
He thought again about what was in the morgue and just shook
his head. 

x-x-x

Michelle Dressler's Cubicle
CTU 
5:35pm PT 
     
The call for Michelle was from security.  FBI Assistant
Director Walter Skinner and Agents John Doggett and Monica
Reyes were in the process of signing in.  Michelle sent Milo got
the them, then phoned Jack.

"What else do we know about these folks from the FBI?"  Tony
watched as Milo walked to the helipad's security desk.  

"They're definitely reinforcements for Mr. Mulder and Dr.
Scully.  A.D. Skinner was their supervisor at the FBI and while
there were conflicts during their time at the bureau, he looks
like a fan.  Agent Doggett ran the investigation to find Mr.
Mulder when he disappeared several years ago, Agent Reyes
was there when he was found."

"So we're basically providing the Mr. and Mrs. Paranoid an
even larger cheering section."

"I thought you'd be a bit more sympathetic."

"Why, because they had a shitty few years?"

"Few years?  Seems like Mr. Mulder's had a bad few decades." 
Michelle picked up Scully's file.  "Dr. Scully spent more time
in the hospital than in the lab during parts of her tenure at the
bureau.  They find a nice life, have a lovely child and that
makes them, what, selfish?"

"It does if they can do something to help and won't.  Not can't,
won't.  We've lost half a day coddling these two and I'm not
really thrilled with more enablers being brought in to make
them feel better."

"You didn't seem like that big of an asshole on the phone, Mr.
Almedia."  Walter Skinner interrupted.

"There are a lot of words I could find for the treatment of Dana
and Mulder over the years."  John Doggett piped in.  "Coddling
wouldn't be any of them."

Tony looked at Monica.  "Any comments from you?"

"You're doing such a good job of making a bad first
impression, I'd hate to slow you down."

"Where's Mulder, Dana and the boy?"  Doggett asked.

"If you wait here, I'll get someone here to debrief you." 
Michelle started to the conference room.

"Forget this."  Skinner pulled out his cell phone and played a
hunch.

x-x-x


Conference room two
CTU 
5:40pm PT 

Jack was continuing his questioning.  "Mr. Mulder, why
would...."

Charles Scully's cell phone started ringing.  

"Can you turn that off, please?"  Jack asked.

"No."  Charles answered his phone.  "Sure, he's right here." 
Charles tossed the cell phone to Mulder.  "It's for you."

"Fox Mulder."

Jack began to seethe.

"Oh sure, come right in.  Can't understand what the tie up is." 
Mulder saw Michelle enter the conference room.  Pointing to
the entering CTU agent, Mulder told Jack, "She's going to tell
you the FBI is here."   Mulder tossed the phone to Scully.  "Say
hi to Walter."

"Are you always this big a prick?"

"Not for a few years.  I'm rather amazed by my quick return to
form."

"I'm not."  Scully added as an aside.

"Bring the FBI back."  Jack told Michelle before turning to
Scully.  "Dr. Scully, you can put the phone away.  You've all
made your point."

"Which is?" Scully asked.

"That you've all got this down better than we do.  Whatever
you're doing you've been planning for a while."

"Oh, are you wrong."  Mulder interrupted.

"No, Mr. Mulder, I'm not.  I have two injured corpsmen, a craft
I can't identify.  Some sort of being that has toxic blood and can
only be stopped when he's split in half by a machine gun.  None
of these things were in my day planner today.  I'm catching up
and as entertaining as you may think the floor show has been so
far, I need answers."

x-x-x

The Morgue
TwentyNine Palms Hospital
5:45pm PT

The phone startled an already jumpy Dr. Hamlin.  

"Sir, this is Corporal Lane at the gate."

"What have you got, Lane?"

"I got a big wire mess where the gate use to be.  The car with
your CDC doctors got out of here at about seventy miles an
hour.  We tried to stop the car, even fired into it but
Commander, they would have run us down."

"I have no doubt, Lane.  Did you see the plates?"

"Government plates, sir.  G14 HHS 11."

"Can you get a crew out to fix the gate?"

"My men are working on it right now."

"Nobody comes on the base with CDC paperwork until you
hear from me, is that clear?"

"Yes, sir."

Hamlin hung up the phone and called CTU.

x-x-x

Conference room two
CTU 
5:50pm PT

Jack was getting a little tired of old home week.  After a round
of hugs, kisses and a badly hidden transfer of the female FBI
agent's cell phone to Dr. Scully, Jack was ready to work. 
Young William Mulder was beginning to wake up, so Jack
wanted to get as much done as possible before losing control. 
Again.

"I'll have copies of the pictures taken by the Marines of the
craft as well as the medical news of the injured corpsmen."

"We already have pictures of the craft."  Skinner opened his
portfolio and handed out his copies of the craft.  

"These are different than mine."

"The commanding officer at TwentyNine Palms is a friend."

Perfect, Jack thought, why was he even here?

Skinner continued running the meeting.  "Agents Doggett,
Reyes and I are more than willing to go out to the site and take
a look around."

"I'd like Mr. Mulder and Dr. Scully to join us."

"Absolutely not."  Skinner answered for the Mulder family. 
"Dana and Mulder are no longer involved with government
business."

"She's a BIA doctor and he's a taxpayer.  They're involved
enough."

"Mr. Bauer, you don't know what you're talking about."

"No I don't because no one will give me a straight answer."  
The conference room phone rang.  "Bauer."  Jack answered.

Scully looked at William who was awake but knocked out. 
"Do you want a juice?"  She whispered to her son.  

"Wanna go home."

"Me too.  Soon."  Dana kissed the boy on the forehead and
rubbed his back.

"I'm going to put you on the speaker phone."  Jack switched on
the speaker.  "Dr. Hamlin, I'm here with Assistant Director
Walter Skinner, Agents John Doggett and Monica Reyes all
from the FBI, Dr. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, both formerly
with the FBI.  Can you repeat what you just told me?"

"Three men claiming they were from the CDC tried to take
away the body that was brought in this morning."

"On whose orders?"  Doggett asked.

"They didn't say.  They ordered me to open the morgue door
and turn over the body."

"Do you have names?"  Jack saw Milo walk by and waved him
in.  He had the young analyst sit in front of a computer along
the conference.  

"Only the CDC doctor.  A Philip Nolan.  I can't find a Dr.
Nolan at the CDC's directory."

"Wait, I heard that name today."  Milo went into his computer
remotely.  "A Philip Nolan called Ryan while you were getting
Mr. Mulder and Dr. Scully here."

"Imagine that."  Mulder said.  "Mr. Bauer, you don't even know
how deep this goes."

"No, but I plan to find out.  Milo, you find Dr. Nolan and I'm
going to talk to Ryan."  Jack looked at the FBI agents and
private citizens sitting at the other end of the conference room. 
"You six can plan your next ten moves but nobody's going
anywhere until I know what's going on."

"We're going to be here a long time since I've been doing this
for a few years and I'm as lost as can be."  Doggett mumbled to
Monica.

x-x-x

Thanks always to my Beady-Eyed beta - she rocks.

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