Chapter 9 x-x-x The following takes place between 7:00pm and 8:00pm Pacific Time. x-x-x Conference room two CTU 7:00pm PT Jack didn't trust Mr. Mulder's terms. They sounded too simple. Dr. Scully, Mr. Mulder and Agents Reyes and Doggett would work with Jack if Mr. Scully and A.D Skinner would be allowed to leave CTU with William Mulder. They were not to be followed and if Mr. Scully called his sister with any ideas that they were being followed, all cooperation would stop. "Where are you going with the boy?" "That's really none of your business." Mulder replied. "Once A.D. Skinner and my brother-in-law are away and we know William is safe, we're yours until the hearing tomorrow." "William won't be at the hearing tomorrow?" Jack asked. "William leaves here tonight and he disappears. His safety is my top priority right now, Mr. Bauer." "Understood." Jack told Mulder. "I have safe houses where we could protect the boy." "From your own people?" Scully glared at Jack. "Mr. Chappelle..." "Mr. Chappelle was trying to take William away from me." Scully covered William's ears as she spoke. "If I am going to leave him with anyone but his father, I want to know he's as far away from you and your people as he possibly can be." "And you think a desk jockey from the Hoover building and a fly boy for the rich and famous can protect him better?" Jack looked at the two men. "No offense intended." "Of course." Skinner replied. "Then again, one of my wash outs made pretty quick work of one of your men." Skinner smiled at Mulder. "No offense intended." "None taken, desk jockey." Mulder turned back to Jack. "None of this is negotiable, Mr. Bauer. Yes, it is happening or no, I'll need some take out menus for dinner. Oh, you'll be paying. I'm in the mood for some Italian. Scully, how about you?" "It's Mr. Bauer's call but I could go for some barbeque if we're staying." "Sit here. I'll arrange for a car for Mr. Scully, AD Skinner and William." "Oldest car you have in the fleet." Skinner reminded him. "Safe but old." "And a car seat." Scully added. "Ours is in Colorado." "Actually, it's going back to Utah." Jack mumbled as he walked out of the room, wondering what new errands he'll be doing for the Mulder family before this is all over. x-x-x The Morgue TwentyNine Palms Hospital 7:10pm PT The General wasn't kidding, Dr. Hamlin noticed. He made a few phone calls with Dr. Scully's instructions and the Marines were following through like, well, Marines. The building engineer actually had the room where the body was down to 30 degrees. He didn't know what vehicle they moved to the other side of the loading dock but it made everything where he was sitting rattle while they were pulling it in. He now had six Marines in full battle armor standing at the door. They were also wearing their NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) gear and had a flack jacket and NBC gear for him. This end of the building was evacuated. The base was on full alert - the General did this on his own after the phony CDC officials and the beating McLean took. In less than two hours, babysitting a corpse became the front line of some sort of battle. Now if he just knew who the bad guy was. x-x-x Michelle Dressler's Cubicle CTU Los Angeles, CA 7:15pm PT Jack walked up to Michelle's desk. "Where are we on Mr. Mulder's requests?" "The car's not a problem. We have a 1998 Buick Century. Not flashy, runs well, Evan Walsh's last case used a number of these cars for some airport surveillance." "Car seat?" "The new guy, Edmunds, is pulling one of out storage." "Stuff a G.P.S. into the car seat somewhere. I have a feeling they'll dump the car pretty fast but they may keep the car seat." "The chopper is waiting to go. Do you want me along this time?" "No, you were a big help this morning but I think with Mr. Mulder, Dr. Scully and FBI agents, it's going to get crowded fast." "Maybe that's the point." "I didn't think of that." Jack smiled at Michelle. "You going to stick around tonight?" "Do you want me to?" "Yeah. Edmunds is a great kid, but I'm outnumbered on this one and you've seen them in action." Jack started to look for Tony. "Nothing on the phone calls to Tacoma Park?" "Black hole. I've alerted the DC office and they're going to take a look at it." "Where's Tony?" "Talking to Ryan. Ryan is making demands...." "Once William Mulder is gone and I'm at the crash site, have Ryan released with security escorting him home and watching him overnight. Tomorrow morning, ask Alberta Green to review what happened. If the main office wants this to go away, they'll do it through Alberta." x-x-x Conference room two CTU 7:20pm PT Scully was writing down some William related dos and don'ts for her brother while Mulder tried to explain the plan to the boy. "Wanna go with you and Mommy." "And we want you to go with us but you can't. Do you remember a while back when you had the measles?" "He had the measles?" Doggett whispered to Scully as Mulder tried to explain how this would be like the only time recently he was away from his son. "I wasn't properly inoculated as a kid and it seems like nobody on the Reservation was either. I got sick and gave it to William. We spent two weeks in the hospital with about half the kids under five near us and Mulder waving from outside the window." "But Mommy was there." William complained to his father. "Yes, and you'll see her and you'll see me in about a day, like when we went to the movies and Naomi stayed with you." "We played cards." William perked up a little. "And we'll play cards too." Charles tried to help out. "I know a lot of great games that my boys taught me. We'll have a lot of fun." "Donalds?" "You had McDonalds already today." Mulder turned to Charles. "He loves McNuggets." "If you're a good boy, we can have McDonalds for lunch tomorrow, how's that? And we'll play cards, look for license plates, we'll have a lot of fun but you need to be good tonight. Deal?" Charles stuck out his hand. William looked at his father who nodded his head slightly. "Okay. Naomi let me call Mommy." "And your Mommy has a phone and you can call her on that." Charles promised. William looked at Mulder again. "It's going to be okay." Mulder told him. "You'll have a little fun with Uncle Charles and Mr. Walter and then Mommy and I'll pick you up. We have some work to do." Scully walked over and handed her brother her notes. "William, it'll be fun and then we'll have some fun with you. How's that?" "Okay." "One last thing." Mulder whispered to his brother-in-law. He passed Charles a piece of paper with a phone number, the words Hale Ellery and two series of numbers. "If you need money, call the number on top, give the name. The first set of numbers is an account, the second is a password. You can get whatever money you need sent to you at any major hotel in less than an hour." "Mulder." "Charles. I didn't plan the escape from Utah as well as I needed to but we did this for a year while we were on the run. The password numbers change on the first of the month so you don't have to worry about that." "Mulder, you didn't fail your family here." "Tell that to her." Scully was playing Itsy-Bitsy Spider with William. "We have your car." Jack announced as he walked into the room. "1998 Buick Century. We have a car seat ready and I've got the helicopter upstairs ready to go." "I'm putting him in the car." Scully announced. "Come on William." "Dr. Scully, we've already lost daylight..." Jack started. "Mr. Bauer, I'd shut up right now while you're already behind." Skinner advised. "Right." Jack started down the hall to the blue parking lot. x-x-x Michelle Dressler's Cubicle CTU Los Angeles, CA 7:30PM "Car ready?" Tony asked as he brought Michelle a chicken caesar salad and an iced tea from the cafeteria. He had a hot dog and coke for himself. "They're leaving right now." Michelle punched up the blue parking lot on her computer screen. "I have Milo working on the phone trace that died in Tacoma Park." "D.C. couldn't help." "No. They don't have this as a high priority. I have a feeling it's how Dr. Scully and Mr. Mulder will be staying in touch with the boy." "Why is that a problem?" "You think once they have the boy safely stored away, they're going to continue to cooperate?" x-x-x Blue Parking Lot CTU 7:30PM Jack handed the car's keys to Walter Skinner, who quickly tossed them to Charles Scully. "Pop the hood for me, will you?" "Sure." Charles looked a little confused as the Assistant Director took off his coat and jacket. He gave the clothing items to Monica who was equally confused. Rolling up his sleeve, he started rooting around in the car engine after Charles had the hood up. "What is he doing?" "Gotcha." Skinner handed the G.P.S. to Jack and took a handkerchief out of his pants pocket. "One of the punishments I got for defending you, Mulder, was reviewing every contract the FBI signed for about six months. They were so impressed with the legal work I did for you." "I was convicted." Cleaning his hands with the handkerchief, Skinner continued. "One contract was to put G.P.S. systems in the older fleet cars, complete with diagrams. I figured Uncle Sam wrote a blanket contract." Scully started to put William into the car seat when Doggett stopped her. "Mr. Bauer, can you get this car opened?" Doggett pointed to a Volvo station wagon near where he was standing. "I'm sure I can..." "Good, put the car seat in that car in this car." "That's someone's private car seat." "And it probably doesn't have any listening device or G.P.S. in it, either. Find the owner, make the swap." Jack sighed. "The G.P.S. is in the base of the car seat. There are no listening devices." Mulder nodded to Doggett. "Nice work." "I learned from you. You just can't be paranoid enough." Jack fished the G.P.S. out before letting Scully strap William in. "Be good for Uncle Charles and Mr. Walter." She kissed him on the cheek. "Okay?" "Okay." "We'll see you really soon, little man." Mulder gave the boy a kiss on the forehead. "Maybe we'll go see Louis's horses when we get home." "Really." "If you're good." Skinner hugged Scully as she walked away from the car. "I have Monica's cell number, you have the phone?" "Yes." "When we're settled, I'll call. They won't be able to trace it, I promise." "Take care of him." "You two take care of yourselves." Skinner turned to Mulder as he got into the passenger side of the car. "We'll be fine." "See you in a few." Mulder said, shaking his brother-in-law's hand. "See you in a few." Scully and Mulder waved until William was out of sight. Scully turned to face Jack. "Let's get going Mr. Bauer, I miss my son." x-x-x Michelle Dressler's Cubicle CTU Los Angeles, CA 7:35PM "Dammit, they lost the car seat's G.P.S." Tony said watching the parking lot on Michelle's screen. Michelle was equally disturbed. "I still want to know why the Assistant Director knows where the G.P.S. transmitter is in the car." "That's why he wanted an older vehicle." "These people seem one step ahead of us." "Milo, how's the trace going?" "The encryption code on that phone has 29 letters, 29 digits and 11 characters. CTU's best is 16, 16, 10." "Shit." Tony whispered. "Michelle, get someone to follow that car." "Jack agreed to no tail." "I didn't." Michelle started calling around. x-x-x CTU Helipad CTU 7:40PM Jack didn't like the way the seating arrangements were breaking as they got to the helipad. "You sure you know how to fly this thing?" Agent Doggett asked, standing next to Jack. "I'd rather a trained pilot. Where's the guy who brought us over from the airport?" Mulder griped. "I'm certified on this, I wouldn't risk my own safety....." "Not your safety I'm worried about." Mulder interrupted. Mulder and Scully moved to get in the back row of the helicopter's seats. "Dr. Scully, I'd prefer you sit up here with me." "Excuse me?" "I would prefer that Dr. Scully sit up front." "You can't be serious. What do you think they're going to do, jump and run off once we're in the air." Monica asked. Jack smiled and opened the front right door. "Dr. Scully." Scully sat in the offered seat but not before giving Jack a disapproving look. Mulder, Doggett and Reyes got in the back part of the helicopter. Reyes and Doggett sitting with their backs to Jack, Mulder facing forward. When everyone was seatbelted in, Jack prepared for take-off, noticing Mulder was sitting with his headset on and his eyes closed. Maybe he picked the wrong family member to put in the front seat. x-x-x On-ramp to 110 Freeway Los Angeles, CA 7:50PM "Do you know how to get to the airport from..." "Mr. Skinner, I can get to just about any major airport in America from any large downtown area. The 110 South to the 105 West and we're right at LAX." "Of course, I should have known. And it's Walter. Or Walt. Not Mr. Skinner." "Charles. Sometimes Charlie, never Chuck." "Got it." Skinner turned to William in the back. "Are you OK?" "Call Mommy?" "William, we're going to take a plane ride, then we're going to get some sleep. We can call Mommy and Daddy after you wake up. Sound like a plan?" Charles suggested. William thought about it for a second. "Donalds?" "After we call Mommy and Daddy tomorrow." "Okay." "It is okay if you miss them. I'm sure they miss you." Charles told the boy. "I miss Mattie and Luke and Aunt Donna." "Can we see 'em." "Maybe after we see Mommy and Daddy." "Sponge Bob?" "We'll see if there are some videos on the plane." William nodded. Skinner pulled out his cell phone and called ahead to LAX's chief of security. x-x-x CTU Helicopter over Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base Palm Springs, CA 7:55PM "That's where it landed?" Monica asked, pointing at a large, well lit area in the Mojave. "Yes." Jack noticed in the time they were in the air Mr. Mulder never opened his eyes or his mouth. Dr. Scully sat quietly next to him, staring straight ahead. In fact, the only conversation prior to Agent Reyes's questions was Agent Doggett's question about how long the flight would take. "Where's the ship?" Doggett asked. "The Marines mocked up a containment unit and moved it into an airplane hanger." "They have it guarded?" Finally, Mulder spoke, eyes still closed. "I would imagine it is being protected." "Don't imagine, call in and guarantee it." "Why..." "Mr. Bauer, they tried to take the body already, you think the craft would be any different?" Scully finally joined the conversation. "This is a base full of Marines." Jack started to bring the helicopter in for a landing. "Which has already seen one alleged government official relieve them of evidence related to this case. Do you really think they'll stop because the Navy doctor and a couple of Marines didn't comply with their plans?" "I'll call the base once we're down." Jack flipped a few switches and brought the helicopter onto the landing pad. "How much force do you think they need?" "How much they got?" Doggett asked. Great, Jack thought as he switched the helicopter off. "There's an SUV there. Dr. Scully, I'd like you to ride shotgun again." "Because the two of us running off in the desert in the middle of the night seems like such a great idea." Mulder said. "And going on the run with a three year old was?" Jack snapped. "The three year old is safe." Mulder unbuckled his seatbelt and waited for the helicopter blades to finally stop. "And I plan on making sure his mother is as well." "The faster we get started..." Monica popped the helicopter door and made her way out. Scully left on her side, as did Doggett and Mulder behind her. Jack left from his side of the helicopter. He didn't see it, but he heard Fox Mulder groan in pain and then fall to the ground. "Oh my God, Mulder." Scully gasped. Jack got to the other side of the helicopter just in time to see Fox Mulder begin a seizure. x-x-x x-x-x Yeah, I know, that's cruel. Tell me how cruel it is here: firstname.lastname@example.org If you didn't already know beta goddess Shari rocks, let me just confirm that here. And she makes beautiful things.