TITLE: "Mikhail's Fire III: Come The Dawn" (1/1)
AUTHOR: Isahunter
RATING: PG.
CATEGORY: V, WIP, Krycek/Other (No slash)
SPOILERS: Up to "One Son" S6
ARCHIVE: Yes, please
FEEDBACK: Isahunter@aol.com
DISCLAIMER: All characters from "The X-Files" are property of CC, 1013, and FOX. No copyright infringement intended.
SUMMARY: Tick tock, tick tock...
NOTES: Continuation of my series "Mikhail's Fire," which can be found here--http://www.angelfire.com/ak3/expositions/Mikhail.htm
ADDITIONAL NOTE: There is the very real possibility of **character deaths** ahead. I apologize if this upsets anyone, but, considering the circumstances, it's unavoidable. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me thus far.

For Evie Hammer, my 12th grade Creative Writing teacher--first person to see my writing as more than a hobby. Thank you for making me believe.
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"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind."
--John F. Kennedy

She flung the door open with such force the windows rattled.

Hurrying into the cabin, barely aware of the cat that brushed past her
legs, racing to the bedroom doors. She didn't bother to knock, but rather
shoved them open in her haste.

"Get up! Something's happening!"

John grumbled in his sleep, turning over, as Caroline sat up. Sabryn
didn't wait to explain. Moving on to Walter's room, she gave the door the
same absent-minded treatment...only to be faced with the man's naked torso as
he moved to clothe himself.

Still retaining enough composure to blush, she quickly looked away.

"I'm sorry."

"It's all right," he said, yanking on his jeans and zipping them up.

"What's going on?"

"FEMA. They've started mobilizing."

"You saw them?"

She nodded, slightly out of breath. "Out on the road. A convoy,
heading west."

"Get your things, I'll make sure the others are getting up. We need to
get the hell out of here, fast."
\

She didn't wait around. Hurrying to the ladder, she climbed up to the
loft and grabbed the clothes she'd left out the night before. She nearly
ripped her cotton panties as she tugged them into place. Barely taking the
time to fasten her bra, she pulled on the sweat shirt and jeans. She could
hear Walter urging her family to hurry as she grabbed her bag and pillow, and
headed for the living room once more.

"What were you doing outside this early in the morning, Sabryn?"
Pulling on his plaid shirt, his hair standing on end, John was his usual
cheerful morning self.

"I could hear them on the road." She sat down on the couch, pulling on
her socks with shaking fingers. "There has to be an entire army out there."

"If they're on the road, and we don't have a car, how are we supposed to
get to the silos?"

Before Walter could answer him, Sabryn interrupted. "There's a trail
over the ridge, and the silos are just on the other side. It's probably a
few miles, but it'd be safer than the road."

"Good idea," Walter said, lacing up his own boots. "Have we got
everything we need here?"

Sabryn stood up abruptly. "Cat food."

"You're taking the cat with you?"

"I can't leave her here. She'll starve."

"She'll probably die anyway," John muttered.

"Not if I can help it."

Hurrying into the kitchen, she opened the cupboards, frantically
searching for the unopened bag of cat food she'd picked up at the store.
Boxes of stale cereal fell onto the counter, one spilling its contents all
over the floor.

"Shit."

"Bryn?"

She turned around to see her niece staring up at her, her eyes wide with
panic.

"Jo, have you seen the cat food?" Jolie pointed to the bag on the end
of the opposite counter, in plain sight. Taking a deep breath, Sabryn leaned
against the cabinets. "Thank you, sweetie."

"Are you scared?"

She wasn't sure how to answer. If she admitted it, she might scare the
kid even more. But lying was even worse. "Yes, I am."

"Me too."

"I think we all are." Grabbing the cat food, she stepped over the
mountain of crispy rice and handed the bag to Jolie. "Will you do me a
favor, Jo?"

"What?"

"I think Cheeser is scared, too. And I really need someone brave to
take care of her. Do you think you could do that for me?"

"Where are you going?"

"I'm not going anywhere. But I need to help your mom, and your brother,
so I'm hoping you can carry the cat for me. Can you do that?"

Jolie nodded, suddenly looking determined.

"Thank you. Come on, you can put that food in my bag, and then we can
go."

Leading the way to the living room, Jolie set down the food the minute
she reached the couch and picked up the cat...holding it tight against her
chest like precious cargo. Stuffing the food into her bag, Sabryn glanced at
her family. Dressed and wearing their coats, they checked their bags one
last time. Caroline zipped Chris and Jolie into their parkas. Looking antsy
to get started, Walter stood with his hand on the door knob. John handed
Sabryn her coat and waited patiently for her to zip up before taking her bag.

"Are we ready?" Walter asked. No one was enthusiastic about speaking
up. Finally Caroline nodded. "Then let's go."

Taking one last look around, Sabryn shivered as they headed out the
door. With her pillow tucked under her arm, she squeezed her hands into
little fists. Fighting the urge to fidget. She shut the door behind them
and hurried to catch up to Caroline.

"I can take Chris," she said, looking at the still sleepy little boy as
he lagged behind.

"Would you?"

"Sure." She bent down to pick him up, jostling him slightly, letting
him rest against the pillow on her shoulder. When she'd expected him to fall
right to sleep, he stared at her with terrified eyes. "We're gonna be OK,
kiddo."

"I wanna go home."

She blinked rapidly as the thought of her parents and that beautiful
farm flashed through her mind. "Me too."

The cold air made breathing painful as they trudged up the hill. Every
breath seemed to rip through their lungs, making icy clouds with each
exhalation. Her ears were frozen, her face stung, and her back was starting
to hurt. But she wasn't about to put the little boy down. Keeping Jolie
just in front of her, she smiled slightly as Cheeser bounced around with each
step. Poor cat. It looked positively miserable.

"How you doin', Bryn?"

She glanced over her shoulder at her brother. "I'm starving."

"We'll have plenty to eat as soon as we get down there."

"If we ever do. I don't remember the walk being as long last time."

"There wasn't as much snow."

"That, and I had more than five minutes of sleep last time."

"Somehow I doubt that."

She frowned at his wry comment before realizing what he was talking
about. Alex had been at the cabin then. "John!"

"What? It's the truth, isn't it?"

"Well, I'm certainly not discussing it with my brother. Especially in
front of a five-year-old."

"You miss him, don't you?"

She slowed down a bit, turning to look at him. Since when did he give a
damn?

"Yes, I do."

"He'll come back."

She dropped her gaze, before walking once more. They had crested the
top of the ridge before she said, "I hope you're right."

"He will." He sounded awfully smug. "I told him he'd better come back
to you, or I'd hunt him down and kick his ass."

She stared openmouthed at him. "You didn't."

"I did. And I told him he was going to make an honest woman of you,
too."

"Johnny!"

Before she could wipe the grin off his face, Walter jogged back to where
they were standing, slightly out of breath, his expression grim. "We've got
a problem."

"What is it?"

"The military has taken over the base. The silos, everything. There's
no way we're getting in there now."

 

 

They were flying down the road at eighty miles per hour when Alex was
suddenly forced to pump the brakes to keep from slamming into the row of cars
ahead of them. At three sixteen in the morning, twenty miles into the
Adirondack Park, he hadn't expected to see so many damned people. Although a
site for excellent skiing, the park was relatively quiet over night. But as
the truck shuddered to a stop just inches from the car in front of them, he
suddenly realized what was going on.

There was a road block ahead.

"Fuck."

"What do we do now?" Marita asked, leaning forward from the back seat.
"Good question," Mulder muttered, casting a glare in Alex's direction.

"Oh, and I suppose you think this is my fault?"

"If you hadn't forgotten to stop and get gas, we would have been there
already."

"These cars have probably been here for hours!"

"Will both of you shut up?" Scully pointed to the side, where an old
maintenance road was cut off from traffic by a heavy rusted chain. "Go that
way."

"You want me to ram my truck through that?"

"You've both got guns. Use them."

Alex glanced at Mulder, seeing his own dubious expression reflected back
at him. Still, as military personnel could be seen walking from car to car,
questioning the occupants inside, and directing some of them to pull over,
there didn't seem to be any other choice. Pressing his foot down on the gas,
he yanked the wheel hard and drove them off the main road. The truck tipped
dangerously, teetering on the edge, before beginning a hard skid down the
bank. They hit the ditch so hard Mulder's head hit the ceiling without his
seat belt in place. If it hadn't been for the ominous crunching sound of his
bumper, Alex would have been tempted to laugh. But there wasn't time to
stick around and survey the damage. They'd been spotted driving off the
road, and he could see flashing lights as the military police sped down the
opposite lane in pursuit.

"Shit." Flooring the gas, he spit mud and rocks out from under the
tires before the truck finally decided to move. Bouncing over uneven
terrain, they drove up the other side of the ditch and onto the maintenance
road. "You better get your gun ready, Mulder. We aren't gonna have much
time."

Stopping in front of the chain, he watched Mulder get out and leave the
door open as he raced towards the barrier. He shot once, at close range, the
sound drowning out the sirens. Still the chain didn't budge. He pulled the
trigger again, only succeeding in chewing a ragged slash through the metal.
Alex rolled down his window. "Get in! We don't have time."

The MPs were already pulling through the break in traffic as Mulder ran
back to the truck. Alex barely waited for him to shut the door before he hit
the gas. The others braced themselves, expecting him to slam into the chain,
only to be tossed like rag dolls as he turned the wheel and drove straight
through the line of shrubs beside the barrier.

The scraping, scratching, crunching noise made him cringe as they
barreled through, only to get hung up on something below. He pressed down
hard on the gas, throwing up rocks and sticks in their wake, making slippery
depressions in the mud below, getting them nowhere. Watching the Jeep
descend the bank in his rear view mirror, he shifted into reverse, gunning
the engine once more. Backing far enough to escape the snag, he shifted
again, turning the wheel, slamming his foot down on the pedal. Bouncing and
rocking over the ground harder than a carnival ride, the truck jumped over
the crushed bushes and crashed onto the road once more. He barely gave the
shocks a chance to settle before speeding away from the scene, putting as
much distance between them and their pursuers as possible.

 

 

"What the hell are they doing down there?"

"Beats me, but they've got the whole place covered." Walter pointed to
where soldiers were taking equipment off of flat bed trucks. "See over
there? They're setting up new fencing around the area that isn't already
chain-linked. They've got barbed wire, piping, anything they might need.
And they've been moving in and out of the silos, too."

Letting Chris slide down her side, Sabryn stood up on her tiptoes to
peer past them. Down the hillside, between the heavy growth of trees, she
could see dozens of trucks, most likely the same ones she'd seen earlier,
dotting the area around the base. Men, like little ants, scurried back and
forth, setting up tents and artillery, turning the once deserted land into a
veritable war zone.

"What are we going to do now?" she asked, quietly, not wanting to alarm
the kids. "Our food is down there."

"And our weapons," Walter reminded her.

"We'll have no place to hide. We can't stay at the cabin. And it's
freezing out here."

John nodded. "We're going to have to come up with something, and fast.
It looks like it won't be long before some big shit starts hitting the fan."
"We can't go into town," Walter added. "I wouldn't be surprised if they
were already broadcasting the FEMA takeover on the news."

Sabryn shivered, imagining the worst. Road blocks closing off the
towns. People taken from their homes as a 'safety precaution,' only to be
herded into military camps to be given the virus. That was when it dawned on
her.

"I know what that is."

"What?"

"That base. They're setting up a concentration camp. Their own little
private jail. They're going to round everyone up and expose them to the
virus." She laughed slightly, without the slightest trace of humor,
remembering something she'd heard Alex say. "Purity control. They're going
to kill them all."

Walter and John stared at her in horror, and she could see Caroline out
of the corner of her eye, huddling her kids to her, as she cringed in fear.
Sounding slightly resigned, Walter said, "But they can't do that to you.
All of you have had the vaccine."

"They can't kill us with the virus. But they can shoot us when they
realize we can't be infected."

He nodded, his expression hardening. "All right, we have to get out of
here."

"I think that's a very good idea."

The foreign voice made Sabryn jump and she spun around to see Erik
Larsen and two other men walking out of the forest. She didn't even realize
she was backing up until she slammed into Walter's chest. Holding the cat
tight in her grip, Jolie reached for Sabryn's hand as she stared at Larsen
with wide eyes.

"We didn't mean to startle you. We thought you heard us coming."

"What are you doing up here?" Walter asked, wary, even though his voice
did not betray him.

Larsen gestured at the men with him, both of the same height and build
as he was, so similar in appearance that they could only be brothers. "We
were down at my house when we heard them coming. By the time the third tank
rolled around, it was looking damned suspicious. There have been army
vehicles on that road before, but never that many. And when we caught the
news report, we decided to come up here for a better look."

"Just what did they say on the news?"

Larsen frowned. "You had to have caught the report. Why else would you
be up here?"

Ignoring the question, Walter stepped forward a bit, placing Sabryn and
Jolie behind him. "I think you gentlemen should head on home now. It's
probably best that everyone stays inside and doesn't panic."

"What would we have to panic about, Mr. Skinner?"

Sabryn saw Walter tense...a moment before she realized Walter never gave
Larsen his name.

 

 

"Right or left?" They were coming up fast on a fork in the road, dust
flying up in their wake, the military police completely lost in the brown
haze. "Right or left!"

"Right!" Scully said.

The truck bounced over rocks and potholes, careening around the corner
to the right, the dirt road being ripped to shreds by the racing tires. In
the back, the women held on tight, watching the road behind them for any sign
of the Jeep. Every few minutes they saw the flash of lights on their tail,
but so far no sign of the hunter followed them down the forked path.
"We aren't going to lose them. They'll see the dust."

"Do you want to drive, Mulder?"

"I'm just saying you should slow down."

"And I'm saying you should shut up."

Glancing in the rear view mirror, he saw Scully hide her smirk as she
reached up to rub her neck.

"Do we even know where we're going?" Marita asked.

"We weren't far from Mount Defiance when we left the main road," Scully
said. "If we keep going right--"

"We should reach Vermont," Alex interrupted.

"We should get there," she finished.

"What is that noise?" Mulder sniffed the air, doing a great imitation
of a blood hound. "Are we leaking gas?"

Alex glanced down at the gauge. "Oh shit."

"No sign of them behind us yet," Marita said.

"It's a good damned thing. We're about to make an unscheduled stop."

"We can't stop now," Scully said, her voice sounding distant.

"We don't have a choice."

Slowing down, Alex pulled off the side of the road behind a group of
tall fir trees. No longer worried about the truck's under carriage, he drove
far enough into the woods that they wouldn't be easily spotted from the road.
"I said we can't stop now."

Shutting down the engine, he turned to glance at her. Scully wasn't
even looking at him. Yanking hard on the door handle, she was trying
desperately to get out of the truck. Frowning, he hit the child safety lock
on his door and her next yank nearly sent her toppling to the ground.

"Scully?"

Mulder opened his door and jumped down out of the truck. By the time
Alex and Marita did the same, Scully was halfway to the road. Mulder jogged
after her, reaching out to touch her shoulder...and the moment he did, she
turned on him.

Frozen in place, Mulder rose his hands slightly. When Alex reached his
side, he stopped in his tracks.

Her eyes slightly wild, her arm trembling, Agent Scully pointed her
cocked pistol straight at her own partner.

Marita gasped, stepping back behind Alex as she stared at the other
woman.

"Scully?" Mulder's voice was softened, barely even audible. "What's
going on?"

Without a touch of emotion, she said, "We can't stop now."

"We ran out of gas."

"You can't stop me. I have to go."

Mulder started to step forward when Alex grabbed his arm. "It's not
her."

"What?" Meeting his gaze, the agent scowled. "What are you talking
about?"

"It's the chip. They're calling her."

A flash of momentary recognition sparked in Mulder's eyes. "Calling her
where?"

"To get the hybrid genes. To become their soldier." As his attention
went back to his partner, Scully was already walking away. Hurrying to catch
up to her, Alex put his hands up as she spun and pointed the gun at him. "I
only want to help you find a ride, Scully."

"No, you're a liar."

"Then Mulder will do it. You trust him, don't you?"

For a moment, she hesitated. Exactly what he'd been waiting for. Her
gaze focused on Mulder, she wasn't prepared for him to kick her legs out from
under her and wrestle her to the ground. Her gun fired, the bullet whizzing
into the bushes, her whimpering struggles echoing in the forest. She was
like a wild animal beneath him, fighting and lashing out to get free, biting
his hand as he tried to subdue her. He shouting, yelling for help, as she
nearly got free. Trying to get between them, Mulder snapped a cuff onto her
left wrist as Marita held down her kicking feet. The second the other cuff
snapped into place, her struggling ceased. The wrenching sob that escaped
her made her partner fall flat on his ass and stare at her in horror.

Still sitting on her back, Alex glanced over his shoulder at Marita.
"In the truck, there's a pocket knife in the glove compartment. Bring it
here."

As she hurried to retrieve it, Mulder regained his composure. "What are
you doing?"

"We're going to cut the chip out."

"The hell you are!"

"It's the only way, Mulder."

"No. She'll die without it."

"Would you rather she dies, or becomes one of them?"

"I'm not letting you do this, damn it!"

The sudden violence of his former partner's grip dragged Alex to his
feet. Mulder slammed his back into the nearby tree, his face mottled with
barely controlled rage. Jesus, how many times had he seen that expression
before? The man had more anger than he could handle, like a snarling dog
struggling to break its weakening chain.

"You want to hit me, Mulder? Do it."

"Shut up!"

"You're a fucking coward, Mulder. Hit me!" He laughed bitterly. "You
can't do it, can you? You know I'm trying to save her."

Walking back with the pocket knife in hand, Marita stared at them before
looking at Scully on the ground.

"Cut it out, Marita," Alex said. "It's the only way."

His eyes filled with hate, Mulder looked about ready to release his
rage...yet before he could, Alex broke free from his grasp and landed a solid
punch square in his clenched jaw. Unprepared for the blow, the agent flew
back onto his ass.

Shaking the pain out of his hand, Alex stared at him. "Shocked the hell
out of you, didn't I?"

The agent didn't say a word.

"I've never hit you back before, Mulder. You ever wonder why?"

"Fuck you."

"I'm on your side, you stubborn piece of shit. And don't you ever
forget it."

END.
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Heh heh heh...I'm mean, huh? Want me to write more? Isahunter@aol.com