TITLE: "Mikhail's Fire VI: New World Disorder" (1/1)
CATEGORY: V, WIP, Krycek/Other
SPOILERS: Up to One Son, S6
ARCHIVE: Yes, please
DISCLAIMER: All characters of the X-Files belong to CC, Ten-Thirteen Productions, and Fox Broadcasting. No copyright infringement intended.
SUMMARY: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
NOTES: Continuation of the Move Heaven and Earth saga. Previous installments can be found here: http://www.angelfire.com/ak3/expositions/mhae.htm Also, I may have taken quite a few liberties with the Aurora spy plane...but then again, this craft doesn't really exist, does it, boys? :)
For Shael, who never fails to make me do the impossible--think.
"Can't stop what's coming, can't stop what is on its way..."
--"Bells for Her" by Tori Amos
Sabryn closed her eyes for a fraction of a second, long enough to see her entire life flash before her. What a pathetic waste. Now all that stood between her and certain death was a steadily opening metal door. A sickening crunch decimated what was left of the tiny tweezers stuck in the lock. Blinking rapidly, her vision adjusting to the onslaught of brilliant light, she resisted the urge to reach for Walter's hand.
The flashlight beam struck her face, making her wince, before moving quickly to the man next to her. "G-man?"
Walter paused, his good hand raised to shield his eyes. "Who are you?"
When the light moved away, rising to light up the person's face--like a scary bottom-lit caricature from some horror movie--she stared at the man in confusion. Bouncing off his glasses and illuminating shocking white hair, the light seemed to reveal...Garth, from Wayne's World.
"Langly." The word escaped on a sigh of relief from Walter's mouth. "I've never been more glad to see that face in my life."
Her confusion didn't dissipate in the least. "You know this man?"
Not that it really mattered if he did, she conceded. She would've followed a complete stranger if it meant getting out of the silo. There was no telling what was happening to her family at that moment.
"Yeah, I do. This is Rin--"
"Not the first name!"
Walter cleared his throat. "This is Langly. He and his partners run a conspiracy magazine called The Lone Gunman. And they've also been known to help Agent Mulder out of a pinch or two." Turning his gaze away from Sabryn, he asked, "The question is: what are you doing here?"
"That information is classified." When the assistant director's expression didn't waver, Langly's composure broke. "Mulder told us you were in North Dakota, and if we were smart we'd get here too. But when he didn't know how to find you, we had to resort to our own devices."
"We, uh...we intercepted a phone call from your cellular. You mentioned your 'hiding place' to Agent Scully."
"Then you also know Mulder is missing."
"No, we know exactly where Mulder is...we just neglected to tell Scully. He didn't want her in danger."
"Then he's safe?"
"Why wouldn't he be?"
Shaking his head, Walter stepped forward. "Doesn't matter now, we need to get out of here. Are the others with you?"
"They're around here somewhere. We narrowly escaped capture. This place is crawling with guards." Tugging absently on his ponytail, the blond man added, "What's going on around here? There are trucks full of people coming in from town."
"That's what I was afraid of. It may be too late to get to the other silo now. We're going to have to come up with something else."
"What happened to your shoulder?"
From around the corner, making Sabryn start, came a short man dressed all in black. A welcome relief from the expected camouflage. With his hair pulled back and a rolled up ski mask on his head, he looked ready to take on Mission: Impossible. But as he pushed his glasses back into place and eyed her appreciatively, his low growled "Hello," was anything but business.
Walter muttered, "Don't take offense, he's like that with all women."
"Who do we have here?"
"Sabryn Jaegar," she answered, cautiously.
"Krycek's girlfriend," Walter supplied.
It was almost amusing watching the color drain from the little man's face. "My a-apologies, Miss. Melvin Frohike, at your service."
She gracefully ignored the trembling of his fingers as she shook his hand. "Nice to meet you."
"Right here," a bearded man called out, bringing up the rear. "Where are all of the others?"
"What others?" Walter asked.
"We'd assumed you weren't alone."
"We're not. Come on, we'll explain along the way."
Following him out the door, so damned grateful to be out of the silo, she smiled appreciatively when Frohike handed her his flashlight. But even as the stairway to the outdoors drew closer, she couldn't ignore the subtle far-off noise at the opposite end of the tunnel.
"Do you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Frohike asked.
It almost sounded...like screams. Shivering slightly, she nodded towards the corridor behind them. "That noise."
"Probably just the generators--" His words tapered off as they continued forward, interrupted by even more questions to Walter from Mr. Byers.
"What happened to your arm?"
"Long story," Walter said, shortly. "Do you have transportation?"
"The van should only be a couple of miles away."
"Which entrance?" She could tell by his cautious tone of voice, he was worried about encountering Larsen on their ascent.
The closer to escape they got, the less of the strange noises she heard.
He was a selfish bastard. There was no denying that any longer. He took what he wanted, did as he pleased, barely taking the time to glance at those he stepped on along the way. And if having the power meant an alliance with the very man who, more than once, tried to have him killed, so be it.
Alex stood in the open clearing, waiting for a man he'd never met. His boss's boss, so to speak. The man holding the cards.
Freshly out of Quantico, Alex had been recruited to the shadowy depths of Majestic to learn under the tutelage of the man before him. C. G. B. Spender. He'd sucked up his doubts, pushed aside any shred of remaining humanity, and became a trained killer for the DC sect of the Garnet project. His orders were simple. Protect the project at any cost. And while those orders came out of Spender's mouth, the man was only a puppet. The true genius was Conrad Strughold.
He'd never met the man before, but Alex recognized his face instantly. Without ever having seen a picture. The embodiment of grace and pride, the short bald man prowled like a lion. Carried his frame with regal air. Stepping out of the black Rolls like an Oscar favorite before the red carpet. Impeccably groomed with a little gray-laced mustache, not unlike Hitler's. Evil, in the flesh.
Amidst the backdrop of the huge hovering craft, he even managed to make a UFO look insignificant.
Strughold gazed up at the craft, nodding and saying something to his driver, before turning towards them. Spender cleared his throat and crushed yet another cigarette beneath his shoe.
"I see our escort has arrived," Strughold said softly, his voice betraying his German upbringing.
"It was flown in this evening. We won't make the same mistake again."
Spender didn't have to elaborate. After what had happened at El Rico, Alex knew all too well what they were avoiding. Alien rebels. With a secret location, and a secured escort, the risk to the few remaining Majestic elders was minimal. They would be flown to rendezvous with the Colonists, aboard the mother ship, by a military crew so classified not even the President was aware of their existence. The Green River Complex in Utah made Groom Lake, Nevada, look like a sick prank. And the aircraft before them, part of a top secret fleet reconstructed from crashed alien crafts, was the B-2 "Stealth" bomber's evil cousin. Although rumors surrounding the Aurora had been passed about in underground channels for years, not even speculation could come close to what the craft was really capable of. With the ability to hover silently, breach the atmosphere, as well as remain completely undetected on the radar screen, the Aurora was like a ghost.
Much like Strughold himself.
Looking back from the ship, Strughold caught Alex's stare and held it. Unflinching, a tiny smirk curling his lips. "Is this man one of yours, Spender?"
"This is Alex Krycek."
He didn't elaborate. He didn't need to, really. Strughold's eyes narrowed. "Are you daft?"
"Not in the least. He's brought us a peace offering." Flicking ash to the ground, Spender gestured towards the FBI agents being escorted to where they stood. "I don't believe you've met Agents Mulder and Scully. But I'm sure their reputations proceed them."
Both agents remained stubbornly silent, staring at Strughold with slight familiarity.
"No, we have not met. The pleasure is all mine." He glanced back at Spender and Alex, before frowning at a bit of ash on his wool suit. "What do you plan to do with them?"
"Eliminate them. They are of no use to us anymore."
"Very well. And him?"
"Mr. Krycek means to cut himself a deal. He's given us what we want. He wants immunity in return."
"And you think you can trust him?"
"I think his loyalties can be tested." Turning to Alex, Spender nodded at nearby guard. Alex recognized his bag of guns as it was brought closer. Dumped on the ground, it was shrouded in a haze of smoke as Spender bent to open the zipper and extract the first weapon he found. A fully loaded Glock 36. Handing the gun over, Spender stood back and stared at Mulder. "Since you were so gracious as to share, Alex, I'll let you have the honors. Kill him."
Ignoring Agent Scully's sudden shriek of protest, and Marita's gasp of terror, Alex flipped off the safety and opened fire. Mulder slumped to the ground after the first shot.
They drove past the previous entrance to the silos, spotting no sign of Larsen or his horses. Still, she wasn't a bit relieved. In the grungy old Volkswagon van they'd had to travel over open road, risking exposure to the Armed Forces. And there was no telling what awaited them back at Larsen's home. She could barely sit still, worrying about her family.
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Frohike watching her. Studying her like a piece of fancy electronics. Knowing the way Mulder felt about Alex, she was sure these men hated her lover, too. No doubt this man thought she was insane. At this point, she really didn't give a damn.
Rounding the bend on the deserted road, their lights turned off even in the dense morning fog, they could see a line of cars up ahead. Stopped dead in their tracks.
"Damn it!" Walter braced his good hand on the dash board, wincing as the seat belt bit into his injured shoulder. "I knew this wasn't going to be easy."
In the driver's seat, the bearded man, Mr. Byers, looked uneasily at his friends. "What should we do?"
"How did you get here earlier?"
"We parked the van out here last night. None of this stuff was here."
Glancing to the right, out at the misty field and the barbed wire fence surrounding it, Sabryn remembered something about saddling the horses. "That's Larsen's pasture over there. Cut across it."
Turning slightly in his seat, Walter met her gaze over his shoulder. "Are you sure?"
"Positive. He said the place reached out for acres."
"All right, let's do it."
With a slight shake of his head, Mr. Byers turned the wheel hard and sped off the road. Jostling over the uneven ground, the van hit the wire fence with a thud, catching momentarily, its tires spinning on the wet ground. Dirty snow flew up from the tires, before the rusted wire finally broke free of the posts. The van lurched forward, an awful screeching sound ringing through the cab as an entire portion of fencing drug along behind them. With a barely disguised moan, Langly buried his face in his hands. "My van."
There wasn't time for the accustomed guilt she normally would have felt in such an instance. She even told Byers to drive faster, causing them to bounce and hurdle over the bumpy field. She had to get back to her family before it was too late.
It was just her luck they'd get stuck in the snow, within sight of the smoking chimney. Swearing profusely, she climbed out of the van after Frohike and Langly. As the men walked behind the vehicle, bracing their hands to push, she shivered and tugged her coat tighter about her. Byers revved the engine, spitting dirty snow and rocks at the men behind the van. Ready to help, even though he had only one good arm, Walter stepped to the front and began rocking the heavy frame.
She wasn't patient enough to stand by or offer assistance. Blinking snowflakes from her eyelashes, Sabryn started trudging through the thick drifts towards Larsen's home. She was already twenty paces ahead before they noticed she was gone. The heavy footfalls behind her, accompanied by low grumbles, made her turn to see Walter in pursuit.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"To get my family, what does it look like?"
"Not alone, you're not."
"I'm not alone now."
"I don't really think you should go in there at all."
"I don't have a choice."
"Sabryn--" He grabbed her sleeve and pulled her to a stop. "You aren't prepared for what you might see in there."
"I wasn't prepared for any of this, but it's still happening. Now either let me go or get dragged, because I'm not stopping."
"All right." He released his grip, but didn't pause to watch her go. Instead, he led the way. "But I go in first."
He'd been right. By the time they got to the house, with the others having abandoned the stalled van to follow, the open door made her heart lurch heavily in her chest. Tire tracks and numerous footprints packed the pristine white snow. She nearly pushed Walter through the door in her haste to get inside.
The house was deserted.
An overturned chair and spilt glass of water stared at her like a beacon in the brightly lit kitchen. She searched frantically through each of the rooms, calling John's name, looking for some sign that maybe they were just hiding. But there was nothing. Standing in the doorway to the master bedroom, she sagged heavily against the frame. Biting her lip. Trying to think of anything that would keep her from losing her mind.
She was already breathing heavily with panic when a blur of movement shot out from under the bed and raced past her feet. She shrieked suddenly, stumbling backwards, nearly toppling over the night stand in the process. Getting back to her feet, she heard Walter in the hallway.
"Found something that belongs to you." He stepped into view, carrying a fat orange furball under his arm, football-style.
"Cheeser!" She groaned. "Damned cat. You scared the shit out of me."
Passing the cat over, he smiled slightly when she buried her nose in its fur. "At least someone's still here."
"Jolie never would have left her."
"We'll find your family--"
He didn't have time to finish the sentence before a look of dread came over her face and she hurried into the living room. Grabbing her bag with one hand, she rushed past Walter again, completely oblivious to his concern, and locked herself into the bathroom. Dumping the cat and her bag on the floor, she yanked the zipper of her jeans down and quickly made use of the toilet.
Cheeser stared at her, as she reached for her bag once more and pulled out the box of tampons. It figured that she'd be having her period now. During school, she used to call it her 'holiday'...because she always seemed to start menstruating on holidays or special occasions. An alien invasion of the earth certainly qualified.
"Being a girl sucks."
The cat didn't seem to sympathize. Then again, she couldn't imagine being in heat as too much fun, either. Just as she was finishing up, flushing the toilet and washing her hands, she heard a thump from under the counter that made her step back and stare. Hair raised, Cheeser looked at the cabinet and growled.
Hastily drying her hands on her jeans, Sabryn took a cautious step towards the door and opened it. "Walter?"
She nodded, stepping even closer to him. She motioned towards the cabinet under the sink, whispering, "There's something in there."
Still growling, Cheeser stepped even closer and sniffed at the closed doors. There was no telling what was in there. It could have been something as insignificant as a mouse...or as terrifying as an alien hatchling. Grabbing the cat and passing it over to Sabryn, Walter crouched down by the cabinet and listened. When no further noise issued, he glanced back up at her and gestured for her to move back. She hesitantly did as she was told.
And when he slowly opened the cabinet door, the scream that issued from inside the cavernous space made Cheeser tear her way out of Sabryn's arms.
Gasping, her skin ripped with claw marks, Sabryn saw Walter flinch at the continuous screaming. Bending down close enough to peer into the dark cabinet, she stared in horror at her niece's shivering body.
"Oh God, Jo..."
Curled into a tiny ball, shaking furiously, Jolie continued to scream until her throat was raw. A high-pitched, bone-rattling, horrible sound. And as Sabryn tried to touch her, she only cried louder.
"Jolie, shhh, it's me--"
"She can't hear you, she's in shock."
She pulled hard, enduring kicks and flailing arms, yanking the girl out from her hiding place. She'd barely fit in the tiny space to begin with. Getting her out was no doubt twice as challenging. Finally dragging her free of the enclosure, pinning her scratching hands to her sides, Sabryn hugged the girl tightly against her. Rocking slowly, crouched on her knees, murmuring into the girl's hair. Barely noticing as Mr. Byers and his friends appeared to see what the commotion was about. Unaware of her own trembling until she felt Walter's hand on her shoulder.
Finally, hearing her own sobs escape just as her niece's subsided.
Scully's yell was a strange amalgam of terror, rage, and disbelief. She struggled furiously in her captor's grip; whether to get at her partner's fallen body or to strangle Alex where he stood, he wasn't quite sure. Marita, on the other hand, silently took a few steps backwards, forcing the man holding her cuffed arm to do the same.
Averting his eyes from the messy scene on the ground, he glanced up at Spender with questioning eyes. "And the others?"
"I don't think that will be necessary." Spender stared down at Mulder's limp form, nudging the agent with his shoe. The resulting moan threatened to make Alex sick. He wasn't dead. The thought was less than comforting. "I'm not a stupid man, Alex. I know you've been working with the alien rebels."
He didn't bother denying it. "When they were useful to me, yes."
"And you stole that fetus from Fort Marlene, to sell, did you not?"
"I couldn't sell what was already taken."
Spender clearly didn't believe him. "I should have you shot for that, alone. How do I know you haven't led the rebels here, behind our backs?"
"Now you're accusing me of stupidity. I wouldn't knowingly walk into the middle of a war zone." The sound of Scully's tears, no matter how well hidden, was an awful piercing to his ears. "I shot him, what more do you want?"
"You've been working against us for years, and you expect me to accept your word without question?"
"Just get rid of him, Spender," Strughold muttered.
"Even if I collected enough evidence to fry all of you in the electric chair, it wouldn't matter. Nothing can stop the colonization now. The government will go up in a puff of smoke in a matter of hours. You win. I just want what's mine."
"And that is?"
"I'm sorry, Alex, but that isn't going to happen."
"That's what you think, old man."
August marks the one year anniversary of when I started writing
this story. I apologize profusely that it's taking me so long
to continue, and I thank all of you who have stuck by me, patiently,
all this time. I love you dearly. ~Isa.