Title: Alia Iacta Est 3

Author: Michelle Roy

Email: missmr94@aol.com

Feedback: PLEASE, PLEASE, OH PRETTY PLEASE!

Rating: R for language, violence, and one consensual sexual encounter between members of the opposite sex described not in great detail.

Category: A Conspiracy X File I suppose with a touch of S/K romance

Keywords: Conspiracy, Mulder, Scully, Krycek, Lone Gunmen, Spender, and CSM (the gang's all here!)

Disclaimer: You've heard it before, you'll hear it again. I dream about them but I don't own 'em. Chris Carter in all his wisdom thought these marvelous characters up and I suppose they belong to him, 1013 productions and Fox.

Time Frame: Between the movie and "The Beginning"

Spoilers: very slight references made to Tunguska, Terma, EBE, and a lovely little silo.

Summary: Krycek, with help from Mulder, Scully, and the Lone Gunmen, attempts to exact his revenge and Spender and CSM have their showdown.

Archiving: Absolutely with due credit to the author. As usual I'd like to know where my baby ends up.

 

NOTE: IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU READ AT LEAST "ALIA IACTA EST 2" BEFORE READING THIS. NOTHING WILL MAKE SENSE IF YOU SKIP IT. I can only hope that it makes sense after you read it.

 

********************************************************

 

With each passing moment another bead of sweat appeared on his forehead. Every breath he took seemed to solidify in his throat. Alex Krycek stared at the computer screen, the glare of which cast an unhealthy blue glow on his face. His eyes darted from the white bar on the screen that was slowly turning blue to the clock on the wall. He was expected at a meeting at 2pm and was going to have to fly to get there on time. The elders of the consortium looked at tardiness as some sort of sin. Alex wiped his brow and allowed himself a quick smile. If only they knew the sin that was being committed against them right now.

 

Alex stood in the middle of the most fortified building in New York City, but from the appearance of it's exterior it looked to be just one of many condemned eyesores on that particular street. Unknown by all but a chosen few was that behind the walls of that offensive structure was the nerve center of an international syndicate. It housed the main frame computer on which was stored the details of a plot so heinous and vile one would have a hard time believing it's planners were human. And indeed some of them weren't.

 

A short, squat bald man who had been called a dirty old man more than once had gotten them past the security measures of the building itself. Frohike loved a challenge and this certainly had been one. He'd studied the information that had been provided to him for seven days straight, but as usual he'd found a way to either bypass, eliminate, or temporarily discombobulate all that was meant to keep them out.

 

A man with stringy, rather greasy blond hair who wouldn't look out of place at a Lollapalooza concert had found a way in those seven days to slip unnoticed past the internal security systems of the computer itself. Langly was sure that this would go down as the ultimate hack of all time. Unfortunately he could tell no one.

 

A rather dapper looking man who looked as if he could recite the Dewey Decimal System while putting away library books stood behind Langly preparing for the task of deciphering all the information being loaded onto the disc. Byers had the key that had been provided to him for breaking the code, but there was so much information here. It may take months (nay years?) to take it all in. But Krycek was looking for only one thing.

 

Alex stood crouched behind the seated Langly watching the download proceed millimeter by millimeter. He knew they only had so much time - Frohike said 15 minutes tops until the motion detectors would come back online. Ten agonizing minutes had passed since they arrived to the core area where the system was located and began the download. The silence was deafening.

 

"Download complete" Langly read from the screen. Instantly Krycek ejected the disc, put it in a black case and handed it to Byers. "That's only the future you have in your hands. Your life is worth fucking nothing compared with it. I need it decoded and the information I listed within 24 hours."

 

Byers jaw hit the floor at this request. "Krycek that's impossible. You have no idea..."

 

Krycek's eyes glowered at Byers and he felt impaled by their cold, vicious gaze. When he spoke it was with the stammer of barely contained rage.

 

"That was not a request. The locations will be in my hand in 24 hours. If they aren't, in a very short while you'll have some very absorbing information to print in the rag you publish. Unfortunately, there might not be anyone around to read it. Are we clear on this?

 

Byers swallowed. Hard. "Crystal."

 

Langly finished his work and they began their hurried exit, Frohike stopping momentarily along the way to release the security measures he had tied up. He left only the cameras on the outside of the building and the ones on the buildings surrounding it impaired temporarily. They slipped out the side door that led into an alley and paired off, each pair going in a different direction down the alley. Krycek and Byers headed deeper into the alley, while Langly and Frohike walked to the street.

 

Frohike's van waited for Krycek and Byers. Krycek climbed into the back and Byers took the wheel, backing out of the alley into the street parallel to the one Langly and Frohike exited to. They drove wordlessly for about 10 minutes, the tension stretched tight between them. Once they reached a street clogged with pedestrians, Krycek climbed into the front seat and straightened out his suit. "Drop me here." He paused; grasping for words that rarely escaped his lips. "Tell Langly and Frohike I am duly impressed. I have the same degree of confidence in your abilities. I'll see you in DC tomorrow."

 

Krycek jumped out and immediately became one of the faceless throng of people. Byers stared off in the direction that Krycek had headed and as soon as he felt he was safe to do so he uttered a word that had never escaped his lips.

 

"Dickhead."

 

 

********************************************************************************************

 

The heavy, dark clouds that had been threatening to unleash their wet bounty all day decided to open up over the head of Jeffery Spender the moment he was to have been meeting with the man who called himself his father. He looked out from a safe distance at the man pacing near a park bench and smoking his Morleys as if his life depended on them. He had done his "father's" bidding - he had retrieved the mysterious case from the safe deposit box. He had killed a man for it. Spender took the case from his pocket; stared at it and wondered what about it made it more valuable than a human life.

 

He had come here with every intention of turning the item over to the man like they had agreed but at the last possible second he decided to forego the meeting. He couldn't quite put his finger on the reason why he'd decided to follow his instinct. Maybe the thought that there might be something in this for him was too strong a temptation. Perhaps it was an unconscious attempt by the son for dominance over the father.

 

Maybe he just wanted to say, "Fuck you Dad."

 

Spender let the cold rain drip from his hair and run down his face.

 

The minutes passed.

 

As he watched his "father" flick his cigarette in the small lake and walk tersely away, pulling his overcoat tightly around him, Spender felt emboldened. With each step that the man put between himself and Spender the feeling increased exponentially. By the time the man was out of his sight Spender felt as if he finally had the fortitude and the will to take on this man he had regarded with so much contempt.

 

He could hardly wait.

 

Shaking the rain from his coat he turned and headed back towards his car, lighting up a Morley as he dodged the raindrops.

********************************************************************************************

 

Krycek had taken many precautions to assure that no one would follow him and was convinced that no one had. He knew that from the moment he had blackmailed his way into the upper echelon of the consortium the elders had been having him tailed, but if Krycek knew anything it was how to disappear. Still he was on edge as he followed the teller back through the thick steel doors to the safe deposit box. He had been meaning to put a certain videocassette of an encounter he'd had with a certain red head in the box. Time was running short and it was today or never.

 

Alex had been having second thoughts about the video. While having it in his possession gave him leverage beyond his wildest dreams with Dana Scully, the feelings that he tried so hard to ignore - that he was so sure would dissolve - seemed instead to only strengthen. Krycek was determined not to let thoughts of her distract him from his objective. In the end the video was too valuable an asset and outweighed any pathos Krycek might've been experiencing.

 

Resignedly Alex flung his briefcase on the small table, spun its combination and took out the video. He stared at it momentarily, wishing he could watch it just once more. He opened the safe deposit box and nearly gagged.

 

Empty.

 

The black oil and antidote were gone.

 

His eyes widened to the size of saucers as pure, unadulterated panic swept across his face. He felt instantly awash in sweat and a high pitched ringing suddenly started in his ears. Rage, violent and raw, churned inside him.

 

One thought screamed through his mind:

 

"I AM A DEAD MAN."

 

 

His mind began racing with frenzied thought of who, what, when, but his razor sharp instinct for self preservation quickly took control and he realized that he had to get out of New York City now.

 

Leaving the empty box on the table, Krycek grabbed his gun out of the briefcase and slid it in his pocket. He put the video in the briefcase and tried to compose himself. He walked out quickly, flashing his old FBI badge to the teller and telling her as he passed that he wouldn't be needing the box any longer.

 

Something the teller said made him turn and walk anxiously back to her. "What was that you just said?"

 

The teller was visibly agitated at all the mysterious comings and goings of this box. " I just said sir that every time this box gets entered it's by a different FBI agent. What's in there anyway - girlie pictures of J Edgar Hoover?"

 

Krycek tried to keep calm. Slowly, "Who was the last one to enter?"

 

The teller grabbed the sign in sheet for the box. "It's right here sir, but good luck in making the name out. It's pretty bad handwriting." She crinkled up her nose a little. "I don't think he was a signer for the box, but he did have a court order."

 

A fabricated court order. "Did he show his badge?"

 

"Yes sir he did, and before you can ask he was tall with dark hair, kind of thin and lanky. Kind of nondescript beyond that."

 

Krycek was shuddering with rage as he left the girl. Guardedly, he headed straight for Grand Central Station wishing he had eyes in the back of his head. His thoughts went to the phone calls he'd made in the previous week. Innumerable in quantity but every one of them a necessary step in the evolution of the plan he had formulated. He'd been forced out of necessity to swallow his pride and associate with people he'd sworn never to deal with again. Thankfully what information he'd shared with his "allies" played to their ingrained paranoia. Krycek hoped that everything had been taken care of.

 

There was just one more phone call he had to make.

 

He'd once told Mulder that if you lived in the gutter you had to learn to live with the rats.

 

Krycek couldn't help a grin from spreading across his face as he dashed onto the train.

 

The rats were about to have their day in the sun.

 

 

********************************************************************************************

 

 

The passage of time was a subjective thing in Byers' mind. Although the clock in the cramped office that was used as a headquarters for the Lone Gunman indicated that it had been nearly 25 hours since he began his dissemination of the files, Byers was sure that at least a week had passed since he'd slept. Krycek's demand for the information had proved daunting, but as Byers looked bleary-eyed at the computer screen he felt like he'd accomplished the impossible. Unfortunately most of the information had to be passed over and decoded properly later. The only way to get the data needed was to scan the files for key words and locations. His list contained several sites in mainly the United States, Russia, and Canada.

 

What little Byers had managed to pick up regarding the consortium's work had shook him to his foundations.

 

Mulder lay sprawled out and sleeping on what may at one time passed for a sofa. Scully slept peacefully in a cot set up next to him. Langly was slumped against a wall and snoring fitfully. Frohike was the only one who managed to stay with Byers, although he had a hard time pulling his attention from the sleeping Scully.

 

"Look at her Byers. God she's hot."

 

Byers rolled his eyes and rubbed them wearily. "I'm done. I have the list. Wake Mulder Frohike."

 

"Can I wake Scully too?"

 

"Jesus Christ Frohike, just wake everybody." Byers instantly regretted snapping at Frohike, but found it impossible to fight the inevitable irritation that comes with lack of sleep.

 

In minutes they all were gathered around Byers eyeing the list of geographic sites that he had gathered. Mulder's eyes lit up like beacons, the excitement in his voice irrefutable. "Scully, I think someone's been following us around. This list looks like an itinerary for a trip down memory lane." He paused, adding sarcastically, "I'll take 'Places to Avoid' for 1000 Alex."

 

Scully recognized some of the sites as well and she was concerned. "What does Krycek want with this data? Mulder, in the wrong hands the information contained at some of these places could be tremendously dangerous."

 

Mulder recognized the potential for the exploitation of the data and agreed that Krycek should probably not be in possession of it. But he had made a deal with the devil. A deal to trust the man who had murdered his father. He figured he finally had fulfilled many predictions and gone certifiably insane. But as much as he fought it, his instincts told him he was right to believe Krycek.

 

Mulder glanced at Byers, who was having a hard time keeping his eyelids open. "Byers, how long would it take you to translate the rest of the disc?" Byers shot him a look that caused him to add, "after you get some sleep?"

 

"Do you want the abridged version or word for word?"

 

"Just the dirty parts."

 

Byers was intensely anxious to dig into it, but his zeal was overruled by his body's insistence that he give it a rest. "Let me sleep for a few hours and I can have it for you in a couple of days." He stressed, "Mulder, be aware that this disc contains plans of an unimaginable scale and design. What little I've been able to pick up so far would, if it were to be made public, shake civilization right down to its core beliefs. So when you come for this data, come with an open mind."

 

The entirety of the group looked at Byers incredulously. Frohike managed to remind Byers, "Remember, his ideas are weirder than ours are. I don't think you have to worry about an open mind."

 

Scully's cell phone began it's high - pitched chirping and she answered it before it could ring a second time. For some reason, she wasn't surprised at who the caller was. For some reason she was relieved to hear his voice.

 

"I need to see you now Scully." There was no mistaking the anxiety in Krycek's voice. "I'm in trouble and I have to move fast. Does Byers have the information?"

 

"Yes. What's wrong?"

 

"Just get here and I'll tell you. Have Byers make a copy of the disc. Bring that and a copy of the list and make sure you aren't followed. It's imperative you're here within 45 minutes."

 

Krycek told Scully his location and cut the connection. She turned to find all eyes on her. "That was Krycek. He's in some kind of trouble and needs the list now. He wants me to bring it to him." She looked at Mulder who was already grabbing his jacket. "Alone Mulder."

 

Mulder stopped short and stared at Scully. "No way Scully. There is no way in hell I'm letting you go to him alone."

 

Scully became insistent. "Mulder, he stated specifically that he wanted me to bring the list to him and for me to come alone. I don't think, given the number and severity of things that could go wrong if we piss him off, that it's a good idea to come storming in on him demanding to know what his plans are." She paused, letting her rationalization sink in. "I will find out Mulder. And I will be fine."

 

She touched his cheek. "Trust me."

 

Mulder's emotional reaction had been calmed by Scully's logic once again. He'd lost track of the number of times she had done this. Her rationalizations didn't diminish his concern for her safety and though he'd let her go he wouldn't be far behind.

 

********************************************************************************************

 

The man exhaled the smoke slowly and inhaled it back through his nose. The Surgeon General could kiss his ass; he could think of worse ways to die than by cigarettes. Far worse.

 

He stood at the window of a bar across the street from the bus station in Washington DC. He was intently watching his son. The walls of the station were made entirely of glass and made his job an easy one.

 

In a perverted way he was proud of his son. He had double-crossed his father by not turning over the black oil and antidote, but after his initial wrath had subsided he looked upon his son with a new respect. He held potential that heretofore had been obscured.

 

It was too bad that Jeff had picked the wrong person to screw with.

 

He watched his son walk out of the doors and glance up and down the street before getting in his car and driving away. Throwing the cigarette to the floor he briskly proceeded across the street to the bus station. Discreetly he slid a narrow metal object into the keyhole of a locker and turned it slightly this way then that, applying just the right amount of pressure to the tumblers inside the lock. He felt the door release, opened it and found what he expected to find. Patiently he slid the case into his pocket and walked out of the station, resolved to do what had to be done.

 

Nobody screwed with him.

 

Nobody.

 

********************************************************************************************

 

 

Scully walked through the doors of Union Station knowing that Mulder had followed her there. It had been a foregone conclusion that he would and she allowed herself to take some comfort in the fact that she wasn't alone. Yet. The very fact that Krycek wanted to meet on a train rather than just in the station told her that she was going for a ride.

 

She glanced behind her. No Mulder. Well, she couldn't see him back there, but she knew that he was there somewhere. Probably having a cow seeing her picking up a ticket and walking towards the trains. "Trust me Mulder" she thought to herself and hoped that he did. She hoped he would understand, knowing he couldn't possibly. How could he understand when the reasons for her attraction were lost even to her.

 

She loved Mulder; there was no denying it. She wouldn't even try to deny it if he were to confess his feelings of affection to her. Their lives had been intertwined to the point that it had become impossible for something that affected one not to affect the other. He brought out the best in her, made her feel whole, and uplifted her soul.

 

And then there was Alex Krycek.

 

God, she didn't even want to start psychoanalyzing the reasons why she found him impossible to resist. She didn't want to know what irrational hungers lurked in the dark corners of her soul that he seemed to satisfy. If she thought about it for too long it only sickened and repelled her and made her wonder about her own demons.

 

Scully closed her eyes and shook her head, refusing to analyze that which was impossible to understand. Just let it happen.

 

She took one last look around before boarding the train. No one seemed to be paying any attention to her and there was no sign of Mulder.

 

The door was marked "423". She knocked, quietly said her name, and found herself being pulled quickly through the door. Krycek shut it behind her and didn't hesitate. "Give me the list Scully." He was agitated and distracted.

 

Before she had it completely out of her pocket, he grabbed it and looked it over. A smile spread over his face and he let out a whoop. He grabbed her by the shoulders. "I've got 'em covered! There's more objectives than I thought, but I'm gonna set the goddamned project back decades. I can't kill it but I can make the son of a bitch bleed!" He was absolutely ebullient. "Scully, wait here. I'll be back." Krycek pulled a gun from his pocket, pulled the recoil back to put a bullet in the chamber and walked determinedly out of the car.

 

Scully pulled the shade back from the window and saw Krycek at a bank of payphones. He talked for only a minute or two, hung up and immediately dialed another number. While she watched, Krycek made nine phone calls, each lasting only a few minutes. She knew what was happening. She could see it coming and had no doubt that Krycek could make it happen.

 

She jumped as her cell phone began ringing. She quickly answered it knowing without a doubt who was on the other end.

 

"Scully, what the hell is going on? Get the fuck off that train now!"

 

She tried to sound irritated that he knew where she was. "You followed me?"

 

Now Mulder sounded irritated. "Don't act surprised, you knew I would. Now get off the train or I'm getting on." He lightened his stance a little. "C'mon Scully, you don't really want to eat train food do you?"

 

She didn't fight the anger that was rising in her voice. "Mulder stop it! Krycek is in a position to be an unbelievably important asset to us, or he could just as easily be in a position to do great harm." She put force behind each of her words. "I WILL BE FINE. I will call you when I get to wherever I'm going. Maybe I'll need a ride."

Mulder didn't like it, but he grudgingly agreed.

 

 

 

Suddenly the train began moving. Scully watched as Krycek slammed the phone down and ran towards it, hopping on just as it cleared the platform. As he entered the cabin Scully could see that his enthusiastic glee had been replaced by stoic resignation.

 

And indeed it had. While he still felt exhilaration knowing that what he had planned was indeed possible and was finally going forward, he knew that there would be a price to be paid for the revenge he exacted. At the extreme he'd pay it with his life. And even if it didn't reach that final outcome, his would be a nomadic existence at best. Not much different than it had been over the past few years really.

He'd planned for this. What he hadn't planned on was Dana Scully.

 

"So what's going on Krycek? What's so wrong that we have to meet on a moving vehicle?"

 

"The black oil and vaccine are gone. They were taken from the safe deposit box I'd kept them in." Just speaking the words started his stomach churning again, gave new life to his rage. "They were taken by a tall, lanky man who flashed a court order and FBI badge. I couldn't make out the signature and didn't have time to check the tapes from the security cameras."

 

Bewildered, Scully regarded Krycek with concern, for he was in tremendous danger. "An FBI agent took the case? That makes no sense Krycek. No one but Mulder and I know about the case." She paused, suddenly remembering the phone call she intercepted in Spender's office. It had been the cigarette smoking man. She did the math. "Spender. That goddamned little weasel. Alex, I'd bet my life that the case has fallen into hands that mean to do you no favors."

 

Krycek's eyes locked onto Scully's. When he spoke it was with a quiet, firm resoluteness. "Dana, I'm going to have to disappear soon. I can't tell you where I'm going. I won't be able to have any contact with you or Mulder after today."

 

A sudden, acute sense of loss washed over Scully. The realization of the depth of the consequences that Krycek was about to face hit her like a slap in the face. The sacrifice he was willing to make in the name of revenge was appalling. She could never understand hatred of that degree. As she looked at him she sensed a vaguely sensual light pass between them. His eyes bored into her with silent expectation. He drew her in like a magnet.

 

They hesitated for a few expectant moments, their lips only separated by a breath. Krycek whispered against her lips, "I may never see you again."

 

Scully found herself trembling; the prolonged anticipation of him - of his kiss - made time seem to stand still. Before allowing desire to overtake her she heard herself whisper into Alex's mouth, "Never say never Krycek."

 

She sensed a grin as he reclaimed her lips, crushing her to him. His kiss was hard and burned with hunger and carnality. She matched his craving, losing herself in him. They tore at each other's clothes, unable to shred them fast enough.

 

As the train traveled rhythmically across the tracks, Krycek and Scully moved in an exquisite rhythm of their own making. She exalted at his strength, at his passion and the beauty of his body. Krycek marveled at the way she seemed to drown in her desire; blocking out all except him, except them. Krycek hovered above her, feeling the satin of her thighs wrapping around him and he realized that more than her legs held him to her. As they became one he realized that the threads that truly lashed them together wove through their souls.

 

They took what they needed from each other and gave each other all of themselves. Erotic musings were uttered in the heat of passion. In the end Krycek took Scully with a force she had never known and she surrendered to him, allowing his complete domination. He in turn did all that needed to be done to see to it that she found complete fulfillment as wave after wave of bliss washed over her. His explosive release flooded her with fire and filled her with his essence.

 

Alex collapsed on her, completely exhausted. Their bodies were writhed in sweat and breathless, each gasped for air. Scully's eyes were closed as she savored the afterglow, not wanting him to move a muscle. She luxuriated in bearing the weight of his body.

 

Krycek lifted himself up on his elbow and looked down at her. Her hair was wildly fanned out under her and sweat beaded on her forehead and lip. He felt his own sweat rolling down his face. This was how he wanted to remember her.

 

Scully looked up at him through the drops of sweat that lingered on her eyelashes. He was the most confident, capable man she'd ever known and at the same time he was untrustworthy, his allegiance was questionable, and his motivations were strictly of the worst kind.

 

She began to feel a deep, desolate ache develop in the pit of her stomach.

 

They reluctantly got up and pulled themselves together, barely speaking, afraid of the words that might escape. He did manage to mutter a request to pass along an apology to Byers and complimented his work.

 

As they neared the station in Philadelphia, Scully slipped him the disc knowing that it may be the only insurance he had. They embraced passionately. She touched his cheek and he felt it sear into his soul. He brushed the hair from her face and she knew she'd always feel his fingers in her hair. Their lips met one last time in a tender kiss that neither wanted to let go of. As Scully walked down the hall of the train on her way out, Krycek stepped out of the cabin. "Never say never Scully."

 

********************************************************************************************

 

It took Spender a couple days to determine exactly what he'd ask for in return for the case. He could've asked for money, he could've asked for power, but he settled on something far more valuable.

 

He sat impatiently in his car on a rural road near Mount Zion, Maryland just outside DC. In determining the place to bargain with his father he eventually chose someplace where no one could possibly see them together. A crowded street corner would've provided added safety, but Spender wasn't about to take any risks with his reputation.

 

His father was late and Spender had anticipated he would be. Turnabout was fair play right? That was fine with him - it gave him more time to compose himself. He sat huddled in his car, his nerves on edge but overall Jeffrey Spender felt great. This was the night he finally broke free of his father's domineering grip. It had been his father who engineered his takeover of the X Files and his father who fed him pertinent information on certain cases. But it had also been his father who demanded complete control over nearly every aspect of Spender's life. Spender was becoming embroiled deeper and deeper in his father's line of work. He'd had enough. Enough of being the lackey. He was ready to break free and complete the course of his life on his own terms.

 

The headlights flashed in his rear view mirror and instantly Spender snapped to life. He checked his gun, secure in his shoulder holster. He checked his key ring for the locker key. If all went as planned he'd be a liberated man within the next few minutes.

 

The car pulled ahead of him and he stepped out of his car and leaned casually against the hood. When the door of his father's car opened, he emerged as if from a cloud of smoke. It seemed to cling to him, wispy contrails bound to him and reminded Spender of how death might look lurking near it's victim.

 

The first thing his father did was light up and offer the cigarette to Spender who, though he longed for one, refused it. His father inhaled deeply and let the smoke settle in his lungs. "A strange choice of locales Agent Spender."

 

"I wouldn't want anyone seeing us together. It might damage my reputation."

 

The cigarette smoking man smirked. "Your reputation? You think you carry a high reputation? A bit out of touch Jeffrey."

 

He wouldn't let his father get to him. He wouldn't give him the satisfaction. His voice was steady as he spoke his demands. "I want to make a deal. For the case and the contents of it I want you out of my life forever. I don't want your intervention or involvement in my career. From this night forward I don't ever want to see you again. Anything less and there is no deal."

 

His father stared at him and didn't speak for an agonizingly long time. All he did was drag on that goddamned cigarette and bore holes through him with his gaze. Spender matched his stare with a steely one of his own and tried to keep his nerves from showing. His hand went to his pocket when it began to shake.

 

He watched his father throw the cigarette to the ground and reach into his pocket. Immediately Spender reached for his gun, drew it and had it trained on his father's heart in the span of a second. What he saw his father take from his pocket caused him to feel as if a bullet exploded inside him.

 

His father held up the case. "Checkmate Jeffrey."

 

Spender began to tremble uncontrollably, knowing the danger he was in, knowing what his father was capable of. He tried in vain to keep the panic from spreading to his face. Keeping the gun steady on his father, he fought the urge to just pull the fucking trigger.

 

It was a position the cigarette smoking man had been in many times before, and every other time he savored the look of horror that took over his opponent's face. But this was his son. He took no pleasure in this.

 

"Son, I don't do deals. You have obviously underestimated the lengths to which I will go, the means I will take to achieve the end."

 

A car with its lights turned off pulled unnoticed about 100 yards behind Spender's car.

 

Spender grappled for words. "Alright, fine, you win. I made a play and I lost. But you can't begrudge me that. It's right out of your play book isn't it Dad?" Maybe he shouldn't have added the sarcasm.

 

"Yes I actually gained some respect for you. But Jeffrey your judgement regarding who to screw with is fatally flawed." He paused to drag. "You held much potential. It's too bad it won't see culmination."

 

The car that had inched up slowly so that it was just behind Spender's came alive, lights blazing as it screeched past Spender's car. Jeffrey spun, aiming the gun and managed to fire two shots before a bullet ripped into his heart. As he collapsed to the road the gunman threw the weapon out the window. It landed near Spender's head.

 

The last thing that Jeffrey Spender saw before death came for him was his father walking calmly to his car.

 

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The coffee she sipped wasn't helping the unsettled feeling she had in the pit of her stomach. Scully sat at Mulder's desk taking a break from doing background checks. Earlier in the day she had gone to the basement to see Spender and found him not in. When she inquired she found that he hadn't been to work in nearly a week and that he was considered a missing person. The FBI had just assigned a couple agents to the case. Both Scully and Mulder knew the people that Spender associated with and neither of them held out much hope for him if he had indeed gotten on their bad side.

 

Scully had told Mulder of her suspicion that Spender had taken the case containing the black oil and vaccine from the safe deposit box in New York City. They had checked the surveillance tapes, but nothing concrete could be seen on them. If he had been murdered for the case then Krycek had better have found a good hiding place. Scully bowed her head and fought back the feeling of helplessness that came over her every time she thought of Krycek.

 

Mulder sat with his feet propped on his desk, his hands behind his head and his eyes closed. Scully sat next to him but faced behind him. She was watching the television on top of the file cabinets. It was continually on CNN and something caught her eye. A "special report" cut in came on and scenes of smoldering ruins of buildings in several different locations played across the screen. Seeing the name of one of the sites flash across the screen Scully virtually sprinted to the TV to turn it up. Mulder turned at the commotion and sat spellbound listening to the report.

 

"This is Lou Waters and if you're just tuning in there have been a series of explosions across the US and one, perhaps two explosions in Canada and in the Tunguska region of Siberia. The explosions we can confirm at this time are of a scientific research facility in Mattawa, Washington, an abandoned coal mine owned by Strunghold Mining in West Virginia where there are reports of massive cave ins of the tunnels in the mine, a farm in western Canada where I believe ginseng and bees were cultivated and at another research facility in the Tunguska region of Russia. More reports are coming in as we speak, the most recent is, inexplicably of an explosion that has imploded an abandoned missile silo is Bismarck, North Dakota. There is no official word of anyone claiming responsibility, although local authorities in North Dakota have mentioned possible ties to a militia group that has ties to the area. Could this militia group have subsidiaries in Canada and Siberia? Only time will tell."

 

While the anchorman had been speaking Scully had walked trance-like back to Mulder's desk where he too was fixated on the television. As the news broke for a commercial they turned to each other speechless. Each tried to say something but found their mouths dry and they could force not sound from their throats. A smile began spreading across Scully's face, one she found impossible to halt. It spread to Mulder who took the smile and ran with it, pumping his fist in front of him. For the first time in Mulder's memory, Dana Scully began laughing her ass off.

 

What neither of them could know was that thousands of miles away Alex Krycek was doing the exact same thing.