X-Files M/K AU
Title: Chisli VIII - One
Author: Nicole S.
Rating: NC-17 for bad language, violence and m/m sex.

Archive to Allslash, Archive X, TER/MA, All Things Rat, Den of Sin Series
Sequel: Sequel to 7002, 7243, 1015, 7-11, 911, 2218 and 219
Webpages: terma: http://members.tripod.com/~ter_ma Den of Sin: http://members.tripod.com/Nic-S

Please give me some feedback - oscar204@aol.com
Spoilers: All Krycek episodes up to and including SR819, Two Fathers, One Son and Biogenesis

Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, they belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox. Please don't sue me, I'm a starving student.

Summary: Krycek decides to take matters into his own hands. Comments: Thanks to Aries and Orithain for beta of the supreme kind. Thanks to Aries, Orithain, Amy B., Row, Frankie and Sue for continuing support. This started out as a canon series then spiraled into a total AU. This is the last story in this series. You should probably read the last two stories for this one to make any sense.

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Chisli VIII: - One
by Nicole S. (9/99)
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Alex sat in his car, the heavy burden of what was to happen weighing heavily on his shoulders. His hands clenched and unclenched on the steering wheel as he considered his options. The Smoking Man had made him a deal - trade Mulder for the pieces with the inscriptions on them. It should be an easy decision; Mulder was a human being, // the one I...love (??)// The pieces were just inanimate objects. // Objects that,
if not dealt with properly, could destroy the earth.//

"Fuck!"

This *should* be simple, but it wasn't. If he gave the Smoking Man the pieces, that black-lunged monster could do more damage than good. And as much as Alex tried not to care, he couldn't let that smoking bastard get the upper hand again. He'd already told him he'd make the trade, and now, much to Alex's surprise, he was actually going to do it. // Or I could find a way to get out of it.// He sighed. // My life is turning into a bad James Bond movie.//

Alex sat there for a few more minutes before he started his car and eased out of the parking spot. He made his way out of the parkade, mind still whirling, trying to decide what to do. He didn't realize how late it was until he saw the pitch darkness outside lit by the orange glow of the streetlights surrounding the hospital. There wasn't any activity this late, or early, depending on your perspective. Well, almost no activity, an attendant was loading someone into the back of an ambulance. A normal occurrence, except for the fact that Alex recognized the attendant - he worked for the Smoking Man.

// I thought I'd killed everyone!// Alex cut the engine and turned off the lights. He saw Diana get into the back of the ambulance before the attendant shut the doors and got into the driver's seat.

"You double-crossing bitch!" Alex said in disbelief. For once in his life he had been going to do the right thing, the unselfish thing; he was going to put someone else's life before his, and he was going to get fucked over anyway! "That's it, no more Mr. Nice Guy."

Alex waited for the ambulance to start down the street before he followed it, leaving his car lights off. The ambulance was without siren or flashing lights at this late hour. As he drove, Alex's jaw started to hurt from clenching his teeth. He could barely drive from the anger that clouded his vision. // You cunt. You fucking bitch!// ran through his mind. The ambulance took a road leading toward the outside of town; there was no traffic. When they were just past the city limits, Alex decided to make his move. He sped ahead of the ambulance, slammed on the brakes, spun around and turned on his high beams. The driver was almost blinded by this and had to stop his vehicle. Alex was already out of his car and had yanked the door open before the driver knew what was happening. Death came quickly for the driver; he didn't have time to react as Alex shot him through the head. Alex pulled the body through the door and pushed it to the ground.

Alex's eyes narrowed as he made his way to the back of the ambulance, gun drawn, ready to face Fowley. He flung open the rear doors revealing an unconscious, straightjacketed, restrained Mulder strapped to a gurney. Diana sat on the bench beside him, gun drawn and pointing forward.

"What do you want, Alex?" she asked as if she were calmly asking him the weather.

"You shafted me, Diana; we had a deal."

"It's for the best, Alex."

"Where are you taking him?"

"Somewhere where he can't hurt anyone anymore."

Alex raised an eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"

"It's all their fault, Alex. If it weren't for the Mulders, this would have all
gone as planned. If Bill Mulder had only brought Samantha all those years ago like he was supposed to, Fox would have never have seen his sister abducted; he wouldn't have this passion to know the truth, he wouldn't have this stupid quest. The Mulders ruined everything. Bill's dead, Mrs. Mulder is out of the picture. Now we need Fox...we need to..." She hesitated. Alex could see her draw in a shuddering breath. "Spender says he must remain alive...but I've been thinking...maybe we should get him out of the way for good." She moved her gun over so it was pointing at Mulder's head.

Alex breathed in and out nice and slow, not wanting to let her see the panic that was raging inside. He could see beads of sweat forming on Diana's brow and upper lip. // Spender has sure done a good job fucking up her mind.// The Smoking Man had tried that line with Alex when he had first gone to work for the Consortium, the whole "All Mulders are evil" speech. Alex saw right through it to the jealousy and biased hate that was behind it. Diana, however, was ready to kill Fox Mulder this very second based on what that black-lunged monster had told her.

"Diana, put the gun down."

"No," she whispered. "I'm sick of it, Alex, I just want all this to end. We were this close, and it all came tumbling down because of him." She clicked the safety off, cocked the hammer and pressed the barrel of the gun into Mulder's temple. "If he had only done what was asked of him, if things had been different, if he and I..."

"Diana, don't fuck with me, because I'm going to kill you if you don't put the gun down." He could see her finger gently beginning to squeeze the trigger of her gun. She gave a weak smile just before a bullet ripped through her left eye. Gore spattered the inside of the ambulance and over Mulder as Alex shot her twice more in the head.

He stood there for a minute, assessing the situation. He wanted to feel good about what he had just done, but he just felt numb. He had thought he would take great pleasure in killing Diana Fowley, but it didn't please him one bit.

// Great, can't even kill with a clear conscience these days.//

Alex went over to Mulder and wiped most of the blood and grey matter off of him with some gauze he found. He then unstrapped him from the gurney and tried to sit him upright. It was not easy; Mulder was a dead weight, unconscious and unresponsive. He was dressed in hospital pajamas and a straight jacket. Alex debated for a millisecond before he decided to leave the jacket on.

"Sorry, babe, but until I find out what they've given you, I can't have you freaking out on me."

Alex hauled Mulder off of the gurney and tried to carry him out of the ambulance, but having only one arm made it a difficult task. The prosthetic limb was good for holding or squeezing, or hitting, but there wasn't much strength for lifting.

"Shit."

Alex left Mulder half-sitting, half sprawled on the ambulance floor and went to get his car. He backed it up to the rear of the ambulance and pushed Mulder into the back seat. He didn't have time to make Mulder comfortable as another vehicle was approaching. Alex floored it out of there, tires squealing. Mulder was lying on his side in the back seat, not doing anything but breathing.

He drove on into the night, unsure of what to do next. He had Mulder, he had the pieces, he should be happy, he won, but this just made everything way more complicated. He had to find out what they had given Mulder. He also had to get the hell away from D.C. Once they found out Diana was dead and Mulder was gone, which would be soon, they'd be looking for him. They'd recognize Alex's standard three shots in the head with a 9mm as well. Then there were the pieces; he knew what he had to do with them, but he had to make sure he had them all first.

Alex sighed. // This was way too fucking complicated.// First things first, he had to find out what was wrong with Mulder. He flipped open his cell phone and dialed a number. "I need a favour."

~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex drove to his bunker with Mulder. He didn't know how much time he had, but he figured it wasn't much. He didn't know how much longer he could keep him unconscious without inflicting major damage to his brain. The sooner he found out just what the hell was going on, the sooner he could make it better.

He drove into the warehouse, the automatic door opening and closing for him from the remote control in his hand. He got out and lugged Mulder to the never-used elevator; Alex usually used the stairs. The mechanism creaked and groaned, but like everything else in this place, it worked.

It was tiring dragging Mulder off the elevator and down the hallway, through the series of locked doors into the bunker. He plopped Mulder down in a chair and, after he was sure he was secure, went to get a room ready for him. Alex had six bedrooms in this bunker, but only one was in use. The other rooms remained empty, the furnishings long taken away. Alex took the mattress off of his bed and dragged it down the hallway to the room. He didn't want Mulder to hurt himself in any way while he was gone. The doors were heavy steel; the locks were strong; he doubted Mulder could escape.

Alex wiped the sweat from his brow as he went to check on him, "Mulder, you're giving me a hell of a workout, and we aren't even naked." He looked down at the man who was still sprawled in the chair. Mulder's face didn't look peaceful; his brow was furrowed, and his breathing was quick and erratic. Alex reached out and stroked his cheek before he left to get a few things. Five minutes later, he was back.

Alex sat Mulder up and leaned him forward, bracing the man against his body. He undid the buckles on the straight jacket and pulled it off. // And these are so much fun when made of leather,// he thought to himself. Mulder was wearing hospital pajamas underneath that were soaked through with sweat. "Let's get these off of you."

Gently, Alex removed the soaked garments and tossed them into the garbage bin. He then wiped Mulder down with a damp cloth. Mulder moaned softly. He gathered a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and put them on Mulder just as gently as he removed the other clothing. Alex made sure Mulder was secure before he tied a piece of rubber tubing around Mulder's arm and drew two vials of blood. He ensured the flow had stopped before he placed a band-aid over the wound. He then partially filled a hypodermic with clear liquid from a sterile bottle and injected it into Mulder's other arm.

// That gives me about eight hours.//

Alex hefted Mulder up and dragged him down the hall to the room he had prepared. He put Mulder on his side and made sure he was comfortable before he smoothed a lock of hair back from Mulder's forehead and kissed it.

"I'll be back soon."

He stood and left the room, ensuring to lock the door behind him. He then set about finding out what was in Mulder's blood.

~~~~~~~~~~

Alex pulled up outside the low building with his car lights off as instructed. A lone figure walked up to his car and peered in the open window.

"I did as you asked."

"Are you sure we're in the right place, Walter? I said I needed a lab."

"This is the right place. These men can help us." Skinner went up to the door and knocked on it; there was some conversation through an intercom, then the door flew open, and a thin, scraggly haired blonde man said a few words. The door suddenly slammed in Skinner's face then opened a minute later, and the blonde man came out, followed by a tall man with a beard and a short man with thick glasses. Alex got out of the car and stood beside it.

"Where is he?" the short man demanded.

"Who the hell are you?" Alex demanded back.

"Who the hell are you?" the blonde retorted.

Alex's eyes narrowed. "Look, I called Skinner and told him I needed a lab, not the Three Stooges."

"Skinner called us and said Mulder was in trouble. We have a lab you can use, but we're going to help."

Alex snorted. "He's safe and I don't need your help." Alex coolly walked toward the building. When he got to Skinner, he dug the controller out of his pocket and ran his thumb across it. "Don't fuck with me, Walter," he said through clenched teeth. "Who are these clowns?"

"You didn't give me much of a choice when you said Scully couldn't be involved. I don't know anyone else who could have helped us. I was sure a professional such as yourself would have your *own* contacts."

Alex licked his lips, his thumb still playing over the surface of the PalmPilot. He couldn't fuck with Skinner at this instant; he needed him to be on his side with these...freaks around him. "Well, my usual contacts are no longer among the living."

Skinner's expression remained dark. "Let's play nice until we find out what's wrong with Mulder, then we can go back to hating each other." He turned and started inside the building.

Alex had to hand it to him, Skinner had grown some balls over the past few days. Fortunately for old Walter, Alex had other things on his mind and didn't have time to *punish* him properly. // That'll come later.//

Alex walked into the Lone Gunmen's lair, unsure of what to expect. He watched them whisper and bicker over what to do with their new *friend*.

"I don't trust this guy."

"He won't be here for long. Besides, we've got Skinner just in case."

"Just in case, what? He's an assassin, a trained killer; we could be dead within minutes."

A few seconds later, Langly, Byers and Frohike stopped whispering and looked over at Alex, who was leaning against the wall, arms folded across his chest. Langly then tentatively stepped forward and led Alex down a flight of stairs to a remarkably well-equipped lab.

"Here you go."

Alex didn't say anything as he surveyed the area. This would definitely suffice for the work he had to do. He basically knew what he was doing, what he was looking for; he had spent a few months in a Consortium lab and knew his way around simple bloodwork. He was no microbiologist though, and he was going to need some help. Skinner had promised him a tech would be here to help him, and they'd better get here soon.

Langly said something to him. Alex turned and fixed his intense green gaze on the blonde's blue eyes. He saw a twinge of fear, but Langly stood up straight and faced him.

"What did you say?"

Langly licked his lips nervously. "I said we've never had an assassin in here before."

Alex snorted, "Is that what Skinner told you?"

"No, it's what Mulder told us." He cocked his head. "You are Krycek, aren't you?"

"Yes," Alex said, amused. This conversation was suddenly interesting. "Mulder called me an *assassin*?"

"Well, you used to be his partner, right?"

Alex nodded.

"A few months ago, Mulder asked us for our help in finding you, but he said not to get too close because you were a...let me get this right..." Langly cocked his head the other way and crossed his arms across the Black Flag t-shirt he wore. "A rat-bastard, murdering assassin motherfucker." Langly smiled, pleased with himself. "He also said that you'd do whatever it took to get what you wanted, including killing anyone that got in your way."

Alex laughed, "Now why would Mulder be bragging about me like that?" He fixed his icy green stare on the big blue eyes behind the horn-rimmed glasses and watched them widen slowly with an uncomfortable gawk. Langly's face started to twitch, as Alex's gaze did not waver.

Skinner and another man came down the stairs and distracted them from their conversation. Alex's head snapped up, and he went straight to the man beside Skinner. "You the lab tech?"

"Yeah."

"Then let's get to work." Alex passed him the two vials of Mulder's blood.

The young man looked at the vials then looked back up at Alex. "What am I looking for?"

"I'll let you know when you find it."

The tech held up the vials to the light but then looked at Alex again. "What the hell is this, some kind of joke?" The vials held what appeared to be blood, but the lower half looked like sludge.

Alex shook his head. "This is no joke. The person this blood came from has been given some kind of drug that makes him paranoid and delusional. I want you to tell me which drug it is and how to counteract it."

"I can tell you right now, buddy, this isn't normal blood; there's something wrong with it."

Alex leaned in close and looked down at the young man; he was a good half a foot taller than him. "Just do your job and find the drug that's in this blood, okay?" Alex put his left arm on the young man's shoulder and squeezed.

They young man winced at the force of Alex's fake arm, and his mouth opened to let out a gasp. Skinner started toward Alex, but he narrowed his eyes, and Skinner stopped in his tracks. "Now, you made a deal with Mr. Skinner here to come here and work and ask no questions, right? You will be paid well for your work." Alex leaned down and whispered in the young man's ear, "So don't fuck with me, and you'll live to see tomorrow."

The young man realized what he was up against and nervously licked his lips and forced a small smile. "Sure."

Alex let the pressure up gradually and watched as the young man reached up to rub his shoulder then took the blood samples and got down to work.

~~~~~~~~~~

Alex supervised the technician's every move and hovered over him as he processed the blood. After hours of checking and rechecking, the technician couldn't determine what drug they had given Mulder, except for the sedative Alex had administered.

"There must be something in there. He wouldn't just start...." Alex cut himself off and kept himself in check. "Just look again."

The technician sighed and muttered something but then got back to work. After about an hour he placed some slides on the microscope and began looking through it. "I know you told me to ignore that stuff in the bottom of the vial, but I'm sure that has something to do with this."

"Ignore it," Alex snapped.

"Then what... There are little...machines...in his blood!"

"I know." Alex sighed. "For your health and mine, ignore them."

The tech looked up at Alex. "What the hell are these things? They're moving at an incredibly fast rate."

Alex frowned, "Moving?"

"Vibrating."

Alex pushed the tech out of the way. "Let me see." Alex looked through the microscope. "Goddamn."

"Do you know what these things are? How can someone have something like this in his blood?"

Alex gave the tech an icy stare, which shut him up. He took the controller out of his pocket and activated it. He noticed Skinner stiffen out of the corner of his eye. "Relax, Walter," he said as he locked onto Mulder's frequency. // Well, it's got the frequency...what the hell?" He turned up the controller and looked through the microscope. They started to spin and line up as they should. Then they started to break down and explode one by one. Alex gasped. "Oh my God."

"What is it?" Skinner asked.

Alex stepped away from the microscope and tried to think. // What the hell would make them do that?// The lab tech looked through the microscope and gasped. "They're breaking down and exploding."

"What!?!" Skinner almost yelled.

Alex ignored him. "They must have reprogrammed the diodes or given Mulder something to speed up their life cycle. These are supposed to last a hundred years. They're corroding for some reason." Alex checked his controller again. "They're also emitting a small electrical charge, which is probably why Mulder's so freaked out." He licked his lips. "So if they got them to explode all at once, that could rupture most of the blood vessels in Mulder's body." Alex frowned, "How the hell did they do that?"

Skinner rushed over to Alex's side and snarled in his ear. "I want these things out of me *now*. If they can reprogram Mulder, they can reprogram me."

Alex looked calmly at Skinner; he was right. Although he didn't really care for the AD, he did need him to help him once in awhile. Alex licked his lips. "They don't know you have them, Walter."

"How do you know? How did they know Mulder had them?"

"They saw me inject him with them." Alex thought for a second. "I have to get them out of him." He frowned. "I've never had to... evacuate them from anyone before."

"Well, there's a first time for everything," Skinner seethed. "You can start with me right here, right now."

Alex laughed, "I don't think so, Walter."

The veins started to stand out on Skinner's forehead. "Excuse me?"

Alex could see the fear and anger in Skinner's eyes and hear it in his voice. He kept his expression blank, however, yielding to the urge to taunt the older man. He raised his eyebrow. "It's going to be painful."

Skinner grabbed Alex by the throat. "Painful like this?" He squeezed tighter. "Get. These. Fucking. Things. Out. Of. Me. I did you your fucking favour, now it's your turn."

Alex clawed at the remarkably strong hand around his neck.

"Hey, take it easy," the lab tech said.

"Keep out of this," Skinner snarled. He turned his focus back to Alex, "You are going to tell me how to get rid of these, or I'm taking you down right here, right now. You got that, boy?"

"Without me you'll never find out how to get rid of them."

He released Alex with a grunt.

Alex sputtered and coughed as the air was let back into his lungs. He doubled over and breathed in deeply and slowly for a few minutes before he spoke again, his voice raspy. "I don't know what will happen. You could die."

"Yeah, well, I could die anyway. I'm willing to take that chance."

"I can't do this for you right now. Your diodes are fine. I need to get back to Mulder and help him first."

"I can't accept that answer."

"Well you're going to have to, Walter," Alex snapped, clearly frustrated.

Skinner reached for his gun, but Alex got to his controller first. He put Skinner on a notch above low hum and watched as he crumpled to the floor. "Walter, I can't do all of this at once. You're going to have to live with this for a little longer."

The lab tech's eyes were as wide as saucers as he watched the large man writhe in pain on the floor. Alex reached into his leather jacket and pulled out a wad of bills. He peeled off a substantial amount and gave it to the lab tech. He then collected the vials of blood, the slides and anything else that could hold trace amounts of blood into a plastic bag. Then he turned to climb the stairs.

"Is that it?" the young man called out. "Aren't you going to tell me what these things are?" The lab tech was very confused.

"No, I am not." Alex didn't turn to look back. "And you aren't going to tell anyone about this either. Funny thing about these diodes, they get into the blood stream extremely easily." Alex climbed the stairs and snapped the controller off as he strode through the large room above. The three men who were arguing yet again about something stopped talking and watched as he walked silently through the door and outside.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex drove back to the bunker and loaded his car with the supplies that he'd need for his place in New York. He shut most of the power down, as he wasn't sure if he'd make it back here anytime soon. Then he loaded Mulder into the car. It had been several hours since he had given Mulder the drug. He was still groggy but was starting to moan and grumble a bit as it wore off.

The sun was shining now. Alex looked at his watch, 9:22 am. He hadn't slept since yesterday, and he hadn't eaten in a long time, either. He grabbed a breakfast bar from his supplies and wolfed that down as he eased the car out of the building. Mulder was strapped in beside him and looked as if he was sleeping to anyone driving by. That was, if they could see through the dark-tinted windows. Alex stopped for a large coffee, then they hit the freeway.

They reached New York a few hours later, Alex cranky from lack of sleep and the amount of construction they had encountered. He parked the car and dragged Mulder upstairs without incident then went back down for his supplies. It took him four trips, but when he was done, he had everything inside his apartment where he needed it. Now he could turn his attention to the thing that needed him the most - Mulder.

Alex took off his leather jacket and looked at the groggy man sprawled on his couch, babbling incoherently. Alex got Mulder to the bathroom and sat him on the toilet lid then sat on the edge of the tub. He held Mulder's shoulder with one hand and stroked his face gently with the other

"Mulder. Mulder, can you hear me?"

"Scully...need Scully."

"Scully's not here, it's Alex."

"Alex...need Scully...get Scully."

"Mulder, I'm going to make you feel better, okay? They gave you something in the hospital that made you feel sick. I'm going to get it out of you."

"Please make me better. Feel so bad. Need Scully."

"I know you do. Just hang on a minute." Alex was nervous. It was true what he had told Skinner; he'd never gotten them out of anyone before. He activated the controller and watched it spring to life. He locked onto Mulder's frequency, pressed a few buttons then activated the "abort" command. He watched Mulder's eyes snap open and roll back into his head. Alex held him as his head lolled back and he gasped. Then Mulder pitched forward and hung limp in his arms, whimpering slightly. Mulder's body convulsed as the little machines started moving within his body. A few minutes later, blood started to trickle out of his nose and mouth.

"Oh shit! Oh goddamn it, Mulder."

"Alex moved Mulder over into the bathtub and watched as blood started to show through the sweats he wore. Alex immediately stripped off Mulder's clothing and put them aside.

"I had a feeling this would happen," he muttered. "That's it, Mulder, it's okay, I'm here."

It took a good half an hour for Mulder to *evacuate* the diodes. Alex could only watch sympathetically as blood oozed from his mouth, nose and out his anus. Mulder then dry heaved for another five minutes, which Alex attributed to just plain feeling sick from the experience.

Alex took his prosthesis off and set it aside, then put on the shower and got in with Mulder. He scrubbed Mulder, who was now standing of his own volition, then scrubbed himself off. // Might as well wash while I'm here.// After they were clean, Alex dried Mulder off and led him to the bedroom, where he got under the covers right away. Alex wrapped the towel around his waist and went back out to the bathroom. He wrung out the clothes, cleaned out the tub, and took the soiled garments down the hall to the ensuite laundry room and put them in the washing machine. Then he went back to the bedroom with his controller.

His heart was pounding as he activated it. Nothing. No frequency, no trace of the diodes anywhere. Alex let out a relieved sigh. He was so exhausted he could barely see. He got into bed beside Mulder and was asleep before his head hit the pillow.

~~~~~~~~~

It was dark when Alex woke up. He looked over to the clock, 8:19. Mulder was still snoring beside him. He wanted to wake him, he wanted to make love to him, but he decided to let him sleep for a little while longer. He gave him a kiss on the forehead before he got out of bed. His stomach grumbled as he dressed and went out to the kitchen. Alex decided on soup for Mulder and himself. He guessed Mulder hadn't eaten in a few days, and he didn't want a repeat of this morning.

While the soup was bubbling, he went into the bedroom, sat down on the bed beside Mulder and shook his shoulder. "Hey, Mulder. Mulder, wake up."

Mulder moaned, then his eyes opened to slits as the light from the hallway assaulted them. "Alex?"

"Yeah."

"What. Where...where am I?"

"You're at my place in New York."

"New York? Why am I in New York? How did I get here?"

"I brought you here. Look, I'll explain everything to you over some soup, okay? You probably haven't eaten in a few days."

"I feel like hell."

"I'm sorry to tell you that you don't really look all that good, either."

"Gee, thanks."

Alex caressed Mulder's forehead with his hand before he bent down and kissed him on the cheek. "There are some clothes for you on the end of the bed. When you're ready, come out to the kitchen." Alex then left him alone.

A few minutes later, Mulder wandered out to the kitchen. The jeans Alex had left him were a little baggy, but they'd do. Alex motioned for Mulder to sit at the table as he spooned out the vegetable soup into a bowl. A plate of saltines was beside it.

"I'm really thirsty; can I have a glass of water?"

"Sure thing." Alex got him his water and watched as Mulder downed the large glass of water in one gulp. "Want more?" Mulder nodded his head. Alex refilled his glass three more times before he had quenched his thirst.

Alex sat down across from him and started eating his soup.

Mulder waited until they were almost done before he spoke. "So are you going to tell me what happened or not?"

Alex lifted his eyes up to meet the gold flecked gaze. "What's the last thing you remember?"

"I was..." Mulder drifted off and thought for a second, then continued. "I was at the university, and I got a sharp pain in my head. Then I woke up in my bed, and Diana was there. After that I remember nothing except hazy images of people standing over me, injecting me with something."

// Good.//

"Alex. Was I...was I abducted?"

Alex shook his head, "No. Well, not by aliens anyway. You were incarcerated in a psych ward for a few days."

"Psych ward? Why?"

"So they could keep you out of the way for awhile."

Mulder frowned, "I don't understand? Out of the way of what?"

"So you wouldn't find out the truth about the pieces."

"The pieces? What pieces?" Mulder then gasped, "The rubbing."

"Yes."

Mulder shook his head and was going to say something, but Alex cut him off, "These pieces are very important. They are vital to all of our well- being." Alex played with the soup that remained in his bowl.

"How? I know they are most likely extra-terrestrial; I know that they contain cosmic galactic radiation."

"Mulder, these pieces need to be reunited with the ship that they came from. That's what's keeping the aliens here on the planet; that's what made the aliens come here in the first place."

"How do you know this?"

Mulder, I was very close to one of the men in the Consortium. When he died, I was left a position in the ruling elite and instructions on what to do. One of the instructions was to be aware of any pieces that were found and reunite them with the ship. My benefactor had one, and I know the Smoker's had one for years. With the recent discoveries of the other pieces, I think I may have most of them. We need to take them back to the ship so the ship will leave. Once this happens, the aliens, the rebels, all of them will leave us alone."

"And you knew this all along?"

"No, I found out about it last summer. I had to make sure I knew who the players were before I acted. I knew they'd turn up sooner or later; it was just a matter of time. Now we've got to get the last remaining piece from the Smoker and get them to the ship."

"We?"

"Mulder, don't you want these beings gone? Don't you want freedom again? To know that you can go about your daily routine without shady deals going on that the highest levels of government don't even know about? Deals that effect everyone on this planet?"

"I hope you got an extra superhero costume made. Because I don't want to be any kind of sidekick."

Alex laughed, "I'm serious."

"I'm serious, too." Mulder finished his soup then sat back. "I need to make a few phone calls."

"Mulder, I don't think that's such a good idea."

"Why not?"

"I broke you out of the psych ward, and I don't think the powers that be are too happy about it."

"You broke me out?"

"Well, it was an ambulance, really. I followed it down the road and ambushed it and got you out of there."

Mulder laughed, "My night in shining armor. I need to call Scully and Diana."

Alex's expression remained still, but inside his heart sank. "Diana?"

"Yeah, we uh...we're close." Mulder shifted in his seat. "I should let her know that I'm okay."

// Might as well come out with it.// "Mulder, Diana's dead."

Mulder got a confused look on his face. "What do you mean?"

"She got killed during your escape."

"You mean she was helping you?"

Alex shook his head.

"Okay, cut the crap, tell me what the hell happened."

Alex took a deep breath. "She loaded you into an ambulance and was taking you away. When I got to her, she was holding a gun to your head and said that we'd all be better off if you just died." Alex licked his lower lip. "It was her or you."

"I can't believe this!" Mulder stood up. "You killed her? You fucking killed her?"

Alex also stood and went over to Mulder and put his hand on his arm. "I had no choice."

"Don't touch me!" Mulder hissed at him as he wrenched his arm away from Alex's grasp.

"Mulder, please believe me."

"Why? So you can kill again when you feel like it?"

"It wasn't like that..."

"I loved her, you know. No one understood that. I loved her, I always have."

"I'm sorry."

"I bet you are, you rat bastard!" Mulder lunged at Alex and hit him across the jaw. His punch was weak, but it still stung as Alex held onto him.

"Mulder, calm down."

"Fuck you, Krycek!" Mulder screamed again as he kicked him in the shin.

Just then the door burst open, flying off its hinges, and a shapeshifter came through the doorway. Mulder scrambled to the kitchen and grabbed the first pointy thing he saw, which was a meat fork. Alex beat him to arm himself though, the stiletto springing to action in his hand.

"Where are the pieces?" the shapeshifter asked as he held them off with a large gun in his hand.

"Why should I tell you?" Alex spat.

"I need them."

"Don't we all? Too bad, they're mine."

The shapeshifter moved closer. "I do not want to hurt you. But the only way you are going to succeed with your plan is to give the pieces to me."

"Yeah, right."

"He's telling the truth."

Mulder and Alex both looked at the voice that had come from the person that was suddenly standing in the doorway.

"Scully?" Mulder said, a smile crossing his face.

"Everyone just calm down and put your weapons away."

"No way, he'll kill us for the pieces."

"He won't kill you. Trust me."

"Scully, this man has attacked you before, attacked me. I don't trust him," Mulder said, visibly concerned.

"You're going to have to, Mulder. I do."

Mulder raised his eyebrows. "You trust him?"

"Yes, I do. Please, everyone just calm down." Scully shut what remained of the door behind her and motioned to the couch and chairs in the living room. No one moved. She went over to Mulder and looked at him. "Are you all right?"

"Are *you* all right? You're not acting like yourself. You look...different. Have you been drugged?"

Scully smirked, "No, I haven't been drugged. Something fascinating has happened." She squeezed his hand. "Mulder, I have so much to tell you." She smiled at him, which garnered a strange look from Mulder. "Now, are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine, thanks to ratboy here. Although I wish he would have just left me where I was."

"Mulder, I've got a shapeshifter rebel in my living room, and my front door has been broken in. Can we please fight later?"

Scully took Mulder and led him over to the couch. "Well, I can't break his bad habits all in one day. I told him to knock, but he's used to using force. C'mon, you two, put them down." She tossed a wary smile Alex's way.

The shapeshifter hesitated but put the weapon away. Alex followed suit. They sat in chairs opposite each other, cautiously scrutinizing each other.

"Now he has something to tell you, and I want you to listen."

The shapeshifter took a breath and looked at everyone before he started.

"Our race has been fighting the aliens for quite some time. The aliens conquered the planet my race is originally from, and we were driven off of it. They killed many as they ravaged our planet for the resources that they had squandered on their own planet. They are like a disease, a plague; they suck a planet dry and move on. When they arrived on our planet, they killed our leaders and enslaved our people to use as food for their offspring.

"Many of us left in ships to find a new home, a new planet to call our own. We dispersed throughout the universe, some of us ending up here on Earth. We lived here peacefully among the native animals. Humanoids were still evolving and were more ape-like than anything. For years and years we lived here, our ship a reminder of where we came from. We inscribed on the inside of the ship our story of how we came to this planet. We also inscribed our history, our religion, and the story of how we were made. Our ship became our temple, a place of worship where we could celebrate our new life without the threat of attack.

"Then, a catastrophe happened. The city that we had built was destroyed by an earthquake and fell into the sea. The people fled to the hills as the sea came crashing ashore, flooding the plains and the crops. One of my people ran inside the ship and activated the distress beacon. Unfortunately, the aliens picked up our signal instead of our own people.

"As we waited for our people to arrive to help us, we didn't know that the aliens had intercepted them. They made their way across the galaxy, killing and enslaving people on their way to us. By the time they got here, a portion of our tribe had been separated by what was now a vast sea. A cold had settled over the Earth, and we had migrated as close to the equator as we could to keep warm.

"When the aliens arrived, we thought it was all over. They had followed us to the edge of the universe, and now we were done for. Fortunately, this was not so. The aliens were not used to the cold and were paralyzed by it. We saw a chance to stop them and acted quickly. We killed as many as we could, chopping up their bodies and burying them in deep, mass graves of ice.

"We were happy, thinking we had destroyed our destroyers, and we lived in harmony with the earth. The cold finally receded, and my people discovered the world and the new tribes. What we didn't know was that to destroy the aliens, we had to burn them. Their DNA mixed with the oil that was being produced from the decomposing bodies and turned into the black oil. It remained dormant, waiting for someone to find it.

"Then, 50 years ago, an alien scout ship crash landed in your country. They were expecting to find a world ruled by their kind, but what they had found instead angered them. They didn't like these humanoids that looked like us; they didn't like the fact that we had intermingled with your race and had been living in relative peace on this planet.

"The aliens found out what we had done, how we had slaughtered their people millennia ago. They scanned the Earth and found the black oil. They were very angry and were going to attack but, after conferring, instead decided to make a deal with the people who had found them. They knew the climate of the planet was heating up; they knew the black oil would wake up and come alive soon enough. They decided that the end of this planet would come whether they made a deal or not, but they needed time for the virus to seep up from the earth. The aliens told the men that they could rule the world if they helped them. The aliens would give them space travel technology, if they would help them develop a hybrid.

"The Earthmen didn't want to develop a hybrid; they didn't want to help them. That's when the aliens told them about the black oil. The aliens told the men that they could rule the world with this knowledge. The Earthmen thought about this, and their greed outweighed their loyalty to their race. So work was begun on the hybrid.

"The humans, greedy as they were, decided to take the space technology and not fulfill their part of the bargain. They decided to make a vaccine against the black oil to protect themselves against infection.

"Your leaders never thought they'd develop a hybrid - they deliberately sabotaged labs and procedures so the hybrid would not succeed. Unfortunately, by a fluke, your people did succeed. By then the aliens had started taking people; they started gestating. That's when we knew we had to take action.

"Burning was the only way to effectively kill the aliens and the people that had been enslaved by them. The metal chips that were implanted in the people were part of a tracking and mind control system. If we had not killed them, they would have helped the aliens enslave their loved ones."

He turned to Scully. "Some, however, were strong and were left to help us with our cause." He turned to Mulder.

"Back when the aliens had invaded our planet, they stripped it of all resources. They left our planet withered and destroyed. We are a patient race, however, and we waited, and sure enough, life started to evolve again, and we went back. We had developed better technology and better communication that would be undetected by the aliens. When our leaders found out that the aliens were starting colonization, reinforcements were sent to Earth. We burned everything we could, and the aliens got angry. We fought them and won. We burned them all, and those that were not burned had left the planet already."

The shapeshifter looked at Alex. "I am the one that took the fetus. I burned it with the rest of them."

Alex nodded.

"But now we need to take the pieces to the ship and take it home. There is a war raging in space. Their ships are being destroyed, and they are retreating to wherever they originally came from.

"I need to get the ship home. It needs to go back where it came from so the aliens will not be tempted to visit here again, should they survive." The shapeshifter looked at Alex. "And I know you don't want them back."

Alex looked at the shapshifter with a blank stare. "That is a fascinating story, but how do I know you are telling me the truth?"

"Just as I question your loyalty to me, you question mine. I can only give you my word and assure you that once I get the pieces, I will be on my way and not bother you again."

"No. No way. I don't believe you," Mulder said.

"You need me. I can raise the ship. Without me, the ship will never fly, and the aliens will certainly return." He looked Alex in the eye. "I am telling you the truth."

Alex thought for a minute and looked at Mulder, who looked away. "We need one more piece."

"Tell me where it is, and I will collect it."

"I can't let you do that, they will kill you first. Mulder and I will have to
go get it."

"What?" Mulder said. "I'm not going anywhere with you."

"Cancerman has it. Spender."

Mulder's eyes darkened. "Now I really don't want to go."

"We have to. We have to fix all this mess."

"What makes you think I want to do anything with you?"

"Mulder, I think you should go with Krycek," Scully said.

"After what he did to me? What he did to..." Mulder squeezed his eyes shut then opened them again. "How do we know that he's not going to double cross us?"

Alex threw up his hands in exasperation, "Fine, I'll go myself." He looked at the shapeshifter. "You stay here and...entertain them while I get the piece."

Scully spoke, "Mulder, I've seen this ship, and what he has said is true. It has been buried in the sea for quite some time. We need this piece."

"Wait a minute, you've seen the ship? Where is it?"

"It's buried in a beach on the Ivory Coast."

"I don't understand, when were you there?" Mulder sat down, confused.

"Mulder, you've been incapacitated for over a week. I had to follow the trail to Dr. Merkmallen's office and find out where he got the pieces. That's where I saw it."

"I can't believe you saw an entire ship."

"I had just gotten to the beach when this man came up to me and told me his story. I didn't believe him at first, but then he lifted his arms, and the
ship came out of the water. Unfortunately, it slid back in, and the man said that it needed to be whole. He asked me for my help, and I agreed. Mulder...I...I never believed before, but I believe now that I have actually been shown proof. I think we should help him, Mulder."

"Listen to her, Mulder. We've got a chance to make things right. I think we should take it," Alex said.

Mulder glared at him. "Yeah, Alex the superhero is going to save the whole goddamn universe."

Alex ignored him. "If nothing else, we can confront Spender together."

Mulder still glared at Alex.

"Fine, whatever," Alex said as he gathered some things and started to leave.

Mulder let out an audible sigh, "Wait." He got off of the couch. "Fine, fine. Okay, let's go together." He looked at Scully. "Don't shoot him or anything; remember his blood is toxic."

"I'm not going to shoot him, Mulder. He wants to help us."

Mulder just shook his head as he followed Alex out the door. They rode down the elevator in silence and went out to Alex's car.

"I bet you never thought Scully would believe."

Mulder turned to Alex and glared at him. "Just drive, Krycek."

Alex smirked, "Oooh, I'm *Krycek* again, huh? Yeah, I'll drive, but I'm not your whipping boy anymore, Mulder. This is my show, and if you don't like it, you can fucking lump it."

They drove to a nice building uptown and went inside and up to the seventh floor. Alex didn't bother knocking on the door, instead opting to pick the lock. Mulder held his gun ready. The door opened, and the smell of cigarette smoke assaulted their noses. Alex put his lock picks away and drew his gun. He went into the dim apartment first.

A voice suddenly came from within. "Fox, Alex, nice to see you two working together again." Then a light came on.

// Always dramatic,// Alex thought. He and Mulder walked over to the old man sitting in a chair. He didn't look all that good; his skin looked greyer than usual, and his eyes were milky and drooping.

"Please, sit down, both of you; I'm glad you're both here." He took a drag on his cigarette. "Nice to see you walking again, Mr. Mulder."

Mulder looked at Alex, who kept his gun trained on the man. "We're not here on a social call. We want your piece."

"You don't have time for a cup of tea? Pity. It's also a pity that I'm not giving you the piece."

Alex cocked the hammer of the gun.

"I told you before to take your best shot, Alex, and you didn't."

"That was different, I was sent to bring you back. This time, there's no one to protect you, and I'm not under anyone's orders."

"You can shoot me if you want, but you'll never find the piece if you do." The man's eyes narrowed. "I'm dying anyway. Killing me now will only accelerate the inevitable."

Alex's finger started to squeeze the trigger.

"But before you do kill me, would you like to find out the truth, Mr. Mulder, about your sister?"

Mulder snorted. "Everything that you've told me about my sister has been a lie; why should I believe you now?"

"I'm dying, Mr. Mulder, should I not confess first?"

"Confess what?

"The truth."

Mulder thought for a minute then put his hand on Alex's arm. "Give it your best shot, and we'll see if it's the truth or not."

Alex wanted very much to just blow Spender's head off, but he had known Mulder would be drawn in by that remark. He took his finger off the trigger but kept the gun on the old man just the same. He nodded at the old man.

Spender smirked, "I knew your curiosity would outweigh your hate." He took a drag of his cigarette and exhaled before continuing. "See, from birth, you and your sister were part of an experiment. You have found out that part of your past, but what you don't know is that your genes were manipulated so that when you reproduced, your offspring would have the alien genome. Unfortunately, none of the women we paired you with got pregnant."

"That you paired me with? What do you mean pregnant?"

"Yes, Diana, Phoebe, they were both genetically altered to produce alien offspring. Unfortunately, Diana turned out to be sterile, and you left Phoebe before she became pregnant."

Mulder's mouth dropped in horror. "You're lying."

"No. I am not. They were placed in your life for the sole purpose of procreating alien offspring."

"You sick fuck!"

Spender ignored the remark. "We knew of your voracious libido, and so we placed another female partner with you. This time she was a pretty, feisty redhead that matched you in wits and energy. She did not know the real reason why we placed her with you; she thought she was just doing her job. That's why we abducted her. She was not prepared before we partnered her with you."

Mulder looked at Alex and glared. "Did you know anything about this?"

"No, not at the time. Not until recently."

Spender lit another cigarette. "I knew my colleague would tell you everything, Alex. We could be a team. Together we could..."

"I'm not doing one fucking thing with you, old man."

Mulder glared at both of them. "You took Scully to change her DNA?"

"We altered her ovum and put them back into her body. The metal implant was a tracking device, but you know that already. The cancer that she developed when she removed the implant was a safety precaution. Without the tracking device, we would not have known who was altered and who was not. We could not have aliens being born without our knowledge."

Mulder let out his breath in a huff. Alex could see the anger seething inside of him.

"It was our dumb luck that you actually respected the woman we paired you with and did not sleep with her. You had grown in maturity and did not sleep with every woman that crossed your path as you did in your younger years." Spender ground out his cigarette and gave Mulder a sly look. "And now you seem to have crossed to the other side. Too bad, if I had known that you were into men..." He leered at Mulder.

Mulder lunged at the old man, punching him in the face and chest. "You sick motherfucker!" Mulder stopped punching him and held him by his collar. "What about Samantha? Where's Samantha?" Mulder held his fist ready to start again.

"She's...she's gone," the old man gasped.

"What do you mean, gone?"

"She failed. She couldn't become a hybrid. They destroyed her."

Mulder sank to the floor, his hand still clutching the old man's jacket. "You killed her? How...what...what about that woman you brought to me...she...that was her."

Spender coughed and shook his head. "She was a clone. All those women you saw were all clones. I told her to say the things she did."

Tears began streaming down Mulder's cheeks. "You killed my sister? You killed poor little Samantha? How could you? How could you?"

"We were all asked to make sacrifices, Mr. Mulder. It had to be her; we needed females."

A scream started in the back of Mulder's throat and tore through his vocal cords as he began hitting the old man again. His arms flailed wildly as he punched him over and over again.

Alex stood there, watching, letting Mulder take his anger out on the old man. Mulder dragged Spender to the floor and began kicking him, shouting at him and crying at the same time. He waited until the old man was unconscious before he dragged Mulder off of him.

"Mulder. Mulder, come on, finish him off." Alex pressed his gun into Mulder's hand.

Mulder looked at the gun then pointed it at the old man's heart. He pumped half of the clip into him before it slipped from his fingers and fell with a thud to the floor. Alex retrieved it and put it in his holster. Then he led Mulder over to a chair.

Alex left him there, sobbing gently to himself while he looked for the piece. All the other men had kept their pieces close to them, and he figured Spender wouldn't be any different. He got his portable Geiger counter out of his pocket and began scanning the apartment. The living room yielded nothing, same with the kitchen. When he got to the bedroom, however, the device started making a crackling noise. The machine led him to a chest in the corner. "Bingo." Alex said as he opened the wooden chest. The piece was large, larger than he'd seen before. It was also going to be heavy. He picked up the chest and found that to be true. He'd be able to make it out to the car, but once it joined the others, the shapshifter would have to carry the large box.

He went out to the living room to Mulder. He put the box down, went over to him and put his hand on his shoulder. "Mulder?" he said softly. "You okay?"

"Get your fucking hand off of me."

// I guess he's okay.//

"I found the piece. Let's go." Alex picked up the chest and managed to get it down to the car and into the trunk. Mulder stood, watching him, but didn't offer to help. Finally they were in the car and on the way back to Alex's apartment. Alex took his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed a number.

"He's dead." Alex paused. He could see Mulder looking at him out of the corner of his eye. "Had he been able to put together a new quorum?" Alex paused again; he knew Mulder was just dying to know what he was talking about. "I want them all dead. Destroy everything. You have your instructions." Alex then hung up and kept driving. Mulder opened his mouth to say something but then at the last second didn't. The rest of the journey was made in silence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When they got back to Alex's apartment, Alex made some calls, and within half an hour they were all on his plane to the Ivory Coast with diplomatic passports. Mulder didn't want to go, but the shapeshifter said he needed his help. Scully was more than eager to see the ship again. On the plane, Mulder and Scully sat on the couch at the back talking, while Alex sat in a chair, facing away from them. The shapeshifter sat across from him, the box of pieces firmly in his grasp the whole time.

"You know, we could have put those below."

"I don't want these out of my sight. To me they are holy relics. They should be to you as well."

"What do you mean?"

'What you call the Bible, the Old Testament, isn't your own. We brought the teachings of our god to your planet, and you adopted them and called them yours. We handed those stories down to you; we are in essence your prophets."

"So when we read that God created the heavens and the earth, He was talking about your planet."

"All the planets."

"I see."

Alex looked back to see Mulder and Scully still whispering to each other.

"She was very overwhelmed when she saw the ship. She is still somewhat thunderstruck. You will be too."

Alex shrugged at him, and the shapeshifter settled back in his seat. // That's why Scully is so compliant.// They didn't say much after that. He must have fallen asleep because soon the pilot buzzed him to tell him they were landing. It was early morning, and the sun was just peeking over the horizon. Alex yawned and got everyone else up. Except the shapeshifter. Those guys never slept; it was creepy.

They breezed through customs with a few well placed hundreds and their diplomatic passports. Alex rented a jeep, and they piled in and drove up to where the ship was. A large metal object was sticking out of the ground, the sand and surf around it, reminding Alex of Planet of the Apes and making him wonder if Charlton Heston was going to come out of the woods.

The shapeshifter put the box down on the shore. There was a part of a large metal object sticking out of the surf. Alex felt a thrill ran through him as he looked at it. He had seen two ships before, but that was under cover of secrecy in a dark hangar. This was out in the open in broad daylight with the sand and the surf and Mulder and Scully and a shapeshifter... // If this is a dream, I'm going to have to remember this one.//

The shapeshifter brought out the pieces from the box and laid them on the sand. They immediately slammed together and fused their bonds. The shapeshifter was murmuring something under his breath and raised his arms into the air. The object started to spin and rise up into the air. Alex watched, dumbfounded as the ship rose out of the water. He could hear a low humming coming from both ship and the piece. Suddenly, the pieces broke apart, their fused bonds melting like ice on a hot day, and dropped to the sand. The ship continued to rise toward them. It settled itself on the sand, and a door opened. The shapeshifter turned to them.

"I need you to help me." He pointed at Mulder.

"Me?"

"Yes, I need someone tall with two hands to prime the engine."

Mulder's eyes flicked to Alex then Scully. "I guess I don't have any choice."

Suddenly, there was a commotion behind them in the bushes. // Here comes Charlton Heston,// Alex thought to himself. He nearly laughed but cut that short because what did come out of the woods was more horrifying than anything a Planet of the Apes movie had to offer. It was an alien. It lunged at them, and the shapeshifter had it in flames within seconds from the ignition wand he suddenly had in his hand.

The shapeshifter put his fingers up to his temples. "They are all around us. They have congregated here to destroy the ship." He looked at Mulder. "We must hurry." He handed Alex the ignition stick. "You two need to destroy these creatures. There is a weapon on board that will kill them, but I have to activate it first. Do you have firearms?"

"I've got my weapon," Scully said.

Mulder handed her his Sig. "Now you've got two."

"I'm armed." Alex said.

The shapeshifter gathered the pieces up into his arms and started aboard the ship. Mulder gave Scully a final look, then followed the shapeshifter inside.

"Scully, you mow 'em down, and I'll burn them when they fall," Alex said as he eyed the tree line.

"Okay," she said, her eyes not wavering from the waving palms and grass. "What did he mean about two hands?"

"You don't know?"

"Know what?"

"I've only got one arm."

This time she did avert her gaze for a moment. "What?"

"My left arm is fake. It's prosthesis. I lost my real arm a few years ago."

"Oh my God. I had no idea." Scully shifted her gaze back to the tree line. "It works very well; it must be very new."

"It is. It works almost like a real one..." Alex drifted off as the trees started waving wildly and a growl could be heard from the grass. "Here they come, Scully. Remember, shoot to kill."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Inside the ship, Mulder was in awe. The entire inner surface was carved with tiny symbols, reminding him of temples in Egypt. He followed the shapeshifter down a corridor to what looked like an altar. Here he placed one of the shapes into a hole in the wall. The joints fused together and glowed for a moment, then the whole ship glowed. Mulder followed him as he quickly put the shapes back into their place. The shapeshifter said a small prayer every time he put a piece back in its place. Mulder was taking it all in, committing this ship to memory. It seemed to be made of something that resembled pewter. There were long corridors that he passed that seemed to go on forever. Mulder was trying to understand how this could be so, as the ship did not look that big from the outside.

He was distracted from his thoughts by a pulsing light that ran through the ship. The walls seemed to be moving, rippling. Mulder reached out to touch the nearest wall and found it to be smooth and cold under his fingers.

"Come with me; you need to help me prime the engine," the shapeshifter said just after he put the last piece in place.

Mulder followed him down a corridor until they were at a little room. Here were what looked like buttons and a lever on the wall.

"Pretty low-tech for a spaceship," Mulder joked.

"Yes, the manual override system is quite archaic. You have to remember this ship is over 50,000 years old."

"Yeah, I guess." Mulder shook his head, the depth of the man's comment seemingly unthinkable.

"Put one hand here and the other here. When the pads under them glow red, you will have to pull the lever. When they glow blue, you need to push these buttons here." The shapeshifter indicated everything with a sweep of his hand. "After you have pushed the buttons, you need to run down the corridor to the escape hatch. There will be only one corridor available so as to avoid confusion. You have ten seconds from when you push the buttons to leave. Once the process has started, it cannot be stopped. The ship will be on a course for my home planet. If you are still on board, you will have to come with me."

Mulder breathed out slowly as he thought of what lay ahead of him. "Hands. Red, lever. Blue, buttons. Buttons, run like hell."

"Yes. Once the ship's power has been primed, I can activate the weapon that will kill the aliens. Remember to burn them; any part of them left behind can be broken down and turned into the black oil."

"Okay." Mulder nodded.

The shapeshifter put his hand on Mulder's shoulder. "Our past has been full of violence. I would like to thank you for putting that violence behind and helping me."

"You're welcome." Mulder didn't know what else to say. 'Thanks for ridding our planet of those pesky aliens' seemed so trite. He watched as the shapeshifter went down the corridor and turned, the wall sealing up behind him. He took a deep breath and placed his hands on the spaces in the wall, ready to do his job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex's prosthetic limb was hanging loose from the straps, and he was sure he had a dislocated shoulder. The only reason why he had the straps in the first place was to keep it secure, as he was quite active. That son of a bitch alien that came from out of nowhere had grabbed onto it and pulled, making Alex scream in agony and drop the ignition wand. Scully was right there, shooting the alien through the head, but it took some scrambling to find the wand to burn it.

Now he and Scully were backed up against the sea, knee deep in the surf as the aliens came at them. Scully's suit was a mess, her jacket long gone, pants torn. Alex's shirt was off, fake limb dangling from his body. Both were covered in scrapes and cuts and scratches. Scully had a gun in each hand while Alex carried the wand. Neither of them said anything, but they were thinking the same thing, "Hurry up, Mulder".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mulder jumped when the spots under his hands turned red. He didn't realize he was sweating until he moved his hand over to pull the lever and a drop rolled down his nose. He scrubbed the end of his shirt over his face to wipe the moisture away just as the spots turned blue. He then pressed the buttons and, after only a second of hesitation, ran down the corridor.

Mulder stumbled as the ship started to vibrate and move. He could hardly keep his footing as he charged down what seemed to be the longest hallway in the world to the escape hatch. He got to the end, and the door opened. He looked out; they were above the ocean, and he could see Alex and Scully standing in the surf, surrounded by aliens. Mulder's heart pounded in his chest as the aliens moved closer to attack them. He had to jump. // It's a long way down.// He felt the ship vibrate again and knew it was now or never. He held his breath as he leapt out of the ship. Time seemed to stop as he was falling into the ocean, the clear water showing the white sand bottom below. For some reason he thought that he should remember to land feet first and just break his legs, as going in head first, he would probably paralyze himself. He hit the water in a full-on belly flop. The scream that tore out of his mouth was muffled by the influx of sea water.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alex and Scully stood back to back as the aliens advanced. They were out of ammo, and the aliens wouldn't come close enough for Alex to ignite them with the wand. He knew it was just a matter of time before they charged and tore them to pieces. Alex could think of so many better ways to die. // Auto erotic asphyxiation, exhaustion from too much sex, shot in the head instead of disemboweled then torn limb from limb.// He wanted to say some soothing words to Scully, but he knew she was strong and was probably handling it. Hell, she was probably handling this better than he was. Maybe she should say soothing words to him?

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the ship rise out of the water. It
hardly made a sound, just a small whirring noise. He wanted to look, but he couldn't tear his eyes away from the advancing horde around them. They needed a miracle if they were going to pull out of this alive. Then something fell from the ship and landed with a smack on the water. The aliens seemed distracted for a second as they watched the object. The miracle happened when they all fell to the ground in a heap.

Alex looked at the aliens that were lying on the ground. He nudged one with his toe and looked at Scully, who had started swimming out into the water. He didn't question her actions, he just set the alien on fire. He prodded another one and found it unresponsive. He then didn't waste any more time as he set them all on fire.

"Mulder!" Scully screamed as she swam out into the surf.

Alex didn't look as he continued to set the bodies on fire. He wanted to make sure every one of these bastards was dead. When he was satisfied and had quite a fire raging, he looked over to where Scully was. She was pulling Mulder by his arm through the water to the beach. Alex waded over to help her, his arm still dangling from his side. He helped her drag Mulder up onto the sand.

"Mulder! Mulder!" Scully screamed. She took his pulse. "He hasn't got a pulse." She rolled Mulder onto his side and drained the water out of his mouth before she rolled him back and began CPR.

Alex immediately helped Scully, performing mouth to mouth on Mulder, the throbbing pain in his shoulder forgotten for the moment. Mulder's lips were warm, and it took all of Alex's inner strength not to turn his breaths into kisses. Their times together flashed through his mind as he gave his air to Mulder. He knew Mulder hated him for killing Diana and would probably hate him forever, but he didn't want Mulder to die. He would rather have Mulder alive and hating him than not have him around at all.

Mulder finally sputtered and coughed and took a breath. Alex removed his mouth from his. Mulder took another few breaths and opened his eyes. "Well, it could be worse; you could be the Lone Gunmen," he croaked.

Alex and Scully both smiled and gave a sigh of relief.

"If you guys hug each other, I'm going to have to puke, I'm telling you that right now."

"I saw you fall. I would have gotten to you sooner, but we were busy," Scully said.

"I know. I saw before I jumped."

"They're all burning."

"And I thought we were having barbecue."

"Mulder, just lie here for awhile, then we'll get you back home and to a hospital," Scully ordered. Then she turned to Alex. "We should get you to a hospital as well. I can pop your shoulder back into place, but you should really have it x-rayed to see if you have any fractures."

Alex nodded and braced himself as Scully pushed and maneuvered the joint back into its socket. He stifled a cry as it popped back into place. He sat down and let the pain subside before he reached over and undid the straps and removed his prosthesis. He watched the corpses burn then got up and scattered the ashes into the sand with his feet. He made sure they were well distributed before he went over to where Mulder and Scully were sitting.

"The plane is on standby. We should go."

Scully got up then helped Mulder to his feet. Slowly, the three of them made their way back to the jeep and then to the plane. Soon they were safely in the air. Alex had some dry clothes on board and distributed them. Scully was floating in his large sweats and flannel shirt, and Mulder filled out that extra pair of jeans nicely. It was hard for Alex to look at Mulder and not touch him. He wanted so badly just to hug him. Mulder and Scully had commandeered the couch at the back again, leaving Alex the leather swivel chair across from them. Soon, Scully was sleeping, her head on Mulder's shoulder, his arm protectively around her. Mulder looked at Alex, contempt still in his eyes.

Alex wanted to say something to him. He wanted to explain everything again and again, but he knew it would do no good. Instead he moved his chair around and looked out the window. It would take Mulder a while to get over this, if he ever did.

Hours later, they were touching down in D.C. Alex led them off of the plane, telling them he had a car waiting to take them home.

"Thank you, Kry...Alex," Scully said.

"You're welcome." He didn't know if they should hug like at the end of an action movie, or just go home. She decided for them both by turning toward the car. He watched as she walked over to the limousine and got in.

"This doesn't change anything, *Krycek*," Mulder said, his eyes glaring. He snorted, "I guess you didn't need that superhero costume after all." He turned on his heel and walked to the limousine, got in and shut the door.

Alex stood there and watched the car leave for a moment then got in the plane and went back to New York.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Epilogue - one year later

Alex braced the small piece of wood between his steel-toed booted feet and hefted the small hatchet with his right hand. The wood snapped as it was hit and split in two. He tossed the pieces of wood onto the growing pile. Sweat rolled down his back, which was tanned a golden brown by the sun. His muscles flexed as he picked up the next piece of wood and placed it between his feet.

Suddenly, his beeper went off in his pocket, alerting him that someone was coming down the road. He laid the hatchet down, tossed the piece of wood aside and went inside his modest home, leaving his boots outside.

The air was cooler in here than outside, making him shiver for a moment. Alex wiped the sweat from his brow with his forearm as he started down the short hallway to the two doors at the end. One door led to his bedroom, the other to his computer room. He opened the door to a blast of cold air that was coming from the window air conditioner. His nipples puckered in the cold. He glanced at the television monitor and adjusted the picture until the person coming down the road came into focus. Alex smirked to himself. "It's about time."

He went back outside, stepped into his boots and resumed chopping the wood. A few minutes later, the man who was walking up the road rounded the corner to his house.

"You should really be wearing a hat," Alex said to his visitor, his own head covered by a Tilley Hat.

"I forgot to check the Alex Krycek tour guide before I left," his visitor wheezed. "Is it always this fucking hot here?"

"Yep." Alex chopped another piece of wood. "It's Africa, it's supposed to be hot."

His visitor sat down on the ground underneath a palm tree. "I saw a guy in the village doing that in his bare feet."

"How many toes did he have?" Alex asked as he finished. He collected all the chopped wood and placed it into a neat pile.

"Why are you chopping wood, anyway? It's hotter than hell here; it's not like you have to keep warm."

"To cook. It's not like I can get a bag of Kingsford Charcoal out here when I want to barbecue."

Mulder snickered then looked Alex up and down, a slight frown forming on his face. "You're not wearing your arm."

"What?"

"Your prosthesis. You're not wearing it."

"A one-armed man isn't as abnormal here than other places. Besides, it interferes with my tan."

Alex's mind flashed back to that day in Amsterdam a few months ago. He was on the way back to Africa from America when they had to stop to do some light maintenance on the plane. He had gone to a bar and met a young man there. Soon, they had been mostly naked, rubbing against each other in Alex's hotel room. Alex had insisted that he leave his shirt and gloves on. Alex had had the most amazing sex with that young man and had invited him to stay the night. In the morning, Alex had gotten up to take a shower, and the young man had followed him into the bathroom a few minutes later. He had seen the arm leaning against the wall and then Alex with his stump. The look of horror on his face had made Alex wince. "You're a freak. I fucked a goddamn freak!" the young man had screamed at him before fleeing.

Alex shook his head and brought himself back to reality. He hung his hatchet on a nail protruding from the wall of his house, then turned toward his visitor. "You wanna come in and have a beer, Mulder? Or do you want to sit out here and swat flies all day?"

Alex walked over to Mulder and extended his hand to him. Mulder took it and pulled himself to his feet.

"Definitely beer."

Alex looked into Mulder's eyes for a brief moment and quelled the shiver that ran up his arm from the other man's touch. He took his boots off, led them into his house and sat Mulder in his modest living room. He padded to the kitchen and got them a couple of beers. "This is a local brew. Watch out, it's got a kick to it."

Mulder sat down on the couch and leaned back, stretching before he took a sip, his eyes growing wide. "Just a slight kick."

Alex eyed him with amusement . What the hell was Mulder doing here? When he left him a year ago, he had hated him, hadn't wanted to ever see him again. Now here he was in his home, drinking his beer, trying to look nonchalant. // Let's just see how far he goes.//

"Nice place you got here," Mulder said.

"It's just what I need."

"The locals don't have a problem with you being here? They don't seem to appreciate strangers."

"Well, I've made some community gifts. I'm welcome to stay."

"Community gifts?"

"School, clinic, a new water source, electricity." Alex took a sip of his beer. "The people that owned this land before I did were game hunters from South Africa. The people in the village needed that land for their cattle to graze on. The rest of the countryside is basically swamp. When the South Africans wouldn't sell them a parcel of land, they were suddenly hacked to death."

"Harsh."

"Yeah, well, I have no need for all that land, anyway."

"All this is yours?"

"Was. I gave it back."

"Alex Krycek, philanthropist. Who would have guessed?"

"The water and electricity helps me, and the rest of it is just being nice."

"So they won't hack you to death one night."

"Bingo."

They sat there in silence for a minute, Alex giving Mulder the chance to start talking on his own volition. When he didn't, he finally asked the burning question, "Mulder, what are you doing here? You didn't come halfway around the world to sit on my couch and drink beer."

"Well, I was in the neighbourhood..."

"You've used that excuse before."

"No, really, I was in Tunisia."

"Tunisia? What were you doing there?"

"I was checking something out. Satisfying my own conscience."

"Nothing's there anymore, Mulder. I've destroyed it all."

"So I've noticed."

"Does Skinner know about your little detour?"

Mulder chewed on his lower lip. "Actually, I'm not with the Bureau anymore. I haven't been for seven months."

Alex raised his eyebrows. "You quit the FBI?"

Mulder nodded. "I didn't fit in there anymore. I tried to go back to work on the X-Files, but...I couldn't give it the same attention that I once had. It didn't mean anything anymore."

"I see. So who's in charge now?"

"Skinner's still the AD. Scully's still with the X-Files. She has a new partner."

"New partner, huh? Must be hard to let another guy step into your shoes."

"Woman."

"Woman?"

"She's very nice. She's very..."

"Very what?"

"Big."

"Big?"

"Built like a brick shithouse. I wouldn't want to meet her in a back alley."

Alex laughed.

"It's nice to see you laughing again, Alex."

Alex shook his head and looked at the former agent. "Don't, Mulder. Don't come here and pretend that everything's hunky dory, because it's not. The last time I saw you, you hated me; you wanted me dead."

"But that's changed."

"Maybe for you. You hurt me, Mulder."

"And you hurt me," Mulder explained. "At the time, anyway." Mulder ran his hand through his hair. "Diana had a will, and for some strange reason only known to her, she left everything to me. I found among her things personal diaries. In them were descriptions of the procedures she went through, how she thought she was helping some great cause. Spender was right, she knew about everything. The kicker was her describing her relationship with me." Mulder sighed. "She didn't love me. She was on a mission, and she wanted to be successful. Her orders were to seduce me, marry me and have children. Well two out of three ain't bad." He paused. "After we broke up, she wrote about her work for the Consortium, the affair she had with one of the men. Then she wrote about this new *mission* she was sent on. How she was to keep me occupied while colonization took place."

He looked up at Alex. "The last entry was the night before she died. When I read how she wanted to kill me, how I should have been eliminated years ago, I now know you were telling me the truth about how you had to kill her."

Mulder stood and paced in front of Alex. "Scully tried to tell me about Diana, and I didn't listen. We even fought over it. I told her to get off her back." He turned toward Alex. "I loved her, Alex. I thought we were soul mates. But after I read her diaries, I realized she used me." Mulder sat down again. "It took me a long time to get over her betrayal. It still hurts."

"Sometimes the truth hurts," Alex offered. "So you came all this way to tell me that Diana was a... was not what she seemed?"

"No. I'm here for a couple of reasons, actually. First of all, I wanted to tell you that we got the diodes out of Skinner. He was sick for a day or two, but he didn't die."

"It worked then?"

"Yeah. He also told me how you had terrorized the Lone Gunmen and commandeered their lab to find out what was wrong with me. Thank you."

Alex nodded. "You're welcome."

Mulder licked his lower lip. "I'm also here because I need your help."

"I've burnt my superhero costume."

Mulder smirked. "I'm serious. I'm writing a book, and I need you to help me."

"A book?"

"Yeah, well, actually it's many books. It's about this FBI agent who has these crazy adventures as he investigates the X-Files."

"I see, fiction."

"Yeah, fiction. It has to be or else Skinner said that he'd kick my ass." Mulder paused. "Alex, you're the only one left who knows what really happened. Everyone else is dead. You've destroyed all the evidence. I need you."

"You want me to dredge all that up again?"

"I'd like you to co-author the stories with me. We can do it together."

"Together, as in partners."

"Yeah."

"I dunno, Mulder. We never really had a *partner* relationship."

"That's because every time we tried, we've had people against us. Now we just have each other. Let's try and make this work."

"You're just not talking about the book, are you?"

Mulder looked him in the eye. "No."

Alex stood up. "I need to think about this." He strode past Mulder and outside.

"Where are you going?"

"For a swim."

Mulder followed Alex outside to a little path that led to the beach. Mulder wanted to go into the water but decided to leave Alex alone for awhile. He sat himself down underneath a tree and watched Alex swim. He actually was doing pretty good for only having one arm. A while later, Alex came out of the water, and Mulder followed him to an outdoor shower, where Alex stripped off his shorts and rinsed himself off.

"Are you going to follow me around all day?"

Mulder opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it again, "Maybe."

Alex rolled his eyes as he wrapped a towel around his waist. "Then you can help with dinner."

After dinner, Alex made Mulder comfortable on the couch and went to bed. He smirked to himself as he closed the door to his room. Mulder had given him such a weird look when he left him just now. He knew Mulder had thought that Alex would share his bed with him. // I'm not letting him off that easy.//

Alex settled down on his bed, the mosquito netting over him forming a protective canopy. He could hear Mulder slapping the bugs away and swearing. Alex smiled and rolled over when a knock came at his door.

"Alex?"

Alex didn't answer.

"Alex?"

"Yeah?"

The door squeaked open, and he could hear Mulder shuffle inside. "Alex, I'm getting eaten alive out there." The netting was moved back, and the mattress sank as Mulder climbed in beside Alex.

"What the hell are you doing?"

"I told you, the bugs are horrible out there."

"Well, did you brush yourself off, or did you bring..." Alex slapped himself as he was bitten. "Dammit, Mulder, the bugs are supposed to be outside."

"I'm sorry." Mulder laughed.

"It's not funny," Alex smirked. He slapped another mosquito.

"Ouch!" Mulder yelped. "That wasn't a bug; you pinched me."

Alex laughed, "Payback."

They lay there beside each other, giggling for a few minutes before Mulder rolled over and put his arm around Alex. // Here we go.// A brief period of time passed before Mulder started kissing Alex's shoulder.

"Mulder, what are you doing?"

"I'm trying to persuade you to co-author my book."

"What if... what if I said I've already reached my decision?"

"Yeah? And what's that?"

"I...I think I need more persuading."

Mulder moved his face up to Alex's. The moon had risen since he had come in, and light, broken by the trees outside, was coming in through the window. He brushed Alex's cheek with his thumb and looked at him for a moment before kissing him.

Alex suppressed a moan as Mulder's lips met his own. He had been waiting so long for this moment to happen again. He brought his hand up and cupped the back of Mulder's head, keeping him there. His tongue entered the mouth before him, probing, re-exploring territory not forgotten. Mulder shifted over him, his erection digging into his thigh. Alex could feel his own cock straining against the thin cotton of his boxers.

Mulder's mouth came off of Alex's and licked a trail down his jaw to his collarbone. His hand came up and massaged Alex's stump, making him sigh with pleasure. Mulder then moved his mouth over to the tapered limb and peppered it with kisses before licking a trail to his nipple.

Alex arched into Mulder's touch. He was the only one that could make him feel this way. Mulder was the only one who treated Alex like he was whole, like he was beautiful. He whimpered as Mulder's tongue and teeth teased his nipple, bringing out the sweat to glisten on his body.

Alex opened his eyes as Mulder's mouth moved over to the other nipple, nipping and biting at the bronzed skin. It was like a dream, Mulder here with him under the canopy of the mosquito netting, moonlight filtering in. It couldn't be more perfect. Alex's hand wandered down to cup Mulder's ass and tug at the underwear that covered it. Swiftly, Mulder removed his underwear and Alex's, leaving them both naked.

Kissing down Alex's torso, Mulder's hands massaged his thighs, his thumbs moving up to gently brush his balls. His mouth moved lower and lower until it reached Alex's cock standing out of the nest of curls at his groin. Alex licked his lips in anticipation as he watched Mulder's mouth descend on the solid muscle. Alex pressed his shoulders back into the mattress as Mulder sucked and licked and lapped the pre-come from the tip. Mulder's mouth came off of Alex's cock and uttered a single word, "Lube."

Alex reached over and fumbled underneath the mosquito netting for the bedside table drawer. He grabbed a tube of something that he hoped was lube and threw it at Mulder, who coated a few fingers with the gel that was in the tube. Alex spread his legs and bent his knees to give better access.

Slick digits pressed up against the puckered opening and gained entrance easily. Mulder's mouth was busy licking Alex's balls, tugging at the hairs that covered them. Alex was at his wits end; he hadn't had someone pay this much attention to him in a long, long time. He could barely contain his emotion as gasps and moans left his throat. His thighs were quivering, and he supposed his whole body was probably shaking with anticipation. Mulder's mouth came off of his balls, and Alex took a deep breath, opened his eyes and looked down at the only man who could get this kind of reaction out of him.

Mulder looked up at him as if to say, 'This is how I want you, Alex. All laid out for me like an offering.' The hazel eyes burned into his skull, and Mulder's lower lip glistened with moisture as he licked it. Alex squirmed as the fingers dug further into his ass, stroking the inside with the lube. His own hand moved down to massage his balls to keep himself as hard as he could without shooting his load.

The fingers left his ass, and Alex suppressed a whimper as he knew what was coming next. Mulder moved in close and held onto the base of his cock as he entered Alex one slow inch at a time. Alex's hand gripped the sheets and twisted them, threatening to rip them to shreds while his stump flailed madly, seemingly angry that it could not do the same thing.

Slowly Alex was filled, stretching to accommodate Mulder's large member. It felt so good, just as Alex had remembered. He bit his lip and whimpered; he was going to come any second. Then Mulder stopped.

"I can't...I can't ..." he gasped. "Just gimme a minute."

Alex looked up at Mulder, his body covered in sweat, eyes closed tightly. He could feel Mulder inside him, his cock twitching, ready. His own cock was standing proud, waiting, leaking. Finally, Mulder opened his eyes and looked down at Alex. A lustful smile crossed his face as he leaned down to kiss him.

Mulder's lips were kiss swollen and lush as Alex kissed him back and wrapped his legs around him. He moaned as Mulder pulled out then pushed in, the sensations overwhelming him yet again. Mulder fucked him nice and slow, making every stroke last until both men were panting and gasping for breath. Alex dug his fingers into Mulder's back as he reached down to jerk him quickly as he fucked him hard. Alex moaned and cried out as he came, spattering both of them with his semen. He heard Mulder moan his name as he collapsed forward, his own orgasm making his body shake and shudder.

They lay like that for more than a few minutes, kissing each other gently, tongues darting out to taste each other. Finally, Mulder slipped out of Alex when he was soft and rolled to the side. Alex threw him a box of wipes, and Mulder cleaned them up before settling back down, his head on Alex's shoulder.

Alex kissed the top of Mulder's head and settled back into the pillow, smiling to himself as Mulder kissed his shoulder. Both men were silent as they drifted off to sleep each knowing that for now, nothing more needed to be said.

THE END OF CHISLI SERIES\