KEYWORDS:Post-XF (Alternate Universe)
SPOILERS: Nothing Relevant.
DISCLAIMER:All the characters, except Kaye, belong to Twentieth Century Fox and Ten Thirteen Productions.
SUMMARY: The alien invasion has occurred. Mulder, Scully and other resistance members launch a mission to rescue some of their friends from one of the alien processing plants.
TIME LINE: 17 months before the events in AFTERTIME, a couple of years after the last episode of season 7.
NOTE: This story and AFTERTIME are independent stories but reading one might help you understand the other.
NOTE II: Both LOST and AFTERTIME were written before I saw the episodes TWO FATHERS and ONE SON, that's why Jeffrey Spender appears in them very much alive, years after he was presumably killed. I suppose this story now falls under Alternative Universe, but of course the Spender men have been known to dodge bullets with uncanny ease, so you never know, do you?
TO ALL NOROMOS: Don't let the beginning fool you, this story isn't all that shippy
FEEDBACK: To Thorn17@mailcity.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org
She missed his skin. They never slept naked anymore, it was too dangerous.
She rose her head, brushing her face softly against his arm. He moved and mumbled something, holding her tighter, but didn't wake up.
She rested her back against his chest, trying to remember
how many times since the invasion they had had to leave hastily
in the middle of the night, not sure if they would find shelter some place else.
She couldn't. The days of the past few months seemed to merge into each other, into a continuum of fear and flight.
Looking up, at one of the small windows near the ceiling,
she could see it was still dark outside. Yet, the tingling sensation
travelling up her body told her the sun would be rising soon.
She turned around to look at Mulder. They would have to get up soon, there was along day ahead. She started kissing him lightly. He smiled and pulled her around until she rested on top of him.
She nibbled at his ear. "Time to wake up."
He opened his eyes and watched her face for a moment in the growing light before pulling her into a deeper kiss. "You know,
Scully, I believe this goes against Bureau regulations."
She laughed, and the echoes of her laughter bounced off the walls of the basement room that had not that long ago been their office.
Six hours later, she was standing by the window of one of
the conference rooms. A hand fell on her shoulder.
"Better come away from there, Dana," Byers said, "someone
might see you. This place is supposed to be empty."
The J.Edgar Hoover Building had been deserted since the invaders had terminated the FBI along with all other government agencies. She and the others had moved in some two weeks before, after their last hideout had been discovered and stormed. This was probably the last place they would come looking for them.
She still marvelled at the fact that no one had been killed in the raid. The ones that had been captured had probably not been processed yet. At least, that was what they were counting on.
For a few of the ones that had escaped, though, it had been a close call. Her eyes found Frohike sitting in his wheelchair across the room and there was a tightening in her throat.
What frustrated her was not the fact that he was paralyzed, but knowing that if she had had more than the scanty medical supplies Krycek had managed to wangle, Frohike wouldn't be like that today.
Her brother's voice boomed across the room. "What are we waiting for, anyway?"
"Darkness," Mulder replied calmly, "and Kaye."
She looked at the two men facing each other and sighed. After the invasion, when the people in the Washington area who weren't working with the aliens and hadn't yet been captured for processing started gathering, they had turned to Mulder and her for leadership. Bill hadn't questioned their decision, he knew the two former agents probably knew more about the invaders than anyone else, but his feelings towards Mulder hadn't changed and somehow this was all still his fault.
Bill scratched the dressing over his left eye, another consequence of the raid two weeks before. "Why do you trust this woman? She's still working with them."
"That's exactly why she has access to information we need," Mulder said, "The truth is, she knows where the prisoners are, we don't."
"All of them?" Skinner's voice asked from the shadows.
Scully watched him walking towards Mulder, he looked so old. His eyes were painfully fixed on Mulder's as he waited for an answer;his wife, Sharon, had been one of the people captured on the raid.
Mulder shook his head, looking away. "I'm not sure. She said she'd find out."
Krycek rose softly from the couch he had been sitting on,
there were long claw marks across the fabric. "If she said she would,
she will. Kaye has the nasty habit of sticking to her word, and she knows her way around."
Bill sneered. "Forgive me if I don't hold you as the most
reliable of character witnesses."
"Guys!" Jeffrey Spender banged his fist on the table. "This isn't the way. We're all edgy, but if we start turning on each other, we may as well march into one of those processing plants and spare them the trouble of coming for us."
He sat back in his chair and watched as his words sunk in.
He seemed to be bracing himself for an unpleasant retort and she
knew why. Most people there hadn't been able to forget who his father was.
"Jeff's right," Mulder said. He was one of the few that had come to trust Jeff fully. he had never told her why, but she was
pretty sure she knew his reasons.
"Is everything ready?" she asked quietly. Several people
nodded. "Then we should all get some rest."
"We'll reconvene at sunset," Mulder said.
People were starting to leave. Scully stopped her brother.
"Come with me, I want to take a look at your eye." There were other
doctors around, but she wouldn't have any one else take care of Bill.
"My eye's fine, you don't have to -- "
"Hey. Who's the doctor here?"
He smiled, giving her that 'my-little-sister-is-so-cute'
look she used to hate, and followed her meekly.
In the small infirmary, she removed the gauze that covered
his eyes. He would never regain the use of it, but at least the
wound was healing well. She examined it carefully and, finding no
sign of infection, redressed it.
He walked her to the stairs that led to the basement, kissing her on the forehead before he left. "See you later, sis."
She found Mulder walking back and forth in what was now their bedroom. There was no bed, of course, only a mattress on the familiar floor.
He stared at her, then pointed at the clock on top of a credenza. "She's late."
"Maybe she had trouble getting out. There's time."
"She's going to get caught one of this days and then ... " He shook his head.
She rubbed the small of his neck. "If that happens -- *if*
-- we'll manage. We always did before, when it was just you and
me. And a few others. There's a lot more of us now."
"We weren't under martial law before, we weren't being hunted before, we had a lot more resources before."
"We're going to win this one, Mulder," she said firmly, "We don't have a choice."
"True, you don't."
They looked behind, startled. Kaye was standing in the doorway, the beams of white powdery light streaming down from the windows giving her dark hair and her dark clothes an eerie gleam.
She smiled, looking around. "I admire your sense of humor," she said, pulling a pipe out of her jacket pocket. Scully gave her a stern look and she returned the pipe. "Fine."
"What have you found out?" Mulder asked. "Are they still alive?"
"They were transferred to the nearest processing plant two
days ago, the one they set up in the old warehouses, by the river."
She handed Scully a box. "I brought you some more vaccine, you may need it."
"Forty eight hours." Scully examined the contents of the
box. It would be more than enough. "We're still in time."
"But we'll have to get them out of the pods," Mulder said,
"the operation will take longer than we expected."
"They may not be in the pods yet," Kaye said, "they've been using the mind-controlling qualities of the virus to form an army of slaves, sometimes it's a while before incubation is iniciated."
Scully placed the box carefully on a desk, Mulder's old desk. "But this will work anyway, right?"
"Yes. You'll just have a harder time injecting it. The slaves won't exactly be cooperative. Remember that.
"I brought a larger quantity of the vaccine than you'll need for your friends, I thought you'd want to get some of the others out too."
Scully nodded. "And we still have some left from last time."
Kaye handed Mulder a piece of paper and a card. "The codes
will be changed again after midnight, you have to be out of there
by then, or the doors won't open.
"The pods have a date inscribed, it marks either the infection with the agressive form of the virus or the activation of the latent one in the case of former slaves. You'll have to inject each pod. They made some changes to the procedure after your intervention in Anctartica. Remember, ninety six hours."
"We know," Scully said, "after that the vaccine won't destroy the virus."
"The vaccine is effective up to a hundred and twenty hours, but after ninety six there won't be much of the host left to save."
"What about the slaves?" Mulder asked.
"With the latent form of the virus, infection date is not relevant."
Mulder picked up the box of vaccine. "I'll take this upstairs, we'll start dividing it."
Kaye turned around to leave. Scully followed her. "Wait, I never got to thank you -- "
"Forget it," Kaye said, defiantly lighting her pipe. "I wanted you to take care of Maya for me and I brought the others along too. Some of them are probably yours anyway."
"Do you want to see her? She heard you were coming today,
she's been asking for you every five minutes."
Kaye looked away. "Better not. It would only complicate things."
Scully eyed her in disbelief. "She misses you."
Kaye didn't reply, simply walked away and disappeared around the next corner. Scully looked up, Mulder was standing half-way up the stairs, staring at her.
She walked up to him. "Whatever they did to her ... "
"I know." He looked at the place where the dark shape had
last been visible. "Sometimes I wonder ... "
The huskiness of his voice gave away his pain. She held his hand and pulled him gemtly. "Come. Lets give those people something to do."
The sun had already set, but there was still a bloody glow
just above the horizon. To Scully, it looked like the Plimsoll mark
on a gigantic black ship. As they drove towards the river, she watched as the red line sunk further and further until it disappeared completely.
Darkness was complete by the time they reached the warehouse area. The new moon night was afew days gone, but the crescent above them was so thin that it could barely make a lighter patch of sky around itself.
There were no guards by the processing plant, the invaders
were confident of their superiority. Mulder slid the Key card through
the lock and input the code. heaving a hydraulic sigh, the door opened.
Mulder looked at the others and whispered, "Midnight."
There was a dull green light inside, barely enough to make
things visible. It was like looking through mal-functioning night-vision goggles.
They started going through the pods, injecting the ones they could. Krycek called softly for them. he had found seven of the
thirteen people they had come for. Skinner rubbed the frost on the
surface of each pod, looking inside, searching for Sharon. Scully
followed him, injecting the vaccine into all of them. The others
started carrying the pople they'd rescued outside.
Imersed in their work, none of them noticed that the light
in the room had changed, become brighter. When the last of the group
of seven had been injected and Mulder was lowering her from the
pod, Scully turned around and found the missinng six standing there,
staring at them. Even in the dim light, she could make out the dark
blots sailing across their eyes.
They attacked as one. Mulder and some of the others, struggled to control them while she inject them. A dark oily substance poured out of their mouths forming throbing pools on the floor, the movement of the fluid ceasing when its color changed to a greenish amber.
Scully stood up, looking for Sharon. the other woman showed up to her left and lunged towards her, wielding a hook-shaped weapon Scully had never sen before. But Skinner was quicker, he tackled his wife and punched her unconscious.
Scully kneeled beside her, injecting the vaccine in her arm. Then, she smiled encouragingly at him. "She'll be thankful for the bruise."
Skinner opicked up his wife and carried out of the plant.
Mulder was looking around for any other slaves. She grabbed his
arm. "That's all we have time for, Mulder, let's go."
They ran to the door. All the others were already outside,
and Jeff was holding the door open for them. Suddenly, an elongated
shape dropped from the catwalk above the door, blocking their way.
Mulder stood between her and the alien, as the creature's claws extended.
She saw Jeff moving cautiously behind the alien, she saw
his hand emerging from a pocket with one of the make-shift gimlets
they had managed to fashion. In a swift movement, he drove the metal
spike into the back of the creature's neck.
But these aliens were different from the hybrids, it took
them longert to die and they were stronger. With a terrifying shriek,
the creature struck Jeff, hurling him out the door.
Mulder was ready when the alien turned back to them. He had a gimlet -- a real one -- and stabbed at the back of the alien's
head, hitting the same spot Jeff had already pierced. Promptly,
he moved away, avoiding the drops of black blood.
The creature pivoted, screaming as it crashed into the circuit box next to the door. Sparks started flying, a putrid stench filled the air as the electicity seared the alien's body.
Before they, or anyone outside could do anything, the door
slided shut. Mulder ran to the door, Scully pulled him back just
as the lock bursted into flames.
Mulder grabbed her hand and they turned around. "I saw another door back there," he said.
They ran. the others had orders to leave immediately should anyone be captured. They had to hurry, if they were to catch up with them. Mulder led her among the rows of pods, both of them skidding on the fluid oozing from the broken ones.
Relief took over her when she saw that the door in the back had a conventional lock, she still remebered how to pick one. But, before they could reach it, the door opened. Behind it, all was darkness.
Then a cigarette was lit, its tip glowing like a red eye
as the man holding it stepped into the light and smiled.
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