Chapter 13: Night, with Her Train of Stars

They stopped in a little motel that night, just outside of San Diego. No need to hurry, now.

They convened around pizza in one of their two hotel rooms at about 9.

Byers, sitting on the bed, chewed thoughtfully, then swallowed, and said, “You know, we should figure out where to park the truck first, north of town.’

Frohike nodded and said, around a bite of pepperoni pizza, “Makes sense.” Or rather, that’s what he tried to say, but it ended up sounding more like “Mesh hens.”

“We’ll need wheels,” said Langly.

Krycek listened, then asked, “Who’s Short Heron?”

Frohike put his pizza down and swallowed. “One of the good guys. Or gals, in this case. She’s one of the members of Gwynne’s Ladies’ Historical Society.”

“Ladies’ Historical Society?” Skinner, this time.

“Used to get together and read historical novels, back in the 70’s. One of them was raped by her husband, and they turned from novels to self defense training and making an underground railroad of sorts for abused women. When Gwynne came clean about what had happened to her boy, they started resource building as a group. That was after they formed that women’s collective up in Victoria. People left the collective--it doesn’t even exist anymore, and they pretty much scattered... but they’ve kept in touch. I think their listserve is one of the oldest on the North American continent. Most of their activities involve helping women out of abusive situations, and helping young people who’ve been kicked out of their house for coming out, but their network... it’s just what we need right now. Safe havens, discretion, and resources.” Frohike smiled. “I spent most of the last half of my 20’s working with them, tech support mostly. Gwynne was one of the founding members, as was Melina, you met her back there briefly. Mulder and Scully will stay with one of them when we get into town. Short Heron is another. She teaches Poekoelan down in Normal Heights.”

Krycek asked, “So what’s the plan then?”

Byers leaned forward. “Get settled. Figure out what the hell that warehouse is. Then take it from there.” He looked at Skinner. “How long are you staying for?”

Skinner shrugged. “I have until next Thursday without having to jump through hoops. At that point, I really need to head back to do some damage control.”

“Right. So let’s see. It’s Thursday. Tomorrow, we contact Heron, and buy a van. If we’re lucky, we get someplace to live. Saturday, Sunday we should do some shopping, setting up computer equipment, etc.. I’d prefer NOT to hit the warehouse until Mulder and Scully are in town, and we’ll be moving them in all day Tuesday. So that means that next Wednesday is Poaching Day if you want to help with it. Otherwise we’ll do it the following Friday, after you’re gone.” Byers looked around at their faces. “Acceptable?”

Krycek shook his head. “You should let me go in first, sooner than later, alone, to see what I can get without the whole cloak and dagger routine.

“What kind of kung fu do you have, anyway?” asked Frohike.

Krycek shrugged. “I get by.”

Langly frowned. “Take Byers. He’d make an awesome MIB, ‘specially now that he’s lost the face-otter.”

Byers shook his head. “Langly, it really should be you.”

Langly shrugged, looked at Krycek. “Wouldn’t hurt to show up with a henchman, now, would it?

Krycek rolled his eyes. “I work better alone.”

Skinner frowned. “I really would prefer to see you take at least one of us with you.”

Krycek studied them, then seemed to come to a decision. “You,” he said, pointing at Langly. “Can you lose the glasses?”

Langly shrugged. “How about I just get some dimestore readers for hacking?”

Krycek nodded. “Fair enough. Sunday?”

“How are you going to play this?” asked Skinner.

“Walk up to the front door, and ask for a report. Inspect the premises. Scope the joint for a later hack if needed. Get whatever information I can, and disappear back into the woodwork,” Krycek finished.

“What happens when someone comes in for a real report later?” Skinner asked.

Krycek shrugged. “Most of the outfits I’ve seen are used to random checks, and there are usually at least two syndicate members tracking. I’m still on good terms, and the one person they know I’m working with isn’t going to spill.”

“Oh? And who might that be?” Skinner frowned.

Krycek smiled. “The one who wants you all to succeed, because he knows the Syndicate has lost its nerve for the real fight. If you don’t know, they can’t beat it out of you. Besides, if I’m right, the operation we’re investigating is not long for this world before the faceless men with torches come to burn it to the ground. We really need to get in and get out as fast as we can, before the information is destroyed along with all the squalling brats the Project has produced.”

“What do you know about that?” asked Skinner.

“I know that they’ve been creating babies as lab rats since they figured out how to control every part of the process and grown infants in women not their biological mothers. I know they’ve been using a combination of prenatal and after birth treatments to try to make those babies into hybrids. I suspect it is in parallel to the adult version of these experiments. Someone decided maybe it would be easier to do if they started young. I know that they’ve been using a wide variety of germ cells. Pretty much every person that particular military branch has taken has provided material one way or another. They’re easier on men than on women. It takes a tremendous effort to get thousands of eggs out of a woman. It takes very little effort at all to get millions of sperm out of a man. Not to mention their liberal use of samples from fertility clinics around the country. But they like being able to control and compare, which is why they don’t settle for leftover frozen embryos, or the dozen or so eggs they can get from a volunteer. I also know that their failure rate is abysmally high, but they don’t really care.”

Byers looked vaguely sick. Frohike looked grim. Langly looked worried. Skinner looked furious. “How much did you have to do with that, anyway?”

Krycek said, “As much as they asked. It was my job. I wasn’t in on very many abductions. And not the medical side. This project wasn’t my area. But I do know that they only started actually having parents raise the babies about five years ago, when someone pointed out that the reason most of the babies were dying was that they were being raised in the equivalent of cages. Very Romania 1985.”

“That must have been a challenge for them to continue the experiments with outsiders involved,” said Frohike.

“They had ways of making it seem more legit. Used special needs foster care families more often than not, where treatments could be mandatory and a child moved if too many questions were asked. Sometimes kids were adopted from that system.” Krycek shrugged.

“Mulder is going to be working with Social Services in his ‘research project’,” Byers said. “It might put him just where he needs to be to track those kinds of adoptions.”


March 6, 1998

The next morning, they took the truck up to Escondido, and bought a white van with removable seats from a used car dealership, then rented a storage area for the moving truck. By 11 am, they were back in San Diego, picking their way through the heart of the city to the neighborhood fondly known locally as Abnormal Heights. Parking was easy, and they soon found themselves climbing a narrow set of stairs to an over-the-storefront apartment above a martial arts studio. A small, angular woman in her 60s opened the door, and lit up when she saw Frohike.

“Muggy!” She flung her thin arms around his neck, the only person in the room shorter than him. “Come in! Bring your friends in!”

They crowded into the loft, and she sat down, cross legged, on a mat on the floor. She waited until they were all sitting, and said, “Well, the good news is that I have a place for you. The bad news is that it’s kinda scruffy. I’d recommend you get some bunks up at Ikea, otherwise you won’t have room for equipment, what with the five of you. Better news is that it’s within tapping distance of a backbone, and I’ve got someone managing that right now. The Old Bat is working on getting you some computer equipment, and there’s already a fridge and something that passes as a stove. My daughter is bringing over a microwave this afternoon, and if you want, she can stock the fridge. Just make a list before you head up to Ikea. Anything else?”

“Where is the place you found, Heron?” asked Langly.

She grinned. “Just down the street. You’ll have about 800 square feet, all on one floor, and it’s been empty long enough that the rats have cleared out.”

She laughed at their expressions. “The Bat is coming over in an hour with the equipment, some foam and boards. You should be fine. There aren’t even very many cockroaches.”

Skinner winced. “Thank you for making this happen, um, what should I call you?”

She laughed. “Heron is fine. Everyone calls me that. Now, you are welcome to come over whenever you need. I’ll be downstairs most evenings teaching, but during the day, my schedule is pretty open.”

Frohike smiled. “How much did she tell you?”

Heron shrugged. “Enough to know what you would need, not enough to get me in trouble. I’d like to keep it that way. I know what you’re doing is important, or she wouldn’t have asked, and I’m happy to help.” She stood, balanced for a moment on one leg. “Tea, anyone?”


12:30 p.m.

An hour later, they filed back down the stairs to the van, and drove over to Ikea.

Ikea took 3 hours. Langly and Frohike bounced from couches to office chairs with glee. Byers sat, made a list, and moved through methodically, and Skinner and Krycek both seemed to be enduring the whole thing stoically, right up until they found the cafeteria and the Swedish meatballs. By the time they finished, they were strapping a princess-worthy stack of mattresses on the roof of the van, uncountable numbers of cardboard boxes filled with parts between, under and behind seats, large blue bags of bedding plastic rainbow dishes and a large stuffed dragon on top.

Skinner frowned quizzically at the dragon. Langly shrugged and blamed it on Frohike.


4:00 p.m.

The place Heron had found for them was dingy and dark and had a strange smell to it, but was surprisingly spacious. People kept showing up with stuff, smiling, helping put the furniture together, but all without talking much. Not one person asked the kinds of questions neighbors usually ask of new neighbors, they just filed in, installed whatever they were carrying, and left. At some point someone showed up with bleach, and their eyes stung, but by 8 p.m., the place had been transformed, and they discovered that a table near what passed for the kitchen had a lasagna in the middle of it, rainbow dishes and plastic silverware laid out nicely, the beds were up, the walls lined with computer equipment, and the parts for a security system installed. One of the Gunmen (no one would claim responsibility) had slipped some funky paper lamps into the cart, and the light was actually reasonably pleasant.

There had been something like 15 people in and out of the space by the end of the day. Skinner had noticed a couple of kids, at least one woman who looked to be in her seventies and a man who might have been older than that. The one person he asked just said, “I’m a friend of Heron’s.”

The place was suddenly empty of anyone but the five men, and they sat down at the folding table to eat dinner. Krycek finally said, “That was odd.”

Skinner laughed. “It reminded me of college.”

Frohike smiled. “Heron is like that. She asks people to do things, and they just drop everything and do it. Without question. Because they know if they need something, she’ll make it happen for them, too.”

Skinner finished a bite of lasagna, then said, “You have a lot of people like that working with you?”

Byers answered, “Not exactly working with us. But the collective used to have what, 50 people?” He looked at Frohike, who pointed up. “100?”

Frohike nodded, a string of mozzarella hanging from his mouth.

Byers continued. “Anyway, there are a couple of them in most of the major cities, and a bunch living off the grid elsewhere, from Alaska down to Peru. We don’t tap into that network very often, because we’re not doing the kind of thing they help with, like uprooting from one city and transplanting to another while changing identities. Think of it as a sort of underground railroad. And not all of them have the local network like this. It kind of depends on the community. In some places it just means a floor to sleep on while you move on to the next place. Sometimes it means someone with a house that you can just live in for a few months while you get your feet under you. In this case, it means our neighbors know who belongs here, and they know we’re with Heron, and that means that we are among friends.”

Skinner did the dishes while the Gunmen wired the security system in. Krycek watched them, kibitzing periodically. It felt weirdly domestic.

That night, they went to bed with the smell of new foam and bleach in their nostrils, listening to the ever-present murmur of the neighborhood’s Friday night activities.


March 7, 1998

10:00 am

Saturday morning, Krycek pushed cornflakes around his bowl until they were limp, and finally said, “I really should go today. It would be more plausible than Sunday, and I’m not sure there’s any point in waiting. I’m also going to need a new cell.”

Frohike reached into a box and tossed a cell phone at him. “That one’s never been used. Pay-by-minute, not traceable. Number on the back.”

Langly frowned. “I’m going to need camouflage. I don’t think you want me going in looking like a trucker.”

Krycek nodded. “Yeah, you’ll need a suit, and a shave. I’ll just use the clothes I joined you in, but I think we’re due for laundry in a big way. I want to get there at about 4.”

Skinner took Langly shopping, while Byers and Krycek dealt with 5 days worth of road laundry and rented a sedan.

Frohike disappeared early in the afternoon, showed up at two with some gear. He sat down at the folding table and proceeded to drill out the temple bow of a pair of dimestore reading glasses, and inserted the innards of a pen-shaped camera he pulled from one of the special boxes. He also laid out a variety of cords, memory cards and disks, set a cordura organizer next to them, and a briefcase next to that.

When Langly walked back in, looking almost dapper, he whistled long and low at the gear on the table. “Nice.”

Frohike showed him how to ‘adjust’ his glasses to take a picture, and left him to put the gear in the bag himself so that he’d be able to find it quickly.

By 3:30, they were ready to go. Krycek, shaved, seemed more dangerous. Langly, shaved, short hair, no glasses, in a suit, looked like he was ready to faint.


The building was a completely nondescript, almost windowless office building among almost identical buildings. Most of them had a sign in the window, or painted on a wall, but this one was relentlessly bare. Nothing was visible through the window except a bare wall. Langly was fidgeting as they parked. Krycek looked at him, said, very calmly, “If you don’t relax and act like you belong here, I’ll shoot you myself.”

Eyes wide, Langly nodded slowly, took a deep breath, said, “I’m The Man. I’m The Man. I’m The Man.”

“Get out of the car, The Man.” Krycek checked his holsters, and stepped out of the car.

They walked up to the door, Langly stayed a step behind. Krycek entered a code on a keypad, and they walked in. A guard looked at them, glanced down, looked back up, and said, “I’ll have Dr. Calderon meet you in room 104, Mr. Krycek.”

Krycek and Langly looked at each other briefly, then they walked down the hall to room 104.

It was a conference room, white board on one side, most of the space taken up by a large, plain table and cheap folding chairs, and a second door at the other side. Langly sat down in one of the chairs, Krycek just leaned against a wall.

Langly mouthed at Krycek, “Isn’t he supposed to be dead?”

Krycek mouthed back, “Clone.”

A minute or two later, the Calderon clone walked into the room. “Gentlemen, I’m sorry to keep you waiting. I wasn’t expecting anyone. Can I help you?”

Krycek said, “Things have changed, Dr. Calderon, and the people I work for have asked for me to evaluate this project.”

Calderon blanched. “It’s going well. We think we’re within a year of success. Two at the outside.”

Krycek leaned forward. “I don’t think you understand me, Calderon. I’ve been sent to examine your progress in detail. This nonsense with your counterpart in December raised a lot of questions about the viability of this part of the project. I want you to show me exactly what you are doing, and I want information on the progress of each of the subjects. And I want it now.”

Calderon sputtered. “It’s impossible. That kind of information will take days to collate, and I’m in the middle of a very delicate procedure. It will put the whole project back if I stop now for more than a few minutes.”

Krycek nodded. “That’s fine. My associate here is competent with raw data. Open your database for him, and I’ll let you get back to work, although I will expect your report by Tuesday.”

He reached out, and handed a small slip of paper with the new cell number on it to the doctor. “Call me when it is ready.”

Calderon took the paper. “Come this way.” He turned and walked out.

Langly looked at Krycek, eyes raised. Krycek just gave a small nod, and they followed.

It took Langly an hour to burn the data to CDs after Calderon let him into the system, while Krycek moved around the space with a clipboard, taking notes. Calderon was working with pipettes and tiny tools under a microscope. Krycek asked, when the doctor sat up, “Do you keep the ova and sperm here?”

The doctor shook his head, “I’ve got a lab up in La Jolla, at one of the University hospitals, with cryo facilities. But I need more privacy than that space provides for the work I’m doing here. When these are fertilized and have reached the 8 cell stage, we’ll take them over for implantation at the confinement facility.”

Krycek nodded. “Who are you using as hosts now?”

Calderon laughed. “Well, it’s funny, really. We set up as a home for teen mothers, and we have a number of migrant girls we’re paying to go through the procedure now. We’re already seeing an improvement in the implantation rate, we don’t have to selectively abort twins, and the girls seem to enjoy their accommodations. None of them speak English at all, and they think they are providing babies to rich white people. Which is technically true. We may have some of the girls stay on as nursemaids if it works well. We deemed the geriatric project to be too high risk to continue. Hell, we implanted the first teens before that all went to hell, because the results were so unpredictable from pregnancy to pregnancy.”

Krycek smiled. “Sensible.” He glanced over at Langly, who was sitting back in his chair, just staring at the screen. Krycek said, “Thank you, Dr. Calderon, I’m going to see how my associate is doing.”

He walked over, looked over Langly’s shoulder. Read what was on the screen. Raised his eyebrows, and asked, “Do you have everything you need?” Langly nodded, still staring at the file in front of him.

Krycek reached over, and closed the file. “Then we better go.”


Langly didn’t say anything for about 10 minutes. Finally he said, “Do you think they have any idea?”

Krycek shrugged, glancing at the rear view mirror. “Probably not.”

“Did you know?” Langly looked at Krycek.

“Nope. But I know how. Or more specifically, when.”

“He hasn’t been abducted....”

“The military had him for about 12 hours in 1993.” Krycek said.

“And they...” Langly trailed off.

“It’s a simple procedure. He was probably loopy enough to cooperate.”

Langly shook his head. “That’s just wrong.” Then he frowned. “Should we tell her about the failures?”

Krycek shrugged. “Would you rather she found out promptly, or that she kill you later for hiding it from her?”

Langly sighed. “It just seems so...”

“Ruthless? Brutal?” Krycek asked.

“I was going to say, ‘Sad.’”


They dropped the car off at the rental agency, took a bus a few blocks, then got off. The van was waiting for them.

As they climbed in, Skinner said, “What went wrong?”

Langly shook his head. “Nothing. It was smooth as silk. They bought Krycek hook, line and sinker, and I got a ton of information.”

“Buddy, if you got all that, why the long face?” Frohike asked.

Krycek answered. “Because he didn’t like what he saw in the files.”

Skinner frowned. “What...”

Langly looked like he was going to cry. “Just wait until we get home, okay? Then you can see it for yourselves.”

Skinner looked at Krycek. “You want to explain to me what you found in there?”

Krycek shook his head. “Not especially. Why don’t you listen to the guy? Wait a few. It’s not going change what you know at the end of the day.”

Byers looked concerned. “Ringo, you all right?”

Langly shook his head. “Not really. But it’s nothing compared to what Mulder and Scully are going to have to deal with when they see these for themselves,” he said, holding up the disks.


When they brought up the data on the computers at their place, Skinner kicked a chair over.

Frohike whistled. “Thirty...”

Byers scrolled up, scrolled back down, said, “Can that be right?”

Krycek said, “Ellens. Back in ‘93.”

Skinner came back, looked at the data again. “You expect to tell them this?”

Byers nodded. “We really have to. You can’t keep this from either of them. They deserve to know.”

“This is not random. Someone did this knowing exactly what they were doing. It was him, wasn’t it?” Skinner spat the words out.

Krycek shrugged. “Believe it or not, he likes Scully, in his own twisted way. Frankly, I think she’d be better off if he didn’t. And don’t forget who Mulder is.”

“That’s twisted, even for him,” said Skinner.

“But thirty attempts. All but three listed as failures...” Byers looked at the dates. “If I’m reading this right, the last two haven’t been born yet, and the one that is listed as Stage 2, healthy... He’s less than a year old. The others...” He faltered.

Krycek looked. “Looks like 15 didn’t make it past the first 24 hours. Those four there died in the first six months. Three more died before age 1. 4 more died between age 1 and 2. And then that one must be Emily Sims, by birth and death date.”

Skinner looked at the list again, frowned. “Agent Scully was taken in August of 1994, and returned in November. Emily was born in November, around the time Scully was returned. How is that possible?”

Langly closed the database they were looking at, opened a new one up. “They were doing something to accelerate growth and development. Look at the gestation lengths.” He started typing, and a graph appeared. “It looks like they were doing a lot of accelerating early on, but if you look, the pregnancies have been getting longer and longer for the past two years.” He switched out of the graph mode, highlighted a field. “Notes suggest that they were concerned the acceleration process was causing some of the problems.”

Byers asked, “But what made those kids die? What were they doing to them?”

Langly pulled up the first database again. “Cancer. Cancer. Anaphylaxis. Overdose. Unknown. Cancer. Nurse error. De novo mutation. Euthanasia, Cancer. Unknown. Abuse. Xenoplasmosis. You get the picture. God, those poor kids.”

Skinner said, “Can you print some of this out? Make copies?”

Frohike nodded. “I’ve already encrypted and uploaded the data to a remote server. I’ll print out what I can.”

Skinner nodded, then said, “So do we know from this where their son is?”

Langly nodded. “He’s in foster care. See where it says SDCSS? Emily was listed adpt.”

“And the ones who haven’t been born yet?” Skinner asked.

“We think they’re in surrogate mothers, at a home for pregnant teens,” said Krycek.

“How the hell are we going to fix this?” Skinner said, through clenched teeth.

“Well, Mulder’s going to have access to Social Services. Scully is going to have access to the hospital. We will track down the surrogates.” Byers said.

“And I will be the one to close the project down, when you’ve got what you need out of it.” Krycek said. “The data has got to disappear, because if the rebels find it, then you’ll lose whatever... sorry, whoever is left.”

Skinner frowned. “Is there an exit strategy?”

Frohike nodded. “There are three options. They can call you. They can disappear north. Or they can disappear south. If they end up having any kids in tow, it’s going to depend on those kids’ health, what they do next. If they call you, it could get very messy.”

Skinner nodded. “I’m not getting them back, am I?”

Frohike shrugged. “Who knows?”


March 8, 1998

Sunday was quiet. Krycek disappeared, came back later looking sweaty and surprisingly relaxed, carrying a bag of groceries. Skinner spent the entire day reading Calderon’s journal. Frohike, Byers and Langly spent the day at the computer.

At 2:15, Skinner suddenly said, “Oh Jesus.”

The Gunmen crowded around.

“A note in one of the reports. See?”

They looked at the sheet of paper he was holding.

-We fertilize 100 eggs to get 80 to actually develop. Put 4 eggs in each of 20 women. Pregnancy rate of 25%, automatic reductions for multiples, pregnancy success rate of 60%.

“So out of every 100 eggs, they were getting maybe 3 normal babies,” Langly said.

“Yeah. Which means that for Scully, they must have tried to fertilize approximately 1000 eggs. How many eggs does one woman have, anyway?” Frohike sounded both impressed and disturbed.

Byers answered, “I think women are born with about 100,000 possible eggs. But they lose a couple every month in the whole process of getting ready to ovulate, times as many menstrual cycles as they’ve had, so guess 30 per year... I looked into this when Mulder found what he found...I understand that modern fertility treatments can usually get around 30 eggs, and women have quite a bit of bloating associated with that.”

“If they took a thousand from Scully, or more... god. No wonder she was in a coma when they found her.” Langly said.


Krycek made dinner on the stove, chicken thighs pan fried in a batter, buckwheat kasha with a mushroom cream sauce on top. Skinner kept glancing at him, struck by the cognitive dissonance of a man he knew to be a stone cold killer tending pots and pans on the stove.

Frohike saw him looking at one point and mouthed, “Freaky” at him. He found himself laughing at the sheer bizarreness of the situation.

Over dinner, Langly said, “What do you think they’re doing now?”

Byers just shrugged. “They’ve been on the road for days.”

Frohike sighed. “Do you think they having any trouble with the whole pretending to be married thing?”

Krycek laughed. “They’re either about to kill each other, or they’re fucking like bunnies.”

Skinner raised an eyebrow. “They’re very professional, and they’ve been having to travel together for a very long time. I think they’re probably just enjoying the fact that they aren’t going to have to report their expenses to me.”

Frohike laughed. “If I know Gwynne, she told them to live it up, to stay in character.”

Krycek chuckled. “That means fucking like bunnies. You think Mulder’s going to keep his hands to himself sleeping in the same bed with her for a week? Showering with her?”

Byers frowned. “Mulder respects Scully. And she’s been going to church an awful lot lately. I don’t see him making a grab for her.”

“Yeah, but do you really think that she’s going to not make a grab at him?” Langly asked.

Skinner shook his head. “I think that right now, it’s none of our business. Let’s just hope that they’ve gotten comfortable with their cover.”

Langly looked over at Krycek. “So what did you do today?”

Krycek answered, “Went over to Heron’s dojo. Sparred for a while.”

Frohike laughed. “Did she kick your ass?”

Krycek rolled his eyes. “She taught me a few new tricks.”

“She kicked your ass.” Frohike stood up. “Do we have a dishwasher?”

Langly laughed. “Yeah, his name is Byers.”

Skinner said, “I’ll wash. Someone else dry.”


March 9, 1998

Frohike and Langly spent Monday shopping for tech for the condo. Security system, mostly, plus some bits and pieces to augment the security system and wire it into the home network they planned to build. Byers, Skinner and Krycek went shopping for books and shelves.

At 7:30 in the evening, Frohike’s pocket started ringing, while they were opening the Chinese food.

Frohike pulled out his cell, thumbed the green button, and said, “Hey... Good... Yeah, we got a package. Our boy came through, but the package was broken... No, the product was good, but the data was... bad.... No, we need to talk to them face to face, how did they sound when you talked to them? ... Yeah, we’re ready to help them move. Tell Partridge that we’ll be at the condo in the morning. If they show up about one, it should be just about right... Yeah, I’ve got the address already.... Love you too.” He hung up.

“We’re all set. They’re arriving in an hour or so. She sounded amused by something, but wasn’t saying what.”

Langly put his egg roll down. “You didn’t tell her.”

Frohike sighed. “They should know first. It won’t change anything for Gwynne, except make her sad, and she was in a good mood. I didn’t want to spoil it with the details. Plus, you know, CELL PHONE.” He picked up his plate, and started in on the broccoli with beef.

Krycek frowned. “Tomorrow...”

Skinner said, “You need to be there. I’ll keep him in check. We’ll have you in the sound box, I don’t want to risk the people you saw today getting wind of your presence in the neighborhood, yet.”


Krycek went over to the dojo again after dinner. As soon as he had been gone long enough, Langly said to Skinner, “What about the other information we came here with?”

Skinner answered, “I thought I might investigate that on Wednesday. I’m not telling Mulder until I know for sure.”

The Gunmen looked at each other. “How will you verify it?” asked Byers.

Skinner said, “If I can get any sort of genetic information, I’ll bring it to Scully. Let her run the tests, decide when to tell him.”

No one slept well that night.


Continue to Chapter 14