TITLE: Max Files
AUTHOR: Empress Vader
SPOILERS: X-files ("Eve") Dark Angel (None)
This was the first Dark Angel fic I ever wrote. It's in the same universe as my X-files fic "Dana’s Dreamland" and "The Final Piece"
Summary: Imagine Dark Angel's world exists parallel to the world in the X-files series. And in Dark Angel's world Mulder and Scully's fate is different from that in the series. The story jumps between two parallel, but connected, stories. One happening in the year 2000 (XF time) and another happening in the year 2020 (Dark Angel time).
Disclaimer: X-files and Dark Angel are Fox shows whose respective rights do not belong to me. Most of these characters are not mine. (Kayla and William Michael are) This story was not written for profit, just as a challenge to myself.
She had been following her on her bike for hours, watching, and waiting. Max rolled around the corner on her own bike and looked back just to be sure she wasn’t delusional. When the girl followed, as Max knew she would, she was ready. An arm reached out and grasped the woman by the neck, slamming her into a nearby wall. The movement was so fast, the naked eye could never have caught it.
“Why are you following me?” Max asked.
“I need your help,” the woman managed to say over her rapidly decreasing air.
Max let her go. “Who are you?”
“Never heard of you.”
“But I’ve heard of you. My parents had a file on you, well not specifically you, but on Manticore.”
“How do you know about Manticore?”
“My parents were nearly killed for investigating it.”
Scully awoke to the sound of Mulder’s fingers fast at work on the keyboard in the next room. He was doing his best to flush out a novel he had been possessed into writing. He’d invented some crazy scenario where aliens abducted him and she was forced to work with some guy named Dog-something.
She and Mulder had only left the FBI a few months ago, but they hadn‘t really given up the X-files. How could they? Their family had begun over a year ago with an X-file. There was a woman who claimed a “ghost” had killed her brother. The woman had two children, five-year-old Kayla and 10-month-old William Michael, who she claimed had also seen the ghost. Though they had tried to keep a professional distance, Scully had fallen in love with the children. Their mother eventually killed herself and when they were left motherless she’d adopted them. But the children had changed Mulder‘s life too. And though she tried to push him away, Kayla decided she wanted Mulder to be her father and it happened. They married within months of the adoption and they’d moved to a small house in Virginia.
Scully had kept her last name because she didn‘t want to have a different name from her children or change their name again so soon. Now she was pregnant and would probably end up having children with different last names anyway. After adopting not one, but two kids, believing she would never have one of her own, she couldn’t believe she was carrying her own. She hadn’t been trying to get pregnant, but she wasn’t one to dismiss a miracle. Mulder’s little girl was growing inside her. It wasn’t an easy decision for Mulder to give up his work, he loved his work, but he loved the family they‘d made too.
Still it hadn’t lasted. Scully had tried to re-enter the medical profession, but found herself unsatisfied. Mulder’s writing was going well, it was like a much need therapy for him (though nothing had been published). But what had finally become their life was being PIs of the paranormal. They now had contacts who swung cases their way, but it hadn’t been an intentional job choice. A few months after they got married, a man from Oregon, who’d heard of them, brought them a case and offered to pay for their services. Mulder loved being out there on the field again and before they knew it, more cases had come to them. There weren’t many well trained people adapt in their field of expertise.
Scully’s phone rang suddenly and Scully answered it knowing Mulder wouldn’t respond, he was caught between worlds.
“Hello, Miss Scully, I‘m Agent Wells,” the female voice said. “I’m stationed here in Wyoming. I have a problem that requires your expertise. Have you heard of a project called Manticore?”
“No,” Scully responded.
“Litchfield, you’ve heard of Litchfield, Right?”
“Yes,” Scully responded.
“Well it’s related, I can’t tell you anymore over the phone. But here’s where I need you to meet me. . . .”
Logan met Max and Kayla at the place she’d chosen, a neutral restaurant. Logan had an envelope on his lap, she figured he’d done some checking to see if this Kayla was who she claimed to be. He joined them at the table. Max didn’t know what to make of the older woman. She was at least twenty six years old, a round faced blond with innocent blue eyes. Original Cindy would have liked her, but Max didn’t trust her. Some girl just showing up, claiming to know who she was and know about Manticore.
“So,” Logan said rolling up to the table. “You claim to be the daughter of the famed Fox Mulder.”
“Fame? Fame he got from a book series everyone thought was fictional. Well it did get fictional after awhile, but a lot of the early stories were true.”
“Hello, who is this Fox guy?” Max said grabbing their attention.
“He was an FBI Agent,” Logan began, pulling a book out and handing it to Max. “He released a book series about 2003 called the Spooky Series. It was based on his investigation of the X-Files.”
Max took the book and read the back. “I read one of these when I was a kid. It was called ‘Bad Blood‘, it was funny.”
“The stories were true Miss Guevara, I know. I was one of those X-Files. He changed the story so the Agents wouldn’t leave the FBI, but I was one of them.”
“And how do we know we can believe you?”
“In the year 2000, my mother and father were approached by an Agent Wells, an Agent who is dead now for getting to close to a project that is responsible for your existence. I saw this Agent Wells shot at six years old.”
“How did you find Max?” Logan asked.
“I have a gift,” Kayla said. “I can talk to the dead. Eva told me how to find you.”
Max’s mind flashed back to the girl shot dead at Manticore. She shook it off and looked at the woman, she had to be crazy, once you’re dead you don’t speak. No one could talk to the dead. If this Fox guy believed the crap he wrote in the books, than he’s probably could have convinced a kid she could talk to ghost.
“Eva soul is anchored to you, she’s still looking out to for you. She told me you and your friend here have taken up the job of saving the world. I need your skills to get back my brother and sister.”
“And why would we help you?”
“For information on Manticore, on the woman that tried to escape with her child. A child that could have been you.”
Max was silent, Hannah had said only one woman fought back, her mother. Was it possible? Nah, it was just wishful thinking. But if Eva could find her. . .What was she saying, this was crap, it had to be. Dead people were just that, dead.
A few hours later they were settled at Logan's place, turned out Logan believed Kayla, at least partially. A voluntary fingerprint had proven she was whom she said she was. And this ex Agent Fox Mulder was one of his heroes. He would be, this Fox guy despite being a bit of a wack, was just like Logan. He was on a one man quest to save the world, only from aliens. And he dragged some reluctant broad along for the ride. Logan didn’t buy the more out there stories, but the government conspiracy angle was just up his alley.
He’d fed Kayla and she’d asked to rest. He’d given her one of his spare rooms and done some more research on what had happened to her family.
“So do you buy the fact that she can talk to ghost?” Max asked
“No, but she might have retained something. She was six, it was a traumatic experience.”
“How would she know her name?”
“Eva. She was shot dead years after anything Kayla would have been involved in.”
“I guess the question is, do you believe in ghost?” Logan said turning around.
Max didn’t answer.
Kayla was happy to be going to Wyoming, but her parents weren’t happy she had come along. Mulder and
Scully knew little about what was going on in Wyoming, except that it was related to the Eves. Having little choice in the matter, they’d taken the children with them. William Michael would have been fine with a babysitter, but after the disaster that had happened with Kayla’s last sitter they were a little wary of leaving her anywhere.
Mulder had went through all his sources to find Manticore and found nothing. Let alone anything that related it to Litchfield still being alive and kicking. They met Agent Wells in a park, the easiest thing to do with the kids in tow. The kids actually made them less suspicious.
Agent Wells was in her early thirties. She was tall with long dark hair. She seemed genuinely nervous, the secret meeting routine new to her, but old and familiar to them. Mulder and Scully recognized her right away, but continued to push the children on the swings as if nothing had changed. Agent Wells came a leaned on the swing set, her eyes casually staring off into the distance.
“Cute kids,” the agent said.
“So were the Eves,” Scully replied.
“Well, genetic engineering has improved a lot since then. I have a younger sister, she just turned 20. She was flunking out of school a few years ago, broke, than all of a sudden she had this money. I questioned her about it, but she wouldn’t give me a straight answer.”
“It could be drugs or something of the like.”
“That’s what I thought, until she disappeared. I did some investigating thinking it would be a simple bust., but I found myself wrapped in something big. My partner, Agent Moore, is dead for digging to much. He found the name Manticore. It turn out a young prodigy named Iva has been recruiting young girls to carry a new brand genetically engineered babies. I have reason to believe Iva is one of your Eves. ”
“Why do you believe this?”
“This is a picture of her from the security cameras.”
Mulder took it and looked it over. “It’s an Eve alright. One of the girls probably.”
“How did they get out?”
“How did they get out before? We never did wrap that up.”
“My sister got away, but she's pregnant with one of their projects. I don't have the experiences or contacts to protect her. She loves that baby, it’s worth more than all the money they promised. I don’t want to see her taken back to that."
Mulder took Kayla, Scully took William Michael and they split up. Agent Wells was sure they were being followed and thought it safer to split up and meet back up in a few hours. Scully and Mulder had done this shake and dodge routine a few times. Split up, made sure they weren’t followed, met again and eluded the people tracking them. It was an old game and they knew it well. The key was to look nonchalant and remain calm. Even before they split, Wells had a bad habit of looking over her shoulder a lot.
They met up at a battered woman’s shelter. Wells thought this was the best way to hide her sister, amongst other young women who didn’t want to be found, but common enough that she didn’t look that suspicious. Still there was something different about this girl, something in her eyes. She was a gorgeous girl with long beautiful black hair and these amazing, dark, penetrating eyes. Her arms were wrapped protectively around the baby inside her; Scully hands instinctively did the same. Scully wasn’t half as pregnant as the girl, the girl could give birth any day. Wells went up to her sister and hugged her.
“I thought you were bringing ex-FBI, not the Brady bunch.”
“Believe me, these two are the best,” Wells replied. “Sis, meet Mulder and Scully. These are their children, Kayla and William Michael. Mulder and Scully, meet my sister Samantha.”
Scully saw the color drain from Mulder’s face. The name alone stirred something in him, he had never found her. He had given up his blind unattainable quest for more earthly things and it had left a hole in him. Having a daughter who worshiped him hadn’t changed that, having a wife hadn’t changed that, their little boy hadn’t changed that, and having a daughter on the way hadn’t changed that. He didn’t say any of this, Scully just knew, knew he needed closure on the issue and had never truly found it.
“Cute kids,” Samantha said. “Let’s talk back here.”
Samantha led them to a small meeting room in the back of the shelter. It was always empty around this time of day; most of the girls in the place were obsessed with the soap operas. There were toys in the room, so Kayla and William Michael were occupied.
“So, how can you help me?” Samantha asked.
“Well, first you have to help us,” Mulder said coolly. He seemed to be studying her, looking for traces of his Samantha.
“How can I do that?”
“Tell me about Eve.”
Mulder showed her the picture Wells had shown to them.
“Iva. I never liked Iva, some bright little kid heading up the project. Well she wasn’t a kid, but she was younger than me--a teenager, still I needed money. I was flunking out of college and my parents became enemy number one. And then I see this advertisement in the local university paper. Make money and help your fellow man. Wanted: healthy young women between the ages of 20 & 25. I was like, no way, money can’t be that easy. I went in as a joke. I saw plenty of women get told, ‘your not what we’re looking for‘, they were the ugly women, the fat women . . . “
“Sam!” Wells interrupted.
“What? They were ugly; these people were only looking for prime specimens. So to say the least, being chosen not only boosted my bank account, but my ego. I came back everyday for a few weeks for all kinds of test. They didn’t want smokers, alcoholics, or drug attics. I wasn’t an angel, but I was pretty clean. I wasn’t addicted to anything. Then one day, they didn’t let us go home. I mean they warned us, kind of. Told us the next part of the experiment would be different, that we would have to leave our families for a few months, but that we‘d be paid well for our time.”
“Did anyone back out?” Scully questioned.
“No, they’d pretty much fueled all the greed in us by then. We were then blindfolded, told it was for our own safety and taken to this lab in this big truck. By then we were pretty frustrated, but they just dangled the money angle again. Oh, I forgot, before we left, we signed contracts. I don’t know what they said, none of us really read them. But anyway, the Lab is where we first met the brat Iva and her Mom Sally something. Why‘d you call her Eve?”
“In the early nineties, Mulder and I investigated a case of two girls, Cindy and Tina, who murdered their parents. It turned out the girls were genetically engineered replicas of a former project, Litchfield. The boys were called Adams and the girls Eves. The problem with the Litchfield experiment was that the Adams and Eves ended up homicidal, often suicidal.”
“Will my child be some type of Monster?” Samantha questioned.
“I don’t believe your child is an Eve per say. Genetic engineering and its possibilities have changed a lot since the time of the original Eves. That science is dinosaur compared to now. But it might be safer to let me run some test.”
“More tests,” Samantha shook her head. “No, there have been enough test. I love my baby. I want her no matter what.”
“This is for your own good and your baby’s good.”
“Iva said that too.”
Kayla led Max through her old hideout. It was in the basement of an old broken down building that hardly seemed livable, but when you slipped down inside of it was a magnificent space. She and her two siblings had been living there for only a year, but the place was mildly settled and decked out with old furniture. Old files were thrown all over the apartment, it was the only evidence left of an abduction.
It seems both Kayla’s parents had died in front of their face and they had barely escaped the same fate. The children had been on the run since Kayla was 20, her brother was 14, and her sister was 12. For the last six years she had taken care of all of them. Who they were running from, they didn’t know, so there was no way for Kayla to guess who had taken her siblings. Kayla was the only one who knew where her father kept his files; she’d collected them and kept them in storage. She’d moved them every few months, taking home this file and that one, trying to protect what was left of her family by finding out who had open reasons to kill them off.
“You know you're lucky Max,” Kayla said cutting into her thoughts.
“You only have to look out for yourself. Me, I had to watch out for two other people.”
“It’s better than being alone. I‘m still looking for the rest of my past.”
“But it hurts to lose family again, I’ve lost so much family. I was adopted you know, my biological parents killed themselves. But then Dana and Fox took me and my brother in and for a few years it was like everything was normal again. I loved my father, I mean my mother was great too. I use to brag to my friends about having parents who were “secret agents“, which was an exaggeration of the truth. But there was a special bond between me and my father, I think it was because he wasn’t closer to accepting there’s more to life than what can hold in your hand. My mother never got it the way dad did. It’s not that she didn’t believe him, she just didn’t have his natural vision. She was never quite convinced that I could talk to dead people, but dad believed me with little question. I think it was because nobody believed him.”
“Believed him about what?” Max said arching a questioning brow.
“About the Aliens taking his sister.”
“Aliens?” Max asked getting a little frustrated with all this spooky talk. She was starting to sound crazy again. “Kayla, on the real, you think Aliens and ghost exist?”
“I know they do. You know, some people would find the idea of a girl crossed with feline DNA a little out there.”
“People made me, it‘s science.”
“Is creating a living breathing human being ever just science. If it was, you have behaved like robots and done what you were told or went haywire and killed a bunch of people for no reason. You didn‘t malfunction, you came to life, you thought, you felt, that‘s why you had to escape. Someone decided you would not succeed as an experiment, but as a person. A special person. Most people don’t want to see what’s really out there; they turn a blind eye because they can’t deal with anything that can‘t be programmed, categorized, or easily referenced. People like us, with gifts the world would rather shun than accept, can‘t afford to do that.”
“I’m not anything like you. I’ve never seen anything not of this world.”
Kayla left the room, dug through a box and pulled out a folder. It looked like old medical records. She came back and shoved them at Max.
“These are the test my mother ran on the woman that escaped from Manticore.”
The first thing Max pulled from the envelope was an ultrasound. She looked at the small unborn baby, secure and safe in its mother’s womb wondering if how it felt to feel that secure. The baby girl she was looking at had no idea she was going to be snatched from her mother, from that warmth, the second she breathed air. Was that little girl her?
Max’s attention was suddenly lifted from the picture of the fetus. She’s heard something, something or someone slowly closing in on the room. She remained silent, listening to see if she heard it again.
“Kayla,” she whispered.
Max spun around towards the rear opening just as the tear gas bomb dropped through it. She grabbed Kayla and they ran for the entrance. Just as they slipped through the door, a young guy wrapped in a cloak and three thugs appeared in front of them.
The young man motioned to the thugs and they pulled out their weapons. Before Kayla got a chance to reach for her own weapon, Max had already moved with incredible speed to disarm the men. She seemed to do this with little to no effort. Kayla was stunned by Max’s agility, her swiftness was unbelievable, even to the daughter of Spooky Mulder. Within the blink of an eyes, Max had removed the weapons from the three thugs. The young leader was odd, he just stood there, watching, waiting. And both Max and Kayla were to busy to think to much about him
When the men recovered from being disarmed they were more angry. One of the men lunged at Max, she grabbed his arm and had him on his back in seconds. He suffered a short daze in which his partner came at Max and found himself swept to the ground and knocked out cold. The first man, who had recovered, came at Max again, this time Kayla heard a bone break as Max twisted him arm behind him. The man screamed in pain. Meanwhile, the third man came at Kayla, she wasn’t helpless, but she didn’t have superhuman strength either. So she had to fight it out with him, she blocked two of his blows, but the third caught her across the face, knocking her to the ground. She was dazed for a minute, but she retained enough composure to act. Kayla grabbed his legs in-between hers and dropped him to the ground. She grabbed her gun from the hiding place in her boot, hoping to deter him from moving . But he got up anyway, confident he could snatch the gun from her. He found himself stunned into shock when the bullet shot though him. He was injured, but that was it, it was the blow Max gave him from behind that put him out of the fight.
“Very good,” the young man said clapping. “Mother would be quite amazed. But how will you do against an equal.”
The young man shoved off his coat and beckoned Max to him.
Mulder sat with the kids while Scully ran her test on Samantha. William Michael was enjoying his toy while Kayla sat beside her father talking softly. Sometimes when he played with Kayla he was taken back to times with his sister, but Kayla was a different kind of child, nothing like Samantha. Recently she had seen something out of the ordinary, something that made them afraid to leave her with anyone.
They’d returned home once to find Kayla screaming in the arms of her babysitter, crying “the pain, the pain”. She claimed she could feel a boys dying all over again, that she could see his ghost and that he didn‘t understand his death. Since then, she had been seeing a psychologist. But a week after the incident Mulder found out a boy in Kayla’s class was being abused and died at the hands of his father. Since then, unbeknownst to Scully, Mulder had her tested. It was real and he knew it. Now it was happening again, she‘d whispered to him there was a boy in the room. And the boys name was Adam.
“He’s very sad,” Kayla said about the ghost.
“Why?” her father asked.
“He wants his sisters to know the peace he knows.”
“Where is he? Heaven?”
“I guess, I don’t know,” Kayla said. “It just feels peaceful, warm. But --”
“What is it?”
“Unsettled. Like pieces of him are still anchored to this world.” Kayla paused. “Daddy?”
“Why doesn‘t mommy understand?”
“Mommy’s just a grown up. “
“But your a grown up and you believe,” Kayla stated plainly.
“It’s real hard for parents to deal with some things, and it‘s especially hard for your parents. We can’t tell you there aren’t monsters in the world, because there are, both metaphorically and literally. And Scully and I have seen them both.”
“Tooms was the scariest,” she said smiling as she remembered one of her father’s stories.
“I think mommy would think Phaster was the scariest,” her father replied.
“His sister knows where she is,” Kayla replied.
“What?” he realized suddenly she had switched back to the original topic. This was the way kids worked, jumping from subject to subject.
“The lady, the one having the baby, Adam’s sister knows about her. She’s here, now, that’s why he’s here.”
“Where is she Kayla?”
“I don’t know, but she’s here.”
“Come with me Kayla,” Mulder said grabbing the stroller.
Kayla couldn’t believe it, the young man was as strong as Max and as fast if not faster. He had engaged her in battle with a tease, getting her to swing first. He blocked the punch after punch. Max could not get a handle on the fight. When she tried to swiftly elude him, he met her speed. When she tried to throw him off balance, he kept control. And before Max knew it, he had knocked her on her back. She was quickly back on her feet, but the young man kept the upper hand. She threw a punch, it was blocked, she threw another punch and he blocked it again and laughed.
“That’s what happens when you give up your training at nine years old.”
He spun around within three kicks, one square in the chest, she fell to the ground. She had never been hit with so much force. She actually felt like her chest had caved in and her shoulder was throbbing. Max looked up and a smile graced the guys lips, he was gloating. But that gloat went away when Max heard the gun release a bullet into him. Kayla? He turned around toward Kayla. Max took the moment to get to her feet and Kayla cocked her gun again.
“Another time,” the young man said. And then he was gone.
“Who was that?” Max asked holding her injured shoulder.
“I wish I knew.” Kayla replied. “He was really strong, almost as strong as you.”
‘Almost?’ Max thought. But she didn’t say it, the last thing she needed was to appear weak.
“Is it possible he was kid from another group?” Kayla continued.
“You tell me? You're the one whose parents investigated the place. I spent most of my life trying to escape it. I haven’t even got close to putting anything together until recently.” Max sighed, “He’ll probably be back soon, it’s best we get out of here.”
“I felt like I knew him,” Kayla said.
“He isn’t a dead guy.”
“You aren’t dead either, but I know who you are.” Kayla looked at the coat on the ground. She picked it up and a wallet ID fell out. “Look,” Kayla said handing it to her. “It’s an ID to some type of military base and a pass.”
“ It says his name is Able Six.” Max replied, reading from the pass. “We should take this stuff to Logan. I have a feeling that Able Six guy is going to be back.”
Mulder found himself watching every corner as he entered the hospital room. William Michael was sitting in his stroller playing with a keyboard. He told Kayla to stay with her brother and walked up to the window of the examination room. Scully was talking about the test results to the Samantha. He knocked on the window and Scully came out to him.
“What is it?”
“Kayla said that Iva is here, in this lab looking for Samantha.”
“How does she know?”
“Because she--“ Mulder hesitated and looked at the floor.
“This isn’t ghost again is it. You heard the psychologist, we shouldn’t encourage her to ---”
“:Scully, I ran her by Chuck and---”
“You did what with my child?”
“Your child?” Mulder began.
“I’m sorry.” Scully began. “But Kayla has always admired you. Isn’t it remotely possible that she’s saying these things to impress you.”
“Isn’t it remotely possible after all we’ve seen that the child is telling the truth. That she can speak to spirits. Maybe you just don’t want it to be true. I don’t want to make my kids deny what they’ve seen the way my parents did with me.”
“I just want the best for her, I want normality for her, we’re already afraid to leave her with anyone but my mother.”
“Scully, why do you have to see it as a curse? She’s able to see things that most people will never see in there entire life. Our kid is not cursed, she‘s gifted.”
“That’s not what her mother said when she gave her to me.”
“You saw them Scully, maybe caught somewhere between dreams and reality, but the same people that spoke to her, spoke to you.”
“I don’t know if I can buy it Mulder, not with everything she’s been through.”
Mulder sighed and gave up.
“I’ll take Samantha and the kids back to the hotel room, I think it‘s safer than the shelter. Where’s Wells?”
“She said she would go get what she could find of her partner’s notes and bring them to us.” Scully sighed. “Mulder the fetus shows some anomalies not found in the Eves. I know because I had a sample of Tina‘s sent over. Further inquiry revealed the child she‘s carrying has feline DNA. I don‘t know how---”
“Cat DNA? Think of what a human could do with a Cat’s agility and sight.”
“Mommy,” William Michael called from his stroller. She turned and saw he was rubbing his eyes and Kayla was yawing.
“I’ll get them out of here,” Mulder said. He grabbed the stroller. “Samantha, come with me,” Mulder shouted into the room.
“Where?” the young woman asked following Mulder out the door.
When Scully was left alone she tried to allow her brain to find footing again. Why did her daughter have to see ghost? Why couldn’t one thing in her life be normal?
“She put her hand to the little one inside her. It would be awhile before this child joined the world. And would it be normal? She and Mulder weren’t even normal anymore. All prenatal care so far revealed that she was a perfectly healthy baby girl. But she wasn’t so sure, something told her that her baby’s life would not be that easy. That it couldn’t just be born normal.
“Agent Scully” an eerie voice said softly outside the door.
Her head jerked to attention as two forms moved inside the door. One was Agent Wells, hands raised, with someone behind her, the owner of the voice, a teenager, Iva?
“Or is it Agent Scully anymore?”
“It’s still Scully,” Scully said facing the young woman she had once known as a little girl, a dangerous little girl.
“You know Scully, you have a cute little family. But you're digging in the wrong place again and you're going to end up resurfacing enemies you didn’t ever want to see again. They’ve left you alone because you’ve stayed to dealing with hicks and their paranormal accidents. But this, this puts you and your children right back in the middle of the fire.
Scully looked into Agent Wells eyes, she was shaking nervously. The gun was pointing directly to her temple. Who knows what this kid had been trained to do since their last meeting?
“Mommy I forgot my jacket,” a little voice said running back into the room
It all happened in an instant, Scully saw Kayla standing there, her mouth gapped open. Iva spun towards her, forgetting Agent Wells for the moment. When the gun turned on her daughter, Scully didn’t think she just jumped at Iva. Wells also turned on Iva. She lost the gun, but threw Scully to the ground and shook Wells off before diving for the gun.
“Kayla run,” Scully shouted, but the child was frozen.
Iva had the gun by now and Wells was on her feet fighting with the woman for control of the weapon. It was then Scully saw Mulder coming. Agent Wells saw him too and got distracted, Kayla screamed as Agent Wells fell to the ground dead. Iva, seeing she was out numbered ran from the room.
Mulder ran to the child, who wouldn’t stop screaming. He shook her and yelled her name several times. But she was looking behind him, still screaming. He looked back towards the dead body and could see nothing, Scully was struggling to her feet. Mulder ran to help her.
“Get Kayla out of here,“ Scully shouted. “I’ll be okay.”
“The baby,” Mulder asked.
“It will be fine. Please, Kayla, get Kayla,” Scully pleaded. “Stop her screaming.”
He grabbed the girl and ran out of there. She stopped screaming and started sobbing when they were outside.
“Daddy I saw it,” Kayla said through tears.
“Death?” Kayla said
What did she mean she saw it? She saw someone die, she saw the actual spirit death, it had form? There was no point in asking her until she calmed down.
Logan’s couldn’t believe he actually saw Max hurt. Maybe somewhere in his head, he thought that was impossible. And he was even more shocked to find out some young guy had done it. Kayla claimed he was probably bio-engineered too (obviously). Kayla handed Max the ice pack she had prepared.
“So, you think this Able guy was a kid from another Manticore group,” Max asked as she held the ice in her shoulder.
“Not necessarily,” he replied. “Manticore wasn’t the hidden government project to play genetic God.”
“My parents were investigating the rebirth of Litchfield, not Manticore. But Detective Wells said they were related somehow though.“
“Even if they are. What would they want with your brother and sister?”
“My sister, she wasn’t born by normal means.”
“Mom didn’t find out till after she was born. They probably took my brother to keep me quiet. You see, I was possessed by the spirit of Det. Wells.”
“What?!” Max shouted. “Alright, I’ll by that your parents investigated some weird shit that went on. I’ll by that some type of trauma occurred that made you think you saw things. But possession? That’s going too far.”
“Eva wouldn’t like you not trusting me.”
“Eva is dead. Dead!” Max yelled.
“You were five, you fell while marching through the halls. She was behind you. She immediately grabbed your arm and lifted you up. And thank goodness she did, because just as she got you to your feet the solider who was leading your group through the halls turned around. He seemed to focus on you for a second. ‘Who fell out of line’ he yelled. No one answered. . . .”
“Just stop. You could have gotten lucky, made up that story.”
“Could I or do I really know?”
“You are one severe whackjob.”
“Of all the people in the world, I can’t believe this is coming from you.”
“You don’t know me!” Max yelled. “You don’t know anything about me.”
“I need some air,” Kayla said heading for the door.
“Kayla.” Logan yelled
“Yeah,” she said turning back.
“You‘ll be back right?”
“Yeah, I’ll be back,” Kayla replied walking out the door.
Max turned to Logan.
“Don’t tell me your getting attached to spooky girl,” Max snapped. “Well you can have her, I don’t care.”
“Max, I was afraid too. Afraid everything Fox Mulder said was true.”
“Did you meet him or something?”
“No, never. When I was in high school this guy who was into the whole alien thing brought this old paper to school trying to show us the proof. It was published by a group known as the Lone Gunman. “
“And you believed him?”
“No, we didn’t.” Logan answered calmly.
“Well it’s nice to know you had half a brain then.”
“We I didn’t. In High School, me and a bunch of guys had that whole group mentality thing going. We wouldn‘t go to the bathroom without each other.”
Max half smiled at this admission. Logan was glad he had lightened her mood.
“But the paper intrigued me. I’d never heard of it. I hadn’t actually see it in any market, so I did some research, just general fact checking. Dates, times, places. Then I accidentally ran across the name Fox Mulder. You see, they didn’t actually use his name when they wrote about him usually, but this was some local paper and the story matched. After that, I started researching all types of Anagrams and such that you could make for Fox Mulder. I searched UFO groups like MUFON. The guy was basically their god.”
“But they were all a bunch of whackjobs, right?”
“That’s what I wanted to believe. So I did some digging and turned up more publications by these ‘Lone Gunman’ Characters. I did some cross checking and though the stories seemed more logically explained in some of the local papers where I confirmed the case had existed and Agent Mulder had been present. I had to ask myself if the stories were true, would anyone have believed them enough or been brave enough to publish the complete truth?”
“So you want me to believe Kayla’s on the level, because you think the things her dad investigated might have been true.”
“All I’m saying is don’t dismiss it or her outright. Somebody is after her or her family or what her family knows. Her brother and sister are gone and she might be next. You should know what that feels like.”
“Were you planning to lay this on a kid someday, because you totally sounded like somebody’s father?”
Logan laughed, “You volunteering to make me one?”
“Oh Loogie,“ Max replied sarcastically. “You wouldn’t want kids who were genetically enhanced killing machines.”
“I don’t know. They sure come in handy at times.”
Just as Max was about to lay another line into the verbal game, they were both assaulted by a scream, Kayla’s scream.
Mulder didn’t know what to do with Kayla. She wasn’t screaming anymore. The FBI had come in now, asking questions. And he and Scully no longer had FBI credentials, there was little they could do to stop it. Still, they hadn’t mentioned Samantha or the project that had recruited her. Now all of them sat huddled together in the hotel room trying to figure out there next move.
Kayla stood silently by the window. Samantha had voluntarily rocked William Michael to sleep. And Mulder and Scully sat on the side of a bed whispering to each other.
“My mother’s coming tomorrow to get the kids,” Scully told Mulder. “She‘s willing to hide Samantha too.”
“I don’t know if we can send Kayla away.”
“Mulder, I’m quite sure she didn’t mean what you're implying. I’m sure Kayla didn’t see the grim reaper. If anything, this should give her some reality about death.”
“She lost a mother and a father, I’m sure death is quite real to her.
“She didn’t see them die Mulder, they were just gone. She’s now seen. . . . “
“Mommy,” Kayla said coming over to her parents. “She needs to speak to you.”
“Who?” Scully questioned.
“Wells. She needs my body, until Samantha is safe. I’m going to give it to her.”
“Kayla, don’t say those things.”
“I know your scared Mommy,” Kayla said taking her mother’s hand. “And Daddy,” she finished turning to Mulder.
“Kayla. Can’t you talk to her, without giving up your body,” Mulder asked.
“No Daddy,” Kayla replied. “She needs to finish this.”
“Answer one question for me.”
“No daddy, I can’t explain seeing death. And no mommy, I don’t just mean seeing someone die. It scared me, but I think I understand. You will come to understand it on your own.” Kayla sighed. “It is a gift, a gift that I must use to help people. So I’m helping Agent Wells.”
Kayla had always been too bright for her own good. Now she seemed even older than usual.
“Believe,” she said touching her father’s arm.
“Mulder, Scully,” Kayla said soon after. “It’s me, Agent Wells.”
Mulder and Scully looked at each other. Was Kayla playing games?
“Kayla?” Scully questioned. For some reason she expected some act from the exorcist, for her head to spin around and windows to crack or something. Not an instant switchover, if that’s what it was.
“We need to go back to my office, after hours,” Kayla/Wells began. “That’s how that Eve got me. I found Agent Moore's notes. ”
Samantha walked up to them carrying a sleeping William Michael.
“Don’t tell her,” Kayla/Wells whispered.
“He’s knocked out,” Kayla said handing him to his mother.
“How are you holding up?” Scully asked.
“I can’t believe she’s gone.” Samantha said softly. “I came to her. Maybe this baby really is too dangerous to live. Maybe it‘s not worth it.”
“Don’t say that,” Kayla/Wells suddenly spoke out. “It’s worth it, life and freedom are always worth the sacrifice.”
Samantha looked at her with a puzzled expression. “My sister use to say that.”
Mulder and Scully looked at each other with knowing expressions.
“I must have heard her say it,” Kayla/Wells quickly replied.
There was a knock to the door, Scully went and answered it. Her mother stood there, she hugged Scully.
“What compelled you to bring these kids along in the first place?” she asked.
“Kayla’s staying with us,” Mulder told her.
Samantha and Maggie Scully looked at him. “I don’t think it’s safe too. . .” Scully’s mother began.
“We have our reasons,” Scully said in support of Mulder. She still didn’t know if she thought Kayla was now Agent Wells, but she wasn’t willing to dismiss it outright.
By the time Max got to Kayla, who was on the abandoned first floor of Logan‘s building, she had stopped screaming. There was a girl about Max’s age holding her and covering her mouth.
“Let her go,” Max yelled.
The young woman let her go.
“It’s me,” she said to Kayla. “Samantha's daughter.”
“Samantha's daughter?” Max questioned. “You know her?”
“Kind of,” Kayla replied.
“But your not from Manticore,” Max replied.
“No, but you are. Me, I’m a Litchfield kid. Eva four, but my mom named me Angel. Said I was her Angel.”
“Eva? I don’t understand. You knew she wasn‘t me?” Max asked turning toward Kayla
“Yes, I knew that.” Kayla replied with eyes downcast.
Just then, Logan came out. When he saw no one was fighting or being killed he joined them.
“What’s going on out here?” Logan asked.
“That’s what I’d like to know,” Max replied.
“Kayla’s parents saved my mother,” Angel began. “When she was pregnant with me, they sent her away with Kayla’s grandma, she was safe for about two years. Then Litchfield found us, so we ran. When I was five, they recaptured me and killed my mother.”
“They did?” Kayla said in shock. “I’m sorry.“
“I’ve been looking for you, because your father said you were a medium, it was the only way I could talk to my mother again. But then Abel showed up.”
“You know Abel?” Max questioned.
“I don’t know all the details, but basically Manticore and New Litchfield were in competition. New Litchfield was updating their previous project, they even renamed the upgraded kids, Abel and Eva. The project was run by two previous Eves one from the previous project and the one born Cindy Reardon who went by the name Iva, the other two Eves had died under mysterious circumstances. Eventually Manticore was showing more success, so they decided to shut down New Litchfield. But even before then, New Litchfield had slipped one of their kids, your Eva, Eva one, into Manticore just to prove their science, the clones were better. When Litchfield was shut down, they decided to terminate the kids. The Eves had caused so much trouble lose they didn’t want to bother. Determined not to see their work end, the Eves took one boy with them, Abel four and one girl, me. She kept up our training. The Eves were obsessed with destroying Manticore, a threat to the family they said. And they thought the key to destroying them would be found in alien DNA.”
“Alien DNA?” Max questioned. “We’re not going there again are we?”
“My sister was a hybrid. Both my parents had been experimented on,” Kayla interjected. “by aliens”
Max rolled her eyes, obviously unconvinced still. And she was surprise to see Logan actually looked interested in it. He was buying it?
“So they did take my sister?” Kayla said. “But why my brother.”
“That’s just it, I don’t think he’s here for them, in fact I know he’s not. I didn’t stay with the Eves. After they took me, I still remembered my mother and Kayla and the rest of the Mulder family. The other Evas and the Abels, they were cold people, no emotion. So first opportunity I got, I escaped.”
“Well my Eva was nothing like that,” Max replied.
“I know, you X5s were close.”
“How would you know that?”
“I just knew. Even at a distance she‘s the one I felt closes too. She loved you guys. ”
“What?” Kayla suddenly asked the air. Max, Logan, and Angel looked at her. “Eva, it’s Eva, your Eva. She said tell her about the danger. Abel. The other stuff is unimportant. But Eva, my sis. . . .What do you mean they‘re okay? . . . Angel knows.” Kayla looked at Angel. “You know where my brother and sister are?”
“Yes, but the important thing is Abel’s here to kill her,” Angel pointed at Max. “Manticore is the enemy.”
“I’m not at Manticore.”
“Same difference. In or out a Litchfield is a Litchfield and a Manticore is a Manticore.”
“Eva says she was both,” Kayla interjected.
“Stop saying that!” Max yelled. “Eva was on of us, not one of them. And you lied to me.”
“Eva says deception is a tactical advantage,” Kayla replied.
“You can’t talk to Eva, this is just some type of nightmare I’ll wake up from in a few hours.”
“You wish,” a familiar but creepy voice said emerging from the shadows. It was Abel. He had two people tied up and were guiding them into the open with a gun. “You know sis, you suck at protecting people. Here we have little brother William and sweet little sister Indie.”
Kayla looked in horror at the bloodied face of her brother. Her sister looked relatively unharmed.
For Mulder and Scully it was an easy con game. They went the local FBI offices pretending to be enraged about being kicked off the case, while Kayla snuck off to find the files. Scully had to put more trust in the little girl than she desired to. Mulder was just happy to be saving Samantha, even if it wasn’t his Samantha. Scully didn’t mention to him that he was projecting, because doing so would anger him and she wasn’t in the mood. She’d seemed to be feeling her baby moving more and more and whatever got them home was good. Scully wanted a normal life some days and other days she was glad they still did there on and off investigations. As crazy as it all was, when the X-Files got closed down that first time she wanted back in.
Rather it was Kayla or Wells in that body, it came back quickly with something in the book bag she was carrying. They could tell, because when she conveniently disappeared, it was flat and now it was full. They pretended to give up the argument and went out to the car. As soon as she sat down in the seat Kayla/Wells pulled the papers out of the bag.
“These will keep my sister safe. She can hold these over their heads.”
“What is it Scully asked?”
“Evidence. The new Litchfield project is the one that had my sister. They have a man on the inside of Project Manticore, they’re stealing technology to upgrade their new brand of kids. If the agency finds out, they‘ll be shut down. “
“I’m confused,” Scully replied. “You're saying there are two projects out there doing this.”
“Yes, competing even to make the better soldier.”
“Then we have to shut them down anyway.” Scully told her. “We just can‘t let them take innocent girls like Samantha and inseminate them with helpless little babies who will be trained killers,” Scully replied and then realized she was looking at a child saying these things.
“Don’t you understand, these people are ruthless,” Kayla/Wells sighed. “I thought you dealt with these things before. Secret government projects. They will kill every innocent girl and baby in their possession to cover this up. Do you want to have that many possible deaths on your head or do you want to help save one?” Kayla/Wells handed her the file. “I’m gone, dead, this is all I can do for my sister. Give you the evidence that can keep her and her child safe. Then let you make the decision. Do what you think is best.”
Kayla/Wells laid down on the seat and closed her eyes. Scully looked at Mulder.
“She’s right,” he replied.
Neither woman looked all to pleased about seeing Abel. Max knew she couldn’t defeat him alone, she needed this girl, this girl who claimed she and Eva were related, to defeat this character. He looked just crazy enough to take them both on.
“Thems fighting faces,” he teased. “Well come on Manticore kid, prove your better than us pitiful little Litchfields. Just like you did last time.”
“You let them go,” Angel cut in.
“You were always so confused about family, about loyalty.”
“They are more my family than you are,” Angel replied pointing at William Michael and Indie. “It was Kayla and her parents that saved my mother, even if it was only for a few years, it made all the difference in the world.”
“If you have no loyalty to me, then I have none to you,” Abel replied dropping his coat as he had done before. “Now who wants to take me on.”
Max started to step up.
“This is my problem,” Angel said blocking her.
“I got issues to settle,” Max said spinning away from Angel and flipping toward Abel.
Abel was ready for her as he had been before. Punch for punch, he blocked and countered with his own moves. She tried to pull the move she had used on Zack. But the attempt to flip over him was stopped before it even began and she found herself on the ground and Abel’s foot in her chest. His fist was raised, prepared to knock her in the face when someone grabbed him from behind and swung him to the ground. This gave Max enough time to get to her feet. Angel was still struggling with Abel.
“Two of you, I’ll still win,” Abel said breaking Angel’s hold on him by dropping her on her back.
Abel stretched and went back to his fighting stance. “Come on ladies.”
“The pills, he shouldn’t be this strong,” Angel whispered.
“Pills?” Max questioned.
“There sort of like a steroid, the Eves developed it,” Angel answered. “But the high quickly goes away. We need to end this project and end it now. You in the game soldier?”
“I’m in,” Max replied.
They both went after Abel and all the spectators could do is watch in horror from the sidelines, though they were fascinated by the fight. Kayla had seen Logan cringe when Max had hit the ground. She guess he had never seen her might matched. There was no doubt Abel was good, he held off the two women well. But he was quickly losing the upper hand. An that’s when Kayla made her move. She slipped over to her brother and sister and loosened their ties enough that they could escape. Then she went to Abel’s coat and pulled out his gun.
“Abel,” she yelled. He turned toward her. “This is for my mother and father, ” she said as she pulled the trigger.
The bullet rattled from the chamber and ended the life of Able four. Angel and Max stared in shock at Kayla.
A few hours later, the group had reconvened in Logan’s apartment. They were still all shocked that it was Kayla who killed Abel.
“He killed mom and dad. Thing is, he wasn‘t even that old when he did it. ”
“You know how Mom and Dad died?” Indie asked surprised. “But I thought. . . .”
“Dad wanted to protect Samantha, it was like making up for losing his own Samantha. So he and mom agreed to hold the evidence against New Litchfield and Manticore instead of going public with it. After you were born,” Kayla pointed to Indie. “We found out about you alien physiology and there was a kidnap attempt. Mom and Dad then decided to use the evidence used to protect Samantha to protected us. Mom and Dad decided it was time to get out the game then and there, so we all disappeared and dad began publishing his books. Of course, our absence provided the perfect window for them to kidnap Angel. Then the pulse hit, it was the perfect opportunity. With everything going downhill, it was easy for Abel to complete his “mission”. I saw him, he had these cold eyes. He couldn’t have been no more than twelve. All I could do was save my siblings, so I did. All these years I’ve been trying to figure out a way to trap him. I was so angry when I found out his “mission” to kill my parents is what got the Eve’s back in good with the same people who had shut down New Litchfield. When Eva’s spirit began speaking to me, I saw an opportunity avenge my parents. I’ve helped people spirits before find peace, but I was using my access to Eva for revenge. And when my brother and sister disappeared I got scared. I was wrong.”
Everyone stared at Kayla.
“I’m sorry,” she said again. “How did you guys find Angel.”
“She came looking for us. She was tailing Abel,” her brother said.
“Abel was looking for me, but then he was distracted by finding her,” Indie said pointing to Max.
“He remembered hearing about Lydecker pursuit of one of his escapees,” Angel added. “To say the least, defeating her became priority. The last piece of proof that shutting down New Litchfield instead of Manticore had been a mistake.”
“Well, at least it’s over,” Indie said. “We can go home.”
“Is it?” Kayla asked. “The Eves always find a way to bring Litchfield back and if even one of them are alive.”
“It’s not my problem anymore,” Max interjected. “Abel is gone.”
“Few X-Files end this easily,” Kayla replied. “Sometimes death is just the beginning.”
“This isn’t an X-file,” Max replied.
“Isn’t it?” Kayla asked.
Later, when Angel, Kayla and their whole crew had rolled out, Logan and Max sat together looking at the night sky.
“Well, to say the least, this was weird,” Max told him
“I’m thinking maybe it was an X-file,” Logan said.
“I know one thing, for the first time I can remember, in a long time, I’m really exhausted.”
Kayla woke up and saw a long stretch of road ahead of her. She rubbed her eyes, it felt like she had been asleep forever.
“Mom, Dad, she said softly. Where are we going?”
She saw her mother’s hand go to her belly and heard a sigh.
“Home Kayla, home,” her father replied.
But somehow she didn’t feel like she was going home, somehow she felt she could never go home again.