This is for Daphna, a close friend, and fellow X-Phile. Thanks for being the closest friend I've ever had, and putting up with me when I get a little X-obsessed, (or anything else obsessed). Thanks also for proof-reading my work, and pointing out my useless typing mistakes.
The room was in semi-darkness. The outlines of the furniture could just be made out. - A tall wardrobe, a chest, a foldaway table leaning against the wall, a dining chair, an armchair, a small cabinet with a t.v. on top, and a low bed. A shaft of light shone into the room through a gap between the curtains, and fell upon the man who was lying on the bed. Gary Donohue was in his early thirties. His hair was shaved close to his head, and his physique was that of a man who spent a moderate amount of time in the gym. He didn't look like the sort of person you would like to meet on a dark night. He had lived alone in his bungalow, just outside Taviston, for seven years.
He worked in the town at "Firrely's supplies", where he stacked boxes, and loaded the trucks.
Donohue woke up, and lay still on the bed, listening. He shivered, although it was not cold, and pulled the sheet over him. He turned over, and tried to get back to sleep. After a few minutes, he turned again, and then again onto his back. He lay for some time, staring at the damp patch on the ceiling, until he became aware of the sound outside the house.
Donohue sat up suddenly, clutching the sheet with shaking hands.
He listened, and when he was certain that the sound was not in his head, he tried to get up. He couldn't get up. None of his limbs would respond to him, and he cried out, screaming over the increasing noise.
"No! No! Go away! Leave me alone! Please!"
His body shook, his grip on the sheet tightening. His paralysis spread, until he could no longer cry out. The light coming through the gap in the curtains got brighter. Donohue's eyes widened in terror. The glass in the window shattered.
Donohue turned over carefully in his bed, careful not to knock his back, and looked at his alarm clock. Time had passed, but not as much as he would have expected. Whether that was just the fear and the pain that made it seem longer, or whether time had been different, he didn't know. He put one hand behind him, and ran it along his back. He could find no trace of what had happened. No-one would be able to see the row of tiny holes that had been drilled into his spine.
In the basement office of the J. Edgar Hoover building, Fox Mulder sat alone at his desk, poring over yet another case file which he had been passed by agents who couldn't see their noses in front of their faces. He took a pencil, scribbled a few notes in the margin of the sheet in front of him, and underlined a passage. Then he closed the file, and put it to one side.
Yawning, he stretched back in his chair, and glanced around at the office to see if there was anything else he should do before he left. The room was a mess, but it was an organised mess, and a quick glance told Mulder that he was done for the day. He lifted his light brown jacket from the nearby chair, and swung it over his shoulder, to hide the shoulder holster he wore. Then he left the office, and headed towards the underground car park.
Mulder's car was parked in it's usual spot. As he crossed the dimly lit car park, he had the feeling that he was not alone.
The car park was fairly empty, but the concrete pillars that supported the roof afforded plenty of cover. Mulder stopped, and looked around him carefully. He saw nothing, but as he approached his car again, he spotted a glowing cigarette end near the pillar nearest his car. He stopped.
"Mr Mulder." a deep voice came from behind the pillar. The cigarette end lifted, vanished for a moment, and then appeared again, lowering.
"Yes?" Mulder asked patiently. He did not attempt to approach the pillar. The man, whom Mulder had grown to call Deepthroat, would not allow Mulder any information about himself, and Mulder knew this.
"There's something coming your way." the deep voice continued,
"Something that will interest you. I don't know if it is what it appears, but I do know that a lot of people are worried about you becoming to involved in this one." The man stepped from behind the pillar, his figure in darkness, "You know I can't protect you, so watch out for yourself. Trust no-one."
Behind Mulder, there was a clicking of heeled shoes on concrete.
Mulder recognised the step, and smiled slightly. He kept his eyes on the dark figure in front of him. The walker stopped.
"Mulder?" Dana Scully asked. He turned towards her, and when he looked back, the other figure was gone.
"So, you say you want protection?" the sergeant asked the wild eyed man in front of him.
"Yes." The man wrung his hands nervously in his lap. He looked around the interview room at Taviston police station. It was small and square, and white. More importantly, it had no windows.
"Who from, exactly? Why do you want protection?"
"Last night, I was abducted from my house." the man said shakily, "I don't want it to happen again." He started to lean back in the chair, but winced in pain when his back made contact with the hard surface, and sat forward again.
"Abducted by whom?" the officer asked.
"By aliens." Gary Donohue answered.
"Where are you taking me?" Donohue asked the white coated male nurse who walked at his side.
"To your room." came the answer.
"But why am I here? I'm not ill."
"You want protection, don't you?" the nurse asked gently, and opened the door to one of the private observation rooms. Donohue had been taken to the Alexandria Hospital, for analysis and observation.
"But..." Donohue stammered, "There's a window in here, - it's not safe."
"You'll be fine, now just lie down..." the nurse began, gesturing towards the bed. Donohue suddenly made a bolt for the door, where his way was blocked by two large orderlies. He fought them with the strength born of adrenalin, but they overcame him, bore him to the bed, and restrained him on it.
Moments later, a doctor arrived to examine him, and attached several wires to him, so that machines could monitor his heart rate, breathing, and brain patterns. The doctor looked carefully at Donohue, and saw the terror in his eyes.
"Now, just calm yourself down," he said gently, "Everything will be alright now." Then he left the room, and Donohue fixed his eyes on the growing darkness outside the window.
Dana Scully scowled at the open half-pound bag of sunflower seeds on Mulder's desk as she came into the office in the morning. It always got messy when he ate those things, and she hated messiness. She held up the blue case-file, and pointed it at the offending bag.
"Put them away," she said. Mulder, who had been leaning back in his chair, waiting for her to return from her meeting with Assistant Director Skinner, sat forward, put the bag away, and looked up at her hopefully.
"New case." she passed it to him. He opened it, and smiled as he saw it. An alien abduction case. Apparently.
"So, this is what he was talking about," Mulder said to himself quietly.
"Deepthroat. He came to see me again the other day. He said there was something interesting on the way."
"Hmm." Scully looked critical. She found it difficult to believe that there were people beyond the government's reach who were as convinced as Mulder was that there was such a thing as extra-terrestrial life, and that these people were far more dangerous to Mulder than any pyschotic murderer. The idea that some of these people were on his side, and actually going out of their way to help Mulder was equally unbelievable. She crossed her arms. "And?"
"He said that some people don't want me getting to close to this one, and that I should be careful, and trust no-one."
Scully nodded slowly, an eyebrow lifting. She didn't bother to ask if Mulder believed Deepthroat. She already knew that he did.
"So, now what?" Mulder asked.
"Now you meet the new agent who is working on this case." Scully said.
"New agent?" Mulder looked skeptical.
"Susanna Glove. She's been transferred here. Skinner wants her to work with us on this case."
"Oh." Mulder frowned. Scully knew why. He didn't like having to work with other agents. He had originally preferred to work on his own than with her, but the Bureau had insisted, and now Mulder was content to work with her. Although skeptical of his beliefs, she respected them, knowing that often even his more bizarre theories were close to the truth. The other agents were more critical, and as a result, Mulder had all but refused to work with anyone but Scully, and as a result of this, many rumours about the depth of their relationship were traveling around the Bureau.
Agent Walbrook escorted Agent Glove to the basement office, and filled her in on the large amounts of gossip floating around about "spooky" Mulder. Although arrogant, he didn't dare to enter the office without knocking first. Having delivered Agent Glove, he departed quickly, after making a crack to Mulder about working with a new agent.
Mulder surveyed Glove. She was a little taller than Scully, even allowing for her heeled shoes. Her hair was short, blonde, and coarse. Her suit looked just pressed, and a little too stiff and straight to be believed, and she carried a briefcase. Mulder considered her carefully, before turning back to Scully.
"Well, let's go."
Scully glanced across at Mulder as they drove towards Alexandria hospital. Mulder was driving, she was sitting alongside him, and Susanna Glove was in the back, behind Mulder. Scully wondered how Mulder would act on this case. Often, with cases that appeared to be X-files, Mulder would become highly charged at the start of the case, but then crash badly during the journey to the scene. This case, however, was right on the FBI's doorstep, and Mulder would not become depressed by being held back from starting work.
Looking at Mulder's face, she saw that his lips were set in a thin line, and he stared hard at the road ahead of him. He was obviously not happy with having a new agent tagging along on the case. Scully caught his eye when he turned her way, having felt her gaze on him.
"Lighten up," she said quietly. Mulder frowned, and then made a visible attempt to do as she asked.
"So," he said, glancing at the reflection of Agent Glove in the rear view mirror, "what did Agent Walbrook tell you about me?"
"Er... I don't think I understand you." Glove answered nervously, looking out of the window, rather than meeting Mulder's gaze in the mirror.
"He must have told you something about me. How about, "Spooky" Mulder, who can link any case to alien activity?"
"So, what else did he say?" Mulder persisted.
"He mentioned that you don't usually work with anyone except Agent Scully, and seemed to imply that your relationship is more than just professional."
"Oh!" exclaimed Scully.
"Oh." agreed Mulder, although unsurprised. Glove looked from one agent to the other, trying to work out what was going on between them. Mulder pulled the car into Alexandria hospital car park, and parked.
Twenty minutes later Mulder and Scully were talking to Gary Donohue. Glove had been sent to get his medical records.
"The reason we're here," Mulder explained to the restrained man on the bed, "is that we were told that you claimed to have been abducted by aliens."
"Yes, but no-one here believes me." Donohue answered, "I want protection, but all they did is put me in here."
"Most people don't understand, or don't want to understand things like this," Mulder said quietly.
"What about you?"
"I believe that we are not alone in the universe, and that some people have been abducted by aliens. I don't know whether or not to believe that you are an abductee," Mulder said carefully, aware of Scully's disapproving gaze resting on his back as she watched him from the closed door to the room against which she leaned.
"How can I make you believe?" Donohue pleaded.
"Try telling me about your abduction experience." Mulder suggested, "What happened to you three nights ago?"
"They took me up to the ship..."
"Wait," Mulder interrupted, "go back. What happened before they took you up?"
"Oh, you mean the noise, and the bright light that the ship makes? I heard the sound for a while before I noticed it. The light came suddenly, and then the window smashed in. I don't remember anything then until I awoke on the ship. They'd already got me onto an examination bench. I was lying on my front, and they held me down while they drilled holes in my spine. All the way down the length of my spine. I don't know why. I only know it hurt like anything, and then I woke up again in bed at home."
"Surely then, you just had a realistic dream," Scully said from the door, sensing Mulder's growing interest.
"No, my back still hurts from what they did. The doctor's can't find any holes though. They're probably too small."
"Probably," Mulder agreed, remembering another abductee, who claimed his teeth had been drilled. When they were checked, tiny holes were found, far too small to have been made by any Earth instrument. "Your story certainly sounds similar to others I've heard." Mulder chose his words carefully, as he still worried about leaping before looking, and causing the X-files to be closed down again with his actions.
"So you believe me, but what about her?" he nodded his head towards Scully.
"Oh, she's a skeptic." Mulder admitted, "She's just supposed to keep an eye on me." Scully, behind him, pulled a face, "You see, nobody believes me either."
"You're an abductee?" Donohue asked, surprised.
"No, but I've met a lot of abductees, and studied a lot of abduction cases."
There was a knock at the door. It was Glove with the medical file. Mulder and Scully excused themselves, and joined Glove outside to check the file. Scully read it. Her eyebrows rose at one point, and she smiled slightly.
"Oh, I'm sorry Mulder, this isn't what you were hoping for at all."
"What?" Mulder asked.
"Gary Donohue is suffering from a rare form of psychosis. He was wounded in a bombing some years ago, and has a small piece of shrapnel lodged in the front of his brain. It is in the area of the brain which deals with morals and beliefs. I've only known of two similar cases, and in both cases, the victim became a pathological liar."
"If everyone believed that Donohue was a pathological liar, we would not be here," Mulder said firmly. Scully sighed, - no matter what evidence she gave Mulder, he would still believe only what he chose to. Susanna Glove took the file from her hands, and read the page it was open at.
"I agree with you, Agent Scully," she said.
"Thank goodness someone has some sense around here," Scully said to the ceiling.
Mulder shrugged, and caught Glove glaring at him. For a moment, he thought he saw anger in her eyes, but if it was there, it was gone in a second. He glanced down the empty corridor they were standing in.
"So what now?"
"We ought to find out if anyone in the area around Donohue's house saw anything on the night in question." Scully decided.
"And that's... near Taviston?" Mulder asked, - he had only briefly looked at the case file.
"Yes." Glove answered.
"So let's go."
"Perhaps Agent Scully would prefer to stay here, and examine Donohue?" Glove suggested, looking towards Scully.
"Well..." Scully considered, "No, I can do that later, and I need to keep watch over Mulder. - Make sure he doesn't go spreading weird rumours."
"I can do that." Glove protested.
"No offence, but you don't know him well enough," Scully told her, watching Mulder, who had wandered a short distance away, and was peering through the window in the door of Donohue's room.
"And he doesn't respect you enough to listen to you, even if you did manage to catch him before he said something stupid."
"Are you sure you want to come?" Glove persisted.
Scully's mind was made up, and the three of them set off towards Taviston a few minutes later. There were only three houses within two miles of Donohue's house. The agents visited all of them, but the occupants had seen and heard nothing that night, although none of them had been outside, or looking outside at the time of night Donohue claimed to have been abducted at. Under Scully's orders, Mulder had mentioned nothing about UFOs to the people they saw, although his very manner told her quite plainly that nothing he had seen or heard so far had cast any doubts on his beliefs.
Finally, they went to Donohue's house, to look for any evidence that anything had occurred. After half an hour of fruitless searching, they sat down, Glove in the armchair, Scully on the dining chair by the folded table, and Mulder on the end of the bed.
"So, nothing." Glove said impassively.
"It's unlikely that aliens in a UFO would leave footprints."
Mulder said coldly.
"Equally, a dream also leaves no trace." Scully countered.
Mulder looked at her determined face, and the corners of his mouth twitched up slightly. A movement on his left caught his attention, and he turned back to Glove, to see her rising out of her chair, her gun in her hand. It was aimed at his chest.
"What the..." he began.
"Don't move." Glove ordered, "Put your hands up where I can see them, both of you." She flicked her gun at Scully, gesturing her to move alongside Mulder where she could cover the two of them better. Scully did as she was silently bidden.
"What is going on?" she asked.
"You should have stayed at the hospital. There would have been no need for anything to happen to you." Glove answered coldly.
She turned to Mulder, "Why won't you believe what is put in front of you?" she asked, exasperation in her voice, "We had Donohue's medical file altered to give an explanation for his "experience". If you had just believed what it meant when Scully told you, and left the case alone, your death would not be necessary."
"You altered the file?" Scully asked, surprised.
"Not me personally, but it was altered." Glove raised the gun, and prepared to fire it. "Would you like to kiss your partner goodbye?" she asked Scully.
"Er... yes." Scully lowered her eyes and answered meekly.
Mulder shot her a glance of surprise. Glove began to grin. She had thought Scully too sensible to get emotional.
"So the rumours at the Bureau are true?"
Scully turned to Mulder. He looked at her with questions in his eyes as she took a step closer to him. They both kept their hands out to their sides as Scully turned her back to Glove, and kissed Mulder on the lips. The first kiss was light, but Scully kissed him again, and the second kiss was long and deep. As Glove rolled her eyes in disgust, Mulder and Scully embraced each other tightly, and Mulder was suddenly startled to feel Scully's hand reaching for the gun in his shoulder holster. He did not allow Glove to see his surprise, as he realised what Scully was doing, and a moment later she swung around with the gun in her hand, and fired at Glove. The shot was good, and Glove collapsed to the floor.
Mulder retrieved Glove's fallen weapon, while Scully checked for a pulse. There was none. Mulder glanced up at Scully from his position, kneeling on the floor at the side of the body.
"That was a good piece of acting." he complimented her.
"It wasn't all acting." Scully admitted.
"Oh?" Mulder looked up at her hopefully, as she stood, and straightened her clothes.
"No, I really was surprised that the medical file had been altered." Scully smiled slyly.
The partners stood at the front of Donohue's bungalow as they watched the police van drive away with the body.
"More paperwork." Scully sighed.
"Would you have preferred her to shoot me?" Mulder joked, and Scully rolled her eyes. "I guess he was right."
Scully didn't ask what Mulder meant. She knew he was thinking of Deepthroat's warning. She glanced at her watch, and realised it was past 7pm.
"I think we should stop for the night." she told Mulder.
"Agreed. We can go back to the hospital again tomorrow, and try to find out what Donohue's medical file really does say."
When the two agents arrived at Alexandria hospital the next morning, they were met by the doctor in charge of Donohue. He wrung his hands nervously as they approached, and he walked with them to Donohue's room, explaining what was going on as they hurried along.
"He claims that he was abducted again during the night. When we found him this morning, he was asleep in his room, but the restraints had been removed. Somebody must have done that for him, because he couldn't have done it himself. The machines which were monitoring him have been disconnected at about the same time as he claims to have been taken."
They arrived at the room. Mulder peered at Donohue through the glass in the door. Scully took the doctor to one side, and asked where there were copies of the medical files. She went with the doctor to find them, and Mulder went into Donohue's room.
"I hear you had some problems last night," he said quietly, surveying Donohue, who had been restrained again, from just inside the door.
"I told them I needed protection. They didn't listen when I told them this room wasn't safe."
"I don't think they have any rooms without windows in here."
Mulder said quietly, crossing the room, and looking out of the open window. "The window isn't damaged, was it left open?"
"Yes! The fools are just inviting them in! I didn't ask to be brought here, I just wanted protection. Why won't they listen?"
"Some people just don't hear," Mulder said quietly, still looking out of the window. He heard Scully enter the room, but didn't look around.
"I got the original file," Scully told him, "It's exactly the same as the other one, except that there's no mention of any shrapnel in the brain."
"Shrapnel in the brain?" Donohue asked, confused.
"Never mind." Mulder dismissed it with a wave of his hand,
"It's not important. What is important, is how did they manage to take you twice? Was it just coincidence?"
"They've taken me many times." Donohue answered, "Too many for me to remember now."
"So how do they find you?"
"They implanted a tracking device here," he indicated a point just above his navel, "the first time they took me. That's how they find me."
"How often do they come?"
"Quite often." he replied, "Any night within a week after being taken."
"For how long?" Mulder asked gently.
"For nearly four months." was the answer. "I wanted to come forward and ask for protection earlier, but I knew how crazy it sounded. You believe me, can't you do something?"
"I'll try." Mulder replied, and left the room again with Scully.
"I want him X-rayed to see if he does have some implanted tracking device," he told Scully after the door had swung shut behind them, "and if he does, I want it removed."
"Mulder, aren't you being a little hasty?" Scully asked, "There are plenty of other explanations to this case."
"Oh? So how do you think he became untied?"
"Obviously someone helped him."
"Well, I could accept that to be the case, if he had disappeared, but he was still in his room. Why bother to get untied unless you're going somewhere?"
"I don't know." Scully sighed, "But that doesn't mean I'm automatically going to assume that he's telling the truth."
"I never dreamed that you would." Mulder smiled. "If we want to know if he's telling the truth, perhaps we should carry out a lie detector test on him."
"It's possible that if he truly believes he was taken, he can fool the test." Scully reminded her partner.
"Yes, but at least we can be sure then if he knows he is lying.
Then we can do the X-rays, if he believes he is telling the truth."
"I suppose," Scully agreed halfheartedly.
The lie detector test was what they had both expected. Either Donohue had been abducted, or he truly believed that he had.
Either way, Mulder still wanted to do the X-rays, and Scully knew it would be pointless to try and talk him out of it.
Donohue was taken for X-ray the next morning. He seemed pleased that someone was finally acting on what he had told them. The photographs clearly showed a small piece of metal in the place he had said the tracking device was. Mulder showed Scully the photographs. She looked at each one carefully, and then looked up at him to see him trying not to smile.
"This proves nothing," she said firmly, waving the photos at him. He smiled, and said nothing.
Short surgery removed the small piece of metal later that morning. Mulder sent it to be analysed, and waited eagerly for the results.
The results came back that afternoon. The metal was an unknown alloy. It had been tooled in a strange way, which the lab. thought would be impossible to reproduce with the technology on Earth.
Mulder sat in his desk chair in the basement office of the FBI headquarters, and turned the small plastic bag containing the metal over and over in his hands. Scully came into the office, glanced at him, sat down at her desk, and fussed with her skirt.
"Well it's unknown." Mulder answered. "That's about all they can say. It's been imprinted in some way that the lab. can't reproduce. They concluded it is not of Earth origin, and it has not traveled unprotected through the atmosphere."
"Hmm. Well, that should give you something to think about.
While you're thinking, you can take yourself up to see Skinner."
"Skinner wants to see me?" Mulder questioned, an eyebrow raised,
"I didn't think I'd broken too many Bureau regulations on this case yet."
"Who knows," Scully shrugged, "he may just want to yell at someone."
Mulder sighed, and put the metal back into his pocket.
"You're not going to carry that around with you, are you?"
Scully asked. Mulder nodded. "Why?"
"Just to see what happens." Mulder answered, and left the office.
It turned out that Skinner only wanted his account of the affair with Glove. It didn't take too long, and then Mulder went to his preferred diner two blocks away, where he met Scully.
"I thought you'd come here." she greeted him, "How did it go with Skinner?"
"Oh, he just wanted to know about Glove." Mulder answered, slipping into the seat opposite Scully. He promptly ordered a hamburger and fries. Scully ordered a sandwich, and raised an eyebrow at the steaming plate of greasy food that was brought for Mulder, as he generously shook salt over it. She said nothing.
She had tried to change Mulder's eating habits for a long time, but was beginning to learn that Mulder would eat what he wanted to, no matter what she said, just as he would believe what he wanted to.
"You've already spoken to Skinner?" Mulder asked, through a mouthful of hamburger.
"Yes. He seemed to accept what happened."
"Did he give you any explanation of who Glove was?" Mulder asked, with little optimism in his voice. Scully shook her head.
"No, he didn't seem to know. I don't think she was Bureau."
"No," Mulder agreed, and cleaned up the last few fries from his plate.
"You're not really going to carry that piece of metal around with you all the time, are you?" Scully asked.
"Well, what do you think it's going to do? Get you abducted?"
There was a gleam in Mulder's eye which made Scully realise that she had hit upon the truth. "You're not hoping..."
"Who knows?" Mulder smiled enigmatically, "I can always hope.
If I was abducted, would that make you believe?"
Scully looked at him quizzically, and then shrugged smiling,
"Like you said, who knows?"
In his apartment that night, Mulder taped the small flat piece of metal to the skin just above his navel with surgical tape. He then lay down on his bed, and stared up at the ceiling, wondering where the case was going. It was only semi-dark in his bedroom.
With so many sodium lights around, it was never completely dark.
He pressed one hand over the piece of metal, and wondered what it actually felt like to be abducted. He had met so many people who knew, and yet, in spite of all the knowledge he had of abductions, it seemed he knew so little.
Dana Scully arrived at the office before Mulder the next morning.
She was surprised that this was the case, as Mulder was usually in extra early for X-files. She tidied her desk, and waited for half an hour, before calling Mulder's apartment to see if he was still there. There was no answer. She called again ten minutes later. She was a little worried, but not seriously alarmed. she knew from experience that it was quite possible for Mulder to sleep with the television on all night, and supposed he could equally well sleep through the phone ringing. She put on her coat, and drove around to his apartment.
The bell on Mulder's door worked fine. Scully could hear it ringing inside, but there was no answer. She hunted through her purse for the door key which Mulder had given her in case she should ever need it, and opened the door.
The apartment was empty. The bed looked slept in, and Mulder's suit from the day before was hanging on the back of a chair, with his shirt and tie. Scully looked in the wardrobe, and counted off the clothes inside. Having worked with Mulder for so long, she knew exactly what clothes he owned, and they were all still in the wardrobe.
Scully wandered back into the main room, trying to think who might know where Mulder was. He didn't have many close friends, due to the nature of their work, and his distrust of people he didn't know, - and often even those he did know.
Scully's thoughts returned to the piece of metal taken from Gary Donohue. Mulder had been carrying it about, - could he have been abducted, if the metal really was the product of alien technology? She decided that if it was to be believed that the metal was an alien tracking device, Mulder must have been abducted. However, her science mind could not accept this theory. She looked for another explanation, and came up with Deepthroat and Glove.
It was obvious that someone didn't want Mulder around. Perhaps he had been kidnapped, or... she thought with a chill, murdered.
The only person she knew of who might know if this was the case was Deepthroat, and she had no idea how to contact him. Indeed, even Mulder didn't know that. She supposed that if Deepthroat knew of what had happened to Mulder, and was willing to make contact with her, he would do so, and she had no choice but to wait.
Scully reported Mulder's disappearance to Skinner, and told him about the metal that Mulder had been carrying. Skinner asked her what she thought was happening, and, remembering Mulder's quotation of Deepthroat's warning, she shrugged, and said that if Mulder was investigating the disappearance, he would say it was an alien abduction case.
"Hah!" Skinner laughed, "To get abducted by aliens? Mulder would like that!"
Scully agreed, and was ordered to continue with the case, and to fit her search for Mulder around it.
"Who knows?" Skinner said, "The answer to one may lead to the answer to the other."
Scully went to see the only person she knew who might be able to help with one of her theories, - Gary Donohue. She found him in an irritable mood.
"Where's Agent Mulder?" he asked, when he saw her enter alone.
"Mulder disappeared last night." Scully replied, "He was carrying that piece of metal that was removed from you yesterday.
I wondered if I could ask you a few questions to try and help me locate him."
"Why should I help you?" Donohue snapped, "You never helped me.
You don't even believe me."
"I believe that you believe you know what happened to you. I'm not sure that I can believe in alien life, as there is no evidence for it, but equally, there is no evidence against it."
Scully took a deep breath, "You've got to help me for Mulder's sake. He believed you."
Donohue regarded her for a few moments, and then nodded his head.
"Okay, what do you want to know?"
"Do you think it's possible that Mulder was abducted?"
"As he was carrying that tracking device, I'm sure it's possible." Donohue answered.
"Were you ever abducted and not returned during the same night?"
"No, I was always returned during the night I was taken."
"So Mulder can't have been abducted then," Scully said, sitting back in her chair, "Or he would be back by now."
"It's always possible that they realised he wasn't me, and kept him for longer than usual, because they had to run more tests.
Or they could keep hold of him to prevent him having the chance to report back."
"Keep hold of him." That was something Scully hadn't considered.
She knew that there were "abductees" who were never returned.
Mulder's sister was one of them, and it was her disappearance which had sparked his interest in alien activity. She asked Donohue a few more questions, and then returned to the FBI headquarters.
Scully sat at her desk, leaning back in her chair with her arms folded. She considered what she knew so far, and came to the depressing conclusion that it was most likely that Mulder was the victim of one of his two favourite theories, - either alien abduction, or interference by the "shadow government". It was rather ironic, in it's own fashion.
Scully caught herself. She was getting one of Mulder's moods.
Not only that, but she was allowing herself to consider Mulder's theories. As Mulder's beliefs seemed to have taken over her mind, and she was tired of sitting in the office, she went to one of Mulder's favourite thinking spots, the Jefferson Memorial, in the hope that one of Mulder's crazy ideas could save the day.
Scully wandered into the memorial, listening to the silence, and feeling the cool air on her face. No wonder Mulder liked this place. It was quiet and moody, just like him. She looked up at the statue of the third president, and walked slowly around it.
She stood for some time, looking up at the figure. What did Mulder learn in this place, she wondered. Finally, she left the memorial, and squinted as the bright sunlight dazzled her. She walked away, her eyes quickly becoming accustomed to the light.
Ahead of her, an alleyway led between two buildings. It was in deep shadow. Scully took little notice of it, until she saw a figure appear at the end. The figure was in shadow, and appeared to be wearing a long overcoat. Over the everyday sounds around her she heard the deep quiet voice quite clearly.
She walked a little closer, and then stopped, peering into the shadows.
"I need to talk to you." the shadowed figure continued.
"Who are you?" Scully asked carefully.
"I think you have a good idea of who I am. I'm certainly not going into details." he answered. Scully nodded. So this was Mulder's source, Deepthroat. "Come into the alley, I need to speak to you about your partner."
Scully moved forward cautiously, her hand near her gun.
Deepthroat moved further back into the alley, and then stopped.
"I have news about Agent Mulder."
"You know where he is?" Scully asked.
"Yes. I will tell you, and then we must set about rescuing him."
"Who are you?" Scully asked, "How can I trust you?"
"I'm not asking for your trust. It is good that you shouldn't trust me. Your partner doesn't trust me. I'm only asking you to believe what I tell you."
"But why should I believe you?"
"Believe because your partner always believes me, now he knows my information is good." Deepthroat answered.
"My partner," Scully said firmly, "believes a lot of things that I don't."
"Your partner has also often been correct in his beliefs. You know that."
Scully agreed, "Okay, so what do you suggest we do?"
"As I said, we must rescue him, so that he can continue with the important work the two of you are doing together."
"How can I know that you aren't leading me into a trap?" Scully asked warily.
"You can't, but if the people who have Agent Mulder wanted you, they'd find it much easier just to take you, as they did him, than to try and persuade you to come, as I have to."
Scully agreed that that sounded sensible, and Deepthroat told her quickly what had happened to Mulder, and outlined a rescue plan.
Scully held her breath as the car approached the checkpoint on the security fence of the compound Deepthroat was driving to.
She lay curled up in the boot of his car, hoping that the guard would not decide to search the boot. She tried hard to keep silent, as the car stopped, and she heard Deepthroat talk to the guard on duty.
"Good evening." he greeted the guard, and there was a small sound, which Scully correctly guessed to be the handing over of an admittance permit.
"Good evening, Sir." a cheerful voice answered, "Cold night."
"Yes, and I've driven all the way up here just to get a folder.
I'll probably be out in ten minutes." Deepthroat spoke with the resigned boredom of someone who has driven a long way for little purpose.
"Okay, Sir. See you soon."
Their permit had apparently been accepted, and the car moved off again. Moments later, they pulled up, the engine was switched off, and the car door was opened. Deepthroat opened the boot, and helped Scully out. She stretched, and straightened her black suit. Her usual court shoes had been exchanged for plimsolls so that she made little sound as she walked. Deepthroat led her to a building, and they entered.
"Remember the plan?" he asked quietly, as they hurried along a narrow corridor. She nodded. They slowed as they approached a corridor on the right. Glancing down it, Scully saw a patrolling guard walking the length of the corridor.
"That's the guard I told you about. Mulder is in the room on the right. He's bound and blindfolded, and he doesn't know where he is. Now, give me five minutes to get around to the other end, and then when you see me, start the rescue as I said. Let the guard pass the door twice before you come out. I'll keep him distracted. Then wait for me here. Be ready. We won't have long."
Scully nodded, and watched Deepthroat disappear down the corridor they were in. The minutes were long, and it took forever for five minutes to pass. Then she heard Deepthroat at the far end of the guard's corridor. Glancing around the corner, she saw the guard had just turned, and was walking away from her, towards Deepthroat, who stood at the far end. the guard spoke to Deepthroat, apparently knowing him, but did not speed his pace.
Scully crept along a little way behind him, and slipped into the unlocked room in which Mulder was being held.
She saw him lying on his side on a low, hard, cell bed. He faced the wall, and was blindfolded and bound as Deepthroat had said.
"Mulder! It's me, Scully." she whispered loudly. Mulder's head turned slightly. She went over to him, and deftly removed the blindfold. "We're going to get you out. Lie still a moment."
Scully produced a knife from her pocket, and then froze as Deepthroat and the guard walked up the corridor together. Their voices faded again, and she quickly cut Mulder's bonds.
"Was that...?" Mulder began.
"Not now," Scully insisted. She looked at Mulder more carefully, and realised that he was wearing blue and white striped pyjamas. She stifled a giggle. Deepthroat and the guard passed again, and Scully stole to the door, and opened it. Down the corridor, the guard laughed, and Deepthroat joined him.
Scully and Mulder ran down the corridor under the cover of the noise, and waited just around the corner.
A minute or so later, Deepthroat and the guard arrived at the near end of the corridor again, and Deepthroat apologised, and said he had to be going. He joined the two agents a moment later.
"Run!" he whispered loudly, "We don't have much time."
The three ran. Half a minute later, an alarm went off.
"It's alright, it's just the local area first alarm. We've got about three minutes before the main alarm goes off, and the gates are closed."
They emerged into the car park, and Scully jumped back into the boot of Deepthroat's car. Deepthroat ushered Mulder into the back, where he crouched down behind the driver's seat.
Deepthroat covered him quickly with his black overcoat, and got into the driver's seat, casting a brown folder he had taken from the boot on the seat beside him. He drove quickly to the security gate.
"Told you I wouldn't be long," he said to the guard, "What a worthwhile trip." He indicated the folder beside him. The guard smiled.
"Good night, Sir."
The car drove off. Less than a minute later, a siren broke the clear night air.
"Rest." Scully ordered, pushing Mulder down again into his bed as he tried to get up.
"Scully, I've been sleeping almost constantly all day." Mulder protested weakly.
"Maybe, but you haven't been resting, now lie down." she insisted, and smiled gratefully when he obeyed. She went back into the main room of Mulder's apartment to thank Deepthroat, but he had gone already. There was a startled and angry cry from the bedroom. Scully went back in. Mulder was looking at the skin just above the waistband of his pyjamas.
"They took the tracker," he said quietly, "I've got nothing again."