Fatality

TITLE: Fatality

AUTHORS: enigma (enigma17@earthlink.net) and Fleet

CLASSIFICATION: Post-Ep, MS/UST

RATING: Strong PG13

ORIGINAL EPISODE: Imperial Violet by Khyber

DISCLAIMER: The X-Files and all its subparts belong to

Chris Carter, 1013 Productions, and Twentieth Century

Fox. No copyright infringement is intended.

DISTRIBUTION: Two weeks exclusively on VS10, then ask

me.

Saturday, 9: 15 PM

Griffin Research Labs,

Monterey, CA

Professor Frederic Griffin peered through the

microscope at the tiny organisms swimming around on

the slide. He wished with all his heart that they

would stop. That they would go still and die.

When he’d found out about Imperial Aqua, he’d sworn to

put a stop to it. While as a scientist he understood

the importance of collecting the viruses to study them

and perhaps develop a cure, he could never imagine

using them to hurt others. He couldn’t understand how

anyone could justify using a deadly virus to

conveniently neutralize an enemy.

And besides, until they had a cure, there was nothing

to stop the enemy from sending the infected bodies

back in retaliation, and then what would they do?

And to make matters worse, he later found out that the

weapon was being developed by the same team that he’d

worked with in the past. He’d always thought they were

dedicated to finding a cure. He’d admired them. But

now it appeared that they were more dedicated to their

wallets than anything else.

Griffin sighed and stepped back from the microscope,

realizing that he’d been gazing into it without really

seeing anything. Maybe it really was too late to keep

working. Griffin’s feet were beginning to ache, and he

was hot inside the biocontainment suit.

Something crashed in the lab behind him and Griffin

jumped, suddenly alert.

“Who’s there?” he asked nervously. He’d thought his

escape had been clean; he knew the Pentagon’s defenses

well and had had no problem sneaking in and making off

with several vials of the materials being tested. That

had been surprising, considering the circumstances,

but now Griffin began to wonder if this had all been

planned.

A shadow darted across his field of vision. Griffin

whirled, but he could find no one.

Then suddenly, he felt a pair of hands grab him from

behind and then the sharp searing pain of an

injection. The hands released him, and he turned to

see a man, clad in solid black, grinning maliciously

at him. He was holding a syringe of the virus.

***

Monday, 8:15 AM

FBI Headquarters,

Washington, D.C.

Special Agent Fox Mulder leaned back in his desk chair

and propped his feet up on his desk, smiling at his

work. He’d just finished cleaning up his desk for the

first time in two years.

He turned the swivel chair in a slow circle and his

smile faded.

Just in front of the closed door, there lay a single

sheet of paper.

Mulder walked over to it and picked it up, gazing at

it curiously. He was accustomed to strange things; it

was his job to investigate the paranormal. But

sometimes it was things like this that bothered him

the most. He could handle aliens and ghosts just fine,

but unexplained pieces of paper shoved under the door

unnerved him.

He looked more closely at the paper and saw that it

was a newspaper article. He read it over quickly. It

spoke of a professor who appeared to have died from

the Ebola virus. At the bottom was scrawled a note:

Home is where the heart is. The fix lies within

something that is broken. Tell NO ONE!!

Mulder felt his blood run cold. There was definitely

something strange going on here.

The door knob turned and his partner, Dana Scully,

stepped in. Mulder quickly shoved the article into his

briefcase.

“Mulder, I’m going to California on a-what did you do

to this room?”

“I cleaned it.” Mulder said, grinning smugly. Scully

gave him an odd look.

“Mulder, are you feeling all right?”

“Fine. What were you saying?”

“Oh. I’ve been assigned a case. One Professor Frederic

Griffin was found dead of the Ebola virus in Monterey,

California. They called in the CDC, of course. When

the CDC conducted the autopsy, they found what looked

like a needle puncture.”

“So they think the man was murdered?”

“They’re not sure. They’ve requested that an agent

with a medical background look into it.”

“So naturally, Skinner thought of you.” Mulder said.

Scully nodded modestly.

“Mind if I go along?”

“Not a bit.”

***

Monday, 4:00 PM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

Lyle Redson was a man in black. He was invisible. He

was not a citizen of any country. He had no driver’s

license, no social security number, no permanent

address. There was no way to reach him or locate him.

Unless, of course, he came to you. And then he was

impossible to get rid of.

Currently, he was working for the government, for the

nameless men who controlled all of the most secret

projects. But that was only because they were willing

to pay him the most money. Lyle was faithful only to

himself. So, while he stood listening to his boss

discuss the latest events, he was really thinking of

the new yacht he was planning to buy with the money

from this operation.

“Now. I want all of you to be aware of a

potential…security risk.” The man took out a

cigarette and lit it, the smoke forming a long gray

trail in the air. Lyle crinkled his nose. He hated

that smell.

“Two FBI agents have been dispatched to look into

the…unfortunate events surrounding the death of Mr.

Fredric Griffin. Be forewarned, these two have caused

trouble in the past.” He paused, taking a long drag,

then exhaled slowly.

“Hageep. Redson. Follow them. I want you to keep a

close eye on them, but don’t do anything yet. My

sources have confirmed that all traces of the

substance have been removed, and it is entirely

possible that they will become frustrated and leave

without causing too much trouble. Consult me before

you take any action.”

Lyle sighed and turned to leave.

***

Monday, 5:00 PM

Monterey Airport,

Monterey, CA

The airport very closely resembled a madhouse. Groups

of tourist rushed around with cameras and loud,

unattractive clothing. It was as though they thought

that they could fit in by wearing clothes that looked

as if they might be stylish on another planet. Scully

smiled and shook her head in amusement.

“What?” Mulder asked curiously.

“Nothing.”

“No, seriously. The last time you laughed at something

it turned out that my pants had been unzipped all

through a meeting with Skinner, and you were too

irritated with me to bother saying anything until

afterward.”

They arrived at their rental car and got in. “I’m sure

that Skinner found it very amusing as well.”

Mulder snorted. “Yeah. Sure.”

They both sat in silence for the rest of the drive,

taking in the scenery and preparing themselves for the

upcoming case. Scully sat, secretly dreading the

meeting with the epidemiologist. She’d been on plenty

of disturbing cases before, but the ones having to do

with deadly viruses were unfailingly the most

unpleasant. Especially after what she’d been through a

year ago.

Normally, the threat of contagion wasn’t something

that she worried about much. She took the necessary

precautions, and tried to remind herself that it was

much more likely that they’d die in a plane crash than

contract some fatal illness. But after the events of a

year ago, she had to think twice before stepping into

an autopsy bay.

They pulled into the parking lot at the Marriott

Express, their rendezvous point and base of operations

for however long it took to close the case.

As soon as they entered the lobby, they were greeted

by an enthusiastic young woman with blonde hair and

blue eyes.

“Are you two the FBI agents they promised me?” she

asked brightly.

“Yes.” Scully answered. “I’m Dana Scully, and this is

my partner, Fox Mulder.”

“I’m Cindy Blake. I work for the CDC. I assume you

know why you’ve been sent here? You’re familiar with

the case?”

“Well,” Scully said thoughtfully, “we’ve been given

the case file, but a lot of the information is marked

as classified.”

“Oh.” Blake said. “I’d forgotten about that. Our

people can get pretty particular about how much

information is released to the public. They’ve wanted

to keep it quiet. Didn’t want to create a huge scare.”

“But there’s been a press release,” Mulder broke in.

“What?”

“An article in the Sunday paper.”

“But the body wasn’t found until Sunday night.” Blake

said in puzzlement. “There’s something strange going

on here.”

“Mulder, you knew about the case before I gave you the

file?” Scully asked incredulously.

“Yeah. I didn’t want to say anything though. I wasn’t

entirely sure it was the same case,” Mulder said

lamely.

“Well, anyway,” Blake interrupted. “It’s been a rather

alarming case. As you may know, there’s never been a

case of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in the US before. At

least not in humans. Infected monkeys were found in

Virginia a few years ago, but that was something else

entirely.

“So anyway, when we found the body, it was the last

thing we expected to find.”

“How do you mean?” asked Scully.

“Well, it wasn’t like normal Ebola. We weren’t sure

what it was, until we got a good look at the organism

itself, and then we found something truly terrifying.”

“And what would that be?” Mulder asked.

“It was indeed the Ebola virus. But a different

strain, one that’s never been seen before. And as far

as we can tell, it has a 100% kill rate.”

“That’s incredible.” Scully murmured.

“Yes. And, until now, it was thought to be impossible.

But so far, all specimens infected with the virus have

died. And in a shockingly short period of time. Some

of the animals died in a matter of hours.”

“What’s the mode of transmission?”

“We’re not sure. But until we are, we’re keeping

everything associated with the virus under careful

quarantine. The last thing we need is for one of our

own people to goof up and start the next plague.”

Blake laughed nervously.

“Can we see the lab where the body was found?” Mulder

asked.

“Well…yes. But you’ll have to wear the appropriate

protection.”

“We’re perfectly willing.”

“Fine. I’ll take you there myself.”

***

Monday, 5:30 PM

Griffin Research Labs,

Monterey, CA

Mulder walked slowly around the room where the body

had been found. It took all his concentration to keep

from tripping over his own feet in the bulky

quarantine suit. It also gave him an unnerving feeling

of claustrophobia. It felt as though he were an

astronaut on a space walk. He could see and touch all

around him, but at the same time, he was separated

from it by a firm plastic barrier.

Behind him, Scully was puttering around at what had

once been the lab counter, looking at all the

instruments and checking all the beakers and test

tubes for a possible clue. Mulder smiled enviously.

She seemed to have no problem with the suit.

The lab had been completely trashed. There was

shattered glass and spilled liquid everywhere. It

looked as though a hurricane had come through

overnight.

“Mulder, come and look at this.” Scully’s voice came

through the suit sounding muffled and far away.

He shuffled his way over to where she stood, holding

several test tubes from the nearby counter.

“What is it?”

“I’m not sure. There’s a residue of some kind.”

“What are you thinking?”

“Well, it appears that this lab has been trashed

deliberately, like someone was cleaning up.”

“So you think that Griffin discovered something he

shouldn’t have and someone else had to clean it up?”

“Yes.”

“But why the Ebola virus? That’s a bit of an attention

grabber, don’t you think?”

“I agree, it is odd. But still, what if he discovered

something that made him dangerous? I mean, how did the

Ebola virus get here in the first place?”

“I have no idea.”

“I want to give this to Dr. Blake to have it

analyzed.” She gestured to the tube. “And then what do

you say we get something to eat and call it a night?”

“Sounds good to me.”

***

Monday, 6:00 PM

Griffin Research Labs,

Monterey, CA

Great, Lyle thought angrily, so much for leaving

without finding anything. He pulled out his cell phone

and dialed.

It rang a few times, and Lyle was just about to hang

up when the voice came on.

“What have you got?” The voice was dry and cracked,

the product of too many cigarettes.

“Sir, they visited the lab and they may have found a

sample of the substance.”

“What are they going to do with it?”

“They’re having it analyzed. That is-unless you want

me to intervene.”

“No. Let them have it analyzed. It will do them no

good.”

“But sir-if they find out-”

“They already know that it’s Ebola. This won’t give

them any help as far as figuring out where it came

from. No, this is still no threat to us. Keep

watching. And keep me informed.”

There was a click and then a dial tone.

***

Monday, 7:00 PM

Redwing Inn,

Monterey, CA

“Oh, look, Scully! They have Roadkill.” Mulder said,

his eyes scanning the Redwing Inn’s bizarre menu, “I

wonder if they’ve got that raccoon we saw coming up

here.”

Scully looked up and shot him a withering look. Mulder

was completely unfazed by it.

“I’m getting the Roadkill,” he said gleefully,

grinning at the sick look on her face.

“Mulder, you’re crazy.”

“Isn’t that why they paired me with you?” he shot back

without missing a beat.

“I think I’ll have the chicken in lemon butter sauce.”

“Scully, you just ruined my opinion of you.”

“In what way?”

“I thought you appreciated unique tastes. I mean,

chicken? That’s too normal.”

“Mulder, unique is one thing. Sick is quite another.”

“Like I said. I’m getting the Roadkill squirrel.”

“Mulder, that’s disgusting!”

“Haven’t you gotten that point across quite clearly

enough yet?”

“Apparently not if you’re still going to order it.”

“I don’t know how you can be grossed out by that, but

not by the description of Ebola in the case report.”

“Speaking of the case,” Scully said, clearing her

throat, “we need to find out from Dr. Blake what she

found out about that sample I took. I’m hoping she’ll

call us in the morning. Mulder, doesn’t this case give

you a distinct feeling of déjà vu?”

“Yes. It definitely does. I’m just hoping I’m wrong.”

“Just be careful, Mulder. No ditching.”

“Of course not! Hey, look, the food’s here.” Mulder

said with a grin.

Scully ate her chicken in silence, eyeing Mulder, who

was eyeing the plate in front of him.

“What, Mulder, was it hit by the wrong kind of car?”

she teased, “Or did you just order it to gross me out,

and now you don’t really want to eat it?”

After they ate, they got back in the car. Ten minutes

later, they were back at the hotel.

“Mulder, if you ever do that again, I’m going to make

you Roadkill.” Scully said threateningly.

All through the ride home Mulder had pretended to try

and hit every animal they saw on the road.

“What? I was just trying to restock the restaurant

with Roadkill.”

***

Monday, 11:00 PM

Huntington Lab,

Monterey, CA

Blake slipped the slide into place and peered through

the microscope. Sure enough, there they were. The tiny

organisms that caused the disease known as Ebola.

They looked so harmless, contained on that slide.

But still, she knew they were responsible for causing

a disease that was so horrifying that most people

denied its existence. They simply thought that it was

something that never occurred in their country. It

only happened in “uncivilized” countries, like Africa.

There was no way it could touch them.

Well, Blake thought angrily, thanks to all these mad

scientists, Ebola is now a very real threat to the

whole world.

She turned and something dark darted across her

vision. She felt her heart skip a beat.

“Hello?” she called, hoping that it was just a lab

tech who had gotten a little too curious about the

classified work that was being done and decided to

take matters into his own hands.

“I don’t bite, you know,” she called encouragingly.

Blake turned again and walked a slow circle around the

room. Several times she thought she saw something move

out of the corner of her eye. But every time she

turned toward it, there was nothing there.

“This isn’t funny. Come out, I mean it!”

For a few moments, she was sure that it was just

someone trying to see what she was doing.

But then she thought of Griffin and ideas started

running through her head.

Was this what it had been like for him? What had he

thought of it? How had reacted? But most importantly,

what had he done wrong?

Blake put the samples away as quickly as she could and

turned to leave.

***

Monday, 12:00 AM

Marriott Express,

Monterey, CA

Blake parked her car in the hotel’s parking lot.

“Shoot, shoot, shoot,” she muttered, grabbing her bag

and getting out of the car.

“Dana! Fox!” she shouted as she ran toward their

rooms.

Scully emerged from the first room, wearing a pink

bathrobe.

“Dr. Blake?” she called, hurrying over.

“Scully? Cindy?” Mulder’s voice came from behind

Scully, “Are we having a pajama party?” He grinned.

But his smile darkened as he saw Blake’s face.

“They know that we know.”

***

Tuesday, 8:00 AM

Marriott Express,

Monterey, CA

“Mulder? Are you ready?” Scully asked, knocking on the

door connecting their hotel rooms. She heard a muffled

groan coming from the other side.

“Mulder?” she asked, opening the door. “Are you coming

to the lab with me?”

She walked into the room and looked around for Mulder.

She rolled her eyes seeing the comforter on the bed

pulled up over a big lump.

“Not funny, Mulder,” she said going over to the bed

and pulling the covers back. Mulder groaned again.

“No light.” he muttered, “You tryin’ to kill me,

Scully?” He rolled onto his stomach.

“Mulder, there isn’t any light. Are you feeling all

right?” She leaned over and touched his forehead,

“Maybe a slight fever. Serves you right, Mulder. I

told you that squirrel was a bad idea. You’d better

stay here.”

“But Scully-”

“Mulder! You can’t go working with deadly viruses,

even if you’re only a little bit off! I’ll be back at

twelve to wake you up.” she said firmly.

She went back into her room, grabbed her briefcase and

the directions to the lab.

She arrived at the lab without any problems. She got

out of her car and went inside.

***

Tuesday, 10:13 AM

Huntington Lab,

Monterey, CA

The lab smelled of formaldehyde and disinfectant. All

the equipment was sparkling clean, and someone had

washed the floor earlier that morning. Scully inhaled

deeply and smiled. That smell brought back memories.

She remembered being a student at Quantico Academy and

staying up all night to cram for exams, then falling

asleep in class the next day.

She remembered her first day in forensics, how she’d

been trying to lose weight. She’d gotten up early and

run four miles, then ended up skipping breakfast.

She’d fainted in class and everyone had thought it was

because she was squeamish.

Scully sighed and shook her head, banishing those

thoughts. She needed to concentrate.

She picked up the scan she’d been looking at a moment

ago and held it up to the light. It showed the image

of a virus, magnified to a hundred times its original

size.

There was something odd about it. It was definitely

Ebola, there was no question about that. But the shape

looked distorted, almost as if it had been altered

slightly.

Scully sighed again and pinched the bridge of her

nose. She was too tired to be thinking about things

like this. She’d been up all night the previous night,

and the night before she’d stayed up late looking over

the case file.

But still, she didn’t want to waste any time. This was

probably the biggest and most important case she’d

ever been assigned to. And for some strange reason,

she felt the need to prove herself. To find something

that no one else could.

She thought back through everything they knew about

the case so far, hoping to find something that didn’t

fit. A missing piece or a stray bit of information

that might lead her to the answer she’d been looking

for.

And then it came to her.

There. Griffin had been a government researcher

working on a cure for Ebola. Then he’d quit for some

unknown reason.

The distortion. She caught her breath.

Imperial Violet.

What if-

“My God. It’s still happening.” she whispered.

“Congratulations.” A voice said behind her.

Scully whirled. A man dressed entirely in black stood

behind her, holding a syringe of the virus.

Scully felt her knees go weak.

“You’ve just won a ticket to death row. Come with me.”

She had no choice but to follow.

***

Tuesday, 6:00 PM

Marriott Express,

Monterey, CA

Mulder woke with a start. His head was throbbing and

his mouth was dry. But he knew it was only the

aftereffects of his nightmare.

He’d been having the same dream sporadically since the

year he was twelve. Since Samantha had disappeared.

He’d dreamed that same dream over and over, so many

times he knew it by hear.

The dark room, then the blinding light, and his

sister’s screams as she was taken away from him. He

never knew what happened to her after that. And no

matter how many times he had that awful dream, the

terror and the grief never faded. And he always woke

feeling awful.

Mulder turned his head so that he could see the clock.

6:00?

Scully had promised to wake him at noon. He sighed,

sat up, and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

He went over and knocked on the door to her adjoining

room. No answer. Mulder gave her a moment to respond,

then pushed the door open and stepped into the room.

It was dark and empty.

Mulder sighed and went over to the phone, trying to

ignore the growing sense of unease.

He knew her number by heart. He could have dialed it

in the dark.

The phone rang and rang. With each tone, Mulder felt

his heart beat faster. Something was very wrong. She

always answered immediately. Images from the past came

floating back to haunt him. If anything happened to

Scully…

“Yes?” A gravelly voice answered at last.

Mulder recognized it immediately. As the realization

struck him, he felt his rapidly beating heart grind to

a sudden stop. He should have known.

“What did you do to Scully?” Mulder growled through

clenched teeth.

“Nothing…yet. She’s here with me, resting

comfortably. She seemed a little tired.”

“Let me see her.” he demanded.

To his surprise, the voice responded immediately.

“I think that can be arranged. Come tonight. Midnight.

The building called Zeus Storage. Come alone.”

***

Tuesday, 9:11 PM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

Consciousness was slow in returning. Scully lay there

for an undetermined amount of time, wondering if she

were dead.

She remembered all too vividly the events of the

previous afternoon, though she was not sure how much

time had elapsed since then.

She’d been ambushed at the lab, and forced to follow

the unidentified man into a car and back here. He

didn’t even have to restrain her. His only weapon was

the syringe of the virus.

Scully knew that at the moment, that was the deadliest

weapon he could possibly have laid his hands on. She

knew that if she were to become infected, she ran the

risk of starting a wide-scale viral outbreak. But

still, if she and Mulder failed, the consequences

would be even worse.

Even in the midst of danger, Scully was a scientist

first. She couldn’t help but notice that her captor

wore no protection and seemed totally unconcerned with

the threat of infection.

So, she mused, the weapon has a flaw. The virus must

have to be injected.

“Hello? Uh-are you awake?” A hand poked her.

Scully groaned and rolled over.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

It was a young man’s voice, and he seemed friendly in

sharp contrast to the men who’d thrown her in here

earlier. He grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her

gently.

“Stop,” she moaned, realizing she sounded like a whiny

teenager.

“Oh, come on, they haven’t infected you yet. Get up.

Enjoy what time you have left.”

At this, Scully opened her eyes and sat up.

A young man with sandy colored hair and green eyes was

sitting next to her, grinning like an idiot.

“I’m Nathan Greenway,” he said, “Innocent lab

assistant of Frederic Griffin. They just grabbed me

and threw me in here. And you are?”

“Dana Scully.”

“Wow. It spoke! So, what’s you tale of woe?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Well, we appear to have a very long time.”

***

Wednesday, 12:00 AM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

The night air was cold and crisp as Mulder walked

toward the big dark building. The Cigarette Smoking

Man was waiting for him at the door.

“Where is she?” Mulder asked, trying desperately to

keep the panic out of his voice. He wanted to be in

control here.

“Inside. Come with me.”

Mulder followed him down the hallway, his apprehension

growing with every step.

At the end of the hall, the Cigarette Smoking Man

opened a door and ushered Mulder through.

The room was large and empty. At the far end, Scully

sat in a single chair. Behind her stood a security

guard holding a syringe of what Mulder had to assume

was the virus.

“Scully-” he said, trying to keep his voice from

shaking.

“Mulder. I’m all right.” She looked terrified, despite

the fact that she was trying hard not to.

“Like I said,” the Cigarette Smoking Man said from

behind Mulder, “I haven’t done anything to her. Yet.”

He looked meaningfully at Scully and she glared back

at him.

“What do you want?” Mulder asked.

“Ah, well. Your partner here stuck her nose in

something she shouldn’t have. Again. I want to make

sure that she doesn’t share her knowledge.”

“Let her go.” Mulder demanded.

“Very well. On one condition.”

“And what’s that?”

“You come and work for me.”

“Mulder, don’t.” Scully broke in.

“I wouldn’t be talking if I were you.” The guard

sneered, gesturing to the syringe in his hand.

“So what do you say? It’s a good situation for you.

You get all the answers you want, and your partner

gets her life back.”

Mulder started to agree, more out of fear than

anything else, but Scully cut him off.

“Mulder, you can’t. If you agree, thousands will die.”

“One more word and you will be among them.”

Scully looked straight at Mulder, her jaw set, and

deliberately continued talking.

“They’ve continued the project. They’re still

manufacturing the virus. In the Pentagon this time.”

The Cigarette Smoking Man gave an almost imperceptible

nod. The guard uncapped the syringe and jabbed it into

Scully’s arm.

She didn’t even flinch. She just kept talking.

“Griffin was part of the original team. They were

working to develop a cure. Then someone got the idea

of using it as a weapon.”

Mulder stood, frozen, barely hearing her. He already

knew.

“When Griffin found out that they wanted to use it to

kill people, he quit.”

Now the effects of the injection were beginning to set

in. Her voice became strained and Mulder could tell

that she was struggling for consciousness.

“Then he got second thoughts. He broke into the

Pentagon and stole some of the virus. He continued

working on a cure. I don’t know whether he was

successful.”

She paused, struggling for breath.

“Mulder, if you fail, thousands will die. It would be

the end of the world as we know it.”

Mulder turned and ran as hard as he could.

The last thing he saw was a single tear rolling down

her cheek.

***

Wednesday, 3:00 PM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

Blood. There was blood everywhere. Scully looked at

herself and felt tears come to her eyes. She wasn’t

sure why. She’d never been one to cry easily, and

there was very little reason for her to do so now. It

wasn’t like it would do her any good. She didn’t

regret her decision.

And oddly enough, she wasn’t scared. It was almost a

relief to know, for once, exactly what was going to

happen. She’d chosen her fate and she’d accepted it.

She knew it was the right decision.

“Penny for your thoughts.” Greenway said from across

the cell. He too had been injected the previous day

and was as miserable as she was.

“I was just thinking… that I finally get to know

what it’s like.”

“What do you mean?”

“When I was in med. school, I always wondered what it

felt like, to be dying of Ebola. What about you?”

“I was just thinking how stupid they’re being. I mean,

to infect thousands of people with a virus that they

have no cure for. I mean, what do they think? That

they can control it so that only the people they want

will become infected? It just doesn’t work like that.”

“It’ll never work.” She paused for a moment, searching

for words. “Nathan? Do you believe in an afterlife?”

He looked at her blankly, as though he couldn’t find

anything to say to that.

Scully leaned back against the wall and closed her

eyes. It was too painful to talk. Hell, it was too

painful to even think. When he finally spoke, she

barely heard him.

“I don’t think so. I mean, I hope not. I’ve had such a

hard time in this one, I can’t bear the thought of

going through it again. Dana?”

She didn’t respond.

***

Wednesday, 9:00 PM

Griffin Residence,

Monterey, CA

Mulder rushed into the house, trying desperately to

catch his breath. He’d taken off after the disaster

with the Cigarette Smoking Man. He’d simply lost

control and run away. And for some reason, they’d let

him go.

For several minutes, he’d wandered around aimlessly,

one thought on his mind: this was his fault. Then he

remembered the note. On a hunch, he’d decided to go to

Griffin’s home and see if he could decrypt the riddle.

The fix lies within something that is broken.

He was now reasonably certain that the fix the note

spoke of was the cure for the virus.

Mulder paused for a moment in the doorway, letting his

eyes adjust to the darkness of the house.

He was surprised. Somehow, he’d expected the house to

look like the lab, completely trashed. But it wasn’t.

In fact, it was the most immaculate place Mulder had

ever seen.

It was even neater than Scully’s apartment. He smiled.

He hadn’t thought that was possible.

But then his smile faded. If they had trashed the lab,

why had the house been spared? Was it possible that

they didn’t know about it? That didn’t seem very

likely. In fact, he thought it was more likely that

they had set a trap for him.

He didn’t care. If there was any chance that he might

find a cure for Scully, it didn’t matter what price he

paid.

Mulder started searching the house. There wasn’t

exactly much to see. There were experimental data

sheets neatly filed away on the shelves. It seemed as

if Griffin owned an entire library on filoviruses.

There were stacks and stacks of books and reports on

outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg.

After giving the house a once-over, Mulder stood still

in the middle of the main room, uncertain what to do

next.

Then he realized he was missing the obvious.

The note.

The fix lies within something that is broken.

Mulder rushed into the room that served as an office

and stood staring for a moment, knowing that he’d

found what he’d come for.

In the center of the room, on a metal folding table,

there lay a smashed computer monitor. It was the only

thing in the house that was not in perfect condition.

Mulder walked over to it and carefully reached inside

the shattered screen.

He pulled out a small vial of pale yellow powder, and

for the first time, he felt a tiny thread of hope.

***

Wednesday, 10:00 PM

Huntington Lab,

Monterey, CA

Mulder burst into the lab, breathless, the precious

vial cradled safely in his hand.

Blake turned to face him.

“What? What is it?”

“Scully’s been infected.” Mulder said, his throat

tight.

“Oh, God, how?” Blake looked completely taken aback.

“We’ve been being watched. She found out that the

government has been manufacturing the Ebola virus and

using it as bio-warfare. A government spy kidnapped

her. I went to see her and she insisted on telling me

what she’d discovered, even though she knew she would

be injected if she did. I barely escaped. We’re going

to have to be careful now.”

“Oh, God, I’m sorry. What’s that?” she asked,

gesturing to the vial in his hand.

“Griffin was working on a cure. I’m hoping this is

it.”

“Well, then, let’s test it.”

Blake took the vial from him. She pulled on one of the

bulky protective suits and went into the quarantine

area of the lab. She slipped a slide of the live virus

into the microscope, then carefully put some of the

powder onto the slide. She stared at it for a moment,

then repeated the process several times.

A few moments later, Blake stepped back out and walked

over to where Mulder was sitting. She held up the vial

of liquid and shook her head in astonishment.

“I don’t know what the hell this is, but it seems to

be killing the virus.”

“So you’re saying that this might work for Scully?”

“Well, it’s always possible that it could be toxic,

but if she *has* been infected with Ebola, then

there’s really nothing to lose…”

“How will we get in?” Mulder asked.

“Which building is it?”

“The one called Zeus Storage.”

“That’s a government building. I think I know a way

in.”

***

Wednesday, 11:21 PM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

Lyle Redson stood in front of his boss. He knew

immediately that something had gone disastrously

wrong.

“The project is over.”

“What?” Lyle asked in shock.

“It’s over. They know.”

“Are you going to do anything?”

“No. It’s over. Time for a new location.”

***

Wednesday, 11:45 PM

Zeus Storage,

Monterey, CA

Mulder watched as Blake dialed in the security code.

The building seemed oddly dark and deserted and Mulder

wondered what the Cigarette Smoking Man had in store

for them. He’d half expected armed guards at the door.

Mulder and Blake had talked for nearly an hour,

outlining a course of action. The plan was to simply

disguise themselves by wearing biocontainment suits.

Blake knew the entrance codes and they were hoping to

be able to simply slip in and give Scully the

antidote, then take her to a hospital quarantine

facility.

As they walked down the empty hallway, he felt a

growing fear that they were too late.

The building was deathly still.

Blake led Mulder down the hall to a small quarantine

cell.

Scully lay inside, unconscious, along with another

man. Both were covered in blood.

Mulder and Blake rushed in. Blake knelt down and

gently checked their pulses. She looked at Mulder

carefully before she spoke.

“The man’s dead.” Mulder stopped breathing. “Your

partner is alive. Barely. I’m going to try giving her

the antidote, but I don’t know how much good it’s

going to do.” She paused and uncapped the syringe.

“You’d better call an ambulance.”

***

30 Days Later

Mulder walked down the bright hospital corridor toward

Scully’s room. After a month of quarantine, she’d

finally been discharged from the hospital.

Mulder shuddered at the memory.

They’d taken Scully to the hospital as quickly as

possible. They’d put her on life support at Blake’s

insistence, but there was serious doubt that she would

even survive the night.

It had been the worst few hours of Mulder’s life.

Every moment he expected one of the quarantine nurses

to come out and shake her head.

But by morning, Blake told him that she appeared to be

out of danger and that he could go back to the hotel

and rest.

Mulder arrived at her door. He knocked softly.

“Come in.” she called.

Mulder opened the door and stepped in.

“Feeling better?” Mulder asked, smiling.

She sat on the bed at the far end of the room, fully

dressed. She was reading a report on an Ebola outbreak

in Africa. Mulder smiled, shook his head, and sat down

next to her. She gripped his hand tightly.

“God, it’s been awful.”

“I don’t know how you can be reading that after all

you’ve been through.” Mulder said softly.

“It passes the time. Have you heard anything on the

case?”

“It was closed this morning. It’s all over the media.

The CDC did a raid on the Pentagon, and they were

shocked by what they found. There’s evidence that

Ebola was being manufactured in both the Pentagon and

the DoD’s advanced research facility. Not really a

surprise, considering. All of the Ebola has been

destroyed. Roush pharmaceuticals filed for bankruptcy

this morning.”

“What about the antidote?”

“That’s still a mystery. They’re not sure how it was

made, what it was, or who made it. They haven’t found

any more. Blake ran some tests on what was left, and

the material was a substance that does not appear in

nature.”

“So then it’s over?”

“It’s over. Scully?”

“Yeah?”

“Since we’re in California, don’t you think we ought

to do some sightseeing before we leave?”

“Sure. Fine. Whatever.”

Mulder got up and turned to leave, but Scully stopped

him with a hand on his arm.

“Mulder?”

“Yes?”

He turned back. She stood and threw her arms around

his neck, pulling him close.

“Thank you.”

***

Epilogue

“Why did I let him bring me here?” Scully muttered,

laying out her beach towel, and opening the huge,

colorful umbrella that Mulder had insisted on buying

at a souvenir shop. Of course, she never would have

been able to talk Mulder out of it-he was determined

to try surfing.

“Look, Scully! I’m doin’ it!” Mulder yelled.

Scully looked over and snorted. Mulder had laid the

surf board on the beach and was pretending to surf.

“Mulder, you’re not even in the water!”

“You can’t rush these things, Scully.”

He bent back down and rocked the board again.

Scully got up and walked down the shoreline, splashing

her feet in the tide. She privately thought that it

was nice to relax after all that had happened. She

walked back towards Mulder, grabbing the tail of a

small lobster on her way.

“Look, Mulder! It’s a member of the nematode family,”

she called.

“No, Scully…it’s from the seafood family.”

Scully smiled, remembering their last beachside case.

“Oh, no. You’re smiling again, Scully. What is it this

time-is my draw-string untied?”

***

Fatal Misprints

These are all typos that were found in the unedited

drafts.

1. They had planned to disguise themselves by wearing

biocontainment suites.

2. The building was deathly ill.

3. “Mulder, I’m going to California on a-what did you

do to this room?”

“I clean it.”

4. It was as though they thought that they could fit

in by wearing clothes that looked as though they might

be stylish on another planed.

5. The virus must have to be indicted.

6. “Mulder! If you can’t go working with deadly

viruses, even if you’re working with deadly viruses,

even if you’re only a little bit off.”

7. The building seemed oddly dark and dessert.

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