Title: Flight 1013
Author's Note: I am having a lot of fun with these and I would REALLY appreciate feedback. You can email me at YRLD43A@PRODIGY.COM . I hope you enjoy this.
Summary: A man infected with a deadly, highly contagious virus boards the same plane as Scully.
Naval Air Weapons Station
John Brody arrived at the facility early this morning. He didn't know why they closed the facility for the day but he had to finish the reports on the latest toxin they were testing. This one had been the most contagious and the most deadly of the toxins yet. He had finished the antitoxin and he wanted nothing else to do with this biological agent. John was not military, he was a scientist and the work they had him doing was despicable. He wanted to research ways to fight and prevent biological weapons, not invent them. This was his last assignment, he had put in his resignation.
He was typing at the computer when a shadow passed over him. John turned to find a man in a biological safe suit. This was a safe area, he didn't need the suit. "Who are you? What are you doing here?"
"Don't you know, Mr. Brody, that we can't let you leave with the knowledge you have obtained here?" The man walked back to the door,
opened it and turned to John. He had a vial hidden in his hand and threw it against the back wall and was out the door before it hit and shattered. He had closed and locked the door and walked away.
John stood and stared at the broken vial and the small amount of liquid on the wall as the realization of what that liquid was hit him. He had to get to the antitoxin. It was locked in the laboratory. He tried the door even though he knew it would be locked. The card key he had used to enter no longer worked and he looked around for a way out. The door had a glass center and John tried breaking it with anything and everything he could find. Finally the fourth hit from his metal chair broke through. He made his way through the broken glass and ran to the laboratory refrigeration department. The cooler was empty.
There was no serum. His eyes were wide with panic and he started breathing erratically. He knew he was a dead man. Well, he wasn't going down alone, he would take them with him. It would mean exposing a portion of the population but he would see to it that the public would know the truth and the danger.
He left the facility. It had been too easy. As easy as walking in and this made him nervous, he kept watching his back. They wouldn't let him leave this easily. They thought he wouldn't be able to get out. Someone wasn't doing their job. He made it to his car and drove through the desert on his way to Bakersfield. From there he would catch a flight to Washington, DC. He thought he had twenty four hours before the virus would kill him, he had time.
John had gotten forty miles outside of China Lake when he heard the helicopters overhead. They had finally discovered he was gone. Were they really so smug as to think he would just lay there and die? Did they think him that stupid and ineffectual, didn't they realize he would try to fight back? He was thinking ahead. He knew they would be coming, so he had ditched his car about ten miles back at a truck stop and was hitching a ride on an eighteen wheeler. He smiled as the choppers passed them on their way to Bakersfield. He looked at the driver for a moment. John felt a little remorse for the innocent people who would die because they stepped in to help him. It couldn't be prevented, not if he was going to bring this to light and maybe save a hundred thousand times the number or people.
Fox Mulder had been in his office for several hours already,
sometimes he was in early because he hadn't left from the previous night. This morning was one of those mornings. Scully had been out of town for a week now at a forensics seminar in Los Angeles and Mulder was missing her. Some how his work had become more exciting,
more challenging since she had joined him over three years ago. The day she had walked into his office for the first time had become one of the most significant days of his life. He couldn't deny that. Mulder knew that Scully would be calling this morning and he couldn't help but be distracted by the non-ringing phone. When it did finally ring, the receiver was to his ear before the bell stopped. "Mulder."
Scully missed him, too. She spent the last week giving and listening to speeches on forensic medicine. She missed the challenges that Mulder presented with each of their cases. She loved to argue against Mulder's off the wall theories. It made her feel alive. "Hey, Mulder, it's me. How's it going?"
"Slow, Scully. When are you coming back, anyway, it's no fun without you." Mulder could almost hear Scully's smile through the phone line."My flight is at eleven this morning. We have an hour stopover in Cleveland so I should be arriving by nine tonight your time, can you pick me up? It's Continental, flight 1013. I'll buy you a late dinner." She would like to see him, she missed talking with him."I'll be there. Have a safe flight, Scully." Mulder hung up the phone and smiled. He had no idea what those words would mean to Scully later that day.
John Brody arrived at the airport unnoticed. He purchased a ticket to Washington, DC under an assumed name. He had gotten cash from an ATM at the truck stop so that's the furthest they would be able to trace him. He knew they would eventually catch up to him, but he was going to make it as difficult as possible. His flight would leave in a half an hour with a stop in Los Angeles and in Cleveland. He would not have to change planes, however. John wasn't feeling very well. The virus was affecting his system faster than it should have been. He supposed the virus could be moving quickly due to his accelerated adrenaline. If this was the case, he might not have the twenty four hours. He would still be in DC within nine hours. John hoped he could make that long.
He bought a notebook at the airport gift shop and started making notes for the Washington Post. He would let the whole world know what they had done and where they could find the antitoxin. His plane took off on time and luckily, the passenger list was sparse,
his seat assignment in the rear of the plane had him sitting alone. Only two people were getting off in Los Angeles, if he was lucky they might not become infected. Even though it was an airborne virulence,
there were some test subjects at the facility that did not contract the disease, they still weren't sure why. Most had died from it. John spent the hour to Los Angeles writing furiously in his notebook,
he couldn't waste a moment.
Scully boarded the airplane and was having trouble getting her bag in the overhead compartment. It would fit, she just couldn't reach the top to get it closed tightly. She whispered something under her breath about building things for a normal human. An attendant came by and assisted her. "Thanks," Scully said sheepishly. She finally took her seat in the rear of the plane. The flight was half full so she was able to have the three seats to herself to stretch out in. She couldn't believe her luck. 'Mulder would die for a flight like this.' She thought to herself. He never had enough leg room in an airplane seat. She smiled as she thought of Mulder.
Looking around, Scully noticed a small man across the aisle working feverishly on something. He also, was lucky enough to have the three seats to himself. He was, however scrunched as close to the window as he could get, almost as if he were afraid of the aisle. His head was lowered and he was concentrating deeply on his writing. He could feel Scully staring at him and he glanced over slightly. Embarrassed for staring, Scully smiled, gave a nod and turned her head away. She noticed he looked pale and sweaty. She wondered if he was frightened of flying or maybe just airsick. She decided to lay her head back,
close her eyes and relax.
"What do you mean, you've lost him? Is he dead already?" The man with the cigarette spoke into the telephone. He didn't like the response. "How could he have just walked out, where were your men?" He liked this response even less. "Damn it, he's on his way here. Find him and kill him! I don't care what it takes!" He slammed the receiver down. This situation was more trouble than he had counted on. His operatives have not been living up to their reputations as of late and he was getting tired of having to clean up their mistakes. This mistake would not only cost a lot of lives, but would cost him the standing in the organization that he worked so hard to retain. Krycek had almost been the ruin of him once but he had finagled his way out of that. Now this threatened to blow up in his face. He decided to put off making the phone call for now, he would find out what kind of damage would occur first.
LA to DC Flight
Scully couldn't sleep, no matter how hard she tried so she sat looking out the window, thinking about her life. She had joined the FBI as a means to 'distinguish' herself to her parents disappointment. She was a medical doctor, after all, and they had wanted her to pursue a career in medicine. They had learned over the past few years that Scully was were she belonged. She was happy and satisfied with her choices, she felt she had been making a difference. Her mind drifted to the time she was assigned to the X-Files division. It wasn't necessarily what she would have picked for herself but after three years she wouldn't want any other duty. Part of the reason was her partner, Fox Mulder. He made her life interesting,
challenging, exciting and stimulating. There was never a dull moment when Mulder was around.
Lately, however, she had become confused when it came to her feelings for Mulder. She cared for him very much, you could even say she loved him. That didn't surprise her after all they had been through together. But was she in love with him? Scully felt that she was receiving different 'signals' from Mulder lately. He had always been protective and even territorial but now it seemed like there was something more. She couldn't imagine living day to day without Mulder. This past week had been an all too painful reminder of that. She had found herself too often this past week thinking of Mulder. It was unsettling. She wasn't used to these feelings in regards to her partner. But there were times when she felt as if she could spend the rest of her life with him. His relentlessness, his drive and passion for something he deeply believed in touched something deep inside her soul. There were times she wished with all her might that he just be happy. She had seen him glad, playful, sad, hurt and everything else. She truly wanted to see him happy.
The scene across the aisle disrupted her thoughts. The flight attendant was attempting to awaken a passenger. The man was not asleep, he was unconscious. Scully got up from her seat, stepped to the aisle and whispered to the attendant. "I'm a doctor, can I help?" She noticed the man was even more pale than before and was slumped over in his seat. The only thing that held him there was the seat belt."He doesn't look very good and I can't seem to wake him. I don't know what's wrong with him."
"Let me have a look." Scully sat down next to him, took the notebook from his hands and proceeded to check his pulse. Next she lifted his eyelids one at a time to check his pupils. His pulse was slow and his pupils were large. She didn't like the look of him. He had a fever and felt clammy. "It could just be the flu, but the fact that he's unconscious worries me, he needs a hospital. How long till we land in Washington?"
"At least another six hours. I'll inform the captain, maybe we can detour and make a stop in Dallas." She handed Scully a blanket and pillow and walked back up the aisle.
Scully put the pillow under his head and covered him with the blanket, then noticed the notebook. She picked it up and began reading. After a couple of minutes, "Oh my God," she whispered. She looked up as she saw the attendant approach. Scully stood and ushered her back to the attendant's station. "Look, I need to talk to the captain, do you have some kind of intercom that we can speak privately on?"
"We have an intercom, it should be private enough. I can take you up there if you feel it's necessary."
"No. No one should have any further physical contact with the cockpit. I'll explain to the captain, you can listen in. What is your name?"
"This is a medical emergency and I need you to be strong, Vanessa. We don't want to upset a plane full of people. Can you handle this?" The last thing Scully needed was to have this woman panic three hundred passengers."Yes. I've been trained for emergencies. I can handle it." Vanessa was a strong individual and she was capable of handling any emergency, she thought.
"Where is he?" The old man lit another cigarette. "Don't let them land anywhere other than Washington DC and when they do land, don't let anyone off that plane and no one goes on the plane but our team." He might be able to squeeze through this one after all. "I'll get our team assembled here and have releases for the press when it becomes necessary." He hung up the line and dialed another number. He had a lot of work to do in a short period of time.
LA to DC Flight
Scully picked up the intercom and followed Vanessa's instructions. "Captain Whitaker, my name is Dana Scully, I'm a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and a medical doctor. You have a passenger that is unconscious and extremely ill. According to the notes I found on him, he was exposed to a deadly, highly contagious virus of unknown origin. At least it's unknown to me. We need to make an emergency medical landing to the nearest disease control facility available, maybe Denver or Dallas, which ever is closer." She was listening to the captain as she eyed Vanessa, making sure she was still OK. "No sir, I don't know for certain, his notes say it's airborne so I want to keep you cut off from the rest of the aircraft. Although, as I now recall, it's probably throughout the plane by way of the recirculation ducts, isn't it." The captain assured her he would find the next available stop and notify her."Dr. Scully, I'll notify the other personnel and make sure it stays quiet. What do you want us to do if someone else becomes ill?" Vanessa was proving to be the strong person she said she was."Well, I guess we should keep them together, so bring them back here. I gathered from his notes he was infected around 6 am this morning,
so it's only taken six hours for this stage to occur. That means it's fast, too fast. We've been in the air for about an hour now but some of these people were on the flight from Bakersfield. We could start seeing symptoms in a couple of hours. Maybe you should fill in all the seats from the front moving back and keep this area cordoned off for the sick. For now, use the flu as the excuse, no need to panic until we're sure." Then something else occurred to Scully. "This was a stopover flight, how many people got off in Los Angeles? Can you find out for me?" Scully watched her walk off, then pulled her cell phone out of her skirt pocket.
Scully was about to dial when the intercom lit up. She picked up the receiver and answered. "Scully." It was a habit."Dr. Scully, this is Captain Whitaker, I have been informed by the FAA that the NSA has instructed us not to land anywhere but Washington, DC."
"What!?" Scully couldn't believe it."They didn't give a reason. They knew about the virus and offered no sympathy. Look, stay where you are, I'm coming back there." He sounded pissed off.
Scully hung up and waited. She saw a tall handsome man in a uniform walking down the aisle toward her, smiling to the passengers as he went by them. He paid particular attention to the unconscious man. When he got to the station, he closed the curtain behind him. "So,
do I call you Doctor or Agent or what?" He smiled and shook her hand."Why not just Dana, it's easier." She returned the smile. "What's going on below us, Captain?"
"It's Steve and I haven't the foggiest, if you'll excuse the expression. I started with Denver and they said they had instructions for me if I had notified them. Immediately after I was contacted by Dallas and Chicago with the same instructions. No one is going to give us clearance to land anywhere but in Washington, DC. Now this is my aircraft and these people are my responsibility and I want to know what's going on." He was standing close and speaking low so that no one could hear."What did they say?" Scully had to tilt her head up to look at him,
he was standing so close. She stared into his brown eyes and saw concern. "Nothing. Not a single clue. They said not to stop over in Cleveland, either, which means quite frankly, we won't have extra fuel for side trips. Just go directly to Washington, DC. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars." He tried to lighten the tension. "I had hoped this was some kind of joke but after your instructions, it's got to be the real thing. Steve, I don't know anything more than I've already relayed to you. But I'll try to find out. I'll let you know as soon as I know something."
"Well, if we go straight to Washington, we've got another five hour flight ahead of us, Dana. How many passengers do you think will become ill?" Vanessa walked in and handed Scully a passenger list and marked which passengers disembarked in Los Angeles."Let's see, this passenger is supposed to be Don Jones, but his notes say his name is John Brody. He became unconscious within six hours of exposure according to his notes. I don't know how close he was to any of the other passengers, how much contact the virus needs or if it is truly airborne as his notes say. It could mean that everyone on board might be unconscious if not dead by the time we land in Washington if we have to wait that long and if we are able to land. I know that Vanessa and I have been in close contact so it could be her and I will show the symptoms first. We'll just have to wait and see." She looked up at Steve with a half smile. His face had a look of concern and dread. Steve put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. "I'll do some yelling and see if we can't find a home sooner." He turned and walked up the aisle.
Scully pulled out her cell phone again.
Assistant Director Skinner's Office
Mulder stood to leave then turned back to Skinner. "They're doing it again, aren't they, Sir?" His voice was quiet. "We've got to get her down. We've got to help her somehow. We're all she has. They're not going to do anything." His voices was rising. "They're going to let her and everyone else on that plane die!" His eyes were pleading. "Sir, she's only got a few hours."
"I've got contacts out there, Mulder. We're doing all we can." Skinner felt his pain."Maybe there's something I can do." Mulder turned and left. He wanted to get to a place he could talk in private to Scully, to find out how she was. He drove a few miles from the office and stopped the car, pulled out his cell phone and dialed Scully. "Scully, it's me. Skinner told me. Is it true?"
"Yeah, Mulder. I'm not sure what the virus is. It has flu like symptoms. Brody is the only one ill so far, but I expect to have more in a couple of hours. I've been reading more of this guy's notes. He worked for the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake,
Mulder. A John Brody. His notes say he was one of several scientist working for the government producing a biological weapon. They deliberately exposed him this morning just to kill him. He says they have an antitoxin, a serum that will destroy the virus, but it was gone this morning and he doesn't know where to. This virus works fast, Mulder. Brody's not going to make it and he was infected just this morning. If we don't get help soon, we're not going to be needing it." She was speaking rapidly, her heart pounding."I'll find it, Scully. Hang in there, OK?" Mulder had to help her. He couldn't let her die."Make it happen, Mulder."
"I will, Scully, I will." He hung up the cell phone and started his car.
Mulder went to visit his friends at the Lone Gun Men to find out anything he could about the China Lake facility."Mulder, they've been producing biological weapons for a couple of years now. We know they get their orders from Washington, though." Beyers was speaking as he pulled a file from a cabinet in the corner."Yeah, Mulder, it's rumored they made the ebola virus and intentionally infected a small town in California as a test sight." Langley said."Here's a list of scientists that's worked for them." Beyers was laying it out in front of him. "As you can see two of the scientists died this year. None have ever left their employ alive. This John Brody is top of his field, man. He's from Cal Berkley. What's going on out there?"
Mulder looked at them, around their office and back to the list. "It's not out there. It's up there. He's on a plane on its way to DC. He was deliberately exposed to a deadly virus that could be airborne and Scully's on the same plane. I've got to find the antitoxin." He took the file and walked out, leaving his three friends dumbfounded.
Back at his apartment, Mulder studied the file. He didn't have much time. He walked over to his desk and pulled out a roll of masking tape and tore off two strips about six inches each. He applied the tape to his window forming an 'X', turned on a blue light facing the window and sat down to wait. A half an hour later his phone rang. When he picked it up he heard a couple of clicks, then it disconnected. He knew where to go.
It only took him five minutes to get to the Lincoln Memorial. He walked around until he saw the man he had come to meet. He found a private spot and waited. The dark skinned man appeared a couple of minutes later."It's dangerous for us to meet in such a public place, Mr. Mulder. What is it this time?"
"Do they have the antitoxin?"
"You know what I'm talking about! Do they have it!?" Mulder's voice was dangerously loud.
The man looked around nervously. "Yes."
"I want it, now. Scully's on that plane."
This was new information. He had been curious as to how Agent Mulder had known about the situation, now it all made sense. "They won't be landing anywhere other than Washington. I'll try to get it for you. Meet me back here in an hour."
Mulder walked to his favorite spot overlooking the Potomac and sat on a bench to wait. He thought of Scully and how much she had changed his life since they had first met. His original reason for joining the FBI was to have the resources to search for his sister. She had been taken from him over twenty two years ago. Now he had additional reasons for staying. Scully was the biggest part of those reasons. She had gone through so much since she joined him and it amazed him that she stayed. He couldn't imagine continuing without Scully. He remembered her words during a stakeout in their first year together,
'I wouldn't put myself on the line for anyone but you, Mulder'. He knew then that she cared for him. He thought he had lost her for good when she was abducted a couple of years ago. He had always cared for her but it was then he realized just how much she meant to him. He tries not to be too protective of her but it's hard, it's instinctual. And now it was possible he would lose her for good. ears formed in his eyes when he thought about it. He quickly chastised himself, 'you can't think that way, not now, she needs you'. Mulder reached for his cell phone and dialed Scully.
LA to DC Flight
"Scully." Scully was up to her elbows in sick passengers and up to her neck in worried passengers. Word had got out about an unknown virus. There was speculation that is was Legionaries, but she had managed to keep the panic to a minimum. "Hey Scully."
"Tell me good news, Mulder." She sounded tired.
He wondered if she had become ill yet. "I think I can get the antitoxin. I'll know in about an hour. Scully? Are you all right?"
"Yeah, actually I haven't experienced any of the symptoms that the others have. Most have a fever and have become weak and lethargic. Only two others have become totally unconscious, both had a longer exposure time with Brody. Brody's dead, Mulder."
Mulder closed his eyes and with a pained look on his face sighed deeply. "I don't want to temp fate here, Scully, but why do you think you haven't been affected?"
"I don't want to think about that now, Mulder, but I have an idea. Besides, it's not over yet. Where did you find the antitoxin?" She heard him sigh again.
He could hear the whimpering from the sick through the phone and he cringed again. "They never go away, Scully. I'm not going to let them get away with this. Hang on to that notebook."
"It doesn't surprise me. I'll keep it with me, but I don't really know how much help it will be. It's not complete and it's pretty evasive. He must not have been thinking clearly through most of what he's written." She hesitated. "I've got to go, Mulder. I've got to check on the pilot. We still have a couple of hours in the air and the pilots aren't holding up too well. The navigator became too sick to fly a half an hour ago and the copilot might not last through touchdown. Captain Whitaker is hanging on as best he can. Unless you can talk me through a landing we might not need that antitoxin." She tried to chuckle."Look, Scully, I ...... " He paused, not knowing how to say what he was feeling.
She thought she heard his voice break and knew what he wanted to say. "I know, Mulder. I know. Me too." The phone disconnected.
Scully made her way to the cockpit. "Hi, Steve. Are you doing all right?" He was beginning to look a little pale."I'll be fine, Dana. I'm going to land this bird, come hell or high water." He laughed. "Well, maybe both, huh. Seriously, I'm OK. How's Jim doing?" he asked about the copilot."He's sleeping right now. I wish to hell I'd brought my medical bag on board. I might have had some antibiotics that could've slowed down the symptoms."
"What about George?" The navigator."I don't know, Steve. He not doing as well. Was he in contact with Brody before Los Angeles?" Scully couldn't understand why George had been hit harder than Jim or Steve."Well, Jim and I didn't join the flight until Los Angeles. George was already on board. He told us he was just getting over a cold so maybe his immune system was already weak."
"That could be it. We've got, what two more hours?"
"Yeah, well about two and a half. We'll make it. Even if I have to land on the freeway." He looked into her soft blue eyes with confidence. This woman was a wonder. She had dealt with this crisis better than anyone else would have. Probably due to her background in medicine and with the Bureau, but Steve felt she would have anyway. He smiled at her, trying to reassure her that he was OK. It made him feel good when she smiled back. Steve had looked for a ring earlier and saw none. He was captivated by her. Her fiery red hair and sparkling blue hazel eyes and her demure manner. "I know this might not be the right time or place, but when this is over I'd like to see you again."
Her smile almost covered her entire face and she lowered her head. "Thanks, but ..... "
"Hey, no problem. I had to ask." She stood to leave. "He's a lucky man." She smiled again and went back to 'sick bay'.
"You're late. Where have you been? They don't have the time to waste." Mulder was angry and distraught and felt helpless. He had been sitting here waiting for his contact for over an hour."I don't have it, Agent Mulder."
"What? What do mean? Do they have it or not?" Mulder went cold."They have it, but not here."
"Where then?" This was unbelievable."It's on the West Coast. It wouldn't get here in time."
"You have an X-15 that flies 4000 mile per hour. I think you can get it here in time. They don't have any other choice. You don't have any other choice. Get it here!" Mulder had the man by the collar up against a wall.
The dark skinned man pulled his gun and from behind his back and had it in Mulder's face. "Let go of me, Mr. Mulder." His voice was calm. He pushed Mulder back. "They do have another choice. Agent Scully has the antibodies in her blood stream, that's why she isn't sick yet. When they land the bio team can manufacture the serum for the others on the plane."
"How does she have the antibodies?"
"I'm not at liberty to say."
"Two years ago? When she was taken? What kind of tests did they do on her? What was she to you, a lab rat!?" Mulder was beside himself. He was so mad."You're wasting time, Agent Mulder. Anger can only get in your way. I've already told you more than you deserve. If you want to save those people, then get to CDC and have them get prepared to produce that antitoxin."
"Will they have time?" He felt defeated again."I don't know, but it's all you've got." Mr. X turned to leave him standing next to the Lincoln Memorial.
Mulder yelled after him, "If anything happens to her, you'll never be dead enough." He closed his eyes and shook his head. Then called Scully."It's me, Scully."
He sounded like he'd lost his best friend. "What's wrong, Mulder?"
"I didn't get it, Scully. They said it's still on the West Coast. They said the antibodies are in your blood and they're going to use some of your blood to produce the antitoxin." He felt he had let her down."It's OK, Mulder, I expected that."
"How did you know?"
"I didn't, but it's the only explanation I can think of as to why I'm not affected. Is there going to be time?"
"I hope so, Scully."
Washington National Airport
Scully was in the cockpit. She had never landed a plane before but she was doing her best at helping Steve land this one. Actually he was doing all the work, she just felt better being there. Steve had taken a turn for the worse over the past thirty minutes and she truly didn't think he was strong enough. But he had been able to land as he had promised. "You're going to be all right, Steve. We're home now." Scully squeezed his shoulder and left him there to open the doors for the bio team.
She had seen their set up at one end of the airport as they were landing. It took them twenty minutes to get to the aircraft and get a 'seal' around the craft. Scully made sure the doors didn't open until the bio team gave an OK. She had been talking to the team for a short time before the landing. They told her what to expect when she landed. She remembered how Mulder had sounded when he told her that they didn't get the antitoxin. Like he had let her down, again. They would have to have a serious talk when this was over.
The Center for Disease Control ,CDC, transferred everyone to a control site at Fort Myers, VA, just across from the airport. They had Scully in an isolation room drawing her blood. The first team was preparing the serum. They refused entrance to any nonpersonnel so Mulder was waiting at a nearby coffee shop on the base with Skinner. He was nervous and he needed to pace.
Skinner knew what was going through Mulder's mind. He was angry,
hurt and alone. He wanted justice but knew it would never be forthcoming. There was nothing he could say or do to make Mulder feel any better.
An airman walked in at that moment and let Skinner off the hook. He addressed Skinner. "Sir, I was sent to inform you that no one will be allowed access for at least two days." Mulder started to interrupt but Skinner stopped him with a look. "Agent Scully will remain for observation. You can speak to her through the phone if you can reach her, I understand she's letting some of the passengers use her cell phone to contact family members. The situation is under control and the military will have a full report on your desk by tomorrow afternoon."
"How are the passengers doing?" Skinner asked."All I know is that the serum appears to be working and that the survivors will recover. We were lucky, Sir, only six deaths out of an excess of three hundred passengers." He thought that was good news."Lucky?" Mulder was appalled. "You think we were lucky?" He couldn't believe that anyone would consider this less than a tragedy.
Skinner stopped him before he could say anything else. He looked at the shocked airman and said, "Thank you, private. Is there anything else?"
"No Sir." The airman walked out."Go home, Mulder. Get some sleep. Be back in my office tomorrow afternoon and we'll go over the report they send over. Try calling her, Mulder, if you want, but don't do anything I'll regret." Skinner stood and put money on the table for the coffee. He looked at Mulder for a moment, waiting for him to respond. Mulder nodded and Skinner left.
Mulder sat in his car outside Fort Myers for a couple of hours. He tried numerous times to reach Scully. The phone was busy for the most part, but after a while the response was that it was not in service. The battery was probably dead. He would have to wait two days before they would let him talk to her, to see her. He wanted to do something, anything. He knew it would be futile, these people would not be stopped. His only hope of shedding any light would be to get that notebook, but it couldn't be proven as the truth. They would find a way to fight it, to cover it up too. Mulder drove home feeling defeated. He lay on his sofa, and when he did finally fall asleep it was disturbed by nightmares. The events of the past day taking it's toll. He dreamed of Scully reaching out to him for help but never being able to reach her, then of her in a hospital, dead of the virus. His enemies standing at the foot of the bed, laughing at him. He awoke feeling worse than before he fell asleep.
He jumped when the phone rang. "Mulder."
"Mulder, it's me."
"Scully! I've been trying to call you all night. Are you all right?" A flood of relief washed over him."Yeah, I'm fine, Mulder." Her usual response. "Battery went dead on my phone, sorry. We lost two more last night, but I think everyone else will make it through. I talked them into letting me out now,
Mulder, think you can pick me up?"
He smiled as he pictured Scully 'talking them into it'. "I'm on my way." He hung up and grabbed his keys, not bothering to change from the clothes he wore yesterday.
Scully was waiting for him when he pulled up. She got in the car and he took off. Mulder kept glancing over at her. "What, Mulder?"
He pulled to car over and stopped, then leaned over and took Scully in his arms and held her tight.
Scully was surprised. "What's this for?"
"I'm just glad you're back and OK. I thought I'd lost you again." He still hadn't let go of her.
She fell into the hug and patted him on the back. It felt good. "I'm fine, Mulder. You can't get rid of me that easy." They separated. "I don't have the notebook, Mulder. Someone took it while I was sleeping last night."
"It's OK. I think you were right, I don't think it would've made a difference anyway. We'll get them another way, another time." He touched her face and smiled.
Scully reached up and put her hand over his and smiled. "Are you OK? Do we need to talk, Mulder?"
He smiled and shook his head no as he removed his hand. "Skinner's expecting us."
"Call him and tell him we'll be there later, I'm starved, Mulder. I think I promised you a meal if you picked me up. How about some breakfast?"
He grinned and started the car.