Title: Things Undone 5: Snipe Hunt (10/24)
Authors: Erynn and Sally
Archive: Ephemeral, Gossamer, LGM, FLO, all others ask first.
Rated: R for grownup stuff
Spoilers: We assume you've seen the series. There are some slight spoilers
for the LGM Pilot. This little Gunmenverse takes off from the main line of
the X Files canon universe after 3oaK but before FPS (which happens in this
timeline in early May).
Disclaimers: You know who really owns these guys and the other XF
characters. It ain't us, much as we'd like to. Some characters are blatantly
based on our friends. They made us. (BTW, you guys, you can put down the
red-hot pokers now) Others, we just made up for our amusement. Chapter
opening quotes used without permission. Remember, love not money is the
motivator here -- like anybody would ever pay us for this stuff.
Category: Gunmen action/adventure, humor, angst, a little Langly romance,
and a budding friendship.
Keywords: Lone Gunmen
Summary: It's hacker season. Do you know where your computer is?
Stories in the Things Undone series:
Things Undone, by Erynn; a 5-part story wherein the Gunmen deal with some
TU 2: Mending the Tears, by Sally; a 6-part story wherein Fro and Langly go
to the ER.
TU 3: To Carry On, by Erynn; a vignette wherein the Gunmen begin to deal
with the repercussions of their adventure.
TU 4: Alchemy of the Word, by Erynn and Sally; a 17 chapter novella wherein
words are more important than they seem, and Byers starts to get a life.
If you haven't read them, you may be confused here.
Sally say: Special thanks to pigs in slop. We only want you to be happy.
Erynn say: I never thought Things Undone would turn into its own little
universe, but it's been a hell of a lot of fun writing with Sally. Thanks to
all of you folks who have been enjoying the story and encouraging us to
write more. You're the greatest.
"A healthy touch of paranoia makes it that much more difficult for your
enemies to get to you."
~~Patricia Wallace -- Dark Intent~~
FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2000
LONE GUNMEN HQ
"How was your trip?" Byers asks Deb. This is so good; she's got her arm
around me and I got mine around her. I can't believe how good this feels.
"My trip? Um... well... I think it was fine. I don't really remember all
that much of it."
Byers raises his eyebrows. He looks a little worried. "When was the last
time you slept?"
"Oh, let's see, this is Friday, right?"
"It's definitely Friday. I know 'cause you're here." I pull her up to me for
another kiss. I don't give a fuck what Byers thinks. Let him be jealous.
Serves him right.
"I think..." Deb's brain is totally fried. "I think I took a nap for a
little while on Tuesday."
"Well, well, if it isn't the lovely Dr. SaintJohn," Frohike's risen from the
dead, like some movie zombie, and just as ugly. He takes my girl's hand and
kisses it. She should wash it; she has no idea where that mouth has been.
"I'm off the clock guys, it's just Deborah," she laughs. Then she leans over
and whispers in my ear, "but it's just Deb, for you." Oh God, I'm just about
to melt, I'm so hot here.
"You're looking a little tired there, young lady," Frohike frowns at her.
"I'm fine. I'm used to not sleeping much." Good, cause I got plans. I did
remember to stock up on condoms, just like she asked. Byers is such a
bastard -- he said when I brought them home, 'you really think you're going
to use that many? They do have an expiration date, you know.' Fuck him. I am
so going to get even with him.
"Maybe you should rest," Byers suggests. I'm going to smack that bastard,
bad eye or not. I think they're both conspiring to get her away from me.
"I'm fine," Deb says, even though she's yawning.
"Want something to eat?" Frohike offers.
"No. I stopped at the Taco Bell drive through before I got on 95. So thanks,
but I'm not hungry right now."
"You are going to feed her better than that, now, aren't you, Langly?" Byers
winks at me. So help me, I will kill him.
"Um, I like, I gotta put sheets on the bed," I tell Deb. "You wanna come
with?" You think I'm leaving her out here with these two losers? They'll
tell her all kinds of nasty shit about me, and if they can't think of
something, they'll make it up.
"Sure, but I'm not sure how much help I'll be. The nurses are the ones that
know how to do everything," she says, and laughs. I pick up the bag of
laundry I dropped when I saw her.
"Speaking of nurses, have you seen Ms. Scarlett lately?" Frohike seems like
he's almost embarrassed when he asks. Ah, opportunity knocks.
"Hey, you keep an eye on your lady friend, I'll keep an eye on mine. C'mon,
babe." Anything to get away from these two bozos. They are so gonna fry for
this. "Sorry about the guys. They can be real jerks," I apologize about
Frohike and Byers when we get in my room.
"I thought they were very sweet," Deb says. She's helping me put the sheets
on. "Wow, these are nice, Ringo. They're so soft." Okay, so maybe Byers
knows a few things I don't. But that doesn't give him the right to be a
"Thought you might like something nice. I mean, I know our digs aren't
"They look fine to me. I'm glad you warned me about the building, though. It
does look a bit creepy from the outside." She smiles. "It's a rather
colorful neighborhood, isn't it?"
"Yeah, well, rent's cheap here."
"I like it. I have no desire to have some boring white suburban practice.
Urban medicine is where the action is." Well, I knew that, we talk about it
a lot. Deb likes the rush. She says it's hard, working so many hours and
being under so much pressure, but she's an adrenaline junkie. We finish the
bed with the coup de grace, a white goose down comforter. God, I gotta thank
Sari for this, she knew exactly what to get. Now if she could just beat some
manners into the other guys, or at least Byers, she'd have my undying thanks
for the rest of my natural life.
"Wanna check it out?" I ask her, and then I go red. What a lousy line. I am
such a fucking idiot.
But she's cool and she gives me a big smile. "It looks really comfortable.
Sure." So we both flop down on the bed. This is awesome. I mean, it could be
a bed of nails as far as I'm concerned, and it'd still be great; I finally
got my girl in my arms. She's so warm and soft, I finally got her right up
against me. I can't help it; I totally want her already, and my body is busy
reminding me -- as though I need a reminder.
"Mmm, Ringo, this is wonderful..." Oh man, ain't it? She snuggles up into me
and it feels so good. She's got her arms around me. I start to give her a
kiss, and... shit! She's sound asleep. This wasn't exactly what I had in
mind, but hey, if she's tired, might as well let her snooze. I cover her up
with some of the giant comforter. At least it'll put off the inevitable,
which is having her see what an asshole I am. I wonder if I can postpone
that one indefinitely.
Byers and I are taking bets on how long it'll be before Deborah slides into
unconsciousness. Langly emerges from his bedroom about ten minutes after
they disappeared. Byers has an evil grin on his face. Looks like he's been
feeling his oats today. About time. "She already bored with you, Ringo?" he
asks; he's won the bet, of course -- Iąd been willing to give her another
five minutes before meltdown. Guess I owe Narcboy ten bucks. Langly looks
mortified, but I'm about to take my own potshot in this shooting match. The
boy's been asking for it for months now.
"Or are you just so out of practice that you're done already?" Oooh. Score
one for me, as our erstwhile lover-boy turns a bright shade of crimson.
Byers is trying hard to repress a snicker behind one hand, but he's not
doing it very well. He's making this hissing sound, like he's got a leak.
"For your information, she's been awake for days and was really tired. I
offered her a nice, comfy place to sleep," Langly counters. Not a bad save,
but we've got all night. Johnny and I have both been waiting a long time for
this opportunity. Blondie's been driving us both up a wall since we brought
him home from the hospital. I suspect that Byers' unconcealed delight in
tormenting him is the result of spending all that time with Langly in his
face while he was so wrecked about Susanne. I can't say as I blame him.
"Well, that's good, because we've got work to do tonight anyway."
"We do?" Langly looks puzzled.
"Black Widow," I remind him.
"Oh, yeah. Right." He nods, glad to have something to do to take his mind
off of his slumbering sweetie.
"Anything I can do?" Byers asks. It'll be another day or two before his doc
releases him for a little while every day of reading large type, and
watching tv or movies, but he'll still be able to lend us a hand with this.
He's the best of us at sorting through mounds of information and finding the
patterns and connections. We'd have been dead years ago without his sharp
mind keeping us ahead of our enemies. Langly and I have missed him a lot
while he's been out of commission, though we'd never say so in front of him.
Wouldn't want him to get too full of himself, after all.
"Always," I tell him. Langly's too busy getting our equipment set up for
silent running to say anything at all. "We'll keep you up with what we're
doing. You got any suggestions, make 'em. You know Black Widow's reputation.
None of us wants to face a pile of slag at the end of the evening."
"Right," Byers says, enthusiastic. It isn't like he's had much to do lately,
except keep company with Sari. I'd make a comment about that, but right now,
hassling Langly's far too much fun.
"Backseat hacker," Langly mutters.
"Yeah, but I saved your ass the other day," Byers reminds him. Not quite
true, but he did make several very useful suggestions that made things
easier for both of us. John's nothing if not efficient. It's good to have
him back. I still think Sari's had a lot to do with that.
We settle in for a good cat and mouse session, tracking down recent signs of
Black Widow's activity. Aside from us having to read stuff off the screen
for Byers, it's just like it used to be -- lightning fingers on keyboards,
devastating banter, insults to the kung fu of our victim, moments of tension
and sweat, laughter, and the excitement of the pursuit. A few hours later,
we find that we've been chasing a false trail for the last twenty minutes.
"Shit," Langly says. "I thought we had him for sure."
"We couldn't get that lucky in one shot," Byers says with a stretch and a
sigh. He's right, of course. People have been chasing Black Widow for years
now, including us. At one point, we'd made a slight slip up, and for a while
we had Black Widow tracking us, but thanks to Langly's good old loop line
shunt standby, we lost him in the US West system before he could ID us. We
did, however, learn a good bit about his defenses when we ran into him, and
we'll have a better chance next time we go in. We're thinking he may be
based in Arizona, if what we got is correct. If nothing else, it helps to
narrow down our search parameters.
"I could really use a break," Langly says, standing up and stretching.
"Yeah, a cup of java would do me some good," I reply, heading for the
"So what's for dinner?" Byers asks.
"I haven't decided yet," I say, "but I'll rummage around and see what I can
"What, you're not going to teach Langly to cook?" I think I can see where
Byers is going with this.
"Yeah, I should. After all, Blondie, you're gonna have to show your lady
love that you can give her more than just net sex."
Langly turns on me like a cornered dog. "Oh, no way. You can't do this to
My eyes narrow and a grin spreads across my face. "Wanna bet?" At that
moment, the door buzzer goes off. "Who the fuck could that be?"
Langly laughs. "Saved by the bell," he crows, going to check out the
monitor. "It's Mulder. Hey, Mulder, whatcha doin' here? Scully throw you
"I'm bored," Mulder says, looking up at the security camera.
"What," I ask him, "you can't think of anything else to do, so you show up
"Yeah. I figured it was about dinner time." The boy always did have an
incredible sense of timing where free meals were concerned. I look at
"You're in luck," I tell him, motioning for Langly to open the door.
"Langly's cooking dinner tonight."
"Whaaat?" Mulder's face is awash in surprise as the door is opened. "You've
got to be kidding. Mister 'no, really, it's chicken' here?" He steps inside
and Langly closes the door, grumbling.
"They think they're gonna get me to cook because Deb's here."
"She is? Well, where is this bombshell you've been talking about all this
time?" Mulder looks around.
"She's asleep," Byers says with a smirk.
"And I thought *I* was bored," Mulder says.
"Hey, she hasn't slept since Tuesday!" Langly whines.
"C'mon, Blondie, let's introduce you to the kitchen," I tell him, grabbing
his wrist so he can't get away. Byers and Mulder are both laughing now. At
least Mulder will find us mildly entertaining this evening. And he'll get to
suffer through Langly's attempt at providing sustenance.
Frohike kidnaps Langly and holds him captive in the kitchen. Mulder and I
park it at the kitchen table; I don't want to miss this show. Mulder helps
himself to a beer. "And where is the scrumptious Agent Scully?" Frohike asks
Mulder, as usual, doesn't answer. "What've you boys been up to? Haven't
heard much from you the last few days."
"Well, we did manage to train another Suzy Homemaker," Frohike points to
Langly. "No, not that knife, that one. Yes, it matters." Poor Langly looks
even more confused than he did earlier today.
"Scully got a date?" Langly decides to get his licks in, too. Of course,
Mulder won't take the bait.
"What's for chow?" he asks. I'm with him; enquiring minds want to know,
especially if this might be my last meal. If I sound cynical, it's only
because Langly has been known to burn water. The inability to get a pot of
water to boil without destroying the pot is a sure sign that the kitchen is
indeed the most dangerous room in the home, for some more than others.
Langly's at the top of the hazard list.
"I figured we'd make it easy and go for some Chernobyl Chili," Frohike
announces. Now, if Frohike were the cook, I'd be salivating wildly. Frohike
has a vast variety of chili incarnations, all of them named after nuclear
incidents, all delicious. Chernobyl is one of his more basic, emphasizing
heat rather than complexity. We won't discuss retainability here, in the
name of common decency. "Get the leftover turkey, Langly, and cut it into
"Actually, we've been pretty busy the last couple of days," I tell Mulder,
temporarily diverting us from the sideshow at the stove. "Frohike and Langly
have been doing some work over at the Sierra Club."
"Sari pull you a sweet deal?" Mulder wags his eyebrows at me. She pulled a
mid-five-figure sweet deal, all right, but it wasn't exactly for me -- I
can't help, much as I want to.
"Some sweet deal, now that the fun stuff's done," Frohike snorts. "Langly,
watch it, you want enough chili powder but not too much. I don't think Byers
needs his sinuses blown out anymore. No, yesterday, SCI took a nasty hit
from somebody who doesn't like what they're saying about Pinck. Really
mucked up their system bad. Sari went to the boss man, told him she knew
some folks who could turn water into wine, and the guy was desperate enough
to give us a shot."
"Yeah, only reason he's still got his job today," Langly chimes in. I
suspect there's more truth than fiction in that. From what the guys said,
Sari was in less than wonderful condition when she arrived to discuss it
with them, and the chaos in the office there was primordial.
"Cut away from yourself, boy, or you'll have to wake your chickadee up for a
house call," Frohike criticizes Langly's cutting technique. "What a mess. We
managed to restore their basic systems, but there's still a hell of a lot of
cleanup to be done. That'll be the boring part. We did a video tutorial this
morning for the regional offices, which was probably not exactly what the
crowd was expecting," he's glaring at Langly, "and then Monday we'll go in,
help them out with some more of the dirty work."
"Correction. You're going Monday. I got company," Langly reminds him.
"Fine. Then I get to keep your money." Frohike can be very persuasive. "No,
that's not how you chop an onion. *This* is how you chop an onion." Mulder
tries not to laugh but shoots beer from his nose anyway. No one has ever
accused us of running a classy joint. Now you understand why. I rest my
forehead in my hand and shake my head.
"So what's this about Pinck? What's going on?" Mulder asks when he's
recovered enough to get some paper towels and another beer.
"We think Pinck hired someone to hit Sierra," Frohike says, a belief that we
all share. "It smells of hired hit. He was the one who got Sari's computer
before the hearing, and another place that was building a website on genetic
"Friend of yours?" Mulder asks. Not an improper question, considering our
"Definitely not a friend, but we know who it is. Well, we know him from his
nym. Black Widow," I tell him.
Mulder's eyes grow wide. "Whoa, boys, the Bureau's been trying to bring this
guy down forever. What've you got on him?"
"Not enough, unfortunately," I say. "We were tailing him for a while before
you arrived but he got wind of us and started trying to backtrack us. We had
to get out before our system went down in flames. If there's anything from
the Bureau files you can get for us that you think might help, we'd
"How many recent confirmed hits do you have from him, then?" Mulder asks.
"And what about this website that got nailed? How's this related?"
"At least those three, but I suspect we could find more if we spent time
searching," I reply. "The website seems to have been set up by an insider at
Pinck, although there was information from other outside projects as well.
There are signs of Pinck working on covert animal and human genetic
experimentation at the Midwest test site that Sari's trying to close down.
There's also a chance that we may have found a contact who can give us
information about their offshore operations. We won't know more until we can
get closer to Black Widow, though. I think we've narrowed our search to
somewhere in Arizona. It's going to get harder and more dangerous from here
on in. If he figures out that we're the ones tracing him, it could get
dicey." The thought makes me uneasy.
"We're just gonna have to be a lot more careful," Langly comments. I agree.
I wish I'd been able to see properly tonight, I might have saved us a few
close calls. The time gap between the guys reading to me and my reaction is
much larger than being able to do my own work on my own keyboard. In what we
do, every microsecond counts, and being identified could lead to our being
exposed, or even killed.
Mulder looks wary. "You boys know what Pinck's capable of as well. Stay low
and cover your asses as much as you can. I don't want you in any more
trouble than you've already had lately, and I sure as hell don't want to be
making any more hospital visits to any of you. I'll see what I can do about
getting you some Bureau information in the next couple of days, but Langly's
right; be careful."
"Speaking of careful, watch it with the cumin, or it'll overwhelm the
flavor; you only need a little." Thank God Frohike is supervising the
kitchen operations, or there wouldn't be any food tonight. "I'm going to
toss on a little cornbread, gentlemen."
My stomach is starting to rumble, and it isn't the antibiotics. I'm not over
the pain yet, or the sinus infection, but they're much reduced in the past
few days, and I expect the worst of it will be over by Monday or Tuesday.
I'm definitely feeling more like myself these days. Feeling like chasing a
turncoat hacker, and nailing his ass to the wall, in fact. I can't wait
until I can read on my own. Only another three weeks, at most. It's so good
to be alive again.
End part 10
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