Author: Sue (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: M-14 (for mature audiences)
Category: Gunfic (Story)
Spoilers: Those you recognize.
Timeline: Events happening not too long after 'Three
Of A Kind.'
Summary: The discovery of a deep-cover covert
operation doing the Government's dirty work
in plain sight under the guise of environmental
activism and charity projects... And many
other discoveries along the way.
Disclaimer: All X-Files characters and
references are property of C. Carter and Company,
Morgan & Wong, 10-13 Productions and FOX. The
British chick's mine.
Thrown Back 8/18
The loop kicked in, the one Langly had set for
continuous automatic play. The first tune up
was his top favorite, 'I Wanna Be Sedated.'
The lead Ramones' singing was low as the driving
lyrics saturated headquarters.
Langly's eyes drifted shut as he went with the
mood of the music and Margot's varied tongue
play which was tantalizing every vibrating fiber
in his tingly body.
After they'd groaned into each other's mouth,
he slurred into hers, "We ca-can take th-this
upstairs to m-my room if y-you want." But he
wasn't thinking straight, with there being no
wonder as to why. The fact of matters was his
room was a wreck, all broken down and his things
in boxes, the last of the personal floor spaces
"I-I mean--to the new mattress in the hallway that
connects our rooms." Margot grinned on his lips.
"Sounds inviting," she fluttered," but sounding
firm bartered, "now I know I don't want our first
time to be a rushed, one blink and it's over
affair. I want you taking me long and slow..."
She felt his warm breath tickle her nose. "Once
I've had a taste of you..." Langly growled softly,
his head spinning, while she held his lower lip
between teeth that nibbled gently, preventing any
rapid-fire objection. Langly hiccupped, siphoning
the inhalation right out of her mouth. Her right
incisor bit a bit firmer, not drawing a hint of
blood. "I'll want you filling me for the longest..."
She felt him tremble within her balmic hands,
kneading the tense region at the back of his neck,
her fingers going straight to his head. "It'll be
best if we're both relaxed. Not on edge because of
Max hot on our trail."
Hot, Langly thought, on fire....hot. Inside his
head was one loud roar of the ocean, but it
wasn't as though he hadn't heard every single
thing she'd said.
"I, I can get behind that." He took up where
her nuzzling had left off, then showing more
boldness, which was his new high, stuck his tongue
out at any remaining insecurities that had plagued
him for years over his 'trouble' with women, and
jabbed her tongue with his. This was all so good
for someone so starved for affection. Margot
giggled in delight, and Langly rested his tongue
upon hers. "An-uh-and behind y-you when we're
ho-horizontal." Being bold wasn't hard, she made
it easy for him to talk and behave like this.
Behavior he'd only performed in more salicious
"So you can linger in the depths of my soul,
Yes, he'd often dreamt of some woman, one day
talking to him like this, but with each year
that passed, that possibility seemed more and
more remote. Now, he was living every dream
he'd ever had. Living better than anything
his uninhibited fragile subconscious had ever
concocted. As he melted upon her lips yet again,
the pooling of tears in the corner of his eyes
closest to his nose overflowed, and their slide
down his face was salty in her mouth.
"You beautiful, beautiful man," Margot lapped
against the front side of his left check, as she
dabbed his tears with her lips, and her arms
wrapped in a bow-tie behind his neck. When he
whimpered, she pressed her lips into his again,
cementing their mouths as well as Langly's new-
found allegiance to her.
He allowed a sliver of a space between their
parted lips so rumbly he could whisper, "Bite
me again, ba-baby." He was getting so into her.
She readily complied with as gentle a nip as
before. "He comes anywhere near you, I'll
waste him. Whatever it takes," Langly breathed
brokenly against her lips. "He'll never hurt you
again--I swear he won't."
Margot tied the knot of her arms tighter behind
his head; she slanted her head to her right,
following her lead, Langly slanted his to his
right. He swooned, drinking from the generous
bounty her mouth presented to him yet again.
Her mouth was a veritable funhouse.
'Act Nice And Gentle,' by the Kinks, the third
song of the loop kicked in. And as Langly heard
the words...'Come on baby, hold my hand. Come
on baby, understand, you gotta act nice act
nice and gentle to me. Act nice, act nice and
gentle to me,' sift into his ears, he grinned,
surrendering himself wholly to another tug of the
'...BREAK IT UP, YOU TWO...EVEN THOUGH I'M AI, IT
DOESN'T MEAN I CAN'T GET VIOLENTLY ILL... MARGOT,
STOP INFLAMING THAT GEEK!... YOU WANT HIM TO
"What the hell--" Langly murmurred, blinking
like a zombie on no-doze. An unsteady hand
adjusted his glasses that rode his nose lopsidedly.
'...BLOODY HELL--I DIDN'T YANK MYSELF OUT OF AN
AD-HOC ISNN NETWORK TO SEE A SNARKY PDA BEFORE
MY RECEPTORS. SHOVE IT. INVISIGOTH ONE HAS
SPOKEN, KIDDIES... MARGOT, EWWWWWWWWW...'
'Nairn' had that blazed across the laptop's
incandescental screen, in conjunction with Langly's
peeved snarl. Lazily carding her fingers through
the hair of his right temple, Margot made a point
of kissing the smoldering hacker again even though
he looked like he'd been clubbed over the head with
a hard drive.
They disengaged, and Langly squared off with the
laptop. "Wha'd'ya mean a damn 'PDA'? We're behind
closed doors--not flauntin' ourselves in public,"
he rasped with the nasal twang Margot was beginning
to grow fond of, yet, had hated hearing whenever a
spoiled second cousin whined.
'...WELL, MARGOT, I 'SEE' YOUR TASTE IN MEN, AND
I USE THE TERM LOOSELY, HAS SWUNG TO THE OPPOSITE
END OF THE SCALE RESERVED FOR BOTTOM FEEDERS...
HE'LL NEVER BE ACCUSED OF BEING EYE CANDY, 'CHULA'...
HOW'S IT HANGIN', LANGLY?'
"Esther," Margot admonished sternly.
The screen no longer bore characters. She was
100 percent 'proof' audio at this point.
"You tell me, bitc--"
"Ringo," Margo said sharply, and he derailed
what more he was about to say. "You just
interrupted his download."
'...OH YEAH, HE WAS DOWNLOADING ALL RIGHT,
'MUCHACHA'... HOPE YOU DON'T CATCH SOMETHING.
..YOU'VE HAD ALL YOUR SHOTS, RIGHT?'
"You breakin' in like this could have fouled
it up, 'Rocky Rac.'" Langly made profane use of
his middle finger to show her how delighted he
was to 'see' her.
"Esther, Max's found me. Ringo's been trying to
rig some sort of detection mechanism, downloading
it into my computer so we'd know how near he
Her voice was nearly the exact one belonging to
the racooned-eyed tech head diva who'd once been
a guest, handcuffed to a fixture in their haunt
when she'd been in the flesh, though now there
was an underlying mechanical quality to her
"Hope you haven't trashed it." Langly performed
some swift fingerplay and after a few minutes went
by, he smiled with a sniff. "Still lookin' good.
Nothing disrupted. I guess we're sorta okay for
the moment. He must not be that close."
He split the screen so one half contained 'Nairn's'
communicative language, which she'd opted to switch
back over to, to enhance the spoken word, and the
other had a configuration of what looked like a
spiraling, braided tornado with varying hues shot
through it; blue to green to indicate virtual non-
registry, to indigo red to pinkish-red violet which
would mean Max was too close for comfort.
'...WITHOUT AN ACTUAL TEST RUN, I WOULDN'T BE SO
SURE... SAME GUY WHO THINKS YOU KNOW EVERYTHING...'
"Do not-- Hey--why am I even responding to that,"
Langly rebutted heatedly, but half the screen which
hosted 'Esther' had gone blank, knowing how he'd
react to her colored opinion. Her association with
him in the flesh was a forgettable one.
"Don't say it, I know. She's a handful," Margot
said quietly, wondering why her old friend had
chosen to come calling precisely now.
"Virtual life must be treatin' her bad," Langly
insisted, and gave Margot a look like it was
time to go, to which she was quick to agree.
"Esther?" Margot quired, wanting to know what
she wanted. It must be important, though.
'Nairn' never tracked her down unless it was.
'...THE COMMANDS YOUR NEW GUY'S SET IN HERE ARE
MESSING WITH MY ETHERSPACE...'
Langly took the complaint in stride, but with
a curl to his lower lip. "So, like wha'd'ya want?
We're gonna split before my programming gives us
the high sign he's in the neighborhood."
'...I'VE COME TO TELL YOU THAT THE ANOMALY'S
OBJECTIVE HAS BEEN ALTERED...'
Margot nodded, fully in the know. "That's how
Esther dear refers to Gustin."
"So? What about Mr. Wind-up Look At 'Im Go?"
Langly asked, losing what little patience he had.
'...I'VE RECENTLY LEARNED THROUGH RELAYED INTERTAPS
WITHIN AND WITHOUT PROHIBITED CY'SPACE THAT HIS AIM
ISN'T TO KILL YOU AT ALL, MARGIE...'
"It's not?" Margot said first, then Langly.
'...NOT... HE MEANS TO CAPTURE YOU SO THE
SYNDICATIONAL BRANCH OF THE GLOBAL, PHANTOM
RULERSHIP CAN TURN YOU, THE WORLD'S LEADING EXPERT
IN CETACEANS, OVER FOR EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS...'
Margot buckled in the seat, feeling weak, which
caused Langly to come from behind so he could
support her, his arms alighted around her like a
fortress. "Ho-how reli-reliable is that?" she
'...TOP LEVEL SOURCE...TAKE MY WORD FOR IT...'
What Mulder had told the Gunmen about Scully's
abduction and subsequent spiriting away to
Antarctica spoke volumes of its being all too
true for Langly now. Everything did...even the
agent's painstakingly thorough description of the
spaceship's spectacular liftoff from underneath
the South Pole's frigid substratum.
"So the logical question should be, 'what's it
gonna take to eliminate this clear and present
danger permanantly," he said in precipitation.
"Can't *anything* be done to stop him, them,
Esther? I know I've asked this over and over, but
perhaps you've learned something since..."
'...WISH I COULD TELL YOU WANT YOU WANT TO HEAR...
And AS I'VE SUGGESTED BEFORE, YOU CAN ALWAYS JOIN
"No she didn't. She didn't say that," Langly
cranked in disbelief.
'...YOU HEARD RIGHT...'
Langly carped to Margot, pushing his glasses higher
up on his nose, "Like you'd jump at the chance to
commit suicide, God."
'...*NOT* SUICIDE, GENIUS, *LIFE* IN ITS PUREST
"You've been free-floating in the Net too long.
'...AM NOT, NIGHTCRAWLER...'
'...Are too, battlebot bait...'
"Leave it out, you two," Margot said boisterously,
attempting to minimize what she perceived as
never-ending friction. She seized his broad right
hand and squeezed it, keeping the pressure up.
"I was talking crazy a while back--at my wit's
end when I said those things on the train while
journeying here. It was rash talk, goaded by
desperation." Langly squeezed back, and she leaned
into him closer. "Please, dear friend, isn't there
Before 'Nairn' could respond, Langly rose swiftly
like a flume from a geyser, startling Margot. "I
got somethin'. Maybe." He stalked off from his
unkempt work area. Now, where had he stashed it
since the last time he'd switched its secret hiding
place after he'd cleaned it? He muttered 'where'
as he went to look.
'...WOULD IT REALLY BE THE WORST THING IMAGINABLE,
MARGIE? UNITING WITH THE CYBERCOSMOS? IT HAS SO
MUCH TO OFFER... LIMITLESS EXPLORATION, POKING
AROUND THESE SCINTILLATING GALAXIES *THEY* KNOW
NOTHING ABOUT, IN ALL ACTUALITY... WE COULD
GALAVANT TO OUR IMPULSES' CONTENTS. COME ON,
'CHICA,' YOU KNOW YOU REALLY WANT TO...'
Squeamishly, Margot replied, "I want Gustin out of
my life, once and for all. Preferably before he
gets his bloody hands on me. The idea of becoming
some aliens' lab rat holds no appeal."
'...SORRY I HAVEN'T BEEN MUCH HELP ENGINEERING HIS
ULTIMATE DEMISE... IT'S A HARD NUT TO CRACK...
GETTING TO THE MEAT OF HOW TO TAKE HIM DOWN, FOR
GOOD... THE PUZZLE'S TOUGH, EVEN FOR ME...'
Margot sighed heavily and ran a slow hand through
her soft curls. "I know. You've tried coming up
with something for a long time, and I appreciate
all your help, Esther, I really do. It's just that
I'm tired of being a fugitive, and I'm scared that
he's going to win." She corrected, "*They're*
going to win." Odds were, the clandestine 'they'
probably would anyway.
'...BEFORE I'D LET THAT HAPPEN, 'MUNECA,' I'D MAKE
OFF WITH YOU MYSELF, INTO MY--OUR WORLD, DAVID'S
AND MINE... BUT DON'T GIVE UP HOPE, YET... DAVID
AND I MIGHT HAVE THE UNSOLVEABLE SOLVED ANY DAY
NOW, SO TAKE HEART...IF STAYING OUTSIDE IS WHAT
YOU REALLY WANT, 'MUCHACHA'...' After not so long
a pause, with Margot visually going over the techno
compound thoughtfully, '...SO, WHAT'S WITH YOU AND
HIPPIE "GARTH?" THE SEWER WITH A MOUTH...THE
"If you mean Ringo, I suggest you rephrase that."
And speaking of whom, she wondered what was taking
him so long, finding whatever it was he was looking
'...SHA-DUH... OR WAS THAT SOMEBODY ELSE YOU WERE
GIVING A FREE TEETH CLEANING TO?'
Artificial Intelligence hadn't harmed her droll
sense of expression any, and Margot had to give an
airy laugh in acknowledgement where credit was
due. "I like him. A problem?"
'...ISN'T THAT *OBVIOUS*? WHAT'S HE DONE TO
YOU?... QUICKLY--PLACE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR
KEYBOARD... YOU NEED AN ELECTRICAL SHOCK...IT
WON'T HURT MUCH... LOW VOLTAGE...JUST ENOUGH
JUICE TO JOLT YOU BACK TO YOUR SENSES...'
"Always the kidder."
'...DO I SOUND LIKE I'M KIDDING?...'
"Regardless of how unflattering you make him out
to be, we share a kindredness of emotions and
perceptions." Briefly, she re-lived the
conversations that had gone on between them at
Mulder's, and just prior to 'Nairn's' crashing in
on them. "I can't explain it. I feel it. He's
the sweet one, he is."
Was that laughter? Margot did a double-take on
the screen, and saw a severely jagged line which
could have doubled for one on a lie detector.
'...YOU MEAN THE GEEKIEST ONE HE IS... THAT WAS
THE ONLY WORD THAT RAN THROUGH MY MIND WHEN I
FIRST LAID EYES ON HIM YEARS BACK...THE MORE HE
TRIED TO SPEAK, THE WORSE HE GOT... FREAKY HOW
THE WEIRDEST RARELY CHANGES...'
"A rather harsh evaluation, wouldn't you say?"
Margot objected. "He's highly educated, makes me
laugh, and an all around pleaser. How well did
you get to know him?"
'...WELL ENOUGH TO KNOW I DIDN'T WANT TO...'
"Funny, you sound like the dreary Esther of
'...YEAH, WELL... YOU KNOW HOW IT WAS BACK
"You made the best of it, considering..."
'...THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT CAMBRIDGE WAS MEETING
YOU, AND GETTING OUT WITH THE EDUCATION I WENT
THERE FOR... YOU DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES I'VE
WANTED TO PAY THEM A CYBER VISIT AND WREAK SOME
Margot had to laugh, remembering the pranks Esther
used to pull back in the day. "You were inspiring."
'...AND ALWAYS UP TO MY EYEBALLS IN DEEP DOO-DOO...'
"I miss those days you used to live in that old
Hague shipping container; HSWT seven-eight-zero-
'...TWO-TWO... THREE... I'LL NEVER FORGET...'
"Before it got obliterated from the heavens above."
Margot patted the side of the laptop's screen.
"It wasn't frightfully long ago, back when it was
one e-mail after another about David wants this
for us, or David wants that..."
'...IT'S LIKE ALL OF THAT NEVER HAPPENED... WHAT
WE ARE *NOW* IS RELEVANCY. THE EXTRACYBERSPATIAL
"And does that include our friendship?" Margot
'...IF IT DID, HELPING YOU WOULDN'T BE A CONCERN,
NOW WOULD IT?...'
"I suppose not."
'...DAVID AND I ARE ONE IN THE TRUEST SENSE, NOW...
BECAUSE OF THE AI. WE KNOW UNENDING FULFILLMENT...
THERE'S NEITHER LOVE NOR HATE, PAIN NOR PLEASURE...
LIFE OR DEATH. THERE'S JUST THE AI...AND IT'S
"Oh, Esther," Margot choked out.
'...BECOME ONE WITH US, OLD FRIEND... LINK...
GIVE YOURSELF TO THE AI BEFORE THE DRONES GET
THEIR HANDS ON YOU...AND THEY RAPE YOU OF YOUR
INTELLIGENCE, YOUR GIFTS... YOUR MANY TALENTS...
I'M NOT ASKING AS SOME IMPERSONAL FORCE, BUT AS
YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND... I NEVER WANT TO BE WITHOUT
"Virtual immortality..." Margot's breath hitched.
For all eternity, she thought, or for as long as
power supplies last, T1 lines aren't severed, and
servers don't crash. "Give me more time to think
about it, Est. I promise I will, but please don't
stop coming up with the means of stopping Max,
and others like him." The many others like him,
she'd already seen roaming throughtout diverse
She was about to voice that bit of reality, but
Langly was returning.
He looked unsure of himself, and carried
something wrapped in old newspapers with several
rubberbands to hold them in snug place.
"What've you got there?" Margot inquired, but
he acted as though it hadn't registered. She
wasn't sure she'd get an answer, what with his
looking so uptight. "Ringo?" She rose. "Love?
Are you all right?" She held her breath as though
not breathing would break his taciturn spell.
As though in a trance he peeled away the rubber-
bands; the papers floated and fluttered for the
"Where'd you get that?" Margot asked, sounding
apprehensive, backing off from him.
'...LEMME GUESS...CONFISCATED FROM A DRIVE-BY...'
Langly made an irritating buzzer noise. "Wrong!
"A souvenir?" Margot intoned.
Langly nodded, looking proud. "It's a hairy
story, but basically, I was supposed to waste
Byers' chick, Mata Hari, with it."
"Straight up. It's a long story from a few months
ago. When we're not short on time, I'll tell ya
"Mata Hari?" Margot repeated. "Is that somebody's
"Well, it's the nickname Frohike and me call her,
Susanne Modeski, the engineer of this brainwashing,
mind control wonder drug, Anoinic Histamine. What
they shot me up with. One hell of a trip. Like I
said, I'll lay the whole deal on ya another time."
"Sounds like there are a lot of pieces involved.
Di-did you actually kill someone?"
"Hell no, I just made believe after Susanne gave
me the antidote. I shoulda been an actor."
'...DON'T FLATTER YOURSELF... YOU'RE NO TONY
Langly bristled momentarily, but chose to ignore
the cyberbaiting. "The whole freakin' scene was
'...WHICH IS WHY YOU WERE RECRUITED...'
"Shut the hell up!" Wearing a 'now where was I'
look, he went on, "Nobody said nothing about my
having to give the piece back, so I decided I'd
hang on to it in case I needed it someday. Even
'Hike and Byers don't know I still got it. Looks
like this is the someday I kept it for."
He aimed at an imagined moving target and squeezed
off a faked double-handed shot.
"You know how to shoot?" Margot questioned, her
"Yeah. Jake. One of my adoptive dads. The beer-
belly hard-drinkin' variety, who'd have his eye
on any female over sixteen, taught me on my
fifteenth birthday. Said it was time I became a
man." Langly made believe he was holstering.
"This was loaded with blanks, and Susanne was
rigged with packets of fake blood which sure
looked real enough when I popped her. 'Specially
when it splattered all over my face. It was
slammin' when the gig went down." His macho streak
in full evidence, he boasted, "I've purchased real
bullets since then. I'll use this in a heartbeat
'...GIVE A MAN A GUN, AND SUDDENLY HE'S DILLINGER...
A CONVENTIONAL WEAPON IS USELESS AGAINST THE
ANOMALY, ONCE AFFECTIONATELY CALLED "DIMPLES"...'
"Esther--*really*. There's no need to dig up the
sorry, soddy past."
Screwing up his face into what was supposed to be
a mask of bloodlust, Langly bandied the automatic
firearm about, drizzling his braggadocio like
pepper spray. "C'mon. There's gotta be a chance
of nailin' him in a vital spot. Yeah?"
There was a very long pause...
'...DESTROYING HIM'S BEEN ATTEMPTED WITH NO
SUCCESS... THE ANOMALY'S BEEN BOMBARDED WITH
MISSLES, DROPPED FROM FORTY THOUSAND FEET, SET UPON
WITH A DOZEN FLAMETHROWERS... BEEN ADMINISTERED
VIRUSES OF VARYING LETHAL DESCRIPTIONS, AND NONE OF
IT'S EVEN SLOWED HIM DOWN... THE TOUT THAT HE'S
INDUSTRUCTIBLE IS PROVEN FACT...'
"What about demolishing his CPU?" Langly pretended
he'd just fired at Max' head and had hit paydirt.
'...WISHFUL THINKING, LANGLY... THE SKULL THAT
HOUSES IT IS A TRIPLE-REINFORCED ALLOY OF ALIEN
ORIGIN... INSIDIOUSLY IMPENETRABLE...'
"Damn," Langly mouthed. He shot a look Margot's
way to see she was breathing strangely. She was as
white as a bleached sheet, with the sudden drain of
color, and her eyes looked like a doll's. "Mar--"
The asthma attack racked Margot. It was even
worse than the one she had suffered while managing
to narrowly escape from Max on that harrowing
night of betrayal and retribution in her tiny
uptown studio apartment.
Through unflagging coughs, and her huffing
and gasping attempts in vain to regain control
over her sporadic breathing, she heard Langly's
fitful imprecations. He raced over to, then ripped
through her backpack, trying to find her inhaler.
Where had she stuck the confounded thing?
Success at last! Langly streaked to the red-light
district red couch where she'd thrown herself
upon. It was mandatory he hold both of her quaking
hands as she grappled with the Hurculean task of
negotiating the regulatory device into her mouth.
Her body, in the throes of spasms, convulsed.
He counted out each measured breath for her,
ordering her to slow each one down. "That's it.
Easy. Easy. You're doin' great. Atta girl!"
After about seven minutes or so of this, relaxed
out-with-the-bad, in-with-the-good, never sounded
so welcomed in his ears.
"It's getting better," she whispered, lowering the
inhaler, thankful her breathing had normalized.
"...'All the time.'" Langly grinned, as she
brushed his unruly locks out of his boyish face
once he'd permitted her right hand to worm its way
out of his grip of mongoose intensity. She tucked
his flaxen strands behind an ear, watching his face
as though she were peering into a looking glass.
"Sorry I keep losing it."
"You got a right." Lowering his voice so 'Nairn'
wouldn't hear, he said, "But I still think AI girl
knows more than she's tellin'."
"Wh-what do you mean?"
"It's what she's not saying between the lines."
The same hand that had tucked back his hair patted
his cheek, then lingered. "She's trying to help,
Ringo. I trust her."
Looking suspicious, Langly reminded, "Like I said,
I have a problem with trust, and I know the former
chick's track record." He began drawing away,
disengaging himself from her delicate hand.
The inhaler skittered out of the other hand's grasp,
and Langly, slow catching it, heard it clatter when
it hit the floor, but he scooped it up, and fitted
it back into her hand. "I trust you."
"Implicitly. And Esther too."
He shrugged, suddenly feeling awkward, in a double
sense. "I'm only saying that she wants you with
her, so like maybe she's not being totally straight
with you about Max' vulnerability."
"I refuse to believe that, Margot said stubbornly.
"Okay, okay. Suit yourself," Langly murmurred with
a look of resignation gradually developing. "C'mon.
We'd better split for the country." Margot tugged
on his arm.
"You're wrong about her. Really, you are."
"Whatever." He tucked her inhaler back into the
backpack after she'd handed it over to him. "Guess
tonight will take care of her creditability."
A moment of fleeting funereal silence hung in the
air, until Langly's tracking system sang out its
warning from the laptop, and his knees went wobbly.
"Shit," he exhaled, as Margot's desperate eyes
raked his face.