Author: Sue (email@example.com)
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 9/18
The screechy delivery of another expletive got
blotted out when the heavy, wired in every
conceivable way door was broken down. The
blitzkrieg of a break-in was a heart-stopping,
gut shriveling shock.
Max in all his unchallengeable glory filtered
through the splintered doorway with a
formidability Langly felt seep past calcium
deposits, straight for the marrow, and he
shivered from head to toe. The involuntary
movement coursed through him like electric
Knowing what it felt like to 'engage the Borg'
was no longer fiction of the scientific genre.
Problem was, he had no phaser rifle with which
to waste this refugee from the Sci-Fi channel,
nor a contingency from the Enterprise to cover
"Margot, how long did you think you could evade
me?" Gustin said in a dry, emotionless tone,
fringed by mockery. "You were always too
unrealistic. There's no escape from what's
destined." He was dressed in navy coveralls as
though geared up to wash windows. A utility belt
was lashed around his lean waist. He lanced
Langly a scowl of menace. "Stay out of it."
Langly froze, but seeing the mask of horror
Margot's face had become, he thawed fast, and
planned on flowing fluidly for the gun he'd left
on the worktable. In a low voice, emanating
from deep within the recesses of his tightening
throat, and barely lending movement to his lips,
he said, "I'm on it." Already, he saw himself
snatching it up, taking tight aim, and blowing the
'freak's' head off in his mind's eye.
"No," Margot hissed back, sensing his intentions.
Her hands became a tourniquet as they grasped his
upper right arm. "Just do as he says. I don't
want anything bad happening to you--please, Ringo."
Her worst nightmare stared the pair down, feeding
upon their fright.
"Screw that," Langly squeezed through his lips
which were a faint tinge of blue.
Max advanced on them steadily. His steely
gaze never straying from Margot, as though he
were looking through her, which he was since
he possessed x-ray vision, an invaluable
"St-stay back, loser," Langly warned, seizing
upon courage from he knew not where. "You think
you'll get away with this, but you won't. I
got long-time friends in the FBI. Serious
hellraisers. They've got my back at all times."
Where were they when he really needed them, he
thought, as Max closed in.
"Who doesn't?" Max taunted with soulless eyes,
knowing full well how little a deal that
was. His 'friends' controlled the easily-
He weighed the blond up, going back and forth
over whether it might just be easier to dispose
of the nasally nuisance. Lately, his superiors
had cautioned him about keeping the body count
down to a more appreciable figure. Crippling the
entire armies of three underdeveloped nations had
somehow been evaluated on the side of overkill.
"Get out of my way or suffer the consequences!"
Max vocally saber-rattled.
"Please. Gustin, don't do this. Stop being a
puppet," Margot beseeched, her breathing faltering
badly, as she appeared too petrified to breathe.
"Think what we once had. What we were to each
other." Max picked up the gun, and Langly's
eyes bugged. "Please--don't," Margot wheezed.
"Time's up, slut." Ending the dilly-dally, he
erased the distance separating them in four
determined strides, pointing the weapon
relentlessly on her, but wrapped his thick fingers
around Langly's neck, jerking him up from the
"NO! DON'T," Margot shrieked, as she watched
Max hold the terrified hacker, his legs pumping
uselessly, in suspension a good distance off
"I'll snap his neck," Max promised.
The choky gurgling coming from Langly intensified
her pleas, and then brokered her final decision.
"ALL RIGHT," she screamed frantically, and like
mizzle, fell. "I'll GO WITH YOU--RELEASE HIM!
LET HIM GO!"
Brusquely, Max ended his punishment of Langly's
limp body. With a malicious grin, in tandem, he
cleared the nearest worktable which sent two
incoming only fax machines and a collection of
web cams, along with the colorful assortment of
loose pieces of equipment crash-clattering to the
floor with Langly's body. But Max wasn't through.
He never gave Langly the chance to stand up on
his own. Like a rag doll, Max chucked him the
rest of the distance across the entry office.
He landed with a solid 'whump' when his body
collided against one of the many well-stocked
Dazed, and when Langly tried moving, sharp pain
in his left shoulder blade stopped him from
moving anymore. He strangled through a moan
which broke Margot's heart.
Disregarding her ex's stern admonition to come
along when he waved her over to the door with
the gun, she rushed to the crumpled man's side.
She grazed his forehead and cheeks with a
trembling hand, and thanked her Anglican god
he still breathed. Threadily, yes, but she was
grateful there was the marginal rise and fall
of his chest.
She cleared an arcane assortment of mysterious
gizmos off of him, and winced when she noticed
the left lens of his glasses, which were
teetering astride the bridge of his nose,
sported a hairline fracture, with the promise
of more cracks.
"Wh-what have I done," Margot sobbed, her jaw
muscles clenched, wanting more than anything
to have the gun in her possession, forgetting
about Esther's insistence of its having no
effect against Gustin. Langly tried to answer,
but even the attempt was excruciating. "Don't
speak," she advised, aware of Max' inevitable
loom up from behind.
"I-Is th-that all h-he's got?" Langly said
stubbornly, refusing to knuckle under to the
tyranny of intense pain.
"I should never have come to you. I should
have gone with my first instincts, disregarded
Esther, and soldiered on for myself, not getting
you involved in this hopeless mess."
"Li-like it o-or not, we were i-in it up to our
stiff n-necks long before you showed u-up."
Langly stabbed Max with a baleful look. "Yo-you
did t-the right thing."
"Oh, love," Margot murmured, sotto voce, lining
her forehead up with his. Teary trickles began
dotting the cottony soft fabric of 'Snoozonica,'
the T-shirt he'd changed into when they'd come
Max, taking in the spectacle of what belonged to
him fawning over this bleeding wimp made him see
red. "I said let's GO," he shouted, and seized
her by the shoulder, tearing her sheltering body
away from Langly who looked as though he wasn't
long for this world.
Langly, with his entire face, a grimace, managed
to raise his right arm forty-five degrees. He
tried to get up, but his legs didn't want the
job. "Nah..." Swearing, he fell back down upon
his hands. The damaged lens shattered when his
glasses hit the floor. Promptly, he put them
on again, despite the damage.
Margot wrestled herself free from Max' iron grip,
and finished wiping the rest of the trickle of
blood from the corner of Langly's mouth. When
Max leveled the gun at him, Margot shielded his
body with hers.
"Heroics don't suit you," Max tormented, and tore
her off Langly, again with the same immutable
look on his face. A look that didn't bode well.
Langly was about to be added to the horrific
body count, but before Max did, he drew his
jack-booted foot back to preclude the killing
with some additional sadism.
Margot lunged for the gun just as a deafening
surge of sirens that were soon followed by what
sounded like a Klaxon on and off, filled the
Gunmen's violated inner sactum. In the confused
uproar, Max dropped the firearm, made a grab for
the befuddled young woman and rushed for the
demolished entrance, believing the installation
would soon be overrun by an armed task force.
Langly's tremulous voice died away as he watched
through the good lens, Margot being forcibly
dragged out, her desperate cries piercing him
to the core. His hand, extended in outreach,
fell back into his lap before he passed out,
Outskirts of Scuffleburg, VA
Frohike glared at the flat tire, and kicked
it again for the satisfaction, the little
that it was. He cursed the rubber tree whose
sap had contributed to its cyclic production.
He glanced about, greeted by rustic sights and
melodies everywhere, forcing him to take stock.
A sparrow chirped on a nearby evergreen branch,
accompanied by the surretitious buzzing of flies
in a meadow overgrown with bearded darnel, on
their side of the road, incised by finely barbed
wire. Somewhere out of eyeshot, a cow was lowing.
One or two more mooed back. The bovine exchange
triggered Frohike to wondering about how Langly
was making out.
The unplanned pun was too irresistable to push
to the back of his mind. Their investigation was
the prime objective. Langly had better be taking
care of business, and not making wooing the girl
his first priority.
Under different circumstances, this would
have been a refreshing day in early Spring in
the sun-soaked Virginian countryside. A chance
to get away and inhale real air, punctuated by
blossom-scented zephyrs for a change instead of
the staleness he breathed on a regular basis,
locked away in the confines of their nerve center.
The urge to howl came over him, but it wasn't
the pristine countryside he really wanted to
take it out on. What had the country ever done
to him, except to expand his mind, sometimes with
the aid of illegal pharmaceuticals, somtimes sans?
Outings like these routinely helped him take his
mind off the many sick ones out there.
This was all Langly's fault. The slacker who'd
promised to refit the van with a new spare, but
true to delinquent form, had never gotten around
to it. Now they were stuck out here between their
destination and nowheresville. Peachy...
"Byers, where the Sam Hill are you?"
"Over here," came the hasty, muffled reply, some
thirty yards off.
"What are you doing down in that gully?" Frohike
surveyed the slant of the glaucous slope, but he
couldn't locate his friend. "Hey, you all right
"What do you think I was doing?" Byers stuck his
head up out of a copse of some very dense bushes
with some poplars interspersed. "Nature called.
I wanted privacy."
"Oh, yeah. Sure, man. Sorry. I couldn't make
out if you'd said, nature was calling, or you
"When was the last time you had your hearing
checked?" Byers finished zipping up and came
from around the blind. "Lovely area, eh?"
"It's okay if you want to picnic. But we *don't*
wanna picnic. We're on a mission." Frohike
glowered at the immobile van.
"You've got that tone again, Frohike," Byers
reprimanded as he hiked his way back up to where
the shorter man stood waiting for him with
eyebrows knitted, his jaw set, and elbows akimbo,
chewing on a weed stalk like a hayseed, the one
he liked kidding Langly of being.
"And I plan on keeping it until we meet up with
blond boy and I whack him one across the chops.
We're stranded and it's all his damn fault."
Byers removed some type of bird's oily feather
from the microbus' windshield and crisply said,
"It's getting old, Frohike. That's your answer
for practically everything when it comes to
Langly's failings. Many good whacks, and what the
sum total of his psychiatrists and psychologists
have failed to accomplish with their expertise,
voila; you do." While he finished dusting dander
from his pants leg, he clinched, "A better life
through intimidation with brute force as the
chaser." Frohike was working himself up too much
over what amounted to a temporary inconvenience.
The blowout hadn't occurred on Pluto, but the
way he was carrying on, one could have easily
been led to believe the VW was stranded on the
planet with the Disney character's name.
"Yeah, well..." Frohike shrugged. He missed
Langly's snappier, more caustic rhetoric. "So,
"Stranded?" Byers, already seated again in the
van, removed his cell phone from the front
pocket of his smoke-gray pants. The pants with
a very stylish cut. He shook his head. "I don't
think so, as long as we have this along. They
really are necessities." As Byers worked the
numbers that would bring assistance, he thought
how very restful the present setting was.
Waiting for the prespective party on the other
end to pick up, he was sure that if Susanne were
here, she would feel the same way. If only she
"Who're you calling?" Frohike asked, closing the
door once he had himself loaded into the driver's
"Who else?" the daydreamer whisked in before the
contactee came on the line, "Triple A."
"Good move," Frohike awarded. He cast an appeased
glance out his open window and breathed in the
sweet country air. "Good thing I reminded you
about renewing our membership."
"You reminded?" Byers corrected, then only had
ears for the phone. "Yes, we're in need of
"That's right *me*. I'm the control in this small
operation." Frohike craned his neck, checking
the time on Byers' watch. Langly and Margot should
be a good distance from D.C. by now, he thought,
barring any unforeseen circumstances like the one
they were undergoing.
The Lone Gunmen's
It's now or never, Langly thought, and took a
deep fortifying breath in preparation. He shifted
his position slightly. God, how he hurt. A wince
flitted over his face. "Even if it kills me," he
vowed to the equipment, "I'm gonna stand. Here
Struggling to his feet hurt like there was no
tomorrow, along the lines of when 'Jaws' bit into
Quint's legs. In relief, after examining himself,
no ribs were broken. Bruised, oh, yeah for sure,
but he'd make it, after he'd finished surveying
the damage to his purpling midrift.
Hot damn....her ex sure knows how to dish it out....
Langly remembered her tears wetting his shirt, her
tender kiss on his cheek, before Max ripped her
away from him, and his spirit buckled. His
faltering won out over taking concrete action
several more upsetting seconds.
He limped to the kitchen area to clean the
dried blood off his left forearm. Ignoring the
painful stings, he concentrated. What was he
going to do with these glasses? He rubbed the
knob of his sore shoulder. He hurt everywhere.
He didn't have a spare pair on hand, and driving,
one-eye blind, to his optometrist downtown didn't
feel like a good idea, even to him. Then he
remembered that Dr. Sentochnik was out of town at
some ocular-oriented convention.
Worrying his bottom lip with his upper teeth, he
got lost in a seeming punch-drunk reverie. He
took a few aimless steps in the direction of his
Should he call the guys? Tell them he'd screwed
up? Bad idea. Frohike would ream him into the
next century. What a 'jerk hippie loser' he
was. The fussy pint-sized dictator was always
telling him that.
He was no hippie. He was many things, but never
that. He looked better with long hair, so that's
why he wore it the length it was. There was more
to being a hippie than just having long hair,
such as... He smirked then thinking, he'd abused
his share, but he was proud that he'd finally
gotten off them with the help of rigorous rehab.
The disoriented hacker shambled on, moving in the
general direction of his haven--his workplace,
wishing he had followed the older man's wiser
advice about keeping on the move.
He talked the situation over again with himself
and thought about that time after he'd left
Sunday School to learn how to trust in a God
he couldn't understand. Somehow, it wasn't
God's fault. Intuitively, Langly suspected the
Almighty suffered in the translation from poor
representation by those who claimed they had so
much faith in Him, but had a hard time acting
Sometimes Langly felt as if he were living in a
diorama; all glue and flimsy stuff holding it
together against the backdrop of loud hues and
phantasmagoric scenery. A life where after you
think you've watched your back, it just got all
out of control anyway. He often felt like an
observer, rarely a credible participant who
made a difference, despite his anti-mainstream
life's pursuit of uncovering the truth.
He shook his head, trying to clear it of the
ringing in his ears. All the roughing up he'd
just received, and those loud alarms couldn't be
good for his Tinnitus.
The eye still able to focus, fell upon Margot's
laptop. "Hey, you still there?" Langly said,
wondering if Esther had fled the hostile scene
when things went to hell. "He got her," he
snarled, and then softly, "and there wasn't
a damn thing I could do." He eased himself into
'...TOLD YOU THE GUN WAS USELESS...'
"Never got a chance to use it. He got to it
before I could."
'...WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE ANYWAY...'
"You chase him off? With all the noise?"
'...WHO ELSE... I TAPPED INTO YOUR SYSTEMS,
UPPED THEIR ENHANCEMENT WITH MORE BLARE...'
"Thanks," Langly said begrudgingly. "Just don't
"It's my fault he got her--I blew it," Langly
replied guiltily, "I made it easy for him, trying
to make it easier for us."
Esther turned the entire screen a vivid, sunshine
yellow after she had minimized the now tranquilly
swirling blue tornado.
'...WHAT'S DONE IS DONE... WE GET HER BACK, I
WON'T BLAME YOU...DEAL?...'
"And we get her back how?" Langly asked with a
healthy dose of sarcasm.
'...GET TO THE CRS LANDSITE... HE'LL STILL BE
HEADING THERE...TONIGHT WAS WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED
TO HAPPEN ANYWAY... HE'S GOT WHAT THEY WANT,
WHICH IS WHAT THEY WANT, AND YOU'LL GET IT ON
TAPE FOR YOUR CLUELESS PUBLIC... MY ONLY CONCERN
NOW IS GETTING MY FRIEND BACK, AND YOU'RE GOING
TO HELP ME...GOT THAT?...'
Langly's snowy face went beet red. "Ho-how?"
'...YOU'LL SEE, 'MUCHACHO'...'
"Can't do too much like this with my glasses
busted," Langly complained gutterally.
'...SURE THAT'S THE ONLY THING BUSTED, BUSTER?
OUCH... YOU WERE DOING A REAL GOOD IMITATION OF
A RAG DOLL WITH THE ANOMALY FROM WHAT I SAW BEFORE
SETTING THE TIMING FOR THE ALARMS, AND THEN
"Yeah, I'm fine," Langly said, wincing, tamping
down a string of raw profanity, "just gonna be
sore as hell come tomorrow. When you find out
how Jerk-off the Ripper can be taken out, I wanna
'...FIRST THINGS FIRST...GETTING MARGIE BACK IS
NUMBER ONE ON THE LIST, AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT...'
How do I forget something like that, Langly
thought sadly, I finally find a girl who wants me,
who might wanna even love me, and she's yanked
away before we get the chance to explore what we
"Can you fix me up?" He pointed to the lens-less
area of his glasses. "Like this ain't gonna work."
'...DON'T GET TOTAL SMART-ASS ON ME, LANGLY...'
"Can't help it if I've got a great memory. That
little repair job you pulled when I got mad that
day two years ago, kicked in the screen of the
computer you were inhabiting, and you fixed it
good as new. Better, even once you'd neopolymered
'...SO, YOU DO DO HOMEWORK...'
Langly buried his hand in his hair. "C'mon,
Netgirl, we're wasting time here arguing. You
gonna fix me up, or what?" His voice had cracked
big time. "I want her back much as you do.
'...OKAY, THAT'S THE FIRST INTELLIGENT THING I'VE
HEARD YOU SAY SINCE I GOT HERE... HOLD THE LENSES
UP TO THE SCREEN... THE FRAME'LL GET A LITTLE
WARM, BUT DON'T BE ALARMED...YOU WON'T GET BURNED,
Nodding, Langly removed his glasses from his
expectant face, and did as the entity instructed.
Five minutes later after the glowing in the room
had died down, the broken lens had been replaced
by a more resilient one; a shatterproof, quasi
glass by-product of a new polymer, one yet to be
discovered. The undamaged lens was equally
shatterproof too now.
"That is so totally awesome," Langly crowed,
unable to peel his eyes away from his one of a
kind specs, examining each lens closely, inch by
inch. "How do you do it?"
'...THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT NOW, IS IT? GET GOING
SO YOU CAN GET THERE AHEAD OF MAX... WITH HIGH-VEL
TELOTROPY SSL, I'LL BE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY IN HER
LAPTOP... I RECHARGED HER RETAINER'S BATTERIES
WHILE THE ANOMALY WAS METING OUT PAIN...'
Langly finished stuffing the items dumped from
the JanSport back into it. He crammed the
automatic weapon issue from the shadow government
into a side sleeve of the backpack. Lastly, then,
he secured the laptop, leaving the screen up.
Stepping over the shards of what remained of the
crumpled door, Langly hoped their place wouldn't
be cleaned out by looters as he left. No time to
construct any form of makeshift contingency for
warding off intruders. If they were ripped
off, it couldn't be helped; he'd accept full
responsibility. Getting to Margot in time was
As though 'Nairn' had a sixth sense about how he
was feeling, the entity informed him that she'd
booby trapped their facility to ward off thieves.
Surprised, Langly thanked her, thinking again
how this wasn't the same Esther of a few years
ago, in more ways than the most obvious.
He was a blurr, streaking for the Cherokee, which
he'd parked too close to a fire hydrant. Langly
shot ocular holes in the ticket sandwiched beneath
the wiper, and had a mind to rip it up once his
hands were free. 'Nairn' told him to forget about
it since he could take care of undoing it.
First he placed the laptop carefully in the
passenger seat in front, then shrugged out of
the backpack's straps, and chucked the carrier
onto the back seat. He stuffed the ticket into
the back pocket of his jeans.
"Is there any way you can get a fix on 'em?"
Langly addressed the laptop.
'...HAVE HAD ONE SINCE THEY DROVE AWAY IN THE
CAR THE ANOMALY RENTED, VIA THE NAV-SEVENTY-FIVE
GPS... THEY'RE TRAVELING ON ROUTE SIXTY-SIX, DUE
WEST... THEY'RE A MILE, GIVE OR TAKE A TENTH,
OUT OF SULLY PARK...'
"Man, is he bookin'," Langly said, flopping
into the driver's seat, and grasped the steering
wheel with both hands. He glanced at himself
in the rearview mirror, admiring his glasses
again. "He's got a good lead, but I'll catch
'...AND I'LL HELP YOU DO IT...'
"Wha'd'ya mean by that?" he questioned, sounding
'...OH, YOU'LL SEE... TRUST ME?...'
"No," Langly shot back, starting the engine, and
revving it a few times.
"Knee-jerk reaction. Gimme time..."
7:45 A.M. (PCT)
The rain swept forest was drying out. The six
drenching inches of precipitation from the night
before was in the process of being sucked up by
thirsty, viable flora.
It promised to be a a drab, grey day; the kind
nature dares a soul to keep wide awake through.
The dank air was wet and heavy, the temperature
unusually cool for this time of year.
The primeval and ancient hinterland had the
texture of being transfixed in time, the somber
passage of many seasons etched in every stone,
every timber, and the muddy soil.
A seeping shaft of white, nearly opalescent light
flooded a twig-strewn clearing. In the midst of
the spiraling shaft, two bodies appeared as if
by spontaneous displacement; a man's and a woman's,
partially-clothed, wafted gently to the damp
Gaping upward after the sudden draft of delayed
propulsion ended their seismic jig, noisily, the
man demanded to know where he was. How he had
gotten to the incredible place he now was. It
was a mystery why he couldn't remember much of
anything that made sense, and what should have
The sleek-haired, needle-faced woman waited until
he calmed down before answering his demand for
knowing who she was.
"Diana Fowley." Wielding her clipped tone, she
turned on him, "And you?"
"The name's Pete; Peter Dankkes, and I'm
"Pleased to meet you, Pete."
"I d-do important things...at least I think I
did..." His voice trailed off into the fine mist.
"Some kind of philantropy for...fish?" He paused
again, lost in a blanket of muddled thought. "I
was hiking," he muttered, and glanced down at his
bare, wattle covered feet. What had become of
his Tulane Timber hiking boots? Somehow, the
thought that the footwear was costly pinged.
"That's nice, Pete," Diana humored, distractedly,
looking about, her jaw taking a hard set. She
was barefoot too. It would be murder slogging
around in this thick undergrowth without shoes.
But then, that thought was again interrupted by
the sole idea dominating her mind.
....C.G.B. Spender....C.G.B. Spender....the
bastard sold me out....I'll make him pay....
She touched her face, and when her fingertips
felt the pock-marked gashes, the same kind
Dankkes had, she winced, shutting her eyes.
As though catching a toxic, cloying whiff of the
old smoker's brand, she muttered, "I was part of
something important, once...too..."
"You were?" Dankkes' words seemed to echo then.
"Maybe we share the same affiliation?" Fowley
shrugged, and as she did, a clump of her hair
slipped off her shoulder. Dankkes sifted around
him then too, mimicking her, trying to smell
what she appeared to have caught wind of.
"Hmmmm hmmmm." Fowley stopped scanning, but the
frown stayed intact. "You wouldn't happen to
have a cell phone on you, Pete?" she asked,
Dankkes' vapid expression was no surprise, she'd
expected it. "Uh, no..."
Fowley shook her head which felt heavier suddenly.
"Doesn't matter. Even if you did, it probably
wouldn't make any difference way out here."
End Part 9