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X-Seven Chapter 5
Aids to the reader: list of characters in the X7 Trilogy and a glossary.


Reyes giggles and grabs onto John’s arm. “The book has nothing to do with football. But it could. For example, if it is fourth down and fifteen yards to go for a first down, what play do you call?”

“Doggett replies, “Punt, or try a field goal kick if you are close enough.”

Reyes asks, “Any exceptions?”

“Sure, if it is late in the game and you are behind, you have to go for the first down anyhow.”

“Any other exceptions?”

Doggett nods, “There are endless exceptions. You do not always want to do the expected. Sometimes a team will fake a punt play. Set up as if you will punt, but try to pass for the first down.”

Reyes nods. “That’s what the “intentional stance” is all about. We anticipate what other people will think and do, then we decide what we will do based on what we expect other people to do. And there are endless echoes of that kind of thinking. If you know that the other team knows that you might fake a punt, you can put your best receiver on the field during a fourth down play and make them expect a pass, but you can just use the possibility of a pass to draw away blockers from their punt receiver, and go ahead and punt anyhow.”

Doggett says, “So what does this have to do with Rupert?”

Monica replies, “The point is, each of us is constantly keeping track of what everyone else knows. If I know that there is something you do not know about Rupert, I can’t tell you about it. When you figured out the idea that Rupert did not put the branched DNA into Scully, it suddenly became possible for me to talk to you about that and to speculate openly with you about who was responsible. Only I know that kind of detail about what you know, so in some way, it must be my own mind that is acting to control what I can and cannot say to you.”

Doggett complains, “It still sounds like magic. How can Rupert exert that kind of control over you? Worse, if it is true, you are aware of what is going on but you still cannot do anything about it. If we are up against that kind of power, what chance do we have?”

Reyes thinks that there is a bright side to the situation. “I know it is not much, but I have learned that you know enough about me and what I have been through so that you can watch me for clues. If I remember something, you can notice that I am trying to tell you something. Then it is like a game of reversed twenty questions. As long as you ask the wrong question then I can tell you that you are wrong. If you are getting close to the truth, I cannot say anything and I start to suffer pain just by thinking about you getting closer to the truth. But if you can guess the truth, then I am no longer prevented from discussing it with you. See, John, we can work around Rupert’s mind block.”

“But it all depends on you remembering something from when you were abducted. What if these tidbits you can remember were planted in your mind by Rupert? It is rather convenient for him that you “remembered” that he is not responsible for the branched DNA inside Scully.”

Reyes has no further argument to make. She realizes that she is just relying on faith that her memories can be trusted. She does not like the look in John’s eyes when he looks at her. His eyes do not speak of trust. She sighs and tries to tell herself that it is his job to doubt everything, including his partner when she starts trusting the bad guys.


By mid-afternoon, Doggett and Reyes are tired and demoralized. Doggett sits down next to Reyes and says, “I need a nap.”

Reyes takes her arm out of its sling and massages it with her other hand. They are sitting on the loading dock of Champion Research while movers haul the last of the equipment from the lab onto moving trucks. Reyes mutters, “Not a single piece of paper.”

The laboratory staff must have been tipped to the fact that the FBI was coming. The lab showed evidence of recent use, but nobody showed up for work. Their search warrant specified that the FBI could search for documents indicating who the lab did business with, but there were no documents. Not even a filing cabinet or a desktop computer. The only thing with writing on it in the entire building had been the laboratory materials like flasks and tubes.

Doggett had sent digital photographs of some of the mysterious writing to Washington. By 1 pm, word came back from Skinner that the obviously foreign script matched no known language. Skinner put the lab under the heading of a suspected bioterrorism workshop and ordered everything that could be moved to be confiscated.

Doggett says, “I can’t help thinking that Rupert tipped this place off. He wanted us to shut it down, but not catch who ever was working here.”

Reyes shrugs. “I don’t think it matters. All this lab equipment is standard molecular biology equipment. Modern and expensive, but nothing- alien. I bet the people who have been working here are also unremarkable- as human as we are.”

John is dubious. “Then why are they hiding?”

Reyes offers some guesses. “Oh, they probably could have been useful as witnesses. And a bit of detective work will find the people who worked here.” All of the local FBI agents has scattered to work with the local police on finding the Champion Research work force. “But I fear that while we sit here, Scully is in danger. At the very least she will be moved out of our reach.”

Doggett resists reminding Monica that Dana has been out of reach for months. He knows that Monica had been hopeful that it would be easy to find a link from Champion Research to Scully. One of the workmen says, “Reyes? Are you Monica Reyes?”

Monica looks up and recognizes the foreman for the moving crew. She had signed papers for him earlier. Monica yawns and says, “I’m agent Reyes.”

The mover says, “You better take this phone call. Some woman named Scully. Claims she knows you.”

Reyes rushes inside. Doggett uses his cell phone to call the San Diego office of the FBI. “Special Agent Doggett, here. I’ve got an emergency in an abduction case. Connect me to your office that handles phone call traces.”

Reyes enters the lab, finds the phone and says, “Dana? Are you there?”

Scully replies, “Monica! Where are you?”

Reyes thinks that is the stupidest question she’s ever heard Scully ask. Monica asks, “Where are you?” Reyes hears Dana gasp. “Dana, are you okay?” Dana, are you still there?”

After a pause that seems horribly long, Dana speaks again. “I’m here. I was trying to reach anyone associated with the Marine Science Institute who might know what’s going on.”

Monica says, “So you are involved with the Floreana.”

Dana does not recognize the name of the ship at first, then remembers. “Oh, that ship. No. I had nothing to do with that. And it looks like Roberta Lincoln also had nothing to do with it.”

Monica is lost, “Roberta Lincoln?”

Scully has no idea where Monica is or what she knows. “Monica, please, tell me where you are. I can’t understand how I got you on this line.”

Monica explains, “This is Champion Research, in San Diego. John and I are here looking for you. Skinner got a tip suggesting that this research lab was somehow linked to you. Is that true? Have you been working here?”

Dana replies, “I know nothing about Champion Research. I’ve been calling people at the Marine Science Institute, trying to find anyone who might be able to tell me about Roberta Lincoln. Finally they found this phone number in their accounts database.” Scully is just fitting the puzzle pieces together. “I guess Roberta used to work for Champion and had some business with the Institute.”

Reyes is still confused. “Who is Roberta Lincoln?”

Dana replies enigmatically, “I wish I knew. She has been claiming to work for the Marine Science Institute. She told me that I have been getting paid by the Marine Science Institute. I’ve been cashing checks that say “Marine Science Institute” on them. But payroll at the Institute has never heard of either of us.”

Reyes demands, “Dana, where are you?” Monica hears what sounds like Dana panting. Monica thinks she knows what is happening. “Forget it Dana! Don’t try to tell me! I’ve been going through this myself. Rupert has some kind of control over what we can say. We’ll find you Dana!”

John enters the lab, his cell phone to his ear. “She’s in Mexico. We’re getting the trace.”

Reyes smiles at the good news and says to Dana, “Doggett is tracing this call. We will find you, even if you cannot tell us where you are!” Suddenly Reyes hears a dial tone. She says to Doggett, “She hung up.”

Doggett says, “That’s okay. We got it. It's some private satellite link phone line in Mexico.”

Reyes looks at the screen of the lab’s digital phone. “I’ve got the number here.”

Doggett grabs the phone from Reyes and looks at the number. He explains, “That’s the number for the company that rents the private line. We’re doing an emergency warrant based on the Floreana terrorism investigation. We’ll get Dana’s location” Then he talks on his cell phone, “Okay, call me when you have it. Make sure Skinner is told.”

Reyes sprints for the door. “Come on!” In her mind, she’s already in Mexico.

Hands up!Edit

Mulder has no trouble following Doggett and Reyes from the San Diego FBI field office in the Federal Office Building to the laboratories of Champion Research. Once Mulder takes up an observation position across the street from the Champion Research building, he calls Langly and requests a search for any information he can get via the internet on Champion Research.

About noon, Langly calls Mulder. "I hacked into phone records for Champion Research. Looks like Doggett and Reyes pulled their plug on them early today. There has been none of the normal outbound phone traffic at all today."

Mulder realizes that he has seen plenty of FBI activity but nothing that looks like workers being sent home from the Champion Research lab. He asks Langly, "How big an operation is Champion Research?"

"Judging by the typical weekday phone call volume, I'd guess a dozen employees. Normally there is plenty of activity on weekends, too."

“This is some kind of high-tech startup research park. Plenty of activity all around here. The FBI didn't get here until about 11:00 am. There were no phone calls before then?"

"Nada." Langly asks, "Were they tipped?"

Mulder replies, “Looks that way.” Mulder is parked in another company's parking lot across the street from Champion Research. Workers have been coming out, headed to lunch. Mulder says to Langly. "Later." He gets out of his rental car and approaches a group of workers who are getting into a car.

Mulder says hello and shows them his Virginia private investigator's license. "I'm investigating Champion Research," He nods in the direction of the building across the street. "Do any of you know anyone who works there?"

The man who is getting into the driver's seat looks across the street. "They moved in a few years ago and put together a softball team for the research park's league. Bunch of young science nerds just out of school. Well paid; they all drive fancy cars. Cars that I don't see today. Strange, they usually show up on Saturdays. They work as hard as us computer geeks."

One of the women in the car says, "Speaking of work, Bill, lets get going. I have to be back by 1:00 for that Singapore phone conference."

Mulder reaches through the window and puts his hand on the driver’s shoulder. “Is it alright if I go in and use your restroom?”

The driver laughs, “Sure, there’s one just inside. You do not have to deal with security to get to it.”

Mulder goes back to his car and tries not to think about lunch. Half an hour later he orders lunch for delivery. "Ya, I'll meet you in the parking lot. Right. Cash."

By 1:30 his hunger is sated and he is fighting off sleep. Most of the FBI agents have left and a the moving crew is in full swing. His curiosity gets the better of him and he crosses the street and talks to one of the movers. "Hey, I work across the street. What's going on here?"

The mover replies, "Police operation. We're cleaning the place out. Somebody said this is a bioterrorism lab. Probably be on the news tonight."

Mulder looks around, "I don’t see any reporters or cops. I'm wondering if you guys are stealing this equipment."

The worker laughs. "Just two plain clothes FBI agents left. I'm getting back to work. You can take your doubts up with the foreman."

Mulder walks back to his car. While crossing the street, he does not see Doggett come out and drive off to hunt up lunch for himself and Reyes. Fifteen minutes later Mulder realizes that Doggett’s and Reyes’ rental car is no longer in the Champion Research parking lot. Mulder goes into panic mode and decides his best bet is to go back to the FBI field office. Just as Mulder pulls onto the street, Doggett returns. Mulder tries to turn invisible as he passes just ten feet from Doggett, driving in opposite directions. But Doggett is busy looking for the correct drive way and does not notice Mulder. Mulder turns around and goes back to his watch.

After their lunch break, Doggett and Reyes finish photographing all of the alien script on tubes, flasks, vials and boxes in the lab. Reyes sends the last of the images to Washington via her laptop and the WiFi network of the research park.

Mulder is dozing off when he sees Doggett and Reyes come outside and sit on the loading dock. Mulder perks up and wonders if they are getting ready to leave. He can’t imagine why they are spending so much time inside the lab. If it was a bioterrorism lab, there would be hazmat teams swarming the place. Soon after Reyes and Doggett go back inside, Langly calls. "Finally got a call at Champion Research. Incoming." Mulder sees Reyes and Doggett rush to their car and drive away.

Mulder follows Doggett and Reyes and says to Langly, "Let me guess, the call was from FBI, Washington. Doggett and Reyes just took off like Skinner punted their butts."

Langly says, "Wrong. Hold on. The call was from some private phone system." After a pause, Langly says, "There's a hack for this database."

Mulder is having trouble keeping up as Doggett speeds through traffic. "Langly, don't do anything illegal unless you can't get caught."

Langly says, "Hey, man, don't ask for my help and then doubt my kung fu."

Mulder gets trapped by a red light at an intersection after Doggett blows through on the yellow light. "Damn! I'm going to lose them, and I have no idea where they are going."

Mulder guesses that maybe they were heading for the Marine Research Institute in Chula Vista. He stops his car and looks in his wallet for the address of the Institute. Langly says. "I traced it. Ever heard of San Felipe, Mexico?"

Mulder curses and turns around, heading for the airport. Langly says, "I found it. Hey, you could drive there in two hours. Baja California."

Mulder asks, "Plane connections?"

Langly says, "No regular connections. There is an airport there if you want to charter something and fly down."

Mulder stops his car and turns around. "Not on my budget.” He is still stinging from the cost of his flight to San Diego. “Okay, I'll drive it." He pulls back into traffic heading south again.


The idea of Doggett tracing her phone call puts Scully into a panic. After breaking the phone connection, Dana regains her composure and leaves her cabin to return to the lab. She is nearly mesmerized by the gymnastics of her own thoughts; half thrilled with the idea that Doggett probably was able to trace her phone call and half sickened by the same thought.

Dana decides that she has no more time to try to spy on Roberta in order to figure out what Roberta has been doing with branched DNA. Dana is certain that Roberta has been using branched DNA vectors to genetically engineer the ’’Prochloroflexus marinuslargus’’, which is just the sort of thing that Rupert had wanted to make use of Scully for in his effort to prevent illegal intervention into the development of Earth.

Dana finds Roberta in the cell culture room, working in the sterile containment hood. Scully sits down on the stool next to the inverted microscope and speaks loudly over the noise of the hood’s fan, “What are you doing, Roberta?”

Roberta caps the culture tubes she is working with and spins her chair to face Scully. “I’m doing some control transfections with the new vector.”

Dana asks, “What kind of controls?”

Roberta replies, “Just a couple of other bacterial species. Dr. Bernak was never sure that we should put all of our eggs in one basket with ’’Prochloroflexus marinuslargus’’.

Dana wonders how she could have been so blind. Clearly, Roberta has been keeping the use of branched DNA-containing viruses a secret for months. Every new gene modification was rock stable, a near statistical impossibility for random insertions into a chromosome. With branched DNA viruses, each insertion could be carefully controlled to target stable locations in the chromosome without risking the disruption of any existing genes. “I know you have been using branched DNA vectors.”

Roberta narrows her eyes. “What is branched DNA?”

Dana does not have the patience to deal with an innocent act by Roberta. “Tell me who you are working with. Who has been sending you these viral vectors?”

Roberta shrugs. “Dana, what are you talking about? You know all of these vectors come down from the Institute.”

Scully counters, “No, I’ve traced them to Champion Research. Nobody at the institute knows you or me.”

Roberta nods, “Yes. Champion Research. That is the commercial lab that got the contract to synthesize the vectors.”

Scully starts to wonder if Roberta has also been duped. “Roberta, I spoke to the payroll office at the institute. They’ve never heard of us.”

Roberta laughs nervously, “Dana, how can that be? Everyone here at the field station gets pay checks from the Institute. Who did you speak to? They must not know what they were talking about.”

Dana wonders if Roberta has an excuse for everything. “I spoke to Dr. Bernak, he does not know you.”

Roberta says, “Oh, my God.” She gets up and places the cell cultures in the incubator. She turns back to Scully, “Gary warned me that this might happen. But it makes no sense. I’ve spoke to Bernak a dozen times this summer. Why would the Observers be erasing memories now?”

Dana is impressed. Either Roberta is a great actress or she is truly puzzled. Dana asks, “Gary Seven? What does he have to do with all this?”

Roberta ignores Dana and walks out into the main lab and picks up the phone. Dana watches Roberta take out her PDA, look up a phone number and make a call. “Dr. Bernak?” Roberta turns and flashes a smile at Dana. “Ya, I’m fine. Yes, the pms growth remains very robust. We are going ahead to try the new vector also, just as a back up.” Roberta listens for a while. “Well, I called because I heard a wild rumor. It sounded like maybe everyone at the Institute was suffering ill effects from the Floreana abductions.“ Dana tries to take the phone from Roberta, but she will not let Dana have the phone. “Memory effects. Dr. Scully said she spoke to you and that you did not know who she is, that you did not even know me.” Roberta laughs with Bernak. Scully can hear a loud male laugh from Bernak. “Okay. I’ll let you know.”

Dana is finally able to grab the phone from Roberta. Roberta says, “Dana, I think someone was playing a joke on you. You had me worried that maybe everyone who had been abducted from the Floreana was loosing their memories, but Dr. Bernak is just fine.”

Dana looks at the display screen of the phone to see the phone number Roberta had just been connected to. “This isn’t a phone number at the Institute.”

Roberta nods. “That’s Dr. Bernak’s cell phone number.”

Dana keys in the number for the Institute. “Roberta, I want you to talk to the personnel office at the Institute.” The connection goes through. “Yes, you can help me. This is Dr. Scully again. Right. I’m still trying to sort out this mystery. I need you to tell Dr. Lincoln what you told me.” She hands the phone back to Roberta.

Roberta listens for a minute then says, “Okay, but look, I have Dr. Bernak’s cell phone number. I just talked to him-“ Roberta listens again and pulls out her PDA again. She reads off the phone number for Dr. Bernak. She listens again and enters a new number into her PDA. “Thanks.” Roberta ends the call and immediately keys in the new phone number.

Dana says, “Wait, Roberta, do you know-“

Roberta puts up her hand in “stop” position in front of Dana. “It's me again. Roberta Lincoln.” She listens for ten seconds, then hangs up. “Dana, that was someone else. I called the number that payroll gave me as Bernak’s cell phone, a man answered and said he was Bernak, but it wasn’t.”

Dana takes the phone out of Roberta’s limp fingers. “Roberta, do you see what this means? Someone has been using us and tricking us.”

Phil is gone for the weekend but the other technician has been over hearing parts of the conversation as the two women have been talking. He asks, “Is there some problem?”

Dana replies, “Some screw up with payroll. Paper pushers! Everything is under control.” The technician goes back to his work and Dana turns back to Roberta and says quietly, “I need you to tell me everything you know about Gary.”

Roberta shrugs. “You know everything I know. Why do you think he has something to do with this?”

Dana realizes that what Roberta has said still does not make sense. Surely the real Dr. Bernak had invited Roberta to go to sea on the Floreana. An imposter could not have made such arrangements. But the real Dr. Bernak did not know Roberta. Could his memories have been altered? But why? Dana realizes that Roberta not only looks baffled but scared. Dana takes Roberta’s hand, “Let’s go for a walk.”

They step outside into hot muggy wind. Dark clouds are stacked high over the bay. They make it to the administration building just as big rain drops start to fall. “Roberta, I think Gary Seven has been using us. This is exactly the sort of thing that Rupert warned me about.”

Roberta snarls, “Why do you trust Rupert? He wanted to keep us in prison on the Moon.”

Dana tries to think of something she can say that might make Roberta understand what has been going on. “Roberta, someone did experiments on me and many others. Experiments with branched DNA. Genetic engineering experiments. Many people died. I was lucky to live. Someone has tricked you into making use of branched DNA viruses to speed the pms project. I suspect that Gary is behind these uses of branched DNA.”

Roberta unlocks a filing cabinet and pulls open a drawer. “Dana, you are making me very nervous.” Scully can see that Roberta is sweating and her hands are shaking. Roberta finds a particular folder and takes it to the office desk. Roberta sits down and looks through the papers in the folder. “You know, it's like déjà vu, or backwards déjà vu. There’s something wrong about all of this. I almost have a memory of this paper work, but in that almost-memory, these documents were all different. Someone changed them all.” Suddenly she has an idea. She picks up the phone, reads a phone number off of sheet of paper from the file folder and makes a call. Dana looks at the papers and sees Mexican government permits for the pms genetic engineering project. “Eso es Roberta Lincoln. Dr. Lincoln, correcto. Projecto 34802. Si, cerca San Felipe. Gracias.” Roberta says to Dana, “I’m betting the government’s copies don’t match these.” Hola. Si, Dr. Lincoln. Que es el nombre del sponsor en los documentos para proyecto 34802. Champion Research? En todos de los documentos? Gracias. Adios. Si, gracias.”

Roberta points to the permits on the desk. She looks at Dana and Scully can see that Roberta’s face is very pale and slick with sweat. “All of these permits say that the Marine Research Institute is the sponsor for the project. But all of the copies of the permits that are still in government hands say Champion Research. I could feel that there was something wrong- “ Roberta turns and vomits on the floor.

Dana grabs a coffee cup off of a shelf and goes to the water cooler. She brings water to Roberta. “Relax, Roberta. Here, have a sip.”

Roberta takes the cup and tosses the water on her face.

“Don’t think about what you want to say. When you were abducted, your memories were altered, restricted.” Dana helps Roberta back into the chair. “It must have been Gary Seven who-“

Roberta puts her hands to the sides of her head, screams, and runs outside and into the heavy rain of a thunder storm. Dana goes to the door and calls, “Roberta, come back! Don’t run off in this storm. I’ll help you.” Just then Gary Seven appears, running across the field station compound like a two legged cheetah. He intercepts Roberta near her cabin, sweeps her off her feet, and carries her back to the administrative building. He pushes past Dana and Dana closes the door against the storm.

Gary places Roberta on the couch in the visitors’ waiting room. Roberta says, “Dana said…Dana says…”

Gary is holding tightly onto Roberta’s hand, but he speaks to Scully, “The project is complete, my memory lock on you two will now expired. Soon you will be back in full control of your actions. I would have been here sooner, but Rupert tried to set a trap.”

Dana is enraged by Gary’s cool dismissal of what he has done as some kind of routine mission accomplished. “You lied to us! You used us!”

Roberta sits up, “I’m starting to remember, Gary.”

Gary looks back at Roberta, “You’ll soon be back to normal. All we need to do is get some of the bacteria and we can go.”

Roberta nods and rises. Still holding Gary’s hand she leads the way towards the door.

Dana shouts, “Wait! Wait. Is that it? You just go?”

Gary nods to Roberta and she leaves by herself. Gary turns back to Dana. “Dana, I want you to come with us. You did a great job on this project. There is much more work to be done.”

Dana realizes that Rupert had foreseen this all, months ago. “So you are an interventionist. Everything Rupert said was true.”

Gary nods. “Rupert is an honorable man, just misguided in his zeal for keeping Earth humans in the stone age. But thanks to you, progress wins another round.”

Dana is still angry over the way Gary has made use of her. “What gives you the right to take control of my mind? To make me do your dirty work?”

Gary shrugs. “It may sound disingenuous to you, but it is all Rupert’s fault. I’d be glad to work in the open, but he insists on forcing upon us all a bunch of petty rules and regulations.”

Scully asks, “The Rules of Alien Contact?”

Gary answers with a question. “I’m as human as you are. How can rules of alien contact apply between you and I? Only because of the absurd political fanaticism of the Observers. “

Roberta returns, carrying a cryogenic sample box. Gary opens the box and looks at the frozen tubes of bacteria. “Good work.” He closes the box. “My ship is just outside. Let’s be off.”

Roberta steps to the front door, opens it and says, “There’s a strange car out-“

Doggett yells, “Hands up! Don’t move”

Roberta looks to her right and starts to raise her hands. Gary turns and sprints to the back door. He pulls the back door open and comes face to face with Reyes. Monica shouts, “Halt! Put down the box. Put your hands on your head!”

At the front of the building, Doggett puts hand cuffs on Roberta with her arms locked around one of the decorative wooden pillars of the sun porch at the front of the administration building. He enters the building and sees Scully. “Dana! How many others are there?”

Dana points to the hallway, “One. He just went out the back.”

Doggett runs through the administration building to the back door. He stops and calls out, “Monica?” He bolts through the door and out into wet sandy soil to the right of the sidewalk that leads to the center of the compound. He instinctively follows the fresh scuff marks around the corner of the building.

On the slight rise about fifty yards away, Doggett sees Gary Seven loading Reyes into- what? Doggett takes off at a full run and mutters, “What the hell is that?” Doggett sees Gary follow Reyes through what looks like a doorway to….. nothing. First Reyes then Gary disappears, then the doorway disappears. Doggett starts up the rise and feels a sudden gust of wind and hears a low rumble, not like thunder. He reaches the spot where Reyes had been just moments before and finds the end of a set of tracks made by men’s shoes in the wet sandy soil. He thinks he can also see a set of smaller foot prints. Now he can see and hear that there is something large and blurry right beside him.

Doggett stretches out an arm and makes contact with what feels like a wall but looks like dirty glass. Keeping his hand on the mysterious “wall” he jogs all the way around its circumference. Returning to his starting place, Doggett looks back towards the administration building and sees that Roberta is gone and Dana is coming around from the back of the administration building.

Behind Doggett, the door to the space ship opens again. Dana, coming up the rise shouts to Doggett, but Rupert looks out of the doorway and fires a crystal projectile into Doggett’s back. Doggett turns just in time to see Rupert duck back into the ship. Doggett lunges for the doorway but collapses just outside the ship.

Dana sees Doggett go down and she turns and runs back to the Administration building. Rupert emerges from the ship and runs after Scully. He shouts, “Dana, stop! Let’s talk.”

Dana reaches the front door of the administration building then stops. She decides that there is no point in running from Rupert. Rupert reaches Dana and says, “I’m sorry I did not get here sooner. I had to set a trap for Gary.”

Dana says, “I was totally useless to you. The project was completed before I even figured out what was going on.”

Rupert laughs, “We can set everything right now. Most important, I caught Gary introducing illegal technology to Earth. This will put an end to his illegal interventions.”

Just then Mulder comes driving up the road towards the field station compound. He sees Rupert and Scully in front of the administration building and recognizes them both. Rupert pulls Dana into the front doorway. Mulder slams on his brakes in the center of the small gravel-surfaced visitors’ parking lot. As Mulder gets out of the car, he sees Dana come back out the front door and wave to him. Mulder jumps behind Doggett’s and Reyes’ rental car. Dana walks towards Mulder and calls out, “It's okay, Fox.”

Mulder is happy to see Dana, but does not understand what she was doing with the clone or where the clone went. He says to Dana, “Tell that clone to come out where I can see him, with his hands up.” Mulder looks around the area and notices Doggett on the ground not too far from the parking lot on a slight rise. “What’s going on here, Dana?” Dana is relentlessly walking towards Mulder. His mind fills with the fear that she has been brain washed by the clones and is now working for them. Why else would she be back on Earth for months without contacting anyone she knew? “Stop, Dana! Stop right there.”

Dana does not stop, “Don’t be an idiot, Fox. What are you going to do, shoot me?”

Fox stands up as Dana comes around to his side of the car. He replies, “I don’t even have a gun.” Dana comes into his arms and they embrace. Fox is impressed by the solid feel of muscle on Scully’s body and the ruddy glow of her skin.

Dana leans her head against his chest and says, “I wanted to contact you, but something was in control of my mind. Fox, I don’t know what has been happening. Can we trust Rupert?”

Mulder asks, “Who the hell is Rupert? That clone?”

Dana realizes that Fox is totally in the dark and she is going to have to decide for herself. She senses Mulder’s body become very tense and she breaks his embrace and turns to see Rupert at the top of the rise. She realizes that he went out the back of the administration building and circled around to climb up the back side of the dunes. Rupert disappears into the space craft.

Mulder watches the clone disappear. “What the- “

Dana explains, “It’s a space craft. Almost invisible.”

Mulder’s cell phone rings and he opens the connection. “Mulder.” He listens for a moment and then hands the phone to Dana. “It's for you.”

Dana hears Gary Seven’s voice.

End of Chapter 5Edit

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