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How Far Would He Go For The Truth?

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Mulder and Scully follow a lead about
"The Project" with an embarrassing consequence
for Mulder.

Rated: PG-13.

Category: MA, X-File, Mytharc

Spoilers: Eve, earlier Mytharc episodes.

Archive: Gossamer. I'll make arrangements. Ask
nicely if you want it, please.

Feedback: Always welcomed at:

8:27 A.M

Juan Restivo had wanted out of "The Project"
for the past ten years. Today, he would
definitely take his fate into his own hands,
for a change. It had become a strange, strange
world. He printed out his letter of resignation,
signed it, and sighed. A tough decision and a
stressful day. Just as he was about to muster
the courage to hand the paper to his supervisor,
he was jolted out of his meditative state by a loud
knock on the door.

"Juan! Quality Control called. One of the tanks is

"In a minute, Jesse. I'll be down in a minute.
'Quality Control. More like World Control,' he
groaned. But today was the day. Restivo picked up
his cell phone and quickly dialed the number on the
tattered card he'd been saving.

8:30 A.M.

Fox Mulder had just pulled into the FBI parking garage
as Scully was locking her door. He shut off the engine
and shouted, "Early today, aren't we?"

"Yeah, Mulder. I thought I'd leave early today."

"Hot date?"

"Just get out of that car so we can get the rest of
that Seaforth file finished up. Okay?"

"You do have a date." Mulder locked his car, smiling,
and joined his partner on the way into the building.
"Anyone I know?"

"Uh, no. Sorry. Just my hairdresser, Mulder."

"So he's gay?"

"No, Mulder. Lisa's married with three kids. So, we're
both out of luck." Scully laughed.

"Well, I could arrange... " His cell phone beeped.
"Remind me where I left off. Mulder."

As they entered the hallway to their office, Mulder
stopped in his tracks. "Restivo? Where are you?"

"DuraLabs in Annapolis. Listen, I don't have much
time. There are some things you need to know about
this place," he nervously whispered. Restivo gasped
when the door to his office opened.

Mulder heard a gunshot, and that was the last he
heard of Juan Restivo. "Scully, maybe the Seaforth
case will have to wait. One of my contacts in
Annapolis has been killed."

"Who was that, Mulder?"

"That WAS my contact. Looks like we're taking the next
flight out. C'mon."

Scully stopped him in his tracks. She raised her hands
and stood beween him and he door. "Hold on, Mulder.
Just call the Annapolis P.D. and let them handle it."

Mulder's words flew quickly and tensely from his mouth.
"Scully, I don't have time to explain, but I will call
the cops, and we have to get out there. Now let's go."

Scully hurried down the hallway and back to the garage
with her partner. "What's this all about? Why the hurry,

"Juan Restivo, 37 years old, worked at DuraLabs. He
called me last Friday and said he was resigning. Get your
overnight bag out of your trunk and let's get a move on.
Restivo said they were working with glass tanks and some
interesting clients."


"Yeah, Scully. More like inhabitants. They sure as hell
weren't guppies or mollies."

1:50 P.M.

By the time they reached their destination, seven long white
and green trucks labelled "DuraLabs" were leaving the premises,
and quickly at that.

"No sense chasing them," Mulder reasoned.

Scully turned around watching the trucks.

"Aren't you going to find out where they're going in such a

"I doubt they'd stop for us, Scully. I think we can gather a
lot more evidence here."

"Okay." Somehow, Scully doubted they would succeed. Again,
they would leave with no evidence, no proof, no big news

Mulder stopped their rental car across the street from the
DuarLabs building. "Scully, I'm not going to tell you anyone
can just walk in there. I have a keycard, compliments of
Juan Restivo, and it looks to me like they've already
pronounced him. Took long enough." The EMS and the medical
examiner's car were pulling out of the parking lot. "We can
get the autopsy report later, but we know he was shot, and
these people don't leave a trail."

Scully nodded, and replied in a monotone voice, "We're not
going to be good little FBI Agents and introduce ourselves
at the reception area. We're going to sneak around and see
what's going on there without so much as a by your leave."

"Precicely, Scully. You know the routine by now where these
cases are concerned, and you're becoming more like me every

"Don't flatter yourself."

"I saved you from your money-grubbing hairdresser."

They walked from the car to the back of the building, behind
which was a large warehouse and eight or nine eighteen
wheelers. They made sure not to attract attention, walking
purposefully to a side door. Mulder swiped the card and he
and Scully carefully entered an area behind a partition,
where there was a desk, several drafting charts, and some

Scully whispered, "Mulder. I just saw them sweeping up some
broken glass."

"Yeah. There's a lot of liquid going down that floor drain.
The smell, I can't describe." He turned to explore the desk,
as did Scully. "Someone's been making a lot of tanks. Look
at the numbers for glass, silicone, filters, pumps, and who
knows what else."

"Mulder, I heard about something like this in Germantown
years ago on a case. Remember I told you when I got there,
I saw broken glass, a greenish liquid, and what appeared to
be a few embryos? I think what's here might be bigger than
just embryos."

"That's what Juan wanted to tell me, Scully. See if you can
find anything with the names Roush or Gentech. I'm going to
look around."

While Scully went through the desk and file cabinets, Mulder
walked through the warehouse, and was surprised by the absence
of employees. The man who had been sweeping up the glass had
left. There were three big tanks, about six feet by three
feet by four feet, and they were empty.

Quietly, he wandered through the warehouse, slowly making his
way back to where he left Scully. Someone had done a thorough
clean up. "Find anything?"

"Geez, Mulder! You scared me! All these tank, pump and tube
orders go way back, Mulder. I suspect what your friend saw was
just the tip of the iceberg."

"Cloning technology. Just like the Eves, just like with the
Samantha clones, the red-haired men who were trying to put a
stop to the cloning. They said it wasbe cause those women were
their mothers, Scully. *After all, they are our mothers*.
That's what they told me. But they were stopped. It kept going
on all these years. We had better chances at grabbing actual
evidence back then, Scully."

"But these tanks, the filters, tubing..."

"All just big aquariums, for any pet supplier or fish breeder.
That's what they'll say this all proves, Scully."

"I could get a sample of the liquid on the floor. If I get enough
of it into an evidence bag, we can have it analysed at Quantico."

"I think you've got something there. Maybe we can get... "

"Some cells, nucleotides, proteins... "

"Good. You bag it up. I'm going up into that loft over there.
Maybe, just maybe there's something they forgot to pack."

"I'm on it, Mulder."

As Scully took swabs and a small bag of liquid, what there was
left of it anyway, Mulder made his way up a crude stairway. There
was another office, and a washroom.

"Well, as long as I'm here... " he said to the walls. There was
only a sink and toilet in the tiny lavatory. As Mulder prepared
to go about his business, he noticed a key on the floor. There
was a label strung to it. *The Project Files*. "Hmm. Go to the
can and strike gold," he mused.

He could sense someone behind him. "You think so." A dark-
haired man with a deep voice grabbed the hand that held the key,
but Mulder was determined not to let go. Mulder tried to pry the
man's hand off of his and kicked him in the thigh, pushing him
backward, but not the least off-balance.

"What part are you playing in all this?"

"Drop the key and I'll tell you." The dark-haired man punched
Mulder in the abdomen and twisted his right hand, prying the key
loose, but not before Mulder struck him in the jaw. The key
landed in the toilet. Mulder threw another punch to the jaw, then
another, and the man fell back, his head assaulted by the sink.

Mulder had to get the key. He reached down into the bowl, and his
hand was stuck. He had the key, but his hand was stuck. "Damn!"

His assailant would be of no help. He was out cold. He kept his
fingers on the key, careful not to let go. He reasoned that if he
let the muscles of his hand relax, he could free his hand. But
then, he'd lose the key. "Scully would get a kick out of this," he

Scully was busy taking samples from the warehouse floor. She hadn't
heard the fight, however she did hear a sound back in the desk area.

She put the bag in her trench coat and drew her gun, slowly walking
toward the partition.

"FBI! Hands behind your head and identify yourself!"

A blonde young woman walked out into the open. She was carrying a
brief case. "FBI? I was just... what happened here?"

"I think you know." Scully held her gun steady.

"No, I really don't. I just came by to drop off some files my father
left in the kitchen this morning."

Scully shook her head, and let out a long breath. With her gun back
where it belonged, she approached the woman. "You don't know what
this place does, do you?"

"No. My Dad doesn't say much about work. Where is everybody?
He says they're always so damn busy around here, coming and going
like bats out of hell."

"That's what my partner and I are trying to figure out. I'm afraid
*the bats* have all left the building. I think you should do the
same. My partner and I are in the middle of an investigation.
Leave the brief case here."


"Maybe your Dad will come back for it. Please. Let us do our
jobs, okay?"

"Yeah. I have to get to class anyway. First year law."

"Good choice."

"Bye." The young woman walked out not bothering to look back.

"I don't think you want to know what your father's up to," Scully
muttered. "Mulder!"

There was no answer. Mulder heard her, but he didn't answer. He
wasn't going to give her the pleasure of seeing him with his hand
stuck in the toilet. She had taken to joking lately, and this was
one opportunity he was determined she'd miss.

"Mulder? Where are you?"

His best bet was to own up to his location. "I'm... I'm in the can.
I'll be down in a minute."

Scully decided to take another walk around the warehouse. Perhaps
there was something she missed. As she was giving the place another
inspection, Mulder was trying desperately to get his hand, and the
key, out of the toilet. He pulled so hard he actually did get away
with the key, but quickly had to drop it to the floor, as he winced
in agony. "Aghhh!"

With his other hand, he retrieved the key and put it into his
jacket pocket.

Scully was at the rear of the warehouse when she turned to see
flames shooting out of the office area. "Omigod! The Files!
Mulder!? Get down here!"

Mulder looked at the dark haired man and then decided to run down
the stairs as Scully sounded very insistent. His hand was swelling
rapidly and the pain was excruciating.

"Scully! There's a man up here! Unconscious... Call the EMS!"

Scully was relieved to see her partner and horrified when he joined
her at the front of the building. "Mulder! Your hand!"

"Yeah, but it was worth it. Scully, I think it's broken. Somebody
didn't want me to have a key to *The Project Files.*"

"So, you slugged him and broke your hand. By the way -- your fly's
open." Scully gently looked at the hand as Mulder zipped up. "I think
it's broken. You did this punching the guy?" Scully pulled out her
cell phone and called for an EMS.

"Yeah. Sort of." How would he ever live this down? Never mind the
open fly. That was old hat.

"Sort of? Mulder, he must have had one hard belly. So then what

"His head hit the sink and he was out like a light. Geesh this

Scully was becoming suspicious. "Mulder, I know your hand was in
water, because your sleeve was wet when I examined it. The key was
in the sink. Am I right?"

He couldn't lie because this partner of his knew him like the back
of her hand, and he felt it extremely hard to concoct a lie. "It
was in water, Scully."

Scully just stared at Mulder as the EMS pulled into the lot, with
the fire trucks not far behind. "Man upstairs," Scully shouted to them.
Then she turned back to Mulder. "It was in water, but you broke your
wrist. I don't think your hand would go down a sink drain, Mulder."
She could see Mulder's face getting redder, and his breaths quickening.

"Mulder, you wouldn't be the first human being in history to get his
hand stuck in a toilet."

"But I got the key," Mulder countered quickly. "Evidence. A key to
files about *The Project*."

"Which are either burned to ashes or unreadable due to water damage.
And even if they are on a computer somewhere, we wouldn't know where
begin to look."

"Yeah, Scully, and we can't get the police to track down the
DuraLabs trucks because they would never believe why we want

As the EMS brought the dead assailant down on a stretcher, Mulder
and Scully followed them out to the vehicles.

"See you at the hospital, Mulder. Don't worry, I'll be right behind

"Not a word, Scully?"

"Oh, my lips are sealed. No one will need to know just how far you
had to go for evidence this time."

Mulder's injury was not exactly explained as it had happened, when
the report was written, and the agents never spoke of the incident
again. Still, Mulder had to hope that as long as he was still
alive, it would stay a secret.


Disclaimer:  If these characters were mine, and I
were making money from them, I would definitely
be somewhere else.  Don't you think?
Okay, borrowed from Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox Studios. Sorry, but necessity is the mother of invention. Just a quote from someone whose family who probably would not mind.