2360 HEGAL PLACE,
It had been a long day at the office. Mulder lay back on the
couch watching the Knicks
game, too tired really to hurl some
well chosen words at the New York team. Anyway, his eyes were
stay open, and that suited him fine. As he was
about to slip into twilight sleep, he heard a knock at the door
When he opened the door, there was no one in the hallway and a
rather heavy brown envelope at his
doorstep. It was marked
"Puzzle Piece" and the sender had left it at that. Mulder took
the envelope and quickly
locked his apartment door. By this
time, he knew better than to wait for shadows in the night to
like this from him.
When he opened the mysterious envelope, there was a note placed
atop many sheets of paper. The
writing was familiar. "Deep
Throat," Mulder softly said. "Mail from a dead man?" He began to
read the short letter.
"Dear Agent Mulder,
"By now, I am long dead. However it happened, I was protecting
my country. I owe you an apology
for not giving this information
to you sooner, but circumstances necessitated the lies and
deception. You will find
these records useful, no doubt. Remember:
Trust No One. If this timing finds your father alive, leave him
his solitude. Grant him some peace."
"Well, he didn't live to know I have these files, old friend."
For a long time that night, Mulder
sat on the couch with his head
in his hands, pondering the extent to which the Lichfield project
Just what had they done by now? Nothing was
beyond belief at this point. It had been five years since he and
had met two little girls, and several grown women who were
known as "Eve".
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUIDLING
By the time Scully arrived at the office, Mulder had been there
over an hour, going through the
files on the girls, Cindy
Reardon and Teena Simmons, Sally Kindrick, and their involvement
in the deaths of one of the
"Eve" clones, and the girls' fathers.
Mulder rubbed his eyes and yawned as Scully handed him a coffee.
"Late night, Mulder?"
"Uh, no. Actually, it was an early night. Well, until this was
dropped on my doorstep."
Scully took the brown envelope from his hand and read the letter,
then glanced at the pages of
data on the Lichfield Project. What
she read disturbed her. She took the lid from her coffee cup and
a sip. "Why weren't you told sooner, Mulder?"
"I don't know. Scully, I think this is why the case was only
partly solved. We found
out how the fathers died, and of course
one of the Eves, but there was a lot more going on during that
time and even
now. We barely scratched the surface of that case.
I'm sure Deep Throat had his reasons for sitting on the
"He was probably threatened, Mulder. So where are we going with
"I've given it a lot of thought, Scully. Obviously, the Adams
survived, and the Lichfield Project
is continuing, and I think
the government knows all about it."
"And you want to know, too? Mulder! Do you realize just how
dangerous this could be?"
"Oh yeah, especially to me. But when have I ever refused a
challenge?" Mulder was hoping
for approval from his
partner and received a frown of disapproval.
"Now. Because Mulder, this is bigger than you want to deal with
and you know you will be
in great danger. So, you're going to
put these away, and drink your coffee, and continue writing up
file, right?" There was a long silence from Mulder.
"Right?" Still no answer, and a very intense stare from Mulder.
"When do we leave?"
"As soon as we can, Scully. Who wants an army with hundreds of
identical soldiers, anyway?"
Scully wasn't even going to answer that one. "Who says Skinner's
going to sign on this one?"
Mulder smiled and held up the form. "Skinner says."
"I assume you got the usual lecture?"
"Yes. It's out of his hands, and he has nothing to do with it. I
promised him that. Let's
just say we're tying up loose ends. You
can read the rest of this on the plane, but I doubt you'll be
when we land."
FIVE YEARS EARLIER...
WHITING INSTITUTE FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE
Eve 8 entered the cell block to greet Cindy Reardon and Teena
Simmons, also known as Eve 9
and Eve 10. Eve 8 wanted to be
sure that what she had heard about the girls' accelerated
was true. After her question as to how they
were aware she would seek them out, they replied they had been
She asked again and they replied, "We just knew." Eve
8 smiled and remarked, "Excellent," as she made notes on a
clipboard. "I think things are going as planned. The FBI
"They've forgotten all about us," Eve 9 replied.
"Left them high and dry," Eve 10 added. "It's nice to be with our
Eve 6 peered at them from her dimly lit cell, and laughed hyster-
ically, revealing her yellow
teeth and unkempt hair. "Girls, you
have no idea just what your own kind can do!"
Eve 8 smiled at the girls. "We have a lot of work to do, and I
know you're perfectly capable
of assisting in our program. It's
going to be something quite unique. You will find the science
Eves 9 and 10 grinned.
WHITING INSTITUTE FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE
Teena Simmons and Cindy Reardon, Eves 9 and 10 respectively,
were by now age 13, and highly
educated in the fine art of
genetic engineering, as well as the human genome. Of course.
they were not the only
young Eves at the Institute. There were
dozens more, and to add to the mix there were Eves of all ages.
Mulder and Scully were about to find out that the Adams had
survived and thrived for several
cloning generations. Some,
of course, had suffered defects similar to those of the Eves.
SAN FRANCISCO FIELD OFFICE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Mulder and Scully asked permission to use the web camera in
a locked room.
"Mulder? Who are you calling?"
"The Gunmen. I have an idea. Since we won't likely be able
to get into the Whiting
Institute without someone of influence
helping us, they're better than no way at all."
Frohike appeared on the screen, wearing his chef's hat. "Hey
Mulder! Missin' some great ribs
here. Hi, red! My heart's
Scully frowned and shook her head, hands on hips.
Mulder just smiled. "We need... "
"Yeah, yeah. A favor. What is it this time? I've got suicide
sauce on the burner here.
Langly! Put that ginger down."
"Fascist." Langly walked into view of the camera. "Hey, guys.
There's a 'Space: Above and
Beyond'* Marathon tonight... "
"Yeah, well, another time, fellas. We need you to get a live
aerial view of the Whiting Institute
For The Criminally Insane.
Think you can manage that?"
Scully hadn't known Mulder was going to go that far. "Mulder,"
she hissed. "Mulder, that's
"Scully, I'm just looking in on the Eves. Wanna see if they age
"You never whisper in my ear like that," Frohike said in mock
"Yeah, well... That doesn't mean you're not charming. So, can you
do it? Like before sunset
"No can do," Langly replied. "Byers won't be back till tonight,
and he's the expert at satellite
technology. How about tomorrow
"Early. And, thanks, fellas. Save me some ribs."
"Ribs for both of you, if you send Scully over to get them when
you get back."
"Not in a million years," Scully shot back.
"8:00 California time tomorrow. Guess you miss a couple of
episodes. Thanks." Mulder terminated
the connection to The Gunmen.
Scully squashed the paper coffee cup in her hand and tossed it
into a wastebasket. "So what now,
"We check into a motel and review what Deep Throat and the others
had been hiding all these years,
maybe go for a drive past the
asylum on the way."
"Mulder. You don't think... "
"Oh, yes I do. You'll find something in those records that
proves the eugenics still continues,
and is somehow linked to the
hybrid clones. But I'm sure you'd love to read it all for
AIRPORT ROAD MOTEL
Scully sat cross-legged on the bed as she read through the files
Mulder had been given by an anonymous
person. The amount of
information was fascinating, astounding, and exhausted her. "I
can't even imagine they knew all
this about the human genome so
long ago, Mulder. Some of this research goes back to the 1950's,
was a way to single out the chromosome for psychosis,
to take duplicated gene off of the chromosome and replace it
a gene to turn off the process of... Do you know what this
"It means Sally Kindrick, Eve 7, or which ever one she was had
probably found this data and was
going to turn things around
for successive clones. Think about it, Scully. Where were
Cindy Reardon and Teena
Simmons dropped off?"
"The Whiting Institute for the Criminally Insane. And who says
they couldn't still be breeding
more soldiers? But why?"
"Maybe they can shoot straighter. I don't know. But we're the
ones still in the dark
right now, Scully. If they're part of the
botched deal my father's associates dealt with, we should find
we can. Let's break for dinner, Scully.
You look like you could use a break."
"Yeah. It's going to be a long evening. Better make
it take-out. Someone should
be here with these files." She
continued to read.
Mulder grabbed his jacket. "Chinese?"
"Yeah. My God, if we'd known this openly in the scientific
"Relax. Put it down till I get back. That's an order, Agent
Mulder and Scully were near the end of the extra files Mulder's
former source had supplied.
As Scully pushed yet another record
aside and dug into a new one, there was a frantic knock at the
"Hang on! I'm coming!" Mulder shouted over the loud raps. "Oh
God!" He could think
of nothing else to say. There was a very
nervous, reddish-haired girl outside, who very quickly ran into
"Lock the door, please!" She quickly cried. "I know
who you both are, and they don't know I'm here
yet, so listen
Scully was just as shocked as Mulder. "Cindy? Teena?"
"No cigar. Eve 37 as far as I know. Another product of the
Lichfield Project. Fourth
generation, and there are two more
batches whose growth was accelerated. Look, I don't have much
time. Most of
us have been created with improved strength,
even higher intelligence and more stable minds, but there are
want to use the more sane Eves for the original
purpose of creating a superior military. And there are Adams.
never went off of the radar. Is that Szechuan?"
"Uh, yes. It is." Mulder was almost at a loss for words, but he
had a lot of questions.
"Help yourself. How did you know who and
where we were?"
"How can you talk at the speed of light?" Scully wondered
Eve 37, terrified and justifiably paranoid, grabbed a fork and
wolfed down some food. "Everybody
trusts the phone company
and their ISPs, but I can tell you everything is being monitored
these days. When I
found out from the girls you know as 'Cindy'
and 'Teena' that you were the ones who sent them to Whiting, and
'Sally Kindrick' was trying to kill us all off, I tried to
find you, and I did. They're going to use us for something that
were bred for, and a few of us have become independent
Mulder eyed her rather sceptically. "Which means what? You
want to go solo?"
"Not exactly. We shield our thoughts. As you know, we were all
designed with heightened
psychic abilities. What we want is what
you want: No deal with the enemy." Eve peered out the window and
the motel room curtains shut. "I'm sorry for the rapid-fire
speech, but listen to me very carefully, because I haven't
much time: Everything you have in those folders tells the rest of
the story except for a couple of details, and
remember the words
'metallic vertebrae'." Eve 37 was beginning to sweat. "I've got
to get out of here now.
They know... " She dashed to the door
and ran as quickly as she was able.
Mulder tried to match her pace, but she vanished into the darkness.
Scully had just left the room when there was a gunshot.
"That sounded like it came from the off-ramp, Mulder. We've got
to get to her, If she's still
alive we can... " She ran with
Mulder to a gully and took Eve 37's pulse. "She's dead. I'll
call and have
her body put on ice so I can do an autopsy."
Mulder shook his head at the irony of the situation. "I don't
think you'll find anything but a
bullet, Scully. You can send it
to ballistics at the local PD, but if these people are that quick,
we won't find a
weapon. Just the make. And it's probably not
registered, or registered to someone who doesn't exist in any
can access. C'mon. We've got to get out of that
motel. Someone knows we're here."
They ran back to the motel, grabbed files and luggage and
checked out as quickly as they could.
The desk clerk smiled, and leered at Scully. "Short stay, huh?"
"Yeah, but the only afternoon delight was stale coffee," Mulder
Mulder decided a better place to stay would be a motel closer
to the San Francisco FBI Office,
and he and Scully took rooms
at the End of Journey Motel. While the street noise wouldn't
exactly be condusive
to sleep, it would just have to do. They
were going to have an early morning.
Scully had being going over Eve 37's last words, and that phrase
they were told to remember. "Mulder?"
"Do you know what the connection is to 'metallic vertebrae'?"
"No, I don't. But nothing surprises me much these days. Let's
call it a night."
Scully shook her head as Mulder removed the ignition key. "If
it's all the same to you, I want
to finish reading the rest of
those Lichfield files, and call in to let them know I want to
go over the body tomorrow."
"Well, don't forget we have an appointment with The Gunmen."
"I think you can handle that one alone. The faster we get this
done, the better."
They signed into the motel oblivious to the mysterious triangular
craft that passed overhead the
As Scully was preparing for bed, she heard a shot. She pulled a
robe around herself and ran
out to find another guest yelling,
The young man was all of twenty-five and was carrying a paper
shopping bag full of junk food, standing
at Mulder's doorway.
"I'm Dana Scully. Did you see anything?" She ran to take Mulder's
vitals. Mulder was still
in his street clothes except for the
jacket and tie. He was bleeding from his left shoulder, but was
"No, I just drove in and heard the shot. I didn't see anyone
"No cars going out?"
"No, Ma'am. Is he gonna be all right?"
"I think so." She grabbed Mulder's cell phone from the floor and
called for an ambulance. "Stay
down, Mulder. It's only a flesh
"This was just a warning, Scully. Don't let the files out of
"What do you mean?"
"Think about the girl. We're treading on someone else's turf."
"We'll compare the bullet in ballisticss. Let's just get you to
Police cars and an ambulance arrived.
"Where are you taking him?"
"Memorial." The paramedic slammed the door shut and Mulder was
on his way to the Emergency
Scully went straight over to Mulder's bed and gathered the files
and Mulder's laptop, explaining
to the police that they had been
there on FBI business and could not disclose any information on
She didn't want to lie, and truth would sound
like a fantastic science fiction tale.
Police questioned the young man, but there was nothing he could
tell them that he hadn't already
told Scully. He had been in town
to settle a business deal for an accounting firm. As he was being
dressed and drove to the San Francisco Bureau.
The files would be safe there, she reasoned, and ready for the
SAN FRANCISCO MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Mulder had been bandaged up by the time Scully arrived to get
the doctor's assessment of the damage
to her partner.
"Excuse me. I'm looking for an Agent Fox Mulder?"
The nurse at the station pointed to her left. "Cubicle 9. He's
almost ready to be released.
"Thank you." As Scully made her way to Cubicle 9, she whispered
to herself, "Cubicles?
Must be a busy place."
"We get that a lot around here." The nurse had followed her down
the hallway. "The place is full
to capacity and needs upgrading.
Dr. Meisner ordered an antibiotic, and your partner's free to go
as long as he gets
some rest and keeps the wound dry. He'll need
a change of dressing every morning."
Scully nodded as they reached the cubicle. "Well, Mulder. It seems
you'll live and if you get to
sleep as soon as we get back to the
motel, you can still have that net meeting with the guys."
Mulder got down from the examining table, and Scully helped him
find the exit. "Antibiotics.
Rest. I know. But this case is too
important, and we've come too far. I take it the files are safe?"
"May as well be in Fort Knox." Scully was looking tired
"Scully. We can't stop now. Look at me. I think we both know this
Lichfield Project is extremely
important to somebody, and we're in
danger whenever we're on a case -- "
"Mulder, you could have been killed. Get into the car. One inch
closer and it would have
been your heart, not your upper chest.
Is your life really worth this 'Project'? I don't think so."
Scully helped her partner with his seatbelt, and walked around to
the driver's side of the car.
"Your bag's in the trunk. I suggest
we sleep at the Bureau office if we have to."
That's exactly where they ended up. The superiors at the San
Francisco Bureau allowed them to
crash on a couple of couches in
one of the larger offices, under guard.
Scully awoke and decided to let Mulder sleep while she went to
freshen up and change. The smell
of fresh coffee wafted through
the corridors, and she hoped it was strong. She had her work cut
out for her, and perhaps
today they would make some headway.
After she pronounced herself presentable, she woke Mulder at
7:45 with a mug of coffee and
Mulder rubbed his stiff neck and popped the capsule into his
mouth. "What time is it, Scully?"
"Almost 8:00. Better get cleaned up and arrange for that confer-
ence with The Gunmen."
"You still going to the morgue?"
"Yeah, and then ballistics might have something for me by noon.
Think we'll come away with anything
this time, Mulder?"
"I'm not so sure. Mmm. Who says the Bureau can't make decent
"You said." Scully smiled and grabbed her jacket. "Make sure the
files are locked away before
you start the day. We can't afford
to take any more chances. And Mulder?"
"I know. Keep the bandages dry, and I just know you're going to
change my dressing when I get
back. I just hope this works."
The computers were set up, the web cameras on, and Mulder and
The Gunmen were ready for the show.
"Since I'm a Federal Agent, I don't even want to know how you
connected to the satellite.
So, let's just see what's going
on at Whiting."
Frohike and Byers pressed a few keys, waited, pressed a few more
"We're in, buddy. Now all we have to do is zoom in, and it'll be
as good as being in the
backyard," Frohike stated. "Kind of makes
you wonder if they're monitoring us, right?"
"I'm not going to think about that. Right now, all I want to do
is get this wrapped up and go
home. So, is anything showing up
Byers stared at the monitor, then threw a switch. "See for
The grounds at the Whiting Institute were still well-kept, and
obviously someone was still operating
there. Mulder's eyes
grew wide when he saw a number of young men, all black-haired,
tall and apparently very strong.
They were running faster than
anyone he'd seen in the Olympics. Another view showed about
twenty young women
lifting weights and many other younger people
of both genders, and in several groups of people identical in
Apparently, there weren't just Adams and Eves in the
compound. Off to the side, several middle-aged Adams, Eves,
whoever were training and some cooling down from a run. "This
goes way beyond what we were told five years ago."
"America could win every event in the games," Langly commented.
"What's their purpose?"
"I have my suspicions. Someone's either building up a large
army or a new society.
Maybe they're the 'superior soldiers' I
was warned about. The Lichfield Project has gone on as planned
Frohike smiled as a group of tall, blonde women ran around
the edge of the grounds. "Hubba hubba!
My kind of babes!"
"Obviously, this goes a lot deeper than you thought," Byers
remarked. "So what are you planning
to do, Mulder?"
"I'd like video and stills if you can do that for me, and of
course we'll need shots of the staff
coming and going -- "
The screen went snowy, and the images were gone.
"Looks like someone wanted to cover their asses. We're blocked
Frohike worked furiously at the keyboard. "STFU, hippie! I'm
trying to get the signal back. Dammit!
You're in my light!!"
"STFU to you, too, Grandpa!"
The door to the office Mulder was slowly being
opened. "Uh, guys. I'd
tame the language if I were you... "
"Good morning, lovely lady."
"Good morning, Frohike. Mulder? See anything?"
"Lots, Scully. Then we were cut off before we could get anything
on tape or images. Anything in
Scully sat in the chair beside Mulder. "The bullets came from
the same weapon, It was an
AK-74 Assault rifle, but without the
weapon we don't have anything to go on. We don't even have the
"I was expecting as much. Hey, guys, thanks for trying."
"Wanna try again later, dude?"
"Thanks, but I think we know what's going to happen. Snow right
off the bat. Thanks
again. I'm off."
Scully peered under Mulder's jacket. "Eve 37's body had been
claimed when I got there. I
don't know who claimed her or who went
against my request to participate in the autopsy. Someone cancelled
Just another Jane Doe. You'll need the dressing
changed, Mulder, and it's almost time for your antibiotic. Do
want it an hour after lunch or now?"
"Well, if you have it now, you'll have to wait an hour before
"We were that close, Scully. That close to exposing the Lichfield
Project. The file said
they'd managed to remove the genes that
were causing the suicides and psychoses, and I saw more than a
maybe there were nine hundred altogether, I really
don't know. But these were stronger and better than any regular
and I don't have an ounce of proof." Clearly, Mulder was
tired, and leaned on the desk. Then he rallied and punched it.
"DAMMIT! Even if we got in there, they'd probably be gone by
then. This is the way they operate!
They've done it to us
Scully put her hand on Mulder's shoulder. "C'mon, Mulder. Let's
just get out of here, have some
lunch, then go home. At least
you have the information Deep Throat had sent to you."
Mulder leaned back into the chair and sighed, shaking his head.
"Without anything concrete, we
don't have anything."
"We just have to keep trying, Mulder. Remember, you hadn't
expected the envelope on your doorstep.
You never know when
something else might show up."
"I guess you're right. I still have this 'Puzzle Piece.' Let's
get out of here."
What was showing up at that time was an unidentified craft over
the Whiting Institute For The Criminally
Insane, and they were
being hastened away to another location. No one had reported
having seen any unidentified flying
objects that day.
In a dingy, run-down motel room overlooking San Francisco Bay,
a grey-haired man sat with a cigarette
in his mouth, cleaning
his rifle as several cockroaches scurried through the room. "My
work is never done. Never."