Twilight’s End – Chapter 4

Title: Twilight’s End Author: diehard
Rating: R/NC-17 for language and sexuality.

Classification: WIP, MSR, Alternate Universe, Post Truth. Follow up to Day Tripping.

Spoilers: Takes place directly where Day Tripping left off.

Keywords: Seek and ye shall find.

Summary: Underground, Mulder and Scully attempt to find a way to launch an offensive.

beta by the lovely sallie


Chapter 4

Mulder grabs their bags and the briefcase and drops them inside just to the left of the threshold. Leaning against the open door, he stops her as she tries to pass and captures her in a loose embrace. One large hand comes to rest loosely on her shoulder. Drawing circles on her lower back with the other, he skims the spot where the snake lies coiled.

“Ready?” he asks softly.

She tips her head up and her warm lips brush his cheek. Pulling back a little, she catches his eyes shift to jade, signaling curiosity and anticipation. He’s not on edge anymore, or a hairsbreadth from losing control. Nine years, and she knows all the signals of his personal barometer. “Let’s hope whatever’s in those boxes is something we want to have.”

“I’ll settle for the truth.” A faint smile crosses his lips, but there’s a solemn cast to his gaze.

Smiling back, the gravity of what they’re about to do is not lost on her, “That, and something we can use.”


He pulls out the two chairs and positions them on the side

of the table nearest to the boxes. Scully sits down quietly, breathing slowly, readying herself. He takes his place beside her, leans in and whispers in her ear.

“I wonder if you can get cable on these.”

“Jesus…” Exhaling a breath half way between a laugh and a groan, she lets her shoulders slump as she shakes her head.

“That was levity, an attempt to psychologically defuse a charged situation.”

“Shut up, Mulder.” It’s the usual retort, but her voice is tender, and she reaches over and lightly strokes his knee with the pad of her thumb.

“Tough talk….OK, let’s do this, then.”

Each of them brings a hand to rest on the larger box. It’s smooth to the touch, as cool and smooth as onyx. It could very well be some semiprecious mineral, alien gemstone for all they know.

Mulder starts to say something to that effect, when the surface underneath their hands begins to soften and break apart.

A nanosecond later, the top surface dissolves completely, the rest of the mass starts to shift and move, and blue light streams between their fingers. Jerking their hands away, the urge to take cover is too strong. Reflexively, their eyes slam shut.

No one breathes.

Exhaling sharply after what seems like an eternity, Mulder opens his eyes first, then Scully. The black box is now a holographic data station, beaming a glowing screen of streaming code. Silent with shock, it’s just as well, because the room fills with the sound of someone’s voice.

Jeremiah Smith’s voice, to be exact.

“Mulder, are you hearing this?” It wasn’t really doubt, Scully had come to know all too well what was possible, that there was science she couldn’t know, couldn’t begin to understand.

They didn’t look at each other, only at what was now the wavering image of a face they both recognized—alien, rebel, healer.

“Agent Mulder, Agent Scully, our friend Montoya has obviously been successful in protecting this.”

Smith sounded breathless, hurried.

“Listen carefully. I expect our mutual enemies will move quickly once my treason is discovered. We have the technology to encapsulate part of out consciousness in units like these. They store information holographically, interactively, and operate via voice command. I’ve uploaded DNA information concerning the two of you, and plans to distribute a hybrid version of a vaccine you both are familiar with. All existing samples are safe in the companion unit to this one. The vaccine requires something you are uniquely qualified to offer.”

It was Mulder now, “The future hinges on us…literally.”

“Yes, but you will have to make a choice, a critical one. I’ve also enclosed something for both of you along with the vaccine. Choose wisely, Agent Mulder…. One last thing. This unit will retain all the necessary biological constructs, offensive plans, any formulas you may need. At the very end of the data files you will find my personal log—call it a gift from a comrade. However, anything about the two of you, on a personal level, as well as my log, will erase once displayed. It is, as I think you would say, a one-time shot…”

Then nothing but static.

“Mulder, what happened?” Scully bit her lip, knowing the answer.

“Fate. His. Now it’s time to face ours.” One of his hands grasped hers, and held it loosely.

A quiet pause, a deep breath and his voice, resolute, “Return to data.”

Smith’s frozen image melts into blue symbols, a coded, streaming legacy.

Scully’s command reverberated in the little room, clear, reserved, ready. “Display all relevant DNA models.”


First one double helix, then another emerges, two sinuous double twists. Rotating in unison, they provide a 360 degree view, the shimmering reduction of who they are. Underneath each strand their names glow, an eerie, ephemeral marker.

“Do you see it, Mulder?” Scully murmurs, more than a little stunned. Stunned at what she’s seeing, and in the back of her mind she’s surprised at how easy it is to let fall another piece of the science she’s built her life upon.

“What do you see…what is it?”

“We both have branching protein code…in more than one location…it’s subtle, but significant…”

“Mutation…” He feels the world shifting as he speaks, as he sees what is irrevocably changed, and still he can’t say yet what he knows, what they both know.


There is silence for several long minutes. But the need to confirm the unspoken is just too powerful.

“We’re hybrids, Mulder…like Gibson.”


Idly tracing the letter S on the back of her hand, Mulder murmurs something, “…Blindly, we shuffle toward the dark.”

Some quote, some fragment of a poem, she’s sure. A glance at him reveals the shadows clouding his expression. Self-recrimination keeps chasing him, no matter how deep her devotion or how hard he tries to let it go.

But he has to get past it, they both do.

“We make our own future, Mulder. You said that you believed we’d find a way to save ourselves. I plan on holding you to that.”

He remembers and rallies because she remembers, and because she holds his gaze in that deep, still way and he feels her faith in him, and it’s stronger than any of his demons.

“When have I ever been wrong, Scully? About saving the world, anyway.”

It feels like an ancient reference, but he’s happy to see the light dance in her eyes, and feels himself relax as they dodge the bullet once again.

She turns back to the models, but not before she graces him with the tiniest of smiles.

“Identify specific location of branches and function.”

The visuals on the models zoom into quadrants of symbols, and words decrypt in the blink of an eye. They’re intently focused, but neither of them can completely make out what’s being shown.

“Slow display, form sections and hold.”

“What are we looking at, Scully?”

She reads the sections, then reads them again. “The branches are involved with seroproduction. Apparently we now produce an amino acid in our blood streams that has human and non-human characteristics.”

“For what reason?”

“According to what I’m reading, there doesn’t seem to have any active function in our physiology. It’s just floating in our plasma…it’s residue.”

“It’s not supposed to do anything to us…we’re supposed to do something with it.” There’s excitement in his voice, the sound of intuition at work. Montoya’s and Smith’s words reverberate in his head. “This is what they were hinting at, Scully. Display vaccine as molecule,” he commands.

In a second, a three dimensional model appears. He knows his intuition is on target, he can feel it. “Insert hybrid amino acids to current display.” Instantaneously, as if drawn by a magnet they merge into the molecular structure of the vaccine, thickening rapidly, becoming one seamless entity, a dense strand of radiant particles.

“Look at this. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Now Scully’s voice is brimming with that same elation. “Isolate effect of aminos on vaccine and provide results as text.”

The models dissolve, then words appear slowly, heavy with promise, hovering in the stillness. ‘Exponential increase in potency. Vaccine is 100 percent effective in blocking introduction of non- human genetic material. Toxicity to hosts: none.’

“This is it,” she breathes, awed at the possibility. “It’s…”

“Hope, Scully.” Touching her on the shoulder, he waits for her to turn and face him.

“It’s hope.”

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