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Resist or ServeOfficial Guide to The X-Files Volume 4
By Andy Meisler
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2006 Andy Meisler
All right reserved.
The year is 1989. At Fells Point Industrial Park in Baltimore, a police van disgorges a squad of SWAT cops. They surround a warehouse with guns drawn.
"What do you know?" asks a SWAT lieutenant, hunkered down next to a uniformed city cop.
"We got reports of at least a dozen shots fired," says the cop. "Front door looks like it's been jimmied, but the alarm wasn't tripped."
"You see anybody come out?" asks the lieutenant
"Not a soul. Whoever it is, they're still in there."
Their rifle-mounted flashlights stabbing into the darkness, the SWAT cops stealthily enter the warehouse. The place is filled with stacked wooden pallets.
"Lieutenant! Over here! Looks like someone got hit!" says a cop.
Another one shines his light beam onto a pool of blood on the floor.
"So where'd he go?" asks the lieutenant.
No answer. "Stay low. Keep looking," he adds.
The men move of. The lieutenant searches his own area -- and hears a faint groan. It seems to be a man's voice, coming from a large cardboard box. The lieutenant calls for backup and, gun aimed toward the sound, approaches the box. He lifts the top flap. Inside is anaked man, curled into a fetal position.
"They're here," moans the man.
"Who's here?" asks the lieutenant. He signals his men to keep searching.
They creep toward a large wooden gate and lift it cautiously. Three men break from cover and try to escape.
"Stop! Police!" shouts the cop.
The men don't get far. One of them, the shortest, trips over his own feet and lands with a thud. The other two stop dead -- their backs to their pursuers -- and raise their hands.
"Don't shoot!" says one of the perpetrators still standing.
"Turn around slowly!" screams the cop.
"We didn't do it," says the other standee.
"Do what?" asks the cop.
"Uh, whatever," replies the short guy, struggling back to his fee.
The cop shouts for them to all lay face down on the floor. All do so with alacrity. The SWAT team moves quickly to cuff the miserable trio.
In the commotion the naked man has been temporarily forgotten. He again begins to moan, incoherently at first. His moaning turns into shouting, and his words become intelligible.
"They're here. They're here! THEY'RE HERE!" he screams. He lifts his head. He is a sweaty, pale-faced man, apparently insane, or frightened to the point of insanity. He is Fox Mulder.
In the Baltimore Police Department Homicide lockup, one of the three clothed intruders -- the man we've previously seen as Byers, Mulder's present-day crony -- is leaning against the cell door and staring despondently at his hand. They are stained with fingerprint ink. Behind him, in T-shirt and horn rims -- full computer nerd regalia -- is the man we know as Langly.
"We're screwed," says Langly. He turns to the third jailbird, sitting next to him.
"Thank you so much for getting me involved in this, Doohicky," he adds.
"Frohike, you hippie jerk," says his hydrant-shaped companion.
"Doohickey!" shouts Langly.
Frohike rises and walks slowly toward him. "You know, with that long blond hair, you'll be the first one in here that gets traded for cigarettes. I'm gonna be laughing my ass off."
"Oh yeah?" says Byers, staring menacingly down toward Frohike's bald spot. "You wanna cha-cha?"
"Anytime, any place!" says Frohike.
Byers turns to face them. "Both of you relax!' he says in his high-pitched voice.
This stops Langly and Frohike, who are squaring off. Instead, they turn their anger to Byers.
"Shut up, narc!" says Langly.
"It's your fault we're here!" says Frohike.
This silences the downcast Byers. A steel door clangs open and all three glance toward the sound.
"You! In the suit!" says the harsh voice of an unseen male. "You first!"
In a darkened police interrogation room Byers sits facing the harsh-voiced man, who introduces himself.
"Detective Munch, Baltimore Homicide," says the cop.
"Did they find her?" says Byers.
"And a good evening to you," replies Munch, sarcastically. He adds, "Sorry. No sign of your mystery lady."
"She is real," says Byers. "The FBI man saw her."
"Yeah, well. Special Agent ..." Munch looks down at a file. "... Mulder is currently being held in five-point restraints and jabbering like a monkey. And the FBI's not talking, either."
He adds, "So what I'm looking at here is a warehouse break-in, but with nothing stolen. A shoot-out with no guns. Lots of blood but no bodies. And an FBI agent who likes to pull off all his clothes and talk about space aliens.
"Fill me in," Munch continues, clicking his ball-point, "from the top."
Byers nods and takes a deep breath. He says that his name is John Fitzgerald Byers, born November 22, 1963.
"Seriously?" says Munch.
"I was named after JFK. Before the assassination, my, parents were going to call me 'Bertram."
"Lucky, you. Occupation?"
Byers tells Munch that he is a public affairs officer for the Federal Communications Commission. In that capacity he was attending the computer and electronics show at the Baltimore Convention Center.
"It was," says Byers, "where this whole thing started just this morning."
That morning a serene and carefree Byers -- wearing a button on his lapel reading WE'RE YOUR FCC -- looks out from his booth at the convention center. Byers the murder suspect narrates the flashback:
"We at the FCC enjoy forging positive ties with the American public. It's our way of saying 'communication' is just another word for 'sharing. '"
Back at the convention, Byers smiles and offers a complimentary, button to several grungy-looking passersby.
"Hi, guys. Like a button?" he says.
"Up yours, narc," says the hacker. In hindsight:
"Of course, some people don't see it like that."
In fact, everyone is avoiding his booth. Byers sighs and looks around the hail. Something immediately catches his attention. To wit:
"At any rate, that was where I first saw her."
Excerpted from Resist or Serve by Andy Meisler Copyright © 2006 by Andy Meisler. Excerpted by permission.
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