Frohike had been from sea to shining sea in America. He'd traversed the wilds of Canada and even sauntered into Mexico a couple of times. But he'd never left the continent of North America. Now, the hammer-like fist of African heat that wrapped around him as he stepped off of Candace's plane made him wonder why he'd broken tradition. He saw a string of white limo's standing at ready and a row of well-dressed gentlemen. He couldn't believe it. Candace had told them what to expect when they landed in the small, out of the way Egyptian airport. Frohike stared; amazed that he was in the presence of the Prime Minister of Egypt Atef OBEID and some of his flunkies.
There was much bowing done by the Prime Minister and his staff and Candace talked back and forth in Arabic with the PM. There seemed to be a minor disagreement but Candace seemed to have gotten her wish, whatever it was. She nodded and the Prime Minister bowed again.
"We get one of the limo's. We're not going to have dinner with his family tonight. We're going straight away to the lab. See if we can catch them there." Candace watched the rest of the limo's depart. She shrugged. Humans and their flaming traditions! This was more important then holding the traditional dinner she received whenever she returned to her homeland. "He wasn't too happy about it. He thinks I'm a national treasure. I am not. I am just me."
The boys piled into the limo's plush trappings. Candace got behind the wheel and peeled out of the airport with the tires kicking up a trail of red dust behind. The boys peered out of the tinted windows, admiring what view they could see. The way was filled with the traditional manner of housing one found in Egypt, the caked brick and stucco. Everything seemed to be white and beige and everything seemed to be wrapped in a wavering heat haze.
On the way, Langly watched as Candace with one hand on the wheel open the black bag she had lugged with her with the other. In it was a laptop, which she flipped open by hardly looking. There was a long cord connected into a port on the portable hard drive and she took the male end of the opposite end and plugged it into the connector behind her ear, directly into her brain. Langly shuddered at the thought. The ultimate hands free, he thought. But that was taking it just too far.
Frohike had no idea how long they had been traveling but at least it was comfortable. There was tea and a kind of cracker thing that was very good. All too soon a building very unlike the kind that they had seen so far, a very large warehouse, which gave the Lone Gunmen a curious homey feel, came into view. It was a massive complex yet it boasted neither sign nor any markings of any kind to identify it.
"Um, won't we be detected?" Langly asked nervously.
"No." She responded with a hint of triumph, "I just hacked into their systems. After all, I was the one who put them there in the beginning, the amateurs. We are invisible out here."
"Someone's trailing us." Byers concerned comment caught everyone's attention.
"What?" Candace demanded angrily.
Byers pointed out the back of the limo's rear tinted window and through their trail of dust, they could see another trail following them.
"Who could that be?" Candace asked more to herself while grinding her teeth agitatedly.
She slammed on the brakes, throwing the boys forward, causing Langly to spill his drink all over the leather interior. The Lone Gunmen looked behind them at the approaching auto. Once the limo rocked to a halt, in her fury, she almost ripped the door from its hinges as she opened it. If it was Avery she'd flame him, even WITH the Lone Gunmen watching. But as she sniffed the sweltering air, she could sense that Avery was inside the compound with his people. There were two people in the car, she could smell them faintly as their scents leaked from the air conditioner units. No, three. The black car neared them and slowed eventually stopping a few feet behind them. It was shrouded in dust. When the doors opened, their scents hit her full force. Three. A male and a female and one she couldn't identify. That disturbed her. Her five senses were extremely keen and she prided herself on the learning and memorization of scents. Then she noticed the female was pregnant. That explained the third then. She knew they were also armed, she could smell the gun oil and powder.
"Federal Agents." The male with movie star good looks and sunglasses looked more at home in L.A. than in Egypt. He pulled his wallet out of his trousers pocket and flipped it open, showing his identification. The woman with short red hair and slightly angelic face on the passenger side mimicked him, showing her own I.D. Both had badges hooked onto their belts as well. "Identify yourself." He positioned his hand over the handle of his holstered gun.
F.B.I.? What were they doing here, Candace mused, quirking an eyebrow at their self-important manner. She could flame them both just as easily as if they had been Avery, and she could also survive multiple gunshot wounds to the head and the chest.
"You will call me Candace." She decided to play the game.
"Step away from the vehicle." The woman ordered with her gun already out of the holster.
The passenger doors of the limo opened slowly, the Fed's guns, for the man had pulled his out too, both swung about, pointing at the movement.
"Get out of the limo!" The male barked.
"Jeeze, Mulder! You can put your guns down already. It's us!" Langly's voice came from inside the limo.
"What?" The man now identified as Mulder said with a bewildered look. The woman's face looked just as confused and amazed as the Lone Gunmen slunk out of the limo cautiously and guiltily.
"Well, you did want us to work on that case for you." Frohike began and relaxed a bit more when the agents put their pieces away. "So, what are you doing here?"
"Wait a minute." Mulder took a good look at Candace once more. "THIS is Candace Williams? The one in the file I handed you?"
"It is." Byers nodded primly. "We found her and have discovered something much more bigger than you could imagine." He finished without letting the agents in on her big secret.
"Mulder." The woman prompted, "We have to get in the warehouse."
"You haven't explained why you two are here." Frohike reminded.
Mulder gave in, "We have been tracking a string of mutilated
bodies with organs missing. At first, we thought it was a black
market dealer who specialized in body parts, but it all led curiously
to Egypt to this warehouse."
The smirk was wiped from Candace's face when she heard that. "What kind of organs?"
Mulder replied, "Brain and heart. We had thought it was odd that it was just these two that were taken when liver, kidney, and lung are much more sought after. Scully noticed all were done with the same blade that sliced into the skin and the same extraction tool."
Candace glanced a weary eye in the direction of the warehouse over her shoulder.
"When was the last victim discovered?" She asked
and looked like she knew something she wasn't about to tell.
Mulder looked across the car at Scully who shrugged, "Two days ago. Why are you interested in this?"
"Then we may not be too late." The dragon said more to herself.
"Too late for what?" Scully demanded.
"They're still testing the initial reactions of the D.N.A. on human tissue. Avery's not a fool after all." She went on.
Mulder didn't hide his surprise, "How did you know the perpetrator's name?"
Candace said most truthfully, "Because I used to work with him. Not by choice."
"Stay here." Mulder ordered them and he and Scully advanced with purpose.
The dragon wasn't about to have that. "And you think they'll listen to you because you have guns? They don't care. They'll be willing to sacrifice a few of their own for their project to succeed. You F.B.I. are so used to hiding behind your guns. I have something they fear more than guns."
"Your socks?" Mulder said glibly and slightly annoyed.
"My breath." And at that, she grinned.
"Gotta vouch for that one, Mulder." Frohike said.
"Why Frohike, you stud." Scully purposefully misinterpreted.
"You'll see." Candace said.