Cigarettes, Stories and Audio Tape

By J. M. A. & Rene' Rodrigues

 

Dec. 26, 1996

Rating: PG for some well placed swear words.

4th Season Spoiler warning: Based on events from "Musings of the Cigarette Smoking Man."

Disclaimer: The X-Files as well as the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, Fox Broadcasting, and 1013 Prod.

Summary: CSM does some work on a new story.

This is in response to the challenge to write something for the lists as if CSM was doing it. (Sorry it took so long!) We took a collaborative whack at it, so it was a while til everyone was in gear. Hope it lives up to EVERYONE'S expectations.


CSM glanced over at the typewriter as he walked into his apartment after the long day. He hung up his coat on the back of the door and wandered over to the simple wood desk. It had been a while since he'd written anything. He'd become discouraged after the last batch of rejection letters. That and he hadn't had anything inspired to write about in recent weeks. But recent events had changed that.

Absent mindedly he tossed a thin square box onto the bed, and began to focus his mind on the new story. It should be easy enough this time. He was embroiled in a new conspiracy at the moment; a lesson was about to be learned. Things were going to change. As always, he was at the center of it, directing what actions needed to be taken.

Sitting down, he turned to the stack of paper laying to one side. Picking up the first one, he carefully inserted it into the rollers, and cranked the knob. Once it was in place, he began:

 

The clock was ticking loudly on the other side of the room as he picked up the phone to make the call.

"Watergate Hotel, this is Martin speaking. How may I help you?"

"I want to speak to the manager," Jack stated clearly, his voice impatient.

"The manager's unavailable at the moment. I'm the assistant, can I help you?" the man asked, sounding slightly irritated at Jack's tone of voice.

"I wanted to inform you that I overheard some people planning to burglarize your hotel. I think it would be wise for you to put on some extra security for the next week or so, just to be safe."

"And where exactly did you hear this, Mr.? . . . "

"That doesn't matter, and neither does where I heard this. The only thing that matters is that if you don't want to be explaining to the D.C. police, your boss and the patrons of your hotel why you had inadequate security there, you'll do as I suggested."

With that Jack hung up the phone, and turned in his chair, reaching for the smoldering cigarette in the ashtray at the side table. He sat back against the headboard of the hard bed and closed his eyes in concentration as he took a long drag from the cigarette.

This single, anonymous call was all he really had to do to assuage his conscious in regards to the break-in. He'd warned them that he wasn't going to let their attempts go unchallenged, but swore he would not directly interfere with them. By making this phone call he had kept his promise. Something that was very important to him. He might be associating with harlots and traitors, but he would never be one himself.

If the burglary succeeded, Jack knew that the overall picture would be compromised. Which was something he wasn't willing to accept. He'd argued against the plan, but had been over-ruled. So now he had turned to the path he was on now. To derail the project before it could spiral out of hand. It was his duty, his right to make sure that the country went in the direction it was supposed to. No one else was willing to take responsibility for the deeds that had to be done to ensure this. That is, except for him.

If things went badly, and they still managed to pull off the break-in, he had his own contingency plan. A small tip in the right place would make sure that all leads returned to the man who had proposed this asinine idea. Of course, the fact that he was the direct beneficiary of the plan's ultimate goal would make him an easy target. Jack had no intention of letting the man go blameless.

He'd made sure of that.

The spool of recording tape lay beside him on the bed. He'd taken the utmost care in splicing out the conversation that would incriminate the man responsible for this disaster. Except it was deliberately a poor job. He'd made sure there was enough jump in dialogue and static to make anyone who heard it suspicious. It was the least he could do.

 

Pulling the page loose, he wondered to himself why he felt the need to purge his soul on the pages of these stories. How when he wove Jack into the role he played in reality, his guilt seemed to transfer over to him. He would keep the responsibility, but Jack . . . Jack would take the blame for the violence he had witnessed, had participated in.

Shuffling that last page to the bottom of the short stack of typed papers, he returned his attention to the box on the bed. Picking it up, he slipped the audio reel from the cardboard protection of the box. Slowly he wandered over to the player, and clicked the reel into place.

With considerable speed and accuracy, he ran the tape through the wheels and metal plugs, attaching it to the blank reel on the opposite side. With a flip of a switch, he began to fast forward through it, looking for something specific.

He had only been there for about eighteen minutes. That was all he needed to cut. Dick hadn't been listening to him, and so he'd just left. One of his staff had seen to picking up the tape later.

As he found the place and began the process of deleting the section, he pondered the consequences.

Oh well, Ford would listen better, he mused, reaching over to pick up a cigarette.

-End-

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