2300 Pier St.
Oakland Naval Shipyards
Scully looked at the warehouse as they drove up the road with more than a little skepticism. If the information Skinner had gotten was real, the MIB's were in there, but they were keeping the place dark.
And if Mulder was there, there was no telling where.
On the roof of a building adjacent to the warehouse, Kwan was perched and had been watching the group carefully as soon as they had started to come down the road, headed to this location he'd been told to watch. Supposedly, among them would be his targets. He looked through his scope, scanning the group as they drove into the areas in two non-descript cars.
When Skinner noted that there was no one in front of the building, no guards or anything, he directed Reggie to pull up to the front, parking about ten feet away. As soon as Reggie parked his vehicle, Anthony's sedan stopped beside them, and everyone surged out of the cars, grabbing guns and shifting equipment as they moved quickly for the sliding doors of the building.
Her back shoved up against the cold metal of the warehouse, Scully leaned over and spoke quietly to Skinner, his hands clenching and unclenching around his S&W 9mm.
"You're sure that they're not waiting for us on the other side? That this isn't a well constructed trap to kill us?" she questioned, her voice slightly above a whisper.
"No, I'm not," he replied as quietly. "But my source said our arrival should be a surprise."
Nodding her understanding, Scully reached across herself and pulled both of her Sigs from her rig. She looked at herself, sunglasses, white t-shirt and jeans. She looked like she'd dressed for a trip to the mall on the weekend. Until she added the leather of the rig strapped tightly to her upper body and the two weapons held in her hands into the equation. No, she was about to do something far removed from bargain hunting. Closer, she suspected to wholesale slaughter.
There was a crunching noise, and Scully looked up to see Stan and Skinner pulling open the metal doors of the warehouse. As soon as they were open wide enough, Dominic and Vinnie Jr. held their Uzi sub machine guns through the opening and sprayed bullets inside. Horridly Skinner and Stan opened the door all the way, and they rushed inside, hoping to catch whomever might be within either injured from the initial attack or still unorganized.
Once through the door, they found the inside of the building an expanse of space, cluttered by boxes, barrels and equipment. There was an upper level that seemed to be an office and rooms in the back of the building.
On the floor, two men lay dead, bleeding from multiple gunshots from their first volley. But no one else seemed to be there. Skinner looked to Scully, the puzzlement on his face obvious.
Then suddenly the room erupted in gunfire as men surged from behind boxes and equipment, and everyone returned fire, running and diving for cover.
Skinner twisted and dove behind a stack of barrels, and yelped as he felt a round pierce his upper leg. Dropping to the ground, he looked down to see a bullet wound in his thigh, blood staining his jeans and seeping onto the floor. Fuck! he thought silently. Quickly, he shoved the heel of his hand down on it, putting pressure on the wound. It didn't seem bad, hell he'd survived worse, he thought resignedly. Then Reggie was kneeling next to him, peeking around the barrels to fire at the MiB's who were hiding behind some machinery probably a dozen yards away.
"Here," Reggie said quickly, shoving a gauze packet into Skinner's hands. Quickly Skinner shoved the cotton-like material into the hole in his jeans and turned to look around the barricade he and Reggie had to view the rest of the battle.
Anthony and Carmine had set themselves up behind a stack of crates while their men worked at mowing down as many of the MiB's as their Uzi sub machine guns could before they had to reload. The roar inside the building was enormous, and Skinner was glad he didn't have to shout orders over the din.
On the other side of the building, Scully had dived forward when the shooting had started, firing her Sigs as she sailed through the air. When she landed rather ungracefully to the ground, she hurriedly started to get up.
Almost as soon as she was on her feet, Scully flattened to the cold cement floor of the warehouse again as a bullet passed just where she'd been standing. Behind and to her left, she heard the sound of glass breaking as a spray of bullets shattered it. She looked up to see gunfire coming through the window from outside. They were being attacked from both inside and out!
It had started as soon as they'd moved into the open areas of the warehouse. They were under fire, yet from what she could figure from the rate and amount of gunfire from the outside, as well as the small area that was being blanketed, everything pointed to there being only one shooter. And he or she seemed to be picking their shots, rather than firing indiscriminately. Strange, she thought, then as another volley of gunfire from the men inside the warehouse came her way, she shoved the thoughts aside to concentrate on the immediate problem at hand.
Crawling across the floor, she found herself behind some large wood crates stacked against the wall closest to the shattered window. She let herself raise up to her feet, her back to the crate that was doing very well as a temporary shield for her. Looking around, She noticed Reggie and Skinner still near the door, and Anthony and his crew slowly making their way forward. With each step, they cut down another MiB in their way.
Suddenly, from the upper level of the warehouse, men started appearing from the door to an office, firing into Anthony's position. Scully could see them, and leaned out from her position to fire on them. She'd emptied the clip in her first gun, so she shot her second dry as well before ejecting the clips and reloading from the supply at her back. Once she was fully loaded again, she looked out into the expanse before her, and decided to make a run for it.
Firing at the men above on the walk, Scully sprinted across a good portion of the warehouse floor before she skidded to a stop behind a forklift. She looked to her left and saw Stan and Vinnie Jr. moving her way. While she waited for them, she holstered one Sig, and tightened her grip on the weapon still in her hand.
They finally came to a stop near her position, huddled behind a few plastic barrels. She pointed to the upper rafters and then at them, and then pointed to herself and the lower part of the warehouse floor where a few of the MiB's still shot from their hiding spots. They nodded, and she counted silently, waiting for the inevitable lull in the gunfire.
For a second, there was silence, and the three of them were up and moving. Behind her, Scully heard gunfire that she assumed was cover fire from Anthony, Carmine and his men. Thankful for their timing, she launched herself over a set of low boxes and shot the two men who had huddled down behind them to avoid the incoming fire from her colleagues. She nearly landed on one of the men, who was trying to raise his gun again, so she shot him a second time, making sure he was down for good. She didn't need him showing up later and shooting her in the back.
On the stairs, she saw a body of one of the MiB's come tumbling down, and she heard more gunfire above. When the shots slowed, and then stopped, she knew that Anthony's men had accomplished their task.
It was finally silent in the warehouse, and Scully stepped out from her partial cover cautiously. Across the floor she saw bodies, but there didn't seem to be anyone still kicking. Looking back to the windows lining the upper walls, she noted that the gunfire from outside had ceased as well. She wondered if whomever had been shooting at them had left, or was waiting for a better shot.
Behind her, she heard grunting, and she turned swiftly to see Skinner being helped by Reggie to sit on a low crate. There was a white bandage stuck on his leg, and she realized that he must have been wounded somewhere along the lines. Without hesitation, she started towards him, but was halted by his voice.
"I'm fine Scully. Go look for Mulder," Skinner called out from where he sat when he saw her start towards him.
She nodded, thankful for her boss' consideration. Hurriedly she ran towards the back of the warehouse where there seemed to be some built-in structures, offices, storage areas ad the like. There was a corridor of sorts where the walls created a small space between them. Scully cautiously crept down the corridor. At the end of the hallway, she found an ajar door of a small closet-sized room. Flattening herself to the wall, she turned, Sig up and ready as she entered.
Moving into room with the barrel of her gun leading, she looked inside, noting the poor conditions and the lingering smell of human waste and sweat. There was a filthy mattress and a toilet that seemed to be barely functioning. By the wall farthest from the toilet, there was an open plastic cooler with shredded wrappers and empty water bottles. Beside it, she saw something familiar and moved towards it.
Laying on the floor was Mulder's watch. She recognized it from the splatters of white paint he'd gotten on it a few weeks before trying to paint his living room.
Bending down, she picked it up and held it tightly, her eyes closing as she felt the flood of emotions hit her at once. He had been there, but he was gone now.
So close, and yet so far.
Yelling from outside the room made Scully open her eyes and turn from her spot within Mulder's former makeshift prison. Quickly she headed back to the main area of the warehouse. She was in time to see Stan and Vinnie Jr. emerge from one of the upstairs rooms with one of the defending goons in tow. From the immediate looks of him, he hadn't been hurt - much.
Scully could see the darkening of what would end up being a black eye and blood was running from his lip. She could also see, as they brought him down the stairs to where she and Skinner were that he was clutching an arm around his torso, as if he'd been punched in the gut at least once before they started to haul him downstairs.
Watching Stan and Vinnie Jr. make their way down the flight of stairs, Skinner worked to get up from the crate he'd been resting on and carefully made his way to Scully' side. For at least ten minutes, there's been no gunfire from their 'mysterious' lone gunman outside the warehouse, so he felt safe enough for Scully and himself to be out in the open. Obviously the fact that the gunfire had stopped meant either the point was to hold them in place to allow something or someone to escape, or it had been a failed attempt to kill one of them in this room, and whomever it was had given up once they'd realized their window of opportunity had passed. Truthfully, Skinner didn't like either one of those possibilities.
As he moved to stand awkwardly next to Scully, he looked her over. He saw something clutched in her left hand, which she quickly pocketed. Evidence, he guessed. But the look on her face was more disturbing. The mask that he'd seen so many times in his office was hard, nearly cemented in place. Beneath it, he thought he saw glimpses of pain and a deep distress. Whatever she'd found had caused her emotions, usually so controlled to come bubbling to the surface, and she was now overcompensating to get some kind of control back.
Tearing his gaze from his agent, Skinner looked at the MiB that they'd captured. Their best bet at this point was to try to get whatever information they could from him about who had taken Mulder and where he was. He then glanced over to where Carmine stood next to Anthony and Dominic, and then back to Vinnie Jr. as he and Stan hauled the MiB down the stairs.
Stan and Vinnie Jr. finally arrived in the space near Scully and Skinner, shoving the man forward. While he stumbled, he kept his balance and pulled up just in front of the two FBI agents. Then, before Skinner could take possession of their prisoner and the situation, Scully surprised him by swiftly reaching out and catching the man roughly by his blood-spattered shirt collar.
"It seems like your friends are either dead or gone running for the hills," she said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Unless you want to join the ones laying all over the floor, I'd suggest you talk to me right now, and tell me where they took Mulder."
The MiB gave her a slight, quick assessment with his eyes, sizing her up and then proceeded to laugh as he yanked himself out of her grasp. He turned his head away and spat some bloody saliva to the floor.
"After these two goombahs pound me and I said nothin', you expect me to be intimidated by a little girl scout like you?"
A pale auburn eyebrow arched, and Skinner felt the temperature in the room drop 50 degrees. Shit, pissing off Scully at this moment was not the smartest thing this guy could have done. He could only hope that she was rationally thinking about how much they needed this guy to tell them what he knew.
The next few moments went by in a rush of sounds, sights and smells. He heard the safety snap off her Sig in the now quiet building, and the MIB looked at her with a disbelieving expression. Then the warehouse was suddenly filled with the crack of a gunshot and the smell of gunpowder.
Oh shit, Skinner thought as his brain had finally processed what had just happened.
"Aughhhh!!! You Fucking bitch! You shot me!" screamed the MiB.
Skinner continued to stand there, slack jawed and horrified as he watched the man quickly crumple to the floor, his left knee shot clean through. In front of him, Scully's gun issued a barely visible wisp of smoke from its barrel. Across from him, Carmine, Anthony and his men gave what could only be called grudging approval of the rogue agent's tactics, their opinion of his agent seeming to go up a notch.
"Do you want to answer my question, or go for two," she asked harshly, steel lining her voice as she lowered her gun to sight the man's other knee.
The MiB tried to scramble to a sitting position, ending up with his hand propping him up, his bleeding leg stuck out before him while his other was folded up beneath him. It made the shot to the knee more difficult, but far from impossible.
"I don't *know*!" he wailed, his voice breaking on the last word. "They didn't tell most of us where they were moving him next. All I was supposed to do was keep you busy while they got him out. That's all I know!"
"That's too bad for you," Scully remarked, her voice deadly serious. "Anthony, you can let your men do what they want with this piece of shit. I'm done with him."
At that, The MiB looked nervously around, expecting a bullet any minute. He wasn't disappointed as Anthony gave his men a signal, and Vinnie Jr. fired his gun into the man's head, his body falling to the floor.
As soon as two of Anthony's men had helped Skinner up, they were on their way out to their cars.
Only to be brought up short by the sight of the handsome Asian man dressed in a stylish black suit with the sniper rifle standing in front of their cars.
Kwan Hui stood confidently in front of the two American sedans as the group of gunmen came out the door of the warehouse. It only took seconds before every gun was pointed in his direction.
"Wait!" Scully screamed over the sounds of weapons cocking and angry voices shouting.
Everything seemed to come to a halt as Scully holstered her Sig and approached the man with the rifle. She had a feeling this was her mystery sniper. But what puzzled her was why he'd stopped firing and what he was doing here, standing in the open, waiting for them. It was almost as if he wanted them to kill him. Or he was leading them into another trap.
"Agent Dana Scully?" Kwan asked as he threw the strap of his rifle over his shoulder, and sketching a polite bow in her direction.
She looked at him skeptically, her eyebrow raising a bit in unconscious gesture. Glancing over her shoulder, she confirmed that between Reggie, Skinner and Anthony's men, that this mystery man was well covered. Once she had established that, she felt willing to talk.
"Yes, I'm Dana Scully. And you are?"
"My name is Kwan Hiu, and I was sent here to kill you, and some of these men with you."
There was a sudden shift in the men behind her, and she threw her hand up, hoping that they would interpret it correctly as a hold signal. If he'd been sent there to kill her, kill some of the others with her, he must have been sent by the man who had Mulder. And if that was the case, he might know where Mulder was, or who specifically had him. But before she could say anything, Skinner broke in first.
"If you were sent to kill us, then you probably were sent here by the man we believe took someone important to Agent Scully and myself, Agent Fox Mulder. Scully found Mulder's watch in the warehouse. Do you know where they took him," Skinner asked, pulling himself up straighter as his regarded the man before him.
"I don't know who has this Mulder. I was sent here for one job only. To follow the orders of someone here in the States to kill those of you whom he felt were a threat to his government," Kwan replied.
"You know that's a lie," Scully informed him directly, her arms crossing against her chest. "He had Mulder here, and he sent you here to keep us from finding him, and exposing his indiscretions to the Consortium."
Swiftly, Scully had crossed the ten feet or so to where Kwan stood, pulling one of her Sigs in the process and now held it beneath the man's chin.
"I want to know who the man was that you met. Who asked you to kill us, and keep us from finding Mulder. Was it the First Elder? Was it Cancerman? Who?!" she yelled, her finger pressing lightly on the trigger as she impatiently waited for an answer.
Seconds later, Scully found her hand whipped back, the gun falling from her grasp as Kwan disarmed her. She started to reach for her other gun, but he stepped back and held his hands up, showing her his non-aggressive stance.
"My apologies Ms. Scully. I just don't like having those pointed so close to me. You never know when they might go off," Kwan stated almost humorously. "But to answer your question, I believe the man I met with is called the First Elder, as you said. He did not say he had this Mulder, but did send me to this location to see if you found it. If and when you did, I was to execute my orders."
"But you didn't," Skinner said suddenly, cutting into the conversation again as he forced the goons helping him stand forward to Scully's side.
"No," Kwan said, and Scully looked at him, urging him with her eyes to continue, to explain himself.
"I was reluctant to do this thing. While I have killed many people, and I come from a line of soldiers, I found myself questioning why someone like you," he said, pointing to Scully, "should be desired dead. I watched you inside the building, heard reasons why you were there. And I found myself wanting to do something different. To offer aid to the 'underdog', as it were, rather than be the man responsible for killing people who don't deserve the fate bestowed upon them by cowards. I wanted to feel what it was like to hope for something. Hope like you have, to find your friend."
Scully stood there, stunned. She watched the man reach down into the dusty ground and retrieve her weapon. He brushed it off and held it out to her, grip first. This man had had every chance to fulfill his obligation to the First Elder and kill her, kill all of them. Instead, here he was, making himself vulnerable, offering her a weapon that she could easily take back and shoot him dead with.
Moving closer, Scully looked up and swept her eyes over the man's face. She took in the spiky black bangs of Kwan's hair, then the black bushy eyebrows, simple nose and generous mouth. Then she turned her attention to his eyes. Looking deeply, she tried to read the piercing dark brown eyes that stared at her. She remembered the first time she'd looked into Mulder's eyes like this, looked to find the trust that had made them the best of partners, best of friends. And, although that level of trust wasn't there, she did find enough to accept his answer and his help.
"He's coming with us," Scully announced quietly.
"What?!?!" screamed Skinner, Carmine and Anthony at once while Kwan looked at her in surprise.
"Shut the fuck up!" she roared back at them. "Do you realize this man not *only* chose not to kill us, but came to offer *us* his help? He's seen the First Elder. Knows where he's been, knows what he's thinking. Fuck, between him and Carmine, we have a better shot at getting Mulder back than before. And if he *was* going to kill us, he would have done it already!"
They were stunned back into silence at that. She was right. There was no reason for this man to have done what he had if he just wanted to kill them.
"So, I may help you?" Kwan asked Scully directly.
With a final silent nod of accent, Scully simply stood there while Kwan respectfully bowed to her. Then he turned and opened the back seat door of the first sedan, and helped Skinner inside, with the help of Dominic and Stan. Once he was in, Kwan slid in beside him.
Scully shut the door and started for the passenger side while Reggie climbed in the driver's seat. As she slammed her own door closed, she wondered just what the hell she was doing.