Category: MT, SA,
ours. They belong to the Master and
of the future.
Shortly after solving the flukeman case, Mulder and Scully, although not
partnered, are sent to Louisiana to investigate a murder. Mulder,
Scully, has ulterior motives behind his interest in the case.
We join the agents
as they are making arrangements with Chief Melancon of
Louisiana police force.
your assistance and look forward to working with Detective
Hebert. Could he
drop Scully off at the morgue to conduct the autopsy, and
then maybe he and I
could swing by the murder site?" Just
thought things were
going perfectly, Mulder nervously caught her eye before
"and Chief Melancon, would it be possible for Agent Scully to
also autopsy the
body of the latest victim in the series of unexplained
Honey Island Swamp
noticeably before responding, "I don't really see that your
jurisdiction in the
murder of David Thibodeaux justifies your involvement in
Honey Island Swamp deaths' as you call them. Indications
are that those
deaths resulted from natural causes."
Mulder saw Scully's
anger, but was sure she would never call him out in
front of the
locals. So, ignoring her disapproval at having been left in the
dark, he pressed
his request, explaining, "I am aware of that, but I believe
connection between the murder of Thibodeaux and the Honey Island
he bluffed, "I am sure you'd prefer to maintain a low profile
on this rather than
force me to contact Washington."
Mulder knew he'd
won the round when Melancon smiled tightly and bit out, "Of
Mulder, whatever the Federal Bureau of Investigation wants.
Let me get
Detective Hebert and you can get started."
A man didn't stay
Chief of Police in
Slidell, Louisiana, if he didn't know when to compromise.
As soon as the door
slipped shut behind Melancon, Scully predictably called
Mulder on his
failure to keep her informed.
I'm sorry. I was afraid you
wouldn't come if I told you the
whole story, and I
wanted - no - I needed you to be here to conduct these
you are the best there is. If anyone can figure this out,
you can. You just
have to trust me on this."
Mulder, what about trust? I'm supposed to trust you, but you don't
even trust me
enough to share the real reason you wanted to come here."
Scully, I shouldn't have kept this from you. But please, do
the autopsy for me.
I'll tell you everything tonight and if you still want
to go back to
Washington, I'll understand completely. Scully, I just...."
Mulder dropped the
conversation as the Chief walked back into the room.
Hebert is waiting in the lobby. Good day to you both."
After visiting the
crime scene, Mulder thanked Detective Hebert and asked
him to drop him
back at their rental. He planned to spend the rest of the
together his thoughts on the case while he waited for Scully to
autopsies, but with little new information to occupy him, the
on as he fretted over his upcoming confrontation with her.
Over the last hour,
his fears had ratcheted upward until he was convinced
she had walked out
on him and returned to Washington. Then finally his phone
rang, and he
nervously answered, "Mulder."
He smothered his
sigh of relief when Scully responded in a semi-civil tone,
here, Mulder. I'm ready to be picked up, and to hear your
way," he responded before cutting the connection. She was mad and
hurt, but she had done as he asked, and it seemed she was at
least going to
listen to his explanation.
They returned to
the hotel in less than companionable silence. Scully
watched as Mulder
alternately pursed and chewed his lips, no doubt
thoughts for the upcoming confessional. For his part, Mulder
Scully was in a forgiving mood. Once back at the hotel, by
they both went to Scully's room where she sat in the
chair, crossed her arms over her chest, and waited. Mulder
fiddled with the
curtains until he successfully blocked the small sliver of
light from the
setting sun. Only then did he shift his attention back to his
angry partner. She
remained unmoving, still holding the same defensive
Scully," he began somewhat lamely, "I'm sorry for deceiving you. I
it was wrong. Please forgive me."
Scully started to interrupt.
He held up his
hand, silencing her. "No, wait, Scully. Let me tell you
make your decision. The night before Skinner assigned me
this case, I got an
e-mail. I asked the Lone Gunmen to see if they could
trace it, but they
had no luck." Mulder reached
into his pocket and handed
her the note.
You are needed in
Louisiana. Two people have already died in the Honey
Island Swamp and
there will be more soon. Start with NexGen.
A Friend of your
planning to take vacation days and come down, but then first thing
Skinner called me off wiretap and handed me this case. He
was sending me to
Slidell, Louisiana, a town that coincidentally lies on the
outskirts of the
Honey Island Swamp, to investigate the murder of a man who
coincidentally happens to work for NexGen. He kneeled, capturing
her gaze with his
own. "I should have told you."
Scully could see
the regret in his eyes. She wouldn't forget how he had used
her, but she would
forgive him. She uncrossed her arms and bent over, gently
kissing him on the
forehead. And somehow that small kiss conveyed more
than most lovers expressed in their most passionate
Mulder looked up
and smiled, his world back in balance.
Then Scully stood,
ending the emotional moment. "OK Mulder, do you want to
hear about the
he responded as he flopped onto the bed, arms behind his head.
Thibodaux's autopsy was straightforward. Like Melancon said, there's
not much question
as to the cause of death when the guy's chest has been
plowed through by a
couple of bullets. Neither hit his heart, so I'm
guessing he died
from massive blood loss. Both bullets lodged in the body.
They came from a 9
mm handgun. The body was no longer in rigor mortis when
the jogger came
across it, so he must have been dead for at least 12 hours,
but probably no
more than 16. With the high humidity and temperature, you
could expect the
body to decay pretty rapidly. How does that fit in with
what you found at
the crime scene?"
"The body was
found in an alley near his house. There wasn't a lot to see.
Detective Herbert and from my examination of the crime scene
photos, there was
very little blood at the site. If he bled to death, he
must've been killed
somewhere else. I spoke to his wife who said she last
heard from him
around 7 PM. He had called to let her know he'd arrived at
the NexGen Field
Facility. The caller ID substantiates this. Nobody knows
anything else about
his whereabouts until the jogger found his body the next
the time of death down to between 7 and 9 PM."
it also means that he was almost certainly killed at the
That facility is a good hour and a half from anything
else. Melancon, by
the way, has set up an appointment for us to meet with
the Director of
NexGen at the main facility at 8 tomorrow, but we also need
to check out their
field facility. What's the verdict on the other deaths?"
deaths that occurred in the Honey Island Swamp were more of a
first two were classified as heart attacks. Both were older
men that were
camping and fishing in the swamp. There was nothing suspicious
and no autopsies.
The third death was a 35 year-old woman, Edna Gautreaux.
Her husband brought
her into the hospital when she fell ill on a camping
trip. She was pale,
bradycardic, had extremely low blood pressure and was in
distress. The doctors attempted to ease her breathing,
but she died of
cardiac failure less than an hour later. I autopsied her
body today. My
observations corroborate heart failure as the cause of death.
We don't know why a
healthy young woman would suddenly fall ill and die
within hours of
cardiac failure. Her symptoms are consistent with neurotoxin
poisoning. I sent
blood samples to the Bureau lab for a full workup. If the
tox screen shows up
positive, there is still the question of how the toxin
was delivered. I
found no evidence of snake or arachnid bites, and those are
the only venomous
organisms in the region. Three dead people, all of whom
fell ill while
camping in the same part of Honey Island Swamp, are beginning
to spook the local
authorities. At the same time, they want to keep it
brings in a lot of money."
intently, looking for the clue that would tip him off to
what had happened.
He needed the toxicology report. In the meantime, he and
interview Thibodeaux's employer, NexGen. He'd been bluffing
when he told
Melancon that he suspected the swamp deaths were connected to
but now he wondered. Coincidences made him suspicious.
His mind busy
whispering theories, Mulder bid her a goodnight. "Let's hope
we learn something
from the folks at NexGen. Maybe we can solve this without
NexGen was a square
four-story building. Mulder and Scully flashed their
badges at the
receptionist, and asked to speak to Andrew Collins, who was
supervisor and director of the facility. They were
into his office.
He stood as the
agents entered, stepping forward to shake hands, first with
Scully and then
with Mulder. Introductions were quickly made. "While it's
exciting to have a
visit from FBI agents, I regret the incident that brought
you here. David was
a respected scientist and his death seriously impacted
research here at
Mulder took the
lead, deciding to start general and work down to the
"Could you give us a brief overview of the corporation? I did some
basic research on
NexGen to prepare for our visit, but my efforts yielded
actually fairly gratifying, Agent Mulder. We like to think we are
on the cutting edge
of our field, and while making money is not our primary
goal, several of
our projects have the potential of bringing in millions of
dollars in patents.
Industrial espionage is a concern, and the ethics of
some of our
competitors are questionable."
"Isn't it odd
for a biotech company not to have making money as its primary
softly at Mulder's question. "You are absolutely correct.
Most firms that are
similar to us are driven entirely by profit. NexGen is
fortunate in being
a little different. Much of our funding is derived from
philanthropists interested in improving the future of mankind, hence
'Engineering a Better Life for Tomorrow.' We currently have two
one and our field research facility near the Honey Island
Swamp. Most of the
genetics work is done here; the field testing is done at
Mulder took this
opportunity to share what he was sure would be unwelcome
would also like to visit your other facility. New evidence
indicates that Dr.
Thibodeaux may have been murdered there."
surprised, Collins interrupted, "I thought his body was found near
"It was, but
we have evidence that he may have been murdered at your field
facility. We'd like
to visit that facility this afternoon and bring along a
with your permission. Or we could obtain a search warrant,
if you would
won't be necessary. We want to do whatever we can to help. I'll
make the necessary
arrangements. Would 2 PM be acceptable?"
would be fine," answered Scully. "We appreciate your cooperation.
Now, could you give
us a brief synopsis of the research projects that are
We would be especially interested in the project Dr.
have three major research areas. Each floor houses a
area with the exception of the first floor, which
includes the lobby,
security, and the administrative offices. The second
floor is home to
our plant research team. We're developing pest resistant
crop plants. Our
focus is on transferring the gene for producing venom in
one of the old
world scorpions, (Androctonus australis), to crop plants.
We're combining it
with a powerful promoter and using a bactovirus as the
vector. We have isolated the venom producing-gene and
introduced it into
test plants, but we're a long way from determining if
plants will be resistant to pests. We have field trials
going on right now.
Genetic engineering is not quite as precise as people
placement of the gene within the plant's own genes affects how
it will be
expressed, and that's not something we can currently control.
Our second floor is
devoted to mosquito research. This was David's area.
vectors for a huge number of diseases including malaria, West
Nile, and yellow
fever. We're working on genetically engineering mosquitoes
that would be
incapable of spreading these diseases. David was working with
the team that was
seeking to insert a gene into mosquitoes that would
prevent West Nile
Viral RNA from replicating inside the mosquito."
Dr. Collins," interjected Mulder, "do you think any of your
murder Dr. Thibodeaux to interfere with his research?"
To be honest, I
don't think David was close enough to success to motivate
competing firms to
resort to murder. But I will tell you that millions of
dollars are at
"So what do
you do on the fourth floor?" asked Mulder.
floor is devoted to Honey Bee research."
"What kind of
Honey Bee research?"
"Well, it is a
little different from our other areas of research. We're
looking at the
effect genetically modified plants might have on Honey Bees
and their internal
microfauna, and investigating the probability of Honey
pollen from these plants to unmodified plants, thereby
traits from the genetically modified plants into wild
not manipulating the bee genome in any way, although,
recently, I was
approached by a donor interested in funding research on some
modifications to the Honey Bee genome. If the board had approved
the project, he
would have been NexGen's largest donor. But they turned him
down; they didn't
feel the proposed research fit with our mission."
Mulder asked, "What kind of research was this donor
"I can't share
that information, but I can tell you he went to Roush
his proposal after we turned him down - they are involved
in similar areas of
research. And I am not bragging when I tell you we're
years ahead of them
in our research. Now, as I understand it, you wanted a
tour of our
answered Mulder. "We would very much appreciate that. Perhaps you
could point out the
security features you have in place?"
walking and gestured for the agents to follow. "Certainly,
Two hours later,
the agents left the building. As near as they could tell,
Dr. Collins had
been completely open with them. Mulder couldn't see any
the swamp deaths and NexGen Corporation, unless maybe
some of their
scorpions had escaped - but then Scully would have found the
sting site during
the autopsy. She didn't miss things like that.
They used the
morning to organize the forensics team and bring Melancon up
to speed before
making the trip to NexGen's Field Research Facility. Mulder
guard on duty that night, Robert Ardoin, a prime suspect; he
just needed the
evidence to prove it. So far everything was circumstantial.
Ardoin would have
been armed with a 9 mm Glock. They were standard issue for
all the guards, and
he was in the right place at the right time. The
question was why.
Upon arriving at
the facility, Mulder headed for the security office,
leaving Scully to
coordinate the forensics team. "If you find something,
send someone for
me. Otherwise I'll hook up with you when I finish reviewing
the tapes for the
crucial time period." He was
confident that they would
find the evidence
they were searching for.
We'll be awhile. This is a pretty big area to cover. We'll
start with those
areas where Thibodeaux typically worked."
went to work. There were ten cameras. He wasn't surprised
to find two of the
tapes had a blank period when the murder supposedly
occurred. One was
the camera that recorded people entering the building. The
other was the
camera monitoring the hallway leading to the mosquito
Thibodeaux's lab. There was nothing out of the ordinary on
the other tapes. If
Ardoin wasn't the murderer he was certainly an
Mulder was pretty sure he knew where to look for evidence.
Mulder hurried down
to Thibodeaux's lab, not surprised to find the forensic
"Oh, hey, Mulder, it looks like we've found something. These
tile floors made
cleaning up after a murder pretty easy, but it would be
for the murderer to completely clean up the blood that
soaked into the
grout. When you know what you're looking for and you have a
good light, the
stains are pretty evident. It appears he was shot as he
entered the room.
If I review the autopsy findings again, I can probably
tell you exactly
where his murderer was standing. We're looking for
work, Scully. Let's leave the forensic team here to see what
else they find. I
think we have enough evidence to pick Ardoin up."
The agents pulled
up in front of Ardoin's house and knocked on the front
door. He opened the
door and noticeably paled when Mulder explained they
wanted to ask him a
few questions. He invited both agents into his living
room, where all
three took a seat.
you know what I'm here for?"
Thibodeaux's death? That was tragic - he was a very nice man."
he's a dead nice man. I think you know more about his death than
"What would I
know? I didn't even hear about it until the next day."
"Did you see
Thibodeaux at the research facility the night of his murder?"
"So the fact
that we have conclusive evidence to indicate he died at the
station, the night you were on duty, means absolutely nothing
he have died there? I didn't hear anything, no struggle, no
possible you weren't in a position to hear anything?"
leave the building at all, if that's what you're insinuating. I
walked my rounds,
and as I told you earlier, I didn't notice anything out of
path take you past Dr. Thibodeaux's office?"
walked past there five or six times that night."
"Do you have
any idea why certain video cameras would stop working?"
There was a
noticeable pause before his reply. "The system can be a bit
shaky at times. I
don't worry about it too much. I can see all I need just
"How long have
you worked at NexGen?"
"I started six
issued a 9mm Glock at that point in time, correct?"
"May I see
reported it lost or stolen. I don't know where it is."
Thibodeaux was shot with a 9 mm handgun. Don't you find it a little
suspicious that he
was shot at the facility where you worked, while you were
on duty, with a gun
like the one you claim was stolen?"
"Look, you may
be a fancy cop from Washington, but all that don't prove
nothing. I don't
know who shot the doctor, but it wasn't me. I got no reason
to want him dead.
You can't hang this on me."
At that moment,
Scully's cell phone rang. She fished it out to answer it.
Thanks." She flipped her phone
shut and glanced meaningfully
"Mr. Ardoin, that was the forensics team that was combing through
office. They called to inform me that they found a bloody
they ran against all of NexGen's employees. They already
have a match. It looks like we might have that proof
you were talking
impossible, I cl...I didn't do it. You couldn't have a fingerprint."
"I am afraid
we do have a fingerprint. A faint but clear bloody fingerprint
was lifted from the
door to Dr. Thibodeaux's lab, and it matches the one in
your record. I
think maybe you should start being a little more forthcoming,
"Yeah, I think
so too," interjected Mulder. "First-degree murder is a
capital offense in
Louisiana. I'd say if there were some extenuating
maybe some other people you could share the blame with, you
might want to start
Ardoin was clearly
terrified. "If I cooperate, you might be able to reduce
rushed forth in a torrent. "Somebody from Roush Technologies
wanted copies of
David's work. They wanted stuff from some of the other
labs, too. It
wouldn't have been a problem if he hadn't come into work that
night. He startled
me, I panicked and before I knew it, he was shot, lying
on the floor and
bleeding all over. He was dead before I could do anything.
We were the only
people in the building at the time, so cleaning up the
blood and moving
the body weren't hard. I didn't mean to shoot him - he
wasn't supposed to
be there! Oh, God..."
transported to the jail, and Thibodeaux's murder marked solved.
Melancon would have
someone take Ardoin's formal statement in the morning.
wasn't over, but the local authorities could handle tying
up the loose ends,
including checking into Roush's involvement with the
murder. For a
change, the local authorities were happy with them, and Scully
imagined the Bureau
would be, too.
already Thursday night. No one will expect us in the office
tomorrow, so how
about we take a nice little boat ride into Honey Island
Swamp and enjoy the
wildlife? It'll be a nice little weekend getaway."
"Is that a
rhetorical question, Scully?"
I know you think the truth is out there, but it would be
stupid for us to
stay for the weekend. Skinner sent us out here to solve a
accomplished that. Let's not jeopardize the positive points we
"I hear you,
Scully, but I'm here, and I can't walk away from it. I
understand if you
don't want to come, but I think I'm going to rent some
and a boat and take a look at the area where those folks
Scully took a deep
breath before acknowledging that there was no way in hell
she was letting
Mulder loose in a swamp - alone. As usual her determination
to not let him drag
her on another crazy and no doubt misguided mission had
collapsed in the
face of his single-minded intensity. Her logic was no match
for his passion.
The duo spent the
morning preparing for their weekend adventure, including
renting a 17 foot
john boat with a 25 horsepower motor from Cajun Jack's
Swamp Marina. Cajun
Jack was somewhat dubious about renting the city folks
any boat. He
explained that the swamp was a dangerous place, even more
dangerous with the
unexplained deaths. "And there ain't no cell phone
service out there
in the swamp neither. Ya get yourself in trouble, ya just
gonna hafta get
yourself out. I'm tellin you, if ya ain't back by Sunday
afternoon, I gonna
send a rescue party out." Mulder thanked the man for his
advice and concern
and assured him they would be very careful, but made sure
to leave the
information about where they would be camping. Scully could see
enthusiasm had been somewhat dampened by the realization that
he would have no
cell phone service. She sure hoped they wouldn't need it.
finally complete, the partners loaded the boat and with
Scully in the bow
and Mulder at the tiller, they were off down the bayou.
Three hours later,
they reached the area where the mysterious deaths had
angled the boat onto a convenient landing, and Scully
jumped out onto
relatively dry land, pulled the boat up onto the shore, and
tied the bowline to
a handy branch for extra security.
were quickly divided, with Scully agreeing to set the tent
up in the clearing
about 100 yards from the boat, while Mulder gathered
firewood. The sun
was dipping below the horizon and they definitely wanted
camp set up before
Mulder was finding
it difficult to locate enough firewood and was rapidly
The mosquitoes were devouring him. If he stayed out here
much longer, he'd
need a transfusion. At last, feeling he had an adequate
amount of wood, he
hurried back to the clearing where Scully was finishing
setting up the
tent. She greeted him with a cheery wave and a "Welcome home,
Mulder." Clearly, she was enjoying this little
adventure more than he.
the mosquitoes are horrendous," were the first words out of
Scully grinned up
at him, that little chipmunk grin that either captivated
him or aggravated
him - depending on the circumstances. Just now, it
"What's so amusing, Scully?"
Mulder. It's just that I have Deep Wood's Off. Since my experience
in the Oregon
forest, I don't venture into the woods without it."
serious, Scully? If you share, I promise to have Frohike name his
first born daughter
okay, Mulder. That won't be necessary. I left it in my pack,
which I am afraid
is still down at the water, but I'll go get it. I need a
few other things
anyway. You want to start the fire?"
but hurry, I think I'm beginning to feel weak from blood
Scully hurried off
and Mulder set to work, but in moments, discretion
overcame valor and
he hurried after Scully. The fire could wait; he needed
the repellent -
now. The mosquitoes weren't so bad when he was walking, yet
he was still happy
to see Scully pulling her pack out of the boat and
towards him. Happiness that turned to terror when he saw a huge
- really huge -
alligator lumbering up the bank only a few scant yards from
partner. "Run, Scully," he screamed at the top of his lungs,
even as he started
running towards her. "Run!"
Scully didn't need
to hear the second admonition. She dropped the pack and
towards her partner as fast as her legs could carry her. She
didn't know why she
was running, but the terror in Mulder's voice more than
convinced her that
she must be running from something life threatening. She
watched as Mulder
pulled out his gun and took aim at something behind her.
Mulder continued to
scramble towards his partner, even as he sought a clear
shot, but Scully
was directly in his line of fire. Then Scully was passing
him and he began
firing, emptying his clip into the monster's head. In the
periphery of his
vision, he saw Scully trip and fall, even as the forward
momentum of the
gator carried it past him. It was dead, but its reptilian
brain hadn't quite
grasped that fact yet. He started to turn to check on
Scully as the gator
lashed out with its tail in one final act of desperate
Mulder's legs out from under him. His last thought was
that he hoped
Scully had gotten clear, and then excruciating white pain
from his left leg and slowly faded into blackness as he
crumpled to the
surrounded by darkness. At first he was at a loss as to what he
was doing lying in
the mud, but then it came back with clarifying intensity.
Oh my God,
"Sculleeee," he shouted, but there was no answer. Please let her
be ok, he prayed,
even as he attempted to get up and look for her. The pain
evoked quickly convinced him he wasn't walking anywhere.
Undaunted, he began
to pull his prone body in the direction he had last seen
her. The pain was
nearly more than he could bear. He kept moving, his
in inches. After what seemed like hours, he finally saw
her soft outline
sprawled in the mud just a few yards away. Sweat beaded on
his forehead as he
ignored the pain of dragging his damaged leg forward.
he struggled forward. His teeth penetrated his lip as he
bit down, trying to
use one pain to keep another at bay. At last, he was
close enough to
reach out and grasp her ankle. Relief flooded the synapses
of his brain as he
felt warm, living flesh. He could just pull Scully back
to him and see if
she was all right. Then he could stay here. He was so very
something at the edge of his thought processes warned him not to
do it. Oh, of
course. What if she was badly injured? She shouldn't be moved.
How had he
forgotten? He needed to move. It was easier now, though, because
with every inch of
progress made, he could feel more Scully, more warm and
whole Scully. He
could now reach her torso, and so far he hadn't discovered
any damage. He
grasped her wrist and was gratified by the strong pulse. His
mind exhorted his
body to move forward. Just a little farther and he would
be able touch her
face, feel her breath. Then, at last, he pulled even with
her. He laid his
head on the ground. They were eye to eye, but the darkness
was so complete
that he couldn't make out her features, even though he could
feel each breath
she exhaled. He still didn't know why she was unconscious.
He reached out to
carefully explore her face and head. Then he felt it - the
sticky warm wetness
of fresh blood. His fingers continued to explore,
feeling the bump on
her forehead and the ragged torn flesh. She whimpered
and he pulled his
hand back. "Scully?"
Mudder?" she mumbled.
"Yeah. Are you
Scully, stay still till you feel stronger."
"It almost got
you. I was afraid it had."
Mulder's last words
brought the last moments of consciousness back, but she
wasn't sure what
had happened after she had fallen. She realized that Mulder
was lying on the
ground facing her. "Mulder, what was chasing me and are you
fine, but my leg hurts pretty bad."
herself to a sitting position, wiping blood from her eyes. She
was dizzy and a
little nauseous, but if she moved slowly she didn't feel too
reached out to tactilely examine his leg, but pulled back when
he gasped in pain.
"Mulder, I need a flashlight and my first aid supplies.
I'm going back for
"No! Th...there might be another one...down
have to go. I have my gun, and I'll be careful.
True to her word,
she was back within minutes, although to Mulder, it seemed
she was gone an
eternity. She carefully removed his boot and examined his
clenched his teeth tightly, determined to hide the pain she
"I'm afraid it's broken, Mulder. The level of pain you are in
that. It's already swelling. The good news is it's a
simple fracture, no
external bleeding, and it appears that you have avoided
soft-tissue damage. Circulation and color in your foot is good and
minimal. I'm going to have to immobilize it as best I can."
Is that gonna hurt a lot?"
Mulder, I'll be as gentle as I can. I have Tylenol with codeine.
Can you swallow
these two pills dry?"
"I'm going to
need a few things. I'll be back as quick as I can."
"K Scully, but
By the time she
returned, Mulder was either asleep or unconscious. She got
then asked, "Mulder, are you ready to start?"
He roused at her
voice. "Um yeah. I guess so. Ready as I'll ever be." She
quickly began to
wrap the cut-up pieces of sleeping bag around his leg,
careful to move it
as little as possible, but even that caused him
His hands balled into tight fists, short fingernails
bloody crescents on his palms, and he gritted his teeth as he
broke out into a
cold sweat, but he remained silent, except for a few soft
groans. Then she
padded the forked ends of the two splints she had cut,
placing one under
his armpit and one against his groin. She smiled when he
cautioned her to
take special care to not pinch the "boys." Humor was
Then she smoothly wrapped the ties around the leg to secure
the splints. Again
she touched the leg as little as possible, making certain
to tie it tight
enough to stabilize the leg. At first he didn't seem to be
in too much pain,
but as she moved closer to his thigh, the pain rapidly
"Hang on, Mulder, I need you conscious just a little longer. Help
me determine where
the break is. Tell me where the pain is worst."
Scully, there", he gasped before he slipped into unconsciousness.
tying the splint in place, carefully avoiding the point he
had identified as
most painful. She used one of the tent ropes to secure a
cross piece between
the ends of the splints. Hurrying to complete the
procedure while he
was out of it, she secured the longer branch to his body
for added stability
and then wrapped the extra long strip she had ripped
from his t-shirt
around his ankle and brought the free ends down and tied
them to the
crosspiece. Then she inserted a short sturdy stick between the
free ends and began
to twist, exerting a steady pressure and gradually
pulling the bones
of the leg downward. She was very glad that Mulder wasn't
awake for this
part. She secured the stick, maintaining what she hoped was
on the leg. Between the splint and the Tylenol, he should
be in less pain.
Nearly half an hour
elapsed before Mulder returned to consciousness.
better?" she asked when she saw his eyes flutter open.
the question, "Yeah, Scully, the pain isn't nearly as
swallow this pill?" She held
the canteen to his lips as he
placed the pill in
his mouth. "It's an antibiotic. I'm going to go back to
the tent site and
get the wood you gathered as well as some of our
Mulder softly responded even as he was drifting off to sleep.
While Mulder slept,
she started the fire and began warming up some stew. It
and she was half starved. Mulder must have been hungry,
too, because she
heard him softly call, "Hey, Scully, that smells delicious.
Care to share with
a hungry man?"
do you think we could roll you over onto your back? You'd be
a lot more
There was a long
pause as Mulder considered the ramifications of moving his
Scully, if you think it's a good idea."
"Let me help
you. I'll support your leg and keep it aligned while you roll
your body over to
the right. On three. One, two, three."
Mulder gritted his
teeth and rolled. The pain was sharp, but mercifully
placed a couple of the unused rectangles she had cut from the
sleeping bag under
his head for support. She removed the pan from the fire,
filled a bowl with
the steaming stew, and sat down next to Mulder to share -
careful to make
sure it wasn't hot enough to burn.
finally relax. Mulder was doing a lot better and soon drifted
off to sleep. They
were sharing the remaining sleeping bag, and she had
his good side, taking comfort from the steady rhythm of his
breathing. All they
needed to do was get through tomorrow. She was thankful
they had left
specific instructions as to where they would be, and Cajun
Jack had assured
them, if they weren't back by Sunday afternoon, he would
send help. Then,
despite her intentions, she too dozed off.
She wasn't sure how
long she had been sleeping, but she was wide-awake now.
had gone from comforting to frightening. He was breathing
rapidly, and the
sound was now strident. She shook him, and he roused
"Scully, I...I...I don't feel so good."
She flipped on the
better assess his condition. He was sweating profusely and was
to me. Tell me how you feel."
breathe," he panted. "My arms feel tingly and my chest feels
Scully placed her
ear on his chest to assess his heartbeat. It was fast, and
she could detect
brief periods of arrhythmia.
gonna be sick," he moaned as he attempted to turn his body.
She quickly moved
to support his torso as he was wracked with strong
vomited, emptying his system of the stew. Finally he
against the ground, eyes and mouth now clamped shut from the
caused by the impromptu movement. Scully grabbed one of
the rags remaining
after her destruction of Mulder's t-shirt and used it to
carefully wipe his
sore mouth. Her mind raced, even as she attempted to calm
her partner. What
the hell was causing these symptoms? She breathed deeply
trying to think
clearly. She had stabilized his leg, and there was no
infection or fever.
Then, suddenly it clicked.
have to go now."
Even in the beam of
her flashlight, she could see the incredulity in his
I can't. I hurt so bad... not just my leg anymore, but my
listen to me. There's no choice. Whatever killed those other people
is now affecting
you. You have early symptoms of neurotoxin poisoning. I
don't know how it
got into your symptom, but I'm sure that's it."
can't. Please, it hurts too much. Leave me. Get out before
whatever it is gets
Mulder, I'm not leaving you. If you want to save me, you're going
to have to save
yourself. Help me get your ass on this sleeping bag. I'm
gonna try to drag
you to the boat." She checked
her watch. It was almost
2:30, nearly 5
hours until first light.
Mulder gritted his
teeth and with Scully's help, eased himself over onto the
sleeping bag that
she had spread out next to him. His whole body seemed to
have become a
reservoir for pain. Mulder was in no hurry to die, but at the
seemed a very attractive option to moving another inch.
"Okay, then, I
am going to start pulling you towards the boat. We are going
to go real slowly.
I want you to help me, if you can, by giving a push with
your good leg. Then
we'll pause and do it again. I think that will reduce
the bouncing and
give you a little control over the movement. Ok, let's
Mulder followed her
instructions, but excruciating pain immediately exploded
in his injured leg
and he gasped. "Scully, please, leave me. Get help. I
"You can do
it, Mulder. You'd be dead by the time I got back."
"I don't care,
I'm telling you I..."
Before he had
completed the thought, Scully was in his face, hands gripping
his shirt, shaking
him, heedless of the added pain it brought. "Don't you
dare say that to
me. You will do this, or I will sit right here with you and
we can die
together. Is that what you want, Mulder?"
"Then get with
the program G-man - we have a boat to catch." She began to
pull and he helped
by pushing with his right leg, just as she had ordered.
After about 15
minutes, she stopped to check on him and see if he needed a
break. His body was
soaked in sweat, and he was physically exhausted from
the pain and
trauma. She dropped beside him to offer comfort and
determined to hide her fear from him. He couldn't die. Not
like this, out in
the middle of a swamp, for no damn reason. "So Mulder,
what do you think
of the swamp now?"
fulfill his role, Mulder replied, "I say we give it back to
They seem to be waging a guerrilla war to reclaim it. I was
thinking, 'stead of
making mosquitoes that don't carry diseases, NexGen
mosquitoes that don't bite."
"Sounds like a
winning idea to me. You ready to go?"
he lied. She again began to pull him towards the boat, moving slowly
to avoid jostling
his leg. Her tired mind considered mosquitoes that didn't
suddenly, the missing pieces to the puzzle of her partner's
into place. She had just made a Mulder leap. But now, she
needed to get him
to a hospital. They were making steady process when the
end of his splint
slipped off a root it had been sliding across. The
resulting jolt sent
a bolt of white-hot agony across every neuron in his
body and wrenched a
blood-curdling scream from his lungs.
Scully was at his
side in a second. "Mulder, are you ok?"
There would be no
answer. He was
unconscious. Both the arrhythmia in his heart and his
worse. She was going to have to risk moving faster-better to
lose his leg than
his life. Scully returned to pulling him towards the boat.
It was harder work
without his assistance, but not hearing his gasps of pain
as he was jerked
along more than made up for the extra effort.
later an exhausted Scully had nearly reached the boat. The
bank was the single
obstacle. She tugged the sleeping bag around until her
partner's feet were
even with the edge of the bank. She couldn't drag him
down it. Somehow
she had to get him on his feet. Taking the canteen, she
bathed his face.
"C'mon Mulder, I need you. We have some problem solving to
do." Gradually her words seemed to reach him.
He felt far away, cocooned in
a safe wrapping of
darkness, but Scully needed him. He tried to follow her
voice back to
consciousness, but it was so hard. His whole body felt heavy
and he was tired.
Mulder. I need your help."
He forced his eyes
open. Scully was there. "What, Scully? What do you need?"
"I need you to
sit up, Mulder. We have to get down the bank." She released
the straps that
secured the longer splint to his body and helped him into a
She knew this compromised the stability of the splint, but
there was no
option. "I'll support your leg and you use your arms and your
good leg to slip
down the bank. Mulder, you have to do this."
The boat was so close. Scully was right. He had to do it,
for himself and for
her, but he had nearly blacked out from the pain of just
"Okay, let's do it," he gritted out. Somehow he forced a
confidence into his
voice that he didn't really feel. Scully clambered
partway down the
shallow bank, carefully placing her feet so that she
wouldn't slip. She
reached up and grasped the ends of the splint. "Ok,
moving." Using his arms and
one leg, he scooted forward and
slowly slid down
the bank, with Scully keeping his leg from hitting the
Gradually, he lowered his ass down the uneven slope. Scully
watched as he
struggled, unable to do anymore than keep his leg in position.
His arms trembled
with the effort and rivulets of blood dripped down his
chin from where his
teeth had again bitten into his lip in an effort to
control the pain.
He was silent except for the hiss that seemed to accompany
Finally his good foot was on the flat area where they had
pulled the boat up.
Scully made sure he was stable and then tugged the boat
as close to him as
her strength permitted. She scurried up the bank and
sleeping bag, then carefully laid it along the bottom of the
boat to form a
slightly more comfortable resting place.
let's get you onto the front seat." Very
carefully he lifted
himself onto the
seat, teeth clenched to keep from vocalizing the pain that
senses. Finally he was down with Scully supporting his
splinted leg above
the gunwale. "Ok Mulder, one last thing. I need you to
move to the bottom
of the boat. I'm going to climb in and help support the
weight of your
body." She slipped under his
right side and helped him ease
off the seat.
Because of the length of the splint, it was a delicate
Ultimately Mulder's weakened arms collapsed and his full weight
Scully. Even her considerable strength of will wasn't enough to
keep Mulder from
slipping onto the floor of the boat and wrenching his leg.
With barely a
whimper, Mulder slipped into unconsciousness yet again. At
least he was where
she wanted him. She arranged him as comfortably as
possible, got her
pack, then checked his condition one more time, not liking
what she found. He
was now tachycardic and his breathing was extremely
labored. His leg
was showing considerable swelling. She loosened the cravats
slightly to ensure
that blood flow wasn't restricted.
After pushing the
boat into the water, she gingerly climbed to the back,
appropriate switches, set the choke, and pulled the start cord.
Then with one hand
on the tiller and one on Mulder's shoulder, Scully headed
back. They had been
traveling for a little over two and half hours, and
Mulder was showing
signs of restlessness. She wasn't surprised when she
heard him call her
thirty minutes from the Marina."
brea. Can't seem tumove. Feel sorta numb."
with me, Mulder, you're going to be fine." The numbness and
skills were bad signs. He didn't have much time left.
"I figured it
out you know?"
Scully knew that
there was nothing better than a mystery to keep Mulder
awake. His need to
know eclipsed everything. "The Honey Island Swamp
His lip curled up
in a little smirk, "Tell."
just a theory."
informant indicated that NexGen was the key to the Honey Island
"So I started
thinking about the swamp and NexGen and the com..."
Scully stopped in
mid-sentence as Mulder's eyes rolled up and he began to
the throttle, she dropped her body over his, trying to keep
him from moving as
much as possible. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, it
was over. He was limp. She felt his heart. For a
moment she thought it had
stopped. It was
beating very slowly and his breathing was slow and shallow.
The symptoms were
advancing and he was now in a coma.
She jumped back to
the motor, engaged the throttle. Only speed could save
Mulder now. It
wasn't even seven when Cajun Jack's came into view, but
already the marina
was bustling. Scully ignored the slow, no wake signs as
she roared into the
marina at full throttle. She leapt from the boat and
raced for the
rental Taurus. Grabbing the cell phone, she punched in 911 as
she headed back to
her comatose partner. As soon as the operator came onto
the line, she
shouted, "Agent down at Cajun Jack's Swamp Marina. I 'm a
medical doctor, so
please listen carefully. He's comatose, exhibiting
bradypnea. I believe he's been poisoned. I strongly suspect
that the active
agent is the venom of the scorpion (Androctonus australis).
NexGen Corporation. They can probably supply anti-venom as
well as expertise
in its administration. Ask them to meet him at the
Time is the crucial factor. He also has a broken femur."
gathering onlookers, she clutched the phone to her ear as she
climbed back into
the boat to sit with her partner. She listened as the
her that her instructions were being followed, and that a
Helicopter had been dispatched. "Life Flight," she sighed. That
could be the
difference between life and death.
arrived and loaded Mulder onto a gurney and Scully into a
seat before taking
off for NorthShore Regional Medical Center. A medical
team was waiting
for them and Mulder was wheeled into an emergency treatment
room, the doors
She paused at the
doors and was contemplating trying to bully her way in
when the doors
swung open and one of the physicians emerged. A Dr. Washburn,
according to his
"Are you the
physician that called this in?"
representative from NexGen just arrived with the anti-venom you ordered.
How could your
patient have been bitten by a North African scorpion?"
explain it. But you have to believe me, I am almost certain that
it's the toxin
responsible for his condition. There have been three deaths
from the same area
of the swamp. I did the autopsy on the last one. He can't
wait; you must
administer the anti-venom."
administering anti-venom carries its own risks, right? He
another complication. Do you want to take the chance?"
She reviewed her
decision, reflected on her words, 'almost certain'. There
was no proof,
nothing but circumstantial evidence, a Mulder leap of logic,
and faith that she
was right. She made her decision, noting that it was
ironic his life
should hang not on her science, but on her faith. She looked
physician straight in the eye, certain that Mulder's life
depended on her
power of persuasion. "That anti-venom is his only chance.
There is nothing to
The doctor examined
her closely, seeing the exhaustion in her eyes, taking
in her mud-caked
clothes, the nasty-looking contusion on her forehead, and
the flaking bits of
blood. He thought back to the condition of the patient
in the treatment
room, the field splint on his leg. She had been through
hell to get the man
here, and clearly, she was convinced he needed the
to bet his life on it, really. And she was right about
his condition. He
was circling the drain. He made his decision. "I'm going
to administer the
anti-venom." With those words,
he disappeared back into
the treatment room.
onto the waiting room couch, adrenaline spent. She'd gotten
her way, but now
doubts assailed her. An hour slipped by, then two, with
still no news from
the treatment room. She stood and began to pace. Finally,
the doors to the
treatment room opened and Dr. Washburn moved towards her.
She tried to read
his facial expression, but his professional mask was
firmly in place.
She would have to wait for the words.
administered the anti-venom. He's comatose, but that's to be expected.
We re-splinted his
leg. You did a great job with the splint. We'll bring an
in tomorrow if...when his condition improves. We're
sending him to the
Critical Care Unit. Now, you need to have a doctor look
at your head."
Scully took a deep
breath. "What do you think?"
The doctor knew she
had brushed off his suggestion that she needed medical
treatment and was
asking about Agent Mulder, asking if he would live, asking
a question he
couldn't answer. "We had to intubate and put him on a vent. If
works, we should see definite improvement in respiratory and
within 24 hours. For now, his condition is critical."
"When can I
about an hour to get him settled in the CCU. Individuals on the
approved list will
then be allowed to visit. The CCU is small and the nurses
flexible regarding the length of visits, so if you don't get in
the way, you should
be able to sit with him as long as you wish. However,
your name will not
appear on the approved list until you get that head wound
Two hours later,
Scully, head stitched and bandaged, was ensconced at
Three more hours ticked by. She was exhausted, but she needed
to be there. She
pulled her chair closer, placed her hand in his hand, and
laid her head on
the bed. The warmth of his hand was comforting. The steady
whoosh of the
respirator and beep of the monitor were reassuring. They had a
gradually lulling the tired agent to sleep. The nurses
came and went,
making their periodic checks, careful to not disturb the
Eight more hours passed, Scully awoke, feeling that
changed. She felt Mulder's fingers twitch. Her eyes shifted to
his face. His eyes
were open, frightened. She hastened to reassure him.
Mulder. You're in the hospital. You're going to be fine. Don't
vent." Even as she sought to
reassure him, a nurse appeared,
alerted by changes
in the machines monitoring his heart and respiration.
Seeing her patient
was awake, the nurse quickly notified the doctor. Mulder,
calmed by Scully's
presence and words, drifted back to sleep.
After coming out of
the coma Saturday night, Mulder's condition improved
removed the endo tube Sunday morning and replaced it with
a nasal canula when
it was evident that his respiratory function was
returning. Not long
after that, he awakened a second time and, while still a
was more alert. Initially, he had been relieved to
awaken to the
radiant Scully smile that told him he was going to live and
gratified that she
had stayed with him. As he had taken a closer look,
though, he had seen
the fatigue behind the smile, the same filthy clothes
she had worn on
their little adventure, and the large white bandage that
forehead and wrapped around her head. While he reveled in her
little touches, and took comfort in knowing she was watching
his back even as he
slept, a guilty conscience prompted him to insist that
she go and get some
sleep and a shower.
Scully was tired
and her appearance was a disaster, but she was unbelievably
Mulder was going to be okay. His leg still needed to be
evaluated, but his
life was no longer in danger. Before she could sleep, she
needed to notify
the local authorities and the Bureau of their findings so
that steps could be
taken to close the area where the deaths had occurred.
CDC would probably
also need to be brought into the loop. Andrew Collins and
the people at
NexGen would need to be notified. She had best set up a
Collins for tomorrow. Then she would get cleaned up and get
some real sleep.
Now it was Monday
morning and she was back at Mulder's side looking and
feeling a great
deal better. Mulder had slept most of the day Sunday and all
through the night.
As for her, a few hours of real sleep in an
bug-free room, and a hot shower had combined to make her
feel like a new
woman. Mulder had been moved to a regular room and was
anxious to hear her
theory on the Honey Island deaths.
this and was equally anxious to share her conclusions.
implied that NexGen was involved, but how? We suspected a
neurotoxin. I was
even more certain when your symptoms started to present.
NexGen was working
with scorpion venom. But how could the venom from NexGen
end up poisoning
campers in Honey Island Swamp? I was thinking about that,
and about your idea
for mosquitoes that didn't bite. Then I started thinking
between Honey Island Swamp and NexGen, and one obvious
besides poison, was the mosquitoes. Mulder,
you may think I am
crazy, but I am
convinced that the gene that codes for scorpion venom was
introduced not only
into target plants, but also into the experimental
NexGen." At this point Scully
paused in response to a very
on Mulder's face. "What's so funny, Mulder? Do you find
I'm really impressed. I'm just captivated by the idea that I
might think you
were crazy. Somehow that idea is incongruent with the world
as I know it. But,
how could that happen? How would it be possible for the
gene that coded for
scorpion venom to get into the mosquitoes, and how did
the mosquitoes get
out into the swamp?"
"I don't know
how they got into the swamp. Maybe they escaped from NexGen's
field station. I
do, however, have a couple of ideas on how the gene might
have gotten into
the mosquitoes. It's possible it was done on purpose, that
conducting some experiments that they didn't mention, and that
introduced the gene into the mosquitoes. I don't know why,
unless their goals
are not so lofty after all, and they're actively
bio-terror weapons. Alternatively, it could have happened
concern that scientists have is accidental horizontal
transfer of genetic
material between target and non-target organisms.
happen. After all, the transfer vector they were using to
introduce the gene
into the plant was a baculovirus, which just happens to
be a virus that
typically infects insects. Maybe the engineered virus
scorpion gene got loose and infected the mosquitoes. Biotech
labs are supposed
to have strict containment policies in place, but all it
would take is one
individual with a few virus particles on his lab coat
walking up to chat
with one of the scientists in the mosquito research area.
feed on plant juices. It is possible that they could have
ingested either the
virus, or even the naked DNA, from the experimental
plants, and somehow
incorporated it into their genome. A
lot of scientists
don't believe that
DNA can be absorbed from the gut because it's digested
too rapidly, but
there are dissenters and some scientific results that
support them. And
Mulder, the Bureau forensic lab confirmed my suspicion
that Edna Gautreaux
died of the toxin that is found in the venom of
australis. I'm sure the toxicology report on your blood will
theory. Do you have any idea why only some individuals were
affected? I mean,
why me, and not you?"
"I'm not sure.
In our case, we may owe Deep Wood's Off our lives. I react
badly to mosquito
bites, so I use repellent lavishly. Remember the big welts
I got from those
bites in Oregon? Anyway, I didn't get many bites at all.
You, on the other
hand, in your haste to solve the mystery, didn't even have
any repellant. I am
guessing that either very little venom is transferred by
a single bite
and/or most of the mosquitoes out there are not carrying the
Either of those would explain why there have been so few
deaths. It would
take a lot of bites to trigger a reaction. The three people
who died had all
spent at least one night in the swamp."
it all fits. I did get a lot of bites. The thing is, if
you're correct, we
have a developing public health crisis. Those transgenic
almost certainly interbreeding with wild type mosquitoes.
What's going to
keep this from spreading?"
"I don't know
Mulder. I'm heading over to talk to Andrew Collins about it.
I also notified the
CDC and the local authorities.
"Scully, I see
how genetic engineering could improve the quality of life,
but at the same
time it's pretty scary. I mean, I don't understand a lot of
the details, but
once a company isolates a gene and puts it in a viral
agent, it seems to
me that it could be pretty hard to control where it ends
up. Even I know
that that's what viruses do: infect other organisms with
their DNA or RNA.
Without proper regulatory laws in place, genetic
give a whole new meaning to the concept of Pandora's box."
hopefully, one thing that will come of this is increased public
Mulder, there's no question in my mind that genetic
engineering is the
wave of the future. Science is a double-edged sword, and
because of that, it
needs to be wielded very carefully. This could be the
Three Mile Island
of genetic engineering. I need to go; it's nearly time for
my meeting. Take
care and good luck with the orthopedic surgeon."
She reached out to
pat his chest and he grabbed her hand, cradling it gently
against his chest.
Then he captured her gaze, adding, "Thanks, Scully."
She knew he was
referring to more than her wishes of good luck. "Anytime,
The next two days
were a whirlwind of activity. She met with Andrew Collins
at NexGen, and he
admitted that there had been a break in at their "secure"
research area near Honey Island Swamp. Millions of experimental
mosquitoes had been
released. The release had been a significant setback for
their research, but
they had not imagined it could endanger public health.
with the orthopedic surgeon had gone well and he operated
on Mulder's leg
Tuesday morning. Scully had stopped by the hospital several
times, checking on
his progress, but the doctors were keeping him lightly
sedated, so she
hadn't really been able to talk with him. It was now
and she was on her way up to see him again. She hoped he
would be awake and
lucid; she had a lot of news.
His door was open
and she breezed in, pleased that he was sitting up in bed.
She noted that he
looked good in his hospital gown, which was fortunate for
him since he seemed
destined to wear them so frequently.
you're looking good this morning. In fact, you look a little
like the chipmunk
that swallowed a canary."
"I do have
good news, as well as some not-so-good news, but first, how are
"I'm good. I
should be out of here in a few days, but then I'll be in a
wheelchair before I
can move onto crutches. The doctor sees physical therapy
in my future. My
convalescence would have been a whole lot longer, and my
leg could have been
permanently damaged, if you hadn't done such a great job
with the splinting.
I owe you again, Scully, big time."
Mulder. Who's keeping score? Besides, I owe you too. Without
you, I'd have been
Scully, I just wanted you to know: I'm glad you were there.
welcome, Mulder. Now, for my news. First, the not so pleasant stuff.
Ardoin was found
hanging in his cell the day we left for the swamp. It looks
though Chief Melancon is suspicious. Either way, he's dead and
so is our lead for
investigating Roush Technologies."
suspicious to me too, Scully. When we interrogated him he
sounded way too
interested in saving his own skin to commit suicide the
"It also looks
like I was right about the swamp deaths. Initial tests show
that somehow the
scorpion venom gene found its way into the mosquitoes, and
the toxin was being
released along with other salivary secretions. I doubt
NexGen will survive
the fallout. There's a lot of negative public sentiment
while I doubt criminal charges will be filed, there will
certainly be some
major civil suits involving wrongful death."
I realize they're responsible for creating an incredible
menace to society,
but in a way, I feel bad for NexGen. I had the impression
they really were
trying to improve the human condition. Other biotech
replace them, and I'm sure at least some of them will be a
Mulder, and Andrew Collins told me that Roush is trying to buy
them out. They
apparently want access to NexGen's technological advances
pretty badly. It
looks like some big money is being thrown around. He said
he'll leave, if
DEFINITELY going to have the gunmen look into Roush."
"Now let me
move on to the good news: NexGen included a Trojan horse in
"Yeah, as a
safety precaution, they incorporated a mutated 'Notch' gene from
Drosophila into the
line of experimental mosquitoes that they were using.
The Notch gene is
important in embryological development. This particular
development when temperatures are cool. And, in an incredible
bit of good
fortune, the scorpion venom gene appears to have been inserted
very near the Notch
gene, so they should be inherited as a linked unit. When
in another month or two, there should be a real crash in
mosquito numbers in
the Honey Island Swamp area. All the eggs from the
offspring of the transgenics and wild type mosquitoes,
should perish. I
just hope it works the way NexGen's scientists think it
"Wow, that is
good news. These toxic mosquitoes could potentially kill
millions and change
the world forever.
Mulder, I have one other bit of good news. We've both received
the Director for our role in identifying this public
health crisis. In
this case, Mulder, it looks like you managed not only to
put your best foot
forward but also to land on both feet. Well, except for
that little problem
with the alligator."