New: Twentieth Century Boy
Author: ZorroRojo - zorrorojo@slashcity.com
Series: X-Over Voyager/X-Files/Highlander
Part: 8/16
Rating: R?
Codes: C/P
Archive: Anywhere
Disclaimer: yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah - not mine.
Summary: I don't want to give one.
Warnings: Non-Graphic Slash - Cussing -  a little violence (not
anything worse than what you see on American TV.

**********
 

Tom pulled the motorcycle under the cover of trees and waited for Gerron to jump off before he toed the stand and leaned the bike over. He followed the path Gerron made through the brush and came up short right behind him.

"They went into that cave," Gerron reported.

"Hold on. I want to leave a message for Chakotay," Tom called as Gerron started toward the crevice in the large cliff-face.

"What did you tell him?" Gerron asked as Tom crept next to him a moment later.

"I gave him our coordinates and the chroniton radiation reading. It's pretty high right around here. Get your phaser and flashlight out and follow me in, but don't turn your light on, we'll follow their light."

With Gerron's nod, Tom led the way into the cave. As soon as they were inside, the narrow passage turned and all light was cut off. There wasn't even a faint glow from the flashlights of the two people who had just gone in.

"Keep your hand on my arm," Tom whispered.

Gerron nodded instinctively, his voice lost to the fear crawling through his veins. He didn't like dark caves one bit. Especially dark caves probably filled with hostile aliens.

They followed the narrow passageway, lifting their feet higher than necessary, making sure not to trip over obstacles they couldn't see. Tom pulled up and Gerron ran into his back, and then peered around the taller man to see.

"What is it?" he whispered.

"The walls are glowing. Over there." Tom's outstretched arm was just visible in the eerily phosphorescent corridor.

"It opens into a cavern," Gerron whispered, curiosity tingeing his tone.

"You can see?" Tom asked, relieved to have found one advantage in this ominous darkness.

"Yeah, not too well but I can see."

"Where are the others?"

"Along the far wall."

"If anything moves, poke me. Got it?" Tom had no desire to be surprised by anything that might be found lurking in dark caves
inhabited by aggressive aliens.

"Yes sir."

"Let's get closer, but not too close. Right now, we need information." Especially since we lost the Commanders, Tom thought, but did not say.

They hugged the wall as they traveled to the cavern Gerron pointed out, their path glowing brighter with every step. Soon they would be visible to whoever else was in the cave - if they weren't already. Gerron's hand tightened around Tom's forearm, the sweat of his palm moistening the thin cloth. Tomís heartbeat was racing, and he was actively suppressing shudders.

"Wait," Gerron whispered. "I hear something."

"What?" Tom asked, cocking his head to the side.

"A low hum."

"Can you tell where it's coming from?" the older man asked, though he had an idea.

"Same place as the light," Gerron confirmed.

"Just a little farther. We have to find out what's in the cavern." Tom Paris was nothing if not determined.

Tom led them on, not changing his pace, slowly but steadily moving toward the light, despite his human instinct to just turn around and get the hell out of there. The passageway made one last turn and dumped them into a cavern large enough to hold a Galaxy class Starship - or four Voyagers.

"Bless the prophets," Gerron whispered in awe. An alien craft filled the cavern, totally dwarfing the two humans sneaking toward it.
"That's the ship that brought us here. We found it, let's go find the Commanders."

"No!" Tom ordered. "We need more information. Get my tricorder out of my pack. And keep an eye on them. We may have to get them out of there," Tom added as he watched the man and woman proceeding dangerously closer to the shipís entrance.

"Tom, we have to tell them we found it," Gerron insisted nervously.

"Crewman, they've been detained. I'm in command," Tom declared, his expression boring into the Bajoran amidst the gleaming green rays of alien light. He didnít want to have to come out and say it, but they didnít know when Chak and Tuvok would be able to join them, so it was up to them to continue. This was not a game and these aliens would not take a Ďtime outí just because the opposition was missing some key players. Tom continued to firmly hold Gerronís gaze, feeling his own resolve firm in doing so.

"Yes sir," Gerron answered after a moment, but reluctance to take another step was etched into his features.

Tom activated his tricorder and stood, taking readings as Gerron turned and watched their backs.

"Come on," Tom called. "I'm not reading any life signs."

They followed the wall of the cavern to the entrance of the ship. The same entrance the dark haired man and red headed woman had just
entered.

**********

"Scully... do you believe now?"

"What are we going to do about it?"

"Look," Mulder whispered as he knelt to the floor of the cavern and lifted a handful of loose dirt. "This is no ancient ship. This cavern is new."

Scully drew her gun and stood to her partner's back. There were
probably those... those things lurking everywhere. While not having seen a live one, she had seen one almost gestated within a human body. It was a close enough look for Dana Scully. "Mulder, let's get out of here."

"We can't. We need proof."

"Don't you think this is enough?"

"And who will believe us?" Mulder pointed out and turned to forge ahead.

"Where are you going?" Scully called after his retreating figure. Getting no answer, she followed him - against her better judgment and against the tingling that she was sure was her body telling her on a primordial level that it was time for flight - not for fight.

Mulder approached the craft slowly, almost crawling the last twenty yards to the open face of the ship. It glowed green in the darkness, mist being released from within creating an eerie luminescent fog that obscured the interior of the ship.

"Mulder..." Scully warned. "Be careful," but she followed right behind him, only pausing to make sure her safety was off and her clip full. Mulder disappeared into the green mist and Scully followed him in, losing sight of him as soon as she was inside. "Mulder," she whispered.

"Here," he called from slightly to her left. She spun and faced where his voice came from, then moved closer.

"Look," he said, while pointing to the rows of long narrow tables - the first four of which were occupied. "All the missing men, plus one more." Mulder approached the tables slowly, gun drawn. He walked past the fist two; the creatures growing in them were barely visible. At the third, he could see hands and a small head, but nothing else. He crept up next to the fourth and last occupied table, all the way at the end of the row and stood, rooted to his spot. The last table held a shell of a man; all of his innards replaced with an alien life form. Its hands pressed against the clear chest cavity of its host, its head pushed against the sternum. Its feet were drawn up, pushing against the thin wall of flesh that used to hold vital organs.

"Oh my God." Scully whispered. "It's going to hatch anytime. Mulder, I've seen enough. Let's get out of here while we still can."

"We need samples," he replied and turned again to the aliens gestating in their human hosts.

"No! Don't touch anything. You could be infected. We need to leave. Now."

"Scully, they won't believe us," he asserted yet again.

"We have to get out of here, right now," Scully was adamant. This was far beyond their ability to handle on their own. Having seen so much during her tenure on the x-files, the one thing Scully had learned was when they were over their heads. This was one of those times.

"Do you hear that?" Mulder suddenly asked.

"What?"

"Listen. Hissing."

She listened and within seconds, she heard it too, a low hiss coming from the ship, from within the walls of the craft. "You don't think this ship is alive, do you?"

"I don't know. Let's get out of here. Now," Mulder added nervously.

"Why didn't I think of that?" she asked aloud, leading the way out.

"Scully!"

Scully spun, reacting to the terror in Mulder's voice more than the one shouted word. As she turned, weapon drawn, movement from the table caught her attention. Long fingers ripped through the host body, pulling the chest cavity apart like jelly.

Mulder was backed against the far wall of the ship, frozen in place as the creature emerged, the sounds of splitting flesh permeating the air. It freed itself with one last surge, still wet and slimy from human bodily fluids. It unfolded its long legs and leapt right at a wide-eyed Mulder. Mulder threw his hands up to cover his face, the quickness of the attack leaving him no time to fire his weapon.

"Get out of the way!" someone shouted from near the entrance to the ship.

Scully, still slack-jawed from shock, fired her weapon into the
creature's back. But it had Mulder in its grip, hanging him by the neck, swinging him in the air. Strangled gurgling from her partner pushed Scully to shoot the alien again, even though she might easily shoot Mulder as well.

"I said get out of the way!" Tom Paris yelled as he darted past Scully, knocking her to the ground as he ran forward. He pointed his phaser and shot the creature; but the weak stun setting wasn't
working. He didn't want to kill it. They had to talk to it. Gather information. Find out about the invasion. A dead alien was a useless alien.

As a scream rent through the cavern, the alien brought the human in its grip to its mouth. Tom dialed up his phaser without thinking and shot it in the head.

It dropped Mulder who crashed to the ground with a thud. A burst of phaser fire from behind Scully joined Tom's, but the creature would still not fall. It advanced on Tom Paris, its long, spindly legs closing the gap between them so quickly only the blur of movement could be seen.

Scully raised her weapon and fired, the crack of the gunshots echoing off the walls of the ship until they matched the volume of the
shrieking alien. Scully fired over and over, emptying her clip into its body. Gerron, still at the entrance to the craft dialed his phaser to full and shot a continuous stream of concentrated light energy into the creature until it began to glow from within. It glowed brighter and brighter until it burst apart with a pop, spewing black blood, and bits and pieces and chunks of rendered flesh throughout the cabin.

Deathly quiet assaulted the air, just as surely the overload of sound had a scant moment before.

"Mulder?"

"Tom?"

Gerron and Scully rushed to their companions, but neither man was moving.

"Tom? Tom?" Tom was lying facedown and Gerron couldn't get him to respond. He gently rolled him over onto his back and searched for injuries. Bright red blood stained the front of his white T-shirt, the wetness spreading before Gerron's eyes. He lifted Tom's shirt to look for the source of the blood. There, a gapping, round hole on the right side of his chest, blood gurgling out and escaping air from his lungs turning it pink and frothy.

"Mulder," Scully rolled her partner over as well, still calling his name. She could see no injury and his breathing was even and his heartbeat strong. But he was unconscious. She felt his head for
injuries, and finding none, she faced the two men ten feet away from her. She raised her gun before ordering, "Drop your weapon."

Gerron looked up, only to see the woman whose life they just saved aiming a weapon at him. "Tom's hurt."

"Federal Agent. Drop your weapon."

Gerron couldn't allow her to see his or Tom's phasers or commbadges. He swallowed thickly and made the motions that may irrevocably strand him where he was. He raised his hand to his combadge hanging around his neck and tapped the command codes that would beam away anything to connect them with the future. That done, he raised his hands in the air and glared at the woman. "Tom's hurt," he insisted. "He saved you life. You can't let him die."

"What?" Scully asked puzzled. "I can't understand you."

"Shit."

"We don't have time for this. Can you carry him?" Scully asked, pointing at Tom. She bent down and tried to lift Mulder, but knew she would have to drag him most of the way. She cocked her head to the side, realizing it was no longer silent inside the ship. The earlier humming steadily rose until it was a throbbing pulse, infiltrating everything within.

"Let's go, hurry!" Scully urged the young man. She dragged the still unconscious Mulder back into the cavern and toward the entrance. Once Mulder was safely out of the cave, she went looking for the other two.

Halfway down the narrow corridor, she saw them. The smaller, dark haired man hovering over the still blond man. They were both covered in blood and the injured one's breath was coming in ragged gasps. She hooked her hands under his arms and helped to lift him, his friend grabbing his legs. They could see the bright twilight signaling the exit to the cave and sped up their pace. Scully knew the man she carried was seriously injured and that she had shot him. She also knew that whatever was in that cave might just come after them.

As soon as they were out, she pointed her weapon at the young man again. "Sit" she ordered.

Gerron ignored her and went to Tom's side. He covered the hole in his chest with his hand, feeling for his heartbeat with the other. "We have to get him to a doctor!" Gerron shouted.

"I don't understand you. Move over." Scully gestured with her gun. "I'm a doctor." Scully examined the wound and as she was reaching for her satellite phone, Tom Paris stopped breathing. Ten minutes of CPR later and Scully could find a pulse. But Mulder still wasn't moving. "What were those weapons you were firing?" She demanded of Gerron as she flipped open her phone.

He could understand her questions no better than she could understand his answers. He spread his arms and shrugged his shoulders, not taking his eyes of Tom for a minute. Rumbling from the nearby cavern startled them both. Scully flipped her phone closed, rescue call placed. She eyed the cave entrance and watched her patient. The search helicopters wouldn't be long, she knew. If she didn't get this man to a hospital, he would code again and she didn't know if she could bring him back again. And Mulder was still out, though she couldn't find any
injuries.

The rumbling from within the cave grew to a roar and both conscious witnesses would never be sure of what they saw. For a split second, the entire mountain disappeared. The alien craft was visible for another split second, and with a flash of light, the mountain was back. When it was over, she stared at the young man. She wanted to ask him if he saw the same thing she did, but he was pretending not to speak or understand English when she knew he could. She heard him call to his friend. He'd called him Tom. "What is your name?" She demanded.

Gerron understood the word 'name' but wasn't sure if he should be sharing his with her. He bent back over Tom and saw the blood still flowing from the hole in his chest. Noise from above caught his
attention and he saw a primitive aircraft searching for a place to land. He looked to the woman in shock, she was a government agent and he was about to get captured. But he wasn't human. A simple medical exam and they would know as well. With a last look at Tom, Gerron ran.

"Stop!" Scully shouted. She had him in her sights but couldn't bring herself to shoot him in the back. He and his friend saved their lives. And his friend was probably going to die. The young man was most likely in shock and he was running off into the desert alone. Scully waved the rescue team to her position, and then waved them after Gerron. She supervised loading Mulder and Tom into the helicopter and as it took off, she could see the young man riding a motorcycle
through the dry wash.

He wouldn't get far. She couldn't worry about him; she had a critical patient to care for. She slipped her headphones on and asked the pilot, "How long to the nearest hospital?"

"About half an hour."

"Too long," she said. Her patient stopped breathing as if he had heard her proclamation and given up. "You aren't going to die," she told him as she searched through the helicopter's medical supplies. A full flying ambulance was at her disposal and she was going to use it. She started two IV's, threaded a breathing tube down his throat and
applied pressure to the wound. She would hold his blood in herself.

End Part 8