Summary: The Red Falls cover-up begins. Can Mulder and Scully ever find out the whole truth of what happened in the small Colorado town?

Disclaimer: As much as it pains me to say this, I don't own Mulder or Scully. They kind of belong to Chris Carter and all those other wonderful people at 1013 Productions and Fox. Kristina Platt, Thomas Burgh, and Chief Bota are all mine though.

Author's Notes: This was written for a challenge at agentsoftruth.com. It's based on The X-Files video game entitled 'Resist or Serve'. For anyone who has played the game, it is written as a lost scene from between episodes one and two.

The Burning by xxnotyourstarxx

The anchorwoman carefully fixed her hair, listening to the countdown before they went on the air. She did one last check in the mirror before putting on a mock serious face and turning toward the camera.

"Good evening. This is Kristina Platt with your breaking news."

She turned to a new camera and adjusted some papers. Her already serious face turned grave. "There has been a tragic accident in the small town of Red Falls, Colorado tonight. Local authorities from the nearby town of DuPont have been on the scene for most of the night, but they have been unable to put out the fires that have raged throughout the town for the past few hours. There have been reports of several bodies being dug out of the charred remains of a few buildings, but many of them are still engulfed in flames. We will now go to our on-the-scene reporter Thomas Burgh. Thomas…"

Thomas took a deep breath and stared at the camera seriously. "Thank you Kristina. I'm here with DuPont's Chief of Police, Raymond Bota. Chief Bota, has anyone found any evidence that this could be an arson case?"

"Well, the fact that the entire town is in flames is a little suspicious, but so far we've found no survivors, so we are open to all possibilities at this point."

Thomas nodded, pretending to care about everything going on around him. Inside, though, he was tired and more than a little scared. He had heard some of the stories circulating throughout the men from the fire department, but he wasn't about to repeat them on statewide television. Nor was he going to mention the fact that the military and FEMA had both been at the scene when he arrived. Thomas knew something was going on here, and usually it would be his job to find out what, but in this case, he was just happy to report what the nice general behind the cameraman wanted him to. After all, that gun pointed at his abdomen was extremely persuasive. "Do you expect to find many survivors? If there was anyone left, wouldn't they have made some attempt to stop the blaze before it spread through the city?"

"Not if they're the ones who spread it in the first place." Thomas stared at the chief incredulously. He was almost jealous of the way that the chief didn't even seem to notice the gun pointed at the reporter he was speaking to. In all honesty, Thomas was terrified now. The general had taken the safety off the gun and was whispering something to the cameraman. Come to think of it, Thomas was sure now that he had never seen that cameraman before in his life. Where was Marty? It wasn't his day off, was it?

"Could the reason why no one stopped the fire from spreading be that they were all already dead when it started?"

He knew that he shouldn't have ever asked that question out loud, but the stakes were too high and he knew that no matter what, the house was going to win this round anyway. There was no way out for him this time. Now that he thought about it, there never really had been. Reviewing the events of the evening, it was obvious that this was the moment that it had all been leading up to. The military and FEMA had been there before he was because they had always been there. They had been there before the fire even started, and who knows how long before that? This was planned from the beginning. This was murder.

Thomas saw the light go out on the camera. They had switched it back to the news room. His time was up.

"We must be experiencing some technical difficulties ladies and gentlemen. We will do all that we can to get this problem fixed and get the news from the front line to you as quickly as possible. Please stay tuned while we go on a commercial break."

Minutes later, Kristina was once again on television, smiling merrily. "It's my pleasure to inform you that the arsonist has been taken into custody. Dr. John Gillnitz has been arrested for starting the fires that killed almost the entire population of Red Falls. He could stand trial as early as May 26th if everything goes as county officials plan. Once again, let me reiterate that residents of nearby towns can rest assured, they are perfectly safe. The suspect has been taken into custody."

Kristina turned to the second camera, setting her papers down and folding her hands. "This has been Kristina Platt with your breaking news. Thank you for tuning in. You will now be returned to your regularly scheduled programming.

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The helicopter hovered and began to descend slowly toward the asphalt at the Denver International Airport. Mulder and Scully sat beside each other in their seats, each thinking about the experiences they had had earlier that night.

Mulder sighed deeply. Already, the streets they had walked just hours before were riddled with flames. He knew the fire was no accident; how could it be? "They're covering up the truth even as we speak, Scully. We've got nothing." He leaned back in the helicopter seat, letting his head bang against the rest limply. "So close to the truth, and we're back at square one."

"I wouldn't say that," Scully said as she pulled a blue disc out of her inner coat pocket.

"What's on it?"

"I don't know, but why don't we find out?"