A/N: Many moons ago this story was started...many moons passed before it was continued. Even more moons passed before it was deleted and now, it is reposted for posterity and because the Lone Gunmen don't get enough attention anymore.
Told from the viewpoint of an original character, you have been warned.
The sky over Arlington Cemetery was gray. Not the typical blue gray color it takes on when rain clouds form, the blue gray that many people actually find quite pretty, but the most dismal, ordinary and depressing gray anyone could possibly imagine. This was the color that turned poets melancholy, that turned artists miserable, and that made the boring corporate world go round. Gray like the sidewalk cement, something akin to the color of cigarette smoke. A flat, lifeless shade that seemed to weigh down heavily upon everything, taking all the joy out of the world. The dullest color known to mankind.
Even the grass I was kneeling in had a grayish cast to it, further draining the color from this somber place. The stark white of the headstones surrounding me was the only relief to be found from the drabness that seemed to come from all sides, engulfing me, enclosing me and making me feel boxed in. Of course, that isn't really what was making me feel so wretched, no, that honor was given to the three simple grave markers that stood in front of me, dutifully informing the world that here lay John Byers, Melvin Frohike and Richard Langly. Friends, brothers, sons. Three heroes whom the world at large knew nothing about.
I Heroes, he would laugh to hear me now. /I
There was a thunderclap in the distance, shattering the silence of the graveyard as the whole area seemed to vibrate with the power of the boom, and I shivered at the sudden sound. Not only did it startle me terribly, but I had been kneeling here, in the rain for at least an hour, weeping. I was cold and very, very wet. Not that it mattered really, my emotions were in such turmoil I was barely even aware of my physical condition, numb to the world that lay outside my own head.
A fresh wave of tears flooded my eyes, but I willed them away. The rain had mercifully stopped a short time ago, and my tears had ebbed soon after, I wasn't about to start again. If I did, I may never have been able to stop.
Kneeling there, in the mud, my clothes soaked through, I thought about the utter ridiculousness of the situation. The date of death on those headstones was five years ago, but to me, the grief was fresh. I had spent the past six years on the run from the government, with no ties to anyone or anything. I had no way of knowing they were gone, God, I hadn't even been near a computer to check my e-mail in over four years, it was too risky after they almost caught me the last time. How was I to have known?
What was even more ludicrous was the wad of papers that was folded and shoved unceremoniously into my jacket pocket. In addition to the notification of their will reading (an event that had taken place on May fifteenth, two thousand two) there were also several sheets of paper from my personal files that detailed all the information I could gather on those who were responsible, either directly, or indirectly for the death of The Lone Gunmen.
When I had finally arrived home, on top of the fact I found my apartment in shambles, there was a stack of old mail on my kitchen table, every scrap of which had been torn open and read by persons unknown. On the very top of the pile was the letter that marked the first time I had heard of the death of my friends. What a way to find out. A cold sterile sheet of paper from some law firm informing me that my presence was requested at the will reading that had taken place a good five years before.
I must have sat there staring at that damn sheet of paper for at least an hour, completely numb to the world around me. It had started out as such a good day...my name was finally cleared this morning, I was able to come home
The first thing I had done after I had recovered from the initial shock of the whole thing, was to get to the nearest cyber ca
The reality hadn't really sunk in yet, I suppose. In my line of work you grew to believe you were prepared for this sort of thing. Friends and allies were always disappearing, or dying, it was just part of the job. Spies, investigative journalists, hackers, and law enforcement agents all had notoriously short life spans, it was just one of those inescapable facts. People occupying those professions made up the biggest percentage of deaths every year. Not the cancer patients, not those with heart attacks, normal, everyday healthy people who simply had I unhealthy /i jobs. We were all just statistics in the long run, numbers and not people.