Part 1

Phoenix, Arizona - November 1997

Mulder sat at a table in the dingy all-night diner nursing his orange juice. His cholesterol special of eggs, hash browns, fried bacon and a side of white toast coated with butter was settling in his stomach. This pretending to be dead stuff was for the birds. He glanced at his watch, five o'clock which meant that it was seven o'clock out east. Arizona did not change from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time, so if he was wrong it was eight in D.C. and Scully should still be at home. He was anxious to get back on the road, only about six more hours to go.

He finished his orange juice followed by the little bit of coffee left in his cup. He placed enough money on the table to cover both the meal and a tip for the waitress before leaving the diner and walking to the phone booth in the parking lot.

He deposited enough coins to cover the call, he could not very well use his Bureau calling card at the moment. He did know Scully's pin number, but it was better not to leave any trail whatsoever. Someone somewhere got a printed, detailed summary of the credit card calls made and they would be looking for a little slip up like Mulder using Scully's number.

"Hello," she said, answering on the third ring.

Placing a handkerchief over the mouthpiece, he did his best to disguise his voice. "Doctor Dana Scully," he said. "It's George Hale."

He could almost hear her hesitation on the other side of the phone. He wanted to shout, "it's me Scully, talk to me," but that would have ruined the attempted disguise. "Yes, Mr. Hale," she said finally and Mulder let out the breath he had been holding.

"I have some information for you. I have arranged for you to meet me in Los Angeles this evening."

"That's short notice, Mr. Hale."

"I think you will find the trip useful, Doctor."

"All right, Mr. Hale, I will be there tonight." He was grateful she asked no further questions and if he timed his call correctly, one of the Gunmen would be delivering her plane ticket any minute now.

He hung up with Scully without further ado and opened the bifolding phone booths doors. He squinted as he stepped out into the Arizona sunlight. He patted his shirt down, but realized his shades were still in the car. He had already refueled his Cutlass Supreme so he was ready to go. If all went well, he would be in Los Angeles before noon. He could find a hotel near the airport and crash until he had to meet Scully at the airport.