Beta -Sherry & Wendy
ATF - Chris, Vin, Buck, Ezra, JD, Josiah, Nathan
of Supernatural & The X-Files
"Tell us why we have to go after this guy, and why is he hiding in the mountains of New Mexico?" Chris Larabee's green-eyed glare landed on his boss, Assistant Director Orrin Travis.
Travis stared back at the leader of ATF Team Seven. He shook his head. "Chris, I was handed this by the Governor. I did not ask for it. I was told to get the man, no matter what. It seems like no one can bring him in. U.S. Marshal's and the FBI have tried. But so far nothing. Our Governor on behalf of the New Mexico governor, wants the ATF involved to arrest the man, bring him in, and make sure he is jailed."
"Why? If they have tried and can't do it, how come they think our team can?" Buck Wilmington asked.
Travis looked at the dark-haired man. "I have no idea. All I know is it's an assignment and since the man ordered us to get involved, we have to at least try. I have all the records, of the different investigations, and where he was last seen. Look through those files. And before there is a question of why I am assigning you to this, it's that you're the best team we have, and if you can't bring him in, I am sure no one else can." Travis pointed to the file folders on the conference table, "Read through those and get to work. I expect some good results." On that note he turned and walked out the door.
"Damn. Looks like we have something to do this afternoon," Buck said as he reached for one of the files, then pushed the others to the men sitting around the table.
"Nothing else to do at least." Josiah Sanchez remarked as he glanced towards the window.
"Yeah, it's snowing again. We could go play in the snow," JD Dunne brushed hair off his forehead and grinned at his teammates.
"Or lounge in front of a warm, crackling fire with a snifter of Brandy." Ezra Standish remarked.
Vin Tanner frowned. "Home, so I can work on the heater in my apartment."
"Vin! Is the heat off again in your building?" Nathan Jackson blurted out. Being the team's medic, he knew how easy Vin contracted any virus that flew around Denver. Vin had recently gotten over bronchitis, thanks for the heat going off and on in his building for days, and Vin not saying anything.
"It's all right Nathan, I got a couple of space heaters." Vin answered, but looked quickly away from the medic.
"Those could start a fire…." Nathan started to say, but was cut off.
"That's enough ladies. Grab a folder and read through it. Let's see what we have and what we can do before the end of the day."
JD found a picture of the man on the FBI's most wanted web site, though it wasn't the best. The man was short and thin, with light or gray hair and a narrow face. Other than that they couldn't see anything else to set him apart from any other middle-aged man. JD printed the picture out for each of his teammates.
At five, the seven men decided to head out. The only interesting thing they found out about this man known as Frank Montgomery, he was wanted for armed robberies in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The reports listed several different addresses for him, one in all four states. Marshal's and several FBI agents were watching those known houses. The seven would continue with their investigation in the morning.
Chris followed Vin to his apartment, not sure if his Sharpshooter's apartment was really livable. The nights were dropping into the teens and lower, and Vin didn't need to get sick again.
Chris and Vin went up four flights of stairs in the building, they could see their breaths as they hurried up the cold stairways. On the fourth, floor Vin unlocked his apartment door and the two men stepped in. Three space heaters sat around the living room, though they were on high, the room was still very cold. They didn't put enough heat out to warm the space. Vin shook his head and Chris glared at him.
"Go pack, you're not staying here. You'll be down with pneumonia in this place."
"I'll be fine," Vin replied trying to hide a shiver.
Chris walked into the tiny open kitchen and got a glass. Moving to the sink he turned on the water to get a drink. For a moment the pipes rattled loudly before a tiny dribble of water came out of the faucet. Turning off the water, Chris sat the glass down, and looked at Vin.
"You can't stay here. No heat, no water, and for who knows how long. At least come to my place and stay until this is all fixed. Come on. It's like a freezer in here." White vapor came out of Chris's mouth as he finished speaking.
Vin shivered and gave in. He didn't want to be sick again. He knew if he stayed here, the chance of him getting bronchitis back or even pneumonia were high. With a huff, he headed for his bedroom. "I'll pack. Would you shut off the heaters?"
"Yes. We can leave your jeep here, know the kids will watch over it for you, and you can ride to work with me the next couple of days. The RAM is warm." Chris smiled hearing a mumbled curse come from the other room. Vin loved his jeep but the old rig was almost as bad as his apartment. The heater worked sporadically, and in this cold weather, it was chancy if it would even start every day.
The old building Vin lived in mostly housed elderly people and several large Mexican families. Vin got along with them all and looked out for them. The teens in the building always kept an eye on Vin's jeep, and his apartment, when he wasn't around. Vin helped the kids and let them come in and use his computer to do their homework. They trusted him, as he showed he cared for them by helping them any way he could. He worked with them in the summer, putting in rooftop gardens, playing basketball, baseball, and football. He encouraged them to stay out of the gangs that roamed the area, keeping them busy doing good things rather than fighting and getting into trouble.
Vin came down the hall, stopped a minute in the bathroom, then moved into the front room. He glanced around then looked at Chris.
"I have to let Mrs. Mendoza know I'll be gone for a few days. She'll let the kids know to watch out for my jeep and apartment. I don't think they will need my computer. Since it's so cold it doesn't work too well."
"Sounds good. Let's go, I'm freezing in here." Chris said and turned to the door to hide his smile. Vin had bulked up, and he knew the young thin man had put on several warmer shirts. "I'll meet you in the Ram, give me your duffle bag. Go see Mrs. Mendoza, tell her hello from me too." He took the bag from Vin as they reached the second floor.
Several minutes later Vin hurried out of the front doors and crossed to Chris's truck. He opened the back passenger side door and placed a large packet wrapped in tinfoil on the back seat.
"Don't touch. It's dinner from Mrs. Mendoza. Be right back." He closed the door and moved to his jeep. Opening the door, he pulled a few things out of the back, then locked it up and returned to the RAM. Within minutes they were heading to the highway and Chris's ranch.
The smell in the truck's cab about drove both men crazy. Scents of enchilada's, tamales, and Mexican spices permeated the cab. By the time they reached the ranch they were more than ready to tear into the large plate of delicious food.
Two work days passed in the hunt for Montgomery. By late Thursday, they had narrowed down places the man could be holed up in. They'd found two more addresses for him, both located outside of Red River, New Mexico, south of Denver across the state line. One off a road going to Mallette Creek, road 54 to 597. The second place was off highway 38. Though there was a reference of a place off road 77. They would have to check all leads. They contacted the other law enforcement agencies involved with the investigation and found they were stretched thin due to a virus going around. The men they could spare were already watching the other addresses in case Montgomery showed up, along with doing everyone else's work. They couldn't spare anyone to help the Denver team.
"All right guys. We do this ourselves. We'll split up and check out the houses or cabins or whatever they are. Too late today to get down there and find the places, it'll be dark in a half hour." Chris looked over his men and decided who would go with whom.
"Buck, Ezra, Josiah, and Nathan will go to the place off 77 and 38. JD, Vin, and I will take the other one off 597. Ezra, see if you can get us a motel or someplace to stay in Red River or Taos. We'll have to spend a night since its almost three hundred miles from here. And its winter. JD's printed out maps, information, and satellite photos of the locations of the houses." Chris glanced at the men around him. "Ezra you'll be on communications in your rig. We'll keep in touch by cell phone. The rest of you can decide who will be driving."
"Buck," came the answer immediately from the three men.
Wilmington grinned, pleased they chose him, he would keep them safe.
"Fine," Chris said and looked at the satellite pictures on the table in front of him. He picked up a couple showing the topography of the area around Red River. Handing them to Buck he told them, "JD has circled Montgomery's places, so you should be able to find them without any problems. We'll take the other one, point B. Ours is around thirty-five or forty minutes out of Red River. Yours should be about a half hour. I have a feeling the one out on 77 is a no go. It has to be one of the others. But we can check if we don't find him in one of the easier places. Time wise it should be about the same."
"Any questions?" When no one said anything Chris continued, "We'll meet here at eight tomorrow morning. I've requested two four-wheel drive SUV's; they should be ready to go. We'll load and leave no later than eight-fifteen. All right go home and I'll see you here in the morning. Pack for an overnight stay. Ezra let me know if you find a motel."
The men picked up the information JD printed and carried it out of the room. Vin hesitated and looked at Chris. "I'm riding shotgun tomorrow, and I need to stop at my apartment for a couple of things."
"Not a problem. Let's go." Chris answered and followed Vin out of the room, shutting off the lights as he left. In the bull pen the other five men were pulling on coats and getting ready to leave.
Chris looked at Ezra, "Eight o'clock Ezra."
Ezra shot him a grin, "Never fear Mr. Larabee, I will not be tardy."
The next morning, the weather proved to be a problem. It was snowing and blowing hard through the mile high city. The seven men arrived at the parking garage by eight, but they were not happy with the weather. Chris checked out one of the carpool SUV's and found it didn't have snow tires and it wouldn't shift into four wheel drive. The other SUV proved to be a newer vehicle and everything worked, even the heater. With a curse, Chris contacted the car pool and was getting the run around.
While Chris waited and fought with the car pool manager, Ezra informed him he could only find rooms in the town of San Luis, Colorado, or in Red River at a condo rental place.
Chris frowned, he knew they would be passing through San Luis going and coming, "How far is San Luis from Red River?"
"Depending on the weather around an hour." Ezra glanced at his note, "The condo ranges from $350 to $450 a night. The Inn in San Luis around $70 a room, and they have 3 suites available right now."
"Book San Luis. We should be there tonight sometime, after we take down Montgomery." Chris yelled into the cell phone. "Lewis - where is my other winterized SUV? We need it NOW."
Chris finally shut the phone down. He'd been advised there were no other vehicles available. He would have to take his truck.
"Damn it we're late, load up, taking my truck, and the SUV."
The men piled into the vehicles and minutes later they were driving out of the parking area and into the Denver streets, heading for the highway going south. Though Chris grumbled about having to use his RAM he didn't really mind, he knew it would get them where they needed to go and back. He grinned to himself, he would be using his ATF credit card for everything.
The two vehicles reached San Luis around 1:30 PM and drove past the Inn. Ezra ran in and made sure the rooms were reserved, and using the agency credit card, paid for them. He advised the owner they would be back sometime that evening. A little over an hour later they turned off, onto highway 38.
The snow continued to come down, thankfully not as heavy as it had been that morning. They had outrun the wind near Colorado Springs. Chris pulled into a parking lot in front of a business just past the turnoff. A neon light on the top of the one story building blinked, 'The Roadhouse' while a smaller one on the front wall near the door declared, 'Best Food Around.' Several cars and trucks were parked close to the building.
Chris rolled down his window as Buck parked next to him. The passenger window went down and Ezra looked across to Chris.
"Shall we contemplate this is a bust and just withdraw to our Inn rooms Mr. Larabee?"
"Ezra, we go on. No one in their right mind will be out in this, and we might get lucky. We have several miles to go before our turn off. Try to keep in touch once we go our separate ways." Chris rolled his window up and returned to the road. Twelve miles later he turned to the east on 597. Buck continued through Red River, following highway 38.
Chris almost missed one of the curves in the snow storm that began in earnest fifteen minutes later. He continued slowly.
Buck and his three passengers found the turn off they were looking for a half hour later. They continued for another fifteen minutes before they entered an open area. Through the snow they spotted cabins sitting back from the road. Those on the left were bordered by trees behind and to each side of them. None of the places had any vehicles parked beside them or lights on inside as they drove past. Passing the sixth cabin, Josiah checked the map.
"Montgomery's should be about two miles further. I have a feeling there will be no one there. This area looks like it's summer cabins. With this snow, if anyone was home we would see something."
"Yes, they seem to be quite empty," Ezra added as he looked closely at another cabin to the right of them.
"Well boys, we will see. I'm thinking that too. No one's been on this road in sometime," Buck added as he drove through the deepening snow.
"Just don't drive off the road Buck," Nathan added from the back seat.
"Have no intention of doing that," Buck grinned and he maneuvered around curve.
"Who would live out in this wilderness this time of the year anyway?" Ezra asked, not expecting an answer.
"It is pretty private. If you have a snowmobile, it would be fine." Buck said.
Several minutes later Buck eased the SUV to a stop. "I think that's the place. Looks abandoned to me." He stared at the green painted cabin at the end of a short driveway. The house looked cold and quiet in the falling snow. Buck pulled into the driveway.
"Well we better check just in case," Josiah pulled on his coat and opened the door. The four men worked their way through the snow to the small cabin. Nothing moved anywhere but the snow, falling silently. The carport behind the house was empty. Nathan found a window without a curtain covering it and looked into the cabin. Nothing inside indicated anyone lived there at this time. A couch and chair were covered with sheets, what furniture he could see had a layer of dust on it.
"Let's get out of here before we can't. There's nothing here. Montgomery isn't in this place." Nathan told the others as they walked the rest of the way around the cabin and headed for the SUV.
Brushing snow off, they kicked snow off their boots and got back into the warm SUV. Buck backed out of the driveway and turned to retrace their tracks back to the main road. Several times the vehicle slid some on the ice but they finally made it to the main road and all four breathed a sigh of relief. The weather had turned worse.
Chris drove the RAM along the snow-covered road. They had close to five more miles to go before reaching the turn off going to Montgomery's hiding place. The snow fell heavier each time they left the shielding trees along the road. They couldn't see anything beyond one hundred feet. A winter wonderland of white encrusted trees and snow-covered road surrounded them. They were climbing higher, though the only way they could tell was the feel of the road as it twisted around curves. The clumps of snow-covered trees blocked the wind that had come up and the road was icy in places.
Then they were on a straight stretch and JD told Chris they should see a left turn coming up in a minute or two. Chris slowed the truck more as he and Vin strained their eyes watching for the turn.
"There," Vin pointed at a road cutting between several trees. Chris eased into the turn and a short time later they spotted several cabins ahead of them. Smoke rose out of the chimney of one and a light could be seen in the front window.
Chris stopped the truck. With few words, they bundled up before stepping out of the truck and making for the cabin. Splitting up, Vin to the left and JD to the right, they move to the cabin. Chris stepped under the overhang and knocked loudly on the door.
The door was thrown open and a yelling man launched himself at Chris, knocking him back several feet before Larabee caught himself. He grabbed the man. Vin and JD rushed to help.
The man was screaming unintelligible words. He was yelling so loud some snow slid off the roof of the cabin. They couldn't make out a word the man said. He screamed at them as they pulled him away from Chris. At last a few words got through to the agents. "Get me out of here!"
"We will. Shut up!" Chris ordered as he gripped the smaller man's arm. He turned to Dunne. "JD, check the house and make sure everything is locked down. See if you can find a coat for him too."
While JD headed into the cabin, Vin and Chris, each holding one of the man's arms, guided him towards the RAM. As they got closer the man twisted in their hands and with a heave broke free and ran yelling back towards the house.
With a curse the two ran after him. JD walked out of the front door, the man's coat over his arm, and was knocked over when Montgomery tried to get inside. Montgomery's feet tangled in JD's legs and he went down.
Chris and Vin arrived an instant later, grabbed the screaming fugitive and pulled him up. Chris got into the man's face and growled at him, "Shut up or I am going to knock you out."
White faced, Montgomery snapped his mouth shut and his eyes widened like huge saucers. "So… Sorry. But I need to get out of here. It's too dangerous. I need help to get away from here." He whispered.
"We are trying to get you out of here. Just keep quiet and we'll leave," Chris snarled at the man. "Now put that coat on and get into the damn truck."
Montgomery grabbed the coat from JD and quickly pulled it on. He turned towards the truck. The three ATF agents closed in around him as they tramped through the snow to the truck. They got him into the back seat and Vin got in after him. As scared as the man was they didn't think he would try to get out once they were moving. Chris put the truck in gear and backed out of the trees and turned back towards the way they'd come in.
"You are Frank Montgomery, aren't you?" Vin asked after reading him his Miranda rights.
"Yes. Well no. I mean I might be… I'm not sure." Came the reply as Montgomery cowered against the seat.
Vin shot a glance at Chris who looked at him in the rearview mirror a moment. "Who are you then?"
"Umm, there's aliens coming after me and I need to get hidden somewhere safe before they find me. I'm Agent Fox Mulder, FBI investigator of the Unknown. A man called Shadow Man is also looking for me. I need a safe place, then I have to contact Agent Dana Scully. She should already be looking for me. She will come and take me to somewhere safe." With that he sank back against the seat, pulling his jacket tightly around him and stared out the side window.
“Aliens are after him?” JD asked as he looked over his shoulder at the two in the back seat, his gaze went from Vin to Montgomery, “What are you talking about?”
Vin shrugged as a smirk pulled at his lips. “He thinks he’s Agent Fox Mulder, and ‘aliens’ are hunting him.”
“Fox Mulder? Who’s he?”
“JD, you’re into Sci Fi, he’s the FBI agent in that X-Files TV show. I'm sure you’ve seen it before,” Chris said as he carefully pressed on the gas to get the big truck moving down the road. The snowy roadbed was turning into ice as the underside continued to freeze after the snow melt the day before. Chris maneuvered the RAM, along the snow-covered icy road, feeling the wheels slip now and then as they crept along it.
“Oh …I remember… He doesn’t look anything like Mulder does he?” JD said looking at the man who lifted his head and glared at JD.
“Who are you? They are after me and I need to get to my office and Scully as soon as possible. I know where the aliens are now; everyone needs to be warned before they take over the country. Please get me to FBI headquarters.” The gray-haired man said in a low voice.
“We’ll get you there as soon as we can.” Chris replied, shooting a glance at Vin in the mirror. Both men nodded, they would be sure the man received medical attention before anything else.
“Damn, this storm is getting worse.” Chris grumbled as the snow began to come down harder as the wind swirled around them. He slowed the truck more as they went around a sharp curve, praying no one was coming at them. They made it around the curve and slid sideways into another one. Easing off the gas more Chris steered into the slide. For a moment everyone held their breaths as the RAM slid. Then, Chris had it under control again, and steered it into the correct lane. Breaths were released as the RAM steadied and moved on down the road.
“Try to get a hold of someone again. Rather they not try to come up here, tell them we have Montgomery.” Chris said as he peered through the windshield, closely watching the road ahead of them. He had an idea where they were, but couldn’t see any landmarks to verify their location, he hoped Vin or JD would be able to get through to someone before they reached the main road.
Vin and JD were dialing different numbers hoping to reach one of their teammates.
“Standish here.” Vin heard on his cell phone through the static.
“Ezra don’t come up Route 597. Not safe. We’re fine, got Montgomery. Will meet you at ‘The Roadhouse’ as soon as we can.” Vin said loudly into the phone.
“I got you. Mr. Tanner. We’ll be there in a while. Road is slick but not too bad yet, heading back to Red River.” Ezra replied, and with a burst of static the phone went dead.
As he put his phone down, Vin looked at Chris, then JD.
Chris nodded as he watched the road, “I think we’re about forty-five minutes from there."
They came around a corner and met a snow plow going the other direction. With a sigh of relief Chris pulled over and drove in the other lane, though they all watched ahead of them for oncoming vehicles. Luck was with them and they made good time. They passed through the town and since the highway had been plowed they headed for the meeting place.
Twenty minutes later, Chris turned into the large parking lot in front of The Roadhouse. The lot they saw, had been plowed, but the eight vehicles in the lot were parked close to the building. Most were covered with snow. They realized they had arrived before the others. Chris parked and the men got out. JD helped Montgomery - ‘Mulder’ from the back, holding onto his elbow as they made their way into the building, stomping snow off their boots.
Vin moved to a side table with chairs and a booth seat and sat down, facing the door. The others followed.
A young man with a crew-cut type haircut and wearing a bulky sweatshirt walked over and asked, “What can we get you boys?” When he spoke Montgomery seemed to shrink into himself, ducking his head to hide his face. The man looked at him as Chris ordered coffee for them.
"Sandwiches or something to eat?" The man asked and gave them a rundown of what they had available.
Montgomery shook his head no, but the other three ordered sandwiches and fries.
The man left and gave the order to an older woman who came out of the back. She quickly filled mugs with coffee and moments later the man was back, his eyes going back to Montgomery. "Food will be here in a couple of minutes."
A tall young man came from the back and paused at the bar looking their way. His eyes widened. Long, dark hair fell across his forehead as he grabbed a stool and sat down at the bar. His gaze turned back to the strangers. An older, shorter, scruffy-looking man came out of a back door and glanced at the newcomers before he took a seat next to the younger man.
Vin felt the hair on his neck stand up and looked at Chris a moment. They both shifted, making sure their guns were close to hand. JD saw their subtle movements and moved so his weapon was closer to his hand. He saw that Montgomery seemed to have shrunk even smaller and wondered what the problem could be with everyone.
Shortly the door swung open and four men rushed in, stomping their feet and brushing off coats. They came to a halt when confronted with pointed guns and shotguns. Vin and Chris were up, their guns pointing at the two armed young men moving towards them. JD rose behind them.
The young men raised their hands, the older one, their waiter, said, “Stop! Everything’s alright, they aren’t who we thought they were.” The patrons' arms disappeared instantly and everyone relaxed. The woman behind the bar hung up the phone as she put the shotgun back under the counter.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to alarm you. I’m Dean Winchester, this is my brother Sam, and Bobby, our surrogate uncle. We’d gotten word The Roadhouse was to be attacked tonight. We're here to protect Ellen, and her newest venture.” Dean stated holding his hands away from his body. The long-haired younger man nodded at Dean's words.
The four newcomers, Buck, Ezra, Josiah and Nathan, walked over to the table their friends were standing beside. Buck wondered what they'd walked into.
The seven relaxed their positions. Chris, JD, and Vin holstered their guns. Chris stepped forward, “Chris Larabee, ATF, this is my team …” and he quickly named his men as they stood loosely around him. “Can we help?”
“No. We have it under control. But thanks anyway." Sam answered as he made an observation. "You’re missing a man.”
Vin, Josiah, and JD raced out the door looking for Montgomery. But found only the tracks of their friends in the snow, that led right to the carpool SUV. There were no other tracks to be found anywhere. Returning inside, they shrugged, "He's gone."
“Maybe he really was being hunted and what he said was right. That aliens were really looking for him.” At the strange looks, JD added, “Said his name was Fox Mulder, though he is really Frank Montgomery, wanted by just about everyone.”
“Oh. We hear that around here a lot. About Mulder anyway. Anyone ready for a late lunch before ya’ll head home? Ellen's got sandwiches made.” Sam asked as he turned back to the bar.
"Excuse my brother, he's still growing. Were you hoping to take this, Montgomery, in?" Dean asked as the seven agents sat down at their table.
Buck nodded his head, "He's wanted in four states for armed robbery, and the Marshal's and FBI are hunting for him. They thought we could find him and bring him in. Well, we almost had him."
"There's no tracks out in the snow, only yours coming from where you parked the SUV. He's vanished." JD stated looking at Buck who shrugged.
Dean glanced at his uncle standing a little behind him. Bobby shot him a little grin. "This guy said aliens were after him?"
"Was screaming it," JD said before Chris could answer. Chris frowned at the younger agent and JD shut up.
"Things have been happening around here. Unexplained things for the last couple of months. One of the reasons we are here helping our friend. And it looks like your food is coming. We'll keep an eye out for this guy for you, in case we see him again."
"Contact the local cops, we're from Denver and this is out of our way. Thanks, here's my card though. We're staying in San Luis tonight and heading home in the morning." Chris handed Dean his business card as the woman, Ellen, sat a large tray on their table and started to hand out sandwiches.
"Thanks. We'll let you know if they pick him up." Dean nodded, sticking the card in his pants pocket as he joined his brother at the bar.
Team Seven ate their sandwiches and paid for the meal and coffees. Outside they looked again all around the now dark parking lot. It was lit by a dozen vapor lights. In the blowing snow nothing could be seen other than the parked vehicles. They hurried to their rigs and in minutes they left the parking lot.
As they headed north an odd light hovered through the trees, lighting the snowy evening ahead of them. Chris eyed the light and wondered what kind of a rig was ahead of them. When the light got larger Chris slowed.
JD, on the phone with Ezra heard him say, "What is ahead of you Mr. Dunne?"
"I don't know Ezra, it's …" He stopped as the light grew larger, almost like a huge spotlight, that bathed the RAM and SUV in light.
Then it was gone. So fast the men all were blinking in the sudden darkness with only their headlights shining through the snowy night.
"What the hell!" Seven men exclaimed at once as they continued down the road. Not sure what they'd seen, but now feeling there might have been something to what Frank Montgomery had been scared to death of. They decided they wanted out of the area and couldn't wait to get home the next day.
Every man in the two vehicles hoped they never had to go to New Mexico again, at least not for a long, long time.
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