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TITLE: Maybe Worm Food
AUTHOR: Maidenjedi
ARCHIVE: List archives, otherwise please ask
SPOILERS: small ones for Planet of the Frohikes
DISCLAIMER: They just aren't mine. I leave the hard stuff to the big boys.
SUMMARY: Is Langly fish food now?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: at the end.

It's not like it was a hard assignment. Get in, change the passcode for the doors, get out. Simple.

Not even Jimmy could have fucked this one up.

But somehow, our fair-haired comrade HAD screwed it up. Langly wasn't the clumsy *type*, he didn't just walk into the arms of the enemy....

Shouldn't have let him do it, should've found some other way to break into the system at MuriTech. It wasn't even that important a story, it was just another ho-hum sidebar about another ho-hum company that is really a front for a Mafia king. Or maybe it was a drug-dealer. I forget which now.

I can't help but wonder what they did with him. We know they shot him. We heard the shots on his wire and the thud as he hit the ground. I'll never forget the look on Byers' face. The horror, the dawning realization that we'd lost him. The sickest part had come as we realized we couldn't wait, that we had to get the hell out of Dodge before they came after us. Jimmy hadn't been able to drive, he was blubbering so hard; I took the wheel and off we sped into the night,

leaving a man behind. I had to stop once before we made it back to the office; I was nauseous and couldn't hold it back.

Langly. Dead.

Because we'd all been cowards. Because he was the tech wiz, and I was too damn lazy. I'd get the next one, I'd said as he suited up. He didn't care, he said. He relished it, the thrill of it. Byers hadn't

even volunteered to go in, and after the debacle with that stupid monkey, none of us would let Jimmy go. It was as if fate had stepped in.

And now he was likely fish food.

Or maybe worm food.

I think I'll be sick again.

Its been weeks, and we haven't ventured into the field again. Its been so bad that Yves called in a panic when we didn't show up unexpectedly during her last foray as Mata Hari. Jimmy barely speaks, and Byers spends the hours listening to police scanners and scouring the internet for news. He hasn't let me call Mulder to tell him. Byers is in denial again, just like he once was with Susanne.

Me? I've been sitting here at the computer nearly nonstop, playing Langly's Everquest character for him. I can't think of anything to say or do to fix this. Langly's dead. And if I go near the kitchen I'll start swigging red wine or maybe even that bottle of Jack under the sink.

Maybe we'd all be better off sleeping with the fishes.


AUTHORS NOTES: Written in response to a challenge issued by Surreal on the Topica LGM list: Write about Byers or Frohike's reaction/feelings to hearing about Langly's death or rumor thereof. This challenge was issued sometime last year; I just dug the fic up, dusted it off, and decided to post it.

Feedback/criticism always gratefully accepted at

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