by Maureen S. O'Brien
Disclaimer: Airwolf belongs to Belisarius Productions and
MCA/Universal. The X-Files belongs to Chris Carter and
Ten-Thirteen. Everything else is mine, mine, mine. Nyeh.
"Look at this, Scully. It's a bonanza! A black helicopter 
sighting by a member of the Texas Department of Public
Safety Traffic Division -- that's Texas for Highway Patrol. 
She's also a pilot. A trained observer, who gives all sorts 
of details and is an absolutely credible witness. This is 
great! We have to talk to her!" 
"Officer Caitlin O'Shannessy. Granted, it's been almost 10 
years, but she should still remember...." 
"Cait? Sure she'll remember. She went on and on about this 
big black helicopter that saved her life, and how nifty it 
was, and how good the pilot must have been, and so forth." 
Scully sighed. "A girl and her chopper." 
Mulder boggled briefly. "You know her, Scully? Didn't it 
occur to you that this sort of sighting is fairly unusual?" 
"I was in med school, Mulder. Nothing struck me as unusual 
unless it came with a toetag attached." 
"But she left the Department of Public Safety pretty soon 
afterwards. Silenced?" 
Scully raised her eyebrow. "Silenced? Cait? No, Mulder. She 
went to California to take back the remains of the man whose 
murder she'd been investigating. I never heard the whole 
story, but somehow she met a couple of stunt pilots and got 
a job offer. And that was it. The next thing you know, she 
quit the Department." 
"Liked flying better?" 
"Yes. And that was the strange thing. She loved her job. She 
was putting in her eight years till she could apply to 
become a Texas Ranger, and she had a pretty good chance at 
getting it. She used to harass me to come on out when I 
was done with school, since I wanted to go into pathology. 
But one day, she just said goodbye to it all, and I started 
getting calls from Van Nuys instead of Texas." 
"Starstruck, huh." Mulder rolled his eyes. "The lure of 
"I think it was a different lure. The last time I saw her 
was at her wedding. She married one of the pilots, a man 
named Stringfellow Hawke." 
"At least I'm not the only one in the world whose parents 
had deficient naming skills." 
"They gave him some good genes, though. I swear, half of 
Cait's bridesmaids were drooling." 
"Which half were you in?" 
Scully blushed. "I?ll take the Fifth...." 
Mulder smirked. "So how did you meet Ms. O'Shanessy-Hawke?" 
"She was in my dorm. Me, Cait, and Cait's cousin Maggie 
Poole, who ended up joining the Navy. The Redheads With  
Guns." Scully looked embarrassed. "We were young. We were 
too conservative for Berkeley -- which didn't take much. And 
we didn't have steady boyfriends, because we weren't 
California blondes. Going to the firing range helped get rid 
of the frustrations." 
Mulder smirked again. "No wonder you're such a good shot." 
"Guns get rid of frustrations permanently," Scully warned 
"Ooh. Maybe I should ask Ms. O'Shanessey-Hawke where the 
corpses are buried." 
She smiled enigmatically. "You know what they say, Mulder.
Friends help you move. Real friends help you move 
He started to ask her to promise to move his. Then he 
stopped. He knew she wasn't serious. But he looked at that 
smile and decided not to take any chances.
"Well, Scully, since you were too busy memorizing causes 
of death to investigate the finer points of paranormal
aviation...." He turned on the slide projector and turned
off the lights.
"First slide. This is an artist's rendering of a so-called
'black helicopter'. Note the absence of markings, a violation
of FAA rules. Sightings are relatively common throughout the 
west and southwest, often in suburbs or near military bases."
"The helicopters often are accompanied by a blinding light
or strange noises...."
"Hello. My name is Dana Scully. I'd like to speak to Caitlin 
Hawke...Sure, I can hold. Thanks, Le Van," she smiled. 
Mulder looked inquiring. Scully covered the mouthpiece with
her hand. "Her nephew by marriage. He's half-Vietnamese."
Her attention shifted back to the phone. "Hello, Cait? It's
me, Dana...."
Cait smiled into the phone. "Dana! I was just thinking about
you! There's this new hospital show we're working on -- I
was getting aerial shots of the CareFlight flying over the
city, and Hawke was flying the CareFlight helo. This poor
guy had to lay down in there all day, pretending to be the
accident victim. I kept thinking, shouldn't that guy have
some blood splatted around him? And then I thought,
Dana would know."
"Dead people make you think of me?" Dana retorted. 
"Now that's good to hear." 
A male voice started singing next to the phone. 
"Why do stiffs suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me...."
"So, is that your partner I hear? You never did send
me a picture of you two working or something."
"Cait, he's my partner, not...."
"Yeah. Uh huh. That's why you felt called upon to
tell me he was cute."
"I did not...."
"Yes, you did."
"No, I didn't. Cait, I...."
Cait heard that voice again.  "Squabbling with your
little friends, Scully? Tsk, tsk."
Dana's hand must have gone over the receiver. Just
not well enough. "Do you mind, Mulder?"
"Not at all. I could listen to your voice all day."
Cait held in a laugh. She thought she liked this
"I'm flattered," Dana said dryly. "And you're leaving.
Otherwise, I won't ask Cait about your black 
Cait quit laughing. 
"Sorry about that, Cait. The reason I'm calling you
on the Bureau's time is that my partner here is
interested in hearing about that time you saw that
big black helicopter."
Cait breathed a sigh of relief. "In Polk County, 
you mean? With that polecat sheriff?"
"That's the one." Dana sounded puzzled.
"Well, pass your partner the phone and I'll tell
him as much as I can remember."
"Actually, we're coming out to California in
a few days. Mulder could interview you in
person, and I could see you for once...if you
don't have any schedule conflict."
Cait looked through her calendar, feeling a
little better. "We're not too busy this week.
Which day should we expect you?" 

"Pretty nice spread. Is the stunt pilot business that 
"We also do aerial photography, helicopter and antique
aircraft rental, and flight instruction," Hawke said.
"But no. I inherited this place."
"They're hiding something, Scully."
"Such as?" She glared at him. "Mulder, they've been very
polite. They've let you interrogate Cait, poke around 
their place of business, and even invited you up to 
their home, which is something of a rare honor. Now,
can you give me some kind of concrete evidence that 
something strange is going on? Or do you simply intend
to harass my friend until she isn't my friend any longer?"
Scully couldn't help overhearing. Cait sounded tired and 
sad. "Why won't they let us alone, Hawke? Why do they keep 
lookin'? And Dana, of all people. She useta be such a happy
person, and now she's just another spy."
Scully froze. 
"I don't think so," Hawke answered slowly. "These two don't
know what they're really after. You heard Agent Mulder. The 
UN? Abductions? Nothing real, and nothing to do with the firm 
or our missions."
"I hope you're right." Cait sighed. "But I'll be glad when
they're gone."
"They weren't talking about a company, Scully. They were
talking about the FIRM. It's one of the more shadowy 
organizations funded by our government. I'm not sure if
it's an agency or a defense contractor that provides 
intelligence instead of goods; I've heard evidence for
both."  --- this would be a good thing for the Gunmen to
talk about instead. Maybe they did a story on it.

A picture from a kindred spirit. Do check out the rest of Nate the Bear's gallery.