|Series:||WildStorm TXF #1|
|Published:||19 November 2008|
|Cover date:||January 2009|
SummaryIn Falls Church, Virginia at 3:02 a.m. several weeks ago, a man is visited in his apartment by a dark-haired woman who refers to him as "Noah". Even though he slightly opens his door to peer at the woman, he keeps the door chain on and locks his door after seeing her. In his apartment, Noah turns to look at himself in a mirror, seeing his reflection, grotesquely distorted. The woman meanwhile draws the attention of police and the manager, who unlocks the apartment door for her. Inside, the group find Noah sprawled lifelessly across his bed, with a shotgun next to a limp hand. Now, the same woman finishes telling FBI Agents Mulder and Scully, in their basement office, about the incident, claiming that Noah had refused to communicate with others, even ultimately including herself, and had been terrified of something he would not identify. The woman also suggests that she had known what the group were about to find, inside the apartment.
She recounts, however, that the coroner had deemed Noah's death to have been a suicide. She also admits that Agent Tom Colton had sent her to Mulder and Scully, who seem to suspect that the incident does not represent an X-file even though their visitor insists that it is. Scully tells the woman, Ms. Park, that her own opinion is also that Noah, the woman's brother, committed suicide but Ms. Park then reveals that Noah had been determined not to die because he had thought it would be giving the government what they wanted. Ms. Park explains that her brother had been a biochemist, conducting top secret research for the government, whose secretiveness influenced her to contact the FBI.
Outside the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Ms. Park tearfully pleads for the agents to help her, alleging that her brother was murdered, before walking away from them, leaving Scully to suspect that their departing visitor sadly but understandably cannot accept that her brother killed himself. Mulder considers this possibility but is nevertheless determined to investigate the case.
At 2:41 p.m. in Quantico, Virginia, Scully is reading a report in an examination room as Mulder enters, curious to learn if she has found anything. In reply, she notes that, strangely, Noah's cause of death is listed as a self-inflicted gunshot even though there is an absence of physical signs relating to such a cause and an indication that something had exited the victim's head rather than entered it. Mulder urges her to autopsy the victim's body but she reveals that it has already been cremated, apparently by mistake. This leads Mulder to the conclusion that Noah was indeed secretly murdered and he sets out to prove his theory.
At a research facility in College Park, Maryland at 4:12 p.m., the agents question Dr. Purman, who is reluctant to even confirm that Noah worked there, citing national security as his motive for being so mysterious. After the agents profess that they already know that Noah did work there and that he is not the reason for their interest, Mulder proclaims that Scully and himself are investigating threats against the facility from someone who may blame Dr. Purman for Noah's death but, when the doctor enquires about the source of these threats, Mulder similarly specifies national security as his reason for now not answering Purman. The doctor seems more willing to divulge information but also clarifies that he really is legally required to be secretive. As Purman imparts the only facts that he is authorized to share, mentioning that his company essentially review and verify test results obtained elsewhere, Mulder notices a small object lying on the floor and thanks the doctor for his time. Soon, the agents are walking outside when Scully complains that they obtained nothing from Dr. Purman and Mulder corrects her, showing her the object, having covertly acquired it during the meeting.
In the "Lone Gunman" newspaper office at 8:22 p.m., the three The Lone Gunmen study the object, recognizing it as a recently used flash drive. Langly announces that the contents of files have been completely removed from the drive but, cleverly, Byers additionally realizes that the particular colors of the drive are those of Rauch Industries, described by Langly as a major Black Corporation that has highly expensive contracts with the Defense Department. Mulder then voices his opinion that Rauch Industries have been researching biomedical weapons technology that was used to murder Noah Park who, according to Mulder, had been reviewing Rauch's work for the government but was killed because he had been about to reject one of the organization's worthy Defense Department contracts.
At D.C. Fairways & Driving Range at 10:13 p.m., Dr. Purman meets a man playing golf. Even though Purman worries about the FBI having visited him with questions about Noah Park, the golf player encourages the doctor to let the FBI ask their questions but to not answer their queries. Purman remarks that the specifics of Noah's death could seem peculiar, at first apparently alarming the golf player into suspecting that the doctor is insinuating something. After Purman clarifies that he is merely making an innocent observation, the golf player comments that the doctor's suggested possibility is the reason that the specifics of Noah's death will remain secret and answers Purman's subsequent question of what to do about Mulder by offering to take care, himself, of the FBI agent.
Elsewhere, Scully arrives outside Mulder's apartment but he initially ignores her presence and urges her, from behind his closed door, to go home. After he finally opens his door, she sees that he is covered in sweat and opines that he looks terrible. He declares his belief that Rauch Industries are bugging his apartment but Scully tries to assure him that he is being paranoid, maintaining that they are uncertain if Noah Park was murdered. Insisting that he was, Mulder postulates that Rauch Industries will also kill him to prevent him and Scully from proving Park's murder but asserts that he will stop the company from eliminating him. Scully frowns and recalls that Noah Park made exactly the same statements before his death. Mulder repeats his appeal for Scully to go home, fearfully commenting that they are not in a safe place to talk, and, though she expresses her worry for him, he promises to see her at work in the morning. Her expression remains concerned, however.
Walter Skinner is busy eating, and watching television, at home when Scully knocks on his door, politely but urgently requesting to speak with him. Answering questions Skinner poses her, she explains that she fears Mulder has become paranoid about their current investigation, a suicide that was possibly a murder. She beseeches Skinner to assist her, due to her anxiety that Mulder may harm himself.
In Alexandria, Virginia at 6:04 a.m., Mulder peers through his closed blinds to see, parked outside, a car occupied by at least one man who is keeping a careful watch on Mulder's window. Mulder stands away from his blinds, worried by the sight.
A senator enters a luxurious room in a large building where he works, only to be confronted by Mulder, who stands in the shadows and announces his presence by observing aloud that the senator is starting his work late. Seemingly familiar with Mulder and pleased by the FBI agent's visit, the senator, all the same, wonders how Mulder managed to access the room. Mulder does not outrightly answer the query, simply stating that he needed to meet with the senator without anyone knowing of their encounter. Mulder then explains his presence by questioning the senator, a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, whether Rauch Industries has any imminent, major authorizations, but the senator avoids answering until Mulder notifies him of Noah Park's mysterious demise. Shocked to hear of the incident, the senator confesses that his group has been reviewing weapons technology for Rauch Industries. He takes responsibility for handling the matter and hopes that Mulder has not already been targeted.
Scully receives a call from the Lone Gunmen, speaking with Byers, who hints that they have found something on the empty flash drive.
Skinner, accompanied by other FBI agents, arrives outside Mulder's apartment and knocks on his door, demanding to talk to him. Inside the apartment, Mulder gazes in a mirror at his own reflection, which is gruesome and distorted.
- This is the first of WildStorm Comics' series of The X-Files stories to feature recurring characters from The X-Files television series.
- The regular cover of this issue features an image that is incorporated into the first frame of the story in which the Lone Gunmen appear.
- The penultimate frame of this comic's story is extremely similar to the standard cover of the next issue.
- The bottom of this comic's last page of story has the words, "To Be Continued". The story is concluded in the following issue.
- The senator who appears in this story is actually recurring character Richard Matheson but he is not named in this issue, neither is Melvin Frohike even though he appears with the other two Lone Gunmen. Walter Skinner's rank as an Assistant Director is also not established in the story. Senator Matheson's last name and Skinner's rank are established, once each, in the concluding part of this story but Frohike is not named in either.
- The organization referred to as "Rauch Industries" in both this issue and the story's concluding installment shares certain similarities to Roush Technologies, from The X-Files television series, despite the spelling of the group's name being slightly different. According to writer Frank Spotnitz, both names are meant to refer to the same organization. 
- Writer: Frank Spotnitz
- Brian Denham (interior art)
- Kelsey Shannon (color art)
- Ed Dukeshire (letter art)
- Tony Shasteen (cover art)
- Russell Walks (variant cover art)
- Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
- THE X-FILES created by Chris Carter
- FBI Agent Mulder
- Agent Scully
- Noah Park
- Ms. Park
- Agent Tom Colton
- Dr. Purman
- The Lone Gunmen:
- Golf player
- Holman Hardt
- Walter Skinner
- Richard Matheson (unnamed)
- Two FBI agents
|Stories in WildStorm Comics' range of The X-Files comics|
|Issue #0||Issues #1 & #2||Issues #3 & #4|
|Issues #5 (Dante's Muse Part I: Nasty Ones) & #6 (Dante's Muse Part II: Netherworld)|