The bed room air quickly cooling to her preferred temperature, lights slowly dialing up and the soft trill of her phone connection roused Dana Scully from her sleep. A glance at the shifting patterns of the malleable Sof-Wall© revealed it was 2:09 in the morning. With an irritated gesture of one hand that was detected and interpreted by the house sensors Scully halted the standardized announcements and home preparation of a phone call. Scully knew a call that early was never a good thing and another gesture dimmed the lights back to their previous darkened setting. years of sharply-honed instincts told Scully it was better to remain in a covert mode until she was better informed.
“This better not be you, Mulder.” Scully grumbled. In spite of advanced medicine she often felt, if not appeared physically, all of her more than 60 years. “I’m retired from the FBI, NSA and medicine and too old for chasing monsters.”
Scully sighed and rose from the bed, pulling her robe closed around her. “Ugh. I’m a mess. Audio only, answer call.”
A wave form representing the connection rippled on the Sof-Wall© followed by the sound hisses and crackles. Scully frowned. “What, it’s 1993?” she mused. There was another moment of static and then a male voice could be heard. “Mom? Are you there?” The voice sounded as if it came from an incredible distance but it was instantly recognizable to Scully. It was her long missing son!
“William? William! It’s been over ten years! Where are you? What’s wrong?” Scully felt her heart beat rapidly, over-riding the software in the coronary nan-bots of her health prescription. “It’s been years! Where are you?” There was a pause and then William responded. “No time to explain, Mom! Do you still have your old field weapon? You need to protect yourself right now! Hurry!”
The house pinged and symbols for a lost connection scrolled across the wall. Not hesitating any further Scully gestured at her bed and the Sof-Wall© opened a secure pocket, ejecting a shiny SIG-Sauer P228. Scully snatched it from the temporary shelf-tongue, grabbed the magazine and slammed the it into the weapon, jacking a round into he chamber and taking the safety off in smooth, well-remembered actions. The gun was an old nearly obsolete weapon but still deadly. “Kind of like myself.” Scully muttered grimly. Somehow, William had known his mother was in danger and she was experienced enough not to dismiss the warning as some conspiratorial feint to deceive, inveigle or obfuscate.
Suddenly, the bedroom window shuddered under a terrific impact. The Sof-Wall© shifted and the artifice of a window vanished and merged with the rest of the wall as the house responded to the attack, transforming into a protective mode. Scully chuckled. Whatever was seeking to gain entrance through the mock windows wasn’t very smart, not being aware enough to realize that actual windows and doors were nothing but programmable and temporary transparent sections or portals in the structure of modern Sof-Wall© housing.
Scully heard a piercing shriek of frustrated rage and then there was a rapid pounding of fists on the wall. A short thrill of fear arced through her but Scully swiftly crushed it down. She was used to weirdness. Standing directly in front the area of the raucous disturbance Scully calmly took up a shooter’s stance and said “Interrogation room.” A section of the wall immediately cleared but only one way. She could see out through the wall but the raging attacker could not see in, like an the one-way mirror into a law enforcement interview room. It was a common privacy setting for most homes, only the name was personalized. To Scully’s irritation, Mulder called the one-way setting the “Sexy Exhibitionist Peep Show.”
Scully shook her head, recognizing the pale, scrabbling shape and vestigial but functional wings that beat on the exterior of the nigh-impenetrable house. “Well.” She said. “It took you long enough. House…STARBUCK“
The house data net pinged an acknowledgement and in a matter of a few seconds it responded. Swiftly, a long narrow slit in the shape of a crucifix formed in the Sof-Wall©, mimicking in design the arrow slit favored by ancient castle builders to fire projectiles through at enemy soldiers. Sensing the gap opening in the wall the maddened bat creature put it’s face up to the opening and screamed. Scully stepped up to the arrow slit and aimed her gun directly into the toothy maw of the monster. It had hunted for Scully over many decades out of revenge for a fallen mate and moments from perceived victory it realized that something was wrong. A strange guttural noise of surprised issued from the red-lipped mouth. “That’s right.” Scully said grimly. “Ruh-Roh!”
The creature made a motion to flee put Scully was too fast, too prepared. She fired her gun, emptying the entire clip into the face of the bat-creature before it could duck out of sight or fly away. Smoke filled the arrow slit but only briefly as the house whisked away harmful or unpleasant pollutants. Scully peered through the gap in the wall and a medical diagnostic screen appeared on the Sof-Wall©, confirming the creature was indeed truly dead, though the absence of most of it’s head by the impact of twenty-four high powered rounds of ammunition was confirmation enough for Scully. She was sure it would not leap up and attack when she least expected it to. After all, she was a medical doctor. Tucking the warm gun into the pocket of her robe Scully turned away from the still form of the creature, remarking, “There is no scientific explanation for you being so stupid.”
Snapping her fingers and gesturing, Scully let the house return to normal mode after confirming that law enforcement was indeed notified and on it’s way. While she waited she poured herself a glass of wine and wondered where William, her baby, was now and how he managed to glean she was being threatened. She hoped he was thriving though there was no conclusive evidence to suggest otherwise. She knew, though, that she would not rest until she was able to hold William in her arms again. She would have to locate William, wherever he may be. Scully made a decision, knowing she might regret it. “House…Call You-Know-Who.“
The Sof-Wall© formed a video screen and moments later it connected, depicting the image of a handsome man with a heavily lined face that showed the results of eschewing medical nano-bots. Scully sighed. “Mulder, it’s me.”