Disclaimer: I'm not USA, MGM or whoever else owns the shows, so I don't claim to own them.
Fandoms: White Collar; Stargate SG1
Word Count: 5,046
Written For: wc_reverse_bb based upon the awesome Mozzie artwork by leesa_perrie
Summary: When Mozzie heard the name, he knew he had to act fast or Neal would be in over his head.
Artwork by leesa_perrie; Click to View Her Post and Leave Her Feedback Too!
Mozzie let himself into Neal's empty apartment. He made a mental note that June needed to upgrade the security on her home. As the widow of a conman, she should know that security was key. His first stop was the wine rack where he selected a particularly expensive bottle and then he moved to the terrace.
Mozzie enjoyed the terrace that was at Neal's disposal. It allowed him to spend time in the open air without the need to be on constant guard from all angles. He could settle in a corner with stone walls framing him and have a view of everything around him. It was paradise compared to his multitude of safe houses. He didn't allow open-air access in most of his places as it defeated the purpose.
He had just finished his first glass of wine when Neal arrived. For being an expert at breaking and entering, it always amazed Mozzie how loud Neal could be when he wasn't focused on not being heard. Of course, Neal loved to draw attention to himself, so it shouldn't really shock him. Mozzie just stayed quiet and waited for Neal to come to him. It didn't take long.
"Hey, Moz," Neal greeted as he poured himself a glass.
"Mon frere," Mozzie returned. "How's life within the oppressive reach of your suit overlords?"
Neal just rolled his eyes. "Fine, Moz. As long as I'm not the case, or you, or Alex… or even Peter for that matter, things are good."
"As good as a tracked man can be," Mozzie quipped. "Are you free tomorrow evening? I may have a unique opportunity that could use your expertise."
Mozzie watched as the usual look of longing crossed Neal's face before he shut his expressions down.
"Can't Moz," Neal said with no trace of that longing behind it. "I've got an interview tomorrow that I can't miss. I'll be off the anklet, but Peter'll be keeping a closer eye on me."
"Who's the mark?" If Mozzie couldn't put his own plans into action, then maybe he could live vicariously through a sanctioned con.
"Universal Trust," Neal said casually. "Some intern in the accounting department tipped the FBI off that there was unaccounted money coming into and out of the company. Peter's going in as an auditor and apparently one of the VPs is looking for a new admin assistant."
"How very corporate sounding," Mozzie said dryly as he took a sip of wine. Then he paused as he recalled what Neal had just said. "Universal Trust?"
"Yeah. It's been around a few years. Has ties around the world apparently, especially in Egypt and the Middle East. You know something?"
Outwardly, Mozzie shook his head, but inside his mind was a whirl. Universal Trust had been on a list he'd seen and from what he remembered it was bad news. Sitting his glass down, he turned to Neal.
"I just remembered I have a thing to check," he fumbled to keep his usual calm. "I need to see a man about a thing. Be careful," Mozzie added softly before he rushed out of the apartment as he tried to remember where he had stashed that particular set of research. Neal's life might depend on it.
Mozzie had turned Wednesday upside down but he finally found the folder he needed filed under television. Outside of the Burkes living room, Mozzie didn't really interact with mainstream television. All the shows were doing was pushing someone else's agenda and Mozzie didn't have the time or patience for it. But when he'd first made the acquaintance of Mrs. Suite, Elizabeth had taken to inviting him over to dissect the shows with her on nights that both Peter and Neal were working a case.
The one that had caught their attention was Wormhole X-Treme!. While the special effects were cheesy and the storylines were somewhat predictable, there had been an air of truth to the show that Mozzie hadn't been able to shake. So he'd taken it upon himself to do what he did the best and research the subject until he couldn't find any more leads.
The creator of the show had been his first target, but Martin Lloyd had been elusive, even after Mozzie had asked Sally for assistance in tracking the man down. So Mozzie had delved into other avenues of research and had been shocked at his findings. He had managed to learn that the Nazis had been involved in the discovery of an object that all but matched the ring used in Wormhole X-Treme!. One thing that Mozzie didn't believe in was coincidence.
His second major breakthrough had been a man named Daniel Jackson. Jackson had been laughed out of academia for his theories and then the man disappeared. He showed up a year later on the payroll of the Air Force as a civilian contractor. It wasn't a big leap to figure out why the Air Force would hire a guy who talked about aliens all the time. It solidified the belief for Mozzie that life was out there and that the government was covering it up.
From there, his research had taken astonishing leaps. He'd turned up some of the uglier side of the cover up and learned that the government might actually be the good guys in this case. There was an organization called the Trust that had ties into just about everything, including the government. Mozzie had cut his research short when he had learned of them. He knew that stirring up a hornet's nest was not the best thing to do.
When Neal had said the company's name was Universal Trust, it had resonated with him from the covert organization's name. It took some thumbing through the multitudes of paper, but Mozzie finally found the list he was looking for. It contained the names of businesses that were a front for the main organization and Universal Trust was at the top of the list.
Mozzie didn't know what would happen, but he knew that Neal needed protection because his gut was telling him that Universal Trust would be bad news. And Neal was adept at trouble finding him, especially since he'd taken up the new job with the FBI. With a glance at the clock, Mozzie fired up his computer. He needed an in at the business, because there was no way in hell he was letting Neal and even the Suit take the company on alone.
Mozzie was pleased with himself for the quick turn around on his plan. He was already in place as the new guy on the afternoon/evening shift for the janitorial staff. He'd even been passed the office where Burke had been set up as an auditor. Neal was due at his interview around two, so Mozzie figured he could time his cleaning schedule to be nearby. He didn't want to leave Neal unattended in the place.
He managed to duck Neal when the man had walked by. Mozzie figured that Neal wouldn't take too kindly to his interference and Burke would figure there was some ulterior motive if he found out. Mozzie was resolved to keep his presence a secret from both Neal and whatever trouble was to be found in the office building.
Neal naturally aced his interview and Mozzie found himself tailing the man as he was given the grand tour of the place. Of course, the sub floors that Mozzie had learned about through the blueprints Sally had provided him didn't get included on the tour. It was something that Mozzie resolved to check out as soon as he could because he knew that Neal would inevitably end up there.
So far, Mozzie hadn't learned much. However, when a slew of day workers left, he would have a bit more leeway to explore. He knew that something was off about the place, but he wasn't sure how much.
It had taken Mozzie several days to be able to learn the movements of the after hour crowd within the sprawling complex of offices. During the day, the guards were mainly centered at the primary entrance and then rotated on rounds throughout the main floors. At night, the number of guards greatly increased. Mozzie rarely saw them anywhere but the lobby and around a secure elevator that his crew chief had said was off limits.
It was that elevator that Mozzie needed to either access or learn another way to get to wherever it went. He'd managed to determine that there was a guard switch around ten at night and the guard taking over had a thing for coffee from the shop next door. It didn't take much to lace the guy's coffee and Mozzie was pleased when he saw the man dash to the nearest bathroom without even the thought of calling for backup.
With the guard secured for the foreseeable future, Mozzie approached the elevator and swiped the access card he'd lifted off the previous guard. He hoped that the missing card wouldn't be logged until the next day. The light flashed green and the door opened to Mozzie's satisfaction. He stepped inside the elevator and tried not to be alarmed when he started descending without a panel of buttons for him to press.
Thankfully, there had been no presence at the elevator exit when the doors finally opened at his destination. Mozzie scoffed a little at the security issue that they didn't catch. Although, his mind cautioned him that it could be a bad thing if that meant that the masterminds were so confident that they didn't need a guard at that stage.
The doors had opened into a sort of lobby area with a glass wall in front of him. Beyond the glass was a wide-open space that appeared to be some type of laboratory for lack of a better description. Mozzie could see tables with tanks and chemistry set ups that he couldn't begin to imagine what was being done. There were also several items that looked like Egyptian sarcophaguses and additional ancient looking items that didn't quite fit modern mad scientist theme that the rest of the room had.
The people that were present were working diligently and didn't seem to notice the elevator had deposited him in the lobby area. Mozzie managed to slip unobtrusively into the main room and then duck behind the closest sarcophagus where he was hidden from both the occupants of the room and anyone else that might arrive via the elevator.
As if thinking of the elevator triggered it, the doors opened and a dark haired man exited. He was dressed in a suit that would have rivaled anything Neal had ever worn. He seemed to walk with an air of authority that was more befitting European royalty inside of an American businessman. To confirm his thoughts, Mozzie gaped as one of the lab minions rushed over with a deep red cape that was clipped on to the man. Then the minion kneeled and addressed the man as his Lord, with a capital L.
Mozzie felt like he'd just entered the Twilight Zone when the caped man started speaking with a deep, resonating voice that reverberated throughout the room. It definitely wasn't human and Mozzie was starting to panic that he was in over his head without any backup. Mozzie tried to keep his panic at bay as the man started talking with several of the guards and a few of the lab minions. At least he didn't have to worry about not hearing anything.
"Traditionally, I would take pleasure in slaughtering the leak and torturing the interlopers that have made into our front offices. However, as I'm attempting to blend in on this wretched planet before I strike, I need to take a different approach."
Mozzie's brain whited out at the word strike. There was only one way he could interpret that and it meant that this so called Lord was planning an alien invasion. And this invasion didn't sound like the good kind that involved three breasted women who wanted to learn the ways of human sex from a bald man.
"I have secured my position in Washington, even if the wait for true power is several years away. However, I find myself in need of others that can keep our operations secure on many fronts as we move the necessary funds and materials around. I want you to prepare two of my children for the FBI agent and his pet that are masquerading within our walls. From what I've learned of both, they'll be perfect additions, especially the pet with his skills at forgery. Make it happen by tomorrow night. I do not need any more scrutiny than is necessary."
Mozzie was indignant on Neal's behalf at the man being referred to as a pet of Peter Burke's. However, that was probably how aliens, especially bad ones planning invasions, saw the world. Mozzie shuddered at the thought of what the alien would want to do with the rest of the human population that wasn't considered worthy of getting his child, whatever that meant.
Then Mozzie refocused on the man as he saw him walking toward the sarcophaguses. Luckily, he veered to the third one down and Mozzie stared in awe as he pushed a button and the lid opened up, revealing a brightly lit interior. The man laid down inside of it and the lid resealed over. It gave Mozzie a frightening thought of a vampire and wondered if they were really aliens that had been co-opted into myths all those years ago.
Once the lid was sealed, the small gathering broke up and they returned to whatever their jobs were. Mozzie knew this was the moment that he needed to make his getaway and figure out a way to get Neal and Burke away from this place before something happened that he wouldn't be able to save them from.
Mozzie managed to slip passed the new guard that was stationed at the elevator without question. Apparently he fit the mold of the worker bees that were serving the Lord down below. He then ditched his janitor shift and went straight to Thursday to plot.
His first inclination had been to tell Neal, but he knew that wouldn't fly. Neal had always tolerated listening to his crazy theories, but Mozzie knew that Neal didn't put into weight into them. It would take longer than a night to convince the man and would require a trip to the sub level. Mozzie was cursing himself for not taking video. That had been a rookie mistake.
The Suit was out for the same reason as Neal. Mozzie was fairly certain that Elizabeth would believe him, but it wouldn't be quick enough for her to also convince her husband. It was going to require an outside presence and though he was loath to admit it, Mozzie knew that he needed to get the government on his side. He'd start with Daniel Jackson.
A quick message to Sally got him all the phone numbers she could find for Daniel Jackson. Mozzie grabbed a burner phone and started calling. He struck gold on the fifth number.
"Dr. Jackson," a tired sounding voice greeted him.
"Please don't hang up on me," Mozzie begged right away. "I have a situation that I believe you are the person to help with. I know that Wormhole X-Treme! is based on fact and that Dr. Levant is probably you."
Mozzie could hear Jackson sputtering and trying to cut in on the conversation, but he forged on, hoping to keep the man on the phone.
"I'm in New York and just heard a guy talking with this voice that wasn't human. There were Egyptian artifacts mixed with modern technology. And the glowing sarcophagus was definitely not right. Please tell me that you know what the hell I'm talking about and can help. My friend and his partner are in danger."
Mozzie held his breath hoping that the phone didn't go silent with a disconnected call.
"Can you specify the danger?" Dr. Jackson's voice sounded more awake and very interested in what he had to say.
"The man with the creepy voice was talking about having secured position in Washington that would get him where he wanted in a few years. I'm assuming the Presidency. Then he wanted to have two children prepared for my friend, who is a CI, and his FBI agent handler. They're investigating a firm called Universal Trust. It was on a list I procured."
"Damn," Mozzie heard Jackson swear and then the man was shouting away from the phone for a man named Jack.
"Do you have a timeline?" Jackson was finally asking him.
"Whatever they're planning for my friend and his handler is going down tomorrow. Likely at night given the way the business is set up. I have no way of convincing them what I've learned that would warrant them abandoning an ongoing money laundering case. Let's just say the guy with the crazy conspiracy theories isn't always taken seriously."
"I understand that," Jackson said like Mozzie had hoped he would. Given the man's history and that his theories were probably all true, he'd understand Mozzie's predicament well.
"Can I call you back at this number in a few minutes? I promise I'll call back," Jackson added, before Mozzie could even protest. Mozzie reluctantly agreed and settled in for the longest thirty-minute wait of his life.
When the phone finally rang, Mozzie actually jumped at the shrill tone of the cheap phone shattering the silence of Thursday.
"Can you help?" he asked without greeting.
"We'll have a team on the ground tomorrow afternoon. Can't scramble anything there until close to five," the voice that answered was not Jackson and sounded like a military man.
"You believe me?"
"We have reason to trust people that spout out strange sounding things when they fall in line with certain classified information. We can't guarantee the safety of your friend. Sometimes these things have collateral damage."
Mozzie sighed. He didn't want to think of Neal as being collateral damage, but the man kind of already was with his deal with the FBI.
"I'm going back in tomorrow. You take care of the threat and I'll take care of him," Mozzie said with a steel in his voice that he didn't know he could have.
"We'd rather not have any extra civilians getting in the way. Especially when they aren't cleared to know about things," the military grunt said gruffly.
"I bet your secrets are more known than you'd think. Especially using that TV show to front your story if it ever leaked. There's more than just me out there looking for the truth."
"We know," he said, "but so far, they've all agreed to play on our terms. Can you?"
"We'll see. Keep my friend safe and you'll have your foot in the door."
They spent the next few minutes discussing in detail what Mozzie had witnessed regarding the head alien and any other details he could provide on the numbers of guards and minions in the lab. Then the military guy had handed the phone to Jackson for which Mozzie was grateful.
"Look, Jack is good. I know you probably don't trust the establishment, but sometimes you have to."
"As long as they keep Neal from being taken, he'll be good in my book."
The call was ended and Mozzie was at loose ends. He wasn't sure what he needed to sneak in to his janitor shift. What did one use to stay safe when fighting an alien overlord?
Mozzie had been twitchy since he arrived at two for his shift. He wasn't sure how things would go down, but he knew he had to keep tabs on Neal and Burke. The alien had seemed the most interested in Neal's abilities and Mozzie was sure that the alien had a way, probably painful, of making Neal cooperate.
When five rolled around, Mozzie realized that Neal and Burke must have been making a move on something. Both men had remained after they normally left and that left Mozzie on edge as he tailed them. Apparently one of the guards was tailing them too, because before Mozzie could react, Neal and Burke were shot in the back with some kind of electrical weapon. They hit the floor with a thud and more guards showed up drag them away.
Mozzie followed with his heart threatening to beat out of his chest. The guards had taken the two unconscious men to the secured elevator and Mozzie knew that he had little time remaining to keep them both safe. He was trying to figure out a way to subdue the guard at the elevator when the promised military team arrived and solved the problem for him.
Mozzie stepped out of his shadowed hiding spot with his hands up.
"Don't shoot," he managed to get out as the guns were turned on him. "One of you Jack?"
"Our tipster, I take it," a man stepped forward and Mozzie nodded.
"They just took Neal and Agent Burke downstairs. Shot 'em in the back with some kind of electrical thing. I'm going with you."
Jack looked like he wanted to argue, but in the end just nodded and let Mozzie take up a spot in the back of the elevator.
"We go out first and try not to get yourself killed. Two shots from that electrical thing will do that," Jack added.
Mozzie stayed silent and hoped he wasn't making a mistake.
All too soon the doors opened and then Mozzie's world was reduced to the sound of gunfire and the odd ping sound that came from the alien weapons. Then he was able to see that Neal and Burke were laying tables in the back of the room near a bank of tanks. Mozzie kept to the edges of the melee and made it back just in time to see the head alien holding some snake-looking thing with fins near Neal's head.
With a burst of adrenaline, Mozzie rushed the guy and managed to take him by surprise and knock him to the floor. Mozzie was momentarily stunned and before he could scramble away, the alien grabbed him by the throat and lifted him off the floor. Mozzie started struggling for breath and his panic rose when the man's eyes started to glow.
Then the glow stopped as Mozzie saw a spot of red appear in the center of the alien's forehead. Mozzie felt the blood splatter his face and then he was on the floor with a dead alien next to him. Then Mozzie heard a screeching sound and turned in horror to see the snake-like thing the alien had been holding jumping toward him. Before Mozzie could do anything there was a booted foot kicking the thing away and then a final gunshot that splattered the thing on the floor.
"Told you to stay back," Jack said, standing over Mozzie and holding out a hand to help him out.
"Had to save Neal," Mozzie said, wincing when he heard how gravelly his voice sounded. He didn't need a mirror to know that the alien's superhuman grip had left a telling mark around his throat.
"Understand that too," Jack said clapping Mozzie on the shoulder. "They'll be okay. Take a bit to wake them up."
"How are you going to handle it?"
"We'll take jurisdiction over their case. Say that the company was working on top-level military contracts that have to be handled securely. I'll have you show my guys where they dropped and we'll put them back there for them to wake up. Say we gassed the office in order to secure it before we made our move, collateral damage and all that. The FBI will hate it, but they won't be able to fight it."
Mozzie nodded and then followed directions when they were ready to move Neal and Burke. He didn't like keeping Neal in the dark, but it was probably for the best. Mozzie knew that he would be stepping up provisions at all his safe houses. He was justified now.
When Mozzie returned to the sub basement to check in with Jack, he was amazed at how the team had grown. It seemed there were military men and several scientist crawling all over the place. There was one guy waving his arms madly saying that they needed better control over the ancient equipment if snakes were getting their hands on it so easily.
That was when Mozzie noticed that the tanks along the back wall were filled with more of the snakes that had been so close to getting both Neal and himself. Only the snakes in the tanks were alive. Mozzie flinched when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Jack.
"We didn't even know there were this many on Earth," Jack said, apparently unconcerned that Mozzie shouldn't be hearing that.
"What do they do?"
"Take control of your body," Jack said bluntly. "You're just along for the ride, no matter what the hell they want to do."
Mozzie shuddered. It would be a nightmare and he almost had to live it. "He said they had one in Washington," Mozzie said with a nod to the dead alien no one had moved.
"We know of some, but haven't been able to secure them yet. Did he mention any names?"
"Just that it was likely that it would be our next President. Now I know why I hate politicians."
"You and me both," Jack commiserated.
Mozzie watched with a mixture of horror and fascination as the military grunts stacked the water filled containers on the empty pallets. Knowing that the disgusting creatures swimming around inside could burrow into a person's head and take control was justification to everything Mozzie had always believed. But knowing that Neal had almost been taken by one of those things, killed what little of a happy feeling he got from being right.
"So that's it, Spook?" he asked O'Neill. "Your guys take them to some forgotten lab and dissect the things and the rest of the world goes on without a care that people are being possessed by those things."
"Pretty much," O'Neill said lightly. "Been standard practice for years now. They want me to have you sign a non-disclosure agreement, but you won't, will you?"
"Never, man," Mozzie said firmly. "And don't even think about tossing me in a cell. I have connections."
O'Neill snorted. "I'm sure I could find a cell somewhere your little gaggle of colleagues couldn't reach. But I don't really want the trouble of tossing you with others that the higher-ups like to get out of their hair. Plus, you remind me of someone and he managed to get by without causing too much trouble."
"You mean Martin Lloyd," Mozzie said. "I knew there was more to him since he created Wormhole X-Treme! He found out and turned it into the show."
"Something like that. You sure you aren't related?"
"Orphan," Mozzie said shortly, but his mind filed the relation comment away for future exploration. Maybe now he could get Martin Lloyd to answer his fan mail.
"Huh," O'Neill just grunted. "Listen, we won't do anything to you if you don't give us cause to. I figure you want to keep as low key as we do."
"Not to mention that no one would believe me anyway," Mozzie said forlornly. "I've been trying to convince people for years and haven't gotten anywhere."
"There is that. Here's my card. If you ever catch wind of anything legit, give me a call."
Mozzie took the card and gave O'Neill one of his own Havisham cards in return. "If you ever learn the world is going to end, give me a heads up if you can. Give me time to make it to Friday if possible."
Mozzie enjoyed O'Neill's confused look and then went back to watching the government conspiracy in progress. He didn't condone the government keeping secrets, but he was glad to finally be on the inside for a change. Neal was safe and now he was looking forward to going back through all his old files armed with the knowledge of what was really out there.
Two days later, Mozzie found himself back at June's sipping on a glass of wine. It was surreal knowing that everything he'd always believed was justified. Part of him wanted to shout it to the whole world. The other part realized that if the knowledge ever got it, the world would break down. There would be riots, war and probably a nuclear explosion or two as all the factions of the world duked it out regarding aliens and not being alone in the universe.
Then Mozzie smiled as he heard Neal arrive. He was glad that he had saved his friend. He would just have to keep a closer eye on what the FBI tried to get Neal involved with in the future. His deal was already proving to be a health risk for Neal.
"Hey Moz," Neal greeted as he poured his own glass before joining Mozzie.
Mozzie was glad that he had plenty of turtlenecks and that it was late fall. He didn't need Neal asking questions about the marks on his throat.
"The case finally wrap up?" he asked, hoping he sounded innocent enough.
"It was crazy. Peter and I were knocked out by some kind of gas that a military covert ops team released in the building. Then they bullied their way into taking our case, citing the Patriot Act or something."
"Government oppression at work my man," Mozzie said, sounding angry. "Did you keep investigating?"
"Peter tried," Neal said around a sip. "Then he got called into a meeting with the Director who came in from DC and that was it. Peter's still talking about investigating, but I think he might let it go when something else comes up."
"Probably for the best," Mozzie said. "You already have one government leash. Don't need the military interested either."
"Cheers to that," Neal said as they clinked their glasses. "So, do you still need my help with that project?"
"Well, the truth is…"