AUTHORS: The Virtual Season 11 Producers
CONTENT: Casefile; mytharc; Conclusion of “Legacy“,
the last episode of Virtual Season 10
SPOILERS: Allusions to mytharc episodes prior to
Season 8, and to Virtual Season 10 mytharc episodes
SUMMARY: Mulder has found the evidence his mother
left for him but will it be his last gift?
THANKS: To everyone who supports the Virtual Seasons,
either by contributing their talent or their
feedback; and to everyone who loves The X-Files.
FEEDBACK: To the Virtual Season 11 feedback page
DISCLAIMER: You all know it, you’ve heard it a
million times. The X-Files, Fox Mulder, Dana Scully =
not ours, just borrowing, will return to their
ungrateful owners (Chris Carter, 1013 Productions,
20th Century Fox) when we’re done.
DISTRIBUTION: This story belongs exclusively to the
Virtual Season 11 site for two weeks; thereafter,
please contact the Producers at the above address for
permission to archive.
April 26, 2003
Southwest Rhode Island
Street lights stood like sentries illuminating the
onramp to I-95 West. For a split second, the driver
was bathed in light, only to merge back into the
darkness that seemed more suitable to his nature and
mission. He rolled his neck and shoulders trying to
ease the tension caused by the night’s activities. He
had carefully held his vehicle’s speed to the posted
limit on the back roads to the major highway, and now
pressed the accelerator more firmly with a sense of
Glancing down, he noted with some surprise that his
gloves were still on. He pulled them off and reached
for the cigarette case in the storage area between
the seats of his Lexus. He lit a cigarette and
inhaled deeply, feeling the tension melt away as he
did so. It seemed almost impossible that, after all
these years, his nemesis had been eliminated. Spooky,
finally gone completely nuts, and killing himself. Or
so it would seem. How sad.
Charlie snorted without amusement. Son of a bitch. If
it hadn’t been for Mulder, he could have eventually
talked Dana around. After all, her practical outlook
on things, her lack of belief in the paranormal all
made her mentally and emotionally much more likely to
side with Charlie than with Mulder. A pity. It would
have been nice to have that family connection. To
have someone he could trust, one person he could be
around without fearing the sudden, sharp intrusion of
a knife between his ribs. God knew his success had
brought him plenty of enemies a handful of whom had
made it their mission in life to either disgrace or
kill him. Yes, Dana would have made a formidable
ally. Very regrettable, the way things turned out –
for her as well as for him. And, of course, for the
late Fox Mulder. He took a last drag on the cigarette
and opened the window to toss it out.
The lights on the highway took on a hypnotic rhythm
as he sped through the night. He went over his
actions back at the house, occasionally shaking his
head as he recalled each point. He hated having to
rush. He was a planner by nature, someone who liked
to have the time to organize his thoughts, pull all
the details together. Build a plan and look at it
from every angle, and then and only then, when it had
passed muster, put it into action. But word of
Mulder’s trip to Greenwich and subsequently to
Quonochontaug came with little warning, as Mulder’s
actions had been characteristically impetuous. And it
had just been too good an opportunity to miss.
Now that he had time to think, Charles Scully
regretted using the drug. He shrugged mentally. Force
of habit. Oh, it had its good points. The drug worked
quickly, preventing the recipient from crying out or
hitting back, and it left no traces in the body. But
he would have had a clearer mind if he knew exactly
what Mulder had been looking for. It might not have
been something that the old bitch had been hiding,
after all. Maybe he was just being paranoid. But
Charlie never trusted all that much to luck. And his
sixth sense told him Mulder was on the trail of
something, which by definition would not be a Good
No, using the drug had not been one of his brighter
moves. Mulder’s being unconscious ruled out any of
his array of persuasive methods for finding out what
the agent might have been up to. Hopefully, Mulder
hadn’t found whatever the hell it was that he was
But what if he had? ‘Shit!’ Now that he thought about
it, maybe he should have set the house on fire. No,
that would have brought the fire company and police
out too soon. Didn’t want that to happen until Mulder
had inhaled all the carbon monoxide possible. It
wouldn’t do to have the S.O.B. rescued — he had been
a thorn in Charlie’s side for long enough. But at
least a fire would have destroyed whatever Mulder did
find, if anything.
‘Think positive, Charles,’ he said to himself. The
complete mess the cottage was in bespoke a vain
search and a lot of frustration. Mulder couldn’t have
found it, even assuming there was anything to find,
and that was far from certain. It must have been just
another of the agent’s hare-brained theories.
Trouble was, Mulder did have an uncanny way of
turning up something from nothing, of seeing
possibilities where no one else did. And Charlie knew
the agent had never really reconciled himself to the
idea that his mother had committed suicide.
God damn it. He really shouldn’t have used that
needle. Not knowing what the hell Mulder was up to
was going to rob him of several nights’ sleep. In
frustration, Charlie thumped the steering wheel with
the heel of his hand.
Sourly, he went on to catalog his set-up of Mulder’s
‘suicide’. He recalled how he had piled the leaves
around the base of the garage door to seal in the
exhaust. His heart kicked painfully in his chest. If
it were noticed, it could speak against Mulder’s
committing suicide. He took a deliberate deep breath
and blew it out through his mouth, forcing his
thoughts in a more cautiously optimistic direction.
Never mind. When help did come, that evidence would
be obliterated when the garage door was swung open.
And by that time, it would be too late for Fox
Maybe he’d send someone to burn the cottage down
later. Some ‘hobo’ perhaps, treating himself to a
night’s shelter, who would manage to torch the place.
That should take care of any evidence that Teena
Mulder might have left there for her son. It wasn’t
the best solution, not the one he would have come up
with if had had time to plan, but it would have to
“Too bad, so sad, Dana,” he purred to himself. “Well,
this may work out for the best. Maybe with Mulder
gone, you’ll go back and do what Dad wanted you to.
Get out of all this, and stay out of it. And more
importantly… stay the hell out of my way!”
April 26, 2003
West Beach Road
Dana Scully flexed her hands, cramping from the death
grip she had on the steering wheel of the rental car.
She hadn’t heard yet from the Quonochontaug Police.
Surely that was good news… wasn’t it?
She had wasted valuable hours, waiting for her
partner at the motel. She thought that after some
time by himself, thinking things over, he would be
back to talk things out. When it became apparent that
was not going to happen, she lost more time, calling
the Gunmen to see if they had heard from Mulder, or
had intercepted any information about him that might
tell her how to find him. Finally, she applied her
considerable intelligence and logic to the situation.
His mother, her death and a journal that might exist
and that she might have left for him were uppermost
in his mind. So logically, he would go to the source.
And so would she.
Scully remembered the last time she had visited the
neat house in Greenwich, when her partner had been
experimenting with getting the lost memories of his
childhood back. Although Mulder and his mother had
withdrawn to another room, she could hear every word
of their exchange. With a twist of her gut, she
recalled Mulder’s plaintive question and his mother’s
emotional response. She winced, remembering hearing
the crack of palm against skin….
Then Mrs. Mulder’s incredible coldness to her only
surviving child. “Fox, you’re bleeding”, said not
with concern but almost as an accusation that his
blood might fall on her carpet, marring the pristine
whiteness. And then, his flight in their car seconds
later, leaving her stranded in the uncomfortable
aftermath of the showdown between mother and son…
She pulled up at the house, noting that Mulder’s
rental car was nowhere in sight. But the lights on in
the house gave her some hope. She rapped on the door
repeatedly for several minutes, before the lace
curtain covering the window was drawn back a few
inches and the thin, sour face of a middle-aged woman
appeared. Scully held up her badge and reluctantly,
the woman slid off the dead bolt and opened the door.
Oh yes, this was definitely Mulder’s handiwork.
Scully’s eyes drifted over the disarray cushions
flung off sofas, curio cabinets emptied, their
contents piled in total disregard to their fragility
or value. God knew what mess there was in the kitchen
and the other rooms…. “Where is Agent Mulder?” she
The woman stood stiffly, her hands planted on her
hips. “Gone. And a good thing too. He might own this
place now, but I won’t put up with this! I called the
police once on him and I’ve got a mind to do it
again! Not right in the head, that one….” An upset
Mrs. Harrison went on to describe Mulder’s search of
his mother’s house. The woman worked herself into
near hysterics by the time she finished her tale of
woe and Mulder’s misdeeds.
“Agent Mulder is under a good deal of stress,” Scully
“That’s one word for it,” the cleaning woman
retorted. “He’s just nuts, if you ask me. How that
sweet, wonderful woman ever turned out a son like
him, I’ll never figure out.”
Scully could have set her straight on exactly what
the ‘sweet, wonderful’ Mrs. Mulder did to create
Mulder’s neuroses, but she held her tongue. “Look,
“Harrison,” the woman supplied.
“Mrs. Harrison, I know Mulder’s made a lot of extra
work for you. How about if I write you a check for
the time it’s going to take you to straighten up all
The woman’s eyes narrowed speculatively. “It’s gonna
be a lot of work at least ten hours or so. And I
get fifteen bucks an hour.”
In spite of the upscale neighborhood, Scully doubted
Mrs. Harrison got anything close to fifteen dollars
an hour. But she wrote the check without comment and
handed it to the woman.
“There. Now, do you have any idea where Agent Mulder
might have gone?”
Mrs. Harrison glanced at the check, then folded it
and stowed it in her pocket. “He was muttering
something about the ‘summer house’. Didn’t say he was
going there, but- ”
“Thank you, Mrs. Harrison. That helps a lot.” Scully
left the house at a run.
It seemed that everything had conspired to slow her
down traffic on I-95, despite the lateness of the
hour, construction detours and finally a flat tire,
just outside of New London.
Crossing the state line into Rhode Island, Scully
finally did what she had been trying to avoid she
called the Quonochontaug police to check out the
cottage and wait for her there. She hadn’t wanted to
bring outsiders in on it, but increasingly her unease
and sense of urgency had been ratcheting up. Somehow,
she felt that her partner was in trouble again.
She made the right turn from West Beach Road onto
Sunset, driving as quickly as she dared on the
narrow, curving, residential road. Following the big
curve to the left, she spotted the police car parked
in front of a modest cottage on the ocean side of the
She pulled over and ran to the police car, where the
officers were sitting inside, enjoying a coffee
break. She bent over to talk to them through the open
“Nope. Not a thing. No lights on, no cars. Looks like
you kind of jumped the gun on this one, Agent
“Maybe,” she said, unconvinced. Scully lifted her
head, cocking it to one side. “Officer, kill your
engine for a minute.”
Officer Simmons looked at his partner as if to say
“Feds!”. Shrugging, he turned the key and the engine
“Do you hear that?” Scully asked, tense.
“That noise. Sounds like an engine….”
Simmons and his partner reluctantly got out of the
squad car. “Look, Agent Scully, it’s probably someone
warming up their car up the road or something- ”
“No.” Scully began walking in the direction of the
noise. It seemed to be coming from a small garage at
the extreme right hand side of the property. And the
closer she got to it, the surer she was. But why
would a car be left running in the gar– Oh, God.
“Call for an ambulance!” Scully screamed, running up
to the garage.
“Do what I say. Now!” She threw the garage door up,
but not before noting the leaves piled at its base.
Instantly, a cloud of concentrated exhaust smoke and
fumes poured into the night air. Coughing and
gagging, she reeled back. She covered her mouth and
nose with her hand and pressed forward. Beside her,
she could feel the police officers brush past her in
their rush to the car. One shut off the engine while
the other opened the back door. Between the three of
them, they pulled Mulder’s unresisting body from the
car, out of the garage and stretched it out on the
“Light I need light,” panted Scully.
“I’m on it!” Derrick Wilson replied. He ran into the
cottage and hit the switch to illuminate the front
yard. The single light bulb did not improve the
“No good,” Scully said. “Let’s get him inside so I
can see what I’m doing.”
In seconds, Mulder was stretched out on the couch in
the bright lights of the living room. The second she
saw her partner’s coloring, her heart sank. “Where’s
that ambulance?” she spat.
“Coming. They’re on the way,” assured Officer
She quickly checked Mulder’s pulse and found a very
weak carotid rhythm. “Oxygen. He needs oxygen. I
can’t do anything without–” Her voice broke.
At that moment, Wilson came in with a small portable
tank, complete with tubing and mask. “Can you use
“God, yes!’ Quickly, she turned the flow of oxygen
all the way to maximum and placed the mask over her
In answer to Simmon’s questioning look, Wilson
explained, “From old man Gifford, when we took him to
the hospital that last time. We left it in the back
seat when we brought him into the ER. I was going to
return it but then I heard he died, so….”
Scully pushed her hair back from her face with a
shaky hand. “This is helping, but he needs to be
intubated. Where the hell is–”
The whine of the ambulance siren grew in volume until
it became deafening and then suddenly cut out. Within
seconds, voices were heard outside and then the
paramedics came rushing in. “What have we got?””
“Carbon monoxide poisoning,” Scully said. Quickly,
she poured out what she knew his vital signs, a
quick history, the results of her exam when she first
“I don’t know.”
“He’s bad,” the other paramedic said from Mulder’s
side. “Sir, don’t try to talk.”
Instantly, Scully was there. She grabbed his hand,
folding it in her own. “What is it, Mulder?” she
asked, tears shining in her eyes.
His skin bore the unmistakable cherry-red coloring of
carbon monoxide poisoning, and his chest heaved with
the effort to pull air into his lungs, Mulder gasped
out – “Book…. In pile… Polite Con…-
versation…. Must… get… it… I…
“Lady, we gotta sedate this guy so we can intubate
and flood him with O2, or we’re gonna lose him.”
She nodded and turned her attention to her lover.
“Mulder, they have to put a tube down. We have to get
as much oxygen in you as we can, and it’s the only
His eyes rolled back in his head and his hand became
limp in hers.
“Okay we intubate now. Step back, lady.”
In a state of shock, she complied as the paramedics
tore in to a flurry of action around her partner. In
seconds, he was intubated and one of the paramedics
was bagging him, forcing the attached oxygen into his
“We’re taking him to Westerly Hospital. You can
follow, if you like,” said the lead paramedic.
Scully pulled her eyes from Mulder’s form on the
gurney with an effort. “Thank you. You go ahead.
There’s something I have to do here first. Perhaps
“I’ll take you there, Agent Scully. No problem.”
She nodded. “Please take good care of him,” she
“We will, ma’am.” The paramedics hurried out the door
as fast as the gurney would allow.
“Officer Simmons, Officer Wilson I need your help.
Come with me.”
Resisting the urge to stay with Mulder with every
fiber of her being, Scully moved from the living room
and quickly began looking into the rooms of the
cottage to find what her partner had been trying to
tell her about. When she snapped on the lights of the
study, she knew she was on the right track.
The room was knee-deep in piles of books. “Officers
we’re looking for a book, probably a diary, so it
will be hand-written. Mulder said ‘Polite
Conversation’. I’m not sure what that has to do with
finding this diary, but he wouldn’t have wasted his
breath on it if it weren’t important. Please, search
as fast as you can. I need to get to Mulder.”
They each started on a pile. Five minutes later,
Derrick Wilson held up a small volume bound in dark
red leather and marked with faded gold letters. “I
think I found it.”
“Let me see.” Scully grabbed the book. Feathering the
scripted pages, she caught only a few of the words,
but they carried a wealth of meaning. ‘Consortium’.
‘Alien’. ‘Spender’. “Yes, this is it,” she said.
“Thank you, thank you so much. Now, let’s go to the
Simmons negotiated the back roads expertly and
speeded up when he reached the Old Post Road. They
were in Westerly at the hospital only a few minutes
behind the ambulance. Scully blew through the doors
to the ER as if they weren’t there. “Where is he?
Where is Agent Mulder?” she demanded.
“Just a minute. Are you related to the- ” The Unit
Clerk didn’t get any further.
“You have a choice you can step out of the way or I
can go through you. What room is Fox Mulder in?
Wisely, the woman stepped out of the way. “Trauma
Room Three. On your left.”
“Thank you.” Scully brushed by her, intent on finding
That’s when the overhead speakers sprang to life.
“Code Blue, ER. Code Blue, ER. Code Blue, ER.”
“Mulder, don’t you dare!”: Scully breathed. She
followed the crowd of staff, running into Trauma Room
“Clear! …Okay, we have a rhythm. What’s the word
from the Hyperbaric Center in Providence?
“Assuming we can get this guy stabilized, the
arrangements are all set. The doc in charge and the
tech are on their way in.”
The crowd that had gathered to assist with the code
began to disperse, giving Scully the opportunity to
approach the physician who seemed to be in charge of
“Who are you? Are you this patient’s primary
physician?” he demanded.
“In a manner of speaking…. Yes, yes I am. What is
Agent Mulder’s condition?” asked Scully.
“Riggs, stay with him and monitor his vitals. I want
to know if he even blinks, is that understood?”
The ER nurse nodded. “You got it.”
The man looked puzzled. “I don’t recall anyone on
service here by that name.”
Scully pulled her badge and displayed it. “This man
is my partner. I am, however, a medical doctor and
his personal physician. Now,” Scully said, leaving no
doubt she wanted answers, “what is his condition?”
The physician glanced over the ID, nodded, and guided
her outside the treatment room. “All right. I’m
Doctor Steven Rosenfeld. Your partner is in critical
condition, but of course I don’t have to tell you
that, I’m sure you’ve figured it out. He has acute
carbon monoxide poisoning. Again, I’m sure you know
that. We lost his heartbeat in there for a minute or
two, but we defibbed and it came back quickly. He’s
in sinus rhythm, a little tachy, but under the
circumstances, not bad at all.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming,” Scully commented, with a
Rosenfeld shrugged. “You know CO poisoning. Even if
we can get him over this hump flush the carbon
monoxide from his blood, get him stable and keep him
that way, and that’s a big if then there’s the long
term effects.” He frowned. “This man was an FBI
“*Is* an FBI agent,” responded Scully firmly.
“Maybe not anymore. I don’t mean to be cruel, Dr.
Scully, but you know as well as I do the future that
many survivors of CO poisoning have in front of
them… severe neurological and sensory defects,
organ damage, possibly severe psychological problems.
All this, on top of whatever made this guy want to
Eyes flashing, Scully drew herself up to her full
5’2″. “My partner did not try to kill himself, Dr.
Rosenfeld! This was a murder attempt made to look
like suicide. Someone put him in that car, started
the engine and shut him in the garage.”
He looked skeptical. “How can you be so sure?”
“Unless Mulder found a way to pile debris around the
outside of the base of the garage door after locking
himself in, someone else had to have done it. Officer
Simmons is checking the neighborhood now, to see if
anyone saw or heard anything. Now what’s your
treatment plan for my partner?”
“I’ve arranged for him to be transported to
Providence General as soon as he’s stable. They have
a hyperbaric oxygen chamber there. Although most of
the carbon monoxide will be flushed from his system
by the time he gets there, current theory seems to
support the use of hyperbaric oxygen for CO poisoning
to lessen the possible long-term effects. If he wants
to keep his career, I’d say it’s a must.”
“I agree,” Scully said.
“He has IV fluids running, a sedative to prevent
excitability from the CO in his system and to keep
him out while he’s intubated, and corticosteroids to
try to combat any inflammation and toxicity from the
CO. I’d like to keep him on the vent at least until
he arrives in Providence, unless he starts fighting
it seriously. Once he gets there, they’ll probably be
able to pull the tube, unless he has any more
episodes of arrest. Will you be going with him?”
“Well, get yourself a cup of coffee. It’s going to
take us about an hour to get him ready for transfer.”
“I’ll stay here with him, if you don’t mind.”
He shrugged. “Suit yourself. Good luck, Dr. Scully,
to both you and your partner. You’re going to need
Act 1 Scene 2
The helicopter ride from Westerly to Providence was
one of the longest Scully had ever taken. Although
Mulder’s heart rate stayed steady and the ventilator
continued to pump oxygen into his lungs, she sat on
the edge of her seat. Her eyes were glued to him, to
the equipment, watching for signs, either of his
regaining consciousness and fighting the ventilator,
or worse, signals that his condition was going
downhill. When not consumed with that activity,
Scully spent her time wondering two things: who had
done this to Mulder, and was the information in the
little book that she carried worth it?
As far as she was concerned, nothing was worth the
risk to Mulder, although she knew he considered
himself expendable to the greater good, the Truth.
She turned the leather volume over in her hands,
forehead wrinkled in a frown. Part of her wanted to
read it – not to assuage her curiosity or the need to
know the Truth, but rather to see what its effect
might have on Mulder. It already had nearly claimed
his life, and his prospects for a normal future were
in danger. But beyond that, what if this little book
claimed a far greater emotional toll? If there were
things in this book that Mulder shouldn’t see until
he was stronger, she wanted to know about it.
But then did she have any right to do that? It was
Mulder who had been so certain that his mother’s
death was more than it seemed. Mulder again, sure
that Teena Mulder had reached out to him from beyond
the grave, to save his life and to urge him to find
what she had left for him, her legacy to him. And all
Scully had done was to preach the obvious, the safe–
in short, what others had wanted them to believe.
And now it looked like Mulder had been right once
again. Someone had tried to kill him, undoubtedly
someone close to the Consortium. And if they had
tried to murder him, how great a leap was it that
that person was also responsible for his mother’s
death? Both had been set up to look like suicides.
She knew for a fact that Mulder wasn’t suicidal;
perhaps his mother hadn’t been either.
Yes, she had swallowed the bait – hook, line and
sinker. She shook her head. Sometimes she felt as if
she were as much of an impediment to his search for
truth as the Consortium was. Someday she would have
to look deep inside herself for the answer to why she
resisted those flights of fancy of his that had such
an uncanny way of hitting the nail on the head.
Mulder, if you pull out of this… I’ll try, my love.
I promise I’ll try harder.
When they arrived, Mulder’s gurney was hustled into
the ER. Scully took up her post, pacing by his side
until the hyperbaric lab was ready for them. When
someone in a white lab coat finally appeared, Scully
“Where the hell–”
The tall young man held out his hand. “I’m Tom
Daddario, physician in charge of the hyperbaric
therapy department here. You have Dr. Rosenfeld’s
written orders? We’d rather not deal with the fax
Taken aback by the man’s cheerful, friendly manner,
Scully handed him the papers, which he looked over,
nodding. “You’re Dr. Scully, I take it? All right. I
hear Mr. Mulder did well on the way here. When was
his last dose of sedative? I’d like to be able to
explain things to him before the procedure so he
doesn’t wake up in the hyperbaric chamber. It can be
a bit … upsetting.” The doctor smiled, a peculiarly
charming and boyish grin. “Besides, I want him off
the vent in there.”
As if reacting to the sound of his name, Mulder
“I believe the paramedics stopped the valium and
other sedation when we were about ten minutes away
so it’s been approximately thirty minutes.” Scully
tried to keep the accusatory note out of her tone.
“Sorry. Unfortunately we can’t just walk in and flip
a switch for this ”
The alarms bleeped suddenly, as Mulder began to cough
and force the endotracheal tube from his throat.
Respiratory therapists seemed to appear from nowhere.
“Okay, push 2 mg of Valium IV I just want this guy
so I can talk to him, not so he’ll be snowed,”
Daddario ordered. “And suction him quickly please.”
His orders were carried out in seconds, and after a
couple of minutes, Mulder relaxed.
Daddario took his hand and bent over the gurney. “Mr.
Mulder, can you hear me? Squeeze my hand if you can
hear me. Good! Okay, stay with me while I explain
something. You have carbon monoxide poisoning, and
you’re getting better, but we feel you’d benefit from
some hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Squeeze my hand if
you understand. Very good, you’re doing fine, Mr.
Mulder. We’re going to let you breathe on your own,
off the ventilator, and then do some blood gases. If
you’re still doing okay, we’ll take the tube out and
move you to the hyperbaric chamber. How’s that
sound?” Daddario laughed as Mulder squeezed his hand
so hard it hurt. “Well, it looks like you approve of
getting off the machine. I’ll be back when we have
the results of the ABG’s. No, don’t try to talk, Mr.
Mulder. The tube won’t let you talk. Wait, here’s
what you’re looking for, I think.”
The physician turned to Scully and motioned her over
to the side of the gurney. “Dr. Scully will stay with
you, Mr. Mulder, until you go into the hyperbaric
chamber. No visitors there, I’m afraid.” He grinned
at his own joke, nodded to the staff and went to the
nurses’ station to start writing down his orders.
As technicians and nurses went to work around them,
Scully bent over Mulder, tears shining in her eyes.
Although he was drowsy, his eyes focused on hers, and
she knew he could understand. She could also see the
frustration on his face with his inability to speak.
She gave him a watery smile. “It’s all right. I’ve
got it, love. I have your mother’s diary.” His eyes
closed briefly in relief and he squeezed her hand.
“Now promise me you’ll do everything you can to get
This time he both squeezed and nodded. They clasped
hands until the technician came to draw the arterial
blood which would determine whether he would remain
on the hated respirator. Ten minutes later, and the
respiratory therapist was removing the endotracheal
tube and placing an oxygen mask over his face.
Dr. Daddario strode in, clapping and rubbing his
hands together. “All set? Okay, Mr. Mulder, you’ll be
in the chamber about three hours. You won’t feel any
different, and you might best be advised to get some
sleep. I would also suggest that your partner do the
same. She looks ready to drop.” He raised his right
eyebrow in a manner that would have done Scully
She stood up straighter and her expression was
unequivocal. “If you can show me where I can wait for
Agent Mulder, I would prefer to stay nearby until he
is settled in his room after the treatment.”
“Scully ” Mulder’s voice came out as a weak croak.
“Mr. Mulder, save your breath. You’re going to lose
that argument, I can tell by the look on her face. My
wife’s Irish, and when she gets that look, well….”
He shot Mulder a look of mock commiseration. “Might
as well just go with the flow.”
Mulder sighed and nodded.
“There’s a staff lounge near in the hyperbaric
department,” the physician suggested. “The coffee’s
bad and the sofa’s lumpy, but you’re welcome to
“Thanks. And I’m sorry about jumping all over you
when you came in.”
“No problem. It’s been quite a night for you two.”
Two orderlies appeared. Along with a nurse, Dr.
Daddario, and Scully, they made a somber parade down
the corridor to the elevator, up two floors and down
several hallways until they finally arrived at the
hyperbaric therapy department. She stayed with him
until he was settled in the chamber, squeezing his
hand in farewell. “See you in a few hours, Mulder.”
He waved weakly, then settled himself into a more or
less comfortable position. Scully found the lounge
with the help of one of the technicians, coming on to
duty for the day shift. After a few techs came in,
poured coffee for themselves and left, Scully sat on
the couch, propping her feet up on the table in front
of her. She intended to glance quickly through the
journal, to get an idea of what sort of information
it contained, but her eyelids began to grow leaden.
The shrill of her cel phone popped her eyes open, and
resignedly she reached for it. “Scully.”
“How’s Mulder, Scully? Did he make it?”
Scully’s eyes narrowed and her tone was cold.
“Krycek. How did you get this number?”
“Haven’t you learned by now that you can’t keep a
secret from me?” His voice was light and teasing, but
then became more somber. “Seriously, Scully how is
he?” Almost, Scully thought with surprise, as if he
“Alive, no thanks to whoever tried to kill him. I
don’t suppose you’d know something useful like that,
would you, Krycek?”
“I might,” he replied, but did not continue.
Scully sighed. “All right, I assume you want
something for the information. I don’t know what I—”
“No, I don’t. Well, I don’t want anything you can
give me, not at the moment, at any rate. No, it’s not
that. I just wonder whether you really want to know
what I know, Dana. Can I call you Dana?”
“You can all me Agent Scully. So what do you know?”
“I know who set up Mulder’s ‘suicide’. But I’m not
sure you’re ready to hear it.”
Scully felt a frisson of apprehension. “Why wouldn’t
I want to know who tried to kill Mulder? Why wouldn’t
I be ready? Tell me who it was.”
He sighed. “All right. But don’t say I didn’t warn
you. It was none other than your dear brother
Charles, Agent Scully.”
The words hit her like a punch to the gut.
“You’re– you’re lying,” she croaked.
Krycek chuckled sadly. “Scully you know I’m not. I
was tipped by the person who tipped Charlie to Agent
Mulder’s whereabouts and his mission. A guy playing
both ends against the middle, not that he will
survive long at that game. He told me that Charlie-
Boy had been keeping tabs on you two. Mulder haring
off to Teena territory was enough to… shall we say,
set several things in motion. First among them was to
motivate Charlie to pay a social call. He’s been
chewing on the idea that Teena may have left
something behind that would be inconvenient for him
and his colleagues. Care to comment, Agent Scully?”
She clenched her jaw. “No. No comment.”
“Very wise–you never know who might be listening.
Because hypothetically, you understand if Teena
did leave behind certain records or documents or
whatever, whoever possessed said evidence would be in
very grave danger. Hypothetically speaking.”
Krycek chuckled again. “I’m sure you do. Well, give
Fox my best for a speedy recovery.”
He hung up before a stunned Scully could reply.
All thoughts of sleep vanished. Charlie. Her own
brother had tried to kill Mulder. Not only that, but
he had tried to make it look like a suicide, which
made the act all the more detestable. And he at least
suspected the existence of the journal that rested in
her handbag. She had no doubts that Charlie would
kill her for it as mercilessly as he would squash an
insect. My God, what happened to him? Scully thought,
nauseous. How could that monster have come out of the
same loving home that she, Bill and Melissa had come
And what the hell was Krycek up to?
Act I, scene 3
April 28, 2003
Providence General Hospital
After taking Mulder’s vitals, the nurse left the two
agents alone. Scully could tell her partner was
itching to get at the journal, find out what message
his mother had left for him. There were other things
to consider, however. She told him what Krycek had
said. And just like last time, there was no
condemnation, no pity in his expression. All she saw
was understanding and compassion.
“We can’t go back home,” she said, taking his hand as
she perched on the edge of his bed. “They’ll be
watching for us.”
“For me, you mean,” he said, absently rubbing his
thumb over the palm of her hand.
“For us, Mulder. I don’t think either of us is safe
from this point on. I think I should call Skinner,
let him know what’s going on and see what we can do
about finding a secure location.”
“I have to read the journal, Scully. We won’t be
safe until we find out what’s in it.”
She nodded slowly. “I agree. But even here, in the
hospital, we’re too compromised. Anyone could walk
in and . . .” She couldn’t look at him, not when she
was thinking of how close they’d come, yet again.
Somehow, knowing that it was her own brother who had
tried to take Mulder from her this time made it a
thousand times worse. How could she face her mother
again, or even her brother Bill? Was there anyone
left she could trust?
“Unless there was a police report, he might not know
I’m alive,” Mulder said softly.
“That would buy us some time. But we still need a
safe house, somewhere only Skinner knows about.”
Mulder nodded. “Call him. Set it up.”
Scully left the room to find a payphone and Mulder
lay back against the pillows. He’d been completely
out of it this time. He couldn’t remember anything
past finding the journal. From the amount of
equipment he’d had around him upon waking, he was
pretty sure it had been a real toss up if he’d
survive. He swallowed hard. There was still too
much work to do, too much to uncover. His hand was
still warm from holding Scully’s much smaller one.
He had everything to live for, and he’d be damned if
anybody was going to take it all away from him.
The door creaked open and Scully entered. “You
should be resting,” she chided, resuming her seat.
“I think I’ve done plenty of that in the past 48
hours,” he replied. “What did Skinner say?”
“I’m to call him back in an hour. He’s going to give
me directions to the safe house. We’ll leave in an
unmarked car from a back entrance to the hospital.”
“Do I get to wear a disguise?” Mulder quipped.
“Yes, I’m getting you a ‘Nurse Nancy’ costume in a
few minutes,” she shot back. “Seriously, Mulder,
Skinner agreed. This wasn’t an accident. It was a
premeditated attempt to take your life and make it
appear a suicide. From the tone of his voice on the
phone, I’m pretty sure the AD is pissed.”
“He just wants to make sure I’m around to kick my ass
when his fantasy football team loses,” Mulder said
with a grin. “So, when do we blow this popstand?”
“The doctor will be around shortly. I don’t think
we’re going to even bother with the paperwork this
time. I don’t want to leave an AMA form with a time
and date stamp lying around.”
“Dear Diary, today Scully flouted procedure and
helped me break out of a hospital. It was almost more
than my poor heart could stand!”
“You’ll think ‘more than your poor heart could stand’
when I get through with you, mister,” she growled in
response. “Oh, another thing. Skinner wants the
Mulder held the book possessively close to his chest.
“After we read it, naturally,” she added, and he
relaxed his grip a little. “He wants to make copies.
“Are we going to hide them among our ‘Native American
Brethren’ again?” Mulder asked.
“And a few well-placed safety deposit boxes across
the country. There will be no chance that this
journal will disappear. Skinner assured me he’s going
to take personal responsibility for its safe keeping.”
The doctor showed up a few minutes later on his usual
rounds, and while he was examining Mulder, Scully
slipped out and made the second call to their
superior. When she returned, Mulder was trying to
get out of bed.
“Take it easy, we have a few thousand things to
disconnect first,” she scolded. With practiced ease
she removed the IV and the heart leads, silencing the
monitors quickly and efficiently. He marveled at how
quickly she untangled him from his web of medical
“Gee, Scully, I should have you do this every time I
break out,” he said happily. She gave him an icy
glare. “One time offer, huh?” She nodded with
pursed lips. “Well, then, I better enjoy it while it
He was a bit wobbly on his feet, and Scully pushed
him back on the bed while she got out his clothes.
With little assistance, he was dressed and ready to
go. Scully glanced at the clock on the wall.
“Skinner said the car would be there at 3:30. It’s
twenty-five after now.”
“We should take the stairs,” Mulder interjected.
She looked him over. “I don’t want to risk you
falling down them and dragging me along for the ride.
We’ll take the elevators. Just look like you’re a
“Yeah, right, that always works,” Mulder muttered.
Scully shot him another glare and quietly stuck her
head out the door. The nurses’ station was semi-
deserted, just one aide sitting behind the counter.
The hall was empty. After a minute, the elevator
indicator light shone and Scully grabbed Mulder by
the arm, helping him to his feet.
“Move, G-man!” she whispered and together, they
hightailed it to the elevator, slipping inside the
compartment just before the doors slid shut.
They both chuffed out a laugh of relief as the
elevator started its descent. Scully suddenly looked
around. “Oh god, the journal!”
Mulder reached under his shirt, producing the book
with a broad smile. “You need more practice at this
‘escaping’ stuff, Scully. I’ve got it covered.”
Scully looked at the book in his hands and leaned
against the wall of the compartment, relief visible
on her face. “Mulder, what if it turns out to be
nothing?” she said just before the elevator stopped
at the first floor.
“I don’t think Mom would have gone to those lengths
to contact me if it were nothing, Scully,” Mulder
said as they waited for the doors to open. “This
journal is a key, Scully. Maybe a key to
Act II scene 1
April 28, 2003
Safehouse, location unknown
Mulder got comfortable on the sheet-covered sofa,
Scully settling in next to him. A lone table lamp
cast its circle of light in the otherwise darkening
room. The moment they had both been anticipating and
dreading was at hand. He licked his lips and opened
the leather-bound cover, flipping toward the back to
several handwritten pages. A glance over to his
partner for fortitude and he began to read in a clear
>>My dearest Fox. I know you will think this missive
too little and far too late, but I hope that someday
you will understand my motives. I wanted nothing
more than to save you, my son. I knew from your
conception that you’d never truly be safe, not safe
in the sense of the millions of other sons and
daughters throughout the world whose lives have not
been touched by the evil of the men I’ve known and
their misdeeds. I know that you, who value honesty
above all else, will find it hard to forgive me. But
at the same time I feel it would be an even graver
injustice to leave you without trying to make you
understand the events in our lives that have shaped
us more than either of us could imagine.
As you know, Fox, your grandparents, the Kuipers,
were not without means. In an era when monetary
wealth was held by a privileged few, they were among
the privileged, and I, as their only daughter,
enjoyed that life as well. My father, in order to
‘fit in’ with the uppercrust social circles he
traveled hid much of his heritage, including our
Jewish faith. When I was little, we practiced our
religion in secret, in our own home. As I grew
older, it became less and less a part of our lives,
until even our servants were unaware of our beliefs.
In this same regard, I was considered quite bright by
my teachers, but my mother schooled me in how to get
a ‘good’ husband, keeping my intelligence under wraps
lest I offend or frighten a prospective man. That
might sound laughable in this day and age, but
believe me, Fox, it was a much different world then,
simpler in some respects but all the more complex in
others. I never grew accustomed to ‘playing dumb’
and that got me in a great deal of trouble later on.
Trouble that I fear I passed on to you and your
When I was attending finishing school the war was
just ending. Even with our wealth, we were still
involved in the war effort. I left school and became
a secretary for the War Department. That is where I
first encountered Wilhelm Strughold. Remember that
name Fox, keep it close to your heart. It is a name
to be feared. Strughold was a German defector,
working for the Allies. I was amazed at how trusted
he was in the upper echelons of our government. I
was even more amazed when one day he plucked me from
the typing pool and made me his personal secretary.
Do not be misled, I never fully trusted this man.
Although he claimed he came to the United States to
escape the horrors of the Nazi regime, I saw in him
the same ruthlessness, the same disregard for human
life that we were beginning to see evidence of in the
concentration camps in Europe. But somehow, he saw
something in me, something that in my innocence and
perhaps my vanity, I failed to hide from him.
Looking back now, I understand how foolish I was.
I’d been working for him for about four years when he
asked me to stay after work. It wasn’t unheard of
for him to have me take dictation or transcribe a
late meeting. This time, he just wanted to talk.
When he said the words ‘special assignment,’ I have to
admit my heart skipped a beat. I was young,
impassioned. I wanted to do whatever I could to help
my country. I was finally getting the respect I
thought my mental abilities deserved, so I almost
missed what the assignment was about. The War
Department at that time was very much a place of
‘cloak and dagger’, much intrigue. The OSS was
becoming the CIA and Strughold seemed to be playing a
part in that transition. So when he asked me to
‘keep an eye’ on a certain young man, my reason was
replaced by fancy. I saw myself as a modern day Mata
Hara. That certain young man was named William
Strughold gave me very little to go on. Just that a
group of Allies had formed for a special purpose,
beyond that of the dealings of the Cold War. Bill
Mulder was working for that group as a young agent
and a member of our military. I was given a
transfer and went to work the very next Monday as
Bill’s secretary in the State Department.
At the same time I began working for Bill, I met
another young man very close to Mr. Strughold, Carter
Giles Benjamin Spender. Carter had come from a once
wealthy family who lost everything in the Depression.
He was handsome, assertive, confident. Bill, on the
other hand, was quiet, seemingly unaware of his good
looks and incredibly committed to his work. The
foolish young woman that I was, I fell in love with
To say I took my assignment to heart might be an
understatement. With Strughold’s encouragement, I
found myself spending a great deal of time at the
office with Bill. From a strictly professional
relationship, I grew to care for him. Bill would get
so involved in his work he would forget to eat, to
sleep. He brought out the maternal instincts in me,
assuming I ever had any. Carter, at the same time,
was dark and dangerous. He brought out the same dark
and dangerous elements in me. For a while I thought
I was the luckiest girl in the world. I had an
important job and the attentions of two handsome men.
All that changed one Friday afternoon when Bill took
me to lunch and proposed to me.
I was flattered, of course. But I was also torn. I
begged for time to consider. Always unsure of
himself in matters of the heart, I could tell Bill
was hurt, but he told me to take as much time as I
needed. That night I found Carter in his favorite
bar. We went back to his apartment and I told him of
Bill’s proposal. I guess I expected Carter to make
his own proposal, or at least to beg me to reject
Bill’s. I was horrified when he smiled at me and
told me to accept the offer. I was confused and
hurt. But what Carter said next frightened me then
and causes me great shame now. “Nothing has to
change. Bill doesn’t know about us now, he never has
to learn of us in the future.” I walked to the altar
already intending to commit adultery.
It grieves me, Fox, more than you could know, that I
can’t tell you which man is your father. You have
qualities both men shared. As the years went by, I
prayed that you were Bill’s son, as I learned to hate
Carter more than I thought I could ever hate a man.
Bill was ecstatic to have a son and never questioned
anything about your arrival. And to be perfectly
honest, I grew to believe the lie. Bill was a good
man, he doted on you and on me. It was a perfect
life, except I felt such unbearable guilt at my
betrayal. I tried very hard to be the ‘perfect
wife’. I also continued to focus on my ‘assignment’.
I was still working for Strughold, still feeding Bill
information from Strughold. And, on rare occasions,
I would see Carter, but I found my time with him
devoid of all caring. I met his needs, needs his
wife didn’t meet. Maybe it was just that he held a
part of me that would never belong to Bill.
Through the years I learned a great deal about the
organization, the ‘consortium’ as they called it.
Bill was being used to perpetuate a lie. His job in
the State Department allowed him access to
information the consortium needed, access to the
personal and medical records of every American born
after 1945. He was being used to create the
smokescreen necessary to hide the real project. My
job was to keep an eye on him, to make sure he didn’t
suspect what was really happening and to report back
to the group anything that might indicate Bill wasn’t
accepting the information he was being fed. After a
while, I learned what information to pass along and
what to keep to myself. I was intent on making sure
I had enough information to serve me in the future.
I had no idea that information would be necessary to
keep you alive.>>
Act 2 Scene 2
“I need a drink.”
“No alcohol, Mulder.”
“I’m just going for an iced-tea, `Mom'” he said with
a bite that would normally never penetrate their
“No caffeine either,” she called after him as he
rounded the corner into the kitchen. She could hear
him exhale loudly in frustration, then the
refrigerator door slamming shut with a tinkle of
glass objects inside.
“You want some ice water, while I’m out here?”
“You don’t have to yell so loud.”
She came up behind him, and stroked his back with her
fingernails, causing him to jerk in surprise. They’d
just read through some pretty heavy material in that
journal, and Mulder was understandably distracted.
He hadn’t heard her get up from the couch, nor her
footsteps on the vinyl floor of the kitchen.
“Do you want to take a break?” she asked.
“No,” he said softly, but with an edge that spoke of
desperation. “I knew Mom had to have some idea, some
curiosity with what was happening with my father; but
a spy? I never would have guessed she was involved.
I’m reading that whole journal, no matter how much it
He filled two glasses with ice, then ran tap water
into each one, filling them to the rim. He took a
swig out of one glass roughly, dribbles of water
running down the side and pattering onto the floor.
He stared out the window with no regard for the mess.
She watched him breathe and drink for a while,
relieved that he could do at least that. He seemed
normal in all respects, but she mentally promised
herself to keep a sharp eye out for any symptoms Dr.
Rosenfeld had mentioned. It was a long shot, as he’d
recovered quite well after the hyperbaric tank, but
she was always worried about Mulder.
He glanced down at her, finally noticing her
attentiveness. She didn’t falter. It had been a
long time since she’d blushed at being caught
staring. A corner of his mouth twitched in
“You up for the next round?” he asked.
They made their way back into the living room and
hovered over the open book. Mulder drained his glass
of water before they reached the bottom of the next
page and was up for another as the ice cubes bumped
against his lips.
“Ah, damn,” he cursed under his breath. He pinched
the skin at the bridge of his nose and stood hunched
“Mulder? What’s wrong?” A sudden panic rose in
“I got up too fast. Head rush.”
He shook the dizziness out from behind his eyes, and
suppressed a smile as he went into the kitchen.
“Jesus, Scully, don’t you like me when I’m well? I
don’t get hurt on purpose, but if I get this much
concern from you, I’ll be sure to get some kind of
illness at least twice a week.”
“You’ve filled your quota, Mulder. You can be sure of
When he returned, Scully held the journal cradled in
her lap, flipping ahead through the next few pages.
“What do you say I take this turn reading?”
Mulder plopped into a chair next to the couch, leaned
his head back, closed his eyes, and cuddled a soft
pillow to his chest. “OK, I’m ready for my bedtime
story. You gonna tuck me in?” He feigned sleep, but
cracked open an eyelid to watch for her response.
“Later,” she said flatly. “I don’t want you to get
Scully began to read.
>>Bill had no problems talking about his continued
work with the consortium. He trusted me, confided in
me, because he thought I could understand having
worked with the same people for a time. It was the
kind of conversation one would have with a coworker
over the water cooler, but a more honest confession
to me as his wife.
I’d of course relay all information to the
consortium. Bill believed that the consortium’s
purpose was to make contact with the aliens. He knew
some of the key players were a little more than
power-hungry, but he `needed to know the truth,’ as
he’d said to me time and again. Sound familiar, Fox?
He was only allowed to gain so much information in
order to carry out his duties, but was cut off,
stopped, or given a barrier every time he ventured
too far above his position.
But even so Bill was getting too close to their true
goal. And I’d seen the lengths to which the
consortium went to combat those who rubbed them the
wrong way. I feared for Bill, as I fear for you now.
I felt compelled to continue working with the
consortium, not only because of curiosity and
dedication, but because of an underlying uneasiness
that I had slowly become aware of over the years.
Something was dreadfully wrong, and I wanted to know
Outside of keeping an eye on Bill’s involvement, and
passing information on to Strughold through Carter,
it was becoming clear to me that extensive
experimentation had begun. Under the guise of
creating a vaccine to protect the world from imminent
alien invasion, samples were being gathered from
every living human being in the form of smallpox
“What?!” Mulder spat out. He sat up in his chair, the
pillow forgotten as it fell from his lap to the
floor. “She *knew* about that?”
“Mulder, it seems like your mother knew a lot more
than she was letting on, at least to you.”
“But if she was so involved she must have realized
“Maybe she did. And maybe she didn’t have a choice.
You know what these people are capable of.”
Mulder shifted in his seat. “What the hell else did
“Well,” Scully glanced down at the journal, then back
at her partner with a quirked eyebrow.
He leaned back against the soft cushion of the chair
once again. Flipping his hand up in an exhibit of
defeat, he said, “Go on.”
Scully turned the page over and continued.
>>What the consortium told Bill was a lie. As I
pieced together nuggets of information from Carter, I
began to resent the fact that I was being used to
perpetuate it. And not only to the world, but to my
The consortium knew Bill would find out certain
things; enough to keep him curious, keep digging, and
without him realizing it, leaving trails for
outsiders — skeptics and believers of alien
existence — to feed off. He was a pawn, and I
watched it all happen.
I did love Bill — enough to feel that maybe what I
was doing wasn’t the right choice. I had you and Sam
to think of, besides. And even though I began our
marriage doubting my own feelings for him, we were a
family now. Call it maternal instinct, something
deep and primitive.
I was beginning to have my doubts. I still kept in
contact with Carter, but it was no longer romantic.
He managed to convince himself otherwise, saying he
didn’t want to lose me in this madness. My feelings
were interfering with my work, yes. But at the same
time, I knew I had to do something. *Some way* had
to be right.
All this plotting had me whirling. I needed time to
think. My only comfort was to fall back on raising
you and Samantha. Ironically, that was the very thing
I had wanted to avoid. I yearned for a `freedom’ when
I was young, but instead, had gotten myself into an
entanglement with powerful men.
You’d been developing so fast, Fox. There were
moments when I’d look at you and wonder how I would
have felt about you under different circumstances.
You will always be *my* son. I will always love you.
But back then, I was afraid of what might become of
you. And Samantha being so young… I just hoped to
avoid any confrontations. I didn’t want to get hurt
anymore, and I ended up closing off my feelings to
everyone. For that, Fox, I have regrets.
Especially for you.”>>
Scully peeked up from the pages to check on Mulder.
He held his fist clenched tight and pressed it
against his lips. She quickly picked up by reading
the next line before he noticed her voyeurism.
>>I tried so hard to keep things out of the house,
but Carter would sometimes come to fetch Bill on
important assignments. Worse still, he’d come
straight to me. And I’d find things out I wish I
I knew the real plan, and I found out that Bill knew
more than he was letting on in casual conversation
with me. They’d been monitoring his actions, and
having me hang so closely to every word because he
had hit on the truth they were trying to cover up.
Their plan to string him along had backfired.
Carter had told me as much one night while trying to
cover up his insistence on my report. He’d begun to
yell at me, and I begged he keep it down for the
children’s sake. He grilled me for information, a
heated angry interrogation that scared me.
Carter always tried to protect them. Nothing about
me. His work and his existence was all for the
consortium’s greater power. The power of a few men,
holding the world for ransom.
There was always that question about the outer forces
beyond our control. How much information were they
gathering, and how far would it go?
How far would the consortium go to keep *their*
“Stop reading, Scully…”
Scully lowered the book slowly, afraid to see her
partner’s reaction to this multitude of information.
She had good reason.
Mulder got up from his chair and paced the floor
between her and the picture window. His silhouette
grew and shrank as he came closer and moved away,
like he was throbbing from the pain of his thoughts.
“I can’t believe it,” he said, facing her in front of
the luminous windowpane. He wiped a palm over his
forehead and back to slick down his unkempt hair. “I
can’t believe she’d hide all this from me. This whole
time without a word!”
He kicked at the air, squeezed his forearms tight
against his chest. He stood in anguish, biting his
lower lip to stave back the frustration within. He
breathed strong, even gusts through his nose like an
Scully set down the book. “I’ve never heard you say
you don’t believe anything, Mulder. Your mother kept
this information to protect you.”
“Protect me from what? Have you heard my life story
“She obviously had her reasons.”
He chuffed at the comment, turning away from her.
“You’re defending *her*?”
“There’s more left to this journal, Mulder. Perhaps
we should finish reading before we jump to
She got up and pried the arm with the cast still
binding his wrist out of its confinement against
Mulder’s chest. She held his hand and tried to pull
him back to the couch. When he didn’t give, she
looked up and saw the wet glistening of tears held
back in his eyes.
“Scully, don’t you realize? I–, You–, Saman– ” he
broke off the last syllable, unable to continue
without his voice cracking.
“I know, Mulder. I know,” she consoled, and pulled
him into an embrace. “Let’s just keep reading.”
Act 2 Scene 3
They’d ended up taking a break. Mulder claimed the
need for a bathroom break, though Scully realized he
just needed a moment to get his head wrapped around
everything he’d heard so far.
Scully herself found it difficult to believe that
Teena Mulder was in as deep as she was without ever
giving her son, her adult son who worked for the FBI,
some kind of explanation before her death. If it was
so difficult for her to believe, she could only
imagine what was going through Mulder’s mind.
In the bathroom, Mulder stood at the sink with the
water running, and kept rinsing his hands and face.
For some reason he felt…dirty. It wasn’t as if he
had any choice in any of the decisions his mother
made, but he couldn’t help feeling as if he should
have figured it out. He should have been able to
Right. As if he could have stopped her any more than
he could have stopped whoever it was that took
Samantha that night. Realistically he knew that he
had no chance of doing either, but it didn’t keep him
from feeling guilty over his inability to save Sam –
or his mother.
He turned the water off and dried his hands and face.
He stepped back into the room and sat down on the
couch. Scully had gone into the kitchen to get a
glass of water. She offered Mulder the glass as she
sat down next to him.
“I know, but I don’t want you getting dehydrated.”
“Scully, I’m not getting dehydrated.”
“Mulder – just drink the damn water.”
He drank it.
“You read some more while I was in the bathroom,
didn’t you?” he asked with understanding.
She shrugged. “Just skimmed it a little.”
“Give me the journal – my turn,” he said softly.
Reluctantly, Scully gave the book up and watched as
he handled it so gently, almost reverently. Damn,
she thought to herself, this was going to be so hard
He opened to the next page and began to read.
>>”I’d finally reached my breaking point, Fox. The
day Spender came to me and told me they needed
something more from us; they needed proof of our
commitment. I remember looking at him as if he’d
developed a third eye. ‘What kind of proof?’ I
remember asking. I honestly had no idea, Fox.
I was always a smart woman, but in many ways I was so
na•ve. While I didn’t necessarily trust the people
involved, I did feel an inherent trust that
everything would work out. So, when Spender told me
what it was exactly that the consortium required as
proof, I felt my knees go weak.
They’re shaking now, even as I write this. He was so
calm when he told me, almost as if he were talking
about a shopping list for the local supermarket.
But it wasn’t apples and oranges, Fox. It was more
than just health and beauty aids.
They wanted my child. >>
Mulder looked up from the page. He didn’t look at
Scully; he stared straight ahead. He took a deep
breath and then shook his head slowly, disbelieving.
“I don’t know what to think,” he said.
“Why? You know from Cassandra Spender that loved
ones were being taken, including children,” reminded
“I know, but she knew, Scully. She knew all along,
and she still let me continue to believe that it was
all my fault.”
“No, Mulder, we don’t know that.” She reached over
for the book in an attempt to take it from him, but
he shrugged her off.
“No, Scully, I want – I need to read this.” Scully
nodded and he continued.
>>I remember standing there for several seconds
before I asked him, ‘What do you mean, they want my
I don’t know why I asked him that; it wouldn’t have
mattered. Fox, you have to believe me when I say
that. It wouldn’t have mattered. I was not about to
give you or your sister up, no matter what Spender
Of course his response was even worse then telling me
which of you we were supposed to hand over as a token
of our commitment. He told us that it was our choice
My jaw dropped in shock. And then I did something
that I believe scared the hell out of him.
I started laughing. Hard. To the point where I
quickly became hysterical. And then I started
screaming at him at the top of my lungs, demanding to
know how he could even think we could make a choice
Fox, he just stood there and watched me scream. I
started pummeling him and he simply stood unmoved,
until finally, he grabbed my wrists.
It was at that moment that Bill came into the room.
He looked first at me and then at Spender. I guess
we looked suspicious, but it didn’t matter to me.
The man was asking me to do something crazy, insane!
I wasn’t going to do it; I wasn’t going to allow
anyone to take one of my children away from me.>>
Mulder paused to take a deep breath.
Scully looked at him and gave him the glass of water.
He took a small sip and handed it back to her.
“She wanted to fight for us -” he said more as a
question than a statement. He wasn’t sure; as much
as he wanted to believe that she’d fought tooth and
nail for him and his sister, he still wasn’t sure.
He continued to read.
>>”Bill finally found his voice and asked what the
hell was going on? I remember screaming that he
wanted our baby. Spender shook his head. The soft,
even tones with which he spoke still send chills up
and down my spine, Fox. There was no emotion; he
was so calculating and matter-of-fact.
At one time I thought he cared for you and your
sister; he’d always acted as if he did. However, the
man was a genius at separating business from pleasure,
and this was business. Bill of course looked as
incredulous as I had.
He started ranting and raving as well “How could
anyone expect us to make a decision like this? Could
you? Spender, could you decide which child to give
Carter shook his head and said, “It’s not my decision
to make. It’s yours.” Fox, he was such a bastard,
but I know he felt relief that it wasn’t his decision
to make. I know it.>>
Mulder brought one hand up to the bridge of his nose
and massaged it. “Can you believe she’s still
defending him, Scully? Why is she defending him?”
“Maybe because she recognized that he was human after
all,” she responded gently.
“No – no way is that bastard any kind of human.”
>>Finally he told us we had to make a decision or the
decision would be made for us. We both implored him
to make them change their minds. Weren’t we always
there to do their bidding? Weren’t we ready to help
the consortium’s cause at any given moment? Why were
we being singled out?
It was then he said that it wasn’t just us; others
were expected to show their good faith by donating
one of their children. It was then that I realized
that he was talking about himself. Carter had a son,
a little younger than Samantha, and he was being
asked to turn the child in, too.
I’m not sure why, but it made me feel better. Oh,
Fox, not because I wanted Jeffrey Spender to be taken
away; I never wanted to see that happen any more than
I wanted you or Samantha taken. No, sadly it pleased
me to know that Carter was going to feel the same
hole in his heart that Bill and I were going to feel.
It was at that moment I’d realized that we were going
to lose one of you, but Spender swore that the
children were going to be returned in a short period
of time. He did, Fox; he swore to me. Why I would
have thought that he would suddenly start telling me
the truth, I don’t know. Oh, Fox, I so wanted to
believe him. I had to believe him, or surely I would
have gone insane.
He finally told Bill to do it. Bill actually shook
his head, and asked him how he could be expected to
do such a thing. Carter told him that if he didn’t
make the decision, the decision would be made for us.
Bill looked at me, pleaded with me, “Who do we pick?
Fox? Do we give away our first born?”
He’d almost started keening at the mention of it.
Then he looked at me and asked, “Do we give them our
baby? Do we give them Samantha?”
I remember crying out “Not Samantha, not Samantha”
and Bill looked at me and asked “What choice do we
have? The orders came down from on high.” He turned
to Spender and began to call him every filthy name
known to man. He was so angry; he was resigned to
the fact that we had no choice, but he was so angry.
Carter said, in that cold, crisp tone, “Plan to go
out tomorrow night for a few hours. Leave Fox home
to babysit Samantha. Everything will be taken care
We did just as he instructed, Fox. Everything. We
went to the Galbrands to play cards. You were going
to stay home, play a game with your sister and then
watch “The Magician”. It was a nice, normal winter
— Until I’d lost my daughter to a
ruthless conspiracy made up of a maze of lies and
deceit. And it’s only now as I write the words in
this journal, that I realize that I lost my son
that night, too. I tried to protect you, Fox; I
don’t know if you believe this, but I did. Even Bill
did, and to an extent, Carter.
Carter–I wanted to hate him so much, but he worked
hard, when it wasn’t business, Fox, to protect you.
But you kept getting too close to the business. We
were all too close to the business.” >>
Mulder closed the book and looked over at his
partner. “Scully? What is she saying? What is she
saying to me?”
“That you were loved, Mulder. That no matter what,
you were loved.”
Act 3 Scene 1
Mulder paused and stared at the pages. His face
crinkled in concentration, then confusion. He opened
his eyes wide from the strain, almost as if he
couldn’t believe what he saw in front of him.
“Mulder, what is it?”
He shook his head and turned the book at a slight
angle, as if that would help to clarify his vision.
“The handwriting seems rushed here. It’s jagged, not
flowing like the rest of the journal.”
“The” handwriting, he said. Not “her” handwriting.
That meant he was going into analytical mode. Mulder
seemed to have gotten over his emotional attachment
to his mother’s words — for the moment. He was less
angry, and now, more determined to understand his
mother’s motives. Just when had he made that shift?
“Here,” he said, pointing at a section of the page.
“Scully, look at this…”
>>I know I’m being watched. I know too much, and
people are beginning to figure out what I’ve been
doing. Passing along tidbits to you here and there,
trying to be discreet about it — that was all fine
for a while, when I thought I had all the time in the
Now I know I’ve been discovered, because I’ve
contracted this awful disease.
Yes, Fox , my Paget’s Carcinoma was no accident, nor
was it inherited from anyone in my family. It was
purely man-made — and placed into my body.
There are things that I have not finished yet. I’m
sorry I did not have time to explain more, to tell
you all that I know so that you can beat them at
their own game. But it’s a dangerous game, Fox, and
there is so much more than you were led to believe.
Beat them, Fox. You’re the only one left who can.
I’m a ticking time bomb right now. I don’t know when
or how it will happen, but I will die, and in a most
unnatural way, yet it will appear completely natural
on the surface.>>
Mulder’s voice cracked on that last sentence. All of
a sudden he was back in his apartment, begging Scully
to do the autopsy for him. She pleaded with him not
to. She couldn’t handle the thought of detaching
herself emotionally from someone who was so
personally attached to her life. But she did it,
because she knew that it was *his* life that
mattered. It was his life she shared, and loved, and
she would do anything for him, no matter what the cost
He snuffled and dragged a knuckle across wet cheeks
and nostrils. Scully laid a hand on his arm, just the
touch of her warm fingers support enough to hold him
against the tide of emotion breaking through once
He cleared his throat, kissed her forehead and
>>You’ll find out what they did to me, and you’ll
have to expose them. It won’t be easy. Be careful,
Fox. They’ll do it to others and they’ll try to stop
you. You have little protection left. I don’t know
how much longer I can count on Carter.
If I’ve taught you anything in this life, I’ve taught
you to question everything. That may not have made
you the most trusting of people, but as you got
older, I could see it was for the best.
I never wanted to lose you to them, Fox, though I may
have lost you anyway. I was never there for you
emotionally, as a “normal” mother. I hope you can
forgive the hurt I have caused you. But you must
know that I love you. I would give my life for you.
I think, now, that is exactly what I have done.
If you’ve found this book, the time is right for you
to know my role in this tangled mess — this
I hope to see you, so that I may tell you all of this
in person. Perhaps when you return from your case
out West. Writing it all down has come so easily, but
to tell you to your face is what I have craved for so
long. Far too long.
Now, I fear, there isn’t time. I know it will come to
an end soon.
I’m going to hide this book in a place where you will
be able to find it. Somehow, I’ll get a message to
Goodbye, and good luck, my son. My beloved Fox.>>
Mulder closed the book, and stared out at the rising
sun. He held Scully’s hand, and they remained there
until dawn rose from behind the trees, and the light
formed its cocoon around them.
Act 3 Scene 2
April 29, 2003
Safehouse, location unknown
The only sound penetrating the room was the soft
drone of electrical appliances. The refrigerator
hummed quietly in the kitchen, occasionally breaking
into a shudder as the motor switched gears. Somewhere
in the distance Scully thought she heard the ticking
of a clock, but she didn’t remember seeing one when
they arrived at the house.
When her stomach grumbled loudly, demanding food, she
suddenly realized they hadn’t eaten anything since
grabbing a quick bite after leaving the hospital.
“Mulder? Are you hungry? I’m not sure what’s here,
but I know Skinner wouldn’t have left us without
Mulder sat as motionless as stone, his hand still
nestled in hers but his mind far away.
“Mulder? Did you hear me?”
He jumped as if shocked by an electric current.
“Sorry. What did you say?”
He pulled his hand from hers, scrubbed at his face
and pushed the heels of both hands against his eyes,
prompting Scully to check her watch. He was overdue
for his meds, and after a full might of reading —
having to absorb what his mother had written– it
wouldn’t surprise her if his head was aching.
Scully unfolded her legs and stood. Laying a hand on
Mulder’s shoulder, she leaned in close and said, “I’m
going to go fix something to eat.”
Mulder’s answer was a quick nod, but his hands
remained over his eyes. He listened to Scully
rummaging around in the kitchen.
Amidst the clatter of opening and closing doors and
the scrape of stubborn drawers, Scully called to him.
“Mulder. You have a choice of soup, soup or soup. And
all of them tomato.”
“Soup will be fine, Scully.” He really wasn’t
hungry, and he really didn’t care. There was an
annoying throb building behind his left eye and the
knot in his stomach was so tight, he doubted even
soup would make it down. But he knew that if he
valued his life, he had to appear to be making an
effort to eat.
He must have drifted off. It seemed like no time at
all before Scully was back with two steaming mugs
and a plate of sandwiches. She tapped him lightly on
the shoulder to get his attention.
Placing the food on the coffee table, she headed back
to the kitchen, returning a minute later with a jug
of iced water, 2 large glasses and a bottle of pills.
She shook two out and handed them to Mulder.
He took them, raising an eyebrow questioningly.
“I know how you look when you’re in pain. Tylenol.
For the headache.” She smiled at him.
He grinned back. “I knew there was a reason I kept
They ate in silence. After the first mouthful, Mulder
realized he was hungrier than he’d first thought. He
managed to finish off the full mug of soup and a
couple of bites of a sandwich. But the food wasn’t
enough to distract him from his mother’s journal.
He’d known all along that she hadn’t killed herself.
It was a gut feeling that had never really left him
since the day she died, despite the autopsy findings.
Could he have made a difference if he’d done as she
“I should have called her.” The words were more to
himself than for Scully’s benefit.
Mulder leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees,
absently stroking his bottom lip with thumb and
forefinger as he gazed into the semi-darkness.
“I should have called her when I got back from
California.” Then, more quietly, he said, “She might
be alive today. I might have been…”
“No.” Scully’s voice was firm but gentle. “Don’t do
this to yourself, Mulder. Regardless of the
circumstances of her disease, it was still there and
it was terminal. There was nothing you could have
done to prevent her death.”
Suddenly, Mulder pushed himself to his feet and
strode towards the window, hands propped on his hips
as he stared out at the encroaching daybreak..
“But it was *given* to her. There might have been a
way to…to…Jeezus, Scully!”
He turned abruptly, taking 3 angry paces back to the
couch. In one swift motion he scooped the journal
from the coffee table and shook it in the air. “She
*knew* they would kill her. What were her words? That
she would die in an unnatural way that would appear
completely natural on the surface? She didn’t even
make it that far. They killed her, Scully. It wasn’t
suicide. The pills were a means to an end, but it
wasn’t her decision. Just like those women in New
Scully reached out and pried the journal from his
fingers, laying it back on the table. Gently, she
pulled him down to sit next to her, turning him so
she could see his face. She lifted his chin with the
tip of her index finger.
“You’re right. It wasn’t suicide. My findings when I
did the autopsy…” She swallowed hard before
continuing. “I was wrong. And…” Scully’s head
dipped, unable to meet his gaze, to bear the raw
emotion she saw in his eyes. “And…I should have
looked further. But…when…Mulder, the cancer had
progressed to such a state that I was sure, under the
circumstances that she wouldn’t have wanted to live.
She was your *mother*. I’m so sorry.”
Mulder huffed a soft mirthless chuckle. “Look at us,
Scully. Blaming ourselves for things that were so far
out of our control it’s almost laughable. All these
years we’ve been manipulated. Pawns in a game. My
father–whoever that might be, my mother, and god,
Scully, even your brother.” He felt Scully stiffen at
the mention of Charlie. “Nothing was left to chance.”
Scully lifted her head, chin thrust forward, a fire
blazing in her eyes.
“Where will it end, Mulder? What is so damn important
that these men feel they can kill with impunity? What
the hell are they so afraid of? What are they
“I don’t know. But I do know one thing.” He picked up
the journal again, weighing it in his hand. “This is
the key to finding out. Everything we’ve been
fighting against for the last 10 years has been a
lie. A monumental lie. And if they have gone to so
much trouble to perpetuate the lie, then the truth
must be something far bigger than anything we can
imagine. And I’ve got to know what it is.”
She’d heard those words before. Ten long years ago on
a rainy night in Oregon. Field work was new to her.
Working with a partner, especially one as eccentric
as Mulder had seemed exciting, exhilarating, but
little did she know what it held in store. And now,
after everything they had lost, and the little they’d
gained, he wanted to start over again. They were back
to square one. And for a second it all seemed too
hard. Scully wasn’t sure she had the energy required
to take on this new quest. But then, she wondered,
did she really have a choice? She looked at the man
sitting beside her. Took in his pale complexion and
pinched features, remembering how close she had come
to losing him, and her lassitude was replaced with a
burning fury. An all-consuming desire to get back at
the bastards who had been controlling their lives all
these years, systematically destroying everything
they held dear to them.
“Scully?” Mulder was studying her, his brow creased
in concern. And then she knew. Of all the things she
had lost in their fight for the truth, there, sitting
beside her was the one thing she had gained. The man
she loved with all her heart. She took his hand in
both of hers, squeezing tight.
“*We’ve* got to know what it is, Mulder. Both of us.”
Mulder knelt on the floor in front of her, leaning
forward and pulling her into his arms. He buried his
head against her waist, holding onto her.
Scully weaved her fingers through his hair. Relishing
the feel of his body wrapped around hers; the soft
rhythm of his breathing as he nuzzled against her. In
her mind’s eye she remembered the sickly red tinge to
his skin when they’d found him in the garage. God, if
she’d been a few minutes later he *would* have died.
Scully hugged him closer. Charlie had done that to
Mulder. Was he the one responsible for Teena Mulder
too? Could he have been the monster who had initiated
the deaths of 11 women simply by making a few phone
calls? Images like a slide show played in her mind.
Charlie. Her kid brother. Holding a gun to her head,
shooting Mulder in cold blood. She couldn’t
reconcile the man she’d seen that night with the
cheeky-grinned boy she’d grown up with. Scully
shuddered, the temperature suddenly feeling as if it
had dropped 10 degrees.
Mulder lifted his head. “Scully? What’s wrong?”
She brushed her hand over his hair, mustering a
watery smile. “Nothing, Mulder. I was just thinking
about Charlie. It’s all so crazy. Your mom, my
brother.” She shook her head. “Both claiming to have
been looking out for us, and yet…I don’t know. How
do we deal with something like that?”
Mulder pulled himself up so he could see her clearly.
“By fighting back, Scully. By beating them, like my
mother said in her journal.”
Scully nodded slowly, wishing she shared his
42nd Street High Rise
New York, New York
The mahogany wood and the years of cigar and
cigarette smoke cast a pallor on the room that its
sole occupant didn’t seem to notice. He was sitting
with his back to the door, an unusual occurrence for
one so generally suspicious. The brandy snifter on
the table next to him hadn’t been touched, ignored.
The framed photograph in his hands held his
It was the photo of a young woman, a dark haired
beauty of no more than 20 years of age. She wore a
sweater with an underlying blouse adorned with a
Peter Pan collar. She could have been a co-ed at
Wellesley, Vassar, or Sarah Lawrence. She was so
smart, so pretty. Her eyes, it was always her eyes
that held him. So deep, like dark pools. He
remembered how, late at night, he would drown in
those hazel eyes. A single tear burned at the corner
of his cheek and he let it fall, as ignored as the
room, as the brandy.
With a wizened finger he traced the contours of the
image before him. He remembered every curve, every
dimple. He remembered where she was ticklish, where
she would moan with ecstasy at his touch. He chewed
absently on his lip, trying to remember the feel of
her mouth on his.
The phone that sat next to the brandy rang, startling
him. He grabbed at hit hastily, almost dropping the
photo to the ground. He caught it just in time.
“Spender, I hear you’ve been trying to reach me,”
Strughold’s voice came faintly over the line. “I’ve
been in the field. What is it you want?”
“I want you to call off your dog. He’s been digging
in my yard.”
There was silence on the other end of the line.
“It’s my understanding that _your_ pet has been
causing some destruction on my property. Finding old
bones that were better left buried. He’s a nuisance.
He should be put down.”
Spender bristled, but let none of it color his tone.
“That’s your opinion. Mine is that he merely made a
connection with his roots, his mother’s past. There
was nothing that is a danger to the project.”
“She knew too much,” Strughold said tersely.
“Which is why you had her killed,” Spender calmly
replied. “Yes, I said I understood. But this is
overkill. He found nothing that would lead him to
his precious truth. He found only a link to his
parentage. I dare say it might lead him directly
where we want him to be.”
There was an ungentlemanly snort from the phone line.
“You are such an idealist, Spender. That’s a
liability in our line of work, you know.”
“I really don’t think you want to test my resolve,
Strughold. Especially over something as trivial as
an old woman’s dying confession of infidelity.”
Again, silence was the reply. He waited, wanting
nothing more than to light up a cigarette, give his
hands something to do. Finally, there was a grunt on
the other end of the line.
“Very well. If you’re convinced nothing will come of
this, I’ll call off my dog. But remember, we can’t
allow them to come too close. We are on the very
brink, and one false move . . .”
“I understand,” Spender said gruffly. “If it comes
to that, I’ll put him down myself.”
“I intend to hold you to that,” Strughold said and
abruptly disconnected the line.
Spender put the receiver back on its cradle. Again,
he held the picture in both hands. He caressed it
once more, tears making the image blurry.
“You can still count on me, Teena. You can always
count on me.”
* * *