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Key To The Kingdom
 (0)


 Written by
Penpalx

 Series
The X-Files

 Saga
The X-Files

 Rating
Rated R

 Published on
November 9, 2017

 Word Count
33,256

 Read Time
166 minutes

 Summary
A post-'The Truth' alien myth-arc tale. Mulder discovers something alarming about himself, and realises he in could play a huge part in deciding the fate of the human race! Scully remains at his side, but just how far is she prepared to follow him? Will the cost be too great? The truth is out there and it's more frightening than either of them could ever have predicted!



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Key To The Kingdom
By Penpalx



X - FILES

RATING: R - some violent imagery and strong language.
CATEGORY: MULDER ANGST/MT/MSR
SPOILERS: THE TRUTH / EXISTENCE/ TUNGUSKA / BIOGENESIS / THE END / WITHIN / WITHOUT / CLOSURE / TRUST NO 1 / REQUIEM / DEADALIVE / ASCENSION / TALITHA CUMI / CONDUIT / WILLIAM / DREAMLAND / THE ERLENMEYER FLASK / PATIENT X / THREE WORDS...and probably more, but
these are the ones that come to mind.
SUMMARY: Post - The Truth. Mulder discovers the truth about himself and the
outcome for mankind is held in the balance.
ARCHIVE: Please contact me at:- evans_p17@sky.com
FEEDBACK: Very welcomed
DISCLAIMER: All X File character's belong to CC,1013 & Fox, but have been
lovingly borrowed for a while. No profit was made and no copyright
infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my second story but first attempt at trying to sum
things up with The X Files and bring it to a conclusion. NOT an easy task!
This took me just over a year to write.
Thank you to Debbie (Waddles) for her editing and suggestions of how to
improve upon the tale eg: less UK wording and more USA! Plus other
issues she pointed out, all of which were very helpful. :-)

NB: This is my spare time hobby. I'm a singer and if you'd like to hear my version of Bree Sharp's 'David Duchovny' along with 10 other song samples (cover and original) you are welcome to visit my website: - http://pennys-from-evan.co.uk/

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase
When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me
I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along
Evanescence - My Immortal


KEY TO THE KINGDOM
by Penny Evans

The words played over and over again in her head, until Agent Dana Katherine
Scully could stand it no longer. Her hands trembled over the keyboard as she
continued to type on her computer. If she had known back then what she knew
now, she would never have accepted the assignment...to debunk Agent Fox
Mulder's work. To prove to the outside world that the paranormal was just
some high faluting fantasy created in the minds of those desperate enough to
wish to escape from a mundane reality. God how she wished her scientific
approach towards the answers had been the truth. But the cruel hard facts
of the 'Truth' had been something she could never have prepared herself for.
Most of the people in the world would continue with their everyday life,
never knowing that they had been moments away from oblivion! Yet, the cost
to herself and her partner for this truth, would haunt her for the rest of her
days! End of journal.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scully awoke with a start.

'Jesus!'

She felt beads of sweat on her soft skin, and realized her long, auburn hair
was now sticking to her face, and she was in complete darkness.

There was movement beside her, as an arm reached up to turn on the bedside
lamp, and a dishevelled mop of brown hair appeared from under the quilt,
followed by a handsome chiselled profile and rather concerned hazel eyes.
"S-Scully, are you okay?"

" I'm fine. Go back to sleep."

Mulder sat upright. "You don't sound fine."

"It was just a stupid nightmare, Mulder."

"About what?" He leaned across and put an arm around her shoulders.

Scully nuzzled closer and sighed. "About the situation we're in."

"Oh, that."

It was said rather flippantly he realized, but Mulder didn't wish to delve
into the subject too deeply. Not yet, not when he'd just been wakened
after having a rather peaceful night's sleep. Okay, unusual for him, but boy
had he needed it! "Did it involve running from black helicopters, while
Anasazi ruins were blowing up all around us? Or me confessing my sins?"
he joked softly.

"What sins?" Scully asked puzzled.

"That I'd failed... in every respect." Before she could say anything he
quickly added, "but still you believe I won't give up the fight?"

"I know you won't," she replied firmly. "No, it wasn't about any of that.
Okay, it involved me at my computer, typing up something about how the
world was saved."

"Hey, maybe it was a vision...and so we can all rest easy? We won!"

The grin was false, and she knew it. " We lost," she said quietly.
"I mean you and I did."

"Bummer!" Mulder kissed her gently on the forehead then looked across at
the glowing green florescent numbers of a travel clock on the side table
beside the bed. "You do realize it's only 3am? So, you've plenty more time
to dream up a happy ending."

"Okay," Scully replied absent mindedly, snuggling back under the quilt beside
him. Gently she took his hand in hers, whispering "Mulder? Where do we go
from here?"

"Let's talk about it in a couple of hours, alright?" He squeezed her hand,
and closed his eyes.

Who the hell knew where they were heading now? One thing was for sure.
It had to be far away from the United States. Here, he was now an escaped
prisoner, with military men after his hide, for a crime he didn't commit.
The so-called murder of a military man, that had been carefully devised by
certain government officials, some of whom were alien life forms, secretly
planning with their race to repossess the earth, which once belonged to them.
The 'Mickey Mouse' trial he'd undergone was so far fetched it was like some
fucking B-Movie script! Finally, the verdict had been death by lethal
injection. He hadn't expected anything less. Then his former boss
in the FBI, AD Skinner along with Agent John Doggett had done their dog
and pony act of breaking him out of the prison. Now, that was laughable!
How they'd managed to succeed was beyond reason. 'Oh stop analysing,
Mulder' he thought. 'Least right now I'm in a comfy motel room with the
woman I love. Scully. When did that happen?. Enough! Go to sleep.
He drew the now sleeping beauty towards him and held her gently. "We'll
catch a plane out of here. I'll make arrangements tomorrow." Tenderly he
brushed a lock of hair that had fallen across her face. "Love you," he whispered
softly.

"Hmmn", she said. That made him smile.

The song replayed continuously, as his mind
projected flames burning around the wizened, blackened corpse. He thought of
the man who had caused him so much pain, yet had played the father figure as
well, who told him bedtime stories, while he dug the knife deep into his heart.
CGB Spender! May the smoking bastard rot in hell! Mulder turned over,
away from Scully, as reality converged with imagination and continued to play
out the dramatic scenario. Helicopters. Explosions. The Anasazi ruins...in
even more ruins. A jet black bomb flying through the air, straight into his
arch nemesis. Watching the skin melt away into a pile of bones, all the
while it's skull, grinning. He was the devil himself.

Suddenly there was an almighty crash and splintering of wood, which jolted
Mulder from his dream. He'd remembered to turn off the light in the motel
room so why were his eyes now being blinded by bright white beams..?
Flash lights? He only had enough time to make out silhouettes of men,
before he felt rough, strong arms grab him, wrenching him up out of the bed.
"What the hell..?"

"Mulder!" a voice shouted. It was Scully. She'd been woken abruptly, to
discover her partner was being...abducted. Someone held her down, and she
struggled violently. She stopped this futile action when she felt the cold
steel barrel of a pistol at her forehead.

" Shut-up! Okay, no sounds, or you're dead. Understand?" The voice
sounded menacing, but she glared at whoever it was anyway.

"Don't hurt her!" Mulder hollered, the anger mixed with fear quite clearly
sounding in his voice. He struggled against his captors, but to no avail.

"No one's going to get hurt Mr. Mulder. As long as you come with us."

"Where to?" he demanded to know. Who the hell were these people?
*Military*, was his first thought. Well he had been in their custody. So
now they were going to haul his ass back to prison? Well, not without a fight
they weren't. A sudden sharp blow to his jaw refrained him from thinking any
further about overpowering these guys.

"All in good time, Mulder" was the only answer he received, as he was
forced out of the room.

Scully watched the whole scene, unable to help in any way. "Where are you
taking him?"

The man with the gun smiled at her. "He wants answers, and we know someone
who can provide them."

Scully was perplexed by this weird statement. "Answers to what?"

"To the truth."

"What..?"

Before she could continue, he jumped in with, " No word of this to anyone,
okay? Or he'll be eliminated."

Scully nodded fearfully. "And if I stay silent?"

"You'll see him again...soon. And you'll have the truth."

This was insane, but what exactly could she do? Who could she talk to? How
had these men found them? Only Skinner knew the location. Had he been
compromised and had to spill the beans? For Mulder's sake all she could do
was sit tight, and hope that eventually something would make some sense.

The man handed her a piece of paper. "Here. This has the whereabouts of
where we are taking him. Come alone in several hours, and you'll see what
all this is about."

She realized it was a letter, written to her, explaining about a rendezvous
which was going to be arranged, and how it was important that Mulder be in
attendance, how he would finally be given the proof he'd been searching for
after all these years. She was warned that she must cooperate, or things could
get uneasy for the both of them. Was it just a pathetic hoax, or something definite?
Who knew? But these men had guns and meant business, so trying to defend
herself and her partner probably wasn't a great idea right at this moment in
time. "Okay, I'll cooperate, so long as Mulder's not harmed."

"You have our word." The man moved across to the doorway; the door itself
was now hanging off it's hinges where his consorts had made their 'graceful'
entrance.

"One more thing", she called. "Why couldn't you have just asked Mulder to go
to this so-called important rendezvous, instead of forcing him?"

"Where's the fun in that?"

One thing was for certain. He was damn near freezing standing outside in
just a tee shirt and cotton pants. Couldn't they have at least have let him
get dressed before taking him to...wherever the hell they were taking him?
He noticed the man who'd had the gun, leaving the motel room."Is
Scully..?"

"She's fine. She knows the deal."

"Which is?"

"There's someone who wants to meet you. Apparently he has answers for you."

Mulder frowned. "What the hell are you talking about?"

A large helicopter landed in the field beside the motel, drowning out the man's replies.
"You'll see. Just get on board."

"Or what?" he yelled defensively.

"Or we shoot you!"

Okay, that was an abrupt enough answer. Mulder decided to obey and climbed
into the machine with his friendly captors. Now that he could see them clearly,
he realized they weren't military. No, they were dressed rather smartly
in suits. Aliens maybe? He shuddered. Not more fucking
experimenting on him, please? Nah. Aliens wouldn't arrive in a
helicopter...they'd beam him up to their space ship. Best stay calm and try
and go with it...for now. The helicopter took off, and Mulder silently
prayed that hopefully the rest of the day wouldn't get any more bizarre than
this? Surely?

It hadn't seemed all that long, before the pilot had landed on a heli-pad,
on top of a hospital building, in a city...somewhere. Mulder was led to a private
cubicle in one of the wards. He noticed it was in Intensive Care. So this
someone who he'd been brought to meet obviously wasn't very healthy.
"Now what?"

"This is where we part company", one of the suits replied.

"Oh gee, and I was just getting to know you guys", Mulder said,
sarcastically.

Another man opened the door to the IC unit. "Go inside."

Mulder shrugged, and stepped into the room, as one of the guys closed the
door behind him. He was just about to let some wisecrack about being shut in
with some psycho, slip from his mouth. When he saw just who the man in the
hospital room was. The shock he received nearly knocked him off his feet. In
the bed, looking like something from a Hammer Horror movie, was the old
'fossil' himself. The cigarette smoking man! "I--I.," he stammered. "No!
You are dead!"

"It won't be long now," the old man faltered.

"I watched the whole frickin' Anasazi place blow sky high!" Mulder
exclaimed. "There's no way you could have survived that!" And believe
me you died in the best way I could think of in my mind, in a fucking great
fireball, you son-of-a-bitch!* he thought, angrily.

CGB Spender smiled, showing blackened, broken teeth. "Calm down Mulder."

"Calm down?!"

Mulder started to back towards the door. "I don't fucking believe this!" He
took a deep breath and glared at the corpse in the bed. "So, it's you that
had your goons drag me out of a nice, warm motel room in the middle of
the night, to come to your bed side?" He stopped pacing. "Sorry, I didn't
bring any flowers," he added angrily.

The man wasn't listening. "Mulder, I have something to tell you," he said,
his voice cracking. "I am dying..."

"My heart bleeds!" Mulder cut him off abruptly.

CGB Spender's voice tightened a little. "This is important."

"What? What is so god dammed important!" He began pacing again. "We all
know the date is set for 2012. Our planet will be invaded by the aliens, and
there's not a damn thing we can do about it. So, what else is so
fucking important?"

"Sit down, and I will tell you," the smoking man demanded, his voice
straining into a garbled croak. Slowly a smile began to form on his cracked
lips...or was it a sneer? " You have to hear this, because you are the most
important part of this whole equation."

Feeling overwhelmed with anger, as well as morbid curiosity by what the man
had just said, Mulder sat himself down. Obviously, this wasn't going to be
good news.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dana Scully arrived at the memorial hospital in Roswell, immediately
demanding a nurse to tell her where a gentleman by the name of Fox Mulder
was? The poor woman explained that no one by that name had been admitted
that night. Scully looked at the piece of paper again. It revealed the
address of this hospital clearly written in black ink. He had to be here.
Those men had promised her she'd see him again. She began walking up the
corridor, feeling very agitated and more than a little worried. Just then
someone stepped out of a nearby door and almost ran into her.

"Mulder?" she gasped. There was no reply from her partner. She then
noticed how his face had gone rather pale, and his eyes were glazed over.
"Mulder, what's wrong?"

No reply.

"Why did those men bring you here?" Concerned by his absent expression, she
gathered him into a hug. "Jeez, Mulder...you're freezing!"

She quickly realized he was in shock. But what on earth had caused it? She
felt him shudder and then begin to shake quite violently as tears started to
trickle down his cheeks. Carefully she manoeuvred him to a seat, and lowered
him into it. "What's happened?" she asked gently, sitting down beside him.

Mulder's breathing was laboured as he tried choking back his sobs. "I-I
can't..." he stammered, the words trailing off.

Suddenly, several medical staff rushed past them and through the ICU doors.
Scully heard the low tone sounding out from an ECG monitor inside, and knew
instinctively what that meant. She looked at her partner, and took his hand.
"Who's in there?" she whispered.

Mulder took a deep breath and replied shakily, "H-He wanted m-me to know
the real t-truth."

Scully looked puzzled. "Who did?"

"The s-smoking bastard!" His words were filled with bitterness and
resentment, as well as pain.

Scully couldn't believe what she was hearing. "I thought he was dead, for
real this time?"

"He is...now," Mulder replied.

"Did you kill him?" She had to ask the question, even though she knew it may
cause him stress.

"No." The reply was firm and abrupt. "He was here because he was severely
injured...and he was dying."

Scully backtracked her thoughts. "He arranged for you to be brought here?"

"Yes", he said quietly.

"Because he wanted you to know, what?"

Mulder shuddered. "He wanted me to know about something...something he
never told me until now." He spat the words out as if they were poison.

Scully squeezed his hand. "Mulder...what?"

He shuddered.. "I guess he wanted me to know the real story behind the
conspiracy, the aliens, everything."

"Because he was dying?"

"No."

"Then...why?"

Mulder looked straight into her eyes. "No. It was because he wanted to see
me broken...defeated." The tears began to well up again, and he couldn't
stop them.

For the first time ever, Scully was afraid for him. She'd never seen him
look so totally helpless. "What on earth did he tell you?" she asked gently.

Mulder closed his eyes, and turned away, cradling his head in both hands.

"W-what..?"

He cut her off, his voice trembling. "He told me all about my true family."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Try as she might, Scully hadn't been able to get him to say another word.
So she'd manoeuvred him to the rental car and drove back to the motel.
The hospital was a public building, and she didn't want to bring too much attention
to them; not that anyone seemed to know, or indeed care who they were. All the
same, she wanted them both back in the motel room, away from prying eyes. Dana
also felt that perhaps Mulder would open up to her once she got him back. No
such luck so far so she insisted he at least get some sleep - doctor's orders. It
was around 5.00pm when he finally surfaced, so she'd helped him get dressed and
insisted he eat something, after ordering take-out. His movements were almost
mechanical, doll-like, and she was growing more and more concerned. But how
could she help him if he didn't speak to her? She also felt a little
annoyed, and angry at herself for feeling this way. Why didn't he tell her
this news he'd discovered? She was his confidant, his touchstone, his true
companion...and now lover. So, why the heck couldn't he tell her what was
upsetting him so? The sound of the toilet flushing in the bathroom cubicle
snapped her out of her reverie. He entered, crossed over to a chair by a
table and fell into it, as if it was the last bit of strength he had left.

"Mulder..please talk to me."

Scully walked over to him, and seated herself opposite.

"I've just been sick," he mumbled.

Not really what she wanted to hear, but at least it was something. "Maybe
pizza wasn't such a good idea?" she joked, softly.

But Mulder didn't acknowledge the tender jibe. He remained cut off, lost in
some dark little world of his own. A world Scully intended to conqueror.

She rose from the chair and went over to him. "Come here". She led him over
and gently eased him onto the bed, then sat beside him. He let her, and it
felt like she was being a puppeteer. She leaned in and kissed him softly.

He felt her arms go around him, and responded half-heartedly. At least
being with Scully allowed him to have some sanity in hs life. He felt her
push him very lightly down beside her, then something clicked in his mind.
Here was a woman who truly loved him, and would do anything for him.
Maybe if he opened up and explained his painful secret, she would understand.
The smoking man's words re-played in his head like a loop tape, and he
shuddered. He felt nauseous again, and realised he couldn't deal with this
revelation all alone. It was far too much for one man to handle. On the
other hand, what if he told Scully everything, and she couldn't cope with
the news? If he lost her, he'd lose all meaning of existence. She was the
only thing keeping him going, especially after being given news like that.
No. He couldn't lose her! He felt those damn tears welling up again and
swallowed hard.

"S-Scully..?"

"Yes?"

"I-I'm afraid to t-tell you."

She pulled him closer. "Mulder, you needn't be. You know how I feel
about you?"

"Y-Yes," he stammered.

"Then you shouldn't be afraid to tell me anything."

He sighed deeply. "I-I know. But...I don't think you'll understand."

"Try me," she replied, gently.

Mulder stared into her eyes, his own now red and filled with tears. "I-I
don't want to lose you Scully. I wouldn't be able to carry on."

Scully looked puzzled, and deeply concerned. "You won't ever lose me Mulder.
No matter what you have to say."

"P-Promise me," he stammered weakly.

"I promise."

Then Scully remembered what he'd said at the hospital. "You said it's about
your true family?"

He had to tell her. He had to share this devastating news with someone or
he'd end up having a nervous break down. *Please god make her understand*,
he thought. Then he took a deep breath and started to explain, slowly. "You
know the smoking bastard had an affair with my mother?"

"Yes?" she replied, quietly, aware this was a delicate subject. "I know he
was your real father."

"There was a reason he was so close to her," Mulder added, his voice
sounding strained. "She was an important part of the whole thing."

"What do you mean?" Scully felt him shudder in her arms.

"He arranged for her to be... abducted." His voice was hardly a whisper.

Scully frowned. "He..what?"

Mulder hesitated, but continued. "Many times. She was their test subject."
The words he spoke made him want to throw up again, but he swallowed
instead. "They just picked her out at random."

"W-Who did?" Scully wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answer.

"Who do you think?" Mulder spat the words out. "The aliens."

It had to be alien related didn't it? It couldn't be anything else?
"Why?" was all she could say.

*Don't tell her...she won't understand! She won't understand!* The words
screamed out in his mind. Mulder felt so sick inside, and leaned in closer,
burying his head into her shoulder. "They wanted a human woman for their
genetic experiments," he whispered bitterly. He lifted his head. "You know
they were trying to create a new species from a combination of human and
alien DNA?"

"Yes." Scully sighed, now rather worried about what her partner might say
next.

"T-They succeeded, Scully." His words had taken on an edge of definite fear.

"What do you mean, succeeded? We know the secret government was trying to
create a vaccine from hybrid cells, against the black oil," she said warily.

"Yeah, and the aliens gave them a foetus of their kind so they could
secretly continue the experiments, with the intentions of creating a slave
race. Then, there's the hybrids the aliens created who re-created themselves.
I think their plan was to maybe overthrow the greys as a new species? Just
where humans would fit into all of this, who knows?" Mulder realized he'd
spouted the words out in one lengthy monotone, and wasn't even sure his
partner was following what he was saying? But it had to be said, if only to
try and clarify things in his own mind. " But there's another extremely
secret agenda which has been brought to my attention, Scully. All thanks to
the smoking bastard!" He'd almost yelled that last sentence out, so took a
deep breath trying to compose himself.

"Which is..?" Scully was almost afraid to ask.

"I mean...," he stammered. "That bastard got her pregnant...and they..."
*Please god don't let me carry on*, his mind begged. But he couldn't stop
now. He had to tell the woman he loved, he had to. "T-They impregnated the
foetus...with alien DNA."

*Oh my god...no, please don't be saying what I think you're saying*, Scully
thought. But all she could say was, "You mean...you...you're a..?"

Mulder finished her sentence, feeling as if his whole life had come to an
abrupt end. "I'm an alien-human hybrid, Scully. They created me...for this
whole damn project!" He noticed the stunned expression on her face, and
felt so alone right at that moment. "I'm...I'm s-sorry," he stammered,
helplessly.

Scully began shaking her head. "N-no," she said softly. The sudden
revelation had hit her like a painful slap in the face! This changed
everything, everything in her life...and Mulder's. She stopped thinking
about herself and immediately focused on the man beside her. The man whose
life had suddenly been violently turned upside down.

"I-I'm not who you thought I was. I-I never have been," he
whimpered.

"Mulder...none of this..." Scully paused, not really knowing quite how to
react. "None of this is your fault" she said, lamely. She received no reply
from the stricken man.

Her mind started to flash back to the time when her partner had
suffered from a strange anomaly that had given him the power to read
people's thoughts. Just like the child chess prodigy, Gibson Praise...who was
also part alien. Strange how she was never able to put two and two together
when the mind reading ability surfaced in Mulder. Perhaps it was due to
denial on her part? For many years she had believed it had occurred due to
him being subjected to the alien retro virus, when he'd been a prisoner in
Tunguska; forced into being a test subject when the Russians were trying to
develop an antidote. But now...? Now he was telling her he'd had this virus
within him since he was conceived, just lying dormant, waiting to strike.
How and for what morbid reason? "The disease you had....your mind..?"

"Is part of it," he said swallowing hard. Even though he felt so sick
inside, there was a small bout of relief in seeing how Scully was coping
with the news. At least she hadn't run screaming from the room or called him
a freak. But then she had recently discovered aliens do exist and was now
much more open minded to the extreme possibilities. He took a deep breath,
"Scully....there's more."

"M...more?" she asked, her voice stammering a little.

"Th..the reason why they did this."

"Which is?" She paused, her mind conjuring up visions of the not so
distant past. " Billy Miles? Has it anything to do with him and
super soldiers?"

"They were the Grey's latest creations, so they could form a new alien army
from the human abductees." Briefly, he closed his eyes and a lump
caught in his throat. "According to the cigarette smoking piece of
shit...they have much grander plans in store for me." Mulder's thoughts
were also in rewind mode, and the moment in the FBI's parking lot when
Skinner arrived on the scene, just in time to prevent Alex Krycek from
shooting him, came to mind. *But didn't he hesitate - why?* he thought.
" I...I think he knew."

This statement threw Scully completely. "Who...knew what, Mulder?"

"Krycek...he knew what I was. Why they abducted me he must have
known." *But didn't his phantom self try and help me escape from that
military facility?* he pondered.

Scully took his shaking hand. "What are you saying?"

Mulder was still lost in thought. *Why would Krycek help me from beyond
the grave?*

Then again, had he really been there? Maybe Krycek, X, the Lone Gunmen, all
of them...maybe they'd just been imaginary allies, phantoms he had created
in his own desperate attempt to find a solution; a way out?... So, how had X
managed to give him that piece of paper with Maurita's whereabouts printed
on it? Too many questions!

Scully could see he wasn't listening to her, so she tried again. "Mulder! What
do you mean Krycek knew?"

Mulder looked into her blue eyes, his own still glistening with moisture.
"It was something he said, before Skinner shot him. It didn't make sense at
the time." He shifted uneasily on the bed. "But..but now it does."

As far as Dana Scully was concerned, nothing made sense. "What did Krycek
say?"

Mulder's breathing quickened. "He said it to Skinner. He said, 'It's gonna
take more bullets than you could ever fire to win this game... but one
bullet... and I can give you a thousand lives.'
"Then..." Mulder shivered.

"Then?"

"Then...he told Skinner to shoot me."

"But he shot Krycek." Scully replied, firmly.

"He didn't know then, what I know now," Mulder said, his voice no more
than a whisper.

"Which is..?" Scully already knew the answer. Mulder had just told her the
answer, but she just didn't want to speak it. She didn't want to believe it.

"That I'm the threat....because of what those extra terrestrial bastards did
to me." The tears flowed afresh. "It's what CGB Spender told me Scully.
That I'll be the cause of the destruction of mankind."

"I don't understand H...how can you..?"

Mulder cut her off mid sentence. "I was abducted so that they could trigger
the alien part of me." He swallowed hard, "He said it was my chosen
destiny...and that there's no escape."

She'd been lost in a whirlpool of information that was pulling her under
into a realm of terror. Suddenly, she came to her senses. "But Mulder, after
we revived you, and I administered the course of antivirals, you
recovered...with a clean bill of health. You don't have the alien retro
virus any more!"

He could hear the erratic tone in her voice. Oh, how he desperately wanted to
believe the antivirals had cured him, but he knew the answer was far from
the truth. He'd been told that much by Old Smokey. Quietly, he replied
"Scully...it's part of me."

"W...what do you mean? Mulder?" she asked, stammering.

"My DNA...it's part alien. It creates the virus in me...and will do it
again."

Scully wasn't going to accept this, not one little bit. Not now, not when
she'd miraculously had Mulder returned to her. All right, he'd had to hide
for a year in the desert. But now he was here. And nothing was going to tear
them apart again, nothing! She had to have an answer, she had to.

"So, we inject you with liquid magnetite...like Jeffrey Spender did for our
son. It cured him, and now he's fully human." Tears came to her eyes, as she
remembered the day Fox's half-brother had intervened in rescuing William from
an alien fate. In reality, it had tragically resulted in her having to give him
away to a foster family, so he would be safe.

Mulder sighed, his voice cracking. "Scully, William only had the virus in
his system, not in his DNA make-up. Maybe because of you being totally
human...I don't know?" He didn't want to say any more, but it was only fair
to explain it to her, the woman he loved more than life itself. "Magnetite
won't help me."

She wouldn't give up, no matter what he said. "But we have proved that
antivirals postpone it at least." Scully showed clear determination in her
voice, even though her world had taken one massive turn into oblivion. "Then
I'll keep administering them to you, as long as it takes."

Mulder drew her closer and held on tightly. She was trying so hard to
rationalise everything; desperately trying to solve the problem. But the
smoking bastard had told him all about his so-called destiny, and Mulder
knew the sickening outcome to the whole scenario. "I very much doubt they
are going to let me be cured. I'm far too important to them. They need me."

"For...what?" she asked, letting fear once again creep in.

He pulled away from her comforting arms, breathing heavily. He was going to
tell her the final part of the story. The final part that would reveal to
her as well as himself, that he was a condemned man/alien...whatever! He
wanted to scream!

"Scully? The alien DNA...part of me...It will take me over." His words came
out disjointed. It felt like someone else was speaking them. "I'll be one of
them....incredibly strong...fearless...powerful. No more Mulder...I won't
be the least part human any more." He swallowed hard. " I'll be their....their
key. Key to man's destruction!"

Scully couldn't stand any more of what she was hearing. "T..this c...can't
be happening. It just can't be happening," she said stubbornly, refusing
to believe, as she pulled him into her embrace.

Mulder stroked her hair softly, and kissed her gently, tears still very
much in evidence.

"Oh S...Scully, he whimpered."

He held her as if his very life depended on it, and maybe it did. How he
wished they could both just disappear into a warm, safe nothingness far
away from the horror which they faced. He hadn't even mentioned to her about
how the transformation would occur, because the smoking son of a bitch
hadn't been clear on that. It would either be another abduction, or the
fucking alien DNA would strike at random, or? He couldn't let Mulder
know exactly how his demise would occur (his human side that is.) No, the
bastard had to die in his hospital bed, before that was revealed to him. As
he held Scully tighter, feeling her shudder a little in his arms, his
parents came to mind. They'd also known the truth about him, but obviously
hadn't been allowed to give the game away, or...? They were murdered, the
both of them, because they had almost revealed the truth to him. The black
lunged son of a bitch had told him that the conspiracy had given his mother
the horrible, disfiguring cancer, and promised no cure. So, she'd killed
herself, because she couldn't take it any more, could no longer live with what
they'd done to her son Since birth he had been observed by the aliens, while
they waited for the moment when he would be ripe and ready for the picking.

Then there was Samantha? He'd forgotten about his sister. She was another
experiment; another hybrid. Rather than being the chosen one (which was
strictly Mulder's role in their game plan), she had been expendable, just an
early test subject, to inflict torture upon until they were done with her. Only
the walk-ins had stepped in and saved her soul, transforming her essence
into starlight. She had been set free.

*Thank god!* he thought, as he held onto his beloved Scully. *Thank god she
was saved.* His body convulsed, as he felt he was losing control. Then the
tears flooded from his hazel eyes! He'd believed not so long ago, that
maybe there was hope? But now? Now he felt like he was staring into a
terrifying, dark abyss. Game over Mulder!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A sharp knock brought him out of his dark reverie. Scully also jumped, and
reached for her gun.

"What the hell happened here?" John Doggett entered the room, pushing at the
broken door. He spotted Scully, weapon pointed at him. "Whoa! It's just me."

"Sorry", she replied, still reeling from Mulder's terrifying revelation.
"Can't be too careful these days."

Two more familiar faces appeared behind him, namely Walter Skinner and
Monica Reyes.

"Erm...hope we're not interrupting anything" Skinner said promptly, when he
noticed his two favourite agents were sitting on the bed together. When
he saw Mulder's pale complexion and glazed expression; and the fact the door
had clearly been broken off its hinges, he became concerned. "What has
happened?"

Scully placed her weapon back onto the side table. "We were paid a visit by
the smoking man's henchmen."

All three looked a little stunned, Skinner more so. "What? But he's dead,
right?"

"Oh he's dead...but not before he had Mulder dragged to his hospital
bedside, so he could tell him the truth," she said bitterly.

"What truth?" Monica asked, also aware that Mulder was looking extremely
upset about something.

Scully immediately noticed a look of dread come over her partner's face, so
decided to change the subject. It would have to be discussed, but not right
at this moment. "So...why are you guys here?"

"We got kicked out the FBI!" Doggett said firmly. "Obviously we weren't
pulling our weight", he teased, but his voice was solemn.

"I was called into Assistant Director Kersh's office," Skinner added. "Only
to quickly discover I no longer had my position in the Bureau."

"And they've closed the X Files, permanently", Monica said, her tone
matching her partner's.

"So, you decided under the circumstances to get the hell away from there?"
Mulder asked, his voice sounding strained.

"Circumstances?" Doggett asked.

"Before they turned you all into alien army recruits," Mulder replied. " You
know too much to be safe from them now."

Defensively, Doggett jumped in. "We know most of the FBI are in on this
super soldier program with the military. It's pretty clear they don't want
us on the team any more because we know their dirty little secret."

Mulder sighed heavily. "Whatever." He was in no mood to start an argument
about who was really in charge. He knew the answer. It had been shoved into
his face by the smoking bastard. Right now, he'd prefer Doggett's
explanation, as the truth. If only?

"You've not mentioned Kersh, or Gibson," Scully spoke up. "Are they ok?"

"I arranged for Gibson to get safe passage out of Washington DC. Then we
followed suit," Skinner said. "I still had some pull with people higher up
the ladder, who I knew could be trusted."

"Sure about that?" Mulder asked, quietly. He received no reply.

"I don't know what happened to AD Kersh. All I know is Gibson is safe in the
New Mexico desert. It was confirmed to me via one of the Navaho tribesmen
he's residing with." Skinner's face darkened, as he remembered the scene
that had gone down outside Kersh's office.

After being given the heave ho, he was then asked to give the powers that
be the whereabouts of Mulder and Scully. This, of course he'd refused.
Angrily, they left the room and he followed. They then confronted Gibson, who
had been waiting outside the office, along with Doggett and Reyes. They'd been
extremely concerned about the assistant director. One of the alien replacements
(the one he'd pointed out at Mulder's trial) had grabbed the young boy, staring
into his eyes, forcing Gibson to reveal his thoughts to him. He had been so afraid.

"They tried to read Gibson's mind to find out where you both were," Skinner
told his two former agents."That's how they knew you were at those Anasazi
ruins in the desert."

"And,..and now they know we're here, in Roswell?" Scully asked, worried.

"No," Skinner replied calmly. "Gibson somehow managed to convince them you
were hiding out in Canada. I mean that's where we'd told you to head in
the first place."

"H...how..?" Scully began.

"I guess he's getting good at training his thoughts. Making other mind
readers believe a lie," Mulder replied. *Three cheers for Gibson* echoed in
his mind.

"So if they think you're in Canada..." Monica began, but was interrupted by
Scully.

"Then we can't go there."

"So, where do we head, chief?" Doggett asked. Most of what Skinner and
Mulder had said about Gibson had gone over his head. He just couldn't bring
himself to believe in all this E.S.P mind reading nonsense...or aliens come to
that. But he did realise they were in some sort of danger. That was very
clear.

"I think we need to get off this continent as soon as we can. I can arrange
transportation. I still have some pull with authorities," Skinner smiled.
"I can get us flown out of here by private jet."

"Adiós America," Monica said softly. "I've never been anywhere but across
the States."

"It'll be an adventure." Doggett replied.

The three of them were so engrossed in discussing the journey that lay
ahead, they'd almost forgotten their other two friends, until Mulder spoke
up. "So where exactly are we going?" he asked.

Scully could tell he was sounding a little tense, but the other's hadn't
noticed.

"England is our best bet." Skinner replied.

"Right," Mulder said, the tension building. "Of course, the aliens won't
think to look for me...us there!" A thinly veiled line of sarcasm poured
from his lips.

*Oh not aliens again!* Doggett thought.

Skinner had heard the slip in Mulder's outburst, and became concerned.
"What do you mean 'look for you'?" he asked.

Mulder breathed heavily and turned away. "Nothing," he said in a whisper.

Scully looked at him, then at her former colleagues. She felt torn between
staying silent about what Mulder had said to her about his true self, but
at the same time, she felt that the others should know. It would all come out
eventually anyway. How could you keep something this major a big secret?
Also, it wouldn't be fair to keep her friends in the dark not when they
were doing everything they could to help.

Gently she touched Mulder's arm. "I think we should tell them. They'll
understand."

Fear darted through him like he'd been hit by lightening. "No!" he said
firmly, pulling away. The last thing he wanted was to have to explain the
nightmare situation all over again. "I...can't tell them," he stammered.

"Can't tell us what?" Monica asked, gently.

"P..Please...," Mulder began.

Scully interrupted. "Mulder," she said softly. "I'll tell them."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The two ex-FBI agents and former assistant director sat motionless, as
their former colleague, Dana Scully, tried to explain the whole story and what
she now knew about Fox Mulder and his kidnapping, which led to the confrontation
with the dying cigarette smoking man. She noticed tears begin to well up in
her partner's eyes as she spoke, and squeezed his hand gently. He pulled
from her grasp, stood up sharply and walked over to the window. He remained
in complete silence, his back towards them, as Scully came to the end of her
speech.

"So, what you're telling us is...Mulder's an alien now?" The words had come
out wrong, but Doggett just couldn't get his head around this one at all.

Walter Skinner was also trying to process this alarming discovery in his
mind, but wasn't sure exactly what to say. "Oh God," was all he could
manage. He had been made very much aware of the existence of alien life, but
never in his entire life could he have foreseen something like this.

Monica too was stunned. She'd seen a spacecraft, alien super soldiers, and
like the ex-assistant director, she had no choice but to believe in the
impossible. "How can we help him?" she asked feebly.

Mulder finally turned and faced them, letting out a heavy sigh. "You can't",
he whispered quietly.

Scully could see he was shaking and walked over to where he was
standing. She gently put her arms around him, holding his body closely
against her own. "Mulder..." she said, softly.

He closed his eyes, allowing a few tears to course down his cheeks, then
gently pushed her away. He looked towards the others in the
room. Skinner showed concern in his eyes. Monica was giving him a look of
sympathy...and Doggett was displaying total confusion but in fairness, his
gaze had softened somewhat.

Now the news was out in the open, and Mulder realized that he would have to
reveal the whole truth. He looked back at Scully, noticing there was
moisture in her eyes, but she gave him a faint smile. "I-I have something to
tell you," he stammered. He walked over and seated himself down at the
table. Once again looking at each friend in turn he added, "All of you."

Scully frowned slightly. There couldn't possibly be even more to explain.
She'd believed he'd told her everything. "What is it Mulder?"

"You all know what I am. You might as well know why I am".

Then Scully remembered what he'd said to her not so long ago. "Mulder, you
said that you would be a threat to mankind." He nodded, gazing down at the
floor. "I couldn't take it in at the time..."

Skinner interrupted her. "A threat?" he asked nervously. "Why did you tell
Scully that?"

Doggett's eyes widened on hearing that. "A threat to us?" he asked.

"To everyone.....on this earth", Mulder replied. He felt bile rising in his
throat and swallowed hard.

"How can that be?" Monica asked, shaking her head.

He looked over at his former boss, Walter Skinner. "For years I was
considered a lost cause with the Bureau; a joke to my peers. Agent Mulder,
the guy who runs around chasing little green men from out of space." He
forced a chuckle. "Who would ever have thought I'd turn out to be the most
important piece of the puzzle in this whole charade?"

"Important piece?" Skinner asked, confused. "How?"

Mulder took a deep irregular breath. "I was chosen....to be a new type of
species. The smoking bastard; my dear father..." He emphasized the word
'dear' as if it was poison on his tongue. "He explained it all to me.
The true plan of the Greys was to create the perfect hybrid who would
mutate to an alien in human form becoming a highly developed intelligent
creature who would rule the workers, or drones, of the slave hybrid race...
with an army of super soldiers to back me." he said, bitterly. "In other
words I'll eventually become so powerful that I will lead the alien race to
victory against mankind." His voice weakened. "It's all been foretold. It's a
destiny I can't escape."

"Holy shit!" Doggett blurted out. "This sounds like a great idea for a movie
script."

All eyes turned on him.

"Well, come on! Do you really expect me to believe this? Do you believe
this?"

Mulder's eyes flashed angrily at him. "Why in God's name do you think I
would make any of this up, Doggett?"

"I have no idea"

"Then be quiet," Skinner cut in sharply. He turned to his former agent.
"Mulder, I believe you. I wish in all earnest that I didn't, but I do." He took
a deep breath. "Now, how are we supposed to stop this?" he asked, rather
pathetically.

"Like I told Monica," Mulder replied helplessly. "You can't stop this."

Scully had heard enough of what had been said. She felt both scared and
deeply concerned for her partner. "I won't let you quit on me...on us. Not
now, not ever." She took Mulder's hand, and felt him shudder. "There has to
be a way."

"If I have faith?" he asked her, lamely.

She didn't answer.

Skinner had been pondering a solution, at least something that was a
positive move in the right direction. Though it was harder to think straight
after Mulder's little announcement. "We have got to get away from here,"he
suggested.

"You mean leave for England?" Monica asked, equally confused.

Skinner picked up his cell phone. "Remember those connections I still have?"

Scully nodded.

"I'm going to try and arrange a flight out of Roswell." He headed for the
doorway. "I'll get us out of this place, by tonight if I can." Then he left
the motel room.

John Doggett felt like everyone had completely lost their minds. At the
same time, something was niggling in the back of his own. Why would Mulder
make up such an elaborate story? "So, if this is true and that's a mighty big if,
the plan is to run away and what? Hide Mulder from these so-called aliens?"

"Skinner's right," Monica piped up. "I think we should leave."

"And where do you think it's going to be safe?" Mulder said, quietly.

Scully squeezed his hand. "If we stay here, we definitely won't be."

"What about this destiny thing?" Doggett asked.

"What do you mean?" Scully replied.

"I mean," Doggett began, "if we are to try and believe this is all true are
we in fact safe?" He could see the confusion in both Monica and Scully's
faces, but the stare Mulder was giving him told Doggett he was on the right
track.

"You mean from me," Mulder stated.

"What?" Scully began.

Doggett cut her off. "He said himself that he'll become this powerful threat to
the human race. So, let's say we do everything we can to protect him, and
it's not enough? Then what?"

"Then I turn on you and rip your throat out!" Mulder's words choked him.
"Is that what you're afraid of?"

"I'm not afraid," Doggett replied. However, he knew his statement didn't
fully ring true.

"Or maybe slice your head off with a flick of the wrist....like Billy
Miles?"

"Mulder," Scully interjected. "Please don't do this to yourself." She turned
towards Doggett. "John, he's no threat to anyone."

"Not as long as we keep him from these aliens right?" Monica asked.

"I believe so," Scully replied, looking at Mulder for an answer. She saw the
tears welling up in his eyes again.

"Problem solved," he said, but the words rang falsely in his ears.

Just then Walter Skinner entered the room, a look of triumph on his face.

"What?" Monica asked, hopefully.

"I've just got us a private plane as far as Wyoming. It'll be arriving in a
few hours, and we'll be landing near Devil's Tower." he announced. "

"Wyoming?" Doggett said, glancing over at Mulder. "I thought we had to get
away from the States, otherwise the aliens will find us eventually?"

"I thought you didn't believe in aliens?" Monica said softly.

John Doggett wasn't listening. "Oh and Devil's Tower as well. Maybe we can
remake Spielberg's movie 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind.' Wouldn't that
be fun?" he said in a sarcastic tone.

Both Scully and Monica ignored the remark and Skinner carried on with what
he'd been trying to say.

"When we get there, they'll be another plane waiting to take us to
England."

Mulder, who hadn't been concentrating on much of the conversation at all,
turned away and looked out of the window and up at the sky, which was now
turning into a glorious sunset over the mountains in the distance. He didn't see
the beautiful oranges and reds blending together, just the cold glint of a metallic
surface hovering above. His imagination projected the spaceship clearly in his
mind and he shuddered. How could he ever be free no matter where they ran to?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The plane touched down on an abandoned airstrip in the heart of a stretch of
grassland in the early hours of the morning.

During the several hours of flight from Roswell, Mulder had sat quietly in a
window seat, gazing out at the night sky; Scully curled up asleep beside
him. He wasn't sure why it should be, considering the frightening
circumstances he was in, but the bright pinpricks of light twinkling in all
that blackness had offered him some comfort. *Starlight*, he'd thought *that
special place where Samantha travelled...where she's safe.*

Monica Reyes had also managed to let herself drift off to sleep, having
chosen a seat to herself opposite Mulder and Scully. Both Doggett and
Skinner, seated behind them, had remained firmly awake throughout the trip.
Every now and then Skinner would glance over at Mulder, but received no
response.

*Jeeze, how am I supposed to protect him?* he asked himself.

John Doggett on the other hand had been thinking about a completely
different scenario. *Just how are we supposed to protect ourselves...in this
confined space? If Mulder changes...* He wasn't sure how else to put it.
*Then we don't stand a chance in hell of survival!*

To his relief this altercation had never happened, but he still wouldn't feel
comfortable, until his feet touched terra firma.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Five figures alighted onto the runway, but there was no one there to greet
them. The place was deserted.

"So where's this other plane?" Doggett asked.

Skinner's brow furrowed. "I don't understand?" he stated. He walked over to
the pilot of the little Cessna they'd arrived in. "Have you any idea where
our connection is?" he asked.

"Sorry sir," the pilot replied. "All I had were instructions to fly you
here." He paused then added, "Sir, I do have to return to the base. I can't
wait..."

"Okay," Skinner interrupted. "I understand."

"What's going on?" Scully asked, concerned.

"It's not coming is it?" Mulder said, stating the fact more than asking a
question. Visions of an alien spacecraft arriving on the scene instead
couldn't help but permeate his thoughts. He scanned the sky nervously, but
there were no bright lights; only the stars.

Skinner took his cell phone out of his jacket and began pressing numbers.

"Are you certain we are in the right place?" Monica asked him. It seemed to
her that they were in the middle of nowhere.

"Yes!" Skinner replied, sharply, making her jump a little. "I'm sorry Ms.
Reyes." Frustration showed clearly on his face.

"What is it?" Doggett asked.

"There's no answer...nothing!"

"Who are you calling?" Scully wanted to know.

"Friends involved with British Intelligence", Skinner replied, agitated.
"They arranged our transport out of the US."

Mulder sighed heavily. "Looks like someone got to them."

"You mean the aliens?" Doggett asked him. His tone of voice was firm,
although he hadn't meant to sound so condescending.

Mulder flashed him a look and said nothing.

Monica decided to change the subject. "You know, it's the middle of the
night. Don't you think we'd better try and find somewhere to crash?"

Scully looked around the area, but couldn't see a sign of life anywhere.
"And just where are we supposed to do that?"

"Sir." The pilot referred to Walter Skinner. "I do know there's a motel,
about a mile or so from here, over that hill." He pointed in a westerly
direction. "You could all stay there until you get things sorted out."

*Sorted out* Skinner thought. What if their plans to get to the UK had been
thwarted by the alien conspiracy? Then that would mean they knew where they
were. *Best not say anything. I don't wish to panic anyone, least of all
Mulder.* "Thanks," he replied.

"No problem, sir." The pilot smiled, then added, "I'd best be going."

The five watched the little plane take off down the runway and disappear
into the night.

"We'd better make a move ourselves," Skinner suggested. "It's getting colder
by the minute."

The others nodded, and started to make headway towards the hill the pilot
had pointed out to them. As they walked, Skinner lead the way while Doggett,
Reyes and Scully were not far behind.

Mulder sidled up alongside his former boss. "I know what you're thinking,"
he said quietly.

Skinner gave him a puzzled, if slightly alarmed look.

"No, I've not read your mind," Mulder assured him. "That alien ability
seems to have diminished." His voice sounded bitter. *And I hope to God it
never returns* he thought. Chances were probably likely it would, and then
some. But he didn't wish to explore that avenue of possibilities right now.

"What am I thinking?" Skinner asked him, realizing his former FBI agent
wasn't someone who you could keep in the dark about most things. His mind
had always been one step ahead of everyone else in the Bureau. It was
uncanny. Sadly, now he knew why Mulder had possessed this unique ability. It
was all thanks to an alien race set on repossessing the earth and using him
as their...their what? Weapon of destruction? He shuddered a little.

Mulder placed a hand on his shoulder. "You think they might come looking for
us? He faltered slightly and added, "They probably know where we are."

The others had heard this conversation and became alarmed.

"If that's true, then we're like sitting ducks out here," Scully stated.

Doggett had a question for Mulder. "But if they are so hell bent on taking
you again, wouldn't they be here now, buzzing over this area?" Before anyone
could reply, he turned to Monica. "You said that the ship you claim you saw
was huge. If it was here, we'd see it right?"

"Without a doubt," Monica answered. Tentatively she gazed above her head.

"So they can't know where we are then, can they?" Doggett asked. "Sorry,
Mulder but I think you're obviously scared and are jumping to
conclusions."

Mulder stopped walking and faced him. But Scully positioned herself between
the two men.

"Let's just get to the motel," she suggested. She looked at Mulder.
"Please?" Placing her arm around his waist, she squeezed him gently.
"There's no one here but us, and I'm cold."

In response Mulder put an arm across her shoulders and held her closer to
him as the team continued to walk towards the hill. Every now and then he
would glance up, then look out across the expanse of land. *Of course it
could always be cloaked* he thought, and felt a knot in the pit of his
stomach. But everything remained the same during their short journey to the
motel.

After checking themselves in, they bid each other goodnight and headed to
their rooms. They discovered there was hardly anybody else staying in this
particular motel, so Doggett and Skinner decided to share, while Monica
suggested she stay in the adjoining room. Both Mulder and Scully chose the
one next to hers.

"I'm afraid it's single beds only," Scully teased gently, trying to
alleviate some of the tension.

Mulder didn't seem to be listening.

"Should be plenty of room for us in one of these though...Mulder?"

"Huh?" he said, absent mindedly.

She took a hold of his hand and led him over to one of the beds. "Sit," she
commanded lightly.

He obeyed.

"Oh Mulder...honey...,she added tentatively, then became lost for words.
What could she say? *Oh how I wish none of this were true and you weren't
some alien experiment destined to face a cruel fate.* What the hell good
would that do? She couldn't even say that everything was going to be
all right. So, she just wrapped her arms around him tightly and held him close.

He couldn't register Scully's touching words there and then, the anguish
he had locked inside was overwhelming him. Mulder was so grateful to have
her beside him though and clung to her as if his very life depended on it.
Somehow his tears had managed to stay hidden during the entire trip from
Roswell. But once behind closed doors he discovered he could hold back no
longer.

Scully felt his body shudder and then heard him crying softly. *We'll get
through this* she thought, *Even if I have to kill every single one of those
aliens. They are not having him!*

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

As swirling mists parted, all that could be seen was a piercing light which
seemed to penetrate his very soul. A flash of cold steel then the pain
followed, slicing into his flesh, his world turning a crimson red. Fox
Mulder heard himself screaming over and over, begging for someone to hear
his cries for help. But no one came. The Greys were grouped all around,
leaning over his prone body, which was pinned to the chair, with metal
spikes that had been driven through both bone and tissue into both wrists
and ankles. Their black almond shaped eyes staring down at him, no
expression displayed upon their small faces. He heard a screeching, tearing
sound, forcing himself to look up. Coming out of the light was a metal arm
with what looked like a spinning saw on the end. It was getting closer and
closer and with a certain horror he realized it was going to slice into his
chest!

"Oh dear God!" he screamed. "Please help me! HELP ME!"

Mulder's eyes darted open as he heard himself yell out in fear. It took
several shaky seconds before he realized he was in a bed in a motel room.
Fragments of the nightmare were now receding and he felt himself gradually
begin to grow calmer, although his body was now bathed in sweat, and his
head was starting to ache. Slowly he turned to one side to see that Scully
was snuggled up beside him. She must have been really exhausted, as his
scream hadn't disturbed her sleep. Taking care not to wake her, he slowly
swung his legs out of bed and gingerly walked over to a window. The room was
cold and he shivered a little, wrapping his arms tightly around himself to
try and keep warm. He looked out and could see twinkling stars in a sky that
was starting to grow a little lighter, so it was obviously just before dawn.
He realized he needed to get out of the now clammy underclothes he had worn
the night before. He took a fresh pair out of his overnight bag. The only
items both he and his partner had managed to bring with them were a few
changes of underwear and toiletries which they'd had in their possession
since the escape to the motel in Roswell. He quickly dressed, glancing back
at her every now and then to make sure she was still asleep. Right now he
needed to be alone. As he pulled on his shirt, his hand brushed against the
deep scar which ran down the centre of his chest, and he shivered. The
nightmarish visions aboard the alien spaceship returned but he forced them
to the back of his mind.

"No," he whispered painfully. He could shut out the physical torture they
had inflicted upon him but trying to prevent himself from thinking about
just what they had planned for him in the near future seemed an impossible
task.

*There really is no way out of this Mulder* his mind kept repeating. "Oh
give me a break", he moaned. Taking a deep breath, he crossed over to the
motel door and unlocked it. Giving one more glance toward the redhead
sleeping soundly, he stepped out of the room, quietly closing the door
behind him.

continued in Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Outside the air was chilly but fresh and he took several deep breaths
hoping this would help to lessen the throbbing pain behind his temples.
He noticed a light coming from one of the buildings and began walking
toward it. When he reached the place he realized it was the motel's
reception area, which also had a little café that was open. He noticed there
were only a few people inside so decided even though he would rather be
alone, he would also prefer to be warmer. He entered and seated himself at a
table near the door, wishing to keep his distance from the other clientèle.
Once inside he noticed there were only four more people occupying the café.
A young couple was chatting to each other over steaming hot cups of coffee
across from him. The aroma was tempting Mulder, so when the
waitress came over he ordered a cup. He watched her move behind the counter
and could see she was quite attractive, if a little too tall for his liking.
Long brunette curls sweeping down her shoulders and eyes the colour of jade,
hiding behind very thickly laid on make-up. He was pondering why some
women chose to wear so much eye shadow and mascara when it was really so
unnecessary when he noticed the third person in the café. A young girl,
probably in her early twenties, was seated at the table directly opposite
him. She seemed of average height, with wavy dark blonde hair reaching to
the nape of her neck. He also couldn't help noticing she was very
curvaceous.

She looked up from her coffee and smiled in his direction, which made him
blush slightly. This unfortunately always happened when a pretty member of
the opposite sex showed any acknowledgement to his existence. It was a habit
he wished he could break. Also the fact she had those same crystal blue eyes
as his partner, didn't help either.

The waitress returning with his cup of coffee made him temporarily break eye
contact with the girl as he smiled his thanks. She left and he took a sip
of the beverage before him. Mmmn. It tasted rich in flavour and he was
grateful for the warmth he felt from it. He realized the headache seemed
to be fading now. *So that's all I needed,..a dose of caffeine?* he mused.
Taking a larger sip, he looked up and met the young lady's gaze once more
and returned a belated smile in her direction. He noticed she was dressed in
black jeans and tee shirt to match. It was then that he saw she was wearing
a button and took a sharp intake of breath when he realized that the emblem
was an alien head in gold, with almond shaped eyes.

"You like it?" she asked, in an amused tone.

"Pardon?" Mulder stumbled out, realizing he must have been staring for a
good while.

"I couldn't help but notice you were staring at my button," she replied.
"It's an extra-terrestrial."

"I can see that," he said. "Very pretty," he added, his demeanour showing he
was far from pleased upon seeing it.

The girl smiled again. "Do you believe in them?"

This completely threw him for a loop. "W-What?"

"Aliens. Do you believe they exist?" she asked, lightly.

"Do you?" He aimed the question directly at her, both curious and also
unnerved by this pretty young stranger.

"Yeah." Her reply was firm. "Oh yeah." She paused briefly then added in a
whisper, "I've seen them."

Okay. This could all just be a ploy to get him to talk to her? Perhaps she
was using it as a chat up line or just needed the company. Still, her voice
had sounded rather convincing. He was going to take the bait, but tread
very carefully.

"You have?"

"May I join you?" she asked in an innocent tone.

*Polite, but rather abrupt* Mulder thought. "Sure."

The young lady got up and seated herself opposite him. "Hi," she said,
extending a hand. "My name's Angelina."

He shook it and smiled. "Mulder."

"Hi," she repeated, rather unsure as to how she should address him.

"Actually it's Fox Mulder...but I'd prefer you just call me Mulder."

"Nice to meet you, Mr. Mulder," she replied sweetly. "So, are you
interested?"

"Excuse me?" For a second he thought she was offering herself to him.
*You've been watching far too many porn movies* he decided.

"In my story...where I've witnessed these aliens for real?" she replied. "I
mean, do you believe in the existence of extra-terrestrials?"

It was as if she had quoted directly from him. A memory surfaced where he
had been asking Dana Scully those exact words back when she had first
introduced herself down in his office hidden in the bowels of the F.B.I.
headquarters in Washington D.C. Little had they known then just where their
investigations would take them. Now here in front of him was possibly a
fellow kindred spirit in Angelina. She seemed innocent enough, but still he
would remain wary. After all, he had no idea who this woman was, and why
she should start asking him questions like this? It was almost like she had
known it had been his passionate obsession for many years. Only now
Mulder knew it was his curse.

"So where did you see them?" He had meant to say it matter-of-factly, but it
had come out far too over the top. An actor he could never be!

"You really are interested aren't you?" Angelina stated. "I had a feeling
you would be."

Mulder frowned. "How could you possibly think that?"

She smiled. "I've always been a fairly good judge of people." Before he
could reply she added. "Also, the way you were staring at the button was
pretty much a dead give away. I mean you could have just been staring at my
chest, like most men do." Noticing his face turning a crimson red, she
continued. "It's okay. I could see you were far more interested in the alien
head."

That was Agent Fox William Mulder all right. All his passion aimed at little
green men instead of a full-blooded, sexy young lady. Until something,
somewhere in his mind clicked, finally enabling him to register his
partner, Dana Scully, as such a woman. Call it fate or what you will, but they
were now a couple, whatever that meant to him now. Who was he kidding? It
meant the whole world to have her fighting beside him, whatever evil they
faced.

"It was out by the abandoned airfield," Angelina said, her voice now
sounding in awe. "I saw this huge metallic ship. It was glowing...and
hovering above the ground. I was so afraid, and ducked down behind some
undergrowth...and I just remained as still as I could." She took a breath
and pointed at her button. "Then I saw two of these thin, grey creatures..."

Mulder interrupted her. "Were you abducted?" he asked quietly.

"No," she answered abruptly, "They never saw me, thank God." She had noticed
him shudder when he asked the question. "Why?...Were you?"

He swallowed hard. "Yes."

"I'm so sorry," she replied, softly. "I have heard about other people who
have undergone such terrible tests aboard these alien ships. It's barbaric
what they do!"

Mulder took a deep breath, briefly closing his eyes. He could feel the tears
starting to form and blinked a few times. "It...It was." Then he pulled
himself up short. "How do you know about this?"

"My father," she replied. "He's been abducted many times." She paused
slightly. "He's formed an organization."

"Why?"

"He knows what these extra-terrestrial's intentions are."

"Which is?" He really didn't want to hear what he already knew himself but
he feared he was about to.

"They want to reclaim this earth. They believe it's rightfully theirs,
because they were the original occupants."

"My God," he breathed.

"You didn't know?" she asked, almost surprised.

"Yeah," he replied, sadly. "I did know."

"Maybe we can help," she offered gently. Before he could answer, she
continued, "Our organization is...well I guess you could say we are a sort
of resistance group."

"Against the aliens?" Mulder asked. So, there were people out there who felt
the same way as he did, and planned to do something about it, no matter how
futile. "How many are you?"

"Not many...about 30, maybe 40 so far. But we're seeking new recruits all
the time." She grinned at him. "Like yourself for instance?"

Curiosity was definitely getting the better of him. He was just about to
give the young lady a reply when the door to the café opened and a petite
redhead breezed in looking rather concerned.

She spied him instantly. "Mulder!" Scully hastened across the room and
quickly seated herself beside him. "I woke and you were gone. I was
worried," she added.

"God, I'm sorry Scully. It was another nightmare. I needed some air. You
were asleep and I didn't want to disturb you."

"It's okay", she replied. "I'm just glad you're all right." Then she glanced
across at the rather attractive blonde seated opposite her partner. She
raised an eyebrow at him, "Mulder, who is this?"

"Angelina meet Dana Scully. My partner."

The girl offered a slightly reluctant hand out. "Hi"

"Mulder, what's going on?" Scully interjected.

Feeling now like maybe there was a spark of hope in his world, he smiled at
her. "Scully, we might have found some folks who are on the same
wavelength."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the moment the ex-FBI team had been introduced to Angelina's father and
his resistance group of renegades, they were immediately made very welcome
in their hideout in the mountains and offered food and shelter. However,
even though this group had openly shown that they thought the same way about
the up and coming alien invasion, and were grateful for any newcomers to
offer assistance, Walter Skinner had questioned his former colleagues as to
whether or not they should fully trust these people. Mulder had felt they
should be given the benefit of the doubt. If this group of renegades
were indeed here to try and thwart an alien invasion then he and his
friends would be far better off staying with them than trying to battle on
their own. After a debate the others had come to an agreement that they
would go along with this group, but remain cautious at all times.

A few weeks had passed by and nothing untoward had occurred, which had
allowed them to relax a little. Their only frustration now was attending yet
another group meeting to discuss the alien situation in hand.

"It seems like they've penetrated many government agencies all over the
States, for control," one of the members told Mulder and the others.

"So do you have a plan?" Skinner asked the group as a whole, silently
praying for a constructive answer.

"As I explained before we are trying to gather as many people as we can
who are willing and able to fight back," an older man explained. He had
first introduced himself as Jack Wilkinson, an ex-colonel from the
United States Army who had formed the group, and who was the father of
Angelina Wilkinson.

"But how exactly are you going to fight back?" Mulder asked. "Military
weapons are not going to stop them, I can assure you of that." He was
wishing the colonel would get to the point. Truth be known he really wasn't
in the mood for this repeat discussion. He'd awakened that morning with a
mother of all headaches. The pain of which had eased off, but right now he
would have preferred to be lying down than in this meeting.

"We know the Russians were trying to develop a vaccine against the Black Oil."
Another one piped in.

"Why can't we just nuke the bastards!" Doggett offered. "Whatever they are?"

"You mean detonate the ships?" one of the female members asked. "But you'd
have to get close to them to plant the bombs. And just how many spaceships
do they have?"

"Plus they always cloak them so you don't know their exact location when
they are on the ground," Monica added.

"People, there is an answer. There is always an answer." Jack said abruptly.
"The human race will not be made extinct by these creatures from hell."

Mulder was continuing to wonder whether these guys, even though they
meant well, were just clutching at straws when he noticed the sheer
defiance in this ex-colonel's eyes. This guy obviously meant business. At
the same time, he became aware of a slight ringing in his ears. Almost
immediately he discovered he could hear voices permeating his mind. *Oh
please, not that crap again!* he lamented inside, realizing he could hear
the thoughts coming from people in the room. Fear was overlapped with a
sudden realization that maybe this could prove useful.

"Do you have the answer?" he asked, realizing one of the mind's speaking was
Jack's. The only problem was his thoughts were not discernible, nobody's
were...well not yet anyway. He shook his head slightly. *Yeah that'll help
clarify them* he said sarcastically to himself.

The man stared at him, and Mulder flinched a little. "Possibly," he replied.

Mulder, are you okay?" Scully asked, concerned. She had noticed a flicker
of distress in his eyes.

He was just about to reply, when without any warning the headache
returned in full force, and a searing pain shot through him. Mulder screamed
and clutching his head with both hands, fell to the ground.

"Mulder!" Scully yelled, and dashed to his side, quickly followed by the
rest of the ex-FBI team. She hurriedly checked for a pulse. "He's out cold!"

"He has the virus." It was more like a statement than a question. Jack
crossed over to them and put a hand on Mulder's forehead. "His temperature
is rising."

"Yes, he needs a course of antivirals," Scully blurted out. "It prevents
the virus from spreading. But..." she hesitated. "It's never made him
have black-outs before!" Her voice was panicking now.

"We have to get him to the nearest hospital," Skinner said.

There had been a lot of murmurs coming from the rest of the resistance
party, but no one offered any assistance. Suddenly they all turned to look
at Jack with growing concern etched on their faces.

"What? What is it?" Doggett asked.

" It's too far away. By the time we get there the virus may have already
broken down too many human DNA cells," Jack said firmly.

Skinner faced him. "You know all about this don't you?"

"It's affected some of our members since their abductions. The aliens are
trying to create a new race of human hybrids," Jack told them. "A sickening
process that spreads an extra terrestrial-type cancer through the human
body, breaking down DNA cells and replacing them with their own."

"We already know this!" Scully said, agitated. "So rather than discuss the
symptoms, can we please concentrate on helping Mulder? She was cradling him
gently in her arms, and noticed the sweat on his fevered brow. "He's burning
up!"

Jack pointed to several of his members. "Take him to the dormitory", he
ordered.

"W..wait a moment," Scully said, concerned.

Jack faced her. "Do you want to help him or not?"

Angelina took her hand and looked at the other ex-agents in turn. "My father
can help," she said quietly.

"He has a cure?" Skinner asked.

"Please...," Scully began. "He needs the antivirals."

"We have something similar," Angelina explained. The other members who had
been chosen began to lift Mulder and carry him out of the room. "Trust us.
We want to help him."

"I'm coming with you," Scully said abruptly. But a firm grasp stopped her
from moving. "What..?"

"Not yet." Jack's words were firm.

"Look just what the hell is going on?" Doggett asked.

Jack smiled and released Scully's arm. "Just let us take care of him. You
can visit him later."

"Who are you?" Scully asked, a little alarmed by his action.

"A friend. Believe me I'm a friend."

Skinner came forward and faced him. "So you've healed other abductees?" he
questioned.

"Not healed as such," Jack said. "But we can slow the process down."

Scully was confused as ever. "With what?"

Jack looked at each ex-agent and began to explain. "While I was still a
colonel in the army I was involved in a top secret project. We captured an
alien spacecraft and experimented on one of their species. From this, we
created a toxin that can counteract with the alien virus. It can mimic
cells in the body and recreate a DNA pattern but it's temporary. However, we
believe the aliens can reverse the virus completely. But in order to do this
ourselves we'd need the full alien technology that only they possess."

"How in God's name are you going to get that?" Skinner asked, impatiently.

"We're working on it." Jack replied.

"So, what you're saying is you can postpone the virus, like the antivirals
seemed to do?" Scully asked.

"Yes." Jack took her hand gently. "Dana, we can administer this to your
partner every time he has a seizure." Before anyone could answer he added,
"They are going to get worse, but this toxin will prevent things from getting too
severe."

"Too severe?" Monica asked. She'd been listening intently to the
conversations and had to admit it was beginning to sound like a confabulation
of the truth. Still this Jack Wilkinson did seem to be showing concern.

"You don't know do you?" Anglina asked.

"Know what?" Scully asked with concern.

The girl turned to her father, who took a deep intake of breath. "This virus
not only destroys human DNA, but it leaves the human soul intact. Trapped
forever in eternity inside an alien vessel of tissue and organs."

"Oh God!" Scully exclaimed. Sudden fears of her beloved Fox's beautiful mind
living in a never-ending torment inside an alien creature were starting to
terrify her.

Skinner, though highly concerned for his fellow colleague, had other things
on his mind. "Just how on earth do you know all this information? And while
we're at it, how did you end up with this toxin on your possession? Did you
steal it?"

"Yes, that's why I'm now on the run like you. "That's why I formed this
resistance group and why I intend to do everything in my power to help
victims such as your friend." Jack smiled again. "All the information was
gathered when I was working as a colonel...at Area 51."

"So what happened to these other abductees in your resistance group who
were taken over with the alien virus?" Skinner asked.

"Like I said the toxin only temporarily prevents the human DNA from altering
to alien. We ran out of supplies, and there was nothing we could do to stop
the virus from mutating. We had to burn the bodies, or they would have been
a threat to the rest of the humans in the group," Jack explained.

"So you found fresh supplies from where?" Monica asked.

"I have contacts in the army. They were able to send me another batch but
sadly not in time to save these abductees," Jack answered with no
hesitation.

John Doggett shook his head. "I'm sorry, but this all sounds a little too
far fetched to me."

"For someone who doesn't even believe aliens exist, how can that sound far
fetched," Monica teased gently, under her breath. However she was beginning
to have her own doubts about this colonel's story.

"Look I understand your concern," Jack said gently. "But this is the truth. Take
it or leave it? All I'm interested in is keeping our fellow human
beings from suffering a horrific future."

Just then the door opened and one of the male members of the group entered.
All eyes immediately turned on him. " Mr Mulder's fever has gone down. He's
sleeping, but you are welcome to go see him now."

Scully needed no encouragement. Giving a brief smile to her fellow colleagues,
she headed towards the door. Just before she left she turned to Jack.
"Thank you," she said quietly then followed the man out.

Angelina watched the red-headed woman leave then faced the remaining ex-FBI
agents. "I told you my father would help him," she said softly.

"I guess I owe you an apology," Doggett said.

"No need," Jack replied. "Now that you can see I really am trying to help
the human race, that's all that matters."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Swirling mists covered his body as he fought to tear himself free from their
icy tendrils. Then a bright iridescent light appeared. It was so intense he
had to shield his eyes from it's inhumane glare. The ship shimmered above
him, all the colours of the rainbow. It was beautiful but deadly as it
hovered silently. Suddenly, a beam of light shot out, enveloping him in it's
radiant prison. He couldn't move a muscle as he felt himself being lifted
up into the air. Terrified with what horrors he knew lay ahead inside the
alien craft, his eyes caught sight of figures beyond the mist. They were
standing on the ground in a circle, looking up at him with eager
expressions. He realized they were human...not only that but they were the
members of the resistance group. Then he realized they were chanting. He
could only hear fragments of sentences, but what he heard made him shudder
even more.

"He is......salvation.....praise....oh revered one.......the
sacrifice.......complete.....suffering no more.....our freedom.....oh praise
be."

Mulder awoke with a start!

"Hey, it's okay," a gentle voice spoke softly beside him.

Gazing up into her blue eyes he realized it was Scully. "What happened?" he
asked, nervously. The dream fragments were diminishing, and he was becoming
more aware that it had all just been another nightmare. "It started
again...the ringing in my ears...my head pounding...and the voices. I
couldn't make out what was being said. Then..?"

"You had some sort of seizure," Scully stated calmly. "Mulder, they are going
to get worse but Jack has a toxin that can act like the antivirals. It
will slow down the virus."

Mulder sighed heavily. "I don't know if I trust him now, Scully."

She squeezed his hand gently. "I'm not sure I do either. He's been
explaining to us about this top secret project he worked on at Area 51.
Mulder, he says he's prevented the virus from completely taking you over,
and will continue to do so."

Mulder snorted. "With this miracle elixir he's discovered?"

Scully sighed softly. "He told us exactly what the alien virus does to a
human being."

"Which is what?" Mulder asked, anxiety creeping in.

"It replaces human DNA, but leaves the human soul trapped forever in the
alien body," she told him, gently. "This toxin supposedly stops
this...temporarily."

He swallowed hard and cut in abruptly. "Temporarily?"

"He says you'll have more seizures but each time you'll be given more
of the toxin. He has supplies sent to him."

"So there's no cure?" Mulder asked alarmed.

"He says he's working on that," Scully said

"How exactly?" Mulder was getting more and more frustrated by the minute.

"I have no idea," Scully replied. "All I know is that according to
him, Jack Wilkinson wishes to save humanity from this vile alien race."

Without any warning the chant began to form in his mind, the one he'd had in
this most recent nightmare. < one.......the sacrifice.......complete.....suffering no more.....our
freedom.....oh praise be.>>

Mulder shuddered.

"What?" Scully asked concerned.

"I had a nightmare. I was being taken aboard an alien craft." Before she
could say anything he added. "Yeah, text book abductee dream. Only
this time it was different, Scully. This resistance group was there...standing
all around, watching me being taken. And they were chanting...something
about me being a saviour...a sacrifice for the human race."

"Mulder", she said gently. "You fear being taken again, and the fact we're
now mixed up with this resistance group intent on saving the human race? It
most likely caused a dream like that to manifest."

"Except this wouldn't be saving the human race...the dream I mean." Scully
looked puzzled, and he continued. "Don't you remember, the aliens want me as
their saviour. Returning me to them would sacrifice all human beings on this
planet, not save them."

"You've just recovered from a painful seizure, and it's probably sparked
off all kinds of terrifying things, which you formed into that nightmare."
She frowned, wondering why she was trying to convince herself that Mulder's
dream was nothing more than that? Perhaps she didn't want to face the
consequences that it could have a prophetic deeper meaning. That would be
just too frightening to comprehend right now.

"Maybe...maybe not," Mulder replied quietly.

Scully kissed him gently on the lips. "Honey, I suggest you try and get
your strength back up by getting some rest."

It was the answer she always came up with, whenever he seemed stressed by
anything. Maybe it was only a cotton wool comfort zone she offered, but it
always calmed him, made him start to see the positive aspects of a
situation. So, perhaps this Jack Wilkinson really was a great guy who turned
against military secrets in order to help his fellow humans. He couldn't
deny he also liked her endearing words towards him. "Honey?" he
chuckled softly. "That's not like you to go all sappy on me, Scully?"

She blushed furiously. "We've come a long way Mulder. If I want to start
showing how much I care, then who are you to stop me?"

"Hey! Don't shoot!" he replied, holding his hands up in resignation.
"Anyway, I kinda liked it," he teased, a twinkle in his eyes. That got him
a smile.

"Rest," she commanded gently, pushing him down, allowing his head to fall
onto the pillow.

Mulder closed his eyes. "Ok...baby", he murmured. This time he slept
peacefully.

Back inside the main headquarters of the alien resistance group Jack was
suggesting everyone retire for the night. Scully returned to the building
and suggested the men be as quiet as they possibly could when they entered
their dormitory since Mulder was sleeping and she didn't want him to be
disturbed. Then, one by one, the group headed off to their prospective
sleeping compartments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For the next several days Skinner, Scully, Doggett and Reyes were given more
insight into the group's determination to overcome the alien race, through
the various meetings formed by Jack Wilkinson. They decided to follow
their fellow ex-FBI agents' original advice and had started to become less
wary and a little more comfortable with these people as time passed by. Fox
Mulder on the other hand now found himself suffering from frequent painful
seizures. Luckily, Jack's toxin was always on hand, and once in his
bloodstream it quickly got to work and helped ease the suffering he was
going through. Still, after his ninth bout of seizures with only several
hours in between each one, he was ready to quit. Jack had explained that it
was the next stage of the virus and how lucky they were to have found him so
he could give the toxin to Mulder. But the ex-FBI agent, however grateful
for this temporary cure, was still wishing the world would swallow him up
whole. On quite a few occasions he'd broken down in Scully's arms and just
sobbed until he was so sapped of strength he'd ended up crying himself to
sleep against her shoulder. "P..please S..Scully," he'd moaned, his voice
sounding hoarse. "I c...can't take this any more!"

In return all she could do was hold him trying to offer soothing words of
comfort until his trembling subsided. But she was hating this constant
routine as well, and kept on praying that at one of these endless meetings
they would finally reach some kind of result? There had been no definite
answers as of yet, which was causing a tiny bout of suspicion to set in.
But then Jack had shown concern and had arranged for both her and Mulder to
sleep in a spare room in the main building. A few beds had been brought in
from the dorms, so she could stay with him through these torturous nights.
Now here they were, going through the same painful routine yet again.

Scully gently bathed Mulder's brow with a cold wet cloth, while he groaned
softly. "Shhh, my love. I'm here darling." The words of affection were
now tripping off her tongue, without any hesitation, and, she had to admit,
it felt good to have finally released them.

Moisture glistened in his eyes yet again. "Oh God, when is this going to
end?" he lamented.

"I don't know my love...I just don't know," she replied.

Right at that moment she knew he was referring to these painful attacks;
seizures that seemed to be increasing in intensity with each bout he suffered.
But overall, Scully thought - *just when is this whole nightmare we are
caught up in going to reach a conclusion, and hopefully a positive outcome?*
She shuddered and held Mulder tighter. The prospects did not look reassuring
at all.

Scully shook herself, allowing her thoughts to dissipate. All she could think
about right now was offering the man she loved what little comfort she could.
Softly, she smoothed his fevered brow with a delicate hand. Hearing
his faint whimpers, she squeezed him tighter to her chest. "Hush darling. Try
and get some sleep. You need to concentrate on healing." The words sounded
hollow in her ears, but she had to say something to stop him from sinking
any deeper into despair. She rocked him gently, stroking his back tenderly.
"Shhh honey. Shhh. It's going to be ok. Shhh, everything is going to be
all right." Just who did she think she was kidding?

Mulder held onto her, breathing shallow breaths, trying to block out the
pain in his head. Right at that moment her words seemed meaningless. But at
least her presence was beginning to soothe him, somewhat. "S..Scully, I love
you," he whispered softly, before allowing himself to slip into the luxury
of sleep at last.

"Oh Mulder, I love you too, so much," Scully replied, continuing to rock him
gently. After a few minutes she realized he'd finally managed to fall
asleep, and was glad that he would now rest, something he greatly needed in
her opinion. Carefully she lay him down with his head on the pillow and
pulled the covers over him. Leaning forward she kissed him softly on his
lips. "Sleep my love."

Feeling rather exhausted herself, Scully crossed over to the other bed and
started to undress. Without warning there was a faint rap at the door.
Hurriedly, she retrieved her shirt then went over and gingerly turned the door
handle. Realizing it was the ex-colonel's daughter Angelina, she let her
enter after putting a finger to her lips, indicating that Mulder was asleep
now.

"I'm so sorry to disturb you, but it's a matter of urgency," Angelina
whispered. "You are a doctor are you not?"

"Yes, I am," Scully replied. "Why? What's the matter?"

"It's one of the women here. I think she's very sick and I don't know what
to do. I thought you might be able to help," she replied, her voice raising
slightly.

Scully could see the woman was genuinely concerned. "What exactly are her
symptoms?" she asked, lowering her voice, fearing that this person could be
yet another victim of the alien virus.

"Well...," Angelina began, stammering. "S...She's got a fever..I m...mean I
felt her forehead...and it was very hot. She's s...shaking, and keeps
vomiting."

"Is she having seizures?" Scully glanced briefly over at her partner,
who thankfully seemed to be sleeping peacefully for the moment.

"N..No."

Dana Scully could hear the anguish in the young woman's voice. "Okay. I'll
come and look. Just give me a second." Crossing over to Mulder, she leaned
down and kissed him tenderly on his forehead. "I'll be back soon," she
whispered softly. Then exited the room along with Angelina, closing the door
very gently behind her. Fox Mulder didn't stir.

She followed the woman to the ladies dormitory, hoping this wouldn't take
too long. She hadn't wanted to leave Mulder alone, as he was vulnerable right
now. Scully couldn't put her finger on it, but something was making her feel
slightly uneasy since she'd left his side. However, at the same time if
someone was sick then she wanted to heal them. It was almost a built in duty
she had to obey. Her deepest wish was to cure the man she respected and
loved above all else. A tiny part of her believed she would find the answer,
no matter what, but right now there was a woman possibly in need of medical
attention who needed her assistance. Still, she decided she'd be as quick as
she could, then return to her partner.

Dana followed Angelina over to one of the beds, where she discovered the
woman exactly as the young lady had described. The poor woman was throwing
up in a metal basin beside her. Scully waited, then gently laid her back down,
feeling her forehead as she did so. She realized this person was hot to the
touch but thankfully, not burning up. Deciding a check up was in order she
began to feel her pulse. It was racing. Turning to Angelina with growing
concern she said, "I think this woman has been poisoned!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mulder stirred from his slumber. At first he wasn't sure exactly where he
was then he slowly became aware of the sound of voices speaking very
faintly - male voices. Something about an alien resistance group? Ah, yes. He
and his fellow companions had been invited to join such a group and they had
been staying at their makeshift headquarters. Groggily, he opened his eyes to
witness the head of this band of renegades, ex-colonel Jack Wilkinson looming
over him.

" How are you feeling Mr Mulder?" the man asked, his voice sounding more
authoritative than concerned for the ex-FBI agent in the bed.

"Oh, peachy," Mulder replied, with more than a hint of sarcasm. The
headache had returned and he really could have done with several more hours
of uninterrupted sleep. Letting his eyes adjust more to the light that someone
had kindly switched on obviously without a thought in his direction, he
turned his head. There had been other voices in this room so who were they?
He noticed a younger man also standing beside the bed. At that moment a
memory came to the surface. Somehow his face seemed very familiar. "I...I
know you don't I?" he questioned. It took only a few seconds as his eidetic
memory came into play, allowing him to flashback to a plane travelling to
Wyoming with him as one of the passengers. "You...You're the pilot who
flew us here," he said shakily. "You were the one who recommended we stay at
that motel when our connecting flight never showed up." Suddenly the
suspicions he had buried within came floating to the surface .His meeting
with the young woman in the café which lead to discovering this resistance
group. How neatly all that now fell into place. "I was meant to meet
Angelina. Wasn't that your plan?" he asked, anger aimed at Jack.

The ex-colonel nodded and smiling down at him said, "Yes, Mr Mulder. I know
a lot about you and your past involvement with the FBI and the X Files."

"Gee, another fan," Mulder replied with a sardonic smile. "Didn't realize I
was such a popular guy. So, why the pretence? Why didn't you just approach me
honestly and ask me and my friends to join you? What was this setting me up
with your daughter in the café all about?"

"It wasn't a set up as such," Jack replied. "I arranged for Angelina to meet
you discreetly. You can't be too careful. I mean, you never know who could be
listening? We need to keep our existence a secret. Surely you can understand
that?"

"Okay," Mulder answered, not completely convinced. "So, what do you want with
me?"

"You stand for what we believe in, someone firmly against the Grey alien
race. We thought you could help us."

Mulder was just about to explain how relying on him for an answer wouldn't
be of much help when someone else spoke. The sound was coming from the far
side of the room, out of the periphery of his vision.

"We must hurry! You will be given the technology you require when we meet at
the rendezvous point."

The booming voice did nothing to alleviate Mulder's distress.

"Can you assure me this will reverse the multiplication of alien cells in
these hybrids?" Jack asked.

"You have my word. We renegades no longer believe in what our race
wishes...to eliminate the human race."

Mulder tried to put two and two together, although the increasing pressure
in his head certainly wasn't helping matters. So, this group had an alien
working alongside them it seemed. The first recollection he had of such a
thing occurring before was when a race of alien rebels set out to destroy
their competitors, the Greys, and didn't mind wiping out humans at the same
time by setting them on fire. These strange beings had mutilated their eyes, noses
and mouths, to stop the infection of the black oil. They had also been
responsible for killing the Consortium, which the black-lunged
son-of-a-bitch had arranged. So these faceless men weren't likely to
aid human rebels were they? But then there was Jeremiah Smith. The one who
had planned to help him and the other abductees after they had been taken
from Belfleur, Oregon, then returned after the experiments. Maybe this
ex-colonel from Area 51 and Jeremiah had teamed up and formed this
resistance group. And now they needed his help. But how exactly? Raising
himself up slowly, he looked across the room trying to determine who this
third person was. As he did so, the figure approached him.

Mulder saw the large frame of the 'man's' physique, the hard square lined
jaw, the piercing dark eyes...and froze. "Y...You!" he stammered. Realizing,
to his horror, that this was an alien bounty hunter clone, he now knew what
it had told Jack had all been a pack of lies, and desperately needed to make
him see that this was a trap. This thing was certainly no ally for the
resistance group.

Suddenly, he felt a cold cloth being pressed over his face and was aware of a
strong medical smell invading his nostrils. Panicking, he tried to struggle,
but someone pushed him back down and held him firmly. Jack Wilkinson felt
the ex-FBI agent's body go limp and removed the cloth. "Did it have to be
this way?" he asked the alien bounty hunter.

"Agent Fox Mulder has always been important to our cause, but sadly he fails
to see this. I promise you he will not be harmed. In return you will have
your technology to help save your race."

"Yeah, I know you explained to me about Mulder's alien connections, and how
valued he is among your renegades as a leader. But did we have to
chloroform him? Couldn't we have just talked?" Jack asked, a little
concerned.

"As I said, he will be safe with us. He will come to realize just how
crucial his alien inheritance will be for our survival - as well as for the
human race. He is the key to our existence."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was nothing more she could do, Scully decided. She had bathed the
sick woman with a cold flannel until the fever had subsided, and had held
her until the stomach ache had eased. Now she was tucking a clean
blanket around her to keep her warm while she slept. "It looks like it was
food poisoning," she told the young girl who had stayed and helped.
"Thankfully, it's not alien related...just something she ate."

"Thank God," Angelina sighed. She'd been silently praying there wouldn't be
another addition to the hybrid program. They'd already lost several other
members that way. Sadly it now looked like the handsome ex-FBI agent was
following the same fate unless her father could help. She had felt tiny
flutters of the heart the moment she'd set eyes on Mulder in the café.
Secretly heartbroken on discovering he had this beautiful red-headed doctor
as his companion, Angelina still had a fondness for Fox Mulder. She
certainly didn't want any harm to come to him.

Although the young lady hadn't spoken about her feelings, Scully was
thinking along the same lines. More-so about this alien virus affecting him
and how it was getting worse. "She's resting now," Scully said, referring to
the sleeping woman in the bed. "I have to get back to him."

"Fox...I mean Mulder?" Angelina asked.

"Yes," Scully replied. "He's very sick," she added, her heart sinking fast.

"My father said that the alien virus is mutating in him," the woman said
sadly. "That's why we have the toxin."

"It's only a temporary cure, and I'm probably going to need much more of the
stuff," Scully told her. She was worrying just exactly how much more her partner
would require to keep the retro virus from doing it's worse.

Angelina gave no reply but deep down inside she believed her father would
come up with an answer and possibly the cure.

Quietly, they left the women's dormitory and crossed over to the main
building where both Mulder and Scully had been given a room so she could
tend to him. When she entered, to her complete surprise and shock Scully
noticed the bed he'd been sleeping in was empty; the covers strewn all over
the floor. "Angelina!" she cried. "Mulder's gone!"

Panic setting in, she ran out of the room followed by the young woman who
was fast becoming her shadow it seemed, and headed for the male dormitory to
seek her colleagues out - well two of them at least. As she reached her
destination she noticed many of the men were leaving the building.. Scully
whirled around and grabbed the arm of one of the men, demanding to know
where they were going? All she received was a blank stare so let him go.

Ex-FBI agent John Doggett and former AD Walter Skinner were also very much
awake and came out of the door, almost running into her.

"What the hell is going on?" Skinner asked her. It was a rhetorical question
since he pretty much knew she wouldn't have an answer.

"Mulder's disappeared!" Scully blurted out. "I went to check on a sick
woman. When I got back he was gone! Angelina asked me to..." She stopped
and faced her. "You told me she needed my help. Was that so someone could
get to Mulder?" she asked angrily, gripping the younger woman's arm. "Was it?"
she demanded.

Angelina shook her head fiercely. "N...No!" she stammered, a little afraid
by this sudden turn of events. "It...It's not like that."

"Then what is it like?" Skinner asked, harshly. "Look at these people,
your so-called members! It's as if they are in some kind of trance!"

It was true they realized, as they watched the men, and now women walking
past them, all with vacant expressions on their faces.

Realizing that perhaps he should never have lowered his guard with these
people, Skinner added, "It's like your father is running some sort of cult.
What's he got, some sort of religious fixation? Are these people his
congregation who have to bow down and fucking worship him?"

"Please!" Angelina cried, pulling from Scully's grasp. "Let me explain!"

"Yeah! I'd love an explanation as well," Monica Reyes said hurriedly, as she
ran over to join them. "There I was sleeping peacefully when I was jolted
awake by all the women leaving the ladies dorm. "What exactly is going on?"

"Well, whatever it is, Mulder's involved. He's gone," Doggett said,
addressing his former FBI partner.

"Look, he's probably with my father," Angelina replied, sounding a little
calmer now, which unnerved the others even more.

"And this is a good thing because why?" Scully asked impatiently. She was
getting tired of Angelina's attitude. If she didn't get a reasonable
answer soon she was going to slap the woman hard, over and over until she
was given a good enough reason to stop.

"My father's plan is only to help us!" Angelina spoke defiantly. "It was an
agreement he came to...with some aliens," she added, quietly.

"He's working with the aliens!" Skinner boomed, angrily.

"Renegade!" Angelina stated, firmly. "They also want to stop the hybrid
program and prevent the creation of this new species, the super soldiers
and other types. They don't want any humans to be harmed," she added,
quickly.

"So, these renegades are another form of resistance group against the
Greys?" Skinner asked, not fully believing what she was saying. However,
in the past he had been made aware of a certain race of extra terrestrials,
when he'd been working at the Bureau. Mulder had tried to tell him about a
group of faceless alien rebels, who had no regard for human life. He hadn't
really been able to come to terms with that, either.

"Why didn't you think to tell us this before when we joined you?" Scully
asked, knowing what Skinner was referring to. She'd been an unwilling
participant who'd witnessed these faceless men burning people alive, and
had no wish for a repeat performance. "Do they have faces?" she added,
fearfully.

"Yes," Angelina replied, puzzled by what the redhead had asked her. "And
the reason I didn't tell any of you was because it had to be kept from the
others."

"What did?" Doggett asked. Both he and Monica had remained silent, as
neither understood what Skinner and Scully were obviously concerned about.

"My father bargained with these renegade aliens. They were going to give him
their technology, so that the process could be reversed," Angelina replied.

"What process?" Monica asked, curiously.

"The DNA," Angelina said. "They can completely destroy the alien DNA cells
in the human bodies and vice versa."

"So, where's Mulder?" Doggett questioned. Once again all this talk of
renegade aliens and their DNA was giving him a major headache.

"What was the bargain your father made with them?" Scully asked, fearing the
worst.

"I don't know," she replied. "But I do believe that what he is doing is
right. I know he would have explained himself when the time was right."

"Where does Mulder fit into all of this?" Skinner asked, his level of anger
rising again.

"I don't know. Really I don't." Angelina replied. Tears were starting to
form in the corners of her eyes.

It seemed to Scully that this young woman was telling the truth, what
she knew of it anyway. But there were other things that had occurred that
clearly didn't put this ex-colonel in a good light. "I'm sorry, Angelina,"
she began. "But that woman I treated had been poisoned. I hate to say this but
your father may have administered it to her. It would have been a perfect
decoy to get me out of the main building so Mulder could be taken."

"No!" Angelina said, abruptly. "I remember now. We are all supposed to meet
at a certain rendezvous point outside. It's not far from here."

"That's where everyone is heading?" Monica asked.

"Yes, and maybe Mulder has already gone with my father."

"But was that willingly, or not?" Skinner questioned, harshly.

"He wouldn't leave without telling me," Scully said.

Angelina cowered a little from the larger man and faced the redhead. "I'm
sure once we get to this place everything will become clear to you...all of
you. Mulder will be there waiting. Then you'll see you've no reason to doubt
my father."

Scully secretly hoped those words would prove correct and her fears
would be quelled, but deep down she still felt something was wrong about
the whole situation. However, it seemed the best thing to do right then was
follow Angelina to this so-called rendezvous point.

*This could, of course, be one elaborate trap* Skinner thought. At least
they were armed if the need arose. He addressed his former FBI colleagues.
"Okay, let's go along with this." The words * for now* echoing in his mind.
"Angelina, please lead the way", he added, offering her a gracious wave of
the hand.

She could see his gesture was false, and that they didn't fully trust her
explanations, but she knew her father was a good man who only wanted to help
his fellow humans. When these people got to the rendezvous point they
would realize this. They would see there was nothing to fear...and above
all, Fox Mulder would indeed be discovered, safe and sound.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The little group left the compound rather reluctantly, following Angelina and
the other members down from the mountain, across rubble and dry grasses,
which eventually led them to a clearing. This patch of land was devoid of
any plant life, as if someone had decided to have one very large bonfire.
The burnt area was almost in the shape of a complete circle.

"I don't like this," Scully said in Skinner's direction, but in earshot of
the others. She had seen the ground like this before. Noticing a forest of
trees was growing around part of the circumference of the sparse ground,
she checked them out, and realized part of each one had been scorched. It
confirmed her suspicions. "A UFO has been here."

"How do you know?" he asked her, immediately receiving the other's
attention.

"Mulder showed me certain things to look for in the past. See?" She
pointed to the trees. "See how only the tops are burnt? Then there's the
large circular pattern on the ground."

They looked at what she was indicating and sure enough it was like some kind
of extreme heat had caused severe scorching.

"Either that, or there's been a huge forest fire," Doggett stated.

"Or, perhaps a ritual sacrifice of some kind?" Monica suggested, nervously.

Since being recruited into the FBI, this subject had become her forte. Her mind
automatically dealt with and understood horrific events, demonic or otherwise.
She'd never actually witnessed the raising of a devil as such but she'd
seen 'demons' in the metaphorical sense of the word as human beings capable of
inflicting such pain and suffering on others that death was all too often an outcome.
The subject matter had both sickened and fascinated her at the same time. However,
she'd never fully allowed herself to believe in the paranormal monsters until she was
asked to join agents John Doggett and Dana Scully with their search for Fox Mulder.
After seeing her very first spaceship, her beliefs were fully confirmed. This in turn had
led her to becoming part of the X Files division.

"Yes," Angelina replied, looking across at Scully. "A spacecraft has landed
here. This is where we formed our alliance." As she spoke, the resistance
group of men and women began to gather in a semi-circle and join hands with
each other. "Come," she said, taking hold of Scully's. "Join us."

"Ok, this is weird," Doggett said, taking a hold of Monica's hand while
holding Scully's other one. "What are we going to do now? The Hokey
Pokey...or hold a seance?" The tone in his voice was far from amused.

As one of the other male members of the group took his hand, Skinner reluctantly
sidled in between Angelina and another of the females. His eyes darted
around everyone, and then he realized certain people were missing. "Where's
your father...and Mulder?" he hissed into Angelina's ear.

"They'll be here," she replied. "Don't worry."

This failed to reassure him. "You had better be telling me the truth!" he
warned.

While standing beside the young woman and John Doggett, Dana Scully began
to feel more and more uneasy. No one was chanting, but this was reminding
her of the nightmare Mulder had several nights before he disappeared. He'd
mentioned how he'd heard the group reciting while standing in a circle. Something
about a revered one...a sacrifice, and salvation? *It was a prophetic dream.* As
she pondered on those disturbing thoughts, she heard a loud rumbling sound
approaching and looked up into the sky above.

Almost at the same time, everyone else raised their heads to see a beam of
light coming straight towards them.

"Oh dear God!" Monica exclaimed, her heart rate increasing rapidly.

Doggett squeezed her hand reassuringly. "It's an engine...rotary blades," he
informed the others. "Probably military aircraft. That's all."

"It's my father!" Angelina cried out, relieved.

They watched as a black, unmarked helicopter flew over their heads before
coming to land just outside of the clearing. The doors opened and a man
stepped down, followed by the ex-colonel.

Scully noticed the pilot, and immediately realized who he was. "It's the man
who brought us to Wyoming!" she announced above the engine noise to her
astonished former colleagues.

"So that's why there was no other plane!" Doggett yelled, also trying to be
heard above the whirring blades. "They wanted us here!"

Another passenger alighted from the machine, and Scully realized in horror
it was the one her partner had referred to as an alien bounty hunter. At that
precise moment Jack Wilkinson leaned into the helicopter, dragging out a
very unconscious Mulder, who he hoisted over his shoulder.

"Mulder!" Scully screamed.

"Oh God!" Monica added in unison.

"Jesus!" Skinner yelled, breaking free from the human chain. "Let him go!"
he bellowed, starting toward the helicopter. Reaching for his weapon as he
ran, he unfortunately discovered he wasn't quick enough.

The ex-colonel also pulled out a pistol with his free hand and aimed it
straight at the former assistant director. "Stay where you are Mr. Skinner!"
he threatened.

"Dad!" Angelina cried, not believing her own eyes. "What the hell are you
doing?"

"They need him," Jack replied, earnestly. "In return we get the cure."

"So this was the fucking bargain you made?" Skinner yelled angrily, stopping
in his tracks. "To return Mulder to them? You bastards!"

"Please don't do this!" Scully yelled in fear. "He isn't a renegade alien
against the Greys," she added, referring to the silent figure standing
ominously beside the ex-colonel and Mulder. "He's an alien bounty hunter!"

"Our enemy, you stupid fools!" Skinner spat out the words. Why had he not
listened to that inner voice warning him all along? Too late now! "This is a
fucking trap!" he yelled.

During all the commotion John Doggett had quietly been planning a way of escape.
No one was even looking at him, which was hopefully going to prove an advantage.
Leaning down, he quickly retrieved a hidden pistol from his ankle holster, aimed it
at the man he'd heard Scully call a bounty hunter and fired into his chest. A thick,
green acidic liquid began to ooze from the wound. He fired again, which temporarily
threw the alien off balance. As the second shot rang out, every member of the
resistance group suddenly screamed in unison.

Seconds later Jack howled in pain. Dropping Mulder to the ground, he began
clutching at his face... "Aggh! It burns!" The pilot followed suit shortly
afterwards and both men collapsed, writhing in agony.

"Dad...nooo!" Angelina screamed, suddenly terrified.

John Doggett gave a firm nod in Skinner's direction. The former AD knew he
only had seconds to spare, but he owed this to Mulder. Besides he had once
bravely fought in the Vietnam war, and found himself in many situations that
were far too close for comfort. He also knew the ex-FBI agents would cover
him. Indeed, as he ran over to Mulder's inert form lying on the ground and
dragged him out of harms way, both Scully and Reyes fired their weapons
repeatedly at the bounty hunter. This knocked him back, stunning him long
enough to give Skinner enough time to carry Mulder away from the
present danger.

Suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, an alien space craft uncloaked
itself right in the middle of the clearing. The members of Jack's
resistance group remained as still as statues.

"Run!" Skinner yelled to his former colleagues, who showed no hesitation in
obeying. As they began to flee the scene, Doggett and Scully continued to
turn and fire at the alien bounty hunter.

"M...My father?" Angelina whimpered, helplessly.

"There's nothing we can do," Monica replied, sadly. "Come on!" Grasping
hold of the young woman's hand, she began pulling her along with them.

Looking back, all they could see of the pilot and ex-colonel were two
bodies lying motionless on the ground beside the helicopter.

Angelina pulled from Monica's grasp. "No! I have to help him!"

She started to run back towards the clearing and the ship but Scully
grabbed her, whirling her around to face her. "He's dead! Their blood is
like acid to us. We have to get out of here!"

"Nooooo!" Angelina screamed aloud, tears flowing down her face as
the redhead led her away from the terrible scene.

John Doggett reloaded his gun and continued firing one bullet after another.
His whole take on reality had just come crashing down all around him
but his professional instincts told him to keep shooting at this creature
that was now trying to follow them. He fired another shot into it's thigh.
"Shoot the fucking thing in the other leg!" he yelled to Monica. "'I'm
running out of ammo!"

She aimed and fired, hitting the alien in the calf. The green blood poured
from many bullet holes, as it stumbled and fell with a heavy thud. "He's
down!"

Just then the door to the spaceship opened with a resounding metallic clang,
and clones of the alien bounty hunter emerged, one after another in single
file. They started toward the human resistance group who were still in
their trance-like state. As they reached their intended victims,
the air started to shimmer. Suddenly the ship, the aliens and the
people disappeared completely. It was like a curtain of invisibility had
closed all around them.

"It's the shield," Skinner said. "They're inside!" He remembered that
fateful night when Mulder had stepped into such a force field. He hadn't been
able to see the agent or the ship from where he was standing on the outside.
Hadn't even been aware it was there at the time.

"They were set up," Scully exclaimed, "Like lambs to the slaughter!"

"Yeah, and we had better keep running, you guys," Doggett piped up. "That
bounty hunter creep is still on our tail."

During the cloaking of the ship, which had trapped the unfortunate members of
the resistance group inside, the alien bounty hunter picked himself up and headed
toward them at a frightening pace. Doggett fired his pistol again. "Doesn't
this thing ever die?"

"He's like a super soldier," Monica added, frustration growing in her voice,
as she fired another couple of rounds.

"You can kill him with an alien stiletto weapon," Scully stated.

"Pity we don't have one of those," Doggett replied, sarcastically.

Walter Skinner felt his former agent begin to struggle then heard
a muffled groan coming from over his shoulder. "Unnngh!"

"Guys, I think Mulder's waking up!" He held onto him tighter, trying to
reassure him. "It's okay. Hang in there, Mulder." However, the bounty hunter was
gaining speed and right now he had no clue as to where they could run.

"The helicopter!" Doggett hollered. "Double back and head for the
helicopter!"

The team turned and began running in the opposite direction. This seemed insane,
as the alien was coming straight for them but it was clear to everyone that
there was nowhere safe to go on foot. Their only hope was to fly out.

Both Scully and Monica reloaded their weapons and opened fire, riddling
the bounty hunter with more bullet holes. He was starting to look like a
colander! They all charged past him as the girls' bullets forced the
creature backwards. They ran as if the hounds of hell were on their heels.
A frightened Angelina clung to Scully for all she was worth. Skinner was ahead
hanging onto a very woozy Mulder. Doggett followed behind them pulling Monica
alongside. Dana was trying to catch up, but Angelina just couldn't run as fast as the former agents had been trained to do at Quantico. As she ran past, the bounty hunter suddenly
swerved on his heel, his hand flying out with alarming strength toward the two women.
As it reached its target, the hand flattened, cutting through the air at a frightening speed,
instantly slicing off Angelina's head!

Scully was still running when she felt the young woman stagger and fall.
The weight of the body forced her to stop and turn around. "Oh my
God!" she screamed, dropping the now lifeless hand she had been holding.
"She's dead!" Scully was stunned by that sick revelation only for a moment.
Doggett had retraced his steps and was firing his final round into the
alien bounty hunter just as the creature took another vicious swipe in
Scully's direction. It hit him in the left eye making him automatically shield his face.
Doggett took the opportunity and grabbed the red head firmly by her arm.

"Scully, come on!" he yelled, pulling her along behind him.

Green ooze poured in between the fingers as the alien clutched one hand to
his face, staggering over Angelina's corpse, causing it to lose it's
balance. The ex-FBI team and former AD kept running until they finally
reached their destination.

"Everyone inside, quick!" Skinner ordered.

Both Monica and Scully piled into the helicopter, at the same time helping
Skinner lift a dazed Mulder into the machine.

"So, I take it one of us knows how to fly this thing? Monica asked.

"Well, I've put in some time in a simulator," Doggett offered.

"You'd better learn how to pilot a helicopter fast then," Scully said.
"That damn bounty hunter is on the chase again!"

"No problem!" Doggett replied, leaping into the cockpit.

Skinner followed suit and seated himself on the passenger side. "Okay,
lets get this thing off the ground," he barked. "Now!"

The alien made a speedy recovery from it's facial wound and was
now almost within easy reach of the helicopter.

"We'll never make it!" Monica screamed.

"Oh yes, we damn well will!" Doggett replied, starting up the engines.

The rotary blades began to turn, getting faster and faster but the alien
bounty hunter was gaining speed as well.

"Jeez! Hurry!" Scully yelled.

The helicopter began to lift off the ground, and she prayed they'd be able
to get away in time. She'd managed to prop Mulder up in a seat against the
wall of the machine, close to the doorway. Suddenly she felt him jerk beside
her. With a certain horror she realized the bounty hunter had caught up with
them and was trying to pull him out of the helicopter. "Monica, help me!" she
yelled, grabbing hold of her partner. Her fellow FBI colleague responded
instantly; leaning over and pulling on his arm.

Fox Mulder was by now a lot more lucid since the drug, which Jack had
injected into his system had almost worn off. "Get the fuck off me!" he
yelled, kicking out at the alien. That seemed to do the trick as
the creature lost his hold. Mulder pulled back, falling across Scully's lap as
he did so.

Without the bounty hunter holding on, Doggett was finally able to get the
helicopter to ascend and the 'bird' took off as fast as he could get
her to go. "We did it," he said, glancing over at the former AD.

"Yeah...only just," Skinner replied, breathing a sigh of relief. Deep
down he was still angry for letting himself believe that the alien
resistance group had their best interests at heart.

In the back of the helicopter, Mulder lifted himself up off his partner's
lap. "What in God's name just happened?" he asked, alarmed. Scully
proceeded to explain what they had just witnessed as they continued to fly
away from the whole terrifying ordeal.

He listened intently, realizing just how close he had been to being returned
to the Greys. Letting out a shuddering breath, he closed his eyes, allowing the
woman he loved to hold him in her arms, while she related how they had managed
to escape. When Scully reached the part where Angelina's cruel fate was sealed,
he opened his eyes, which were now filled with tears. "She didn't have to die," he said,
sadly.

Scully held him tighter. "She had no idea of her father's real intentions
involving you. She just trusted and loved him unconditionally."

"None of them knew the truth," Monica said. "And they all died because of
it."

"They aren't dead." Mulder spoke very softly, remembering his ordeal aboard
the alien spacecraft once more. "They'll be more recruits, super soldiers
for the Greys," he added, solemnly.

"Human souls trapped forever in extra terrestrial bodies," Scully said,
letting Jack Wilkinson's words play over in her mind.

"Yet he gets to escape that eternal suffering. Doesn't seem fair." Monica
added.

"None of this is fair," Mulder said, a melancholy tone in his voice. "None
of this whole god-damn situation is fair."

From the cockpit of the helicopter, Doggett turned toward the former AD.
"So, where to now chief?" he asked quietly.

Walter Skinner had no idea exactly what plan of action to take. But right at
this moment he decided the further away they could get the better. "Just get us
out of this place."

continued in Part 3

continued from Part 2

John Doggett was still trying to get a handle on what he had just witnessed,
but found his only explanation involved something he had firmly disbelieved
in all his life...up until this point. "T...They are real aren't they; the
spaceships, the aliens? It's all fucking true?"

"Yes," Skinner replied. "It's real."

"So, Mulder's been right all along?" he asked, incredulously.

"Yeah." That one word summed up his feelings about the way events had turned
out for him. Ever since Fox Mulder had opened the X Files, Walter Skinner
had refused to believe in the paranormal, writing it off as fantasy;
allowing his agent to pursue these far-fetched notions of his, while
keeping him on a tight rein. But somewhere deep inside in his subconscious he
must have kept an open mind? When he witnessed the ship that abducted his
favourite agent, he'd then been forced to see that everything Mulder had
tried to justify to the FBI and to his boss had been the truth all along.
He'd been too late to help the agent at that time, cursing himself for being
such a fool but now he intended to assist Mulder in any way he could. These
damned aliens had to be stopped! If he could now believe in the paranormal,
something he had thought impossible, then why not believe that
they could and would eventually escape from this up and coming alien
invasion? After all, it seemed just as equally impossible.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Several weeks had passed since the ex-agents and former assistant director
of the Bureau had escaped from the alien bounty hunters, who had brought an end to
the resistance group run by an ex-colonel. Fox Mulder sighed deeply as he looked out of a window at barren land with cold grey mountains in the distance. At least his former AD had found them an abandoned wooden shack, a good few hundred miles from the now deserted headquarters. There was no way they could have remained there, since the Greys knew all about that location thanks to Jack Wilkinson. He just hoped his friends were safe, for now. As for himself? The outcome was looking more and more ominous. There was still a fear that he might turn on his former colleagues should they be unable to stop the retro virus from completely taking him over. That prospect was looking highly possible. On arrival, another seizure had hit him hard. However the fearful prospect of losing his soul to an alien hell was thwarted when Scully revealed she managed to salvage some of the miracle toxin, and had
kept it on her person. She had only been able to hide several vials in the inside pockets on
her jacket. Soon there would be none left, and no way of knowing how to manufacture or
find any more of the substance.

Mulder shivered, pulling his arms around himself. Without the temporary cure
he certainly had no hope of stopping the alien DNA from taking over his
body. Letting forth a deep shuddering breath, he crossed over to a bed and
seated himself on the edge. His eidetic mind flashed back to when his real
father, the cigarette smoking man, had revealed all about his family tree.
Mulder was glad the evil bastard was dead, but secretly wished he'd pulled
the trigger when he'd had opportunities in the past. *No point crying over
spilt milk* he thought, the age old saying bringing a forced smile to his
lips.

His reminiscing was brought to an end when Scully entered the room. "The
others have gone to bed," she stated, receiving a half-hearted nod from
her partner. *Mulder, what's wrong?* seemed the most ridiculous thing to say.
So she seated herself next to him and without a word, pulled him close to her.

For a good while they remained in each other's arms, just feeling their
warmth enveloping each other. Mulder tried to stay contented, *but it's only
temporary comfort* he told himself. *Like everything else in my life.*
"You're running out of toxin," he said, quietly.

His eyes locked with her own and she saw and felt the hidden pain there.
"We'll find some more even if I have to march into Area 51 itself," Scully
suggested, knowing her words sounded so futile.

"If anyone can raid that place, you can," he said, a flicker of a smile
crossing his lips. He'd always admired the sheer determination this
wonderful woman had, no matter what they had faced in the past but he knew
the obstacles they were up against now were the most powerful they had ever
encountered in their entire lives. Most likely the infamous Area 51 was now
closed for business. On top of that, the Greys must know of its existence.

"Doggett thinks he and Skinner should go back to the compound where we met
the resistance party," Scully told him.

Mulder shrugged that idea off. "It's too dangerous Scully. Those fucking
aliens know about the place. They'll most likely be waiting in case we do
return. I can't let either of them risk their lives for me," he said, in a
whisper. "Besides, the helicopter has run out of fuel."

As he spoke those words a searing pain shot through his body. Screaming in
agony, Mulder collapsed onto the bed, shaking violently.

"Jesus! God! Not again!" Scully lamented. Hurriedly she reached for her
jacket and took out a vial then transferred the liquid to a syringe she'd
found in the medical kit on board the helicopter. Rolling up his sleeve, she
found a vein in Mulder's arm and gave him the shot. After a short while he
began to relax. His breathing slowed down, and he slept.

Scully couldn't stop the tears from falling down her cheeks. Resting her
head on his chest she murmured to herself, "There are only three vials left."
Taking hold of her partner's hand she started to utter a prayer.
"Please God, help me to find some more - please," she begged to the deity
she firmly believed in. Surely He would help her find an answer. Otherwise,
there would be nothing more anyone could do for this man. "Please, don't
take him away from me...not again," she sobbed.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fox Mulder awoke in bed to yet another pounding headache and groaned
inwardly. He noticed Scully, dressed only in her underwear, had slipped
under the sheets. His head now rested in her lap and she was stroking his
hair.

"You had another..." she began.

He cut her off immediately. "Don't," he whispered, plaintively. "Please
don't tell me." Slowly he raised himself up and leant against the headboard.

Straight away Scully made him lean forward and placed a pillow behind his
head, then gently lay him back down, stroking back a few strands of hair
that had fallen over his eyes.

"Yeah, I need a haircut," he joked half-heartedly.

Realizing he was suffering from one of those damned headaches which always
occurred after a seizure, all she could do was offer useless words of comfort.
"Mulder, I'm sorry, my love," she confessed. "I don't know what else I can
do."

"Got any aspirin?" He managed a smile then winced. Right at that moment he
could easily have downed a whole bottle. But it wouldn't have had any effect
whatsoever, as this had been attempted in the past. It seemed the alien
retro virus wasn't going to let a few pain killers relieve his suffering.
"How many...how many are left?"

She knew he was referring to the vials of toxin and sighed heavily. "Three."

"So, three more seizures to go...and then?" He couldn't finish the
sentence.

Dana Scully discovered she couldn't take this any more, that complete
feeling of helplessness so decided to pull herself out of it. There had to
be an answer...a light at the end of this very dark tunnel, and she was damn
well going to find it! "We're going to get through this, okay?" she told him,
allowing that spark of determination to ignite once more. Entwining her
fingers with his she added, "Mulder, you have my hand...and you have my
strength." Realizing she was getting no response from her gesture, she
squeezed his hand gently. "Mulder, talk to me. Tell me exactly how you're
feeling?"

"How I'm feeling?" he replied, curtly. "That's a good one Scully. How
about...I feel like crap?"

"Don't hide behind that witty sarcastic self, not now," she pleaded softly.

"Okay," Mulder said. "You want to know how I'm feeling deep down in my gut?
I'll tell you," he stated firmly. "I'm feeling like..," A brief hesitation,
then he continued. "Like I want this all to be over. I don't want to become
what they want me to be. But I am, or I will be their fucking
saviour, the fucking super hybrid of them all once they get their slimy
hands on me...or the virus takes it's final hold!" The anger he'd been
keeping at bay suddenly erupted inside him. "Oh fuck!" he yelled. Fear
was gripping him now and wouldn't let go. What if this was the next part of
the progression into becoming an alien? What if this meant he would soon
turn on his friends at any given moment? Did this mean Scully could be in
danger?

"We won't let that happen, and we certainly won't let them take you back,"
she told him, determination building once more.

Mulder swallowed hard. "Scully, I..I don't think you should be
here...with me."

"Why?" she queried.

"Because I'm...I'm worried it might... I might hurt you," he said, his
voice sounding weak.

Scully realized where his train of thought was leading, and tried to
reassure him. "Mulder...you won't hurt me," she said softly. Looking deep
into his eyes she added. " I just know you won't." How she'd managed to
convince herself of that, she had no idea. She just believed at that precise
moment he could never harm her in any way, no matter what happened.

"You know it hurts to know your life has been one big fat lie," Mulder
blurted out, changing the subject. Scully's reply had been said with such
strong conviction, that he decided he should go
with it, and refrain from thinking about the what ifs for now. "That's
what my world has been...a complete fabrication," he added, mournfully.

Remembering she had been trying to get him to discuss his inner feelings,
she replied, "Apart from when you met me?"

"We were never a lie," Mulder said, looking up at her. Turning his head
away, he added, " It's what happened to us...that led us up the proverbial
garden path. Your abduction, your cancer from the experiments, finally
choosing you as my mate like some fucking zoo animal so we'd create
William." *Thank God that plan of the aliens had failed and our child is now
a normal human being * he thought. "Then there was my abduction, those
experiments so they could kick start their ultimate goal...make me their
fucking leader." He took a sharp breath contemplating what he'd just
said. "And they knew. My mother and the man I thought was my father knew
all along what I was."

"They were afraid to say anything," Scully started to say.

Mulder finished off her sentence. "Because they feared for their lives. So
he murdered them because they were going to tell me the truth!" He felt his
cheeks redden from the anguish within himself. "That son-of-a-bitch smoking
bastard father of mine sure put a stop to that didn't he!"

Seeing him suffering this way made Scully ever more determined. "Your parents
were murdered because they loved you and stood up to them, and we have to
fight these aliens for all it's worth!" she announced

"With only the five of us?" Mulder replied incredulously. "Can't get any
help from that resistance group any more," he said, sharply. "Now, we have no
one to turn to. It's just us against the alien race. We are on our own."

"So what, we just give up?" Scully asked. "Is that what you think we should
do? Just calmly give in?" Gently she placed her hands on his shoulders,
making him look at her. "I can't believe there's no point in trying
any more...I won't believe it, Mulder."

Returning a sorrowful gaze, he replied. "I...I'm tired of fighting,
Scully...and I'm tired of being the victim...yet also the hero. I never
wanted to be a hero, certainly not for them. I was quite happy in my office
in the basement of the FBI building pursuing my X Files, my unsolved
mysteries. But no...I had to be thrust into the limelight. Had to be the
one. The truth had to be me!" Pulling back, away from her, he fell against
the pillow with a soft thud.

"Mulder, what are you saying?" Scully asked, trying to understand his
confused ramblings. Noticing he wouldn't look at her, she tried again.
"Mulder...please."

"That there's only one way out of this," he replied solemnly. The words
poured out of his mouth before he'd really considered why he was saying
them.

Scully was surprised. "But I was under the impression you'd decided we had
nothing to fight for?"

"There's always a way out." He spoke very quietly, still refusing to look at
her. "Just not necessarily a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for all
concerned," he told her profoundly. He knew he was referring to himself and
suddenly realized why he'd mentioned that he had a way out. Subconsciously he
must have decided this means of escape days ago but had forgotten to let
his conscious mind in on the secret, until now.

"Mulder, I'm not following you," Scully said, confused. "What are you
getting at?" She didn't like the way he had gone from anger to displaying an eerie
calmness.

He wasn't ready to explain the whole deal to the woman he loved, not yet.
"If this works then they'll have to go back to the proverbial drawing
board. Years of planning down the drain."

"If what works?" she asked, totally perplexed.

"I take away the key...which in this case is yours truly," Mulder replied.

This time he faced her but she couldn't read anything from his expression.
It was like he was looking straight through her and she didn't like it.
"That's what we've been trying to do, to hide you from them. *Speaking of
hiding?* she thought.

"You can only physically hide me for so long. Eventually they will find
me." *Then again they might not need to abduct me, not if the virus
changes me anyway* he thought, miserably.

"So we'll never stay in one place. We'll just keep on moving so they can't
pinpoint our location," Scully suggested, a plan forming in her mind. "Then
we can carry on with our lives...together."

She was being ever the rational one once again, and he used to admire that
greatly in this woman but life had thrown him a curve ball that now made
him pretty sure he wasn't going to win this game. "What life?" he asked her,
but didn't wait for a reply. "Scully, remember when you told me how you
wanted to get out of the car and settle down? How you wanted the normal
life with a husband, the 2.4 kids, little house with a white picket
fence...maybe a rose garden?" He realized his tone had turned sarcastic and
maybe it wasn't fair of him to bring all this up. But he had, without
thinking, and was now forced to continue.

"I don't remember it quite like that, Mulder," Scully stated, nervously. She
did not appreciate why he'd gone off onto this tangent. "But...?" she began.

He cut her off abruptly. "Normality!" It was almost a yell, but he kept it
under control.

Scully stared at him, and felt his hand tremble a little beneath her own.
She started to protest, wanting to understand what on earth he was trying to
say. But he refused to let her in.

"I think by now we've established you will never have that with me?" It came
out as a question, but sure didn't feel like one. "Because I'm not even a
human being. I'm part of a plan that doesn't include the little house with
the white picket fence, rose garden and 2.4 kids," he said bitterly. "If you
want that with me, you've got the wrong...guy." He stumbled over the last
word, an ache from within piercing him deeply, almost causing him to lose
the false bravado he had tried to portray earlier.

But Scully had noticed a chink in that armour plated exterior. *You are
hiding something, Mulder.* she thought. *And I intend to find out what it
is.* Reluctantly she half-heartedly agreed with his last statement. "So we
may never have that. The main thing is that we have each other. That's the
strength we have here, Mulder, you and me."

He took a deep breath whilst shaking his head. "That's what I've been trying
to tell you. I don't have any strength left, Scully."

Mulder's words had sounded so wounded, making her tread carefully."Yet you
said you've thought of a way out?" she replied, softly. "Please explain to
me what you meant by that?"

"Well it's not the truth, that's for certain. The truth will not help now.
It never could. And you know why?" he asked, not waiting for an answer.
"Because the truth is I'm an alien-human hybrid experiment created by them
to help take over the human race, with an alien army to back me. That's the
fucking truth, Scully!" One hand clenched into a fist and he slammed it onto
the quilt cover.

Scully hadn't expected this sudden reaction, and it made her jump. Grabbing
him by the wrist she yelled, "Mulder! That's their truth. Ours is to fight
this and win!"

He looked straight at her, his eyes not giving anything away. "Yeah, and
like I said, I know a way out."

"Which is? she demanded.

Mulder's tone changed dramatically to almost a whisper. "It's a way out for
you, for Skinner, Monica and Doggett, maybe even a way out for the human
race. So it could be a great answer for humanity."

"What could? What is this answer you seem to have?" Scully asked,
impatiently. She was getting even more concerned now. Why was he holding
back? Whatever he had to say didn't he realize she'd understand?

Heaving a heavy sigh he once again turned away from her and began to try and
explain but the words came out mumbled and disjointed. "The truth
is that," he began. His mouth suddenly felt dry and he swallowed hard.
"That I'm tired...and I don't think," His eyes started to sting and he
blinked, refusing to let any tears form. "I feel completely lost, Scully. I
really don't know if...if I can cope any more."

The look of worry was now clearly etched on Scully's face. "Mulder, you're
scaring me," she admitted. "Of course you can cope. You've got me honey. I'm
here for you, and I won't let you feel defeated," she said, gently squeezing
his hand.

She was rushing to his rescue like she always did, her forever gallant
knight persona fighting to save his pathetic damsel in distress routine. In
the past he'd secretly relished those moments where he could feel safe and
secure because she was beside him but it was different now, and there would
be no galloping up on a pure white horse to save the day. "Scully, I know
you're here and I know you're trying to help, and I appreciate it, I
really do." God this was sounding so lame. " The fact of the matter is we
can't win by endlessly running away to some safety zone because it doesn't
exist. No matter how much we want it, we can never ever win this way."

Scully was so wishing he'd come to the point, as this attitude he was
displaying was starting to drive her crazy. "So what way can we win? You
seem to have an answer, yet refuse to tell me, like you refused to tell me
about the date of the final invasion during your phony trial. Mulder, don't
you trust me?"

"How can you say that?" Her words had cut into him deeply, and it hurt. "I
trust you above all else, Scully but this is not an answer you'll approve
of." Before she could utter any sort of reply, he added. "They've broken me,
Scully. They have ripped me apart and reduced me to... "His voice faltered
and he couldn't continue.

His reaction caused her to soften somewhat. "That's why I'm here, and always
will be," she said, pulling him into an embrace. "Whatever this way out
is, you know I'll back you all the way."

"I doubt that," he replied. His words were hardly discernible.

She felt him shudder in her arms. "Please just explain, that's all I ask."

"All right," he whispered. Resigned now to the fact that he was going to have
to tell her exactly what was on his mind he continued, but with trepidation.
"All right...The way out is..."Once again he faltered on his words.

"Is...what?" she asked.

"Is for me to commit suicide."

This was something she was certainly not prepared for. Feeling as if she'd
been suddenly doused in ice cold water, she pulled back with a start.
"What?!"

"I told you, you wouldn't approve," he replied, half-heartedly.

Scully was shocked. "Mulder! This is no joke!"

"Who's joking?" he stated, firmly. Leaning back against the headboard, he
closed his eyes.

She wasn't going to let him get away from that announcement. "Mulder, you
can't be serious? Listen to me..."

He sat up sharply and faced her, hazel eyes glistening with moisture. "No,
you listen!" he yelled. The protective walls he'd built around himself were
crumbling now, and he could do nothing to prevent them from collapsing. "I
don't think I can carry on, no matter what you or anyone else says. But the
point is they need me to carry on don't they? So I can be their fucking
saviour! But without me, then they'll have to grow another specimen from
scratch. Without me, they lose this battle and humans go free, at least in our
lifetime."

She didn't want to let her pent up anger out on discovering her partner's
intentions, but felt right now she had no choice. "So, you kill yourself and
all our prayers are answered?" she blurted out, frustrated.

Without thinking, Mulder took hold of her hand. "Scully, you said yourself
we have to try and stop them."

She pulled from his grasp like she'd been stung. "And the only way to do
this is for you to die? What, you want to be some kind of martyr? Like Jesus
Christ on the cross? I'm not buying that, Mulder."

"Scully, I don't want to be anything", he said, voice trembling. "I don't
want to be a martyr. I don't want to be a God. I just want to be left
alone." He swallowed hard, his breathing quickening. "But they'll never
leave me alone, Scully. They've already hurt me beyond reason. I'm so
screwed up inside...I don't think I'll ever function normally again," he
said bitterly, allowing the anguish to take a hold.

This time she took his hand and held it tight. "Baby, please..," she began,
making him acknowledge her. "If you let me, I can help you get over the
nightmare you suffered on that ship."

He shook his head, as his hand gripped hers. "No!" he exclaimed. "You can't
help me, Scully. I won't ever wake up from that!"

"Mulder, please stop this! Please don't just give up on yourself," she
pleaded. She felt the blood circulation was being cut off in her fingers.

His reply was abrupt. "I'm not giving up. I'm providing an answer."

*Some answer* she thought. *He's not even thinking rationally any more.* "So
your outcome will be that everyone on this planet will be saved, except
you?" she asked.

"No, that's where you're wrong, Scully." He relaxed his grip a little. "I
will be saved. I'll be out of this hell." He paused then added, "I'd be
free, like..Samantha. Sh...she escaped," he stammered, moisture glistening
in his hazel eyes..

Scully's clinical approach came into play. "She's dead, Mulder," she said,
firmly. She hadn't meant to sound so abrupt. But facts were facts, and his
sister's case had been closed long ago. Hell, he'd even signed the documents
to prove it.

A tear slowly traced its way down his cheek, and he gently pulled his hand
from hers and wiped it away. "I know her spirit is free," he said, calmly.
"That's all that matters."

"You told me she was content in the starlight or whatever? So, you think
you'll receive the same fate if you end it all? She was now starting to
understand where his thoughts were heading, and certainly didn't approve.
"Oh, God, Mulder. You think you'll be reunited with your sister?"

"I can but hope," he answered, voice starting to crack.

Gingerly she put an arm around him, and felt his body trembling slightly.
"Honey, you can't just give your life in the vain hope that you'll be
reunited with Samantha. I mean do you honestly think there will be some
glorious heaven waiting for you?"

He couldn't believe she'd just said that, and it pulled him out of his
emotional state. "So, now you're denying you're own religious beliefs? Don't
give me that crap." Refusing to let her reply he continued with, "So why
can't I have my own idea of Heaven...my idea of finding some damn peace at
last?"

"Because it isn't based on reality," she replied, gently.

"Oh, and your heaven is?" he asked, surprised.

Touché!

"All right, but I firmly believe that suicide is not the answer. Taking
your own life can only lead your soul in one direction, and that certainly
isn't Heaven," Scully told him, realizing she was now sounding like her own
priest in a confessional.

Mulder let out a sigh of remorse. "Can it be any worse than the hell I've
been living in lately? Or the eternal damnation I'll be sent to when those
Greys have completed the process?" he said, bitterly. "Living as a fucking
alien with my human soul imprisoned till the end of time?" He shivered at
the mere thought of it. "Fuck that! I'd rather be dead!"

"Can you do it?" she challenged him. "Pick up a gun and end this life?"

Mulder hesitated before replying, "Not with a gun."

"Well, with what then?" Scully was starting to question whether he could
actually go through with this.

He looked straight into her eyes. "You're a doctor?"

"Yes." she stated. *And why are you asking me something you already know?*
she thought, worried now about where this might be leading.

"Then you know about lethal injections," he said, abruptly.

She just couldn't believe what she was hearing. "So you think I'll get hold
of some morphine or some such thing and give you an overdose?" she asked,
now angry with him for even suggesting this. "Forget it, Mulder! There's no way
on God's earth I'll help you kill yourself."

"Well, I've proven myself right about one thing. I said you wouldn't be able
to help me," he said, sharply.

Dana felt like knocking some sense into him, literally. "Mulder, that is not
fair!" She turned away, unable to look at him right at that moment. " I
can't believe you even suggested this. It's completely insane!" If he didn't
stop this madness right now she was going to leave the room, and he could
sleep alone for the night. Of course she realized she could not actually do
this. But she was also getting highly agitated with his self-destructive
attitude.

He continued to stare at her, but she was refusing to acknowledge him.
Letting out a heavy sigh Mulder leaned back and rested his head on the
pillow, hands behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. "Maybe I want to
die, Scully," he said in a melancholy tone. "Have you thought that perhaps I
want this? That maybe I want out of this sorry excuse for an existence?"

"After all we've been through together, you just want to throw in the
towel?" Her words were little more than a whisper. "So that's it? Adiós and
goodbye?" The tears were starting to invade her own eyes now. "It's not the
way out."

"So what the fucking hell is the way out then?" he asked, the tension rising
once more as he tried unsuccessfully to ignore it.

Dana Scully was still trying to get a handle on this latest turn of events.
"I told you," she said. "We should just keep on the run."

*Yeah, that's just the perfect solution,* he thought to himself. "Forever?"
he exclaimed. "Till we die of old age? Well we won't get there, I can assure
you of that!" he said, frustratedly. *Especially if I attack you and kill
you all!* He shuddered at the thought.

"Mulder..?" she began but he cut her off instantly.

"Scully, when they eventually find me they won't hesitate to kill you,
Skinner, Monica and Doggett. Hell, they most likely will make me do it
after my rebirth. Yeah, wouldn't that be icing on the cake for those little
Grey bastards!" Feeling the anger rising, he took a deep breath and let it
out slowly.

Scully had, had just about enough. "Okay!" she yelled, throwing her hands up
in desperation. "You die and..?"

"They lose. The human race is saved and everybody lives happily ever after,"
he replied, matter-of-factly.

"Except you and me, because you'll be dead," Scully stated, firmly.

"Yeah, there is that drawback." He knew that must have sounded to her as if
he was past the point of caring but the truth was he was trying to keep
himself under control. Another burst of rage from him would surely result in
a nervous breakdown...or at the very least he'd have another one of those
damn seizures, which might then lead to his final transformation.

"Drawback?" she said, incredulously. "Mulder, why are you behaving like
this? Why are you being so flippant? I can see this is all an act, you
know?" She reached out and cupped a hand under his chin, making him turn
his head towards her. She stared into his eyes, trying to read behind that
false exterior he was blatantly now displaying. "Look at me and tell me
honestly...do you really want to die?"

He couldn't avert his gaze from those deep pools of blue, so remained
transfixed. Then he felt his bottom lip begin to tremble, and unable to stop
the tears from stinging his eyes he blurted out, " I've just had enough,
Scully. I've reached the proverbial end of my rope, and if this is the only
way I can hopefully save humanity, then so be it. I'll have done something
worthwhile, and then I'll be free."

"You said hopefully, so you don't actually know if killing yourself will
save mankind? And what makes you think you haven't done important things
with your life?" Before he could answer, she added, " And we're back to
claiming your freedom again."

"Well, let's see?" he began. "Okay, I finally convinced you and others that
extra terrestrial beings exist. Big deal!" he said, harshly. "Look, without
me they lose their key specimen. They need form...leadership, or they cannot
function as a whole."

"So, you think that by committing suicide it will ruin the Greys plans and
maybe bring them to an end? That's a big maybe, Mulder. Then what? Your
reward will be to reunite with your sister in the afterlife? Starlight?
Whatever?" Scully was getting more and more frustrated. "Mulder, what if
there isn't anything there? What if you find when you're dead, that's it?"

"Scully, you believe in God. So you believe in a Heaven," he stated, firmly.

She felt like they were going around in circles with this conversation, and
it was doing nothing to convince her partner from being so adamant about
killing himself. Scully was going to have to try a different approach. "I
believe...," she emphasized, "That I can't go on without you." Had she
really just admitted to that?

Mulder pulled her into an embrace, so she was resting her head on his chest.
"Ah, the truth is finally out," he whispered, swallowing back the tears that
were threatening to fall. "Scully, you will. Because this world will be
saved and you and everyone else will carry on."

Raising herself up slowly, she let out a long sigh. "You hope, Mulder." He
was acting like a needle stuck in the groove of an old record, endlessly
repeating the same refrain for all eternity. "So what do I do with you gone?
Find another man and settle down in my little house with the picket fence
and rose garden, with him and my 2.4 kids?"

"Yes," he replied. "I'd want you to be happy."

"Happy?" she said, astonished. Pulling herself up straight, she once again
made him look at her. She'd had enough of this. "Mulder, why don't you try
being honest with yourself, and stop talking complete bullshit! You're
imagining me in some perfect fantasy life. Plus, you now seem to be using
this saving the human race crap as an excuse." Grabbing him firmly by the
shoulders, eyes blazing into his, she added, "Tell me the damn truth! DO YOU
WANT TO DIE?"

Her outburst had taken him completely by surprise, piercing through what had
already become a very fragile outer layer of his psyche. It had been
offering him protection, but now those walls came crashing down all around
him. "They tortured me, Scully. Mentally and physically abused me. The
seizures are much worse. I'm running out of toxin...and...? He hesitated,
feeling hot tears starting to fall down his cheeks. "I...I'm...so
a-f-r-a-i-d."

Gathering him into her arms, she held him tightly, feeling him tremble
against her. "Oh, Mulder, suicide is a cowards way out," she said, softy,
stroking his hair.

"So..? I'm...a...coward," he replied, in between sobs.

"Like hell you are, baby," she said, defiantly. "You're one of the
strongest people I've ever known."

"I...I, don't want to die, Scully", he admitted. As soon as he'd uttered
those words, a tiny bout of relief flowed through him. Suddenly all the
tension that had built up since he'd begun this conversation with her,
spilled out of him in big, wet, tear drops of complete exhaustion.

*Finally, the truth,* she thought to herself as he convulsed in her arms,
body shaking violently. She rocked him gently. "You go ahead my love. Get it
all out of your system. You need to cry."

"Why did they do this to me, Scully?" he wept, bitterly. "Why?"

Both of them knew the answers to that question, but Scully felt she had to
give him some sort of a reply. "They chose you," she said, gritting her
teeth in anger.

"I...I don't know what to do any more. I just don't know what to do," he
stammered, helplessly.

She had no answers for him right at that moment. "Just hold onto me,
Mulder," she said, tightening her arms around him, as he continued to cry.
"Shhh, my love. Shhh," she soothed as best she could.

"I wish someone could help me," he whimpered. "I mean if God really exists
then why can't he help me? Why won't he listen to me?" he demanded, tears
choking him.

"It doesn't work that way, baby," Scully replied, softly. "All we can do is
have faith." Where had that come from? She realized what she'd said was true
though. If you lost your faith then you had nothing. It's what she'd been
brought up believing and it's what had kept her going throughout her whole
life.

"Wonderful!" Mulder said, sarcasm dripping from his lips. "'Fraid that's not
my resolution, Scully." He knew he had lost all faith, and hope. Completely
resigned to the fact that there was nothing to face now but this alien
destiny in hell, his despair increased in intensity.

For a good long while all she could do was hold him, stroking his hair
gently, as racking sobs shook his grief stricken body. A tear fell down her
cheek, and she prayed.

*Dear God, please get us through this,* she begged deep inside.

Time seemed to pass by slowly and for Scully, became the worst minutes of
her life. Till eventually Mulder's sobbing began to subside, for which she
was greatly relieved. As she listened to his faint whimpering, a solution
started to form. She had been remembering the talk they'd had about the
starlight. Without questioning why this had come into her mind, she
whispered softly into his ear. "Mulder?"

He stirred a little but wasn't responding, so she tried again. "Mulder?"

"Y..yes?" he replied, his voice now hoarse from crying.

"Maybe you should try calling her?"

"W...Who?," he asked puzzled. "C...Call who?"

"Samantha," Scully suggested. "Your sister." Before he could say anything
she added, "She came to you in this starlight once before. Maybe she'll come
back. You and she obviously have a strong connection, alien related or not.
Perhaps you can use this bond to reach out to her?"

Slowly he released himself from her protective embrace, and gave her a very
confused look, his eyes now red from crying. "But I...I thought you didn't
believe in all this starlight intervention stuff?" he questioned, shakily.

Tenderly she wiped his tear stained face with her fingertips. "It doesn't
matter what I do or don't believe in. You believe...so call her. But not
with your voice, with your heart." She had no idea exactly what had possessed
her to speak this way; however, if it could shine a tiny beam of light into
the shroud of darkness he'd been engulfed in, (and something was telling her
it could) then it needed to be said.

What had he to lose? Not so long ago he'd felt there was nothing left to
turn to. So, why not try and call his sister? Sitting upright, he closed his
eyes and began to concentrate on an image of Sam. Almost immediately his
eidetic mind took him back to the moment he'd found himself surrounded by the
spirits of the little children. Then, when he'd called out her name in
complete bewilderment, she'd come running into his arms, a smile on her
face. Letting him know she was safe. *Samantha, come back to me,* he heard
himself say. *Please come back.*

Opening his eyes, he realized nothing had changed, and it was still just him
and Scully in the bed. He shrugged his shoulders. "Got any more bright
ideas?" he asked her, forlornly.

She was disappointed that nothing had happened, but at the same time not
really surprised. *What was I thinking?* Not wanting to show him how annoyed
she was with herself, she opted for a practical response. "Yeah, it's late
and we need to get some sleep."

"Once again your answer to everything." A tiny flicker of a smile appeared
then it was gone.

"I'm sorry, Mulder," she said, quietly.

"It's okay. I know you were just trying to help. But you never expected it to
work, not really?" he said, sadly.

"I don't know. I guess..." Scully discovered she couldn't answer the
question, and felt confused. She'd desperately wanted to help him, and had
succeeded in coming up with a completely crazy idea...and yet?

"Scully? It's alright," he said, quietly. "You tried." Letting out a
melancholy sigh he added, "Maybe we should get some sleep."

Mulder settled himself down, head resting against the pillow, and closed his
eyes. She snuggled next to him, pulling the quilt up over them both, and
stroked his hair softly. "Please tell me all that stuff about killing
yourself and saving mankind is finished with now?" she asked, hopefully.

"It's finished," he replied in a whisper.

Leaning over him, she kissed him gently on his lips, and was glad to feel
him respond to her touch. "I love you, Mulder," she said, softly.

The heavy sword of doom still loomed over his head. But tonight he'd
discovered that at least there was one thing keeping him from the
executioner's fatal blow, this beautiful, intelligent woman lying beside him,
Scully. She was his light in the darkness and always would be, no matter
what he believed would happen in the future. "I love you too. Goodnight,
Scully."

"Goodnight, my darling. Try and have sweet dreams." He let out a tiny sigh,
hardly noticeable, but she heard it. Gently she coaxed him into her warm
embrace and rocked him gently. "I'll hold you to till you're asleep, my
love," she soothed.

continued in part 4

continued from Part 3

He stirred, then slowly opened his eyes, immediately becoming aware of a
dazzling bright light in the room, which made him blink a few times. His
breathing quickened as a sudden fear darted through him. *Oh dear God*
Mulder thought. *They've found us* His limbs felt heavy and he realized he
was so terrified he couldn't move. He could only lie there on his back, waiting for
the Greys to abduct his now tired and exhausted body. He felt a hand upon
his own, but there was no threatening movement, just a gentle touch. Slowly
he turned his head, and came face to face with his long lost sister.
"Sam? Samantha?" he stammered in complete surprise and shock. "I...I thought
it was..."

"Shh, Fox," she soothed. "It's all right, there are no aliens, no spaceships.
You are quite safe dear brother."

He allowed himself to calm down and take in this new phenomenon. Her small
figure, the fact she was still only fourteen years old, with long ebony hair
cascading down over her shoulders. Exactly the same as when he had come
across her with those other spirit children, after searching for a missing
girl...with Scully. Turning the opposite way he realized his partner was
sleeping soundly beside him and didn't have the heart to wake her. Feeling a
lump in his throat he faced his sister once more. "Th...This isn't a dream?"

She smiled at him with those big brown eyes of hers. "That depends on how
you define the word dream," she replied, sweetly.

"I mean...you're not real," he said, confused.

Samantha smiled again. "I'm real to you Fox. That's all that matters."

"So you're a spirit?" he asked, trying to justify this latest strange
occurrence.

"Fox, don't try to find explanations for everything." She laid a hand on his
chest. "Just feel...with your heart."

Taking her hand in his, he squeezed it softly, discovering it was warm to
the touch. Feeling the pinpricks of tears at the corners of his eyes, he
swallowed hard. "Sam, why are you here?"

"You called for me," she replied, softly. " Fox you were so lost and needed
me...so I came."

The words *It worked, Scully* entered his mind, filling him with a sense of
relief mixed with bewilderment, and a tear slowly trickled down his cheek.
"I spent every hour of every day looking for you, Sam," he lamented. "The
only reason I got caught up with investigating the paranormal was because I
wanted to have you back in my life. It became my quest, my obsession,
nothing else mattered to me." Another tear fell, and he wiped it away with
the back of his hand.

"Please, don't cry," she said, gently. "You had to discover about the
starlight before a link could be made between us."

"A link?" he said, puzzled. "What, you mean a connection...or a doorway? A
portal to another existence?" he queried.

"Oh, Fox," she chuckled, lightly. "Let go of those terms. They are not
important."

"Okay," he said, taking a deep breath. "Do you know why I called for you?"

"You had lost all hope, had nothing left to turn to. You were suffering so
much pain," Samantha replied, in a melancholy tone. A brief pause then she
added, "It was the starlight that sent me to you brother."

"Starlight?" Mulder frowned. "Why? So you could help me...how?" His
head was so full of questions.

She looked into his confused hazel eyes. "Listen, Fox." Placing a finger to
his lips, she kissed him softly on the cheek. " Listen to your heart...not
your mind."

Mulder closed his eyes and took deep breaths, trying to still his racing
thoughts. He heard the beating of his heart and concentrated on its gentle
rhythm. As he did so, he felt a warm sensation wash over him, and colours
started to dance behind his eyelids. After a few moments had passed, he
opened them. Becoming aware that he was a lot more focused, he said,
"You're...you're here to set me free."

A pained expression came over her face. "I remember the suffering too. They
inflicted more and more upon me. They made me cry as well. Then..."

He completed her sentence. "The starlight rescued you...and can do the same
for me."

"As it did for Mom and Dad," she told him.

Mulder flinched a little. "Dad?" he questioned, nervously.

"Bill Mulder," she replied. "He and Mom are together and happy now."

He couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. For one horrible moment he
thought that the cigarette-smoking bastard, C. G. B. Spender was the one
she'd been referring to, but that man had been the cause of such terrible
suffering in the Mulder family, especially to his sister, Sam, and to
him...his own flesh and blood. There was only one place he had been destined
to go after he shuffled off this mortal coil, where his soul would burn in
hell for all of eternity. The man didn't deserve peace. Mulder pondered on
those thoughts, then had to ask. "Sam, are you dead?" However, before she
could reply, he answered his own question. "It depends on how you define the
word right?"

"You're catching on, Fox," she smiled, displaying that cute grin he'd always
loved seeing when they were growing up together.

His eidetic memory began to take control and he was back with the psychic who
had been searching for his son. The man was telling him all about the
starlight phenomenon. "I thought it was children's lost souls?" he asked his
sister. "That because a terrible fate was going to befall them they were
saved, and their matter was transformed into starlight? He noticed her eyes
widen as he spoke, her eyebrows raised. "Sorry, I'm trying to rationalize
again aren't I?" he said, sheepishly.

"Fox," she said, and paused briefly before continuing. "I'm here to take you
home. To reunite you with our family." She leaned towards him and whispered,
"The secret wish you've always wanted."

It was true. Buried deep inside he had carried with him what he'd believed
to be a hopeless dream, to be part of a loving and caring family with his
mother and the father he was raised with, along with his sweet sister,
Samantha. It was a far cry from the childhood he had been blessed with in reality.
Could it now become the truth? "Home?" he asked, his voice trembling
slightly.

Lifting his hand, she placed it over her heart. "Home," Samantha replied,
softly.

Mulder felt someone move beside him and heard a small sigh. "Scully," he
whispered, turning to see the woman he loved lying curled up beside him. His
eyes began to moisten once more as he watched her continue to sleep. Then he
looked over at his sister. "I...I can't leave her," he stammered. "She is my
family."

Samantha smiled again. "You won't be lost to her," she told him.

"But..." Mulder began, becoming concerned. "If I leave and go with you into
this starlight, and Scully remains here...how can we be..?" He paused unable
to go on.

"Together?" Samantha asked.

"Yes," he replied, hoping for a solid answer, not a metaphysical one.

"Fox, she has your heart as you have hers. What better connection is there?"

*Didn't think I'd get a straight answer* he thought, sadly. "Connection?" he
said, repeating her word. "You said you and I can connect because I know
about the starlight? Well, Scully is also aware. She doesn't believe...least
I don't think she does." He was rambling now but couldn't refrain from doing
so. "But she knows about it. So we'll have that kind of connection?" He was
trying to convince himself that he could understand what his sister was
trying to explain, and failing miserably.

"Fox..." she said, gently.

"I...I know, I'm being rational again. But..." He stopped, and glanced back
at the redhead sleeping soundly, snuggled up to him. Tears started to well up
in his eyes, and he swallowed hard, trying to hold them back. "But...I can't
say goodbye," he admitted. Reaching across, to brush a strand of auburn hair
that had fallen across Scully's face he added, "I...I just can't."

"Fox?" Samantha asked, her expression one of concern.

He turned around to face her. "Yes?"

"The choice is yours."

Her words held no bitterness or sadness in them, and he realized she would
not push him to go with her, or make him feel guilty if he stayed with the
woman he loved. The choice really was his to make. He remembered the
conversation he'd had with his beloved Scully not so long ago. How he'd
almost chosen suicide over being with her, telling her she'd find someone
else she could have a future with. He now knew that had been incredibly
selfish, but he'd been at his wit's end and hadn't been able to see a way of
escape, except death. Then there had been his moral reasons for suggesting
he take his life so that the alien race would hopefully be defeated.
Without him as their key it could lead to their destruction, the human
race would survive...and most of all, Scully would be saved. "The aliens?"
he began.

"Yes," Samantha replied. "They will lose their key to the kingdom of Earth
and it will be their downfall," she added, triumphantly.

"How did you know I was thinking about that?" Mulder asked her, curiously.

"I just did," she replied, softly. "Besides, it's been a heavy burden for
you to carry for such a long time, Fox."

He sighed heavily. "So, I can continue to let it weigh me down? I can try and
battle against an alien race, with no real hope of winning" he said,
wistfully. "Or, I can free human civilization, and Scully...and myself?"

Samantha's reply was a gentle nod of her head.

Mulder swallowed back more tears that were trying to surface. "Th...Then I
have to do this," he whispered.

Feeling as if his heart was going to shatter into a million pieces, he let go of his
sister's hand and faced Scully once more. He wasn't going to be able to stop
himself from holding back the emotional torrent that had been threatening to be
released. Sure enough his bottom lip begin to tremble, and the tears followed.
One fell onto Scully's cheek as he leant down and kissed her softly on the lips.
Discovering he couldn't find any words to say, he remained silent. With one
hand stroking her auburn hair, he rested his head upon her chest so he could
hear her heartbeat close to his own. For a few minutes he laid there, eyes
closed, just feeling the rise and fall of her gentle breathing as he cried
softly. All the while, Scully remained asleep, unaware of the choice he was
about to make. Mulder knew she would be devastated when she finally awoke
and discovered he was gone, and that tore him apart inside. But it wouldn't
be forever. *It's for the best* he thought. *It's for the best.* Giving her
one last kiss, he then sat upright and climbed out of the bed. "Okay," was all
he could bring himself to say, in a broken whisper.

Dressed only in boxer shorts, he was starting to feel the cold until his
sister took her hand in his and that pleasant warmth began to flow through
him once more.

"Fox?" she said, aware of the painful decision he had just made. "It will be
fine. You'll see."

Giving her a brief nod, he abruptly wiped away the tears that were still in
evidence. "So what happens now? Do we wait for Scottie to beam us up?" he
chuckled half-heartedly.

Samantha smiled. "You and your science fiction," she teased gently. "I never
could understand all that until..."

"Until it became our reality," he answered, squeezing her hand.

Suddenly Mulder started to become very light headed. It felt similar to
those social nights in a bar when he'd consumed far too much alcohol,
although those times had been few and far between. Then his whole body began
to go numb. It was like experiencing that moment when you are on the verge
of sleep but not quite there yet.

"Just let yourself go," Samantha told him aware that he had tightened his
hold of her hand. "You're quite safe."

He knew his sister was right there beside him, but now her voice seemed to
echo all around. Then the room started to fade, as a swirling luminescence
began to engulf their bodies. It reminded Mulder of a galaxy full of stars.
*It...it's beautiful* he heard himself say, although he hadn't actually
spoken the words out loud.

"I know," Samantha replied.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dana Scully stirred then woke with a start. The vision she was met with held
her transfixed, as she witnessed a whirlwind of twinkling lights at the foot
of the bed. What on earth was happening? Then she noticed the outlines of
two figures in the centre of this maelstrom, and immediately recognized them
as Fox Mulder and Samantha! Her eyes widened in shock on seeing this
revelation, but she discovered she couldn't move. She was rooted to the
spot. Suddenly the swirling luminescence began to fade, taking the man she
loved and his sister with it. "Mulder!" she screamed, as the light
disappeared completely, plunging her into darkness.

Leaping out of the bed she hurriedly threw on a skirt and sweater. Then still
in bare feet, ran from the room. Without knocking she barged into the
adjoining one, where both men had retired for the night. John Doggett awoke
with a start and reached for his gun, then realized he still had no ammo.
Walter Skinnner grunted roughly and opened his eyes, annoyed that he had
been disturbed. Both men quickly became aware of a very dishevelled Scully.

"What's wrong?" Doggett asked, concerned. The woman seemed to be in a state
of shock.

Just then Monica Reyes entered. There had been only two bedrooms in this
little shack. One had revealed a double bed (which was allocated to Mulder
and Scully), and the other had two singles, which would be right for Doggett
and Skinner, so she'd opted for the couch in the living area. "What's up?"
she asked sleepily, trying to take in the situation at hand.

"I...It's Mulder," Scully stammered, weakly.

"Not those fucking aliens!" Skinner retorted, starting to climb out of the
bed.

"N...No!" she replied, abruptly. Then without another word she ran out of
the room.

The remaining ex-FBI team watched for a few seconds, unable to understand
just why the red headed doctor was in such a state. Then both Skinner and Doggett
began hurriedly pulling on their pants. Monica had already thrown on an overcoat she'd
found hanging on the kitchen door, and the three followed Dana out of the living room door which led to the outside. They noticed she had now stopped, and was staring up at the sky.

Monica hadn't heard the altercation in the 'boys' room. "Please, tell me
this doesn't involve spaceships, and while we're at it, where is Mulder?"

"H...He's gone!" Scully stated, eyes brimming with tears.

"They took him?" Monica asked, nervously.

"No, she said it wasn't aliens," Skinner replied. Walking up to his former
agent he placed an arm around her shoulders, to discover she was shaking.
"Scully...tell me what happened. Where is Mulder?"

Dana jerked her head, indicating he should also look up above him. "Lost
souls...," she began, solemnly. "Lost souls searching for new homes." Her
eyes were beginning to sting then a solitary tear fell down her cheek. "Well
he'd damn well better find one...somewhere where he'll be safe."

It dawned on Skinner just exactly what Scully was referring to now. He
remembered she'd explained to him about this very subject during the time
when Fox Mulder had been abducted. "Starlight," he said quietly, not really
registering what he'd just said. Then he faced her. "He's in the starlight?"
he questioned.

She nodded her head briefly, turned, and fell into the ex-assistant
director's arms crying bitterly. "It's my fault!" she said, helplessly. "I
told him to try and contact her. He was suffering so much, I just couldn't
bear it any longer!" she sobbed.

Doggett glanced up at the night sky, seeing billions and billions of stars
reaching into infinity. "Mulder's in the starlight?" he queried, a little
puzzled by this statement.

"What exactly do you mean by that?" Monica asked, also gazing at the tiny
pinpricks of light.

Scully looked over at them both, her eyes now red from crying. "His
sister, Samantha...he found out she had been rescued by the walk-ins, the
old souls searching for new homes...new beginnings." Realizing she was
receiving yet more puzzling looks from both her friends, she added,
"Samantha was going to suffer a terrible fate in this life. So...so her
matter was transported by starlight so she could be saved," Scully blurted
out, returning her gaze to the heavens.

"Her essence was transformed into energy?" Monica asked, amazed.

"So...she's dead?" Doggett spoke calmly, not wishing to upset anyone, but he
wanted to understand this new revelation. *Is this what Scully was trying to
say has happened to Mulder* he thought.

Scully whirled around and faced him. "No!" she stated firmly. "He's not
dead!"

Skinner held her closer. "It's okay, Scully," he soothed. Turning to Doggett he
added, "He's in a better place."

*Isn't that the same thing?* Doggett thought, but decided to stay quiet.

"At least he's not suffering any more," Monica spoke, gently. She had been a
witness to many of Mulder's seizures and along with the others, had wished
she could have made the pain stop.

"No, he's not," Scully replied. She had to believe in what she'd just
said. "He's with his sister...and...," She took a deep breath, "and...he's
free."

Doggett had been forced to become open minded about infinite possibilities
on this latest journey. Due to this unfounded knowledge he was now starting to
put the pieces together, slowly but surely. "So are we." He realized all
eyes were upon him. "Well aren't we?" he asked, not waiting for a reply.
"Didn't Mulder say that without him the alien race would not be able to
carry on...or some such thing?"

"He said, he hoped it would ruin their plans for colonization," Scully
replied, sorrowfully. "He was their key." Things were now starting to fall
into place, though she didn't welcome this revelation. "So without him they
hopefully wouldn't be able to unlock the kingdom."

"Kingdom?" Monica asked.

"Earth," Scully replied.

"You mean they'd have to go back to the proverbial drawing board and start
all over again?" Skinner queried.

"Yes." Thoughts were still jumbled in her head and she was trying to
rationalize them. *But surely he would never have made such a drastic
decision like that, only with the hope that humans would be saved?* Scully
thought to herself. Turning to her friends she explained what had come to
mind. "I believe Samantha knew the outcome. She must have told him that
mankind would be free."

John Doggett noticed his former partner and friend had moisture glistening
in her eyes, and gently placed an arm around Monica's shoulders. Looking up
at the stars, he gave a nod then a wink. "Thank you, Mulder," he said
wistfully.

Monica felt a lump forming in her throat and swallowed back the tears.
"Thanks," she said, softly then allowed Doggett to lead her back inside the
little shack.

Walter Skinner rested his former agents head on his shoulder. "Are you okay?"
The words came out of his mouth before he realized it was a pretty dumb
thing to ask but truth be known he was also extremely saddened by this
unexpected turn of events. However, he did not wish to convey those feelings to
Scully. She was suffering enough and he did not wish to add to her burden.

"No." Her reply was soft but abrupt. "But I...I understand..." Her words
trailed off and she gave a shuddering breath as another tear threatened to
fall.

The former AD gazed up into the starlit sky. "He was a wonderful man. A pain
in the ass sometimes, but a caring soul." He nodded thoughtfully,
remembering how for all those years in the FBI his favourite agent had been
a joke to his peers, a crazy person off in his own little world chasing
invisible aliens. Oh, how wrong they had all been! "The whole world will
thank you now Fox William Mulder."

"Is a wonderful man," Scully corrected him. Gently pulling away from
Skinner's embrace she added, "The whole world will never know the sacrifice
he made, and it must stay that way. I don't want everyone to know about the
starlight and lost souls being saved. There will be investigations into
it, people searching for an explanation." She faced him her eyes, still full of tears,
were now showing sheer determination. "Please, let's keep it an unexplained
mystery," she pleaded.

"You got it Scully," Skinner said, firmly. Taking hold of her arm he added
gently, "Come on, let's go."

Dana Scully glanced up at the night sky one more time and blew a kiss at one
of the twinkling lights. "I'll never stop loving you," she whispered softly,
allowing a tear to fall down her cheek. Then she let Skinner guide her back
inside the building.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

EPILOGUE

Most of the people in the world would never know that
they had been moments away from oblivion! Yet the cost
to myself and my partner for this truth will continue
to haunt me for the rest of my life!

Dana Scully reached the end of her personal journal and stopped typing. A
year had passed since that fateful day when her beloved Fox had made the
ultimate sacrifice and in doing so saved the world from an alien invasion.
Now, life had pretty much returned to normal and she was carrying on as usual,
but deep inside, her heart still ached from losing him. She had found a job
working as a medical doctor. Now, she was working in a laboratory for human
diseases. Although nothing would ever compare to the alien retro virus she had been
privy to, when she'd tried desperately to cure Mulder after he had been thought dead,
then miraculously resurrected. Scully remembered how through her knowledge
of science she had discovered how mere anti-viral drugs acted as a temporary
shield against the virus. She probably would have received a Nobel Prize
for such a discovery, had it been made public. However, she had never
spoken of it since the Greys had made their retreat.

All of the ships seemed to have just vanished from Earth as silently as they'd
arrived. The humans that had survived the encounters and had fled from the
impending doom by going into hiding, had returned to their homes. Scully had
rented a new apartment in Georgetown and had been living there for several
months. She remained alone, not wishing to date anyone. Occasionally she'd
received visits and phone calls from her mother, and the friends she held dear,
Walter Skinner, John Doggett and Monica Reyes. The four of them had been
through so much together and had a bond that could never be broken. Her
former assistant director of the Bureau had been allocated a top position as
deputy chief of the FBI, ever since the alien recruits had made their exit. Doggett
and Reyes had returned as special agents only in the crime division. It had been
Scully's wish not to return to the FBI, and to make sure The X Files would never
be re-opened. Skinner had respected her decision and it had been carried out,
since he now had the power and authority to do this.

Dana preferred to be alone in her apartment most of the time. She had once
bought a tank and filled it with rainbow fish, hoping their shimmering
colours would soothe her, but all it managed to do was bring back memories
of Mulder, since he had kept fish in his apartment, at Hegal
Place in Alexandria, Virginia, and many times she had found herself feeding
his pets, especially when he'd gone and ditched her during their X File
assignments. That all seemed like a lifetime ago. Her life had taken so
many twists and turns since she'd first set eyes on Fox Mulder down in the
basement of the Bureau. Some unbelievable events had taken place and she had
been centre stage along with her friends and FBI agents. Briefly scanning the
final passage she had typed, she leaned forward, switched off her computer
then proceeded towards the bedroom.

Once settled under the sheets she closed her eyes knowing that she would
dream of him again. Scully could always find him there, and it comforted her
somewhat. As she slipped into unconsciousness, she immediately felt his
presence. He was right beside her, those soft hazel eyes checking out her
every move with that cheeky grin he'd always displayed whenever they were
together on their supernatural cases. She felt that same tender touch as he
reached out and took her hand, entwining his fingers around hers,
protectively. As the dream faded she thought she could still feel his gentle
caress. Allowing her eyes to adjust to the darkness of the room, she suddenly
found herself staring straight into his loving gaze.

Dana blinked several times. She must still be asleep? The reason for
assuming this was because Mulder now stood beside her bed! *That's
impossible!* she thought, but it was brief. Denying her clinical explanation,
she turned to the paranormal. Her discovery had been rather a shock, but the
most important realization was the man she loved and would continue to love
was right here in her room. "D...Did the starlight bring you to me?" she
asked, feeling tears prick at the corners of her eyes. The rational part of
her mind still had to ask a question. "Or is this all just a beautiful
dream?"

Fox Mulder smiled down at her. "It's whatever you wish it to be Scully," he
told her, squeezing her hand gently.

"But I...I don't understand," she stammered, slightly. "Mulder, are
you...are you dead?" Now she was letting confusion get the better of her.

"I know you never really understood or even believed in the starlight
intervention, my love," he said, softly. "But I came to realize it's not
something you have to clarify or rationalize...just accept."

"Accept what?" Scully asked, eyes now brimming with tears. One started to
fall down her cheek.

Mulder leant down and kissed it away. "That I'm here for you...and always
will be. All you have to do is believe."

Scully felt his arms go around her as his lips touched hers and she closed
her eyes, wanting only to be surrounded in his warmth and protection.

A sudden gust of wind blew open the bedroom window making Scully jump with a
start. Her eyes flew open and she realized she was alone. The room was empty
but no longer dark, as a crescent moon shone outside, casting a beam of
light onto her quilt cover. Letting out a melancholy sigh, she climbed out
of bed and walked slowly over to her window. Looking up into the sky she
could only just make out the pinpoints of twinkling lights trying to shine
above the neon street lights and silhouettes of the buildings on her street.
As she continued to gaze, a shooting star streaked across the velvet night,
leaving a diamond trail behind. Scully touched her lips with her fingertips,
remembering Mulder's gentle kiss. A tear formed, catching a moonbeam causing
it to sparkle like starlight, as it fell down her cheek. She watched until
the shooting star had disappeared from sight, then smiled to herself.

"I believe, Mulder."

THE END

We have walked together where angels go
And we found a place inside us that only we could know
So I still walk on
Through the night and through the rain
I would give it all
Just to be with you again

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