From: Ten <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 23:28:01 +1100 Subject: "New Millennium: Lost and Found" (1/1) R by Vickie Moseley Source: xff Title: Lost and Found Author: Vickie Moseley Summary: Mulder is in a very bad place. Continuation of the New Millennium series. Category: A MT more A Rating: R for some adult content not gone into detail, the MulderTorture and language Disclaimer: are we still doing these? OK, well, I'm not infringing, so there. Archive: yes, but let me know Comments: Ten and I have been talking about this for, well, almost a year now. I take full responsibility for the lateness, but I hope it's all worth it. This is an arc within NM, so if you don't like the way this is going, relax. It's not the end of the story. If you haven't read the rest of the series, this might be a little confusing. Come to: http://bitter-moon.com/tenxffic/index2.html Feedback: email@example.com New Millennium: Lost and Found By Vickie Moseley I can't move. The light holds me solid to the ground, as solid as if I were anchored by lead weights. The light. It's so bright that I can barely make out the faces of the people standing right next to me. Is that Theresa Hosea? Is that her husband, Ray? My god, if I squint I can just make out Skinner still searching around the ground, placing stakes for the infrareds. Then I look back to the circle of light and my heart freezes in my chest. It's him. It's the Bounty Hunter. And his intentions are clear. Oh god, I'm going to die. And now, I'm here, in this place of darkness. Time has passed, I know it has even though I have no way of telling exactly how much. My skin feels scrubbed with a brush, sensitive to even the flow of air over it. I can't feel a beard on my chin, but I can feel the hair on the back of my neck. I just got a haircut the other day. Or was that weeks ago? All I know now is pain. But when I can, I picture Scully, Dana, in my mind. It keeps the pain at bay. I can see her, standing in our new home. I see her naked and glistening with sweat from our lovemaking, perched on the window seat, inviting me to come to her again, to pick up where we left off. It's amazing how much stamina I have in my dreams. If only I could hold on to that when I'm awake. If only I can hold on. At times, I think I'm dying. The pain, the tests are so horrifying that I'm sure my heart will crack in two and the blood will pour into the empty spaces of my chest and I'll sputter and stop breathing all together. At times, I hope for that. And then I feel the guilt. How could I wish to die when I still have Scully waiting for me? How could I possibly give up when there's even the slightest chance that I'll come home to her? Come home to our little house that I just started to get comfortable in. Come home to our life. When they aren't doing the tests, I'm alone, in this cell. The walls are black and the opening just appears in any one of the walls at random. I can move, but there isn't much room. Five steps one direction, 8 the other. I can lie down. It's not too hot or cold. No pillow, but Scully has been my pillow for so long that even one made of goose down would seem lacking now. I don't know where the others are, but there are moments when I hear voices. I thought they were from the others, the humans, but more and more I think the voices are the thoughts of the beings who continue to torture me. They argue, repeatedly. They throw taunts and insults at each other. I'm waiting for one of them to bring up the outlandish expense of abducting humans and using them for test subjects. This is obviously a bureaucracy, just like all bureaucracies. Funny that I would have to live through this horror just to find out that the great universal invariant is not time, but hierarchy. There's always some bastard above you just waiting to kick your ass. One voice, one thought has come to me on a couple of occasions. He/she/it seems to want to understand more than why I bleed when they stick hooks in my cheeks or slice open my chest with a circular saw. He/she/it seems to want to probe my mind as well as my body. I have resisted as much as I can, but this one alien is very insistent. He/she/it picked up on my thoughts of Scully and started asking me about her. I shut down my thoughts of Scully and refused to think about her, started thinking of snow plains and desert landscapes. But He/she/it put my brain in a vice and squeezed so hard that the only way I could keep breathing was to think of Scully. And then it stopped. I was asked if she was my mate. I tried to reply in the negative, tried to think back to the way my mind worked when we were just partners and I thought I could never have her. Of course, that time seems like a lifetime ago now and I couldn't hold that thought. I felt horrible for endangering her, I would die if they ever brought her to this place. But so far that hasn't happened. And after that encounter, whenever I think of Scully my pain is lessened and the tests don't last nearly as long. The alien must have done that. I think it has a soft spot for me. At least I hope so. Sometimes it's dark and sometimes the light is so bright that I have to close my eyes and even then there's a pink light where my eyelids should be. I can see the veins in my eyelids. At least that gives me some comfort. I still have eyelids. I still can feel. Oh god, Scully, I miss you so much. I just want to go home. I want to climb the steps to our front door, unlock the deadbolt the guys insisted on installing and disengage the real security system they installed because everybody knows how to get past a deadbolt. I want to pull my jacket off just inside the door, toss it in the general direction of the coat tree you so generously let me keep and keep pulling off clothing all the way up the stairs to our bedroom. Once there, I want crawl naked onto our very big king sized bed and wait for you to follow me up those stairs. Please, Scully, wait for me. Please be there when I get home, whenever that is. Just be there, for me. I can't live if you're not waiting for me, looking for me, trying to get me home. I jump a foot when I feel the touch across my skin. Their skin looks smooth but it's like a cat's tongue--rough and scratchy. It feels horrible when they touch me, but I don't flinch as much any more. They get so mean when I flinch. It's the nice one. Well, maybe not 'nice' per se, but not as bad as the rest. I crack open an eye and see it standing next to me, the same blank expression on it's face as all the rest of them. Then I feel the thought. It feels like an ice pick in my ear, but I hear it clearly. *You miss your mate.* I've learned that they don't ask questions, or at least as we think of them. They make statements that are either answered yes or no. Well, not even answered--more like invoke a positive or negative response in your brain. I've been thinking of Scully so much lately, my mind responds automatically. I feel the tears on my face. *communicate* I'd love to, you eel-skinned son of a bitch, but you've got me strapped here, sticking every painful instrument in the universe in my skin and I just can't get to a phone right now! *communicate* This time, images come to my mind and it's like I'm viewing one of those really jerky old movies that they used to show in driver's ed. The picture jumps and it's grainy and I'm almost afraid that there's going to be a big hole burned in the film but I can't stop watching. It's our house. I recognize the bedroom. The bed is unmade, the covers tossed back on just one side--her side. There are clothes on the chair in the corner and on the floor. I've never seen our bedroom look that untidy, even in our old apartments. At least not when Scully wasn't sick with the flu. The camera shifts and I see Scully walk out of the bathroom. She's wrapped in a towel and she's got another towel around her head. She stops in front of the dresser and pulls both towels off, dropping one to the floor and keeping the other to rub her hair and get out the excess water. God, how many times have I laid in bed, pretending to sleep, just so I could watch her get ready in the morning? She's always hated me for it, because I get some extra sleep. And I always reminded her that even on my bad days it takes me half as long to get ready as it does her. But just watching her do the little things, dry her hair, put on eyeliner, God how much I've missed that. She's looking at herself in the mirror. She does something I don't remember her ever doing. She drops the last towel and stands there, looking in the mirror. Scully is not a prude, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I've never known her to stare at her body. She's doing it now. I can feel myself grow hard and I don't give a damn if that's what the bastards were after all along, I just want this movie in my head to go on and on and on. I'm entranced and enticed by her movements. Her hand strokes her sides and comes around to stroke her stomach. I think I'm going to lose it right here in this cell. Oh, God, Scully, if you touch yourself-- But no, that's not what she's doing. I chance a look up at her face and there are tears in her eyes. Her lip is trembling and she's stroking her stomach, cupping it. Ohmigod! It's not flat anymore!! I know Scully's stomach like the back of my hand and I know how hard her abs are--they are abs of steel, Suzanne Sommers would be proud to own them. But in the mirror I see a reflection that is rounder, softer, not as angular. Oh god, there is bulge. It's gentle, just a little rounder right about her navel. Her navel is peeking out a little more. Why? I mean, I know what it could mean, but is that what it really means? She's pregnant! *she is gestating* Gestating, pregnant, same thing, asshole! She's carrying a child! I can't breathe so good. She's pregnant. Oh God, Scully is pregnant and she's carrying our child. My child. My child is growing inside her. Our child. Our love created a child. As quickly as the awe washes over me, I feel the anger surge underneath it. Let me go, you bastards!! Let me go to her!! I have to protect her, I have to protect our child. Let me go you sick fucks!! *quiet* I don't listen, but I feel the appendage that should be a hand close over my eyes and suddenly the images of Scully are gone. I sob in frustration, but there is a thought placed in my mind. *later* I still immediately. Something within me breaks. I sense so many emotions that it almost makes me dizzy. Anger, but not at me. A sense of injustice. Fear of being discovered. Resolution and determination to do what is right. All from the eel-skin at my side. Help me, I think with every thing I have in me. Help me get back to her, to them. You understand, I can tell you do. You have to help me. *quiet* The single thought echoes off my mind and I realize what he is telling me. Quiet, before we're found out. *later* I grab onto that promise and hide it deep in my heart. I will get home to Scully. I know I will. The seconds, hours, minutes, years seem to pass without my interference. I have no idea how long I've been here, but it's been long enough for me to remember all the plays of Shakespeare and two Tom Clancy books. I've slept 7 times, but that doesn't tell me much because I'm not sure I sleep one period every 24 hours. All I know is that my favorite eel skin has not been back and I'm starting to get worried. And the tests seem to have slowed down as well. Which means either they are planning on letting me go, or they plan on terminating the test subject. The nourishment they've been giving me has been reduced. I think I'm only receiving about half the calories they had been giving me. I can feel the lining of my stomach rubbing together. I've gone without food before, usually from my own stupidity, but I know the feeling of hunger, real hunger. I'm getting there. Maybe they've decided to starve me to death, just to watch. I keep replaying the images of Scully in my mind. All of them, of course. From the first look on her face as I proposed to her in Uncle Jacob and Aunt Deb's front parlor to the look on her face when she reaches climax beneath me, I remember every moment, every expression I've seen on her face in the last six months, hell the last nine years. If those are the last images I see, I'll have to be content. But the one that keeps making its way to the front of my mental picture show is my Scully standing in front of the mirror, naked and glorious as the day she was born, cradling our unborn child in her hands. I need to stay alive, for no other reason than to be able to cradle that child in my own hands. I sleep, but the hunger wakes me up. I haven't had any of the slop they consider nourishment in a couple sleep cycles. I'm getting so weak I can barely stand, so I spend my waking time curled in a corner of this little cell that has become my home. They don't come to get me for tests anymore. I can only assume this is my death sentence. I'm forgotten like a lab rat with cancerous tumors all through its body. I wonder if they'll even bother to autopsy what's left of me, just to see what effect this final test had on the frail form that is humanity. And Scully will never know. I want to cry but no tears come. It occurs to me that the nourishment is also my only form of water. I'll die of thirst before I die of starvation. Well, that gives me so much relief. If I can't even cry, haven't had to relieve myself in a long time, I'm pretty much bone dry by now. With that comforting thought, I curl back into my fetal position and dream of Scully and our baby. The eel skin is scratching me. At first I think it's just the shakes, which have been wracking my body for the last several hours, but then as I blink and clear my eyes, I see my old buddy rubbing my bare arm. *leave* If I had any strength at all I would laugh in its face. I can't move, you intergalactic idiot! I'm dying here! *leave now* I feel something warm starting in my heart and I think for a moment that it's going to flutter to a stop, but instead it starts beating stronger, faster. I have feeling in my legs and hands for the first time in days. I push myself up and realize that more than likely this newfound energy is artificial and fleeting and I better make the most of it. Eel skin moves to the part of the wall. One gray hand is pressed against the wall and suddenly the opening appears. I'm usually held in place by forces I don't understand when the door is open, if I'm not being dragged off for another round of tests. This time I walk through, crouched and waiting for the inevitable net that is going to come down and catch me. I have no idea where we're going but I'm amazed at how familiar this ship appears. It's an almost exact replica of the ship I found Scully in at the bottom of the world. I can see those pods chambers several levels below me. I ache to see if I recognize anyone in those icy crypts, but I have no time to dawdle. Scratchy hands push and pull at me when I stumble over something on the uneven floor. I skin my hand and almost fall to my knees, whatever strength I'd received earlier is quickly leaving me. *up* Its skin scratches my upper arms as it pulls me upright. I glance down the narrow passage we're following and see the indentations along the walls. I have to save the others. The thought forms in my mind as my body reacts and pulls to a stop. I won't go forward without the others. *not now* Yes, now. There is no other time. I know I may be signing my own death warrant, but I couldn't live with myself if I left another human being behind on this ship, subjected to this torture. I'm not leaving without them. My new friend seems to find this very disturbing. It spends several valuable seconds holding my mind in a vice while it considers all the alternatives. If the pain I'm experiencing weren't so horrible, I'd be laughing at the argument it is having with itself. Finally, surprisingly, it agrees with me. The alien moves from my side and starts touching the wall at regular intervals. As the first humans move tentatively through the doorways, they see me and seem to understand what is happening. That's a relief because I'm sure we don't have much time. We start moving down the passageway again, hurrying to a destination that is only known to my buddy 'Scratch'. My exhaustion is returning with a vengeance but I know I can't give up. *here* I gasp out my relief. I don't think I can go much farther. I'm shoved against the wall and find that instead of hard surface it feels like foam. I'm falling through it, being absorbed by it and then I'm just falling . . . THE END. Scully continues the tale in "New Millennium: Sorrows and Joys" by Ten, which will be posted out tomorrow. Then the next day Skinner completes the arc in "New Millennium: Finding Mulder" by me.