Futures Past 08: Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This


Arvy : Okay, now the first 20K of this story was written way back 
when FP3 was but a gleam in my eye. I added the next ~20K over 
the next year or so. Then one night, my muse, goddess that she 
is, deigned to cometh and sitteth at my shoulder, churning out 
the last ~60K, all in one night. Can you believe that? So, as I 
write this disclaimer, I'm probably 24% awake, 69% asleep, and 
34% dreaming I'm a lit major flunking math, so don't try to sue 
us. You may not be catching us at our best.

Arvy's Muse : That much is certain (Imitating Spock from ST:IV)

(!!! Warning !!! Gratuitous ST:TOS crossover above !!!)

Arvy : Hey, quit quoting Spock like that. It's rude to copy 
somebody else's lines. Especially when people are trying to enjoy 
this original work of mine. I mean, what'll they think. 

Arvy's Muse : Umm.... Arv, sorry to tell you this, but you might 
be confusing me with my mom, Mnemosyne. I'm not my mother, I'm 
the forgotten tenth Muse, her daughter, Xerox-a-zine. It's who I 
am, it's what I do...

(!!! Warning !!! Gratuitous Kung Fu: TLC crossover above !!!)

Xaz : Jeez, enough already with the gratuitous warnings. I think 
the readers get it. And what's with the Xaz thing? Are you giving 
moi a nickname? I'm a muse, dammit, not a tasmanian devil!

(You guessed it folks - !!! Warning !!! Gratuitous Looney Toons 
and TOS crossover above !!!)

Arvy : What!!?? You mean... you mean, I've not had the great, the 
wonderful Mne...

Xaz : Nope. Sorry pally (!!! <== DS9!!!). I mean, just check out 
this story. The scene from that movie with that cute Indy Jones 
actor. And that really bad airplane movie reference. Where did 
you think I pulled those from? My a...

Arvy : Stop! stop!!  I can't hear any more. You 
mean, none of my characters are mine? They aren't  
original? But... but...

Xaz : There, there.  I'm so sorry, but no, they aren't 
yours. And they never will be. They belong to CC, or 1013, or 
FOX, whoever owns the rights to them. Oh, and I almost forgot 
Paramount for the startrek parts. But that's okay. Just wait 
till your next story. You'll feel better. You'll see. Ahem... 
 Meanwhile, I think the readers are waiting for 
you to... you know... wind it up already.

Arvy :  You pr... promise...?

Xaz : I promise. Now before you start losing your audience...

Arvy : Oh? Oh yeah, sorry 'bout that folks. Whoo, that disclaimer 
did get away from us, didn't it? Maybe I'll  keep the Notes 
section short or something...

Xaz : Ah...hh...emmm....

Arvy : Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to it. Well folks, I hope you 
enjoy this. Oh, and read the story too ;)

End of Lame-o Disclaimer

Author's Notes

Okay, folks, it's official. Futures Past is now a year old. 
Hard to believe that almost exactly a year ago, I first posted 
FP1:The Awakening and FP2:The Light of Day to atxc. This one is 
the eighth in the series, and I still have several ideas left, so 
the end is nowhere in sight.

I finally decided to do a little jumping around in the 
timeline. I've got so much to write about just in the present, if 
I wait till all those stories are told, I'm afraid I'll never get 
around to the Star Trek parts of the series. Besides, after 
Phoenix, I needed something a bit lighter before tackling the 
next one I have in mind. So, timeline wise, this is set just 
before and after the Voyager episode, The Killing Game, the one 
with the Hirogen on the holodeck. The flashback is set more than 
a decade after the X-files season 5. I'll probably come back to 
the present in the next story.

Also, this is my first real Star Trek story, not counting 
the references in Phoenix, and I've not gone too much in depth 
into that universe. This is still primarily a M&S story, with the 
Star Trek parts serving more as a vehicle for the flashback, and 
to put the setting in place for future stories.

Finally, this fic, like all my others, is dedicated to all 
you readers out there who thought enough of my stories to send me 
all this wonderful feedback. And, as always, future feedback 
would be greatly appreciated. So, if you want to send some my 
way, my address is unmai@bigfoot.com. Let me know what you 
thought of the story. Missing parts can be found either on my 
website at http://www.bigfoot.com/~unmai or at gossamer.


Futures Past 08:
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This
by Arvy 

The silence of space was shattered by the sudden gasp. Of 
course, the actual sound could not be heard by anyone other than 
the source. The effect of the gasp, however, was slightly more 
noticeable, as evidenced by the little twitch of the white suit 
as it slowly tumbled over and over, weightless, in the vast 

The occupant of the suit came awake with a jerk, and 
frantically glanced this way and that, trying to figure out where 
he was. All he could see was the inky blackness permeated by the 
millions of pinpricks of light. Slowly, memory accompanied 
consciousness as he remembered...


Dorsal Airlock, Deck 3, Aft
USS Voyager, Delta Quadrant
Sunday, September 1, 2374
0300 hours

"So why do *I* get stuck with the 'monster'?" He pulled out 
the bulky suit, aptly named 'monster' by the crew, then slammed 
the locker shut as he turned to face his team. A team of one 
right now.

"Sorry, Mark. You lost. Fair and square." Ensign Harry Kim 
pushed a shock of dark hair out of his eyes as he adjusted his 
visor. His voice sounded tinny through his suit's comm system, 
but still managed to convey his good humor effectively.

"You know, Harry," the taller man replied, "sometimes, I 
think Neelix's leola root stew must go directly to your head. No 
one should be that cheerful this early in the morning."

"Hey, is it my fault we are the three..." Harry frowned, 
turning his head to look down the corridor. Seeing the last 
member of their team hurriedly turning the far corner, he 
continued, "... three crewmembers most experienced with comm 
system design?" Smiling at the answering grunt, he turned just as 
the blue skinned figure came to a halt beside them. "A little 
late, aren't we, Leslie?"

"Sorry, guys. I was in the middle of this really nice dream 
when Torres called." She quickly pulled out her suit from the 
locker and started putting it on.

"You know, I was having the same dream myself..." Mark 
began, a leer hiding behind his grin, even as he fiddled with the 
numerous fastenings on his suit. The suit certainly deserved the 
name it got. Meant for long term space walks, it was currently 
being used as a replacement for one of the regular suits that had 
been in the repair bay for almost a year now. Its massive bulk, 
compared to the regular short term suits, made it a chore to get 
into and out of. And this time around, Mark Renard had been the 
unlucky one to draw the short straw.

"You wish," the diminutive half-bolian shot back, snapping 
the final fastening before moving behind Mark to finish strapping 
him in.

"Harry? You guys ready?" The voice of the Chief Engineer 
filtered through their individual radios, carrying a noticeable 
amount of irritation at having to perform this operation at such 
an ungodly hour. Mark sympathized with the lieutenant. He'd been 
fast asleep, a rarity for him, when the call had come through. An 
entire section of sensors on the dorsal array had failed, not 
surprising after all that Voyager had been through these past few 
years. As a result, several of the comm, navigation and tactical 
systems were currently down. And with so many critical systems 
affected, getting the external array repaired was crucial for 
Voyager's defense.

"We're almost ready, B'elanna. Just getting our stuff 

"Acknowledged. I'll monitor from Engineering. Torres out."

Making sure his suit was fully fastened, he motioned the 
others forward. All three hefted their equipment and stepped into 
the airlock. Within moments, three miniscule figures floated out 
of Voyager's dorsal airlock, moving out and up as they latched 
their magnetic boots onto the outer hull.


"Almost done." Kim ran his tricorder over the affected 
circuits one last time, rechecking his work. These arrays were 
designed to take a beating, especially since they were mounted on 
a ship's outer hull. But when they failed, the only way to repair 
them was from the outside. Usually such repairs were done 
routinely every few years when starships put in for maintenance 
at spacedocks. Considering their situation, they had been lucky 
the systems had lasted this long.

"I'm done." Mark finished tightening the last magnetic bolts 
on the deck plate, placing his scanner and tricorder back into 
his equipment pouch. He stood up, a little awkwardly, considering 
his bulky suit. He took a few moments to look around the empty 
expanse. Other than his two crewmates a few yards away, and the 
bulk of Voyager beneath his feet, there was nothing. If he turned 
and looked up just a little, he could almost convince himself 
that he was totally alone in the whole universe. He shivered.

Shaking his head to clear his suddenly depressing thoughts, 
he fastened his pouch onto his suit and ambled over to where 
Chambers was finishing up. "Leslie...?"

"Hang on... There, I'm done." She glanced up to see Mark's 
bulky figure approaching her. She looked up towards Kim. "Harry?"

"Yeah, I'm done too." The other acknowledged.

"Lt. Torres? How's it looking down there?" All three waited 
with bated breath for the reply.

"Stand by...," the engineer paused for a moment, then 
continued in a relieved tone, "Yes! Communication just came back 
on." Another pause. "Navigation's up too. Good work, guys." Her 
voice held a note of praise. "Finally, tactical just came on 

The collective cheer and mutual congratulations from the 
repair team was suddenly interrupted by the voice of the Chief 
Engineer once again.

"Hold it! Chambers, I'm getting some strange readings from 
tactical here. Recheck relay alpha two six four, will you?"

"Will do," Leslie replied, bending back down to run her 
tricorder over the relay. The central ridge on her face puckered 
in concentration as she rechecked her readings. She frowned. "Are 
you sure, Lieutenant? I'm not getting any anomalous..."

"Oh *SHIT*!!! Hang on! *RED ALERT*!!! RED ALERT!!! All hands 
brace for impact. I repeat, all hands brace for impact." The 
engineer's shouts mingled with the sounds of frantic activity in 
the background, then was almost drowned out by the noise of the 
red alert klaxons. They almost couldn't hear her scream, 
"Shields!! Dammit, I need those shields, *NOW*!!"

Mark had less than a second to catch his crewmates' eyes 
before they felt the ship shudder beneath their feet. They nearly 
fell to their knees. As one, all three looked behind them. Coming 
up behind Voyager, a huge ship loomed menacingly over their 

"The Hirogen!"

The sign of recognition was clear on the faces of all three 
crewmen. Even as they watched, a beam of red energy poured out of 
the enemy vessel to hit the ship's hull a few hundred meters from 
where they stood. The ship shuddered under the assault as more 
ships came into view, each firing mercilessly on the crippled 
Voyager. The angry red beams strafed over Voyager's outer hull, 
scoring and pitting the surface as they moved closer to where the 
three of them stood.

Mark and Leslie wrenched their eyes away from the 
hypnotizing sight at the strangled cry from their crewmate. They 
turned, and were horrified at the sight. Lying on the hull a few 
meters away, Harry writhed in agony. They rushed over to the 
prone figure, noticing the jagged piece of titanium hull plating 
sticking out of his leg. For the moment, it was jamming the hole 
it had created in the suit, but Mark could already see the 
telltale cloud of escaping oxygen around the wound.

"Renard to Voyager. Medical Emergency. Beam Ensign Kim to 
Sickbay now," he barked. His shout was met with sickening static 
as he hit his radio repeatedly to no avail.

"The comm systems must be down again," Leslie murmured in a 
frightened whisper as she knelt beside the injured man, trying 
frantically to start the suit's diagnostic routines. From what 
she could tell, Harry had long since lost consciousness, and his 
suit was in imminent danger of failing. They themselves were in 
serious danger as another piece of shrapnel glanced off her suit 
from behind.

Suddenly, they felt the deck stop its violent upheaval. They 
looked up, breathing a sigh of relief. Above their heads, a light 
show to rival Earth's Northern Lights played itself out. The 
phaser blasts almost seemed to splash against the shields as they 
finally came online, the beams causing streaks of light and 
coruscating bands of energy along the shields' surface.

With a prayer of thanks, Mark tried his suit's radio once 
again. "Renard to Voyager. Come in. Renard to Voyager. Can you 
read me?" The frantic note in his voice had lessened slightly, 
but hadn't completely faded.

"This... Voyag... Come in, Lieutenant." The voice of the 
transporter tech was the sweetest thing they could have heard 
then. The two of them almost let out a whoop of joy.

Mark met Leslie's eyes, then answered in a rush. "Yes, this 
is Renard," he almost shouted. "Medical Emergency. Ensign Kim is 
injured. Beam us directly to Sickbay."

They saw Harry's body dissolve as the transporter whisked 
him to Sickbay. "What the hell! Voyager..."

"Transp... malfunction... One at... time...," the broken 
voice responded.

"You first," Mark replied. Seeing her about to protest, he 
cut her off, "Can it, Leslie. I've got the better suit. Voyager, 
beam in Chambers next."

He watched her dissolve in a whirl of energy, then waited 
for the effect to claim him as well. His eyes strayed above him, 
his eyes widening at the angry red streaks of light emitted by 
his private aurora. With a final flicker, the shields gave way 
under the intense barrage, the phasers once again striking 
Voyager's surface.


He never got to finish his sentence as he felt pieces of 
shrapnel from the ship's outer hull crash into his back. He was 
violently thrown off, his magnetic boots useless more than a foot 
or so from the ship's surface. He felt his equipment pouch, his 
personal transponder and pieces of his suit being torn off as he 
tumbled helplessly away from the ship. The last thing he saw 
before he lost consciousness was the shimmering effect of the 
transporter as it beamed his transponder away.


Present day

How long had he been out? He glanced around at the starry 
expanse once again. Clearly long enough. There was no sign of 
Voyager. Or anything else, for that matter. Where could they be? 
He flinched as the painful memories of his last few conscious 
minutes reasserted themselves.

He suddenly blanched as a thought flitted across his head. 
What if Voyager had been destroyed? The last he knew, it had been 
taking a pounding. He felt sick at the idea. Never to see his 
friends again. It was a horrifying thought. Accompanying that 
thought on its heels, another even more terrifying notion 
presented itself to him as he considered his situation.

He was floating in a spacesuit in the middle of nowhere in 
the Delta Quadrant. No one except for Voyager knew about him. And 
not even Voyager could locate him without his transponder signal. 
Space was simply too big, and he wouldn't raise a flicker on even 
the most sensitive sensor, not unless it was pointed in exactly 
the right direction. The thought of spending eternity trapped in 
a spacesuit in the middle of nowhere brought him up cold.

His reverie was interrupted by a flashing red light on his 
heads up display. The oxygen monitor. 'Damn!' He didn't really 
need to breathe, but he knew that loss of oxygen meant loss of 
pressure. Soon the effects of decompression would set in, and he 
would start to lose consciousness. He wouldn't die permanently, 
but the prospect of spending the next millennia unconsciously 
floating around the Delta Quadrant was a chilling one.

Right about then, he became aware of his next problem. He 
felt a slight growl, and traced the sound to its source. His 
stomach. He hadn't eaten in who knew how long, and his body was 
making its needs known quite vocally. He didn't need food or 
water to survive, but he could just envision starving to death 
every few days, only to reawaken, the ravenous hunger slowly 
building with each death, threatening to drive him insane.

'First things first,' he thought to himself sarcastically. 
Turning to glance back at the HUD, he pinpointed the red areas on 
the suit display, showing the areas where the suit had been 
compromised. He let out a breath of relief. Although suit life 
support systems had been compromised in several places, there was 
only one actual breach. A small tear, near his left wrist.

He juggled his arm inside the suit, grateful for once for 
its roomy interior. He finally managed to pull his left arm out 
of the sleeve, clasping it against his chest. He then shut off 
life support to the arm, in effect sealing off the compromised 

Then Fox Mulder sat back to do the hardest thing he'd ever 
had to do.

He waited...

... and remembered.


Dulles International Airport, DC
Main Terminal
Sunday, December 26, 2010
2:47 PM

"You are sooo wrong."

"You really think so, huh?"

"Oh, I know so."


The unexpected drawl would have shocked him a scant ten 
years ago. And even after more than a decade and a half of 
knowing her, she still managed to surprise him. "Mmmhmmm," he 

She in turn smiled at the smug expression on his face, 
something she'd become intimately familiar with since she'd come 
to know him. It told her that he knew something. Something that 
told him he was right and she was wrong. Something he would take 
his own sweet time telling her. Something that, as of five 
minutes ago, she now desperately wanted to know. She'd been 
trying to act as if it didn't bother her, even though the 
curiosity was killing her inside. Finally she couldn't take it 

"Oh fine. All right, I give. You know something, don't you?"

He simply raised his eyebrow at her in imitation of one of 
her patented incredulous glares, his mouth betraying him by 
quirking into a small smile.

"Don't you dare deny it, Fox Mulder. You've got a secret and 
you're keeping it from me." She moved beside him, grasping his 
arm and turning him to face her, her voice rising into an almost 
whine. "Give!"

"A little impatient, aren't we, Agent Scully." It was all he 
could do to keep from grinning outright.

Why the smug... "Mulderrrr..."

"Aww... come on, Scully. The one time I get a piece of 
gossip before you, and I have to tip my hand already? I was 
looking forward to holding it over your head at least until we 
got back to work after New Year's." It was a foregone conclusion 
that Scully was the more perceptive of the pair, at least when it 
came to office gossip. And he had already decided to milk his 
newfound knowledge for all it was worth. 

"And what do you call what we're doing right now?" She 
stopped short a few meters from the gate.

Realizing he'd left his partner behind, Mulder stopped, 
turning to glance at her quizzically.

"This *is* a case, isn't it, Mulder?" Her voice was slowly 
rising, laced with suspicion. "Please tell me you didn't drag me 
out of my mother's very comfortable house the day after Christmas 
just to go on a wild goose chase."

'Damn. One little slip.' He shook his head. Still, he had 
tried. "I heard LA is pleasant this time of year," he started in 
a nonchalant voice, but was cut off immediately.

"LA is freezing this time of year." She was starting to get 
angry, her ire radiating off her as she stood in front of him, 
arms at her hips, her foot tapping the ground as she glared at 

"Which is why we are going to spend the next week completely 
ensconced in a nice hotel room, away from everybody." He glanced 
from her to the gate, where the short line was rapidly 
disappearing as the passengers boarded.

"You rat," she seethed. "The one time I get to spend with my 
family... how dare you? What will my mother think?"

"Whose idea do you think this was?"

"What!?" That brought her up short. "Mom suggested it?" she 
asked, her eyes daring him to lie. When he simply nodded, she let 
her shoulders slump in defeat.

"You get to see your mom whenever you want to, Scully. And 
this year, Charlie couldn't make it for Christmas, and neither 
could Tara, what with Matthew being sick. So it would have been 
just you and Bill. And you needed the time off. Your mother's 
words, not mine."

"But Mulder, it's Christmas." The protest, however, was 
clearly half-hearted.

"Which is why I waited until today. Your mom wanted me to 
drag you off three days ago when our leave started. Now come on, 
or we're gonna miss our flight."

"But what about the case, Mulder? I saw the 302. The missing 
college students..." She hurried beside him as they walked over 
to the gate.

He shrugged. "It was just an excuse. I've already got it 
solved. Some lamebrain on the UCLA campus trying to play at being 

"Hello sir," the attendant greeted them as they reached the 
gate. "You're the last ones." She took their tickets, rapidly 
entering them into the computer. Looking up at them, she said, 
"Seats 1A and 1B. Enjoy your flight, sir."

"Thank you," Mulder replied before Scully could open her 
mouth. He simply grinned at her expression as he grabbed the two 
passes and entered the gate.


They entered the airplane, moving forward to claim their 
seats. When they finished settling in, Scully turned to look at 
her partner, who was visibly ecstatic at the extra leg room. 
"First class, Mulder? On our salary?"

"Scully, this is a 747 flying its domestic leg across the 
country on the day after Christmas. How full did you think they'd 
get? They couldn't *give* these seats away. Besides, nothing but 
the best for my beautiful partner."

He saw the color rise on her cheeks as she blushed. Trying 
to hide her reaction, she hurriedly reached forward into the seat 
pocket to find a magazine. He smiled, congratulating himself, 
then leaned back into the seat as he felt the plane take off. 
'Really ought to fly first class more often,' he mused as the 
captain's voice floated over the intercom.

"This is Captain Davies. Welcome to PanStar Flight 327 non-
stop to Los Angeles. My copilot is Commander Black. Our flying 
time will be approximately five and a half hours, so sit back and 
enjoy the flight folks."

'Exactly what I intend to do.' Mulder looked up as the 
flight attendant walked by. "Excuse me, but what's the in-flight 

"Umm... It's an old action movie sir. 'Turbulence', I 
think," she replied with a smile before walking off.

"Great!" Mulder groaned. He felt his partner's hand settle 
on top of his, and darted a look at her. She seemed unaware of 
her actions, her face still buried in the magazine. Her fingers, 
however, seemed to have a life of their own as they traced lazy 
swirls on his hand. Mulder lowered his gaze to their joined 
hands, an eyebrow rising before he allowed a small grin to 


The soft whisper, almost moan, caught his attention. His 
head jerked back up. Scully had put down the magazine, her 
questing hand now sliding up his arm. Her eyes were locked with 
his, a playful, almost mischievous expression gracing the 
aquamarine orbs. Both hands now traipsed up his shoulder, across 
his chest, until they reached his neck. She slowly stroked it, 
leaning over the armrest to brush her lips against his throat. He 
gulped, then managed a hoarse, "Scully? What are you doing?"

"I've not forgotten, Mulder."

"For... forgotten, Scully?" The lips that had now latched on 
to his neck, suckling slightly, parted slowly in a smile. He 
closed his eyes, grateful that the moan he let escape couldn't be 
heard by the closest passengers a couple of rows away.

"About the date, Mulder. You know, don't you? Are you gonna 
tell me, Mulder?"

The sultry whisper caused him to swallow again. "D... date?"

'Almost got him,' Scully mused, her fingers rising to slide 
into his hair. Her lips moved up his throat past his jaw, until 
they came to rest against the corner of his lips. Her whisper 
against his skin sent exciting shivers through his body, "Yes, 
Mulder. Lynn's date. When is she due, Mulder?"

"If I tell you, then how am I going to win the pool, 

She blinked, only then realizing that his hands had mimicked 
her movements, now firmly embedded in her hair as his mouth 
turned just enough to latch onto hers. He almost pulled her out 
of her seat and into his lap, the kiss escalating with passion. 
Having to restrain themselves while at her mother's hadn't 
exactly been the escape from tension they'd expected. At the back 
of her mind, she grudgingly acknowledged that this vacation was 
probably exactly what they needed.

"Nice try though. Definitely points for imagination."

She was brought out of the passion induced haze by his calm 
words, not to mention the accompanying grin. Damn him. How had he 
turned this around so quickly? She had been the one trying to 
seduce *him*. And now she couldn't wait for the plane to land so 
she could whisk him to the hotel and have her way with him. She 
felt a surge of heat race through her body as she involuntarily 
ran her tongue over her lips, tasting him on her.

Finally his words filtered through, causing her to narrow 
her eyes at him. She could do this, she convinced herself. She 
was strong enough to resist him, wasn't she? She was after all a 
goddamn department head at the goddamn FBI. She settled back in 
her seat, her head turning away from her partner's. "Fine," she 
ground out, "see if I care." 'Don't look at him,' her inner voice 
cried out, just before she could succumb to the hand still 
enmeshed in her hair. 'But he's doing that thing with his 
fingers,' she cried back, even as she felt his thumb stroke the 
sensitive skin right behind her ear. She shuddered, biting her 
lip to keep from crying out.

The teeth digging into her lips couldn't keep the moan from 
escaping when his lips joined his fingers in their task. "You, 
Dana Katherine Scully, are a witch. You know that? One very 
tempting, arousing, absolutely gorgeous witch." His lips 
fluttered over her neck, reciprocating her earlier gestures. 
"When we get to our hotel, I'm going to lock us in for a week," 
he growled.

"I don't know, Mulder. I've always wanted to go to Universal 
Studios. This might be my ch... chance." Damn, she'd hoped to get 
that out without her voice breaking. She was sure he'd caught the 
small catch. When she felt his teeth replace his lips, showering 
little nips along her collarbone, she sighed. It was a lost cause 
anyway. Maybe if she tried desperate... She turned, leaning into 
his kisses. "Mulder, please. I promise not to tell."

"Oh, all right. Although Lynn will kill me if she knows I 
told you." He sighed. "February 23, Scully. She's due February 
23. Happy? She wanted to surprise you."

Her eyes widened. "Oh, Mulder. How did you find out?"

"I overheard her talking to Colton." He shrugged, then 
smiled as he remembered. "When she caught me grinning my head 
off, she told me not to tell you on pain of her pulling my heart 
out and snacking on it. Her words, not mine."

Her hand moved to his cheek, slowly stroking it. "I'm sorry 
I spoilt the surprise, Mulder. But I'm touched. Thank you for 
telling me." She leaned back in her seat. "Oh god. We'll have to 
go shopping while we're in LA. I know just the thing to get the 

"Oh, no you don't. You're going to pretend you don't know 
anything about this. And when we get back to DC, you're going to 
act like you're surprised when she actually tells you."


"Scully, promise me," he cut her off sternly.

"Oh, all right. But it's going to be hard."

"I know. That's why I didn't want to tell you."

"But I'm glad you did." She moved closer to him, her lips 
grazing his as she added, "And when we get to our hotel, I'll 
show you exactly how..."

Both paused, their bodies frozen mid kiss as they both felt 
it. A slight tingle, running down both their spines. The feeling 
of a thousand pinpricks dancing over their skins. The sudden 
heaviness in the air, the pressure inside their skulls as the 

field of their quickening brushed against something just as 
unique. Another quickening. Which meant another immortal. And, 
considering their current situation, not more than a few rows 
behind them.


"I know," he whispered back. "He must've been sitting all 
the way in the back." He reached inside his coat, feeling for the 
comforting weight of his sidearm. Their other weapons, however... 
He stood up, getting out into the aisle to open the overhead 
compartment. He'd barely got it open when he froze.

With Mulder blocking her view, Scully didn't realize 
anything was wrong until she saw him stiffen. "Mulder...?" Her 
question died on her lips when she saw the reason.

He smiled wanly at her widening eyes, the smile turning into  
a grimace as he was roughly prodded forward. He quietly slid into 
his seat, allowing himself a silent sigh of relief that he had 
the aisle seat. Not that that was much by way of protection for 
his partner, but at least it was something. Both agents looked up 
at the thing that had caused Mulder's earlier reaction.

The barrel of a singularly dangerous looking automatic rifle 
stared back at them. The owner of the weapon, the swarthy, 
muscular passenger from the row behind theirs, looked down at 
them, his tight grip on the rifle daring them to make even one 
wrong move.

"Oh, my god!"

The shriek pulled the man's attention to the seats behind 
the agents. The closest occupied seats were at least a couple of 
rows back. The distraction gave Mulder the opportunity he was 
looking for. He reached out and grabbed the rifle barrel. He 
yanked sharply, almost pulling off the man's finger with it. The 
other had barely had a chance to register the action before the 
rifle was pointing back at him.

"I am willing to sacrifice my man's life for our cause. Are 
you willing to do the same?" the quiet voice sounded from behind 

Mulder slowly rose in his seat, the weapon still pointed at 
its previous owner. He gestured for the other to move back, so he 
could have an unobstructed view down the aisle. He looked past 
the middle aged couple, clutching each other protectively a few 
rows back, the group of teenagers, huddled together in fright, 
his gaze taking note of all the passengers in the cabin. His 
glance reached the back of the section and froze, his face paling 
at the sight. Just in front of the stairwell stood the other 
immortal. He was tall and lean, with a crewcut accentuating his 
military demeanor. The source of the earlier shriek, a flight 
attendant, was held in front of him, a gun to the side of her 

Mulder tightened his grip on the rifle, causing the immortal 
to move his hand ever so slightly. The agent narrowed his eyes; 
he could hear the click as the hammer was cocked, the sound 
almost deafening in the silence. He looked into the face of the 
frightened woman, her eyes pleading with him to help her, muffled 
cries of fear escaping from her mouth.

With a sigh of defeat, Mulder threw the rifle back, its 
owner scrabbling to catch it before it fell to the floor.

"Much better." The immortal spun the attendant out of his 
grasp, motioning her to one of the seats. He then raised the gun 
to point it squarely at Mulder's chest. "Now, if you please..." 
he added, gesturing towards the seat.

Mulder grudgingly sat back down, his hand automatically 
going to Scully's. He gripped it tight, darting a quick glance at 
her before turning back to their captor. He watched the immortal 
walk towards them.

"Go keep watch at the stairwell, Simon," he ordered his 
subordinate. "I want to talk to the hero here."

Simon nodded, then moved back down the aisle. Meanwhile, the 
immortal moved past the agents to lean against the seat opposite 
them. He looked down at them, a contemplative look in his eyes, 
as if he were gauging them somehow. He seemed to come to a 
decision when he inclined his head slightly.

"Karl Reicher," he snapped out without preamble.

When neither of the agents responded to his unasked 
question, he smiled at them, the maliciousness evident in the set 
of his mouth. "Nice reflexes, handling my man like that. Name?"

At their continued silence, he frowned slightly. He jumped 
forward, the gun coming to rest squarely against Mulder's 
forehead. His other hand reached into Mulder's coat. Neither 
agent moved while he pulled out his wallet. He moved back, 
flipping it to reveal Mulder's ID. His eyes widened as he looked 
back up at them. "Well, well, well! I'm impressed. Not often you 
see one of us in that profession," he exclaimed. "Fox Mulder," he 
muttered, glancing back at the badge. "And you," he asked, taking 
note of Scully's business suit. "His partner?"

Both agents glared at him. He shrugged, raising his gun to 
point vaguely behind them. "Or do you need some... persuasion?"

"If you shoot," Scully ground out, "you'll depressurize the 

"We're not high enough for that to matter," he shot back. 
"Now, before I do start shooting people, NAME!" he barked.

"Dana Scully," she replied without flinching. "Whatever 
you're planning, you have to know, it'll never..."

"And you, dear lady, are condemning me before you even know 
what I am planning." He pulled back, reaching behind him to pull 
out a two-way radio. "Seth? Neil? Get up here, will you?" he 
muttered into it.

A few minutes later, two other men walked up to Karl. "Seth, 
I want you to listen to me carefully. These two are FBI agents, 
so I need you to keep an extra eye on them. Don't hesitate to put 
a bullet in their heads if they so much as twitch. You hear me? 
And call me immediately." He turned back to the agents. "Agents, 
if you please, your weapons." He held out his hand, aiming the 
gun at them with the other.

Seeing no other choice, both agents reached in to retrieve 
their sidearms, handing them over to the immortal.

"And your other weapons..."

"We had to check them in," Mulder replied.

Reicher stared at them for a second. "Now why is it that I 
don't believe you, hmm? Seth, cover me will you?" He tucked his 
gun behind him, then reached up to the baggage compartment. He 
deftly reached in and pulled out their coats, feeling around 
inside them to confirm his suspicions. "Be grateful I am the 
forgiving type." He turned to Seth, adding, "Call me if there is 
any trouble."

Putting the coats over his arm, he pulled the other man 
aside. After a few hurried words, Reicher watched the man he'd 
called Neil head towards the stairwell behind the first class 
cabin. He pulled out what looked like a miniature display device 
from his pocket, glanced at it briefly, frowned, then turned to 
follow Neil.


It had been almost an hour since the first signs of trouble. 
Soon after Reicher and Neil headed for the upper level, the 
agents had felt the plane turning and descending. From the 
occasional chirp of voices they could hear over Seth's radio, the 
agents had concluded that there were at least seven terrorists on 
board, other than Reicher.

Unfortunately, they hadn't had a chance to talk or observe 
anything else under Seth's constant guard. The one time Mulder 
had tried turning to talk to his partner, he'd felt the 
uncomfortable sensation of the rifle barrel thrust against the 
back of his head. And with Simon standing so far back, there was 
no way Mulder could incapacitate Seth and get to him before he 
had a chance to sound the alarm or hurt someone.

Finally, Reicher reappeared. "Well, how are my two favorite 
FBI agents doing today?" he asked jovially, walking up to their 
seats. The agents glared at him silently. "You know, your being 
on this plane actually makes this somewhat easier. You, Mulder, 
come with me. Seth, keep an eye on the lady while we're gone." He 
gestured toward Mulder, then pointed back towards the stairwell.

Mulder reluctantly stood and walked past Reicher, heading to 
the rear cabins. They walked past frightened passengers, all 
huddled together in the front of the plane. Mulder chafed at his 
inability to help them. But with the four other terrorists he saw 
walking down the aisles, he didn't dare take the chance that one 
of them might get off a few shots before he could reach them.

"Right here is fine." The two of them came to a halt several 
rows behind the last passenger, right beside the overwing 
emergency exit. Reicher kept his rifle trained on Mulder, then 
asked him to turn around. "I want you to look on the floor next 
to the exit. Tell me what you see. Quietly. I don't want the 
passengers to hear."

Mulder obliged, leaning down to peer between the seat and 
the section wall. "I see an open panel on the floor. Beneath it, 
under some insulation, there are two tubes containing some sort 
of liquid. And it looks like there's a small black box attached 
to the tubes."

"Those tubes, Agent Mulder, are fuel lines. They lead right 
to the wing mounted tanks. The box you see next to them is what I 
call a sparker." He pointed to a small device clipped to his 
belt. "And this is the control for that little beauty. My own 
invention," he added proudly. "One push of this button, one 
little spark, and I think you can guess the rest. Now there's 
three other boxes just like this one all over the plane, one for 
each engine, so don't go getting any bright ideas."

"You're mad," Mulder whispered, standing back up. "Why..."

"I didn't get you down here to ask questions. Now that 
you've seen this, let's go upstairs and tour the cockpit, shall 
we?" He stood aside, gesturing for Mulder to precede him again.

They returned to the front of the airplane, climbing the 
stairs and walking across the empty cabin into the cockpit. The 
last terrorist was in there, holding a gun to the head of the 
pilot. Both glanced up at the new arrivals, the pilot with an air 
of defeat, before going back to their tasks. Mulder glanced at 
the copilot, slumped in his chair, his head hanging at an 
unnatural angle. His jaw hardened at the sight. He whirled at his 
captor. "You didn't have to do that."

"Casualties of war, Agent." Reicher shrugged. "Now, if you 
would be kind enough to have a seat." Reicher waited for Mulder 
to sit, then pulled out two headsets. He put one on himself, then 
handed the other to Mulder. He then reached over and flicked a 
switch on the overhead control panel, bringing the radio to life. 
"Dulles, this is PanStar 327. Please respond," he spoke into the 
mike. "Repeat, Dulles, this is PanStar 327."

There were a few seconds of static, then a frantic voice 
boomed out from within their headsets. "327! Where the *hell* are 
you? You're off our radar, and we've been trying to get radio 
contact for the past hour. Are you all right?"

Reicher turned to Mulder, one hand over his mike. "Give your 
identification, then tell him what I showed you."

Mulder shot him an ugly look, then spoke into his 
mouthpiece. "This is Special Agent Fox Mulder from the FBI. My 
badge number is JTT047101111. This plane has been taken over by 
eight terrorists. They are holding the crew and passengers 
hostage. They also have some sort of device wired to the fuel 
lines onboard that could possibly be used to blow up the plane."

"That's enough." Reicher tore the headset off Mulder's head. 
"I'll give you five minutes to verify Agent Mulder's badge 
number. You'll be hearing from me again. Keep this channel 
clear." With a flick of his fingers, the radio channel went 

Mulder and Reicher stared at each other silently. Exactly 
five minutes later, he switched the radio back on. "Dulles, this 
is PanStar 327. By now, you will have verified Agent Mulder's 
identity. These are our demands. We are the Children of the Anth 
Karish. Last Friday, a joint operation of the ATF and FBI 
resulted in four of our comrades being unjustly imprisoned. We 
demand that these men be released within the next hour. Further, 
we demand you provide them with an immediate pardon, and that a 
helicopter be made available for their use. No tricks. We are 
fully prepared to blow up the plane. I will call you back in one 
hour to confirm that our demands have been met."

With that, he switched the radio back off, then tossed aside 
the handset. He pulled out the small device from his pocket 
again. He noticed the readout, his expression relaxing slightly. 
Stuffing it back into his pocket, he silently motioned towards 
the door, then stepped back as Mulder got up and walked past him 
out the door.

He escorted Mulder back down to his seat, then left him 
there under the supervision of the two men in the forward cabin, 
while he returned upstairs. Unfortunately, nothing had changed in 
the meantime, so Mulder sat back quietly, waiting for his chance.

The first sign of relief came a few minutes later, when Seth 
looked up to signal his partner forward. When Simon walked up, 
Seth muttered a quick, "I'll be right back. Karl said to keep a 
close eye on these two." He walked towards the rear, and Mulder 
heard the sound of the restroom door closing and latching.

'At last!' Mulder thought to himself with excitement. "Hey! 

The other man frowned at the whisper. He was forced to 
divide his attention between the agents and the rest of the 
passengers in the cabin. However, his attention soon became 
riveted on the agent as he continued to whisper.

It had taken a long time for Mulder to gain his current 
level of proficiency in the ability, and he knew that the only 
sure way of perfecting it was experience. He still wasn't sure 
about his ability to control more than one person at a time. But 
he was good enough to affect Simon. "Give me the gun, Simon," he 
whispered. The resonance in his voice was transmitted directly 
from the auditory canals in Simon's ears to a certain portion of 
his brain, one extremely vulnerable to suggestion. As a result, 
the man froze for a moment, then slowly reached out and quietly 
handed Mulder his rifle.

Mulder passed the weapon to Scully, then proceeded to grill 
Simon about the rest of his cohorts. He confirmed Reicher's 
story, but it left Mulder feeling uneasy nonetheless. By then, 
Mulder could hear the sounds of Seth finishing up in the 
restroom. Mulder quickly turned to his partner, seeing her 
reinsert the emptied clip into the weapon. He handed it back to 
Simon, then added a suggestion to behave normally, but ignore any 
alarms or unexpected actions from his fellow conspirators.

Satisfied, Mulder leaned back in his seat to await Seth's 
return. He noticed his partner frowning as she placed the bullets 
she'd removed into a pocket.

"Something the matter, Scully?" he whispered.

"The bullets, Mulder. They felt funny. Like..."

"Like they were made of plastic?" Mulder asked. "Yeah, I 
felt that from the guns also. I think they might be some sort of 
plastic/ceramic composite. It would explain how they got them 
onto the plane undetected. I think I heard Frohike mention 
hearing something about them at the last defcon the Gunmen 
attended. Not that great at precision shooting, but at close 
range..." He stopped abruptly, his head jerking to the side as 
the butt of the rifle struck him.

"Stop the chatter!!" Seth brought the rifle to bear on the 
agents. "What the hell are you doing, Simon? You were told to 
keep an eye on these two," Seth barked at the other man. Simon 
stared back impassively. Seth shook his head with disgust. "Get 
your ass back there. And keep your eyes open." Simon nodded, then 
walked back to his original post. "Moron," Seth muttered. "And 
you two. The next time you talk is the last time. Got that?"

Mulder simply grinned, then got to work. Now that Simon 
would be out of the way, it was only a matter of moments before 
Mulder had possession of both rifles. He quickly had them 
subdued, implanting a suggestion to cooperate with the agents. He 
then stood in the aisle, quietly instructing the passengers to 
stay calm, and more importantly to act normally. He leaned back 
down to discuss the next course of action with his partner.

"We obviously can't go back there ourselves."

Mulder nodded agreement. "And they might come in here any 
minute to check on us."

"Maybe we could send one of these two," Scully suggested. 
"Get him to send one of them in here to relieve him."

"Good idea. We'll use Simon. I don't trust the other guy." 
Mulder pulled Simon up by his collar. "Now listen carefully to 
what I'm about to tell you. We're going to give you a rifle, but 
you are not to use it under any circumstances. Is that clear?"

When he nodded, Mulder handed him a gun, the magazine and 
chamber emptied, just in case. "I want you to go out back. You 
will tell the first of your cohorts that you come across that you 
want him to come in here to relieve you. Then you will take his 
place, but you will not react to any alarms or calls for help 
from your friends. Do you understand?" Again a nod, then, "Good. 
Now, go on." Mulder nodded in the direction of the stairwell.

He followed a strategy similar to what he'd done with Seth 
and Simon, and had taken care of all seven terrorists within 
twenty minutes. The only trouble came when one of them, Neil, 
turned out to be somewhat resistant to suggestion, and had to be 
physically subdued. He grinned at the puzzled expressions on the 
other passengers as he took care of the terrorists one after the 

Mulder glanced down at Seth and Neil, lying trussed up in 
the seat behind theirs. The rest of them were spread about on the 
lower deck, each armed with a useless rifle, each under orders 
not to interfere with any action on the agents' part. Now, it 
only remained to take care of their leader.

His being an immortal made Karl Reicher immune to Mulder's 
unique brand of attack. They would have to take care in 
overcoming him, making sure not to allow any of the other 
passengers to come to harm. There was also the slight matter of 
Mulder's suspicion as to his true intentions.

"I don't know, Scully. It just seems wrong, somehow. Our 
kind, by definition, are loners. I just don't see one of us going 
after the kind of publicity this will bring up. If we do land, 
his face is going to be splashed on every media there is."

"Speaking of landing, where exactly are we headed?" Scully 
asked, looking out the window.

Mulder shrugged. "When I was in the cockpit, all I saw was 
open water. I think we're headed across the Atlantic."

"The Atlantic!?" Scully asked incredulously. "Mulder," she 
hissed, "this was a domestic flight. Do we have enough fuel to 
get all the way to Europe?"

"Well, it was a six hour nonstop flight, and they usually 
carry some extra, so we should be okay for now. But taking care 
of all our friends took a while," he said, checking his watch. 
"It's been a little more than two hours since we took off. We 
need to get the plane turned around soon if we want to make it 
back to the mainland. Even if we came across any airports out 
here, I'm not sure if there's any that can land a plane this 

Scully sighed. At her partner's questioning look, she shook 
her head. "Nothing. It's just... We sure know how to pick 'em, 
don't we?"

Mulder grinned back at her. "Oh, I don't know about you, 
Scully, but I'm having the time of my life."

"Ha, ha, verry funny. Notice how much I'm *not* laughing, 

"Aww... c'mon Scully. Can't you take a joke? After all this 
time with me?" He leaned close to her face, his humor starting to 
get infectious.

She simply smiled exasperatedly at him, then sobered as the 
moment passed. "Plenty of time for jokes later, Mulder. Got any 
bright ideas about how to go about this?"

"Like I said, Scully. I don't think Reicher is telling us 
the whole story. I don't think he's just some terrorist out to 
get his friends out of prison. Our no-negotiation federal policy 
prohibits prisoner releases like these. There's no way his 
friends are going to go free. And even if they were, how does he 
intend to escape the horde of police that's sure to be waiting 
for us wherever we land? I'm telling you, the whole thing just 
doesn't add up."

"But Mulder, we questioned his men. They would have told us 
if he were lying, right?"

"Not if they believed it. No, it's just Reicher who's acting 
funny. That device he had with him, the one he kept checking 
every so often, it looked like a miniature version of the GPS 
device I used to find you that time in Peru. Same type of display 
and everything." Mulder saw his partner grab onto her seat just 
as he felt the plane change course. "And that's the third time 
we've changed course so far. I think we're heading to a drop-off 
point or something."

"What, you think he's going to jump off the plane with his 
fellow terrorists, and let us go on our merry way?"

"No. The others would have told us about that when we 
questioned them. But you're closer than you think. He's just 
using them for his own purposes. I'm sure of it."

"But then, why this elaborate charade, Mulder? Why the 
threat about blowing up the plane?"

"Agent Mulder?" The quiet, but frantic voice came from 
behind them, causing both agents to bring their rifles to bear on 
the owner. They let out a breath of relief when the saw the 
flight attendant from earlier standing a few rows back.

"Yes, Ms..."

"Madeline. My name is Madeline. I didn't want to interrupt, 
but I think this lady is having a heart attack." She looked from 
the agents to the seats behind her, a worried expression on her 

Scully immediately got up, moving past Mulder and down the 
aisle. She knelt beside the middle aged couple. "Sir," she 
addressed the man, "I'm a doctor. Do you know what is wrong with 
your wife?" She looked past him, worried at seeing the woman 
clutch her chest in pain.

The man was holding a purse, delving within it for 
something. He finally came up with a small prescription vial. 
"It's just a minor heart condition. She'll be fine; she just 
needs her medication is all," he replied. He quickly unscrewed 
the cap, pulling out a pill and placing it in her mouth. He 
waited until she swallowed it. A few moments later, she seemed to 
calm down, the pain obviously lessening from the expression on 
her face. "I guess all this excitement just finally caught up 
with her. She should be okay for a while, but... That man said 
that you were FBI agents, right?"

Scully nodded. "Agent Dana Scully," she said, holding out 
her hand.

"Scott Hollister," he replied, shaking her hand. "Do you 
know what's going to happen to us? I don't know if my wife can 
take much more of this."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Hollister. We're doing the best that we can. 
All I can ask is that you remain calm, and act normally, no 
matter what happens. We don't want to tip off any of our captors 
that we have control of this section."

The man nodded silently, his hand reaching out to his 
wife's. "Don't worry, hon. It's going to be all right."

Scully stood and turned towards Madeline.

"Thank you for your help, Agent Scully," she said, turning 
to walk back to her seat.

Scully nodded, and was about to pass her when she had an 
idea. "Madeline?"


"Where did this flight originate?"

"Oh, we started out in Cairo. Why?"

"Are you carrying anything valuable on board? Or do you know 
if there's anyone important on the plane?"

"Hmm... I'm not sure about the passengers. But we are 
carrying some cargo heading for the Los Angeles Museum of Natural 
Sciences. I think it's one of those mummy cases." She smiled. 
"Paul said it gave him the willies."


"Oh, he's the chief attendant," she replied, nodding towards 
the rear.

"Ah. Thanks Madeline." Scully walked back to her seat, 
relating to Mulder what she'd found.

"That must be it, Scully."

"Mulder, I hardly think he's going to steal an entire 
sarcophagus. It's not exactly easy to get off the plane. And, as 
you yourself said, anywhere we land, we're bound to attract 

"No, Scully. I don't think he's after the entire 
sarcophagus. I think he's after the Tear of Osiris."

"The what of what?"

"The Tear of Osiris, Scully." Seeing her skeptical 
expression, he grinned.

Seeing him about to launch into his lecture mode, Scully 
sighed as she rolled her eyes. She sat back to listen.

"I was reading about the expedition that was sponsored by 
the LA museum. Apparently they found a hidden chamber in one of 
the previously explored pyramids, and there was a mummy buried 
there. A priest of Osiris, I think the article said. Anyway, he 
was said to be buried with this Tear. According to legend, Osiris 
shed a single tear upon his betrayal by his brother, Set. The 
tear fell to earth and crystallized. It was believed that one had 
merely to be in its presence to be able to communicate with the 
gods themselves."

"I never pictured you for the archaeology type, Mulder. 
Although, after that thing in England, I suppose I should know 

"Actually, I thought that the Tear might be an alien 
communication device of some kind," Mulder confessed sheepishly. 
"There have been reports of UFO sightings that date back to pre-
Babylonian days, so it's entirely possible," he added 
defensively. "I was hoping to catch the exhibit while we were 
down in LA."

"Ah, now the truth comes out," Scully smiled, shaking her 
head. "Mulder, you're hopeless. But, even if that were true, why 
this great interest in the Tear? I hardly think an ancient god 
communicator, or even an alien communicator, would be worth this 
much trouble."

"Even if said device was supposed to be the largest flawless 
sapphire ever beheld by human eyes, contained in a case made of 
solid gold and encrusted with enough jewels to have bought Egypt 
ten times over?"

"Well, that does change things. But if it were that 
expensive, why didn't they ship it more securely?"

"Oh, they don't know where it is."


"Well, when they opened up the sarcophagus in Cairo, they 
didn't find the Tear. They are shipping what they think is a 
simple case with a plain old mummy in it."


"Which is not to say that the thing doesn't exist. And I 
think our friend Karl may have an inside track as to the its 
location. Maybe there's some sort of hidden compartment in the 
sarcophagus or something."

"Whatever, Mulder. The fact still remains. How are we going 
to get Reicher without getting any of the passengers killed?"

"I..." Mulder never got to finish his sentence. He felt a 
shudder run through the airplane, coincident with a very familiar 
sound. He looked at his partner, his expression somber. The sound 
of gunfire. And it sounded as if it came from upstairs. He leaped 
up, Scully following right behind him.

Quietly they slid up the stairs. They reached the door to 
the cockpit without incident, none of the terrorists coming to 
stop them. Mulder whispered a prayer of thanks that his 
suggestions still held. He held up three fingers, counting down 
then kicking open the door. Together they rushed inside, taking 
their usual positions with Mulder high and Scully low.

They saw the cockpit riddled with bullets. Both the pilot 
and Simon lay on the floor, mortally wounded. Reicher stood over 
them, as if surveying the damage he'd caused, his rifle held at 
the ready. He turned when he heard the door crash open, his eyes 
widening at the sight. He swung around, his rifle already coming 
up to bear at the agents.

They opened fire. Five shots, all to the chest at point 
blank range, and Reicher staggered back, a stupefied expression 
on his face. His mouth opened, a half formed, "How..." on his 
lips before his eyes rolled back in his head. He fell to his 
knees, then slumped to the floor.

The agents rushed forward, Scully going to the downed pilot 
while Mulder ripped out some of the wires hanging from a 
shattered console to form a makeshift pair of handcuffs. He 
pulled Reicher's hands behind his back, then made sure the wires 
were secure around his wrists. He then kneeled down next to 

"He's hurt bad, Mulder. He was shot twice. One just grazed 
his arm, but the other went right through his shoulder. It didn't 
do too much damage, and the exit's clean, thank god. I think I 
can stop the bleeding, but I'll need some medical supplies."

"I'll get a flight attendant." Mulder stood and rushed 
outside, returning a few minutes later with Madeline in tow. She 
froze in shock at the sight of the four bodies in the cockpit. 
Her hands shook as she handed Scully a first aid kit.

While Scully worked on the pilot, Mulder knelt next to 
Simon. His fingers searched his neck, but it only confirmed what 
he'd already heard, or rather not heard. No sign of a heartbeat. 
He stood back up, looking out the window. They seemed to be 
flying straight. And the readout below the words 'ALT' said they 
were flying fairly level, although the bullethole right next to 
it didn't ease his worry any. He guessed that the autopilot was 
engaged, but could see no indication as to it's status. Of 
course, it was probably one of the displays that had been shot 

He turned to the flight attendant, and saw her staring at 
Scully and the pilot in shock. He placed a hand on her shoulder, 
trying to bring her out of it.

"Madeline?" It took a couple of tries before his words 
penetrated. She looked up at Mulder, her face threatening to 
break into tears at any moment. It was only now that he noticed 
how young she really was. She looked barely out of her teens. He 
felt a moment of sympathy towards her. "Madeline," he repeated, 
"I need for you to be brave, okay. I need some information from 
you. Can you do that? Do you feel up to answering a few 

When she nodded silently, he asked, "Do you know how to fly 
the plane?" Her expression went from frightened to panicked to 
terrified in a matter of seconds. 'Whoops, wrong question.' 
Mulder rapidly tried to backpedal, asking instead, "I mean, do 
you know how to work the radio or the autopilot?"

"N... No I don't. I'm so sorry." The tears finally burst. 
"Is... is the captain going to be okay?" She reached up to grab 
Mulder's shirt.

"There, there. It's going to be okay. The captain's going to 
be just fine." He awkwardly patted her back as she cried against 
his chest. He looked over her shoulder, his eyes meeting his 
partner's, imploring her help. She was the one better suited for 
comforting distressed people, be they suspects, witnesses, or 
victims. He usually only managed to get them more angry, more 
depressed, or more frightened.

She smiled, standing up to pull Madeline away from Mulder. 
"The captain is going to be fine, but we need your help to carry 
him out, okay. He needs to lie down, and there's not enough room 
in here." She smiled when she saw the attendant's face clear up 
as she nodded slowly. "Can you go out and prepare one of the 
seats? Recline it as far as it'll go, and get a couple of pillows 
to help support him."

Scully watched her nod and rush out of the room. She turned 
to Mulder. "I guess she just needed something to do to keep her 
mind off this. Can you lift him?"

"Piece of cake, Scully." Mulder reached down, easily hefting 
the pilot as he stood back up. He followed Scully out of the 
cockpit, gently laying the unconscious man down on the already 
prepared seat.

"He's fine for now, but Mulder," Scully whispered, "he's in 
no condition to fly the plane."

Mulder nodded, then turned to Madeline, who hovered nearby. 
A quick question revealed that there were less than 50 people on 
the plane. He leaned close to Scully. "I think we should let the 
passengers know."

"Mulder," she said warningly, "they might panic."

"There aren't that many on board, Scully. Besides, unless 
you've been holding out on me, neither of us has any experience 
flying a plane." He paused. "Umm... you haven't been holding out, 
have you?"

"Of course not," she replied indignantly. "It's not exactly 
something I can hide. Besides, I hate flying. What makes you 

"Okay, okay. Sorry." Mulder held his hands up in defeat. "It 
was just a thought." He turned to Madeline. "What about the other 
flight attendants? You think any of them know how to fly?"

"I... I don't know," she stammered. "I can ask..." She 
turned and headed back down, Mulder following behind her. She 
stopped short when she saw the rest of the terrorists calmly 
walking the aisles, oblivious to the recent events.

"Don't worry about them. Let me take care of them. You go 
talk to your crewmates." Mulder brushed past her, walking up to 
the terrorists. Without any resistance, he took the rifles from 
their hands, pushing them back towards the rear of the plane. A 
quick round of questions revealed that none of them knew anything 
about flying. However, Mulder did find something else of 
interest. He saw their coats lying in one the rear seats. He also 
saw a parachute and a rectangular steel case, obviously for the 
artifact, next to them. 'I guess Reicher wasn't going to wait to 
land after all,' he mused.

He turned to the sound of the approaching footsteps. 
Madeline walked up to him, the other attendants in tow. 
Unfortunately, she said, none of them had any flying knowledge 
either. Mulder sighed, then asked them to bring him some rope. He 
tied up the terrorists, hefted their coats and the case, then 
headed to the front again. By then, Scully had all the passengers 
seated together. She nodded, confirming her assent. Mulder walked 
in front of the passengers, giving them a quick rundown of their 
situation. However, as he'd expected, there was no help to be had 
from that quarter either. He only succeeded in raising the 
general anxiety level on the plane.

"Well, we had to try. I think I remember what Reicher did 
when he turned on the radio. Scully, I need you to stay in here 
and keep the passengers calm. I'll see if I can radio for help. 
Wish me luck."

"Good luck, Mulder," she replied fervently, looking after 
his disappearing back.


Present Day

Radio. The radio. It was important, somehow. He shook his 
head, trying to clear it of the cobwebs that seemed to have taken 
residence. Of course, how could he have forgotten?

This was the monster. Used specifically for long term space 
walks. Which meant it had its own built-in subspace transponder. 
It was meant to be a two-way communication and control device, 
used to guide repair teams while coordinating their tasks. But 
with a little modification...

He got to work. Pulling in his right hand into the suit's 
chest cavity as well, he started to rewire the transponder 
system. A little deft reengineering, a few commands to the 
onboard computer, and a few minutes later... or was it hours, 
he'd lost track... he got it working. A passable subspace beacon. 
It was weaker than a transponder, and he'd had to sacrifice its 
two-way communication capability. But he had managed to boost its 
range a hundredfold, the weak subspace signal beacon sounding a 
distress call across a distance of over 10 light years. The 
beacon wouldn't be very good at directionality, but at least it 
would let someone know that he was out here.

If there was anyone out there to pick up the signal, of 
course. His enthusiasm from his task quickly evaporated as the 
chilling reality set in again. For all he knew, he was the only 
survivor of Voyager's latest run-in with the Hirogen.

No, he wouldn't do this, he chided himself. He wouldn't let 
himself sink into these depressive thoughts. If someone found 
him, well and good. If not... if not, then he'd still survive. 
The firm resolve floated around his head as he closed his eyes.


Somewhere over the Atlantic
Sunday, December 26, 2010
5:37 PM

In the cockpit, Mulder sat in the pilot's chair, pulling on 
the headset he'd been given earlier. He stoically ignored Reicher 
and the other bodies as he tried to remember the exact sequence 
of buttons he'd seen pushed.

He hit what he thought was the right combination, 
momentarily startled at the sudden static in his ear. "Hello? 
Dulles? Can anyone hear me?" He repeated himself, but received no 
response. He tried fiddling with a couple of the switches, until 
finally he seemed to get through. He uttered a cry of triumph 
when he heard the broken voice over his headset.

"We're still trying to release the prisoners you asked for. 
Can you tell..."

Mulder smiled, then cut him off. "This is Special Agent Fox 
Mulder. The terrorists have been taken care of. Can you hear me?"

"Yes, we can hear you, but just barely," the incredulous 
voice replied. "Would you mind repeating that, son?"

"No problem. I said, this is Special Agent Fox Mulder, and 
the terrorists are no longer in control. One of them is dead. The 
others are all currently tied up." He smiled at the shouts he 
could barely hear over the radio.

"And the passengers?"

His smile turned grim. "They're okay. But the copilot is 
dead. And the pilot has been shot. My partner is a doctor and 
she's taking care of him, but he needs medical attention."

"Good god! Who's flying the plane?"

"At the moment? No one. So you see my problem," he replied 
wryly. "I think the autopilot's working okay, but I'm not sure. 
This cockpit looks like swiss cheese, it's got so many 
bulletholes. One of the terrorists went crazy in here with his 
automatic. Half the displays in here are dark, and I have no clue 
what I'm supposed to do. I was lucky to get this radio working at 
all, and I don't think I have it right. You keep breaking up."

"I'm not sure we can do anything about that. It sounds like 
part of the radio itself might have been hit. Also, we still 
don't know where the hell you are. You're too low for radar 

Mulder chewed on his lip, an idea forming in his mind. "Hold 
on." He pulled off his headset, rushing over to Reicher's side. 
He noted that the other was still unconscious, the wounds from 
the agents' bullets still not quite healed. He felt in the 
terrorists pocket until he found what he was looking for. He 
pulled out the miniature device he'd seen Reicher checking 

He went back to the pilot's seat and put on the headset. 
"Okay, I'm back. One of the terrorists has what looks like a 
small GPS module. Will that do?"

"Yes," the voice replied excitedly. "What does it say?"

Mulder rattled off the display, causing a gasp of surprise 
to come over the radio. "What?"

"There's nothing out there that can take an aircraft even 
remotely close to your size. Not the direction you're headed. 
Damn. You'll have to take the plane off autopilot and turn 

"Me?" Mulder gulped.

"Yes. Feel up to a crash course, if you'll forgive the pun?"

Mulder sighed. "Just tell me what to do."

"Okay, now, the display in front of the steering wheel. Is 
it lit?"

Mulder leaned forward. "No, it's completely dark."

"Damn, I was afraid of that. What about the altimeter? Do 
you know which one it is?"

"Yeah." He read off the altimeter display.

"Good, you're still high enough. Okay, the switch cluster 
right next to it is the autopilot. There should be three of them, 
labeled L, C, and R. And one of them should be on. The other two 
are redundant backups." When Mulder answered in the affirmative, 
the voice went on, "Put one hand on the steering column, then 
push the switch with the green light to the off position."

Mulder did as he was told. The moment the switch was pushed, 
however, he felt the plane dip alarmingly. He gripped the 
steering column hard. "The plane's doing a nosedive," he yelled.

"Pull back, pull back," the voice screamed in reply.

Mulder tried to, but it felt like he'd tear the thing out of 
its socket before the plane responded. After what felt like an 
eternity, the plane seemed to level off. "It's working. But I 
think the damn thing's stuck. I can't get the plane to climb any 
higher. It's taking all I have just to keep it level."

The voice on the other end sighed. "Flip the autopilot back 
on." Mulder rushed to comply, but he was in for another surprise. 
"Shit. It's not responding," he yelled. "None of the three will 
turn back on. What do I do?"

"Can you keep the plane level?" the voice asked.

"For now. But I don't know for how long."

"What about turning? Can you do that? Try turning the wheel 
from a 10-2 to a 11-3 position," the controller said, indicating 
the positions in terms the hands on a clock.

Mulder gritted his teeth as he gripped the wheel tight. He 
could hear the metal strain as he tried, but he finally gave up. 
"It's no go. The thing will tear apart if I try to turn it any 

"I'm afraid your flight computer is shot, along with your 
navigation and flight control system."

"Umm... what does that mean? In english?"

"It means, son, that we don't have any way of turning the 
plane around or of landing it."

"I was afraid you were going to say something like that."

"Hang on, son. We'll try to think of something. This is 
Dulles, over and out."

"What the hell was that, Mulder?" Scully's voice rang out as 
she rushed to his side. "You just about gave Mrs. Hollister a 
second heart attack."

"That, Agent Scully, was your ever so adventurous partner, 
attempting to fly the plane by his very own self," he replied. 
"Fat lot of good it did, though," he added in disgust. "That 
idiot's shot half the electronics in this flying tincan to hell. 
According to Dulles, there's nowhere we can land, even if we 
could. The autopilot was working, but now even that's on the 
fritz. Nothing else seems to be working. The plane doesn't 
respond to the controls. The radio is so full of static, it's a 
wonder I can make out anything they say..."


"Yeah, Agent Mulder. Calm down. You're driving me batty."

Both agents turned to the new voice. Reicher shuffled 
himself until he could lean against the far wall, his head 
tilting up to look at them, his hands still tied behind his back.

"You had to go and shoot me, didn't you? Do you have any 
idea how much that hurts?"

"I'm sure Captain Davies knows that up close and personal," 
Mulder shot back. "Do you know how to fly this plane?"


"We can't trust him to fly us, Mulder. He'd crash us into 
the ocean at the first opportunity."

"I know, I know," Mulder sighed, then turned back to 
Reicher. "Why kill Simon?"

The immortal shrugged. "He wasn't following orders. I told 
him to shoot the pilot. He wouldn't. It was like he was a robot 
or something. Kept repeating, 'Don't follow orders,' or something 
like that, over and over." He shook his head. "Weird."

Mulder smiled silently. "And exactly how did you know where 
the Tear would be?" He allowed the chuckle to surface at the 
terrorist's surprised expression. "I know about the expedition, 
and I found the case next to the parachute."

Reicher let his shoulders slump. "I was on the dig. I found 
some hieroglyphics in one of the side chambers. None of the 
others could decipher them accurately..."

"... but you could," Mulder finished for him.

"It was child's play," he shrugged. "The language was a 
simple variant of the local dialect of the time." He looked back 
up at the agents, his eyes lighting up. "You'll never guess where 
they hid the Tear. According to the legends surrounding it, the 
priest was supposed to channel his lifeblood, using his heart to 
pump it through the Tear to activate it. The others found a 
secret compartment in the sarcophagus, right above the mummy's 
heart. There were a few trinkets in there. But the Tear itself 
was embalmed right along with the priest."

Scully gasped as his meaning became clear. "You mean..."

"It was inside the mummy itself, wasn't it?" Mulder asked, 
his query confirmed by the other's nod.

"Let me go. We can share the proceeds from that artifact 
three ways. That case alone could set you both up for over ten 
lifetimes. What do you say?"

"Sorry. No can do," Mulder replied. "Now, you were using 
your GPS module to get to the correct coordinates to jump off the 
plane, weren't you? What, do you have a boat waiting for you?" 
The terrorist's silence was answer enough. "How big is it? Enough 
to hold all of us." Mulder saw the other smile at that. "Damn, 
not enough. What were you planning for the rest of us? Blowing us 
up by remote control?"

"If the plane exploded, then no one comes looking for you, 
right? Meanwhile we couldn't fly ourselves out of trouble, even 
if we wanted to," Scully observed, looking around the cabin as 
she took in the shattered instrument panels.

"Those idiots deserved it," Reicher cried out. "My fellow 
conspirators wouldn't know a good terrorist plot if it came and 
bit them on their asses. They served their purpose. I didn't want 
to bother them with trivialities."

"Your loyalty is touching," Mulder replied.

"Mulder...?" The familiar voice came from within his 

Mulder shot up in his seat. "Sir?" He looked to his partner, 
mouthing silently, "Skinner."

"Jeez, Mulder. Can't you even take a vacation without it 
turning into a fiasco?" the voice of their former superior 
filtered through the radio.

Mulder grinned. "But where's the fun in that, sir?" He 
chuckled. "It's good to hear your voice, Skinner. It's been a 

"You're talking to the head of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation, Mulder. Show a little respect."

"Always, sir."

"Smartass. Ok listen up. Look out your port window. See 

The agent obligingly turned his head, his jaw dropping at 
the sight. Matching their course, just off their port wingtip, a 
military airplane kept pace with them.

"The waters are too dangerous to let the passengers try 
parachuting off, Mulder. And trying to make a water landing out 
there would be suicide. This was the best we could come up with 
on such short notice. We need you to get someone to blow your 
forward door. The men on the SK-84 will shoot a wire through the 
door, so keep the area clear. A marine will come on board to give 
you further instructions. Is that clear?"

"I saw Air Force One also, sir. Yeah, it's clear." He turned 
to his partner. "Well, Agent Scully, it looks like we're about to 
be rescued." He relayed Skinner's message, then watched as she 
headed back down.

With the help of the flight attendants, she got the area 
cleared of passengers and the front door open. She almost gasped 
at the sudden rush of air before moving back a safe distance. A 
few minutes later, she saw the bolt shoot through and embed 
itself in the opposite wall.

Within moments, a man slid down the wire from the military 
plane to the cabin. "Lieutenant Palmer, United States Marine 
Corps. You are Agent Dana Scully?" he shouted over the sound of 
the rushing air.

When Scully nodded, the marine unharnessed himself from the 
wire, then checked to make sure it was secure. He moved toward 
the agent and the flight attendants. "We're going to move the 
passengers to the esskay, one by one. We need for them to put on 
their life vests at this time. We'll attach the vests themselves 
to the cable."

The attendants nodded, then went off to prepare the 
passengers. The marine proceeded to pull out eight steel links. 
"These are for the terrorists. Keep 'em secure while we move 

Scully pointed to the back of the plane. "They're back 
there. Their boss is in the cockpit. My partner is up front also, 
trying to keep us in the air."


It was past dusk before all the passengers were moved to the 
other plane. The pilot had gone first, carried across by another 
marine. There were moments when several people had to get over 
their fear, but one by one, each of them made it across to the 
open cargo door on their rescue aircraft. Palmer was surprised at 
the quiescent manner in which the terrorists let themselves be 
moved. Scully simply grinned at that. From experience, she knew 
that the implanted suggestions would wear off in a day or so, and 
that the authorities would have on their hands six pretty pissed 
off terrorists.

Finally it was just the agents, Reicher, and Palmer left, 
when they felt it. The plane started to shake as it dipped 
slightly. Palmer and Scully glanced at each other, then rushed to 
the cockpit. Mulder still had on the headset, and was frantically 
shouting to Skinner.

"It looks like he did something to the fuel lines when he 
shot up the place. We've been losing fuel a little at a time. We 
must be almost out." Scully turned to face her partner, her eyes 
wide with fear.

"The fuel gauge..."

"It's not working. Just like all the other stuff."

"Damn. Well, lets get out of here. It's just us four left." 
Palmer knelt beside the immortal, pulling him to his feet. He 
pulled his hands free of the wire, moving them up front and 
attaching the cable link. He then slid into the copilot's chair, 
grasping the steering column. He turned to the agents. "You'd 
better put on your vests. Then put that guy on the wire and get 
yourselves off this plane. I'll follow as soon as you get off."

"I don't think so," Mulder replied. "I don't think you can 
keep us level."

"I think I know how to do my job, Agent Mulder," Palmer bit 
back. He pulled back on the controls. "Just let go slowly."

Mulder eased his grip on the controls, letting Palmer take 

"Jesus Christ," Palmer whispered at the force with which the 
controls jerked him forward. The plane gave a corresponding jerk 
forward and down before Mulder pulled back on the controls.

He was right. There was some sort of obstruction in the 
control system. It was taking all of Mulder's considerable 
strength just to keep them level. Palmer had no chance of 
duplicating that, and Mulder saw the marine grudgingly 
acknowledge the fact. He gestured to the others, herding them to 
the main cabin. He hooked himself to the line, then motioned for 
Scully to help him attach Reicher in front of him.

Before either of the two could blink, Reicher turned, 
slamming a shoulder into the agent, tossing her to the floor. He 
lunged forward, colliding with the marine, causing him to lose 
his balance and fall out the open door. Moving past the door, 
Reicher reached into the seat just behind it, his still bound 
hands reaching into the coats he'd spotted there. Scully watched 
with a sinking feeling as he pulled out Mulder's sword, and 
turned to face her. The feral grin on his face caused her to take 
a step back, stumbling as she did so.

She knew, even as she tried to regain her balance, that 
Reicher was charging at her, the longsword in his hand swinging 
at her head. She dived to the side, crawling through the galley 
and into the other aisle, trying to reach her sword from behind. 
She stood, looking across the seats at their coats. Glancing 
around, she didn't see Reicher anywhere. Taking a breath, she 
darted forward, her hand reaching out. She'd almost reached it 
when she instinctively jerked back her hand.

The sword whistled through the air where her hand had been 
scant seconds earlier. She ducked back, then lunged past Reicher, 
coming up next to the open door again.

Mulder saw Palmer's silhouette thrashing about as it swung 
down the cable. Puzzled, he let go of the controls, grabbing his 
vest and rushing out of the cockpit. He froze at the sight when 
he reached the exit.

"SCULLY!! Down!"

Without a moment's thought, acting purely on trust and 
instinct, Dana Scully fell to her knees. She could feel the rush 
of air as the blade whistled scant centimetres above her head. 
What she couldn't see, however, was the result of the movement.

Mulder saw the sword swing in a wide arc, ending just past 
the cable. Unfortunately, while traveling through this arc, it 
had also cut across the path of the cable itself. Literally. With 
a sharp twang, the blade severed the thin steel cable. The 
shorter end inside the plane jumped, hitting the far wall across 
from the door. The other end, however, whipped through the air, 
coiling and curling about itself, and about whatever happened to 
be in its way. Like the head of one Karl Reicher, terrorist and 
would-be thief of Egyptian artifacts.

Scully fell to the floor, her eyes locked on Mulder's. Time 
seemed to slow to a crawl as she realized what had happened. She 
heard the thud as Reicher's body, no longer attached to his head, 
fell to the floor, followed by the second thud of the head 
joining the rest of him. She saw Mulder's eyes widen in 
recognition of what was about to happen. Time slowed, stopped, 
then seemed to kick into fast forward. Everything seemed to 
happen at once.

Mulder leapt into the galley, even as he felt the plane 
begin its nosedive into the dark blue waters below. He also felt 
the faint prickling of his skin as the inevitable began. The 
unmistakable odor of burnt ozone permeated the cabin as the first 
tendrils of energy came forth. They licked at the cabin walls, 
running like rivers across the metal. Blue lightning flared, 
burning out the cabin lights, yet lighting up the interior of the 
aircraft in an unearthly glow.

And on the floor, one Dana Katherine Scully jerked and 
shuddered as life energy from the dead immortal flowed into her. 
Each jolt evoked a silent cry from her throat, already raw from 
screaming. Confined as it was inside the hollow conducting shell 
of the airplane, it seemed almost twice as intense as any other 
quickening she'd had since she'd become immortal. Her body was 
racked with the terrible pain, the horrible pleasure, as the 
energy coursed through her.

Within the plane, the lightning flung seats and the contents 
of the overhead compartments aside like they were feathers. 
Unseen, several rows back, underneath four separate seats, the 
lightning ran across certain metal panels, flowing over, under 
and inside them. The energy hit the devices Reicher had referred 
to as sparkers, the little boxes instantly crumbling under the 
onslaught. Also caught in the quickening's fury, the fuel lines 
ruptured. What fuel was left quickly caught on fire, the flames 
running like lines of molten lava along the path of the fuel 
systems. As node after node ruptured, the flames reached the 
center of the aircraft.

Like a model filmed in slow motion, the seams along the 
center of the plane were the first to go. The entire forward 
section tilted forward and down, the rear trying to stay its 
original course. The hull of the aircraft split in two moments 
before the flames consumed it. The passengers and crew on the SK-
84 watched open-mouthed as window after window exploded outwards, 
showering millions of shards of transparent material onto the 
ocean below. With a mighty roar, the engines burst in a 
tremendous explosion, the rest of the plane soon following. With 
a series of consecutive explosions, the 747 slowly plunged down 
into the inky darkness of the waters below.

Luckily there was no one left alive onboard to go down with 


When she woke up, she felt herself being carried in a pair 
of strong arms. She also felt the wind in her face, the air 
slightly salty, letting her know instantly that they were near 

"You can put me down now, Mulder. I think I can stand on my 
own feet."

She heard him chuckle softly, his grip tightening slightly.

"I wouldn't advise doing that, Agent Scully. Not unless you 
want to take a long jump off a short pair of hands."

"Mulder?" she ventured questioningly. Her eyes finally 
coming to focus on her lover's face. "Where are we? It's so dark. 
And I can't see the stars. Why are you carrying me? I told you, I 
feel fine." She saw him look at something in the distance, then 
turn to look down at her.

"You don't remember?"

"Where's the plane? The last thing I remember..." Her eyes 
widened. "Ohmigod. Reicher... The quickening."

"I see it's starting to come back. What else?"

"Mulder? Where's... What... How did we get off the plane, 
Mulder? And why the hell are you still carrying me?"

"Quickenings and airplanes do not a good marriage make, 
Scully. Damn 747s. Although I must say, that was one spectacular 
explosion. Better than many I've seen in movies." He smiled. 
"And, as for your other question, have you seen the ground 

"The ground?" Scully asked, confused. She craned her neck, 
looking past her shoulder and below. Her eyes widened. She 
quickly turned back, her hands going around Mulder's neck in a 
vice like death grip. "M... Mul... Mulder. We're..."

"Flying, Scully? You can say it, you know. I won't drop 

"Oh god, Mulder." She couldn't stop her teeth from 
chattering from the sudden fear coursing through her. She knew it 
was irrational, but damn it, she couldn't see the ground. And she 
couldn't see the stars. And just knowing that she was probably a 
few hundred feet above the ground sent what was left of her 
meager airport lunch churning in her stomach.

"Relax, Scully. I've got you. And I'm not about to let go."

"Mulder, how...?"

"Well, you remember the quickening part. And let me tell you 
that was no picnic. I got a couple of those jolts too when I ran 
forward to grab you. I just had enough time to do that, grab our 
coats and swords, head for the rear exit, and jump out before the 
plane blew. Good thing it was already dark. I don't think anyone 
saw us, especially since we came out the back on the other side."

Scully suddenly noticed that she was wrapped up in her coat, 
just like Mulder was. She released one hand from around his neck, 
reaching inside her coat until she came across the familiar shape 
of her sword. Her hand also brushed against the hard shape slung 
against Mulder's side. Her eyes raised up questioningly.

Mulder saw the movements and chuckled again. "I didn't want 
to leave it there," he shrugged, moving his shoulder to adjust 
the strap of the artifact case he'd picked up while making their 
hasty exit from the aircraft.

His partner simply shook her head, grinning wryly. "I can't 
see the stars, Mulder. Where are we?"

Now his expression grew more sheepish. "Well, after the 
plane blew up, I tried to follow the other plane, but they kinda 
whizzed off before I could. And to top it all off, this fog just 
rolled in, and I think I've been flying in circles the last hour 
or so. I finally decided to just stay in one place and wait for 
you to wake up. As far as I can tell, we're still above water. I 
almost sank us both when I tried to find out how high we were." 
He paused, thinking. "Scully, your dad was a sailor, so you 
shouldn't have any problem navigating by the stars, right?"

"Exactly Mulder. My father. Not me." She sighed. "Why don't 
you try flying up? I have to actually see the stars before I can 
navigate by them."

"As milady commands," Mulder quipped, rising through the 
murky air. They rose for what seemed to them an eternity, until 
finally, they burst through the fog. The sudden clarity in the 
air shocked them, the stars above their head twinkling in the 
night sky.

Scully pointed at one particular star. "That one, Mulder, 
the bright one. That's the North Star. So I guess that's north. 
And we want to go east... no, west, towards DC, right? So turn, 
ummm... left. No, a little more, Mulder... Ok there, that's good. 
Now just keep flying straight. And be sure to keep that star just 
over your right shoulder. Hopefully, we should hit New York or 
somewhere else on the east coast pretty soon."

"Sounds good to me, madam captain, sir, ma'am."

"Oh, just shut up and fly, Mulder."

"Have I told you how much I love you when you're irritated, 
Scully? Your eyebrows pinch together just so, you have this cute 
habit of biting your lower lip..."

"I'm not irritated, Mulder. Are you sure you're not getting 
tired or delirious? Maybe I'm too heavy, and since you've been 
carrying me for so long..."

"Oh I'm not carrying you, Scully."


"I said, I'm not carrying you. You're flying, Scully. I'm 
not supporting your weight at all. See?" He pulled his arms out 
from under her, her grip on his neck tightening in return.

Amazingly, as he'd said, she didn't feel any different. She 
still felt weightless, supported, as if from below. She wondered 
if this was what Mulder felt every time he flew. No wonder he 
loved it. She could feel her fear slowly evaporating. She 
couldn't even find the words to describe it. Unlike flying inside 
an aircraft, it gave her a sense of exhilaration, of freedom, of 
total independence, making her regret the years she'd spent not 
relishing this activity with him. She vowed to make up for lost 
time. 'As soon as we get home. Meanwhile...'

She tried to pull away from him, letting her hands loosen 
from around his neck. Almost immediately, she felt her weight 
come crashing back. It was like trying to get out of a pool after 
swimming for a few hours. Her muscles felt leaden, weighted down 
by gravity. She automatically tightened her grip around him, 
simultaneously feeling his arms encircle her again.

"Whoa there, Scully. Not too far. You can't really fly on 
your own, you know."

"Mulder, do you know what this means?"

"Yeah. If you try to fly like an eagle, you're gonna end up 
swimming like a fish," he quipped.

"No. I mean, about your flying ability. I used to think it 
was some sort of magnetic field or something. That you were using 
some sort of magnetic levitation to fly."

"What, like the maglev trains?"

"Exactly. But I don't think that's the case. That wouldn't 
explain why I became lighter as well." Her voice lowered into an 
excited whisper. "Mulder, I think it's a gravitational field."


"Mulder," she hissed exasperatedly. "An artificial 
gravitational field. Something that the greatest minds of our 
century staunchly refuse to admit exists. Actual gravitons, 
imagine... If I could set up some test... mmmmfffff... Mul..."

"Scully, you talk entirely too much. Test me later. You can 
also poke and prod me later." He kissed her again. "Or maybe we 
can poke and prod each other now, and be the first people to join 
the real mile high club."

"I'm sure somewhere Arthur Dent is crying his heart out, 
Mulder," she responded wryly. "Oh, all right," she said, giving 
up, "I suppose all that can wait till we get home. Now, where 
were we..." She reached up to brush her lips against his.

"Umm... Scully, about that...," Mulder began, pulling back.

"What... Mulder...," she said, her voice rising at his 
sudden change in attitude. "You're starting to piss me off."

"Uh... sorry, but I don't think we can go home."

"What? Why not?"

"Because, over 50 people saw us getting blown up in that 
plane back there."

"Oh." Her eyes widened as the implications sank in. "Oh."

"Yeah, a big fat Oh. So what do you say, we get hitched, sow 
our seeds down in Texas somewhere, and have ourselves a good ol' 
fashioned hoe down? Start life over, whaddya say, cowgirl?"

"Mulder... you can't be serious."

"Scully, serious is my middle name. We're now officially 
dead. We cannot go home. Besides we already discussed this. Even 
Lynn agreed. We'd have had to leave the Bureau within the next 
year or so, anyway. We couldn't have asked for a better exit from 
our current identities." He paused, his voice lowering. "Scully, 
we've done most of what we set out to do. We found Samantha, in a 
manner of speaking. We got the answers to the question of what 
happened to you. We got justice for your sister, for Emily, for 
my father. We pretty much exposed the consortium, and what's left 
of them don't dare show their faces to the light of day." He 
smiled, leaning down to kiss her again, deeper this time. "It's 
been a heck of a ride, Scully, but it's time."

"Besides, third time's the charm, right? Let me move that 
ring to your other hand, Scully. Marry me. Marry me, and I'll 
give you the stars..."


Present Day

... give you the stars...

Mulder came awake with a start. The stars almost twinkled, 
just like they did in his memories. He remembered the wedding, 
the happy times they shared, the sad times. He remembered the 
wars, the peace, the birth of the new future. The last three 
centuries rushed through his memory, a blur as they passed, until 
the most recent one of Scully came to mind.

He remembered it like it was yesterday. Neelix walking down, 
smiling as he handed him the PADD. The message from the Hirogen 
array. One among numerous others, yet precious in and of itself. 
He'd taken it with trembling hands, thumbing it on, scarcely able 
to let himself believe.

He'd read the first words, and almost cried.

"To: Lt. Mark Renard

Hey, it's me. I got your message. You know I actually 
remembered that phone call of yours."

He could almost hear her snort right when she got to writing 
this part.

"I tried to tell Starfleet you were all still alive. But 
aside from Lynn, no one would believe me. I mean, who would, 
right? I couldn't exactly show them any proof, if you know what I 

A sigh right about here.

"What am I going to do with you? Four years. Four lousy 
goddamn years. You know I'm not the type to say, I told you so. 
But... After all this time, you'd think I'd have something more 
profound to say, wouldn't you? Well, I can't think of anything 
more profound than 'I love you', and 'I miss you'. Although, when 
I see you in a month, I am gonna kick your ass for not listening 
to me. That's right, I said one month, at the most. I love you M,

Yours, S"

Scully was coming, and that was enough. He didn't know how, 
but if anyone could do it, it would be her. He would survive just 
on the idea alone. He smiled, his eyes crinkling with humor as he 

He could almost picture the plane they'd been on. In fact, 
if he squinted just right, it almost looked like the plane right 
over... there...? But, waitaminute, it couldn't be, could it? 
That was it, he was going delusional. He certainly didn't envy 
Torres and Paris their little jaunt. Not anymore. Not if he was 
going to go half crazy as a result.

The white shape moved closer, becoming clearer. The 747 
changed, its lines flowing, reforming into the familiar greys and 
blues of his beloved Voyager. They were alive! They were okay, 
and they had come back for him. His beacon had worked! He almost 
cried out with joy.

He would have too, if he'd been able to utter any sound. As 
it was, he couldn't even find the strength to wave at them. How 
long had he been out here? He couldn't remember, and at the 
moment, he couldn't even bring himself to care. All that mattered 
was getting to Voyager.

Why didn't they just beam him aboard? What were they waiting 
for? An invitation? They were close enough; all they had to do 
was lock onto his lifesigns, and...

He froze.


As his mind slowly came into focus, he realized exactly how 
far Voyager actually was. And how dark his suit now seemed. All 
his systems were down. Both in the suit and in his body. He 
couldn't feel his heartbeat, nor could he feel any air passing 
through his nose. And he was just starting to realize how cold it 
was. His suit life support systems must have long since shut 
down. And if it hadn't been for the airtight seal, the CO2 
currently maintaining pressure within his suit would have long 
since leaked out as well.

"Computer..." The voice that emerged, barely a croak, could 
hardly be recognized as his. No response. Not that he'd expected 
any. If it *had* been as long as he thought, his suit's power 
cells would have long since given out.

With every remaining ounce of strength, he pushed. He 
willed, and with a start of pleasure, he saw, he felt his body 
respond. It was slow, agonizingly so, but Voyager was growing. 
Getting larger. He was floating closer... closer... ever so 

He must have passed out with the effort, because the next 
thing he knew, he was feeling the slight tingle of the 
navigational shields as he passed through them. A few seconds 
later, he came to rest against the ship's outer hull with a soft 


Tom Paris' Quarters
USS Voyager
Friday, September 20, 2374
1746 hours

"B'Elanna! Shouldn't you be in Engineering, nursing your 
engines or something?"

She paused for all of two seconds to consider his statement. 
She had just spent almost 16 hours non-stop in Engineering, and 
was reasonably sure that the engines could take care of 
themselves for the next few hours. So she felt confident enough 
in saying, "Screw the engines!" 'For now, anyway,' she added 

"You mean the Engineer, don't you?" Tom moved towards the 
bed, turning away from her to hide the growing smile on his face.

"Pig!" she retorted, her own smile threatening to break out 
as well.

"I see being pregnant hasn't changed your attitude any," Tom 
quipped, referring to the holodeck experience they'd just gotten 
away from. He climbed into the bed, bouncing slightly. He lay 
back, his hands behind his head as he looked at Torres 
expectantly. He watched as she walked over to the bed, leaned 
down and grasped his collar. She pulled him up, roughly crushing 
her mouth to his. He let out a yelp of surprise at the sudden 
action, leaning back to stare at her almost feral grin.

"Well, you know what they say about pregnant women and 
hormones, don't you Helmboy?" she asked leaning back in.

Neither of them noticed the lone figure outside their 
window, hammering away at the transparisteel.



"Ugh, I so did not want to see that," Mulder muttered to 
himself. He tried to remember where Tom's quarters were, or were 
these B'elanna's? He couldn't tell, and he had no desire to go 
back to take a second look.

He decided to keep going forward and up. Wasn't there an 
entry port or hatch or accessway or something up there? He would 
go over every inch of this damn ship's schematics as soon as 
possible, he swore to himself as he floated, crawled, inched, 
stumbled and fell on his way across the hull.

He came across a couple of windows on his trek, but none of 
them were lit. It would be just his luck if everyone he came 
across just happened to be on their duty or sleep shifts. It was 
probably written across his forehead somewhere. Why the hell did 
they have to make the windows on the outer hull so soundproof? 
The walls between the quarters themselves were so thin, probably 
everyone on Deck 9 could hear Tom and B'elanna from Section 12 
all the way to Antares. He grunted as he crawled past another 
dark window. At least his magnetic boots were still working; they 
didn't require a power source. He silently gave a prayer of 
thanks to the gods of the Delta Quadrant for small favors.

Ah, there it was. The port. Although it wasn't exactly like 
he remembered it. What the hell! It was too small. It wasn't the 
port he was looking for. But then... He felt a small rumbling 
from around the port. Before he could move aside, he was covered 
in it.

Microresidue. Something every starship inevitably generated. 
Almost every item on a starship was recycled, except for those 
few exotic materials that simply couldn't be broken down any 
further. These were vaporized instead, then jettisoned out these 
chutes. And he, Fox Mulder, after his long, arduous journey, had 
just had garbage, *garbage*, dumped on him. He would have cried, 
if he could have spared the tears. Or the strength.


Captain's Quarters
USS Voyager
1802 hours

"Personal log, stardate 51719.9. Everyday I go off shift 
seems like one more day one of my crewmembers is floating out 
there somewhere. He couldn't possibly have survived this long, of 
course, but we still intend to give his body the kind of burial 
he deserves. No one deserves a solitary grave like this. I can 
only imagine how he must have spent his last hours.

The distress call from Lt. Renard's subspace beacon was 
recorded by Voyager's computer almost a week ago. According to 
Lt. Torres, the range on that beacon was almost 11.4 light years, 
an impressive feat of engineering in itself. However, at that 
range, the power drain was probably high enough to burn out Lt. 
Renard's transmitter within a matter of days. Unfortunately, we 
didn't even find out about this until yesterday, not until after 
we'd dealt with our Hirogen problem. We have triangulated his 
position using the sensor logs to somewhere within this system, 
and are currently carrying out a search for his body. But given 
the possible state of his body and his suit systems, I fear this 
might prove harder than looking for a needle in a haystack the 
size of Earth."

Captain Kathryn Janeway of the USS Voyager moved to her 
personal replication unit, and quietly ordered a cup of coffee. A 
luxury, one she knew she'd been overdoing the past couple of 
days. But just the thought of one of her people, dying like that 
was enough to give her nightmares. She knew each of Lt. Renard's 
friends was coping with the information differently. She'd seen 
both Harry Kim and Leslie Chambers moping in the mess hall every 
chance they got. Tom and B'elanna, remembering their own 
adventures in their EVA suits, coped by trying to remember what 
they loved about each other, by trying to celebrate their life in 
memory of their colleague.

"I have placed a commendation in Lt. Renard's file based on 
Mr. Chambers and Mr. Kim's reports. He will be... MY GOD!!!"

The cup dropped from lifeless hands, shattering as she 
stumbled back. The dark brown liquid spilled across the carpet as 
she froze, her mouth agape at the sight. Her hand came up, 
unconsciously wiping her face, just to make sure she was awake. 
She stared at the image, still not quite comprehending.

Within a few seconds, the captain took command again. 
"Janeway to Transporter Room One. Beam the individual outside my 
quarters to Sickbay. NOW!!"

"Captain...? Ummm... Sensors don't show anyone in the 
corridor outside your quarters."

"Not out there. Outside my window. Outside Voyager."

"Oh. One moment, Captain... Sorry, Captain, but sensors 
aren't picking up anyone out there either."

She blinked. She couldn't be going crazy. Not if she could 
still ask that question. She pinched herself. Ouch. Nope, 
definitely not a dream. She took another look at the figure. Yes, 
it was definitely Lt. Renard. In what looked like a badly damaged 
EVA suit, slowly banging on the outside of her window. She 
gulped, entertaining the thought that she might be looking at a 
ghost. 'Nonsense, Kathy. Get a hold of yourself.'

"There is a man in an EVA suit floating outside my window. I 
believe it is Lt. Renard. Lock onto his lifesigns and beam him to 
Sickbay," she managed finally.

"Uh... Captain?" The reply was starting to get nervous. "I'm 
not reading any lifesigns outside your quarters. Are you sure you 
don't mean inside your quarters? I can do a sensor sweep. Is 
there an intruder onboard?"

"No," she snapped, trying to remember who was on duty right 
now. 'Forget this.' "Janeway to the Bridge. All stop."

"Bridge. Kim here. All stop aye."

"Harry. Mark Renard is currently floating outside my 
quarters, hammering away at my window. Would you kindly beam him 
to Sickbay? Now?"


"Mr. Kim. Now, please?"

"Yes, ma'am."

She could almost picture him vaulting the railing, even with 
his injured leg, as he rushed to Ops to scan for her newest piece 
of window dressing. She looked back at Renard. He'd stopped 
banging on the window, now simply content to lay plastered limply 
against it. She noticed that the left arm of his suit fluttered 
almost bonelessly, causing her to swallow with fear. And what she 
could see of his suit didn't exactly fill her with confidence 
either. She could almost make out his features through the layers 
of transparent material that separated them. And he seemed 
exhausted. 'Just a little while longer, Mark. Don't die on me 
yet,' she promised quietly.

"Umm... Captain. I'm not picking up any lifesigns outside 
Voyager. I did a complete scan for lifeforms, and for any 
possible transponder or communicator signal, but..."

'Oh, lord, spare me.' "Then lock onto anything that might 
conceivably be used to construct a goddamn EVA suit and beam 
everything within it to Sickbay, Ensign."

"Yes, ma'am. Scanning. Locking on. Transport in progress..."

Kathryn Janeway watched in relief as the ghostly figure 
outside her window shimmered, twinkled and finally winked out, 
letting the stars shine through the space he'd occupied.

"Sickbay to Captain Janeway."

"This is Janeway," she responded. "Did you get him?"

"Yes, but..."

"Is he alive?"

"Uh... I'm not entirely sure, Captain. I'm not picking up 
any lifesigns. And he's not letting me do any closer scans."

"What!!?" She sighed. "I'm on my way, Doctor." She picked up 
her uniform and started getting dressed. Lt. Renard, it seemed, 
had a bit of explaining to do.

Just another typical day on this side of the galaxy. Only on 
Voyager, she shook her head ruefully. God, she'd be happy when 
they all reached home. At least things were *normal* there.

The End
Futures Past 08:
Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This
by Arvy 


End Notes

I have never written so much in one shot before. I mean, 
there I was, floundering with the story, and suddenly, 
inspiration just about knocked me to the ground. I'm almost 
scared to reread this story. I cringe when I think about how well 
the plot must be hanging together. By a thread, I imagine. And if 
the characters seem a little off, sorry, but I think my sleep 
deprived delirium was probably starting to rub off on them near 
the end.

Anyway, like I said in Phoenix, here's my Startrek 
crossover. Finally, a foray into my second favorite fandom! I've 
read quite a bit of it, but this is my first serious, albeit half 
awake, attempt at it. I hope it came across well.

Now, I've always wondered how the Hirogen could have 
overpowered Voyager. Granted, there were more than a few of them 
against one lone ship, but they had to have taken Voyager by 
surprise. So here's my explanation for that and a possible reason 
why Harry Kim wasn't drafted into the simulations.

I know, I know, the inevitable questions. Okay, timeline 
wise, this story should probably be about part 10 or so. There 
are at least three other stories I have in mind set before this 
one. I just wanted to do a preview of what's gonna happen, put 
the setting in place, so to speak. Now you know that Mulder's on 
Voyager. Don't worry, I actually do have a reason in mind for 
getting him onboard ;) But that's not for another couple of 
stories. The next story will probably be a more direct sequel to 
Phoenix; that last line from the consortium member just kept 
nagging at me. It'll also probably be a crossover with ST:TNG, I 

As for Lynn, I'll introduce her in the next story. And, 
regarding Scully, I do have a plan for getting her to Voyager. 
It's just not going to happen for a bit. I first have to catch up 
to the time this story is set in before I go beyond. That will 
actually be a minor part of another story, involving Spock and a 
joint mission of some kind, I think, and maybe something about 
Kirk's family? I'm not sure yet. And yeah, I'll also explain just 
what exactly Scully is talking about in her letter. I left it as 
I did on purpose. Blame Xaz ;)

And to finish up, feedback, please. I'd love some. As 
always, the address is unmai@bigfoot.com. Later...

Futures Past Chronology:

01 - The Awakening                 (Oct 1997)
02 - The Light of Day              (Jan 1998)
03 - My Funny Valentine            (Feb 1998)
04 - Crossover                     (Feb 1998)
05 - Flying Lessons                (Feb 1998)
06 - Hazel + Gold = Green          (Mar 1998)
07 - Phoenix                       (May 1998)
08 - Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This (Dec 2010, Sep 2374)