Welcome To The Harem
Here It Is by David Hearne
Summary: Post-col. Part of the Leonard Cohen collection of stories.
TITLE: HERE IT IS (1 of 1)
AUTHOR: DAVID HEARNE
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Leonard Cohen seems to be the inner voice of "The X-Files." When I
heard "In My Secret Life," I thought, "What a perfect MSR song." I
knew that I would write a fic based on the song, even though it ended
up being about William.
"In My Secret Life" comes off Cohen's latest album. I've been
listening to the other songs and feeling inspired by them as well. I
decided to write a series of stories based on this album. Each fic can
be read independently as well as in the order in which they were
written. All of them are set in the post-colonization world.
Cohen's lyrics are quoted at the end.
The Secretary of State had been the last Cabinet member to be
replaced. The President wondered what the Secretary had been thinking
in his last days. What conclusions had he made about the secret
meetings held by the President and other Cabinet members? What did he
feel as his colleagues behaved in stranger and stranger ways? The
persistent calmness of the White House in a time when chaos had been
overtaking the country may have frightened him.
Such questions were vaguely interesting to the President, but they
were unimportant. The new Secretary of State was now in place,
preparing the United States of America and the world for the
Reports on the process were encouraging. FEMA was keeping martial law
in place. The virus had passed into the water supply. As other
countries waited for the Americans to die, the President's country was
being transformed into an incubator for the plague about to be
unleased in six days.
The U.S.A. had been chosen well as ground zero. Underneath its grand
facade of democracy, corrupt men had held power. Those men had loved
their secrets. It had been easy to hide one more secret among them.
There had been problems, of course. The hybridization program getting
out of control, the attempt by the powerful men to create a vaccine,
the rebels...all of them had been difficulties, but they had been
solved by the arrival of a new squad of enforcers. Despite the
colonists' uneasiness toward hybrids, the 'super-soldiers' had
excelled at paving the way for colonization. They had been the ones
who terminated the hybridization program, rendered the vaccine
useless, and smashed the rebellion from other worlds.
Rebellion still existed on this world, but it didn't matter. Outposts
like Valentine and the fort on the Mexican-American border could do
nothing more than preserve a few humans. By December 22nd, the world
would no longer be theirs.
One problem still lingered, though.
The Wandering Child.
Information about The Child had begun as a trickle, then enlarged with
each new story about a defeated platoon and a healed man. The
President had been once inclined to dismiss The Child as a myth. When
the stories could no longer be ignored, a team had been sent to
The team vanished. The President and his comrades then realized who
was The Wandering Child. The realization hadn't frightened them; they
hadn't known how to respond exactly. This child had been hidden from
them for a long time. When the colonization process had started, they
had decided that the child was now irrelevant -- and perhaps better
forgotten. He had been, after all, never meant to exist.
Besides, what could he do now? The final seconds had almost elapsed.
What could one child do against the forces at work here?
As he sat in the Oval Office, the President wasn't thinking about the
Child. He was focused on the latest intelligence reports. He read that
FEMA was directing its search for Skinner and Kersh in Oklahoma...
Then he received a new message. It was relayed to his mind and made
him look at a door.
Someone was coming; someone who had just sauntered past the guards;
someone who had entered the White House as if it was a convenience
store; someone coming to meet the most powerful man in the world.
The door was opened by a dark-haired boy. He was a few inches taller
than the average eleven-year-old male. Dirt was smeared over his
clothes and backpack. His shoelaces were worn.
When he looked at the President, his expression was very calm. Without
saying a word, the boy sat in a chair before the President's desk and
placed his backpack on the floor. Seated in his chair behind the desk,
the President returned an equally cool stare.
"The Wandering Child, I presume," the President said.
"My name's William."
"I presumed that as well. I had also presumed that your powers no
"I brought them back."
The President stood up and walked to the other side of his desk. The
six-foot-two-inch man looked down at the boy.
"They can't help you now. You are now surrounded by replicants. You
can't fight us all."
William didn't blink. "What about your weakness?"
The President smiled. "You mean, the magnetic ore? Our scanners have
already examined you. You're not carrying any of it. The ore doesn't
exist anywhere within ten miles."
And William said, "It does if I say so."
The President reacted as if he had been physically struck. He grabbed
the edge of the desk behind him. His eyes widened while William's
expression remained calm.
The President stuttered, "You...you can't...can't..."
"Yes, I can. It's easy. Watch..."
The skeleton inside the President's body stiffened. Then he felt
William let him feel the pain for a few moments, then changed things
again. He waited until the President was strong enough to talk.
"It's impossible," the President gasped. "Just impossible...for you to
do these things."
"Why did you leave me with my mother?"
The President looked at William with confusion.
"When I was born," William said. "Why did you leave me with her?"
The President stared at William for a long time, then carefully sat
himself on the desk. He rubbed his knuckles while he spoke.
"We thought that you were human at the time," he mumbled.
"You were right."
"No. No human could..."
"I'm human. So are you."
William left the chair. He reached for one of the President's hands.
The President flinched.
"I won't hurt you," William assured him. He gently held the
President's wrist and turned the palm upwards. William passed his
finger over the veins faintly visible through the skin.
"Whatever they have done to you, this is human blood inside of you."
"I...I don't understand..."
"You were created by this government to serve it, but now you serve
the colonists." William raised his solemn, handsome face. "Why do you
have to serve anybody?"
Astonishment took over the President's features as William sat back on
his chair. "The world was going to change on December 22, 2012."
"Ah...yes. Yes, that's the plan."
William shook his head. "I said that it *was* going to change. No
matter what the colonists would have done."
"I still don't understand what you're saying."
William looked over the President's shoulder. The President got the
feeling that William was listening to another person.
Only there was nobody else in the room.
The boy turned his eyes back to the President. "Why do you think
Gibson Praise is unique?"
The President opened his mouth, then closed it. When he opened his
mouth again, he said in a low voice, "Are you saying that there are
"'Where there is one, there is another and another and another.'" A
smile rose on William's face, disrupting his usual solemn expression.
"That's a line from 'Planet of the Apes.'" He nodded to the invisible
figure in the room. "Right. The *real* one."
"Wait a moment," the President said, his voice higher pitched than
usual. "Have you met these other missing links?"
The smile turned into a frown. "I have, but they're not 'missing
links.' Gibson is a sign of what's coming. Or what was supposed to
William stood up. He picked a sheet of paper from among other
documents gathered on the desk. The words on the sheet were written in
an ancient language.
"The smoking man read the prophecy wrong," William turned to the air
at his right and said, "Yes, you did. The human race was supposed to
end in this year, but that was the *old* human race. Gibson was the
first step toward a new kind of human."
He looked at the President. "You are the second. I am the third."
The President studied William's face for any hint of a lie. When he
found none, he said --
"And after that?"
William walked over to a window. He pointed upwards and said, "We will
become what they fear."
The President walked to William's side. He could see a point of light
moving in the dark sky. "So," the President said, "they came here to
stop a potential threat to them."
"If that's true, then why allow my kind to exist?"
"They need your strength. But once colonization is completed..."
The point of light abruptly stopped, then went straight up.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"So you know what your choices are. I was told that I had to choose
between two sides. But there are really three."
"And...you've chosen our side?"
"I didn't say that."
"When will you make your choice?"
"You'll know when."
The President didn't ask any more questions of William. As the boy
continued to examine the dark sky, he said, "Have you ever seen
'Planet of the Apes?'"
"I don't watch movies."
That odd disruptive smile returned to William's face. "It's really
cool. It's about..."
The smile was replaced by a slightly uncomfortable expression. "It's
about a man in a world controlled by beasts. He finds out that he's a
The light vanished from the sky.
"Here is your cross,
"Your nails and your hill;
"And here is your love,
"That lists where it will."