Welcome To The Harem
That Don't Make It Junk by David Hearne
Summary: Post-col. Part of the Leonard Cohen collection of stories.
TITLE: THAT DON'T MAKE IT JUNK (1 of 1)
AUTHOR: DAVID HEARNE
SPOILERS: Mythology in general
Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
A child molester found John Doggett drunk in his cell. At first, McCoy
wasn't sure if Doggett was awake. The former FBI agent was lying on
his cot, eyes closed, one arm draped over his forehead and the other
arm dangling toward the floor. A jug was hooked over the fingers of
the dangling arm.
McCoy wondered if he should use this as an excuse to leave. He also
wondered why the Council was sending him as a messenger. Maybe they
wanted Doggett to get mad and kill him. Child molesters had always
been the lowest-ranking prisoners. Even on December 15, 2012, that
status hadn't changed much.
McCoy decided that he would go back and report a Doggett too
intoxicated to talk. However, just as he was about to leave --
"What do you want, McCoy?"
McCoy stayed reluctantly at the cell's entrance. "The Council wants to
"I don't know."
Doggett opened his eyes. "About...what?"
McCoy swallowed. "They want to start letting people in."
Doggett slowly sat up, pulling the jug onto the cot. "You mean," he
said, "they want to let women in."
Doggett smiled. "The male ass just ain't cuttin' it no more, right?"
"Well, I don't blame 'em. I gave up on it weeks ago." Doggett briefly
upended the jug into his mouth.
"I don't think it's just about sex, Mr. Doggett."
"I know," Doggett replied, lowering his voice. "The Council has gotten
idealistic." He let out a short laugh. "Can you believe that? They're
startin' to think about this place as Noah's fuckin' Ark. They want to
raise *families* here."
Doggett narrowed his eyes. "You would like that, wouldn't you, McCoy?
Kids runnin' around the place..."
McCoy said not one word.
Doggett held a breath for a few moments, then released it. "You tell
the Council that it's up to them."
"But...they need you on board..."
"They don't need nothin' from me. And I don't need to look at your
goddamn face anymore. Beat it."
McCoy did as commanded. Doggett drank again from the jug. He was
curious as to why the Council had sent the child molester. They must
have known that Doggett wouldn't listen to any of the man's reasons
for coming. Perhaps that had been the point; perhaps it had been just
another push on him away from leadership.
He didn't care, whatever the reason. After the prisoners had taken
over the Valentine Correctional Facility, he had started to gradually
forfeit leadership. This had surprised a lot of people. After all,
hadn't Doggett made the place what it was? Hadn't he been the one who
changed a hellhole into one of the few safe havens in a world gone
This wasn't the way it was supposed to be. Valentine had been meant to
break him. And what harder club could you take to the soul of an FBI
agent than one of the most violent, corrupt prisons in America?
When Monica Reyes had learned where Doggett would do time, she had
protested and wept. Doggett, on the other hand, had calmly accepted
his fate. After all, he had killed a man. Granted that the prosecutor
couldn't offer a motive for his crime, but the physical evidence had
Even before the murder, Doggett had prepared himself for the
consequences. What he couldn't accept were the consequences of Eric
Gordon revealing the location of Scully's baby. The people behind
Gordon (if you could call them people) may have gotten Doggett in
hand, but they had missed the real prize hiding in the bush.
They still had Doggett, though. No needle in the arm for him, they
decided. Let's make this one hurt.
He did hurt, but not where they wanted. The beatings and rapes
inflicted by both prisoners and guards sent him to the infirmary more
than once, yet his first year in prison didn't make him anybody's
bitch. He remained silent about the identity of William's adoptive
Because it had been the right thing to do.
And because he had expected to be free one day.
After all, he had helped get Mulder out of prison. Mulder would surely
return the favor. Granted that he and Scully were still hiding in the
underground, but they weren't the type of people to leave behind a
friend. Every once in awhile, Reyes would relay a message from them --
keep your chin up, stay strong, thank you for protecting William.
Reyes had seemed a little more tired with each visit. Doggett hadn't
noticed this during his first year of prison. He would ask how she was
doing and accept her simple answer of "Fine." That growing weariness
would become evident in retrospection at the same time he realized the
significance of her last visit.
"The virus has been contained," she had told him. "At least, that's
the official story."
"Yeah, well, we know better, don't we?"
"We're among the few who do. The public just thinks that the
President..." She had paused, then said, "...they think he's a hero."
"He's just another puppet."
"No. No, this one is different."
"In what way?"
Instead of answering that, Reyes had asked, "How are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm...I'm hangin' in there."
She had pressed her fingers against the glass partition. "This is so
"I know. But cryin' about it ain't gonna help nobody."
"Why can't I cry about it, John? What should I accept you being in
"What matters is that you're not in here. You can still fight."
"How, John? Tell me one thing I can do."
The only thing John could think to say was "I have faith in you,
This visit had happened in May. The Fourth of July brought news which
jolted the country. When the news reached Valentine, one of the
convicts who abused John slapped him on the shoulder and said --
"Shit, Johnnie, your woman tried to kill the Prez. That's fuckin'
hard-core. She was one fine-lookin' bitch, too. I would let her suck
me off if she still had a head..."
Four guards had been needed to put John in solitary confinement. After
he spent two weeks there, he realized a few things --
He wasn't getting out of Valentine.
He wasn't able to stop anything happening on the outside.
He was very, very close to cracking.
Every philosophical issue raised by his involvement with the
X-Files -- death, God, extraterrestrial life -- was now meaningless.
He no longer cared about the source of the coming plague; he simply
accepted that it threatened his own survival. He forgot about Mulder
and Scully. He would stay quiet about their child, but he would give
them no more than his silence.
Life was now the only issue. When he was released from the hole, he
focused on this issue with methodical, unbreakable concentration.
The first step in his plan was to get allies. He met Accardo who was
Valentine's head wiseguy.
"Who do you want killed?" Doggett asked.
Accardo blinked, then laughed before he noticed the grimness of
Doggett's face. "And what are you asking in return for this?" he
"Rocks. Minerals from a specific quarry."
"Don't shit me, FBI."
"You want somebody whacked or what?"
And so Doggett killed one of Accardo's enemies. And he was paid as
requested. "Don't know what you want with this," Accardo said.
"They're just rocks."
Doggett had to smile. "But that don't make them junk."
Over the next two years, Doggett earned more favors and created strong
alliances. His ascension from fallen-angel-among-the-devils to
respected hard-timer was sped along by the fact that he didn't seem to
be on anybody's side. He would maintain an equilibrium between his
obligations to each of Valentine's rival factions. Within a few
months, he would be seen as an impartial negotiator. Guards were more
likely to confer with him than with the warden.
He was also helped by the fact that he wanted no perks for himself. At
least, he didn't want anything which apparently benefited him. He
wasn't in it for smokes, for drugs, for women sneaking through the
back door. There were the rocks, of course. He was also creating his
own little warehouse within the prison. A growing amount of food,
water, medicine and gasoline was being stored in the basement, but he
would never touch it. This lack of greed made him useful to the
prisoners, but also a mystery.
Finally one prisoner asked Doggett what the fuck was his game. Doggett
gave a straight answer. The word spread that Doggett was nuts. Shit,
no wonder his girlfriend tried to kill the C-in-C.
Then stranger and stranger events happened in the news. A woman in
Florida got infected by the strange disease which was supposed to have
been eliminated. The President was slowly dissolving the legal
constraints around his power. And there were all these lights in the
Doggett became the most powerful man in Valentine. He organized the
prison into a safehouse. Using Valentine's underground economy, he hid
his activities from the people who put him there.
They only realized what he had done after the plague left Valentine's
inmates untouched. Army helicopters near the prison would get shot
down. The special soldiers sent to Valentine found themselves being
turned inside out by the special rocks Doggett had grafted into the
walls. Eventually the masters of the conspiracy decided to
ignore Doggett. He showed no signs of wanting to fight them. He just
wanted to be left alone.
When he realized that his wish would be granted, he started drinking.
He let others handle the affairs of Valentine. Other men watched him
with pity instead of scorn. They respected his achievements, but they
still didn't understand how his mind worked.
Doggett wondered about that himself. What had been the point of giving
in to the hardness of prison life? Why had he worked so hard to create
his own little kingdom if he was going to abdicate at the height of
He answered with the same rationale which had guided him for two
years. This had been about survival, nothing more. He had sealed off
his section of the world from the nightmare swarming over the rest. In
this corner, he planned to live out the normal length of his life.
And do what during then? he asked himself. Drink? Get a hobby? Maybe
if female survivors of the plague were allowed into Valentine, he
could pick one as a mate. Of course, he would probably just imagine
Reyes' or Scully's face as he banged her, just like he did when he had
sex with one of the inmates...
He hurled the jug against the wall. The plastic container bounced off
the stone surface and dropped to the floor. Homemade liquor formed a
Doggett walked out of the cell. Since he lived in one of the upper
tiers, he was able to look down on the prison's activities. Men
crossed through his sight as they carried equipment or talked among
themselves. Someone would occasionally look at him and then quickly
He had saved the lives of these people; the same kind of people that
he used to put away in Valentine. When he had begun his scheme, he had
just been using the materials on hand. If he needed the help of
killers, mobsters and child molesters to succeed, then he would accept
At least, that had been how he reasoned it to himself.
Right now he was thinking about the Council's plans. On one hand, he
was right to mock them. What could be more ridiculous than these scum
designing the future? Who would want to live in a world populated by
the children of Valentine?
And then he had to consider that this was one of the safest spots in
the world; maybe the safest. If the human race couldn't find a new
beginning here, where could it?
He almost laughed. After all, he wasn't the Chosen One or the Messiah
or The Wandering Child. His father had never been a leader of a
conspiracy, and his boy hadn't come from a barren womb. He had
stumbled into Armageddon and been considered a minor player. Mulder
and Scully were supposed to be the important ones.
Where were they now, though? He still hadn't heard a word from them.
Stories about the Wandering Child had reached Valentine, making
Doggett suspect the Child's identity. What he couldn't do was care.
Armageddon was now something happening elsewhere. Mulder, Scully,
Skinner, Kersh, even Reyes had become irrelevant to him.
Instead of friendship and love, he had the birthplace for a new
humanity. It would be a nativity fathered by a hollow man and nutured
But that didn't make it junk.
"I fought against the bottle,
"But I had to do it drunk --
"Took my diamond to the pawnshop --
"But that don't make it junk."