Welcome To The Harem
Wrong Kind Of Paradise by Martha Part 2 of 5
Summary: Post ep. A different beginning for Season 8. MSR, Krycek/Marita, Gibson, LGM and more. See also Lost Boys And Golden Girls and Tear A Petal From The Rose.
The Wrong Kind of Paradise Part II
Disclaimer: All recognizable XF characters are the
creative property of 1013 Productions and FOX
Spoiler: Requiem (US7)
Summary: A continuation of a different beginning for
The first installment may be found at Ephemeral, Deja, or
http://members.xoom.com/riouka/lgmfanfics.html under my
The Wrong Kind of Paradise II
Oh, if she could've only seen
But Fate's got cards that it don't want to show
Interstate 95 South
somewhere near the VA/NC border
They had driven in silence for the last forty miles, each
a bit wary to tread on the private musings of the other.
Not that they were particularly great friends, especially
when you considered that their only other meeting was in
Las Vegas just before Susanne had gone underground and
when neither were really at their best.
"So," Scully echoed and paused before continuing. "I
imagine that the guys have given you an earful of about
Susanne shook her head. "John didn't give me a lot of
details. Just to drive to the rest area at Exit 133 on
the southbound side of the interstate and pick you up and
be prepared to have you stay with me for a while."
Good, Scully thought. One less pair of prying eyes to
watch her every move and rain down kindness and pity. Her
mother's admonitions to get enough sleep and eat the right
kinds of foods and Skinner dropping by her office on a
regular basis - she did not know how she would hold up
under another seven to eight months of their attentions.
If she stayed with Susanne for any great length of time,
she would have to be told, but for now she was at ease
with not having to put on a brave face.
It struck her as to how quietly she had gone along with
the events of the day so far. Four days ago, she had been
told that there was a possibility that she might have to
go into hiding to protect herself and the baby, and now
she was riding down Interstate 95 with someone she barely
knew, with no possessions and without a word to her
Perhaps she was just tired of considering the inevitable.
She and Byers and Langly had argued at length as to why
exactly she would have to go if that time came and how
could she conduct a search for Mulder if she was in some
godforsaken town with little communication and no
resources. They countered with the stance that Mulder's
return would mean nothing if she was also missing. They
would continue to confer with her on new leads and act on
her suggestions, but she was urged to protect herself.
And her baby. If she had not been pregnant, she would be
camped out in the Gunmen's quarters for the duration and
take the primary role in the search for her partner. As
it was, her priorities had been rearranged for her.
Mulder would have insisted upon it.
Mulder. She imagined him at a roadside phone booth in the
middle of the night, frantically punching her cellphone
number, swearing and pounding on the glass windows for her
to pick up and didn't she know that he would contact her
as soon as he was able to free himself. But he would then
call the Gunmen, whose phone lines were open twenty-four
hours a day, and they would tell him where she was and she
would only be in the next town and he would refuse their
suggestions to wait for them and slam down the receiver
and hitch a ride and bang on her front door and . . .
And she was turning this into some melodrama. He would
probably turn up in the same woods where he disappeared;
the guys or Skinner would go and pick him up and then
bring him to her. Or she would come to him if he needed
hospitalization. For each reunion scenario that she
played out, Mulder was always alive. She would not allow
herself to imagine the worst.
She also realized that she had been ignoring her traveling
companion. "How have you been since Vegas?"
"Well, as you know, they got me out of there with a new
identity and a one-way ticket to Seattle. I got a job as
a hospital lab technician for a while. Not very exciting
but at least I felt like I was making a positive
contribution to society for a change. Then John told me
about an opportunity with a start-up company in North
Carolina and so . . ."
Scully glanced over at her when her words drifted away and
noticed that Susanne was playing with a ring on her left
hand - a wedding ring. Susanne caught her eyeing her and
explained, "Part of the new identity. By the way, I'm
known as Susan Miller now."
"And I'm Donna Shelley." Scully remembered pulling out
her new ID while waiting in the ladies room at the rest
area. She had not given it much thought at the time but,
just now when she said the name out loud, she started
giggling. "They're not terribly original, are they?"
"No, but I do give them points for the quick turnaround
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lone Gunmen Headquarters
For some reason that Frohike could not figure out, the
crackling of tension in their offices was set so high that
he was afraid that the sprinklers would suddenly go off.
He was tired of tiptoeing around without knowing a good
goddamn as to what was wrong.
Byers had returned within two hours after the other two
had gotten back, and he had not uttered one coherent
sentence since sitting down in front of his PC, waiting
for Susanne to check in. Never mind that they would
probably not reach their destination for another couple of
hours - he was going to wait them out and drive crazy
anyone within earshot in the meantime.
In an attempt to diffuse Byers' blood pressure from
reaching critical levels and calm the atmospheric waters,
Frohike patted him on the shoulders. "You did good work
this morning, getting everything pulled together within a
couple of hours."
Byers was in no mood to be placated. "Let's not confuse
the issues here. This is a temporary solution - Scully
may not be able to stay with Susanne for very long."
"Why not? Susanne's been protected. She's been doing
well with her cover."
"And I don't want to see it compromised with this latest
"Wait a minute." Frohike backed away from his partner and
circled the table to face him. "Since when did Scully
become a `development'? If Mulder heard you say that . .
"But he's not here. And it's the best that we could have
done in the short term." Byers' tone softened but not his
delivery. "They're both wanted by people working for the
shadows in the government. If they find one, they find
He had contemplated his situation during the long drive
home and reached the conclusion that he'd been patient far
too long. He wanted to be selfish. He saw no good reason
for Susanne and he to be apart the way they were - with
limited contact and having little time for even the most
private of conversations. Mulder and Scully obviously got
to be a bit selfish somewhere along the way - why couldn't
he have a little happiness for himself?
Frohike gave up when Byers refused to carry on with the
argument. He left the main office area and nearly ran
over Langly. "What's with him?"
Langly hunched his shoulders up with his patented `how the
hell should I know' pose but Frohike was already down the
hallway and not looking back. He knew exactly what was
bugging Byers - he was also sure that Frohike would have
immediately seen the signs if his own concern for Dana
Scully had not been overriding his emotions.
Langly decided that an unbiased approach was needed in
this case. "Why don't you take a break for a bit?"
Byers never took his eyes off of the screen. "No."
"Byers, it's going to be - minimum - another hour before
they check in. Go out and take a walk. Go upstairs and
take a bubble bath." Langly smiled. He knew that would
get his attention. "Just get out and do something before
this place blows apart. I swear, between your scowling
and Skinner calling every ten minutes for an update, *I*
should be drawing a bath right now." He stood right
beside Byers and began to shoo him away from his post.
"I'll be right here waiting. If a message comes in before
you get back, I'll find you. Girl Scout honor."
Somehow, the thought of Langly in a short green dress
uniform with that green beret sitting atop his long blonde
hair began to eat away at Byers' bad mood. "OK, OK."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Susanne walked her through a tour of the house. "It's
convenient to both the interstates and the airport, in
case I need to leave in a hurry. Like this morning." She
continued on into the kitchen while Scully remained behind
in the dining room. "I'll give you the codes for the
house. They are changed about every ten days - I hope
that you're good at memorizing numbers. Would you like
She filled the tea kettle and set it on the stove.
"Motion detectors with lights are at the exterior doors
and the four corners of the house. I don't get many false
alarms but, during the early spring and fall, I do get a
number of deer." She came back into the dining room and
sized up her new housemate. "You know, Dana, you're not
looking so good. Do you want to lie down for a bit?"
"I think that I just need to freshen up. The tea sounds
wonderful, and I am getting a bit hungry."
"I can have dinner ready shortly. After that ride, you
probably don't want something terribly heavy. How does a
salad and steamed zucchini and squash sound? That's the
advantage of being out here in the country - you get all
these roadside places to pick up fresh items." Susanne
pointed out the bathroom to her. "There are more towels
in the closet if you need them. I'm just going to drop a
line to John to let him know that we've made it home."
"I'd like to talk to them also, if I could."
"All I'm doing right now is leaving them a message on a
Usenet newsgroup under one of my many aliases. It's not
the most efficient medium, but it is convenient and
quick." She noted the dejected look on Scully's face.
"Don't worry. We have a scheduled call with them at
eleven o'clock tonight."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Be it ever so humble."
Marita glanced around the antiseptic apartment. "It will
do." It always did, she thought; Alex could come up with
the perfect hiding place for a time or two before they had
to move on, but she missed her old apartment in New York.
The permanence of it, of knowing where things were and
where she stood. She missed having her possessions about
her and men waiting for her on the other end of the phone.
Too many of those men are now dead - burned beyond
recognition - or have gone missing in the months since
that purge, since Alex had gotten her out of that clinic
and they'd first started to run. She caught a glimpse of
herself in the bathroom mirror as she followed Alex into
the bedroom and a shiver ran down her spine as she
remembered how she first looked before her recovery.
Alex crossed the room to put a suitcase into the closet.
She set one of the bags on the bed and began to unpack.
"Who was that person from this morning? I didn't
"Don't know. He's not someone from the old glory days."
"You probably shouldn't have killed him. We could have
gotten some information out of him."
"No. Guys like that, that do those kinds of jobs, don't
have the kind of information that we need." He settled
into the lone chair in the room. "He might have been able
to tell us who paid him to try to kidnap you, but he
wouldn't have known who initially gave that order."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because I used to be just like him."
He had been watching her from the far side of the room as
she removed her clothing from the bag and sorted them into
the dresser drawers. He had seen her do this so many
times that he was able to pick up on her routine - her
underwear and nightwear always went to the top drawers,
sweaters in the lower left-hand one, and knits in the
lower right. The bathrobe would be the last item pulled
out and was usually draped on any chair in the room. "Are
you ever going to tell me about her?"
She glanced at him, knowing exactly what he was
questioning and wondering where he wanted this
conversation to go. "There isn't much to tell."
"It's not true what they told you. That first time." He
was still having trouble believing it himself. Before he
found himself in that Tunisian prison, he had never
considered that Marita would get pregnant. She had always
made it quite clear that she intended to be in the game,
not watching it from the sidelines saddled with a child.
"It's not true."
She was becoming bored with the subject matter. "So you
"Look, I wouldn't have just abandoned you."
Marita let out a small laugh. "We both know that given
the circumstances, you probably wouldn't have been there
for me. I don't hold that against you in any way. Truly.
I understand that what interests you above it all is its
worth - its bargaining power. I have growing in me what
the old man could not obtain for himself." She had
stopped unpacking and placed a hand on her belly. "Don't
look so dejected, Alex. You keep your part of the bargain
and I'll keep mine. This is *our* future. I'm not going
"Did she have a name?"
"I never got around to giving her one."
Now it was Alex's turn to sneer. "Liar. You would have
had one picked out - one for a boy and one for a girl,
unless you knew the sex prior to the birth. So what was
Marita draped the bathrobe along the back of the chair
behind Alex and then bent down to kiss him, hard and with
urgency. She then stepped back, pulling him with her
towards the bed - towards a few minutes of not having to
think about the child that had been lost and not having to
plan for the new one.
Afterwards, they had both drowsed for a time. Marita got
up from the bed and reached for the robe on the chair.
He heard her mumble something when her back was turned to
She turned to face him, tying the sash. "Elaine. I would
have named her Elaine."
Marita silently padded into the kitchen and headed for the
refrigerator. Alex knew her habits and what to stock for
her when he made the arrangements for the apartment. She
removed the small container of milk and set the carton on
the countertop while she hunted for a saucepan.
Warm milk had been a favorite of hers since childhood. It
reminded her of the cold evenings when she and her sisters
would be wrapped in blankets in front of the fireplace and
sip on the warm milk or sometimes, for a treat, cocoa
before they dropped off to sleep. Life had been simpler
then, and sometimes she needed the reminder of a more
innocent time while the world was swirling madly about
her. There were a few mugs in an overhead cabinet and,
next to them, a small container of nutmeg. He had
remembered her fondness for the spice.
Pouring the hot milk into the mug and then adding a few
shakes from the spice box, she sat down at the dinette
table to wait for Alex to finish showering. He would be
leaving in a few hours and not be back for several weeks,
he had said. He had to go and `be seen' in some other
places to throw those who were interested in them off the
track. But he would be back. And in the meantime, she
had some plans of her own to make.
Alex seemed genuinely concerned for her health and for
their baby. Yes, their baby, she reminded herself; Alex
must always believe that this baby is his.
She did not question it when the old man first made the
suggestion - obviously the mutations that her eggs carried
did not evolve well with Alex's `contribution'. Perhaps
he did not carry any of the variables from his episode
with the black substance. Perhaps this was why her first
attempt had come out so horribly wrong. Another
substitute had to be found if she were to give birth to
`the first chapter in the renewal of humankind', as the
old man put it.
No, she did not question it, but she knew. The old man's
obsession with Fox Mulder was apparent even through his
weak dismissals of his impatience with him. He spoke of
Mulder with more fondness than he ever gave for his own
In these last months, as his health began to deteriorate
at an alarming rate, he would ramble on before sleeping -
about the operation that was to have given him the
capabilities of the gods. About the previous
experimentation with the black substance on Mulder and his
connection to the recent operation. About the matter and
the blood and the other substances that Mulder had
contributed to their inventory for further examination and
The old man had offered her another chance to influence
the future and she took it without hesitation. To have
that power, to know that her child might secure the
protection that her future needed, was singularly
enticing. And when she was sure that the procedure had
taken hold, she manipulated the weak man into telling her
where Alex had been held and planted the seed that he
would be most beneficial to protect her gestating project.
Whether he realized that he was being used or not or even
cared, the old man had acted upon her suggestions to bring
Alex back into her life.
It was only a matter of time before she could manipulate
Alex into getting rid of the old man before he had a
chance to develop a guilty conscience and confess her
secrets. But the incident this morning meant that someone
else knew or at least suspected her motivations. Greta
was the most likely choice. The nurse may have listened
in on some of those conversations and divulged that
information to protect herself from the old man's
supporters. Perhaps Alex might like toying with her for
an evening or two before gutting a confession out of her.
Marita continued to sip her hot milk while watching him
through the open bedroom door. They had been able to pass
the word on to Skinner to get Dana Scully to a safe place.
No harm must come to that woman if she indeed was carrying
Mulder's child. The old man had kept his surveillance of
those two a priority over the years but more so in the
last couple of months. He had been babbling those last
few days about a renewed spirit in their midst. Could he
have known about the pregnancy or even had a hand in it as
he did with hers?
Scully had not appeared overly distraught about her
condition but was apprehensive about acknowledging it.
Marita was curious as to why but could wait for her
answer. Wait until after the baby was born. If Scully
indeed was able to produce a specimen for the cause, she
might prove useful in future developments. And if not,
then she could still be used to secure Mulder's release.
Beyond that, she held little value in Marita's eyes.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Lone Gunmen Headquarters
Byers paced behind the man seated among the bank of PCs.
"Come on, DJ. Give it to me."
The dark-haired man continued with his keying. "Settle
down, Curly. This will take a moment or two to set up."
"Curly?" Frohike and Langly had now entered the room and
caught the tail end of their conversation.
"Don't tell me that these guys have never seen you with
your hair down?" Seeing Byers' embarrassment, DJ
continued. "Back in college, we'd started out in ROTC
together, short hair and all. But in between semesters,
we'd let our hair grow. Beards and mustaches too.
Problem was, when his hair started to get a bit long, it
would curl at the ends. So he got nicknamed Curly."
It was at times like these that Byers wished he didn't
blush so easily. "It was the lesser of the evils. Some
of those other names wouldn't have been allowed in polite
Langly was now intrigued. "Such as?"
"Are you kidding?" DJ was enjoying watching his buddy
relive the old college trauma. "He was named after a
president who specialized in womanizing and had his head
almost blown off. Hell, we had our pick."
"But the rules were that you had to be able to choose one
that you could scream out in public without inviting
arrest." Byers visibly cringed at remembering some of the
more colorful alternatives.
"I notice that you kept the beard. Trying to compensate
for taking a government desk job instead of getting your
"I wasn't cut out for the military life."
"Your dad was none too pleased, though."
Byers paused to consider his father's reaction to the
decision to drop out of the ROTC program. "I like to
think that he understood."
"But if he could see what you do now." A series of screen
flashes caught DJ's eye, and he turned his attention back
to the running program. "OK. Here it comes."
The Gunmen gathered around the main monitor while DJ
continued, "It looks like they've thrown in a couple of
extra variables, but everything else looks about the
Langly sat down at the next station and prepared to work.
"So what do we do with all of this?"
"You'll want to establish a pattern of hits either in date
order or the frequency of visitations at each crosspoint.
You say that you've got resolutions from the satellites
for a specific period at a specific place? You might be
able to match them with these other unknowns to determine
where it was just before or after that location."
Activity on the overhead monitors announced Skinner's
arrival to the headquarters. Introductions were made, and
DJ was urged to continue with running explanation.
"Curly here has been avoiding alluding any of this to
extraterrestrial activity. But I got to wonder - most
people would use this program for tracking incoming and
outgoing, not something moving from place to place.
Weapons don't usually skip around."
Skinner provided their defense. "We need to establish if
there are more than one of these things out there and, if
so, do they travel together."
"The dates then come into play. Are they leaving and
returning on any kind of a regular basis? If they're
returning, we have a set of signatures to look for with
"And if they're not?"
Frohike interrupted them. "We'll establish parameters
based upon what we do have and pray that we get some
DJ overlooked Langly's progress. "There have been
significant modifications to the programming since I last
worked on the projects. Without knowing what the military
designated for these other variables, I might be leading
you into a missile silo for all I know."
Skinner asked Byers about getting an update on Scully's
latest check-in, and they crossed the room to allow the
others to work in peace.
"Who is that guy?" Skinner asked.
"Let's just say that he may have had a hand in the
"Not anymore. He's a games developer for . . . well,
you'd know the names; I'd just rather not say too much.
We've been trading favors for a while."
Several hours would pass with Langly punctuating the air
with cursing after every realignment of the variables led
to gibberish on his screen. The last thirty minutes,
however, both DJ and Langly sounded positively orgasmic
with enthusiasm as they keyed closer to an end result.
"OK," DJ announced. "We've got a place that's getting
more than its statistical fair share."
"Define `fair share'," Frohike called out from across the
"If I said that, in proportion, it gets more hits than
Cindy Margolis' site, would that mean anything to you?"
Frohike let out a low wolf whistle, and the rest joined
him in laughter as soon as they made the connection.
DJ began pulling the papers out of the laser printer.
"Since this printout data is fairly recent, there's a good
chance that you could still find something there."
"Would you believe Devils Lake, North Dakota?"
"We need to call in the Marines." Frohike looked over his
shoulder to see Skinner coming back into the room. "Or
one in particular."
DJ teased the Assistant Director, "You mean `ex-Marine',
"There's no such thing as an ex-Marine." Skinner's tone
of voice left no doubt that this was not a laughing matter
Frohike stepped between the two before additional words
could be exchanged. "You could use some backup out there.
What do you say, guys? Road trip?"
Byers looked up from the new printouts. "Take Langly with
you. I'll stay here and monitor communications."
Frohike turned around and read what Byers' expression was
telegraphing - that he did not want to be out of regular
contact with Susanne - and sympathized. "Yeah, and if
Scully needs anything, someone should be close by. And we
still haven't heard from Krycek either."
"Somehow, I get the impression that he just might be there
waiting for us," Skinner added. "So, who's going to
play travel agent and make the arrangements?"
~~ to be continued ~~
The title and introductory quote are taken from `Walkaway
Joe', recorded by Trisha Yearwood and written by Vince
Melamed and Greg Barnhill, and are used without permission.
No, I did not borrow the `There's no such thing as an ex-
Marine' line - my father (USMCR, Retired) has been saying
this years before Morgan & Wong got around to including it
in one of their Millennium episodes.
CONTINUED IN PART 3
And I still don't understand the Cindy Margolis