Welcome To The Harem

Not Everything Dies by Deirdre
Summary: Marita Covarrubias considers her new duty, reflecting on how she ended up doubting and turning against the conspiracy. Season 4 premiere spoilers.

Not Everything Dies (1/1)
Deirdre (deirdre@x-philes.com)

*Spoilers for Season 4 premiere*

Notes: I never expect Chris Carter to actually do something like
this. Instead this story arose from my wicked mind combining
several discussions over on FicTalk, and my interest in Mulder's
new contact within the conspiracy. I've been wondering exactly
how the 'chain of command' passes from Mr. X to Marita, and how
the two would have known each other. Personally I don't think
there's an overly organized anti-conspiracy movement within
CancerMan's group, or if there is it's a very recent, somewhat
disorganized movement. So here are some of my ideas on how,
why Mr. X directed Mulder to her, and why she is willing to be his

Don't worry 'shippers ... I don't want her to be a romantic interest
any more than most of you do.

Summery: Marita Covarrubias considers her new duty, reflecting
on how she ended up doubting and turning against the conspiracy.
Season 4 premiere spoilers.

Ratings: PG for language, V A

Disclaimer: The X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013, and
company. They are used without permission.


"Not everything dies, Mr. Mulder."

My eyes tracing the children in the photo, those words echo
hollowly through my mind, tormenting me.

My eyes trace the identical features of the blonde-headed boys, the
identical cowlicks that flop into their eyes. The brown-headed girls,
hair in identical braids. Rows upon rows of identical boys and girls,
so intent upon their work, oblivious to the world around them. Just
drones, no minds, no freedom, no understanding ... thoughtless
drones ... children ...

A bitter laugh breaks from my lips and the photo sails across the
dim-lit room, drifting upon the air-currents. Just a fragile piece of
paper ... such a fragile vessel to convey pieces of the truth ... it
could be lies, created to tease, to conceal the truth. I'm sure that
over the past few days, the bureau has had its best techs searching
the other copy for any clue that it isn't genuine ...

Unfortunately, I know the truth. Or at least enough of the truth
that I can't hide behind walls of self-deceit, can't hide my head
under the blankets like little child and trust that the storm will pass.
Can't believe in goodness and rainbows when I've seen all the lies
and grief the world holds.

Oh, the truth. That word's so subjective. Far more than the black
and white some people try to divide the world into, to understand
human beings. One thing I've come to realize ... humans *cannot*
be understood. Blackest evil, extreme cruelty, co-existing with
hope, a strange belief in the intrinsic goodness of the world ... it just
doesn't make sense! How can love touch the heart of people
emersed in darkness - people to whom the death of thousands
means not a thing? I've seen it happen. Not just once, but time and
time again. Love, the greatest weakness, the greatest strength of
the human creature - a force of hope, I guess, a force that no one
can escape.

Watching the photo settle to the carpeted floor, I feel the tears -
tears which have fallen far too often over the past few days - gather
once again at the corners of my eyes. Curling more deeply into my
plush armchair, pulling my warm afghan more tightly around me, I
angerly brush them away, banishing such childish reactions to the
dark depths of my mind where they belong. Look at me! A woman
grown, a success in my field, successfully playing in the old-boys
network ... what place do I have for tears?

Quietly they fall.

Damn it, I don't have the time or energy for this ... sorrow is just
plain useless now. Anyway, that damn photo ... that damn photo,
that I had known about for years.

Why now, why does being confronted by the reality, so upset me?

For an instant, my mind flew back to the beaten, almost broken man
that I had spoken to for so short a time ... then to a caring, stern
face so well-known ... and the children, those mindless, beautiful
children ... taking deep breaths I realized why. No longer were
these people, the truth, just abstract numbers on paper that I dealt
carelessly with, ignoring my slight pangs of guilt.

Knew that through that one decision - a decision supported ...
suggested ... manipulated by *him* - I'd changed my life forever.
That after years of suppressing my own humanity, my own ideas of
right and wrong, I'd discovered the human factor.

Besides, no matter how much I try to deny it, it just isn't the photo
I'm crying over.


Oh god ... I can remember that night just over a month ago,
absentmindedly watching the evening news. Nothing really
interesting, just reporters clustered around the scene of a breaking
story - a murdered John Doe. Then, later in the newscast, the
broadcast of the plea for help in identifying the man ... the
broadcast of his photo ...

My heart stopped.

Desperately, I'd tried to get a hold of him, praying that I'd been
mistaken ... it was a horrible photograph, after all. And black gang-
bangers died too often in DC - the resemblance could have been
just my imagination. But after hours of endlessly ringing phones,
after hours of watching every broadcast of the picture, I knew that
there was no denying this truth.

It was perfectly obvious what he had died doing, who had killed
him ... at least to me. But he was *dead* ... I'd never expected

Sure, I'd known the dangerous game he played, but he was always
so strong, so sure. So sure ... so sure that he could survive
amongst the web of intrigue that lay, another invisible layer across
the secrets of the Consortum.

But he wasn't stupid. Although he played the game, played his dual
role with such assurity, he knew how easily he could take the fall,
and took all logical precautions.

Especially since he'd seen his predecessor, his best friend, die
playing the same role.

Some nights I'd catch him staring off into the distance, worry
wrinkling the corner of his eyes, the expression of a hunted animal
briefly creasing his face. And I'd try to tease him out of his mood
... tease him into forgetting his worries ... suppressing my own.

Now he's gone. The mentor, the lover, who I had come to so
depend upon over the past year to listen to my doubts, my worries,
my hopes, is forever gone ... shot by one of those cowardly
bastards I'd obeyed, trusted until he'd appeared, forcing me to
question, to think.

Damn it. I can't even claim the body, give him a name and decent
burial, because now I must protect myself. Cut myself off from the
memory of a traitor, just like any good member of the Consortum.
I know that he'd understand ... he wasn't a sentimental man, but still


He wasn't a stupid man. When his friend died, luckily he was in the
right place to step in, to take over. Although it wasn't a role he
wanted, he saw it as his duty. And he wasn't prepared to risk that
his own demise might break the chain, leave the man without a

I guess I was the logical choice. Not high enough to come under
suspicion if secrets began to leak, not so low in the power structure
that I might not believe in the insane things that his system of
informants would pass onto me. Just perfect. Slightly overlooked,
but intelligent, with the right knowledge and access ... I've know for
a long time that was why he seduced me in the first place. He was
looking for someone that he could carefully manipulate, carefully
instill doubt in, someone that seemed perfectly loyal to the
Consortum but could be swayed, someone his equals and superiors
would easily dismiss from suspicion. I, on the other hand, was just
looking for a relationship that I really didn't need to invest too
much of myself in.

What actually happened ... well, that's another story. We both
ended up with more than we expected, exactly what we needed.

I was such a cold bitch back then. Separated from memories, from
emotions, I was the perfect Consortum member, slowly working
my way through the ranks. Unquestioning about what went on,
unfeeling ... accepting ...

With one weakness I thought I'd defeated years before.

A weakness he'd so easily exploited ... just with some photos, some
information, much of which I'd actually already know, but thought
about like in a half-dream, knowing but not really caring. I'd rarely
touched, seen a piece of solid evidence beyond what I'd dealt with
daily ...

Christ, he could be so cruel when forcing people to confront what
they'd rather not ... so sarcastic ...

directions as he hung, up-side-down from a tree limb. "Chicken!"
he shouted "Scaredy cat!">

But when the truth hit too hard ... when the memories became too
dismal .... he'd always been there.

Until now.

The photo, lying face-down on the pale grey rug, catches my
distracted, blurry eye again. So long, barely troubled by aspects of
what I dealt with every day, I'd just accepted. Brainwashed into
accepting the need for the projects, the need for the secrecy and the

Until he'd chosen me as his successor ... and the faint, disregarded
memories had become something more ... with the Project
something more terrible than I'd ever been willing to face ...

<"What happened to your brother?" ... harsh fingers bruising my
fourteen-year-old shoulders ... "Where is he!?!?"

"Leave her alone, honey, please." ... being gathered into thick
arms, my father speaking over my head ... "It's not her fault." A
horrified glance thrown ... sobs ringing through the house... running
footsteps, slamming doors ...

"Marita, darling" my father's husky voice, shocked, sad, accepting.
"Let me tell you about something ...">

I'd always considered myself lucky, far luckier than one like Mulder
- *my* father had returned to the Consortum, like a loyal *dog*,
and had worked past his disgrace. And he'd dragged me along -
like father, like daughter - one who the Consortum didn't let forget
but gathered to itself. One that understood but didn't care, one that
knew the secrets, knew the truth.

But I, the girl I was, the girl who had flourished under that
tutorage, had neither been allowed to grieve or question.

How had father accepted? Hell, how had I accepted? Father had
willing returned, despite realizing that we would never regain Alex,
willingly worked for those that had stolen his son. Sacrificed to the
greater good ... he was such a bastard.

And of course I'd believed, followed the path set before me. Until I
encountered the one that opened my eyes to more of the truth ...
reopening wounds closed since childhood ... forcing me to see the
price in human suffering that we caused ...

And now I alone stand in his place.

All this power, all this knowledge, his informants, now at *my*
command ... *my* eyes and ears into that vast, unbelievable
conspiracy that ruled our government. Supplying me with
information far beyond what I'd been cleared to know ...
information many will kill for.

And his task ...


He'd told me some things about Mulder, enough to make my life
easier *if* I ever needed to take over. Especially during those
times when I'd grumbled because his stodgies had alerted him to
Mulder's call, interrupting everything and anything. Jerkass's call
once hauled him out of an opera we'd both so longed to see ...

He'd tried to explain the man to me, tried to explain why he
answered his call, tried to make me understand what I'd go through
if I took over. Of course, I'd protested, telling him he was being
too extreme, laughing at the idea that they'd ever expose him.

He wasn't stupid, nor naive.

Maybe I was lost in love, maybe I was too blind ... he tried to tell
me of the risks. Even as he'd recently told me his suspicions, the
way he felt a net closing in on him, I'd still laughed, although I'd
held him tighter.

Now, only I, far from the center of power, knowledge limited by
circumstances, stand without him ... facing a man more intent on his
search for the truth than ever.

Thank God we'd kept our relationship so extremely quiet ... it had
been logical, especially since such relationships between mentors
and their pupils within the Consortum had been looked down upon,
but now it proved life-saving. There was no reason for anyone to
suspect me, the perfect up-and-coming member of the project ...

Yeah, of course they'd watched me closely these past few weeks -
he *had* been my assigned mentor in our group, the one designated
to draw me into its unbreakable grasp. It's such a perfect system
they use ... the master teaching the apprentice ... and so of course
they'd watched me. You don't want the flaws of the teacher
becoming the flaws of the student.

I could feel the eyes on my back with every step I took, hear the
whispers of the few colleagues at the office, the slight distortion of
my telephone conversations ... yeah, they'd watched me closely
those first few weeks after his murder. But after publicly
denouncing him to several others, denouncing his betrayal, claiming
he deserved the nameless death granted him, and systematically
ridding myself of any connection to the man, the word had come
down through my contacts. The hierarchy believed in my
innocence, in my loyalty; they trusted me.

In fact, according to one of my contacts, my performance over the
past month had been awarded a high honor indeed. One of the top
men in the Consortium, after reviewing my case with his board, had
informed them that I was the coldest bitch he'd ever run into. Just
what he'd expected out of a member of my family ... just what he'd
expected out of me. One of the most perfect junior members of our
group, a role model for the rest. The next generation ... coming up
into the shadows ... coming into the power ... a cold-hearted,
perfect bitch, without a conscience, without regret. I'd learned my
lessons well, he'd claimed, closing the case.

And so now I'm alone ... cut off from anything that meant anything
to me ... cut off from him and the memory of him ...

And facing my grief, my doubts, my fear, for the first time in years.

How easily I could have been Mulder ... how easily he could have
been me. See, I know his story, better than he does himself ... and I
know that if the twelve-year-old had been brought into the project
as I was, he'd sure as hell *not* be searching for the truth right

But, remembering his grief-filled eyes, I envy him. I'd rather be
burdened with a search for the truth than playing with fire - lost in
confusion, stuck between two worlds. I'd rather not know what I
know ... if only to be able to act upon the hatred, the sorrow, the
outrage that burns in my chest while a cool smile freezes my lips.
Instead I'll feed him tid-bits ... little pieces of the truth ... and hope
that in his triumphs, I'll find my revenge.

I've learned my lessons well, Sirs, I've learned my lessons well.

Just like the man called X.