Find The Future - Chapter 8
The humming sound was distracting, and Scully was finding it impossible to get any sleep. Mulder was softly snoring next to her, so he evidently wasn't bothered by the noise. But she couldn't seem to tune it out. They had been in their new accommodation for over a week now, and this was the first time the humming bothered her. The room was dark, and she had to carefully negotiate a few obstacles to get quietly to the exit. The corridor outside seemed deserted, and so she followed the sound of the hum until she reached a metal door.
Scully expected it to be locked when she'd tried the handle. It opened, to her surprise, and she cautiously stepped inside. The humming noise was definitely being generated from somewhere nearby. The source was hard to pinpoint as there didn't appear to be any obvious culprit in the room. There wasn't much light to see by, just a muted green glow which seemed to be coming in through various grilles in the walls and floor. It looked like there was another door on the far wall, and so she headed towards it. The handle wouldn't turn at first, but then it suddenly gave way and she half staggered into the room. It was pitch dark, and she collided with something on the floor as the door clicked shut behind her. Scully sensed she was not alone, and the sound of someone else fumbling about in the dark confirmed that.
"Hello, who's there?" She inquired in a whispered voice.
A light switch was flicked, and her companion was suddenly revealed.
"Gibson?" She gasped with surprise.
Gibson Praise stood before her, looking much the same as he had the last time they'd met. He smiled bashfully and adjusted his glasses, which were slightly wonky from their collision. He gestured for Scully to take a seat as he did the same behind the desk.
"Sorry if I gave you a scare," he apologised.
"You couldn't just come and say, hello? I'm sure Mulder would love to catch up with you," she questioned after she had collected her wits.
"I was going to, eventually. I saw you coming down the corridor just now, and I thought about making myself known. But I knew you'd want to ask things I can't answer," he explained.
Scully glanced around the small room which looked like some kind of monitoring station. There was a bank of six computers which all appeared to be running various kinds of diagnostics data.
"What are you doing here?" Scully queried with suspicion.
"I kind of work here. They found me, and they said they could protect me," he said.
"And you believed them?" She was sceptical after knowing how hard he had tried to stay hidden from them since he was a boy.
"I read Mulder's mind, during his trial. I knew then what the truth was and that the invasion date was set. He might not have wanted to speak it out loud to you or anyone else, but I heard it anyway. I've lived in fear for most of my life because of what I can do, and because I knew they'd never leave me alone. I realised back then that there really was no place left for me to hide, and nowhere to run to. I had two choices, I could let the others find me and maybe kill me, or I could come here. I chose the latter," he explained.
She gave him a look full of pity, which turned to horrified realisation as she thought of her own son and his abilities.
"You're thinking about William?" Gibson knew she was and didn't require confirmation.
"He's special too, and they will protect him just like they've protected me," he reassured her.
Scully nodded, although she was still suspicious. She needed to know more about what was going on.
"What, or who is being monitored here?" She inquired as she pointed to one of the screens.
"C'mon, I'll show you," Gibson got up from his seat and gestured for Scully to follow him.
He led her back into the room she had first passed through. He lifted up one of the square grilles to reveal a metal step ladder that extended to the floor below. The humming noise was obviously coming from down there, as it intensified with each step they took. When they had finally descended all the way to the bottom, Scully stopped and looked around in awe. There were rows of glass tanks for as far as the eye could see, all of them full of green glowing fluid, and each containing a grey alien creature.
"This is what they are, all of them. The Jeremiah Smiths and the Bounty Hunters, they are a cloned slave race. The alien colonists created them to serve, and to be their foot soldiers, they were made with a genetic mutation that gave them green blood, instead of black. They do not have the ability to reproduce through infection, like their creators. This is the only way they can replicate themselves," Gibson explained as they walked down one of the aisles with tanks on either side.
Scully stopped to take a closer look at one of the entities, it was suspended in green fluid and its eyes were closed.
"Are they alive?" She asked tentatively and in a hushed voice.
"Yes, but they're in a kind of suspended animation. They can be awoken when needed," Gibson replied as he beckoned her onwards.
"The alien colonists used the black oil to control them, but the rebel aliens mutilated themselves to prevent that from happening. It isn't necessary for them to do that now we have the vaccine. They were able to manipulate the genes of these new clones to give them inbuilt immunity, amongst other things," he explained.
"Other things?" Scully questioned.
"You discovered long ago that all humans have alien DNA. It's what enables me to read people's minds, and it's what gives your son his abilities, they are a part of us. We evolved because of them, and yet we want to destroy them, and they us. The clones, on the other hand see our potential, and in us they see the key to our salvation as well as their own. The colonists want to infect us, and in doing so, destroy us. But now we have a vaccine. They are too arrogant to believe we can save ourselves, and when a species acts like it is invincible, ironically, it becomes more vulnerable," he explained.
"How long have you been here, Gibson?" Scully inquired.
She contemplated the fact he had a level of familiarity with things that suggested he'd been there for a while.
"They contacted me right after I was put into the witness protection program, so it's been ten years, give or take. I haven't been here the whole time though; there are other places like this one," he answered without giving anything further away from his ten years there.
"What did they want from you, and why offer you protection?" She was determined to try and pry more information out of him.
Gibson was wise to her manoeuvring, and just as he had been during his time as a chess prodigy, he was always one step ahead.
"They wanted to keep me safe from harm, and they've kept their word. Because they've protected me when no-one else could," he said pointedly.
He knew that she remembered her own promises to protect him.
Scully cringed slightly at his accusatory tone, but she could understand him accepting their offer of sanctuary. She could appreciate the need for it. She was terribly afraid of what would happen to Mulder and William if they were ever to fall into the hands of fanatics, conspirators, or the colonists. But she was also concerned that Jeremiah Smith's offer of safe harbour didn't come without a price.
"Do you know what their secret weapon for defeating the colonist aliens is? She inquired.
Gibson again anticipated her question and he didn't answer. He instead turned and started to head towards the step ladder.
"We should get back, it's late," he said and started to climb.
Scully pressed him again, but when it was clear he wasn't going to stop and answer her question, she followed him up to the floor above. Gibson wasted no time in heading back to the room where she had first discovered him.
"Go back to Mulder and your son, and I'll come find you tomorrow," he paused in the doorway.
"Don't forget you are guests here, so tread carefully," he cautioned before he closed the door and locked it.
Scully awoke to find she was alone in bed, and a sudden feeling of panic overtook her. She needed to reassure herself that Mulder and William were alright. She had lain awake for what seemed like hours after she'd left Gibson Praise, but weariness must have eventually overcome her. She bundled her robe on and headed towards the other room. There she found both her husband and son, safe and sound and playing a Super Mario game on the Wii. They both smiled at her, and Mulder grabbed her arm to pull her down on to the bed next to him.
"Our boy is seriously good on this thing, I'm getting my ass kicked," he said with a grin.
Scully managed a tight smile. She felt edgy and tried not to think of all the things that were concerning her. It was taking a lot of mental effort on her part. She had resorted to singing 'Joy To The World' in her head, to try and block out the other thoughts. She didn't want William to read her mind and discover her fears, not that she was entirely sure what it was she was afraid of.
"You sang that song to me when I was a baby," her son said as he suddenly recalled something half-forgotten.
Scully nodded, but didn't otherwise respond as she was still trying to stop herself from giving anything else away. She soon discovered that trying not to think of something, just made you think about it all the more. But luckily for her, William was distracted with blurry memories of a time it should have been impossible for him to recall. Mulder looked at them both quizzically, as he had heard no singing. He also hadn't been able to hear any of his son's thoughts since the day they were reunited, despite repeated attempts.
"Yeah, I remember now, you sang William was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine..." the boy recounted.
Mulder laughed as he recalled the time she sang 'Joy To The World' for him too.
"I guess your mom doesn't know too many songs," he laughed again, but soon noticed that neither of his companions shared in his mirth.
He gave Scully a questioning look.
"William, sweetie, why don't you go back to your game for a while? I just need to have a moment alone with your dad, and we'll be right back, okay?" She grabbed Mulder's arm and tugged hard.
She all but dragged him back to their room. Her son was still lost in newly rediscovered memories, and he hardly noticed they were gone.
"Hey, what the...?" Mulder began, but Scully soon cut him off.
"Gibson Praise is here. I saw him last night, while you were sleeping. He showed me some things. He said that he'd come see us today, and I'm hoping we can get him to tell us more about what he knows. But I'm scared for us, because I know something is wrong here, I just don't know exactly what. We don't know what they have planned for us, or what they have to use against the colonists," she explained her fears as clearly as she could.
Mulder was surprised to hear about Gibson, and he wanted to know more. But first he pulled Dana into his arms to try to help calm her down. She was glad of the comfort, and she nuzzled closely to his chest. His voice was a low rumble against her ear when he spoke.
"Don't worry, it's you, me and William against the world, and we're a winning team," he promised.
Scully told him everything she'd seen the night before, and all that Gibson had said, particularly his warning to them. Mulder wasn't unduly alarmed by her revelations because he could understand his friend's motives in agreeing to come to this place, and he shared his concerns. He had seen cloning before, so that part wasn't much of a surprise either. But the bigger picture did worry him as much as it bothered his wife.
"Let's see what else Gibson has to say before we start getting too worked up, huh?" He reasoned.
She nodded, and they were about to go back to their son when there was a loud knock at the door.
"Maybe this is him now?" Mulder went to find out.
There was no one there, but a small package had been left on the floor. He retrieved it and proceeded to carefully unwrap it. Inside, there was a DVD.
"What in the world?" Scully exclaimed.
She examined the package for any clues, although there were none to be found. Mulder had already gone to place the disc into the player, and they waited for it to start. The picture flickered on, and they both gasped with shock as they saw a familiar figure on the screen. The man was seated in a wheelchair, which he then carefully turned around to speak directly to the camera. He was cradling their baby son in his arms.
"I can't begin to tell you both what this means to me, to finally meet my grandson. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't name him after me, but then, you never did know my real name, did you? He mocked.
"I want to thank you both for this most precious of gifts, although maybe you should thank me, don't you think? Because from putting the two of you together on the X Files, to everything else in between, well... I guess I can't take full credit. I certainly played my part though. Anyway, I want you both to know that your sacrifices have not been in vain, and your son may yet be able to save us all. I must confess, not even I could ever have foreseen such an opportunity; your son truly is a miracle."
The Cigarette Smoking man smiled down at the baby in his lap, and he carefully took out a syringe from his top pocket.
"I want you to know, Fox, that you were always my favourite son. Jeffrey was such a disappointment, in so many ways. He thought he could take away William's special abilities, but he was wrong, as usual."
He tapped the syringe, just as their son seemed to sense something was amiss and he started to protest.
"Hush now, little man, everything is going to be alright. I know these things because I'm the man that found the future."
He smiled at the camera and addressed them both for one final time.
"This is true immortality. I will live on through you, Fox, and you will live on through William. Our genes will go on and on into the future, if we have a future that is. Let's find out."
He moved to inject the baby and the screen faded to black.
I just wanted to say that I have made a minor alteration to chapter 3, because I realised I didn't remember my X Files history as well as I thought I did. I forgot that in The Unnatural, the alien bounty hunter was shown to be a grey alien, like the colonists, so I have decided that they must have been of the same species, although I think that they must also have been clones. I have explained what I think they are in this chapter, but that may differ slightly from their portrayal on the show. Again, I do not own anything, I'm just a fan who wishes we'd had a third X Files movie to look forward too. Thanks again to everyone reading this fic, I hope you enjoy the rest of it. - Mrs P.