World’s Child 4. Mother


It was late October in 2011, and as the year we had all been dreading came closer, there was a rising tide of panic amongst both ourselves and the Network. People like John, and Hank Mabbut, wanted us to do something – anything – to deal with the coming apocalypse. The only problem was knowing what to do. Mulder was in favour of finding out as much as possible, Walter was of the opinion that there was only some point in acting when it became clear what we should do, and Monica felt that the way would become clear enough in its own time – but John wanted to make a pre-emptive strike.


“I think we’ve gotta make this public. We have to get out there, and face these guys down,” John argued passionately as we sat around the kitchen table of our abode of the month.


“You make this public, you’ll just get the same ridicule I had for years on end at the FBI,” Mulder told him. “People won’t believe you – people won’t want to believe you, John. They’re afraid to believe.”


“Mulder, the only reason people didn’t believe before was because you didn’t have proof,” John argued. “Well now you do.”


“I do?” Mulder raised an eyebrow.


“Sure. Now you have William – he’s living proof. We’ve all experienced the things he can do. We all know he’s the key to fighting the aliens. Well let’s go public and take the fight to them.”


“I want to make one thing clear,” Walter said, leaning forward in his seat. “Whatever we decide to do, nobody views William as a weapon, or as a walking fulfilment of some ancient prophecy. He’s a boy. He’s our child. We don’t use him and we don’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do.”


I smiled at Uncle Walter. He knew that the others had my best interests at heart as well, but sometimes in the heat of the discussions it sounded as if I was some kind of neutron bomb to be deployed at the right moment. I loved that Uncle Walter was so protective of me.


“I agree,” Monica said. “We know William is the key to all this but he’s still a 10 year old kid who falls off his bike and skins his knees. We have to remember that.”


“I ain’t forgetting it,” John said, his tone of voice showing his alarm that anyone would think differently. “You all know I love this kid like he was my own son.”


“So, what are you suggesting, John?” Mulder asked, leaning back in his chair, his arms crossed over his chest.


“I think we should go to the top – go to someone who has the capability to fight these bastards.


“We have tried that before, John,” Walter pointed out. Over the past three years we had made various discreet overtures to a variety of different people to try and gain some support in the coming battle. Walter, Mulder and Monica had pulled in every favour they had ever earned in the Pentagon, DOD and anywhere else they could think of, but they had drawn blanks wherever they went. Those who didn’t laugh us off thought we were insane and there was, of course, no evidence to support anything we said.


“I know,” John nodded. “But we never went high enough before. This time I think we should do somethin’ different. This time I think we should go to the top.”


Mulder, Monica and Walter all exchanged looks, and then gazed expectantly at John, waiting for him to finish.


“This time I think we should go to the President,” John finished.


There was silence for a moment and then Mulder laughed out loud.


“So, you think we should just walk into the Oval office and say, ‘hey, Mr. President, did you know that the world is being taken over by aliens who use a virus to infect human beings and turn them into indestructible slaves called super soldiers?’”


“Why not?” John shrugged. “At least we’ll know we’ve tried. Sure as hell beats sitting around on our asses waiting for the bastards to come after us which is mainly what we’ve been doin’ these past few years.”


“We’ve been protecting William,” Walter interjected angrily.


“I know – and that was necessary – still is – but we gotta start thinking about the wider picture,” John insisted. “Look, when I first heard about these aliens and all this talk about colonisation, I thought that a date had been set and they were gonna come down here in big ships and there’d be fighting and we’d be at war with them, but that ain’t going to happen, is it, Mulder?” He glanced at my father who frowned, and shook his head wearily.


“There are ships up there, John. I’ve been in one of them,” he said.


“I know – but they ain’t gonna land them on the White House lawn are they?” John continued, his voice passionate. “This is an invasion by stealth, Mulder. They’re gradually taking us over, picking us off one by one and what I’m saying is that if we don’t act soon it’ll be too late – there’ll be more of them than us, and there won’t be anybody left to fight them.”


“He’s got a good point,” Monica said quietly. “Reports coming in from the Network suggest that the number of super soldiers and alien walk-in’s has risen exponentially in the past year. How long before they outnumber us altogether?”


“Okay – but how the hell are we going to get to see the President and what are we going to say that will convince him he has to do something?” Walter asked.


“Marita Covarrubias,” Mulder said quietly. “She still works for the UN – in fact she’s recently been promoted to a pretty important position. She could get us in to see him.”


“Marita?” Walter frowned. “No offence, Mulder, but I’ve never been sure that woman can be trusted – she did work for the Syndicate after all.”


“I know – but that was a long time ago and after what they did to her…well, her allegiances are different these days.”


“You’ve seen her recently?” Walter pressed. Mulder’s wanderlust had not abated in the past couple of years; although he spent most of his time with us, he occasionally felt the need to go off and find out what was going on in the rest of the world. We lived such a secluded life that we needed his reports, and John’s, and the Networks, in order to find out what was happening out there.


Mulder nodded. “It always takes a lot of persuading to get her to help – she’s wary about her own safety, but if we can make a good case for this then she might just do it.”




I barely listened to the rest of what they were saying. My mind was already racing ahead to the thought of meeting the President. I was just a small kid from a ranch in Wyoming, and however strange my life had been, I still could hardly believe that what we were going to do was so important that I would end up visiting the White House and actually talking to the President of the United States.  I felt nervous – John had said that was the proof, but how would I convince this most important man of the truth of what we were saying? So much responsibility seemed to rest on my shoulders.


It was agreed that Mulder and John would contact this Marita lady, and see what she could do for us. The weeks dragged by slowly while we waited to see what would happen. Mulder and John were frequently absent, and the tension level grew. When they returned, both men were wound up as tight as springs, and that tension affected all of us. Walter and Mulder had a few of their spectacular fights; throughout the couple of years since Mulder’s return to us, their friendship had remained steadfast but their relationship never developed beyond what I had already witnessed. Mulder still struggled to come to terms with my mother’s death, and continued the pattern of keeping Walter at arm’s length, only occasionally letting him – or any of us really – in. He let Walter and I get closer than anybody else, but there was always a barrier with Mulder. The sad thing was that it was already too late, only Mulder didn’t know it – for I did not doubt for one second that he loved us both with every single atom of his damaged heart. I wondered when he would realise that too, stop protecting himself against something that had already happened a long time ago, and start enjoying the happiness that was on offer if he would only take it.




The Network were as anxious as we were in the months leading up to 2012. I think we all thought that the world would explode on the chime of midnight, but the truth was much more mundane. I spent New Year’s Eve 2011 sitting with Monica, Walter, Hank and a few of the other close and trusted Network members. Mulder and John were off negotiating their way into a meeting with the President, and I hated it when they weren’t around. I was only truly happy when we were all together, as a family. Some of the Network members brought champagne to toast in the new year, but we had little to celebrate. As the town bells rang in 2012, the year of our destiny, we all stood around, looking at each other, each of us wondering what this year would bring.


I noticed Monica slipping outside, and followed her into the back yard a few minutes later. She was standing up to her knees in the snow that had fallen all the previous week, and she was gazing up at the crisp, clear, night sky.


“Monica?” I slipped my hand into her pocket, and found her hand, warm as toast.


“It’s so beautiful, William,” she whispered. “Suppose we don’t get this right? Suppose we lose all this?” She turned to look at me and I thought that she had never appeared more beautiful. Her brown eyes were so vivid, so full of emotion, and the warm orange hue around her glowed with even more intensity than usual. “They’re up there and they’re down here…and who are we to stop them? How is it even possible? I mean they have these big ships, and what do we have? Guns that don’t even slow them down and a world full of people who don’t even know what’s happening.”


I chewed on my lip for a moment, thinking about it. “Monica, our ancestors fought them and won,” I said at last.


“They had ships. They could fight them on their own terms,” she replied.


“We don’t really know how they fought them,” I said slowly. “Maybe all their technology wasn’t what mattered. Maybe it was the simple power of their connection with the earth that saved them. Mulder said they were a race of prophets – they had skills that we’ve pretty much lost. Maybe I’m like they were, Monica. Maybe I have the same powers they did.”


“But you’re just one boy,” she said, shaking her head. “There were more of them.”


“One boy connected to everyone and everything on this world.” I reached out and gently touched her pale cheek, loving the way the light from my fingertips merged with the colours of her aura. She gazed at me, wanting desperately to believe. “I can’t promise anything,” I told her. “But I believe we can win. I honestly do believe that.”


She smiled, taking some comfort from my total belief. I had to be positive – although I had my moments of nervous tension, I was largely insulated by my inherent serenity. I’m glad that whoever put me on this planet, with all these gifts, also gave me this serenity. Without it, I’m not sure I could have coped with all the hopes and expectations that were focussed on me. I was jolted out of our conversation by a sudden sensation that we were being watched. I paused for a moment, concentrating – I didn’t feel that sense of danger that I’d felt before, but I knew immediately by the way the fabric of the world around me was rippling with darkness that a super soldier was nearby.


“Monica, go into the house,” I whispered. “Go and get the others. Tell them to bring their guns.”


“William, what is it?” She asked, alarmed.


“Just do it,” I said softly. She disappeared into the house, and a second later, something dropped over the wall and onto the snow beneath. I stood, stock still, and watched the super soldier as he stood up. I recognised him immediately – it was the man who had chased after our car when we were escaping from the cabin, the man Mulder had shot, the man who had called me saoshyant – Billy Miles.


“What are you doing here, Billy?” I asked him, feeling strangely calm.


“Please…I want to serve you.” He took a step forward, and then threw himself into the snow at my feet in a gesture of abject worship.


 At that moment, Uncle Walter, Hank and the other Network volunteers came flying out into the yard, guns raised and ready.


“How the hell did he get in here?” Hank demanded, raising his gun and taking aim. I knew his weapon contained our refined magnetite bullets – they caused more damage than the first bullets Mulder had created and if they were shot straight into the head at point blank range, over and over again, they could even kill. “Shit, security must have gotten lax because it’s New Year’s Eve. Walter, you’d better take William and move on to the next safe house.” We always had a car ready to go, and we always had a choice of three safe houses to go to next. We never decided which one to use until we were actually making the journey – so our enemies would never be able to find out in advance where we were going. “Go, William,” Hank urged, seeing I hadn’t moved. “I’ll slow this one down while you run.”


“No.” I held up my hand and looked down on the man kneeling in front of me.


“Saoshyant?” Billy whispered, looking up at me. I reached out and touched him, and I could feel the tension in the air skyrocket around us. He was a fast, strong killing machine. All he had to do was reach out and snap my neck…but he didn’t. He just continued looking up at me, with an expression of abject devotion in his eyes. Usually when I touch people, I immediately see a flash of who they are, and what their most important and powerful memories are but Billy wasn’t human and at first all I saw was blackness. He wasn’t connected to this world, and didn’t belong here. He wore the shape and form of a human being who had once walked on this earth, but although some of his body was human, most of him was completely alien, from his metal spine to the strange, almost empty formlessness of his brain. However, the one thing I did notice straight away, was that he wasn’t under any alien control. Yes he was a super soldier, but at the moment he was renegade – and he had come to me, thinking of me as some kind of saviour. “Please saoshyant. Allow me to serve you. I’ll protect you. Please set us free, saoshyant,” he whispered. “Please don’t let them rule us for all eternity. Please…you don’t know what it’s like, being forced to obey their commands, bent to their will, suffering their cruelty with no hope of death. Please, if you won’t allow me to live, then find a way to help me die. I beg you, saoshyant. I beg you.”


I saw into what passed for his soul then. There was something there – a memory of what he had once been but was now no more. He wasn’t, in any real sense, Billy Miles, but he did have some of Billy’s memories. He inhabited Billy’s body, like a ghost haunting an old house, a pale reflection of what he had once been in life. I sensed the last remnants of Billy’s soul, trapped in this body, horrified by what he had become.


“It’s okay, Billy,” I whispered. “It’s okay.”


“William?” Walter put his hand on my shoulder. “What’s happening?”


“Don’t you see?” I glanced up at my Uncle. “I’m here for them too, Uncle Walter. They want their freedom and they think that I can give it to them – even if that freedom is death…anything but eternal slavery. They just want to be set free…”


“But what the hell are they? And seriously, William, even if you could defeat the aliens, could we live side by side with these super soldiers? They’re stronger than we are, and more ruthless…”


“No…not more ruthless,” I frowned. “The aggression comes from the aliens – they force them to be ruthless, but they aren’t inherently aggressive. I agree that we can’t live with them – they disrupt the energy of this world, they aren’t connected with it. It would cause problems…but they could be our allies against the aliens – and I think we need all the allies we can get.”


“How can we tell whether a super soldier is on our side or theirs?” Hank asked, his gun still raised.


“I can tell,” I told him firmly. “I knew Billy wasn’t any threat to me.”


“And if he fell back under alien control?” Monica asked.


“I’d know,” I told them.


“He’s still dangerous to have around!” Hank protested. “He’s like a dog that’s turned savage once – however nice and friendly he is, you never know when he’s going to turn on you again.”


“Guard him all you like, but treat him well. He’s staying,” I said.


Walter glanced at me, surprised. This was the first time I had issued any orders – I was still only 10 years old, but I had always had a knowledge and a way of speaking that was far beyond my years. Now, for the first time, I also had a sense of my own destiny – and how to take control of it.


“I just know that this is the right thing to do,” I told them. Walter nodded.


“Hank – take Billy inside, and keep an eye on him. If William says he stays, then he stays.”


It was strange having Billy around. He could talk, but it wasn’t easy to hold a conversation with him. He didn’t really connect with you so it was like talking to someone that you couldn’t quite see and who you knew didn’t really understand you on a fundamental level. He had some memories of his own, as well as those of a former life, but his memories of his time under alien control were shadowy, and shapeless. He didn’t like the way that made him feel, and he didn’t like the flashbacks he had to killing – he was human enough still to be profoundly uncomfortable with those memories. He did have some understanding of his own existence though – all he saw stretching ahead of him was a life of servitude to cruel and demanding taskmasters, without any prospect even of death, so indestructible was his new form. I could never claim that I formed any real bond with Billy, but I was fond of him in a way. It wasn’t his fault that he had become like this, and he and his kind deserved a saviour as much as we did – maybe more for they had lost more. Even if all I could eventually give them was their release from their slavery through death, I knew that would be enough for them.




It seemed to me that time speeded up over the next few weeks. That might have been a feature of my ever growing powers, or maybe Billy’s presence changed my perception in some way, or, more likely, the grip of destiny took a firmer hold on me as we approached the final few months of the old world. Somehow, I think we all knew that a new world was dawning – and whether it was one we would like or not, or whether it was one we would even live to see, was all down to how the hand of fate played out in the coming weeks.


Mulder and John had set up our meeting with the President. Mulder had been particularly concerned about security – up until now I had been in hiding, but for the first time I would be going out in the open, into a public place, where it would be impossible to protect me from super soldiers. He and John worked long and hard on keeping the meeting with the President as secret as possible and ensuring my security as much as possible. The meeting with the President hadn’t been as hard to set up as my father had feared – enough aliens and super soldiers had now taken on human form that there was a general sense of unease in the world, and stories had started to filter into the papers of how people were committing acts that were totally out of character, and how others who had died, seemed, miraculously, to have returned to life, although they were strangely altered. There had been an upsurge in violence as the super soldiers went through the world like a plague of locusts, their ranks multiplying every day In this mood, Washington had taken Mulder and John’s overtures more seriously than might previously have been expected. Although the President and his advisers had agreed to the meeting readily enough, the negotiations for when and where it would take place had been time consuming. Mulder had been concerned for my safety. His main preoccupation was that having shown the President my skills, I’d be whisked off to some top security government institution to be prodded and experimented upon so that they could find the source of my abilities. I knew from the memories he shared with me that this was a very real worry – he had known enough people with paranormal powers in his life to have an understanding of what happened to them if they showed themselves to the authorities.


“I wish there was some way you could scan the President before we go,” Mulder fretted. “I don’t like the idea of us going in there blind.”


“I can’t pinpoint someone that accurately,” I sighed. I could send out his thoughts and connect with people randomly all over the world, following the threads that linked every single being, but unless I had met the person I was trying to scan, or was touching them, I couldn’t tune into anyone specific. So, although none of us was happy to walk into the White House without more information, we all accepted that everything we would do from now on would contain an element of risk.


I left the safety of our last house one cold Winter morning, bundled under a blanket in the back of a car. I knew, in my heart, that this was the last time I would see that house – I didn’t know what was about to happen, but I did know that the time of waiting was coming to an end; I could feel it in my soul. I went with my usual entourage, my family, of Mulder, Walter, John and Monica. We left Hank and Billy and the rest of the Network behind. We were on our own now, and would take the consequences of our actions.


I found myself becoming increasingly nervous as we approached Washington in our car. I rehearsed in my head all the ways in which I would try to convince the President that we were telling the truth about what was happening in the world. Maybe, this was why I had been born with these strange powers, I thought to myself. Maybe this was the reason – maybe everything in my life had been leading to this one day, when my abilities would convince the President that he had to take action against the aliens. I envisaged the full might of the US armed forces being unleashed against our common foe, saw Mulder working side by side with government scientists to create magnetite weapons that would enable us to stand a chance in open warfare… and of course, as it turned out, I was as wrong as I could have been.


I was so nervous by the time we reached The White House that it was all I could do to stop trembling. Suddenly I wasn’t the saoshyant, or Adam Kasia, or any kind of saviour. I was just William Scully Mulder, a 10 year old boy, walking into the greatest office of state in the world and I was petrified. However much Walter had tried to protect me, I knew that this entire meeting hinged on me. Supposing I was unable to perform on cue? Supposing my abilities deserted me just when I needed them most? Supposing the whole world ended up totally destroyed because of me?


I got out of the car, and my knees almost gave way beneath me. Walter put an arm around my shoulders and that grounded me. I felt myself drawing strength from his energy and his constant presence was a great support. Monica gave me one of her megawatt warm smiles and adjusted my tie. I stood still for her while she slicked down my hair, and I had the strangest sensation; she was behaving like a mother, and, in truth, she was my mother in every important respect.  She was one of the three mothers I’d had, and, by virtue of when she came into my life, she was inevitably the one I had ended up knowing the best. I loved her like a mother, but even so, standing on the threshold of this great event, I had a pang of sorrow and regret for my first mother, the one I had barely known at all, and who I missed so badly. My obsession with Dana Scully hadn’t lessened in the intervening years – if anything, it had only grown stronger with time. Dana was the one thing that made me human – and she was also my greatest weakness. My abilities marked me out as strange and unusual, and I knew that in all respects except one I was completely unlike any other 10 year old boy on this planet. Dana Scully was that one exception – my feelings for my birth mother connected me to my own humanity because I missed her, and loved her, and still cried at night sometimes for the fact that I had never really known her. I wanted her to be proud of me, and I still fantasised that she wasn’t really dead, and that one day she would hold me in her arms and tell me that she loved me.


Standing there that day, at The White House, I wanted, more than anything else, to have her by my side as I walked in to the Oval Office to face the most important moment of my life.


The White House was beautiful – I had been brought up in a series of makeshift homes and the ranch where I had spent my early years had been plainly furnished by my impoverished adoptive parents. This place was magnificent; I couldn’t believe how plush the carpets were underfoot, and how many works of art hung on the walls. It was also full of people, and that scared me. There were so many interconnected threads of light that they all merged into a coalescent whole, so vivid as to be almost blinding. I had to tone down my senses just in order to walk down the hallway, and I was very grateful that Uncle Walter and Mulder were standing on either side of me, holding me up.


We were sent to wait in a beautiful room, painted a deep blue colour, with a massive, highly polished mahogany table as its centrepiece. I stood with my hands behind my back, hardly daring to touch anything. This place hummed with an aura of power and history that was daunting; even someone without my abilities would have felt it. As it was, I was completely overwhelmed. My strange new surroundings closed in on me, overloading my senses; first all the people, then all the history, and the very fact of being in such a huge town, with so many different auras, voices and memories clamouring for my attention. I had never been anywhere like this and I was struggling to cope.


“William – are you okay?” Monica asked, attuned, as ever, to my emotional state.


“No…I can’t…it’s all too much,” I said, reaching up to undo my collar. “I can hardly breathe. I can’t…see…”


“Here.” Walter helped me to a plush blue couch and sat me down, while Monica poured me a glass of water from a decanter on the table and brought it over. I sipped it gratefully, but it didn’t help. My problems weren’t physical – they were related to my strange abilities that were struggling to cope under a huge influx of stimuli. I had, after all, led a relatively quiet life. I had watched TV, used the internet, read newspapers and magazines – I knew all about the world we lived in but I had barely ever stepped foot in it, and being in these illustrious surroundings was like being thrown into a busy, brightly lit circus after years of living in a wilderness.


“I think I’m shutting down. There’s too much…” I whispered. “It’s like looking at a hundred television screens all at the same time. I can’t concentrate on any of them.”


“William.” Mulder crouched down in front of me and touched my knee. “It’s okay. We’re here. Just focus on my thoughts – on me – tune everything else out.”


I did as he said, and relaxed into his shining mind, and the thought patterns that I knew so well. It was comforting, and familiar, and I immediately started to feel better.


At that moment, a woman walked into the room, accompanied by a handsome, dark haired man.


“Marita.” Mulder stood up, but he stayed in physical contact with me, moving his hand onto my shoulder.


“Mulder.” She nodded. “John. Miss. Reyes. Mr. Skinner.” She gestured with her head to them, her cool, aloof eyes flicking towards me. She was a stunningly beautiful woman but her demeanour was as cold as ice. Inside, though, she was different. I caught a brief flash of a fiery, passionate nature, well hidden from view, and then my senses crashed again as they were overloaded once more.


“Focus on me, William,” Mulder reminded me. I nodded, and tried to do as he had said, but even as I did so I wondered who the dark haired man was, why nobody had spoken to him and why he was dressed so differently to the rest of us. I had never seen Walter or Mulder in a suit before, and yet here they were, wearing starched shirts and ties and jackets as if they had been born to them. I recalled that part of their lives I had not shared, the time before I was born, when they had worn these clothes every day. They looked so fine and handsome in them, while I felt clumsy and unsure of myself in my suit. I had never worn one in my life before and it felt stiff, formal and restrictive. All I could think about was how the collar of my shirt dug into my neck and how my arms felt as if they were trussed up inside the jacket. The man standing beside Marita was clad in black jeans, a black shirt and a black leather jacket and looked out of place amongst so much formality. He was staring at me, a concerned expression in his green eyes. He glanced towards the door of the Oval Office and back at me.


“William, you have to concentrate. This is important,” he told me.


“I know that!” I snapped at him. Mulder’s hand squeezed my shoulder reassuringly.


“William – is someone else here?” Monica asked.


“I…” I gazed around the room confused – couldn’t they see the dark haired man?


“Just gather your thoughts, William. You might need to do something very impressive in a moment,” the dark haired man said. As if I wasn’t aware of that already!


At that moment the door opened, and we were called into the Oval Office. I took a deep breath, got to my feet, and, surrounded by my friends and family, I walked through that door.


I felt it the moment I walked in. I suspect they had done something to the place, erected some kind of field around it to dampen the aura of what was inside, because the black chill almost blasted me off my feet the moment I trod on that famous carpet.


“NO!” I cried, wordlessly, but it was already too late. The President, his chief of staff, and half a dozen other men stood there, looking at me – and none of them was human. A door closed behind us, trapping us in that vile, freezing room, devoid of life, teeming with monstrosities. The President walked towards me and stopped right in front of me.


“Well,” he said, with a smile, using the President’s voice, walking the President’s walk, looking on the outside just like the man we had elected to this high office when on the inside he was pure darkness. “This is fortunate. We’ve been trying to hunt you down for years and you just up and walk right into our arms.”


I knew from the aura of power surrounding him that this was not a super soldier but an alien being – and I knew, also, that he was one of the most important aliens, one of their leaders. He looked human, but as I came face to face with him, I had a sudden image of hissing coils of tentacles, and I knew that the face he wore was a mask for what he really was.


We had no guns, obviously, but even if we had, we wouldn’t have stood a chance against the aliens. There were too many of them and they were too powerful. Even so, my friends realised immediately that we had walked into a trap, and formed a protective circle around me. I could feel their fear and tension, combined with the terrible knowledge that the worst thing they could ever have imagined had just happened.


“Did you really think you could stop us?” The President said. “We already own your planet – how many of you do you think are left?”


Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the dark haired man move so that he was standing, protectively, next to Marita. She looked as shocked as we were, and it was clear that she hadn’t known this would happen.


“William,” the dark haired man said, in a low, intense voice. “Now might be a good time for you to perform that impressive act I was talking about earlier.”


I blinked, wondering what the hell he meant, but even as I was wondering I saw the President reach out a cold, clammy hand towards Walter. He carried death in that hand and I knew that he intended to strike Walter dead with a single blow. I also knew, just as surely, that if Walter died my own life would be at an end as I could not live with the grief. What I did next, I did through pure instinct, but maybe it was an instinct that had been bred into me for just this precise moment. My entire being seemed to coalesce, and I became a beam of the brightest white light, pure energy. Without knowing how or why, I folded this energy outwards, so that it engulfed those standing around me. All this happened in a split second, but when the President’s alien hand came into contact with the protective field surrounding Walter, he let out a piercing scream. His hand changed, became a tentacle, and for a moment we saw him in his true form – ugly, reptilian and utterly alien. He writhed for a moment, his tentacle caught in my energy field. His companions rushed to his aid, but they were unable to penetrate the field that surrounded us, and fell screaming to the floor as it burned them.


“Move,” I ordered, speaking to my friends non-verbally.


“This way,” the dark haired man said, and he ran across the room, and showed us the door.


“Open,” I said, and the door, as if by magic, swung open in front of me. This wasn’t a talent I’d ever used before although it was latent. I believe it was one of the earliest I discovered, lying in my crib as a baby making my mobile move with the power of my mind alone, but it was a skill that had lain dormant for many long years. My father had once told me how his brother, Jeffrey, had injected me with a drug that he said would make me normal – I wonder now if all it did was suppress the abilities I had already begun to show at that time. It certainly hadn’t stopped any of the others from manifesting. Now though, I felt a power I had never known before coursing through me. I was no longer William, a flesh and blood boy, but had become a being of pure energy. Protected by the field I had placed around them, I walked with my friends out of the door and down a hallway. People came running at us, some trying to fire their guns at us but I easily deflected the bullets. As we walked I felt invincible, filled with a confidence I had never possessed before. I felt utterly and completely alive and in control of the situation. My earlier nerves had gone, to be left by a strange sense of calm. However dangerous our current situation, I was certain that I could escort my friends to safety. For their part, they were bewildered and afraid, but the serenity I was projecting seemed to affect them too, and they stayed close to the shining beam of light that I had become, remaining always within my protective field of pure white light.


I did not know my way around the White House, and had no idea how to get out, but that was where my dead friend came to my aid. He led me down numerous hallways and passageways, and I followed him unerringly, trusting him implicitly. My trust wasn’t misplaced, as he eventually led us straight back to our car. We got in, and John began to drive, as if in a dream, my shield of glowing white light now extended around the whole car, protecting us. Above us I heard the roar of helicopters. There was more gunfire, but my protective field held strong. It felt smooth, almost seamless, and utterly effortless. I had come into this building as a 10 year old boy who had to have his tie adjusted and his hair slicked down and I exited it as the saoshyant, the Adam Kasia, the world’s child. Finally, it seemed, I had come into my birthright.


At first we were followed, but I gently dissuaded our pursuers from continuing with their chase. Most of them were humans, acting on the orders of a President that they also assumed to be human. I reached out with my mind, and spoke to them through the connection I had with every living being on the planet.


“You have been deceived,” I whispered, softly, caressing them with the tendrils of glowing light that joined us. “We are not your enemy, we are not the threat.” And, one by one, they stopped chasing us, and came to a stunned halt as they tried to make sense of what was happening.


John drove for a couple of hundred miles, and then I had to withdraw, back into myself, taking up my human form again. I came back to myself with a start, and could have wept for the loss of my glowing, energised form.


“William – are you okay?” Walter asked as I slumped back into the car, a small boy once more, dressed up in his Sunday best in a suit and tie.


“I’m just tired, Uncle Walter,” I told him in a small voice. I realised that the car was very cramped with the addition of Marita in the back seat. Sitting opposite her, half crouched between the driver’s seat and the back passenger seat at an angle that would have been impossible if he had been alive, was the dark haired man. I had been so confused, my senses so befuddled, that I had not realised that he was dead and nobody else could see him.


“Well, you said it had to be something impressive,” I told him.


He grinned. “It was.”


“Thank you,” I told him. “For showing me the way out.”


“Oh, you’d have found it on your own I think, but…” He shrugged. “I had to be there for her. I wasn’t very nice to her when I was alive, although that doesn’t mean I didn’t love her.”


“I understand.” I nodded. “Should I tell her that?”


“No. She doesn’t want to hear it.” He smiled at me. “Just…tell her to think of me sometimes. She was the only good thing I ever had in my life and I threw it away. Despite all I did, I was capable of love – I know that now.” He leaned over, and planted a gentle kiss on her cheek, and then he was gone.


“William?” Mulder said. “There’s someone else here, isn’t there? Are you okay? Do you need any help?”


“No. I’m okay,” I said, turning to my father with an exhausted sigh. “He’s gone now anyway.”


“Who was he?” Walter asked. I hesitated, unsure whether to tell him. Both he and my father had a dark and violent history with the man who had just helped us. His name flashed into my head and I smiled: Alex. Alex Krycek.


“It’s not important,” I said.


“I hate to say this – but what the hell do we do now?” John asked, turning around in his seat and looking at me. Mulder touched my shoulder.


“William? Did you have any other big surprises planned?” He asked.


I thought about it for a moment. “This is it now,” I told them. “It’s started. We can’t hide any more. The time has come to fight.”


“Did you have a particular battlefield in mind?” Walter asked, two emotions battling inside him. On the one hand, he saw me as William, the child he had looked after for the past five years, but somehow, in the past couple of hours, I had become something else, and he didn’t know where he stood with me any more. I knew though – he was still my Uncle Walter, still my security blanket, still the father of my heart.


“We need somewhere with a lot of magnetite,” I said, that knowledge suddenly springing into my mind.


“The biggest magnetite quarry is in the Nevada desert,” Mulder said.


“Where?” John reached for the map under his seat.


“I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to anyone in this car when I tell you that it’s not marked on the map – it’s in Area 51,” Mulder informed us. “It isn’t a coincidence that that ship crashed in Roswell all those years ago. It was the magnetite in that quarry that brought them down. They got too close.”


“It’s the right place,” I nodded, sensing a huge open space, completely un-built up after having been requisitioned by the military. “It’s perfect. We need to go there.”


“They won’t let us in,” John warned.


“Of course they will.” I smiled at him. “We also need people,” I added thoughtfully. “Lots of people.”


“I’ll call Hank,” Monica said, reaching for her cell phone. “I’ll tell him it’s time to get the entire Network to Area 51.”


“We need more than that,” I whispered, my mind reaching out to touch all the tendrils that were the other minds in the world as they brushed against mine.


“We’ll call all the TV and radio stations,” John said, reaching for his own cell phone, but I stopped him.


“No…that’s not necessary,” I told him softly. “I know a way to contact them.”


>I gathered the last energy I had, and transformed myself once more into that glowing white ball of light. Although it was exhausting, I loved this feeling of connection and power, but I didn’t have time to just enjoy it – I had to call every single human being left on the planet to me. In my new, energised form, I could sense billions of minds, pressing in on mine and once I opened up there were so many people’s thoughts that for a moment I was overwhelmed and couldn’t say a thing, but then I rallied, and remembered my task.


“Come and join us,” I invited. “We are all under threat…come and fight with us…let us fight and live or fight and die together. Either way, let us be one…come and join us…” Just a few short months ago I had reached thousands of people when trying to rouse John from his slumber but now I needed to reach billions. I sent out wave after wave of encouragement, having no idea whether anybody would respond or not.


“Follow us. Come with us. Take up your humanity and fight against those who would despoil and destroy our world.” I showed them the ugliness of the aliens, how their true form was at variance with every harmonic sound and dance on this planet.


All around me there were questions, worries, concerns…and I had to silence them all with one single blast to stop them overwhelming me. I couldn’t answer their questions, I could only tell them what I knew to be true:


“Come or we are destroyed.” It was the mental equivalent of shouting at the top of your lungs, and when I’d finished, I slumped back into my body, completely exhausted.


“Did it work?” Mulder asked anxiously. “Are they coming?”


“I don’t know,” I whispered, too tired to even think. I slumped against Walter and he put his arm around me.


“It’s okay, William, get some sleep. John – drive us to the nearest Network safe house. William needs food and rest.”


John nodded and that was the last thing I remember until the next day when I woke up in a strange bed in a strange house with no recollection of how I’d got there. Walter was sitting beside me, Mulder was standing by the window looking out, and Monica was sitting on John’s lap in an armchair next to Mulder. I came to, feeling groggy.


“How are you feeling?” Walter asked as I blinked into wakefulness.


“Okay…did it work?” I asked them. They all looked so tired and anxious.


“Come over here and see for yourself,” Mulder told me, and I slid out of the bed and padded over to the window in my bare feet. Mulder twitched the drapes aside, and I stared in amazement at the sight that greeted me.


There was a line of cars and people stretching back as far as I could see, all converging on this house. Strangely, for so many people, there was very little noise. They seemed to be possessed of a quiet kind of knowledge, a sense of destiny that stilled all questions and thought. Instead they were focussed on just one thing – finding me and following me wherever I took them. Just a short time ago, I might have felt bowed down by that amount of responsibility, but somehow the phenomenal burgeoning of my abilities created in me a sense of confidence and calm that insulated me from the sheer enormity of what was taking place. I felt like a candle that had been steadily burning for years, but now suddenly, overnight, had turned into a massive, flaming fire. The nearness of the people energised me, and already I could feel my head starting to clear, and my powers responding to the challenge facing us.


“I can’t believe this is really happening,” Monica whispered. “After all these years of waiting – it seems so sudden. What happens now, William?”


“We go, very slowly, to Area 51,” I murmured. “We need the people – I can’t do this without them. We need as many as possible – that’s why we have to go slowly, to give as many as possible a chance to join us.”


“And what happens when we get there?” Mulder asked, gazing at me searchingly. I could see from the expression in his eyes that he could hardly believe that I was his son, the child he’d spent the past few years protecting – I had suddenly become something else. I’m often asked to describe that time, when I was at the apex of my powers, but it’s hard to explain what it felt like. I felt as if a light had been switched on, and I was able to access the memories of my entire race, not just the people around me. I felt connected to the past, to the people who had built those spaceships that foretold of my coming, connected to the present, to every living creature around me, connected to the future, and all our hopes and dreams for our world. I was bursting with so much power that it was all I could do to maintain my human form. I wanted to become that creature of pure light – the one I had glimpsed a few years previously in the library at Mulder’s house, when I had take Monica and Walter’s hands and merged with them. I knew that now was not the time though – although I was vastly more powerful than I had ever been, I had to pace myself for the moment when my powers would truly find their fullest expression. I had to wait until we were in Area 51.




There was a great deal to accomplish before we could lead our army to Nevada. It was evident just by looking outside that millions of people were on their way to join us, and we had to find ways to feed and take care of them during the long slow march to our destiny. This was when the Network came into its own. There were Network towns at regular intervals on our route to Nevada – they were already busy setting up the supply lines that would make sure there was enough food, water, blankets and other necessities to keep people alive. Yet, even so, I had no idea how I was going to marshal all these people into some semblance of order, to keep them happy and safe during that journey. That task, thankfully, was taken away from me the following day, when Hank brought a young man to see us.


I knew him immediately – he was the ‘sensitive’ that Hank had told us about a few years previously, my precursor, and possessed of many of the same skills that I had. He was short, his body slightly twisted, and he had a limp. I knew, the moment I saw him, that something terrible had been done to him. His memories told of his mind being ripped into, torn apart, and something stolen from him, and yet he remained gifted, and as committed to saving this planet as I was.


Mulder laughed out loud when he saw him, and drew him into a big bear hug.


“Gibson! I’ve been looking for you for years!” He exclaimed. “Where the hell have you been hiding?”


“I could say the same about you, Mulder,” Gibson Praise replied with a shy smile. “I was given shelter by the Networks and I asked them not to tell anyone I was with them. I needed to keep hidden so that our enemies wouldn’t find me.”


“He was too damn useful to lose,” Hank added, patting Gibson heartily on the back. “And he was real insistent that we didn’t tell anyone where he was – not even you, Mulder.”


“It was just safer that way – for all of us,” Gibson shrugged, and then his expression changed. “I heard about Agent Scully. I’m sorry, Mulder.”


My father swallowed hard, and his volatile emotions went on a rollercoaster ride for awhile, but then he steadied himself and put on his usual brittle mask to hide his grief. I sensed my father had a long history with this young man standing in front of us, and that he trusted him absolutely. Even if that had not been the case, I would have trusted Gibson anyway – we were two of a kind he and I, and we shared many of the same strange abilities. His weren’t as powerful as mine, and had, in some part, been damaged beyond repair by what my father’s father had done to him, years ago, but he was a good man, and I liked him immediately. I had wanted to meet him ever since Hank had told us about him, but my requests had always been turned down. Gibson had been afraid that it would be too dangerous for us to be in the same place until it was the right time, in case the aliens found us. Now, it seemed, that right time was finally here.


Gibson came over to me, shyly, and offered me his hand. I felt a surge of electricity as my own energised form came into contact with his powerful aura.


“I’ve been waiting for you, William,” he told me. “I want to help.”


“Can you take care of all the people?” I asked him. “I can protect them from attack, but I might not have the energy to see to their needs. Can you do that?”


“Of course.” He smiled at me, and I saw inside his mind. He understood how everything was connected, the same way that I did, but his particular talent was people; he could sense their needs, and draw them together. I knew that my army would be in safe in his hands. “The only thing you need to worry about is fighting them,” Gibson told me. “We’ll take care of everything else.” He looked at Hank, Walter, Mulder, John and Monica, and they all nodded.


“We’ll get all these people to Nevada, William,” Hank agreed. “You just make sure you whip some alien butt when we get there.”


People gave small, strained smiles; we all knew that the battle ahead would be hard fought, and nobody was yet entirely sure how it might be won.


The next few days were a blur although I didn’t experience them on any real physical level. I was surrounded by a constant halo of light, and if I didn’t concentrate on keeping my corporeal form then I found myself dissipating into a white, glowing stream of energy. Walter kept me as grounded as possible, reminding me to eat, even insisting that I slept, although it was impossible to explain to him that I had too much energy to do anything as inactive as sleep.


We journeyed to Nevada at the head of a massive convoy of cars and people. We were even joined by several herds of horses and packs of dogs and cats and various other assorted animals who had clearly heard and been affected by my call. The sky turned dark as flock after flock of birds joined the procession, wheeling overhead and forming what felt like a protective blanket above us. I was grateful to them for their early warning cries, because the aliens clearly weren’t about to let our progress go unimpeded. Some time after noon on the second day, several huge spaceships appeared overhead. Effortlessly, I extended myself, so that the entire convoy was bathed in my protective light. The ships fired a torrent of burning laser beams into our midst but they bounced harmlessly off the shield I had erected around us, and after awhile, they gave up, and the ships moved away. I was relieved because the shield took so much of my energy that I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it in place.


Every night we would stop to make camp, and I would send out my mind and survey the army that had sprung up behind me. Only the most attuned and gifted people had responded to my call by joining us, but there were millions of them. The rest of the world waited, offering their mental energy and support, knowing that either it was too far to come or they could not be of much use if they tried. It never ceased to amaze me that so many made the journey though. Each night I would watch thousands more join us. Somehow, they knew to bring things with them. Thus they came with tents, food and tankers of water, and those supplies, combined with the masterly logistical efforts of Gibson and the Network, kept the people happy and fed. There was the most amazing atmosphere in that convoy. Nobody complained, nobody fought, or got drunk, or killed anybody else. It was as if they were all affected by my serenity. They knew that the fate of the entire world depended on them, and, as is so often the case, humanity rose to that challenge. Petty disputes and age-old enmities were forgotten as strangers greeted each other like long-lost cousins, and journeyed together in peaceful harmony. Everyone who was in that convoy still speaks warmly of the atmosphere among all those people. It was like nothing else this planet has experienced, a coming together of people and animals, all on the move towards our destiny. I saw humankind at its very best during that long journey to Nevada.


I felt the magnetite before we even got close to Area 51. It began as a little tingling sensation in my fingertips, and, as we got closer, the tingling became more like a jangling, singing to me, drawing me in, rising to a crescendo with every mile we travelled. I knew the quarry had to be enormous because of the massive pull it was exerting on me. In my current energised state I couldn’t have resisted that pull even if I had wanted to. In my corporeal form, magnetite burned me – now that I had transcended my flesh and blood body, I felt myself burning with it. It was like fuel to my fire, and it pushed me into an even more heightened state of existence.


I don’t remember much about our arrival at Area 51. I do know that Monica and Walter requisitioned the military base for us to stay in, right next to the quarry, and that was where we sat and waited. The military allowed us entry, as I’d predicted, without so much as a single question. I think they were probably even waiting for us, because a huge crowd of them were gathered to greet us as we entered the area, and they all bent over backwards to help us. It was ironic really; after so many years of keeping the area secret, now they let the whole world in, but they had been as affected by my call to battle as much as everyone else, and, like everyone else – perhaps even more so – they knew what we were facing.


“What are we waiting for?” John asked, as the endless days of pacing began to fray on everyone’s nerves except mine.


“For the right time,” I told him. “Look.” I took his hand, and sank into his mind, showing him what I could see. Out to the South and East, there was a massive line of people stretching as far as it was possible to see. “And look here,” I whispered, showing him the scene to the North and West, where several large spaceships hovered overhead, and line after line of super soldiers marched in an endless procession, controlled by squadrons of their alien masters.


“Oh shit. There’s a hell of a lot more of them than there are of us, William,” John whispered, horrified. He was a soldier – he knew what the odds were in any battle if you were outnumbered as much as we were.


“I don’t think this will be a conventional battle, John,” I told him reassuringly.


“Why are the aliens coming here? They know the magnetite is dangerous to them.”


“They have to come; if they don’t they know we will become too strong, and then we will turn on them. There’s safety in numbers for them too – there are too many of them for the magnetite to affect them as badly as it would otherwise; its effects will be dispersed and dissipated.


“So how the hell are we going to fight them?” John asked.


I turned to him, frowning. “I have no idea,” I told him. “But when the time comes, I’m sure I’ll know.”


We went out every night and mingled among the crowds who had gathered on the vast desert plains. People were camped out under the stars, singing and talking, waiting for the moment of destiny to arrive. Nobody mobbed me – they all greeted me by name and although many were shy of approaching me I loved talking to them, feeding off their energy, my powers increasing exponentially every day.


I knew my people were worried about what would happen next, and I couldn’t tell them what that would be because I honestly didn’t know myself. I just felt that when the time came, I would act on instinct again, and everything would fall into place. We issued our army with as many magnetite bullets as we had – although somehow I didn’t think this war would be won by such conventional missiles but maybe they would be useful in buying us time if we needed it.


I often escaped the confines of my body and soared high into the sky, where the many flocks of birds greeted me with squawks of welcome. I loved looking down, and seeing my army of people and animals stretched out beneath me as far as the eye could see. They were so real, so vital and alive. They smelled of humanity unlike the dark black mass that was approaching from the North. The alien army marched in soulless precision across the desert towards us, moving in perfect time like an army of soldier ants, clambering over anything that got in their way. Their dark emptiness was in stark contrast to the vibrant, un-coordinated cacophony of smells and sounds that emanated from my own army, and I shuddered as they came ever closer. It was clear to me that there were as many super soldiers as there were aliens, and I wondered how my people would feel, firing upon the faces of those who they had once loved, but who were now dead and empty – and our implacable foe. For some reason I felt compelled to seek out Billy Miles; he was under armed guard as a precaution on Hank’s part and he was as distant and disconnected as always – yet underlying that he was nervous too, as we all were.


“Billy…I know that you and many of your kind think I’m your saviour, but all I might be able to offer you is death,” I told him. He looked at me from those dark, empty eyes, and I could have wept for him and all his kind.


“Saoshyant, we would welcome release, however it comes,” he told me. “We wish only to be saved from our slavery – and you are our saviour, however you choose to deliver us from our suffering.” I bowed my head to him. He and all the super soldiers were hideous mutations, a lesion on the surface of this world, and yet, their plight touched me to my core. They were creatures that should never have been brought into existence, and I feared that the best I would be able to offer them was simply to undo the harm that had been done them, and finally let them rest in peace, as they deserved.




There were times during those few days when it felt as if the whole planet was on the move. The vibrations, the fear, and the energy – they stoked me up to fever pitch, making it impossible for me to relax. I was no longer William Scully Mulder – I had transcended my birth body and was someone – something – else entirely. At least, that’s the way it felt to me, until the eve of the final battle when something happened that turned me back into nothing more than a scared 10 year old child.


I was lying on my bed – although levitating a couple of inches above it in a cloud of white light would be a more accurate description. It was night but outside the world was filled with the sounds of people arriving, more every hour, pouring across the desert any way they could, joining the hordes already camped. They came from every nation on the planet, and were of all ages and races. If I sent my senses out even further, I could feel the people coming across rivers and oceans and landmasses – it felt as if the population of the entire globe was headed this way.


 I became aware of a presence in the room and knew who it was before I saw. There was the faintest scent of apples and jasmine, and I caught a glimpse of a curtain of red hair, and sat up, immediately.




She was there. She was standing in the room, surrounded by a crackling field of white light and at first I thought that she was present only in the same way as Luke, or Alex Krycek or any of the other dead people I had seen – but then I realised that wasn’t the case. She was still alive! My father had been wrong: she wasn’t dead!


“William,” she said softly, holding out her arms to me. She had such a proud look on her beautiful face. I ran towards her, longing to feel her arms around me – only to run straight through her.


“I’m not here – I’m just projecting an image of myself,” she told me.


“Where are you then?” I asked, confused.


“Outside…here, let me show you…” She sent me the image of a patch of rocky desert, some miles distant. “Come to me,” she said. “I’ll be waiting.” And then she disappeared.


It was easy enough to slip out of the house – nobody questioned where the Adam Kasia, or saoshyant, or world’s child went – I was the summoner, the saviour, and I could do what the hell I liked. I felt in no personal danger – my powers had insulated me from my own flesh and blood mortality and I no longer feared being hurt, abducted or killed. I knew how strong I was and how well I was able to protect myself. So I ran out into the cold desert night air, blind, deaf and oblivious to everything except the thought that I would soon feel my mother’s arms around me – the one thing I had wanted from the moment Mulder had shared his memories with me out by the creek next to the cabin.


I ran away from the gathering hordes of people, into the deserted no man’s zone that separated the two camps. The aliens and super soldiers were marching slowly towards us, but there was a distance of a couple of miles still separating the two armies. It was out there, next to three large boulders, that I met my mother.


She was standing, dwarfed by the largest of the boulders, her red hair illuminated by the bright full moon above us. It rustled in the cool desert wind, and blew back, exposing her beautiful pale face, and delicate neck. She was wearing a plain black pantsuit, and looked very much how she had appeared in my father’s memories. My own memories began to stir: I was very small, listening to my mother croaking out a rendition of Jeremiah was a Bullfrog.  She sang tunelessly but with so much verve that she won a smile from my 6 month old lips. I smiled at the memory, and walked towards her. Her aura was strangely impenetrable; it glowed gold and white but I couldn’t touch it with my own and I guessed she was shielding herself from the army that was marching towards us.


I stopped, a few feet away from her, and we just stared at each other for a long time. Her eyes were bright and sparkling.


“William,” she said, and I had to blink away my tears away that I could see her. I had waited all my life to hear her say my name and now here she was, talking to me.


“Mom,” I whispered.


“Oh, William. You’re so grown up!” She put her hand to her throat, shaking her head. She was as beautiful as Mulder’s memories had suggested – her blue eyes the colour of sapphires, her body petite and yet possessed of such an innate strength. “Come here, William,” she said, holding her arms open for me. I longed to run straight into them, but something stopped me. I hesitated.


“Where have you been, Mom?” I asked her. “I waited for you to come back for me. All my life I’ve waited…”


“I’m sorry. It was safer for you this way,” she told me. “Your father knew but nobody else. We agreed it would be best.”


“But why?” I took a step towards her.


“It’s too long a story to explain now, William. You must come with me and I’ll tell you everything.” She held out her arms again. I wanted nothing more than to do as she said, but still something niggled at me. I sent a questioning thought towards that impenetrable aura of hers. It was definitely her! I could see her memories, could feel them. I saw myself as a baby – she was looking down at me and she loved me so much. Smiling, I began to walk towards her when, from behind me, I heard a desperate shout.


“William! NO!” I recognised Uncle Walter’s voice, and hesitated. I had been so intent on meeting my mother that I had forgotten that one of my family watched over me at all times, day and night. They worked in shifts, but tonight it had been Uncle Walter’s turn; he must have followed me up here.


“Ignore him,” my mother said. “He doesn’t know I’m still alive. He won’t understand…”


“Then we can explain to him,” I said, confused.


“We don’t have time,” she whispered. She was so close now that I was just inches from her outstretched hand. I reached out, and was close to touching her and being reunited with her, finally, after so many years, when my feet suddenly gave way beneath me and something extremely large and heavy landed on top of me, pushing me away from what I wanted most in the world.


“Uncle Walter?” I rolled over in the dirt, and my Uncle got to his feet and stood between me and my mother.


“It’s okay, it’s Mom. It’s Dana,” I told Walter urgently. “She wasn’t killed – Mulder knows all about it.”


“She’s one of them, William. Surely you of all people can see that?” Walter said desperately, pushing me back as I tried to sidestep him.


“No…she’s not…” I shook my head vehemently.


“William, I was with Mulder when he buried your mother. I saw her body. She was dead.”


“You’re wrong!” I cried. “She has my mother’s memories!”


“Borrowed memories,” Walter told me. “She’s a super soldier, William – she has your mother’s memories in the same way that Billy has memories from his life as a human being but that doesn’t mean he’s the same person he once was and neither is she.”


“I don’t believe you!” I yelled, but I knew that even if he had been telling the truth it wouldn’t have mattered to me – she looked, talked, walked and sounded like my mother, and she still had some of my mother’s memories and that was good enough for me. My emotions clouded out any good sense. I was no longer the being of incredible power who had summoned the entire world to his side to fight in a final battle to save our planet; I was just a 10-year-old boy who longed to be with his mother and everything else was forgotten. This apparition in front of me had tapped into something buried very deep into my psyche, something I couldn’t resist – it was almost as if I had been hot-wired to respond to her.


“Let him come to me,” my mother said, her voice cold and imperative. She started to walk towards me, and I refused to run from her – and as long as I stayed, Walter wouldn’t leave either. He tried to push me away, back towards our camp, but she was too fast and plunged towards me, her hand outstretched. I reached for it, but Walter got in the way. She gave a scream of pure anger and hit him with so much force that he was lifted high in the air and smashed into one of the boulders several feet away. I heard the sickening crunch of bones and knew immediately that he was badly hurt. He groaned, winded, and I was torn between running to him and running away with my mother. He was my Uncle Walter, the father of my heart, but she…she was my mother, who I had longed to be reunited with for so many years.


“William,” Walter hissed, pulling himself towards me on his elbows, his entire body racked with pain. “Run! Now! Go – get back to the camp!”


I hesitated – and in that moment she took her chance, lunged forward, and grabbed my hand. I gave a howl of pain and intense loss the moment her flesh made contact with mine; she wasn’t human. I knew that the moment I touched her. The aliens had somehow created that false aura to deceive me but she was a super soldier, doing the bidding of her masters, utterly under their control. Her mind was a dark, smouldering pit of emptiness, and I saw that those memories of hers that had enticed me previously, were just mindless echoes from a past that she had no connection with. It wasn’t her – my mother wasn’t inside this body. I had lost her, all those years ago, just as my father had said, and this was just a puppet, pretending to be her. I tried to connect with my own energy, to protect Uncle Walter and myself but there was something about her touch that got in the way of my powers. I gave a howl of frustration but she was much stronger than me, and without my abilities I was just a small, 10 year old boy, fighting against an utterly ruthless killing machine. She pulled me along, dragging me behind her, with me screaming all the way, looking back at where Uncle Walter lay on the ground, his head weeping blood and his legs twisted underneath him. Into this nightmare, came a low, shaking voice.


“Let him go.”


She stopped and turned, taking me with her, and I saw my father, his face gaunt and pale, a gun in his hand.


“Mulder…it’s me,” she said, and for a moment, as he heard those old, familiar words, said in an old, familiar voice, he faltered. “I’ve come back to help you,” she told him, with a little smile. “You always did need my help, remember?”


“It isn’t her, Mulder,” I whispered, screaming inside as the grasp of her fingers on my wrist chilled me to the very bone. She was a dark, empty creature, programmed to destroy.


“Let him go or I’ll shoot,” Mulder said. “And the bullets in this gun are made of pure magnetite.”


She stared at him. “You won’t shoot me, Mulder. It’s me, Scully. Your Scully. You won’t shoot me,” she insisted, backing away, taking me with her.


He didn’t even hesitate; the sound of the gun firing boomed through the cold desert air. There was a high pitched scream, like an animal, and then the creature holding me fell to the ground, her body jack-knifing in pain.


“William, come here,” my father said. I looked at her, where she lay on the floor. She wore my mother’s face and she was in such terrible agony. “Now, William,” my father said insistently. I could feel the tears streaming down my face as I ran into the cover of his outstretched arm. I could feel the comforting waves of his sheer humanity wash over me as I came into the protective circle of his embrace. He was a flawed, conflicted man, and while he might not have been able to compete with the fantasy of the perfect parent that I had built up in my head about my mother, he was real, he was here, and he loved me.


“Stay here,” he said, and then he walked over to where the super soldier bearing my mother’s form was writhing on the ground, and stood over her, his gun raised. “You bastards,” he whispered. “You couldn’t leave her alone, even in death, could you? After all she’d been through…you couldn’t let her rest in peace. When did you infect her? When you abducted her? Was it that long ago? Huh? Or was it some time later? When?” There was no reply. My father stood there, his chest heaving, gazing down at her. “When?” He whispered, his face crumpling. “Oh, Scully…when did they do this to you?”


“Mulder,” Walter whispered, but my father raised his hand, silencing him. We watched as Mulder leaned down, placed his gun against that creature’s head, and pulled the trigger. She gave another terrible cry and I knew that the sound sliced through my father’s heart, but he stood firm, and pulled the trigger again, and then again. Finally, the creature went still…and a few seconds later a sound like a great sigh escaped from her lips, and something white and glowing emerged from her mouth. I watched as it fled out, visible only to me, paused for a second, merged with the energy patterns all round us briefly, and then was gone. I felt a sensation of profound peace, and heard one word echo in the air around us:




I realised then why my mother hadn’t appeared to me in all the years since her death. I already knew that the alien virus that turned people into super soldiers caused huge disruption and disharmony to the fabric that connected all the living beings on the planet. Now I understood just why they were such an abomination; the process of mutation caused some small part of the original human’s energy, soul, spirit – whatever you want to call it – to be left behind. My mother had never been truly dead any more than she had been truly living; instead she had been confined to a kind of nightmarish limbo. My father had just performed one final act that had set her free – and, however hard it might have been for him, for her it had been an act of kindness, and release.


I watched, as if from a great distance, as my father got up, the gun hanging listlessly from his hand, his eyes fixed on the body of the woman he had once loved so much. A low moan drew his attention away from her and within seconds he was at Walter’s side. He knelt down beside Walter, and gazed at him thoughtfully.


“You’re a mess,” he commented. Uncle Walter snorted, remembering when he’d said those very words to Mulder. I realised that my father had waited a long time to be able to say them back to him. Mulder smiled, and gently checked Walter’s injuries. I ran to Walter’s side, but I could tell from his groaning and the anxious look in Mulder’s eyes that he was seriously hurt.


“William, can you call a doctor from the camp?” He asked, and I nodded and was about to do just that when I was distracted by a sound like rumbling thunder. I glanced up, and saw, in the distance, the huge alien army, headed straight for us. Row upon row of super soldiers marched, a grimly determined look on each and every face, and I knew without any recourse to my special abilities that I was the sole focus of these killing machines.


“William – get the hell out of here. Get back to the camp!” My father ordered.


“What about Uncle Walter?” I protested, glancing over to where my beloved Walter lay, eyes half-closed, his face twisted in pain. Mulder grabbed my arm and pushed me away.


“The entire planet needs you. Nobody needs us. Now go!” He ordered, in a harsh voice.


“I need you,” I whispered. “I need both of you.” Behind me the ground was shaking with the footsteps of the soldiers.


“William…can you lift us back to the camp – all of us – using your powers?” Mulder asked me. I looked at him helplessly, but we all knew that I had never shown any ability to translocate in this way. I suddenly cursed my abilities – all these spectacular gifts and I couldn’t do the one thing I really needed to be able to do. I was determined to try anyway, and I spread my arms, and surrendered myself to the growing energy that was whirling across the desert. Within seconds I was insubstantial, and I knew that I could travel like this…I could just allow the wind to blow me back to the camp…but I couldn’t lift Walter and Mulder and take them with me. The super soldiers were so close right now that I could feel their rank, dark emptiness descending upon us. I knew I could extend that protective shield around Walter and Mulder – but I couldn’t do that and get myself back to the camp, and I knew my shield wouldn’t last long under the onslaught of this massive army now bearing down on us. My father could have fled back to the camp with me of course – he wasn’t injured – but I knew that he would never leave Walter. My father is a man of many faults as he’d be the first to admit, but cowardice isn’t one of them. He’s a brave, loyal man, and he wasn’t about to abandon an injured friend – least of all if he happened to also be in love with that friend.


“GO!” Mulder told me. “If you love us, William, you’ll go. Please,” he said. I’d never heard my father plead for anything in my life, and the urgency of his tone finally got through to me. With a cry of total despair, I fled into the wind, leaving them far behind me. I could still see them, long after I had gone. They were exchanging grim glances as I disappeared into the faint light of the new dawn.


“You ready for this, Walter?” Mulder asked. “You and me – one final stand. Like Butch and Sundance?”


“Can I be Butch?” Walter asked, in a hoarse, pain-filled voice.


“Sure you can,” Mulder grinned.


“Then I’m ready.” Walter managed a faint grin of his own, and Mulder stood up, planted himself in front of Walter’s prone body, raised his gun, feeble protection though it would be against an entire army, and waited.




I arrived back at the camp, solidified into my human form again, and immediately found myself surrounded by people.


“It’s time,” I told them. I was filled with what I can only describe as a burning rage. First they had violated my mother, then they had hurt my beloved Uncle Walter, and now they were bearing down on my father with the intent of killing the two people I loved most. They had murdered my adoptive parents, despoiled my world, and disrupted the harmony of every living thing on it. My anger, once it began, knew no bounds. It spilled out of my body and became a huge, mushrooming white cloud. I was suddenly all points in the world at once. I could see, quite literally, everything. I could see that great army bearing down on us, moving as if in time to an invisible drum, step after step synchronised and controlled by their alien overlords. At their heart was a dark, smouldering emptiness, stark and devoid of life. I could see my own army, gathered behind me; messy, untidy, full of millions of individuals, out of step, idiosyncratic, but gloriously, wonderfully human, teeming with life, humming and vibrating with energy, our interconnected threads merging into one massive white glowing ball.


People often ask me when I knew what I was going to do – whether I had planned and strategised it, and it’s hard to make them understand that it just wasn’t like that. Everything I had ever done, all my life, I’d done on instinct, and this was no different.


“Billy…” I knew that I had spoken, but the word boomed out and reverberated around me as if it had been said by someone 50 times my size. Immediately I found Billy’s unmistakeable aura of blank, slightly confused emptiness. “Billy – tell your people not to attack. Tell them I can give them their release,” I said, my anger making my voice hard and implacable. “Tell them that this is their chance. If they fight their masters now, I can deliver them from their slavery. I can’t give them their lives back, Billy, but I can give them their deaths.”


I extended enough of my power to Billy that he could communicate directly with his fellow super soldiers, and, as he spoke, the entire army faltered fractionally. Frantically, I used that moment of hesitation to send my thoughts out to Mulder and Walter. Mulder was still standing, defending my injured Uncle Walter; the alien army was literally just a few feet away from them, but they didn’t even seem to have seen them…no, that wasn’t it; they had seen them – they just weren’t interested in them. They were focussed on me and everything else was an irrelevance. I was the key. Without me our people stood no chance of defeating the aliens and they knew it. I felt a ripple pass through the alien army. Some super soldiers were fighting the control their alien masters had over them, and, winning that fight, they dropped their weapons and fell to the ground, waiting for their release.


At first I was heartened, and then I realised that it still wasn’t enough, the alien army still totally outnumbered us. A cold wind blew above us, and, looking up, we all saw the giant alien mothership hovering overhead, attended by dozens of smaller sisterships. As we waited, in tense silence, a beam of light extended from the mothership’s belly, and we watched as thousands upon thousands of aliens were transported down to the planet’s surface to join the ranks of their army. They made no pretence of assuming human form – they came in their natural state, and a collective gasp of sheer horror went up from among my people. The aliens had so many tentacles that it was impossible to count them all and as they waved them we could see the rows upon rows of sharp spines that covered each one. What was frightening about them though wasn’t so much their resemblance to a pit of snakes, or the vile stench that emanated from them…it was the dark, gaping maw at their centre, filled with sharp white teeth that snapped open and shut, open and shut, as if they wanted to swallow the entire world whole. They were truly creatures of everybody’s worst nightmare – and I don’t think that was simply a coincidence. They were just like the demons, monsters, and bogeymen that have peopled our nightmares, legends and fireside tales for all of our recorded existence. They were everything we’ve ever known in our collective unconscious to be evil, frightening, and wrong. I believe our race memory recalled our last meeting with these beasts and retained their image forever more, enshrining it in our worst nightmares as a warning against these creatures.


Now their very wrongness was tearing apart the fabric of our world once more, disrupting the interlocking harmonies and slicing into the very threads of our existence, and still they kept on coming, row after row of them, landing on our soil, harming our world with their presence. I spread myself wide, formed a huge white cloud of gleaming energy, and then rose high into the air and surveyed both our armies. Mine, although eager and willing, was half the size of theirs.


“I need more help,” I whispered, returning to my body.


“This is all we got,” John told me. He and Monica were standing on either side of me, my faithful lieutenants. To John’s right stood Hank and the main leaders of the Network, and to Monica’s left stood Marita. Beside her was Gibson Praise.


An almighty roar distracted me, and I saw that the aliens had stopped marching and now stood, poised, right on the edge of the magnetite quarry. I knew they could come no further – they would not risk it. Instead they would try to find a way to entice me out. I was right – a few seconds later, one of the aliens stepped forward and my heart flipped inside me as I saw that he was holding my father and Uncle Walter in his long, coiled tentacles. He didn’t speak, but I heard his voice inside my head, whispering, sibilant and cold.


“Come for them, or we’ll kill them,” he hissed, and to illustrate his point he drew one of his sharply spined tentacles across my father’s back. I heard Mulder cry out in pain, and my anger flared, incandescent in the force of its fury.


I sent out one voiceless, booming command to my people:


“Clasp hands…let me draw on your energy…share it with me.”


I took John and Monica’s hands in my own and gave a shout of exhilaration as the combined energy of millions of human beings shot through me, expanding me just as it had done that day back in Mulder’s library when I had shared Monica and Walter’s energy. Now, I felt iridescent with power. I was, in that moment of time, the entire world. I was everyone, every living creature, every tree, every insect, every human. I was connected to everything in a way that was so profound and yet so simple.


It was my understanding of the way the world worked that was the key to what I did next. I had, after all, spent my entire life studying this beautiful world – I knew all its secrets. I soared out, sending my energy into the quarry, finding every single deposit of magnetite in every single rock and crevasse. I caressed the rock with my energy, felt myself tingle and burn with the touch of it, and it responded to me in the same way. It was like hot water meeting cold rock and a huge, hissing tide of steam rose up from the quarry and filled the air above. I felt my strength starting to fade with the enormity of what I was doing, and called on my people to give me the energy to complete my task. They rose to the challenge, concentrating hard, clasping their hands for all they were worth and sending their positive thoughts and all the energy in their combined life force to aid me. The aliens stood, waiting, watching, but not understanding. The entire quarry was now filled with steam; it rose in the air, an intense, concentrated mix of water vapour and liquefied magnetite. Still I continued to pour myself into the rocks all around me, turning them to hot molten lava, and the steam rose even more furiously.


The aliens seemed, belatedly, to understand what was happening, and all hell broke loose. The aliens and those super soldiers still on their side, opened fire on us; the ships above us joined in, firing sharp, slicing laser beams into our midst, designed to kill, maim and destroy. I hastily erected the protective shield around my people, and deflected the laser beams away but now, with my energies concentrated on two different tasks, both offensive and defensive, I was fading again. I didn’t have the resources to protect my people and continue to liquefy the magnetite. Dimly, I heard John order our people to fire, and magnetite bullets flew through the air towards our enemies but our weapons were pitifully few against such a large army, and I knew we couldn’t hold them off for long. Their onslaught became stronger as they concentrated on piercing the protective shield I was holding above our people; they knew that if they just kept firing for long enough that my powers would start to fail me, and then we would be weak and defenceless, and they could move in for the kill. Once I was disposed of, it would be an easy matter to annihilate my army, and take over this world and every living creature in it.


“I need more – more…” I told my army, my voice fading with the strain of protecting them from the overhead assault. There was a faint surge, but they were exhausted too – I was draining them dry. I was overcome with despair; I saw the world dying around me, and me unable to stop it. Surely, it hadn’t come to this? Surely, with all my powers, I should be able to keep my people safe? If not, then why had I been born with them? I gave a wail of pure desolation…and it was at that moment that salvation arrived.


“We’ll help,” piped up a voice I knew very well, and I saw Luke appear by his father’s side.


“We might not have as much energy as living beings, but we have some and we want to help,” Alex Krycek told me, materialising beside Marita.


“You bet!” said a voice I remembered as belonging to the little man who had appeared in my father’s room when he was injured – Frohike. The three men my father had referred to collectively as the ‘gunmen’ materialised beside Krycek, and next to them was Samantha, smiling at me cheekily, clutching the hand of a white haired lady I knew to be my paternal grandmother. With them was Samantha’s father, the man who had raised Mulder as his own son, and suddenly the entire place seemed to be filled with the faint, insubstantial auras of our dead. They came in their millions, in their tens of millions, in their billions, each of their individual lights like the moon compared to the blazing, sun-like auras of the living, but they added their power to our army, and I felt us becoming stronger by the second.


 A lined, wizened old man materialised straight in front of me and I recognised my father’s father, a man whose name was shrouded in mystery and deceit. His hands were trembling as he reached out and touched my arm.


“I want to help too,” he said, his lined face creased with the enormous weight of his own contrition. “I made some terrible mistakes during my life…I’d like to help. I’ll go if you don’t want me but I’d like to stay.”


“You can stay, Grandfather,” I assured him, unconcerned about the black deeds he had done in his life. Those were between him and his own conscience; I would not turn away anyone’s help on this day.


Now, I was life and death as I soared into the sky once more, stronger than ever before. Now, instead of just defending us, I started to attack. I sucked the molten magnetite from the earth, trailing it behind me like a comet. I showered the alien vessels above us with the molten magnetite and they faltered and came to an abrupt halt, shuddering and screeching, before exploding in the sky and giving the millions of people below an impromptu firework display.


Feeling utterly exhilarated and totally invincible, I gathered in the vapour that I had released from the quarry, and called the storm clouds to me. They came, connected to me by the same threads that connected everything on the planet, and I sent them on their way, dark with rust coloured rain. The sky turned black, and thunder rolled across the desert. I returned to my people, buoyed up by their strength, and we watched as the heavens opened, and rained down a torrent of warm red water upon the earth. There was a silence, as the aliens struggled to comprehend what was happening, and then, as the magnetite began to burn them, they at last understood. The air was rent with the sound of their death cries and they writhed and screamed in the wet desert dust, the magnetite in the rain penetrating their skins, and killing them as surely as their lasers had been designed to kill humans. Amid the screams of pain were other cries too – and the air was alive with the whispered thanks of super soldiers who had been released from the prospect of eternal servitude to a race of cruel and inhuman masters. Many went to their deaths with smiles on their upturned faces, as they knelt in the dust and waited for the rain to kill them. I saw Billy, running out from the protective shield I had placed over us in order that he could meet his own death with his fellow soldiers.


The warm, rust coloured rains fell for hours and I felt my energy begin to fade. I was utterly exhausted from all my exertions, and at last I found myself returning to my body. I felt numb, weary beyond belief, and finally I was unable to keep the shield in place. We didn’t need it any more anyway, as the rain posed no threat to us. Once the shield came down, the rain washed over us, warm and cleansing, making our clothes cling to our bodies and streaking our skins with rust. I fell to my knees, my head hanging down between my shoulders, beyond exhausted. My body felt heavy, old and tired compared to the lightness and joy of being that creature of pure energy. I was so tired that I couldn’t protect myself from the rain, and it seared my skin, causing a sensation like a severe case of sunburn. Nobody else was affected, and to this day I don’t know why magnetite burns me in this way; I think, somehow, that it was necessary for me to have this reaction to it in order to have been able to do what I did.


“William,” Monica said, crouching over me in the wet desert dust, trying to shield me from the burning rain with her body. “Are you okay?”


“I’m just very, very tired,” I told her, a sense of hysteria folding in on me in the wake of my exhaustion. “Why are you looking at me like that, Monica?” I asked, reaching out a finger to touch her rust streaked face.


“I was just remembering something,” she told me. “Something from one of those books in Mulder’s library.” Her tone was awe struck as she quoted the passage to me: “Saoshyant will purify both the wicked and the righteous by causing all to pass through a river of molten metal  (obtained through the melting of the mountains). This experience will be pleasant for the righteous (like being bathed in warm milk) but agonizing for the wicked (until all sins are purged away).”  That’s what you just did, William, in a way. You caused the aliens to pass through a river of molten metal – it doesn’t hurt us…” She held out her hand and caught a tiny puddle of the torrential rain in the palm. “Like being bathed in warm milk,” she said.


I laughed – I couldn’t help myself. I sat down in the middle of that quarry, surrounded by the billions of people, dead and alive, who had helped me, and I laughed. That it should come down to something this simple, that all my skills had been leading to this moment, when all I’d done to save an entire world was to make it rain. It was absurd and yet somehow so right. I laughed and laughed as the rain burnt into my skin, and washed away our enemies.


My laughter spread, rippling out through the threads and tendrils of light that connected us, and my army began to break up. They loosened their hands and began to dance and clap and sing; they were as weary as I was, drained of all their energy, and yet filled with the joy of triumph and release.


Then something magical happened. As I sat on the ground, watching my people celebrate, too dazed and weary to join them, I saw that the dead were dancing with the living. I had woven their auras together when I was feeding off their combined energies, and as a result, the living found that not only could they see the dead but they could hold them and converse with them too. I smiled, and urged them to make the most of it, for already the threads that bound us were separating out again and we were returning to our natural state. This moment wouldn’t last for long but it was beautiful nonetheless. I have so many snapshot images of that day, most of them hazy, seen, as they were, through my exhausted eyes. I remember seeing a 9 year old boy being swung delightedly into the air by his father, as John Doggett was reunited with his son, Luke. I remember Marita sitting, soaked to the skin, her white blouse clinging to her slender shoulders, having an intense conversation with Alex Krycek. I remember my grandfather sitting side by side with Gibson Praise, a faintly astonished look on both their faces as the old man made a stumbling apology. And I remember something else – something completely unexpected, something I only ever told two other people about before now.


As I sat there, in the desert, in the pouring rain, I felt someone approach. I smelled her before I saw her – there was the faintest hint of jasmine and apple in the air. I looked up, to find her standing there, bathed in the faint, almost translucent white glow of the dead.


“William,” she said.


This was true and real – it wasn’t a trick. This was my mother. She was more insubstantial than the other dead people, and I knew that this was because she had only recently fully passed over.


“Mom.” I tried to stand, unsteadily, but I was too weak, and she stopped me, her blue eyes glowing with tears. Now I wondered how I could ever have mistaken that cold, empty super soldier for my beautiful mother – she had worn my mother’s face, but she could never have copied my mother’s strong, resonating aura. Dana Scully sat down next to me and took me in her arms and I wept with joy as I finally experienced the one moment I had been waiting for all my life.


“I’m so proud of you,” she whispered, wiping the wet hair out of my eyes. “I love you so much. Never forget that, will you?”


“No. Never.” My face crumpled as I reached out and touched her beautiful porcelain white face, and she smiled at me.


“Tell your father to let me go and find his happiness where he can,” she whispered. “He deserves that. He’s a good man, William.”


“I know.” I nodded, my tears blinding me. I clung to her and told her everything about my life, about my love for her, and she listened and stroked my hair. I wanted that moment to go on forever but I knew that it couldn’t. Finally, I ran out of words, and she drew away from me.


“I don’t have the strength to stay – I’m too new. I must go,” she told me. “Thank you, William; you were everything we could have hoped for and more. Farewell, my dear, dear son.”


She kissed me and got to her feet. I saw another woman standing, just to one side, behind her; a very pretty woman with long red hair and a wide Scully smile who I knew immediately to be my aunt Melissa. Melissa was carrying my old playmate, Emily in her arms and behind her stood a dark haired lady, and a bald man with just a few tufts of red hair; my maternal grandparents. My mother took Emily in her arms, and I was happy for her that she would, finally, have the chance to take care of the child she had always longed for.  The Scully family surrounded my mother, their pale auras merging into one, smiled at me, sent their love…and then disappeared. I sat there for a long time, warmed by the quiet joy of the encounter, too tired and happy to move.


At some point, the rains began to subside. I was beyond coherent thought, but thankfully John quickly went into action, ordering Hank, Gibson and the Network chiefs to take care of our people, and see to any of them that had been injured in the battle. Then John turned to me.


“You okay, William?” He asked, bending down beside me. “You look beat, buddy, and your skin looks raw. We need to get you to a hospital. Want me to carry you?”


“Yes…no! I need to find my father and Uncle Walter. Walter was hurt…” I tried to get up, but my body wasn’t obeying my commands any more and I fell right over again.


“Hold on. We’ll find ’em,” John said. “Monica, Gibson – find us a doctor.” John picked me up, and I put my arms around his neck so that he could carry me more easily. “Seems to me that last time we saw them they were up there, on the edge of the quarry,” John said. I nodded, and tried to send my thoughts out to locate them, only to find that my powers had, for now at least, completely disappeared. The truth is that they never did come back the way they were before. I think maybe that I burnt myself out that day in the desert – or maybe I was never supposed to keep them; they had reached a pretty frightening degree by the end after all. I can still spent hours staring at an ant crawling across the ground, and I can still see the interconnected threads that bind us. I can still reach into people’s memories and catch their thoughts – but I can’t transform myself into a glowing ball of energy any more, and for that I’m actually pretty grateful!


It was almost impossible to see where we were going – the desert was littered with bodies and the remains of the alien spaceships. I looked around despairingly – how would we ever find them? At that moment, a tall, thin woman surrounded by a halo of white light appeared in front of me.


“This way,” she whispered, and I told John, who could not see her, what direction we should go in. We followed her through that stinking battlefield, and up the side of the quarry. She led us towards the shelter of some rocks, and then gestured with her hand.


“Thank you,” I whispered.


“You’re welcome. He’s my son,” she told me proudly. “Tell him I love him,” she added, and then she disappeared.


John rounded the corner, and I gave a cry of relief as we found my father and Walter sitting in a veritable sea of dead aliens, their raw, wet flesh fetid and stinking. Mulder was cradling Walter in his lap, his arms wrapped tightly around the big man as he talked furiously in Walter’s ear, trying to keep him from falling into unconsciousness.


“Don’t you dare die on me, Walter Skinner,” he was saying as we approached. “Don’t you dare fucking die. You promised didn’t you, huh? When I told you that everyone else had died on me you told me that you hadn’t, and you wouldn’t. You promised, goddamit, you sonovabitch and I’m holding you to it. You can’t die, Walter. I need you too fucking much. You know that. I love you, Walter. I fucking love you.”


Walter was teetering on the brink of unconsciousness, but he did manage to reach out, take Mulder’s hand in his, and squeeze.


It felt wrong, strange, for Uncle Walter to be lying here, so badly hurt. He had always been the big, strong, in charge one. He’d always known what to do and how to help us when we were hurting, and now he was the one in pain. John put me down next to them, and Mulder’s face lit up when he saw me. He looked terrible, his shirt half hanging off his thin body, his clothes wet through, his face streaked with rust, and a long, weeping, purple weal across his back where the alien had hurt him. Walter looked even worse – his glasses had been smashed to pieces when he fell, and his face was covered in little scratches. Blood poured from a wound on his forehead, and his skin was grey, and haggard. Both Mulder and Walter were shivering; they were in shock as a result of their injuries and the stress of all they’d been through and the warm rain had cooled on their bodies, chilling them. Mulder reached out and wrapped a hand around the back of my neck to draw me close, and we rested our foreheads against each other for a moment.


“Thank god you’re alive, William,” he whispered. “I can’t lose either of you. I told Walter that. He understands that, don’t you Walter?”


Walter gave a hazy smile, and I kissed his blood stained cheek. “I’m sorry – this happened because of me,” I whispered, horrified.


“Did you just save the world?” Walter asked me, in a croaking voice. I frowned.


“I guess,” I muttered.


“Then you’re pretty much forgiven anything right now,” he said, and it was such a typical Walter comment that I couldn’t help smiling.


“Walter – just hang on, buddy,” John said. “Monica is bringing a doctor. Just hold on.”


“I was chasing after you, calling your name, but you didn’t stop…” Walter whispered to me, his eyes going out of focus. “She wasn’t your mother, William.”


“I know that – I didn’t hear you, Uncle Walter…I was concentrating too hard on her.” I looked up at Mulder. “How did you know where we were?” I asked him.


“I guess you’re not the only one with a few extra sensory skills,” he replied, with a chuckle. “Where’s that medical help, John?” He looked up anxiously, his arms wrapped tightly around Uncle Walter, keeping him close, trying to warm his rain drenched body as best he could.


“It’s comin’” John said, talking into his cell phone. “It’s coming.”


“Christ, speed it up. He’s dying here!” Mulder said, and I knew he was right – I could feel Uncle Walter slipping away. I took his hand.


“I saw your mother,” I told him. “She led me to you. She said to tell you she loves you.” He closed his eyes, but I knew that he had heard me as he faded into unconsciousness with the faintest hint of a smile hovering on his lips.


I remember once wondering who took care of Uncle Walter – and the answer, when it came to it, is that we all did. He had been our rock throughout, and now that he was so badly injured we rallied around him. Monica didn’t just bring a doctor – she brought an entire ER team with her. God knows how she found them but I later heard that our people had intuitively known what to do in the wake of the great battle. They organised themselves into teams according to their gifts, and thus it was that the medical people had found each other and were even now going around giving medical assistance. Those in the military had brought with them whole mobile hospitals, and hundreds of chefs and cooks had gathered together and were starting to get everyone fed. Gibson co-ordinated them, ensuring that all those who had stood with me in the Nevada desert that day were taken care of.


John managed to get one of the helicopters circling overhead to land and the medical team accompanied me, Walter and Mulder into the ‘copter and off to the nearest hospital.


“Don’t you worry about a thing down here,” John said to me, surveying the tidal wave of people, the dead, stinking mounds of aliens, and all the other detritus of the final battle. “Monica and me’ll sort things out here. We’ll get these people and animals safely back to their homes just as soon as we can.”


As it turned out, there was, inevitably, a good deal more to be sorted out than that, but John and Monica were in their element and took care of it. To be honest, there was nobody else who could take care of it. The President and a considerable number of our other politicians had been aliens and they were now all dead. The entire world was in disarray as people tried to come to terms of what we had just lived through, and John and Monica were pivotal in getting things up and running again with the minimum of fuss. It helped that they were my closest friends – after having seen me in action, people were mighty wary of doing anything that might upset me, which will seem absurd to all those who know me but that initial element of fear proved very useful at first in getting the world straightened out.


I spent several days in the hospital recovering both from exhaustion and from the burns on my skin. I refused to be separated from Uncle Walter – although I wasn’t alone in that as Mulder refused to be separated from Walter too, so they just had to find a room that was big enough for all three of us. My exhaustion was so absolute that I was unable to get out of bed for the first few days. I was still feeling the after effects of that monumental battle a year later, and even now I sometimes have days when I’m too tired to move. I’m fine with that – that’s the price I paid for all the many wonderful gifts that were given to me and I’m not complaining.


Uncle Walter was in a coma for three days and it was touch and go the whole time whether he would pull through. Mulder never once left his side and I spent most of those three days when I wasn’t sleeping just staring at Uncle Walter were he lay in his bed, grey faced and badly wounded.


I was awakened from a deep sleep on the fourth day by a noise that was like music to my ears; it was the blessed, all too familiar sound of the two people I loved best in the world arguing.


“I’m just saying that I think Sundance was way cooler, that’s all,” Mulder was saying.


“Yeah, but Butch got the girl,” Walter replied in a croaking voice, and I sat straight up in bed at the sound of his voice.


“Yeah, that may be so, but Sundance got Butch,” Mulder said slyly. “So I don’t think he did too badly either.”


Walter gave a snort, and then a short bark of laughter that descended into a wheeze, and surrendered the point.


“Uncle Walter!” I scrambled out of my bed, and immediately swayed as the room swam all around me.


“Hold on, William,” Mulder said, getting up and grabbing me before I fell. He carried me over to Walter’s bed and sat me down beside the big man. “I think someone’s pretty keen to see you,” he said with a grin.


“Uncle Walter you’re awake and arguing with Mulder again. Does this mean you’re not going to die?” I asked him. Uncle Walter took one look at Mulder and they both burst out laughing – although Uncle Walter had to stop pretty quickly because he was still weak and hazy and it hurt him inside.


“The kid knows us too well,” Mulder sighed. “So, Walter, does this mean you’re going to live?” He asked, a wide grin on his face. Uncle Walter considered the matter for a moment.


“Well, we fought off the aliens, the world’s been saved, and the two people I love most are right here with me, so, y’know, I think I’ll stick around,” he told me in a low, rasping voice.


I grinned, and then, to my total delight, Mulder leaned over me, and bestowed a brief, gentle kiss on Walter’s lips. The air fizzed around them, and even in my weakened condition the colours emanating from that kiss were so bright that it didn’t take any effort at all to see them. I sensed a change in Mulder. He was still volatile and moody, still brilliant, quick witted, intuitive and smart, but now he was also at peace with himself. Something had changed when he had been forced to kill the super soldier masquerading as my mother, and I think that when he’d realised that he might lose Uncle Walter, he had come to understand just how much he loved him. In the quiet of the hospital room, I told Mulder and Walter about my meeting with my mother after the battle, and I think it had a profound effect on them both. I passed my mother’s message onto my father; he didn’t say anything – he just gave me a bright, brittle smile that hid a multitude of feelings, but later, when he thought I was asleep, he crawled into the hospital bed beside Walter, wrapped his arms around him, and held him for the rest of the night.




So, we’ve nearly reached the end of the story of my childhood; nearly – but not quite. I should tie up a few loose ends, and say who did what next. Of course I was only 10 years old when we fought the aliens, so technically speaking I had a good few years left of my childhood, and I definitely used them to make up for lost time. Immediately after our release from the hospital, we went to live in, of all places, the White House. We didn’t really have a lot of choice – I was the only leadership figurehead left and no matter how much I tried to be a 10 year old boy, all people tended to remember was the massive, glowing being of pure energy who had fought off the alien invaders. Walter, Mulder, John and Monica were pretty famous too. Even Hank has been the subject of innumerable documentaries and biographies.


John and Monica got married in a ceremony that was covered by every single magazine in the entire world, much to John’s disgust. I’m sure you’ll all remember his look of pure panic when he thought Walter had lost the wedding ring just as Monica arrived at his side for the ceremony to begin. Needless to say, Walter was just teasing him, but that picture made it into thousands of magazines all over the world.


John returned to the FBI as Director, while Monica stayed at the White House to help run the interim government with Mulder and Walter – and, nominally at least, me. I wasn’t much interested in governing anything though – I preferred to spend my time playing with kids my own age, mostly, although not exclusively, live children. I went to school for the first time in my life, which wasn’t easy as I was such a celebrity but I insisted on it. I wanted to have as normal a life as would ever be possible. And really, it has been possible to lead something of a normal life. I don’t need protecting, after all – I have powers enough left to protect myself if anyone should try and harm me. I’m recognised wherever I go, but I don’t mind that – I’ve always loved feeling connected to the world, so to me it just seems that there’s a sea of friendly faces greeting me whenever I step outside the door.


I was right about what I said to Monica all those years ago though. I love every single living being on this planet, but I’ll never join in that beautiful dance that two people do when they’re in love with each other. I’m just not supposed to reproduce – genetically speaking, I think it would cause a problem in our gene pool. I’ve never wanted to either – I’ve been more than compensated by all the wonderful things I can see around me. I can still spend two days sitting staring into space, but people are used to me and all my strange ways.


Monica, Walter and Mulder ran the government for awhile, but Mulder wilted under the strain of having to be diplomatic so much of the time, and Uncle Walter felt he’d contributed enough to the world, frankly, and wanted to retire while he was still young enough to enjoy himself. They live very happily in a beautiful house in a remote location whose whereabouts I’m absolutely forbidden to divulge. I spent the rest of my childhood with them, and still only feel really happy when I’m within hearing distance of their many arguments. Luckily those arguments are more light-hearted these days, but they still bicker the whole time. I’m convinced it’s just because they like making up so much afterwards but with two such strong personalities you’d have to expect that there’ll always be fireworks. Mulder has talked me into going on one final mission with him – he wants us to go to Mount Ararat and see if we can find that spaceship he’s always talked about. Uncle Walter says he’s crazy, but I think I’ll go. It might be interesting!


Monica took to politics amazingly well, and is now not only the happy mother of a beautiful baby girl called Dana, who I love to pieces, but is also running for President next year. Monica’s already shown that she’s more than capable of doing the job so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was elected. Hank, Marita, and Gibson are all doing well – I see them regularly and love them all dearly.


As for me – all kinds of ridiculous myths have grown up about me. Hopefully I’ve managed to dispel most of them in this narrative. I do my best to dissuade people from forming religious cults with me as their centrepiece – I’ve never been comfortable with people worshipping me; it strikes me that it interrupts the normal flow of energy and concentrates it unhealthily in one place. I wasn’t the only one who has had to struggle with that. You have no idea how amusing it was to see my father open an invitation to attend the opening of The Temple Of The Blessed Fox – Father of the Resurrector in China. Needless to say that was one of many invitations that he turned down. The little interim government comprised of John, Monica, Walter, Mulder and myself (with me doing more cycling around the White House lawns than any actual governing it must be said!) placed the greatest emphasis on getting democratic institutions back in place as quickly as possible and allowing people to get on with their lives – not quite the lives they knew before that day in Nevada, but maybe something a little bit better.


The events that took place in Area 51 gave the world the breathing space to fix some of the problems that had been festering for a long, long time. I like to think that something good and redemptive arose out of the horror of that whole event. We’re dealing with the problems of poverty and hunger, and I’m leading the way in addressing the issue of environmental degradation, which is a project dear to my heart for obvious reasons. The world has become a better, kinder, cleaner place since our battle with the aliens and I hope we can keep it that way. There’s nothing like fighting an outside enemy to make all the people of the world unite, and appreciate what we have in common rather than dwelling on our differences. Now that so many people have experienced the wonder of seeing the world through my eyes, understanding how interwoven all life on this planet is, it’s changed our perceptions irrevocably. We have different priorities now and that’s a good thing.


I don’t interfere with world events, but strangely enough there hasn’t been one war in the years since we fought the aliens. Monica says they’ll start up again when I die, but right now I serve as the ultimate balance in the world, and the world needs that, I think. It was so badly scarred by what happened that it needs several years of peace in which to heal and rebuild.


On the subject of me dying, I will eventually. I’m not immortal, and I fully expect to grow old and die like everyone else. I have to make a big point of reminding people of that fact, because so many of the myths foretelling my coming made such a big deal of my powers of resurrection. I honestly can’t bring people back from the dead. I didn’t bring anyone back from the dead in the final battle either; the dead came and helped us, voluntarily, and people were only able to see them because of the way I interwove all our energy together on that day. The dead are always with us though – I still see Luke, Samantha, and Emily regularly. I’ve even held some interesting conversations with my paternal grandfather, and, very occasionally, I’m lucky enough to spend some time with my mother. However, the plain truth is that the dead honestly do have better things to do than spend all their time with the living. They came and helped us out during our moment of crisis, but now the natural order of the world has been restored and they aren’t a visible part of our daily existence any more. I, of all people know how distressing it is to lose a loved one, but I can’t bring anybody back – I get a sack load of mail every day asking, but it just isn’t within my power. Whenever I despair and ask Monica why on earth people think I can raise the dead, she just reminds me of one of the many texts written about the Saoshyant, or Adam Kasia or World’s Child, and urges me to be patient with people.


According to the Avesta, he renews the world and resurrects the dead,” she quotes under her breath whenever I get myself worked up about it, and I have to smile, and remember that we all want to cling to a little bit of hope that our loved ones might one day return to us. I haven’t forgotten how nearly we lost the battle because of my desire to see my mother.


I lived in the White House for four years, and it still never ceases to amaze me how this little kid from a dirt-poor ranch in Wyoming grew up to live in such an illustrious place. For the first few weeks I felt I should wear a suit and tie just to go to bed – everything was so plush and beautiful.


I’ll always remember waking up one night a few days after I moved in there with Uncle Walter and Mulder. Uncle Walter had just been given the all clear by his doctors, and we’d celebrated with a big meal at which I’d had my first sip of alcohol and hadn’t liked it at all – I’ve never liked anything that dulls my senses; they’re far too finely tuned. I woke up a few hours later to hear Mulder and Walter arguing in the next bedroom.


“I don’t see why I have to be the first lady,” Mulder was grumbling. “First I’m the Prom Queen, then I’m Sundance, who, let’s be honest, is the more girly of the two – he sure as hell has the more girly name anyhow – and now you’re saying I should be the first lady! I’m definitely sensing a pattern here. Besides, I think you’d make a better first lady.”


“I don’t look good in a hat. It’s the lack of hair,” Walter said, and I could imagine him keeping a perfectly straight face as he spoke.


“And you think I’d look good in a hat with this nose?” Mulder demanded. I giggled to myself as I turned over and closed my eyes again.


“C’mere,” Walter said, laughing, and I felt a huge fizz of energy literally spark through the walls as they embraced. I tried very hard not to eavesdrop but I’m afraid it’s one of my vices. Besides, I couldn’t help it because there was an amazing firework display going on all around me as their auras merged. The air was crackling and lights were flashing and the entire White House was surrounded by a deeply glowing burst of energy that was so bright that I’m sure it could have been seen from outer space. I sat up in bed, wondering what the hell was going on, and then settled back down again with a satisfied smile as I realised: Uncle Walter and Mulder were dancing. They were finally dancing, for the first time, after all these years. It was, as I’d always predicted it would be, an infinitely complex dance. There were layers of sadness that just served to underscore the essential joy of the event, and little dips and ebbs and flows in the choreography that told of all the many life experiences they brought to this dance.


Mulder’s little kisses along Walter’s collarbone fizzed in the air like dragonflies, bright and colourful; Walter’s caressing fingers made tumbling, spiralling patterns in the air that shone like stars as he gently stroked Mulder’s hair. Their dance was dizzying in its complexity and meaning; these two men had loved each other for years, had overcome innumerable obstacles and much sadness to finally reach this point, and it was as if the entire planet knew how important this moment was.


Mulder radiated colours of bright, spangled gold and silver, while Walter was a steadier, dark navy, shot through with streaks of vivid royal blue. Their colours merged and separated, merged and separated, flirting and chasing into the air and then sliding back together again until finally, in a moment of the most beautiful tenderness, they began to merge more deeply. Walter’s dark tones became vivid with Mulder’s bright ones, and Mulder’s glistening golds and silvers were made stronger and given more depth by Walter’s shades of blue. It was mesmerising and I watched, transfixed. This dance had more meaning than any other I had ever seen…and as I gazed at the amazing pyrotechnic display lighting up my room, I noticed something I hadn’t picked up on before: Mulder’s demons had faded. They were still there, but it was as if they had shrunk. Now they were unable to withstand the dizzying onslaught of this dance, and they faded even more, becoming so faint as to be almost insubstantial. I smiled quietly. If any man deserved happiness it was my father, after all that he had been through, and if there was any man I wanted to share in that happiness it was my Uncle Walter, who had loved and protected me all my life.


I watched that dance for the rest of the night, and finally, just before dawn, their colours subsided into a peaceful swirling melody of contentment. I put my head down on the pillow and smiled to myself as sleep claimed me, knowing that tonight, for the first time in a very long time, everything in the world was in perfect harmony.


 The End


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