Chapter One


Manifest Destiny.

An American ideal. The aspirations of these United States to expand. To
colonize.

Ironic that when colonization began, it started in America.

Not in the chaotic uproar portrayed in Hollywood, but in a strange way,
it was rather organized. And while not outwardly frenzied, there was an
underlying hysteria felt by the unsuspecting populace. The expression,
"they came out of the blue" carried a whole new meaning.

Most were horrified or stupefied, some maniacal and hysterical, but
overall, the feeling in America was a wrenching kind of sadness from a
democracy gone bad. When it began there was a collective lamentation
from the American people as they were stabbed in the back by their own
government. They should have known. People had been screaming about it
for years.

Mulder had.

At least that's what they told him.

He thought that it must have been truly a sight to see members of the
colonizing alien race working side by side with their own military.
Herding the wayward people along, ferrying them to whatever destination
would serve the new leaders' purpose.

At least, that's what Mulder had been told.

He woke up in an arcane government institution 300 ft below Lake
Michigan, with no identity, no memory and no hope.

The only tendril of memory he tried to grasp, was that there was
something, *someone* out there that he was looking for.

How was he to know that *she* was looking for *him*?

XxXxXxXxXxX

It is inbred in the human condition that survival is of the first and
foremost importance. So when mankind is stripped of its civilization and stability
the first reaction is to fight back--to the death of necessary. But nature is
vicious, and it is unforgiving and not all men are fated for survival. So in
classic Darwinian fashion, only the strongest had survived and the meek did not
live long enough to inherit the earth. Instead, they were inherited by it
in ashes and in sorrow.

The survivors, if they could be called that, were the ones spared by the
blind violence of colonization. They were the ones who had been too
strong or too scared. They were the men and women who made the decision to run
the risk of losing their lives to the brutality of their aggressors rather
than to take their own lives and risk losing so much more in the process. They
stayed to re-create history and to build the new future from the ruins.

Scully had decided that one of the tragedies of mankind was its tendency
to repeat history in an endless cycle of mistakes and misunderstandings.
Yet regardless of it all she still saw the possibility for hope, because as
those in power continued to corrupt and consume, the oppressed would
rise and rebel. She still believed in the human spirit, even if the one
person who had encompassed its passion so completely was gone.

"Dana?" Scully looked up to see her mother coming down the hill. She
stood up and wiped the sweat from her brow with the wrist of her left hand.
"It's almost time for the morning sweep-through. You should probably get
inside soon." Margaret Scully smiled faintly and turned to return to the
blue-gray house on the Rhode Island shore that had acted as a make-shift
home to them for the last few months.

"Right," she called out to no one, wiping her soil-stained hands on her
over-sized pair of overalls. The familiar pattern of dirt against denim
was lately making the garment all her own, and these days having something
all her own was not so strangely comforting. She had found them hanging
in the closet of the house that she and her mother now shared
with six other inhabitants. Scully left the small garden she had been
tending to and trudged up the small hill.

"Why are they still doing this?" The voice was shrill, a mixture of nerves
and irritation.

It was more of an open-aired question than a rhetorical one, but
Scully answered it nonetheless, though not until she was within
arms-length of Cynthia Adler who occupied the room next to hers.
Cynthia pressed her nose in between forefinger and thumb, sniffing
slightly, and waited for a response. Scully studied the woman's angular face and
then looking down to Cynthia's hands as though she were addressing them and
replied, "Maybe they're looking for something. Maybe someone."

"And maybe it's just because they want us to fear them," a gravelly
baritone said. Scully looked to her left and saw Richter McLachlan. He was a
new addition to the house, only a few weeks, but in his short time there he
had made a definite impression. "Because that's the ultimate power,
isn't it? To have complete domination over us?"

Cynthia snorted. "So dramatic!"

Richter smiled, his lips twisted thin and cynical, but he said no more.
Instead he turned to look at Scully expectantly, as if she owed him some sort of
response.

But she didn't respond to him. Instead, she continued
on into the house and up the large wooden staircase to her room.
In the hallway, on her way to her bedroom, Scully saw Cynthia's
daughter, Jodie, rocking herself quietly on the padded bench by the
window. She smiled up as Scully passed, her face older and wearier
than anyone should have to be at sixteen. She wasn't sure if Jodie had
been like this before colonization had begun, but it was already a painfully
obvious reality that the chance to recover any semblance of innocence was long
past.

Leaving Jodie alone in the hallway, Scully passed into her bedroom, painted
an uncomfortable, lemon yellow that was supposed to invoke the feeling of
sunshine and summer, but reminded her more of cats' eyes, curious and dangerous
at the same time. She rested herself on the bed and tiredly began to
undress. The knee-high boots came off first, caked with fresh mud and grass. She
placed them on the ground, a heavy clunk as each shoe hit the hardwood floor. She

rubbed her temples mechanically. She had been getting headaches lately.
They would start out small and blossom into a full-blown monster. Now, the floor
below her began to spiral, tumbling downward into nothing. She couldn't see it clearly any
more. It was something fragmented, a filmy brown grain, static pattern.

"Honey?" Her mother peered into her room. "Are you okay, Dana?"
Concerned, Margaret entered and sat down next to her daughter.
Instinctively she wrapped an arm loosely around Scully's shoulder,
careful to not be too confining, but close enough to be comforting. She
had noticed her daughter's growing withdrawal in the last few months,
which she had passed off as part of the adaptation phase into the now world
and their roles in it, but it seemed to her to be a deeper melancholy.
Days would pass where she would hardly speak more than three word
sentences or only give a nod of the head yes, a shake of the head, no. But
Margaret gave her daughter the space she seemed to need, although now she
was beginning to think that Dana had merely grown over her wounds,
and that whatever pain she was harboring still resided beneath the surface.

Scully shifted and placed her head on her mother's shoulder.
"It's so . . . fleeting," Scully breathed out onto her mother's neck. Her
shoulders slumped and she almost collapsed into her mother's arms.

"Fleeting?" she answered quietly. "How is that?"

"Everything feels like it's slipping away," she murmured, eyes averted. "So
fast." Scully looked up, her eyes wide and wounded. "Is this how the end of the
world should feel, Mom?" She stifled a sardonic laugh. "Did the Bible ever say
anything about the four horseman riding in on UFOs?

"Oh, Dana," she sighed, but she had to stifle a sob herself thinking all
the children she had lost. It wasn't right that a mother should out-live
so many of her children. But she couldn't dwell on it because grief would
eat her up much like it was doing to her daughter, and she had to be strong for
both of them if not just for herself. "I know we've lost so much, honey, but we
can't let this get us down. We can't. Life's still worth fighting for."

Scully stared, her expression blank. "And what about Charlie . . . ?" She
choked on his name and could not continue further.

Scully had not seen her brother in over a year when word leaked through
that she would never be given that opportunity again. Charlie had died
during the first wave of colonization. It was still a raw memory in her
mind. She hadn't even known the exact details of his death when she
first had heard. Not until three days later, and three days before
Mulder had disappeared, did she find out that Charlie had been selected
as a host for the full-blown colonists by none other than Bill
Scully Jr. himself. She couldn't decide with hurt more--Charlie's loss or
Bill's betrayal.

Then Scully suddenly saw a manifestation of her rage and
grief grow in her mind. And she saw him. There was Mulder, his
lips pursed fiercely together as he supported her when she could not
hold herself upright without fear of falling, or running madly into the
streets with her brother's blood dripping from her hands. And for a
brief moment, that was all that should could feel, all that she could
think of to build up her strength again.

"They're waiting for you downstairs," Jodie said dully, but her eyes
darting around nervously. Scully watched her shadow of a frame pass from her
doorway and disappeared down the stairs, her footsteps light; ghostly.

Together, mother and daughter moved to walk down to where heavily-armed
inspectors waited. They looked cold and inhuman. Their skin was gray,
their eyes almost milky white. They looked dead. They changed day by day,
but they still all looked the same. Now, when she thought about it more
carefully, she couldn't recall ever seeing the same men twice.

Today though, there was no sweep. Instead, they had brought along a woman
who was struggling against their grasps, but apparently not struggling to
escape. When she relaxed her face was cold as theirs, but there was a wildness to
her eyes, and something almost like...mirth.

"She lives here now, too," one of the guards said. "Go on." The left
guard shoved her forward, and the woman stumbled slightly before she
straightened herself. She glared darkly at the guards and shot a

Only then did Scully note the electric shackles around the woman's ankles.

A quick click and buzz followed soon after and the shackles disengaged.
The woman jerked forward slightly, stepped out of her binds and kicked them
back at the guards. Scully her heard gasp softly and saw her face soften as she
turned it away from her former captors.

Then the guards left without another word, leaving the residents of the
house on the Rhode Island shore to stare at this fierce-looking creature
of a woman who had without warning invaded their crowded house. She
appraised them one at a time, but said nothing. Her dark eyes betrayed
nothing as she looked and left them for the kitchen in search of glass of water to
wet her dry throat, scorching her mark through the corridors of the house in the
wake of her arrival.


END CHAPTER

Chapter Two