Samantha broke him out of his reverie and smiled.
The day had dawned and a new world unfolded before them.
Hurriedly, she grabbed his arm and pulled him out towards the waking sun.
Her laugh was contagious as she lovingly squeezed his hand.
It was the perfect day.
Until the sun was blotted out in the sky and every shadow deepened.
He couldn't see the sparkle in her eyes. He couldn't hear her musical laughter. Her hand was no longer in his.
Samantha was gone.
Mulder's breathing was laboured. His feet moved swiftly, pounding the ground below him. He could hear the soft echo of each step floating through the trees. He could also hear the quick horde of bodies that were tracing his every move. It was only a matter of time before they caught him.
Mulder stopped suddenly as he reached a clearing. No more forest and no more cover. There was nowhere left to hide and so he would have to fight. Mulder clutched anxiously at his revolver, his sweaty palm moistening the handle.
Soon enough Mulder stood face to face with his pursuers. Their faces were darkened with paint and scars. They were battle worn and top-heavy, standing a foot taller than him. They spoke in low growls and unintelligible phrases. He was vastly outnumbered.
His finger grazed the trigger of his gun and he –
Two figures raced past him. Brandishing long swords, they settled their blades inches away from the tribe leader.
"Leave." A tall, gallant man with golden overflowing hair demanded. "And we will let you live."
The savages' eyes widened and they muttered conspiratorially to one another. With one final scathing glance at Mulder they fled from the scene.
Before Mulder could open his mouth to speak he found one of the swords levelled at his throat. An impervious man with serious eyes and jet-black hair refused to let Mulder move even a single inch.
"He's a mercenary, Allen." The wary sword wielder informed his companion.
"Van, we should let him speak." Allen replied, nodding his consent to Mulder.
Mulder didn't waste any time. "I am going to destroy the Zaibach Empire. Years ago they took my sister and I have to get her back."
His words were simple but the weight of their implication was unparalleled. Mulder spoke of the impossible task as if he was not a lone soldier with a half-loaded gun.
Had he spoken these same thoughts anywhere else in Gaea, Mulder would have been bestowed the title of a madman. Instead, Van's eyes registered surprise and his sword lowered even before Allen spoke the words.
"Let him go."