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Mulder Gets the Blues

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Act I – Out of the Blue

 

*Dear Scully,

By the time you read this, I will be gone. Don’t bother to look for me, just realize that it has been an honor to be your partner these last 7 years and you are still the only one I trust. I left a box of things in my apartment that I would like you to have and sent the Lone Gunmen the key to take the rest. I’m paid up for the next 6 months, so you don’t have to rush.

If you want to continue working on the X-Files, see if Mark Walker is willing to partner with you. After you posed as a stripper, I’m sure he would leap at the chance. Maybe now, you can finally get that normal life you’ve always wanted. I hope so—you deserve that and I’ve taken too much from you already.

I’m sure you are asking why I would end our partnership so abruptly, but I couldn’t look you in the eye and do this. Besides, you wouldn’t understand and try to stop me. I just can’t go on this way anymore. I’ve waited too late and let opportunities pass. There are things that I want and I finally accepted that I will never get them. My hope lies in another time and place. Maybe there, I will find it.

M*

 

A.D. Walter Skinner looked up at a grief-stricken Dana Scully. “When and where did you find this?”

“It was on my desk this morning. Sir, I just saw Mulder last night! David and I ran into him outside of a restaurant. We had just finished dinner, he was walking by and he seemed fine. We talked for a few minutes and then went our separate ways. I don’t understand what happened.”

“Who is David?”

“A man I met a month ago. We’ve been dating off and on lately.”

“Did Mulder know about David before last night?”

Scully crinkled her brow. “Yes, but I don’t see what that has to do…”

“We need to find him.” Skinner stood up abruptly. “Think, Agent Scully. Where would he have gone? Do you have any idea what he is planning to do?”

“I don’t know! I was hoping that the Bureau could file a missing person’s report, send out some agents and track him down! That’s what we do—right?” Scully followed her superior out of his office and down the hall. Skinner pushed the elevator button for the basement.

“It would be better if we found him first. If we managed to talk him out of whatever he is doing and bring him back, and the Bureau finds out about this mental break, they will take him off active duty or stick him at a desk job. He will lose the X-Files permanently. I need you to think.”

 

XXXXXXXX

 

Mulder swung his backpack over his shoulder as he disembarked from the plane. He already missed Scully, but if he could get this to work—maybe he will find his way back to her again. The palm trees swayed in the breeze a little more harshly than usual because there was a tropical storm several miles out. Mulder knew there was a high probability that this stunt will result in his death, but he had to try. Both ways, he would be put out of his misery and Scully would be free to have the life that she wanted.

If Scully knew that he had placed a listening device in her bag for her date with David, she would have killed him. At the least, it would have damaged their friendship to the point that he would have to try something like this anyway. However, he had to know how serious it was getting.

He didn’t blame her for dating the guy. David was smart, handsome and a surgeon to boot. His thick dark hair was cut conservatively—unlike Mulder’s mop that had an unruly lock that kept flopping in his face at the most inopportune time. It was obvious that the man had fallen hard for his partner and what he heard in that restaurant proved it.

Mulder’s first clue that he had lost Scully had been the frequent flowers and gifts that kept arriving at the office. It irritated him that David sent them there rather than to her apartment, but after their first meeting, he recognized Mulder as a threat and wanted to rub the agent’s face in the fact that *he* was dating her and not him.

The second clue was the lunchtime visits and rides to and from work. He was sure she was sleeping with the usurper and it was like a firecracker in his gut. Finally, last night David asked her to marry him. She didn’t give an answer, but Mulder knew what it would be. Scully would be angry that he ran away like this, but it was for the best. After the shock of his disappearance wore off, she would marry the twit and live happily ever after.

The arrangements he made were simple, but with the tropical storm so close, the captain may have changed his mind. Mulder left his credit cards behind except for one. He didn’t have enough ready cash to pull this off. Even though his parents left him a rich man, most of his wealth was tied up in real estate, stocks, gold bullion and the like. Liquidating that stuff would take time and raise eyebrows. If he didn’t succeed, Scully would inherit most of his estate. After a generous bequeath to the Lone Gunmen, the rest was hers. She probably didn’t need it though. Surgeon boy surely made enough money. Still, he couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the good life than her.

Mulder approached the marina. “Hey! Is Captain Blake here?”

A salty looking man wiped his hands and walked closer. He was thin, dark skinned and definitely wary. “Who’s askin’?” His face wore a sneer.

Mulder decided to play it cool. “My name is Mulder. I have business with the Captain. He is expecting me.”

Wary Eye spat on the ground and walked back to a series of small ships. He hopped onto one and disappeared. A minute later he reappeared followed by a wizened, deeply tanned man with white hair and beard. Despite his scraggly appearance, his blue eyes were quite sharp and aware.

“You’re Mulder?”

“Yeah. Are you Blake?” The man nodded. Mulder looked him over. “When did you want to leave?”

Blake chewed on the toothpick dangling from his mouth. “There’s a storm brewing.”

“I know.”

“That means that I can’t take you the whole way.”

“I paid for passage…” Mulder started to object, but the man held up a hand.

“I’m not going to let some stupid Yank get me killed for a ghost story. You give me $500 and I’ll take you as far as I can and set you off. Call it a deposit for the rowboat.” Blake chuckled and smiled cruelly. “Or you can call the whole thing off. I keep the reservation money—of course.”

Mulder was frustrated. “I told you I needed to be there at a specific time!” Blake continued to snicker and Mulder wanted to punch him. “Fine.” Mulder pulled out the last of his money. He had taken it off his credit card and if that storm hits, it won’t matter anyway. He might survive in one of these larger boats, but not a rowboat. He was committing suicide for a hope and a prayer.

 

XXXXXXXX

 

Skinner and Scully searched the office for clues and found only a few started versions of the note he left crumpled in the wastebasket.

“I can’t believe he did this! Mulder is always ditching me, but *this* is the ultimate ditch. It sounds like he is going to kill himself!”

“He might be planning to do just that.” Skinner’s dispassionate voice caused Scully to stop pacing.

“What?”

“You and David.” Skinner stopped looking and stared at her. “Didn’t you find it odd to run into Mulder outside of the same restaurant where you were having dinner?”

Scully stammered. “I didn’t consider…”

“What were you and this David talking about last night?”

She looked at the ground. “I’d rather not say.”

Skinner walked to her and held her arms gently. “Let me guess. It was starting to get serious between you two.” The shocked look on Scully’s face spoke volumes. “Tell me. What happened, Dana?”

The use of her first name must have broken a dam. Scully looked embarrassed, but she answered. “David asked me to marry him.”

The A.D. leaned his head back and closed his eyes. “Did you accept?”

“No!” Scully shook her head vehemently. “I…I told him I wanted to think about it.”

“Shit.” Skinner released her. “Call those trolls that Mulder sometimes uses. The…Lone—whatever.”

“The Lone Gunmen?”

“Yeah. We need to find Mulder—*now*.”

Scully dialed the number and when it was picked up, Skinner hit the speaker button. “Hello?”

“Frohike?” Scully spoke into the phone’s internal microphone. “This is Dana Scully.”

“Ah! Danalicious! How goes my favorite G-woman?” Skinner watched as Scully rolled her eyes.

“I’m calling about Mulder. He’s missing and we need your help to find him.”

“We?”

“It’s Walter Skinner.” The A.D.’s voice boomed into the mike. “Mulder left a cryptic note that said he was abandoning the X-Files, leaving his apartment and not coming back. We are worried that he may do something drastic. He said he sent you a letter with a key. Did you get that yet?”

There was silence on the line for a few beats. “He’s gone?”

“Yes.” Skinner was trying to be patient. “Every minute counts, can you track him down? Credit Cards, plane tickets, car rentals—something.”

Frohike sounded dazed. “He did it. I didn’t think he would…”

Scully broke in. “What did he do, Frohike? Do you know where he went?”

“Not exactly where, only that he has been miserable lately. Some of the things he said…” There was a pause. “He was having dark thoughts.”

“What kind of thoughts?” Scully stared at Skinner in fear.

“He had some silly idea that he lost you, Scully. We know you. You would never leave him.”

Scully’s hand flew to her mouth. “Mulder knows about David’s proposal.”

“That man proposed to you, Dana? Mulder’s been getting worse ever since you started seeing him. Hearing that would have been enough to send Mulder over the edge.” Frohike was starting to panic. “Ok. I’m going to run a search. I’ll get the guys on it—don’t worry—we’ll find him.”

“I just hope we aren’t too late.” Skinner was grim.

 

XXXXXXXXX

 

Captain William Blake wasn’t much of a conversationalist. Mulder sat quietly as a good passenger, but his trepidation grew. Not only did the sailor carry the same name as the man who tried illustrating ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’, the boat was named The Inferno.

In Dante’s journey, he had to pass through hell and purgatory to get to heaven and the novel describes the visions he saw. Blake, the 19th century artist, brought some of the horrific sights to visual life in the three layers, the Inferno, the Purgatorio and the Paradiso—then died, in pain and penniless in the attempt. While Blake’s work went unfinished, Mulder was determined to see his plan through—even if he had to walk into hell to do it.

The boat slowed as the waters violently shoved the craft, rocking it side to side. The Captain yelled over his shoulder. “I can’t take you much further. I have to be able to get back before that tropical storm hits. Are you sure you want to do this? I’ll take you back—no charge.”

Mulder grabbed his things. “I’m close enough. Just lower the rowboat.” Blake looked strangely at him, but did as he was told and when it was ready, Mulder started to descend.

The Captain grabbed his arm. “Look, son,” he said kindly. “I know what it’s like to lose a woman.” Mulder tried to open his mouth, but the sailor put up a hand. “It’s written all over you, kid. I didn’t really think you go through with this so I strung you along, but you will die out there if you leave. Come on back with me and we’ll go have a pint and you can tell me all about it.”

Mulder gently removed the man’s hand. While he was sure Blake was sincere, he didn’t understand. He didn’t lose ‘a woman’, he lost Scully. She was the only one for him and he waited too late to tell her that. Now, he had to try for the only other woman he could trust and she was out there in the fog—at least he hoped she was. If not, it wouldn’t really matter.

“Thank you, but this is what I want.” Mulder climbed into the boat and Blake threw down a lifejacket and a radio.

“If you change your mind, I’ll be able to pick you up for the next 20 minutes. After that, I’ll be too far away. Good Luck, son.”

Mulder started to row toward the GPS coordinates where he last found Queen Anne, the ghost ship. Mulder had kept track of when the ship was scheduled to appear. According to legend, The Queen Anne comes out of the fog once a year for 3 hours at the exact location where she disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle in 1939.

He knew he was early and the waves were getting choppy, but if he was right, he would get to see *her* again. That special *her* was a Scully doppelganger that worked for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA. After his close call when he first ran into the luxury liner, Mulder researched the Scully look alike and found there *was* an American OSS agent, Mary Buckley, who was a dead ringer for his partner and she vanished along with the ship.

The event of finding the Queen Anne ended up with Mulder floating face down in the water, but he was rescued by Scully and the Lone Gunmen then taken to the hospital. He told them his experiences, but no one believed them. They thought it was either due to the lack of oxygen or the hospital drugs.

The story did sound fantastic. The British ocean liner was hijacked and boarded by the Germans in order to retrieve a secret weapon. JB Spender, Jeffery Spender and Walter Skinner lookalikes were Nazis although the Skinner one turned out to be a mole and saved his life. The beautiful Mary saved him too, but because he stole a Nazi uniform, they got off on the wrong foot. Even so, when a stranger told her to turn the ship around to take them back to their time, she believed him—just like Scully would.

He still remembered that kiss, and the punch that went with it. That woman was Scully in a different life, he was sure of it and Mulder wanted to spend that time with her and face whatever would come. He was going to board Queen Anne and when the ship vanished again, he would go with it. Sadly, he would never see his modern day Scully again, but this was his last chance at happiness with the woman he loved.

The wind picked up unexpectedly and started to toss the boat with fury. For a second, Mulder considered calling Captain Blake, but it should be here any minute—if he survived that long as the boat was taking on water at an alarming rate. Mulder donned his lifejacket and held on. When the rain began to fall, the wind whipped it so furiously that it felt like bee stings on his hands and face.

Mulder cried out as a massive gust blew and the resulting wave upended his boat. The lifejacket kept his head above the water, but the waves were crashing into his face and smothering him. He realized that this probably was the end and the Queen Anne hadn’t come. Wave after wave covered his head until he knew only blackness.