On The Outside cover art by Deslea

On The Outside *NC17* 3/3

Deslea R. Judd
Copyright 1996

ARCHIVE: Yes, just keep my name on it.
DISCLAIMER: Characters not mine. Interpretation mine.
RATING: NC17 for mild f/f sex and language.
SPOILERS/TIMEFRAME: Colony/Endgame missing scenes; spoilers to Talitha Cumi.
CATEGORY/KEYWORDS: Romance, Angst, Mytharc, Samantha/Other.
SUMMARY: Portrays Colony/Endgame from "the other side". Not surprisingly, the return of Samantha Mulder is not what it seems. But it not her brother, but her lover, who will be most betrayed.
MORE FIC: http://fiction.deslea.com
FEEDBACK: Love the stuff. deslea@deslea.com
AWARDS/ELIGIBILITY: Finalist, Spooky Awards 1996, Outstanding Drama Story. Recommended, GAEB Fanfic Picks. Third place, "Minor Characters" challenge, PURity. Enigmatic Doctor recommended.


From printed papers enclosed in the file. No author can be identified.

Surrounded by the clones, you become a lot more perceptive. The tiniest things make a difference, or help you to recognise someone. Like Catherine - she has the faintest crease on the left-hand side of her mouth from where she always has a pen dangling out of it. Christiana's face was almost completely bare of lines because she's so damned expressionless.

The very first time I saw Cynthia, I knew she was brave. It was a long time before I could identify the proud tilt of her head and the way her eyes were always wide and cool, but I sensed it before I saw it.

Damn it, I should have known! I should have known what she would do! She exchanged herself for the woman Scully, and she was killed.

My dearest Cynthia. Dead - for a woman they'll kill some other time anyway. And for a man who will always be tortured no matter what they do to him. Damn you, Fox, how could you swap her for that woman! She isn't even your lover, or your wife - that I could possibly understand. How could you, how //could you?//

And Cynthia, the damned fool, left him a message to go to the abortion clinic in Rockville if they were separated. He showed up there the day she died, and he found us. Christiana, bless her, rallied well, having the presence of mind to switch on the intercom so that the rest of us heard and were warned. We told him the truth - most of it, at least. We were the last remaining rebels and we needed his help to escape the morph.

We let him think that I, too, was a clone. One of them, Cara, slipped and said that I was the one from whom they had come; but he attached no significance to the statement. Perhaps he believed that I was the original rebel clone and that I had created them all. I don't know. By that point, I didn't care; for I knew even then that she must be dead. Had I known then what I was told later, perhaps I would have killed him myself, brother or not.

But there were more important matters to attend to. He had led the morph to us. I made some effort to get them out, but I knew then that they were doomed, the three of them. They were ordinaries, not morphs; and they could be killed as easily as I. All I could do, once the fire broke out, was get out myself.

I was lucky - very lucky. The smoke sparked an asthma attack. I was lying unconscious in the grounds when the morph found me. For the love of God - it could so easily have been Fox!

He found my medication and gave it to me, but when I came to, he accused me of helping the rebel clones. I laughed at him. "Fool," I said, "I found them. They were on the verge of telling me what they had discovered. I'd planned to eliminate them myself once I knew. Now we're back where we started. Who knows what valueable research they had done? You even went and burnt the place - we can't even access their files. My father will not be pleased."

He wasn't convinced, and admittedly, the explanation was a weak one; for part of his assigment was to destroy the research lest it be found by other, unknown rebels and sympathisers. He threatened to tell my father his version of events; but I could tell he was not confident that he would believed. I told him as much, and added that if he ever got me offside I would tell the cosortium where the missing weapon was - the only weapon which could kill him and the other morphs.

The morph paled. I was stunned - I hadn't known they could do that. It was such a //human// response. And with the exception of one of the Jeremiah Smiths, the morphs were so damned inhuman. That was why there was a faction of the consortium which, despite the project's success, were anxious that the morphs be eliminated. "I could kill you now," he threatened; but his voice held no conviction.

"You could, but you won't. You must realise that I've already made arrangements for the information to reach them in that eventuality. You are many things, killer; but you aren't stupid."

He wasn't; he let me go.

From a loose sheet enclosed in the file. It is headed, "Field Notes".

February 1, 1995

After being treated for smoke inhalation, Agent Mulder was released from Spyridon Hospital in a satisfactory condition. At his request the abortion clinic where he was found has been searched repeatedly; but the bodies of the women he insists perished there have not been found.

This report remains incomplete. Many aspects of this case defy explanation, including the identities of the identical men and women. Agent Mulder's claim of alien origins cannot be substantiated.

The man under suspicion in their disappearances is still at large and has now been charged with the death of FBI Special Agent Gareth Weiss, whose body has been quarantined at the US Medical Institute Of Infectious Diseases. Weiss' death involved a thickening of the blood. It appears that he was subjected to a virulent strain of virus whose origin and behaviour are also unexplainable. It is my hope that further study of this contagion will aid in the solution of this case.

Dana K. Scully, MD
Special Agent
Federal Bureau Of Investigation

A handwritten note appears at the foot of this page. The author has been identified as Dana Scully.

Sir: Spoke w/Med Inst Infectious Diseases pathologist. Contagion appears to be a retrovirus which triggers an immunological response, specifically massive production of red blood cells (hyperviscousity syndrome). Retrovirus seems to become dormant at lowered temperatures. Also: The body of CIA Agent Ambrose Chapel has been located in wasteland just outside of Washington, D.C. Initial CIA pathologist findings are consistent with those in the case of Gareth Weiss. These findings will be incorporated into my revised report. DKS

From printed papers enclosed in the file. No author can be identified.

I saw my father that afternoon. It was then that I was told that Cynthia had been swapped for Dana Scully. The morph had jumped over a bridge with her, seemingly to escape a sniper's bullet; but of course the bullet couldn't have killed him. It was to kill her, and end Fox's search.

The irony of it all is that it didn't. Against all odds, her body was found. Like all the alien clones, she corroded when she thawed. It makes my skin crawl to even think of it - that beautiful body disintegrating, caving in on itself, dissolving into green fluid.

But then, humans do it too. It's just slower, and smellier, and more putrid. Death is never attractive. But this was different, somehow...this was Cynthia.

But he knew then that she was a clone. And had he not, he still would have figured it out when he got to the clinic in Rockville, thanks to that damned note she left him. It was all for nothing.

My father told me all of this, and I slumped in the chair by the window, staring out at the sleet. He watched for some minutes, smoking, then cleared his throat. He ground out his cigarette. "She left you a note. It arrived by express post this morning."

I looked up at him in surprise, and took it when it was offered. "You didn't open it," I noticed.

He inclined his head. "The things which pass between partners are private, Samantha. There is little in this world that I respect, but I respect that."

I blinked, startled. I knew he knew, of course; word had filtered back to him of many of my entanglements. But never before had he referred, overtly or otherwise, to my sexuality. "You loved her?" he asked, diffidently.

I nodded slowly. "Yes."

"I'm sorry." And somehing in his voice told me he was.

I shook my head. "I knew she was to be terminated. It was my own fault." I looked down at my name, written in her hand. All that was left of her, or us, lay there in my palm. I felt sick. Suddenly, I blurted, "Damn Fox!"

He was silent. It was an expectant silence, and finally, I continued, "How could he exchange her for that woman Scully? His own sister! At least, he thought she was. Damn it, Father, why?"

His voice was grave. "You know it's not as simple as that, Samantha. Scully is part and parcel of his life crusade - the X Files. That's what makes him so dangerous - it's his religion. And Scully is his high priestess, and that's why we took her." He lit a cigarette, his tone suddenly reflective. "Do you know, it actually worked? That idiot Skinner refused to accept his resignation. But the profiler's report on Fox says that Scully means more to him than family, or friends, or lovers. She represents everything that gives his life meaning. I believe he would have exchanged his own mother for her if we'd asked him to."

"Is he in love with her?" I asked.

"Maybe," he shrugged. "Who knows?"

We were silent for long moments as I thought it over. Finally, he spoke, puffing a cloud of smoke.

"What about the rebels?"

"What did the morph say?" I demanded before I could stop myself.

He gave a wry grin. "What you told him to. You threatened him with the weapon, I suppose?" I was rebelliously silent. His tone became grave. "I know you were the leader of the rebel project, Samantha. I've always known."

"And you covered for me," I said, surprised. Love or not, we were part of a greater plan. I really never thought he would protect me. Nor did I expect it. That wasn't in the rules of this crazy game we played.

"I understood your reasons," he said simply. "And I knew I had some responsibility for them. Your only heritage which means anything anymore is that of myself and the clones. That's my fault, taking you from your family at such a young age. I did the only thing I could to keep you safe after they learned you saw your mother hide the weapon; but nonetheless, it was at great cost to you." He paused, stubbing out the cigarette. "It's only natural that you should want to pursue the cloning project even further. Your mistake was in involving the rebel clones."

I bowed my head. He //did// understand - perhaps better than I understood myself. "I didn't mean to foster division among them, Father. I should have anticipated the problems it would cause. I'm sorry."

He brushed this aside. "I understand. I do. But your interest in the cloning project is obsessive - destructive. I can't protect you from the group again, Samantha. These side projects - they stop now. Do I make myself clear?" I met his eyes, and I nodded, ashamed.

"Father," I asked at last, "Do I disappoint you?"

He came to me then, his expression stunned. He knelt at my side and cradled my cheek in his palm. "Samantha, you're my only delight in a bleak and cowardly world. You're strong and courageous and you don't shrink from what must be done. You make me proud. I love you."

I wept then. I couldn't help it. "You're very good to me, Father."

His tone changed then. "Don't see things that aren't there. I'm not a good man."

I shook my head. "No, you aren't," I agreed. "But you're a good father."

He held me then, and he stayed with me, and I was comforted.

From loose-leaf pages enclosed in the file. The author has been identified as Cynthia Mulder.

Dearest Samantha

By the time you read this I am almost certainly dead. I know now what they plan to do to end Fox's work - as I'm sure you've known all along. I remember writing somewhere once that you were so nice that you almost forgot you were on the other side. You made me forget by loving me.

But I can't find it in my heart to hate you. Whether you meant it or not, you have given me the means to find meaning and sense in this life. You see, the clones have no heritage. You think you understand that, that's why you run the rebel project (and you thought I didn't know, I suppose) - but you don't. If you're adopted, if you're an orphan, you still know that somewhere out there are parents and family...you can make up the details if you don't know them, or if the real ones are unsavory. But we clones - we have no heritage. None at all. We were not born of the love of man and woman or the existential reality of family in the world. We are Projects, nothing more. Carolyn told me once that we're all dispensible because in some essential way we aren't real. She's right. We clones are standing on the outside, on the fringes of the world, looking in on real life.

But now that has changed. In becoming you for that short time, and becoming one with you in the depth of my heart, and in being a part of that Mulder heritage which is yours, I feel as though I have become a part of the world at last. And that is why I must do what I am doing.

I think I knew, deep down, when you told me to tell Fox that piercing the base of the neck is what's needed to kill the morph. No mention of the weapon. I suspected then that I was being set up, but I didn't want to believe it. But when the woman Scully was taken and I was demanded in exchange, I knew the truth: they were going to kill me so that he would stop looking. They were going to give him some closure and end this thing once and for all.

Fox wants to exchange me. He says I know how to kill it, and Scully doesn't; so if something goes wrong I will be in a better position to get out alive than she. He doesn't know, of course, that that's false; that I can't escape him either because I don't have the weapon. But he has given me the choice. He won't force me. But he won't look at me because he knows I see the agony in his eyes every time he hears her name.

I believe he loves her. I wonder, too, if she loves him; he didn't tell her that the woman the morph was asking for was "Samantha". I asked him why and he simply said that she wouldn't have let him make the exchange. Interesting.

I'm going to make the exchange, Samantha. He has, in part, given me that meaning I talked about at the beginning of this letter. And Scully gives him that meaning, too. I can tell. I'd like to give that back to him. And I'd like to give you back to him - or at least the hope of you. That's why, no doubt to your fury, I am leaving him a note which I hope will lead him to you.

I hope that one day you can break free from the ties that bind you and find in him the heritage that you seek. That heritage is not to be found in the clones, my love; it is to be found in the people from whom you came.

I don't expect to survive. I am taking a sharpened ice pick with which to pierce his neck; but even if I get the chance, I know that it is almost certainly not an adequate substitute for the weapon. No, I shall only come back to you if you plan to have the morph rescue me - but I don't really believe that. I believe you love me, but that's not in the game plan, is it? And the game comes first.

I leave you with a kiss of peace, my dearest love. I ask your forgiveness, and I give you mine.

All my love, Cynthia.


From printed papers enclosed in the file. No author can be identified.

"I need a favour."

The morph laughed with easy incredulity. "It seems to me that you're the one who owes me a favour or two, Dr Mulder."

I shrugged off the implied threat. Who the hell cared? "No, I think you'll enjoy this one. It involves some fun and games with the men who are trying to destroy your craft; maybe even the ones from the lost sub, if you can find them - and with Fox Mulder."

He looked at me, his face blank; but I could see he was interested. I went on. "We know he has an informant. I want you to go back to your craft, supposedly to protect it from the naval destroyer that's leaving Anchorage today, and make sure you spread the news of your destination fairly broadly." I added with confidence, "He'll find you."

The morph's expression was curious. "You do realise, Dr Mulder, that if he finds me, he'll probably shoot me in the base of the neck, expecting to kill me? That he will be exposed to the retrovirus in the process?"

I shrugged. "If he gets exposed, he gets exposed," I replied carelessly.

He looked dubious. "Fox Mulder is your brother and you're more or less asking me to create a situation in which he'll almost certainly be killed." His tone was reluctant.

I just laughed. "Don't tell me you're developing a conscience, Killer," I sniped.

He grinned at that. "Hardly. But how do I know I'm not being set up?"

"If I were going to kill you, I'd have done it long ago," I snorted.

There was no answer to that, and he agreed without further ado. But before he left, he queried, "What if he doesn't shoot at me, Dr Mulder? Do I kill him anyway?"

I thought a moment. "No," I said at last. "I've got a much better torture in mind."

I told him, and he laughed. And then he was gone.

From a loose sheet enclosed in the file. It is headed, "Field Notes".

6 February, 1995

On February 3, Agent Mulder was located in a critical condition by a naval search team on glacial ice in Beafort Sea, in the Arctic Circle. His condition was one of extreme hypothermia. He was airlifted to a military base at Eisenhowerfield, where he was held for treatment. Upon my arrival, I was able to identify symptoms of exposure to the retrovirus which killed Agents Weiss and Chapel and formed the opinion that Agent Mulder was still alive as a result of the hypometabolic state induced by his exposure to the cold.

Transfusions and an agressive treatment with antiviral agents have resulted in a steady but gradual improvement in Agent Mulder's condition. Blood tests have confirmed his exposure to the still-unidentified retrovirus. Its origin remains a mysterty. The search team that found Agent Mulder has located neither the missing submarine nor the man he was looking for.

Several aspects of this case remain unexplained, suggesting the possibility of paranormal phenomena. But I am convinced that to accept such explanations of events is to abandon all hope of understanding the scientific reasons behind them.

Many of the things I have seen have challenged my faith and my belief in an ordered universe. But this uncertainty has only strengthened my need to know, to understand, to apply reason to those things which seem to defy it. It was science which isolated the retrovirus to which Agent Mulder was exposed and science that allowed us to understand its behaviour. And ultimately, it was science that saved Agent Mulder's life.

Dana K. Scully, M.D.
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation

A handwritten note appears at the foot of this sheet. No author can be identified.

S: Told him you were alive as per your instructions. May I add as an aside that I think you're a vicious, conniving bitch.

I like that in a woman. K

From a typed note enclosed in the file. No author can be identified.

The incident in the Arctic had me mystified. I didn't understand why the morph would go there when he knew that we had dispatched a unit to deal with the Anchorage delegation. It seemed like a stupid risk to take, especially without seeking guidance on the matter first...and even more stupid to so blatantly broadcast his intentions. It made no sense.

I should have known it was her. It was a stupid, stupid thing to do. She doesn't realise it yet; but when you cross the line between the evil that must be done for the sake of the work and evil that you wilfully commit or commission for revenge, you change, somehow. And it's a change you can never reverse.

I had hoped that my daughter would never cross that line. I have crossed it, and I know its cost. Its cost is one's own humanity. And that essential humanity is what I have always treasured in my daughter.

What will become of her now?

Deslea R. Judd
Sydney, Australia
August 29-31, 1996

GAEB Fanfic Picks said of On The Outside: "Colony/End Game, told from the Samantha clone's point of view. Unique and riveting. This novel also forwards a believable Conspiracy explanation."