Fractured Fairy Tale
C.G.B. Spender watched as the glass coffin was loaded onto the
transport, the inevitable cigarette dangling from his lip.
Sleeping Beauty, he thought whimsically. Or Snow White. She
looked very pure and untouchable in her cold sleep. Waiting
for a prince who might or might not make it in time.
This was not what he'd planned for her. Why would he engineer
her recovery from cancer, only to see her suffer an even worse
fate less than a year later? She was just as important now as
she was then. Only someone truly short-sighted would say
differently. But then, he was often the only one with a clear
vision of what was to be.
He was pretty sure this wasn't what Strughold had in mind,
either. He couldn't have known about the bee. It was a
fortuitous happenstance. He'd staked his own survival on
turning happenstance to his advantage, time and again.
Even Spender couldn't have known that Scully would play right
into his hands. He'd had her followed since she and Mulder had
returned from Texas. His original plan had been simple -- that
was usually the best kind -- an apparent car-jacking, a snatch
outside her apartment building late at night. He knew the best
chance to get her was while she was separated from Mulder. She
went to her OPR hearing alone. Mulder went off in search of
Spender had been notified as soon as Scully's hearing was done;
he could have given the order to pick her up at any time. She
was distracted and less cautious than usual. A snatch at a
stoplight would have been easy. But he let his curiosity get
the better of him. He wanted to see what her first move would
be. He had a bet with himself.
As he predicted, Scully went straight to Mulder. He owed
himself a pack of Morleys.
Spender didn't know what transpired inside Mulder's apartment,
though he could guess at part of it. Tearful recriminations,
impassioned declarations of need. Nothing he hadn't seen or
heard before. Still, it was a pity that they hadn't yet
replaced the surveillance equipment; if the two finally
succumbed to their obvious attraction to each other, he wanted
to be a witness to it. He preferred vicarious living. Much
better to stay emotionally detached.
The phone tap was still in place, however, so they were ready
when Mulder's 911 call came through. It was as easy as kiss
He looked down at Scully's serene face. The fairy tale analogy
struck him again. He could be the prince who awakened her from
But he wouldn't allow himself that pleasure. It was one thing
to fantasize, quite another to let such an impulsive gesture
ruin his carefully laid plans. Not when he could get someone
else to take the risks.
The cargo bay doors shut. He lit another cigarette and took
out his phone.
"Yes?" The deep, cultured voice of the Englishman answered
almost immediately. He was somewhere over the Atlantic,
headed toward the States. Strughold had given him an
Spender felt a brief flash of envy for this man's life, even
for his voice. What sacrifices had he made along the way?
He had his beautiful home, his family. He'd given his money
and influence, but he'd been more than willing to let others
do the dirty work. Others like Spender. Not this time,
Strughold had told the Englishman to kill Kurtzweil as a way
to remind him of the obligation he had to the Consortium.
However, Strughold was no fool, either. He'd already contacted
Spender about the elimination of the Englishman, whose
conscience was starting to be a problem.
But not before he, Spender, put another piece in play that
suited his own agenda.
Now he told the Englishman, "Agent Scully has been taken
"Where is she?" The Englishman's voice betrayed none of the
anger he'd shown at the meeting.
"She's on her way to Antarctica," he said. The Englishman
knew what that meant, but he asked anyway.
"Is she...?" he asked.
"She's infected," Spender said. "A bee, we think."
There was a long silence. The smoking man could almost hear
the Englishman's thoughts. He made another bet with himself.
"Does Strughold know?" The Englishman asked.
"Of course," Spender said. "But I thought you should know.
It might help if you encounter any...difficulties."
"Thank you for telling me," the Englishman said finally, and
he rang off.
Spender smiled as he lit another cigarette. Another calculated
gamble on his part. Mulder would move heaven and earth to save
Dana Scully, he counted on that. All Mulder needed was a little
rudimentary information, and perhaps some of the solution
Spender had with him now. He patted his breast pocket.
He couldn't be absolutely sure the Englishman would give Mulder
the vaccine, though telling Mulder where Dana Scully was without
giving him the possible cure merely signed her death warrant,
Of course, there was always the possibility that this could end
badly. Spender considered spiriting Scully away and using his
own vial of the vaccine, once again effecting a miracle cure.
this time, he'd be certain she knew who her benefactor was.
Would she express her gratitude, or curse him? Would it be
worth forfeiting his position -- possibly his life -- to gamble
on her thanks?
He'd not let the smile of a woman persuade him for many, many
years. He seldom let any emotion get in the way of his plans,
not since he was very young.
The flight to Antarctica was long, and Spender had ample time to
turn over every outcome in his mind.
There was the outside chance that the vaccine wouldn't work as
expected. That was part of his defense, should everything go to
hell. That he'd set this whole elaborate rescue up as a test.
Though if it did fail, the possibility also existed that he
wouldn't be around to justify what he did. None of them would
If Mulder didn't have the vaccine, Spender knew he could
administer it himself, but it would be so much better if
Mulder did it. Still, he believed in hedging his bets.
If necessary, he'd find a way for Mulder to "accidentally"
stumble on the vaccine.
Mulder was still the best hope for stopping colonization, if
anyone could. He'd survived so much, and he had the integrity
as well as the intelligence and drive to do it.
He'd considered others, at the times when Mulder had seemed too
intractable, too self-absorbed, but there were only two others
that he had enough influence or ability to manipulate, and then
only so far.
His only legitimate son was still a cipher. Rather than
embracing his childhood traumas as Mulder had, he'd chosen to
ignore them. He certainly had integrity, but he had no
imagination; he was a plodder. And he rejected anything
paranormal without discussion or investigation, despite the
carefully planned "recovered memories" his mother insisted on.
He might be useful, but he would never be a hero.
Krycek was unpredictable and not easily manipulated. His
motivations were different than Mulder's. There was no telling
what or who he'd do. There was no discernible pattern to his
actions. Most of the time they seemed self-serving, but he
played such a deep game that it was impossible to tell.
At one time, Spender thought he'd make a suitable successor,
but he wasn't to be controlled or persuaded by any of the usual
inducements, and he wasn't fazed much by threats, either. It
didn't seem to be money that motivated him; certainly it wasn't
patriotism for either of his countries. Appealing to his sense
of self-preservation was usually the best route, but that only
went so far. The things that had happened to him seemed to make
him feel he was invincible.
Mulder -- now, he had his gullibilities and his vulnerabilities.
Sometimes it was almost too easy to manipulate him. They'd
discovered early on that putting his partner as risk was a sure-
fire way to get him to cooperate, but only up to a point. She
was not content to be rescued or to stand passively by and let
him destroy himself. She was both his weakness and his
Eliminating Dana Scully entirely might cause Mulder to self-
destruct, but that wasn't a certainty. Leave a man with nothing
to lose and he might take anyone or anything down with him. No,
it was better to keep them both around. Not all the members of
the Consortium agreed with that, but so far it was enough to
ensure their survival. And even if no one else thought so,
Spender's vision of the future was at once more far-reaching
and more self-serving than theirs. He'd endeavor to keep both
Mulder and Scully alive as long as it suited his purposes.
Halfway through the flight, he learned of the Englishman's
death. He didn't need to be told that Mulder would be heading
for Antarctica within 24 hours.
There was no hiding in the vast whiteness of the snowfield.
Even without his information on Mulder's whereabouts, he'd have
seen the Sno-Cat where no Sno-Cat should be.
He waited for Mulder's arrival. He would find it very easy to
breach their security. Spender made sure that only the minimum
precautions were in place. They were only a handful of men,
anyway; the place ran itself, with just the few to monitor the
The lax security became a non-issue when Mulder was discovered
inside the facility. Spender made sure he was the first to
announce his awareness of Mulder's presence. He watched his
progress but kept the men from going after him.
He gave Mulder points for finding Scully so quickly; he'd left
what clues he could out in the open, but in such a vast space
they'd be easy to overlook. He'd thought of ways to leave a
trail leading to her, and ways for him to "discover" the vaccine
if need be. He stayed in the control room, looking over the
shoulders of the technicians, waiting to see if Scully's knight
in shining armor needed a spare lance.
When the alarms went off, he said, "Mulder has the vaccine," in
just the right tone of wondering disbelief. Anyone who survived
could attest to his surprise.
The instinct for self-preservation was strong, and when he
asserted that Mulder would never survive the meltdown, no one
questioned him. It was every man for himself at that point.
They passed Mulder's Sno-Cat on the way out and Spender made his
driver stop. "Just need to make sure," he said. He checked the
gas gauge and switched over to the auxiliary tank. They had
enough gas to get to civilization, providing they escaped. He
found a loose piece of wiring and stuck it in his pocket. He
showed his driver. "They won't be going anywhere," he said.
Now it was all up to Mulder and Scully to save themselves. He'd
done everything he could, and the rest of the Consortium would
blame the Englishman. It was always convenient to have someone
dead to pin the blame on.
He'd convince Strughold and the rest that this was for the best.
They'd re-set the colonization clock; he'd bought them more time
to perfect the vaccine. He was a damned hero.
Too bad Mulder would never know the full extent of the
assistance he'd been given. Or that Scully would never know
that he'd saved her life, twice. No, Mulder would get all the
credit. He, Spender, was destined always to be the man behind
the curtain, pulling the levers and hiding his skills behind a
cloud of smoke.
Someday he'd reveal his true self and garner the admiration and
gratitude he deserved. He'd bet himself a pack of Morleys on
Author's notes: I've always thought of Spender as a
megalomaniac (and some may say, "duh"), and after his "death"
(in Redux II), I really think he went 'round the bend.
His motivations have always been murky, but I've always seen his
interest in Dana Scully as more than paternal (even before En
Ami). I felt even if he aided Mulder because Mulder was his son,
he also did it because of Scully. Maybe more for her than for
Mulder. I know I'm not the first to intimate that CSM might be
Krycek's father, too, which makes for a very twisted "My Three
Some of the events in FTF seemed awfully coincidental, so I
thought about CSM being a bit of a "fairy godfather" in
Antarctica. I've read a lot of great stories about just how M &
S managed to escape, but I've never seen one where CSM may have
given some assistance for his own self-serving reasons. If this
is old ground, forgive me for treading it again. Thanks for
feedback would be better than a vaccine: firstname.lastname@example.org