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

Kurtzweil.

 

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

your hand.

 

He looked down at Scully's serene face.  The fairy tale analogy

struck him again.  He could be the prince who awakened her from

her slumber...

 

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

assignment, too.

 

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,

however.

 

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

care of."

 

"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,

and his.

 

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.

But

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

be.

 

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

strength.

 

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.

 

x-x-x-x

 

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

controls. 

 

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

that.

 

end.

 

=====

 

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

Sons" dynamic.

 

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

reading!

 

feedback would be better than a vaccine:  msnsc21@aol.com



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