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Resistance 01: Knowing
Author: Vickie Moseley
Written: June 2005
Category: Mytharc, Williamfic, pre and post colonization
Rating: E for everybody
Disclaimer: Well, it got pretty darned hard to make it sound like something a 12 year old kid would buy into, but I made him psychic, so that helped. Otherwise, I sure don't intent to infringe on that mangled mess that was S8 and S9 and don't even want to infringe on the good stuff in S1 through S7.
Archive: yes

Summary: It's 2012. William Van de Kamp knows more than his parents think he knows. He's about to embark on an adventure that will change his life forever.

Undying Gratitude: to Lisa for beta and pictures and general 'you can do this' encouragement. To DanaKScully for unconditional support and enthusiasm, even when it meant waiting a little longer for another story I was working on. Author's notes: this is a series. It's not really a WIP, because I plan on keeping it going for a while.

I bow to DonnaH, who has blazed one heck of a trail before me with both After the Future and Goodbyes/Hellos. I take a slightly different route. This is part one of I don't know how many. The first section, Resistance 1 has five parts.

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Nebraska, 2012

I am not who they say I am.

I remember when I first realized that I wasn't the son of the people I called 'Mom' and 'Dad'. I was five years old and had just come down with a bad cold. That night, I had a dream. I dreamed of a red haired lady with blue eyes who smiled at me, even though there were tears on her cheeks. I knew it was a dream because it was the first time I'd ever seen the color red. I was born red-green colorblind.

I dreamed of that lady often after that night. Later, about a year later when I turned six I had another dream. This time I dreamed of a man. He was tall and had dark hair and his nose was too big for his face, like mine, but on him it looked good. His eyes were what made me remember him. He had eyes that were brown and green and had yellow flecks. I'd never seen eyes like that before so I had to ask my mom if they were real, if anyone could really have eyes that were so many colors. She said they were called 'hazel'. The man had hazel eyes.

Of course, I didn't tell Mom about the dream. She doesn't like me to talk about my dreams. There have been times when my dreams came true and that upset her. I knew when Granddad Wilbert was going to have a heart attack because I saw it in a dream. When he died in the hospital, my dad told me never to tell my mom about my dreams again.

But the man in my dreams, he seemed larger than life. He was like a superhero or something, Bruce Wayne just waiting for the right moment to slip away to the Batcave and become Batman for the night. For a while I thought that's what he was, but a little later, I found out more about them.

When I turned seven, my parents told me I was adopted. My mom and dad, the ones who raised me, sat me down and explained it to me one day just after my birthday. I got the feeling my dad wasn't too happy about telling me, that he thought it would just confuse me. He kept asking me if I had any questions. My mom just kept telling me that they loved me more than anything on earth, more than if I'd been born to them, because I'd been given to them. She said I was a gift from God.

I only had one question: Who were my real parents? My dad got a funny look on his face and my mom had to swallow a couple of times. Then she told me a lie. I think it was the first lie she ever told me, but the minute the words were out of her mouth I knew they weren't true.

She said my mom died when I was born and that my dad had died in prison, he'd been executed for killing a soldier.

All the while she was telling me about how that didn't mean I would grow up to be a criminal, I knew she was lying. I knew that wasn't what had happened to my real parents. It was that night that I dreamed about the red haired lady again and this time the tall man was with her. They were standing in a bedroom, the lady was in real pretty pajamas and the man had on a dark jacket that looked expensive, but sort of worn out, too. It was leather, I could smell the leather in my dream.

The woman had a blanket all bunched up in her arms and she was standing there looking at the man with these soft, soft eyes. He smiled at her as she handed him the bunch of blankets and he folded one edge back. There, in all those blankets, was a baby. At that moment, I knew that baby was me. That red haired lady with the soft blue eyes and that man who was tall and handsome and larger than life were my parents. The ones who had given birth to me.

I wanted to know more about them, but knew I couldn't talk to my mom and dad. I was pretty sure they didn't know any more, and had made up that story about my real parents being dead just so I wouldn't try to find them. I was mad at first, but after a little while I calmed down. Besides, I didn't really need their help to find my parents. I just started thinking about the man and the lady every night before I went to bed. I even prayed, something I did only when mom made me. To my surprise, it worked.

I not only dreamed about them, I could actually hear them talking. I could see them go about whatever they were doing. It was neat, like spying. I saw my father, my real father, come home late from work, hanging up his jacket by the door. I saw my mother, my red haired mother, scooping up something on to a plate and putting it on the table so he could eat. They would talk about their day. My dad worked construction, but he was like a boss. He talked about 'his men' and how things were going at the 'job site'. My mom was like a doctor or something, but not a real doctor. She would say things like 'if they'd just checked the hemoglobin' and 'it was...' some long word that I couldn't remember when I woke up but I remember it sounded like they talk on the medical shows my adopted mom watched.

One night, I saw her, my little sister. She had to have been a baby, maybe three years old. She had red hair in braids like girls like to wear and a button nose, and my dad called her 'Peg of my heart'. My mom laughed when he called the baby that. My dad picked the baby up and put her on his shoulders and told her she was taller than he was and she giggled and hugged his head. And that was when I heard it for the first time. Even though she never moved her mouth, I heard my mother say my name: William. And then she said another name: Emily. She was saying them in her mind, not out loud, but I could hear her all the same. She was calling out to me, to us. I knew also that wherever Emily was, I wouldn't be able to find her.

It went on like that for years. I lived with my adopted parents, all the time waiting for each night when I would get to spend time with my real parents in my dreams. When I was little I never thought to try and figure out where they lived. But as I got older, I grew curious. I didn't want to just see them in my dreams, I wanted to meet them, I wanted to let them know me like I knew them. But I had to wait a long, long time.

I met Gibson on the internet about a year ago. I found a blog about government conspiracies. My adopted dad, Hank Van de Kamp, is as conservative as they come. He was devastated when Bush got impeached and was forced to resign back in 07, but even after that, he's never believed that the government could ever hide something from the people. I'm not like that at all. I have never trusted the government, even when my teachers at school tried to tell me how great our country is and how we have a 'free and open society' governed 'by the people'. It sounded to much like those talk show guys my dad always watches who rant and rave about 'liberals' ruining the country.

I don't know how I found this blog. I was cruising different sites and found it. I came back and by the end of the week, I was there every day. I just always liked the kind of posters this blog had, they were funny most of the time. There was a lot of talk of aliens, the kind in space ships, not the ones my adopted dad always complained about who worked on our farm.

I was nervous about posting any comments to the blog until one day I finally took the plunge. I was real surprised when I got an email from Gibson, the moderator. He said he knew me. Then he gave me his IM and I looked him up. He said he knew my parents, my real parents.

I guess I should have been suspicious, but from the first time we chatted, I knew Gibson was on the level. When I told him about my dreams, he told me I was dead on with all of it. My father's real name is Fox Mulder and my mother's real name is Dana Scully.

That was a bad summer. My adopted mom was sick and my dad was very worried about her. The crop Dad put out in April had to be replanted in May because of some heavy rains. Nobody in my house was in a good mood. When Gibson told me that everything I'd dreamed was true, it made me mad. If they were alive, if they went ahead and had another kid, why did they give me up? Why did they sell me to some hick farmers in Nebraska like I was a used John Deere tractor? I blocked Gibson from my buddy list after that and blocked all his emails. If they were so happy without me, they could just stay happy without me, because I sure didn't need them.

I didn't dream about them for a long time, a couple of months. I didn't sleep well, either, but nobody in my house was sleeping well. My mom was diagnosed with cancer, but the doctor said it was curable. My dad had to take out loans to pay for the medical treatments and with the crop so late, he wasn't sure how much he'd get for the wheat and corn he'd planted. I just wanted to curl up and die.

The first really bad dream came one night after my mom got back from her second week of chemo. She was sick, real sick. Dad made dinner, which meant we had frozen pizza, and he'd burned it. Mom couldn't eat anything, she went to bed the minute we got her in the house. When I was falling asleep, I still heard her throwing up in the bathroom next to my bedroom.

At first, I didn't know that it was a dream. There was a bright light all around me. I could make out people's faces but it was no one I recognized. Then I saw this guy, he was big and had a square face and he stared right at me. I was so scared I almost pissed on myself! Then it was like we were all floating up and I looked up and there were lights above us, like Christmas tree lights and this big door that we were floating up into. The next thing I knew I was strapped into this chair and my hands were held down and my arms hurt bad. Something was pulling at my cheeks so I couldn't move my head. There was a machine just above me and it was shiny and there was a buzz saw like Granddad Wilbert used to have only smaller and right as the buzz saw was about to cut me open I saw my reflection in the metal and I realized I wasn't me, I was Fox Mulder, my real dad.

I woke up screaming. My dad came in and tried to get me to quit crying. He slapped me across the face. It was the first time he'd ever raised his hand to me. I was so shocked, but not as shocked as he was. He hugged me and cried and told me he was sorry but mom had just fallen asleep and he didn't want me to wake her up. I finally quit crying and so did dad. He got me a glass of water and told me he'd sleep in my room if I wanted, but I told him to go back to mom, in case she got sick and needed him again.

I didn't sleep for the rest of the night. When I was pretty sure dad was asleep, I got up and turned on my computer. I unblocked Gibson and wasn't too surprised to find him online. We chatted until the sun came up. He told me pretty much everything I wanted to know about my real parents.

He told me that my mom and dad were once FBI agents. They worked on really hard cases, cases no one else wanted to work on. My dad's sister had been 'abducted' when she was 8 and he was 12, and I knew what that meant because there were 'abductees' who commented on the blog all the time, but unlike those people, she was never returned. My dad found out years later that his own father had been a part of a conspiracy within the government to keep the existence of extraterrestrials from the public. My dad found out his sister had died when she was just 14 years old, 8 years after she'd been taken from their home.

My mom had her problems, too. She had been abducted because she worked with my father. Her sister was murdered because she and my dad had gotten involved in trying to expose the lies of the government. She was given cancer and almost died as a way to hurt my dad. She was told she would never have children. Gibson told me that when my adopted mom said I was a 'gift from God', she didn't know the half of it.

Finally, he told me a little more about my dream. When my mom was pregnant with me, before she even knew she was pregnant, my dad was abducted. He wasn't abducted by the government, as my mom had been. The aliens abducted him. The dream I'd had was a real memory from that time. He was tortured, mutilated. When he was returned, they thought he was dead.

That wasn't the end of the story. My mom had to bury him but then three months later my dad's old boss from the FBI had his body exhumed. My dad was alive, but an alien virus was using his body as a host. My mom, who really is a doctor, treated him and cured him.

Then I was born. My dad had quit the FBI. Gibson said he was afraid that the aliens would try and come after him and maybe get me, too. My dad left my mom because it was too dangerous for all of us for him to stay. He lived with Gibson in the desert for a year trying to find out more about the government's involvement with the aliens so he could come home to us.

During this time, people tried to get me away from my mom. Gibson wouldn't go into detail but he said that it was obvious that I would never be safe, that the aliens wanted me dead or just to experiment on. I was a miracle, in more ways than one, but one they never expected. I scared them. So my mom did the only thing she could think of to do -- she gave me up for adoption. She reasoned that if I weren't with her, I would be safe. She didn't even want to know where I was because she figured if she didn't know, the aliens and anyone working with them would have a hard time finding me, too. Gibson said it was the hardest thing he'd ever heard anyone do.

The part my adopted parents told me about my dad being executed was almost true. My father broke into a government facility to find out the aliens' plans. While he was there, he killed an alien replicant, a 'Supersoldier' Gibson called him. But you can't kill a Supersoldier with bullets or by hitting them or tossing them off cliffs and so the 'man' got up and walked away. Still, they had a trial, a military trial without a real judge or anything and convicted my dad. They were going to execute him when Gibson and my parent's old bosses and some friends helped him escape.

My parents were forced to go underground, to be on the run. Gibson said I was always in their thoughts and in their prayers. They never gave up on the idea that one day we would find each other. They only hoped that I would remember them when it happened.

All that happened years ago. Since then, my parents, and my little sister, have moved around a lot. They never stay in one place more than a couple of years. It's hard on my sister, Gibson said. He said she knows about me, that my parents talk about me all the time to her. I knew this was true because I'd seen it in my dreams.

Gibson told me so much that night, and I knew in my heart that all of it was true. The only thing he wouldn't tell me was where they were. "It's not time yet, William." When I asked him when it would be time, he said just one thing: "We'll know."


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Resistance 1.02: Finding

November 27, 2012

I've heard them say in movies that some moments change your life forever. I guess that's the case. I think whatever happens is what is supposed to happen, so how can that be a change? But I do know that when I woke up that morning, things wouldn't be the same when I went to bed that night.

Gibson had been telling me more and more about the aliens and their conspiracy with the government. Not just the American government, I learned -- it was a conspiracy with men in high places all over the world. He said there were even people in the UN involved in it. I didn't want to believe that, but then I felt he was right. I've always been good about telling when someone is lying. My parents stopped talking about Christmas presents around me when I was really little. Sometimes I guessed what they were thinking about and as a little kid, I would blurt it out that I knew. I figured out real quick that was a bad idea. But Gibson and I had a different relationship. He didn't have to explain everything to me, I could hear him talking in my head. It was great because I'm not the fastest typist and it sure made our conversations online a lot easier. That morning, back in November, I had been online with Gibson about half the night.

I had to get up to go to school. I was in high school, a freshman. I'd skipped some lower grades. I was the youngest kid in the school, but I was tall so no one bothered me much. Still, if I weren't awake for my Algebra I class, I'd be in trouble. The teacher was also my P.E. instructor and he'd make me pay when he got me in 5th hour.

So I dragged my butt out of bed and headed for the bathroom to clean up. While I was in the shower I had my first 'waking dream'. I later came to think of them as visions, but whatever it was, it scared the piss out of me! I was standing there, letting the hot water wake me up and rinse my hair when all of a sudden, I was lying on my back looking up at a ceiling and the room was moving. There was I guy I'd never seen before leaning over me, putting something over my face. He strapped it on and I struggled but then I realized I could breathe with it on, so I settled down. He started taping something to my hand and I looked down to see an IV. I knew about those, mom had those to give her the chemo. I wanted to pull it out but there was a strap across my chest. I couldn't move.

Then she came into view -- my real mom, Dana, as I thought of her. She was looking so worried and I think she was going to start crying. She tried to smile at me and she reached up to touch my forehead. She whispered to me. "Mulder, hang on."

Suddenly, I was back in the shower. I'd never left. And I knew that wasn't so much a dream as a connection. My mom had called me Mulder. I was him again, going through what he was going through. Before it had been what he'd lived through, but now I was certain that it was what he was living through at that moment. He was hurt, sick, I don't know what but he was in terrible trouble. And my mom was begging him to hang on. I knew all about what that meant. I'd begged my adopted mom to hang on several times during her cancer. Thank God it was finally in remission. I jumped out of the shower, not even bothering to dry off, just wrapped a towel around my waist and ran to my computer. There was an email from Gibson with a high priority. It said two words. "It's time."

I went ahead and got dressed like always. Before I left my room, I dug the money I'd saved baling hay that summer and shoved it in the pocket of my jeans. Then I went downstairs and ate breakfast and kissed my adopted mom goodbye. She never suspected that my book bag was not loaded with my books but with my clothes nor that it would be the last time I'd ever see her. When I got to the bus stop, I rode the bus to school. There was always a crowd scene at the drop off doors, especially from the rural buses. It was easy to slip away. The interstate was just three miles from the high school, so I started walking. I had to get to Weed Hope, New Mexico. After that, who knew where I'd end up?

It took me a little over two days to get there. I caught rides with truckers on I-80 and I-76 and then took a ride with a guy hauling alfalfa all the way down US 85. I walked the last ten miles, but I didn't care. When I got there, Gibson was waiting for me. He drove me to El Paso, where my parents were living.

Del Sol Medical Center
El Paso, Texas
December 1, 2012

Gibson parked the car in the visitors' lot and offered to go in with me. I wanted him to, but then I knew it wasn't his family up there. It was a little kid thing to want him to hold my hand. I had to be grown up about what I was about to face. I thanked him and told him I'd email him when I got the chance. He smiled at me, patted my shoulder and told me it would be OK. I knew he really wasn't sure about that part, but I couldn't consider it a lie, either. He just wanted me to know that whatever happened, I'd be OK. That sort of scared me a little. As I walked up the sidewalk to the big white L-shaped building, I'd never felt more alone. What if they didn't want me here? What if my mom would be mad that I'd left my adopted parents? She sent me away to keep me safe and I'd been having this prickling feeling for a while that something was going to happen, something really big and bad. What if my coming here was a dumb idea and I should have stayed back in Nebraska? How mad was Mr. Timmons going to be about my skipping Algebra? Man, I was a mess!

When I got to the information desk, I almost turned back. Then I realized going back was not an option. So, in my deepest voice (which tended to crack a lot), I asked what room Fox Mulder was in. For a minute I thought the lady might not find him, that if they were on the run they might have used different names. But she found F. Mulder and then she asked if I was immediate family. I'd been to the hospital enough with my adopted mom to know that wasn't a good sign. I told her yeah, I was his son. She gave me the room number and said it was in the Intensive Care Unit on the fourth floor.

The ride up was the scariest ride I'd ever taken. I didn't know what to expect. Usually, when I'm going to get in trouble for something, I know. I get this feeling; the hair on the back of my neck stands up. Jerry Rankin, one of my friends from grade school used to say I had 'spidey sense'. I think it was more than that. But while I was in that elevator, I had this really bad feeling and the urge to just stop on any floor and run as far and as fast as I could. Then the doors opened and I saw her sitting there.

Her hair was still in braids. She was wearing jeans that had sewing on them, like some of the girls at my high school wear, except her shirt wasn't five inches above the top of her pants. She had on a sweatshirt with little bears holding hands and she had old red sneakers on her feet. When she looked up and saw me, it was like I was just coming home from school, not at all like we were seeing each other for the first time.

"Hi, Will. I'm glad you're here," she said, standing up and chewing on her lip at the corner. "Hi, Peg," I answered. "You knew I was coming? How?" I thought about it a moment. "How do you even know who I am?"

She smiled at me and she looked a lot older than eight years when she did. "I have dreams, too," she said and then I knew for sure I was where I was supposed to be. She reached for my hand and pulled me over to the chairs where she'd been sitting. "Mom's back there," she pointed to a door that said 'no admittance except during scheduled visiting times'. "They let her stay longer because she tells them she's a nurse practitioner. She's really a doctor, though."

"Yeah, I knew that," I said, even though I'd just figured it out. "How is he?" I asked and almost regretted it. Her face sort of screwed up and I thought she was going to cry.

"He's hurt real bad, Will. The doctor told us that he's holding his own but they keeping thinking that he's dying. That's why they let Mom back there with him so much. She won't let me go back because she doesn't want me to see him all hurt like he is, but I know. I can see what she sees." She choked up a bit, but still didn't let the tears fall. "He's got a big tube down his throat and all these wires on his head. They told Mom he's in a coma. Will, I'm scared."

I don't know what made me do it, but I reached over and hugged her. "It's OK, Peggy. I promise. It's going to be OK."

She sniffed a little and pulled back, then wiped her cheeks on the sleeve of her shirt. "I'm just glad you're here." She grabbed my hand and didn't let go.

We sat there for a few minutes. It was like she'd been my little sister all my life. I thought back to those times when I'd wished I could live with my real parents, be part of my real family. Now that I had that wish, I really wished it could have been a better time.

"Peggy, how did you know about me, really?" I asked finally.

"Mom and Daddy have talked about you all my life. They have a picture, but you were a baby. When I got older, I could see you in my dreams. I saw you working on a farm one time. You were wrapping wire around a bunch of straw and throwing it into the back of a truck."

"Baling hay," I said absently.

"I saw you riding your bike. And I saw when you won a track meet. You ran really fast and got a ribbon."

"The 100 meter dash. I got first place," I said. "How did you know to come here?" It was her turn to ask the questions.

"Gibson told me where you were, but I've dreamed about you all my life. First Mom and Dad and then you. I remember I saw you when you were about two or three. Dad had you on his shoulders and told you that you were taller than he was. You laughed and laughed."

At least I got her to smile at that.

"Peggy, who's Emily?" I asked suddenly. If she knew about me, she had to know about Emily. I still didn't know who this Emily could be that would make Mom cry out for her when she was supposed to be happy with her husband and daughter.

Peggy looked down at her shoes. "Emily was Mom and Dad's daughter but I think they adopted her out, too. When we lived in San Diego for a while we had to go to the cemetery every week and Mommy would cry every time and Daddy would cry sometimes too, but he'd hide it so Mommy couldn't see him. We always brought white carnations, even in wintertime. She was only three when she died. I did the math from her tombstone." Her bottom lip trembled and this time the tears did fall. "Will, I don't want Daddy to die," she cried suddenly. "I don't want to have to go to the cemetery every week to put flowers on his grave. I want him here, with us!"

I pulled her over to hug her again. It took a while for her to stop crying. I just petted her hair, sort of like I used to do Shep, our collie. It always worked for Shep. It seemed to work for Peggy too. Maybe dogs and little sisters weren't that much different. We were quiet, just sitting there when my stomach had to go and make a noise that almost shook the windows. My stomach is loud when I'm hungry.

Peggy laughed a little and then she started laughing a lot. "When Daddy's tummy does that Mom says we have to feed it before it attacks," she giggled. Then her stomach made a rumble and I pointed to it. "We better hurry, they might attack each other," I said and her smile got bigger, then just left completely. "Mom has the money," she said soberly.

"No problem. I have $10 left from my bus ticket to New Mexico," I told her. "Let's go find the cafeteria."

"Wait a minute," she said and ran over to a phone on the wall. She punched in three numbers. "This is Peggy Mulder. If my mom looks for me, tell her I went to the cafeteria with my brother."

As she was hanging up, it hit me. This wasn't a dream. I was really here. For a minute, I thought I was going to start crying.

We found the cafeteria, since Peggy had been there before. We stood in line, looking at the food. She turned her nose up at the casserole on the hot line, and I couldn't say I blamed her. It looked like the stuff they served at my high school. Peggy managed to find the dessert table and immediately picked out a big brownie with frosting. I shook my head.

"You have to have something healthy," I told her, putting the brownie back. She frowned and looked at me. I got the strong impression that she was thinking maybe this big brother thing wasn't that great a deal and it made me laugh. "OK, how about this. You can have the brownie, but only if you promise to eat something else that's healthy."

She pursed her lips and wrinkled her nose and it was really cute, but I also realized it would get really old some day when I'd seen it more often. "OK, I guess. But not that stuff," she said pointing to the casserole.

"Not that, for sure. Besides, I don't know that I'd qualify that as 'healthy'."

She laughed. She went back and picked up a made up sandwich in plastic wrap. It was cut in half and was filled with chicken salad, from the looks of it. She then picked up the brownie and added that to our tray.

We got our drinks and I saw an apple, which I grabbed for the tray. Peggy looked at it like it was evil. "That's for me," I assured her. We passed a case that contained little containers of yogurt. "Has Mom had anything to eat today?" I asked.

She shook her head. "She has the nurse bring me a sandwich or gives me money to come down here. I don't think she's had anything since they brought Daddy in the ambulance."

"Let's get her something. Let me see," I said, looking over our choices. Raspberry, raspberry, strawberry-banana, more raspberry. Finally, I spied the right one and put it on the tray. Peach.

"That's Mom's favorite," Peggy said with a big smile. It made me feel kind of proud.

"Yeah, I know," I said. I was about to get me a sandwich when figured I'd better add up our purchases. We were right at $8 and another sandwich would be $3. No way.

"I can only eat half of that sandwich, Will," Peggy said and looked at me. "And you can have half the brownie."

I smiled at her. She was something -- I knew that for certain. "I'll split the sandwich but the brownie's all yours. I'll have the apple for dessert."

We sat down and started eating. She tore into the sandwich and had the brownie polished off before I could finish half my apple. When we were done, she gathered up all the plastic wrap and stuffed it into her cup, all neat and perfect. I shook my head again.

"How did Dad get hurt?" I finally had the courage to ask. I didn't want to upset her again.

"He works construction. He's lots smarter than that, but it's easy to find jobs when we move. He was working on the third floor of an office building they're putting up and he just fell off. Uncle Petey, he's Daddy's friend, told Mom that Daddy grabbed his head like it hurt real bad just before he fell."

I closed my eyes. I'd seen three story buildings. They were building a new parking ramp at the hospital where my adopted mom got her chemo. It was three stories and it was a long way to fall. I opened my eyes and looked at Peggy. "How bad is it? You said he was in a coma."

She shook her head up and down. "He's got broken ribs and a broken arm and a big cut down his leg. What's a spleen?" she asked out of the blue.

I had to think for a minute. We had some anatomy in 8th grade. "Umm, it's an organ. I think it fights infections or something."

She nodded again. "Well, Daddy doesn't have one anymore. They lost it. But what everyone's really scared about is the coma. They say they don't know what's causing it. That he's dying." Her bottom lip started to tremble again.

I closed my eyes and tried to see my Dad again, to feel what was going on with him. It hit me right away. I knew what was happening. "Peggy, he's not dying," I said, convinced I was right.

"But the doctors say..."

"I don't care what the doctors say, he's not dying. They're affecting him."

"They -- who?" she asked.

Boy, how to explain? "Do you know about the aliens?" I asked. Her eyes got big and she nodded really slowly. "OK, the aliens are making him sick. Well, really he's thinking about the aliens and that's making him sick," I tried to make her understand and from the look on her face, I wasn't doing a very good job. Just then it was like a light bulb went off above her head.

"Strawberries," she said with a knowing grin.

"No, strawberries have nothing to do with it," I tried to reason. I figured she was confused, because she was confusing me.

"Yes, they do. My friend Becky is allergic to strawberries. Daddy's allergic to aliens," she said, and crossed to arms to show I didn't need to try and explain any further.

"OK, yeah, sort of like that." It was probably the easiest way to explain it after all.

At that moment, we heard the doors open behind us and I turned around to see the lady from all my dreams.

"Oh my God! William!"


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Resistance 1.03: Holding On

December 1, 2012
Del Sol Medical Center
El Paso, Texas

I don't know who ran faster or got there first but suddenly I was in my mother's arms, my real mother, for the first time since I was a baby. We were crying and holding on for all we were worth. She's a couple of inches shorter than I am, not much but it felt weird. My adopted mom is taller. Still it felt so right, like I was finally home. Then I felt another pair of arms go around both of us, right about our waists. I looked down and there was Peggy, hugging us with tears running down her cheeks too. It was a great family reunion but one person was missing.

"I want to see my Dad," I finally choked out, wiping tears and my nose on the sleeve of my shirt.

Mom either wasn't going to ruin the moment or didn't notice because she was wiping her own tears so she didn't call me on the 'sleeve as tissue' action. "William, I'll see if I can get you back there, but you have to understand..."

"He's hurt bad, I get that, but he's not dying, Mom." God, it felt so normal calling this woman Mom. In the back of my mind I could faintly remember the words to a really old rock tune about a bullfrog named Jeremiah.

"William, I know it's hard. It's hard on all of us," she kept talking, but she wasn't really listening.

"Mom, it's like the rock. The rock from the ship. The rock you had to go far away to understand," I told her, gripping both her arms for a minute to get her attention. At that point I was just touching on memories that Dad was remembering too, in his coma. "They're getting closer. He feels them. It's happening."

I finally broke through to her. I could see all the little puzzle pieces fall into place in her mind. "Oh my God," she whispered. She looked up at me with fear in her eyes. "How can we help him? William, we have to help him!"

"I know, Mom. I know. That's why I'm here. I think I can help him. But the broken bones, all that, it's going to slow us down. We have to get out of here. We don't have much time."

"Out of this hospital?" Peggy chirped up. "No, Peg. Out of this town. Someplace far away. We need to get someplace we can hide, where we can bring others," I said. I felt so much older than 12 when I said that. Like I was setting the course of world events, like my civics teacher talked about in class a few weeks ago.

"Gibson will help," Mom said. "He has friends."

"Yeah, I know. I'm one of them," I said proudly. She sort of chuckled at that, not a real laugh, just a smile and a half. She was so pretty when she smiled. "First though, we have to get to Dad."

"Come with me. I'll get you in to see your father."

"Wait, Mom. Will got you something," Peg said, holding up the yogurt and a spoon.

She smiled again when she took the yogurt. "Thanks, Will. Bug, did you help him pick out the flavor?" she said with a wink to Peggy.

"Nope. He knew. He knew to get peach. And Mommy, he had to hunt to find it!" my little sister said proudly and then she smiled at me and I saw Mom's smile on her face. I almost lost it then, for the fourth of fifth time that day.

"You knew? You knew my favorite flavor is peach?" Mom asked, her voice cracking. "I know a lot, Mom. But now's not the time to talk about it. Let's go see Dad."

We rode the elevator to the fourth floor again. This time I wasn't nearly as scared. Mom would look at me over the top of the yogurt container and she would smile but tears would still be leaking down her cheeks. I understood the feeling. I wanted to cry again, too, but not in front of Peggy.

When we got to the waiting room where I first saw my sister, Mom stopped us. "Peggy, sweetheart, you need to stay here," she said, her hand petting Peg's hair.

"But Mommy," Peg whined. "I want to see Daddy, too!"

"Margaret Christina, please, not now," Mom said sternly.

"Mom, I think she can help," I said, biting my lip. I wasn't sure, but I had the impression Peggy and I were more alike than our parents could ever imagine. I was worried a little that she might get too scared at the sight of Dad all sick and banged up to really help, but she seemed like a tough little kid from what I'd seen of her already. I was pretty sure she was made of stronger stuff. "Let her come, too. Please."

Mom nodded finally and Peggy tossed me a big smile. "It's not pretty, sweetheart. But remember, under all those wires, it's still Daddy under there, OK? He loves us and needs us right now," Mom explained to her. "I understand, Mommy. Let's go. Let's hurry."

The nurse looked up when we filed in that door with the sign. "Mrs. Mulder. I'm sorry, only one..."

"This is our son, William. He's been away at school and just made it home. Please, may we see his father? Please?"

I was totally impressed; Mom could lie like a pro. But I knew why she was doing it. Any other explanation would have caused a ruckus. Here is our son, the runaway. We adopted him out when he was a baby and he just decided to come find us today. Not a good idea. But I could also tell Mom wasn't happy about lying to the woman. She just knew it had to be done.

The nurse looked me over and then looked at Peggy. She sighed and nodded. "It's probably just as well that the children have a moment with their father," she said and I could tell she was thinking it would be our last time to see him alive. I knew better, but this woman didn't.

"Thank you," Mom whispered. "Come on, kids. He's over here."

He was lying in the second cubicle. There were walls on the sides and in the back, but the front was completely open. There was a glass folding door thing off to the side, so I guess they could have closed it, but since you could see right through it, there didn't seem to be much point. Dad was in a bed with the head up a little. Peggy was right; he had a big tube down his throat and lots of wires coming off his head, ones on his cheeks and all over his forehead. I could see little streaks of grey hair right at his temple. I never noticed the grey hair in my dreams.

His left arm was in a cast and his left leg was all bandaged and propped up on pillows. He wasn't wearing a gown, so I could see bandages all over his chest, along with another tube going to a machine somewhere under the bed. Mom was right; maybe it wasn't good that Peggy should see all this. This didn't look at all like the man in my dream, my Superman Dad who was going to come someday and rescue me from dying of boredom on the farm.

I felt rooted to my spot by the door. Mom walked around me and went close to the bed. She picked up his hand, the one not in a cast, and petted it. She had a smile on her face when she spoke. "Mulder, look who's here," she whispered but I could hear her. "It's William, Mulder. He found us. He found you. He's here to see you. Won't you open your eyes, Mulder, please, for William?"

He didn't move, but I could hear him. He was caught in a dream, a nightmare. He was reliving the torture they'd done to him on the ship. That was his greatest fear, that he would be captured again. No, not just him, all of us -- Mom, Peggy, even me. I wanted to tell him that he had to stop fearing them; it was getting in his way. It was like a big rock in the middle of the road and unless he moved it, it would stop him from going forward. I knew we needed him. Not just our family, but also the whole human race. In just a few days, maybe sooner, the aliens were going to come and try and take the planet away from us. I knew we'd need my Superman Dad then, as never before.

I realized I hadn't moved. OK, if I expected him to make a change, I had to, too. So I stepped over to the bed. Mom moved out of the way so I could be closer to the side without the casts. I picked up his hand and held it close to my face. It was cold, like he'd been outside or something. I looked over at Mom and she was just smiling.

"Talk to him, William. He can hear you."

I closed my eyes. Holding his hand it was easier. After a while I could see him, standing on a beach. There was a sandcastle shaped like a space ship and he was smoothing out the edge. He turned and looked at me.

"I knew you'd come," he said as he smiled at me. "I should have waited for you, but I figured we could do the detail work together." He nodded to the sandcastle. "Cool ship," I said.

"Do you remember helping me build it? You were little then."

I thought hard. I could remember the feel of sand running through my fingers. I could remember the feel of his fingers as I held on for dear life, taking steps toward Mom. I could remember kicking the sandcastle because I was mad at him. "Are those my memories?" I asked. "I've only been to the ocean one time when I was six and I stepped on a jelly fish. We never got around to building a sandcastle and my other Dad wouldn't have built a space ship. A tractor, maybe, or a silo, but definitely not a space ship."

He smiled again and shook his head. "It was before you were born. Before you were even conceived."

That was confusing. "How could I have memories from before I was conceived?"

"They're the memories of your soul," he said with a knowing smile. He looked up into the sky. "They're coming, William. I've seen it in my dreams. There is nothing we can do."

"No, Dad. I don't believe that." I couldn't let him think like that. He would give up and then he would die and we would be lost. I would be lost more than anyone.

"They will fire bomb our cities. We'll all die trying to fight them. Your sister, your mother, you..."

"No Dad. We'll fight. And yes, some of us may die, but we can't let them have our planet! We have to fight them. We need you to help us. You're the only one who understands them!"

"I don't understand them. They killed me, William. How is it possible that I could understand them?"

"You were with them. You know more about them than any of us. You know about their hybrids, the Supersoldier things Gibson told me about. You know how to spot them. Dad, you know how to kill them. Only you!" I was out of breath, if that was possible in a vision. "You have to come back."

"I'm hurt. I can't help. I would just slow you down," he said sadly.

"You honestly think you can slow Mom down?" I asked. He blinked and then shook his head. "It's easy to see who your mother is," he said with a smirk.

"Not to mention my father. Not every kid my age goes around building spaceship sandcastles before they were conceived!"

"Maybe more than we know," he said mysteriously.

I reached out my hand to him. "Dad. Come back with me."

He hesitated.

"Dad. Please. Please come back with me. Mom needs you. Peggy needs you. Dad, I really need you now."

He stared at me for a full minute and then slowly grasped my hand. Suddenly, I was back in the cubicle in the ICU. I was exhausted, but he was still grasping my hand. When I looked over, Mom and Peggy were asleep in a chair near us. I looked back and saw my dad blink his eyes. His hazel eyes. They were as beautiful as they'd been in my dreams.

He struggled against the tube in his throat and the sound he made woke Mom up right away. "Mulder, Mulder, hold on, sweetheart. Let's get the doctor. Oh, love, you scared me bad this time!" she said, hurrying to the door to wave over a nurse.

I started to sway and Peggy pushed the chair under me so I wouldn't fall on the floor. "How long was I like that?" I asked her.

"About four hours. Mom tried to get you to sit down, but you wouldn't. You didn't say anything, either. You just stood there with your eyes closed, holding Daddy's hand. When we couldn't get you to sit down, we sat down to watch and I guess we fell asleep." She stepped over closer to the bed. "Daddy? Daddy, it's me, Peggy."

His eyes fluttered open and he tried to smile around the tube, but it was too hard. He waved his hand and she grabbed it. I saw him squeeze her hand and she leaned over and kissed his fingers. "Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for not leaving me," she said with tears down her cheeks. Dad let go of her hand long enough to brush the tears from her face and poke her nose. That must have tired him out because he closed his eyes again until the doctor came in.

The nurse came in, followed by a doctor. He looked around at all of us and shook his head. "OK folks, visiting hours are over. Mrs. Mulder, if you'd take the children out to the waiting room, I'll call you when we've weaned your husband off the ventilator. It shouldn't be more than a couple of hours. Why don't you all use the time to get something to eat and rest a bit?"

Mom didn't look too happy to be tossed out of the ICU, but Dad squeezed her hand and winked at her and she smiled and winked back. "I'll be back. When the vent comes out, try not to antagonize the nurses, Mulder."

If it was possible to look innocent with a big old white tube down your throat, my dad did a good imitation.

Mom squeezed his hand again. "I don't buy that for a minute. Just play nice until we can get you home, for once." She leaned over and kissed the side of his mouth, the only part she could hit. "I love you," I heard her whisper and he blinked twice, which was some sort of sign between them, I guess. She smiled at him again and then helped me out of the chair and we all left Dad with the doctor.

I was really tired when we got to the little lounge area. Before Mom could object I grabbed the closest sofa-looking thing and lay down. I knew she wanted to talk, she had about a million and one questions to ask me, but she also realized I was too sleepy to answer any of them and make any sense.

"Peggy and I are going down to the cafeteria. Do you want us to bring you something back?"

"We'll get you a ham on whole wheat with mustard," Peggy offered and I gave her a 'thumbs up' sign without opening my eyes.

"Don't forget..."

"Orange Crush," she finished my sentence before I could get the words out. I was still so wiped out that I couldn't pry my eyes open, but I couldn't let her have the last word.

"You're OK, squirt. For a bratty little sister," I said just as I figured they were about to get on the elevator.

I heard her giggles as I drifted off to sleep. Hours later, I awoke to my sandwich, a can of Crush and my freshman class picture on CNN Headline News. There was an Amber Alert out for me. My adopted parents had reported me as being kidnapped.


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Resistance 1.04: Keeping

Hours later I awoke to my sandwich, a can of Crush, and my freshman class picture on CNN Headline News. There was an Amber Alert out for me. My adopted parents had reported me kidnapped.

Mom was sitting, pale and with a really unreadable expression, staring at the report on the television screen. Peggy was over in the corner of the room, as far away from us as she could get, reading a book. She would glance up at me, chew on her lip and then go back to the book, but I knew she wasn't really reading it. She was hiding behind it.

"I want to know everything," Mom said in a voice I'm pretty sure she'd used before, maybe when she was with the FBI.

I sat up and tried to wipe the sleep out of my eyes. "Can I eat..."

"Eat and talk," she demanded. I swallowed and took a bite out of the sandwich. What do you do when your mother tells you to talk with your mouth full? I chewed twice, swallowed the lump down my throat that wasn't only the bite of sandwich and started.

"I've known about you all my life," I explained.

"Your parents told you," she asked, softening her tone for a split second before going back to a really good imitation of 'Bad Cop'. I kept wishing the 'Good Cop' would show up and save me, but then I realized he was still in ICU. I was very much on my own.

"No, they told me you died when I was born and that Dad was executed in prison. That he'd murdered a soldier and was put to death by lethal injection."

She shuddered when I said that and I regretted telling her at all. "So why did you come to believe anything different?"

"My dreams," I told her. She cocked her head. Geez, this woman was a hard case! This woman, my Mom. "All my life I have had these dreams. First they were about a lady with red hair. I could see the red." She nodded. "No, you don't understand, I could tell it was red. I can't see red when I'm awake. I'm red-green colorblind."

That made her bite her lip but she nodded for me to go on.

"That lady was you. Later, I saw this man with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. I didn't know what hazel eyes were; I had to ask my mom about them. My other mom," I added quickly. I already considered this woman to be my mother; it was hard to speak of the woman who'd raised me.

"So I just dreamed about him for a while. And then I could see things. Every day life kind of things, like you making him dinner when he came home late. And then I saw her," I pointed to Peggy, who hid behind her book again even though I knew she was listening. "I saw Dad pick her up and put her on his shoulders and call her 'Peg o' my Heart'. And I heard you, even though you didn't say a word, I heard you call out for me. For me and Emily."

Tears were coming fast from her eyes now and I wanted to go over and hug her, but I wasn't halfway done with my explanation yet.

"I met Gibson on the internet. He told me he knew me, that he knew you, too. I wanted him to tell me where you were, but he said it wasn't time. And I started having nightmares, nightmares from Dad about the time the aliens took him and tortured him. Gibson tried to explain those to me. Then, a couple of days ago I was in the shower and I had this vision while I was wide-awake of being in an ambulance and you were begging me to hold on. But it wasn't me, I knew that. It was Dad. I was seeing it through Dad's eyes. That had never happened before unless I was dreaming. So I had to get to you. I knew, I knew Dad was in trouble. So I got on line and Gibson had emailed me. He just said it was time."

OK, by this time I was crying again and it was hard to talk around the sandwich so I gave up and just started sipping the Crush when my throat would close up.

"So I took my baling money and I got a ticket to New Mexico to meet up with Gibson. And he drove me here to El Paso. And you know everything else." I decided not to go into the part where Gibson told me all about my mom and dad's life before and after I was born and how she put me up for adoption to keep me safe. She already knew all that and it still hurt that they didn't keep me.

Mom looked up at the television. The reporter was back on. "Twelve-year-old William Van de Kamp was believed to have been taken from outside Cornland High School at just a little after 7 am on Thursday morning. Police say no ransom demands have been made but a search of William's computer files have determined that he had become involved with extremists who believe in the existence of extraterrestrials. One man, Gibson Praise of Weed Hope, New Mexico, is being sought in connection with William's disappearance. Again, if anyone has seen this boy, please contact the Cornland Nebraska Police Department, the Nebraska State Police, or the FBI. Those numbers are appearing at the bottom of the screen."

Mom had a hand to her mouth and was just staring at the television. "Mom. I had to come. Dad needed me. You saw that. He woke up for me. I had to come here," I said and hated that my voice kept cracking and it sounded all whiny. "Please, Mom, say something."

"We have to call them," she said evenly.

"No!" I cried out. "No, they'll take me back! Mom, I don't want to go back there! This is where I belong now. Like Gibson said, it's time. They are coming, Mom. Dad knows it, we talked about it."

"He had a ET tube down his throat, William," she spat out.

I was really scared now. I expected her to believe me but she didn't. How could I make her believe? I had to get her to understand. "No Mom, we talked on a beach. Our minds connected. We talked on a beach right next to this big sandcastle. I helped him build it. He told me that I helped him build it, before I was even conceived. Mom, he said they were coming. That's why he fell at the construction site. He got a jolt, a shock, something from them and he fell and got hurt. Mom, you have to believe me!"

"William, those poor people, those people are worried sick about you!"

"Mom, yeah, they were nice to me, but I don't belong there! You know that! Even Peggy knows that, for Christ's sake!"

"William!" she shouted and I shut up, realizing I probably stepped over a line there. It got real quiet, with just the reporter droning on about $100 a barrel oil prices and $6 a gallon gas. Sometime during our talk both Mom and I stood up and I realized she probably thought I was a hard case and needed to go back to the farm if that was how I acted. I sat down and silently ate my sandwich, which tasted really dry and was hard to swallow. I'd emptied my Crush already.

She paced a little bit, but said nothing. A nurse came to the door; we were the only ones in the lounge at that time of night. She smiled at us. "Mrs. Mulder, you can go back and see your husband now." Peggy got up, wide-eyed and staring at first Mom and then me like we might burst into flames. Mom took her hand and smiled at her and then reached over and held her hand out for me. "Let's go see Dad," she said. "We'll discuss this later."

I started breathing again. I took her hand and smiled at her. We walked to the door, the three of us.

"You look just like that boy on TV," the nurse said with a smile and a shake of her head.

"Really?" Mom said, sounding casual but surprised. She looked at me, as if trying to compare. "I don't really see that much resemblance. Must be the haircut. William, I told you to get it cut when you were home a few weeks ago."

"As soon as we know Dad's OK, Mom. I promise!" I said, for benefit of the nurse. That was too easy. I knew the next person would be harder to convince. And the person after that. But then, maybe the aliens would get here and save me from going back to the farm. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

There was a light on in Dad's cubicle now, a light behind the bed. He still looked pretty gruesome; you could see the bruises on his face that were hidden by the tube and the shadows before. It made my cheeks hurt to look at him. But Mom was smiling and ran her finger across his forehead. He opened his eyes and did a sort of half-smile, half-grimace. Mom found a cup on the tray table and feed him something. I figured out after a minute it was crushed ice.

"How are you feeling?" she asked him.

"Like I should have watched that first step," he croaked out. I couldn't believe he could joke at a time like this, but Mom seemed to take it in stride. She just smirked at him and shook her head. He looked over at Peggy and gave her a smile. "How's my Peg-leg?"

"Fine, Daddy," she said with a giggle. "Daddy, did you see who's here? It's William!"

Finally he looked over at me. He reached out his hand and I stepped forward to take it. At first I thought he was just shaking my hand but then he tugged a little and before I knew it I was hugging him and crying just like I had with Mom. "Son, I've missed you so much," he whispered in my ear. "God, you have no idea how much I've missed seeing you grow up."

"It's OK, Dad. I'm here now. It's going to be OK." I really believed that, when I had his arms around me. Even with the edge of his cast sticking me in the back.

When he let me go, I stood up and walked to the door so I could wipe my eyes. Mom took my place by the side of the bed, holding his hand. "Mulder, you need to get some rest. I'm going to take the kids home for the night and we'll be back again tomorrow, OK?"

"Scully, how did William get here?" Dad asked, but his eyes were already glazing over like he was really doped up. I knew it wouldn't be long before he was out like a light.

"I'll tell you tomorrow, when you've had some sleep." She leaned over and kissed him first on the forehead and then on the lips. "I love you. I'll see you in the morning."

" you, too," he muttered and was asleep before our eyes.

"OK, you two, we're going home. And William, we will finish our discussion from the lounge." I suddenly knew what the criminals must have felt like when Mom took them into custody. It wasn't a very good feeling.

We walked out to the parking lot and Mom led us to an older minivan, but one in good condition. It was a lot newer than the pick up truck we had on the farm. Mom unlocked the doors and Peggy got in the back, strapping herself in her seatbelt. I sat down and after Mom stared at me, I put my own seatbelt on. I was never that good at remembering to do that.

It wasn't a long drive to their house. It was in a neighborhood of small houses, some of the cars were pretty old, but none of the houses looked in bad shape. Mom pulled the car into the driveway and under a carport. We all went in the back door.

It was funny, I recognized the kitchen. I'd been dreaming of it for a couple of years. "How long have you lived here?" I asked Peggy, hoping Mom was far enough ahead that she wouldn't turn that 'bad cop' routine on me again, at least for a while.

Peggy thought for a minute. "I had my sixth birthday here," she said. "That was two years ago."

"Your room is that way," I told her pointing down the hall off the kitchen. "And Mom and Dad's room is on the other side. The bathroom is there, and the TV room is there," I said, pointing to doors.

"Where do I keep my diary?" she challenged with her arms crossed in front of her.

I thought hard for a little bit. "I have no idea," I admitted.

"And we're going to keep it that way," she said in a huff and hurried down the hallway to her room. "I'm going to feed 'Tribble', Mommy," she called out over her shoulder.

Mom appeared out of nowhere with a blanket, pillows and some sheets. "We can make up the couch in the TV room," she said, heading in that direction.

That room was the room I remembered best. I could see Dad, lying on the couch with the remote in his hand, watching TV. Mom would be curled up at the end of the couch with his feet in her lap. She was always reading a book. Sometimes Dad would have Peggy on his lap and Peggy would be reading to him. It was a happy place, a place with good memories, even if I only saw them from afar.

"William, I don't want you to take this the wrong way. God knows I'm so torn right now. I've thought of you every day since I gave you up. I've prayed for twelve years that we would find a way to get you back with us." She had been pacing, but she stopped and sat down on the couch. She motioned for me to sit down beside her. "But this, running away like this, this is wrong. This is not the way to go about it."

"Mom," I said, trying to think of what I could say to convince her. "I didn't plan to run away. I haven't been sitting there in Nebraska thinking of a way to get here. I was happy with my dreams," I told her, and for the most part, that was true. "But Mom, you know there is something big about to happen. And my place isn't in Nebraska. It's with you."

"William, this talk of aliens..."

"Mom! You know they're real!" I cried in exasperation. "I know you know that! They took your husband! You saw what they did to him. Mom, they took you!"

"The military..."

"Mom, Gibson told me everything," I said, breaking in before she could get up to full rant. She stared at me, angry for a moment, then her face started to crumble and the tears started to fall.

"I didn't want it to be true. I heard what he said in the pueblo and the date for colonization and I didn't want it to be true," she said, covering her face with her hands.

"I don't want it to happen, either, Mom," I said quietly. "I saw Dad's dreams. A lot of people are going to die. But we don't have to be with them."

"Your parents? Your other parents?"

For the first time it hit me. I realized what was going to happen. If the aliens did attack, and I knew it was more of when than if, most likely my family would die in the initial assault. My mom would have survived cancer only to die a fiery death. I couldn't help it, I started to cry.

I found myself in my mother's arms again for the second time that day. "It's OK, William. It's going to be all right. We'll call them. We can warn them."

"They won't listen," I sobbed. "Dad will never listen. He doesn't believe in that science fiction stuff."

"Then we'll make him listen. You won't be doing this alone. I promise."

Peggy appeared at the door looking scared. "Mommy, you better look at the TV," she told us.

"Margaret, I don't like you watching TV in your room before bedtime," Mom said sternly, but found the remote and switched on the set. "Channel 16," Peggy said, and watched as the screen flickered to life.

It was CNN again. But instead of my picture, it was a burning building. I stared at the screen, finally getting down on my knees so I could get very close. "Oh God," I said, "oh God, no!"

As the wind shifted and the smoke cleared, leaving only flames, I saw that it wasn't a building on fire. It was my home. My home in Nebraska!

"Mom, Dad?" I cried as I watched the flames cover the roof and lick out my bedroom window.

Mom turned up the volume. It was a different reporter than before. "...authorities believe the fire was arson. The owners of the house, John and Silvia Van de Kamp were in the house when the blaze started. Both victims died of smoke inhalation..."

I didn't hear the rest over my sobs.


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Resistance 1.05: Fleeing

Mulder home
El Paso, Texas
December 2, 2012

I must have fallen asleep crying. I woke up to find my head in Mom's lap, the TV still on. We were on the couch and a blanket was over me. I remembered the picture on the screen and tears burned at my eyes, but this time I held them back. The time for crying was over. I had to get hold of Gibson. I knew he was in trouble because of me. Someone had killed my adopted parents; I was betting that someone would be after me, too. Maybe they were killed because I was supposed to be with them. Maybe the people -- or things -- that killed them had been trying to kill me. It scared me and I just wanted to stay there, warm and protected on my Mom's lap.

I looked up at her. She was so pretty. Now that I could look at her, I could see the little bits of grey in her hair, but she still looked really beautiful to me. Just like she had all those years in my dreams. Her hand was holding my head; I think she might have been petting my head last night while I cried myself to sleep over the deaths of my parents, the Van de Kamps.

Now I hated that I didn't tell them goodbye. They loved me, they raised me. I could remember all the times my Dad would sit me on his lap and we'd ride the tractor. I remember my Mom making brownies for my Cub Scout meetings. She made the best brownies in the county -- she won blue ribbons at the county fair all the time and one time even got a second place at the Nebraska State Fair! I remembered all the times she would sew the rips in my clothes after I'd been working with Dad in the fields or when she would sing me to sleep when I was home sick from school. They were gone now. I could never tell them that I loved them, as much as they'd loved me.

It wasn't fair! I didn't want it to be like this! I wanted...I wanted both my sets of parents. I loved the Mulders, I had wanted to be with them all my life. It was never my idea to leave them, they gave me up! Even if it was just to keep me safe. Nobody asked me about it. It just happened.

And because of that decision, I loved the Van de Kamps, too. Sure, I never agreed with my Dad on anything, but I knew he still loved me. And yeah, my Mom was really old-fashioned and never understood me, sometimes even looked afraid of me because of the things I would tell her. But she loved me with her whole heart. She was always telling me "William, you are my whole world, I don't need anything else." She told me that every time I would ask what she wanted for Christmas or her birthday. Always the same answer. "You are all I ever wanted."

"Are you all right?" Her voice startled me. I hadn't realized she was awake.

"No," I said because it was true. I wasn't all right.

"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked. When I sat up, she was looking at me and it broke my heart. She had tears in her eyes. Guess the 'bad cop' was taking the day off.

I stood up and folded the blanket, placing it on the back of the couch. "Why is this happening?" I demanded. "Why would someone do that?"

She bit her lip. "William, I know you aren't going to want to hear this, but this is exactly why I gave you up."

"Don't give me that crap any more! Look at you, look at this house! What is so different about this house then my old one? You and my Dad and Peggy -- you have a home! Why wasn't there room for me?"

She wiped the tears from her cheeks. I got the impression she really didn't like to cry any more than I did and the last day had been a real pain in the butt because of that. "We aren't...we...William, for so long, we just ran. We were sure that if they found us they would kill us."

"You had another kid," I accused. It hurt, as much as I'd already grown to love her, seeing Peggy with them in my dreams hurt so much. Why wasn't I good enough to keep and she was?

She shook her head, a sad smile on her face. "Peggy, well, Peggy was a complete surprise, just as you were."

"A mistake, you mean. We were mistakes. Birth control that didn't work." I know I was being a total asshole, but I was angry and I couldn't stop myself if I tried. I wasn't trying to stop myself.

She looked down at the floor and I could tell her patience with me was growing real thin, but she looked up again and sighed. "I was barren, William. If you know so much about sex ed, I'm sure you know what that means."

"You were told you couldn't have kids," I supply.

"Yes. I was told that all my ova had been harvested during the time of my abduction. I was told I would never have children, ever. And, because he loved me, that meant your father would never have children, either."

"He could have..." I stopped because I knew I was crossing another line. He could have had children, just not with her.

"Yes, he could have. It was his decision not to. As I said, he loved me, loves me to this day. It's one of the few constants in my life," she said with that same sad smile, but it quickly faded. "One day I was told that there was a very slim chance that I could conceive, through invitro fertilization. I needed a donor for the sperm."

"But you already loved him, why didn't you just ask him?" I asked.

She muttered something, it sounded like 'Mulder this is your job', but she took a deep breath and nodded to herself. "We hadn't had sex," she said simply. "We weren't married and we'd never been together. Even though I'd loved him for seven years at that point."

I thought about that. My real parents were more old-fashioned than my adopted ones!

"But you're right, I did ask him. And even though he wasn't sure, because he knew it would change my life, our lives dramatically, he said


"So I was born through in vitro?"

"No," she said, and I had to sit down because I was too confused to keep standing.

"But you just said..."

"It didn't work. It failed. Not to go into specifics, by mutual agreement, we decided to allow ourselves to love each other, as we never had before."

"I don't think I want to hear much more about that part," I admitted. My mind flashed back to one dream I'd had when I was about 9 or 10. From that time on, I tried not to dream about them too late at night - or too early in the morning. Some parts of family life weren't for continued viewing.

"Well, like it or not, you are a product of completely natural conception," she said with a smirk. "And so was Peggy. But so many things were happening when I was pregnant with you."

"They took Dad," I offered. "Yes, and when he was returned, he was still threatened. William, he couldn't let them take him again. It was...a fate worse than death. And I couldn't bury him again, I just couldn't. So he went away. Many people thought he was running to save himself, but that wasn't it at all. He was running to protect us, you and me. I was supposed to keep you safe, and I failed at it," she said, her voice rough and tears coming down her cheeks. "I couldn't keep you safe, William. Giving you up, it was the only way to keep you safe. I just prayed that some day..."

"Mom," I said, swiping at my own tears. "I get that. But that doesn't explain about Peggy."

Mom snorted. "You'll make a good investigator, if we manage to hold onto the planet," she muttered. "William," she said, directed at me now, "Peggy's birth was, in all respects, a miracle -- just as you were. And to let you know now, and forever, I regret putting you up for adoption. I did it in a moment of weakness. By the time I realized what a horrible mistake I'd made, it was done and I couldn't undo it. I had to live with it, have lived with it, every day for the last 11 and one half years. And I can tell you one more thing," she said, taking a deep breath, "I love you just as much now as I did the day you were born. I don't know how God saw fit to bring you back to us right now, but I count it as a blessing, as yet another miracle. One thing I've learned is to never give up on miracles."

Hearing her say it made me feel a little better, but then I remembered the pictures on the TV again. "I don't see any miracles coming from that fire," I said, wiping away another tear.

She stepped closer to me and took my hands in hers. "I do. You're alive. That is a miracle to me. William, if you hadn't run away you would have been there in that fire. You would be lost to me, to this family, forever. I mourn the death of your parents; I owe them a tremendous debt that I could never fully repay. But don't ask me to be sorry that you weren't there, that you were here with me when the fire broke out. As a matter of fact, I suspect that fire might have been an attempt on your life."

"I figured that out, too," I admitted. "Mom, we have to get hold of Gibson..."

"He called after you fell asleep. He's safe. We can't contact him for a while, but I know he's safe. Now we have to do everything we can to make ourselves safe, too."

"You think they're still after me?" I asked, and I was surprised that I suddenly felt afraid.

"No, William. They will be after all of us. You, Peggy, your father and me."

"We have to get Dad out of that hospital, then. He's a sitting duck!"

She closed her eyes for a moment, and when she opened them she seemed like a different person. She seemed taller, even. More in charge.

"We'll do whatever it takes," she said firmly. "I want you and your sister to gather up some supplies, food, clothing, some linens. Not everything, just as much as we might take if we were camping for the weekend. Have you ever been camping, William?"

"I've camped before," I assured her.

"Then you know what to do and so does Peggy. I have to go spring your father from the hospital. When I get back, be ready to pack the things in the car and take off."

"We won't be coming back, will we?" I had to ask.

Her eyes showed her sorrow. "No, we won't be back here."

"We'll have room for Tribble, won't we?" I asked. "What is a Tribble, by the way?"

That made her smile. "Tribble is a hamster. I think we have room for the cage. Remind Peggy to pack the cedar chips and food."

I watched Mom pull out of the driveway and felt the fear settle in the pit of my stomach. As I walked into the kitchen from the carport, Peggy was pulling a sheet of paper out of the back of the phone book. She looked it over and handed it to me.

"I'll get the stuff on the top half, you work on the food. There's a plastic crate in the pantry. If you can't find something, put a star by it so we can pick it up on the way."

"Do you know where we're going?" I asked. Suddenly I had a clear image of a cave, hidden by bushes.

"Don't think about it!" Peggy shouted. "They might figure it out."

"Where is it? And who's going to figure it out?"

She stopped what she was doing and turned, put her fist on one hip and looked at me like I was the dumbest thing on earth. "I thought you knew about all this," she said and raised her eyebrow. It looked so much like I'd seen Mom do that it scared me a little more.

"I do," I said, defensively. "I just don't know the details."

She snorted and shook her head. "You don't need to know the details. Not yet, at least. The less you know, the better right now." She turned on her heel and headed back for the bedrooms. I stood there and wondered if she was really only 8 years old, how come she shot me down like girls at least four years older.

I had a little trouble finding a couple of the items, but I was finished pretty quickly. I put the crate by the door to the carport and went to find Peggy.

"Is this Tribble?" I asked. She nodded sadly. "Mom says Tribble goes, too," I assured her.

"Yeah, but I don't think he's going to do well where we're going," she said.

"Sure she will! I'll help you take care of her. She'll be fine." I knew absolutely nothing about hamsters. The one time I asked for one my dad had told me they were related to rats and that was the end of the discussion. But looking at Tribble as she ran in his wheel, little tail high in the air, I didn't see much rat resemblance. "They get cold easy," Peggy said, holding back tears. "Then they die."

"What do you do to keep her warm when it gets cold here?"

She shrugged. "It doesn't get that cold. But sometimes I put a towel over her cage. And I keep her away from the window and the air conditioning vent, so she doesn't catch cold."

"So that's what we'll do," I said. She gave me that raised eyebrow again, but I ignored it. I understood her reasons for being upset, but the trials and tribulations of one hamster really was sort of small when you looked at the big picture. "Do you have every thing on your part of the list?"

She nodded to some packed suitcases and a couple more plastic crates. I picked up the crates and carried them to the back door where I had place my items. Peggy followed with the suitcases. She surveyed what we had, frowning. "Where's your suitcase?"

I remembered my backpack. I'd left it in the family room. I went to grab it and then noticed a framed picture on the bookshelf. It was Mom, Dad and Peggy. Tucked in a corner of the frame was a smaller picture, a reprint of an old 3 X 4. It was Mom, Dad and a baby. I pulled it from the frame and read the back. "Dana, Fox and William 5/22/2001" I tucked it back in the larger frame and slipped it into my backpack. I was pretty sure we'd want to hang on to those.

By the time I got back to the kitchen, Peggy had Tribble's cage and supplies added to the assortment of crates and luggage. I looked at the clock on the microwave and figured we'd packed the place up in a little over two hours. "I'm going to make some sandwiches for the road," Peggy said suddenly.

I could tell she was nervous, she needed something to keep her busy. "I'll help," I offered.

She smiled at me and pointed to the breadbox on the counter top. I pulled out the loaf of bread -- whole grain wheat -- while she got peanut butter from the cupboard and jelly from the refrigerator. We made the sandwiches in silence, working as a team. In the end we made up the whole loaf and we had 9 sandwiches. I helped her wrap them in plastic wrap and put them in a couple of paper lunch sacks.

Just as we finished, the headlights of a car swung over the kitchen wall. It scared me at first, but Peggy ran to the door. "C'mon, Will. It's Momma and Daddy!" When I caught up with her, Mom was coming in the door, grabbing suitcases to pack in the car. We each took a couple of loads, but in no time the old minivan was packed and we were ready to go.

As we got in the car, Peggy looked back at the house sadly. "Bye, house. You were a great place to live," she said, but she didn't cry. I was proud of her in that moment. I don't know if I could have left my home when I was her age. But then, I'd left my home just four days before and it was finally settling in with me.

Peggy and I were in the captain's chairs in the middle of the car. I was behind Mom and Peggy was behind Dad. The backseat was folded down to hold all the luggage and crates. Dad was sitting in the passenger seat up front and didn't look any better than when we'd seen him the night before at the hospital. If anything, he looked paler and there were dark circles under his eyes.

Mom gave him a worried look as she buckled her seat belt. "You still with me, Mulder?" she asked. It occurred to me that I should probably think it odd that she called him by his last name all the time, but it just sounded natural. I didn't hear his answer, but I saw him take her hand and give it a squeeze. She seemed to relax a little bit.

"Will and I made sandwiches, Mommy," Peggy told her. "Peanut butter and jelly."

"I'll take some of that action," Dad said in a voice just louder than a whisper.

Peggy dutifully started to open one of the sacks, but Mom shook her head. "Mulder, soft diet for a couple of days. I have some Ensure here for you."

"Warm, I assume," he said grimly.

"We can get ice at a gas station," Mom suggested. His answering grunt told me all I needed to know about his opinion on that suggestion.

"I'll save you a sandwich, Daddy," Peggy added.

"You can make me a fresh one in a couple of days, Peg-leg," Dad told her. "Will, how are you holding up? I heard about the farm and your..." He couldn't say 'parents', I got the feeling he couldn't call them that. I understood but in a small way I resented it.

"I'm OK, Dad. I just want us to get somewhere safe," I told him.

Dad reached his hand back, awkward, but I leaned forward and took it. "We're on our way, son. I promise, we're on our way there right now."

Mom put the car in reverse and pulled out of the driveway. Peggy stared out the front windshield; I could tell she was trying not to cry again. I looked at the small house with the blue drapes and wondered if I'd ever again see a structure I could call home.

The End

Continued in Resistance 2

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